Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Virginia Living: The Big Picture... online!

Honk your horns with glee!  

Virginia Living Magazine has posted my cover feature on Virginia's surviving drive-in theaters.

The story begins:

A short row of cars is lined up at the entrance to Hull’s Drive-In Theatre, which sits just off Route 11 in Lexington, not far from a fireworks vendor and a truck stop. The warm late-April Sunday is turning brisk as the sun lowers and longtime Hull’s ticket taker Sam Newcomer stands outside the rickety ticket booth nursing a cough. 
“Fridays and Saturdays are busier. Sundays are usually the slow night,” he tells me after he collects $7 for admission from a man and his Shih Tzu in a late model truck.
The sounds of “At The Hop” are echoing off the mostly empty drive-in movie lot, and the smell of popcorn is in the air. Hull’s opened in 1950 as the Lee Drive-In Theatre and, unlike many open-air cinemas constructed during that time, is still doing business today. When longtime owner Sebert W. Hull passed away 15 years ago, a group of Lexingtonians formed the Hull’s Angels and rallied to save it, boxy metal speakers and all. Today, Hull’s is the only community-owned, nonprofit drive-in theater in the U.S.

 Click here to read "The Big Picture."

Photo by the mighty Cade Martin!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hampton Roads Magazine: Sexuality in Service

My latest feature for Hampton Roads Magazine, "Sexuality in Service," takes a look at the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the immediate after-effects of allowing gay soldiers to serve openly. It begins:

It was the lip lock felt ’round the world.
When the U.S.S. Oak Hill came home to Virginia Beach on Dec. 21, 2011 after a long deployment, Petty Officer 2nd class Marissa Gaeta kissed her girlfriend, Citlalic Snell, to commemorate the dock landing ship’s ceremonial first kiss. Gaeta, like many of the sailors on board, had purchased several $1 tickets in the Oak Hill’s raffle in order to compete for the opportunity.
The act was much publicized and discussed. It was the first time in the naval homecoming tradition that a gay serviceperson had done the honors and embraced a person of the same sex. 
With no advance hoopla or protests—the ship’s commanding officer, David Bauer, called it a “non-event”—this simple gesture was seen as a symbol that President Barack Obama’s then-recent signing of a repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, a controversial initiative that asked gay soldiers to keep their sexuality hidden, was being accepted by a majority within the ranks.

You can find the article in HR's September issue. Or you can click here to read the rest of "Sexuality in Service."