By Debbie Adams
“What is the first thing you want to do or place you want to go when the COVID-19 quarantine ends?” is the question we posed to Vintonites and friends of Vinton.
Vinton area restaurants, churches, and hair salons should prepare for an influx of diners, worshippers, and the currently grooming-challenged if the informal survey is any indication. And it may be difficult to get a seat at Macado’s in Vinton if the “wishes” pan out.
Kathryn Sowers of the Vinton Chamber of Commerce says she wants to “get my nails done and a haircut; go to Vinton Baptist on a Sunday and have a great big family dinner with hugs all around.”
Vinton Messenger Sports Editor Brian Hoffman wants to “go to a baseball game of any kind, go to a Chinese restaurant buffet, and take my wife to a movie.”
Herman L. Horn Principal Julie Sandzimier ranks her top three as “Go to Bristol to visit my Momma, spend a few days at the beach, and invite my students to come play on the playground with me at HLH.”
Photographer Paula Greenway responded, “AHHHHH…I cannot wait!” She wants to “go to Vinton Baptist Church, get a pedicure, and travel.”
Her husband Tim Greenway wants foremost to “go to church on Sunday morning and see my church family, hang out in a group setting with friends and family (I know, I know, social distancing), and go on vacation.”
Their son, realtor Brad Greenway, who coaches the girls basketball team at William Byrd, says his top priorities are: 1) Take my family to a Salem Red Sox game (or any game depending on what season it is!); 2) Reunite the William Byrd girls basketball team and enjoy helping them get back to the game; and 3) Go to as many outdoor events/concerts as possible and never take them for granted again!”
WBHS teacher Carol Webster’s answer was, “#1, see my parents and give them a big hug; # 2—get a haircut from Indulgence Salon and Spa; and # 3, have a sit-down dinner in a restaurant with friends.”
While church members are anxious to return to church, their ministers, like Dr. Chris Monroe of Vinton Baptist, are eager for churches to open again as well. “I’d like to worship with more than 10 people at church; I plan to go out to eat-–I’d like to sit in a restaurant-–anything is fine. I want to take my wife away for a few days as these have been stressful days for her at work.”
Debby Grose’s list includes “taking my parents to Macado’s, going to an actual church service at Parkway Wesleyan, and going to Pigeon Forge.”
Her husband, Vinton Mayor Brad Grose, wants to “go to a church service in our sanctuary at Parkway Wesleyan; go to Macado’s with family and friends and go to an actual Town Council meeting in council chambers. And I guess I will have to go to Pigeon Forge with Debby and pray there is a car show that week.”
William Byrd Middle School Band Director Denise Aspell is dreaming of “getting my hair cut, going to The Homeplace restaurant with my friends, hopefully seeing my favorite Byrd band students—and Hokie football!”
Mary Beth Layman, former Director of Special Programs for Vinton, looks forward to “going to Thrasher Methodist to worship, learn, and fellowship; visiting my best friend and her family in South Carolina, and reconnecting in person with an older relative who can share memories about one of my grandmothers.”
Her husband, Randy Layman, wants to “go to a beach or resort, go to a fancy sit-down meal, and go to the Grandin Theatre.”
Vinton Councilmember Sabrina McCarty had a trip planned to Scotland to celebrate her birthday; it was unfortunately postponed due the coronavirus. Her wishes are to make that trip to Scotland and Ireland, visit and hug her family, and get a haircut, her nails done, and a massage.
Candye Peters wants to visit the library, the beach, and Dairy Queen. Her children said, “not so much a place but being able to hug family, have cookouts, see friends, and go to summer camp.”
Her husband, Jason Peters, from the Board of Supervisors, named “Alexandria, the beach, and Dave and Busters” on his wish list.
Chris Ayers from William Byrd High School is looking forward to “going to church in our sanctuary at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and getting a pedicure and a haircut.”
