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Escape Cville. SFA Summer Symposium, Richmond, VA.

Last weekend I was part of the Southern Foodways Alliance Summer Symposium in Richmond, Virginia. The topic was “Women Who Work” and all weekend long we ate, drank, and attended talks focusing on women in the Commonwealth who live, work, and cook good food now, and in the distant past, including Jenni McCloud and Mary Randolph.

As part of the event I got to sample food from Lemaire, The Roosevelt, Proper Pie Co., WPA Bakery, Sally Bell’s Kitchen, and the RVA Swappers among others. I toured the C.F. Sauer plant and had a walking tour of Church Hill entitled “Spies and Pies” profiling the spy work of Elizabeth Van Lew. The tourbus made an impromptu stop in Carytown and our basecamp was at The Jefferson Hotel. To say it was a whirlwind would be putting it mildly.

Richmond is my hometown, but I haven’t spent any length of time there for a number of years. Twelve to be exact. So yes, the tour brought up a huge vault of memories some good, some cringe-worthy. And the shutterbug in me came out with a vengeance. I’m still compiling notes for future blog posts, but in the meantime, here is a slideshow. To call it a nostalgic trip would be an understatement. Since leaving Richmond “for good” I really believed I’d never be able to go home again. But after last weekend, I’m not sure that cliché works. That dang-blasted curse of Chief Powhatan may have worked its magic***. I bet I go back to Richmond. At least for a good long visit if nothing else.

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***Growing up I toured Church Hill and saw a plaque commemorating a massacre on the site of Native Americans. Somewhere. I remember it’s at the end of a street and there’s a long drop down a cliff. Maybe the tunnel? The curse of Chief Powhatan states that those who visit Richmond are forever doomed to return. Now, can I find any proof of this on the Interwebs? A note? Picture? Anything? Of course not. But my rapidly-aging mind swears it’s true. I know I saw it. Can anyone help?

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