Blacksburg community shows resilience following hookah bar shooting

Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 1:42 PM EST
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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - A Saturday morning at the Blacksburg Farmers’ Market on the corner of Draper and West Roanoke is a staple in the community that this week, means a little but more.

“I’m heartbroken for anytime something like this happened,” says market vendor Chuck Abbott.

A shooting at the Melody Hookah Lounge just yards away late Friday night would have been enough to deter vendors and shoppers from visiting the market in many places.

But not in this community.

“We looked at each other and said no, we’re coming no matter what,” Abbott says. “We’re going to do our market, see our friends.”

A spirit that carries grief.

“I’m overwhelmed with sadness about that tragedy and other tragedies because they have not stopped,” he adds. “Everything else seems to have slowed down with the pandemic but right now it just seems like there are so many ugly things that I ‘m really saddened by it.”

Finding comfort in past resilience.

“To me it feels like the world stopped on September 11th 20 years ago. When baseball started again, I got hope that the world was going to be back, not to normal, but more towards normal and that’s kind of what I feel like doing. I just want to do my part to make it more normal for everyone else as well as ourselves.”

Peddling beagles and bags and finding a reason to smile.

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