Some thoughts on the horrific massacre at Pulse

Over the past decade, Orlando has become a very welcoming place for gay people.

Over the past decade, Orlando has become a very welcoming place for gay people.


ORLANDO — After years of watching television coverage of terrorist attacks in other cities, from 9-11 to San Bernardino in December 2015, I always had a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach that Orlando would eventually become a very tempting target for something similar.
I hate to admit this, but for me, the question wasn’t whether it might happen — but when. After all, Orlando is the No. 1 tourism capital of the nation, a place where millions of families bring their children every year, from all over the world. In terms of the power of a symbolic attack on American values, I always worried that terrorists would eventually conclude that they could strike a deep psychological blow by bringing their horrific massacres here.
Early in the morning, around 2 o’clock on Sunday, it finally happened. The death toll was shocking — as many as 50 people confirmed dead and more than 50 wounded.
What I hadn’t expected was the location. On Sunday morning, when I got up and turned on my cell phone, I got the first media text alert — mass shooting at The Pulse. I blinked, and looked again to be sure I had read that correctly.
The Pulse? I said to myself. The gay bar?
I had read it correctly.
And frankly, I was startled. Continue reading

Freelining with Mike Freeman: A fond farewell to a great friend

Freeline Media editor pays tribute to his late friend, the feline Crabby Tabby.

Freeline Media editor pays tribute to his late friend, the feline Crabby Tabby.


It’s been said that acts of kindness, provided to one who has so rarely had the benefit of experiencing them, can transform a personality — to turn the cynical into the hopeful, to sooth the angry and make them tranquil.
There are people who will counter that suggestion, and point to ornery folks they knew that started out mean, and no matter how much kind acts you tossed their way, never changed their tune.
I have my own example, though, and it’s one that brought a great deal of joy to my life for the past nearly seven years — in this case, from offering kindness to someone else, then happily watching their most amazing transformation.
In this case, it started in August 2008, when I bought my home in the Colonialtown neighborhood of Orlando. That’s when he first came into my life — well, in very small ways, anyway. Continue reading

Freelining with Mike Freeman: The Christmas card dilemma

The holidays bring out an annual dilemma: do you know who is, and isn't, in the holiday spirit this year?

The holidays bring out an annual dilemma: do you know who is, and isn’t, in the holiday spirit this year?


On Thanksgiving morning, I got my start on writing my Christmas cards. I like to say something in the cards, although one thing I’ve noticed is that in the age of social media, my world has shrunk. Virtually everyone I wanted to send a card to is on a social media site like Facebook, and knows everything I’ve been up to this year. Only a small handful of people — maybe six or seven — don’t use these sites, and that Christmas card I’m writing out is the first time I’ve reached out to them in a year.
In those instances, I like to “catch up,” in a sense — to let them know what my 2014 was like. It’s always an odd thing to ponder: how do you sum up a whole year in a small card? Continue reading

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