Page 1


p. 49

| A Southern-Fried Book Tour

p. 112

| Vince Gilligan

p. 53

Get in Gear in Our


Favorite Cycling Cities p. 100

The Fizz is Back An Ode to the Classic Soda Fountain p. 94

Summer’s staple goes uptown

Asparagus, Truffles and Olive Oil, Oh My!

a croatian culinary adventure

p. 74


w w w.V i r g i n i a l i v i n g .c o m

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VI R G I N I A H I G H L A N D S Bath and Highland Counties form the eastern slope of our continental divide where rainfall chooses to flow to the Atlantic or to New Orleans. Where ridges reach above 4500’ and dominate 300 square miles of National Forest. Where Virginia’s finest trout rivers flow through quiet farming valleys and cool summer temperatures offer respite and recovery. Where America’s historic mountain resort, The Homestead, offers world class amenities from championship golf courses and the new Canyon Ranch Spa Club, to shopping and fine dining. Come up and see what is hidden a few ridges west of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia’s true mountains.

MAPLE RIDGE FARM - Nestled on 21 acres just minutes from The Homestead, this impeccably renovated estate features seven spacious bedroom suites, formal living and dining rooms, grand foyer with curved staircase, custom gourmet kitchen, library, in-ground pool and pool house – all designed for complete comfort and luxury. The original brick structure was expanded in 1922 by Thomas Fortune Ryan with the two-story columned portico and a marble stucco finish. The location is protected by deed restrictions on adjoining land, limiting development and protecting the view shed. $2,250,000

OVERLOOK MANOR - Located in the Sheep Meadow neighborhood of Homestead Preserve, this historic estate has been completely renovated and is a luxurious turn-key home. On 5.31 acres, the home offers five bedrooms suites, living room and family rooms with gas fireplaces, gourmet kitchen, dining room, sun porch, patios and stacked front porches. The home is being offered fully furnished and has an established vacation rental history under the current management of Natural Retreats – Virginia Hot Springs. The home overlooks old garden terraces now maintained by Homestead Preserve. $2,475,000

QUARRY HILL DRIVE - Homestead Preserve was the community chosen for the 2007 Southern Accents Showhouse. This magnificent 8300 square foot Highlands Classical style home was specifically designed to incorporate its spectacular mountain setting and showcase the sunset views over Hot Springs. The home has five bedrooms with private baths, seven fireplaces, sauna, climate controlled wine cellar, fiber optic network, and IP addressable security system. The home is located within walking distance of The Homestead. $1,950,000

HI COUNTRY FARM - Remarkable re-designed, enlarged and restored c.1850 farm house situated at a spectacular site at 3,000 above sea level overlooking the Blue Grass Valley. Original two-over-two farm house with 2256 square feet, now features a 600 square foot Kitchen/Dinning addition with vaulted ceilings, exposed beams with large dormer windows high overhead. Other distinctive features; four sets of French doors to access the 10 foot wide three sided wrap-around porch, two original limestone fireplaces, recovered yellow heart pine flooring. There are three bedrooms, including a main floor master suite, and three full baths. The views are truly amazing over the 205 acre farm and the Blue Grass valley. The wrap porch and patio with outdoor fireplace are the perfect places to enjoy the view. $2,400,000

LILY OF THE VALLEY - Located in the spectacular Blue Grass Valley of Highland County. The home is sited on 220 acres, a combination of well-maintained fenced pasture and woods. The 4500 s.f. contemporary home offers large, open rooms with soaring ceilings and large windows to take in the spectacular setting. The home features three bedrooms, four bathrooms, wood burning fireplaces in the living room and library off the Master Suite, formal and casual dining, office, large laundry room and a three bay garage. The generous kitchen is a cook’s delight with granite counters, stainless Viking Professional appliances. There is also a fabulous home for horses - a modern stable with six stalls, tack room, office and caretaker apartment above. $1,450,000

RIVER BEND FARM - Two farms dating from the early 1800’s dominated the upper portion of the Cowpasture River Valley in Bath County: Fort Lewis and River Bend. This beautifully designed four-bedroom home is shaded today by the same ancient oaks that encircled the original farmhouse years ago. The site was chosen because of its 360º views and the rich river bottom soils. The farm has 165 acres of hayfields and pasture with 4000’ feet of Cowpasture River frontage, several barns, and a renovated two-bedroom guest cottage. $2,450,000

SERENITY SPRING FARM - Located in the beautiful Mill Creek Valley, this stately old Virginia brick farmhouse sits on 83.48 acres with over 2500’ of Mill Creek, a wonderful trout stream. In addition is Lyle Spring which produces over 500 gallons per minute, feeding a large pond. The farmhouse has undergone a complete renovation as well as a large addition and features four bedrooms, four and a half baths, large country kitchen, and several working fireplaces. The land is made up of approximately 50 acres of pasture, bottomland and the balance is wooded. The view and setting are truly spectacular. $1,395,000

MILL CREEK - One of the most unique offerings in Bath County, numerous parcels were combined to create this 342 acre preserve with over two miles of Mill Creek. Several antique log cabins were salvaged and built on a bluff overlooking the trout stream as it meanders through the broad meadow below. The home incorporates beams and remilled heart pine in the flooring and cabinetry salvaged from a 19th century factory in southside Virginia. Local stones were used in the fireplaces and patios where a small stream flows by the house. The property is located in a private setting at the end of a state-maintained road with extensive trail system. There is a barn, equipment shed and garage with an apartment above. $1,950,000

WIMER MOUNTAIN FARM - Lovely 130 acre working farm in the the Blue Grass Valley of Highland County. The farmhouse has been completely renovated. The renovation included restoring the beautiful hardwood floors, exposing beams and original woodwork, opening up rooms, adding new windows and French doors that open onto a large wrap-around porch. The farm is fenced and includes a large bank barn and several outbuildings. The 130 acres is mostly pasture with approximately 20 wooded acres. $795,000

WARM SPRINGS MOUNTAIN RETREAT - Located at 3880’ just below Bald Knob, this 30 acre property offers views as far east as Wintergreen Mountain and the Peaks of Otter. A 1790 log cabin was moved from Bolar and reconstructed next to a modern frame home built in 2003. The property offers unparalleled views as well as complete privacy and solitude. Particular attention was paid to all aspects of the historic cabin reconstruction and to the materials and workmanship of the newer home. Opportunities for land on top of the mountain are rare and a turn-key property with this level of quality, taste and acreage has never been offered before. $639,000



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Con te n ts june 2013

Features 94

The Buzz on the Fizz Stop in at one of Virginia’s classic soda fountains this season and savor a chocolate egg cream soda or classic Black & White pulled fresh from the fountain. By Sabra Morris


Hot Wheels

Our 10 favorite cycling destinations, plus tips from local wheels on the ground for the best places to ride, repair your gear and recharge après-biking. By Joan Tupponce


Dog Show Fancy Veteran Westminster judge Karen Wilson of Slate Mills has spent nearly 50 years competing in the sport of dogs and gets our vote for Best in Show! By Aynsley Miller Fisher

Departments 21 | Up F r o n t

U.S. women’s soccer star Ali Krieger, raccoons, honeybee rescue, bird dog champ, Garth Newel Music Center, forensic podiatry, Bellwether and more!

45 | a b o u t t o w n

Galas and gatherings around the state, supporting art, institutions and charities.

49 | W e dd i n g s

photo by jeff greenough

Weddings from across the Commonwealth.

51 | E v e n t s

Our picks for the most interesting events this season.

53 | p r o f i l e

“Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan tells us how it feels to bring the curtain down on Walter White.

84 | P r o p e r t y

61 | V i r g i n i a n a

It may be slow, but it’s steady! A look at 400 years of ferry service in the Commonwealth. By Chiles T.A. Larson

65 | D i n i n g

Chef Marcus Blackstone’s loyal following in Southwest Virginia can now find him at Chilhowie’s Riverfront Restaurant.

Vintage Ridge Vineyard and Winery in Delaplane is the dream home and creation of oenophiles Bill and Vicki Edmands. By Meridith Ingr am

90 | G a r d e n

Mark and Barbara Wheless have hewn a world-class garden from the mountainside of their Afton home.

By Joe Tennis

By Catriona Tudor Erler

70 | f o o d

112 | D e pa r t u r e

Fried and fabulous frites! Need we say more? By Lisa Antonelli Bacon

74 | T r av e l

A Southern-fried book tour and road trip has the author thinking about cars. By Dean King

Croatia’s Istrian peninsula makes for a culinary tour that is the stuff of dreams. By Kimberley Lovato

On the Cover

By daryl Grove

Frites with dipping sauces. june 2013



virginia living

photo by adam ewing

Strawberry ice cream soda at Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar in Roanoke.

4/17/13 12:52 PM

Spend more time on the playground instead of in the kitchen.

Living at Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury is about exactly that, “living.” Set on 165 of the most scenic acres of Virginia’s Northern Neck, RWC is an inviting, full-service retirement community. We offer an appealing worry-free lifestyle that affords you more time to enjoy those things you want to do, and the peace of mind of continuing care, if ever needed. Call RWC at 804-438-4000 to learn how you can embrace life more fully every day.

E mbrace life on your terms. Equal Housing Opportunity © 2013 RWC

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804-438-4000 or 800-792-1444 132 Lancaster Drive Irvington, Virginia 22480

4/12/13 4/21/13 4/16/13 2:248:21 2:08 PM AM


VOLUME 11, NUMBER 4 June 2013 Published by

Cape Fear Publishing Company

109 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219 Telephone (804) 343-7539, Facsimile (804) 649-0306

Joan Tupponce

Joan Tupponce was the 2008 and 2009 Sweepstakes winner for the Virginia Press Women association as well as the 2010 Sweepstakes First Runner Up in the National Federation of Press Women contest. In addition to Virginia Living, her articles have appeared in O magazine, US Airways Magazine, Seventeen, AAA World, Challenge magazine, New York Daily News, Virginia Business, Virginia Golfer and Richmond Magazine. She has also written articles for the public relations area of Sports Illustrated and contributed to


John-Lawrence Smith EDITORIAL STAFF editor Erin Parkhurst Art Director Sonda Andersson Pappan associate editor Daryl Grove assistant editor Lisa Antonelli Bacon assistant editor Lindsey Leake assistant art director Brandon Peck



Catriona Tudor Erler, Aynsley Miller Fisher, Chiles T. A. Larson, Kimberley Lovato, Meridith Ingram, Clarke C. Jones, Sabra Morris, Sandra Shelley, Peggy Sijswerda, Joe Tennis, Joan Tupponce CONTRIBUTING photographers

Adam Ewing, Roger Foley, Jeff Greenough, Cade Martin CONTRIBUTING illustrators

Gary Hovland, Chris Gall, Robert Meganck

Bland Crowder

Bland Crowder was born in Richmond and raised in Boydton, seat of Mecklenburg County. He studied biology at the College of William & Mary and journalism at Texas A&M and NYU. He has worked in environment-related communications and as an editor at People and Time magazines. He settled in Richmond in 2006 and has been a contributor to Virginia Living since 2007, including his column “Odd Dominion” (formerly “Olden Times”). He is the associate director of the Flora of Virginia Project and edited the 1,600-page Flora of Virginia, published in November.

photo by lark garges smith

Bland Crowder, Bill Glose, Don Harrison, Caroline Kettlewell, Dean King, Sarah Sargent

editorial intern

Jennifer Johnson

Cade Martin

art interns

Cade Martin is an award-winning photographer for advertising, corporate and fashion clients worldwide. Specializing in people and location photography, Martin has worked for clients including Tommy Hilfiger, Coors Brewing Company, Zurich, America’s Next Top Model, Discovery Channel, Karla Colletto, IBM, Verizon, Marriott International, Grey Goose, National Geographic Society, Starbucks and other companies and creative agencies. A frequent contributor to Virginia Living, this is the second year he has created the beautiful images in Best of Virginia.

Justine Mangum, Megan Mullsteff, Tyler Newbold, Aleda Weathers Advertising executives central virginia

sales MANAGER Torrey Munford

(804) 343-0782,

Christiana Roberts

(804) 622-2602,

eastern virginia

Thomas Durrer

(804) 622-2614,

Beverly Montsinger

(804) 622-2605,

Northern Virginia

Haley Bien

(804) 622-2603,

western virginia

Heather McKinney

(804) 622-2611,


OFFICE MANAGER Maria Harwood chief financial officer Tom Kozusko Creative Services director Kenny Kane Creative Services Assistant Joseph Wharton circulation manager Kim Benson Web editor Daryl Grove COrpORATE SPONSORSHIPS Beverly Montsinger Groundskeeper Melwood Whitlock Activities & Morale Director Cutty Assistant Activities & Morale Director Rex


We welcome calendar items; to ensure consideration, printed copies of information must be sent four months before publication via U.S. Mail to our Editor at the above address.

Robert Meganck

A professor of illustration, graphic design and digital imaging, and chair of the Department of Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University, Robert Meganck is also an award-winning freelance illustrator and president of full-service design firm Communication Design. In addition to contributing illustrations to Virginia Living for more than 10 years, Meganck’s work has appeared in the Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, Newsweek International and Harvard Business Review.

Don’t forget, you can find even more Virginia Living online!


Send address changes to VIRGINIA LIVING 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219


One year - $22, two years - $38. Send to 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219 or


Back issues are available for most editions and are $9.95 plus $5 shipping and handling. Please call for availability.

REPRINTS & REPRODUCTION PERMISSION Contact John-Lawrence Smith, Publisher, at (804) 343-7539 or


Virginia Living is a registered trademark of Cape Fear Publishing Company, Inc. Copyright 2008, all rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.


(USPS) ISSN 1534-9984 VirginiaLiving is published bimonthly by Cape Fear Publishing Company, 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219. Periodical postage permit 021-875 at Richmond, VA.

MASTHEAD_Contrib_JUN13.indd 17

Visit virginia to see a slideshow of images from the Istria region of Croatia, more from the world-class Afton garden of Mark and Barbara Wheless and more of those fabulous frites we feature in our food story this month. Also on our website, you’ll find a searchable list of our more than 1,200 Best of Virginia 2013 winners. Find the Commonwealth’s finest in everything from dining to doing at the click of a button!

june 2013


We also encourage you to connect with us via social media. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to see all the latest from Virginia Living, including exciting and exclusive giveaways and contests.

virginia living

4/17/13 12:55 PM


U.O.U. Can’t remember the last time you enjoyed a “You Owe You” experience? Then come to the heart of Coastal Virginia and visit Chesapeake. Relax amid the natural splendor of wooded preserves and miles of shoreline. Dine overlooking the famous Intracoastal Waterway. Tap your toes at an outdoor music festival. Shop ‘til you drop. And choose from accommodations ranging from cozy B&Bs to avant garde. Your U.O.U. is here—in Chesapeake. Toll free (888) 889-5551


Brooke Mayo Photographers

Visit the Sanderling’s new restaurants, bars, spa and social scene. It’s the place to experience your vacation.

SIMPLER TIME SUNNIER PLACE EXPERIENCE SUMMER - OUTER BANKS STYLE Located five miles north of Duck, cuisine at the Lifesaving Station. North Carolina, sits a playground Our newest restaurant, Kimball’s waiting to be explored. Allow Kitchen, will allow you to indulge in your mind to be mentally sunset views while enjoying steak, refreshed while giving your body seafood and an extensive oyster revitalizing pampering at the Spa bar. Along with two new pools, a at Sanderling. Tempt your culinary full range of activities, tours and palette with amazing breakfast kids’ programming are available options and Coastal Carolina during the summer. 1461 Duck Road, Duck, NC 27949 Phone 866.556.7131 l

018VL0613.indd 18


4/21/13 2:10 PM

E ditor ’ s letter Fear not the frite!

“Fried” doesn’t have to be a four-letter word.


wine among other wonderful things. If you haven’t thought of traveling to this Eastern European country (and you are hungry), I hope Lovato’s story will induce you to go. The wee bit of guilt I feel at offering you so many ways to expand your waistline is assuaged by the exercise I know you can get from our feature story about our 10 favorite cycling destinations in Virginia (page 100). Did you know that tiny Damascus, with its population of just over 800, is known as “Trail Town USA”? Its location near prime biking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, Trans-America National Bicycle Trail, the Virginia Creeper Trail and many others account for the moniker. Joan Tupponce spent months researching the state’s best trails, cycle shops and places to recharge after biking, and found that our state is a cyclist’s dream (which is perhaps, part of the reason that Richmond was selected to host the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships). And there is much more in this issue, including an interview with AMC’s “Breaking Bad” creator, Vince Gilligan (page 53). Daryl Grove spoke with Gilligan—who grew up in Central Virginia—via phone from New Mexico where he had just finished filming the final eight episodes of the Emmy-nominated series. Gilligan tells us about creating the character of Walter White (good guy? bad guy?), and what it was like to bring the much-loved series to an end. We also take a look at 400 years of ferry service in the Commonwealth, enjoy a tour of a world-class garden in Afton, visit a spectacular vineyard and winery in Delaplane and meet Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show top judge Karen Wilson, of Slate Mills. And we are pleased to bring you the results of our second annual readers’ survey in our special issue, Best of Virginia 2013. This year more than 25,000 of you weighed in and gave us your ‘bests’ throughout the state. Inside Best of Virginia 2013 you will find our more than 1,200 winners and a terrific guide for navigating the state’s wealth of places to eat, play and shop. I hope you’ll dig in, and enjoy both of our issues this month.

’m not going to apologize. I love frites. I love the luxury of oil and salt, and the sybaritic pleasure of crunching into that crisp shell to find steaming carb-crammed softness within. Yes, dear heart-healthy reader, I know it is wrong, but I just can’t help myself. Since summer seems to me the best season for throwing caution to the wind, we bring you our love letter to the classic fried potato with our cover story on frites. But our old fried friend has grown up, and comes to you sitting atop a beautiful grilled steak and next to a bowl of freshly steamed mussels (page 70), or dipped into Chef J Frank’s roasted garlic, pesto or Sriracha mayonnaise. Surely we can allow ourselves the occasional indulgence, yes? Ah, but the treat-train this month does not end with frites! We also bring you a feature story about the classic soda fountain (page 94). We dispatched writer Sabra Morris to Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar in Roanoke where proprietors Anna Robertson and Robert Davis whipped her up a Black & White soda of housemade chocolate syrup, homemade whipped cream, soda water carbonated on-site in their 1930s-era fountain (the real deal), and gooey vanilla ice cream from nearby Homestead Creamery (talk about a great assignment). Morris also visited Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, Timberlake’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain in Charlottesville and others around the state to meet the people who are keeping the tradition of the old-fashioned soda alive. And we also include a guide to Virginia’s classic soda fountains so you can go and find out for yourself why the fizzy concoctions have captivated folks of all ages for so long. Kimberley Lovato continues this pursuit of all-things yummy in her travel story about Croatia (page 74). Her culinary adventure through that country’s Istrian peninsula turned up wild asparagus, truffles, olive oil and

top photo by adam ewing. bottom photo by jeff greenough

Erin Parkhurst, Editor

Write to us!

Dear Editor:

I just love this magazine, I look forward to it coming and I sometimes read it several times before the new one comes. It is well worth every penny I pay for it. Carolyn Clements (via Facebook)

Dear Editor:

It is great that you are including health and wellness in your magazine. Thanks for a great magazine and adding this new direction. Patti Jeffries (via Twitter)

Dear Editor:

Proud to say I live in Maryland and love reading your magazine. When I worked in Virginia, coworkers would always save issues for me. Sarah Vining (via Twitter)

Letters to the Editor

Comments from our second annual Best of Virginia readers’ survey, which we conducted online in January: “I love this survey, and use the winners as my directory!” “It was a wonderful surprise to have the Northern Neck featured last year. Please continue to recognize areas beyond the urban edges.” “I think it’s a very good survey! Keep up the good work and the great magazine! I give this magazine to my new buyers relocating to Northern Virginia!”

JUNE 2013



We love receiving letters and emails from Virginia Living readers and hearing your reactions to our stories. Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself! Write them down, or type them up instead! Email us at or write to us at Letters to the Editor, Cape Fear Publishing, 109 E. Cary St., Richmond, Va. 23219. Please include your name, address, phone number and city of residence. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. For subscriptions, see our website, Kindly address all other editorial queries to

department of corrections

A photograph that appeared in “The Big Picture” (February 2013) was misidentified as being from the production of “Lincoln,” which took place in Richmond last year. The photo is actually from the Virginia Capitol Foundation’s film, “Keepers of the Flame,” which is shown every day at the Capitol Visitor’s Center on the quarter hour. We regret the error.

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Workhouse arts center

Back game in the

Soccer star Ali Krieger is finally back on the field after a career-threatening injury, and ready to lead the new National Women’s Soccer League to primetime.

