NRV Magazine Sept-Oct 2021

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NRV’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

New River Valley Sept/Oct2021

FOOTBALL TRADITIONS

Welcome Fall

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OUTDOOR FESTIVALS

VISITPULASKIVA.ORG/CALENDAR 2

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CONTENTS Sept/Oct

2021

14 Pasture Ta l k

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Lowdown on t he Upr i ghts 1 0 Hoki e Fo ot bal l Tra di t io ns 1 4 A Home Study i n Contrasts 1 8

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New A pproac h to Hea dqua r ters 22 Fo ot bal l S c hedul e Pul l - o u t 24 Hi gh S c ho o l Fo ot b a l l 26

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Prof i l e: Mi ke Wa de 28 Pl ant i ng Bul bs 32 NRV Ri de: AWD Trac to r 3 6 To o Young to b e O l d 3 8 Fa l l i ng i nto Pl a ce 40

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Adver t i sers I nd ex 46

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NEW RIVER VALLEY M

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

PUBLISHER Country Media, Inc. Phillip Vaught MANAGING EDITOR Joanne Anderson

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ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Sabrina Sexton ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Kim Walsh DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Dennis Shelor WRITERS Joanne Anderson Karl Kazaks Emily Alberts Jo Clark Emma Beaver Becky Hepler Nancy Moseley Kameron Bryant PHOTOGRAPHERS Kristie Lea Photography Kevin Riley Tom Wallace Billy Bowling Photography Nathan Cooke Photography

© 2021 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.

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When you hear that recording: “This call may be recorded for training purposes” – believe it! I registered a complaint with the customer service center at Tractor Supply, and after a non-satisfactory experience, I wrote Hal Lawton, the big cheese aka CEO. One of his managers called me, not only to say they appreciated my bringing this to their attention, but also to relate that he LISTENED to my phone conversation twice! Yeah, it was one of the recorded ones, and I wondered how much of my frustration with the customer service rep came across in my tone or choice of words. Oops. He is “using it for training purposes” and then sent me a generous gift card. Those folks at Tractor Supply know what I learned a long time ago – the customer who complains may alert you to something you do not know. That person gives you the opportunity to make things right and restore patronage, then positive word-of-mouth ensues. Compare that with the customer who leaves upset, tells 10 people and never returns. The word “complaint” carries a negative connotation, but like a suggestion box and the proverbial grapevine, it can be an incredibly valuable tool in business. The corporate world made a button-down collar shirt person out of me with logo shirts plus plain ones. I iron them. Being sidelined with a back injury, I discovered Valley Cleaners closed and headed to A Cleaner World. What a nice crew of folks over there! And, here’s the best part. They send a lovely “Welcome” email, then an email when your stuff is ready. Get it? They do NOT send an email every two hours every day for the rest of your life! If you ever feel shorted on the email inbox, just buy something online, and you’ll get daily emails ‘til the cows come home and jump over the moon. Which is f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

Pasture Talk

When in Asheville, N.C., for a mid-July wedding, I met Craig Gorton, a 30-something guy with a fishing and scenic water tour by kayak guide business. He’s a certified Wilderness First Responder and knows his way around the waterways in western N.C. He’s got the industry’s best kayaks and

writes: “Found 'Em Fishing was born out of passion. We love the outdoors, plain and simple. For us, there is something meditative about smooth paddle strokes through water, come with us, you'll see.” Not like me promote outside the New River Valley, but Craig’s a special fella, no relation to me, never met him before that weekend. You’ll like him, too, along with the water, the serenity, the fish, the whole enchilada experience. [www.foundemfishing.com] Happy Autumn! Go Hokies!

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor

jmawriter@aol.com

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The Lowdown on the Uprights Text by Emma Beaver

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A

As the air chills and leaves begin to fade into golden, orange and vibrant red, one of the nation’s most beloved games is returning. And this year, it is set to return with fans in the stands. At local high schools and colleges and at NFL stadiums across the nation, players will send the football spinning through the goal posts aka uprights to add three points or one more following a touchdown to their team’s score. Whether you find yourself at Lane Stadium or any of the nine New River Valley high schools or on the road to catch an NFL game this fall, the giant U-shaped structures bookending the field will likely play an integral role in the game. In fact, field goal posts have been a hot topic in the football world for decades. They hold a complicated history and have undergone shifting regulations. The goal post structure is not one-size-fitsall. It is made up of a post at its base (a “gooseneck”), a horizontal crossbar 10 feet high attached to the base and vertical uprights that extend 20 or 30 feet up into the air on either end. The width of the goal posts varies across different leagues: NFL and NCAA field goal posts are 18 feet 6 inches wide. High school posts are slightly wider at 23 feet 4 inches. The height regulations of the goal posts have been adjusted, and different leagues specify different height regulations: 20 feet in high school and 30 feet in college. After one player kicked the ball to the skies above the uprights, the NFL extended its goal posts even higher. In 2014, the NFL raised the height of its goal posts to 35 feet. And the goal post positions on the field has been varied. In the early days of American football, the goal post sat on the goal line. But as the game transpired, the posts were an obstacle and posed a safety risk while players were scoring. In the late 1920s, the NCAA and NFL moved the field goal posts to the back of the end zone. Then, after moving to the goal line once more a few years later, American football eventually moved the goal posts again to the back of the end zone—where they’ve been planted since 1974. In Canadian football, however, the goal posts are still on the goal line. Along the way, the goal posts’ golden color (or sometimes white) was adopted as the standard. Most goal posts are supported by a single post at the base, such

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as Lane Stadium’s field goal posts. But a few goal posts in the nation are supported with a base on either side, such as Louisiana State University or Florida State University. It once was an impromptu sport to tear down the goal posts after a game, win or lose. College students would storm the end zone and climb the posts until their collective weight collapsed the uprights. This was easier back in the day when they were made with wood. Most now are solid and crafted out of heavy gauge steel, aluminum or some sturdy metal combination. Posts are at least 2 3/8 inches in diameter with the support post often 5 inches thick. Field goals score three points and typically happen on a fourth down or when there is only enough time remaining for one play during the first half or at the end of the game. Following a touchdown, an extra point is gained with a successful kick through the uprights. For the coveted point(s), the ball must pass over the 10-foot high crossbar between the uprights. If it passes through the goal posts, hitting any part of the posts on its journey, it counts. Here’s another question: If the ball hits the upright and falls back on the field of play, is it a live ball? The answer is no. Every detail of the fall sport—down to the inches of the uprights—is carefully regulated. On Friday nights and weekends across the New River Valley, fans will rep their team’s colors and hold their breath while the ball soars – ideally -- through the goal posts for a coveted 3 points or that extra point added to a 6-point touchdown. Then the goal posts are guarded against wild fans seeking the thrill of climbing up and bringing them down. The only thing to bring down, figuratively, is the opponent. Go Hokies!

