By Steve Otto
Tampa Tribune Columnist
Monday, December 8, 1997
Dominoes lining up on Bayshore
They were all out there, the runners and the walkers. There were the
in-line skaters, sleekly whipping around the more sedate strollers while
at the same time trying to avoid getting garroted on the leash of someone
walking a dog.
There were the serious walkers, thrusting their arms out while marching to
unheard music plugged into the headphones on their ears, and the less
serious, more concerned with making it to the next bench.
All in all, it was a spectacular sight on a spectacular weekend as the
multitude celebrated the cold snap and blue skies along the sweep of
About the only things around to mar the parade were the signs of impending
construction as developers marked out new plots for another round of
But that no longer seems to be an issue. Now it seems inevitable that
ultimately the condo towers will ring Hillsborough Bay from the Davis
Islands bridge all the way to Ballast Point.
I recall several months ago when the Architectural Review Commission spent
hours discussing the merits of a proposed circular driveway that Lazy Days
RV Center owner Don Wallace wanted for his new mansion now under
construction on Bayshore.
At the same time, 20- and 30- story towers are being approved for
construction on the Bayshore almost as a matter of course. We've given up
The dream that Bayshore might somehow retain its gentle character now has
been replaced with the belief that, sooner or later, it will look like a
row of dominoes leading into town.
Speaking of tradition, a group has organized to protest the proposed
demolition of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I know, it's hard even for me to
Apparently the Disney people are planning on replacing the Mr. Toad ride
at the Orlando theme park with a Winnie-the-Pooh attraction.
Nothing against Pooh, but Mr. Toad is what the Magic Kingdom is all about.
The Associated Press reports that a group of protesters was expected to
show up Sunday in front of the ride wearing "Save Mr. Toad" T-shirts.
Go for it.
Don Zimmer - linguist
Finally, in an effort to boost this column's standing in local English
classes, this story from last week's Gold Shield breakfast.
The breakfast is the annual meeting of the Gold Shield Foundation, which
provides scholarships to children of police and firefighters who have lost
their lives. Sponsored by George Steinbrenner, this year's breakfast
featured major league umpire Richie Garcia, who talked about calling a
game with Don Zimmer coaching from the dugout.
Zimmer, the great coach who now works the bench for the Yankees, currently
lives in Clearwater, as does Garcia. They must work on this act during the
off season. He was also at the breakfast and not only introduced Garcia
but then had to listen to the story.
Garcia recalled a game where Zimmer was, as usual, sitting at the end of
the dugout bench talking loudly. Apparently this time he was giving Garcia
a hard time over his calls. "Where was that pitch at?" he would holler
from the dugout. "Where was that pitch at?"
Finally, during a break between innings, Garcia motioned to Zimmer to come
over. When Zimmer stood there, Garcia asked, "Don, don't you know it's
incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition?"
Zimmer stared back at the umpire. "OK Garcia," he snarled. "Where was that
ball at, butthead?"
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