Tag Archives: southwestern Virginia

Guest Post: I Support Del. Will Morefield

By Jerry Lester

Jerry Lester (left) and Delegate Will Morefield

I support Delegate Will Morefield.

I exercised my constitutional right in last year’s Republican primary and supported Ted Cruz. However, after President Trump received the nomination, I supported him in the General Election.

What happened to people who don’t support others’ rights to choose the candidate they support? It is very disturbing to be labeled “against coal” for not supporting a certain candidate.

I earned the right to vote for the candidate of my choice through many ways such as serving my country for three years in the military from 1962 to 1965. I can speak as a coal miner as I actually DID work in the coal mines and crawled on my knees working between two pieces of a rock.

For 10 years I served as the Buchanan County Republican Party Chairman, plus 10 years on the Republican State Central Committee, and 10 years as the Third Legislative District Republican Chairman that Will Morefield represents.

I do support Delegate Will Morefield because I remember that, while Chairman of the Buchanan County Republican Party and the 3rd Legislative District, Delegate Morefield was elected after 25 years or longer of Democratic rule. We had no voice as the Democrats did what they wanted to get votes and elect others to many different positions.

In Buchanan County we finally elected a Republican sheriff for the first time in 25 years, and along the way we also elected a Commonwealth’s Attorney for the first time in 40 years, and we elected the first Republican Commissioner of Revenue in 60 years, all while Will Morefield was in office.

Do we want to go back and give the General Election to the Democrats after all this hard work from so many Republican Party loyalists? I for one will not, and you can bet if we have a new person running for this position then Democrats could regain control.

I urge all my friends in Buchanan County to vote for Delegate Will Morefield and stop listening to outside people who have not earned that right.

The House of Delegates 3rd District mass meeting will be held Saturday, April 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Richlands High School. The district consists of the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Russell (part), and Tazewell in Virginia’s 9th Congressional District.

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Snowy hike to Giles County’s Cascade Falls

By Katy Lord
Guest Post

Snow Katy 1Saturday was sunny and 45 degrees, perfect for a winter hike in the snow at the Cascades, a 70-foot waterfall west of Blacksburg in Giles County. The falls were icy and, a week after more than a foot of snow fell in southwest Virginia, there was still plenty left on the ground.

Snow Katy 5The parking lot was full when we arrived at this very popular recreation area. The snowy, slippery conditions weren’t keeping anyone off the trails.

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Heightened concern regarding Muslim incident takes toll in Augusta County, closes schools

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Augusta County schools were unexpectedly locked down late Thursday after regular classes concluded, and all after-school activities were canceled including sports events and a holiday concert at Wilson Memorial High School. Parents received automated phone calls notifying that Friday classes, the last day before holiday break, were canceled.

The move came after the rural area located in the Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia unexpectedly found itself in the middle of a fire storm of controversy after a world geography class at Riverheads High School caused concern among some parents. Students were asked to participate in a calligraphy lesson writing the Muslim statement of faith, a lesson that has not settled well with some in the community. Conservative news outlets picked up on the controversy and news of it has spread across the country.

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Mamie Vest passes away, worked with Virginia GOP and Govs. Holton, Dalton, Allen

CookbooksBy Lynn R. Mitchell

It was with sadness that I learned Friday afternoon that Mamie Vest had passed away (see her obituary below). With her passing, a big part of Virginia’s Republican institutional knowledge is gone (see Roanoke advertiser, Republican activist Mamie Vest dies at 77 in the Roanoke Times). She was from a more tolerant era of our party’s history when Virginia was still under Democratic control but Republicans were finally successful in electing Governors Linwood Holton and John Dalton in the 1970s. Her mark was felt by her service to the party, as noted in her obituary:

She was appointed by Governor Linwood Holton to the Consumer Credit Study Commission; by Governor John Dalton to the Advisory Committee on Furnishing and Interpreting the Executive Mansion; and by Governor George Allen to the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Museum of Natural History. She served as Chairman of the Roanoke City Arts Commission and was an active member of the Roanoke City Sigh Ordinance Committee. She also served as the Roanoke Valley Coordinator for the Virginia Bicentennial Commission.

During the 1970’s ’80s and 90s , she created and directed advertising for over 80 local, state and federal Republican political campaigns. She received the American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award in Roanoke for contributions to the industry and community, the first woman to receive the honor in Virginia.

I got to know Mamie through Molly Koon through Facebook. We had similar political philosophies and she would often give a “thumbs-up” on my Facebook posts including something I posted earlier this week, so hearing of her death was a shock.

It reminded of a post I wrote last year about my “Dining with the Daltons” cookbook and discovering a recipe in there from Mrs. Vest (see “Dining with the Daltons” and “Virginia Hospitality” still favorites at my house). I wrote about my personally-autographed copy of Mrs. Dalton’s cookbook and added:

There’s even a recipe from Mamie Vest for “Mamie’s Walnut Pumpkin Pie” with the added note from Mrs. Dalton, “Mamie Vest has won prizes with her recipes. She has worked on most of John’s campaigns.” I didn’t know Mrs. Vest in those days when I was fresh out of high school and working in Richmond but these days she and I are Facebook friends which proves it certainly is a small world.
I posted a link to the blog post on Facebook which prompted a response from Mrs. Vest. With her permission, I amended my original post and added the historical background info she had provided. This is what she wrote:

“Thanks, Lynn. I worked with Eddy to design and produce two Dining with the Daltons cookbooks; the first (black cover) while Dalton was governor and the second (red cover) after he left office. The second one included many photos of events at the Mansion and recipes from those who enjoyed the first cookbook. Collector items now!

“Those cookbooks were major projects. The idea was born when I produced a small cookbook with Eddy’s recipes for a campaign handout. Best I remember, I had 100,000 printed. At several events, we used recipes (such as the wonderful shrimp dip) at receptions. Eddy was a wonderful cook back then — had to be with four children!”

Mrs. Vest’s photos of her farmhouse and beautiful flowers in Floyd, her little piece of paradise, graced her Facebook page throughout the years with the rolling hills and mountains of southwestern Virginia showcased for all to see.

So today it is with sadness that I remember Mrs. Vest and yet feel a sense of gratitude for all she did throughout the years to help a floundering and struggling young Virginia GOP gain a foothold in the early years, and make history with GOP governors named Holton and Dalton. Rest in peace, and thank you.

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‘Steppin’ Out’ for a good time in downtown Blacksburg

Blacksburg 1By Lynn R. Mitchell

Downtown Blacksburg celebrated the 35th Annual Steppin’ Out Summer Festival this weekend as thousands packed the streets to check out hundreds of vendor and food tents while listening to toe-tapping live entertainment coming from several outdoors stages. Streets were blocked off Friday morning for the two-day event, and the crowds that were small during the day swelled in late afternoon and into the night. Overcast skies kept August temperatures in the comfortable low 70s.

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1The event is sponsored by the Downtown Blacksburg association that provided free admission, free parking, and free bus shuttle.

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Merry Christmas, Stacy … wherever you are

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Christmas ornament hand-painted by 10-year-old Stacy in 1975.
As I was growing up, a tradition in our family was for my parents to give us ornaments each year from places they had traveled. My husband and I continued the tradition with our children … so we have a number of “special” ornaments that are placed on the tree year after year.

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