When Major League Soccer finally catches on in the United States, the decision to fold the Miami Fusion will make America's most apathetic sports town look even more stupid, as if that were possible. (Hello? The Dolphins couldn't sell out a playoff game?) Soccer is followed with feverish fanaticism throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. South Florida has a huge and ever-growing population of immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean. You do the math. Bad management and inept marketing -- not a starless team with a lousy playoff record -- led to this humiliating loss. But nature hates a vacuum. Professional soccer will return to Miami. It is inevitable.

The seasoned cats who preside over Jazz in the Afternoon play all the cool hits. You know: Kind of Blue, Giant Steps, A Love Supreme (the whole blessed album). This is noncommercial (and unlicensed, meaning "pirate") community radio as it was meant to be. These guardians of the bebop, hard-bop, and post-bop jazz flames liberate the airwaves on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. One way to make a good thing even better would be to extend the holy sounds of Miles, Trane, and Dolphy into weekday evenings, currently the domain of an emcee who preaches to us about things we already know regarding the current state of slavery in America.

Miami has no mountains. There are no hills, buttes, or mesas. But there are clouds, and they appear almost daily on the big palette that is South Florida's sky. Our cosmic placement at the tip of a peninsula located to the east of the Gulf of Mexico, north of the Caribbean Sea, and downwind of the jet stream puts us at the crossroads of breezes and moisture that can produce spectacular celestial works. High up are the thin, wispy cirrus clouds, delicate free-form brush strokes of white that flow and curl against the blue of eternity. In the foreground on a fair day the cumulus play, those billowy shape-shifters, puffing effortlessly by on the breeze. Here are our mountains, inspiring and variable, and our view is unobstructed.

Before finding happiness in a warm gun, the Beatles found a buddy in a Miami Beach cop. Sgt. Buddy Dresner was assigned to provide security to the Beatles during the group's South Florida invasion in February 1964. The Hard Rock Café has no photos of the screaming female mob that besieged the boys when they descended from their rooms for a dip at the Deauville Hotel pool. But there are shots of them at Dresner's house, where Mrs. Dresner served a nice dinner and Paul read to the couple's children. Back in London several months after the two-week February tour, Paul scrawled a letter to Dresner apologizing for not writing sooner. "I lost your address. I've only just got it again -- from George," he wrote. "We'll be out [again] in America soon. That's if they don't start a war or something. For instance, all this business in Vietnam." (The Beatles indeed invaded the States again in late August, as the U.S. military presence grew and grew in Southeast Asia.) Other historic scrawlings appear on a work of abstract art the Fab Four signed and shipped to Dresner after the February visit. The drawing (by one D. Spence) consists of four splotches of black ink dripping to the bottom of a piece of brown paper. On it one can observe hints of the psychedelic wordplay John later embraced: "To good old Buddy, what is our Buddy, good Bubby (get a job Buddy), all the best and thanks from me." In a separate letter Brian Sommerville, the group's agent, penned a sentiment about our subtropical burgh that many still find apt. "I'll never forget that wonderful place and its people," he wrote.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®