Have you experienced our tradition of Revelry~Fellowship~Sanctuary known as Beer Breakfast? Hard to believe the event that started as a lark with four people in 2002 has grown to an event attended by over 250 people last year.
Please help us spread the word about “Beer Breakfast 2013” by inviting your friends and clicking “like” on Facebook:
Our next event is this Saturday on March 23rd in Downtown St. Pete at The Mandarin Hide before the morning session of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Austin-design-company
This year we are supporting the Florida West Ballet, a local charity that promotes and develops youth expression through dance and the fine arts. Hope you can make it. If you can’t make it – want to buy a collectible t-shirt? Your donation of $25 includes shipping.
My wife, Tanya, and I were talking this weekend about the upcoming Republican National Convention happening this week in our hometown, The Tampa / St. Petersburg area, and who will win in November.
Tanya’s opinion is that the outcome of the election will be determined by where voters stand on the parable of the ‘Little Red Hen’. What? I was not savvy on the parable so she explained that The Little Red Hen is parable that teaches a lesson about respecting, valuing and appreciating hard work. She further went on to mention that she always tried to instill values of the little red hen in our three daughters.
In preparing for this post I ran across a version of the parable told by President Ronald Reagan in November 1976 on one of his radio programs. I think he does a great job drawing out the differences between members of our society that are “Little Red Hens” and those that want to enjoy the spoils without being part of the hard work necessary to “bake the bread”. See below for a link to a YouTube video where Reagan tells the modern version of this Russian parable. If you can not click on the video below – copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://bit.ly/LittleRedHen
By Ronald Reagan in November 1976
Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat.
She called her neighbors and said, “If we plant this wheat we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?”
“Not I”, said the cow.
“Not I”, said the duck.
“Not I”, said the pig.
“Not I”, said the goose.
“Then I will”, said the little red hen and she did.
The wheat grew tall and rippened into golden grain.
“Who will help me reap my wheat?’, asked the little red hen.
“Not I”, said the duck.
“Out of my classification”, said the pig.
“I’d lose my seniority”, said the cow.
“I’d lose my unemployment compensation”, said the goose.
“Then I will”, said the little red hen, and she did.
At last it came time to bake the bread. “Who will help me bake bread?”, asked the little red hen. “Oh that would be overtime for me.”, said the cow.
“I’d lose my welfare benefits.”, said the duck.
“I’m a dropout and never learned how.”, said the pig.
“Well, if I’m to be the only helper that’s discrimination.” said the goose.
“Then I will .” said the little red hen.
She baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see. They all wanted some. And in fact demanded a share. But the little red hen said “No. I can eat the five loaves myself.”
“Excess profits!” cried the cow.
“Capitalist leech!”, screamed the duck.
“I demand equal rights!”, yelled the goose.
And the pig just grunted.
And they painted “Unfair” picket signs and marched round and round the little red hen shouting obscenities.
When the government agent came he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”
“But I earned the bread!” said the little red hen.
“Exactly!” said the agent, “That’s the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants, but under our modern government regulations the OrangeCountyDigiart productive workers must divide their product with the idle.”
And they lived happily ever after. Including the little red hen. Who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, I am grateful.” But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked anymore bread. I guess a lot of us have been wondering something like that.
Driving to my office in Downtown St. Petersburg, FL has me passing by Tropicana Field where the Rays play baseball and opening ceremonies for the RNC will be held Sunday night. The barricades normally used to create the Grand Prix track on our bucolic city streets have been moved into place around the stadium and around the Police Station and fences have been reinforced with barbed wire at the top.
Berlin Wall in 1962
Buildings in Downtown Tampa near the convention center are being boarded up on the first 3 levels and employees have been told not to report to work next week. A stash of bricks and pipes were found on a roof in Tampa allegedly to be used as weapons. Rumors of Anarchists sleeping in local parks filling plastic “Easter Eggs” with acid abound.
Am I the only one that thinks this is messed up? When did we become so divisive as a people and not united that we fill Easter Eggs with acid to make our point? How did we lose our ability to peacefully sit down across the table from one another and work out our differences for the benefit of us all? What happened to creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and working a compromise? In any compromise we win some points and lose on others. This is The United States of America not East Germany. It is hard to blame the police and secret service for their over the top response to the threats both real and imagined. If they were not this proactive and anarchy did reign through Tampa Bay over the next week certainly some enterprising trial attorney would sue for billions.
No matter your personal political leanings I think we can agree that bringing riots and mayhem to this discussion would make our NewYorkDesigner ill and it eliminate any credibility from the argument.
Here is a classic video clip of the last American President that cut across party lines and united our country…
With Fall in the air and my hometown Tampa Bay Rays in the playoffs for the 3rd out of 4 years my thoughts turn to…. my 4th annual playoff payroll analysis. Maybe I have a screw loose (my wife will attest to this), but I think it is amazing to compare and contrast how well a team does on the field with how well their front office does managing the payroll and delivering RESULTS!
