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Cycling Chic • Luxury Tailgating • Weddings

True Blood

Virginia’s Indian tribes preserve their rich culture for the next generation.

october 2012

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Slow Food Feast

Mount Airy Plantation

Performing Arts Season Preview 8/24/12 8:57 AM

Guardian Orders 2 Parcels

Public Auction

Historic “Milford” Estate

Waterfront Home on 16+ Acres Also Antique Furnishings & Contents

90+ Acres Land Saturday, October 6th at 10 A.M. Guardian Orders - Public Auction

Historic “Milford” Estate

Waterfront Home on 16+ Acres and 90+ Acres Land Also Antique Furnishings & Contents Sale Held On The Premises

391 HAVEN BEACH ROAD Mathews (MOON), VA 23119 Sat., Oct. 6th at 10 A.M. REAL ESTATE TO BE SOLD FIRST: For almost 400 years, a Billups descendant has owned “Milford” Homestead. The 2-Story home believed to have been built in the 1600’s has 5 Rooms, 5 Original Brick Fireplaces with Wood Mantles, Paneling, Elegant Staircase, Wood floors. A 2-Story Addition added in 1951 has 2 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, Kitchen, Living Room, Family Room, 2 Fireplaces, 2 Screened Porches. 2 Out-buildings from the 19th Century, Plus garage/shed. The Home is situated on Billups Creek, looking to “Milford Haven” on the Chesapeake Bay. “Milford” Homestead is a designated “Virginia Landmark” LAND PARCEL: 90 Acres+/-, Wooded, located across road from Home FURNISHINGS/CONTENTS: {Highlights} Early 1800’s 9-ft Corner Cabinet, 1800’s Mahogany Drop-side Table, 1800’s Mahogany Pembroke Table, 2 Early 1800’s Maple Beds, 1850’s Walnut Beds, 1800’s Cradle, Victorian Parlor Set, Jelly Cupboard, Oak Drop-front Desk, Brass Dog Andirons, Rockers, Books, Glassware, Linens, Trunks, Rugs, Several Generations of Items and Collectables. See more on websites. Terms: All Deposits Cash or Guaranteed Funds. Home with 16 acres: $25,000. Land: $10,000. Entirety: $35,000. See Bid Packet for Terms Furnishings, Contents: Cash or Guaranteed Funds. Approved Local Check, Immediate Removal Required. 10% BP. (Vaaf 285)

Call Linda at 804-695-1222 for Information Packet with Terms. (id 4843) or

Absolute Auction* 5 Waterfront Lots

52 Acres Total - 2,500 ft Waterfront

North River At Mobjack Bay

Part of Historic “Green Plains Estate” Mathews (North), Virginia 23128


Saturday, October 13th at 11 A.M. Absolute Auction* Part of Historic “Green Plains Estate”

5 Waterfront Lots North River At Mobjack Bay Mathews (North), Virginia 23128 Part of Historic “Green Plains Estate”

Sale Held At: Comfort Inn Rt. 17 & Forest Hill Ave., Gloucester, VA 23061 Sat., Oct. 13th at 11 A.M. Property Directions: From Gloucester Court House, Rt 14 East, Make Right At Rt. 620 Chapel Neck Rd., Take Daniel Ave. Property on Right. Parcel “A” - 4.9 Ac, 275’ Water Frontage - *Starting Bid $150,000 Parcel “B” - 4.15 Ac, 275’ Water Frontage - *Starting Bid $150,000 Parcel “C” - 2.95 Ac, 295’ Water Frontage - *Starting Bid $150,000 Parcel “D” - 2.35 Ac, 345’ Water Frontage - *Starting Bid $150,000 Parcel “E” - 37.9 Ac, 700’ Water Frontage - *Starting Bid $350,000

Call Linda at 804-695-1222 for Information Packet with Terms.

Entirety - 52.25 Ac, 2,560’ Water Frontage

All Parcels Have 4 Bedroom septic permit letter, Daniel Ave Road Easement Agreement, Road Maintance Agreement and Elevation Survey Terms: A Deposit of $25,000 on Lots A,B,C & D, Lot E $50,000 In Cash or Guaranteed Funds At Time And Place of Sale. Entirety Deposit $150,000, 10% BP. (Vaaf 285) *Financing Available to Qualified Purchaser* In Association with Bay and River Realty (id 4843) or

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This is the real (fashion) deal. Saturday, September 22 in the new Fashion District The Runway Event • 2:00 p.m. • Neighborhood 1 Fashion District

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Join the fun at RWC for the first ever Run for Your Life 5K on Saturday, October 13, 2012, at 8:00 am. For adults and children of all ages. 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. For more information, call to request your complimentary copy of our Embrace Life Today DVD today.

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Editor’s Letter

VOLUME 10, NUMBER 6 October 2012 Published by

Cape Fear Publishing Company 109 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219 Telephone (804) 343-7539, Facsimile (804) 649-0306 Publisher

John-Lawrence Smith EDITORIAL STAFF editor Erin Parkhurst Art Director Sonda Andersson Pappan associate editor Daryl Grove assistant editor Lisa Antonelli Bacon CONTRIBUTING Editors

Bland Crowder, Bill Glose, Caroline Kettlewell, Sarah Sargent, Richard Stone CONTRIBUTING writers

Suzanne Gannon, David Macaulay, W. Matthew Shipman, Peggy Sijswerda, Ben Swenson, Joe Tennis, Kathleen Toler, Joan Tupponce, Randolph Walker CONTRIBUTING photographers

Amy W. Carroll, Kip Dawkins, Adam Ewing, Roger Foley, Ron Garland, Patricia Lyons, Jay Paul, Michelle Renee CONTRIBUTING illustrators

Jeff Koegel, Robert Meganck, Rob Ullman editorial interns

Nik Conklin, Sophie Karatsikis, Darryn Mumphery, Cayla Stanley art interns

Parker Benbow, Nina Stoddard Advertising executives central virginia sales MANAGER Torrey Munford (804) 343-0782,

Christiana Roberts

(804) 622-2602, eastern virginia

Thomas Durrer

(804) 622-2614,

Philip Schultz

(804) 622-2605, Northern Virginia

Marc Edwards

(804) 622-2603, western virginia

Heather McKinney

(804) 622-2611, OFFICE STAFF OFFICE MANAGER Carolyn Birney assistant oFFICe managER Maria Harwood Creative Services director Jason Mazzola Creative Services Assistant Will Trible circulation manager Jamilya Brown Web editor Daryl Grove COrpORATE SPONSORSHIPS Torrey Munford Groundskeeper Melwood Whitlock Activities & Morale Director Cutty Assistant Activities & Morale Director Rex CALENDAR ADVICE

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. POSTMASTER

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

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

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 LEGALISMS

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

(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_OCT12.indd 13

Inside Look Late last summer, heading into fall, one of my sons was invited by a friend and his parents to attend a Chickahominy powwow. No one in our family had ever been to a powwow, so it was an exciting invitation. It turned out that my son couldn’t go, but a seed had been planted, and my interest in Virginia Indian culture was piqued. When I mentioned the powwow to some of my colleagues in the office, I found others shared my curiosity—and embarrassing lack of information. How many Indian tribes are there in Virginia, and how many Indian reservations? How do the tribes maintain their culture? What happens at a powwow? How are younger generations of Virginia Indians claiming their heritage? Questions kept leading to more questions, and soon, our cover story in this issue was born. Williamsburg-based freelance writer Ben Swenson, who wrote a fine feature story for us last fall about the history of coal in Virginia, happened to get in touch around this time and, in a bid for the best-timed pitch ever, suggested a story about, you guessed it, Virginia Indian culture. Ben spent the last year traveling to the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Indian reservations—the two oldest in the nation, we learned—and meeting members of some of the 11 tribes recognized by the state of Virginia. He and talented Richmond photographer Adam Ewing visited tribal centers and attended powwows, and spoke to Indians at their offices and homes and churches around the state, including Nansemond Indian Jesse Bass, who appears in full tribal regalia on our cover. Ben’s story answered all of our original questions, and more. Around 5,000 people belong to Virginia’s tribes, and many of them are working to sustain their heritage for future generations—a rich culture of which all Virginians should be proud. Deep history was clearly on our minds these last months because we also bring you an exclusive look at Mount Airy Plantation in Richmond County, home to 10 generations of the Tayloe family whose roots in the Commonwealth stretch back to the days of the British crown. Tayloe Emery inherited the 1,400-acre estate from his grandparents, and today he and his wife Catherine Bouldin, and their two young sons, live on this beautiful Northern Neck property. Theirs could be seen as a heavy burden; how does a young family care for and protect a 254-year-old home and estate for the next generation? But the Emerys have spirit and, just as important, creative vision. They are working to create a sustainable business for the next generation of Tayloes by opening the estate for hunting and fishing parties, as well as weddings, tours and teas, and historic study. The Emerys invited us for an exclusive look inside their gracious home and shared with us their thoughts about being the stewards of one of Virginia’s most special places. Also in this issue, feature stories about the important work the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point is doing to protect our fisheries, and a preview of the madness, mirth and mayhem that some of the state’s top performing arts companies will have on stage this season. There is more, including our story about the Slow Food way of life. That’s right, we discovered it is not a fad; Slow Food is a way of cooking and eating that top chefs and growers are embracing. Manakintowne Specialty Growers in Powhatan hosted us along with five of their chef/client/friends for a Sunday afternoon feast fresh from the farm. We enjoyed the chefs’ delicious creations and the lively talk around the table about the simplicity and superiority of slow food. Also inside, citizen archaeology opportunities around the state, Northern Virginia interior designer Lauren Liess and a project to save Pittsylvania County’s historic tobacco barns. Lastly, on behalf of all of us here at Virginia Living, I congratulate all of the athletes who were part of the Virginia contingent on Team USA competing last summer in London. Five of you came home with medals, but you all inspired us. Thank you for representing the Old Dominion so well!

—erin parkhurst, Editor

Dear Editor: The August Virginia Living has, once again, hit the ball out of the park—The Diamond or, for us oldsters, Parker Field—with your wonderful article on Richmond! Virginia Living is always eagerly received in the mail, and this issue is excellent summer reading. Being born and raised in Virginia’s capital city, it was great to read about all the energy and positive changes happening in Richmond. Thank you from all of us Richmonders, no matter where we may find ourselves now, for reminding us that there is no place like home. Go RVA!!!

Dear Editor: As a young couple that represents the balance of one lifelong Richmonder with one newly-minted Richmonder, your article “Capital Ideas” filled us both with a newfound passion and pride for our city. The homegrown entrepreneurial spirit and the community we share often go overlooked, and we should not soon forget them. Thank you for your article, and thank you to those who continue to make our city unique and special. Matt Mikula and Elizabeth Bradshaw richmond

Letters to the Editor

Write to us!

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! Please 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 On page 19 of our August 2012 issue, Martha Steger should have been credited for her photo of Jeff Abugel, owner of Hiram Haines’ Literary Restorative and Coffe House.

Thomas D. Goodwin Jr. Lexington V i r g i n i a

L i v i n g

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contents october 2012 Virginia Living

FEAt u r e s

food & home

d e pa r t m e n t s



Upfront 17 Interior designer Lauren

the good fight The Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point stands watch over one of Virginia’s most precious assets: its fisheries. By W. Matthew shipman


curtains up! A preview of the fall/winter performing arts season for a handful of Virginia’s top companies. By joan tupponce


a proud legacy A look at the deep history of Virginia’s 11 state-recognized Indian tribes, and their even deeper commitment to carrying their rich heritage forward into the future.

a slow food feast Five of Central Virginia’s top chefs gather at Manakintowne Specialty Growers’ bucolic farm in Powhatan to create the freshest of feasts and talk about the slow food way of life.

By lisa antonelli bacon


mount airy plantation For 10 generations, this 254-year-old Richmond County estate has been home to the Tayloe family. A look inside the neo-Palladian plantation and the next generation’s plans for its future. By kathleen toler

Liess, better butters, two new restaurants from the folks at Rappahannock River Oysters, 25th anniversary of the Virginia Film Festival, the gospel-singing Paschall Brothers of Chesapeake, cycling chic, Barter Theatre, Bellwether and more!

click 39 Social functions around the state, supporting art, institutions and charities.

weddings 43 Weddings from across the

Commonwealth done in grand Virginia style.

profile 45 Citizen archaeology

opportunities around the state in honor of Virginia Archaeology Month in October. By peggy sijswerda

49 virginiana

An effort to preserve Pittsylvania County’s remaining tobacco barns. By randolph walker

shopping 52 Our favorite finds to furnish the ultimate fall luxury tailgate!

96 departure

A bear-sized adventure in Shenandoah National Park takes Grizzly Bill from boasting to chagrin. By bill glose

By ben swenson

O n t h e cov e r Nansemond Indian and Norfolk resident Jesse Bass, in full regalia. Photograph by Adam Ewing

P h oto g r a p h by Pat r i c i a lyo n s

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olden times



Beauty Pageants

Barter Theatre

Cycling Chic

Lauren Liess tops the list of interior designers to watch in Northern Virginia.

by Mary Burruss

Style & Sensibility As a child, interior designer and Northern Virginia native Lauren Liess spent warm summer days strolling in the sun near her grandparents’ cottage in Antioch, Illinois, stopping alongside the road to contemplate the unassuming beauty of various wildflowers like thistles, Queen Anne’s lace and chicory. “To this day, seeing Queen Anne’s lace growing on the side of the road or in a field instantly brings me back to childhood summers,” says the 30-year-old beauty. It is that sense of nostalgic innocence, love of nature and Zen practicality that, in a few short years, has landed the designer’s work on the pages of Better Homes and Gardens, Rue and Victoria Magazine as well as a spot on Washingtonian Magazine’s 2011 list of top interior designers. And the buzz surrounding the busy designer and mother of three continues following the launch of her first textile line earlier this year. Encouraged by her rapid success and the more than 60,000 visitors to her blog—Pure Style Home—Liess has created fabrics ranging from crisp black and white combinations to soft mottled looks that feature a menage of classic geometrics and organic florals, and often a dash of whimsy. “I’ve always been a bit obsessed with patterns,” says Liess. “I still remember fabric tile patterns from my grandmothers’ houses when I was a little girl.” In Liess’ hands a combination of squares and circles becomes “squircles,” a zig-zagging chevron is embellished with a leafy fern filagree, and a floral-infused

paisley contains a hidden message to “live your life” like the surprise in a Fabergé egg. Surprisingly, Liess says that though she always knew she had a knack for decorating—“I was constantly helping friends decorate their rooms”—she didn’t think she could make a career out of it. She studied communications and creative writing at James Madison University and worked in public relations after graduation, but friends and family continued to ask her for interior design advice and soon were referring her to others. Liess then resolved to design interiors for a living and enrolled in Sheffield School of Interior Design, which is based in New York. She hung her shingle as Lauren Liess Interiors in 2008 and quickly gained a reputation in the D.C. area for good work. Liess also began blogging in 2008, and says that the thousands of visitors who follow her musings have helped her build confidence as a designer and businesswoman. “I think maybe some people like reading my blog because I’m very honest about my work life there. There are lots of pretty things in interior design and in life—decorated rooms, fresh garden flowers, smiling kids—but there are also a lot of not-so-pretty things, including business dilemmas, back-ordered products, daily messes, personal misgivings and laundry piles, so I try to share a bit of it all,” says Liess. The blog also allows potential clients to understand Liess’ style

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and personality before they interview her for a job. “I will meet clients for the first time who have been reading my blog and they will give me a big hug and say, ‘I feel like I already know you.’ It is really special,” she says. Liess has lived and worked from her home in Herndon—a ’70s split-level so dated that even her realtor had trepidations regarding its purchase— since 2009. Despite the realtor’s misgivings, Liess says she loved the wooded area around the house and, as a designer, saw potential in the space. Via a series of cosmetic changes over three years, including updating light fixtures, adding fresh paint, ripping out cabinets to open the kitchen and replacing floor coverings, Liess and her husband, David, created a base for the soft, comfortable look that is the hallmark of her style and reflects the lifestyle of our new mobile era—that blur between work and family. It is paramount to Liess that her three boys—age four, two and under one year—feel happy and welcome in all parts of the house. Her office is located in the basement, which opens to the family room, allowing the boys to play close by while she works. The great room, which encompasses a living and dining area, has an uncluttered, airy feel and is done in creamy whites with moss green accents. A light-colored cowhide rests on a warm tan grass rug, giving the boys a soft place to play on the floor. Natural elements such as leaf motifs gracing accent pillows and chair upholstery bring the outdoors into the space. A bookshelf jam-packed with eclectically arranged books, small busts and a variety of vases also holds two wooden wine crates filled with toys easily accessible to the kids and offers a visual contrast to the serenity of the living area décor. In the kitchen, Liess covered the front of an older refrigerator with black chalkboard paint, transforming it into a message board or an entertainment center for kids during meal prep times. In Liess’ home, beauty is balanced with practicality. Liess’ casual elegance, more formal than the shabby chic trend of the previous decade, but less stuffy than the carefully matched rooms of our grandparents’ era, has situated her at the crest of the next design wave. (Liess will be refurbishing and decorating a new home for her family this year, and is considering expanding into retail sales and upholstery.) “My personal style is sort of an eclectic mix of furniture styles with both old and new materials and finishes, and lots of natural textural elements,” says Liess. “I love a generally clean look but,” she adds with a laugh, “with a little bit of mayhem sprinkled throughout.” i l l u s t r at i o n b y r o b e r t m e g a n c k

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Deer Candy The strawberry bush rewards those who can wait until fall to enjoy its bright red fruit. I may have made this point before, but I’m no big enthusiast for autumn. It gets cold. The plants die. The drowsy summer sounds of cicadas and tree frogs are replaced by a whining chorus of leaf blowers. And then winter comes. What’s to like? OK, I’ll concede that fall (which in my book is mostly just a prelude to the long, dark, coat-wearing months) may have a few redeeming qualities, including those fleeting, perfect autumn afternoons when the great burst of bright colors stands out against a deep blue sky. And then there are those certain native plants that almost shine in autumn as the sea of undifferentiated green that is summer is gradually replaced by scarlets and golds and deep, ruddy reds. One of these plants is euonymus americanus, a.k.a. “strawberry bush,” a.k.a. (and with a colloquial name like this, one is tempted never to call it anything else) “hearts-a-bustin’.” In the spring and summer, it is a pleasant green shrub not strikingly

distinguishable from any other pleasant green shrub. Even its advocates admit this. When the Virginia Native Plant Society’s John Clayton Chapter, which encompasses the Williamsburg, Hampton and Northern Neck areas, named strawberry bush its “Wildflower of the Month” in October 2010, the description began with this, er, ringing endorsement: “Strawberry bush is a shade-loving shrub that goes unnoticed much of the year.” If, however, you did somehow happen to notice your nearby euonymus americanus, you would see that it has narrowly oval, pointed, slightly toothed green leaves and a tidy upright habit; it’s not one of those plants that goes sprawling all over the place like a layabout teenager on summer break. The blooms of the strawberry bush, though entertainingly odd little creatures, could not by any generous stretch of the imagination be called “showy.” Each sits at the end of its own long stem (or “pedicel,” if you

prefer the technical term). They are flat, with greenish-yellow shading into a kind of purplish antique rose, and at their center is a disc (not the technical term) with stubby pistils and stamen poking out. Frankly, the thing looks like some alien craft that got lost from the mother ship. The strawberry bush flowers in early summer. Then comes, in the memorably vivid words of Helen Hamilton of the Virginia Native Plant Society, the “warty fruit covering.” This starts out a pale green, and it is the promise that really, no kidding, things are going to get interesting for those of you with the patience to wait. Because come autumn—yes fall, yes that time of year— hearts-a-bustin’ (or sometimes, “bursting”) earns its name and finally hits its stride. Those warty fruit coverings ripen into a brilliant fuchsia. The leaves turn a lovely pinkish-red. And then the fruit coverings burst open to reveal the bright, shiny red fruit within. This is the strawberry bush’s grand moment on the stage before winter shoulders in to retire it back to the chorus line for another year. Some parts of the strawberry bush are supposed to have medicinal value, but I wouldn’t recommend testing this theory with experimental practice. The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Plant Guide notes that “the seed is a strong laxative,” and elsewhere—for example, in the Virginia Native Plant Society write-up—this point is made more explicitly: The words “severe diarrhea” come into play. A widely reported but unconfirmed claim found across the Internet adds that the seeds can also cause cardiac arrest. On the other hand, if you are deer, you apparently cannot resist the strawberry bush. Jan Newton, who is director of the education committee for the Virginia Native Plant Society, says, “Strawberry bush is often referred to as ‘deer candy.’” In fact— though I’m not quite sure how you measure the absence of something— according to the USDA’s Plant Guide, you know when you have too many deer because all the wild strawberry bush disappears. So while this shade-happy understory shrub makes a great ornamental plant, if you lovingly add a bunch of these to your garden (and you don’t have a tall fence and possibly also a large dog for good measure) you may come out one morning to find them all eaten to the ground, and then your own heart will be a-bustin’ as well. —Caroline Kettlewell V i r g i n i a

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         �����

M a k e a n E S TAT E m e n t

Fine Estate Jewelry from

121 Libbie Avenue | Richmond, VA 23226 | (804) 282-7018 |

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8/23/12 2:55 PM

The Best Little Oyster House in Virginia Rappahannock River Oysters opening new restaurants this fall in Richmond and D.C. By Erin Parkhurst

Merroir, Rappahannock River Oysters’ über-delicious riverfront tasting house in Topping, has been such a success since it opened in July 2011 that the operation is taking its bivalves and hitting the road. The enterprising Croxton cousins, Ryan and Travis, who in 2001 revived their family’s century-old oyster business and put the Chesapeake Bay oyster back on the map, will open Rappahannock Oyster Bar in D.C.’s newly refurbished Union Market on September 8. They will then open Rappahannock, a seafood restaurant, at the corner of Fourth and Grace streets in Richmond around the first

of October. “The D.C. place is meant to be a straight-up oyster bar,” says Ryan Croxton. “We will have some small plates, but it will be oyster-centric. We want the oysters to be the hero here.” Richmond’s Rappahannock, on the other hand, will offer a full menu, which will be set by long-time Croxton friend, Chef Dylan Fultineer of Chicago’s Blackbird and Santa Barbara’s Hungry Cat fame. (Fultineer will plan menus for all three RRO restaurants.) “Rappahannock is about us stepping back, and Dylan stepping forward and bringing his genius to the table,” says Croxton. The restaurant will feature a 40-foot bar in the center of the 2,200 square-foot space. “At the bar, the shucker will be in front of you, and the idea is we want to create a more communal space where there can be as much conversation as possible.” Meanwhile, Merroir’s apron-clad oysteristas will continue to serve Stingrays, Olde Salts and signature Rappahannock River Oysters from its rustic Northern Neck shop where diners can enjoy their briny goodness in full view of RRO’s operation. Everything at Merroir is simply cooked on grills or served raw. “Merroir is about celebrating the location on the water,” says Croxton. “Everything there is small plate stuff, not complicated.” Plans for both new locations were hatched around April this year. Acknowledging the ambitiousness of opening two new restaurants almost simultaneously, Croxton laughs: “We’re crazy, yeah. But it’s fun!”

