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HOME STAGING

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Home HOME DESIGN | ‘59 GALAXIE | ROYA’S RECIPES ROANOKE OPERA | CLEARING CUSTOMS | MARY DRAPER INGLES


2015

ANNUAL MARKET REPORT NEW RIVER VALLEY

The full report including various areas within the New River Valley is now available online at http://bit.ly/2015NestReport. NEST REALTY | 400 NORTH MAIN STREET | BLACKSBURG, VA | 800.325.NEST | NESTREALTY.COM


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The Face That Helped

A Thousand Businesses! (Well, hundreds anyway – but give him time.)

For the last seven years, Jonathan Kruckow has worked with hundreds of businesses in Blacksburg and the New River Valley as a commercial lender. As Grayson National Bank’s New River Valley Area Executive, Jonathan is prepared to help you and your business succeed, too.

Give him a call at 540.250.0280 to arrange a one-on-one meeting.

902 South Main Street, Blacksburg, VA

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CONTENTS

March - April

2016

N RV H o me - H arm o n y R e i g n s 12

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A l l t h e Wo r l d’s a S ta g e 16 Real “ Res t” R oom 2 0 Fai r y G a rd e n s 2 2 S an An ton i o 2 6 A m er i can I co n : T h e Jean Ja c k e t 2 8 Mar y D r ape r In g l e s 3 0 N RV H o me B u i l der s A s so c i a ti on 3 4 Ro y a’s R e c i p e s 3 8 N RV Ri des - ‘ 59 G a l a x i e 4 0 S h i n y O b j e c ts 4 4 S t af f Prof i l e s 4 6

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3RD ANNUAL

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4.20.16

Make a secure online gift on April 20th directly to any of the over 90 charities on the GiveBigNRV website and help that charity win a grant from the Community Foundation of the New River Valley Maximize your impact with a gift to The Fund for the NRV, supporting regional collaboration and innovation among dozens of organizations to meet our community’s needs in: Early Childhood Education Aging in Place Nonprofit Leadership Nutrition & Health

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Pasture Talk

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P. O. Box 11816 Blacksburg, VA 24062 o: 540-961-2015 nrvmagazine@msn.com www.nrvmagazine.com

PUBLISHER Country Media, Inc. Phillip Vaught MANAGING EDITOR Joanne Anderson ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sabrina Sexton DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Dennis Shelor WRITERS Joanne Anderson Karl Kazaks Krisha Chachra Kelsey Foster Sheila Nelson David Phipps Emily Alberts Jennifer Cooper Mike Wade PHOTOGRAPHERS Natalie Gibbs Photography Amodeo Photography Always and Forever Photography Tom Wallace Kaitlyn Phipps Photography Magnifico Photography SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Justin Ashwell

© 2016 Country Media, Inc. Country Media, Inc. will not knowingly publish any advertisement that is illegal or misleading to its readers. Neither the advertiser nor Country Media, Inc. will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, or typographical errors. The publisher assumes no financial liability for copy omissions by Country Media, Inc. other than the cost of the space occupied by the error. Corrections or cancellations to be made by an advertiser shall be received no later than 5 p.m. the 20th of each publishing month. No claim shall be allowed for errors not affecting the value of the advertisement. Paid advertising does not represent an endorsement by this publication. Content cannot be reproduced without written consent from Country Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Real Estate advertised in this publication is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.

NRVMAGAZINE.com

Magazines work well in advance, and the day I selected this photo was cold with snow (soon-to-beslush-then-mud) covering the ground. I chose it for two reasons: green grass, green trees, green leaves [sigh!] and the brown corduroy jean jacket. It is one of four jean jackets I own, all different colors and fabric, and it goes well with our first NRV fashion piece by Kelsey Foster, “An American Icon ~ the jean jacket.” As our first NRV Business Yearbook 2016 comes together, already I applaud businesses which have joined the effort to support our inaugural issue. Money that circulates within the community among small businesses and local folks promotes economic vitality and stability in the market place. Each one is participating because the owners and managers are proud of their business, products, services, history and employees, and they recognize the value in being profiled in the pages of this unique publication. Coming soon! Determined to honor her late son, Cameron, who died at 18 on his way to work, his mom, Terri Fitzwater Palmore, works tirelessly year-round on the Color Me Cameron 5K color run/walk event. Participants show up wearing white and leave covered in happy colors following the race, dancing and music. The Cameron Fitzwater Memorial Scholarship Foundation awards four $1,000 scholarships every year to Pulaski High School seniors who have been accepted into a college or technical school. Turning tragedy into triumph, the run grows by double digits each year, and this 4th year, more than 1,000 people are expected to compete, honor Cameron’s life and enjoy the event.

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cameronfitzwatermemorialscholarship.org

tfitzwater@verizon.net

Duplicate bridge and football are two of the most strategically challenging games. I love them both, but only play at one of them. If you want to have some fun, put your brain to work and meet wonderful people (no matter what you have heard), sign up for “Easybridge-” (no typo there, one word, the hyphen belongs). Starting Fri., April 1 (no joke), 12:30-4, you can enjoy playing from the outset with a simple set of instructions, akin to on-the-job training, but much more enjoyable. It’s a good time which enhances memory skills, concentration and even (according to one study) immune function. It’s free for a month (then a whopping $5), and you can’t buy an afternoon with terrific folks, building new skills, for that price! Contact Susan Bricken, 540-998-9751, sbricken@yahoo.com.

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor jmawriter@aol.com

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NRV H o me s

HARMONY REIGNS ... in a vacation-like home with steel I-beams Text by Joanne M. Anderson | Photos by April Amodeo

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You’ll find them in the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, the Mall of America, the Pentagon and Philip and April Amodeo’s house in Blacksburg. The method for producing them by rolling one from a single piece of steel was patented in 1849 by Alphonse Halbou, who worked for the Belgium company, Forges de la Providence. The ubiquitous I-beam has since become one of the most integral, structural components in bridges, skyscrapers, factories and warehouses. And the Amodeo house. The house is designed 12

specifically for the site with exposed I-beams and bolts in a Y-shape with each one running out infinity windows at the ceiling/roof line. The structure is composed of two intersecting cubes enclosing 3,400 square feet of living space on three floors. “I like open space, wood and industrial elements,” explains Philip Amodeo, architectural designer, builder and owner of Amodeo Design Build. He walks to the beat of a different drummer when it comes to home design, and each of his spec homes have included visible, painted I-beams and exposed bolts. “I build what interests

me,” he says matter-of-factly. He would only design a custom build home for an owner who would allow free artistic expression and design. “This exact house couldn’t be constructed anywhere else,” April states, “because it was completely drafted and arranged for the slope and orientation of this lot.” The family, which includes eight kids, lived nearby when Philip built this spec home in 2008 right next door to another one of his custom designs. From the 10-foot ceilings in their basement offices to the south facing windows on the main floor, angled

