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Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Opening Remarks - Bubba, the New Sort-of-Local Hero

It’s official. Thanks to the new Masters champion, Bagdad (Florida, not Iraq) is now part of Beachcomberland.

I’m extremely proud that someone from the region is now a household name. Bubba Watson’s triumph is reason for once-embarrassed Bagdad natives to reclaim their hometown, the same way I couldn’t wait to tell folks I grew up in the Muscle Shoals area after the success of the band Drive-By Truckers. Turns out there are a couple other golf notables from the area, too.

Watching golf on TV has always been a bore for me, but quite a few of our loved ones are avid fans and participants, so Grampa Hilton and I relinquished the birthday spotlight. Anyway, the shot that put Watson over was truly amazing to watch, and I’m glad he beat “the Russian guy” (according to Gramma Hilton).

I did some research via the always-100percent-accurate Wikipedia, and it turns out Watson is a decent guy. The only fault I can find with him is that he and Michael Vick may or not be golf buddies (this from the always-reliable Twitter). But hey, forgiveness is an admirable quality, too, even though I think Vick should have been buried under the jail.

By the way, the first reader to submit a photo of Bubba Watson reading a copy of the Beachcomber will receive a FREE lifetime subscription to this publication. Good luck!

I turned 45 this month, and we crashed the Sunday night Beachcomber Jam for a true 45 celebration. Friends and complete strangers were asked to bring 45 RPM records, and there were lots of cool surprises, including a lady celebrating her 60th birthday. Someone call the police, my thunder got stolen…

Beachcomber Music Award winning drummer Ted Cobena showed up with a single from his Louisiana-based band Bas Clas, and Nora Wixted-Hogue brought an extremely rare record from her New Orleans days. Thank you all for your generosity, and congrats to Tara Manson (yes relation) for topping everyone with the Men at Work “Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive,” complete with picture sleeve.



The FREE Beachcomber app brings the best of the Emerald Coast’s music, art, theater, literary scene and more to your iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch. If you don’t have any of the aforementioned devices, buy them all so you can download our app. Or do like the Beachcomber Editor did—convince your boss you need one for work. (In this case, “work” consists of playing games, listening to music and watching movies.)


The April 11, 2002 issue featured Dale Chambliss’ “Returning to Destin Harbor” on the cover, Eglin Air Force Base hosted the Northwest Florida Community Earth Day Festival on Niceville’s Mullet Festival grounds, and baseball Hall of Famer and Atlanta Braves announcer Don Sutton joined DeFuniak Springs pro golfer Sammy Rachel at the Emerald Coast Classic in Milton.

Bruce Collier reviewed Sylvan Marler’s The Gateway to Destiny, the first in a planned series of books chronicling four generations of Destin’s Marler family. The Northwest Florida Ballet presented Cinderella. We spent some time with New Florida Girl Captain Jim Westbrook and went diving with local scuba pros. Bruce made his debut as dining critic with a piece on FoWal’s historic Staff’s Restaurant, citing its “good sampling of local fish and seafood, prepared and served in a traditional no-frills way.”

On the music front, the Underdogs—Bill Garrett, JAB Wilson, Steve Surber and Steve Ferry—were going strong, and Al Jarreau and friends performed at the Seaside Lyceum’s Jazz Festival.


Tai Beckensal-Destin, Brit Laberee, Annie Turner, Andrew Craig Jr., Robert Paulino, Roger Bartee, Nick Boynick, Nikki Hedrick, Franko “Washboard” Jackson, Lacie Danielle, Nick Hunter, Marcia Hull, Lisa Hawkins, Melanie Masterson, Todd Allen, James Culbreth, Donnie Deener, Trisha Monke, Don Frazier, Bob Cross, Jill Ingham, Lisa McElroy, Mandy Stone, Sarah Jones, Chasitylyn Mihalko, Judy Gregerson, Hayley Elizabeth, Teddy Lehmann, Paul Tessier, Jeffrey Brown, Tresha Brown, Irene Stroh, Clara Ruebel, Jared Nystrom, Tonia Murray, Melissa Steffen, Jeffrey Monteil, Stephanie CJ, Jane Potter, Marty Smith, Corey Rezner, Jack Lowe, Bob Osburn, John Emil, Larry Beat, Mary Newman, Nancy Miller, Paul Templeton, Linzy Hildreth, Andrea McDaniel, Angela Smith, Jonathan Sansom and Susan Litchy are just some of the great people who “like” the new Beachcomber page on Facebook.

If you’re a friend of the old Beachcomber Destin page, please make the switch to www.facebook.com/beachcomberdestinfl and drink in up-to-the-minute info, giveaways, videos and much more! We may even put your name in the paper to fill up space.