Better Butters Peanut Butter Grows Up. By Lisa Antonelli Bacon It’s that time again when parents across America prepare for their daily battle with the lunch police—that brigade of hungry, but discerning, school-age diners who demand culinary excellence in their lunch bag every day. Every parent who has ever tried to sneak a run of the mill PB&J into her little darling’s brown bag knows that if it’s dry and boring, those sacks will hit the lunchroom garbage can in a New York minute. Reginald’s Homemade to the rescue. Andrew Broocker, 38, of the Richmond-based nut butter manufacturer, has come up with an alternative for the lunchbox classic.

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And the ingenuity and sophistication of the flavors make them appealing to grown-up taste buds, too. Named for Broocker’s beloved cockapoo, Reginald’s Homemade nut butters promise all the nutrients, combined textures, and flavors that keep our little munchers healthy, happy and ready for that next pop quiz. In fact, Reginald’s offers so many flavors that you could have a different sandwich every day for two weeks, eliminating the ennui of a daily diet of plain old Jif. There are the original, smooth and creamy versions, of course, followed by: Apple Sin Peanut Butter, Nana Honey Peanut Butter, Double Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter,

Andrew Broocker, owner of Reginald’s Peanut Butter. White Chocolate Macadamia Peanut Butter (which scored high on our taste test), Cashew Nilla Cashew Butter, Hazelnut Amaretto Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Molasses Cashew Butter, and Bourbon Pecan Peanut Butter

Wine in the City Virginia’s first urban winery comes to Norfolk. by David Macaulay The narrow streets of Norfolk’s trendy Ghent district seem an unlikely place for a winery, but 31-year-old Jennifer Eichert Doumar had seen similar city-based establishments thriving in locations as diverse as San Francisco and Cincinnati and thought it could work. So this past May, Doumar, who grew up in California and moved to Virginia in 2003, opened Mermaid Winery, Virginia’s first urban winery.

Starting this fall, Mermaid will pick grapes from Horton Vineyards and others, transport them to the Ghent district winery, then crush, ferment and bottle their wine right there in town. Ghent urbanites can sample Mermaid Winery’s six varieties, from the Cabernet Franc to the East Beach peach wine, in the modern but cozy tasting room, and all without worrying about that long drive back from the country.

(maybe don’t send this one to school). All are made with peanuts from Wakefield, carefully chosen by Broocker, who set out to find the most flavorful peanuts to craft his butters. “I get the perfect peanut, raw and skins off, and we roast them,” he says. “There is no comparison to the flavor.” For now, the original 10 flavors are available in specialty stores and some farmers markets in Richmond, Williamsburg and Charlottesville, retailing for $5-$8 per nine-ounce jar. Broocker expects to develop more flavors this fall. Because the ingredients are all natural, their shelf-life falls short of that of big brand labels. “It’s OK,” explains Broocker, “because you’ll want to eat them immediately.” And we did.

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Harmonizing History National Endowment for the Arts honors Chesapeake gospel group, the Paschall Brothers. By erin parkhurst

photo by Jon


the group since the beginning. “When my father passed, we were going to give up. He was the catalyst, but we were always encouraged,” explains Paschall. “We’ve been truly blessed.” One of just nine recipients of the 2012 fellowship—and the only winner in Virginia—the Paschall Brothers, who were also one of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ Folklife Apprenticeship Program’s first Master Artists in 2002 and who have performed at the Kennedy Center and in several National Folk Festivals, will join their fellow award winStanding: Rev. Tarrence Paschall Sr., Renard Freeman Jr., Renard ners on stage at the George Freeman Sr. Kneeling: Tarrence Jr., the late Frank Paschall Jr. Washington University Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C., for a free concert on October 4. In mellifluous four-part harmony, the The Tidewater a cappella gospel style, a regional Paschall Brothers have spent their lives keeping the style that emerged following the Civil War and tradition of Tidewater a cappella gospel music alive. reached its apex in the 1960s, has waned, and And this year the Chesapeake-based family group, today the Paschall Brothers are among just a few founded in 1981 by the late Rev. Frank Paschall groups performing it. Why? “Because it takes work, Sr., has won the nation’s most prestigious folk and I’m telling you it takes work!” laughs Paschall, traditional artist’s award for preserving the form’s who says that singers have nothing to hide behind buttery rhythms and long history—the National when performing a cappella. Paschall likens perfectEndowment for the Arts’ National Heritage ing this style of music to nurturing an apple tree: Fellowship. Previous fellows include B.B. King. “It takes years for an apple tree to grow an apple, “We still can’t believe it, you know what I but you’ve got to keep tending it,” adding, “Hard mean?” says the soft-spoken 53-year-old Rev. work pays off.” Tarrence Paschall Sr., who has been singing with

Slimy Science Robotic jellyfish comes to life in Blacksburg. By SOPHIE karatsikis

Robojelly looks remarkably similar to a real jellyfish.

Virginia Tech, along with four other universities nationwide, is working to create a robotic jellyfish—minus the sting of course—for the U.S. Navy. The project aims to replicate the graceful manner in which the translucent maritime menaces propel themselves, and then put the underwater bots to work. The five-year Biomimetic Jellyfish Robotic project, better known as Robojelly, which began in 2008, utilizes a sophisticated rubbery skin that covers the electronics contained inside the faux jelly’s body. “We are trying to understand then demonstrate how jellyfish propel and stabilize their bodies, and the interaction between fluids and the body,” says project leader Dr. Shashank Priya, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and engineering at Virginia Tech. A team of eight to 10 Virginia Tech graduate students is currently working alongside researchers and Priya. Robojelly will use the same rowing and jetting mechanisms as its aquatic doppelganger, but what sets it apart is how the small models will power themselves— they will use hydrogen from water. Jellyfish are

Welcome Home, Mr. Monroe A priceless painting is unveiled at Virginia’s Executive Mansion. On a steamy sun-soaked afternoon last June, Queen Elizabeth I politely relinquished her place of honor in the state dining room at the Executive Mansion in Richmond. Supplanting the Virgin Queen and the first English monarch to sponsor the colonization of North America is James Monroe— Virginia’s four-time governor (1799, 1800, 1801 and 1811) and the fifth president of the United States. It was a peaceful transfer of power. The monumental portrait of Monroe, painted by Rembrandt Peale between 1817 and 1825, replaced the more than 200-year-old portrait of the queen—a 1926 gift to Virginia from Viscount and Lady Astor—that hung in the state dining room for decades. (The queen’s portrait was moved to the Ladies Parlor.) “Monroe was the last of the founding fathers to be president,” says Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library in Fredericksburg, “and he fought in the revolution, so there is a certain irony to sending the British monarch off to the parlor and putting Monroe there.” The portrait is on loan to the mansion from the museum-library until February 2014 in honor of its bicentennial next year. Monroe is credited with securing the funding needed from the General Assembly to build the mansion. Harris says seeing the portrait in such a place of honor “is certainly a gratifying experience.” But, he jokes, “I caution to make too much of this because I do want it back!” We imagine the queen feels the same way.

attractive candidates for this research because of their unique composition—about 95 percent water and 5 percent body mass—and also because they can travel at various depths. As the structure is streamlining its way toward completion, researchers are recognizing Robojelly’s potential for data collecting and underwater surveying. “Our goal is to model the science with a variety of different applications,” says Priya. “The jellyfish could have the capability to filter out small particles and take out small chemicals and biological agents from the water.” That function of Robojelly would help with disasters such as oil spills. Other possibilities include bouncing sensors off the bodies of the jellies in order to learn about the geography of the undersea environment by measuring magnetic fields. The five-year, $5 million Robojelly project, which is funded entirely by the Navy, is one year away from completion, and this fall the Virginia Tech team will develop functions such as turning capacity for the models, bringing this electrifying project one wobble closer to its first deep-sea adventure. V i r g i n i a

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LAX On Screen Virginia filmmakers’ lacrosse movie gets international release, domestic distribution. By Suzanne Gannon Screenwriter Todd Baird and producer Mitchell Peck played varsity lacrosse together for Richmond’s Collegiate School in 1987, winning the state championship after an undefeated season, including a victorious comeback from 8-3 down against archrival St. Christopher’s with just four minutes left on the clock. “We came together as a team in that moment,” says Baird of the inspiration for his and Peck’s lacrosse movie, “Crooked Arrows.” Baird began work on the screenplay while visiting Peck in Hollywood in 1993, where his former teammate had a studio deal with 20th Century Fox. “At first it was a standard sports idea with an inspirational angle,” says Baird, who is today a radiologist. “But when you added the element of the origins of the game, then it really became compelling.” Lacrosse is thought to have originated in the 1100s, when an early version of the game was played from sunrise to sundown by Native Americans. The plot? A modern-day ragtag team of Native American lacrosse players, with a conflicted mixedblood coach (played by Brandon Routh, star of “Superman Returns”), takes on snooty prep-school teams in an attempt to restore pride to the reservation and, in the words of Routh’s character, “return

lacrosse to our people.” Peck’s agent was enthusiastic, but unable to sell the film to a studio. “Several times we came very close,” says Baird of trying to sell the world’s first ever lacrosse movie. “But the system wasn’t ready for a movie about a niche sport with an ethnic protagonist. What makes the movie unique is also its curse.” Baird eventually headed back A Native American lacrosse team battles its nemeses in “Crooked Arrows.” east for medical school, but Sunaquot Nation team. Peck continued pitching the pair’s film. “I stuck After the picture enjoyed both a limited North with it,” says Peck. “I always thought it was worthy. American theatrical release and a European premiere It was ahead of its time.” in Amsterdam this past summer, the studios finally After 15 fruitless years, Peck, whose previous paid attention—Sony Pictures will release “Crooked projects include the 2011 Sony Pictures thriller Arrows” internationally, while 20th Century Fox will “Priest,” decided to produce “Crooked Arrows” distribute the movie domestically via DVD, Bluindependently. He raised $8 million and completed Ray, Video On Demand and the Internet starting the film in 11 months, recruiting real-life lacrosse October 23, bringing lacrosse home to all people. playing members of the Onondaga, Tuscarora and Mohawk nations to act as members of the fictional

Bad Boy Bootleggers Matt bondurant’s bestselling book about his family’s franklin county moonshining days becomes a feature film. By Bill Glose

Shia LeBeouf portrays Jack Bondurant in “Lawless.” When Matt Bondurant discovered his grandfather and grand-uncle had been dangerous bootleggers in Virginia’s Franklin County during the Depression, he wrote a best-selling novel in 2008 called The Wettest County in the World based on their story. The movie rights were optioned, and today the story is playing on a movie screen near you. But spirits aren’t the only things that get distilled in this rough and tumble story—so does its name. “What it comes down to,” Bondurant says, “is that The Wettest County in the World is quite a mouthful for a movie title, and it doesn’t make sense internationally. Most places have never heard of wet counties and dry counties. So they wanted

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something that was shorter, to the point; something that was provocative.” “Lawless” fit the bill. Hollywood heavyweights Tom Hardy and Shia LeBeouf portray Bondurant’s relatives Forrest and Jack Bondurant. “It was surreal to see things they were doing on the set that came directly from the book,” says Bondurant, an English professor at the University of Texas at Dallas who, with his father, spent time on the set. “Watching Tom Hardy play out a scene in his restaurant where he fights off these guys in a scene that I wrote and seeing them say the lines and dialogue that I created was very bizarre.” Bondurant’s novel is also being rereleased, but the name has been changed to coincide with the movie, and the cover will use images of the actors. A shame, since the original cover featured a Depression-era photo of Bondurant’s grandfather. But what Hollywood takes away with one hand, it returns with the other. “The only picture I have of the three of them together is from 1917,” Bondurant says. “So it’s when they’re really young. Jack is just nine years old. But at the end of the film they put this shot up on screen to show the real brothers. So that’s pretty cool.” Now the whole world will know where the wettest county used to be. And that the Bondurants were the baddest boys in town.

Save the Date the 25th annual Virginia Film Festival From November 1-4, Charlottesville will host the 25th annual Virginia Film Festival. Presented by UVA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the festival packs over 100 screenings, panel discussions and parties into three days, and attracts some of the cinema crowd’s most elite players. What’s new for this year? “I guarantee there will be films that have to do with politics,” says Jody Kielbasa, the festival’s director. In a nod to this election year—and the 40th anniversary of Watergate—the festival will present the new “Presidency & Film” series. Will Steven Spielberg’s movie “Lincoln,” scheduled for release November 9, be screened at the festival? At press time, no one was telling, but we have our fingers crossed. “Melancholia” played at the 2011 VFF.

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by b l a n d c r o w d e r

Old, Bold and Looking Good pageantry for women of a certain age. In 1937, the members of Norfolk’s Three Score and Ten Club couldn’t have known what they were starting. They put together a simple “bathing beauty” pageant, but years ago what had Tidewater abuzz was the twist: It was grandmothers-only. The club persuaded a sweet 16 contestants, ranging in age from 70 to 85 “summers,” to strut their stuff on the stage of Blair Junior High School, reported the Suffolk News Herald. Makeovers were provided courtesy of students at the Southern School of Beauty Culture. Once “dolled up,” the “girls” modeled authentic bathing suits flashing as far back as the Civil War, through the Gay Nineties and past the Roaring Twenties to the mid-’30s. The contest committee, reported the paper, spent weeks “ransacking cellars and attics to find just what they wanted.” One suit even came from England. The ladies paraded to the musical accompaniment of the state champion Fireman’s Band of Norfolk. The region’s grandmas were all invited, and a special section of free seats was reserved for those 90 or older.



Virginia Commissioner of Fisheries years ago W. M. Dee, of Lancaster County, pays a routine visit to oyster inspectors Jones and Price in Westmoreland County. It must be a slow news week, because after this news makes that county’s paper, the story is picked up by the Northumberland Echo, of the county sandwiched betwixt the two. But the meat in this Northern Neck po’ boy is not oysters—it’s the news that Dee, despite being plagued by persistent ophthalmological problems, has just returned from a jaunt across the pond and feels “as well as ever.”


Barely a year after the first male human was years ago blasted into space, Janey Hart, wife of a Michigan senator, urges Congress to create a program for women astronauts. The Buena Vista News reports “what father, or husband, would want his daughter, or wife, blasting off in a rocket to the moon, with all the dangers she might face?” The writer continues: It’s not a question of whether she has the “‘right’ to be an astronaut. It’s rather a question of ... what role we want the sexes to play in our society.” Sally Ride will answer that question in 16 years.

This will be the last edition of Penny Postcards. We thank you for many years of your delightful submissions! If you sent us a postcard that we did not use, it will be returned to you.

I llustration B y rob ullman


With the arrival of TV, the beauty pageant world blossomed, and the spotlight shifted to the more youthful appeal of 20-somethings. But the concept of pageants for “seniors” did not fade away, and in Virginia, and nationwide, tiaras are not just for toddlers anymore. Virginia, for 28 years now, has held the Ms. Virginia Senior America Pageant, selecting a contestant to represent the state in the national event held each year in— shocker!—Atlantic City. And much like that other thing still associated with that town on the Jersey Shore, contestants are evaluated in four areas: interview, evening gown, inner beauty and talent. The “certain age” of contestants— known as the Age of Elegance—is 60 and up: Virginia contestants last year ranged from 61 to 75. This year’s winner, marathon-runner and entertainer Kat Fanelli of Annandale, is 62. The pageant seeks to emphasize that older people are “the foundation of America, and our most valuable treasure,” a good point in a country seemingly populated by sea-to-shining-sea Kardashians. With similar sentiment, Gov. Robert McDonnell last year marked the 27th anniversary of the Virginia pageant in a certificate of recognition, stressing that “it is important for Virginians to recognize, appreciate and learn from the knowledge and experience of our Commonwealth’s senior population by encouraging them to remain contributing members of their families and communities as active citizens.” Contests may have matured in lofty ways in the past 75 years, but beauty remains pageant-deep. Take an ad in the 2011 Virginia pageant program, for instance. It thanked a Northern Virginia cosmetic surgery center for its “support of the Ms. Virginia Senior American Pageant for the last 10 years.” This ain’t your granny’s beauty pageant!


Betsy, the sole member of the K-9 division of the Smyth years ago County sheriff ’s department, has the chance twice in one week to prove her value, says a story in the Smyth County News. First, two boys and a girl flee a family argument, making off with a gun apiece and some camping gear. Almost 19 hours later, Betsy applies her bloodhound nose to pick up their scent and in a threemile chase leads her handler directly to the young fugitives. Four days later, Betsy locates an intoxicated man in the woods, passed out in a ditch, and gives him quite a licking. On the face.

p e n n y P o s tc a r d s BY Da r ry n M u m p h e ry

Road With a View During the crisp months of autumn, Virginians enjoy venturing outside to that certain spot for the perfect view. The Old Dominion is home to many scenic overlooks that capture the effervescent charm of the great outdoors.

Sunset View From Reddish Knob, George Washington National Forest Sent by Harry E. Preble, Dale City The peak of Reddish Knob rises to 4,397 feet, making it one of the highest points in Virginia. As a part of Shenandoah Mountain, it is located between the counties of Pendleton and Augusta, within the Potomac watershed. Travelers from all over enjoy the 360-degree view of the forest from this peak.

Castle Rock on the New River,


Sent by Gloria Cheney, Williamsburg This cliff was one of many to form as the world’s second-oldest river carved its bed millions of years ago, later abetted by the rise of the Appalachian Mountains. Visitors enjoy prime fishing, canoeing and tubing on this stretch of the picturesque, northerly flowing waterway.

