Clarke monthly September 2021

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Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid at Shepherdstown, WV Permit #3


Donald De Haven was honored for 20 years off service on the county Electoral Board, 15 of which as chair.


SEPT 20 21

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As the Crow Flies

On Seeing Uncommon Butterflies Story and illustration by Doug Pifer Last week one day an enormous butterfly, as big as my hand, visited our flower garden. It was immediately recognizable as a giant swallowtail by its chocolate-brown wings dappled with rows of oval yellow dots. Giant swallowtails are tropical butterflies native to Florida. Their caterpillars, called orange dogs, feed on the leaves of citrus trees. But every summer, a stray adult butterfly may appear in gardens as far north as New Jersey, as if on vacation. As I watched the bird-like butterfly through the camera of my cell phone, it seemed in no hurry to leave. It let me snap picture after picture while it sipped nectar from the colorful zinnias. Ten minutes later when I looked out the window at the garden, the big butterfly was still there. Another uncommon visitor to the garden is the pipevine swallowtail. At first glance this butterfly looks jet black and rather plain, with just a small row of creamy dots along the edges of its wings. Then, when light strikes at the right angle, its hind wings glow metallic blue. This butterfly’s caterpillars feed only on the leaves of pipevine or dutchman’s pipe, a native vine with big heart-shaped leaves and unique green flowers that curve in the shape of an oldfashioned smoking pipe. On the same day as I saw the giant swallowtail, I was surprised to discover a dozen or so small caterpillars of the pipevine swallowtail on the pipevine that climbs the trellis of our side porch. We planted it hoping to attract this uncommon butterfly to our place. My happiness was bitter-sweet, seeing two uncommon butterflies on the same day. “Uncommon,” is a word used in nature books for a species seen less often than other species. During six-plus decades studying nature, I’ve witnessed too many once-abundant species of plants and animals become rare or disappear. As a school kid I looked forward to attending

a summer youth camp in the forested mountains of west-central Pennsylvania. There was a bath house where electric lights burned all night in the middle of the woods. Each morning and evening, countless insects covered the side of the building around the beam of the flood lights. Pulling a dog-eared Golden nature guide out of my shower kit, I excitedly learned to recognize the io, Luna, polyphemus, leopard, tiger, and rosy-maple moths. When I returned to the same camp as a counsellor in 1970, hoping to share my excitement with young campers, there were disappointingly few insects at the bath house. Today, although we live near a stream bordered by woods, we see less than half a dozen insects at our window screens at night. Bird numbers have similarly decreased. When we lived in Virginia, Eastern meadowlarks regularly nested on the ground in the field next to us. American kestrels sometimes perched on the utility lines along the same field. We bought a kestrel house, having seen one nearby that sometimes hosted a family of the pretty little falcons. When we moved to West Virginia we couldn’t wait to set up the kestrel house in our own meadow, a grassland bird habitat. Five years later the house has hosted several families of bluebirds and tree swallows but no kestrels. Meadowlarks sometimes fly over in early spring, but they don’t stay. We’ve inherited a natural world where uncommon has become rare, and common is becoming uncommon. For us all, I hope it’s not too late.

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Clarke STAFF

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

SEPTEMBER CONTRIBUTORS Cathy Kuehner Rebecca Maynard Doug Pifer JiJi Russell Claire Stuart Brenda Waugh


Courtesy of Clarke County


Jennifer Welliver, 540-398-1450

Advertising Information: 540-398-1450 (Mon-Fri, 9-5)


Clarke 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:




FROM THE EDITOR Fire Prevention Week: Make A Plan Or Practice One You Have I don’t remember when I stopped thinking about the fire every day. Two years later, it’s usually when something specific reminds me. A loud boom recalls the sound of the car tires and Coleman fuel canisters in the garage exploding as the flames ripped through. On windy nights, I might remember the terrifying sight of flames licking up the house from the garage, entering the attic vent whooshed by the 40 m.p.h. winds and, at least in my memory, blasting out the vent at the other end. Sometimes memories make me laugh. Like when I ran into my son’s room and, waking him, shouted, “Get dressed, we have to get out,“ then ran to my room for a sweatshirt. I heard my son in the hall bath: “You can pee outside!” I shouted. “Let’s go!“ His reply: “Am I going to be late for school, Dad?“ Oh. I had neglected to mention that it was still Friday night, that he’d been asleep only an hour or so after the movie, and that, uh, there was a fire in the garage! There really is nothing like standing in your front yard on a cold windy night, watching your house burn. When I do think of it now, what I remember most —what I feel — is gratitude. Grateful that we got out and that, despite a condemned house, most of the things we cared about were saved — including my son’s gaming laptop! I’m grateful for the volunteer firefighters and rescue people who got to the scene as quickly as they could and did everything they could. At midnight on a Friday, each could’ve been home snuggling with someone they love, watching a movie, or sleeping comfortably. Grateful for for the neighbors and

