Archives for April 2012

Thoughts on the 2012 Tulane Old Boys Reunion

Thoughts from Jack Adams
I must thank you all for your accolades but it is truly a labor of love....Great music, Great food, Great
laughs, New Orleans, Rugby, and Amazing friends.What more can you ask for? I am sure you all cherish what
we have as much as I do. Not too many folks can say, that after 35-40 years you can get together with with
a group of guys from college and pick-up right where you left off and enjoy every moment of it, and know
that anyone of them would have your back if you needed it. It is a camaraderie that is difficult to explain
but deeply rewarding....And a good deal of credit goes to Crosby and Dobbs for getting me off my ass and
encouraging me to do this after 12 years as we drank our way around Ft.Myers beach riding bicycles from
bar to bar till all hours.
For those of you that were not there, I was presented The Blue-Black Award, on behalf of the Old Boys,
by Fred King who miraculously found an actual 100 year old bottle of Stephens Blue-Black Ink....yes,
Mary from the mountain glen who seduced herself with a fountain pen truly had a reason to call the
Blue-Black bastard Stephens because that really was the color of the ink, wink-wink...and I now have
proof! Thank you Fred, I will put it on my shelf with the signed leather balls I have from a couple
previous reunions.
Speaking of leather balls, again for those of you slimy depraved souls that were not there, the
Tulane Old Boys and the NORFC presented Peter Maud with a signed ball as recognition for his
founding both the Tulane RFC and the New Orleans RFC. He is truly the Grandfather of Louisiana Rugby
and deserves all the credit for what we are able to experience at these reunions. Hell, I would have
given him the ball just for riding on a train for 29 hours each way just to be too Grace.
Jim, I thank you for acknowledging that Donna makes looking my direction easier on the eyes, and that is
my favor to you, but let us also thank Bob Edmundson for bringing Kathleen...he's not easy to miss,
but did anybody actually see Bob?
Cave and I found a destination for the next reunion...and it could only happen in New Orleans. We
are sitting at the bar in the airport and we ask the waitress where she is from because of her very
NO/Cajun accent and she proceeds on a 15 minute story about Garyville, La where they "don't even have a
stoplight", and the locals just ride around in golfcarts rather than cars. Well just last year they
bought a 9 acre fishing camp, on a canal, with a house/shack "with plenty of room for guys to sleep
cuz they don't care about furniture or a leak in the roof " and it is fabulous for "frogging, great
big 6-8 inch ones that taste so sweet", "turtling, and they are great eatin", and "the alligators
are everywhere" and "the Perch are always bitting" so grab your nets, poles, duct tape and shot-guns
....she invited us all to come stay for the next Old Boys reunion. Sorry Mary, the Caribbean will have
to wait.
Sumo, you asked for all the email addresses....I thought I was bad with technology? I am pretty sure if
you go to the top of this email where it says "To", I think you can cut and paste any or all of the
addresses...if you can't figure out who some of them are let me know.
Bob, thanks again for the beer tab but hopefully you will never have reason to do that again. And
Tippins please find a better excuse next time if you're not going to make it.
Mark and Paula I hope your home and community in OK are safe and without destruction but I still think
you should have come to Commanders, it was fabulous watching Crosby and Richeson dance....the food wasn't
bad either.
And Tyrone, good luck with your surgery. Just don't let it keep you from returning to the next reunion----
I promise we will not let you play!!!
Went back and checked the archives and realized I didn't bring any of my pictures from 2000. I forgot
I hadn't put them in the book, Bob if you want me to send you those too, let me know. But I also found
my list of those who have been to every reunion. We lost 4 of the previous 10 members that were in the
exclusive club after 2000 so we are down to just 6 having attended evey reunion 1980,84,88,92,96,2000,
and 2012....Congratulations to Greg Eaton, Bob Edmundson, Fred King, Bill Merritt, Jim Richeson and ME....
who will be the last standing??
Places and dates can be submitted to the suggestion box for the next reunion...let's not wait 12 years.
Jim Richeson's Tribute to Tulane Reunion
Great to see that some things just do not change - particularly the personalities on the rugby team and the
