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NRV’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

May/June 2017


Tree House



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DORI FREEMAN Heritage music

THURSDAY, JUNE 8, 2017, 7:30 PM


Dori Freeman

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2017, 2 PM


Featuring Ralph Stanley II, Clinch Mountain Boys, Ricky Skaggs, and Larry Sparks; a Crooked Road: Mountains of Music Homecoming performance The Stanley Brothers Legacy

SUNDAY, JUNE 11, 2017, 7:30 PM


JUNE 15-29, 2017


Fully staged opera with orchestra and subtitles

SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2017, 3 PM


Spatial music festival during Steppin’ Out; co-presented with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology

AUGUST 3-6, 2017

PERFORMANCES l EXHIBITIONS l EXPERIENCES 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, VA 24061 | 540-231-5300

The start of something brilliant.

Grayson National Bank and Bank of Floyd are now Skyline National Bank. How can a bank merger bring new energy to a community? The new Skyline National Bank was created to reinvigorate our communities with all the right values: integrity, strength, excellence, hard work, and a sense of connectedness with everyone we serve. Learn more at

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May/June 2017

3/20/17 2:06 PM

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for f W all



Accountants and the CPA


Accountants enjoy a number of career options, including public, industrial, governmental/nonprofit and tax accounting, as well as roles in the banking and insurance industries. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) may work in any of these fields with a greater likelihood of promotion and advancement, especially in public accounting.

Bachelor’s degree (any major)

Completion of this certificate program will further your eligibility to sit for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in Virginia.* The Virginia Board of Accountancy requires candidates taking the CPA exam in Virginia** to have a bachelor’s degree with 120 total semester hours of credits, including 30 semester hours of accounting and 24 hours of business studies. * Please note that there are additional requirements to be eligible to sit for the exam.

Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better (4 point scale) Prerequisites: ACTG 211 and 212 or equivalent

Coursework Required classes: 18 credit hours ACTG 311 Cost Accounting ACTG 312 Accounting Information Systems

** The requirements for other states may vary.

ACTG 313 Intermediate Accounting I

To enroll, visit:

ACTG 314 Intermediate Accounting II and click on Apply as a Non-Degree-Seeking Student

ACTG 411 Federal Taxation ACTG 414 Auditing

For more information, contact:

Electives: (Take two)

Dan Davidson, J.D., chair, Department of Accounting, Finance & Business Law Radford University Radford, VA 24142-6951 540-831-6595

ACTG 401 International Accounting ACTG 412 Advanced Taxation ACTG 413 Advanced Financial Topics ACTG 416 Governmental and Not-for-Profit Accounting

Make your reason our business



May/June 2017






Fo r t B ar ri n g e r 10 N RV H o me - A Lo n g Way H om e 14 D ai r y Fa rm 2 0 A sh ev i l l e , N C 2 4


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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 Natalie Gibbs Photography Amodeo Photography Always and Forever Photography Tom Wallace Kristie Lea 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 used the word “minion” recently, considering it synonymous with “employee”. The man on the receiving end was highly offended, saying he did not appreciate the “belittling reference” to a very good friend of his. I was perplexed and looked up the word “minion”. Indeed, it does carry a negative connotation, and I deeply regret having used it. The primarily yellow-bodied minion characters seem light-hearted and wise, related perhaps to the Pillsbury dough boy, and I never intended anything personally unfavorable. So, you see, professional editors and writers mess up on word use from time to time. The big difference, at least for me, is that I am very embarrassed. I apologize, sir. Because of the charming minion characters, perhaps the word “minion” will experience elevation of meaning in the coming years, like the word “guy”. An early nautical term and once a very derogatory term when referring to a person, “guy” comes via Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), a man burned in effigy for his part in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the English House of Lords, for which he was executed. Effigies of him were called “guys”, and the singular used to describe someone grotesque in appearance, dressed in rags and crummy garb. Guy Fawkes Day aka Bonfire Night is still celebrated in England with fireworks and bonfires, and some effigies are paraded through the streets and tossed into bonfires. Yet, nowadays, we toss around the word “guy” and “guys” without a second thought. I’m crazy about words, word use and development - that’s probably why I don’t get a full page for Pasture Talk -- it could be filled with word analysis and horse talk. At Home Expo in early March, our booth was across from Friendly Structures, a design-build, husbandwife team who had a very cool structure for a booth and a very large, glass container of brightly colored

Pasture Talk

candies. Bill at Culligan [water] next to them had fresh cold and not-so-cold filtered water and all the knowledge you’ll ever need to evaluate your home or workplace water. National Window & Door had a revolving projection of stained glass and awesome designs for the top half of a door, an excellent use of technology and fun to watch for hours! We have many projects this time of year. The 2017 Business Yearbook will be distributed in the next week, and the Giles County Visitor’s Guide has been printed and distributed. The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce annual quality of life magazine is also now out, and the NRV Map is slated for distribution by June 1. We have another new project coming from our tiny team which will raise the bar for high quality, high class publishing and editorial content in the New River Valley; can’t publicize it yet. And speaking of tiny, I’d love to profile a tiny home if anyone knows where I can find one or two. I am enamored with tiny living, though not sure I could do it, maybe medium tiny for me.

Joanne Anderson ManagingEditor

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NRV Feat u r e

Fort Barringer a remarkable

treehouse By Emily Kathleen Alberts Photos by Kristie Lea Photography


Every kid dreams of climbing the steps to his or her very own treehouse. Whether it be a club house for girls (“No Boys Allowed!”) or a pirate ship for little boys, nothing beats having a fort atop the trees. For Dillinger, 6, and Barrett, 4, this dream became a reality when their father, Joseph Collins, decided to build a treehouse to top all treehouses. This epic project was a year and a half in the making and is even more impressive on the inside than the outside. “I wanted to do something really special for my boys,” says Collins, who admits he had never built anything before in his life. But Joseph Collins is no stranger to heroic feats. The proud father faithfully served our country for four years in the Marines and six years in the Army, with a deployment to Kosovo and two combat tours in Iraq (totaling 27 months). He has been honored on the NRA Life of Duty Network, which is the National Rifle Association’s most prominent effort to salute and serve the heroes who defend American freedom at home and abroad. He resides in Blacksburg and serves as a Senior Instructor for Tomahawk Strategic Solutions based in Nashville, Tenn. Collins has learned not to take anything for granted and to put safety first in everything he does. “One day I was out here by myself trying to put the roof 10


May/June 2017

“I wanted to do something really special for my boys,” says Collins, who admits he had never built anything before in his life.

on the treehouse, and I was a good 40 feet off the ground with my drill in one hand and sheet metal in the other. My foot slipped, and I seriously thought it was all over.” Thankfully, he had remembered to clip in to his harness, so everything was okay. Collins vowed he would never work on the treehouse by himself after that. “I always made sure I had a helper with me.” He is thankful for assistance from friends and family including Daniel Smith, Buster Moser, Jeff Vaught, Travis Harvey, Jason Boyle, Travis Harvey and Juel Albert. “This treehouse holds so much special meaning for all of us,” he adds.

