Published On: Mon, Dec 26th, 2011

Artist Max offers the Minimum during Mall Visit

By: Dr. Mike Gora

I love the Town Center Mall.  I don’t shop a lot, but when I do…that is where you can find me.  Saturday night was one of those times.  Presents for my secretary and paralegal were in order.  My wife Bonnie was at my side as I am not to be trusted in shopping for women’s gifts

Earlier in the week a vendor that I use in my law practice had sent me a $100 gift card to The Capitol Grille, one of my favorites when I receive a gift card.  The steak was excellent and the bill, plus tip only $72 more than the value of the card.

It was the side show that caught our attention.  An older couple and a younger, perhaps the older couple’s son and daughter-in-law, were seated next to our table for the older woman’s birthday.

We are always tolerant of our senior snowbirds from the northeast whose less then dulcet tones occasionally interrupt our own conversation with complaints of a table location and other restaurant features.  We knew that when we came for dinner at a 6 p.m. time, for pre-shopping purposes, we would not be dining, but using our gift card to get into the holiday spirit.

We ordered a couple of nice glasses of wine and it was clear the folks next to us were doing the same, except for the condo-blonde mom, who, according to my wife, had ordered a martini.

What caught our attention was the refill.  When the martini was accomplished the woman took a container out of her designer purse and filled her martini glass with something that looked like a Cosmo.  When questioned by her family, her loud reply was that, “all of my friends do that. Why should I pay another $15?”

We settled up and left for shopping at Nordstrom’s, one of our favorite stores and a good place to buy women’s items in our price range. On the way we noticed that one of the mall’s Art Gallery’s featured a personal appearance by Peter Max.

While neither of us had any interest in Max or his work, we thought it might be fun to look at the gallery’s stock of the brightly colored, popular work of one of the few America artists who has managed to make a good living with marginal work and top notch promotion. (Just our opinions.) Actually seeing this iconic figure might be fun as well.

As you might know by now I have photography as a hobby and approached Peter with my I-phone camera at the ready.  He was less than cooperative.  Sticking his hand up between himself and my tiny lens, shouting “No, no.”  I did take a photograph, and I guarantee you I will not publish it in the Tribune, and the photo will not make my website.

It dawned on us as we drove home that the subject matter of a large portion of the money made by Peter Max through his sales of paintings and reproductions peddled during his career were of a subject that was owned by us, and by you, through our government; The Statute of Liberty, a small National Park supported by our taxes.  Perhaps he forgot.

Michael H. Gora has been certified by the Board of Specialization of The Florida Bar as a specialist in family and matrimonial law, and is a partner with Shapiro Blasi Wasserman & Gora P.A. in Boca Raton.  Mr. Gora may be reached by e-mail at

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