Page 1

Celebrating our 10th Year









Summer Fairs & Festivals

nr vm a ga zi May/June 2016


If You Are Thinking of Selling, Now Is The Time

If you thought about selling your house this year, now is the perfect time to do it.

The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

We offer our thanks and appreciation to each and every one of our clients and customers for the trust and confidence they have placed in us throughout the years. Long & Foster® Real Estate, Inc. is proud to be the #1 family-owned and operated real estate company in America. When you’re ready to buy or sell a home call the trusted professionals at Long & Foster, America’s #1 family-owned and operated real estate company. Or visit us on-line at

Long & Foster was named “America’s Most Trusted Residential Real Estate Brokerage” by Lifestory Research.

3601 Holiday Ln. Blacksburg, VA 24060 540.552.1010

Services Available in Your Community Carilion Clinic offers services throughout Blacksburg. Contact your primary care provider or call any of our specialty offices today to learn how our providers can help you reach your health care goals.



Carilion Wellness



1997 S. Main St., Suite 704 540-961-1058

Family Medicine

Outpatient Therapy


t. Main S

e gat uth So


Dr. r. nter D rch Ce Resea


1715 Pratt Dr.

Center Research

For additional services, visit

1997 S. Main St.

460 BUS




460 BUS


901 Plantation Road 540-224-5170

213/215 Gilbert St.

901 Plantation Rd.


901 Plantation Road 540-731-7600

Rd. ices F o rk Pr

n atio

General Surgery


215 Gilbert St. 540-961-8040

t Plan

215 Gilbert St. 540-731-2436



Foot & Ankle/ Podiatry

1420 N. Main St.

S. M

901 Plantation Road 540-951-0352

213 Gilbert St. 540-731-2350

in S t.

1420 N. Main St. 540-951-8380


1715 Pratt Dr., Suite 1600

215 Gilbert St. 540-961-8060


901 Plantation Road 540-557-5585

460 | 800-422-8482


N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

113-FTNC-Intro New Nissan NRV Mag 7.5x9.875 FC_1 4/11/16 3:41 PM Page 1

Hello New River Valley! First Team Automotive Group Is Proud To Introduce The All New

First Team Nissan of Christiansburg (Formerly New River Nissan)

Welcome to a whole new way to buy that’s faster, easier, and saves you more than ever before. It’s a new day in New River Valley. First Team is excited to bring our Clean Deal Buying Experience to the all new First Team Nissan of Christiansburg. What is Clean Deal Buying? First, you get our fair, low price right up front, with no hassles, and no need to negotiate. Easy, right? Yes! And you save more than ever before because iMVP (internet Market Value Pricing) means our low prices are set by the Virginia market, not by us, and are backed by our $500 Low Price Guarantee*. But there’s more to our Clean Deal Buying Experience than just great, low prices. With “Start My Deal Online”, you can apply for financing, personalize payments, value your trade and more online without leaving the comfort of your home. Plus nearly every vehicle we sell includes our exclusive Values for Life* program, with your first oil change, engine and more covered for life. That’s what Good People, Great Values is all about! Visit us today and experience the joy of buying your next car from the all new First Team Nissan of Christiansburg.

First Team Nissan of Christiansburg 2130 N. Franklin Street • Christiansburg, VA 24073 • • 540-382-2903 *Just bring in a current bonafide offer from a Central or SW Virginia dealer showing an exact in-stock new or pre-owned vehicle for less than our lowest price. We will sell you the vehicle for less, or give you $500. Values for Life program requires all manufacturer maintenence to be performed by First Team. See dealer for complete details.

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


Keep your child “school ready” this summer by enrolling in The Adventure Club’s

SUMMER CAMP PROGRAM May 31st – August 5th Our two week camps are just

$100 per week

OR Customize your own schedule and select individual weeks for just $125 per week!

Fun and Innovative Camp Themes, Water Wednesdays, Weekly Visitors, STEM Activities, Breakfast and Evening Snacks and More!



•••••••••• •• •••


•••••••••• ••• ••

•••••••• ••• •• •• •

Adventure Club S

erv ing


Parents’ Partner ~ Children‘s Choice


Families Sin



77 Scattergood Drive, Christiansburg, VA 24073

Visit us online at

Bank on us! With a 140-year history, we offer exceptional customer service and products to meet your needs.

Community Preferred Checking Online Banking & eStatements Mobile Banking Customized Mortgage Loans Commercial Lending Resources Business Cash Management Competitive CDs & Money Market Accounts Back row (left to right): Sarah Price, Sr. Financial Assistant; Todd Murray, City Executive; Becky Stanley, Mortgage Loan Officer; Darlene Lancaster, Commercial Loan Officer; Brenda Harris, Personal Banker; Taylor Elliott, Financial Assistant.

1900 South Main Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 · (540) 951-7170 ·


Front row (left to right): Tiffany Gurnee, Personal Banker; Lisa Bond, Loan Assistant.

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016


May - June


P ro u d as a Pe a c oc k 10 Par t y i n g w ith Pa i n t 14 N RV H om e s 16


N RV Ri des - Fo o d Tr u c k s 2 2 S t eppi n ’ O u t T-S h i r ts 2 4 Cl ear i n g Cu s t o ms - H o n g Kon g 2 6


B arn Q u i l ts 2 8 D r i n ki n ’ i n G i l e s 3 2 A u c ti on s 3 6 Ro y a’s R e c i p e s 3 8 V i rgi n i a Ch eese F e s ti v a l 3 9 N RV E v e n ts 4 0 Bi o Pa g e 4 6

14 16

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


Duncan’s Hokie Honda

Duncan Hyundai



Duncan Acura

Audi Roanoke


No Hassle, No Haggle Upfront Pricing

Duncan Exclusive Powertrain Warranty

3 Day/300 Mile No Questions Asked Money Back Guarantee

Non-Commisioned Product Specialists

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


GNB-13102_7.5x4.88_final.indd N R V M A G A Z I N1E

May/June 2016

4/11/14 8:47 AM

Pasture Talk









P. O. Box 11816 Blacksburg, VA 24062 o: 540-961-2015

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.

I often say I never cared about being younger or richer until I got horses, which is true, and they came to me late in life. But if I were younger and richer, I might spring for one of the home and business properties profiled in this issue. I know from being an entrepreneur across a few states and in different industries that you have to like to work to set out on a course of generating your own income. But the satisfaction, freedom and challenge are worth it. Maybe you are just the one to jump into a horse farm or cattle ranch or sportsman venture, armed with a solid business plan, of course. Seven Springs Farm was also Hideaway B&B, and the equine extravaganza in Dublin is an host. Fun to think about! A recent incident reminded me of one of my father’s most significant character traits. He had an extensive woodworking hobby, and he was an avid reader, having read every book in our small town library, along with the entire works of Shakespeare and the Bible, both more than once. When I approached or said “hey Dad,” he would carefully put down tools, replace his bookmark, close and set aside the book and completely focus on me. It made me feel like the most important kid, teen, adult in the world

M a y / J u n e

at the moment. Today, people are all too often glancing over your shoulder, squirming to look at their cell phone and thinking of what they are going to say next, rather than staying intent on what someone else is saying. When I remember my Dad, his attentiveness always come to mind. Sweet legacy. Our new NRV Business Yearbook 2016 publication is out ..... what fun that was! You can find one at one of our 300 distribution points across the NRV and enjoy learning about local businesses which are proud of their products, services, employees and everything! We are richly blessed in the NRV with an interesting mix of innovative entrepreneurs and commercial enterprises. The Radford Reads Festival has come together for the 3rd year. Arranged by Radford Public Library and hosted at Glencoe Museum on Sat., May 28, the day’s program is chock full of readings by more than two dozen authors, music and workshops. Everything starts at 10 a.m., and it’s free. Find more info on Facebook at Radfordreads.

