The best of potpourri.
A selection of fragrant potpourri, while I continue to marvel over the French translation of potpourri (“rotten pot’’):
• Our “Story of a…Driving Instructor’’ feature brought back fond (?!) memories of my 11th-grade drivers’ education course at Vero Beach High School, taught 42 years ago by laid-back basketball coach Carson Coleman. Student drivers would hit the road a couple of times a week, but not before watching classic scare-the-bejeezus-out-of-you films like Signal 30 and Wheels of Tragedy in class. In those shock flicks, drivers met unbelievably violent ends, usually because of carelessness—tanker trucks hit by trains seemed to be a favorite among the film producers. But the gory details certainly made us more careful—and Coach had that passenger-side brake, so we all survived. It’s comforting to know that today’s driving instructors, like our profile subject Bonnie Frank, still have that brake. What’s not so comforting is that defensive driving today includes keeping an eye out for fellow motorists who are texting.
• It came simply as a news release from the NBA’s Magic in my email at work with this heading: “Orlando waives Jameer Nelson.’’ What followed in the release was praise for Nelson, with the Magic thanking him for his contributions and saying how the point guard would always be a part of their basketball family. Then Jameer thanked management and fans for his 10 years here, while acknowledging that “all good things must come to an end.’’ For sure, Nelson is a class act. Perhaps online Bleacher Report writer Jared Zwerling summed it up best in a profile last February, in which he said Nelson’s “loyalty to the Magic, leadership among the players and generosity in the community make him one of the most humanizing stories in professional sports.’’
• I must admit that it’s rather exhilarating to watch the sharp-looking SunRail locomotive and cars glide down the tracks while I’m stopped at a rail crossing. Perhaps that’s because I wish I was on the sleek train, heading out to no place in particular. Check out Greg Dawson’s take on riding the rails on page 120. Honestly, my most memorable trip on a train up to now was a 3rd-grade day trip when the teacher told us if we dared ask the conductor for a drink of water, she would make us write the word “water’’ 1,000 times. Perhaps that’s why I now drink 128 ounces of the stuff per day.
• Talk about hard workers: The performers at Treasure Tavern Dinner Theatre seat guests, take food and drink orders, deliver plates and still have more than enough energy to put on a show of bawdy comedy and acrobatic feats. Plus, they found time to help us illustrate our Best of Orlando package, beginning on page 42. We have “Best of’’ broken into departments—Goods and Services, Eat and Drink, People and Media, and—yes—Potpourri.
Elsewhere in this issue, don’t miss Peter Kerasotis’ revealing profile of UCF head football coach George O’Leary, plus a look at the popular Bungalower community news site and its founder, Matt Broffman.