Gobble de Art Blog

Dottie's Holiday Gift Guide for Christmas 2018

06 December, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi ya'll, Dottie here.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Although every day is great in Blacksburg, Hokie holiday season is the best time of all. However, sometimes it’s really hard to figure out what gift to give your special Hokie. Sometimes, it’s hard to decide whether to make a gift from the heart, buy something your Hokie needs, or purchase something your Hokie will truly love. Struggling? Well worry no more, my feathered friends,  Below is my holiday gift guide full of gifts that every Hokie will love.

That’s right, you can take me or one of my family member’s home for Christmas. Not only would we love to spend the Holidays with you, but we would also love to be a part of your flock family. We even look festive in Holiday hats! We’re sure your favorite Hokie would love to have us. We can hang out in your office or home, we make great company.

All Hokies must face the dreadful wind of the Drillfield; it’s an inevitable feature of Hokie life. Blacksburg winters are cold, windy and hard. Get your Hokie a hoodie to protect his or her ears, face and body from the harsh winter wind. Trust me, your Hokie will appreciate this thoughtful and useful gift.

One of the best things about Virginia Tech is its size. It’s such a large campus. However, during heated summer days, walking all over campus can get rough. Hokies get thirsty with every turn. Luckily, Virginia Tech has water bottle stations all over campus. However, these stations are no good if your Hokie doesn’t have a water bottle! Come summer time, your Hokie will appreciate this necessity.

Need a stocking stuffer? A thoughtful gift for that Blacksburg local or Hokie at heart that has everything? Why not get them a postcard book? This gift is useful and fun for any Hokie lover. The postcard book is filled with pictures of of the original flock members. Your gift recipient will love the thoughtful gift because it reminds them of home.

One of the trendy fads of today is wearing Alex and Ani bracelets. These cute bracelets are price friendly and are made from recycled materials right here in America. Almost every girl on campus has at least one of these bracelets. They also make great accessories at your next alumni tailgate.  Add this to your Hokie’s collection by purchasing a few more, or add this to your own Hokie wish list.  

Are you into meaningful gifts? I know I am! Giving someone a gift that brings tears is the best feeling in the world. One way to get this response is by creating a Hokie T-shirt quilt, especially if your Hokie is a senior. Take your Hokies VT t-shirts, sew them together, and watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning.  They won’t be disappointed. You can even add a Gobble de Art t-shirt to the t-shirt mix remind them of their fun Blacksburg home.

The good thing about Virginia Tech is its vibrant school colors. These colors are in style year-round! If you’re feeling crafty, you can easily make a Hokie a wreath for a Blacksburg door. This wreath can be hung year round, and every time your Hokie sees it, they’ll think of you.

This book is a great gift or stocking stuffer. They are great for those who have lived in Blacksburg for years, are new to the town or have moved away. Hokies will love this book because it serves as a memory of the special places the town has to offer. The book is chock full of pictures that children will enjoy too.

Hokie canvas crafts are the trendy thing to do. Paint the shape of Virginia or outline the shape in string and watch your creation come to life. Highlight the area of Blacksburg, fill the canvas will a cute pattern or meaningful quotes, frame it, and give it to your Hokie this holiday season. They’ll cherish this gift forever.


Of course, there are many more gifts you can get your Hokie this holiday season. I just wanted to give you a starting point. Christmas is in 19 days Hokies! It’s time to start shopping or crafting!  





Q & A with Artist Carole Davis

05 December, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Q. How did you get involved with the Gobble de Art program?

A. Initially I was a part of a committee to approve the designs of the Hokie Birds. We had to go through the idea process and figure out how it was going to work. We had strict guidelines set by The Blacksburg Partnership and Virginia Tech Licensing and our job was to decide what was appropriate. It was a quite a fun process with the dinners and the auctions. I found out that one of the committee members had already painted a bird or two, and I said, “Gosh I want to paint one too but I thought we weren’t allowed.” So I got vocal. I made a statement—I expressed a desire.

