I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye…

Signing off from her much-loved gig as editor, Valerie Catrow shares her 10 favorite stories and features that ran during her 2+ years at RVANews. Come help her say goodbye (warning: ugly crying might be involved).

Ok, family meeting time.

As of today, I am officially no longer editor of RVANews.

It’s nothing scandalous or dramatic. I want and need to spend more time with my kid, so it’s simply time for me to move on. I’ll still be contributing to Raising Richmond and popping in for the occasional feature, but my days spent up to my elbows in WordPress to make this site “go” are O-V-E-R, over.

As I’ve transitioned out over the last couple weeks and handed most of the day-to-day operations over to Ross The Publisher, I’ve had a chance to step back and reflect on all that’s happened during my almost two-and-a-half-year stint here. You see, when I came on as editor in August of 2008, we were publishing, on average, four pieces of original content each week. Now it’s more like 15, and that’s just what you see on the front page. We’ve grown in ways we never thought possible, and when I try to put into words how proud that makes me…well, it involves a bit of ugly crying. Since this is my official exit, it only seemed appropriate to share my top 10 most favorite stories and features that ran on RVANews while I was editor. Keep in mind: these are not necessarily the stories that got the most traffic or the most comments (although some of them did quite well); these are the stories that stand out most in my mind, for reasons you’ll see below. I hope you enjoy them. Because I sure did.

#10: Live at Ipanema: The Cinnamon Band

Putting together the Live at Ipanema posts was actually one of my favorite parts of this job; it always served as a great reminder that Richmond can pull off awesome things when she puts her mind to it. All of the bands featured in the series are amazing, but this performance from October of 2010 really did it for me.

#9: Memos from the desk of the Founding Fathers

In my opinion, this is one of the funniest things we have ever run. Ever. EVAR. It was also part of our first 4th of July guide. Anyone in the RVANews office knows that I had quite the love-hate relationship with our seasonal guides. Love because they’re great at keeping our readers informed about the goings-on in Richmond. Hate because the putting-together process made me lose my damn mind on a semi-monthly basis.

#8: Raising Richmond: The crib or the family bed?

This was our second installment in the Raising Richmond series and helped set the tone for the conversations that continue to take place within the context of that column: mostly respectful but with a notable helping of “OMG what is WRONG with you?” thrown in there because, after all, this IS the Internet.

#7: RVA Class of 2010 Superlatives: Winners!

I loved this whole contest because it was great to see our readers keeping it positive (mostly) about Richmond. The song we selected as the soundtrack really takes the cake, too. Also: Nutzy.

#6: SNOG! A guide to Richmond’s best make-out spots

How could I not love a story in which my husband describes all of the places he made out with his (other) high school girlfriends?

#5: The folks behind the festival

When most of us think about the Richmond Folk Festival, we tend to focus on the performers and, if I’m being honest, what the parking situation is going to be. This piece (written by our Fall 2010 intern, Leah Small) reveals some of the planning and hard work that goes into making the festival happen. As expected, I’ve got a special place in my heart for the behind-the-scenes folks.

#4: Finding Thalhimers: “It needed a monument”

I had to include this one — not because I wrote it but because it was the result of one of the most delightful interviews I’ve ever done.

#3: Sacred Harp: Old time music, BIG time sound

Much to my father’s chagrin, I know very little about music. This article taught me a thing or two. I love knowing things or twos!

#2: Susan Year Itch: The birth (and rebirth) of the RomCom!

I adore anything Susan Howson writes (or says, really) and this review of Pride & Prejudice adaptations makes my heart sing. Plus all the pictures of Darcy make me swoony.

#1: It’s Not the Heat: Last Days of Summer

It’s Not the Heat was my favorite series on RVANews because it allowed some of our incredibly talented readers to share their beautiful images with the rest of our audience. To me, the first installment (published in October 2009) is basically perfection. Plus, the overall wistfulness of that post pretty much sums up how I’m feeling about leaving RVANews. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have something in my eye…

Welp, that’s it, kiddos. I must say, that while I’m thrilled with the changes this decision means for my personal life, it will feel quite strange to not be “in” things as much. But this is a good thing — for me and for you. I’ve been talking at you plenty for the last two years, and it’s high time someone else take the reins. I know these guys have all kinds of incredible ideas up their sleeves. It’s going to be great to see it unfold from the other side.

Thanks and take care.

Catrow OUT.

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Valerie Catrow

Valerie Catrow is editor of RVAFamily, mother to a mop-topped first grader, and always really excited to go to bed.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Jeb Hoge on said:

    Congratulations! I think this is going to be a great time for you. RVANews has really grown and turned into a main source for me, and I know I’ll see your byline pop up now and again. I know that you’re going to love being with JR so much more, too.

  2. VAL!!!
    So very excited for you!!!!
    Congrats and welcome to the club!!!!

  3. I have been reading this site for three years now and it’s all because of you. When I was preparing to move to RVA from Hampton, I did a little internet research. That research (who are we kidding, I googled “Richmond, VA”) lead me to your blog which lead me to RVANews. I went from reading to you and Ross The Publisher remodeling and selling a house to you being the Editor for this site to having a baby and now to you being home with possibly the cutest two years ever. This site has grown sooo very much since you started as Editor. And while I had nothing to do with any of it, I am very proud of what you and the gang have accomplished here.

    I will miss your daily influence on here, but I look forward to hearing about your new chapter. And also more pictures and stories about JR and maybe some Zappturdays thrown in for good measure.

  4. Val,

    Thanks for all you’ve done to give such a good name to independent media in RVA for the past two years. Richmond is a better place, in terms of having an outlet for local news that ties in all the hyper-local sources from the neighborhoods around the area because of your hard work. I know Ross will continue to grow that mission. Best wishes!

  5. http://nooooooooooooooo.com/

    Wishing you all the best — you’ll be missed! Your “later losers” pic is just an example of why I’ve read RVANews for a while — you’re FUNNY and lighthearted! Best of luck! :)

  6. Good luck Valerie, I appreciate all the hard work you Catrows have put into creating and maintianing the site. However, I don’t trust Ross to come up with a new & entertaining Tagline everyday. Please speak with him about that. :)

  7. I just shed an actual tear. I’ll get you for this, Catrow. And I’ll miss you, terribly.

  8. Scott Burger on said:

    Thank you for your efforts.

    I look forward to your future contributions.

  9. I know that I was thankful my mom got to spend as much time as she did with me when I was growing up. It’s great you’re making this decision! Your family is going to be blessed in so many ways!

  10. Thanks for the hard work, you’ll be missed but not forgotten.

  11. Val, your hard work and special touch are all over this city (not to mention the site). You’re a such creator, building things up, adding the special touches, and a queen of details- one that helps a finish product unfold. Can’t wait to see what this next chapter holds for you….and RVA .
    Keep the witty banter coming.

  12. We’re…still going to talk every day, right? I mean…http://images.hollywood.com/site/matthew_macfadyen.jpg

  13. OBVS, Suze. It’s not like I’m becoming a jerk or something.

  14. But seriously, thanks for all the kind comments, guys. Tears happened, I’m not gonna lie.

  15. Jimmy on said:

    Thanks for everything, Val!

  16. Gloria on said:

    Valerie, I know you will love being home with JR. Are we planning a brother or sister for him soon? He is so terrific, you can’t stop with just one.

  17. Party on, Val. You’re going to love springtime in Richmond with toddler, seriously! Enjoy the time with JR!

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