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March 2007

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March 2007

Table of Contents Celebrate Jamestown’s 2 Celebrate Jamestown’s 400th Anniversary With DACAS by Carolyn Smith

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Downtown with Liz Sater Economic Development Is As Simple As ABC by Joyce Wilburn Danville Symphony Presents Selections of French Classics by Julienne B. Parker


Second Thoughts by Kim Clifton


Points North Views from the Hill by Jerry Meadors


Founder of DCC’s Celebration of the Arts to Retire by Chad Adams

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Calendar of EVINCE


NC Symphony to Play in Danville Institute for Advanced Learning & Research Changing Our Community and the World by Deborah Morehead Looking at the Big Picture by Kathryn Davis


Around the Table St. Patrick’s Day and More by Annelle Williams Bjorn Again by Gordon Bendall


Turning Truth Into Fiction: Lee Smith to Speak About New Book by Jeanne Nostrandt


A Little Art History, A Little Art-Making, A Little Creative Writing by Lynne Bjarnesen

400th Anniversary With DACAS by Carolyn Smith

Area residents can join with the nation to commemorate America’s 400th Anniversary of the 1607 founding of America’s first permanent English colony, Jamestown, without leaving Danville or traveling to the settlement on the coast, thanks to the Danville Area Choral Arts Society. On Friday, March 23, the Society, under the direction of Robert Sutter with accompaniment by Diane Collie, will present The Testament of Freedom, a setting of 4 passages from the writings of Thomas Jefferson beautifully put to music by Randall Thompson. The text is just as provocative today as when it was written in 1774, 1775 and 1821. The Testament of Freedom was composed in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson. Originally written for men’s voices, the first performance was at Cabell Hall, University of Virginia, on Founder’s Day, April 13, 1943. Dr. Stephen D. Tuttle conducted the University of Virginia Glee

Club with the composer as accompanist. Particularly moving is the passage taken from the Declaration of Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms (July 6, 1775): “We fight not for glory or for conquest. We exhibit to mankind the remarkable spectacle of a people attacked by unprovoked enemies, without any imputation or even suspicion of offense.” Fittingly, Randall Thompson’s music is as exciting as the words it accompanies. Joining DACAS will be the George Washington High School Chorus for the Irving Berlin favorite, Give Me Your

All rights reserved. Reproduction or use in whole or in part in any medium without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

To Dine or To Eat Out? That Is the Question. by Larry Wilburn


He Said She Said by Larry Oldham & Dena Hill


Sales Manager Cathy Farley (434.793.7767)

A Simpler Way of Life Found in Our Town by Emily Cropp

Contributing Writers Chad Adams, Gordon Bendall, Lynne Bjarnesen, Kim Clifton, Emily Cropp, Kathryn Davis, J. B. Durham, Dena Hill, Jerry Meadors, Deborah Morehead, Jeanne Nostrandt, Larry Oldham, Julienne Parker, Ben Rippe, Christopher Russell, Liz Sater, Carolyn Smith, Joyce Wilburn, Larry Wilburn, Annelle Williams Averett University Intern

Sales Associate Christi Ingram (434.836.1319)


Ben Rippe’s Fashion Statement Legend Remembered in Little Theatre’s Production by J. B. Durham Lasting Thoughts by Joyce Wilburn From the Desk of Christopher Russell

On the Cover: Dr. Cornelius Rol, founder of the ABC Club, is surrounded by club members from over a dozen countries (4th row from front, white hair, black jacket). Story on page 4. Photo was taken at the IALR by Bobby Carlsen. Visit or 434.836.6042.

Deadline for submission of April stories, articles, ads, and calendar items is 5pm on Friday, March 23.

EVINCERE, INC. P.O. Box 2396 • Danville, Virginia 24541 © 2007 by EVINCERE, Inc.


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Tired, Your Poor. The chorus will also present musical selections under the direction of Lee Anne Sheridan and other patriotic songs will be performed by DACAS. The free concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 23, at George Washington High School Auditorium on Central Boulevard. Everyone is asked to bring game books and toiletries to be sent to the U.S. troops abroad. For more information call Carolyn Smith 434.822.0977.

Robert M. Sexton (804.285.0645)

Russ Carter

Editor Emyl Jenkins (804.285.0644) Managing Editor Joyce Wilburn (434.799.3160) Associate Editor Larry G. Aaron Art & Production Director Vaden & Associates (Dan Vaden) Graphic Designer Kim Demont

Printer McCain Printing Company, Inc. EVINCE is a member of the Virginia Press Association, first place winner of the prestiguous PIVA award in its category for five straight years, and winner of Virginia Press Association awards for 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and Virginia Press Women’s Competition Awards for 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.

Editorial Policies:

EVINCE is a monthly news magazine covering the arts, entertainment, education, economic development, and lifestyle in Danville and the surrounding areas. We print and distribute EVINCE free of charge due entirely to the generosity of our advertisers. In our pages appear views from across the social spectrum. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers. We reserve the right to accept, reject, and edit all submissions and advertisements.

evince\i-’vin(t)s\ 1: to constitute outward evidence of 2: to display clearly: reveal syn see SHOW MISSION STATEMENT EVINCE is a monthly publication, which focuses on arts & entertainment in the surrounding area through an array of features, articles, columns, and photographic essays. Its primary objective is to inform and educate the community of opportunities, organizations, and events in all areas of the arts. In addition, it is the vision of EVINCE to enrich the cultural awareness and develop support for the arts in the entire community.

How to submit information to EVINCE: Please send all information in electronic form to e-mail address For calendar information, please submit e-mail to To submit information, please copy and paste the text information into the body of the e-mail. We do not accept any e-mail attachments due to the very real danger of Microsoft-supported computer viruses.

March 2007 This is the last time you will read a Downtown With Liz Sater column, because I’m moving. Fortunately, the move involves only a few blocks—one small step for Liz, one giant step for downtown Danville. The City of Danville recently presented a plan to the Board of the Downtown Danville Association (DDA) to put more concentrated focus on economic development in the downtown and tobacco warehouse districts. The DDA Board of Directors resolved to support this plan because a shift is needed in order to continue the momentum that will build a critical mass of vibrant businesses downtown. So a shift will be made. In the near future, I will work as a City employee. DDA will no longer have to scramble to raise the funds to pay an executive director. Instead, future fundraising efforts can support projects, promotions, marketing, and maintaining a presence downtown. I will still be working with the merchants, business owners and the DDA, but I will be focusing more intently on economic development. When the Main Street process for revitalization began in 2000, the city’s economic development team was hesitant to bring prospective clients through the heart of our city. It was not an inviting scene. Thus DDA’s primary task was

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Executive Director of Downtown Danville Association to make incremental, visible improvements to the buildings and infrastructure. An attractive, pedestrian friendly downtown gives a feeling of nostalgia and security to the public, and it shows prospective investors that the community is growing and improving. In this area, we have been very successful. Over the last six years, thanks to a very generous incentive program, over $5.5M has been spent on public and private improvements to downtown properties. This activity has spurred further development in the adjoining tobacco warehouse district resulting in many more millions in investments. At last we can welcome visitors with pride into an ever-improving historic downtown Danville. The Gateway, new bridges, improved transportation hub, flower baskets, planters, banners and

murals all work together with 45 improved building facades to create a charming district. But there must be something more once people are downtown. Unique and varied restaurants, art galleries, and specialty retail shops combined with entertaining promotions and recreational opportunities can achieve our goal of a vibrant, bustling downtown. Going forward, the general public may not even notice that a change has occurred at DDA. The Promotions Committee will continue to sponsor promotions and activities in the downtown. The Design Committee will continue to advise those who are making improvements to the buildings and oversee the visual aspect of the district. As Redevelopment Coordinator for the City of Danville, I will be working with other city departments to draw



unique and attractive businesses to the first floors and fill the upper floors of historic buildings with office workers and new residents. The five years I have spent with DDA have been wonderfully fulfilling and a learning experience that I would not change. Many challenges lie ahead for downtown and I am grateful I can continue to be a part of the renaissance. Change is exciting and energizing and I know the best is yet to come for downtown. I plan to continue to keep you informed about all the happenings downtown in a brand new EVINCE column starting next month; so stay tuned. Mark your calendar for 2 big DDA events in March. You can groove to the music of Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos on Saturday, March 3, from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. at Danville’s own Mardi Gras Party in the Community Market on Craghead Street. Enjoy Cajun cookin’ catered by Yancey House, beads, masks and a cash bar. Tickets are a bargain at $20 a person, available at the Welcome Center and at the DDA office, 635 Main Street. Work off those extra calories and "Run for Revitalization" when DDA sponsors the 14th Annual Shamrock 5K on Saturday, March 17. Race day registration and packet pickup will be held at the Pepsi Building at the Crossing on Craghead Street from 8:30 am. - 10:00 a.m. Race starts at 10:30 .am. For more information visit or call 434.791.4470.



