Clarke Observer August/September 2016

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Bringing life to a Clarke family’s resting place


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FEATURES Restoring the Past: Jesse Russell and Rock Hall Farm Cemetery

2016 .

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By Stephen Willingham


Working To Keep The Shenandoah Clean By David Lillard

ON THE COVER Clarke County’s Jesse Russell at the Grafton-Russell graveyard outside Berryville. Photo by David Lillard


Aging in Place


As the Crow Flies


Around Clarke County


Real Estate


Berryville Main Street News


News & Briefs


Letter to the Editor



AUGUST 20 1 6 :


David Lillard, Editor/Publisher Jennifer Welliver, Associate Publisher Aundrea Humphreys, Art Director Hali Taylor, Proofreader

Taking Time To Be Thankful For Summer

CONTRIBUTORS Karen Cifala Jess Clawson Wendy Gooditis Victoria Kidd Doug Pifer JiJi Russell Claire Stuart

COVER PHOTO David Lillard


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The to-do list is long, but light. The grass is needs cutting; a stack of mail is growing; the kitchen wants for attention; a pile of clean laundry has lingered on the chair long enough to serve as a dressing table. On the other hand, it is a beautiful Sunday in August. The heat and humidity have lifted. As much as I want to start my Monday with a clean slate, it is Sunday, after all. And I have been feeling the effects of nature deficit in my life’s balance sheet. The decision is easy. The chores can wait. Sunday on the Shenandoah River with a dear friend wins out, as it should. The river is low and slow. And clearly we are not the only ones taking advantage of this glorious day. At Watermelon Park, young boys wade to their chests into the water,

casting spinners. Families swim and splash. Smells of cooking mingle with the sounds of chatter making their way across the water. Downriver, tubes and kayaks and laughter occupy the middle river. But the shoreline beneath the canopy is quiet. We look for the immature bald eagle that nests high in the trees. Crickets and cicadas tell anyone who will listen that summer is waning. It is something we all can feel. That is why we are all so grateful, taking whatever precious time we can get outdoors before the leaves turn colorful then drop into the current, Before the boats are stowed, before backyards are tidied up and summer furniture battened down for winter.

There is still time. More weekends to be on the river, more late afternoons to cycle country roads or walk along the Blue Ridge. More evenings on the porch with friends. And it’s still weeks before the traditional end-of-summer Bacchanalia of Watermelon Park Fest. We can’t escape that awareness, though, that time is growing shorter for all our summer plans to relax and enjoy Creation. Sooner than we would like, just as we close the windows for good in autumn, nature will close the window of summer. That awareness makes each chance to be out in nature more precious, each moment a prayer of Thanksgiving. Enjoy them while you can.


The Observer prints signed letters-to-the-editor of uniquely local interest. Letters containing personal attacks or polarizing language will not be published. Letters may be edited. Send letters to the editor of 300 or fewer words to:

THE OBSERVER 540-440-1373



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Aging in Place

What happens to my online accounts after I die? By Karen Cifala What happens to all those stored data accounts when you die? What about all of your online photos, your email and Facebook accounts? Growing up, my mother always said to me, “Don’t put anything in writing that you don’t want the whole world to see.” There was no internet back then, and so I heeded her advice. Here it is 2016, and today we have everything in writing: it’s on the internet and stored in the cloud. Tim Procita at Northwestern Mutual spoke on this subject recently at a networking event.

It really got everyone’s attention. It got mine! Think of putting all of your important documents and precious photos in a safe deposit box and either losing the key or not having access to the box because you were not the owner and the owner died leaving no instructions. Or how you panic when you “forget” your password to your iPad and the thought of having to wipe everything out to even get it opened sounds devastating. It’s a great idea to have a strategy just in case this happens. Take Facebook, for example. After someone dies the account

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can be deleted or it can be memorialized. I played around with my own Facebook and found that you can identify a “legacy contact” that can manage your account after you pass away. This is done through the Security Settings. Go to Privacy Shortcuts (click on the shape of a lock at the top right of your FB screen), click on See More Settings at the bottom of that screen; click on Security on the left side column, and then click on Legacy Contact under settings on that page. You can also check the “Data Archive Permission” box to allow your legacy contract to download a copy of everything you’ve shared on Facebook, including posts, photos, videos and info from the “About” section of your profile, friends lists and events. It will not download messages and a few other items. You can also check a box if you don’t want a Facebook account after you pass away and you can request to have it permanently deleted. Putting your Facebook in Memorialized State will allow friends and family to leave posts in remembrance. What about your Google accounts like Gmail, social networking and document hosting? I found out that since Gmail is a service, and not a product, the use of that service is nontransferable. However, Google now has a solution called “Inactive Account Manager.” In the event of your death, Google automatically deletes the accounts after 3, 6, or 9 months, or a year of inactivity (you choose). It will send to you an alert either by email or text message. If your Google account still has not been re-entered, Google will send a notice to your “trusted contact,” and you can list up to 10 trusted

contacts. On the flip side, you can also set up your Account Manager to delete your account without sharing it. You could always bequeath your password to someone but you will run the risk that Google might find out and delete the account immediately. Google is not alone in that it has some of the most well considered data privacy and ownership policies out there. If your Google account is used for business, this could be a valuable thing to set up. Your partner will be sad that you died, but will be furious with you if you have left with all of your business emails, contacts and paperwork tied up in your Google account. Just sayin’ — I mean, we don’t use rolodexes much anymore and our email accounts are just like our old filing cabinets. How about online property with value like music tracks and books that you’ve bought? You would think that because you bought it you owned it right? Apple says not. “That property dies with the person who bought it.” That’s where the confusion lies between buying music or a book and obtaining a license to listen or read that book. The license is not transferable. OK, what about my phone data? That depends on the carrier; you will need to call your particular company to find out. Again, just the value in the “phone book data” is worth calling about. But I have so many passwords that I can barely keep up with all of them, much less inform my relative that they have been changed. That is a common phrase I hear a lot. One solution would be to write them down on a piece of paper, update it when needed, and store with other important personal papers.

Staples sells a password organizer book for less than $6. You could also use a password management utility like KeePass (free) or 1Password (you have to buy) that will store all of your passwords (encrypted of course) in a Word document. There are many other password manager programs out there to choose from including Roboform, Dashlane, and Passwordbox.

So what should I do?

The answer, for me, is simple: treat your virtual assets the same as your non-virtual ones. In your will you most certainly have bequeathed your car, your house, and your investments. Consider establishing the chain of ownership for your online accounts as well by naming a digital beneficiary. Most online services have policies and processes in place to deal with the “digital afterlife.” However, it might be worth it to talk to a lawyer about this, along with how best to handle all of your particular online accounts. If you are personally attending to online property for a recently deceased loved one, don’t wait too long to sort through the online accounts. Virginia is one of several states that have adopted laws governing access to digital assets, but until the laws are made clearer you should appoint an executor for your online accounts and provide the passwords and instructions on how to handle each account. Karen Cifala is a Realtor at Remax Roots. She can be contacted on her cell 303-817-9374 or by email at or at her office at 101 E. Main. St. in Berryville.