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bathrooms and bedrooms, every square foot of space is functional. Amodeo is an Energy Star-certified builder and received the Design Excellence Award for this house. Once built, they decided to move their clan into the 5-bedroom, 4-bath home. The openness is conducive to a large family as one cannot exactly “not be found” in the kitchen-dining-living room area which encompasses most of the first floor. Ceilings are crafted from Ponderosa pine and Southern yellow pine, and the floors are oak. The oak staircase and pine window trim stand NRVMAGAZINE.com

out for the white walls, which reflect light, making the entire space naturally amiable and inviting. The kitchen backsplash of popular, modern, narrow, glass rectangles normally installed horizontally makes another out-ofthe-box splash for having been styled vertically. “That was April’s idea,” he concedes. The open living area provides the perfect backdrop for entertaining. Family gatherings, graduations and baptisms have been celebrated with dozens of people comfortably moving about without feeling crowded. Holiday

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parties have included a live band performing in the living room with adequate space for everyone. Ceiling fans can move air, but Philip also designed the bedroom walls on the main floor a little lower than the ceiling so air circulates comfortably all the time. “There are open spaces above the common bathroom, one bedroom and the master suite to allow air to move freely even when doors are shut,” he explains. This allows air to be easily captured through the return duct which increases energy efficiency and prevents stagnant air.

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April embraces the philosophy of feng shui in creating harmony and calm in furnishings and accessories that promote positive energy flowing freely throughout the home. “All rooms and objects have energy,” she says. “When energy flows freely, everyone feels it, even if they are not aware of it. The furniture is placed to encourage conversation, and the sofa is against the wall, anchored, as opposed to floating in space. Elements of fire (candles) and water (a floating globe), along with numerous textures (leather, fur, glass, metal), create a unique balance. Another key element is beauty, and I instantly relax every time I walk into this space.” In addition to designing and building spec homes, Philip has been involved in hundreds of kitchen remodeling projects and structural foundation repairs, as well as breathing

“Every

morning, I feel like

I’m in the most amazing vacation house ever built. My heart still skips a beat looking out the windows

new life into old buildings. He’ll buy a dilapidated structure and start at the base ~ lifting it off its foundation to secure a new, improved infrastructure from the bottom up. The house here on Pleasant View Circle in Blacksburg has no footers. A Superior wall system with 10-inch foundation walls was moved in with a crane and set in one day. “The basement is always the warmest place in the house,” April explains, “which is nice since we both have home offices in this lower level space.” The 10-foot high ceilings accommodate windows and natural light that keeps everyone cheerful, even when working, and feels open despite being mostly underground. From the deep, whirlpool soaking tub flanked by windows to a private backyard, expansive deck that runs the entire length of the two sections of the house and a charming view over rooftops to rolling hills beyond, this home radiates quality, contemporary style, peace and compatibility with the surrounding natural environment and the harmony within. “It’s much like living in a vacation home,” they exclaim! “It is a dream to live here,” April adds. “Every morning, I feel like I’m in the most amazing vacation house ever built. My heart still skips a beat looking out the windows and walking into the kitchen with the beautiful woodwork and sun sparkling off cobalt blue stones in the granite countertop. After the kids are off to school, I take a moment. On the open deck. With a cup of coffee. And lots of cream. Then a dollop of whipped cream for a crowning touch. Best way to start my day!”

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NRV Fe at u r e

All The World’s a Stage and your house is a scene in the “For Sale” act By Joanne M. Anderson | Photos courtesy of Debbie Campbell, CSE

Before

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Gone are the days of dusting cobwebs off the front porch, mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, listing it for sale and signing a purchase contract soon thereafter. Even if you upped the charm with fresh bread from the oven and soft jazz in the background, the New River Valley market can be highly competitive, and sellers need every advantage for a timely sale, ideally at asking price. First impressions can be deal breakers for potential buyers, especially when homeowners do not grasp the 16

significance of staging the home. It’s like missing the forest for the trees. This common phrase means one is looking at individual things (trees) and missing the big picture (forest). In house terms, it can be viewed as prospective home buyers being distracted by trinkets, unusual artwork, personal belongings or loud decorative accents which attract attention. The human eye is drawn to something which stands out, and the viewer misses the entire room for the visual impact of one thing. A home is decorated and styled

for personal taste. That doesn’t mean it’s especially appealing to someone else, which as long as you are the primary residents doesn’t matter much. But it can matter big time when you decide to sell the property, especially if you want a fairly quick sale and a good price. The National Association of Realtors reports that staged homes sell 80 percent quicker and draw offers up to 11 percent higher than nonstaged properties. A study by the Real Estate Staging Association indicates that staged homes sell, on average, 73

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percent faster than unstaged ones. “Staging allows the Realtor® another tool to add to our marketing package,” states Debra Chase with Coldwell Banker Townside. “Staging provides the finishing touch that can help buyers see the potential that a room or whole home offers.” Curb appeal is the first impression, and a not-so-perfect performance outside can be overlooked for a stellar setting on the inside. The hallmark of a home stage professional is a keen eye for arrangement, organization, function and color, understanding the kind of neutral environment that has broad appeal. It’s not about decorating or redecorating, but more about transforming the home from personally-you to impersonallyanyone else. Debbie Campbell, CSE, grew up in Blacksburg and worked as a

guidance counselor for 20 years before starting her home staging and redesign business, Stage 2 Smile. Her Certified Staging Expert (CSE) designation comes from completing coursework with the Home Staging Institute. Having a keen eye for decor, color,

Home staging can entail almost as much tact and diplomacy as skillful and sensible

reorganization

function and aesthetics, Campbell had been informally doing “home makeovers” for friends and relatives for years before she transitioned into an entrepreneurial role. Her counseling background, however, is valuable in home staging.

“Anyone selling a house is stepping into some kind of transition ~ a move across the country, divorce, downsizing, job change,” she explains. “Thus, the work can entail almost as much tact and diplomacy as skillful and sensible reorganization, removal and repositioning someone’s prized possessions.” One of the most common stumbling blocks to staging is emotional because homeowners can be defensive. Someone removing and repositioning things can be disheartening and disruptive. But the home stage professional simply sees how to present the home in its best light, literally and figuratively. The objective is to sell the house for a great price in a relatively short time frame, and keeping that in mind makes the home staging professional part of the sales team, not an adversary.