The woods that line the Collins’ property belonged to his wife’s grandfather. There is a creek where the boys love to play, and stones from the creek are in the treehouse beneath the wood stove. “It gets really cozy in here,” he says. The wood stove lets the boys enjoy their tree house year round, and Collins says there is no better place from which to watch the snow fall. When you open the door to Fort Barringer, named as a blend of his sons’ names, there’s a life-sized stuffed black bear standing up in the corner. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a real live bear did decide to make camp here one

night,” he laughs. Collins allowed the main trunk of the tree to continue to grow through the center, and he was careful to leave enough space around it to accommodate future growth. He dedicated the tree to his boys and successfully completed his first wood burning project when he etched their names into the bark. From the sweet little table and chairs and burlap window curtains to the hanging lanterns, the treehouse feels like a little home, all 144 square feet with 10 vertical feet at the peak. On the wall hangs a bona fide German cuckoo clock from World War II, and

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Collins admits he has been tempted to hang a flat screen on the wall as the treehouse is juiced with electricity. The boys can radio Mom for snacks and use the awesome pulley and bucket hoist to have them delivered to the front door. Speaking of mom, Tammy Collins sees the big picture with this structure: “It’s not just a treehouse,” she says. “Today it may be the fort where Dillinger and Barrett make their last stand against the Redcoats, and tomorrow it could be the Collins movie theatre, where we all have movie 12


night and popcorn. Whatever it is, we know it’s going to make a lot of great memories.” Dad gets to have some fun, too. Collins says the treehouse doubles as a shooting platform for his firing range and is exactly 100 yards to the berm where he installed several steel targets. He has taught firearm safety and awareness classes using the platform, and the setup is nothing short of impressive. Through his dedication and perseverance, Joseph Collins strives to show his children the value of hard

work and instill in them a real thirst for the outdoors. “Truth be told, the more we can get our kids outdoors the better.” With their own dirt bikes, ATVs and a dune buggy, the Collins boys have every reason to want to be outside. Of course, the main question on everyone’s minds as they stare in awe at this stunning treehouse is: “How much is rent?” Emily Kathleen Alberts is an NRV freelance writer and regular contributor to New River Valley Magazine.

May/June 2017

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NRV H o me

A Long Way Home

Text by Joanne M. Anderson Photos by Kristie Lea Photography


While Allen and Elsa Hancock did not walk or follow any river to the New River Valley, it did take them some five decades to get here for good. Back in 1983, the Pennsylvania couple bought land in the new development of Stroubles Mill in Blacksburg to build a house for his parents. The elder Hancocks lived and raised their family in Richmond, and their daughter, Barbara [Hancock] Crockett, and her husband, Randy, were settled in Blacksburg. Once the Hancocks were retired, they made the drive over and over and over to visit, so Allen and Elsa built them a house so they could be here instead of spending so much time on the road getting here.



They moved into their 3-BR, 3 1/2-BA, just under 2,000-square-foot house in 1984. Fast forward to 2007, and both parents had passed away, so maintenance of the home fell to Allen and Elsa, who had also frequently visited. For the next eight years, they rolled rubber down the road from eastern Pennsylvania to tend to the property and spend time with Barbara and Randy. Elsa had never lived outside the Keystone State, but as their own retirement loomed, they traded in buying new tires for the frequent trips to renovating the home for themselves. Like many houses built in the 1980s, the floor plan included walls

around most rooms, unlike the great room open concepts of today. “We lived in the same ranch for 40 years [in Media, Penn.],” says Elsa. “We’d tossed around updating the kitchen, but decided not to renovate it just to sell, so we sold it and put our renovation budget here.” The meticulously packed boxes that made the 425-mile trip stayed just as they were for eight more months, while the Hancocks camped out at the Crocketts during the renovation. “Initially, we were thinking of renovating just the kitchen and tackling a few maintenance projects,” Allen explains, “but when Paul Ewing of Ewing Building & Remodeling suggested

May/June 2017

This whimsical chair was given to Elsa by a friend and painted by another friend who knew she loves cats and has her own fun, quaint personality. The photo also showcases the gorgeous, new oak floors.


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NRV H o me

The kitchen remains the heart of the home, and is enveloped in a welcome shade of medium warm taupe with crispy white trim.

we open up the floor plan to use more of the space, we agreed.” The couple marvels at their wonderful coffered ceilings which cleverly conceal the steel beam which replaced a supporting wall. The old dining room with its 30-squarefoot original window is a charming shared office with file cabinets and supplies neatly tucked behind bifold panel doors. The dining area 90 degrees in the other direction also sits under coffered ceilings with a stunning new hearth and mantel around the fireplace. The kitchen remains the heart of the home, and is enveloped in a welcome shade of medium warm taupe with crispy white trim. All new stainless steel KitchenAid appliances, a Thermador stovetop, White Starlite granite on the island and desk countertops, gray Quartz on working countertops around the sink and stove top and deep, easily siding drawers that conveniently hold the daily dishes raise the bar on function and beauty. “I never had a gas range,” Elsa states. “The heat comes on fast and goes away just as fast. I’m loving it.”

The color scheme was inspired by a little seashell Elsa picked up more than a decade ago. “I just like it. I’ve always liked

the colors in the shell and the feel of it,” she says, passing it to this writer to hold. It’s a sweet, soft, brilliantly designed and colored relic 16


May/June 2017

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of Mother Nature from which an inviting palette of warmth has been reproduced in the interior. A sunroom has been added, and since they were expanding in the back, and Allen has a couple prize cars in the garage, they added a good-sized utility space behind and accessible from the garage. “It reduces the risk of scratching my 2003 Nissan 350Z track model car or 2016 BMW M235i convertible pushing or dragging yard tools alongside them,” Allen smiles. The main floor’s three bedrooms are now two along with two 18


and a half elegantly renovated, stateof-the-art bathrooms with chic granite counters. “There’s another full bath and room for bedroom in the full basement,” Elsa explains. All new hardwood floors, copious recessed lighting, and a perfect laundry room with full size front loading washer and dryer stacked make the home a dream of convenience and style. A basement water issue was resolved and a large, very expensive, retaining wall was built which expanded outdoor living space. “This was a major reconstruction project that was executed brilliantly by the Ewing companies. It is a

true joy for us.” The Hancocks have been enamored with the region all these years. “We love the university environment,” says Allen, who played football at the University of Pennsylvania and feels part Hokie by assimilation. “And we like the Southern way of living and the kind, friendly people.” Welcome to the New River Valley, Allen and Elsa. Welcome home!

