December 3, 2012 by kittynh
Sadly the JREF (James Randi Educational Foundation) office is no longer in Ft.Lauderdale Florida. The good part is that the wonderful library is now housed at Mr.Randi’s home, and still is available as a research tool. It also, as Mr.Randi told me, makes a lovely area to be interviewed in.
The JREF now has a strong West Coast presence with DJ Groethe at the helm in the LA area. At one time, though the JREF was housed in a lovely small stucco office building in Ft.Lauderdale.
My own daughter was an intern for Mr.Randi, and actually lived at the office. I remember her calling me the first night as a neighborhood opossum decided to come up to a window and just STARE at her. She was a country girl, not used to the friendliness of city critters.
Other city creatures that lived near the JREF were the well loved, but wild, peacocks. At one time pets, they have now become wild. Linda, who has been described as the “heart of the JREF” when she worked there, used to feed them dry cat food. Evelyn related how once a peacock was blocking Mr.Randi’s entry into the office. The peacock was in full display, and Randi instead of shooing it away, explained to the love struck bird how things would just “never work out” between them.
Animal problems continued, with rats. Traps were placed in the ceiling, and at one point it became clear, to the noses of everyone, that something had been caught. The problem was no one wanted to go up and retrieve the trap. Evelyn, as intern, was glad to handle any job but this job she refused to even consider. I don’t know who did eventually get rat duty.
I was lucky enough to get to visit the JREF twice. One time during an open house for TAM5.5 which was held in Ft.Lauderdale, and once before a TAM adventure cruise. I put together some photographs into a video, and also have some video of Randi in the same space.
I feel lucky to have visited, it was more than an office, it was more a museum filled with wonders. I have also been lucky enough to visit the new home of the library, it is also a wonderful combination of books and artifacts from history and from the life of Mr.Randi.
Randi is justly proud of his library