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Coal • Charlottesville Zeitgeist • Weddings

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VOLUME 9, NUMBER 6 October 2011 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 acting editor Erin Parkhurst Art Director Sonda Andersson Pappan assistant editor Lisa Antonelli Bacon assistant editor Daryl Grove CONTRIBUTING Editors

Bland Crowder, Neely Barnwell Dykshorn, Bill Glose, Caroline Kettlewell, Sarah Sargent, Julie Vanden-Bosch CONTRIBUTING writers

Mary Burruss, Suzanne Gannon, Jessica Mesman Griffith, Clarke C. Jones, Daisy Khalifa, Kendra Bailey Morris, Peggy Sijswerda, Ben Swenson, Joe Tennis CONTRIBUTING photographers

Robb Scharetg, Jeff Greenough, Kip Dawkins, Glen McClure, Sarah Cramer Shields, Jen Fariello, Amy Carroll, Meghan McSweeney CONTRIBUTING illustrators

Tristan Elwell, Robert Meganck, Rob Ullman editorial interns

Grace Albritton, Katy Lovin, Peyton Manchester, Mari Pack, Meredith Rigsby art intern

Kevin Edwards Advertising executives central virginia

sales MANAGER Torrey Munford (804) 343-0782,

Christiana Roberts

(804) 622-2602, eastern virginia

Kerry Harrington

(757) 450-1335,

Mary Beth Neal

(804) 622-2614, Northern Virginia

Blaise Yanick

(804) 622-2603, western virginia

Tiffany Tucker

(804) 622-2611, richmond guide advertising executives

Eliza Blackwell

(804) 622-2609,

Sean Clark

(804) 622-2613, OFFICE STAFF OFFICE MANAGER Carolyn Birney assistant oFFICe managER Chenoa Ford Creative Services director Jason Sullivan circulation manager Jamilya Brown Web content manager Daryl Grove COrpORATE SPONSORSHIPS Torrey Munford Groundskeeper Melwood Whitlock Activities & Morale Director Cutty Assistant Activities & Morale Director Rex

Thinking Big Fearless, that’s how I’d describe Williamsburg-based freelance writer Ben Swenson. I say fearless because the Newport News native and high school history teacher for Williamsburg-James City County Schools is never afraid to tackle the big story. Ben has written a number of fine feature-length pieces for us, including the October 2009 cover story on Virginia peanuts. In it, he covered the 160-year history of this iconic food crop, which has deep roots in the state’s agriculture industry and with the families who have cultivated it for generations. He has also taken a top down look at Naval Air Station Oceana—one of the country’s most important military installations—and limned the Newport News Public Art Foundation’s 10-year effort to enhance citizens’ lives through art with the installation across the city of 13 monumental sculptures. All monumental subjects indeed—the kind that require a wide lens and a lot of reporting muscle. Ben’s story in this issue about the history of coal in Virginia is no different (page 82). This is a broad topic—expansive really—when we consider that coal’s history in the Commonwealth stretches back more than 300 years and has a deep culture. Ben, who earned a master’s degree in American studies at the College of William and Mary and a bachelor’s degree in history at Christopher Newport University, came up with the idea for the story one night, he says, while rocking on his porch swing, “listening as a distant coal train blared its haunting whistle while passing through Williamsburg.” How could we resist? And who better to write this story, we thought, than Ben, who has lived in various cities across Virginia, most always, he says, within earshot of the coal trains that crisscross the Commonwealth. Ben spent a lot of time traveling across the state reporting the story; a time he describes as a “wild ride.” He flew in a helicopter through a river gorge, peered into a 3,000-degree Fahrenheit boiler, dined in complete strangers’ kitchens and was offered (and partook of) “the best moonshine I’ve ever had.” But it was the people he interviewed—from the mines of the Southwest to the power plants of Central Virginia to the terminals of the Southeast—who made the biggest impression on him. “They were all competent, friendly and, most of all, passionate about their livelihoods,” he explains. “It was, perhaps, the most compelling human interest story I’ve yet put together.” We certainly think so, especially when combined with images shot by talented photographer Robb Scharetg (whose work has lit up many issues of Virginia Living). New York-based journalist Suzanne Gannon, who earned her bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Virginia, has also written some knockout stories for us in the four years she’s been contributing to the magazine. In addition to a 2009 story about some of the toughest terrain there is to hike on the Appalachian Trail, she has profiled interior designer Charlotte Moss, and Willie Drake, Virginia’s antique timber “go-to guy” and founder of Charlottesville-based Mountain Lumber. Last year, she interviewed Sandy Lerner, co-founder of technology giant Cisco Systems, who is today stumping for sustainable farming at her Ayrshire Farm in Upperville. In each, Suzanne wrote about her subjects with brio, deftly distilling the breadth of their experience and ethos into this shorter-form story without skimping on the details that make these folks so intriguing. For this issue, Suzanne wrote about Lexington-based furniture designer Phillip Welch, whose off-beat designs are as smart as they are playful (page 33). When she met with Welch at his studio to talk about his career, she says she was “bowled over by his ability to articulate the fine line between humility and arrogance that an artist of any kind must walk…you’re taught not to be selfimportant, and yet you must believe that your work is important if all that you’re doing is to have meaning,” adding, “That really struck a chord.” It must have, because it is just that dichotomy in Welch that comes through in Suzanne’s story. She is particularly adept at describing a gesture, a posture or a setting so that readers get a physical, even tactile, sense of person and place that a simple string of biographical facts can never convey. Ultimately, Suzanne’s work evinces that oh-so-hardto-articulate thing about each of her subjects that makes them worth reading about. Her work has also appeared in publications including Town & Country, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and her latest project is a book about New England gardens. Better add versatility to the list of her strengths. Also awaiting you in this issue is our food story (page 58), which will show you how to pair two of Virginia’s best assets—its wine and cheese—and, we hope, induce you to uncork a bottle (we did) and host a party en plein air this fall. Our feature story on Charlottesville (page 78) will guide you to the “Hook’s” most happening restaurants, wine shops and arts venues, and we offer you weddings again (page 45), done in grand Virginia style. There is a good read waiting for you inside this issue. We hope you enjoy it.

—erin parkhurst, Acting Editor

impressed with his knowledge. It’s awesome to visit a National Park and be served such healthy food! I hope to come back again soon, hopefully during fall foliage!


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

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Dear Madame: Dear Madame: I have to say I totally agree with the article about Skyland Resort (August 2011 issue). It’s a beautiful place, and the views are incredible! Also the Pollock Dining Room food was delicious. I had the privilege to visit Skyland just recently and I also might like to add that I was pleasantly surprised to be served a delicious meal by the chef, Patrick Miller. He was kind enough to take the time to explain how he prepared the food. I was very

My mother served in the U.S. Army’s Signal Intelligence Service during WWII, and was posted to Arlington Hall (April 2011 issue). So when I was recently accepted into the U.S. Foreign Service in Arlington, she asked me to see if that building was still around: 70 years later, the place is still serving the needs of our nation! John Elliot

Department of Corrections In our August 2011 story on Shenandoah National Park (“Pretty, Remote & Quaint”), we mistakenly referred to the Barred Owl, which is one of the stars of SNP’s Birds of Prey ranger program, as the Bard Owl. We apologize for this error. Write

to us! Letters to the Editor We love receiving letters from our readers. Please e-mail us at Editor@CapeFear. com or write to us at Letters to the Editor, Cape Fear Publishing, 109 E. Cary St., Richmond, Va. 23219. Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. For subscriptions, see our website, Kindly address all other editorial queries to V i r g i n i a

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contents october 2011 Virginia Living

FEAt u r e s

food & wine

d e pa r t m e n t s



17 Upfront World champion canoe slalom

to the rescue The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal is contributing to the survival of some surprising species.

By Daisy ridgway Khalifa


spirit of c’ville Charlottesville is a city that has preserved its smalltown charm despite its very cosmopolitan profile. A look at the zeitgeist of this smart and stylish enclave.

in vino veritas A charming interview with Gabriele Rausse, the Godfather of the modern Virginia wine industry.

By Mary Burruss


pure bliss We show you how to pair two of Virginia’s best assets— its wine and its cheese. The result is a match made in heaven!

By Kendra Bailey Morris

By sarah sargent

racer Jon Lugbill, wild grapes, ghost stories, hot yoga, fabulous forgeries, fashion designer Tashia Senn, Healthy Cakery, Biblio Chic style, Bellwether and more!

52 virginiana They won’t win any beauty

contests, but what heirloom apples lack in looks they make up for in flavor. Vintage apples stage a serious comeback. By Lisa antonelli bacon

41 click 33 design Social functions around the state, Designer Phillip Welch makes supporting art, institutions and charities.

45 Weddings Elegant weddings from across the Commonwealth.

furniture that is infused with a cheeky whimsy, but still highly functional. By Suzanne Gannon

96 departure Recovering the ability to see

a thing as both what it is and what it might be. By Jessica Mesman griffith


king coal It is Virginia’s most valuable natural resource, but to the people whose lives have been built around the pursuit of this shiny back rock, it is the bedrock of a culture.

By ben swenson

O n t h e cov e r 2009 Gray Ghost Vineyards’ Chardonnay and Oak Spring Dairy’s Raw Sharp White Cheddar. Photograph by Kip Dawkins

coa l f ro m a l p h a n at u r a l r e so u rc e s’ d e e p m i n e 4 1 p h oto g r a p h by ro b b sc h a r e tg

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Coming Soon to!

Web Contents



Reproduced with kind permission of Bikram Choudhury and Bikram’s Yoga College of India. All rights reserved.

Hot Stuff! Bikram Yoga is hot, both literally and figuratively. See our slideshow of the 26 challenging Bikram Yoga asana (poses) and links to Bikram Yoga studios in the state.

Virginia Viticulture Do you know what an AVA is? Virginia has six. Read our guide to Virginia wineries to find the answer, plus the best winery events of the season.

Halloween Highway Don’t be a scaredy-cat! We have assembled a frighteningly good guide to offbeat October occasions in Virginia.

beat the

Are you keeping up with The Beat? If not, you’ve missed Kathleen Toler’s lotus flower life cycle slideshow, Keswick Hall Chef Dean Maupin’s recipe for Ultimate Peaches and Cream and one very useful guide to Virginia place name pronunciation. All that and more awaits you at!

Event planner Jill F. Reynolds worked as a speech-language pathologist for 15 years before moving into the hospitality industry in 2006 as director of special events for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In 2010 she founded Boutique Affair, a full service event company in Richmond, and has been blogging about event planning for since April 2011. Petersburg native Matt Shipman got his first culinary experience as a pantry cook in Colonial Williamsburg. A month later he was dating his future wife. With that kind of encouragement, it’s no wonder he spends so much time in the kitchen. Shipman now works as a science writer and public relations professional in Raleigh, North Carolina, and blogs about amateur cooking and beer for

The Best Recipes from Virginia Living Our big, delicious digital cookbook featuring all the Virginia Living dishes you know and love, plus instant classics like healthy but hearty Veggie Napoleon and simple yet inventive Brick Chicken. Do your kitchen a favor and visit today!

Do you love Virginia Living’s photography? Check out additional images from our feature stories in these slideshows:

Photo Contest coming to in September!

Mother Daughter

Coal in Virginia


Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

webcomments In Praise of Greasy Spoons (June 2011)

There are several places [in Matthews County] to add to your list: the old Richardson’s Drugstore and the great sandwiches and seafood at Linda’s Diner just off Rt. 198. Both are great stopping off places to grab a quick bite for lunch. Nancy Prince Jackson I love the Exmore Diner in Exmore. It has great seafood at great prices! Mary Jane Burn Grandpa Joe’s in South Norfolk, Chesapeake needs to be added

to this list! A true neighborhood spot and always lively comments and conversation! Tina Temple

Chesapeake Watermen (June 2011)

Like teaching, fishing is a noble job. The former educate, the latter fill you up.

Let’s Shag! (June 2011)

If you went to college in Virginia, you shagged. Period. Debbie Wolfe Shea

Look Alike Photo Contest

Sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue Richmond Prize package includes a day of pampering from La Prairie, lunch for two and a special gift. Courtesy of Saks.

Enter your photos and vote for your favorites!

Absolutely! Best kind of dancing! Mimi DeOlloqui

Jocelyin Bautista

Pronunciation Guide (The Beat)

Norfolk should be on this list! I hear that pronounced incorrectly on the news and TV shows all the time! J. Harris



V i r g i n i a

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Jon Lugbill on the James River’s Belle Isle in Richmond.

River Runner world champion canoe slalom racer Jon lugbill is that rare combination of risk-taker, leader and visionary, but he’s not resting on his laurels. It is 6 a.m. on a damp, gray April morning, and 50-year-old Jon Lugbill, a look-you-in-the-eye kind of guy and executive director of Richmond Sports Backers since 1991, is working up a sweat, paddling his racing canoe on the James River. This is his way of celebrating Richmond Sports Backers being named 2011 Sports Commission of the Year by the National Association of Sports Commissions—the third time in six years that Richmond Sports Backers has won this title. Richmond is the only city in the U.S. to have won this award three times, and Jon Lugbill is a big reason for this honor. It’s easy to see that Lugbill is a little different from you and me. He lives and breathes in that rarified air that comes with the title, “Champion.” At the age of 18, he became the first American to win a gold medal in the men’s C-1 individual World Championships in canoe slalom. (In a canoe slalom race, the canoeist must paddle his canoe or kayak through a series of 25 gates over a whitewater rapids course 300 yards long.) He went on to win the gold medal five times in this event (something that many thought was impossible until he did it) and is considered to be the greatest C-1 canoe slalom racer of all time. In 1986, his picture appeared on the most iconic and recognizable tribute to a sports hero—the Wheaties cereal box. But Lugbill will be the first to admit, “Whitewater canoe racing is not a well-recognized sport,” which made obtaining sponsorships and raising money for travel more challenging than for athletes competing in more mainstream sports. So, in 1991, who better to take the reins of a fledgling sports commission for a city that was not recognized as an enthusiastic sports town? And right away they set a lofty goal: to make Richmond Sports Backers the best sports commission in the U.S.

by Clarke C. Jones | Photography by Glen McClure

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“We did this by the non-traditional method of creating our own events, instead of the traditional way, which was bidding on events that would come to Richmond,” explains Lugbill. He credits the organization’s early success to then board of directors’ members attorney Buddy Allen, former Governor George Allen and Bobby Ukrop. Says Lugbill: “These gentlemen took the organization from the luncheon social group we were and made it much more inspirational.” One of their first events was the still-going-strong Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k. In 2000—its first year—the event drew 2,500 people. Lugbill notes, “There are a great many cities that can draw 2,500 people [to a 10k race], and my counterparts in other cities were sort of laughing at me. Then it grew to 20,000 people, and they were saying, ‘Good for you, you have grown it into a nice event.’ Now at 40,000 people, we are in a whole different game than most. At the last 10k, we had 12,000 people who had never run a 10k before. That is approximately 1 percent of the region’s population!” (The National Association of Sports Commissions also gave Sports Backers the award for Outstanding Communication/Advertising Plan for the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k.) “What has happened over the long haul,” says Lugbill, “is that companies have seen our success and believe our organization can do what we set out to do, so they are inclined to invest in something that they feel has a high probability of success.” A prime example of that is the Anthem Moonlight Bike Ride. Its inaugural event two years ago attracted 900 people. Last year, 1,400 people participated. Lugbill explains, “Nine hundred people, frankly, may not be worth Anthem’s time, but they see value if they can be a part of a biking revolution that creates another physical activity in a fun way.” Having succeeded in reaching their goal of creating major events that help grow local sports tourism, Sports Backers recently mapped out a new strategic plan. Says Lugbill: “A measurement of our success will no longer be just how many visitors come to Richmond. It will be how active we can make the community.” The collaborative effort underway between Sports Backers and the community, he says, will create a fitness culture in the area. “We think we will be a national model for making a community more physically active within the next five years,” adding, “Richmond should be recognized as one of the most physically active communities in the country.” If Lugbill has his way, someday a Wheaties box will read: Richmond—a CITY of Champions. 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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n at i v e s

The Golden Vine the Wild Grape is a Runaway with Potential. Whether you are inclined to regard the wild grape as a noxious weed with invasive tendencies or an underappreciated biological bounty depends on your perspective. Undeniably a vine that can get carried away with itself, wild grape is also a fruit-bearing native whose virtues may be long overdue for recognition. There are a number of different species of wild grape native to Virginia, deciduous vines that share a rambling, twining, climbing habit. The vines sprout from seeds spread by birds and animals that feast upon the fruit. Then, as they grow, they extend forked, coiling tendrils that wrap themselves tenaciously around whatever is handy, allowing the plant to clamber over fences, snake through shrubbery and climb high into the tree canopy. The vines can form dense tangles and, left undisturbed, can stretch to 80 or more feet and grow thicker around than a man’s thigh. It is for these habits that the wild grape gets a bad rap. “From a forest management per-

spective, wild grape is a weed,” says Clifford Ambers, owner of Chateau Z Vineyard in Amherst County. “Because grapes are adapted to popping up and getting going when there is an opening in the forest, if you clear-cut or do a major thinning, the landscape just goes riot with grapes.” Where others see a problem, however, Ambers sees possibility. American wine-making depends heavily on Vitis vinifera, the care-intensive European wine grape that nevertheless produces grapes with just the right sugar content, juiciness and ineffable wine-ish-ness to which our wine-drinking palates have become accustomed. Native wild grapes are generally more robust and resistant to pests and diseases than V. vinifera grapes, but also tend to be less juicy and more acidic and have a more pronounced flavor. (If you really want to insult a wine made from native grapes, call it “foxy,” a term that, Ambers says, denotes the grapey quality familiar to Americans as the taste of Welch’s Grape Juice.)

But what if you could breed a hybrid that married the best qualities of native and V. vinifera to produce an exceptional, disease-and-pestresistant wine grape? That’s what Ambers is trying to do in his home vineyard; though he produces about 150 cases of wine each year, his real focus, he says, is “grape breeding.” He roots cuttings from wild grape vines, pollinates them with pollen from one of the many cultivated grape varieties he also grows, harvests the resulting grapes, plants their seeds, then waits a couple of years for the hybrid to bear fruit to see what he gets. If he hasn’t yet created the next cabernet sauvignon, he’s had satisfying results over the years. “You can very easily take any nasty wild grape and, in one hybridization, produce grapes you would be happy to grow in your backyard,” he says. Michael Lachance, the extension agent for commercial horticulture for the Virginia Cooperative Extension, would like to see more people like Ambers exploring native grapes, bringing to winemaking the same kind of enthusiasm for the local and small-scale that has inspired the microbrewery revolution in beer. “I would love the day to come when county fairs have wine tastings not just of local wineries but also from families and individuals who have made incredible wines in their own homes,” he says. History suggests, moreover, that a world-class grape could be born of a Virginia native. Sometime around the 1820s, one Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton produced a hybrid grape in his Richmond garden from the native Vitis aestivalis, or “summer grape.” The Norton grape was a hit and soon came to dominate American winemaking in the East and the Midwest: In 1873, a Norton wine even won a gold medal at the Vienna World Exposition. Though Prohibition destroyed America’s nascent viticulture and many of its vineyards for a time, some Nortons survived to be reintroduced and are being grown again today in American vineyards like Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, which produces several all-Norton wines. So that grape vine running amok amidst your azalea? It could be a weed. Or it could be the future of American winemaking. —Caroline Kettlewell V i r g i n i a

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Über–Efficient a new schoolhouse that rocks energy-saving standards. By Peggy Sijswerda

Seeing Ghosts former principal swears to the spookiness of this school. By joe tennis In the heart of Christiansburg, on College Street, the old brick school whose steps are etched with the name MONTGOMERY HALL is more than the temporary home of Blacksburg Middle School, which was relocated there in 2010 due to structural problems with their own building. This 1930s structure— once home to Christiansburg High School—infamously bears the century-old tale of the murderous Black Sisters, a trio of women who ran a school for girls on this hilltop until 1908. It is here, just before dusk, says Sue Robinette, Blacksburg Middle School custodian, when you might hear the clickety-clack of footsteps. “One time, they sounded like high-heels walking down the hall,” Robinette says, “and [when] I looked, there was nobody there.” But once there were people there. They were Virginia Wardlaw, Mary Snead and Caroline Martin, and today the sounds of footsteps and slamming doors are said to be the spirits of these sinister sisters. (It’s long been believed in these parts that their ghosts now haunt the hallways of the ground where their school once stood.) They all wore large black hats and black robes, shrouding their faces with long black veils. To the good Christians of Christiansburg, such funereal-style fashion naturally earned these women the moniker, the Black Sisters. But it wasn’t just their taste in clothes that mortified Montgomery County so many years ago. As the story goes, the Black Sisters coerced Mary Snead’s son, John Snead, to leave his wife in Tennessee and return to Christiansburg to help them run the school. On his way, John fell off a train in Roanoke and nearly died and, after he arrived, he fell into a cistern at the school. Then, in 1906, John was found screamAbove: Richard Ballengee. Right: CEED.

ing in a burning bed that had been soaked with kerosene and lit on fire. He died within hours from severe burns. Despite suspicion of foul play by the police, the sisters successfully made a claim on an insurance policy taken on John’s life. The sisters soon had only a few students. And they racked up debt, forcing them, finally, to close their school and leave town by 1909. But the sisters weren’t finished. Late that same year, Caroline Martin’s beautiful young daughter, Ocey Martin Snead, was found dead in the bathtub of a small dwelling in East Orange, New Jersey. Ocey’s death looked suspicious (much as John Snead’s gruesome death had), and once again, the sisters tried to make a claim on an insurance policy they had taken out on Ocey’s life. This time, however, police intervened, and the sisters finally met their fate. Caroline pleaded guilty to murdering her daughter and was sent to prison; Mary was tried as an accomplice but released; and Virginia Wardlaw starved herself to death before the trial began. Today, the legend of the Black Sisters lives on. Generations of students have sworn to the spookiness of what is now Blacksburg Middle School, built on the site of the Black Sisters’ Montgomery Hall. Richard Ballengee, 75, who is currently mayor of Christiansburg, was a teacher and principal at this school for more than 25 years. He, too, tells of hearing the sound of high heels crossing a wooden floor once in 1963—a sound that he still cannot fully explain. “But I kind of took pride as principal,” Ballengee says. “I would go to Richmond and say, ‘You know, I’m the only principal in Virginia with a haunted school.’” For more on “The Black Sisters” and other ghost tales, see Joe Tennis’ latest book, “Haunts of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands,” The History Press, $14.99 or

P h o t o g r a p h y r i g h t: p e g gy s i j s w e r da ; t o p : j o e t e n n i s .

Tucked into the green rolling hills of Franklin County, south of Roanoke, the Center for Energy Efficient Design (CEED) is introducing emergent technologies to a new generation of Virginia schoolchildren. An extension of the Gereau Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration, CEED is a learning laboratory where eighth graders explore energy-saving technologies, such as geothermal energy, photovoltaics (solar energy), rainwater harvesting, wind power and much more. It’s the first school building in the U.S. to meet the Passivhaus standard; a rigorous, ultra-low energy standard popular in Europe. According to Franklin County educator John Richardson, who helped oversee the project, it’s “LEED on steroids.” (LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a certification system more commonly used in the U.S.) An initiative of Franklin County Public Schools, CEED began as a vision shared by Richardson and Neil Sigmon (both of whom teach at the Gereau Center) after attending an energy conference in Roanoke in 2002. There, they hatched the idea of building a low-energy structure that would serve as a learning lab for students and a community resource for homeowners and builders. “We wanted to incorporate all the technologies we learned about at the energy expo—not in a textbook way, but in a hands-on way,” says Richardson, who teaches environmental

science. “We wanted people to see that these technologies work,” adds Sigmon, an engineering and architecture teacher and Franklin County’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. Structures Design/Build, a Roanoke architectural and engineering firm, designed the zero-energy building. Construction began in mid-2009, and CEED opened last November. Sigmon notes that the building, which features two classrooms and an open kitchen, is 95 percent more efficient than a building constructed using traditional methods. Says Sigmon: “It will pay for itself in five to six years in energy savings.” Last January’s electric bill was just $30—not bad for 3,600 square feet. CEED is open for tours. Call John Richardson or Neil Sigmon at 540-483-5446 for more information. V i r g i n i a

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Fabergé or ‘Fauxbergé’?