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor

2 0 1 6


NRV K i ds

PROUD AS A PEACOCK Text by Emily Kathleen Alberts | Photos Courtesy of Beth Sanborn Newman


She didn’t want to find out the sex of her baby in advance, so during her final months of pregnancy, Beth was busily painting the nursery in gender neutral shades of teal and orange and shopping for unisex decor. Her mother-in-law joined her at the fabric store, where the cutest little owl pattern caught Beth’s eye. “You want that? I’ll buy it for you!” her mother-in-law eagerly offered. Like any grandmother-tobe, she was chomping at the bit to shower this baby with love in the form of all things darling. But darling can be 10

difficult to pin down without a pink or blue theme to work around. The owl was just the thing. She bought the

Beth remembers her

mother busily moving from one craft project to the next, quilting and sewing . . . fabric, and Beth spent the afternoon attempting to make curtains. It had been years since she pulled out her sewing machine. But there she was,

hunched over, cursing and ripping out stitches in the room that would eventually become her studio. Beth Sanborn Newman comes from a family of creatives. She remembers her mother busily moving from one craft project to the next, quilting and sewing furiously behind piles of fabric. Her aunt is a professional artist, though finding success was much different in the days before social media and Etsy. It’s no surprise that Beth’s passion for arts and crafts led her into the field of elementary education. For

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


six joy-filled years, she worked around the clock as a 4th grade teacher before the arrival of her baby…GIRL! “I swore I wasn’t going to do it!” she says of her sudden proclivity for dressing her baby in ribbons and bows, tutus and tiaras. But her little Baby Owl had a mind of her own, and her mind was fixated with fairies and princesses. Through several failed attempts, Beth finally perfected the art of the handmade fairy costume, complete with an impeccably tufted tutu, matching fairy wand and headband. She was proud as a peacock. Feeling restless after years in the classroom, she was longing for something to fill free time between baby naps and feedings. Creating darling outfits for her baby girl was the perfect outlet. Soon friends were calling to order custom creations from the talented Mama Peacock. 12

“I was a handmade genie!” she laughs. She was customizing entire costume sets and decor for themed birthday parties and creating everything from banners to bowties. It was exhilarating, and exhausting.

“What’s the best part of working with my baby?” she queries, thinking aloud. “I always have a model, albeit not always a willing model. And she works cheap!” During a birthday photo shoot led by her trusted friend and gifted photographer, Christina Wolfe, Beth was reinvigorated by some simple, yet powerful advice. Christina suggested that Beth could totally sell her creations on Etsy. That was all the push Beth

needed. She slowly pulled away from the demands of being a handmade genie and started building her product line. “‘No’ is a powerful word!” she says, leaning back and tucking her ombré blonde and peacock blue hair behind her ear. Hundreds and hundreds of yards of tulle later, Mama Peacock Baby Owl is an Etsy success. And her Baby Owl is practically famous! “What’s the best part of working with my baby?” she queries, thinking aloud. “I always have a model, albeit not always a willing model. And she works cheap!” Beth jokes that one pack of Smarties gets her baby owl through an entire photo shoot, and now it is Beth who is snapping the shots. Christina convinced Beth she wouldn’t need a fancy camera, just a fancy new lens. Beth also received pivotal advice at a Mama Movement meeting

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

last fall. The Mama Movement is an organization dedicated to helping mothers find and follow their passions. Jessica Jones, Mama Mentor and former owner of Blacksburg’s Burnt Creative, told Beth outright that she needed to raise her prices. Beth was not expecting to hear that. However, after running the numbers, Beth determined she was paying herself about $1 per hour. “I improved my craft and worked on presenting my brand more professionally with packaging and presentation. Now, I use a formula that takes my time into account. Many of my products are quite time consuming to design and make,” she explains. She personally designs a handmade card to accompany each gift certificate she sells. These gorgeous watercolor cards are adorned with gold filigree and her hallmark peacock and owl emblem.

Within three months, sales had increased tenfold. Jessica had insisted that an item’s perceived value was tied to its price point, and buyers wanted quality handmade items, not outfits that would fall apart after one party -and they are willing to pay more for it. Beth’s creations are toddler-tested, and

I improved my craft and worked on presenting my brand more professionally with packaging and


proper care instructions are explained via YouTube videos and cleaning guidelines. So let’s take a quick inventory: Beth designs all of the tutus, tee shirts, banners, Easter baskets, hair bows,

magic wands, etc., and orders all the materials, takes her own photos, creates handwritten thank you cards for every customer, fills and ships every order, does her own marketing, graphic design, website, SEO…and everything. She’s expanding the line to include the cutest vinyl transfer onesies made possible by the purchase of a new heat press. Will she ever return to the classroom? “It’s what I was put on this earth to do!” she insists. The first class of students she taught is graduating this year. “They’ve come so far! I am so proud of them.” She, too, has come so far. Emily Kathleen Alberts is a Blacksburg-based freelance writer and regular contributor to New River Valley Magazine.


May 1 May 7

Meet the Artist at the Palisades 1pm – 3pm Spring Up Wolf Creek Bike Ride Double Dog Dare Downriver Dash Pearisburg Community Market Opens May 8 Palisades Mother’s Day Brunch Mother’s Day Buffet at Mountain Lake Lodge May 12-13 PreGA*ME TrailFest in Pearisburg May 20 Narrows Homemade/Homegrown May 21 Brewridge 2016, 12 - 5pm Mountain Lake Lodge May 28 Music in Newport May 29 Mountains of Misery 7am – 2pm Mountain Lake Lewis & Clark Circus in Narrows June 4 Come Outside & Play at Glen Alton June 5 Meet the Artist at the Palisades 1pm – 3pm June 10-12 14th Annual Henry Reed Memorial Fiddlers Con. Newport Agricultural Fairgrounds June 17-18 Pearisburg Festival in the Park June 17 Narrows Homemade/Homegrown June 18 Eastern Divide Ultra and 8-Miler June 18 Music in Newport June 19 The Palisades Outdoor Bash

#GilesCoVa |

M a y / J u n e

Helping People...It’s What We Do. 2 0 1 6


NRV Fe at u r e

Partying with Paint Text by Jennifer Poff Cooper | Photos courtesy of Marianne Jackson and The Artful Place: A Fine Studio


Art lessons for the masses are all the rage. Participants do not have to be specially schooled or possess innate talent. The fun is in the trying. Anita Carden teaches “Paint Night” classes in Peterstown, W.V. “I provide everything and you come out with your own ‘masterpiece on canvas,’” says Carden, a freelance artist for more than 30 years. “There is no obligation to come to more than one class because we do a completely different painting each time. I draw the basic sketch in advance on all the canvases and give simple instructions. Participants have the freedom to choose their own colors or change whatever they want to make their painting unique to them. Many times someone who thinks they could never do this comes out surprised that 14

The Artful Place: A Fine Studio they were able to do so well.” Most short art classes cost about $35 per person, including all supplies, and last for two to three hours. The typical attendees are middle-aged women, though the range runs the gamut from kids around 10 to senior citizens, with the occasional man thrown into the mix. The majority of participants have limited or no experience in art. They tend to come in groups of two to four, totaling four to 20 participants per class. Most classes provide a light atmosphere with music, breaks for ‘drying times,’ and even refreshments. Classes are held at studios, restaurants, libraries, community centers, churches, schools, offices and homes. Marianne Jackson, instructor of

Creative Canvases Painting Workshops at The Pearisburg Community Center, says short art sessions “are unique painting classes for all ages and skill ranges. These classes were developed to get people out of the house and start getting their creative juices flowing.” She walks her guests through a stepby-step painting; however, what sets her apart from similar classes is that she will not paint or draw on anyone’s canvas… [so] no one person’s painting is the same as their neighbor’s. What about the inherent untidiness? “I cover all of the tables with plastic tablecloths, and the paint is washable to minimize the mess,” Carden explains. Creative Canvases participant Sabrina Sexton notes: “There are plenty of paper towels in case of a spill.” Artist

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

Michelle and Samantha aprons to wear are part of the night’s package. “I believe we need more art. Without art, we lack the ability to think creatively, and to think creatively opens up so many doors, including benefits to our health,” declares Jackson, an art teacher who is passionate about the craft. She cites a review in the American Journal of Public Health entitled “The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health.” In that article, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the positive impact of art on people’s health and their ability to heal themselves. Still, Jackson was skeptical at first as to how popular the concept would be. She has found that people come for all sorts of reasons. For some it is a “girls’ night out” or motherdaughter date. Other attendees come as a form of therapy. She has had people come to help improve their artistic skills, some even taking notes in class. It is also a place for participants to socialize and to express themselves creatively without a longterm commitment. Jackson’s goal is to make art available for all ages in a place

