Dear Friends, Relations and Complete Strangers,
This has been an extraordinary year for the Beachcomber family.
We managed to put out 25 issues of the Emerald Coast’s Favorite Magazine, despite a one-week delay following Hurricane Michael. Destin-South Walton-Fort Walton Beach wasn’t affected so much by the storm, but our page designer and printer—both located in Panama City—were.
Bruce Collier enjoyed lots of great food and drink (see “The Year in Dining and Drinking”). Nikki Hedrick went out and listened to lots of great music and met bestselling author Stephen King (see “Nikki Hedrick’s Favorite Events of 2018”). Samantha Lambert got to do a lot of traveling and talk with all sorts of interesting people.
Meantime, I had to move out of my old office on Benning Drive to a much smaller corner in the Harbor Docks corporate building on 98, which forced me to part with several Dollar General totes filled with all sorts of stuff that would make a hoarder cringe.
Actually, I got to meet Stephen King, too, which was great (Nikki was photographing Mr. King’s dog Molly for Pet of the Issue, and she needed someone to drive). He signed my copy of On Writing and was impressed that I read most of the recommended titles in the book’s appendix.
Then he promptly threw us out after the half hour his assistant had promised us (see Pets of the Year).
In January, I got up close and personal with a couple more of my favorite people, actress-singer-songwriter Rita Wilson (who graciously signed a DVD of Paula Hilton’s favorite Christmas movie, Mixed Nuts) and country music legend Kathy Mattea, at the 30A Songwriters Festival. I hope the Cultural Arts Alliance people invite us back for 2019. Rosanne Cash, look out.
April saw the tenth (!) Beachcomber Music Awards at Al’s Beach Club on the Okaloosa Island Boardwalk (or near it, anyway). As usual, a great turnout and top-notch performances from some of Beachcomberland’s finest. Looks like I’ll be spending part of the holiday break figuring out how to top it for 2019. I’m open to any and all suggestions, so contact me at email@example.com and I will personally answer your email.
I was graciously invited by the local radio empire to judge the Next2Rock and NASH Next competitions. Congrats to the respective winners, Kickstand Jenny and Jessie Ritter, and please don’t forget about me when I hit rock bottom. Jessie also won the national showdown in Nashville, hot damn and not surprised a bit.
Tosha Manke overhauled the BeachcomberDestin.com website, and it’s beautiful. Didn’t take her long at all. On the other foot, it took me about six months to figure out how to do the weekly e-newsletter. After much frustration, I got a handle on it, and now you’ll be hearing a lot more from me.
We introduced an advice columnist this year, and published a few columns by right wing crackpot Ann Coulter in the interest of providing some political balance. Dear Dawn abides. R.I.P., Ann…
In 2019, Beachcomber will be introducing lots of terrific new features, including an impossible-to-solve crossword puzzle (talking to you, Charles Morgan), our exclusive 81-square Sudoku game, and a slightly porny word jumble.
See you next year!!
Love, Daddy Beachcomber
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