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P iedmont M edia , llc

Autumn 2018




Horses, riders and Jack Russells prepare for: INTERNATIONAL GOLD CUP Saturday, Oct. 27 ORANGE COUNTY TEAM CHASE Sunday, Oct. 28


A flying Chihuahua The Long in Long & Foster Country Spirit • Autumn 2018



Old Goose Creek Farm

Salem Hill

The Plains, Virginia • $9,500,000

Middleburg, Virginia • $4,500,000

Marshall, Virginia • $3,690,000

Prime Fauquier County location minutes from Middleburg • Unbelievable finishes throughout • Antique floors and mantels, vaulted ceilings • 6 bedrooms, 5 full, 2 half baths • 6 fireplaces, gourmet kitchen • Improvements include office/studio, stone cottage with office, spa, guest house, pool and lighted tennis court • Landscaped grounds with stream, waterfalls, boxwood and special plantings • 61 acres Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

Pristine equestrian property in turnkey condition • Exceptional location • Stone home expanded to approx. 7,000 sf. includes 4 main level suites • Lovely gardens, pool, garage apartment & pond • Blackburn designed 6 stall stable with 70x210 indoor arena includes observation deck, tack room, 2 wash stalls & office • Additional 4 stall barn • Entire property is fenced and cross fenced on 26 acres & 8 paddocks Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930

Prime Fauquier location, well protected • 6 bedrooms • 4 full and 2 half baths • 3 fireplaces • Great views • Pool with large flagstone terrace • Large county kitchen • 4-car detached garage with apartment/office • 9-stall barn • Covered arena • Outdoor ring • 4 stall shed row barn • 51 fenced acres Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

Crest Hill

Mayapple Farm

Game Creek

Hume, Virginia • $3,600,000

Middleburg, Virginia • $3,400,000

Middleburg, Virginia • $2,985,000

203 acres in Fauquier w/nearly 1 mile of Rappahannock river frontage • Elegant stone & clapboard house • 5 BR, 4 full & 3 1/2 BA • 4 FP • Wood floors • Gourmet kitchen • Gunnite pool with stunning views overlooking Blue Ridge Mtns and private pond • Situated amongst protected properties • 5 stall Jim Fletcher barn with pristinely maintained paddocks, pasture and gdns • 2 car garage with in-law suite • Old Dominion Hunt territory • VOF Easement Alix Coolidge (703) 625-1724

A purist’s delight • Original portion of house built in 1790 in Preston City, CT • House was dismantled and rebuilt at current site • Detail of work is museum quality • Log wing moved to site from Western Virginia circa 1830 • 4 BR, 4 full BA, 2 half BA, 9 FP & detached 2-car garage • Historic stone bank barn and log shed moved from Leesburg, VA • Private, minutes from town • Frontage on Goose Creek • 37.65 acres Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

A remarkable property located within a private enclave just minutes from town • Stone and stucco manor house with main level master suite • 7 additional BR • 5 stone FP • Beautiful gardens, terraces, salt water pool, cabana, carriage house & stable with 2 paddocks • Lovely finishes throughout & sweeping lawn to private trails to Goose Creek • 31 acres • Private, elegant & convenient Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930



Harmony Creek

The Plains, Virginia • $2,950,000

Warrenton, Virginia • $2,200,000

Hume, Virginia • $1,650,000

Circa 1755, prime Fauquier County location, between Middleburg and The Plains • Additions in early 1800's & 1943 • Home recently restored • 62 gently rolling acres in Orange County Hunt • 4 bedrooms, 4 1/2 baths, 6 fireplaces • Improvements include salt water pool, pool house, large party house/studio, 2 tenant houses, stone walls and pond Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

A rare example of late medieval architecture, circa 1890 & 1935 with massive central chimneys, steep roof lines, and unusual brick patterns • Five bedrooms and 3 full & 2 half baths • Double barreled ceilings, winding staircase, generous sized rooms & decorative fireplaces • Situated on 111.74 acres • Strong stream, stable with cottage & stone-walled terrace gardens Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

Hilltop setting with beautiful distant views • Farm house circa 1920, completely restored and enlarged • 3BR, 3 BA, 2 fireplaces, wood floors, large country kitchen • 129.15 rolling & useable acres • Improvements include 3-bay equipment shed/work shop, guest house, 4-stall barn complex, riding ring, spring-fed pond and stream Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

Peace, Love & Joy Farm

Piece of Heaven

Creek Crossing Farm

Warrenton, Virginia • $1,550,000

Marshall, Virginia • $1,490,000

Purcellville, Virginia • $1,325,000

A long hard surfaced driveway leads to this special home built in 1985 • 6 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, 5 fireplaces • High ceilings, large rooms with good flow • Formal garden overlooks Cedar Run • Large pond • Pool with pool house • Barn could have 4 stalls • Rolling land, very private - yet very close to Warrenton Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905

Absolutely impeccable custom home on 50 acres with lake frontage 10 minutes from Marshall • Beautiful millwork, extensive plantings, porches & terraces • Fantastic mountain views from oversized windows, rolling pasture & private dock • 5 bedrooms, 3 fireplaces, hardwood floors • Extremely well built home with endless amenities • Very special home in pristine condition Helen MacMahon (540) 454-1930

Home circa 1988 • 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths • 4 fireplaces, 3-car garage, vaulted ceilings, natural light • 6-stall barn, tack, hay storage, wash sink, exercise arena • Fenced and cross fenced • 20.56 acres, private with great ride out • Frontage on Beaver Dam Creek Paul MacMahon (703) 609-1905


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

110 East Washington St. • P.O. Box 1380 Middleburg, Virginia 20118 (540) 687-5588

Editor's Note

A Career Destined for Greatness

Over many decades of covering sports for The Washington Post, I was fortunate to see many world-class athletes in the infancy of their respective careers. I watched Joe Montana lead Notre Dame to a remarkable comeback against Houston in a frigid Cotton Bowl ice storm, then always wondered how one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time could only have been a third-round draft choice a few months later. I saw a kid named Adrian Dantley, then a chubby freshman at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., come off the bench and dominate the first varsity game he ever played. He went on to star at Notre Dame and in the NBA and eventually was voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. I once witnessed a skinny University of Massachusetts kid play in a summer league basketball game at Georgetown’s old McDonough Gymnasium and put on a show against several already established pros. His name was Julius Erving, long before he was Dr. J., another Hall of Famer. And oh yes, I was there when a teenage Tiger Woods played as an amateur in a U.S. Open in the early ‘90s. Who knew? Truth be told, we all knew. Watching the Travers Stakes from Saratoga’s iconic racetrack in late August, I had another future-is-now moment when a horse named Catholic Boy, a 7-to-1 betting choice that day, surged to a four-length victory in the so-called mid-summer Derby. Next up for Catholic Boy is the $6 million Breeders Cup Classic on Nov. 3, and this time, he should be among the favorites. The 3-year-old bay is trained by 38-year-old Jonathan Thomas, our cover boy for this Autumn edition of Country Spirit. He grew up in the Middleburg area, graduated from Fauquier High but skipped the ceremony. He is a former steeplechase jockey now on the cusp of becoming one of the nation’s premier conditioners of thoroughbred racehorses. How he got from here to there is quite a story, including overcoming a horrific injury, working for some of racing’s top trainers and finally taking a bold leap to go out on his own just a few years ago. We’ve got plenty more terrific tales in this issue – a breathtaking look at a gorgeous new book on Bunny Mellon’s gardens, Leslie VanSant writing about an inspiring local musician and teacher, Anita Sherman on the 70th anniversary of The Christmas Shop put on by Emmanuel Episcopal Church at the Middleburg Community Center and a profile of the Long in Long & Foster real estate, first founded 50 years ago. There are stories on fine food and dining, wine and even afterdinner cigars, as well as a delightful tale about a little flying dog and another about an up-and-coming local young woman trying to make her way toward the highest levels of the pro tennis tour. I’m hoping to add her, along with Jonathan Thomas, to my personal list of knew-them-before-they-became-stars subjects I’ve written about over the years. So Catch the Spirit and read all about it. Leonard Shapiro Editor Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


COVER PHOTO Published 6 times a year by Piedmont Media, LLC ADDRESS 41 Culpeper Street Warrenton, Virginia 20186 PHONE: 540-347-4222 FAX: 540-349-8676 Publisher: Catherine M. Nelson, Editor: Leonard Shapiro, Style editor: Barbara Sharp Entertainment editor: Emily Tyler Editor-in-chief: Chris Six, 540-212-6331, Page designer: Taylor Dabney, Contributing photographers: Caroline Fout, Missy Janes, Douglas Lees, Middleburg Photo, Crowell Hadden Contributing writers: Justin Haefner, Sebastian Langenberg, Sophie Langenberg, Lizzie Catherwood, Pat Reilly, Missy Janes, Caroline Fout, Sean Clancy, Megan Catherwood, M.J. McAteer, Jimmy Wofford, Leslie VanSant, Anita Sherman Advertising director: Kathy Mills Godfrey, 540-351-1162 Ad designers: Cindy Goff, Taylor Dabney, Annamaria Ward, Sawyer Guinn, For advertising inquiries contact Leonard Shapiro at or 410-570-8447

Doug Gehlsen is one half of Middleburg Photo, along with his wife, Karen Monroe. They work together so smoothly, transitioning from horse events to weddings and beyond. In between creating our cover photo of Jonathan Thomas, Doug and Karen also did a shoot with five-year-old Marcus Venezia, 10-year-old Aria VeneziaVega and eight-year-old Zoey Venezia-Vega, siblings all headed to the Orange County Team Chase in various roles on Sunday, Oct. 28. And let’s not forget the other cutie in the picture – the adorable Gabriel, who can be spotted at Great Meadow for the Jack Russell races at the International Gold Cup on Saturday, Oct. 27. As if all this is not enough, in his spare time Doug shoots for his own enjoyment. This includes a lovely landscape for which he was honored at the Artists in Middleburg Landscape Show recently. Finally, let’s give credit where credit is due ... photo by Karen Monroe.

Friday, November 30 • Friday, January 11

Antique Arms, Edged Weapons & Armor Since 1957

Dealers and Appraisers for Fine Antique Firearms, Edged Weapons & Armor Recipient of the United States Department of the Interior Citation for Public Service

(Visit our online catalog) We are always looking to buy vintage guns, daggers,

Purchasing and consigning quality antique arms ofmedals, all types swords, knives, bayonets, uniforms, flags, belts, since 1957. Appraisers and other collectable militaria.We to the Smithsonian, thebuckles National Park Service and also thepurchase National Firearms Museum. gun and military related books, gun related Recipient of the U.S. sporting Department of the Interior’s Citation for Public Service. tools, vintage ammunition, etc. If you have any antique or collectable you want Address: to Visit our shop!military or gun items thatMailing sell please contact us for more information our Box 7 109 E. Washington St (Rt. 50) Post on Office appraisal or outright sale.VA 20118 Middleburg, VA services, 20117 consignment ratesMiddleburg,

Free 1-800-364-8416 Te. 540-687-5642 • FaxToll 540-687-5649 • Email: 109 E. Washington (Rt. 50) Post Office Hours:St.Tues.-Fri. 10-5:30 • Sat. 10-3Box 7


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

Middleburg, VA 20117 Middleburg, VA 20118 Tel. 540-687-5642 Fax 540-687-5649 Email:















Offered at $5,850,000 450 ACRES LEGACY FARM | 450 acres in Orange County hunts most prized territory. Build your dream estate amidst rolling, park-like fields, stone walls, a lazy little creek (Cromwells Run) and framed by unmatched mountain views. The property is in a conservation easement and a fox-hunting Easement. Two building envelopes for construction. Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835 Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399

Offered at $2,850,000 200 ACRES | 3 BR | 9 BA Spectacular farmland in Clarke Co in 1 parcel with a minimum of 200 acres, options up to 400. Options include 8,000+ sf main house (separate in-law quarters) renovated “summer kitchen”, 2 story 4 bay garage, historic ice & spring houses, pond, gardens, outbuildings, rental houses, barns. Amazing views! 1 hr. to Dulles. Anne McIntosh (703) 509-4499 Maria Eldredge (540) 454-3829

Offered at $2,250,000 50 ACRES | 5 BR | 3.5 BA Custom 5000+ sq ft home on 50 acres with gorgeous views! Open floor plan in European Country design. Gourmet chef’s kitchen, sunken living room, den and sunroom. Main level master suite and full walk-out basement. Outdoor features include flagstone porches, heated pool, 2 car garage with 1 bed apartment above. Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835 Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399


Offered at $1,450,000 45 ACRES | 5 BR | 3/1 BA This gorgeous property includes Blue Ridge Mountain views and Hazel River frontage! Perfect family home or a weekend escape. 5 bed/3.5 bath main home with addl 3.79 acre parcel and guest home. Heated pool, screened porches, a large brick veranda and ample storage space make this an ideal space for family and entertaining. Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835 Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399

10 ACRES | 9 BR | 6 BA Offered at $1,200,000 Private and well protected compound consisting of 4 lots totaling 10 acres with three charming, restored & renovated houses. This is a unique opportunity for investors or those looking to share country life but with separate living quarters. Minutes from the village of Middleburg. Endless possibilities! Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399 Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835

Offered at $990,000 6.7 ACRES | 7 BR | 4/1 BA Antique brick and stone set the stage for this country property on 6.7 beautiful acres with mountain views. The main house features 7 fireplaces, solid cherry floors, large great room with views, separate dining, and a lovely sunroom. The carriage house wing has two bedrooms with a large living and kitchen area. Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399 Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835

Offered at $1,450,000 48 ACRES | 5 BR 3/1 BA Nothing like it on the market! Completely renovated and updated circa 1890 stone and siding country home on 48 private and spectacular acres. Recent updates to: gourmet kitchen, master bedroom suite, metal roofs, septic system, and much more. 2 car garage, tenant house, in-ground pool, 4 stall barn. Truly one of a kind. Rocky Westfall (540) 219-2633

Offered at $1,100,000 50 ACRES | 4 BR | 2/1 BA WOW! Fabulous Post and Beam home in heart of Northern Fauquier’s wine country on 50 acres overlooking 5 acre lake and Cobbler Mountain. Reclaimed heart pine, open floor plan, gleaming pine floors, gourmet kitchen, 3 fireplaces, great deck with covered area. Detached 2 car garage. Rocky Westfall (540) 219-2633

Offered at $899,000 4 ACRES | 4 BR | 3/1 BA Updated Colonial perfect for comfortable family living. Wood floors throughout, spacious and airy rooms with a large sunporch. Unique large living room with built in shelves surrounding a stone fireplace. Master suite and gourmet kitchen. Wonderful lot with plenty of privacy. Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835 Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399

Offered at $1,200,000 7 ACRES | 3 BR | 2/2 BA Charming historic home (circa 1770) in a beautiful setting with gardens. The main residence has been renovated and well cared for. It includes a gourmet kitchen, upgraded appliances and 3 fireplaces. Guest house and wonderful 5 stall barn with office, studio & loft. Bank level of barn can be used as garage space. Peter Pejacsevich (540) 270-3835 Scott Buzzelli (540) 454-1399

Offered at $1,095,000 25 ACRES | 5 BR | 5 BA Horse farm in a storybook setting 10 min from I66 in wine region. Panoramic mountain views. Six stall barn, fencing, decks, balconies, patios, porches, sheds, whole house generator, gourmet kitchen, main level bath, office, and bedroom. Finished walk-out basement, full steam bath, rec room, and bedroom! Rocky Westfall (540) 219-2633

Offered at $799,000 46 ACRES | 4 BR | 2/1 BA Opportunity to make a magnificent farm – perfect horse farm potential. Tons of ride out. Close to Orlean Trail System. Beautiful rolling hills, some wooded areas, creeks, springs & outbuildings. 70 english oaks inoculated w/ French Perigord truffles – income potential. Established fruit & nut trees. Views! Property in land use. Marcy Cantatore (540) 533-7453 Joy Thompson (540) 729-3428

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Middleburg FISH Volunteers Always Angling to Help


REGISTER NOW! Private Instruction & Classes available for all ages Convenient locations in : Upperville, Aldie, Middleburg, Purcellville, Stephens City, The Plains & Waterford (540) 592-3040 |

CMSP is a non-profit, 501 (c)3 organization, serving Northern Virginia since 1994


local & organic groceries, easy pick up Kids asleep in the back seat but you really need a gallon of milk? Or maybe it’s pouring rain, but need a few quick items for dinner? Gentle Harvest has you covered with our NEW Drive-n-Buy grocery window! Get your groceries quickly & conveniently by placing an order: •

at the window

on the app

over the phone

Pick-up your groceries at the window and be on your way.

