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Opening Remarks

A Real Day at the Beach Means Getting Your Hands Dirty

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Editor Manson (far right, even though he would have voted for a toaster before Trump) is left holding the bag during a recent beach clean-up adventure with Paula Hilton, Jessika Kelsh, and Coastal Community Cleanup founder Megan Betancourt.
Photo by Hannah Hawes.

Paula’s daughter Jessika suggested that I write an article on Megan Betancourt, an ambitious young lady that has been organizing local beach cleanups lately. Her organization is called Coastal Community Cleanup, and they even have some cool gear with their logo on it.


Take that, 30ADotCom!


Before I could explain to Jessika that I don’t actually write articles anymore (I’m working on my first Brick Wahl adventure novel as we speak), I found myself behind Al’s Beach Club late on a Saturday morning with a burlap sack in hand and a pair of rubber gloves.


The Crab Trap was holding its own beach cleanup event that morning, on a much larger scale. I didn’t really see a conflict of interest between the two parties, because the more people digging crap out of the sugar white sands, the better.


Even though Paula, Jessika and I were late to the party, I managed to snag a rubber band, several pieces of Styrofoam, a couple straws, one item that even Megan couldn’t identify, and about 4,000 cigarette butts. I had no idea that so many people still smoked. Fortunately, I didn’t spot any used, um, “birth control” products. An infinite number of glove layers could never convince me to…


Well, never mind.


After walking up and down the beach, my barefoot dogs were barking, so I went up to the pavilion while the girls worked hard for another hour or so. Then the three of us headed over to The Crab Trap for some well-deserved food and adult beverages. A.J. the bartender treated us like royalty (as he should have), so now I have to feature him in the next Bartender of the Issue. Which I’m very happy to do.


I had a fruity, rummy beverage, the name of which escapes me. It was delicious, and I could see myself drinking about a dozen of these. Sadly, I had to settle for one because it was early in the day, even for a professional boozer like myself. The fried shrimp po-boy was delicious, too.


Anyway, look for Coastal Community Cleanup on Facebook. They have lots of great events coming up, and if you get to the beach even once a year, it’s nice to do your part.


As for some of you Spring Break turds, would it kill you to pick up after yourself every once in awhile? And, for God’s sake, quit smoking, those damn things’ll kill you.

Editor Manson



Thank you so much for the joy of performing with Cheryl Jones at Beachcomber Music Awards X.


Chris, you are a super emcee and a great organizer for the event that gives significant encouragement and recognition to local performers.


I enjoy Beachcomber magazine. It is always full of useful information about music and all means of entertainment.


I delivered the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra award (for Best Classical Artist) to the college office. The director of Mattie Kelly Arts Center and the orchestra director were very glad (surprised, also, I believe) to receive the award.


Thank you for all that you do for our community. Best wishes always.

Carol Hayes


Violinist-violist Carol Hayes—a nominee this year for Best Fiddle-Violin Player—performed at Beachcomber Music Awards X and accepted the NFSO’s award at the event.

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