Island Issues

Go Ahead, Make Somebody’s Christmas Day; Put Dirty Harry’s Magnum in Their Stocking

1940da75e7d7c25e45eaee0f9ae14d03Remember when you were a kid and you and your chums raced bleary-eyed out of the almost four-hour Saturday matinee of a western double-feature, six cartoons, a news reel, previews of coming attractions and a Flash Gordon serial, pointing cocked fingers at each other pretending you were Roy Rogers, The Durango Kid, or Gene Autry?

Even as adults we’ve seen movies with scenes like the one in “Sudden Impact” where actor Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry Callahan aims a 44 Magnum at a hoodlum and famously says “Go ahead, make my day” and thought to ourselves, “Wow, I’d really like to fire one of those guns.”

Well now you can. Right here on Amelia Island. And you can even watch the notorious movie scene again and learn the history of the weapon used before you start blasting away.

Or maybe you’d like to shoot the Smith & Wesson model 36 revolver from the “Godfather” that Vito Corleone retrieved in the restroom to shoot the Police Captain and Sollatzo in the Italian Restaurant. Or how about the Smith & Wesson model 10 that Stone and Malone carried in “The Untouchables” and used in the dramatic scene at the end where Stone shot the hostage taker?

Yep, you can shoot them all and much more.

Good friend and nearby neighbor Bernard Martinage, the charming Paris-born managing partner of Safe ‘N Secure, an Amelia Island-based security firm, is conducting and supervising a “Great Guns of Hollywood” program for the next two and a half months.

For just $39 you get two and one-half hours of:

  • A review of the film scenes you select, a discussion of the gun’s history, how it operates and how they were used, conducted by Mr. Martinage.
  • Learning in detail about the weapons and have a photo taken standing next to a full size movie poster, while holding the gun.
  • An opportunity to step out to the gun range and fire a few of rounds with the gun to see what it feels like.
  • Ammunition.

Is this a great stocking stuffer or what?

The sessions are located in a private classroom at the Kraft Athletic Club on the south end of the island, which has a private gun range operated by Mr. Martinage. The classroom is at Ten-Acres, the KRAFT Athletic Club off Buccaneer Drive, not far from Harris Teeter. Each time slot will accommodate just 10 people so if you want a slot I suggest you hurry. Directions will be sent to each person when they book online.great-hollywood-guns-poster

Following is the schedule, the film clips and guns available:

“Sudden Impact” (with the Dirty Harry scene), “The Godfather” and “The Untouchables”: These are Smith & Wesson revolver movie clips featuring the famous clip from “Sudden Impact” with Clint Eastwood. Attendees will learn about the different frames and metal that S&W uses to make their classic guns and then have an opportunity to fire them. December 9 at 3 pm; December 17 at 1 pm; January 20 at 3 pm; January 21 at 1pm

“Die Hard”, “Taken” and “The Bodyguard”. These movie clips feature classic semi-automatic pistols and attendees will learn about the Browning High Power, the popular Beretta and the Taurus millennium used by Liam Neeson in “Taken”. Attendees will shoot The Beretta 92F from “Die Hard” and “Taken”. December 30 at 3 pm; December 31 at 1 pm; January 27 at 3 pm; January 28 at 1 pm.

“Pulp Fiction” and “The Bourne Identity” movie clips: These are classic semi-automatic pistols featured in movies where attendees will learn the difference between a double-action, single-action and 1911 type semi-automatic pistols. They will have an opportunity to shoot the chromed pearl handled Auto-Ordnance that John Travolta (Vincent Vega) from “Pulp Fiction” used; the Glock 19 with laser sight with which Jason Bourne tries to shoot Wombosi in the yacht scene and the Sig PRO that Bourne retrieves from his safety deposit box in Zurich. January 06 at 3 pm; January 7 at 1 pm; February 3 at 3pm; February 4 at 1 pm.

To make reservations go to or call 904/335-0525.


Things I Wish I Had Said: “When was the last time you saw the skeleton of a cat in a tree?”— Johnny Blackwelder’s comment to Pajamadave Voorhees when Dave asked him if he could borrow a ladder to retrieve the family cat that scampered to the top of one of their tall oaks.


Green Turtle Fund Raiser Raises Lots Of Green: The South 3rd Street’s Green Turtle Tavern’s Jeff Werder and local resident Janet Wolff report that almost $4,000 was raised in just three hours during a fund raiser at the Turtle last Sunday, November 27 to aid the family of Deputy Sheriff Eric Oliver, who was killed in the line of duty while attempting to apprehend an illegal alien in Yulee. Jeff and Janet pulled the event together in just three days with all proceeds from the Turtle and a special silent auction going to the family, particularly Deputy Oliver’s young daughter Shelby. Hats off to these two and all who contributed.