fine food in New Orleans.
Jack, as always you did a great rendition of the Pied Piper calling all of the Old Boys to town, and thank you
for all the fine organization and the obvious effort involved. Also thank you for bringing Donna, as it
makes looking in your direction much more pleasurable.
Crosby, if only I had known what a good dancer you were the redhead may have had no chance from the start.
My dance card is yours. It was a treat to see the wait staff doubled over in laughter watching our antics.
Cave, you need to step outside of yourself more and tell us exactly what you are thinking without holding
all the good stuff in. Many laughs thank you. Speaking of many laughs & good to see you: Henry, Bielski,
Sumo, Vincent(would have given you last two bigger hugs at Manalis had I realized would not see you at
A major tip of the hat to the real Old Boys: Mr Father Rugby of New Orleans, Peter Maud, who at
Baton Rouge vs LSU playing fullback for NORFC executed one of the most devastating tackles I ever witnessed,
Bob Edmonson who deftly slipped a bill to the musicians at Commanders for going along with our shenanigans,
and Fred King who has been keeping TU students & ruggers out of central lock-up for years.
And the only downer of the weekend, was that Ty tore his biscep, again. Our Rock of Gibraltar in the scrum.
Heal quickly dear friend.
Many others should name but here in Quarter drinking milk punch at Brennans and still need to pack for later
afternoon flight and maybe let the wife take advantage of me...again...and again.
Parting words: Couple married 40 years watching a beautiful sunset while sharing a bottle of wine. Wife says,
?I love you so much, I don?t know what I would do without you.? Husband says, ?Kinda sounds like
the wine talking.? Wife replies, ?I was talking TO the wine.?
Looking forward to next rendez-vous. Jim Richeson
Joe Schwartzel's Thanks to Jack Adams & Billy Goodell
Great Weekend and special thanks to Jack Adams and Billy Goodell for all of the organizational work, a
labor of love.  I won’t wait another 39 years for the next one, although my knee and shoulder are reminding
me why I stopped active playing in 1976.  Meet a guy at the airport Sunday on the way out that had played
for a Memphis team, he agreed with Crosby’s Rule, never play with people who want to win.  He agreed it was a
great tournament.
Joe Schwartzel
Ode to Cleavage & Other Thoughts by Cave
All, Great to see everyone. Here are the take aways ... Drink in dog beers and you will never have too many. Don’t fail to show up or we will continue to trash you mercilessly. We can’t really play rugby any longer but we can still really sing (especially with Wagner). Whoever scheduled all the lunch & dinners, listen I was only kidding about fitness thru fatness! And remember, above all it is the cleavage! Put your ear to her breasts and listen to the cleavage. You may hear a creek, a stream, a river, a bay or
even the ocean but it is good shtick that will get your face close to unsuspecting breasts. From there it
is just a quick “Eyes Right!” to the motorboat position and away you go! Varoom. Well done Jack. See you all next time. Jerry Billy Schwarz - Best Wishes for Speedy Recover to Tyrone
I hope y’all had an enjoyable weekend and do not have too many hospital or doctor visits necessary as a
result.  Especially you Yoke!
Thought this would be a good sendoff:
“I was in a pub on Saturday night.  Had a few....
I noticed two large women by the bar.
They both had strong accents so I asked,
"Hey, are you two ladies from Scotland?"
One of them chirped: "It's WALES you friggin' idiot!"
So, I immediately apologized and said...,
"Sorry, are you two whales from Scotland?"
That's the last thing I remember...”
Billy Schwarz
Billy Goodell's Shout-Out to His Tulane Brothers
To all my Tulane brothers. Glad your reunion was a success. Taking the pitch with Ty again....incredible.
I whored out with so many teams over the years but NEVER played for Tulane! Now I feel I can say that I did
so as many Greenies were on my end of the pitch at the same time I was in the over 50 match.
 i should  have crashed your party at some point to sing along but lost track of time at the FQFest
(did ya'll do let me call you sweetheart??? That was a Tulane staple). I also remember Roselli ALWAYS had to
start up Mayor of Bridgewater, hope that was done in his absence/honor. And who was it again that always
sang the verse "Girl from Azores" to Rodriguez the Mexican Pervert???Another Tulane classic verse.
See ya'll around. Billy Goodell
Jim Richeson's Comments on Pete Maud's Clarifications on Tulane Rugby History