friends who came with blankets and offers to help that night and in the days following. Grateful that for me the hardest part was simply the displacement, the hassle of moving saved processions up to the barn, the endless laundry loads, that kind of thing. A lot of people in this community — in this world — are much worse off than I am. I am also grateful that we had a plan. As a teenager I spent a brief stint selling home firedetection systems. I was a terrible salesman, but I became vigilant about fire. I check my alarms monthly; I’m fanatical about how used batteries are safely stored for disposal; I don’t leave the kitchen for more than a minute or so when something is on the stove; I check on things. There are times when, despite all our efforts, fire happens. Ours was likely a faulty GFI in the garage. Sometimes things seem beyond our control. But two things we can control. First is vigilance: Make fire prevention part of your life. Second: Have a plan. We had a plan to get out — except the part where I neglected to tell my son the house was on fire! Having a plan probably saved our lives (and my important documents in my Go Box). Please make a plan, and make sure everyone in your home knows it. October 3–9 is Fire Prevention Week. You can learn a lot at And please connect with your local volunteer fire department by seeing the ad on page 19. Fire Prevention Week is a wonderful time to donate to your local department, too! Make that donation an annual family tradition. Peace, y’all.






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The cooler days of Fall, coupled with back-to-school routines, often bring about a renewed focus on healthy habits, including fitness. Lately I’ve been considering the elements that can help inspire more interest or enthusiasm for a workout, and one thing keeps rising to the top: challenging my usual movement patterns. When we challenge ourselves to work on a new skill or try a new pattern of stepping and squatting for example, we activate new neural pathways in our brains. We challenge ourselves on a deeper level than would the sheer physical demands of a movement. Research is showing that this has an amazing effect over time, including improved happiness — it may even stave off dementia. Of course, it also is just good skill development. While we might not begin with such lofty goals, just the feeling of trying, failing, trying again, and getting better can be uplifting. So, here’s a new or refreshed challenge for you this Fall. Add some deliberate multiplanar movement to your routine. First up: figure out what that means. (See? I got your brain involved.) In fitness, physical therapy, and other somatic practices, movements of the body are divided into three cardinal planes: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. Movements in the sagittal plane can be thought of as front to back, like walking forward, swinging your arms back and forth, or doing a bicep curl or a squat. Movements of the frontal plane are side-to-side movements, like side stepping, jumping jacks, or raising your arm out to the side and away from your body. Movements in the transverse plane involve

twisting or rotating around an invisible vertical axis of your body. If you stand and lift one knee up like a high march, then twist your opposite elbow toward that knee, you are moving in both the transverse plane (shoulders/trunk twisting) and the sagittal plane (thigh lifting upward). If you take that same thigh that was in the high march position and open it out to the side, you have just moved your lower body in the transverse plane.

Let Exercise Imitate Life Cindy Casey, a physical therapist with Valley Health, says that since “most activities we do in life involve multiple planes of movement simultaneously, it makes sense to put some effort into exercising outside of traditional single-plane movements” (like stand-alone bicep curls or squats). It could be beneficial to notice if our chosen sport, exercise, or training activities tend toward


S EPT 2021 more single joint movements or single plane movements for several key reasons. Top among them, according to Casey, is prevention of injury. Doing many chest presses, bicep curls, and deadlifts each week can open one up to overuse injuries, whereas a more deliberate multi planar/multi joint approach helps to build better stabilizing strength for improved movement efficiency, which can lessen the instance of injuries. Besides, repetitive single joint or single plane movements become boring for most people. The growth of “functional training,” which utilizes multiplanar movements among other elements, has come into prominence in the last 10 years to approach one’s sport, exercise, or training through the filter of the demands that daily living places on the human body. Think of the muscular dad who can deadlift 300 pounds but hurts his back putting his 15-pound baby in the car seat. This is a breakdown of functional movement facility. Whether your exercise regimen begins and ends at walks around the park or heavy

lifting, think of adding in little bouts of alternative movement to what you already are doing. Add an additional plane or an additional joint. For example, when you go on a walk, pause, turn sideways and sidestep a few paces; then do the other side. Or work in a few of those standing elbow-to-knee twists every couple of minutes. Or


even lift and lower your arms out to the sides a few times each minute, “flapping” as you walk. Possibilities abound. Stay curious. JiJi Russell, certified personal trainer and registered yoga teacher, can be reached at

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Around Clarke County Promote your event in Clarke. 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.



Legends by Lantern Light: White Post

White Post. Join the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area and Clarke County Historical Association for a lantern lit walking tour through White Post. The evening’s tour will include firsthand accounts of life in the 18th century when Virginia’s only resident English peer, Thomas, 6th Lord Fairfax, lived nearby at Greenway Court. In the decades before the American Revolution, Fairfax brought foxhunting, wealth, and George Washington to the Virginia frontier – all of which continue to shape Clarke County today. 7–9pm. Members $15, nonmembers $20.


Boyce Volunteer Fire Company Annual Fall BBQ Boyce Volunteer Fire Company Social Hall. 1 S. Greenway Ave. Dine in or takeout, select a dessert from the bake sale and/or bid on the silent auction. Donations accepted; free will offering. 4–7pm.