Eye-catching Elegance D.C. designer Tashia Senn made her mark with remarkable speed. BY Lisa Antonelli Bacon

Fabergé Revealed, a special exhibition now on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that features more than 500 objects crafted by Russian jeweler Karl Fabergé, is the largest public collection of the artist's works in the U.S. “We wanted to start the exhibit off with a bang,” says Dr. Géza von Habsburg, a preeminent Fabergé scholar and curator of the exhibition. But bling may be more apt to describe the exhibit's first piece, the Leuchtenberg Diamond Tiara, which was crafted around 1900 from briolette, pearshaped and oldcut diamonds, and gold and platinum. “Because there are few major pieces of jewelry made by Fabergé left–they were mostly broken up and sold in pieces by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s–the tiara is truly a trouvaille,” or a real find, says von Habsburg. But the tiara is just one of many other finds in the exhibit, which comprises the museum's permanent collection of Fabergé—the gift of Lillian Thomas Pratt in 1947—as well as loans from three important private Fabergé collections. But the exhibit does more than celebrate the

artistry of Fabergé; it also investigates the existence of “Fauxbergé,” a term von Habsburg coined for works that are, well, fakes. It took von Habsburg and the team at the VMFA more than two years to document all of the items in the permanent collection and suss out which pieces were not created by Fabergé. “We didn't want to hide any part of the story,” explains von Habsburg. The Pratt collection includes a selection of objects which, though certified at the time, turned out to be by different artists. Von Habsburg’s first task was to demystify all those certifications issued in the 1930s and 1940s. “The Pratt forgeries are just as interesting as the rest of the collection,” he says, adding, “the VMFA ‘bit the bullet’ by agreeing to have these things identified, and to make it a study collection.” The exhibit is on display until October 2. But don’t fret if you miss it. The exhibit’s catalogue, which sells for $65 at the VMFA Shop, represents the most up-to-date scholarly study of the collection: It is a trouvaille in itself. Clockwise, from left: Imperial Fire-Screen Frame (1910), Leuchtenberg Diamond Tiara (1900), Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg (1912).

Is it hot in here? Heating Things Up with Bikram Yoga. BY Meredith Rigsby To some, it’s a torture chamber. To others, it’s a place to rejuvenate. It depends on who you ask when you step into a Bikram Yoga classroom. Unlike traditional yoga, the temperature for a Bikram—or hot yoga—class is kept between 104 and 105 degrees: It’s a virtual sweat lodge. And more and more yoga enthusiasts are turning up the heat. Ranked 11th on the American College of Sports Medicine’s top 20 fitness trends for 2011, yoga is gaining popularity, and the hothouse type known as Bikram (so named for founder Bikram Choudhury, who developed it in the 1970s and who trains instructors all over the world in his method) is taking the lead. “I think [Bikram Yoga is taking off] because it’s always the same 26 postures. In other

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words, there are no surprises outside the initial surprise of ‘Oh my God, it’s hot and I have to do this for 90 minutes,’” says Reggie Meneses, 43, of Reston, who represented Virginia at the National Yoga Asana Championship in 2011 and was named 2010 Men’s Virginia Yoga Champion. Meneses has been teaching at Bikram Yoga Reston since 2005; he also teaches at Bikram Yoga Fairfax and Bikram Yoga Falls Church. “Unlike traditional workouts where you have to plan and tailor your day with various exercises for different parts of your body, Bikram is already planned out,” he explains, adding, “we don’t

chant, we don’t sing; we just keep it simple and focus on the totally physical.” Bikram Yoga is a series of specific postures, or asana that include the eagle pose and the tree pose, that are done in order and systematically work every part of the body. Aiming to create balance between the body and mind, Bikram Yoga also focuses on pranyama, or controlled breathing. But why the heat? The reason Bikram Yoga calls for such stiflingly hot temperatures is to ensure optimal stretching ability, to flush the body of impurities through perspiration and to bring oxygen to the internal organs. All considered good things by yoga devotees. “I get a lot of my flexibility and level-headedness back after class,” says Meneses. “It helps me live in the moment.”

>> For more about BikramYoga classes, go to

When she was barely old enough to dress herself, Tashia (pronounced TAY-sha) Senn loved playing dress-up with her mother’s clothes and accessories. When she was old enough to read, she devoured fashion magazines the way her playmates did comic books. No surprise then, that when it came time to go to college, Senn set off for New York’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology where she made quick business of creating fashion. With astonishing speed Senn, 33, debuted her first collection less than six months after her 2009 graduation. “I had designed three seasons before graduation, which made the design process a little easier,” says Senn. Unlike so many of her colleagues who glut the fashion centers of New York and Los Angeles, Senn chose to set up shop on her home turf of Washington, D.C. Her timing was perfect. She settled into her K Street studio soon after Michelle Obama had re-focused political eyes on fashion. “She definitely influences me,” says Senn, “because she is a fashion icon.” A town where the cocktail party is as important for getting business done as a House subcommittee meeting, D.C. is the perfect landing spot for Senn’s high-end fashions. Playing to its conservative tastes, her pieces have a timeless quality, which hark back to the 1950s and 1960s. “The era is just so vast,” she says. “It was a great era. Back then, women would dress up just to go to the grocery store.” Her wide collars, sweetheart necklines, detailed embellishments and structured silhouettes skim the body rather than squeeze it. Senn’s designs range in cost from $350 to $1,650. Last fall, she was negotiating to get her designs on the racks in stores. Until then, her studio is the only place to find her fashions. So what’s to come? A mommy-and-me line that she plans to premiere next spring and a men’s line later. Any plans for the presidential closets? “The PR people I was working with sent a package to the White House,” she says. “We’re holding out hope.” Matt Statler/Delastyle

A new tell-all exhibit opens at VMFA. By erin Parkhurst

Above: The designer with one of her conservatively fashion-forward designs. V i r g i n i a

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Biblio Chic Appropriate the trappings of bookish style at home and about town. Whether you treasure the heft and feel of the endangered bound book—or have discovered the portability and convenience of the e-Reader—there’s never been a better time to wrap yourself in biblio chic style. And if you still can’t get enough, there’s always the Woodstock of the book lovers’ universe: The National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., September 24-25.

Library ladders aggrandize even the tiniest book-lined nook. Online, 1st dibs is a great place for a global view on this form: from curvaceous lacquered ’60s Italian scala to painted-pine English antiques and this Italian library ladder. $3,900 at

Hermès Tohu Bohu ashtray with 24 karat gold leaf border will add luxury to your library table, and put you in a literary mood as it evokes thoughts of 1920s Paris and its glittering community of literati. $630 at

David Rau, a principal at Richmond’s 3north, has designed libraries in architectural idioms ranging from Greek Revival to Tudor in tony locations, including Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania, Berry Hill in Southside Virginia, and here, the Branch House on Monument Avenue. Says Rau: “I recently built a library as a gift for my wife. My wife likes books better than jewelry.”

The sky-high tassel loafer is fall fashion’s nod to nerd chic. Sam Edelman’s Wesley loafer in camel would have been a shoe-in for the Bloomsbury set. $150. Available at Saxon Shoes in Richmond and Fredericksburg.

Writer’s block? Be inspired with Montblanc’s Mark Twain limited edition ballpoint pen. The sinuous curving lines on cap and barrel reflect the waves of the Mississippi River, the great author’s stomping ground. $790. Available for a limited time at

Already well-known in Europe, Asia and Australia, the late Serge Thorval’s creations, like these organic, hammered bracelets bearing quotations from Verlaine, Baudelaire and the Bible, are available at Eskandar in New York City. A pack of 10 bracelets sells for $1,795. 212-533-4200

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Bellwether a compendium of news and notes from around the state. By Grace Albritton and Mari Pack

Hometown Hero We at Virginia Living were delighted to hear that Virginia writer and television producer Earl Hamner, a University of Richmond alum who takes much inspiration from his home state, will receive one of the Library of Virginia’s most prestigious awards—the 2011 Literary Lifetime Achievement Award—at their 14th Annual Literary Awards Celebration on October 15. Hamner is best known for his work on the popular CBS series, “The Waltons,” along with his most famous novel, Spencer’s Mountain, inspired by his own childhood in Nelson County. “His work reflects the values instilled in him by his family and his life in Virginia,” says Jan Hathcock, publicity coordinator for the Library of Virginia. “He is a true voice of Virginia.”

It Lifts, It Separates, It… Fundraises! On October 5, a collection of handmade bra art will be on display at the 2nd annual Cups Full of Hope Bra Exhibition and Auction at the Greater Reston Arts Center. Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, organizers hope to top the $2,000 they made last year for the Tigerlily Foundation of Reston, an organization that supports young women during and after breast cancer. “It’s astonishing to see the incredible talent of the women who put their heart and soul into this bra art,” says Cynthia de Lorenzi, CEO of Success in the City, the Fairfaxbased women’s organization which is hosting the event. “This year, we’re going great guns, and I expect to do a lot more.”

Patsy’s Place OK, Patsy Cline fans, start packing the car. The Patsy Cline Historic House, at 608 S. Kent St. in Winchester, opened its doors last month and promises a plethora of Patsy paraphernalia for your enjoyment. Renovated by Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc., the museum intends to “preserve and perpetuate the legacy of Patsy Cline and her music,” says Judy Sue Huyett-Kempf, president of CPC Inc. “So many people come by for tours and souvenirs, but there was nothing [for them] in the Winchester area.” So CPC Inc. took action, and began renovations two years ago. “Once the visitor arrives, they will feel Patsy around them,” says Huyett-Kempf.

Telling Tales Keswick Hall was not always the award-winning luxury hotel that it is today. Built in 1912 by Robert B. Crawford, the grounds and corridors of this historic home-turned-resort near Charlottesville serve as the backdrop for more than a few good stories mined from its nearly 100year history. The Story of Keswick Hall, written by Keswick’s resident historian Patricia Castelli, tells how this country estate went from villa to country club to modern hotel, and drops some famous names in the telling. (Paul Newman, Mick Jagger and Sir Bernard Ashley are just a few.) The pictures, some filled with squirmy children riding ponies and others overflowing with jolly country clubbers, help bring new life to old stories and make this book a truly delightful read.

Ham-tastic The new cookbook from the Woman’s Club of Smithfield—Continuing Traditions—showcases down-home cooking at its finest from the hometown of Smithfield Ham. If you loved the club’s first culinary literary offering, the 1978 Smithfield Cookbook, you won’t be disappointed in this latest gastronomic gathering from the good ladies of Smithfield. Smithfield’s heritage is beautifully presented in the book, which also features locally conceived recipes— but don’t assume it’s all about the pork that made this city famous! “It’s more than ham,” says Jackie Saunders, head of marketing for the Woman’s Club. “We have all kinds of exciting things in there!” You can order your copy for $24.95 via their website. Ham not included.

Not the Same Old Song In June, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded its highest honor in folk and traditional arts, the National Heritage Fellowship, to lined-out hymn singing expert Frank Newsome of Haysi. Few outside of the Old Regular Baptist Church still perform the nearly 400-year-old musical style that uses no musical accompaniment. Church elder Newsome is a master at this form in which a leader chants a line of music that the congregation then repeats. Barry Bergey, director of folk and traditional arts at NEA, says that Newsome’s community outreach made him an ideal candidate for the fellowship. “Besides having an incredibly strong voice, he has made an effort both to explain and perform for audiences beyond the church itself.”

Preservation-worthy? If there is one thing Virginia has over any other state, it’s history. That’s why the Virginia Association of Museums, in cooperation with Preservation Virginia, has launched Virginia’s Top Ten Endangered Artifacts, a new program designed to create awareness of the importance of preserving historical items. The association invited museums, libraries and archives to submit their artifacts for consideration, and you get to vote this month for those items you think deserve mention. “The fun thing is seeing what gets nominated,” says Executive Director of Virginia Museums Margo Carlock. She notes that when people consider artifacts, “they think of a spinning wheel or a Civil War sword, but a World War II Fighter Jet is [also] worthy of preservation.”

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

ous serpents to bite him, assuring his congregation that they could not harm him.” A copperhead got him twice on his right hand, a rattlesnake once on his left: The preacher “of the ‘Holiness’ persuasion” died in short order. Not prone to restraint, Brisbane wrote that such “distressing events” were based partly on “ignorance of the construction of the universe.” When we thought that earth was the be-all and end-all—“with sun, moon, stars all revolving around it, the ruler of the universe sitting directly overhead,” he wrote—it was easier to think that said ruler might reach down with a divine antidote to the snake pizen. But now we know our universe better than that. It contains “thirty thousand million suns, some of them one million times as big as our sun” and so “it is unreasonable to expect the Ruler of And they thought Cleopatra was in da Nile. so vast a realm to suspend laws that He has made, or personally to interfere with the effects of snake poison.” It’s a Handling snakes in a religious ceremony is front-page shame Anderson never brushed up on news when the snake gets the upper hand, as has haphis Copernicus. pened about 100 times in the U.S. since the practice years ago Without a law barring snake hanbegan about a century ago. The Code of Virginia makes dling, ran the other article in The Post, it a Class 4 misdemeanor to “display, exhibit, handle or use any poisonous or dangerous snake or reptile in such a manner as to Jonesville cops were powerless to prevent such perilous theater. But they endanger the life or health of any person.” Kyle Daly, in an April 2007 spoke out against it. Sheriff R.F. Giles story on the website, wrote, “We can only imagine the lawless, reptilian frontier that Virginia must have been before that particu- called the demonstrations “out of reason for enlightened Christians” and lar decree was handed down.” But we don’t have to imagine it. On October 8, 1936, The Post, out of Big Stone Gap and Appalachia, car- slammed them as “harking back to the dark ages.” A physician also decried the ried two front-page stories about snake handling following the venompractice, and the mayor of nearby St. fueled demise the previous week of the Rev. T. Anderson, a “faith preacher,” in Jonesville in Lee County. The daily papers had made “quite Charles said they would allow no more demonstrations like the preacher’s. The adoo” over the matter, the story said. Such adoo, in fact, that New practice’s heyday was over by mid-cenYork’s Arthur Brisbane, whom his friend and publisher William Rantury, but it persists today, illegal or not, dolph Hearst once called “the greatest journalist of his day,” dedicated in pockets of believers. Not so all the his syndicated column to it. Brisbane wrote that Rev. Anderson, “in a demonstration of faith intended to prove divine power, allowed poison- handlers. Go tell it on the mountain.

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p e n n y P o s tc a r d s BY G r ac e A l b r i t to n

Military Memories With all the events this year surrounding the 150th anniversary of start of the Civil War, it’s easy to get yourself into a, well, martial kind of mood. These postcards got us feeling appropriately militant— without any of that pesky military discipline.

 The Cavalryman, Charlottesville Sent by Margaret M. Grove, Charlottesville War is no laughing matter, and this painting by Civil War-era artist W. L. Sheppard features a suitably grim-looking cavalry officer in Confederate uniform—although he appears to have misplaced his trusty horse.

Augusta Military Academy, Fort Defiance Sent by Tina Shafer, Fort Defiance


Under the headline “Big Sensation is years ago Promised,” Staunton’s Augusta County Argus reports that at the upcoming meeting of Virginia Polytechnic Institute’s board of visitors, charges will be leveled against some of the school’s stewards and its president, Paul Barringer. The beef? That cadets harbored in their rooms a woman from Roanoke who is said to be “well known” there, and that Barringer knew of her presence and did nothing. Even a legislative inquiry into the “alleged scandal” is predicted. Students and teachers deny knowledge of an “impending sensation,” but it has been the buzz in Richmond for weeks.


In a strategic mission that will indelibly insinuate years ago Virginia’s Good Neighbor Policy in the common worldwide psyche, Governor and Mrs. J. Lindsay Almond Jr. and 81 other representatives of the Old Dominion depart Norfolk on the Moore-McCormack ocean liner Brasil for a 30-day cruise of the Caribbean and South America, reports the Danville Bee. Destinations on the grueling outreach effort will include Rio, São Paulo, Buenos Aires and San Juan. On behalf of the people of Virginia, the Almond party is carting along tobacco, country hams, peanuts, textiles and photos as gifts for their hosts.


At a meeting of the Gloucester County board of years ago supervisors, Sheriff William Gatling avers that the food prepared at Walter Reed Memorial Hospital for inmates in the county jail is “slop,” reports the local paper, Glo-Quips. Gatling has said his dogs eat better than his inmates. Supervisors see this as another move in Gatling’s months-long campaign to have a kitchen added on to the jail. Gatling also says he can whip up a breakfast for just 30 cents, compared to the hospital’s 49. But Chairman Burton Bland is more worried about complaints that sheriff ’s cars are being seen outside the county. Gatling exits the scene.

Send unique postcards, along with an explanatory note and 8 1/2 -inch SASE, to Virginia Living, Postcards, 109 E. Cary St., Richmond, Va., 23219, and get a free one-year subscription if your entry is selected. (Send at your own risk.) I l l u s t r at i o n B y r o b u l l m a n

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Augusta Military Academy may have closed its doors in 1983, but this dress parade reflects the discipline of the students and the beauty of the campus, showing that Augusta men knew how to march well and look good doing it.

Virginia Military Institute, Lexington Sent by Ann Kusek, Annandale Responsible for producing some of Virginia’s finest military minds, this postcard reflects the beauty of the Virginia Military Institute campus at sunset—a surprisingly dreamlike quality for a school that employed the likes of Stonewall Jackson.

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8/25/11 4:01 PM



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With a reputation for maintaining a family atmosphere, The Virginian is considered amongst Northern Virginia’s most respected Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s) since opening in 1980. As a CCRC, we have multiple living options available which include Independent Living, Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living and Long Term Care. We offer our residents plans that include no large entrance fees and we accept residents at all levels of care. We are proud to be able to offer our residents Independent Living, Assisted Living and Enhanced Assisted Living apartments of all sizes.

Call us today to schedule a personal tour and a complimentary lunch.


Kimberly Smart (336) 926-4944

9229 Arlington BoulevArd FAirFAx, virginiA 22031

(703) 385-0555

COMER & CO. Antiques

. Interiors

Period Antiques . Fine Art Exceptional Accessories China & Crystal Exquisite Lamps

Visit our new Georgetown location: 1659 Wisconsin Avenue NW Washington, DC 202-525-2767

And on Virginia’s Northern Neck: 21 North Main Street Kilmarnock, VA 804-435-2100

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8/25/11 4:06 PM

design |

BY S u z a n n e g a n n o n

Masterfully Precise furniture designer Phillip Welch is a craftsman whose work is as whimsical as it is functional. When asked whether he calls the roughly 500-square-foot space in Lexington where he works a studio or a workshop, Phillip Welch replies, “It depends on how confident I’m feeling.” The remark is emblematic of the 52-year-old self-taught furniture artist’s entire take on everything he does, walking the fine line between functionality and aesthetic beauty and, in the process, inhabiting a pair of personas: one of sure-handed comfort in his craft, and the other a humility that is inevitable in the pursuit of perfection. “You never brag about anything,” he says. “It’s safer to be the other way. I’m proud of what I do, but I’ve learned that there are plenty of other people out there who do amazingly good work.” For the last 14 years, Welch has honed his craft as a woodworker, aiming to build things that will last for 200 years or more. He practices joinery techniques such as dovetails, tongue and groove, and mortise and tenon—eschewing screws entirely and using as few metal fasteners as possible because he believes that they devalue a piece. The results are one-of-a-kind tables, cabinets and figurative pieces like insects, birds and humans that feature velvety smooth surfaces and seamless joints. Welch spends his days sawing and chiseling in the aforementioned green-brick studio located on Lexington’s Diamond Hill, less than a mile from downtown. Handy with power tools, Welch converted the former Virginia Electric and Power Company substation into a full-fledged woodworking shop. At one end of the space is a loft of sorts where he stores his lumber, and stretched beneath the leaded windows is a long work table, above which hang his saws, chisels, planes and clamps, as well as cans of wax, glue and finishing products. Nothing

is computerized, and his machinery is minimal: a chop saw, a band saw, a jointer, a planer, a drill press and a table saw. There’s also a vintage General Electric desktop fan and a giant machine that sucks in sawdust. The only seating—an old desk chair on wheels and a paint-splattered metal stool—suggest that this is a man who doesn’t spend a lot of time sitting down, but instead moves agilely between planer and jointer, drill press and chop saw, sometimes without safety goggles or ear plugs. “I’ve cut myself a lot, but I’ve never lost anything,” he says. Although the Danville native began making furniture full time only a decade and a half ago, his fascination with woodworking began at the age of six, when for Christmas he asked for a set of tiny power tools

that he’d seen in the Sears catalog. His dad obliged, and Welch was hooked. The earliest memory he has of making something permanent and useful, however, is of the desk he made for his older sister when he was 16. He built it out of poplar, and it featured a folding top like a secretary. “It was a fairly terrible piece of woodworking, but it engaged me enough to see that I could make something I really cared about,” he says. Decades later, he would turn the hobby into a career, marketing his distinctive creations under the name Phillip Welch Designs and exhibiting his work at juried shows, includ-

Above: The Bee's Knees. Below, from left: Ortus Macula; Phillip Welch.

ing the Philadelphia Furniture & Furnishings Show, Richmond’s Arts in the Park, New York’s Artrider on Park Avenue and the Boardwalk Art Show in Virginia Beach, among others. Welch works largely with woods indigenous to Virginia—dogwood, maple, walnut, hickory, cherry, ash and white oak—but also relies on exotic woods like leopard wood from Australia, mahogany, yellow heart from South America, and wenge and ebony from Africa. His clients run the gamut from those commissioning seemingly straightforward pieces like an oversized dining room table (featuring an interconnected configuration of panels that represents a family tree) to those who have more unconventional tastes such as the woman who asked for a giant blue bird that measured 10 feet in height and mounted on a wall. Two doors in its abdomen open to glass shelves and a mirrored back, which Welch says constitutes “an object of art being used for storing other objects of art.” “I’ve been pretty lucky with clients,” he says of the individuals who generally pay between $2,000 and $20,000 for his pieces, though he has occasionally taken on a project for upwards of $100,000. “The best client is the one who trusts you, gives you a sense of what they want and then also the freedom to make it.” Welch did not come to the craft by conventional means. After graduating from Washington and Lee University in 1983 and earning a masters degree in English from Hollins College in 1992, he spent several years as a poet, publishing his work in journals, writing two unpublished novels, and teaching poetry, literature and composition at a series of colleges, including James Madison University, Hol-

lins University and Lancaster Junior College. “I realized I could not make a living in academia without a doctorate,” he says. “So I fell back on my other original love, which was wood.” Welch learned his trade from other local woodworkers and carpenters including the master woodworker Jeff Shumate, and read about it in books. His most significant influence, after his own father, is James Krenov, the master furniture-maker who studied in Scandinavia and taught fine woodworking at the College of the Redwoods in California, and whose work Welch describes as “utterly simple and therefore beautiful.” Says Welch: “The simplest woodworking is the most difficult, but if it is done well it has profound beauty.” Simplicity may be the end result of Welch’s work, but the process requires intense concentration and persistence to produce the intricately constructed pieces for which he has become known, many of them infused with a cheeky whimsy and all of them representations of a masterful precision. “Once I cut the wood, that’s it,” he says, alluding to the slim margin of error in which he works. “I have to have a plan, but not without spontaneity.” Over the years, his process has yielded pieces as varied as a sculptural jewelry cabinet in the form of a woman wearing a bikini bottom, the belt of which features tiny drawers for brooches and bracelets and a belly that opens up to a cabinet for necklaces and rings, and a praying mantis whose posterior hides a drawer. “I have to maintain an arrogance in order to care about it. It’s just a job unless you feel like you’re creating art,” he says, adding, “I have the bizarre combination of a superiority complex and a crisis in confidence at the same time.” V i r g i n i a

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L i v i n g

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8/24/11 6:27 PM

Beach and Waterfront Living Sound investments and a whole lot of fun!