By Daryl Grove

Photography by Cade Martin

june 2013

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UpFront “I remember it so clearly,” says U.S. Women’s National Team soccer star Ali Krieger, in a voice

that same exposure to professional women’s soccer that she did. Though Krieger missed out on Olympic gold, she is now back where she wants to be—on the U.S. national team, working to permanently reclaim her spot at right back. Krieger’s teammates did not forget her during the Olympics—“They emailed and Tweeted at me all the time,” she says, “and when Megan [Rapinoe] held up a ‘Happy Birthday’ sign during the Columbia game, they made me feel like I was still a part of it.” Teammates welcomed Krieger back to national team practice in early 2013 with a surprise mid-interview pie-in-the-face. “Just their way of

that is soft but laced with the unmissable self-certainty of a high-level athlete. She’s talking about the U.S. team’s Olympic-qualifying game versus the Dominican Republic in January 2012. “Shannon Boxx laid the ball back to me—bit of a hospital pass, no pun intended—and I went in, shot with my right and landed with my right …. and then the girl [Leonela Mojica] came in and hit me in the side of my knee.” Krieger’s leg buckled sideways before she hit the ground, and teammates gathered to calm her as she was stretchered off. “I was thinking, OK, maybe it’s not so bad,” says the Northern Virginia native, who grew up in Woodbridge and Montclair. But it was worse. A tear in a soccer player’s anterior cruciate ligament, medial cruciate ligament or meniscus means months on the sideline. Krieger had torn all three. “When I found out it was an ACL-MCL-meniscus, I immediately started crying,” recalls Krieger. “It was just me, the U.S. team doctor and the MRI guy, and it was Saturday so the hospital was pretty empty. I just started bawling. They told me everything was fine, but I had been at the top of my career, on cloud nine.” After a standout performance at right back in the U.S. team’s run to the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final, where a global audience of 59 million saw Krieger and her teammates lose narrowly on penalty kicks to Japan, Krieger had set her sights on gold at the London 2012 Olympics. Despite undergoing reconstructive surgery on her knee at Commonwealth Orthopaedics in Arlington, and “nine to five rehab ... that became my job,” says Krieger, she didn’t return to action in time to make the U.S. Olympic team, which went on to win without her by beating Japan 2-1 in the August 2012 gold medal match. She did return to her club team, Germany’s FFC Frankfurt, (professional soccer players are employed full time by their club teams and earn selection for their national teams based on performance) and was back in action that September. Women’s soccer in the U.S. has seen two professional leagues fold due to financial instability in the past decade, despite the popularity of the U.S. Women’s National Team, so players like Krieger have had to venture overseas to find professional opportunities. Krieger joined FFC Frankfurt in 2008. “It’s toughened me up,” she says. Moving to Germany at the age of 23 was a culture shock. “I was right out of college,” she recalls. “I wanted to come home after three months.” But Krieger committed to life in Germany, just as she would later commit to rehab, learning the language and adapting to the culture. “Germans are direct and blunt,” she says, and thinks this has made her a better professional. “Now, when a coach says that I need to be better I say ‘OK.’ I don’t take offense. And I’m so punctual now, I’m at least 10 minutes early for everything!” Krieger returned to Northern Virginia earlier this year, determined to play her role in finally establishing women’s professional soccer in the U.S. “It was the perfect time to come home,” she says. Unlike its predecessors, the new National Women’s Soccer League, which began league play in April, is a “foundation we can build off,” says Krieger, because it’s backed by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which will subsidize the salaries of marketable national team players like Krieger, relieving the When I found burden on each team’s finances. Krieger will play for the Washington Spirit franchise and, as out it was the local girl made good, will be the team’s most bankable name. an ACL-MCL“Every national team player should be supporting this league,” she says, “because this is something bigger than ourselves right meniscus, I now, and if we want this league to survive, the best players need immediately to play in it.” As a teenager in Northern Virginia, Krieger says she “grew up watching Mia Hamm and Steffi Jones, who played started crying.” for the [Washington] Freedom in the Women’s United Soccer Association for the three years that WUSA was alive,” and she feels a duty to ensure the next generation of potential stars get


june 2013

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showing how much they missed me!” she laughs. But when Krieger returned to the field in the national team’s 4-1 win over Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida, in February, it was all business. Krieger didn’t miss a beat, delivering her trademark mix of defensive know-how and attacking threat down the right flank. Even better, she scored her first international goal in a 5-0 win over China at the Algarve Cup tournament in March, a tournament the U.S. went on to win. “Now I’m back with the national team, it feels like I’m finally back,” Krieger says. And she already has her eye on victory at the 2015 Women’s World Cup: “This time I want to get gold.” ❉

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Remodeling A Pre-1978 Home? Attention: Homeowners

Journey into a mysterious place inhabited by Malayan tigers, orangutans, sun bears, otters, giraffes and much more!

Federal law requires contractors that disturb painted surfaces in homes, child care facilities, and schools built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Always ask to see your contractor’s certification. The contractor must provide a copy of the RENOVATE RIGHT pamphlet before starting work. To learn more about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Lead Renovation, Repair, and Painting Rule (RRP) call the National Lead Information Center toll-free 1-800-424-LEAD (5323) or go to: Common renovation activities like sanding, cutting, and demolition can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead-based paint, which can be harmful to children and adults. Make sure lead-safe work practices are listed in your contract, and if lead abatement is performed, check with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation to verify licensure at or call (804) 367-8595. For more information, please visit the Virginia Department of Health, Lead-Safe Virginia Program at or call toll-free (877) 668-7987. Please have your children tested for lead exposure. • 757-441-2374 VAZoo_VALiving_2013_1_final.indd 1

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illustration by robert meganck


erhaps you’ve seen those articles,

the ones fretting over how machines are getting so much smarter and how one day, not so far in the future, they’ll be more intelligent than us, and then they’ll RULE THE WORLD!!! (Cue maniacal laughter.) Well, don’t worry. It’s not your laptop that’s plotting your subjugation. Our future overlords are already among us, and they are smallish and furry and kind of cute, and one of them may be languishing somewhere near your home right now with a mild case of indigestion after polishing off the remains of yesterday’s hot wings excavated from the depths of your Supercan. They are raccoons. Yes, I hear you scoffing. “Raccoons,” you say with a light laugh. “Pests, maybe, but no worse than that.” You would be wrong. The raccoon is a species native to North America whose name Virginia can lay a sort of claim to: “Raccoon” is an Anglicized ver-

sion—generally credited first to Captain John Smith—of the Powhatan Indian name for the creature, which means roughly “animal that scratches with its hands.” And it is those hands, indeed, that hold our future in their grasp. A raccoon’s front feet are incredibly dexterous and extremely sensitive, with a dense mesh of nerves feeding sensory information to the brain. While raccoons were long thought to “wash” their food, now, according to the fascinating “Raccoon Nation,” an episode of the PBS “Nature” documentary series, researchers understand that raccoons put their paws in the water because doing so allows those nerves to become even more sensitive. Raccoons, notes the documentary’s narrative “see the world with their feet.” They do a lot more with those feet. They are excellent climbers (and they are good swimmers as well), and they can get in trashcans and compost bins, of course, but that sort of thing is child’s play for them. The documentary JUNE 2013



by caroline kettlewell

City-dwelling raccoons are getting too smart for our own good.

n at i v e s |

Masked Bandits

shows them defeating, through determined persistence, a tent zipper, a bungee cord and a door handle. And once raccoons learn a new skill, they remember it. They might even pass it along; mother raccoons teach their offspring, called “kits,” the ways of their world, whatever their particular world might be. Once, that world was one only of trees and fields and wild things. In that world, where raccoons still certainly can be found, they den in trees and burrows and eat a diet that includes plants, fruits and nuts, eggs, insects, frogs and crayfish. Sitting high on the food chain, they don’t have many natural predators: Large owls will sometimes snatch the young, and coyotes, bobcats, cougars and foxes apparently will prey on them as well. But more and more, raccoons, like people, are finding that life in the city—so much more convenient and richer in its resources—suits them very well indeed, and in some cities the density of the raccoon population is now far greater than it is in the more rural surrounding areas. Unfortunately, burgeoning urban raccoon populations are a problem we’ve brought on ourselves. Raccoons are intelligent, omnivorous and highly adaptable, a combination of qualities that allows them to commandeer our infrastructures and lifestyles to their advantage. They waddle through cat doors and plunder bird feeders. They insinuate themselves into our attics and garages (with a knack for squeezing through what would seem to be Our future impossibly narrow openings), and they harvest our overlords trashcans. They raid chicken coops and ornamental ponds are already and carefully tended gardens; among us, if a slew of online gardeningforums are any and they are help indication, woe unto your smallish and sweet corn in particular. Some of those forums also furry and suggest that coyote urine is this no surkind of cute. (which—why prise?—you can buy online in both real and synthetic versions, if you don’t happen to have a coyote handy) is an effective deterrent. Otherwise, there’s not much to discourage a raccoon. In the city, the only “predators” that pose any meaningful threat are cars, which in fact are the leading cause of death for urban raccoons. One of the many interesting things “Raccoon Nation” documents, however, is that when scientists fitted raccoons in Toronto with GPS tracking collars, it became clear that the animals kept to a well-defined range of only a few square blocks, and that in their rambles through their neighborhoods they had obviously learned to avoid major streets. Learning seems to be what raccoons do extremely well, and researchers studying urban raccoons suggest that the very efforts we take to foil the masked bandits might actually be making them smarter—possibly a lot smarter, a lot more quickly, than their country cousins. We, oh future underlings, are training them to defeat us. ❉

virginia living

4/18/13 10:05 AM


A new beehive grant program supports honeybee helpers.


oneybee populations are declining by approximately 30 percent each winter, says Keith Tignor, state apiarist of Virginia. Multiple factors are to blame, including the varrao mite, the small hive beetle, drought, queen failure and the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder, which Tignor describes as “a rapid dwindling of the adult population. You’ll see no [worker] bees or very few left behind.” To encourage the growth of new colonies, the 2012 General Assembly set up a two-year, $250,000 Beehive Grant Program, administered through the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer

photo courtesy of virginia tourism corporation

June is National Great Outdoors Month. Conservation and Recreation spokesman Jim Meisner says the state’s parks will go all out to present al fresco entertainment options this June. “The state parks have organized special events to capitalize on this recognition at the national level.” Every state park will have an event each weekend in June, so go forth, Virginians, and recreate!

National Trails Day, June 1

Occoneechee State Park, Clarksville


The rich history of the Virginia moonshine

industry is enjoying a widespread revival— in books and on the big and small screens, referenced in the annals of crime. White lightnin’ fell by the wayside once Prohibition ended and booze became legal again, but now, it seems, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is happy to put potable rocket fuel back in your tank. In the fiscal year 2012, Virginia ABC stores sold 11,861 cases of a dozen varieties of moonshine, according to Carol Nawyer, public relations specialist for the Virginia Board of Alcoholic Beverage Control. That’s up 153 percent from the year before. One of these new moonshiners is Scott “Mash” Schumaker, master distiller at Virginia Sweetwater Distillery in Marion. While he’s not the first to revive the merits of moonshine in the Old Dominion, he says his Virginia Sweetwater Moonshine is stronger than his competitors’ at a whopping 85 proof. (Most are 80 proof.) “Up until a few years ago, nobody wanted to call [their product] moonshine,” says Nawyer, adding that the taint of its one-time illegality might be what scared off distillers before filmmakers and authors romanticized the moonshine culture. “Now, if someone wants to call it moonshine,” says Nawyer, “they can.” And they are. —By Lisa Antonelli Bacon

Father’s Day Canoe Trip, June 16

Hike any of Occoneechee State Park’s eight trails, including the 1.7-mile Beaver Pond Trail, where you can see how beavers have built their dams, and the 1.1-mile Tutelo Birding Trail with its elevated lookout so you can spot feathered friends from on high.

Belle Isle State Park, Lancaster County Celebrate fathers—human and animal—with a canoe trip on the James River where you’ll learn all about the animal papas you see as you paddle. All equipment, plus an experienced guide, is provided for $5 per person. Fathers are free.

National Get Outdoors Day, June 8

Hungry Mother State Park, Marion The Smyth County Chamber of Commerce will be sponsoring Family Fishing Day, so anglers

JUNE 2013

Virginia ABC stores move mash in record numbers.

young and old can compete to win a prize for the biggest carp. Registration starts at 8 a.m., with hot dogs waiting for you after a morning on the lake.

State of Recreation


Mad for Moonshine

nature’s best

the Latest Buzz

ta k e n o t e |

Services. Applicants may receive up to $200 per new hive with a maximum of $2,400. The program has been met with enthusiasm; the $125,000 of funding available in 2013 is already allocated. Those looking to help honeybees in Virginia can get started with a brood box and a hive for about $300 to $500, says Cabell Cox, owner and founder of The Grow Co., a Charlottesville landscape design/build firm that specializes in edible gardens, orchards and sustainable structures. Cox, who began beekeeping three-anda-half years ago, has seen an increase in interest in The Grow Co.’s apiary services and bee boxes, including a custom-built “window frame” version that allows for easy viewing of colonies. For an extra charge, the company will also extract honey from the hive and deliver it to customers in their own personalized jars. Cox began keeping bees as a way to help the pollination and cross-pollination of his crops. “My main interest was to increase my yield at harvest, and bees are great for that.” But he found it “such a rewarding experience to be able to take care of the bees and also get something that’s so rich and tasty in flavor as honey.” Grant funds and homegrown honey? Now that’s something to buzz about., —By Sandra Shelley

Great American Backyard Campout, June 22

James River State Park, Buckingham County First-time camper? Park staff and


volunteers, as well as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, will be on hand to show you how it’s done. After dark, gather ’round the campfire to roast marshmallows and tell stories. —By Jennifer Johnson

For general information and parking and admission fees, go to

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UpFront ta k e n o t e |

480 miles of extreme mountain biking.

Pinekone Black Rose with her owner and handler, Ashby Morgan.

Top Dogs!

Virginia setters rule at national shooting dog championship.

top photo courtesy of phil townley, top right photo courtesy of smt


irginia emerged victorious at the

National Amateur Walking Shooting Dog Championship, held this past February at the Dick Cross Wildlife Management Area in Mecklenburg County. A total of 23 dogs arrived from as far afield as Rhode Island and Tennessee to compete in pairs, or “braces,” during hour-long heats in which their goal was to nose out as many quail as possible while their handlers followed behind on foot and judges and onlookers followed on horseback. Dogs were judged both on number of finds and on style, and the winner was Pinekone Black Rose, a 5-year-old female English setter with black ticking. Rose is owned and handled

by Ashby Morgan, a Verizon technician from Hudgins. “I believe Rose won because she was fast on the ground and stayed out in front like you want a hunting dog to do,” says Morgan, who has been training and trialing bird dogs for 30 years. “She showed good manners, meaning she backed her brace mate and was steady to shot. The fact that she pointed with intensity with a high head and straight tail was icing on the cake.” Another female English setter from Virginia, Blue’s Tomoka Belle, owned by Phil and Sharon Townley of Richardsville and handled by Sharon, took second place, making it an impressive one-two for the Old Dominion. —By Clarke C. Jones

Little Stinker The stink bug has moved in, and it’s in no hurry to leave. Forget the Year of the Snake, 2013 is the year of the brown marmorated stink bug. If you haven’t heard, the odiferous critters, which were first detected in the U.S. in 2001, are predicted to make an appearance this spring and summer in record numbers. “All indications from the fall of 2012 are that the size of the over-wintering population of the brown marmorated stink bug is bigger than last year,” says Chris Bergh, professor of entomology at Virginia Tech and one of five from VT working on a team of more than 50 researchers from around the U.S. to find solutions to the proliferation of the invasive pest. Established in



line on the official state bicycling map, “Bicycling in Virginia,” and it traces a new route of 480 miles of off-road biking. Beginning in Strasburg, Shenandoah County, in the northwest, the route winds its way through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and beyond, all the way down to Damascus, Washington County, in the southwest. The Virginia Mountain Bike Trail is the work of 43-year-old Chris Scott, co-owner of Harrisonburg’s Shenandoah Mountain Touring. Scott pioneered the path in the fall of 2011, by pedaling it himself on a 14-day journey. “It consists of over 50 trails that already have individual names,” explains Scott, who’s been working on establishing the VMBT for over 10 years. Scott found ways to link all the trails into one monster route of singletrack, or trail that is wide enough for one bike. Scott is working with the Forest Service to provide accomodation in huts along the trail, but for now riders have to camp. “It’s definitely hard work,” says Scott of the VMBT, which climbs a combined 65,000 feet from start to finish, “and there’s a lot of challenge to the technical terrain. But it’s all about that thrill you get from going deep into the wilderness to get to remote places with your bicycle.” —By Daryl Grove

There is a fresh grey

—By Erin Parkhurst

2010, the group, funded through the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative, has set up its own website——to educate the public about the insect named by the USDA in January as its top “invasive insect of interest.” While a nuisance for most, the stink bug, which is originally from Asia, is a serious threat to farmers because it feeds on more than 300 varieties of crops—everything from berries and peppers to fruit trees and soybeans. And, oh, how it loves the Old Dominion. Virginia is one of seven states in which the bug has caused severe agricul-

JUNE 2013

bird dogs, bikes & bugs

Monster Trail

tural and nuisance problems. Unfortunately, it’s too late to stop the stinkers from getting into your home this spring. “In the fall, they look for over-wintering sites, and they’ll go anywhere they perceive to be hospitable, including cars and even doorjambs,” explains Bergh. (Which means they've been with you all winter.) To prevent Stinkvasion 2014, seal up cracks and crevices to block access to your house. And what of their famous smell? “It’s a defensive secretion,” says Bergh. It’s like a Do Not Disturb sign for insects.

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UpFront Full Circle Roanoke’s Center in the Square gets a facelift. considered revolutionary. The new Broadway hit “La Cage aux Folles” won six Tony Awards. Artist Andy Warhol was in a slump. And Center in the Square opened in Roanoke. In the ensuing years, more than 9 million visitors passed through the epicenter of the Roanoke Valley’s cultural hub, spawning more than 350 restaurants, shops and other businesses and

on stage

The year was 1983. MTV was still

ta k e n o t e |

Kendall and his wife Christine Herter Kendall, the couple gave the 114-acre property the name Garth Newel, a Welsh phrase meaning “new home.” There, they trained and rode Arabian horses, painted, and hosted musicales until Kendall’s death in 1938. Christine later donated the property, which included the manor house and indoor riding ring, to the Girl Scouts to be used as a summer camp. Finding it too difficult to maintain, the scouts would return the property a year later. Then, in 1973, Christine arranged for Luca and Arlene DiCecco, at that time the cellist and violinist of the Rowe String Quartet, to begin a chamber music study program and perform concerts on the property. Christine later converted the indoor riding ring into The Garth Newel a concert hall and bequeathed the propPiano Quartet. erty to the Garth Newel Music Center Foundation when she died in 1981. Today, the center hosts more than 60 concerts a year performed by the resident Garth Newel Piano Quartet and visiting musicians from around the world. Continuing its culinary tradition, concerts at Garth Newel are followed by meals prepared by Chef Josh Elliott that include dishes like tulip honey brushed duck breast and corn and chanterelle bisque. And the manor house can accommodate around 20 he Garth Newel Music Center’s overnight concert ticket-holding guests. address may not be GPS-friendly, but for 40 years The center is also the home of the Allegheny thousands have found their way to this counMountain String Project, a music education program try musical retreat located in Bath County, halfway that draws students from five counties, and the annual between Warm Springs and Hot Springs on Route 220. Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival held in June. What they’ve discovered is a cadre of resident worldThe three-day festival is a departure from the class musicians performing against the dramatic backcenter’s mostly-classical program of music, and this drop of the Allegheny Mountains. year will be kicked off with a performance by Roanoke “In the earliest years, the center had a salon feel,” native jazz singer and songwriter René Marie. says Chris Williams, executive director. “They per“I want audiences to say, ‘I’ve never seen this formed concerts in the manor house for an audibefore,’” says Williams of the festival. ence of maybe 10 or 12 followed by dinner. As long as The Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival will be held Garth Newel has been here, there has always been a June 14-16. For a schedule of performances and ticket connection between food and music.” information, go to Built in 1924 by American painter and chairman of the School of Fine Arts at Yale University, William —By Erin Parkhurst

Fabulous at 40

The Garth Newel Music Center is a haven of springs and strings.

—By Lisa Antonelli Bacon

Take to the Hills Get mellow in the mountains at FloydFest 2013.

Every July for the last 12 years,

a sea of tie-dye floods an 80-acre plateau in the heart of the Blue Ridge where, for four days, more than 15,000 descend on Floyd for its iconic music festival. Begun in 2001, FloydFest attracts an ageless group, from the babesin-backpacks to the boomer sets who enjoy multiple genres of music from bluegrass to Zydeco (a blend of Cajun, blues and R&B), camp under the stars and experience a familyfriendly event that’s more than the sum of its parts.

“It’s a community,” says Linda DeVito, director of operations. “Our attendees look forward to that every year. They find people like them. They feel comfortable.” This year’s festival takes place July 25-28. On 10 stages, more than 100 bands will perform, including The Lumineers, Old Crow Medicine Show and Yonder Mountain String Band—plus new talent like the rollicking Megan Jean and the KFB, who won last year’s Under the Radar contest for new regional acts. But, says DeVito, “We want to JUNE 2013



Drive-By Truckers at FloydFest 2012.

give our guests more than the music.” There will be taekwondo classes and rockwalls for kids, as well as drum circles, massages and yoga classes for grown-ups. Outdoor adventures are also a big part of FloydFest, says DeVito. How about a guided mountain bike journey or a float trip on the New River in a kayak or inner tube? “Some folks want to come and chill,” explains DeVito, “and some want to

hike and bike and take the family on the river for the day.” But it is definitely the music that keeps people coming back. Emily Prillaman, a guidance counselor with Roanoke City Public Schools, has been to every FloydFest but one. “I look forward to it each year,” she says. “You never know what kind of music you’re going to hear, but you know it’ll be good.” —By Peggy Sijswerda

bottom photo courtesy of roger gup ta

top left photo courtesy of garth newel. top right photo courtesy of center in the square


bringing an estimated annual economic impact of $15-19 million to the area. No wonder the old belle was tired. In May, a $27 million, 19-monthlong facelift will unveil not only a prettier (with rooftop gardens, an observation deck and a koi pond), but bigger (200,000 square feet) and taller (seven stories) Center in the Square, with solar panels and water reclamation system, a 6,000-gallon living coral reef, a butterfly garden and two 500-gallon aquariums in the atrium. Thirty years on, the jewel of downtown Roanoke is set to shine again. Wish we could say the same for MTV.

