The Specktator

Words by Kerry Speckman


Florida Theatre

You may know Grant Nielsen as an award-winning artist, musician (Jacksonvegas, Fusebox Funk) and/or all-around cool dude. Add “author” to that list because Nielsen released his first novel.

Since I’m not a book reviewer and it is a sci-fiction book, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to let AI write the review — to which I would add: “All eyes will be on this book.” (Feel free to quote me on that, Grant.)

“The Eyes of Cosa” takes readers on a riveting journey through a visionary city of domes crafted by the genius architect Arthur deWalt Roberts. Blending sci-fi elements with a heartfelt tale of intergenerational bonding, Arthur and his grandson Simon embark on a daring adventure. As they delve into Cosa’s mesmerizing world, the story unravels with thrilling dangers lurking beneath their innocent exploration. With richly developed characters and evocative prose, this captivating sci-fi masterpiece leaves readers pondering the price of ambition and the allure of the unknown. A gripping and emotionally charged adventure, “The Eyes of Cosa” captivates with its intricate world-building and exploration of the human spirit.


City of Jacksonville

I’m about to date myself with this Wonder Twins reference, but “Power suits, activate!” (Btw, that’s Mayor Donna Deegan greeting Vice President Kamala Harris at the airport. Harris spoke at the historic Ritz Theatre late last month on the Florida State Board of Education’s revised standards on teaching Black history. If you missed it, Kamala was not happy.)


Donna Foundation

Speaking of our new mayor (one of my favorite subjects as of late), you may think you know a lot about The Honorable Donna Deegan, but I bet you one “Tim Said It Would Be Like This” umbrella you don’t know some of these juicy tidbits.



Another history-making leader Nat Glover releases his biography “Striving for Justice: A Black Sheriff in the Deep South” this month with a conversation and book signing at The BookMark in Neptune Beach on Aug. 22. Glover was the city’s first Black sheriff from 1995 to 2003 and also served as president of Edward Waters College (now Edward Waters University).


DUUUVAL was in the house at the 2023 BET Awards where some of hip-hop’s biggest names took the stage for a tribute to 50 years of hip-hop. And if you didn’t alread  know the 69 Boyz, who performed their mega hit “Tootsee Roll” were from Jacksonville, Thrill Da Playa started out the song with a “DUUUUVAL” chant.


Gator Clowns of Jacksonville


And one more thing because it didn’t fit anywhere else and I know deep down inside someone needs to know this information: Gator Clowns of Jacksonville’s Clown Academy 23 starts next month. Visit for more info or to enroll. Family rates available!


About Kerry Speckman