Meet the Beekeepers

Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Lane. Delaplane. Meet with local apiarists of the Beekeepers of Northern Shenandoah and discover the art of beekeeping. 1–3pm. 540-592-3556.


Forest Bathing Walk

Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Lane. Delaplane. Join Kim Strader,

Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk to reconnect or deepen your connection with the natural world. Ages 12 and older; register ahead. $45. 9:30– 11:30am. 540-592-3556.


– 19 Bluemont Fair

Snickersville Turnpike. Bluemont. Oldfashioned family fun with traditional crafts, local art and authors, craft and farming demonstrations, Indian village, music, children’s fair, animals, wine, food and more. Free parking, ages 10 and older $10, ages 9 and younger free. 10am–5pm. 540-554-2367.


Harvest Moon Walk

B l a n d y Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Explore the

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arboretum at night on a guided nature walk. Bring a flashlight, wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Meet at the flagpole at the front parking close to the arboretum. Register ahead. 7:30–8:30pm. 540-8371758.


Artist Talk with Nancy Polo

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. What do a school bus and a sea monster have in common? What would you say if an artist answered Covid? Nancy Polo’s show “What’s Going On?” is the artist’s attempt to make sense of Covid-19. There’s a long history of artists employing their work to record and process global health events. Art related to plagues dates to the first century. $10. 6–7:30pm.


“The Other Half: Providing for Clarke County’s Poor” Lecture Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Clarke County Historical Association Archivist Melanie Garvey will delve into Clarke County’s system of poor relief from the county’s inception in 1836 to the end of the County Farm in 1941. Tickets can be purchased through the Barns of Rose Hill website. Members $15, nonmembers $20, virtual link $7. 2–4pm.


Native Plant Walk

B l a n d y Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Join Blandy’s assistant curator and native plant expert Jack Monsted for a guided walk around the native plant trail. Walk about


S EPT 2021 a half mile over gently rolling terrain, with frequent stops to observe plants. Adults and children 12 and older. Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a full water bottle and dress for the weather. Program will be entirely outdoors and group size is limited to facilitate physical distancing. We encourage participants to wear masks while in a close group setting. Registration required. FOSA member/UVA Alumni $10, nonmember $15; FOSA family/UVA Alumni $20; nonmember Family $25. 10–11am. 540-837-1758.


Care for Fall Trees Lecture

Blandy Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Led by Scott Johnston of Johnston Tree Care, workshop begins with an introduction to proper pruning and tree care. We then move outside for demonstrations and hands-on practice, with plenty of time for Q&A. Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Masks required during indoor portions. Registration required. FOSA member/UVA Alumni $10,nonmember $15; FOSA family/UVA Alumni $20; nonmember Family $25. 1–3pm. 540-837-1758.



Warbler Walk

Blandy Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Early October is close to the peak of fall songbird migration. Join Blandy Director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr in search of southbound warblers, vireos, hawks, and more. Adults and children 14 and older. Registration required. FOSA member/UVA Alumni $10, nonmember $15; FOSA family/UVA Alumni $20; nonmember Family $25. 8–10am. 540-837-1758.


–17 Art at the Mill

Burwell Morgan Mill. 15 Tannery Lane. Millwood. More than 200 artists display for sale works of art in a historic 18th century, operating mill. Saturdays 10am–5pm, Sunday– Friday 12–5pm. Adults $5, seniors $3, students free. 540-837-1799.


Trivia Night

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Clarke County Historical Association and Clarke County Library team up once again to bring live team trivia. Categories include History, Movies, Literature, Science and more. Prizes donated by local area businesses. Barn doors open at 6:30p.m., trivia begins at 7pm. Free. 540-955-2004.


World at Night with Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Blandy Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. An entire world comes to life after you go to sleep. Meet the Animal Ambassadors and find out what special adaptations many of our area’s nocturnal animals possess to successfully navigate life in the dark. Registration required. FOSA member/UVA Alumni $10, nonmember $15; FOSA family/UVA Alumni $20; nonmember Family $25. 7–8pm. 540-837-1758.


Scott Miller Concert

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Scott Miller has released ten solo records since leaving the V-Roys, the 1990s Knoxvillebased thinking-man’s party band. Miller has survived a health scare, hightailed it from the city lights of Knoxville and taken up the life of a cattleman on his family’s Shenandoah Valley ranch. 7–9pm. $20. 540-955-2004.


Fall Gun Bash

Boyce Volunteer Fire Company Social Hall. 1 S. Greenway Ave. Only 500 tickets will be sold, so get yours early. Hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols and more for purchase; no weapons will be given out on the day of the event and you must be able to pass a background check. $25 ticket includes free food, drinks and other games. 50/50 raffle and music by Chris Darlington Band. Ages 18 and older. 4pm.


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Rabies Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats

Clarke County Animal Shelter. 225 Ramsburg Lane. Berryville. Sponsored by Clarke County Humane Foundation. Vaccinations courtesy of Roseville Veterinary Clinic. Pets must be over four months of age and appointments are not necessary. $10 per pet. 2–5pm. 540-955-5104.




