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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF MAY 31, 2020


TBRR is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - certain accounts printed here should not be taken literally.


Here comes summer and Cristobal and Nana


As we officially enter the hurricane season this week, Arthur and Bertha have already come and gone. Officials are telling us to expect an active 2020 season with Cristobal next up followed by Dolly and later Nana – our granddaughter’s name for her paternal grandmother who hopes her namesake and her fellow storms will be “weak and feeble.” From her lips to God’s ear! We’ve seen tremendous acts of help and kindness during our pandemic just as we saw during the last two major Florida hurricanes – Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018. What we hope not to see is the hoarding prevalent during the coronavirus and the gouging (7-11 and Chevron being the two biggest offenders) we saw during Irma. Stay safe!


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. All the brouhaha over the state employee cashiered for insubordination. Rebekah Jones violated so many principals of corporate or governmental communications. It is surprising her dismissal didn’t come earlier. If you disagree with policy, you take it upstairs, not to the internet which is career suicide.

2. Now, if we were running President Trump’s re-election campaign, our advice would be don’t say a word about Joe Biden (which we know is impossible) and just let Biden keep talking. Joltin’ Joe’s interview with a Black media outlet last week was a doozy.

3. We love the lawn signs all over Pinellas County proclaiming a 2020 grad lives at the residence - more on graduations below.

4. The latest decision by a federal judge on the felon voting issue is far from final. It will certainly be appealed as a first year law student can see flaws in the judge’s order. And relieving a felon of their obligation to pay restitution to an innocent victim is simply unconscionable.

5. Just when we were starting to feel really good about humankind, along comes Minneapolis.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Quote of the week: As one of the more willing of union spokesmen, he was far more articulate than some goofball in Tampa - a national sportswriter’s characterization of Blake Snell in comparison to one of the leading spokesmen among major leaguers during the last work stoppage 25 years ago.

7. In a related note, Snell has signed on with agent Scott Boras. A perfect match of possibly the two most disliked men in baseball.

8. Tale of two lefthanders: while the narcissistic Snell complains about his multi-million dollar salary. David Price is quietly writing $1000 checks to each of the Dodgers minor leaguers who will not have a season – or payday. That is over 200 young players – good for the ex-Ray!

9. Maria Morales, the owner of Hair Du Soleil, is one of the finest stylists on the planet and a friend for a couple decades. Your Humble Blogger and Saintly Wife are in her debt for making the two of us a lot less shaggy in the safety of her salon.

10. With thanks to a dear friend, you’ve lived in the bay area a long time if you remember Toppers on South Garden Avenue (now the site of Emily’s) in downtown Clearwater and their outrageous ice cream creations.


Remembering: The rites of late spring


(Editor’s note: we continue our end of the month series of looking back on people, places and things that shaped the way we remember the bay area. Previous features on Star Spectaculars, Spring Training, the Clearwater Bombers and Howard the Trader can be found in the last editions of each month in TBRR.)

We feel for the graduating seniors of 2020 and their missed proms, walking the stage and other rites of passage. We start with prom – usually honoring the senior class and their dates and put on by the junior class at most schools. You dressed your best, bought a corsage or boutonnière for your date and cleaned up the family car – no limos back in the day! A little later in the month was the legendary or more mythical senior skip day. Then came the signing of yearbooks – and don’t you wish you could take back about half of what you wrote? But hey, you were seventeen. Then came the big day when you walked in front of family and friends and at some point in the evening threw your cap in the air. For Clearwater High seniors, there was an extra special treat FAG (Festival after Graduation) Night staged by the Rotary Club of Clearwater for graduates and their dates. It started with a dance, followed by a movie and ended with breakfast usually at the Clearwater Country Club. That was followed by about eighteen hours of sleep! About a week or so later came Beach Week, a less formal gathering of graduating seniors to say their goodbyes before they headed for Gainesville, Tallahassee, Tampa and other points across the state and nation. For many, the next time they would see each other was the first reunion, usually ten years hence. But what an unforgettable month!

Next Up: Gas Wars; Monitor; Musial;



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