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Buice column: RiverRun’s drive-in closing a hit

After enjoying quite a few films during the RiverRun International Film Festival in 2019, I looked forward to even more last year. But then along came the pandemic, which pretty much shut down everything, including RiverRun.

The festival made somewhat of a comeback in 2021 in a reduced format of virtual, outdoor and drive-in screenings this May due to the lingering effects of COVID-19. Hey, it was still better than nothing.

My schedule didn’t jive with most of the live outdoor and drive-in films, but I was able to find an opening for the closing night film at the Marketplace Cinemas drive-in.

So this proved to be a perfect fit as my wife and I had wanted to go to one of the drive-in movie venues that surfaced last year — but never made it — as an option to the indoor theaters that were all shut down by the pandemic.

Plus, the film being shown, “The Dry” — a mystery/thriller set in Australia where a federal agent goes back home to his drought-stricken town to attend a tragic funeral, but his return reopens the door to the unsolved death of a teenage girl — seemed to be a worthy pick.

It turned out to be a most intriguing film, and adding to that, the concession stand in the indoor cinema was open — with hot-buttered popcorn for sale.

Needless to say, it was a good night, but who would have ever imagined the final film would be at a drive-in?

Hopefully, 2022 will be a return to normal for RiverRun and lots of other things.

• • • • •


I never thought about saying “I was there” live to witness one of the all-time bloopers in baseball history, but that’s what happened last week in Pittsburgh when the Pirates played the Cubs.

Even more ironic was there was a local angle as the key figure in the fiasco was a former star at Wake Forest — former first-round draft pick Will Craig.

Even people who aren’t baseball fans were talking afterwards about a play that immediately went viral with “There Were Two Outs” trending on Twitter.

Craig made what turned out to ultimately be a two-run error that pretty much cost the Pirates the game when with two outs in the third inning, he came off the first-base bag to catch a wide throw from the third baseman. He could have recorded the force out by either tagging the runner or simply stepping on the bag.

But the runner stopped and retreated toward home plate, and Craig chased in pursuit. Meanwhile, a base runner on second kept running and headed for home as they all converged near the plate. Craig then tossed the ball to the catcher as the runner slid in safely to home, and the retreating runner reversed course and took off for first as the catcher’s throw sailed into the outfield when the second baseman didn’t cover the bag. He then went on to second and scored when the next batter got a hit.

You can’t make this stuff up.

The Cubs players and some of the fans laughed at a play that “Little Leaguers wouldn’t make.’’ Others booed, not believing what they just saw.

Poor Craig owned the snafu, saying he “lost his mind for a second” and added: “I’m going to be on a blooper reel the rest of my life.”

I can say I was there to see it and don’t think I’ll ever see anything like it again.

• • • • •

Every once in a while, I stumble across a copy of “That Little Big Paper,” which is referred to as “Ronda, Jonesville & Elkin’s Leading Newspaper.”

It’s basically four small pages with a front, back and inside spread, and packed with notices about things such as church and community events, bingo nights and birthday greetings. Then there’s small ads promoting local businesses and the old classifieds with “for sale” items.

Certainly, there’s something for everyone.

And the paper always manages to include a “funny” or two. Here’s a recent one about people who read some of the nation’s largest newspapers:

The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.

The Washington Post is read by people who think they ought to run the country.

USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t understand the Washington Post.

The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country, if they could spare the time.

The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country.

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