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Features

  • Virginia Robertson has always worked hard and though she turned 102 years old this past Sunday she’s not yet ready to slow down.

        “I do everything I want to do,” Virginia said this week about remaining active. “I worked hard all my life — from the time I was knee-high to a duck.”

  •     Going from North Bridge to South Bridge Street isn’t a big move, geographically, but it made a big difference for the owners of Bella Books.

        Gary Guida and Kim Cashman had been operating a used book and antique shop for a year in a location that they shared with another business. Moving to a spot next to the Bedford Social Club, across the street from Still Waters Cafe, has tripled their space.

        “It looks more like a proper book store,” Guida said.

  • Johnathan Dillon, lead singer for the bluegrass band Johnathan Dillon and Phantom Grass, paid a visit to the Good Neighbors day camp being held at Trinity Ecumenical Parish recently.

        Good Neighbors is an ecumenical program that brings seven Lake area churches and Lake Christian Ministries together to help elementary school children of the portions of Bedford and Franklin counties that border the lake. One of its efforts are two four-week day camps for children from first grade through fourth. Each accommodates 50 children.

  •     Not long after the Gingerbread Cafe closed, a new lunch spot opened on North Bridge Street at that location.

        According to Teri Okuley, that was deliberate. Okuley owns Ivy Bridge Cafe. She wanted to get the doors open before Gingerbread Cafe’s customer base drifted away. Renovation work started in March, a month after Gingerbread closed and the new restaurant opened its doors for the first time on June 2

  • One of the area organizations that gives scholarships to students pursuing post-high school education is Mended Hearts.

        Mended Hearts consists of individuals, and members of their families, who have undergone some sort of heart procedure. They have a vested interest in the continued availability of quality medical professionals and their scholarships go to nursing students. This year, Mended Hearts gave $250 scholarships to Crystal  Jadallah and Tiffany Phillips. Both are students in the local licensed practical nurse (LPN) program.

  • Court Street Pizza originally started after some members of Ed Maguire’s family moved to this area from Maine.

        “It’s a good place to raise a family,” he commented.

        They, in turn, called him to come down. He said they missed his pizza. The also missed him, although Maguire didn’t say which they missed the most.

        Maguire said he’s worked in the pizza business since he was 14. He just turned 35.

  • When Linda and Charlie Exley first arrived in the Bedford area 19 years ago, Elisha “John” Cheek and his wife, Patricia, befriended the Yankee refugees.

        The Exleys met the local couple because Patricia Cheek collected dolls and Linda Exley had a doll shop at the time.

        “They invited us for Christmas,” she said. “They became our Virginia parents.” For the Exleys and many others, John Cheek’s death earlier this year was a heartfelt loss.

  • ith Bedford Main Street currently without a director, a local orchardist has stepped in to reorganize the Bedford Farmers Market.

        Along with being a son of a multi-generation Bedford County farm family, Ronnie Gross is also one of the farmer representatives on the county’s agribusiness board. Along with being part of the family orchard business, he has Mountain Valley Produce LLC, a wholesale company that distributes to restaurants and stores.

        “It gives restaurants a chance to buy local,” he said.

  • A lot of churches build additions or new sanctuaries, but the new sanctuary that Grace Memorial Baptist Church dedicated this month is something different.

        Grace Memorial is a country church, located on Robertson Road, off Dickerson Mill Road, but what was built doesn’t look like what comes to mind when you think of a country church. The 500 seat sanctuary, and the building that houses it, looks more like what you would expect a suburban congregation to build.

  • An Army Reserve unit in Greensboro left for Fort Dix, N.J., last month, to prepare for duty in Iraq.

        Major Timothy Brooke, the company commander, is no stranger to Iraq. Brooke, who normally wears the uniform of the Bedford Police Department, returned early last year from a deployment there, where he served as “mayor” of Freedom Compound in Baghdad.

  •     Along with Bedford Domestic Violence Services, there is another group dealing with the problem of domestic violence.

        The Bedford Domestic Violence Coalition isn’t a competing organization. In fact, Bedford Domestic Violence Services is part of the Coalition. Its goal is to bring individuals, direct service providers and organizations together in a collaborative effort.

        Individuals may be professionals, such as forensic nurses, employees of the victim/witness program or social workers.

  •     You may have seen and heard Riddle on the Harp perform at various local venues.

        The all female group, all of them Bedford County residents, first got together around the turn of the century. It started when Patti Black’s husband gave her a gift.

        “My husband surprised me with a hammer dulcimer and kind of created a monster,” commented Patti Black, a former attorney.

  •     Overstreet General Repair marked half a century this month.

        Jimmy Overstreet had planned on a Navy career when his father, W. R. Overstreet started a general repair business in 1959. He was a diesel mechanic and had served on a destroyer escort, which was all diesel. This was followed by duty on the USS Ranger, an aircraft carrier.

        Overstreet was a plank owner on the Ranger, the title that members of a ship’s commissioning crew are known by.

  • This is Sue Saunders’ last year as principal at Bedford Elementary School.

        When Saunders walks out of her office for the last time next month, she ends a 33-year career in education that was spent entirely in Bedford County  Public Schools.

  •     The Blue Ridge Garden Club celebrated its 80th anniversary with a luncheon and plant sale that drew 200 people.

        The lunch and plant sale is an annual event, something the club has done for 50 years. The lunch menu has changed little over the years and, as usual, everything was made by club members, including the biscuits for the ham biscuits. Members sign up every year as to what they will make and most have a specialty.

  • “How much do you think of this horse?”

        Lauri Bach, of Many Blessings Farm, braced herself for some bad news when a veterinarian asked her this question last month. The horse in question is named Copper – he got his name due to his color. He means a great deal to Bach for several reasons.

        To begin with, he was an 8-year-old girl’s dream. He was 2 years old when they bought him for their daughter, Lindsay, who had just turned 8.

  • By John Barnhart

    Staff Writer

    johnbarnhart@bedfordbulletin.com

        George Nester, Bedford County’s director of community development, is leaving for Halifax County. He takes over as that county’s administrator next month.

        Nester worked as town manager of Vinton for seven years and also as city manager of Covington. He was Franklin County’s county administrator for eight years before taking up his current job in Bedford County.

  • For Johnny Martin, serving as a marshal during the Advance Auto Parts Blue Ridge Brawl Elite series tournament last week was an experience he’ll never forget.

        “It’s like an on the water classroom experience,” Martin said. “It’s the best $100 I’ve ever spent.”

  • When Craig Amo first opened Cup-a-Joe at the end of 2005, he did so knowing that Bedford was still suffering withdrawal symptoms from the closing of R-U-Up, a popular coffee shop. R-U-UP closed in May of that year.

  • The Blue Ridge Garden Club held a potting party last week. This, however, wasn’t something Sheriff Brown was worried about. It was perfectly legal.

        The club decided to celebrate its 80th anniversary with a new approach to the annual spring fundraiser. Part of this is to sell container gardens. The potting party was a gathering of club members to create these gardens. They come in various sizes, each in a ceramic container, and the club’s master gardener members helped design them. No two are alike.