this is an audio post - click to play

"What do you want?" "Information."

"who are you?"
"I am number 2."
"Who is number 1?"
"You are Number 5."

Anyway, that aside - I do need information.

There is a severe shortage of interior photos from Roanoke's old hotels. What did the interior of the Ponce look like? Not the postcard view either - Im talking about the everyday view. People had events there, some came to stay just for a visit - there has to be photos somewhere.

The Hotel Shenendoah, same deal. We all know how it looked towards the end, but what about when it was in its prime? Anyone?

So thats what Im looking for, interior photos from Roanokes Grand Ol' Dames. If you or anyone you know has some, please contact me and I will be more than happy to take them, scan them and return the original to you with a digital copy that will forever be archived. Plus, you get credit if/when I use the photo on the website.

So let me know, if you please.


Visitor log for RoanokeFound

Visitor log for RoanokeFound

So now not only can I track your IP, I can see where you are.

evil? Who me?


Editorials from The Roanoke Times -Victory Stadium as directional signal

One has to wonder how many editorials the Times has written like this over the past years.

"Aunt Mabel used to come a'visitin' every Thanksgiving, and greet us as we came through the door after the big game with the smell of her pecan pie."

Boy, what a high opinion they have of their readership.

And might I mention the dripping irony this op/ed has? Sad, really. It is the very definition of "a good talking-down to."

Oh yes, and by the by - take a look at Florida. U of Miami Hurricanes vs. FSU Seminoles vs. U of Florida Gators. 3 big teams, 3 huge rivalrys. So I guess a college football rivalry is still a major event in someones life.

Me thinks the Times needs to realize for as much griping about how people "want Roanoke back the way it used to be," they too are secretly hoping for things back the way it used to be - when their circulation was high, readership was widespread, and while you would always have your Bill McClure's, the majority of people generally agreed with them.

Ahh the halcyon days of journalisim. When people rarely questioned the validity of a newspapers opinions.

Editorial board of the Times: I am fairly certain most people allready have an opinion on Victory Stadium, be it white-water rafting area when it floods, or landfill when its torn down. Write the article explaining both sides, do not opine and condescend to tell us what we should think.

"The pitched political battle over the stadium reflects two very different visions of what the city and its place in the region should be: competitive, insular, wedded to the past; or collaborative, open, ready for change. And change will happen, guaranteed."

Umm.. yeah, ok. If thats what you believe. Or it could be that the vision that you term competitive, insular, and wedded to the past might be competitive with, say... Greensboro for concerts and whatnot. Insular in that we are not recieving funding for the rebuild from Salem or any other local municipality. And wedded to the past could be mistaken for actually appreciating the past, and what it can bring forth to the future.

Times, I have a feeling your clock is nearing midnight.



WikiRoanoke: "yJuDFgD48Y"

thats the password, yall.. for this Wikiroanoke v2.0

Shanna Flowers -The poor are always with you, Roanoke County

Shanna Flowers -The poor are always with you, Roanoke County

I've been quiet too long. And Im not picking on you Shanna, but this whole San Souci/Mews low income apartment deal is asinine.

First off, for those who can't meet the guidlines for income, I say - look around. I can tell you for a fact that the apartments which Im living in are cheaper than the new prices in the Villages at Garst Creek. Im not in a low income housing development. Actually Im in a prime location, probably far better than that of the Villages.

Between the convient location to everything, and I mean - it just does not get any more convienient, the wonderful buildings, the pool, the view from the pool. And Im not paying what they will be at the Villages.

Well, actually I might be paying close to it, but I have 2 dogs, and I opted for the Washer-Dryer in the apartment. So it adds a little. Still not what the Villages allegedly will charge.

This hubbub over the Villages tho comes down to 2 words that have the locals up in arms. "Low Income"

Granted, the government of Roanoke County really can do nothing about it - so stop pestering them. The citizens cannot do anything either. Such is the way of private property.

But Shanna, please. Show some understanding of this issue. Find me where Roanoke County has legislated the non-development of affordable housing? And Roanoke County itself, not being a landlord, has no responsibility towards those with lower incomes. Just like Roanoke County does not see the validity in having a public transit system, or funding one.

There is no requirement for them to have one, its just an nice thing to have.

But seriously Shanna, you found some numbers to back up your point about Roanoke City's housing situation, but still revert to baseless critisims of the residents of the county. You will not change a mindset by pointing out the fears that cause it.

