Archive for the ‘Guests’ Category
Only in America can one wake in the morning to see a ABC News report on the top spire of the new One World Trade Center being set in place to soon make history as the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. And as part of that report learn that a local Lynchburg Virginia company “Banker Steel” supplied the custom designed steel for the foundation of that new structure. Top that with the fact that I was about to serve breakfast to the owners Don & Carol Banker and another wonderful couple from St Petersburg Russia. The conversation was wonderful and so informative. I learned that not only did the supply steel for the new Tower but the prior owner had supplied steel for the Twin Towers. I had no idea there was such a firm as Banker Steel in Lynchburg but then our home Rockwood Manor was designed by Robert Burkholder and built by a Pettijohn and both came from Lynchburg and we too believe our home was finished in 1876 and showed that though we had lost the Civil War we could still do Grand Things.
We were blessed by the visit of Tripp Bell and Rachel Sparrow last evening and their engagement was announced at the breakfast table this morning as the snow started coming down. What a wonderful announcement and such a lovely couple. An interesting fact is that Tripp is Francis Bell the sixth and as such the namesake of our GGGreat Grandfather and builder of this home Rockwood Manor.
150 years ago the first shot of the Civil War was fired. The first Russian Cosmonaut 50 years ago. First space shuttle was launched 30 years ago. Also the first visit by Homer Hickam here at Rockwood Manor Bed and Breakfast. The auther of the Rocket Boys/ October Sky and now The Dinosaur Hunter which I just started reading. Interesting how the NASA Engineer who started life changes with his facination of Sputnik crossing the October Sky is here on this anniversary of so many accomplishments.
Homer Hickam guest at Rockwood Manor Bed and Breakfast while presenting the McGlothlin Awards at Radford University
One of my heros is coming to visit us at Rockwood Manor Bed and Breakfast while he presents “The McGlothlin Awards” at Radford University. Growing up in a small town in the West Virginia coalfields he and a group of his friends formed a small club that became later in life a book the “Rocket Boys: A Memoir” . This grew into another book about The Coalwood Way” and that was turned into a Hollywood Movie called October Sky.
As a writer and an adventurer he has continued on with multiple stories and has become accomplished as a speaker and presenter. Check him out at
The McGlothlin Awards are a blessing to the teachers of Southwest Virginia and given once a year to the outstanding teachers of the year. We would like to thank Tom McGlothlin and his family foundation for these honors.
|(Roanoke, VA)- The McGlothlin Awards for Teaching Excellence are awarded at Radford University, granted in the amount of $25,000 each to two outstanding teachers. These awards are tied with the nation’s largest awards to teachers-the Milkin and the Disney awards-but are only offered to teachers from communities in the Blue Ridge regions of Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.|
The purpose of these awards, now in its 12th year, is to “find the best teachers working in today’s classrooms around our region. We want to recognize their fine work, reward them for it, and by so doing inspire others to the high qualities they exemplify. This award recognizes in a rather significant way what we consider one of the most important professions-and one with so many unsung heroes.”
We were blessed with a pair of wonderful guests today and the breakfast table fairly buzzed with wit , gaelic and music. Our family history of musical roots steeped
in the Scotch-Irish traditions goes back to Whitetop Mountain Virginia. This landmark was once owned by my Grandfather; John Blakemore; who also started one of the earliest folk festivals in America. That was the Whitetop Mountain Folk Festival and began in 1931. Eleanor Roosevelt visited there as did thousands of music makers.
John accompanied a legend in Scottish Fiddle Bonnie Rideout and it was a pleasure to meet them.
Here is a short bio on John Purser from the BBC.
“2007 marks a second bite at the Scotland’s Music apple for John. The first series aired on Radio Scotland in 1992 to wide acclaim, and his accompanying book earned him the 1993 McVitie’s Scottish Writer of the Year Award. He is currently writing a new, extended edition based on the research that informs his second Scotland’s Music series.
John has been creating award-winning radio since the seventies – as in Scotland’s Music, usually as writer, researcher and presenter. As well as for Radio Scotland, he has made programmes for Radio 3 and Radio 2, and his radio work has been aired as far afield as Ireland, New Zealand and even Iceland.
John Purser with Highland CowRadio is only one of John’s many passions. He is a composer, a poet and playwright, and a musicologist of some renown. He lectured on classical music for Glasgow University Extra-Mural Department, and has travelled the world lecturing and broadcasting on Scottish music. He also finds the time to raise Highland cattle on a croft near Elgol in Skye, with the help of his wife, Bar, and the occasional mucking in of extremely well-fed and watered guests.
John has recently been studying Gaelic at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye, and in 2006 he was appointed as a Research Fellow and Gaelic Music Course Director. He is one of the team of researchers undertaking the five-year research project, “Window to the West – towards a redefinition of the visual within Gaelic Scotland”, funded by the AHRC.”
We will talk about Bonnie Rideout and her wonderful accomplishments in the next post.