From the editor: It’s time for celebration!
This issue of The Piedmont Virginian marks our 10th anniversary. Many things have changed since our first issue in the autumn of 2007, but I believe we have remained true to our editorial mission as set forth by our founding publisher, Walter Nicklin: We strive to give voice to this special—even magical—place in the hopes that it remains so. Walter still puts his two cents in every now and again, and I am happy to report that our staff member Angel, Walter’s beagle mix, is still with us but mostly retired and working remotely!
No one person on our small staff could do this alone; everyone puts in their own talents to produce, if I may say so myself, a stunning magazine each issue. So this is a good time to say thank you to everyone: Dennis Brack as our publisher, Gus Edwards as senior editor, Morgan Hensley for his writing, editing, and web skills, Jacki Dyrholm for her photography, and Jim Kelly as our sales director. And, of course, all our freelance writers and photographers who contribute so much.
This issue of The Piedmont Virginian is our annual Arts Issue, and every year we try to take a fresh look at the different ways art is expressed in our Piedmont. Virginia is a veritable mecca for artists of all genres, whether they thrive on the solitude of our rural areas or the fast-paced vibrant art communities in our urban areas. We explore both types of artists in this issue, from Rappahannock artist Kevin Adams’ sojourn as Artist in Residence at Shenandoah National Park to Charlottesville’s thriving arts community.
As always, preservation of our rural environment is paramount to our magazine’s mission, so please enjoy Eric Wallace’s article about cousins Travis and Ryan Croxton of Rappahannock Oyster Company, who were almost singlehandedly responsible for bringing back the oyster population at the convergence of the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay, and who succeeded in reviving a century-old family business in the process.
What is October without a little spookiness? Read John Hagarty’s story of a haunted restaurant in old town Culpeper. Our restaurant profile this issue introduces French Hound Brasserie in Leesburg which, while we have no reason to believe is haunted, does serve up delicious food from a Provençal menu. Be sure to keep an eye out on our website for their featured recipes. And enjoy another beautiful feature of our Piedmont: the fall weather!
Speaking of the approaching autumn, here at The Piedmont Virginian we are already hard at work on the next issue, the Holiday Issue! Some features to look forward to: holiday culinary and cocktail traditions, a glimpse into the exclusive RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, Virginia Chestnuts in Nelson County (chestnuts are always welcome in holiday recipes!), Calhoun Hams in Culpeper, and a profile of Palladio restaurant in Barboursville (who will supply an exclusive, undoubtedly holiday-worthy, recipe).
See you then!
A note from our founder:
A look back, and ahead.
Ten years is a pretty good run in the print magazine business. Given how tumultuous this decade has been for traditional publishing, for a startup to survive that long is more than “pretty good” and is actually a remarkable achievement—if not quite in the same category as the Broadway run of the musical “Hamilton.”
Credit for this survival—indeed, success—must naturally go, first, to the writers, editors, photographers, artists, and designers whose creative energies brought The Piedmont Virginian to life with each new, successive edition. Equally important are all those who filled perhaps less glamorous roles in administration, marketing, sales, subscriptions fulfilment, and production. (Of special note, Pam Kamphuis should be singled out, wearing many different hats, for being with the magazine almost since its inception.)
Acknowledgement should also be given to the cofounders, Sandy Lerner and the late Arthur W. (Nick) Arundel, without whose vision the magazine would not have been possible. The mission has continued under the leadership of Dennis Brack, ably assisted by Gus Edwards.
Finally, and most importantly, are the readers and advertisers for whom that mission resonates. And that mission is simply this: to celebrate and serve that very special place known as the Piedmont of Virginia, its history and natural history, its people and pleasures.