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ERIC BRADY | The Roanoke Times Taken 8/21/2010 VMI Rats line up for their first formation in Cameron Hall Saturday afternoon, moments before departing for training at the barracks.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Most Virginia schoolchildren know the story. A group of Virginia Military Institute cadets marched from Lexington to New Market to help Confederate forces fend off Union troops. They found a battlefield so soggy from five days of rain that it sucked the boots off Yankee and Rebel feet alike. The cadets helped chase the Northerners in a nine-mile retreat, but 10 of them lost their lives in the process.
It’s a real event in Virginia history that has all the drama needed for a pretty decent movie. Or at least that’s what David Kennedy thought. The University of Virginia graduate has written the script for a movie entitled “Field of Lost Shoes,” and filming is scheduled to begin next week.
Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” was a special treat to Virginians who peered past actors to exclaim over familiar locations in and around the state Capitol, not to mention the computer-generated blue dome added to the building. “The Field of Lost Shoes” should provide more opportunities for showcasing the state. If Hollywood continues its interest in historic films, Virginia has enough history to keep it in the commonwealth for many years to come.
Pyramids and traffic pylons
Republican Ken Cuccinelli is peeved that his Democratic opponent in the governor’s race seems to be taking credit for this year’s landmark transportation legislation. Cuccinelli’s campaign sputtered out an email Friday predicting Terry McAuliffe will next claim that he built the pyramids and introduced Mick Jagger to Keith Richards.
It’s not clear from the screed whether Cuccinelli is trying to defend the origins of the Great Pyramids in Egypt or the rather tacky version in Las Vegas. But there’s no doubt that McAuliffe has a big ego and a tendency for name-dropping. It’s hard to follow his blitzkrieg banter, but we vaguely recall some mention of Elizabeth Taylor, who once played Cleopatra, and he may have let slip that he told Julio Iglesias he and Willie Nelson would make a swell duo.
On a T-Mack braggadocio scale, the ad agitating Cuccinelli is modest. McAuliffe says he called up an unidentified number of Democratic legislators to let them know he supported the transportation bill, which was backed by Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.
Cuccinelli’s public pouting has served only to remind voters of his own, less constructive role as attorney general when he released a legal opinion on a related budget issue that temporarily put the road measure’s fate in question. McDonnell and legislators made a few tweaks and the transportation legislation is all right now. In fact, it’s a gas. No thanks to Cuccinelli, though, and that’s what voters will remember.
Out of Animal House into the doghouse
The brothers of the Virginia Tech chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity are SigEps no more. As of this week, the chapter has been tossed out of the Richmond-based fraternal organization for unspecified “alcohol and hazing violations.”
Now members in good standing are left to take up “The Lifetime Responsibility of Brotherhood” that serves as the fraternity’s guide book.
National fraternity officials and alumni intend to honor the organization’s pledge to give the Tech Foundation one-third the cost of a new, $1.5 million building, the price to have a SigEp house on campus that belongs to the university. The fraternity expects to regroup and re-establish itself, perhaps in a couple of years.
Tech, meanwhile, is converting the house for non-Greek “living-learning” accommodations. And the lost brothers are on their own as far as finding housing for the fall. That’d be under “Accountability” in the list of five tenets of SigEps’ Balanced Man Program. They can find it online if they’ve misplaced their books.
Weather JournalMany very icy despite 'bust' claims