Style names Harvey family ‘Richmonders of the Year’
Just two days after the one-year anniversary of the brutal murder of musician Bryan Harvey and his family, Richmond's Style Weekly made the decision to name the Harveys its "Richmonders of the Year" for 2006.
Each January, the weekly newspaper bestows the distinction on the Richmonder who has "been at the center of significant change for the community." Style editor Jason Roop says the choice was a difficult one to make. "We talked about it for at least three weeks, probably more," he tells the Hook. "We worried whether people would think it was sensational, whether we'd be able to explain our choice to our readers in a meaningful way, whether this would be seen as some sort of award, whether we were holding them up as this perfect family. But every other person or group we talked about paled in comparison to the gravity of this issue."
Roop says that he and his staff have already received plenty feedback. "We've gotten lots of letters and e-mails," he says. "People have said everything from 'it's very appropriate' to 'I'm not sure what I'm supposed to draw from this.'"
As much discussed as this year's Richmonder of the Year has been, Roop still believes Style made the right choice. "The questions people had this year were 'How could this happen to good people?' 'Am I safe?' 'Why did this tragedy wake people up to crime in the city?' 'How can people like this exist?'" he explains. "In the end, we just couldn't avoid talking about what 2006 was all about without discussing the Harveys."
Although he later found some measure of national fame in a duo called House of Freaks, Harvey frequently rocked Charlottesville in the 1980s as the guitarist for a quartet called The Dads.
Past Richmonders of the Year include former Virginia governor and current Richmond mayor Doug Wilder (1985, 1989, 2005), humanitarian and tennis great Arthur Ashe (1992), grocery magnates James and Robert Ukrop (1994) as well as organizations like Richmond Bureau of Police (1987) and MCV Hospitals (1995).