This Is Our Richmond: A Cheats Movement Dinner Party

Words by Marc Cheatham & Photos by Nick Mastro

This is our Richmond.

With the summer leaves now turning a striking orange, children back to school, and the nation once again planning to determine our future through democracy; fall is clearly upon us. While we can never stop the hour glass of time from turning, we can always take a moment to enjoy the present through gatherings, fellowship, and of course food.

Richmond Virginia is a magical place filled with historic architecture, beautiful landscapes, gorgeous parks, and great food. Being outside in Richmond during the fall is breath taking. The evening twilight seems to radiate peace and harmony.

Though that was not always the case in the capitol of the Confederacy. As a child, I remember, with great detail, fables of a different Richmond, a colder Richmond. A Richmond that would not have been so accepting of me and my friends setting up our dinner party in the middle of Byrd Park to commune together and celebrate friendship.  Well I don’t exactly know when it happened but that old Richmond is dead.

With the Byrd Park’s War Memorial as our backdrop, the air filled with the aroma of salmon, sausage, pasta salad, deviled eggs, and more. Our old favorites Merlot and Chardonnay met a new friend named Naughty Shirley. We laughed, joked, learned and loved for hours. It was the perfect Richmond evening.

The night ended with dessert, photos, sparklers, and hugs.  There were talk about the how quickly the summer had passed and how we need to see each other soon. With Richmond serving as the perfect backdrop, I know that we will.

Dinner Friends: Aria, Maat, Lock, Julian, Victoria, Patience, Jorge, Clay, Nevena, & Nick Mastro

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