Best Excuse for Missing an Award: My tardy showing at Creative Loafing's awards show
Here's how much of a nerdy dad I am.
While the hipsters at Creative Loafing were announcing an award for me Wednesday in the ultra-cool Czar's Imperial Club in Ybor City, I was sitting at St. Pete High School listening to my daughter's teachers describe a new education program she would soon start.
I eventually made my way to the Czars, too late to hear what I'm told were some very nice words voiced by CL editor David Warner about my work, giving me a Loafies award for Best Voice in Local Media.
The Loafies are CL's annual local awards -- now 21 years old, which explains all the free shots flowing at Czars Wednesday night -- which are mostly a cool showcase for the most interesting stuff going on in the Tampa Bay area. Thumbing through this year's issue, I found myself making all kinds of mental notes on places to check out and things to try based on the awards listed.
But there are also some "awards" for media -- shout outs to local folks toiling in the information trenches. The St. Petersburg Times' Alexandra Zayas got Best New Long Form Narrator, mentioned in the same breath as our biggest stars in that form, Pulitzer Prize winner Lane DeGregory, Michael Kruse and Ben Montgomery.
Retired journalism veterans Warren Elly at WTVT-Ch. 13 and my former Times colleagues Howard Troxler and Jeff Testerman together earned the Biggest Local Journalism Losses honor. Even University of South Florida St. Petersburg professor Ray Arsenault got a nod for this success of his book and PBS film Freedom Riders.
You can see those entries and my own little citation by clicking here, for the people places and politics section. There is one tiny error -- I have never been president of the National Association of Black Journalists, but served as president of that group's local chapter, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists, for more than eight years.
At Wednesday's party, I got to catch up with some folks I hadn't seen in years, including one of my predecessors as pop music critic at the Times, Eric Snider. I also met lots of folks who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, which is both humbling and curious -- putting faces and attitude to the online buddies who offer electronic connection each day.
Many thanks to the CL crew for including me in such a singular gathering; despite the tardiness which kept me from accepting your award in person, it was indeed an honor and great fun.
Now, how am I going to make the list next year?