Farmville the Magazine - March 2020

Page 1

March 2020 Vol. 5, No. 1 FREE

Farmville FACES The reflection of a community that cares

Uncle Charles & Me Assistant principal writes children’s book

www.FarmvilletheMag.com


Music

All concerts are at 7:30 p.m. in Wygal Hall Auditorium unless otherwise indicated.

MARCH 16 HEART OF VIRGINIA COMMUNITY BAND CONCERT 7:30 p.m., Jarman Hall Auditorium MARCH 17 JAZZ ENSEMBLE WINTER CONCERT

Art

All events at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts

JOIN US!

MARCH 22 FACULTY RECITAL FEATURING DR. ELIZABETH BRIGHTBILL, FLUTE. 4 p.m., Wygal Hall Auditorium

MARCH 24-APRIL 1 PORCELAIN BRIDGE, featuring works by Masaya Imanishi, his son Dr. Hirotake Imanishi and Longwood art professor Adam Paulek. TEABOWLS: WOODFIRE, a contemporary survey of notable woodfire ceramic artists. Opening reception: 5:30-8 p.m. March 27 APRIL 6-MAY 5 START WITH ART, LEARN FOR LIFE, annual area Youth Arts Month exhibition. Opening reception: 2-4 p.m. April 5

Amernet String Quartet

Theatre

ADRIAN KING ORB VASE, 2019 7” X 6” X 6” PORCELAIN courtesy of the artist

APRIL 15-19 BASKERVILLE: A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY Tickets are $10 for general admission; $8 for senior citizens, students, faculty and staff; $6 for Longwood students. Purchase at longwoodtickets.com or at the door (if still available). 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; Communication Studies and Theatre Arts Center Main Stage

MARCH 23 CHAMBER MUSIC SERIES: AMERNET STRING QUARTET Described by the New York Times as “…immensely satisfying—most notable for the quality of unjaded discovery that came through so vividly… .” MARCH 26 ADVANCED SINGERS CHAMBER ENSEMBLE

Literature

APRIL 2 DOS PASSOS PRIZE CEREMONY AND READING FEATURING RABIH ALAMEDDINE, author of An Unnecessary Woman and winner of the 2019 Dos Passos Prize for Literature. 7 p.m., Blackwell Ballroom, Maugans Alumni Center

All events are free and open to the public unless tickets are noted. Dates, times and locations are subject to change; please check longwood.edu/ events/calendar to confirm


Farmville the Magazine

Publisher’s Notebook

Bring on spring! I

t’s with heartfelt joy I write the publisher’s note for the March edition of Farmville the Magazine. It’s been an interesting winter, temperatures in the 70s one week, then cold and freezing the next. Warm, cold, warm, cold, over and over again with no end in sight, or at least so it seemed as I yet again donned my coat, scarf and gloves to keep out the cold. Being a warm weather girl, the days of winter slowly ticked by for me. Many mornings the sunrise gave hope that at last the weather was turning warm only to have those hopes dashed once again and be met with more cold, rain, snow and ice. It’s been a long winter – welcome spring! In this issue you’ll find plenty of stories Betty J. Ramsey to enjoy. On the cover are Farmville Publisher Area Community Emergency Services (FACES) President Ellery Sedgwick and FACES client Nancy Jackson. Turn to Page 18 as Marge Swayne delves into the positive impact this organization has on so many in our community. The smell of freshly baked pie is something most of us enjoy. For something different from traditional southern pies, we recommend turning to

Page 9 as Betty Sumner shares a community favorite — Japanese Fruit Pie. This pie recipe includes coconut, walnuts and raisins, and according to Sumner she has made it for years as “people love it.” From the rave reviews we heard about this pie, we are confident you will love it too. Thank you Betty for sharing the recipe with our many readers. Farmville the Magazine strives to tell the story of our community. Each month within these pages is the story of a community bursting at the seams with people that step up each day and make a difference. There are many more stories within these pages, and we hope you will enjoy them. As this is a magazine about and for you, we welcome your ideas and invite you to share with us what you would like to hear more about by sending us a note at P.O. Box 307, Farmville, VA, 23901, giving us a call at (434) 392-4151 or sending me an email at Betty.Ramsey@ FarmvilletheMag.com. We publish Farmville the Magazine in the months of March, April, May, summer, September, October, November and December. We invite you to pick up a copy of the latest issue as there is sure to be someone you know inside — a neighbor, a family member, a friend or perhaps even you! Betty J. Ramsey is publisher of Farmville the Magazine. Her email address is Betty.Ramsey@FarmvilletheMag.com.

3


4

Farmville the Magazine

Feature Farmville Area Community Emergency Services (FACES) was built on community support. Since 1981 when the food pantry was organized, FACES has assisted countless households and individuals. “A third of our clients are elderly,” FACES President Ellery Sedgwick says. “They’ve worked hard all their lives and now need a little help.” FACES client Nancy Jackson, 74, who cares for a disabled son, agrees. “I’ve worked since I was 13 years old,” she says. “FACES is a blessing, and we’re fortunate to have them in our community.” Pictured at left; Volunteer Chris Langner packs bags for a Saturday distribution. On the cover: FACES President Ellery Sedgwick with FACES client Nancy Jackson.

Publisher — Betty J. Ramsey Betty.Ramsey@FarmvilletheMag.com Designer — Troy Cooper Troy.Cooper@FarmvilletheMag.com

EDITORIAL Roger Watson Roger.Watson@FarmvilletheMag.com Marge Swayne Marge.Swayne@FarmvilletheMag.com

18

Titus Mohler Titus.Mohler@FarmvilletheMag.com Crystal Vandegrift Crystal.Vandegrift@FarmvilletheMag.com Alexa Massey Alexa.Massey@FarmvilletheMag.com

ADVERTISING Director — Jackie Newman Jackie.Newman@FarmvilletheMag.com Debbie Evans Debbie.Evans@FarmvilletheMag.com Katie Windlemeese Katie.Windlemeese@FarmvilletheMag.com

CONTRIBUTORS: Dr. Cynthia Wood, Dr. Jim Jordan, Dr. Jes Simmons and George Waters Cover photo by Marge Swayne On the web: www.FarmvilletheMag.com To subscribe, contact Circulation@FarmvilletheMag.com Farmville the Magazine P.O. Box 307 Farmville, VA 23901 (434) 392-4151 Farmville the Magazine is published eight times annually by Farmville Newsmedia LLC. Copies are available free at businesses throughout the Heart of Virginia. For convenient mail delivery of each issue, cost is $30 per year.

Realizing a Dream

26

Peter Francisco

46

Also... Publisher’s Notebook Events Serving it Up From the Ground Up Where Am I?