An NFL kicker can use either a drop kick or a placekick to kick the ball through the uprights of the opponent's goal for field goals from behind the line of scrimmage, or to score an extra point following a touchdown. In 2006, New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie converted a drop kick for an extra point after a fourth-quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins. The drop kick was the 43-year-old Flutie's last play in the NFL, and the first successful drop kick in the NFL since the 1941 championship.

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Tried-and-True ~

Hokie football traditions

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Text by Nancy S. Moseley

In 2009, The Washington Post called Lane Stadium a "hostile environment for visiting teams." It's also up there on ESPN's list of "Scariest Places to Play." But when facing an athletic arch nemesis, a "scary," "hostile environment" is exactly what a team hopes for. A stadium filled with tens of thousands of loyal fans, all moving together as one body, is perhaps the best weapon of all. These days, a Virginia Tech football game is seamlessly scripted, with expertly produced video bits, impeccably timed chants and soul-shaking base. But there was a time before jumbotrons and jumbo turkey legs, when the scene was spontaneous and camaraderie a driving force. "Back then, one of the things that made the atmosphere so different was we were more involved in it emotionally. Most of us knew players well. We were all part of the group. It was all part of what the tradition was. We were more connected," Bert Kinzey recalls. Kinzey attended games as a child in the 1950s 14

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and later as a student and member of the Corps of Cadets regimental band, the Highty-Tighties, from 1964 to 1968. Now he's President Emeritus of the Highty-Tighty alumni and the award-winning group’s historian. "The Corps was big back then. It was the dominant part of Tech, and they sat in a certain block in the stands," Kinzey offers, who was a sophomore for Lane Stadium's inaugural season. While seated in the stands during games, the Corps would often perform hat tricks, or card tricks, using their white hats and navy-blue uniforms, or even orange and maroon cards, to spell out "VPI," or "Go Tech, Go," among other game day sentiments. Another early tradition was the Highty-Tighties' victory march, which was anything but militaristic. "Whenever we won, the band would go on the field and do a victory march. We became the antithesis of what we were. We turned our hats around backward, we played 'Tech Triumph' over and over again and went up and down S ept/Oct 2021


the field to a wild drumbeat. The other students would pile in behind us." Skipper, the Corps of Cadets cannon, was born out of a fierce traditional rivalry, the VMI vs. VPI Military Classic of the South. After each win, VMI cadets would fire off their cannon, "Little John", while taunting the Hokies with, "Where's your cannon!?" Using Civil War era blueprints and scrap metal, Tech cadets got busy constructing their own artillery. The cannon was completed in the fated fall of 1963, thusly named "Skipper" in honor of President Kennedy's naval background. Skipper still fires today when the football team enters the field and after every Hokie score. The Marching Virginians, Virginia Tech's first "all university" marching band, premiered in September of 1974. By the 1980s, the band had integrated musical traditions that we still know today, most notably the Hokie Pokie, which, until recently, was performed by the tuba section at the end of the third quarter. And of course, there's everyone's favorite (and only?!?) turkey mascot, HokieBird, bench-pressing a large [imitation] dumbbell the number of times to match the score.

Ryan Stenger

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Former defensive coordinator Bud Foster's iconic Lunch Pail Defense made its game-day debut during the 1995 season. Famously symbolizing a hard-working, bluecollar approach to football, the battered and well-used lunch pail now contains the names of the 32 Hokies who lost their lives on April 16, 2007. The tradition retired with Foster in 2019. Bill McChain was the football public address announcer from 1998 to 2008, sealed in the history books for his distinctive rendition of "First Down! Hokies!" "The traditions were cherished. We had a sense of duty and obligation. We felt like we were all part of it. It didn't matter if you were a cadet or a civilian or faculty. We were all out there," Kinzey concludes. Traditions give fans infallible entertainment amidst a game of uncertainty. There is no way to know what a final score will be, despite all statistical predictions, but participating in customary game antics is tried-and-true. Traditions interlock players and fans alike, even as the seasons come and go, securing the message that we are all one big team. Perhaps it's why "This is Home," is such a poignantly accurate tagline. And then, of course, there's "Enter Sandman." "I will never forget when we played Notre Dame in Lane Stadium. When they played the song, the whole stadium shook and for the first and only time in my 20-year run as the PA announcer, I could feel the press box moving," McChain adds. Maybe it's not the university’s most beloved tradition, but it's certainly the most raucous, the one, for now, that makes our environment hostile, yet interconnected like family. How important it is that we can confidently jump up and down on such a solid foundation of time-tested fandom, else our legacy might fall into never, neverland. Nancy S. Moseley is a freelance writer who, if she's not actually at the game, opens all the windows in her home so she can hear Skipper fire.

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NRV Home

A Home Study in Contrasts

Text by Joanne M. Anderson | Photos by Kristie Lea Photography Welcome to a little horse farm, on a dirt road, with the requisite outbuildings, a couple beautiful horses, a view across open fields and a renovated house that includes crystal door knobs and chandeliers. Lipstick red is the accent color among two-tone gray walls and white trim. The living room, dining area and hall rugs are matching contemporary, swirlpatterned, floor coverings in gray, black and red, while the large stone fireplace commanding attention in the living room hearkens to natural materials expected in a rural setting. The outdoor patio off the kitchen looks like something you’d see in a national homes and lifestyles magazine with multiple seating clusters and colorful cushions. The firepit down in the yard is as country as things come. Ralph and Shelia Collins purchased this 4-acre property just over two years ago, and set about clearing 18

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land for pastures and renovating the 1900-or-so-square-foot house. Constructed by Leon Akers in the 1960s, the home has a full basement, lovely hardwood floors, the stone fireplace in the living room and a wood-burning stove in the lower level fireplace. “We painted the walls everywhere and completely gutted the kitchen prior to moving in,” Shelia states. The couple did most all the work themselves, and Shelia is responsible for the colors, style and décor. At the time, long-time New River Valley resident Pete Gotkiewicz worked at Lowe’s. “I’d never met him, but when I explained what we were doing, what I liked, how I wanted things to turn out, he stepped right in with advice in all the places I needed help. He suggested the darker gray accent walls in the living room and kitchen and helped me choose the white kitchen cabinets.” The hardware is vertical, S ept/Oct 2021


