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L o c a l G o o d N e w s S i n c e 1 9 97 YEAR 17 • ISSUE 201 • APRIL 2014

Frontporchfredericksburg.com


contents

closeups 9

passionate about commnuity caroline parr carol nicholson ... building a literacy

11

11

us slave song project ... jim thomas

11

porch talk 4

on the porch...life in fredericksburg Messages

..5

18

Our Heritage: april fools history’s stories.: the circle unbroken

20

see you at the top: sunken well annual run

21

autoknown better

22

Senior Care: life’s defining moments

23

wellness: medical marijuana

24

brittany frompovish: bassist, instructor, clinician

25

scene & heard...in the ‘burg!

26

fxbg music scene: karen jonas

27

community link: ......pillowcases of love

28

fredericksburg fashion

29

porchlight: snow a luxury you visit poetryman : those gone

30

project plant it! inspires young tree planters

skin + touch = brian lam

8 10

retired on the back porch: thnik spring stafford 350: home grown abolitionist

12

Vino: my fair espana Cooking with kyle: potato leek soup

...And more!

13

season’s bounty: end of winter

3 presenting chef danielle shell

14

northern neck wine tour

7 the bard of the ‘burg

15

spring food drive

21 words that can heal

16-17

Commnunity comments

30 spotlight: scarlett pons, pres. of main steet initiative

30

Chef Danielle! By collette caprara

26

Quiet Moments: right on the line rocking the chair: whimsical & eclectic

Marriott Courtyard in Historic Fredericksburg Presents:

Cover photo brandon newton

Even locals who are “regulars” at the Courtyard Marriott’s Sunday Brunch are known to ooh! and ahh! when they uncover a serving dish. One reason for their appreciation is the wide variety of offerings, including frequent surprise items on the menu. But a deeper reason for the buffet’s appeal is the care and heart (as well as expertise) that the chef invests in her creations. That would be Chef Danielle Shell who explains, “You feel so good when people are enjoying your food! Even if a dish is technically flawless, without that heart, it’s not quite ‘there’!” In fact, the enthusiasm and spirit that permeate Danielle’s cooking have been hallmarks throughout her life—and have been most evident during the times of greatest challenge. As a young mother, Danielle put plans of a career and on hold to devote herself to raising her two little sons. In 2000, her husband Alvin joined the army

and in 2003 the couple’s third son was born—prematurely—on Christmas Eve. Looking back, Danielle considers the baby’s early birth a blessing because it allowed his father to spend some time with him. In January, 2004, Alvin was deployed to Iraq. The following August, tragedy struck. Alvin and his fellow soldiers were on patrol and came across a disabled 18wheeler. The men were hooking the truck up to haul it away when they heard the whizz of a rocket-propelled grenade that hit the road with sparks that ignited spilled fuel. After an explosion that knocked the crew back, Alvin quickly regained consciousness and saw that one man was trapped inside a circle of flames. As he ran through the flames to rescue him, Alvin caught fire and suffered thirddegree burns over a third of his body. He was sent to a burn unit in Fort Houston in San Antonio where Danielle joined him. Initially she left her sons at

home in her father’s care but later felt that it was important for them to come to Texas and see that their dad was still himself. Alvin was hesitant but Danielle insisted and added a challenge—that he would walk again before their baby boy took his first steps. That challenge rallied Alvin who, with Danielle by his side, endured a long process of healing, which involved 30 surgeries over 18 months, including painful skin grafts and long hours of physical therapy. “I think it was really our stubbornness that got us through,” Danielle said, “We never give up and we never quit anything.” Alvin went from not being able to feed himself to being able to walk and, eventually, to run and even completed a marathon last year. He currently serves in the Department of Homeland Security and Danielle recently embraced the idea of launching her career. She followed her passion for cooking and

will receive her BA in culinary management this year. Danielle joined the Marriott staff last December and, with great exuberance, took on her role as chef in February.

Collette Caprara is a local writer, artist and a wonderful human being.

Hop On Down

For A Latte, Mocha, Cappuccino...

2

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

3


contents

closeups 9

passionate about commnuity caroline parr carol nicholson ... building a literacy

11

11

us slave song project ... jim thomas

11

porch talk 4

on the porch...life in fredericksburg Messages

..5

18

Our Heritage: april fools history’s stories.: the circle unbroken

20

see you at the top: sunken well annual run

21

autoknown better

22

Senior Care: life’s defining moments

23

wellness: medical marijuana

24

brittany frompovish: bassist, instructor, clinician

25

scene & heard...in the ‘burg!

26

fxbg music scene: karen jonas

27

community link: ......pillowcases of love

28

fredericksburg fashion

29

porchlight: snow a luxury you visit poetryman : those gone

30

project plant it! inspires young tree planters

skin + touch = brian lam

8 10

retired on the back porch: thnik spring stafford 350: home grown abolitionist

12

Vino: my fair espana Cooking with kyle: potato leek soup

...And more!

13

season’s bounty: end of winter

3 presenting chef danielle shell

14

northern neck wine tour

7 the bard of the ‘burg

15

spring food drive

21 words that can heal

16-17

Commnunity comments

30 spotlight: scarlett pons, pres. of main steet initiative

30

Chef Danielle! By collette caprara

26

Quiet Moments: right on the line rocking the chair: whimsical & eclectic

Marriott Courtyard in Historic Fredericksburg Presents:

Cover photo brandon newton

Even locals who are “regulars” at the Courtyard Marriott’s Sunday Brunch are known to ooh! and ahh! when they uncover a serving dish. One reason for their appreciation is the wide variety of offerings, including frequent surprise items on the menu. But a deeper reason for the buffet’s appeal is the care and heart (as well as expertise) that the chef invests in her creations. That would be Chef Danielle Shell who explains, “You feel so good when people are enjoying your food! Even if a dish is technically flawless, without that heart, it’s not quite ‘there’!” In fact, the enthusiasm and spirit that permeate Danielle’s cooking have been hallmarks throughout her life—and have been most evident during the times of greatest challenge. As a young mother, Danielle put plans of a career and on hold to devote herself to raising her two little sons. In 2000, her husband Alvin joined the army

and in 2003 the couple’s third son was born—prematurely—on Christmas Eve. Looking back, Danielle considers the baby’s early birth a blessing because it allowed his father to spend some time with him. In January, 2004, Alvin was deployed to Iraq. The following August, tragedy struck. Alvin and his fellow soldiers were on patrol and came across a disabled 18wheeler. The men were hooking the truck up to haul it away when they heard the whizz of a rocket-propelled grenade that hit the road with sparks that ignited spilled fuel. After an explosion that knocked the crew back, Alvin quickly regained consciousness and saw that one man was trapped inside a circle of flames. As he ran through the flames to rescue him, Alvin caught fire and suffered thirddegree burns over a third of his body. He was sent to a burn unit in Fort Houston in San Antonio where Danielle joined him. Initially she left her sons at

home in her father’s care but later felt that it was important for them to come to Texas and see that their dad was still himself. Alvin was hesitant but Danielle insisted and added a challenge—that he would walk again before their baby boy took his first steps. That challenge rallied Alvin who, with Danielle by his side, endured a long process of healing, which involved 30 surgeries over 18 months, including painful skin grafts and long hours of physical therapy. “I think it was really our stubbornness that got us through,” Danielle said, “We never give up and we never quit anything.” Alvin went from not being able to feed himself to being able to walk and, eventually, to run and even completed a marathon last year. He currently serves in the Department of Homeland Security and Danielle recently embraced the idea of launching her career. She followed her passion for cooking and

will receive her BA in culinary management this year. Danielle joined the Marriott staff last December and, with great exuberance, took on her role as chef in February.

Collette Caprara is a local writer, artist and a wonderful human being.

Hop On Down

For A Latte, Mocha, Cappuccino...

2

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

3


THE MAN ON THE PORCH Rob Grogan

Editor

Associate Editor Robin & Archer Di Peppe Contributing Writers & Artists Nancy Bauer A.E.Bayne Megan Byrnes Collette Caprara C.Ruth Cassell Ashleigh Chevalier Rick Collier Beth Daly Arch Di Peppe Frank Fratoe Ralph “Tuffy” Hicks Katie Hornung Sara Hunt Karl Karch David Kerr Lori Kloppski Jo Loving Bob Martin Jo Middleton Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy Ryan Poe Gabe Pons Brandon Newton Vanessa Moncure M.L.Powers Scott Richards Kathy Rivers Wendy Schmitz James Kyle Snyder Emily Taggart Scheicker joh Sovitsky Jeremy Sutton Jessica Sutton Christine Thompson Rim Vining Ray Wodruff SuzyWoollam Front Porch Fredericksburg is a free circulation magazine published monthly by Olde Towne Publishing Co., Inc. Virginia Bigenwald Grogan, Publisher. The mission of Front Porch Fredericksburg is to connect the diverse citizenry of Fredericksburg with lively features and informative columns of interest to our community’s greatest resource, its people. Messages from our readers are welcome. All submissions must be received by e-mail by the 19th of the month preceding publication. Writers are welcome to request Writer’s Guidelines and query the Editor by e-mail. Front Porch Fredericksburg PO Box 9203 Fredericksburg, VA 22403 Ad Sales: Stacy.Howell@gmail.com E-Mail: frntprch@aol.com Web Site: www.frontporchfredericksburg.com The opinions expressed in Front Porch Fredericksburg are those of the contributing writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Front Porch Fredericksburg or its advertisers. Copyright 2014 Olde Towne Publishing Co., LLC All rights reserved.

Robgwrites 4

April 2014

the word count was going to be enforced at least within a few words. Sometimes the day was spent communicating with the advertisers to get their ad just right because they paid the bills. No detail was too small for Rob and Virginia. It was their names on the masthead. I wrote down some things I wanted to say at the memorial and then had difficulty reading my handwriting. Then within just a few minutes, my chicken scratch became blurry. My list was useless, and I didn’t remember one of the most important things that I wanted to say. The life force is mysterious, and now I have one more chance to try to get it right. If life has taught me anything, it is that we become what we think about. Whatever is right in front of our minds determines what we see and how we see it. It determines whether we pay a attention to the most important things or whether we get lost in the abstractions and distractions. I have been a staff writer since the third issue seventeen years ago. This is what I can say without qualification. Both Rob and Virginia spent a large chunk of their lives trying to keep us focused on the absolute best and most interesting things all around us in this community. They put the best things right in front of us. When they had our

messages

we had him, and he us. We won't forget that, not ever. Jo Middleton

Although he's gone, he'll never really die, We all have memories or emails or text messages (I have several from the Fall where Rob Grogan, as good a Yankees fan as there ever was, was pulling for my Red Sox) that we can look over and remember. I will always remember how positive he was, I can't imagine the energy it took to be that ill, and still be so positive. So, Rob, wherever you are, may every day be opening day, may the Sox and Yanks be tied heading into the 9th, and may the great Mariano be on the DL for god's sake. Be well, my Friend. Jack Hyland We grieve for ourselves and this terrible loss. We grieve seeing that empty chair on the Front Porch where Rob Grogan sat, he who was our friend, editor, fighter of the good fight. We grieve for his devoted women, Virginia and Lexi, who fought so hard with and for him, and whose loss is beyond words. Art Buchwald was right. "It's too soon to say goodbye." But, for a while at least,

Front porch fredericksburg

Two weeks ago you told me that even though the road was hard, you had never been happier. I knew you really meant it because you gave off such a feeling of peace and unconditional love. Thank you for your love for all of us. What a legacy you have given to an entire community. Blessings to Virginia and Lexi. I know that you will be close by. Joan Critz Limbrick Rob was--is--one of the finest human beings that has ever graced my life. I am so very grateful that our lives intersected for the years that they did. I am a better person for having known him and in that I am in no way alone. I am trying very hard to focus on that gratitude but, honestly, for this moment, what I mostly feel is really sad. Hope Tarr is how we know who was there. From the outpouring of love and support that I have seen in this community and beyond for Rob, it is clear who was there; a loving father and husband, a

THE

CHAIR

Whimsical and eclectic

BY ARCH DIPEPPE These are awfully big shoes to try to fill even on a temporary basis. So many people have asked me what will happen to Front Porch now? Those at the center of the paper are actively working to see that the vision continues. Virginia’s plate is pretty full, and we will need not only financial backing, but an editor and a community expert. In the meantime the writers are writing, the photographers are taking photographs, and the advertisers are still advertising. My wife Robin and I are editing. She is a lot better at it then I am. The celebration of Rob’s life at the Old Silk Mill was heart thumping. Many thanks to all who made it possible and to all who came. The retrospective program of his life was filled with photographs, text, music, and a very poignant video. I don’t believe any of us expected to see him speak to us. For those few minutes Rob was there with us in the room. It was almost as if we could reach out and touch him. He certainly reached out to us. It was magic, and I can not begin to thank those involved with the production for their thoughtful work. For those of us who love the written word, it now seems almost impossible to try to sum up such a meaningful life with mere words. Our tools fail us. Rob was so understated in his approach to life. We grew used to his calm steady hand at the helm. It seemed effortless. It was anything but effortless. Sometimes it was as mundane as reminding writers of deadlines, and yes,

ROCKING

Quiet Moments Right on the line

By Katie Hornung

By archer Dipeppe

From left to right: Sharon and Jon Kidd, and Kelly Johnson

attention, that is all we could think about. They spotlighted the most talented, inspired, and dedicated people and gave them a forum. They introduced us to each other and to ourselves. The words opened our hearts and our minds, and we were surrounded by the positive energy. We were fortunate to become part of that world, and the creativity grew exponentially. We have to find a way to see the vision continue. We may stumble a bit as we begin to pick up the pieces, but Rob showed us the way. Believe in all the possibilities. Keep all the best things in the front of your mind, and find as many ways as you can to share it with as many people as you can. That is where the magic comes from. That magic is Front Porch

community leader, a friend, a compassionate soul, a playful spirit, a bright light, a wonderful writer, and an inspiration, among many other qualities. Lynda Allen Today I lost someone that was more than a friend. He was a spiritual brother. It isn't too often that you meet people like Rob. He had an understanding of life, that most don't get. He understood what it was to love. To really love.... If only the rest of the world could walk, love life and be like Rob..... A legend in Fredericksburg. I will truly miss you! Live and love your self and your universe, in the name of Rob Grogan. Melvin Brown Our best tribute to Rob is to emulate his gentle spirit, his generosity, his love of life and non-judgmental attitude. It will keep his spirit present in our community. Terry Diebold

915 Sophia Street has experienced a sort of renaissance. It now bears the moniker Rocking the Chair, which is an apt name for a business that so readily aspires to the notion of functional art. Husband and wife team Jon and Sharon Kidd are accompanied by partner Kelly Anderson in their quest to create beautiful furniture that makes you question: How did they come up with that design? Whimsical and eclectic, the space presents like a journey through time, only it’s a marriage of the best of each era. A refurbished Federalist desk done in complimentary wood stains, tree trunks made into coasters, painted, wood, and metallic artistry for the wall; it’s all there. “We like to be as resourceful as possible by utilizing and repurposing items We always come across old rickety chairs that have seen their last day and are useless as a chair We repurpose the backs of the chair into a unique towel holders and small shelves, breathing new life into something that would have otherwise been tossed to the side” said Sharon. Nothing is stamped out; everything is original in its design, and the RTC team derives a gratifying, personal sense of accomplishment from each piece. “Every time we do something new, it’s our new favorite,” Sharon said. Not one of them is classically trained in art or interior design, but you wouldn’t know it by stepping foot in their showroom. Jon has worked his way up in his woodworking career. He’s modest, but his pedigree boasts of pieces included in The George Bush Presidential Library, The Grammy’s Museum, and The National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C., just to name a few. Sharon is the glue and the brains of Rocking the Chair. Her inspirations are endless. She voices that it’s her aim to set the standard for contemporary design and always keep stepping up RTC’s game. Kelly is the artist who has always dabbled

in the field, but has now found her niche on Sophia Street. She doesn’t replicate, except upon customer request. “We discovered in short period of time that each of our strengths professionally and creatively work together in a beautiful natural way… We began collaborating on pieces together, and things have just become so intertwined with Kelly and RTC –it’s hard to separate if a piece is hers or ours…because they are neither,” said Sharon. Success in sales is evidence of their hard work and dedication to their craft. In an effort to restock their storeroom after the Christmas rush, they’ve all been pulling late nights and early mornings. No lack of sleep has curtailed their creative process, though. They always have custom orders in rotation at the shop, and requests cover a wide range of styles. Consequently, if they create a piece for the floor, they never have issues coming up with a great idea for it. They can do classy and conservative colors to highly distressed and funky. RTC appeases any style and taste. “We are currently taking orders for farm tables and will be making several pieces out of reclaimed 100-year-old barn board,” said Sharon. Rocking the Chair also rents space to several local artisans of the Fredericksburg Woodworker’s Guild, which cover everything from the modern to the traditional. What, Sharon suggests, sets them apart from other repurposed furniture businesses is, “We don’t just slap paint on something and then consider it ‘painted furniture’ because, in reality, anyone can do that. We can build just about any piece of custom furniture as well. We also come across and sell many vintage and antique pieces that we would not touch with paint. Some things are best left as they are.”

Why are we always right on the weather line? We are either going to get a foot of snow or a dusting. They can’t really say because we are right on the line. The only thing we know for sure is it will be much worse west of Interstate 95. What’s with that? Do all the vehicles send up a heated column of pollution that intimidates even the ugliest snowstorms? Now they are naming snow storms. Maybe snowstorms were jealous of hurricanes and cyclones. Naming hurricanes goes back to the late Nineteenth Century. Back then, the names reflected time and place like the Great Galveston Storm of 1900. It was the Australian meteorologist Clement Wragge who started using first names for hurricanes. He used the Greek alphabet and preferred Greek and Roman mythological names. During the Second World War military meteorologists really needed to name the numerous cyclones to warn flyers about inclement weather. They used their wives and girlfriends names. Later, if a hurricane came out of the West Indies, a Catholic Saint’s Day name was used depending on what day the storm made landfall. That didn’t work so well because the whole idea was to name the storm to warn the public. Naming it the moment it hits you between the eyes seemed counter productive. If a hurricane is bad enough, they retire the name forever. It is like a Hurricane Hall of Fame. I think it is the kind of hall of fame that you don’t want to be in. During the 1960’s a number women started to question using only women’s names for hurricanes. The National Organization of Woman started lobbying the government. The arguments were not without intended humor. Why not call them “himicanes” or name them after U.S. Senators, since they are often so destructive. The wheels of justice turn slowly for it wasn’t until 1979 that we had

ROXBURY F

ARM

MAIN: (540) 373-9124 NURSERY: (540) 371-8802

male and female names. You won’t see hurricanes or himicanes beginning with Q, U, X, Y or Z. It seems they are too few names that begin with those letters to use them. You can’t blame The National Weather Service for naming snowstorms. It was the Weather Channel. In 2011 they named a big nor’easter that fell on Halloween “Snowtober”. You will have to blame Bryan Norcross, The Weather Channel’s meteorologist, for the naming of snowstorms with first names. He said we needed to name the storms for public safety. He even would make up the lists of names to be used. In defiance of not using Q names for hurricanes, he named one snow storm Q after the subway that ran by his apartment in the old neighborhood. He insisted we needed a hash tag name for Social Media. Call me cynical, but I believe naming snowstorms might have more to do with publicity and advertising sales for The Weather Channel then anything else. All of this reminds me of an old baseball joke. Supposedly an umpire once said, “Some are balls and some are strikes, but they ain’t nothin’ until I call ‘em.” The Modern Era appears festooned with all sorts of umpires. It probably won’t be too long before we start naming windy days. And finally, just when you think things can’t get any crazier, they do. Berlin weathercasters have taken to naming high and low pressure systems. They name the high pressure systems after women and the low pressure systems after men. Then the next year they do it the other way around. They go through the alphabet five times a year. Some people have way too much time on their hands. Arch DiPeppe always lives life right on the line.

& GARDEN CENTER

Since 1929

601 LAFAYETTE BLVD

roxburyfarmgarden.com

April is Spring Planning Month ! Come Shop With Us

Katie Hornung inspires students at James Monroe High School

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

5


THE MAN ON THE PORCH Rob Grogan

Editor

Associate Editor Robin & Archer Di Peppe Contributing Writers & Artists Nancy Bauer A.E.Bayne Megan Byrnes Collette Caprara C.Ruth Cassell Ashleigh Chevalier Rick Collier Beth Daly Arch Di Peppe Frank Fratoe Ralph “Tuffy” Hicks Katie Hornung Sara Hunt Karl Karch David Kerr Lori Kloppski Jo Loving Bob Martin Jo Middleton Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy Ryan Poe Gabe Pons Brandon Newton Vanessa Moncure M.L.Powers Scott Richards Kathy Rivers Wendy Schmitz James Kyle Snyder Emily Taggart Scheicker joh Sovitsky Jeremy Sutton Jessica Sutton Christine Thompson Rim Vining Ray Wodruff SuzyWoollam Front Porch Fredericksburg is a free circulation magazine published monthly by Olde Towne Publishing Co., Inc. Virginia Bigenwald Grogan, Publisher. The mission of Front Porch Fredericksburg is to connect the diverse citizenry of Fredericksburg with lively features and informative columns of interest to our community’s greatest resource, its people. Messages from our readers are welcome. All submissions must be received by e-mail by the 19th of the month preceding publication. Writers are welcome to request Writer’s Guidelines and query the Editor by e-mail. Front Porch Fredericksburg PO Box 9203 Fredericksburg, VA 22403 Ad Sales: Stacy.Howell@gmail.com E-Mail: frntprch@aol.com Web Site: www.frontporchfredericksburg.com The opinions expressed in Front Porch Fredericksburg are those of the contributing writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Front Porch Fredericksburg or its advertisers. Copyright 2014 Olde Towne Publishing Co., LLC All rights reserved.

