In 1948 I discovered South Florida when my parents to me and my brother on a vacation there. On and off I would live in Miami Beach for a year or two until I officially moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1979.

In the 50s I explored my sexuality along Ocean Drive where I would meet my 'parents'/mentors/friends Joe and Albyn and I became one of their kids along with Perry, Joe the Greek and Bernie--and until the day they died they looked after and were concerned about us.

In the 60s I lived there for a year during my 'drunk, party, cruise and the hell with everyone' period. (By the way, in the 50s and 60s Miami Beach was wilder than it supposedly became in the 90s.)

In the 70s, while living in Memphis, I came down on vacation with lovers (first Bernie and then Johnny) so Joe and Albyn could meet them.

In 1979 when I had to leave Memphis I was coming down to relocate on Miami Beach but Joe and Albyn said I would be better off in Fort Lauderdale as Miami Beach was the pits then. I have now lived here for 28 years and have loved every minute of it--including the 'down' times.

Yes, we have a hurricane every now and then but 6 in 28 years isn't a bad record and we haven't had any the last two. Yes, the humidity is high during the summer but from October to May we have temperatures during the day in the high 70s, low 80s and at night in the high 50s, low 60s. There are about 5-6 'cold' days when it might get in the low 40s, high 30s at night and 'only' 70-71 during the day.

I don't remember the last time I wore a suit and tie or sports jacket or sweater--only when I go to the theatre do I wear a shirt, trousers, sock and shoes--other wise I am in my uniform of flip-flops, short sleeved shirts and shorts.

I love the sun, the ocean, the sunsets, the people and the slower life I lead down here.

I have only ONE complaint about South Florida--you don't dive into the ocean to cool off in the summer as the ocean is warmer than the land! :O)

We are having economic problems down here recently--more so than the rest of the country--but we don't worry about heating our places (in fact most people will wear sweaters to restaurants, theatres, movies, museums or other indoor places) wearing/buying 'winter' clothes and, MOST IMPORTANT, we see 'eye candy' 12 months a year!!!

Adding up the 'cold' days, hurricane days or heavy rainy days, maybe, we have one month of bad weather and I can live with that!

We also have people from all 50 States and from all countries around the world living here which makes for interesting friendships, festivals and culture!

I am very thankful for living in South Florida.