I hail from a small farming town in central Virginia. That’s not where I live now – I live nearly a 2 hours’ drive away, though still in central Virginia – but my parents and my sister and my niece and most of my relatives live in my hometown, so I still go down there quite a bit. When I think of the word “home,” that’s still where my mind goes. It’s a beautiful, pastoral location nestled right at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. Most people know each other or at least have a mutual acquaintance; it’s the kind of place where it’s hard to go to the grocery store and not run into at least one person you know.
You would think that not much goes on in such a small, rural community, but the news would beg to differ. Here are a few of the news stories coming out of my little hometown in the past few weeks:
- Henrico County officer charged with child pornography – Yes, that’s right; my hometown is renown throughout the country for its child porn sting operations. You may think our cops are back-country hicks (and let’s face it, in some cases you’d be right), but these officers have set a model for child porn sting operations across the country. They’re kind of amazing at it, actually.
- Traveling tombstone returns home – In an abandoned apartment in my hometown, officials found a tombstone for an infant who died in 1856. They couldn’t find anywhere in town it might have belonged, so they expanded their search…and discovered it had gone missing from a cemetery in Massachusetts! The tombstone was returned to its rightful owner, but you have to wonder…who on earth steals an old tombstone for a dead baby and how on earth (and why) does it travel all the way down the east coast?
- German serving 2 life sentences in VA again denied parole – This would be Jens Soering, who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s parents (committing the murders with his girlfriend, Elizabeth Haysom, who also went to prison) in my hometown when I was a child. I remember it very well, as do most who were living there at the time, I’m sure – it was a very gruesome double murder, not the sort of thing that usually happens in a small rural community. In addition, my classmate’s dad was the lead detective on the investigation. I can promise you that no one in my town believes this guy should ever be paroled.
- Game officials report smaller deer harvest – Yep, this is big news back home.
- Overturned Vehicle with Entrapment in Arby’s Drive-Thru – I don’t even know how this is possible, but somehow, someone crashed their car – OVERTURNING IT – in a fast-food drive-thru in my hometown. If you click on the link, there are pictures. You will also wonder how on earth this could possibly have happened. I think some laws of physics must have been broken.
- Bedford Woman on TLC for Rock Eating Obsession – Oh, yes; I saved the best for last. A woman – I don’t know her, but I bet someone I know knows her – was recently on the TLC show My Strange Addiction because she eats rocks. Regularly. She says it comforts her. She has opinions on which type of rock tastes best. Her doctors have encouraged her to stop, but she doesn’t see why she should. Oi.
Does weird stuff happen in your hometown? Or are we just special? 🙂