O Christmas Tree

I can’t help but agree with comedian Jim Gaffigan a little bit: “The Christmas tree…where did that tradition come from? It sounds like the behavior of a drunk man. I can picture it now: ‘Honey, why is there a… a pine tree in our living room?’ ‘I like it. We’re gonna… we’re gonna decorate it… for Jesus. Then I’m gonna hang my socks over the fireplace.'”

Brown Thursday

I don’t support this new trend but I had to cover it anyway. Brown Thursday, as it has been called, is a clear violation of America’s favorite holiday in terms of food. Going out at 7 or 8 pm and waiting in line until midnight is just crazy enough to be fun. Having stores open at 5 and 6 pm ruins all that. They don’t even pass out stuffing or cranberry sauce while you are in line.

Take Cover

Seventh-grader Logan Elliott takes shelter under his desk during The Great ShakeOut earthquake drill at Rustburg Middle School. The worldwide drill was started in 2008 to educate people on what to do if an earthquake hits. “I hope we don’t ever need to use them” said Tim Hoden, Director of Operations for Campbell County Schools, “but we want to prepare students in case we have a crisis.”

Rebuilding Together

I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV lately and covering this home renovation assignment was a bit like walking onto the set of one of their shows. A crew of volunteers with the organization Rebuilding Together Lynchburg had projects going in every room of this house. From a hole in the roof to old wires in the basement, this house, and its owner, were in need of some help.

Line by Line

The framed drawings hanging in Charles Worsham’s living room look like the most detailed scientific illustrations I have ever seen. They are nearly three feet tall and Worsham told me it takes him six months or more to make each one. Sitting at his drawing table, often in silence, he carefully observes and then draws each vein of a dried oak leaf or twist on a piece of bark with quick, confident strokes of his mechanical pencil. The subjects of his still lifes are propped up next to him, untouched for the duration of the drawing. His attention to detail and appreciation for nature were carried over from his former work as an FBI tracker, where Worsham traced the steps of people and animals by looking for broken leaves or disturbed twigs. He says he taps into an instinctual level of awareness that everyone has but most people never learn to recognize.

If his drawings weren’t terribly outside my price range, I would have loved to have brought one home.

Fire Truck Parade

Normally, a fleet of 30 fire trucks cruising down Main Street would be cause for alarm. This day, however, the trucks were met with smiles and waves. The annual Antique Fire Truck Parade in Bedford featured historical fire fighting equipment reaching as far back as a hose cart from 1888. Current and retired motorized vehicles came from neighboring counties as well.

Facing a New Day

Karen Wood stands in front of the Appomattox County Courthouse in Appomattox, where she spent many long days in legal battles with her ex husband. Those cases have resulted in him convicted of kidnapping and solicitation to commit murder. She decided to come forth with her story in hopes of teaching other the lessons she learned the hard way, with plans to do public speaking on the topic of domestic abuse.

We accidentally set up our time for the portrait before the courthouse opened so I opted to take a few shots outside in the meantime. We used one with her eyes open in the paper but I like the feel of this one as well.

Dave Thompson’s article about her story is here.