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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.


We refuse to allow the Grinch to steal Christmas


The Grinch has been out in full force these past couple weeks. In Largo, a couple of punks vandalized the beautiful tree that graces the city’s Central Park. In West Chase across the bay, mail is being stolen and an Amazon delivery guy is arrested for stealing packages and gift cards he was entrusted to deliver. Despite all this and the embarrassing exhibition in our nation’s capital, the spirit of Christmas will win out as it always has. To all of you, our wishes for a blessed Christmas!


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Only a couple of days left – don’t forget the Salvation Army’s red buckets. Few agencies do more good for mankind.

2. A tip of our cap to Frontier Communications for installing a pair of robocall fighting tools in their system. We should expect Spectrum to step up as well.

3. Time comes up with another off-the-wall choice as their person of the year. Joining previous such persons of the year as Wallis Simpson and “You” is 16-year-old Greta Thunberg an “environmental activist” who in her efforts leaves a carbon footprint equal to a large fleet of tractor trailers.

4. Ed Haver, for a quarter century an integral part of the Clearwater Sun sports department, passed away last week at age 88. Ed was a terrific golfer, bowler and all around nice guy.

5. You’ve lived in Clearwater a long time if you enjoyed a Krystal hamburger at their store on Gulf to Bay across from Clearwater High. Now, the closest Krystal is on Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Two of the best Christmas songs you may not have heard, both with same name but with different lyrics, Hey Santa by the unique group Straight No Chaser and the second by Carrie and Wendy Wilson, Beach Boy Brian Wilson’s daughters.

7. Mark September 26 on your 2020 calendar. That’s when the Jeff Scott coached USF Bulls play the Florida Atlantic Owls and their new coach (and old USF coach) Willie Taggart.

8. In a related note, not to nitpick but was it really necessary for Coach Scott to cashier every one of Charlie Strong’s staff? You know he wants his own folks, but you have to believe that some of the former USF coaches are as good as or better than anyone Scott is going to recruit.

9. The Rays made a risky move to increase their power signing Japanese slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. For every one Ichiro Suzuki, there are three or four Kenshin Kawakamis.

10. Thought of the week (thanks to longtime friend Bob Green): “All I want for Christmas is June.”


Remembering: The way we used to shop


(Editor’s note: this is a sneak peek at Remembering - a monthly feature that will appear in each month’s- end edition in 2020.

Having just completed our Christmas shopping on Amazon, Vermont Country Store, EBay and Card Universe, we reflect back on how it used to be starting with our cards that usually came from the Sandy Book Store on Drew Street. Then it was down the street to our go-to store for something nice for our wife – Maas Brothers. Maybe a record album or two from Merz Record Shop on Ft. Harrison Avenue. For a nice guy’s gift, there was Shorts, Wolfe Brothers and Webb’s. If a big family present like a TV was on the list, there was Gordon’s on Drew Street, Irions or Towers on Gulf to Bay. And we remember the year of the really big family gift – a new Olds 88 from Lokey Olds also on Gulf to Bay. Then there were the many stores on Cleveland Street like Fremacs, Colony Shop and the inviting jewelry stores like Tilley’s, K. K. Smith and Trickel’s. It wasn’t as easy as sitting in front of a computer, but it sure was more fun!

UP NEXT: Our annual retrospective



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