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IT'S GRILLIN' TIME AT G&H

COME SEE US AT THE CHRISTIANSBURG HOME & GARDEN SHOW ON 3/11-3/13

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At Grand Home Furnishings we are pleased to offer special order service to meet your specific needs. You choose the fabric, finish, pillows, trim and more! Your custommade sofa will be manufactured by Klaussner Home Furnishings in Asheboro, North Carolina. This is an extraordinary opportunity to own a custom-made sofa at an affordable price. Matching love seats, chairs and ottomans are also available in most styles.

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NRV H o me s

THE NEW IMPROVED REAL “REST” ROOM bathrooms evolve into places of rest

By Joanne M. Anderson

Images by

Bathrooms have been slowly moving from utilitarian spaces to lavish, spa-like zones for rest and relaxation. While ocean blues and aquamarine colors have reigned for years, gray is reportedly the new blue for 2016. Walls are being divided horizontally with wainscoting or paint on the lower half and tile, wallpaper or bold colors on the upper section. Ceilings are not always white any more. Many of the trends finding their way down the hall come from the kitchen, including granite and quartz counters, open shelving and glass doors on cabinets. Some new trends involve technology, others exude glamour and luxury. Materials combine old 20

and new, wood and brushed nickel finishes, natural stone with gold fixtures, simplicity and elegance, rustic accents with ultra modern faucets. When renovating a bathroom is out of budget, choose a few DIY items that will take your little room from the old-timey bathroom to the contemporary place to wash away worry in a real “rest” room. Here’s the low-down on some of the bathroom trends this year with a few coming along from previous years:  Oversized, walk-in showers with glass walls and doors, multiple showerheads and body sprays overhead and in walls, also seats and steam  Water saving fixtures (WaterSense is akin to Energy Star)

 Extra deep soaking tubs, whirlpool tubs, air baths, walk-in tubs ~ with ledges and shelves around  Vessel sinks for atop a vanity with an antique dresser look  Under-mounted sinks (like kitchens)  Glass products for the sink, floor, toilet enclosure, backsplash  Waterproof controls and speakers, flat screen TV, wireless technology audio system  Heated floors, heated towel racks  Framed mirrors over each sink  Hands-free faucets, knee or foot controls for water flow

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 Small refrigerator for nail polish, organic skin products without preservatives, medications, bottled water  Skylights, copious windows  Fireplace

 Flameless candles in various sizes with flickering flames  Warm towels (toss in the dryer first, roll up until ready)  Basket or vase of silk flowers  Facial mask tube

 Night Light toilets

 Bath oil or bubble bath

You do not need a big budget to achieve a spa-like atmosphere in your current bathroom. Considering that spas are minimalist in decor, it simply needs to be uncluttered and sparkly clean with a few spa-borrowed atmosphere enhancers.

 Good book  Gentle scrub for feet and hands  Fluffy robe and slippers

 Glass shelves are airy; wood shelves painted a favorite color  Roll your towels for a large basket or a wide shelf  Aromatherapy in candles, diffusers and room spray  Classical, instrumental or other music

Simplify. Streamline. Selection Center. At Ferguson Selection Center, our knowledgeable associates make finding the right kitchen and bath products easy. Here, you will find an assortment of quality products from top brands in a comfortable setting. We simplify the process by getting you exactly what you need for your next building or remodeling project.

Visit us today at one of our convenient locations. Blacksburg 325 Ferguson Dr (540) 953-1258

©2016 Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. 0216 111858

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NRV Fe at u r e

Fairy, Fairy, Not Contrary By Jennifer Poff Cooper Photos by Shannon Kitchens

Dollhouses … miniature trains … Christmas villages … and now fairy gardens. In today’s hectic world, it’s no wonder stress-free hobbies involving the whimsical have become so prevalent. Fairy gardens are arranged with the kinds of miniature plants and accessories that might tempt a fairy to visit, and they are enjoying an astonishing surge in popularity. There are Facebook pages dedicated to the hobby (Miniature and Fairy Garden Chat and Fairy Garden Home) and even a Miniature and Fairy Garden Conference in Ohio in July. “Fairies are a myth, but like Santa, I believe,”

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says Betty Duff of the Garden Writers Association, who had a fairy-themed 75th birthday party. The concept debuted in the United States in 1893 as bonsai dish gardens in the Japanese pavilion at the Chicago World’s Fair, according to www.fairygardening.com. Then the New York Times featured them in articles, and the pastime was born. Today, there are myriad media available to peruse. “The Faraway Tree” is a children’s book that Rebbecca Jackson, a teacher in the Montgomery County School System, used with her preschoolers to generate interest in starting a class fairy garden. As a

child herself, Jackson appreciated Cicely Mary Barker’s “The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies.” While helping lead a women’s retreat, she referenced art by Andy Goldsworthy and the fairy art of Brian Froud to energize the participants’ creative processes. Both Amazon and Barnes & Noble sell current books on fairy gardens. Jackson’s interest in fairy gardens has been life-long. She says of her childhood: “I often thought that if you looked up in a tree and saw only one leaf waving that it must be an oak or maple fairy trying to get my attention!” As an adult, she continues: “I love creating fairy houses and gardens because it satisfies

N R V M A G A Z I N E March/April 2016


The Hokie Real Estate Agent of Choice Over 30 years experience Associate Broker Top regional & local Long & Foster producer 2011-2014 Member of Long & Foster’s Gold Team for sales excellence Representing Buyers/Sellers throughout the New River and Greater Roanoke Valleys Friendliness & Professionalism in serving all your Real Estate needs

540.320.1684 kerryggillispie@gmail.com www.kerrygillispie.com 3601 Holiday Lane | Blacksburg, VA 24060

