Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mayor Sessoms of Virginia Beach

I first met the new mayor of Virginia Beach at the Farmer's Market in the Princess Anne area of Va Bch. He was Vice Mayor then and there was a logo contest for the market where I was one of the finalists who received an award from the city. All the logo entries were displayed in a barn-style room next to vegetable stands and country crafts, sporting phrases like "Home Sweet Home." There was music and refreshments.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Date with an American Beauty

The 1936 Cord, a conception that got last place in a 1933 GM sponsored design contest. I drove this car for months and nothing was more unforgettable than its timeless lines from the sculpting hands of Gordon Buehrig, a designer that didn't allow rejection to stop his drawing from becoming a reality, and how.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

This Poet's element is off-stage

A local poet hits the street in virginia beach...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Original Tough Copper

How would you catch a bootlegger if you were a cop in the 1930’s? You’d chase him and if you lost him, you’d call for back up to intercept him, right? Well, that wouldn’t work too well for Norfolk cops, who didn’t get radios installed in their cars until 1941. And searching for a gas station with a phone, would often give crooks time to escape. But my late grandfather, John Estes, a Norfolk police officer for 35 years, had a skill that terrified criminals - he could fly...

Click on the title above to link to the rest of the article, The Original Tough Copper on the on-line magazine Blogcritics.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Life-Sized Betty Boop Remains Headless

Associated Press picked up the story on Betty Boop's Beheading from the Virginian-Pilot, which I had submitted a press release, which the Pilot had titled, "Cartoon Violence" in July 2005. AP reverted back to my original press release titled with the three B's - "Betty Boop Beheaded..." It became a top story in papers, TV, and was even on live-feed radio. Someone told me they read about it in the NEw YORK TIMES. Yesterday I submitted an update on the still unsolved mystery, to Blogcritics which they published right away. See the article - http://blogcritics.org/archives/2009/04/25/171030.php

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mayor Fraim meeting with citizens

In the mid 1990's, Norfolk Mayor Fraim, began offering opportunities to individuals to meet with him one-on-one. It was a revelation when a group showed up parading as one, like they were attending an all-you-can-eat buffet.

The Virginian-Pilot is a-changing

I had a morning and evening route, folding this paper in thirds and binding it with a rubber band. I delivered them before and after school. When my brother got his first van, I used to ride on the back and toss the papers from the top to customer's door steps, like a daring trashman. The evening paper, the Ledger-Star, is de-funct. But, the morning paper has greatly changed with a new publisher and a new look - with more ads plastered on it, including the near-sacred cover, in vivid color, nonetheless. Therefore, front page news is no longer as great as it was. Not when a car dealer or realtor can buy a place on the same page, forcing the publisher to sometimes relegate important news to another less prominent spot, thus weakening the priority of news and its placement hierarchy, further creating less of a paper and more of a daily advertisement. Thinking money, money, money will only destroy the paper's long standing reputation in my hometown. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Drive Safely on This Death Drive

In a twist right out of a Stephen King novel, less than one hour after publication of my story about the many vehicular fatalities that have happened on Shore Drive, a bicyclist was killed by an SUV in the same drive. Interesting enough, in my story published on Blogcritics, I mention my run-ins with vehicles where I used to work, which is on the 3700 block of Shore Drive, just blocks away from where the most recent fatality happened. The point of my artcle was to serve as a public service announcement to visitors to the tourist route. Read the relevant article published today on Blogcritics.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Reverse 911

Motivation is a variable. So many things influence it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Teenage Bomb Enthusiast in Virginia Beach

Years ago, when the Independence Day movie was out with Will Smith, and a nut stock housing bombs was discovered, I did this take. There was a roughness and a bit of a backwardness about this nut. Here he uses a bike pump as an interactive device with his favorite part of ID4 movie. I dug it from my archives because of the latest news on a teenager found with bombs at his parents home in Virginia Beach. It's almost too difficult to find something comicky about it but that is part of the challenge in these shocking things that demand disbelief, which is why perhaps humor is paradoxical.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


