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September 4, 2005

EYE ON R-TOWN  
BY CYNTHIA MCMULLEN
Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

What rocks or rots, tanks or titillates in Richmond? Here's our weekly take on R-town.

Christmas in October: So the Bravo network e-mailed The Times-Dispatch in June to ask about Richmond's annual Tacky Christmas Lights Tour.

Seems someone at Bravo caught up with Barry "Mad Dog" Gottlieb, who in the late '80s formally identified the trend (on its way to tradition) with his Tacky Xmas Decoration Contest and Grand Highly Illuminated House Tour.

Gottlieb, who's now a Left Coaster, is trying to whip the San Francisco Bay area into dazzling shape while remaining an ambassador for the lights he left behind. (See maddogproductions.com/xmas.htm for more on that.)

Anywho, our favorite mad man -- er, Mad Dog -- referred the network to the T-D, whose 15th annual Tacky Christmas Lights Tour list ran in December. So we've offered some photos of highly illuminated Richmond homes and a few of our favorite tacky tales for possible use on "Great Things About the Holidays."

The four-hour show is scheduled to premiere in October, then repeat during the holiday season. Stay tuned to see if Richmond is featured ... or if we lose out to the cutting-room floor.

Mad Dog's in-person interview was conducted at the home of Dr. Elmo of Elmo and Patsy, the duo that gave the world "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer."

Now that's good TV.

Got news? E-mail flair@timesdispatch.com; mention Eye on R-Town in subject line.

2005, Richmond Newspapers Inc.

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