Film About Historical Deering Estate

South Florida really does have rich history. It’s just that few really know it. The Deering brothers were early Miami settlers who brought with them a level of sophistication and culture. It was James Deering, who resided at Vizcaya (Museum & Gardens) and Charles Deering who lived at Deering Estate. Even though Vizcaya is more well known, Deering Estate certainly is no less important.

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That was the feeling of Deering Foundation Board Member Becky Roper Matkov when she embarked on a way to raise awareness for Deering Estate. The result is an award-winning 26-minute documentary film called On This Land, The Charles Deering Estate, of which she is the writer.

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Deep research took Matkov to Spain and insightful interviews with historians, archeologists and Deering descendants uncover the land’s history of botany as well as a rich Native American history on the site going back 10,000 years.

Did you know Deering successfully lobbied and moved Old Cutler Road? Or that it was Finley Matheson (of Matheson’s Hammock) in 1984 who bought the land and turned it into a State park in 1985 after understanding its cultural significance. You’ll learn so much more by watching the film.

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 “It’s incredibly gratifying to see something we all worked so hard have an impact so strong that it moved some people to tears,” explained Becky Roper Matkov, who chaired the volunteer film committee of six members of the 100 Ladies of Deering. “Our vision of educating the public has surpassed its goal. We believe the film will help us further fuel efforts to move the Deering Estate closer to true museum status.”

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The Deering Estate Foundation’s award-winning film will be featured at a Lunch and Learn held at the Coral Gables Art Cinema on August 28th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Junior League of Miami, the Coral Gables Museum and the Deering Estate Foundation. A panel discussion will include historian Arva Moore Parks and archaeologist Bob Carr, who appear in the film.

Cost is $25 for members of the sponsoring organizations and $35 for the general public and includes a buffet lunch provided by Catering by Les. Reservations may be made by contacting the Coral Gables Chamber at 305-446-1657 or coralgableschamber.org

People who want only to see the film can also go directly to Deering Estate. The film is shown (for free, with paid park admission) on a continuous 30-minute loop on the 2nd floor of the Richmond Cottage.

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Sit at counter or breakfast table and escape in the picturesque yard. Cavernous pantry.

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Pete’s Barber Shop Shows Heart

If you live in the Pinecrest area, you already know about Pete’s Barber Shop in the Suniland Shopping Center. It's been the place to get an honest haircut for more than 60 years. Local businesses like Pete’s make up our sense of community and give South Florida its character.

 2011 photo of some of the stylists

2011 photo of some of the stylists

Over the years, I have been a regular at Pete’s, as have so many others. In many families, Pete’s Barber Shop is a multi-generational experience. Case in point, I get my haircut with my son about every 5 weeks and we are greeted warmly each time.

 Andrew Feldman (from 2011) and stylist Raudel Garcia

Andrew Feldman (from 2011) and stylist Raudel Garcia

Sometimes routine in this fast-paced world doesn’t get the credit it deserves and sometimes the importance of community is lost as well. Thankfully, this is not one of those times.

When Ronnie Buck (my stylist) and the rest of the shop heard that my son had recently been diagnosed with cancer, there was an instant rush of support and love from Pete’s Barber Shop.

As you know, patients on chemotherapy almost always lose their hair in ugly clumps. So, when Ronnie heard about this (and my plan to also shave my head in support), he took it upon himself to offer private haircuts wherever we wanted them.

After some discussion, we decided it was better to be at Pete’s where we always got our hair cut. Ronnie came in on his day off specifically to take care of my son. The rest of the stylists were supportive, as were the patrons who understood the gravity of the special haircut.

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The haircut became an event, rather than a dark emotional moment. It was pure love as Ronnie offered to cut Andrew’s hair any way he wanted. Andrew asked for some shapes to be cut into his locks and even had a brief (and very long) mohawk before the real buzz cut. In the face of difficult times, these 45-minutes are something we’ll fondly remember.

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Rather than tears, there were laughs. Rather than shame or shyness, there was sharing. In short, it was a community haircut of love and support. And it is a day I, and Andrew, will never forget. I thank Pete’s Barber Shop from the bottom of my heart.

 Ronnie Buck and Andrew Feldman

Ronnie Buck and Andrew Feldman