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A much-needed blessing

David Adlerstein
The Apalachicola Times

It was a case, as they say, where the show must go on.

Or more importantly, prayers must be said.

And what year more calls for prayers than 2020?

Jon Bishop, the new pastor at the Apalachicola UMC Church, front, and Ricky Jones, in his role as a lay minister at the Eastpoint Church of God, offered the blessings from the pier at Riverfront Park.
King Retsyo John Solomon, with daugher Raegan, pulls in to dock aboard the Capt. T.J.
Seven-month-old Hope Hammock, in the arms of mom Helen Hammock, made quite a long voyage, roughly 8,000 miles, to take part in the Blessing of the Fleet. That's because they're from New Zealand, and they were visiting the newborn's grandfather Norman Hammock, who lives in Gulf County.

The Florida Seafood Festival made sure the traditional of the Blessing of the Fleet was upheld, even though the coronavirus pandemic forced a cancellation of the venerable festival.

So on Friday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m. at Apalachicola’s Riverfront Park, Pastor Jon Bishop, of the Apalachicola UMC Church, and Ricky Jones, in his capacity as a lay minister with the Eastpoint Church of God, offered prayers to a long line of mainly recreational watercraft, all setting out from the Mill Pond and passing by on their way to the Gorrie Bridge.

There were plent of boats, mainly recreational, that headed out from the Mill Pond to take part in the Blessing of the Fleet.

Chris Clark played the bagpipes and the honorary King John Solomon, the seafood festival president, high astride the bow of the Capt T.J., wearing white boots and dressed in finery. his daughter Raegan as his princess.