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“Linda Volrath/Steven Parrish” Exhibit

Long Branch Historic House and Farm. 830 Long Branch Lane. Millwood. Exhibit is on display September 1 to October 31. Monday–Friday, 10am–4pm, Saturday–Sunday, 12–4pm. Free. 540-837-1856.

Clarke County Farmers’ Market

317 W. Main St. (Berryville Primary – Clarke County School Board office). Customer entrance and parking is off West Main Street. Find a list of vendors at clarkecountyfarmersmarket. com/meet-our-vendors/ 8am– 12pm every Saturday through the end of October. manager@

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SEPT 20 21


Classical Music Is Alive Main Street Chamber Orchestra Presents The Nutcracker By Claire Stuart

All human societies have some sort of music, and Jonathan Goldberg believes that timeless music resounds with human nature. Although some people consider classical music a relic of the past, Goldberg vehemently disagrees. He counters that they are simply not familiar with it. With that in mind, Goldberg founded the Main Street Chamber Orchestra to make classical music a relevant part of life for everyone in the community. Retired from a lifetime in music, primarily as a conductor in performances from New

York City to El Paso, Texas, Goldberg has worked with Leonard Bernstein (“and I’ve got the pictures to prove it,” he laughed) and William Shuman, president of Lincoln Center. Goldberg and his wife Felicia moved to Berryville from Ashburn to help their daughter, Helena, who operates the Goldberg School of Music in Berryville. Not content with retirement, Goldberg serves as Adjutant Professor of Music at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus, and for three years he was conductor of the

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Rose Hill Chamber Orchestra. He tells of playing excerpts from famous pieces by Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, and others to a music appreciation class, asking whether students were familiar with at least one. All of the students answered in the affirmative, proving that classical music is alive, whether we realize it or not. Traditionally, chamber music is defined as classical music that could be played by a small group of musicians in a palace chamber or large room. Goldberg explained that many pieces of great music

are never played because symphony orchestras are too big for colleges and universities, and there are no small orchestras available for those venues. He noted that there are no professional orchestras in Northern Virginia west of Fairfax. Confident that the community wants and will support a chamber orchestra in the region, Goldberg debated starting one himself. “I talked to many people, and they said YES! I talked to Nela Niemann (of Blue Ridge Dance Studio), and asked her if I was crazy to

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try this. She said I was, but that she was told the same thing and has been here 30 years!” That settled, the Main Street Chamber Orchestra still needed a home. Goldberg spoke to Justin Ivatts, Rector of Grace Episcopal Church and Wendy Oesterling, the church’s Music Director, and the orchestra will be playing in the church hall. Then came the big question of funding. Fortunately, the orchestra obtained grants from the Marion Park Lewis Foundation, the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Bank of Clarke County Foundation. In addition, they had a successful Go Fund Me campaign. “Now we can already pay for the first concert,” Goldberg reported. Goldberg explained that the orchestra is not an amateur or volunteer group although community groups may participate in performances. He stressed that the orchestra’s musicians are all paid professionals. Musicians (and the arts in general) have disproportionately taken a financial hit with the Covid pandemic. Performances have been cancelled and many musicians were forced to find other work. Ticket sales never meet the needs of musicians, hence the need for fundraising. Performers will vary with the needs of the pieces to be played, and they come from a pool of area musicians. “Our number one horn player plays in the Baltimore Symphony,” Goldberg noted, “and we’re blessed in this region with military bands. The musicians want to play stuff they don’t get to play often. This is a pool to grow with, but with the military, scheduling can be a problem.”


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9 Long Branch Historic House and Farm Presents:


Paintings by Husband and Wife

Steven Parrish & Linda Volrath

Through October 31, 2021 Monday - Friday • 10 - 4 Saturday & Sunday • 12 - 4

Free Admission Artists’ Reception Friday, Sept. 24 5 - 7pm

For more info please call 540-837-1856 Mestro Jon Goldberg with dancers from the Blue Ridge Studio for the Performing Arts at the Clarke County farmers market promoting their Dec. 11 Nutcracker performance.

The next big fund-raising event will be October 3 at The Mill at Carter Hall, featuring world-renowned pianist Brian Ganz in a benefit for the 2022 spring concert. “It’s a big coup to get someone of his stature,” Goldberg declared. “Brian has many friends in the area, and there isn’t much room, so this concert will be by invitation only. But if someone really wants a ticket, I may be able to get one if they contact me.” Three members of the community will be playing with Ganz: Akemi Takayama, Vasily Popov and Donovan Stokes. Takayama and Stokes are both Professors of Music at Shenandoah University. The orchestra will present a

free family concert each year, designed to appeal to young people, starting with their first concert on December 11. They will perform the perennial favorite, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, and showcase dancers from Nela Niemann’s Blue Ridge Studio for the Performing Arts. Next year’s free concert will be Handel’s Messiah, featuring Wendy Oesterling’s Piedmont Singers, in addition to singers from local churches. Planned for next spring is a performance of Leos Janacek’s “Nursery Rhymes” (not children’s music) with help from Ms. Kristi Snarsky’s Clarke County High School Choir. Says Jon Goldberg, “The transformative power of

Christmas is coming!!