It’s that simple!



Project V E R I FIED

Healthy Plate, Healthy Pocket

8372 W. Main Street, Marshall • 540-837-4405 • 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. 7 days a week


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

By Leonard Shapiro

or Holly Beth Hatcher, there are times when the requests for help can be over-whelming. No heat and no way to pay the past due amount. A month behind on the rent money and a landlord threatening eviction. Not enough in the checking account to afford a vital prescription. Over the years, Hatcher, the treasurer for Middleburg FISH (the acronym representing “For Instant and Sympathetic Help”) has learned to control her emotions and do whatever she can to help, sympathetically. “You hear some of these stories and it can break your heart,” said Hatcher, who lives in Round Hill. “But I like to think we can really help people, and that’s what we always try to do.” Middleburg FISH, which is headed by its equally devoted and largehearted president and so-called “Big Fish” Martha Cotter of Middleburg, has been around since 1965. It was started by several Middleburg area women, including Rene Llewellyn, Peg Low, Florence Kaye and Nancy Manierre, who became “The Big Fish” when Llewellyn retired. (All now deseased.) These days, the group serves Western Loudoun County west of Route 15 (not including Leesburg) and northern Fauquier County. It works like this: FISH volunteer telephone operators answer calls from individuals requesting assistance. The caller’s information is then sent to Hatcher for review, and she first makes the determination if FISH can help, then decides the level of assistance. FISH distributes about $35,000 per year, with all the funds coming from local residents and several foundations. It also distributes virtually every dollar back into the community, less about $1,000 in administrative costs. Cotter, Hatcher and all the phone operators are volunteers, and it’s always been that way. One long-time operator is 96-yearold Ann MacLeod of Upperville, who also serves on the board and, according to Cotter, “is my secret weapon. She’s been a member forever, and when we do our fundraising letter, she’s always adding notes. She’s our fundraising guru.” FISH is now in the midst of its annual fundraising effort, with a mailing list of about 250, many of them designating generous donations for the organization year after year. “We just have really great people giving us money who really do care,”


Holly Beth Hatcher and Martha Cotter Hatcher said. “We’re also not getting quite as many phone calls as we used to, so I can give more money to people who really need it. That definitely makes a difference. When you’re in a hole, it can be really hard to get out. For some people, what we do can be a really big step up for them.” Not long ago, a FISH volunteer operator got a call from the single mother of four children who had lost her job and was out of work for two months. She recently found another position, but was so far behind in the rent she couldn’t make up the difference. “So I paid the rent,” Hatcher said. Said Cotter, “We also work with other organizations if the need is too big for us. We’ll partner with Trinity Church (in Upperville), the Tree of Life in Purcellville or some other local churches.” Payments are made directly to the landlord or utility company, not to the individual caller. And because the nature of the financial help is temporary, callers are limited to receiving help once every six months. FISH annually helps approximately 240 families in the area. “I’ve told Martha it’s really a spiritual journey for me,” Hatcher said. “Some days, I want to say no to everyone. Some days I want to say yes to everyone. But I’ll always call Martha to check myself. It’s not just me making these decisions. If children are involved, you never say no. I also feel like Martha does everything.” “No,” Cotter said, “I feel like you do.” Mostly though, the FISH volunteers and donors really do it all. No experience is necessary to become a FISH volunteer. For more information contact Martha Cotter, The Big Fish: big fish@middleburg And to request assistance, call 540-6878771 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Jonathan Thomas Doing all the J

By Leonard Shapiro

onathan Thomas is a classic “local-boymakes-good” sort of story. He’s very local, having grown up at the late Paul Mellon’s Rokeby Farm near Upperville, where his grandfather, father and mother all worked over the years. He started nursery school in the basement of Trinity Church. He attended elementary and middle school in Marshall, high school at Notre Dame Academy (now Middleburg Academy) and graduated from Fauquier High in Warrenton. And how did he make good? This past August, Catholic Boy, the racehorse he selected for client Robert LaPenta at auction in January, 2016 for $170,000 in Keeneland, Kentucky won the $1.25 million 1 1/4mile Travcrs Stakes at Saratoga by four lengths. LaPenta, 73, of Westport, CT., owns a lucrative defense contracting business. He’s also a Catholic boy himself, a graduate of Iona, a Christian Brothers college in New Rochelle, N.Y. Four days after his charge’s spectacular triumph at “The Spa,” Thomas, 38, came to Fauquier County to judge the Virginia Breeders Futurity at the Warrenton Horse Show. He spoke and answered questions that morning. Then, he made a 20-mile drive with his younger brother, Harrison Young, newly-hired as the trainer’s aide-de-camp, back to Middleburg to fulfill another appointment, a cover shoot for this magazine. Thomas was punctual, as always, according to people who know him. He also was typically no-nonsense as he stood in front of the camera. He preferred no photo clutter—declining binoculars, a stopwatch, a copy of Saratoga’s Pink Sheet newspaper. “I’m not big on props,” he said. Asked if he’d considered adding a publicist to his racing team, he emphatically shook his head no. “I’d rather spend the money on the horses.” Catholic Boy, a bay colt (by More Than Ready out of Song Of Bernadette) “just fit the mold of what you look for,” he told Country Spirit. “He was athletic, he had good angles the way he was put together. He was very intelligent, all the prototype things you look for. When we started training him, there was no real epiphany moment when you say, ‘hey, he’s really special.’ He was like any great athlete; he passed every test, very easy to train, no problems at all.” Thomas and his team at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, also developed Catholic Boy into something of a rarity – an accomplished 3-year-old stakes winner both on the turf and the dirt. Both LaPenta and Thomas are true survivors. Last March, LaPenta almost died from an initially undiagnosed case of Legionnaires’ disease. Thomas’s medical travails began as a 20-year-old steeplechase jockey. In 2000, he was riding at Colonial Downs when his horse hit a jump awkwardly and Thomas was thrown to the ground. He landed on his hip and suffered a compression fracture of several vertebrae, leaving him temporarily 8

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


After winning the Travers in Saratoga, Catholic Boy’s earnings are $1.84 million. Trainer Jonathan Thomas and Catholic Boy are next headed for the lucrative $6 million Breeders Cup Classic in November at Churchill Downs.

Rite Stuff with Catholic Boy

Jonathan Thomas pauses for a pre-race interview before the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. paralyzed from the waist down for a year. After surgery and several months at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, he was in rehabilitation for many months. He progressed all along the way until “it all came back, but very slowly.” He recovered from that horrific fall to come back and compete again. “I rode about 200 races after that,” he said, “but after a while, I didn’t feel like I could be as competitive at the highest level as I needed to be. I changed course in 2005.” Training horses instead of riding them at breakneck speed was the course he chose. He worked as an assistant first with top trainers Christophe Clemente and later with Todd Pletcher. In between, he worked for King Abdullah’s racing stable in Saudi Arabia. His time with Pletcher, now considered among the preeminent trainers of his generation, was invaluable. Yet, in 2013, with Pletcher’s blessing, he went out on his own. He joined Bridlewood Farm and its owner, John Malone, the billionaire cable TV magnate, believed to be nation’s largest private landowner. Thomas’s arrangement also allows him to train for other owners. Pletcher was among the first to text congratulations to Thomas a few hours after Catholic Boy won the Travers. The next morning at the track, there was a warm handshake, but not a hug. “No” Thomas said, “I’m not a huggy kind of guy.” “Jonathan Thomas, he was a terrific assistant,” Pletcher recently told the Thoroughbred


Jonathan Thomas with his brother Harrison Young at Saratoga this past August.

Portrait of a Horse Trainer

“In other fields a man may achieve success through the gift of a strong body or quicken impulses but once the ball is struck, the arrow flighted, this man is through. He is a performer. The trainer of a horse is the conditioner, the preparer. Without him, there would be only a highly bread but utterly useless animal. The mark of the professional is not the winners to his credit but the improvement in every horse that comes under his hands. He, and not the man who pays the feed bills, truly works to improve the breed.” From the Professional Horsemen’s Association of America 1949 Yearbook Racing News. “He’s a consummate professional, everything you’re looking for in an assistant trainer. He’s totally reliable, honest, good communicator, good horseman. We had some good years together. He did a great job, and I’m not surprised that he’s doing well on his own.” In the days after the Travers, Thomas answered calls from other owners about his availability to train their horses. There were also a number of media requests, something Harrison, a Hill School and Highland graduate who joined his brother’s team in July, helped with screening calls and scads of further details. “I tend to be at my best when I’m with the horses,” Thomas said. “I got into horses because

I’m not really an extrovert people person. I like to make a plan, and then I execute the plan. I obviously want to communicate well with everyone, but I don’t want to get away from working with these horses. It’s what I do best.” At the moment he has 90 horses, stabled on the farm in Ocala or at the New York tracks. All this newly found attention, he insisted, won’t change the way he approaches his work. “I want to focus on good people,” he said of potential new clients, “and firm up the relationships I already have.” He still comes back to Northern Virginia occasionally. His oh-so-proud mother, Melissa Young, an executive with FEMA, lives in Upperville. His parents are divorced and his father, John Dale Thomas, was a long-time course manager at several Virginia racetracks, including Colonial Downs. And surely they’ve both long forgiven Jonathan for skipping his graduation ceremony at Fauquier High to take advantage of a chance to ride in Ireland that summer. “I’d finished all my courses and had enough credits to graduate,” Thomas recalled with a smile. “But I had an opportunity to ride over there and decided to go. I’ve really been very lucky. I always knew my calling and that it was going to be around horses. It’s worked out pretty well.” For a local boy who clearly has made very good, surely it should only get better. Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Voila! Transforming Julien’s to Tapas Territory at Bord’ô By Sophie Scheps

cently deciding to retire and return to their native France. “Sitting at the table for hours, socializing with friends and family. Life slows down and you really can savor the moment.” The cozy interior, reimagined by Lacaze, has been outfitted with a new bar and eclectic menu to satisfy any palate. “It’s a mix of personal favorites and classics from our previous restaurants,” Lacaze said. “There were just some things we couldn’t let go.” Two of the most popular dishes, however, are new – the Foie Gras, served with apples and caramelized onions, and the Curry Steamed Mussels leave many parties fighting over the last bite. To go along with every dish is a perfect pairing of wine, selected by Lacaze and his staff. “We taste every wine we offer and have broadened our selection to wines that are more interesting, from lesserknown regions like Portugal and Bulgaria,” he said. “We love to get feed-

After eight years on Washington Street in Middleburg, Julien’s Café closed in early August, posting a cryptic message on its Facebook account asking patrons to stay tuned for something new. A favorite haunt of many locals, rumors swirled as to what would appear next amid fervent hopes that the scrumptious French onion soup would remain on the menu. After just a three-day hiatus to complete a renovation of the space, Bord’ô Tapas and Wine Bar quietly introduced itself to the village as a “new” place to take a break from the hustle and bustle. Easy-going and cool in a casual sort of way, just like owner Julien Lacaze, Bord’ô invites patrons to sit down and stay a while. “Tapas is my favorite style of dining,” said Lacaze, who’s parents owned Julien’s (named for their son, of course) in Middleburg and Frogs and Friends near Marshall until re-

Gypsy Dreams SUNDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2018 - 3PM ALL DVORAK CONCERT Jason Love, cello soloist Cello Concerto in B minor Symphony No. 8 in G major

back from our customers and often have impromptu tastings at the bar or even at your table. Sitting around and trying a few different bottles is part of the experience of coming here.” A popular addition is the $5 happy hour featuring wine by the glass and select tapas, held every Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Bord’ô is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday. Bord’ô will host a Grand Opening party on Thursday, Oct. 18 and will offer their happy hour menu all night long. “This community has welcomed our new venture and we are super grateful,” said Lacaze. “The town has changed a lot over the past eight years and it was time for a change here too. I hope to create an atmosphere that’s about enjoying life and celebrating friends and family.” Not to mention enjoying the French onion soup, still on the menu and still superb.


Julien Lacaze has stepped right up with Bordô’s.

PSO HOLIDAY CONCERT: The Nutcracker...Ellington Style! SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2018 - 3PM BOTH Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington Nutcracker Suites!

PSO Young People’s Concert: The Grand Canyon SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2019 - 3PM GROFE - The Grand Canyon Suite PSO Young Artists’ Competition & Student Art Contest

Celesti Voci SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2019 - 3PM A celebration of the heavenly voice...Arias, Duets and Overtures from the most beloved Operas of all time!

The New World SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2019 - 3PM H. Lee Brewster, PSO Concertmaster, violin soloist COPLAND - Fanfare For The Common Man BARBER - Violin Concerto DVORAK - Symphony No. 9 in E minor “From the New World”


The PSO is Generously Funded in Part By:

Nicolaas and Patricia Kortlandt Fund The Crossfields Group The Margaret Spilman Bowden Foundation


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


The Christmas Shop

70 years

It’s hard to believe: The Christmas Shop has been held in Middleburg for

NEW VENUE !!! NEW SHOPS!!! Friday Nov. 2 | 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. | Saturday, Nov. 3 | 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 | Noon to 5 p.m. At Middleburg Community Center | 300 W. Washington St. | Middleburg, VirginIa

540-687-6297 The Christmas Shop is the place, the best place, to find great gifts for all: your mom and dad, children and grandchildren, dogs and cats, & quirky friends, office pals, both old and young in one trip. Easily done! LIST OF SHOPS

Thirty fabulous shops: Adler Grier Fine Jewelry, All Things Olive, Bausc Organic Lotions, Caracol Western Jewelry, Clover Lou Classic Children’s Clothing, Designs by Dagmar, Dogwood Blossom Gifts, Emmanuel’s Treasures,Giggle in Pink, Fun Fashions for Babies and Kids, Jacqueline Handley Designs, Just a Simple Peddler, Lauritisins’ Icons and Sculpture, Leslie Jewett Designs, Signature Pieces, Liza Hennessey Fine Leather Goods, Martins Farms’ Wool Blankets, Patchwork Palettes, Sharp and Waters Art Studio, Shepherdstown Sweet Shop, Simply Fabulous Accessories, Sweet Soles, Tresse Collection of French Homegoods, Tuckahoe Plantation Handcrafters, Untucked for Men, Wink T’s and Stationery, Zigzag Crafts Gallery and Shop, AND MORE! Also: Amazing Raffle Items, Aldie General Store Catering, seating available in the café, Dana Westring’s famous Nativity Scene on display, live holiday music, selfies with the Fox (when he’s not in the den).