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modern, brushed nickel. The old oak cupboards were moved to the downstairs kitchen. “We tore out a partial L counter, opening up the kitchen for this beautiful dining area,” she explains. “I found the marble top island at overstock.com and placed it in the center parallel to the walls and counters.” The new counters are quartz, and the appliances all stainless steel. Flooring is the quite popular and easyto-maintain wood grain look and texture in a vinyl product. Her favorite color is bright red, 20

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so expect red highlights everywhere, yet not overdone. The living room curtains, for example, have a red panel on each side of the picture window in among sheer white drapes. In her kitchen, there are red cannisters, utensils, towels, the stand-up mixer, outsides of skillets. A red ribbon like grosgrain runs along the bottom of the white curtains. What is especially fascinating here is that what Shelia refers to as her “bling bling” – the crystal door knobs on the bedroom doors, crystal accents on a couple light fixtures, napkin rings and

goblet candle holders - look and feel incredibly comfortable among the horse and country decor. It works. It works like magic. There’s an atmosphere of wonder throughout the house that delivers the casual country vibe with an exquisite surprise where you least expect it. A horse lover extraordinaire, the entire home is tastefully decorated with horse art, photos of her with Navajo, her 15-year-old mare, statues and accent pillows. In the lower level stands a Christmas tree with white lights on it and all horse ornaments. You would be correct to surmise that this is lit and stays decorated year round. There is a huge comfy living room, bedroom, full bath, full kitchen and laundry area down here. And a gorgeous western saddle on a stand. All three small bedrooms look like the ones you see in those upscale designer magazines. [I read a lot of magazines.] They are attractive, immaculate, well-appointed and very pretty, yet not fluffy. You’d think perhaps this 50-something couple would consider Airbnb in this lovely home in a country setting. No. No. Not at all. Most recently they fostered four small children for six months! Despite what you see in these photos, this home is one to be enjoyed, to be lived in, played in, dined in and have fun in. Maddi, 9, has her dog beds and toys right in front of the fireplaces on both levels. I don’t normally write in first person, but Shelia and I bonded - not just over horses, though that’s always a great place to start - but over life and home and comfort and country. And horses. And a little bling bling. When I visit her next, it won’t be summer, and already I’m planning my outfit. Normal stuff jeans, boots, flannel shirt. But, hold on, I’m going to string a diamond pendant around my neck. Maybe stuff a bright red bandanna in my back pocket. Then, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I’ll fit right in, having tea at her kitchen table with crystal buttons on the chair upholstery and country café curtains on the windows.

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A New Approach to Company Headquarters

Written by Abby Williams Meadows Senior Living founders Steve Orndorff and Mike Williams have always tried to think outside the box - whether through therapy animals, creating Lavender Hills (a new dementia program) or organizing parades outside of residents’ windows. In its newest effort to drive innovation, English Meadows, established in 2008, has turned a local vineyard into its corporate headquarters. Named English Meadows Farms, it’s also called “Finca Del Valle” or “farm in the valley.” When Williams, CEO, saw Firefly Hill Vineyards for sale, he considered the future of senior living. Sitting on nearly 50 acres, the stunning property holds a vineyard, house and farm land. While typically unorthodox for an office space set up, Williams had a bigger vision. Now transformed into a work environment, the entire English 22

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Meadows office staff has settled into the former tasting house. The community conference table doubles as a space for home-cooked meals, and desks are found now throughout the two-story open building. Part of the farm has been converted into educational space, team member overnight accommodations, work gatherings, special events, and a source of local, fresh ingredients for its campuses. In this way, traveling staff can feel at home, even while they’re at work, staying in the farm’s guest house. “My hope is that English Meadows Farms becomes a place where our team members can learn, connect with one another and see how appreciated they are in a relaxing atmosphere,” states Williams. In late July, English Meadows Farms had its first company gathering in an indoor/ outdoor activity room with a ping pong

table, arcade and table games and a beverage station. Formerly a garage, the space was converted by Alkemis Design. English Meadows’ head chef Bobby Bonds plans to use the farm’s two kitchens for training. He has already started experimenting with fresh baby tomatoes and mint from one of the gardens and plans to plant more for fresh ingredients. Williams stays focused on company culture. “If you’re in the senior living industry, you must put people above everything else. English Meadows is in the business of caring for and improving lives – residents and staff - and that’s what we strive to do every day.” English Meadows operates senior living communities in: Blacksburg, Abingdon, Crozet, Manassas and Washington, D.C. www.englishmeadowsslc.com

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New River Valley AUBURN High School

CHRISTIANSBURG High School

BLACKSBURG High School

8/27 @ FLOYD COUNTY 9/3 @ ABINGDON 9/10 BYRD 9/24 RADFORD 10/1 @ SALEM 10/8 BLACKSBURG 10/15 @ HIDDEN VALLEY 10/22 PATRICK HENRY 11/1 CAVE SPRING 11/8 @ PULASKI COUNTY

EASTERN MONTGOMERY High School 8/27 @HOLSTON 9/3 RURAL RETREAT 9/10 NORTH CROSS 9/17 @ AUBURN 9/24 BLAND COUNTY 10/8 CRAIG COUNTY 10/15 BATH COUNTY 10/22 @NARROWS 10/29 @ COVINGTON 11/5 MCCLUER

8/27 @ GILES 9/2 LORD BOTETOURT 9/10 AMHERST COUNTY 9/24 SALEM 10/1 @ PATRICK HENRY 10/8 @ CHRISTIANSBURG 10/15 PULASKI COUNTY 10/22 HIDDEN VALLEY 10/29 @ GRAHAM 11/5 @ CAVE SPRING

The 2021 Football Schedule brought to you by Duncan Automotive

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Pull Out Here

Football Football Schedules Schedule

8/27 NARROWS 9/3 @ CRAIG COUNTY 9/10 FLOYD COUNTY 9/17 EASTERN MONTGOMERY 10/1 @ FORT CHISWELL 10/8 GRAYSON COUNTY 10/15 @ BLAND COUNTY 10/22 @ GALAX 10/29 @ GILES 11/5 WYTHE


Football Schedule 2021 NARROWS High School

FLOYD COUNTY High School

Football Schedule Football Schedules 8/27 9/3 9/10 9/17 10/1 10/8 10/15 10/22 10/29 11/5