May/June 2017

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NRV Pr o fi l e

High Quality Lifestyle for


made possible by robots and savvy young dairy farmers Text by Sheila D. Nelson Photos by Always and Forever Photography


Having grown up on Hillside Farm in Pulaski County, it seemed only natural to Scott Flory that he remain on the land that has been farmed by his family (the Guthries) since 1795, so he became a seventh generation farmer and a second generation dairy farmer. His parents, Dale and Janet Guthrie Flory, introduced the dairy component to the farm in 1980. When Scott married and brought his wife, Laura, into the partnership with his parents in 2009, the two young dairy science graduates of Virginia Tech started doing research and planning. They determined that a robotic dairy would fit their family and business goals very well. Farming has always been hard work and probably will continue to be, but many improvements can be made by working smarter with technology that is now available. The use of a robotic dairy operation requires that farmers develop a wide range of technical and computer skills to maintain



May/June 2017

Each of the 240 cows wears an ID transponder on a collar that carries all her information; it is scanned every time she walks up to a robot. Scott laughingly refers to these transponders as “Fit Bits For Cows”. the equipment and troubleshoot any problems. The farm consists of 800 acres, 500 of which is owned, and the rest is rented ground. In addition to dairy farming, the Florys produce a variety of crops including corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa and grass hay. Corn, soybeans and wheat are sold locally while their milk is marketed through a farmer-owned cooperative and sold on the East Coast. Hillside Farm employs eight people with a wide range of responsibilities including calf care, feeding and nutrition; cow health and monitoring; business management; and crop production. The Florys are experiencing excellent results from the robotic system. With the introduction of Lely robotics, they have been able to milk twice as many

cows (now 240) with the same number of people. Despite the increased physical labor efficiency, there remains a lot to do behind the scenes of the system. On a daily basis, the milking machines must be maintained, high quality fresh feed made available, data received from each cow reviewed, and all the other jobs that go along with operating a dairy farm. Even with the state-of-the-art milking system, it is often necessary for someone to go out two or three times a day to round up any cows that have not come in for milking on their own. Each of the 240 cows wears an ID transponder on a collar that carries all her information; it is scanned every time she walks up to a robot. Scott laughingly refers to these transponders as “Fit Bits For Cows”. Each cow may come for grain

and get milked up to six times a day. There are four robotic milkers, any one of which is capable of scanning a cow’s collar upon her approach. It tells how many times the cow has already been milked that day, as well as her average milk production. The transponder captures a great deal of other health information about each cow, including how much she is eating, her body temperature, udder health and pattern of activity. The system is designed to alert farm personnel to possible symptoms of illness so they can be addressed quickly before the problem can become serious. In addition to benefiting the people on the farm, the cows also enjoy a lifestyle that makes them more contented. Experts generally agree that contented cows produce better

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milk with an increase in production. This has certainly been the experience of the Florys since they switched from the twice daily (2:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. every day) milking system to the new robotic system. The calves live together in a separate barn which is automated to allow the calves to choose when they want to eat. This way the calves are able to start early on a more natural and less stressful lifestyle. The cows are able to be milked when they want, and the system is able to sense when all four quarters of the udder are empty. The cows of Hillside Farm enjoy a wide range of low stress, high comfort amenities: automatic brushes scattered around the barn provide back scratches; shades and automatic fans keep the barn cool; a barn which flushes itself clean every hour (turning the aisles into rushing waterways that sweep debris and manure away to be filtered and recycled); conveniently and robotically placed piles of precisely mixed feed containing corn silage, soybeans and alfalfa grown right there on the farm; and choice of which straw or sand to use for resting. Farmers are better able to learn more about the unique personality of each cow, making for better relationships. The Florys are very good stewards of the land and use many recycling and sustainability practices to help carry out that stewardship. The new systems and innovative practices that have been adopted have not only increased the overall efficiency of the farm while taking good care of the land, but also allow more flexibility to enjoy a good balanced lifestyle outside the dairy. Laura Flory shares: “While the cows are leisurely eating and milking as they please, we are like the pit crew that rushes around during a race making sure things are always running at their best.� How do the cows react to the high quality lifestyle they are able to enjoy on Hillside Farm? The considerable increase in milk production speaks for itself! Sheila D. Nelson is a native of and freelance writer in Pulaski County. 22


May/June 2017





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Regio n al Tr av e l

Asheville, NC Text by Joanne M. Anderson Photos courtesy of Almost everyone knows Asheville, N.C., is home to the Biltmore House and its spectacular gardens, the historic Omni Grove Park Inn, a gorgeous section of the Blue Ridge Parkway and a zillion ~ more or less ~ arts and crafts galleries, craft beer breweries, super cool eateries, mountains that encircle the city and books at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe. Less than 100 feet more above sea level than Blacksburg (Asheville--2,165; Blacksburg--2,080), the city sits in 45 square miles with its 87,000 population. Folding in all of Buncombe County bumps the population up three-fold to around 250,500. It’s been described as the hippest city in the South, top dream town for vegan living, most romantic, one of best places to reinvent yourself, sunny place to retire and best city in America for locavores. 24


With more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, Asheville has carved quite a reputation as Beer City USA. Some 100 local beers are waiting to be discovered on draft or in bottles with 27 breweries in the city and a few more than that in the county. Beer festivals are abundant, and you can find beer in cake, shampoo, dog biscuits, ice cream and mustard. Beercations in this western North Carolina enclave are rivaling wine tours in other regions. But the city also boasts dozens of tours, and this is where you can save a lot of time and learn, see and experience a whole bunch of quirky, fun facts and sights. Before you leave for Asheville, you don’t have to read anything. Just show up, buy a bunch of tour tickets, tip the guides generously, and let the experts tell you more than you can read about this

uber cool, small mountain city. The Amazing Pubcycle is rated #1 of outdoor activities by The guide doubles as comedian and DJ, and the 1 1/2 hour tour is unique for its 13-person pedal trolley on wheels. “It’s like a picnic table going sideways through the downtown streets,” explains owner Shawn Verbrugghe. “It’s the most fun you can have on wheels.” This tour guide does pay the rent with tips, and the comedy component is a huge part of the draw. It’s not scripted, and it’s hilarious. You can bring on board some of that local brew or pick it up with your handful of $1 bills at one of the two pub stops. [] French Broad Outfitters offer a 3-hour urban float which takes you through the River Arts District, home to more than

