Vin's People: Bradenton Herald wants to hear Auburn, FSU fans brag

December 20, 2013 

Are you an Auburn fan? Or are you a Florida State fan?

So who's going to win the big game Jan. 6?

Let's hear from you.

That goes for supporters, grads and folks whose money has gone and still goes to either university, too.

We know our town's Auburn and FSU followers are looking forward to the Jan. 6 BCS Championship showdown in Pasadena, Calif., and getting fired up over what they want to see their team do to the other.

Call me at 941-745-7055.

Or email me at

• University of Florida freshman Lauren Pierce is 19. Lynn and Fred feel old.

• The passing of country legend Ray Price resonated with Bradenton's George Featherstone. From 1948 until 1962, he and wife, Avian, owned the Wonderland Ranch, an Ontario dance hall, where Price performed many times.

"Of all the entertainers I booked -- and I booked a lot of them -- he was the friendliest," said Featherstone, an 84-year-old widower.

The first booking was a pip.

A previously scheduled performer was in a car accident, so the agency sent another.

It was Ray Price.

"He was just starting out and I'd never heard of him," Featherstone said. "But they told me, 'George, by time he comes to you he's going to be red hot.' And he was. He set attendance records for us."

They developed a lasting friendship.

"I remember Johnny Carson said Ray Price had the best voice in country music," Featherstone said. "He was right."

• Big ups to Palmetto High School's Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Raiders team that took second in its category at the recent Florida State Raider Competition at Braden River High School. They are Leonel Barboza, Preston Daniel, Nelson Doire, Mikel Ebanks, Joseph Eicher, Joshua Fleming, Steven Neuman, Vincent Olson, Donald Preston,

Matthew Savage, Ezequiel Urbano and Joseph White. The coach is Chief Warrant Officer (Ret.) John Edmond.

• Speaking of Palmetto, Mia Holley is enjoying a unique Christmas. The freshman Dazzler dancer just turned 15 and performed in the Disney Christmas Day parade taped Dec. 5-8 and will air Christmas morning on ABC.

Mia was among 600 dancers and cheerleaders who qualified by being chosen as All-Americans at summer camps. The Dazzlers attended the National Dance Association camp at Rollins College.

Parents Veronica and Wes are proud.

• Cedar Hammock Fire Rescue recognized several members for 2013. They included Division Chief Mike DeChelbor, Exceptional Duty Award; Capt. Steve LaPlante, Fire Officer of the Year; Capt. Nick Herlihy, Staff Employee of the Year; firefighter Charlie Childress, Firefighter of the Year; firefighter Zeke Eckersen, Phoenix Lifesaving Award, given for successfully resuscitating five patients in cardiac arrest within one year; Lt. Troy Bercot, firefighters Nate Axness and Brad Jones, Genesis Award, given for assisting with births outside a hospital setting.

Also recognized were board of commissioners Dee Bennett, Dan Brunner, Tom Flynn, Mike Holderness Sr., and Steve Litschauer; Pastor Stan Pavkovich for more than 12 years as chaplain; and Fire Chief Jeffrey Hoyle.

• Uh, oh! Drue Duerschmidt hit the Big 5-0! The milestone landed on the Manatee County Boys & Girls Clubs official Wednesday.

• Speaking of the Boys & Girls Clubs, they need a slate pool table for the DeSoto Club and 10 to 15 digital cameras for a photography program. Call 941-761-2582.

Vin's People, is by local columnist Vin Mannix. He can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

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