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NRV’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

New River Valley July/August 2017


‘56 Chris Craft



Search. See. Love. Find a place to hang your heart. Explore all homes on the

market today and leverage the insight of our agent network. Find your agent at


Darin Greear REALTOR®


Visit or download our mobile app today! 3601 Holiday Ln. Blacksburg, VA 24060 | 540.552.1010

Priscilla Morris REALTOR®


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



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Breast Augmentation and Lift, Tummy Tuck and Facial Rejuvenation Join Kurtis Moyer, M.D., chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Carilion Clinic, for a candid discussion about surgical options for restoring a more youthful appearance and increasing your confidence.

Wednesday, Sept. 20 | 5:30 p.m. The Inn at Virginia Tech & Skelton Conference Center 901 Prices Fork Road | Blacksburg, VA 24060 COSMETIC CENTER

There will be limited seating at this free event; register at

540-853-0510 |

BK Music

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Li f el o n g F i tn e s s 10 P i l at es/ Z u m b a 12


M y op i a 16


Wa l k i n g 18 A n i m al & A do pt i o n C e n te r 2 0 D r aper V i l l a g e 2 4 Ri des - ‘ 56 Ch r i s C r a f t 2 6 H ea d a c h e s 3 0 Mo u n t ai n 2 Is l a n d 3 2 Recipes 36 N RV H om e 3 8 Gat ew o o d Pa r k 4 2


Tr av el - Lew i s b u rg 4 4

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P rof i l e s 4 6




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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 Emily Alberts Jennifer Cooper Mike Wade PHOTOGRAPHERS Kristie Lea Photography Always and Forever Photography Tom Wallace Memories by Madison Photography

Amodeo Photography Nathan Cooke Photography

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Justin Ashwell Cover Photo by

Kristie Lea Photography © 2017 Country Media, Inc. Country Media, Inc. will not knowingly publish any advertisement that is illegal or misleading to its readers. Neither the advertiser nor Country Media, Inc. will be responsible or liable for misinformation, misprints, or typographical errors. The publisher assumes no financial liability for copy omissions by Country Media, Inc. other than the cost of the space occupied by the error. Corrections or cancellations to be made by an advertiser shall be received no later than 5 p.m. the 20th of each publishing month. No claim shall be allowed for errors not affecting the value of the advertisement. Paid advertising does not represent an endorsement by this publication. Content cannot be reproduced without written consent from Country Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Real Estate advertised in this publication is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.


I felt like a little kid again, walking up the driveway clutching my birthday present in one hand, wondering if I’d know anyone and what flavor the birthday cake would be. I haven’t met a cake I didn’t like, so that wasn’t much of a concern, and there were lots of people I know ... including the birthday girl, Kandy Davis, turning 90. We are Waffle House pals, enjoying morning talks over waffles and sausage. Two days later, I dropped in on an old neighbor (figuratively and literally). Her backyard is still an inviting wonderland of flowers, birds, bees and chipmunks. At 97, Ruth Payne is sharp as a tack. Some of the top scores at the Wednesday duplicate bridge game week after week come from Caryl Solomon (local Dr. Robert Solomon’s mother) and Mac Mahaney, both topping 90. These people are raising the bar on aging gracefully, that’s for sure. Ruth fusses that she can’t bounce out of bed, sprint outside and straighten a tomato plant that fell over in the night. She sprinkles her minor limitations with gratitude for staying in her own house and managing her property. She planned to undertake a condo building project last year, but the energy to do so eluded her. Imagine that! I’m not near 90, and I can’t fathom mustering up the energy to think about building condos. We share some chuckles and embrace the words of George Bernard Shaw: “You don’t stop laughing when

Photo by Madison Miller

you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” I think I’ll go read a joke book. And follow in the footsteps of these friends. Speaking of footsteps, Walter Widelo, featured in the Walking article herein, is an inspiration for the simplicity and value of walking. The story idea came from me seeing him walking along Patrick Henry Drive every Wednesday when I go to duplicate bridge. For a year. Every week. One day, I pulled over and asked him about it, noticing myself that he wasn’t as heavy as when I first saw him. You can read the rest of the story for yourself. The most fun part about horseback riding on the New River Trail out of Draper is riding to the Draper Mercantile for lunch. The kitchen staff is quick to bring a bucket of water for the horses, and it’s a real kick to chill on the patio with the ponies nearby. When I read about their new Draper Village Shoppes, Marketplace, Draper Blooms, Merc Farms and a church circa 1896 under renovation, I went down to see for myself. Even without a horse along, it was great fun. You can read the rest of that story, too. Have a beautiful summer. Visit an old person. Make raspberry sorbet. Enjoy lightning bugs. Cherish loved ones. Laugh often.

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor

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NRV H e al t h c ar e

Lifelong Fitness ~ Lifelong Friendships Text and Photos by Emily Kathleen Alberts


Let’s be honest, working out doesn’t feel like work when you’re surrounded by friends who share your fitness goals. Many of today’s fitness instructors have learned that while we are building strength, we are also building community. For example, CrossFit has built its program around offering members a friendly, supportive environment in which to achieve their fitness goals. People know one another by name and celebrate everyone’s victories and milestones. Hearing someone cheer your name as you attempt to PR a front squat can be the difference between hitting that PR and just falling short. On the flip side, a healthy level of competitiveness among patrons is never a bad thing. Trying to keep up with others has helped many run farther, climb higher and lift more than imagined. Like many adults, team sports were a big part of life growing up, and there’s a longing to recreate that camaraderie and competition. Though lots of folks want to exercise and work out, they are not truly fulfilled going to the gym or running around the neighborhood. Maybe they need a coach, or maybe a tribe. At 75 years old, Merle and Judy Pierson have built an amazing tribe of athletes who prove every day that fitness is not a fad, but a lifelong journey. No matter where you are in the journey there are others ready to walk (or run!) the path with you. Over the past 10 years, the Piersons have been teaching fitness classes throughout the New River Valley. Between the two of them, they teach 15 classes per week spread across the Blacksburg Recreation Center, Weight Club and Giles Wellness Center. The Body Flow fitness class that Judy teaches



at the Weight Club is a Les Mills program that blends Tai Chi, Pilates and yoga. “Memorizing the choreography is a mental as well as physical workout,” Judy laughs. The Les Mills International program is focused on the idea of being “One Tribe” of certified instructors with workouts licensed by 17,500 partners in 100 countries. Judy and Merle cherish the relationships they build with patrons, as well as those that clients enjoy with one another. “I love the people. The greatest joy is seeing friendships develop as people push themselves to be in better physical and functional condition,” says Merle. “They are able to optimize their quality of life on all fronts,” Judy adds. Her Healthy Backs fitness class for seniors at the Blacksburg Rec Center has been recommended by doctors and physical therapists who understand the tremendous value of the program. “We started this five years ago, and now we have up to 30 regular patrons – including one who is 90 years old and many who have had major surgeries such as knee, hip and shoulder replacements.” Merle also teaches at the Blacksburg Rec Center, and his Senior Strength Functional Fitness class incorporates balance, strength, flexibility and stamina. At the Weight Club, he teaches a Fundamental Fitness class for all ages which rotates through strength/balance, yoga/range of motion, and flexibility/core strength. At the Giles Wellness Center, he conducts the class Healthy Backs, as well as Yoga and Power Cut Strength. Members of the Weight Club would be hardpressed to find a reason not to take a fitness class. With more than 70 classes per week – most of them free for members

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At 75 years old, Merle and Judy Pierson have built an amazing tribe of athletes who prove every day that fitness is not a fad, but a lifelong journey.

