Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Grieving TCU Fans Can Call On Herb’s Café Support Group

If you are a TCU fan or a Texan who wants to erase the ugly memory of Monday night’s, 65-7, national football college championship drubbing of the Horned Frogs by Georgia and have your spirits restored, then pick up a copy of the late Dan Jenkins’ 1981 book “Baja Oklahoma”.

Reading TCU graduate Jenkins’ book will revive old memories when the Southwest Conference existed….memories that have been buried and are now needed to help drown the sorrow of the Monday, January 8 humiliating pasting and get Frog fans smiling again.

I watched the game with a group that included friend Art, a fanatical Bulldog fan and Georgia graduate, who was exhausted from bellowing his familiar “GO,GO,GO!” refrain by the end of the second quarter. By then the Dawgs were gone and so was Art’s voice and any concern he had about a Georgia loss.

In his book, TCU’s fate is even worse than this past Monday’s pounding as Jenkins has his Horned Frogs being beaten, 85-0, by the hated Texas Longhorns. Reflecting on TCU’s awfulness in those days Jenkins once said in an interview: “I think TCU ought to get on probation. Then at least we’ll know they’re trying.”

Jenkins authored numerous works and over 500 articles for Sports Illustrated. In 1972, he wrote his first novel, “Semi-Tough”. It was followed by many others including “Dead Solid Perfect” about golf. Both were made into movies as was “Baja Oklahoma.”

My favorite is the hilarious “Baja Oklahoma” where most of the action takes place in a fictional Fort Worth bar called Herb’s Café. Herb’s fortyish bartender, Juanita, is a frustrated country-western song writer and singer. Life hasn’t dealt Juanita and most of Herb’s regulars a full deck. They range from retirees, bankers, and oilmen to gas station attendants, ranchers, and plumbers.  They all know each other, they all possess distinctive quirks, and they all have three things in common – a love of longnecks, chicken fried steak, and TCU’s hapless Horned Frogs.

In fact, I know most of these folks today, they go by different names and have different backgrounds. The one thing they have in common is the fact they’re nothing if not eccentric. My real life dive-bar hereabouts is PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden, where the proprietor, Pajama Dave, sports pajamas 24-hours a day and puts a whole new blush on the word “quirky.” It’s a setting for a book waiting to be written and a movie waiting to be filmed.

PJD’s regulars are much like those at Herb’s Café, where Shorty announced that he drank Lone Star beer starting at breakfast offering the convincing argument that “the best cure for a hangover was getting drunk again.”

This hilarious book is chauvinistic, crude, woke-poking sexist, and fun, populated with a comical group of patrons and the kind of barkeep that rates a 10 on a bartender scorecard.

One of Herb’s younger women regulars is described as: “A steel-bellied airhead with a butt like a baby robin, a frightening set of homegrown jugs, and a stomach flatter than the stainless-steel door to the safety deposit boxes.” Sexist? Sure, but laugh-out-loud funny.

I read this book in the early 80’s and found it more than amusing. It’s a cure for homesick Texans as well as a reference book. To this day, some 40 years later, I still recall the book’s ten stages of drunkenness — from “Witty & Charming Part 1” (#1) “Invisible” (#9) and “Bulletproof “ (#10). My favorite is #7, “Crank up the Enola Gay!” Look it up.

OK, here’s all 10 stages:

  1. Witty & Charming Part I
  2.  Rich and Powerful
  3.  Benevolent
  4.  Clairvoyant
  5.  Screw Dinner
  6.  Patriotic
  7.  Crank up the Enola Gay
  8.  Witty & Charming, Part II
  9.  Invisible
  10.  Bulletproof

Reading the book may not erase the memory of the humiliating TCU loss but mournful fans will feel better knowing that they’re not alone in their misery as somewhere in Fort Worth, Texas there’s a honky-tonk called Herb’s Café where a support group is hoisting ice cold longnecks and looking ahead to next year.


Que Pasa? Like me you’re probably hearing more Spanish spoken in the local grocery stores, on downtown Fernandina streets, in malls and elsewhere hereabouts.

It’s obvious these folks aren’t tourists. They didn’t disembark from a cruise ship, with name tags dangling around their necks, pointing aged index fingers at the 3rd and Centre Street Fudge Shop while glancing up from town maps.

And is it my imagination or are the “International Food” sections in local grocery stores taking up more and more shelf space? We’ve even got one entire grocery near downtown Fernandina devoted entirely to Hispanic foods. It’s the only place in Nassau County where I can buy menudo, a traditional Hispanic hangover cure, if you can get past the tripe floating around in its spicy broth. I intentionally attended a menudo cook-off in Texas once but that’s a story for a future column.

