(K. Brent Tomer),
IN downtown Orlando on June 12th 2017, a homeless man sat on a sheet of cardboard making roses from sabal palm leaves. Introducing himself as Dave the Rose Man, he gave the palm flowers to those passers-by marking the first anniversary of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub. “For anyone in a t-shirt for Pulse,” he said, handing out another, one of hundreds he made during the day.
Dave usually makes some money designing tattoos, but on that day he wanted to show his compassion for the 49 people who died in the largest mass shooting in modern American history—including the friend he lost. “You couldn’t make him straight more than you could make me gay,” said Dave, chewing from a pizza slice.
A year ago, Orlando felt dark and angry: the tragedy of so many young lives lost hung in the air. Today, the enduring instinct to create something meaningful out of the horror has taken over, and the streets are washed in the colours of the rainbow. Street murals depict multi-coloured birds in flight (pictured, below)….Continue reading