Take The Long Way Home



Starting tomorrow, I will take the long and winding watery road home back to Virginia. My exile in Florida is coming to a close. I have been vaccinated. I am sunburned. Virginia is slowly but surely reopening, so it’s time to come back. 


For those of you who do not already know, I’ve spent half of the last year quarantining on a boat. In September, I bought a Ranger Tugs RS 31, a long-range trawler, which I drove 1,138 miles to South Florida. Yes, everyone had a COVID-crazy moment last year. Some people quit their jobs. Others got divorced. I know people who adopted dogs or started a new hobby — like baking sourdough bread. How exciting. Many people used their stimulus money to buy something they really didn’t need. I didn’t get a penny from Uncle Sam, but I bought a boat. 


I like boats. I’ve been on many, from small Carolina Skiffs to massive cruise ships. I’ve always loved my time on the water. However, the first time I ever drove a motor yacht was on September 8th, when they handed me the keys to this puppy. I took my boating safety course online, due to COVID-19, and I watched hours and hours of training courses. I also watched reruns of Gilligan’s Island to know exactly what not to do. Somehow, I made it from Urbana, Virginia to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and no one got killed. Except for the iguana that tried to get on my boat. #YouWannaPieceOfMeIguana?


I’ve been posting about my adventures on a Facebook page called The Tug Life. If you’re interested in seeing how a complete novice learned to skipper a tug boat, click here. I’ve learned many things over the last six and a half months since going completely nautical:


  • 1: Cars have breaks, boats do not. (I backed my boat into a neighbor’s anchor in Charleston, South Carolina, and blew out my back window.)
  • 2: The price of anything with the word “marine” in front of it costs three times as much, especially if it comes from a store called West Marine. (A stainless steel U bolt at Home Depot in Brunswick, Georgia cost six bucks. The same bolt at West Marine costs $22.99.)
  • 3: Everyone who owns a sailboat eventually wants to get rid of it and buy a boat with a motor.
  • 4: When you leave frozen squid in a cooler in Daytona and realize three days later in West Palm Beach that the power was shut off, it stinks. Literally. I’ve tried Clorox, Ajax, Borax, X14, Mineral X, Surface-X, and Windex and every other cleaner that has an “x” in the name and I can’t get the smell out.
  • 5: Boat people are good people. On this journey, I have met dozens of friendly folks. Everyone is nice, eager to help, and strike up a conversation with a rookie boat driver.
  • 6: Always leave your radio on Channel 16. On the first day of my voyage, I drove past half of the US Navy at full throttle, not realizing that Naval Station Norfolk is a no-wake zone. It is quite embarrassing to be stopped by the Navy, the Coast Guard, and Norfolk Police all at the same time because you were monitoring Channel 17.



Monday, March 29 — The Madison+Main-iacs Take Center Stage



Last week, Creative Director, Art Webb, Communications Director, Kent Brockwell, and Client Services Manager, Katie Rossberg, hit the road for a visit with our new client Perkinson Center for Arts and Education. The trio took the stage and met Executive Director Marly Fuller, who explained all about the center’s background, current educational programs, classes, and art gallery shows. It’s a hip, hop, happening place and we’re very excited to have them as a client! The show must go on!


Tuesday, March 30 — We’re So Stork-ed For You




This Tuesday, the Madison+Main-iacs hosted a surprise virtual baby shower for our Account Manager Extraordinaire Allison Nida. After making her wait in a Zoom waiting room for five extra minutes, we all changed our virtual background to the same matching design. Then the team swapped childhood stories and baby pics. Allison was surprised and she is still glowing. Baby Gracie is due later next month.


That afternoon, our friends at Lucy Corr hosted another Lucy Living Lecture, this time on sleep deprivation. Dr. Gerard Santos from VCU’s Health Center for Sleep Medicine discussed the importance of sleep on your physical and mental health, how much sleep you should be getting, and how your environment can affect your snooze. The socially distant event was a smashing success and they are already planning another one for May. Good job, folks!


Wednesday, March 31 — Farewell, Mr. Duncan


On Wednesday, RVA said goodbye to longtime NBC 12 meteorologist Jim Duncan. In celebration, the Governor declared March 30th Jim Duncan Day in Virginia. Jim has been a fixture in local broadcasting for 40 years, joining WWBT in September of 1981. “Endless Love” by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie topped the charts and Arthur, starring Dudley Moore, was top at the box office. In other words, Jim came to Richmond and stayed at one station for four decades. Although I only met him one time, it feels like I have been watching his forecasts for a lifetime. All of us at Madison+Main wish you the very best in retirement. 


Thursday, April 1 — An Ad Is Better Than A Thank You Note




Sometimes, saying thanks is hard to do. That’s why we created an ad for our client Williamsburg Landing to say “thank you” and congratulations to their former Board and Chair Member Virginia “Ginnie” McLaughlin for receiving the well-deserved The College of William & Mary’s Thomas Jefferson Award for 2021! Check it out below and congratulations, Ginnie. In her words? “It’s been a wonderful opportunity, a wonderful life.”

Friday, April 2 — Bold Brands Win




Last year may have been “unprecedented,” but that didn’t stop us from creating bold work for our clients. Madison+Main, along with our friends at Cry Studios, won a Silver Addy Award for a Virginia Energy Sense online video! In the last six years, we’ve won more than a dozen PR and advertising awards for the Value Your Power campaign. You can’t do great work without great clients.
Speaking of #BoldBrands, our Fearless Leader Molly Whitfield will be speaking at Maryland’s Distracted Driving Summit next Thursday, April 8 about strategies organizations can use to reach teen and young adult audiences. Molly will discuss the habits of the Generation Z audience — specifically what motivates them and how and where to reach them. Got a spare hour? Register here for the webinar! Your organization will learn a lot.


A Few of Our Favorite Events

100 Entertainment Drive, Irvington, VA 22480
Every Monday | 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Take advantage of COMPASS Entertainment Complex’s $20, two-hour time play! For $20, you and your family can get two hours of non-stop time at their arcade and attractions!
Last chance to buy your ticket is Wednesday, March 30
Tickets are only $50 and you get 20 chances to win great prizes from Green Top Hunt & Fish! Monies raised benefit some great local Richmond charities. Get the details on the raffle and buy your ticket today. Quick — the ticket sales end next Wednesday, March 30!
Virtual Webinar
Thursday, April 8 | 2 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
Does your organization need advice on how to communicate with younger audiences? Participate in Maryland’s Distracted Driving Summit and learn how and where to reach Gen Z and how to elevate student voices. Register here!

Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!


“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you a yacht big enough to pull up right alongside it.”

— David Lee Roth