Apple Blossom Time, Shenandoah Valley Sent by Sandra Fitzgerald-Parsell, Bristol The Shenandoah Valley is known for its fertile soil, and that soil causes the apple orchards to flourish in the spring. The orchards stretch from south of the Potomac into West Virginia and yield some of the most flavorful, high quality apples in the U.S.

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The Show Goes On the beginning of a new Era at abingdon’s Barter Theatre. arrived in 1990, praises Rose for the ets to his “Barter Theatre.” “tremendous growth of the theater.” The opening year was 1933. Yet Rose’s leadership has not been Legend says one man subwithout controversy. He has pushed sequently slipped a dead boundaries in this isolated southsnake into the box office western Virginia community. Cast to gain admission; another members in a production of “The Full milked a cow on Main Monty” stood on stage in G-strings, Street. (It is rumored that and occasionally performers swear once some bartered turtles on stage; some have even shed their got loose in the lobby.) clothes, as they did in the 2003 Barter Marquee actors, includStage II production of “The Liquid ing Patricia Neal, Frances Moon,” a play that won headlines Fisher, Kevin Spacey, Gary and big attendance records. Rose Collins, Wayne Knight and offers no apologies. “That single show Larry Linville (TV’s Frank did more to establish our organizaBurns on “M*A*S*H”), tion, both from a donor standpoint earned their chops on and from a branding standpoint, than the Barter’s stage. It was anything we’ve done,” he says. “It also a proving ground for wasn’t gratuitous. It was a religious James Burrows, a creative piece in the end, so it really did force behind hit TV shows match up with the morals and ethics “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “Will and Grace.” Piper says, of the people of this region. And we “I think it’s neat this theater, stood our ground. We didn’t cave in to people saying, ‘You can’t do it. that was based on such Above: Barter Theatre’s newly renovated lobby. Below: Richard Rose in front of the You have to take it off the stage.’ And a unique idea, has influneon doors, which were designed by artist D.R. Mullins. I think people had more respect for enced so many people who that.” Certainly, Rose says, not all have come through here— they do is well received. “Some peoGregory Peck or Ned Beatty or Ernest before the unveiling of the space, Earlier this year, the 180-yearple say they’re never coming again,” Borgnine or all these other guys who 90-year-old Mary Dudley Porterfield, old Barter Theatre building in tiny Rose says, laughing a little. “And then second wife of the theater’s legendary went on and did many other things.” Abingdon, a town of fewer than you see them at the next show.” All these years later, the shows founder Bob Porterfield and a force 8,000 residents, ushered in a new Would Bob Porterfield have done go on at Barter Theatre, which, in herself behind the operation followera with the unveiling of its newly it this way? “Ah,” Rose says with a 1946, was named the State Theater ing his death in 1971, died, closing renovated and expanded lobby. Its bare-faced grin over a hamburger at of Virginia. On its two stages, nearly the curtain on the first 81 years of the unique neon doors, made by local Abingdon’s House on Main restauyear-round, the Barter Theatre theater’s history. artist D.R. Mullins, provide a blazrant. “Bob Porterfield, in his memproduces musicals, comedies and The affable but unemployed Bob ing blend of modern art that “moves oirs, talks about when they did ‘Cat thought-provoking, controversial Porterfield conceived the idea for Barter into the next century,” says on a Hot Tin Roof’ for the first time. dramas under the direction of the the theater after returning home to Associate Director Nick Piper, while And, in the beginning of the second larger-than-life artistic director Rose, Virginia from New York when he Richard “Rick” Rose, the theater’s act, there’s this whole, long swearing who came to town 20 years ago and couldn’t find work there as an actor producing artistic director, describes segment by Big Daddy. And by the managed to nearly double attendance second intermission, he remembers in his first year. Piper, an actor who one of the ladies in town coming up to him and saying, ‘How dare you do that?’ And he says, ‘Well, Miss, why are you still here for the third act?’’’ Rose, who grew up in a large family in rural Lena, Wisconsin, arrived in Abingdon with Aldridge, his wife of 30 years, who has designed costumes and helped produce during the Great Depression. Born the space as “not so modern that the shows. Like the Porterfields, who in 1905 in Austinville, Porterfield historic is lost.” It was an important also worked side by side at Barter had grown up in nearby Saltville. He moment for the theater, which draws Theatre, the Roses start with tradibrought with him a rag-tag troupe of more than 160,000 visitors a year to tion and push ahead: “I think people long-haired, hungry actors who—natthis courthouse town—once a burley come to Barter because we focus on urally—raised eyebrows among the tobacco capital, and still a commerce storytelling and the heart of a story,” center for the nearby coalfields whose genteel socialites of Abingdon. Yet Aldridge says. “The key to any of Porterfield, always a charmer, soon inviting pastures and skyscraping that,” Rose adds, “is to respect the showed how well his actor budmountains delight the painters, playpast and move to the future. In other dies could sing “Rock of Ages” at an wrights, storytellers and actors who words, you can’t live in the past. Abingdon church. Next, Porterfield come together for Barter Theatre proAnd you can’t allow the past to dictold farmers they could fork over ductions throughout the year. tate who you are or what you want their tomatoes, potatoes, cottage But it was also a bittersweet your vision to be.” cheese and milk in exchange for tickmoment for the company. Just days

“Some people say they’re never coming again,” says Rose, laughing a little. “And then you see them at the next show.”

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a rt s |

BY S a r a h S a r g e n t

Practice Makes Perfect Karen Blair’s pursuit of joie de vivre.

Above: “James River Turquoise Sky.” Below: The artist.

I meet Karen Blair at her light-filled second floor studio in the McGuffey Art Center, Charlottesville’s artists’ cooperative. Tall and slender, Blair, who is 58, has classic blue-eyed, blond good looks and I’m not surprised to learn that she worked as a fashion model for Richmond’s once-famous ladies’ specialty shop, Montaldo’s, after her graduation from UNC Greensboro. Though her degree was in fine arts, Blair’s route to becoming a professional artist was circuitous; she did not take up painting until about 10 years ago when her youngest children—twins—were in fourth grade. Her star has been on the rise ever since, and she has had shows in Richmond and Charlottesville galleries. Her work has also been acquired by a number of corporate collections, including Phillip Morris USA, Capital One, Couric Clinical Cancer Center, UVA Hospital and The Jefferson Hotel. Today, Blair is an inspiration to anyone who has put aside an avocation to focus on other, perhaps more practical, things. Blair devotes herself now almost entirely to her art, painting landscapes (rural scenes, gardens, cityscapes), interiors and still lifes. In addition, she also does portrait commissions. “Painting is my life,” she says. “It’s a compulsion. Being in the studio settles me; I am at peace with the world and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” Blair, a native of Winston-Salem who has lived in

Crozet since 2010, works five days per week for six to eight hours each day: “I have to be disciplined,” she explains, “in order to stay focused and get the work done.” Blair first began taking courses at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School with Marjorie Perrin, an award-winning portrait and landscape painter who has been teaching there since 1989. Perrin eventually told her: “I’ve given you all you can get from me. You need to go to Eleanor Rufty.” Rufty, also a teacher at the Studio School, together with her late husband, Richard Carlyon, who taught at VCU, influenced a generation of artists studying in Virginia. Their work provided an important example for Blair of the perseverance and commitment needed to establish one’s place in the art world. In 2003, Blair won a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont, the largest international artists’ and writers’ residency program in the U.S. She describes it as a pivotal experience that exposed her to people who were doing art full time and able to make a living from it. “Painting is such a solitary pursuit. Residencies provide a real sense of community and an affirmation of what one is doing.” Blair was also a 2008 fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst. Blair is constantly observing the world, employing not just her eyes, but all her senses. When out in

nature, she notes wind, temperature, moisture, birdsong, smells, etc., incorporating all these aspects into her impression of a place. Her aim is to produce a fully fleshedout representation of her subject, and capture its essence in a more powerful way than an exact replication ever could. While Blair’s work is representational, it has a strong abstract quality. This is evident in the ways she applies paint, building up her surfaces with ornate chunk-like daubs, jagged brushstrokes or flat expanses of color. Blair is drawn both to what she paints and the paint itself. This duality ensures there’s a constant tension between realism and abstraction in her work that keeps it fresh and interesting. In Blair’s hands, color also veers away from doctrinaire representation to become an expressive tool not constrained by the rules of nature. Her gaudy flowers, over-the-top green meadows and azure skies are more intense versions of their real-life counterparts and also encapsulate

the joie de vivre that these particular things possess and inspire. Blair paints in oil on canvas, and generally works in series, exploring a subject repeatedly. She occasionally does some preliminary sketches outside, but she primarily paints indoors, eschewing painting en plein air, which she says is “French for ‘windy and cold,’” adding with a twinkle, “which can also be translated as ‘hot and buggy.’” Comfort may be a consideration, but her working style is quite different from an impressionist, and she also likes to work on large canvases, which are ungainly if not impossible to transport. Ideally, she wants her canvas big enough “so that it fills up my field of vision,” allowing her, in a sense, to disappear into it for a time. Blair mentions four artists who have influenced her: Fairfield Porter, followed by Lois Dodd, Louisa Mattaisdottir and Alex Katz, who all share an extreme flatness of style. There’s also a strong connection to the post-impressionist avant-garde artists, The Nabis (Vuillard and Bonnard), in the way Blair uses paint, her palette and the use of pattern, particularly in her interiors. Teaching is very important to Blair, who sees it as a way of “paying it forward.” She teaches two 3-hour adult painting classes each week, and

“Painting is my life,” says Blair. “It’s a compulsion. Being in the studio settles me; I am at peace.” mentors a couple of private students. “I love teaching and think it makes me a better painter,” she says. “It makes me think about painting, and as I search for sources for my students, I find things that make me pause and think about my own work in perhaps a new way.” Blair tells me that writer Annie Dillard’s famous quote, “As we live our days, so we live our lives” expresses her attitude toward work and the spirituality of her daily devotions. As she toils each day in her studio, she produces paintings that reflect the wonder with which she views the world. Blair’s work may be seen at Page Bond Gallery in Richmond and Les Yeux du Monde in Charlottesville. V i r g i n i a

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Historic “Milford Estate” - 2 Parcels Waterfront Home on 16 Acres and 90+ Acres Land SALE HELD ON THE PREMISES: 391 Haven Beach Road, Mathews (Moon), Virginia 23119

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Note: King George of England gave the property known as “Milford” to the Billups family in 1600’s - the Billups descendants are now selling the home and remaining land. The homestead is recognized as a Historic Landmark. Antiques, Contents of Home to be sold following Real Estate. See websites for photos.

A remarkable farm property between Crozet and White Hall. The land features several prime building sites at 900 ft. elevation with expansive views, including those of the entire Rockfish Valley. This would be an excellent location to establish a vineyard or raise livestock. Available with 55 acres, 70 acres or in its entirety with all division rights.

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8/23/12 2:58 PM

Bellwether a compendium of news and notes from around the state. By Lisa Antonelli Bacon, Nik Conklin and J.P. Welch

State’s CNBC Ranking Drops Despite losing the top slot as CNBC’s “Best State for Business,” Virginia this year came in at a commendable third place. Texas, which has been swapping the number one spot with Virginia since the rankings began in 2007, took the title. What’s to blame for our bronze medal performance? CNBC reports that continually clogged highways plunged the state from 2011’s 10th place in infrastructure and transportation to 33rd this year. And billions of dollars in scheduled federal budget cuts dropped us from 8th to 10th in the economy category. The ranking has got the Governor’s office thinking: “When it comes to ‘best for business’ rankings, we always want to be first,” says J. Tucker Martin, director of communications for Gov. Bob McDonnell. “So you better believe that the Administration is reviewing the CNBC survey top to bottom to figure out what we can do better.”

Could It Be? … that in a city that reveres good manners and Southern gentility, women on wheels are pushing, shoving and knocking each other down with nary a Nordstrom sale in sight? In June, the River City Rollergirls’ Poe’s Punishers, who compete in the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, made history of a different kind by breaking two international records in a single game. Punisher Rachel Thomas (aka Julia Bondage) racked up 88 points to make the world’s highest score in a 30-minute period and also scored 45 points in a single jam (a two-minute period). If it comes as a surprise that Richmond ladies can be so rough, think again. The city has five women’s roller derby teams, including The Hull Street Horrors and The Hollywood Undertakers. Who knew?

Virginians have new opportunities to slake their thirst this fall: Just visit a brewery. Beginning in July, a new state law allows for unlimited sale of beer by breweries. Prior to its enactment, breweries without restaurants could serve only wee samples and sell closed containers for off-premises enjoyment, while Virginia farm wineries were merrily offering wine by the glass. Brewers believe the change will be a boon not only for beer drinkers but for emerging brewmeisters as well. “These laws will do nothing but help small breweries,” says Mike McCarthy, director of brewing operations for Capitol City Brewing Co. in Arlington. “I think it will greatly promote [them]. It’s a wonderful thing.”

Ghoulish Fun Richmond just got a little creepier. From September 1 through November 3, the Ghouls Ghost Tour will be offering a history lesson that you won’t soon forget. Under the direction of a “Ghoul Guide,” your host ghost from 1920s Richmond, guests walk all over the downtown area and places like Hollywood Cemetery and St. John’s Church, exploring the shadowy Richmond ghost circuit on foot. Regardless of whether you are a fan of the supernatural or a stone-cold skeptic, this tour promises to show you a part of Richmond’s history that will surprise and shock you, and maybe keep you up at night.

contributed photos


Brew-Lovers, Unite!

A Star Is Born He’s been auditioning for professional theater since he was nine years old. So when Lorton resident Ben Cook landed the title role in the national bus-and-truck tour of “Billy Elliott,” it came as little surprise to his former classmates at Metropolitan Fine Arts Center in Alexandria, where he began training at age 7. Three years ago, the now-14-year-old song-anddance man, er, teen, moved to New York City for the revival of “Ragtime.” Then he played ensemble roles in the Broadway version of “Billy Elliott.” Cook is now starring in the lead role in the touring show, which will play in 11 cities across America, including Richmond, February 1-3. “He’s maintained a balance with being a good kid,” says his father, Glenn. “As a parent, that’s what I’m proudest of.”

Local Blockbuster In some markets, winning three regional Emmys is terrific. In Lynchburg, it’s tantamount to winning an Oscar. And while you can’t expect it to be “coming soon to a theater near you,” “Hunter’s Raid, The Battle for Lynchburg” is causing a lot of chests to swell. Based on Lynchburg’s role in the Civil War, the 55-minute documentary was solely a local effort. The $30,000 budget came from local sources (a private donor, a private foundation and the Lynchburg Convention & Visitors Bureau) and a lot of “sweat equity” on the part of “hundreds and hundreds” of local cast and crew, according to Lynchburg writer-director Greg Starbuck. If you want to see it, visit Historic Sandusky. Since it’s open only by appointment, you’ll have to call first: 434832-0162.

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Experience a True Sailing Adventure aboard the Yorktown Schooners

Serenity & Alliance To Benefit Greater Richmond SCAN (Stop Child Abuse Now)

Saturday, September 22, 2012 at the Bull & Bear Club 6:00pm: Appetizers and Silent Auction 7:30pm: Six-Course Dinner and Live Auction

The 2012 Taste of Chinoiserie Chefs

Joseph Harris The Bull & Bear Club

Jimmy Sneed BlowToad

David Everett The Blue Talon Bistro

Jin Zhao The Fat Dragon Chinese Kitchen and Bar

Scott Drewno The Source by Wolfgang Puck

Peter Chang Peter Chang’s China Cafe

All courses, except appetizers and desserts, will be demonstrated by each chef as his course is being served. Perfect wine pairings will accompany all of the Chinoiserie courses, enhancing your palate during this incredible evening.

visit for more info and to purchase tickets!

The Schooner Serenity: Offers Pirate

Cruises and Private Charters. Call 757-639-1233 for Serenity charter info.

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

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Events s e p t e m b e r | o c to b e r 2 0 1 2

Around the State


Lasting Beauty THROUGH DECEMBER 30

For the Love of Beauty: The Collections of Lora and Claiborne Robins, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, 804-358-4901,

Michael Kolster: The James River Project; and Randy Toy: The Zhin Tu Monoscapes, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, 804-3593633, SEPTEMBER 7-OCTOBER 27

Christopher Stephens Exhibition, Red Door Gallery, Richmond, 804-358-0211, SEPTEMBER 13-DECEMBER 30


“Always … Patsy Cline,” Virginia Repertory Theatre at Willow Lawn, Richmond, 804-282-2620, SEPTEMBER 14-15, 20-22

“Crimes of the Heart,” Renaissance Theatre, Lynchburg, 434-845-4427, SEPTEMBER 28 “Veggie Tales

Live! God Made You Special,” Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre, Roanoke, 540-853-5483,

OCTOBER 7 “The Taming of the

Shrew,” GMU Center for the Arts, Fairfax, 703-993-8888, CFA.

Martin & Munoz, and Woman on the Run by Tracy Snelling, Virginia MOCA, Virginia Beach, 757-4250000, SEPTEMBER 27-OCTOBER 27

Nan Mahone Wellborn Exhibition, The Market Gallery, Roanoke, 540-342-1177, SEPTEMBER 16 THROUGH DECEMBER Ray Ferrer: Life …

in Black and White, Art Café 26, Williamsburg, 757-565-7788,

OCTOBER 13-14 50th Annual

Ocean View Art Show, Ocean View Beach Park, Norfolk, 757588-4805, OCTOBER 27-28 Open Studios, Botetourt, Fincastle, 540-4731167,

Chamber Champs OCTOBER 21 Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber

Ensemble, Center for the Arts, George Mason University, Fairfax, 703-993-2787,

The Beat of the Drum OCTOBER 7 The Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi perform dances based on ancient tradi-

tions. Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas, 703-993-7550,


festivals & fairs highlights

SEPTEMBER 14-16 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, State Street, Downtown Bristol, 423-573-4898,

SEPTEMBER 15-16 Bluemont Fair, Bluemont, 540-554-2367,

SEPTEMBER 20 Emmylou Harris &

Her Red Dirt Boys, Ferguson Center for the Arts, Newport News, 757594-8752,

OCTOBER 6 40th Annual Chin-

SEPTEMBER 14-15 Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, West Lawn of Monticello, Charlottesville, 434-984-9800,

OCTOBER 7 Carytown Food &

SEPTEMBER 17 Night Skies in Shenandoah National Park, Big Meadows Area, Shenandoah National Park, Luray, 540-8432100,

coteague Island Oyster Festival, Tom’s Cove Park, Chincoteague Island, 757-336-6498,

SEPTEMBER 22 The Black Lillies, Theater at Lime Kiln, Lexington, 540-463-7088,

Wine Festival, Carytown, Richmond, 804-307-6533,

SEPTEMBER 30 Sunday Gospel

OCTOBER 12-14 Richmond Folk

Brunch featuring Valley Grass, Heartwood, Abingdon, 276-4922400,

OCTOBER 9 Celtic Thunder,

Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, Virginia Beach, 757-3852787, OCTOBER 14 1964 The Tribute,

The Academy of Fine Arts, Lynchburg, 434-528-3256,

Festival, Downtown Riverfront, Richmond, 804-788-6466,

OCTOBER 20 Woodstock

Autumnfest, Shenandoah County Fairgrounds, Woodstock, 540-459-2542,

SEPTEMBER 29 Eighth Annual

Museum Day Live! Museums around the U.S., 202-633-1000,

OCTOBER 5-7, 12-14, 19-21, 26-28

Peak Foliage Open House, Peaks of Otter Winery, Bedford, 540-5863707, OCTOBER 27 Richmond

Zombie Bash, Greater Richmond Convention Center, 704-301-1946,

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rafting on the james or hiking the blackwater trail? bicycling through town and shopping on main street? wood-fired pizza or a drunken ribeye? champagne or an ice cold microbrew? flip flops or high heels? Just some of the options you can enjoy during a weekend getaway at Lynchburg’s only historic waterfront hotel. Pack a bag, get a sitter, jump in the car, and in just a short drive you’ll be pampered at this old shoe factory that’s been converted into a luxurious boutique hotel dedicated to comfort, relaxation and, of course, shoes. Visit our Web site, scan the QR code below, or call and ask about our Great Escape Getaway Packages.

