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Opening Remarks

Your Move – All the Good People

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Grace Collier, a/k/a the Tiny Diner (see Dining with Bruce Collier, page 23) submitted this spectacular artwork for this issue’s cover, but we’d already promised the Sandestin Gumbo Festival. Sorry, kid—next time…

We’re nearing the 15-year mark as the Emerald Coast’s go-to source for art, music, dining, adult beverages, events and more. Congratulations, us! Look for some very special things to happen as that extraordinary milestone approaches.


I’m thrilled to have Sean Dietrich back in this issue (“Your Southern Wife,” page 27). He’s one of the best—and funniest—storytellers around, and you should buy all three volumes of Sean of the South, available at among other places.


Having Mr. Dietrich in these pages is part of my ongoing effort to promote positivity in The Beachcomber. We’re constantly bombarded with bad news, and when you pick up a copy of the local daily and see a headline about an attempted goat rape (seriously, this was last week), it’s time to move fast in the opposite direction.


I’m not saying we should ignore the horrible things that happen in our community, just that there’s no place for them in this publication. The good folks at the daily and the sorta-local TV stations have a job to do, and for the most part, they do it well. But we need to strike some sort of balance. I want The Beachcomber to be your happy place.


I have no regrets about filling these pages with feel-good pieces, whether it’s a photo of the award-winning South Walton High School cheerleaders, another Instagram of Cheech on the Beach (who’s fast on his way to becoming our official mascot), or the inspiring story of musician KC Phelps, who overcame some tremendous obstacles to continue spreading her fine music throughout Beachcomberland.


As far as reviews go—restaurants, music, books, etc.—you won’t see any bad ones here. I prefer to give shout-outs over thumbs down. If a place or piece of work is genuinely lousy, it will review itself in the long run.


If you visit our website, we feature a Community Do-Gooders section regularly—usually those pictures of check presentations to area nonprofits, occasionally something more. We also share Alaqua Animal Refuge’s Pet of the Week every Sunday in the interest of finding forever homes for needy dogs and cats.


And now it’s up to you, dear readers, to move forward with this cause. If you have any good news to share, don’t hesitate. Maybe someone picked up your bar tab or bought you a pizza (see Special Thanks). Maybe you received extraordinary service at a local restaurant. Maybe there’s a community hero everyone needs to know about. Whatever it is, hit me up at





Wonderfully well written (“Fifty Shades of Super Bowl,” Jan. 28-Feb. 10 Beachcomber). Bravo, sir, from a 60-year (Chicago) Bears fan. “Pathetic” is a very good descriptor, unless you lapse into obscenity. Rest of the column full of good laffs. Best wishes to you for continued success.

Snowbird Ron, Indiana




Our eighth celebration of local musicmakers happens Monday, Feb. 29, at AJ’s Seafood & Oyster Bar in Destin. Thanks to the thousands who’ve voted so far at If you haven’t exercised your right, you have until midnight, Sunday, Feb. 14.


We’re looking forward to our biggest and best event ever, with performances by Schatzi + the String Boffin, Austin Jennings, Strange Tang, Sway Jah Vu, The Steenos and Franko “Washboard” Jennings and The Rips.

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