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November-December 2019

Bill Sherrod, Editor


The article on the town of Brodnax, Va., published in the September 2019 issue of Cooperative Living, took me down memory lane to the early 1950s. I viewed the town from the school bus window passing through twice each school day for two years. I was the first to board the new bus route on Dr. Purdy Road picking up students in route to Brodnax; the main stop in town was directly in front of the post office. Garland Baird was the student bus driver. I remember where Armistead Lambert, mentioned in the article, boarded the bus just next door to John Drewery Lambert, whom my late husband would meet in college where he and I also met.

I remember vividly the names and faces of those students we picked up along the way and in town. Though I passed through the town twice per day, I never set foot in the town until late in the summer of 1954 when I shopped at the General Merchandise store where former student bus driver Garland Baird was working; then attending the wedding of my friend Page Moore.

— Patricia Carper
New Castle, Va.


Thank you for your wonderful article in the September issue about VCU Health Community Hospital in South Hill. It really is a crown jewel for Southside Virginia and a blessing to citizens all along the Virginia/North Carolina border. The new hospital offers a myriad of specialists and clinics, giving local citizens the opportunity to be diagnosed and treated near their homes, saving them countless hours on the road, not to mention money.

The fact that it is the largest employer in Mecklenburg County is certainly a boost to the local economy. However, I feel the single most important aspect of VCU Health Community is the cancer care provided by CMH Specialty Clinics. What a game changer! Because of the addition of state-of the-art equipment, including a radiation therapy department, citizens from all over Southside can take advantage of receiving their cancer therapy, including radiation, right here, instead of spending two to three hours on the road daily riding to Lynchburg, As president of Barksdale Cancer Foundation in Charlotte County, I can promise you that our patients consider it a godsend to have such a facility nearby. In addition, the quality of care and hands-on attention from the staff is unparalleled … one more thing to be thankful for. Thank you for publishing such a great and informative magazine. I look forward to reading every single issue!

— Wendy S. Lankford, President,
Barksdale Cancer Foundation
Charlotte County, Va.


I liked the EnergySense column in your October issue, but they left out one option.

They also make two versions of small “window” heat pumps similar to the traditional window air conditioners we are all used to seeing.

Like other heat pumps, they do both heating and cooling (often including a dehumidifier too), but are mobile, cheaper and user-installed in under an hour. Take it out of the box, do some minor assembly, put in window and plug into an outlet.

One version looks identical to a traditional window air conditioner but costs a lot more (over $1,000 each), is generally slightly more efficient, and includes winter heat. You have to buy one for each room you want to heat/cool.

The other version looks kind of like an expensive kitchen trash can and has a hose that blows air out the window in a way that doesn’t block your view. These tend to run about $300-500 for a unit that can handle a (one) room up to 400-square feet. These are a “little weird” in that by blowing air out of the house, it has to suck air into your house through all the usual “draftiest” areas. This makes its true efficiency harder to calculate since it sucks cold air in from every crack and crevis, but I can personally verify it does cut heating bills over resistance heat.

Roughly half of these also dehumidify (for free) while in heat and cool modes. If you have high humidity, that’s a big deal.

These two options are much less expensive to install while also being renter friendly and saving a lot over traditional resister heat.

They are true heat pumps too, just a little oddball, but well within most budgets.

— Trevor Berwick
Bumpass, Va.


I thoroughly enjoy reading Margo Oxendine’s column in your magazine. She is extremely witty and always provides a smile or a sweet reminder of days gone by. Her column is the first thing I read each month. She is a true treasure. Thank you!

— Gail Sandifer
Culpeper, Va.


I just wanted to thank you for the wonderful article on Nero. It brought back so many happy times I had with him. He truly was one of a kind.

Again, many thanks. I just was so blessed to have had him, if only for a short time.

— Carolyn Sisk
Rappahannock County, Va.