Great Neck Waterfront $1,750,000

East Beach Bayfront $1,295,000

 

         

 North End - Walk to the Beach $1,250,000

Little Neck Waterfront $1,175,000

Princess Anne Hills Waterfront $1,089,000

North End w/ Elevator $810,000

               

 

Oceans - 3 Bedrooms $549,000

North End - Seldon Hall $490,000

 

 

 

 


Great Neck - 3 Bedrooms $379,000

North End - Walk to Beach $195,000

Contact CHRIS SHAUGHNESSY for the best Virginia Beach and Norfolk homes (757) 473-4205 · (757) 213-0511 Virtual Tour

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 

8/25/11 4:09 PM

books |

R e v i e w e d by B i l l G lo s e

Covert Operative Tells All A Former member of an elite subset of the already highly selective navy seals lauds his comrades in arms for their mental and physical stamina and their love of country.

You’ve seen it happen a thousand times before: Some big national or international incident occurs, and within months someone writes a book sharing the inside scoop about those involved. So when the elite SEAL Team Six, stationed in Dam Neck, Virginia, killed Osama bin Laden in a daring raid in Pakistan on May 1 of this year, it comes as little surprise that a book telling about the elite military team’s operations is now on the shelves—except this memoir had been in the publication pipeline for a year-and-a-half, and its summer release had been scheduled in St. Martin’s catalogs for some time. “[Everyone] is convinced that the [SEALs] and [my co-author and me] were in cahoots,” says former SEAL Howard E. Wasdin, 49, “so we could get some good play out of it. Not true. I am glad the book came out at about the same time, though. Hopefully it took some attention away from these guys, and people can focus more on the book instead of their identities.” Then, with a hint of amusement in his voice, he adds, “Hopefully, they’ll do something just as spectacular when my fiction book comes out.” Though Wasdin’s book does not mention the events of the Bin Laden raid, it does detail his 12-year Naval career and describe the SEAL operations in which he took part. After beginning his service in 1983 and serving four years as a search and rescue diver, Wasdin left his hometown of Jessup, Georgia, to try out for the SEALs (SEa, Air and Land commandos). He describes all the hellish details of that six-month-long training, which is meant to weed out the weak from the physically and mentally strong. Often mentioned throughout the book is the mantra, “The more you train in peace, the less you bleed in war.” Successfully completing the selection process, Wasdin was assigned to SEAL Team Two in Little Creek, Virginia. As a Team Two sniper in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, he gathered intelligence behind enemy lines and guided missiles onto targets with an infrared laser. At first, he thought he was in the most elite unit in the military; but then he learned the SEALs had a separate, secret unit tasked with counterterrorist operations—an even more elite subset of this already highly selective unit. So he put himself through yet another harsh selection process in 1992, which emphasized critical thinking and psychology as much as physical stamina. “The greatest misconception people have is that we are a bunch of brainwashed, wind-me-up assassins,”

says Wasdin. “The stuff [these people] do is difficult, and usually no one ever hears about it, and there are no accolades or pats on the back. These guys are doing it for love of country and to help others. SEALs are the biggest group of kind-hearted people I’ve ever met.” This compassion is evident during Wasdin’s deployment to Somalia in 1993 to capture warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid and his lieutenants, who were terrorizing the indigenous popu-

lation. While gathering intelligence from a CIA safe house in Mogadishu, Wasdin noticed that a neighbor boy's foot had been blown off by a landmine and gangrene had set in. Wasdin requested permission from CIA to help the crippled boy, but was denied. Disregarding orders, he and two teammates, one of whom was a medic, treated the boy, who would have certainly died without medical attention. That action in Somalia is told in explicit day-to-day detail from Was-

The Lab Rat Chronicles: A Neuroscientist Reveals Life Lessons from the Planet’s Most Successful Mammals By Kelly Lambert, PhD, Penguin, $15.00

Through observations, insights and life lessons gleaned from the planet’s most successful mammals, Kelly Lambert tells how rats can show us how to build social ties, foster a strong work ethic and even choose a mate. Some of the “whisker wisdom” includes new insights on addictive behavior and the importance of pregnant rats (and humans) consuming protein for proper brain development. An interesting and complex treatise.

Constitution Café: Jefferson’s Brew for a True Revolution By Christopher Phillips, Norton, $24.95

Christopher Phillips poses questions about our most fundamental rights and freedoms in an effort to engage all types of Americans in discussion. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson, who believed that the Constitution should be revised periodically to keep up with changing times, Phillips asks us to re-examine a document that has instead become for most Americans a sacred, immutable text. Constitution Café argues that it is in desperate need of some shaking up.

Shot Through Velvet By Ellen Byerrum, Penguin, $7.99

With newspapers folding across the country, fashion reporter Lacey Smithsonian’s latest story hits a little too close to home. Touring a failing Virginia velvet factory on its final day of operations, Lacey discovers the body of the factory’s hated manager. As Lacey looks into the story, she receives the murderer’s calling card—a velvet ribbon—and suddenly her job is not the only thing at stake; her life is as well. A fun, cozy mystery.

Crash Into Me: A Survivor’s Search for Justice By Liz Seccuro, Bloomsbury, $25.00

In September 2005, Liz Seccuro received an apology letter from the man who had raped her 22 years earlier when she was a freshman at the University of Virginia. Though she’d reported the rape to campus police at the time, the investigation hadn’t led anywhere. Two weeks after receiving the apology letter, Seccuro bravely began an email correspondence with her rapist to try to understand what happened and gradually found the courage to do what should have been done all those years ago—prosecute him.

din’s perspective, which includes the now infamous Army operation portrayed in the 2001 film, Blackhawk Down. Returning to the United Nations compound south of Mogadishu after SEAL Team Six: setting up a hidMemoirs of an den radio repeater Elite Navy in town, Wasdin was rolled into a SEAL Sniper convoy headed out By Howard E. Wasdin to capture Aidid. and Stephen Templin During the daylight St. Martin’s Press, $26.99 assault, two Blackhawk helicopters were shot down and the convoy rumbled back and forth through Mogadishu, getting ambushed and shot at every turn. Wasdin was shot three separate times, one of which nearly tore off one of his legs, but kept fighting until he ran out of ammunition and rescuing forces could reach them. For his actions, he was awarded the Silver Star, the military’s third highest decoration. In 1995, Wasdin was medically discharged from the Navy and bounced around several jobs before going to school and becoming a chiropractor. For a long time, he wanted to share his story with the public but was unable to due to the nature of his covert operations. He kept quiet until the gag order was lifted, and then discussed his story with co-author Stephen Templin, a former SEAL trainee who’d completed Hell Week but not the whole program. “We literally couldn’t write this book until after the CIA disclosed what we were doing at the safe house,” he says. “We had to wait until everything was declassified.” Although the CIA declassified the information in 2009 and Mark Bowden’s best-seller Blackhawk Down had already revealed the names of everyone involved, Wasdin used pseudonyms for the operators named in his book and blacked out their faces in its 16 pages of photos. “You never give up names and you don’t give up tactics and techniques,” he says. After years of being covert, the media whirlwind following Bin Laden’s death was surreal for Wasdin. And the trip down the rabbit hole isn’t finished yet. A deal has been inked to turn Wasdin’s story into a movie with Vin Diesel signed on in the feature role. “I just hope,” he says, “that anybody watching this movie sees Vin and thinks that I look that good!” V i r g i n i a

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8/25/11 4:02 PM


Frederick Nichols

Frederick Nichols Studio & Printmaking Workshop

Open by chance or appointment & Thur - Sun

11am - 5pm

Richmond’s Signature International Wine Event

Nichols Gallery Annex

October 28-29, 2011 Historic Tredegar Richmond, Virginia

Paintings & Original Prints by Southern Artists

Barboursville, Virginia 540-832-3565

Official Charitable Beneficiary: The American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar




12 S E A S O




Altria Masterworks Season Premiere! Altria Masterworks 2011–12 Rennolds Memorial Concert

The Miraculous Mandarin


Sat, Sep 17 – 8pm Sun, Sep 18 – 3pm

N G I U S E P P E V ER DI n OCTOBER 1, 5, 7 & 9, 2011

Metro Collection

richmond ballet



1.866.673.7282 OCTOBER 1, 5, 7 & 9, 2011 AT N O R F O L K ’ S H A R R I S O N O P E R A H O U S E

Steven Smith, Conductor Carter Brey, Cello

Metro Collection

Classical Symphony Sun, Oct 23 – 3pm

Mendelssohn’s Italian Randolph-Macon College Erin R. Freeman, Conductor Richmond Symphony Chamber Chorus

Thomas P. Bryan, Jr. Soloist

Genworth Financial Symphony Pops

MARCH 2011

Sat, Oct 15 – 8pm Sun, Oct 16 – 3pm

Steven Smith, Conductor

Sun, Sept 25 – 3pm


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Steven Smith, Conductor Elena Urioste, Violin

Shostakovich & Dvo˘rák

A Symphonic Night at the Movies: Casablanca Sat, Oct 1 – 8pm

Randolph-Macon College

Diana Cohen, violin

Union First Market Bank LolliPops

Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage Sat, Oct 29 – 11am Pre-concert festival at 10am! Erin R. Freeman, Conductor Classical Kids Live, Actors

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A rt s |

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

Arrested Movement it is a period of crisis for kiara pelissier, whose art seeks to draw out the soul of the material she works with. Richmond artist Kiara Pelissier is living in Santiago, Chile, for the time being, where her fiancé is in graduate school. But she is no stranger to the place: It is the land of her father and a place she has visited every year since she was three. In true 21st century fashion, we connect via Skype. Aside from a few glitches and one disconnection, it goes smoothly, and I am talking with (and seeing) Pelissier in her sunlit studio nearly 5,000 miles away. A fresh faced, blue-eyed blonde, Pelissier is open, friendly and articulate, and I get a real sense of the passion she has for making art. Born in 1976, Pelissier grew up in a world where artistic discipline ruled. Her father, Jaime Pelissier, an eminent goldsmith, had a studio in the family house in Connecticut, which exposed her to a working atelier. Her mother is a surface design artist, and her grandmother and great-grandmother were sculptors. The last, Edith Barretto Parsons, studied with Daniel Chester French (who sculpted the seated Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.) and is well known for her statues of children. Initially, Pelissier chose a different path from her relatives, entering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a flute performance major in 1995. Though she was technically very good, Pelissier wasn’t passionate about music. She had dabbled in goldsmithing and loved working with her hands, but, she confesses, “the metal didn’t move me.” At her father’s suggestion she took a course in lampwork, a type of glassmaking that uses a gas torch mounted on a table as its heat source. She loved the medium; seeing the materials move and melt before her eyes was thrilling, but she didn’t like the sedentary quality of the work. It was what she saw across the hall in the glassblowing studio that captivated her. Glassblowing can be physically challenging, at times requiring athletic-like training to ensure the glassblower has the necessary stamina and strength. Its physicality immediately resonated with Pelissier, who had been a serious gymnast

growing up. “I love the combination of grace and power that gymnastics requires. Glassblowing is the same in that sense. Your body must be loose enough to move with the material, yet firm enough to direct it.” Having found her passion (one would be hard pressed to find something other than glassblowing that marries athleticism and flute playing so well), Pelissier transferred to the Cleveland Institute of Art in Ohio where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in glass in 2000. After working for various glass artists, she entered the Master of Fine Arts program at VCUarts where she studied with Jack Wax, whose interest in contemporary art made him open to using glass in exciting and unconventional ways. Pelissier worked for many years using traditional glassblowing techniques, producing perfect bowls and vases, but preferred to discard the

rules of perfection in favor of something more intangible: a feeling and response to form. “My goal is to draw out the soul of a material body. A piece is not complete until it initiates a conversation with me, and not the other way around.” After receiving her degree in 2006— the same year as her father who had gone back to school to get his Master of Fine Arts in blacksmithing—Pelissier made Richmond her base and began teaching glassblowing at Vir-

Above: Crumpled Duo, 2011, blown glass. Below: Kiara Pelissier and Lagrima , 2011, plastic shower curtain rings and shower cord.

neled her artistic expression into a ginia Commonwealth University. Her more benign—and less physically parents also settled in Richmond punishing—medium. She took a mataround the same time and purchased tress, and reconfigured it, adding pigan industrial building on Cary Street, ment to produce an engorged “Tick.” which they have transformed into The piece is a mordant response artists’ studios. to her predicament; she’d been At once free and controlled, Pelisdepressed and sleeping so much sier’s pieces—whether large assemthat she began to feel the life was blages of smaller individually blown being sucked right out of her by pieces, like Cascade and Knots, or her bed. “Ironically, 'Tick' was one smaller self-contained work, like her of the few images that came to me elegant Crumple series—are luscious so strongly and clearly due to my discourses on arrested movement. depression at the time that it essenBeverly Reynolds of the Reynolds tially made itself. I was consumed Gallery in Richmond says: “Peliswith the longing to disappear into sier has a masterful ability with sleep and the bitter resentment of glass. She is a true sculptor, and this desire. As a result, this comher works are as inventive as they mon mattress is now as the creaare beautiful. She has a huge range ture is after feeding, fleshy and within her sculptures—from graceengorged.” “Tick” is a surprising ful, small objects to challenging departure, emotionally dark and and significant installations,” addheavy, and physically so as well, ing, “Pelissier achieves great fluwhen compared to her glass pieces. idity and dynamics in her pieces, Presently, Pelissier is trying to get which belies the precision and back to the basics of what it means to discipline requisite in the creation create. She may stay in Chile or move of those works. This dichotomy is to her fiancé’s native Argentina, or exactly what makes Pelissier’s art even return to Richmond—the place so compelling.” she refers to as home. It is a period of But 14 years spent standing on crisis for Pelissier, but also for opporconcrete floors all day—in contunity. Though glass is her first love, stant motion for eight hours at a Pelissier realizes she can achieve the time, working with a medium same ends through different media. that demands complete attention “I need to free myself from my bond (the heat blasting from the kilns to glass, because in the end, it's not is an intense 2,000 degrees Fahrenjust about technique or media, it's heit)—took its toll on Pelissier. Her about expression.” body began to revolt against the Forced to change, Pelissier has had heavy, unforgiving and dangerous to reassess things; at times she’s even work, despite the adrenaline-stoked questioned if she could still be an rush it gave her. She developed a heat artist. But in the end, she says, “I’ve allergy and suffered from fevers and arrived at the conclusion now that migraines. Her skin, hands, joints and muscles were all affected. At first, there is absolutely no doubt that I am an artist. I cannot help but see the she was in denial, pushing through world from the perspective of an artthe pain, but the work started to sufist. It is who I am. And I now know fer and so she stopped. that that will never change.” Deprived of glass, Pelissier chanV i r g i n i a

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Events o c to b e r 2 0 1 1

Around the State

festivals SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 9

State Fair, The Meadow Event Park, Doswell, 804-994-2800 or

Veg Out SEPTEMBER 24 15th Annual

Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, Charlottesville, 434979-1200 or

music SEPTEMBER 13-15 Rappahannock County Opera, Modlin Center for the Arts, Richmond, 804-289-8980 or Modlin. SEPTEMBER 21-24 11th Annual Nothing Fancy Bluegrass Festival, Glen Maury Park, Buena Vista, 540-261-7321 or OCTOBER 7 Concert in

the Courtyard, High and Court Streets, Portsmouth,

NOVEMBER 6 Chamber

Orchestra Kremlin, George Mason University’s Center for the Performing Arts, Fairfax, 703993-2787 or

OCTOBER 1-2 Richmond’s Original Italian Street Festival, Horticulture Gardens, Richmond, OCTOBER 8 12th Annual Culpeper Airport Air Fest, Culpeper Regional Airport, Brandy Station, 540-825-8280 or OCTOBER 8-9 Rockabilly Hot

Rod Rumble Car Show, Steckler Show Place, Fredericksburg, 540207-8939 or

OCTOBER 14-16 The Richmond Folk Festival, Downtown, Richmond, 804-788-6466 or OCTOBER 22 AutumnFest, Shenandoah County Fairgrounds, Woodstock,

Revolutionary Brew

OCTOBER 22 Blue Ridge Folklife

OCTOBER 16 Reenactment of the Yorktown Tea Party 1774, Riverwalk Landing, Yorktown. Virginians threw two

Festival, Ferrum, 540-344-8499 or

half-chests of tea overboard in 1774 and will celebrate by doing so again. 757-898-1936 or

OCTOBER 23 Pumpkin Fes-




OCTOBER 20 An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, 804-358-4901 or

SEPTEMBER 17 Richmond Hope Foundation’s 4th Annual Evening in the Vineyard, James River Cellars, Glen Allen, 804-747-4673 or

KABAKOV, The Work of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Hemphill Fine Arts, Washington D.C., 202-2345601 or

OCTOBER 20-21 Night of the Living Museum, Virginia Living Museum, Newport News, 757-5951900 or

SEPTEMBER 17-18 Virginia Wine Festival, Bull Run Park Special Events Center, Centreville, 888-695-0888 or

OCTOBER 22 Bicentennial

OCTOBER 19 Brunswick Stew

SEPTEMBER 24-25 Fredericksburg Via Colori Street Painting Festival, Riverfront Park, Fredericksburg,

OCTOBER 14, 21 Berkeley Plantation

OCTOBER 1 Art on the Avenue, Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, 703-683-3100 or

tival, Marker-Miller Orchards, Winchester, 540-662-1980 or

NOVEMBER 5-6 10 Annual Virginia Gourd Festival, Richards Fruit Market, Middletown, th

Get My Drift OCTOBER 15 Rappahannock Fall Colors Float, Fredericksburg City Dock, Fredericksburg, 540-373-3448 or

Parade, Lynchburg, 434-847-1465 or

performance SEPTEMBER 17 The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas, 703-9937550 or OCTOBER 9 "The Importance of

Luncheon, Grace Episcopal Church, Yorktown, 757- 237-0257 or

Autumn Sunset & Spirits Tour, Berkeley Plantation, Charles City, 804-8296018 or



SEPTEMBER 11-12 Alexandria

Festival of the Arts, Alexandria, 561-746-6615 or

October 1-2 An Occasion for the Arts, Merchant's Square, Colonial Williamsburg, OCTOBER 2 Kings of Salsa,

Being Earnest,” Aquila Theatre at George Mason University, Fairfax, 703-993-2787 or

OCTOBER 14 Monroe Ball, University

of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg,

Hylton Performing Arts Center, Manassas, 703-993-7550 or

OCTOBER 14 Doug Varone Dance Company: “Chapters from a Broken Novel,” Alice Jepson Theatre, University of Richmond, Richmond, 804-289-8980 or

OCTOBER 29 Halloween Bone Bash

OCTOBER 15 Branford

Gala for Arthritis Foundation, Main St. Arena, Charlottesville, OCTOBER 29 Canine Carnival, Chesterfield County Fairgrounds, Chesterfield, 804-717-6325 or

Marsalis Quartet, George Mason University’s Center for the Performing Arts, Fairfax, 703993-2787 or

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Richmond Ballet | richmond On May 11, more than 400 guests attended Richmond Ballet’s 18th Annual Kentucky Derby Day Party at The Village at Rocketts Landing. The event raised more than $45,000 to support the professional company, the School of Richmond Ballet and the outreach program Minds in Motion. Daniel Rusch and Elizabeth Ricketts

Norfolk Society of Arts| norfolk The Norfolk Society of Arts ended its 2010-2011 lecture series on April 5 with a program featuring Thomas P. Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. More than 300 guests attended the lecture, which raised $20,000 for the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Brent King, Pam Reynolds and Anna King Jason Wool, Susan Martin, Katherine Hopper and Tappan August

Stoner Winslett and Alex Irwin

Jenny Wortham

Derby guests cheering on their horses

Randy Webb and C.A. ‘Brother’ Rutter

Chrissy Johnson, Susan Quate, Tom Campbell, Edith Grandy and Cy Grandy

Richmond Chapter of The Links, Inc. | richmond More than 300 guests attended Art in the Atrium held April 16 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The event raised over $40,000, which will support a scholarship at Virginia Union University as well as programs at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Richmond Fisher House.

Jill Bussey Harris

Lelia Graham Webb, Bill Hennessey and Susan Quate Harry Savage, Shaka Smart and Karen Savage

Jill Bussey Harris, Karen Savage, Bishetta Merritt, Carolyn Lambert and Kelly Harris-Braxton

Mary Jane Birdsong, Linda Kaufman, Virginia Breeden and Pam Pruden

Stephanie Rochon-Moten and Jeffrey Moten

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A CREATIVE CULTURE’S FINEST CRAFT • MUSIC • FOOD Heartwood is a must-see destination for those who cherish traditional music, original crafts, and regional cuisine. Our performance area features live music by famous and soon to be famous area musicians. Heartwood’s four galleries entice visitors with unique creations from regional artisans. The food at Heartwood reflects time-honored Southwest Virginia recipes. Located in picturesque Abingdon, VA, Heartwood is a convenient, unequaled stop for shopping and dining.

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Click! Muscarelle Museum of Art | Williamsburg On May 7, more than 300 guests attended Wine & Run for the Roses held on the grounds of the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary. The event raised over $160,000 to support the museum.

Preservation Virginia | Charlottesville More than 85 guests attended a gala preview party March 31 at the Main Street Arena for the inaugural Antiques in Charlottesville show, which raised funds to support Preservation Virginia.

Henry and Dixie Wolf

Taylor Reveley and Aaron De Groft

A. E. Dick Howard , Mary A. R. Howard, Tessa and Richard Ader and Elizabeth Kostelny Ron and Elizabeth Chupik

Butch Barr, Patrick G. Duffeler II and Kristen Duffeler Sunny Carr and Ralph Harvard

Charles and Nora Seilheimer and Charlie and Mary Lou Seilheimer

Pam Palmore, Sharon Muscarelle and Joseph Muscarelle Jr.

Charlotte Chumlea

Anne Sullivan, Ray Warner, Tim Sullivan and Sue Warner

Skip Rowland

Mark Greske, Alice Reno Malone and Genevieve Keller

Foundation Fighting Blindness | Richmond

Angel Morton Photography

More than 100 guests gathered to honor Virginia Eye Institute founder Anthony D. Sakowski Jr. at Dining in the Dark, held at the Richmond Marriott on June 16. Since its inception in 2010, the event has raised over $350,00 to support blindness research.

Dr. Byron Ladd and Dr. Amy Ladd

contributed photos

CLICK_OCT11.indd 43

Megan Mudd, Dr. Anthony Sakowski, Jim Minow, Dr. Byron Ladd and Dr. Amy Ladd

The Parekh family

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Distinctive Homes of the

Northern Neck & Middle Peninsula Fishing Bay

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SOLD Turn-key Outer Banks-style home. 3BR/2BA. Beautiful decor conveys. Private dock. $355,000

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Stingray Point

Modern LuXury Unbeatable views. An original Stingray Point cottage. These seldom come on market. Priced to sell. $299,500


Heart of Irvington. King Carter Drive. Walk to shops, restaurants, Tides Inn, Hope & Glory Inn. $375,000

See These Properties and More at Deane Hundley 804-480-0088 (c) 804-776-7678 (h) IsaBell K. Horsley Real Estate, Ltd.

