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Tuesday, July 16, 2013
From Krispy Kreme doughnuts to Deb’s Frozen Lemonade to the definition of “fraud” and misspelled diplomas, we covered a lot of ground in June. The response from readers did, too.
First up from June’s reader mailbag is Karen Kellogg of Fairmount, Ind. She learned in the June 6 column that Krispy Kreme was burned out of its Melrose Avenue location, and that there’s no way yet to get them hot and fresh in the ’Noke. “I looked forward to coming to your area to visit my husband’s family in Salem and what was always our first stop? My beloved Krispy Kreme shop!” She continued: “Now our dilemma, is there still a reason to visit? Not that I don’t love his family, but no Krispy Kremes?”
Elliot Broyles of Roanoke wrote that usually he’s not a big fan of my stuff, and that “every once in a while I wonder why the hell you have a job at The Roanoke Times.”
But, he added: “The Krispy Kreme column is terrific, fun and entertaining … I smiled my way through it and wanted to let you know.”
Lynwood Shelton of Roanoke County felt much the same way about the June 13 and 20 columns about itty bitty Deb’s Frozen Lemonade and its legal to-do with a big Rhode Island chain, Del’s Lemonade. Del’s lawyers wrote Deb’s owners, Joyce and Debra Castelli, hinting they might sue over similar logos.
“Just when I’m about to swear off reading your mostly liberally slanted stuff … you go and write something that gives me a good laugh or warm-hearted feeling,” Shelton wrote.
Mary Conner of Roanoke copied me on an unhappy message she sent to Del’s:
“Somebody in your company and your attorney need to find something better to do than harass innocent parties that have a similar name.”
A number of readers praised the June 2 column that highlighted the blinders Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli seems to wear when it comes to fraud. One was Bill Shiner of Max Meadows.
“It is truly a sad commentary on the state of affairs when an individual who espouses such a perverted ideology is supported for higher office,” Shine wrote. “Hopefully efforts such as yours will enlighten a sufficient number of voters to reject his brand of politics.”
And then there was Dan Crawford of Roanoke: “Once again, your investigative efforts, skill, guts and style have shined the light of truth on that scourge, Cuccinelli,” he wrote. “You are so good, even people who don’t see things your way read you, and that makes you very valuable.”
But some Radford University fans were upset when I picked on their favorite college over its diploma spelling errors.
“I will simply say this; you sir, are a jackass,” wrote Radford graduate Patrick McRauche. “A jackass of the highest order. I wish I could sit back and just laugh — as I’m sure your column was designed to elicit — but I can’t.”
Kristi Dedor, a junior at Radford, added that she was “appalled” at the column:
“For you to stick your nose up at an amazing school because of a TYPO makes me so angry, and has further resulted in my total disrespect for you as a person.”
Finally, we had a bunch of latecomers to the long-running “Name that train” contest. Here are their suggestions for what to call a future Amtrak train to the Star City:
Clark Vandergrift says it should be “Valley Star.” Tom Fame of Salem likes “The Northern Star,” but he also likes “The General Andrew Lewis.” The latter might persuade Rep. Morgan Griffith to support federal subsidies for Amtrak, eh?
Susan Lockwood of Radford suggests “The Starlight Express.” Mel Mayfield of Roanoke offered up “Southwest Starline.” Connie Anderson likes “The Big Lick.” She wrote: “I know it’s an old Roanoke name, but trains in Roanoke are old too.”
Steve Dunham of Spotsylvania took issue with a tongue-in-cheek suggestion by one reader. “Taxpayer Express is a stupid name,” he wrote. “People who are using the train name contest to grind an axe should know that the Lynchburg train has garnered so many fares that it hasn’t needed any financial support from Virginia.”
Bob Kinsey of Salem suggested “The Potlikker Flats.” That was a residential neighborhood just east of downtown where many railroad workers lived. It was named after the juice left in a pan after boiling greens.
Joseph Balbalian of Salem likes “Spirit of ’76,” because the service would traverse the Eastern seaboard from Roanoke to Boston.
Last but not least was loyal reader Benton Hopper of Roanoke County. He said the train should be called “Dan Casey Express” or “Casey Jones.”
“If not for you and the obituaries I wouldn’t need a newspaper,” he wrote. Alas, Mr. Hopper, naming it after me would probably guarantee it would wreck.
Thanks for all your calls, emails and letters, folks. Please keep that train running!
Dan Casey’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Weather JournalMix on Sat AM; coming blog changes