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the need to create something magical and lets me be a kid again. It’s a great stress reliever, and it feels good to disconnect from technology and be out in the garden lost in my own thoughts.” A fairy garden is a great way to introduce children to gardening. It is something manageable for small hands, and adults can watch the joy in their eyes as the magical little world comes to life for them. This cultivation also teaches them respect for nature. Jackson has noticed a difference in the way adults and children approach fairy gardens. For children, she says, the excitement lies in having something to play with. “They like to get the project done so they can get to the good stuff— pretending! I love seeing children work on this because they are far less critical of themselves [than adults].” Adults are more attuned to the architectural process, such as color and planning. Still, at the women’s retreat, “it was great seeing each woman’s personality come through in her design.” You can begin making your 24

own enchanting miniature landscapes, complete with pint-sized accessories, diminutive plants and quaint fairy figures. Perfect for the busy gardener, fairy gardens can require less than 10 minutes per week to maintain. When Jackson is planning one: “I choose plants that are hardy and have some character. Perennial gardens can be improved upon each year and are good for larger spaces to tuck fairy houses in or under. Hostas, ferns, sunflowers, coral bells and astilbies are great for larger gardens. If planting in a smaller space or working with container gardens, I recommend choosing annuals and flowering groundcover plants. My favorites are hens and chicks, lobelia, lavender, snapdragons, lantanas and dianthus.” Most fairy gardeners prefer to use materials from nature or items repurposed from their homes such as broken dishes and scraps of fabric. For purchasing, Jackson has found cute items at Michael’s and Wildwood Farms in Floyd. Duff shops at garden centers, hobby shops and toy stores. Plow & Hearth catalog also sells fairy

garden products. Blacksburg resident Judith Araman’s interest in fairies started when she saw a television movie entitled “Fairy Tale: A True Story.” Because at the time her son was dying of cancer, the video and subsequently building a house for fairies seemed an appropriate way to introduce her granddaughters to the “magic of fairies since part of fairy lore revolves around their being messengers from heaven.” “I think that fairy gardening is considered a family-oriented project,” Duff states. “It is something that women and children love to do together. Men love to do any of the building like houses or fairy doors for trees.” She sees the trend progressing much faster than Christmas Villages because it can be done summer or winter, inside or out. Jackson believes that fairy gardens and houses are unique in that they are ever changing and can be only contained by one’s imagination. That works well for the child in all of us. Jennifer Poff Cooper is a New River Valley native, freelance writer, Christiansburg resident and frequent contributor to New River Valley Magazine.

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CLEAR I N G C US T OM S

Relaxation ~ San Antonio Style

Text and Photos by Krisha Chachra No matter where you travel in the world, you’ll never find a place like Texas. It stands out for its unique blend of cultures and influences and is the only state that has endured eight changes of government and six different flags. Before it was the 28th to join the U.S., Texas was its own nation from 1836 to 1845. Fiercely independent with a touch of swagger and rebellion, Texans have a long history of fighting for who they are. The most famous took place at the Alamo, where Texas defenders were willing to die rather than live under the rule of Mexican General Santa Anna. Remember the Alamo? It is considered the cradle of Texas liberty 26

and the state’s most popular historic site. Visitors may walk in the Alamo Plaza, which is free to the public, and browse the former Spanish Mission along with the documents which provide context for the battle and artifacts representative of the time period. But it wasn’t history that drew me to the home of the Alamo. I recently visited San Antonio for what I needed in the present: relaxation. As most know, the City of San Antonio is famous for its Riverwalk – the 2.5-mile loop of pedestrian walkway along the San Antonio River. Flowing one story below the city’s main streets, the river is lined with shops, restaurants and hotels

and attracts locals and tourists from all over the world. The Riverwalk officially opened in 1939, and it is still the number one tourist attraction in Texas. There is something very romantic and calming about strolling along the water as tour boats glide by. The hustle of city life and traffic above feels a world away. Among the Mexican handicrafts, Mariachi bands and table-side guacamole stations, the Riverwalk is home to a few of the most restorative and rejuvenating spa treatments. First stop for total relaxation is the entrance flanked by sapphire blue umbrellas and outdoor cushions: The Omni Mokara Hotel. This hotel’s spa

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overlooks the Riverwalk and boasts 18 private treatment rooms, separate men’s and ladies’ private lounges, whirlpools, steam rooms and saunas, plus an outdoor café with rooftop views of the city. Plan to arrive an hour or two before your treatment to enjoy the relaxation rooms and an amazing hot tub in a private area full of flickering candles and warm towels – all included in your service price. Treat yourself to a few minutes in the steam shower and breathe deeply allowing your body to sweat out the toxins. Then, after you cool off in the lounge with ice washcloths and herbal tea, you’re ready. The Mokara offers services from body therapies to facial treatments, but for a decadent experience, try the spa’s most luxurious massage: the four hands massage. This is an authentic experience where two therapists work on you at the same time, mirroring each other’s movements. If you are seeking total relaxation and restoration, you need to experience the four hands massage – the therapists will target the areas where you are feeling the most stress and take turns tackling knots and sore muscles. In the end you’ll feel like you’re floating down the Riverwalk; there is no better way to melt away tension. But the four hands massage at the Mokara costs a pretty penny. If you want to save your money to spend on mouth-watering Tex-Mex food, try a different treatment at Dasa Spa at the Hyatt Hotel. The lobby and lounge have no bells and whistles, but it is located off the beautiful waterfall and over the bridge as you enter the hotel. Reservations are not required but encouraged if you have a particular service or time in mind. Online booking is available for your convenience. Although I was truly pampered at the Mokara, my massage therapist at Dasa, Elizabeth, was extremely skilled which made the experience superior. Their signature treatment is an exfoliating mango enzyme body wrap filled with antioxidants that will unclog pores and pack your skin with rich nutrients. After they wrap your body in luxurious linens, you get a scalp and neck massage followed by a body butter application. I highly recommend any of the signature treatments at Dasa, including this one, which will leave you feeling like a new person ready to conquer the world – just like a true Texan.

“Committed to Serving your Real Estate Needs in the NRV”

Debra Chase REALTOR®, ABR, GRI, CIPS

cell 540.449.4481 office 540.552.6500 debra@debrachase.com Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.

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Krisha Chachra serves on the Town Council of Blacksburg and is a regular columnist and author. She has traveled to over 40 countries in 6 continents and reported and hosted shows for public radio and television. Her columns are taken from her journals and personal insights from traveling nationally and internationally throughout her life. Her book about returning to Blacksburg, Homecoming Journals, may be found online or in local bookstores. Email her at kchachra@aol.com NRVMAGAZINE.com