Join the Main Street Chamber Orchestra and dancers from the Blue Ridge Studio for the Perfroming Arts for a free performance of Tchaikovsky's beloved

classical music to enrich our lives can illuminate our shared humanity, reminding us that, in the words expressed in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, ‘All men are brothers.’”


Visit the website for information on upcoming performances:



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SEPT 20 21


Local Indian Village Outdoor Experience Featured at Historic Bluemont Fair By Rebecca Maynard

The 10 Native tribes of Virginia are an important part of local history and present-day life, but many people don’t know much about them. Perhaps their names are familiar: Pamunkey, Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Monacan, Nansemond, Rappahannock, Upper Mattaponi, Cheroenhaka (Nottoway), Nottoway, Patawomeck, and the Wolf Creek Cherokee (nonprofit). Thanks to nonprofit organization Sanctuary on

the Trail, visitors to the Bluemont Fair (Saturday and Sunday, September 18–19, 10am till 5pm on Snickersville Turnpike in Bluemont) can visit the Indian Village and learn through music, exhibits, demonstrations and handson activities. The Indian Village’s collection also includes: Indigenous and local archeology; a suspended reading room; beadwork; flint napping; wild-color tie dye; morel mushroom propagation;



rocks, gems and crystals; cattail weaving; wooden flutes; “food is medicine” garden; music, films; a Native American regalia exhibit; bones, stones and other treasures; as well as community healing. Some activie are available on Sunday only: cordage making; fishing trap weaving; healing bee venom discussions; and natural soap making. Sanctuary on the Trail co-founder and Lumbee Indian René Locklear White explained that this year’s theme is “outdoor library.” There will be numerous books, including Lumbee author Jamie Oxendine’s “Southeastern Woodland Designs,” a book for adults and children. “Jamie’s book has 23 pages of tribal patterns that can be used to create jewelry, paintings, tattoos and fabric designs, or as a coloring book,” White said. “It will intrigue and captivate people of all ages and can serve as an important classroom teaching aid. You will find Jamie’s book in the center of our suspended reading room.” White said that the book is much more than a coloring book; it is also a way to help people become familiar with symbols created by local tribes. She said that while many people are familiar with Southwestern

Member of the Lumbee Nation, Jamie Oxendine author of “Southeastern Woodland Designs.”

symbols created by the Navajo, for example, fewer are familiar with Southeastern tribe symbols, which are a part of local culture. “If someone wants a tattoo, but only relates to Southwestern designs, we’d like to say, look at our own Southeastern woodland designs,” she said.

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White said her husband and a friend recently built a four foot tall book, which opens, has about 20 pages, and is covered in leather. “People can come and flip the pages,” White said, explaining that the giant book will be displayed in the Indian Village. “During our granddaughter Valerie White’s coming of age ceremony, we gifted her a jingle dress so she can dance the prayers for those who cannot,” White said. “Valerie attends Clarke County High School, and will be wearing her healing dress at the Indian Village and sharing what she wrote about her ceremony and dress from her tenth grade English paper.” The Whites are co-founders of a federally recognized


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nonprofit church called Sanctuary on the Trail, located near the Appalachian Trail in Clarke County. In 2015 and 2017, the organization hosted “The Gathering” at the Clarke County Ruritan Fairgrounds, drawing more than 5,000 people. The

event featured more than 30 living history exhibitors and vendors, and featured Native American music, dancing, and drumming. The Indian Village grew from The Gathering, White explained. “The Village Montessori

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School at Bluemont invited us to be instructors at the school, and we’ve been teaching and involving children,” White said. “After the kids’ festival at The Gathering, Jen Stone and Toby Gress [principal of Bluemont Montessori] invited us to Bluemont Fair, and we’ve been there every year since 2016.” “We’re happy to work with our friends at Sanctuary on the Trail to host the Indian Village in our school backyard,” said Gress. “The new outdoor classroom is an ideal environment for housing the Indian Village.” White is working with several local teachers who want to improve their teachings about our area’s indigenous people and history. But the Indian Village is an opportunity for people of all ages to learn, she said. She hopes it will help

11 attendees unearth the history of Virginia, which began long before European settlers, and their relationships to that history. “The change of seasons is always a mark in time within our Native American culture,” said Sanctuary on the Trail co-founder Chris (Comeswithclouds) White of Cherokee Nation. “Traditionally the autumn equinox signals time to celebrate harvest. We’re excited to be part of the Bluemont Fair community and we and our volunteers are eager to get to know our neighbors and celebrate.” Boy and Girl Scouts can earn badges participating in the Indian Village. Interested volunteers can call Rene’ White at 540-326-5020 or Mary Shapiro at 540-364-1739. “Come to the Indian Village and we’ll tell you what tribe

lived in your area, and about their rich culture,” White said. “Breathe in the fresh mountain air, have fun social distancing outdoors and learn new things that you didn’t know that you didn’t know about our Native American Indian crafts, archaeology, history, sustainable living, music and literature during Bluemont’s 51st fair.” The Bluemont Fair offers old-fashioned family fun with traditional crafts, local art and authors, craft and farming demonstrations, music, children’s fair, animals, wine, food and more. Parking is free, admission for ages 10 and older is $10 and ages 9 and younger are free. Call 540-554-2367 or visit For more information about Sanctuary on the Trail, visit www.