Q. What is your favorite part about working on a bird?

A. The design process and the creativity involved. Especially if I’m working with a client. For instance, I did a project for the fire department in Blacksburg. They wanted a commemorative bird, I painted a fireman bird and it had a certain process. It is a part of decoration if you will and it is used for a certain purpose. Working for 4-H at Smith Mountain Lake was a lot of fun. Especially the school bus safety bird. I had to work out the design to tell a story, to be representative of an idea. The bird sent a message and was able to teach children through pictures. I mentioned the fireman Hokie Bird. The challenge I had with that was making the bird cute enough so it wouldn’t scare young children so that they could use it to teach. When you’re targeting children you need to make the eyes big and bright and colorful. I’ve enjoyed the painting but I really enjoy the design. I’ve enjoyed seeing the joy that others have when they see the Hokie Birds.

Q. What is the most difficult aspect?

A. To be honest, it is the painting process itself. Some of it goes quickly and you think that you’re making good progress. The precision and detail that I like to put into the bird is very time consuming so that’s the most difficult part. The precision that I enjoy putting into my bird creates a slow down and with that comes impatience and that can become difficult. I mount my bird on a little rolling stand, it has rollers on the bottom so I can move it to better lighting. The birds are big and cumbersome so if I didn’t have that it would be difficult. I’ve created ways to make it physically easy for me, but at times, I get bogged down with detail. Sometimes you find that the paint didn’t turn out as well, so with the help of sandpaper you can correct things. It is a labor of love. It is a self imposed problem. I want my presentation to be as good as I can make it. It is a carry over with what I do with my own art.

Q. What other kinds of art do you do?

A. I was an art major in college, I started at Mary Washington- it was called college then, Mary Washington College. I’ve been an active artist with water media and water colors.

Q. Is there anything that you would like to add?

A. I’ve enjoyed each Hokie Bird for different reasons, I’ve enjoyed meeting the people who have wanted to create the Hokie Birds. It has been an experience to be able to work with new people and make sure they get what they want and deserve. It brings joy to a lot of people beyond those that commission the Hokie Birds. The end result brings smiles and joy and fun even if the process isn’t always fun.

Friday Favorites with Dottie: Dottie’s Favorite Winter Activity

01 December, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

What’s up, Hokies? Dottie here! My feathers are frosted, my beak is raw, and it’s a typical cold December day. But the good news is that it’s Friday. Hooray for the weekend! Today is a special day because it encompasses one of my favorite Blacksburg traditions ever: The Winter Lights Festival! This festival is by far one of my favorite winter activities in Blacksburg. It’s one of the jolliest, most spirited, most festive times in Blacksburg. I just love it!

The Winter Lights Festival starts today at 4:00 p.m., and it ends at 8:00 p.m. tonight. Luckily, the Winter Lights Festival is in the heart of Blacksburg: it’s right on College Avenue. Businesses, clubs and people from all over Blacksburg gather on College Avenue, set up festive little booths and spread tons of holiday cheer. Thankfully, a little birdie told me who was going to be there this year. Here’s a list of vendors for my favorite Hokie fans: Carly’s Kettle Corn (YUMMY!), Phil Ramsey Fine Art, Dashing Dog Studio (Aw, puppies!), Dream Job Crafts, Gobble de Art (Featuring ME!!!), Poplar Hill Alpacas & Studio, Shine Your Light Soy Wax Candles, Smith Embellishments, Stefan’s Moonrise Kingdom, George Wills Art, and Weeping Willow Farms’ Lost in Time Naturals. These vendors are absolutely amazing! Feel free to stop by our booth though. You can come socialize with me and even take a picture with me. I might even let you have my autograph….

The Winter Lights Festival isn’t just about the vendors though. It’s about holiday festivity. There’s an art walk, a holiday gift market, and a visit from Santa! Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will be at the Lyric Theatre from 3:30-5:30. I can’t wait to meet him! I may even take him some of my famous Hot Hokie Cocoa. Then, after Santa, there’s an entire concert in Kent Square. It starts at 4:00 p.m., so visit Santa early so you don’t miss it!