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NRV Fas h i o n

AN AMERICAN ICON the jean jacket

By Kelsey Foster The jean jacket is an iconic piece of American sportswear, worn throughout the decades by cowboys, actors, musicians and everyday people alike. Just this one clothing item has been able to permeate our culture in a vast way and ultimately become a classic closet staple. Levi Strauss introduced the jean jacket in the1880s, about 10 years after inventing his trademark blue jeans, as a “working blouse” for railroad workers, miners and others performing manual labor. The jacket started gaining in popularity in the early 1900s when cowboys adopted it as a uniform of sorts for their daily work. In 1954, Marlboro cigarettes selected the jean jacket clad cowboy image for its “Marlboro Man” advertising campaign, celebrating a rugged, outdoorsy, true Americana image. During World War II, the jean jacket continued to be associated with 28

its working man roots as the U.S. Army adopted it for their official Fatigue Duty Uniform (Class D) to be worn during fatigue duties. The uniform was made entirely of denim with a jean jacket, trousers and wide-brim hat. After the war, however, the jean jacket image was assimilated by the current youth culture, becoming a symbol of independence and rebellion. Classic rebel movie stars such as James Dean and Steve McQueen wore the jacket both on and off screen, and even Marilyn Monroe was photographed in one a few times, perhaps hinting at its eventual acceptance into mainstream culture. Not all people and institutions embraced the jacket, however, or denim in general. Bing Crosby, was once, and now infamously, denied entry to a Canadian hotel because his friends and he were wearing head to toe denim. When Levi Strauss & Co. executives heard about the incident, they designed

a full denim tuxedo, complete with a double-breasted jacket, just for Crosby, dubbing the invention the “Canadian Tuxedo.” There was even a patch sewn inside, inscribing: “NOTICE: TO HOTEL MEN EVERYWHERE — THIS LABEL ENTITLES THE WEARER TO BE DULY RECEIVED AND REGISTERED WITH CORDIAL HOSPITALITY AT ANY TIME AND UNDER ANY CONDITIONS.” They delivered the suit to Crosby who proceeded to wear it to his upcoming movie premieres and promotions. In 1957, Elvis Presley wore a black jean jacket with black jeans for his “Jailhouse Rock” music video, prompting Levi Strauss & Co. to release a new line of black jeans under the “Elvis Presley jeans label,” despite Presley’s rumored indifference, if not disdain, for jeans themselves. Rock musicians in the 1970s

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and ‘80s such as John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen appropriated the jean jacket as a symbol for freedom and outsider status, and hip-hop and pop artists did the same in the next two decades. It was around this time, however, that jean jacket’s commercial side really began to pervade mainstream culture as models like Claudia Schiffer donned the jacket for print campaigns for brands such as Guess and Levi. Today, the jean jacket has officially become a standard piece of classic American clothing and ultimately, despite its historic association with freedom, rebellion and counter culture movements, an every man and woman closet staple. At Fashion Week 2015, high fashion designers such as Valentino, Rachel Comey and Proenza Shouler even sent versions of the jacket down the runway, demonstrating just how much the jacket has evolved since its inception nearly a century and a half ago. The jean jacket’s counterpart, the chambray, has recently seen its own rise to take a coveted spot in American wardrobes. The fabric, though similar in appearance to denim, is constructed of a fine, plain-weave linen cloth. It was developed in Chambrai, a French commune, around 1530 and is much softer and pliable to the touch than typical denim material. Moreover, as the jean jacket was with the U.S. Army, chambray was adopted by the U.S. Navy in 1901 as part of its official work wear uniform because of its durability, lightweight feel and ability to hide grease and dirt. Chambray later transitioned to become an essential part of a business casual dress code. Levi Strauss & Co. introduced chambray into product lines as early as 1913, but it wasn’t until 1970 that the fabric took on a more prominent role in the company. Today, lighter weight chambray shirts and jackets are often paired with jeans NRVMAGAZINE.com

and jean jackets in an interesting twist on their aligned histories. You can see jean jackets every day somewhere in the New River Valley ~ in a variety of fabrics and colors on just as wide a variety of people from children and students to young professionals, parents, workers, shoppers (looking for another jean jacket perhaps) and the senior set. It remains a dominant piece in classic American

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fashion, simultaneously representing hard-working tradition, rebellion, independence and commercialism and will forever be intertwined with American history and culture. Kelsey Foster is a freelance writer, blogger and California transplant to the New River Valley. She owns both a blue jean jacket and a light ombre blue chambray shirt. Her food and lifestyle blog, aslolife.com, offers tips on food, fashion and home decor.

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NRV H i s t o r y

COURAGE AND PERSEVERANCE EXTRAORDINAIRE Mar y Draper Ingles ~ pioneer woman By Sheila D. Nelson Life was good for the young pioneer wife and mother. Her parents, Irish immigrants who arrived in Philadelphia in 1729, were among the first in a small group to scale the western barrier of civilization, the Allegheny Mountains. In l750, 18-year-old Mary Draper and 21-year-old William Ingles became the first white couple to be married west of the Alleghenies, and their son, Thomas, was the first white child born there. On Sunday morning, July 8, 1755, during the French and Indian War, a band of Shawnee warriors invaded Draper’s Meadows in a bloody massacre, leaving four dead and taking five hostages, including the very pregnant Mary and her two young sons, Thomas and George. Mary understood the respect Indians had for strength and the ability to bear pain, so she refused to cry or scream during childbirth. With no idea where they were headed, Mary carefully memorized the number of tributaries crossed during her enforced journey with the hope of eventually making her way home. They finally arrived in Shawnee territory in what is now Ohio. Mary met two French traders living in the town and began to work for them sewing highly sought-after cloth shirts, a factor which greatly increased her value and helped insure her safety. When Mary and an old Dutch woman were taken on a salt-making expedition to Big Bone Lick, Kentucky, she saw an opportunity for escape since they were on the south side of the Ohio River. The children had been left behind in the Shawnee camp, and it was late October when the women slipped away 30

Painting by Andrew Knez Jr. www.andrewknezjr.com unnoticed to begin their trip back east. They hid so well that the Indians figured they had become lost and would perish in the woods. The fields along the banks of the Ohio provided occasional nourishment from unharvested crops. The trip would have been long and arduous at best, but was made even more difficult because neither woman could swim. They were forced to travel up the tributaries of the Ohio River until they could walk across, then to walk back down on the far side, which often involved extremely long detours. They eventually came to where the steep gorges of the Kanawha and New Rivers presented even greater obstacles such as boulders, rushing

waters, log jams and slippery moss. The women had to climb and crawl practically every step of the way. Cold rains eventually disintegrated the light clothing they had been wearing. So there they were -- naked, freezing, starving – yet they continued on! They carried absolutely nothing with them and for nourishment had to scavenge whatever they could, often going days without eating. After approximately 43 days and more than 1,000 total miles (much of it due to the necessary detours), the women felt great relief that they had made it! Although only 23 years old, the rigors of the capture and escape had turned Mary’s hair completely white. At first, no one recognized the bleeding, scratched and nearly skeletal, white-haired woman who was unable to speak a coherent word. Mary was reunited with her husband, with whom she had more children. They settled by the New River near Radford, where Mary lived a robust life until the age of 83. In addition to a working farm, the Ingles built a tavern and operated a ferry to transport the multitudes traveling westward along the Wilderness Road across the New River. This working farm continues to be open to the public a few special days each year. The Radford Visitor Center can provide the dates ~ (540) 267-3153. There is a statue of Mary in Boone County, Kentucky, and a 22foot obelisk, constructed of chimney stones from the original Ingles cabin, memorializing her in the center of West View Cemetery in Radford. An historical marker can be found on Route 730 just outside Eggleston Springs where this