Melanie and Gracie where people can feel comfortable to try without the feeling of being judged or graded. Carden concurs: “They are so proud to take their paintings home and show them off to friends and family. They post photos of their work on Facebook and say, ‘Look what I did! My first painting ever!’” The Artful Place: A Fine Studio, affiliated with the Creekmore Law Firm, hosts monthly paint parties. There is a schedule of topics with each month bringing to life a different object, season or panorama. Private parties are an option for adults as well as children. Located in a house full of other artsy folks in downtown Blacksburg, it provides the perfect setting for creating. Lisa Petersen shares her experience: “The instructor gave us step-by-step instructions on how to paint Blue Ridge Mountain scenery. She had the paint colors ready to go and told us how to mix them to get the colors we wanted and how to move our brushes to create textures and shapes. Whenever anyone would get discouraged about how their painting was looking, someone would say: ‘Just

M a y / J u n e

drink more wine and it will look better.’ Everyone would laugh. It was a fun, easy atmosphere to be creative in – whether you were good at it or not.” “I have always been lucky to be able to draw, but I had not done any kind of art in years,” states Sexton, who is also the account executive at New River Valley Magazine. By attending the painting classes, I have re-connected with the artist side of me.”

Artwork of Anita Carden on Facebook: Artwork of Anita Carden call or text at 304.952.3294 email: Marianne Jackson, Creative Canvases on Facebook: creativecanvases85 703.401.1761 email: The Artful Place: A Fine Studio: on Facebook The Artful Lawyer, A Fine Gallery, Inc. Art Gallery - 540.443.9350 ext. 707 email:

2 0 1 6


NRV H o me s

The 25-Step Commute live and work at home in Pulaski County Text by Joanne M. Anderson One of the most economical benefits of a job is living at work or working at home. Ronald Reagan once said that he grew up living “over the store,” rose to become President of the United States and once again lived “over the store.” Not all businesses and not all people are conducive to the home-based business model, but if you are, here are two great properties, both for sale, with gorgeous homes and potentially lucrative business opportunities in the New River Valley.

Equine Extravaganza Photos by Tom Wallace Oakridge Farms is a stunning horse or cattle property anchored by a 4,600-square-foot home with no expense spared for quality and highend entertaining. Asked what she might have done differently in her house design or property amenities, homeowner Christine Warden states: “I love it just as it is. It’s the third house I’ve built and second horse farm I’ve designed, so I guess I worked out all the bugs before coming here.” A native 16

of Canada and long-time horsewoman, Warden developed this 26-acre property just 16 years ago, bringing her warmblood show and dressage horses to the New River Valley. Today, she enjoys them for pleasure rather than the demanding schedule of training and showing, and she added raising calves last year. The house is a classic, 2-story, stately cream brick Colonial flooded with natural daylight from copious near

floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking impeccable landscaping and rolling pasture land. With a combination of hardwood, tile and carpet floors, crown molding, custom wall paneling and white trim throughout, the home exudes the elegance of the Colonial era with the sophistication and savoir vivre of contemporary open style. As with most homes, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and here the adjoining, spacious sunroom (added

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


Working Farm with Lake Frontage Photos by Darin Greear

Not too far way as the crow flies is the former Hideaway Bed & Breakfast and Seven Springs Farm. With deep water lake frontage on a cove of Claytor Lake, the property boasts fenced pastures, hay fields, quality barns and sheds, two wells, mature timber, springs and a 4,100-square-foot, 3-story, contemporary home on 173 acres. The whole place is ready for a new cattle, horse, boating, sportsman or lodging venture once again, not to mention a phenomenal lifestyle opportunity for a family or multiple generations of a family. The house was constructed in 1992, and it capitalizes on water views from almost every room. Skylights, vaulted ceilings, window seats, master suites on two levels and a full walk-out basement were thoughtfully designed into this one owner home. Interesting features you won’t find in standard issue houses include a built-in, 150-gallon aquarium, pine wood ceilings, a cedar-lined closet, stone fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. Contemporary cable deck railings span the main floor outside with a cozy spot for a patio table and chairs that overlooks the lake through the trees. More than 10,000 square feet of quality-constructed barns and sheds for horses, hay and equipment storage dot the land, along with fencing, mature timber and that glorious frontage on deep water. This unique property has multiple opportunities for the energetic farmer, imaginative entrepreneur or country-inclined family. MLS # 314227 ~ $849,000 Listed by: Long & Foster, 320-5859, Darin Greear

seven years ago) and attached pergola and pavilion facilitate entertaining to the max. Water features include a front pond and small waterfall and nice size pond with lily pads afloat alongside the outdoor living space. There are four fireplaces in the house and an outdoor stone, woodburning fireplace which provides a focal point to balance with a covered outdoor bar, counters and gas grill. Warden is a former police officer and provincial prosecutor from 18

north of the border, and her idea of an equine property is magnificent. Having grown up on a horse farm, she has been involved in all facets of horse care, training and showing across decades. The barn is as charming as functional with regular stalls and foaling space. The tack room is larger than my kitchen. A two-story carriage house is used for storage, and an apartment could be finished off on the upper level. The riding ring is a standard dressage arena and perfect for training, clinics,

pleasure, jumping, obstacle practice or any horse activity. Fencing, water, regulation arena footing, 20 acres in pasture and exquisite design make living and working here an equine lover’s dream. MLS #320224 ~ $698,000 Co-listed by: Mabry & Cox, 540-616-7411 Dana Spraker Burgess Realty, 540-320-2345 DeeDee Edwards

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

this is how we do


and your money stays here. With locations in Christiansburg, Salem, Roanoke and Smith Mountain Lake, we’re just around the corner. Enjoy helpful service, high-tech convenience and more when you make the switch to your HomeTown Bank.

* ATM refund amount varies by account type.

Member FDIC

540.391.4050 I M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


Blacksburg Battles Cancer

There are few who have not been touched by knowing someone who battles cancer or who has fought the good fight against it. For more than a decade, tens of thousands of dollars have been raised at a special golf tournament. What began in 2005 as the Rally for the Cure, organized by the Women’s Golf Association at Blacksburg Country Club, evolved into Blacksburg Battles Cancer three years ago. Carilion Clinic has been the title sponsor the first three years and will be again for 2016. Originally [2005-2012], funds were raised for the Susan G. Komen organization, and here are this year’s beneficiaries:  Special Love, Inc. ~ recreational programs and support for children with cancer.  Komen Virginia Blue Ridge ~ breast health education and regional screening.  Carilion Clinic Hospice ~ compassionate support during illness and grief.  Good Samaritan Hospice ~ compassionate support during illness and grief.  Students vs. Cancer ~ help to uplift students and teachers diagnosed with cancer.

The worthiness of the cause and these organizations is extensive and well-known. The golf tournament is set for Monday, Sept. 26, at 1 p.m., and you, your family and business have myriad opportunities to contribute by being a sponsor. From $500 to $2,500, sponsorships include banner, sign and program visibility, and some include a complementary team or two. Beyond the promotion aspect, participating as a sponsor places you and/or your business in the special company of those who step out to join the battle against a disease that impacts the lives of millions of women and their friends and families every year. Also find us on Facebook!

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


cell 540.449.4481 office 540.552.6500 Each Office Is Independently Owned and Operated.