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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | Richmond Nearly 250 donors, lenders, sponsors and area leaders celebrated the opening of “Maharaja: The Splendors of India’s Great Kings” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on May 21. Rumy Mhota and Suzanne Hall

Dr. Shantarum Talegaonkar, Princess Asha Raje Gaekwad, Baljit and Jatinder Sidhu

WVPT/Paramount Theater | CHARLOTTESVILLE On May 6, 220 supporters gathered at the Paramount Theater for the season two premiere screening of public television’s “Sherlock.” The benefit reception raised $6,000 for WVPT and the Paramount.

Jillian Krupski, Sanjeev Jairath and Arti Pandya

Charles Fitzgerald, Leslie Greene Bowman and Cortland Neuhoff

Lisa Goff, Denise Ramey, Stephen Arata, Byrd Abbott, Katherine Davis, Chis Eure and Janet Matthews

The Honorable Manju and Surendra Ganeriwala, Ranbir Singh Whit and Meg Clement, Thurston Moore

Pumima and PC Amin, Dr. Michael Rao, Ranjit and Inge Sen, Monica Rao

Karen Yannello, Dorothy Brown, Ginny Sieminski and Anne Jolly

Hylton Performing Arts Center | fairfax More than 330 supporters attended the Hylton Performing Arts Center’s 2nd Anniversary Gala on May 5, and raised $155,000 to support the Sen. Charles J. Colgan Community Arts Benefit Fund.

Alan Merten, Corey Stewart, Sally Merten, Mike Vanderpool and Karen Settlemyer

contributed photos

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Rick Smith and Catherine Grant

Randall and Anna Edwards

Mike Vanderpool, Karen Settlemyer and Brian Stokes Mitchell

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Bio identical Testosterone/Hormone Therapy as seen on Oprah Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy is being touted as the future of preventative medicine for both men and women.

Remodeling A Pre-1978 Home? Attention: Homeowners 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.

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Preakness | Northumberland More than 450 gathered at Gascony, the home of Christopher Newport University president and former U.S. Sen. Paul Trible and his wife Rosemary, for a May 19 Preakness Party. More than $60,000 was raised to benefit the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation. Mary Virginia Bliley and Lydia Dudley

Paul and Rosemary Trible

Fifth Annual Bridles and Bow Ties | Toano More than 330 guests attended the 5th Annual Bridles & Bow Ties benefit for Dream Catchers, a therapeutic horseback riding program for special needs children and adults. Held at the Cori Sikich Therapeautic Riding Center in Toano on May 19, the event raised more than $95,000.

Dr. Peter and Kim Wendell

Joyce and Leonard Chapman

Helen Dillon, Betty Penley and Joyce Gunderson

Claybrook | Rectortown On May 19, 170 supporters of the Virginia League of Conservation Voters gathered in the garden of Tommy and Feroline Higginson in Rectortown for “An Evening at Claybrook.” The event raised $100,000.

Bobby, Hope and Jane Beck with Therapy Horse “Bob”

Barbara and Steve Cummings, Cheryl Warren and Brad Cole Lori McGuinness and Joy Willey

Paul Lawrence and Viviane Warren

Delegate David Bulova and Feroline Higginson

Lisa Guthrie, State Sen. Chap Petersen, Delegate Betsy Carr, Delegate David Toscano and Delegate Bob Brink

contributed photos

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Lara Overy, Rodelle and Aaron Williams, Rick Overy

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arolyn Cover Nance and Joseph Richard Wingenbach were married on June 10, 2012, at The Cathedral Shrine of the Transfiguration in Orkney Springs. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Howard Nance of Richmond. Mr. Wingenbach is the son of Mr. and Mrs. David R. Wingenbach of Winchester and Basye. The couple lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photography by Michelle Renee



evan Duke, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Duke of Keswick, married Ron Cooper, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Cooper of Columbia, South Carolina, on May 29, 2011, at Veritas in Charlottesville. The couple resides in Tucson, Arizona. Photography by Ron Garland Photographers



n May 27, 2012, Ashley Nicole Owen and Graham Davis Brock were married at The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Owen of Wakefield. Mr. Brock is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rossie Brock of Windsor. Photography by Amy W. Carroll

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September 30, 2012 Virginia Polo Center - Charlottesville, Virginia Gates Open at 12 noon - Match Starts at 2:30pm


The Cadillac Cup Polo Match is sponsored by:

The Cadillac Cup Polo Match is proud to benefit charities who are doing incredible work in our community and beyond.


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Digging Deep into Virginia’s Past WANTED: Cheerful workers to labor under the blistering sun, digging in the dirt with sharp trowels. Must be willing to take orders, get dirty and spend hours on your knees. Bring your own hat, sunscreen and bug spray. No whiners allowed! By Peggy Sijswerda

Archaeology. The very word conjures up images of Indiana Jones, ancient Olympia and King Tut. Want to join a treasure hunt? The good news is you don’t have to go halfway around the world to discover historic artifacts buried in the dirt. Here in Virginia, there are a number of active dig sites that welcome volunteers. But be careful what you wish for. Archaeology is hard work. I’m standing under one of six canopy tents grouped together on the rolling lawn of Montpelier, James Madison’s historic estate in the hills of Orange County, where a group of enthusiastic college students dig in the red clay with trowels and shovels. Dressed in dusty T-shirts, shorts and ball caps, the field school students—who receive college credit for their participation—joke and laugh as they carry out their tasks: carving out precise sections of earth, transferring dirt into buckets and bags, and recording soil strata observations in their notebooks. The group is excavating a site

where slaves used to live. One of their tasks is collecting soil samples, which will be screened at Montpelier’s Archaeology Lab, to find small artifacts, such as straight pins and tiny beads. Nearby, a table displays pictures of artifacts found at Montpelier. Besides seeking artifacts, the students are helping discover more about slaves’ homes. “We hope to find where the structures are and their size, so we can make a skeletal outline,” explains Matthew Reeves, director of archaeology at Montpelier. “What’s great about this site is it’s never been plowed.”

A boyish 44, he’s been on staff at Montpelier since 2000 and clearly loves sharing his passion for archaeology. Reeves encourages visitors to interact with any of the eight archaeologists on staff—both at the dig sites as well as the lab, where they can watch cataloging and preservation in progress. If you’re ready to join the treasure hunt, Montpelier offers weeklong Archaeological Expeditions— hands-on programs for wannabe archaeologists—throughout the year. It’s like camp for grown-ups; a unique opportunity to hold history in your hands.

“We get a mix of folks,” Reeves says. “Everyone from teachers in their 20s to recent retirees. Eighty percent are female. The common denominator is that people are interested in archaeology and history. They like the sense of mystery.” Reeves says visitors are excited to work with him and the site crew— which numbers about 8-10 and might include interns as well as volunteers—and “to touch something 200 years old, to actually see how we make the discoveries.” Reeves anticipates moving across the field to a new dig site later in the summer—also the site of former slave dwellings—where another group of field school students will begin excavating. Says Reeves: “The more [help] you have, the more you can get done.” Like the students, expedition members engage in a variety of tasks, including working in the field and assisting in the lab, an unassuming wooden building nestled in a grove of trees on the other side of the grounds. It’s here I meet Sam Mercier, 17, a neuroscience major from Illinois who attends Lake Forest College, and Emilie Fleagle, 21, a recent graduate from Purdue University who majored in anthropology and classical archaeology. Using hoses, Mercier and Fleagle are screening soil on a shady porch next to the lab. Like a typical college student, Mercier looks as if he just rolled out of bed: his hair is disheveled and his shorts are wrinkled. But his shining blue eyes pore over the bits of dirt and pebbles he sifts through his fingers, and he is clearly energized by the work. Mercier says he loves the storytelling aspect of archaeology: “We piece together, literally, bits of people’s lives.” Fleagle, sporting a long brunette braid and dusty jeans, shows me two old, rusty nails found in the soil sample. Their square sides indicate these are hand-hewn, made by a blacksmith using hammer blows. She says she chose to major in archaeology because she’s fascinated with humans and likes how archaeology combines science, sociology and psychology to understand how people lived and who they were. “Archaeology is very personal,” says Fleagle. “It’s like you’re getting to know people from long ago.” If you are unsure about laboring for a week en plein air, other Virginia sites offer handson opportunities for citizen archaeologists minus the dirt. The city of Alexandria maintains an V i r g i n i a

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archaeology department and a staff of five archaeologists who work with volunteers, residents and developers to preserve the city’s rich history. It’s also among the few cities nationwide with its own archaeology museum. Tucked away next to artists’ studios in the Torpedo Factory Art Center, where World War II torpedoes were built in the 1940s, the cozy Alexandria Archaeology Museum features educational exhibits, kids’ activities and tidy cabinets that double as tables. Here, two volunteers diligently pre-catalog artifacts—placing objects in small plastic bags and making notes about their provenance. It’s a tedious task perhaps, but something both women are clearly enjoying. There’s plenty of work available for anyone with a penchant for history and science, according to Pam Cressey, a petite brunette with a friendly smile who heads the city’s archaeology team. “We always need volunteers and interns.” “We’re an active lab, so the public can see the archaeological process going on,” says Paul Nasca, collections manager. Wearing comfortable khakis, Nasca has a friendly demeanor, but his intense gaze suggests the scrutiny required to be a successful scientist. “It’s important to share archaeology with residents and visitors to Alexandria because, for most people, they rarely, if ever, think about it,” says Nasca. “Simply walking down the street or playing fetch with your dog in a park or mowing the lawn at your house, beneath everyone’s feet is the

Dig This! Montpelier’s Archaeological Expeditions are held in spring, summer and fall. Most participants stay in Arlington House, an antebellum home on the grounds of Montpelier. For those who prefer not to stay in dormitory-style accommodations, The 1804 Inn at Barboursville Vineyards in nearby Gordonsville offers upscale lodging. Cost for the Archaeological Expedition is $650 and includes six nights at Arlington House. Participants bring their own food.

Facing page: Field school students at Montpelier search the site for artifacts. Above: Esther White, director of archaeology at Mount Vernon.

evidence of the city’s past.” Besides welcoming volunteers, the archaeology department spreads its message to the community by getting children involved in its programs. At summer camps and Family Dig Days, participants learn about excavation techniques and work side by side with archaeologists. In October, Virginia Archaeology Month, Alexandria offers a series of Public Dig Days, a bike-friendly “Tour de Digs,” and a haunted history tour. Just down the parkway, Mount Vernon also invites volunteers and interns to apply for field and lab projects. One unusual program offered is the E-tern Experience, an opportunity for citizens to help with ongoing archaeological projects without getting any dirt under their nails. Volunteers transcribe

historical documents from their homes—all they need are research skills and access to the Internet. Visitors to Mount Vernon can also observe archaeologists working on digs in the historic area and view artifacts in the state-of-the-art museum and education center. Perhaps one of Virginia’s most well known archaeological sites, the Jamestown Rediscovery Project also encourages visitors and volunteers to interact with archaeologists excavating James Fort, the actual site of the nation’s first permanent English colony. “We pride ourselves on being in the public eye,” says Sheryl Mays, director of public programs and operations at the Jamestown Rediscovery Project, where 1.5 million artifacts have been unearthed. “You can see the archaeologists at work and share in moments of discovery.” You can also view displays of artifacts up close in the state-of-the-art Archaearium or take a tour of the “vault”—where precious artifacts are stored. I got a quick look inside the vault at Jamestown. It is a large room full of tables covered with shallow white boxes, each filled with pieces of history: vessels for wine, ceramic bowls, fancy China, tools, weapons. Through a grate overhead are rows of huge cabinets where thousands more artifacts are stored. It felt like I was standing inside a treasure chest, connected to the past; a phenomenon Alexandria archaeologist Gerrett Fesler describes as “electric.” History books just can’t compare. • To learn more about Virginia Archaeology Month, go to the Archaeology homepage at

Alexandria Archaeology holds summer camps for kids ages 1215. You can also sign up for their Family Dig Days, a popular program that sells out early and costs $5 per person. College students can take part in a field school offered through George Mason University or apply for internships. Cyclists will love the 23mile self-guided Alexandria Heritage Trail, that takes you to active dig sites and historical attractions. The Westin Alexandria is an upscale retreat near the King Street Metro. A free trolley runs from the hotel down King Street to the waterfront and points in between. Volunteers are welcome at both Alexandria Archaeology Museum and Mount Vernon. Archaeology and The Jamestown Rediscovery Project offers summer camps for kids ages 8-13. Healthy adults who don’t mind strenuous work can enroll in the field school offered through UVA’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies and study alongside traditional students (2012 in-state tuition costs $2,208). Those who complete the six-week course often return as volunteers to work on digs. Nearby Kingsmill Resort offers gracious accommodations, as well as golf, spa and family packages.

More Digs Monticello, Charlottesville Poplar Forest, Forest Historic Kenmore and Ferry Farm, Fredericksburg and Stafford County Falling Creek Ironworks, Chesterfield County For more information about archaeology in the state, check out the Archeological Society of Virginia.

Above: Treasures in the Jamestown Rediscovery Project’s vault.

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Tobacco still grows in Pittsylvania County, but it is no longer cured in the wooden barns that symbolize traditional Southside life.

Barn Raising An effort to protect Pittsylvania’s remaining tobacco barns is as much about honoring a way of life as it is about preserving the history of the industry. By Randolph Walker p h o t o g r a p h y c o u r t e s y o f p r e s e r vat i o n v i r g i n i a

The sun still beats on the old tobacco barns of Pittsylvania County. Rain still patters on tin roofs. Wind still blows around the edges of plank doors. But the smell is different. For a hundred years, from the rise of bright-leaf tobacco after the Civil War until the 1970s, the rich aroma of curing tobacco filled the barns every August and September. Now there’s just the earthy smell of dirt and weeds. The sound is different, too. During the curing season, each barn was filled with the voices of men, women and children, owners and tenant farmers, white and black, tying leaves together and hanging them in the barns where they would cure for three to five days. Some 26 million pounds of tobacco was produced in the county in 1965 during its heyday. Most was shipped to Danville to be auctioned to companies including R.J. Reynolds,

Philip Morris, Liggett & Myers and American Tobacco. Now, the barns stand silent along the back roads of Pittsylvania’s rolling piedmont. Poison ivy and wild grapevines creep up the sides. Many are falling victim to the erosive forces of cold and heat, wind and water. Unless something is done, these relics of the county’s heritage may disappear like a puff of smoke in the wind. That’s the message of

Preservation Virginia, which is spearheading a project to save the estimated 1,000 tobacco barns that remain in Pittsylvania County. “Bright-leaf tobacco shaped the landscape, shaped the culture and the people,” says Sonja Ingram, who is leading the project for Preservation Virginia. “The entire family would work in tobacco. Out in the rural areas, the only thing that’s left are these barns, so we want to keep them

in the landscape. They’re beautiful, they’re picturesque.” Ingram, a former archaeologist and Danville’s field representative for Preservation Virginia, says that the organization included Pittsylvania County tobacco barns on its list of endangered sites in 2009. “We had a lot of support and a lot of interest,” says Ingram. “We decided we would try to continue to work on it.” Starting this fall, volunteers from five local historical societies will survey the barns, document architecture and condition, take photographs and collect old snapshots and oral histories. The barn survey will cover Pittsylvania County, but the collection of memorabilia will include adjacent counties. Ingram hopes to report the results at Preservation Virginia’s annual conference in 2014 and distribute a booklet detailing the scope of the project to schools, libraries and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. To fund the production of the book and cover the costs of the project, Preservation Virginia is looking to grants from private foundations, Ingram says. Grant money may also be V i r g i n i a

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Above: Life centered around the grower’s barns during the curing season in August and September. Below: In flue curing, metal pipes channeled heat into the barns without exposing the leaves to smoke.

used to help barn owners carry out repairs, such as roof work, needed to keep the barns from disintegrating. At the height of the tobacco industry, there were probably 5,000 to 6,000 barns in Southside Virginia, Ingram says. She believes most of the surviving barns were built between the 1860s and the 1940s. “One thing

that crossed the width of the barn: There might be six levels of tier poles. Boys climbed with sticks into the upper reaches. After a day of pulling and stringing, hands would be black. “That tar gets on you,” says Stephen Barts, county extension agent and fourth-generation tobacco farmer.

But curing tobacco wasn’t all work, according to an exhibit at the Prizery, a former tobacco processing facility in South Boston. It was also a social event. On late summer evenings, neighbors gathered at the barn for watermelon, Brunswick stew, corn, apples and roasted potatoes. On the first day of curing, the

“Bright-leaf tobacco shaped the landscape, shaped the culture and the people ... Out in the rural areas, the only thing that’s left are these barns, so we want to keep them in the landscape.” we want to do is actually get a handle on the dates of the barns,” she says. Growing “baccer” was (and is) a complicated process. The tobacco year began in February or March, when plant beds were sown with tiny seeds. In May or early June the seedlings, called “slips,” were “drawn” by hand from the plant bed and transplanted into “hills” in the field. In July the plants were “topped” to force vitality into the leaves rather than flowers and seeds. Leaves were harvested four or five times, in August and September. Men pulled them by hand, four or five leaves from each plant. Leaves were tossed into slides (open wooden crates) and dragged by mule or tractor to the barn. At the barn, workers strung several leaves together at the stalk and hung the bundled leaves from loose “sticks” like tomato stakes held horizontally. The sticks were then set on tier poles

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“It’s black as soot ... sticky.” Next came curing, the application of heat to dry the leaves and bring out the color and flavor. Born and raised on a tobacco farm outside Danville, 78-year-old Leon Compton says the process took three days at his farm; other farmers took a little longer.

barn was heated to 115 degrees, says Compton. The leaves yellowed from the bottom up. Heat was increased gradually to ensure a uniform color. “After you got it to where you wanted the color, you went up on your heat to ‘set’ the color,” he explains. On the third day, the heat was increased to

175 or 180 degrees, to “kill out” the sap from the stem. “They cured by feel and touch,” says Barts. “It’s kind of a lost art.” By the 1970s, “stick barns” were falling into disuse, replaced by prefabricated metal bulk curing barns that look like shortened semitruck trailers. Racking machines eliminated hand stringing. “You got so much more capacity with so much less labor,” says Barts. Metal barns are immune to the fires that destroyed many stick barns. Despite increasing regulation of the industry, and growing awareness about the health risks of smoking, tobacco is far from dead in Pittsylvania County. It is still the leading crop, with around $25 million in sales in 2011. But acreage and production are down from 20thcentury peaks, and it is no longer a family-centered way of life. There are only eight or 10 tobacco farmers under 35 left in the county, according to Barts. Most tobacco farmers are over 55. Today, most labor comes from Latin America. The barns are perhaps the most tangible reminder of the golden leaf that was, and is, many things to many people in Pittsylvania County— the plant that built Danville’s stretch of Victorian mansions on Main Street called Millionaire’s Row, and put food on the table and money in the bank for working people. While tobacco consumption in the U.S. is declining, perhaps there’s a new way for tobacco to contribute to the county’s economy, says Ingram, who points out that tourism is the second largest industry in Virginia. “This region doesn’t have a very organized heritage tourism initiative. We think those tobacco barns are what define this area. It could be the beginning or the lynchpin to a heritage tourism effort in this region and could really help the local economy. We could have driving trails all over the place linking the really nice barns with the tobacco warehouse district.” Ingram’s vision has sparked interest from more than 100 people, including a number of barn owners, who have volunteered to help Preservation Virginia—evidence that people want to preserve the old traditions. Tobacco was so important to these communities, says Barts, that “even if just one leaf fell off the trailer, you stopped to pick it up.” • Barn owners or other individuals interested in volunteering for the Tobacco Barns Project may contact Sonja Ingram at (434) 770-1209.

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straight from the farm , slow food is a return to old world ways . by Lisa Antonelli Bacon




Jo Pendergraph of Manakintowne Specialty Growers in Powhatan. Opposite page: Squash blossoms stuffed with fallen goat cheese soufflĂŠs and fennel and lavenderinfused bread.

photography by patricia lyons h styling by neely barnwell dykshorn

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fa r m f r e s h s lo w f o o d fa r m f r e s h s lo w f o o d fa r m


Clockwise from left: Chef Philip Denny, Lory Pendergraph Markham and Chef Tucker Yoder; The Pendergraph family and chef friends; Chefs Philip Perrow, Caleb Shriver and Annie Chalkley, with Peter Markham of Billy's Bakery.

slow food.