Can President Obama Pardon Hillary Clinton? Even though she hasn’t been convicted, indicted, or charged with anything it appears to me that Obama could pardon Hillary Clinton from any future prosecution as that’s what President Gerald Ford did with former President Richard Nixon in 1974 when he granted him a full and unconditional pardon for “any crimes he might have committed against the United States while president.” But if Obama did pardon her wouldn’t that confirm that she did something to warrant a pardon, a fact she has adamantly denied? I’m not a lawyer but I don’t think being intensely unlikable and untrustworthy are grounds for a presidential pardon.


Mourning Castro: The only people I’ve read about who mourned the death of brutal Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro were loopy San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, former President Jimmy Carter and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said they were all impressed with the tyrant that turned what should have been one of the wealthiest garden spots of the Caribbean into an impoverished prison and torture chamber. Kaepernick is as dim as a half watt bulb, Trudeau is an international laughing stock and proving an embarrassment to the Canadian people, while it’s time for the Carter family to conduct an intervention. Staying on the Castro topic for a second, the satirical national Onion had a headline that read: “Cuban Army Honors Fidel Castro With 21-Gun Firing Squad.” I also find it ironic that Castro, who fought capitalism for more than 50 years, died on Black Friday.


Things I Wish I Had Written: Commenting on a New York Times obituary that said “Castro held onto power longer than any other living national leader except Queen Elizabeth II” the Wall Street Journal‘s Bret Stephens wrote: “It’s an interesting comparison — except that one of those leaders shot pheasants, while the other shot peasants.”


138837_600Cowboys & Indians Redux: According to FOX TV last week’s Thanksgiving day matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins drew an average of 35.1 million viewers on FOX – the highest total for a regular-season NFL game since 1995. All this despite the fact that ratings for the NFL’s primetime games are down across the board compared to last season. Come on, even those on the left must be rooting for the “Redskins” to win, or at least they should if they believe all that diversity stuff they advocate.


In A Nutshell: Why Hillary Clinton Lost: Jonah Goldberg summed it up nicely in the Chicago Tribune saying: “Joe Sixpack and Charlie Lunchbucket types flipped to Trump because they believe Democrats now care mostly about the cultural issues of affluent cosmopolitan whites and racial minorities at the expense of bread-and-butter issues like the economy.” Reason Magazine‘s Roby Soave expanded on Goldberg’s view adding: “Voters were tired of elitist privileged leftists jumping down the throats of ordinary folks who can’t keep up with the latest politically correct language and attitudes on gender and race. Afraid to speak their minds, these ‘deplorables’ went for a guy whose main qualification is that he isn’t afraid to speak his.” That and the fact that 70 percent of voters polled said they couldn’t stand the women didn’t help.

And here’s how New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s conservative brother and writer Kevin Dowd saw it: “The election was a complete repudiation of Barack Obama: his fantasy world of political correctness, the politicization of the Justice Department and the I.R.S., an out-of-control E.P.A., his neutering of the military, his nonsupport of the police and his fixation on things like transgender bathrooms. Since he became president, his party has lost 63 House seats, 10 Senate seats and 14 governorships. The country had signaled strongly in the last two midterms that they were not happy. The Dems’ answer was to give them more of the same from a person they did not like or trust.”


Bad Santa: Liberals went to bed on election night with visions of the first woman president dancing her way into the White House in their heads and were supposed to celebrate with champagne and laughter. Instead they woke up the day after election day to find that someone had stolen the furniture, taken away the toys, stuffed their stockings with coal from West Virginia and Kentucky, and left them clutching their coloring books and play-doh while scurrying to find the nearest safe place. Their candidate lost because she was on the American public’s naughty list. If “safe places” were listed on a stock exchange I’d buy shares.


Speaking of Naughty Lists: A Santa at a mall in Sanford, Florida was removed and, I assume, sent to remedial sensitivity training, after a parent overheard him tell her 10-year-old daughter that she was on his “nice” list and that the only girl on his “naughty” list this year was Hillary Clinton. That didn’t sit well with the kid’s Clinton-supporting mom who complained on Facebook, to the mall, and anyone else who would pay attention to her screeching.


Li’l Anthony And The Imbeciles: Democrats are whining that FBI Director James Comey is to blame for Hillary Clinton’s defeat but he had help from Anthony Weiner, whose uncontrollable urge to bless women with pictures of Li’l Anthony sank him and her for good when the latest woman turned out to be a 15-year-old girl. On the Weiner laptop confiscated by the FBI, the feds found copies of emails that his estranged wife Huma Abedin sent to and from Clinton’s illicit email server. Huma should take plenty of blame as well as how the Dickens could she be so dim as to fire up a computer that she knew her husband had previously used to share visuals of his private parts. The entire crowd makes the gang that couldn’t shoot straight look like marksmen.


