By Lynn R. Mitchell
Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
August 17, 2014
By Lynn R. Mitchell
Day 16 … @BobMcDonnell #standwithbob #prayforvictory
Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen begin their court trial in Richmond this morning, a process that is estimated to take as long as six weeks. Many, many in Virginia believe this is a witch hunt by the federal government especially since accuser Jonnie Williams has received blanket immunity from prosecutors. Please let the McDonnells feel support from around the Commonwealth and beyond. Sending thoughts and prayers their way … @BobMcDonnell #standwithbob
It’s “American Idol” day in Richmond — the first time this iconic television show has held auditions in River City — and it sounds like the place is hopping. Meredith Newman wrote this morning in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (see About 1,000 turn out for ‘American Idol’ auditions:
About 1,000 people lined up in front of the state Capitol this morning in advance of the 9 a.m. start of the “IDOL Bus Tour Auditions” of the “American Idol” show.
The line doubled in size since about 4:15 a.m., snaking east on Bank Street and then wrapping around 14th Street.
The street is blocked off until 7 p.m. The auditions are taking place at Bank and 10th.
Good luck to all!
My wife, Brenda, and I lived and worked in Richmond, Virginia, a town rich in history, a few years ago.On the east end of town sitting atop a hill in one of Richmond’s oldest neighborhoods, Church Hill, was St. John’s Episcopal Church. Still active, it was built in 1741.
One evening after work, Brenda and I decided to walk the three blocks up to the famous church where Patrick Henry gave his “Give me liberty or give me death!” speech. As we arrived, a reenactment of the famous speech had just taken place. It was quite impressive and dramatic.
Richmond’s iconic Martin Agency, the ad agency that has been on the cutting edge for almost 50 years — hard to believe it’s been that long — proved Thursday that they still get it after all these years. When Team USA hit the field at noon in the World Cup tournament against Germany, employees gathered around a giant television set up in the atrium and munched on pizza ordered in by the company.
It was just the latest in this laid-back, go-with-the-flow business that has remained true to downtown Richmond even after opening other locations and consistently remaining as one of the Top 5 advertising agencies nationally with phenomenally successful ad campaigns such as “Virginia Is For Lovers,” UPS “What can Brown do for you?”, and probably one of the best currently known ads — the Geico “Hump Day” camel (“Know what day it is?”).
You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite movies. Its stars are Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Another of my favorites is When Harry Met Sally … again Meg Ryan only this time she was paired up with Billy Crystal. What fun to watch the perky Ryan in those upbeat, feel-good movies. And don’t forget Sleepless in Seattle and Kate and Leopold.
So when Ryan, who is now 52, was spotted in Virginia in April, a lot of people got excited when it was speculated that she was scouting possible locations for a film. One day she was in the Richmond-Petersburg area, and the next she was spotted having lunch in downtown Staunton. The news spread quickly. I posted on my SWAC Girl blog:
7:00 p.m. We’re in Richmond with Eric Cantor’s campaign workers and supporters waiting for election returns to come in from today’s primary.
7:20 The parking lot is filling and people are pouring into the hotel’s ballroom where a big screen is reporting returns and folks are munching on appetizers. Media is here including John Fredericks with his radio show.
7:30 Brian Kirwin is here from Blogging Drift … drove up from the beach. Also Jason Kenney, Peter Foster, Anna Lee, Fay Williamson, the Big Wand ladies Jean Gannon and Cathy from Powhatan….
7:45 Returns are coming in with 33% of precincts reporting.
8:10 It looks like Congressman Eric Cantor may lose this primary election. State Board of Elections is slow reporting numbers but Fox News, CNN, and other outlets are saying it’s over.
8:30 Congressman Cantor just addressed the crowd at the Westin and said the things we beli
8:40 A crowd showed up and in the confusion no one knew what was going on with the chanting but apparently they were pro-amnesty folks.
9:00 Everyone has left the ballroom, police showed up, and the crowd has dispersed including demonstrators. We’re still confused as to what that was all about.
9:54 We’re passing Charlottesville heading back to the Valley after the disappointing loss of Eric Cantor. I posted on my Facebook status:
Congressman Eric Cantor has lost to the tea party in the 7th Congressional District of Virginia. He addressed the room at the Westin Hotel in Richmond in front of hundreds of supporters and volunteers from today’s election. Sadly, politics in Virginia has taken a bad turn for those who believe in pragmatic, reasonable government. Congratulations to Dave Brat on his win … now to see what he does with it.
As we’re driving along in the dark Virginia night, many thoughts are going through my head so I just posted another status update on Facebook:
Eric Cantor for President! We’re on our way home to the Valley and I’m thinking about everything the Congressman has done for Virginia and America and what we could do to tap into such a leader. We could have the first Jewish Republican President of the United States!
Or even Vice President to someone like Jeb Bush. Something to think about.
I’m rocking on the front porch as a brisk breeze with a cool edge blows across the yard, and the sky is clouding over during the late afternoon in my corner of Augusta County. Leaves are rustling in the trees … it feels and looks like rain … so I had to come outside to enjoy the comfortable 70-degree weather. Newly-planted summer annuals are happily blooming in the windows boxes on the porch railing and in terra cotta pots scattered on the steps and around the porch, beautiful reminders of summer blossoms that will fill the landscape with waves of color as the season progresses. Their purple-pinks and whites and yellows, blues, and reds make a rainbow of awe as the weather turns hot.
It’s the stuff that dreams are made of and now it’s heading to Richmond. The popular “American Idol” television talent contest will be sending an audition bus to Richmond for the upcoming season, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Start warming up voices … find those dancing shoes … brush up on your talent. “American Idol” may be looking for someone just like you….
Once again Richmond, Virginia, is receiving accolades for the great city that it is, this time by Movoto.com, in 26 Things You Need to Know About Richmond Before You Move There. We knew growing up that we had a great place — the river alone is worth raving over — but RVA has come of age and is being discovered by a whole new generation. (And that would be the mighty James River.) Great job!
By the way, I like #19: “The mountains are practically right outside our doorstep.” The mountains lured me away from RVA but I can often be found back in my old stomping grounds! And #10 is wrong: RVA runs on Krispy Kreme Donuts, not the ones mentioned. Everyone knows that!
“Lonely the days and nights, my love, that we have been apart. It seems almost forever since I held you to my heart. The moments are as restless as the waves that move the sea, but every second means a step nearer, my love, to thee.”
— POW Paul Galanti’s words to wife Phyllis after his release as a POW during Vietnam War, a poem he had shared with her before they married
Phyllis Galanti burst onto the world stage when her husband, Paul Galanti, a Navy fighter pilot shot down over Hanoi in 1966, became a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. She had never wanted to be in the spotlight, this quiet and unassuming lady, but in 1971, five years after her husband’s capture and imprisonment at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton,” she took her battle to have him released to the people of Virginia, America, and the world, and became a national celebrity.
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