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January/February 2016








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N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016


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N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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 Cover Image: Always and Forever Photography © 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.

“The Atlantic” published an article a few weeks ago entitled “If You Keep Texting, Your Head Will Fall Off,” by writer James Hamblin. While the title may be somewhat dramatic, along with the word “epidemic” being used in some circles, it is a fact that bending forward looking at a phone for cumulative hours every day can have a negative impact on your cervical spine and create back problems. Orthopaedic and chiropractic doctors can attest to seeing more and younger patients with neck and back issues, potentially related to the smartphone phenomenon. Others argue that the more serious danger is texting and driving, or walking, tripping on a curb and falling head first on unforgiving pavement. Ouch. Certainly, each scenario deserves attention. Dr. Christopher Belluzzo, owner of South Main Chiropractic (and the same guy who keeps me in the saddle, backwise), addresses this on page 32. As we step into our 10th year at New River Valley Magazine, you’ll meet our writers and photographers, starting with Krisha Chachra and Karl Kazaks. They have been with the publication since the first issue, and it’s a delight to work with them. You can depend on regular themes

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like home improvement, football, weddings, retirement and small business/entrepreneurship. As long as the advertisers stay and new ones keep coming in, you continue patronizing them and enjoying the magazine, we’re all happy campers. We’ll toss in some fashion, food and fun stuff along the way. As someone who recently experienced one of those unsettling events of miscommunication, let’s add “communicate clearly, kindly and effectively” to the list of New Year’s resolutions. [You can use it to replace one you’ve already broken.] Don’t jump to conclusions. Get the facts. Set aside your feelings, if you have to, in order to clear the air and hit the re-set button. Take the high road whenever you can, and remember that you can be misunderstood and you, even you, can also misunderstand. For those of you who ask, Jessica at Studio 700 Salon in Blacksburg cuts and shapes my hair. As long as my hair looks good and my back feels fine, I’m ready for the Happy New Year ~ Welcome, 2016 !

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor

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NRV We ddi n g s

HOKIE HIGH Text by Jennifer Poff Cooper Photos by Always and Forever Photography

From their first meeting at a Hokie football game to their wedding at the German Club Manor, Chrissy Story and Derek Grysko’s relationship has had a distinctly Virginia Tech flavor to it. Engaged on Valentine’s Day, 2014, the couple subsequently had engagement photos taken all around campus – at the duck pond, in front of Burruss Hall and on the football field. “Our whole relationship has been centered around Virginia Tech, and it only seemed appropriate to have our engagement and bridal pictures taken in Blacksburg,” says Chrissy. The couple took about 18 months to plan their special day. Chrissy generated most of the ideas for their wedding and did all the preparations on her own. “I was a 10

part of every single detail, and I wanted everything to be a reflection of Derek and me as a couple,” she says. “I handmade the centerpieces, decorations and place cards.” For the table numbers, Chrissy made picture frames and put photos of family members on their wedding days in the frames. A friend from Chrissy’s high school days crafted the invitations. One of Chrissy’s unique concepts was a peacock theme for the wedding, using four different bridesmaid colors: deep purple, dark green, navy blue and baby blue. The wedding was held at the German Club Manor because of its size and location. The couple wanted to be in Blacksburg and close to Virginia Tech in a space big enough for almost 200 people and a live band. “We really wanted to

get married outside, and there’s a tree which was the perfect back drop. You can also see the stadium lights, and that was something that we wanted to intertwine in our ceremony,” she explains. One of the highlights was reception music by the Uptown Band from Pennsylvania. “They have amazing vocals and can get everyone up and dancing. I love to dance,” says Chrissy, “and I really wanted everyone to dance and have an amazing time.” In an interesting twist, Chrissy’s father joined in as a drummer for some songs. “My dad really wanted to play the drums with the band, and I was so nervous because I never heard him play. However, the band let him play. He absolutely nailed it, and that made my night! Everyone had

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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NRV We ddi n g s





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so much fun. We were all in complete shock as to how good he is because he had not played in 30 years.” The couple had wedding pictures inside and outside the German Club Manor. In addition, Chrissy did a bridal photo shoot inside the Center for the Arts and outside at the Hahn Horticulture Garden. “I chose the Center for the Arts specifically for the gorgeous windows and architecture of the building, and I love the gardens. Virginia Tech’s campus has so many gorgeous back drops for stunning pictures.” Individual touches kept things special. “We made the wedding very 14

personal and kept it simple and all about our journey as a couple. Our bridal party came down the aisle to ‘I Get By with a Little Help from My Friends,’ and I walked to the front with ‘Ave Maria.,’ We did the recessional to ‘We Are the Champions.’” They wrote their own vows and tailored the wedding ceremony music to their personal tastes. Chrissy’s advice for future brides: “Do not let too many people try to influence your decisions. You should make your wedding what you want it to be. We catered our wedding to us and our personalities, and it turned out better than I could have ever imagined. Weddings do

not have to be expensive and lavish; they just need to show how you and your partner are as a couple. It’s better to keep it personal and all about your love for one another. Trust me, you will appreciate it so much more if you do that.” In the Gryskos’ case, having Virginia Tech as a cementing factor provided distinctive character to their wedding. “We met because of Virginia Tech, so why not make it the backdrop for our love story?” Jennifer Poff Cooper is a Christiansburg-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to New River Valley Magazine.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

