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Opening Remarks

Thrive Fest Recap, Adaro’s French Adventure and Not Much More

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We’re happy to have artist William Polley back on our cover. This photo shows Polley with his previous BEACHCOMBER cover from March 22, 2007. He and wife Diane have called Santa Rosa Beach home for two years, and you can see more of Polley’s work at G & Co. Gallery (formerly Geana’s) in Destin. “There are many wonderful artists in the area,” says Polley. “My two favorites are Jeannie Maddox (technical realism) from Dothan and Gordie Hines, a boat captain turned artist.”

I’m taking time out from my busy Pokemon Go schedule to share some good things with you, Beachcomber readers. You’re welcome.


Paula White from Covenant Care informs us that last month’s Thrive Music Fest in Downtown Fort Walton Beach raised over $22,000 for that organization’s hospice programs in Okaloosa and Walton counties. Contributing to the event’s success—over 21 generous sponsors (including The Beachcomber), 50 talented performers, 500 ticket-buying music lovers, and countless volunteers.


“It’s amazing how each year Thrive grows by leaps and bounds,” says Rachel Mayew of Covenant Care. “This year it raised $5,000 more than last year. I truly believe that people are drawn to Covenant’s mission and recognize the quality and compassionate care that is provided.


“It also helps that collectively, our local music community has a big heart. I am supported…by a strong core group of volunteers, business partners and musicians, many of whom have been touched by Covenant. The group feels more like family than a professional network.”


Brooke Gontarek of the Adaro Art empire informs us that there are some slots open for a trip to Provence, France Sept. 14-20. A single occupancy room is $4,700 (cheap!), and a double occupancy room is $3,700.


The price of the trip includes six nights at the lovely Rhone Retreat, all meals and tips for meals on and off site, ground transportation to all outings, guided walks, market and vineyard tours, workshop equipment, a one-hour massage, plus—and this is what sealed the deal for me—five days of art classes from the great Francisco Adaro.


If you’re interested, email And consider bringing me along. I took two years of high school French and ranked in the top 98 percent of my class.





We’re always on the lookout for stunning artwork for our cover, any “15 Great Something-or-Other” listicles to tie in with The Beachcomber’s 15th Anniversary, photos from recent events, and reviews of live music performances (local or otherwise). Email


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