Meanwhile back at the ranch we’ll continue to hear even more linguistic chatter as the torrent of illegals crossing into the U.S. on the country’s southern border increases daily under Biden’s open border program.

No matter what Biden and his deceitful administrative lackeys say, there is absolutely no enforcement on the U.S. border. It’s wide open. Mexican crime cartels are in charge of the U.S. southern border and control it with deadly efficiency and without interference by any authority.

Biden and the incompetents running his administration yammer on about women’s rights and nonsensical gender blather yet ignore the open border which facilitates rape and a massive sex trafficking business for the cartels. Biden’s hypocritical leftist flunkies say they are for helping addicts and then open the border to massive fentanyl trafficking that killed 107,000 Americans last year.

It’s difficult to blame the masses of desperate people who pay the cartels an average of $6,000 each to guide them across the border. Even the dangerous and filthy, crime-ridden streets of the Democrat-run cities of Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland, etc. are cleaner and safer than many of the hellholes these determined people are fleeing. But there is a limit to what the American people are willing to tolerate and what the country can afford. Even some of the Democrats are actually calling for enforcement.

Border cities in Texas and Arizona are suffering the most. The Democrat mayor of El Paso declared a national emergency despite the pleadings of Joe Biden not to. The streets of his city, and even that city’s airport, are overflowing with illegals who have set up camps there. Well, they were until last Sunday, when the streets were briefly cleansed so Biden wouldn’t have to look at the chaotic mess he created during his photo-op three-hour border stop-over.

Border cities of  Eagle Pass, TX, Yuma, AZ, and more are teeming with homeless illegals who are overwhelming those city’s hospitals, schools, and other social services functions, not to mention damaging private property and terrifying local citizens.

Even the “sanctuary” cities of  Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, etc. are crying “Uncle” saying they can’t manage the influx of illegals being shipped to them by fed-up officials in the border states. The Democrat mayors of New York and Chicago are even telling the Democrat governor of Colorado to stop sending them any more illegals, they’re full they say.

U.S. government-funded planes loaded with illegals arrive daily in U.S. cities including Jacksonville in the dead of night. Many of the aliens aboard them are making their way to Nassau County where tax-paying residents are paying for their support.

They come here destitute, unable to speak English, and with little to no education or skills. How many servers, dishwashers, and cooks do Pepper’s and Pablo’s need?

Do these people have criminal records, covid or other infectious diseases? Who knows! They aren’t vetted. Some are even on the terrorist “No-Fly” list. Where do they stay? How do they contribute? Who pays for their healthcare, lodging and education? What are they up to, particularly the ones on the “No-Fly” list?

Biden and his bungling group of do-nothings won’t do anything to stem this constant and dangerous flow of illegals.  Fortunately some state politicians like Florida’ s Governor Ron DeSantis are taking action.

Governor DeSantis signed a bill in 2020 that put Florida businesses on notice. It requires private employers to verify a person’s employment eligibility after accepting an offer for a job.

Companies that violate that law could find themselves out of business.

The state requires an affidavit from each company to demonstrate they are performing the verifications. The affidavit must say that the company has terminated the employment of all unauthorized aliens employed by the company in the state of Florida, will not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien in the state of Florida, will fully comply with section 448.095(3)(b), Florida Statutes. The law was enacted on January 1st, 2021, after a DeSantis signature in 2020.

Companies do not have unlimited time to comply with this final warning. The state expects to receive the affidavits within 30 days of sending the letters. If the companies fail to respond in the given time, yet again, the state will begin suspending their business licenses.

U.S. citizens have enough problems. The average American is faced with the inflationary cost of food, gasoline, heating fuel, and many other commodities and Joe Biden is adding millions of mouths for us to feed, house, educate, and provide medical care. Biden is creating a massive welfare state with his illegal open border policy.

How is this flow of illegals impacting folks hereabouts, particularly the Nassau County School System? More about that next week. Let me know if you’ve got a story to tell about this situation.


Democracy At Work: Democrats and their supporters who were gleeful at what they perceived as Republican chaos during the Speaker of the House selection procedure last week will be unpleasantly surprised in the coming weeks.

That messy part of democracy resulted in concessions that were successfully negotiated, ending with California Congressman Kevin McCarthy as the new House Speaker.

Based on the reams of information I’ve shifted through, the conservative Freedom Caucus members successfully negotiated and won a number of major issues, including one that addresses the current border crisis. They are:

  1. Something called “The Texas Border Plan” will be put before Congress. It aims to ‘Complete Physical Border Infrastructure,’ ‘Fix Border Enforcement Policies,’ ‘Enforce our Laws in the Interior’ and ‘Target Cartels & Criminal Organizations.’”
  2. It will only take a single congressperson, to move to remove the Speaker if he goes back on his word or policy agenda.
  3. A  committee will be convened to look into the “weaponization” of the FBI and other government organizations (the CIA, Homeland Security, IRS, etc.)  against the American people.
  4. Funding for 87,000 new IRS agents will be halted and they already voted to stop it. It’s up to the Senate now.
  5. Term limits will be put up for a vote.
  6. Bills presented to Congress will be single subject, not omnibus with all the attendant earmark waste and there will be a 72-hour minimum period enabling elected officials to read them.
  7. Covid mandates will be ended as will all funding for them, including so-called “emergency funding.”
  8. Budget bills would stop the endless increases in the debt ceiling and hold the Senate accountable as well.

