Island Issues

No! We Are Not “All In This Together” — Unless You’re A Policeman, Doctor, Fireman Or Nurse

No! We Are Not “All In This Together” — Unless You’re A Policeman, Doctor, Fireman Or Nurse

Whenever I hear the folks on the public address system at the local Publix grocery store warn shoppers to “Shop smart, stand six-feet apart – we’re all in this together,” I want to conk them with one of their bowling ball-hard tomatoes.

That insipid cliché needs to be sanitized, ostracized, and vaporized.

Unless we all work in medicine, as police officers, firefighters, or some other essential occupation we’re not “all in this together.” How many of these indispensable workers scrambling to protect local citizens and worrying about catching this plague come home and exclaim to their family and friends who have been binge watching TV and chugging six-packs all day say: “We’re all in this together!”?

Most of us don’t have a dog in this fight the way those essential workers do.

I could boast that I’m slaving away in a laboratory wearing a bulky air-tight hazmat suit scrambling to create a vaccine for this Chinese Bat Soup Flu. But I’m not.

I spend my days at home writing this silliness; researching, writing, and distributing publicity material for an occasional client; reading books, magazines, newspapers, the backs of cereal boxes; chatting with Linda; minimally exercising; watching and listening to news reports and an occasional movie, and waiting for happy hour so I can socially distance myself from my local pals over a few cold beers.

My days are an endless loop of nonessential activity. Except happy hour, which I consider essential due to my need for social capital to sustain my sanity. Because of technology many of us have discovered that much can be accomplished without leaving the house – medical exams, teaching, useless meetings, gambling, etc. Happy hour isn’t on the list.

Spout the banal “We’re all in this together” cliché to an unemployed hospitality worker hereabouts including servers, dish washers, line cooks, housekeepers, busboys, shop keepers, etc. then step back and await their response. You won’t need a face mask, you’ll need bandages.

Most of us have no right to chant the hackneyed cliché: “We’re all in this together”, because we’re not. Clichés won’t help those in unfortunate positions who are unable to visit hospitalized family members, funerals of loved ones, gather for worship services, pay the rent, or wonder how they are going to feed their families.

If you are healthy, still have an income, and can pay the bills you’re not in this all together. You’re fortunate.

Most of us are only all in this all together when we toast to our combined good fortune at happy hour and wonder why we haven’t seen our old pal Fred for the past couple of weeks.


News Leader Funnies: The local biweekly News Leader doesn’t have a comics section, but once a year it produces what it calls the “Best of the Best”, an advertising supplement that brings a few chuckles to this reader.

Each year the newspaper prints a full-page ballot asking its readers to “vote” on local businesses they think provide superior services or products, ranging from restaurants and bars to barbers and art galleries, among others. The paper asks its readers to fill out at least 75 percent of the ballot, rip it out, stuff it in an envelope, address it,  stamp it, then mail it back to them. How many of us are willing to do that?

The paper tallies the results and prints a glossy full color advertising supplement with photos of the winners holding up a plaque given to them by the newspaper. The photo and plaque are free. The ad isn’t.

Last year’s most puzzling winner was “Best All-Around Restaurant”. It went to national chain outlet Chili’s in Yulee. This area boasts some incredibly superior eateries. Chili’s isn’t one of them. We host the Ritz Carlton’s award-winning Salt, Pogo’s, Baxter’s, Lagniappe, Veranda, Espana, David’s, Le Clos, Joe’s 2nd Street Bistro, Burlingame’s, Café Karibo, Crab Trap, and more. How the heck did the chain formula recipe Chili’s make the cut when it’s barely a notch above McDonald’s, Burger King and Krystal?

I can only think Chili’s employees were incentivized to stuff the ballot box or the chain promised to buy a pricey ad. They were skunked this year because the best “All-Around Restaurant” award went to downtown’s Wicked Bao, a delightfully funky North 2nd Street Asian-inspired joint. Where is it? They didn’t buy an ad folks,  so you’re on your own finding that information.

Fernandina Beach’s “It looks like an airplane airport terminal.”

My favorite category winner this year was “Best Airport.” Unless there’s something I’ve missed, the choices are extremely limited. It ran unopposed as there is only one airport in Nassau County, the one with a $4.5 million tax payer funded “it looks like an airplane terminal.” It was a slam dunk!

