Past and present employees of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald gathered on the bayfront terrace at the back end of the Herald Building abutting Biscayne Bay (the loading docks.)
They toasted with lifted glasses of champagne to the newspaper's past --and future on Wedesday. In a month the employees will be seated at new desks in the Doral Herald building. One Herald Plaza will be demolished to make way for a luxury hotel and high-end condominiums.
President and publisher David Landsberg toasted his staff (en toto) saying, "The Miami Herald Media Company is extraordinary for what we do, but it's also extraordinary because of the people here." Landsberg also talked about the company's past, especially the 20 Pulitzer Prizes.
The Miami Herald, staff writer, Gene Miller and two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner, by freeing Death Row prisoners Pitts and Lee,, not only stayed where he was planted but "scouted" talent who had just graduated and trained them so they would one day seek to better their payoff by going up the Eastern Seaboard. He had absolutely no ego.
When he won his Pulitzer by freeing Death Row prisoners Pitts and Lee, who were falsely accused of a crime, he used a polygraph detector's testimony. I wrote a parody for his fame --"May I have your polygraph?" and sang it to the crowd gathered in his honor at nearby Betty's Lobo Lounge, and again when the crowd dispersed to Johnny Raffa's.
Winning the Pulitzer twice didn't change Gene, but his scouting started beaucoup journalism careers into an upward spiral. Gene Miller, ever the boyish charm emanating outward, was a "keeper."