What part of town do you live in?
I live in Coconut Grove.
How long have you lived in Coconut Grove?
About eight years. Before that, I was in Coral Gables for five years. Before that, Hollywood.
What brought you to town?
I was living in New Orleans and my wife got head hunted for a job down here. I love the sand and the blue water. That was about ’94. I came down here…lost the wife, but kept the location.
Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a 68-year-old retired music television producer and show promoter, logistics and all. I’ve done some pretty big shows – Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jerry Garcia, Carlos Santana. I’m also an old computer geek. A good friend of mine calls me an international man of mystery. I’ve done a lot of service work. I ran the Census Bureau for Broward and Palm Beach for the 2000 census. And, I lasted for about six months running the field operations for the Dade County 2010 census. It was a disaster, technologically, and I got out of it. I’m also on the Arts and Entertainment Council for the City of Miami.
I have a 35 year old son who’s a lieutenant commander in the submarine force. And, I have two granddaughters who I adore.
Would you share a story about you work as a music producer?
We changed television. We were the first ones who put major talent together and let them just play. The Home Box Office (HBO) people like to know exactly what’s going to happen. Putting together talent to jam was a little dangerous. But for me, that was perfect. Having Fats Domino, Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis play together on the same stage with Paul Shaffer as music director and Ronnie Wood, from the Stones, on guitar, was pretty wild. It was an iconic show and broke all the records for Home Box Office subscriber satisfaction. Paul Shaffer had 12 year old fans and 80 year-olds love Ray Charles. It had a demographic that was never beat. I also worked with Sarah Vaughan and Dizzy Gillespie, and did a big Latin show in ‘89. My last big production was Aaron Neville’s Christmas in New Orleans with Linda Ronstadt; they have pretty cool voices together. I was the executive producer and producer. I not only put the show together, raised the money, made the deals. I also produced the show itself.
Where do you go see music live these days?
There are not many good music clubs here. I see more music when I go to New Orleans. I’m there about a quarter of the time and the music in New Orleans is the best in the world. If you go to New Orleans, on Canal street about 30 blocks from downtown is a great place called Chickie Wah Wah. Uptown New Orleans is the Maple Leaf. Tipitina’s is a very well-known place, and Frenchman street is kind of like the Bourbon Street of music – though not my cup of tea. Listen to WWOZ, which is a listener sponsored radio in New Orleans – they have a thing called the Live Wire, at every odd hour they’ll list all of the places of live music. It goes on for four or five minutes. There’s literally 20 or 30 places every night.
Would you share about your work for the City of Miami?
I’m on the Arts and Entertainment Council. I was asked to do that by Ken Russel. I worked with him when he was campaigning. We put on a yearly event called Paint Me Miami where we have a competition for painters. I hired one of the best musicians in New Orleans, Eddie Balboa, to play as well. This year is August 9th at the Bakehouse Art Complex. It’s kind of funny, after all these years, to be doing that again.
You mentioned a lot of work on the census. Why is the census important?
I talked to the city council about that. Everybody pays taxes and the money goes to Washington. What comes back is based upon your census count. So literally, every person you miss is a loss of $10,000. It doesn’t come back. That’s supplies for ambulances, roads, schools, hospitals, and libraries. It’s critical for appointments to the House of Representatives. How many representatives you get, depends on your population. It’s really a two and a half year project. People only think about the knock on your door. But, it really starts a couple years before that when you check every address in Miami – and all over the country. A lot of times, politicians don’t realize how critical it is until they’ve missed out. It’s very important.
How often do you come to the Pinecrest Market?
Whenever I’m in town. I travel a lot. It’s my favorite market. And, I’m a big fan of you guys. I take your tonic and I use your turmeric sauce. And, I’m always disappointed when you don’t have fruit. I learned something about jack fruit. I had it in my yard in my old house in Coconut Grove. I learned to really like it, but I did not know that vegans, like my son who eats plant based diet, use it as a meat substitute. There was just an article about him in a pediatrics magazine, because his daughter has a heart condition. He decided to live a plant based diet to be an example. They love making ‘pulled pork’ out of Jackfruit.
