It’s early to be thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas, but one Richmond company is in full holiday mode.  

On a quiet afternoon, Mark Sauer sits in the large executive office of a company founded by his great, great grandfather.  There’s an old  photo of his uncle delivering products from a donkey cart, and color portraits that underscore the history of the firm.

“This is CF Sauer.  This is CF Sauer, Junior.  That’s my father, CF Sauer, the third, and this is my brother, CF Sauer, the fourth.”

Over the years, each has overseen the manufacture of pure vanilla.

Reading is often a solitary experience, but when everyone in town is reading the same book, it becomes a community event.  That’s the idea behind “The Big Read” which kicks off this Saturday.  One book is the focus of exploration, conversation and presentations for six weeks and everyone is invited. 

The book is The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Alyssa Archer is a Radford University Librarian who’s spearheading The Big Read.

Bring Mary Home

Sep 28, 2015

When the western Virginia Frontier was being settled in the 1750s, a young pioneer woman was captured during an Indian raid. Mary Draper Ingles was taken from her home near what is today, the Blacksburg campus of Virginia Tech.

People have been fascinated by the story of her escape and her harrowing 400-mile trek back home. In those days, many people were captured during Indian raids and not very many ever escaped or returned to their homes. A museum in Radford is looking to create a monument to Mary and her story.

For poor kids in American cities, life can be hard.  Gangs, guns and drugs are part of the landscape, but one historian says things were even worse in Richmond after the Civil War. More than a thousand lived on the streets including at least 100 kids - selling newspapers for a penny apiece and doing battle with rocks.

Uprooting Appalachia

Sep 8, 2015

The image of “Appalachia” many people have today came from a 1964 Life Magazine story that featured the town.  Now researchers are looking to add another chapter to the story of the small southwestern Virginia town, written in the voices of people who live there today. 

“You know how it got its name, don’t you? This guy had a big old bucket. And he had a whole lot of apples in it and these kids kept messing with it and he said, if y’ all don’t stop that I’m going to throw an Apple a’cha.”