Saturday, September 14, 2013

Charlottesville, VA gay pride festival held today

Today, I paid a quick visit to the Charlottesville, VA Gay Pride festival, in a rather small area downtown called Lee Park. The basic web reference is here.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the day was the trip down.  I stopped at a Sunoco and McDonald’s on US 29 south of Warrenton and could hear continuous rifle fire from a nearby range associated with a gun shop.  I haven’t heard fire like that since my adventures on the rifle range in Army Basic in 1968. I had stopped at that station in the past and never heard fire there.  I recalled a  riveting 1999 film “Bill’s Gun Shop” (by Dean Lincoln Hyers) that I saw at local film festival in Minneapolis when I lived there.  Then I recalled a recent day trip in West Virginia, going into a convenience store on US 50 west of Romney, and finding a gun shop in the convenience store.  Everywhere in rural Piedmont and Appalachian areas you see cars with NRA stickers.   I get a sense of how important self-defense seems as a fundamental right (and responsibility) in much of rural America.  But I’m really not part of the Pink Pistols crowd.

Ironically, just by chance, some of the Netflix film that I played tonight when I got home is set in Charlottesville.  It’s called “Don’t Tell” (or “The Beast in the Heart”), again ironic, although the story is a heterosexual one (I’ll cover it very soon on my movie’s blog). 
The festival had a country-western stage. I did not see as many people who appeared to be from the University of Virginia as I had expected.
The traffic was difficult, and Charlottesville is bigger than one thinks.  But I found “free” parking in a normally commercial lot on Water Street; at least, the gate was left open when I left.
When I was graduating from high school, I applied to UVa and got in, but wound up at William and Mary, which started my life story covered in my books and on these blogs.  In the 1960’s, UVa was for “gentlemen” and men had to wear suit and tie to class. A lot of people did not consider it cool. 
  How things have changed. 

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