Photo of scam letter

New twist on an old scam; don’t fall for any of them

If you’re in the public eye as many artists and performers are, chances are you’ve been targeted by a scammer. Recently I received an unusual targeted scam that wasn’t your run of the mill pickup line like, “Your computer has been corrupted.” 

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Sunset over Kings Bay Naval Base; Georgia

Despite a hurricane and heat, Naval Base at Kings Bay celebrates birthday

Did you know that October 13 is the 243rd birthday of the US Navy? I didn’t. I learned about it after Rebecca agreed to perform music for one night of the celebrations at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Georgia. As the October 11 date approached, south Georgia dealt with Hurricane Michael and for this time of year, intense heat. Despite those obstacles and others commonly associated with big events at a military facility, the Navy’s birthday kicked off smoothly. 

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National Hurricane Center graphic on Hurricane Michael; 10 a.m. October 10, 2018; Advisory 16.

Hurricane on the brain as Michael comes ashore, but storms date to antiquity

Sometimes when you’re listening to coverage about extreme weather events, you just have to laugh. Last night, I was watching the 11 o’clock news. The coverage opened with content about Hurricane Michael and its impact on Florida. The reporter breathlessly noted breaking news in an area the storm would likely target. What was the breaking news? 

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medicine bottles

The show must go on—unless you’re too sick

Every performer deals with it at some point. Things are bopping right along, going great, and then it hits. Someone gifts you with something you definitely don’t want—a virus. But you keep going because you have to. You may think to yourself it’s just a bug, and after a few days you’ll toss it off because you’re young and healthy. Then comes the point when you realize, yes, the show must go on, but sometimes, you just can’t. 

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Gordon Lightfoot 2009 Arnielee

Most requested songs at gigs are often from the past

It doesn’t matter if you’re a performer or a music enthusiast, if you’ve taken in live music performances, you will always witness special requests. While it’s true most of my experience is in Americana or country venues, the requests cover all genres. “Time after Time” is a perfect example. 

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Browning’s poem beat mine, but I agreed with the decision

It’s happened before and it will happen again. It’s happened to me personally and professionally. One simple poem can stop all motion and inspire even the most hardened anti-poetry type. I have many examples of this, based in part on the tours and readings I did to promote my book. My most recent experience happened on my deck out back on one of our football Saturdays. 

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'Jacksonville on Wheels: A Car Culture Perspective' by Dorothy K. Fletcher will be released by The History Press on November 5, 2018. (Used with permission

Poetry, fiction, nonfiction—Dorothy K. Fletcher successfully writes them all

I’ve known the writer Dorothy K. Fletcher for years, and we both have tire tracks down our backs from all the author events we’ve taken part in. There were two most memorable events for me—reading with Dorothy at the US Library of Congress in Washington, D. C., and another event that drew little attention but took up a permanent place in my heart. 

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Page from Taylor Wells' children's story about a boy and a whale. Taylor wrote the book when he was young. (Used with permission)

Inmate’s children’s book surfaces; his case continues to haunt me

I mentioned artistic talent in a recent column about inmate Taylor Wells who is serving a life sentence in a Florida prison as a result of the Felony Murder rule—the hand of one is the hand of all. Years ago I learned about Taylor, and I wrote columns and talked about his case on radio gigs. Taylor’s longtime advocate Beth Cioffoletti, located a children’s book Taylor wrote. I remember reading it years ago, and I remember my angst over talent and what might have been.

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Elegance abounds on Jekyll Island, GA. (Photo: Jen Day Thompson)

Shrimp and grits lovers celebrate escape from Hurricane Florence

As this past weekend approached, there was a lot of discussion on the Facebook page for the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival. Much of that discussion had to do with how Hurricane Florence might affect the weekend weather in the area. As is always the case, you don’t know what a hurricane is going to do until it does it. All worked out well as Mother Nature smiled on South Georgia. Festival organizers anticipated welcoming approximately 45,000 attendees intending to celebrate escaping the storm. 

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Jekyll Island Club, Jekyll Island, Georgia By.John Margolies; Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Shrimp and Grits Festival dodges Florence, dishes up 32 acres of fun

If you live in the South, you probably know about the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival. If you don’t know about it, now’s the time to learn. Last year, Hurricane Irma forced what is arguably the largest festival of its kind on the Eastern Seaboard to cancel. This year, the festival on the Georgia coast dodged Hurricane Florence, and organizers have lined up 32 acres of food, music, crafts, presentations, and children’s activities for the more than 40,000 people interested or going.

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