People of Position Archive

Mark Baratelli

Even with the support of great organizations like United Arts who gave away $33,579 in grants to individual artists last year, there is not enough money flowing into our local arts community. There is also little appreciation or recognition for those who risk their financial security for passions that include creating art or curating cultural […]

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Dan Kirby

“How did you hear about me?” I asked. He didn’t remember exactly. This interview was unique in that Dan sought me out for the opportunity.

“I think that I was googling creative projects in Orlando,” he answered, hesitantly. “But I’m not sure.”

I was intrigued by this statement. Is it possible this little blog is gaining a voice in this city? Do I know longer need to pay my friends to keep reading? Who else is reading this thing? Ellen? Oprah? Kelly Ripa?

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Dr. Jennifer Porter-Smith

Dr. J and I met at the downtown Marriot for this interview, just a few buildings down the street from Nap Ford. After the interview, on our walk back to the school, a former student’s dad started waving at us ferociously.

“Hey! How you doin’?” Dr. J asked. She walked over and gave the man a hug.

“I’m good. I’m good. You’re never gonna believe how my son is doing. He scored a 1410 on the SAT as a seventh grader. The UCF student average is 1328. Can you believe that? That boy is so smart!” the man said, beaming.

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Buddy Dyer

Most recently, I’ve gotten into the habit of coming up with the questions fifteen minutes before an interview. Part of me likes this because I feel the exchange is organic and off the cuff. The other part wishes for more time to prepare and becomes anxious that I didn’t. In the case of interviewing the mayor, I felt the latter.

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Jaqueline Siegel

It seems people either love or hate Jacqueline Siegel. Depending on who’s talking (or better yet, who’s written the latest comment on The Orlando Sentinel blog), she is either a hard-working philanthropist that gives back to the community or a filthy rich mother that has too many nannies. If you’re asking me, she is the woman …

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Reverend Ben Cox

Have you ever looked around your workplace or classroom and thought, “Who are these people? And how do I fit in here?” One of the finest things to come from my Rollins College experience is exactly this: I was forced to surround myself with people I may not have associated with normally. That’s how I met the infamous Reverend Ben Cox—we have sat next to each other in class for the past four years.

In May, Ben and I will both graduate from Rollins with a Masters Degree in Liberal Studies. Other than this commonality, we might as well be from different planets.

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Bret Chism

Gatorland is not only an essential landmark to our Orlando community, but it is where I discovered my first phobia ever—alligators. So there I was with my Brownie troop, a gaggle of six and seven year-old want-to-be girl-scouts. The Gator Jumparoo show had begun and fleshy, flailing, balls of pink meat, also known as dead chickens, were strung out on a wire over a pond of hungry alligators. As the gators began to circle their dinners, I stood still in anticipation. The other girls jumped up-and-down carelessly in excitement. I was in awe of their bravery.

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Carlos Carbonell

“The Human Rights Campaign is a celebration of humanity … it’s a group dedicated to creating awareness about gay and lesbian rights,” my friend Malia explained to me. She had just asked me to hold her hand–and not in the way you might assume–at her first gay-networking happy hour. I agreed; partly because she puts […]

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Cynthia Demos

I met Cynthia Demos immediately after I moved into the downtown area. We were hitting up the same circuit of events, like an art show here, a restaurant opening there. Eventually, we were introduced.
“You know, she works for Channel 9,” my friend said. I didn’t know and I’m sure my face showed it. I don’t watch the news. “She’s an anchor,” my friend continued. This was said as if I had been the only person to not recognize this woman, ever. I felt like an awful human being but it was hard for me to imagine Cynthia as a news anchor. She seemed so fun, young and … well, everything I imagined a newsanchor not to be.

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Craig Moore

Craig Moore is a physical therapist at Florida Hospital Rehab center. Nearly eight years ago, our paths crossed when he was assigned to me as my rehab therapist. During one particular session, I remember conjuring up a proposal that a trip to Popeye’s for some fried chicken was probably the best therapy because (1) I was hungry and how could he expect me to function with such hunger pangs? And (2), we could test my ‘Real Life Skills,’ after all, I’d be crossing the road, exchanging currency and assessing the wheelchair-friendliness of a restaurant. Immediately Craig laughed, then he paused for a long time. He asked me if I was serious and then paused one more time before finally caving-in to my idea. He was used to methodically teaching from text books, while I was convinced those text books were not written for me. You can imagine our daily trials and tribulations but I think that’s what kept therapy interesting.

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