Robgwrites 4

April 2014

the word count was going to be enforced at least within a few words. Sometimes the day was spent communicating with the advertisers to get their ad just right because they paid the bills. No detail was too small for Rob and Virginia. It was their names on the masthead. I wrote down some things I wanted to say at the memorial and then had difficulty reading my handwriting. Then within just a few minutes, my chicken scratch became blurry. My list was useless, and I didn’t remember one of the most important things that I wanted to say. The life force is mysterious, and now I have one more chance to try to get it right. If life has taught me anything, it is that we become what we think about. Whatever is right in front of our minds determines what we see and how we see it. It determines whether we pay a attention to the most important things or whether we get lost in the abstractions and distractions. I have been a staff writer since the third issue seventeen years ago. This is what I can say without qualification. Both Rob and Virginia spent a large chunk of their lives trying to keep us focused on the absolute best and most interesting things all around us in this community. They put the best things right in front of us. When they had our

messages

we had him, and he us. We won't forget that, not ever. Jo Middleton

Although he's gone, he'll never really die, We all have memories or emails or text messages (I have several from the Fall where Rob Grogan, as good a Yankees fan as there ever was, was pulling for my Red Sox) that we can look over and remember. I will always remember how positive he was, I can't imagine the energy it took to be that ill, and still be so positive. So, Rob, wherever you are, may every day be opening day, may the Sox and Yanks be tied heading into the 9th, and may the great Mariano be on the DL for god's sake. Be well, my Friend. Jack Hyland We grieve for ourselves and this terrible loss. We grieve seeing that empty chair on the Front Porch where Rob Grogan sat, he who was our friend, editor, fighter of the good fight. We grieve for his devoted women, Virginia and Lexi, who fought so hard with and for him, and whose loss is beyond words. Art Buchwald was right. "It's too soon to say goodbye." But, for a while at least,

Front porch fredericksburg

Two weeks ago you told me that even though the road was hard, you had never been happier. I knew you really meant it because you gave off such a feeling of peace and unconditional love. Thank you for your love for all of us. What a legacy you have given to an entire community. Blessings to Virginia and Lexi. I know that you will be close by. Joan Critz Limbrick Rob was--is--one of the finest human beings that has ever graced my life. I am so very grateful that our lives intersected for the years that they did. I am a better person for having known him and in that I am in no way alone. I am trying very hard to focus on that gratitude but, honestly, for this moment, what I mostly feel is really sad. Hope Tarr is how we know who was there. From the outpouring of love and support that I have seen in this community and beyond for Rob, it is clear who was there; a loving father and husband, a

THE

CHAIR

Whimsical and eclectic

BY ARCH DIPEPPE These are awfully big shoes to try to fill even on a temporary basis. So many people have asked me what will happen to Front Porch now? Those at the center of the paper are actively working to see that the vision continues. Virginia’s plate is pretty full, and we will need not only financial backing, but an editor and a community expert. In the meantime the writers are writing, the photographers are taking photographs, and the advertisers are still advertising. My wife Robin and I are editing. She is a lot better at it then I am. The celebration of Rob’s life at the Old Silk Mill was heart thumping. Many thanks to all who made it possible and to all who came. The retrospective program of his life was filled with photographs, text, music, and a very poignant video. I don’t believe any of us expected to see him speak to us. For those few minutes Rob was there with us in the room. It was almost as if we could reach out and touch him. He certainly reached out to us. It was magic, and I can not begin to thank those involved with the production for their thoughtful work. For those of us who love the written word, it now seems almost impossible to try to sum up such a meaningful life with mere words. Our tools fail us. Rob was so understated in his approach to life. We grew used to his calm steady hand at the helm. It seemed effortless. It was anything but effortless. Sometimes it was as mundane as reminding writers of deadlines, and yes,

ROCKING

Quiet Moments Right on the line

By Katie Hornung

By archer Dipeppe

From left to right: Sharon and Jon Kidd, and Kelly Johnson

attention, that is all we could think about. They spotlighted the most talented, inspired, and dedicated people and gave them a forum. They introduced us to each other and to ourselves. The words opened our hearts and our minds, and we were surrounded by the positive energy. We were fortunate to become part of that world, and the creativity grew exponentially. We have to find a way to see the vision continue. We may stumble a bit as we begin to pick up the pieces, but Rob showed us the way. Believe in all the possibilities. Keep all the best things in the front of your mind, and find as many ways as you can to share it with as many people as you can. That is where the magic comes from. That magic is Front Porch

community leader, a friend, a compassionate soul, a playful spirit, a bright light, a wonderful writer, and an inspiration, among many other qualities. Lynda Allen Today I lost someone that was more than a friend. He was a spiritual brother. It isn't too often that you meet people like Rob. He had an understanding of life, that most don't get. He understood what it was to love. To really love.... If only the rest of the world could walk, love life and be like Rob..... A legend in Fredericksburg. I will truly miss you! Live and love your self and your universe, in the name of Rob Grogan. Melvin Brown Our best tribute to Rob is to emulate his gentle spirit, his generosity, his love of life and non-judgmental attitude. It will keep his spirit present in our community. Terry Diebold

915 Sophia Street has experienced a sort of renaissance. It now bears the moniker Rocking the Chair, which is an apt name for a business that so readily aspires to the notion of functional art. Husband and wife team Jon and Sharon Kidd are accompanied by partner Kelly Anderson in their quest to create beautiful furniture that makes you question: How did they come up with that design? Whimsical and eclectic, the space presents like a journey through time, only it’s a marriage of the best of each era. A refurbished Federalist desk done in complimentary wood stains, tree trunks made into coasters, painted, wood, and metallic artistry for the wall; it’s all there. “We like to be as resourceful as possible by utilizing and repurposing items We always come across old rickety chairs that have seen their last day and are useless as a chair We repurpose the backs of the chair into a unique towel holders and small shelves, breathing new life into something that would have otherwise been tossed to the side” said Sharon. Nothing is stamped out; everything is original in its design, and the RTC team derives a gratifying, personal sense of accomplishment from each piece. “Every time we do something new, it’s our new favorite,” Sharon said. Not one of them is classically trained in art or interior design, but you wouldn’t know it by stepping foot in their showroom. Jon has worked his way up in his woodworking career. He’s modest, but his pedigree boasts of pieces included in The George Bush Presidential Library, The Grammy’s Museum, and The National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C., just to name a few. Sharon is the glue and the brains of Rocking the Chair. Her inspirations are endless. She voices that it’s her aim to set the standard for contemporary design and always keep stepping up RTC’s game. Kelly is the artist who has always dabbled

in the field, but has now found her niche on Sophia Street. She doesn’t replicate, except upon customer request. “We discovered in short period of time that each of our strengths professionally and creatively work together in a beautiful natural way… We began collaborating on pieces together, and things have just become so intertwined with Kelly and RTC –it’s hard to separate if a piece is hers or ours…because they are neither,” said Sharon. Success in sales is evidence of their hard work and dedication to their craft. In an effort to restock their storeroom after the Christmas rush, they’ve all been pulling late nights and early mornings. No lack of sleep has curtailed their creative process, though. They always have custom orders in rotation at the shop, and requests cover a wide range of styles. Consequently, if they create a piece for the floor, they never have issues coming up with a great idea for it. They can do classy and conservative colors to highly distressed and funky. RTC appeases any style and taste. “We are currently taking orders for farm tables and will be making several pieces out of reclaimed 100-year-old barn board,” said Sharon. Rocking the Chair also rents space to several local artisans of the Fredericksburg Woodworker’s Guild, which cover everything from the modern to the traditional. What, Sharon suggests, sets them apart from other repurposed furniture businesses is, “We don’t just slap paint on something and then consider it ‘painted furniture’ because, in reality, anyone can do that. We can build just about any piece of custom furniture as well. We also come across and sell many vintage and antique pieces that we would not touch with paint. Some things are best left as they are.”

Why are we always right on the weather line? We are either going to get a foot of snow or a dusting. They can’t really say because we are right on the line. The only thing we know for sure is it will be much worse west of Interstate 95. What’s with that? Do all the vehicles send up a heated column of pollution that intimidates even the ugliest snowstorms? Now they are naming snow storms. Maybe snowstorms were jealous of hurricanes and cyclones. Naming hurricanes goes back to the late Nineteenth Century. Back then, the names reflected time and place like the Great Galveston Storm of 1900. It was the Australian meteorologist Clement Wragge who started using first names for hurricanes. He used the Greek alphabet and preferred Greek and Roman mythological names. During the Second World War military meteorologists really needed to name the numerous cyclones to warn flyers about inclement weather. They used their wives and girlfriends names. Later, if a hurricane came out of the West Indies, a Catholic Saint’s Day name was used depending on what day the storm made landfall. That didn’t work so well because the whole idea was to name the storm to warn the public. Naming it the moment it hits you between the eyes seemed counter productive. If a hurricane is bad enough, they retire the name forever. It is like a Hurricane Hall of Fame. I think it is the kind of hall of fame that you don’t want to be in. During the 1960’s a number women started to question using only women’s names for hurricanes. The National Organization of Woman started lobbying the government. The arguments were not without intended humor. Why not call them “himicanes” or name them after U.S. Senators, since they are often so destructive. The wheels of justice turn slowly for it wasn’t until 1979 that we had

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male and female names. You won’t see hurricanes or himicanes beginning with Q, U, X, Y or Z. It seems they are too few names that begin with those letters to use them. You can’t blame The National Weather Service for naming snowstorms. It was the Weather Channel. In 2011 they named a big nor’easter that fell on Halloween “Snowtober”. You will have to blame Bryan Norcross, The Weather Channel’s meteorologist, for the naming of snowstorms with first names. He said we needed to name the storms for public safety. He even would make up the lists of names to be used. In defiance of not using Q names for hurricanes, he named one snow storm Q after the subway that ran by his apartment in the old neighborhood. He insisted we needed a hash tag name for Social Media. Call me cynical, but I believe naming snowstorms might have more to do with publicity and advertising sales for The Weather Channel then anything else. All of this reminds me of an old baseball joke. Supposedly an umpire once said, “Some are balls and some are strikes, but they ain’t nothin’ until I call ‘em.” The Modern Era appears festooned with all sorts of umpires. It probably won’t be too long before we start naming windy days. And finally, just when you think things can’t get any crazier, they do. Berlin weathercasters have taken to naming high and low pressure systems. They name the high pressure systems after women and the low pressure systems after men. Then the next year they do it the other way around. They go through the alphabet five times a year. Some people have way too much time on their hands. Arch DiPeppe always lives life right on the line.

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Katie Hornung inspires students at James Monroe High School

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

5


The Bard of the ‘Burg February 23, 2014 By ray woodruff to bathed in mist and twilight. It is a word drowned in its own myth. So storyteller, then.

photo by ryan poe

Singer of heroes. A collector of culture. Teller of tales. The oral reciter of lives and history. I don’t much care for the word, myself. Bard is a little too rarefied, a little

6

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

For the creative spirit the simple retelling of tales exactly how you heard them in order to keep them alive, to keep them true, is an amazing sacrifice. To collect, to sift, to appreciate and to want to retell, spread and connect the stories of a place and time is a great gift. It is an individual’s gift to have that talent and the drive, yes, but most of all it is a gift to the rest of the community, to the other creatives that feel the appreciation and the connection. It is a great gift to a town. This weekend storyteller. We lost our great appreciator. I feel Virginia and for Lexi, for

we lost our collector, our deeply sad for their loss of a

companion, of a father. I wish to them all the calm, strength and hope that can be given. But I also feel deeply sad for our town and our community. We lost a great connector between a huge number of creative people – artists, writers, musicians, foodies. We lost a great appreciator of what this town could create and of what this town is and, most importantly, of what this town could be. We lost our great believer. So now, in the dark of winter, we gather around the fire. We listen as the wind blows bitter, as the night closes in. We listen in silence because we have lost our storyteller. No little tale, no little song, no little hope is spoken to ward off the deep, darkening quiet. There are two paths from here. Some small voice, perhaps faltering, might begin a tale, derivative of the past storyteller at first, yes, but growing with the confidence within the tale, within our history, within our community. Or, we might just all grab another beer (or, perhaps a Scotch, in memory) and be overwhelmed by silence. Either way, we are going to miss you terribly, Rob.

Hi Rob, I'm sorry we weren't able to meet up this weekend. I don't mean sorry as in an apology but sorry as in grief - sorrow - that we won't be able to chat one last time. Your handwritten invitation made me feel as if you had something important to say. I ran my fingers over the words today, hoping to draw out whatever it was. While I'll always wonder what it was you wanted to share, what really eats at me is the things I didn't get to say to you. I had hoped to tell you that in a town where it can take considerable time to be accepted by the locals, you and Virginia were among the first to welcome me in. You were always such generous supporters of everything I did. I wanted to tell you that your passion for your family, your friends, and your community inspire me to treasure each of those more dearly. I have never seen someone believe in, and advocate for, a community the way you did. And though I'm sure you were told this often, I imagine you never tired of hearing people say how refreshing it is to read the positive stories you carefully curated in the Front Porch. I hope that in some very small way I can continue your legacy; supporting the dreams of others, loving my family, friends, and community, and telling the good stories. Goodbye, Rob. I'm going to miss you Timothy Ryan Poe, February 23 2014

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

7


The Bard of the ‘Burg February 23, 2014 By ray woodruff to bathed in mist and twilight. It is a word drowned in its own myth. So storyteller, then.

photo by ryan poe

Singer of heroes. A collector of culture. Teller of tales. The oral reciter of lives and history. I don’t much care for the word, myself. Bard is a little too rarefied, a little

6

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

For the creative spirit the simple retelling of tales exactly how you heard them in order to keep them alive, to keep them true, is an amazing sacrifice. To collect, to sift, to appreciate and to want to retell, spread and connect the stories of a place and time is a great gift. It is an individual’s gift to have that talent and the drive, yes, but most of all it is a gift to the rest of the community, to the other creatives that feel the appreciation and the connection. It is a great gift to a town. This weekend storyteller. We lost our great appreciator. I feel Virginia and for Lexi, for

we lost our collector, our deeply sad for their loss of a

companion, of a father. I wish to them all the calm, strength and hope that can be given. But I also feel deeply sad for our town and our community. We lost a great connector between a huge number of creative people – artists, writers, musicians, foodies. We lost a great appreciator of what this town could create and of what this town is and, most importantly, of what this town could be. We lost our great believer. So now, in the dark of winter, we gather around the fire. We listen as the wind blows bitter, as the night closes in. We listen in silence because we have lost our storyteller. No little tale, no little song, no little hope is spoken to ward off the deep, darkening quiet. There are two paths from here. Some small voice, perhaps faltering, might begin a tale, derivative of the past storyteller at first, yes, but growing with the confidence within the tale, within our history, within our community. Or, we might just all grab another beer (or, perhaps a Scotch, in memory) and be overwhelmed by silence. Either way, we are going to miss you terribly, Rob.

Hi Rob, I'm sorry we weren't able to meet up this weekend. I don't mean sorry as in an apology but sorry as in grief - sorrow - that we won't be able to chat one last time. Your handwritten invitation made me feel as if you had something important to say. I ran my fingers over the words today, hoping to draw out whatever it was. While I'll always wonder what it was you wanted to share, what really eats at me is the things I didn't get to say to you. I had hoped to tell you that in a town where it can take considerable time to be accepted by the locals, you and Virginia were among the first to welcome me in. You were always such generous supporters of everything I did. I wanted to tell you that your passion for your family, your friends, and your community inspire me to treasure each of those more dearly. I have never seen someone believe in, and advocate for, a community the way you did. And though I'm sure you were told this often, I imagine you never tired of hearing people say how refreshing it is to read the positive stories you carefully curated in the Front Porch. I hope that in some very small way I can continue your legacy; supporting the dreams of others, loving my family, friends, and community, and telling the good stories. Goodbye, Rob. I'm going to miss you Timothy Ryan Poe, February 23 2014

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

7


brian lam involved in downtown

Passionate About Books & Community

By Lori Kloppski

Caroline Parr

Skin+Touch=Community When last you read about Brian Lam and Skin+Touch Therapy (February 2013 Front Porch), he professed the desire to ‘relax and have things settle down.’ But it quickly became apparent that Skin+Touch would outgrow the rented space on Princess Anne, so Brian was already looking around town last summer when he saw the space at 714 Caroline Street was available...but only for purchase. With the guidance of listing agent Suzy Stone, Brian was soon immersed in the process of exploring small business funding. With assistance from REDCO 504, the Small Business Administration (at UMW), and Virginia Partners Bank, Brian soon had everything in place. He and Will, with the invaluable help of Will’s family, then worked on renovating the space. “It took us two months to renovate. Will’s family did most of the work. It wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t do most of the work ourselves.” “In the end owning made more sense. It was a way to see what I had envisioned without having to work through a landlord. And as the owner, I feel like we really care for this building and brought out the beauty that was hidden, like the brick wall, wood beams, and old

floors. These are key elements that give warmth to the space. But it was also important for me to have it clean, calm and have modern look to it. I think we’ve achieved a good balance.” The new location puts Skin+Touch in the heart of downtown, which is exactly where Brian wants to be. “I like to walk to work and live in the area where I do business. And being downtown means we [businesses] can have that combined voice and provide an experience where people visit and enjoy everything from art and food to fitness and wellness.” Brian truly believes in the goal of maintaining a viable, successful downtown. “Building a vibrant downtown district and having a larger message is important: we are a community that works together. It’s good to have your own vision but it’s also valuable to collaborate with others. There are a new businesses downtown and everyone wants them to succeed. I think we would all like to see those empty store fronts replaced with exciting new businesses.” Brian’s experience helped him to realize what an excellent network of support Fredericksburg has to offer small businesses. Getting involved in the community beyond business is another

By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy

photo by gabe pons key component to the growth and success of a business. “Networking and word of mouth really helped my business to grow quickly. Downtown is great for that. There are so many ways to get involved, meet people, and give back.” In fact, Brian is creating another opportunity for folks in Fredericksburg to connect with each other and experience what downtown has to 10, downtown will offer. During May 4-1 host its first Health and Wellness Week. Similar to Restaurant Week, participating businesses will offer specials on their particular offerings, giving people the opportunity to ‘sample’ yoga, Pilates, massage, and other health and wellness services. Be sure to mark your calendars for this inaugural event! Lori Kloppski is a full time fan of and part-time writer for Front Porch.

photo by bob martin Caroline Parr is passionate about books and can be found surrounded by them most of the time. A resident of south Stafford since 1989, she makes her second home at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL). For the past three years, Parr has served as the CRRL’s Deputy Director after working as the Children’s Youth Services Coordinator. Parr feels fortunate to have a terrific staff and public who really believe in the importance of public libraries. “I believe strongly in the role of public libraries in the community as the place where anyone can go to get in-depth information and check out a book or an ebook,” said Parr. “The library is also a great place to learn about technology and to enjoy programs, classes, events and meetings.” Parr is dedicated to the mission Mental Health America of of Fredericksburg (MHAF), where she served on the Board from 2009 to 2012. She has volunteered for the last few annual Walks for Mental Wellness, manning the table along with other volunteers at the alwayspopular Silent Auction. Parr is, again, volunteering her services for this year’s Walk on Saturday, May 3rd.

Parr believes that almost everyone is affected by mental health issues, whether it’s an immediate family member, friends, co-workers or personally. She said MHAF provides necessary services and advocates for those individuals with mental health issues. “MHAF is a good, locally-based organization with so many hard-working people who make this community a better place,” said Parr. “I encourage everyone to participate in the Walk this year – there’s something for everybody, including a pleasant walk with friends and family, the chance to bid on local art and antiques and to hear great, live music. Parr said she can’t just choose one favorite book, but she loves the children’s books she helped choose while she was on various award committees. Peter Sis’s “The Wall,” about growing up behind the “Iron Curtain”; Richard Peck’s “A Year Down Yonder” (Newbery Award winner); and Patricia MacLachlan’s “Sarah, Plain and Tall” (Newbery Award winner) are all Parr’s top choices. Parr just finished reading “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, a book she loved. Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy is a freelance writer, public relations profesional and a frequent contributor to Front Porch

606 Caroline Street Old Town Fredericksburg 373-7847 www.gemstonecreations.org Tuesday - Saturday 10-5 Wednesday 10-6:30

Where Fredericksburg Gets Engaged 8

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

9


brian lam involved in downtown

Passionate About Books & Community

By Lori Kloppski

Caroline Parr

Skin+Touch=Community When last you read about Brian Lam and Skin+Touch Therapy (February 2013 Front Porch), he professed the desire to ‘relax and have things settle down.’ But it quickly became apparent that Skin+Touch would outgrow the rented space on Princess Anne, so Brian was already looking around town last summer when he saw the space at 714 Caroline Street was available...but only for purchase. With the guidance of listing agent Suzy Stone, Brian was soon immersed in the process of exploring small business funding. With assistance from REDCO 504, the Small Business Administration (at UMW), and Virginia Partners Bank, Brian soon had everything in place. He and Will, with the invaluable help of Will’s family, then worked on renovating the space. “It took us two months to renovate. Will’s family did most of the work. It wouldn’t have been possible if we didn’t do most of the work ourselves.” “In the end owning made more sense. It was a way to see what I had envisioned without having to work through a landlord. And as the owner, I feel like we really care for this building and brought out the beauty that was hidden, like the brick wall, wood beams, and old

floors. These are key elements that give warmth to the space. But it was also important for me to have it clean, calm and have modern look to it. I think we’ve achieved a good balance.” The new location puts Skin+Touch in the heart of downtown, which is exactly where Brian wants to be. “I like to walk to work and live in the area where I do business. And being downtown means we [businesses] can have that combined voice and provide an experience where people visit and enjoy everything from art and food to fitness and wellness.” Brian truly believes in the goal of maintaining a viable, successful downtown. “Building a vibrant downtown district and having a larger message is important: we are a community that works together. It’s good to have your own vision but it’s also valuable to collaborate with others. There are a new businesses downtown and everyone wants them to succeed. I think we would all like to see those empty store fronts replaced with exciting new businesses.” Brian’s experience helped him to realize what an excellent network of support Fredericksburg has to offer small businesses. Getting involved in the community beyond business is another

By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy

photo by gabe pons key component to the growth and success of a business. “Networking and word of mouth really helped my business to grow quickly. Downtown is great for that. There are so many ways to get involved, meet people, and give back.” In fact, Brian is creating another opportunity for folks in Fredericksburg to connect with each other and experience what downtown has to 10, downtown will offer. During May 4-1 host its first Health and Wellness Week. Similar to Restaurant Week, participating businesses will offer specials on their particular offerings, giving people the opportunity to ‘sample’ yoga, Pilates, massage, and other health and wellness services. Be sure to mark your calendars for this inaugural event! Lori Kloppski is a full time fan of and part-time writer for Front Porch.

photo by bob martin Caroline Parr is passionate about books and can be found surrounded by them most of the time. A resident of south Stafford since 1989, she makes her second home at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library (CRRL). For the past three years, Parr has served as the CRRL’s Deputy Director after working as the Children’s Youth Services Coordinator. Parr feels fortunate to have a terrific staff and public who really believe in the importance of public libraries. “I believe strongly in the role of public libraries in the community as the place where anyone can go to get in-depth information and check out a book or an ebook,” said Parr. “The library is also a great place to learn about technology and to enjoy programs, classes, events and meetings.” Parr is dedicated to the mission Mental Health America of of Fredericksburg (MHAF), where she served on the Board from 2009 to 2012. She has volunteered for the last few annual Walks for Mental Wellness, manning the table along with other volunteers at the alwayspopular Silent Auction. Parr is, again, volunteering her services for this year’s Walk on Saturday, May 3rd.

