At the Virginia State Chili Championship Cook Off — hosted each year in Roanoke — the roar of motorcycles announces a new batch of “White Knuckle Chili” is available for sampling from the Roanoke Valley Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.).

The motorcycle riding group is perennial “people’s choice” winner in the event and sometimes takes home the overall trophy as well.

Disclosure notice:  Capitol Hill Blue publisher Doug Thompson is a Harley rider and a member of the group.

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Doug Thompson published his first story and photo at age 11 -- a newspaper article about racism and the Klan in Prince Edward County, VA, in 1958. From that point on, he decided to become a newspaperman and did just that -- reporting news and taking photos full-time at his hometown paper, becoming the youngest full-time reporter at The Roanoke Times in Virginia in 1965 and spent most of the past 55+ years covering news around the country and the globe. After a short sabbatical as a political operative in Washington in the 1980s, he returned to the news profession in 1992. Today, he is a contract reporter/photojournalist for BHMedia and owns Capitol Hill Blue and other news websites.