What would a Fix look like if it was inside out?
That depends on whether you are an insider or an outsider.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Newport News Fish

The chemicals, TBT, used to keep barnacles off ships can create interesting changes to the bay's water creatures. There have been days where I go to the Chesapeake Bay and the beach is filled with dead fish along the shore. And little explanantion was found. Perhaps, that was best, as the real reasons may have been too shocking for some specimen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photo Doctoring

The Hampton Roads Scholar was following a story about a picture of ex-Governor Wilder of Virginia, with then-prez Clinton, in a photo with Mark Warner. It was from the mid 1990's but delineated the power of photo-altering software like photoshop. Not that any harm was done, but you are judged by who you are associated with.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Vision Line

The Hampton Roadscholar created Vision Line to allow citizens the chance to submit their visions to their leaders. Certainly, these passionate pleas must have appeared as abstract paintings to those schooled in say, local seascapes.

It's a Gas!

In the 1990's, a popular topic of contention was the Lake Gaston pipeline, miles and miles of piped water crossing many areas before providing hampton roads with more water. City leaders were instigated to fight with the mere mention of the word water. Here in this page of local history are the Fab Five city leaders on unicycles, the wheels of which are the respective city seals - the point was to see if they could get along in a physical activity other than fisticuffs, but it didn't work - someone changed the HOV lane to H2O and all hell broke loose. The Hampton Roadscholar proposed adding the other 4 city seals to mount trashmore alongside the already emblazoned Virginia Beach seal, but naturally he was met with severe resistance.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Summit at Mt. Trashmore Continues

How would we ever justify the payroll of politicians if there was a continuous state of getting along. If things went smoothly, as they could if the powers that be allowed it to be, they would have to fight for their jobs like those with real jobs . Thus, by unwritten law, we must have arguments, battles, and wars. If leadership was effective, with time, there would be continous positive results built on the careers of other leaders, not a constant emphasis on change around voting time. L:ife would become better, not worse. Ill-placed assistance can perpetuate problems as much as deliberate ignorance. It's how it is used. Perplexing, paradoxical, and ironic, but, a well lubricated machine, this is.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Summit at Mount Trashmore

Bringing the Fabulous Five - Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk to a Summit to explore group activities was a good way to entice the respective leaders to at least appear as a team. Mount Trashmore was a good place for this to occur, as it was essentially the only mountain in the area and it made a great photo op for the press. Imagine each leader running up the many steps and then embracing at the top like Rocky climbing the steps of the Philadelphia Museum.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Virginian-Pilot Mascot

It is the nature of a locale to be almost myopically focused on its own surroundings. It's always been challenging to simultaneously focus on the trees and the forest. And thus city leaders should stay focused on their own areas, as they know them best. The mascot of regionalism serves the purpose of reminding the different city sectors of a common goal, a realization that our actions have ripple effects. Jeez, this could get deep.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Downtown Norfolk

Having grown up in Norfolk, I couldn't help but see the many "cart pushers." They could have the appearance of an undesirable, but they were doing something admirable - cleaning the public streets at no cost to the city, of trash that probably on more cases than not was left by the so-called more respectable citizens that could afford the more expensive cans of beer and cigarette packages that lined the curve. So, amidst an area known for its crime and drug pushers, was the cart pusher, a homeless street person that could have one heck of a spirituality beneath that dirty, musty clothing.

Neptune Festival

What's worse than the rising tide in destroying a sand sculpture at the Neptune Festival?

Home Scams

The box to my recliner made a great home for a Cleveland homeless person. I gave him some plastic to put under the box to prevent moisture, but he wasn't content - he wanted not one blanket, but two. I also offered some decorating ideas for the inside of the box, but he wasn't interested, saying he wasn't going to live there long enough to enjoy it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Virginia's Polluters Relief Act

The Virginia Polluters Relief Act had a couple of loop holes the size of a trashed tire. The Hampton Roads Scholar delineates a few of them from the past.