Parr believes that almost everyone is affected by mental health issues, whether it’s an immediate family member, friends, co-workers or personally. She said MHAF provides necessary services and advocates for those individuals with mental health issues. “MHAF is a good, locally-based organization with so many hard-working people who make this community a better place,” said Parr. “I encourage everyone to participate in the Walk this year – there’s something for everybody, including a pleasant walk with friends and family, the chance to bid on local art and antiques and to hear great, live music. Parr said she can’t just choose one favorite book, but she loves the children’s books she helped choose while she was on various award committees. Peter Sis’s “The Wall,” about growing up behind the “Iron Curtain”; Richard Peck’s “A Year Down Yonder” (Newbery Award winner); and Patricia MacLachlan’s “Sarah, Plain and Tall” (Newbery Award winner) are all Parr’s top choices. Parr just finished reading “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt, a book she loved. Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy is a freelance writer, public relations profesional and a frequent contributor to Front Porch

606 Caroline Street Old Town Fredericksburg 373-7847 www.gemstonecreations.org Tuesday - Saturday 10-5 Wednesday 10-6:30

Where Fredericksburg Gets Engaged 8

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

9


Retired & Buck Naked

Stafford 350 stafford’s home-grown abolitionist

By david s. kerr

The popular image, and a fairly accurate one too, was that Stafford County before the Civil War was proslavery. It was a way of life and there was virtually no one who spoke in favor of its abolition. However, there was a prominent exception. He was Stafford County’s homegrown abolitionist. His name was Moncure Daniel Conway. He was born in Falmouth, in Stafford County and was the son of a prosperous slave owner and judge. He grew up with slaves and lived in an environment where slavery was a part of everyday life. But, from an early age, while most white people in the south readily accepted slavery, Conway started to see things differently. Norman Schools, author of “Virginia Shade,” An African American History of Falmouth, Virginia, suggests that Moncure’s mother might have had something to do with his early aversion to slavery. While she wasn’t an abolitionist, she was nonetheless a fair minded and thoughtful individual. Every week she taught a class for slave children to instruct them in the catechism and to help them understand and memorize bible verses. Moncure would later recollect that Mrs. Conway was advised to stop this instruction lest it violate Virginia’s laws against teaching African Americans to read. Moncure’s mother was also a nurse and homeopathic healer who readily attended to anyone in need of her help,

black or white, without concern for payment. As Schools notes in his book Conway also had a strong and unpleasant memory of the slave jail. This thoroughly obnoxious place was where slaves were sent by their owners to be whipped for various infractions. The building is still standing and this rank symbol of oppression, so vilely administered, had a strong impact on Conway’s emerging abolitionist views. Indeed, much of his aversion to slavery, unlike so many abolitionists, came from first hand observation. Moncure Conway was a talented scholar and studied to become a Unitarian minister. By 1855, still in his early 20’s he was preaching in Washington, D.C. and in the course of his sermons made his views on slavery well known. He would eventually be dismissed for them. Though he would continue to preach far and wide. However, because of his strong abolitionist sentiments, home was no longer a welcoming place. His father made it clear that if Moncure was to continue with his anti-slavery activities he wouldn’t be welcome in Falmouth. A few years later, just before the war, Conway visited his home to introduce the family to his new bride. As family get-togethers go, this was a complete disaster, and Moncure Conway, reeling from the rejection and knowing he wasn’t welcomed in Virginia, wouldn’t visit Stafford for another 17 years. Conway’s anti-slavery activity brought him into contact with some of the luminaries of the abolitionist movement and once even shared a podium with Sojourner Truth. Conway’s religious convictions, his beginnings in the slave holding south, combined with his passionate and highly effective preaching made him one of the most prominent abolitionists in America. David S. Kerr writes about Stafford County’s 2014 Celebration of its 350 years every month here.

On The Back Porch

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

bulding a legacy through literacy

By A.E. bayne Think Spring by jo middleton

April and the bobbin’ robins are making whoopee and beautiful blue eggs in their nests. You know spring is here when those joyful, plump, red breasted members of the thrush family are out pulling up worms as hard and fast as they can go. Virginia worms are to be found where nobody has been weed killing their lawns and thereby finishing off the wrigglers. The happiest day in the lives of the Master Gardeners, who used to maintain the Mary Washington House garden by first redeeming its barren soil, was when one of them found A WORM! There was dancing in the streets by old girls with earth smudged faces, and brandishing hoes and trowels. Before long, thanks to the hard efforts of the MG girls, baby wormlets were everywhere, as were beautiful flower and vegetable plants which Master Gardeners swore on stacks of Colonial era seed packets were identical to those Mary Ball Washington grew back in the day. The Old Farmer’s Almanac agrees with the song “April showers bring the flowers that bloom in May!” The weathermen love those rainy clouds on their map. Gives them something to wave their arms about, and all purveyors of seeds and plants are joining the celebration. The boys and girls at Roxbury Farm and Garden Store, led by Andy Lynn of the magnificent southern drawl, have forgotten more than I’ll ever know about flowers and the like. They are over on Lafayette Boulevard near the RR station. They have seeds, of the foode type, in glass jars which they measure out for you. You’ll find the serious farmers and gardeners getting those paper bags of seeds. Out in the yard shrubs and trees are for sale to plant Southern Living style. Next stop for April shopping is Ken’s Tackle Shop up Lafayette Boulevard on Hill Street. You are there to buy the best shad lure there is, the Nungesser spoon, created by a French boy who came from France to fish and spoon. The shad have migrated from the ocean up the Rappahannock to spawn, and you will be there to meet them with instructions on how to use the lure you bought from the shad pro, Ken, the guy who owns the tackle shop. He’s owned that store for

10

Carol Nicholson

thirty years, and has been on that river his whole life. You’ll be catching some very bony, feisty fish, and cooking it a long, long while. Four and one half hours to be exact. I’ll leave you to the roe of the shad. Some love the stuff, but I put it in the same category as blood pudding. It’s nice to think of spring, especially when writing this in March and snow is still on the ground. Spring is time for new beginnings and this old girl is about to conclude the Front Porch era of her life. We’ve had a good long run, you and I, and I thank you and Rob Grogan for giving me this joyful time. Cheers!

Carol Nicholson knows it’s going to be an interesting day when she hears students in her classroom talking about their latest reading passage on “schmeat”. Their laughter and teasing over the mystery meat is music to her ears, as it means they are actively engaged in their learning. Nicholson’s literacy intervention program at Spotsylvania’s Battlefield Middle School has students interacting with literature, learning reflectively, and experiencing real success in a subject that has long seemed incomprehensible. Nicholson began her teaching career in Montessori school, and those methodologies remain with her in the public school classroom. She now works as an inclusion teacher in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English, as well as having her own self-contained English class. She says, “I think we in the profession are becoming more like Montessori teachers all the time. We’re determining kids’ strengths and weaknesses and having them work in small groups. We’re told to differentiate and individualize students’ instruction - that’s Montessori.” This background makes Nicholson uniquely suited to help her

school’s neediest readers to acquire skills that will lead them to successful outcomes. She explains her three-pronged approach to reaching students with literacy deficiencies, “We’re getting students later that are reading below grade level, so I’ve received a lot of support from my principal to create a program that will help the kids move forward. Often students are grouped and all given one program. Well, not every student has the same problem with reading. For some kids it’s a learning disability like dyslexia; for some it’s a decoding issue; for others it’s vocabulary building. While all of the interventions would be helpful, we need to treat this issue like a doctor would and say we’re going to intervene with the most severe problem. We’ll have more success if we can figure out the cause. We’ve been working hard to do that and have been making sure our interventions adhere strictly to that idea.” Nicholson’s program appears to be working. In its first year of operation, her students raised their reading levels at least one academic year. This year promises to be similar with about 60% of students who are participating showing

photo by bob martin significant improvement. Nicholson notes, “If you get to the middle school years and you’re still reading at a second grade level, you’ve been resistant to intervention. Many students in the program have improved, and some have attained grade level; one has even graduated from the program. However, those are the kids who are easy; the kids that are really struggling need more intervention. For these, sometimes you’ll see a little bump at the end of the year and a huge growth the second year.” An added bonus of the program has been improved writing skills. Nicholson says, “For most students, writing becomes secondary. Once you can read and have an understanding of the way words work together, then your writing gets better. We use prediction and reflective writing. It goes from me having to basically help them write their first journals at the

beginning of the year, to the students being able to look at their improvements and say, ‘Well, Mrs. Nicholson, I am here, but I want to be here.’” As the program closes its second year, Nicholson assures, “I have a lot of hope for public education. Teachers are focused student growth and how to intervene to help them improve. Above all, we have to make sure we do everything we can to help kids to read. It’s a must. I am passionate about it, and I hope I’m always working with literacy in education.” Do you know an area educator who is doing great things in the classroom? Send r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s to baynefrontporch@gmail.com. A.E. Bayne is Fredericksburg teacher, writer, artist, and monthly contributing columnist for Front Porch Magazine.

Jewel Box Since 1940 Your Hometown Jeweler On-Premise Jewelry Repair Watch Batteries Gold Buying Engraving 212 William Street,Fredericksburg 540-373-5513 Mon-Fri 9-5:30; Sat 9-5 front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

11


Retired & Buck Naked

Stafford 350 stafford’s home-grown abolitionist

By david s. kerr

The popular image, and a fairly accurate one too, was that Stafford County before the Civil War was proslavery. It was a way of life and there was virtually no one who spoke in favor of its abolition. However, there was a prominent exception. He was Stafford County’s homegrown abolitionist. His name was Moncure Daniel Conway. He was born in Falmouth, in Stafford County and was the son of a prosperous slave owner and judge. He grew up with slaves and lived in an environment where slavery was a part of everyday life. But, from an early age, while most white people in the south readily accepted slavery, Conway started to see things differently. Norman Schools, author of “Virginia Shade,” An African American History of Falmouth, Virginia, suggests that Moncure’s mother might have had something to do with his early aversion to slavery. While she wasn’t an abolitionist, she was nonetheless a fair minded and thoughtful individual. Every week she taught a class for slave children to instruct them in the catechism and to help them understand and memorize bible verses. Moncure would later recollect that Mrs. Conway was advised to stop this instruction lest it violate Virginia’s laws against teaching African Americans to read. Moncure’s mother was also a nurse and homeopathic healer who readily attended to anyone in need of her help,

black or white, without concern for payment. As Schools notes in his book Conway also had a strong and unpleasant memory of the slave jail. This thoroughly obnoxious place was where slaves were sent by their owners to be whipped for various infractions. The building is still standing and this rank symbol of oppression, so vilely administered, had a strong impact on Conway’s emerging abolitionist views. Indeed, much of his aversion to slavery, unlike so many abolitionists, came from first hand observation. Moncure Conway was a talented scholar and studied to become a Unitarian minister. By 1855, still in his early 20’s he was preaching in Washington, D.C. and in the course of his sermons made his views on slavery well known. He would eventually be dismissed for them. Though he would continue to preach far and wide. However, because of his strong abolitionist sentiments, home was no longer a welcoming place. His father made it clear that if Moncure was to continue with his anti-slavery activities he wouldn’t be welcome in Falmouth. A few years later, just before the war, Conway visited his home to introduce the family to his new bride. As family get-togethers go, this was a complete disaster, and Moncure Conway, reeling from the rejection and knowing he wasn’t welcomed in Virginia, wouldn’t visit Stafford for another 17 years. Conway’s anti-slavery activity brought him into contact with some of the luminaries of the abolitionist movement and once even shared a podium with Sojourner Truth. Conway’s religious convictions, his beginnings in the slave holding south, combined with his passionate and highly effective preaching made him one of the most prominent abolitionists in America. David S. Kerr writes about Stafford County’s 2014 Celebration of its 350 years every month here.

On The Back Porch

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

bulding a legacy through literacy

By A.E. bayne Think Spring by jo middleton

April and the bobbin’ robins are making whoopee and beautiful blue eggs in their nests. You know spring is here when those joyful, plump, red breasted members of the thrush family are out pulling up worms as hard and fast as they can go. Virginia worms are to be found where nobody has been weed killing their lawns and thereby finishing off the wrigglers. The happiest day in the lives of the Master Gardeners, who used to maintain the Mary Washington House garden by first redeeming its barren soil, was when one of them found A WORM! There was dancing in the streets by old girls with earth smudged faces, and brandishing hoes and trowels. Before long, thanks to the hard efforts of the MG girls, baby wormlets were everywhere, as were beautiful flower and vegetable plants which Master Gardeners swore on stacks of Colonial era seed packets were identical to those Mary Ball Washington grew back in the day. The Old Farmer’s Almanac agrees with the song “April showers bring the flowers that bloom in May!” The weathermen love those rainy clouds on their map. Gives them something to wave their arms about, and all purveyors of seeds and plants are joining the celebration. The boys and girls at Roxbury Farm and Garden Store, led by Andy Lynn of the magnificent southern drawl, have forgotten more than I’ll ever know about flowers and the like. They are over on Lafayette Boulevard near the RR station. They have seeds, of the foode type, in glass jars which they measure out for you. You’ll find the serious farmers and gardeners getting those paper bags of seeds. Out in the yard shrubs and trees are for sale to plant Southern Living style. Next stop for April shopping is Ken’s Tackle Shop up Lafayette Boulevard on Hill Street. You are there to buy the best shad lure there is, the Nungesser spoon, created by a French boy who came from France to fish and spoon. The shad have migrated from the ocean up the Rappahannock to spawn, and you will be there to meet them with instructions on how to use the lure you bought from the shad pro, Ken, the guy who owns the tackle shop. He’s owned that store for

10

Carol Nicholson

thirty years, and has been on that river his whole life. You’ll be catching some very bony, feisty fish, and cooking it a long, long while. Four and one half hours to be exact. I’ll leave you to the roe of the shad. Some love the stuff, but I put it in the same category as blood pudding. It’s nice to think of spring, especially when writing this in March and snow is still on the ground. Spring is time for new beginnings and this old girl is about to conclude the Front Porch era of her life. We’ve had a good long run, you and I, and I thank you and Rob Grogan for giving me this joyful time. Cheers!

Carol Nicholson knows it’s going to be an interesting day when she hears students in her classroom talking about their latest reading passage on “schmeat”. Their laughter and teasing over the mystery meat is music to her ears, as it means they are actively engaged in their learning. Nicholson’s literacy intervention program at Spotsylvania’s Battlefield Middle School has students interacting with literature, learning reflectively, and experiencing real success in a subject that has long seemed incomprehensible. Nicholson began her teaching career in Montessori school, and those methodologies remain with her in the public school classroom. She now works as an inclusion teacher in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English, as well as having her own self-contained English class. She says, “I think we in the profession are becoming more like Montessori teachers all the time. We’re determining kids’ strengths and weaknesses and having them work in small groups. We’re told to differentiate and individualize students’ instruction - that’s Montessori.” This background makes Nicholson uniquely suited to help her

school’s neediest readers to acquire skills that will lead them to successful outcomes. She explains her three-pronged approach to reaching students with literacy deficiencies, “We’re getting students later that are reading below grade level, so I’ve received a lot of support from my principal to create a program that will help the kids move forward. Often students are grouped and all given one program. Well, not every student has the same problem with reading. For some kids it’s a learning disability like dyslexia; for some it’s a decoding issue; for others it’s vocabulary building. While all of the interventions would be helpful, we need to treat this issue like a doctor would and say we’re going to intervene with the most severe problem. We’ll have more success if we can figure out the cause. We’ve been working hard to do that and have been making sure our interventions adhere strictly to that idea.” Nicholson’s program appears to be working. In its first year of operation, her students raised their reading levels at least one academic year. This year promises to be similar with about 60% of students who are participating showing

photo by bob martin significant improvement. Nicholson notes, “If you get to the middle school years and you’re still reading at a second grade level, you’ve been resistant to intervention. Many students in the program have improved, and some have attained grade level; one has even graduated from the program. However, those are the kids who are easy; the kids that are really struggling need more intervention. For these, sometimes you’ll see a little bump at the end of the year and a huge growth the second year.” An added bonus of the program has been improved writing skills. Nicholson says, “For most students, writing becomes secondary. Once you can read and have an understanding of the way words work together, then your writing gets better. We use prediction and reflective writing. It goes from me having to basically help them write their first journals at the

beginning of the year, to the students being able to look at their improvements and say, ‘Well, Mrs. Nicholson, I am here, but I want to be here.’” As the program closes its second year, Nicholson assures, “I have a lot of hope for public education. Teachers are focused student growth and how to intervene to help them improve. Above all, we have to make sure we do everything we can to help kids to read. It’s a must. I am passionate about it, and I hope I’m always working with literacy in education.” Do you know an area educator who is doing great things in the classroom? Send r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s to baynefrontporch@gmail.com. A.E. Bayne is Fredericksburg teacher, writer, artist, and monthly contributing columnist for Front Porch Magazine.

Jewel Box Since 1940 Your Hometown Jeweler On-Premise Jewelry Repair Watch Batteries Gold Buying Engraving 212 William Street,Fredericksburg 540-373-5513 Mon-Fri 9-5:30; Sat 9-5 front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

11


Cooking With Kyle

Vino My fair espana

Simple, easy, delicious by james kyle snyder

One of the last crops I pull out of the wintery ground are leeks. They last all winter nestled in the frigid dirt and actually get better and sweeter, the longer they are there. Fresh, hot soups are the best way to get the final nutrients out of last year’s crops for your health and pleasure. I have fond memories of my grandmother serving bone warming soups after long sessions of sledding. Our blue, shivering fingers quickly turned to steady pink as we were heated from the inside out. The aromas, the warmth of the steaming soup on our faces, and the heavy deep sleep that followed the meal all lent to the residual feeling soups provide every time you encounter those smells and sensations. The Scottish tattie-a and-lleekie, Irish leek-a and-p potato, French vichyssoise, or our very own leek and potato soup, have common humble origins of peasant food with simple, easy, and nutritious ingredients, that will get you to that particular place in Nirvana. This versatile soup can be made vegetarian or vegan with some simple substitutions that don’t remove the base flavors of the soup. I’ll give you the different options as we go. Put 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock and 2 1/2 pounds of white potatoes (roughly cubed, I don’t peel them - but ya’ can if you like) in a large pot and bring to a boil. There is no need to be precise with your cutting of vegetables as we are going to puree them at the end. Put 2 Tbs of bacon fat, olive oil or butter, 3 leeks (Light green parts cleaned and thinly sliced), 3 shallots

(roughly chopped) or 1 large onion (diced), 6 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped), and 1 Tbs of S&P in a medium pot and cook over medium heat until softened - about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and bring to a boil. Pour a glass for yourself and enjoy while you finish cooking. Once boiling, add to the potatoes and broth. A side note about wine: there is no reason to pay a lot of money for poor quality wine, especially when you can make it better, cheaper. Mitzi and I have started making our own wine from kits. These kits produce a high quality, delicious wine that can take the bottle cost to under $2.00 for what would normally cost you $20.00 or more. A local, and very interesting individual, Hal Bell (Deputy Director of Engineer at NASA), gives a great step-bystep class instructional series and you walk away with approximately 33 bottles of delicious wine. Contact him at bellhm@verizon.net for more information. Back to cooking. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are very soft - about 20 more minutes, then puree the mixture until smooth. For serving, you have many options: add 1/2 cup of cream and cook for two more minutes to make it silky. A 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, added slowly to prevent curdling, will make the soup richer. Top with truffle oil and chopped parsley for decadence. Julienne some leeks and potatoes and flash fry them in 350 degree oil for a crunchy garnish. Cayenne, white pepper or your favorite hot sauce are great options. Green onions, crispy pancetta, and a dollop of sour cream make a great garnish too! Mix and match until you find your favorite(s). My personal favorite is chives, greek yogurt and Cholula hot sauce. Invite your friends and create you own food-centric memories. Simple, easy, delicious. Be well! Chef Kyle warmsup weather weary friends whenever he can.

Byjessica sutton “The rains in Spain fall mainly on the plains.” Audrey Hepburn practiced this speech exercise in My Fair Lady, but thankfully the rain in Spain falls mainly on the northern mountains, creating ideal wine producing conditions. But despite having the largest wine-growing area in the world with 2.65 million acres, most of Spain battles an arid climate, mountainous terrain, and sparsely fertile soil and it struggles to keep up with the harvest yields of its Mediterranean neighbors, France and Italy. However, Spain ranks as the third largest wine producing country in the world and is experiencing a wine revolution due to recent changes in law and modernizations in production. Large wine-growing cooperatives once dominated the Spanish market, sourcing grapes from around their region and blending them into a consistent but uninspired juice without regard to vintage. Today, smaller bodegas, or wineries, are bottling their own harvests with a greater focus on terreño (terroir in French or simply a sense of place). The creation of new D.O.s (Denominaciones de Origens), the preservation of native grape varietals that had nearly been forgotten, the legalization of irrigation in 1996, and improvements upon cellar technology have all lead to the improved quality of Spanish wines. Aging of Spanish wines is of utmost importance and labels require the appropriate designations indicating level of aging. When shopping for Spanish wines, whether red, white, or rosé, the most common aging designations are Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva. Crianza reds are aged for 2 years and a minimum of 6 months in oak; whites and rosés age for 1 year with 6 months in oak. Reserva reds age for 3 years and spend at least 1 year in oak with the white and rosés aging 2 years and at least 6 months in oak. Winemakers select from their best vintages to produce the Gran Reserva, which is aged for a minimum of 5 years with 18 months in oak and at least 36 months in the bottle (whites and rosés require 4 years aging with 6 months in oak). Occasionally you will see vino joven or sin crianza, which are young wines that have seen little, if any, wood aging.

“Fredericksburg without Rob Grogan seems unimaginable. And yet he will always be here...on every corner, in every song, in every story, in all of those he touched. And there are so many that he has touched. There is only one way for me to describe how Rob lived: with Grace. By example, he showed us what it means to live and love wholeheartedly. As each day wanes, I know he'll be sipping his Scotch and looking out on the world he loved so much, finding the good, as he was so good at doing. Rest well, Rob.” Lori Izykowski 12

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Wines from La Rioja in northcentral Spain have, historically, been the country’s biggest claim to fame. Rioja’s wine production is extensive but lately I am enjoying the Burgo Viejo Reserva blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% Carignan. It is rich with vanilla and dark chocolate enveloped in a fullbody of supple black fruits and hints of tobacco. Just north of Rioja in Navarra you will find a blend of equal parts Tempranillo and Garnacha from Paco called ‘Red Experience’. This wine is a steal with its warm and meaty textures mixed with hints of rich balsamic and aromas of blueberries and cranberries. Both pair well with gamey meat, hearty stews, or your Easter lamb roast. When the first daffodils begin to peak out of the soil I am ready to dive into a bottle of white. Rias Baixas on the northwestern Atlantic coast close to the border with Portugal boasts delicious Albariños. Palacio de Fefinanes offers up a fresh and classy example of the varietal with a rich palate of lemon curd, white flowers, and tropical fruits with just a hint of salt and minerality. Palacio de Bornos bottles a wonderful Verdejo from Rueda to the northeast. Aromatic with a rich nose of oranges and lemongrass, it is mouth-filling with a lingering finish. These whites stroll along like a lamb in the pasture and either wine would pair well with crab & avocado salad, or Thai takeout on a brisk early spring evening. Spain’s wine offerings are no longer the bronze medal of the Old World. Winemakers continue to improve the vinification process to produce better and tastier wines deserving of silver and gold.

We're not sure how Jessica Sutton managed to write this excellent article in between shifts at Bistro Bethem and raising two small children, but we're glad she did!

