Monday, October 06, 2014

On Adam Redford and the Miami Herald's, "Skipper Smut: A Miami man's dark voyage into 'crush' porn … by gimleteye

In case you haven't followed it in the Miami Herald, the story involves a fishing boat captain, Adam Redford, who sidelined making porn videos involving women and small animals destroyed in the course of sex.

I fished with Adam Redford in the mid 1990s. One day in Biscayne Bay. One day, in the Everglades out of Flamingo. Flats guides are a small fraternity, and I found Adam from one or another of the professionals who were already booked. It is a referral business. Adam, who was a couple of years younger than me, owned two boats; one for the flats and another for deeper water and kept them in his yard somewhere in south Miami.

On the phone he told me he night fished tarpon in Government Cut. That didn't interest me. I was interested in sight casting. I wanted to fish bonefish on the flats, in the skinny water where you see your quarry. But his boat was too heavy for that clear, windy day and we came up empty.

Spending a day alone on the water, you get to talking with your guide. It's just the two of you after all. In Adam's case, his family had a history in Miami. His father had been a Miami-Dade county commissioner and his mother, a well-known conservationist. That was before my time, but I was deeply interested. I moved to Miami in 1992, literally on the blue bird day after Hurricane Andrew, and soon enough involved in conservation politics that had captured my interest, earlier, in the Florida Keys. I was curious about Adam's insight about the 1960s when controversies like the Everglades jetport and the plan to turn Biscayne Bay and Elliott Key into an amusement park or oil terminal raged.

And I do mean, raged. By now, people who live in South Florida are either deadened by information overload or simply unaware of the importance of protecting the Everglades. Back in the 1960s, as the historical television news records show, the Everglades jetport battle was on the front page and involved Congressmen, Senators and Presidents of the United States.

Importantly, the battle to protect the Everglades prefaced that national environmental movement that gained traction in the early 1970s. A small band of local activists included Adam Redford's mother, Polly, (Lloyd Miller, by the way, once beaten up by former Homestead banker Bill Losner for his environmental "meddling" is one of the last surviving members of that band).

Back in the 1960's Miami was a small Southern town. Racist and bigoted was part of the package. But it was also a place where the descendants of Bahamians who lived in Coconut Grove didn't have to pay for groceries: they could just put a line out and catch dinner. It was also a time when an unparalleled natural wilderness only a few miles away -- the Everglades -- was firing on all cylinders. By the 1990s all that had changed dramatically. In those decades, Miami transformed into a place even less recognizable than its earlier self. Those thirty years -- from the 60s to the 90s -- were momentous ones.

The old Anglo caste system was a shadow of what it had been, and so was the Everglades. The Cocaine Wars, waves of immigration, and the repetitive corruption of land speculation had taken their toll.

After those two days of fishing, I lost contact with Adam Redford. I remember that one day with him and my children. We caught and released nine species of fish -- counted them all -- in a few hours in the Everglades backcountry. A child who experiences nature in that way, doesn't forget.

With me at any rate, Adam wasn't interested to talk about Miami-Dade conservation history and filling in the blanks of time and space. I found Adam Redford's lack of interest in history a little odd, but then too, small talk disappears fast when you are fishing in stealth and silence in one of America's most beautiful and austere wetlands.

His mother and father had been famous in a world that completely disappeared. Whether he wanted or not, whether he knew it or not, Adam Redford struggled to make a living fishing in the remnants of history.


Anonymous said...

This county is still racist, it's just based more along ethnic lines than skin color although my personal belief is that many of the hispanics are just as racist today as were the good old boys of yesteryear. And if you do not think Anglos are not discriminated against by Hispanics, ( and vice versa) you are living in a dream world.

Anonymous said...

Money. People get corrupted by money. That causes formerly "normal ethical people" to pave the Everglades, dredge the Bay, overbuild the waterfront, approve illegal billboards, hire low IQ family members for jobs with guns... approve street vacation to "connected slime balls"... A shame.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I had a diving business centered around the grove waterfront back in the 60's.. The water was pretty nasty. the sewer lines from Grand Ave emptied a couple of hundred feet off peacock park. Ken Meyer's Park was Seminole Marina and a fuel dock. The shrimp fleet and commercial Charter boats were also there. Always lot of fish carcasses in the water. The live abroad boats in Dinner key were not required to pump out their toilets and just flushed them into the marina. (most boats didn't even have holding tanks) There was a small "children only" fishing dock on the north side of City Hall but it was more a novelty.

There was some recreational cane pole fishing going on along the seawall but nobody was doing subsistence fishing in the Grove by 1970.

Anonymous said...

listen; this is miami people; anything goes till you get caught. then buy your way out

Anonymous said...

"Back in the 1960's Miami was a small Southern town. Racist and bigoted was part of the package. But it was also a place where the descendants of Bahamians who lived in Coconut Grove didn't have to pay for groceries:"

I get they might burn a cross in your front lawn, but hey you get free loaf of bread and some bananas at the grocery store. Sounds like a deal to me......

Anonymous said...

I thought DDT had whacked most of the Glades birds by the 1960s.