Thank you for the clarification that Mike Keys, Howard Goldberg, and Bill Terry were responsible for starting
 the team and playing at least one game before you came along.  While you may not have been there for the
actual birth of the Tulane Rugby Team, you were there to nourish it in its infancy, guide it through its
 growing phase, helped it through its maturation phase by taking the lead in forming the Louisiana Rugby Union,
 and were one of those who helped form the NO Rugby Club in 1973,  which just last year won the national

It seems I have heard while in college at some point those names of the 3 founders, and it was probably
from you.  However we are correct in calling you the Father of Tulane Rugby, just like a boy, who never knew
his biological father, would correctly refer to his step-dad, who was always there for him, as Father.

Peter, you were instrumental in helping Tulane Rugby and rugby in Louisiana survive and flourish.  In our
hearts and minds, as compromised as they may be from the relentless consumption of beer, you will always be
the Father of Tulane Rugby.

I raise my glass to you.

Thank you.

All the very best, Jim Richeson

From: Ty Yokum  to Pete Maud   Tuesday, April 24, 2012 08:54 AM

It was wonderful to see you again, especially to see you honored for your service to the game of rugby.
 I have fond memories of my time with the New Orleans RFC under your tutelage.

Thanks for everything, my friend.


Ty(rone) Yokum
 Peter J. Maud   Thanks & Tulane Rugby History 
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2012 11:08 PM

Jack and the Tulane/New Orleans rugby gentlemen(this may be a misnomer for some of our brethren!),

I want to thank all of you who made the rugby reunion such great success. I want to thank in particular Jack
for organizing the past Tulane players reunion. It was great success and not only did I have a great time but
my wife also enjoyed the weekend (that means that I may be allowed off the leash for future similar meetings!!)
 The food, the beer and the singing were excellent  Happy memories! Also I would like to thank Tom C.for the
award that was given to me by the Tulane and NO players - it resides in a very special place in our home.
Others that may need some mention are Stan S, Bob U, Tyrone and far took many more to individually identify
for showing up and helping me remember so many past happy memories of my time in New Orleans. Jerry Cave also
should be identified as he provided many good laughs!! Billy you did a great job of organizing the rugby -
just wish that I was able to step onto the field once again. Please give my congratulations to the NO team
that won the Division three game - great rugby - I was very impressed.

I would just want to make one thing quite clear - I was not the founder of the Tulane team - that honor goes
to three (or more) past medical students - Mike Keys, Howard Goldberg, and Bill Terry. I joined the club in
the summer of 1967 after the club had played at least one game in the previous spring. Nor was I the sole
founder of the NO club. It was a joint affair with at least two of the other main contributors being
Bob Urann and Stan Smith - I'm probably missing a few (Lawrence Williams perhaps ?)
Oh so many happy memories from the past and now more to see me through my remaining years.

Grace and mI have now fully recovered from our 30 hour one way train ride and would certainly go by
 rail again!

If any of you would like a copy of my history of the early years of rugby in NO please let me know.
Also, I would like to extend my little article to include other players memories of these days and would
welcome any contributions from you.

Thank you all for such a wonderful reunion.