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4/23/13 3:31 PM



| by bland crowder

Fredericksburg boasts a new pickle factory, reports Accomac Court House’s Peninsula Enterprise. “One of the specialties produced by it is pickled cucumbers,” avers the article, making the reader wonder what else the plant pickles. The crop is grown on the region’s depleted soil, which has to be “heavily manured.” It must be working, because this year the “supply” reaches 30 million cukes, which go for 80 cents a thousand, and the ideal candidate for picklehood is 1 to 1.5 inches long. This requires “active picking” to nab them before they grow too big. A “boy” will pick 8,000 in a day, the story reads.

odd dominion



If the Shoe Fits

Bunions and corns rank with DNA and fingerprints in nabbing a perp.

illustration by gary hovland


n Chatham, a 17-year-old half-Arabian mare named Lady, described as “gentle and loving” by her owner, met a grisly end in February 1987, victim of multiple stab wounds, reported The Altavista Journal. A little more than a year later, Scott Campbell Woodfin, 20, was convicted of the brutal hippocide. Woodfin’s defense attorney, R. Reid Young Jr., balked at the verdict, objecting to, among other things, the way in which the prosecutor characterized his client, saying that whoever had slain Lady was “either on drugs or crazy.” Young balked also at two important bits of evidence—the pair of Cuga tennis shoes found behind a dumpster near the scene. Young called the link with his client “far fetched” and “stretched too thin.” Establishing a connection between the footwear and the suspect was the prosecutor’s key task. The police officer who found the Cugas testified that they had “red blood stains” on them. The red blood was determined to represent “the horse family,” but with the technology available 25 years ago, they could not peg the shoes to the victim. Attention turned to the shoes’ interior—and to Woodfin’s trotters. His feet were scrutinized. X-rays and prints were taken. A forensic specialist from Kansas City, Missouri, examined both the tennies and the Woodfin feet and testified that the size and position of the latter matched the wear patterns on the former. An Atlanta podiatrist agreed, saying that “of the 65,000 feet he has examined in his career, no two have been alike.” The Atlanta sole man noted that pressure points inside the shoes found near the scene were identical to those in another pair taken from Woodfin’s home. But another

podiatrist, from Philadelphia, after examining the feet of the accused and the way he walked, begged to differ, saying that there was “no way” the defendant’s feet could have worn out the shoes as they had been worn, that Woodfin’s feet had “no bony abnormalities” that would have led to such wear. Young called it “inferred evidence,” but the judge wasn’t buying. If this case were to go to trial today, the pedal evidence—the official term—would be more warmly welcomed. Admittedly, forensic podiatry had some shoes to fill, but it has done so admirably—in 2007, the International Association for Identification, the oldest and largest forensic organization, formed its first forensic podiatry subcommittee. One of forensic podiatry’s gurus is Dwane Hilderbrand, who grew up in Norfolk and worked at the Prince William County police department in Woodbridge until 1981, when he took a job in Scottsdale, Arizona. Subsequent studies made Hilderbrand a certified latent print examiner and a certified footwear examiner, and he recently was named member emeritus of the American Society of Forensic Podiatry. Evidently forensic podiatrists always return to the scene of their early career. This April, Hilderbrand offered a five-day course in Manassas titled “Examination and Comparison of Footwear Evidence,” sponsored by the Prince William County Police Department. Topics included the manufacturing of outsoles, the history of footwear science and why footwear evidence is overlooked. It’s a rigorous syllabus. No loafers allowed.


JUNE 2013



A walnut tree in Westmoreland County has been cut and sold in New York for $1,500, says a story in the Bedford Bulletin. Calling it the “most valuable walnut tree ever cut from the forest,” the story ranks it right up there with other Virginia bests—oysters, peanuts and “watermelons” and “the prettiest women.” The paper cannot tell a lie: The tree, as legend has it, was planted by “the hand that made the cherry tree famous.” Walnut was ever the best, but this wood fetches such a remarkable price, thanks to the especially “beautiful figuring” in its grain. In New York, it will be used in the manufacture of “high-class” pianos.



In order to form a more perfect child, Botetourt County is offering a clinic to ensure that a student is “one of the happy Five Pointers on the first day of school,” according to the Fincastle Herald. A Five Pointer has good vision, hearing, teeth, throat and weight. Helping parents get their children into this state are the area’s family physicians. With the clinics, defects can be detected and corrected well before school opens, via a new pair of glasses or a nice tonsillectomy or diphtheria shot. Five Point children make better students, are less trouble for parents and teachers and, because they seldom must repeat a grade, save taxpayers thousands of dollars a year, the article says. An exam and shots cost $1.50 a child.


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4/17/13 1:01 PM

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UpFront books

A Terrible Accident


on Pineda is a Norfolk author who can’t make up his mind what type of book to write. His first two books (Birthmark and The Translator’s Diary) were poetry collections, his third (Sleep in Me) was a memoir, and his fourth (Apology) is a novel. Regardless of what form they take, his books all share one thing in common: each has received critical acclaim and won a prestigious national literary award. His poetry has received the Crab Orchard Award and the Green Rose Prize, and his memoir made an even bigger splash when Barnes & Noble named it a “Discover New Writers” selection in 2010 and moved it to the front shelves in stores nationwide. In February, Pineda’s publisher announced that his debut novel had won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize. The story in Apology is built upon an incident that happens to 9-year-old Teagan Serafino. She and a boy, Mario, play near a construction site. When Teagan tries to jump over a deep pit, Mario throws a football at her and causes her to fall down into it, hitting a shovel at the bottom of the pit. Mario, fearing that she is dead, leaves her there and runs away. Earlier in the day, Teagan’s twin brother Tom had yelled at Teagan, “Get out of my life!” He’d never regret any words he’d spoken more, for the shovel winds up gashing Teagan’s head and leaving her with a severe brain injury. “The story began with this idea that a girl was trapped,” says Pineda. “I had this idea of her looking up out of a pit and being unable to climb out, unable to reach the sky. The earth opens up, and this pit is a wound. And all the events of the novel kind of spiral out of this wound.” At this point, it seems as if we all know where the story is headed. But Teagan does not regain her faculties, so Tom is unable to beg

What My Mother Gave Me edited by Elizabeth Benedict Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, $15.95

Thirty-one original pieces by Pulitzer Prize winners, bestselling novelists and well-known NPR commentators. Joyce Carol Oates writes about quilts her mother sewed that comforted her when her husband died; Rita Dove remembers a box of nail polish and learning to paint her nails in stripes and polka dots; Cecilia Muñoz remembers the wok her mother gave her. In each of these stirring stories, every gift, no matter how modest, tells of the powerful bond between mothers and daughters. A perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

forgiveness. Instead, Tom goes off to college, telling anyone who asks that he is an only child. Just as Tom seems to be erasing his connections to his sister, so too is his character almost erased from the novel. The shift from main character to minor is subtle, but slowly a Filipino construction worker named Shoe takes center stage. Shoe, an immigrant with a severe limp, is the first to arrive at the construction site in the morning and the first to discover Teagan in the pit. But he is also Mario’s uncle, and when he discovers his nephew’s football in the pit as well, he decides to retrieve the ball instead of the girl, knowing that blame for something like this can follow a person around for life. What follows from that decision is truly the defining moment around which the book revolves. The reader might be surprised by this change in main character, but not as surprised as Pineda was. “The Shoe character was very minor in early versions,” he says, “but then I took these hard looks at the manuscript and realized that the places where the story felt like it jumped off the page were these moments with Shoe. It’s almost like I needed someone to hit me over the head and say, ‘Hey, dummy, if you’re engaged with it, then that’s the part the reader will care about too.’ So then I had to go back in and start cutting. I cut so much that it then became a different version.” Incessant editing is something that comes from Pineda’s poetry background. So, too, is the way he tells the story: in a long line of tiny, imagistic scenes that often focus attention on small things going on in the background. The resultant prose is tight and stretched over the lean frame of a book weighing in at just under 200 pages. But those pages pack a punch.

The Colony


by Jon Pineda Milkweed Editions, $16.00

Passages featuring Teagan in her debilitated form are freighted with a mixture of love and guilt. And anyone who has read Pineda’s memoir will quickly understand why. Teagan’s situation parallels that of his sister, Rica, who was severely injured in a car crash as a teenager. After the crash she only lived for another five years, unable to talk and bound to a wheelchair. Writing about Teagan “was really difficult,” Pineda says, “knowing that could have been my sister if she had been able to talk after the accident, not hindered by the silence that had held her down all those years ... The more I write the more I realize that I have been given this gift. Because it drives home the notion that I’m able to communicate, whereas for those five years that my sister lived after the accident, she just barely communicated. Not with voice, but with sign language, and even then it was a struggle. So any book that I write going forward will always be an homage to her in that way.” And regardless of what form that book may take—poetry, memoir, novel—we all know what to expect. Beautifully written scenes. Powerful images. And, of course, more national awards.

by David Abrams Black Cat, $15.00

In the satirical tradition of Catch-22, Fobbit takes us into the chaotic world of Baghdad’s Forward Operating Base (FOB) Triumph. The FOB is like the back-office of the battlefield, where people eat and sleep and where soldiers work desk jobs instead of getting shot at. Male and female soldiers get acquainted in an empty Porta Potty, grunts play Xbox and watch NASCAR between missions, and the senior staff worries more about the chow hall’s all-you-can-eat seafood special than military strategy. Darkly humorous, Fobbit is a fantastic debut that will skewer the reader with its caustic wit.

Laden with the same sense of panic as the 1954 cult classic Them, Colucci’s story gives an updated version of ants trying to take over the world. A new genetically engineered breed of ants has been loosed on Manhattan, and after devouring all the smaller animals and insects they turn their attentions on the human inhabitants. As the body count rises, scientists race to find a way to kill them before the military is forced to nuke New York City to contain the insect plague. A quick-paced read that is creepy, terrifying and impossible to put down.

JUNE 2013



by A. J. Colucci St. Martin’s Press, $24.99


| by bill glose

When a prank goes wrong, everyone wonders what might have been had they acted differently.

The Betrayal of the American Dream by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele Public Affairs, $26.99

The Pulitzer Prizewinning reporting duo, Barlett and Steele, look at the crumbling economic foundation of America’s middle class. Each chapter showcases individual stories across the country through reportorial investigation. As one former factory manager says: “If we keep up as we are now, within 20 to 30 years will there even be a middle class?” Barlett and Steele warn that greater economic pain lies ahead unless we make fundamental changes now, which they outline in the final chapter. A captivating read.

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4/16/13 3:12 PM

Jewelry * Furniture Pottery * Art * Gifts

let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me



Peace Poles

Fresh and classic styles for spring with new inventory arriving weekly


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4/21/13 3:44 PM

UpFront music | By Don Harrison

Sports Bar

Tyler Perry's Sports Bar (Self) This new six-song EP from the Richmond pop-punk trio, a download-only affair, is a raucous mini-masterpiece with two beautiful love songs (“Oh No," “Movie Screams”) emerging wide-eyed from the rancor. Pick hit: “Movie Screams.”

Virginia Beats The College of William & Mary’s new Hip-Hop Collection. Swamp Dogg

Total Destruction to Your Mind / Rat On! (Alive Naturalsound)

The first two groundbreaking ’70s records released by Swamp Dogg, a.k.a. “Little” Jerry Williams of Portsmouth, are back in print. “Total Destruction” is an acknowledged soul-rock classic; “Rat On” is spotty but has that unforgettable cover. You need these. Pick hit: “Synthetic World.”

Way, Shape, or Form

Person, Place, or Thing

contributed photo

(Worthless Junk Records)

Multi-instrumentalist and Roanoke native Troy Gatrell turns away from the experimental noise of his Richmondbased band’s former work to craft a textured and seductive album of electronic pop-jazz tunes. Pick hit: “A Subtle Misspelling” WayShapeOrForm.


f Kevin Kosanovich has his way, the College of William & Mary will be known less for having a Tribe than for harboring posses. “When I talk to people,” the American Studies Ph.D. candidate says of his work with the school’s newly-established Hip-Hop Collection, “they are like, ‘William & Mary ... really?’” The college’s new initiative, which had its public launch in April, seeks to document Virginia’s role in the formation of hip-hop and rap music by gathering materials, recordings, documents, artifacts and, more importantly, oral histories. “Timbaland, Missy Elliot, Clipse and The Neptunes are the internationallyknown stars from Virginia, and many of the rest of them are still here making fantastic music and art,” Kosanovich says. The project was started last September. “It came out of my experience researching my own dissertation, which is on public housing in the Bronx, and the emergence of hip-hop,” the researcher says, adding that he already has “56 or 57” local interviews under his belt. Virginia’s early hip-hoppers were kids. “They were 13 or 14 years old, and break dancing was kind of a gateway for them to become DJs or MCs and help build all of the elements of hip-hop.” Their music was furthered on local radio, specifically Portsmouth’s WRAP,

JUNE 2013


he says. “Until I started this, I didn’t realize that the station had been playing hip-hop as far back as 1979 and that its airplay helped to popularize the music, not only locally but nationally.” W&M isn’t the first institution of higher learning to study hiphop’s origins—Cornell and Harvard are among the universities to establish archives. But William & Mary’s is only the When I talk second, behind the University of to people, Houston’s program, to focus on a they are particular region. like, ‘William “It’s meant to be a statewide collection & Mary ... but given that we’re in Williamsburg, a really?’” lot of what we’ve collected to date has been from Hampton Roads,” says university archivist Amy Schindler. “But Kevin has been reaching out to other parts of the state. We are interested in artists born in Virginia, currently living in Virginia or who once lived in Virginia and were involved in local hip hop in one way or another.” He hasn’t been able to get to superstars like Missy or Pharrell yet, but Kosanovich has interviewed other key figures, like Richmond’s Dynamite J: “James Allen is his real name, he grew up in Petersburg and claims to be the original b-boy in Virginia, one of the first to have a


[hip-hop] group in the early ’80s called the Force MCs. And in terms of the folks I’ve talked to, he could very well be the first.” The archive can’t help but address the topic of censorship. “Folks talk about it quite a bit. ... Everyone talks about how hard it was to have a place to perform. It was like it was in the earliest days of the music in the Bronx—they were performing in schools, outside in parks, VFW halls, places like that.” “I have gotten the question, ‘Why are you bothering?’” Schindler admits. “But hip-hop’s been around since the 1970s. This is not just some new thing that’s just come out and will be gone in a year or two. This is pretty well established. If you put it in the larger context, we’re here to document not only William & Mary but Virginia and U.S. history, and hip-hop is a part of that.” The archive will eventually be available online. But it’s only the beginning, Kosanovich hopes. “I started with hip-hop because that’s my area of research. But I’m interested in making it a more expansive project that looks at the whole of African-American music in Virginia, to talk about the soul, the funk, the R&B ... ” “It’s interesting,” Schindler echoes. “Studying hip-hop has actually led us back to the older music. So we’re educating ourselves here.”

virginia living

4/17/13 1:03 PM



Art happens here.

CHRIs Wynn |

Ar May tist Rec e 17 • 6–9 ption pm

Admittance to the Art Center is FREE! During the Artwalk on Friday, May 17, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m., visitors will stroll through our 25,000 sq. ft facility learning what inspires artists to create works of art — directly from the artists. Featured artists for the May reception are David Tanner and participating artists in the Central Region of the Virginia Art Education Association group show and The Virginia Home for Boys and Girls group show. You will also enjoy the work of many other artist in the Crossroads All Media show and the Members show. Visitors will also enjoy complimentary hors d’oeurves and music by Steve Duncan and Casey McCue, as well as a magic show by The Richmond Magic Club and the International Brotherhood of Magicians! Proceeds from beverage sales will benefit CultureWorks. For more information, call (804) 278-8950 or visit

Crossroads Art Center 2016 Staples Mill Road | Richmond, Virginia

FinD uS on FACEBook

10TH AnnuAL CRVAEA ExHIBIT Works by the Central Region of the Virginia Art Education Association. Members are art educators in public and private schools in Richmond and the surround counties.

MAy Is nATIonAL MEnTAL HEALTH AWAREnEss MonTH Virginia Home for Boys and Girls is partnering with the Virginia department of Behavioral Health & developmental services to spread the word about children’s mental health needs. InGE sTRACk |

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Andy dyson |

4/18/13 2:11 4/21/13 2:05 PM


photo courtesy of workhouse arts center


he Workhouse Arts Center in

Lorton resembles a college campus—its U-shaped layout looks markedly like Jefferson’s Academical Village—with handsome Colonial Revival buildings designed by Snowden Ashford. Like many institutions of higher learning, its architecture seems to engender a sense of working toward a larger goal. So it may surprise some to learn that it used to be a prison. Conceived in 1908 as part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Progressive-era reforms, the Lorton Workhouse was a place where prisoners were encouraged to learn a trade as part of their rehabilitation. The very first prisoners arrived by barge from D.C. in 1910 and were responsible for cutting and building the prison’s first

exhibits around the state

■ Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, “Pop Art and Beyond: Tom Wesselmann.”

■ Arlington Arts Center, “GREEN ACRES and the Gourd Palace.”

JUNE 2013



| By Sarah Sargent

The Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton is once again a symbol of enlightened thinking.


The Big House

Sculptor Megan Peritore joined the Workhouse in 2012. She uses photography (as source material and inspiration), neutral-toned polymer clay and natural found objects like driftwood, antlers and bones to create her mixed media sculptures. For Peritore, “the major benefit of being at the Workhouse is that I have stepped out of the isolation of my home-based studio and joined a dynamic artists’ community where I can stretch my own creative explorations as well as participate in encouraging other artists’ journeys. structures from wood. When I now spend more hours in the studio working those wooden structures were without distraction on my art.” replaced by brick buildings in The studio buildings were originally openthe 1920s, prisoners fired the bay dormitories—with the exception of those bricks in kilns and then built used for punishment (there were no cells at the dormitories, mess hall and the Workhouse until the 1960s). They have administration buildings. A selfbeen renovated with great finesse; the original sufficient work camp comprisstructure’s integrity is maintained, but the space ing a massive agricultural comhas been divided up into appealing, bright units plex, the Lorton Workhouse with brick walls painted white, and clerestory would eventually expand to windows that invite natural light. Studios are over 3,200 acres. open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday, The Workhouse became an providing a wonderful opportunity to engage Alcohol Rehabilitation Center in with artists. You might think this would be 1968, then the medium security disruptive, but Peritore welcomes it: “An Lorton Correctional Facility in important aspect of being an 1983. Fences and guard towartist is being able to talk about ers were added at this time, Turning a your work. I have experienced a ironically turning the place growing ease in speaking about into what it had been built dilapidated my art and enjoy chatting with to overcome. In the ensuing genuinely interested visitors. years, it developed a terrible prison into a I also find that I am becoming reputation and was eventually closed by federal legisla- spanking new more comfortable working while engaging with people. tion in 2001. arts center Sometimes this turns into an ad In 2002, Fairfax County hoc demonstration.” purchased the former does not Currently, the Workhouse correctional facility, now come cheap. Arts Center offers 150 classes, comprising a little over serving an impressive 5,000 stu2,300 acres, for $4.2 million. dents, and its state-of-the-art equipment, includThereafter, the Lorton Arts ing kilns and a hot shop, make it ideal for glassFoundation presented its blowing and ceramics. But there is much more plan to transform a 55-acre to come. In the works are a 1,000-seat amphiportion of the complex into the theater, restaurants, apartments, music barn and Workhouse Arts Center. a horticultural area. When everything is comBut turning a dilapidated plete, the Workhouse Arts Center will consist of prison into a spanking new 234,000 square feet of renovated structures and arts center does not come 60,000 square feet in new construction with 40 cheap. Two tranches of bonds Classes are held acres of open space. obtained through the Fairfax at the Workhouse County’s economic development John Mason, president and CEO of the Arts Center. Workhouse Arts Center, is justifiably proud of authority, totaling $53 million, what has been accomplished in Lorton. “To have supported the renovations. gone from zero to operating numerous programs Rents from the artist studios and commission on across the range of arts in just four years is the art produced there, class fees, and rentals pretty amazing,” he says. on the theater and event space provide the basis Taking a place that was conceived with the for both operating expenses and the bond debt. best intentions, but which lost its way, and Additional revenue comes from Fairfax County— putting it back on the right path is a remarkable which has provided a significant grant—and transformation: It is now an organization that’s private donors. crucial to the cultural life of Fairfax County. The Workhouse Arts Center focuses on three And once again, the Workhouse is providing major areas: visual arts, performing arts and a peaceful and positive environment both for arts education. Approximately 70 visual artists those who labor there and for those who visit. (who must be juried into the arts center) occupy studio space spread out among seven buildings.

■ Taubman Museum of Art, “Alter Egos and the Magical Other: John Bankston, Amy Cutler, Jeremiah Johnson, Fred Stonehouse.”

virginia living

4/16/13 3:18 PM


Ye a r s


Look at Us Now Come shop and dine with us and experience an extraordinary atmosphere unlike any other. With more than 40 unique shops and restaurants, we offer the best in personal service, high-quality merchandise, world-class food, and shop owners who really care. Sign up online to be an Insider at You’ll be among the first to know about concerts, events, and special offers.

find us on © 2013 The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

VA Living-Goodstone Ad May 2013_Layout 1 3/21/13 9:45 PM Page 1


Condé Nast Johansens: Most Excellent Inn Finalist 2012 & 2013 TripAdvisor: 2012 Certificate of Excellence / OpenTable: 100 Best Restaurants USA 2011 & 2012 Wine Enthusiast Magazine: 100 Best Wine Restaurants USA 2012

The Perfect Romantic Getaway A Luxury Country Inn and five-star French Restaurant on a 265-acre estate in the heart of Virginia’s wine and hunt country. Corporate Meetings and Retreats, Weddings and Special Events 36205 SNAKE HILL ROAD, MIDDLEBURG, VA 20117 • 540-687-3333 WWW.GOODSTONE.COM

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4/24/13 5:47 PM

UpFront notes from around the state.

b e l lw e t h e r

A compendium of news and Moving Right Along ...

