Tag Archives: King’s Gourmet Popcorn

Random act of kindness in the midst of tragedy

By Lynn R. Mitchell


Tragedy hit at 6:45 a.m. EDT on Wednesday morning southeast of Roanoke, Virginia, when the WDBJ-7 TV shooting exploded onto news networks and social media. Horrified viewers watched the on-air murders of television reporter Alison Parker and camera man Adam Ward who were ambushed while on a remote live-broadcast location on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, a popular resort community.

As morning news shows dropped regular programming and reported minute-by-minute updates, law enforcement officials were in hot pursuit of the gunman.  The gruesome images along with gripping details rippled out into surrounding communities in the Commonwealth and across the nation as the shooter, a disgruntled fired WDBJ-7 employee, led a chase that began at the lake. It continued to the Roanoke airport where the gunman changed cars before speeding north on I-81 through the Shenandoah Valley.

Listening to the news as it broke that morning, we were snugged in our corner of Augusta County, safely away from the tragedy that was unfolding about two hours southeast of us. Or so we thought.

My Richmond sister Lori and cousins Faye and Sharon were in the Valley to visit for the week. Our plans on Wednesday were to meander and explore the Blue Ridge Parkway from Afton to Peaks of Otter where we would enjoy lunch at the lodge overlooking Abbot Lake and Sharp Top Mountain, and then return home in the evening.

However, before we could leave the house we found ourselves drawn to the TV screen as we watched the horror of the unfolding news. As a result, it was late morning before we left, driving through historic downtown Staunton on our way to I-64, Afton Mountain, and Milepost 1 of the Blue Ridge Parkway.


That was when, while continually monitoring Twitter and Facebook on my iPhone, we saw that the police chase of the shooter had entered our area with law enforcement searching I-64 east to Fishersville and Afton Mountain in Augusta County, and I-81 north to Verona, also in Augusta County. Area schools were on lock-down. We decided to stay on Route 250 as we drove to Afton instead of taking a chance of getting caught up in any kind of police action that could take place on the interstates.

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December Sunday adventures through historic Virginia

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and $5 admission … great time to visit the home of America’s third President! We decided it would be the start of our colonial loop through a tiny part of our historic Virginia because, after all, that’s what history nerds do. Right?

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October 2014 … 20 things to do in and around Staunton, Va.

Staunton 3

Historic Wharf District in downtown Staunton.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Voted as one of America’s Top 20 Main Streets by Travel and Leisure magazine, the central Shenandoah Valley city of Staunton was also recently named one of the 20 Best Small Towns in America by Smithsonian magazine as well as Virginia Living magazine’s Best of 2012. Known as the Queen City, Staunton was founded in 1747 and was named for Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of Virginia’s Governor William Gooch.

With views east toward the Blue Ridge Mountains and west toward the Appalachians, Staunton is an historic slice of Virginia that offers restored Victorian homes, cozy downtown shops, and small-town atmosphere. Patriotic holidays find her streets lined with American flags, and the always-popular Christmas parade takes place each year on Beverley Street, the main thoroughfare that is lined with restaurants, store fronts, the Dixie Theater, the city courthouse, and old-fashioned lamp posts.

There are many things to do during the leaf season that peaks in October so here are some places and events you may find interesting. Check back often … this list will be updated throughout the month. It’s autumn in western Virginia.

1. Trolleys
A great way to get around downtown, Staunton’s two trolleys are inexpensive, and pick up and discharge passengers at stops located throughout the city. More information can be found at the Staunton Visitors Center on New Street.

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Afton’s popcorn man voted #1 food truck in Valley

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Ron King is riding high these days after successfully facing the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals and now voted the #1 Food Truck in the Valley by readers of the Waynesboro News-Virginian.  In this case, the Valley was extended a bit to the top of Afton. LOL. Congratulations!

For more about King’s Gourmet Popcorn:

Afton Mountain’s popcorn man
NL’s Calvin Trice: ‘Approval, well wishes for Afton popcorn vendor’
Popcorn man victorious with Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals
BZA: My remarks supporting the popcorn man
Saturday on Afton at King’s Gourmet Popcorn

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Saturday on Afton at King’s Gourmet Popcorn

By Lynn R. Mitchell

??????????We stopped at King’s Gourmet Popcorn Saturday morning on our way to the Blue Ridge Parkway and said hello to Ron King. He was making caramel corn (you can see him through the open window of the food truck stirring). It was mid-morning and he had customers beginning to show up ahead of the lunch crowd. With caramel corn in hand, we said goodbye but as we passed by hours later, he was swamped with folks sitting at the picnic tables eating some of the goodies he offers.

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NL’s Calvin Trice: ‘Approval, well wishes for Afton popcorn vendor’


Ronald King addresses BZA as Carrie Eheart listens.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Staunton News Leader reporter Calvin Trice has a great article about Thursday’s Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals hearing where Ronald King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain, appeared to request a permission to continue his business (see Approval, well wishes for Afton popcorn vendor). Calvin wrote:

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The Popcorn Man victorious with Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals

7a1f1-23By Lynn R. Mitchell

It was the last item on Thursday’s agenda at the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting. Everyone else left so only supporters of Ronald King were left to address the board toward the end of the public hearing. Mr. King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain, was questioned by the board and then two members of the public spoke on his behalf.

It was officially listed on the agenda:

A request by Ronald King, for a Special Use Permit to have outdoor storage and display in conjunction with a food service vehicle on property owned by Skyline Swannanoa, Inc., located at 5186 Howardsville Turnpike, Afton, in the South River District.

In lay language, he needed a special use permit to remain in operation in addition to his business license and health department clearance.

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Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals … my remarks supporting the Popcorn Man

By Lynn R. Mitchell

[Editor’s Note: I attended Thursday’s Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals meeting and spoke in support of Mr. Ron King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain. Following are my remarks.]

Remarks: Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals
August 7, 2014

Good afternoon. Thank you for listening.

When I saw this item on the agenda last week, I called and spoke about it with Mr. Wilkinson [secretary of BZA].

I would like to speak in support of Mr. Ronald King, or as many know him, the Popcorn Man.

He is a ray of sunshine on Afton Mountain in the midst of burned out buildings covered in graffiti.

I Facebooked about this hearing and heard from many people across the state and locally who expressed their support.

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Afton Mountain’s popcorn man

By Lynn R. Mitchell
Reprinted from SWAC Girl blog, October 13, 2013

King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain

[Editor’s note: Ron King, owner of King’s Gourmet Popcorn on Afton Mountain, must go before the Augusta County Zoning Appeals Board today, August 7, at 1:30 p.m. Read more about this public hearing at Afton popcorn man must face Augusta County’s Zoning Appeals Board.]

“If you build it they will come.” Or, perhaps more appropriately, they will stop and buy.

Ron King has found a market for snacks on Afton Mountain with King’s Gourmet Popcorn located at the juncture of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, I-64, and Rt. 250. With views into the Rockfish and Shenandoah valleys, millions of tourists pass that way annually.

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