May/June 2017

200 artist studios, on the French Broad River. You choose your transport from among canoes, SUPs, kayaks and tandem kayaks. [] Food and culture walking tours through eclectic neighborhoods are 3-hour excursions for the gourmand and culinary crowd. The lunch tour includes half a dozen tastings at least from classic Southern dishes to cutting-edge modern cuisine and tasty morsels in between. Beyond that you’ll learn about chocolate making, botanical medicine and using herbs along the way. [] LaZoom offers unique comedy and haunted comedy tours among others. “Historical and hysterical, our City Tours feature outrageously entertaining tour guides, outlandish comedy skits, loads of Asheville information and incredible views of downtown. You’ve never had a ride like this. It’s like a vaudeville show on wheels!” [quote from] Segway tours of downtown run up to 2 1/2 hours and leave three times a day from the visitor center. You get up to half an hour of training and see the city from the comfort of your own two wheels on this unique, self-balancing, personal transportation device. [] Asheville by Foot Tours allow you to see and experience Asheville downtown, the Montford Historic District or Biltmore Village Historic District with an experienced tour guide. “Whether you’re visiting Asheville for the first time or the 10th, you’ll develop a deep appreciation for Asheville’s rich history, stunning architecture and unique culture.” [quote from ashevillebyfoottours. com] For the light outdoor adventurer who doesn’t feel like listening to the GPS personality, book a Tumblestone tour of waterfalls. You’ll visit three wonderful, nearby waterfalls, ride in comfort, walk perhaps three miles over the course of the 5-hour tour and experience the kind of gorgeous photo ops that only waterfalls can deliver. [] Ghost Walking Tour is a hauntingly eerie adventure that ends at the Asheville Mystery Museum. [] Star Watch Night Vision Tours provide the ultimate night vision experience away from the city lights with Alpha Generation 3 military-issue night vision goggles. Combine that with transportation, comfy camping chairs and snuggly blankets, and this is an Asheville treat not be missed. []

Other Asheville places to visit ...       

Grovewood Village (including antique car museum) New Morning Gallery (est. 1973, largest single craft gallery in the U.S., bridal registry) North Carolina Arboretum (434 acres, 65 acres of gardens and 10+ miles hiking trails) Enter the Conundrum (escape room that defies the ordinary and aims to astonish) Lexington Glassworks (hand blown glass, gift shop, taproom - drink local beer in handblown glass glasses) Thomas Wolfe Memorial (author of “Look Homeward Angel” and others) Asheville Pinball Museum (pay entrance fee and play on 75+ pinball machines without coins or tokens)

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Text by Karl H. Kazaks | Photos by Tom Wallace Meadows of Dan is known for its folksy charm. That’s even moreso the case now that it’s home to a new toy and science museum, Toy Time. The space is largely the brainchild of Tom Wilson, who for years has found an outlet for his lively ingenuity and handwork ability by building wooden puzzles and toys. “I’ve been making and giving them away for 40 years,” Wilson says. 26


One of the first things you see when you enter the museum is an interactive exhibit of large-scale wooden folk toys. Wilson crafted its various pieces years ago, when he was employed as a builder of museum exhibits. He tackled the project on his own time, though, in his own wood shop. When complete, it spent several years traveling around the country to numerous museums. “It’s easy to install,” he exclaims,

“because it requires no electricity.” The exhibit, which includes examples of classic days-gone-by toys such as Jacob’s Ladder and The Amazing Acrobat, is emphatically hands-on, and visitors of all ages are encouraged to have fun with the toys. “The grandparents love it as much as the kids do,” states Jon Clark, Wilson’s son-in-law, who together with his wife, Jill, help operate the museum.

May/June 2017

Beyond the toy exhibit is a large space devoted to wooden puzzles, all of them brainteasers. Some are the sort where you are supposed to make a large, common shape, like a square, out of a variety of smaller shapes, which don’t at all look like they’ll fit together to create a square. Others are threedimensional, such as the challenge to use a rod to lift a set of unconnected rods. Wilson tells everyone: “A puzzle is either impossible or simple. There’s no in-between.” Past the puzzle section is the science part of the museum, which includes an exhibit showcasing the power of electromagnetism and another called invisible strings, where you play a synthesizer by waving your hands in a field of infrared-activating rays. Then there’s the device known as the air chair, a chair which you ride up and down, which is very popular when kids come on field trips. There’s also the Tot Spot, a play area for toddlers not old enough to appreciate the other parts of the museum. Every exhibit in the museum was handmade by Wilson, who used to build exhibits for the science museum in Winston-Salem when it was known as SciWorks (today it goes by Kaleidium North). “Back then, I never saw people. Now that’s all I do,” he smiles. “We go around and help visitors with the toys and puzzles,” Clark adds. “We’ll get down on the floor to help them solve puzzles. We just have a good time interacting with guests.” Though the bulk of the museum’s visitors are from this part of Virginia, its proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway attracts visitors from other states like Florida, Texas and Nebraska. The museum opened last spring, and its name, Toy Time, lured in some who thought it was a toy store. “We didn’t start out with a gift shop,” Clark says, “but visitors wanted a souvenir of something handcrafted.” So Wilson went to his woodshop and got to work. Today, the gift shop includes more than 70 items. Some of them are made by other woodworkers, but Wilson makes the bulk of them. The offerings include small versions of his wooden puzzles, decorative wooden bottles (turned on a lathe) and a one-stringed musical instrument he calls the “Stringed Thing.” “What he does is a dying art,” Clark believes “No one does it like he does.” “I’m lucky,” Wilson responds. “My hobby has always been my job. And now, with the museum, I get to see people enjoying themselves, I really do. This is the best place in the world for a museum ~ at least I think it is.”

Open weekends through Memorial Day, then five days a week through the summer and open again weekends only through October. $5 for adults; $4 for children. Visitors usually stay an hour and a half.

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NRV A dv e n t u r e

A Puddle Between the Mountains

James Pandapas

Photo by Sean Shannon

By Kathy Pandapas Sevebeck In 1948, Blacksburg resident James Pandapas, known for having brought its first two industries to the town - Electro-Tec and Poly Scientific purchased a 500-acre tract of Appalachian hardwoods and pines between Brush and Gap Mountains. He intended to use the timber for low-cost housing he was developing in Blacksburg and Narrows. Originally called “Poverty Pond,” Mr. Pandapas built the 8-acre, man-made pond.



Using only road grading equipment, he dammed the five natural springs forming the pond, which is 14 feet deep in some places. At one point, he tired of pushing the dirt, rocks and trees, so he left a large pile in the center of the pond forming an island. Mr. Pandapas developed the land into a private recreational area for the exclusive use of his Electro-Tec and later Poly Scientific employees for hunting, fishing, boating, hiking and picnicking. He named it “Pan Villa,” which was later

changed to Pandapas Pond without his knowledge. In the 1960s, after Pandapas sold the Poly Scientific business, he opened the park to the public. It became a popular place for all-night drinking parties with copious beer cans and trash left behind. “I had to send a truck to pick up the beer cans and trash [every Monday morning],” he said in a 1993 interview. “I had no interest in policing it.” After attending a dedication of

May/June 2017

Helping People...It’s What We Do.