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at Averett Economic Development This Month


Spring Open House Averett Admissions Office March 17, 9 a.m. Student Center Information: 791-4996


Averett Student Art Show open to the public March 23-April 15 Student Center Information: 791-5600



Averett Singers & Handbell Choir March 25, 4 p.m. West Main Baptist Church Information: 791-5600



at the door or call 791-5712 March 29-31, 7:30 p.m. “Our Town” Adults $8, Students/Seniors $6 Pritchett Auditorium

We Teach Success

Is As Simple As ABC by Joyce Wilburn

Bengt Danielsson’s Swedish eyes scan the crowded room, and with a warmth in his voice that takes the chill off the winter night, he tells the ethnically-diverse celebrants, “You, the Americans By Choice Club, played a part in our decision to locate in Danville.” When the applause subsides, the manager of Swedwood North America explains that many factors contributed to Danville being chosen for the furniture manufacturer’s first plant on this continent. But it was the ABC Club’s positive presentation at a small party for company officials that gave Danville a little extra boost over the North Carolina competition. Although it’s a nice byproduct, economic development was not on the mind of Holland native Cornelis Rol when he founded the club in 1973. Ironically, the earnose-and-throat doctor had been wooed to Danville after attending a local party. “I heard this was a good place for me,” the spry 82-year-old retiree remembers. Though other localities were trying to recruit him at business meetings, Danville won out because, “they threw me a social party. I enjoyed myself and saw all these strange and different characters. We clicked,” Rol says emphatically. After settling here, he saw a need to stay in touch with fellow immigrants and that’s when he started the ABC Club.

Danville Symphony Presents Selections of French Classics by Julienne B. Parker


The Danville Symphony Orchestra’s spring classical concert, conducted by Charles Ellis, will feature Danville native and saxophone soloist Allen Rippe performing Milhaud’s Scaramouche, Suite for Saxophone and Orchestra op. 165c. Currently Assistant Professor of Saxophone at the University of Memphis, Rippe’s musical training includes the Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Hartford, and the University of Michigan, where he received his master of music degree. He has served in the Visiting Artist Program of

Despite having different nationalities, religions, traditions, and cultures, the glue that holds the group together is “we are Americans by choice,” says Rol proudly. It is a social group, but more importantly, it is the intellectual discussions that take place during their meetings that provide the reason for its existence. “We look at the world with a more global interest in understanding the world and its problems,” he says. Last month, Rol joined almost 100 of his international friends in celebrating World Friendship Day at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. Tim Franklin, Director of the Institute, spoke to the group and voiced his appreciation for their work in making others feel at home in Danville. “It is important when we bring talented professionals from around the globe to the Institute

North Carolina and has performed with the Israel Philharmonic and the Jerusalem Symphony. In 1998 he was soloist with the University of Memphis Symphonic Wind Ensemble. The version of Milhaud’s Scaramouche that Rippe will perform premiered on Radio Paris in June, 1940. Throughout the piece, Milhaud conservatively utilizes bitonality, or the musical use of 2 different keys at the same time, and the third movement, “Braziliana,” portrays an infectious South American samba. The Symphony’s Selections of French Classics includes other works from notable composers Ravel and Bizet. Ravel’s well-known and greatly loved Pavane pour une infante défunte (or Pavane for a Dead Princess) depicts a young princess as she gracefully maneuvers the steps of the pavane, a slow processional dance.

March 2007 that they feel welcome here,” Franklin said, referring to the Institute’s faculty and staff who come from 8 major world religious traditions and nearly a dozen foreign countries. “This region’s new opportunities will come from someplace else; and who is better positioned than ABC and the Institute to support the social and cultural transitions this economy will require?” he asked the group rhetorically. Applauding that comment was Fatima Tedeyeva, IALR Coordinator of Community and International Programs. In addition to arranging international classroom opportunities for the community, she hopes to make World Friendship Day at the Institute an annual event. “It is a time to recognize our international friends and their contributions to our community,” Tedeyeva says with a slight Russian accent. “Friendships help to bring peace and positivism to the globe and that is a great reason to celebrate!” And when we gather to celebrate, other good things can happen too…like economic development. Plan to attend the International Women’s Day at the Institute on Thursday, March 8th, at 7 p.m. See details in the story on page 18. The Institute is also planning an International Festival, Windows to the World, during the Festival in the Park. A parade of flags and costumes will take place on Saturday, May 19, at 11 a.m. in Ballou Park. Applications for participation are available at 150 Slayton Avenue or 434.766.6700.

The concert concludes with excerpts from Bizet’s familiar opera Carmen, the story of a beautiful gypsy with a fiery temper who leads many men to their moral downfall. At its 1875 premiere, critics condemned the story, describing it as immoral. But since then Carmen has become a staple of operatic repertoire and is the fourth most-performed opera in North America. Three well-known pieces from Carmen have developed popularity in their own right: the Prelude (overture), the Toréador Song, and the Habanera, all of which will be performed during the concert. The DSO spring concert on Saturday, March 10, in the George Washington High School Auditorium on Central Boulevard begins at 8 p.m. and is free. For more information visit www.

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Save the Day There ought to be a law against messing with clocks…instead, there’s one requiring it. Thanks to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, we begin Daylight Saving earlier this year. As if turning back time isn’t confusing enough. Some things should be left alone. Marking Easter Sunday is already one headache that a new calendar brings. Marking new Sundays for time changes in March and November is another. It doesn’t just stress me; it may also upset my computer. When experts started predicting that puzzled PCs will likely fail, I had Y2K flashbacks. That kind of talk scares the daylights out of me, instead of saving it. Knowing when to adjust the clocks is only part of the problem. Knowing how to do it is the other. The “spring forward and fall back” stuff doesn’t help, since nothing springs forward in my world except my knees under my chin when I flop on the sofa. But that’s mainly because the coils are shot. What’s more is that I don’t fall backwards. I fall down. I’ve even

of Everybody Loves Raymond for the been known to fall up, if steps are hot water tank to fill back up. involved. Pioneers kept time by studying My clocks don’t have hands, the position of the sun and the so resetting them is a test of my stars. I use a biological faith. On some displays, the bladder. When it wakes me up, I little red light means AM. On instinctively know it’s 4:20 a.m. others it means PM. I usually I’m not against saving things spin through more numbers than like wheat pennies, silver dimes a discount gas pump before I and baseball cards. But for all the finally get it right. daylight I’ve saved over the years, Actually, the whole process I still don’t have a single thing to reminds me of a DVD counter. show for it. Spring forward and fall back are The energy-conservation old school. Fast forward and scheme is credited to Ben Franklin rewind make more sense. in 1784, but I have doubts Truth is, I don’t know what all about his motivation. With the the fuss is about since I rarely use Revolutionary War behind him, I timepieces anyway. I have my own wonder if he was just looking to system. For example-- I know stir something up again, rather I’m going to be late for work if the than save on wax. Seems too red Jeep I meet each morning has many people back then wanted to already passed the Kwik Stop. I light a candle rather than to curse know it takes all of American Idol for the darkness. the dishwasher to finish, and most General Assembly Chorus

Regardless of why we fool with this, I’m not wild about a plan that makes the day any longer. It’s tough enough to get through the one I have. It’s even harder to get up when it’s still dark and impossible to go to sleep when it’s not. The main reason I dread this change is because it takes a week to fix all of my clocks. Every appliance I own has one…from the stove, to the coffeemaker, the microwave, the VCR and even the thermostat. Some are so complicated I don’t even bother. I’ve learned to live with them being right for only half of a year. They say a man with one watch knows what time it is, but a man with two is never sure. That’s not a problem for me anymore, even with Daylight Saving Time. I just go by my cell phone.


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POINTS NORTH views from the hill by Jerry Meadors The North Theatre celebrates 2 years of operations with a number of sold-out performances to over 50 events that have attracted 10,800 patrons to theatre, film, music, corporate and private programs. Every sector of the region’s diverse population has started to frequent the Hill, transforming a onceneglected neighborhood into the entertainment hub of Danville.

