I'm still thinking about my friend Gilbert Stafford who passed a few days ago. Here's an excerpt from my book SOUTH BEACH STAR. It's when the main character Kidd meets Gilbert for the first time.
The night that I met Gilbert would always be etched into my mind. Holly had taken it upon herself to escort me around town and wanted to take me to the spots whe considered hot. Holly always boasted that every man in town was after her. After spending a few nights out with her I eventually caught on that Holly was living in a fantasy world. I'm not stupid but I was giving her the benefit of a doubt, but while no one was ever rude to her, I noticed several guys laughing at her behind her back. Typical of South Beach, many pretended to be Holly's friend who were in fact not. She always carried her camera with her and everyone wanted to be photographed for her OUT WITH HOLLY photo section in the Star. It was a simple case of smile for the camera but not for the photographer. That night Holly was taking me to a Monday night party called Back Door Bamby at a club called Lua. While I was skeptical about the popularity of a Monday night party, Holly raved about the party, the promoter, the club, and the crowd as well as the legendary doorman Gilbert. He smiled and grabbed me for a hug and a kiss on each cheek which I discovered was the typical greeting on South Beach. It was a little dramatic but I sensed it was sincere from Gilbert. Gilbert either kissed you or ignored you.