Smoke a Big Joint for Washboard

We’re working on some major changes around the Beachcomber offices, not the least of which is moving my desk out into the courtyard overlooking U.S. 98. Not a bad place to work, and the view of the Harbor Docks parking lot is spectacular.


Seriously, some big news is in the pipeline, and whether you thought it possible or no, you’ll be holding a bigger and better publication in your hands very soon. More work for me, too. Yippee! Anyway, it beats panhandling. Last time I checked, those guys and gals were barely raking in enough to make the payments on their second cars.


The sad news is I won’t be writing, directing and starring in my long-planned Beachcomber movie, a raunchy comedy called Snowbirds vs. Spring Breakers. Because (1) not enough time, and (2) Matthew McConaughey still isn’t returning my phone calls.


Editor Manson and the late great Franko “Washboard” Jackson at the 2017 Beachcomber Music Awards at Destin’s Funky Blues Shack.
Photo by Nikki Hedrick.

On an even more heartbreaking note, we said goodbye to the great Franko “Washboard” Jackson last Sunday with a well-attended second line parade that I’m sure he would have loved.


Stinky’s Bait Shack on 30A was packed with tons of Frankophiles, many of whom were quite willing to drop $14 on a cocktail that would cost you six bucks at the place across the street from my new office. There were musicians there I hadn’t seen in years, toting their violins, drums, washboards (I actually realized I had one in the Act4Mystery prop room after I got to the event, dammit), kazoos, etc.


I nearly got Bob Steeno busted for smuggling in some moonshine. Sorry, Bob.


Anyway, every second I spent with Washboard over the years was quality time. He made me feel like I was his best friend, and I know that wasn’t true, but…


I am the proud owner of a pair of Washboard paintings (Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup and Hank Williams) as well as a hand-painted cap that I wore to the tribute. Most cherished of all is the custom-made flask Washboard gifted me commemorating my song “Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Junk.”


Which is nowhere near as good as “Smoke a Big Joint for Jesus,” but really, what is?


Washboard (and his lovely wife Eileen) came to just about every Beachcomber Music Awards, no matter where we were having it. He won a bunch of ‘em over the last 10 years and performed with Hubba Hubba at the 2013 event.


A few years before that, we had an extended visit at the first and only Clean Coast Festival at HarborWalk Village. Washboard introduced me to New Orleans legend Coco Robicheaux, who also treated me like I was his best friend.


Bill Garrett has graciously contributed a proper tribute to Franko “Washboard” Jackson in this issue’s Music section, and for the first (and hopefully last, at least for a while) time, we are including a proper obituary.


Thoughts and love to Eileen and all of Washboard’s relations, be it through blood, love, music or all three.

Love, Editor Manson




In the Oct. 10-23 Pet of the Issue, we referred to Jim as an employee of Blues Angel Music in Pensacola. Beachcomber has since been informed that he is, in fact, the store’s owner.


Congrats, Jim, on your well-deserved promotion!



Great job, men (“#itsgooderonguana – A Hurricane Dorian Relief Trip Report” by Eddie Morgan, Oct. 10-23 Beachcomber). Proud of y’all.

– Mikey Seevers



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