With Intermission Café in the North Theatre complex, serving candlelight dinners Tuesdays through Saturdays and the coffee/tea house performance venue, The Muse, across from the theatre open Thursday nights and for special events, visitors from far and wide are being attracted to the Hill daily. Already, this year, capacity crowds have gathered at the North for the AfricanAmerican concert pianist sensation, Awadagin Pratt. Hearing the North’s Steinway concert grand played so powerfully, definitely put a smile on piano donor Frank Grogan’s face. The Celtibillies, took the stage a few weeks ago with late comers being turned away at the box office. Both hit shows were produced by the Danville Concert Association, who will be back at the theatre in April with Quintango. If you’re young, or young at heart, The Muse is the place to be March 2nd for Danville’s own composer/pianist extraordinaire, Michael Leonhardt. Its alcoholfree environment provides local and national acts all month. Acoustic fans should be there March 9th for an evening of singer/songwriters including the popular Pittsylvania County born brothers Adam and Bean Weatherford, Richmond’s songbird Dirty J, Danville’s Robbie Owen and more. For details go to: Meanwhile, the Little Theatre of Danville continues its season, March 16, at the North with The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. The European Masters Film Survey continues at the theatre on Tuesday, March 27, with the second French film, Jean Renoir’s French Can Can 1954. Many area language teachers are sending their students to these 3p.m. and 7p.m. screenings. A block ticket can still be purchased before any scheduled screening.

On March 29th at 7:00 p.m. the Euantes Coffee House Celebration will be held at the theatre. Sponsored by the literary publication of George Washington High School, students from all area high schools are invited to participate in this poetry forum and competition. For information call: 434-792-4811. In addition, the North is available for corporate and private events. For more information call 434-792-1933, or visit

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Founder of DCC’s Celebration of the Arts to Retire by Chad Adams "When I retire, I want people to remember that I really care about students and young people, and that I have always tried to do my best to help them, whether it was about arts, history, or personal problems," says Russell Scruggs, Assistant Professor of History at Danville Community College for 37 years. While Scruggs’ love for teaching history comes naturally, his passion for the arts extends back to his childhood. He became a vocal soloist and soon his love for music "blossomed," channeling his interest into other art forms. As an adult, that inspired him to create a weeklong series, Celebration of the Arts, which has become an annual event at DCC for 25 years. Scruggs has high hopes for attendance at this year’s events because Tonya Pinkins, best known for her role as Livia Faye in the ABC-TV soap opera, All My Children, headlines the 25th Anniversary of Celebration of the Arts, March 26-30. "I’m excited about the 25th anniversary. I think it’s going to be a great experience for everyone," Scruggs says with a smile. "In addition to the great line-up we have, there will also be art exhibitions and DCC performers at

the events." Although he admits that coordinating the college’s cultural arts events has been stressful at times, one of Scruggs’ best memories is the 1986 visit by poet and writer Maya Angelou. "I’ll never forget that day when a female child about 8-years old came up to her and said she wanted to be a writer," he continues. "Everyone was trying to meet her, but Maya sat down and put all of her attention into that little girl. That child was more important than all of the ladies who wanted to shake hands with her. Years later that girl earned her master’s degree in English and became a teacher," Scruggs recalls. Looking ahead to his coming days without a teaching schedule, Scruggs says, "If, in retirement, I continued to volunteer only for the community causes in which I am currently involved, I would be very busy." Without any hesitation he adds, “However, my plans are to become even more committed to those things in which I so fervently believe." And that’s good news for DCC and the Celebration of the Arts. See the EVINCE calendar for a complete listing of events.

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• calendar of evince • Support the Tank Museum 434.836.5323 •

March Through March 25

Exhibit - Progress on the Land: Industry and the American Landscape Tradition. Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History - 434.793.5644.

Through April 1

Danville in Black and White. Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History - 434.793.5644.

Through April 22

Speed Exhibit - Dig into the physics and mathematics that make an impact on speed in real situations. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160.

Through April 27

Lake Country Wine Festival Advanced Ticket Sales - In Clarksville on Saturday, April 28. Clarksville Chamber of Commerce - 800.557.5582.

March 1

Cross Stitch Class. 1-2 or 7-8 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Averett Baseball v. Guilford College. 2 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. Averett Women’s Tennis v. Randolph-Macon Women’s College. 3 pm. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. Shag Dance Lessons - Beginner Class 7-8 pm. Intermediate Class 8-9 pm. Pepsi Building. 434.797.8848.

March 2

Relay for Life Auction - Benefiting American Cancer Society. 6:30 pm. Rock of Ages Winery. 336.364.7625.

March 2 & 3

Health and Wellness Expo - Enjoy health demonstrations, information, prizes and more. 10 am-9 pm. Piedmont Mall. 434.792.0400.

March 2 (thru 30)

Friday Night Dance. 7:30-10:30 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216.

March 3

Museum Workshop - Tonalism and the Landscape. Based on the Museum’s current exhibition. 10 am-3 pm. Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History - 434.793.5644. Re-enactor’s Winter Encampment. 10 am4 pm. Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History - 434.793.5644. DRBA’s First Saturday Outing - Two-mile easy hike at Reynolds Homestead. Viewing of An Inconvenient Truth during lunch. 10 am. Wayne Kirkpatrick - 276.694.4449. Bob Ross Painting Class - Bunnies in the Springtime. 10:30 am-3:30 pm. Ballou Park Annex Building - 434.797.8848. Averett Baseball v. Capital University. 12 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. Mardi Gras Party - See page 2. Sky Watchers Special - Lunar Eclipse. The total eclipse will be in place at nightfall, and the moon leaves the Earth’s shadow at 8:12 pm. Begins at dark, weather permitting. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160. Mardi Gras Dance. 7-10 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216.

March 3 & 4

Flamenco Vivo, Prizery -See ad page 10.

March 3 (thru April 25)

Danville Art League Exhibition -Caswell County Civic Center - 336.694.4591.

March 4

Averett Baseball v. Roanoke College. 12 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876.

March 5

African Dance by Nguza Saba -Mondays 6-7: 30 pm. City Auditorium. 434.797.8848.

March 5 (thru 26)

Boogie Mondays - Shag Lessons. 7-8:30 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Fitness For Older Adults - Tuesdays and Thursdays 9-11 am. City Armory. 434.797.8848. Ladies Fitness -Tuesdays and Thursdays 10 am12 pm. City Armory. 434.797.8848. Averett Baseball v. Lynchburg College. 2 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. Mondays Steppers - Our outreach dance troupe performs at Stratford House. 7-8 pm. 434.799.5216.

March 6 & 7

Fast Track 2007 - Trade Show. 4 pm. BassettWalker Bldg, Martinsville. 276.632.6401.

March 6 (thru 27)

Yoga - Tuesdays 5:30 pm. Pepsi Building. 434.797.8848.

March 6 (thru 28)

Westover Wittle Wones - Themed activities through various events, games, arts, and crafts. Ages 3-5. 9:30 am-12 pm. Coates Recreation Center. 434.797.8848.

March 7

Senior Bowling Tournament. 9-11 am. Riverside Lanes. 434.799.5216. Fetch! Lab - No matter the weather, Fetch! Lab will be flying kites. Ages 7-11. 3:45-4:45 pm. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160. Antiques: A Personal Perspective. Speaker Dr. Ken Farmer. 3:45 pm. The Wednesday Club 1002 Main Street.

March 8

Prostate Cancer Support Group - American Cancer Society. Memorial Hospital Boardroom, Martinsville. 276.650.8327. Kuumba-West African Dance Company - Traditional West African dance and drumming classes that will raise cultural awareness and give a great workout. Wednesdays 4:30-6 pm; Saturdays 10:30 am-12 pm. City Auditorium. 434.797.8848. Stencil Rug Class. 1-2 or 7-8 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. International Women’s Day - See page 18.

March 9

Barbecue Dinner. 5:30-8:00 pm. American Legion Post 1097.

March 9 (thru April 22)

Contemporary Crafts - This exhibition combines the familiar with the unfamiliar as it surveys the works of 16 contemporary artists. Piedmont Arts Association, Martinsville - 276.632.3221.

March 10

Gospel Sing - Hot dog dinner, music and a silent auction. 6 p.m. Tunstall High School

Auditorium. 434.799.8825. Instant Piano - Learn enough to give you years of musical enjoyment in just half a day. 9 am12 pm. Ballou Annex Building. 434.797.8848. Hillbilly Racing! - With its open wheels, low profile and extra width, this is a car that powers round the track and makes the modified tour the wildest division in NASCAR. 9:30 am4 pm. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160. Discovering Jamestown Family Day - Lots of fun things to do based on this historic theme with plenty of food, crafts, and fun for the whole family. 2-4 pm. Piedmont Arts Association, Martinsville - 276.632.3221. East Coast Dirt Oval Championships. 4 pm. Cooper’s Radio Controlled Race Center 434.724.4182. Spring Classical Concert - See page 10.

March 10 & 11

CH Friend Antique, Craft, and Art Show & Sale - Plus antique appraisals, local and regional artists, delicious food and a raffle. 3/10 10 am-5 pm; 3/11 12-5 pm. South Boston. 434.572.4248.