We hear it a lot. But ask someone to define it, and you may get a quizzical stare or a few disconnected phrases. “Uncooked,” someone recently told me. Wrong. “Homemade,” said another. Wrong again. “Not prepackaged.” Getting warmer. Slow Food in the capital letter sense is a global grassroots movement begun in Italy in 1986 that has grown to include 150 chapters around the world. (Virginia has four chapters: Richmond, Albemarle Piedmont, Delmarva and Blue Ridge.) Its motto is “good, clean, fair,” but what does that mean? It isn’t a fad; it isn’t a club. Slow food is a way of life. At its simplest, slow food is the opposite of fast food. It’s a shift away from foods that are preserved and packaged to earth-fresh and locally grown foods without the nutrient drain of freezing or the chemical-taint of preservatives: foods that retain all the natural color, flavor and nutrients they are supposed to have. More and more, chefs are devoting their menus to farmto-table foods, from fruits and vegetables to poultry, fish and beef and, in the process, reminding us that food doesn’t need to be packaged, stamped and shipped great distances to be pretty, delicious and nutritious. In fact, just the opposite. Locally grown foods—loosely defined as those grown within a 60-mile radius, give or take—are not only the most nutritious and most

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naturally flavorful, they are also the most rustically beautiful. “When we started, our focus was to get the very best food to particular chefs to serve a gourmet audience,” says Jo Pendergraph who, with her husband, Rob, owns Manakintowne Specialty Growers in Powhatan. “It’s not about the gourmet aspect anymore. Now it’s about health and flavor." Where once we trilled at fancy culinary fillips like nasturtiums on salads and truffle shavings on mac and cheese, we are learning to appreciate the beautiful simplicity of slow food. “People don’t want the fancy flourishes any more,” says Pendergraph. Now when chefs use herb sprigs or flower petals in presentations, she says, “They want to know the flavor and what they bring.” As it turns out, those pretty blue speckles of borage taste like cucumber. And the yellow-orange flecks of nasturtiums? Radishes. But that’s the point of slow food— nothing is added unnecessarily. Every ingredient has a purpose, a distinct flavor. And nothing needs freezers, preservatives or chemicals to make it appealing. Since 1985, the Pendergraphs have been supplying anything plucked from the earth of their sprawling farm—from beets to rosemary to garlic and everything in between, rustic to exotic— to the best restaurants in Central Virginia. One byproduct of the farm-to-table movement is that chefs are forging relationships with their local growers; the people they can count on to deliver the freshest, best product the earth can yield. In the process, friendships are formed and trust develops. Recently, the Pendergraphs invited five of their chef friends to their farm to produce an all-star meal and enjoy some lively conversation about why they believe in this way of cooking, eating and living. We all enjoyed the results. •,,,,

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Here: Peter Markham and Annie Chalkley in the Pendergraphs' kitchen. Right: Fallen goat cheese soufflés.

Blueberry and plum tarts.


Slow food is key to good health.

When I started my business in Charles City more than 30 years ago, we got our milk, butter and eggs from a local farm. Then I found Manakintowne Specialty Growers. There’s nothing that says ‘health’ more than a freshly picked head of lettuce or getting a bag from the garden. There’s no process involved; no toxins while growing. Flavors are without a doubt better in slow foods.


Locally grown food is superior in flavor.

Vegetables lose sweetness and moisture and flavor the longer they are stored, so the closer the product is to the table the better. Whether it is sous vide or meat curing, the time and the love that goes into the growing and production of the food is what slow food is all about. I don’t want slow food to be a trend. I want people to adopt it as a way of life.

From left: Philip Denny's peaches and dandelion greens salad; Denny with freshly-made crepinettes; ready-to-eat crepinettes.

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From left: Caleb Shriver prepares charcuterie; porchetta; Caleb Shriver and Philip Perrow, soon to open Dutch & Co. in Richmond's Church Hill neighborhood.


Simpler is better for us. CHEF CALEB SHRIVER, Aziza’s

Chefs are unofficial educators for slow food.

We believe that chefs can be that bridge between farmer and customer. It's nice to be able to have that relationship on both sides because we can get in products that you don't normally see. Some produce just grows better on different soil; some fish only swim in certain areas; and somebody somewhere else makes a great cheese or beer or vinegar or wine that we want to try. It's exciting to share those products with our customers.

For me, slow food is about getting back to where we need to be as a culture. Simple food seemed to get lost in everyday life, and it’s something we need to find again. People don’t seem to be that aware of slow food, but when they talk to people who are passionate about it, they’re interested. They realize they’re more a part of it than they knew.


Chefs influence growers.

There are a lot more farmers now willing to grow for us and work with us as chefs to give us the product we are looking for. Of course, it would be easier to call one place and get everything, but if one place is giving you everything, they probably aren’t giving you any one thing that is great. Slow food is more expensive, but it is worth it to have a little more control over the product and to be able to influence the way it is grown and raised.

From left: Manakintowne turnips; Chef Tucker Yoder; duck breast with beets, Swiss chard, herb grain salad and blackberries.

T O P r i g h t : p h oto o f c a l e b s h r i v e r a n d p h i l i p P e r r o w b y jay pau l . p h oto o f T u c k e r y o d e r B y b e y o n d t h e f l av o r / b e y o n d t h e f l av o r . c o m Fa r m ta b l e m a d e f r o m r e c l a i m e d p i n e t i m b e r s b y " H i n g e " c a b i n e t ry & f u r n i t u r e , R i c h m o n d . h i n g e w o r k s . c o m ; ta b l e b a s e b y t i n k e r ; L e C r e u s e t D i j o n d i n n e r p l at e s f r o m S u r l a Ta b l e , s u r l ata b l e . c o m ; C h a r c u t e r i e , B l a c k wa l n u t c h e e s e b o a r d b y B l u e O x , f r o m J. E m e r s o n F i n e W i n e s & C h e e s e , R i c h m o n d , j e m e r s o n f i n e w i n e . c o m ; S q ua r e c e l a d o n p l at e a n d S q ua r e g l a z e d p l at e b y A l e x Jo h n s o n o f T r e e H i l l P ott e ry, F r e n c h s au c e r , a l l f r o m R e n m a r k D e s i g n , R i c h m o n d , ( 8 0 4 ) 2 2 2 - 9 0 0 2 .

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Duck Breast with Beets, Swiss Chard, Herb Grain Salad and Blackberries

Local Peach and Porchetta Dandelion Green Salad

chef Caleb Shriver and chef Philip Perrow Aziza’s, Richmond

Chef Philip Denny

4 cups dandelion greens, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces 4 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced ½ cup fennel bulb, chopped fine ½ cup chopped tarragon leaves 2 cups of pineapple drinking vinegar ½ cup good Spanish olive oil salt pepper

chef Tucker Yoder The Clifton Inn, Charlottesville

At the restaurant, we start by aging our ducks for up to two weeks. To do this, simply leave the duck or duck breast in your refrigerator, unwrapped, on a rack with a plate or pan underneath to collect the juices. This helps to strengthen the flavor of the duck and also helps to create an incredibly crispy skin.

Set greens aside. Mix remaining ingredients. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, toss with greens, and let marinate in the sun for half an hour, or just set on the kitchen table. This will tenderize the dandelion greens slightly, while retaining some crunch. Serves approximately 6.

large duck breasts (breast bone attached, if 2 available) Put duck breast skin-side down in a large cold sauté pan. Turn heat to medium and begin to render 1-2 tablespoons duck fat. (If the fat starts to pop or crackle, reduce heat.) Flip breasts, and baste with the fat. Cook for 2-3 minutes while basting for a medium rare breast. Cook longer if desired. Remove from pan and allow to rest 2-3 minutes in a warm place. If on the bone, carefully carve the whole breast off the bone and slice into large rectangles. Plate with Swiss chard. Serves 4.

Grain Salad: 1 cup cooked farro 1 cup cooked quinoa ½ cup toasted rolled oats 1 cup assorted herbs (rosemary, fennel and lavender are great with duck) 1 small sweet onion Roughly chop herbs. Finely dice sweet onion. Mix all ingredients. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Smoked Balsamic Blackberry Vinegar: 4 large Forono beets ½ cup fresh blackberries ½ cup balsamic vinegar Place all in an oven-proof dish or pan and cover with foil. Roast at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. When beets are cooked and still hot, peel. Reserve liquid and force through a strainer to create smoked balsamic blackberry vinegar.

Blackberry Sauce: smoked balsamic blackberry vinegar 1 pint wild blackberries Reduce vinegar by heating until slightly thickened. Pour over blackberries. Cool to room temperature, and serve with duck.

Brined Beets: 1 medium Forono beet 1 small Chioggia beet 1 small yellow beet salt warm water Make a brine of 3% salt to water (100 grams of water to 3 grams of salt). Stir to dissolve salt. Allow brine to cool in refrigerator. Separate brine into three containers. Slice beets as thinly as possible. Separate beets by color and place in each container of brine.

Berrymore Farm Beef Crepinettes Chef Philip Denny RICHMOND 314-277-1254

1 pound Berrymore Farm ground beef ½ cup roasted shallots 1 tablespoon Kosher salt 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper good olive oil caul fat flour 1 egg ½ cup milk bread crumbs Blueberry Vinaigrette: 1 cup blueberries ½ shallot brunoise (julienned, then diced) ½ cup roasted shallots 1 cup good olive oil 1/3 cup sherry vinegar ¼ cup butter Toss shallots with skins on in olive oil to coat. Put in a roasting pan and cover pan with aluminum foil. Roast approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees until soft. Mix ground beef with ½ cup chopped roasted shallots, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Divide the beef mixture into two-ounce patties, and wrap in two-inch squares of caul fat. Whisk egg with milk for egg wash. Set up your breading station with flour first, followed by egg wash, then bread crumbs. Lightly coat each crepinette in flour, then dip in the egg wash, followed by a coating of the bread crumbs. Slice the blueberries in half. Mix the shallot brunoise with the ½ cup roasted shallots, vinegar and olive oil. To cook, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat in a skillet. Put half of the crepinettes in the pan (or all if the skillet is large enough to fit them). Cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until golden brown, then turn them to the other side and add the butter. Finish cooking on medium-low heat for 2 more minutes. Remove and serve with vinaigrette on and around the crepinettes. Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a starter. Wine Recommendation: Philip Carter Winery 2010 Cleve

Wine Recommendation: Philip Carter Winery Danielle’s Rosé

Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Fallen Goat Cheese SoufflÉ CHEF Annie Chalkley PFoods Etc., Charles City 804-399-5248

3 tablespoons butter, plus extra to coat ramekins ¾ cup fine dry bread crumbs 3 tablespoons flour 1 cup milk ½ cup heavy cream 3 large egg yolks 5 large egg whites pinch of cream of tartar 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt 10.5-11 ounce log Montrachet goat cheese 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper dash hot sauce ½ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon dried marjoram (2 teaspoons chopped if fresh) squash blossoms Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter insides of ramekins; then coat with bread crumbs. Arrange in a roasting pan large enough to hold ramekins without touching each other. Heat enough water to pour into the roasting pan to halfway up ramekins. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook for one minute. Add milk and cream and cook for another minute or until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolks one at a time. Add herbs and seasonings and ¾ of the cheese log. Whisk until smooth and set aside. In large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff. Add ¼ of the cheese mixture to the whites and blend until well mixed. Then fold in remaining whites. Pour batter into ramekins and dot each with remaining goat cheese. Place in roasting pan and add the hot water. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden on top. Remove from oven and serve immediately or let sit at room temperature and rewarm. Fill shallow plate with tap water. Place squash blossoms in water one at a time. Remove and place on paper towel. Carefully pull apart the petals and tuck in a soufflé. Makes two dozen. Wine Recommendation: Philip Carter Winery 2011 Chardonnay

5 pounds pork belly (skin removed) 3 cups salt ¼ cup honey 5 garlic cloves 8 sprigs thyme

Spice Mix: 2 tablespoons whole fennel seed 1 tablespoon whole coriander 5 whole cloves 3 fresh whole bay leaves Place pork belly in a plastic or stainless steel container. Evenly coat the pork belly with honey, then apply the salt, garlic, thyme and spice mix to pork belly. Cover container and cure in the refrigerator for six hours. Remove pork belly from the container. Wash thoroughly under cold water and pat dry. From the shortest ends, and with the fattest side down, roll the pork belly as tightly as possible into a cylindrical shape. Tie each end with butchers twine to secure. Wrap in food-grade plastic film, allowing for excess plastic on each end of the cylinder. Tighten the plastic firmly by twisting the excess ends. Once you have gotten the plastic as tight as possible, tie off each end to secure shape and allow no air or moisture to enter. Fully submerge the pork belly in a 150-degree water bath and cook for 36 hours. Once cooked, remove from water bath, and allow to rest for 20 minutes at room temperature. Then submerge in an ice bath until chilled completely. Once chilled, refrigerate for 12 hours before serving. To serve, remove plastic and butchers twine. Slice very thinly, and serve at room temperature with your favorite accoutrements. Serves 8-10. Wine Recommendation: Philip Carter Winery 2011 Gov. Fauquier Pickled Turnips 8 baby turnips 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn 2 teaspoons whole coriander 2 fresh bay leaves 3 whole allspice 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seed 1 sprig thyme 2 fresh crushed garlic cloves 2 tablespoons salt 2 cups champagne vinegar 1 cup water ¾ cup granulated sugar Cut the baby turnips into quarters and place in a plastic container. Add all ingredients except the turnips to a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil, then immediately poor liquid over the turnips. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours before using. Serve cold. Serves 8-10. Wine Recommendation: Philip Carter Winery 2011 Chardonnay

Special thanks to Philip Carter Winery in Hume for providing the wines.

Wine Recommendation: Philip Carter Winery 2010 Meritage V irgi n ia

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Crawford House was one of the original 17th century houses at Wintergreen, expanded and renovated in 2001. Separate guest quarters over garage, beautiful, private setting overlooking the Rees Jones golf course at Stoney Creek, 6 acres. $965,000

Jordan enjoys a ca. 1825 restored gem. Weatherboard capped with copper roof. Original Summer Kitchen is charming guest house. 272 acres, abundant water resources, private setting in the Madison-Barbour Rural Historic District near Montpelier. $3,485,000

Cobb Island Station - built in 1936 and in 1998 barged to an Eastern Shore mainland waterfront setting where restoration won Architectural acclaim. Offered furnished. Corporate or family retreat, Keeper’s cottage, 32 Acres (more avail),. $4,850,000

Prospect Hill was built 1825 by W. P. Anderson, a Louisa County planter. Georgian in design with unique Gambrel roof. 94+ Acres of pasture & forest with stream and spring-fed pond. Just across the Hanover line and mins to Richmond. $439,500

Western View was built ca. 1850 with expansion during the Italiante era of the late 1800’s. There are 700 Acres of fertile cropland and forest fronting the Rapidan River in Culpeper – Bull Run Hunt – 60 mins. to DC. $3,600,000

Rivercroft was built in 1976 over the Mechums river just mins from UVA. Recently renovated. There are stables, carriage house, staff and/or guest housing, beautiful Blue Ridge Mtn. views. 34 acres in the Farmington Hunt. $1,345,000

Crossing Creek was custom built in 1999 for the current owners just west of Charlottesville and UVA. There are four levels w/ elevator encapsulated in Hardiplank siding. Beautiful Blue Ridge views, lap pool, barn on 12+ acres. $1,385,000

Rosebrook Cottage enjoys the utmost charm in a splendid setting of 155 acres. Tall ceilings, exposed beams, refined details abound. Separate guest or staff quarters, run-in-shed, fenced paddocks, spring-fed pond, beautiful Blue Ridge views. $895,000

Tuck Hill resides in the Rapidan National Historic District of Orange County on the Rapidan River. Built in 1922, this Colonial Revival has exceptional spirit & character. With guest house, stables, staff qtrs, fenced paddocks. In the Keswick Hunt. $1,395,000

Please visit our website for further information on these and others.


Three Generations Of Virginia Real Estate Service

Charlottesville, VA u u (434) 295-8540

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River Run Farm c. 1913 River Run Farm contains 241 acres, including approximately 120 in fenced pasture and hayfield. The remaining acreage is hardwood forest. Well watered by streams and more than a mile of frontage on free-flowing North Fork Rockfish River, the farm is currently used for beef production. Surrounded by Blue Ridge Mountain views, the late Victorian home has been meticulously restored and improved. Four bedrooms, with five full baths, gracious entertaining spaces and a 1998 family room addition make River Run Farm a highly livable property. Additional farm improvements include a manager’s residence, a five-bay equipment shed and a 60 x 80 barn currently used for hay storage. Within a half-hour drive of Charlottesville, the convenient location is in the heart of Nelson County wine country and the golf courses and skiing of Wintergreen Resort.

R I V E R G AT E Lynchburg, Virginia

MLS 501547 • $1,950,000

Incredible custom built contemporary home on nine plus private acres cantilevered over the James River and with captivating mountain views. Frank Lloyd Wright principles are evidenced throughout. The craftsmanship of cypress, flagstone, slate and glass is masterful and extraordinary. Pond on site. In town and minutes from stores, schools, etc. Be on a permanent vacation. A rare opportunity for ownership.

(800) 361-5155 (434) 361-2440 2788 B Rockfish Valley Highway • Nellysford, VA 22958

STEVIE SAVAGE ABR, CRS, GRI 434-907-0888 mobile 434-385-6655 office


For details, please visit

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• BU F FA L O RU N FA R M • Stunning property with over 1600’ on one of Virginia’s most famed spring-fed trout streams: the South Buffalo. House overlooks creek and mountains. Kitchen of cherry and granite, native stone fireplaces, sunroom and study with quarter sawn oak cabinetry, garage with full apartment, spa, pool, and stonework. Large shop, horse barn, board fencing, padocks, miles of trails, and abundant wildlife. $2,000,000


534 ACRES Scenic

Chestnut Creek Farm in Bedford County

Peaks of Otter

Miles of Interior Creeks Visit our website for other fine properties • (540) 464-1776 6 E Washington Street • Lexington, VA 24450

Warm Springs, Virginia

Absolute Auction

Three Hills Inn & Cottages Coming This Fall

This magnificent property is located four miles from the world famous Homestead Resort and overlooking the village of Warm Springs in Bath County, Virginia. The property consists of 26.57± acres divided into 8 tracts. Tract 1 is the main estate parcel and has breathtaking views of the Allegheny Mountains. The 12,500± sq. ft. main manor includes 11 suites, each with a private bath and a separate garden cottage on the grounds. There are three additional cottages, a 4,000± bi-level conference room and a 4.0 acre boundary tract that has future development potential. Visit for preview dates, personal property list and more. For more information, contact

David Boush or Jim Woltz

(800) 551-3588 • • Roanoke, VA • VA#321

VA Living Quarter

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• Scenic countryside with great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains & Peaks of Otter. • 3 ponds plus miles of interior creeks including Elk Creek. • Majority in open pasture, fenced, cross fenced, & vehicle accessible. • Care taker home & cabin. • 8-stall metal barn • Ideal for working farm, large development tract, golf course, or private estate.

RICK READ (434) 455-3618

2508 Langhorne Rd, Lynchburg, VA 24501


Carroll County, Virginia


200± Acres Offered in Tracts Coming This Fall

506 Cliffview Road, Galax, Virginia 24333

This historic farm is located at the city limits of Galax, Virginia and at the trail head for the famous New River Trail. Beautiful barns and outbuildings, along with several support structures create unmatched possibilities. The main house, a Victorian mansion built in 1902, has 6 bedrooms and 4 ½ baths, expansive porches and is complemented by several one and two bedroom cottages nearby. Long frontage on the New River Trail and Chestnut Creek offer wonderful recreational opportunities. This property will be divided into large parcels, many with frontage on the trail and Chestnut Creek. Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to purchase part or all of this beautiful estate. Visit for preview dates, personal property list and more. For more information, contact

Russell Seneff, David Boush or Jim Woltz


(800) 551-3588 • • • Roanoke, VA • VA#321

VA Living Quarter

8/24/12 6:08 PM


LINKHORN OAKS • VIRGINIA BEACH New Southern Living designed home to be built with views of Linkhorn Bay. $1,200,000


Cape Cod charm with penerennial gardens and private marina bulkhead space! $1,195,000

LITTLE NECK COVE • VIRGINIA BEACH Lewis Rightmier designed contemporary water front home. “Perfect condition!” $995,000


HARBOUR POINT • VIRGINIA BEACH Resort Living Year Round! Rudee Inlet Deep Waterfront, Dock, Boat/Jet Ski Lifts. $825,000

EAST BEACH • NORFOLK Charming East Beach custom home with carriage house apartment and bayfront clubhouse. $824,900

Built for entertaining, open floor plan, terrace and screened porch. $799,000


RIVER POINTE • PORTSMOUTH Large family home on deep water with pier, boatlift, pool, and screened in porch. $750,000

BAY ISLAND • VIRGINIA BEACH Boaters! Custom contemporary on deep water canal! 3 docks, boat lift, pool. $750,000

GOVERNORS LAND • MARINA VILLAGE Directly on Bennett’s Pond with water views galore complete with a swan! $750,000

MEADOWBROOK • NORFOLK Charming home on beautiful waterfront. Fabulous, spacious, ideal for entertaining. $684,900

PINEWELL • NORFOLK Spectacular direct bayfront home in mint condition! Premier lot with best views. $650,000

Charming home on elevated, private, deep water lot with great views! $850,000 | (757) 621-0455

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Colonial Classic The future of 254-year-old Mount Airy Plantation in Richmond County rests on the shoulders of the 10th generation of the Tayloe family to live on the estate. Their plan to sustain this historic home for the next generation includes opening its doors in unprecedented ways. By Kathleen Toler

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Built in 1758 by John Tayloe II, Mount Airy was the first plantation house in the colonies built in the manner of a neoPalladian villa.

