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Almost here (July 21, 2011)

Here is one last post before the Vintage show Saturday. It is shaping up to be a great show; I know, everyone says that all the time, but this one is really looking good. I know a few years ago I was burned out and fatigued and just didn't have energy on the eve of the show, but I'm really upbeat.ure, when things look great you can have a black swan that causes everything to unravel, and then sometimes what looks like a pending trainwreck can somehow work out just fine. Here are a few things that I feel good about:

Show week (July 18,2011)

The last few days before the 14th annual Virginia Vintage Comics Show:

Hoosier Data (July 14, 2011)

Indiana is the 14th state.

I'm not sure if this is correct in the chronological narrative of the United States, probably not. But Indiana is the 14th state to be represented at the Virginia Vintage Comcs and Collectibles Show.

I received a call this week from an Indiana man who plans to attend our 2011 show. He has renewed his interest in comic books, and his daughter is now becoming an avid comic book collector as well.

This is shaping up as one of our all-time best shows, with strong promotion and participation. Be sure to be part of the fun.

Tarzan and the Slave Girl (July 10, 2011)

TCM aired "Tarzan and the Slave Girl" (1950) yesterday. As a kid, I followed the Tarzan movies on the Early Show devoutly; I saw some of the Johnny Weismuller Tarzans maybe 10 times, but I never remember seeing "Slave Girl" before. Was it too racy for Roanoke, VA television in the early 60s?

Many of the Weismuller films were well plotted and had emotional depth (really): Tarzan Escapes (Jane betrays Tarzan), Tarzan's New York Adventure (Tarzan in the jungle of civilization). They were the gold standard for the series.

The Ceremony (June 30, 2011)

We held a wedding celebration for our youngest son Chris, on Sunday at the Saddle Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Chris and Daphne were acutally married in an outdoor civil ceremony in January. Six months later, the celebratory event was held to include friends and family who could not be at the January event.

T-minus 30 (June 23, 2011)

And counting!

Today is 30 days until the 14th annual Virginia Vintage Comics Show, July 23, 2011 at the Salem, VA Civic Center. That's four weeks and two days.

Does the First Lady read comic books? (June 14, 2011)

My big newspaper assignment today: get an interview and photos of Virginia's First Lady, Maureen McDonnell, visiting area wineries on a goodwill tour of the region.

It's a great drive out to Foggy Ridge Cider in Dugspur on the back roads, like driving back into the 1950s. I get the photos and get to talk with Mrs. McDonnell for several minutes. We're promoting Virginia wines, she says. They are becoming very popular in Great Britain and Europe. "Napa Valley is for auto parts," she quips. "Virginia is for fine wines."

Hay Season, 2011 (June 12, 2011)

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Hay season, when I pitch in and help the Compton Family put up 8,000 to 10,000 hay bales. These days hardly anyone harvests hay the way it was done in the mid-20th Century, with twine-bound square bales (actually, they're more rectangular). It would be taxing during the cooler times of year, done in the heat of summer, it is gruelling.

Heroes Convention, 2011 (June 8, 2011)

The half-full take: sales were up about 25 percent from 2010, and just about everyone I talked to said this year was "better," whatever that means.

Hillsville Flea Market, May 2011 edition (May 28, 2011)

The Hillsville Flea market started yesterday. The Memorial Day event is a fraction of the Labor Day Event, which has reportedly drawn as many as half a million visitors and 2,500 vendors.