The neighbors are giving voice to their worst fears, and what else could you think when you hear of the crime and drug hotspots in Roanoke. Now I understand that it is not solely attributable to low income housing, but they do seem to be a hotspot for it. There are several reasons for this, of course.

Similar arguments are tried in NYC, with crime rates in housing projects being double what they are in similar income neighborhoods, and people say there is no correlation. Well there is, sad to say, and for whatever reasons there continues to be.

Shanna, I think you need to realize the story from all angles, and stop attempting to portray the residents of Roanoke County as elitist. Maybe some of them are, but they don't have an option - so let them vent, ignore them, and wait for them to quiet down.

But remember that the perception will not change until change occurs within the community itself. And no opinion piece will change that.


pbwiki - wikiroanoke: FrontPage

pbwiki - wikiroanoke: FrontPage

Hey, I tried to warn yall that this was coming. Now - the true WikiRoanoke is born. you can find the password over at WikiRoanoke.

Join in, lock in, and rip the knob off.

Its easy, simple, and fun. So shaddup and do it...

BST24: Summations and Closing Arguements

So 24 days from smacking my head in Atlantic City, to sleeping in bed in Moneta. With a side trip to Charlottesville in the middle somewhere.

I was home, recovering, relaxing. Retired? Well, thats debateable.

August 17th, I was officially discharged, I was officially free. And as for meds out of the hospital, I had 2 perscriptions. One for 2 days worth of "take once daily" steroids, as they weaned me off. Expensive buggers, that 2 days worth was one split in half, and still cost $30 for one pill. And the other perscription was for Potassium in the form of a salt pill. Those were cheap, and I had a 15 day supply. To this day I still take potassium supplements, my body just sucks the stuff up.

But if you have never taken a Salt pill, a quick word on its unintended and unmentioned side effect. Ever get salt on your finger, and suck it off? You know how your mouth begins to water? Well taking a salt pill - your mouth begins to water to the point of nearly being drool. A lovely feature I bet you did not know you had.

And thats it, those are the sum total of my perscription needs. To this day nurses and doctors still look at me funny when I tell them I take no medications, although why - I do not know.

On August 19th it was back to UVA to have my staples removed (which I did not totally realize I still had in), more bloodwork, and a general checkup.

The pronouncement was 98% normal. 2% looney. And 5% clinically nuts.

"But thats 105%!"

Right you are sir, if your going to do something - give it all you've got and then some.

That was my last trip to UVA for a while. Next one was for a follow up MRI at the 1 month mark.

In the weeks following, I made a few (and I do mean few) trips to Rocky Mount. Carilion Franklin Memorial's outpatient rehab department. I had a total of 1 physical rehab visit, which was more just to see if I needed it than anything else. And 3 occupational visits. My fine fine motor skills are shot, so no scrimshaw for me. Other than that, Im alive. Fairly healthy. Put back on the 100lbs I lost thanks to moms cookin. Yes, life looks different now - and not in the "It's a Wonderful Life" kind of way.

Subtle things. But too few to mention.

So now my thank youse:

Thank Youse to my parents, family, and friends - who put up with my silly ass while I kept hemming and hawing about going to a doctor, who did the prayin' and praisin' while I was in the hospital, and who took the time to not only sit by my bedside - but actually sleep in the same room on a cot while I was down.

Thank Youse: to Dr. Steven Lewis of Moneta, who had more of a clue than an entire hospital in NY did. The man is a miracle worker, and Im not the only one who says that.

Thank Youse: to the Staff of the UVA Neurosurgery Department, including all those nurses and nursing students who had to put up with me. Dr. Shaffrey and his surgical team. Drs. Farace and Irons from the Neuropsychology crew. The Doctor me and my folks referred to as the Iron Surgeon, whose name we dont remember - but whose skills we cant forget.

And most of all Thank Youse to all you people reading this. I have had days where I recorded more hits than I had in a week of writing normally. I know its hard to leave a comment when you dont know what to say, but I'd like to hear it anyway. Especially from you fine folks at Carilion, who seem to enjoy reading this. You can put it in my comments section below, or e-mail me at forgotten.roanoke@gmail.com.

There is one final chapter to this whole story, but that does not come till December. And it will wait till then to be told.

We now resume our regular broadcasting... Which means all my usual targets better be wary. Im back.


BST23: A visit from an old friend.

Now had I know ahead of time that this would be my 200th post, I would have made a cake. As it is, I have a twinkie and a lighter. I'd be wise not to light the twinkie - as I have heard they are explosive.