Season’s Bounty

end of winter, beginning of spring

By vanessa moncure

You might be glancing through this article in April, morning or evening, and it might be the exact time I find myself becoming a grandmother again, for the fifth and sixth times. We're just waiting for Baby A to turn bottoms-up now - my daughter's last ultrasound saw Baby A giving Baby B a painful-looking headlock. The technician assured her this wasn't exactly prenatal WWF, just babies each trying for a little more space. I asked my daughter if she'd mind if we named a cow after her - coincidentally, of the cows we purchased for the farm this year, one is carrying a set of twins, same sex, and the rest are carrying heifers with impressive lineage, artificially inseminated, vet checked and sexed, all their shots and delivered to our door (well, the corral fence, actually). The odd sort-of-male also delivered was our 650pound steer - we named him Hamburger, a look into his future after a summer on our hayfields. All are calm, healthy, ready to bring new lives into our herd - they're all due on August 21st. I'm sure I'll have a lot to write about in September! Perfect timing for the garden, our late-March snowstorm. We'd just planted radishes, onions, beets, carrots, peas, potatoes, a lettuce mix, and spinach - when the snow melted, tiny green radish tops, small green onion tops and beets had pierced the earth in their well-spaced rows. Last fall we scattered spinach seeds at the end of the south-facing garden, with a stone wall to hold the radiant heat and keep the soil warm - we had spinach almost daily until this week, the garden turned over for the spring crop. And I'm checking the asparagus bed at least daily this is its fifth year and should be very productive! END OF WINTER CREAMED SPINACH I like to make this with curly spinach, not the soft, flat leaves of baby spinach. Takes a bit more effort to clean the spinach (wash well - sandy spinach is like having egg shells in your omelet), then

trim thick stems. Steam or cook in small amount of water with top on pan until tender. Drain, squeeze water out of spinach, then chop well. You should have 4 c. cooked spinach. Melt 6-8 oz. cream cheese with 4T. butter, S&P, garlic powder to taste, a dash of nutmeg. Stir in the spinach, then place in buttered oven-proof dish. Crumble ½ c. day-old bread, add garlic powder and 3 T. melted butter. Sprinkle over spinach, then bake in 375F oven til browned and bubbly. BEGINNING OF SPRING BEET GREEN SALAD How often have you had microgreens on your plate? With a garden, and a need to thin lettuce, peas, beets, arugula, and other edibles, we often have a salad that would run to the double-digits if eating out. I usually thin them, then cut off the root ends. Keeping the greens separated, I wash them several times, then crisp them in iced water. I usually have some canned pickled beets left over, but if not, open two cans of baby beets (or better yet, cook whole baby beets, red and gold if you can find them), reserving the juice. In medium saucepan, place 1 c. white balsamic vinegar, 1 c. sugar, S&P, and 1 c. of the reserved beet juice. Heat until boiling, then make sure all of the sugar has dissolved by stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Pour mixture over the beets, then chill completely. Arrange your salad plate with the small beets, beet greens and small rounds of an herbed goat cheese. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved pickled beet juice, then drizzle salad sparingly with a fresh virgin olive oil. Can't stop thinking about you, Rob and family, as I write this column. I remember almost 15 years ago when Bistro 309 was being born, shortly after Front Porch made its debut - someone said Call Rob! He can help you! And you did! Sandra sat on the stool gathering information for her Around Town column, you were a fantastic bartender who remembered names and invented drinks and did just about every job in the restaurant the beginnings of Restaurant Row. I know I got a lot of emails from you - "Column this month?" but I'm really going to try to keep my deadlines now. Rest in peace, gone much too soon. With love, Vanessa

Olde Towne BUTCHER Get All Your Easter Supplies Here! Corner of William & Charles Street 540.370.4105 www.oldetownebutcher.com

Winter Hours: 9am - 7pm Monday through Saturday 11am - 6pm Sunday Lee Russell Proprietor

~ Daily Specials ~ Mom’s Mondays: Free dessert for all moms Two For One Tuesdays: All beverages & appetizers are two-for-one. Washington Wednesdays: All food 50% off with Mary Washington University id Throwback Thursdays: Burgers any way $5.00. Dine in Only ~ Limited Time ~ Subject to Change

801 Caroline Street

(540) 371-2008

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

13


Cooking With Kyle

Vino My fair espana

Simple, easy, delicious by james kyle snyder

One of the last crops I pull out of the wintery ground are leeks. They last all winter nestled in the frigid dirt and actually get better and sweeter, the longer they are there. Fresh, hot soups are the best way to get the final nutrients out of last year’s crops for your health and pleasure. I have fond memories of my grandmother serving bone warming soups after long sessions of sledding. Our blue, shivering fingers quickly turned to steady pink as we were heated from the inside out. The aromas, the warmth of the steaming soup on our faces, and the heavy deep sleep that followed the meal all lent to the residual feeling soups provide every time you encounter those smells and sensations. The Scottish tattie-a and-lleekie, Irish leek-a and-p potato, French vichyssoise, or our very own leek and potato soup, have common humble origins of peasant food with simple, easy, and nutritious ingredients, that will get you to that particular place in Nirvana. This versatile soup can be made vegetarian or vegan with some simple substitutions that don’t remove the base flavors of the soup. I’ll give you the different options as we go. Put 2 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock and 2 1/2 pounds of white potatoes (roughly cubed, I don’t peel them - but ya’ can if you like) in a large pot and bring to a boil. There is no need to be precise with your cutting of vegetables as we are going to puree them at the end. Put 2 Tbs of bacon fat, olive oil or butter, 3 leeks (Light green parts cleaned and thinly sliced), 3 shallots

(roughly chopped) or 1 large onion (diced), 6 cloves of garlic (roughly chopped), and 1 Tbs of S&P in a medium pot and cook over medium heat until softened - about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup dry white wine and bring to a boil. Pour a glass for yourself and enjoy while you finish cooking. Once boiling, add to the potatoes and broth. A side note about wine: there is no reason to pay a lot of money for poor quality wine, especially when you can make it better, cheaper. Mitzi and I have started making our own wine from kits. These kits produce a high quality, delicious wine that can take the bottle cost to under $2.00 for what would normally cost you $20.00 or more. A local, and very interesting individual, Hal Bell (Deputy Director of Engineer at NASA), gives a great step-bystep class instructional series and you walk away with approximately 33 bottles of delicious wine. Contact him at bellhm@verizon.net for more information. Back to cooking. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are very soft - about 20 more minutes, then puree the mixture until smooth. For serving, you have many options: add 1/2 cup of cream and cook for two more minutes to make it silky. A 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt, added slowly to prevent curdling, will make the soup richer. Top with truffle oil and chopped parsley for decadence. Julienne some leeks and potatoes and flash fry them in 350 degree oil for a crunchy garnish. Cayenne, white pepper or your favorite hot sauce are great options. Green onions, crispy pancetta, and a dollop of sour cream make a great garnish too! Mix and match until you find your favorite(s). My personal favorite is chives, greek yogurt and Cholula hot sauce. Invite your friends and create you own food-centric memories. Simple, easy, delicious. Be well! Chef Kyle warmsup weather weary friends whenever he can.

Byjessica sutton “The rains in Spain fall mainly on the plains.” Audrey Hepburn practiced this speech exercise in My Fair Lady, but thankfully the rain in Spain falls mainly on the northern mountains, creating ideal wine producing conditions. But despite having the largest wine-growing area in the world with 2.65 million acres, most of Spain battles an arid climate, mountainous terrain, and sparsely fertile soil and it struggles to keep up with the harvest yields of its Mediterranean neighbors, France and Italy. However, Spain ranks as the third largest wine producing country in the world and is experiencing a wine revolution due to recent changes in law and modernizations in production. Large wine-growing cooperatives once dominated the Spanish market, sourcing grapes from around their region and blending them into a consistent but uninspired juice without regard to vintage. Today, smaller bodegas, or wineries, are bottling their own harvests with a greater focus on terreño (terroir in French or simply a sense of place). The creation of new D.O.s (Denominaciones de Origens), the preservation of native grape varietals that had nearly been forgotten, the legalization of irrigation in 1996, and improvements upon cellar technology have all lead to the improved quality of Spanish wines. Aging of Spanish wines is of utmost importance and labels require the appropriate designations indicating level of aging. When shopping for Spanish wines, whether red, white, or rosé, the most common aging designations are Crianza, Reserva, and Gran Reserva. Crianza reds are aged for 2 years and a minimum of 6 months in oak; whites and rosés age for 1 year with 6 months in oak. Reserva reds age for 3 years and spend at least 1 year in oak with the white and rosés aging 2 years and at least 6 months in oak. Winemakers select from their best vintages to produce the Gran Reserva, which is aged for a minimum of 5 years with 18 months in oak and at least 36 months in the bottle (whites and rosés require 4 years aging with 6 months in oak). Occasionally you will see vino joven or sin crianza, which are young wines that have seen little, if any, wood aging.

“Fredericksburg without Rob Grogan seems unimaginable. And yet he will always be here...on every corner, in every song, in every story, in all of those he touched. And there are so many that he has touched. There is only one way for me to describe how Rob lived: with Grace. By example, he showed us what it means to live and love wholeheartedly. As each day wanes, I know he'll be sipping his Scotch and looking out on the world he loved so much, finding the good, as he was so good at doing. Rest well, Rob.” Lori Izykowski 12

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Wines from La Rioja in northcentral Spain have, historically, been the country’s biggest claim to fame. Rioja’s wine production is extensive but lately I am enjoying the Burgo Viejo Reserva blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Garnacha and 5% Carignan. It is rich with vanilla and dark chocolate enveloped in a fullbody of supple black fruits and hints of tobacco. Just north of Rioja in Navarra you will find a blend of equal parts Tempranillo and Garnacha from Paco called ‘Red Experience’. This wine is a steal with its warm and meaty textures mixed with hints of rich balsamic and aromas of blueberries and cranberries. Both pair well with gamey meat, hearty stews, or your Easter lamb roast. When the first daffodils begin to peak out of the soil I am ready to dive into a bottle of white. Rias Baixas on the northwestern Atlantic coast close to the border with Portugal boasts delicious Albariños. Palacio de Fefinanes offers up a fresh and classy example of the varietal with a rich palate of lemon curd, white flowers, and tropical fruits with just a hint of salt and minerality. Palacio de Bornos bottles a wonderful Verdejo from Rueda to the northeast. Aromatic with a rich nose of oranges and lemongrass, it is mouth-filling with a lingering finish. These whites stroll along like a lamb in the pasture and either wine would pair well with crab & avocado salad, or Thai takeout on a brisk early spring evening. Spain’s wine offerings are no longer the bronze medal of the Old World. Winemakers continue to improve the vinification process to produce better and tastier wines deserving of silver and gold.

We're not sure how Jessica Sutton managed to write this excellent article in between shifts at Bistro Bethem and raising two small children, but we're glad she did!

Season’s Bounty

end of winter, beginning of spring

By vanessa moncure

You might be glancing through this article in April, morning or evening, and it might be the exact time I find myself becoming a grandmother again, for the fifth and sixth times. We're just waiting for Baby A to turn bottoms-up now - my daughter's last ultrasound saw Baby A giving Baby B a painful-looking headlock. The technician assured her this wasn't exactly prenatal WWF, just babies each trying for a little more space. I asked my daughter if she'd mind if we named a cow after her - coincidentally, of the cows we purchased for the farm this year, one is carrying a set of twins, same sex, and the rest are carrying heifers with impressive lineage, artificially inseminated, vet checked and sexed, all their shots and delivered to our door (well, the corral fence, actually). The odd sort-of-male also delivered was our 650pound steer - we named him Hamburger, a look into his future after a summer on our hayfields. All are calm, healthy, ready to bring new lives into our herd - they're all due on August 21st. I'm sure I'll have a lot to write about in September! Perfect timing for the garden, our late-March snowstorm. We'd just planted radishes, onions, beets, carrots, peas, potatoes, a lettuce mix, and spinach - when the snow melted, tiny green radish tops, small green onion tops and beets had pierced the earth in their well-spaced rows. Last fall we scattered spinach seeds at the end of the south-facing garden, with a stone wall to hold the radiant heat and keep the soil warm - we had spinach almost daily until this week, the garden turned over for the spring crop. And I'm checking the asparagus bed at least daily this is its fifth year and should be very productive! END OF WINTER CREAMED SPINACH I like to make this with curly spinach, not the soft, flat leaves of baby spinach. Takes a bit more effort to clean the spinach (wash well - sandy spinach is like having egg shells in your omelet), then

trim thick stems. Steam or cook in small amount of water with top on pan until tender. Drain, squeeze water out of spinach, then chop well. You should have 4 c. cooked spinach. Melt 6-8 oz. cream cheese with 4T. butter, S&P, garlic powder to taste, a dash of nutmeg. Stir in the spinach, then place in buttered oven-proof dish. Crumble ½ c. day-old bread, add garlic powder and 3 T. melted butter. Sprinkle over spinach, then bake in 375F oven til browned and bubbly. BEGINNING OF SPRING BEET GREEN SALAD How often have you had microgreens on your plate? With a garden, and a need to thin lettuce, peas, beets, arugula, and other edibles, we often have a salad that would run to the double-digits if eating out. I usually thin them, then cut off the root ends. Keeping the greens separated, I wash them several times, then crisp them in iced water. I usually have some canned pickled beets left over, but if not, open two cans of baby beets (or better yet, cook whole baby beets, red and gold if you can find them), reserving the juice. In medium saucepan, place 1 c. white balsamic vinegar, 1 c. sugar, S&P, and 1 c. of the reserved beet juice. Heat until boiling, then make sure all of the sugar has dissolved by stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes. Pour mixture over the beets, then chill completely. Arrange your salad plate with the small beets, beet greens and small rounds of an herbed goat cheese. Drizzle with a small amount of the reserved pickled beet juice, then drizzle salad sparingly with a fresh virgin olive oil. Can't stop thinking about you, Rob and family, as I write this column. I remember almost 15 years ago when Bistro 309 was being born, shortly after Front Porch made its debut - someone said Call Rob! He can help you! And you did! Sandra sat on the stool gathering information for her Around Town column, you were a fantastic bartender who remembered names and invented drinks and did just about every job in the restaurant the beginnings of Restaurant Row. I know I got a lot of emails from you - "Column this month?" but I'm really going to try to keep my deadlines now. Rest in peace, gone much too soon. With love, Vanessa

Olde Towne BUTCHER Get All Your Easter Supplies Here! Corner of William & Charles Street 540.370.4105 www.oldetownebutcher.com

Winter Hours: 9am - 7pm Monday through Saturday 11am - 6pm Sunday Lee Russell Proprietor

~ Daily Specials ~ Mom’s Mondays: Free dessert for all moms Two For One Tuesdays: All beverages & appetizers are two-for-one. Washington Wednesdays: All food 50% off with Mary Washington University id Throwback Thursdays: Burgers any way $5.00. Dine in Only ~ Limited Time ~ Subject to Change

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April 2014

13


Northern Neck Wine Tour

WELCOME TO OUR GREAT OUTDOORS

No Rules, Just Right By Nancy Bauer & Rick Collier

Virginia’s wine country is on fire, and the most popular wineries are packed with visitors, especially on weekends. For a space at the tasting bar—one with a little more elbow room— head east, to the Northern Neck. Ten wineries are spread across more than 90 miles, so you’ll need to fortify yourself. Start at the popular Art of Coffee (theartofcoffee.biz) in tiny Montross, mapping out your route over a latte and veggie/ham/feta scramble. Plan ahead tip: If your weekend’s lodging comes with a kitchen, zip into Faunce Seafood a few miles south (facebook.com/faunceseafood) for dinner provisions; they’ll ice down crabcake fixings, shrimp or fresh fish to go. The Hague Winery (thehaguewinery.com) is your first tasting, and the estate’s passel of centuries-old buildings are a fitting intro to the area’s impressive history; Presidents Washington, Madison, Monroe and General Robert E. Lee were all born nearby. “Most people agree that it’s an entirely different world here, very much untouched by suburban sprawl,” says Steve Madey, co-owner of The Hague Winery with his wife Cynthia. “The Northern Neck’s really not on the way to anywhere; one comes here on purpose. I guess it takes a bit more of a sense of adventure and willingness to try something different.” Part of the “something different” in the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA (American Viticultural Area) is Chardonel, a hybrid grape made from Seyval and Chardonnay. Fairly rare in Virginia, the grape thrives on the Northern Neck, lending itself to a variety of blending styles that pair nicely with everything from Chesapeake Bay oysters to spicy Indian. “The Northern Neck makes very nice, approachable wines at a fairly young age that go well both on their own and with food,” says vineyard consultant Lucie Morton, who was recently named one of the “Twenty Most Admired People in the

14

April 2014

North American Wine Industry.” Several of Morton’s strong performers for the region’s terroir are still unfamiliar to many Virginia wine country visitors: Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, Muscat blanc and Traminette, along with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The road heading south to General’s Ridge Vineyards (generalsridgevineyards.com) tunnels through miles of corn and soybean fields. In just over a decade, the winery’s ambitious new owners and team have transformed a family farm and tumble-down house into one of the area’s largest vineyards, with lodging, a carriage house for private events and an expansive tasting room. Grab a snack at General’s Ridge and stretch your legs, or, better yet, save your appetite for Jacey Vineyards (jaceyvineyards.com), where you can pair the vineyard’s Galician-style Albariño with Spanish tapas. The nautical décor is an invitation to arrive by water, docking at the winery’s private piers on Mill Creek, a short walk away. Prefer less do-it-yourself and more pampering? The Hope & Glory Inn (hopeandglory.com) at the southern end of the Neck is a nationally-recognized historic gem: a quaint schoolhouse full of overstuffed pillows and casual chic romance. In the morning, sample the Chardonel at Hope & Glory’s winery, called Dog & Oyster (hopeandglory.com/thevineyard)—you can’t miss the 40-foot corkscrews flanking the drive—followed by a short drive to Good Luck Cellars (goodluckcellars.com) for some lesser known varietals such as Vignoles, Chambourcin, and Petit Verdot. On your way home, make the pilgrimage to Ingleside Vineyards (inglesidevineyards.com), one of Virginia’s wine pioneers, where you’re met with a long—long—list of wines, free tours daily, plenty of courtyard seating and even free Wi-Fi. Escape to Ingleside’s romantic Barrel Room for a few quiet minutes before heading out, to recalibrate for your re-entry into a faster, louder, way more hectic Virginia. Nancy Bauer and Rick Collier eat, sleep and drink Virginia wine and encourage others to do the same at VirginiaWineInMyPocket.com. Rick’s photos are at RickCollierCreative.com.

Front porch fredericksburg

Come on Over and See Us in our New Location at Eagle Village!

It’s Beautiful ~ Night and Day!

The Soup & Taco, Etc.

Spring Food Drive Snow Hits some even Harder

813 Caroline St.

By Jessica Sutton

Fredericksburg, VA

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Victory Ministry and the Center for Faith The flakes fell hard and often this and Leadership, a Baptist Ministry at the winter and many of us welcomed the snow days as we hunkered down inside our University of Mary Washington, are warm homes nestled with our families. organizing a spring food drive to help Teachers and tele-workers kept watchful these children. Hanson and Swisher have and hopeful eyes on the closing lists with identified 91 homeless youth in each winter weather warning, celebrating Fredericksburg and 538 in Spotsylvania the small reprieve from the daily grind who need help finding meals over Spring and commute. But not everyone looked Break, which is April 20 – 25. However, in forward to the snow days and for the order to get the food to the families, all homeless children in non-perishable our community it items need to be was especially received on or Donations can be delivered before April 8, difficult. M e g a n 2014. before April 8th to the Hanson, a social Donations can Center for Faith and worker for the be delivered to the Fredericksburg City Leadership located at 1514 Center for Faith Public Schools, is the and Leadership College Avenue across from located at 1514 homeless liaison for all the city schools. College Avenue the UMW campus Her position is part across from the of a federal No Child UMW campus. The Left Behind mandate called the McKinney types of food you can give include Vento Assistance Act, which identifies and breakfast bars, microwave macaroni and provides supports for students who are cheese, oatmeal, juice boxes, crackers and homeless. This support includes the free peanut butter. You can also volunteer meal program, providing two meals a day, your time to help fill boxes that Hanson five days a week. It provides alternative and Swisher will deliver to the students. transportation to the schools when So let the spring sun melt your students move outside of the city, which garden frost and warm your hearts with happens often as homeless families the spirit of giving. The next time you are bounce from hotels, the back of cars, and in the grocery aisles, toss in an extra box the couches of friends and family. It also of goldfish, a package of fig bars, and a can provides immediate enrollment for of tuna fish and drop them off on your students lacking essential documents, such way home. The few extra dollars on your as birth certificates, and provides receipt will go a long way to helping the assistance to the families in obtaining homeless children in our city. these documents. Weekends, holidays, and snow We're not sure how Jessica Sutton days can be very stressful and detrimental managed to write this excellent article to the well being of our homeless student in between shifts at Bistro Bethem and population. During a regular school day, raising two small children, but we're glad she did! these children receive free breakfast and lunch, but when it comes to breaks they often go hungry. That is why area social workers like Hanson and Michelle Swisher in Spotsylvania County, along with U4C

The General Store

Restaurant

Serving Up Local “Good” News Since 1997 Since 1978

Italian/American Food Monday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm

371-4075 Front Porch Fredericksburg

2018 College Ave. Fredericksburg

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

15


Northern Neck Wine Tour

WELCOME TO OUR GREAT OUTDOORS

No Rules, Just Right By Nancy Bauer & Rick Collier

Virginia’s wine country is on fire, and the most popular wineries are packed with visitors, especially on weekends. For a space at the tasting bar—one with a little more elbow room— head east, to the Northern Neck. Ten wineries are spread across more than 90 miles, so you’ll need to fortify yourself. Start at the popular Art of Coffee (theartofcoffee.biz) in tiny Montross, mapping out your route over a latte and veggie/ham/feta scramble. Plan ahead tip: If your weekend’s lodging comes with a kitchen, zip into Faunce Seafood a few miles south (facebook.com/faunceseafood) for dinner provisions; they’ll ice down crabcake fixings, shrimp or fresh fish to go. The Hague Winery (thehaguewinery.com) is your first tasting, and the estate’s passel of centuries-old buildings are a fitting intro to the area’s impressive history; Presidents Washington, Madison, Monroe and General Robert E. Lee were all born nearby. “Most people agree that it’s an entirely different world here, very much untouched by suburban sprawl,” says Steve Madey, co-owner of The Hague Winery with his wife Cynthia. “The Northern Neck’s really not on the way to anywhere; one comes here on purpose. I guess it takes a bit more of a sense of adventure and willingness to try something different.” Part of the “something different” in the Northern Neck George Washington Birthplace AVA (American Viticultural Area) is Chardonel, a hybrid grape made from Seyval and Chardonnay. Fairly rare in Virginia, the grape thrives on the Northern Neck, lending itself to a variety of blending styles that pair nicely with everything from Chesapeake Bay oysters to spicy Indian. “The Northern Neck makes very nice, approachable wines at a fairly young age that go well both on their own and with food,” says vineyard consultant Lucie Morton, who was recently named one of the “Twenty Most Admired People in the

14

April 2014

North American Wine Industry.” Several of Morton’s strong performers for the region’s terroir are still unfamiliar to many Virginia wine country visitors: Petit Verdot, Petit Manseng, Muscat blanc and Traminette, along with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The road heading south to General’s Ridge Vineyards (generalsridgevineyards.com) tunnels through miles of corn and soybean fields. In just over a decade, the winery’s ambitious new owners and team have transformed a family farm and tumble-down house into one of the area’s largest vineyards, with lodging, a carriage house for private events and an expansive tasting room. Grab a snack at General’s Ridge and stretch your legs, or, better yet, save your appetite for Jacey Vineyards (jaceyvineyards.com), where you can pair the vineyard’s Galician-style Albariño with Spanish tapas. The nautical décor is an invitation to arrive by water, docking at the winery’s private piers on Mill Creek, a short walk away. Prefer less do-it-yourself and more pampering? The Hope & Glory Inn (hopeandglory.com) at the southern end of the Neck is a nationally-recognized historic gem: a quaint schoolhouse full of overstuffed pillows and casual chic romance. In the morning, sample the Chardonel at Hope & Glory’s winery, called Dog & Oyster (hopeandglory.com/thevineyard)—you can’t miss the 40-foot corkscrews flanking the drive—followed by a short drive to Good Luck Cellars (goodluckcellars.com) for some lesser known varietals such as Vignoles, Chambourcin, and Petit Verdot. On your way home, make the pilgrimage to Ingleside Vineyards (inglesidevineyards.com), one of Virginia’s wine pioneers, where you’re met with a long—long—list of wines, free tours daily, plenty of courtyard seating and even free Wi-Fi. Escape to Ingleside’s romantic Barrel Room for a few quiet minutes before heading out, to recalibrate for your re-entry into a faster, louder, way more hectic Virginia. Nancy Bauer and Rick Collier eat, sleep and drink Virginia wine and encourage others to do the same at VirginiaWineInMyPocket.com. Rick’s photos are at RickCollierCreative.com.