Everything Old is New Again

Is That Beer in Your Beard? Or Vice Versa?

sailor photo by john warren, courtesy of the mariners’ museum

Roanoke is all a-twitter with the May reopening of Center in the Square following its $27 million renovation. And equally notable, if a little less grandiose, is the recent reopening of the refreshed Regency Room in the Hotel Roanoke. The hotel—which opened in 1889, only seven years after the town of Big Lick had rebranded itself as Roanoke—has long been the star of the Star City’s downtown, and its premier dining room is celebrating its 75th birthday with new drapes, upholstery and carpeting, a retooled menu featuring “French-inspired Southern cuisine” (truffle risotto fritter sound good?), and a dramatic wall of opaque French doors. If you’re a fan of the “old” Regency Room, don’t be put off. Its fan favorites—peanut soup, spoonbread, bananas Foster and steak Diane—will still be waiting for you.

Richmond’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery is receiving notice for more than just its beer. Hardywood brewer Nick Walthall, 26, ranked fourth among 20 bearded competitors from across the country in’s “Best Beards of Craft Beer.” Hardywood, which opened its doors in Richmond in 2011, has its roots in Australia, where the two owners discovered their mutual love of beer at a sheep station. Considering Walthall’s highly-ranked beard, it would seem the fuzzy mentality hasn’t left the brand. So chin-chin, Hardywood. Not only do you have great beer, but a great beard, too.

| By Lisa Antonelli Bacon and Jennifer Johnson

If you’re Richmond native Michael Gottwald, being the producer of a film with four Oscar nominations (2012’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild”) doesn’t mean you get to have a break. Fresh off the red carpet (sans statue, unfortunately), Gottwald is already at work on two other films, one being “Ping Pong Summer,” a love story starring Susan Sarandon and Lea Thompson set in the coastal town of Ocean City, Maryland, and scheduled for a 2014 release. His other in-progress production, “Western,” a documentary about Eagle Pass, Texas, on the Mexican border, is in the editing stage. The busy producer, who took his mother to the Academy Awards ceremonies, says he only gets back to Richmond four times a year. Maybe the next town on his storyboard will be someplace in Virginia.

No Sailor Left Behind

Robot Rescue The Staunton Police Department is fighting crime in a brand new way. Last December, the department bought an $80,000 robot from a Canadian company through a grant and, since then, the rolling, climbing and speaking robot has been used to search for a murder suspect, to check out a suspicious package and as part of a barricade. “A group of four officers has been trained to use it,” says Investigator Ray Murray, adding that other police officers have tried it out on several occasions but have yet to receive training. While the rookie robot doesn’t have an official badge, Murray notes that police officers have been calling the new recruit “Igor.” Give that robot a commendation! Staunton.Va.US

The U.S. armed forces take that promise seriously. The remains of two sailors who died on the Civil War-era ironclad USS Monitor when it went down in 17-foot waves off Cape Hatteras in 1862 were finally laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery in March. The intact skeletons were discovered in 2002 in the ship’s turret, which had broken off and filled with sediment, creating ideal conditions for preserving the bones. The remains of the duo’s 14 other shipmates have never been recovered. In the decade since their discovery, the skeletons have been on their own journey, first to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii in hopes of identifying them and, later, to Arlington for interment. Although a number of people have submitted DNA tests to determine if there are any living relatives of the Union sailors, no conclusive matches have been determined. When the remains were finally laid to rest with full honors within days of the 151st anniversary of the Monitor’s sinking, they remained unidentified.

june 2013



virginia living

4/16/13 3:26 PM


The season sizzles with these must-have urban accessories.



by lindsey leake

the city

style |

Summer in


ucky for the downtown crowd, the

industrial look is in this summer. Bold, metal-plated accessories embellished with nuts and bolts bring some edge to the season’s playful vibe. Add heat to alreadysun-splashed days with spicy reds, blazing yellows and traffic-stopping shades of saffron.

1. Document Portfolio In Italian orange script leather, $450;


4 •

2. Yachtmaster Watch By Rolex in steel and platinum, $11,550; 3. michael kors Ribbed wool sweater, $895; patent oval-buckle belt, $425; crepe circle-pocket skirt, $695; Moffit boxy pebbled shoulder bag, $995; 4. classic panama hat By Borsolino, $295; 5. Soho Tote In begonia pink leather, $1,295;


6. Glittered Flower Thong Sandal By Miu Miu, $595; 7. Screw-Adorned Cuff Bracelet By Kelly Wearstler, $295; 8. Silk Twill Scarf In equestrian print, $98;


9. men’s cloud logo drifter cvo In khaki/dark brown canvas, $60;

runway photo by dan and corina lecca

•8 •7

STYLE_JUNE13.indd 43


4/17/13 1:06 PM

Experience a True Sailing Adventure aboard the Yorktown Schooners

Serenity & Alliance

Trust Your Face

to a Facial Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Michael Godin, a recognized expert in facial cosmetic surgery, uses an artful eye to provide exceptional surgical results in rhinoplasty, face and neck lifts, and eyelid rejuvenation.

Introducing the MicroMini Lift®, a precise, small-incision lift for the neck and jaw line developed by Dr. Godin Also offering Botox®, lip and facial fillers, a variety of laser treatments, and exceptional skin care by licensed Master Aestheticians to help you put your best face forward.

410 Libbie Ave. Richmond • (804) 285-8578 •

The Schooner Serenity: Bring the

kids to Captain Mayhem’s School of Piracy for a Pirate Adventure!

The Schooner Alliance: Sails three times daily April thru October from Riverwalk Landing Pier, Yorktown

To Purchase Tickets Call 888-316-6422 or visit For Private Charters call 757-639-1233

Virginia’s largest plein air painting Event Collectors’ Preview and Wet Painting Sale

plein air

757 ...

Saturday Aug 10 6-9pm

757 QuickDraw


August 8 - 1 1

Event INFO “Moon and Pearls” , detail. Courtesy Janice Gay Maker

Sunday Aug 11 9am-2pm presented as a part of the

Harbor for the Arts Festival | 800.551.9653 (WOLF)

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4/26/13 2:38 PM

UpFront about town

Lt. Gov. Bill and Jean Ann Bolling

Davida and Jim Luehrs Eric Treene, Rebiya Kadeer, Tad Stahnke and W. Taylor Reveley III

| galas & gatherings

Col. Don Gagliano and Stephen Rose

{ Richmond }

First Freedom Center On January 16, 183 supporters attended the First Freedom Awards event at the Richmond Marriott, raising $55,000 for the center’s programs.

Angela Vasquez, Somer Read and Allie Gebhardt Charles and Cherry Peters, Amb. Randolph Bell

Drs. Anna and Thomas George, Congressman Tom and Mary Virginia Bliley

{ McLean }

Foundation Fighting Blindness On February 7, 160 guests attended the 4th Annual Northern Virginia Dining in the Dark at the RitzCarlton, Tysons Corner. The event raised nearly $150,000 for research into the prevention, treatment and cure of blindness.

Neil Kessler, Julie and Michael Goodman

{ Newpor t News }

Virginia Living Museum

contributed photos

John and Jane Ishon, Janna Outlaw, Philip and Isabel Hatchett, Michele Hogg and Howard Smith

More than 650 guests attended Feast of the Elements at the Virginia Living Museum’s Ninth Annual Bacchus Wine and Food Festival on February 8. The event raised $62,500 to support science education and animal care at the museum.

Travis Land, Maggie McCartney, Adam Newland and Thomas Waser

Joe and Kathy Witt

june 2013


Martha and Harvey Woodruff


David Thompson and Walt Havenstein

Jim Minow and Jody Kelly

virginia living

4/18/13 9:55 AM

121 Libbie Avenue • 804.282.7018 • •

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Carreras LTD

4/8/13 3:16 PM

4/21/13 2:14 PM

UpFront about town

Larry and Christiane Loving

{ Richmond }


Marc Allocca, Trib Sutton and Jay DeVoe

| galas & gatherings

Stacy Brinkley, Margaret Whitlock, Pam Hoade, Leslie Rising and John Hoade

The historic Jefferson Hotel was the site for the Unwrap the Cure gala on March 2. The event, which hosted more than 400 attendees, raised $662,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Carrie and Doug Roth

Ric Arenstein, Ivan Jecklin and Allison Weinstein

{ Richmond }

Virginia Treatment Center for Children Julie Locke and Faye Clark

Chris and Lisa Leggett

The Second Annual Chef’s Dinner to benefit The Virginia Treatment Center for Children drew 115 supporters to Portico Restaurant in Richmond. The February 10 event raised $92,000 to support a new facility, programs and research.

Slaughter and Marianna Fitz-Hugh

Juanita and Senior Chief Zachary Pryor

John and Pat Mazach, Mariane Liebowitz and Mike Baker Sahil and Rupa Tak, Nicole and Greg Jennings

contributed photos

Pat Toland, Megan Landers, Michael Landers, Kris and Mike Landers

{ Washing ton, D.C. }

Armed Services YMCA On March 19, the Armed Services YMCA celebrated military medical personnel and their families at the seventh annual Angels on the Battlefield Gala. Three hundred attended the event, held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

Lt. Gen. Bill and Paula Troy, Cece Siracuse and Scott Celley

june 2013



Susan Estes, Edwin Estes and Scott Carter

virginia living

4/18/13 9:56 AM

Thanks For Voting Us The Best In Virginia

Summer’S BeSt CatCh in Virginia Beach Fresh, Local Seafood On scenic Rudee Inlet

Accessories From Head to Toe


The Areas Largest Selection Leesburg, VA

The Virginia Village Shopping Center

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Stunning Water Views! Casually elegant Banquet Facilities Large Parties Welcome 757.422.5654 Featuring the Best Mixologist from Virginia Living’s 2013 Best of Virginia!

4/26/13 3:54 PM



elissa Miller and Corey Austin were married September 10, 2012, at Khimaira Farm in Luray. Mrs. Austin is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Miller of Bumpass. Mr. Austin is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ken Austin of Warrenton. The couple resides in Glen Spey, New York. Photography by Katelyn James



hristie Gaskins, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Charlie Gaskins, and Peter Farrell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Farrell, all of Richmond, were married December 8, 2012, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Richmond. The couple lives in Richmond. Photography by Jen Fariello



he wedding of Lisa Beckhusen, daughter of Rolf Beckhusen of Bellingham, Washington, and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Levy of Richmond, and James Aspessi, son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Aspessi of Hanson, Massachusetts, took place May 20, 2012, at Historic Mankin Mansion in Richmond. The couple lives in Vernon, Connecticut. Photography by David Abel

Wedding_JUNE2013.indd 49

4/16/13 4:28 PM

Providing Fireworks for ALL Occasions in Virginia and Neighboring States


2311 W. Main Street



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1/9/13 12:57 PM

D ominioN Fireworks

Toll Free: 877-822-7236

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4/25/13 3:38 PM


| May~june 2013

It’s theater. It’s dance. It’s even a circus. Strange Fruit is all that and more. This Melbournebased troupe enchants and engages its audiences from atop 15-foot-plus poles, dancing through stories and themes like love, conflict, birth, death, work and play. There are enough gravity-defying performances to fill a seven-show repertoire, so don’t think you’ve seen it all until you’ve seen them all. At Norfolk’s Festival Green Space.

a r o u n d t h e s tat e




top photo courtesy of chesapeake cvb, photos bottom right courtesy of vmrc

Dreamy. Paddling down a lazy river on a sunny afternoon. Snap out of it! Folks will be paddling like their lives depend on it when the second annual KayaXpedition cranks up in waterways throughout the city of Chesapeake. There will be kayaks, for sure, but canoes and paddleboards will also be jockeying for position, manned by paddlers of all ages and experience levels. KayaXpedition is a weekend festival of all things paddle-able, with guided canoe trips, a kayak fishing class, a six-mile race and more.

MAY 25 THE BEAT OF A DIFFERENT DRUM Richmond In the Civil War, soldiers’ orders were communicated by the beat of a drum: get up, eat, charge, retreat. Set your telephone alarm for one o’clock May 25th, and spend an hour at the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar for a rousing commentary on the importance of bugles, fifes and drums to Civil War soldiers—Yanks and Rebs—delivered by an interpreter dressed in full regalia.

MAY 25-26 HOW TACK-Y Upperville/Middleburg

MAY 26-JUNE 30 PEACE, LOVE AND ART Harrisonburg

You’ve done the house tours, the garden tours, the winery tours. But have you ever done the stable tour? The 54th Annual Hunt Country Stable Tour takes you through some of America’s top Thoroughbred breeding farms, show hunter and fox hunting barns and country estates. Walk exquisite grounds, stables and training facilities to see where America’s best-bred horses learn their paces.

Surprise, surprise. You may think the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community’s 10th Annual Juried Multimedia Art Exhibition will be all pastoral and peaceful offerings. But think again. Judged by three art experts, this juried show, which draws artists from around the country, is a no-holds-barred compendium of seriously collectible art. Oh, those upstarts at VMRC. No wonder VMRC is a Best of Virginia winner for Best Retirement Community in the Shenandoah Valley.

So you think your grandma’s fried chicken is better than my grandma’s fried chicken? We’ll never know. But neither one of them could fry up a leg like the ladies of Gordonsville. Beginning in the late 19th century, when Gordonsville was just a whistlestop, the local ladies carried platters of fried chicken on their heads to the train depot for passengers passing through to enjoy, earning the town the moniker “Chicken Leg Center of the Universe.” Celebrating its rich heritage, Gordonsville is holding its first Famous Fried Chicken Festival on the town’s Main Street from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sure, there will be artisans and vendors, like at any festival, even competitions like the Mac & Cheese Cookoff, but the crowning glory will be the food that made the town famous. So shake a leg. Come to Gordonsville, grab one and munch.

JUNE 30 PURPLE PASSION Blacksburg Sniff it. Drink it. Paint it. Those are just a few things you can do at the Sixth Annual Lavender Fest at Beliveau Estate. No artistic talent, you say? Watch the pros in the Plein Air Art Contest paint the lovely lavender that grows along the estate’s trails in the Highlands of the Blue Ridge. Drink lavender? Absolutely, at the onsite Beliveau Estate Winery, which offers some selects with lavender notes. And for the designated drivers? Lavender lemonade. Hike the trails, nibble on the picnic foods offered for sale, relax to the tinkling strings of a harp, and learn all about the guest of honor in “Learn About Lavender” lectures.

JUNE 2013

EVENTS_JUN13_MM.indd 51


virginia living

4/18/13 9:51 AM

Residential – Singular Space – Honorable Mention Kitchen in the Graham Residence in Norfolk, VA – Mary Jane Klemt, Allied ASID / Klemt & Associates, P.C. Contract Healthcare – Honorable Mention Lexington Court Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Richmond, VA – Mary Katherine Crouch, CID, ASID, LEED AP and Cameron Stiles, CID, FASID, LEED AP / KSA Interiors Contract Hospitality – Honorable Mention Havana Nights at Virginia Beach, VA – Carol Eubank, ASID / Eubank Design Concepts Contract Institutional – Honorable Mention High Street United Methodist Church in Franklin, VA – Eleanor Barton, CID, ASID, Isolde Uecker, and Jessica Sargent / Glave & Holmes Architecture Contract Institutional – Honorable Mention Rappahannock Community College, Warsaw and Glenns Campuses, a part of Virginia Community College Systems – Lorri Finn and Sara Lasseter, CID, ASID, LEED AP / KSA Interiors Historic Preservation – 1st Place Robert H. Smith Center at Montalto in Charlottesville, VA – Gary Inman, Allied ASID and Veronica Ledford / Glave and Holmes Architecture


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LEED – 1st Place Hillel House, Washington & Lee University, in Lexington, VA – Eleanor Barton, CID, ASID and Aimee Huber / Glave & Holmes Architecture

For more information please visit us at

4/24/13 5:41 PM

P rofile

Left: “Breaking Bad” creator and showrunner Vince Gilligan. Above: Gilligan with “Breaking Bad” stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

All Good Things ... Vince Gilligan prepares to unleash the final eight episodes of “Breaking Bad.”

photo top left: craig barritt/wireimage, right: gregory peters/amc


the slow transformation of Albuquerque chemistry teacher Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) from mild-mannered family man to ruthless drug kingpin has unfolded on AMC’s TV show “Breaking Bad,” a journey which began when White started cooking crystal meth in a camper van to pay for his chemotherapy. Who dreams up such a concept? Richmond-born Vince Gilligan, 46, is the creator and showrunner behind the Emmynominated and Peabody Award-winning drama, and he has just finished filming the final eight episodes, which will air this summer and bring Walter White’s story to a close. Gilligan, who was raised in Farmville and Chesterfield County, got his big break after his screenplay “Home Fries” was one of the Virginia Governor’s Screenwriting Competition winners in 1989. Gilligan landed a job as a regular writer on popular ’90s sci-fi show “The X-Files,” and was executive producer of its short-lived spinoff, “The Lone Gunmen,” before successfully pitching “Breaking Bad” to AMC; the first episode was broadcast in 2008. I spoke to Gilligan via phone from New Mexico shortly after filming of the show’s finale had wrapped.

On the last day of production, we broke out the champagne, hugged, and took photographs.

Bryan Cranston got a tiny “Breaking Bad” tattoo on the inside of his finger on his right hand. So the show has marked us, literally and figuratively. He said, “Now you gotta get one,” and I said, “To hell with that!” I have mixed feelings. I’m

very sad that it’s ending, but it’s the right time. Our story has run its course. If we went on past this mark, we would be treading water, creatively. So it’s bittersweet.

Once I realized, in the early days, that [the show] did indeed have fans, I started to feel a great deal of pressure! But the writers and I are the first fans of the show, so we are the folks we are trying to please. it’s best not to get too much information about what people want. Satisfaction does not mean a happy ending or a sad ending. What’s important is a satisfying ending, and many thousands of man hours have gone into figuring out what that is. We work hard on making Walt

understandable, even if not likeable. So you understand his decissions, even if you don’t agree with them.

is Bryan Cranston. We are blessed with a star who remains relatable and sympathetic, even after doing the most The secret to the show

JUNE 2013

PROFILE_VGilligan_JUN13.indd 53


[to Virginia] in there wherever I can. We had a good one at the end of the third season: Jesse [played by Aaron Paul], gave some bad guys the slip when he let it be known that he had moved to Dillwyn in Buckingham County.

I try to put little references

— I n t e r v i e w by Da ry l G r ov e— or four and a half seasons,

horrendous things. [Walter] is a regular guy who becomes a monster and Bryan, being the actor who plays that part, is our secret weapon, because his humanity leaps out through his eyes and his expressions. He’s just plain likeable, and that manages to keep Walt relatable. We could do the exact same script with a different actor and it might not work.

The high school Walt taught at on the show was J.P. Wynne, which was the name of the elementary school I went to in Farmville. It was an excellent school. Unfortunately it’s long gone, but the name lives on in “Breaking Bad.” I still remember the day I found out I was one of the Governor’s Screenwriting Competition winners like it was yesterday. It launched me on my career path, because one of the University of Virginia judges, [Academy Award-winner] Mark Johnson, became my mentor in the movie business. ... I’ve been very lucky to know him for 24 years. He’s an executive producer on “Breaking Bad” and remains an important person in my life and my career. I've been thinking a lot about what’s next. I would love to see a “Breaking Bad” spinoff show with Saul Goodman, the lawyer played by Bob Odenkirk. Other than that, I want to direct a movie. That’s an experience I would hate not to have. But mostly I want to get this “Breaking Bad” family back together to do something. I find myself thinking about Virginia at odd times. I will be out in the desert in New Mexico, which is beautiful, but I’ll think, “I miss how green it is.” ❉

virginia living

4/18/13 10:17 AM

GREG GARRETT presents EASTERN VIRGINIA’S finest $1,499,000


POQUOSON RIVER BIG Waterfront! Amazing executive home with BIG VIEW, lots of glass, first floor master bedroom, 2 fireplaces, big pier with boat house and boat lift.


JAMES RIVER ESTATE WITH 3 ACRES Magnificent 4,300 square foot Cape Cod with slate roof sitting high above one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most majestic rivers. Matching carriage house.


HAMPTON On the Bay with sandy beach. 4,000 custom square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 baths and decks on 3 levels. 3-car garage. Neighborhood marina for your yacht.

ELIZABETH RIVER Almost new coastal design masterpiece that takes full advantage of its waterfront point of land. Dock, lifts, DEEP water, hot tub, and elevator.


HAMPTON BIG WATERFRONT! This beautiful Art Deco inspired home has been lovingly renovated, keeping with its original design but meeting the needs of today.

Warrenton-Fauquier Airport / KHWY 5075 Airport Road, Midland, VA 22728 Dave Darrah, Airport Director phone: (540) 422-8285

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Flight Line / Fuel: Potomac Approach: Clearance Delivery: HERTZ Car Rentals:

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YORK RIVER Custom built Cape Cod with guest house on 4 beautiful acres. Outdoor kitchen, dock, deep water and protection from Cuba Island. 1st floor master.



YORKTOWN Waterfront peninsula! Deep water (approx 4.5’ at MLT). Nice waterfront view! Nice dock ready for your boats. Wonderful pool and deck!

GOVERNOR’S LAND One of the best lots in Governor’s Land with lake views, full golf course membership, 40 KW generator, plus wooded privacy from street.

GLOUCESTER Waterfront! Beautiful brick Ranch with nice floor plan. 1.2 acres. AWESOME sunroom! High and Dry! NO FLOOD INSURANCE REQUIRED!

HAMPTON RIVER Pristine and private Cape Cod with deck, boat lift, 3-car garage and workshop.

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help make a difference in a pet’s life.

Funds raised go to support FETCH a Cure’s programs including Companions in Crisis, that provides financial assistance for treatment to families whose pets have been diagnosed with cancer.

