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Wilder Reappears

Former mayor sips wine at French Festival.

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After a protracted public absence, former Mayor L. Douglas Wilder emerged at a reception for dignitaries and VIP ticket-holders this weekend at the French Film Festival.

Students and Gallic cinema buffs — greeted out front by a literal red carpet — mingled in a tent behind Virginia Commonwealth University's Scott House on Franklin Street. The French ambassador to the United States, Pierre Vimont, was there along with Virginia Commonwealth University's president, Eugene Trani, resplendent in a gold tie. But it was Wilder who made waves. At a wine bar in the rear of the tent, he collected a glass of red and white in each hand. While he disappeared into the crowd an accented — and presumably French — visitor couldn't suppress her amusement.

“Your governor,” she said — “he just cut in line!”

It was suggested that in leaving office and joining VCU's faculty, Wilder perhaps had relinquished his line-cutting privileges.

“Apparently not,” she said. “He just did it!”

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