THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:
"DOCTOR" STANFORD BLAKE .....
"I thought I was going to be a dentist.
I don't know why. After three chemistry
courses I said, 'This is not going to work.' "
The year was 1966. It was a fun time to be on campus at the University of Florida. But for freshman student Stanford Blake, it was all business. That was until he barely survived his first year of science classes. Then he switched to majoring in Advertising, even winning a national competition and earning job offers from NY ad agencies.
Fortunately for us, Stan didn’t want to live in cold weather NYC and really didn't see his future in advertising. NY’s loss - our gain. He went to the UM law school, and in his final year there, he interned at the Miami PD’s office. "He loved it "from the first day I went to court," Blake said.
"Your deodorant was failing you in 10 minutes,
but afterward you would say, 'What a rush!'"
He was hired by the PD’s office and spent five years there. Then 16 more in private practice as a criminal defense attorney. While he always thought that he might run for Judge one day, it wasn’t until Operation Court Broom that Stan thought seriously about it. He said:
"My disillusion with everything really made me move it up," .
"I was so upset that judges were on the take, and I said,
'Sometimes, if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.' "
Elected in 1994, he took the bench the following January. Now, 21 years later, he reflected on his career in a story this past weekend in the DBR that can be found here.
In 1996, he took a brief leave from the bench to donate a kidney to his brother. He took another medical leave last year after doctors diagnosed him with cancer of the tonsils; which is related to the HPV virus and in men is often contracted through oral sex. He likes to joke about that scare:
"Lisa (his girlfriend) said I'm the only guy
who can brag about how he got cancer," Blake said.
It won’t be long before Judge Blake retires from the bench and goes the mediation route. While he is still on the bench, all of us in the criminal justice community want to say while we can: "Thanks for all the great memories" and all of your great years of service on the bench working for the citizens of our community. Well done my friend, well done.
CAPTAIN OUT .....