March 11

Reading & Book Signing by Emyl Jenkins. 4 pm. Prizery. Scott Foran -

March 12

Round-Robin Chess Tournament. 7-8:30 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216.

March 13

Averett Softball v. N.C. Wesleyan College. 2 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. Caswell Co. Chamber Annual Banquet. Social 6:15 pm and Dinner: 7 pm. Caswell Pines Golf Course. 336.694.6106. Photography Club. 6:30 pm. Ballou Annex Building. 434.797.8848. Frogs & Toads - Learn about these amphibians and their importance in nature. 7 pm. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160.

March 14

Lighten Up for Life. 9-11:30 am. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Caswell Youth Series - The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. 10 am & 12:30 pm. Caswell County Civic Center - 336.694.4591. Polliwogs & Science Stars - Learn about birds, from the giant ostrich to the tiny hummingbird. Make a bird feeder to take home. Ages 3-4 1-2 pm; Ages 5-6 3:45-4:45 p.m. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160. Averett Men’s Tennis v. Guildford College. 3 pm. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. The History of DCC. Speaker Marie R. Harris. 3:45 pm. The Wednesday Club, 1002 Main St.

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March 2007 MARCH 2007 S M


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Spring Wreath Class. 1-2 or 7-8 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Averett Women’s Tennis v. Peace College. 3 pm. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. Room Makeover Class - 6:30 pm. Danville Public Library. 434.797.8848. Sky Watchers - Constellation Leo and the planet Saturn. Begins at dark, weather permitting. Danville Science Center 434.791.5160.

March 16

Women Of Faith, Walking By Faith of Danville. 11 am-1 pm. The Colonade Room. Jennie 434.793.8140 or Catherine 434.836.2660. Pavlo - A combination of Flamenco, Latin, Classical and Mediterranean guitar mixed with the Greek Bouzouki. Martinsville High School. Piedmont Arts Association, Martinsville - 276.632.3221. Little Windows - Prizery, see page 10.

March 16 (thru 18)

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. See page 11.

March 17

Averett Admissions Spring Open House. 9 am. Admissions Office - 434.791.4996. DRBA Annual Meeting. 10 am. Mayodan, NC. Dan River Basin Association - 336.349.5727. Averett Men’s Tennis v. N.C. Wesleyan. 10 am. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. Museum Workshop - See page 13. DDA Shamrock 5K Run/Walk. 10:30 am. Riverwalk Trail - 434.791.4470. Sacred Heart School St. Patrick’s Day NCLB Blue Ribbon Campaign Kickoff. 434.793.2656. PAWFest ‘07 - Grand Opening Celebration of the new SPCA Adoption Center and Dog Park. 12 pm. SPCA of Martinsville & Henry Co. - 434.638.2287. St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Cooper’s Landing. See ad page 18.

March 17 (thru April 7)

Tumblin’ Tots - Tumbling, stretching, flexibility and other basic movements. Ages 2-3. Saturdays 9:30-10:15 am. Coates Recreation Center. 434.797.8848. Sandlot Slugger - Learn the fundamentals of soccer. Age 3. Saturdays 10:30-11:1 5am. Coates Recreation Center. 434.797.8848.

March 18

Averett Men’s Tennis v. Shenandoah University. 1 pm. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. Sunday Afternoons at Mt. Vernon UM Church - Nadezhda Shabanina, Mezzo-Soprano. 4 pm. 434.793.6824.

March 19

Averett Women’s Tennis v. Christopher Newport University. 12 pm. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. Mariachi Band - Los Tres Magueyes 6:30-9:30 pm. 2828 Riverside Drive.

March 20

Averett Baseball v. Lawrence University. 1 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. EBay I - This class is for Beginners who want to buy on the Internet. 6:30-9:30 pm. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research - 434.766.6793.

March 20 (thru May 15)

Beginning Guitar. 7-8 pm. Henry Co. Ad. Bldg. 434.634.4640.

March 21

Career & Networking Fair. 1-4 pm. Averett’s North Campus. Jennifer Stevens - 434.797.8520. Averett Baseball v. Endicott College. 2 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. Fetch! Lab - Make and race rockets on wheels. Ages 7-11. 3:45-4:45 pm. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160.

March 2007 Stepping Into History. Speaker Ms. Lee Smith. See page 14. Averett Softball v. Ferrum College. North Campus. 434.791.5876.

March 22

Beginners Cross Stitch Class. 1-2 or 7-8 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Digital Cameras - Learn the basic parts of a digital camera, practice taking pictures and downloading them to a computer. 5:30-8:30 pm. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research - 434.766.6793. Home Buying Made Simple. 6:30-8 pm. Danville Public Library. 434.797.8848.

March 23

Averett Softball v. Shenandoah University. 3 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. Averett Women’s Tennis v. Greensboro College. 3 pm. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. The Testament of Freedom - See page 2.

March 23 (thru 25)

Historic Sportscar Racing. VIR - 434.822.7700. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. See page 11.

March 23 (thru April 15)

Averett Student Art Show. Main Campus - 434.791.5600

March 24

Auto Racing - Late Model/Limited/Pure Stock/ Legends/Grand Stock. South Boston Speedway - 1.877.440.1540. North Carolina Symphony. See page 10. Bjorn Again: The Abba Experience See pages 12.

March 24 & 25

Line Dance Invitational Workshop & Dance. 10 am. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Averett Baseball v. Greensboro College. 3/2412 pm; 3/25-1 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876.

March 25

Brides Against Breast Cancer. Belmont in Reidsville, NC. 2:30-5:30 pm. 336.634.1700. Spring Concert - Averett Singers and Handbell Choir. 4 pm. West Main Baptist Church. 434.791.5600. Writers Gallery Award Ceremony. 4 pm. Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History - 434.793.5644. Averett Baseball v. Virginia Wesleyan College. 2:30 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876. Danville Chess Club. 7-8:30 p.m. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216.

March 26

An Evening with Tonya Pinkins - Actress from All My Children. Reservations recommended. 7 pm. DCC. 434.797.8513.

March 26 (thru April 24)

Art Classes with Judie - Instruction on oil and watercolor painting. Mondays or Tuesdays. Times vary. Ballou Park Annex Building. 434.797.8848.

March 26 (thru May 14)

Stained Glass Class - Mondays 9 am-12 pm, 434.797.8848.

March 27

DCC Celebration of the Arts - African Art Through the Western Eyes:An Introduction to Learning to See Beyond the Museum Image. 11 am. Temple Building, DCC. 434.797.8458. DCC Celebration of the Arts - Celtic Workshop by IONA. Learn the history of Celtic culture and music, fiddle and vocal techniques, how to play the bodhran and whistle, Breton dance and the basics of Highland dance. 12:30 pm. Temple Building, DCC - 434.797.8513. European Film Masters - French Cancan (1954). 3 pm & 7 pm. The North Theatre - 434.792.2700. Genealogy Study Using the Internet - 6:309:30 pm. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research - 434.766.6793. DCC Celebration of the Arts - Rhythm and Roots: Celtic Style. Concert with IONA that demonstrates the evolution of Celtic music and its connection with dances. 7 pm. Temple Building, DCC - 434.797.8513.

March 27 (thru May 1) Museum Workshop - See page 13

March 28

DCC Celebration of the Arts - Steadfast and Spirited: Stories of the American Revolution. 9:30 am & 12:30 pm. Temple Building. DCC - 434.797.8513.

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Polliwogs & Science Stars - Think about the different ways we experience wind. Build a windsock or kite to play with the wind. Ages 3-4 1-2 pm; Ages 5-6 3:45-4:45 p.m. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160. Crime Prevention Seminar for Seniors 1-4 pm. Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Breaking Into Television Production. Speaker Mr. Drew Pulley. 3:45 pm. The Wednesday Club, 1002 Main Street.

March 28 (thru May 3)

Art With Flo - Wet on wet technique. Wednesdays or Thursdays 6-9 pm. Ballou Park Annex Building. 434.797.8848.

March 29

DCC Celebration of the Arts - The Odyssey, retold in a vivid, accessible rendition. 8 am. Temple Building, DCC - 434.797.8513. Terra Cotta Painting Class. 1-2:30 or 7-8:30 pm. Ballou Recreation Center 434.799.5216. Community Conversation on Aging - Ballou Recreation Center - 434.799.5216. Landscape Planning - Advice on how to plan a beautiful landscape. Bring some pictures of your yard and get needed answers. 6:30-8 pm. Danville Public Library. 434.797.8848. Intro to GIS for Teaching and General Use - Focus on what GIS is, how we are currently using it in today’s society, and how use of GIS is becoming as common as Microsoft Word. 6:30-9:30 pm. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research - 434.766.6793. DCC Celebration of the Arts - Radio Dayze, The history of radio from its beginnings to the present via dance. 7 pm. Temple Building, DCC - 434.797.8513.