So the day dawns clear and nice, and the usual habits ensue in the morning. Blood, Nurse (for vitals), Doc, Food. Although today, between the blood and the nurse, something unusual happened.

I developed a low grade fever.

Heads were slapped around the room, as everyone was waiting for those magic words: "Get the hell out, go home, your not wanted anymore, get!"

We were so close to the end, yet so far. This fever was seen as a Code Red Crisis.

Why the hell is this kid running a fever again? What the hell could be wrong now?

Well, this meant more testing, and testing and whatnot, and testing.
Finally, when the situation seemed most impossible - they called in the heavy hitters.

The Infectious Disease Team. *dum da dum-dum*

Well, obviously this did not apply to me, as I did not have ebola, nor was I in the general area of monkeys. So what did I have to worry about?

Well - they could keep me another few days, that cause worry?

Hmm.. so in walks this doctor-ly lookin guy, surrounded by student-ly lookin people. Great, now Im a class project. They ask me to sit up, cough, and all that stuff. He asks the class if there is anything outstanding which could be indicative of anything.

One girl pipes up, "Well, he has a rash on his back."

My mother, on cue and tired of hospital food: "Of course he has a rash on his back, he has been laying in bed for days now. Plus he did have a reaction to the dilantin, which caused fevers. And Dr. Shaffrey said it would take time for it to leave his body."

I think in her mind she finished the last line with "..., asshat."

Suddenly a ray of light opened in the room and shone on the Infectious Disease Doc. Ahhh yes, that must be it. Ok folks - we shall move along, nothing to see here.

So we were left to wait it out, till Shaffrey got the Docs word. A couple of hours later, it came. I was going home.

The next day, August 17th, at 8:45am I was discharged from UVA Medical Center after that one last visit from Dilantin. It was a quiet discharge, not much to say. Everyone wishing me well, and gathering my goodies for the trip home. And in the interest of brevity, and allowing me to get back to current issues, I am finishing it now.

After the paperwork was handled, the final days meds were administered, prescriptions were passed out, and follow up appointments were filed, I was waiting for the chair to come take me down to the car home. Dad had gone to get it. The woman who wheeled me down was the same woman who had wheeled me up to my room that Friday 2 weeks ago. She was nearly in tears talking about how she had prayed and prayed for me. All I could say was thank you.

Its nearly impossible to think of how just my very entry into that hospital touched people, and to see me heading out - nearly 95% better, was a miracle in their eyes. I found out in the ensuing days that I had near legions of people praying for me, special masses for me... insane the amount of backing that I had at that point.

And here I was, going home - not a vegetable. Plus, I had a head with a commodity in it. Always a bonus.

But wait, there was still the challenge of actually getting in the car. Anxious to get home, I jumped out of the chair and stood. Standing, outside. Breathing the hot, humid air. I was ready to get in the car... blech - heat.

I leaned forward to get in, and smacked my head right into the frame of the door.


So off we go, back to 29 south. Well, if you know anything about 29 and UVA - you know there are a few lights before you get to the actual open road part. Well, at each light, as we came to a stop my head rolled forward. Now remember, I had not used my neck all that much in the hospital. Well, light goes green.... head goes back, and back, and bumps the back of the seat.

This happened a few times on the trip. There was no way I could possibly keep it from happening either, aside from laying down - which at 6'3" was not going to happen in the backseat of a Chevy Blazer. 29S to 460W to 122 to Moneta. I remember thinking of how deafening the rumble was, how bizzare the trip itself seemed.

Sensory overload for someone who has not seen much lately. It was only 2 weeks for god's sake.

Pulling into the driveway, my grandmother threw the door open wide. I came in, went right to the bathroom to do the thing UVA could not get me to do, and made the trip upstairs - right to bed.

I slept long and deep, peaceful under blankets which seemed to weigh a ton. Home again home again, jiggity jig.

Tomorrow: BST24:Summation and Observations.


BST22: So close, so close yet so far...

Allright - seeing as how officially as of tomorrow morning, Forgotten Roanoke is re-launched, (feel free to poke around, things look different - but the old pages arent back up yet. But the new ones are pretty cool, I think) Im going to do some time compression here.

So the 14th passes with my making leaps and bounds improvements, being up and moving around - being ravenously hungry. Making my phone calls for the first time in days, answering tons of questions for the docs. STILL getting bloodwork at 5am.

