Sweet treat: Still Life with Donuts packs the house

Breathe it out slowly as befits the holy mantra it has become: Belll-mont.

In Charlottesville it's the current equivalent of "Open Sesame." Everything having to do with that little formerly blue-collar part of town across the tracks seems to turn to gold.

And the April 23 premiere of Still Life with Donuts– Natural History of a Neighborhood was no exception. When two hundred enthusiastic filmgoers– 48 of them donut-stuffed, courtesy of you-know-who– packed the Vinegar Hill Theater to revel in the history of Belmont, it was clear that one showing wouldn't be enough.

The Vinegar Hill management is therefore opening the theater for a matinee Saturday, May 3, at 2pm. The show will be projected directly from a Digital Master tape, which should provide better sound than was available at the first run-through.

If you can't make the show this weekend, filmmakers Mark Edwards and Mary Michaud anticipate releasing a DVD in June with additional footage, photography, and maps.



People who didn't know Belmont existed until Mas opened have flooded The Hook offices with questions after seeing the film. Herewith the answers to some of the more pressing queries, courtesy of Mark Edwards:

Q: Just what is Belmont, anyway?

A: The actual physical area that comprises Belmont is generally considered to be the area bounded by Sixth Street on the west and the CSX tracks on the north, with Moore's Creek as south and east borders. Some people stretch it a little to include the coal tower even though it's on the wrong side of the tracks.

Q: What's the origin of the name Hogwaller?

A: Some people say it's a word copped from a Hee-Haw episode. Jamie Dyer, a founding member of the Hogwaller Ramblers, thinks that it has something to do with the mud flats that used to be Carlton Addition– Meade Avenue and west down to Moore's Creek. There used to be a farm there. Now the stockyards are down there and might also have something to do with the name.

Q: What's the story on Spudnuts?

A: It was originally part of a national franchise, and there are still a few official Spudnuts shops on the West Coast. Other shops with the same name are scattered around the country. Mr. Richard Wingfield is the current owner of our local branch.

Q: Elvis. What's going on in his head?

A: James Roarke is the local man who impersonates Elvis. You'll have to ask him about the second question.