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Sparks rise like fireflies and head straight for the stars above summer-sweet cut hayfields and later in the evening when the flames die down you jump onto a tractor its brutal metal mouth gently tending suddenly new fires and here comes the night train rumbling beyond the tree line of hickory and walnut and oak and the circle of ash that forms an early ring now at the very edge of the embers and soon we can hear a fainter report sounding as it has to approaching White Post last railroad crossing in the county and the train has somewhere to get to pushing itself steadily ahead and out into the soft folds of the night

July 2021

Editor note: The author is based in Washington, D.C., and has made many visits to Clarke County over the past six years. He is soon leaving Washington to take up a new posting overseas. We hope he returns someday.



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Money Available for Berryville Residents to Improve Their Connections to Wastewater Collection System By Cathy Kuehner

The Town of Berryville has set aside $20,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help residents within town limits improve connections from their homes to the Town’s wastewater collection system. Not all homes need this required upgrade, and Town Public Works employees will inspect connections free of charge for homeowners who are not sure how their homes connect to the system. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress earlier this year and signed into law by the president to speed recovery from the economic and health effects of the pandemic and ongoing recession. “This is a one-time influx of money to help homeowners improve their homes,” said Town Manager Keith Dalton. He explained that the Town identified improving wastewater collection as a pressing need and chose to use its funds on this initiative. Specifically, the funds will be used to eliminate unpermitted connections to the Town’s wastewater collection system and thereby reduce flow within the collection system and to the wastewater treatment plant. “It is illegal to connect to the Town’s sanitary sewer system in a manner that transmits ground or surface water from storm drains, rain gutters, or sump pumps,”

Dalton said. “When this water gets into the sanitary system it can overwhelm the treatment system.” Worse, he said, backups can also cause wastewater to end up in homes. Dalton said not all homes need repairs, but those that do can potentially save all taxpayers money. “We are trying to avoid expensive repairs or upgrades to our wastewater collection and treatment system by helping some homeowners make necessary repairs at the point where their water enters the system.” This is not an unusual problem in old towns, Dalton said, noting that cracks, holes, and bad connections in old pipes contribute to ground and surface water getting into the wastewater collection system. Using American Rescue

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Plan Act funds, the Town will reimburse homeowners $750 per structure to make necessary improvements to their connections. To receive the reimbursement, property owners must provide the Town of Berryville with a completed Building Sewer Inspection Request form, which is available online and at the Town office in the Berryville-Clarke County Government Center on Chalmers Court. Town staff will meet with property owners to perform free inspections of water connections and if repairs are needed and if the proposed work qualifies for reimbursement. If the proposed work qualifies for reimbursement, property owners secure plumbing permits. After the work is completed and approved by

the Clarke County Building Department, owners can submit reimbursement requests with required documentation to the Town. No reimbursements will be made after Dec. 15, 2022. Find more information as well as links to “Building Sewer Inspection Request” form and

“Building Sewer Connection Reimbursement Agreement” at CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=276.

Contact the Town Business Office at (540) 955-1099 or


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Burwell-Morgan Mill History Still Being Made For one Clarke County woman, the mill is part of her story. And she’s not alone. Based on Kathy Hudson’s writing, with support from David Lillard

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Back in 1985, Kathy Hudson had a decision to make. A recently minted college graduate with a degree in education, she had interviewed with — and would subsequently receive offers from — Clarke County Public Schools and Charles County, Md. By Kathy’s telling, the Burwell-Morgan Mill in the village of Millwood, helped tip her decision to move to Clarke. Now retired, she coordinates volunteers at the Art at the Mill event, sponsored by the Clarke County Historical Association and scheduled October 2 through 17. “When I came to Clarke to interview, I first met Assistant Superintendent William Overbey in the administration offices,” recalls Kathy. “After our interview, John McCuan (my future principal at Boyce Elementary School) picked me up in his Subaru to take me to see Boyce School.” After the interview, on the drive back to Berryville, McCuan took Kathy on a short scenic drive of Clarke County through Boyce to Millwood. “As we passed some of the grand houses on that road, I was charmed,” she said. “Coming from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, I had seen my share of old neighborhoods and estates (albeit with not much property tacked on,) so it was nothing unusual. When we got to Millwood, however, I knew I was hooked on Clarke County.” It was on that trip that McCuan pointed out the Burwell-Morgan Mill. “I took one look, and I was enchanted,” said Kathy. “I love history; knowing that roots in the county went back to the 1700s