N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

Transport Your Home into Spring Visit Grand Home Furnishings to shop this year’s top color trends

CHRISTIANSBURG 220 Laurel Street NE 540.381.4000 OPEN EVERY DAY

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 3601 Holiday Lane | Blacksburg, VA 24060

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


NRV R i de s

Meals on Wheels how food trucks roll Text by Karl Kazaks | Photos by Tom Wallace

Taqueria el Paso On a windy, sunny, spring afternoon, two men finished a meal at a picnic table adjacent to Taqueria el Paso, the food trailer serving Mexican cuisine from a parking lot across U.S. 460 Business from the Corning plant. Joe Cook moved a few months ago to Christiansburg from Washington, D.C., where he was accustomed to being able to choose from a vast number of food trucks. “I love that they have food trucks here,” he says. “It’s a little bit of home.” Cook and his friend, Brad Wyatt, had just enjoyed their first meal from Taqueria el Paso, “Based on the tacos,” Wyatt says, “I’m rating it a five-star food truck. The way they cooked the chicken . . . the spiciness . . . it’s very authentic.” Taqueria el Paso is the result of the imagination and hard work of Josue 22

Vasquez, a Honduras native who has been in the U.S. for 25 years. Vasquez worked for many years in the restaurant industry before finding work in construction. While in the building trades, Vasquez bought the double-axle trailer that is Taqueria el Paso and converted it to what it is today. Inside are two flat-top cookers, versatile pieces of equipment on which Vasquez and his two employees cook tacos, quesadillas, burritos, burgers, hot dogs and tortas (a Mexican sandwich, made with a choice of meat, grilled onions and mozzarella cheese). There is an array of stainless steel (food safe) equipment, including a sink and a prep table. There are two refrigerators. Above the cooking station is a vent hood, and Pandora is used to program Latin music which plays quietly throughout the day. The flat tops are fueled by propane, while power for the lights and refrigerator are provided by a generator

Vasquez runs out of the back of his pickup truck parked nearby. While working construction, Vasquez used the trailer on weekends to cook for himself and family. Then one slow, winter day when there was no construction work, he said: “It’s time to go.” After operating for a short time in Roanoke, Vasquez decided to try Christiansburg in front of a Mexican grocery – Tienda Latina Emily – operated by his brother. It’s been a hit from the start. The first Saturday he ran out of the food he brought with him and had to send for resupply during the course of the day. Being next to his brother’s store has been win-win for the two business. Vasquez doesn’t sell beverages, encouraging customers to buy drinks from his brother. His brother lets him use his indoor facilities for some prep work like most of the vegetable washing. At night,Vasquez takes his groceries into the store and keeps them refrigerated there.

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

Taqueria el Paso, which holds a health department license and local business permit, occasionally travels to area festivals, but Vasquez likes working at his main location. “A better place I couldn’t find than this,” he says. On Wednesdays, you can find another food truck a short drive (or walk) from Taqueria el Paso. That’s when Thai This, a food truck serving Thai cuisine which has been in operation in the NRV for almost two years, rolls into the front of Fieldstone United Methodist Church.

Thai This

Thai This is the brainchild of Brian Lawson and his wife Jang, a Thai native, with major assistance from Brian’s lifelong friend Steve Widner and the truck’s longtime employees. When Jang moved to Christiansburg to marry Brian, she brought her knowledge of Thai food. Sharing that food became a dream

realized when the Lawsons contracted with a company that specializes in food truck conversions to build their truck. The retrofit began with an Utilimaster truck, powered by a Cummins diesel engine, formerly used as a linen truck. Today there’s a wok station, fryer, four-burner stove and three-well steam table inside. Underneath the cooking line in a separate, enclosed bay is a militarystyle generator which is tied into the truck’s diesel supply and powers the kitchen operations. Like Vasquez’s trailer, this truck also uses propane for cooking. Thai This serves food at a variety of locations around the NRV. In addition to being at Fieldstone on Wednesdays, the truck usually operates on Tuesdays from the Main Auto Spa in Blacksburg and on Sundays at Cedar Valley Exxon in Radford. Thursdays it alternates locations, with set-up points including Harvest Moon in Floyd, the CRC in Blacksburg

M a y / J u n e

and others. Because its schedule changes, Thai This relies on its heavy social media presence to get the word out about locations each upcoming week. Being able to work with a variety of local businesses and organizations is part of what the Lawsons enjoy about operating at multiple places. They strive to provide mutual benefit to their area neighbors, for example, offering a complimentary spring roll to any customer who brings a donation to Fieldstone’s food drive on Wednesdays. The Lawsons would like to add a permanent Thai restaurant to their food truck business. For now, they are glad to be part of the local food community, serving delicious food and exposing area residents to the types of food Thai cuisine offers. “Not all of our food is spicy,” Brian explains. “It’s about 50-50. I didn’t eat spicy food until I met Jang. Now I’m like, give me the chiles.”

2 0 1 6


NRV Fe s t i v al s

The Steppin’ Out T-Shirt Story By Laureen Blakemore | Photos courtesy of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

This year marks 36 years of Steppin’ Out and the infamous festival t-shirts, which have become an annual collector’s item and integral part of the great Steppin’ Out tradition. If you have ever looked at one of the 1,400 Steppin’ Out t-shirts running, walking and bouncing around downtown Blacksburg and New River Valley all year long, you may have wondered how it came to be and what they mean. These whimsical, colorful Steppin’ Out shirts provide a physical memory of summer fun and make a great gift for every fan of Blacksburg. It goes without saying that they make annual fashion statements. Not only do the profits from sales make Steppin’ Out possible, but also these funds support downtown community improvements and activities such as the Farmers Market, Alexander Black House, downtown benches, The Lyric Theatre and Winter Lights Festival with TubaChristmas. Robin Rogers was the original


t-shirt designer for many years until she moved away. George Wills designed them several times intermittently, and he won the design contest in recent years. Cece Bell won the first design contest in 2001. Now a competition is launched each September to find a new design for the next Steppin’ Out T-shirt. The call goes far and wide, and designs are sent in from high school art classes, college design students and those with an artistic flair and love of Steppin’ Out. Past t-shirt designers include Maya Renfro, George Wills, Andrew Dishon, Sarah Vernon, Sara McCarter, Forrest Worley, Cece Bell and Robin Rogers. The winning design for the 2016 Steppin’ Out tee shirt is by Maya Renfro, who also won the contest the previous year. Each winning design is selected by a secret panel of downtown merchants. The chosen designer joins a short list of exclusive Steppin’ Out tee shirt artists and receives praises and fame in advertising, news articles, store windows where the shirts are sold and

at Steppin’ Out, along with a cash prize of $500. Steppin’ Out t-shirts are sold in four colors in kid’s sizes, seven colors in adult sizes, with four of the seven colors also available in Ladies Cut. Some of the designs have also appeared on baseball caps, tote bags, posters and Kleen Canteen cups. In 2015, the design was included on the “Live Where You Love” themed Blacksburg Transit bus and can still be seen on various routes throughout town. T-shirts are sold online at www., in select stores before the festival and at a t-shirt booth on College Avenue across from the Lyric during Steppin’ Out. Online orders have come in from England, Australia and various states in the USA.

Steppin’ Out, downtown Blacksburg Friday, Aug. 5, 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, 10a.m. - 10 p.m.

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016


In today’s world, businesses come and go. It is the strong that makes a place and is able to prosper. Kesler Contracting & Property Management in Riner, VA has reached a milestone in their field - celebrating their 10th Anniversary in the NRV. As a local company, Matthew Kesler has continued to grow his business into a reputable company that offers “Quality work by a company that cares”. Starting out is always difficult. Kesler Contracting has faced the challenges of the economy, competes for local projects and is always ready to build and finish the job on time and even on tight deadlines. With the growth of the NRV and surrounding areas, Kesler Contracting has many major jobs to add to their credit. Supplying great quality construction is what it takes to stay in the job market. The professional staff offers excellent service starting at the office personal to the on-site builders. No job is too big or too small; Kesler is noted for their quality workmanship at competitive prices. Here are just a few of the services offered: Commercial Buildings, Outdoor Constructing, Tenant Up-fits, and Metal buildings. Doing business with local companies is what has helped the economy grow. Kesler Contracting & Property Management is ready to serve with excellence in the community. Follow Kesler Contracting on Facebook and online at