AUGUST 20 1 6

As the Crow Flies

Purple Martins Revisited ContraCting,

Story and illustration by Doug Pifer


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Early this past spring I installed a purple martin house in what looked like the ideal spot to me, after 20 years of failing to attract purple martins to various types of houses. Three months later I’m happy to report that the martins are here. It’s a qualified success. Around the third week of April we started seeing a group of five martins. They sat on the utility line above the hayfield. They came and circled the martin house, and then they would leave. The martins usually appeared between nine o’clock and noon, announcing themselves with their deep, rich calls. A martin in flight seems to move its wings as little as possible. It soars with an effortless grace very few birds can match. It appeared to be the same five martins every day. One of them was all black, the plumage of an adult male. The other four had light gray breasts. One of those showed a scattering of black feathers on its breast and belly, indicating it was a first-year male. The literature on attracting purple martins says that first-year birds return later in the spring than older adults, and are the ones most likely to adopt new housing. Older martins are more faithful to their established nesting places. But there seemed to be a problem. The martins circled the house and hovered in front of it, but never perched or landed on it. Whenever one passed close by one of my wooden martin decoys, the bird pulled back, made a harsh grating call, and then flew off. Instead of attracting martins, my carefully carved and painted replicas seemed to repel them!

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I swallowed my pride and decided to take the decoys down. As I lowered the house on its telescoping pole, the martins circled overhead. Immediately after I removed the decoys and raised the house to its normal position, the martins came in and perched on top of the house. They explored the apartments. This has been the routine ever since. Five martins appear daily, circle and land on their house. At various times during the day they appear overhead and circle the house, yard and pastures. Just yester-

day the black male and one of the females sat on the roof of the martin house and chortled to me as I passed underneath them on my way to feed the poultry. Although they seem to like it here, they’ve yet to spend one night in the martin house. It’s now very late in the nesting season. A fretful landlord wannabe, I wonder if something still isn’t right. Maybe the martins are just too young. My wife tells me to relax. She’s confident they’ll be back to nest next year.

Town of Boyce

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Around Clarke County Promote your event in TO Send notices by the 1st of the preceding month to Keep event descriptions to 125 words, following the format of these pages. One or two CMYK photos, saved as tiff or jpg at 200 dpi, are always welcome.



Bluemont Concert

graveyard. Tickets are $15 for everyone 7 and over. Call to reserve a space on the tour. For information call 540-955-4001.

Hard Swimmin’ Fish. Old Frederick County Court House. 20 North Loudoun Street on the downtown mall. Winchester. A blues quartet that has been making music together for over 15 years. The band plays a range of styles covering the country blues of Mississippi and The Piedmont, the urban blues of Chicago, and funk infused varieties with roots in New Orleans’ second line. This versatility allows Hard Swimmin’ Fish to offer either acoustic or electric performances and play any venue. Bluemont concerts are held outside if possible. In bad weather concert will be held at the First Presbyterian Church. $5 per person, $4 Bluemont Friends & Seniors, $2 kids under 12. Tickets available at concert.



62nd annual. Special music feature Granger Smith on Saturday, August 20 at 8pm. For schedule and information visit

Music in the Park

M.T. Pockets and Loose Change Pickers. Bluegrass, Country, Gospel. Rose Hill Park. Downtown Berryville. 6:30– 8pm. Bring a picnic and join us for great music. Berryville Main Street Ghost Tours meet immediately following music. Meet at the Firehouse Gallery at 23 East Main Street to hear some of Berryville’s unique history and ghost stories, and tour of haunted businesses & the Grace Episcopal Church

Greg Ruby and Friends

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Join us for an evening of Hot Jazz & Django Swing from some of the finest musicians playing this music today! Don’t miss this collaboration of musicians from Seattle, New York City, and New Orleans featuring Greg Ruby (guitar), Russell Welch (guitar), Dennis Lichtman (clarinet/mandolin) and Jason Jurzak (bass/tuba). Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $15 in advance. $20 at the door. 12 and under free. For information visit


/20 Clarke County Fair


The Alash Ensemble

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Alash are masters of Tuvan throat singing (xöömei), a remarkable technique for singing multiple pitches at the same time. What distinguishes this gifted trio from earlier

generations of Tuvan throat singers is the subtle infusion of modern influences into their traditional music. One can find complex harmonies, western instruments, and contemporary song forms in Alash’s music, but its overall sound and spirit is decidedly Tuvan. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $20 in advance. $25 at the door. 12 and under free. For information visit


Bluegrass and BBQ featuring Town Mountain Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. A night of Bluegrass & BBQ with Town Mountain – a Hard Drivin’ Carolina String Band! The sound of the award-winning group Town Mountain can best be described as traditional bluegrass, albeit with a roughhewn side to it that is not too slick or glossy. They are a band of the here-and-now, yet they have a groove that is based on the bluesy and swinging sounds explored by the first generation of bluegrass pioneers of the last century. Town Mountain released their 5th album, Southern Crescent, on April 1, 2016 on LoHi Records produced by Dirk Powell at his Cypress House studio in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $20 in advance. $25 at the door. 12 and under free. For information visit www.


Rob Hornfeck


/21 Winchester Greek Festival

Clarke County Farmers’ Market. 8am–12 noon. Live music performed by Rob Hornfeck. Bring your chairs and come out and enjoy the music while you shop the many local vendors and meet your friends and neighbors. Live music sponsored by Lloyds Transfer and Storage. www. clarkecountyfarmersmarket. com.

Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church. 1700 Amherst Street. Winchester. Sample our legendary Greek cuisine and experience our renowned Greek music and dance. Truly great fun for the entire family! A large selection of tasty Greek food is available. Admission is free and ample free parking is available. Dormition.Visit for more information.


Music in the Park

Orange Sunshine. Hard Rock. Rose Hill Park. Downtown Berryville. 6:30– 8pm. Bring a picnic and join us for great music. Berryville Main Street Ghost Tours meet immediately following music. Meet at the Firehouse Gallery at 23 East Main Street to hear some of Berryville’s unique history and ghost stories, and tour of haunted businesses & the Grace Episcopal Church graveyard. Tickets are $15 for everyone 7 and over. Call to reserve a space on the tour. For information call 540-955-4001.


Summer’s End Cruise In

Berryville Main Street. 4–7pm. A great afternoon of fabulous classic cars, door prizes, music, and fun! Over 100 cars and motorcycles will be on display on Main Street in Downtown Berryville. We will be closing Main Street off to

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traffic to line up the gorgeous classic and vintage cars during this special event. This will be one of the largest events ever for downtown Berryville. Sponsored by Bank of Clarke County, Blossman’s Gas, and Trip’s Auto Sales. For information call Berryville Main Street 540-955-4001.


VHSA Horse and Pony Hunter Show

Sandstone Farm, 3805 Millwood Road, Millwood, Virginia www.sandstonefarm. com. Free. For information call 540-837-1261.