Start life’s adventure together at theEdge

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NRV We ddi n g s

All in the Family Text by Jennifer Poff Cooper Photos by Natalie Gibbs Photography

Tradition was a key component to the successful wedding of Ashley Nelson and Allen Childress, natives of Grayson County and Shawsville, respectively. They met as freshmen at Emory & Henry College and dated about seven years before becoming engaged. Ashley recalls the engagement scene: “As a Christmas present, Allen had gotten me jewelry. One piece would ship to me every month throughout the year. In September, he arranged for the box to ship to him instead of me, by ‘mistake.’ When I got to his house, he suggested I open the box, which had that month’s piece of jewelry, a bracelet, and a note asking me to marry him. He had the ring in his hand as 18

he proposed, and I wore that bracelet in the wedding.” The couple had an engagement photo shoot in October at Emory & Henry. “Campus is always beautiful,” Ashley says, “but even more so in the fall. We even considered having the wedding there, but ultimately decided on Firefly Hill Vineyards in the New River Valley.” Both the wedding and reception took place at the winery in Elliston. Allen’s cousins own the vineyard, and he had worked there. “We were there for a family member’s wedding the year before and loved how scenic and relaxing the location was,” Allen recalls. “It worked well because we also held the rehearsal dinner there, and I and several

members of the bridal party stayed over the night before the wedding. It was an easy, all-in-one experience, and we loved that,” Ashley adds. “We tried to do everything as early as we could,” she explains. “Our engagement was about nine months, and we had most of our vendors chosen within a few months. Both of us tried to make everything as simple as possible during the planning, since it can get pretty stressful.” At the time, Allen lived in Virginia, and Ashley lived in Tennessee, so the long distance from the location was probably the hardest part. The couple enlisted the services of wedding planner Bridget Powell with

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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Ode to Joy Events for assistance with details and scheduling for the day of the big event. “We knew we wanted good food and a fun, live band, so most of our initial energy went into that,” says Ashley. The cakes were made locally by a family friend, and the couple arranged the flowers themselves using Ashley learned that “planning stress isn’t worth it. Neither are small details. Keep it simple and focus on the getting married part and the party part.” Ashley had bridal portraits taken at the King George Inn, a beautifully restored 1900s home in Roanoke. The couple took their wedding pictures in the field in front of the vineyard. “There was plenty of room to stretch out and get some fun photos with the wedding party,” says Ashley. Everyone taking pictures was encouraged to share them on Twitter and 20

WedPics using their hashtag. “We have a lot of fun photos from friends and family throughout the day that complement our nicer, professional photos,” says Ashley. In hindsight, they wish they had employed a videographer. “We love our photographs, but it would be cool if we could relive the day through video.” The couple tied family keepsakes into the day, starting with Allen’s wedding band which was his grandfather’s. Ashley wore a necklace of her mother’s and pins from her grandmothers on her bouquet. They decorated using antique oil lamps that Ashley’s dad collects, and most all of the decorations and special touches were family keepsakes or baubles. Sometimes things that go wrong make the most interesting memories. Ashley recalls that their wedding cake almost fell: “As it was being moved to its

table, one of the people carrying it must have stepped into a hole in the grass and fell to their knees. Thankfully, the cake didn’t fall all the way, but there was a quirky tilt to it from then on.” The couple ordered and planned to use giant sparklers for the going away ritual, but just a few days before the wedding realized they could not use them at the venue. “Allen came through in a pinch and ordered a ton of glow sticks, which turned out to be really fun and made some great pictures,” says Ashley. Ultimately, Ashley reflects: “The night goes by so fast, and it’s easy to forget the day, so be present.” Jennifer Poff Cooper is an NRV native and frequent contributor to New River Valley Magazine.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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Married - Jan. 22, 1966 Vow Renewal - Jan. 22, 2016

On a cold, snowy January 22, 1966, two teenagers giddy in love stepped up to the altar and vowed to honor and cherish each other through sickness and health, in good times and bad. The very next day, the new husband would be leaving for Norfolk to serve in the U.S. Navy. Fifty years later, that love is still just as strong as that day so long ago, and they still live by 1 Corinthians 13:4,8 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud… Love never fails.” On Friday, January 22, 2016, Gary and Shelby Kerr of Eggleston will mark their 50th anniversary. While most


people celebrate with a golden anniversary party, their three daughters have arranged a vow renewal ceremony for their parents. “Some people give their parents an anniversary party kind of thing,” relates their middle daughter, Pam Suroski. “Mom and Dad had a small wedding, and we want to do something special for them because they have given us so much growing up.” Although it initially began as a surprise ceremony for the two love birds, the daughters quickly learned that after all of these years, they couldn’t keep secrets from their parents and had to let them in on the planning. It will be a small, intimate event with closest friends and family as Gary

and Shelby have requested. However, the amount of love that these two have for each other and the love that their friends and family have for them could fill the largest of cathedrals for the grandest of ceremonies. Ask them, and they will tell you that they have been blessed in more ways than they can begin to count. But their daughters are the most blessed of all to have Gary and Shelby as their parents, and it is…

All because ... Two people ... Fell in love ...

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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Start each day fresh this year with a new mattress set!

