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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JULY 12, 2020


TBR&R 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.


Thanks, Mr. Justice


Your humble blogger had the privilege of attending CHS when Bill Justice was the assistant principal. Like many other long time Clearwater folks, we later had the opportunity to work with him on various civic and community projects, but he was never “Bill” to us – always Mr. Justice. You just had too much respect for the man to call him by his nickname. On the occasion of his passing, we share a story only our immediate family knows. In our senior year at CHS, our many pranks and indiscretions proved too much even for the usually patient William Justice, and he suspended us for a day – terming the suspension a “lifetime achievement award”. Many years later your humble blogger replaced Mr. Justice when he stepped down from the Clearwater City Commission. In the newspaper article covering the event, he referred to us as “a good boy” during our CHS days – conveniently forgetting the events of thirty years previous. We hadn’t – just as we never forgot what huge shoes we were attempting to fill on the city commission. William Justice was one of the few individuals in this community to truly deserve the term legend.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Quote of the week: “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along” -the words of Rodney King during equally disturbing times in the spring of 1992. It has been twisted to “can’t we all get along” over the years but either way, it should be the mantra of our nation right now.

2. One of the best organizations in Pinellas County is recruiting its next class. Leadership Pinellas dates back to the 1970s and its graduates are a who’s who of Pinellas County movers and shakers. To learn more about this unique program, go to leadershippinellas.com/programs/apply. The deadline for applications for this fall’s class is July 31.

3. Ah, do you get the feeling Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried wants to run for governor in 2022? The commissioner, whose only agriculture experience is pushing for marijuana usage, criticizes our governor at every turn.

4. The city of Clearwater, like every other city, is facing a budget crunch due to the corona virus. The good news is the city is in a lot better shape than other cities, but they still have to tighten the belt. One of the most obvious areas to cut is the possibly nice to have, but certainly not necessary, proposed changes to the city’s bay front.

5. Tampa International’s decision to delay almost a billion dollars in construction projects generated this idle thought. We would probably loan a close friend or family member money for the trip; look after their dog; water the plants – virtually anything as long as we didn’t have to pick them up at the airport.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. Another gem from the 5:05 Newsletter: “Breaking News: Nancy Pelosi Orders Destruction of the Entire Side of the U.S. Capitol That Faces South”.

7. With the bizarre MLB season (TBR&R 6/28/20), our wizard of odds, Achmed Walled (pronounced wall-ED) will not lower himself to prognosticating pennant races only slightly longer than Little League seasons. For what it’s worth, the pros in Vegas have the Dodgers and the Yankees as the top two choices with Houston and Atlanta the next two. Frankly, it could be the Tigers and Marlins as strange things can happen over a short span of games.

8. Good for the Ivy League! The collection of eight prestigious schools has cancelled all Fall sports reminding us of the dangers of the corona virus and – that sports are secondary to education on our college campuses.

9. A happy 25th anniversary this year to the Morton Plant Treehouse, Clearwater’s version of the Algonquin Roundtable (TBR&R 1/28/18 and 6/10/18).

10. Our humble publication bids fair winds and following seas to Tommy Duff who, like many other Pinellas residents choose to do, is relocating to North Carolina. Tommy and his restaurant were a part of the fiber of Clearwater for a couple of decades.

11. (An extra remark as we do on occasion). Thanks again to James Foster, of Right Click Computer Consultants, for his work in getting our blog back up after it crashed like the Hindenburg last week.


The Mount Rushmore of Male Vocalists


This week, the TBR&R Focus Group (five old, cranky people) welcomes a new member whose many credentials include being Pizza Hut Employee of the Month for March 1979 – and we should add for the sake of this ranking, the only musician in our august group. We asked the group to help us place five faces on the Mount Rushmore of Male Vocalists. Our elder chieftain says Elvis called Roy Orbison the best he ever heard and that’s good enough for him. Our two female matriarchs weighed in with the King and Michael Buble’ while the other two ancients went for two great ballad singers – Mathis and Sinatra. A solid list for sure.

UP NEXT: Drive a VW; Score, the Bird and J.R.; Mark Cuban



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