Sunday, March 18, 2012

Gift for the Village: Hapeville sets the bar pretty high...




After months of wondering what the tour would be like, I can honestly say that the first night in Hapeville exceeded my expectations. I rolled into town a little early and saw banners about the screening hanging in town.
About 30 people turned up for the screening in beautifully re-purposed Christ Church in a trim little park in downtown Hapeville. There was a reception at 6 with great food, a piano player and drummer playing standards, and free beer - always a plus.

Charlotte Renz, president of the Historical Society showed me around the newly renovated church and meeting room - and it's clear that she loves this little town. Mayor, Alan Hallman, introduced the film - for a town of about 6500 people, it was great to see the support for the arts from the community and local government.

Two old friends from the past came to the show: Margaret was the maid of honor at my wedding but I hadn't seen her for years, and she was with one of my wife's long-ago journalism pals Laurie, and neither knew much about the film before the show - so great of them to come.

Now it's two days off in Atlanta before heading to Madison, GA. Lots of people at last night's show told me I'd love the town. Just a heads up to Madison and other stops though: Hapeville came through with a Hapeville coffee cup, tote bag, baseball hat and whistle.... pretty good swag for a documentary film maker!

And if anyone from Madison is reading this, Tom and Lisa Hammet - longtime residents of Madison who moved to Blacksburg, VA, send their greetings. Tom travels to Nepal on a regular basis and has been a big supporter of our film. They're hoping to hear from old friends after the show in Madison.

Thanks to the Mayor, Charlotte, Adrienne and everyone in Hapeville who made this visit a sweet one.