A friend passed away yesterday – Arva Moore Parks – she was a Miami historian who knew everything there was to know about our city and she saved so many great historic places in the city.
When I was growing up, I admired her. Every time I read about her in the newspapers or saw her on tv, I was impressed.
Some years ago, I saw her on a plane. I was starstruck, totally starstruck. I didn’t say anything, but I was honored to be in her presence. She was a person of such high regard and honor.
Years later I met her at a local protest. I was covering the news for our town and she was there protesting the demolition of a 100 year old church. She came up to me and she knew me. She knew my name! She said my name! I had never met her before but she knew my name. From that day on we were friends. Not friends where we would talk all the time, but she would contact me about things and I would contact her about things and she even honored me by writing about me in her book about the history of Coconut Grove – our village.
Over the years whenever I was writing the news, fighting with politicians and trying to save the world, I would think as I was writing, “What would Arva think?” Would she agree with what I was doing? She always did.
One of our local PBS stations shows a little thing on the history of Miami every night in between programs. The first voice you hear is Arva’s and then you see her on the screen explaining one thing or another. The music at the beginning of the segment is always the same and when I hear it, I say out loud, “Cue Arva!” and I point to the tv and smile as she comes on the screen.
You can see her obit and see how great she was in this Miami Herald obit.
This is the video when I hear the music at the beginning, I know Arva is coming on next.