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Weddi n g Tr e n ds

Photography Trends


From the oldest surviving permanent photograph of an image formed in a camera by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827 to today’s coffee-table style albums and scrapbooks or technology-compact flash drives, photos have captured historical feats and special moments for a couple centuries. Weddings and vacations certainly are among the top photo ops, documenting new marriages and family fun across generations. With its myriad wineries, rural landscapes, rivers, forests, valleys and cool college campuses, the New River Valley continues to be a popular location


Text by David Phipps Photos by Kaitlyn Phipps Photography for hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions. For everyone from people who grew up here or moved here to Radford University and Virginia Tech students who call this place “home” for a while, the NRV presents many beautiful places to celebrate such an important day. In addition, documenting the events has expanded in four currently trending photo occasions.

First-Look: A

portrait session that the bride and groom share with their photographer occurs before the ceremony. This is certainly a break from the tradition of a groom seeing his bride for the first time

when she walks the aisle, but intimacy is not lost. In fact, a First-Look is designed to allow the couple an intimate, quiet, relaxed time together, something they may not get for the rest of the day. For the people whose palms begin to sweat at the thought of everyone sharing your initial reaction to seeing your soon-to-be spouse for the first time, this is for you. During a First-Look, the groom is strategically positioned in a secluded, unique location at or near the venue. As he stares off into the open air, he waits for his bride to tap him on the shoulder. He turns and is candidly awestruck at the sight of his bride-to-be. Some couples opt to share notes or a prayer during this time.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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First-Looks are a great way for couples to begin, then enjoy, the entire wedding day. Not only do First-Looks allow a couple to have a secluded portrait session, but they also help the rest of the day run seamlessly. Instead of rushing to squeeze portraits in between the ceremony and doing family formal pictures and getting to the reception, the most important pictures are already done.

Engagement Photos: There was a time when newly engaged couples simply announced their big news in the newspaper, by word of mouth and via e-mail or Facebook. Then during the wedding planning, they would choose a photographer for the Big Day. Today it is second nature for a newly engaged couple to choose a photographer also for an engagement shoot. This pre-wedding fun event gives the couple and their photographer an opportunity to get to know each other. The photographer learns their personalities and style, if they are the outdoorsy types or prefer a grand staircase or historical or 26

campus setting. This way, the wedding day isn’t the first time for the photographer to decide how best to capture their unique charisma and dynamics. Everyone can be more comfortable and confident come wedding day. Secondly, engagement prints are popular bridal shower and wedding reception decorations. Following their engagement shoot, a couple can purchase albums, small or large prints and canvases. Everything from hanging their favorite prints in the lobby, to having guests sign their album, engagement photos are an essential part of wedding photography.

Electronic Delivery: Most wedding

photographers use online galleries to store and deliver images. The most common system used may be PASS. Once the photographer is finished editing a shoot, s/ he uploads the images to an online gallery. A link to the gallery is sent to the client with an explanation of how to access the pictures. The client has the option of keeping it password-protected or making it public. One advantage is the ability to order prints of any size with a simple click.

Photos ordered from PASS galleries are of high quality and affordable. Images are stored securely rather than on a CD or USB which can get damaged or misplaced, and couples no longer have to worry about losing wedding photo files when their computer crashes.

Photo booths: These are rentals akin to the photo booth of yore where 4 candid shots were purchased for a quarter. Often found in corner drug stores and malls (and there’s one locally at Macado’s), these are moving into wedding reception halls for everyone to document his or her attendance by photo. Others have a photographer on hand with a board participants can look through with graphics which may surround them like goofy characters, a picket fence or a Star Wars scene. Photo booths can capture much of the fun and excitement of the event, plus give your guests their own little pictures of celebrating your wedding day. David Phipps is a Radford University graduate student and an RU intern at New River Valley Magazine. He is majoring in English, and his wife is proprietor of Kaitlyn Phipps Photography.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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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The Dominican Republic

All-Inclusive Experience in Punta Cana or Puerto Plata?

Text and Photos by Krisha Chachra

If you’re thinking about an island getaway but can’t quite figure out how to line up meals and activities, then the all-inclusive resort vacation is for you. As a seasoned traveler who has explored the globe on both a budget and in style, I have only stayed in an all-inclusive resort twice. Both were in the Dominican Republic, once on a girl’s trip to Punta Cana when I was single, and most recently to Puerto Plata with my parents, husband and newborn daughter. The two were very different experiences, and you can guess on which trip I got my money’s worth at the open bar. Both adventures accomplished what I was looking for at that time. Puerto Plata and Punta Cana are 28

popular destinations, and they offer very different tropical experiences. Punta Cana is on the Eastern-most part of the country where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. This location tends to produce calmer water and more serene beaches. If you are seeking picturesque beaches with soft sand and clean, sapphire blue water, Punta Cana is a better choice. Parasailing and snorkeling are popular, and you can easily take long walks barefoot on the beach without sharp shells. Puerto Plata’s beaches are rockier so bring your shoes! The waves can be temperamental like the Atlantic Ocean itself which makes it more exciting for wind surfers.