8/27 CHRISTIANSBURG 9/3 @PATRICK COUNTY 9/10 @ AUBURN 9/17 FORT CHISWELL 10/1 @ CARROLL COUNTY 10/8 @GLENVAR 10/15 JAMES RIVER 10/22 @ RADFORD 10/29 ALLEGHANY 11/5 CARROLL COUNTY

GILES High School

@ AUBURN BLAND COUNTY CHILHOWIE @ GILES @ HOLSTON MCCLUER COVINGTON EASTERN MONTGOMERY @ CRAIG COUNTY @ BATH COUNTY

PULASKI COUNTY High School

8/27 BLACKSBURG 9/3 @ GALAX 9/10 @ WYTHE 9/17 NARROWS 9/24 FORT CHISWELL 10/8 NORTH CROSS 10/15 @ GRAYSON COUNTY 10/22 @ JAMES RIVER 10/29 AUBURN 11/5 GLENVAR

8/27 9/3 9/10 9/24 10/1 10/8 10/15 10/22 10/29 11/5

@ NORTHSIDE @ TENNESSEE BLUEFIELD CAVE SPRING @ HIDDEN VALLEY SALEM @ BLACKSBURG GRAHAM @ PATRICK HENRY

CHRISTIANSBURG

RADFORD High School 8/27 9/4 9/10 9/17 9/24 10/1 10/8 10/22 10/29 11/5

WYTHE @ GATE CITY @ FORT CHISWELL GALAX @ CHRISTIANSBURG ALLEGHANY CARROLL COUNTY FLOYD COUNTY @ GLENVAR JAMES RIVER

VIRGINIA TECH HOKIES 9/3 NORTH CAROLINA 9/11 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 9/18 @ WEST VIRGINIA 9/25 RICHMOND 10/9 NOTRE DAME 10/16 PITT 10/23 SYRACUSE 10/30 @ GEORGIA TECH 11/5 @ BOSTON COLLEGE 11/13 DUKE 11/20 MIAMI 11/27 @ VIRGINIA

The 2021 Football Schedule brought to you by Duncan Automotive

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2021 High School Football around the New River Valley Text by Joanne M. Anderson

Auburn High School

Christiansburg High School

“My main goal is to bring some excitement back to Auburn football,” states new Head Coach David Seabaugh. “I plan to create a culture that is proud of its football team.” He’s delivering a different style and brand of football to the royal blue and white Eagles. Although numbers are not where anyone wants them right now, Coach Seabaugh believes they have enough pieces to turn some heads and win some games. “We have great senior leadership with Jackson Brockman, Jackson Bain, Jaden Dadras and John Keith, along with a lot of young talent that I'm extremely excited about.”

"The 2021 Blue Demon football team is looking to make another step forward," states 5th year Head Coach Alex Wilkens. The offense has returned players at 10 positions, while the defense will return 7 starters. "We expect a continuous upward trend after making the regional semi-finals in the 2021 shortened spring season. These young men have worked through challenging circumstances and are focused on continuing to set the bar higher for the Christiansburg football program."

Blacksburg High School

brought to you by:

brought to you by:

brought to you by:

brought to you by:

Eastern Montgomery High School

Coach Eddie Sloss is quite pleased with the direction that the Blacksburg Bruins’ football program is going. “We have some ground to cover. It is great to see all the time and effort that the coaches and players are spending honing their skills, practicing plays and fine-tuning each position.” Be prepared for some fine football when the blue and gold BHS team takes to the gridiron this season.

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“The outlook for fall is a unique situation since we played a spring 2021 season of seven games; thus, it has been a very short off-season,” says Coach Jordan Stewart. On top of that, the Mustangs have had to follow some covid protocols which limited off-season competitions. “However,” he continues, “we have a solid group which has put in a lot of work over the past few months. We are prepared, and it’s going to be nice playing a full 10-game regular football season.”

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N RV Football

Floyd County High School brought to you by:

quarterfinals finishing the season 7-1.” Several key players donning the green and gold, along with new ones on the team, have worked very hard in the off-season. They are all expecting a great winning season.

Pulaski County High School The Buffaloes have had a wonderful off-season and preseason, according to long-time Coach Wilfred Beale. “This team has great energy, chemistry and leadership,” he declares. “Offensively we return with Nate Saltus, Kaiden Swortzel, Freddy Garcia, Gus Chaffin, Josh Fletcher and Seth Dunbar. Several key newcomers and JV players moving up contribute a wide range of skills. There are players vying for some of the starting positions, and as always: We have a hard working, blue collar team mentality and good speed at all positions.”

Giles High School brought to you by:

brought to you by:

Mark Dixon is stepping into this coaching position with enthusiasm on the heels of a productive summer with great attendance in the off-season weight lifting program. “We will be extremely young in a lot of areas, having graduated a significant number of starters from last year,” he states. “However, it’s exciting to see the way our young players have stepped up to the challenge. The cardinal and gold Cougar upperclassmen have modeled incredible leadership for the coming season.”

Radford High School The Giles Spartan varsity football team returned to Stephen C. Ragsdale Field on August 27 to kick off the 2021 season against the Blacksburg Bruins. “This year the Bandana Gang will play at home on new, all-natural turf as the grass underwent a complete renovation over the summer,” says Coach Jeff Williams. “The Spartans are now a member of and competing in the Region C Mountain Empire District after dropping to the Group A level of play due to its school enrollment dropping below the Group 2A numbers.”

Narrows High School brought to you by:

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The Bobcats plan to take to the field with returning players Tyrel Dobson, Marcel Baylor, Andrew Moore, and Darius Wesley-Brubeck and have been challenged with having to replace 14 seniors. “We’ve had a short, but productive off-season,” Coach Michael Crist reports. “The players have worked hard to be in position to compete this year. We return some talent at our skill positions. We have to advance more depth at those positions and continue to develop young linemen on both sides of the ball.” Their pre-season was great, and everyone on the team is excited to play football again!