Suggested donation $5 per person


Fred and Courtney Kohler Honorary Chairmen

Emmanuel Church Thanks You for Supporting Our Outreach Program Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Scientist from The Plains aims to reimagine the National Air and Space Museum By Leland Schwartz

Pieces of history are missing from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and Ellen Stofan has to figure out how to raise $250 million to put them on exhibit and tell their stories. At the same time, Stofan, a resident of The Plains is overseeing a drive to reimagine the nation’s most popular museum. Since she was named the museum’s new director last April, she wants girls to know they are badly needed in the sciences and that exciting and challenging futures await them there. It was no accident Stofan, NASA’s former chief scientist and the first woman to run Air and Space, became a planetary geologist. Her mother was an elementary school science teacher and her father, a NASA scientist. But most girls, according to Stofan are not attracted to the STEM fields. “I think the message kids lose is that science, technology, engineering and math are fun and a way to solve big challenges that the world has,” she said. As the commercialization of space and fields like artificial intelligence and robotics explode, it’s critical they attract a diverse workforce, Stofan said. Otherwise, girls will “lose out economically,” and the sciences will “lose out talent-wise, idea-wise and creativity-wise.” While Stofan, 57, thinks things have improved over the years, diversity in the sciences remains a real problem. “I can’t tell you how many times I still hear stories from people of color who are made to feel unwelcome at universities and laboratories,” she said. “I think we’re still not there in treating each other as talented individuals.” Too often, she adds, “We still say, ‘Are you a person of color? Are you a woman? So do you belong here?’ The minute others question whether certain people belong in the sciences,” Stofan said, “They start questioning themselves and say, ‘Well, maybe I don’t belong here.’” What’s missing from the museum, which opened 41 years ago, are the stories going on right now in low Earth orbit, led by private companies, some with a vision of space tourism. Also under development is NASA’s new supersonic passenger jet. As part of a seven-year, $1 billion renovation, three-quarters of which will be funded by Congress, the museum wants to redesign its galleries and refresh the stories it has always told about the development of flight and, as Stofan put it, “the struggle of humans against gravity.” The stories need to be modernized, she said, because 21st century audiences are more digital, read less text, and are more inclined towards interactivity. Also, the museum is filled with things Stofan said are “further and further removed” from the visitors’ lives. When it first opened, she points out, most of the population had just lived through the Apollo Program, which put the first men on the moon. “That was tangible, and the Shuttle had yet to fly.” But with more than 8 million annual visitors split between the museum’s Independence Avenue building in Washington and the newer Udvar-Hazy complex next to Dulles Airport, where 12

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


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Ellen Stofan, a resident of The Plains and the new director of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum, in front of Lunar Module 2, built for ground testing and later converted to match LM ‘Eagle,’ which went to the moon on the Apollo 11 mission. the Space Shuttle Discovery is on display, Stofan said she is confident the museum will raise the funding it will not get from the government. “With that kind of audience, you get to inspire that next generation of explorers, innovators and inventors,” she said. “And when we talk to donors, they get excited because they know we have a reach like no other museum.” Stofan, who has championed NASA’s quest to get to Mars, said scientists are not hoping to go there so we can have another place to live in case something happens to Earth. “Definitelly not. I think most people in the scientific community get very stressed about the idea that Mars is some kind of backup colony or backup place for humans to live. In terms of it being Planet B, it just doesn’t cut it,” Stofan said. “Mars,” she said, “is extremely harsh environment where the radiation would probably force people to live underground. Therefore, we need to think of Mars like a scientific outpost more like Antarctica than like Cleveland.” But we need to go there, Stofan said, because scientists believe it is “likely” life should have evolved on Mars and either went extinct or retreated underground. To find out for sure Stofan said we “need a scientific base, you need people, you need lots of rocks.” Earth “is the planet we can live on,” Stofan said. “Don’t take your eye off the fact that this is the planet that supports humanity.” This article originally appeared in the Fauquier Times published by Piedmont Media LLC, which includes Country Spirit Magazine.

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018



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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018



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Gordie Keys, Bucky Slater, Robin Keys and Nick Slater at Slater Run Vineyards’ second annual CrabFest benefiting the churches of Upperville Outreach. PHOTO BY VICKY MOON

Photographer, impresario and gadabout Gomer Pyles chats with guests at the Stuart Street Atelier in the old Depot in The Plains at a recent signing for his new book, “To The Plains.” PHOTO BY MARCI NADLER.


Viviane Warren recently donated Burrland Road by Booth Malone to the National Sporting Library and Museum. Mrs. Warren first spotted the artwork at the Museum of Hounds and Hunting exhibit during the Virginia Fox Hound Show at Morven Park.

Bob Appenzeller and Carol Miller, represented a group from Trinity Church in Upperville for a trip into Washington recently for SOME. PHOTO BY VICKY MOON


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A Flying Chihuahua Fueled by M&Ms and Coke

By Carol Butler Some years ago the Washington Post reported a story with a headline that read “The Case of the Flying Dog.” I’ve never been able to resist a flying dog story so I read it carefully. Apparently, Tito, a four-pound chihuahua, was “ejected from Donald and Theresa Holtkamp’s tractor trailer when it swerved to miss a car and slammed into a Jersey barrier. Teresa Holtkamp, 37, said she saw Tito fly out the window on impact, but she was pinned in and could only beg troopers to help her dog. “That was not the first time he fell out of the truck,’ she said. “But this time he flew out of that truck.” Taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital, the couple was told their year-old dog did not survive. But Tito’s tiny body hadn’t been recovered, so they called the Animal Welfare League to report him missing. Marie Houston, the office manager, took the call and felt sorry for the Holtkamps, who were

later flown home to Georgia by their employer to recover from their injuries. Houston and another staff member decided to look for Tito along the side of the Beltway near the crash. They were unsuccessful, but Conrad Hughes, who worked for Yates Auto Parts, had spotted a dog in an open field near his workplace and thought he was lost. Tito was scared and shaking, but after a visit to the vet, he was pronounced fine save for a cut on his ear. The Post reported that “the dog’s survival was something of a miracle,” according to Alexandria police and animal welfare officials. There is no way, they said, that Tito could have been thrown onto concrete from the impact of the crash and then walked across four lanes of the inner loop to safety. Besides, the two loops of the Beltway are divided by a four-foot-high concrete barrier, said Alexandria police spokeswoman Amy Bertsch. “It’s just not possible for a Chihuahua to leap across.” The only explanation: Tito flew across the lanes and the shoulder of the inner loop and landed on grass beyond, one official said. “We think, as light as he is, he was airborne over the inner loop,” said Kate Pullen, director of Alexandria’s Animal Welfare League (AWL). The Holtkamps drove 13 hours from their home in Pearson, Ga., to pick up Tito at the AWL, where a large banner out front read “Tito’s Going Home!” The Holtkamps, who spent five to six days a week on the road in their tractor-trailer, were overwhelmed by the efforts taken to find Tito, who travels with them. Back at their motel, they also planned to give Tito his favorite treats – M&Ms and Coke. The Post later published a letter from Bonnie

M. Warnock stating she was distressed the owners were planning to feed him M&Ms and Coke. She wanted the owners to know those food groups are bad for dogs, who certainly don’t need caffeine, particularly this breed of dog which can, and I quote Ms. Warnock, “get pretty wound up on their own”. Here’s my question. Were they feeding Tito M&Ms and Coke before the accident? Giving a four-pound dog a bag of M&Ms and a dish of Coke is the equivalent of feeding a chocolate bar the size of a Buick to a normal person. I’m surprised he didn’t fly to London and back. Then again, maybe he did. Whatever happened to Tito during the two weeks he was missing, I can assure you that even the thought of life in London, Paris or wherever Chihuahuas come from was no match for the one he had in Georgia with M&Ms and Coke. I often think about what I’ll eat when “it doesn’t matter any more.” I’ve narrowed it to just two foods – wine and French fries. I’d love to die with the taste of French fries in my mouth. I often wonder what Tito was thinking as he flew through the air? Perhaps “this could be THE END, and thank God I had those last delicious M&Ms” or “thank God I had those M&Ms or I wouldn’t be able to propel myself over this four-foot high concrete barrier.” Tito’s owners were thrilled to have him back. What they don’t know is that even if they hadn’t located him, he surely would have found them, even back in Georgia. A Chihuahua – and just about anything else – will follow you anywhere if you have a chocolate bar in your pocket.

“We’re extremely GRATEFUL our grandchildren are at a school that LOVES what they do as much as HILL does.” “At The Hill School, the climate and environment is one of complete acceptance. The teachers have always made us feel welcome, even when it is not a planned visit. They are happy to have us there – they know the grandparent role is important and they embrace that. Our grandchildren are fortunate to be in such a magical environment.”

Gail & Kevin Kuchem, Hill Grandparents Palmer, The Hill School Class of 2024 Davis, The Hill School Class of 2027

When you visit our village-style campus in Middleburg, VA you’ll learn how we develop students with strong character, self-confidence, a sense of community, and a lifelong love of learning.

Serving students in Junior Kindergarten through 8th grade since 1926 16

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

Laura O’Konski: A Gifted Teacher With Passion and Purpose


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By Leslie VanSant

aura O’Konski found her gift in the fifth grade. At her elementary school, a strings program was offered. “My parents were not musicians, but they made sure that my sister, brothers and I learned to play an instrument,” she said, adding that something magical happened when she picked up a viola for the first time. “I just knew it was for me.” And so she played. And she practiced. Once, in middle school, she thought about quitting. “But my mom and dad said I had to play through high school,” she said, “so I kept playing and practicing.” Then, as a senior at the Brentsville District High School, in Nokesville, she found her purpose. “I had this amazing music teacher,” she said. His name was Mike Diecchio, who always encouraged the music students to try new things in performing. He once took the school’s symphony to Hershey Park in Pennsylvania for a competition and O’Konski fondly recalled the experience, both for the independence and the experience of winning. Inspired, Laura enrolled at George Mason University, graduating with a music education degree. Now, she’s in her second year teaching music and choir at Liberty High School. When she discusses her students, her face lights up. In addition to her music classes, she leads the choir and symphony. She assists with the pit band for school musicals, and teaches an adaptive music class for students with special needs. She continues teaching after school, giving private lessons at Drum & Strum, and volunteering with the Fauquier Youth Orchestra. And beyond her own teaching, she’s also passionate about performance. At the suggestion of a teaching colleague, she auditioned with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra while in high school. Today, she continues to play with the PSO, holding the first chair viola. And performing with the PSO also is a family affair. Her sister Kate, plays violin, and her husband, Patrick Neidich, plays principal trumpet. She also performs at weddings with a string quartet, and even has found


Laura O’Konski time to pursue a Masters in Viola Performance at Shenandoah University. Clearly though, teaching is her main focus. “The students are all different,” she said. “Some have chosen music because it’s their passion. Others choose music because they have to choose something. So I take different approaches to motivate them.” One example for a choir class is Karaoke Day. She sets up a mini-karaoke studio in the classroom and students pick their song and then perform it for the class. Because they’re allowed to choose their own song, they have the freedom to express themselves. And the performances reflect the passion they have for the songs. O’Konski selects music for performances that will challenge her students but also enjoy playing. “They really want to make it sound good,” she said. “It’s not what they play, but how.” At the end of the 2018 school year, she took her music students to a competition at King’s Dominion. This time, instead of winning the trophy, she celebrated with her students who captured first prize in symphony and second in choir. Clearly it’s always about the students. “Sometimes, when I walk through school, I will hear a student singing a song from choir, or tapping a melody from symphony on their locker,” she said as her face lit up. “That’s when I know I am making a difference.” A gift. A purpose. Inspiring the future.

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Entertaining with Emily

All Hail to a Kale Salad By Emily Tyler

Entertaining Editor

Tuscan Kale Salad I must admit I haven’t been a big fan of kale – until now. This colorful salad is perfect to take on a picnic or to the races because it benefits greatly from being made well in advance to give the kale proper time to break down and become tender. In fact, it keeps well for days without getting soggy. Serves 8. 4 large handfuls chopped kale, stems removed - about 8 ounces 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage 1 red pepper, cored and diced 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 can quartered artichokes, drained and chopped 4 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese

Dill and Pecan Chicken Salad This is my all-time favorite chicken salad. Fresh dill is such a nice surprise and goes so well with the pecans and red grapes. If you’re short on time, you can purchase a plain rotisserie chicken and bone, skin and dice. 1 pound poached chicken meat, diced in medium chunks 1 cup red grapes, cut in half ¼ cup minced fresh dill, stems removed 1 cup finely diced celery ½ cup roughly chopped pecans 1 cup mayonnaise or more to taste Salt and pepper to taste

• Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. • Pour the dressing on top and toss well to combine. • Store covered in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, stirring from time to time. It can keep for a few days.

• Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl and fold gently until well mixed. • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dressing Juice and zest of 1 lemon (about 1 ounce of juice) 3 ounces good quality olive oil Salt and black pepper to taste

This method yields moist and tender chicken breasts, and it’s easy to do a few more for other uses. 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts 1 teaspoon salt 6 whole peppercorns 2 bay leaves 1 stick of celery cut in chunks Water to cover the chicken by ½ inch

• Combine in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine

To poach chicken breast

• In a stock pot add all the above ingredients and bring to a boil. • Reduce the heat to a low and simmer for 5 minutes. • Remove from the heat and cover and let them rest in the poaching liquid for 15 minutes. • Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid when it reaches 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer. • Cool completely for the chicken salad 18

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

International Gold Cup Races Saturday, October 27, 2018

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


The Laurel Center:

Making a Difference in Tackling Domestic Abuse By Leonard Shapiro

October has been national Domestic Violence Awareness Month since 1981, but it’s hardly an occasion to celebrate. No one knows that better than Faith Power, executive director of The Laurel Center in Winchester, a shelter for women and their children who are the victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence. The shelter has been existence for 35 years and has been a heaven-sent haven that has attracted temporary residents from all around the area, including Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William counties and even from out of state. There’s room in their relatively new Winchester building for as many as 32 women and children, but because of somewhat limited resources, it can now only handle 15. “Our biggest challenge is to find operational money to provide the kind of services we’re doing now,”

Power said. “The good news is we finally got it built, because it’s very much needed.” The national statistics on domestic abuse make that abundantly obvious. According to a 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control, one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. One in ten women in the United States will be raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime, and approximately 16.9 per cent of women and 8 per cent of men will experience sexual violence other than rape by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. (CDC, 2010). Power knows those numbers all too well because she sees the living and breathing evidence every day. There are other numbers she also must deal with, raising more funds so that the shelter can be operated at full capacity.