-- there is something for everybody. In addition to the fitness courses, Merle and Judy go to the Weight Club’s Body Pump class three times a week, and Judy does Zumba and Body Flow. “It’s pure pleasure,” she says. “It energizes me to do what I do.” The Piersons have no shortage of energy. They live outside Newport in Giles County where they run a dairy goat farm and raise horses and have just added two border collies to the animal family. They stay busy scuba diving all over the world. As certified dive masters, they have been to the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Sea, the

Caribbean and even on an underwater archaeology expedition in Israel. “It was so exciting. We unearthed 1st century pottery and Israeli gold coins.” The New River is also a favorite scuba spot, and they love to go with their geologist friends who teach them about rock formations and tectonic fault lines. As underwater cave divers, the Piersons have been to the Cenotes in Mexico. “We’ve done cave mapping and been part of some pretty dangerous operations,” Merle relates. “We used to sit home and worry about the kids, and now they sit at home and worry about us!” Judy

chuckles. Married for 55 years, Merle and Judy prove that fitness is anything but boring. They are shining examples of the benefits of having a partner by your side for the fitness journey. Whether you find your “tribe” at CrossFit, or in a fitness class, or even on an underwater scuba adventure, know that while you’re busy building lifelong fitness, you are building lifelong friendships, too. Emily Kathleen Alberts is a Blacksburg-based freelance writer and regular contributor to New River Valley Magazine. She considers herself a fitness member in the local CrossFit tribe.

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NRV Fi t n e s s


The Powerhouse of Your Body

Pilates has a focus on the core which can basically be thought of as the “powerhouse” of your body -- all the muscles in the area between your shoulders and pelvis without your arms and legs. The essential, intrinsic core muscles are the Transverse Abdominus, Pelvic Floor and Multifidus muscles which participants learn to train as part of the Pilates method. Pilates develops much of what exercisers need — strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance and good posture — with a much lower chance of injury than other forms of exercise. The discipline emphasizes correct form instead of going for the burn. With so many exercise variations and progressions, dedicated workout enthusiasts have a hard time ever getting bored with Pilates. BENEFITS OF STOTT PILATES® • develops longer, leaner muscles for more freedom of movement • improves postural problems • increases core strength, stability and peripheral mobility • helps prevent injury • balances strength and flexibility • engages no-impact, easy on the joints • can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes • complements other methods of exercise • improves performance in sports like golf, tennis, skiing, skating, etc. • improves balance, coordination and circulation Contributed by Marianne Harman Blacksburg Pilates and Fitness Studio 540-641-1532 | 12


STOTT PILATES® is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Lindsay and Moira Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, physiotherapists and sports medicine and fitness professionals, spent more than two decades refining the STOTT PILATES® method of exercise and equipment. STOTT PILATES incorporates modern exercise principles and applies proven and accepted practices in biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. The exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and re-balance muscles around the joints. The Five Basic Principles form the foundation: • • • • •

Breathing Pelvic placement Rib cage placement Scapular movement Head and cervical spine placement


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Exercise in Disguise

We knew the day would come, the time to make some tough decisions. Talking about a

SENSITIVE SUBJECT can make for an awkward conversation, but it felt good to finally address it head-on. After the talk, the

TENSION EASED. Vielka Craig - Center

Beto Perez founded Zumba Fitness, LLC, in 2001 when he developed a blend of Latin and international rhythms and easy-to-follow choreography for a total body workout. His second innovation was to make each session more of a party than a drill, thus, it is sometimes known as “exercise in disguise”. The exciting workouts and intriguing music contribute to the interest. You can be a fitness beginner or an advanced fitness addict, a good dancer or a novice, overweight or just looking to stay in shape. You get the feeling of being part of a family with each class. In addition to the original ZUMBA® program, there are ZUMBA® specialty classes such as ZUMBA GOLD®. This is a series of fitness programs which take the exciting Latin and international dance rhythms to active older adults, beginner participants and other special populations that may need modifications for success. There are ZUMBA® and ZUMBA GOLD® programs all over the New River Valley, even in Narrows, a very small town where it can be hard to get locals in the same place at the same time. You might see three to five at a town meeting or a few more at a peewee football practice. Yet, instructor Vielka Craig leads a ZUMBA GOLD® class twice a week with attendance consistently around 20. The class features routines with long-term fitness benefits through exhilarating, high calorie-burning workouts, and simple dance moves increase the fun factor. In Vielka’s ZUMBA GOLD® environment, dance moves are individually adjusted for skill level or physical limitations, so you can learn different rhythms and styles and move like you want without judgment. A native of Panama and resident of Narrows, Vielka uses cueing to tell the class how many repetitions of a move are coming, and there is a system of warm-up and cool-down routines. Music changes frequently. The group feels connected and celebrates special events like the first ZUMBA GOLD® anniversary and the recent 70-plus year birthday for Miss Bobby Ratcliff. Contributed by: Mike Craig

Having discussed options for hospice care freed us from the stress of dealing with these emotional issues later in life. We had needed an experienced partner in that conversation. We’re so relived we found a good one. Good Sam. Great Talk.

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Sp e c ia l Ad v e r t i s i n g S e c t i i on

Dr. Bart Eastwood 540-552-7133

Blacksburg, Wytheville, Bluefield, and Pearisburg

Whatever your sport or orthopedic challenge, Dr. Bart Eastwood’s primary goal is to keep you from being sidelined. “I find it extremely rewarding to watch patients progress and go back to enjoying the things they love,” he often says. It’s that resultsoriented approach and his own love of sports that propelled him through the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University, then residency and fellowship training that included sports medicine at the University of Indiana and Purdue University, as well as working with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts.

From the shoulder to the foot and ankle and out to hands and wrists, joints and places in between, Dr. Eastwood can be your physician and partner in healing. He is skilled and experienced in hip, shoulder or ankle arthroscopy; total knee replacement; rotator cuff and labral repair; ACL and PCL injuries; hip impingement and fracture care. He serves as team physician for college and high school sports teams. Dr. Eastwood, D.O., is the experienced hand you need to advise you, guide you, help you and walk with you during the recovery and healing process.

Dr. Robert Schopf 540-552-7133

Blacksburg, Wytheville, Bluefield, and Pearisburg

Dr. Robert Schopf is one of those specialists who can empathize with your foot and ankle issues because it was a personal experience that launched his career. While training for the U.S. Army Special Forces Selection Course, he encountered foot problems for which he saw a multitude of doctors. A young podiatry resident diagnosed and treated him successfully, and Dr. Schopf set aside his civil engineering degree and a master’s degree in human resource management to attend Temple University’s School of Podiatric Medicine. All of Dr. Schopf’s education and experiences combine to provide you with the

unique advantage of a doctor with military discipline, an engineer who comprehends the value of a firm foundation, which for your vertical body is your foot, and a human resource guy who interacts with professional warmth to everyone. “I spent the early part of my life in the military serving my country, and I’ve taken that same dedication to serving my patients and my community,” he humbly says. This good doctor can probably name all 26 bones in your foot, and he knows about the 33 joints in the same foot. His objectives line up with yours: competent diagnosis, appropriate treatment, rehab and getting off the sideline as quickly as possible.

Dr. Richard L. Anthony, DDS

540-552-8870 I’m a 1998 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. After graduation, I served three years in the U.S. Navy. My first year was in San Diego, California as a resident in the Advanced Education in General Dentistry program. Upon completion, I was assigned to the USS Frank Cable in Guam. While stationed in Guam, my wife and I traveled to Japan, Singapore, Korea, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. After dental school, three years of Navy life, and a lot of traveling, my wife and 14


200 Professional Par Dr. Blacksburg I decided it was time to settle down. We chose Blacksburg because of the college town atmosphere, the excellent school system, and the beauty of the area. We now have two wonderful girls who keep us very busy. As a dentist, I believe in providing excellent care to every patient. We treat the entire family and perform a full range of dental services. If you have any questions please call 552-8870 and talk to any member of my friendly and knowledgeable staff. Please visit our website to learn more about our office.