���������������������� Right now you will find beautiful dresses, gorgeous sportswear and suits for career and special occasions, rainwear in 3/4 and long. Shoes for dress, career, casual and comfort for a nice added fashion touch.

March 29 & 30

DCC Celebration of the Arts - Writers’ Workshop. Constructive criticism and writing supervision is offered to all creative writers of poetry and prose. Materials must be submitted to DCC’s library by 3 pm on 3/15. Various workshops and group sessions on both days. DCC - 434.797.8513.

March 29 (thru 31) Our Town - See page 16.

March 30

Averett Men’s Tennis v. Christopher Newport University. 2 pm. Main Campus. 434.791.5876. DCC Celebration of the Arts - The event includes a reception and presentations of painting, photography, woodworking, piano, vocal renditions, gospel music, banjo picking, readings and more. 2 pm. Temple Building, DCC - 434.797.8513. VA Museum of Natural History - Ribbon cutting, dedication 2 pm.; Gala 7 pm. 434.666.8661. Spring Winemaker’s Dinner at Cooper’s Landing. See ad page 18. Teresa Walters - Arts & Humanities - See ad page 7.

March 31

VA Museum of Natural History - Grand opening. 9 am. VMNH - 434.666.8661. Academic Open House - Your opportunity to learn more about educational programs already available to Southside Virginia residents.10 am2 pm. The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research - 434.766.6793. Auto Racing - Late Model/T- Limited/Pure Stock/SV Modifieds. South Boston Speedway - 1.877.440.1540. Easter Egg Hunt. Ballou Park. 434.797.8848. Speed of Sports - Compete in various sportthemed competitions and check your speeds. 10:30 am-3 pm. Danville Science Center - 434.791.5160. Averett Softball v. Peace College. 1:30 pm. North Campus. 434.791.5876.

March 31 (Thru April 1)

Spring Series Race - D13 Points Race. Lake Sugar Tree Motorsport Park - 276.650.1158.

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Mon-Sat 10-5:30

THE STORE NEXT DOOR 434.792.6822

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March 2007

NC Symphony to Play in Danville After appearing in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the 75year-old North Carolina Symphony will grace Danville’s George Washington High School stage on Saturday, March 24. The 65-member full-time professional orchestra, whose home is Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall, performs about 60 concerts a year and has released 5 recordings. Conducting this illustrious group in Danville will be their new Assistant Conductor, Joan Landy, who held the post of associate conductor of the Honolulu (Hawaii) Symphony for the past 3 seasons. A Massachusetts native, Landry holds a bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. She received her master of music and artist diploma in orchestral conducting from the Hartt School

Joan Landy of Music, where she also received the Honors Award of Excellence in Instrumental Conducting. The program Landy has planned for the Danville audience will include Overture to the Flying Dutchman by Richard Wagner, Over Looking Glass Falls by native North Carolinian composer and bluegrass banjo picker, Paul Elwood, Peer Gynt Suite No. 1 by Edvard Grieg, and the Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68 by Johnannes Brahms. This fourth event in the Danville Concert Association 2006-07 season will begin at 7:30p.m. on Saturday, March 24, in the GWHS auditorium, 701 Broad Street. Tickets are $10-$25. Call 434.792.4292 for more information or to purchase tickets or visit www. For more information about the orchestra visit

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March 2007

Changing Our Community and the World by Deborah P. Morehead The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research will mark International Women’s Day, Wednesday, March 8, a day that is designated in many countries as a national holiday, with a special program featuring Virginia Tech professor and poet Lucinda Roy appearing with a panel of 3 successful Danville-area women. Guest speakers on the panel for Changing Our Community and the World include Roy, Dr. Betty Jo Foster, Vice President of Academic and Student Services at Danville Community College; community leader Everlena Ross; and American National Bank Vice President Beverly Scruggs. This global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women will also be commemorated at the United Nations. Lucinda Roy is a poet, writer, painter, Professor of English, and Alumni Distinguished Professor at

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Virginia Tech. Her poetry collection The Humming Birds was selected by former Poet Laureate of Maryland Lucille Clifton as the winner of the 1995 Eighth Mountain Poetry Prize. Roy was also the first woman and first person of color to be named a distinguished professor at Virginia Tech. Betty Jo Foster, EdD, is the former Vice President of Academic and Student Services at Danville Community College where she continues to serve as a professor. In 1994, Dr. Foster was named Citizen of the Year by Pittsylvania County, followed in 1995 by her designation as a woman of distinction by the Virginia Skyline Girl Scout Council. She received the Leadership Southside Excellence in Leadership award in 2003 and is a previous Chair of the Danville Regional Medical Center Board. Everlina Ross of Dry Fork is director of programs for Pittsylvania County Community Action. She has worked for the Navy and in the General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C. She is Vice President of SCALE UP and the Pittsylvania County branch of the NAACP, and is a member of the Community Policy Management Board. Beverly Scruggs of Danville is Vice President of American National Bank and serves as a frequent volunteer with community organizations such as United Way. Changing Our Community and the World begins at 7 p.m. on March 8 at the Institute, 150 Slayton Avenue. This event is free. Registration is encouraged but not required. Call 434.766.6745.

Page 11

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by Kathryn Davis My grandson Elijah is celebrating his first birthday this month. What a wondrous journey this past year has been as we’ve watched him explore this exciting new world he’s been thrust into. Sometimes my husband and I just stare at him--marveling and wondering what must be going through that rapidly developing little mind of his. “What are these funny little things at the end of my hands? I can curl them up and then pop them back out. I can even pick things up with them and put them in my mouth - ooh, there’s another one of those Fruit Loops. I don’t know why Gammy won’t let me eat those fuzzy things I find on the floor.” “And what about this long thing inside my mouth. I can make big people giggle just by sticking it out, and it makes the funniest noise when I close my lips around it and blow. It gets my face a little wet, but I keep doing it, because I like the way it sounds. It even helps me make words like da-da and ba-by. The grownups don’t seem to understand the rest of what I say, but maybe some day they will.”

“And how about these things they call legs. They bend in the middle, so I can sit on them and bounce. Or if I put my hands on the floor and balance on the middle parts; I can move all over the floor. I can get to any toy I want or follow Gammy wherever she goes. But I’m still not fast enough to catch that dog! Oh, well, it’s fun when I grab hold of the couch or a table and pull myself up. Then I can actually walk wherever I want to go...well, at least to the end of the couch.” “And that bath-thing... I didn’t used to like getting water all over me. It made me feel cold and got in my eyes. But now, I sit in this giant bowl of water (Gammy calls it a tub), and I can splash and catch the water as it comes out of the pipe. Gammy gave me this little ducky toy that floats around in the water with me. I don’t know why she keeps singing that funny song about it. But that’s okay. I like it when Gammy sings. Anyhow, the water’s nice and warm and makes a fun sound when I slap at it, so I don’t mind getting wet any more.” Yes, what must he be thinking? I find myself wondering about that more and more. If only we could all look at the wonder of life through the eyes of a child and see it for the simple, beautiful and amazing gift it really is.

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Page 12

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Irish Coffee (I first enjoyed Irish Coffee at the Buena Vista Café in San Francisco, which claims to perfectly recreate the classic Irish drink.)

Around theTable by Annelle Williams

St. Patrick’s Day and More Spring officially begins on March 21st, but it’s going to have to do some warming up before I put away the crock-pot. March is usually a cold, wintry month in our neck of the woods, and the foods I want to cook generally match the weather. I recently bought an updated, larger crock-pot to replace my antique model left over from early marriage days. I purchased the new one to cook soups and stews, rather than leaving them to simmer on the stove for long periods of time. I still do all the initial browning, sautéing, etc, on the stove before transferring everything to the crock-pot. The result has been deep delicious flavors with little effort and without any loss of moisture. I’ve also used my new cooker for roasts, beef stew, and pulled pork. Now I’m wondering why I hadn’t used the old one in several years. If, like me, you haven’t used a slow cooker for a long time, check out the new models. They’re easier to clean and some can go from cooking, to the table, to the dish washer. Other models have new features such as griddles on the base, buffet warmers, and temperature gauges. One of our favorite winter crockpot meals is corned beef and cabbage, the traditional Irish favorite for March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. Start cooking it first thing in the morning, and it will be ready to serve by dinnertime. Cornbread replaces the Irish Soda Bread on our table. And instead of dessert, why not enjoy a nice cup of Irish Coffee? You don’t have to be of Irish ancestry to enjoy an Irish meal this St. Patrick’s Day with family and friends—and take advantage of the last good chance for a crock-pot meal this season. We’ll talk about spring and all things green (other than leprechauns) next month.