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

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Long-time Middleburg business Shenandoah University business owner Page Allen has been a 30-plus school, came in last May and helped year supporter of the facility and is re-energize the capital campaign. on its capital campaign committee. A With a $350,000 construction loan resident of Boyce, the mother of one from the Bank of Clarke County, of her daughter’s friends had volun- the new shelter was finally completteered at the shelter, and asked Allen ed, and another campaign is underif she might be interested, as well. way to help pay off that loan. “Two things came to light when The Laurel Center also provides a I did the research,” said Allen. co- full range of services to its residents, owner with her sister Betsy Davis who can stay for as long as 60 days, of The Fun Shop in if necessary. They inOur biggest Middleburg. “First, clude providing food more women are afchallenge is to find and clothing to womfected by domestic vi- operational money to en and children, who olence than any other often arrive literally provide the kind of with only the clothes crime in this country, murder, rapes. Also, services we’re doing they’re wearing. The in this country, there now. The good news center offers legal help, are more than 1,500 individual counseling, is we finally got it animal shelters, but advocacy and educabuilt, because it’s only 300 women’s tional tools. Each year, very much needed. it shelters between 200 shelters. It just made – Faith Power me wonder where our and 220 women. priorities are. And “The goal is to this shelter has done amazing work.” help them decide what to do next Fifteen years ago, the shelter’s to become independent and live a board purchased property in hopes violence-free life,” Power said. “We of building a new facility. Then the have court advocates. If you need a recession hit in 2008, and a dearth of protective order, we can help them funds ultimately led to work on the navigate a very daunting court pronew building “coming to grinding cess. We also do a lot in the comhalt,” Power said. “It sat dormant for munity about prevention. We have a six years.” curriculum that’s used in schools. Power, an entrepreneur and edu“We have women and children cator who had been teaching at the coming to us in the middle of the

The day room in the Laurel Center shelter. night. We also provide services involving sexual assault. If a woman is in the emergency room, we’ll stay with her for the (police) forensic process. One of our volunteers trained dogs in the military, and she comes in with three therapy dogs. We had a 12-year-old who’d been sexually assaulted, and we were able to get her a dog as a comfort aide.” The Laurel Center has about 25 employees, augmented by more than 40 volunteers. The facility’s caring staff also has a legion of grateful beneficiaries. One child was asked if she’d recommend the shelter to other women and, according to a Laurel Center brochure, said that, “They helped my mother to get away from being

beaten eery day and saved her life.” Said another woman,” I’ve received help from people who have really cared about myself and my daughter. They’ve helped with the compassion that is missing in today’s world. The shelter has literally saved our lives and given us new hope and a new start.” During October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, not to mention every day of the year, that’s truly something to celebrate.

The Laurel Center

Winchester 24-Hour Hotline: 540-667-6466 Office: 540-667-6160

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Tom Wiseman

Combining Yield and Total Return You are not suggesting I spend my principal, are you? When I started investing other people’s money for them, I learned the trade from my mentor, an old bond trader named “Tom” in Pittsburgh. Tom spent many years managing teachers and steelworkers pensions in Pennsylvania, a pretty conservative bunch. The common theory back then was to calculate the yield offered from fixed income and preferred stocks and then back your way into what percentage of a client’s portfolio had to be placed in those instruments to achieve the desired cash flow. The rest went into equities and there was always a watchful eye on the clients risk tolerance. As a client became older, the typical strategy was to gently shift the ratio of equity to fixed income, which was more conservative. Sounds simple right? Imagine paying over 18 per cent on your home mortgage? That was the reality back in the 1980s. Bond yield rates weren’t far behind.

Income was easy to produce back then. In the historically low interest rate environment we’ve experienced the last decade, this “chasing yield” strategy can be a “recipe for disaster.” Current bond and Tom Wiseman preferred stock yields can cause investors to chase income by seeking out higher yielding, perhaps riskier positions and reducing equity holdings. The portfolio value may well be eroded by dipping into principal and further by not keeping pace with inflation. Many trusts drafted years ago use the old trust accounting rules that defined distributable income as only interest and dividends. Capital gains were not included. For many years, these trusts were not able to adopt a total return strategy. Revisions to these old rules have changed that, but that’s a subject for a different day.

We adopted the total return strategy years ago, but in this low interest rate environment, it’s becoming ever more popular. In other words, invest for a total return that keeps the bottom line growing, provides return from not only dividends and interest, but also capital gains. To provide distributions needed for income, we rebalance the portfolio to achieve the desired ratio of equities to fixed income on a globally diversified basis. Capital losses are harvested and capital gains are pushed out along with dividends and interest to boost the client’s income. I’ve been known to tell clients that I don’t really care whether the “income” they take from their accounts is classified by the accountants as dividends, interest or capital gains, as long as the bottom line, that is the value of the portfolio, holds its own and keeps up with inflation. If this can be accomplished and my client can glean the cash flow they need as tax efficiently as possible, then I’m doing my job.

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Save the Date: Saturday October 27, 2018 A book talk and signing with Young Washington author Peter Stark in Washington’s Town Hall, hosted by The Inn at Little Washington. Call 540 675 5228 for more details.


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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018




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540-751-0777 22


Fauquier Heritage Museum Brings County’s History to Life By Sebastian Langenberg

The Fauquier Heritage and Preservation Foundation based in Marshall came into existence when its founder, the late John K. Gott, a Marshall resident, was looking for a home for his personal collection of historical material on Fauquier County. “He had a vast library of materials,” said foundation president Robert Sinclair, adding that the organization found its first real home in 1993 thanks to the generosity of long-time Marshall native George Thompson, who gave them use of one of his buildings in Marshall. After three years, the foundation moved to its current location on Winchester Road near the Ford dealership in Marshall. “It was derelict,” Sinclair said. That building was originally the first Baptist Church in Virginia built in 1771, and had been converted over the years into all sorts of uses, from apartments to shops. Today it’s completely renovated. The first thing a visitor sees is an old stone wall that was the original exterior to the church. Walking further in, there’s a hallway with built-in bookshelves covering the walls. In this room, visitors can research the history of Fauquier County, or even their own family. Two full bookshelves contain genealogies of a number of local families. “There are over 6,900 volumes of genealogy and history,” Sinclair said. “We have one of the largest collections of Fauquier history and memorabilia.”. Below the bookshelves are cabinets containing over 1,800 photographs of local people and places. Decorating the walls are framed historical documents and letters from all time periods. They even have numerous letters from one of the most famous locals of them all – Civil War raider John Mosby. “We call that Mosby’s corner,” said Sinclair, gesturing over toward the section that houses not only Mosby’s letters, but all sorts of material about that bloody war. The room just off of the main hall in the visitor center is named after Armistead Wine. “Armistead was one of our gogetters back in our early days,” said Sinclair. Here there is more local memorabilia, including a 1950s sports trophy from the old Marshall High School, and a wall of pictures of area military veterans. The building next door houses the Robert Sinclair Education center, where they regularly hold lectures in a space that also serves as a museum. There are more Fauquier artifacts – even a cham-


John Singleton Mosby during the Civil War, circa 1863.

Mosby later in life, circa 1910.

Majorica Pearls welcome to meditation rings Trunk Show Oct 15-20

ber pot – as well as the original survey of the town of Warrenton. The Education Center was dedicated Oct. 14, 2017 with generous donations from Peter Swartz, Anna Moser, The Ohrstrom Foundation, and David and Mary Collins. Peter Our MeditationRings are based on the ancient Tibetan Prayer Wheels. The practice of turning the praye Swartz, a former county supervisor wheel helps increase good karma and purify negative thoughts. Based upon these same principles our who lives in Delaplane, gifted the MeditationRings are designed to have one or several outer bands that you can physically spin around building to the foundation. the actual ring, this is said to bring the wearer good luck and fortune and a sense of serenity and peace One of the more intriguing exhibits involves the so-called Free State of Marshall. After the Revolutionary War, Lord Fairfax began selling off his vast swaths of land, and much of it was purchased by Chief Justice John Marshall. Marshall began taking the squatters who were on his newly-purchased land to court. But they refused to pay. “But today,” Sinclair said, “to be declared a Free-stater, it’s a badge of honor!”. The John Gott Library is open Monday fro 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Tuesday 12 to 4 p.m.; and Wednesday 9 a.m. to noon. For further information, including how 524 Fletcher Dr, Warrenton, VA 20186 • (540) 341-8840 • to volunteer, go to:

We are celebrating our 10 Year Anniversary! What are you celebrating?

more than a jewelry store

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


There’s Everything Fishy at Red Bar Sushi By Sebastian Langenberg

For a taste of Tokyo, look no further than 16 E Washington St. in Middleburg. That’s where you’ll find Red Bar Sushi. Owners Jamie and Neil Metzger have opened up their second restaurant in Middleburg, the first being Best Thai Kitchen on Federal Street. They originally had planned to have their Thai restaurant serve sushi as well, but the Federal Street space just wasn’t big enough to have both. About eight months after they opened Best Thai Kitchen, one of their regular customers told them he was looking for a new tenant for a building he owned, musing out loud that maybe he would try to find a sushi restaurant that wanted to relocate there. The Metzgers quickly informed him that they would start that sushi restaurant. After touring the space, they realized it was perfect for their sushi needs. “It’s a great location right on the road, and it only needed slight modifications, ” said Neil Metzger. They were quickly open on Feb. 1 and the new restaurant has made it a point to have the freshest fish possible. Amazingly, the fish they serve was caught just days before their customers enjoy it. Because they get their shipments delivered ever two or three days, the fish is never older than five days, and sometimes it can be served to customers only two days after it was plucked from the sea. This includes fish that they purchase from all over the world, including Korea and Japan. It might seem like overkill to some, but that’s what it takes for a successful sushi restaurant, according to Neil Metzger.


Red Bar Sushi owner Neil Mertzger and head chef Kihoon Kim, a master of all things sushi and more. “If it’s not perfect, we don’t serve it,” he said. “We learned from the first restaurant that people are very discriminating.” Many of their regulars at Red Bar Sushi have traveled the world, including feasting on the finest sushi in Japan, so they always need to be on top of their game. This commitment to serve excellent food also brings back repeat customers again and again. Sushi is not the only item on Red Bar Sushi's intriguing menu. One of their best sellers is their

It’s the Holiday Tri-fecta!!

Stop in soon for First Choice on all your Holiday Decor Costumes & Cats •Pumpkins & Pilgrims Table Cloths & Turkeys Christmas Cards & Christmas Ornaments Baking & Cookware always..much much more!!! 117 W. Washington St. Middleburg, VA 20117 (next to the Post Office) 540-687-6590 LIKE US ON FACEBOOK Hours Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30 • Sunday 1-5 24

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

chicken teriyaki bento box, which you can also get with salmon, beef, and bulgogi. For dinner, they’ll also provide a wine pairing, or do it yourself with an extensive wine and cocktail menu. Red Bar Sushi in Middleburg is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8:30 p.m. They offer on-line ordering and also will deliver.

Middleburg Academy’s Prefect Program Works to Perfection

The prefects meet twice a week to discuss various issues.They make xel Arellano admits he never recommendations on the student saw it coming. But Middle- code of conduct. They’re encouraged burg Academy Head of to tell Bell when a rule or a program School Colley Bell said he never had doesn’t seem to be working. any doubts when he made the final They help run student assemblies, choice to select the senior to fill one work with student council officers of the most important student lead- and always try to make themselves ership positions on campus. available, particularly to younger Arellano is the head prefect this students who may not be familiar academic year, leading a group of with the school’s culture. They most four outstanding students selected for definitely are not meant to be “tatthose roles by the faculty, their peers tletales,” the prying eyes and ears of and ultimately Bell. His prefect col- teachers and the administrators. leagues are fellow se“Just as an exniors David Penney, ample, if Axel sees Lana Bennett and something on social Coco Chen. media that’s not apAccording to propriate, he’ll tell Kasey Morris, the that student ‘hey, school’s admissions knock that off.’” officer, “prefects emColley Bell said. body the highest level “He doesn’t have to of student leadership report back to me. at Middleburg AcadHe doesn’t have to emy. They oversee drag that student all aspects of student into the office.” leadership and work Arellano said he with the faculty and and his fellow preadministration to enfects also strive to sure that the school’s make certain none motto – Learn. Lead. of their fellow stuServe. – is successdents ever feel alone fully engaged.” or left out. Axel Arellano, a proud prefect. The prefect pro“At the start of gram began five years the year,” he said, ago in Bell’s second year. It’s based on “you want to make every student a system set up by Thomas Arnold, a comfortable. If you see somebody leading 19th century education re- sitting by themselves, we’ll go over former at England’s Rugby School. and make sure it doesn’t stay that Arnold once described Rugby as way. Younger students come to us all having a prevailing atmosphere of the time. They sometimes feel a little “anarchy tempered by despotism.” overwhelmed, and I’ll ask other kids He tried to instill an ethos of honor, to go talk to them, too.” moral values and personal commitArellano himself is rather softment and wanted prefects to set an spoken and unassuming. Colley Bell example for younger pupils. knew he was a quiet type when he had Bell and his wife, Edwina, also a him in his history class as a junior. But school administrator, both had been he also noticed that the senior prefects advisers to Arellano and said they saw also seemed to gravitate toward him. in him all the qualities of the perfect Bell recalled that “when I asked prefect. He was an outstanding student, them (those prefects) if they thought a dedicated athlete and seemed to gain he’d be able to express himself to the respect of the faculty and fellow stu- other students, they all said ‘oh yeah, dents with every passing year. you don’t have to worry about Axel’” “He was the whole package,” EdArellano hopes to attend Virwina Bell said. “We could see it in the ginia Tech to study engineering, and way he carried himself and the respect the prefect program surely will be a he got from the other students. We feather in his admissions cap. For now don’t have any locks on our lockers though, he’s focused in his responsiWe don’t have any issues with bully- bilities at Middleburg Academy. ing. Our younger students know that’s “He’s going to have a great year,” not acceptable because they see the ex- Colley Bell said. “He’s making a difample set by our student leaders.” ference here.”


Fursman Kennels

By Leonard Shapiro

The Fursman Kennels Experience From the moment you and your beloved pet drive through the entrance leading to Fursman Kennels, I would like you to enjoy and feel the beauty of the trees and flowers on either side of the winding lane, which is nearly 1 mile long. The kennel itself is beautiful and spacious and is surrounded by two-hundred-yearold oak trees. The staff who work here are very committed to the care and love of every individual dog or cat during their holiday stay. We have separate rooms for different breeds of dogs, which make it more cozy and comfortable. Each kennel has indoor and outdoor runs. We also have very large runs where we lead the dogs out several times a day at no extra charge for them to run, play and go to the bathroom..

Hours of Business

Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm Sat: 8am-12 noon Sun: Between 9am & 10am Please call for reservations.

Things to Know About Our Kennels

• Beautiful, spacious kennels • 24 hour care and attention • Dedicated, loving staff • Cozy, comfortable rooms • Veterinarian recommended • Indoor, outdoor, and large runs • Founded in 1972 • Vaccinations REQUIRED

Best of Middleburg 2016 & 2017 1661 Zulla Rd | Middleburg, VA


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Your Window and Door Specialist (540) 837-9351 10 South Greenway Avenue, Boyce PROUDY FEATURING


Evan Meyerriecks with Kay and Anthony Pearce co-owners of the Middleburg Tobacco Company.

