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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves



A weekly look at the Tampa Bay area and national politics from a conservative viewpoint – plus a helping of sports and lifestyle items. Warning: not everything printed here should be taken at face value.


November – memory month – Pinellas Past


We’re just about through November – the month of Thanksgiving, “No Shave Month”, one of only four months with 30 days and it is also known as “Memory Month”. To celebrate, we remember some neat things from Pinellas Past – the great chocolate milk shakes at Brown Brothers downtown Clearwater; the city’s first strip mall – Searstown; the first enclosed mall across the street on Missouri – Sunshine Mall; Clearwater’s first McDonalds across the street from Clearwater High; Jack Russell Stadium and the Bombers; the opening of “Drew U” in the mid-sixties; an evening stroll with a loved one on Clearwater Beach; the Pinellas County Fair in Largo; the original Clearwater High on Greenwood at Laura; “Florida’s Department Store” – Maas Brothers on the Bayfront; Doc Webb’s fantastic drug store and a Sunday brunch at Siple’s. That’s just a dozen, we’re sure each of you have dozens more of Pinellas Past.



Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. We take note of a recent judge’s ruling that the Republican Party can no longer have its candidate on top of the ballot by virtue of winning the previous election.The ruling will no doubt be appealed, but Democrats are in ecstasy. Funny thing – this law was enacted by Democrats when they held sway in Florida back in the 50s.

2. As this impeachment thing drones on, possibly the best take on it comes from The Washington Post’s David Von Drehle. You can read it on their website.

3. As of the first of the year, Florida will have less than a half dozen K-Marts left in the state. Linked to Sears, they are in the death spiral with what was once America’s store of choice. Even before that, K-Mart doomed themselves with the philosophy that low prices would offset lousy service. They don’t.

4. In our inaugural edition of TBRR (3/9/14), we opined if we had the money, one of our top projects would be restoration of Tampa’s Jackson House. Now, bless their hearts, the Viniks who own the Lightning have stepped up with a million dollars to fund the rehab project.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you ran/walked in the first Turkey Trot held 40 years ago this year.


Sports, the media and other stuff:


6. Number of the week – 8 minutes, 36 seconds, the length of the longest song to ever top the charts – Don McLean’s American Pie released this week in 1971.

7. As we head into the MLB post season wheeling and dealing, The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Michael Cunningham points out that 24 of the last 25 World Series have been won by teams in the upper half of the league’s payroll teams – bad news for his hometown Braves, the Reds, Twins and, of course, our local nine among others.

8. The 2020 Hall of Fame ballot is out and includes a third straight first ballot slam dunk following Chipper Jones (2018) and Mo Rivera (2019) and that is Derek Jeter. With the help of our sports wizard Achmed Walled (pronounced wall-ED), we’ll cast our very unofficial ballot in a few weeks.

9. We’re just a month away from the NFL’s “Black Monday”. This year’s cast of characters could include at least a couple big coaching names.

10. Lyric of the week: “I’m on the next plane to London, leaving on Runway #9” (Rose Garden ‘67). The nonsense about the LA Chargers relocating to London is just that – nonsense. NFL team owners are not going to buy into 3500-5500 mile road trips on a yearly basis.


A classic commercial thirty years later


Thirty years ago Publix aired their first holiday commercial – the classic Last Train Home – recognized as one of the very best commercials of its time. It aired for several years before yielding to other good, but not great, holidays ads. If you’ve never seen it, or just want to relive the simple beauty of the production (no words), you can find it on YouTube.

NEXT WEEK: A Christmas in Washington; Orlando Dreamers

(Editor’s note: Our Thanksgiving week issue is coming to you a day or so early as your humble blogger and saintly wife spend the holiday with loved ones several states north. The trip may make next week’s TBRR a day or two late. Enjoy your holiday!)



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