made Clarke County my choice to come and work.” Kathy married in 1987 — “a native Clarke County boy,” as she says — raised two sons, and retained her love of the region’s history and landscape. Shortly before she retired from Boyce Elementary School in 2015, her good friend Kathy Campbell, who was then Clarke County Historical Association’s president, called for a favor. She asked if Kathy would coordinate the volunteers for the upcoming art show at the Mill. “I begged off, since I was still working,” said Kathy. “And, truthfully, I did not think I would be able to do a very good job with it. I told her to get back in touch with me after I retired.” Campbell didn’t let Kathy forget that promise. In the fall of 2017, Kathy started making phone calls for volunteers. She also volunteered at the art show; and this opened a new world for her. “I really enjoyed meeting the artists, seeing their artwork, and meeting the public and patrons who came to the show,” said Kathy. “I’ve

been involved with the art show ever since.” In 2019, she joined the historical association’s board of of directors. “Since I have been retired, I have termed this the decade of giving back,” says Kathy. She also served on the board of The Barns of Rose Hill, from 2015–2020, and the Clarke County Education Foundation since 2019. “When I was working full time for CCPS, I did not feel I could take on additional roles in the community,” she said. “One of the things that I took to heart from my service on the Barns of Rose Hill board was to ‘give of your time, talent, and treasure.’ As a retired school librarian, I may not have much ‘treasure,’ but I certainly have the time and skills to help our community, and I am thrilled to be involved with the CCHA.” Kathy is especially gratified to know that the efforts of past committees and the current Art Show Committee (Kathy Campbell, Gwen Casey-Higgins, Snow Fielding, Candy Means and Janet Bechamps) and a myriad number of volunteers


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51st Annual

F R O m


Bluemont Fair e

September 18-19, 2021

r m




t h


help keep the historic mill going — millers, junior millers, others who volunteer for a few hours during the show. “Never in my wildest dreams in 1985 did I envision becoming involved with this beautiful, restored building,” said Kathy. The art show is the largest fundraiser for the Clarke County Historical Association; it helps keep the water wheel in the Burwell-Morgan Mill turning. “Thanks to the purchase of the mill by the CCHA in 1964, its leaders over the years, and efforts of the Art Show Committee, started by Sally Trumbower in 1990, the Burwell-Morgan Mill continues to thrive,” Kathy added. Art at the Mill includes artists from the mid Atlantic region, featuring varying styles and prices. The show runs from October 2–17, from 10am till 5pm 10-5 on Saturdays and noon till 5pm Sunday through Friday. You can preview artwork at https://artatthemillfall2021., then navigate to the web gallery. You must call the Burwell- Morgan Mill at 540-837-1799 during art show hours to purchase. Become a CCHA member on when you visit and enjoy free admission; admission for nonmember adults is $5 and $3 for seniors. Students can attend for free. CDC guidelines will be observed, and there will be no Patron’s Night.


experience history

artisan crafters at work

fun activities

Blacksmith Demonstrations Archaeology Exhibition • Indian Village Old-Fashioned Games at Snickersville Academy Schoolhouse

Pottery Throwing • Basket Weaving Paper Making • Knitting & Crocheting Spinning & Weaving • Wood Turning Wood Carving • Drawing & Painting

FREE Children’s Fair • Rock Climbing Wall $ Scavenger Hunt • Pony Rides $ Children’s Poetry Contest Pickle & Pie Contest • FREE Petting Zoo

browse and shop

explore the town and railroad

and of course...

Juried Crafts • Art Show & Sale Antiques & Flea Market • Farm Market Gardener’s Shed • Fiber Arts Field Beekeepers with Hive & Honey Homemade Baked Goods

Plaster Museum of Bluemont’s Heritage Exhibit on Historic Schools of Bluemont IT’S BACK! Model Train Exhibit Authentic Caboose • Bluemont Documentaries Fair Takes Over the Whole Village!

Local & Traditional Fair Food 2 Stages of Live Music Local Authors • Quilt Display Wine Tasting & Beer Garden $ Farm Animals • and More!

Admission: $10 • Children 9 & Under: FREE • No Pets Allowed 10:00 am - 5:00 pm • Snickersville Turnpike, Bluemont, Virginia • 540-554-2367 The Bluemont Fair will follow all CDC guidelines regarding Covid-19.



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County Honors Donald De Haven In August, the Clarke County Board of Supervisors formally issued a resolution of recognition and appreciation to Donald E. De Haven for his exemplary service and dedication to the Commonwealth of Virginia and Clarke County. Donald E. De Haven served on the Clarke County Electoral Board from March 2001 until his retirement on Aug. 1, 2021, having been appointed to consecutive three-year terms by the 26th Judicial Circuit Court. During the course of his appointments, he served as chairman of the Electoral Board for 15 years. He and his fellow board members oversaw and certified all elections held in Clarke County and the towns of Berryville and Boyce, including five presidential elections. He guided Clarke County through the purchase of certified

voting systems, conducted logic and accuracy testing before each election, worked with the Commonwealth to ensure all local polling locations met the Federal Americans With Disability Act requirements, ensured compliance with the National Voter Registration Act, and participated in the Commonwealth’s first statewide risk limiting-audit. His last term included four elections conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. De Haven, now 90, served in the United States Marine Corps Reserves Tank Battalion during the Korean Conflict from 1949 to 1952, and joined the United States Department of State in 1956. During his 40-year tenure with the State Department, he was assigned to Position Classification, Refugee Relief, the Foreign Service Institute, Bureaus in Administration, and Oceans,