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he wedding of Carina Reichelt and Joseph Paul Rosado, both of San Diego, took place on April 16 at Clifton Inn in Charlottesville. The bride is the daughter of Edwige and Rainer Reichelt of McLean. The groom is the son of Lynn and Nelson Rosado of Johns Creek, Georgia.


auren Elizabeth Griffin and Kristan Maximilian Hamel of Arlington were married May 28 at St. Paul’s Memorial Church in Charlottesville. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mark Griffin of Lubbock, Texas. The groom is the son of Dr. William Hamel and Dr. Karin Klenke of Richmond. Photography by Jen Fariello

Photography by Meghan McSweeney



lizabeth Marie Workman of Enon and Matthew Richard Kamstra of Albuquerque, New Mexico, were married May 28 at the Ashland Presbyterian Church. The bride is the daughter of Robert and Teresa Workman of Richmond. The groom is the son of Luanne Rene Stamp and David Eric Dohmann of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Arlan Dale Kamstra of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Photography by Jen Fariello

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can give the same grapes from the same vineyard to three different winemakers, tell them exactly what you want them to do, and you will have three different wines. It doesn’t take a decade, but a decade helps you to make a better wine. I tell you a beautiful story. This happened when Jefferson ordered the vines for this vineyard, right? He asked the American consul in Livorno, Italy, to get him the vines. The American consul goes to the Botanical Garden in Florence, and he asked the director to get some vines for him, right? So he makes a list of the vines—half of those vines are of Italian origin—and they send them to Jefferson. So the consul asked the director of the Botanical Garden, ‘Which one of these grapes will make the best wine?’ And he answers, ‘All of them…if you have a good winemaker.’

A Vintner’s Vintner Gabriele Rausse has been dubbed the “The Father of the Modern Virginia Wine Industry,” and with good reason: He’s been involved in the startup of numerous wineries, including his own, since he first came to Virginia from his native Valdagno, Italy in 1976. Last summer, Rausse took a break from his work to chat with Mary Burruss.

Rausse’s first job in Virginia was to help start Charlottesville’s Barboursville Vineyards, and ever since then he has been known as the go-to guy for aspiring wine makers. He was involved in the establishment of Simeon Vineyards (now called Jefferson Vineyards) in 1981 and, in 1999, Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard. He was also a consultant on several other startups—including Afton Mountain Vineyard, Blenheim, First Colony, Stone Mountain and White Hall among others. He started his own label, Gabriele Rausse Winery, in 1997, and today is Monticello’s assistant director of gardens and grounds. The Virginia Agribusiness Council recently lauded Rausse for his distinguished service to the Virginia wine industry. The modern Virginia wine industry is now about 35 years old. In terms of overall quality, how would you characterize it? There are beautiful wines made in Virginia, and I am not talking about my wine. I am talking in general. There are wines which are beautiful; there are wines which are good. There are wines which are

mediocre; there are wines which are untouchable. Do you know that the same thing happens in Bordeaux, in Burgundy, in Piemonte? Everywhere. I mean it’s unbelievable! You go wherever you want, you will find a wide range of wine. Jim Law of Linden Winery said a couple of years ago that

it takes a decade for a winery to start making “interesting” wines. True? Well, I have a great respect for Jim Law. He always made good wine. I have to say he focused and tried to improve himself in a way that, for me, is unbelievable, right? There are so many things that you can do with grapes. And I tell you this: You

Barboursville is consistently cited as the best winery in Virginia, or certainly one of the best. What has it done right— and can you describe your role in helping to get it started? If you turn off this tape, I’ll tell you (laughs). I’ll tell you the very heart of the matter: The owner realized, maybe because I told him, that America was new to the consumption of wine and was not going to accept what the industry was selling then. The consumer in general was paying attention to what he was getting. I said to Luca (Paschina, Barboursville’s winemaker and general manager), you cannot sell any more mediocre wine here. In Italy, wine is part of our culture. So you need a bottle of wine on the table every day, not to get drunk but as part of your meal. So, if you don’t have the best wine you will have a glass of wine anyway, right? The people in America, because they were new to wine drinking, they were really looking for the best, over and over and over. I think I convinced him that he had to produce the best he could produce. And, of course, when he realized that what I was saying had some truth, he went in that direction. There are a lot of vineyards in this state, most of them young. What are the keys to making good wine? I’m not going to tell you everything. I’ll give you a very simple example: If I produce five tons of grapes per acre, it will be like a mother with 15 children. How can she have 15 good children? She cannot keep track of them, right? But

p h o t o gr a p h B y S a r a h C r a m e r shi e l d s

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if she decides to have three children instead, she can take care of them properly. There might be the one that is crazy, whatever, but in general she can raise them all properly. It is the same thing for the grape. The volume of grapes per acre, in my opinion is one of the most important things. In terms of disease, if you have 15 children and one gets a fever and one breaks his leg and one gets a terrible disease, you focus on the one that gets the terrible disease and you let the other ones go. A small crop— fewer grapes per acre produced by many vines—is more resistant to disease. A mother for each child. I can have a vine that produces five tons that’s a disaster. I can have 2,000 vines that produce five tons. I can have 2,000 vines that produce three tons or two tons or one ton— that’s the beautiful result. Fewer grapes per acre, and more vines to produce a few grapes. What mistakes do aspiring winemakers most often make? My boss at Barboursville always told me the most successful wineries are the ones where the winemaker is in charge. When for some reason the farm owner or the farm manager is in charge, it is no good. When the winemaker is in charge, the results are beautiful. Does it make sense? He is the one who tells you what he wants, right? So that makes a big difference. Where did Patricia Kluge go wrong with her vineyard— Kluge Estate Winery and Vineyard? First of all, I respect one thing about her, and nobody can challenge me on that. She spent a lot of money to try to make the best wine she could. A true business person would not do this, right? A business person tries to balance the best product with the money. She was committed to produce the best wine possible. The fact that there were too many chefs involved in the vineyard and all these things is another story. Also, the label she chose to use would only have been successful, in my opinion, if you had an infinite amount of money to support it. I could put a zero on my label and everybody would say, “Oh, you put a zero on the label, the wine is nothing.” But if I keep promoting ‘Zero’ as the best wine, after fifty years people will say, “Zero is the best wine.” She used a label called “Simply

“You can give the same grapes from the same vineyard to three different winemakers, tell them exactly what you want them to do, and you will have three different wines.” Red.” You know, “simply” is a negative thing, right? So for the person who doesn’t know Kluge, doesn’t know anything about Virginia wines, why should they pick up a bottle labeled “Simply Red”? Taste it. If you find it is good, you’ll forget that it is labeled “Simply.” You say, “Oh that’s good.” But the problem is not selling the wine when in your tasting room or at a festival; the problem is getting people to choose your wine when it is on the shelf with 500 other labels. Weren’t the price points really high on Kluge’s wines? If you don’t produce much, higher prices might not be a bad idea. There is the person who wants to impress and invites you for dinner. I know that you know the wine costs $250, so I want to show off with you and I buy that bottle, right? The pricing was not the mistake. The mistake was to produce so much and have a high price. You know the wine was good. She never produced a lousy wine, but the combination of two or three things which were not right made a disaster. But what I respect of her is the fact that she always tried to produce the best wine possible. Tell us briefly about the Northeast vineyard at Monticello—and Jefferson’s original plans. What grapes are planted there? This one is the collection of 22 of the 24 vineyards that Jefferson planted in 1807. It is 9,000 square feet in size. I grafted the vines in 1983, and it was planted in 1984. Some of the Italian grape varieties, like Mammolo Toscano, Trebbiano and Malvasia Bianca are blended with the Sangiovese from the Southwest vineyard. Some are eating grapes like Luglienga, Muscat d’Hamburg and Muscat

And what about the Southwest vineyard —replanted in 1993? That one is Sangiovese. The Sangiovese wine from Monticello is made with grapes from the Southwest vineyard plus the varieties mentioned before. A couple of years, 1999 and 2002, we had more than 1,000 bottles. The maximum bottles I made are 1,300. Now we are down to a very small crop because the 16,000-squarefoot Sangiovese vineyard has been replanted due to a vascular disease called Botryosphaeria. The 2009 vintage was only 75 bottles. The best years I had were 1999, 2000 and 2009. The wine is sold only at the gift shop at Monticello.

squeezed them; I was amazed at the sugar–the brix [a measurement of sugar content] that were in those apples. I made apple cider in the past with apples whose brix content was around six, 10, or 12. On these apples I see 20, 21–it is unbelievable! From the cook’s point of view, you would never choose to buy it except to make salad or apple cider. This one, the South orchard, is the gentleman farmer orchard, because there is a little bit of everything— apricots, plums, peaches, cherries, gooseberries, raspberries, red currents, golden currants, figs, quince, you name it. Jefferson also planted almonds. It is strange that he said he had a good harvest of almonds, which seems impossible to me because they bloom in February, and here it is too cold in February. But it is a collection of everything, including the grapes, which is something that we cannot grow in Virginia, right? (Laughs.)

Tell us about the Fruit Garden. What is planted there? We have two orchards. One is the North orchard, which has only a variety of apple called Ewe’s Crab. I remember the first time that I

Why are you working in plant propagation at Monticello as opposed to working as a winemaker for a specific vineyard or two? Tranquility. •

of Alexandria. They might end up being blended in my wines, and some are left for the birds, so they don’t try to get what is under the nets. There is also a variety called Alexander that is found in the garden of William Penn in Philadelphia.

Facing page: Gabriele Rausse with sons, Peter (left) and Tim (right). Right: Rausse in his private wine cellar. V i r g i n i a

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Dimpled, Dull and...Delectable? Virginia’s heirloom apples are making a comeback. By Lisa Antonelli Bacon p h oto g r a p h y by j e f f g r e e n o u g h

Oh, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji. You were the loves of my youth. Honeycrisp and Gala, Red Delicious and Braeburn, you nourished me, filled me with pleasure, even, if the old saw is to be believed, kept me healthy. But are you enough? Not any more. Estimates of the number of apple varieties in the American market alone are in the thousands, 1,000 to 2,000 of which are heirloom varieties. Of all the varieties still grown in Virginia, vintage types number around 500. Some of the best are the oldest, and heirloom varieties—many with quirky names like Winter Banana and Northern Spy—are finding their way to homes and restaurants that heretofore clung to the more readily available dozen or so varieties bought from grocery chains or shipped great distances by wholesalers. Although you can’t yet find them in grocery stores, heirloom apples are regaining a prominent profile, driven by the explosion of farmers’ markets around the country and the ease of online shopping. 52 |

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Let’s face it. Apples go way back. (Ever wonder what tasty flavor captivated Eve in the Garden of Eden?) The eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge and the valley of Virginia have been among the greatest applegrowing regions in the world since Colonial times. Early settlers planted the trees not only for food but largely for cider production. Thomas Jefferson experimented with some 18 varieties at Monticello. And it wasn’t long before varieties emerged as individually noteworthy products— many during Jefferson’s lifetime. Today, apples with a history are a precious delicacy. Of the 5.5 million bushels now produced in Virginia each year (the Albemarle Pippin topping the list of most desired), the Virginia Department of Agriculture estimates that only 5,000 to 10,000 bushels are heirloom varieties. Sadly, these homegrown gems slimly survived the 20th century. Apples were in their heyday in the 1860s; so much so that they were overproduced, according to Lynchburg resident and apple expert Tom Burford, author of Apples: A Catalog of International Varieties (2004). (His next book, Apples of America, being published by Timber Press, is due out next year.) Moving into the 20th century, creeping suburbanization flattened many orchards. Then in the 1950s, when markets were becoming “super” markets, heirloom apples fell into obscurity, supplanted by prettier, mass-farmed apples that could withstand the harsh conditions of shipping and sitting in grocery store bins for days at a time. “Thirty or 40 years ago, there was the Red Delicious and the Golden Delicious,” says Burford, whose family began producing fruit on the slopes of the Blue Ridge in 1715. “It was said that it would have to be pretty because the consumer isn’t going to buy anything that looks different,” explains Burford. “Along comes Granny Smith to prove them wrong.” Once imports like Fuji (developed in Japan by crossbreeding Red Delicious and Virginia’s Ralls Genet), Gala and Braeburn hit the market, consumers wanted more choices. “For the first time, the consumer asked ‘What else have you got?’” says Burford. Now sated on various imports from around the world, the consumer asks again, what else? And the answer is the heirloom apple. Burford notes that more and more orchards are beginning to plant vintage varieties. “What we are doing now is re-inventing the apple culture,” he says. “We are now at the point where they are appearing at farmers’ markets, where many of them have been

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“People will have a taste of the apples and say they don’t care how it looks.” re-introduced,” says Burford, whose firm Burford Brothers grew and marketed hundreds of varieties of heirloom and modern fruit trees until 1997 when Burford decided to grow the education component of the business. Now he travels the U.S. conducting workshops and seminars on growing and marketing apples. Those who know heirloom apples say that many old-timey varieties just flat out taste better. “A lot of [heirloom] apples have much more vibrant flavors than what we get in the commercial market,” says Charlotte Shelton who, with her siblings, owns Vintage Virginia Apples, a 10-acre orchard in North Garden that began operating in 2000. But trends like slow food and green food are as much motivators for vintage apple consumption as simple enjoyment. “As a culture, we’re getting more interested in our food sources,” Shelton says. “We find that people are a lot more interested in foods that are not so homogenized.” The Sheltons, who got into the orchard business as a hobby, sell only about 1,000 bushels of their 250 heirloom varieties each year. The bulk of their business comes from selling heirloom apple trees to private growers and orchardists. Generally speaking, vintage apples won’t win any beauty contests. They

tend not to look like those shiny, rich-hued, perfectly shaped modern versions that we find at the grocery store. Depending on the variety, “dull,” “squatty,” and “lopsided” are some of the nicer adjectives used to describe the antiques. “It’s sad that people say they want one of those unblemished, smooth-skinned Golden Delicious that have half the flavor [of a vintage apple],” says Burford, who is known as Professor Apple at Monticello where he has been a consultant for 29 years. Fortunately for vintage apple producers, people now seem to buy for flavor rather than looks. “I think there’s a movement [away] from buying food with our eyes,” Shelton says. Burford credits farmers’ markets with raising awareness of these ugly, older apples. “They’re offering tastings,” he says. “People will have a taste of the apples and say they don’t care how it looks.” Not every heirloom is prized for its taste. Some varieties are destined to be turned into cider. “Just like you wouldn’t put a wine grape on the table,” notes Shelton, “you wouldn’t want to eat some apples that are good for cider.” Burford estimates that some 300 varieties are just for making cider. “There’s a misconception that, because it’s vintage, it tastes good,” he says. “Ninety per-

cent are quick spitters.” Huh? “You take one bite and spit it out.” According to Burford, the demand for some eating varieties outstrips the supply, led by the Albemarle Pippin, Black Twig and Arkansas Black. “People can’t get enough of them,” he says. The Pippin, also known as the Newtown Pippin, has been a standout since the early days of America. Thomas Jefferson dispatched this from France: “They have no apple to compare with our Newtown Pippin.” And when Queen Victoria was presented with two barrels of Pippins by England’s American ambassador in 1838, she was so taken that she lifted the import tax on that variety. While antique apples are making a small splash in the marketplace, there’s plenty of room to grow. In Virginia, 6th in the country for apple production, small, private growers are leading the way in re-introducing heirloom varieties. The trend to revert to simple, nonhomogenized foods has primed the market. “Today, we’re trying to get back to food the way it was back in the 1930s and ’40s.” That, Burford says, will have an enormous impact on the growth and acceptance of the vintage apple. Says Burford: “One could say they are here to stay.”

Where to Find Heirloom Variety Apples in Virginia Dickie Brothers Orchard Nelson, 434-277-5516 Stayman, Winesap, Rome

Marker-Miller Orchards Winchester, 540-662-1391 Rambo, Jonagold, Rome, Stayman, York

Graves Mountain Farm Syria, 540-923-4231 Stayman, Winesap, Rome, York

Morris Orchard Monroe, 434-929-2401 Stayman, Winesap, York, Arkansas Black, Albemarle Pippin

Hartland Orchard Fauquier, 540-364-2316 Grimes Golden, Cortland, Jonathan, Smokehouse, Winesap, Rome Ikenberry Orchards Botetourt, 540-992-6166 Jonathan, York, Winesap, Stayman, Rome

Vintage Virginia Apples owners Chuck and Charlotte Shelton

Vintage Virginia Apples North Garden, 434-297-2326 Arkansas Black, Bishop, Pippin

Richard’s Fruit Market Middletown, 540-869-1455 Jonathan, Grimes Golden, Stayman, Rome Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse Timberville, 540-896-7582 Rome, Winesap, York, Arkansas Black Urban Homestead Bristol, 276-466-2931 Gilpin, Lowry, Red Horse, Seek-No-Further, Henry Clay, Ladyfinger, Reasor Green

Every year, on the third Saturday in October, Tom Burford’s Apple Tasting is held at Tufton Farm, a mile from Monticello. After 20 years, it is the oldest formal apple tasting in America, and draws apple lovers from all over the country. Tickets are $15 and usually sell out in advance, so get yours now for next year at or by calling 434-984-9822 or 434-984-9881.

Both Shelton and Burford note that the sometimes quirky names of vintage apples add to their appeal. Here are just a few vintage varieties that sprung up in the eastern half of the country in the 18th and 19th centuries: Ben Davis A 19th-century staple; the most widely planted apple variety in the South after the Civil War; large, dull red. Smokehouse Originated in the early 1800s; mild flavor; juicy; flattish shape with red and green stripes; crisp and tender; good for cooking. Winter Banana First appeared in the mid-1800s; also known as Banana and Flory; large, round; pale yellow skin with a rosy blush; crisp and juicy, and unusually aromatic. Summer Rambo First recorded in 1535 in France; also called Lorraine and Rambout Franc; large and lightly ribbed with pale greenish-yellow skin, flushed with pale red and streaked carmine, scattered with russet patches; firm flesh with a slightly sweet flavor. Northern Spy Discovered around 1800; believed to have originally been called Northern Pie; also known as Red Spy and Red Northern Spy; large, streaked with a clear, yellow shade and a bright red tint; juicy, crisp and tender; high sugar content makes it a good candidate for hard cider. Northwestern Greening Originated in 1872; big, green; good for pies; tough skin; firm, juicy and mildly tart. Woodpecker Discovered in 1750; also called Baldwin and Butters apple; once the third most popular in the U.S.; tough skin, yellow with red; crisp, tender and subacid; stores well. Winesap One of the more common vintage varieties; also called American Wine Sop for its wine-like flavor; originated around 1817; stores well. Stayman Another of the more common vintages; also a wine-like essence; discovered at the home of Dr. J. Stayman in the mid-19th century. Rome Also known as Rome Beauty, Starbuck and Gillett’s Seedling; first discovered in 1816. Paradise Also known as Paradise Sweet; originated in the early 1800s. Northwest Greening Discovered in 1872; a cross between Golden Russet and Alexander; green, good for pies. Cortland Introduced in 1898 by the New York State Experiment Station; a cross between McIntosh and Ben Davis. Jonathan Introduced in 1820; eventually became the sixth most popular variety in the U.S. Abram First noted in a Virginia newspaper in 1755; greenish-yellow skin shaded with dull red; flavor improves during storage; good for cider-making. Arkansas Black Originated in 1870; dark red, almost black; improves in flavor in storage. Calville Blanc Also known as Calville Blanc d’Hiver or White Winter Calville; classic French dessert apple dating to the 16th century; large, oblong with pale green or yellow skin with a pale red blush. Maiden’s Blush Originated in 1817; also known as Lady Blush and Red Cheek; sharp, tangy flavor, suited for cooking and, when fully ripe, for eating. Virginia Pilot Originated in 1830; disappeared and re-discovered by Tom Burford in 1989; large, roundish; pale yellow skin striped and shaded with dull red.

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Farmstead Fresh Chèvre from Caromont Farms & 2009 Vintage Rosé from Barboursville Vineyards

A Beautiful Marriage By Kendra Bailey Morris

While chèvres are most typically paired with similarly flavored bright, acidic Sauvignon Blancs, or sometimes with young reds, it’s the berry-laden, slightly sweet nuances of the Barboursville rosé that make the grade alongside Caromont Farm’s lightly salted, tangy Farmstead Fresh Chèvre—a seasonal fresh goat’s milk cheese that is best described as soft, creamy and slightly acidic with just a hint of tannin. This unique coupling gets even better when served with crusty bread topped with red tomato jam. Together, this wine and cheese marriage tempers the other’s acidity, causing the wine to taste a bit fruitier and the cheese just a tad milder. It’s an amazing feat that only a true European-styled rosé, made from a blend of Nebbiolo, Cab Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and created under the direction of Barbourville’s award-winning winemaker, Luca Paschina, could expertly pull off. Founded in 1976 by the Zonin family from Veneto, Italy, Barboursville is one of Virginia’s oldest wineries. Caromont Farm in Esmont, (located just south of Monticello) may not be the oldest farm producing artisan cheese in Virginia, but the cheese-making genius of owner Gail Hobbs-Page is not to be denied. Page cranks out an array of goat goodies, including an “Alberene” ashed goat cheese, a raw goat feta and, her latest 2011 release, the “Esmontian,” which is a Manchego-style raw goat cheese aged 120 days. Her chèvre with Barboursville’s rosé is simply irresistible.,


t’s no surprise that Virginia’s wineries are turning out some pretty amazing juice these days. With 15 wine-producing regions and 192 wineries—and accolades pouring in from around the country, including taking home a whopping 226 medals at the 2011 International Eastern Wine Competition

and the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition—Virginia has clearly established itself as a contender in the wine industry. Yet, as enjoyable as Virginia wines are all by their lonesome, they get even better when expertly paired with another one of Virginia’s culinary claims-to-fame: our cheese. From chèvres to aged cheddars, and Goudas to tangy blues and creamy mascarpone, Virginia’s dairies are churning out some pretty incredible cheese. And when they come together? Well, let’s just call it a moment of pure bliss for both the oenophile and the turophile.

