Yes, in 1970 people dressed and looked this way. And yes, that is me with the afro-style hair. It was my naturally curly hair while attending the University of Miami. And no, that is not a real horse behind us.
My father was on the city council of the small town where we lived and volunteered me to be an escort. Only one-mile square, Surfside, Florida bordered Miami Beach, the intercoastal waterway, and the ocean. The town received many visitors from the french part of Canada who was getting a break from the long cold winters. Over the years Surfside promoted itself to the French Canadians as an ideal holiday destination. This included a parade and a special horse race. For this one race on this one day, the race would be named the French-Canadian Surfside race.
As part of the event, the current Miss Canada flew in to present the trophy to the winning horse and rider. I was her escort for this day at the track and the banquet in the evening. It was the first time I rode in a limousine. We even had two motorcycle police escort us to the track. It was fun.
Everything went as planned, Lots of photos were taken with the horse, the jockey, the horse owner, the mayor, other track officials, other officials from Canada, and a guy sitting in a lawn chair behind me.
After the banquet in the evening, Miss Canada and I, sorry but I cannot remember her actual name, went for a stroll by the ocean. We kissed and spoke of nothing in particular. Then it was over and I returned to my life at the university and she continued her duties as Miss Canada.
This story has no great message and no noticeable impact on my life. It was a fun memory, a unique experience, and a strange photo of me at age 20. Sometimes a snake in a dark forest is just a stick. Our imagination can even create things out of nothing. There is great freedom in accepting things the way they are. And more fun too.