As many tourists enjoy our beautiful beaches, some locals pull out the rod and reel.
Hunter Ray caught a 150-pound tarpon during his now-annual fishing trip to Boca Grande. The fishing there is fast-paced and intense with more than 100 boats fishing in a group at sunrise. This was Hunter's first tarpon and a great way to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, said his proud wife Jami.
Peggy Sue Mullen's grandson, Brandon Schulenberg, 3, won first place for 8-and-under boys for the longest fish at the annual Bill Dowdle Fishing Rodeo last Saturday at Sandestin. He caught a 19-inch bass. Brandon was visiting from Franklin, Tenn.
In another wildlife vein, I came across what appeared to be a good-sized corn snake in Gulf Place subdivision Monday morning.
Byron Chism says after 15 years of competing in barbecue competitions he is moving on from his Butt Rub competitions to other opportunities and is now doing promotional and endorsement deals like judging events, mentoring some international teams and he has started producing instructional videos. He has made four at present. He says Butt Rub is reaching new heights with all major grocery stores in the Southeast now that Publix is on board. He was returning champion (winner of the inaugural event) and asked to judge this year at the Tony Stone Championship in Amsterdam where 18 countries were represented.
Tom Fillingim is back from the Indy 500, where he encountered quite a few big names. While in the gym he encountered "big" Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Chip Ganassi (Target team owner), Jimmy Vasser (winning team owner), the Andrettis, drivers past and present — and Sarah and Todd Palin were in the bar with them. But the race was the cap to the weekend festivities and was a really good one, he said.
Peggy Sue Mullen of Sandestin had her picture taken with Charles (Chip) Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne on the TV show "Nashville" recently at the Vince Gill (Vinny) Golf Tournament at The Golf Club of Nashville.
Jim and Barbara Marasia of Sandestin just returned from a week of hiking in Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park in Southwest Utah. They logged more than 30 miles of hiking during their week on the trail. "The scenery was spectacular but we are glad to be home on our beautiful Gulf Coast," said Jim.
Helen and John Barnhart are attending Helen's 50th college reunion at Keene State College in Keene, N. H., and then on to visit relatives. Helen is looking forward to catching up on old times with her fellow college classmates.
Madra and Phil McDonald are back from New York City. While there they visited Anne Hunter in Soho.
Keith and RoseAnn Knight hosted their son Ken and his family from Atlanta last week before leaving for the mountains of North Georgia.
Ray and Martha Jones are attending a granddaughter's high school graduation in Oklahoma.
Peter and Stephanie Burke enjoyed a visit with her parents in Louisiana.
Jane Burns and Kris Johnson visited Seattle.
Lisa Webster went to Pittsburg.
Nancy Cottle went to Boca.
Barbara Rowan went to Guntersville.
Ellen Miller hosted a "glass of wine to celebrate summertime" party for some of her Gulf Place neighbors last Thursday. Melinda McWilliams, Mary Tidwell, Sharon Thompson, Carol Stovsky, Elizabeth Montgomery, Ann Melancom, Carla Ravarino, Cheryl Freeze, Emily Springer, Lorene Gruzdis, and Michelle Fillingim attended.
I enjoyed lunch at The Vue last Friday with two lovely women: Peggy Lillie and Beverly Schmitt. We celebrated Peggy's birthday.
I enjoyed seeing Mona and Kevin Howard at the pool over the weekend, and their three little stair-step boys. So cute! Sharon Thompson and John Stasko were there also.
30A Kitchen Studio hosted a ribbon cutting last Thursday with good eats by Barefoot BBQ, wine, beer, and Kyle LaMonica performing. Jami Ray attended.
Tim Jackson and Ike from Old Florida Fish House began playing last weekend at Marie’s Bistro on 30A in Blue Mountain Beach. They will perform on a regular basis starting at 8:30 p.m.
I hear that Redd the singing bartender has bought the former Sally's Backside and will reopen as Redd's Fueling Station.
I also hear there is a new project underway for artists. It is a website designed to help people find local artists and galleries. It's www.artistsof30a.com and www.artistsofsouthwalton.com. Sounds like a great tool.
Wish a "happy birthday" on Sunday to PR lady Kay Phelan.
Monday to Gina Shiflett.
Tuesday to Lisa Webster.
Wednesday to Mark Northcutt.
Thursday to Roy Kleindolph, Jimbo Holloway, and T.J. Brooks.
And Friday to Kim Duke-Leyden.
Deborah Wheeler is the arts and entertainment reporter for The Walton Sun. She may be reached at 654-8443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Party Line Column appears weekly in The Sun. Contributions are accepted.