“During the shortened season, our Green Wave players responded extremely well during the unprecedented times,” Coach Kelly Lowe proudly relates. “We got beat in the state

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A Very Sketchy Super Power

Text by Emily K. Alberts Photos courtesy of Mike Wade For Mike Wade, the memory of first falling in love with art is as vivid as a 64-pack of Crayola crayons. Though he was only 5 years old, Mike recalls going to the local five & dime store with his grandmother, Ada, like it was only yesterday. “She bought me the nice pack of crayons, you know, with the sharpener in the back?” And a coloring book of zoo animals. “My grandparents didn’t have much, so it was a very special outing.” When they got back home, he remembers watching in awe as his grandmother colored in a picture of a flamingo, using different hues of pink, shading techniques and highlights. “It was a work of art. I was completely blown away.” As it turns out, Mike would come to discover that

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artistic talent was indeed a family trait. One that he, too, possessed. “Dad was also very good at it, but he just doodled here and there. I still have a drawing of The Incredible Hulk he did for me when I was 7, sketched on notebook paper.” Born and raised in Giles County, Mike’s talent started to get noticed in grade school. He continued to pursue art in high school, where his art teacher, Susan Shaw, recognized his skill and recommended that he attend Concord College, just as she had. He followed her advice and studied graphic design and commercial art at Concord University. Though Mike had the aspiration – and the talent – to become a full-time Illustrator, life took him on a different course. He spent eight years working for a local newspaper

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in Giles, moving up from proofreader, to writer, to editor. He changed direction and has worked for NRV Community Services as its public relations manager ever since. He turns 51 next month, but he has always kept his pencils sharp. “Sketching has become the Batman to my Bruce Wayne,” Mike says. The comic book analogy is fitting because the DC Comics and Marvel superheroes inspire some of his favorite sketches. But they don’t even hold a “lightsaber” to Star Wars. “Star Wars is my absolute favorite thing. I grew up on Star Wars and have a deep connection to the series and the shows and basically everything Star Wars-related,” he relates. “I remember the summer of ’77, going to the Pearisburg Drive-In and watching the very first Star Wars movie ever released,” which was the fourth film chronologically. “I’ve been hooked ever since.” The highlight of his career thus far happened when he donated a drawing of Sir Alec Guiness and R2-D2 to a local NRV Cares auction, which was later posted on Twitter. Somehow, along the course of the Twitterverse, the drawing got noticed by Luke Sykwalker himself (Mark Hamill) and Hammill replied to the tweet! Mike would have been “ecstatic with maybe just a like or a heart” but Hamill took the time to comment on the work and offer his input and praise. As his own biggest

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critic, Mike puts everything he has into each piece. If he doesn’t feel good about it, it doesn’t go out the door. “Being an artist is equal parts insecurity and equal parts ego. You gotta have the confidence to put yourself out there, but you’re also keenly aware that there are others out there, better than you.” As Mike’s artwork has started to get more recognition – which is always a rewarding feeling -- at the end of the day, it’s about 30

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having fun. Along with private commissions, Mike also does fun things like “Sketchy Saturday,” a weekly free art giveaway on Facebook (Mike Wade Art) that he started early during the pandemic to “give folks something to look forward to which that wasn’t heavy or sad, just a lighthearted way to bring a smile.” Anyone who liked and commented (and tagged two friends) was eligible. He’d give a sketch away on Friday and start a

new one the next day. He did this for about a year. “Yes, it was great exposure, but more importantly, it was great fun for the community, not to mention therapeutic for me.” An 11”x14” sketch probably takes Mike about 15-20 hours to complete. He likes to work late at night after his wife has gone to bed, or early in the morning. He has now started doing a “Drawing of the Week.” From pencil portraits of loved ones, to pop culture icons, Mike keeps himself very busy with these weekly sketches. He takes suggestions from Facebook fans and posts his lineup for fans to see, so they can put a payment down and claim their favorite piece ahead of time. Though it is nice to get paid for his efforts, he also learns a lot along the way. “I am fortunate to have a creative outlet. But the true reward comes from seeing people’s reactions when I present them with their art. Sometimes they are speechless, sometimes they cry.” Mike’s own emotions were stirred when he learned that Valerie Perrine, who starred in the first Superman film with Christopher Reeve, is suffering from advanced Parkinsons. Upon learning this, Mike donated a drawing he did 10 years ago -- of Christopher Reeve as Superman -- to assist with her care. The sketch is one of his very favorite pieces to this day – and somehow it never sold! “I nailed it, too,” he declares. “Sometimes it takes me 6 or 7 tries to get the expression right, but this one was spot on right outta the gate!” When asked where to see his art locally, Mike laughs: “Well my wife gets on me all the time to sketch something we can hang up on the wall here at home! But everything I do seems to go right out the door and into another home.” He has plans to broaden his artistic horizons upon retirement, and for now, has a modest goal of 1,000 likes on his Facebook page. Let’s help him get there! Written by Emily K. Alberts, who realizes that her superpower might just be writing about other people’s superpowers.

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Life doesn’t fit into boxes. Neither do home loans.

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Fe at ure

Planting Bulbs Now for the Spring: A Bright Idea!

Text and graphic submission by Emily K. Alberts There is nothing more magical than that first flower poking through the snow, emerging - against all odds - to assure us that spring is on the way. And though you’ve probably been seeding, watering and weeding for months now and are ready to simply kick back and welcome the cool fall season this September – if you can “dig down deep” (think 6-9 inches) and find the energy for one more late season affair in the garden, you will reap surprisingly colorful rewards in early spring. Come to think of it, this endeavor can easily become a family affair! Grab your kids and head to your local nursery. Remember, if you let the kids pick out what they want to plant, they will certainly be more apt to get their hands dirty. Steer them toward smaller perennial favorites such as crocus or scilla if you want more “pop” in a smaller amount of space. Daffodils, tulips, irises and lilies are bigger so they need more space, but if you don’t mind dedicating a larger portion of your flower bed to them, they will add a pleasing 32

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backdrop of color. When selecting what to plant, two main caveats come to mind: 1.) THINK DEER RESISTANT! I had the most unpleasant experience of watching a family of six work for hours together to plant a hundred tulips in their backyard only for the deer to eat each and every one of them! If you live in a deer-populated area, you may want to rethink tulips unless they are either guarded by a tall fence or VERY close to the house. 2.) THINK NATIVE! It can be important to plant native species because they are better suited to the New River Valley climate, hydrology, soil and much more. Not only are natives better for the soil, but they are better for the complex system of competition among pollinators in the local habitat. However, it is important to note that flowering bulbs reproduce on their own and don't need help with pollination. Their nectar is still valuable to hungry critters though. S ept/Oct 2021


