Hot Seat secrets: We asked, they told...


From passing gas in public places to stealing vans to juggling atop a unicycle, this year's Hot Seat sitters have shared their dark– and not so dark– secrets. Read 'em and weep.


"Stevie Jay"

 STEVIE JAY may be best known for his one-man show, Life Love Sex Death, but his stage career had a less auspicious start: he dressed as a gigantic Dorito to shill for Frito Lay in a Manhattan grocery store.


 JOHN GRISHAM is used to emitting the sweet perfume of success, but he was once accused– falsely, he swears– of passing gas in church!


 S/he's the reigning queen of drag by night, but come daytime, LUCKY SUPREMO is the king of charity. Last Christmas, Lucky spent money earned in a pageant on gifts for seriously ill children.


 Charlottesville Public Defender JIM HINGELEY has a nostalgic streak. Alhough his children are now in their 20s, his idea of a perfect day is still walking them to the neighborhood elementary school in the morning.


 Albemarle Assessor BRUCE WOODZELL is used to listening to people scream in his office, but 55 years ago he was the one doing the screaming in Martha Jefferson Hospital– as a newborn baby!


 These days WNRN's "Sunday Morning Wake-up Call" host RICK MOORE has a dizzying array of guests, but as a child he was dizzied when he "spun around inside a dryer 80+ times."


 Architect KATIE SWENSON is now a law-abiding mom to three girls, but she was once arrested while protesting at UC Berkeley.


 Sure, she may have the face and voice of an angel, but songstress DEVON SPROULE proved she has a little devil inside by stealing and wrecking a van when she was 15.


 Writer and UVA prof CHRISTOPHER TILGHMAN says nothing makes him rant quite like one of his former Yale classmates: George W. Bush.



Author TONY HORWITZ has received acclaim for his novels, including Confederates in the Attic, but his first dream was not to write. As a teen he juggled atop a six-foot-tall unicycle, hoping to join the circus.


 JIM CARPENTER has photographed countless locals, but who knew he'd also capture on film six American presidents, the Dalai Lama, the Queen of England, and Desmond Tutu?


 If civil rights activist PAUL GASTON gets his Walter Mitty wish, he'll be downhill skiing in three years, at age 80.


 MAC MACDONALD is the voice of sports on WINA, but back in third grade he had to be a good sport when he got a pencil eraser stuck in his nose.


 Psychologist PETER SHERAS offers other people's children counseling, but he's psyched to see his own children graduate from college.


 Working as an administrator in the city schools is serious business, but LAURA PURNELL says she has a lighter side. During her own high school days, she was a clown and high-board stunt diver.


 Albemarle Supe DAVID BOWERMAN's biggest 21st Century thrill was chatting up Mikhail Gorbachev at a UVA graduation ceremony.


 NBC 29 morning anchor BETH DUFFY says there's no one cooler than first lady Laura Bush.


 Charlottesville Albemarle Association of Realtors CEO DAVE PHILLIPS can help you find the perfect home, but don't ask him to help you pick out paint: he's colorblind.


 Charlottesville Pavilion honcho KIRBY HUTTO hints that he once found trouble as a traveling Deadhead. "Let's just say there was a time," he relates, "when the state of North Carolina asked me not to attend any Grateful Dead concerts there for a while."


 Albemarle supe DENNIS ROOKER is used to playing hardball with developers, but he'd like to be playing football as quarterback for the Redskins.


 Playboy magazine's October Playmate, UVA student AMANDA PAIGE, says another blond could do her justice on screen. She'd pick Jessica Simpson to play her in a movie.


 Chapman Stick aficionado GREG HOWARD says he gets a lot of sh**. He shovels manure from his wife's two horses every day.


 Although he's now a tech guy who made a run for Mitch Van Yahres' 57th District seat, TOM McCRYSTAL says he once considered a very different career: the priesthood.


 Former city spokesman MAURICE JONES is aglow with pride after carrying the Olympic Torch in 1996– and not tripping while doing it.


 City treasurer JENNIFER BROWN is used to writing tax bills, but she dreams of writing children's books.