At 5:40 p.m., my absolute favorite activity occurs: The Tree Lighting Ceremony. All my Ho-Ho-Hokies gather around the huge Christmas tree (located on Henderson Lawn) and watch it light up the night as Christmas music twinkles in the background. Doesn’t that sound amazing? It is! Then, an army of tubas appear on stage and play glorious music. It’s the most beautiful sight mixed with most wonderful of sounds. At 7:00 p.m. there’s a parade featuring many of Blacksburg’s best and brightest. Candy will be thrown, music will be played, and talent will be everywhere! It’s the most wonderful time of the year (in Blacksburg)! Speaking of Christmas carols, all throughout the day, cute little children will be singing as well. It’s adorable and will certainly make you smile.  

It’s a wonderful day to be in Blacksburg, Hokie ladies and gentlemen! If you’re feeling festive, if you need a Friday activity, or if you just love Christmas, toss on a Santa hat and come join me at The Winter Lights Festival. Trust me, you won’t regret it. It’ll probably be one of your favorite Blacksburg traditions too!


See you there, Hokies!






I'm Thankful for Hokies

23 November, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving, Hokies! What a wonderful holiday. I love gathering with the members of my flock and creating glorious memories, especially when it involves a large feast. Today we’re feasting on so much food; the table is lined with everything from pumpkins to potatoes. Never, ever, ever turkey though! Oh, there’s so much to be thankful for on this fine day. Wanna know what I’m thankful for?

I’m thankful for the autumn leaves that dance in the crisp breeze. I’m thankful for Momma Dot, who loves me oh so much. I’m thankful for stuffing and gravy (who isn’t?). I’m thankful for fuzzy sweaters and wooly socks that keep my feathers and feet oh so warm. I’m thankful for pumpkin patches and hay rides. I’m thankful for bonfires and melted s’mores. I’m thankful for fall scented candles and warm apple cider. I’m thankful for stories and memories that make me who I am. I’m thankful for Blacksburg; there’s no place like home. I’m thankful for the many laughs I have daily. I’m thankful for warm hugs and puppy kisses. I’m thankful for Fuente-football and Beamerball. I’m grateful for community, for those that go out of their way to make a difference in the world. I’m grateful for service and the fact that so many Hokies take “Ut Prosim” so seriously. I’m thankful for my nest, always toasty and warm thanks to Momma Dot. I’m thankful for my friends, the rest of my family, and even for those I haven’t met yet.

Most of all, I’m thankful for you, Hokies. Thank you for always supporting me, always cheering me on, and always listening to what I have to say. Thank you for going out of your way to take pictures with my family members. Thank you for the hugs and the love. Thank you for the happiness that you give me. Thank you for everything. Thank you for being you.

I’m thankful for so much. But if I wrote down everything I was thankful for, I’d never get to eat my Thanksgiving feast! Chow down, Hokies. Dottie out.

What are you thankful for?



Dottie's Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Recipe

20 November, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Hi, guys. Dottie here. Thanksgiving is this week! To prepare you for this glorious (and terrifying) holiday, I wanted to give you a Thanksgiving recipe Momma Dot and I always use. We don’t eat meat in our nest, so we mainly eat side dishes. But luckily, side dishes are just as filling! I’m sure you know how to make the usual: green beans, mashed potatoes and stuffing. Most people like to stick to their familiar recipes. But if you’re getting tired of the same old same old every Thanksgiving, I have the perfect dish to spice up your dinner table. Today, I want to give you an easy recipe that few people use on Thanksgiving but many people will enjoy. What’s the dish? The glorious hash brown casserole.

Hashbrown casserole has become a staple at the Dot table on Thanksgiving. We love this dish. It’s filling, cheesy and delicious. And the best part? It’s so easy. All you’ll need is one bag of frozen shredded hashbrowns, one can of cream of chicken soup, one bag of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, one small onion and one container of sour cream. Make sure your hashbrowns are thawed before you start this dish. First, mix your sour cream with half the bag of shredded cheddar cheese and the whole can of cream of chicken soup. Mix it thoroughly, then chop up your onion and add it into the mixture. When all of that’s mixed together, add your hashbrowns. Mix one more time and then line your casserole dish. I recommend a disposable dish because it’s easier to store and easier to clean. Cook your casserole for 45-55 minutes, pull it out of the oven, and serve! Some say this dish is feather lickin’ good. Or maybe that’s just me…