Middleburg Tobacco Company Is Off to a Smoking Start By Sebastian Langenberg

Newly Renovated and Now Open


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

“We were sitting out here on a sunny afternoon at the Sidesaddle Cafe and the guys were talking about what they missed in town,” said Kay Pierce, one of the three owners of Middleburg Tobacco Company. Right then and there, Kay and her husband Anthony Pearce and their friend, Evan Meyerriecks, reached a consensus. There was no place in the village to purchase a decent cigar. Why not provide it? And so, that very same afternoon, they looked at commercial space, and three months later, the Middleburg Tobacco Company was up and smoking. Clearly, the demand was there. “We opened up at 5 p.m. on June 1 and by 3 p.m. the next day, we had paid for the first month’s rent,” Pearce said. The shop mostly sells cigars, but also has pipes and pipe tobacco, as well as all of the usual tobacco accessories—humidors, cutters, and lighters. None of the three owners had much of a background in cigars or tobacco, though Anthony Pearce’s grandfather did own a tobacco farm. “I grew up in southside Virginia and my grandfather was a tobacco farmer,” he said. “Actually that leaf framed there is a tobacco leaf off of his farm,” he said, pointing up to the framed leaf on display in the shop. Middleburg Tobacco Company carries over 70 varieties of cigars, including two that are made exclusively for the shop. “We went for a light Churchill for our first cigar and then we went

for a more full bodied Maduro for our second,” said Evan Meyerriecks. “They tend to do pretty well, because tourists come to town and want to buy something from Middleburg and take it home.” The first cigar is called the Traveler, named after Robert E. Lee’s horse, and the second is called Little Sorrell, Stonewall Jackson’s horse. What’s their best selling cigar? That would be the Java, a coffee-infused cigar that appeals to both men and women. About 70 per cent of their customers are visiting tourists, and millennials make up another critical demographic. The owners have already started expanding their business. One of their humidors has been placed at The Goodstone Inn, and they’re in talks with other local hotels, breweries and wineries about placing more humidors. The shop is one of the few places jn town where patrons can smoke inside. That also has the added benefit of attracting cigar clubs to visit from all over Northern Virginia. The Middleburg Tobacco Company has also started its own cigar club. Members get a plaque with their name in the humidor, and have a section in the shop to keep their personal cigars. They’re open on Thursday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. The shop also is available after hours, with a simple phone call necessary to set up a day and time. Said Anthony Pearce, “We always want everyone who comes in here, whether they’re a first time smoker or a veteran, to feel welcome, comfortable.”

Glenn Covington’s Cooperative Career By Vicky Moon

Walk into any of the five area Culpeper Farmer’s Co-op Home Farm Centers and you’ll find everything from a packet of seeds for 59 cents to a $10,000 run-in shed. In the Marshall location, you’ll also find 63-year-old Glenn Covington, its manager for the past 26 years. He’s the man responsible for keeping the shelves stocked with a wide variety of merchandise for a diverse clientele, only one part of his job description. Covington began working for the Farm Center co-op in February, 1991. He’s a 1978 graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in aagriculture and two more years of graduate work. Before joining the o-op, he’d been a farm manager in the registered beef business in Virginia and Tennessee for about 10 years. “When I started with the Farm Home Center, I was in Warrenton,” Covington said of the company that has been around since 1932. “I’d been running a farm in Spotsylvania and I thought it would be fun to be there. After Warrenton I transferred to Marshall, and I’ve enjoyed it ever since.” He focuses on three main areas— customer service, sales and management, and obviously he and his


Glenn Covington, manager of the Culpeper Farm Co-op Farm Home center in Marshall says: “We are a vital part of each geographical area. We don’t just take out.” colleagues at the four other outlets surely are doing something right. “We’re a major player in the agriculture community,” he said. “The total sales of the five locations was $34 million last year and $9 million of that was out of Marshall.” In this co-op model, consumers own no stock but receive a percentage or profits in the form of refunds or cash back based on much they have spent each year at the various locations. “It’s a way of business,” he said, “and it’s been very productive every

year between 1991 and 2008.” In 2007, the board of directors elected to expand by buying land, including the 23-acre site of the main office and store in Culpeper. The customers/owners now also have equity in the real estate. The co-op owns and operates a fertilizer plant a feed mill in Culpeper. There are many types of feed for cattle, horses, pigs, poultry, emus and even alpacas , in the form of pellets and sweet feed. Their production is very diverse and the capabilities we have also includes turkeys, deer, pot belly pigs and rabbits.” Grain used in the feed is purchased from local farms and is sold in bulk and in pre-packaged bags. The co-op also offers classes in animal nutrition and farm management From his office on the east side of the main showroom in Marshall, Covington pores over financial data of sales margin reports and inventory as well as looking after a fleet of box vans that go out delivering feed, fertilizer, mulch and more ten to twenty ties a day. Fencing is also a large part of this business. Covington added, “We work with more than 20 independent contractors that buy their materials here. And, we have flatbed trucks to service and deliver those

fence materials, which includes split rail, electric, stacked rail and wire.” They also sell treated pine fence posts, and for those who are going green: “We have untreated cedar or locust posts. We’re in the business of supplying the products, but not the installation.” Livestock equipment such as gates, cattle chutes, round pens, stalls, horse walkers come from top of the line companies such as Priefert, Arrowquip, Tarter and Behlen Country. Covington also feels it is important to let everyone know: “We work hard for this community and this is not just here but all our stores. We are a vital part of each geographical area. We don’t just take out.” As manager, Covington also overseas and manages a design consultation service in animal health working with local veterinarians and customers. They have experts in lawn and garden and there is a Master Gardener at every store along with certified crop advisers and it goes on and on. “If we don’t know the answer, we know where to go to find the answer, ” he said.

CFC Farm Home Center

8222 East Main St., Marshall 540-364-1533

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018



The Christmas Shop has been an annual trek for these intrepid shoppers who hail from Northern Virginia and Austin, Texas. The BeeGees are pictured (l-r), Bunny Van Der Veer, Anita Sherman, Jane Reft, Karen Graybeal and Kathy Lowman.

Middleburg’s Christmas Shop: It’s Always on My Mind By Anita Sherman

For me, the first week in November in the village of Middleburg has been etched in my memory bank for more than 25 years. In the early 1990s, we were members of Holy Comforter Episcopal in Vienna. As winter approached, church chatter (predominantly among the ladies) would start up about the trip to Middleburg to attend The Christmas Shop held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. So popular was this event that a bus was chartered, filled and the road trip began. I was told, and quickly learned, this was a shopping experience like no other. There was little available that could be called home-made at this collection of unique boutique shops from around the country, but so much more. I became fast friends with several of the church ladies. We christened ourselves the BeeGees – the birthday girls. We often celebrated our special days with teas, lunches, dinners and our annual November excursion to Middleburg. One of the ladies – Bunny – celebrated her birthday on Halloween, definitely close enough to justify our name and make merry in Middleburg. We gather each November to attend The Christmas Shop, have lunch and visit other retailers around town. It’s a ritual we’ve honored for more than two decades. This year is particularly special because The Christmas Shop, from Friday, Nov 2 through Sunday, Nov. 4, celebrates a 70-year anniversary and also returns to its roots at the Middleburg Community Center. The older I get, the more I appreci28

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

ate and respect the resolve of women. A group of women of St. John’s Parish had the vision to start The Christmas Shop in the late 1940s as a source of revenue to help local charities. As honorary co-chairman Courtney Kohler will attest, “when we moved to Middleburg in 1957, there were no shops here.” And so, the solution was clear. Bring in the vendors. “The idea was to spend a day shopping,” added Kohler who has coordinated the event off and on for more than 30 years. She proudly remembers the move the church made in 1960 to purchase the Parish House, formerly the home of Dr. Delbert Thornton Saffer. The primary motive of the purchase was to have a place for The Christmas Shop and the Middleburg Garden Club show. Sunday school also was held there. There was also a popular nursery school. They raised the funds to buy the house with rummage sales. And while the vestry signed off on it, the women owned the house and were “very close with their money.” To me, it was a rousing testament to empowered women making a difference. Kohler chuckled reminiscing about the days when large eight-foot high pine hutches were moved in place to form rooms for the vendors. “We had retailers from New York and California,” she said. The original Christmas Shop was housed at the Community Center and later moved to Emmanuel. But

with mounting costs to rent tents and propane tanks, not to mention logistic challenges at the church location, a decision was made this year to return to its original space. Some 30 shops will be spread throughout the Garden Room, main hall and stage. Sadly, one long-time vendor not coming this year because of a family illness is Pat Haiges, the owner of The Apple Tree. Not a year passed without all of the BeeGees visiting her eclectic collection of designer clothes. “It has to be something very serious for her not to be here,” Kohler said. And while I’ll miss seeing Pat’s goodies, there will be countless other tempting items all around, from jewelry to scarves to leather goods and artwork. And let’s not forget so many tempting accessories, home décor items and many books on gardening. Speaking of artwork, gracing the front entrance this year will be Dana Westring’s spectacular nativity scene. A Marshall artist, sculptor and garden designer, he’s the creator of the Poke Gardens. At the urging of his friends Maryanne Gibbons and Viviane Warren, he agreed to install the crèche at the Community Center to help celebrate the shop’s 70th birthday. The crèche has been a 20 year project at Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains. “I started by assembling a natural background for the Fontanini figures that (Grace Episcopal) already had,” said Westring, who each year has

added another figure – a carpenter, a winemaker, a baker, a boat with fishermen, a fish monger – until he had created an entire village. The Rev. Eugene LeCouteur leads Emmanuel. As always, proceeds from the event help support its outreach ministries. One in particular, the Bloomfield Foundation, is particularly close to Kohler’s heart. “This foundation dates to the 1920s,” she said, noting that it provides grants and funds to disabled children throughout Virginia. I like birthdays. They provide a chance to party. Celebrating the 70th birthday of The Christmas Shop recognizes the gracious generosity and gifts of so many over the years and how those gifts have enhanced the community. As my friend Bunny said, “my memories primarily revolve around the fun of our BeeGees’ tradition... that of getting together with special friends, seeing what wonders the vendors bring, and the laughter and joy of being in a special place.” I agree. So come celebrate and happy shopping! Anita Sherman is an editor and columnist for the Fauquier Times.

If you go

The Christmas Shop

Middleburg Community Center 300 W. Washington St., Middleburg Friday, Nov. 2, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, noon-5 p.m. Suggested donation: $5 each. Parking available. 540-687-6297 christmas-shop

Flooring Specialists and More

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FRENCH COUNTRY ESTATE GONE AWAY FARM The Plains ~ Set on a knoll with views of the Blue Ridge Mtns, this 83 acre farm offers every amenity. The main house has 4BR/7BA, 4 fireplaces, gourmet kitchen & gracious entertaining spaces inside and out. There is a 3 Bedroom tenant house, charming guest house, swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, 4 ponds & extensive landscaping. For the equestrian, the farm offers 2 barns, a riding ring & 3 run in sheds. Located in Orange County Hunt territory, the farm has miles of ride out opportunities. Protected by a conservation easement. $4,495,000

Stunning custom built French colonial on over 92 acres of magnificent land just minutes from Middleburg. Extraordinary quality & design, featuring 3 finished levels, a pool surrounded by stone terraces, 4 wood burning fireplaces, a gourmet country kitchen, heated floors & beamed ceilings throughout. A six stall center aisle stable, fabulous new barn & paddocks make this a spectacular equine estate. $2,850,000





ASHCROFT Clarke County ~ Historic 1830 brick country house on 86.5 acres. Three acre stocked pond, with sweeping views of mountains and open fields. Main house, which includes a 1987 addition, has 3 Bed room, 2 Bath & 2 half baths. The Living room & Dining room have elegant mantels, deep windows, & original heart pine floors. The large kitchen has a fireplace, there are seven working fireplaces in the old house, including one in the fully finished basement. A second building, constructed in 2006 is about 1,700 square feet of custom built space. A stone and wood bank barn overlooking the pond is in excellent condition. $1,500,000


HANDSOME COMMERCIAL BUILDING + TURN-KEY ESTABLISHED BUSINESS & INVENTORY in the center of Historic Middleburg. Stunning upscale home items, crystal, unique gifts, cards, custom stationery, gourmet chocolates & much more. Approx. 1/2 of inventory is offsite and is included in the sale. $1,400,000

BOARDING HOUSE Delaplane ~ Located in the historic village, this 4 BR, 2.5 Bath home has been meticulously renovated. Features original hardwood floors, 5 fireplaces, formal Living Room, Dining Room & Library. All new gourmet Kitchen, Baths & Master Bedroom Suite. Re-plastered walls, new lighting, new furnace/AC, sound system, extensive landscaping, fenced back yard, expansive rear terrace, covered front porch & detached 2-car garage. $670,000

Offers subject to errors, omissions, change of price or withdrawal without notice. Information contained herein is deemed reliable, but n

A Staunch Supporter of Land Easements


Middleburg, VA 20118 (540) 687-6500


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


MOUNT AIRY 120 acres - 2 parcels. 3 Story Manor built around older (c.1850s) home of “Carter Hall’s” estate manager c.1885. Elegant interior detailing includes 3-Story curving staircase. The stable, 2 cottages & a kennel housing the Snickersville Hounds are leased separately for $5000+/mo. Pastoral views toward the Blue Ridge Mountains. Cattle, horses & Alfalfa hay share the property. $2,750,000



At Thomas & Talbot Real Estate we are a small, efficient and effective real estate firm with over 200 years of combined sales experience. Our continued success is in large part attributable to our full time sales staff of award winning, dedicated, competent agents. It always has been, and always will be, our philosophy to give the best service to our customers and we are convinced that a smaller company serves you better. Please feel free to consult the following brokers or agents for your property requirements or for confidential, professional advice on related matters.

Susie Ashcom 540-729-1478



Cricket Bedford 540-299-3201 Catherine Bernache 540-424-7066 Snowden Clarke 540-229-1452 John Coles 540-270-0094 Rein duPont 540-454-3355 Cary Embury 540-533-0106 PICKETT STREET


Middleburg ~ Build your dream home on one of 3 parcels available on 3 or 4+ acre separate parcels just East of town. Located in an area of lovely homes just South off Rte 50 at the corner of Sally Mill Road. Settings offer cleared home sites with pastoral views. Ideal commuter location w/EZ access to both Dulles Int’l Airport & downtown DC. All parcels have permitted septics, private access easements & covenants. $285,000- $299,000

The Plains ~ 2BR, small charming cottage on a quiet street in The Plains. Newly renovated. New bathroom, updated kitchen, new windows, AC, all hardwood floors.Small garden, back porch. Town water and sewer are included. One year minimum. $1,500 mo + electric

ne fi r not so warranted nor is it otherwise guaranteed e outies e s to oper m o T.c try pr O LB coun A T AS- e hunt M O lusiv H T sit d exc i v se an Pleaestates

Julien Lacaze 540-454-2000 Anne V. Marstiller 540-270-6224 Brian McGowan 703-927-4070 Jim McGowan 703-927-0233 Mary Ann McGowan 540-270-1124 Rebecca Poston 540-771-7520 Emily Ristau 540-454-9083

Phillip S. Thomas, Sr.

