Where I'm from, there's lots of sunshine but very little spotlight. Except for now.
Former Representative Mark Foley is my congresscritter. I shook his hand a few weeks ago at an event heralding the new Children's Museum in Stuart, FL. Upon hearing the news of his alleged pedophelia, my mama told me to scrub my hands real good.
This is not the first time the national spotlight has shined on the ever-growing community of my youth. When I was 4, Adam Walsh's (son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh) severed head was found nearby, forever preventing me from leaving my mother's side in a public place.
A number of quiet years passed before I learned Judge Reinhold attended the very high school I was sitting in. It wasn't long after that when a local dentist decided to purposely infect his patients with HIV. One of the infected was Kimberly Bergalis, who went on to testify for a rather silly law about healthcare disclosure (after all, healthcare workers are far more likely to contract deadly diseases from their patients than the other way around). Another of the infected was my high school English teacher, Barbara Webb, a beloved if quirky older lady who died shortly after disclosing her illness. She loved the word balderdash. Still another was a fellow high school student, Sherry Annette Johnson. The day this story broke all manner of TV news crews and Oprah were standing outside our school while we had an assembly and the principal told us not to talk to any of them. Oddly enough, Simpatico Theater in Philadelphia is currently hosting the play Patient A about this blip in the AIDS epidemic.
On a different although not necessarily lighter note, fellow classmate Shawn Boorman got in a hunting accident and lost his leg in about 1991. He later became a local police officer and was featured on COPS running down a suspect with his prosthetic leg in 2000.
2004 saw not one but two hurricanes blast the region. The devastation didn't reach Katrina levels, but two hurricanes within 3 weeks isn't easy for anybody to weather.
Now, for some truly tragic news. Stuart native Scott Proctor will be pitching the New York Yankees to another pennant this month. I wish him luck and success, but I will not extend this support to his team.