Glen Lyn Town Park On the new river

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For Virginia, the best native bulbs (and spring ephemerals) are listed below. The ephemerals can be sown in early fall just like bulbs, to ensure color in the spring. Now that you know what to plant, let’s go over what to look for when selecting the perfect bulb. First things first: When it comes to bulbs, the bigger the better. Avoid mushy, rotten or undersized bulbs and you will ensure large, beautiful blooms come spring. While you’re at it, grab a few bags of soil, unless you have your own compost at home. With the poor clay soil so prevalent in our area, your bulbs are going to need better drainage and a nutrient rich environment instead of our dense, impenetrable clay. Finally, grab some mulch, too. This will help keep weeds at bay. Weeds compete with your bulb for resources and moisture, so mulching will help keep them out of your flower bed. Mulch also keeps moisture locked in, so you won’t have to water as frequently. Getting the kids their own gardening gloves and a few shovels will help make the job go smoothly, and one more thing – if you wait until the day after a good, hard rain, the ground will be softer and easier to break through 34

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when you’re digging. This is much preferred than scraping away at rock hard dirt. Game changer! Figure out the layout ahead of time. If you have an artsy family, maybe everyone could grab some colored pencils or markers and sketch out a layout for the flower bed. The more involved they are with the process, the more likely they are to pitch in later, and to feel like they contributed to something special. Don’t worry, if you end up not loving the layout, plants that come from bulbs are much easier to move than those that come from seeds. Pay attention to sunny spots versus shady spots to ensure the bulbs will get the right amount of light. Aim to plant the bulbs at least 6-9 inches below the surface (you may want to bring a ruler for the kids to use) and be sure to leave plenty room to add your soil around the bulb. Spread the mulch layer on top and water away! You will only need to water them once, right after planting, until they begin to flower in spring. At that point you’ll water them once a week (unless there has been some good rain) until the foliage dies back. Also, make sure you’re not too eager to get the bulbs in the ground. Between late September and November is ideal. If you plant them too early when temperatures are still warm (such as late summer or early September), the bulbs may be fooled into thinking it’s spring. If you wait too long, they may not have enough “chill” time before spring, or worse, the ground could already be frozen! In both instances, you will only get foliage without flowers. The reason? Bulbs require a long period of cool temperatures to spark the biochemical process that causes them to flower. Here is the rule of thumb: If you are planting a bulb that blooms in the spring, plant it in the fall. For bulbs that bloom early summer or later, plant them in the spring. Nowadays, many big box stores sell their fall bulbs in July and August to make room for holiday displays, which means you’ll need to buy them early and store them in the fridge for a few months. The other option is to order online and have them arrive at planting time. Whichever method you choose, good luck, and get growing! Written by Emily K. Alberts, who is less of an “early bird gets the worm” and more of a “second mouse gets the cheese” type of girl.

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Design Ingenuity and Practical Engineering

Text by Karl H. Kazaks Photos by Tom Wallace Brush Mountain outside Blacksburg – down Glade Road on the way to McCoy – is known for its rugged terrain and beautiful vistas. Even though it’s close to town, it feels a world away. That’s part of what attracted Bill Reasor to the area. An accountant and gardener, he owns a farm on Brush Mountain. The first thing he bought after acquiring the farm was a Ventrac 4500z, a compact all-terrain, all-wheel drive tractor. “It’s great for maintaining steep land. There’s some here on the farm which was quite overgrown,” Reasor states. “With the Ventrac, I am able to keep everything under control.” The Ventrac has an articulating 36

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frame, with separate rear and front sections, connected at the middle. That design permits the unusual vehicle to make sharp turns. The 4500z model has an impressive 50.6 foot-pounds of torque. “It’s geared very low. It crawls.” But it also has double rear wheels, which permit the machine to maneuver on steep slopes – up to a 58% grade. In fact, even though Reasor bought the machine for his farm, he’s finding his gardening clients clamoring for him to use it to mow their steep and hard-to-manage lands. He’s already used it around barns and stables and other rough ground in the New River Valley. Reasor, who has roots in the

area, settled in Blacksburg last August, bringing with him his two businesses, The Village Bookkeeper and The Village Gardener. While his accounting business keeps him busy year-round, it’s particularly busy in tax season in the early months of the year. That means when tax time passes and the weather gets warmer, he’s ready to get outside, working the land for his gardening business customers. “I like going back and forth between office work and my outside jobs.” It’s hard to resist using his new tractor, too. Reasor can use the Ventrac to bush hog slopes many people would find difficult to traverse by foot. At first it’s remarkable to watch

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Live the Life! The community welcomes you! Join us in a variety of apartment options for 55+ with convenient Town Center amenities catered to those looking for an active, independent lifestyle at Richfield’s Salem Campus. Call for a tour today at 540.380.4500.

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him maneuver the machine over steep terrain, but he is an expert operator and makes mowing steep slopes look easy. In addition to a 72” bush hog, Reasor has a finish mower and blower for his tractor. There are other attachments available like blades, brooms, snow blowers, an edger, a stump grinder, trencher, tiller, rake, bucket, and many more. In addition to being versatile, the machine is also well-engineered, built tough and meant to last. This Ventrac has a 32.5hp 3-cylinder gas-powered 962 cc Kubota engine. The machine is still new, but when it needs servicing, Reasor will take it to a Kubota dealer. The machine is run off hydraulics, including its brakes and transmission. It also has safety features, like an auto-shutoff in the seat, which turns the engine off when the operator comes up out of the seat. Reasor likes using the tractor to help make the farm enjoyable for his wife Roxann and daughter Mia as well as for his gardening customers. The farm is a place for him to reflect on his life, too. After leaving the military, he embarked on a career in international finance, which took him to Iquitos, Peru; Damascus, Syria; and Moscow, Russia. Even with his global travels though, there’s no place he’s happier than in the New River Valley, working in yards, working on farms, helping to make landscapes more beautiful. “I’m just so happy with everything going on in my life,” he says. A happy gardener, a happy bookkeeper – that sounds like someone to have on your side. NRVMAGAZINE.com

Need Assistive Technology? Connect with TAP! The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (VDDHH) offers telecommunication equipment and assistive technology to qualified applicants as a solution to their communication needs through the Technology Assistance Program (TAP). From equipment information to usage demos, TAP provides access and help with assistive technology to keep you connected.

To get started, call or visit a regional office near you. To find the closest office or learn more, call 800-552-7917 (Voice) or visit vddhh.org

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NRV Fe at u r e s

I'm Too Young To Be This Old!