12th Annual Rocky Mountain Challenge Prep Rugby Tournament

The email discussion below was begun by David Buckingham regarding the Deep South Union sending a team to:

 Twelfth Annual Rocky Mountain Challenge
*“America’s Premier Prep Rugby Tournament”*
Aurora Sport Park, Colorado  *june 16-19, 2012*

 The tournament is the premier Under-17 & Under-19 rugby tournament. The tournament is sponsored by the Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union (ERRFU), and is the Twelfth Annual Tournament.
 The Rocky Mountain Challenge attracts *regional all-star rugby* teams from
 throughout the United States. Last year’s Challenge included teams from Florida, Southern California, Northern California, Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Heart of America (Kansas City area), and Colorado
 “For the twelfth year, we are honored to host the Premier Prep Rugby Tournament in America,” said Tournament Director, Jeff Calhoun. “Rugby is the fastest growing youth sport in America, and will be a new sport in
 the 2016 Olympics in Rio.  The Rocky Mountain Challenge is a great
 showcase for teams and players from all parts of the US.  The players that you will
  over the course of the tournament weekend are the future USA Eagles
 Rugby  Team, and could qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Rugby Team.
 “In fact, James Patterson & Todd Cleaver, two members of the US
National Rugby Team and 2011 World Cup players, starred in past RMC’s,”   said  Calhoun.

  The Tournament has two competitive divisions.  One division teams
 players under the age of 17 and the second division teams players under the age of under the age of 19. 
 Last year, the teams from Northern California won both the Under-19 and Under-17 Tournament Championships. 

 The Rocky Mountain Challenge is one of five Regional Tournaments and is a key part of the process that will ultimately lead to consideration for the  National USA U-20/U-18 selection pool for international team play in 2011. The
regional All Star teams are comprised of the top young players competing for an opportunity to be chosen for a place in USA Rugby’s Elite High Performance Development System.
 The Challenge could feature the next “Jeremy Lin” of youth rugby.
 The weekend event will feature over 30 matches between the participating teams, with preliminary rounds on Saturday June 18, and the semifinals and championship games played on Sunday, June 19.  A banquet, honoring all
 players, will be held at the RMC’s Official Hotel, the Crown Plaza
Hotel. .

 On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:41 AM, David Buckingham wrote :
Coaches and others,

I think we need to decide on leadership for either the trip as a whole or separate U17 and U19 leadership as soon as possible. The coaching and administrative duties are significant but I think there’s a general consensus that we want to make this happen again.  I would recommend that maybe for the next week or two Gary could take volunteers and or nominations for either one or two people who will be in charge of the whole trip.  This person or two wouldn’t have to do everything obviously but they would pick/recruit the coaching staff and admin support in order to organize both teams and make it all happen. We need to be organized BEFORE  the HS State Championship because if the players aren’t involved or aware by then it will be hard to get them back.If you’re not interested in being involved or just hearing about the planning process just send me an e-mail and I will  take you off this distribution list that will be used for the trip.  Anyone can be added as well.

Side note:  Niceville and MS Rugby both have good players but as you know both teams are undesirable because of the distance for practices, etc.  IF you think your going to be short players you should consider checking out the guys at the Playoffs on April 21st?!   Just a thought…. Lori Sutherland  MS Rugby Club

 — On Wed, 4/4/12, Tim Falcon  wrote:

From: Tim Falcon Subject: RE: 12th Annual Rocky Mountain Challenge Prep Rugby Tournament
To: “Saade Bou-Mikael”  mccormick, giepert,  buckdr, cadoe,  “Adam Ducoing” , bill goodelllaw, hill, japgenthon, “cibreit”, “rfitzgerald’,  bobscully, sparrill, john-gopurplemonkey, kevinkern,  fontenelle, diannemarkel, johnleitz , “Coach Scott”, spud, Jarrett Falcon, farnet, rugbybuzz, oakrafter, docfrisbee, jerrymalina, missicameron, “” , samfnet, wsrugby, cgothreaux, dgcuccia, cpdube, vendettoj, carlopedalino, bwmcintyre,
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 8:04 AM