Momma Dot and I can’t wait to eat this casserole for Thanksgiving. It makes the perfect addition to the usual dishes. And, if you’re on a budget, this casserole is for you. At max, this dish should cost  $10.00. If you have certain items laying around the house, it could only cost you about $5.00. I’m not sure what’s more amazing, the taste or the price. Anyways, this Hokie loves to chow down on all Thanksgiving dishes. Except… well… turkey. I hope you other Hokies get to try this amazing dish out for Thanksgiving. You won’t regret it, but the scale might.


Have a tasty day, Hokies!

Friday Favorites: Dottie's Dining Hall Diet

17 November, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

As a Hokie bird, I’m on Virginia Tech’s campus quite a bit. I greet students on the Drillfield, I travel to sporting events to support other Hokies, I participate in all the campus events, and I certainly like to admire the Hokie Stone as I’m walking around. However, one of my favorite activities to do on campus is … EAT! Virginia Tech has amazing food. It always has and it always will. There’s a variety of different foods to try from different dining halls, and I love each and every one for different reasons. Today, I want to give you the details on a few of my personal favorites. If you’re up for some fun, or you’re feeling hungry, take the Dottie challenge and try all my favorite dishes one week. I call this challenge the Dottie Diet.

Monday: West End

West End happens to be one of my favorite places on campus. It has a wide variety of foods, and they’re all high quality. You want Italian food? West End has it. You want steak? West End has it. You want a vegetarian wrap? West End has that too. As a Hokie bird, I definitely don’t eat meat… I am a bird after all. So, my favorite dish at West End is a veggie burger from the Fighting Gobbler. I like my burger with cheese, tomato, onion, and lettuce. And don’t forget a half basket of fries! Those seasoned slices are pure heaven.

Tuesday: D2

I like to call Tuesdays, D2uesdays! The day after Monday is the day you need the most food. All that Monday stress wears and tears at your mind. Food is the perfect way to fill those tears. Luckily, D2 is a buffet that offers every food imaginable. And oh man, D2 throws an amazing Thanksgiving meal for all Tech students. However, my favorite meal from D2 is pretty simple: Egg drop soup with wonton strips. This meal is perfect for a cold day, especially during the winter time. It’s different from the usual soups like tomato and chicken (ew) noodle too. The wontons add a perfect salty flavor to it as well. Simple, but delicious.

Wednesday: ABP

I feel like Au Bon Pain is underappreciated; this little soup shop is just as amazing as West End. While it doesn’t have the variety that West End and Turner provides, it certainly has the quality. This dining hall is perfect for lunchtime. It’s enough food to fill you up, but not too much. My favorite meal here may sound a little weird to you guys, but it’s delicious I swear. I like a sandwich with only tomatoes and cucumbers on toasted white loaf. Yes, that’s all! Add that sandwich to a delicious cup of broccoli and cheese soup and you have the perfect lunchtime meal.

Thursday: Turner

Turner is most students favorite dining hall on campus. I’m inclined to agree that it is pretty great. Like most students, my favorite restaurant in Turner is Qdoba. I love that place. My favorite meal? A veggie bowl with the following items: brown rice, pintos, queso, two scoops of pico de gallo, shredded cheese, lettuce, tortilla strips, and sour cream. Put the lid on that bowl, shake it up real good, and you have the best meal on earth.

Friday: Hokie Grill

Friday is the best day of the week. Most students get to relax on Fridays, and it’s normal to want a quick and easy meal. Hokie Grill is perfect for a lazy Friday. Simply go in the doors, grab your food, and run out. My favorite meal is an assortment of sides from Blue Ridge Barbeque. I love those corn muffins! It’s just like eating cake.

Saturday: Owens

Owens has a great assortment of foods to choose from and an even better assortment of desserts. There’s an entire station dedicated to desserts alone. The beer-battered french fries from Owens are amazing and the smoothies are the perfect on-the-go breakfast. My favorite meal from Owens is a cheese quesadilla with salsa and sour cream. I love how you can easily make your own quesadilla. It’s simple and easy, but it makes up for the ease in flavor.

