|Quite A Collection; Donors Thanked; Cleaning Up And More|
April 21, 2015 -
I just happened to be amongst the many folks who showed up to witness the ribbon cutting for the construction phase of the Historic Masonic Theatre, held on Wednesday, April 15.
There were speeches and goodwill all around, as officials of the organization pointed out the huge amount of donations and volunteerism that have resulted in the beginning of the renovation of the big building. Those speeches were recorded and may be found on the front of our website or you may view them all on YouTube if you prefer.
What a great day it was for the town of Clifton Forge, as one of the biggest buildings around will surely be brought up to a scale probably never before seen. The renovation should take a little more than a year and will then allow the organization to plan for many more public events, from plays to bands and more. Many local businesses, the Alleghany Foundation, regional banks, and just regular citizens contributed to the special day.
Three key players, Clifton Forge attorney Meade Snyder (who did a ton of painstaking legal work) and John and Gayle Hillert, who've lived and breathed the project for the past several years, must be singled out for uncommon and lengthy dedication. There is no way this project ever could have gotten off the ground and be funded without this trio. And, here's a tip of my hat to local character, Wilma McClung, whose advocacy for the building's restoration has never wavered.
What a great day it was.
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I'm still not clear what the "Con of the Mountain" event was, which was held this past Saturday in Clifton Forge at the Masonic Amphitheatre and School for the Arts.
It was billed as a literacy outreach - comic and gaming experience. I must admit that I still don't understand what it all entailed, but there were about 1,000 people who DID seem to understand it.
People showed up from all around the region in super hero costumes and other get-ups the likes of which I've never seen before. There was a costume contest, many special game tables and competitions and Glenn Bryant even showed up to make some items like swords and other metallic objects via his forge.
Mr. Bryant's talent is rather amazing: He fashioned several beautiful objects in a relatively short time, showing off his seasoned blacksmithing skills.
There were booths all around specializing in unique objects related to games and comic hero figures and there also was a huge amount of volunteerism present. All the town's regulars turned out to help with big smiles on their faces. It was all promoted by the Clifton Forge Library and appeared to be a huge success.
I must admit: I've never seen anything like it. For many photos of the event's participants, go to Con of the Mountain Slideshow.
Congrats to all involved...more people showed up for this event than any other scheduled item in my memory here.
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I don't know the total of the accidents in Virginia caused by texting and driving, but even one is too many. It may be useful to remind all our friends that texting and driving don't mix unless you're prepared to meet the undertaker. Even worse, doing this could kill your passengers or other innocents in passing vehicles. Please don't do it.
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The Botetourt County Sheriff's Department announced the conviction of a crook involved with more than 30 thefts in the region. Good! Perhaps we all need to keep our eyes open a bit more so that such individuals are caught more quickly, but this resolution of the multiple cases was great.
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I happened to visit the local AutoRecyclers place (where the former Wood Chevrolet used to be) this past week, with a couple loads of metal and other recyclable materials. I noticed that there were several huge bins of aluminum cans in the rear, all brought in for money by local individuals and businesses. Many local folks do great public service by walking along roads and picking up trash and discarded cans. The volume I saw was rather startling and that underscores the importance of recycling. It's too bad that ALL materials couldn't be dealt with like this - especially newspapers, magazines, and other paper items without employing a system of force or having to deal with huge additional costs. Hmmm. The problem with recycling about everything is that many items cost more to recycle than they're worth - or at least it appears that way.
I have a feeling we're all going to regret not eliminating about 95% of the crap we routinely discard in landfills or have transported to other areas for compaction or burial. One day, all this junk and the awful fluids that come off it, will cost us double or triple to clean up.
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Did you get a big increase in your health care premiums this year? I sure did. I'm trying to figure out who got a decrease, as was promised by the President. In fact, I don't know one single individual who has received a decrease. If you know of one, please email me at RidgeRunner.
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Good news: An Exxon official, who should know something about oil prices and oil supply, just told a big investment group that he believes oil prices will stay low for a long time to come. That should help all of us in our travels and other associated costs. Many of us are not aware of the huge impact that the price of oil has on our daily lives because petroleum products are used in so many products we take for granted. A rise in the price of oil is, therefore, one of those things that has a huge effect on the price of many other items.
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William Devane, the actor, tells us repeatedly on TV that every day the national debt rises by $500 million. That's $20,833,333 per HOUR, or $347,222 per minute, or $5,787.04 per SECOND. Now, that's something that would even impress one of my free-spending relatives... There are those who claim we'll never have to repay this debt and they may be right. We'll all be dead when that occurs. It's our children and great-great-grandchildren who'll have to deal with it. Ignoring this outrageous behavior, this irresponsible wasting of our national resources, is a disgrace of monumental proportions, but I see nobody, including all of the potential candidates for president, who seem to have any plan to end this kind of economic nonsense.
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One of the wonderful things about Spring in Virginia is our great weather. And the flora all about us is yet another reason to jump for joy. Last weekend, my lilacs started blooming and I've enjoyed the fabulous fragrance of them since that time. The oaks are nearly out, ditto the maples, and soon we'll be treated to a wealth of other bulbs and blooming plants. For me, the crape myrtles signal summer and if I could, I'd plant 50 of the deep wine-colored ones, if only I could find them! Ah, Virginia in the Springtime. It's not quite heaven, but I love it just the same!