Celebrating his 56th year in Real Estate

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


For Amanda Rodgers, Middleburg Was the Tennis Place to Be By Leonard Shapiro

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

It began for Amanda Rodgers at the Middleburg Tennis Club, where she first started playing in a junior program with many of her Hill School classmates. Now, more than 15 years later, the competition is far more daunting. Rodgers, 25, is the 490th-ranked woman’s player in the world, and rising quickly up the ranks in her second full year as a professional. She’s played in several Women’s Tennis Association big-money tournaments, and by next year, she believes she’ll be Amanda Rodgera moving up in the rankings. on the WTA’s much-bigcuse, while also playing tournaments ger-money circuit. At this point, she seems to be hold- in between her graduate school ing her own just below that level, and schedule, during school holidays and said, “I’m seeing improvement all the summer breaks. Now though, it’s all time.” She lives in Bradenton, Florida, about the tennis. When Rodgers left Syracuse, where she moved at the age of 13, but still considers Middleburg her home she was ranked in the 900s, but has town “and I always love to come back.” made steady progress ever since. By She’s the daughter of Mary Pat January, she’d like to be in the top Guest (maiden name Wilson), who 350; by next June between 200 and skied in the 1988 Olympics, and her 250 and playing on the WTA’s big former husband, Tom Rodgers, once tour. At that top level, $250,000 starred at quarterback at the University events are the norm, with far larger of Connecticut. Amanda is 5-foot-11, purses at the prestige events and the lanky, well-conditioned and clearly the four major championships. “The ultimate goal is to play in the athlete genes are definitely there. U.S. Open,” Rodgers said. “I’m very Her grandparents, Jim and Barbara Wilson, are long-time Middle- motivated, and I re-evaluate every burg residents and both tennis play- six months. I keep improving and ers. Mary Pat, their avid tennis- and that definitely keeps me gong.” Rodgers also said she had “no hespolo-playing daughter, and her husband, Raymond Guest, also a polo itation” turning pro. “I had so many people around me enthusiast, live in Sarasota and visit who were supportive.,” she sad. “ My Middleburg often. Amanda Rodgers credits former parents, and my coaches (including Middleburg Tennis Club pro Matt South African Ashley Hobson), who Day for helping develop her game in think I have a ton of potential.” She plays mostly in the U.S., with the two years before she and her family headed south. She then attended Sad- some financial support from her pardlebrook Prep, a Tampa school and ents, airline mileage points, lodging golf and tennis academy that prepared usually provided by tournaments and of course, her own prize money. She her for a productive college career. After posting the best singles re- hasn’t won yet – a typical $60,000 cord on the Syracuse University var- event will pay the champion $12,000, sity as a freshman, Rodgers played a $25,000 tournament about $5,500 to No. 1 singles from her sophomore the winner – but believes she’s close. Rodgers tries to get to Virginia to senior seasons against top-flight Atlantic Coast Conference competi- several times a year and said “I miss tion. She turned pro when she gradu- Middleburg so much. I’ll go back a ated, but also knew that play-for-pay few times over the summer and we athletes would be wise to prepare for usually go five or six days for Christother careers. mas. It’s such a wonderful place.” In May, 2017, she completed a And the precious place where it Masters in communications at Syra- all began.

( Middleburg Tennis Club’s New Training Center, Opening This Fall)

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Tennis, Dining, Fitness, Swimming Club House & Special Events Awarded United States Tennis Association Mid-Atlantic Section 2018 Outstanding Tennis Facility RSVP to Jay Wood Assistant Manager Middleburg Tennis Club, (540) 687-6388 ext. 104

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Bunny Mellon: Designing Woman By Vicky Moon

If the late Rachel “Bunny” Mellon detected a flaw in a certain garden layout, she had no problem having it all ripped up and starting over. She was a perfectionist of the highest order. Her knowledge of horticulture and botany is studied and deep. It is so deep that she left behind a library for scholars at Oak Spring Farm in Upperville. She was admired around the world in stylish and impressive circles beyond the Upperville home, which she shared with her husband Paul Mellon. Gardens, horticulture and botany as well as garden design guided her passion along with art, architecture and antiques. Now the 34

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

first book to focus on the gardens that Mellon designed, The Gardens of Bunny Mellon has been published by Vendome and debuts in October. Written by Linda Jane Holden it is lavishly illustrated with her own garden plans, sketches, and watercolors, as well as with archival photographs and Roger Foley’s specially commissioned photographs of the gardens, farm, and horticultural library at Oak Spring. Holden’s text is based on extensive interviews with Mellon before her death in 2014 at age 103, as well as with the gardeners at the Mellon properties and at the White House. Although she had no formal training, Mellon amassed a vast horticulture

The new book of “The Gardens of Bunny Mellon” will offer a peek inside many of her horticultural creations around the world.

Bunny Mellon in her signature garden smock designed by her close friend Hubert de Givenchy. If beauty is the harmonious relationship among parts, then Mrs. Mellon, through the gardens and landscapes she designed, was a creator of beauty. library and read voraciously. She and her late husband sportsman and philanthropist Paul Mellon, also maintained homes in New York, Cape Cod, Nantucket and Antigua, and she designed the gardens at all of them. And all of them are included in this book. She also designed gardens for her dearest friends, including President and Mrs. Kennedy. At JFK’s request, she redesigned the Rose Garden and the East Garden (renamed the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden) at the White House, and at the request of his widow, she landscaped the JFK gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery and the grounds of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Hubert de Givenchy, shared her love of gardens, and together they designed the formal and kitchen gardens at his Château du Jonchet in the French countryside. They also oversaw the restoration of the Potager du Roi (Louis XIV’s kitchen garden) at Versailles. The late fashion icon designed much of her wardrobe, from her gowns to her gardening hats and smocks. The Gardens of Bunny Mellon is published with the cooperation and endorsement of the Oak Spring Garden Foundation in Upperville, the mission of which is to perpetuate and share Bunny Mellon’s residence, garden, and extensive library.

The east pool in front of the formal greenhouse, facing the wedding cake gazebo.

Breakfast with Bunny at Buchanan Hall Author Linda Jane Holden will speak and autograph copies of her book, The Gardens of Bunny Mellon, on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. at Buchanan Hall in Upperville. There is no charge to attend. For details go to For questions and advance purchases, send to:

The west side of the formal garden under a blanket of snow.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


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Sam Cockburn Following a Family Equestrian Tradition By Leslie VanSant

The camera pans through the quaint, horsey village of Middleburg. It turns down a narrow tree-lined drive to fenced pastures filled with beautiful hunters. Enter our hero: tall, dashing, handsome, leading a lovely grey mare in from a ride through the country. It’s not the opening scene in a screenplay, but it could be. At historic Brook Hill Farm just west of Middleburg, native son Sam Cockburn has hung out a shingle with his partner, Mackenzie Taylor. T&C Elite Sport Horses prepares, trains and sells horses, with an emphasis on foxhunters. Horses have always been a part of Sam’s life. You could say that horses and hounds run in his DNA. His mother, Chrissy Keys Heard, is a longtime horsewoman and his grandfather is Gordie Keys of Beaver Dam Farm, home to thoroughbred race horses and cattle. Sam’s father was the late Bay Cockburn, a huntsman, master of foxhounds, steeplechase jockey and trainer. Some will remember riding to hounds behind Bay and then, after a calamitous riding accident, he was a fixture at race meets training winners over fences and on the flat from his motorized wheelchair. Sam grew up riding across Loudoun and Fauquier counties and has been hunting since he was in grade school. He graduated from Loudoun Valley High School and headed south to Mississippi State University. But he cut his studies short to come home. “I missed the horses too much,” he said. Upon his return, he went back to work in his dad’s barn, helping with the horses in training,


Sam Cockburn at the Piedmont Races March 2018. breaking young horses and doing a lot of hunting. “Living up to old Bay is just something I have given up on,” Sam explained on a sunny late summer afternoon with a sly smile. “It just seemed too dangerous. But in all seriousness, my dad was my sole mentor, and I owe everything to him. I have not found horsemanship that compares to his and I only really experienced it close up when he was

in a wheelchair. That being said, I never grew up thinking I had a disabled father.” With an innate love of speed and equine athleticism, Sam did follow in his father’s footsteps and rode races on the Virginia Point to Point circuit and at sanctioned steeplechase meets, including the Middleburg Spring Races and Virginia Gold Cup. “I rode races all through high school,” he said. “Fell off a lot. The weight was always hard to make then and even more now. But I’m always looking for a runner to ride in the amateur races. It’s a good excuse to keep my weight down.” He still gallops horses for local jump trainers, including Julie Gomena. “With her background in eventing,” he said, “Julie’s approach to conditioning and training was a great education for me in the emphasis on ring work, both on the flat and over jumps.” On a stroll down the barn aisle, Sam introduced all the horses. “This is Paris,” he said, pulling out a lovely grey mare. “I’m hunting her tomorrow first flight with Middleburg. She’s really a star…And she’s for sale.” Fox hunting and horses also run deep with his business partner, who he describes as a lifelong equestrian. Mackenzie Taylor comes from a Maryland fox hunting family. Her father, Robert, is huntsman at Goshen Hounds and was world champion in Mounted Games for individuals in 2013 and 2014, and team champion in 2015. Together, they look to develop new enthusiasts for fox hunting with safe, confident and talented mounts to carry them. And if their clients want to do a little steeplechase racing on the side, that’s fine, too.

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A Classic American Dream Comes True at Abbey Design Center By Leonard Shapiro


here are days when Shiva Etessam thinks about simply riding off into the sunset, with the emphasis on the riding. As a child, she spent summers in rural northern Iran, her native country, and said, “I can still smell the farm. I loved the outdoors and I loved the horses.” But these days, there’s no time for such equine pursuits. She’s far too occupied running her thriving business, Abbey Design Center, with locations in Sterling and Leesburg. The company specializes in flooring, kitchens and custom re-modeling, both residential and commercial. She and her late husband, Ali Cheloei, started the company in Oxon Hill, Md., when she was 25. Only six months earlier, they had emigrated to the U.S., leaving the turbulence of then war-torn and revolution-in-waiting Iran. Theirs was the quintessential immigrant’s American dream, sadly shattered when Ali—“the love of my life,” she said—died from a heart attack back in Iran while visiting his family in 2005. He was 53. Shiva, his grief-stricken widow, somehow managed to pick up the pieces and kept the business afloat. What else could she do? After all, she had two young sons, but she also possessed a brilliant mind for business, despite never going to college, and a work ethic one of her employees described as “unbelievable.”

She and Ali had moved the store to Sterling from Maryland in 1989, then opened another in Leesburg in 2009. Both areas were booming, with scads of suburban houses and new businesses all around, the perfect market for Abbey Design Center. The bottom line always improved, until the disastrous recession of 2008. More on that later. Knowing their original Sterling location was getting too small, they had purchased some land near the Sterling Costco. Construction had started before Ali’s death, but his wife saw the project through and opened its far more spacious current location in 2006. “I’ve been involved in the business from the very beginning,” Etessam said, sitting in her tastefully decorated office above the main showroom. “I did the buying, the ordering and Ali did the selling. It was very small in the beginning, with only four employees (including Shiva and Ali) in Maryland. By 2005 there were nine, and now we have 45.” Etessam said she learned on the fly when they first started. Her father was a school principal back in Iran and always stressed the importance of education. “I was a child of an educator,” she said. “So I learned how to learn.” Her oldest son, Ali Jr., obviously did, too. He’s a graduate of Villanova’s law school and joined the business five years ago as head of

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its commercial division. In 2010, her sister, Friba Hedges, came in as head of operations, along with her brother, Nader Etessam, the chief estimator. Her youngest son, Amir, works for media giant Cox “and he’s brilliant,” his mother said, adding with a smile that maybe one day he’ll come into the business as well. In 2019, Abbey Design Center will celebrate its 30th anniversary, and Etessam was effusive in her praise for so many people who helped make it happen. “I believe the success of Abbey is because of our incredible team and our loyal customers,” she said. “Abbey would not have thrived if they were not in its corner. Their input has influenced our buying, merchandising decisions and customer service over the years. They have supported us and trusted us with their homes for the past 30 years and I thank them for that from the bottom of my heart.” In 2008, her siblings were not around in one of the worst years in the history off the company. Like everyone else, the great recession of that miserable year clearly took its toll on her nerves, and Abbey’s bottom line. “I never thought one year could be half the business it was the year before,” she said. “We had expanded, we had more employees. And 2008 hit our market really hard.

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Ali was gone, I had two kids in college. I felt vey lonely at that time. Everyone was struggling, and noone knew what was going on.” Still, she managed to persevere. “We hung in there and we diversified,” she said. “I was always a very cautious person, I never jumped into anything. Everyone was going out of business back then, but we expanded our remodeling business. Then someone said, ‘why not do the commercial business, commercial flooring,’ and I thought to myself ‘why not?’ I had the materials. I had the crews and I had a line of credit. Thankfully, the commercial business was a success and kept us going. We glided through the storm, and by 2012 we were out of it.” Shiva Etessam also paid tribute to her parents. She said she gets her tenacity and strength from her late mother. And her father, the school principal, taught his five children countless valuable life lessons, and she remembered many of them during the hard times. “My father always told me ‘I know you can do this,’” she said. “He would say, ‘you’re going to have a great life.’ He said, ‘always leave a good footprint of yourself.’ When I go to his grave (in Iran), I always say to him ‘I hope you are happy with us.’” The obvious answer surely would be an emphatic yes.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018



Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

Middleburg Concert Series: Chamber Music With Room for More By Sophie Scheps

In 2015, long-time area music instructor and performer Alan Saucedo was commiserating with fellow Hill School music teacher Karen Chase about the lack of consistent musical performances in Middleburg. And so, they decided to take matters into their own talented hands. “Karen just so happened to be the music person at the United Methodist Church,” Saucedo said. “During one of the times when we were just talking about the possibility of doing a concert, we thought ‘why don’t we do a concert series at the church, it’s a beautiful space?’” The original plan was to make high-quality chamber music accessible to the community. And now, throughout the year, four concerts are held, followed by a reception to meet the artists. They’re open to the public, with voluntary donations obviously appreciated. “We are all so used to the string quartet and we do those types of concerts, but we like to try to spice it up and make it special,” said Saucedo. “The idea is to always bring chamber music that is unique in some way.” They accomplish that goal through new arrangements and combining


The scene at a recent Middleburg Concert Series event at Middleburg’s United Methodist Church. different instruments. Their recent September concert featured a cello ensemble of eight players. Often, the concert is split into two halves, with artists switching instruments after intermission to create an entirely new sound. Their annual summer concert is

the culminating performance from their Middleburg Chamber Music Festival, produced in collaboration with the Community Music School of the Piedmont. During the weeklong festival, students from middle school through college participate in master classes under the guidance of

national and international artists. “Having even the little kids play in front of these big names is really special and they get some nice feedback,” said Saucedo. In honor of Saucedo’s Mexican heritage, the September concert featured Latin-American music and artists, often combining the genres of chamber music and folk music. “It was very important for me to also bring something from my culture and expose it to the people here,” said Saucedo. Their final concert of the year, “A Christmas Serenade,” will take place on December 16. The response from the community has been extremely positive, with over 150 music-lovers usually attending each concert. Saucedo and the rest of the board are thrilled to be spreading the word about chamber music. “We would love to double our programs at least,” said Saucedo “We have been working to apply for grants to continue bringing these international artists to Middleburg.” The Middleburg Concert Series is a nonprofit, and always welcomes donations to continue expanding their programs.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

This Front Porch Is Deliciously Inviting, Inside and Out By Mara Seaforest Locals tend to congregate along the bench seats on the actual front porch at The Front Porch restaurant in The Plains. They can wave at neighbors passing by, invite them up to share a drink or a meal, perhaps talk about the weather or the cost of hay. Inside, families find it especially welcoming to dine with the kids in tow, often to give them their first taste of the locally-sourced organic foods that are the mainstay of the Front Porch’s menu. Upstairs, where it’s a little quieter, you might find couples on dates, friends quietly discussing a project over some delicious soup and a glass of local wine.