Open House

Create N Take. 30 West Main Street. Berryville. 1–8pm. We are bringing back the fun of coming together and being creative! Join us in the shop to learn how to make something new, learn a new skill, or just have some fun with friends. We hope to see you there! This event is free. For more information visit



Music in the Park

Brass Quintet. Jazz and Classical. Rose Hill Park. Downtown Berryville. 6:30–8pm. Bring a picnic and join us for great music. Berryville Main Street Ghost Tours meet immediately following music. Meet at the Firehouse Gallery at 23 East Main Street to hear some of Berryville’s unique history and ghost stories, and tour of haunted businesses & the Grace Episcopal Church graveyard. Tickets are $15 for everyone 7 and over. Call to reserve a space on the tour. For information call 540-955-4001.


Guitar Masters Series Featuring Andrew York Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Multi-Grammy award winner Andrew York is one of today’s best loved composers for classical guitar and a performer of international stature. His compositions blend the styles of ancient eras with modern musical directions, creating music that is at once vital, multi-leveled and accessible. In Andrew’s concerts, the theater becomes a living room, and the musical conversation begins with the first note. His authenticity has inspired a worldwide following, with his touring schedule spanning more than thirty countries. Recent concerts include Rome, Lima, Beijing, Ankara, Munich, Manhattan, Finland, Estonia, Lithuania and Andrew’s twelfth tour of Japan. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $20 in advance. $25 at the door. 12 and under free. For information visit


Andrew York Master Class

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Join multiGrammy award winner and legendary guitarist, Andrew York, for a master class! This is a rare opportunity to learn from one of the masters! Andrew York is one of today’s best loved composers for classical guitar and a performer of international stature. His compositions blend the styles of ancient eras with modern musical directions, creating music that is at once vital, multi-leveled and accessible. Andrew received a Grammy as a member of the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet during his sixteen years with the cuttingedge ensemble. York’s compositions have been featured on Grammy-winning recordings. Classes run from 2–4:00pm. $45 per student per half hour. $20 per auditor per half hour.

Pre-Register by calling 540955-2004. For information visit


10+ Hard to Find Acres on Victory Lane

in the southern part of Clarke Co.

The Mailmen

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Hailing from the outskirts of NOVA from the tiny town of Berryville, VA, The Mailmen produce an intense rush of Funk, Pop and Alternative Rock while still remaining distant from such comparisons of previous Punk/ Funk pioneers. Tyler Adams (Guitar/Vocals), Dan Williams (Drums) and Seth German (Bass Guitar) spent most of their free time in Dan’s basement writing, practicing and refining song after song until breaking out and recording their first EP in the fall of 2013. The Mailmen continue to branch out into the vast world of independent rock and set to create a sonic experience that is forever changing and consistently brilliant. With Tyler’s Bluesy yet stabbing guitar riffs, Seth’s pounding and aggressive bass lines and Dan’s creative and solid grooves, The Mailmen will never fall short of unique. Doors open at 7. Show starts at 8. $8 in advance. $12 at the door. 12 and under free. For information visit

with mountain views, black board fence and a 4 bedroom perk.


Located just west of the Shenandoah River at the intersection of Thornton Rd. and Rt. 50.

Priced below assessment! Karen Cifala, Realtor


Re/Max Roots • 540-955-0911 101 East Main Street #103, Berryville, Va


47th Annual September 17 & 18 10am to 5pm


Music in the Park

Mike and the Cyclones. Rock and Roll Blues. Rose Hill Park. Downtown Berryville. 6:30–8pm. Bring a picnic and join us for great music. Berryville Main Street Ghost Tours meet immediately following music. Meet at the Firehouse Gallery at 23 East Main Street to hear some of Berryville’s unique history and ghost stories, and tour of haunted businesses & the Grace Episcopal Church graveyard. Tickets are $15 for everyone 7 and over. Call to reserve a space on the tour. For information call 540-955-4001.


Interactive Indian Village

Flint Napping • Trading Post • Painted Ponies Exhibits • Dancing • Music • Veterans’ Tribute


Children’s Fair • Rock Climbing Wall Scavenger Hunt • Square Dancing 10k Race • Historic Slideshows Pickle & Pie Contest • Pony Rides Wagon Rides to Boulder Crest

Craft Demos

Railroad History

Wood Turning • Paper Making Pottery Throwing • Basket Weaving Wood Carving • Local Beekeepers Spinning & Weaving


Train Station Exhibit • Historic Caboose Model Railroad Display

And of Course...

Juried Crafts • Art Show & Sale Antiques & Flea Market • Farm Market Homemade Baked Goods

Local & Traditional Fair Food Great Live Music • Local Authors Wine Tasting & Beer Garden Quilt Display • Farm Animals ...and More!

Historic Bluemont - In the Foothills of the Blue Ridge Route 734 off Route 7, Loudoun County, Virginia Admission: $5 Children Under 10: Free Indian Village: $3 Donation 540-554-2367 Reduce Plastic: Bring Your Own Bag!

No Pets Allowed


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Restoring the Past: Jesse Russell and Rock Hall Farm Cemetery By Stephen Willingham When a person retires, one thinks of the retiree pursuing leisurely interests such as golf, fishing, hunting, or ballroom dancing. Not so with Clarke County native Jesse Russell, who recently retired from the Clarke County Planning Department. Retirement has afforded him the time to research his Russell family history. As it turns out, the farm located directly across the highway from the 7-11 at Triple-J, about two miles west of Berryville, is Russell’s ancestral home place. On a knoll situated closer to Crum’s Church Road is the family cemetery. Russell has taken it upon himself to reclaim this long abandoned burial ground that had been nearly obliterated by years of livestock grazing, vandalism, and the vagaries of time and neglect. According to Russell, his third great-grandfather, John Russell Crafton (1772-1848), the last ancestor to use the Crafton surname, was the founder of what was known as Rock Hall Farm. The 1850 slave census reveals that Crafton’s heir, Bennett Russell, owned 20 slaves. As with most

genealogical investigations, herein lies an interesting story unearthed by Jesse Russell’s research. In 1839 Crafton decided to free his 15 slaves, and included a provision in his will. However, by 1842 he apparently experienced a change of heart, since the cash earned from hiring his slaves out on a contractual basis had proved to be highly lucrative. Subsequently, he amended his will, thus revoking emancipation. Following Crafton’s death in 1848, a slave named Juliet filed suit against Bennett Russell demanding that the freedom provision in the 1839 will be honored. Sadly, the slaves lost their suit in 1857. Jesse Russell speculates that Crafton’s heir had most likely prevailed upon his father to amend the will. Against this back-story, Russell has decided to include the slave cemetery, adjacent to the family plot, in his reconfiguring of a fence designed to demarcate and protect the area. “I felt that this was only the right thing to do,” Russell commented. “They had been left outside of the cemetery as second class citizens, and it was time to, at least in death, to make them equals. After all, we are all equal in death.” The slave graves were marked with fieldstone and bore no inscriptions, a common practice in those days. Russell explained that he doesn’t know the names of any of the slaves buried here. The closest he can come to identification is an infant child of a slave named Mary Jane. Russell’s research John W. Russell is thought to be last person buried at the family graveyard.