First, warm a cup with very hot water, then discard the water. Fill the warmed cup about ¾ full with hot, strong coffee. Add 2 sugar cubes (or two teaspoons sugar if you don’t have the cubes) and stir to dissolve. Add 1 ½ oz. Irish Whiskey to coffee. Top with sweetened whipped cream which has been lightly whipped. Pour the lightly whipped cream over a spoon onto the coffee to keep the cream floating on top of the coffee.

Corned Beef And Cabbage 2 T butter 2 cups baby carrots, already peeled 8 new potatoes, scrubbed and halved 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered 1 x 4-5 lb. Corned Beef Brisket cut in half, with cooking spices 3 cups beef broth 1 T whole peppercorns 2 bay leaves 1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 1 medium cabbage cut into eight wedges Mustard Sauce* Add butter to large sauce pan over medium heat. When butter is melted, add carrots, potatoes and onions and toss until all vegetables are coated. Continue to cook and stir for one minute. Pour coated vegetables into slow cooker and spread evenly over bottom. Remove excess fat from meat, and place brisket pieces on top of vegetables. If your brisket contains spices, mix the spices from packet into the beef broth with peppercorns and nutmeg. Pour over brisket and add bay leaves. Arrange cabbage wedges over meat. Cover and cook for 8-9 hours on low heat, or until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove beef and vegetables from broth discarding bay leaves and peppercorns. Serve beef and vegetables with mustard sauce. Makes 8 servings. *Mustard Sauce 1/4 cup butter 1/4 cup flour 3 T spicy brown mustard 1 T brown sugar 2 cups milk, warmed Add butter to saucepan over low heat. When butter is melted, add flour and stir until smooth. Add mustard and sugar. Stir until blended. Slowly add milk and continue stirring until mixture gently boils and thickens.

Buttermilk Cornbread (The buttermilk makes this a nice, moist cornbread.) 2 cups self-rising stone-ground corn meal from white corn 2 T sugar 2 eggs 3 T canola oil 2 1/4 cups buttermilk 1 T canola oil for pan 1 T butter for pan Preheat oven to 400º. Cover bottom of 10-inch iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil; add 1 tablespoon butter and preheat skillet in oven. Stir cornmeal and sugar together. Beat eggs and oil and add to cornmeal. Add buttermilk, stirring with a fork to mix well. Pour into hot skillet and bake for about 35 minutes, until top is beginning to brown.

March 2007

Björn Again by Gordon Bendall

Waterloo, Dancing Queen, Mama Mia, SOS, Fernando, Take a Chance on Me.... Ring any bells? It does with millions of fans worldwide who still groove to the songs that 4 Swedish superstars brought to America in the seventies and shot disco to a height shared only by a handful of other pop megastars. If you never got the chance to hear ABBA live, Bjorn Again, literally, is for you (pun intended). The tribute band coming to the Caswell County Civic Center will revive and thrill loyal fans and move newcomers to be re-born to boogie in their seats. Bjorn Again was created by ABBA’s bass guitarist, Rod Leissle, and re-discovered by the late rock star, Kurt Cobain, of the band, Nirvana, who invited Bjorn Again to join him at England’s 1992 Reading Festival. It was a re-awakening. Five Bjorn Again touring companies have now covered 45 countries with over 2,000 performances. The spinoff coming to Yanceyville will entertain with a humorous approach to their relationship to ABBA while remaining faithful to the hits that topped charts in America and Europe. The cast of Bjorn Again has fun on stage routinely teasing each other and talking in fake Swedish accents. The costumes are worth an honorable mention. Their stage names mimic ABBA’s original members who got the name for the group from the first letter of their first names. On stage at the Civic Center will be Agnetha Falstart, Benny Anderwear, Bjorn Volvous and Anni-Frid Longstokin. ABBA’s fame waned around 1982 when the group split up, but their songs continue to get airplay in a long list of movies, videos, and commercial soundtracks. The foursome was offered one billion dollars in 2001 to get back together for a world tour but they passed on the offer. ABBA’s legacy endures with the Swedish music industry crediting the group with making Sweden the third greatest exporter of pop music following the U.S. and the U.K. An ABBA museum is scheduled to open in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2008 with the blessings from the original members of the group. Bjorn Again lives with the praise of ABBA’s former manager, Stikkan Anderson, who said, “They are good. ABBA will never re-form, but you must see Bjorn Again.” Bjorn Again: The Abba Experience will be presented at the CCCC on Saturday, March 24, at 8 p.m. For more information and tickets, call 336.694.4591. For information about the group, visit

March 2007

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Page 13

Turning Truth Into Fiction: Lee Smith To Speak About New Book


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by Jeanne Nostrandt

New York Times best-seller author and Virginia native, Lee Smith, will be in Danville and Chatham on March 21st to discuss her new book On Agate Hill. The inspiration for Smith’s latest novel came from a stranger when Lee and her husband were moving into their new home in Hillsborough, North Carolina. The stranger, a native to the area, shared with them the colorful history of their old house, which involved a local lawyer and an unrequited love affair that had a bizarre twist. After authenticating the information, Smith reworked the story into an imaginative recreation of an orphan girl and the effects of obsessive love. Despite her 38 years of writing, which includes 11 novels and 2 collections of short stories, Smith has never lost her ability to see life through the eyes of a child. Those youthful characters, whose lives have experienced all the trials and hardships that would destroy lesser persons, always develop into strong adults. Smith knows and understands painful experiences. Her 33 yearold son, Josh Seay, died of acute myocardiopathy in 2003 just as she was beginning to write On Agate Hill. His sudden death caused her to “push life aside.” Like her strong characters, however, Smith followed the advice of a grief therapist and went back to writing every day. (Her eloquent essay, “Goodbye to the Sunset Man,” about Josh and his final year with her appears on her web page.) She continued to write and found her way back into life. An aspect of Josh appears in the character, Juney, in this new work of fiction. Smith takes the language and characters for her stories from the small southwestern Virginia town of Grundy where she was born in 1944. The seeds of her stories are often such everyday items as a pack of ribbon-tied letters found at a yard sale, a diary or journal bought in a second-hand shop, experiences from her youth or most recently, a new neighbor revealing the history of a newly purchased house. Her backward glance and stringent research couples with a creative imagination to re-invent the life she reads about in a journal

or remembers as her own. Her characters always face their fates with fierce determination not only to survive, but to better their lot. Smith’s fiction, however, is rarely dark or brooding. Even her most serious stories have comic relief, sometimes with only a phrase or an image, or sometimes with a full-blown character appearing on the scene. One of the strongest qualities that permeates her work is the sense of a chorus singing in the background. Ghostly voices of the past impinge on the present as though echoes of long-gone characters come back to have their say. The words flow lyrically through the story, and characters move to their rhythm. If Smith’s storytelling sounds like folklore, or the reader almost hears the story rather than reading it, it is intentional. “I grew up in the midst of people just talking and talking and talking, telling. . . stories,” Smith says. After she became a writer and teacher, she realized that some of her best work came from those stories she had heard all her life. That is when, she says, "I understood that I had to tell those stories.” The public in invited to hear Smith tell those stories and more when she comes to Chatham and Danville.