The Best Barbershop went to — wait for it — Amelia’s Best Barbershop. I have no idea where Amelia’s Best Barbershop is because they also didn’t take an ad proclaiming their gratitude, address, phone number or any other contact information, just the newspaper’s photo of a nameless pretty blonde holding up her plaque.  No ad, no publicity! If you want to know where the Best Antique Shop, Best Bar/Lounge or Nightclub; Best Chicken Wings; Best Mexican Restaurant, or many other of the reader’s “Best’s” are located too bad.  They didn’t buy ads either so no dice!

Last year the ocean-front Sandbar & Restaurant at Main Beach took the honors for “Best restaurant with a view”. This year downtown’s Salty Pelican overlooking the Amelia River won that award. I like both places and both have nice views. But those views are the same this year as they were last year, nothing has changed. What’s up with that? It’s all so confusing.

The choice for “Best Dentist” didn’t go to a particular dentist but to an outfit named Amelia Dental Group. The supplement’s photo with the plaque announcing the award contained 29 Amelia Dental Group people who didn’t display their gleaming white teeth. They were all wearing face masks. Their paid-for ad contained four unidentified folks standing in front of a small lake holding up their plaque, none of them wearing face masks. But it did include their phone number, address and email information.

Another interesting category is “Best Church”. Downtown’s Centre Street Memorial United Methodist Church nabbed first place this year. And, yes, it bought an ad. I don’t recall last year’s winner but suspect that not many of the area’s Catholics or numerous Baptists cast votes for their Methodist brethren. What about area Jews or Muslims.? Do their votes count? Next year my money’s on the Jehovah Witnesses, they’re really good at canvassing door-to-door to get out the vote.

And why wasn’t there a category for Best Newspaper? Would the News Wrecker qualify?


“Dear Mother Jones if you have any openings…..”

More News Leader News: Peg Davis, the self-described far-left editor of the local biweekly print News Leader newspaper, announced on the editorial page this past Wednesday that she’ll be leaving her job there this coming October.

Not too many of the folks in my circle of friends will mourn this liberal woman’s departure. However, we are wondering where the paper will go for a replacement. She didn’t mention who her successor might be or where he or she may come from and its Publisher, Foy Maloy, was silent as were the owners of the Athens, Georgia-based chain of Community Newspapers which owns the News Leader.  Hopefully, the paper, which is appropriately moving its operations from downtown Ash Street to the former Kelley PEST Control site at Lime and South 10th Street, will recruit an editor who understands “balanced” news coverage and editorial page content.

I would think that a newspaper that resides in a community that registers more than 70 percent Republican voters might want to provide editorial subject matter that provides more than a constant barrage of left-wing bashing of conservative viewpoints. How about at least a 50-50 compromise? Since it appears the paper is hemorrhaging advertisers and subscribers, news and editorial sections that reflect the mindset of all of its residents would be a logical move. If it weren’t for the paid “legal notices” this paper would probably have ceased to exist long ago.

From my viewpoint here’s a few things the new editor might want to consider: A reporter with the fortunate name of Julia Roberts appears to cover all major news events and writes the majority of news items. She carries the bulk of the news load and does a good job. Columnist and local financial analyst, Steve Nicklas, who once served as the paper’s editor a number of years ago, is a solid political and business observer and an excellent writer. Pat Foster-Turley’s weekly column involves bugs, lizards, water creatures and other local nature subjects and she does a heck of a good job of writing about such stuff. Charter boat Captain Terry Lacoss writes about outdoors stuff — mostly fishing — a subject about which I have little interest, but I read because his writing is so darn good. And Sports Editor Beth Jones does an admirable job of covering local athletic events and making sure photos of all the kids and grandkids are included so mom and dad can buy extra copies to send to proud grannies, granddads, uncles, aunts, etc.

Dump the column penned by Ron “Get Off My Lawn You Little Bastards” Sapp, the town’s local curmudgeon and progressive high school indoctrinator. He adds nothing to the paper but nostalgia for 1955 and “how it was better here before all these strange people moved in.” Dickie Anderson? I have no idea what this lady’s word jumble is about and have never once been able to finish reading one of her “cure for insomnia” columns without nodding off. And never allow contributor Robert Weintraub to get another word into print in this newspaper. He’s the unhinged old lunatic and former neighbor who publicly threatened to shoot me and Linda because we plopped a congratulatory Trump sign in our yard following the 2016 election.