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Grayson from Meadow Creek Dairy & Rapidan River Semi-Dry Riesling from Prince Michel Winery

Meadow Creek Dairy’s Grayson, a semi-soft washed rind cow’s milk is a real stinker, and I say that in the nicest way. This cheese is not for the faint of heart. Boasting a bouquet that lies somewhere between funky and pungent, it is reminiscent of an Italian Taleggio or a French Reblochon as it oozes buttery goodness onto the plate. But take this multiple-award winner and pair it with a gold medal-winning Virginia Riesling that offers just a touch of sweet floral and honeysuckle in each sip, and this heady cheese backs down and mellows out. This is one of those memorable wine and cheese pairings where opposites attract and redefine the flavor profile of each. Add a peach chutney, and you have pure magic. Since stronger cheeses tend to match well with sweeter wines such as Sauternes, late harvest Rieslings or Moscatos, Rapidan River’s Semi-Dry Riesling, which is produced by Prince Michel Vineyards (founded in 1982), is a natural choice as it lends a natural creaminess and ever-so-slight effervescence to delicately offset the richness of the Grayson. Aged in stainless steel tanks, this Riesling offers refreshing nuances of stone fruit and honey on the palate. Meadow Creek Dairy in Galax has been in operation since 1998 when Rick and Helen Feete decided they wanted to make seasonal, sustainable raw milk cheeses in the European style of affinage, or aging. The Feete’s now–famous Grayson, a seasonal cheese (available June through March only) is made from milk from Jersey cows that are pasture-raised on a mixture of grasses, legumes and grains, giving the cheese its signature deep yellow color.,

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Raw Sharp White Cheddar from Oak Spring Dairy & 2009 Chardonnay from Gray Ghost Vineyards

This powerfully dry, crumbly cow’s milk white cheddar has a slightly bitter taste that’s almost tannic and reminiscent of pecan skins, while Gray Ghost’s Chardonnay boasts just a smidgen of oak (from its stint in French oak barrels) along with light tropical fruits and a smooth vanilla finish. While seemingly at opposite ends of the tasting spectrum, this pair manages to blend seamlessly. Try a sip of this easy-drinking Chardonnay followed by a nibble of Oak Spring’s piquant cheddar to experience the wine’s citrusy, lemon flavors a bit more. Add a few spicy pecans, some pear mostarda or homemade apple butter to round out this pairing. Family-owned Gray Ghost Vineyards in Amissville is the brainchild of Al and Cheryl Kellert, who began making wine in 1969. Soon after moving to Rappahannock County in 1986 and meticulously transplanting 160 vines, their first Gray Ghost crop was born in 1993, and they’ve been making Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignons, Cab Francs and Vidal Blancs ever since. Self-taught cheesemaker Allen Bassler oversees Oak Spring Dairy in Upperville, where he and his wife Tammy create a variety of cow’s milk cheeses (cheddars, Derby cheeses, Goudas, Swiss and Provolones—28 varieties in all) from their raw milk-producing Brown Swiss and Jersey cows. Yet it’s their award-winning Brown Swiss cow, Snickerdoodle, who is the true “cheesemaker.” Taking home the title of “Grand Champion” at the World Dairy Expo a whopping six times, Snickerdoodle boasts a set of supreme udders.,

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Piedmont from Everona Dairy & 2009 Meritage from King Family Vineyards

This pairing is for tasters who just can’t get enough of those Spanish sheep’s milk cheeses—Everona Dairy’s signature aged Piedmont is as good as they get. Fruity, tangy and a bit earthy, this cheese is softer than a typical Manchego and delightful when served with plum, blackberry and ginger conserves. Matching Everona’s Piedmont with King Family’s Meritage, a Bordeaux-style blend of Cab Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec, was a gutsy one. Would the wine’s rich flavors of anise and black pepper along with its subtle tannins overwhelm this delicate cheese? I get my answer in the first taste: This particular Meritage has a soft, silky texture and cherry fruit that almost flawlessly offsets the gentle grainy texture and natural nuttiness of the cheese. Under the direction of resident winemaker Matthieu Finot, King Family Vineyards has been in operation at its current location in Crozet since 1998 and produces nearly 5,000 cases a year. King Family has earned its share of awards and accolades including the coveted 2010 Virginia Governor’s Cup for their 2007 Meritage. Pat Elliott, a former physician and now owner and cheesemaker at Everona Dairy in Rapidan, has earned her own share of awards, including placing tenth in the world at the 2010 World Cheese Championships for her Shenandoah—a tangy Swiss-style cheese. In business for 13 years, Everona produces four tons of cheese per year.,

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Plum, Blackberry and Ginger Conserves 2 cups plums, pitted and finely chopped 2 1⁄2 cups blackberries 1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger 1 cup orange blossom honey (or other fruity honey) 1⁄2 cup orange juice zest of one orange Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a low boil and simmer stirring frequently, for 30-40 minutes. Pour into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool. Refrigerate. Will keep for several weeks. Makes 3-3 1⁄2 cups.

Peach Chutney 12 pounds yellow peaches, peeled, pitted, and roughly chopped 8 ounces cooking apples, peeled, cored, and chopped 8 ounces onion, thinly sliced 8 ounces seedless raisins, chopped 12 ounces light brown sugar 2 ounces preserved ginger, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 15 fluid ounces white vinegar Mix the peaches, apples, onions, raisins, sugar, ginger, garlic, salt and cayenne in a large pan. Add vinegar, and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook slowly for about 1 1⁄2 hours, stirring regularly. When smooth and thick, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. While still warm, pack into jars. Cover and seal when cool. Will keep for about six months. Makes about three pounds.

Rosemary-Walnut Shortbread 1 3⁄4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 1⁄2 cups chopped walnuts 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 1⁄2 cup herbal honey infused with lavender, thyme and rosemary 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, diced Place the flour, walnuts and salt in a food processer. Pulse a few times to blend until walnuts are small. Add butter and pulse again until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add honey, lemon juice and rosemary, and pulse until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic, and form into a log 1 1⁄2 to 2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut log into half-inch thick slices. Put slices on cookie sheet and bake for 18 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Spicy Pecans Red Tomato Jam 4 1⁄2 pounds tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1 small onion, diced 1 1⁄2 cups cider vinegar 1 tablespoon or about one inch of broken cinnamon stick 1 tablespoon grated ginger 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon salt 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice 1⁄2 teaspoon cloves Combine all ingredients in a pan and simmer until mixture reaches jam consistency. Pack and seal in jars.

2 cups pecans 2 cups canola oil 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon ground Aleppo pepper or cayenne 2 teaspoons cumin 1 tablespoon salt Boil the nuts in water for 8 minutes. Drain. Heat the oil in a pot or heavy-bottomed saucepan to 350 degrees. Mix spices, and coat pecans well while still damp. Shake off extra spice, and fry 5-6 minutes or until golden in color. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with spice mix again. Cool and store in a closed container.


c a r o m o n t fa r m s fa r m s t e a d f r e s h c h e v r e f r o m w h o l e f o o d s , r i c h m o n d . b a r b o u r s v i l l e v i n e ya r d s v i n ta g e r o s É 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 . P e w t e r t r ay, c e r a m i c ta z z a , p r i n t e d p l at e a n d w i n e g l a s s f r o m W i l l i a m s & S h e r r i l l , R i c h m o n d . S o f t c h e e s e scoop from Fraîche, Richmond. G r ay s o n c h e e s e f r o m E l lw o o d T h o m p s o n , r i c h m o n d . r a p i d i a n r i v e r d ry R i e s l i n g , L ’A g u i o l e p e w t e r c h e e s e k n i f e ( pa r t o f a s e t ) , S c h o t t Z w i e s e l w i n e g l a s s a n d wa l n u t c h e e s e b o a r d b y B l u e O x o f L o u i s a , Va 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 . L e Ja c q ua r d F r a n ç a i s ta b l e c l o t h f r o m F r a î c h e , R i c h m o n d . W r a pp e d v i n ta g e b o o k a n d s t r i p e d n a p k i n f r o m W i l l i a m s & S h e r r i l l , R i c h m o n d . o a k s p r i n g d a i ry r aw s h a r p w h i t e c h e d d e r f r o m e l lw o o d t h o m p s o n , r i c h m o n d . G r ay g h o s t C h a r d o n nay, o n c e u p o n a v i n e , r i c h m o n d . W o v e n t r ay, J u l i s k a p e w t e r - g l a z e d p l at e a n d M at c h w i n e g l a s s f r o m F r a î c h e , R i c h m o n d . L ’A g u i o l e r o s e w o o d - h a n d l e d c h e e s e k n i f e ( pa r t o f a s e t ) 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 . S i lv e r m o u n t e d b o w l f r o m M o r o c c a n P r e s t i g e , m o r o c c a n p r e s t i g e . c o m P i e d m o n t c h e e s e f r o m E v e r o na d a i ry, r a p i d a n . K i n g Fa m i ly M e r i ta g e 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 . S i m o n P e a r c e w i n e g l a s s a n d p e w t e r C h e e s e k n i f e f r o m F r a î c h e , R i c h m o n d . C e r a m i c f o o t e d c u p f r o m W i l l i a m s & S h e r r i l l , R i c h m o n d . S i lv e r m o u n t e d b o w l f ro m M o ro c ca n P r e s t i g e , m o ro c ca n p r e s t i g e . c o m

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n o i t a l l a t s n I t e n i Free Cab room for details. With qualifying purchase. See show

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INVESTMENT POTENTIAL - Tired of stock market? Dover Hall, 30,000 s.f., 55 acres, has everything. Fully equipped, furnished and staffed. 20 min to downtown Richmond, 4 minutes to Kinloch and Hermitage Country Clubs, and I-64 and Rt 288. 7 minutes to Short Pump Mall. 15 full and 16 half baths, pool, generator, 2 kitchens, elevators, full audio system and irrigation. Meticulous interiors and furnishings. Next door to Deep Run Hunt Club. Frank Hardy 434-296-0134.

SUNNYFIELDS - c. 1830 - Completely restored and historically significant home, previously owned by Thomas Jefferson's builder. On 9+ acres surrounded by 330 protected acres next to Monticello and Ash Lawn, only 5 minutes from downtown. Over 11,000 sf with 5 bedrooms. Amenities include a pool, tennis court, and guest house. Ann Hay Hardy 434-253-0716.

54 ACRE ESTATE - 7 bedroom manor house 15 minutes south of Charlottesville. The house sits on an elevated parcel among large shade trees and mature English boxwood. The private setting offers long panoramic views of the surrounding valley. Miles of deeded riding and hiking trails on adjacent properties. Excellent value. Peter Wiley 540-219-3771.

FLOWERDEW HUNDRED - One of Virginia’s finest estates with over 1051 acres along the James River. Main residence of approximately 14,000 sq. ft. offers a dramatic setting, which overlooks the entire estate as well as the extensive water frontage on the James River. Additional structures include a Museum with a welcome center and pavilion, and numerous outbuildings and farm structures. Frank Hardy 434-296-0134.

EDGES - Magnificent 2002 custom home built with 100 yr-old cypress wood, 5,700s.f., 4 bedrooms 4.5 baths on 21-ac. over- looking a 30-ac. lake and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Fenced gardens, car barn and shop, meandering trails, and open land located 15 min. drive from Charlottesville and UVA. Murdoch Matheson 434-981-7439.

GRAVES MILL FARM - A 664 acre mix of rolling pasture and hardwoods in one of Central Virginia's most pastoral settings. Graves Mill Farm offers long views of the surrounding farms and the Shenandoah National Park. The property is surrounded by protected land, is adjacent to part of the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area (totaling 10,000 acres), and 3 miles down a dead end road from a National Park trailhead. Until recently a working farm, 3 houses, numerous farm buildings and breathtaking, elevated building site overlooking a magnificent 5 acre lake. Peter Wiley 540-219-3771.

TURTLE TOP - Stately brick home 15 minutes west of Charlottesville on 50+ acres with pond . Spacious and elegant, the home encompasses 10 foot ceilings, exquisite finishes and wonderful natural light throughout and offers formal spaces for entertaining as well as casual areas designed with family living in mind. Five bedrooms with baths ensuite, conservatory, exercise room, and inviting brick, slate and soapstone terraces leading to manicured lawns and gardens in a private, partially wooded setting. Guest quarters above the detached two car garage/storage building. Frank Hardy 434-296-0134.

WHITE HORSE FARM - 278 acre Albemarle County Farm c.1780 farmhouse expanded and totally renovated w/5/6 bedrooms. Outbuildings include, 8-stall horse barn, dog kennels, sports complex, equipment barns and farm managers cottage. Miles of riding/hunting trails, level usable land (open and wooded), views and privacy. 20 minutes south of Charlottesville/UVA. Murdoch Matheson 434-981-7439.

FOX MEADOW FARM - Circa 1860 brick farmhouse on 50 acre compound with pool, lighted tennis court, stable, outdoor ring, paddocks & numerous dependencies including a significant workshop complex. The updated historic home has wide pine floors, gas & wood burning fireplaces and an updated kitchen. Large creek runs through the property's productive pasture. Additional building site with panoramic Blue Ridge and Allegany views. Turn-key equestrian or country retreat. Peter Wiley 540-219-3771.

417 Park Street • Charlottesville, Virginia 22902 • 434-296-0134 • Equal Housing Opportunity

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Whether you’re interested in fishing, hiking, biking, or just plain relaxing, Martinsville-henry County has so much to offer. hike along the beautiful smith river, visit the award-winning virginia Museum of natural history, or enjoy some heart-pounding racing. Whatever your interests, you’ll find it here. picture yourself in Martinsville-henry County soon. to learn more, call (888) paCe-4-yu or visit us at

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Bellair Stately 5 BR, brick residence with convenient, private location in Charlottesville’s Bellair. The home backs up to Birdwood Golf Course and offers extensive stone walls and brick hardscape. Residence has undergone a complete renovation of all mechanical systems and been rebuilt from the ground up. Quick access to shopping, Boar’s Head, Farmington Country Club, UVA and St. Anne’s-Belfield. $998,500



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An endangered red panda is part of the collection of animals being studied at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

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Survival Species by da i s y r i d gway k h a l i fa

of the

the smithsonian conservation biology institute in front royal used to specialize in animal research. now, its mission has been expanded to include not just studying endangered animals, but also saving them and their habitats from extinction.


t is a crisp, sunny, early spring day in Front Royal, and I am being driven along the rolling roads of a 3,200-acre government facility known as the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, or SCBI. Located on an expansive, well-manicured campus, on the edge of the Shenandoah Mountains in Warren County, SCBI is a premier training and conservation science center. It employs 45 scientists and animal experts—ecologists, bird specialists, veterinarians, biologists, reproductive physiologists and educators—most dedicated to saving endangered animal species, according to SCBI director Steve Monfort. And it doesn’t take long to find an example. After passing through several enclosures and numerous outbuildings on the sprawling property, we spot a large maned wolf inside a gated area on a hill. The endangered maned wolf, once a thriving species in South America, has been part of a 30-yearold cooperative breeding program aimed at saving it from extinction. There are two at SCBI, Rambo and Ibera. Ibera sits up to scrutinize us; she’s got big ears and a thick brown coat that bristles in the chilly wind. As we continue our tour, other animals come into view, including several red-crowned and white-naped cranes and Prezwalski horses. A wild horse that originally lived in Western Europe and Asia, the “P-horse,” as it is known at the facility, has been part of SCBI’s Species Survival Plan for years. We then enter Cheetah Hill. To our left, a tall, jaunty female cheetah lopes toward us. In the next enclosure, another adult female cheetah named Zazi lies in a spot of warm sunlight with her two cubs, one of which she adopted last December after giving birth to her own female cub. In a headlinemaking effort in late 2010, SCBI biologists managed to unite, or “cross-foster,” a two-week-old male cub with Zazi’s newborn, and ever since Zazi has been raising the two as her own. Thanks to a web cam, spectators at the National Zoo in Washington are able to view the scene. p h o t o g r a p h y b y M e h g a n M u r p h y, s mi t h s o n i a n ’ s nat i o na l z o o

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SCBI took on clouded leopards because zoos were having trouble mating the animals. “It is the most challenging cat there is,” says a center scientist.


n total, there are about 30 animals at the Front Royal facility. All are being studied, according to SCBI officials, largely for behavioral and reproductive purposes, or because they are endangered. Zazi and her cheetah cubs are an example of the complex challenges scientists take on at SCBI. They were born to two separate females, the first to 5-year-old Amani on Dec. 6, and the second to 9-year-old Zazi 10 days later. Cheetahs that give birth to only one cub, called a singleton, cannot produce enough milk to keep the cub alive, and typically, females in the wild will let a single cub die, after which they will, in theory, produce a larger litter. So scientists at SCBI resorted to an alternative technique—hand-raising Amani’s cub for 13 days before placing it with Zazi, thereby creating a litter of two that would likely stimulate milk production from Zazi. Today, both cubs are nursing from Zazi and doing well. At SCBI, the rather complex study of hormones, behavior and habitat enables scientists to better understand the health and reproductive system of endangered animals. Later this year, a cluster of turret-roofed huts at SCBI will be converted into a conservation facility for red pandas and clouded leopards—both endangered. SCBI took on clouded leopards because zoos were having trouble pairing and mating the animals. It didn’t help that males often killed their mates. Experts say clouded leopards suffer from a fair amount of stress related to both breeding and habitat. “They are the most challenging cat there is,” says JoGayle Howard, a scientist and head of the clouded leopard conservation and research program. Even when SCBI was able to create some pairs that successfully reproduced 71 cubs over

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a 12-year period, about half were killed by the mother. But ongoing efforts, including hand-raising the cubs and pairing mates at a young age, have improved cub survival. In recent years, experts have determined that the clouded leopard wants a habitat with height, so the interior of the new facility will be high, and the outdoor area will have tall climbing towers. Janine Brown, SCBI’s chief of endocrinology, likens the center’s breeding programs—particularly assisted reproduction involving artificial insemination techniques—to working in a “black box” because they don’t always know what’s going on inside an animal. However, Brown says that by analyzing hormone patterns, scientists can learn what factors cause stress, for example, and why it throws off a particular animal’s breeding habits. Brown and the team at SCBI have conducted extensive studies on elephant ovarian cycles, or the absence of them, known as reproductive acyclicity. After discovering what Brown calls a “unique hormone pattern,” the team was able to impregnate an elephant named Shanthi, who 10 years ago gave birth to a baby named Kandula— one of the first elephant calves in the world to be created with artificial insemination. Both Shanthi and Kandula now live at the National Zoo.


a biodiverse planet. Says Ruth Stolk, head of strategic development at SCBI, “This is the first time that the Smithsonian explicitly has stated that actually conserving species is a priority.” While species and habitat preservation is at the heart of SCBI work, the center’s activities are broad and include conservation science training, ecological studies and animal endocrinology, all of which are raising the institution’s profile. Stolk puts SCBI’s annual budget for running its science centers at about $11.8 million, almost half of which comes from competitive grants and donations from private donors and Friends of the National Zoo. The facility is closed to the public, save for its Autumn Conservation Festival, which will be held again in October 2012. (Construction on the campus cancelled the 2011 open house.) Well before its name change, SCBI had established an outstanding reputation for its undergraduate, graduate and professional conservation training programs, both at the Front Royal Campus and “in country,” meaning in the more than 20 international locations where SCBI has a presence. For 30 years, the training programs have served students along with university, zoological and field management professionals from more than 85 countries, with an eye on serving people and institutions from developing countries. As one of the world’s best-known centers for conservation biology, SCBI takes its educational role very seriously. Kate Christen, SCBI’s graduate and professional training manager, explains that conservation biology involves an integrative approach to the protection and management of biodiversity. It is a discipline that employs principles and experiences from basic biological fields such as genetics and ecology;

or most of its 36-year history, this center was known as the National Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center (CRC). Then, in January of 2010, its name was changed to reflect a new and expanded mission. (The Smithsonian Institution manages 19 museums, one being the National Zoo, and nine research centers, among them SCBI.) Before, says Monfort, “CRC was basically a department of the zoo. With SCBI, we are a partner with the zoo. The name change signifies that there is finally another space for conservation within the Smithsonian family of science.” In the old days, Monfort explains, the Smithsonian’s overarching mission focused on research—“studying and understanding.” But in the Smithsonian’s new strategic plan for the organization as a whole, Above: An endangered Prezwalski horse with offspring. Here: the goal has become to Kandula, seen here shortly after her birth 10 years ago, was one both understand and sustain of the first calves to be created through artificial insemination.

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Mehgan Murphy, Smithsonian’s National Zoo

global training presence. She says that SCBI has always had ties to Asian conservationists who “grew up” in Smithsonian certification and training programs and have become heads of wildlife departments in Nepal, India and Sri Lanka, the countries in which the world’s remaining tiger populations live. “The Global Tiger Initiative has become the cornerstone of our new training presence in the world,” says Stolk. “It’s really exciting to bring together some of the old ‘graduates’ of Smithsonian conservation training programs, and then all kinds of new people that are the new generation. So we’re actually tapping our own network out in the world. This is our old training presence in the world, but with steroids.” Closer to home, SCBI has found an eager collaborator in Fairfax-based George Mason University. About two years ago, SCBI and the university’s College of Science established the Smithsonian-Mason Global Conservation Studies Program, a sort of “semester abroad” in which Mason undergrads spend a semester immersed in SCBI’s active research community, earning 16 credits through a course load of five classes. Above: Animal keeper Ken Lang feeding a clouded leopard cub. The program has hosted about 20 Right: Aerial view of the SCBI complex in Front Royal. Below: students a semester and is wrapping A female cheetah named Zazi with one of her cubs. up the fifth and last of its “pilot” semesters, before shifting into the growth phase. With financial assistance from from natural resource management fields such as George Mason, SCBI is building facilities in Front fisheries and wildlife; and from social sciences Royal that will house and train up to 120 students, such as anthropology, sociology, philosophy and the projected size of the program over the next economics and even the humanities. “It’s tricky,” several years. The partnership with George says Christen, as conservation biologists must Mason is “big” for the Smithsonian and SCBI, says function as both scientists and managers. The range of SCBI’s courses include spatial ecology, conservation conflict resolution, effective conservation leadership, non-invasive genetic techniques in wildlife conservation and statistics for ecology and conservation biology, all taught as intensive one or two-week courses for either professional training or graduate credit. “It’s both scientific techniques and practices and then also human dimensions, so we have a suite of training courses,” says Christen. Monfort says that over the last 13 months, SCBI has been forging a wide range of new partnerships on both the global and local stage. “We are branching out to different audiences,” he says—among them, the World Bank, the National Science Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Virginia’s George Mason University, the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Shenandoah National Park Trust. Stolk is quick to mention the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI)—a highprofile program in which SCBI and World Bank have partnered to lead an alliance dedicated to stabilizing and restoring wild tiger populations— as an example of how SCBI is expanding its

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Jennifer Buff, SCBI’s academic program manager, not just because it brings an accrediting capacity to the institution, but because Mason is “willing to take risks” and has a progressive approach to conservation science. SCBI’s Virginia-based partnerships are not just in the academic arena. The center’s scientific talent is also helping to protect and enhance Virginia’s native habitats. New partnerships with the Piedmont Environmental Council and Shenandoah National Park Trust aim to get local landowners involved in efforts to promote conservation and biodiversity. One program, called Virginia Working Landscapes, encourages the landowners to devote some of their acreage to the growth of native grasses and to species studies by monitoring native wildlife. It’s just one more facet of SCBI’s broad, expanding and vital role, explains Monfort. “We want to be recognized as the convener, the connector and the scientific source for conserving habitats and species.” A reproductive physiologist, endocrinologist and veterinarian by training, Monfort says he himself has evolved into a conservation biologist. “I am proud to have that label,” he says, “because there is a diversity of projects and programs [that use] sound science to understand the basic biology of animals.” At SCBI, he concludes, the goals are fundamental. “We want to solve problems. We want to save species. We’re cause driven. We have a passion for animals and for species, and for saving habitats with the science knowledge that we have.” • >> For more go to

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Pursuit of Perfection V

irginia’s varied landscape and rich architectural tradition allows for ample opportunity to beautify your home regardless of region. Whether a family ranch style residence in the Piedmont, a mountain getaway in the Blue Ridge or

a country cottage in Tidewater, you can make your home stunning by playing to local design elements. Assuming you didn’t major in interior design or architecture in college, there are heaps of Virginia-based experts who can help you bring out the best in your home. From interior design studios to architecture firms to antique shops, there are lots of nimble fingers and creative thinkers to aid you in your quest for domestic perfection. And lest you overlook your home’s surroundings, a well-manicured garden of poppies or grove of dogwoods can create an atmosphere of relaxed calm and peaceful solitude, even in busy metropolitan areas. Exploring your region’s natural beauty can help give you some ideas for how you’d like your yard and garden to look. And if horticulture just isn’t your thing, there’s no shame in handing it over to the professionals. Landscaping companies and garden specialists have the experience and know-how to pick up where you left off. And what could be better than sitting outside on a screened-in porch at the sunny tail end of summer or breezy early fall, admiring your home’s natural surroundings? But perhaps traditional Virginia isn’t your style. Not a problem. Local experts can help you find something funky and fresh, or sophisticated and chic depending on your style. You don’t have to love traditional Virginia colonial architecture to benefit from the plethora of Virginia-based artisans and hip boutique owners just waiting to lend a hand. Feel free to mix and match. Fresh flowers can add a dash of liveliness to your home regardless of whether you’re going for new-age Bohemian or old-world Victorian. 70 |


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ALEXIA SCOTT Alexia Scott is a Northern Virginia landscape painter. Her images range from the Virginia Blue Ridge to Jackson Hole, Wyoming and are always trying to capture a place of “visual calm.” Alexia also creates Limited Edition Prints of some of her images in her Falls Church studio. All prints are signed and numbered individually. • 703-380-5953 or CORPORATE AND MUSEUM FRAME Corporate and Museum Frame has been an anchor of Broad Street in Richmond for over 18 years, producing excellent picture frames by combining state of the art equipment, mature framing skills and informed design. Our specialties include contemporary fine arts, portrait art, folk art and period framing. Located in historic downtown Richmond. • 804-643-6858 or DEE DAVID & CO, LLC Dee David & Co, LLC is a full service kitchen and bathroom remodeling firm specializing in residential remodeling. Owner and Designer Dee David, CKD, CBD, has more than 30 years of experience with a reputation for professionalism, dependability and attention to detail. Dee and her team bring a comfortable one-on-one approach to the process, working with homeowners, builders and contractors in Northern Virginia and now the Northern Neck guiding each space from design to completion. • 703-560-6601 or HERMITAGE The Hermitage Museum & Gardens, located on the shore of the Lafayette River in Norfolk, includes twelve acres of semi-formal gardens, forest and wetlands. The gardens feature a mixture of flowering plants, shrubs and trees. Roses, daffodils, peonies, Japanese anemones, Russian sage and other sun-loving perennials surround bronze sculptures, quiet benches, brick and cobblestone footpaths and stoned terraces. Both the wetlands and woodlands provide a natural habitat for hundreds of plants and animals, including a variety of waterfowl and migrating birds. • 757-423-2052 or INTERIORS BY MOYANNE Interiors By Moyanne is an interior design firm and boutique for the home, featuring designer furniture, fabrics, antiques, artwork, lamps and luxurious bedding and bath items. Turnkey interior design service available throughout the United States and abroad. • 434-384-6844 or YVES DELORME Yves Delorme is internationally acclaimed for its fine European linens and home accessories, including the elegant home furnishings line, Mis En Demeure. This winning combination perfectly expresses the French art de vivre, or lifestyle, and draws its strength and skill from more than 165 years of tradition. Yves Delorme is particularly recognized for its design of fashion prints with an urban signature, as well as timeless classics. Our flagship boutique stateside is located in the prestigious Carlyle Hotel in New York. • 800-322-3911 or


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Though this city has attracted a diverse and sophisticated crowd and has a decidedly big-town vibe, it hasn’t lost any of its small-town charm.

