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Archive for November, 2007

Who would have thought that an industry segment could dwindle so much that what remains would be a tourist attraction? That’s the case with Mount Airy’s Bright Leaf Drive-In Theater, now one of a small handful of drive-ins left in the state, which at its peak in the ’50s numbered more than 200.
Since I have lived in the southwestern corner of the county for the past 37 years, I must admit not having had the pleasure of spending an evening at the Bright Leaf yet. The last time I went to a drive-in was probably a quarter-century ago, either in Jonesville or at the Flamingo in Winston-Salem. I do remember my first time ever at a drive-in, going with my parents to see one of the first James Bond films in Quantico, Va. I could barely wrap my arms around the 49-cent Sprite. I also remember that there was a drive-in that tried to appeal to the younger crowd by urging them to “see a movie from the comfort of your own back seat.”
Anyway, it’s great to see the Bright Leaf has new, young, enthusiastic ownership and that folks are coming from miles around.

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Will the extra quarter-cent sales tax fly through the referendum Tuesday. Not likely, even though there’s no organized opposition. I’m not saying it will fail. I think it will pass. But it won’t be by a landslide. A lot of folks just don’t like tax increases, no matter how small or who else might be paying them. And as our county ages — and it is aging rapidly as retirees move in and young people look elsewhere for decent jobs — getting people excited about building new schools gets more difficult because so many don’t have a direct, vested interest. The message that needs to be hammered home is that Surry County can’t stay the same. It can get better, or it can get worse. Not attending to our school needs can only insure it will get worse.

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