The two resort destinations are almost exclusively consumed by all-inclusive packages for tourists with one goal – trying to sell you a piece of the property inside. Be prepared to firmly keep the time-share representatives at bay who are constantly trying to upsell to the VIP area or secure a return visitor. Be polite saying you’re not interested unless you have a few hours to spare and want the freebies that come with touring a unit. Instead, talk to the staff about booking restaurant reservations the day you check in. Your concierge will have a list of all the good eats, usually including different ethnic-themed restaurants like Indian, Chinese and, of course, Dominican. I recommend booking activities

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

at the same time. Some resorts have activities included, but snorkeling trips and horseback riding on the beach are usually extra and can book up fast. Keep dollar bills handy at both places – since everything is all inclusive, an extra tip can go a long way in getting more towels, drinks delivered to your room and valuable information. If you’re looking to sightsee, Punta Cana is not your destination. Once you get on the property, you basically stay there and can attend nightly concerts on-site or check out the discotheque. I stayed at the Paradisus Punta Cana where there was a beach party or DJ every night. But honestly, in Punta Cana, besides the snorkeling tours, you aren’t missing much if you choose not to venture outside the resort. However, in Puerto Plata, there are a few sightseeing options. If you want to see the replica of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer you need to book the Teleferica cable car and ride up Mount Isabel de Torres. Try the morning tour as you might not get clear views in the afternoon when the mist rolls in. The center of Puerto Plata is lively with street vendors and mom and pop shops. You’ll need a translator if you can’t speak Spanish as the downtown locals just shake their heads when asked if they know English. If you find a small café, take a seat and watch local life. We witnessed a loud campaign parade that filled the streets and blocked traffic. Lastly, it is important to note that Punta Cana is a newer tourist destination and much more expensive. The rates and activities onsite, including spa treatments, are just as pricey as an upscale American resort. You can find bargains in Puerto Plata, however. We stayed at the Lifestyle Holiday Vacation Club, and the spa managers walked around the beach ready to negotiate deals. Plus, for the budget price of the accommodation, you have your choice of six pools, some for adults only, others that have activities for kids and the main pool with a DJ and volleyball net near the swim-up bar. You can also save money by choosing a room by the garden instead of the beach. Whether you decide your destination is Puerto Plata or Punta Cana – remember, you’re on vacation so relax and put away your money. Everything is included. Krisha Chachra serves on the Town Council of Blacksburg and is a regular columnist and author. She has traveled to more than 40 countries on 6 continents and hosted shows for public radio and television. Her columns are taken from her journals and personal insights from traveling nationally and internationally. Her book about returning to Blacksburg, Homecoming Journals, may be found online or in local bookstores. Email her at kchachra@

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...the perfect family vacation

Text by Joanne M. Anderson Once upon a time, Disneyland was just a concept inside Walt Disney’s head. It became a reality in 1955, followed by (not necessarily in order) Disney World in Florida, then Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Leaving terra firma for the ocean blue in 1995 was the Disney Cruise Line, which may be the most popular option of them all for high quality entertainment in a relatively finite space just a short distance from your stateroom. “We went to Disney World with a 3-year-old for a week,” recalls Phillip Vaught, founder of Country Media, Inc. “For the distance traveled and the age of our daughter, it was exhausting for us all.” The following year the Vaught family divided their time - 3 days at Disney World and a 3-night cruise. “Wow, the convenience of having your room and stuff 30

always near was just one huge advantage, so the third year, we went all out for the 7-night cruise and loved it immensely.” While the entertainment is non-stop, the food is delicious and the staff among the best-trained hospitality personnel in the world, the whole experience is a relaxing, family fun adventure. All employees have an FBI background check, and kids are given a 24/7 wristband which not only identifies them with a scan, but also has photos of their parents, the only ones permitted to escort them from a play area or activity. “We sat with the same people, assigned for having kids around the same ages, every night for dinner, and had the same server, who made a point to learn our names and preferences for soda and such from the first night,” he relates.

The staterooms are freshened a couple times a day or every time you leave, and the same housekeeper is assigned for the week. “And someone is always cleaning everything, everywhere!” Of course, Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Snow White, Captain Hook and other characters are roaming the decks or involved in specific activities, but there are many clubs, dances, special events and video arcades for teens as well. For kids a little older, you may not need to know where they are every minute. While it’s the near-perfect family vacation, there are many options for parents and grown-ups to enjoy one another in some of the adult only locations, like bars, shows, lounges or swimming pool. Some couples just wander the decks and find a couple chaises sideby-side overlooking the vast sea, maybe at

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

the same time they’re shooting fireworks over the ocean. Big wow! “I cruise the Internet for special deals every year now,” he says, looking once again at the week-long cruise. “You’ll never feel confined on these ships. After returning from the first half-week cruise, I saw a high school buddy post photos of his Disney cruise vacation that looked mighty familiar on Facebook. Only then did we

discover that we were on the same cruise at the same time about five doors apart and never saw one another!” The Disney enterprise strives to “exceed your expectations” and make you “part of the story” from the moment you board. They ace both objectives. Just ask the Vaught family. Photos by Phillip Vaught and Courtesy of Disney Cruise Line

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New for 2016, Disney Cruise Line is offering a Star Wars day at sea. A deck party features a Star Wars themed show with music, dancing, lasers and fireworks. There are meet-and-greets with Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Stormtroopers and other Characters from the Star Wars galaxy.

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NRV He al t h

Posture Perfect Smartphone Use Affects Spinal Health

Despite the many benefits of having information at

your fingertips, smartphones and tablets can damage your body and overall health in unexpected ways.

