Almanac Travel: Orlando Magic


Orlando Magic


by Steve Earl


Well part of my USA adventure included a two-day stop over in Orlando to (1) catch up with my 15 year old son who is on a basketball tour with the Camberwell Dragons, though he was less than enthused when he saw his mother, sister and me appear at the team gathering, but none the less it was great after three weeks to catch up


The second was to visit Universal with my daughter and we had a thoroughly enjoyable day, long, but good and whilst I’m getting a tad old for the rides I did the loop the loop, sideways, leftways and every which ways on the coasters – some of them inside virtual reality gigs where the graphics were incredible. I even waited 90 minutes in Harry Potter land where mainly adults are running about waving wands, wearing capes and muddling some very weird linguistics – go figure – and sorry to Potter fans but I just don’t get it.


Anyway what’s this got to do with sport – nothing , but after 12 hours of pottering about I’m knackered when I get back to the hotel so venture to the bar for a beer and some sport.


Nestor obliges with a cold Yeungling and I look to the two big screens aghast to find Rocky being clubbed by blubber Lang and the WWE on the other screen.


I ask Nestor to review the options and he explains “We iz en Orlando mister Stev we az nada spit” he changes the channels and on comes King Kong (the original) and Nestor is immediately taken by Fay Wray as Kong scales the Empire State with model bi-planes buzzing him – I think Nestor reckons that’s the closest to sport were gonna get.


My accent gets the only other two blokes at the bar in and idle chatter ensues until they reveal why they’re in Orlando and now sports lovers sit back …


Josh as in Joshua Evenson is an author/publisher and Mike Klein an accomplished painter – they’ve just spent the day with the King of golf – the one and only Arnie because Mike has recently completed the book” Links to St Andrews” @$150 US – a golf talked about compendium of the greats views on the course, oh , and Josh has met them all . Mike has done the artwork and is currently completing a portrait of Arnie to be hung either at St Andrews or another golfing hall of fame.


So I get an insight into the great man who by all public accounts, and now confirmed, is one of nature’s gentlemen always ready to give back and be available. To say Josh and Mike gush – particularly Josh – as I’m not so sure Mike is as keen on chasing a white ball about the gorse but gush they do and I’m enraptured by the yarns.


They talk of a bloke who heads up Arnie’s Army – Howdy Giles – Arnie’s dentist of 50 years and a companion with as many years of photos of the great one. I’m told he travelled to tournaments with his wife by car but often found himself flying back with Arnie whilst the missus was forced to drive the car home.


Don’t think I looked back up at the screen for the rest of the night much to Nestor’s disappointment as the damsel was rescued and Kong lay out cold on the pavements of NYC.


For golf nuts look up the book by simply typing in the title and for art fiends link to Mike via the same website – he’s credentialed beyond belief – I told him his representational painting looked like a photo – it gutted him as he mumbled off to the elevators at the end of the night.


So whilst in Orlando I wasn’t impressed by the magic of Harry, didn’t get to see the Magic play but was aced by the magic of Arnie, Josh and Mike.


Gimme sport any day, FORE.


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