I don’t see a single issue to argue about.


Wait! What? The Energy Department recently admitted that the Keystone Pipeline shutdown cost 16,000 jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth. What took them so long? And if they knew it, why did they do it? The incompetence and ineptitude of the Biden administration has no limits.


Who Ya Gonna Call? When residents go to the Fernandina Beach City website to obtain an email address for a City Commissioner, they are directed to a form.

I used the form to send emails to two commissioners. One responded about two days later and I have yet to hear from the other one. In the past the commissioners direct emails were posted on the city site, and I never had an issue sending questions and receiving answers. The print Fernandina Beach News Leader used to post them weekly, but stopped when the new form appeared.

So, I find it odd that in City Manager Dale Martin’s weekly comments letter posted in selected city news outlets, he tells citizens to contact their commissioners by using the following direct email addresses, never mentioning the bureaucratic form on the city’s website.

Here’s how to email the city’s elected officials according to Mr. Martin:

Use these, they are far more effective than the city’s silly form. Even City Manager Martin figured this out


Last Minute Addition: Like me, alert reader Harrison Waller noticed something odd about the site’s most recent poll adding a recent last-minute comment saying: “Dave, someone is manipulating the poll, it has changed dramatically over the past few days. Do you want the newly aligned Fernandina Beach City Commission to embark on a series of budgetary restraints, property tax reductions, budget reductions, hiring freezes, etc,? Yes (50%, 161 Votes) No (50%, 160 Votes)”.

The system is designed so folks can only vote once and I have no way of knowing who votes or how. In the past couple of days the “No” votes jumped from 36% to 50%. Are there really folks out there who want to pay more in property taxes? Are they organized? My guess is it’s a group of city employees and/or supporters of the disgruntled losing Commission candidates.  Any other conjectures? I’d welcome an explanation by any of those folks who voted that they don’t want reduced property taxes, a city hiring freeze, or budgetary restraints. Tell us why.

  • Comment (32)
  • Dave:

    Dan Jenkins wrote close to 30 books during his career at Sports Illustrated. I have always been a big fan of his writing and have read over half of his books (mostly in the 60s and 70s….when I was young enough to better relate to the characters….and I do mean characters). In my working days in NYC I used to see Dan at the bar at Toots Shore’s and PJ Clark’s, which were regular hangouts for NYC athletes. writers and politicians. I would occasionally see him on 6th Avenue as his SI office was in the Time Life Building and my office as only two blocks south on 6th.

    He loved football and golf more than the other sports (as his books show), but I am not sure of his favorite of the two. I would nominate Baja Oklahoma as one of his best and my personal favorite. I have used his analogy many times when discussing Amelia Island. If someone asks how I like living in Florida I say I don’t live in Florida, I live in Baja Georgia!!

      • “The island was then named “Amelia” by the governor of Georgia, King James Version Oglethorpe in 1735 in honor of Princess Amelia, the daughter of King George II.” Dave is not that far off if you think about it…js AND I’m almost positive that this is said in jest. Don’t be so sensitive, Karen…

          • Len Fu? LOL So GA suppressed the vote? Really? On who exactly? Not that the comments above have anything whatsoever to do with GA’s voting record… I literally quoted the Amelia Island Tourism’s website on the history of Amelia Island. Guess they are dipshits too?

  • The Republican-led bill to withdraw the $80B earmarked for IRS funding would result in a loss of $186B in tax revenue according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Want to guess how much that will increase the deficit? Hint: The answer has the words hundred and billions in it. The bill has zero chance of passing the Senate fortunately. But hey, as long as you make Dave and the base he is a part of happy then the waste of taxpayer money spent on the time House Republicans wasted on this is worth it, right? Using your favorite thesaurus, look up the word “stupid” and pick any word of your choosing.

    • Oh no! You mean that the Biden Administration would lose .001% of the $6.4 Trillion total he’s already spent in 2 years? Are we talking about the same CBO that said ObamaCare would “ONLY” cost us $796 billion and currently costs us $1.6 TRILLION per year? How dare this Congress cut such an amazing cash cow?

