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Pilot Night offers visitors opportunity
to get questions answered

His words of wisdom on home improvement can be found in the nationally syndicated “Handyman on Call” column that runs in the At Home section of The Virginian-Pilot on Saturdays. Now, here’s a chance to tap the brain of Mr. Handyman himself, Peter Hotton, in person at Tidewater Builders Association’s New Home & Remodeling Show & Tour May 4-7 at the Scope Exhibit Hall in downtown Norfolk.

During Pilot Night, from 6-9 p.m., Thursday, May 4, Pilot subscribers can receive a $3 discount on general admission. Visitors will have the chance to ask Hotton all their handyman questions. Also, local columnist John Warren, better known as The Pilot Warrior, will also be on hand to answer questions about his work as citizen advocate. Both will be available at The Virginian-Pilot booth.

A Michigan native, Hotton has been a newspaperman since 1950 and has worked in Indiana, Korea and Connecticut, before going to the Boston Globe in 1964.

His career as a home and improvement writer started when he bought a 1768 house in Weymouth. After he “started bragging about it,” his boss named him home and garden editor in 1966. It took nine years to fix up the house, but in the process Hotton gained enough knowledge to support his home-and-garden-editing habit.

In 1978, Hotton became the Globe’s handyman, answering questions on a hotline about fixing up and taking apart houses, and writing a column based on those questions. “The hotline service is unique among newspapers,” said Hotton.

Over the year, Hotton has written four books: So You Want to Build a House, So You Want to Fix Up an Old House, Coal Comfort and So You Want to Build an Energy-Efficient Addition. He also has co-written a fifth, Chess Trivia, with his chess-playing friend, poet-newspaperman Herb Kenny. “All, alas, are out of print,” Hotton said, but he promised, “A new book is in the oven.”

He figures that he has done 95 percent of what he writes about. He “is willing, and mostly able,” to answer any questions thrown at him. If he doesn’t know the answer, he said he “will say so, and find someone who does.”

Dates & Times

Thursday, May 4
6-9 p.m.

Friday, May 5
10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday, May 6
10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday, May 7
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.


Adults – $8

Active duty military & senior citizens – $7

Children under
12- Free

Bring your Cox bill on Friday, May 5 and receive $3 off
(good for up to 2 people)

Parking is available
at the Scope for $4 or at MacArthur Center
for $1.

Presented by
NRHA logo
HRV logo
Official sponsors
A-Plus Builders
Big Home Shows
Cox Communications
The Virginian-Pilot

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