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6



Hong Kong

Story and photos by Krisha Chachra If you’re a traveler, you know the feeling of eventually wanting to land somewhere different. Nothing gets old about the beauty of the Caribbean, the adventures of Central America, or the history and delicious food of Europe. But sometimes you just want to travel somewhere new. And that somewhere is the continent of Asia. Traveling to the other side of the world can be daunting; it’s hard to pick a destination. After all, Asia is the biggest continent in the world. Each country is so different and carries unique traditions and cultures that have been cultivated over thousands of years. But there is one place that 26

retains the deep-seeded Asian history while still inventing itself as a modern metropolis. So if you’d like to get a taste of Asian flavor but don’t want to feel like a fish out of water, visit a corner of the continent that could easily be called its stepping stone: Hong Kong. Packed with people, Hong Kong is on the southeast tip of China and is one of the world’s most densely populated places. The people, who represent diverse nationalities, are on the move and create the hustle of an authentic experience of what most Asian cities feel like. Built around Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong (which means ‘fragrant harbor’ in Cantonese)

is characterized for its impressive skyline which seems to be ever-changing with the rapid construction of tall office buildings and hotels. Visitors speculate that as the population increases, Hong Kong responds by cutting land from the mountains and dumping it in the sea to create more space. Locals joke that you might own waterfront property one year but by the next, you’ll have a building blocking your view. Despite the morphing landscape, it is relatively easy to get around in Hong Kong. The territory was a British colony until 1997 when it was handed back over to the Chinese. Still, most of the locals speak English with a

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

high level of proficiency from the business professionals. Striking up friendships with the residents isn’t hard if you have the time. But if you’re on a tight schedule in Hong Kong, I recommend hitting three highlights. First, find the Big Buddha. Located on Lantua Island near the airport, the Tian Tan Buddha sits on a platform shaped like a lotus flower and towers at more than 112 feet high. It is the largest outdoor sitting Buddha in the world. The statue is named Tian Tan because its base is a model of the Altar of Heaven Mountain of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Visitors have to take the hike up 268 steep steps to reach the Buddha, and it is handicapped accessible by car. The area surrounding the Buddha is serene, quiet and magnificent. But if you visit in late April or May, prepare for a big party and hoards of people who make the pilgrimage in honor of Buddha’s birthday. A trip to Hong Kong is not complete without hitting one of the famous markets. There is a goldfish market, a ladies market, a men’s market, a night market, a flower market and a jade market just to name a few. Markets are a great way to meet locals, get great bargains on clothes, name-brand knock offs and immerse yourself in the authentic, Hong Kong experience. By far, the most interesting market is the Hong Kong bird market. Adjacent to the flower market on Yuen Po Street, the bird market is more than just a bazaar for any breed of parakeet or wooden, handmade cage. The bird market is the gathering place for old men who sit together and tell stories and for housekeepers who meet on their time off to gossip. Among the birds, chirping of all kinds comes from the locals as tall tales and personal scandals are exchanged in the open air for anyone to hear. Finally, don’t forget to relax a little by taking a ferry to the Kowloon side of the harbor that offers shopping, hotels and museums. The ferry from Central what residents call the main Hong Kong Island - takes 10 minutes and offers a calming, short respite from the chaotic foot traffic along the financial district. At less than a dollar a ticket, hop on as the sun sets at dusk and float away from all the chaos and energy of the big city. Take a deep breath and gaze at the glowing Hong Kong skyline. The next time you visit Asia, it won’t look the same. 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

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


NRV Fe at u r e

BLANKETING BARNS The Patchwork Stor y Text by Emily Kathleen Alberts Photos by Always and Forever Photography

Quilts are becoming to barns what

rocking chairs are to porches, and the earliest versions of barn quilts dates back hundreds of years. Some say colonials painted barn quilts as a way to celebrate their heritage; others have the notion that Pennsylvania Dutch settlers couldn’t afford to paint the whole barn, so just did these quilt blocks. While it’s true that paint was very expensive, these special patterns do much more than just add a splash of color to the broad side of a barn.

Long ago women used barn quilts

to communicate messages to onlookers. Certain patterns carried different cultural, political and historical connotations. Women were known to transform their favorite Bible verses into colorful patchwork blocks, and the pattern would be painted directly onto the barn in a huge 8-foot square. These colorful creations could be seen from far away and would lift the spirits of worldweary passersby. 28

Often times, these quilts had a

deeper story to tell. Women would display a pattern known as “Wond’ring Foot” when they were suspicious their husband was being unfaithful. There were also many patterns communicating the idea of freedom. According to folklore, quilts were used as code signals for the Underground Railroad. Certain patterns such as the Flying Geese or Jacob’s Ladder were used to let runaway slaves know that they were on a safe route headed north to Ohio.

Martha Dillard is a modern day

barn quilt artist, and she stays busy painting large quilt block patterns from her home in Craig County. Her studio is jam-packed with barn quilt paintings. She has painted more than 17 barn quilts throughout Montgomery County alone, and she takes great pride in being a part of the burgeoning barn quilt movement. When asked what she thinks people are communicating with their barn quilts today, Martha responds: “The people I am painting for have chosen designs that mean something to them. I think people

are sharing their pleasure of the place where they live. It is a matter of pride and community spirit.”

And the patterns are as varied as

the people who commission them. “One woman simply loves sunflowers and has four sunflower barn quilts on her big barn,” she adds. “Another family has a log house and wanted the log cabin design but wound up with a Log Cabin Star design that represents sky and land and their house.” Another of Martha’s patrons brought over several quilts her grandmother made, and Martha helped her chose one of those patterns.

“I encourage people to look to

their own quilts, their heritage -- Dutchman’s Windmill for a man of Dutch descent, for example -- and to pick something that brings them joy.” She has done mules for mule fanciers, cows for dairy farmers and glider planes for the Blue Ridge Soaring Society. The sky truly is the limit. Martha enjoys the geometric barn quilts most and likes when patterns are unique.

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016


540.239.4399 2016 NRVAR President

“We had no doubts about calling you to help us sell the house. By that point we had invested about 20% of the house value when purchased in repairs and upgrades. And it was the worst point of the real state crisis in the US. But, you took over proficiently with all your knowledge and marketing technology. And the house was sold in just three weeks and we recovered essentially all our investment. Achieving that with you was nothing short of outstanding” - Manuel Bautista

3601 Holiday Ln | Blacksburg, VA 24060 | 540.552.1010

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


are painting and/or repairing outbuildings before putting up the barn quilts. This is keeping these rural buildings standing, which is a benefit to the landscape of the community.

Next time you’re in the mood

for a Sunday drive or bike ride, take Ellett Road out to Luster’s Gate, down Catawba to Old Blacksburg Road, and check some of these amazing creations out for yourself. Every single one has a story. Maybe you can unravel the meaning.

If you see one you really like, check

out the Generations Quilt Patterns online or in the library and see if it’s there. You can click each pattern to learn more about it.

If you’re anxious for more stories,

Suzi Parron’s latest book, “Following the Barn Quilt Trail,” is due in stores this month. Suzi is a pioneer of the American Quilt Trail Movement and wrote “Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement” in 2012, which features 27 states and dozens of fascinating barn quilt stories.

Barn quilts have evolved from

Emily Kathleen Alberts is a Blacksburg-based freelance and science and technology writer who contributes regularly to New River Valley Magazine. She has an insatiable curiosity in wanting to know or write the story behind everything she sees around the NRV, including these barn quilts.

being painted directly on the barn, to being painted on plywood and hung on the barn, to now being made of aluminum sign board that won’t split, rot, warp or rust. Artists use top quality exterior enamel, which Martha hopes will allow newer barn quilts to stick

Interactive map of barn quilt trails across America:

around for decades.

And they are no longer just for

barns. “Barn quilts can go on houses, sheds, posts, fences, churches, businesses, garages,

Martha Dillard is a passionate local painter who started painting barn quilts to benefit the Craig County Public Library in 2014. She is committed to saving “the icon of America’s rural countryside— the BARN!” Her art is gracing barns, sheds and front porches in Craig and Montgomery counties and increasing tourism in this beautiful area in the SW Virginia mountains.

