Monday, May 15, 2006

TV Star Visits Richmond

Two very different friends sent pictures of this happening, so I guess it is my duty to share it as important local news.

At 9 or so on Friday morning, P and I went to the grocery store to get the last of our camping trip supplies. I was very surprised to see cones up and down the Boulevard -- I thought the parade for the dude on TV was at 3 or 4? Do they expect people to line up this early?? When we came back from our errand, men were cutting the grass under the crepe myrtles in the middle of the road, and a street sweeper was at the ready. "Oh, good," I thought, "they are just making the Boulevard pretty for the parade to the Carillon."

By the pictures the librarian at R Middle School sent, the crowd was HUGE. She reports that he used to work at her pharmacy near UR. The pictures she and my pal the stay-at-home dad, Jesse, sent both feature the Star in a very practiced smile. Jess, who is starting to do some freelance photography, sent this one:

photo by Jesse Peters

In Other News

The beautiful sunny weather depicted above is about the only tie to our beautiful weekend. Though the forecast included threats of thunderstorms and mostly cloudy skies, we found mostly sunny (and moonlit) skies in Westmoreland County, until Sunday, when we packed up and visited Stratford Hall. We enjoyed hiking, birdwatching, marshmallows over a campfire, and just sitting in the meadow overlooking the Potomac. Some birding highlights include a mute swan, a couple of great-creasted flycatchers, and hearing a whip-poor-will. (The latter's cousin the chuck-will's-widow is much more common at Camp K.)

One of Virginia's state parks with roots in the CCC, Westmoreland features campgrounds ranging from our tent site by a cheerily blooming mountain laurel, to camper sites, to vintage cabins, to modern, central heat-and-A/C cabins. The pool, boats, and camp store open for the season at the end of the month, but did get to visit the one-room Vistor Center with it's display of fossilized shark teeth and stuffed birds and mammals. P found a shark tooth right away on Friday, but despite repeated visits to the river beach I came up empty-handed. We only learned on Sunday that original CCC-built structures are supposed to have a special emblem on them. As well as cabins and the snack bar, I think that the picnic shelter with fireplace beyond the pool must be original. The posts are not only rough-hewn and have little curved bracket details at the tops (too much whimsy for a modern build), but they are also thick with paint. The state's done a fine job of taking care of the place.

I had a refreshing, low-key weekend. I think that means I am recharged for work, but I may be too mellow: Yeah, go ahead and talk on your cell phone in Children's -- the dude at the end of the Big Meadow Trail was.

Capital City weather: cloudy, 98% humidity


Anonymous said...

Not to be negative or anything... well, maybe a little... but, um, am I the only one who doesn't give a rip about the local kid on the big national talent show? (The show whose outcome was doubtless worked out before it ever began airing, as evidenced by numerous mathematical anomalies and 'technical glitches' in voting...)

Just wondering... indulging my cynical streak, and deploring the 'herd' mentality.

Daniel said...

Guess I'm out of the Richmond loop. I didn't know about the Star's appearance and--when I saw his picture--had no idea who he might be. (To me, Richmond celebrity equates to four centuries' worth of Good Family and Good Silver Pattern.)

Hostess: Thanks for the postcard!!! I *heart* Stratford Hall. Your comments thereupon recalled a brief conversation I had a couple of years ago, to wit:

Dan: I wish more people in my neighborhood would put up Christmas lights--they're so cheerful.
Snooty Guilford Queen: *ahem* I don't really think of YOUR neighborhood as the sort of place where people decorate for Christmas.
Dan: Oh, I'm sorry...I guess we can't ALL live in a neighborhood full of cheap '20s knockoffs of Virginia plantation houses, now can we?

Guilford, for those visitors to Capital City Desk who've not seen Baltimore, is this city's version of Windsor Farms--the elite neighborhood in which all of the houses are trying desperately to look like the beautiful colonial mansions along the James.

LisaBe said...

well, *i'll* be your tacky television-watching friend, then. i'm not ashamed to say that i loved elliot yamin on american idol and voted for him for many of the weeks he was on (though i favored taylor over him and anyone else). i was proud that a richmond boy made it big, and he was good pr for your town and state. everyone was utterly charmed by him. well, everyone who watched the show, anyway. moo.