Shady Tennis Court Investigator

Prologue When I attended Miami Beach¶s first Civic Circle meeting, called to honor the existence of Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez, I had no idea that what transpired there would eventually lead to my introduction to the future of tennis in the United States and perhaps the world at large. David Nemitz, the Civic Circle moderator, insisted that only one rule be observed ± Be Nice. That can be roughly translated as Don¶t Complain. Mr. Gonzalez gave a speech wherein he joked that Miami Beach residents actually think they are his boss. He said he had been City Manager for ten years and liked Miami Beach, and that if he did not like it he would leave. The implication was ³Love my administration of this town or leave it.´ I called Jeffrey A. Singer, MA, Media Specialist, Broadcast Engineer, who had covered the Civic Circle event for Miami Beach¶s Office of Communications. He said the taped event would not appear in its

entirety on the city¶s site, but snippets would be used to promote the City Manager and his agenda. No doubt those snippets would not include my pointed questions about crime in Miami Beach, which has been listed as one of the top-ten most dangerous cities under 100,000 in population in the United States. Mr. Singer said that Mr. Gonzalez had complained about complainers after the meeting, saying they always complained about the one bad blade of grass in a nice lawn. I was led to suppose that he construed my questions as complaints. Mr. Singer characterized himself as ³the fly on the wall´ who records events for the city. He also complained about complainers, expressing his contempt for the controversy over what kind of surface the tennis courts at Flamingo Park should have. I wrote up my account of the inaugural Civic Circle meeting and it was published on the Internet. An editor on the Mainland turned it down, saying it was too local, something that only a small town paper would be interested in. But the small town paper has never been interested in my work. Its editor told me that my work has been too critical of real estate developers and the city clique its publisher belongs to. Well, Mr. Babbitt was a realtor, I thought, and he certainly was of national interest. Of course my little piece on the Civic Circle was a far cry from the novel artistry of Sinclair Lewis. Besides, people are no longer interested in babbitry now that there is little else. Still, I smelled a story somewhere underneath the contempt privately expressed by smug members of the ruling city clique towards complainers. There would be no civilization without complainers, I complained. The members of this clique have ruled far too long hence are probably getting away with murder. Someday I will get to the bottom of it all and expose it for the ass that it is. Then things would surely improve.

Maybe there is something in the Flamingo Park tennis court controversy that I should consider, I thought, maybe some sort of lead into the corruption every rake worth his muck relishes. What could be more boring than the surface of a tennis court? What is it hiding?