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S p e c i a l A d ve rtising Se ctiio n

Virginia Vein Institute

Dr. Frank Purpera, MD

1901 South Main Street, Suite 2 Blacksburg, VA 24060 Phone (540) 552-VEIN

Some 50 million Americans suffer with the discomfort and unsightly effects of vascular conditions. Varicose veins are often accompanied by an achy or heavy feeling in the legs, along with muscle cramping, swelling, throbbing or burning sensations. These veins can be swollen, twisted and painful for having filled with too much blood. Spider veins are thinner and appear on the face as well as legs and thighs. Pain can render someone unable to walk comfortably, which can complicate other health issues and leisure activities. New River Valley residents with vein conditions are especially fortunate to have the stellar Virginia Vein Institute in the area. Under the leadership and direction of Dr. Frank Purpera, this practice is dedicated to the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins with state-of-the-art methods and equipment. Personalized care and maximum comfort and safety are the hallmarks of the business. Current, contemporary, FDA-approved methods of treatment are employed in the Blacksburg office, and most procedures are covered by the majority of insurance carriers, including Medicare and Medicaid. Highly-trained and skilled staff members assist patients with all facets of prep, recovery and paperwork. Most approaches utilize least invasive methods with local anesthesia. Dr. Frank Purpera has received accolades for both his skills and compassion and is an active member of several prestigious organizations: • • • • • • • • •

Top Surgeon, two consecutive years, Consumers Research Council Guide to America’s Top Surgeons Top Bedside Manner, 3 consecutive years, Virginia’s Our Health Magazine Board-certified, American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine Registered Phlebology Sonographer, certified by Cardiovascular Credentialing International Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery certificate American Medical Association American Venous Forum American College of Phlebology American College of Surgeons

Hailing from Louisiana, Dr. Purpera graduated from the University of Louisiana and pursued his medical education at the University of Cambridge’s highly esteemed School of Clinical Medicine in England. He is licensed to practice in multiple U.S. states.

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NRV H e al t h

Myopia and New Control Treatments

By Dr. Steve Jacobs

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is more than having to wear glasses to see things clearly far away. It is a lifestyle disease that has increased in prevalence by 60 percent in the U.S. over the past 40 years and is projected to affect one half of the world’s population by 2050. This epidemic has far-reaching consequences, as myopia, particularly higher levels, is associated with a range of serious eye diseases later in life. Environmental and genetic factors both play a role. Having two nearsighted parents increases risk six times versus if neither is, and more highly myopic parents are likely to have more highly myopic children. Long periods of time spent indoors has a big impact, too. The huge increase in electronic device use is closely associated with an ever-larger nearsighted population. There is hope, however. Fascinating recent research suggests that the more time young children spend outdoors before they become nearsighted, the more the condition can be delayed. Once nearsightedness 16


begins, the evidence is less clear that outside time can slow things down, but it’s still beneficial in many other ways. Numerous studies over the past decade have confirmed and clarified three methods to reduce myopia progression in children. Each year brings better understanding and suggestions of even newer approaches. Two treatments are optical, and the third is pharmaceutical. Each one demonstrates 40 percent or greater slowing of myopia. Atropine drops were first used for this purpose more than 100 years ago. The side effects of increased light sensitivity and decreased near focusing make this an unpopular choice. New evidence indicates drastically lower amounts may be comparably effective with insignificant side effects, leading to a surge of current interest. One drop in each eye at bedtime also makes this a simple treatment to follow. The way light focuses in the periphery of the back of the eye is believed to influence signals for the eye to grow and become more myopic or

not. Glasses and traditional contact lenses focus light in a way that results in a “grow” signal. Specially designed soft lenses alter this and have been shown effective in slowing myopia. Another technique with significant clinical and experimental support, called orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, uses rigid lenses and molds to achieve this. Sleeping with the molds overnight changes the front shape through the next day. This allows clear daytime vision without glasses or contact lenses, making it an excellent choice for young, active children. Ortho-K is effective and convenient for adults, but its ability to put the brakes on childhood myopia is what really makes it shine in my mind! It’s exciting news! Myopia can be controlled! Dr. Jacobs is an accomplished Blacksburg optometrist and local philanthropist. His business, Drs. Jacobs & Diaz Optometrists, has been a fixture at 620 N. Main St. in Blacksburg for 27 years.

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NRV H e al t h

Walking for a Healthy Life Text by Sheila Nelson Photos by Kristie Lea Photography

Walter Widelo Walking is one of the best exercises there is because it – • • • • • • • • • • • • •

is free can be done just about anywhere is easy on the joints improves circulation decreases bone loss leads to a longer life lightens mood can contribute to weight loss strengthens muscles improves sleep supports joints improves breathing lowers risk of dementia.

What’s not to like about that list? Kenneth Gray, M.D., is an NRV orthopedic surgeon who concurs: “Walking is great exercise. As we age, 18


low impact exercise is very important to reap the benefits of exercise while minimizing detrimental effects on joints. The more ‘jarring’ the exercise, the harder it can be on the joints. Also, we burn off almost as many calories walking at a brisk pace as running at a mild to moderate pace (per miles traversed, not time spent). We also get the benefit of weight bearing exercise on our lower body, which is important for protecting bone mineral density and avoiding osteopenia, osteoporosis and fractures. Anyone driving on Patrick Henry Drive in Blacksburg over the lunch hour may very well notice Walter Widelo walking solo or with a colleague. He began walking on a consistent basis in January of 2016; at 49, he wanted to lose some weight. Just six months later, he had lost 72 pounds. He maintains

his current weight of 184 pounds with walking. “I feel better mentally and physically every time I walk,” he explains. “Walking seems to be a natural fit for my lifestyle.” Besides the weight loss, walking has given him additional health benefits. He has stopped snoring, his acid reflux went away, and his back quit hurting. When he finds himself stuck on a problem in his job as controller at Moog, Inc., taking a walk helps generate his best ideas. The only slightly negative impact of his walking is that he goes through tennis shoes more often! “Recently I heard somewhere that ‘Sitting is the new Smoking,’” relates cardiologist Ajaykumar Acharya, M.D. “I have a physician friend who tells his patients that the most deadly thing in their houses is the couch in front of the

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TV. The best advice is: Walk, Walk, Walk!” He recommends walking 1.5 to two miles at least four days a week, and his personal motto might be: “A mile a day keeps the doctor away!” “Walking is good for the body, mind and soul,” states Dr. Knotreshia Stewart. “Walking helps get the heart rate up, gives us time to think through situations in life, provides quiet time and increases energy.” Unless the weather is bad or he has a conflict with work or family activity, Widelo walks every day he is at work. When he cannot walk outdoors, which he prefers, he walks on a treadmill. His 2.3 mile lunch route is the same unless the sidewalks have snow, and he uses an alternative “snow route.” After work, he often walks another five or six miles. He walks 15-minute miles or 4 mph, which he considers walking with purpose. He not only receives encouragement from co-workers, but his children also tell him how proud they are of his walking routine. “I want to continue walking for the rest of my life,” Widelo reveals. “This is the best way to maintain my healthy lifestyle. I believe you have to stick to any exercise program to get long-lasting benefit.” And for him, the proof is in the pudding.