3 5 8 10 33

Artist in Residence Catching Up With Party Pix Town and Gown Why I Love Farmville

14 32 34 50 51


Events

Farmville the Magazine

The Castaways entertained the many visitors and supporters during the 2019 Farmville Wine Festival. Pictured are, from left, Randy Smith, John Arthurs, Jason Johnson, Karen Clayton, Jason Pulley, Guy Brooks, Brady Hasting and Jeff Weidhaas. R. R. Moton Museum

Community Prayer Breakfast

LCVA Presents: Porcelain Bridge

Located at 900 Griffin Blvd., Farmville, the former Robert Russa Moton High School is now a National Historical Landmark. The student birthplace of America’s Civil Rights Revolution, the museum is open for visitors from noon-4 p.m., Monday – Saturday, and by appointment. For more information about the museum visit www.motonmuseum.org.

Sponsored by Centra Southside Community Hospital, the Community Prayer Breakfast is held the first Tuesday of every month at the Robert Russa Moton Museum from 7:30-8:30 a.m. The community is invited for a gathering of shared hope and active community building while enjoying a free hot breakfast. For more information visit www.motonmuseum.org.

Presented by The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA) this event features works by Masaya Imanlshl, his son Dr. Hirotake Imanlshl and Longwood art professor Adam Paulek. The exhibit is on display March 24-April 1 at the LCVA located in downtown Farmville at 129 N. Main St. For more information visit lcva.longwood.edu.

5


6

Farmville the Magazine TEABOWLS: Woodfire

Also at the LCVA this exhibit includes a contemporary survey of notable woodfire ceramic artists. Opening reception is March 27, 5:30 - 8 p.m. The exhibit is on display March 24-April 1 at 129 N. Main St., Farmville. For more information visit lcva.longwood.edu. Heart of Virginia Community Band Concert

A community favorite, this concert is one you want to put on your mustdo calendar for March 16 at 7:30 p.m. Jarman Hall Auditorium, Longwood Campus. Music at Wygall Hall Longwood

March 17, 7:30 p.m. - Jazz Ensemble Winter Concert. March 22, 4 p.m. - Faculty Recital featuring Dr. Elizabeth Brightbill, flute. March 23, 7:30 p.m. – Chamber Music Series: Amernet String Quartet. March 26, 7:30 p.m. – Advanced Singers Chamber Ensemble. Note: events are subject to change. To confirm visit longwood.edu/ events/calendar. Farmville Wine Festival

Save the date! A benefit for Meals on Wheels of Prince Edward County, the annual Farmville Wine Festival is set for April 18 at Riverside Park on North Main Street at 11 a.m. It's always a good time, and organizers recommend bringing a lawn chair and preparing yourself for a day of great music, a varied selection of wines, food and shopping along with a silent auction and raffles. The Castaways will provide the music. According to organizers, 100 percent of the proceeds go to support Meals on Wheels of Prince Edward County as sponsors offset all expenses. Visit www.farmvillewinefestival.com for more information. For more Farmville area events visit www.FarmvilleHerald.com.


Farmville the Magazine

March 2019 Vol. 4, No. 1 FREE

October 2018 Vol. 3, No. 6 FREE

Management style

Gerry Spates recalls 40 years on the job

Sharing a journey

CSCH volunteers

Two people speak about immigrating to America

A tradition of service and smiles

Living well

Health store offers resources, education

www.FarmvilletheMag.com

www.FarmvilletheMag.com

April 2018 Vol. 3, No. 2 FREE

December 2018 Vol. 3, No. 8 FREE

Piedmont Senior Resources

A year-round gift for area seniors

Holiday Showing

First class in Farmville Historic hotel goes boutique

Training Tigers

Leonard leads on the trail, in the pool www.FarmvilletheMag.com

www.FarmvilletheMag.com

7


8

Farmville the Magazine

Serving it Up

Betty Sumner presents the Japanese Fruit Pie that she has made a staple of church dinners at Farmville United Methodist Church.

A pie born out of joy


Farmville the Magazine Story and photos by Titus Mohler

B

etty Sumner has a culinary calling card. The Farmville United Methodist Church holds a church supper each week, and she has observed that people in attendance typically look for her regular contribution to that meal — Japanese Fruit Pie. It is not her own creation, but it is one she makes to perfection. The fact that people are on the lookout for it is a compliment, and so too is the fact that there is never any of it left by the end of the church meals. People love it. “I’m glad they do,” she said. “I probably ought to try doing a different kind of pie, but the whole point is people seem to really like this one, so that’s the reason I thought, ‘I’ll just keep with this one.’” In pondering how she came upon the recipe, her thoughts turned to her late husband, Kyle Sumner, who passed away in 2008. “He loved pie,” she said. “That was one of his favorite things was having pie and a cup of coffee.” She made a wide variety of pies for him. “Luckily he wasn’t a diabetic,” she said. She said she was not sure if she had ever made

the Japanese Fruit Pie for him, but she affirmed that his interest in pies is at least what led her in the direction of that recipe. “I made different kinds of pie, and then somehow I don’t really know exactly how I started this one, but I feel like it’s relatively healthy with the nuts and the coconut and raisins, so I do feel like it’s not all just sugar,” she said. She also said she thinks it is actually an easy pie to make. “You’ve got to be sure you’ve got all your ingredients, and you can either use walnuts or pecans,” she said. “Most of the time I’ll use walnuts. I feel like they’re probably better, but you can use either, and you can use either butter or margarine.” Sumner noted that she learned to cook from her mother, who was a great cook. But Sumner did not utilize her own abilities much until she got married at the age of 19. She said that since her husband’s passing, she does not do much cooking anymore. Exceptions, however, include church events and the Heart of Virginia Festival, where she has brought homemade candy. She agreed that sweets are probably her favor-

ite kind of food to make, and then she applied a prior comment to herself. “It’s a good thing I’m not a diabetic,” she said. Then her thoughts turned back to the main reason she has cooked over the years. “My husband, he just loved food ...,” she said. “It was really a joy cooking for him …”

JAPANESE FRUIT PIE 1 stick butter 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1/2 cup coconut 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup raisins INSTRUCTIONS: Melt butter. Cream first three ingredients together (eggs, sugar and butter). Add remaining ingredients and pan into unbaked pie shell. Bake 40 minutes at 325 degrees in the oven.

It isn’t Japanese and only contains dried fruit, but despite the misleading name, the Japanese Fruit Pie is a tasty combination of ingredients.

9


10 Farmville the Magazine

From the Ground Up A hellebore with everything — silver veining on the leaves, outward facing flowers and compact growth habit.

There’s always a place for hellebores Story and photos by Dr. Cynthia Wood

L

ike Lady Jean Skipwith at Prestwould Plantation near Clarksville, I’ll always have a place in my garden for hellebores. Thank goodness I don’t have to order mine from England and hope they survive a long transAtlantic voyage. If you’re looking for an easy to grow plant that provides year-round interest in the garden, then you might like hellebores too. They’re evergreen with attractive foliage. The flowers are long lasting, tough, and appear in late winter/early spring when there isn’t much else blooming in the garden. They can withstand snow, freezing rain, and even marauding deer.

