By Craig Worrell



    Should there be a Mount Rushmore of Grayson County sports greats, Brock Funk would be on it.

    Through his parents, Tiny and Roxanna Funk, Brock was the confluence of two sports families in the great baseball town of Fries. He was the first grandson of the Funks and the Moores, a blending of genes that would produce the exceptional.


    By Chez J. Zane

    Special to The Declaration

    INDEPENDENCE -- I was invited to a luncheon Nov. 29 to meet little Emily Venzie Reed, granddaughter of Sandy and Jonathan Venzie. What a beautiful little angel -- congratulations to Ce-Anna and Travis.

  • BEDFORD -- Independence resident Paul Bryan, a maintenance worker for the Highlands District of the Blue Ridge Parkway, was named Employee of the Year in a recent ceremony recognizing his achievement. The Peaks of Otter Lodge in Bedford hosted the event. The award is given by the Blue Ridge Parkway Employees and Alumni Association. The Highlands District, which includes portions of Grayson and Alleghany counties, stretches from Mile Post 216 where the Parkway crosses from Virginia into North Carolina, south to Mile Post 331 near Spruce Pine, N.C.


    Dear Santa,

    How are you doing? Is Mrs. Claus fixing you some chocolate cookies? Do mind bringing me a cool Ford f-150 rapter, a remote controld dirt bike, please?

    Kasen Galyean


    Dear Santa,

    I want an Ipod and a phone case for my phone and some shoes and clothes.

    Casey Redifer


    Dear Santa,


    By D.T. Clark

    Special to The Declaration

    GRANT -- If you pull up to the two gas pumps out front, you will see a small bench, a receptacle for ditching cigarette butts, a half-barrel of purple petunias, and – last month, at least – a colorful cloth witch flattened against the doorframe.

  • INDEPENDENCE -- The first pumpkin pie wasn’t a pie at all:  it was a whole pumpkin with the top sliced off, seeds scooped out, then filled with milk, spices and honey then baked in hot ashes.

    I thought this week I would deviate from the traditional pumpkin pie and offer Declaration readers recipes that incorporate unconventional items in the ingredient list. This year instead of the “hum-drum” pumpkin pie, give one of these a try.


    Pumpkin-pecan pie

  • By Michelle Pridgen

    Special to The Declaration


    GRAYSON COUNTY -- It’s a sunny November Day and Jason Joyce is working in the Christmas tree field. His wife Felicia is making wreaths and their children are pitching in to help too.

  • BAYWOOD (A.K.A. HAMPTON VALLEY) -- It’s not unusual for Grayson County folks to go to great lengths to preserve their rich Appalachian heritage. Grayson’s Baywood community offers a good example of this. One man there is building a monument-like sign that announces the name the community had before officials decided to rename it, a name change many never embraced because it ignores the family who originally settled the area – the Hamptons.


    Wednesday, March 11

  • Some people choose to dedicate time to a rescue, but for Ashley and Kelly Smart, it has always been a way of life.

    “Our mom did a lot of rescue work herself, so we were born into it,” said Kelly as she and Ashley visited with their colorful assortment of four-legged tenants at Rugby Creek Animal Rescue — a non-profit organization that the Smart family operates in Mouth of Wilson.

    “Mom did her best, but she did this on a smaller scale... then we took it over and did more.”

  • Grayson County Tourism will participate in the “Take A Break From the Interstate Tourism Initiative” July 25-27, as it encourages travel along the Virginia 21 highway corridor.

    The three-day “road market” is an opportunity to set up a yard sale or showcase a business and reap rewards of extra traffic during the weekend.

    The initiative includes the area from Wytheville to Jonesville, where hundreds of individual road markets and flea markets will be set up along the 70-mile corridor.

  • FRIES — This year, during Independence Day celebrations in Grayson County, a World War II veteran and former prisoner of war from Fries received the medals he’d earned nearly 70 years ago.

    The towns of Independence and Fries each held celebrations to commend and honor Coy Shaffner on July 4. Shaffner was invited to ride in both the Independence and Fries parades, and ceremonies were scheduled to follow both parades, in which Shaffner was honored with his medals and ribbon board.

  • TROUTDALE ― Girl scouts in the western end of Grayson County are doing their part to combat hunger, after starting a community garden to provide fresh, free produce to their neighbors in need.

  • By J. Zane Miller, Special to The Declaration

  • This year during the Town of Independence’s Fourth of July celebration, the community is invited to participate in a special presentation of medals to a local World War II veteran and prisoner of war (POW).

  • SPARTA, N.C. - The Alleghany Historical Museum would like to have any Civil War items and stories involving Alleghany County citizens for a display at the museum to be displayed through September.

  • When you look at the benefits of the Rooftop of Virginia Community Action Program (CAP), it’s hard to focus on just one program. There are many.

    Rooftop was established on May 19, 1965 for the purpose of working with low-income individuals and to help families become more self-sufficient.

  • Drivers on Wilson Highway April 18 may have noticed an unusual sight along the side of the road: a woman clad in a pink reflector vest and a green hat walking at a brisk pace toward Independence and waving at passing vehicles.

  • BAYWOOD – While several Grayson County residents seek votes for membership on town councils next month, one Grayson County resident will seek votes in a national contest.

  • The Independence Friends of the Library hosted a special ceremony recognizing and remembering Grayson County’s Prisoners of War (P.O.W.) and those Missing in Action (M.I.A.) last Wednesday evening.