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Photo by Sean Shannon

the improvements to the Cascades in Giles County, Pandapas was asked to consider selling the 500 acres, including the pond, to the U.S. Forest Service. It would become part of the Jefferson National Forest, which surrounded about two-thirds of the 500 acres. At first, he offered to give them the land if the Forest Service would make a lot of the improvements comparable to the Cascades. However, the government would not accept a deed to the land with any conditions. So, instead of giving it away, he sold it in 1983 to the U.S. Forest Service for what it had cost him in 1948 plus the costs of the road and pond improvements. Today, Pandapas Pond Recreation Area is the only Federal Day Use Recreation Area in Montgomery County. Many, but not all, of the improvements promised Pandapas have been implemented. A one-mile circuit pedestrian-use only trail goes around the pond and is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers. More than 20 miles of multi-use forest trails radiate from the pond site and 30


play host year-round to hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. The trails traverse Brush and Gap Mountains and vary in difficulty from strolling worthy to extreme mountain biking challenges and everything in between. The pond is stocked with trout between October and May, and, according to the U.S. Forest Service, the day-use recreational area receives more visitors than the Cascades – a fact that pleased Mr. Pandapas in his later years. He was active in real estate development and business and considered the pond one of his “lesser noteworthy contributions.” Although he recognized how popular it became and how meaningful it was to the many who visited, he often called it a “puddle between two mountains.” Mr. Pandapas died in 2003, and his family has honored his memory with a commemorative plaque, bench and dogwood tree at “Inspiration Point.” It can be found on the trail that begins behind the bulletin board next to the lower parking lot.

Kathy Sevebeck is a lifelong resident of Blacksburg and has enjoyed the pond through the years with her parents, sisters, children, husband and grandchildren. She is an award-winning quilter, seamstress, gardener and freelance writer.

Poverty Creek Trails Coalition is a group of volunteers working in conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service Eastern Divide District to maintain and improve the Poverty Creek Trail System. We work closely with and are supported by the New River Valley Bicycle Association and Roanoke International Mountain Bike Association Chapter to encourage and promote proper trail use and ethics on the trail system. Facebook page: “Poverty Creek Trails Coalition”

May/June 2017

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NRV R i de s

The QE II Buggy

Text by Joanne M. Anderson Photos by Always and Forever Photography When Alan Neely gets near an auction that has a buggy come up for bid, it’s likely he’ll raise his number. The black buggy dubbed the “Charles Dickens” sitting on the side of his hotel, the MacArthur Inn in Narrows, was picked up at an auction in Tennessee. The green and gold-stenciled metal hay wagon next to it he bought at a South Carolina auction. Along with a couple other odd buggies is his most prized one, the “Queen Elizabeth II”. It was acquired at an auction in Quebec and is kept under wraps in a shed outside of town. “I call her that because the real Queen Elizabeth II has one just like it,” quips the uniquely mustached Narrows native who has won many a mustache contest. 32


The terms carriage and buggy are interchangeable, for both can refer to a horse-drawn vehicle. Originally, it seems that a two-wheel model was referred to as a cart and with four wheels, it was a wagon. does a good job of describing balance for such vehicles: Two-wheeled vehicles are balanced by the distribution of weight of the load (driver, passengers and goods) over the axle, and then held level by the animal – this means that the shafts (or sometimes a pole for two animals) must be fixed rigidly to the vehicle’s body. Fourwheeled vehicles remain level on their own, and so the shafts or pole are hinged vertically, allowing them to rise and fall with the movement of the animals. A

four-wheeled vehicle is also steered by the shafts or pole, which are attached to the front axle; this swivels on a turntable or “fifth wheel” beneath the vehicle. Neely’s white carriage is a “Classic Vis-à-vis” model, which translates “faceto-face” for the passenger benches facing one another. The burgundy velvet with nailhead embellishments lends a regal quality, along with those front wheels 36 x 1 1/2 inches and larger rear wheels measuring 42 x 1 1/2 inches. Empty weight is 1,000 pounds, and Neely has some 3,000 pounds or more of raw horsepower pulling it. The credit for the concept of horsepower goes to inventor James Watt, most well-known for steam engines. In

May/June 2017

working with mine ponies, he discovered that one mine pony accomplished 22,000 foot-pounds of work in one minute. He added 50 percent to that and created the measurement of horsepower at 33,000 foot-pounds of work in a minute. It’s an arbitrary unit of measure seen in every vehicle, plus chains saws, lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners and more. Neely’s favorite buggy horses are related Percherons, 13 and 14, which weigh on average about 2,000 pounds or one ton each. The draft breed originated in western France and is valued for intelligence, strength and willingness to work. “Getting the horses ready is no small task,” Neely relates. “They need to be caught, bathed, dried, have their feet trimmed and/or cleaned, and have their manes and tails combed and sometimes braided or meticulously arranged.” The carriage measures 135 inches long, or 11.25 feet, 66 inches wide and 82 inches high. It’s comfortable for four people in the back and one driver and another person on the bench facing forward. The folding top makes this a convertible, or riders can be shaded from the sun or raindrops. Hydraulic brakes lend a modern touch, along with decorative pin striping. Horses walk about four miles per hour, so it’s a good seven to eight-hour journey from Narrows to Blacksburg, contrasted with 30 minutes at 60 mph. The walk is a four-beat gait where the horse’s legs step in sequence: left hind leg, left front leg, right hind leg, right front leg. The head and neck move up and down to assist with balance. The trot doubles the speed, and a horse moves its legs in unison in diagonal pairs. It’s a very comfortable gait which a horse can maintain for hours, unlike the faster gaits (canter or lope and gallop) which can only be sustained for short periods of time. A trot is very balanced as well, and the horse will not nod his head. The canter increases speed to 10 to 16 mph depending on length of stride, and it is a 3-beat gait. According to the Amish Heartland website, The most popular choices for Amish transportation are black, bay and chestnut Standardbred horses that failed to make the cut at tracks in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Although their speed is not enough to win purses in competitive racing, these good-natured and versatile animals are ideally trained to pull a buggy or farm cart over long distances in heavy traffic. With their calm disposition, they seldom startle at a passing truck, while their long legs and powerful build eat up the miles effortlessly. The descendants of a Thoroughbred crossed with a Morgan, Standardbreds combine speed with stamina to make them the ideal mode of transportation for errands and family trips. Even the Standardbred’s solid color -dark brown or reddish-brown with a black mane and tail -- suits the plain style of the Amish. So, while buggy rides are booked for weddings and romantic or special events, the reality of traveling in a buggy is no longer practical or necessary, except perhaps for the Amish. They may not need the oil changed, but consider the trade-off of having to own, care for and maintain a couple real horses instead of your horsepower under the hood, and the horseless carriage has advanced over a century into a very nice, comfortable transportation machine.