Hellebores are easy to grow. Choose a location with partial shade and protection from hot afternoon sun during the summer. Too much shade, however, will reduce the number of flowers. Hellebores need rich, well-drained soil with plentiful organic matter. They should be planted like peonies, with the crown just below the surface of the soil. Annual maintenance is simple. In late fall or early spring, topdress them with well-composted manure. When flowers appear, remove old foliage, which often looks ragged and tends to hide the blooms. Removal of the old leaves also helps increase the circulation of air throughout the plant.


Farmville the Magazine

When buying hellebores for your garden, it’s always best to purchase plants that are flowering so you can choose the precise look you want. We have so many more choices than Lady Jean Skipwith did. She could only purchase the lime green Helleborus foetidus. Today, we can choose from single, double, and anemone-shaped flowers that face upward or downward. We can choose solid-colored flowers that range from greenish to white, pink, burgundy, yellow, and apricot. There are solid colors veined with darker hues; solid colors edged with a contrasting color; and even solid colors freckled with a contrasting color. Some fancy blooms have a dark center or a very frilly one. And then there is the foliage to consider. There are plain, shiny green leaves and also thick, leathery, matte bluish green ones veined with silver or cream. The latter are as attractive as the flowers. Stem color varies too. There are

green stems and dark burgundy ones. What to buy? They’re all wonderful. Some especially nice ones to consider include: Pink Frost, an early and prolific bloomer that has upward facing pink flowers; Angel Glow, a late bloomer with a compact growth habit, dark black green foliage and many stalks of single pink flowers; Confetti Cake, sturdy plant that forms large clumps and has enormous double white flowers sprinkled with burgundy near the base of the petals; Dark and Handsome, a new introduction with double black purple flowers; and Penny’s Pink, which has dark green foliage marbled with silver, dark red stems, and single pink flowers, a combination that has been termed the most exciting hellebore introduction ever. No matter which hellebore you choose, you can’t go wrong. They’re all tough, beautiful, and addictive. You can’t have just one in the garden.

11


12 Farmville the Magazine

Left, some hellebores have tone-on-tone speckling, as well as frilled nectaries. Right, confetti Cake has double white flowers with mahogany speckling.

Above left, simple white flowers are always an essential part of a hellebore display. Above center, Ivory Prince was one of the first new hybrids. Above right, a hellebore with everything — silver veining on the leaves, outward facing flowers, and compact growth habit. Left, the leaves on new hybrids have cream or silver venation that makes them attractive year round. Below center, hellebores aren’t bothered by low temperatures, snow, and ice. Below right, frilly centers add extra interest to otherwise plain flowers.


Farmville the Magazine

Benchmark is here to help guide your financial path through all the ages and stages of life.

Brighten your financial future. Choose Benchmark for Life. We offer: Youth accounts Free business checking Construction loans & mortgages Online financial education program Services that save you time & money Many checking options to fit your lifestyle

Visit us online or at one of our Farmville locations:

203 E. 3rd St. (434) 392-9528

1577 S. Main St. (434) 392-9088

Named one of the Top 200 community banks in the nation by American Banker magazine since 2007.

At Cumberland Schools, you matter.

Cumberland Public Schools is a dual enrollment college and career preparatory school system enrolling students preschool through 12th grade. Our mission is to inspire and prepare all students with the confidence, courage, and competence to achieve their dreams; contribute to the community; and engage in a lifetime of learning.

Come find out more about Cumberland Schools! 804.492.4212 www.cucps.k12.va.us 1541 Anderson Highway Cumberland, VA 23040 Cumberland Schools does not discriminate on the basis of color, creed, sex, or national and ethnic origin in school administered programs.

13


14 Farmville the Magazine

Artist in Residence

Seeing a piece of your soul

Lunenburg County Middle School art teacher Jessi Fleisher, of Farmville, stands in front of a pair of wings collaboratively created using “feathers” made by her students.

Story by Titus Mohler Photos by Jessi Fleisher

J

essi Fleisher’s life work has involved creating art while also teaching and promoting artistry to the next generation in its formative years. A resident of Farmville, Fleisher is the sole art teacher at Lunenburg Middle School in Lunenburg County. She is living the dream of so many college students, who hope to find a job in their major. She went to Longwood University and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in art education and minoring in art history. She also has a master’s degree in elementary education. “I’ve always loved art,” she said. “I think every child, for the most part, likes art class at school. And in high school, I took photography, and it was strictly darkroom at that time, and I loved it,

just absolutely loved it.” But she was also very interested in languages. “I have a very creative brain, so I went into Longwood as a French major, and I was going to be a French teacher,” she said. “And then I just lost my passion for French, I guess, and I remembered how much I had loved photography and the arts as a kid growing up and especially in high school when I really, really loved photography, and so I decided to switch my major from French to art, and I just loved it.” In addition to photography, her favorite mediums to work in are acrylic and watercolor paint. “I’m not sure that I’m really very good at them, but I enjoy them very much, and that’s what I have fun with,” she said. With photography, Fleisher said she loves

the idea of capturing and freezing a moment in time, one that no one else noticed. She listed the example of a friend and that friend’s long-time boyfriend being off in a corner one time, gazing into each other’s eyes. “Out of the gaze of anybody else, they were off doing their own thing, and I just kind of captured them, and it was this beautiful, beautiful image, and I sent it to her later,” Fleisher said. Family also draws her into creative work. “My two nephews, who are huge, huge muses for me, they’re very important to me, so they’re a huge subject of my work as well, kind of capturing their life and watching them grow up and things,” she said. Her nephews are 9 and 11 years old. In terms of painting, she said it is therapeutic


Farmville the Magazine

and quite relaxing. “I enjoy abstract art because I feel like it takes some of the pressure off,” she said. “So many people, they think of art, and they think, ‘Oh, I’m not good at art, because I can’t draw.’” She said she hears this from a lot of her students. “I try and say, ‘Well, you don’t have to draw well to create something amazing,’” she said. Recurrent themes are often part of artists’ work, and this is true of Fleisher as well. Her photography and paintings are drawn from things she loves and is passionate about. “Feminism and human rights are two very, very important things to me, so there’s a lot of that in my work,” she said. “I have two nephews who I hope are the future of good-hearted men in the world, so I’m trying to teach them to be good men and consider the rights and feelings of everybody, not just themselves.” Having studied art history, Fleisher has been influenced by some artists who have gone before. “Frida Kahlo is my absolute favorite,” she said, referring to the Mexican painter who lived from 1907 to 1954 and achieved international acclaim. “She struggled a lot in her life, and she was a pretty radical thinker for her time and for her community,” Fleisher said. Fleisher said Kahlo was staunch in her beliefs, adding that she loves the style of Kahlo’s work. “A lot of people say that she’s a surrealist so that her paintings are kind of dream-like, but she said that was kind of her own reality,” Fleisher said. “She painted her own pain, all the things that she dealt with and felt strongly about, and I just admire her very much.” As an art teacher, Fleisher is able to promote photography, acrylic and watercolor paint, but she tries to offer her students the chance to create in as many mediums as possible. “I want them exposed to as many things as I can afford, financially, to expose them to,” she said. She also tries to expand her students’ concept of art, bringing in different artists and a lot of non-traditional media. “We’ll use things like electric tape and Elmer’s Glue, and we’ll use dried-out markers and collage-type of things to try and create beautiful art, because I don’t want them going

This 2019 piece of Jessi Fleisher artwork on cardstock is called “Master Yoda For My Jedi.”