It’ll be interesting to see what direction the paper takes without the very liberal Ms. Davis as editor.


BLM: Black Lies Mostly: Joe Biden’s VP choice, Kamala Harris, says she’s African American. Her mother is from India and her father from Jamaica. She as much African American as Elizabeth Warren is a Cherokee Indian. Does it bother anyone in the Democrat party that Biden’s VP candidate was chosen for skin color and gender rather than character?


Dumb & Dumber: A Michigan State University professor proves how insipidly stupid she and many of her university peers are when she asked students to consider “unconscious bias” when they are video conferencing. MSU Professor Amy Bonomi says a male-female wedding photo in the background “unintentionally reinforces the idea that marriage is most fitting between opposite sexes.” I’d be terrified to have a son or daughter of mine indoctrinated by one of these morons who say little boys can be little girls if they want to and vice versa. When we ask “How stupid can they get?” these people take it as a challenge.


Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch: A well-informed local who knows more than most about marinas and such stuff sent me an email yesterday as follows: “Dave, a few days ago I was talking with a former neighbor in Fairfax and told him about our little city marina. He works for the Navy involved in logistics and maintenance.”

“After I described things, he said: ‘Now don’t take offense, but it sounds like what you have is a gas station with an attached parking lot—fill up your vehicle, park it, and stroll downtown for dinner. Sleep in your vehicle and drive off next morning. Where is the magic in that?’

“He asked: ‘Why did the city spend $12 million for a gas station?’”

“I did not have an answer.”


Anarchists Aid Trump: The longer the rioting, arson, killings, and looting go on in Chicago, Portland, New York, Seattle, etc. the better for Trump and Republicans.

To win in a landslide all the Trump campaign needs to do is run ads with the videos of the riots, a mayor saying it is attempted murder, surveillance tapes showing a black guy shooting someone in broad daylight in NYC recently, an elderly lady with a walker being doused in paint, rock throwing, fire-setting morons, etc.  The tag line should be: “Coming soon to your neighborhood thanks to Democrats.” Tell the nice suburban women: “Go ahead and defund the police, this is the result.”

They might also want to run a clip of the New York Attorney General Letitia James announcing a suit to dissolve the National Rifle Association. The Democrat Party’s message is loud and clear: “We won’t let local governments protect you and we’ll stop you from protecting yourself.” At this point I would think any reasonably sane person would be ashamed to admit being a Democrat much less vote for one.

And how is it that NY AG James can squander tax payer money in an attempt to drive a legal enterprise out of existence, but hasn’t made a move to prosecute Black Lives Matter or Antifa in spite of the fact that both groups have constantly violated the laws of New York for the past several months?


More Democrat Mayhem: The mayhem taking place in Democrat controlled cities and states has taken a major toll on police departments in those liberal hellholes.

Not only have scores of police officers been killed and severely injured, but many are throwing in the towel and calling it quits. Faced with outrageous budget cuts and a lack of support from their Democrat-controlled city and state elected officials, police chiefs in many major cities such as Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Louisville, and others have resigned. New York is seeing a record number of retirements of regular cops as are other cities. Most Democrat controlled cities find recruiting new officers almost impossible.

If you want to live in a lawless society reminiscent of the worst of the old west then vote the Biden-Harris ticket. They have not condemned the lawlessness or those encouraging, financing, and committing the criminal acts. Far from it. They’re cheerleading it.


Bet The Farm: As the election gets closer and if you can find favorable odds, place your entire net worth on Donald Trump to win. If Biden wins you’ll be wiped out anyway.


Don’t Forget To Vote: I’ve had a number of people email and ask me for my recommendations in the in the local Republican primary. Following are the candidates that get my vote: U.S. Congress District 4,  John Rutherford;  Superintendent of Schools, Kathy Burns; Supervisor of Elections, Justin Taylor; County Commissioner District 1, John Martin; County Commissioner District 3, Jeff Gray; County Commissioner District 5, Anthony Stamps; Ocean Highway & Port Authority District 1, Todd Ericksen; Ocean Highway & Port Authority District 2, Danny Fullwood; County Judge Group 1, Harrison Poole; School Board member District 4, Russell Johnson.


I’m Not Making This Up Department: Feminist author Katha Pollitt, writing about sexual-assault charges against Joe Biden, proves how distorted and warped the Democrat mindset is when she said that she would vote for Biden over Trump even “if he boiled babies and ate them.”