Maybe the way to go is have an open try out. See how many players want/can go, then we can select the best 23-25 per team. Part of the problem in the past is getting enough players. If we put it out as a selection process then we can achieve Saade’s goals. Coach tim

 From: Saade Bou-Mikael  Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2012 10:36 PM
 I am in to coach for the summer, and may be able to go for the trip.
Also, just as a suggestion, just from my experiences at LSU… rather than pitch it as “anyone can go”, i think if we would like to bring in the elite players of every team, that we make it exclusive, or at least seem that way. Go to the 5 or 6 players (or however many you think are capable) on your team and tell them you want them to make the trip, and that we see them as having the best chances of making the baby eagle camps.
When I first played on the team, I really only came because i was selected on the “all star” team of the tournament… had I not made that team or thought we weren’t selected to represent new orleans by the coaches as the best players from our league, I probably would not have gone.
I will be happy to ask adam, eric, cullen, and other guys who made the eagle camps go to one of each practice and pitch this thing to the best players of each team, who the coaches have picked, and talk about their experience and that having the best players from each team is what made it fun and gave them the best chances of being noticed… In my mind it’s the best chance of making these kids feel special and selected, and more motivated to do this.
Anyways, regardless of how we handle it, I will be up for assisting wherever i can, coaching wise.

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2012 18:06:35 -0500
From: tjfmccormick
Gary has suggested these exact same guidelines/deadlines every year for as long as I can remember, and it seems like each year we make things considerably harder on ourselves by not following them. It will be especially crucial this year with so many teams to have everything organized and on paper as soon as possible. 

 The key is to get the information to the parents as soon as possible. You will get nowhere by giving the information to the kids and expecting them to get themselves (and their checks, more importantly) where they need to be. Parents want to know 1) where my son is going; 2) when he’s going; 3) who is going to be responsible for him; 4) how much is it going to cost me? 

On Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 8:41 AM, <> wrote:

All coaches should be promoting this with their teams.  We need practice days, times and locations set now for practices  starting the week of April 23rd.  I would suggest practice once or at most twice a week to start.  We need a blast e-mail to send to Coaches with all of the information, date of trip, cost of trip, deposit needed, check payable to, etc.  Coaches could then take this e-mail and blast it to their players.  We also need a flyer with info to hand out at State.   I would suggest a $100 deposit due by May 1st with $50 returned if the player is not selected.  The player will receive  $50 of gear- shorts, socks, T-shirts.  What about jerseys?  Do we have two sets of exile jerseys?  Do we want to buy team sets, (preferable) or do we want each kid to buy their own?  If we do not have 22 committed for either team by May 15th, I say we then pull the plug.  Anyone interested we need to meet soon.  Any suggestions?


—- David Buckingham wrote:
 *Welcome Saade and Fitz to this e-mail list.  Everyone receiving this
 e-mail should also get an invite in a new google group.  This should help
 manage some of the sharing and let people choose whether they want to keep
 getting occasional e-mails on the topic.*

 To date I haven’t heard much response, chat, or buzz about the LA Exiles
 and the Colorado Tournament.  If you’re working on it secretly let us know
 so we can start collaborating.  If that’s not the case then I guess I will
 volunteer to put together some of the initial items needed to get this going.
 *My goal this week is to brainstorm with people in the know and create a
 list of what needs to be done and when*.  Then we can set up some smaller
 committees or meetings and really attack some of the to dos associated with
 this great opportunity for our young men.
 Please give me a call or e-mail me with comments and suggestions.  I’ll try
 and have some materials ready to go by the end of the week.