Tips for Starting Your Walking Routine           

Get a complete physical Find a flat, easy surface to walk on Buy well-fitting walking shoes Wear loose clothing Carry your cell phone Have a hat for sun protection Dress in layers Buy nice walking socks Consider taking a hip water bottle Look online for tips on walking posture Include a 5-minute warm up and cool down period

Fun Facts • Walking burns about 100 calories per mile [for a 160 pound person] • Racewalking has been an official Olympic sport more than 90 years • Longest walk around the world took 11 years, 46,600 miles, 64 countries • If you’re thinking FitBit, 6,000 steps per day for health; 10,000 steps to lose weight • 20 minutes = roughly 2,000 steps = roughly one mile

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NRV Pr o fi l e

Doggie Doors, Kitty Catios and So Much More

By Joanne M. Anderson Photos courtesy of Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center It’s out with the old and in with the new at the recently opened, $3.7 million Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center. This is definitely not your mother’s dog pound, and it’s more definitely not the cramped, dingy accommodations of yesteryear’s ancient low-slung building. This bright, friendly, warm, spacious environment was designed by the architectural firm Thompson & Litton, based in Southwest Virginia, along with Shelter Planners of America, which specializes in innovative animal shelters. Friends of Animal Care and Control, a 20


non-profit group of local NRV volunteers, contributed ideas as well. From groundbreaking in December of 2015 to grand opening the end of April, 2017, the thoughtful plans on a five-acre parcel in front of the old building took shape. “The number of dogs almost more than doubled to 68, and for the first time, cat accommodations are available,” states Eileen Mahan, director and former animal control officer. Doggie suites include a slightly raised bed with a blanket, door to the outside and automatic water bowls. Light tan painted concrete floors and masonry walls contribute to ease of

cleaning, but the state-of-the-art, push button cleaning mechanism with hoses plumbed to a master control room facilitates the process. Factor in nonbleach-based cleansers, and this is one safe, clean, odor-free space. A private bathing/grooming room, visiting quarters, surgical suite for the future, quarantine area and two wings separating dogs for adoption from those yet being processed are part of the 12,300 interior square feet. A meeting room (available for rent) with a butler’s pantry and outside entrance can be completely secure from the main building. The

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reception and waiting area is bright and welcoming. Volunteers have lockers, and administrative staff occupies offices and has a break room and kitchen. Two large cat lodging rooms sport boxes and beds, cubbies and climbing posts enjoyed by cats and kittens of all ages which have been surrendered. “Feral and stray cats are not taken in here,” Mahan relates. “Adoption cat condos are all plastic with special air filtration in adjacent litter rooms, and kitty catios (think: patios) offer space for fresh air, sunshine and time in the great outdoors.” “One thing we always want people to understand is that no amount of help is too small - from donating a cat toy picked up at a dollar store, spending an hour playing with a cat or walking a dog, dropping off a bag of Purina brand dry food or even a package of paper towels,” explains Mahan. “About half of the operating budget is contingent upon donations and grants.” While attractive for its red shingles, lower rock exterior and horizontal siding, the new Animal Care and Adoption Center is not anywhere that a pup or kitty wants to call home. Nearly 200 vetted volunteers work the front desk, help with cleaning and laundry and walk, brush and spend time with the animals while each one eagerly awaits his or her owner [previous or new] to arrive, spring them out and take them home. If you have space in your heart and home for a pet, check out these special ones first.

Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center Mon-Fri., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sat-Sun., 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. 480 Cinnabar Road, Christiansburg Friends of Animal Care and Control

Donations and Wish List

Monetary donations comprise nearly half of the annual budget, and the wish list of in-kind donations includes:  Purina dry dog and cat food  Canned cat, kitten and puppy food  Soft dog treats  Kong dog toys  Nylabones  Gently used, clean, scratching posts and towers  Cat toys  Kitty litter  Cleaning supplies like laundry detergent, disinfectant wipes, paper towels, dish soap and scrub brushes

The Rehab CenTeR aT RiChfield Your Bridge To Home

OUR PEOPLE AND FACILITIES ARE THE GOLD STANDARD The caring, knowledgeable staff at our Rehab Center brings years of experience to helping you achieve your goals. Our outcome-driven services are designed to make you stronger and more active. And while here, you’ll enjoy amenities such as private room and bath, meals made to order, WiFi, and flat screen TV. Everything we do is designed to return you to where you most want to be – home. 2017 Gold Award for Best Rehab/ Post-Op Facility



• Best Retirement • Best Rehabilitation • Best Apartment Community • Best Place To Work 3719 Knollridge Rd • Salem, VA • 540.380.4500

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more comfort, less energy We provide solutions for: year-round comfort energy & cost savings indoor air quality durability sustainability

Energy Check

health • comfort • safety • energy efficiency

Make Your Home the Best It Can Be! 540-443-9966 •

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Destination: Draper Village

Text by Joanne M. Anderson Photos courtesy of Draper Mercantile From a river rental cabin and then a few more river rental cabins to reviving an old mercantile building and developing multiple food, art and shopping venues, music, recreation and fine dining events, Bill and Debbie Gardner have embraced a vision which has put Draper on the map as an attractive, multi-faceted destination. Draper Chapel, the former Draper Christian Church built in 1896, is now under renovation for weddings and special events. Their mission is clear: Sustaining heritage, heart and soul in Southwest Virginia. The long version is: The Draper Mercantile creates

positive ways of coming together through food, art, music or the outdoors. There’s something about the energy here that evokes a sense of belonging. This old building has a way of speaking to what inspires us.

July 14 and 15 ~ “Summer Steak Dinner” ... Celebrating the inner rebel in all of us.

Among the ongoing expansion and new activities are the Chef’s Table fivecourse dinners with a “Soulful Summer” theme. Chef T matches exquisite cuisine with creative music and innovative beverages. Dinner is $65 per person with option of adding wine pairings for $20. Reservations required. 540-994-5669.

July 28 and 29 ~ “Under the Tuscany Sun” ... The Roman Players celebrate the artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in 18th century Europe.

July 21 and 22 ~ “The Beverly Hillbillies Appalachian Dinner” ... Live music with this unique dining experience.

August ~ Check details at drapermerc. com.

You’ll always receive our best, and that’s a promise. NRV MAGAZINE 1 244248_SNB_Branding_16x3.05_Color_NRV_Ad-rev.indd

Jul y/Aug 2017

Shopping might be embedded in the top 10 national pastimes, and the newly named Draper Mercantile Village offers an abundance of necessities, gifts, treats and surprises for everyone. • The Junction Bike Shop has everything you need to ride, repair, outfit your bike and yourself, plus bike rentals and maps, ball caps and more. • Draper Blooms is the garden and holiday shoppe with accessories as well as plants, ornaments and decorative pieces.

• The Marketplace features local honey, nice wine and beer, kitchen accessories, canned goods and seasonal produce from Merc Farms. • The Village Shoppes have special gifts for everyone, regional art, fun and unusual merchandise, home accessories, baby and children’s well-respected toys. • Merc Farms contribute locallygrown produce, herbs and fresh eggs from happy chickens which can freely roam. • Blue Door Café and Bakery

serves lunch Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday brunch, plus Friday and Saturday supper for which reservations are requested. Local and organic ingredients and made-from-scratch food fare. Closed Mondays. • New River Retreat, oh yes, you can still rent a cabin along the New River Trail, on Claytor Lake or overlooking the New River.