Out back? Well, it’s a party on the Back Porch at the Front Porch. That’s where people tend to meet for small parties, cheerful receptions, or just al fresco dining in fine weather. There’s even a little bar. You can find a clue to the future of the space in a huge mural on the wall to the right as you cross the threshold from the upstairs dining room: Ronald Reagan crying, “Tear Down This Wall!” That’s exactly what will soon happen, to allow the room to grow and thrive. Let freedom ring! Throughout The Front Porch, there’s a rotating display of delightful art work, often including references to classic motion pictures. Both reflect the interests of the restaurant’s Wash-

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Front Porch owner Dan Myers credits executive chef Jason Von Moll with creating a truly pleasurable dining experience. ington, D.C.-based owners, Craig Spaulding and William Waybourn. They enjoy offering interesting items for sale, which is why you may occasionally see something on display near the cash register downstairs that you just have to take home. Executive Chef Jason Von Moll clearly is a master of his craft. That’s a given. But one of the things that makes his kitchen sing is his generosity in sharing his knowledge with his kitchen staff. The goal is for everyone at all levels, from dishwasher to sous-chef, one day may be able to step up to run the whole show, from planning to execution. The cooperative spirit he’s building also benefits guests by ensuring that everyone they encounter during their visit is part of a true team, dedicated to serving delicious food. “I absolutely say that I wouldn’t be here if Jason hadn’t signed on,” said manager Dan Meyers. “He’s that good.” Myers first encountered Von Moll at the company’s first restaurant, “The Paladin,” in Stephens City near Winchester. Both still operate that venue as well as The Front Porch, commuting from homes equidistant from the two.

Von Moll recommends his fish presentations and other menu items that feature local beef, lamb, ham and, of course, fruits and veggies. “We’re working with Ayrshire Farms and other local farmers to get the best ingredients,” he said. “We’re working toward being all local, all organic.”

Jason Von Moll’s Bacon Jam

Among the unique treats that define the Front Porch experience, regulars have discovered Von Moll’s astonishing Bacon Jam. Here’s how he makes it: • 1 pound chopped bacon • 4 cups diced yellow onion • 1 cup balsamic vinegar • 1 cup granulated sugar • 1½ cups packed brown sugar Cook chopped bacon in a threequart saucepan until almost done. Add diced onion and cook until translucent. Pour in vinegar and sugars, mix well and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer until thickens to jam consistency, stirring frequently. Pour into sterile jars as you would any jam.



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A spectacular 88 acre parcel at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a quiet country lane. Surrounded by beautiful estates & picturesque horse farms. The land is open & rolling with a strong stream. An ideal setting for a gracious country estate & perfect for equestrians. Recently approved permits for the well, septic and roadway to the beautifully sited building envelope.



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A long winding drive leads to a beautifully renovated, single story residence in a secluded setting. Gleaming wood floors grace the main rooms, multiple windows & glass doors bathe the rooms in natural light, a fabulous gourmet county kitchen is a true chef ’s delight, & the luxurious master suite is a dream retreat. Barn & newly fenced paddocks make this a perfect hunt box. $564,500

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

A Father and Son Riding in to a New Venture By Justin Haefner

My father, Dr. Paul Haefner, and I recently embarked on a new family business focusing on the local equine community. Justin Haefner Horsemanship has joined Riding Far, LLC, to offer training services and sports psychology consultation for riders and their horses. I just finished high school and have been riding and working with horses all my life. It’s always been my great passion, and the same for my dad. COURTESY PHOTO He’s a clinical psychologist, spe- Justin Haefner and his dad, Paul cializing in equestrian sports psy- Haefner, now in a horsey joint venture. chology, with over 30 years experience. His primary focus, he said, is patient with themselves. They expect helping people engage in the sport that changing themselves should be in a way that maximizes their enjoy- quick and easy.” ment and level of performance while My dad offers riders both perhelping them deal with the emotion- spective and effective tools for growal road blocks like fear, anxiety, and ing in their knowledge of themselves lack of confidence.” and their horses and bringing their In addition to his therapy backbest to their riding. ground, he also has over The goal of proper 45 years as a rider in disciYou’re not training is to prepare a plines that include hunter/ horse for its life with peojumpers, fox hunting, working on ple. The personality and the horse, skill of the owner are as eventing, dressage, and natural horsemanship. important as the discipline you’re I’m currently focusand other roles the horse ing on foundational horse working on will fulfill. It's essential development, starting yourself. that the horse and owner horses mainly destined understand each other for – Ray Hunt for the show ring. With there to be any kind of real a background in natural communication. horsemanship, and interest in the I strive to provide each horse the principles of classical dressage, I’m foundation it needs to understand fascinated with equine anatomy and what is expected in daily life with behavior. their owner. Finally, I work to proI’m also in school studying vide a foundation that is specific to Equine Osteopathy at The Vluggen their discipline so that each horse Institute for Equine Osteopathy and better understands its job and doesn’t Education in Garwood, Texas. It’s suffer unnecessary confusion. incredibly important to understand All training, horse and human, the interior structure and movement happens through proper commuof horses when asking them to per- nication and understanding. We form. There’s far more to training need to take into account the horse’s than merely changing behavior; it’s physiology, psychology, previous crucial to understand the nature of education, care, and experience with their bodies and their minds. humans. My dad and I both believe in the We often send our horses off for power of the relationship between training without putting an equal horse and rider, defined by mutual amount of effort into ourselves. That understanding and effective commu- can mean learning the same skills as nication. the horse in training, but also workRiders can be challenged by a ing on some our internal conflicts. range of experiences and actions. It’s a two way street between horse They have bad habits. They strug- and rider. We’re putting in the time gle to recover from accidents. Or, and money to develop the horse, but they’re challenged by strong emo- it’s also extremely important to intions like frustration and fear. In his vest time, money, and energy into time working with riders, my dad developing ourselves. said his experience is that “unlike the Justin Haefner, a very recent high patience riders often have for train- school graduate, has been writing for ing their horses, they’re often less Country Spirit since age 16.

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018




The season is off and running PHOTOS BY MIDDLEBURG PHOTO

Above, Linden Ryan, John Ryan and Gregg Ryan at Old Welbourne with the Piedmont Fox Hounds.

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

Right, it’s all in the details, Nick Greenwell. Below, Middleburg Hunt at Goodstone Inn with Peggie Hudson and George Kingsley.

Above, Brad and Randi Bondi at Old Welbourne. Left, Julia Butcher with Middleburg Hunt at Goodstone. Below, Peter Walsh with Orange County Hounds at Oakendale. Bottom, organic cattle at Goodstone Inn.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Wine Trail

A Very Special Blend Celebrates 400 Years of Virginia Wine By Peter Morgan-Leonard

In 1619, the Jamestown Church was the venue where the first British representative in English America, John Pory, said, “Three things there be which in a few years may bring this Colony to perfection: the English plough, vineyards and cattle.” That same year, the Virginia House of Burgesses, passed Act 12, a law requiring that all male households in Virginia plant ten grape vines. In 2019, it will be 400 years since those transformative events occurred, and the first grape vines were planted in Virginia. To commemorate this remarkable milestone, 16 respected Virginia wineries have collaborated to produce 10,000 bottles of a Bordeaux style red blend wine named Virginia’s Heritage. The 10,000 bottles represent the 10,000 vines brought to the Commonwealth by the Virginia Company in the early part of the 17th century in an effort to create an important new form of agriculture in the new colony. That set the stage for Virginia becoming what is now the fifth highest grape-producing state in the nation. Virginia’s Heritage is a mélange of Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat, all varietals of the European Vitis Vinifera grape vine. With a barrel from each of the wineries’ finest 2016 or 2017 vintages, this wine should be one for the ages, and one that also will age well. Spearheaded by winemaker Chris Pearmund of Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, one of the par-

Virginia’s Heritage limited edition Bordeaux style red blend with special birch wood label. The presentation box adorned with The Virginia Company Seal from 1619 ticipating properties for this marvelous endeavor, wine aficionados may expect to witness its release in October to coincide with Virginia Wine Month. Oak barrel aging and subsequent bottling took place at Effingham Manor & Winery in Nokesville, one of the contributing properties. In keeping with any fine celebratory, limitededition product, each bottle is embellished with an exquisitely designed label made from a thin

sheet of birch wood emblazoned with the original 1607 coat of arms of the Company of Merchants. They’re safeguarded in a box with a bedding of birch wood shavings, upon which is depicted the original 1619 Virginia Company Seal. In addition to Pearmund and Effingham, contributing wineries from various parts of the Commonwealth include Aspen Dale Winery in Delaplane, Cooper Vineyards in Louisa, Glass House Winery in Free Union, Ingleside Vineyards in Oak Grove, Naked Mountain in Markham, Narmada Winery in Amissville, New Kent Winery in New Kent, Phillip Carter Winery in Hume, Potomac Point in Stafford, Rappahannock Cellars in Huntly, Rosemont of Virginia Winery in La Crosse, Vint Hill Craft Winery in Vint Hill, Williamsburg Winery in Williamsburg and The Winery at Bull Run in Centreville. Virginia’s Heritage will be available at each of the contributing wineries, online at and at select outlets. Virginia is now home to 280 wineries, a 26 percent increase in just five years. Initiatives such as Virginia’s Heritage will ensure the continued growth and popularity the state has enjoyed over the past four decades. Santé! Correction: In a column tn our fall edition, it was incorrectly implied that Lisa Christopher, and not Maggie Malick, is the winemaker at Maggie Malick Wine Caves. Ms. Christopher is in fact the tasting room manager, and the proper full name should have read Maggie Malick Wine Caves, not simply Malick.

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018 Office: 540-687-7077 Fax: 540-722-6405

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that go 300 years deep.

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Three Blacksmiths forge new tradition By John Hagerty

More than 100 years ago the picturesque, sleepy village of Sperryville lay in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains much as it does today. But one unique similarity between now and then is the population. It’s only increased from 300 to some 350 inhabitants. Growth is not a Rappahannock County trait; traditional life holds sway here. Originally the town supported five general stores, six mills, an apple packing plant, saloon, barbershop, pharmacy and…three blacksmiths. When change comes, the emphasis is often on building upon the past while looking to the future. The newest vision of that philosophy is located at 20 Main Street. Welcome to the Three Blacksmiths. Step inside and let the hospitality of yesteryear embrace you in a warm and comforting dining experience. The force behind the restaurant is John and Diane MacPherson. The energetic and attractive couple are not interlopers from distant parts. Rather, they’re an established team with a reputation for hospitality and food earned while operating the Foster Harris House bed and breakfast

4 East Federal Street Middleburg, VA 20117

Best Thai Kitchen

16 East Washington St. Middleburg, VA 20117


Ethan Taylor, John MacPherson and Diane MacPherson are the ‘three blacksmiths’ of Sperryville.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018



for 13 years in Rappahannock County’s little Washington. What drove the couple to transition from innkeepers to restaurateurs? Evolution. “We had a good business from our five guestrooms and popular cycling tours. For the last three years we were also serving dinner to overnight guests and locals,” said John MacPherson. Then the phone rang. A Northern Virginia real estate broker inquired if the inn was for sale. Well, no, not really. But at the end of the day, everything is for sale. The broker mentioned a princely sum if the business was ever placed on the market. Later that morning in 2016, the MacPhersons took a bike ride and talked about selling and what they might do if they left the inn behind. Opening a restaurant was high up on their list. And while they never again heard from the broker, the single phone call set in motion the next chapter of their lives. “We watered and fertilized and watered and fertilized and thought about it until we could not go back after receiving that phone call,” said John MacPherson. After the inn was sold there was a gap in time before the couple embarked on their new venture. “We had been to Europe in the past and really loved the way the restaurants operated there. The experience was magical. They didn’t have to talk about farm-totable. They didn’t have to talk about food and wine. Everything was just normal for them. We realized we needed to go back and see what we loved about those places and incorporate it into our restaurant,” said Diane MacPherson.

A six-week “research trip” was undertaken to England, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Italy and other countries. The vision began to crystallize in August 2017.


Back stateside, the building they had purchased was a blank palette ready for a total makeover. The MacPhersons, along with their sous chef Ethan Taylor – the three blacksmiths – began a vision and build-out of the interior of the restaurant. The interior was to be an elegant setting of soft wood hues showcasing an open hearth so diners could see the chefs as they crafted each evening’s dinner. “Diane, Ethan, my mom, sister and I renovated the entire interior. We worked on every surface, including the cooking line, all the electrical, and the bathrooms. The only thing we didn’t build were the tables, chairs and cooking equipment,” said John MacPherson. This past June 9, the first dinner was served to 16 guests. And if that seems like a modest size crowd for opening night, consider the restaurant only seats 16. The MacPhersons wanted an intimate setting that reflected in-home dining with personalized service, from the welcoming flute of champagne to dessert. Much of the food and libations are procured from local farms, breweries, wineries and a distillery. Moreover, there is only one 7 p.m. seating each Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Dedication to providing a unique oneof-a kind experience dictated a limited service of just three days a week. Each evening diners have the entire restaurant to themselves.

“We have a small staff and we wanted a manageable amount of work so we could be involved personally with every meal. The only way you can do that is by keeping it small and intimate. There are no plans for expanding in the future. What we have today is what we’ll have in five years,” said Diane MacPherson. The pricing and payment for the dinners is also unique. The multi-course tasting menu is $99 per person plus a $70 alcohol charge; gratuity and tax not included. Both reservations and payment are made online. A $50 deposit is levied when reservations are made. On the morning of the dinner the remaining bill is charged to the guest’s credit card. “When guests arrive they just sit down, enjoy their meal and leave when they’re finished. There’s no business transactions during dinner,” said John MacPherson. And how popular is the new restaurant? Since the opening, every dining night has been booked. The pace of business has matched demand. Initially, much of the business was generated from their legion of former B&B fans and locals. Today, nearby wineries and inns are recommending the restaurant to their guests. “The percentage of outside guests is growing and the business is stabilizing. It was a matter of getting the word out,” said John MacPherson. This article originally appeared in The Fauquier Times published by Piedmont Media LLC, which includes Country Spirit Magazine.

Three Blacksmiths

20 Main St., Sperryville | 540-987-5105

Why 'Three Blacksmiths?' A century ago, Sperryville was a bustling village of over 300 residents with five general stores, six mills, an apple packing house, a saloon, a barber shop, a pharmacy, and three blacksmiths. It was a time when most things were still made by hand and craftspeople had a direct connection to their handiwork. Since then, the world has sped up in ways unimaginable to our ancestors, but there’ll always be a place for those of us who take pleasure in working with our hands. We wanted to honor a slice of Sperryville’s past and the folks that honed its future. At Three Blacksmiths, instead of forging metal in our open hearth, we’ll be crafting your dinner.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Sadly we announce that Patty Callahan has retired for the 3rd & last time. Patty joined Akre Capital in 2006 and has been an integral part of this organization. In addition to her incredible competence and skill, she has been a friend to all. We will miss her at the office but not in Life. The gang at Akre Capital Management, LLC.

Patty spearheaded the mural project on the Mosbys building as her last hurrah….