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Home Here: The counting house. Below: Niche in the limestone loggia.


ew estates in

Virginia are as old as Mount Airy Plantation; fewer

still have been continuously occupied by descendants of the original family. Today, the 10th generation of the Tayloe family—John Tayloe Emery, his wife Catherine Bouldin, and their two young sons—have taken their place as stewards of the neo-Palladian home that wealthy planter and colonial statesman Col. John Tayloe II built in 1758 on a ridge near the Rappahannock River in Richmond County. “My grandfather used to bring me down here when I was young,” says 43-year-old Tayloe of the 1,400-acre estate, which was originally part of a vast tract of land that had already been owned by the Tayloe family for over 100 years before the house was built. “I would come every moment I could get. He’d get me to cut weeds, and then we’d go fishing. Even when I was young, he’d tell me I’d have to take care of this place. I always knew that I would live here.” Sited at the end of an unassuming gravel road shaded by old-growth cedar trees, Mount Airy’s magnificent front elevation is surrounded by 300-year-old boxwood. It is a place that wears the patina of generations and exudes a sense of romantic nostalgia: a weathered tractor rests beneath a giant crape myrtle in flower; white paint peels from the stable, a vestige of the estate’s origin as a stud horse farm; the Emerys’ three dogs amble about the property. Despite the signs of deterioration that can be expected of a centuries-old home, its scale, particularly for one of its time, is striking. Curved passageways link the main house to two-story wings, creating a grand, semicircular forecourt. Terraced stone stairs are flanked by Mountain and Muse, stone statues named for a wingshooting ancestor’s beloved English setters. From the recessed loggia, massive front doors open dramatically into the great hall where 14-foot ceilings and floor-toceiling windows flood the room with light. Symmetrical rear doors open to another recessed loggia and the bowling green beyond; to the right are the ruins of a brick structure, the oldest surviving orangery in North

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“ This house was meant to be enjoyed not just by us, but by many people. It was meant to show Virginia hospitality at its finest.”

America. With three-foot-thick walls of locally quarried dark brown sandstone and limestone quoin trim, Mount Airy is one of few stone houses built in Virginia during the 18th century and the first example of a neoPalladian villa in the colonies—its aristocratic elegance fitting for one of the wealthiest Virginians of his time. But it is more than architecturally significant; Mount Airy is a home that has been lived in and loved for more than two-and-a-half centuries. Protecting the deep history of such a place while making it a home for a young family seems a daunting task. But the Emerys—whose energetic, towheaded sons, John Tayloe, 6, and Thomas Bouldin, 4, play or read on the comfortable sofas in the great hall beneath ancient family portraits—are not afraid to make Mount Airy their own; they have a bold vision for its future. “Catherine and I are the first to live here in a long time who didn’t move here to retire,” explains Tayloe, a 1992 graduate of HampdenSydney College, journalist, producer and filmmaker who has worked with celebrities including Brad Pitt and Bono to promote their charitable work around the world. He and Catherine, a 1997 graduate of the former Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and former journalist, came to Mount Airy with their sons in 2010. The estate, which is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places, has been handed father to son or grandson for these 10 generations. But most of the Tayloe family who have inher-

Facing page clockwise from top left: Portrait of Maryland Gov. George Plater, John Tayloe II’s brother-in-law, in the dining room; Catherine and Tayloe Emery with sons Tayloe and Thomas; dining room portraits of John Tayloe II and his wife, Rebecca Plater Tayloe with daughter Mary. a d d i t i o na l r e p o rt i n g By d e v e r o n t i m b e r l a k e

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Top: Moose, one of the Emerys’ three dogs, rests on the front steps. Right: Tayloe Emery in the newly painted library. Below left: Apothecary cabinet from the mid-1800s that belonged to Tayloe’s cousin, Dr. John Snyder of Georgetown.

Clockwise from top left: The great hall; books from the personal library of John Tayloe II; Catherine Emery harvesting Mount Airy Gardens.

ited Mount Airy in recent history arrived after retirement, including Tayloe’s grandfather, Lt. Col. Henry Gwynne Tayloe—a WWII and Korea veteran who passed away in 1988—and his wife, Polly Montague, known to the family as ‘Grand Polly,’ who died at Mount Airy at the age of 96 just last year. The Emerys’ sons will be the next generation to carry on the legacy of the estate. “It’s going to be take a lot of work for what we want to do here,” Tayloe says. “With a special home like this, the question becomes, ‘How do you keep it going? How do you support it?’” He and Catherine have written a business plan. “I think that’s probably only the second business plan ever written here—the first one was by John Tayloe II,” says Tayloe from his seat on a leather sofa in the library, one of the first rooms in the house to be refreshed by the couple. The walls are painted a rich brown, and the ceiling and trim are Hadley red. (The Emerys are currently working with Benjamin Moore & Co. to develop a Mount Airy-inspired line of paint. They also hope to one day create a Mount Airy line of furniture.) Until now, the estate has been mostly private, opened by Tayloe’s grandmother occasionally to historical or conservation groups, and during Historic Garden Week every four years. The Emerys’ plans for Mount Airy going forward include continuing to farm its many acres of commercial soybean and corn fields, as well as opening the property for guided waterfowl and turkey hunts, tours and afternoon tea, and weddings. Tayloe and Catherine’s own wedding was held at Mount Airy in 2001. The ceremony took place on the estate’s front elevation and, afterward, their 300 guests walked through the receiving line in the great hall to a tent on the bowling green for the reception. “When people come here, their jaws drop,” because it’s not a museum, it is a family home, says Tayloe. “The home has always had that outwardly gracious feeling. It’s old Virginia chivalry, and during a wedding, guests really get that. It’s a very special experience to be where presidents and sen-

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ators and dignitaries and historical figures have been.” Among those historical figures is one of Col. John Tayloe II’s sons-inlaw, Francis Lightfoot Lee. He and his brother, Richard Henry Lee, were the only pair of brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence. (Frank and Rebecca Lee are buried in the Mount Airy family cemetery; the ruins of their home, Menokin, which is three miles from Mount Airy, is currently the site of a unique historic restoration project utilizing structural glass.) George Washington, a close friend of John Tayloe II’s only son, the Hon. John Tayloe III, was a frequent guest at Mount Airy. A military officer who served in the Virginia General Assemby, John Tayloe III is also known for building the famed Octagon House in Washington, D.C., where James and Dolley Madison took refuge following the burning of the White House during the War of 1812. The Marquis de Lafayette and his wife, Marie, according to Tayloe, were also guests at the estate and gave Mrs. Tayloe the estate’s first orange tree. Says Tayloe: “This house was meant to be enjoyed not just by us, but by many people. It was meant to show Virginia hospitality at its finest.” In addition to weddings, the Emerys are also opening their doors for guided waterfowl, deer and turkey hunting—longstanding traditions at Mount Airy. “We have an abundance of wildlife on this property,” explains Tayloe. In order to minimize environmental impact, he says that instead of booking a duck hunt every day, he might book just four groups over the season. Hunts at Mount Airy are all-natural: “That’s the way they have always done it here. We do not put out birds. We shoot what’s available. Having hunted here my whole life, I can tell you there is no shortage of wild game on the farm.” (The 800-acre Tayloe Wildlife Refuge, established in 1996, borders the property to the west.) Hunters are invited to stay as guests of the Emerys in the manor house. “The thrill of the chase, that’s what hunting is all about,” Tayloe explains

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Home Left: Hopscotch, in one of the children’s bedrooms. Right: Reading in the great hall. Below left: Ruins of the orangery. Below right: Mount Airy remains a gathering place for the extended Tayloe family.

as he describes the beauty of a flock of ducks coming in overhead as hunters and their dogs sit quietly below in the thrushes. “If you get one quail, and your dog worked beautifully, and afterward we sat on the loggia and had a snifter of brandy and a cigar followed by a great dinner in the dining room, that’s the experience where you walk away and say, ‘That’s hunting.’” The Emerys are working with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Conservation Partners to put the farm under easement to protect it forever. By not developing the rest of the land, there will be more room for wildlife. While hunting is Tayloe’s domain, Catherine has found her niche in organic gardening. This summer, she established Mount Airy Gardens on the grounds behind the bowling green with 11 members who share in her weekly harvest. “I’ve always really been into gardening, and I’ve always had a farm dream,” she admits. Their sons like to help—or just romp around. “They love being outside, digging in the dirt and playing with their trucks.” Tayloe adds, “The Tayloe women have always been running the show here. No sense in fighting it.” Catherine volunteered at Blenheim Organic Gardens in Westmoreland County to learn organic gardening practices. Using heirloom varieties when possible, she maintains Mount Airy Gardens with colorful borders of zinnias, cosmos and sunflowers to attract pollinators to basil, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, pole beans, figs and melons. Chickens in moveable coops fertilize the soil. One day, they hope to host farm-to-table dinners with fresh produce and game from Mount Airy and seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. Although the garden is in its first year, there is plenty of room to grow. “It’s all about our kids. And their kids,” explains Tayloe. “What kind of working sustainable business can we create here for them? Today, one of the best gifts I can give my children is a working business and historical property at the same time.”

The Emerys hope their new enterprises will fund the restoration of the west wing, which has fallen into disrepair. (Tayloe’s uncle, Henry Gwynne Tayloe III, lives in the east wing, which was restored in the 1980s.) When the restoration is complete, they plan to use the west wing as an inn for historians, archaeologists, photographers, writers and others who may want to study Mount Airy. For now, Saturday afternoon tours of Mount Airy, preceded by tea in the great hall and followed by a tour of Menokin, are available by advance reservation only. Tayloe describes it as an honor to continue the restoration work his grandparents started in the 1960s. “My grandfather was an incredible human being who was loved by many and respected by all. His legacy surrounds us still to this day,” says Tayloe with clear affection. Tayloe describes his grandparents’ days at Mount Airy as “a time of Camelot” when they threw grand parties and entertained distinguished guests. (Still awestruck by his grandfather, Tayloe recalls the day a military helicopter landed on the bowling green: “It was one of his old friends. My grandfather ran out with two beers, and they took off.”) “I’ve recently found his ledger,” says Tayloe, “where he recorded all of the things that happened here during the late ’70s. It is fascinating to hear his thoughts about things I’m still facing today—drought, crop failure, timber harvests, dove hunts, restoration. It’s like I have a small guide to my own future, and I’ve read it thoroughly to try and glean as much information from it as I can.” Says Tayloe of the estate: “We don’t feel like the owners. It feels like we’re holding it and getting it ready to pass along to the next generation.” Catherine adds, “Layer upon layer of generations have lived here, and the house reflects each of those families. It has taken on the life of the people who were here, and that’s part of the beauty of it.” • V i r g i n i a

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OF HOME Your home is a place of privacy and security,

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The climate and variety of vegetation in Virginia makes our state the perfect place to adopt such an approach, allowing Old Dominion-dwellers to maintain the very Virginia traditions of hospitable homes and gorgeous gardens, without sacrificing privacy. It’s the ultimate meeting of form

Our special Home & Garden section is a resource guide for Virginians who have big plans for their abode, with listings for local experts in interior design, remodeling, landscaping and more, designed to help you achieve the look and feel you want, both inside and out.

and function.

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Home & G a r den of the Best Interior Designers in Central Virginia by Virginia Living magazine readers, Moyanne and her team design and consult from concept to completion for residences, show houses, corporate offices, boutique hotels and retail storefronts. Moyanne offers Green Design services and in-home consultations. • 434-384-6844 or

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Special Advertising Section

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E D U C A T I O N I N V I R G I N I A 2012


overnight / visitation day | october 25-26, 2012

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E D U C A T I O N I N V I R G I N I A 2012


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8/28/12 11:20 AM


Above: VIMS researchers Jacques van Montfrans and David Combs seine a grass bed searching for juvenile speckle trout. Facing page: VIMS professor Eric Hilton holds a shovelnose sturgeon.

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a July afternoon of clear skies and calm waters, getting paid to spend time on the Chesapeake Bay is a job many of us would envy. “But when it’s below freezing, when you have to break the ice just to get the boat out, there’s a north wind blowing against the tide, and the spray is freezing on the deck ... those are the days it’s not as much fun to be out there,” says boat captain Hank Brooks. “Of course,” he grins, “I love it on those days too.” Brooks is a fisheries scientist and research vessel captain, and is part of a dedicated team of researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) who are working to protect the fisheries that are key to the culture and economy of our state. For many of the researchers, that means getting out on the water and catching fish—whatever the weather. Located in Gloucester Point, on the banks of the York River, VIMS has been studying Virginia’s marine life since its founding in 1940. “VIMS are our science advisors,” says John Bull of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC). “They are the state’s marine biologists.” And, as part of the College of William and Mary, VIMS is training the next generation of marine scientists as well. That’s important, because fish—and fishing—have always been at the heart of life in Eastern Virginia. Fish and shellfish were an important element in the diet of the Native Americans who lived along the banks of the Chesapeake and its tributaries. Capt. John Smith was so impressed by the bounty of the region that he wrote in 1608 “neither better fish, more plenty, nor more variety for smal [sic] fish, had any of us ever seene [sic] in any place.” (In the same note, he also advised against trying to catch the fish with frying pans.) That bounty was appreciated by the early colonists as well; shad and sturgeon are thought to have helped the Jamestown settlers survive the “starving time” of 1609. And once the colonists started fishing, they didn’t stop. Today, commercial fishing is worth an estimated $478 million to Virginia, with the seafood industry providing roughly 3,900 fulland part-time jobs. And recreational fishing has an even bigger impact. Approximately 750,000 anglers fish each year just for fun, creating an annual economic impact of $823 million.

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VIMS; right: by Casey Dillman/VIMS

Marine biologists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science in Gloucester Point work to protect one of Virginia’s most important natural resources … its fisheries.

photo left: courtesy


by W. Matthew Shipman

8/23/12 5:41 PM

photo by emmett


v << UNDERSTANDING THE PAST In order to prevent future disasters, it is important to understand the past. And few major Virginia fisheries have seen their fortunes fall as far as the American shad. In 1994, Virginia banned all recreational and commercial fishing for American shad due to the species’ dwindling numbers. (In 1897, commercial fishermen in Virginia were hauling in 11.5 million pounds of American shad per year, but by 1990, the catch had dipped to less than 500,000 pounds.) Commercial fishermen objected to the moratorium, and the ensuing debate highlighted how little anyone actually knew about the

and whether they were spawned in the wild or released from a hatchery. All of this information helps the researchers determine how the population is faring. And the news isn’t good. “What we’re seeing is a population whose stocks still haven’t recovered,” Hilton says. The number of American shad in the James River, for example, is one-third of what it was 30 years ago. What makes it even more frustrating is that there does not appear to be a silver bullet solution to bring the shad back. “Why haven’t the shad come back? That’s the million dollar question. We still don’t know,” Hilton says. “That’s why a program like ours is important. The more we learn

The public expects striped bass to be there in the future, and we're helping state and regional fishery managers ensure they meet that objective. American shad population in Virginia waters. In 1998, VIMS researchers were called in to monitor the existing population, and examine historical data, with the goal of determining when the moratorium could be lifted. The VIMS American shad monitoring program uses the exact same fishing methods used by commercial fishermen in the past, but on a much smaller scale. “This way we can compare our catch data to the historical data,” says Eric Hilton, an assistant professor of marine science at VIMS, and co-director of the shad program. “By comparing the two, we can assess the abundance of the current stocks of American shad, relative to their abundance in the past. That can tell us whether the population is recovering.” Hilton’s team is working with watermen who fished for shad before the moratorium, setting out staked gillnets in Virginia’s tidal rivers during the shad’s spawning season, from late February through May. The fish they catch are analyzed to determine their sex, size, weight and age,

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about these fish, the better able we are to help them recover.” The perilous state of the shad fishery also highlights a key point: Once a fish population is in danger, it’s incredibly difficult to bring it back from the brink. All the more reason to ensure that other important fish populations are protected.

<< STUDYING THE PRESENT In order to make sound decisions about how to protect a fishery, government regulators need good information. In Virginia, that information comes from VIMS. More specifically, it comes to the surface in nets. Few fish are as beloved as the striped bass. Recreational anglers spend countless hours trying to catch them, and gourmands spend countless dollars for the opportunity to dine on them. When you consider the amount of money spent on rods, reels, fishing licenses, and at restaurants and seafood counters, it’s clear that striped bass do more

Above left: VIMS’ main campus in Gloucester Point. Above right: Scott Markwith, Mike Oesterling and Dan Sennett work with cobia in the VIMS finfish hatchery.

than their fair share for Virginia’s economy. Protecting this resource is important. VIMS began the juvenile striped bass seine survey—a seine is a long fishing net with weights at the bottom and floats at the top—in 1967, with the express goal of assessing the number of striped bass born in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from year to year. In the seine survey, VIMS scientists travel to 39 different sites around coastal Virginia, wading into the water with a 100-foot net and sweeping it back to shore in a loop. When they haul the net in, they sort through the fish they’ve caught— identifying the various species, measuring them, and releasing them back into the water. Regulators use the information they collect to forecast what the striped bass population in the Chesapeake will look like several years down the road. Those forecasts are used to set limits for commercial and recreational fishing. “The public expects striped bass to be there in the future, and we’re helping state and regional fishery managers ensure they meet that objective,” says Mary Fabrizio, associate professor of marine science and one of the co-directors of the survey. But the seine survey catches more than just baby striped bass. The net isn’t selective, and each year the survey hauls in fish of more than 60 different species. “It’s a valuable source of data on the population numbers of smaller fish species that serve as food for striped bass and other important sport fish, as well as bald eagles and other wildlife,” says Leonard Machut, a fisheries scientist and co-director of the seine survey. But the diversity found in the nets is nothing compared to what researchers find in the granddaddy of the VIMS population surveys. Launched in 1955, the VIMS juvenile finfish trawl survey is the oldest continuous monitoring program of its kind in the U.S. The survey tracks trends in the abundance of a host of important finfish, such as summer flounder and black sea bass, as well as invertebrates like the blue crab. Helmed by either Brooks or fellow boat captain

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and scientist Wendy Lowery, the research vessel Fish Hawk is on the water every month. From the deck of the 29-foot trawler, the crew hauls in samples from more than 100 sites in the Chesapeake, Rappahannock, York and James. If you’ve never seen a trawl, it’s “like dragging a big mesh bag behind the boat, along the floor of the bay or the riverbed,” explains Troy Tuckey, one of the co-managers of the survey. “We hit 1,224 stations a year, and we’re out every month.” Over the years, the trawl has hauled up more than 225 different species of finfish, and over 140 different species of invertebrates. Collecting information on such a wide array of species for more than 50 years “allows us to monitor changes in the bay over time,” Tuckey says. Fabrizio, the other co-manager of the trawl survey agrees. “In order to set goals for what the Chesapeake fisheries should look like, you need to know what the bay looked like in the past, how the bay has changed and how fish populations have responded to those changes.” Because the trawl survey is on the water every month, it can serve as an early warning system for changes in the bay. “We help to identify the outbreak of harmful algal blooms,” Tuckey says, “and we’re often the first to identify invasive species. For example, we’ve seen a sharp rise in the population of blue catfish since the late 1990s, which is significant concern for fisheries managers.” Blue catfish are not native to Virginia waters, and they’ll eat anything and everything. “They’re vacuum cleaners with fins,” says Machut. To make matters worse, they live for an extremely long time—up to 25 years—and can grow to weigh over 100 pounds. “Blue catfish throw the ecosystem out of balance,” says Fabrizio. “They consume native species, like shad and freshwater mussels, and they out-compete native fishes like white catfish for prey.” The fact that new predators like blue catfish are affecting fish populations is important information for the regulators who are tasked with supporting Virginia’s fisheries. And the VIMS surveys are where that information comes from. In fact, the fisheries scientists at VIMS “provide us, the state’s fishery managers, with the biological science that helps us to set season, size and creel limits for more than 50 species,” says VMRC’s Bull. “The knowledge that VIMS acquires is beyond measure for us. It’s the cornerstone of sustainable fisheries in Virginia.” And beyond. The seine and trawl surveys also support many other research efforts. Researchers from up and down the Atlantic seaboard call on VIMS to collect water and animal samples. “Everything from jellyfish to herring,” Tuckey says. But what if fishing limits aren’t enough? How can we restock flagging fish populations, or ensure that the fish we eat aren’t lost forever? One way is to grow them ourselves.