You may not realize it, but all that time spent with

your head down checking e-mail and texting may be creating more than a social gap — you may also be harming your spine. Research suggests that spinal pressure actually doubles with each inch you bend your head down.

Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours

per day hunched over, according to a recent report in Surgical Technology International. As a result, back, neck, shoulder and arm pain have increased among users of electronic gadgets, and the effects may linger for years. “There can be harmful results to long-term health and

The latter can result in a higher risk of pulmonary and arterial

spinal function from poor posture and hunching over technical

health problems. When posture or other factors cause a

gadgets frequently,” states Christopher Belluzzo, Doctor of

misalignment, a spinal adjustment is one way to help restore

Chiropractic and owner of South Main Chiropractic Clinic in

normal nerve function and communication, allowing your body

Blacksburg, “Students and young people may not feel badly in

to work naturally once again.

the moment while checking e-mail and texting, but cumulative,

adverse effects may be experienced in someone’s 20s and 30s.”

your core postural muscles in an effort to sustain and improve

The spine protects the nervous system, and that

posture, a chiropractor can also assist you with identifying

coordinates most all the functions in your body. Spine alignment

proper posture techniques to use during daily activities that help

changes can disturb nerve communication in many ways and

reduce the risk of pain and injury.

create pain and discomfort in the neck, shoulder, back or pelvic

regions or legs.

process, but is really only part of what is needed,” Dr Belluzzo

Frequent, unnatural, posture position has a negative

indicates. “Changes to study and work posture also play a key

impact on muscles and ligaments as well, and can cause

role in improvement of current complaints, prevention of new

unpleasant gastrointestinal issues and hyperkyphosis — a

problems and flare-ups of past discomforts.”

condition where the spine curvature is significantly exaggerated.


In addition to recommending exercises that strengthen

“Addressing misalignments is key to the healing

Article, in part, courtesy of Family Features and The Joint Chiropractic.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

Why Posture Matters There are many benefits to practicing good posture. According to the American Chiropractic Association, keeping your spine aligned properly:

Meet the Artist

Gallery Open House January 16-17

• Ensures bones and joints are correctly aligned. This helps the muscles to be used properly, diminishing abnormal wear which can cause degenerative arthritis and joint pain.

Sat., 12-5, Sun. 12-3 pm.

• Places less stress on the ligaments which link the spinal joints, decreasing the chance of injury. • Creates efficiency within muscle groups, helping the body use less energy and avoid fatigue. • Reduces the likelihood of back and muscular pain, overuse disorders and muscle strain.

Maintaining Good Posture Winter’s Visitor

Ditching your smartphone probably isn’t a practical solution for improving posture, so instead, work to keep your posture in check with these tips:

223 Gilbert Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 (540) 552-6446 Validated Parking available at the North End Center Garage

• Avoid angling your head down for prolonged periods. Raise the device closer to eye level or use a stand to hold the screen.

• Treat back and neck pain, which may signal a posture problem or worsen poor posture habits, with regular chiropractic adjustments to keep your body balanced and flexible. • When sitting, avoid crossing your legs and keep your knees at or below hip level. Use a back pillow to support your lower and middle back. Relax your shoulders and avoid sitting in the same position for extended periods of time. • While standing, keep your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Stand straight with your shoulders pulled back and your stomach tucked in.

What to Expect from a Chiropractor After a simple exam and consultation, you will be adjusted on a comfortably cushioned adjustment table. You are fully clothed for the duration of your visit, so wear non-restrictive clothing to make it easy to rest comfortably while lying down on the table. First visits with exam and consultation can run around 30 minutes, and follow-up appointments maybe take as few as 10 minutes. At the end of your visit, the doctor will determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.


Chiropractic is a popular, proven, safe, effective treatment, though you might experience side effects after your first visit, such as headaches, fatigue and soreness. Typically such results are mild and disappear within 24 hours. Many insurance plans cover a limited number of chiropractic visits.

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AmRhein’s Fine Jewelry Roanoke 540.989.7100 AmRhein’s Fine Jewelry Salem 540.387.3816 AmRhein’s Brides and Formals 540.989.7100 AmRhein’s Wine Cellars 540.929.4632

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NRV Ho m e

Colonial Virginia to the Core

Text by Joanne M. Anderson Photos by Always and Forever Photography Before America declared its independence in 1776, Mike Payne’s family cabin, now part of his home in Christiansburg, was built, log by log, from wood on the property. The two-story log home, which forms the core of the large house, has the time-worn pitch [slant] in the floors, the endearing caulking between logs and window panes that seem to move with your eyes, attesting to the high quality workmanship of more than two and a half centuries ago. “There’s not a level floor in the place,” states Marilyn Payne, who married the once-widowed, now-retired, doctor with two small children more than 30 years 34

ago. Over the years, she has stenciled the walls in period stencil shapes and colors. The original, low-beamed ceiling and checkered curtains in the living room feel like stepping back in time. A soapstone wood stove from Finland was installed for supplemental heat. “The walnut, wood-pegged floors were milled on the farm, and they complement the original pine and wide oak flooring,” Mike points out as we wander into the dining room with its original table and on to the music room ~ a generous space of bookshelves, antique furnishings and a grand piano. Walls and doors feature unique painted grain, making

the wood look like naturally-grained beauty, though all skillfully and artfully applied. Antique doorknobs and hinges look just as comfortable as the handknitted bedspreads and coverlets. It’s like a Colonial Virginia period museum, albeit lived in. Mike loves rocks, and there are rocks on display and rocks for door stops. The new, glorious, light-filled, master suite downstairs with its fourposter bed and Marilyn’s 3-manual virtual organ stays empty at night, as the couple is so attached to the old bedroom in the log house portion. They trek downstairs each morning for the modern, spacious bathroom and their walk-in closets. “It

