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© St. Petersburg Times, published February 1, 2002
I FOUND JOSE GASPAR. He lives in Hialeah. Shouldn't he sue for slander? If he had Disney's lawyers, he would own Tampa by now. Jose, the plunderer. Jose, the pillager. "I'm honest," he protests. Stuff to know about Jose the man: He has two granddaughters. He fled Cuba. At 60, he tends greyhounds for a living. He's heard of Gasparilla. "I know about it, but I have never gone." Anyone see an opportunity?
PAINTING THE TOWN: Starbucks near Malio's opened Saturday. By Monday morning Tony Gispert -- brother to county emergency planner Larry Gispert -- was already artist in residence. Paints overtook his table. He ran a power cord to his mug warmer and easel lamp. I half expected him to take delivery on a sofa or welcome the cable guy. His work du jour: Street of Fools, a portrait of Gasparilla. Starbucks pleases him. "They treat you right, and you get to meet your neighbors," the Virginia Park resident said.
RECYCLING HYDE PARK JACOBSON'S: My friends Jamie Moore and Robert Johnson have ideas. "She wants a two-story Dairy Queen," said Johnson, 38, voice betraying guy-like disrespect for ice cream. His plan? "A military surplus super outlet."
OUT-OF-GAS MAN Randy Shearer, undaunted by Grand Central's expose of his panhandling techniques, was back at it Tuesday in downtown Tampa. Police Officer Scott Heims pondered what to do. "He got my mom twice," Heims said.
SOUTH TAMPA SECRET: Cypress Beach. Sunday, my golden retrievers hit the surf. So did a Dobie named Trinity. "They're in their majesty," sighs Trinity's mistress, Ali'zeza Kormendy. "They look like horses running." Take Cypress west until it ends, go south to the fence, then west to Tampa Bay.
USE NO. 3 FOR JACOBSON'S: Indoor dog park.
SUNDAY SPECIAL at Rick's Italian Cafe on Davis Islands: "Bloody Mary and Boiled Egg, $3.75."
-- Reach Patty Ryan at 226-3382.