Trump Volunteers Wanted:  Amanda Borghese, an exceptionally nice lady I met at a “We The People” event recently told me that she was opening a “Trump Victory Office” on Amelia Island and was seeking volunteers. The office, which opens next week, is located in the Amelia Executive Suites at 5422 First Coast Highway. The phone will be connected next week as well but Ms. Borghese can be contacted currently at Folks that want to assist with President Trump’s campaign efforts can click on the following link for a “Volunteer Form”.  Susan Koehler – Co-Manager of the office – and Ms. Borghese will follow up with phone calls. Click on


Bungling Biden: Joe Biden remains mostly hidden in his basement and it is very apparent to most folks why he is not allowed out on his own. The mainstream media doesn’t cover any of his rambling gaffes while at the same time Facebook is denying Trump advertising time. However, most reasonably intelligent folks understand that in spite of the press and social media that Joe Biden is an idiot who should only be allowed inside the White House as part of a tour group. The debates will be a disaster for Biden.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Coastal Pizza owner Tom Demaro’s popular eatery just across the bridge in Yulee has closed its doors and he has opened his bigger and more elaborate joint in the old Beef O’Brady’s site at 1916 South 14th Street the corner of South 14th St. and Sadler in the Publix shopping center.  Tom will not only feature his popular pizzas, wings, subs, pastas, wine, beer and more but will be adding a very tasty muffuletta to the menu. Since The Surf stopped selling this delicious New Orleans style sandwich more than a year ago North 3rd Street’s Café Karibo added a popular one, but only offers it sporadically. Coastal’s bar will seat about 14 folks and has table seating for many, many more even with social distancing.  I’m still trying to get the opening and closing times, etc. and as soon as I do I’ll post them. A decent hot dog is difficult to find hereabouts even at the grocery stores. Most are tasteless, mushy tubes of mush that don’t fill the bun. However, PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden, at 12 South 2nd Street, which just started selling food a couple of weeks ago, offers one of the tastiest hot dogs I’ve ever bitten into anywhere. It’s a whopping quarter pounder with a spicy bite that sticks out of both ends of the bun and pops when you bite into it. It’s definitely the best tasting hot dog anywhere on the island and comes with chips and a variety of condiments for just $5.00. I can’t imagine eating a hot dog without sauerkraut and it or chili can be added for an additional 50 cent charge. Wednesday evening used to be wing night at PJD’s for me and my pals, but since he now serves food, my buddies and I will start chowing down on his panini’s and hot dogs along with our suds at the joint’s outdoor back table during our Wednesday evening happy hour gatherings.


tony crawford - 19. Aug, 2020 -

David, sorry for the delay in responding. I have been too busy watching Michelle surgically castrate President Trump. I will indeed work on my brevity. I will do it when you work on your facts. Both however may take a long time. Keep up the good work and be sure to watch Barack tonight finish what Michelle started. Enjoy and get the popcorn out

John Goshco - 17. Aug, 2020 -

If you live on the west side of the county, your “Best Airport” might be the (public) Hilliard Airpark. I haven’t visited, but it appears to have no terminal. In the best traditions of a country airport, it has a 3600 foot grass-covered runway.

Closer to home is the (private) Nassau Baptist Temple Field, just a couple of blocks north of Davis Chrysler in Yulee. I haven’t seen any planes landing there in years, but there are, apparently, 18 aircraft based there. It’s a nice rural neighborhood, where many of the houses are smaller than the attached hangers. Last time I visited, the 3100 ft asphalt runway was in rough condition.

A bit further west is the (private) Flying-A-Ranch airport at the south end of Miner Road in Yulee. The 2000 foot grass-covered runway is home to a number of aircraft owned by nearby property owners. I recall there was an airplane crash in the area around 5-6 years ago.

Susanne Brisach - 15. Aug, 2020 -

Best statement in this week’s column: “Bet the Farm”!!!!!

NEIL BORUM - 14. Aug, 2020 -

Hey Dave, My personal opinion is that “Sleepy Joe” offered the VP slot because …he knew he was going to lose. It’s “payback time” for her attacks in the democratic primary debates.