Front porch fredericksburg

Come on Over and See Us in our New Location at Eagle Village!

It’s Beautiful ~ Night and Day!

The Soup & Taco, Etc.

Spring Food Drive Snow Hits some even Harder

813 Caroline St.

By Jessica Sutton

Fredericksburg, VA

GET 25% OFF ANY 6 BOTTLES OF WINE WITH THIS COUPON VALID IN STORE ONLY. ONE COUPON PER PERSON. EXPIRES 2/28/2014

To learn about our tastings and other special events: Join our email list at EJosephWines.com & Facebook.com/hop.wine

Mexican, Tex-Mex Food

540-373-8878

11am-9pm

Serving Traditional and Something More!! Tuesday to Saturday Sunday 11am-6pm

1223 Jefferson Davis Hwy Fredericksburg, VA 22401 Phone: 540-899-0969 E-mail: soupntaco@yahoo.com

The Sunken Well Tavern

720 Littlepage sunkenwelltavern.com 540-370-0911 Eat Well Drink Well Live Well

Victory Ministry and the Center for Faith The flakes fell hard and often this and Leadership, a Baptist Ministry at the winter and many of us welcomed the snow days as we hunkered down inside our University of Mary Washington, are warm homes nestled with our families. organizing a spring food drive to help Teachers and tele-workers kept watchful these children. Hanson and Swisher have and hopeful eyes on the closing lists with identified 91 homeless youth in each winter weather warning, celebrating Fredericksburg and 538 in Spotsylvania the small reprieve from the daily grind who need help finding meals over Spring and commute. But not everyone looked Break, which is April 20 – 25. However, in forward to the snow days and for the order to get the food to the families, all homeless children in non-perishable our community it items need to be was especially received on or Donations can be delivered before April 8, difficult. M e g a n 2014. before April 8th to the Hanson, a social Donations can Center for Faith and worker for the be delivered to the Fredericksburg City Leadership located at 1514 Center for Faith Public Schools, is the and Leadership College Avenue across from located at 1514 homeless liaison for all the city schools. College Avenue the UMW campus Her position is part across from the of a federal No Child UMW campus. The Left Behind mandate called the McKinney types of food you can give include Vento Assistance Act, which identifies and breakfast bars, microwave macaroni and provides supports for students who are cheese, oatmeal, juice boxes, crackers and homeless. This support includes the free peanut butter. You can also volunteer meal program, providing two meals a day, your time to help fill boxes that Hanson five days a week. It provides alternative and Swisher will deliver to the students. transportation to the schools when So let the spring sun melt your students move outside of the city, which garden frost and warm your hearts with happens often as homeless families the spirit of giving. The next time you are bounce from hotels, the back of cars, and in the grocery aisles, toss in an extra box the couches of friends and family. It also of goldfish, a package of fig bars, and a can provides immediate enrollment for of tuna fish and drop them off on your students lacking essential documents, such way home. The few extra dollars on your as birth certificates, and provides receipt will go a long way to helping the assistance to the families in obtaining homeless children in our city. these documents. Weekends, holidays, and snow We're not sure how Jessica Sutton days can be very stressful and detrimental managed to write this excellent article to the well being of our homeless student in between shifts at Bistro Bethem and population. During a regular school day, raising two small children, but we're glad she did! these children receive free breakfast and lunch, but when it comes to breaks they often go hungry. That is why area social workers like Hanson and Michelle Swisher in Spotsylvania County, along with U4C

The General Store

Restaurant

Serving Up Local “Good” News Since 1997 Since 1978

Italian/American Food Monday-Saturday 11 am-10 pm

371-4075 Front Porch Fredericksburg

2018 College Ave. Fredericksburg

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

15


COMMUNITY comments

"If you ever want to raise my spirits, then simply say 'Rob Grogan' & my heart will soar". Bill Ormsby My condolences on your lose. Fredericksburg will be a smaller place without Rob. Love from a reader of Front Porch. Cindy Ladewig Until we meet again- you have given so much to so many. Love you and miss you, Uncle Rob. Catie Star I remember when the first copy of Front Porch was delivered (yes!) to my front porch, and spending hours reading it, cover to cover, on the porch swing, sometimes even napping. Where else but Fredericksburg? Who else, but Rob? Thank you for enriching my hometown so much. Pat Coffey Rob Grogan modeled what I consider to be international-sized compassion and understanding from a desk in his little Virginia town. I'm very, very sad, and I'm praying for all who love him. Rob DuBois In true Irish fashion, here is to you my beautiful friend. I look forward to our next hug, and drink, in a most beautiful place Christopher Limbrick Rest in peace Rob; no doubt, F'burg will miss you greatly & will never ever be the same , Godspeed. Debbie Hudson Naggs

A life well lived, a gentle spirit, a kind and humble man, a model to live by in so many ways for so many of us. For myself, I am grateful to have had the honor to know you Rob and forever have the blessings of the eloquent and heartfelt written words you leave behind. Until we meet again . Christine Thompson

word to friends and strangers alike, supportive, giving, honoring the best in all. Rest well, gentle spirit. Kathryn Willis

The last thing we can teach others is how to die. Throughout your demise, you remained kind and caring, gracious and giving, respected and loved by so many. Thank you for being such a bright guiding light for so many in so many ways. God Bless and God Speed. Sarah Forbush Southworth You were a damn good man rob and always had a smile on your face I honestly can't remember one time you were unhappy. I hope to see you on the other side good friend rest in peace brotha. Brandon Bonner

Fredericksburg lost an amazing man to (stupid) cancer Rob Grogan leaves behind an amazing legacy & will be missed by many. He was a man who left a lasting impression on all he met for he was a good listener, a gentleman, and filled with knowledge. Andrea McConnell

Rob will be seriously missed by many, including me. John Smart We live the lives we insist on, and Rob emanated the life he insisted on from every pore of his being. His heart glowed in his face, his spirit danced in his eyes, and his smile was always the delight of each moment of now. This truly magnificent man was a blessing in every way that counted. Heaven is lucky to have him. Gyja Frederiksen To a great friend and community pillar Rob Grogan, who taught me that it's not a proper drink unless your ice is covered, fair winds and following seas. Seemed appropriate to break out the highland stuff for this one. James Kyle Snyder . I have a heavy heart with the news of your passing. The world has lost a great man. You were a blessing to all who knew you and Fredericksburg is a better place because you lived there. Thank you for all you did for all of us. You will be greatly missed. Kate Lee

Rob

is dearly missed throughout the Fxbg community, and the world at large. We have lost a beautiful soul, and are lucky to have shared the benefit of his presence, influence and impact in all of Lezlie our lives. Cheryl

. With deepest gratitude for the wonderful legacy you have given to our community. Collette and David Caprara.

An old photo with Rob Grogan, Melvin Brown and me. We'll miss you, Papa G. I've met some good men in my lifetime, but few have the heart that you do. You lived every day to its fullest until the end Chris Jones

Thank you Rob Grogan for gracing us with your intellect, patience, and Kadeana warmth. We love and miss you. RIP Langford This news breaks my heart. Always a kind

Way too soon. You will be remembered every single day. You are part of the fabric of the Burg, Mr. Rob Grogan Abbe Buck

540.226.9937 praactgtaxes.com

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Rest easy, Rob. The world's a better place Gateau because of your time here. Kim Place-G Rest in peace Rob Grogan. Rarely does one heart touch so many as this wonderful man. . Toby Fairchild

We have lost one of the most intellectual individuals that I have encountered and he loved Fredericksburg without question. He was a special human that took pleasure in bring us the local happenings. He will be missed by the public at large and his many followers will miss him. Terry Smith

You inspired us all and will be missed by so many. Lois Peckholdt Skipper

" Rob's grace opened my heart. He will be so missed by his community. Dianne Bachman Rob Grogan Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Brittany Albury Unconditional, loving, full of Grace, you will be missed & I'm better for knowing you. Rest in peace friend. Tammy Cooke

Till we meet again, dear Rob Grogan. There will be many a toast to you in this town.....always. Olivia East I try to always focus on the blessing of having known someone, having had them in my life for whatever short time is allotted. It's easy to focus on that blessing with Rob. There was a grace in him blossomed in others as a result of his being. Fare thee well, Rob. Rikki Ansell

Our community is not as bright today, but somewhere that light shines on and there is a joyful returning and homecoming celebration. So much love to you Rob on your journey What a joy it was to have met such a genuine, sweet spirit. Lynda Allen

“Man Behind the Bar” by jeff gandy on permanent display at Bistro Bethem

Fare thee well, Rob. You will live on in all of us who were lucky enough to have had you in our lives. Goodbye to a gentle man and a gentleman. (Even if you were a Yankees fan.) John M Sovitsky Goodbye my friend for now...I am a better man for knowing you,.. CHEERS Rob, I will see you on the other side. Eric Woods You had the kindest smile I have ever known-- it seems like an odd thing to thank someone for, but I thank you for yours. Whenever I wandered into bistro after work, I'd be tired and grumpy but the second I walked in and you'd greet me with that smile, I genuinely felt all better. Thank you for that. I'll try to pay it forward for you. Peace be with you, Rob. Sarah Hall Another Star in the heavens. Write a new magazine up there, it'll be great! Rest easy my friend. Peter Pisani He truly was one of the kindest, most gentle souls I have ever known, A true sharer of the light.Rob Grogan will be greatly missed. Ashley Chevalier

Rob..your legacy lives in all of us and will be cherished and shared forever! You will be missed. Linda Osorio There is a cool wind tonight and a deep sigh in our little community tonight, perhaps we all can find some peace in saying we loved him . Scott Sweeney He was like a father to me. A friend, mentor, leader. His guiding words will stay with me always. There is no one in this world like Rob Grogan and I am blessed to share this life with him. . Ruth Cassell We only part to meet again ... My heart is heavy tonight but forever blessed for having known you. Much love and peace to you, my friend, Rob Grogan. Megan Mason It saddens me to think of Fredericksburg without the smile and laughter of Rob Grogan. My evenings at Bistro were always better with a hug and smile from behind the bar. You will be missed my dear friend. Missy Colombo

I'm grateful to have had Rob Grogan as my friend in my life. I hope you always stay with Virginia and Lexi and everyone who loved you and whose lives you touched. Rest in peace sweet Papa G, we love you. Jenny Mcgee To a man who touched so many lives, you will be greatly missed. Godspeed Rob Grogan Our mortal world lost a great man today but Heaven has its hands full of the loving and caring that Rob brought into our world. . Stephanie & Hal Bell Until we meet again Uncle Rob, love you and miss you. Adam Star Words are never enough, never. I will miss your warm heart and generous soul. Thoughts and love to you my friend. No more pain, only Peace . Wendy Porter There are not enough words to say how much we thought of you Rob Grogan. You were there when people needed you, you knew the right thing to say, you were so giving to others, there is a special place in heaven for you. Bob Shope Truly a man who touched his community in such a sound and good way. Nancy Collins

I am so grateful to have met this wonderful man. Rob Grogan's spirit was invincible and his heart was unbounded. Thank you for showing us how to live each moment with fearlessness! Your presence will be missed! Bill Brooks

Rob will be missed by so m a n y

The community has lost a great, great man You will forever be loved, admired, and missed Rob Grogan. You gave so many of us a chance to let our voices, interests, and talents be heard. Thank you, sir! Katie Hornung

Fredericksburgers. Tom and Anne Smith

Go in peace my friend. You will be missed more than you can imagine. You will always be there in my heart and soul. Earl Pence Words can't describe how much you will be missed...I am grateful to have had you in my life. Steve Cameli We love you Papa G.

Tom Byrne

Rob was a very special person, who will remain in our hearts forever. Eric and Susan Merrll …It was as if lightening struck, from the ground upward in Fredericksburg on Feb. 23…our world has been a better place, because of Rob. All that he did over the years for this community has been an inspiration and blessing. Cissy Nelson I so clearly remember the first time I met rob…I was struck by his gentle, calm nature and his sincerity…we so frequently meet people who could care less when we speak to them, Rob however listened to every word and I became an instant admirer…I somehow feel his goodness shines on as he watches us from above. Fritzi Newton …Rob has always had a special place in my heart, as a very early encourager of my art life, and just a plain wonderful, kind person. Jackie and Jim Lakely

…The entire community will long remember Robs legacy. We will miss his voice, his optimism, the joy in life that he saw and celebrated in all of us and we will remember to be inspired. Betsy Glassie and Jim VanFleet Rob was really bigger than life to so many of us and I can assure you he is bigger than death too…he lives on in each of us who life he touched Rob was uplifting he saw the best in us. Christi Carver and Chris Schmidt We were all blessed by his presence with us on this mortal plane and will feel his influence always. May you find comfort in the love you have shared as a family and in the vast network of friends and acquaintances who lives he so profoundly touched. Drema Apperson Throughout his good life, he set an example for the best of humanity. Sara, Tom and Katie Hacala Rob was such an inspiration to our community with his courage, humor and grace, may these sterling qualities continue to bolster us all. Kitty and Vick

NOTE: There where over 2,000 cards, emails and facebook messages from the community. We have attempted to print but a few.

Rob lived fully, and gave so much. We were blessed to have crossed his path. Larry Tomayko and Dave Newhall Whenever I was with Rob I could Sense his belief in the goodness of people and his gratitude for the people and places around him. Each person that he encountered was important in his life. When I was with him you saw the world and yourself through his eyes. You knew you were special and appreciated. Kathy Harrigan Rob touched and inspired everyone who was lucky enough to have spent time with him. Mack-L Laganoff Family

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God Bless you Rob, with peace and love, I thank you for all your humanitarian works. So much love to you and your family. May you fly with the angels. Anne Slivinski

An amazing man who showed us how we should all be living our livespaying it forward and seeing the best in everyday. Rest in Peace, Uncle Rob, Catie Star

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In honor of my dear friend, Rob Grogan, You will be missed my friend! ... I will never forget you. I raise my Manhattan to you in one last toast. Rest in peace Jim Javinsky

Front Porch on

homeinstead.com front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

17


COMMUNITY comments

"If you ever want to raise my spirits, then simply say 'Rob Grogan' & my heart will soar". Bill Ormsby My condolences on your lose. Fredericksburg will be a smaller place without Rob. Love from a reader of Front Porch. Cindy Ladewig Until we meet again- you have given so much to so many. Love you and miss you, Uncle Rob. Catie Star I remember when the first copy of Front Porch was delivered (yes!) to my front porch, and spending hours reading it, cover to cover, on the porch swing, sometimes even napping. Where else but Fredericksburg? Who else, but Rob? Thank you for enriching my hometown so much. Pat Coffey Rob Grogan modeled what I consider to be international-sized compassion and understanding from a desk in his little Virginia town. I'm very, very sad, and I'm praying for all who love him. Rob DuBois In true Irish fashion, here is to you my beautiful friend. I look forward to our next hug, and drink, in a most beautiful place Christopher Limbrick Rest in peace Rob; no doubt, F'burg will miss you greatly & will never ever be the same , Godspeed. Debbie Hudson Naggs

A life well lived, a gentle spirit, a kind and humble man, a model to live by in so many ways for so many of us. For myself, I am grateful to have had the honor to know you Rob and forever have the blessings of the eloquent and heartfelt written words you leave behind. Until we meet again . Christine Thompson

word to friends and strangers alike, supportive, giving, honoring the best in all. Rest well, gentle spirit. Kathryn Willis

The last thing we can teach others is how to die. Throughout your demise, you remained kind and caring, gracious and giving, respected and loved by so many. Thank you for being such a bright guiding light for so many in so many ways. God Bless and God Speed. Sarah Forbush Southworth You were a damn good man rob and always had a smile on your face I honestly can't remember one time you were unhappy. I hope to see you on the other side good friend rest in peace brotha. Brandon Bonner

Fredericksburg lost an amazing man to (stupid) cancer Rob Grogan leaves behind an amazing legacy & will be missed by many. He was a man who left a lasting impression on all he met for he was a good listener, a gentleman, and filled with knowledge. Andrea McConnell

Rob will be seriously missed by many, including me. John Smart We live the lives we insist on, and Rob emanated the life he insisted on from every pore of his being. His heart glowed in his face, his spirit danced in his eyes, and his smile was always the delight of each moment of now. This truly magnificent man was a blessing in every way that counted. Heaven is lucky to have him. Gyja Frederiksen To a great friend and community pillar Rob Grogan, who taught me that it's not a proper drink unless your ice is covered, fair winds and following seas. Seemed appropriate to break out the highland stuff for this one. James Kyle Snyder . I have a heavy heart with the news of your passing. The world has lost a great man. You were a blessing to all who knew you and Fredericksburg is a better place because you lived there. Thank you for all you did for all of us. You will be greatly missed. Kate Lee

Rob

is dearly missed throughout the Fxbg community, and the world at large. We have lost a beautiful soul, and are lucky to have shared the benefit of his presence, influence and impact in all of Lezlie our lives. Cheryl

. With deepest gratitude for the wonderful legacy you have given to our community. Collette and David Caprara.

An old photo with Rob Grogan, Melvin Brown and me. We'll miss you, Papa G. I've met some good men in my lifetime, but few have the heart that you do. You lived every day to its fullest until the end Chris Jones

Thank you Rob Grogan for gracing us with your intellect, patience, and Kadeana warmth. We love and miss you. RIP Langford This news breaks my heart. Always a kind

Way too soon. You will be remembered every single day. You are part of the fabric of the Burg, Mr. Rob Grogan Abbe Buck

540.226.9937 praactgtaxes.com

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Rest easy, Rob. The world's a better place Gateau because of your time here. Kim Place-G Rest in peace Rob Grogan. Rarely does one heart touch so many as this wonderful man. . Toby Fairchild

We have lost one of the most intellectual individuals that I have encountered and he loved Fredericksburg without question. He was a special human that took pleasure in bring us the local happenings. He will be missed by the public at large and his many followers will miss him. Terry Smith

You inspired us all and will be missed by so many. Lois Peckholdt Skipper

" Rob's grace opened my heart. He will be so missed by his community. Dianne Bachman Rob Grogan Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. Brittany Albury Unconditional, loving, full of Grace, you will be missed & I'm better for knowing you. Rest in peace friend. Tammy Cooke

Till we meet again, dear Rob Grogan. There will be many a toast to you in this town.....always. Olivia East I try to always focus on the blessing of having known someone, having had them in my life for whatever short time is allotted. It's easy to focus on that blessing with Rob. There was a grace in him blossomed in others as a result of his being. Fare thee well, Rob. Rikki Ansell

Our community is not as bright today, but somewhere that light shines on and there is a joyful returning and homecoming celebration. So much love to you Rob on your journey What a joy it was to have met such a genuine, sweet spirit. Lynda Allen

“Man Behind the Bar” by jeff gandy on permanent display at Bistro Bethem

Fare thee well, Rob. You will live on in all of us who were lucky enough to have had you in our lives. Goodbye to a gentle man and a gentleman. (Even if you were a Yankees fan.) John M Sovitsky Goodbye my friend for now...I am a better man for knowing you,.. CHEERS Rob, I will see you on the other side. Eric Woods You had the kindest smile I have ever known-- it seems like an odd thing to thank someone for, but I thank you for yours. Whenever I wandered into bistro after work, I'd be tired and grumpy but the second I walked in and you'd greet me with that smile, I genuinely felt all better. Thank you for that. I'll try to pay it forward for you. Peace be with you, Rob. Sarah Hall Another Star in the heavens. Write a new magazine up there, it'll be great! Rest easy my friend. Peter Pisani He truly was one of the kindest, most gentle souls I have ever known, A true sharer of the light.Rob Grogan will be greatly missed. Ashley Chevalier

Rob..your legacy lives in all of us and will be cherished and shared forever! You will be missed. Linda Osorio There is a cool wind tonight and a deep sigh in our little community tonight, perhaps we all can find some peace in saying we loved him . Scott Sweeney He was like a father to me. A friend, mentor, leader. His guiding words will stay with me always. There is no one in this world like Rob Grogan and I am blessed to share this life with him. . Ruth Cassell We only part to meet again ... My heart is heavy tonight but forever blessed for having known you. Much love and peace to you, my friend, Rob Grogan. Megan Mason It saddens me to think of Fredericksburg without the smile and laughter of Rob Grogan. My evenings at Bistro were always better with a hug and smile from behind the bar. You will be missed my dear friend. Missy Colombo

I'm grateful to have had Rob Grogan as my friend in my life. I hope you always stay with Virginia and Lexi and everyone who loved you and whose lives you touched. Rest in peace sweet Papa G, we love you. Jenny Mcgee To a man who touched so many lives, you will be greatly missed. Godspeed Rob Grogan Our mortal world lost a great man today but Heaven has its hands full of the loving and caring that Rob brought into our world. . Stephanie & Hal Bell Until we meet again Uncle Rob, love you and miss you. Adam Star Words are never enough, never. I will miss your warm heart and generous soul. Thoughts and love to you my friend. No more pain, only Peace . Wendy Porter There are not enough words to say how much we thought of you Rob Grogan. You were there when people needed you, you knew the right thing to say, you were so giving to others, there is a special place in heaven for you. Bob Shope Truly a man who touched his community in such a sound and good way. Nancy Collins

I am so grateful to have met this wonderful man. Rob Grogan's spirit was invincible and his heart was unbounded. Thank you for showing us how to live each moment with fearlessness! Your presence will be missed! Bill Brooks

Rob will be missed by so m a n y

The community has lost a great, great man You will forever be loved, admired, and missed Rob Grogan. You gave so many of us a chance to let our voices, interests, and talents be heard. Thank you, sir! Katie Hornung

Fredericksburgers. Tom and Anne Smith

Go in peace my friend. You will be missed more than you can imagine. You will always be there in my heart and soul. Earl Pence Words can't describe how much you will be missed...I am grateful to have had you in my life. Steve Cameli We love you Papa G.

Tom Byrne

Rob was a very special person, who will remain in our hearts forever. Eric and Susan Merrll …It was as if lightening struck, from the ground upward in Fredericksburg on Feb. 23…our world has been a better place, because of Rob. All that he did over the years for this community has been an inspiration and blessing. Cissy Nelson I so clearly remember the first time I met rob…I was struck by his gentle, calm nature and his sincerity…we so frequently meet people who could care less when we speak to them, Rob however listened to every word and I became an instant admirer…I somehow feel his goodness shines on as he watches us from above. Fritzi Newton …Rob has always had a special place in my heart, as a very early encourager of my art life, and just a plain wonderful, kind person. Jackie and Jim Lakely

…The entire community will long remember Robs legacy. We will miss his voice, his optimism, the joy in life that he saw and celebrated in all of us and we will remember to be inspired. Betsy Glassie and Jim VanFleet Rob was really bigger than life to so many of us and I can assure you he is bigger than death too…he lives on in each of us who life he touched Rob was uplifting he saw the best in us. Christi Carver and Chris Schmidt We were all blessed by his presence with us on this mortal plane and will feel his influence always. May you find comfort in the love you have shared as a family and in the vast network of friends and acquaintances who lives he so profoundly touched. Drema Apperson Throughout his good life, he set an example for the best of humanity. Sara, Tom and Katie Hacala Rob was such an inspiration to our community with his courage, humor and grace, may these sterling qualities continue to bolster us all. Kitty and Vick

NOTE: There where over 2,000 cards, emails and facebook messages from the community. We have attempted to print but a few.

