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June 2019

Bill Sherrod, Editor

Breaking the Sad Cycle

I would like to convey my deep thanks for the truly encouraging cover story, The Making of Men, in the May issue. I hold deeply a passion for fathers to actively and strategically raise their sons to and through the passage to noble manhood. I think this article will inform many fathers who desire to do this, but just don’t know how. Seeing it in action will give many the clarity to come up with their own ideas. As a volunteer mentor in a local jail, I see far too many men who simply had no experience or example of noble manhood in their lives. They simply were never shown what virtue and nobility looks like. Thank you for stepping up to help break this sad cycle.

— David Berryman
via email



I am writing concerning the article The Making of Men. In the article, it shows the map of the float down the Bullpasture and Cowpasture rivers. The Bullpasture and Cowpasture are designated non-navigable waterways until the point where the Cowpasture crosses Rt. 42. So without all adjoining landowners’ permission through that stretch the Owings family was actually trespassing. Please print this to save your readers the chance of a citation or a confrontation with an angry landowner.

— Jeff Fordman
via email

Reader Gives Rave Review

Margo Oxendine’s slant on life in her column, Rural Living, never fails to make me chuckle! I also enjoy all the ideas to save money and do my part for the planet. The reviews of small and forgotten towns are wonderful discoveries and show how they are re-vitalized. Your Virginia restaurant reviews are out-of-the-cookie-cutter standard, exposing the delights of lessor-known establishments for some grand regional favorites.

— Jama Beasley
via Facebook

An Issue with Margo

This is sad, but true. I have wanted to comment earlier. I believe Margo Oxendine should get a new dog. Her column has lost appeal since she lost Brownie. It seems she has a lack of respect for other animals.

— Jeanne Setzer
via email

What About the Girls?

I enjoyed reading the May 2019 cover story about the Owings family and the wonderful river trips the father undertook with his sons. As an outdoor enthusiast myself, I can appreciate the ways time in the wilderness can strengthen a person and provide perspective that is difficult to obtain elsewhere. I was intrigued, though, when I read the family also has two daughters. Did they have nine days in the wilderness with one of their parents? The article did not indicate any such thing and with the emphasis on “manhood,” I assume this adventure was limited to the sons.

While the family’s decision in this is their own, I would like to point this out because it perpetuates a stereotype. Many women also enjoy being in the outdoors (and conversely, many men don’t). As a young girl I might have felt discouraged reading the article due to the implication, even if not intentional, that adventures like these are relegated to boys. Now, as a woman, I know better — wilderness trips are for anyone, of any gender, with the passion and preparedness to undertake the planned trip. So to all the young women out there — if you’re interested in the outdoors, don’t be afraid to get out there!

— Kristi Wright
Front Royal

A Suggestion for Dining With Dan

I really enjoy Cooperative Living magazine. I especially like the Dining With Dan column. I’d like to suggest you include a Virginia map with this feature (similar to what you do with the Crossroads column). That would be an easy way for me, and others, to see how close to home the restaurant is and to be able to plan other stops on the trip.

— Donald Harrell
Via email

Keep Up the Good Work

Thank you so much for continuing to print this wonderful heartwarming magazine! We have been cooperative members for almost 20 years and have enjoyed the magazine every month. Keep up the good work!!

— Carol Floyd

Reader Not Amused

While browsing through the May 2019 issue of Cooperative Living, I read the PunToons! and couldn’t believe what I was reading! How disrespectful and distasteful to even consider using such a controversial and monumental women’s rights victory! This “PUN” is such a degrading and dismissive message to women. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

— Maura Benz
via email