To keep things on the lighter side in this 2016 political season, for some reason, this photo tells me that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is now the 'Andrew Ridgely of U.S. politics.' I'll end it right there for obvious reasons. This is just a gut feeling. For many 'not in the know,' Andrew is the other half of the 1980s pop music duo, Wham! His well-known partner in that group, George Michael grabbed the spotlight during their time together and more so in his solo career. Since I made this comparison, is George the Donald J. Trump of the pop music world? I don't think so, but certainly Governor Christie looks strange playing second banana to Mr. Trump. I'm not being disrespectful here at all. It's that we are used to see Chris Christie standing on his own.
About 30 years ago my family made a classic 1970s trek to Washington, D.C. Even though the sights and sounds of D.C. left an impression on me, it was the trip through Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley that introduced me to the region’s natural beauty. Dressed in our blue “Virginia Is For Lovers” T-shirts (which I kept for several years after), we rolled down the windows of our spacious Oldsmobile to take in the scenery. Click here for the full story.
There’s a whole other side to Orlando beside the massive Disney World in nearby Lake Buena Vista. If the ordinary Disney trip doesn’t interest you this year, try an extraordinary visit to Orlando and its neighborhoods. You’ll quickly learn that the area is full of historic districts and ethnic diversity.
It is 2:30 in the afternoon at Midtown Atlanta's Four Seasons Hotel and Mark Rivera is pacing his hotel suite bursting with ideas. The task of keeping up with Rivera's thoughts is daunting to say the least. The words explode from him like a Fourth of July fireworks show on steroids. From stories of working with John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Peter Gabriel and most notably -- becoming Billy Joel's ever-conspicuous sax player/backup vocalist, Rivera is on a big, white, puffy cloud every time he conjures up those legendary memories. Who wouldn't be?
The challenge for Rivera on this balmy late-February afternoon is to fit those anecdotes and personal thoughts on the future and state of the world into a half-hour conversation which must conclude before he boards a bus to Birmingham for his role in that evening's Billy Joel show. Indeed Rivera will be back in his Atlanta hotel room in about 48 hours, but there will be no time for follow-up questions. He will be handling othe…