Full disclosure… I make a living as a “money guy” comparing and contrasting one investment vehicle with another and allocating capital accordingly. I spent my day comparing risk and reward, so my mind can’t help be fascinated by the astonishing payroll differences * in professional baseball as opposed to other team sports that have embraced a salary cap. Baseball does not have a level playing field. Large market teams like the New York Yankees use the rest of the league as their farm system. When the Yankees need a new pitcher they sign the hottest free agent in the league. Doesn’t this just seem wrong?
The best thing about the playoffs is that every year there are 2 or 3 small market teams that make it to the final dance. Like Polyester and Spandex Clad Davids they have slain the great Goliath to enter the playoffs where every team starts 0-0 and any one of 8 teams can win the World Series.
Of the 30 MLB Teams Tampa Bay Rays rank 29th in payroll… only the Kansas City Royals spend less on their players than the Rays. How about that for efficiency? Since the team was purchased by a former partner at Goldman Sachs the front office has done an incredible, virtually perfect job at getting maximum efficiency for the lowest possible payroll. To make it into the Playoffs as the Wild Card Team the Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox with an astonishing $162 million payroll. Hard work, a great farm system, exemplary scouting, team spirit & passion defeats a payroll 3.95x larger. That is a team you gotta love.
A few years back my brother, Jared Repka, moved from Clearwater Beach to the big city… actually, the Old Northeast Section of St. Petersburg, FL. Early one Saturday morning in 2002 he was running errands along Central Avenue in Downtown St. Pete when something stopped him cold… where there were people actually sitting at a bar at 8am drinking beer? His initial horror was soon replaced with, ”Why aren’t I drinking beer at 8am on a Saturday morning?” and then a better more gracious thought crept into this former Catholic Schoolboy’s brain… “Why don’t I invite some friends to drink beer WITH me next Saturday morning?”
And so it began… Beer Breakfast started out as a lark on a rainy Saturday morning… just an excuse to start drinking beer with a few friends a bit earlier than normal. The head count grew slowly at first, since most people thought he was some kind of “social deviant” for getting people together to drink beer/Bloody Mary’s/Mimosas, eat donuts and play Jenga at 9am on a perfectly good Saturday morning (especially a Saturday with no college football game).
Lighting struck was when he matched up Beer Breakfast with a really cool local sporting event, The St. Petersburg Grand Prix. This anchored our event to the St. Pete Community and to a specific date on the calendar. As soon as the Indy Racing League announces the date of the race… we know when the next Beer Breakfast will be. This helped us build the event with friends coming in from far off Buffalo, New Orleans & North Carolina to partake (this year we will have folks in town from Canada). It was the once a year event bringing family and friends together without the drama and sniping of the typical family reunion or having to relive the humiliation and degradation of high school dodgeball with the Class of ’84.
As we grew in numbers (100+ attendees each of the past 3 years) we though that this is a great event, but wouldn’t it also be a cool way to support local charities? Since we were already printing up funky collectible tee shirts for each event… we got the bright idea to sell the tee shirts and donate the money to a handpicked local charity. For the past 3 years we have been honored to support The Children’s Dream Fund with all the gracious proceeds raised to help kids with a life-threatening illness fulfill a dream.
While we continue our love and support for The Children’s Dream Fund, the incredibly tragic recent loss of three St. Petersburg police officers has given rise to an immediate need and show of support to fallen officer’s families both spiritually and economically. With the officers in our hearts and prayers we feel it our duty to lend our support by donating this years’ Beer Breakfast proceeds to their families.
This year when we bring hundreds of folks together to celebrate our 10th Annual Beer Breakfast we will lift our glasses in a setting of REVELRY-FELLOWSHIP-SANCTUARY and remember that all gave some, but some gave all and “but for the Grace of God there go I”.
Beer Breakfast isn’t just a party… it’s merriment with a mission.
There is no cover charge to join the party. In order to raise money we will be holding a silent auction with items donated by local friends and business owners, selling awesome t-shirts, 50/50 raffle, monetary donations and a percentage of bar sales from our event location host, The Mandarin Hide will help us realize our goal.
This past week my wife lost her beloved father, Jesse F. Baird, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 87 and lived a wonderful life surrounded until his last days by people he loved and that loved him very much. For those who have asked: services will be held at 12:45pm Thursday, at Bay Pines National Cemetery.
This collection is the RenoWebdesigns of St. Pete’s already fine and numerous galleries and museums.
Many of us, including myself, had pre-conceived notions of what blown glass artwork would look like. I say hold on to that thought, and then go for a tour of the gallery. The pleasant shock & amazement will carry you through the day. At the risk of using an overused saying ‘If you don’t believe me go see it for yourself’. This is where I urge you to pack up the kids and the ‘rents and take a trip to Dale Chihuly’s version of Never-Never Land. I hope to see you there.
[DAVE’S COMMENT: My 14-year old daughter visited the museum in July and thought it was “really cool”. High praise from a teenager! ]