Fleisher utilizes ink on rice paper for this piece called “Breathe.” It was made in 2019. into the world thinking art is just about painting the perfect face using oil on canvas,” she said. “That can be wonderful, but it’s not the be-all, end-all of the visual arts.” And she wants to see her students develop their own themes derived from their own pas-

sions and beliefs rather than simply mimic hers. “When I look at your work, I want to see a piece of you, I want to see a piece of your soul,” she said. “Art is all about self-expression and showing who you are as a human being and who you are as a person.’”

15


16 Farmville the Magazine

Above, “Our Cinote” is the name for this summertime photo that Jessi Fleisher took in July 2012. Right, in 2002, Jessi Fleisher made this piece titled “Radiate,” employing stained glass.


Farmville the Magazine

17

Left, “Grandpa Kline” is a 2001 gelatin silver print by Jessi Fleisher. Below left, “Blessed” is an acrylic on canvas 2018 work of art by Jessi Fleisher featuring a quote inspired by Jacob Nordby. Below right, Jessi Fleisher holds a book about her favorite artist, Frida Kahlo, which she read to elementary schoolers during Read Across America Week.


18 Farmville the Magazine

FACING

HUNGER

40 years of neighbors helping neighbors

Story and photos by Marge Swayne

F

armville Area Community Emergency Services (FACES) has come a long way from the second floor of the Dove Shoe Shop where it began in 1981. It’s been a long road for Farmville’s food pantry that recently moved into a state-of-the-art distribution center on Commerce Road. Today that road has a traffic jam, but FACES President Ellery Sedgwick sees it as a good thing. He’s pleased that FACES finally has a permanent home. “I guess the word got out — we have ham today,” Sedgwick jokes as he directs traffic out front, guiding another car into the parking lot.

FACES’ new home on Commerce Street, which opened its doors in December, distributes food to 990 households every week. On Thursday afternoons volunteers pack bags for the Saturday distributions.

Obviously there’s something good here or there wouldn’t be so many cars lining up so early on a Saturday morning. Inside the new building it’s clear to see why so many are waiting. There’s a comfortable waiting area and a buzz of organized activity as clients check in and pass through a line to receive their groceries, fresh produce and meat. Volunteers from the Fresh Boyz Club and the Southside Community College Nursing Program are here to assist. Smiles abound as clients select their food for the week and carry it to their cars. “We like to have at least 20 volunteers for a distribution,” Sedgwick said. FACES gets volunteers from a rotation of five local churches as


Farmville the Magazine

19


20 Farmville the Magazine

Directors on the FACES Board pose with state-of-the-art freezer/cooler compartments in the food pantry’s new home. Pictured, from left, are: Rusty Carter, Sharon Carter, John Eastby, Linda Satkowski, Eric Wilson, Bob Chonko, Bill Covington, Bobby Eiban, Ellery Sedgwick, Connie Queensberry, Barbara Armentrout, Allen Harris. Not pictured are: Tanita Anthony, Dempsey Jones, Sheila Hight, Wayne McWee, Ruben McHenry, Dale Pruitt and Bill Shear. well as Hampden-Sydney College and Longwood University. “We welcome anyone who wants to come out and help,” Sedgwick said. Lorraine Foster, a volunteer from Southside Virginia Community College, smiles as she offers a head of cauliflower to an older couple in line. “It’s a good feeling to be here and help out,” she said. Sedgwick notes more than a third of FACES clients are elderly. “These are the people who’ve worked hard all their lives and now have a hard time getting by on Social Security,” he said. FACES clients are carefully screened each year and must provide proof of income for all household members. Income requirements are set at 150 percent of the USDA poverty level. FACES client Nancy Jackson, visiting the new building for the first time, likes what she sees. “This location is much nicer — people don’t have to wait outside in the cold or heat like they did before,” she said. Jackson, 74, has cancer but still works part time and cares for a disabled son. “I got my first job at the age of 13 — name it and I’ve probably done it,” she said with a note of pride. “Now I do the best I can, but I just can’t make it on Social Security. I’m blessed that I can still work, but I’m even more blessed that FACES is here to help. I don’t know what I’d do without them.” Today Sedgwick is also in the produce line passing out three-pound

On the home delivery route, Catherine Couch waits outside to greet Ellery Sedgwick.


Farmville the Magazine

bags of carrots. “I’m really glad you have potatoes and carrots today,” a young woman with several children said as she puts a bag of each in her cart. “I think I’ll make some soup.” “Meat and fresh produce are the most important part of what we distribute,” Sedgwick said. “Through Feed More we get a subsidized rate — chicken for 20 cents a pound and fresh produce for 4 cents per pound. Retail price would be 10 times that.” It was Feed More, formerly Central Virginia Food Bank, that provided the majority of funding for FACES’ new facility. The central food bank in Richmond identified Southside Virginia as one of the state’s underserved rural areas allowing FACES to apply for a grant. “Feed More gave us a $500,000 grant, and FACES raised another $250,000, partly from a bequest,” Sedgwick states. “The total cost of the building and equipment came to $750,000.” The Southside Virginia Family YMCA also had a role in securing FACES’ new location. “The Y was very helpful and offered us land at a very reasonable cost,” Sedgwick said. “FACES had a need, and the Y had 2.5 acres of land it would probably never need,” YMCA Development Chair Brad Watson wrote in a 2018 press release. “Our mission has changed over the years, but originally the YMCA temporarily housed people who had nowhere to stay. We thought helping to feed local people who didn’t have enough to eat was a worthy goal.” It was a welcome move for FACES. During its four decades in Farm-

21


22 Farmville the Magazine ville, the organization had relocated five times. Sedgwick said FACES' last location was near the Appomattox River and prone to flooding. “We were in a flood plain, and the building had raccoons under the floor,” Sedgwick says. “The Town of Farmville has been very generous in finding places for our distributions, but as time went by, we outgrew all of them.” During those years, FACES also evolved into one of the largest and most efficient food agencies in Virginia. It now serves an average of 900 households every week. FACES’ new facility on Commerce Street is a far cry from the cramped second-floor storage room that was the pantry’s first home. Founded by a group of ministers, farmers, housewives and teachers, FACES distributed donated food each week to local families in need. Those families, about 125 in 1981, were obliged to wait on the sidewalk outside the shoe shop for their turn on

The FACES new distribution center provides a roomy indoor space for clients and volunteers. “I hated to see people standing out in the rain at 6:30 on Saturday mornings,” FACES President Ellery Sedgwick said about previous locations.