Jesse Russell isn’t sitting still during his retirement; he is leading an effort to restore and steward the family’s 19th century graveyard. shows that in the 1850s, the estate purchased a coffin for the baby. In addition, accounting records noted payment for a doctor and a midwife. One might think that after the arduous task of clearing and fencing the plot that these labors would signal the end of Jesse Russell’s investment of time and money. This is not the case. According to Russell, the work has only just begun. “I’m still recovering pieces of gravestone and trying to figure what goes to what,” he explained. “A number of pieces have just enough info like a partial name, partial date of birth, and death, for me to figure out who it was.” So far as his Crafton/ Russell ancestors, Jesse Russell knows the names of everyone interred in the plot. Russell says that he is using an epoxy to reconstruct the shattered tombstones. “Many will never be complete, but I will erect them the best I can,” he affirms. Some of the stones

have been broken off from their bases. Russell indicated that he would have to use a special cement mixture in order to reattach these to their plinths. For the moment, he has two goals that he would like to immediately accomplish. “First, I would like to make a grid showing each gravestone and who it was,” Russell said. “Secondly, I would like to install a small allweather placard by the stone

with the person’s full name and date of birth and death.” This is more of an ambitious task than it might seem. Russell says that he has found fragments of tombstones buried as deep as six inches in the ground. He also plans to present this completed grid of grave locations to the Clarke County Historical Association (CCHA). During his excavations, Russell has determined that “the more

Many of the headstones and footstones had been damaged by vandals and time.


AUGUST 20 1 6

expensive stones used for family members have had at least some damage, with most being severely damaged.” The simple fieldstone slave markers, he

observed, “seem to have survived much better.” Another long-range goal for Russell is to encourage what he terms “lost historical

preservation.” He said that after 1890, his family, along with others in the county, began using public cemeteries, such as Green Hill in Berryville, instead of their traditional family plots or churchyards. “I’ve talked to CCHA, and to the Clarke County Historical Preservation Committee, regarding these old cemeteries,” continued Russell. “I hope that they might get more involved and help people to promote preservation of all old cemeteries.” From experience, Russell knows that valuable family and local history rests in these abandoned plots, only waiting for a chance to be rediscovered and preserved.

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John “Mosby” Russell: A Myth Laid to Rest By: Stephen Willingham When discussing Jesse Russell’s efforts to restore and protect the ancestral family cemetery at Rock Hall Farm, the unavoidable subject of John “Mosby” Russell came up. Popular Clarke County lore has placed “Mosby” Russell in Jesse Russell’s family lineage. Legend has “Mosby” Russell living at Rock Hall Farm, where he would receive coded midnight taps on a porch window regarding Union troop movements. These would then be communicated to Lt. Col. John S. Mosby, the famous Confederate partisan ranger leader. As the story goes, for years after the war, “Mosby” Russell could be found striding across the porch at Rock Hall in his high-topped cavalry boots, while greeting visitors to his home. The only problem with these stories is that none of them are true. At first, Jesse Russell was reluctant to discuss “Mosby” Russell. However, he relented when it became apparent that any story about Rock Hall Farm would conjure up visions of the old Rebel sitting astride his favorite gray horse. “John ‘Mosby’ Russell was of no relation,” Jesse Russell bluntly stated. “His father was Irish and moved here from Frederick, Maryland, in the 1830s. They first lived

in Berryville. Then after the War, ‘Mosby’ Russell, a lieutenant and scout for (John S.) Mosby, bought several hundred acres of land adjacent to my family off of Crum’s Church Road.” Jesse Russell speculates that a similarity in name and adjoining land ownership is what fueled the myth. However, he took this opportunity to raise an unanswerable question. “It might be worth wondering as to how a man who had basically nothing was able to buy this land after the war.” The Berryville Wagon Train Raid of 1864, in which “Mosby” Russell had participated, netted a fair bounty in cattle, horses, mules, and stores. According to reports, Mosby’s raiders missed the biggest prize of all, a cash strongbox destined for the Union Army paymaster. “[They] said that none of the money was taken,” Jesse Russell commented. “But then, as now, reports gave a better picture of what supposedly occurred than what really occurred.” Fortunately, owing to countless hours of research, Jesse Russell can definitely say that John “Mosby” Russell was not a member of his family. Nor was he associated with Rock Hall Farm that John Russell Crafton established in 1799.


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The Virtual House Hunt Using the web for property searches and “real” entertainment By Wendy Gooditis

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Last week, I spent time in Nashville, Tennessee, with my family, getting our daughter settled into her first apartment as she begins grad school. The city is easy to love: half old, half new, full of bustling growth and all kinds of activities. The restaurants, architecture, shopping, and activities seem beautifully calculated to provide pleasure and interest for a wide variety of tastes. One of my favorite things to do in a new city is to get an Uber, assess the driver for affability and local knowledge, and ask for a casual tour. Our driver in Nashville was warm, articulate, and just plain fun, and he entered wholeheartedly into the spirit of our explorations. Funnily enough, as we cruised, he let on that he is studying for his real estate license: clearly an intelligent young man. Real estate enthusiast that I am, the houses, old, new, and in-between, always fascinate me, and Nashville has numerous wonderful neighborhoods. When we got home after our Uber voyage, I wanted to look up all kinds of things about the local real estate — prices, pictures of the houses in different areas, townhouses near campus — but

realized I was out of my regular territory and couldn’t get into a local multiple listing service. Which made me just like my clients; reliant on whatever websites I could look at. So I started playing on Zillow and Trulia. And Realtor. com. And Redfin and Yahoo! Homes. Wow. There’s a lot out there! So much eye candy for the house lover, and so much information. One website ( told me those five were the top five sites in terms of traffic. I browsed them all in a completely unscientific

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manner, and found many interesting features on all of them. Before I talk about the individual websites, let me just say a few things about what they have in common (except for Yahoo!Homes: if they have this stuff, my clicking around didn’t find it.) These websites are, of course, designed to help you search for properties for sale. You can search by address, number of bedrooms, type of property, price, and other criteria. After you make your choices, the site provides you with a list of available properties, with which you can peruse descriptions, pictures, school information, tax information, and lots more. The websites also allow you to search for a realtor in the area you’re considering, and usually provide general information about mortgages, including mortgage calculators, plus advice about buying and selling. Beyond these types


