The Roanoker - May/June 2020 - 8

from the editor

In Times of Trouble
We'll get through this together - as a caring, huge-hearted community.
I SUPPOSE I HAVE TO SAY IT: COVID-19 has
taken over every waking moment of our lives. And above
all, I hope you and yours are well.
It's early April, and I'm writing this from my desk at
home, rather than at the office, due to precautions our
company has taken to prevent the spread of COVID19. I am especially grateful to the businesses in our
community looking out for their employees, and to the
decision-makers who understand our concerns not only
about our jobs, but our health, families and everything
else that comes with this kind of unprecedented
situation.
The optimist in me hopes that by the time you read
this, our COVID-19 situation has become significantly
better. The pragmatist, however, understands that this
isn't something that will simply " be over " in mid-June.
Right now, it's impossible to know what will happen in
the next few months, and for many of us, the anxiety
and worry that comes with this is crippling.
No one could've predicted this situation, and we are
all devastated not only by the potential implications
for our families and loved ones, but also by major event
cancellations that leave us wondering about what that
means for the region's future.
I am thinking especially of our local businesses and
restaurants during this time. It's our annual " Best of
Roanoke " issue, where readers select their favorite places,
events and more (page 36). First, thank you to all who
voted; second, it is now more important than ever to
show our support for these owners and employees.
There are a lot of ways we can show our support
now, even as we stay at home, from the Virginia is for

Lovers Restaurant Takeout Week that took place
initially March 30-April 4 (and I hope by the time
you read this has been repeated); buying gift cards to
use as soon as our beloved shops reopen their doors;
to sharing social media posts to raise awareness or
donating to nonprofits in their time of need. I have
seen an outpouring of love and friendship across my
newsfeeds, and my heart is grateful as I see so many
working together in times of trouble.
You show so much love for these businesses during
the " Best of " voting times, and I hope now is no
different. Our friends need us now more than ever,
and as soon as we get the " okay, " we need to be out in
full force showing our support.
I hope the many great articles in this issue will
keep you busy for a while at home, as well as teach
you something new! (Bonus points if you're checking
that off your CV-19 Bingo card.) Keep up those social
distancing practices (as well as whatever additional
social-practice recommendations that may have been
added since early April!) and check in on your loved
ones with a quick phone call or message. I've lived here
long enough to know that we'll not only get through
this together, but come out stronger in the end.
From all of us at The Roanoker to you and yours,
our very best wishes.

TELL US ABOUT...

how you're dealing with the
COVID-19 situation. How
are you staying busy while
practicing social distancing?
Share your thoughts on our
social media pages!

WE WANT TO
HEAR FROM YOU
Questions, comments
or feedback about The
Roanoker? E-mail llong@
leisuremedia360.com

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meet the contributors

R.S. (Rod)
Belcher

is an award-winning
newspaper and
magazine editor and
journalist, as well as
author of 10 novels
in genres of Science
Fiction, Fantasy and
Horror. He lives in
Roanoke, Virginia with
his children, Jonathan
and Emily. Read his
story on the Bicycle
Boom on page 30.

8

MAY/JUNE 2020

Layla KhouryHanold

is a food, drink and
travel writer whose
work has appeared on
Saveur, Food Network
and Refinery29 and in
The Chicago Tribune,
among others. Follow
her on Instagram @
theglassofrose. Read
Layla's Crafteria piece
on page 116.

Shari Dragovich

is a freelance writer
whose work appears
in regional magazines
throughout the
Southeast. Her favorite
pursuits include all
things story, all things
community and all
things wine. She, along
with her husband and
five teenaged kids,
think it a beautiful gift
to call Roanoke home.
See her dining review of
Tizzone on page 112.

Christina Nifong

is a writer with a
decades-long career
profiling interesting
people, places and
ideas. She's recently
launched a new email
newsletter focused on
life in the slow lane,
called Nourishing
Stories. Sign up and
find more of her work
at christinanifong.com.
Read her Gist article on
page 20.

John Park

has become the
quintessential food
evangelist for SW
Virginia and the
surrounding regions.
Though John lives in a
suit by day, he prides
himself on sharing his
love of great eats and
the people who make
it possible. Follow his
social media moniker @
hungryasianrke and see
his photos in our Dining
section on page 112.

Dan Smith

is an award-winning
writer, author and
photographer and a
member of the Virginia
Communications Hall
of Fame. He is a former
Virginia Small Business
Journalist of the Year.
Read Dan's Gist pieces
starting on page 16;
Best Neighborhoods on
page 24; Technology
in Blacksburg on page
92; and the Growth of
Daleville on page 96.

Bob Sowder

is a native of Roanoke
and enjoyed a career
in broadcast television
and advertising, working
in markets from D.C. to
L.A. and a lot of fly-over
country. On a visit back
to Roanoke in 1999
with his wife Jules, they
discovered Roanoke
and returned to raise
their two children. See
Bob's photography in our
Homes section starting
on page 100.

TheRoanoker.com


http://www.christinanifong.com http://www.TheRoanoker.com

The Roanoker - May/June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - May/June 2020

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The Roanoker - May/June 2020 - Cover3
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