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amazing model of strength and character was found in Giles County. The story of Mary Draper Ingles, a tale of incredible strength, courage and determination, would seem to many a work of fiction, but Mary and her saga were very real. “The Long Way Home,” an outdoor play performed for almost 30 years in Radford, and “Follow The River,” a book of historical fiction written by James Alexander Thom, have introduced many to this remarkable woman. “Shawnee Captive” by Mary Furbee is geared to middle school readers. Jim Connell, a 91 year-old resident of Giles County, has spent decades keeping the story of Mary Draper Ingles alive. Two projects are currently underway to further honor her. About half the required $75,000 has been raised to cast and place an 8-foot tall statue of Ingles near Glencoe Museum. There is also a movement to add a bronze statue of her near the State Capitol as one of 12 depicted because she exemplifies the frontier woman in Virginia. We in Southwest Virginia can be very proud to call Mary Draper Ingles one of our own! Sheila D. Nelson is a freelance writer and life-long resident of Pulaski County.

Among the annals of Indian captivity there are many which recount sufferings and tortures one can scarcely imagine, and there were several escapes that seem all but incredible. But the one I have treated in this book is, to me, the most amazing and inspiring. It is one of those focused demonstrations of what the human spirit – not just the hardened, trained spirit of the professional soldier or adventurer, but the spirit of a vulnerable, frightened, “ordinary” person – can endure. ~ James Alexander Thom, author “Follow the River” NRVMAGAZINE.com

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NRV O u t do o r s

Upgrading Outdoor Spaces

Images by Trex

No matter the season, outdoor living in the New River Valley is in vogue. As spring approaches, here are some top trends that can influence the look, feel and function of your outdoor spaces. Outdoor rooms: Thanks to advances in all-weather materials, furnishings and accessories, you can outfit an outdoor living space in much the same way that you would any interior room. As a result, expect to see decks with integrated benches, upholstered cushions, privacy walls and ornamental post caps and railings with decorative balusters. Railings that rule: Another outdoor element influenced by indoor styling is deck railings. When it comes to selecting the best railing, design experts recommend using one of the “Three C’s” – coordinate, contrast or customize. To make the selection process even easier, Trex, the world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance wood-alternative decking and railing, has introduced a set of curated railings that pair beautifully with the brand’s most popular deck colors. Cooking with class: People across the NRV have taken backyard cooking and dining to a whole new level. Heading into the outdoor living season, expect this trend to continue with increasingly functional outdoor kitchens complete with cooking islands, pizza ovens, refrigerators and all-weather cabinetry and storage features. 32

Warming features: One of the hottest trends – literally – is the incorporation of warming features into outdoor spaces. From candles and tiki torches to fireplaces, fire pits and lighting, products that lend physical and ambient warmth are in high demand. Look for increased use of LED lights integrated into deck railings, stairs and yards as homeowners seek to enhance the ambiance and safety and extend the time they can spend enjoying it. High-tech decks: Home automation is hugely popular, so it’s only natural that the tech trend should migrate outdoors. From lighting and music controlled from a smart phone to motorized rear-projection screens synced to outdoor LED televisions, homeowners are now able to bring their entire entertainment system outdoors, creating a drive-in like space for NRV youngsters to re-live what many NRV oldsters so loved. Leisure without labor: For those that want to spend more time enjoying, rather than maintaining, their outdoor space, high-performance composite decking like Trex Transcend delivers all the beauty and aesthetics of wood without the timeconsuming upkeep. Unlike wood, composite decking resists fading, staining, scratching and mold and won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter. (Family Features)

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NRV Ho m e

NRVHBA - Home Expo

The New River Valley Home Builders Association’s Annual Home Expo is back this March at the Christiansburg Recreation Center. As regular attendees know, the Rec Center gymnasium is filled to capacity the second weekend in March with builders, contractors and suppliers, ready to discuss new construction, remodeling, and enhancing home spaces. In addition, there are How To Clinics for the DIY crowd, and a kids activity area. This year a new feature will be focusing on improving the lives of our neighbors, too. This year’s Expo theme is “YOUR Home is Where OUR Heart Is”, and in keeping with that, the Association is hosting the first ever “Cook Your Heart Out” Cook Off on Saturday, starting at 11:00 a.m.. Teams from Habitat for Humanity NRV, The Blacksburg Kiwanas, and United Way will compete on the Expo floor, preparing appetizers, entrees, and desserts made from locally 34

grown and processed foods. Some participating local farms and businesses include Cavalier Farms, Good FoodGood People, Chat Noir Apothicaire, Woo’s Q Brew Gourmet BBQ Sauce and Blacksburg Bagels. Local celebrity judges (including the Mayor of Christiansburg, the Montgomery County Sheriff, and Phillip Vaught, the publisher of this publication) and the public will have the opportunity to taste the results and vote for the team of their choice. Best of all: the winning charity will win a $1000 prize for their organization. “The NRVHBA’s focus has always been on building community. We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity for

fun competition and a nice donation to the winning charitable organization. We look forward to having an engaged audience, too.”, said Kelly Graham, the NRVHBA Executive Officer. The Cook Off begins around 11 a.m., on Saturday, March 12th.

