by | August 26, 2019

Editor’s Note: It’s Personal

Photography by Ashley Woodson Bailey

I was a sophomore at Florida State in 1997, the year Rolling Stone magazine arrived to write a story about the No. 1 party school in America. What the writer discovered was the No. 1 party guy, Bert Kreischer, along with a legion of revelers, laughing and chugging behind him, from bar to tailgate to house party.

It seemed everyone at FSU—all 30,000 of us—knew Bert. Guys wanted to be him, or at least as funny. Girls wanted to date him or be his best friend. With his jokes and laughter Bert commandeered every party, bar, classroom or situation he stepped into. Equally lewd and loveable, he hung out with the older girls in my sorority. Standing half-naked in the median on Park Avenue, he would lead groups of fraternity pledges in serenading our house with silly songs of debauchery and sexual interludes. He would rearrange the furniture in the sorority house, to the chagrin of our house mom. He captivated everyone with a constant reel of stories on sex, booze and bad decisions.

Twenty-two years have passed, and today Bert has a successful career in comedy and entertainment. In his Netflix stand-up special, The Machine, he’s the same old Bert who held court over the bonfire at the ATO house in the ’90s, but now with nearly one million followers on Instagram. For the feature in this issue, I spoke with my old FSU compatriot to find out where he is now. What I discovered is that he works as hard as he parties—and that’s still pretty damn hard.

In this issue of Flamingo, we explore art, culture and entertainment from the perspective of our own relationships. Ever since starting Flamingo, I’ve wanted to run a story about famed artist and activist Marilyn Minter, the aunt of my close friend. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Marilyn in her New York studio and experiencing the grandeur of her controversial paintings and photographs of women, which have appeared in the world’s most renowned galleries and museums. Award-winning author and Clearwater native Sarah Gerard, an artist in her own right, penned our beautiful story on Marilyn’s Florida upbringing.

It’s our personal histories that tie our team to the editorial content we feature: from Diane Roberts’ column on Spring House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright home in Florida and a place she grew up visiting; to Eric Barton’s feature on the changing philosophy of museum directors in the state, starting with the museum a mile from his home in Fort Lauderdale; to Steve Dollar’s piece on the Sunshine State soundtrack, which he based on a lifetime of knowledge gained by jamming out to Florida bands. Even our One-on-One interview with E! News host Jason Kennedy came to us by way of dear friends who grew up with him in Lighthouse Point.
We highlight the people and places we know and hold dear to foster the relationship Flamingo has with our readers. In fact, after years of reader requests for a Flamingo home department, we felt the Arts and Culture issue provided the perfect launchpad for Design District, a spotlight on Florida architects and interior designers.

This fall, we hope you enjoy everything you read in Flamingo’s pages and that now, more than ever, you feel a connection and sense of place. Sharing the Florida stories that we love and live by has been at the core of what we do since issue No. 1—which I’m proud to say features two of my great friends and their dog Wren on the cover.