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NRV Pr o fi l e

Can YOU Escape the Room?


Written by Emily K. Alberts

Being in an escape room is like being trapped inside your favorite thriller movie with friends. There are many cleverly placed objects to keep you guessing, and second guessing, along the way. The lines between reality and illusion start to blur, and working together is the only way out. The thrill of the escape is what keeps patrons coming back. The rooms can be set in a variety of fictional locations, such as a prison cell, dungeon or space station, and companies and organizations use them as team building exercises.

An escape room near you Valley Escape Adventures in Radford is at 6226 University Park Drive, eerily (and perhaps fittingly) close to St. Albans Sanatorium. It hosts two escape rooms: The Dormitory and The Game Room. With an “escape rate” of 45 percent, The Dormitory is a good place to start. Co-owners Cheryl Austin and Theresa Turner decided to launch the NRV’s first escape room after Austin enjoyed one overseas. “We offer local businesses an excellent team building opportunity, 34


especially with [Radford University’s] RU ABLE ropes course next door. Many companies begin with the ropes course, then head to our escape room. What better way to foster communication skills than trying to find your way out of a locked room together?” Blacksburg Escape Room, 102 E. Roanoke St., has one room – for now – and it is an epic, fully immersive experience with sights and sounds that make you feel thousands of miles away from the mundane. Developed by mechanical engineering grads Lisa Garcia, Mike Abbott and Christian James, the room, Biodyne, was inspired by their own company, Industrial Biodynamics. “We want to turn our company into a story,” Garcia says. Their company originated in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, and while some employees expanded to Salem, this team moved downtown. Being able to manage their company and escape room under the same roof is a treat. “It is the perfect location,” says Abbott. “We get a lot of walkins.

Puzzlr was created by Virginia Tech engineering student Alvin Dela Paz and his longtime friend, Cesar Grado. Paz was looking for an escape room and couldn’t find one, so Cesar decided to start one. When Puzzlr opened its doors last October, these business partners recovered their investment one week later. “We looked for a handful of groups to attend a soft launch so we could gauge the difficulty of the room,” Paz says. With two escape rooms -- The Detective’s Case and Taken -- players get to choose their challenge. Taken has a mere 34 percent success rate, and will test the skills of even an expert escapee. Located at 700 N. Main Plaza above Mill Mountain Coffee, Puzzlr can take groups of up to 10 for The Detective’s Case, and nine for the Taken room They are in the planning stage for two more rooms and are considering expanding the experience into the streets of Blacksburg.

Think YOU can escape the room?

May/June 2017

Meet the Artist

Gallery Open House May 20-21

Saturday 11-4 pm, Sunday 12-3 pm



making you happy


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

Validated Parking available at the North End Center Garage


220 Laurel Street NE

making you happy

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Newsy Relevant Valuable A round-up of items of interest across the NRV

SAVE THE DATES June 24 - 30

One Town - Seven Days - Fantastic Food Nearly two dozen foodie establishments in downtown Blacksburg are offering specials and specialties to celebrate Restaurant Week! It’s the perfect opportunity to combine dining out with a movie, art walk, farmer’s market, people watching, shopping and more. You can eat out two meals day all week and not hit every participating restaurant, so plan your time wisely. See you downtown! [Sponsored by Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., and the Blacksburg Partnership]

BlacksburgRestaurantWeek .com

Gearhead Moto Tours If Club Med on two wheels is your idea of an adventure, then these all-inclusive motorcycle tours must go on your summerfall 2017 bucket list. The Club Med reference is to the one-price-forall arrangement where everything is included and for your part ~ You. Show. Up. “Our business model includes providing everything the rider needs for an exciting motorcycle adventure like the bike, helmet, gear, lodging, meals, snacks, routes, guide, fuel and more,” explains owner Terry Rafferty. Of course, the participant does need a valid motorcycle-endorsed driver’s license and vehicle insurance, but the details are all in place for back roads, bucolic countrysides, delicious meals, woodland trails, scenic views, comfy lodging, forest exploration and more.



Based in Pearisburg and Giles County, many of the tours take hand throttle adventurers along country roads and through trails in the new Kairos Resort land many have never driven or perhaps even knew were there. Leaning as the road bends and slowing down and pulling off to snap some photos along the way, motorcycle enthusiasts see, taste and experience the beauty and amenities of the region in the warm, fresh air far from the madding crowds. It’s like having a personal outfitter with an engine and two wheels ... plus fun, beauty, excitement, goodness, indulgence, entertainment and outdoor happy times. Terry Rafferty, 540-787-5050 Facebook: Gearhead Moto Tours

May/June 2017

Glencoe Mansion, Museum & Gallery

Formerly, Glencoe Museum, the new name [above] more accurately reflects that the property is three museums in one. The house itself illustrates the lives of the Wharton family. Many historical exhibits highlight events and persons relevant to Radford history, and the art gallery features a rotation of regional artists. The Radford Heritage Foundation changed the name with a rededication and ribbon-cutting ceremony in April. []

100 Years May 3 Happy Birthday! Betty Kaczor “Mary Draper Ingles: A Heroine’s Journey” is the new name for an outdoor drama that chronicles her escape from Shawnee captors and her 500+ mile walk along the New River and its tributaries back home. A similar outdoor play titled “The Long Way Home” played from 1971 to 1999 in Radford. For tickets and information:, 540-731-4970. June 25 ~ July 30 ~ Aug. 27 ~ Sept. 24 Nesselrod on the New River, Radford

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NR V F o od F a re


Brunch can be such a special meal for creating beautiful, delicious recipes out of simple ingredients and sharing joy among friends and family. The granola yogurt parfait includes a recipe for homemade granola which elevates these dainty dishes to the next level. You’ll also end up with extra granola. Frittatas are one of my favorite ways to make an all-in-one meal for brunch, and this recipe has eggs, potatoes, zucchini and goat cheese for a hearty vegetarian offering. If you are looking for a dish to impress, apple walnut stuffed French toast is certain to get high marks. Happy brunching!

Zucchini Potato Frittata

Text, recipes and photos by Kelsey Foster

(Yield: 6 servings)

8 eggs 1 medium potato, peeled, halved and sliced 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 2 oz. goat cheese olive oil salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and sautĂŠ until they begin to soften and brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in zucchini and garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat together eggs in a small bowl. Once the vegetables are done, pour the eggs into the frying pan and sprinkle evenly with goat cheese. Let sit until the bottom of the eggs are firm, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer frittata into the oven to finish cooking for about 10-12 minutes or until the center is just firmed. Remove from oven and carefully use a spatula to loosen the frittata from the pan and slide onto a plate.

