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A Full House at Mississippi State

October 03, 2008

In the final stretch of our first three-week stint on the road, Darius and crew went to Starkville, Mississippi, for a screening organized by Reid Stribling, Justin Bell, Taylor Butler, the SAE fraternity, CAB, and the general Greek community at Mississippi State University.

The hospitality was incredible! When we pulled into town, Reid met up with us and took us to a great restaurant for a late dinner. At the restaurant, we got to hang out with some super-models pictured above.

The screening took place the next day at the venerable Lee Hall Theater, shown here in the background.

After lunch at a Mississippi State dining hall, our hosts took us on a brief tour of campus.

Then we got to eat at Mug Shots, a Starkville institution. Sam Montgomery, the manager at Mug Shots, gave us a free meal before the show, and afterwards he opened up the downstairs bar exclusively for Darius, the crew, and our new MSU friends. You can tell the food’s great because in the picture, for the first time on the trip, no one is talking. Thanks, Sam!

The screening itself was HUGE!

Because of great organizing from Reid, Justin, Taylor, Dejanae Banks (CAB), and others, volunteer ushers actually had to turn away more than two hundred people! We’re sorry that so many folks didn’t get a chance to see the film, but it’s a testament to MSU’s community organizing capabilities. Plus, a lot of the folks who couldn’t come in bought DVDs, so they’ll still be able to enjoy Darius Goes West.

The 1,100-capacity theater overflowed with viewers. Some people even chose to stand in the back and watch!

Here, Taylor Butler introduces the film to the largest Darius Goes West audience ever!

You can’t even see Darius entering the arena through the thunderous ovation he received after the film.

Everyone stuck around for a marathon Q & A, in which Darius was asked if he was single more than once.

Here’s a picture of the crowd giving Darius and the gang one last standing ovation at the end of the question-and-answer –from the second balcony! What a great venue and a great audience!

Afterwards, Darius fielded requests for group photos…

…and more group photos…

…and MORE group photos.

At the end of the night, Darius said that Starkville definitely stood out as one of his very favorite screenings. It couldn’t have happened without help from folks like Reid (in the plaid shirt to the right of Darius), Justin Bell in Goslabi green (bottom left), Georgia Wise, the SAE house Mom (purchaser of TWO miniature RVs!), and the rest of the guys from SAE fraternity. CAB, MSU’s Campus Activities Board, was also instrumental in organizing this incredibly successful event.

Thank you so much, Bulldogs!


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4 Responses to “A Full House at Mississippi State”

  1. On October 3rd, 2008, Jessica said:

    I was at the Starkville screening and I just wanted to tell all of you guys to just keep on keepin on with what yall are doin. Attending the screening, no lie, changed a lot of things dealing with my view on life and what I want to do for the rest of it. Darius, your strength is motivating and selflessness is inspirational. Crew, wow, your passion for this cause and love for a friend is powerful enough to change anything. Thank you so much for coming to Mississippi State, God Bless!

  2. On October 6th, 2008, Blake said:

    Thanks for coming to MSU. The screening was a lot of fun. That was one huge ovation! I wanted to buy a DVD and a tee shirt in person, but the crowd was huge and I didn’t want to try to navigate through all the people (I use a wheelchair). But I’m glad everyone came out to see the film.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how the disability community reacts to the film. I think I will plug it on and see what folks think about it. I hope it catches on and you reach your target. It definitely seems like its catching on.

    Good job with the film. Enjoyed it.

  3. On October 12th, 2008, DariusGoesWest said:

    Thanks Blake, and thanks Jessica.

    Hey Blake, how did the pitch go? We’re familiar with the forum, and like you, we are interested to see if our efforts will be noticed there.

    Also, we had an amazing conversation about Universal Design in Clemson this week. They are really advocating for a UD campus. It got us pumped to hear that, so we just thought you might like to know.

    Take it easy.

  4. On October 13th, 2008, Blake said:

    It didn’t go. I made a post in the Disaboom forums and only got one reply. Your best bet is to keep posting on the blog and putting videos on YouTube. The folks at Disaboom should eventually find it. I’ll try to keep bringing it up, though.

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about Clemson in the way of accessibility. Mississippi State has a way to go to reach Clemson’s level. But MSU is probably the most accessible university in Mississippi.

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