Rob lived fully, and gave so much. We were blessed to have crossed his path. Larry Tomayko and Dave Newhall Whenever I was with Rob I could Sense his belief in the goodness of people and his gratitude for the people and places around him. Each person that he encountered was important in his life. When I was with him you saw the world and yourself through his eyes. You knew you were special and appreciated. Kathy Harrigan Rob touched and inspired everyone who was lucky enough to have spent time with him. Mack-L Laganoff Family

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God Bless you Rob, with peace and love, I thank you for all your humanitarian works. So much love to you and your family. May you fly with the angels. Anne Slivinski

An amazing man who showed us how we should all be living our livespaying it forward and seeing the best in everyday. Rest in Peace, Uncle Rob, Catie Star

Accounting Solutions ALL YEAR ROUND Quickbooks Pro Advisor Tax Services Business Start Ups Payroll Non Profits

In honor of my dear friend, Rob Grogan, You will be missed my friend! ... I will never forget you. I raise my Manhattan to you in one last toast. Rest in peace Jim Javinsky

Front Porch on

homeinstead.com front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

17


history’s stories

April Fool

OUR HERITAGE

A monthly look at the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center collection

By Ralph “Tuffy” Hicks The exact origin of April fool's Day, or All Fool's Day, is unknown. Some scholars believe it may go back to the time of the Roman's. Throughout the ages there have been pranks and jokes performed in many countries at different times. In France there is documentation as to the creation of "Fools Day". In 1564 a new calendar was instituted under Pope Gregory XIII replacing the Julian calendar developed by Julius Caesar that has April 1 as the first day of the year. The new calendar had January 1 as the first day of the New Year. Those French citizens who continued to celebrate April 1 as New Year's were called "fools" and were subjected to pranks and ridicule by their neighbors. The tradition of playing jokes on family and friends on April 1st spread to other countries and the American colonies in the eighteenth century. Here are just a few of my favorite April fool's pranks.

THE TACO LIBERTY BELL: April 1, 1996 there appeared a full-page advertisement in several major newspapers announcing that Taco Bell had purchased the Liberty Bell and it was renamed the Taco Liberty Bell. Thousands of citizens called the Nation al Park in Philadelphia where the bell is secured and expressed their anger. Taco Bell announced a few hours later April Fool. When the White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the prank he replied that the Lincoln Memorial was sold to Ford and it was now the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial-April Fool.

LEFT-H HANDED WHOPPER: Burger King published a full page on April 1, 1998 in USA Today announcing their new "Left-Handed Whopper" especially designed for the 32 million left handed Americans. It was not until a day later when Burger King announced that it was an APRIL FOOL hoax. Several thousand customers had flooded Burger King with orders for the left hand burger. Many right hand customers complained they could not buy a "right handed" version. NIXON FOR PRESIDENT: My favorite is the April 1, 1992 broadcast by the National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation when Rich little the comedian impersonated Richard Nixon and announced that he was running for President. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." Callers flooded the phone lines with outrage. Only at the end of the show did the host John Hockenberry reveal that Nixon was an APRIL FOOL JOKE, however by than many viewers had turned off the broadcast. Headlines in today's local paper: Arch Di Peppe appointed Chairman of the Stafford Board of Supervisors……APRIL FOOL

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ROB GROGAN WHO ALWAYS ENJOYED A PRANK.

The circle unbroken Civil War Letters of the Knox Family The Circle Unbroken is a collection of 117 letters written between April 1861 and July 1865 by members of the Knox family. Thomas Fitzhugh Knox, Jr. and his wife, Virginia Soutter settled in Fredericksburg after their marriage in 1832. By 1860, the Knoxes had six sons and two daughters. The family lived at 1202 Princess Anne Street, now the Kenmore Inn. As war clouds gathered, the three oldest Knox sons, Robert, Thomas and James joined the local militia which became the 30th Virginia Infantry. The three younger sons, Samuel, Alexander, and Douglas enlisted in 1864. After the War, all but Thomas returned to Fredericksburg. Robert, well-educated and thoughtful, wrote more than half the letters. Initially, he was enthusiastic about a brief war to repel invaders from the north. Victory was assumed and assured. ". . . this war which that silly fool of a President insists on keeping up. 400,000 men & $400,000,000." (Stafford County, 10 Jul 1861) Many letters concerned day-today details of camp life. "I received your letter last night as well as a pot of butter my shirts socks & the legs with a pair of hinges, with one long screw, a bundle of sugar, matches & pencil & pen handles. James is sitting by me, & is well, and say's he received two pair pants, a shirt & socks by Jno. T. Temple, and sends his love to all. We have a splendid spring close by and I think this place is healthy. Accept my thanks as well as love for your kindness in sending me so many delicacies; although we have great trouble in carrying pots. . ." (Stafford County, 12 Sep 1861) Later, war took on a different tone. "Remove a man entirely from female respectable society & down he goes in the scale of humanity that is my experience as I see it around me in fact many men will not know how to behave in a gentleman's

parlour. . .". ". . . times are so dangerous now why no one regards a human life much. . .". ". . .I cant exactly write it out what I wish to convey is that I feel my self to be deficient in tenderness. . .". (Camp Lee, near Petersburg, 3 Aug 1862) Recalling Sharpsburg (Antietam), where Robert and James saw many of their comrades wounded or killed. "At Sharpsburg the fighting was from one end of the line to the other." (Guineys Depot , 29 Dec 1862) After the Battle of Fredericksburg, "You can have no idea how changed everything is in the place from what you left it. Our house like all other houses has suffered much from the balls & shell thrown into it. Two balls went through the roof of the house tearing off the slate . . . A shell burst in sisters room & tore things generally. Another shell hit through the bottom of the window sill just where father slept & took his pillow off & went through the other window by your work stand." (late Dec 1862) Civilian morale was low. Robert was distressed to hear of parties and dancing. ". . . the ladies are now worse than men from what I can hear & I am sorry to confess that my opinions in regard to women have greatly changed. . .". (Laurel Hill, 4 Feb 1865) Robert continued to be optimistic in March 1865, but he was warweary. The final letters are from the Ohio prison where Robert and James were taken after their capture on April 6. They were released in June and returned to Fredericksburg. By July they were hard at work rebuilding the family businesses. The Circle Unbroken is available at Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc., 1200 Caroline Street and the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center, 900 Barton Street, #111. Cost $33.00; members of HFFI and CRHC $29.70 Beth Daly is volunteer at the Heritage Center. She will be leading a tour of Knox Family sites in Fredericksburg for ElderStudy on April 22.

HERITAGE CENTER Volunteers needed to process historical documents and aid researchers. Training provided. Phone 540-373-3704 or email crhc@verizon.net Open to the public for scholarly research

The Heritage Center April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Jim Thomas

By beth daly

Central Rappahannock

18

Slavery Decoded

Maury Commons

900 Barton St

Fredericksburg

By A.E. bayne US Slave Song Project Sheds Light on Slave Culture and Savvy From his earliest days, Jim Thomas has been fascinated with the history of his ancestors. His greatgrandmother was a slave, and in his youth she shared personal accounts of that life, as well as intriguing stories of secrets embedded in the seemingly innocuous spirituals she and other slaves sang while forced into labor. Later, while attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas sought the opportunity to perform spirituals with the world renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers. It was there that he turned his intensely personal interest into a lifelong quest for information and history, with a goal of filling in gaps left from superficial accounts of slave life and culture in textbooks and other media. These experiences have inspired Thomas’ U.S. Slave Song Project, an endeavor intended to promote the cultural sophistication and intellectual savvy of slaves in America. These spirituals, while intentionally structured to resemble Christian songs, acted dually as music and as coded messages through which slaves could communicate secret information. Thomas explains, “Many of the songs themselves have a variety of versions, because the slaves were sold from plantation to plantation. It was a terrible thing for them because it broke up their families, but it also spread the codes and tunes by word of mouth.” Thomas has found in his research that key words and phrases repeated throughout the spirituals represented important information about Africa (heaven), conductors on the Underground Railroad (angels), and Harriet Tubman, referred to as Moses in the songs. This intricate

system allowed slaves to pass crucial information about shared history and routes to freedom directly under the scrutinizing eyes of the plantation owners. The songs disappeared after slavery ended, but prior to emancipation there was a wide variety passed from plantation to plantation across the U.S. Thomas believes the songs’ importance and scope has yet to be truly understood, and his goal is to compile his research for educational purposes for this and future generations. He says, “Earlier descriptions of slaves and slavery were not accurate. There seems to be a resurgence of interest in that period of time, especially with primary source narratives like Twelve Years a Slave. I’m glad, because so many pieces of it have been misrepresented or taken for granted. When you have large pieces of knowledge missing from the culture of a people, then that affects their pathos and the way they interact with each other over time. They do not develop a full appreciation of themselves, because they don’t understand their past. For instance, information about slaves was written from a different perspective and for reasons other than celebrating that slaves were smart and came to America with a high level of culture. Most people don’t realize that while the majority of slaves were captured to become farmers, not all of them were farmers; African nobilities were never recognized by their European captors. That information is often missing from the cultural understanding of slaves.”

photo by bob martin time between homes in Stafford and on Martha’s Vineyard, where he leads a diverse Spirituals Choir. Thomas maintains, “It’s intriguing, that we do have a shared history and a shared destiny. I encourage my choir members to look at the qualities that we have in common. Also, we can share this information without being militant. People tend to walk away from these presentations with increased understanding, and they have not been polarized. I’m not interested in polarization, but I am interested in people being more educated. That’s my view of the future.”

Thomas often offers presentations in and around the Fredericksburg area between September and March. Learn more about him, his Spirituals Choir, and the U.S. Slave Song Project at www.usslavesongproject.com.

A.E. Bayne is Fredericksburg teacher, writer, artist, and monthly contributing columnist for Front Porch Magazine.

Prior to his retirement in 1999, Thomas took advantage of his position as the founder and director of the American Red Cross Chorus to present his research to international audiences. He remains focused on outreach while splitting his

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front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

19


history’s stories

April Fool

OUR HERITAGE

A monthly look at the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center collection

By Ralph “Tuffy” Hicks The exact origin of April fool's Day, or All Fool's Day, is unknown. Some scholars believe it may go back to the time of the Roman's. Throughout the ages there have been pranks and jokes performed in many countries at different times. In France there is documentation as to the creation of "Fools Day". In 1564 a new calendar was instituted under Pope Gregory XIII replacing the Julian calendar developed by Julius Caesar that has April 1 as the first day of the year. The new calendar had January 1 as the first day of the New Year. Those French citizens who continued to celebrate April 1 as New Year's were called "fools" and were subjected to pranks and ridicule by their neighbors. The tradition of playing jokes on family and friends on April 1st spread to other countries and the American colonies in the eighteenth century. Here are just a few of my favorite April fool's pranks.

THE TACO LIBERTY BELL: April 1, 1996 there appeared a full-page advertisement in several major newspapers announcing that Taco Bell had purchased the Liberty Bell and it was renamed the Taco Liberty Bell. Thousands of citizens called the Nation al Park in Philadelphia where the bell is secured and expressed their anger. Taco Bell announced a few hours later April Fool. When the White House press secretary Mike McCurry was asked about the prank he replied that the Lincoln Memorial was sold to Ford and it was now the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial-April Fool.

LEFT-H HANDED WHOPPER: Burger King published a full page on April 1, 1998 in USA Today announcing their new "Left-Handed Whopper" especially designed for the 32 million left handed Americans. It was not until a day later when Burger King announced that it was an APRIL FOOL hoax. Several thousand customers had flooded Burger King with orders for the left hand burger. Many right hand customers complained they could not buy a "right handed" version. NIXON FOR PRESIDENT: My favorite is the April 1, 1992 broadcast by the National Public Radio's Talk of the Nation when Rich little the comedian impersonated Richard Nixon and announced that he was running for President. His new campaign slogan was, "I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't do it again." Callers flooded the phone lines with outrage. Only at the end of the show did the host John Hockenberry reveal that Nixon was an APRIL FOOL JOKE, however by than many viewers had turned off the broadcast. Headlines in today's local paper: Arch Di Peppe appointed Chairman of the Stafford Board of Supervisors……APRIL FOOL

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF ROB GROGAN WHO ALWAYS ENJOYED A PRANK.

The circle unbroken Civil War Letters of the Knox Family The Circle Unbroken is a collection of 117 letters written between April 1861 and July 1865 by members of the Knox family. Thomas Fitzhugh Knox, Jr. and his wife, Virginia Soutter settled in Fredericksburg after their marriage in 1832. By 1860, the Knoxes had six sons and two daughters. The family lived at 1202 Princess Anne Street, now the Kenmore Inn. As war clouds gathered, the three oldest Knox sons, Robert, Thomas and James joined the local militia which became the 30th Virginia Infantry. The three younger sons, Samuel, Alexander, and Douglas enlisted in 1864. After the War, all but Thomas returned to Fredericksburg. Robert, well-educated and thoughtful, wrote more than half the letters. Initially, he was enthusiastic about a brief war to repel invaders from the north. Victory was assumed and assured. ". . . this war which that silly fool of a President insists on keeping up. 400,000 men & $400,000,000." (Stafford County, 10 Jul 1861) Many letters concerned day-today details of camp life. "I received your letter last night as well as a pot of butter my shirts socks & the legs with a pair of hinges, with one long screw, a bundle of sugar, matches & pencil & pen handles. James is sitting by me, & is well, and say's he received two pair pants, a shirt & socks by Jno. T. Temple, and sends his love to all. We have a splendid spring close by and I think this place is healthy. Accept my thanks as well as love for your kindness in sending me so many delicacies; although we have great trouble in carrying pots. . ." (Stafford County, 12 Sep 1861) Later, war took on a different tone. "Remove a man entirely from female respectable society & down he goes in the scale of humanity that is my experience as I see it around me in fact many men will not know how to behave in a gentleman's

parlour. . .". ". . . times are so dangerous now why no one regards a human life much. . .". ". . .I cant exactly write it out what I wish to convey is that I feel my self to be deficient in tenderness. . .". (Camp Lee, near Petersburg, 3 Aug 1862) Recalling Sharpsburg (Antietam), where Robert and James saw many of their comrades wounded or killed. "At Sharpsburg the fighting was from one end of the line to the other." (Guineys Depot , 29 Dec 1862) After the Battle of Fredericksburg, "You can have no idea how changed everything is in the place from what you left it. Our house like all other houses has suffered much from the balls & shell thrown into it. Two balls went through the roof of the house tearing off the slate . . . A shell burst in sisters room & tore things generally. Another shell hit through the bottom of the window sill just where father slept & took his pillow off & went through the other window by your work stand." (late Dec 1862) Civilian morale was low. Robert was distressed to hear of parties and dancing. ". . . the ladies are now worse than men from what I can hear & I am sorry to confess that my opinions in regard to women have greatly changed. . .". (Laurel Hill, 4 Feb 1865) Robert continued to be optimistic in March 1865, but he was warweary. The final letters are from the Ohio prison where Robert and James were taken after their capture on April 6. They were released in June and returned to Fredericksburg. By July they were hard at work rebuilding the family businesses. The Circle Unbroken is available at Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc., 1200 Caroline Street and the Central Rappahannock Heritage Center, 900 Barton Street, #111. Cost $33.00; members of HFFI and CRHC $29.70 Beth Daly is volunteer at the Heritage Center. She will be leading a tour of Knox Family sites in Fredericksburg for ElderStudy on April 22.

HERITAGE CENTER Volunteers needed to process historical documents and aid researchers. Training provided. Phone 540-373-3704 or email crhc@verizon.net Open to the public for scholarly research

The Heritage Center April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Jim Thomas

By beth daly

Central Rappahannock

18

Slavery Decoded

Maury Commons

900 Barton St

Fredericksburg

By A.E. bayne US Slave Song Project Sheds Light on Slave Culture and Savvy From his earliest days, Jim Thomas has been fascinated with the history of his ancestors. His greatgrandmother was a slave, and in his youth she shared personal accounts of that life, as well as intriguing stories of secrets embedded in the seemingly innocuous spirituals she and other slaves sang while forced into labor. Later, while attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, Thomas sought the opportunity to perform spirituals with the world renowned Fisk Jubilee Singers. It was there that he turned his intensely personal interest into a lifelong quest for information and history, with a goal of filling in gaps left from superficial accounts of slave life and culture in textbooks and other media. These experiences have inspired Thomas’ U.S. Slave Song Project, an endeavor intended to promote the cultural sophistication and intellectual savvy of slaves in America. These spirituals, while intentionally structured to resemble Christian songs, acted dually as music and as coded messages through which slaves could communicate secret information. Thomas explains, “Many of the songs themselves have a variety of versions, because the slaves were sold from plantation to plantation. It was a terrible thing for them because it broke up their families, but it also spread the codes and tunes by word of mouth.” Thomas has found in his research that key words and phrases repeated throughout the spirituals represented important information about Africa (heaven), conductors on the Underground Railroad (angels), and Harriet Tubman, referred to as Moses in the songs. This intricate

system allowed slaves to pass crucial information about shared history and routes to freedom directly under the scrutinizing eyes of the plantation owners. The songs disappeared after slavery ended, but prior to emancipation there was a wide variety passed from plantation to plantation across the U.S. Thomas believes the songs’ importance and scope has yet to be truly understood, and his goal is to compile his research for educational purposes for this and future generations. He says, “Earlier descriptions of slaves and slavery were not accurate. There seems to be a resurgence of interest in that period of time, especially with primary source narratives like Twelve Years a Slave. I’m glad, because so many pieces of it have been misrepresented or taken for granted. When you have large pieces of knowledge missing from the culture of a people, then that affects their pathos and the way they interact with each other over time. They do not develop a full appreciation of themselves, because they don’t understand their past. For instance, information about slaves was written from a different perspective and for reasons other than celebrating that slaves were smart and came to America with a high level of culture. Most people don’t realize that while the majority of slaves were captured to become farmers, not all of them were farmers; African nobilities were never recognized by their European captors. That information is often missing from the cultural understanding of slaves.”

photo by bob martin time between homes in Stafford and on Martha’s Vineyard, where he leads a diverse Spirituals Choir. Thomas maintains, “It’s intriguing, that we do have a shared history and a shared destiny. I encourage my choir members to look at the qualities that we have in common. Also, we can share this information without being militant. People tend to walk away from these presentations with increased understanding, and they have not been polarized. I’m not interested in polarization, but I am interested in people being more educated. That’s my view of the future.”

Thomas often offers presentations in and around the Fredericksburg area between September and March. Learn more about him, his Spirituals Choir, and the U.S. Slave Song Project at www.usslavesongproject.com.

A.E. Bayne is Fredericksburg teacher, writer, artist, and monthly contributing columnist for Front Porch Magazine.

Prior to his retirement in 1999, Thomas took advantage of his position as the founder and director of the American Red Cross Chorus to present his research to international audiences. He remains focused on outreach while splitting his

Lexi Grogan’s Pet Sitting Service “Your pet becomes my pet while in my care, and I care a lot!” - Lexi (540-903-0437; lexig0892@gmail.com) On facebook as “lexi grogan’s pet sitting service” Prices: Dogs - $15 per canine per visit Cats - $12 per feline per visit

Better value, more love for your pet than if you kennel board him!

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

19


See You At The Top sunken well tavern’s annual spring race

"Success" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Home of great Food & great Art! 720 Littlepage Sunkenwelltavern.com

by Jeremy Sutton Pheidippides had his marathon, Owens shook the beliefs of a deluded despot, Bannister did what they said was impossible, and Schwarzenegger had a game show to win. Heroic races all, but it may be time to add another to the list. Now going into its 8th running, the Sunken Well Tavern’s annual Race to the Top is one of Fredericksburg’s official rites of spring and growing in popularity each year. Held on the same day as the greatest two minutes in sports (ne the Kentucky Derby), or May 3rd this year, it tests thoroughbreds of a different breed. Along with helping a good cause, bragging rights for 364 days are passed out to a man and a woman of special fortitude. PSyou’ll get your picture on the wall as well. Scarcely over a mile in length, the race is all ages, but to truly be a champion you must be over 21 years of age. Twice during the race the contestant will be asked to consume a full 16oz pint as quickly as possible, all under the watchful gaze of dedicated judges. In a merciless twist on a classic idea, the contestant will already be mid-race when asked to perform this task. The first pint sees you already a little quick of breath, still stiff from the fast start, and focused on the actual run to the top. Pint #2 finds you ¾ spent, completely out of breath and the brain trying to rectify the juxtaposition of heavy physical exertion while in the confines of a bar. It takes guts (and typically the expunging of said guts by at least one runner), a steeled mind and open esophagus. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction just in the completion of this race, and the burgeoning pack of runners will attest to its beloved spot on the Fredericksburg running and social calendars. The kids and families in tow

will attest to its all-around good time and wholesome vibe.

EAT WELL DRINK WELL LIVE WELL

Fortunately, there are many winners in the Race to the Top. As in all previous races, 100% of monies collected for the event are donated to the Fredericksburg SPCA, a no-kill shelter. Over the years the Race has raised in the neighborhood of $5,000 for the facility, a great help that provides food and medical care for our four-legged friends. “The Race is one of our favorite events each year, and one of our customer’s, too,” says Paul Stoddard, one of the owners of Sunken Well along with Steve Cameli. Both men care for pets themselves, so the event and the money raised is a point of personal pride. One of the best events in 22401 each year, below are the particulars (roughly, please consult Sunken Well’s Facebook page for final times in the coming weeks):

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. We will miss you, Rob

Where: Sunken Well Tavern, 720 Littlepage St. Fredericksburg, VA 22041

Full Service Hospital featuring:

When: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 Registration: 1:00PM Race Time: 2:00PM

Grooming Salon Canine Boarding in Our Indoor/Outdoor Runs Dog Training & Behavioral Consults with certified dog trainer Feline Boarding in Our Spacious Multi-room Condos

Donation: $10, 100% of which goes to the Fredericksburg SPCA Jeremy Sutton will be racing to the top this year (his one and only bout of physical fitness) and hopes to see you there.

Serving you & your companion animals for 16 years Stacy L. Horner, DVM; Gary B. Dunn, DVM; Melanie Bell, DVM; Sandi L. Pepper, DVM; Melissa A. DeLauter, DVM ; Arlene Evans, DVM; Jennnifer Skarbek, DVM

540/374-0462 www.woahvets.com 20

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

10 Walsh Lane

AutoKnown Better ever feel like someone is watching your every move?

Century life like the internet and the smart phone are taking over the 21st. When I approached Rob over 14 years ago with the idea of Autoknown his only question was did I think I had more than one article in me? Jury is still out on what he meant by “article” but I have found something to tie it all together every month. Actually, I first met Rob & Virginia about the time they moved to town when they jumped the fence at Curtis Park into my yard to check out an MGA Coupe I had for sale. I am not the only one who thought that was a good looking car. So it has always been about cars. It has been a very good ride and I am looking forward to logging a few more miles. But now it is spring and we have work to do!