Apple Walnut Stuffed French Toast (Yield: 8 pieces French toast)

1 cup milk 1 tsp. vanilla extract 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 8 slices thick Italian bread Powdered sugar, for topping

2 apples, peeled and chopped 1 Tbl. butter + more for cooking 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. lemon juice 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 3 eggs

remaining pieces to form a sandwich.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place baking sheet in oven for later use. Combine apples, 1 tablespoon butter, cinnamon and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until apples begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in walnuts and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Smear one tablespoon of cream cheese on each side of bread. Add about 2 tablespoons of filling to the center of half of the slices of bread, then cover with the 38


Heat butter on griddle over medium heat. Carefully dip each sandwich into the egg mixture, making sure to soak thoroughly. Place French toast sandwiches on griddle, cooking 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. When finished, place cooked sandwiches in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, cut each sandwich in half and sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.

May/June 2017

Granola Yogurt Parfaits (Yield: 6 parfaits) For granola: 8 cups old-fashioned oats 1 cup chopped walnuts 1 tsp. sea salt 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 cup maple syrup 2 Tbls. coconut oil, melted 1 cup dried cranberries canola oil Fillings: 1 quart plain yogurt 2 cups strawberries, sliced Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Coat 9Ă—13 baking pan with canola oil. In a large bowl, mix oats, walnuts, sea salt, cinnamon, maple syrup and coconut oil, until combined. Transfer granola into baking pan and bake 45 minutes. Remove from oven and stir gently and then return to bake for about 10 more minutes. Turn oven off and let granola sit in warm oven for another 20 to 25 minutes or until crisp and golden. Remove from oven and mix in cranberries. Build parfaits by filling one third of desired container with yogurt. Add strawberries, then granola, then more yogurt. Repeat until top of container is reached.

Kelsey Foster is a freelance writer, blogger extraordinaire and California transplant to the New River Valley who writes a clever food and lifestyle blog,, with tips on food, fashion and home decor. Her excellent recipes, creativity and photography have appeared in several issues of NRV Magazine, and it is with a blend of sadness and joy that we say farewell. She and her husband are soaring across the pond to Coventry, England, for their next adventure. All the best, Kelsey!!

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NRV Summer EVENTS 2017



Radford Farmer’s Market May - October Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. 1100 block E. Main St. downtown

May 6 Horseman’s Association of Southwest Virginia Horse Show NRV Fairgrounds, Dublin 914-236-1044

Pulaski Farmers Market May - September Tuesdays, 4 – 8 p.m. Historic Train Station

May 13 Narrows Kids Fishing Day 1 – 6 p.m., Narrows Town Park 540-726-2423

Pearisburg Farmers Market May – October Saturdays, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Community Center, Wenonah Ave.

May 13 NRV Cruisers Car Show Bisset Park, Radford Great selection of classic and antique cars

Narrows Farmers Market May – October Thursdays 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. At the Market, Monroe Street

May 25 - 27 NRV Horse Show New River Valley Fairgrounds, Dublin All breeds show, free admission 540-879-9976 or 540-607-6710

Christiansburg Farmers Market Check with Town of Christiansburg for day and times Blacksburg Farmers Market Through October (time changes later in year) Wed., 2 – 7 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Corner of Draper and Roanoke, Blacksburg May - Sept Gunpowder Springs Meet the Artist, Giles County First Sunday each month 1 – 3 p.m. 40


May 28 Mountains of Misery Bicycle Ride Test your endurance over some of the biggest mountains in SW Virginia May 30 8th Annual Brew Ridge Music & Craft Beer Festival Tickets $10 general admission; $20 minitasting; $30 full tasting Mountain Lake Lodge, Giles County

May 27 - 29 Memorial Day Remembrance To mark the centennial of WW I by Giles Co. Historical Society Field of 26 crosses to remember residents killed. May 28 Celebration of Culture Glencoe Mansion, Museum and Gallery 10 a.m. -3 p.m., Radford May 29 Flags and Flowers Memorial Day 2 p.m., Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg Free tours after service May 29 Narrows Annual Memorial Day Parade & Cruise-In Events all day; 2:30 p.m. Volvo Truck Display, Veterans Memorial Park. 540-726-2551 or 540-726-2665 June 3 - 4 and September 16 - 17 Pulaski County Lions Club Flea Market 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. New River Valley Fairgrounds, Dublin Admission fee; free parking June 9 Virginia Cheese Festival presents: Farm to Table Dinner 6:30 p.m., Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg

May/June 2017

NRV Summer EVENTS 2017 June 9 - 10 Henry Reed Fiddler’s Convention Newport Rec Center, Route 42, Newport Concerts Friday begin at 5 p.m.; music and competitions Saturday start 11:30 a.m. Part of Mountains of Music Homecoming Celebration June 10 Claytor Lake Celebration of Summer Festival Claytor Lake State Park 10 a.m. – 11 p.m. Fireworks, live music, car show, antique fire trucks, food vendors, demonstrations $10 per vehicle or $5 per vehicle with a 5-can food donation. Vendor preregistration required. Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley 540-980-7363; June 10 “A Taste of Giles” by Giles Mountain Yineyard & Winery Free wine tasting, live music, tours 540-276-4126

June 11 Flag Day Celebration & Mountains of Music Homecoming 1 - 5 p.m. Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg June 14 Gospel Sing noon – 5 p.m. St. Luke and Odd Fellows Hall, Gilbert St., Blacksburg Gospel favorites, food and fellowship. Free June 15 -18 Narrows on The New River Music, music workshops, history session, kayaking lessons, jam sessions, cook-off. Free admission. 540-726-7510 or email June 16 - 17 Pearisburg Festival in the Park Pearisburg Community Center 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. Saturday The 33rd annual festival and car show, rides, food, crafts, games, live entertainment Free admission

June 17 Eastern Divide Ultra 50K Trail Run Mountain Lake, Giles County 7:30 a.m. Runners and spectators welcome June 17 Kids Day at Glen Alton 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Fun day for kids of all ages, mud pie kitchen, petting zoo, sand pile and more. Kids only fishing in upper pond (no license needed). Eastern Divide Ranger Station, 540-552-4641. June 17 Mary Draper Ingles Farm Open House, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Exhibit at Glencoe Mansion, Museum and Gallery, Radford

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NRV Summer EVENTS 2017 June 17 10th Annual Summer Solstice Fest Cabo Fish Taco, S. Main St., Blacksburg 1 - 11 p.m. Music, midway games, children’s activities, festival food, beer garden, street performers, dog parade. June 23 Giles County Relay For Life Giles County High School Track, Pearisburg July 4 Independence Day Celebration Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. July 4th “Spirit of America” Celebrate with Jimmy Fortune Bisset Park, Radford - concert and more July 16 Breakfast at The Market Blacksburg Farmers Market 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Annual breakfast and showcase of art in all visual media July 18 Montgomery County Chamber Business Expo Inn at Virginia Tech, 901 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg Local business booths open to the public in afternoon and to Chamber members 5:30 7:30 p.m. Business After Hours July 24 - 29 New River Valley Fair New River Valley Fairgrounds, Dublin 540-674-1548 or July 26 - 30 Floyd Fest Floyd Fest Grounds, 894 Rock Gorge Rd., Floyd 10 a.m. - 4-day celebration of music and art, workshops, demonstrations, more than 100 artisans and crafters.