 *In your practices leading up to the state tournament please start the buzz
 with you guys.*  The basic blurb is EVERYONE can participate in the
 practices and we won’t make cuts until we have too many participants.  The
> tournament is June 15th-17th in Colorado.  Historically the trip has cost
> around $400.   We will need coaches and parents to travel with the two
> teams.  Practices will start after the state tournament and go through the
 week of the tournament. Thanks,Buck

 On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM, Trip McCormick  wrote:
 Excellent points all. I would love to be involved again, but won’t be able
 to this year. Buck’s most important point is that the trip AND THE DETAILS
 (costs, itinerary, etc.) need to be advertised as early as possible. Last
 year, we had a different plan in place for the U19/U17 program, and at the
 last minute we switched gears to try and take them back to Denver. It
 didn’t work.
 You have to get the parents on board, then it gets much easier much
 faster. If you rely on word of mouth from players, it will not work. That
 worked when we had one team, and 90% of that team came from three high
 schools and LSU, and 75% of that team were close friends who had known each other since grammar school.
 I nominate Buck as Manager, Program Director and Head of Coaching and Personnel.

 On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 9:20 AM, giepert wrote:

 Subject: Attention All Teams- Announcing the 12th Annual Rocky Mountain
Challenge Prep Rugby Tournament
From: Colorado Rugby <>

The release below has been mailed to all National Rugby and Colorado media outlets.

 If you have any questions, please respond to this email, or Jeff Calhoun at .
 For more information, visit

  Another contact is

As he second oldest on this email, except for Markel the trilobite, if I can be allowed add something to the excellent points Saade and Tripp make.  Consider:

When I first started coaching high school at ESA we had a hooker Stephen Killingsworth, virtually unknown to the coaches and selectors, who did not make any all star list  but who drove to New Orleans from Laffy several times  to make practices, made the trip to Denver, and ended up starting. Because he was the best hooker there. So those who are seen as the best based upon historic performance, certainly acknowledge that. You know they are good. BUT, if there are others willing to practice and make the trip let them go and give them a shot if the opportunity presents itself……… you never know who will step up. 
Hell, when I was at LSU Mini Mumbles was still in high school, we went to the second  Battleship tournament (1978) and out of need had to start him at hooker. He scored the try that put LSU in the finals which we won with him  hooking against a men’s club side from Orlando I think. You never know guys. 
BTW The  team Killingsworth played on was the first time LA  won that tournament as I recall. 

On Apr 4, 2012, at 8:36 AM, Trip McCormick wrote:

I would respectfully disagree with Saade’s recommendation as tagging the whole team(s) as “invite-only”. We have tried this in the past, and when everybody who receives an invite doesn’t show up, we end up scrambling for extra players, which is embarrassing and inefficient. This had a residual effect going forward–even after we abandoned the “invitation” model, we continued to have good players not show up because “nobody invited me”. To be fair, I was the main proponent of making the process look as exclusive and competitive as possible–I believed that this was the best way to attract the best players. The theory still seems to make sense, but it just hasn’t worked out that way in the past. 

My humble recommendation: do what we did during our most successful years with the Exiles. Choose a 1st and 2nd All-State Team following the state tourney, and emphasize that everyone on either of those two lists should consider themselves prime candidates for the Colorado trip. Then bill the first two weeks of practice as a sort of open tryout. 
The bottom line is that I don’t ever remember having to turn a player away from this trip. One year we had to take two or three guys aside and explain that they could go, but they shouldn’t/couldn’t expect much playing time–as it turned out, we had several injuries and I think they all got on the field. On the contrary, every year but one or two has seen us scrambling to boost numbers within the last two weeks before the trip. 
I strongly recommend that you cast as wide a net as possible, then trim down if you have to. 

On Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 8:04 AM, Tim Falcon  wrote:

Maybe the way to go is have an open try out. See how many players want/can go, then we can select the best 23-25 per team. Part of the problem in the past is getting enough players. If we put it out as a selection process then we can achieve Saade’s goals. Coach tim  

Florabama – A Deep South Rugby Player Remembers

By Fran Thompson

It’s impossible for me to write about The Flora-Bama without it getting personal.