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6/19/17 12:38 2 PM 5

NRV R i de s

The Virginian

A Classic Wooden Speedboat from The Golden Age

Text by Emily Kathleen Alberts | Photos by Kristie Lea Photography Virginia native Jim Williamson is no stranger to the water. Born in Radford, his mother took him to Claytor Lake often. “I’ve been water skiing since I was 7,” he says. “Just about every month we’d come to the lake, even in the dead of winter.” The water craft of choice on cold days was the jet ski, since it was the quickest vessel to winterize. “Just add a little anti-freeze and you’re good to go,” he recalls. “It’s great to 26


slalom behind a jet ski because it doesn’t produce a huge wake.” Williamson is a self-proclaimed boating fanatic. He owns six boats: a Mastercraft professional ski boat, a Mobjack sail boat, a Polaris jet ski, a Carolina Skiff fishing boat, an older boat he bought to use the motor and trailer for the wooden boat he is building, and his beloved 1956 Chris Craft Sportsman, aptly named “The

Virginian.” This flame red beauty was originally called the “Woo Baby,” and she turns heads wherever she goes. One of a couple thousand ever made, she was sold to a marina in New York not long after rolling out of the Chris Craft factory doors in Cadillac, Mich., 61 years ago. He doesn’t know how she made it to Lexington, N.C., but that’s where he purchased his dream

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boat three years ago. He eyeballed the North Carolina craigslist posting more than two years until he had the money, and she was still available. The 17-footer has a Tango Red interior and is built entirely of mahogany planking. She is powered by a Hercules 95 horsepower flat head 6 cylinder with a single, Zenith one barrel updraft carburetor. “She will run about 30 miles per hour, which was pretty fast for a boat in 1956,” Williamson boasts. Although Williamson didn’t build the boat, he knows a thing or two about boatmaking. He is a two-time graduate of WoodenBoat School’s two-week course in boat design and restoration on the coast of Maine. “I like to buy things on the cheap and fix ‘em up myself,” he reveals. “It’s more of a challenge and can be exciting, too.” When he bought the Chris Craft classic, he loaded her on the back of his truck and drove -without stopping -- straight to Claytor Lake and put her in the water. “I just couldn’t wait!” he says, smiling from beneath the brim of his vintage white captain’s hat. “Every time I looked at pictures of guys driving these old speedboats, they were wearing a captain’s hat, so I had to get one. Funny thing is, I probably get more comments on the hat than the boat!” He added an American Yachting Flag to the stern, as well as a traditional light and pole to the bow. The Chris Craft factory has helped him get aftermarket and refurbished parts. The Marine Museum has allowed him to look at the original parts list and wiring diagrams. Williamson probably has the boat looking better now than the day it rolled off the showroom floor. “One of the things I find interesting is the hull being made of mahogany planks. Wood swells as it takes on moisture and contracts when it dries out, so all wooden boats of this time came from the factory with a ‘soak bottom’.” Fiberglass was not used in boat construction until the mid60s, so if a boat from this era has been out of the water for a long period (i.e. winter

“One of the things I find interesting is the hull being made of mahogany planks. Wood swells as it takes on moisture and contracts when it dries out, so all wooden boats of this time came from the factory with a ‘soak bottom’.”

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layup), its planking has lost moisture and contracted -- leaving gaps in the hull sometimes 1/8” wide. “When you put it in the water for the first time in the spring, it leaks like crazy. You better have a good bilge pump or the boat will sink. After a few days in the water the wood swells and the gaps close.” As Williamson pulls the boat back into the harbor, he tells us about his “Lake Shack” down the road and his favorite local hangout, the “Rock House.” He is enjoying life as the faithful captain of The Virginian, 28


and has many more adventures up his sleeve. “I’d like to travel all of the Intercoastal Waterway in Maryland, Virginia, North and South Carolina,” he says. The Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway runs from Boston to Key West. If you’re interested in seeing The Virginian on the water, check out the 1981 movie On Golden Pond with Henry Fonda. “My boat and the boat in the movie are similar. Both are Chris Craft Sportsman Utilities; mine is a 1956 17-footer and the one in the film (Thayer IV) is a 1950 22-footer.

The boat was built so well that when they tried to crash it into the rock for the movie, it bounced off with hardly a scratch! They had to rebuild the front with plywood to make the scene work,” Williamson laughs. The Virginian is certainly an NRV Ride to be proud of, and after all these years, she has found her true captain. Emily Kathleen Alberts is a regular contributor to New River Valley Magazine who thoroughly enjoyed her spin on the water in The Virginian to capture this story.

Jul y/Aug 2017

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Oh My Aching

Head… By Jennifer Poff Cooper

Trips to the emergency room. Hours in a dark bedroom. Nagging pain that ruins your day. Most everyone has gotten headaches at one time or another, though the duration, severity and causes may be different. There are several kinds of headaches, and knowing which type you have can help with successful treatment.

Migraine Headaches Almost 40 million people in the United States suffer from migraines, potentially debilitating headaches that are still widely misunderstood. Migraines can run in families. They typically last between four and 72 hours and are characterized by:    

one-sided pain throbbing pain moderate-to-severe pain pain that interferes with, is worsened by or prohibits routine activities.

Other neurological symptoms can arise as well:  visual disturbances  nausea  dizziness  extreme sensitivity to sound, light and touch. 30


Tension Headaches These most common of headaches feel like a constant ache or pressure around the head, especially at the temples or back of the head and neck. Not as severe as migraines, they don’t usually cause nausea or vomiting, and they rarely halt daily activities. Over-the-counter treatments such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol) are often sufficient to treat them.

Cluster Headaches Affecting more men than women, the cluster variety is a recurring headache that occurs in groups or cycles. They appear suddenly and are characterized by severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head and are often accompanied by a watery eye and nasal congestion or runny nose on the same side of the face. People often feel restless and unable to get comfortable; they are unlikely to lie down, as someone with a migraine might. There is no cure, but medication can cut the frequency and duration.

Sinus Infection When a sinus becomes inflamed, often due to an infection, it can cause head pain that

is especially severe when bending over or lowering the head. It usually comes with a fever and can be diagnosed by symptoms or the presence of pus viewed through a fiber-optic scope. Headaches due to sinus infection can be treated with antibiotics, as well as antihistamines or decongestants. Overuse of painkillers for headaches can, ironically, lead to rebound headaches. Culprits include over-the-counter medications like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), as well as prescription drugs. To avoid rebound headaches, doctors recommend that medication be used only a couple of days per week. “One cause of headaches can be low blood sugar or hypoglycemia,” explains Sarah Broomell, R.N. “Blood sugar drops during the night, and protein is needed at breakfast to restore it. Skipping breakfast altogether can cause headaches. When someone gets a headache, even in the afternoon, I ask when is the last time he or she ate protein.” Note that blood sugar levels and hypoglycemia have nothing to do with sugar, but everything to do with protein. Alternative remedies like acupuncture, biofeedback and massage may also work to treat headaches. Mind-

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body medicine such as yoga or deep breathing can also be effective. For extreme sufferers, prophylactic Botox injections may be indicated for relief. Dr. Mark Hundley, a Christiansburg chiropractor, says he entered the chiropractic field because of his headaches and his hope to help others with the same condition. In his practice, he successfully treats headaches caused by muscle tension with manipulation and electrical stimulation therapy. To address sharp pain, he recommends application of ice, as one of the goals with headache relief is to reduce inflammation. Dr. Hundley says that other remedies include herbal supplements such as feverfew as well as B vitamins. The intractable nature of headaches is illustrated by the story of Blacksburg’s Laurie Bianchi. For years she got headaches 10 out of every 15 days of the month. “I could function but it was pretty miserable,” she says. Medications just were not cutting it. Bianchi’s sister-in-law, who is a nurse practitioner, recommended allergy pills and a neti pot, a system which flushes the sinuses. Additionally, Bianchi’s nephew, who is a physician, suggested evaluation for sleep apnea, and the diagnosis was positive. Now Bianchi uses a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine at night and has quit having headaches. “I’m a different person. My quality of life is so much better.” Headache sufferers’ myriad experiences mean doctors may not immediately know the remedy that fits every situation. Some physicians recommend keeping a headache diary to try to spot patterns so that patients can figure out what to avoid. Sufferers must dig deep medically to find the source and thus the solution to their headaches. “You really have to advocate for yourself,” Bianchi says. So don’t suffer in silence. Persevere to find the right solution.

