Sunday, January 31, 2016

Donk's Theater III

Downtown Hudgins just doesn't look the same.

In spite of valiant efforts to save the facade of Donk's Theater,
 at the end of the day, she was a total loss.

Mathews County doesn't usually support, encourage or tolerate change much.

The upheaval in the landscape of downtown Hudgins is very disturbing and quite unsettling.

While we struggle with the sadness of what is lost, we are hopeful for something new.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Donk's Theater II

Demolition has begun on the beloved Donk's Theater, which recently succumbed to the weight of the elements of a storm known along the eastern seaboard as Jonas.

The ticket booth is now gone.

And the facade looks so sad and empty.

Lynda Smith Greve has started a Go Fund Me campaign to help with the cost of replacing equipment and other things lost in the disaster.  Click here to read more and to help.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Donk's Theater

These first two pictures, taken a while ago, are of  Donk's Theater, which is about two miles from my house in downtown Hudgins, Virginia.

Donk's was built in the late 1940s as a movie theater but later was transformed to Virginia's Little Ole Opry courtesy of the Smith family.  I saw my first movie theater in this beautiful building and as recently as last year I witnessed some pretty spectacular live musical performances here, one of which was John Berry.

A staple of entertainment in Mathews County for many decades, Donk's and its dated but oh-so-unique and wonderful interior hosted many talented performers over the years.  In fact, it's a little-known Mathews County secret that Dolly Parton even graced the stage of Donk's. True story.

Over this weekend, while the rest of the Eastern Seaboard was experiencing This is The Big One of Blizzards, Elizabeth, Mathews County got a good bit of snow followed by a little sleet and a little rain and then a little more snow --which resulted in a very heavy, slushy weather event with high, gusting winds.

Poor old Donk's Theater was not able to bear the weight of it all, and Friday night the roof just gave up and collapsed.

Although there were plenty of pictures on Facebook, I had to go and see with my own eyes.  So yesterday I dug my car out from the snow, grabbed my camera and arrived just in time to see Lynda Smith Greve, who manages the theater and performs there. She and her family have been standing vigil, sort of, as the remains of the building are starting to be dealt with.

Below she holds one of the first microphones she sang with as a child at Donk's.  This microphone, that holds such sentimental value and significance, was found in the rubble.

Lynda and her brother Richard have been performing on stage here their entire lives.  Lynda now has children herself who have stood on the stage of Donk's.  Her mother is usually found in the entry and her father is the emcee.

Donk's and the Smith family go hand in hand.  They are one.

While explaining to me the significance of the microphone, Lynda further explained that  the owner of the building plans to rebuild. It wasn't clear at first whether that would happen, but as of now that's the word.

This is good news.  Great news.

But there is still something very sad about losing this beauty of a building, it was one of a kind, brimming with memories.

Below is my contribution to the Facebook page "Tribute to Donks".

I saw my first movie in the front row of this beautiful theater in the 1970s (possibly 60's?) and enjoyed seeing some astonishingly exceptional local talent here just a few months ago. The soul, spirit and essence of this building cannot be described in a few words--nor can the family, whose raw talent and courage to perform live music for so long in such an isolated community cannot be overstated. We share their pain and the very deep loss of such an iconic establishment and can only hope the spirit that kept it alive for this long will continue and create something new. It cannot be the same, we know, but we hope the spirit of this building and of this family continues anew. Mathews County loves and supports you, Lynda Smith Greve and Richard Smith!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


This photogenic little barn lives on Poplar Grove Lane.

I drove over to visit it on my day off Monday.

The weather was absolutely frigid, 

but the barn didn't seem to mind at all.

I, on the other hand, had to take pictures from the warmth of my little car, 
lest my fingertips finally surrender and fall right from my hands.

I used the frigid temperatures to avoid doing any running, which is really unacceptable; however, neither my fingertips nor my legs complained at all with my decision.

My goal this week is to use the gym at work during lunch.  It's indoors, like most gyms are.  It's also free.  So there is absolutely no excuse not to exercise.  None whatsoever.

It's so hard to get back in the swing of things after your life has been disrupted by accidents, surgeries, holidays and trips away from home, but I vow to do it.

No more excuses.

Monday, January 18, 2016


Mathews County enjoyed an unseasonably warm Saturday this weekend.  It was almost warm enough to cut grass, which--believe it or not--I need to do, courtesy of the crazy weather.  

(The grass thinks it's spring.)

So imagine our surprise when this happened--with almost no warning--on Sunday.

Yes, it snowed.

It was a wonderful day to stay inside and nap on and off all day make soup.  However, I also went for a walk while the large, wet flakes were falling to the ground.  I love snow when it's falling.  I'm always saddened when the storm is over and the sun comes out and the world tries to go back to its original self.

We have the day off today, so depending on what the weather does, I hope to get out and about and take some more pictures that aren't from my back yard.

Happy Monday.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Bethel Beach

It's January 14th already?

So much has happened in a few short weeks.

Thankfully, most of it's good.

However, this blog has been woefully neglected.

And that's not good.

Recently I told someone that blogging was exactly like exercise. It only works if you do it regularly.

Last night when I perused available photos to post, there were only these from a December trip to Bethel Beach. And these, while OK, are sort of boring to me.

Especially since they're from so long ago.

So this weekend I'm going to get back on track with napping exercising (which hasn't been easy of late), taking pictures and blogging.

That's my goal, anyway.

Happy Friday.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Williams Wharf

For the first time since my accident in October, I went huffing and puffing jogging this weekend up and down Williams Wharf Road.

Williams Wharf is undergoing a major makeover.  Click here to read more about the new boathouse project.

Anyway, as I was getting out of my car to start my jog, I was pleasantly surprised by this adorable group out and about, also enjoying the bright, sunny Saturday.

It isn't every day you see sights like this--outside of a parade, that is.

Speaking of, I told another member of their party they need to enter next year's Christmas parade. 

Below are shots I took back in 2012 of the boathouse area and the old railway.

Change can be good.  

The new project will be good.

But I mourn the loss of that old, very photogenic railway.

In other news, this will be my first full week back to work since who knows when, between the accident, surgery, and Christmas/New Years. Daughter has two basketball games, which means come Friday, when I leave for San Diego with my college friend Iris, I will be absolutely exhausted.

But who cares, because I'M GOING TO SAN DIEGO ON FRIDAY!

2016 has only been around for a few days, but so far we're getting along just fine.