The Test of Time

The Best of the Best

No greater group of servers ever graced this universe.

Pictured here is one of the greatest assembly of servers in the history of fine dining. I’ve often compared this picture to that of an elite professional baseball team from the past. It has all the essential characteristics (including a few members of legendary stature) that you might find in one of those classic team shots on an old baseball card or in a collectible program guide.  Tonight, one of those legends, Joe Roman, joins many of his former teammates, including my father, Miguel, at that big 5 Star Restaurant in the sky. Joe was a true Hall of Famer, not only in the service industry, but as a husband, a father, and a friend as well. He will be remembered by many as the singing waiter and Ambassador at Tampa’s historic Columbia Restaurant. But I will always remember him as a warm, loving godfather, who did his best to make me feel special whenever he’d see me.  Coincidentally, his passing comes right before the holidays. Back in my younger years,  the December 24th gatherings at his home in Ybor taught me my first lessons on what it meant to revere Christmas and Family. God bless you, Joe, and may your soul rest in everlasting peace.

Young Joe

Honorary Ambassador at the world famous Columbia Restaurant

Downtown Tampa …

ImageDowntown Tampa through the eyes of Cherie Diez…Click on this beautiful photo to see images of Tampa’s past and to hear the Tampa Natives Show theme song, I Remember Tampa.

The Tampa Natives Show: A Cult Classic in the Making

TNS Photo

Mario, Sally, and Steve

For the past 3 years, Tampa has been the beneficiary of a unique television experience specifically designed to celebrate and preserve the city’s colorful past. Each week, The Tampa Natives Show comes into the homes of thousands of viewers, in the form of a live broadcast that features rare pictures and/or video footage pertaining to carefully selected topics that appeal to those who were either born in Tampa or who have lived here long enough to call this city Home. For the most part, these topics lead fans through an invigorating trip down memory lane–one that leaves them feeling spiritually renewed by the end of what is affectionately referred to as “the fastest 60 minutes in cable braodcast history.”  The show’s hosts are Mario Núñez, “Tampa” Steve Cannella, and  Sally Núñez, aka, The 15 Minute Girl. With the aid of their phone correspondent, “Hello Dory” Antinori, they invite viewers to call in and reflect on the topic of the hour.  You never know who will call: from Olympic Gold Medalist Brooke Bennett to legendary meteorologist Roy Leep…even Mayor Bob Buckhorn has chimed in to praise the show’s efforts. Some of the show’s more memorable moments have featured special guests, such as former pro baseball player and manager Lou Piniella, former wrestling champion Mike Graham, and  author John Cinchett. What’s more, if you happen to miss the show, or you just want to see an episode again, you can visit TNS’s website at www.tampanativesshow.com and browse through their archives. There you will find nearly every installment that’s aired since day one.  It’s a wonderfully addicting experience and one that seems to be gaining momentum with each passing season. The Tampa Natives Show can be seen live, every Thusday night, at 7:00 p.m., on Brighthouse 950, Verizon 30, Comcast 20, or on the web, at TBCN.org (click “Watch Us”).  To get an idea of what the show is all about, watch the video of their popular theme song,  I Remember Tampa.

The System In Control Of Tampa

I just read my freind’s blog in the Huffington Post, Tampa: City Under Siege or Control, and it appears that The System is alive and well, flexing its muscles, and definitely in control of Republicans, Democrats, Independentts, Indifferents, and everyone else on either end of the political spectrum in my hometown of Tampa.

The System

What’s your name
Where’s your id
I need to check you out to see
If you’re in the System
The System
No SSI, you’re MIA
I hate to say it, but no way
That you’re in the System
The System
He is in the System
She is in the System
They are in the System
And me…
I’m in the System with them
Where’s the nation we replaced
How’d the whole damn human race
Fall into the System
The System
And where in God’s name will it end
Feel the emptiness within
When you’re in the System
The System
He is in the System
She is in the System
They are in the System
And me…
I’m in the System with them
We’re like zombies walkin’ thru a desert land
Where the spirit is defeated by the greed of man
The System
Oh, the System
Once you’re in, you’re in for good
Needless to say, misunderstood
Laughing at The System
Ha, the System
Locked up in the System
Trapped inside the System
Fall into the System
Crawl into The Sytem
I’m in the System with them.