"So why do I want to be on the cover of Style Weekly? Because I think I am the best-kept secret Richmond has! I am a real-life success story. Growing up (?) in the Bronx N.Y., I ducked the draft by enlisting and ended up in Vietnam anyway. I moved to Richmond in '73. So what's the story? Well, I think I am the real Rocky. The real champion. I invented the first fitness center made out of wood. I won the state championships in 1980, Natural Mr. America, and Natural Mr. North America in 1981. Then, in 1985 I became the first Natural World Bodybuilding Champion. I think I am the only world champion bodybuilder in Virginia. I discovered that at the time there was no dictionary definition for bodybuilding or bodybuilder. I sent Merriam-Webster my thoughts and now I am credited with adding those terms to the dictionary, not bad for a kid who couldn't speak English.
In February of 2000 I was granted a U.S. patent on one of my exercise inventions. I have eight certifications in different disciplines of professional training including my latest which made me the only medical exercise therapist in Virginia."
Lindsey C. Leach, 17, senior The Steward School "I'm one of hundreds who will be writing you, and just another person. I'm nobody's hero; I don't try to be. I'm nobody's idol; I never wanted to be. I am just a 17-year-old heretic with no shame and a sense of humor.
Heretic - it is literal. I am a Pagan and have been studying for over four years. Do not be mistaken, I'm no devil worshiper or teen witch, despite superstition and bad television. I am only me. I'm an artist, poet, actress, nail biter. I'm clumsy, too loud, I walk too fast and I twirl my hair. I like coffee, books, taking pictures of strangers, discussing philosophy and I love to argue. Just ask. I have an opinion on everything. I was never a groupie or a teenybopper but I love live music. I'm not the 'popular girl' yet I have never been ignored. I challenge authority and get away with it. (And love every minute of it.) I have no label to speak of nor do I participate in cliques. (Yuck.)
My mother raised me - a tough woman who is charismatic, accepting and always let me be who I am. After five years she has (finally) married a good man, my British stepfather. I have easily adjusted to living in a different house with more people, including my brother, stepsister and the zoo that came with us. (Three dogs, three cats and a fish.) Of everyone in our new family, I am obviously the eccentric one.
By the way, in the picture I sent I'm between my stepfather and mother. My stepsister is on the end. The reason our eyes are weird is because mom didn't like the red eye and decided to use a Sharpie!"
Charles Eric Marston, 13, 8th-grader Short Pump Middle School
"I am definitely cover material. My name is Charlie Marston and I'm 13. I think it would make you look pretty good to have a teen-ager on the cover of your magazine and it would boost your readership, too, with teen-agers like me. So, if you want to be the magazine read by the most teens, you'll put me on the cover.
I consider myself to be a pretty cool guy though everybody else may not agree. I have a 4.0 GPA and love to play sports. My favorites are wrestling and swimming. I wrestle for Short Pump [Middle School] and swim for TCRC. I know I'm going to be famous some day so you may as well put me on your cover now while I'm available. You'll be glad you did when I graduate from UVA or Duke and win an Olympic gold medal for wrestling or swimming.
That's why you should put me on the cover of Style Weekly. To look at me you may think I'm fairly average. But then, what are famous people but fairly average people who get their pictures on the cover of magazines? Here's my picture. Hurry before GQ calls me!"
Reg Snider, 50, editor, Virginia Legislative Services
"Delusional and self-absorbed though this may seem I want to help save humanity from itself. You see, I'm certain humankind will suffer a cataclysmic breakdown within 50 - 100 years, which will likely result in the death of this civilization and a huge percentage of the world's population - UNLESS we humans make significant changes in the way we live.
There is a good way out, which I have expertise in articulating. It involves adopting sustainability, a practical approach that's been developed by some of the finest minds of our time. Sustainability crosses all boundaries - national, religious, political, etc. - requiring that we meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations. That we live as though people were going to be on earth for a long time, that we stop living like short-sighted children who act as though providence or technology will bail us out. (Not gonna happen, and I believe in both.)
Have law degree; government, business and teaching background. Have forsaken pursuit of wealth to do this work (and in Richmond!) Have four young kids and know the difficulty of being idealistic in our economy. Interesting copy, I promise. I'll challenge conventional thinking about contemporary problems."
Diane Weakley, 52, pharmaceutical consultant
"I think I should be on the cover because I represent a socioeconomic group of women who apparently are invisible to men. As a group, we are attractive, successful professionals who are financially independent. We own beautiful homes without mortgages. Some of us have spent the past 15 or 20 years as single moms, raising and educating our children. Others of us have recently been dumped for the so-called "trophy wife." We are fun, energetic, intelligent women, who now have the time and the expendable income to share with Mr. Right - but where is he? Collectively, we have joined numerous philanthropic groups, attended church, joined matchmaking services, and run personal ads. And yet, we've found no one that meets our expectations. We're looking for successful, attractive, mature men - not needy losers. You can also dispel that myth that older women are not interested in sex and affection. We're VERY interested in it, and we're good at it, too! Even if this does not make the cover, it would make an interesting investigative story at some time."
Style Weekly's mission is to provide smart, witty and tenacious coverage of Richmond. Our editorial team strives to reveal Richmond's true identity through unflinching journalism, incisive writing, thoughtful criticism, arresting photography and sophisticated presentation.
We make sense of the news; pursue those in power; explore the city's arts and culture; open windows on provocative ideas; and help readers know Richmond through its people. We give readers the information to make intelligent decisions.