A Few Hours in Blacksburg

Last week, my friend Ruth and I visited the Blacksburg Museum in order to view the work of longtime Roanoke Times photographer Matt Gentry. Despite the fact that we have spent the last 6 months checking the CoVid19 status of every business and restaurant and potential activity, we somehow forgot to check this day.

Upon arrival at the Alexander Black House, which was built in 1897, we learned that the museum was temporarily closed due to CoVid19.  Despite our disappointment, the outdoor exhibits and the Queen Anne Victorian house were still worth exploring.  I did the best I could with my cellphone and was thankful for the beautiful day.

The exhibit Glass Reflections, created by artists Kate Golden, Paula Golden, Diane Relf and many community volunteers, is made of “serving plates, bowls, saucers, salt cellars and other glass / crystal dishes collected from antique stores and combined into flowers as garden accents that remind us of our parent’s and grandparent’s gardens”.

This next piece, Tryptic in Glass by Diana Relf, is created from “pieces of glass, many unused, discarded, and no longer valued. When combined they are both beautiful – and strong”.

Through the trees, I saw the house next door. The Thomas-Conner House, c.1878, is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark.

Our next stop was the Hahn Horticultural Garden on the campus of Virginia Tech.   The garden was founded in 1984 and covers 5.8 acres. “The garden was renamed the Hahn Horticulture Garden in November 2004 in honor of Peggy L. Hahn who was First Lady of Virginia Tech from 1962 to 1974 during her husband’s tenure as President.  Their generous gift and bequest for expansion has had a significant impact on the garden – from the construction of the Peggy Lee Hahn Pavilion (2006) to the Hahn Meadow Garden (2008), as well as in other ways too numerous to list”.

My post-surgical status kept me from exploring as much as I would like so I look forward to going back!

Next time, we’ll pack a picnic and spend much more time exploring the gardens

College Gameday in Blacksburg

While it wasn’t the first time that College Gameday had been to Blacksburg, the crew had not been to Virginia Tech since 2011, when they came to bring a sense of normalcy back to a vulnerable community after the tragedy of April 16th.  Saturday’s visit to Virginia Tech was the 6th appearance in Blacksburg, and the 10th featuring Virginia Tech.

Thousands of fans lined up early to be a part of the excitment, and even though our team did not win the day, we had an absolute blast!

Co-host Rece Davis commented that “this place has been special in the history of College Gameday, and it’s also been special, I think, in the evolution and growth of college football in general on ESPN”.

Virginia Tech’s famous Hokie Stone made for the perfect backdrop.

Davis continued “I think a lot of the Virginia Tech brand was built by the willingness to play on Thursday night. This is a place that I think is unique and special to both our show and to our coverage of the sport as a whole.

One of the hallmarks of Gameday are the signs, and I thought I’d share just a few that I saw.  They may not make much sense if you are not a VT or Clemson fan but perhaps you’ll appreciate the creativity.

Gobblers – a reference to our mascot

Dabo Swinney is the Clemson Head Coach

Bud Foster is Virginia Tech’s beloved Defensive Coordinator and Associate Head Coach

Howard’s Rock is touched by every Clemson player as they take the field; Hokie Stone is traditional to Virgina Tech

Kirk Herbstreit is a long time co-host of College Gameday

Enter Sandman by Metallica is the song played as the team takes the field.  Check out this link to get a feel for the joyful insanity that reigns in Lane Stadium on game day.  Seriously! Check it out!

Despite the loss, it was a great day in Blacksburg.

Proud to be a Hokie!

Go Hokies!