AUGUST 20 1 6

of information, the websites each have their own categories of useful or enjoyable realestate-related stuff. Following are quick and very incomplete impressions I got while surfing these sites: Zillow: so much fun! There is a tab for Home Design, underneath which are all kinds of categories about design: modern, contemporary, traditional. Room designs: from kitchens and bathrooms to outdoor spaces. Ideas about individual stuff like wallpaper, patio furniture, chandeliers. It’s very similar to Pinterest, with lots of pretty photos to pore over. Oh, and the site is great for finding houses for sale, too — but I got way too distracted to remember that part. Trulia: Among many other features, I was amazed to find there are very detailed and up-to-date maps which keep track of what, when, and where crimes have been committed to help you assess the safety of particular areas. Zoom in on specific neighborhoods and click on the black dots to see recent data. A color scale shows the relative safety of neighborhoods: greens safer, yellows in the middle, reds less safe. Warning: this is sooo fascinating you’ll find it very hard to tear yourself away to take the garbage out or pay your bills. For fun, I looked up the house I grew up in, which my parents sold just four years ago. The website listed the wrong year for when it was built, and an estimated value that was $60,000 less than the price my parents got four years ago, though it is in a very desirable neighborhood. When I checked, the other top websites had gotten the yearbuilt correct, and all had a much higher and more consistent

estimated value. (I’ll talk more about these estimated values later.) I am left feeling dubious about the accuracy of this site’s content. Redfin: At first, this site appeared to have less to look at, but I found more and more the harder I looked. Along with the common denominator house search, agent search, and mortgage information, there is a tab called Tools, and under that is a world of enlightenment on all areas of real estate. The Redfin Blog tab leads to huge numbers of articles on all topics. It’s great browsing, and there’s some good and up-todate information in there. Yahoo! Homes – I’m probably missing something, but all I saw here was a list of very random stories about vaguely realestate-related topics. There must be something on the site that makes it one of the top 5 most-used real estate websites, but I sure couldn’t find it. Okay. So years ago, each real estate office had a great huge book called multiple listings,

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which was how agents looked up houses for their clients. It was an arduous process, and took a long time to get printed, and only had one picture of each house, if that! Finding houses for clients was kind of a guessing game. (Although the whole idea of multiple listings was a miracle compared to the truly olden days when listings weren’t shared and people who wanted to buy could only find out about the houses for sale that each individual realtor knew about.) And for house hunters themselves, the two options were talking to a real estate agent or scanning newspapers for advertised houses — with one teeny tiny black and white picture, maybe. Then came the digital age, and realtors had multiple listing services on their computers. These services grew in sophistication until an agent could show a client 30 pictures of a house, plus instantly look at tax info and other pertinent information. This was super for the agents, but not nearly as exciting for the clients, who feel they really are the best authority at knowing what

they actually want in a house. Imagine that. Hence the real estate websites I have been wasting – um, spending so much time on. Today’s clients have almost as much access to what’s on the market as their agents do, and many of our clients come to us with a list of houses they want to see. For the most part, these educated clients are a pleasure for the realtor, with a couple of sad exceptions: clients must understand that these public websites are a bit behind the real data, with the result that sometimes 2 out of 3 houses a client wants to see are already unavailable – under contract or sold, or even withdrawn. So remember your agent is the one with the current information. Also, the estimated values shown on these websites can really create a discouraging scenario for clients who want to sell their houses. Often they are inaccurate, being based on all home sales in a certain radius, with an emphasis on square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, I’m guessing. They do not take into account all the variables

about which your agent is knowledgeable, such as neighborhood, quality or lack of renovation, or curb appeal. This generalization can either discourage clients who think they shouldn’t sell because their house isn’t worth enough, or create hopes for a price that is just too high for the current market. Rely on your agent to give you a realistic assessment of market value, or hire an appraiser to advise you. Either of these professionals will serve you much more reliably. But I must say, the websurfing conditions may encourage you to carve the waves of listings and house photos on these sites: a pleasant indoor activity for a hot summer day. “Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learnin’ how…” Wendy Gooditis is a real estate agent on the Chip Schutte Real Estate Team with ReMax Roots at 101 East Main St., Berryville, VA 22611, phone (540)955-0911. Wendy would be happy to answer any questions you may have about real estate, and can be reached at gooditis@visuallink. com or at (540)533-0840.


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Working To Keep The Shenandoah Clean Berryville’s Mark Frondorf travels the river to connect people with water By David Lillard

It’s a glorious day to be on the Shenandoah. A group of paddlers has paused for lunch along a shady shore beneath Bull Falls, and Mark Frondorf is serving up strawberry shortcake as a cooling surprise dessert. It’s yummy, so much so that Frondorf is urged by several people to share the recipe, which he describes in the same colorful detail he has used to help paddlers visualize the rapids and runs all morning as he guides the group of 20 downriver. It’s clear he knows his way around a kitchen as well as he knows the river. And he knows the river. Frondorf, who lives in Berryville, is the Shenandoah Riverkeeper, a position from which he captains efforts to restore and protect the river’s

natural systems, an ongoing battle to keep the water safe for the people who treasure it and the wildlife that depends on it. He’s also been a Shenandoah River fishing guide for 20 years, a passion he’s too busy to pursue now except with several long-time clients. Before becoming the Shenandoah Riverkeeper, his day job was a policy analyst for a think tank, which gives him insight into the complexities of the laws and regulations which serve — and oftentimes hinder — the health of the river.

Staff of Potomac Riverkeeper Network pause to observe river conditions on a recent outing. His Riverkeeper post requires knowledge across a varied terrain — from river ecology, public law and regulatory policy to the micro economies of communities throughout the watershed, and, like today, the ability to connect people of all backgrounds and nurture a deeper appreciation for the river and its impacts and our individual roles to take care of it. Part of the work is enforcement, holding government accountable to its own laws to limit pollution — not easy considering the array of interests pressing, pushing and pulling regulators from all sides. It’s

also highly technical, full of jargon like ‘total maximum daily load’ and ‘non-point source pollution.’ You don’t need jargon to understand the stresses on the river, though. Now, in early August, you can see algae that’s been blooming since river levels dropped in late July to normal summer conditions. “The free floating algae we’ve seen in the water column, called planktonic, is what gives the water its peagreen color,” says Frondorf. Algae gets out of control when temperatures rise due to excess nutrients that run off from farm fields and backyards, as well as

from out-of-date wastewater treatment facilities upriver. “We’ve observed algae growing on rocks on the bottom and on plants growing in the water. The algae that clings to the bottom like a spongy, gooey mess is sometimes called rock snot,” Frondorf says. “The algae growing out into the water column but attached to the river bottom comprise the larger filamentous algae that looks like seaweed or long mermaid hair.” Frondorf’s post was once held by another Clarke County resident, Jeff Kelble, who now leads the Potomac Riverkeeper Network (PRKN), a group of


AUGUST 20 1 6 three riverkeepers who serve as the eyes and ears for the two rivers. PRKN is affiliated with the international Waterkeeper Alliance, itself a network of advocates focused on bays, estuaries, and rivers worldwide. Kelble is a former fishing guide, who became the Shenandoah Riverkeeper in 2005, after building his guide business and running a bed and breakfast with his wife in Clarke County. Both he and Frondorf are former presidents of the Potomac River Smallmouth Bass Club. One of PRKN’s top priorities is to get the Shenandoah River on Virginia’s Impaired Water List for excessive algae or exceedingly high levels of nutrients. “Having the state list the river as impaired by the algae blooms and nutrient pollution would force the state to eventually develop regional pollution limits for the Shenandoah,” said Frondorf. “Virginia’s Department of Environmental Quality has turned a deaf ear toward us.” The Commonwealth, reports Frondorf, says that there are no nutrient standards for flowing water, and that trying to assess narrative statements, in the form of complaint letters from anglers, paddlers, swimmers, birders, hikers, landowners, and anybody else who enjoys using the river, “is too difficult of a job for them to assess.” It’s not all bad news for the river. This summer there has been a re-emergence of good grasses on the river bottom. The grasses are a key characteristic of a healthy river. “Subaquatic vegetation contributes to the biodiversity of the river and makes for a healthier ecosystem,” says Frondorf. “It gives small fish a place to hide, filters out the sediment floating in the river, and allows sunlight to penetrate to the river bottom and allows the grasses to outcompete the algae.” Another area of work for PRKN is to ensure public access to rivers like the Shendandoah. It’s not always easy. Legal precedent— and, in the case of Maryland, law — makes all rivers and streams publicly available. In essence, if you’re in the water you’re allowed to roam and float. That doesn’t stop some landowners, whether corpo-