Quaint, Quirky and Cosmopolitan

charlottesville by sarah sargent

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photography by jeff greenough

“For a small city, Charlottesville is doing a When I moved to the Charlottesville area from great job culturally,” says Deborah McLeod, 60, New York City in 1993, I was looking for a kinder director of Chroma Projects, a changing exhibition and gentler existence in a setting that was rural space and collective of artist studios located on yet urbane. I had fallen under Charlottesville’s the downtown mall. The mall is one of the longest spell as a little girl accompanying my father, outdoor pedestrian malls in the nation, and home who earned his law degree at the University of to a lively street scene and restaurants, theaters, Virginia in 1940, on his annual pilgrimage to art galleries and shops, including the recently Law Weekend. Held in early May—one of the renovated 1930s movie palace, the Paramount loveliest times of year here—the weekends were Theater. The mall also hosts the Virginia Festival the perfect introduction. The lilac and boxwoodof the Book in March, the Charlottesville scented air, Jeffersonian architecture and, most Festival of the Photograph in June, and the of all, the beautiful landscape made an indelible Virginia Film Festival in October. McLeod has impression on me. The Charlottesville of my observed Charlottesville’s art scene for 25 years. youth was a delightfully exotic departure from “Charlottesville has been facilitating its artists in all that was familiar to this New York City girl; it a more comprehensive way,” she says, was then sleepy, genteel and very Facing page: Matt “and I find more interconnectivity now.” Southern. Native Boo Barnett, 55, McAllister and Rachael Second Street Gallery, established in a writer, describes the city then as “so quiet, all the neighborhood dogs Eplee on the downtown 1973 and the oldest contemporary art mall. Above: the mall space in Central Virginia, is now located lay about in the street. You’d ride is one of the nation's inside the City Center for Contemporary by on your bike, they’d open an eye, longest outdoor lethargically wag a tail and then pedestrian malls. Right: Arts building on East Water Street along with two other non-profit groups: Live go back to sleep.” I wasn’t exactly The Rotunda at UVA. Arts (a community theater) and Light looking for that Charlottesville House (a youth media organization). McLeod when I settled here—I knew it was long gone—but points to the new institutions that have popped up I hoped its vestiges remained. too, like The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative in Comprising just over 10 square miles, with a Belmont, a small arts organization that promotes population of nearly 45,000 (closer to 120,000 young and emerging artists, and The Garage when combined with Albemarle County, which on First Street, a multi-purpose arts and events is considered part of the greater Charlottesville Metropolitan area), Charlottesville is a far venue, that have what she describes as fresh young cry from New York. And while I was willing voices that speak outside the established arts to downsize from a big city, I didn’t want to organizations and galleries. This, she says, “is the end up in a dull backwater. I needn’t have kind of healthy growth a good city should enjoy worried. Charlottesville’s mix of artists and and encourage.” writers, students and scholars, natives and And it does, not just in its arts scene, but in entrepreneurs who live and work here speaks to its music scene as well. Even before the homeJefferson’s enduring legacy of creativity, coming grown Dave Matthews Band found national fame, together to make Charlottesville a happening Charlottesville was a music mecca with Miller’s place with a rich and varied cultural life and a (where Dave used to tend bar) on the mall and sophisticated, big-town vibe. And there is that Trax on West Main Street. Today there are five hard-to-articulate sense of place that so appealed state-of-the-art venues, including the Paramount, to me as a child and which still seems to hover the Jefferson, the Southern, the Pavilion and John in the air—a combination of history, landscape, Paul Jones Arena. I catch up with Andy Gems, tradition and way of behaving that evokes, well, 43, owner of the Southern, as he’s setting up “Southernness.” for the Friday night show. “For a town its size,

Charlottesville has an amazing music scene—at times it’s a blessing,” he says, “other times it’s a curse. But the competition is good, because a rising tide raises all boats.” For top-shelf acts like the Rolling Stones, U2 and Lady Gaga, Scott Stadium and John Paul Jones Arena at UVA are the most accommodating of large crowds. Charlottesville’s taste in music runs the gamut, though, and the Tuesday Night Concert Series at UVA’s Cabell Hall throughout the academic year, along with the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival in September, feeds this community’s appetite for world-class musicians. Gems, who moved to Charlottesville from San Francisco in 2002, says he loves the urban yet small-town feel of the place. “It’s about restaurants, food, music and art. What more do you need?” Indeed, Charlottesville is a foodie’s paradise. My favorite place to eat has to be the C&O Restaurant, which opened in 1976. Housed in a former railroad bunkhouse on Water Street, it is a Charlottesville institution. With appealing dining spaces, a cozy downstairs bar area, an imaginative seasonal menu (the veal liver in mustard sauce with garlic mashed potatoes is my go-to comfort food and definitely not your mother’s liver and onions), and pleasant staff, it’s no wonder C&O continues to be so popular. “I had a customer remark to me one evening in the restaurant that

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From left: Chocolates from Gearhart's Fine Chocolates; owner, Tim Gearhart; Albemarle Baking Company; Market Street Wine Shop.

Here: Strolling on the mall. Left: Pastry from Albemarle Baking Company. Below, left: La Taza in Belmont. Fabulous food at The Local.

Gifts from Roxie Daisy.

the C&O was one of the most honest places he’d ever been,” says owner Dave Simpson. “That made me feel great.” Simpson, 56, says that in the 32 years he has been at the restaurant, the thing that has kept him intrigued with the business is the relationships he has forged with his regular customers. He describes delivering food to families with newborns and catering those children’s graduation parties or wedding receptions years later. “It is astounding,” he says, “how one small corner of the world can attract such bright, funny, earnest and dedicated people year after year.” Once a modest, working class neighborhood, Belmont, located just over the Belmont Bridge from the downtown mall, has attracted a young, hip crowd who have been gentrifying the area and luring top-notch restaurants. Chief among these is the superb MAS, which specializes in tapas. The Local, Tavola, Belmont Bar-B-Que and La Taza are all within a stone’s throw of each other on Hinton Avenue and Monticello Road. Michael Keaveny, 46, opened Tavola in “Little Brooklyn,” as he likes

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to call Belmont, in 2009. “Being in Charlottesville has exceeded all my expectations,” says the chef and owner who has worked in restaurants in New York, San Francisco and Napa Valley. “I like to think of Virginia as a region of Italy, considering how the Italians would work with the raw materials we have here.” With its eateries, butcher, baker and chocolatier, the Main Street Market is all things to all foodies. Locally-sourced raw materials are a mainstay for many of the vendors here. From the famous pimiento cheese at Feast! to the breads, cakes and pastries at Albemarle Baking Company and the delectables at Gearhart’s Fine Chocolates, the market offers a bounty of comestibles sure to impress the most discriminating epicurean. On Saturday mornings from April to October, a bustling farmers’ market is in full swing downtown. Charlottesville residents also have Foods of All Nations located at the Ivy Square Shopping Center near the university, the goto emporium for arcane and international ingredients like marmite or peanut soup mix.

Foods (as it is familiarly known) is still going strong after more than 50 years in business. “Back when Foods opened, none of the big supermarkets carried the international selection we stocked,” says Butch Brown, president of the company. To keep competitive, Foods maintains a friendly atmosphere that’s big on service. “We know most of our customers by name and offer charge accounts.” Somewhere along the way, Charlottesville became known as the “Hook” or “Hookville.” Some say the hook referred to a C grade; others say it arose because once you’ve spent any time in Charlottesville, it “hooks” you. Whatever the history, the “Hook’s” residents are just as interested in spirits as they are in sustenance. Robert Harllee, 53, opened Market Street Wine Shop, located one block off the mall, in 1986 and hosts Friday evening wine tastings that take on a party-like atmosphere. In addition to their vast selection of wine and beer, Market Street also carries a wide assortment of bread, cheese and other edibles. Tucked into a basement, it

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“Once you make your home here, it's nearly impossible to leave. There seems to be something that draws us back, not just a feeling of missing home, but the feeling you are missing out on something if you are not here.” resembles an actual wine cave. It’s funky, fun and loaded with atmosphere. “Despite the growth, there’s still a small-town feel to Charlottesville, especially in the downtown area,” says Harllee. “There’s a real sense of community and local issues matter a lot. In the course of a day, I encounter poets, novelists, dancers, actors, visual artists— everybody seems to have something they do, some passion they pursue beyond their job.” One of those passions could include the business of wine-making: There are some 25 vineyards in the Charlottesville area, most notably White Hall, Barboursville, Keswick, Blenheim and King Family. “I think of Charlottesville as laid back and kind of quirky,” says Amy Gardner, 40, owner since 1994 of shoe boutique Scarpa on Barracks Road. “It’s full of interesting and eclectic people who are bright and creative.” Gardner, who looks like a fresh-faced college student, embodies hip, young Charlottesville. She is just one of a number of shop owners who purvey goods to an affluent, plugged-in clientele. Yves Delorme on the mall sells luxurious bedding (a not so local secret is this shop’s blowout Thanksgiving sale), and Caspari’s flagship store on Main Street showcases (in addition to its paper goods) furniture accents with a European twist. The Warehouse District—a new area of shops in former industrial buildings bordering Garrett Street—includes stores like C&A Camp. Owner Carlin Stargill Camp, 47, describes her stylish international inventory as “classic luxury.” (I have my eye on a fabulous Cari Borja asymmetrical coat that Camp carries.) “If I had only one word to describe Charlottesville,” says Carol Troxell, 63, owner of New Dominion Bookshop located on East Main Street, the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia, “it would be ‘smart.’” Troxell moved to Charlottesville in 1971, and though the city has changed dramatically during that time, she says its overall tenor has remained the same. “Charlottesville is still full of an interesting mix of people who are engaged with the world.” That mix of people balloons by more than 20,000 when classes are in session at the University of Virginia. UVA, established by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, may be Charlottesville’s

national average. The small-town, big-university best-known institution, and with good reason. atmosphere attracts a cosmopolitan and diverse Ranked in 2011 as the number two best public crowd, many of whom have been lured by the bevy university by U.S. News & World Report (tied with of top rankings the city has earned. It has been the University of California Los Angeles), UVA named one of the Top “Brainiest” Metropolitan has earned the top one or two spots every year Areas by The Atlantic magazine, the Healthiest Place since the publication began ranking public to Live by Men’s Journal magazine, and the 4th Best universities 14 years ago. Additionally, UVA Place to Live in the Country by Kiplinger’s Magazine. ranks in the top 25 of America’s best universities, Ric Barrick, director of communications for the both public and private. And its history is deep. city, says that the population increased by 8.5% Located on the west side of town, Jefferson’s between 2000 and 2010. Indeed, the floodgates Academical Village is the campus’ centerpiece. may have opened in earnest when, in 2004, Cities Known as the Lawn for the terraced greensward Ranked & Rated named Charlottesville the #1 Best it overlooks, the U-shaped design is crowned by City to live in. the Rotunda (based on Rome’s Pantheon) and The town-cum-city continues to attract features a long colonnade fronting the original 54 growth and development, especially downtown student rooms and 10 larger structures known as (where the current retail vacancy pavilions. Housing for professors and Above, from left: rate is significantly lower than the their classrooms, the pavilions are of McGuffey Art Center national average) and around the unique design, intended to reflect the on Second Street; university. Martha Jefferson Hospital various branches of learning and to is expanding and will move to the showcase different architectural orders. the Paramount Theater on the mall; Pantops area, completing a communityNowadays, the rooms on the Lawn as O'Suzannah's on driven transformation to mixed-use well as the parallel Range (site of Edgar Fourth Street. development that will include office Allen Poe’s room) are highly prized. space, condominiums and a hotel. Worldstrides, My fellow locals occasionally gripe about the an educational student travel company, will take constant construction and endless expansion of up space on Water Street, bringing with it 375 the UVA campus. I must admit I enjoy the summer, jobs. The university, too, has several large projects when parking spaces at the Corner are plentiful in the works, adding to it the SoHo (South of and the lines at Bodo’s bagel restaurant’s three Hospital) plan, which will bring in mixed-use locations shrink. But all in all, people recognize commercial, residential and research space just the boon the university affords the town: UVA and south of the newly expanded University Hospital. its health system are the area’s largest employers And poised to bank on downtown development, providing over 17,000 jobs according to the city’s City Walk, a 300-unit apartment complex, is set to 2010 Comprehensive Financial Report. break ground early next year. Says Ida Lee Wooten, director of community Suzannah Fischer, 45, owner of gift shop relations at the university: “City residents do O’Suzannah’s on Fourth Street, says, “I take huge express concern about traffic in the university area, pride in being a C-ville native. I think the city but in the past two decades I’ve seen the university feels progressive and puts an emphasis on families and city of Charlottesville increasingly working and community. Once you make your home here, together to build a strong community.” it’s nearly impossible to leave. There seems to be Charlottesville is “a progressive city that values something that draws us back, not just a feeling of education, the environment, social justice, the missing home, but the feeling you are missing out arts and our history and is a cultural, social and on something if you are not here.” • economic hub in Central Virginia,” says Mayor Dave Norris, 41, who has lived in Charlottesville since 1995. Norris points out that unemployment >> For more, go to in the city is consistently lower than the V i r g i n i a

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k c a l b

This page: Freshlycleaned coal from Paramont Coal Co., near Coeburn. Facing page: Coal processing area at Alpha Natural Resources’ Deep Mine 41, near McClure.

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d l o g k

more r o f s e c r u o s e r e l st valuab o m ’s ia in g ir ose v h f o w e e n l p o o n e e p e e b h s t a d h n l a Coa he places t t a k o o l a ck. ’s e o r r e k H c . a s l r b a y e y in h 0 s 0 3 is n h tha ursuit of t p e h t y b d e p a h s n heritage has bee

b y b e n s w e n s o n | p h o t o g r a p h y b y r o b b s c h Vai rrgei nt iga

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he two boilers at Dominion’s coal-fired Clover Power Station in Halifax County are about as close to a time machine as you’ll find anywhere. Each one is a massive 50 feet square and 180 feet high. Their thick, steel shells are designed to contain an extraordinary fire that can reach 3,000 degrees, stretch 15 stories and power 210,000 homes. Jamie Laine, 48, an engineer who has worked at the plant for two decades, offers a peek at the inferno by prying open a small hatch on a boiler’s wall. The searing light that escapes through the opening is

government and groups concerned about the environmental impact of extracting and burning coal, and the industry faces ever-toughening standards for emission controls. But coal provides the fuel for roughly half of the electricity generated in the U.S. today, and, according to an April 2011 report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, will continue to account for the largest share of electricity generation for decades to come. Virginia’s commercial coal mines were the first in North America. Surprisingly, Virginians’ quest for coal began not in the Appalachian Mountains,

“The factories come and go, and they always will. But we’ve got to have coal.” blinding—solar energy that hit the earth hundreds of millions of years ago, stored until this very moment in the coal that fuels this conflagration. Coal is part of the fabric of Virginia, from the mountain hollows of the Southwest to the shipping terminals of the East, and for more than 300 years, the world has been unleashing the power stored in the rich seams beneath the Commonwealth’s surface. Coal is still mined in seven Southwestern counties: Buchanan, Tazewell, Dickenson, Russell, Wise, Scott and Lee. It’s here in this rural, mountainous region—where trains are heavily laden with coal, and coal preparation plants wait around every bend—that the industry, a mainstay of the economy, makes its redoubt and shapes the region’s culture. This shiny black rock has come under increased scrutiny in recent decades by the

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but just a few miles west of Richmond in Chesterfield County. There, in the Richmond Coalfield Basin (one of Virginia’s three coalfield regions), a diamond-shaped, 150-square-mile coal seam lies steeply pitched beneath the bucolic, rolling hills of Midlothian. French Huguenot settlers discovered this seam around 1700, igniting commercial mining operations that lasted two centuries and, in its heyday, supported as many as eight mines, which produced 75,000 tons of coal per year. Located on the site of these coal pits today is Mid-Lothian Mines Park, a 44-acre preserve, which was established in 2004. The park contains some of the few

remaining vestiges of Central Virginia’s mines— haunting stone ruins that suggest the dangers miners faced underground: flooding, foul air, roof falls and, of course, explosions sparked by the highly volatile methane released from the coal when the men dug into it. The perils of these early coal pits killed hundreds of miners in at least half a dozen major explosions in the 19th century. Their deaths, along with labor shortages and the end of the Civil War—which at first stimulated production to fuel the Confederacy’s defense industry (particularly the nearby Tredegar Iron Works)—ultimately doomed Midlothian’s mining industry, which folded completely by the early 1900s. The search for coal moved west to the Valley Coalfield, Virginia’s second coalfield region. Though several coal seams in the counties of Montgomery and Pulaski would produce more than 6 million tons of coal over 150 years beginning in the late 18th century, it was Virginia’s far Western frontier—the Southwest Coal Region—where explorers were surveying immense coal seams that promised untold amounts of energy for a rapidly industrializing nation. By the late 1800s, entrepreneurs found a way to exploit these Western deposits, which lie beneath 1,550 square miles over seven counties. Productivity skyrocketed when, in the 1930s, mechanization replaced more labor-intensive mining techniques in the region. The extension of Virginia railroads, including those of the Norfolk & Western Railroad, into the Southwestern part of the state in the late 19th century facilitated the shipping of coal mined in Southwest Vir-

Above: DTA coal car dumping operator Jonathan Teach. Facing page, clockwise from top left: Alpha Natural Resources’ Surface Mine 88; CSX train running east; Teddy Clevinger at Surface Mine 88; DTA coal terminal; Elbert Eames at Dominion’s Halifax Station; boiler door; mining boots.

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Train tracks running past Union Baptist Church in Dante.

dante, virginia

the story of a coal town. by joe tennis


t’s almost suppertime as the passing coal train echoes, wailing past the hollers of Dante—a Russell County village once called Turkey Foot. Dante took that first name, locals say, for the shape of its valley in which Bear Wallow, Straight Hollow and Sawmill Hollow creeks come together to resemble the three toes of a turkey foot. How Dante earned its current name, however, owes much to its place along Virginia’s Coal Heritage Trail. Bobbie Gullett calls this place home. Now in her 70s, the easygoing, gray-haired lady is a coal miner’s daughter. Her father, Emory Cook, worked in one of Dante’s four mines, and others at Duty, Virginia, for 30 years until he gave up mining after having a heart attack at age 57. Even so, he lived into his 90s, playing golf and fishing, preaching the Bible and telling stories of what this town once was. But Gullett has no children to pass on such stories, and today, in this place, there is no future in coal: No one nearby mines the black gold that made Dante much more than a village among towering mountains. Dawson Coal & Coke Co. established the town in 1902 but was bought out by Clinchfield Coal Corp. in 1906. Though Pittston acquired Clinchfield in 1944, jobs grew more scarce with the advent of newer machinery, and, by 1959, Dante’s coalmines had been exhausted. Today, multiple train tracks ring the town, but no train stops. Dante bears no rail service. It’s simply passed by, as piles of coal come from mines many miles from here, in the eastern counties of Kentucky, slipping south to Tennessee and the Carolinas. “This was a great town to grow up in,” says Gullett, a lifelong Dante resident. “It was like a family town. Everybody was family. No one had to be afraid of nothing or nobody. Everybody looked after everybody.” And some still do—well, at least, she says, the old-timers whose family histories are tied to the mining heritage. Along with her sister Gaynell Cook, Gullett tells visitors to the Dante Coal & Railroad Museum, which was established in 2003 by a community group called Dante Lives On, Inc., about what this town used to be like when about 4,000 residents lived in freshly-built homes. Today, Dante has 1,000 residents, if you stretch the boundaries out to the edge of its outskirts. Some of the houses at the center of town are tidy; some need to be torn down. There is no industry in town, and residents routinely travel up to an hour to work in Bristol or Kingsport, Tennessee. But Gullett and others still keep its spirit alive. On a warm afternoon, with the trains still echoing, Gullett talks about the big book that tells the story of this town, Memories from Dante: The Life of a Coal Town, which was written by Katherine Shearer and published in 2001 by an Abingdon-based nonprofit, People Incorporated of Southwest Virginia. Like the book, Gullett’s museum traces the history of how Dante grew from Russell County’s thick forests and sprawling cornfields to become a coalfields capital. “There’s something about a company coal town,” says Shearer, who has been adopted by the community as an honorary citizen. “I think a lot of it is the knowledge that death is always hanging over you, and it happened with great regularity. And, when it happens, just the whole community rises up and gives you support.” Dante was no different. Except, Shearer says, “Dante had the distinction of being the headquarters for Clinchfield Coal and, later, Pittston Coal Co. The folks are like those in many other coal towns—very proud of their heritage.” As proof, hundreds return each August for the Dante reunion. It’s a time for reforging old connections but also, like this quiet afternoon, for gazing at passing coal trains and remembering how Dante was once a thriving slice of Virginia commerce. The Dante Coal & Railroad Museum does not stand alone along the Virginia Coal Heritage Trail. About an

ginia to the coal piers at Hampton Roads and thus, the world. More than 2 billion tons of coal have been produced in the Southwest Coal Region since that time, and today it remains the epicenter of Virginia’s coal industry. Located in the heart of Virginia’s Southwest coalfields is the town of Appalachia—a folksy community of 1,800. The mountains are tight and wrinkled here, and streams tumble off their steep slopes, gurgling their way to lower ground. There are neat brick storefronts along the town’s Main Street and orderly, working class neighborhoods across the railroad tracks and beyond the Powell River that runs through town. Towns like Appalachia, which celebrated its centennial in 2006, sprung up in the late 19th century when the railroads finally linked this region—and the vast mineral riches underneath—to energy-hungry consumers to the east and west. Appalachia’s motto, “Born from coal, survives through spirit,” seems especially apt given that many of the coal camps located in the narrow mountain hollows northwest of town that boomed in the first half of the 20th century didn’t survive the transition when the seams beside them were eventually mined out and the companies moved on to the next mountain. This is a place where proud people embrace their heritage with things like the Coal Miners Wall, the Miners’ Memorial Park and the weeklong Coal/Railroad Days that takes place every August. The town is also part of Virginia’s Coal Heritage Trail, a 325-mile network of roads that crisscross the southwestern counties and com-