Above: Laboratory technician Michele Cochran and graduate students Heidi Geisz and Christina Pondell study environmental samples using VIMS’ isotope ratio mass spectrometer. Below: VIMS researchers study estuarine food webs in the Chesapeake Bay.

studying them. Sennett is a marine aquaculture specialist at VIMS, which means that he focuses on how to breed and raise saltwater fish in captivity. He’s a fish farmer. There are three reasons that aquaculture research is important, Sennett explains. “Raising a fish species in captivity gives us an opportunity to learn more about their development and life cycle. We can also determine whether a species can be raised for consumption, whether it can be done in an environmentally sensitive way, and whether it is cost effective,” Sennett says. “And aquaculture can also make it possible to re-stock wild populations that are at risk.” For years, aquaculture research at VIMS focused on cobia, a popular fish with recreational anglers that also makes for great eating. VIMS was the first aquaculture facility in the U.S. to successfully breed cobia in captivity, and its work has led to commercial cobia hatcheries around the world. But in 2008, Sennett began working to better understand how to successfully breed and raise spadefish. In many ways, the spadefish seems an

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photos above and right by

Just down the hill from VIMS’ research buildings, only feet (and maybe inches) above the York River, is an old greenhouse filled with large circular tanks. You wouldn’t know by looking at them, but those tanks may change the future of the seafood industry. Each tank is teeming with Atlantic spadefish, a striped fish shaped like the head of a shovel that usually weighs in at around two to three pounds (though they can reach sizes of 14 pounds or more). And Dan Sennett spends a lot of time

Harold Burrell/VIMS


ideal candidate. For one thing, Sennett says, “anyone who’s eaten one finds them to be delicious.” Market viability is an important attribute, and a tasty new source of seafood is always welcome. Not only would it be good news for diners, but it would help take the pressure off of wild fish populations. Still, there’s more to it than that. “Spadefish are able to thrive on a varied diet,” Sennett says. “Hopefully, that will allow us to feed them more plant proteins, such as soy, rather than traditional high-protein feeds,” which are more expensive and have a greater environmental impact, since they’re often made of ground shrimp or fish. Spadefish in the wild can be found from Massachusetts to Brazil, so they can tolerate a fairly broad range of salinity and temperature. That means they could be cultivated at fish farms in a variety of locations. And, not incidentally, they’re schooling fish; they actually enjoy swimming together in large groups. That’s an important attribute, since one problem researchers found with raising cobia was that the solitary predators would often eat one another. Ultimately, Sennett’s goal is to publish a manual that will give detailed stepby-step instructions for raising spadefish from the egg through to maturity, and then breeding the adults. “We call it ‘closing the life cycle,’” Sennett says. Once the manual is out, we may find spadefish a regular sight on the seafood aisle, but it may have important ecological repercussions as well. “There’s a lot of uncertainty about spadefish population numbers in the wild,” Sennett says. South Carolina, for example, has already seen their numbers dwindle and has listed them as a “species of concern.” For Sennett, that only makes his work more important. “Anything we can learn about this species could help us ensure their survival,” he says. And ensuring the survival of Virginia’s diverse fish species is what VIMS is all about. •


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LOVE DESIre OBSESSION LOVE, desire & obsession madnessfury

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Your guide to Virginia's


Performing Arts Season Edgy theatrical offerings and classic Shakespeare, worldclass ballet and an operatic premiere, symphonic firsts and legendary singers are on deck for a handful of the state’s top companies. Bravo Virginia!

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Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Roanoke “One of the things I have tried to do this season is celebrate through music some of the beauty we have around us in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains,” says Music Director and Conductor David Stewart Wiley of the Masterworks’ themed series “Beethoven in the Blue Ridge.” “Pieces like Aaron Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ complement the natural beauty, and Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ is one of the most beautiful and popular pieces of all times.” The Masterworks Series, which opens on October 1 with “Fireworks,” featuring Tchaikovsky's stirring “1812 Overture,” includes the premiere of Wiley’s “Celebration Overture.”

The orchestra’s “Picnic at the Pops Series” begins in October with a solo performance by country superstar LeAnn Rimes and ends in March with Broadway great, Bernadette Peters. “I had the privilege of working with Bernadette several years ago,” Wiley says. “She is an amazing performer and singer.” December’s “Holiday Pops: It’s a Wonderful Life” features Miss Virginia 2011 Elizabeth Crot, who will be singing. “We have people from all over Virginia and neighboring states come to our Holiday Pops,” Wiley says. “We will be doing some special music composed for ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ that never made it into the film. It will be a Roanoke Symphony premiere.”

Richmond Ballet Richmond Ballet’s Managing Director Brett Bonda says the studio theater series, the intimate series performed in its 250-seat theater on the top floor of the ballet’s headquarters in downtown Richmond, has been just one of their successes. Also a hit for the ballet is their biannual New Works Festival which, Bonda says, will be back this year. The festival features world premieres from four up-andcoming choreographers who have not worked with the ballet in the past. “It’s a nice way of introducing audiences to new choreography and introducing new choreographers to the organization,” Bonda says. Highlights of this season include the company premiere of Balanchine’s “Duo Concertant” with the score performed live on stage with the dancers. “This is a new acquisition for the ballet,” Bonda says. Richmond Ballet is the official state ballet and the only professional company in Virginia. The ballet has 14 dancers, plus another 10 in Richmond Ballet II, a company of young dancers that tour rural areas of the state. In the upcoming season, the ballet will also showcase a new world premiere for the studio series set by Philip Neal—who started his career as a dancer with the ballet and is now a choreographer who works in the development department of the Miami City Ballet—and “Ershter Vals,” which was created for the company by awardwinning choreographer Ma Cong. The work was selected by the Kennedy Center for performance in its Ballet Across America series, which showcases the spectacular vitality of American ballet. The ballet was first performed during the 2009 New Works Festival and was finished in the fall of 2010. Perennial favorite “The Nutcracker” returns for the holidays and in February the company will present “Swan Lake.” “We are very excited,” Bonda says. “We haven’t done that ballet since the 2001-02 season. We thought it was the right time.”

Sarah Ferguson, All Rights Reserved


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Left: David Stewart Wiley conducts the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra. Below: Richmond Ballet performs “Ershter Vals,” (from left) Valerie Tellmann, Kirk Henning, Shira Lanyi and David Neal.

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Right: Gregory Jon Phelps as Bassanio and James Keegan as Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice.” Below: Baritone Aaron St. Clair Nicholson as Pooh-Bah and tenor Matthew Plenk as Nanki-Poo in Virginia Opera’s 2011-12 Season production of Gilbert and Sullivan's “The Mikado.”


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American Shakespeare Center Staunton

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“We put on as many as 30 titles a year,” says Jim Warren, artistic director and co-founder. “We perform 52 weeks a year.” The Center’s five seasons are performed in rotating repertory at Blackfriars Playhouse using staging conditions reminiscent of Shakespeare’s productions. “Shakespeare was writing for the audience to be lit as much as the actors and to be part of the world of the play,” Warren says. The five-play lineup for the fall season features a different play every night. It includes the comic love story, “The Merchant of Venice.” “It’s a tricky play, and it’s a wonderful play,” says Warren. “It does so many things to your heartstrings, your funny bone and your sense of what’s right and wrong. It’s a rich complex tapestry of drama and comedy. That’s one reason we chose it.” The season also includes “The Lion in Winter,” the story of Henry II and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, a prequel to Shakespeare’s “King John,” which will also be performed. Many of the same actors will appear in both productions. Shakespeare’s “Cymbeline,” “a different kind of play” with a “fairy tale element to the story,” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” one of Shakespeare’s most beloved romantic comedies, round out the season. Dog lovers should take note that the canines appearing in the production will be looking for homes: “We are partnering with Augusta Dog Adoptions and will have a different dog every week that will be up for adoption,” Warren says.

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“We are committed not only to great classics but also to bringing new works to audiences in Virginia,” says Anna Russell, the opera’s director of marketing and communications. This season opens with the opera’s premiere of “The Pearl Fishers,” a classic tale of the forbidden love shared by two friends for the same woman. It launches the opera’s First of Firsts series—new, season-opening productions of operas never before presented by the company. “It’s a huge commitment on our part,” Russell says. “We’re bringing in an incredible creative team.” The five-opera season delves into the timeless themes of love, jealousy and revenge—operatic favorites. Robin Thompson, the opera’s artistic advisor, hopes that the shows “will touch the hearts and minds of first time attendees and seasoned operagoers alike.” In addition to “The Pearl Fishers,” the company will present “Die Fledermaus,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Carousel” by Rodgers and Hammerstein as well as the Virginia premiere of Andre Previn’s “A Streetcar Named Desire,” based on Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. “Last season was well attended,” says Russell. “‘The Mikado’ was one of our best attended performances in the history of the company. We are in a sweet spot right now.”

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The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra

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The orchestra performing at GMU’s Center for the Arts.

“So often symphonic music is regarded as something abstract and emotionally nonspecific,” says Music Director Christopher Zimmerman. “Over the next three years the orchestra will play music by a variety of composers whose message and expressive aims are deliberate, be they lighthearted, semi-provocative or completely out of the box.” The 2012-2013 season marks the beginning of “Mischief in Music: Wit, Insolence and Insurrection,” which will consist of six Masterworks performances and feature two Virginia premieres that “make the season unique,” says Elizabeth Murphy, president and CEO. “We also have planned a new type of concert for us, which we hope will become a regular series sometime soon. On October 19, we are taking a chamber orchestra to the Austrian Embassy for a concert under the auspices of the Embassy Series.” The concert is open to the public and tickets are available through a link on the symphony’s website. The two Virginia premieres include a co-commissioned piece, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s “Shadows” for piano and orchestra, which starts the season, and Jonathon Leshnoff’s “Flute Concerto.” “Ellen Zwilich is the only female composer to have won a Pulitzer Prize,” says Murphy. During the Masterworks IV concert, the orchestra will play only the second hearing of Baltimore-based Leshnoff’s “Flute Concerto,” which premiered in 2011 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. “Our players have never sounded better,” Murphy says.


September’s performance of “Rock of Ages” will feature ’80s classic rock tunes.

Virginia Repertory Theatre

2011's “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”

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“What we try to do in The Barns at Wolf Trap as well as The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts is to be as diverse as possible,” says Terrence D. Jones, president and CEO of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. The Barns, an intimate 382-seat indoor venue housed in two adjacent 18th-century barns, showcases up-and-comers as well as established artists. Between them, The Barns and The Filene Center stage approximately 100 shows. This year, The Filene Center will bring in the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages” in September to cap off its summer season. Beginning in October and running through May, The Barns will feature acts such as Chad and Jeremy, who had a smash hit in 1964 with “A Summer Song.” “They do an amazing show,” says Peter Zimmerman, who books the shows at The Barns. “We are looking forward to having them back.” The Barns starts the season on October 4 with Spaniard Carlos Nuñez, who will present Celtic music played on a Galician bagpipe. Other highlights in the schedule include “rising talent” Ben Taylor (son of the legendary James Taylor), New York folk singer Lucy Kaplansky and “Face of America™: Spirit of South Florida” on September 8 at the Filene Center, which celebrates other national parks through the arts. The multimedia performance includes HD video featuring dancing and scenery captured on-site in the park, as well as live dance from choreographer David Parsons during which “the dancers will interact with themselves on screen,” says Jones.

Scott Suchman


“We are continuing the tradition and mission of Barksdale Theatre to produce the great plays past, present and future,” says artistic director Bruce Miller. “We interpret this to mean we are going to do classics, world premieres, hot new plays that recently closed on Broadway and popular plays of world theatre. The shows have broad-based appeal so everyone in the community will find something to love in the season.” Virginia Rep focuses on shows that have the most artistic weight for its Signature Season. It also presents seasons at Hanover Tavern and Theatre Gym in partnership with Cadence Theatre Company. “We do plays there that are bold, edgy and very contemporary for theater aficionados,” Miller says. In its Signature Season, Virginia Rep will perform only the second production of the new play “Night Blooms,” written by Richmonder Margaret Baldwin. The play, which premiered in Atlanta, is a compelling family drama set in Selma, Alabama, on the eve of the 1965 civil rights marches. Virginia Rep is also bringing back Noel Coward’s classic comedy “Hay Fever.” “It was last done at Barksdale in 1955 at the very beginning of Barksdale Theatre,” Miller says. “No one has done it here in decades.” Another special offering: The Tonyaward winning drama “Red,” a portrait of artist Mark Rothko's ambition and vulnerability. “It’s a great opportunity to partner with our visual arts colleagues,” Miller says. “We will be transforming Theatre Gym into Rothko’s studio. I’m excited about the edginess and the opportunity that we have to get a visceral connection between the performance and the audience.” V i r g i n i a

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Left: Richmond Symphony Orchestra Music Director Steven Smith. Below: Jannie Jones in “Black Pearl Sings!” by Frank Higgins.

Richmond Symphony Richmond “Our season is designed to highlight many facets of orchestral music,” says Music Director Steven Smith. “In terms of broad strokes, we present a wide range of repertoire. We have two pieces that have not been performed by Richmond Symphony, as well as a number of pieces that have never been played before.” The Altria Masterworks series opens with Mahler’s epic “Symphony No. 1 in D Major,” nicknamed “Titan.” “This piece [captures] the hopes and dreams of an excitable young man entranced by nature and poetry,” Smith says. The Masterworks season culminates with the 100th anniversary of the premiere of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring.” “We are happy to celebrate such a noteworthy piece and build a program around it,” Smith says.

The Genworth Symphony Pops series features Broadway classics by Leonard Bernstein, singer Maureen McGovern and the Cuban jazz sounds of Tiempo Libre. “Each program is something different,” Smith says. “We have different styles of music as well as different guest stars. Tiempo Libre has been a big hit with many orchestras that have presented them.” The Bernstein on Broadway pops show features Jamie Bernstein, who will talk about her father’s career and give insights into his life as a composer to the Broadway stage. Smith says he’s proud to be part of Richmond Symphony. “The orchestra is incredibly talented. I treasure every moment on stage and off that I can share with this orchestra.”

Virginia Stage Company

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“Our goal is always to try and reach as many people as we can with the most compelling story we can find,” says Chris Hanna, artistic director. “We try to find shows that have something for everyone and everything for someone.” His goal: “To produce a lineup of shows that is a blend of popular works familiar to our audience as well as the most current works on the national theater scene.” This year’s season includes two world premieres. The drama “The Comfort Team” is a moving story that follows a group of military spouses brought together by duty and bound by honor and friendship. The saucy new musical “Frog Kiss” tells of a princess determined to turn her frog into a prince. The action, says Hanna, takes place in an enchanted faraway, “Shrek”-like kingdom. Hanna believes audiences will be talking about the Company’s production of “The Whipping Man,” which recently played Broadway. “It’s a very Virginia story that takes place in Richmond at the end of the Civil War,” he says. “It looks at what it is to hold on to your religion during something as brutal as the Civil War. It brings in different races and different faiths.” “Fences,” a drama that explores family relationships, and “The Odd Couple” round out the season. “It seemed right to open the season with ‘Fences,’ winner of the Pulitzer Prize and 2009 Tony Award for Best Revival, and close with ‘The Odd Couple,’” Hanna says. “I love to end any season laughing.”

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Above: Synetic’s 2010 performance of “King Athur.” Below: JoAnn Falletta, music director of Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

“We’re very excited to build on Synetic’s momentum of the past 11 years and present four brand new, world premiere productions,” says the theater’s founder and artistic director Paata Tsikurishvili. The recipient of 24 Helen Hayes Awards, the equivalent of the Tony Awards for the Washington, D.C., area, Synetic is known for its unique, physically demanding style that fuses drama, dance and acrobatics with innovative visuals. The theater is famous for its “Silent Shakespeare” productions in which the actor’s emotions and the plot are shown through non-traditional physical theater methods and non-stop action. This season’s offerings include the world premiere of “Jekyll & Hyde.” “It’s perfect for Synetic because of its supernatural elements,” Tsikurishvili says, adding that he is taking a post-modern approach to a plotline that most people know. “This is the opportunity to do it wordless without text.” Actor Alex Mills, a Synetic favorite, will perform the title role. “He has the ability to transform physically and emotionally,” Tsikurishvili says. “He can do anything with his body.” Synetic’s production of “Trip to the Moon,” a 1902 French silent movie, will be a visual treat for the audience. The play follows the over-the-top adventures of six astronauts sent to the moon by way of a cannon. “The Tempest,” the ninth installment in the theater’s ongoing “Silent Shakespeare” series boasts a stunning set design complete with a water extravaganza and acrobatics. Tsikurishvili is using 3-D projections from different projectors and angles to create abstract images. “We’ve never done that before,” he says. “I’m excited, but I’m also terrified.”

Virginia Symphony Orchestra

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Norfolk “I think our season is eclectic in the most dramatic way,” says music director and conductor JoAnn Falletta. “We have a little something for everyone. We have a colorful, audience-friendly collection of pieces.” The eight-concert Classic Series features several performers who will be appearing with the orchestra for the first time, including pianist Jon Kimura Parker, an Officer of The Order of Canada and Gold Medal Laureate of the Leeds International Piano Competition; 24-year-old violinist Chloë Hanslip, who made her United States concerto début in 2003; and clarinetist Robert Plane, whose career encompasses solo and chamber work. The opening concert, “Pictures at an Exhibition,” explores the relationship between music and art. The orchestra will bring in community partners from the arts for pre-concert lectures that focus on the connection between arts and music. “We haven’t had that before,” Falletta says, explaining that the series will highlight new composers to the orchestra as well as different types of music. One of the most anticipated concerts is the orchestra’s Italianthemed “Pines of Rome.” “It will be fun,” Falletta says. “We will have brass playing from the balcony. There will be dramatic surround sound. It harkens back to ancient Rome.” The season also includes one of the Orchestra’s most popular shows, Handel’s “Messiah,” and Mozart’s “Requiem” with the Virginia Symphony Chorus. “We are delighted to feature them,” Falletta says. The orchestra offers a full series of concerts in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Williamsburg. “We are one of the few orchestras in the country that has so many homes,” Falletta says. “It’s great. It gives us a wide audience base.”

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A Proud Legacy by Ben Swenson

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Virginia is home to 11 state-recognized Indian tribes that are working to pass their rich culture to the next generat ion.

facing page Stormie Adkins, left, and Meagan Sakiewicz, members of the Chickahominy tribe. here David Perry of North Carolina's Tuscarora tribe is also descended from Virginia Indians.



eep in Charles City County sits a nondescript crossroads thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easy to miss even if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for it. Tucked between fields of corn and stands of old timber is a low-slung, cinder block building, a church and cemetery. Though quiet, this corner is the cultural core for hundreds of Chickahominy Indians who are proud to call this home. This is the land of their ancestors. Most Virginians have little notion of how many Indians live among them. There are more than 900 Chickahominy people on tribal rolls, and in all about 5,000 members of the 11 Virginia tribes officially recognized by the state government: Cheroenhaka Nottoway, Chickahominy, Chickahominy Eastern

Division, Mattaponi, Monacan, Nansemond, Nottoway, Pamunkey, Patawomeck, Rappahannock and Upper Mattaponi. The Commonwealth is also home to two of the oldest reservations in the nation: the 1,200-acre Pamunkey Reservation, population 80, and the 150-acre Mattaponi Reservation, population 75, both in King William County and established around 1646. Today, many of Virginiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Indians are working hard, through both longstanding traditions and modern initiatives, to make sure their native legacy remains as strong in Virginia as it has been for the 10,000 years their people have lived here.