Pearis Mercantile

540-921-2260 | 200 N. Main St. ~ Pearisburg

Jennifer Poff Cooper is a Christiansburg-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to New River Valley Magazine. Among the most common causes of headaches, according to one retired physician in the New River Valley and, are: • Hormonal changes in women, including childbirth • Food additives such as MSG • Drinks, especially wine and highly caffeinated beverages • Stress, anxiety, tension and apprehension • Foods such as aged cheeses and salty items • Skipping meals • Sensory stimuli like bright lights, loud sounds and strong smells • Changes in the weather, particularly barometric pressure • Medications such as oral contraceptives • Dehydration • High blood pressure • Changes in sleep patterns • Vision problems, particularly in children • Glaucoma • Allergies and sinusitis

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NRV E n t r e pr e n e u r

Come Get Away

with Mountain 2 Island Paddleboard Company

Text by Emily Kathleen Alberts Photos by Kristie Lea Photography When you walk through the doors of Mountain 2 Island Paddleboard Company, you enter an island state of mind. The sweet aroma of coconut fills the air and reggae music plays softly from the behind the desk of this “irie” little seafoam green surf shack. Whether you are there to pick up a Duffy Boat for the day or just renting a stand up paddleboard (SUP) for a sunset paddle, you instantly switch into vacation mode. Mountain 2 Island is owned and operated by Virginia native, Michael Valach. Longing to capture the feeling of enjoying life on a permanent holiday, Valach decided that the time had come to combine his passion for paddleboarding with his experience in the world of 32


adventure sports. After 30 years working in the ski and resort industries, Valach had honed his expertise managing recreation programs and overseeing guest operations. The knowledge gave him the confidence he needed to take the plunge and launch his own business in 2015. Since he grew up on Claytor Lake, coming back home was a natural choice. He was able to understand the market here quickly and form partnerships with Blacksburg businesses. Valach’s passion for stand up paddleboarding is contagious. “I try to paddle every month, but I’ll be honest, February is definitely the hardest month to get in a paddle session!” he laughs. He competes in about 10 Mid-Atlantic

races per year as a recreational paddler including finishing the Chattajack 31mile paddleboard race in 2013, 2014 and 2015. This guy definitely hit the jack pot when it came to setting up company headquarters. A waterfront location on the lower level of the Claytor Lake Marina building near the docks is the perfect spot. With a cove right outside the front door, he and his staff are able to teach all kinds of classes – beginner paddlers, children, even pets are welcome to climb aboard an SUP and get comfortable on the water. If you are looking for a more rigorous activity, Mountain 2 Island regularly hosts fitness classes such as SUP yoga through In Balance studio.

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Eight different brands of SUPs are stocked -- everything from racing to fishing, to touring, and even inflatable SUPs for convenient transportation. For those who want to go fast and get more of a leg workout, they boast the new Hobie Mirage Eclipse Stand Up Pedalboard (you know, the one that works like a Stairmaster). Finally, the mother of all paddleboards -- a sixperson SUP -- is perched against the dock just waiting for its crew. For folks looking to purchase their own SUP, Mountain 2 Island can guide you through the process and let you try out many different boards to can find the perfect fit for your comfort and style. Aside from SUPs, they offer daily, weekend and weekly kayak and canoe rentals, pontoon boat rentals, and even Duffy electric boat rentals. Duffy boats allow you to relax and take in the scenery. Clocking in at about 7 mph, they are a great way to spend a peaceful day on the water and will last about five hours. Free lakeside delivery and pick up is definitely a perk. “The transport service is well-received,” Valach says. Transport can be an issue for those vacationing on the lake without the means to haul a kayak or other water craft back and forth to their lake house. “Boats 2 You” is another service, delivering boat rentals to guests staying at Claytor Lake. The next time you feel the urge to get away, even just for an hour or two, Mountain 2 Island can help you get there. Grab your friends and climb aboard the “Black Pearl” Pontoon Boat, or head to the lake after 5 p.m. on Wednesdays for the Weekly Social Paddle for $10. Dog lovers, be sure to get out and “SUP with your PUP” on pet-friendly, non-slip SUPs. There are tons of new experiences waiting for you this summer and fall at Mountain 2 Island, and you don’t have to go very far to feel like you are very far away. Also find us on Facebook!

“Our mission is to spread the passion and love for the sport of Stand Up Paddleboard from the mountains to the islands and everywhere in between.” - Michael Valach Daily 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m.



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Life is



making you happy


220 Laurel Street NE

Meet the Artist

Gallery Open House August 26-27

Saturday 11-4 pm, Sunday 12-3 pm

The Lodge at Crooked River

223 Gilbert Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060 (540) 552-6446

Validated Parking available at the North End Center Garage

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NR V F o od F a re

Healthy, Delicious, It’s berry picking season, and berries that consistently top healthy food lists are plentiful in the New River Valley - raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Each one is not only loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, but also rich in antioxidants and low in calories. Picking berries, eating them, freezing some, making jam and using them in all kinds of cool summer treats provides fun for the whole family, which is part of the delight of summertime ~ doing things everyone can enjoy!

Summer Strawberry Jam

Compiled by Joanne M. Anderson

easy for kids to make and enjoy, nice new neighbor gift 1 pound strawberries 1 cup sugar grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon pinch of salt Wash, stem, chop strawberries. In medium sauce pan, combine everything and let sit for 15 minutes. Crush berries in pan with potato masher or wooden spoon. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring frequently while mixture foams, then foam subsides and jam becomes dark and thick. Cook about 20 minutes to 220ºF. Transfer to lidded jar and refrigerate for a month or freeze up to a year. ~ Courtesy of Kroger mymagazineTM

Easy Raspberry Sorbet you don’t need an ice cream maker to pull this off • • • • •

about 5 cups of fresh raspberries 1 cup water 1½ cups sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1-2 Tbl. of fresh lemon juice

1. Add water and raspberries to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. 2. Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Add pureed raspberries 1/4 at a time and press with back of a large spoon or rubber spatula through strainer to remove the seeds. Repeat with remaining raspberry puree. Discard anything left in the strainer. 3. Add sugar, vanilla and lemon juice to raspberry juice in the bowl. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. 4. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions OR serve immediately for a soft-serve dessert OR transfer to a shallow container and freeze an additional 1-2 hours for a more firm sorbet.



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Abundant Berries The Best Blueberry Muffins

(yield 22-24 muffins) all muffins are best when mixed by hand, not electric mixer 4 cups flour 1 cup sugar 6 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt 1 lemon 2 cups fresh blueberries 1 1/2 cups milk 2/3 cup oil 2 eggs Mix dry ingredients, grating lemon rind into mixture. Mix milk, oil and eggs together, then blend with dry ingredients, stirring only until combined. Fold in blueberries, washed and blotted with paper towels. Fill muffin cups 1/2 way. Bake at 375ยบ or 400ยบ, 15-20 minutes.

