On Monday, November 24, I was invited to do a photo shoot with the marvelous Billy Rice and Kara Nally at the Swordfish Grill and Tiki restaurant on the water in Cortez. Surrounded by old time fishing village vibe, working boats and marina, I was taken back to my childhood, growing up on Siesta Key. I love the smell of brine, diesel and fish. Here we were to meet with the photographer, Vicky Sullivan. Vicky is special, she’s a dear friend of mine who later in life is finding that she has a superb eye, and can capture that elusive magic moment in her photos. We are here to do a photo shoot for Sande Caplin and Associates, because they are the Web Designers of all of our fantastic websites. Mine is www.TwinkleRockSoulRadio.com, if you care to check out their work.
As the team collects itself around the table, a fog starts to roll in, a very unusual fog. It is the kind of fog in horror movies, my fav being “The Fog.” The aptly named horror about a fog carrying the ghosts of some pirates who come to revenge kill certain families on an island, I like both the one from the 80’s and the new remake with that kid who was superman in that show….anyway, I digress. So, Vicky and I decide to scout around for some good shooting spots. I happily adventure down to the dock and Vicky finds cool angles, figures her lighting etc. Well, two strange things happened. The fog got really weird, cool, and a family of white pelicans, a whole bunch of white pelicans come floating close to us. Now, I’ve lived here for close to fifty years and have never seen a white pelican. I thought we were looking at swans at first…. So beautiful. We do the shoot, we get the awesome group shots and individual shots, all of us enjoying the time together. And then we are invited to wrap up at the Flying Dog where dinner by Melissa Weaver (Bite Into This) will be served.
At first as we all collect at the restaurant, we see that the dance floor has been covered with a huge table all decked out in linens and candles, lovely. The Dog was quiet but then quickly everyone falls into the rhythm of conversation, I play my new song I’d recorded that day (Trials and Tribulations) for Vicky on headphones and she dutifully likes it. We are served awesome smoked fish spread and chutney appetizers which I loved and ate most of them. Then, ‘Dinner is Served.’ Yay!
Great food, Melissa made a wonderful meal for us, stuffed flounder, baked fresh ham….. all delicious, but her brussel sprouts were ridiculously good. Slightly sweet, with pistachios? Wonderful. All topped off with an actual, bona fide, homemade chocolate cake. I don’t think I’ve tasted a real cake in decades, and this one was dark, not too sweet, perfect.
As we sit and digest, Billy Rice magically pulls out a guitar (from where?) and starts playing a song. His songs are great, concise, real, well crafted. He’s a veteran performer who is so at ease playing for you and looks you right in the eye, smiling. Fantastic. He graciously shares his guitar with me and I played a couple and then Kara and Jeremy Egglefield, and Carolyn Davis, then back to Billy. It just was wonderful….. like a songwriter in the round. Stories and music go hand in hand, and we were all sharing and entertaining each other, it was great. Then Vicky got the confirmation that she had been given a press pass to be a photog at the Macy’s day parade for The Sarasota Post, wow. What a cool night filled with Fog, White Pelicans, Brussel Sprouts, Boats, Music and Stories. It’s a great way to live, I highly recommend it.
P.S. This inspired me to do a songwriter in the round at the Flying Dog soon. It’s a wonderful way to bring players together, so I will keep you updated.
Sarasota Post note: Thank you to Melissa Weaver, Amber Murphy, Sharon Dolan Meier, James Newton Billy Rice, Kara Nally, Jeremy Egglefield, Carolyn Davis, Bruce Famiglio (and his lovely twin daughters!), Tony LeClerc, Twinkle Yochim and Vicky Sullivan for making this a night to remember.
All Photos by Vicky Sullivan, Rock The Lens