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Photo by TOM LANDON | Special to The Roanoke Times
The vertical plastic tubes visible at the Hershberger Road interchange with Interstate 581 in Roanoke are designed to protect saplings growing inside.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Our question today comes from many of you. Several times a month, I get a message from someone who wants to know just why the heck there are so many plastic pipes in the ground at the Interstate 581 interchange at Hershberger Road in northwest Roanoke.
We’ve answered this before, but apparently people still have a hard time believing that these are in fact seedlings planted in protective tubes so they don’t get mowed down before their time. To prove it, I risked life and limb ( OK, really just poison ivy) to take a photo of some leaves emerging from the top of one of them. Hopefully this will settle it one once and for all. A very unscientific poll revealed living trees in 19 of 20 tubes, which is up from the 75 percent survival rate reported last time this issue was in the paper.
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I got quite a few responses to last week’s column on Hollywood movies made in the area. Most were asking why I left two of them in particular off the list. Neither “In a Shallow Grave” nor “Lake Effects” was included, and I left them off on purpose because the first had a premiere at the Grandin Theatre but was made for TV (the fine PBS series “American Playhouse”) and the second was made for the big screen but mostly ended up on television as an oft-repeated program on the Hallmark Channel after a red carpet premiere at the Westlake movie theater at Smith Mountain Lake.
Because the question was asking about major motion pictures, I left them both off, along with cinematic efforts by local character Charles Cullen, who made several low-budget horror movies around Roanoke. I did learn that Sara Elizabeth Timmins, the woman responsible for bringing “Lake Effects” to the region, is in the process of producing another film set in Giles County and based on local writer David Baldacci’s novel “Wish You Well.” Here’s hoping this one gets a wider theatrical release.
Harriet Little of Fincastle gently chastised me for not including “In a Shallow Grave,” especially because some of the scenes were shot on her property in Fincastle. Sorry about that, Mrs. Little, and thanks for the long phone message.
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After a recent column on the old car on Mill Mountain, land owner Chick Pace called to let me know that he’s 95 percent sure the car’s presence isn’t the result of joyriding kids or moonshiners, but a remnant of some boys who liked to work on cars up on Robin Hood Road and who likely towed the car up there, stripped everything they wanted, and left it in the woods. Chick grew up on the mountain and has an idea of who might have been involved, but can’t be completely sure.
Several readers called to say they wanted to know more about the estate of T.E.B. Hartsook called Crown Point on Mill Mountain. I heard from C.E. Stewart of Vinton who said that he has been poking around the ruins since he was a kid in the late 1930s, and that the house already was gone by then. I’ve posted some images of maps showing the estate on the What’s On Your Mind blog for those who want to do some more digging.
Once again, the old mailbag is getting pretty light. Now would be a great time to ask a question of the local answer guy, don’t you think? Just don’t ask about the plastic tubes by the highway.
Have a question? An answer? Call “What’s on Your Mind?” at 777-6476 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to provide your full name, its proper spelling and your hometown.
Look for Tom Landon’s column on Mondays. Read the WOYM blog on roanoke.com anytime.
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