Sunday: Deets

Deets has a very Starbucksy vibe. It’s a cute little coffee shop with a peaceful atmosphere that’s perfect for catching up on homework or studying. On Sundays, peace is necessary. It’s calm before the Monday storm. Deets has the perfect café foods to munch on. At Deets, I can’t choose a favorite food. It’s all so good. I love every pastry and every cup of coffee. However, my favorite ice cream flavor is simple ol’ chocolate. It’s a classic and makes for the perfect milkshake.

There you have it! Dottie’s favorite foods from every dining hall. Don’t forget, if you’re feeling spiffy this week, try out all my favorite foods on campus. It can be fun, filling, and entertaining.  It’ll also be a great way to prepare your stomach for Thanksgiving.

Don’t go hungry, Hokies!

Dottie Thanks Veterans

14 November, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Hello, Hokies! Saturday was Veteran’s Day and out of respect I want to say a huge thank you to all the men and women who have served—or are still serving— our country. There are so many things about this country to love. Sometimes, we forget how beautiful and wonderful our country really is. Sometimes, we forget how lucky we truly are. Sometimes, we forget how amazing it is to be an American. Sometimes, we forget that we have it easy, that there are soldiers risking their lives for us. It’s easy to forget. But today I want to remember. Today I want to take a moment to tell you why we should all be thankful, why we should all be grateful.

First, let me start with my Hokies. I may be a tad bit biased, but I think that Virginia Tech is the most wonderful place on earth.What makes the university even better is how it values veterans. Virginia Tech is a military school; it has a long history with the military and still cherishes service today. The university goes out of its way to help and hire veterans and those who serve.  Thank you, Virginia Tech for appreciating those who serve and acknowledging their sacrifice. Thank you for teaching your students what service truly means, by embodying UT Prosim. And a very big thank you to the cadets who help our college thrive, create a loving and serving environment, and plan on serving our country as well.

Now, I want to talk to you about why we should thank all of our countries veterans. Today, most of us woke up in warm beds safely, no fear in our hearts or minds. Today, most of us ate a nice, quiet breakfast, undisturbed by chaos and warfare. Today, we can voice our opinions about politics and government without the being harmed or imprisoned. Today, we can drive safely to work, humming to our favorite tunes. Today, we can hold our children in our arms. Today, we can do anything. Today, we are free.

Soldiers and Veterans, thank you for your service. Because of you, us citizens have freedoms. Because of you, us citizens have hope. Because of you, us citizens are safe. I hope you all had a wonderful Veterans day.



Friday Favorites: Dottie’s Favorite Blacksburg Locations

10 November, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

Hey, guys! Dottie here. Welcome to Friday Favorites with Dottie. So far, you know the my most basic favorites: books, colors, foods, you know, the usual. Today, I want to talk about something a little different, something a little more personal. Today I want to talk about my favorite locations in Blacksburg. There are so many wonderful places in Blacksburg, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. To be honest, everyone deserves to visit every inch of Blacksburg! And while that may seem possible, it may take a while. So here is a list of my top favorite places in Blacksburg; if you haven’t visited some of these locations, you should. I bet you can guess my #1…

1.) Lane Stadium

Every Hokie loves Lane Stadium. After all, it’s where I was born! I practically belong on Worsham Field. The spirit of the Hokie lives in Lane. Hokies thrive on spirit and positivity, it fuels our souls. Momma Dot always told me she knew I’d be a spirited little Hokie before I was even hatched. She tells me all the time how I used to tumble about in my shell. Let’s face it, I was made for Lane!

2.) The Hahn Horticulture Garden

I’ve talked to many other Hokies around Virginia Tech’s campus, and a lot of these folks have never seen the Hahn Horticulture Garden. I was shocked! This garden is stunning—especially in the spring time when all the flowers bloom. It’s a beautiful place for an evening stroll, a magnificent area to gain inspiration, and one of the most underappreciated locations in Blacksburg! Go sniff some flowers!