  I met my wife there in 1997.
  I sang short acapella sets of Irish folk songs on the inside stage an easy 400 times. Much to owner Joe Gilchrist’s chagrin, I all but considered myself a possible/probable. I may be the only person that Joe bribed with free drinks to not get on stage and sing.
  My first cover as a local newspaper publisher was a picture of Kenny Stabler rearing back to toss the first fish at the Spring of 1990 Mullet Toss. Bama’s food faire back then was Kent Sanderson and Bob-A-Louie selling sausage sandwiches out of trailers in the parking lot. George Ridder, our Funny Bones columnist, would soon follow with his Picker’s Grill.
   Just after Bill Taylor opened Live Bait, he asked me how much the front cover cost. I told him we don’t sell the cover. “Are you saying that this picture of Joe, Pat and Trader Jon is not an advertisement?’’ he asked. I sold four covers to Bill that day and have been selling that page ever since.
  I was still playing ball on the Baton Rouge to Ft. Walton rugby circuit in 1990. Rugby mates were constantly visiting me just to go to the ‘Bama, and I bet they all get a little misty eyed recalling those good times. During a recent interview, Pat McClellan said Sandy Ford and Brad Patterson both did the same when he gave them a a grand re-opening tour. “That’s when I knew we did it right,’’ McClellan said. “The Flora-Bama has always been a place, not just a space. We know that it means to people.’’
  The first time I took my New Orleans pal Robert Lebreton there, bartender Mark Courier, as casual as could be, said “Hi Robert.’’ Mark’s dad had delivered Robert and just about every other kid born in Plaquemine, Louisiana in the 1950’s. I wasn’t even surprised. It’s that kind of place.
  New majority owner John McGinnes, who both Pat and Joe said was even more passionate about creating the old Flora-Bama feeling than they were, was proud to point out that there were already a dozen or so bras hanging from the inside bar rafters a thousand signatures on the walls just 10 days into what will be 30 days of grand re-opening festivities at the Lounge on the Line. John gets what the Flora-Bama means to people. He’s been partying there ever since he was of age. “Probably before,’’ he said.
  Rick Carter told me that Telluride was the first rock ‘n roll band that Joe (who was allergic to drums) ever booked in the ‘Bama courtyard and it wasn’t an easy sell. But the ‘Bama didn’t get any better than Telluride’s Kevin Derryberry singing my hometown Philly soul and slamming the Hammond B-3, unless it was when his Telluride mates Carter, Stan Foster and Barry Waldrep started coming in a couple days early and playing as the still very much alive and kickin’ Rollin’ In The Hay.
  Unless it was Rusty McHugh’s comic genius or Jezebel’s Chillin’s try-not-to-dance sets or LeaAnn Creswell channeling Patsy Cline. Unless it was Nick Branch and Gove Scrivenor trading sets every Monday night, with Lillian’s own Guthrie Trapp playing guitar for both.
  Unless it was watching a thousand kids screaming “dead armadillo” to a J Hawkins backbeat or the synchronicity of John Joiner, Larry T. Wilson and Rick Whaley playing together as one.
  The Flora-Bama always packed them in during the tourist seasons. But the crowds seemed to grow exponentially summer after summer soon after Garth Brooks and Hank Jr. made country cool on SEC campuses, Playboy deemed it America’s best roadhouse and Sports Illustrated wrote a story about the Mullet Toss.
  I grew up in a neighborhood full of taprooms where everybody knows your name, your dad’s name and your grandfather’s name. I spent six years exploring Big Easy bars in search of great music and fun times. More recently, I was lucky enough to sit inside LuLu’s and listen to the late Gatemouth Brown, the better-than-ever Will Kimbrough and the late Honeyboy Edwards while my children played outside. I rode my bicycle to see Paul Simon at the The Hangout last year and will do the same to see Wilco next month. My lucky life included a 13 year pre-Ivan stint living up the road from the ‘Bama on sand that Dr. Beach ranked the third best in the country. And I absolutely put its proximity to the Flora-Bama right up there with that beach on my quality-of-life index.
  Heck Yeah, the Flora-Bama is personal to me. And a lot of others as well.
Send your Floribama or other rugby bar memories to