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Competitive Buyers - COME SEE! rate or government, or individuals from trying to keep anglers and paddlers out of the river near their adjacent properties. Tales of anglers plying a small stream being threatened with the business end of a shotgun are not uncommon. PRKN works to block legal claims to restrict or eliminate rivers from public use, and advocates for laws that protect public river use. Enforcement and advocacy may be the bread and butter of PRKN, but not the whole story. The group works with watershed organizations and other nonprofits and agencies to help get people on the water. PRKN hosts public events, too. The paddling trip mentioned earlier was one in a series of paddles on the Shenandoah and Potomac celebrating the centennial of the national park system. Maps and other access information are available, too. See for those. While you’re on the website, you can download Water Reporter, an app for iPhone and Android devices that enables users to report pollution in the river. If you really want to learn more about the Shenandoah River from Mark Frondorf, check out his twice-weekly radio report on WZRV, 95.3. In these short dispatches, Frondorf covers topics like river levels and conditions, and river safety — like how to stay safe if you’re caught in a thunderstorm on the water. There’s an archive of Frondorf’s Shenandoah Riverkeeper shows at (then click On Demand, Shenandoah Riverkeeper). Frondorf has a seemingly insatiable appetite for river stories. When you see him around Clarke County or on the river, share yours. When you do, ask him about how to make the perfect strawberry concoction to top off a shortcake. Learn more at Jeff Kelble of Boyce heads the Potomac Riverkeeper Network.

540-955-8067 • (Fax) 540-955-8171 •



A UGUST 201 6

News from Berryville Main Street


Beautiful Things Coming to Berryville

With many beloved shops closing their doors in Berryville, you can tell the tension has been high on what could happen to this little town. It has been a beautiful historic spot for many to stop by, a fun day trip for those just outside the area, and magnet for beautiful weddings. Every town goes through its ups and downs but we are pleased to announce that as much as we are saddened by all that’s been lost in Berryville, we have many new beautiful things coming. Here are just a few new shops in the area that are making a big splash to the community: The Farmer’s Daughter on 5 South Church Street is the furniture store we all hoped would come around! You will see a variety of vintage farmhouse decor with classic country chic style and a handful of other specialty goods. Betty has been re-purposing forgotten furniture since 2013 as a hobby that filled up her home. The more furniture she reinvented, the more others took interest in it and with encouragement she started to sell it at flea markets and consignment shops. Once the consignment shop closed she decided to venture out on her own. Betty has been re-creating her own pieces and learned to create her own line of chalk paint that she is also selling in the shop. The quaint hometown feeling is what brought her to Berryville and she hopes to keep that feeling alive with her new business. Organic Plum Studio is opening early September on 30 West Main Street. Lisa Leach was drawn to Berryville for the charming atmosphere and how close it is to home. You’ll find services ranging from organic facials to waxing, body treatments, and makeup by appointment

only! Lisa specializes in organic treatments and has been in the beauty and skincare industry for quite some time. She loves to focus on overall wellness and customizing her treatments to what her customer needs. Everyone’s skin changes and she feels her treatments should change with them, and that unique care is what interests her the most. Also opening in 30 West Main Street on August 27th is Create N Take. Jennifer Otey has been crafting and making DIY projects since she was a little girl and it has been her passion to share those with others. She has spent many nights in her basement hosting gettogethers where she taught friends and family how to make a number of items. Her dream has always been to own a shop where others can gather and be creative together. Berryville always felt like home away from home to her and she couldn’t imagine setting up shop anywhere else.

Summer’s End Cruise In

Berryville Main Street will be presenting the first annual “Summer’s End Cruise In” from 4- pm on Saturday August 27. We anticipate over 100 cars and motorcycles that will be on display on Main Street in Downtown Berryville. We will be closing Main Street off to line up the gorgeous classic and vintage cars during this special event. This will be one of the largest events ever for downtown Berryville. Come join us for an afternoon of fun with music, door prizes, great coupons for many businesses, and special prizes for your favorite car when you cast your vote! A heartfelt thanks to our many sponsors for this event, especially Bank of Clarke County, Ellis Chapman/ Blossman Gas, and Trip’s Auto Sales.


AUGUST 20 1 6

News and Briefs LFCC Announces Launch of Free Learning Portal

Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) announced the launch of its free competencybased education resource portal, The portal takes the competencies, personalized learning plans, and open educational resources (OER) used in its Knowledge to Work (K2W) program and makes them available to anyone at no cost. Individuals can use the portal and its digital learning resources to document competencies and their progress in new learning. The portal has been created through a partnership with the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) Foundation, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), Microsoft, Concentric Sky, Inc., Amazon Education, and other organizations. Through the portal, individuals can work towards nationally-recognized, occupational credentials. Currently, the portal focuses on career pathways in Health Information Management, Administrative Systems Technology, Networking, Cybersecurity, and Information Systems Technology. “This portal represents an exciting new way to get information about and attain the competencies needed for specific careers,” said Dr. Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, LFCC President. “LFCC is again at the leading edge of educational opportunity.” While focused on a few industries and occupations for now, LFCC is seeking funding to expand the portal to other pathways and competency frameworks. If learners want additional support and services, they are encouraged to enroll in one of LFCC’s direct assessment CBE programs. This

gives them access to career coaches and program faculty, help with financial aid, library services, and regionally accredited associates’ degrees and certificates. The portal and Knowledge to Work are funded in part by a TAACCCT grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. For more information, visit the program website at: Organizations and individuals can be a part of the portal in a number of ways, from sharing OER, courses, and other instructional materials to promoting services such as tutoring and internships to opportunities for co-branding, sponsorship, and advertising. For more information on portal participation, contact John H. Milam, Ph.D., Executive Director of LFCC’s Knowledge to Work TAACCCT grant, at jmilam@ and (540) 868-7249.