Drinking, Dinning & Dancing: If there’s a better deal on shrimp plates than the one offered at the North 2nd Street’s Crab Trap would someone please tell me as the all-day every Saturday $10 platter there that features huge lightly battered shrimp, tasty-not-swimming-in-mayonnaise cole slaw, hush puppies and the Trap’s signature battered French fries is hard to beat. Oh, and the Crab Trap now features trivia night beginning at 7 p.m. each Wednesday in its upstairs bar to go along with its Wednesday only 75 cent jumbo wings that come both fried and grilled with various degrees of heat. Get there early for a couple of two buck happy hour beers before trivia starts and beer specials end. Once again if anyone can find a better deal than the $9.00 one-half pound peel-and-eat shrimp offered by the Front Street Salty Pelican please let me know as those local big fat crustaceans are the tastiest, freshest and best peel-and-eat bargain I’ve found anywhere on the island and not one place around these parts compares in quality or price. However, the Pelican’s $8.00 pretzel and the Centre Street’s Tavern’s same rip-off of a combination of flour and salt, is in my opinion, the worst deal in town, but as long as they’re selling them at a record clip more power to them, as those margins must be fantastic. However, if you want good cheap pretzels, try the South 3rd Street’s Green Turtle Tavern’s three buck bargain that is available Wednesday through Sunday starting at 7 p.m. Speaking of pricey stuff, the Surf is a great place to watch football, but $4.75 for a bottle of domestic beer is more than most fans are willing to pay. They do have buckets (5) for $14.75 and pitchers of draught that are almost reasonable. However, I’m told that prices will be coming down once the new owner is firmly in place and if so that’ll put a lot more folks in those empty Sunday football watching bar stools. Despite the lofty beer prices, Joey Ledet’s muffuletta is the best sandwich on the island and draws a crowd with a $19 whole one a meal for two adults and a small kid. A half one is 11 bucks. I keep hearing that the Main Beach ocean-front Sandy Bottoms sale is nearing completion and that Bartender Kevin from Amelia National Golf Course and a couple of investors will be taking over the first of the year, but don’t have a solid confirmation yet. Tips must be very good at that course’s 19th hole. And speaking of good tips, here’s a few as folks now have three chances a week to see and hear talented piano man John Springer who can put even Ebenezer Scrooge in the Christmas spirit. The tuxedo-clad John is upstairs at the North 3rd Street Karibo accompanied by drummer Rob Taylor every Wednesday evening 6-9:30 and the Centre Street Alley Cat each Thursday and Saturday evenings 6-9:30 p.m. Lulu’s at the Thompson House, tucked away at 11 south 7th Street downtown is on the market because Chef Brian Grimley will soon be moving his seafood-centered New Orleans and Charleston inspired kitchen to the new building currently under construction by Don Shaw next to Harris Teeter. Timetables were not provided.


Richard Troxel - 03. Dec, 2016 -

Dave,your description of the shrimp at Crab Trap makes me envious of you Islanders that Pat and I once were. There are very few if any places like that in our new home,Atlanta.We do however get down every few weeks as her real estate career winds down.Of course our daughter,Pam is still there,so we have lots of reasons to visit.The plethora of great eating places on Island are famous for great food and hospitality.As a true Floridian,born and raised could eat my weight in shrimp fixed any way but raw.Great blog as usual see you soon.

Christine Harmon - 02. Dec, 2016 -

Thanks for letting me know, Dave. Attending Bernard Martinage’s “Great Guns of Hollywood” program may be better than a season pass to the zoo. It will give me a deeper glimpse into an emerging new species. – terrifying as they are.

Michael Howerton - 02. Dec, 2016 -

Juuuuust a small correction…it was Michael Corleone, not Vito Corleone who retrieved the revolver from the restroom… Other than that, enjoyable as always.

Tom Yankus - 02. Dec, 2016 -

Just two years back The Surf was elbow to elbow on NFL Sundays. I know.
Last season they dropped the football Direct TV package (picking it up mid-season) losing dozens of fans to The Salty Pelican and the now closed Beef O Bradys. Again, I know being one of them.
I’m a cheap beer guy. Two years ago a tall boy PBR was $2.50 at The Surf. Today? $3.50 and, by far, the most expensive on the island. Four pack at Publix is $3.50!
The Surf is lucky to have 20-25 mostly Jag fans now on gameday Sunday charging such high prices. Footnote… $2 at The Pelican all day and night.

Deborah Biggs - 02. Dec, 2016 -

You need a “Like/Don’t Like” or “Thumbs Up/Down” on the comments! I’d give the 3 comments Thumbs Up!!

Eric Corbett - 02. Dec, 2016 -

I noticed the same thing about the $4.75 beers at The Surf the other day when I met you to watch football and mend fences. But the muffuletta made up for it. That sandwich was awesome for two days!

JEANNE WYATT - 02. Dec, 2016 -

Now if we could also get a post office or Mail Box store, dry cleaner, drug store, urgent care center, and other things near Harris Teeter on the South end. Would also like for Harris Teeter to let Florida residents participate in their weekly $100 winner events but for some reason it is not happening. Plus, we are the ONLY Harris Teeter in Florida. Great deals there with 2 for 1s but Publix is marvelous, also.

Melanie Nobis - 02. Dec, 2016 -

I find out more info from you than the News Leader; enjoy your opinions
on Castro and your political humor..