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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JULY 26, 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. 



America’s gerontocracy and its poster girl



The word above is a real word. We admit we had to look up the correct spelling. It is defined as rule by elderly people. The American poster girl is, of course, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. At 87, she currently spends more time in the hospital than on the bench at the Supreme Court. She’s not alone. Fellow Justice Steven Breyer is closing in on 82. Four of the other seven Justices are at what normally is considered retirement age – 65 or older. Up the street in Congress, we have geriatric leaders Nancy Pelosi (80) and Mitch McConnell (78). Come next January, the man sworn in as President will be 78 or 74 – either person easily being the oldest ever. What has happened to the Kennedys, Teddy Roosevelts or Grants (only 46 when sworn in)? America needs to find a new crop of competent leaders – and, we strongly suggest, put an age cap on public service to avoid having a bunch of leaders on life support.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. Wow! The liberal spin doctors are not going to like this one. Texas U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert is demanding the Democratic Party change its name given the history of the party on slavery and bigotry. Seems the shoe doesn’t fit quite as well when on the other foot. Thank you, Rep. Gohmert.

2. In our Alice in Wonderland type world, extreme left wingers, including elected officials, don’t seem to understand that lighting a fire in a court house is not protected by the First Amendment. In fact, we would have been terrified to see what would happen to such people during the days of our founding fathers.

3. If the accounts of our immediate past president and other heavy hitters can be hacked, we want no part of Twitter – plus your technologically challenged HB has no idea how it works.

4. Idle thought: it’s so easy to have all the answers when you are on the other side of the dais or executive’s desk.

5. A comment by Fox 13 weatherman Dave Osterberg caught our attention last week. Dave wondered why nations don’t band together in their exploration of space rather than sending multiple vehicles towards Mars at the cost of billions – money that could be used for more worthy endeavors here on earth (our comment, not his).


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. This was a week for breakout hits of two America’s biggest acts. Fifty years ago, the Carpenters scored the first of their four number one singles Close To You. Ten years earlier, Brenda Lee had the first of her two number one singles, I’m Sorry, to go along with some 50 other charted records.                                                                    

7. Since the PC police are busy trying to rename sports teams they find offensive in any fashion, we wish to add our two cents. Given their seemingly unending search for a home field, make it the Toronto Refugees.

8. Remember Little League where every kid got a trophy? Major League Baseball is channeling that in 2020 with 16 of the 30 teams getting a postseason appearance, rewarding mediocrity.

9. In this unsteady time of the virus uptick, a surefire safety measure from The 5:05 Newsletter - If the CDC said that staying inside and never leaving your house for 14 days would save the college football season, the entire South would be locked up in their homes right now.                   

10. For years Harry and Janie Cline were a force in making Clearwater a better place to live in so many aspects. Janie passed away last week at age 77 - our condolences to Harry and their daughter on the loss of this lovely lady.


Remembering: Clearwater’s home town radio station


(We continue our monthly Remembering feature. Previous subjects like Star Spectaculars, Spring Training, The Bombers, Howard the Trader and the Rites of Graduation can be found in each month- ending issue of TBR&R)


WTAN went on the air in 1948 operating from studios in Clearwater’s old Auditorium on the bayfront. About five years later, studios were built across the street on Pierce Blvd. The people who were the voice of the station tended to stay a long time - foremost Frank Parker who was with the station well over twenty years on the air and also doing fishing reports and broadcasting Bomber games after another long time voice, Bob Weatherly, left to pursue politics full time. Another name that was a household word was Scott Dilworth, who hosted the station’s immensely popular “Scotty’s Swingshift” evenings for the station’s teen audience. Clearwater residents woke up daily to the very talented Harry Lytle, a combination of quick wit and extreme intelligence. Two other early voices on the station, Gene Allen and Chuck Adams, were part of the 1950s crew until they left to start their own station - day timer WAZE. WTAN responded to its first in-city competition by launching an FM station in 1963 under the genius of engineer/programmer Frank Reid and bringing a kid over from a St. Pete station who would hang around for twenty years. Unlike many stations whose personalities come and go, WTAN’s folks were part of the community, like the station itself, until its sale in the mid-1980s.

UP NEXT: Friends; In search of O. Sanford Jasper; More on Frank



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