(A+W) The jack fruit pulled pork is made with the young unripe jack fruits. If you try it, chunk the jack fruit whole (with skin on) and boil until soft. Then pull out the meat, shred it, cover with sauce and bake until the sauce is absorbed. It really is delicious.
I’m going to see them in two weeks and will be bringing your Turmeric Golden Coins and more jackfruit. They’re picking me up in Boston, and then we’ll drive up to our cabin in Maine. I’ll put some cold stuff around it and bury it in my clothes and bring it up there.
What have you found drinking the Turmeric?
I have COPD from smoking for too long. I quit 22 years ago. I use lot of different things on a daily basis. I don’t know one specific thing, but I know my body likes it. If I start to get a cold, a Turmeric Ginger tea is like getting injected with penicillin that you feel directly. I have friends who are healers and it’s one of the things they got me into 25 years ago. I don’t use powders, I always prefer the natural herb. I think the natural oils make a huge difference.
What are your favorite things to get from other stands at the market?
Lamoy has good raw vegan foods. There’s a couple of farmers that have a deeper base of the different vegetables and different fruits you get down here. I’ve bought things from them I’ve never heard of or tasted before. Also, the coffee lady is really good. I also like Flap, the pickle guy. Last weekend, I tried the Kimchi which was really good.
What do you think our market is missing?
I miss the crepe guy who used to come. He made a vegetarian crepe. Also, an extra hour would be good – if you could stay open until 3.
What restaurants do you like to go out to locally?
I like Atchana Thai, on Grand and Commodore Place. Also, Moon Thai – I’ve eaten there for 15 years. There’s a sushi place on the east side of US1, south of Le June called Sakura. It’s very good. I have pretty much gone plant based. I eat at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, where I’m a member, and they actually make vegetarian sandwiches.
What do you think Miami’s best kept secret is?
The beaches other than Miami Beach. Crandon Park or Bill Bags Park. I think that the vitality of the mix of nationalities is probably the best kept secret. This is probably one of the greatest cities to be in.
What’s a worthy splurge?
A splurge would be two or three pounds of a stone crabs or two bags of your ready to eat jack fruit. One of them won’t make it home. And, really good oysters, that’s a good splurge.
What community groups or events are coming up that you might like to promote or share?
All the things are at the Barnacle in Coconut Grove; anything that happens there is worth promoting. Paint Me Miami, is a competition for painters within the city of Miami on August 9th. There are scholarships of prize money and you can go online to apply. But, the Barnacle is really a hidden treasure within the Grove.
Is there anything about your business that you would like to pitch or share more about?
Actually, two business that I didn’t mention before. A dear friend of mine, who I’ve known for 45 years, owns an antique wood business in Louisiana called Albany Woodworks. He buys old beams from factories being torn down and reprocesses them into flooring, stairs, and doors. We did the White House in Key West, The South Broward School House in Fort Lauderdale. I supplied them with about 20,000 board feet of of Dade County Pine. It’s gorgeous wood.
Also, there’s a business I joined about six years ago, called Waste Energy Systems. We take biomass and turn it into electricity. We have a product that is very viable for the islands or any place where electricity costs more than 25 cents a kilowatt. We can use anything from coconut and palm fronds to cardboard.
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
How is your farm recovering from the hurricanes? I know it was tough on you guys and I’m a big fan of what you guys do and I really appreciate it. I’ve owned a hundred acres in to Ozarks and I know a little bit about how hard it is to farm. I hope you continue to develop new products. I’m in love with your Turmeric concentrate and the Golden Coins are awesome. You can eat one coin and you’re full. You don’t need any other snack. So, keep up that good work!
(A+W) We are recovering well. Luckily turmeric is hurricane resistant so we made it through. Avocados should be back soon so things are starting to feel normal again. Lets hope for a hurricane free season this year!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Eat healthy and thank you!
(A+W) Thank you too! Thanks for the music tips in NOLA. Can’t wait to go soon and check them out.