Environment, and Science. He served at U.S. embassies and consulates in Saigon, Ottawa, Halifax, Vancouver, Warsaw, Brasilia, Rio De Janeiro, Mexico City, and Madrid. After his retirement, he and his wife Kerry and their daughter Désirée moved to Clarke County, where De Haven often performed as a George Washington interpreter for local audiences and at historic sites. He joined numerous civic organizations, received many service recognitions, and he was awarded the Melvin Jones Humanitarian Award for his innovative work on the Kidsight program. De Haven also began working with the Clarke County Democratic Committee, which subsequently recommended him for appointment to the Clarke County Electoral Board.

Donald De Haven stands with his wife Kerry and daughter Désirée after accepting a resolution of appreciation from Clarke County Board of Supervisors chair David Weiss (left) at the Aug. 17 Supervisors meeting. De Haven, 90, was recognized for his significant contributions to the county and his lifetime of service to the country. Supervisors Matthew Bass, Bev McKay, Terri Catlett, and Doug Lawrence watch from the dais. PHOTO PROVIDED BY CLARKE COUNTY.

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S EPT 2021

Chief Deputy Travis Sumption of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office kisses Angel Wings, an 18-month-old Jersey cow shown at the Clarke County Fair by Regan Jackson, 17, of Boyce. Sumption and Berryville Mayor Jay Arnold were co-winners of the first-ever “Smooch-a-Moo” fundraiser. Throughout Fair week, people gave money to “vote” for Sumption, Arnold, Clarke County 4-H Dairy Club advisor Debbie Hardesty, or 4-H extension agent Claudia Lefeve. Sumption and Arnold, who tied with the most dollars raised, kissed the cow prior to the Friday night livestock auction. More than $900 was donated to “Smooch-a-Moo,” which benefits the 4-H Volunteers Leaders’ Association that supports Clarke County 4-H programs. PHOTO PROVIDED BY CLARKE COUNTY.




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An Ounce Of Prevention Taking the uncertainty out of working with home contractors By Brenda Waugh Often, consumers contact our office after they are dissatisfied with work performed by home contractors. They want to understand their rights, particularly if they have invested a lot of money in a home improvement project. What can the consumer do? Be prepared. Anytime you hire a contractor to do any improvements around the house, start by verifying that the contractor is licensed, bonded, and adequately insured. Be sure to get detailed written estimates. Once you decide on the contractor, be sure both parties sign a final contract that includes the scope of the work, the start and finish dates, guarantees, warranties, and specifics about the work. The contract may also include a provision that requires parties to attend

and share the mediation costs if there is any disagreement. Make payments strategically. Limit the deposit to less than 40 percent and only pay 100 percent of the payments when you are 100 percent satisfied with the work. Don’t let payments get ahead of the work and never pay in cash. Even after being careful, problems arise. What can you do? There are many options, and if you’ve verified that the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured, many are open to you. Submit a claim from the insurance agent issuing a surety bond. Professional licensed contractors often purchase a surety bond policy. These bonds are purchased from an insurance agent to cover them if clients are dissatisfied with their work. So long



S EPT 2021

as you’ve obtained this information BEFORE you hire the contractor, you can pursue this claim to cover your losses. File a complaint with the Virginia Board of Contractors. Many contractors must be licensed. After filing a complaint, the Board may take

some action against the contractors. While the Board may not pursue damages from the contractor, they may provide reimbursement for certain losses through Virginia Contractors Transaction Recovery Fund. You can contact the fund at (804) 367-1559.

A consumer can verify a contractor’s license by looking up the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation status online at File a civil action. When damages caused by the poor performance total less than $5,000, you may file a civil action against a contractor in Small Claims Court. In addition, you may file in General District Court if a claim is less than $25,000. While it is always best to consult with an attorney, many people pursue cases in Small Claims Court and General District Court without a lawyer. Most forms needed are available online and at no cost from the Virginia Supreme Court at http://www.courts. Citizens may also go to the courthouse to obtain forms and file paperwork in person. Propose Mediation. You may propose mediation before or after initiating these actions against the contractor. In that situation, both parties will work with a

19 neutral facilitator who will address any complaints and help the parties craft a resolution. Mediation is often faster than other processes and provides a broader range of options to remedy the problem, including completing work to the consumer’s satisfaction. Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This observation is just as accurate working when contractors as in many other situations. Confirming that they are licensed by checking with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, obtaining a copy of their surety bond, and having a detailed written contract is part of that prevention. So, enjoy improving your home, but don’t neglect the time and effort necessary to secure the best contractor for the job. Brenda Waugh is a lawyer/mediator with Waugh Law & Mediation, serving clients in the Blue Ridge region of Virginia and Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.

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