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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sounds crazy, but we just cannot sleep as well as we do in one of the original cabin’s bedrooms. Look,” he points under the eaves in the next room, “the attic joists are marked with Roman numerals.” Mike grew up in town and spent many happy times at the 180-acre family farm. He left for Davidson College in 1965, went on to medical school in Florida, then back to North Carolina for his first job, only to return home when his mother became ill. As luck would have it, a local practice needed an internist, and Mike was home to stay. He inherited the property in 1976 and has continued to preserve it, as well as expand and update some newer sections. They raised three children here. While the Paynes enjoy much of their lives in the low-ceiling cabin rooms and outside, they equally embrace 36

a contemporary, state-of-the-art kitchen, renovated last in 2002. Cherry cupboards, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, plenty of storage and requisite double pane windows above the sink

While the Paynes enjoy much of their lives in the low-ceiling cabin rooms and outside, they equally embrace a contemporary, state-of-the-art kitchen, renovated last in 2002. overlooking a stunning landscape provide every convenience for food prep, cooking and entertaining.

It’s taken decades for Mike and Marilyn to get the yard where they want it, and they’re “almost there.” With many Japanese maples, conifers, daylilies and other perennials, this outdoor space is a sight to behold, anchored in the center by a granite fountain weighing more than 3 tons. “It took a back hoe and a crew of men to get this in,” he recalls. Beautiful grass, brick walkways and cozy patio furniture beckon anyone to rest and enjoy this lush landscape. The Payne homestead is a unique place where history meets contemporary and rustic blends comfortably with technology and modern amenities. This delightful property is a testament to quality craftsmanship, creative renovation, ardent preservation and lots of tender loving care across more than three centuries.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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Roya’s Recipes

Healthy International Cuisine ‘Tis the season to warm our tummies, and no better place to turn for nutritious, tasty, fun kinds of soups and stews than Roya’s new book. On the outside chance that there’s one reader out there who doesn’t know Roya Gharavi, she’s the founder and proprietor of Gourmet Pantry & Cooking School in Blacksburg.

Creamy Saffron and Corn Chowder [serves 6]

2 Tbl. olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 each red and yellow bell peppers, cut in 1/2-inch squares 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch squares salt and pepper 1 Tbl. flour 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed 1 cup heavy cream 1 tsp. ground saffron 3-4 scallions, finely chopped crumbled bacon, optional In a large pot, heat oil over low heat. Add onion and cook 8-10 minutes. Add bell peppers and cook, stirring, 2 minutes, then add potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2-3 minutes. Turn heat to high, add broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and cook around 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Heat cream and saffron about 5 minutes, not allowing to boil. Add saffron cream and corn to chowder, cook 5 minutes. Serve topped with scallions and crumbled bacon. Gluten-free: Substitute 1/2 tsp arrowroot for flour Variation: Substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes 38

Lemon Pepper Chicken or Shrimp with Pasta 1/2 lb. pasta, any kind 1 small onion, diced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 2 Tbl. olive oil 1/4 cup white wine 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth Juice of one lemon 1/2 lb. shrimp OR 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced Lots of freshly ground pepper 1 Tbl. chopped parsley Salt to taste Cook pasta in lightly salted water until al dente. In a skillet, heat 1 Tbl. olive oil and add shrimp or chicken. Pan sear until cooked, then set aside. Shrimp will turn pink, chicken will be browned. In same skillet, add other 1 Tbl. olive oil and sauté onions until tender. Add garlic for about 30 seconds. Add chicken broth, wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then add shrimp or chicken and cook 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add pepper, salt and parsley. Serve over cooked pasta. For gluten-free, serve over rice pasta.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016


540.239.4399 2016 NRVAR President

3601 Holiday Ln | Blacksburg, VA 24060 540.552.1010

“Is 5 stars the maximum allowed? Susan far exceeded “Excellent” I should know as I am married to a former Realtor who was always the “Susan” of her time. Susan just did what had to be done and reported after she had taken care of it. Someone fell through the garage ceiling- Susan arranged for repairs. The cord on the porch curtain broke, Susan replaced it. The window washers broke several latches, Susan replaced them. All this as she handled multiple offers, followed up on every detail and simply said, “Ted you have to sign this.” I could not have asked for any better service. 5 stars are just too few.” - Theodore Ake

Best Wishes & A Happy Life Together!