      • Thanks for cementing my point Fred. The Republicans spent time on crafting and passing a bill that not only amounts to a pittance in terms of cutting costs, but that also has zero chance of passing the Senate. I guess I should take their lead and cut toothpaste from my budget. Think of the savings. Dental bills down the road be damned.

        • So, you’re good with endless, excessive spending and taxation… gotcha Your point is moot in the grand scheme of things and you blowing in out of proportion is just proof of how petty you are and how little your “point” actually matters. I’m pretty sure your dental bills are covered by the government, so if you want to continue to be a toothless know it all. Personal responsibility is lacking in your life anyway… js

          • Glad you got those $1 college words out of your system for now. I do not agree with you, nor have I proven your point at all. Quite the opposite in fact, you just live in your own self indulging dream world, where you can not possibly be wrong and anyone that questions your ideology is by default a dimwit. Did you say the Republican base is shrinking? Weird how that didn’t play out here in our State… Guess the Dems just couldn’t resist putting a dimwit up against the most popular Governor in the Country?

            Your attempts to belittle me fall on deaf ears and are about as useless as you.

          • In addition to your ill-conceived attempts to draw me into strawman arguments, you appear somewhat oblivious to the fact that you’re actually agreeing with me. From my vantage point, you’re picking a fight with yourself. Where in my posts are you extracting the opinion that I’m “good with endless, excessive spending and taxation”? Slow your pulse there and get over your self-manufactured umbrage long enough to recognize that your Republican heroes in the House are doing nothing but dog-whistling to their base and using sleight of hand to make you (and apparently Dave) wag their tails at an impotent bill that does nothing to end excessive spending and taxation. (Apologies to my three dogs for the analogy.) Real spending cuts and cost reduction takes bipartisan commitment and effort and that’s what the Moderate Majority is hoping for from the new Congress. Meanwhile, you (and Dave) can keep bellowing on about nothing constructive while the Democrats persist with unchecked spending and Republicans fight among themselves over a shrinking base of nimwits. Either way, the country loses.

  • The Texas legislature meets every other year for 140 days, allowing members to return home for a full year and bask in the glory of their work or hide from their neighbors. I understand that the U.S. is a big, complicated enterprise, but Texas might have the right idea.

    • I’ll buy Dave’s bus ticket if he’ll move back to Texas. Heck, I’ll charter the whole bus if he’ll take his Trump/DeSantis loving MAGA friends with him

      • Why a bus? Can’t Biden afford a plane ticket like he does for the rest of the illegals pouring over the border? Cheapskate… If Dave were to leave, who would you have to complain about? When are you going to grow those frog legs, so we can roast them?

  • Dave, I suggest you re-word the poll on property taxes etc. As written, it uses hot negative language to describe proposed tax cuts. How about this? “Do you want the newly-elected Fernandina Beach Commission to be more citizen-friendly, business-friendly, and make better use of your tax dollars by cutting taxes and making the city work force more efficient?”

  • The very first member of the Biden Admin to be impeached should be Mayorkas, for not only lying to Congress about the invasion of illegals but more importantly, allowing US citizens to be endangered by unvetted aliens flooding into our sovereign country unchecked. Enough is enough.

  • Y’all need to get on CNN with your families and watch, listen and absorb the words spoken by our President delivering a great, beautiful sermon in honor of MLK. Learn something that you can teach your instead of spending your time reading this garbage.

    • A brain-dead hollow suit reading someone else’s words. And we all know actions speak louder than words, and the actions of this administration all point to a policy of promoting race, sex, gender identity, and gender preference over actual competence and character – the exact opposite of what Dr. King espoused in his “I have a dream” speech.

  • Dear Dave and other new friends. My name is Troy and I just moved to Hilliard from the Tampa Bay area. Great to be amongst like minded Americans! Excuse the shameless plug, but I own PC Express Services which is a new business coming to 474276 State Road 200 (space next door to Goodwill). I think either Dave or someone else has a computer virus. Likely a trojan horse on Dave’s machine. It’s easy to detect and as a service to the community I’ll make a complimentary inspection and fix for anyone that wants to bring their computer to the shop. Paying it forward! I hope to be open for regular business (sales and repair) next week but I’ll be there setting things up all week. Stop on by for a beer, free inspection and intelligent conversation. Woke folk, queers and illegals are not welcome here.

  • Dave, it’s amazing how much your readership has increased, especially since it seems the spiteful sore losers think that by attacking you they will get some satisfaction. Too bad all that does is make them more foolish. They aren’t changing anyone’s minds. Keep up the good work. BTW, I see that Hillbilly Hotdogs have moved into the former Democrat office on 8th Street. I wonder where they will now hand out their non-partisan Minshew signs from.

    • Awww, I have a fan/follower. So sweet of you to notice. LMAO I take it you’re a liberal? or perhaps it’s Coley, hiding behind a pseudonym?


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