I’ve had more than one complaint from business owners that attended the SRIA cocktail party for the Blue Angels and their wives on Friday, July 9 at the Hilton. First, the beach lifeguards were there and talked through most of the presentations. Second, the names and titles of the Blues were stated incorrectly. When the Blues wanted to make their presentation to the SRIA, no one could find the board chairman or a board member to accept it.
As one beach business owner and admitted Blues fan told me, “These men deserve our respect and admiration. That party was an embarrassment.”
Another said, “The Blues give this area more positive PR than any $700,000 from BP, but we came off as a bunch of rednecks. Why can’t we show more appreciation?”
When Adm. Jack Fetterman and Mayor Vince Whibbs were alive, such treatment of the Blue Angels at any event would never have been tolerated. The pilots have too much class to complain or even show any disappointment, but we should be rolling out the red carpet for them and their families. Instead, we stumble and bumble through an opportunity to do just that.
The Blue Angels mean more to this area than marketing event for the SRIA. They aren’t a sideshow at some cocktail party.