Buckingham County High School JROTC Army Instructor SGT Bruce Grazier and 25 Buckingham cadets were among the volunteers packing bags for a recent distribution. Pictured, from left, are: Hakim Edmonds, Chris Opie, Joey Boyles, Nik Eldridge, Matthew Peery and SGT Grazier.


Farmville the Magazine

FACES President Ellery Sedgwick offers a bag of carrots during a weekly distribution. a small elevator that took them to the second floor to collect a bag of groceries valued at $10 to $12. By 2018 the value of a weekly unit from FACES had increased to $50. FACES’ new facility features refrigerator/ freezers with twice the capacity and coolers that can hold three times more than those in previous locations. FACES has also been able to expand its services. Weekly home delivery is now available to elderly or disabled clients, and FACES participates in the Backpack Program

that provides food for elementary- and middleschool students over the weekend. Overall, Sedgwick reports, things are looking great for FACES. “We prepare an annual report that lists accomplishments and challenges for the year ahead,” he said. “One new challenge for FACES will be meeting the operating costs of our new facility. Our previous budget of $90,000 will have to increase by about $25,000 to meet operating costs including electricity, refrigera-

tion and propane.” FACES remains an all-volunteer organization. All donations go directly to meeting the food needs of local residents. As FACES likes to say, it’s where neighbors help neighbors. “FACES has grown over the years because Farmville’s supported us,” Sedgwick said. “FACES is basically a reflection of the Farmville community — we’re fortunate to be part of it.”

877-240-3767

23


24 Farmville the Magazine

Above, volunteers Lorraine Foster and Victoria Snellings, students in the Southside Virginia Community College Nursing Program, offer heads of cauliflower during a Saturday distribution. Right, Backpack Program bags, ready for weekend distribution, will be distributed at Prince Edward County Elementary and Middle schools.


Farmville the Magazine

25

Left, volunteer Dempsey Jones moves empty crates. Funds for building construction included equipment. Below, bags containing cereal, bread and canned goods await a Saturday distribution.


26 Farmville the Magazine

Realizing a Dream Story and photos by Roger Watson

W

riting a children’s book is something Dr. Maurice Smith has always wanted to do. Once he turned 50, he knew now was the time for the book in his head to finally become a reality. “I always wanted to do this, and now it is happening,” Smith said of the excitement of having a book coming out any day. “Last year I really, really got serious about it and put everything together,” the assistant principal at Prince Edward County Middle School said Thursday, Feb. 6, at his office. “Now, we just have to wait for the release date to come.” The book’s release date was set for Feb. 17. Called “Uncle Charles and Me!,” the book is based on Smith’s son, Myles, and his visits with his uncle in the western Virginia town of Norton near Big Stone Gap. In the book, Myles is the age of a fourth- or fifth-grader. Today, Myles is 22 and in the military. Smith said Myles is excited about the book coming out because it chronicles some of the best times in his childhood. The book, illustrated by Jordan Kincaid, is about all the summer adventures Myles had while visiting his uncle and grandmother in Big Stone Gap. There


Farmville the Magazine

27


28 Farmville the Magazine

Dr. Maurice Smith, assistant principal at Prince Edward County Middle School, looks at a proof copy of his first children’s book, “Uncle Charles and Me!” The book’s release date was set for Feb. 17.


Farmville the Magazine

are adventures fishing in the river, finding a scorpion, climbing trees and watching movies. It is written for the age range of second- to sixth-grade students. Now that Smith has one book ready to go on the shelf, he is looking to add to the collection. “I want to do one each year,” he said. “It will probably be another about Uncle Charles called, ‘Uncle Charles And Us’.” This book would involve Smith’s other children and include girls in the mix going fishing with Uncle Charles. “There’s been a lot of buzz about the book on Facebook and Instagram,” Smith said. “Everyone is just waiting on the date.”

Smith has a reading of the book Feb. 20 at Prince Edward County Elementary School. Book signings will be held at the Barnes and Noble in Farmville and one in Smith’s hometown of Fredericksburg as well. He is a graduate of William and Mary College “Uncle Charles and Me!” will be available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble once it is released. The book is being published by Lift Bridge Publishing Company in Washington, D.C. Smith said selling a million copies would be awesome. “I would love to make a million,” Smith said. “That’s my goal, one million copies.”

29


30 Farmville the Magazine Dr. Smith shows a copy of the artwork in the book. The book was illustrated by Jordan Kincaid.


Farmville the Magazine

31


32 Farmville the Magazine

Catching Up With...

Doug Thibault Story by Crystal Vandegrift

D

oug Thibault, a former assistant mens basketball coach at Longwood University, has moved on from his duties at Longwood but says Farmville and the university will always hold a special place in his heart. Thibault worked at Longwood from 2003 to 2013 and was an integral part in helping the Lancer's successful transition to a NCAA Division I program during his 10-year term. He is now in his second year as an assistant coach for the Manhatten College men’s basketball team, an NCAA Division I school in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference in New York City. "Besides meeting and marrying my beautiful wife Crystal, while I lived in Farmville, I was able to build life-changing relationships by the hundreds," he said. "Of course, I could start by naming Greg Prouty, Kelly Reardon, Kim Redford, Fred Russell, etc. … but the problem is there are indeed hundreds, and this article is not big enough to list all the lifelong friends I made that work and live in the Farmville area still to this day." Before coming to Manhattan College, the 23year coaching veteran worked at Harcum College from 2013 to 2018 as associate head coach. During that time, he helped guide the Bears to a 133-31 record, including a school-record 88 wins over three years, a berth in the 2014 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Final Four. Additionally, he helped the squad to three top15 final rankings, while aiding in the development of six NJCAA All-Americans. When it comes to his success, he credits Mike Gillian, Longwood men’s basketball head coach from 2002 to 2013. "There is truly no one else that could have done that job of building Longwood University into a successful first time NCAA Division I independent men's basketball program with such enormous challenges," he said. "The impact we were able to have on those young lives, Longwood Uni-

versity, and the Farmville area community lead by Mike Gillian cannot be measured or equaled. His vision, love, and positive leadership changed my life forever." Over the years, Thibault has worked at Jamestown Community College-Olean (head coach), North Idaho (assistant coach), Howard (assistant coach), and Treasure Valley Community College as assistant coach. He also served as the NJCAA Region 19 Basketball Coaches Association president last year and will be involved in all aspects of the program, including but not limited to game preparation, recruiting, and scouting. Thibault says he lives each day by the motto of, "Impact every life you touch in a positive way."

"I am fortunate enough to be able to mentor the leaders of tomorrow," he said. "At Manhattan, we have developed the saying… ‘Impacting Lives and Growing Greatness.’” When he is not busy on the basketball court, Thibault says he enjoys spending time with his wife, cat, family, and friends and traveling the world to spend time with former players and their families, but he always remembers the time he spent in Farmville. "Farmville truly changed my life and made me the person I am today," he said. "It will always be a home to me, no matter where my head rests at night. The people and community of Farmville live in my heart every day."


