The whales

This was the first feature story I wrote, after a couple of concert reviews. I was 18 years old. It was published in the St. Petersburg Times Sunday, Feb. 20, 1977. It’s reproduced here exactly as it was written. MAYPORT – A large school of pilot whales...

‘He was freckled like a spotted dolphin’

It’s only right that this tribute to Fred Neil begins and ends with one of his most beloved and personal songs, “The Dolphins.” With few exceptions, Fred Neil preferred the company of dolphins – sleek, sensitive, majestic mammals of the oceans – over people. The...

Just another day at the beach (2009)

I applied to work as an extra on The Last Song, was accepted, and for 10 hours I did everything asked of me as the Disney cameras followed Miley Cyrus up and down Tybee Beach. Then, without explanation, I was forcibly removed from the set, publicly embarrassed and...
Watching the wheels go round and round

Watching the wheels go round and round

With his pudgy hands shackled in front of him, Mark David Chapman sat at his defense attorney’s table, facing the judge who would decide his fate. Inside the crowded federal courthouse in downtown Manhattan, the man who murdered John Lennon rarely looked up from his...
Lights flicker from the opposite loft

Lights flicker from the opposite loft

On April 20, 1976 I went with some friends to see Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue at the Bayfront Center Arena in St. Petersburg. Still in high school, I hadn’t really “discovered” Dylan yet, although I’d taken a shine to Blood on the Tracks and Desire, his most...

Sibling revelry: Jobsite goes ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’

  It’s a week before opening, and the cast and crew of Dancing at Lughnasa are gathered in the intimate Shimberg Playhouse, one of Jobsite Theatre’s performance venues inside the Straz Theater complex in downtown Tampa. Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa is a drama...