3.) The Moss Arts Center

If you’re a Hokie like me, then you must appreciate the arts. What’s more entertaining than music and dance? Absolutely nothing!  The Moss Arts Center features all kinds of artistic talent. I’ve seen plays, concerts, symphonies, and dances! Who says small towns can’t be cultured?

4.) Frank Theatres/CineBowl & Grille

I love this place! It’s got everything packed into one building! It has amazing luxury seating in the theatre, so you can watch your favorite movie in the most relaxing of environments. And, it’s an IMAX, so you can watch them in 3D. It also has a bowling alley, so if you’re not feeling like a movie, you can participate in another fun activity. It has a full-service dining area and a bar, so if you’re hungry before or after the movie, you can enjoy a nice meal. It’s got everything you need in one building. How convenient!

There are many, many, many, more places that rank at the top of my list, but I can’t name all of them! If you really want to know some more about Blacksburg and my favorite locations, I recommend purchasing a Blacksburg A-Z book from our store! It’s filled with beautiful locations, activities, and traditions. It’s the perfect guide to Blacksburg, and it’s filled with amazing illustrations.


Momma Dot is calling!


Until next time, Hokies.





The Secret Life of the HokieBird

08 November, 2017 2 comments Leave a comment

Lauren Hicks Photography

Cody Lopez was just like any other college kid. He spent his time as a R.A. keeping freshman alive in the dorms, attending club meetings and getting excited for Friday night dates. However, he had a secret—a huge, feathered, maroon and orange secret.

He was the HokieBird… and he couldn’t tell a single soul. Keeping the masquerade of living a double life for four years wasn’t easy. He’s no Hannah Montana—  but Cody found a way to keep his cover.

“People started to ask why are you on the field, I see you down there what are you doing, or why did you go to Daytona with the cheer team? Early on I kind of developed a story, I just didn’t use it as much. I told everyone that I was an intern in the Sports Marketing and Athletics department,” said Cody.

His story was clever, and for the most part it stuck. However, it was hard lying to loved ones and friends. However, Cody considers the white lies a small price to pay for his incredible experience.

“When I was an R.A., residents would see me come back super sweaty and I would just tell them I went to the gym. If they knew me well enough, they’d obviously know that wasn’t true. I never go to the gym!” he exclaimed. Cody set his mind on becoming the Hokie Bird at his first football game during his freshman year of college.

“There was nobody else on the field. There were people lining the sidelines, the stadium was full, but the Hokie Bird was just on the field in an orange effect shirt just goofing off, cartwheeling and rolling around in the middle of the football field. I was like that would be the coolest thing—  He can just goof off and enjoy himself in front of 60,000 people and it’s all in good fun.” said Cody. Cody decided that one way or another he was going to become the Hokie Bird.  In that moment, he whipped out his IPod Touch and took a picture to document the moment.

“I was like, you know what, I would love to do that. I posted a picture of the HokieBird in September of 2012 saying ‘that’s gonna be me someday’ as the caption. Whopping 12 likes. Crushed it,” said Cody.

The process of becoming the HokieBird wasn’t an easy one. If Cody’s heart and soul hadn’t been set on being the mascot, it would’ve been easy to give up. The first step to becoming the HokieBird was figuring out who to get in contact with to apply.

“I pretty much asked every single person I could find in athletics. I assumed it was athletics run, so I was like, how do I do this. Either they didn’t respond at all or they didn’t know—at least they told me that they didn’t know,” Cody explained. After a long point of getting nowhere, Cody was frustrated. It wasn’t until he began talking to a cute girl that things started to look up for his HokieBird career.

“I wanted to ask her on a date, and I wanted it to be this really big elaborate thing. I messaged the HokieBird on Twitter. I tweeted at him and said, can you follow me I want to DM you about something. My plan was to have him escort her to our date,” Cody explained, “He did it, and it was really cool. Then maybe a week after that, I messaged him and was like, ‘hey so I’ve been trying to figure this out for a really long time, can you help?’” The Hokie Bird hesitantly sent Cody an email. Cody finally had the “In” into the HokieBird program.