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Tickets + Table Sponsorships Available! Contact the FETCH a Cure office (804) 525-2193


Pets on Parade Benefit + Auction Friday, June 7th, 2013 Historic Tredegar 7:00 –10:00pm

Knox, Battling Stage 5 Lymphoma, Companions in Crisis Recipient

Gayton Animal Hospital

4/23/13 10:55 AM

Richmond’s locally owned

fresh flower and plant specialist

who are helping beat blood cancer! Photo courtesy of Teresa La Fratta Photography

• Floral Arrangements • Weddings • Sympathy • Gifts and Balloons • Floral Bouquets • Silk Flowers


• Fruit and Gourmet Baskets • Banquets and Events • Deliveries made twice daily in the Metro area. Serving Richmond for over 75 years.


Left to Right: Steve Granger, Mark La Fratta, Jill Shimp, Miles - Boy of the Year, Katie - Girl of the Year, Darcy Warren, Marcail Waskom, Keith Chapman

Northeast 804-321-2200 3313 Mechanicsville Pk., near Laburnum Ave.

Bon Air 804-321-0460 8010 Midlothian at Buford Rd.

West End 804-360-2800 12111 W. Broad St. between Rt. 288 & Short Pump Town Ctr.

Hull Street Road 804-321-0470 6710 Hull Street at Chippenham

The two Champions of Hope who raise the most funds in honor of the Boy and Girl of the Year during a 10-week fundraising campaign for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society earn the title of Man and Woman of the Year. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society funds the treatments that are saving the lives of blood cancer patients today. Title-holders announced on May 3rd at the Grand Finale Gala Celebration at The Country Club of Richmond. Special Thanks to Virginia Chapter Sponsors

Visit for more information.

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Buy it once. Love it for a lifetime.

4/16/13 11:02 AM

Pool design and construction also by JoPa Company.

Going on Now

Take advantage of our Annual GREAT OUTDOOR FURNITURE SALE savings on the area’s largest selection of outdoor furniture. Choose from the finest names and SAVE on Brown Jordan, Gloster, Cape May, Winston, and many others. Delivery available throughout Central Virginia. 8711 W. Broad (Just west of Parham) Richmond, VA

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(804) 747-9700 M-F 9:30-6; Sat. 9:30-5

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Custom Pools Casual Furniture

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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, VIRGINIA 500 miles of glistening shoreline nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Year round appeal Fish. Boat. Golf. Dine. Shop. History & Wine anytime For a FREE Visitor’s Guide:


Seating is limited. Use code VALVNG10 for a 10% discount.

or 540.721.1203

Castleton is located 60 miles SW of Washington DC, via I-66, Routes 29 and 211 (toward the Shenandoah National Park).

visit or call 866.974.0767 /CastletonFest LEAD MEDIA PARTNER


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savors spending an extra day with friends.

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, only hours from Northern VA and Washington DC, Charlottesville and Albemarle County, VA are the perfect destinations for your next vacation. With an eclectic mix of restaurants, local vineyards and mountain trails nearby, it’s no wonder this region was voted one of the top 10 wine vacation destinations in the U.S. by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Plan your trip at

Where tradition is always new.

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NORTH END • VIRGINIA BEACH Secluded enclave on the oceanfront with dramatic views. $3,150,000

HAUGHTON ESTATE • NEWPORT NEWS 2 Acres of waterfront luxury including dock, pier and a greenhouse! $1,469,000

TALBOT PARK • NORFOLK Exceptional Waterfront Custom Built One Owner Home. $875,000

LYNNDALE ESTATES • VIRGINIA BEACH Spectacular all brick 5 BR, 4 BTH home to be built on 1 acre lot. $795,000

Aimee Brennan 650-1914

Theresa Briggs 408-8363

Judy Cocherell 286-1099

Lauren Conner 407-2722

Kathy Coomer 871-3466

Lili Cox 434-4110

Ann Davis 450-2655

Tom DiBuono 328-5000

Linda Dickens 620-2944

Susie Edmunds 718-1970

Patti Frankenfield 650-6255

Georgie Frech 478-4091

Mona Ghobrial 717-3954

Margie Hula 880-0148

Charles Iaquinto 560-8988

Matt Hampton 348-8128

Colleen Kovach 575-9005

Bobby Lawrence 287-7399

Beth McCombs 428-3516

Tina Thatcher Minter 472-7039

Cyndi Nance 718-4061

Karen O’Brien 621-2058

Jan Palazzo 646-3003

Melanie Rice 636-8108

Mike Roberson 880-7579

Steven Scott (804)832-1556

Ann-Meade Simpson 213-0511

Dora Lee Taylor 456-1713

Dicky Teagle 651-4422

Eric Thompson 685-3172

Jonell Walthall 639-3516

Patricia Zuraw 373-8601

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The Pocahontas arriving at Scotland Wharf.

There and Back Again Four centuries of ferry service in the Old Dominion. — B y C h i l e s T. A . La r s o n —

photos courtesy of vdot


here were more than 100 ferries in

operation on the numerous rivers throughout Virginia by the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, there are just a handful left, the rest slowly supplanted through the years by the development of modern bridges and tunnels. But this less frenetic era of slower, though steady, travel is not lost. The tiny Hatton Ferry, which carries passengers across the James River near Scottsville in Albemarle County, is the last remaining poled ferry in the U.S. Able to carry 12 people and two cars, it has a flat bottom with a deck just a few inches above the waterline. An overhead wire that strands the 700 yards across the river from bank to bank guides a cable attached to one end of the craft, which helps control the boat while relying on the natural current of the river to convey it across. Once near the landing, the operator rolls up the cable on the stern and uses his pole to ease the ferry into its slip.

At one time along this stretch of the James and the nearby Rivanna River, there were 18 ferries, the earliest dating back to 1729. The Hatton Ferry was established in 1870, and is now owned and operated by “Hatton Ferry,” a nonprofit corporation setup by the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society. It runs on a weekend schedule from April to October and, though there is no fare, requested donations of $2 per passenger and $5 per vehicle help keep this piece of Virginia history afloat. However, not all the remaining ferries in Virginia are relics of the past. Some, like the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, are still vital parts of the Commonwealth’s modern transport infrastructure. With no bridge or tunnel, the JamestownScotland Ferry is the only thing connecting U.S. Route 31 on either side of the James River. It is operated toll-free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by the Virginia Department of Transportation. june 2013



“We have a morning and evening rush hour, with many of our patrons living in Surry and working in Williamsburg,” says Wes Ripley, facility manager for the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry service. Ripley says 951,212 vehicles were transported across the water in 2012. “We don’t count passengers, but, for estimation purposes, we figure 2.5 per vehicle.” Ripley, a former ferry captain himself, says the crossing takes about 15 or 20 minutes and that captain and crew make either 10 or 11 round trips per day, depending on the shift. In addition to a captain, each crew complement is made up of a licensed chief engineer and four deck hands. Crossings are usually smooth, but that does not mean they are without incident. “The most legendary story here was when our crew picked up a naked woman from Buoy 55,” says Ripley. “Apparently, she had found her way aboard a tug upriver and when operations were concluded, they decided to put her on the buoy as

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V irginiana they passed, figuring our crews would pick her up, which they did. Our crew gave her a coat as cover. This was sometime in the late 1970s.” The early settlers at Jamestown, no doubt, had a ferry service across the James River, but the first automobiles to cross from Jamestown to Scotland Landing did so on February 26, 1925. The ferry in service at the time, named the Captain John Smith, was 60 feet long and could carry 16 Model T Fords. By 1928, serious discussions were afoot about replacing the ferry with a bridge at this location. Given the costs of such a construction, coupled with concerns of an increase in population on the southern shore of the James River and the negative effect of a bridge on views from Jamestown Island, the ferry system remains a viable solution, as evidenced by the Virginia Division of Transportation’s recent authorization of a new $27 million, 70-vehicle ferry. Work will begin later this year, with a projected completion date of 2016, at which point it will Clockwise from right: replace the oldest ferry in the current fleet—the The Surry, part of the Virginia, built in 1936. Jamestown-Scotland Ferry Ferry service in Hampton Roads has also fleet; the Sunny Bank Ferry; the Merry Point Ferry; The remained in operation since Colonial times. Hatton Ferry c. 1966. Today, Hampton Roads Transit runs a fleet of

A caption will go hereand a new caption goes here andhere always this caption.

three 150-passenger paddle-wheel ferries between Norfolk and Portsmouth from morning until night, for an adult fare of $1.50 per ride. The first ferry service across the Elizabeth River between Norfolk and Portsmouth dates from 1636, when a skiff was rowed across. Although by 1720 the service was capable of transporting horse-drawn wagons and other wheeled vehicles, the power was still delivered by oarsmen. From 1794 until 1821, paddle-wheel vessels were making the crossing. A decade later, steam-powered ferries were in service. Ferry service on the Potomac River, crossing between Virginia and Maryland, has been in place since 1786. Though once numerous, White’s Ferry, near Leesburg, is the last remaining. Today, the General Jubal A. Early operates daily from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. and can carry up to 24 cars. Fares go from $1 for a passenger up to $12 for a large truck. There are also two ferries still in service in the Northern Neck, both of them cable-ferries. The Sunnybank Ferry, in operation since 1903, crosses the Little Wicomico River from U.S. Route 644 in Northumberland County. The Merry Point Ferry, started in 1847, crosses the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River from U.S. Route 604 in Lancaster County. Both services were privately owned until the 1930s, when the Virginia Department of Transportation began to operate them fare-free. After nearly 400 years of service in the Commonwealth, it seems appropriate to say that travel by ferry has earned its sea legs. ❉

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Dining building in downtown Chilhowie, Riverfront Restaurant’s menu with its emphasis on homestyle cooking is described by Landis as “Appalachian cuisine.” He already has begun to incorporate some Blackstone customer favorites into the menu, including steak Oscar and lemon pecan trout, and plans to add more. Coming to the Riverfront has been like a homecoming for Blackstone. “It’s really nice to be back in Chilhowie,” he says of the tiny town situated along the middle fork of the Holston River. Here, just across Main Street, is where Blackstone stepped into his first full-fledged job as an executive chef, creating menus and designing the kitchen layout in 2002 for the acclaimed, but now closed, Town House Grill. There for five years, Blackstone built a strong reputation and a customer base stretching from Kingsport to Roanoke. It is also at the Town House Grill that Blackstone perfected many of what are now his signature dishes: artful masterpieces on a plate, bursting with color. “I used to love to draw,” he laughs. “So, now, I draw on plates.” The chef also has a penchant for polenta (with Southern Italian tomato sauce) and a winning way with seafood like Chilean sea bass, which has won him praise from regular diners, including Anne Martin of Marion who says, “He’s very passionate about being a chef, very passionate about his food and wants to please.” Martin, a retired schoolteacher, discovered Blackstone about 10 years ago during a lunch stop with some friends at the Town House. “We’ve been kind of following him from the Town House to Greene’s in Bristol to the Black Rooster,” she says, adding that she likes food with a bit of heat. Blackstone “has that combination,” she explains. “He just has that balance with the flavor and the heat.” Born in 1967, Blackstone attended high school in the courthouse town of Lebanon in Russell County but grew up in Cleveland, Virginia, an isolated railroad town on the Clinch River. He roamed the mountains as a boy, igniting his artistic imagination. “I remember it as just perfect,” he says. “We’d go explore through the mountains during the summers, as soon as Mom would let us outside, as soon as the grass had dried. We’d pack our lunch and just get lost in the hills.” Blackstone says he and his three siblings would “be gone until we heard a cowbell ringing and knew it was time for dinner—and we better be home.” Blackstone was brought up on country cooking and learned to can and pickle fresh tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and corn from his father’s garden. He expanded his culinary tastes at age 16 when a girlfriend took him to Bristol to eat at his first Chinese restaurant. “The food was all new to me,” he says. “It was good. It was new. So it was exciting.” But the curious teen refrained from trying to cook at home. “Absolutely not,” he says, grinning. “It was Mom’s kitchen. She was definitely the executive chef of that space. And I was not allowed in it.” Blackstone credits his mother, Re, with his initial passion for cooking. “My Mom knows how to cook and grew up knowing how to cook because she was taught to do things. Me? I went to culi-

Blackstone’s mahi Lafayette: blackened mahi over sweet potato mash.

The Right Stuff

Chef Marcus Blackstone has a devoted following of foodies in Southwest Virginia who don’t mind traveling to keep up with the peripatetic gourmet. —By Joe Tennis—

photography by jeff greenough

“ A

s a chef, you want to get the

best products, and that’s half the battle,” Marcus Blackstone tells me on a rare day off from his duties as executive chef at Chilhowie’s Riverfront Restaurant. Blackstone describes topping a Black Angus filet mignon with lumps of crabmeat folded into sautéed shallots, deglazed with white wine and paired with pecorino Romano and cream cheese and laced with blended seasonings and fresh herbs. With mouthwatering enthusiasm, he explains the complexity of one of his signature dishes—a plate of alderwood-smoked salmon outlined with English cucumbers, pickled red onion, capers, hard egg and focaccia toast. “My professional philosophy is the ever constant pursuit of perfection,” says

Blackstone, adding, “I love to make people happy with food.” Blackstone has been a culinary fixture for more than a decade along the I-81 corridor of Southwest Virginia, cooking at restaurants including the Black Rooster in Marion, Greene’s Seafood in Bristol and the original Town House Grill of Chilhowie. In January, the 46-year-old chef was recruited by restaurateur Stanley Landis to expand the menu of steak, prime rib and seafood served at Chilhowie’s Riverfront Restaurant, a popular eatery for over a dozen years. “He’s kind of renowned for his flavors,” says Landis, “and he’s got a good following and knows what he’s doing.” Located in the old Vance Hardware Company JUNE 2013

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Dining nary school to learn the ‘whys,’” he explains. “It was handed down to her.” By long distance, Re Blackstone helped train her son in the kitchen. Soon after he moved to Blacksburg in 1985 to attend Virginia Tech—where he briefly studied engineering before switching majors to marketing—Blackstone says his mother taught him to make gravy one morning while talking over the phone. “There were Sundays when I would be cooking,” Blackstone says. “I had moved off campus and got an apartment and, I think, there’s where I really started cooking.” Soon, Blackstone’s friends noticed his developing skill. “Sunday mornings, I would wake up, and there would be people who would stay the night in the apartment because I was going to cook a big brunch,” he says. “Customers would already be in the living room—friends.” In the late 1980s, Blackstone got his first paid kitchen job at a Hardee’s in Radford. “I worked there for six months. I got a nickel raise, and I went to Burger King for a quarter raise.” Then he took over the Tex-Mex kitchen at Sacketts, a legendary nightspot in Radford, known for its huge dance floor; he was ultimately promoted to kitchen manager. A series of jobs followed at corporateowned chain restaurants where, he says, he learned how to control time, expenses and people. The experience, he adds, also compelled him to earn an associate’s degree in culinary arts and a bachelor’s in food service management at the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina, graduating summa cum laude in 2001.

Blackstone’s steak Oscar with roasted rosemary potatoes and roasted red pepper.

Blackstone then began working in the kitchen of Atlanta’s Houston’s Restaurant, but the glamour of working on Peachtree Street could not compete with the pull he felt to return home to the country roads of his childhood. He moved his family to Abingdon in 2002 and worked briefly for the Troutdale Dining Room on the Tennessee side of Bristol—not far from


Fifteen restaurants are bracing for June 22-29, when they’ll offer special prix fixe menus. And don’t think “prix fixe” necessarily means “price, high!” Organizers promise a prix fixe for every pocketbook. Look for the lineup of offerings in this month’s issue of Lynchburg Living, which is co-sponsoring the event with Discover Lynchburg. Plot your course—and courses—early. Last year saw packed restaurants. CAFÉ CATURRA The place where

West End Richmonders love to meet (business casual) and eat (between fits of shopping on Grove Avenue) has expanded its evening fare to include a full-service dinner menu that features, among other

If you have news of personnel changes, restaurant openings or closings, events or special menus, please tell us by writing to

additions, tacos made with braised pork, crab and corn, and chorizo and potato, to name a few. All are authentic, of course, with just a squeeze of lime as accoutrements. But this is what one might expect of an establishment with a 24-bottle wine-by-the-glass bar. The expanded menu debuted at Café Caturra in Midlothian Village Square at the same time.

considering sites, was that Virginia didn’t allow breweries to sell pints in their brew pubs. (Breweries turn a nice dime selling quaffs in their tasting rooms.) Then, last year, when Virginia law changed to allow breweries to sell frosty mugs, Green Flash headed north and picked a point just south of Naval Air Station Oceana. Welcome, Green Flash!



Diego-based brewery was all set to open its second site in coastal North Carolina when an unplanned jaunt to Virginia Beach re-routed its destiny. San Diego, you see, isn’t all that different from VB, where the roar of Navy jets and destroyers come with large, thirsty audiences. The only problem, when Green Flash was

from-scratch-only bakery Fluffy Thoughts Cakes is expanding its base of operations to include an additional 1,500 square feet. There will be more space to display owner Lara Stuckey’s confections, and a private room (for up to 15 people) for tastings, small parties and baking classes. Stuckey, you may

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where he lives today, in Bristol, Virginia, with his wife, Becky, and his two stepchildren, Bradley and Emilee. (His daughter Riley lives nearby.) For this culinary artist, a kitchen becomes more than a working studio. “It’s my house. I live there,” Blackstone says. “I want the potatoes taken care of like I want the Chilean sea bass [taken care of]. Everything has to be taken care of and loved equally.” Blackstone says that what drives him to do his best is having “that intimate relationship with your customer ... the guest that becomes a friend.” Blackstone’s love for both customers and cuisine has diners excited at the Riverfront Restaurant. “With the Town House closing, Marcus kind of brings an element back to what they’re able to offer down in Chilhowie,” says Ken Heath, spokesman for the town of Marion and a former Chilhowie resident. “He brings a depth to a menu. He brings flavors together and foods together that you would not normally expect. But they’re not so far out there that you wouldn’t be afraid to order them off the menu.”


remember, appeared on the Food Network Challenge’s “Best in Show Cakes” in 2011. And Fluffy Thoughts has been chosen as a “Bride’s Choice Award” winner on each year since 2010. BACK BAY GOURMET Just hanging

out on the water can stir up an appetite, so Virginia Beach’s Back Bay Gourmet is partnering with Surf & Adventure to provide nourishment during its two-and-a-half-hour kayak excursions through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Kayakers can choose from four box lunches (sandwiches are grilled chicken, portabella and goat cheese, smoked turkey and Swiss or turkey club). Book a Lunch Box Kayak Tour at

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FabFrites! The classic fried potato goes uptown. by lisa antonelli bacon


It wasn’t so long ago that ketchup was America’s singular acceptable accompaniment to the beloved French fry. We turned up our noses when the Dutch proffered mayonnaise. We rolled our eyes when Eastern Europeans sprinkled goat cheese on top. Reluctantly, we sometimes sprinkle malt vinegar on our fish n’ chips but, to purists, even that is an assault on our tradition. But let’s be fair. After all, they’re not called American fries. No, the classic frite is a Belgian affair (fried twice for lasting crispness, thank you). Across much of Europe, frietkots—Flemish Belgian for fry shacks—are as prolific as golden arches are in the U.S. Now, with a nod to our French-speaking friends, our frites are turning up in places where napkins are cloth and you order from a table, like Can Can Brasserie in Richmond or Mon Ami Gabi in Reston. You won’t see lumpy chili or glassine Velveeta puddling on top. Au contraire, frites are sidling up to sirloins and bowls of mussels just waiting for a swipe of bearnaise or a plunge into a buttery wine broth. Alas, no longer the hallmark of the ballpark or the bowling alley, frites have matured. So stop hiding the takeout trash. Be proud. And the next time you roll up to an order board, crank down your window and sniff, “Yes, thank you. I’d like frites with that.”

Photography by Adam Ewing | Food by Chef J Frank | Styling by Neely Barnwell Dykshorn

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virginia living

Opposite page, above: Frites and Sriracha mayonnaise; below: Amelia Langford enjoys a cone of frites. Here: Moules frites.

4/17/13 10:22 AM



6 large Idaho russet potatoes, peeled 1 ½ quarts canola oil salt Cut potatoes into ¼-inch slices, then cut into strips. Soak in cold water until ready to fry. Remove and let dry completely on paper towels. Heat oil to 325 degrees. To avoid overcrowding, fry in batches 2-3 minutes until brown. Drain well. Increase oil temperature to 375 degrees and repeat; it is important not to guess at oil temperature. Remove from oil and drain well. Salt to taste. Serve immediately for optimum crispness. Serves 4 For classic steak frites, serve with entrecôte, New York strip or sirloin, or your favorite cut of grilled steak.

Mussels for Moules Frites Safety rule: If any mussel shells are open before cooking, toss them out. Any that remain closed after cooking should also be tossed out. 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon butter 2 small shallots, sliced salt and pepper to taste 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 ½ pounds mussels 8 ounces chicken broth ½ cup dry white wine 2 tablespoons chopped parsley Heat a large pot to medium temperature and add olive oil and butter. Once butter has melted, add shallots, and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until the shallots have softened, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine, chicken broth and mussels. Cover and steam until all mussels open, but no more than 10 minutes. Add parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 2

Steak frites.

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credits: Alden stoneware


plate, Laguiole® Benoir steak knife, dinner fork and spoon, Tour red wine glass and Carmen yellow napkin, Aspen dinner plate, Betty placemat and Mercer Ripple salad plate from Crate & Barrel. Location: dixie donuts, Richmond.

Fish n' Chips Beer Batter for Fish n’ Chips: 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer 2 cups all purpose flour 1 egg, separated salt to taste Mix yolk with beer and flour and season with salt. Whisk egg white until stiff, then fold into beer batter. Curry Sauce for Fish n’ Chips 1 small onion, medium diced 1 Granny Smith apple, medium diced 2 tablespoons canola oil 2 teaspoons curry powder 1 teaspoon tomato paste 12 ounces chicken stock 2 tablespoons all purpose flour Sauté onion and apple in oil until soft. Add curry powder and tomato paste and mix well. Add flour and mix, then add chicken stock. Simmer until thickened, 15-20 minutes. Strain. Season to taste.