2016 NRVHBA HOME EXPO

Christiansburg Recreation Center Friday, March 11 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Sunday, March 13 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Ticket Price: $5 Children ages 18 & under FREE

N R V M A G A Z I N E March/April 2016


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Opera Roanoke

Opera Roanoke concludes its 40th anniversary season with Verdi’s La Traviata starring Amy Cofield Williamson (Carmen, ’12; Julius Caesar, ’14), who has covered the lead role for famed soprano Reneé Fleming. With a cast including beloved baritone Levi Hernandez (Cinderella, ’15), Opera Roanoke’s 2015/2016 Season closes in a crescendo of passion with one of the greatest dramatic masterpieces in the operatic repertoire. In a charming case of life imitating art, Opera Roanoke’s leading lady and the artistic director, Scott Williamson, who will conduct La Traviata, met while singing Violetta and the male lead role Alfredo in a

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Maryland production of the opera. “Scott started singing, and I was caught completely off guard by the beauty of his tenor and by his vibrant personality. When I started singing in response, he seemed to light up even more, and the rest is history.” Their passion and chemistry carried them into real life, and they were married the following June.” According to Maestro Williamson, La Traviata “is simply one of the great masterpieces of all time. It is a work of art every human being should encounter at least once, and preferably many times, in their life”. To purchase tickets please call The Jefferson Center Box Office at

(540) 345-2550 or visit The Jefferson Center Box Office at 541 Luck Avenue, SW, Roanoke, VA 24016. Their hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. To purchase tickets online please visit. Season tickets are also still available through The Jefferson Center Box Office for patrons who attended October’s Sweeney Todd.

Friday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10, 3 p.m. Shaftman Performance Hall The Jefferson Center ~ Roanoke Tickets: 540-345-2550, M-F, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. www.jeffcenter.org/la-traviata

N R V M A G A Z I N E March/April 2016


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800.990.4828 * The lowest APR (Annual Percentage Rate) offered is 3.74%, which is a variable rate, and is subject to change. All balances will be calculated at a standard variable APR as indexed to The Wall Street Journal Prime Rate (as of February 29th, 2016 the Prime Rate was 3.50%), plus a margin of 0.24% for the life of the loan. Automatic deduction of payment is required from a Union checking account to obtain advertised rate. The maximum APR is 24% or maximum permitted by state law, whatever is less. This Union Bank & Trust Home Equity Line of Credit has a 20-year draw period with a final balloon payment. There is no origination fee charged to open. Other fees may be charged at origination, closing or subsequent to closing, ranging from $0 to $1,000. Offer is subject to credit approval and is based on a minimum equity line amount of $50,000 with a maximum combined loan-to-value of 80%. Applicants must possess a Beacon Score of 720 or greater. Bank must be in a valid first or subordinate lien position on the collateral. Bank will pay all closing costs for non-purchase money equity lines up to $250,000. Equity lines of $250,000 or more, and subordinate equity lines used for purchase money will receive a $600 credit toward closing costs. Home Equity Lines of Credit closed within 36 months from the opening date will be charged a prepayment penalty as follows: Lines ≤ $100,000 will be charged 1.00% of the line amount. Lines > $100,000 will be charged 0.50% of the line amount. Property insurance and flood insurance, where applicable, will be required. This offer is limited to primary and secondary, single-family residential real property located in Virginia. Please consult a tax advisor regarding interest deductibility. Certain conditions and restrictions may apply. Union Bank & Trust. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender.

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Roya’s Recipes Roya Gharavi is the founder and proprietor of Gourmet Pantry & Cooking School in Blacksburg.

Sesame-Crusted Salmon 4 salmon fillets, 6-8 ounces 3 Tbl. olive oil 1 Tbl. white sesame seeds 1 Tbl. black sesame seeds Salt (sea or kosher) and pepper, to taste -----------------------------------------Pat salmon fillets dry. Brush with olive oil and reserve 2 Tbl. for cooking. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the rest of olive oil in a skillet. Mix sesame seeds together in a small bowl. Press the seeds onto each fillet (both sides if skinless). Add to the hot skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Serve with Asian Dipping Sauce. Serve over sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes. Note: If cooking skin-on salmon, cook skin side down first.

Asian Dipping Sauce 1 cup soy sauce or tamari 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 scallion, white and green parts, thinly sliced 1 Tbl. peeled fresh ginger, finely chopped 1 Tbl. roasted sesame oil 2 Tbl. sherry or white wine vinegar 2 Tbl. minced fresh mint (or 1 Tbl. dry) 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped 2 Tbl. brown sugar 1/2 tsp. Thai chile paste Mix all ingredients until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and chill until ready to serve.

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N R V M A G A Z I N E March/April 2016


LaTraviata April 8, 2016 | April 10, 2016

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NRV R i de s

The Glamour Car of the Year Text by Karl H. Kazaks Photos by Tom Wallace “Instantly, instinctively, you know.” So says the narrator of a 1959 television ad for Ford’s new top-of-theline, full-size car, the Galaxie. As a boy, Curtis Nolen saw those black-and-white ads and loved watching the footage of the Galaxie Skyliner with its retractable hardtop smoothly sinking into the rear compartment, slipping beneath the upraised rear deck lid. Someday, he somehow knew, he would drive one of those cars. When he was old enough to get his first car, he did gravitate to 50s-era Fords ~ first a 1952 and then a 1959 hardtop. It was some time, though, before he had the chance to buy a 1959 Skyliner. He heard about a man in Danville who had a never-restored, 1959 Galaxie Skyliner in excellent condition. “When he raised up his 40

basement door and backed it out, I knew I’d take it home,” Nolen recalls. “I drove it back with a grin on my face that wouldn’t quit.” Nolen lives in Floyd, retired from the U.S. Postal Service, capped by many years as postmaster of the Dugspur Post Office. Today, he works in sales at a Floyd auto dealer. Over time, Nolen has performed necessary maintenance on the Galaxie Skyliner, replacing the radiator and associated hoses, replacing seals, adding electric windshield wipers. The biggest work he’s had done on it, though, is redoing the seat upholstery (the door panels remain original) and having the car repainted. That the car has never needed a full restoration is a testament to the care that Nolen and previous owners have given it. Ford made the Skyliner in just three model years, 1957, ‘58 and ‘59. It

was part of the Fairlane range for the first two years and the very beginning of the 1959 model year, prior to the introduction of the Galaxie line. Just under 50,000 Skyliners were made in those three years, with 12,915 1959s produced. The 1959 Galaxie is noticeable for its straight-line roof, curved windshield, an abundant amount of chrome and a three-tone interior cloth pattern. The design of the hood ornament and fender ornaments reflect the space-age style of the era. The hubcaps have sunburst centers in a red, blue and silver pattern. The Skyliner is particularly noticeable for being a hardtop convertible, with a design which allows for the hardtop to be stowed in the trunk. The system for moving and storing the hardtop does not

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involve hydraulics, but instead relies on 10 solenoids, five motors (six motors in the 1957 and 1958 models), a number of switches and lift jacks and 610 feet of wire. In Nolen’s car, the entire mechanism is factory original, as well as the chrome and glass. In the center of the rear compartment is a luggage tub, designed to corral bags or other items, preventing them from bumping into the retracted hardtop during travel or getting in the way of the car’s lifting mechanism. This particular car also features some of the year’s options, including a padded dash, sun visors and Ford’s Cruise-O-Matic