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hour west, Big Stone Gap boasts not one but two museums in Wise County that pay homage to the great black diamond. One, the Harry W. Meador Jr. Coal Museum, displays coal-camp photographs and remnants of the long-gone Stonega Hospital. Just a couple of blocks away, the Southwest Virginia Museum is a state historical park that illustrates the story of how Big Stone Gap—population 5,000—was carved out of a wilderness of towering mountains and tumbling streams. Other stops include Natural Tunnel State Park in Scott County and the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine & Museum in Tazewell County. Along that trail, it is easy to say how some towns took their names: Pocahontas was named for the Indian princess and Cleveland was named for the U.S. president, Grover Cleveland. Big Stone Gap took its name— obviously—from a big gap in Stone Mountain. As for nearby Stonega, well, that’s actually just “Stone Gap” with the final “p” missing. (It is pronounced stone-ay-gah.) But many of the old coal camps of Southwest Virginia have names whose provenance is more ambiguous, like Derby, a neighboring town to Big Stone Gap, on the outskirts of Appalachia. As the legend goes, the directors of Stonega Coal and Coke Co. interrupted a trip to see the Kentucky Derby in 1922. The officials stopped at this place to inspect its unique brick homes and thus decided to call it Derby. Other towns of Wise County borrowed names from England, like Exeter and Dorchester—presumably reflecting the cultural preferences of coal mine operators. One coal camp called Dunbar, dating to 1919, took its name from a Scottish castle. Arno, a camp of the same era, now little more than a wide spot in the road, takes its name from a river and valley in Italy. Mining officials also often won their names on Virginia’s maps. Calvin Pardee, once the president of Blackwood Coal and Coke Co., has his name honored at two places: The village of Calvin near Keokee in Lee County and Wise County’s Pardee, where part of the 1980 movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter” was filmed. Closer to Dante, the coal town of Coeburn was coined by the combination of the names of W.W. Coe and William E. Burns, partners in Coeburn Land and Improvement Co. As for Dante, the official origin is tied to William Joseph Dante. He was the vice president of Dawson Coal and Coke Co., which developed the town on the tri-county border of Virginia’s Dickenson, Wise, and Russell counties in 1903. Dante might hold a record for having so many ways to pronounce its name, from “Dan-tay” to “Don-tay” to “Daint” and a flat-sounding “Dant,” as if to rhyme with “can’t.” The last, Gullett says, seems correct, though she’s much too gracious to argue with anyone.

prises museums, visitor centers and recreation opportunities. Along this trail, visitors can explore Tazewell County’s Pocahontas Exhibition Mine, which produced upwards of 44 million tons of coal in its 73 years in operation, or stay in Big Stone Gap to see the outdoor drama “Trail of the Lonesome Pine,” titled for the novel of the same name by John Fox Jr., which recounts the region’s coal boom of the early 20th century. The Carter Family Fold near Hiltons is another of the many stops along Virginia’s Coal Heritage Trail. Located at the foot of Clinch Mountain, it is the home of legendary musician A.P. Carter who, with his eponymous family band, is credited with creating the genre of country music in the 1920s. The Carter Family Fold is part of the Carter Family Memorial Music Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of old-time, traditional country and mountain music. There are weekly Saturday night performances at the Carter Fold: This is boot-stomping old-time mountain music, inspired by day-to-day life in coal communities. As long as people have been mining coal, they’ve been singing songs about it. Just as soon as the guitars and fiddles light up the stage, the ample dance floor in front of it fills to capacity with concertgoers who add to the music with the rhythmic clicks of their clogging, a folk dance with roots deep in Appalachia. These performances attract all sorts of folks, including eight-year-old Baleigh Oates from Erwin, Tennessee, who, on a recent Saturday, giddily clogged all two-and-half hours

that the Bristol, Virginia-based Dixie Bee-Liners jammed out bluegrass numbers onstage. Oates, like other youngsters on the dance floor, made the hourlong trip with older relatives who want to preserve the heritage of their mountain ancestors. “It’s the kind of music, the kind of place that makes you feel good, like a church social,” says Janice Barnett, Oates’ aunt. But as deeply rooted in its past as coal is, it is also very much a part of life in Virginia today. On a chilly fall morning, I was invited by the Clevinger family to their tidy, two-story home in Castlewood to see firsthand the legacy of Virginia’s coal. They know coal well; all of them work for the Abingdonbased Alpha Natural Resources. Earlier this year, Alpha acquired Richmond-based Massey Energy. The $7.1 billion buyout gave Alpha the second largest private sector coal reserves in the U.S.—in the neighborhood of 5 billion tons. (St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. has the largest.) With the takeover, Alpha now controls nearly 200 mines and coal preparation plants in the Appalachian region and Wyoming. “The factories come and go, and they always will. But we’ve got to have coal,” says Teddy Clevinger, 54, a heavy equipment operator at Alpha’s 1,500-acre Surface Mine 88, which straddles the Dickenson-Buchanan county line. Clevinger has worked for three decades in the coal industry; three of those years at Surface Mine 88. His wife, Jenny, 51, is a supervisor in human resources at Alpha’s Abingdon headquarters, and his daughter

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Jessica, 27, is executive assistant to Alpha’s president. The Clevinger’s son, Bradford, 24, worked underground for about a year as a miner at Deep Mine 41, near McClure in Dickenson County, and now works in human resources at Alpha headquarters. Jenny Clevinger’s sister, Brenda Steele, recently retired from Alpha after being in the industry for 32 years. But this family’s association with coal goes back even further—Jenny Clevinger’s grandfather worked in the coal industry for more than 20 years (for several companies, including Clinchfield Coal Co.) as a miner and nightwatchman. “Everything you see here has been provided by coal,” says Jenny Clevinger. “There are certainly other respectable careers in the coalfields,” says Teddy Clevinger, “but this is the job.” On a recent morning, he and 55 other miners worked to remove about 28 tons of overburden—the earth and stone that lie above the coal—for each of the 425,000 tons of coal they produce annually at Surface Mine 88. After the coal has been extracted, Clevinger uses the bulldozer to move the earth back to its original approximate contour, according to federal regulation. Surface Mine 88 is a lot like an outsider might expect: It is a patchwork of terraced hillsides, sheer cliffs and level enclaves where coal is loaded into trucks and carried along muddy roads that wind circuitously

up the hillsides. “When we’re finished, we’ll put the land back the way it was, as close as we can get it,” says Clevinger. Jenny Clevinger recognizes that her husband has a risky job. And so did her son Bradford when he worked as a miner at Alpha’s Deep Mine 41. At the start of each shift Bradford and a dozen other miners made the 15-minute trip to the mine’s face aboard a “mantrip,” a long, squat vehicle designed to maneuver easily under the mine’s short ceilings, sometimes as low as five feet. More than 400 feet beneath the surface, Bradford and his colleagues used a continuous miner, a contraption which, on its business end, has a rotating steel drum studded with teeth to shred coal from the seam’s face. A conveyer belt moved the coal more than half a mile up the sloping shaft to the surface. Then it was washed at a nearby processing plant, put in a tipple and loaded into railcars, destined for customers around the world. Despite the dangers, Jenny Clevinger says she has always felt reassured by the measures in place for miners’ safety. “I don’t get worried about them,” she says. “I get up in the morning and say a prayer for my family, and that’s it. We all go about our day.” Bradford Clevinger earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in 2009, and is today one

Above, clockwise from left: Guest performers at the Carter Family Fold; Leah Needham, guitarist for the Dixie Bee-Liners; Mountain Rhythm Cloggers perform at the Fold; Sav Sankaran, bassist; clogging; Sarah Needham, vocalist and fiddler; Leah Needham at the mic; Richard Bateman enjoying the music.

of a handful of young men in Alpha’s “Next Gen” program. Alpha and other coal companies are facing a generational predicament. Regularly occurring fluctuations in international energy markets and a downturn in coal markets in the 1980s, along with technological advances in mining techniques and increased mechanization that eliminated jobs compelled mine operators to cut back on hiring, forcing then-young men to look for work elsewhere. Many employees are now nearing retirement age, and there are not enough younger workers to fill that void. So Alpha is actively recruiting younger workers like Bradford Clevinger and rotating them through jobs around the country to give them exposure to the different career options the company offers and prepare them for future leadership positions. Bradford Clevinger, for instance, first worked in payroll at Alpha’s headquarters before going underground at Deep Mine 41. He then did a stint at a surface mine near Pound, Virginia, and is now working in the human resources department. “I like the different types of jobs that are available and seeing the company from so many angles,” he says. Alpha’s CEO Kevin Crutchfield, 50, is a 24-year coal industry veteran who joined the company as executive vice president in 2003 and became its chief executive in 2009. Running a coal company, says the Virginia Tech grad, has changed dramatically in recent decades due to, among other things, increasingly strict oversight of the industry. As a testament, Crutchfield shows me a photo of an Alpha employee standing beside the paperwork V i r g i n i a

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required for one surface mine, and it is literally taller than he is. Crutchfield concedes that the U.S. has decisions to make about carbon-based energy but, for now, coal supplies so much cheap energy to the world that immediate, sharp declines in its use are not realistic. Still, coal is a depleting resource, and Crutchfield explains that Alpha “has an obligation to start thinking about the future.” Though the country has enough coal to last more than 200 years—based on estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Administration—Alpha has created an internal sustainability group that is looking ahead to the advent of non-coal energy and the development of alternate uses for coal. Americans, of course, are not the only ones who demand coal-fired energy. A majority of Alpha’s coal is shipped to international customers, ending up in power plants and steel mills in South America, Europe and Asia: A total of more than 80 million tons of American coal were exported in 2010 alone, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Virginia’s coal meets the end of the railroad at two places. Norfolk Southern transports coal to Lambert’s Point in Norfolk, and what doesn’t end up there is hauled by CSX to a point in Newport News where the deep harbor is able to accommodate coal ships. More than a thousand CSX coal trains a year arrive around the clock at Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) and its competitor Kinder Morgan, which is also in Newport News. DTA is an active place, pulsing with emphatic warning sirens and flashing lights. The brackish sea breeze coming off the James River makes an interesting contrast to the constant mechanical drone of heavy industry. Like the employees there, I had to be on high alert for spinning conveyors, moving trains and mobile “stacker reclaimers,” colossal, long-armed towers that can make or remove the giant piles of coal. Here it’s unmistakable that Virginia is coal country; the coal is deposited in a 66-acre ground storage area in great mounds that are sometimes 80 feet high. The ships that will carry it can hold as much as 100,000 tons of coal—equal to more than 900 railcars. All told, DTA moves 14 million tons of coal a year. It must be acknowledged that among the numerous challenges the coal industry faces is the public perception of its dangers. Explosions, like the one at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine in 2010 that killed 29 miners, and mining disasters in other countries like Ukraine and China, also give the industry a black eye (though safety regulations are much more lax in those countries). But, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nonfatal injuries in mining is fewer than in other industries including manufacturing and construction. “We run our operations with the highest degree of safety and efficacy that we can muster,” says Alpha’s Crutchfield. Alpha has employed a company-wide safety ethic called Running Right that encourages employees to submit cards, anonymously if they choose, with suggestions for improvement, praise for colleagues or reports of infractions. Efforts like those are paying dividends in terms of safer employee conditions and increased productivity. According to the Mine

“ I get up in the morning and say a prayer for my family, and that’s it. We all go about our day.” Safety and Health Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Labor), the coal industry has seen a 76 percent increase in productivity in the past four decades, while decreasing on-the-job fatalities by 93 percent in that same period. But it isn’t just mine safety that draws negative public attention to the industry. Even with very strict regulations for pollution control in place, coal-fired power plants are a hard sell to a public becoming increasingly wary of the environmental impact of extracting coal and the chemicals released when it burns. (In March, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule for regulating toxic air emissions from power plants that could be, according to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity’s website, “one of the most expensive clean air rules ever written for coal-fueled power plants.”) In the past few years, Virginia has taken center stage in the debate over coal-fired plants. Dominion Virginia Power faced vocal and disruptive protests when it began construction of its Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County in 2008. (Construction on this coal and biofuel-fired plant is expected to be complete in 2012.) And in Tidewater, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is locked in an ongoing battle with concerned citizens about their plans to build a 1,500-megawatt plant in the tiny Surry County town of Dendron. “There’s no such thing as clean coal,” says Sam Broach, 64, a former coal miner who worked for Westmoreland Coal Co. for eight years until an injury sidelined him. Today, he is president of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, a group that operates from a small storefront on Appalachia’s Main Street. It is one of a number of local groups that want to help

Facing page, clockwise from top left: Pile of coal; the Clevinger family (left to right) Jenny, Jessica, Teddy, Bradford and Brenda Steele; DTA terminal; Kevin Crutchfield; Bradford Clevinger; Jenny Clevinger; coal chute rollers; piece of coal. Top: Bradford Clevinger, Roger Salyers and Lynn Shelton.

Southwest Virginia—and the country at large— make the transition away from coal. But Broach acknowledges that the move to other energy sources must be gradual. “I understand that we need coal until we can transition to greener jobs and a greener economy,” he says, “but we need to make some strides now if Appalachians are going to make that change.” And while change is certain to come, the people who have a vested interest in the coalfields and the industry have shown time and again their flexibility and ingenuity. Back in the town of Appalachia, town manager Fred Luntsford is looking to the future of the land around him. Tall and contemplative with a soft drawl, Luntsford is proud to show off his town. “We know we’ve got some land that’s not usable for what it once was,” he says, referring to areas where mining, particularly that done before strict regulations, left the landscape profoundly changed and, in some cases, deeply blemished. “Our challenge now is finding another use for it.” Luntsford and Wise County Tourism Director Bill Smith envision a network of trails where visitors can ride ATVs or horses, or hike on land once used for mining. And Smith sees an added benefit in the region’s rich history. “People not only want a place they can find recreation, but they want a good story, too,” he says. “We have our deep culture to share, and already visitors are showing great interest in it.” Virginia’s coal industry has survived centuries, fueled by generations who earned their livelihoods from it and built their culture around it. Says Jenny Clevinger: “Millions of people have worked their entire lives for coal. There are whole regions of the country devoted to it. I’m sure that generations from now, people will look around at the prosperity and appreciate what coal has given them.” • >> For more, go to

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required for one surface mine, and it is literally taller than he is. Crutchfield concedes that the U.S. has decisions to make about carbon-based energy but, for now, coal supplies so much cheap energy to the world that immediate, sharp declines in its use are not realistic. Still, coal is a depleting resource, and Crutchfield explains that Alpha “has an obligation to start thinking about the future.” Though the country has enough coal to last more than 200 years—based on estimates by the U.S. Energy Information Administration—Alpha has created an internal sustainability group that is looking ahead to the advent of non-coal energy and the development of alternate uses for coal. Americans, of course, are not the only ones who demand coal-fired energy. A majority of Alpha’s coal is shipped to international customers, ending up in power plants and steel mills in South America, Europe and Asia: A total of more than 80 million tons of American coal were exported in 2010 alone, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Virginia’s coal meets the end of the railroad at two places. Norfolk Southern transports coal to Lambert’s Point in Norfolk, and what doesn’t end up there is hauled by CSX to a point in Newport News where the deep harbor is able to accommodate coal ships. More than a thousand CSX coal trains a year arrive around the clock at Dominion Terminal Associates (DTA) and its competitor Kinder Morgan, which is also in Newport News. DTA is an active place, pulsing with emphatic warning sirens and flashing lights. The brackish sea breeze coming off the James River makes an interesting contrast to the constant mechanical drone of heavy industry. Like the employees there, I had to be on high alert for spinning conveyors, moving trains and mobile “stacker reclaimers,” colossal, long-armed towers that can make or remove the giant piles of coal. Here it’s unmistakable that Virginia is coal country; the coal is deposited in a 66-acre ground storage area in great mounds that are sometimes 80 feet high. The ships that will carry it can hold as much as 100,000 tons of coal—equal to more than 900 railcars. All told, DTA moves 14 million tons of coal a year. It must be acknowledged that among the numerous challenges the coal industry faces is the public perception of its dangers. Explosions, like the one at West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine in 2010 that killed 29 miners, and mining disasters in other countries like Ukraine and China, also give the industry a black eye (though safety regulations are much more lax in those countries). But, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of nonfatal injuries in mining is fewer than in other industries including manufacturing and construction. “We run our operations with the highest degree of safety and efficacy that we can muster,” says Alpha’s Crutchfield. Alpha has employed a company-wide safety ethic called Running Right that encourages employees to submit cards, anonymously if they choose, with suggestions for improvement, praise for colleagues or reports of infractions. Efforts like those are paying dividends in terms of safer employee conditions and increased productivity. According to the Mine

“ I get up in the morning and say a prayer for my family, and that’s it. We all go about our day.” Safety and Health Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Labor), the coal industry has seen a 76 percent increase in productivity in the past four decades, while decreasing on-the-job fatalities by 93 percent in that same period. But it isn’t just mine safety that draws negative public attention to the industry. Even with very strict regulations for pollution control in place, coal-fired power plants are a hard sell to a public becoming increasingly wary of the environmental impact of extracting coal and the chemicals released when it burns. (In March, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule for regulating toxic air emissions from power plants that could be, according to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity’s website, “one of the most expensive clean air rules ever written for coal-fueled power plants.”) In the past few years, Virginia has taken center stage in the debate over coal-fired plants. Dominion Virginia Power faced vocal and disruptive protests when it began construction of its Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County in 2008. (Construction on this coal and biofuel-fired plant is expected to be complete in 2012.) And in Tidewater, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative is locked in an ongoing battle with concerned citizens about their plans to build a 1,500-megawatt plant in the tiny Surry County town of Dendron. “There’s no such thing as clean coal,” says Sam Broach, 64, a former coal miner who worked for Westmoreland Coal Co. for eight years until an injury sidelined him. Today, he is president of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, a group that operates from a small storefront on Appalachia’s Main Street. It is one of a number of local groups that want to help

Facing page, clockwise from top left: Pile of coal; the Clevinger family (left to right) Jenny, Jessica, Teddy, Bradford and Brenda Steele; DTA terminal; Kevin Crutchfield; Bradford Clevinger; Jenny Clevinger; coal chute rollers; piece of coal. Top: Bradford Clevinger, Roger Salyers and Lynn Shelton.

Southwest Virginia—and the country at large— make the transition away from coal. But Broach acknowledges that the move to other energy sources must be gradual. “I understand that we need coal until we can transition to greener jobs and a greener economy,” he says, “but we need to make some strides now if Appalachians are going to make that change.” And while change is certain to come, the people who have a vested interest in the coalfields and the industry have shown time and again their flexibility and ingenuity. Back in the town of Appalachia, town manager Fred Luntsford is looking to the future of the land around him. Tall and contemplative with a soft drawl, Luntsford is proud to show off his town. “We know we’ve got some land that’s not usable for what it once was,” he says, referring to areas where mining, particularly that done before strict regulations, left the landscape profoundly changed and, in some cases, deeply blemished. “Our challenge now is finding another use for it.” Luntsford and Wise County Tourism Director Bill Smith envision a network of trails where visitors can ride ATVs or horses, or hike on land once used for mining. And Smith sees an added benefit in the region’s rich history. “People not only want a place they can find recreation, but they want a good story, too,” he says. “We have our deep culture to share, and already visitors are showing great interest in it.” Virginia’s coal industry has survived centuries, fueled by generations who earned their livelihoods from it and built their culture around it. Says Jenny Clevinger: “Millions of people have worked their entire lives for coal. There are whole regions of the country devoted to it. I’m sure that generations from now, people will look around at the prosperity and appreciate what coal has given them.” • >> For more, go to V i r g i n i a

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DISCLAIMER This list is

excerpted from the inaugural topVets™ list, which includes

and—their favorite part—food, and in return your

making a decision. Maybe even ask for a quick tour

listings for more than 450

furry, scaly or feathery friend is always happy to see

of the practice to make sure it’s the sort of place

veterinarians and veterinary

you when you come home. But there’s one thing you

that you—and your pet—will be happy to visit.

cannot give them, and that’s an expert medical opin-

The AVMA also advises that you ask family,

ion. So when it comes to your pet’s medical needs

friends and even other veterinarians for their rec-

you entrust the health and happiness of your pet to

ommendations before choosing a practitioner. And

a professional. The only question is, which one?

that’s how our list of Virginia’s Top Veterinarians

specialists in Virginia and Washington. For more information call: 706-739-0084 or email: or visit: topVets has used its best efforts in assembling material for this list but does not warrant

2011 was compiled. We partnered with topVets—an

that the information contained

recommends that you pick your vet using the same

organization committed to identifying the nation’s

herein is complete or accurate,

care and criteria you would in selecting a family doc-

top practitioners—and asked a select number of

tor or dentist. It’s about finding a committed and

Virginia vets which of their colleagues they would

skilled practitioner, of course, but it’s also about

recommend. So the names on our Top Veterinarians

finding someone you can establish a working re-

2011 list are truly the vet’s vets of Virginia.

The American Veterinary Medical Association

lationship with, because communication between

A trip to the vet can be a nervous experience; for

you and your vet is maybe the most

you as well as for your pet. But if you’re visit-

important factor in maintaining your

ing one of Virginia’s Top Veterinarians then you can do so knowing the practitioner you are about to see has the full confidence of his or her peers. We hope you find our list helpful, and we hope it gives you some peace of mind when deciding who will care for your companion.

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_TopVets-SAS-OCT11_cent-east2.indd 90


and does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. Copyright 2011 by topVets of Augusta, GA. All rights reserved. This list, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission. No commercial use of the information in this list may be made without permission of topVets. No fees may be charged, directly or indirectly, for the use of the information in this list without permission.


8/25/11 5:05 PM

Central Virginia Michelle W. Andersen

Shirley G. Bunting

Steve Escobar

Debbie A. Gallof

Paul K. Howard

Nathan J. Lippo







Charlottesville Cat Care Clinic Charlottesville | 434-975-2287

Centralia Animal Hospital Chester | 804-768-4212

Springfield Veterinary Center Glen Allen | 804-270-7274

Claws & Paws Animal Care Powhatan | 804-598-8030

VEC Carytown Richmond | 804-353-9000

VEC Carytown Richmond | 804-353-9000

Cheryl S. Antonucci

Carolyn W. Clay

Carolyn S. Evans

Kelly Gottschalk

Jessica Hudak

Jennifer Magill







Greenbrier Emer. Animal Hospital Charlottesville | 434-202-1616

Church Hill Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-644-8200

Quioccasin Veterinary Hospital Richmond | 804-741-3200

Wellesley Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-364-7030

Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-973-4341

Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-973-4341

Roy F. Barnes

Alex Dahlgren

Allison E. Faber

Mark J. Gottschalk

Cresta M. Jones

Owen C. McFadden







Va. Veterinary Surgical Associates Richmond | 804-353-9000

Cary Street Veterinary Hospital Richmond | 804-355-9144

Full Circle Veterinary Clinic Mechanicsville | 804-389-5929

Wellesley Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-364-7030

Betty Baugh’s Animal Clinic Richmond | 804-288-7387

Midlothian Animal Clinic Midlothian | 804-794-2099

Danell R. Beisner-Creasey

Megen A. Daugherty

Edward A. Fallin

Nancy E. Handley

Jeffrey L. Kilgore

J. Christopher Middleton







Powhatan Animal Hospital Powhatan | 804-598-3168

VEC Carytown Richmond | 804-353-9000

Veterinary Referral & Critical Care Manakin-Sabot | 804-784-8722

Georgetown Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-977-4600

Mechanicsville Animal Hospital Mechanicsville | 804-559-9800

Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-973-4341

Martin B. Betts

Glenn S. Deckert

Michael R. Fietz

Thomas E. Haney

Kara A. Kolster

Gene Moon







Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-973-4341

Baldwin Creek Animal Hospital Moseley | 804-739-2933

Georgetown Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-977-4600

Bon Air Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-320-5991

Springfield Veterinary Center Glen Allen | 804-270-7274

Gayton Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-741-0144

John L. Billeter

Timothy J. Dietrick

Jay B. Friedrich

Lynn M. Harpold

Kimberly Kuhn

Donald A. Peppard







Hanover Animal Hospital Mechanicsville | 804-746-4936

Varina Veterinary Clinic Richmond | 804-226-0771

Midlothian Animal Clinic Midlothian | 804-794-2099

Veterinary Referral & Critical Care Manakin-Sabot | 804-784-8722

Cary Street Veterinary Hospital Richmond | 804-355-9144

Georgetown Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-977-4600

Michael J. Blair

Lori L. Elliott

Amanda K. Fulmer

Elizabeth B. Harrison

Stephan R. Larrick

Janice Raab







Animal Eye Care of Richmond Richmond | 804-355-5594

Shady Grove Animal Clinic Glen Allen | 804-421-7422

VEC Carytown Richmond | 804-353-9000

Betty Baugh’s Animal Clinic Richmond | 804-288-7387

Powhatan Animal Hospital, Inc. Powhatan | 804-598-3168

Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-973-4341

Jeffry B. Buck

Stephen E. Epstein

Robert M. Fulton

Elvira T. Hoskins

Jenny N. Larsen

Alison J. Rhoades







Colonial Veterinary Hospital Richmond | 804-741-1763

Animal Hospital of Ivy Square Charlottesville | 434-295-8387

VEC Carytown Richmond | 804-353-9000

Greenbrier Emer. Animal Hospital Charlottesville | 434-202-1616

Pocoshock Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-745-3276

Midlothian Animal Clinic Midlothian | 804-794-2099


Dr. Nicola Williamson Treating all patients with care and compassion Dr. Williamson is dedicated to

Medicine at Virginia/Maryland


helping pets with skin problems, ear

Regioinal College of Veterinary

problems and allergies.

