The Wool Factory

Yesterday I had the good fortune to attend a gathering with some of the board members of the National Women’s Political Caucus – Virginia (check us out!) at a super fun place called The Wool Factory, “a unique collaboration between chefs, brewers, winemakers, and coffee roasters aimed at creating a distinct food-and-beverage destination”.

As always when I travel and explore new places, I must know the history and the Wool Factory’s website provides it! Originally a water grist mill (1795), and later burned by the Union Army (1865), the Charlottesville Woolen Mills was established in 1868 and “became nationally known for their excellent production of fine military fabrics and uniforms, furnishing cloth for the majority of railroad workers and military schools”. The mill closed in 1962 and “the majority of the surviving mill buildings standing on the site today were built in 1920-1930s”.

What a cool, cool place this is! The beers are named after the original wool fabrics that were produced at the mill. Needing a light cold beer after a 100 mile motorcycle ride, I opted for the Poplin followed by the Flannel No. 2. These paired well with the Peruvian Chicken.

The excellent company of board members and friends kept me from exploring the site further, but I will be back with camera again in hand for further photo ops and the trying out of new beers (they also have cocktails!) and elevated bar food.

If you are near Charlottesville, Virginia be sure to plan a visit to this historic woolen mill.

For the Health of the Community

Just when I was finding the time to get back to blogging, I jumped into a State Senate Campaign!

How did this happen, you might wonder.

Tragically, State Senator Ben Chafin from the 38th District in Southwest Virginia died, as have over 400,000 other Americans, from Covid. My thoughts have been with his family and friends, as my thoughts have been with all those who have suffered in one way or another from this dreaded virus.

The Governor of Virginia called a Special Election to be held on March 23rd, and despite my inordinately full schedule, I decided that I could not let a race go unchallenged. So, I am off and running! If you like, visit my website for information about my platform: Laurie Buchwald for Senate

I’ll take some photos of my socially distanced / masked travels throughout the district and share them when I can. I’ll look forward to visiting you and your blogs in late spring.

Stay Safe! Mask Up! Listen to Dr. Fauci!

Election Elation in Virginia!

Hello my friends!  What an exciting time it has been here in Virginia.

A ton of hard work led to an incredible victory for progressives, and a wake up call for those who support the 45th President.  From the devastation of the election results one year ago to the empowering and inspiring Women’s March in January, and every day since, the year has been bewildering, with all of us waking each day to one distressing news story or tweet after another.  Now though?  We celebrate!

This past year has found me, and my friends, and political colleagues working hard towards that victory.  I was honored to have my home serve as a campaign staging site for several Get Out the Vote events, and loved hosting, and seeing the crowd respond to several political VIPs.

Then Lieutenant Governor, now Governor Elect Ralph Northam

Senior US Senator from Virginia Mark Warner and now Delegate Elect Chris Hurst

Junior US Senator from Virginia, and former Candidate for US Vice President, Tim Kaine

Senator Kaine obliged us by playing the harmonica with some of my friends (cellphone photo)

Former Candidate for Governer and former Congressman, Tom Periello surrounded by Radford University Students

As much as I loved seeing all these political VIPs, I adored spending time with the campaign team.  Their energy, passion, and work ethic were inpiring (and FUN!) to be around.

There was always someone coming or going, and there was a well worn path through the leaves on my driveway.

November 7th, Election Day, dawned with cloudy skies but the rain held off until the last hour that the polls were open.  Texts were coming in throughout the day with news of a much higher than normal voter turnout.  We gathered that evening in Blacksburg, hoping that Virginia would remain BLUE and our House of Delegates candidate would be soon be Delegate Elect.

The excitment in the room was palpable and the crowd grew as the clocked ticked later.  It was a multigenerational, inclusive, and diverse crowd, and the room was full of laughter, cheers, and chatter.

We watched the returns on the TV, laptop, and phone.

The word came in that not only had we swept the top ticket, our candidate Chris Hurst had beat the incumbent.

Jubilation is the best word to describe the mood in that room.

When Delegate Elect Chris Hurst walked in the cheers were almost deafening!

and the campaign team and campaign manager celebrated along with the crowd.

Virginia is standing tall! We RESISTED and we are so proud, and many women were elected to the House of Delegates, too!

I know that many of you are also thrilled with these results.  Whether from the United States or the global community, you have expressed dismay and frankly, have been appalled by the actions of many in this country, especially those in leadership positions. I wish you could have been there Election Night to share in the joy.


After the Election, I took a mini- vacation to Atlanta, Georgia and Maggie Valley, NC and am anxious to share some photos soon!

No Words

To see one more image from the Vigil Against Hate: Solidarity with Charlottesville in Blacksburg, VA, visit Monochromia