Oakland Park, the city where he attended high school, last year decided to name a park after him at 4000 N. Dixie Highway after a group of fans pushed for it.
"It's quite a thrilling thing for any person or family to have this experience in their life," said Ira Sullivan, who decades ago played in a jazz quartet with Pastorius in South Florida nightclubs and other venues. "With art and music and everything else, it does take a while for people to realize greatness."
Sullivan and other musicians who played with Pastorius plan to perform a free concert during the park ceremony, which begins at 4:30 p.m.
Dec. 1 is Pastorius' birthday. He would have been 57 this year.
Some Pastorius fans say they hope the park will raise awareness of the musician, who was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Broward County, graduating from Northeast High School in 1969.
Bob Bobbing, a friend of Pastorius who has pushed to keep his legend alive, said the park was a long time coming. He said it had been frustrating that not enough was being done to remember Pastorius. He wondered whether it was because of Pastorius' headlong fall in his final years.
He lived his last years destitute on the streets of Broward and died from injuries suffered in a beating at an after-hours club. His fans say his contributions outweigh his tumultuous last years.
In recent weeks, the city has promoted the ceremony by circulating fliers with an iconic silhouette of Pastorius with bass in hand.
"I know he'd love it," Bobbing said of the park. "He loved Oakland Park. Those years were all love and positive."
By Juan Ortega
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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