Daytripping Destinations

Guess What Day It Is!

Guess What Day It Is: Week 20

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Dear Daytrippers,

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you remember, I discovered the Commonwealth of Virginia’s famous LOVE signs project during a stop at the historic Humpback Bridge, one Hump Day. Promoting the 50th Anniversary of the iconic “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan, LOVEworks spell out L-O-V-E and have resulted in over 200 LOVE signs. I promptly set out on a quest to find as many as I could. Today, in honor of upcoming Valentine’s Day, I am sharing my assemblage of LoveWork signs, to send you all some LOVE. I love the LOVE art, and hope you do too. At the end of the day I was only able to visit a small number but hope/plan to see more on future trips to Virginia.
My favorites to date are pictured from top left:

Culpeper, VA

Despite its incorrectly spelled name, Culpeper has a fascinating history. Originally it was a crossroads for armies marching through Virginia during the Civil War; and is home to The State Theater, an art deco theater opened in 1938. The theater has had several lives, including playing a part during segregation and being reborn and partnering with The Library of Congress. It is currently closed but shines a light on the fact that movies and the arts have always been a major part of the city’s history. This history is reflected in the Culpeper Loveworks sign called “Reel LOVE” which is made of movie reels.

Lovettesville, VA

The beautiful LOVE sign in Lovettsville VA was installed on Loving Day. By a town proclamation, that day honors the date the United States Supreme Court in 1967 officially legalized interracial marriage—a decision sparked by the case of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple from Virginia who were arrested and banished from the commonwealth after returning home from their wedding in 1958. Designed by artist Jill Evans-Kavladjian, is one of the most beautiful in graphic design, bringing to mind a LOVE stamp.

Leesburg, VA

The Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) Railroad Trail runs 45 miles along a former rail roadbed through urban heartland and into the Virginia countryside. The Leesburg community wanted their sculpture to reflect their love of the W&OD. To honor this wish, artist and metal fabricator, Mike Clay designed this unique metal work, titled ‘Velo Love’ comprised of bicycle parts set in a steel channel as a tribute to the flock of bike riders ever present on the trail. Local businesses and bicycle shops donated the hundreds of gears and other pieces he needed.

Roanoke, VA

At its heart Roanoke is a rail town. As such, the LOVEwork sign ties into Roanoke’s rail heritage, incorporating the word “LOVE” into a playful depiction of a train engine and engineer anchored in a wooden railroad tie. This whimsical sculpture was designed by well known Roanoke artist Erik Fitzpatrick and celebrates the iconic locomotives created by the tradesmen of Southwest Virginia.

Wytheville. VA

The LOVE sign in Wytheville, (pronounced with-ville) honors aspects of Wythevilles’s history that have made an impact on the community.

L represents the influence of the railroad
O showcases a hot air balloon in honor of the annual Chautauqua Festival
V depicts the crossroads of two interstates, I-77 and I-81
E made of baseball bats is an homage to the town’s baseball history; a series of Minor League Baseball teams, dating back to 1948.

Wytheville is home to First Lady Edith Bowling Wilson birthplace museum. Her story embodies Heritage – a proud, prominent Virginia family, direct descendants of Pocahontas; History – that of the 35th First Lady of the United States; and Romance – between a “lovesick” President and a forward-thinking widow.

There are as many ways to illustrate LOVE as there are things to love, and Virginia has given us a treasure trove. I love Art. I love Travel. I love hitting the open road and finding new places and things to love. And I LOVE sharing it all with all of you.
To quote John Lennon, “All You Need Is Love!”, and it’s a great message to share, so I hope you’ll pass it on. LOVE is everything, and these days the world needs love more than it has in generations.

Love, and Be Well,
John

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