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Opening Remarks

Too Many People Looking Back

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Beachcomber Editor Chris Manson and Beachcomber Publisher Charles Morgan III enjoy the Destin Christmas Parade. Charles has served as Grand Marshal on several occasions, while Chris never has and will probably never be asked to.

We’d rather look forward than look back, because as the great poet Howard Jones once said, “Things can only get better.”


Speaking of which, how did this guy get passed over for the Nobel Prize for Literature in favor of Bob Dylan?


There were many highlights in 2016, not the least of which was the Beachcomber Music Awards in March, held for the second and final time at AJ’s in Destin. Unless the Morgans buy them out.


The Destin Seafood Festival remains one of the highlights of early fall, stretching across the Destin Harbor and offering pedestrians the option of walking by the fishing boats or the video karaoke and wine ice cream kiosks.


The memorial service for musician Kenny Oliverio on Grayton Beach was a sad and beautiful occasion. I didn’t recognize Bryan Kennedy without his hat. I ran into Kenny’s Dread Clampitt bandmate Balder Saunders at Pandora’s (does anyone remember Pandora’s?) later on and couldn’t get words out of my mouth.


The Franko Fest fundraiser for our longtime pal Franko “Washboard” Jackson at Trebeache in Santa Rosa Beach was a great coming together in support of the Beachcomber Music Hall of Famer’s liver transplant. I was also very happy that I sold a copy of Washboard Jackson’s Greatest Hits when I filled in for a young lady at the merchandise table.


I got to see and hear a few talented new musicians, catch up with some old favorites, even got to play a song with the great Hotel Oscar frontman Mose Wilson.


As Beachcomber Editor, I’ve taken advantage of the opportunity to put Juan Francisco Adaro on our cover as often as possible. He and Brooke just had a baby, so stop by his Grayton Beach gallery and spend lots of money. And if you’re an artist not currently on our radar, get in touch and we’ll try and work you in for 2017.


Best of all, I was able to kick a habit that had long been weighing me down and putting enormous strain on my health. Yes, I finally quit Facebook.


Fifteen years in, this publication is still going strong. And come the New Year, it’s going to be even greater. Like, Howard Jones great.





Plans for the ninth Beachcomber Music Awards are underway. We are currently accepting qualified nominees for all the categories from this year’s event (too many to list, but just search on Email your info and all categories you’d like to be considered for to


A long nomination ballot with all qualified candidates will appear online later this month, and readers can vote for their top three in each category. And we’ll go from there.


Any musicians that would like to play at the event should contact us as well. Awards night is set for Monday, March 6, at a brand new Beachcomberland venue.



I wanted to thank you for the wonderful review of Ye Olde Brothers Brewery (“Wanna Know a Secret?” by Joni Williams, Dec. 1-14 Beachcomber). I’m the Brewmaster, and it humbled me to receive such high praise. I hope you come back soon, as we have the Imperial Maple Porter and Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout now on draft. We are also having a dessert beer pairing on Dec. 20.

Bill Bunning, Navarre



Thank you for publishing “Trump’s Illegal Voters Lie Is Just a Distraction” (by syndicated columnist Rex Huppke, Dec. 1-14 Beachcomber). What has been most bewildering about our debacle of an election is the failure of many Americans to thoughtfully consider, research and evaluate the gross misrepresentations and outright lies that have bombarded them daily.


At one time, our educational institutions mandated courses in American government. We should resume that, and add a required course on understanding propaganda and marketing strategies.


Informed judgments based on facts cannot be made if Americans are unable or unwilling to do their homework.

Claire Massey, Navarre
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