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40 Years of Making Your Dreams Come True

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��������������������������� ������������������������������ Lee Smith will be at Chatham Books, 10 North Main Street, Chatham, on Wednesday, March 21, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. and at The Wednesday Club, 1002 Main Street, Danville, at 3:45 p.m. For more information call 434.792.7921 or 434.432.2488. Visit

“The Action People” 470 Piney Forest Road



Toll Free 1-800-296-1049

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A Little Art History, A Little Art-Making, A Littleby Lynne Creative Writing Bjarnesen �����������������������������������������������

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There’ll be a little something for everyone at the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History during March. The first workshop, Tonalism and the Landscape, will focus on the Museum’s current exhibition, Progress on the Land: Industry and the American Landscape Tradition. The morning session will be spent in the gallery studying the works of some of America’s most accomplished landscape artists from the 19th and early 20th century, representing the Hudson River, Tonalism, and American Impressionism schools. Special attention will be given to Tonalist painters. In the afternoon studio

March 2007 session, participants will work in a medium of their choice, creating a landscape in the manner of a tonalist painting using their own photographs. This workshop, instructed by Executive Director, Lynne Byarnesen, is on Saturday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fee is $25. The second workshop being offered is Textural Landscapes. Participants will work in either etching (drypoint line to simulate texture) or collagraph (a printmaking technique using actual texture collage on the plate). Using the Museum’s current exhibit as reference, students will create landscape plates and prints. This workshop, instructed by Resident Artist Linda Gourley, is on Saturday, March 17th from 10a.m. to 2 p.m. Fee: $25 In the third workshop, Writing Your Life Story, participants will learn how to organize their memories and begin the writing process. Writing classes will be taught by Barbara Shaver on Tuesday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 3p.m. beginning March 27th and ending May 1st. Shaver has a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Creative Writing and Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. Cost is $25. Call 434.793.5644 to register. Visit the Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History at 975 Main Street or

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To Dine or To Eat Out? That Is The Question. by Larry Wilburn

With all due respect to Will Shakespeare, we sometimes have to ask ourselves do we eat out or dine out night? We all know that the difference between the two lies in the journey as well as the destination. So I want to share one such journey with readers who appreciate the distinction and do not mind a short road trip for a “dining experience.” The pleasant drive to Cooper’s Landing Inn and Traveler’s Tavern in Clarksville, owned by the husbandand-wife team of Les and Nichol Cooper, is a short 50 minutes from the MLK Bridge in Danville on Route 58 East. After we were cheerfully greeted in the foyer, I peeked around the corner and noticed the careful attention given to the elegantly accoutered dining room. That first impression quickly gave way to the sweet fragrance of roasted garlic. Rather than offend the senses, as garlic often does, this alluring olfactory sensation foreshadowed the delightful meal to come. Nichol, ever-conscious of good customer service, welcomed us and guided us to our table. The chef had already hooked me with the garlic, but the petite table for two, nestled between the fireplace and the window, put me at ease. I mean, we don’t always have a white tablecloth and antique flatware available every time we eat out. The fresh flowers and the miniature oil lamp provided just the right touch. The unobtrusive sound of quiet jazz blended seamlessly with the sensorial delights of sight and smell. This much appreciated, but seldom-experienced, ambiance seemed to have a calming effect on the 6 to 8 other bonvivants who conversed in muted tones. My wife Joyce and I had ample time to study the menu and marvel at the culinary wonders that awaited. We began our journey with a sampling of appetizers that did not disappoint. The signature crab dip, blended with fresh herbs and roasted red peppers, was served with a warmed baguette and fresh fruit. "Oh my gosh," I thought to myself, "this is made with real crabmeat!" Next I sampled the creamy baked Brie topped with pecan Kailua compote and thought this to be the earthbound equivalent of ambrosia the gods ate on Olympus. But I was mistaken. While these 2 dishes far exceeded my expectations, the indescribable pleasure of the asparagus Parmesan puff was like jumping off a gustatory cliff and free-falling through gourmet clouds! Perfectly cooked asparagus were folded into a puff pastry with prochuitto and imported cheeses and topped with a lobster cream sauce. It was more than the piece de resistance; it was the coup de grace. I could not recall any appetizer ever tasting as good! I whispered to my wife that they could take me out back right then and shoot me because I had just tasted heaven. But I tarry too long in the Elysian Fields and now must return to my journey.

Chef Les Cooper puts a fresh flower beside a puff pastry vegetable tart.

At this point, I thought the entrees would be anti-climactic and, once more, I had rushed to judgment. Joyce and I chose distinctly different dishes to challenge the chef’s skills. For me, there are 2 foods that amateur cooks need to avoid: sea scallops and filet mignon. Both demand finesse and perfect timing. I quizzed our server, Lynne, on the house definition of "medium rare" for the filet and was assured that it would be prepared to my exacting specifications. For good measure, I ordered the accompanying garnish of sautéed claw crabmeat. I was skeptical, thinking that they would never get this right. I was sure that I would have to send it back. Preparing scallops is a whole other kettle of fish. There is just no margin for error. So when Joyce ordered the seafood pastry filled with jumbo shrimp, scallops and crabmeat topped with lobster sauce, I chuckled to myself about how unfair this all was. Well, you guessed it--I had taken the oft-traveled road of self-righteous smugness only to be out-dueled and humbled by the skillful chef extraordinaire in the kitchen. The filet was succulently tender, exceptional in taste and the scallops exquisite. As for the wine list, there was a varied selection sure to satisfy the palate of most oenophiles. When the plates were cleared, I thought I detected a subtle smirk from Lynne who wondered if we might want some dessert. We had overeaten at this point and could only drool at the sight of sweet concoctions. The proper course of action was to complete our gourmet journey with a return trip to

sample the desserts. The next time you are seeking a true dining experience that is sure to tantalize all of your senses, head east to Traveler's Tavern. To eat out is human, to dine out is divine! Post scriptum: We did return to the Tavern several weeks later for Sunday brunch. Joyce ordered the westernstyle omelet and I had the Eggs Benedict. Both dishes were cooked to perfection and tantalized our taste buds. We knew this time not to overeat and were on the edge of our seats when the dessert tray arrived. We sampled 3 flavorful creations, all made by the executive chef Les Copper and the sous chef Morgan Vitale, that left us wanting more. The Triple Chocolate Decadence was a mousse of layered dark Ghiradelli chocolate, milk chocolate in the middle and topped with white chocolate. The Chocolate Cognac Torte was surprisingly light and airy, in contrast to the supporting crust of crushed gingersnaps and Ghiradelli chocolate chips. It made my mouth water. The key lime créme brulee was an unexpected treat. Chef Les creates interest by changing flavors and crusts weekly. Summing this all up: Bring a hardy appetite when you come and don’t hesitate to try several courses. The friendly staff will box what you can’t finish. Cooper's Landing Inn and Traveler's Tavern, 801 Virginia Avenue in Clarksville, is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and for Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit or call 434.374.2866.

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March 2007

He Said

She Said

He Said

She Said

Does anyone remember what life was like before television? Families talking to each other, neighbors being neighborly, people reading a book--whether for entertainment or for knowledge? These days everyone I know gets up in the morning and turns on the TV while getting ready for work (except the non-working friends and you know who you are). When they come home from work, the first thing they do is turn on their TV. When they go to bed they set the timer on their TV so they can go to sleep. I call this death by Letterman. Pardon me, I meant sleep by Letterman. When Dena wants to go to sleep, she just asks me to talk to her or tell her one of my famous stories, which always puts her to sleep. I will admit that I occasionally watch Cops or Forensic Science or maybe an episode of Survivors, or maybe The Amazing Race. Dena makes me watch all of the Monday night sitcoms, which I find amusing in some ways, but to just turn the TV on for noise sake seems a disgrace to our own intelligence. I just want to go back to an easier, friendlier, talk-and-listen relationship with family, friends, and neighbors. Now is that asking too much? If I could shoot all TV sets, it would certainly put me out of my misery. It would also help a lot of other people to get a life. However, some people would go into withdrawals without their TVs and my killing the TVs before the conclusion of this season’s Survivor would only result in opening the killing season on me. Then I would end up being on TV. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

Okay, Mr. Pseudo-Intellectual who thinks he’s above TV. I’ve got two words for you: CLOSET WATCHER. You go around telling everybody you don’t watch TV. You say you would rather read, when what you are reading is the TV Guide to find out when the next episode of Cops or World’s Most Famous Car Chases comes on. You don’t necessarily sneak around like a closet eater, but you act like you don’t watch TV, when in reality you do watch it. Who has 15 boxes of recorded tapes of the OJ trial? You recorded them off of WHAT? Oh, I remember, you recorded them off TV. Just because you don’t watch shows at the scheduled air time, does not mean you are not watching TV! What about all of those times when you have meetings and you ask me to record Survivor or The Amazing Race? When you come over to watch those recorded shows, that sure looks like TV watching to me. Let’s see-- The Class, How I Met Your Mother, Two And A Half Men, Christina, What About Brian, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Nancy Grace, Forensic Science, and COPS. The last time I looked, these were all TV shows, not radio shows. As for shooting your TV, you are much too frugal with money to destroy property. I have never seen you shoot a gun so you are probably a poor shot, and the biggest reason you won’t kill your TV is because there is no TV Hunting Season Guide to tell you when to hunt and God forbid you miss a season of 24 or Lost. You need to dump this kill-the-TV thing. Oh, and if you want me, I’ll be in my room watching Desperate Housewives, which I am beginning to feel like!