Mushy Peas 1 pound bag frozen peas 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoon salt ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt pepper to taste 2 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped Cook peas until tender. Drain. Add butter, salt, yogurt, pepper and mint. Mash all together and serve alongside fish n’ chips.

Fish n’ chips with mushy peas.

photograph by robert meganck

Dipping Sauces for Pommes Frites Sriracha Mayonnaise

Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise

¼ cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce (or to taste) 1 teaspoon lime juice

1 head of garlic 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Mix well. Honey Mustard ¼ cup spicy brown mustard ¼ cup honey 1 tablespoon mayonnaise Mix well.

Cut off top of garlic head to expose cloves and place on aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and seal in foil. Roast one hour at 350 degrees. Cool. Then squeeze cloves into mayonnaise and mix well.

Pesto Mayonnaise


Pesto: 2 cups packed fresh basil 2 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons pine nuts 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste ½ cup pecorino romano, grated

¼ cup white wine vinegar ½ cup dry white wine 1 tablespoon minced shallot ¼ teaspoon crushed peppercorns ½ teaspoon dried tarragon salt to taste 3 egg yolks ½ cup hot melted butter 2 teaspoons lemon juice

In food processor, blend basil, garlic and pine nuts to a coarse paste. Add ½ cup oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add cheese and remainder of oil. ½ cup mayonnaise 2-3 tablespoons pesto Mix pesto and mayonnaise.

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Reduce vinegar, wine, shallots and pepper down to about two tablespoons over medium heat. Strain. Whisk yolks and reduction in a bowl over simmering water until thick. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in butter until it is completely absorbed. Season with salt to taste, and add lemon juice and tarragon.

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Edible Istria Truffles, wild asparagus and olive oil are all on the menu during a Croatian culinary adventure. — b y K i m b e r l e y L o v at o —


decade ago,

identifying Istria on a map would have earned me bonus points in a trivia game. But today I’m motoring a five-speed Kia through crumbling villages, over undulating hills and through the rust colored terrains of Northern Croatia’s arrowheadshaped peninsula. A wooden sign nailed to a tree points left, the official wine and olive oil route signs say right. While Croatia’s sunny Dalmatian coastline and its “pearl” city of Dubrovnik have lured vacationers for years, Istria has remained relatively absent from most tourist itineraries. But for those interested

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la dolce vita, and Istria quickly transforms from a place on a map into a savory journey. At the signs, I turn right. I’m in search of Piquentum, a winery in the village of Buzet, and its winemaker, Dimitri Brečević. I’d met him at a wine festival in Zagreb the week before. When I told him of my plans to eat and drink my way around Istria, he invited me to stop by, which was easier said than done. Eventually the signs disappear, and I pull over to ask for directions. “I’ve never heard of it or him,” is the pedestrian’s response. The elusive winery is actually a WWII-era water cistern carved

in 300-plus miles of crystalline shore and a rising culinary scene served with a side of warm hospitality, Istria is the land of plenty, and that’s why I’m here. As a traveler, I find local food is the perfect guide to uncovering the essence of a place, and since Istria is Croatia’s culinary gut, I make the easy 2.5-hour drive from the capital, Zagreb, to Motovun, a medieval village perched at the heart of this compact region that overflows with truffles, seafood, wild asparagus and some of the most celebrated olive oil in the world. Mix in a Mediterranean climate, an entrenched winemaking tradition, and a proclivity for


into the hills below the small Roman village of Buzet, and when I finally arrive and tell him the story, Brečević laughs. “You should have asked for The Frenchman. They all know me as that.” Born to a Croatian father and a French mother, Brečević is one of the few “natural” winemakers in Istria, using techniques that insist on minimal intervention during the winemaking process. He uses indigenous Istrian Malvasia grapes, which produce an easy-to-drink white wine, and red Teran and Refošk grapes, which produce ruby reds. I taste each in the musty bunker. Despite his French upbringing and study in some of the world’s top winemaking regions, Brečević says he always felt Istria was the right place for him and moved here permanently in 2005. “My father is Istrian, and he returned a few years before me so I have always felt a connection,” says Brečević. “Professionally, I realized that the climate and soils were right for producing quality wine.” Croatia’s wine history resembles that of many former communist

photography by kimberley lovato

The medieval village of Motovun in the heart of Istria.

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Clockwise from above left: A cafe in Pula; view from Motovun; bottles of local rakija.

countries, where state-controlled wineries produced low-grade swill. Since Croatia’s 1991 independence from former Yugoslavia, qualityfocused private wine estates around the country have flourished, and many are being rewarded by wine guides, at competitions and by connoisseurs worldwide. When it comes to Istrian wine, you can’t throw a cork without hitting a bottle of Malvasia, which accounts for about two-thirds of the grape crops on the peninsula. The largest private producer (and frequent award winner) in Istria is Kozlović Winery, where I arrive in good spirits. Located in a bucolic valley beneath a 1,000-year-old castle in the village in Momjan, the modern building manages to blend in with the ancient surroundings. I’m welcomed by Antonella Kozlović. She’s the wife of Gianfranco, a third generation winemaker and the namesake of the estate. After a quick tour, we settle onto the outdoor terrace where Antonella pours us each a glass

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are no menus. Mira prepares a four-course meal starting with wild asparagus soup. This needle thin vegetable, similar in look and taste to regular asparagus, is an obsession in Istria each spring; it’s common to see people hunched along the roadside, snipping at the weedy plants. From March to late April, restaurants, especially in northwestern Istria, celebrate “Asparagus Days,” with frittatas, soups, sauces and pastas bursting with the popular vegetable. The second course is polenta and Istrian prosciutto, hung to cure for up to eight months in Croatia’s Bura, a gusty, cold and dry wind that blows from the mainland toward the sea. I’m full but can’t resist the next course, which is fuži, a tube-shaped pasta with pointy ends like penne, which I’d never seen before. Dessert is tiramisu, followed by a small glass of rakija, a local fruit brandy. Like most of Croatia, Istria has had many occupiers over

of their golden Akacia Malvasia. Gianfranco joins us for a toast. “We hope this is a place that expresses the passion we put into our wine, as well as a place where people can come to simply enjoy,” he says. Before I leave, Antonella points me to a nearby konoba for lunch. France has its bistro, Italy its trattoria, and Croatia its konoba. These rustic family-owned taverns are ubiquitous and have mastered the irresistible mix of traditional regional cooking and quality gastronomy, with seasonal menus derived from locally produced ingredients. Mira (her last name has too many consonants to write down) is the apron-clad matriarch of Konoba Stari Podrum, hemmed into a modest stone house, easily overlooked if you drive by too fast. The wood beams and red-and-white checked tablecloths are characteristic of an Istrian konoba. I’m escorted to a table next to an open fireplace where steaks sizzle on a grill. There


the centuries, including Greek, Hungarian, Spanish and Austrian. It belonged to the Venetian Republic for over 500 years beginning in the ninth century and was again annexed by Italy between 1919-1947, which explains the region’s definitive Italian bent and bilingual locals. Maybe it’s the year-round sunshine and ghosts of welcoming Italians past, but Istrians embody a warmth and joie de vivre typical of many Mediterranean outposts. Even those who don’t speak English are willing to welcome me into their homes to ‘converse’ via charades, smiles and a few shots of rakija. Such is the case when I arrive at Stancija 1904, a 100-yearold guesthouse not far from the pastel seaside village of Rovijn and home of Drazenka “Dada” Moll, who leads pasta-making classes and speaks food and drink fluently. “But before we begin cooking, a welcome drink,” she says when I arrive, showing me to a table laden with rakija in two flavors typical

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Clockwise: Case of olives; Lovato making fu탑i with Dada Moll; konoba menu.

Here: The seaside village of Rovijn.

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Here: Restaurant Zigante. Below: Pula Amphitheater.

Entry to Piquentum Winery in the village of Buzet.

of Istria: medica (honey) and biska (mistletoe). On a wooden table in her kitchen, we cut dough into squares, then hand-form them into quills around small wooden dowels. Dada tells me that in Istria, fuži is always made for special occasions, like weddings, baptisms and birthdays. “We say that if there’s no fuži, then there’s no party,” she laughs. On just about every table in Istria, Moll’s included, are bottles of local olive oil—no surprise since regional production dates back to ancient Rome. The bones of old mills and amphorae, in areas like the Brujuni Islands and Poreč, are reminders of Istria’s olive oil pedigree and, these days, local oil is ranked among the best in the world by international authorities like the olive oil guide Flos Olei. One could spend weeks tasting them all, but I make pit stops at three: Ipša, Meneghetti and Chiavalon, each cranking out some of Istria’s best liquid gold. In Vodnjan, I sit in a tasting room behind the family house of brothers Teddy and Sandy Chiavalon, who pour oil into glasses and tell me to warm the bottom with my hands. I

1999 weighing over two pounds. A replica of the humongous fungus is displayed at the entrance of his eponymous restaurant. He is the largest exporter of Istrian truffles, shipping over 1,500 pounds annually, mainly to the U.S. and Italy. On my last morning, I eat a wild asparagus omelet at the Hotel Kastel in Motovun, my home base for the week, before driving down the hill, where another set of signs points in both directions. Before I choose, I hear the peal of bells. A local legend says a giant named Veli Jože used to roam the countryside and ring the town’s belfry with his bare hands. I turn left. And, like the carillon, Istria plays inside me long after I’ve gone. ❉




Piquentum Winery Buzet + 385 91 527 5976

Vela Vrata Hotel

Konoba Stari Podrum

Hotel Kastel

Chiavalon Olive Oil

Kozlović Winery


culinary tours

Stancija 1904

June 2013

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founder, and we meet at his family home and adjacent tasting room. He tells me he’s been hunting truffles on his own since he was 10. “I found an apple-sized truffle once and called my mom, but she didn’t believe me,” says Karlić, showing me a picture of his find to quell my own doubt. Truffles can sell for €1,000 a kilo or higher (roughly $1,300 per pound) and, Karlić tells me, with the proceeds from his hefty find, he bought a bicycle. Around Istria, menus brim with truffle-seasoned everything, and a popular festival takes place each fall in the village of Livade, put on the map when local truffle hunter Giancarlo Zigante found one in

take the liquid into my mouth, suck in some air and swallow. It tastes like cut grass and leaves a peppery tinge in my throat—a telltale sign of the antioxidants, says Teddy. The undisputed king of Istrian cuisine, however, is the truffle—both black and white varieties. Truffle season runs from the end of October to early December, and tourism around hunting (and eating) them is a growing business, with curious culinary travelers like me arranging experiential meet-ups with local business owners. I’m headed to truffle harvesting company Karlić Tartufi in the Lilliputian village of Paladini. The brawny Ivan Karlić is the 19-yearold grandson of the company’s


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Special Advertising Section

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fro m

vine t o wine

A couple realizes their dream of building a vineyard, and a home, far from the madding crowd.


ucked away off a winding road in

historic Rectortown, just moments from the highways leading back to Washington, D.C., is Vintage Ridge Vineyards. Set back among gently rolling hills are acres of grape trellises in orderly rows, a charming residence surrounded by lush exterior plantings and a functioning winery and tasting room. And like the wine made here, the property and its many features reveal a complexity when you learn the stories behind them. At Vintage Ridge, there is a story behind everything. Proprietors Vicki and Bill Edmands purchased the property in 1998 as an escape from busy lives in Washington, D.C. At the time, it consisted of an interesting but dated home, constructed by the previous owner from three barns he had transported from New Hampshire to Virginia and reconstructed on the property’s 44 acres. But the Edmandses weren’t looking to idle their weekends away in the bucolic countryside; their dream was to build a vineyard. From scratch. And this was the perfect site. “We were very interested in being part of the wine business,” says Vicki, explaining that

travels to other wine regions throughout the world, including Uruguay and Argentina, were a big part of their inspiration. The couple also wanted to pursue a project together, merging expertise and talents from their careers—Bill, an electrical engineer and Vicki, who worked in her family’s manufacturing business. The Edmandses took viticulture classes, studied the industry and talked to other vineyard owners. Then they began the hard work that oenophiles rarely witness, like how to use survey equipment to make straight lines for planting, and how to operate a “ditch witch” to create an irrigation system. “We pounded every post,” says Vicki of the trellises covering seven acres. At the beginning, the Edmandses had no intention of building a winery and tasting room, but they soon found that simply growing and selling grapes was not fulfilling. “To see our grapes go out that driveway ... it was like watching our baby leave,” laughs Vicki. So, in true Edmands fashion, they mastered the process of taking grapes from vine to wine. Today, Vintage Ridge Vineyard produces seven different handcrafted wines from the 28 virginia living

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tons of grapes grown here each year, including cabernet Franc, syrah and petite verdot. Until recently, Vintage Ridge wines were distributed only through the tasting room; now they’re available at some local restaurants and wine shops, including Forlano’s in The Plains. The Edmandses would find that their growing business required them to live at the vineyard full time, but they felt they needed to recast the home from a weekend retreat to one that would accommodate their workhard/play-hard lifestyle. It was a labor of love, with long, busy days topped off by big, farm-table meals with their grown children and grandchildren, friends and vineyard employees. While they needed more space and plenty of updates, they wanted to maintain the rustic charm that made the home so unique. Though they came close to abandoning the idea due to the challenges that come with transforming a rustic barn into a luxe home, they found the just-right combination of expertise to make it happen: Middleburg architect Tim Clites and Mike Orndorff and his team at Ilex Construction.

photos by sean shanahan / courtesy of ttr sotheby’s international realty

—By Meridith Ingram—

june 2013

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P roperty

Opposite page: Signs directing visitors to the tasting room and winery at Vintage Ridge. This page, above: The Edmandses’ home, winery and tasting room are situated to maximize harmony with the land; below: a covered slate porch overlooks magnificent views of rolling hills and meadows.

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P roperty

Loft-like space outside the second-floor bedrooms provides relaxing reading nooks while still engaging with the great room below.

Designer and artist Meredith Brooks of Baltimore was also key in creating the home’s warm, inviting ambience. Wall colors throughout are rich and welcoming, punctuated with elements of interest like medallion stencils and warm washes. Brooks and Vicki, kindred spirits in personality, taste and energy, completed much of the finish work together, including painting the two-story great room. “We put up scaffolding, and Bill handed up plank after plank as we painted our way around the space,” says Vicki with a laugh. Custom window treatments in every room— from lush panels in the great room to tailored valances in stylish, but timeless fabrics in the master bath—add warmth and interest without detracting from the spectacular views from every window. Post and beam construction paired with hardwood floors—some of reclaimed Southern yellow pine—evoke simpler times of life in the country, while providing all the comforts and accommodations of modern-day living. A cook’s kitchen overlooks a generous dining area, which

leads to the great room where comfortable sofas and chairs frame the fireplace. A room off the kitchen serves as a butler’s pantry, mud room and laundry, with custom cabinetry providing ample storage space. On the other end of the house is a master suite featuring a full bath with marble countertops and heated limestone floors, and Vicki’s office, a glassed-in solarium of sorts where the couple’s dogs like to relax. There is also a room-sized closet with built-ins and a granite-topped island, recessed lighting and a petite chandelier. Stairs wind up to the second floor where two bedrooms each have full baths and their own seating area. In the renovation, the Edmandses decided to open the common space on this floor to look out onto the great room below to give it a loft-like feel, joining the spaces while still providing many nooks and crannies for books and objets. Outdoor living space is equally important to the Edmandses. Three porches run along the back of the house: a large screened-in porch for virginia living

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hosting big meals; a covered porch for relaxing and admiring the beautiful vistas; and, off the first floor master suite, a smaller private porch where the couple enjoys morning coffee. There is also a balcony off one of the upstairs bedrooms that opens onto the screened porch below where guests can enjoy evening breezes without the irritation of bugs. Other exterior features include an in-ground swimming pool, clay tennis courts, extensive hardscaping and a bountiful vegetable garden with mature plantings—from majestic crabapple trees to abundant perennial gardens. For the 10 months it took to renovate Vintage Ridge in 2006, the Edmandses lived in a small cabin (c. 1850) near the property’s entrance. Originally a blacksmith’s cabin, the structure is a piece of local evidence that helped Rectortown earn its designation as a Rural Historic Village, part of the National Register of Historic Places. Today the cabin features a kitchen, living room, bedroom and full bath, all while maintaining the historical charm of a true log cabin. History buffs will also be interested to know

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Clockwise from above left: Grape trellises cover seven of the property’s 44 acres; oak barrels imported from France; the pool and surrounding patio and the home’s porches provide outdoor living space; the tasting room and its outdoor areas accommodate up to 70 guests.

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Clockwise from above left: Fall color; the first-floor master suite is adjacent to an office and room-sized closet; the ample dining area blends seamlessly with the cozy great room; the cook’s kitchen looks onto the dining area.

that this area was said to be part of General Mosby’s encampment during the Civil War. Today, the Edmandses use this renovated treasure as a guest house. Just steps away from the main residence is the entrance to the winery and tasting room— appearing at first as a tidy outbuilding, perhaps a three-car garage styled and painted the same fresh barn-red as the home. Situated on a slope, however, the building actually encompasses space vast enough to accommodate a fully functioning winery and elegant and spacious tasting room on the lower level. It was completed by King Construction, a company well-known for building top-quality horse barns. Brooks’ talent is on display in the tasting room as well. Wide horizontal stripes painted in buttery tones decorate walls adorned with oversized art, featuring whimsical scenes of festooned horses and the family dogs dressed as court jesters. Handpainted wooden banners and signs celebrate the wine culture with literary quotes and expressions. Stainless steel tanks,

custom-made by Speidel in Germany, create a look of industrial chic. Vicki says that she has had to explain on occasion that yes, indeed, the tanks are functional—not props. Even the drain that runs the length of the floor is beautiful; when not in use during the winemaking process, it is camouflaged with a handpainted harlequinpatterned drain cover. On weekends, Vintage Ridge is bustling with visitors inside and out, new and returning, coming to enjoy wine, live music, snacks and good company. Up to 65 visitors can enjoy the tasting room at once, and the adjacent patio accommodates up to 70. One of the best things about operating a tasting room, according to the Edmandses, is the opportunity to build relationships with customers. “Most people who come to a winery are in a good mood,” says Bill. “We have loved living the whole vineyard lifestyle,” says Vicki. But now, say the Edmandses, it is time to move on to the next chapter, and pass on this well-established legacy. virginia living

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And now is the perfect time to get into the wine industry in Virginia. The area where Vintage Ridge is located was recently recognized as the Middleburg Virginia American Viticultural Area, making it Virginia’s newest AVA—an appellation bestowed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to wine-producing regions with distinct geographical features. This designation, registered with the government in September 2012, has increased local and national media attention and attracted even more interest to the area. After building a successful business and beautiful home, will the next chapter for this motivated couple call for learning a new skill, mastering a new piece of equipment, conquering a new land? We will just have to wait to hear the next story. ❉ Vintage Ridge Winery is for sale for $3,750,000 through TTR Sotheby’s International Realty in Washington, D.C. For more information, please call (703) 863-0077, or visit

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Clockwise: The tasting room at Vineyard Ridge is decorated with the same relaxed elegance as the Edmandses’ home; guests enjoy the tasting room’s outdoor areas; Bill and Vicki Edmands.

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P roperty

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The formal garden at Solliden, the home of Mark and Barbara Wheless.

How Does Your Garden Grow? After more than a dozen years, a mountain garden in Afton is still a work in progress … much to the delight of two dedicated gardeners.


oday, it is a world-class garden,

but 13 years ago the densely-wooded land in the rural mountains of Afton was clogged with an understory of scrub, brambles and rampant vines. “The English say it takes 12 to 15 years to make a garden,” says owner Mark Wheless. “I’ve learned that they’re right.” The journey to create this remarkable garden began in 2000 when Mark retired as a senior executive in the food and beverage business, and he and his wife Barbara decided to move south to Virginia from Connecticut. “When we were house hunting,” says Barbara, “our agent told us this house didn’t meet any of our specifications, but when we walked in and saw the view of the mountain ridge, we immediately knew it was what we wanted.” To honor his Swedish heritage, the original owner of the 275-acre property and house, which was built in the 1970s, had named the property Solliden after the summer residence of the kings and queens of Sweden. A man of focused drive and energy, Mark

immediately began working to clear away tangled undergrowth and small, weedy trees, being careful to keep every dogwood and redbud. It took three years for him to open up the seven acres of woodland that comprises the garden, but the time and labor was well spent: He grew to know the land intimately and to see its potential. “We’ve always been interested in gardens,” says Mark. “Whenever we travel, we visit historic gardens, so I had some sense of what I wanted.” He envisioned a series of gardens connected by casual walking paths that allow a visitor to experience the full spectrum of nature: the terrain, flora and fauna, water flow and vistas. To achieve this goal, he began creating paths that meander and loop through the hilly spaces. He wanted to take advantage of nature’s work, not change it. The Whelesses also knew they needed help creating a master plan. “Charles Stick’s name kept coming up,” says Mark. “It became clear that he was the best in the East Coast region.” The University of Virginia-trained landscape virginia living

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architect has clients all over the world and is the mastermind behind some of the most remarkable and respected gardens in Virginia, including Mount Sharon in Orange and Periwinkle Garden in Charlottesville. When they met in 2002, the one request the Whelesses made of Stick was that he incorporate a formal garden in the master plan. “The challenge of integrating a formal garden into a mountain setting appealed to us,” explains Mark. “Also, traditional gardens are more formal and structured near the house in contrast to the naturalistic designs as you move farther out.” That worked well for Stick, who has a reputation as one of the country’s leading landscape design classicists. The resulting plans included a classical formal garden of clipped boxwood parterres with a central pond and fountain. Positioned on the axis of the house, it can be seen from the living room balcony, allowing viewers to admire the pattern of paths and low hedges. The eye is arrested by

photography by catriona tudor erler

— B y C at r i o n a T u d o r E r l e r —

JUNE 2013

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the symmetric garden room, but then moves on along the axis created in Stick’s design to an obelisk in the distance and the magnificent mountain view beyond. The obelisk wasn’t in the original master plan. “Charles comes out once or twice a year to walk the property and determine what to do next,” says Mark. “A few years ago [2009] when he was here, he suggested we add the hourglass garden beyond the formal garden with an obelisk in the center to draw the eye to the mountain ridge. I would never have thought of doing that, but it’s perfect.” Then Stick decided a stairway down the slope from the higher parterre garden to the hourglass garden below would make a good transition. He made a quick sketch of what he had in mind, and Mark took it from there. He drew scale plans, researched the material (brick risers with grass treads) and passed the results to Stick for approval. Mark says that Stick recommended just one change: a slightly gentler curve at the base. Mark added the curve, and the stairs were installed under his supervision. The garden continued to grow and evolve with the apple orchard, which was planted in 2003. Learning that Gala apples won first prizes for flavor at state fairs more years than any other apple, the Whelesses planted Gala trees, along with Golden Delicious to act as pollinators and Fuji for variety. Now the trees fruit profusely, and every fall the Whelesses host an apple picking party that is a much-sought-after invitation among their friends. The next year, the Whelesses decided that daffodils would be just the thing to embellish the banks of a stream running past the house. In the poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” William Wordsworth describes his ecstatic encounter with a host of golden daffodils, exclaiming, “Ten thousand saw I at a glance, tossing their heads in spritely dance.” The Whelesses outdid that number, working with two helpers to plant 17,000 daffodil bulbs over a period of two years.