Bootie Chewning has been experiencing some health issues in recent months and confined to home even more than most. “Since this is two and a half years, I’m going to hope the schools open back up and I am healthy enough to go back to subbing and back to church. Next is to continue my column (for The Vinton Messenger) when I can see people and get stories. I miss people. Oh, yes, and go shopping.”
Lisa Liles wants “to go out to eat with my friends and family immediately. I want to get a pedicure and go to my favorite boutique downtown.”
Vinton’s Executive Assistant Susan Johnson lists “haircut, Agogo, and the Sunday service at Mill Creek Baptist Church (although we have partnered with Buchanan Baptist Church and having Drive-In Church at Limestone Park for the past six Sundays–it’s been wonderful with close to 400 people in attendance this past Sunday).”
Thrasher Pastor B. Failes responded, “Everyone is saying they are going to get a haircut, but that is not an issue for me. I plan to: #1. Go out to eat with my wife at an eat-in restaurant. #2. I want to go to church and preach to people who are actually there, and not just online! 3. I want to go to a baseball game, hopefully the Salem Red Sox, with my family and friends.”
Vinton Library Branch Manager Kimberly Burnette-Dean is anxious to “#1. Enjoy being back in the library seeing all of our patrons! #2. Go out to eat–nachos is what I am really craving! #3. Simply walk around in a store and enjoying looking at everything.”
Councilwoman Janet Scheid says, “My number one would be to hug my son. He’s in the health care field and has been seeing patients throughout the stay at home so I’ve been keeping away from him. Number two would be to be able to travel again, and number three is to visit with friends.”
Sherri Anne Winkler of Nite Owl Artz, says I can’t wait to “HUG EVERYONE! Dine at the Dogwood Restaurant and get my haircut.”
William Byrd Athletic Director Jason Taylor wants to “1. Watch a baseball game. Hopefully, it will be with Luke and his WB buddies. 2. Discuss what and when we can do something for our senior kids to get at least one more game, match, or event at WB. 3. Spend an evening with family and friends at a restaurant.”
Beadie Childress wants to “go to church, visit my brother Hoolie for a whole day and drive him crazy talking, and get my nails done.”
Thrasher Music Minister Josh O’Dell wants to “worship with friends at Thrasher, direct a choir again, and go to Pancho’s for a fabulous Mexican meal.”
Music teacher Susan Lewis says her #1 priority is rescheduling and attending her annual Spring Piano and Voice Recital for the Susan Lewis Music Studio which was originally scheduled for May 17, and then hair and chiropractor appointments.
Vinton Baptist Associate Pastor Whitney Russell says she wants to “worship with friends and SEE their faces at Vinton Baptist; wander around Target; and take her sons to a playground, the Mill Mountain Zoo or KidSquare!”
Vinton Director of Community Programs and Facilities Chasity Barbour and her family just want to go to dinner, go to the beach, and enjoy outdoor activities.
Councilman Mike Stovall wants to get back to church, attend the postponed wedding of friends, and see his friends at Macado’s “to make sure everyone is OK.”
Debbie Pitts of the Vinton History Museum has on her list: “getting a much-needed haircut, getting my dog a haircut, and going to a restaurant for a sit-down dinner, not a drive-by.”
Judy Cunningham wants to “open the Vinton History Museum, connect with family and friends in person, and go to church.” Her young granddaughter, Riley McGlennon, just wants to “go to a restaurant, go to a park, and go to summer school and see friends.”
Jan Dickens, who also volunteers at the History Museum, would “like to celebrate my 80th birthday with the party I missed on April Fool’s Day (yes, that’s my birthday), go to church, and go shopping. Her husband, Denny, wants to play golf “without feeling guilty” and go to a Chinese buffet.
Angie Chewning from the Chamber of Commerce lists: “Getting my nails done!! Shopping at the Goodwill (can you imagine all the treasures that will be there) and sitting down at a restaurant and someone serving ME!”