Facebook page: “Barn Quilts for Books” Craig County has an official barn quilt trail with 28 barn quilts visible from the roadways along beautiful, rural, rolling countryside. For a map, go to:

you name it,” she says. A number of people

Meet the Artist

May 14-15 Gallery Open House Saturday 12-5 pm, Sunday 12-3 pm

Spring at the Smithfield Plantation

223 Gilbert Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 ( 5 4 0 ) 5 5 2 - 6 4 4 6 • Tues.-Sat., 10am-5pm, Sun., 12pm-4pm

Validated Parking available at the North End Center Garage 30

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


Drinkin’ in Giles Text by Kelsey Foster | Photos by Nathan Cooke

Giles Mountain Vineyard and Winery

Giles County has a long, somewhat divisive relationship with alcohol. Because mixed-alcohol beverages are illegal in the county, one local legislator passed a law permitting any business above a certain elevation to sell them, which allowed Mountain Lake Lodge to circumvent the law. The Town of Pearisburg also passed a law allowing mixed drinks to be sold. Recently, the county has seen a rise in winery and brewery interest, which mirrors statewide and national trends as well. Virginia is home to 124 craft breweries, up from just 40 in 2011, and it was recently announced that Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Ore., has chosen Roanoke for its East Coast location. Local wineries have also experienced growth. In 2006, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Farm Winery Act to allow local wineries to sell their wine if a certain percentage of the grapes used were grown and processed on their property. Both JBR Vineyards & Winery and Giles


Mountain Vineyard and Winery operate under this designation. JBR Vineyards & Winery Jessee Ring was born and raised in Narrows and lived in Pennsylvania and California for many years with his wife while working as an engineer. While in California, Ring started wanting to reconnect with his roots and so he and his wife, Debby, purchased property back home in Giles County. “I got the idea of buying a piece of land with no particular idea about what to do with it,” Ring states. For them, wine was already a hobby. He and Debby frequently attended antique wine auctions in California, so they decided to plant a trial vineyard in 2006. Three years later, they replanted and expanded the vineyard, focusing on Riesling and Pinot Noir grapes. In 2013, after touring famous wine

regions such as Bordeaux, France, the Rings decided to turn their hobby into a business and become a licensed Virginia Farm Winery, selling their Riesling and a Giles County and Pulaski County Pinot Noir, named for the locations of the grapes produced from their main vineyard and a smaller vineyard beside their home in Radford. Jessee and Debby are two years into a three-year plan to double their winery acreage and construct a dedicated building in Giles County for wine tastings and events. Giles Mountain Vineyard and Winery In February 2005, Tom and Diane Mullis, both retired teachers, decided to plant a vineyard on their Giles County property. They formed a limited liability corporation (LLC) called Giles Vineyard and Winery and sold their first grape yield to Beliveau Estate Winery in Blacksburg in 2011. The Mullises attended winemaking meetings through

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

Susanna Lilly Realtor 速


Bringing Dedication, Integrity, and Results to Your Front Door. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.

Send Us Your Suggestions This publication is a member of

Suggestion MailBox 速

Expanding the Power of Suggestion

Download the app at or from

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


JBR Vineyards & Winery

Virginia Tech and 4-H Extensions where they met Lori Robertson. She convinced them to start producing their own wine. So, with Robertson as vineyard manager and Maarten van Gelder as winemaker, the foursome formed a partnership called Giles Mountain Vineyard and Winery under the Virginia Farm Winery designation. Their first wine was a 2014 vintage. “It sold out right away when we had our Harvest Festival last year,” says Diane. This year, the winery is increasing production to 3,500 bottles of their seven wine varieties. The partners also emphasize their community-oriented approach. “Everyone pitches in and helps,” explains Robertson, whose husband and parents all assist with the bottling and labeling process. They also recently became Green Certified by Virginia Green. “We have a good integrated pest management plan because we’re trying to reduce our chemical input and carbon footprint,” she adds. The winery has plans to build a designated tasting room, though their emphasis remains on an outdoor experience and local appeal. “Right now, we’d just like to keep it a small boutique winery,” Diane adds. 34

Right Turn, Clyde Brewing Company

Right Turn, Clyde Brewing Company Corey Thompson and Jon Kidd grew up in the area and opened their brewery in November of 2015 in an old BB&T Bank building in downtown Narrows. “We started to make beer six years ago and won some awards,” says Kidd. “We visited a lot of breweries and took pieces of what they had that we like, and we’ve come up with a system that works really well for us.” They have a 2.5-barrel system and hope to eventually produce nine beer varieties at a time. Right Turn, Clyde will be partnering with Giles Mountain Vineyard and Winery to make a beer with the winery’s oak chips. For now, they brew exclusively on Sundays as they both have full-time jobs. Thompson works for Blue Ridge Heating & Air, and Kidd is an English teacher at Giles High School. “The county has been very supportive,” Kidd explains. The mayor and other local officials have visited to check out the operation. Kidd and Thompson hope to be a manufacturing facility with a tasting

room but face obstacles with the state’s restriction on brewery self-distribution. They have sent letters and e-mails to local congressman to get them to pick up their cause, and so far, they are receiving positive feedback. Kelsey Foster is a freelance writer, blogger and California transplant to the New River Valley who writes a clever food and lifestyle blog,, with tips on food, fashion and home decor. o JBR Vineyards and Winery 8205 Little River Dam Road, Radford, VA 24141. By appointment only, call 540-250-7291. o Giles Mountain Vineyard and Winery 290 Moye Road, Staffordsville, VA 24167 Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment, call 540-267-4125 o Right Turn, Clyde Brewing Company 300 A Main Street, Narrows, VA 24124 Th./Fr. 5 p.m. to 9 and Sat. 3 p.m. to 9

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


Going, Going, Going, Gone! sold to the highest bidder By Sheila D. Nelson

The auction scene throughout the New River Valley is an active one, and if you are not participating, you are really missing out on fun, entertainment, sport, shopping, camaraderie and perhaps the bargain of a lifetime! Just about anything can be sold at auction: real estate, livestock, antiques, fine art, folk art, household items, farm implements, books……………the list is virtually limitless. The word “auction” comes from the Latin word “augeo,” meaning “I increase” or “I augment.” Although now common in America, auctions were sporadic and infrequent until the 17th century. They have never become popular in Asia and are conducted in a much more restrained style in Great Britain. The fast-talking auctioneer is uniquely American. Each develops his or her own particular style of the auctioneer chant, lulling attendees into a conditioned pattern of call and response. The speed gives buyers a sense of urgency and keeps the auction moving at a rapid clip. Although real estate and more valuable items often have set minimum bids, the vast majority of items are sold at “absolute auction,” meaning that it is sold to the highest


registered bidder regardless of price. There is no minimum, and the seller cannot reject the highest bid attained at the auction. Auctioneers are regulated in Virginia, must successfully complete a course at an approved auction school and need to pass the state auctioneers exam to be licensed. The Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations handles auctioneer licensing through a 5-member auctioneers board consisting of three licensed auctioneers and two citizen members. Larry Linkous, one of the NRV’s well-known auctioneers, chairs that board. Auctioneers become more proficient as they practice. They learn to quickly appraise an item in order to know where to start the bidding. Some NRV auctioneers list specialty type items, such as real estate, firearms, coins, fine antiques, primitives, art and folk art. Some of the most unusual items they have auctioned include everything from embalming machines to caskets in the liquidation of a funeral home business and a rare, early, Moravian pottery animal in great condition. Ken Farmer, well-known for his appearances on Antiques Roadshow as a specialist in folk art, furniture, decorative arts and musical

instruments, reported selling a clock from Pulaski County for $283,000; the clock was rare because it was one of less than six known by that maker and was in mint condition. Most auctioneers have that “dream item” they hope to auction some day. Some of these include a single item for $1 million or more, a multi-billion dollar franchise and an extremely rare specialty item such as a firearm or coin that is one of a kind and has never been offered for sale before. Each potential bidder should know the basics before attending an auction. Check the payment terms in advance and pick-up and delivery options. Attend the preview to inspect the goods before you bid. You do not want to end up like the person who got caught up in auction frenzy and bought an off-road vehicle. When it was delivered, he discovered that he had purchased a canoe!!! Sheila D. Nelson is a Pulaski-based, freelance writer who expresses special thanks to Ken Farmer, Larry Linkous, Robert Smith and Tim Dalton for sharing experiences and expertise as auctioneers, and to Ron Frank, owner of New River Valley Auction House in Pulaski.