In late March and April, they do indeed flutter and dance in the spring breezes. That same year, a ridge on the hill behind the house was calling out to the couple to become the site of a council ring fire pit. It looks west, making it ideal for sunset fires with a view of the mountain ridges beyond the house. Mark used his backhoe to cut a trail leading up to the council ring and beyond, following the contours of the hillside to an even higher point, passing massive rock outcroppings and woods filled with mountain laurel and native ferns along the way. Farther up the hillside, a workman who had been clearing dead and storm-damaged trees discovered a natural spring: The Whelesses knew that was the spot for a pond. They used the soil they excavated to create the lake to heighten an existing mound overlooking the valley. Atop the wildflower-covered conical rise sits a thatched gazebo with wonderful prospects to the orchard and

“The challenge of integrating a formal garden into a mountain setting appealed to us,” explains Mark. house below and the mountains in the distance. Finding the right thatcher for the gazebo was yet another challenge. Mark learned that worldrenowned thatcher Colin McGhee is based in Staunton, just 30 miles from Solliden. McGhee, now 53, has been working his craft since he was 16. Trained in traditional methods, he works with old world tools to create thatched roofs that will last a lifetime. “After searching the world, here he was, living right on our doorstep,” Mark marvels. They had to wait nine months for McGhee to be available to work on their gazebo, but the result is a strikingly beautiful 12-inchthick roof that Clockwise from above left: Mass plantings of understory shrubs; the obelisk in the lower garden; golden daffodils line the stream.

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should last 60 years. In keeping with the wooded mountain setting, the majority of the garden is informal, but the scale is enormous. When Mark began working on the lower woodland garden in 2008, he planted 25 Pieris japonica shrubs. When Stick arrived for his semiannual visit that year, he told Mark that he needed enough shrubs to match the scale of the trees and the surroundings. Working from a sketchpad and then marking on the ground, Stick outlined the flow for sinuous paths to wend through the grove of tall tulip poplars. Today the large island beds are filled with flowering shrubs, including Aesculus parviflora (bottlebrush buckeye), Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Tokyo

Delight’, Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire,’ Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum (doublefile viburnum), Hydrangea quercifolia (oak leaf hydrangea) and Spiraea japonica ‘Shirobana’ to add interest throughout the season and to screen parts of the view so new vistas unfold as a visitor progresses through the grove. “My original 25 Pieris ended up being about 150,” Mark says with a laugh. The most recent project, started in 2010, is the wooded slope that runs down to the driveway. “I was working in those woods when it occurred to me that it would be nice to have a path through it,” Mark recalls. “I bulldozed a path and started planting. By this time, Charles had taught me that if I think I’ll need 50 plants, I should buy 150.” Swaths of massed shrubs now fill the slope, creating a tapestry of seasonal floral color and foliage texture, while ground covers planted en masse at their feet fill any bare soil, adding to the dense, luxuriant plantings. A good garden is never finished, and Stick and the Whelesses will continue to enhance what they’ve already accomplished. Mark says with justified pride, “I’ve taken photos of the garden through the years, and as it grows and matures, it keeps getting more and more beautiful.” ❉

4/16/13 5:14 PM

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Here: Pop’s patrons enjoying some after-school refreshments. Opposite page: Dreamsicle float at Artfully Chocolate.

Photography by Jeff Greenough virginia living

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june 2013

4/17/13 1:20 PM

Buzz Fizz


on the

Why are Virginians once more converging on barstools and huddling over effervescent concoctions inspired by the classic soda fountain?


You’ll see.

On a recent Saturday stroll through Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, I found myself standing in front of Artfully Chocolate Food & Fizz Bar. It had been hot, and nothing sounded better to me at that moment than an old-fashioned soda. The window sign advertising the bubbly delights took me back to my childhood in Indiana where, every spring, my grandmother and I would go to Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in Columbus. I remembered sipping my favorite cinnamon soda there—a mixture of cinnamon syrup, soda water, ice cream and whipped cream—and delighting in the pink foam that overflowed the glass like a science-fair volcano. I’ll never forget the glint of the cool marble counter and the shiny chrome stools and reveling in the feeling that I’d stepped back in time. Nostalgia is hot these days. To the television shows like “Mad Men” and “Downton Abbey,” and the popularity of vintage clothing, allow me to add one more nostalgic trend: the resurgence of the old-fashioned soda fountain. Bubbly water has always had appeal, thanks to its ability to settle the stomach, alleviate indigestion and relieve other common ailments. But it wasn’t until 1832, when British-born inventor John Matthews created a device that could carbonate enough water at one time for a street vendor to have plenty to sell, that soda became something anyone could buy. Soda water had emerged as a natural mixer for medicine in the 1800s. Thus, soda fountains cropped up inside pharmacies. Behind the counter, proprietors began experimenting with flavoring agents they could use to make the taste of medicine more appealing. At that time, it wasn’t uncommon for medicinal sodas to include such substances as tobacco, cocaine, morphine and arsenic, all believed to be harmless, if not actually helpful. In the early 1900s, however, government regulation restricted the types of stimulant substances that could be used in soda fountains. That, coupled with luxury taxes imposed by World War I and the development of bottled soda, forced soda fountain owners to add food to their menus and more ice cream to their sodas to keep business afloat. The soda fountain may have lost its edge but certainly not its

By Sabra Morris june 2013

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Clockwise from above left: Interior of the Artfully Chocolate store; The Majestic Cafe; Apple Pie and Orange Dreamsicle sodas at The Majestic Cafe.

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allure, as I discover when I step into Del Ray’s Artfully Chocolate. There, I find a place whose Old Hollywood vibe is a different kind of nostalgia than I’d expected, but it works. I picture Lana Turner sitting on one of the sculptural art deco-inspired black and red bar stools. Feeling very Carmen Miranda, I order a Piña Colada soda: C&C pineapple soda topped with toasted coconut ice cream. It’s pure fun. Once the fizz starts, my cup overflows with bright, almost neon-yellow foam. The dark flecks of toasted coconut in the creamy, dense ice cream are surprisingly and wonderfully chewy. Owner Eric Nelson opened Artfully Chocolate in 2006 and now has two locations, both in Alexandria. He added the “fizz” component to the Del Ray menu about a year ago. “I sort of recognized that there was this trend of soda fountains,” he says. “I thought it would be an interesting idea, and it was a logical extension of what we’re already doing here.” What Nelson was already doing, and is still doing well, are his signature “Diva” hot chocolates, each named after an iconic movie star. “We have one called the Lucille Ball, which has chipotle peppers in it for her fiery personality,” says Nelson. “We have a Liz Taylor, which has lavender in it for her lavender-colored eyes and a Marilyn Monroe with white chocolate for her platinum hair.” Even these drinks trace their roots back to the soda fountain. Though “cool drinks were the primary choice for summer, hot soda was preferred in the winter,” writes Darcy O’Neil, author of Fix the Pumps, a history of the soda fountain. “These drinks did not have any soda water in them, but most proprietors didn’t make this distinction because everything at the soda fountain was considered soda. ... Some of them were coffee with vanilla syrup or bourbon with a dash of celery bitters. Hot chocolate [often ordered by the slang term Snow Shoe] was another popular choice.” Artfully Chocolate’s fizz bar also offers a classic chocolate egg cream soda, a favorite of visiting and transplanted New Yorkers. The original chocolate egg cream recipe is said to have been developed at “a candy store down from the corner of Second Avenue and Eighth Street in Brooklyn,” according to O’Neil, though who actually made the first one has been subject to longtime

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Left: Cherry ice cream soda at Timberlake’s. Here: Old-fashioned thick chocolate milk shake at Timberlake’s.

with house-made chocolate syrup, homemade whipped cream, soda water carbonated onsite, and vanilla ice cream from the nearby Homestead Creamery: “Ours is real, stretchy, gooey ice cream,” says Davis, “it’s custardbased.” All I know is that it is delicious, rich and fresh. A cold, crackly coating forms where the bubbles meet the edge of the ice cream. The whipped cream gives a rich mouth feel and the ice cream is firm in just the right way. Though the soda is served in a small, sensible-size glass (not the super-size to which we’ve become accustomed), the whole effect is satisfying in a way no fast-food milk shake could ever be. Pop’s menu also includes local food, non-alcoholic rickeys (carbonated drinks make made with a base of fresh-squeezed juice and soda water) and even a homemade cola in lieu of Coke or Pepsi, which they dispense from a lever on the fountain that must be pulled forward in a jerk-like motion— hence the name “soda jerks.” In another nod to the past, Robertson and Davis use recipes from a vintage 1940s guide to soda fountain proprietorship called Let’s Sell Ice Cream. “It has everything you’d want to know about running a soda fountain,” says Robertson, “from repairs and maintenance of the fountain and freezers to hygiene for employees. There are even posters on what the male and female uniforms should look like. It saved our lives, because we looked around the area to find information on operating soda fountains, and we couldn’t find anything.” It’s this type of appreciation for craftsmanship, attention to detail and respect for real food that makes Pop’s both a throwback and a modern invention, appealing to those interested in today’s local, artisanal food revival. In that same spirit, the soda fountain is inspiring mixologists at bars and restaurants to create distinctive, high-quality cocktail alternatives. “We’re trying to offer an option for people who want something that’s good, that’s interesting and fresh without having to include alcohol,” says Daniel Orkwis, beverage director and manager at The Majestic Cafe in Old Town Alexandria. The Majestic serves seasonal house-made sodas consisting of homemade syrups mixed with a combination of fruits, herbs or spices and

debate. Today’s best known version calls for milk, soda water and Brooklynmade Fox’s U-bet chocolate syrup. Like other modern interpretations of the egg cream soda, Artfully Chocolate’s version does not contain an egg—the word “egg” in the title is thought to be left over from some of the earliest soda-fountain chocolate “milkshake” recipes, which included a whole egg and heavy cream or ice cream. “As economic times grew more difficult, removing the egg and switching the cream to milk was probably quite common,” writes O’Neil. Scales of economy are apparent even in some of today’s oldest soda fountains, where most soda beverages are made with bottled syrups, soda water from the soft drink machine and whipped cream from the can. Proprietors who mix their own homemade syrups, carbonate their water onsite and even make homemade whipped cream, as they did in the earliest days of the fountain, are rare. Happily, Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar in downtown Roanoke is one of the few establishments that do things the old-fashioned way. Owners Anna Robertson, 36, and Brandon Davis, 43, opened their shop seven years ago. They’ve managed to curate a serious throwback space, right down to the repurposed booths, traditional Libbey glassware and reclaimed Formica tabletops. “I had to research Formica to try to get our new [bar] countertop to look like the tabletops,” says Davis. “And this, I think, was the first pattern they ever made.” “I saw an ad in a 1930s issue of Life magazine with a picture of our glass as well as another 1930s Life cover photo of Rita Hayworth drinking an ice cream soda out of the same glass,” says Robertson. “The soda fountain is the heart of our business, really,” says Davis, but it sort of happened by accident. “We were planning at first to make ice cream, and we found the soda fountain online,” says Robertson of the 1930s-era fountain they bought on eBay. “The machine itself just had style ... with all this chrome and these curves and porcelain cups for holding the syrups and toppings. Even the sterling silver ladle is beautiful.” During my visit, Robertson prepares a classic Black & White soda made june 2013

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Anna Robertson and Robert Davis of Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar in Roanoke.

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A Swell Sip

Head to one of these establishments for a delicious soda fountain-inspired beverage this summer.

Timberlake’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain 322 E. Main St Charlottesville 434-295-9155

Goolrick’s Modern Pharmacy 901 Caroline St. Fredericksburg 540-373-3411

Artfully Chocolate Food & Fizz Bar 2003A Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria 703-635-7917

Pop’s Ice Cream & Soda Bar 1916 Memorial Ave. SW Roanoke 540-345-2129

The Majestic Cafe 911 King St. Alexandria 703-837-9117

9½ Speakeasy

The Betty Boop at 9 ½ Speakeasy in Charlotttesville.

melts, the drink becomes smoother. But for the classic version of the soda, there may be no better place to go than Timberlake’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain in Charlottesville—one of Virginia’s oldest soda-fountain establishments, in business since 1890. Still a full-service pharmacy and drug store, Timberlake’s drinks are made to order, just like the old days. “That’s where all of our popularity comes from today,” says owner John Plantz. “It’s still like it was 50 years ago.” Though the space has been remodeled, its original character has remained intact. Chrome barstools with cherry-red tops line up neatly beneath a granite countertop. A giant wood-trimmed mirror stretches across one wall. Photos of the original shop hang on the opposite wall. There’s even a fireplace at the end of the counter that heats the store on cold days. And you can still order classics like milk shakes, chocolate egg cream sodas and a variety of sundaes. I order a cherry soda, made with soda water, cherry syrup and vanilla ice cream. It’s served on a saucer, because any soda jerk worth her fizz will offer something to catch all that foam. It tastes as delightful as it looks. Charlottesville native Rob Coles, 60, is at Timberlake’s almost every day. (Coles is himself a local institution, being the fifth great-grandson of the father of the University of Virginia.) He remembers coming to Timberlake’s as a child. “Back then, you couldn’t have ice cream soda at home because you didn’t have the paraphernalia,” he explains. “We had an ice box at home but nothing like this. That very thing makes it a treat.” Perhaps the authenticity and deep history of the traditional soda fountain is what has made soda beverages endure through changing tastes and fads. Or it could be that the fizzy drinks they produce just taste, well, really good. “For me,” says The Majestic Cafe’s Orkwis, “it’s just about taking something fresh and making something delicious out of it ... something people want to taste and share.” I’ll drink to that. ❉

soda water. Lighter than the typical fountain drink, the restaurant’s orange cream soda, served simply in a pint glass with a little ice, is refreshing, with a bit of floral on the finish. Orkwis hopes to bring on a blackberry soda and possibly a strawberry rhubarb soda soon. “Spring is very exciting, because you have all these berries,” he says, “and it’s just fun to dig into a pint of blackberries.” Those who prefer a little booze with their bubbles have also been influenced by the soda fountain. At 9 ½ Speakeasy in Charlottesville, manager and bartender Joann Dunkle is developing cocktails against the backdrop of a swanky, secret space above her family’s restaurant, Fellini’s #9, in a bid to recreate a Prohibition-era watering hole like that of the Patterson House in Nashville and the Violet Hour in Chicago. Many of Dunkle’s drinks are inspired by the late 1800s and early 1900s when pharmacists used fruit juices, syrups and other flavoring agents to help the medicine go down. Her house-made tonic is made from Cinchona bark, lemongrass and zest and juice from lemons, limes and oranges. Mixed with vodka and finished with soda water from an antique soda gun, the tonic has a sharp, earthy flavor that mellows with each sip. There’s also the Bronx Cheer, which contains raspberry vinegar, long used for its medicinal properties, combined with Sailor Jerry spiced rum, white crème de cacao, Fee Brothers old-fashioned bitters and soda, and garnished with a blueberry sour string. For something that blends the complex cocktail with the innocence of the ice cream soda, Dunkle suggests the Betty Boop. “This is my take on a root beer float,” she says. It’s made with rum for a hint of vanilla combined with Galliano, a sweet herbal liqueur with a star anise flavor, coffee liqueur, a tiny drop of sarsaparilla extract and Coca Cola. Dunkle adds two small scoops of vanilla ice cream, drizzles a bit more sarsaparilla on top and garnishes it with a licorice stick. The first sip is stout but delicious. As the ice cream june 2013

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200 W. Market St. Charlottesville 434-979-4279


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Hot wheels 10

Our favorite cycling destinations, and the 4-1-1 from local wheels on the ground about where to ride, repair your gear and recharge after you tackle the trails. By Joan Tupponce We’ve got mountains. We’ve got flatlands. We’ve got miles of former train tracks reimagined in singletrack and doubletrack asphalt wending their way through coal hollers and urban enclaves alike. So it’s no wonder Virginia is home to some of the best and most varied cycling in the country. More than 800 miles of the U.S. Bicycle Route System are contained within our borders, making Virginia the state with the most bike miles in the system. And we are the only—that’s right, the only—state containing stretches of both Route 1 and Route 76, the country’s first two official U.S. Bicycle Routes. “Bike tourism is really growing around the world,” says Beth Weisbrod, executive director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation, which oversees the 55-mile-

long trail between Richmond and Williamsburg. According to a 2012 report from the Washington, D.C.based Outdoor Foundation, biking is the second most popular outdoor activity following running. Virginia will also have the attention of the worldwide cycling community when Richmond hosts (to much fanfare, by the way) the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships. Recent host cities include Florence, Italy, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Limburg, Netherlands. “It’s an event like the Olympics or the World Cup,” says Wilson H. Flohr Jr., CEO of Richmond 2015, which is organizing, managing and promoting the event. “We will be hosting more than 1,000 athletes from over 70 countries.” The championships will be covered by NBC Sports

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in the U.S. and broadcast worldwide. Flohr says they expect that more than 450,000 will come to Richmond to see the event and that the television broadcast will attract as many as 300 million viewers: “The amount of exposure for our region is going to be terrific.” All eyes may be on Richmond in 2015 but, over in the southwestern part of the Commonwealth, the small community of Damascus, population 814, has already achieved biking fame. Known as “Trail Town USA,” Damascus is home to—count them—seven major trails. “Damascus is a great illustration of the true potential of these types of trails,” for economic impact says Weisbrod. “The trails really define the town.” Now get out there and get your ride on, Virginia! The trails await.

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Cyclists ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Roanoke.


Y Roanoke Riders can explore 26 miles of paved trails on the Roanoke Valley Greenways, a network of ever-expanding trails including the Roanoke River Greenway, Lick Run Greenway, Mill Mountain Greenway, Murray Run Greenway and Tinker Creek Greenway. The city is also near the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, which has biking trails along its twists and turns. Bikers flock to Mill Mountain Park, home to Roanoke’s highest point (1,703 feet) and the famous Roanoke Star. Cyclists, especially mountain bikers, also enjoy riding along Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, the second largest municipal park in the U. S. The park borders a stretch of the Appalachian Trail and has more than 40 miles of trails. As a bonus, the reserve is home to several species of animals including bald eagles. The Explore Park Trail System near the Roanoke River Gorge features different levels of trails for mountain bikers. The Valley is also home to the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, which hosts the Famous Tuesday Night Ride, the largest regular group ride in the state. In June, Bike Virginia, which showcases the area’s best cycling routes, comes to Botetourt County’s Greenfield Recreation Park. Bike Shops include Cyclo+Ward in downtown Roanoke and Underdog Bikes at the base of Mill Mountain. Favorite gathering places for cyclists include Cornerstone Bar and Grill, Wasena City Tap Room and Grace’s Place Pizzeria. If you bike the greenway to Salem, check out Macado’s for some hearty sandwiches and Mac & Bob’s, a longtime local favorite. A convenient place to stay overnight is Cambria Suites, which is located close to the Greenway and offers bike rentals.

Cornerstone: (540) 527-2789



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photo by joe foley

The International Mountain Bicycling Association lists Harrisonburg as one of the 11 ride centers in the world—and it’s easy to see why. Shenandoah REFRESH Mountain Touring offers bicycle tours in the nearby George Washington National Forest. The forest has over 1,000 miles of trails (mostly mountain biking) and another 1,000 miles of scenic dirt roads. Reddish Knob, about 25 miles from Harrisonburg, offers great road rides as well as mountain biking trails from the top of the mountain. Wolf Ridge Trail REPAIR and Southern Traverse on Shenandoah Mountain also are popular with mountain bikers. Narrow Back Mountain and Lookout Mountain, both about 20 miles from Harrisonburg, are two new destination trails. In Harrisonburg proper, bikers enjoy Hillandale Above right: The Park, which offers bike paths for all levels of riders. Alpine Loop Gran Fondo begins in Shenandoah Bicycle Company on South Main Street and Harrisonburg. Rocktown Bicycles on South Mason Street are good sources Right: Jack for cycle gear and local info. Bikers who opt to stay over often Brown’s Joint. choose to stay at Stokesville Lodge near the trails, and gather at local restaurant favorites, including Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, Billy Jack’s Wing & Draft Shack and Rick’s Cantina Tex-Mex & Tequila.

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photo by kristen radloff

Y Harrisonburg


photo by scott k. brown / virginia tourism corp

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Y Damascus

A caption will go hereand a new caption goes here andhere always this caption.