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automatic transmission. The engine is the 300 hp 352. A few years ago, at a rally of Ford retractable-hardtop owners, Nolen met Ford engineer Ben Smith, who designed the car. Smith has called the car a “steel-top convertible.” Nolen calls meeting Smith “pretty neat.” As much as Nolen keeps his car in good condition, he’s not afraid to take it out of the garage. When he bought the car, it had 36,000 miles; today that’s 48,000. “The fun of having such a car is using it,” he says. Last year, he loaned it to friends for their wedding at Virginia Tech. He also drives it as the

Grand Marshal every year in the Floyd Christmas Parade, and has carried honorees from aspiring politicians to homecoming queens in other parades and events. In the warmer months, Nolen likes to grab lunch and drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a picnic. “You want to start a conversation, just go out there and pop the top.” “Someone asked me once, ‘Did you make that car?’ “‘No,’ I said, ‘Ford Motor Company did.’” Funny guy. In its ad for the 1959, Ford called its new model, “the glamour car of the year.”

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REALTOR® ABR® EPRO® CRS®

540.239.4399 Susan@SusanErickson.com www.SusanErickson.com 2016 NRVAR President

“Susan was one of the best agents we’ve ever worked with. She was understanding and supportive and made an out-of-town buying experience enjoyable. Even after the sale she remains very supportive, checking in and making sure everything is going well. We will definitely work with her again should we every need an agent and will recommend her to anyone looking for a new home.” - T.Krauss

Helping clients build the home of thier dreams! 3601 Holiday Ln | Blacksburg, VA 24060 | 540.552.1010

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NRV Re al E s t at e

Shiny Objects

By Jeremy Hart Years ago – well, perhaps not that long ago, given the pace of technology – the shiny object in real estate was a website. If you were a real estate professional, or even had a passing interest in real estate, you had a website to show properties, talk about the industry andfind folks who shared your interest. That was followed by an endless parade of apps and technologies that were “guaranteed to revolutionize the real estate industry”, some of which had an impact, others guaranteed instant fame and fortune, and most were lost and never remembered again. At Nest Realty, we embrace the things that move us toward our ongoing commitment to being the most innovative real estate brokerage in the country, but all of the technology in the world doesn’t replace the fact that 44

real estate is not a 30-minute TV show. It’s not anovernight success game, but is instead a long-term process, with ups and downs along the way, which is why we created the Nest Report, a quarterly statistical report examining the New River Valley real estate market – a look at the data behind the homes you see sell on your street, in your neighborhood and town. If you’d like to read the entire 2015 report, or compare last year to previous years, you can find all of that at http://bit.ly/NestMarketReports. • Balanced by higher demand and lower inventory, total sales saw a 20% increase, reaching a five-year high • Days on Market dropped to 100 days average

While in our 2015 report we suggested that strong buyer demand – in conjunction with declining inventory levels – helped to stabilize the market in 2015, going forward we may have to revise that stance, as YTD we’ve not seen inventory match buyer activity. Rather, buyer interest has far outpaced actual inventory, leading to multiple offers and rising prices. In the shortterm, this can be good for sellers, but the long-term outlook means buyers will eventually move out of the market due to competition and price influences. “But data is boring”, you say. There may be some truth to that, but time and time again we find that the dullness of that data doesn’t lie – it’s not the shiny object, it’s not an app that promises to get you more views online, but rather a quantitative representation

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of what’s happening. And that won’t change the minute the next “latest and greatest” thing comes along. We put a lot of thought and research into these quarterly reports, so we can better understand and prepare clients for what’s coming. So grab a glass of your favorite beverage and open up that shiny new computer that promises to turn on your lights, play music and cook your dinner – if you’re interested, we have the full 2015 Nest Report at http://bit. ly/2015NestReport. Take a look - if you have questions, feel free to reach out, and let’s talk. We can even put down the shiny phones and do it face-to-face. Here’s a sneak peak.

Susanna Lilly REALTOR® 540.320.9444

www.SusannaLilly.com

Bringing Dedication, Integrity, and Results to

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2015 Nest Report See the full report at: http://bit.ly/2015NestReport

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Photographer Natalie Gibbs

Social Media Manager Justin Ashwell

Natalie Gibbs is one of those delightful individuals with a gifted eye behind the camera lens, a gifted ear for music and a gifted personality for working comfortably and easily across all generations. She specializes in wedding and documentary family photography, and her photos have graced the cover and pages of New River Valley Magazine. Natalie not only teaches music at Belview and Prices Fork elementary schools, but also started the Belview Elementary Ukulele Club and two choirs: Broadway Bees and Honeycomb Choir. After just one year, the uke group played as the opening act before the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain took the stage at the Moss Arts Center last October. They play and sing. Natalie worries that singing in the home is disappearing and youngsters won’t know many of the American classics, like “Working on the Railroad” and “Skip to my Lou.” Drawn to photography a long time ago, Natalie credits her grandfather, who had 10,000 slides from around the world, with teaching her to think critically about elements like light and composition in photos. “I have always been interested in capturing real moments between people, more than landscapes or posed shots. I am especially drawn to family documentary photography and am venturing into video a bit in this genre,” she says. She started her photography business in 2009, and we discovered her by that ubiquitous, best kind of advertising ~ word of mouth. She is professional in her skills, charming and fun to work with. Natalie and her husband live in Christiansburg with their two children. www.nataliegibbs.com

When I moved to the New River Valley in late spring of 2014, I just knew that I would like it. It was three months before school, and I was embarking on my first internship, then transferring to Virginia Tech in the fall. I was on cloud nine. Concurrently with my internship, I began working with New River Valley Magazine. I wrote a few articles and contributed some photography before being named Social Media Manager. Throughout my junior year of college, I found myself in a rhythm of internship then school then homework then social media then sleep. Repeat. For variety, in the summer of 2015, I accepted an opportunity that I later learned hundreds of students applied for. I was one of seven to engage in a communications internship at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. I quickly packed my bags and spent the summer living in the big city I dreamed of and working at a spectacular, fun environment. Flash-forward to today. I will graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in marketing management. Last December, I launched my company, The PRIME Factory, a communications and advertising agency specializing in digital marketing, public relations, branding and lead generation. After graduation I plan to set foot on the road to a graduate degree while I run my company. The New River Valley has opened so many doors in a short amount of time, and I cannot think of a better way to pay back but by working for such an amazing publication that serves it.

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N R V M A G A Z I N E March/April 2016


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