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


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

Potato Pudding with Fruit Preserves 2 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes 3 Tbl. butter, plus extra for coating pan 1/2 cup sugar 1 tsp. almond extract 4 cups milk 5 eggs, separated 1/4 cup sliced almonds fruit preserves Coat 13 x 9” casserole dish with butter. Peel and cube potatoes and boil until cooked. Drain and mash will still hot. Add butter, sugar, almond extract, milk and mix well. Blend in lightly beaten egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into potato mixture. Spoon into buttered casserole dish and back at 350º, 40-45 minutes, until firm and skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with fruit preserves and top with sliced almonds.


Lemon Raspberry Kale Salad 1 bunch of kale ~ wash, remove thick stems, chop finely 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese ~ grated 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted ---------------------------------------------------Dressing: 1/4 cup lemon-infused olive oil 3 Tbl. raspberry vinegar 1/2 cup currants or cranberries salt and pepper to taste ---------------------------------------------------Whisk together lemon oil, raspberry vinegar, currants or cranberries, salt, pepper. Toss kale with dressing. Divide among four plates. Top with grated cheese, then slivered almonds. Serve alongside fish or chicken. Freeze stems for smoothies.

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

Say Cheese!

In spite of living in the Information Age and all the technological trappings, there are still some things we do not know like which of the chicken and egg came first and who made the first cheese. One plausible explanation for cheese is that it was discovered in an animal stomach pouch which carried milk for refreshment. At some point, someone checked it for a drink and found it had partially solidified. And, it was tasty. We know it’s old because cheese is mentioned in Homer and the Old Testament. Milk-curdling vessels discovered around Lake Neufchatel in Switzerland date from 5,000 B.C. King Tut may have tried to take cheese to the afterlife, as evidence has been found in his tomb of what historians believe are traces of cheese. The United States is the world’s largest producer of cheese, but more is consumed in France per capita. Charles de Gaulle once quipped: “How can you

Photos by Jeri Rogers Photography

govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” The most popular cheese recipe is ~ duh! ~ mac ‘n cheese, and there are some 2,000 varieties of cheese. Surely, you will find some that you have never tried at the Virginia Cheese Festival, which debuted in Blacksburg last year. The Virginia Cheese Festival celebrates cheesemakers as well as cheese products. A broad selection of cheeses from cow, goat and sheep milk are available to taste and purchase, and Virginia cheesemakers are in the company of peers from New York, North Carolina, Maryland and other states. Cheese Chats are fun, free sessions where you can learn more about the art of cheesemaking, and fee-based workshops present more in-depth knowledge on more specific topics. Among the booths, vendors will have exotic herb blends, lotions and homemade soaps, cutlery from CUTCO, handcrafted jewelry, driftwood art, artistic

M a y / J u n e

photography, oils and watercolors, bird and country folk art carvings and more. Note the new location this year at the Hilton Garden Inn on Plantation Road in Blacksburg.

      

artisan cheese tastings wine and beer pairings workshops family activities live music farm animal petting area regional art show/sale

Saturday, June 11

11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn Plantation Road ~ Blacksburg Tickets: $20 per person kids 12 and under free

2 0 1 6


NRV Summer EVENTS 2016


Radford Farmer’s Market Saturdays May - October Time: 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The fresh produce market operates every Saturday, rain or shine through October. In the 1100 block of East Main in the heart of downtown Radford. www. Pulaski Farmers Market Starting May through September Tuesdays 4:00 – 8:00pm, located in the Historic Train Station Pearisburg Farmers Market May – October Saturdays 9:00am -2:00pm, Located at Community Center, Wenonah Ave. Narrows Farmers Market May – October Thursdays 8:00am – 1:00pm, Located at the Market, Monroe Street


Christiansburg Farmers Market Check with the Town of Christiansburg for day & time Blacksburg Farmers Market Now through October (w/time changes later) Wed. 2:00pm – 7:00pm, Sat. 8:00am – 2:00pm 47 vendors offering local produce, baked goods, meats, eggs & diary plus crafts. Corner of Draper St. & Roanoke St., Downtown Blacksburg, VA Now through July International Culture of Blacksburg Exhibit This exhibit highlights the history and culture of Blacksburg from its beginnings to the present. Alexander Black House, Draper Rd., Blacksburg, VA

May 1 & June 5 Gunpowder Springs Meet the Artist Giles County 1:00pm – 3:00pm May 13 & 14 SRA Championship Rodeo NRV Fairgrounds, Dublin, VA 8:00pm May 14 NRV Cruisers Car Show Bisset Park, Radford, VA Come early and enjoy the day with a great selection of classic and antique cars. May 15 Movie at Smithfield Field of Lost Shoes Movie starts at 5:30pm, Feel free to bring your own chairs.

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

NRV Summer EVENTS 2016 May 26 – 28 NRV Horse Show New River Valley Fairgrounds, Dublin All Breeds Show, Good Family FUN. FREE ADDMISSION For more information, call 540-879-9976 or 540-607-6710

Farmers Markets

May 28 Brew Ridge Music &Craft Beer Festival Featuring local brews, vendors & crafts. Tickets starting at $10.00 Gen Admission, Mini Tasting - $20.00, Full Tasting $30.00. Located at Mountain Lake Lodge, Giles County, VA

May 28 -30 Memorial Day Remembrance To mark the centennial of WW 1, the Giles Co. Historical Society will display a field of 26 crosses to remember residents killed during the war. Check for more information. May 29 Mountains of Misery Bicycle Ride Test your endurance over some of the biggest mountains in Southwest Virginia and the final, grueling climb to Mountain Lake! Special racer’s lodging package at Mountain Lake and special rate for registered racers! www.

May 28 Celebration of Culture Glencoe Museum, Radford 10:00am -3:00pm

May 30 Flags and Flowers Memorial Day 2:00pm Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg, VA Free Complementally Tours after service


Presennng Sponsss

Big Cheese Sponsss

hilton garden inn


M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


NRV Summer EVENTS 2015 June 4 3rd Annual Come Outside and Play at Glen Alton Time: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Unplug your child and get them outside for mud pie kitchen, critters in the water, naturalist hikes, walking grounds and wetlands and more. Kids only fishing in the upper pond (no license needed). For more information contact Eastern Divide Ranger Station 540-552-4641.

Pearisburg Festival in the Park

June 17 & 18 Pearisburg Festival in the Park Pearisburg Community Center Time: 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. Saturday The 29th annual Pearisburg Festival in the Park and Car Show kicks off on Friday with Family Night. Rides, food and live entertainment, gospel music. Saturday is all day fun. Car show, rides, food, crafters, exhibitors, auction, games, and live entertainment until 9:30 p.m. Free admission!

June 4 -5 & September 17 -18 Pulaski County Lions Club Flea Market New River Valley Fairgrounds, Dublin Time: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission Fee - Free parking. June 10 & 11 Henry Reed Fiddler’s Convention Newport Rec. Center, off Rt. 460 Newport, VA Concerts on Friday (beginning 5:pm.); music and competitions Saturday beginning 11:30am.. The evening ends with bluegrass and old-time music bands and competitions. Part of the Mountains of Music Homecoming Celebration. June 11 2nd Annual Virginia Cheese Festival Hilton Garden Inn, 11:00am – 4:00pm Enjoy artisan cheese tastings, wine & beer pairings, family actives, a farm petting area & regional art. Tickets are available in advance. Visit www,virginiacheesefestival. com

2nd Annual Virginia Cheese Festival



June 18 Eastern Divide Ultra 50K Trail Run Mountain Lake, Giles County Time: 7:30am Sponsored by Tri Adventure in Blacksburg, an extreme trail run “from the Falls to the Lake”. Mountain Lake will host the finish area for the race, a pre-race dinner and post-race entertainment. Runners and spectators welcome! Special lodging rates for registered racers at Mountain Lake Hotel. June 21-22 7th Annual Summer Solstice Fest Cabo Fish Taco S. Main St., Blacksburg Time: 4pm-9pm on Friday; 1:00 p.m. – midnight on Saturday Music for all ages, including The Key West Band, midway games, children’s activities, festival food, beer garden, street performers, dog parade. A funfilled “green” event. Leave your car at home and walk or ride your bike to the festival. See you downtown!