Text and photo by Jo Clark Sometimes I stare in the mirror and wonder: “Who is that and how did she get in my house?!” I suppose changes that mark the passing of time are good, but the silver in my hair isn’t paying the bills. Joining the “speed limit” crew should garner us something besides grey hairs—enter those magical words: “Senior Discount, please!” Uttering those words works more places than not and frequently works when you turn 62, or even 55. One can join the American Association of Retired Persons [AARP] at age 50. The only requirement to qualify for a senior discount is, well, to be a senior. Some businesses ask for proof of age, while others accept AARP or AMAC membership cards See the USA The Lifetime America the Beautiful Pass is good for more than 2,000 national parks and federal recreational lands. Available at age 62, it is $80, and entry to just a couple of parks during a vacation trip can top that amount. Seniors on a budget can purchase an annual pass for $20. Save them, and you can trade in four for a lifetime pass—like visiting on the installment plan! We know that the most beautiful state in the country is Virginia, with natural beauty rivaling many national parks. Virginia offers an annual Naturally Yours Passport for only $40 to visitors age 65 and up. The pass includes admission at Natural Bridge and the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap, among others. Expand Your Mind Do you yearn to study history? Paint a portrait? Use a computer? The Virginia Community College system has your back. Seniors 60 and older can enroll in credit or non-credit 38

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courses for…free!! If a degree is your dream, it may still be free, but that tuition program is income-based. Expand Your Wallet You know the saying: Only two things in life are certain - death and taxes. But seniors may qualify for “tax relief” on owner-occupied property. Call your county’s commissioner for more information. Requirements and yearly relief amounts vary, but here is an idea of potential savings: $ Floyd County - up to $200 $ Giles County - up to $200 $ Montgomery County - 40-100% of tax debt $ Pulaski County 20-80% of tax debt Expand Your Waistline Ask for a senior discount, and you will happily discover nearly all restaurants offer something. Eating establishments are the most common and most accessible of all discounts. Some start at age 55 or 60…so ask early and ask often, make it a habit. It might be free or inexpensive coffee or tea, or maybe 5, 10, or even 15% off the purchase. Some offer a special menu on specific days. And, your evening out doesn’t have to end with dessert. Most movie theaters offer senior tickets. Grocery stores have jumped on the discount list, too. Most set a specific day for deals, so you do have to look for them. Typical discounts range from 5%-15% off. Speaking of Discounts Voice and data wireless plans offer 5-15% discounts, depending upon which provider you use. And while you’re on S ept/Oct 2021


the phone, call your homeowner and auto insurance agent. Many offer special pricing for seniors. Oh! And don’t forget to ask your bank for senior checking. Many offer fee-free accounts as well as free checks. Many banks start the savings with their 50+ checking accounts. The sad truth is medical costs only rise, and as we get more senior, most of us require more medicines. Nearly all pharmacies offer in-house discount cards. AMAC and AARP also include prescription discounts as part of their membership programs. These allow members and their families to enjoy average savings of 50% on generic, brand name, or specialty drugs that insurance or Medicare Part D fail to cover. Pharmacies providing discounts include Costco, CVS, Kmart, Rite Aid, Target and Walmart.

companies love discounting fares, especially for those 55 and older. I think you can even get a discount for being lefthanded! *smile* Seriously, call and ask! Prefer slow and steady? Amtrak marks down their lowest fare by an additional 15% for travelers 62 or older.

Save Coming and Going Many travel-related industries offer discounts. Airlines offer discounted travel, but you have to call and ask— you won’t find these on standard booking sites—and you do have to be 65. Most car rental agencies honor discounts at 50—old age gets younger by the minute! Various costsavings range from a flat $10 savings to 5-25% on vehicle rentals. Hotel discounts range from 10% to 50%, with more significant savings at the more expensive hotels. You should request a discount when booking. Are cruises more your style? You’re in luck! Cruise

Jo Clark is a travel writer and photographer on a budget. She says her favorite words are “wine” and “on sale” and takes senior discounts to an art form. Her sincerest compliment came years ago from an uncle who asked, “Where does Jo get all her money?”

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Play Local Don’t miss your grandchildren’s sporting activities. Check with your local high school. They may provide grandparents with a gold card to attend school sporting events either at a significant discount or entirely free. Carry your photo ID and join a senior group—AMAC or AARP. Not old enough yet? Join AAA! In many cases their discounts are nearly as good…and…your travel maps are free!

Not My Age - Poet Unknown That’s not my age; it’s just not true. My heart is young; the time just flew. I’m staring at this strange old face, And someone else is in my place!

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Falling into Place

jellies, jams, and a cheers to summer's end

Sinkland Farms

Photos by Sinkland Farms Text by Nancy Moseley When the weather starts to cool and the leaves start to crisp, it can only mean one thing: autumn is among us. Forever hailed as the season of pigskins and pumpkins, by Labor Day we're looking forward to covering our suntan arms with long-sleeve shirts and emptying our bespeckled shoes of sand for good. Here in the New River Valley, we are fortunate to be able to watch the mountainside metamorphosis out our windows. But tucked alongside our windy roads is a variety of fall fun to keep us just as busy as the sunny days of summer.

Sinkland Farms Out Route 8 on the way to Riner, tucked inside the nooks of rolling hills, is the area's premier destination for the celebration of all-things-fall. Sinkland Farms has been hosting an annual pumpkin festival for 30 years, and each year it seems to get bigger and better. After a hugely successful inaugural Sunflower Festival (with more than 10,000 visitors), the farm will gear up for its signature event which will pull in upwards of 31,000 visitors. "There are 10 acres of pumpkins and 10 acres of 40

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sunflowers growing for our fall harvest. Sinkland Farms is one of the few pumpkin festivals that actually grows pumpkins, so you are able to select your 'great pumpkin' fresh, directly from the vines," states Susan Sink. Standard fall festival activities include hayrides, a corn maze, rescue horse rides, a giant slide and zip line, and, of course, picking out your very own pumpkin or knobby gourd. Specialty offerings that set the festival above the rest include blacksmith demonstrations, on-site professional photography, axe throwing, mechanical bull-riding and a rock-climbing wall. Kids can get their face painted and stroll through the animal barn while Mom and Dad enjoy local entertainment while sipping on craft beer. Local food vendors will keep you well fed and hydrated enough to tackle the corn maze more than once. This year the popular pig racing event will make a comeback. New this year, boogie to a scheduled performance by the Highty-Tighties, the Virginia Tech Corp of Cadets marching band. Expect several HokieBird sightings as well. For an exact schedule of events and to purchase tickets visit: sinklandfarms.com S ept/Oct 2021


