ANNUAL MANUAL: Our Town- Celebrities galore!

"Virginians are all snobs, and I like snobs. A snob has to spend so much time being a snob that he has little left to meddle with you."–William Faulkner

Screen: Sissy Spacek (Oscar-winning actress), Howie Long (Fox Sports analyst), Sister, Sister star Tim Reid and his wife Daphne Maxwell Reid, who are movie producers now, but he'll never be forgotten as WKRP in Cincinnati's Venus Flytrap.

Politics: Julian Bond (fiery NAACP chair), Lawrence Eagleburger (frequent Fox News commentator and Secretary of State for about five minutes during administration of George H.W. Bush), Larry Sabato (television's favorite politico talking head), Nathaniel Howell (ambassador to Kuwait during the Gulf War), John Whitehead (religious/civil rights fighter who rose to national prominence by pressing Paula Jones' case against Bill Clinton).

Money:  John Kluge (Once the richest man in the world, he's now ranked #52 by Forbes with a fortune of $9.1 billion.), Patricia Kluge (billionaire's ex-wife turned businesswoman), Edgar Bronfman Sr. (former Seagrams CEO and bison purveyor)

Music: Dave Matthews (boogie rocker), Maxine Jones (member of Grammy-nominated '90s girl group En Vogue), John McCutcheon (frequent Grammy nominee), Mary Chapin Carpenter (Batesville's resident folkie), Corey Harris (Bayou blues).

Fiction: John Grisham (world's #3 novelist– topped only by Dan Da Vinci Code Brown and that clever Rowling lady), Jan Karon (Jessica Mitford series), John Casey (Spartina), Rita Mae Brown (from Rubyfruit Jungle to Sneaky Pie Brown mysteries), Ann Beattie and Deborah Eisenberg (darlings of MFA programs). Caroline Preston, Donna Lucey, and Henry Wiencek are here, too.

Moved away: Muhammed Ali (owned Nelson County property in the mid-'80s), Tami Hoag (best selling author), Tina Fey (former Saturday Night Live head writer and 30 Rock star went to UVA), Katie Couric (Anerica's favorite news gal happens to be a UVA alumna), Jessica Lange, Sam Shepard (romantically linked for decades, this thespian couple owned an Albemarle farm until the mid-'90s, moved to Minnesota and now live in a co-op in New York), Lawrence Ferlinghetti (renowned poet and founder of San Francisco's City Lights Bookstore, he owned a home on Park Street from 1998 to 2002)

Sports: Gene Corrigan (longtime ACC Commissioner). Howie Long (see "screen" above).

Poetry: Rita Dove, Charles Wright, George Garrett.

Pop Culture: Peter Max (pop artist whose works look like the Yellow Submarine cover) owns land near Yogaville in Buckingham, Cathy Baker Purcell (the "That's all" girl from Hee-Haw) lives in Orange County, Julann Griffin, ex-wife of Merv, co-creator of Jeopardy! owns a farm in Fluvanna.

Dead fraud: Anna "Anastasia" Manahan. This long-time claimant to the Russian throne was determined by DNA in 1994 to be not a romantic, missing grand duchess but a delirious Polish peasant who later married a local eccentric.



No one (ever) seems to realize, or mention, that Mark Helprin ("Winter's Tale", "A Soldier of the Great War", "The Pacific" -- lives here too. Has lived here... for at least ten years.

He's a far better writer than anyone mentioned above, although I don't enjoy his (very different) writing persona as evidenced in the guest editorial space of the Wall Street Journal. (Very diversified man -- but definitely not stupid.)

All right -- who's the more talented musical luminary in our town?

It's not Dave. (Nice guy, nice try... just don't make me listen to him sing!).

Anybody know?

I do.


CVL's a nice place to live and all, but this type of validation just reeks of self-consciousness.