Charlie - 14. Aug, 2020 -

IF Coastal Pizza picks up where Beef O Brady’s left off… Great nightly specials and realistic beer prices, I’ll be a regular customer… If they charge tourist prices like most of the places do, I’ll just sit on the back of my boat, fish, and buy beer at Publix… The local market is there for the taking…

Bil Shaffer - 14. Aug, 2020 -

H.L. Mencken — “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people,”

Patrick J. Keogh - 14. Aug, 2020 -

You are such a sexist! A “nameless pretty blond”, indeed. That happens to be my barber, Colleen Angel, Amelia’s Best Barber and proprietor of Amelia’s Best Barbershop right across the street from Burger King. My bet is Colleen did not buy the expensive ad because she is saving her money so she can continue to offer seniors and vets her generous discount on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maybe I can talk Colleen into offering a MAGA hat discount on those days too.

Dave Lott - 14. Aug, 2020 -

A couple of notes: it’s Pat Foster-Turley.
T-Ray’s serves a nice hot dog but think the only addition is delicious coleslaw – no kraut.
Terminal building at the airport did not involve any city property tax dollars. All funded by grants from the FAA/FDOT and the airport financially is self-sufficient.
You didn’t include your selections for the 3 city commission races. Who are they?
Stay well!

Tom Yankus - 14. Aug, 2020 -

Why do I think Socialism when I hear at Publix…”We are all in this together?”
No. We ‘all’ are NOT!

Tony Crawford - 14. Aug, 2020 -

Dave , I too wish they would reopen bars and establish happy hour. It appears you are definitely going through some sort of withdrawal based on some of You’re thinking.
I hate to be the one to break the news to you but “we all are in this together”. Actually, the brave police, fireman, and our entire medical community wouldn’t be in the position they are in due to the pandemic if we realized as Americans, better yet patriotic Americans,
that “we are all in this together” .
Joe Biden, has a large enough set, to recommend that each governor put a mandate on mask wearing.
I find it sadly amusing that President Trump’s own task force recommends pretty much everything Biden recommends but yet President Trump goes against it and sadly convinces enough people that this is still a hoax.
I’m sure you realize so far we have just about tripled the number of deaths, that we had in the Vietnam war. at the rate we’re going within a year we could sadly say we have hit the number of deaths that we had in world war II.
Can you imagine for a moment, just a moment. if during Vietnam or World War II all the public had to do was wear a mask and many of those men and women could have been saved.
What do you think, you think people would have worn a mask and saved their fellow Americans and spared their families The unimaginable grief they felt?
I really enjoyed the part about Biden and his ramblings. Speaking of ramblings I’m still doing research on exactly where the airports were during the revolutionary war and doing a survey of all my friends and family to see if they flushed their toilets 15 times. I will be the first to get back to you when I get the exact facts on that one.
The best part of my week is when the President of the United States said that Joe Biden ” hurts God”.
One only has to wonder, how low somebody can go to convince his base who are good Christian people that another human being can hurt God. Those words basically go against every philosophy of Christianity. We don’t have to like Biden, but that man, like any other man or women, should never have his religion questioned .
I was under the impression from 1st grade history that the President of the United States was the President of all Americans. We have a large Asian American population. Since the day President Trump label this the “Chinese flu” attacks on Asian Americans drastically increased”. It’s sad, frankly embarrassing to good honest people who support President Trump to have his words taken by some and used against our Asian Americans. That is truly promoting mob mentality and every patriotic American who supports Trump should be ashamed of that labeling.
Enjoy the weekend. If we all come to the realization that ” we all are in this together” we will get through this, get back to our local saloons. and get some sort of normality back in our life.
Have a great weekend. Enjoy the weather, the beach, and get as many people out there to vote. Don’t forget to wear your mask.
Thanks Dave

David Scott - 14. Aug, 2020 -

Tony, as usual I always welcome your comments. However, to be more effective you might want to look up the author William Zinsser, as brevity is not your strong suit.

bobby carter - 14. Aug, 2020 -

I’m taking bets that Biden doesn’t show up for the debates.

Nip Galphin - 14. Aug, 2020 -

Hey Dave, I thought I was the only one irritated by continually hearing the
“we’re all in this together cliche’.

Mark Harrison - 14. Aug, 2020 -

Thanks Dave! I hope they have the debates this year. I’ve already seen “sophisticated” reasons why debates aren’t needed anymore – a relic of times gone by. This should be a long three months until the election! Be safe!