Medicine. Her internship in small

• “Dr. Williamson is the ultimate pet LISTENER who creates highly individualized treatments according to your loved one’s needs and idiosyncrasies.”

Dr. Williamson obtained her B.A.

animal internal medicine and surgery

from the University of Virginia and

was performed at the Animal

earned her Doctor of Veterinary

Medical Center in New York City. She completed her residency in Veterinary Dermatology at the

• “It is simply wonderful to know that Dr. Williamson cares, truly cares, as she ministers to pet and owner.”

University of Tennessee, and received her board certification in

If your pet is suffering from

Dermatology from the American

scratching, chewing, licking, ear

College of Veterinary Dermatology.

infections, red bumps, hair

Dr. Williamson’s work has

Richmond, Virginia (804) 740-9555 Monday-Friday | 8:00am-5:00pm

loss, or other dermatology

been published in text books and

problems, Dr. Williamson

Veterinary Journals. She has also

is here for you. She treats

participated in drug trials with

all patients with care and

major pharmaceutical companies,


helping to further better treatment in pets with skin diseases.


_TopVets-SAS-OCT11_cent-east2.indd 91



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8/25/11 5:05 PM


T O P Veterinarians

Central Virginia

Veterinary Referral & Critical Care, Inc. Compassionate veterinary expertise with integrity

Your pet deserves the best emergency and critical care Fortunately at VRCC, best doesn’t mean overpriced

We strive to contain costs and make quality specialty vet care more affordable by operating as a united care facility. This means our emergency veterinarians and specialists operate from one practice‚ maximizing efficiency and minimizing costly duplication. It also means pet owners receive one, consolidated bill reflecting a great value for the best quality and compassionate care available. That way your animal companion feels better and so do you. VRCC is a critical care and emergency hospital located near Short Pump Town Center. Visit our website at or call 804.784.8722.


Lori A. Rios

Cheryl Thorpe

Timothy T. Withers




Veterinary Referral & Critical Care Manakin-Sabot | 804-784-8722

Veterinary Emer. Treatment Service Charlottesville | 434-973-3519

Midlothian Animal Clinic Midlothian | 804-794-2099

Rebecca D. Rose

Samantha Tisnado

Amanda T. Wodehouse




Midlothian Animal Clinic Midlothian | 804-794-2099

Gayton Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-741-0144

Betty Baugh’s Animal Clinic Richmond | 804-288-7387

Albert Smith

Peter B. Trevor

Charles H. Wood




Charlottesville Veterinary Hospital Charlottesville | 434-973-4341

Veterinary Referral & Critical Care Manakin-Sabot | 804-784-8722

Old Dominion Animal Hospital Charlottesville | 434-971-3500

Jena G. Spearin

Daryl L. Tyson

Gary L. Zavik




Charlottesville Cat Care Clinic Charlottesville | 434-975-2287

Hanover Animal Hospital Mechanicsville | 804-746-4936

Bon Air Animal Hospital Richmond | 804-320-5991

Tripp M. Stewart

Olga P. Van Beek

Michael E. Zuccaro




Greenbrier Emer. Animal Hospital Charlottesville | 434-202-1616

Veterinary Referral & Critical Care Manakin-Sabot | 804-784-8722

Brook Run Animal Clinic Richmond | 804-262-8621

Richard Suess, Jr.

Nicola Williamson



Va. Veterinary Surgical Associates Richmond | 804-353-9000

Veterinary Dermatology of Richmond Richmond | 804-740-9555

Mitchell J. Tedeschi

Kevin R. Winegardner



Clover Hill Animal House Calls Midlothian | 804-744-1208

VEC Carytown Richmond | 804-353-9000

1596 Hockett Road • Manakin-Sabot, VA 23103

Eastern Virginia

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Hannah C. Adams

David R. Brinker

Richard S. Dailey

Frank G. Edwards

Rosalie L. Gibson

Mark W. Honaker







The Oaks Veterinary Clinic Smithfield | 757-357-2324

Todds Lane Veterinary Hospital Hampton | 757-826-7602

Sajo Farm Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-464-6009

The Oaks Veterinary Clinic Smithfield | 757-357-2324

Animal Clinic And Wellness Center Williamsburg | 757-253-0812

Bay-Beach Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-340-3913

Megan E. Alexander

Alfred A. Brooks

Christopher L. Dassler

Ryland B. Edwards, Jr.

W. Dunbar Gram

Jennifer J. Hubbard







Seaford Veterinary Medical Ctr Yorktown | 757-833-6440

Chesapeake Animal Hospital Chesapeake | 757-547-5100

Bay Area Veterinary Surgery Yorktown | 757-596-7100

The Oaks Veterinary Clinic Smithfield | 757-357-2324

Animal Allergy and Dermatology Virginia Beach | 757-368-9099

VCA Airline Blvd. Animal Hospital Portsmouth | 757-393-1011

Sean D. Back

Evzen O. Burian

Robin G. Davis

Erica A. Feiste

Paul F. Gustafson

Thomas B. Huddleston







Beach Pet Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-428-3251

Providence Square Veterinary Clinic Virginia Beach | 757-495-2961

Animal Medical Center Virginia Beach | 757-481-5213

Greenbrier Veterinary Emer. Center Chesapeake | 757-366-9000

Warwick Animal Clinic Newport News | 757-595-3337

Denbigh Animal Hospital Newport News | 757-877-8339

David Banta

Amber L. Carr

Gwendolyn C. Deavers

Peter G. Fisher

Ronald R. Hallstrom

Herbert A. Hulls







Mt. Pleasant Veterinary Clinic Chesapeake | 757-482-3534

Bennetts Creek Veterinary Care Suffolk | 757-483-5990

Strawbridge Animal Care Virginia Beach | 757-427-6120

Pet Care Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-473-0111

Dog & Cat Hospital Norfolk | 757-622-1788

Pet Care Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-473-0111

Andrew Berdoulay

Loretta A. Carrico

Sharon E. Dirmeyer

Robert N. Freeman

Delmon Harbour

Robert M. Johnson







Animal Eye Care Yorktown | 757-873-9060

Animal Medical of Chesapeake Chesapeake | 757-548-2000

Salty Paws Veterinary Hospital Yorktown | 757-223-1900

Pine Meadow Veterinary Hospital Yorktown | 757-599-3326

Harbour Veterinary Office Suffolk | 757-925-2011

Bennetts Creek Veterinary Care Suffolk | 757-483-5990

Layne B. Brett

Glenn D. Chase

Gary M. Doxtater

Robert H. George

Marion L. Hayles

Anne E. Katherman







Courthouse Vet Virginia Beach | 757-427-7427

Academy Animal Care Suffolk | 757-934-2273

All Creatures Animal Clinic Lanexa | 804-966-2767

Gloucester Veterinary Hospital Gloucester | 804-693-3030

Timberlake Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-631-6900

Veterinary Neurology/Neurosurgery Yorktown | 757-595-4020

William G. Brewer

Ann C. Cleland

Pamela S. Dumont

Peter H. Gerlach

Blair J. Hollowell

Brian E. Kim







Greenbrier Veterinary Emer. Center Chesapeake | 757-366-9000

Carpenter-Pope Veterinary Hospital Norfolk | 757-588-8755

Godspeed Animal Care Williamsburg | 757-253-0656

Dog & Cat Hospital Norfolk | 757-622-1788

Great Neck Veterinary Clinic Virginia Beach | 757-481-2800

Chesapeake Animal Hospital Chesapeake | 757-547-5100


_TopVets-SAS-OCT11_cent-east2.indd 92



8/25/11 5:06 PM

Eastern Virginia


Keith A. Kremer

Henry McKelvin

Gregory A. Piske

K. Dallas Scales

Dale Sprenkel

Melisa E. Walker







Veterinary Specialist Care Virginia Beach | 757-605-1610

Mercury Animal Hospital Hampton | 757-826-4951

Colony Animal Hospital Newport News | 757-877-6464

Hartfield Animal Hospital Hartfield | 804-776-9219

Noah’s Ark Veterinary Hospital Norge | 757-564-9815

Carpenter-Pope Veterinary Hospital Norfolk | 757-588-8755

Carolyn Kutzer

Nicole S. McKelvin

Tawni M. Pryor

Jacquelyn P. Schuder

Jeffrey T. Stallings

Richard S. Wassell







Freed Veterinary Hospital Hampton | 757-723-6049

Mercury Animal Hospital Hampton | 757-826-4951

Emergency Veterinary Clinic Newport News | 757-874-8115

Gloucester Veterinary Hospital Gloucester | 804-693-3030

Tidewater Veterinary Surgery Virginia Beach | 757-490-6634

Churchland Animal Clinic Portsmouth | 757-484-2733

Andrea C. Leber

David H. Morris

Tony A. Puglisi

Michael J. Silkey

Sue A. Stiff

John W. Watson







Animal Eye Care Associates Chesapeake | 757-366-9060

Virginia Beach Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-460-3308

Veterinary Surgical Specialist Virginia Beach | 757-821-1040

Armistead Ave. Veterinary Hospital Hampton | 757-723-8571

Kiln Creek Animal Care Newport News | 757-886-1300

Hampton Veterinary Clinic Hampton | 757-826-5441

Meryl Lessinger

Robert A. Murphie Sr.

Susan E. Renn

Steven P. Skinner

Craig L. Sweeney

Brandon R. Wichman







Animal Clinic And Wellness Center Williamsburg | 757-253-0812

Anderson’s Corner Animal Hospital Toano | 757-566-2224

Seaford Veterinary Medical Center Yorktown | 757-253-0812

Hartfield Animal Hospital Hartfield | 804-776-9219

Coastal Equine Veterinary Service Chesapeake | 757-421-3900

Bennetts Creek Veterinary Care Suffolk | 757-483-5990

Cathleen J. Lombardi

Brad Nadelstein

Michael E. Richards

Kathleen A. Slayman

Alan C. Thompson

Dianne E. Wood-Stinson







The Oaks Veterinary Clinic Smithfield | 757-357-2324

Animal Eye Care Associates Chesapeake | 757-366-9060

Mathews Veterinary Services Cobbs Creek | 804-725-4123

Aylett Animal Hospital Aylett | 804-769-1530

VCA Animal Care Center Norfolk | 757-423-3900

General Booth Veterinary Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-430-2585

Tracy A. Lord

Christine A. Neering

John Sangenario

Merrilee T. Small

Elizabeth A. Upchurch






Four Paws Holistic Veterinary Care Williamsburg | 757-291-2202

Chesapeake Animal Hospital Chesapeake | 757-547-5100

Dominion Equine Clinic Suffolk | 757-925-1234

Tidewater Veterinary Cardiology Virginia Beach | 757-499-1709

Beach Pet Hospital Virginia Beach | 757-428-3251

Juan M. Marti

Benjamin M. O’Kelley



Veterinary Surgical Specialists Chesapeake | 757-366-9070

Greenbrier Veterinary Emer. Center Chesapeake | 757-366-9000

Gayle M. McHugh

Amy D. Perkins



Great Neck Veterinary Clinic Virginia Beach | 757-481-2800

Gloucester Veterinary Hospital Gloucester | 804-693-3030

To see the full list of Virginia’s Top Veterinarians – including those from the Northern, Shenandoah, and South-Southwestern regions – visit

Bay Area Veterinary Surgery

Providing Advanced Surgical Procedures by Referral from your Family Veterinarian

Dr. Chris Dassler is proud to be included in Virginia Living’s premier TopVets listing and is thankful to his Hampton Roads colleagues for recognizing Bay Area Veterinary Surgery and our commitment to practice the highest quality veterinary surgery. Our goal is to provide unparalleled care for our patients and exceptional service to our clients. We see cases by referral from your family veterinarian, and our services include: • • • • • • • • • •

Soft tissue surgery Bone fracture repair Knee repair - TPLO, TTA Hip replacement Minimally invasive surgery Reconstructive oncologic surgery Neurosurgery/microsurgery Heart and lung surgery Complete anesthetic monitoring Comprehensive pain management


_TopVets-SAS-OCT11_cent-east2.indd 93

Bay Area Veterinary Surgery 1120 George Washington Memorial Hwy. Yorktown, VA 23693 757.596.7100 ext.1



| 93

8/25/11 5:06 PM


Exchange C L A S S I F I E D S


a year-round concert series, film screenings, theatrical and dance performances, an art of movement program, over 100 classes and workshops and event rental facilities.

Bed & Breakfast Inns MATHEWS THE WHITE DOG INN Great food, libations or even a weekend stay! Join us for bistro dining or a weekend retreat in our newly renovated ca. 1840 Mathews Court House classic. 68 Church Street, Mathews, VA, Call (804) 725-7680 visit us on the web at

Consignment 45,000 SF of furniture, glassware, pottery, jewelry, coins, toys, artwork, etc. plus La Petite Tearoom (Tues–Sun) at 500 Lightfoot Road, Williamsburg, VA (757) 565-3422, ure Mon-Sat 10am-6pm and Sun 12-5pm.

Artists and Galleries

It’s FUN, It’s FREE, It’s FIRSTfriday! Join us for the first Friday of each month in the City of Falls Church with art exhibits, musical performances, special events, dining and shopping specials, and much much more. Find us at WORKHOUSE ARTS CENTER ...ESCAPE TO ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT! The Workhouse provides a home for more than 125 of the regions finest professional and emerging artists in all mediums; as well as

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9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA 22079; (703) 584-2900, NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART In the Tower: Nam June Paik presents a meditative installation of 20 works by the groundbreaking contemporary Korean artist, on view through October 2. 4th St. & Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC 20565 (202) 737-4215,

EC’S CLOSET CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE Consignment shopping at its BEST! We offer fine designer fashions in sizes 2 to 32. A unique collection of new jewelry, handbags, accessories and decorative home items. 9415A Old Burke Lake Rd. Burke/Fairfax, VA. Call (703) 503-0772, LABELLA BRIDAL & CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE • Designer gowns at Dream Prices.... • Couture Lines.... Not Couture Prices! • New & Consigned Wedding Gowns • Special Occasion Attire & Accessories We carry current style gowns in stock, including brand new designer samples and once worn gowns at incredible prices. We have a large selection of new and consigned veils,headpieces, custom jewelry, special occasion gowns, prom dresses, and accessories. Streamtress available for alterations.

Ask about our gown consignment services! CONSIGNMENT ACCEPTED BY APPOINTMENT. Call today for your personal appointment. Our boutique is located in charming historic Occoquan. 313 Mill street Street, Occoquan, VA 22125 What do you do with your gown after your big day? Consign it! Call toll free (866) 619.4678 or (703) 494.2929

Gifts & Accessories MISS MINERVA’S TEA ROOM & GIFT SHOP Purveyors of Fine Loose Tea. Stop in for Afternoon Tea, tea accessories, or to select a bag of tea from our 50 fine loose teas. Hours: Tuesday–Sat, 11am–4 pm. (540)829-9700; 167 E Davis St, Culpeper VA 22701. No. 1 VA Tea Room


SHENANDOAH VALLEY WESTMINSTER-CANTERBURY Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in historic Winchester, WestminsterCanterbury features a 65-acre campus that is ideal for seniors who enjoy an active lifestyle or prefer a nice, relaxing environment. A whole host of amenities await you, including a 16-acre nature preserve, miles of walking trails, indoor pool and a fully equipped fitness center, to name a few. In this Life Care retirement community, you have the assurance of quality, lifetime health care services should the need arise. (800) 492-9463,


8/26/11 2:57 PM

Tours & Travel BEDFORD TOURISM Experience The National D-Day Memorial, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Blue Ridge Parkway, Smith Mountain Lake, Peaks of Otter and the Bedford Wine Trail. This is Bedford. Ruggedly beautiful, enticingly exciting and teeming with history. Bedford Welcome Center, 816 Burks Hill Rd., Bedford, VA 24523; 1-877-447-3257, (540) 587-5681, TOWN OF LURAY Visit Luray & Page County! Recreation, Dining, Shopping, Vibrant Downtowns, Lodging, Hiking/Biking Trails, Camping, National Parks, Caverns, Historical Sites, Concerts, all near Mountains and Rivers. www.,,,

get a little piece of norfolk ! 5th Annual Wet Painting Sale.

out & about

Nor folk

Popular evening event features over 100 “fresh-off-the-easel” works of 40 American artists, who paint outdoors 2 days prior to the Wet Painting Sale - competing for $5000+ cash awards. Join other Art Lovers for this fine art “destination Norfolk” event. Food. Drink. ART and friends. October 22nd - 6 to 9pm at Waterside, in Norfolk Virginia. $15/person Refunded with ART purchase.

wet painting sale Karen Kinser 757-286-6210

Unique Home in Bedford County

Close to Lynchburg but off the beaten path. 1.63 acre lot


3600 finished sq. ft.

LAKE ANNA WINERY Special Events, Tours, Tastings, Sales. Only a few miles from Lake Anna, close to Historic Fredericksburg. 3/25 Last Friday’s Winter Edition. 4/29 Last Friday’s Spring Edition. Open for tours WedSat. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. 5621 Courthouse Road (Rte. 208) Spotsylvania, VA (540) 895-5085,

4 BR’s/ 4 ½ BA’s Lynchburg is ranked by Forbes as a businessfriendly metro area Also ranked high as a secure mid-size city Brenda Van Fossen 434-941-6580 Michelle Andrews 434-386-7422 Dawson Ford Garbee & Co. Realtors ®, Lynchburg, VA

The Element of Surprise… Every Day

Clothing and Accessories for men, women and children Shopping Monday thru Saturday 10–5 Please call before bringing consignments

Celebrating Our 39th Anniversary Located in Richmond’s Carytown at Thompson & Cary


Visit us online at












2 0 11


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departure child’s pl ay A mother recovers the ability to see a world teeming with strange magic. By Jessica Mesman Griffith | Illustration By Tristan Elwell


e live at Sweet Briar College and recently moved to an old brick house, hidden under a canopy of ancient trees on the edge of campus. We had been living just a few doors down, but had always admired this place on our nightly walks. When we heard the previous tenant was moving out, we indulged dreams of our children playing beneath the trees. The first day we moved in, we hung swings for each of them from the two tall poplars in our yard. We spent that summer exploring our new grounds. Playing with my five-year-old daughter Charlotte one afternoon, we discovered an old stump in the front yard. The tree must have dropped years ago, and the stump was partially hidden by the circle of flowering grasses and perennials that once grew in its shade. Though not a proper fairy ring— which would be a circle of wild mushrooms—these plantings seemed to suggest, to me, some fantastical purpose. I asked Charlotte, “What do you think they’re hiding?” Now, Charlotte might look at the stump and imagine it as an oven for baking mud pies, or an island in a rough sea, or a withered old tramp resting while soft grasses fan him, but whatever she sees, she knows it’s an old stump; it’s as plain as the nose on her face. So when I told her my suspicions, and suggested we check the stump for evidence of fairies, I wasn’t surprised when she looked skeptical. Many times I’ve tried to jump into a game of make-believe and unwittingly broken some rule or condition of her created world. But mom, she’ll say incredulously, school buses can’t fly, when seconds before she was flying in the family car. Her visions are both pretend and real all at once. Fairies are superfluous; in her eyes the stump is teeming with strange magic. I’m not one to think of children as wise sages, but it does seem that they naturally have what the artist and inventor must strive to attain: the ability to see a thing as both what it is and what it might be. I must have had the same ability once, but I’ve grown older, and my sight has dimmed. What is child’s play for her is exhausting for me. I look at the stump and it takes all my concentration to summon the power to transform it into something more. Meanwhile, Charlotte is off to make a spinning wheel out of an old bike tire so she can weave flax into linen, on to the next game. Every summer, we share our home with Endstation Theatre Company,

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who bring with them a creative energy that often seems magical. We look forward to their arrival—a college campus can be lonely in summer—and we enjoy seeing the troupe on our walks to the library, or in the buffet line at the dining hall. Some of them have become familiar to us by face and name. Whether rehearsing or playing Frisbee on the lawn near the dorms, Charlotte sees them as kindred spirits, and she’s impatiently waiting for a role in one of their productions. Last year, they transformed the college’s old dairy barn, which is just a stone’s throw from our old house. They mowed down years of weeds to make way for the audience, lit the back wall of the barn so that it seemed to glow with ominous portent, raised gravestones under the walnut tree and hung a sign for “Elsinore Farm.” Charlotte and I play at this old barn almost every day, and yet when the sun set and the lights went up on the night of the first performance, it was no longer just a creaky and desolate storehouse populated by an obscene number of pigeons, old farm equipment, basketball goals, extra dorm room beds and broken benches. It was a surprisingly fine theater, a setting ripe for tragedy. She was thrilled by their efforts. Homebound with her newborn baby brother that summer, we all enjoyed those weeks that we heard Hamlet’s cries through our open windows, laughter and guitar strumming as the actors rehearsed and then performed in the evenings. A year later, the weeds have grown in again, and all signs of the play are gone but one: Polonius’ handprint remains on one of the few panes of unbroken glass, a fond reminder of the few short weeks when the barn was both Charlotte’s playhouse and theirs. This summer, the troupe has moved into the campus’ old train station, transforming a platform and dislocated caboose, hedged by butterfly bushes in full bloom, into Ilyria, the setting for Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. On opening night, Charlotte fell asleep on her blanket sometime after intermission, but as I watched the sun set on the players as it dipped behind the Blue Ridge Mountains, the occasional firefly brightening the Ilyrian evening sky, I thought I had recovered a little bit of what my daughter has in spades. The world seemed no longer inert and familiar, but charged and changing before my eyes. I know I will never see the old caboose quite the same way again.

L i v i n g

8/24/11 6:03 PM


Alverser Plaza Midlothian, VA 804-344-0150

Cary Court Richmond, VA 804-355-2136

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8/25/11 3:14 PM

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Virginia Living - October 2011  

The October 2011 issue of Virginia Living is the tastiest yet, featuring our favorite pairings of cheese and wine, with every crumb and drop...

Virginia Living - October 2011  

The October 2011 issue of Virginia Living is the tastiest yet, featuring our favorite pairings of cheese and wine, with every crumb and drop...