Let me introduce you to the real Cindy Price.
My Martinsville readers have the ability to read her story by Debbie Hall in the Sunday edition of the Martinsville bulletin, in it's weekly Piedmont Profiles section. The Martinsville Bulletin's website is woefully behind the technology curve, so this profile does not appear on the web based Bulletin. I want to give my outside Martinsville readers their first real look at the lady that inadvertently inspired Vehrsgate. (All information and quotes taken from the Debbie Hall story referred to above.)
"What you see is what you get" is more than just a well worn cliche when applied to Cindy Price.But most of my readers know that already. Ms. Hall's article goes into much more detail on Cindy's life, where it's been, and where it may be headed.
The Henry County native, who attended school here and has lived here her entire life, first gained the spotlight locally last summer when she wrote and performed a song about Hurricane Katrina.
Recently, Price and guitar player Mack Davidson won a jingle contest as part of a community pride campaign.
That caught the attention of Will Vehrs, an employee of the Virginia Department of Business Assistance who, while on the job, entered a caption contest by penning satirical captions for a photograph of Price and Davidson performing the jingle. He ended up suspended from his job for 10 days and coming to the Martinsville area to meet residents--including Price--and apologize for his jabs.
Cindy has a new CD out titled "Starving Artist", her second. I haven't heard it, but I will be searching for a copy. She has been singing since early childhood performing for family and friends, as well as in church. She has always had the desire to perform, telling Ms. Hall that while singing at a young age in church, "I'd just get up there and sing my heart out", she continued, "I didn't just stand there and sing, I was swingin' my arms and movin' my feet...it felt so good."
Life hasn't always "felt so good" for Ms. Price.
One of the earliest life experiences to make an imprint on her was the death of her brother, who was hit by a dump truck and killed as he crossed U.S.58 to board a school bus.That was only the first tragedy to strike Ms. Price's life. At the young age of 27 Cindy Price became a widow. Her husband, Danny, lost a battle with cancer, apparently due to exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
"He was 9 years old", she said. "I was 3 at the time."
Although Price does not remember her brother or the accident, she vividly remembers the incident's impact on her mother.
"She never got over that all the days of her life", Price said. "It was like a branch or a leaf was gone from Mother's tree of life."
To work through her grief, Cindy threw herself into working on her property in the Chestnut Knob area of Henry County, where she has built a small cabin, a pond, and some landscaped "rooms" in the woods. After much encouragement from friends Cindy finally began writing and performing again. "You gotta go through some blows in life on your way to success", she tells Ms. Hall.
Now that she has resumed her singing and writing career, she is working on her third CD. Her newest effort will include a song titled "Drunk Driver". Though not mentioned by name in the song, it was written in the days following the death of Charles White, a local businessman who was killed recently by a drunk driver as he was returning from Myrtle Beach on his motorcycle.