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s’ important to keep “It our tradit ions and legacy alive, because if we don’t, our culture can die out.

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Wayne Adkins, 59, is one of the Chickahominy tribe’s two assistant chiefs and an elected member of the 12-member tribal council. Adkins is a soft-spoken man, a retired electrical engineer and a UVA grad who lives about 20 minutes from the Chickahominy Tribal Center, where retirees gather to socialize at the monthly Elders’ Day Luncheon. A little before noon on a quiet, spring Wednesday morning, seniors trickle into the building’s well-used meeting hall, which volunteers have already prepared with long folding tables and chairs. The elders greet each other warmly and share lighthearted small talk. They welcome me and ply me with hearty helpings of fried chicken as I watch a game of bingo, which is punctuated by shouted wisecracks. It’s the kind of informal get-together that might be found in any corner of America. But when Adkins and another tribal elder, retired truck driver and Vietnam War veteran Glenn Canaday, walk me across the street to show off the tidy interior of Samaria Baptist Church—part of which was once used as a segregated Indian school—I begin to understand the importance of this crossroads. Fellowship—both secular and religious—has long been a hallmark of Virginia Indians’ cultural life. Chickahominy people of all ages come to this rural intersection not only for regular Sunday services but also for wedding receptions, birthday parties and cultural education classes. Here, too, every September, on a baseball field behind the center, the tribe holds what is reputedly the oldest continuous powwow in Virginia, dating to 1951. “Powwows are a chance for Indians to gather, socialize and educate people,” Adkins tells me. Also, he says, powwows “are an important fundraiser for the tribes because most charge admission or ask for donations and run the concessions. But that’s just part of the larger event. It just so happens that we make some money, but we would have them even if we didn’t because they’re so important from a social perspective.” These inter-tribal festivals are found around the U.S.; about a dozen are held in Virginia annually. Most tribes in the Commonwealth, though not all, host a powwow, and they’re open to the general public. At a powwow hosted by the Mattaponi tribe in King William County, I get a feel for ceremonial Indian culture—a modern expression of customs that stretch back ages. Dozens of Indians and their families are clad in all manner of eclectic regalia; some in bright, modern neon, others in more muted buckskins and moccasins. Most are glad to pose for pictures and explain elements of their attire. It’s a welcoming and festive atmosphere. Indian men sit around broad

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drums and beat steady rhythms. They chant haunting songs and make music that seems to give life and a pulse to the gathering. Center stage is the dance circle, a roped-off area around which participants and spectators sit in folding camp chairs. At the emcee’s direction, Indians of all tribes enter the circle for ceremonial dances; one for tribal chiefs, for instance, and another honoring veterans. Children as young as eight or 10 years old are included among the dancers and seem as expert as Indians many times their age. The crowd looks toward the dancers with respectful attentiveness, though many softly carry on with their conversations. There’s no applause, but the attention afforded the performers shows the reverence onlookers have for the craft unfolding before them. Most of the dances are the same as those performed at other powwows, giving Indians of different tribes a chance to move in lock step with one another; a show of inter-tribal unity. LEFT First assistant Jesse Bass, a gregarious 29-year-old Nansemond Indian chief of the and Norfolk resident, is on the rim of the dance circle. Chickahominy tribe, He is dressed sharply in full regalia that includes a bone breastplate, a choker and a circular shield of 40 feathers Wayne Adkins. on his back called a bustle. It’s tough to tell by looks alone that Bass is descended from Virginia’s earliest inhabitants; he’s a redhead, a trait he attributes to his mother’s Irish heritage. “This is what 400 years of mixing with everybody else looks like,” says Bass. “When I was younger, no one believed me because I didn't have ‘the look.’ The Virginia Indian of today isn’t always who people think it is.” Bass, a service and sales representative for a document management firm, sits on the Nansemond tribal council. He’s the son of Chief Barry Bass, who was elected to the tribe’s top position in 1996. Although each Virginia tribe is different, most have a volunteer council elected by tribe members. The council maintains and enforces a tribe’s bylaws and coordinates initiatives important to its members. The Nansemond tribal council, for example, is currently overseeing negotiations with Suffolk officials for the transfer of as many as 99 acres from the city to the tribe, which the Indians plan to use for a burial ground, historic village and tribal center called Mattanock Town. Nansemonds currently meet in Chesapeake at Indiana United Methodist Church, the longtime home parish of many members of the tribe and a church that served years ago as a school for young Indians. Although Bass takes great pride in being an Indian, he concedes that it can be disheartening at times. Bass explains that there are several hundred Nansemonds on the tribal rolls, but thousands more, he believes, can trace their lineage to this Suffolk-based tribe: “It’s disappointing that so much of your family doesn’t know about their own culture. I think society plays a very large part in that. Everything is quick, and people are very impatient. That’s the world we live in. But native culture is the exact opposite of that. Unfortunately, some people don’t find a need to have that heritage remain a part of their life.” To remedy that apathy, Bass hosts an Indian culture night, which meets monthly in his living room or, weather permitting, in his backyard. It’s an eclectic group made up of not just Nansemonds, but also other Indians who happen to be stationed at nearby military bases. Bass’ focus now is mostly on native music, and he keeps a large drum at home to provide the rhythm, but he would like to expand the scope to include dancing, crafts and folklore. “I got the idea from a buddy of mine who began teaching young children of his tribe stories and dances,” explains Bass. “It scares me that one day huge parts of the culture could be lost,” like the languages of Virginia’s native people, most of which have long since become extinct, replaced by English as Indians adapted to what was, for a long time, forced acculturation. Bass is just one of dozens of younger-generation Virginia Indians working to preserve their native heritage. At the Mattaponi powwow, I meet two

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Connor Tupponce, 13, dancing at the Mattaponi powwow; Lynn Custalow-Curry, Autumn Custalow, Brandon Custalow and Lois Custalow-Carter, all members of the Mattaponi tribe; Lee Lovelace of the Upper Mattaponi tribe; Maurice Proctor of Maryland's Piscataway tribe at the Mattaponi powwow; Mattaponi Eagle Staff.

HERE Replica log cabin Indian schoolhouse on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation. RIGHT Melissa Desantis, a Lakota woman, is engaged to Nansemond tribesman Jesse Bass.

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HERE Interior of the Mattaponi Indian Museum. RIGHT Pamunkey boy, River Ottigney Cook, on the Pamunkey Indian Reservation.

Karenne Wood, of the Monacan Indian Nation, is head of the Virginia Indian Program.

Mattaponi tribesman George Custalow tends his prolific garden on the Mattaponi Reservation.

HERE Pamunkey Chief Kevin Brown. RIGHT Interior of the restored Pamunkey Reservation's schoolhouse.

Pamunkey man Gordon Atkinson and his wife Christy at their home on the Pamunkey Reservation. Pamunkey woman Kim Taylor finds ancient Indian artifacts at the Pamunkey Reservation.

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Part of the Pamunkey Reservation's waterfront along the Pamunkey River.

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young women who take pride that they are descended from the first Virginians. Stormie Adkins, a 21-year-old nurse at a family practice in New Kent County, can often be found at powwows with her friend and fellow Chickahominy Indian Meagan Sakiewicz, the 26-yearold deputy clerk of Charles City Circuit Court. Sakiewicz explains what draws her and young Indian adults to powwows. “I love to hear the drumming and see the dancing and the coming together of our native people,” she says. “It’s almost like a homecoming ... a way of keeping our traditions alive in a modern world.” Powwows are perhaps the most familiar of Indian traditions, but they are just one way that Virginia's Indian tribes maintain their culture, as I discover on a visit to the Pamunkey Indian Reservation. Very much a modern rural community, the reservation sits on 1,200 expansive acres on an oxbow in the Pamunkey River, amid the idyllic scenery of King William County’s countryside; it is home for about 80 Pamunkeys and some non-Indian spouses. Unlike many western Indian reservations that are plagued by infertile land and crippling poverty, there are vast fields of healthy corn and soybeans whose yield brings income for the Indians living on the reservation. Pamunkey men fish for shad in the spring, and they maintain a fish hatchery on site. They receive funds from corporate donations and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to release shad fry back into the river. Along the waterfront, there are colorful and well-kept river houses. There’s a lot of space between the 38 houses, which vary widely in age and style, from sleek and contemporary to settled and timeworn. Chief Kevin Brown meets me in a bright conference room just off the main gallery of the Pamunkey Indian Museum. The tribe opened the museum in 1979 with grant money from the federal government. (Though the tribe is not recognized by the federal government, it may apply for grants in the same way other communities and constituencies do.) The museum is maintained through donations and a modest admission fee that allows visitors access to the small gallery’s collections of stone tools, arrowheads and pottery, many of which were found on the reservation and made by Pamunkeys thousands of years ago. Brown, 57 and semi-retired, is in a rush, preparing for a tribal meeting that evening. Straightforward and impassive, he is a former bricklayer and construction worker for contractors in Richmond and Williamsburg and, as he puts it, a starving artist who made pottery on the days that inclement weather kept him indoors. Brown was elected to a four-year term in 2008. Like all Virginia Indian chiefs, his position is part time and voluntary. He came to the reservation in 1972, after high school, to live with his grandfather. Even though many Pamunkeys move away from the reservation, Brown is encouraged that younger Indians are showing increasing interest in preserving their culture. According to Brown, five young adults have recently joined the reorganized Pamunkey Pottery and Crafts Guild, which has regular meetings during which the tribe’s elders share their knowledge of the intricate techniques used to craft native art and jewelry. After becoming chief, Brown began organizing cultural workshops, inviting visiting craftspeople to teach classes on basket making, beadwork and traditional singing, among other things. For more than a decade, this type of education wasn’t offered on the reservation because the number of Pamunkeys interested in learning these skills had waned. Brown learned pottery when he was young and credits this education with sparking his interest in pottery as an adult. Brown, who has one son and four stepchildren and whose wife is not Indian, is optimistic that, despite the allure of greener pastures elsewhere, efforts like these will help pass on Pamunkey culture to the next generation. The Mattaponi reservation, which sits on the banks of the river named for the tribe, is similar to the Pamunkey reservation, though it comprises just 150 acres. Although both of their reservations are more than three centuries old, the tribes are not recognized by the federal government. They are recognized only by the Commonwealth of Virginia, though they do not receive any state funding. These tribes have never had a formal relationship with the U.S. because they predate its establishment: All the government-to-government treaties the tribes signed were with representatives of the English Crown. Then, because states were responsible for day-to-day dealings with the tribes, including tax exemption and reservation management, there was never a reason for the tribes to cement any sort of official affiliation with the federal government. Today, eight of Virginia's Indian tribes are seeking federal recognition, and are hopeful that it will one day more firmly establish their rightful status as ancient gatekeepers of this land. There are currently 566 federally-recognized

tribes that together receive somewhere around $2.5 billion annually for programs and grants for their communities. “Recognition is as much an acknowledgement of who we are as it is about money and programs,” says Wayne Adkins, who, in addition to his work for his own people, heads Virginia Indian Tribal Alliance for Life, or VITAL, an organization managing the recognition process for six tribes. VITAL has been working for federal recognition for more than a decade now. They've made some progress, but efforts to encourage Congress to pass a law recognizing them have so far stalled. Although VITAL has hired a lobbyist and tribal leaders have testified before congressional committees—and leaders, including Senator Jim Webb have supported them—legislative minutiae and red tape seem to be slowing the process. Adkins admits that ABOVE Part of many Indians' this is frustrating at times, especially in light of an regalia is a bustle made of obvious fact: “Our people were here thousands of feathers. BELOW From left, years before there was any United States to speak James Taylor, Austin Alfonso of the Pamunkey tribe, Austin of,” he says with a polite grin. A source of pride, however, for the Pamunkey and Custalow of the Mattaponi Mattaponi is the fact that they have been paying tribe, and Candi Waxmunski. taxes to the Commonwealth for their land since their reservations were established. Every year, on the day before Thanksgiving, Pamunkey and Mattaponi tribesmen, dressed in full regalia, meet the governor in person for the Tax Tribute Ceremony, a custom that began with the 1677 Treaty of Middle Plantation (some historians trace it even further back), signed in the months after a period of violence between English and Indians. The treaty established certain Virginia Indian tribes as subjects of the King of England and required a yearly tribute to the governor of three arrows and 20 beaver skins. In return, Indians were given assurances that they would be able to hold their reservations, and have all the rights that go along with land ownership, forever. Shining light on Indians’ deep historical connection to the government, the people and the land has been facilitated by a number of Indian-led initiatives in recent years, including the Virginia Indian Program, headed by Karenne Wood, a 52-year-old Monacan poet and author. Wood’s demure demeanor belies her hard work on behalf of Indians. Before her current job, Wood worked to repatriate religiously significant native artifacts that somehow made it into the hands of private collectors. She is currently pursuing a PhD in anthropology at the University of Virginia and working to revive native languages. She is the editor of The Virginia Indian Heritage Trail, a region-by-region guidebook to the Commonwealth’s extensive Indian resources published by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. VFH has sponsored traveling exhibits and a digital online archive for historic Indian photographs and documents and, with the help of grants from state agencies, has so far distributed 100,000 copies of the publication. “Most people were not even aware of the state-recognized tribes,” says Wood. “They knew Pocahontas and John Smith, and that’s it. I'm happy to say we helped to change that.” Though it may take the federal government some time to recognize them, Virginia's Indians don’t need distant bureaucrats to affirm their identity. For that, they can just look to their ancient lands and customs, to their relationships with the people around them and to the initiatives they’re leading and the opportunities they’re pursuing. “We know we’re Indians,” says Wayne Adkins. “Indian identity is in your head and your heart.” •

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A Different Kind of Family Portrait

The Hancock Christmas Surprise

Ann Marie





acrylic on canvas

Ann Marie, age 7



Ann Marie’’’s Parents, Lou & Irene

Tom, age 5



size 4 ft. x 7 ft.”



Tom’’s Parents, Tom Sr. & Louise

Chi p




Cori with Horse

Ann Marie Hancock, author and former TV personality first saw David’s art in Dallas, Texas while on a book tour. She was thrilled to see his recent magazine ad and made a call to his studio kicking off a “huge” Christmas surprise for her husband. Ann Marie’s goal was to portray the genial and casual side of her spouse Tom, of the law firm Hancock, Daniel, Johnson and Nagle, P.C. and co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Diamond Healthcare Corporation. Hancock said, “I love David’s unique approach. His art is fresh air for the soul. He patiently went through hundreds of family photos dating back to pre-civil war period. We decided that the final product would be a 4 foot by 7 foot acrylic representation depicting three stages of our lives. David placed our daughter, Cori, on one of the family horses. Our favorite pet, Barli, an English Mastiff is in the foreground. Even our comical 800 pound pet pig ‘RJ’ was included.” Past generations are cleverly depicted playing cards in the background. The Hancocks gathered as always at their beloved VENITA on the James River for their Christmas Eve celebration. “The unveiling was spectacular and a well-kept secret thanks to David’s ingenuity. David Cochran’s brilliance has given our family a tapestry of life and love, packed with memories, experiences and stories…all part of who we are and how we got here.” Giclée prints were made of this painting and given to various family members

“I paint from photos to create a completely unique family portrait, frequently presented for an anniversary or special event.” Call or Email David with your questions or ideas.

Studio: 703.684.7855 078_cochran_0912.indd 1 Untitled-5 1 095vl1012.indd 95


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departure A Bear-Sized Adventure Grizzly Bill’s boasting turns to chagrin in the wilds of Shenandoah National Park. By Bill Glose | Illustration BY Jeff koegel


n a muggy day last spring, after three days hiking through the central portion of Shenandoah National Park, I was just getting ready to take off from Pinnacles Overlook when a trio of hikers came strolling off of the Appalachian Trail. Hoping to bond with my fellow woodsmen, I told them about the mountain miles I’d logged and rattled off the wild animals I’d seen. (I admit I’m a bit of a braggart.) But these guys made me feel more like Tinkerbell than Daniel Boone. “We’ve seen a lot of animals, too,” said one of the skinny, scragglybearded strangers. “In fact, we came across a bear yesterday. Off in the woods behind it, we even saw a cub.” He paused, shook his head and added, “You know, a mother bear protecting her cubs is the worst danger.” “You lucky bum,” I replied, “I’ve never seen a bear in my life!” At the tail end of the day, I was paused on the side of Skyline Drive just south of the Thornton Gap when I noticed a shadow moving along the rocky escarpment above my head. Just another deer, I thought. But when I glanced upward a chill shot up my spine and the hairs on my neck stood on end. A black bear! It was meandering over the rocks and through the trees. A yearling about the size of a Rottweiler, but much stronger and with two-inch claws. It was only 40 feet away, close enough, I figured, to hear my heart hammering in my chest. But my fear soon turned to jubilation and, before it could waddle out of sight, I whipped out my camera and snapped a couple of pictures. There, now I had proof! I had come within a stone’s throw of a bear and lived to tell about it. How many other people could say the same? The next leg of my journey was 11 miles eastward, out of the mountains to the tiny town of Washington, Virginia, and I was eager to get going. I couldn’t wait to regale some bear-virgins with the tale of my encounter. About an hour into my walk, I arrived at a gas station in the outskirts of Sperryville. I dropped my rucksack on the stoop and entered the airconditioned embrace of the convenience store with a strut in my step. It was 9 a.m. on a Saturday. I eyed the heavyset woman with blonde, streaked tangles behind the counter. She seemed like a perfect audience: Her face was as innocent and inviting as a ball of dough. I slid a Gatorade and a package of nuts on the counter and as casually as possible announced to the cashier, “You know, I came across a bear in

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Shenandoah no farther than 40 feet away.” I tossed a five on the counter and readied myself for her amazed response. “No surprise,” she shrugged. “One’s been visiting my backyard for the last couple of weeks.” Then, as she handed me my change she added, “Been feeding him table scraps. Stopped doing it though, when I thought about coming home from work some night and running into him in the dark.” (Later on, I discovered that there are about 15,000 black bears spread throughout the state.) A couple of hours later, I was a handful of miles farther down the road, and the rugged land had slowly morphed into rolling hills filled with fields of grazing horses and cows. A much better place, I figured, to find an appreciative audience for the tale of Grizzly Bill. And so I marched into another gas station, swaggered up to the counter, and told the thin darkhaired cashier my story. “You don’t say,” she replied. “Why, I ran across a big old bear in my yard the other day. Got some great pictures of it. Would you like to see?” Afterwards, as I plodded down the road, the cawing of the crows overhead sounding like harsh laughter, was when it happened. First I heard the giant sucking plop of something large extracting itself from the mud of the stream bank just 20 feet away. Then a brown form darted into the screen of bushes running parallel to the road. A bear! I thought. But this bear was no yearling the size of a large dog. This bear was as big as a grizzly! Or at least as big as a cow! In that instant, I forgot about telling a great story and just worried about staying alive. What were my options? Run away? Play dead? Clap my hands and yell, “Shoo, bear, shoo!?” Before I could decide, the goliath lumbered through the brush away from me. My shaky legs propelled me up the road as my gaze fixed on the edge where bushes gave way to an open field. I aimed my camera to take a picture of what I was certain had to be a grizzly bear. Nothing else could be that big. Ha! No one would top this story! But my moment of celebration turned to panic when I saw a second bear as big as the first. Except this one was black with white blotches on its hide. And instead of running, it just stood its ground and stared at me. Chewing its cud. Like a cow. Because, I realized, it was a cow. They both were. Looking past it, I saw the first mud-covered bovine exiting the bushes to rejoin the herd nearby. Blood that had been pounding in my ears now flushed my cheeks. I stood there catching my breath. What would I say at my next rest stop? Maybe, I thought, I’d just keep my mouth shut. •

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Virginia Living - October 2012  

In the October 2012 issue of Virginia Living we celebrate Virginia’s Indian tribes, exploring how the Chickahominy, Pamunkey and others are...

Virginia Living - October 2012  

In the October 2012 issue of Virginia Living we celebrate Virginia’s Indian tribes, exploring how the Chickahominy, Pamunkey and others are...