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NRV Ho me

Splendid Stay-cation

Text by Jennifer Poff Cooper Photos by Always and Forever Photography As small business owners, Paul and Debbie Ewing rarely get an opportunity to take a vacation. And why would they want to? The Ewings recently remodeled the kitchen of their ‘70s-era split-level house and added luxurious outdoor features, making the home an oasis in the middle of Blacksburg. Fifteen years ago, the Ewings, who own Ewing Building & Remodeling and Ewing Cabinet Company, demolished their old kitchen by moving walls and enclosed a porch to make it a sunroom. This time, though, there were no structural changes. The design evolved over a couple 38


of years as Edith-Anne Duncan, Interior Designer, sent Debbie to various websites and the Ewings’ own staff designer, Sara Jones, sent her places to look at ideas. Debbie started a file which bolstered her vision. The homeowners undertook this remodel because the previous layout was not as conducive to grandchildren as the new open plan. The couple also wanted to showcase their own companies’ offerings and construction ability, as well as their partner suppliers’ wares. While Paul was able to tell Debbie what was possible building-wise, the downside to being in

the business was that the remodel took longer since their clients’ needs always came first. They were also willing to wait on certain things like a particular floor installer they wanted to employ. The project consumed three months, during which time they used kitchen electrics in their basement playroom and used the opportunity to frequent favorite local restaurants. Several innovative features grace the revamped Ewing kitchen. “A new seamless cabinet door style on the upper cabinets uses medium density fiberboard [known as MDF], which is a great option

Jul y/Aug 2017

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for painted cabinets,” says Paul. “It is less expensive and more durable than traditional cabinetry.” A specialized coffee center is hidden behind cabinets to keep the countertops clear and still provide easy access. Pop-up stands for the mixer and food processor make food preparation a cinch. Debbie’s baking area uses her old portable butcher block island, which is a lower height on which she is accustomed working. While most items are behind cabinets, there is convenient open shelving for the dishes they use every day. Sara emphasizes the importance of “measure, measure, measure” since they kept everything to the footprint of 40


the existing kitchen. “As a result of Sara and Paul’s careful planning,” Debbie explains, “there were no ‘gotchas’ or nasty surprises.” Some items were repurposed during the remodel. Older black cabinets became a bar area, and a dessert bar uses a previous drawer base. Edith-Anne had the back interior walls of Debbie’s china cabinet painted green to make the china pop. The Ewings sold the rest of the cabinets along with countertops and old appliances. “Lighting was a big change, too,” Edith-Anne states. “Polished nickel is timeless and classic, but sophisticated and casual. We wanted the space to be approachable and refined at the same time.”

The genesis of the decorating scheme was stained glass that Debbie already owned. She wanted to pull out the colors blue, green and yellow plus use crisp white. These colors continued into the sunroom, with Edith-Anne using Sunbrella® fabrics to withstand wear and tear. “Details added up,” says Edith-Anne. For example, she used the same polo blue on furniture legs in the sunroom that is on the base cabinets in the kitchen. Trendy shiplap board was installed on the kitchen walls and carried through to the sunroom. At Edith-Anne’s suggestion, Debbie has three wipe-off vinyl-topped stools at the kitchen island to accommodate her three

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granddaughters who like to help her cook. Edith-Anne also created a banquette in the sunroom that uses the same surface as the kitchen countertop and provides additional, flexible seating. Debbie says that the couple might host up to 40 people at Thanksgiving, as well as neighborhood parties, family reunions and client dinners. Outside, the Ewings had built a deck 15 years ago to have an outdoor place to sit after their porch became the

sunroom. They included another outdoor seating area built around Debbie’s garden shed. More recently, the couple added a swimming pool, which fits perfectly onto their large lot and is a hit with the grandchildren. The sunroom colors tie together with the loungers and towels Debbie uses on the pool deck. There is a covered living space that leads to the patio and pool. Debbie finished the area with a fish water feature and a trellis to cover the electric boxes. Paul notes that it is best to use

professional designers. “In addition to doing things right, they come up with changes you would not necessarily think of,” he says – like Edith-Anne telling Debbie to think outside the box. “It may not be the cheapest way to go, but it is the smart approach.” Debbie is thrilled that the team of Paul, Sara and Edith-Anne helped with her dream kitchen. “I wouldn’t change a thing,” she smiles. High praise, indeed. Jennifer Poff Cooper is a Christiansburg-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to New River Valley Magazine.

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Where Even Rainy Days are Beautiful

Text by Sheila Nelson Photos by Always and Forever Photography People talk about “best kept secrets” which are rarely s-e-c-r-e-t, but Gatewood Park and Reservoir in Pulaski County might seriously qualify as one of them. Encompassing 400 acres of forests, water and scenic beauty, the property is surrounded by Jefferson National Forest for even more woodland adventure. The reservoir’s water surface is an impressive 162 acres enjoyed by fish, boaters and fisherman of all stripes. Gatewood Reservoir was built more than 50 years ago, in 1960, as a water impoundment for the Town of 42


Pulaski. Improvements have been made over the years, and it evolved into “Park and Reservoir”. People who want to rest and relax for a few hours or a few days are able to seek out a quiet spot, and others can enjoy hiking, picnicking, boating, bird watching and fishing. Although not far from town, the environment exudes the rustic feel of a wilderness setting for its clear water, soft breezes and active wildlife. “We meet people all the time who have lived in the region for decades and never knew about Gatewood,” states

park manager Mike McManus. “Campers from all over the country comment often on how clean we keep the campground and rest rooms. We are always working hard, upgrading and making things better. Our trail system now extends all the way around the lake with only mild to moderate degrees of elevation. Our trail coordinator, Charles Rhett, keeps the trails clear and well-marked, so you can’t get lost. There are trails up to four miles long, and we’re in the process of producing a trail guide.” Campers can choose from five

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remote sites with a picnic table and fire pit, accessible only by boat, or 35 level sites with water, sewer and electrical hookups along the shoreline beneath towering pines. The bath facility includes hot showers. Boating, kayaking, corn hole, volleyball, horseshoes and playground equipment are here for the enjoyment of all. Dogs are welcome with their leashes on at all times. People coming out for the day have access to individual picnic sites with water views. With 22 miles of shoreline and water as deep as 50 feet in places, sport fishermen can test their angling skills on many kinds of fish, like

 trophy-size largemouth bass  bluegill  catfish  crappie  muskie  smallmouth bass.

Park staff will gladly measure and weigh any catch to determine if it qualifies for a Virginia Game Commission Citation, which is a certificate for trophy fish. The park is managed by the Town of Pulaski’s Parks and Facilities Department, and Randy Trail, Jr., park ranger, looks forward to going to work every day. “It’s a great job with a family-like atmosphere among employees, campers, fishermen, people who come for a day or a month.” The park store is open every day and stocks camping supplies like lantern wicks and first aid kits, plus fishing tackle, soda, snacks and ice cream. Gatewood Reservoir is first and foremost a supplier of water for the residents of the Town of Pulaski. Therefore, certain restrictions apply at all times: no swimming is allowed and boats with petroleum motors are strictly prohibited. Private boats with only electric motors or no motors may be launched; fishing boats with electric motors are available for rent. “We like to take rides there because it is such a beautiful drive,” says Shannon Ainsley, NRV Magazine photographer and mom of school-age children. “We went to a local restaurant on Mother’s Day and then to Gatewood to scope it out for family camping. When we discovered the inexpensive boat rentals, we went for a boat ride and found little coves and a small waterfall.” McManus says one of the most appealing factors is the cost. “We want it to be family affordable to all, so boat rentals are $3 per hour or $25 per day, and campsites range from $15 to $30 per night. There is no fee for day use, and a nominal launch fee if you bring your own non-gas boat. We do not have Internet out here,” he adds, “so we cannot process credit or debit cards. Bring cash, please.” Apparently, there is a locally popular saying that goes: “At Gatewood Park, even the rainy days are beautiful.”

