The magnificent new Marine Stadium in Miami shown in the color feature beginning on page 40 was not quite finished when Milton Glaser saw it on his first trip to Florida. A native New Yorker who got his training at that city's famous Cooper Union, Artist Glaser was prepared to find the Florida of press-agentry—plenty of well-publicized sunshine and an abundance of winter-resort opulence. But to his surprise, he found something more.
"Miami really has unique physical qualities," Glaser says earnestly. "There is something in the quality of the light, perhaps the reflections from so much water all around; it is like the light in Venice." The exuberant Florida vegetation in swamps and tropical gardens and the exuberant imagination shown in such creations as the Marine Stadium seemed to Glaser a side of Florida omitted from the travel folders and resort advertisements. So he wandered about the state bemused by a sense of discovery, making hundreds of sketches.
The discovery of Florida is an annual event, particularly in the world of journalism. It is a standing joke among northern editors at this time of year that writers are going to suggest story after story requiring their immediate presence in Miami Beach or thereabouts. On this magazine such claims usually are justified. The sport scene in Florida these days is so varied and interesting that a staff member who says he ought to go there right away is not likely to be exaggerating. Senior Editor Whit Tower, our turf expert, who spends a few weeks at Hialeah and Gulfstream every winter, says that the performances of such horses as Sadair and Bold Lad as 2-year-olds give this coming Florida season an inescapable interest. "Ten of the last 15 Kentucky Derby winners were trained in Florida," he says, "and five of the last five."
Our alltime champion in projecting stories that force him to go to Florida is Associate Editor John Underwood, and even though he was born and raised in Miami he has made a discovery. "People who live in Miami never go to the beach," John says. "I never did when we lived there. But after you leave Miami you discover the tourists were right. Now when I go down to do a story and get a few hours to myself, do you know what I do? I go lie on the beach."
Between now and mid-February, when baseball's spring training begins, Florida will be one vast complex of sport, including not only national events like the Orange Bowl and the NFL runner-up playoff game in the immediate future, but innumerable local events connected with fairs, pageants and festivals, plus the ceaseless activity of skin divers, water skiers, fishermen—the practitioners, in short, of every sport on earth except those requiring snow and ice. Among them are picturesque events that John knows about, such as swamp buggy races or the diving contests of sponge divers. But most of them exist because their enthusiasts have discovered solid satisfactions in Florida swimming, golfing, trapshooting, sailing—or in watching speedboats racing under a Venetian sky. And no discovery is quite as satisfying as finding a new interest in something already familiar.