Handley Hikes The Appalachian Trail

When two friends went for a one-day hike in Maine in 1985, they had no idea they were actually starting a 2,100 mile, 28-year adventure. Handley Regional Library presents the author of Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-Year Hike on America’s Trail, Jeffrey H. Ryan, as a speaker in their continuing efforts to bring relevant authors to Winchester. Ryan will speak at 6:30pm August 16, in the Bowman Library Meeting Room. Books will be available to purchase, provided by Winchester Book Gallery. Inspired by the author’s trail journals, Appalachian Odyssey is not a “how to” guide, but an enduring story told through a refreshing blend of history, photography and wit. This Appalachian Trail book is

an uplifting reminder that the most meaningful accomplishments in life rarely happen overnight, but are achieved by making steady progress toward our goals. Hailed as “destined to be a classic of nature and travel writing” by the former executive editor of National Geographic and ranked “#1 new release” in the outdoor books category on, Appalachian Odyssey is in inspiring journey from beginning to end. Jeff Ryan, a Maine based author, speaker and photographer, has a contagious passion for exploring the outdoors, particularly on foot. Jeff has hiked thousands of miles including his first “trip of a lifetime”, a 6 1/2-month hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. In 1985, Jeff began “section hiking” the Appalachian Trail with a childhood friend (a journey that would take 28 years to complete and culminated in his first book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28year hike on America’s Trail). For questions regarding this event, contact Barbara Dickinson at or (540) 662-9041 ext. 31.

Shenandoah Food Truck Festival and Harness Racing

Harness racing is coming. The first weekend of Harness Racing brings us the Shenandoah Food Truck Festival. Sponsored by the Shenandoah County Chamber, this festival will be bringing in nine different food trucks for tasting. Two days of fantastic food coupled with some fast moving horse. The 1st Annual Shenandoah Food Truck Festival and Harness Racing officially starts the harness racing season on September 10 and 11 from 11am–4pm at the Shenandoah County Fairgrounds. Join Mama Caboose, Hazard Mill, AppleHouse, Wing It,

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A UGUST 201 6

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Shaffers BBQ, Cuz & Em, Tacos El Primo, Saucy Dog, and Rutz’s BBQ, as they feed you while you bet on and watch your favorite horses. The Shenandoah County Fair has spent over $2.3 million dollars to get ready for harness racing. In order to bring more people in, they have added a festival for all 5 weekends during harness racing. Check their website ( to see all the festivals planned. The Shenandoah County Chamber will also have a beer garden and North Mountain Vineyards will be on hand to keep your wine glass full, so make sure to bring your IDs. KnockBall will be there that weekend for those that may want to bounce around against someone. There is no entrance fee for this festival, so we ask that you come and eat a ton from all of our food trucks, while watching the Valley’s newest attraction.

Quilts “Inspired by the National Parks” Arrive at Museum

To borrow from Trey Amos, “The Art of the Natural” has arrived at the Virginia Quilt Museum in the form of 177 small quilts. These are not your grandmother’s quilts — they are art quilts, an art form born of the 1960s return to the earth and old ways, when people re-


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alized a new-found respect for a craftsman’s creative skills. These 177 art quilts are collectively known as “Inspired by the National Parks.” “Inspired” here does not mean a decorated copy. Nor are art quilts created from a pattern. They are fiber art built upon an original experience, idea, or imagery, using quilting techniques. The collection developed from a 2014 challenge put out to quilters by Donna DeSoto, a member of the Fairfax, Va., chapter of Quilters Unlimited. Since her previous “Inspired by the Beatles” challenge had been so successful, she asked participants to select a National Park and make a quilt to honor either its flora, fauna, or landscape. The resulting exhibit debuted at the Houston International Quilt Festival in Autumn 2015 and has shown at a few venues since. The quilts traveled here from Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area at Coulee Dam, Wash., where they had spent the July 4th weekend on display. Now they are installed in their new space by Gloria Comstock, the Virginia Quilt Museum’s curator. She had carefully trained a crew of Museum volunteers in the care and handling of such a precious commodity. “On Thursday, the last few, in the bay window, were fitted together like pieces of a puzzle,”

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she explained, “but we got it!” The collection will now receive visitors in Harrisonburg through September 10. Some of this exhibit’s quilters are internationally known, others are novice quilters, but they all share “a passion for America’s Best Idea: The National Parks,” according to its website. If you’ve been to that park, you can reminisce. If you haven’t, you can dream of going. Barbara Roadcap, the Museum’s events coordinator commented, “The Parks exhibit is fantastic – I wish the world could see this!.” “Inspired by the National Parks” national tour schedule can be found at For information or details about the exhibit, visit Virginia Quilt Museum was founded in 1995 and exists to celebrate quilting in Virginia. The Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit funded solely through private donations, memberships, and revenue from admissions and museum shop sales. The Virginia Quilt Museum receives no federal or state funding.

Robbie Limon Plays The Library

The Friends of Handley Regional Library announce two performances to benefit Handley Regional Library. Popular artist Robbie Limon will make two solo appearances in the Handley Library Auditorium on September 8, and October 6. Tickets are $25 each and must be purchased in advance, either via the website, www., or by calling (540) 662-9041 ext. 31. The ticket price includes light refreshments and wine. The performance begins at 7:00 p.m., with the doors opening at 6:15 p.m. Come early to get a good seat! Robbie Limon is a talented singer-songwriter and


AUGUST 20 1 6

entertainer who is as comfortable with intimate, small venue, and solo appearances, singing the best music of the 1970s and accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, as he is playing before festival crowds or sold out theater performances. He has averaged 200+ such appearances each year since 2005. He has performed in multiple venues across the United States, at various events including wineries, corporate functions, anniversary events, and private parties. His fivepiece band specializes in replicating the most memorable recordings of the 1970s. It is a musical event which rekindles the audience memories to that time and their place in it. Robbie, with his uncanny ability to replicate the vocal characteristics of period singers, thrilled audiences in the syndicated theatrical productions of stage musicals about Hank Williams, Sr. and Buddy Holly (‘Lost Highway’, and ‘Buddy’). The performances resulted in consistent rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. His diverse experience and talents, honed over many years of performing, continue to earn him high praise and bookings that regularly find him with a full schedule a year or more in advance, just to secure his talents. For more information or to purchase a ticket contact Barbara Dickinson at (540) 662-9041 ext. 31 or Tickets may also be purchased at

Governor Proclaims Farmers’ Market Week In Virginia

According to a proclamation by Governor Terence R. McAuliffe, August 7–13 is Farmers Market Week in Virginia. Farmers markets in Virginia have grown dramatically, from 88 markets in 2006 to 259 in 2016. What has caused this dramatic growth? “There are many reasons,” said Sandy Adams, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). “The popularity of the Buy Local movement has continued to grow, people who no longer have farms in the family like to meet farmers and know where their food originates and farmers’ markets often offer specialty or heritage products that are not easy to find anywhere else.” She adds that farmers’ markets are becoming key community gathering places. Every year, Virginia sees new farmers markets opening, many in food deserts, giving people with few shopping options access to fresh, nutritious products. At farmers’ markets across the Commonwealth right now, shoppers will find Virginia Grown tomatoes, corn, cucumbers, onions, okra, squash, apples, peaches, melons, berries, herbs and more harvested at the peak of flavor, freshness and nutrition. In addition to delicious foods to eat, they also will find products such as plants and fresh-cut flowers. Farmers markets help strengthen local economies.

Consumer spending at farmers’ markets keeps money circulating within the local economy, helping to create and preserve jobs in rural localities. Consumers visiting farmers’ markets also spend money at neighboring businesses, supporting the neighborhoods where the markets are held. VDACS maintains a list of Virginia farmers’ markets by region on Farmers’ markets are invited to add or update their listings on the web site. Market managers, vendors and consumers are encouraged to follow VDACS on Twitter and Facebook.

