Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Blacksburg

The following editorial piece appeared in the Blacksburg Sun in 1971.  I thought it was interesting what the author had to say, and it reflects the feeling of a lot of people today so it is worth reprinting here -

     "As of last April, Blacksburg has been incorporated for 100 years.
     This fact has been overlooked by most, if not all, residents of the town.  Tragic as this is, it is not nearly so as the fact that town officials and merchants have let this event pass by, a moment when citizens of the town might have been brought together and given the feeling of existence as a town and not as an extension of Virginia Tech.
     The town and college must work together but for the college because of it's own centennial to be able to suppress any idea of a town centennial leads one to assume that a mentality of existence, and not being, is prevalent in both officials and people in the town.
     Blacksburg has grown over the past 100 years and will continue to grow at an even greater pace than before.  The question which remains is whether Blacksburg will only be known as the place where VPI is or will it have it's own life, in cooperation with, but not overshadowed by, the college?
     Blacksburg needs a recognition by it's citizens of it's 100th year.  To lose the feeling of community is to pave the way for a future of disaster."

Remember, this was written 40 years ago.  So, how are we doing as a Town and not just the place where that big university is located?


  1. The Blacksburg Sun, you say. Another fine way I used to work and make money. I was too young to deliver Roanoke Times papers, but I made a killing on selling Blacksburg Sun and Montgomery News Messengers. I could buy the papers for 3 cents each and sell them for a nickle. I didn't have an assigned route, so I just hit all the places I knew best: Main Street, Progess St, Roanoke St, etc. I would usually just get about 25 papers so my profit would be 50 cents - and believe me - I could buy all kinds of stuff with 50 cents! Grilled Fried (stale) Krispie Kremes were only a nickle or so back then at Mrs. Reiman's Restaurant which was just next door (Now Hokie House) or I could get several things at the Hobby Shop, downstairs of the building next door...below Nita's Beauty Shop and next to Charlie Whitaker's Barber Shop. I could also add to my funds with a visit to the Shoe Shop. Harley would be whistling in the back while I negotiated with the owner for the 25 cents. I think he had polio. Now just what was his name???

  2. I remember Harley fixing shoes forever. I think he was deaf. There was a German immigrant (I forget his name too) that fixed everyone's tube style TVs back in the day. Nita's beauty shop was owned and run by Yanita Amburgey our next door neighbor in Highland Park (Locust Ave.) from 1964-1980. She had 22 cats at the time, I guess she has passed since then.

    1. Alex - was the TV repairman. He made house calls