by Larry Oldham

A Simpler Way of Life Found in Our Town by Emily Cropp Sit back, close your eyes, and listen. Clink, clink. There’s the milkman making his deliveries. Thwack. That’s the paperboy delivering the morning paper. These are the noises heard for decades in small-town America. Now you can step back in time and visit a simpler way of life as the Averett University Theatre Department performs Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Our Town. “This play will appeal to anyone who has ever lived in a small town,” says AU senior Matt Doss, who plays the stage manager/narrator. “It’s a play that makes you cherish life.” Our Town is set in the early 1900s in the fictional town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. It centers on the Gibbs and Webb families, particularly George Gibbs and Emily Webb and looks at the everyday activities that take place in a small town: the doctor returning from a late night call, the mothers making breakfast, and

by Dena Hill

neighborhood women gossiping over the fence. The Gibbs and Webb family are neighbors, and it’s no surprise when Emily and George develop romantic feelings for each other. The play takes place over a number of years and the audience watches as George and Emily fall in love and marry. Eventually, Emily dies in childbirth and then steps into the past to relive a day in her life. Emily gains a nostalgic appreciation for everyday life that her parents and the other characters do not share. Our Town “ us a chance to go back and relive the way it used to be,” says Chris Lamb, a senior who plays Mr. Webb. “It helps us notice the simple things in life.” Our Town won Wilder his second Pulitzer Prize and became one of the most performed American plays of the 20th Century. Our Town will be performed Thursday through Saturday, March 29-31 at 7:30 p.m. in Averett’s Pritchett Auditorium on Mt. View Avenue. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for students/senior citizens. For tickets call 434.791.5712. For more information, visit

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Ben Rippe's

Fashion Statement Comfort Gets Fashionable And Other Shoe Trends

For spring 2007, women’s shoes mix comfort with style. Technological trends bring fashion-forward looks into comfort footwear. Aravon, a division of New Balance, features a stridarc. Beneath the fashionable exterior is a bi-fit rigid core embedded in rubber, which helps rock through each step. Two straps connected with a vertical T-strap, a comfort foot bed and rubber bottom on a heel make this dress sandal easy to wear (Helle Comfort)

Soft walk’s patented foot bed feels like walking on air. This crisscrossed leather sandal with wedge heel helps minimize foot fatigue.

Pikolino’s floral leather cutouts inlaid into naturally dyed leather on a comfort last with forgiving elastic sling back.

Merrell “track shoe” in silver metallic has all the features of an athletic shoe and looks good too.


Colors shine, especially in silver/ pewter and bronze. Crossed leathers and fabrics gently move the eye to another big trend peep toes. Perforated shoe and matching purse is a hot seller in shiny pewter by J. Renee.

Cole Haan sling back crisscross leather and open toes has whipstitching in shiny gold/ bronze.

Donald J. Pliner stretch fabric pump with croco-print leather back heel cap and high heel, peep toe front. Now can someone invent the instant pedicure? Ben Rippe is president of Rippe’s Shoes, Rippe’s and Rippe’s Furs in downtown Danville.

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March 2007

Legend Remembered in Little Theatre’s Production by J.B. Durham

The little town of Gilbert, Texas, may never be the same. After more than a century of operation, the legendary Chicken Ranch may be forced to close, the victim of an overzealous television “consumer advocate” and his conservative followers. Thus begins the story of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, this month’s musical offering from The Little Theatre of Danville. In its earliest incarnation on Broadway, and later in the 1982 film starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas introduced viewers to the Chicken Ranch, a reallife brothel that operated from around 1844 until 1973. While the stage version of the story varies somewhat from the film offering, audiences will still be treated to a “rip-roaring evening filled with laughter,” according to Alice Saunders, director of the production. “The entire cast has worked very hard on this production,” Saunders says. “It’s a very complex play, and the dialogue, dancing and music have all come together to form the whole. Our actors, dancers and musicians are working to pull everything together to make this one of the funniest, most spectacular productions Little Theatre has done in a long time.” To the folks in Gilbert, the Chicken Ranch has been a fixture for as long as anyone can remember. Situated just outside the town, although illegal under Texas law, the Chicken Ranch has prospered and grown to be a valuable asset to the community. Operated by Miss Mona (Little Theatre veteran Mavis Brantley-Lloyd), the Chicken Ranch supports local community causes, buys groceries and other needs from local businesses, and

otherwise maintains the persona of a respectable business, all of which helps the town folk turn a blind eye when locals, out-oftowners, politicians and even the occasional college football team find their way to its door. All goes well until it catches the eye of crusading television reporter, Melvin Thorpe (Gilbert Brantley). Under increasing public pressure generated by Thorpe’s exposé, the governor of Texas (portrayed by Alan Holt), moves to shut down the Chicken Ranch. Miss Mona and her girls try to stave off the inevitable closing, but even Miss Mona’s friend and protector, Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd (Michael Edwards) seems powerless to stop the governor’s reaction to public outcry. The play features a large cast of actors and actresses, many of whom are making their first appearance with Little Theatre. A large set, many musical numbers, intricate dance moves, and live music make this one of the most ambitious Little Theatre productions in recent years. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas will be presented in the North Theatre, 629 N. Main Street, at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, March 16-17, and 23-24, and at 2 p.m. on Sundays, March 18 and 25. Admission is $15 per person, with tickets available at the door, or in advance at the office of Arts & Humanities, 435 Main Street. For more information about the play, visit the Little Theatre web site at www.danvillelittletheatre. org or call 434.792.5976.

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Lasting Thoughts…

by Joyce Wilburn company newsletter encouraging all employees to practice good Are You Part of the Problem customer service. Ben Rippe wrote: “A couple or Part of the Solution? comes in the store and says, ‘We’re visiting from out-of-town. We just “The report of my death was an ate lunch at the coffee shop and exaggeration.” read about you in EVINCE. We That famous remark by humorist know all about you.’ They bought Mark Twain comes to mind when I a designer coat. Several other hear negative conversations about people have also commented Danville’s health and well-being. about the story positively.” Those comments are as false as Paul Burnette at JR’s Outdoor Twain’s erroneous obituary. Gear told us: “People skim There is a lot that’s right about newspapers for the news; but when our community. I know this you sit down and read EVINCE, because of the positive news and you read everything. The stories information about opportunities, have substance. And while you’re organizations, and events that we reading you see every ad.” report each month. The pages of After the November cover EVINCE are packed with the good story about Stratford Inn’s news in Danville, and readers are Gallery Restaurant was writing to us about the positive published, they were pleasantly effects of EVINCE. surprised by the hundreds of For example, Beverly Buxton calls for dinner reservations. wrote: “I have read twice your Just last week, a reader called article in September EVINCE (A and wanted a dozen copies of Job For Everyone) about your visit to the January issue of EVINCE. Chicago. Having never been to that She was so inspired by the city, I found it fascinating. Having article, Neighborhood Makeover: lived in Danville since 1989, I have Alarming to Charming, that she always been amazed by how friendly wants to distribute them in the ‘natives’ are. Strangers smile her neighborhood in hopes of at you on the street. Now I do too. obtaining the same results. When I go north to my past ‘home,’ With so much good news people think I’m some weirdo between these pages, I have to smiling and saying, ‘Good Morning.’ suspect that the complainers “I am showing your article are probably the people who around so as to alert people to be aren’t participating in community helpful to strangers to our city. As activities other than as observers. a volunteer in a well-visited place, I My challenge to you in this see that look on faces…’Where do season of new beginnings is to I go now?’ We often have to read become a doer not a viewer in our their minds and get them to their community. Not only will your life destination. I hope your article be more fulfilling, but the life of reminds people why we love and the community will be enriched. stay in Danville (and to) pass that And keep in mind what journalist feeling on to visitors.” Sydney Harris said, “If you aren’t American National Bank part of the solution, you are part of President Charley Majors referred the problem.” to that same article in his

Christopher Russell at The Inn at Berry Hill Too timid to visit a spa? That’s not what your ancestors thought.... The contemporary spa is a descendant of the ancient practice of bathing in hot springs and mineral waters. Historians have been able to date this practice back to the ancient Greeks. Since bathing was one of the few naturally occurring indulgences available to our ancestors, it has undoubtedly been going on since the dawn of mankind. Some people speculate that the word “spa” originated from the Belgian town Spa, a place renowned for its baths since the ancient Roman times. During

the 19th and early 20th centuries, great spas were only available to the wealthy who went there to “take the waters” for their healing and medicinal properties. Water treatments, hot stone massages, and mud treatments are part of the modern spa experience. Massages and facials are the most popular spa treatments at the Blackberry Spa located at the Inn at Berry Hill. Blackberry Spa services are an affordable indulgence and there is a full menu of services where you are indulged and pampered at prices suited to every pocketbook. For information call 434.517.7000.

Come See The Many Ways To Enhance Your Home March 24 • 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 25 • 1-5 p.m. Institute for Advanced Learning & Research

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March 2007

Evince March 07  

Evince Magazine from Danville, Virginia for March, 2007. Celebrating the arts and humanities of Southside Virginia

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