Notes from the Publisher

Publishers Notes

By Bob Tagert

Last year at his time the COVID-19 pandemic began to tighten its grip. Social distancing was in place and face masks were mandatory. Restaurant seating was drastically reduced and bars were closed. Marketing for tourism dried up and retail had to monitor the number of shoppers in the store. Our revenues dropped well over 60 percent as advertising dried up. We were indeed lucky to retain some of our core advertising that saw us through the rough times and we will forever be grateful to those businesses and individuals.

Now, a year later, we are emerging from that abyss. Local destinations are once again looking for tourist dollars to help their struggling economies. Take note in this issue of our Road Trip to St. Mary’s County in Maryland. If you are looking for a drive to the mountains check out The Blue Ridge Whiskey and Wine Loop ad. We still have a way to go but the tide has finally turned.

In this issue Sarah Becker takes a look at Juneteenth in A Bit of History. In Grapevine, Matt Fitzsimmons shows us how to mix wine with exercise and adventure. Miriam Kramer takes us into the mind of Adella Ajullar in “Mistress of the Art of Death” in The Last Word. Take Photos, Leave Footprints takes us to Iceland and The Blue Lagoon. In Open Space, Lori Welch Brown writes a letter to her late father for Father’s Day. On that note, Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads that are out there.

So far this year we have seen much improvement in the battle with the virus. Let’s hope that the numbers in VA and the surrounding areas keep dropping so the mandates can be lifted on the 15th and we can begin to put COVID-19 far behind us. The key is getting the masses vaccinated and it appears we are on the right track. And the mask? Even though I have had my vaccine shots, I will continue to carry my mask and don it in certain crowded situations. Everyone will make their own personal choice…having the mask available is mine.

Enjoy the month of June – get out Old Glory and put her on display on the 14th as we celebrate Flag Day and officially welcome summer into season on the 20th!

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