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Doe Creek Farm

Wildwood Farms General Store Doe Creek Farm The bright red roof of Doe Creek Farm's main house is visible from U.S. Route 460 in Giles County, as it sits mid-mountain at 2,200 feet elevation, approximately 17 miles from Blacksburg. The farmhouse is now primarily a wedding and reception venue, but adjacent to the front yard is the farm's claim-to-fame apple orchard, spanning back over 100 years. Once a sizable commercial operation, the farm is now a pick-your-own orchard featuring dwarf trees, making it easy for the whole family to participate. The rows of picturesque apple trees are grown in limestone soil and are fed from a mountain spring. If New York pizza and bagels are famous because of the water, these apples can't be too far behind. "We're the only U-Pick apple orchard in the area. As well as fresh apples and products, our location and views are pretty spectacular. Customers take time to appreciate and enjoy where they are, whether they pick one apple or 100 pounds," offers owner Georgia Haverty, adding: "It’s great fun for parents to watch their children get so excited about picking their own apples."

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Your picked lot will be priced by the pound, and if you have funds leftover, consider purchasing a 1/2 gallon of freshly pressed cider, apple butter, apple syrup or apple jelly. Perhaps apples are giving the traditionally iconic pumpkin a run for its money. Also on the property is the relatively new restaurant, The Bad Apple (sensing a theme here). It has a prohibition-era feel with specialty cocktails, artisan dishes and occasional live music. It's best to frequently check their website for available varieties and hours: doecreekfarm. com/apples

Wildwood Farms General Store For a lower-key and more musically inclined way to celebrate the chill in the air, head out to Floyd County’s Wildwood Farms General Store. Every Saturday evening they feature outdoor live bluegrass music and the first and third Sundays throughout September and October they have music jams and cruise-in sessions, with the tagline, "All pickers welcome!" Wildwood Farms General Store is a Crooked Road music trail affiliated venue.

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Buffalo Mountain Brewery

Wildwood Farms is known for their incredible selection (over 600 varieties!) of daylilies, dug up fresh upon purchase or available for shipping. The general store is worth a breeze through, chock full of unique home decor, gift and garden accoutrement. For a schedule of bands visit: wildwoodfarmsdaylilies.com

Cheers! "I make the beer, but I'm no master," laughs Bill McDaniel, brew master at Buffalo Mountain Brewery and McDaniel's Tavern in Floyd. A striking majority of breweries, both craft and big business, start cooking up seasonal releases when the weather turns brisk. Along with the maddeningly popular pumpkin latte, we equally await the first sips of its kindred spirit (literally), pumpkin beer. Aptly titled, "Fall Equinox," McDaniel's autumn seasonal beer will be released to coincide with the brewery's fall festival (right after the actual equinox) on Sat., Sept. 25. The base beer is a full-bodied amber ale that is 6.5% ABV and has very little bitterness (25 IBUs), which is just enough hops to preserve the beer. And how to make it pumpkin? "I actually use butternut squash. You get more

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pumpkin flavor with butternut squash than Halloween pumpkin," he explains. He slices and bakes the squash with plenty of brown sugar, then takes the cooked meat, along with cinnamon, clove, ginger root, nutmeg and a little whole vanilla bean and hangs it in a bag (to avoid chunky beer) in the kettle during the boiling process. "It extracts all that pumpkin-y goodness," McDaniel says. When the beer no longer needs the squash mix, he donates it to a local baker to make pumpkin bread. This will be the fall favorite's 4th year and only four barrels will be brewed, which is approximately enough for 1,000 pints. Fall Equinox will sell out in a little over a month. "My blue ribbon is when I make a batch of beer and people love it and they can't get enough of it. I want people to come here because they've heard Buffalo Mountain Brewery has great beer," McDaniel concludes. For up-to-date information on Fall Equinox's release and the Buffalo Mountain Brewery Fall Festival visit: buffalomountainbrewery.com Nancy S. Moseley is a freelance writer from Blacksburg who, unabashedly, loves a good pumpkin beer. Pumpkin lattes, however, are just not her jam.

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Tribute to Sharon Scott As our seasons of life unfold, there are experiences to leave behind and new opportunities and adventures to embrace ahead. For Sharon Scott, her decade of comprehensive contributions to the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and business community is coming to a close. The three largest goals during her tenure in various positions, most recently as president and chief executive officer, have been realized:

• Pay off debt • Find a permanent location • Create a dues structure that reflects Chamber values All of these laudable ambitions and more have been achieved under Scott’s leadership and commitment to the business community. She has steadily navigated the oft-fluctuating economic climate, watching businesses grow and thrive, struggle and close, retire out, sell out and otherwise change business models. “Seeing the growth and understanding why people risk everything to start a business to serve our residents and communities has been the most rewarding aspect of this job,” she states. Across the last 10 years, programs for the Chamber have doubled. Henry Bass, 2021 Chamber board chair, reports that: “Opportunities to recognize and celebrate the business community have increased by 75%; communications have increased by 50%; networking opportunities have grown by 40%. We host two annual business conferences with more on the horizon and have made great strides in working with local, state and federal legislators to support the needs of the business community.” Scott has offered guidance and direction all along the way with her professional management style and willing evaluation of new ideas, suggestions and approaches to serving and maintaining a strong business environment. Her passion for the New River Valley is formidable, and she and her husband, John Tutle, have no plans to leave the region. The leadership position at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce is open and accepting applications. While Scott is not participating in the selection process, she plans to be on hand to assist the incoming person and the entire staff in any way she can for a streamlined transition. Thank you, Sharon Scott, for all your efforts on behalf of Montgomery County businesses and residents. Your time, energy, ingenuity, expertise and leadership savvy have been incredible assets which have rippled throughout and enhanced the prosperity of the New River Valley. 46

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D F O OR O G the

heart and soul

At the heart of our community is a group of diverse and amazing people. Seniors creating their own path to fulfillment after retirement. Our 220acre campus offers room to roam amidst lush woodlands as well as opportunities to connect socially and for recreation. The options are here and the choice is yours. Choose Warm Hearth Village, where you create a retirement that’s good for your heart and soul.

whv •

Warm Hearth Village

Living and Learning Together

retire.org • (540) 552-9176 A nonprofit retirement community offering a full-continuum of living options on our campus and in your home.