June 11 Claytor Lake Celebration of Summer Festival Claytor Lake State Park Time: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Start summer off with a blast! Enjoy fireworks, live music, a car show, antique fire trucks, food vendors and live demonstrations. It’s only $10 per vehicle, or $5 per vehicle with a five-can food donation. Vendor pre-registration is required. Please call the Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley at (540) 9807363 or visit for more information. June 12 Flag Day Celebration & Mountains of Music Homecoming Smithfield Plantation, 1:00 – Blacksburg, VA

June 14 Gospel Sing 12:00pm – 5:00pm St. Luke & Odd Fellows Hall, Gilbert St., Blacksburg, VA Enjoy old time gospel favorites, wonderful food & fellowship. FREE Event

Claytor Lake Beach Festival

June 24 Giles County Relay For Life Location is the Giles County High School Track Pearisburg, VA

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


NRV Summer EVENTS 2015 July 4 Independence Day Celebration Smithfield Plantation 10:00am – 2:00pm Feel free to bring your own chairs & enjoy July 4th Celebrate with Jimmy Fortune Bisset Park, Radford Enjoy the entire day, concert & more! July 16 Breakfast at The Market Blacksburg Farmers Market, 9:00am – 2:00pm Annual breakfast and showcase of art in all visual media July 18 Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center 901 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg Time: TBA Check Chamber members and non-members alike showcase their businesses to the public in the afternoon and to Chamber members from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Special seminars and Business After Hours. July 25 – 28 FloydFest Blue Cow Pavilion, Floyd Time: 10 a.m. A 4-day celebration of music and art nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains! Bridging the gap between genres, generations and cultures, the festival features more than 50 performers on seven stages! The 80-acre mountain plateau offers camping, a progressive ‘Global Village’ area of workshops and demonstrations, more than 100 artisans and crafters, a wide variety of food, a comprehensive healing arts area and a Children’s Universe, featuring stage performances for children, puppetry, workshops, playground equipment and babysitting services. Milepost 170.5 off the Blue Ridge Parkway. July 25 - 30 New River Valley Fair New River Valley Fairgrounds, Dublin There’s a lot going on at the fair this year, every year ~ great entertainers, fun contests, wonderful exhibits, tasty food, farm animals and breath-taking midway rides. For more information, call 540-674-1548 or visit 44

August 2 – 3 36th Annual Steppin’ Out Downtown Blacksburg Time: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Featuring more than 150 crafters from all over the East Coast, and downtown merchants’ much-awaited final clearance sidewalk sales. The 36th Steppin’ Out, a Blacksburg tradition! Festival foods provided by the downtown restaurants. Three stages of live performance. Steppin’ Out is one of the region’s premier arts events. The Draper Mile Run is held on Friday! August 9 – 10 Newport Agricultural Fair Newport Fairgrounds In its 80th year, this fair celebrates farm fresh food, animals and skills in baking, art, canning, handiwork and related talents. Horse pull, jousting and farm animal contests, horse show with more than 20 classes, vendors, food and fun for the whole family. August 13 Saturday in the Park Classic Car Show Bisset Park, Radford Don’t miss a chance to enjoy Classic Cars in the NRV Lucky (Rubber) Duck Race Check for more information

Newport Agricultural Fair

August 27 Renew The New – New River Clean Up Check for more information August 27 Blues, Brews & BBQ St Luke & Odd Fellows Hall, Gilbert St., Blacksburg, VA BBQ tasting, visit breweries & enjoy fresh blues music by local astists. FREE Event September 18 Annual Swingin’ to the ‘40s with The Old Pros Big Band Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg 3:00pm – 5:00pm Relax & Enjoy Good Music September 24 Pulaski Lords Acre Sale Local churches and vendors will sell their homemade baked goods, crafts and more. Located at the NRV Fairgrounds, Rt. 100, Dublin, VA For more information call 540-980-0631. September 24 Wilderness Trail Festival Downtown Christiansburg 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Rain or Shine! Come celebrate history, culture, and tradition with the Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg at the Kiwanis Wilderness Trail Festival. 2016 marks the 43th anniversary of the Kiwanis Wilderness Trail Festival and the 5th year with the Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg as the managing organization. The festival is always a full day of fun and excitement for the entire family loaded with great local artisans and crafters, Blue Ridge Model A’s and Car Cruise In featuring classic cars & street rods, children’s area, craft demonstrators, and delicious food from area restaurants and other local vendors.

FloydFest Russ Helgren

N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016

M a y / J u n e

2 0 1 6


Jennifer Poff Cooper

Shannon Ainsley

Born and raised in Christiansburg, Jennifer Poff Cooper graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in marketing, married an Alabama native she met in college and moved to Huntsville, Ala., for 16 years. After her grandfather and uncle passed away, there was no one interested in residing in and maintaining the family home place of a nearly a century. It is adjacent to Sinkland Farms, which was once part of the family farm, between Riner and Christiansburg. “The idea of selling it broke my heart,” she recalls. So, in 2007, she, her husband, Lee, and two children relocated to the New River Valley. Home for her. Hokie home for Lee. New adventure for the kids. Jennifer has been a stay-at-home mom for 21 years and obtained her master’s degree from Hollins University in 2013. She freelances for New River Valley Magazine and other regional publications from what was once her grandfather’s home office, overlooking rolling hills and a beautiful pond. [As we go to print, her home is scheduled to be photographed for an upcoming NRV Homes profile in a future issue of NRV Magazine.] She is willing to take any assignment and is versatile in capturing the essence of her subject or topic. Her writing style is comfortable, comprehensive and informative, and her features are some of the most popular in every issue. Jennifer enjoys volunteer work with Blacksburg United Methodist Church, the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program and Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library. She has two rescue dogs, miniature poodles with a little Civil War theme going on for names: Grant and Shiloh.

Shannon Ainsley and her family moved from the beaches of Pensacola, Fla., to Pulaski County almost a decade ago, and they are staying. They have as many kids (3) as dogs (3), and they love the New River Valley, in part for the snow. Shannon enjoys gardening ~ “not that I’m great at it, but it is fun to try.” She got her start in photography by shadowing and working with other photographers, going out on her own a few years before coming here, photographing weddings and family portraits on the beach. The business really took off, however, once she settled in the NRV. As Always and Forever Photography, Shannon has done many photo shoots for the Virginia Tech Yearbook, company products, catalogs, promotional literature and magazines. She has been photographing for Marine Corps balls at Quantico and in Washington, D.C., the past four years, and they recently awarded her a 5-year contract. She especially enjoys the variety of shooting for New River Valley Magazine and doing weddings and follow-up family photos, documenting a family across the years. She makes certain who is the groom, as early on, in a non-typical wedding format, she focused on whom she thought was the groom. He turned out to be the most photographed best man ever! The family lives in Dublin, which she says she hopes to see thrive in the near future. They all go camping, hiking and exploring and are quite pleased to have departed the heat and beaches for the more temperate, 4-season climate in the SW Virginia mountains.


N R V M A G A Z I N E May/June 2016





Ash Lawn Opera

Cosi Fan Tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Thursday, June 30, 2016, 7:30 PM A tale of love and infidelity told through sublime music and on-stage hilarity. This fully staged production is set in the 1980s and features Ash Lawn Opera’s principal cast and chorus, sets, and costumes, and is accompanied by a live chamber orchestra. $30 general admission, $10 students with ID and youth 18 and under | 540-231-5300 MOSS ARTS CENTER | 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA

May June 2016 nrv mag  

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, New River Valley VA, Giles County, Pulaski County, Floyd County.

May June 2016 nrv mag  

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, New River Valley VA, Giles County, Pulaski County, Floyd County.