Memorial Day through Labor Day 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily Campground gates close at 10 p.m. and open at 7 a.m. Picnic area and store, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Spring and Fall outside these dates, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Regio n al Tr av e l

A Cool Getaway Close By:

Lewisburg, WV

Text and Photos by Krisha Chachra When thinking about Greenbrier County, W.V., it is hard not to envision The Greenbrier, one of America’s greatest resorts. Tourists from all over the world come to experience southern, Old World hospitality complete with tea service in the afternoon and an evening champagne toast with a waltz in the casino. Owner Jim Justice, who also serves as Governor of West Virginia, added the Greenbrier Classic to the PGA tour and built a tennis arena that hosts legends such as Pete Sampras and John McEnroe. 44


The Greenbrier has been a mark of elegance with its fine dining, artisan shopping, hot spring pools, secret bunker and the newest addition, a breathtaking timber-framed chapel with stained glass windows – built just in time for Mr. Justice’s daughter’s wedding. I am partial to the resort simply because my husband and I got married under the iconic Greenbrier Springhouse. But I’ll be the first to admit, although the Greenbrier experience is priceless, staying overnight and enjoying all the amenities the resort offers can get quite pricey.

Less than a two-hour drive from the New River Valley, a day trip to the Greenbrier would be unforgettable. But if you’re willing to explore a little further down the road, about 10 miles away, you will discover an equally treasured place that might appeal to your cool, hip, laid-back side. In fact, Budget Travel voted it “the coolest small town” in America – Lewisburg. Couples and families fascinated by the town’s civil-war connections instantly feel the Old World charm of Lewisburg coupled with a modern energy.

Jul y/Aug 2017

Driving along Washington Street, which bisects historic downtown, visitors experience a vibrancy with full storefronts, each with its own unique character. Live music pipes out of an Irish pub while across the street in a sky-blue building, locals are partaking in fine food, fine wine, espresso and gourmet sandwiches at Stardust Café. A few steps further is Bella Corner Gourmet, a sweet store carrying artisan cheeses and wine along with pitchers made from America’s oldest and finest hand-blown glass company based in West Virginia, Blenko. Aggie’s gift shop carries special occasion gifts while the next store over is a fashion forward clothing and accessory shop named Wolf Creek Gallery. Right across the street you can stretch your legs on one of the benches while your children play in the water feature in the middle of a quiet green space. Up the street next to the custom-built Farmer’s Market is the distinctive Harmony Ridge Gallery that features top artists, eclectic jewelry, hilarious greeting cards, amazing wood creations and a wine bar used for tastings and events. The owners of Harmony Ridge, Aaron and Monica Maxwell, tell us about the history of the tavern across the street that was preserved and converted into a restaurant called 1785 and then the Livery Tavern. Those two restaurants didn’t make it, so they changed styles to a charming farm to table eatery named Stella’s, which moved in and vacated an historic property on S. Lafayette St. Stella’s closed as well – the tavern site seems to keep its restaurants in the past. However, the number one rated restaurant in Lewisburg, The French Goat, which is at Stella’s old site, is doing very well¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬. Grab a table in the outdoor courtyard near the fountain and order a craft cocktail as well as the Le Burger du “Goat” with a poached egg – a winner menu item for future visits. In walking distance from downtown, Lewisburg has one of the four Carnegie Halls in the world for live performances. The town has a movie theatre, a smaller stage and a museum. When you’re done shopping, dining and being entertained, head back to one of the many choices for accommodations in the area – anything from recognizable chains to the Historic General Lewis Inn, a beautifully restored boutique hotel. And as if all that wasn’t hip enough in a small, West Virginia town, Lewisburg also features special events throughout the year including First Fridays After Five every month except January, a Chocolate Festival in early April, Home and Garden Tour in June and Literary Festival in August. Each autumn, the downtown hosts a food sampling event, Taste of the Town in October, historic ghost tours and a Holiday Open House in November. Lewisburg is a hot destination any time of the year. But whenever you go, while you’re there, you’re bound to feel much cooler. Krisha Chachra has served eight years on the Blacksburg Town Council and is now running for Mayor. In the past, she has traveled to over 40 countries on 6 continents and reported and hosted shows for public radio and television. Her columns are taken from her journals and personal insights from traveling. Her book about returning to Blacksburg, Homecoming Journals, may be found online or in local bookstores.

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Nancy Creed hails from a hard-working, blue collar, western Pennsylvania steel town. In her words, it’s a “put your head down and go” kind of place. So, she did. She went to the University of Pittsburgh for her bachelor’s degree and later to Bowling Green State in Ohio for a master’s degree - both in communications. Not wanting to place her children in day care, Nancy chose to be a stay at home mom. While she wouldn’t trade away a minute of it, this creative lady felt called to something more. Two years before moving to the New River Valley in 1993, she joined Mary Kay, advancing to senior sales director. She earned five career cars, including the coveted pink Cadillac. “I loved being self-employed and working from home,” she says. “I was able to combine the sales training offered through Mary Kay with my background in communications to build a large organization and client base. Tapping into my creative side, I designed gift baskets for the holidays.” Nancy changed direction in 2004, stepping into the hospitality field and working most of the last 10 years in sales for Hilton properties in the New River Valley. Interacting with corporate clients was rewarding, but she longed for the entrepreneurial challenges and having a business at home. Combining her communications skills with sales expertise and creative endeavors, Nancy Creed started The Orange Bandana, a home-based gift basket business. She designs and sells a variety of innovative, themed, gift baskets from her website and especially enjoys assisting corporate clients with their gift giving needs. For her signature mark, she tucks an orange bandana into every basket. They say that the best reason to carry a handkerchief is to give it away, and she wants each basket recipient to have one. You can read the story of The Orange Bandana at

In the fall of 1996, Jim Krouscas left his native state of California for a PhD program at Virginia Tech, never dreaming it would change the direction of his life. “I really enjoyed growing up in the San Francisco Bay area,” he recalls. “The diversity and energy of the city were exciting, but it never wrapped its arms around me like Blacksburg and the New River Valley.” While here, he began attending Blacksburg Christian Fellowship (BCF) and felt more arms wrapped around him in the body of Christ. Since he said he would return to his middle school teaching job in California, he fulfilled that promise after completing his PhD ... for one year, returning to Blacksburg to teach at Virginia Tech. In 2003, at the age of 36, more arms wrapped around him when he married his wife, Jill. The department he worked for at Virginia Tech was phased out in 2007, but Jim did not fret. Across the years, he was slowly and steadily drawn to pastoral ministry, and one more time, he departed the New River Valley, wife and three very young daughters in tow, to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. In his 40s now, Jim worked two jobs and attended school full-time, not knowing what the future would hold when he finished. Lo and behold, about graduation time, BCF expanded its full-time pastoral team from two to three and offered Jim the opportunity he could only have dreamed of -- returning again, permanently, to the New River Valley. That God orchestrated it is Jim’s explanation. “I love it here. We enjoy Pandapas, hiking the Cascades, playing softball and meeting people from all over the world, right here in our little town.” And it’s Jim now who wraps his arms around people, ministering to many on their own life journey.


Jul y/Aug 2017

DO MORE. Whether you’re hiking High Rocks trail, kayaking the New River or spending time with the ones you love, there’s more to do in the New River Valley than ever before. That’s why we have more locations, more specialties and more physicians, all sharing a common goal—to help you do more.

Blacksburg Christiansburg Wytheville Giles Galax

Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences

800-422-8482 |

Nrv magazine july aug 2017  

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Giles County, Pulaski County and Floyd.

Nrv magazine july aug 2017  

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Giles County, Pulaski County and Floyd.