That Can heal By John Sovitsky

By Rim Vining

I’ve always known or thought anyway that Grandmother Alice is still keeping tabs on me long after her spiritual assent and I am quite sure my mother Primrose is doing the same. As I found out only recently from my mother you never serve sandwiches cut in triangles. How pedestrian. Who knew? Now every time I make sandwiches at home or for a party it is squares only and I know she is watching. I am stuck with that for life and I have to actively teach others. Now it seems I have acquired a spiritual editor as well. Yes Pappa Rob, I know when the deadline is. Yes Pappa Rob, I know I can’t write about that. Yes Pappa Rob, I am well aware of the 600 word rule. (Boy, I was taught that the hard way one time) It is actually quite interesting to write with a group consciousness. Unnerving on one level and liberating on another. I am looking forward to exploring the possibilities. Face it, I write about life through cars. The automobile dominates 20th

WORDS

Spring brings out the pretty cars; the slow moving, silent, gliding, chrome encrusted jewels that have been hidden in auto-vaults throughout the area. Old cars with old car smells. Gas, oil, leather, burned wires, boiling anti-freeze, pipe tobacco and Turtle Wax… smells of spring. Spring ushers in the car show season too. Virginia Barbeque on Route 1 at Fall Hill Avenue kicks it off hosting a cruise in every Friday evening weather permitting all summer long. Check them out. April 12th VA Skills USA hosts a show at North Stafford High School showcasing the talents of Stafford students April 19th the Classic Car Center hosts its 7th Annual Swap Meet & Car Corral. It is an all-day free event for enthusiasts and hoarders alike. Always fun to watch vendors buy each other’s treasures. There are also cars for sale, tours of the facility and in good weather a really nice turn out of classics for an excellent impromptu car show. The region also has a new venture starting up to help keep old cars on the road where they belong. Another CCC alum, David Harman, has launched Classic Car Solutions. Offering a unique twist, he makes house calls. Often for the cost of a tow bill you can get answers and solutions to problems with your classic. A little help or a lot. It is about solutions that get you back behind the wheel instead of in the poor house. Give him a call 540273-7518 and check out his website. www.classiccarsolutions.net. He’s got solutions! Enjoy April! I will. Autoknown@aol.com Rim Vining embarks on a life-living moment every month in this space.

When Kathy Harrigan attended publishing a free monthly paper is not volunteer training sessions upon joining something that would excite a venture the board of Empowerhouse, she heard capitalist, he and his wife (and later his many stories from survivors of domestic beloved daughter) worked to make every violence. A fellow trainee shared issue worth the reader’s time. To my something that affected her profoundly, mind, there is no greater aspiration any “my broken arm has healed, but I still writer/publisher should need. hear his voice in my head.” She learned Rob and the Front Porch family from staff members who work the 24- were always generous to a fault to hour hotline that many callers feel that organizations that work in our because they have not been physically community to help those less fortunate. attacked, they are less deserving, Empowerhouse (formerly Rappahannock somehow, of help. Abusive words do inflict Council on Domestic Violence) was one damage. Words have that power. This such grateful beneficiary. Rob often ran power can be crippling, as abusive words double ads and published articles for this can never be forgotten and can convince organization that understands the power their targets that they are deserving of of words, and strives daily to support the the abuse. Whether it is an survivors of domestic abusive domestic violence. I will close by partner, a parent, or a sharing the words of Anderson, bully at work or school, ...Through his kind words, Kathy words can do untold E m p o w e r h ouse’s Rob brought us together damage and tear a Executive Director: and made us all eager to person’s world asunder. “Rob Grogan’s be a part of something A song many of us enthusiasm for what learned as children, Empowerhouse is doing larger, a community he ‘Home on the Range’ fostered through his words and for those of us who (the state song of are doing it was and the words of the Kansas), praises the extraordinary. His writers he and his wife kind of home, “…where sincerity, his seldom is heard a celebration of our Virginia published and discouraging word.” distributed each month in work, and his eagerness Words have that kind of to help motivated us to Front Porch influence on all of us. continue acting on our Fredericksburg. In these Thankfully, vision. He and Virginia words can also heal. Rob pages, they brought good and Alexis have become Grogan demonstrated a big part of our vision news of our common this with the words he to create a diverse blessings, the people and spoke and in the words network of community happenings that connect members he wrote. Through his working kind words, Rob brought together to promote us and make us whole. us together and made us safe relationships, all eager to be a part of homes, and something larger, a communities. He took community he fostered through his words an interest in supporting survivors of and the words of the writers he and his domestic violence and their children wife Virginia published and distributed through Empowerhouse. We will continue each month in Front Porch to miss him dearly for all that and for the Fredericksburg. In these pages, they kind and lovely person he was.” brought good news of our common blessings, the people and happenings that connect us and make us whole. He was always careful in the words he chose, words of inspiration, words of gratitude and words of appreciation for the little John Sovitsky missed his shot at the things that make our lives worth living, a vaudeville stage, and performs every snowfall, a visit with a friend, or an chance he gets at open mics, kitchen afternoon on the porch spent with a tables and in these pages. neighbor. Rob made everyone feel like a special friend through his words and his actions. His encouragement made me look forward to submitting articles, and his praise always made me want to make the next piece even better. Although

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

21


See You At The Top sunken well tavern’s annual spring race

"Success" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Home of great Food & great Art! 720 Littlepage Sunkenwelltavern.com

by Jeremy Sutton Pheidippides had his marathon, Owens shook the beliefs of a deluded despot, Bannister did what they said was impossible, and Schwarzenegger had a game show to win. Heroic races all, but it may be time to add another to the list. Now going into its 8th running, the Sunken Well Tavern’s annual Race to the Top is one of Fredericksburg’s official rites of spring and growing in popularity each year. Held on the same day as the greatest two minutes in sports (ne the Kentucky Derby), or May 3rd this year, it tests thoroughbreds of a different breed. Along with helping a good cause, bragging rights for 364 days are passed out to a man and a woman of special fortitude. PSyou’ll get your picture on the wall as well. Scarcely over a mile in length, the race is all ages, but to truly be a champion you must be over 21 years of age. Twice during the race the contestant will be asked to consume a full 16oz pint as quickly as possible, all under the watchful gaze of dedicated judges. In a merciless twist on a classic idea, the contestant will already be mid-race when asked to perform this task. The first pint sees you already a little quick of breath, still stiff from the fast start, and focused on the actual run to the top. Pint #2 finds you ¾ spent, completely out of breath and the brain trying to rectify the juxtaposition of heavy physical exertion while in the confines of a bar. It takes guts (and typically the expunging of said guts by at least one runner), a steeled mind and open esophagus. There’s a huge sense of satisfaction just in the completion of this race, and the burgeoning pack of runners will attest to its beloved spot on the Fredericksburg running and social calendars. The kids and families in tow

will attest to its all-around good time and wholesome vibe.

EAT WELL DRINK WELL LIVE WELL

Fortunately, there are many winners in the Race to the Top. As in all previous races, 100% of monies collected for the event are donated to the Fredericksburg SPCA, a no-kill shelter. Over the years the Race has raised in the neighborhood of $5,000 for the facility, a great help that provides food and medical care for our four-legged friends. “The Race is one of our favorite events each year, and one of our customer’s, too,” says Paul Stoddard, one of the owners of Sunken Well along with Steve Cameli. Both men care for pets themselves, so the event and the money raised is a point of personal pride. One of the best events in 22401 each year, below are the particulars (roughly, please consult Sunken Well’s Facebook page for final times in the coming weeks):

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. We will miss you, Rob

Where: Sunken Well Tavern, 720 Littlepage St. Fredericksburg, VA 22041

Full Service Hospital featuring:

When: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014 Registration: 1:00PM Race Time: 2:00PM

Grooming Salon Canine Boarding in Our Indoor/Outdoor Runs Dog Training & Behavioral Consults with certified dog trainer Feline Boarding in Our Spacious Multi-room Condos

Donation: $10, 100% of which goes to the Fredericksburg SPCA Jeremy Sutton will be racing to the top this year (his one and only bout of physical fitness) and hopes to see you there.

Serving you & your companion animals for 16 years Stacy L. Horner, DVM; Gary B. Dunn, DVM; Melanie Bell, DVM; Sandi L. Pepper, DVM; Melissa A. DeLauter, DVM ; Arlene Evans, DVM; Jennnifer Skarbek, DVM

540/374-0462 www.woahvets.com 20

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

10 Walsh Lane

AutoKnown Better ever feel like someone is watching your every move?

Century life like the internet and the smart phone are taking over the 21st. When I approached Rob over 14 years ago with the idea of Autoknown his only question was did I think I had more than one article in me? Jury is still out on what he meant by “article” but I have found something to tie it all together every month. Actually, I first met Rob & Virginia about the time they moved to town when they jumped the fence at Curtis Park into my yard to check out an MGA Coupe I had for sale. I am not the only one who thought that was a good looking car. So it has always been about cars. It has been a very good ride and I am looking forward to logging a few more miles. But now it is spring and we have work to do!

That Can heal By John Sovitsky

By Rim Vining

I’ve always known or thought anyway that Grandmother Alice is still keeping tabs on me long after her spiritual assent and I am quite sure my mother Primrose is doing the same. As I found out only recently from my mother you never serve sandwiches cut in triangles. How pedestrian. Who knew? Now every time I make sandwiches at home or for a party it is squares only and I know she is watching. I am stuck with that for life and I have to actively teach others. Now it seems I have acquired a spiritual editor as well. Yes Pappa Rob, I know when the deadline is. Yes Pappa Rob, I know I can’t write about that. Yes Pappa Rob, I am well aware of the 600 word rule. (Boy, I was taught that the hard way one time) It is actually quite interesting to write with a group consciousness. Unnerving on one level and liberating on another. I am looking forward to exploring the possibilities. Face it, I write about life through cars. The automobile dominates 20th

WORDS

Spring brings out the pretty cars; the slow moving, silent, gliding, chrome encrusted jewels that have been hidden in auto-vaults throughout the area. Old cars with old car smells. Gas, oil, leather, burned wires, boiling anti-freeze, pipe tobacco and Turtle Wax… smells of spring. Spring ushers in the car show season too. Virginia Barbeque on Route 1 at Fall Hill Avenue kicks it off hosting a cruise in every Friday evening weather permitting all summer long. Check them out. April 12th VA Skills USA hosts a show at North Stafford High School showcasing the talents of Stafford students April 19th the Classic Car Center hosts its 7th Annual Swap Meet & Car Corral. It is an all-day free event for enthusiasts and hoarders alike. Always fun to watch vendors buy each other’s treasures. There are also cars for sale, tours of the facility and in good weather a really nice turn out of classics for an excellent impromptu car show. The region also has a new venture starting up to help keep old cars on the road where they belong. Another CCC alum, David Harman, has launched Classic Car Solutions. Offering a unique twist, he makes house calls. Often for the cost of a tow bill you can get answers and solutions to problems with your classic. A little help or a lot. It is about solutions that get you back behind the wheel instead of in the poor house. Give him a call 540273-7518 and check out his website. www.classiccarsolutions.net. He’s got solutions! Enjoy April! I will. Autoknown@aol.com Rim Vining embarks on a life-living moment every month in this space.

When Kathy Harrigan attended publishing a free monthly paper is not volunteer training sessions upon joining something that would excite a venture the board of Empowerhouse, she heard capitalist, he and his wife (and later his many stories from survivors of domestic beloved daughter) worked to make every violence. A fellow trainee shared issue worth the reader’s time. To my something that affected her profoundly, mind, there is no greater aspiration any “my broken arm has healed, but I still writer/publisher should need. hear his voice in my head.” She learned Rob and the Front Porch family from staff members who work the 24- were always generous to a fault to hour hotline that many callers feel that organizations that work in our because they have not been physically community to help those less fortunate. attacked, they are less deserving, Empowerhouse (formerly Rappahannock somehow, of help. Abusive words do inflict Council on Domestic Violence) was one damage. Words have that power. This such grateful beneficiary. Rob often ran power can be crippling, as abusive words double ads and published articles for this can never be forgotten and can convince organization that understands the power their targets that they are deserving of of words, and strives daily to support the the abuse. Whether it is an survivors of domestic abusive domestic violence. I will close by partner, a parent, or a sharing the words of Anderson, bully at work or school, ...Through his kind words, Kathy words can do untold E m p o w e r h ouse’s Rob brought us together damage and tear a Executive Director: and made us all eager to person’s world asunder. “Rob Grogan’s be a part of something A song many of us enthusiasm for what learned as children, Empowerhouse is doing larger, a community he ‘Home on the Range’ fostered through his words and for those of us who (the state song of are doing it was and the words of the Kansas), praises the extraordinary. His writers he and his wife kind of home, “…where sincerity, his seldom is heard a celebration of our Virginia published and discouraging word.” distributed each month in work, and his eagerness Words have that kind of to help motivated us to Front Porch influence on all of us. continue acting on our Fredericksburg. In these Thankfully, vision. He and Virginia words can also heal. Rob pages, they brought good and Alexis have become Grogan demonstrated a big part of our vision news of our common this with the words he to create a diverse blessings, the people and spoke and in the words network of community happenings that connect members he wrote. Through his working kind words, Rob brought together to promote us and make us whole. us together and made us safe relationships, all eager to be a part of homes, and something larger, a communities. He took community he fostered through his words an interest in supporting survivors of and the words of the writers he and his domestic violence and their children wife Virginia published and distributed through Empowerhouse. We will continue each month in Front Porch to miss him dearly for all that and for the Fredericksburg. In these pages, they kind and lovely person he was.” brought good news of our common blessings, the people and happenings that connect us and make us whole. He was always careful in the words he chose, words of inspiration, words of gratitude and words of appreciation for the little John Sovitsky missed his shot at the things that make our lives worth living, a vaudeville stage, and performs every snowfall, a visit with a friend, or an chance he gets at open mics, kitchen afternoon on the porch spent with a tables and in these pages. neighbor. Rob made everyone feel like a special friend through his words and his actions. His encouragement made me look forward to submitting articles, and his praise always made me want to make the next piece even better. Although

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

21


Wellness

Senior Care life’s defining moments

Medical Marijuana

By Karl Karch Every once in a while, I try to pause for a little soul-searching, something I find extremely difficult. There are times, however few and scary they are for me, when I need to step away from the day-to-day hustle and reset my internal compass to make certain I am maintaining a proper life balance. I believe it’s safe to say that some time in our lives we’ve either faced, or will face, one or more defining moments. Maybe it’s the loss of a job or loved one, a financial crisis, a life threatening disease, or having to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other terminal illness. People confronted by adversity respond in different ways. I am continually amazed and marvel at those that dig deep and gain inner strength emotionally, spiritually, and/or physically. Rob Grogan was one of those great people in Fredericksburg who amazed me with his courage and positive outlook as he faced a terminal illness. I marvel at the simple, yet profound way he lived and impacted the lives of all those who knew him. It’s not our abilities or inabilities that define us, but the choices we make that are the differentiators. Do we go into the depths of despair, rise to new heights, or somewhere in between? Do we take on new challenges in a positive way, or crumble under such heavy burdens? How do you define yourself? Rob Grogan defined himself as a man of integrity - he continually measured himself against that value and will always be remembered for it. In our homecare business, we see the struggles clients and their families go through when faced with growing care needs, quality of life, end of life decisions, and increasing financial costs. For the

By Suzy Woollam

most part, our elders have been the patriarch or matriarch of the family, fiercely independent, the “Rock of Gibraltar”. From an elder’s perspective, it’s difficult to admit frailty or needing help. They don’t want to let their children know how vulnerable they really have become. From the children or other family caregiver’s perspective, they want to help, but may not know how or are torn by other family responsibilities. Often a crisis, such as the loss of a loved one or disease diagnosis, is needed to break down the barriers built up over the years. Regardless of how or what brings families and friends together, the significant issue is how people respond to life-changing situations. Look at this as a time to revitalize and strengthen relationships. As a family caregiver, look to provide encouragement and support to your loved one. There’s only so much support you can provide, so be careful not to burn yourself out. Seek assistance from friends, church family, neighbors, or hire additional support. Be aware of your emotions and don’t let the negative emotions surface. Emotions are contagious, so how you conduct yourself is very important. Listen and respond with empathy and understanding. In any given situation, you always have a choice as to how you act. And, remember that how you respond will help define you, and your relationship. So…. how will you be defined? Karl Karch is a local franchise owner of Home Instead Senior Care, a licensed home care organization providing personal care, companionship and home helper services. Please go to www.homeinstead.com/614.

The Natural Path Holistic Health Center

~Nature’s Sunshine Products ~ Biological Terrain Assessment ~VoiceBio Analysis ~Aura Photography ~Body Cleanse Foot Detox We Carry Home Brewing Supplies ! Barbara Bergquist, CTN Board Certified Traditional Naturopath

891-6200

www.thenaturalpath.us

4413 Lafayette Blvd. Fredericksburg

“In so many ways he was Fredericksburg's George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life". He was always there with a heartfelt laugh and a helping hand. Everything was given without thought of return. Was there ever a man that loved his family more? He gently touched us all. Remember him best by continuing to do the things he did. Love your family, support your friends, reach out to those who need it. Never count the cost. In every small and large way you can, make this area a place that deserved a man like Rob Grogan. Continue his legacy. He taught us the true meaning of courage in the face of adversity. Keep him and his family in your hearts as you were in his. His greatest gift was that he loved us. Share that love in his name.” Archer Di Peppe 22

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Cancer. It’s a nasty word, often spoken in hushed tones, behind upturned hands, and with a minimum of eye contact. It’s the last word you want to hear your Doctor say to you. The diagnosis of cancer is shocking, overwhelming, and life changing. Imagine then, if you will, being told that there was a drug that was not only found to be beneficial in the treatment of cancer but that it had little to no side effect, was fairly inexpensive, easy to use, and legally unavailable to you. To me, that is the part that is shocking, overwhelming, and life changing. The drug we’re talking about, of course, is Cannabis, or Medical Marijuana, and what most people do not know is that in the state of Virginia the use of Medical Marijuana is not against the law. In fact, Virginia was one of the very first states to create a Medical Marijuana law. In 1979 the Virginia General Assembly passed law § 18.2-251.1, which insures that “No person shall be prosecuted under for the possession of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) when that possession occurs pursuant to a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.” The law goes on to insure that no physician shall be prosecuted for writing said prescription and that no pharmacy may be prosecuted for filling same said prescription. So where is the problem? The problem lies in the fact that Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under Federal law, and therefore, no doctor will write a prescription for it for fear of losing their license, even when they

Healthcare For the Whole Person SPECIALIZING IN: ` Gentle, Individualized Chiropractic Care ` Cranio-Sacral Balancing (Sacro Occipital Technique - SOT) ` Addressing Your Total Health Needs with Natural, Holistic Treatment Methods ` Detoxification/Weight Loss Nutritional Programs

Dr. Christine Thompson

online: www.save7lives.org

know the benefit to their patient and know that they are protected by state law. But we’ve all heard that drugs are bad, right? Is Marijuana even safe to use? Isn’t it dangerous? In fact, the opposite is true. There are a myriad of clinical studies that h a v e

been done including those that show how the use of THC and cannabinoids have the ability to reduce tumor growth in lung cancer by 50%, reduce the viability and growth of human hepatocellular liver cancer cells, and maintain the ability to eradicate cancer cells found in people with Leukemia. Research has proven time and time again that Medical Marijuana, or Cannabis, is effective in the treatment of a wide range of ailments from glaucoma to fibromyalgia and for a host of side effects from nausea to pain management. For those with cancer and undergoing cancer treatment, it provides relief from the

constant and sometimes overwhelming nausea and discomfort, acts as an appetite stimulant, provides relaxation, and assists in pain management. You may ask yourself, “How does this affect me? I don’t support the use of marijuana. I don’t have cancer or glaucoma.” Or maybe you want to help, but don’t even know where to start. All you have to do is take that first step. I encourage everyone to contact their local chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and yes, Fredericksburg, we have a chapter. Take the time to educate yourself, your friends, and your family on the many uses and benefits of Medical Marijuana. Then ask yourself these questions: What if it was your parent or sibling, your spouse or child who was coping daily with the intense pain and anguish caused by these diseases? Would that change your mind? Wouldn’t you want them to have access to safe, natural, and affordable treatment? The time is now, the choice is ours. Let’s make the right one Suzy Woollam is the Owner of The Scenter of Town on Charles Street Downtown, providing every client with personalized service, expert care and proven treatments to help them realize all their Aromatherapy and Alternative wellness therapy needs.

“I am sad over the loss of my friend, But at the same time, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be sad. Rob was such a treasure and inspiration to all of us, and I know that my life, that many of our lives, would have been completely different had he never entered it. His smile, his support and his kind words will be greatly missed, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know him, and for the difference he made in my life.Sending out lots of and good thoughts to our community today, and through the coming weeks, and remembering Rob's words of "Strength in Community’”

in person: Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Suzy Woollam

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

23


Wellness

Senior Care life’s defining moments

Medical Marijuana

By Karl Karch Every once in a while, I try to pause for a little soul-searching, something I find extremely difficult. There are times, however few and scary they are for me, when I need to step away from the day-to-day hustle and reset my internal compass to make certain I am maintaining a proper life balance. I believe it’s safe to say that some time in our lives we’ve either faced, or will face, one or more defining moments. Maybe it’s the loss of a job or loved one, a financial crisis, a life threatening disease, or having to care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other terminal illness. People confronted by adversity respond in different ways. I am continually amazed and marvel at those that dig deep and gain inner strength emotionally, spiritually, and/or physically. Rob Grogan was one of those great people in Fredericksburg who amazed me with his courage and positive outlook as he faced a terminal illness. I marvel at the simple, yet profound way he lived and impacted the lives of all those who knew him. It’s not our abilities or inabilities that define us, but the choices we make that are the differentiators. Do we go into the depths of despair, rise to new heights, or somewhere in between? Do we take on new challenges in a positive way, or crumble under such heavy burdens? How do you define yourself? Rob Grogan defined himself as a man of integrity - he continually measured himself against that value and will always be remembered for it. In our homecare business, we see the struggles clients and their families go through when faced with growing care needs, quality of life, end of life decisions, and increasing financial costs. For the

By Suzy Woollam

most part, our elders have been the patriarch or matriarch of the family, fiercely independent, the “Rock of Gibraltar”. From an elder’s perspective, it’s difficult to admit frailty or needing help. They don’t want to let their children know how vulnerable they really have become. From the children or other family caregiver’s perspective, they want to help, but may not know how or are torn by other family responsibilities. Often a crisis, such as the loss of a loved one or disease diagnosis, is needed to break down the barriers built up over the years. Regardless of how or what brings families and friends together, the significant issue is how people respond to life-changing situations. Look at this as a time to revitalize and strengthen relationships. As a family caregiver, look to provide encouragement and support to your loved one. There’s only so much support you can provide, so be careful not to burn yourself out. Seek assistance from friends, church family, neighbors, or hire additional support. Be aware of your emotions and don’t let the negative emotions surface. Emotions are contagious, so how you conduct yourself is very important. Listen and respond with empathy and understanding. In any given situation, you always have a choice as to how you act. And, remember that how you respond will help define you, and your relationship. So…. how will you be defined? Karl Karch is a local franchise owner of Home Instead Senior Care, a licensed home care organization providing personal care, companionship and home helper services. Please go to www.homeinstead.com/614.

