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The woman behind the In the Draft Facebook page

Rebecca Barnabi
Roxanne and Steve Short. Courtesy of Roxanne Short.

Valley residents know where to get community news about Stuarts Draft.

Roxanne Short began the In the Draft Facebook page in February 2014. At her job at the local United States Postal Service office, Short and her coworkers talked about having a Facebook page to share daily news about birthdays, deaths, business hours and school closings.

“I feel like in a small community post offices are part of the community,” Short said.

A “From the Post Office” page idea became In the Draft, and has been providing daily news about new businesses and breaking news.

Short said a story spread about the house next door to hers being broken into with a gun.

“I thought this is where we needed to start it,” Short said of the Facebook page. She thought her friends and post office customers would enjoy a page that shared news.

Within 24 hours, Short said the page had 350 followers. In a week, 2,000 Valley residents were following the page.

“It was intimidating to me,” said Short, who didn’t expect so much attention to her page.

Now with 11,000 followers, In the Draft continues to share good community news.

“I think it keeps us connected,” Short said.

Short grew up in Mint Spring and graduated from Riverheads High School in Augusta County. She said that if she and her friends did not come to Staunton for fun, then they came to Stuarts Draft. In the 1970s and 1980s, a movie theater was in Broadmoor Plaza.

She and a business partner opened the Wharf Restaurant and Pub on South Augusta Street in downtown Staunton, and later moved it to the Wharf where the Byers Street Bistro is now in business.

Short’s husband, Steve, who is known as “Cupcake” on In the Draft, has two sons from a previous relationship. One lives in Waynesboro and the couple lost the other in an accident.

Short said her inspiration for posts on In the Draft come from the DJ, portrayed by actor John Corbett, in the 1990s TV show “Northern Exposure.” She hopes the page reflects his wit and good vibes of sharing community news.

“It’s nice to see it used for good,” she said of the Facebook page.

Short hopes to retire from the USPS in a year or so, but plans to continue daily posts on the page every morning, and again if anything happens during the day. For example, when she spoke with AFP last Thursday Domino’s Pizza in Stuarts Draft lost phone services for the afternoon.

She likes to share news on the page of local businesses that give back to the community, but In the Draft is not a page for advertising.

Her favorite part about the page is having a “person of the week” every Thursday, and she would like to resume that feature.

“This community has always been really close knit and really community oriented. I think the page helps to keep it that way,” Short said.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.