Farmville the Magazine

Where Am I?

The Heart of Virginia offers beautiful scenery and architecture throughout downtown Farmville. “Where Am I?” offers residents a chance to identify one of our hidden gems across town. If you think you know where this photo was taken, email your answer to WhereAmI@FarmvilletheMag.com. We’ll draw one lucky name from among the correct answers for an annual subscription to Farmville the Magazine.

33

LAST ISSUE’S WINNER As of press time no one correctly identified the “Where Am I?” photo from the December 2019 edition. The photo was taken near the Longwood University Martinelli Boardroom entrance in Farmville.

Photo by George Waters


34 Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

2019 AWARDS BANQUET The Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Farmville Jaycees held their annual 2019 Awards Banquet Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the banquet room of the Farmville Municipal Golf Course. The evening served to highlight the community’s most hard working and exemplary businesses and citizens. PHOTOS BY ALEXA MASSEY

Sheila Mabey, Mikayla Rogers and Tiffany Blanton

Shadra Reid, Warren Reid and Alanna Rivera

Top row, Ed Dunn and Fred Hill, bottom row, Frank Medlin and Lin Medlin

Terri Atkins-Wilson and Nelson Wilson

Jacob Romaine and Amber Romaine

Nash Osborn, Mindy Osborn and Kevin Murphy


Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

Jill Ahmad, Alanna Rivera, Shadra Reid, Megan Clark

Ken Copeland, Kathryn Copeland, Sheri McGuire and William McGuire

Charles Rathgeber and Joanne Rathgeber

Christine Amos, Lisa Shepherd and Brandon Clark

LeAnne Emert, Robert Foley and Cheryl Gee

Chris Brochon, Joy Stump and Andy Stump

35


36 Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

ALUMNI FAMILY GAME DAY Former Longwood University students flocked back to campus with their families Saturday, Jan. 4, to take part in the activities of Alumni Family Game Day. A variety of games, inflatables, a cheer camp, a photo opportunity, rock wall climbing, gymnastics and tumbling training, science experiments, lunch and more awaited

Scott Schaefer, Logan Schaefer, Angie Schefer and Luke Schaefer

Becky Wells, Sam Wells and Emma Wells

Matt Burton, Heather Burton and Mia Burton

Mallory Esch, Sherri Esch, Madeline Esch and Joshua Esch

In front, Sullivan McCraw, August McCraw; in back, Emily McCraw and Daniel McCraw Natalie Kelly-Kimmel and Emerson Antosiak


Farmville the Magazine

alumni and their families at Longwood’s Health and Fitness Center for was described as an indoor tailgate party. It was a prelude to a Longwood men’s basketball home game. PHOTOS BY TITUS MOHLER

37

PARTYPix

Katrell Ramsey, Bryson Ramsey and Jase Ramsey

Webster Gomez, Maia Gomez, Courtney Gomez, Kai Gomez and Emma Gomez

Cameron Cross, Kristen Cross and James Cross

Scott Van Arsdale Jr., Scott Van Arsdale and Monica Boehling Van Arsdale

Karen Raugh and Cameron Raugh

Trey Eggleston and Addie Eggleston


38 Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

MLK DAY OF SERVICE AT LONGWOOD Longwood University Students spent their Martin Luther King Jr. day working to help those in the community who are in need. PHOTOS BY CRYSTAL VANDEGRIFT

Jalyn Jones, Shanyia Chandler and Adrienne Fletcher

Jonathan Paige and Cheryl Steele

Dalton Labosier and Anna Labosier

Ellisa Ayers, Hanah Simmons, and Katelyn Ruhren

Kiersten Yuhas, Isabelle Villireal, Catharine Forest, Kyleigh Cox, Mary Kate Levush and Kaia Deane


Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

Anthony Sofia and Ishmael Meredith

Quincy Goodine and Sue Carter

Jennifer Retallick, Alyssa DiMarino and Marissa Canter

Carley Meade and Katie Boesel

Jessica Moore and Adrian Anderson

39


40 Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

HONORING MLK DAY In honor of Martin Luther King (MLK) Day the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA) along with Longwood’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Robert Russa Moton Museum, Virignia Childrens Book Festival (VCBF) and Prince Edward County Public Schools held a MLK Day Free Family Workshop at the museum on Monday, Jan. 20. PHOTOS BY BETTY J. RAMSEY

Jessica Fortner, Emma Cooper and Kellan Fortner.

Baylegh Holland held by Melanie Holland

Sully McCraw, Emily McCraw and August McCraw

The Cook family came out to the museum to enjoy the day. Pictured are father Chris, mom Mary Jane, Martha Beth and Susan.

KaAysha Brown, Chaquita Venble, Pamela Venable, Ariyah Miller and Laura Keohane


Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

Emmanuel Diala and Lucy Carson

Ben Dodson and Teresa Dodson

Cade Davis-Sumter and Jonnelle Davis Alicia Griffith

41


42 Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

2020 TASTE OF FARMVILLE Around 375 people were drawn to the Firemen’s Sports Arena Thursday, Jan. 30, for the 2020 edition of Taste of Farmville. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Farmville, the event featured restaurants and other organizations in the community lined up inside the arena offering a buffet of epic proportions to those in attendance. PHOTOS BY BETTY J. RAMSEY AND TITUS MOHLER

Julia McCann, Jenn Kinne and Mason Kinne

Bobby Amos, Jennifer Amos and Lily Stevens

Danetta McKnight and Darius Baskerville

Jan Thompson, Dan Thompson, Jeff Smith and Annie Pope

Adam Blincoe, Sarai Blincoe and Aurora Blincoe

Renee Horvath, Jessica Dedmond and Logan Tobias


Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

Cynthia Lehman and Leroy Lehman

Tom Curtis and Sheridan Curtis

Donna Woodson and Beth Cook

Kate Flanagan, Austin Deitrich, Amy Deitrich and Alan Deitrich

LeAnne Emert and J. David Emert

Devon Oakes and Gayle Knapp

43


44 Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

2020 TASTE OF FARMVILLE

Ursula Dove, Deloris Early, Carolyn Tucker and Bertha Shepperson

Pastor Evelyn Penn, Nash Osborne and Jess Foas

Peyton Fowler, Drew Fowler and Susan Deese

Mary Miller and Mildred Meredith

Tony Epps and Russell Dove


Farmville the Magazine

PARTYPix

Winnie Brown, Elaine Davenport and Wayne Davenport

Donna Fuller and Regina Hux

Justine Young and Audrey Kott

Nikki Kain and Ashley Locke

Doralease and Lenwood Jackson

45


46 Farmville the Magazine

A Look into the Past

PETER FRANCISCO

bringing the legend to life


Farmville the Magazine

Peter Francisco, brandishing his famous five-foot broadsword, captured nine British Raiders and their horses during a battle near Amelia Court House. After the Revolutionary War, Francisco built his home, Locust Grove, near the village of Ca Ira in Cumberland County.