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NRV R i de s

One Street-legal Fun Machine Text by Karl H. Kazaks Photos by Tom Wallace

When you first see Gerry Clark’s 2016 Polaris Slingshot, it’s hard to know whether to call it a motorcycle or a car. It has no top and no doors and two sideby-side seats. It has two front wheels, controlled by rack-and-pinion steering, and one back wheel back, driven by a carbon-fiber-reinforced belt. It also has a steering wheel, waterproof seating and a waterproof interior. For Clark, a long-time lover of motorcycles, what counts is that it’s a street legal, fun machine. “It’s got the power,” he says. From the front, the 173 hp Slingshot looks like a modern roadster. Wide and low-slung, its uncovered 40

wheels cry out to be track tested. The engine compartment is covered by panels made from lightweight, impact-resistant polymer. The hood, which is opened by

“Some people have called it the Batmobile,” pulling forward and upward, sports an angular design that speaks to the thrills that are sure to be found behind the wheel. From the back, the Slingshot looks like a motorcycle the way a centaur looks like a horse. There’s the single wheel, the belt drive, but there’s also all

that up front – including roll hoops – you don’t expect to see on a motorcycle. Clark used to have a Can-Am 3-wheeled motorcycle, with two front wheels and one back wheel. But on the Can-Am, the passenger sits behind the driver, like on a traditional motorcycle. And steering requires two hands, while the Slingshot can be steered with one hand. For now, the Slingshot is considered a motorcycle, so Clark wears a helmet while driving it. His wife can sit beside him; together, they can both enjoy listening to country music through the Slingshot’s six-speaker audio system.

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

The transmission is manual, with a floor clutch, five speeds and reverse. There is a low windshield and a display screen for a backup camera. There are also three-point seat belts. No climate control. Clark lives in Pearisburg, having moved to Giles County after being born in Bland County. He worked almost 30 years at Celanese, rising from production to preparation and then insulator and maintenance mechanic. At other points in his life, Clark had a 750cc Honda motorcycle and a 600cc Honda Silver Wing scooter. None of them moved quite like the Slingshot, which weighs in at just under 1,800 pounds. “I love it,” Clark states. “It’s fun to drive.” During a parade this year in

Pearisburg, he took the sheriff for a ride in it. The Slingshot is sometimes referred to as an autocycle, because driver and rider sit inside the vehicle instead of straddling it. But to Clark, it provides an experience much like a motorcycle. “It’s kind of quiet, not quite a Harley,” he relates. Still, you notice its sound when it’s on the road with you: a pleasing low purr, twinned with an attention-getting whine it makes during acceleration. “If you love motorcycles, you’ll like it. It’s relaxing, getting out in the air.” The biggest difference between his Slingshot and a motorcycle is that you don’t have to lean.

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u Clark is no stranger to advanced technology and engineering. He uses solar panels at his home, and while at Celanese was involved in building and running the supply stations used at the plant. Clark purchased his rear-wheel, one-wheel drive 2016 Polaris Slingshot at Star City Powersports in Roanoke. It uses GM’s four-cylinder, 2.4L Ecotec engine, previously used in the Pontiac Solstice.


Since retiring from Celanese, Clark and his wife have been involved in a number of independent and home businesses. One of them is making laminated memorial obituary bookmarks.


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NRV Wi n t e r A dv e n t u r e s

30 Things to do with your kid… or for the kid in you! By Emily Alberts 1. Blacksburg Aquatic Center: Graded entry swimming pool, hot tub and a warm sauna waiting for you afterward. Cost is just $3 and kids under 3 are free! They even provide pool toys, Coast Guard Approved floaties and towels at no cost. 2. Blacksburg Rec Center: The courts are usually available, and the balls are free to check out. If the courts are being used, you can still enjoy a game of foosball, ping pong or a nice selection of board games and Legos. 3. Romp n’ Roll: A great energy outlet. Classes are free to try the first time, and there is an Open Gym where kids can get their wiggles out. Just check the schedule online before you go. 4. Imaginations Toy Store: Encourages children to come and play. An ever-changing assortment of toys and games, and the upstairs is pretty awesome, too! 5. Price House Nature Center: Come and learn about the great outdoors, watch the turtles swim, feed the fish and maybe even hold a snake! Educated and energetic staff are available for games, crafts and fun. 6. Story times at the library: Animated story tellers engage babies, preschoolers and parents alike. Stay after and peruse the books while the little ones explore. The library also hosts tons of after school programs that are fun and free. 7. Squires Student Center: Go bowling, play some arcade games and hang out for a while. 8. Cardboard castles, puppet theatres and sheet forts: Transform your living room into a faraway fairytale, a fantastic fox den or a mesmerizing magic show. 9. National Forest Service: The Ranger Station’s Blacksburg office on South Main Street has a nice indoor kid’s area and hosts monthly programs for school-aged kids. All free. 10. Animal tracks in the snow: Who doesn’t love an outdoor mission? Try to find the tracks of three different animals. Scavenger hunts are also a great outdoor activity. See if you can 44

find some mistletoe! 11. Snowflakes: With a cheap microscope and an open window, you can (very quickly) catch snowflakes on a slide and take a look! 12. Frozen “Orbs”: Fill balloons with water and food dye to make frozen crystal balls. 13. Walking dogs for the Humane Society: The pups appreciate the socialization so much, and it is an easy way to do something uplifting on a winter’s day. Check the website for walking hours. 14. Snow Castles: Grab those buckets and shovels from your beach bag and head outside to sculpt the snow. Add some color to all the white with a splash of food coloring or even a Kool-Aid packet. 15. Build a Bird Feeder: With an old milk carton, a twig and some string you can create a beautiful bird feeder for the porch. Log your avian visitors every Saturday morning. 16. Radford Planetarium: View their list of upcoming shows online. Be sure to check out the Museum of the Earth Sciences while you’re on campus. 17. Museum of Geosciences at Virginia Tech: Who knew you

