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Charlottesville, Virginia
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During the workweek, I live in Charlottesville, Virginia. For those that do not know, Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia. If you are not from these parts, you probably also do not know that the “Whoos” of UVA and the “Hokies” of Virginia Tech are heated rivals… Blacksburg and Charlottesville being just two and a half hours apart only makes the rivalry more intense.

If you live in Virginia, especially if you live out here near the Blue Ridge, you know it is a serious rivalry. My brother played football for VT in the early 80s and gradated with a degree in Architecture. When I first talked about coming out to Charlottesville to work for the Army as a software developer, I made the mistake of mentioning to him that if I took the job in Charlottesville I would probably finish up my work in mathematics at UVA. I will not write here the words that my brother spoke to me… lets just say they are not the kind of things you want to here from a football-player sized person (and I am six foot three). Of course he was joking (at least I think he was) because while rivalries can be intense, I know that they only run so deep.

Tomorrow is Hokie day here in Virginia. It is a day to wear Hokie colors to show support for the families affected by this week's terrible tragedy, a way to show support for the students, faculty, and staff of a school that has experienced something unspeakable… it is a way to simply say “I feel for you down there in Blacksburg”.

I dropped by the local Target here in Charlottesville on my way home from work. Even in Charlottesville, Virginia Tech attire abounds. As I wrote earlier, the two schools are only a few hours apart. There was not a single shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket left. When the woman at the checkout counter saw that I was buying a plain maroon polo shirt she said to me “It’s all gone. All the Virginia Tech stuff has been sold”. Without a word she knew why I was there… she knew simply because I held a maroon polo shirt in my hands.

Tomorrow, here in Charlottesville… here in the hometown of the UVA Cavilers (or the “Whoos” as they are affectionately called)… here in the hometown of the opposite end of a heated rivalry that goes back too many years to count… there is going to be a sea of maroon and orange – proving that underneath it all, we are one, sharing good times and bad, a rivalry and respect, the joy of better days and the pain and sorrow of today.

Even if you are not in Virginia… tomorrow… wear your Hokie colors.

It's kind of fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney
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