New Market Free Movie Night in the Park- August 19

Shentel, the Town of New Market, and the Shenandoah County Chamber will host a movie night at the New Market Community Park on Saturday, August 19 at 7pm, for a night of fun under the stars. Shentel will be on hand with kids activities, New Market Rotary will be selling hot dogs and concessions, and the Cotton Candy man will help make your kids hands sticky.

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At 8:45pm, the movie Peanuts will be shown under the stars. Bring a blanket or your lawn chairs and watch a movie that is entertaining to both adults and children. The event highlights New Market and its wonderful community park, which has many new additions to it. Rain date will be August 26 at 7pm. New Market Community Park is at 9670 Cadet Road.

2015 Peach, Apple and Grape Production








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Serving Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and D.C.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced that peach production in Virginia in 2015 was 5,120 tons (10.2 million pounds), down 180 tons (360,000 pounds) from 2014. Utilized production totaled 5,100 tons (10.2 million pounds), an increase of 80 tons (160,000 pounds) from 2014. Value of utilized production totaled $6.83 million, an increase of 16 percent from 2014. The average price received per ton was estimated at $1,340. This was an increase of $170.00 per ton from 2014. Bearing acres were estimated at 1,200 acres, unchanged from 2014, with an average yield of 4.27 tons (8,540 pounds) per acre, down 0.15 tons (300 pounds) from 2014. Based on utilized production, Virginia ranks 14th in the nation for peach production. These figures were compiled by the Virginia Field Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The NASS Agricultural Yield survey conducted at the beginning of the month queried about 125 farms in Virginia. Total apple production for 2015 was estimated at 195.2 million pounds (4.6 million, 42 lb. bushels), down five percent from 2014. Utilized production totaled 195.0 million pounds, down 10 million pounds from 2014. Apples for

fresh market totaled 65 million pounds, down 13 percent from 2014. Apples for processing accounted for 130 million pounds of the 2015 crop, unchanged from 2014. The average price received for 2015 apples was 17.7 cents per pound, up 0.4 cents from the 2014 price. Total value of utilized production was $34.5 million for the crop, down $935,000 from the 2014 value of $35.4 million. Fresh market apples brought 23.6 cents per pound in 2015, down 4.3 cents from 2014. Processed apples sold for $294 per ton, up $71.00 per ton from 2014.The number of bearing acres of apples totaled 10,200 acres in 2015, down 200 acres from 2014. The yield per acre was 19,100 pounds, 600 pounds less than in 2014. Based on utilized production, Virginia ranks 5th in the nation for apple production. Total grape production for 2015 was estimated at 9,200 tons (18.4 million pounds), up 400 tons (800,000 pounds) from 2014. Utilized production also totaled 9,200 tons (18.4 million pounds), up 1,000 tons (2.0 million pounds) from 2014. Bearing acres were estimated at 3,300, unchanged from 2014, with an average yield of 2.79 tons (5,580 pounds) per acre, up 0.12 tons (240 pounds) from 2014. The average price received per ton was estimated at $1,950. This was an increase of $100 per ton from 2014. Based on utilized production, Virginia ranks 7th in the nation for grape production. Value of utilized production totaled $17.9 million, up 18 percent from 2014.

John Flood Comes To Handley

Handley Regional Library and the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives present author John Flood for an evening discussing “How Do You Develop a NonFiction Project.” Flood will be at Handley Benham Gallery July 27, at 6:30 p.m. Free and open to the public.

This will be the first presentation for the Nonfiction Writer’s Group, sponsored by the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives. If writing your memoirs, compiling a family genealogy, or penning a historical account has long been a dream; come together with likeminded people to solve the problems and get your project underway. The group will meet the fourth Wed. evening of each month, in the Benham Gallery, 6:30 p.m. to offer encouragement and advice towards your nonfiction writing goal. John Flood has been on the trail of American Legends for nearly three decades. Beginning with his “discovery” of his great-great grandfather in 1987, John has tracked many a legendary figure unearthing the historic - and often previously unknown - details along the way. He has endured bone chilling Missouri winds in an ice encrusted lonely graveyard to locate a family’s ancestors and after a couple of hours actually found them before nearly joining them! On the dusty roads and in the searing heat of western Oklahoma, he has rediscovered a long concealed Indian Wars battle site that even the historians and Indian descendants could not locate! West Virginia caves… New Mexico ghost towns… remote valleys in Montana where the spirit of Crazy Horse still roams… In 2012 John produced, directed, and wrote the script for the DVD titled Retro Winchester Volume 1. Today John Flood writes about these and other non-fiction topics for a variety of publications including Wild West Magazine. For more information about this event contact Becky Ebert, Archivist, at (540) 6629041 ext. 22 or via email at


AUGUST 20 1 6

Letter to the Editor

Lacrosse Team Celebrates Successful First Season Dear Editor:

ALL the SVYL U-9/11 Boy’s Coaches

ISA, Inc. - Joe McBee

Well they did it! The Clarke County Trailblazers Boys U9/U11 and Girls U13/15 Lacrosse teams successfully completed their first season of lacrosse. I want to publicly thank all those who helped start and support the first boys and girls lacrosse teams in Clarke County this past Spring 2016. Here is a list of folks who supported us this year, volunteered their time and made this year a success for our kids. If there is anyone I inadvertently missed, I truly apologize.

Girl’s Valley North U-14 Coach Sarah Nelson

Dick’s Sporting Goods

SVYL Referees

Trailblazers Boys U-9/11 Asst. Coach - Turner Kobayashi

Trailblazers Girls U-13/15 Asst. Coach - Andre Fontaine

Shenandoah University Women’s Lacrosse

Clarke County Parks and Recreation

JMU Women’s Lacrosse

Observer of Clarke County

STX, Inc.

Trailblazers’ Girls, Boys, Families and Friends

Shenandoah Valley Youth Lacrosse League, Inc. (SVYL) visit http://svyl.

Donors Microsoft Corporation - Steve Winward

Trailblazers’ Family and Friends Shenandoah University Women’s Lacrosse Team Clarke County Parks and Recreation The Trailblazers will have a booth at the CC Fair from 8/14-20 so come on out and see how hard you can shoot a lacrosse ball and enter a raffle for some lacrosse sticks. We look forward to more boys and girls coming out next Spring 2017 to try out “the fastest game on foot” and fastest growing sport in America. Thanks! Eric Voelkel Coach, Clarke County Trailblazers Lacrosse

Do you have enough money to last your lifetime? How you will pay for long term medical care for you and your spouse? What about your heirs? How can you ensure they will receive the money you intend?


• How to protect assets from nursing home costs  How you can save more than you expect, even if your loved one is already in a nursing home. • One of the most important legal documents you need, and the three things it should contain. • How to ensure your estate provides an inheritance for your heirs and supports a home-bound spouse. • How to qualify for little-known Veterans benefits to help you or your loved one stay at home. • Which Trust is ideal for 2nd marriages and blended families? • What is ELDER LAW, anyway?