August 4 - 5 37th Annual Steppin’ Out Downtown Blacksburg, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. More than 150 crafters, downtown merchants’ sidewalk sales, food, 3 stages of live performance. 540-951-0454 or August 11 - 12 Newport Agricultural Fair Newport Fairgrounds Oldest agricultural fair in the state, rides, animals, skills in baking, art, canning, handiwork, etc., horse pull, jousting, farm animal contests, horse show and more. 540-544-6822 August 12 Saturday in the Park Classic Car Show Bisset Park, Radford Lucky (Rubber) Duck Race

September 16 44th Anniversary Wilderness Trail Festival Downtown Christiansburg 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Arts and crafts, antique cars, live music, children’s activities, food, demos. Kiwanis Club of Christiansburg September 30 Pembroke Heritage Festival

Family fun, vendors, entertainment and more


October 14 Pearisburg Merchants Association Scarecrow Festival 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Harvest Breakfast hosted by Farm Table, scarecrow contest, live entertainment, parade and more

August 19 East Mont Tomato Festival Meadowbrook Center, Shawsville 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.; 540-384-2801

October 21 Brave Heart 5K Run kicks off the Highlanders Festival Heavyweight games, Celtic music familyfriendly entertainment

October 14 Old Times Blues, Brews & BBQ St Luke and Odd Fellows Hall, Gilbert St., Blacksburg

October 1 Harvest Market and Apple Pressing Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg 1 – 7 p.m.

Free; donations appreciated

October 7 9th Annual Blacksburg Brew Do Noon to 5 p.m. 1600 Innovation Drive, Blacksburg More than 100 beers, food, homebrewing demos, live music, beer competition

BBQ tasting, breweries, fresh blues live music

September 16 Muddy ACCE Race 5K obstacle course mud run along the New River Water Trail; provides scholarships and community service opportunities for Giles Access to Community Education (ACCE) program September 24 Annual Swingin’ to the ‘40s with The Old Pros Big Band Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg 3:00 – 5 p.m. September 23 Pulaski Lords Acre Sale NRV Fairgrounds, Dublin Local churches and vendors sell their homemade baked goods, crafts and more. 540-980-0631

November 18 Thanksgiving Harvest Candlelight Feast 6 – 8 p.m. Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg November 4 Holiday Expo NRV Fairgrounds, Dublin Christmas crafts, food and more 540-674-1548 December 1 - 3 Annual Holidays at Smithfield Celebration Smithfield Plantation, Blacksburg

May/June 2017

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May/June 2017

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Alisa Moody


Alisa Moody is one of those rare souls with the technical depth, artistic flair and business acumen to make your website shine. Her website development crosses myriad industries over the past decade and half - since before they took over as the proverbial front door and first impression of your organization. A native of Florida who grew up in the tiny hamlet of Banner Elk, N.C., Alisa has resided in the New River Valley most of the past 23 years. She was instrumental in redesigning and launching seven websites for the National Rifle Association and the same number for Giles County, the latter which she maintains still. Her resume includes management positions in hospitality, retail, skiing and equine businesses, as well as freelance artist and fine art photographer. She is the mother of two, and her son, Brandon Forrest Eggleston became a highly decorated Special Ops Staff Sergeant in the Army prior to him having made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Brandon was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2012, leaving a wife and two small children. Alisa’s daughter and her twin sons, Jack and Zack, reside in Blacksburg. Fifteen years ago, Alisa founded Wild Country Studios in Giles County from which she designs ads, catalogs, brochures, websites and branding materials for companies across a multi-state region. As a professional freelance photographer, her photos have made the cover of Virginia and Roanoke business publications multiple times. She is the brains behind, formerly, which promotes Virginia lodging, dining, events, attractions, wine and brew trails and more. In 2005, Alisa married Paul Moody, who is the proprietor and outfitter for New River’s Edge, which he owns on the New River outside Pembroke. They are in the throes of planning Eagle Ridge Lodge & Resort (

If it’s got 2 wheels, 4 wheels, 4 hooves or a couple of wings, Cecil McBride can drive, ride or fly it. If it swims like a fish, he can probably catch it. The multi-talented pilot, motorcycle rider, fisherman and horse rider spent his working career with the Virginia Cooperative Extension and much of his play career in the skies or cruising back roads. Mr. McBride learned to fly in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Virginia Tech [class of 1954]. He has operated his own charter service and served as a crew member for the Virginia executive airplane. These days, he flies one of the Hokie Flying Club planes, a group he organized in 1965 and of which he is the oldest and only charter member. At age 84, this personable 6-foot2, white-haired gentleman is still enjoying flying, though much of it is instructing and check rides, certifying pilots for licenses. The license plate on his hot little convertible is FAADPE for Federal Aviation Administration Designated Pilot Examiner. Aspiring pilots come from as far as 100 miles away. His current two-wheel choice is the Honda Shadow. He loved his Gold Wing, but as they got bigger and he got older, he downsized. An informal motorcycle group meets for breakfast every Saturday, whether or not they ride. The license plate on his truck is FISH-FLY. To him, his greatest claim to fame is having taught his granddaughter, Maria, to fly. She solo’d at 16 and got her license under his watchful examiner eye at age 17, the youngest it can be issued. And every time he flies, Mr. McBride takes a moment of silence in the air in awe of God’s creation.


May/June 2017


Maryah Sydnor thought her knee injury would end her dream of playing professional basketball. Our doctors thought differently. To see how our team worked together to help Maryah reach her goal, visit Common ground. Common goal.

Blacksburg Christiansburg Franklin Galax Giles Lexington Martinsville Roanoke Rocky Mount Wytheville

Institute for Orthopaedics and Neurosciences

800-422-8482 |

Nrv magazine May June 2017l  

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Giles Count, Floyd, Radford, Pulaski County.

Nrv magazine May June 2017l  

Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Montgomery County, Giles Count, Floyd, Radford, Pulaski County.