N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

could see a baby Allosaurus skeleton right in Derring Hall? The OmniGlobe will also dazzle your world. 18. Price’s Fork Observatory: On a clear, moonless night, head out to view the stars and planets with knowledgeable members of the Astronomy Club to guide your gaze. 19. Virginia Techniques: Preschool Playzones and Open Gyms offer a chance for kids (and adults!) to channel their inner gymnast, have fun and get some exercise. Prices vary. 20. Akke’s Yoga Place: Offers “Yoga for Moms and Babies” on Saturday mornings from 10-11 ($12/class), a great way to nurture yourself and your baby. 21. Macaroni Kid – Sign up for this free weekly newsletter of local events for parents, including a “Mom and Me” class at the Children’s Museum. They also have lots of giveaways, such as a month of Kindermusic at Music Milestones. 22. Blacksburg Rec Center Classes: Maria Rossi’s “Mommy and Me” and “Family Energy Outlet” classes utilize hula-hoops, ladders, slides, tunnels and parachutes to develop large motor skills. 23. Music with Marci Craig: Marci teaches rhythm and melody to babies, toddlers and preschoolers, and she also offers music theory classes to musicians of all ages and levels. 24. M.O.M.S. Club Organization: Find your local M.O.M.S. Club chapter and connect with other stay at home parents in your area for play dates, stroller outings and sympathy! 25. Lily’s Playground at the mall: Kick off your shoes and run around this padded playground on a chilly day. Everything is enclosed, and there are usually other kids just waiting to laugh and play. 26. Trail Memories: Take photo on a trail in the same place every month of the year to create an awesome flip book of seasonal change. 27. NightSky app or SkyView app: On a dark winter’s night, look up! If you haven’t memorized all of the constellations yet, fear not, there is an app for that. 28. Impromptu Pool: Blow up a bunch of balloons, get your bathing suits on and have an indoor “pool” with a big pile of pillows. Make sure a lifeguard is on duty. 29. Mattress on the floor: A spare mattress is a good thing to have when you’re stuck inside on a cold day. Putting it on the floor reduces the risk of your “monkeys” falling off and bumping heads. 30. Children’s Museum of Blacksburg: Story times, fitness classes and TONS of interactive exhibits for children of all ages. Let your imagination run loose And remember, as some say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!




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Writer Karl Kazaks

Writer Krisha Chachra

Karl moved to the New River Valley in 1999 and got married two years later. Two of his three children are students at Floyd Elementary, and he is the sommelier at Primland. He has a history of bear encounters which caused him to give up his bee hive hobby and his wife to stop trying to keep a flock of chickens. But those bears do not deter Karl from making his home and raising the family in Floyd County. He just takes it in stride. Karl is a personable kind of guy who enjoys connecting with people and finding out what makes them tick. When first approached to write the classic car feature for every issue, which is now NRV Rides so he can include boats, motorcycles, tractors and all, he was slightly hesitant for not having an indepth knowledge of engines and mechanical intricacies. It turns out Karl’s features are one of the first ones many of our readers seek out in every issue. And like many writers, he’s learned a great deal with every vehicle, and he probably knows quite quickly what makes these people tick. It’s their car! Motorcycle! Airplane! Tractor! Boat! Whatever! Willing to take on any feature assignment on any topic, Karl excels at every article from his virtual office on the far-flung eastern side of the New River Valley -- dependable, smart and charming. We all even met him once, make that twice, over the past decade.

When people ask why I live in Blacksburg, I respond because I figured out a way to come back. I was born here and spent many years plotting my escape. I lived in the Tidewater region attending William and Mary, Northern Virginia working for USA Today and The White House, and attended graduate school at American University. I have traveled all over the world, reporting for National Public Radio affiliates in Roanoke and Honolulu, where I worked as an adjunct professor at Hawai’i Pacific. I had a lot of fun living, exploring, traveling and testing my boundaries, but I reached a point where I wanted to build a world for myself. The year I published my book about growing up as an Indian-American in Southwest Virginia, the April 16th shootings occurred at Virginia Tech, and I experienced the mighty support system in my hometown. Wanting to give something back, I ran for local office. In 2009, I was elected as the youngest Town Council member at the time and the only Indian-American elected to serve Blacksburg. It is an honor to represent my community, put down roots, lead a non-profit (Up on the Roof,, establish solid relationships, become closer to my parents, buy a home and now raise my daughter in the New River Valley. In writing for New River Valley Magazine – from penning Young Professional profiles, a Top 5 series and the global travel column “Clearing Customs” - I have gained a deeper appreciation of my community. Wherever life take us, I will always be a lifelong cheerleader and supporter of what our town stands for and what we dream to become.


N R V M A G A Z I N E January/February 2016

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NRV Magazine Jan-Feb 2016  

New River Valley Magazine, Weddings, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Montgomery County, Giles County, Pulaski County and Floyd County V...

NRV Magazine Jan-Feb 2016  

New River Valley Magazine, Weddings, Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Montgomery County, Giles County, Pulaski County and Floyd County V...