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I REALLY ENJOYED EDDIE Dean’s tour of Route 1. I had the mixed pleasure of working at Metro Call, perched atop Beacon Hill and adjacent to the Pig, from 1991 to 1993.

My then-roommate also worked “down the Highway,” as he put it, at the ABC store and part-time at a gas station. During lunch, I’d frequent the used-book store or thrift shops, or my co-worker buddy and I would cruise the trailer parks and side streets, or continue our bad screenplay narrative (vengeful outlaw-biker’s ghost—or maybe a new treatment of Mandingo) with the Mount Vee as the setting. And, naturally, my roommate provided plenty of slice-of-life stories, working at two of the highway’s more popular businesses.

Like Mr. Dean, I was pleased to see a scrap of Fairfax County that hadn’t been totally franchised and homogenized—yet, as I’m sure he, too, realized, this attraction of ours is likely much easier when you know you can just drive away and leave th’ Highway behind.

Springfield, Va.