The next few months were a whirlwind. Cody went through various tryouts, which he can’t disclose—it is a very secretive process. The university narrowed 60 applicants to 30.  In the end, Cody was competing against three other people for the two HokieBird spots.

“If it’s something that you really want to do, be persistent,” Cody advised, “Be positive and adamant about what you want to do.”

Cody found that the most rewarding factor about being the HokieBird was seeing the impact that he made in the lives of others.  He appreciated the moments that he experienced being the face of the university in times of joy and sorrow. Attending the April 16th memorial service was one of the most poignant moments in his HokieBird career.

“One year I decided that I was going to buy flowers, go as the HokieBird and put flowers on the headstones,” Cody explained, “Then this one older lady, I have no idea what her connection was, if she was from the area or if she was personally affected, I don’t know, but she made it all the way through and she was balling. Just absolutely, super hard sniffling, crazy crying and she walked up and she just wrapped me in this huge hug and squeezed me super tight. All she said was, ‘I can’t explain to you how much it means to me that you came here for this night. Thank you.’” Cody paused, remembering the significance of the moment.

“I’m inside the suit crying. I feel like I was able to see the rawest emotion of a person. People weren’t afraid to show that to me, because I was the mascot— If I had been a normal person, they wouldn’t just run up and hug me for no reason,” Cody explained.

Moments like those are what makes being the HokieBird worth it. Moments like those are the reason that the HokieBird stands inside a costume in a Florida heat wave at the Miami football game, or the reason why the HokieBird fibs to friends and family about being busy. For Cody, everything was worth it, if he could make a difference in at least one person’s life.

“I got to see when people were happy and excited, they don’t hold that back around you. I’ve seen so many people cry tears of happiness now, just because I showed up somewhere and that’s just such a touching thing,” Cody explained, “It just speaks to me about what it truly means to be a Virginia Tech student, alum, faculty member, or fan. I wouldn’t have given it up for anything and I’m so glad that I got to do it.”

Cody is a 2016 Virginia Tech graduate.


*Photo Credits: The Blacksburg Partnership does not own these photos. They are provided courtesy of Cody Lopez. Bryson Hicks Photography took the second to last photo. The graduation photos were taken by Lauren Rakes.

Friday Favorites with Dottie: Dottie's Favorite Book

03 November, 2017 0 comments Leave a comment

One of my favorite things about living with Momma Dot is story time. Every night after dinner, we sit by the fire and read each other stories. I love story time because it allows me to create new memories with Momma Dot, but it also lets me pull some of my favorite childhood stories from the bookshelf. Yesterday, as we were reading by the fire, I came across one of my old childhood favorites: The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s such a beautiful story, probably one of my all-time favorites, but man is it a tear-jerker.

 If you’ve never read The Velveteen Rabbit, I certainly recommend it. It’s about a child who receives a small rabbit as a present for Christmas. As time goes on, the boy forgets the velveteen rabbit for a while. He plays with all his new toys, the shiny, updated, and unbroken ones. The rabbit, shabby and sewn, is captivated by the love the boy gives the new boy, and wishes to be loved as much as the new toys. However, an old and wise toy tells the rabbit that realness cannot be ugly, that realness occurs at one’s shabbiest. The boy eventually begins to play with the rabbit again, and well, I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will warn you: Grab some tissues. Although this book is made for children, even as a bigger bird, it’s still one of my all-time favorites.

After I recovered from the sniffles induced by this childhood classic, I stood on my tippy toes to reach the book that just so happened to be perched on the very top shelf. The picture book toppled over my head and landed with a soft thud on the straw-nest floor. I brushed off the dust and looked with enchantment at another one of my favorites, Blacksburg A to Z. Every time I crack open the book my head flutters with excitement, there are so many of my favorite places! Blacksburg A to Z is bursting with nostalgia and memories from living in Blacksburg and being a part of the wonderful Hokie Community. Momma Dot read me a few pages before I drifted off to sleep with dreams adventures in my dear hometown, Blacksburg, Virginia.

If you’re a bookworm like me, I’d highly suggest checking out these nostalgia-inducing books. Momma Dot agrees. If you haven’t read them, give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.


Until next time Hokies.