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Delilah Ruth Ohrstrom married Alexander James Harris on August 25. The 5:30 p.m. wedding took place at the bride’s family home in The Plains. The bride is the daughter of Lilla and Chris Ohrstrom. Marcy and Jim Harris are the parents of the groom. The newlyweds will now reside in Los Angeles.

Scene Seen Historians Madeline Forrest Ramsey and Alison Herring spoke recently at the AfricanAmerican Historic Association of Fauquier County in The Plains. Their subject was “Women at War: The Fauquier County Homefront,” and their lecture was followed by a visit to nearby historic Avenel Farm, once used as a headquarters by Confederate General Robert E. Lee during the Second Manassas campaign.



Bank of Charles Town CEO Alice Frazier, board member Barbara Scott and Purcellville branch manager Vicky Melba at the recent official opening of the new Purcellville location. PHOTO BY VICKY MOON

Patrick Farris, Professor of Anthropology at Shenandoah University, gave a rousing lecture at the Marshall Community Center on the history of the 5,000-acre U.S. Army Remount Depot in Warren County. The Front Royal facility closed in 1947.

Carol Lee and Dulany Morison organized a Mosby Heritage fundraising event to renovate the cemetery in Willisville. Held at Buchanan Hall in Upperville, the Sistahs of Praise and the Gospel Tones performed and received a standing ovation.


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REAL Estates:

Cleremont Farm in Upperville Just north of Upperville on the eastern slope and piedmont of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies the 1511-acre historic estate of Cleremont Farm. This beautiful farm land is also recognized as prime horse land in an area that has produced Olympic equestrians, with polo fields, the historic Upperville Horse Show and the Piedmont Hunt nearby. The property has received both local and national awards. Being true stewards of the land and water, the owners have diligently worked, exercising best management practices, to create a healthy environment, which in turn has produced award-winning cattle. Cleremont Farm is an assemblage of three contiguous farms (Cleremont, Ross and Bellefields) placed in easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. A stately Georgian-style home was designed by the late local architect Billy Dew and built in 1993. Cleremont, on the east side of Trappe Road, has wonderful fields, Jeffries Branch, three ponds and a Federal-style manor house, listed on the Historic Register, c. 1820. The bucolic setting for this historic home is heightened by majestic trees and a long drive entrance past two serene ponds. This charm-


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

ing four-bedroom home offers spectacular views in all directions. To the back and side of this home is a 25’ x 50’ swimming pool, original Patent House (now guest house), c. 1760, office, three-car garage and stunning gardens. The third farm, Bellefields, has a threebedroom tenant house, hay barns, fenced fields, riding trails and a significant stand of hardwoods easily accessed by a private section of Piney Swamp Road.

Cleremont Farm Offers:

• Residences that include a historic manor house, a second manor house, three tenant houses and patent house, c. 1760. • Outbuildings that include a farm office, garages, 14 stall barn, machine shop and hay barns. • Pristine water from natural springs, including Jeffries Branch, three ponds and wetlands, and is protected by 4.5 miles of fencing. • Water is supplied to all fields with springfed or energy-free water troughs piped from existing wells. • 130 acres of riparian buffers for wildlife habitat are protected with wildlife-

friendly fences. • 33 mixed grass pastures, where cattle are rotated often allowing pastures to rest 2030 days. • During the past year, 500 head of cattle grazed until February, requiring only 400 bales of hay during the year. • 1,000 acres of hardwood forest, 400 acres of which comprise the largest flatland timber stand in Fauquier County. The trees are managed on a 20- to 25-year rotation. • Two miles of interior roads provide access to homes and fields. • Wildlife includes wild turkeys, grouse, doves, foxes, deer, bobcats, geese, ducks, black bears and bald eagles. • Riding trails, hiking trails, beautifully managed fields and ponds have created a retreat with tremendous opportunities for riding, fishing, hiking, hunting and bird watching. John Coles of THOMAS AND TALBOT REAL ESTATE 540-270-0094 | 540-687-6500 Listed at $19.75 million





Cleremont Farm is an assemblage of three contiguous farms – Cleremont, Ross and Bellefields – placed in easement with Virginia Outdoors Foundation. 1. This stone building now serves as the farm office 2. Cleremonts Federalstyle manor home is listed on the Historic Register c.1820. 3. The gracious rooms enjoy spectacular views in all directions. 4. A stately Georgian-style home was designed by the late local architect Billy Drew, and is on what is called Ross Farm. 5. There are 33 mixed grass pastures, where cattle are rotated often allowing pastures to rest 20-30 days.

5. Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


Chasing Autumn


Orange County Hounds By Vicky Moon

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Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

Shannon Venezia and her children: Marcus Venezia, 5, Aria Venezia-Vega, 10 Zoey Venezia-Vega, 8 are getting ready for the Orange County Hounds Team Chase slated for Sunday, Oct. 28 at Old Whitewood Farm in The Plains. “It’s a wonderful event,” Venezia said. “Everyone always has a great time.” It all begins at noon and is adapted from the traditional English team chase creating something for every level of fox hunter. The event offers a Junior Championship to recognize the excellence of the young riders, as well as an Adult First Flight Championship. Venezia, 31, has been enamored with horses all her life, and not much has changed for her, and, so far, for her horse-loving three children. She grew up in Fairfax, was home-schooled and actually started her own riding school in Leesburg when she was only 18. She’s been living in the Middleburg area the last eight years and now runs the horse operation at Over The Grass Farm in The Plains. She cares for 20 horses boarded in their barn, teaches riding and also takes clients out fox-hunting with Orange County Hounds and the Middleburg Hunt, often four times a week. The children are all students at Hill School in Middleburg. Her oldest daughter, ten-year-old Aria, shares her mom’s passion for all things equine, and Marcus also is showing increasing interest. His mom said he especially loves it at hunt meets when the hounds come pouring out of the trailer and into the field. Eight-year-old Zoie “has no inter-

est whatsoever,” Venezia said with a smile. “She does like to play with the ponies and she’s certainly not afraid of them. But she likes to dress other things up.” Maybe we’ll see her helping with trophies? For more info contact: Pippy McCormick, 540-687-5552 or

Shannon Venezia with Marcus Venezia enjoy a day out.

Quality and Compassionate Veterinary Care for all Companion Animals PHOTOS BY MIDDLEBURG PHOTO

Shannon Venezia and her children: Marcus Venezia, 5, Aria Venezia-Vega, 10 Zoey Venezia-Vega, 8 are getting ready for the Orange County Hounds Team Chase. And their four legged friend, Gabriel is looking forward to the Jack Russell races at The International Gold Cup at Great Meadow

International Gold Cup As part of an action-packed program at the 81st edition of the International Gold Cup races at Great Meadow on Saturday, Oct. 27, a feisty assortment of Jack Russell Terriers will line up in specially designed starting box around 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. Gabriel, the Jack Russell featured in our photo here with the children, is owned by Carole Standfield. He’s expected for the terrier races presented by the Fauquier County Department of Economic Development, with gifts to the winner from Big Dog Pots Pottery in Marshall. As the afternoon moves along, spectators will tailgate and wager on an exciting card of racing. This includes the International Gold Cup, a 3½-mile $75,000 timber stake with 23 fences. The race was first held in 1930 at Grasslands Downs, Tennessee, where the King of Spain pro-

vided a spectacularly beautiful gold trophy. The race moved to Virginia in 1984, and the winner is presented with the same magnificent hardware. “The International Gold Cup has a large annual following,” said Will Allison, president of the Virginia Gold Cup Association. “Our fall event is always blessed with spectacular scenery with an amazing display of fall colors.” Gates open at 10 a.m. with pre-race entertainment, and the first race gets underway at noon. The event also features pari-mutuel wagering. “Bring cash for wagering,” Allison noted. This year also features new ticket pricing. General Admission parking passes for one vehicle and four guests are now $50 each. Everyone entering the event grounds under general admission and going to the north or south areas must have a wristband at $25 each. Members Hill badges are $55 each. Details: or 540-347-1215.

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The Hank Long and Short Of It By Leonard Shapiro

Henry “Hank” Long is the Long in Long & Foster, the iconic Washington area real estate company he and then partner, P. Wesley Foster, founded 50 years ago. He’s no longer involved with the firm, having been bought out by Foster, still his great friend, a very long time ago. Though the company recently was purchased by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway colossus, Hank Long has absolutely no regrets about selling his own interest to Foster in 1978, because he then started his own development firm. The Henry Long Company also made a substantial regional mark, building apartments, commercial office parks and even AOL’s start-up headquarters. Long moved to the Middleburg area in 1985 and now lives near Warrenton. Born in Northern Virginia, he spent a number of years as a youngster on his grandfather’s family farm near Breezewood, Pa., and graduated from Arlington’s Washington-Lee High. From there, he went on to Virginia Tech, where he was a proud member of its military Corps of Cadets, and went on to a distinguished career as an Air Force officer and pilot. “I’m probably the only guy you’ll ever meet in your life who volunteered to go to Vietnam as a young Air Force first lieutenant,” Long said. “This was before the Vietnam war started – 1961 and ‘62. I volunteered to help train ARVN pilots (South Vietnam’s military).” A few years later, he was assigned to the Strategic Air Command and was stationed at several different bases around the country, including Columbus, Ohio. “It worked out pretty well,” he said with a smile. That’s where he met and married his late wife, Betty, the mother of their four children who passed away two years ago. After his discharge, Long went into business for himself, working in investment real estate and still flying in the Air Force reserves. He and Betty were living near Falls Church in an apartment complex called Monticello Gardens and became friendly with a neighboring older couple. Knowing Long was in the real estate business, they asked if he’d look at a house they were thinking about purchasing in a nearby development called Camelot. Wes Foster was Camelot’s sales manager, and showed the house to Long. 58

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

Hank Long was an original founder of Long & Foster Real Estate “That’s when we struck up a friendship,” Long said. “We started going to lunch together and the rest, as they say, is history.” Foster was a VMI graduate and an offensive lineman on the football team. "Wes’s solution was always to just hit the line and go full speed,” Long said. “I liked to think things through. Have a plan. I’d been in business since I started buying and selling eggs from the farm with my father when I was 12. I was a business major at Tech. “ The new partners’ first office was at 8301 Arlington Boulevard in a space so small they couldn’t squeeze in a conference room. A lawyer they knew had an office and a suitable conference room not far from Fairfax Hospital and allowed them to use it.

Long handled the commercial end, Foster the residential. “I’d get five, six seven people to invest in a building,” Long said. “I’d manage it and run it, and when we sold it, all the money went back to pay the initial investment and the return on the investment, and I’d get a part of it, too.” Foster’s Camelot connection also was paying off. Original buyers were starting to move out, and Long & Foster handled a number of those resales. By 1978, the company had grown exponentially, with over 1,000 agents. Merrill Lynch was then getting into residential real estate and made Foster and Long an offer to sell their business and go to work for them. Long was all for it; Foster was hesitant. Finally, Foster offered to buy him out, and Long was all for

that, as well. They parted friends, and have stayed friends ever since. “Wes and I had a marriage,” Long said. “Anything we did was ours, not his or mine. And it worked. It just got too big for me. I’ve always wanted the best for him, and Wes felt the same way. I was fine with (moving on). They made a lot of money, I made money. It was all good.” And so, the Henry Long Company was formed, and also flourished. Long is retired now, has a regular weekly tennis game and revels in being around his adult children and eight grandchildren. He also likes to say: “I’ve probably lost more money than I ever thought I’d make. But I’ve been blessed in everything I’ve done.” And, don’t you know, that’s mostly the Long and short of it.

Country Spirit • Autumn 2018


JOHN COLES 540-270- 0094 REBECCA POSTON 540-771-7520 “Specializing in large land holdings”






The impressive, historic & award winning 1511 Acre Estate & Cattle Farm of Cleremont, offers a healthy environment for all of its inhabitants from the forest & land on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the 33 verdant pastures & abundant natural water resources. Prime Piedmont Hunt territory with riding trails on the property. Residences include a historic manor house, a second manor house, the original patent house & 3 tenant houses. $19,750,000






CHUDLEIGH FARM (Adjacent to OATLAND VIEWS – CHUDLEIGH FARM SECTION 1) ALDIE ~ 379.75 Acres on the north side of Oatlands Road between Rt. 15 and Snickersville Turnpike. Currently divided into 16 HOMESITES developed under the Low Density Development Option. Homesites range in size from 13.83 Acres – 38.12 Acres. Open Space Easement in place with potential for tax credits. $7,500,000.00

OATLAND VIEWS (Adjacent to CHUDLEIGH FARM SECTION 2) ALDIE ~ 271 Acres on the north side of Oatlands Road between Rt. 15 and Snickersville Turnpike. Divided into 11 HOMESITES ranging in size from 13-41 Acres with private road frontage on Clear Creek Lane. 10 of the 11 parcels have wells and Certification Letters for 4 bedroom septics. Land protected by Loudoun County Open Space Easement. $5,500,000.00








The Plains ~ World class equestrian facility comprised of 115 Acres in the OCH Territory. The U shaped complex encompasses an 80’ x 180’ lighted indoor riding arena connected by a breezeway to the 12 stall center-aisle barn and extraordinary living and entertaining quarters overlooking the outdoor ring. Additional structures include tenant houses and large heated equipment barn. $4,400,000

c.1823, one of the grand manor homes in the famed horse country of Upperville on 34+ Acres with a stunning tree lined entrance offers 6 bedrooms, 3½ baths. Recently renovated, the home offers wonderful indoor and outdoor living areas. Porches, gardens, barns, paddocks, riding arena, pond, pool and magnificent views from the Bull Run to Blue Ridge Mountains. $2,950,000

Middleburg ~ Potts Mill Farm on 137+ Acres w/frontage on Little River, Open Space Easement, rolling fields with mature hardwood forest, Orange County Hunt Territory, great ride out, very private, within 5 miles of the village of Middleburg, views in all directions. $2,534,500




MOUNTVILLE LAND ~ 145+ Acres of land in sought after location on Mountville Road near Foxcroft School. Several home sites with wonderful views and vistas yet extremely private, half wooded and half pasture with over 2,000’ of Goose Creek frontage. Minutes from Middleburg with easy access to Dulles International Airport & Washington DC. Middleburg Hunt Territory. $2,465,250

Hume ~ Impeccably maintained, exquisite 118 Acre horse farm with ten fields and paddocks of 4 board fencing, gently rolling land & panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains with glimpses of Skyline Drive. In addition to the stucco and stone main residence, there are guest and tenant homes, numerous barns and run-ins to house 25 horses comfortably, and an indoor dressage ring. $2,450,000

Middleburg ~ Exquisite custom home designed for indoor and outdoor living and entertaining on 23 private acres minutes from Middleburg. Grand rooms with 12’ high ceilings and beautiful moldings, elegant main level master suite with fireplace and French doors to terrace. Nearly ¼ mile of frontage on Goose Creek. Charming Guest Cottage. $2,249,000




Please see our fine estates and exclusive properties in hunt country by visiting

THOMAS & TALBOT REAL ESTATE A Staunch Supporter of Land Easements

LAND AND ESTATE AGENTS SINCE 1967 Middleburg, Virginia 20118 (540) 687- 6500

Offers subject to errors, omissions, change of price or withdrawal without notice. Information contained herein is deemed reliable, but is not so warranted nor is it otherwise guaranteed.


Country Spirit • Autumn 2018

Country Spirit Magazine Autumn 2018

Country Spirit Magazine Autumn 2018