Editor’s Letter September/October 2020


I don’t like to go camping.

There. I said it.

I remember when I broke the news to my now-husband when we were dating. I wanted to tell a little white lie—“Yeah, sure, camping’s pretty cool”—but I had to come clean to a man I knew loved everything about the outdoors. Thankfully, it wasn’t a deal breaker, and he has only made me tent-camp with him once. (I survived, but just barely.)

Even though I’m not a fan of overnight camping, I absolutely love spending an evening outside around a fire and eating delicious food. What’s great about our cover story, “Camp Cuisine,” is that it caters to both ends of the outdoorsy spectrum. On one end, you have contributor Mikael Blido (who is known to thru-hike with his wife Traci) and on the other, high-maintenance people like me who would prefer to get the outdoor experience wrapped up by about 9 p.m. Be sure to check out Mikael’s five simple recipes in our Taste department.

The best way to spend some time around a campfire? Tell a few spooky stories. It is getting closer to Halloween after all! We had a blast working on our This City feature with Woody Watts, founder of the new group Hill City Paranormal, to give an update on the Rocking Cradle House legend that dates back to the 1800s. (And, spoiler alert: THE HAUNTED CRADLE IS BACK… well, maybe.)

Another one of my favorites this issue is our feature on Kuumba Dance Ensemble. Founder Sheron White and I actually reconnected for this story, as she helped me out when I participated in Dancing with the Lynchburg Stars years ago. Sheron was a breath of fresh air then, and still is today, and she hasn’t slowed down one bit. Hear how her group is continuing to grow, even during a pandemic, in our Art department.

Whether it’s dance, campfire food, spooky stories—you name it—it’s important now more than ever to gravitate toward the things in life that bring us joy. For me this fall, that will mean being intentional about disconnecting from social media (and negative conversations), and heading outside to enjoy Central Virginia’s beautiful evenings.

(But at 9 p.m., I’m coming inside to go to bed.)

All My Best,

Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor


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