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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
Steve Otto Columns

Spies can’t resist social media din

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Published:   |   Updated: June 9, 2014 at 07:50 AM

“We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.’’

And with that tweet the Central Intelligence Agency signed onto social media last week, also posting on Facebook.

It’s about time. Now our intelligence agency can be as misinformed about what’s going on out there as the rest of us.

Not that they ever were all that up on things. Don’t you find it odd that with all of the intelligence gathering entities in this country little was written about Bowe Robert Bergdahl until after we traded for him? This never would have happened in the NFL draft.

I can’t wait to see the CIA’s postings for “Throwback Thursday,” when they release pictures of Edward Snowden at the inter-spy-agency company picnic.

My guess is that if they really want to know what’s going on around the world, Facebook is where they are going to find it. I mostly use it to check up on our relatives to see if any of them are heading to Florida.

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Had a note from Tom Whalen on the death of Tommy Eure. Eure passed away March 16 in Virginia. There was a brief mention in our obituaries a couple weeks ago. “He took photos of most of South Tampa’s families,” Whalen said, “and that picture of President Kennedy when he came to Tampa just before being assassinated.”

Whalen is right. There’s a pretty good chance if you were married in Tampa a few decades ago, it was Eure — his studio was where the Fox, Channel 13 (WTVT) complex now stands — who did the job.

Eure was a character. He collected martini glasses and liked his martinis, although he limited himself to one a day. I think he had more than 400 of the glasses on display.

“Well, he had a shrunken head in his garage,’’ says former neighbor Peter McDonald. “I think it was from his days in the South Pacific.” Eure was an aerial intelligence specialist in World War II.

“The one thing I really remember,” said McDonald, “was that ’56 Chevy hard-top station wagon. I wish I had asked him to sell that to me.”

Bob Bagget said: “I worked with Tommy for about nine years. He even bought me my first suit from Wolf Brothers that I would wear when I would photograph weddings for him.

“He had a keen eye, like Clyde Butcher and Verne Klintworth, to name a few. He was an incredible woodworker. His attention to detail was amazing.”

“Yeah,” says his old friend, Pat Cole Henry, “he just loved people.” Henry, who now lives in St. Petersburg and played in clubs all over the Tampa Bay area for decades, remembers Eure frequented his shows. “He always had a story and a way of making you feel better when he was around.”

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Finally, my buddy Bill Moore, who runs the “Meat Monkeys” barbecue team and who I’ve also run across at fundraisers and elsewhere, asked if I might mention an event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Bayshore Christian Church school on South MacDill Ave. It’s a fundraiser for Electa Davis, a woman whose son is graduating from the school. She has stage 4 cancer and the cost for treatment is out of sight. There are going to be games and raffles and, best of all, some really good barbecue.

sotto@tampatrib.com

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