There's a fellow from Forks Township named Artie Ravitz who has spent the past five years or so visiting courthouses and watching, gavel to gavel, some of the more prominent trials of felons, fools and miscreants.
He has seen justice meted out to crooked judges, peeping toms and others who have strayed from the narrow path, and has learned a lot about justice and human behavior along the way. He is happily hooked on real trials the way other people get hooked on television dramas about trials, which of course are only pale imitations and hardly worth the time.
This week, naturally, finds Ravitz in Sanford, Fla., to watch the trial of George Zimmerman, who is charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Ravitz flew down over the weekend, hoping for a seat in the courtroom but thus far only able to find a spot in an auxiliary room, where he and a lot of reporters are watching the proceedings on a big television.
"The only way I'll get in the main courtroom is if one of the 24 people who have visitor passes don't show up and I can get one," Ravitz told me by phone Tuesday morning as he waited for the second day of the trial to begin.
He is hopeful that will happen, but even if it doesn't he plans to spend at least two weeks in Sanford. The trial could last well beyond that, but Ravitz, 74, is a retiree with an understanding wife, Susan, and can do that sort of thing.
"If it gets too boring I'll come back sooner," he said. "Sometimes these things get boring, but I don't think this will."
Probably not. The case is inherently dramatic: One man kills another under murky circumstances, claiming self-defense under a "stand your ground" self-defense law that critics paint as a license to kill.
The victim is an unarmed African-American walking home from a convenience store with a soft drink and a bag of candy. The shooter is, by reputation, a hyper-vigilant volunteer neighborhood watchman.
The proceedings opened, bizarrely, with the defense attorney telling a knock-knock joke, something Ravitz and the reporters around him couldn't believe.
"We're looking at each other, saying 'What's going on?' We couldn't figure it out. It was in such bad taste. You can't make a joke when you first get up to bat."
The attorney, Don West, reached that conclusion on his own and apologized.
Ravitz has seen plenty of strange and compelling things since he adopted his court-watching hobby after retiring from his Palmer Township business, Art's Toy Manufacturing Co., where he dealt, among other things, in stuffed animals and fast-food restaurant giveaway toys.
"I'd always been interested in trials but never had the time to sit in on them for four or five days," he said. "I'm mainly interested in justice, not just any trial. The idea of Zimmerman having the right to shoot people or not shoot people is interesting to me."
His particular take on the nature of justice has taken him to places far beyond the courtroom. In 2011, he spent some time in Zuccotti Park in New York City, ground zero of the Occupy movement that would spread worldwide.
"My demand is to correct the system because it's skewed in favor of the rich and against the poor," he told The New Yorker magazine, which ran his photo on its website. "My feeling is that Robin Hood was right."
His wife, Susan, said her husband is motivated by a soul-deep commitment to civil rights, a passion that took him to the South in the 1960s to march in solidarity with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the time.
"He's always been for the underdog," she said.
For the sake of practicality, Artie confines his trial-watching to the East Coast — mainly Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.
There's no shortage of high-profile cases in that broad patch.