Which leads to this tragic passage in the story. How to make a Phlebotomy tech cry unintentionally.

I had achieved a level of sleep which is precise, and dangerous. Military snipers sleep like this. Ever watchful while resting. I was programmed with the 4:45am wakeup call for the 5am-ish blood check. And the 6am doc visit. And the 7:30am breakfast call.

Well, I had some of the nicest blood-suckers one could ask for. Including this girl. She really could not have been more than 20, and she had been in a few times. We yapped casually as she sucked another few ounces of blood out of me.

Well, on the morning of either the 14th or 15th (that early its nearly impossible to remember), she had come in as usual. Started locking in her target vein for the day, began to slide the needle in, and the vein quickly ran the other way. She tried to coax it back, but it was not having any of it.

No, not in the least. And apparently it had joined a rebellion amogst my veins. She tried 3 times to tap in, and 3 times they just scooted out of the way at the last minute.
She started apologizing, like it was her fault I had union veins.

She was very upset, thinking that she was hurting me. As much as I tried to tell her she was not, she kept on with that thought. She left the room, fighting back tears, saying she would get her supervisor to come in.

About a half hour later, in comes the Head Vampire. A shortish, swarthy, no-nonsense looking fellow. We shall call him Vlad.

He walks up to me, takes a look at my arm, swabs it, preps the needle and bottles, and with nary a word - he pops me.

My veins, rigid with fear, don't move. Vlad has what he came for, and again - no words. He packs up and leaves, taking with him a deep shadow, and my veins relax.

Even the walls seemed to sigh in relief. I had to agree.

The next day, she did not return. She did stop in once before I left, last minute tests I believe. Again she apologized, and again I tried to tell her that it was not her fault. But this time she struck gold, straight into the vein of her choice. No problems.

It was a sort of closure, which I am thankful is not the typical everyday closure. My veins have a "strike-ready" stance. Waiting for that next moment they are called upon by the union leader, the Aorta, to rise up against sticking oppression.

So anyway, anecdotes are all I have left for these last few days. Well, except for the fact that we are not quite done with Dilantin just yet.

BST21: Whaddaya mean I gotta get outa bed??

the 13th/14th of August, 3 years ago. Marked by one thing - the light at the end of the tunnel.

We could see the end of the road ahead, just had to get there. Through the occupational therapists, the physical therapists. The Neuro-psychs - who wanted to make sure I was not going to drool out of my left side and kill people with my right. The doctors had stated on several occasions that they had never seen a recovery quite like this one. Such a fast recovery, such a clean recovery. Such a nice boy....

Plans for my escape began. After all this time, my mother - father - and I really just wanted to get the hell out of there. I was eating like a pig, and sucking down grapes like there was no tomorrow. The shunt surgery had left me with gas pains like you would not believe, and for some reason - the grapes helped. Maybe something I could patent?

I was beginning to see more of the outside world. I had been to the mirror in the room a few times to get a good look at myself. Boy, was I a mess. And rather upset that I did not get the nice mohawk I wanted. I still was not sleeping much - and I still had not been to the bathroom for more than 2 minutes. But as I told them, its not easy to go on a bowl thats a good foot higher than the one you are used to. And it had handles like an easy chair. That was weird.

One of the therapists, don't remember which one, actually took me downstairs to the cafeteria. Now my parents had told me about the cafeteria, how big it was and how busy. I truly had no idea though exactly how insane the place was.

I took 2 bucks, and went down. Instantly I was inundated with the scenes and sounds of life. Lines snaking this way and that - but I saw my target. A cinnamon-rasin bagel with cream cheese, and a cup of coffee. Got it, paid for it, then I learned of the real task at hand. Not could I handle the cafeteria - Hell, I'd been on subways more crowded than that. Nope - getting back to the room with no help from the therapist.

Good one. In retrospect, it was a great idea. At the time, I was not happy. As I said - I probably could not tell you today where my room was, much less at the time. But he told me, 6th floor, and gave me the room number - then stood back as I went for the elevators. UVA only had about 5 different elevator banks, so I had to backtrack through the cafeteria to find the right ones, then up - then I got lost on the 6th floor.

Boy was I red when I found out that my room was basically right across from the elevators, around the corner.


Otherwise, it was mainly monitoring - making sure everything was going well.

Tomorrow: BST22: Return of the Overly-Warm Boy.

PS - the updated Forgotten-Roanoke.com is nearly complete. I'm putting pages up as I have time, which is not much. But bear with me. It's all coming together.