The Blue Raccoon

Monday, October 29, 2007

Manic Monday

Mr. Kollatz, this is your wake up call...

At about 8 a.m. the phone rings, I'm just out of the shower and Amie hasn't quite pried open her eyes. It's Katie Parry, from the History Press, informing me that I'm scheduled to be a guest on Virginia This Morning to push the slender volume. I said a few choice Anglo Saxon vulgarisms, directed against myself, and followed by Amie's laughter, flew into the closet to find something tweedy and writer-like and yet not too crazy for teevee. Other than me.

I jumped in the Lear Buick and roared off to Channel 6, parked near the Holiday Inn of Scott's Addition and waited for several long moments for traffic to clear and let me off the Broad Street median. I production assistant was in the lobby ready to whisk me into the studio.

They moved me up to the second segment and I was relieved that I'd made it, but disappointed that I'd not done a calendar check Sunday night.

Frankly, the whole thing blurred past me. I was on with Bill Bevins and Julie Bragg. I remembered to bring the book and hold it up. Bill was interested in "The Gangs of Richmond" segment and I explained this was "good old-fashioned brick-throwing hooliganism" not armies of men with axes ready to go at each other. And got in about Benjamin Moore finding the Manchester diamond.

Whew. Thank you Channel 6, Bill and Julie. The billion-eyed audience can judge for themselves how coherent I am, or not, keeping in mind that I'd not yet had any coffee. See the segment here.

"I'm on page 50!"

Later in the day, I was strolling at a brisk pace on North Colonial Ave. when a car came out of an alley and a passenger shouted to me, "True Richmond Stories! I'm on page 50!"

This was one of the fellows to whom I'd sold a book at MoJo's on Friday night. He was enjoying the book and thanked me for having written, "I'm kind of sort of browsing through it, too, to see what else is in it," he explained.
"That's what it's for! Thanks for reading!"

Henrico award

Nobody needed to call and wake me for receiving recognition by the Historic Presrvation Advisory Committee Awards of Merit in a ceremony at the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen. Susan Winiecki, my big-time editor at the magazine, took me out there.

I was one of four recipients -- and the other three actually do stuff.

As unbelievable as it may seem, in the Heritage Village portion of the Virginia State Fair there's not been an African American section until 2004. The all-volunteer African-American Heritage Committee corrected this oversight, by providing information about slavery, emancipation and the the achievements of blacks in history. They dispel myths, that slavery was only a Southern institution and that the Underground Railroad was not, well, a subterranean transit system that refugee blacks hopped on for an express to Ottawa.

Kerry Shackelford, proprietor of Museum Resources Inc., saves endangered antique houses by taking them apart, sometimes storing them, then reassembling them at another location. This allows for structures that might've otherwise gotten crushed into toothpicks to have a renewed existence elsewhere. He studied in the Colonial Williamsburg coopering program, and is one of only two tradesmen to have completed rigorous six-year program.

Hearing him describe the process he undergoes in the reception afterward was inspiring. As Susan said, with him, it's a calling. Thank goodness.

Carol Anne Simopoulos, Educational Specialist, Social Studies/K-5 for Henrico Elementary Schools. She created five years ago the Henrico Historical Awareness Project, which does what all good history should accomplish when taught in school: uses skills in studying and writing about what is local, visible and real to ignite children's interest. She established a county-wide essay writing program that selects three winners from each of the county's districts.

We each got a plaque and kept the easel display place that announced what the honors were for.

Thanks to Vee Davis, who nominated me, and got me on the roster. Thanks to Henrico for the award, the dinner and the event. And thanks to Susan for the lift out there and home!

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home