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Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Opening Remarks - Me and Jail: Together Again for the First Time

I’m going to jail… for good!

The wonderful Sheila Conner graciously volunteered me to do time for Jerry’s Kids, and how could I refuse? I’ve been an admirer of Mr. Lewis for many years. I met the great man himself at a Biloxi performance a couple years ago, resulting in a personal anecdote that has sent more than a few close friends and strangers scrambling for the exits (particularly those that have already heard me tell it).

But this isn’t about me and that dream of a lifetime, doing comedy with the King himself (sort of like a blues guitarist getting to jam with B.B. but even cooler). It’s about the Muscular Dystrophy Association dragging me off to do hard time at a ritzy Destin steakhouse Thursday, May 3, at 1 p.m. It’s gonna be rough, but I’m hoping our longtime readers will give ‘til it hurts.

My bail has been set a ridiculously low $3,200. You probably spend that much on snacks every month. Your donations are tax deductible, and the bail money will benefit the MDA’s local health care service program as well as worldwide research efforts.

Thanks so much in advance. Cash, checks and credit cards will be accepted, so stop by our office here on Harbor Boulevard, shoot me an email, or donate online. I’ll have my “lockup” page set up by the time we go to print, I hope. Stay in the loop by visiting our Facebook (, Twitter (@ BeachcomberFL), and official Web site (

Those who give generously will have the added benefit of never having to suffer through my story about meeting Jerry Lewis ever again.


Update: The online link to donate is here.


The Friday before this issue’s deadline, I happened upon Rusty Hammerstrom performing at an Okaloosa Island hot spot.

To coincide with the “anniversary” of the Gulf Coast oil spill—or, more likely, to shut me up—he performed his great original song “Oil in the Water.” If you haven’t heard it, look it up on YouTube. There are at least two versions, the premiere public performance on our Beachcomber channel and another recorded in front of the Destin History & Fishing Museum.

Hearing the song again should serve as a reminder that things weren’t as bad as they could have been, BP can still kiss our collective asses, and some of you guys need to stop bitching about (and start embracing) the tourists.


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 25, 2002 issue featured Robyn Patterson’s award-winning ArtsQuest submission “Passion for Color” on the cover.

Chris Manson caught country music great Earl Thomas Conley (kids, grab a copy of Conley’s 16 Biggest Hits if you’re unfamiliar with) in DeFuniak Springs and visited the Emerald Coast Science Center in Fort Walton Beach.

Bruce Collier raved about FoWal’s Caffé Italia—“a respectably ambitious menu that combines the traditional and the unexpected…” The Sandestin Wine Festival was held at the Market Shops, Ted Shumate and Longineu Parsons played live, and the Thunderbirds and Golden Knights performed at Eglin Air Force Base’s open house. Jim McMahon and Trick Pony were among the famous folks in town for the Price Oil Celebrity Golf Tournament.


Kristie Jo King, Vaunceia Solano, Eliza beth Stevens, Patricia Johnson, Frances Usher, Piper Gaffrey, Adam Schrage, Vini Samnium, Myra Hughes, Phil Da Funk, Aaron Kimball, Candace Killinger, Mike Ingram, Missy Mizell, Donna DePriest, Eloise Davis, Roger Cole, Mulhollows Bistro, Chris Nida, Holly Henderson, Kathleen Deal, Will Hampton, Noel Le, Courtney VanZant, and Cristal Messer 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 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.

Beachcomber Editor Chris Manson gets into character as Red Leg the Dreaded, Pirate of the Gulf for a recent Act4Murder show that doubled as a fundraiser for the Billy Bowlegs Museum. Red Leg returns to the streets of FoWal May 31—he’ll be crashing the annual Billy Bowlegs parade. Keep it to yourselves…