Story by Dr. Jim Jordan

H

e was unable to speak or understand English when sailors found him on the dock at City Point in Hopewell in the summer of 1765. The frightened little boy was taken to Prince George County Poorhouse where the keeper noted his high-quality clothing, now dirty and worn, and the silver buckles on his shoes bearing the letters “P” and “F.” The boy kept repeating the name “Pedro Francisco,” so they called him Peter. Although no one knew how he got there or where he was from, Peter Francisco had arrived in Virginia. One month later Judge Anthony Winston from Buckingham County came down the Appomattox to Hopewell and was quite taken with the apparent orphan. Judge Winston took the young boy to Hunting Towers, his colonial estate in Buckingham County. Peter was tutored along with the judge’s own children. In researching the boy’s past, the judge discovered Peter’s parents were members of the Portuguese Royal Court. Luiz and Antonia Francisco had fallen into disfavor with the court, so Peter and his sister were kidnapped and put aboard a ship destined for the New World. Peter, who never learned the fate of his sister, prospered in his new home where he grew in knowledge and size — 6 feet, 8 inches tall and 260 pounds to be exact. Peter became a blacksmith’s apprentice, and at age 16 he joined the Revolutionary Army’s 10th Virginia Colonial Regiment. Peter earned the nickname, “Virginia Giant” during his first battle at Brandywine Creek, where he was described as the tallest soldier on the battlefield. His bravery in the ensuing battles of Germantown, Fort Mifflin, Valley Forge, Monmouth Court House and Cowpens brought him much renown. An incident in the Battle of Camden in South Carolina earned Francisco a place on General George Washington’s staff. Forced to flee before the British, the American Army left behind three precious cannons mired in deep mud.

47


48 Farmville the Magazine

The Longwood Archeology Field School conducted three excavations at Locust Grove, home of Peter Francisco. Students uncovered an icehouse, a “stone box spring” well, and evidence of a fire that destroyed Francisco’s tobacco barn along with his entire crop. An official written report stated, “Peter Francisco picked up a 900-pound cannon, turned it around to face the British, and fired it with such effect that the Americans won the battle.” To celebrate Francisco’s physical prowess Washington commissioned a 5-foot broadsword especially for him. This sword, now in the collection of the Virginia Historical Society, figured prominently in Francisco’s most legendary fights. When British Raider Barastre Tarleton and nine of his mounted men surrounded Francisco at Amelia Courthouse and demanded his famous silver shoe buckles, Francisco killed or captured all of them as well as their horses. When General Cornwallis surrendered to the American Army at Yorktown, Francisco was there. Unfortunately, Francisco’s success as a legendary war hero did not follow him into civilian life. He married three times and had six children, but two of his wives and four children preceded him in death. During the last 25 years of his life, Francisco was nearly poverty-stricken despite repeated petitions for financial support to the Virginia General Assembly and U.S. Congress. He

Peter Francisco ended his career from 1828-31 as a doorman at the Virginia Senate. On Jan. 16, 1831, Francisco died from acute appendicitis. Ironically, more honors came to him after death than while he was alive. Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia chose to celebrate

Peter Francisco Day every March 15, and the cities of Newark, Hartford, Petersburg, New Bedford, Hopewell and Richmond named parks and streets in his honor. Additionally, George Washington commissioned statues of Francisco and his famous broadsword that were placed in Portugal, Virginia and Boston. In 1975 the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp honoring Francisco as a Revolutionary War hero. Here in Farmville we’ve learned more about “The Virginia Giant” in recent years. Most new information came from digs conducted by Longwood’s Archaeology Field School. At the invitation of the Society of the Descendants of Peter Francisco, I took some 83 students to explore Francisco’s home, Locust Grove, near the Willis River near Ca Ira. My students located Francisco’s blacksmith shop on Rt. 636, now appropriately named Peter Francisco Highway. When you drive down this lovely country road to Holliday Lake, you pass Francisco’s smithy just 10 feet off the pavement. If you had walked the streets of Farmville 200 years ago, you couldn’t help but notice the blacksmith


Farmville the Magazine

from New Store who often visited Farmville for supplies brought up the Appomattox River by batteaux. We uncovered three fascinating areas around Locust Grove, now a Virginia Historic Landmark. As an archaeologist, I find it satisfying to hold an object my students have just unearthed and be able to know when and why it came to be buried at that place. Archaeologists don’t usually have written accounts or legends surrounding a person’s life as we did at Locust Grove. Our first finding was a stone foundation, 20 by 20 feet, and three trenches filled with charcoal. We also found 62 complete nails and 48 nail fragments oriented in the same direction. The archaeological evidence indicated a newly-built structure, erected between 1800 and 1840, that was destroyed by a fire and sent roof timbers crashing intact to the ground. In a petition to the Virginia General Assembly submitted in 1826, Francisco asked for financial reimbursement for a full year’s tobacco crop lost in a fire that consumed his recently built tobacco barn. Buried for almost 200 years, our find was proof of that sad day. The second excavation appeared as a depression 8 feet in diameter. Probing with a metal rod

The road to Locust Grove hasn’t changed much since Peter Francisco traveled along it.

With a 1975 commemorative stamp, the U. S. Postal Service recognized Peter Francisco as a Revolutionary War hero. According to official reports, Francisco shouldered a 900pound cannon mired in the mud and turned toward British forces that were subsequently defeated. indicated a dense concentration of hard objects underground. Following two weeks and 7-feet of digging, we unearthed more than 300 artifacts and the remains of an icehouse. According to some accounts, ice placed between layers of straw or sawdust in such houses would last into July. Since the Willis River was an inconvenient distance away, Francisco would fill a wooden box 5-feet square with 6 inches of well water to make its own ice. The last excavation was a “stone box spring,” a

discovery that confirmed a key part of Francisco’s legend. The story goes this way: “There was a cool spring a short distance from Locust Grove that never went dry and was topped with a 600-pound stone. It was reported that Peter Francisco employed his gigantic strength to carry that stone from a quarry on Willis Mountain 7 miles away. This stone box spring was a wedding gift to his wife, Catherine Brooke.” My students especially enjoyed this folktale — especially since their discovery proved its validity. And so, some two centuries after Peter Francisco lived and worked here, a marriage of folklore, legends, written records and our archaeological evidence allows us to appreciate his legend even more. The life of local heroes like Peter Francisco offer a priceless lesson on the strength, values and fortitude of those who walked the streets of Farmville before us. Dr. Jim Jordan taught at Longwood University for almost 40 years before retiring as the Board of Visitors Distinguished Professor of Anthropology.