Here: Bridge on the Virginia Creeper Trail. Below: Old Mill Inn.


photo by fred leonard above photo by cameron davidson / virginia tourism corp

Cyclists know this small town as “Trail Town USA,” thanks to its prime biking location. The Appalachian Trail, TransAmerica National Bicycle Trail, Iron Mountain Trail, Daniel Boone Heritage Trail, Crooked Road Musical Heritage Trail, Virginia’s Birding and Wildlife Trail and Virginia Creeper Trail, one of the most popular rail-trails along the Eastern Seaboard, all run through the area. The town has eight bike shops, including Adventure Damascus Bicycles, Bike Station and Damascus Cycle Works. Bikers often stop into Damascus Old Mill Inn near the Virginia Creeper Trail where they can grab a bite to eat and stay overnight. Mojoe’s Trailside Coffeehouse on Douglas Drive offers coffees and smoothies.


REPAIR Damascus Cycle Works: (276) 475-3083

Y Richmond bottom photo by tony hall. both photos courtesy of virginia tourism corp

Here: Biking near the James River. Below: Carytown Bicycle Co. Last year, RVA was named by Outside magazine as the nation’s most livable river town, and the park system REFRESH with its many high-quality biking trails had much to do with it. The 550-acre system includes popular trails Pony Pasture, Buttermilk, North Bank, Belle Isle, Huguenot Flatwater and the Wetlands. Other favorite cycling destinations in and near the city include Forest Hill Park and Pocahontas State Park, the Commonwealth’s largest state park. The trails in the James River Park System can REPAIR be broken down in different levels and experience, according to mountain bike enthusiast and volunteer Andy Burch of Richmond. “I wouldn’t recommend that a family go riding on North Bank or Buttermilk, for example. They are more on the intermediate to advanced side,” he says, noting that Buttermilk is his favorite ride because it’s fast and technical. “Pony Pasture in the James River Park System and Pocahontas State Park are great for beginners and families.” Bike shops in the city include Pibby’s Bicycle & Skate, Agee’s Bicycles, Carytown Bicycle Co. and Coqui Cyclery. Popular biking hangouts in the city include Bottoms Up Pizza near the Virginia Capital Trail, Sinè Irish Pub and Restaurant in Shockoe Slip, Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream near Forest Hill Park and Lamplighter Roasting Company in the Fan where the hipster cycling community gathers. The Jefferson Hotel offers its cycling guests information about trails and storage for their bikes and gear.

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right photo courtesy of alexandria convention and visitors association below photo courtesy of capital bikeshare

Special rides in and around Virginia Beach include First Landing State Park, a 2,888-acre park REFRESH fronting the Chesapeake Bay, and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park at the south end of the beach featuring large sand dunes and water marshes. False Cape State Sandbridge Park, accessed through Back Bay, has everything Sandbridge-Seaside-Market from wild horses to American bald eagles. Virginia (757) 426-6594 Beach also has four miles of bike lanes that have been added to Shore Drive and the north end of Atlantic Avenue, paralleling the Chesapeake Bay. Bike shops include Cherie’s Bike and Blade Rentals along the Boardwalk (info available at, Surf & Adventure, Conte’s Bike & Fitness and Back Bay Getaways. REPAIR Eat at Citrus Breakfast & Lunch near First Landing State Park, which was spotlighted on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” Hot Tuna and Chick’s Oyster Bar on Lynnhaven Inlet. Baja Restaurant is a local favorite in Sandbridge as is Sandbridge Seaside Market with baked goods, seafood and hand-cut steaks. Cyclists can stay overnight at Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center, Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront, or rent a cabin at First Landing State Park. Another option in the Sandbridge area is The Sanctuary—formerly a dedicated timeshare property, but now available for rent.

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photo courtesy of virginia beach cvb

Y Virginia Beach

Y Alexandria Alexandria sits on the scenic Mount Vernon Bike Trail, which runs along the Potomac River and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Cyclists can enjoy a picnic and bike to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens or follow the trails along the George Washington Parkway to see the Washington monuments. The Holmes Run Trail and Four Mile Run Trail, which links with the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, are two other popular trails. Alexandria’s bike shops include Bike and Roll Alexandria and Wheel Nuts, while members of Capital Bikeshare can choose a bike from one of more than 175 stations in D.C., Arlington and Alexandria and return it to another station near their destination. The city has bike lanes on Braddock and Commonwealth streets as well as Prince and Cameron streets in Old Town Alexandria. Some popular restaurants include T.J. Stone’s Grill House & Tap Room, Haute Dogs & Fries with its designer hot dogs and milkshakes, and Bittersweet Café, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Dairy Godmother in the city’s Del Ray neighborhood offers up Wisconsin-style frozen custard, sorbet and an assortment of bakery treats. Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco, just a few blocks from the waterfront, the Crowne Plaza Old Town Alexandria on the Mount Vernon Trail and Holiday Inn & Suites Alexandria– Historic District offer bikes for guests.

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photo by christopher hunter / virginia tourism corp

Y Leesburg

Cyclists on the multiuse W&OD Trail in Leesburg.

Y Farmville Farmville is situated in the middle of High Bridge Trail, an old train bridge built in 1853 as part of the Southside Railroad, which crosses the Appomattox River basin. Once a rail bed, the 31-mile, 125-foot-high trail offers flat, level riding with impressive views. It is the longest recreational bridge in Virginia and one of the longest recreational bridges in the country. Prince Edward-Gallion State Forest and U. S. Bicycle Route 1 are nearby as well. Repair in nearby Lynchburg at Blackwater Bike Shop. Popular stops in Farmville include Walker’s Diner on Main Street, a mainstay since 1955, and Charley’s Waterfront Café RIDE & Wine Bar, located where the trail crosses Main REFRESH Street. The Inn on the Avenues is a great place for an overnight stay. WalkersDinercom

courtesy of va department of conservation and recreation

photo by ashley beazley

Here: High Bridge Trail State Park. Right: Charley’s Waterfront Café & Wine Bar.

Built on the roadbed of the former Washington & Old Dominion Railroad, the multiuse W&OD Trail runs 45 miles from Leesburg to Purcellville. The 100-foot-wide trail is named after the railroad that used the tracks for more than 100 years. Mile markers along the trail provide information about the park’s features and history. Bicycle Outfitters stocks all that cyclists will need. Popular stopovers include Fire Works Pizza near the trail in Market Station and Mom’s Apple Pie, a family-owned pie store. Bikers who want to stay an extra day often choose the Norris House Inn near W&OD mile marker 34.5 or the Leesburg Colonial Inn in the same vicinity, which offers bike storage.

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Y Williamsburg

photo courtesy of the city of williamsburg

History takes a front seat along the more than 25 bike routes REFRESH in the Williamsburg area. The Virginia Capital Trail—still under construction—currently has finished an eight-mile stretch in James City County that runs from Jamestown Settlement to Chickahominy Riverfront Park. When it is complete REPAIR in 2014, it will stretch 55 miles and connect Williamsburg to Richmond. The Virginia Capital Trail is part of the Trans-America Bike Route, which runs 4,233 miles from Astoria, Oregon, to Yorktown. Bike trails in Williamsburg also run between and along the James and York River and along the 23-mile Colonial Parkway. Mountain bikers enjoy riding in New Quarter Park, York River State Park and Freedom Park. Cycling shops include BikeBeat and Bikes Unlimited. Popular stops for refueling include Harbour Coffee in New Town Williamsburg, and the Blue Talon Bistro on Prince George Street. Kingsmill Resort and the Williamsburg Lodge are two fun overnight destinations for cycling enthusiasts.




Y Ashland Residents of Ashland refer so, er, humbly to their quaint town as the “Center of the Universe,” an apropos designation when it comes to cycling. U.S. Bicycle Routes 1 and 76 run through the small town—U.S. Bike Route 76 starts in Yorktown and goes to Astoria, Oregon, and U.S. Bike Route 1 begins in Calais, Maine, and stretches to Key West, Florida. On any given weekend, dozens of bikes are parked outside of Ashland Coffee and Tea, which is only steps away from The Henry Clay Inn, a respite for bikers on long treks. Other restaurants on the biking trail include Homemades by Suzanne and Iron Horse Restaurant. The go-to bike shop in town is Olde Towne Bicycles on England Street.

photo by sarah hauser / virginia tourism corp

Above: Merchant’s Square in Williamsburg. Here: Iron Horse Restaurant.

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4/16/13 5:29 PM

Dog Show


When it comes to judging at Westminster, this Virginian gets our vote for Best in Show. It isn’t every day that you receive a letter in

“As a dog show

judge, you are an essential part of the fancy and carry enormous responsibilities.” —from Rules, Policies and Guidelines for Conformation Dog Show Judges, a publication of the American Kennel Club

the mail from the Westminster Kennel Club extending an invitation to judge their Best of Sporting Group at the prestigious All Breed Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City. But two years ago, Karen Wilson, 72, of Slate Mills, received just such a letter. Wilson, an approved American Kennel Club (AKC) judge in the sporting, hounds and terriers groups, has judged all over the U.S. as well as in Canada, Australia, China, Brazil and Denmark, and was delighted by the invitation to judge the 137th annual show. Though it wouldn’t be the first time the veteran would judge at Westminster—she had judged in four previous years—this was her first invitation to judge the Best of Group. “It is quite an honor,” says Wilson, a tall, striking woman with a warm demeanor, “and it’s live television, which is scary because you have to manage a timeframe in addition to your judging responsibilities. You only get two minutes per dog, tops, and you have to be aware of everything around you, not only the dog you are watching.” On Tuesday, February 12th, Wilson, dressed in a blue lace evening gown befitting the formality of the final nights of competition for the second-longest continually held sporting event in the U.S. (preceded only by the Kentucky Derby), took to the center of the ring to cast a critical eye on the best of 30 different breeds. They included some of America’s most popular like the golden and Labrador retrievers, whose trainability, loyalty and eagerness to please make them perennial favorites, the gentle and devoted cocker spaniel, and more obscure breeds like the vizsla, a hardworking pointer-retriever, and the wirehaired pointing griffon, whose rough coat allows it to excel in the field and in the water. Wilson admits to being nervous leading up to a high profile judging assignment like Westminster, but says that once she is in the ring and on task, it’s all about the dogs: “The nerves disappear, and your knowledge fuels confidence.” In the end, Wilson awarded the honor of Best of Sporting Group to a German wirehaired pointer, GCH Mt. View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm, owned by Victor Malzoni Jr. of

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photo by roger foley

by aynsley miller fisher

4/18/13 10:29 AM

Wilson with Nell, a nearly year-old Cairn terrier owned by DiAnn Flory of Culpeper and the fourth generation of Wilson’s breeding.

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Westminster winner Best of Breed and Winner of the Non-Sporting Group Bichon Frisé GCH Vogelflight’s Honor To Pillowtalk Sex: Dog Owners: Kathie and CDR John C. Vogel, USN (Ret.) of Virginia Beach

São Paulo, Brazil, and handled by Phil Booth of Blue Rose Kennels in Fowlerville, Michigan. Registered show names are often long and complicated-sounding to outsiders looking in, but to seasoned dog show exhibitors, a name tells the story of a dog’s origins. A prefix designates a title which has been earned through showing such as “GCH” or “Grand Champion” and the name will often have the breeder’s kennel such as “Mt. View’s” followed by a combination of the sire and dam’s show names. “This year’s sporting group was one of the best groups I have had the pleasure and honor to judge,” Wilson recalls. “If you read and study the breed standard and apply it to this year’s group winner, he is all that you would desire of the German wirehaired pointer.” According to the AKC breed standard that means a “wellmuscled, medium-sized dog of distinctive appearance,” whose most distinguishing characteristics are “its weather-resistant, wire-like coat and its facial furnishings.” With the judges asked to keep their cut—a final round of selections prior to the placing—to no more than eight dogs, the pressure is on to make a quick decision. Each breed has a written standard and judges are expected to evaluate the dogs against that standard as it relates to temperament, conformation and showmanship. While it may appear straightforward to audience members, judging in the ring is incredibly difficult. Judges give each dog their undivided attention during their two minutes in the spotlight, but as a result cannot see the other dogs at all times; sometimes things are missed. Wilson explains that spectators sitting in the stands would have the vantage point to see if a dog is standing cow-hocked—a conformation flaw—waiting in the line up on the perimeter of the ring, something the judge who is evaluating another dog might not see. Wilson and her husband Gary, who are both from California, first got into working with dogs in 1965 when they saw an ad in the paper for an obedience trial. The family’s passion for the sport took off when Gary bought an Airedale terrier and Karen bought an Irish setter and they joined an obedience club. They began showing in virginia living

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Westminster winner Best of Breed Bedlington Terrier GCH Lamz Eleanor Rigby Sex: Bitch Owners: Gabrielle Gibeau and Laurie Zembruski of Centreville

photo top by mary bloom, left by steve surfman, top by lisa emery

Wilson looks at the Sporting Group Winner, German wirehaired pointer GCH Mt. View’s Ripsnorter Silver Charm (center).

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Westminster winner Best of Breed Scottish Deerhound GCH Foxcliffe Enchanted Evening Sex: Bitch

photos top left and right by lisa emery, bottom right by mary bloom

Owners: Cecilia Dove and Dr. R. Scott Dove DVM of Flint Hill

conformation shows, or “breed” shows, in which a judge evaluates dogs against the breed standard as defined by the AKC. “That was truly the beginning of this whole hobby,” says Karen. “To this day, the Irish setter holds Westminster winner a special place in my heart.” Ever the consummate judge, she adds, Best of Breed “However, if I’m judging one, it’s Airedale Terrier got to be spectacular.” When Gary’s job with the U.S. GCH Penaire's Chip Leader Forest Service relocated them to at Longvue Manassas in 1969, they continued Sex: Dog showing their dogs. Their two young daughters Teresa and Owners: April and Todd Tamara, who were 8 and 9 years Clyde of Dagsboro, old at the time, also participated in junior showmanship and the family Delaware, and Joan and traveled to not only the local shows, Will Clarke of Williamsburg but also to shows in Pennsylvania and New York. In 1970, the family bred their first litter of Irish setters and named their kennel “Karengary.” Their puppies would go on to great success in the show ring earning many championships; CH Karengary’s Classic was one of the top male Irish setters in the country during the 1980s. In a sport where owners are not always so hands-on—in many cases, show dogs live with their professional handlers—the Wilsons did it all. “We were the owners, handlers and breeders,” says Wilson. In 1976, after Karen developed back problems, her doctor told her that if she wanted to continue to show dogs, a smaller breed would be a better choice. That’s when she bought her first Cairn terrier, which is known for its small size, lively personality and desirability as a family pet. Wilson admits that at one point, the family had 24 personal dogs in their kennel, many of which included puppies, even though they were only actively showing three to four dogs. “For us, our dogs were part of our family,” says Wilson, “you keep them forever, even after their show careers are over. They were our pets.” Wilson began judging in 1991, but came to it in a roundabout way. Her daughters were very involved in competitive gymnastics throughout high school and college, and Wilson began judging their competitions. This experience eventually led her to dog shows, which, she says, felt like a natural evolution for someone who loves to learn. “When I was a competitor, I loved the competitive atmosphere,” explains Wilson. “As a judge, it’s exciting to be always searching for that special dog that fits the written standard of that breed.” To become an AKC-approved judge, one must have owned and exhibited dogs for at least 12 years and have bred five litters of puppies, four of which must have become champions. Rigorous training is followed by testing and in-the-ring assessment of performance as a provisional judge. Once approved by the AKC, judges must complete continuous education seminars every three years. There are 3,000 AKC-approved judges in the U.S. But for Wilson, judging is not just about conformation and show-day excellence. “Sportsmanship is very important on the part of the owner and handler. We all compete to win, but I feel strongly that we need to be equally gracious with our wins and our losses.”

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Like many competitive sports where awards are based on a person’s opinion, the dog show world is not without politics. Once the judging assignments are announced, the campaigning often begins. Wilson says that despite her excitement at being invited to judge the Best of Sporting Group at Westminster this year, she had to keep her judging assignment a secret until 10 months before the competition due to the potential political maneuverings that accompany campaigning a show dog at the top level. Wilson is quick to point out that displays of poor sportsmanship make a lasting impression. (Once, a handler was not pleased with his ribbon and snatched it from Wilson’s hands during an awards ceremony.) But after nearly 47 years in the dog show world, having judged at all three of the major dog shows in the U.S. and many more abroad, Wilson remains passionate about her sport. She travels from her home, which sits on a mountaintop in Culpeper County and is filled with the memorabilia of a life devoted to dogs, an average of two weekends a month to judge shows, and has several international assignments on the calendar. When her schedule allows, Wilson, a grandmother to 11 and a greatgrandmother to one, has judged baked goods, jams and jellies, quilting and needlework at the State Fair. “I love to sew, cook and garden,” she says, but most of all, “I love to learn, and dogs can teach us a lot about life.” What does Wilson say she has learned from dogs? “Patience, compassion and a generosity of time and self,” she answers. “I always told people who bought one of my puppies that they should raise their dog just like their children with a lot of love, discipline and compassion. If you give love and compassion to a dog, they give it back in spades.” ❉ For a complete list of Virginia’s winning dogs at Westminster this year, go to

Wilson evaluates a German shorthaired pointer.

4/17/13 1:37 PM

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D eparture car talk A Southern-fried book tour conjures memories of cool rides. B Y d e a n k i n g | i l l u s t r at i o n by c h r i s g a l l


very half decade or so, I abandon my desktop

computer (not to mention my family) and take a road trip to promote my latest book. Two months is not unusual. Still, this one figures to be a bit more involved than most. The subject of my latest— The Feud: The Hatfields & McCoys: The True Story—you might say, invites controversy. I will be making a circuit through Appalachia and the Deep South, where over the years the two fierce clans, along with their opposing views, have spread like banyan roots. They’re sure to be at odds with some of what I have to say. All of which might have something to do with how I came to be holding

forth to a crowd in a four-door grease bay, with a vanity-plated Mercedes waiting outside to whisk me away. Let me try to explain. I’m not a car guy—no mourning over the recent retirement of Click and Clack for me—but a good road trip needs a suitable vehicle. Not that anyone would have forecast a Mercedes in my future. My first car? A twotone Nova, chocolate (to put it nicely) brown with a beige vinyl top. It was a muscle car with no finesse and no pizzazz. Picturing it brings back the cars my friends had at the time. One buddy had a blue-and-white Colt, a sardine can, amped primarily by a glove box-mounted cassette deck blaring Molly Hatchet, Styx and Kansas. Another had an electric car—electric lime green, that is—a Satellite Sebring with Cragar Mags and a floor aswim in teenage male debris: fast food refuse, athletic gear and unmentionable clothing. There was a royal blue Audi (later crumpled on a telephone pole), a Scout that went through a fence and rolled, and an early-’70s wood-paneled Buick Electra Estate station wagon that could not be defeated no matter what we did to it. My old pal Tayloe, who is a car guy and, in fact, after graduating from VMI worked in an Army base carpool in Germany, likes to fantasize about buying all our friends the cars they had in high school. Of course, virginia living

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he had the coolest car, which may be the point of his fantasy—a black Monte Carlo with rear air shocks for looking baaad, and a Pioneer stereo with Jensen tri-axle speakers. “Sweet Jane” never sounded so good; “L.A. Woman” was mind-bending in those confines; and there, in “Take Me to the River,” we heard the bold future. My college pal George from Baltimore had an infamous high school car called “The Limburger Mobile,” which earned its name after a conniving classmate pulled out the back seat and hid a wedge of the cheese underneath. On a good day, Limburger, a soft, meaty-flavored Belgian cheese, evokes dead squirrel. After it baked on the floorboards of the car for weeks, the stench was indescribable. My Nova disappeared when I was in college after my buddy Del left it in front of a frat house—unlocked, on a Friday night, with the keys still in it. With the meager insurance payout, I bought my first Mercedes: a ’69 300 SEL; a real prince, with European lights, white fabric seats, and a sunroof so big it felt like the retractable roof of an NFL stadium. How was I able to procure this luxury? Well, it came discounted, due to the fact that it had been rebuilt by the shop class at Chapel Hill High. And the ol’ boy was in for even worse. After I punched it on a lawn boulder on a bend near Gimghoul Castle, Del and I drove it gingerly home, rented a winch, attached it to a tree and pulled out the grill. We repaired the radiator, and a body shop applied putty and paint. Soon thereafter, my prince fell on his sword right in the middle of the busiest intersection on Franklin Street, never to stir again. Which brings me full circle. Earlier this year, my daughter Hazel, a high school senior, and I were sharing my ’93 Volvo wagon— vintage and hip to her (though the use of the word “hip” is no longer that, she insists)—when I saw a silver Mercedes wagon for sale on the street. The sunroof was not as big as the SEL’s but, hey, it was relatively new by my standards—a 2000—had all-wheel drive, and, um, only 123,000 miles on it, just the thing for a tour of the Hatfield-McCoy feud country. And now we arrive at the grease bay, the first stop on my book tour. My local Exxon, The Village Exxon in Richmond, embraces the arts. One Sunday each quarter, the shop is transformed by station clerk-cum-poet Hope Whitby into “Art in the Shop,” a gallery for Outside, my readings, music and art displays, raising money for war veterans through the Wounded Warsilver bullet, rior Project. You can listen to poetry with your propped up on the hydraulic jacks. It’s a fine lubed and oiled feet place to start a tour of Appalachia and the South. for a speedy Outside, my silver bullet, lubed and oiled for a speedy exit, awaits. exit, awaits. The vanity plate? It reads: “The Feud”—and, to all you Hatfields and McCoys, I mean that in a neutral sense. ❉ june 2013

4/16/13 5:21 PM

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Virginia Living - June 2013  
Virginia Living - June 2013  

Get in gear for the June 2013 issue, featuring our 10 favorite cycling destinations in Virginia, a guide to old-fashioned soda fountains aro...