This is the time of year the HB Locals clamor for more of the Big Wednesday events. Sarah Long at Duke’s Huntington Beach (I used to work with Sarah at HBCVB-what a sweetheart!), has put together this year’s Big Wednesday line-up at the restaurant near the pier. It’s the best view restaurant in the city of Huntington Beach, actually. Sarah has the world famous Robert August lined up to pour cocktails. Prizes, lifestyle activities, raffles and music are all part of the entertainment at Duke’s Barefoot Bar. They used to have Corky Carroll singing there but I think Corky may have given it up. If you can’t make it, the event will return next Wednesday. This week’s event funds go to Garry Brown, another guy who I used to work with on the board of the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau. Garry’s a super nice guy and his CoastKeeper group promotes ecological, ocean & environment causes.
As always, we’re in stitches during the best deal in all HB, Big Wednesday Surf Cit Comedy Club at Martini Blues. If you’ve never been, you’ll find it hard to imagine they can do this show for free. Top comedians come down from L.A. to perform. This week’s line up has a couple top acts. Then also this Wednesday, stroll over to the Sugar Shack for Kai Weisser’s Lifeguard photo essay book signing. He and his wife will be at Sugar Shack for breakfast. The book costs around $20. Kai is passionate about lifeguarding, as he retired from the Huntington Beach Lifeguard division. He actually sent me a Rip Current poster I’ve been seeking. He has a few appearances upcoming if you miss Sugar Shack.
We posted some sad news stuff that came our way. Marcy, owner of Big Belly Deli that we’ve seen HB locals dining and hanging out at (including the Ali boys who run Zack’s), has lost her young brother-in-law to a heart attack. It happened unexpectedly, and the handsome, loving man left a young wife and two small children behind. A fundraiser will be held at Big Belly Deli to raise funds for the family. Please go or pitch in if you feel it in your heart to do so. The information is on the right-hand column green side panel.
Among our media queries today was discussion with Richard Derk, a travel editor for the Los Angeles Times. I used to be such a fan of Derk back when I worked on a Chicago newspaper and Derk worked there, as well. He is truly a visionary. And he contacted me to purchase my work for a California destination piece. I told him it was an honor to hear from him, not because he was offering to pay (unlike his online counterparts who ask “community contributors” to work for free in the web 2.0 environment), but because it gave me a chance to compliment him on his photography. His work was a source of inspiration when I was just carving my path as a journalist.
As the volleyball AVP Crocs beach event ended, the crowd attendance was pretty low for this event. People just don’t want to pay $20 to watch volleyball…sorry to say, but it’s true. Back when they let everyone in for free, the event was extremely well attended. But frankly, for all the stands and effort to set-up, we’ve never seen the crowds so small. Not even crowds, really. If I were the sponsors such as the liquor company (Cuervo) I would question coming back to Huntington Beach. Speaking of sponsors, I get press releases from a group called Media Ops, or something to that effect. They offered me a free sampling of 1800 Select Silver Tequila a week ago. I said I’d try this special blend and do a report on it. Well, guess what? The liquor was ALL Gone! I joked with the guy out of New York that they must have had it for a Cinco de Mayo party. If I ever get a bottle shipped to me, it is my obligation to sample it and report on its qualities. It says it is 100% Agave. 100 Proof. Sounds OK. Retails for around $35 per bottle.
Flash from the Past Car Show on the Weekend got hot coverage from Chris, a former HB High School District grad who was thanked by the event planners for his extensive coverage. His work is great. Chris keeps us abreast of HB Happenings. Today he did the power walk with the HB Chamber walk group at Central Park. It was led by Mike Grummett who was instructed by the Chamber’s fearless leader, Joyce Riddell, to get each participant to sign a waiver. Mike Grummett is a comedian of sorts. He’s pretty talented at delivering jokes, and on our Chamber trip to China a few years ago, he kept me in stitches. Not everyone laughed, but I thought his dry sense of humor was refreshing. Another power walker, Anita Brace, one of the city’s best tax preparers and consultants, has finished the tax season gleefully and is out walking at Surf City Nights with a group of ladies. I promised I’d get off my duff and go with them but there’s always some excuse. They wander past the Surf City Nights fruit and vegetable stands to shop a little. And Connie Pedenko, who runs Surf City Nights, just won an award with the city for this event’s success. Nevertheless, they still need sponsors. Look for Chili at the Beach upcoming in June. The press release and flyer is posted on www.HBDOWNTOWN.com. If you think there’s not a lot going on in HB, then read this column. We’ll get you up to speed.