49


50 Farmville the Magazine

Town and Gown 'Magical beyond my wildest hopes and dreams' A single phrase sums up Farmville and Longwood University for me, “magical beyond my wildest hopes and dreams." I moved to Farmville in the summer of 2013, though I never expected to. I was living in northwest Ohio, as was my grown daughter who'd recently earned her MA in Spanish. She called me one day and announced, "I just got a job teaching Spanish at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. Will you drive down with me to help me find an apartment?” That evening, I did a Google-Earth Street View tour of downtown Farmville. I saw the beautiful campus buildings from High Street, a huge rocking chair outside a store on Main Street and then the LCVA (Longwood Center for the Visual Arts), and further up what looked to be a charming 1950s diner. I researched online and found out so much more about the university and the town. When I read about Waterworks Theater, I knew my daughter would thrive and be happy here. The idea of my living in Farmville and teaching English at Longwood never crossed my mind. At the time, my life was in shambles. After a sex-change in 1997, transphobia cost me my career as a university professor. With some hyperbole, I’d gone from grading essays and getting chalk-dust on my tweed jacket as a tenured male associate professor in a college classroom to taking movie tickets and getting butter on my blouse as a woman working at a single-screen movie theater. On a whim, I brought my teaching resume with me to Longwood and was stunned to be hired in the Department of English a few weeks after our visit. Students at Longwood have been so warmly and graciously accepting, even to the point of honoring me with a CHI burning and commendation, a PRINCEPS sash/recognition, Longwood University Advocate of the Year, Longwood Athletics Roy Nunnally Special Recognition Award, Outstanding First-Year

Advocate Awards and a Cahoots Brick. I’ve given talks in dozens of classrooms at Longwood, as well as at Hampden-Sydney College, and venues throughout Virginia. I’m thrilled that Longwood now has so many thriving and happy LGBTQ students and that our town has Farmville Pride. I’d mentioned how magical Longwood and Farmville are; unbelievably, a mini-documentary on my story by a former student in Communication Studies won first place in the Longwood Media Showcase Awards. This led to my being in a short film by Los Angeles filmmaker Katie Leiten called Virginia: A State of Love (that premiered at the LCVA), and that has now led to a possible six-part mini-series to be filmed in Hollywood. My favorite pastime in Farmville is thrifting at Habitat ReStore, Goodwill, Two Sisters Thrift Store, and Mottley Emporium. I love the variety of great restaurants in town such as Charley's Waterfront, Walker's Diner, Effingham's, and the incomparable one19 restaurant.

Not to mention Macado’s, the first restaurant where my daughter and I dined in Farmville, the place I mistakenly read as "Ma-CAH-does" and so insisted we change into dress clothes to visit it. I find nothing more relaxing than visiting the LCVA or walking around Wilck’s Lake. Longwood and Farmville have been the first places I've ever lived authentically and truly felt "at home." Perhaps because of that, I have so many fabulous and true friends here whose loving-kindness continues to help me flourish as my true, authentic self and gives me more joy than I’ve ever had. If someone had told me in 2013 when I was living in northwest Ohio that in 2019 I’d spend my 65th birthday dressed in a cosplay Supergirl outfit while riding on the first-ever Farmville Pride float for the super-hero themed Holiday Parade, I’d never have believed it. Truthfully, if someone had told me that last year, I would have had the same reaction. My daughter returned to Ohio in July 2015 for a different career path that has made her happy and successful in so many ways. As she drove away, she sagely told me, "Farmville was definitely supposed to happen to us.” She was so right. I have to pinch myself at how fortunate I am to live here in the heart of Virginia where so many of my wildest hopes and dreams have come true. DR. JES SIMMONS came to Longwood as a lecturer in English in 2013 and is now Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural affairs on campus. In 2015 she came out on campus and in Farmville as a trans professor and in 2017 as a trans administrator. Dr. Jes often gives presentations to students and faculty about her life in two genders, on surviving and prevailing over career-destroying transphobia, and the importance of living authentically as your true self. Dr. Jes also writes and publishes poetry and has played jazz/ swing drums since she was 10 years old.


Farmville the Magazine

Why I Love Farmville

Jamaal Johnston Executive Director for the Southside Community Development Alliance Interview conducted by George Waters Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AROUND FARMVILLE? WHAT WAS THE FIRST THING YOU REMEMBER NOTICING ABOUT THE AREA?

A: I have been in Farmville going on close to 30 years, since I was about 12. Being a young kid from D.C., the thought of all the green land and the space was the first thing that popped into my head when I came here. Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FARMVILLE MEMORY?

A: Coming from a big city like D.C., experiencing Main Street’s atmosphere is something very unique, in a good way! Every time I’m on Main Street it just has this feeling to it. You can’t get that vibe from a city. Q: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE FARMVILLE GROW/CHANGE IN THE FUTURE?

A: I think in Farmville, with where we are in the world concerning technology, and with all the green space, we could make waves with technology innovation. It used to be that only the cities had the technology and the innovations, but I think Farmville can tap into that without losing its small town spirit. Q: YOUR ORGANIZATION, THE SOUTHSIDE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE (SCDA), IS HEAVILY INVOLVED WITH THE COMMUNITY. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE PEOPLE OF FARMVILLE IN YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH THEM?

A: They’re great people. It sounds kind of cliché but these are legitimately good people. If I had to describe this community in one word though, it would be potential. There is vast potential here in these rural areas and it’s all from the people. Q: IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE FARMVILLE FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU MISS MOST?

A: Once again, the people. I go to D.C. every now and then, but people here speak to you and say hello. That doesn’t happen in D.C. Our small town vibe is special. Q: HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK THAT THE COMMUNITY INFLUENCES YOUR WORK WITH THE SCDA? IN WHAT WAYS?

A: Our nonprofit organization is all about community service. The community truly bought it into being, and it is all about giving back to them. Without

them, none of this would be possible. Q: IS THERE ANY PLACE IN TOWN, OR AROUND THE AREA, THAT YOU BELIEVE TRULY REPRESENTS FARMVILLE?

A: That’s a good question. I’d say the Heart of Virginia festival really captures Farmville’s spirit. The community is out, and everyone is enjoying themselves together.

51


Centra Southside Pediatrics offers endocrinology services Centra Southside Pediatrics offers endocrinology services as part of its medical care for children under the age of 18. Luis Siliezar, MD, pediatric endocrinologist, completed medical school at the University of El Salvador and residency training in pediatrics in Nassau University Medical Center, after which he served a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology. Dr. Siliezar performed his pediatric endocrinology training at NYU Winthrop Hospital. Centra Southside Pediatrics is open Monday – Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

OUR PEDIATRIC ENDOCRINOLOGIST

To schedule an appointment, call 434.315.5377

SERVICES/PROCEDURES Disorders of carbohydrate metabolism, such as diabetes mellitus, impaired glucose tolerance, and hypoglycemia Growth and puberty problems, including short stature, precocious, or delayed puberty Underactive or overactive thyroid gland Pituitary deficiencies or excessive function Adrenal disorders such as premature adrenarche, congenital defects of steroidogenesis, or excess (Cushing syndrome, low-renin hypertension)

Luis Siliezar, MD

Congenital or acquired gonadal dysfunction Obesity Disorders of calcium metabolism, including vitamin D deficiency, low or high calcium level

CentraSouthside.com | 935 S. Main Street | Farmville