The Natural Path Holistic Health Center

~Nature’s Sunshine Products ~ Biological Terrain Assessment ~VoiceBio Analysis ~Aura Photography ~Body Cleanse Foot Detox We Carry Home Brewing Supplies ! Barbara Bergquist, CTN Board Certified Traditional Naturopath

891-6200

www.thenaturalpath.us

4413 Lafayette Blvd. Fredericksburg

“In so many ways he was Fredericksburg's George Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life". He was always there with a heartfelt laugh and a helping hand. Everything was given without thought of return. Was there ever a man that loved his family more? He gently touched us all. Remember him best by continuing to do the things he did. Love your family, support your friends, reach out to those who need it. Never count the cost. In every small and large way you can, make this area a place that deserved a man like Rob Grogan. Continue his legacy. He taught us the true meaning of courage in the face of adversity. Keep him and his family in your hearts as you were in his. His greatest gift was that he loved us. Share that love in his name.” Archer Di Peppe 22

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Cancer. It’s a nasty word, often spoken in hushed tones, behind upturned hands, and with a minimum of eye contact. It’s the last word you want to hear your Doctor say to you. The diagnosis of cancer is shocking, overwhelming, and life changing. Imagine then, if you will, being told that there was a drug that was not only found to be beneficial in the treatment of cancer but that it had little to no side effect, was fairly inexpensive, easy to use, and legally unavailable to you. To me, that is the part that is shocking, overwhelming, and life changing. The drug we’re talking about, of course, is Cannabis, or Medical Marijuana, and what most people do not know is that in the state of Virginia the use of Medical Marijuana is not against the law. In fact, Virginia was one of the very first states to create a Medical Marijuana law. In 1979 the Virginia General Assembly passed law § 18.2-251.1, which insures that “No person shall be prosecuted under for the possession of marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) when that possession occurs pursuant to a valid prescription issued by a medical doctor in the course of his professional practice for treatment of cancer or glaucoma.” The law goes on to insure that no physician shall be prosecuted for writing said prescription and that no pharmacy may be prosecuted for filling same said prescription. So where is the problem? The problem lies in the fact that Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under Federal law, and therefore, no doctor will write a prescription for it for fear of losing their license, even when they

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know the benefit to their patient and know that they are protected by state law. But we’ve all heard that drugs are bad, right? Is Marijuana even safe to use? Isn’t it dangerous? In fact, the opposite is true. There are a myriad of clinical studies that h a v e

been done including those that show how the use of THC and cannabinoids have the ability to reduce tumor growth in lung cancer by 50%, reduce the viability and growth of human hepatocellular liver cancer cells, and maintain the ability to eradicate cancer cells found in people with Leukemia. Research has proven time and time again that Medical Marijuana, or Cannabis, is effective in the treatment of a wide range of ailments from glaucoma to fibromyalgia and for a host of side effects from nausea to pain management. For those with cancer and undergoing cancer treatment, it provides relief from the

constant and sometimes overwhelming nausea and discomfort, acts as an appetite stimulant, provides relaxation, and assists in pain management. You may ask yourself, “How does this affect me? I don’t support the use of marijuana. I don’t have cancer or glaucoma.” Or maybe you want to help, but don’t even know where to start. All you have to do is take that first step. I encourage everyone to contact their local chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and yes, Fredericksburg, we have a chapter. Take the time to educate yourself, your friends, and your family on the many uses and benefits of Medical Marijuana. Then ask yourself these questions: What if it was your parent or sibling, your spouse or child who was coping daily with the intense pain and anguish caused by these diseases? Would that change your mind? Wouldn’t you want them to have access to safe, natural, and affordable treatment? The time is now, the choice is ours. Let’s make the right one Suzy Woollam is the Owner of The Scenter of Town on Charles Street Downtown, providing every client with personalized service, expert care and proven treatments to help them realize all their Aromatherapy and Alternative wellness therapy needs.

“I am sad over the loss of my friend, But at the same time, I am so grateful for the opportunity to be sad. Rob was such a treasure and inspiration to all of us, and I know that my life, that many of our lives, would have been completely different had he never entered it. His smile, his support and his kind words will be greatly missed, and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to get to know him, and for the difference he made in my life.Sending out lots of and good thoughts to our community today, and through the coming weeks, and remembering Rob's words of "Strength in Community’”

in person: Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Suzy Woollam

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

23


Brittany Frompovich

Bruce Day Fine Art by megan byrnes

Professional Bassist, instructor & clinician By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy

Brittany Frompovich, a professional bassist, instructor and clinician. She is devoted to music, her students and the community. She plays guitar, drums, percussion, cello, electric and double bass and is a vocalist and songwriter who has performed throughout the country. Her collection of instruments is impressive: six electric basses, two upright and one electric upright basses, 10 guitars, three mandolins, percussion and three basses she’s building. Frompovich of Pennsylvania graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in applied double bass and audio recording. She moved to Fredericksburg in 1997 and is a music teacher at Lady Bass Music, her home studio, Forte Music Studios and Picker’s Supply.

She has performed on double and electric bass for orchestral music, Celtic rock, jazz, rock, rhythm & blues and funk in several area bands. From rock and big band jazz to classical performance and choral pit, she plays a variety of genres. A highly regarded solo artist, she opened for United Kingdom Bassist Steve Lawson and toured the country with noted musicians. She’s performed at bass festivals, including “BassUp!” (California and Atlanta) and LoDo Bass Bash (Colorado). She has taught clinics, from looping to solo bass performance at Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp, This year, she co-led the “Beginners’ Jam” with musician Ben Titus and taught a Master Class on “Bass Maintenance and Care.” She has participated/performed at events, schools and camps throughout the country, including The Musicians Institute, Bass Break Live, The Bass Coalition’s Summer Workshop, Adam Nitti’s Music Dojo, the Rappahannock Music Summer Camp and the Washington Music Bass Day Summit. As founder/organizer of the Virginia Bass Forum, she hosts events to build the bass community and assist musicians with improving their craft. The Forum presents concerts and clinics with international artists and musicians.

Frompovich debuted Lady Bass Gear, a line of handcrafted necklaces which reflect her Irish/Celtic heritage and love of the bass. Brittany found the Celtic triskele symbol, when inverted and two dots are added, resembled the bass clef. She tapped into a niche that includes musicians and jewelry lovers. She uses and endorses Watson Pickups, which offered the services of its laser etching machine to create components for the necklaces. She partnered with Watson to use the wood remnants from building guitars/basses to make a portion of the pendants. Needing help keeping them in stock at a time some of her gifted students were affected by the recession, Frompovich exchanged lessons for her students’ assistance in making necklaces. “The sales of the necklaces go toward paying for music lessons for individuals in financial need,” said Frompovich. The necklaces help to cover free tickets for students who can’t afford to pay for Bass Forum events and contribute to Bass Coalition Summer Workshop scholarships.”, she said. Stay tuned for “made to order” custom bracelets to compliment the necklaces and other Lady Bass Gear items at www.ladybassmusic.net. Giving is important to Frompovich, whose students perform concerts where “admission” is often canned goods for the Fredericksburg Food Bank.

Heard:

Always From Life Original Oils brucedaystudio.com thefigureblog.blogspot.com

Lots of baby-related congratulations are in order for some of my favorite Fredericksburg people. Up first: Congrats to Paul and Lindsey Quinn, on the arrival of their baby boy Jase (above) on February 10th. Congratulations also to Brandon and Juliann Newton (below) – the couple is expecting a boy (their fourth!) later this year.

Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy is a freelance writer, public relations profesional and a frequent contributor to Front Porch

BISTRO BETHEM 309 William St. April1 - June 1

BETSYGLASSIE.COM BGLASSIE@AOL.COM

540-899-6556

Front porch fredericksburg

Happiest of February birthdays to Wade Truong, Drew Fristoe, Matt Mastalski, Cissy Nelson and Jim Nelson (aww how cute, birthday twins!), Jamie Soper, Emily Dursa and Candis Wenger!

Cards season 2; Katelyn Cowen in town from LA, visiting her old favorite spots (Kybecca, Hyperion, you know); Karin Lowe Beals shopping downtown with her bestie, daughter Wilder; Emily Gilmore on a Jeopardy re-run; Men’s Warehouse stylist extraordinaire Damon Burton perusing organic fruit snacks at Wegmans; Eddie Crosslin and the rest of the Beach Fries Truck back on the streets; Shandel and Joe Perron at the National Portrait Gallery checking out the American Cool exhibit (which, by the way, is totally cool! Go see it!); Ashley Mroczek at Riverside Dinner Theater to catch their production of Gypsy.

Heard:

Scene:

Fredericksburg is totes

legit now — the Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative installed two welcome signs in prime downtown locations (the start of William and Princess Anne Streets), right in time to usher in tourist Pons, Andi Gabler, season! Scarlett Suhy-P Dave Minkler, Dolores Bevan Lecky, Ann Glave Comfort and Wilson Greenlaw (below) braved the snow for the signage inauguration. A great looking group with a great looking sign to celebrate our great looking town!

the

Jay’s Lounge peeps have been making progress on their William St sports lounge outpost. Should be opening right in time for the warm weather!

Scene:

NEW WORK

April 2014

Convoy is absolutely the coolest “new” local band (right) of 2014 – though I must put “new” in quotes, as I’m pretty sure these guys need no introduction. Troy Coghill fronts the band with Mark Phelan on guitar, Jeff Gandee on keyboard, Mike Payne on bass, Larry Hinkle on drums, and Mo Marsh on percussion. They played their first show to a sold out, standing room only, line out the door crowd on a bitterly cold winter evening and people are still talking about it. Hannah Bloodgood danced the night away, Dave Robinson stood around looking awesome and local attorney Emily Gold, musician Young Devereaux, Ryan Poe, Jim Bartlett, Jym Horak, Anna Lowry, Emily Simpson, and Cynthia Richter turned up to hear the boys get down.

540 376-1676

Betsy Glassie

24

Trucker Troy and the

Bistro Bethem hosted

the opening for multi-talented Chris Limbrick’s art show, Proof Positive, on Feb 9th. The grouping showcases selected works from Chris’ “The Departure Collection” until the end of March so be sure to stop by Bistro to check it out! Michael Lewis (below), Joan Limbrick, Missy Colombo (below), Carrie Schaefer, and Crista Fore didn’t let a little snow stop them from heading down to William Street to celebrate with their pal, listen to King Tubby and Jah Shaka and enjoy a cocktail. Speaking of Missy Colombo, she’s hit the road to tour the country with Keller Williams on the second leg of the What the Funk tour. They’ve already been to Colorado and all over the Midwest and are headed back our way in April if you’re jonesing for some sweet live music this spring!

Heard:

Andrew Hellier and the

All-Stars at the Kenmore Inn with Jay Starling, Dave Cannon, Will Rast, John Buck, and Johnny Valencia. That’s a serious #tbt to 2009, no? Suddenly I’m craving a dark and stormy!

Scene:

See Our Garden-Inspired Table Settings During Garden Week, April 26-May 3 at

The Head and the

374-0443 www.shopwhittingham.com 1021 Caroline Street

Heart’s Tyler Williams at Bistro Bethem in between touring steadily and a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live; the entire county of Spotsylvania in an episode of House of front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

25


Brittany Frompovich

Bruce Day Fine Art by megan byrnes

Professional Bassist, instructor & clinician By Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy

Brittany Frompovich, a professional bassist, instructor and clinician. She is devoted to music, her students and the community. She plays guitar, drums, percussion, cello, electric and double bass and is a vocalist and songwriter who has performed throughout the country. Her collection of instruments is impressive: six electric basses, two upright and one electric upright basses, 10 guitars, three mandolins, percussion and three basses she’s building. Frompovich of Pennsylvania graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in applied double bass and audio recording. She moved to Fredericksburg in 1997 and is a music teacher at Lady Bass Music, her home studio, Forte Music Studios and Picker’s Supply.

She has performed on double and electric bass for orchestral music, Celtic rock, jazz, rock, rhythm & blues and funk in several area bands. From rock and big band jazz to classical performance and choral pit, she plays a variety of genres. A highly regarded solo artist, she opened for United Kingdom Bassist Steve Lawson and toured the country with noted musicians. She’s performed at bass festivals, including “BassUp!” (California and Atlanta) and LoDo Bass Bash (Colorado). She has taught clinics, from looping to solo bass performance at Gerald Veasley’s Bass BootCamp, This year, she co-led the “Beginners’ Jam” with musician Ben Titus and taught a Master Class on “Bass Maintenance and Care.” She has participated/performed at events, schools and camps throughout the country, including The Musicians Institute, Bass Break Live, The Bass Coalition’s Summer Workshop, Adam Nitti’s Music Dojo, the Rappahannock Music Summer Camp and the Washington Music Bass Day Summit. As founder/organizer of the Virginia Bass Forum, she hosts events to build the bass community and assist musicians with improving their craft. The Forum presents concerts and clinics with international artists and musicians.

Frompovich debuted Lady Bass Gear, a line of handcrafted necklaces which reflect her Irish/Celtic heritage and love of the bass. Brittany found the Celtic triskele symbol, when inverted and two dots are added, resembled the bass clef. She tapped into a niche that includes musicians and jewelry lovers. She uses and endorses Watson Pickups, which offered the services of its laser etching machine to create components for the necklaces. She partnered with Watson to use the wood remnants from building guitars/basses to make a portion of the pendants. Needing help keeping them in stock at a time some of her gifted students were affected by the recession, Frompovich exchanged lessons for her students’ assistance in making necklaces. “The sales of the necklaces go toward paying for music lessons for individuals in financial need,” said Frompovich. The necklaces help to cover free tickets for students who can’t afford to pay for Bass Forum events and contribute to Bass Coalition Summer Workshop scholarships.”, she said. Stay tuned for “made to order” custom bracelets to compliment the necklaces and other Lady Bass Gear items at www.ladybassmusic.net. Giving is important to Frompovich, whose students perform concerts where “admission” is often canned goods for the Fredericksburg Food Bank.

Heard:

Always From Life Original Oils brucedaystudio.com thefigureblog.blogspot.com

Lots of baby-related congratulations are in order for some of my favorite Fredericksburg people. Up first: Congrats to Paul and Lindsey Quinn, on the arrival of their baby boy Jase (above) on February 10th. Congratulations also to Brandon and Juliann Newton (below) – the couple is expecting a boy (their fourth!) later this year.

Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy is a freelance writer, public relations profesional and a frequent contributor to Front Porch

BISTRO BETHEM 309 William St. April1 - June 1

BETSYGLASSIE.COM BGLASSIE@AOL.COM

540-899-6556

Front porch fredericksburg

Happiest of February birthdays to Wade Truong, Drew Fristoe, Matt Mastalski, Cissy Nelson and Jim Nelson (aww how cute, birthday twins!), Jamie Soper, Emily Dursa and Candis Wenger!

Cards season 2; Katelyn Cowen in town from LA, visiting her old favorite spots (Kybecca, Hyperion, you know); Karin Lowe Beals shopping downtown with her bestie, daughter Wilder; Emily Gilmore on a Jeopardy re-run; Men’s Warehouse stylist extraordinaire Damon Burton perusing organic fruit snacks at Wegmans; Eddie Crosslin and the rest of the Beach Fries Truck back on the streets; Shandel and Joe Perron at the National Portrait Gallery checking out the American Cool exhibit (which, by the way, is totally cool! Go see it!); Ashley Mroczek at Riverside Dinner Theater to catch their production of Gypsy.

Heard:

Scene:

Fredericksburg is totes

legit now — the Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative installed two welcome signs in prime downtown locations (the start of William and Princess Anne Streets), right in time to usher in tourist Pons, Andi Gabler, season! Scarlett Suhy-P Dave Minkler, Dolores Bevan Lecky, Ann Glave Comfort and Wilson Greenlaw (below) braved the snow for the signage inauguration. A great looking group with a great looking sign to celebrate our great looking town!

the

Jay’s Lounge peeps have been making progress on their William St sports lounge outpost. Should be opening right in time for the warm weather!

Scene:

NEW WORK

April 2014

Convoy is absolutely the coolest “new” local band (right) of 2014 – though I must put “new” in quotes, as I’m pretty sure these guys need no introduction. Troy Coghill fronts the band with Mark Phelan on guitar, Jeff Gandee on keyboard, Mike Payne on bass, Larry Hinkle on drums, and Mo Marsh on percussion. They played their first show to a sold out, standing room only, line out the door crowd on a bitterly cold winter evening and people are still talking about it. Hannah Bloodgood danced the night away, Dave Robinson stood around looking awesome and local attorney Emily Gold, musician Young Devereaux, Ryan Poe, Jim Bartlett, Jym Horak, Anna Lowry, Emily Simpson, and Cynthia Richter turned up to hear the boys get down.

540 376-1676

Betsy Glassie

24

Trucker Troy and the

Bistro Bethem hosted

the opening for multi-talented Chris Limbrick’s art show, Proof Positive, on Feb 9th. The grouping showcases selected works from Chris’ “The Departure Collection” until the end of March so be sure to stop by Bistro to check it out! Michael Lewis (below), Joan Limbrick, Missy Colombo (below), Carrie Schaefer, and Crista Fore didn’t let a little snow stop them from heading down to William Street to celebrate with their pal, listen to King Tubby and Jah Shaka and enjoy a cocktail. Speaking of Missy Colombo, she’s hit the road to tour the country with Keller Williams on the second leg of the What the Funk tour. They’ve already been to Colorado and all over the Midwest and are headed back our way in April if you’re jonesing for some sweet live music this spring!

Heard:

Andrew Hellier and the

All-Stars at the Kenmore Inn with Jay Starling, Dave Cannon, Will Rast, John Buck, and Johnny Valencia. That’s a serious #tbt to 2009, no? Suddenly I’m craving a dark and stormy!

Scene:

See Our Garden-Inspired Table Settings During Garden Week, April 26-May 3 at

The Head and the

374-0443 www.shopwhittingham.com 1021 Caroline Street

Heart’s Tyler Williams at Bistro Bethem in between touring steadily and a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live; the entire county of Spotsylvania in an episode of House of front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

25


COMMUNITY LINK

FXBG Music Scene

Courtesy of WFVA and Front Porch

Pillowcases of Love By Kathy Rivers

karen jonas by ashleigh chevalier

Oklahoma Lottery! It is here! Karen Jonas’ long awaited and anticipated solo album is finally here! Oklahoma Lottery is ten songs of amazing; superb song writing, honest vocals, and tumbleweed riffs. Jonas was in the middle of laying track by track, week by week, when she decided to record the album live in two days at Wally Cleaver’s Studio, with master and award winning engineer Jeff Covert at the helm. Tim Bray (Crown Vic) laid

guitar, Claude Arthur thumped the bass, Piper rat-a-tat-tatted the drums, and Jay Starling added some texturous notes with his lap steel guitar. The talented players are just the icing on the cake, topping an already strong foundation. Karen Jonas’ songs, unique rhythm guitar style, and sultry voice stand strongly in themselves. “Karen Jonas’ songs take you places,” one fan commented Sweet sentiments and honest

“I just found out my friend Rob Grogan, Front Porch Fredericksburg Magazine editor, died last night. He saw it coming (cancer), he looked it in the eye and took it on the chin, wrote about what was going on, and somehow always found someone to say thank you to, something to be grateful for. It was while I was writing my column for him that I discovered my niche in Fredericksburg and finally felt at home there. Hospitality was one many gifts he gave freely. Sweet dreams, Rob.” Megan Hicks, 2/23/14 26

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

internal frustration of love and life carry through each song brilliantly. “Get Out of My Head,” counters a heart’s ache and longing in “Thinking of you again,” while “Suicide Sal��� immediately sets you in a saloon in the wild west in 1880, smoking a cigarette, shooting bourbon, and spitting in a spittoon. Jonas’ lyrics are eloquent, witty, succinct, painting pictures in your head; these lyrics set her song writing apart, standing proudly in solo among a chorus of well heard, well known voices. “This album is adventurous and spirited,” Jonas comments. That it is. Put Oklahoma Lottery on your iPod, put it in your car, play it while in the shower. There is a song for every mood and every time of the day. It may just put the pep back in your step! Jonas has been playing guitar and singing since she was an early teenager. When she heard Joni Mitchell, that was all she wrote. “I can do that,” she decided. “I can play guitar and sing.” After a few solo acoustic, home recorded albums, and a dynamite recording with her last band The Parlor Soldiers, founded with fellow songwriter Alex Culbreth, Jonas was ready to go out with her band. Oklahoma Lottery will undoubtedly turn heads. With a premier solo album like this, who knows what is in store in the years to come. Karen Jonas and her fabulous band will release the album at Colonial Tavern, Friday, March 21. The Green Boys open. Doors are at 8p.m.

Advanced Dental Care of Fredericksburg 540-891-9911

Ashleigh Chevalier and her 10month old daughter adore Karen Jonas and her new album.

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Brilliantly patterned pillowcases not only brighten sterile white hospital beds, but they also put smiles on the faces of cancer patients, nursing home residents, and children in hospitals. This is the purpose of a new local non-profit Pillowcases of Love Ministry. Volunteers will meet on March 25 at 10 am at the Salem Church Library to cut, sew, press, and pack colorful pillowcases for delivery to people who need encouragement. The community is invited to join in. A couple of years ago, Susan Fawcett of Spotsylvania made a couple of cheerful pillowcases for her mother and friends recovering in the hospital. She was happily surprised at how much this gesture cheered them and gave them a positive outlook during recovery. Fawcett felt compelled to start the non-profit. As an accountant, she knew firsthand which paperwork needed to be completed for a new non-profit. Local groups such as Empowerhouse, Paul Stefan Home for Mothers, and Golden Living Nursing Home have appreciated the pillowcases, but they have also been delivered to places as far as Eckert Boys Home in Florida and hospitals in Pittsburgh. The March “Gathering” will assemble pillowcases destined for El Salvador. The Fredericksburg District of the United Methodist Church is sending a mission group to El Salvador who will deliver the pillowcases to children there. At first Fawcett had more requests for the handmade pillowcases than the volunteers could handle. Her first sewing group consisted of only eight volunteers, but now as many as twentyseven people gather together to make them. The group meets at the Salem Church Library so that anyone in the community who would like to help can drop by and get involved. “It’s a win-win all the way around,” says Fawcett. Stations are set up in the meeting room so that everyone can work safely and efficiently. If someone cannot sew, they can still find a place to help. Everyone has a job to do, even if it is “quality control”- checking for loose threads. A typical “Gathering” lasts three hours. Each pillowcase takes fifteen minutes to make from start to finish. Pillowcases change seasonally and are customized to the recipients. Recent

child pillowcases included bright prints of animals and cars, while those destined for adults included heart and candy prints for Valentines Day. Although Fawcett will accept donated fabric, it must be 100% cotton and of an appropriate size. She usually purchases fabric by the bolt at local fabric stores but often cannot take advantage of seasonal deals because funds are always being used for the next immediate need. The bolts are easier to work with than smaller pieces of fabric because they can be cut in an assembly line fashion. Fawcett hopes that as the word spreads about Pillowcases of Love, monetary donations will fund fabric purchases. Each pillowcase costs $5 to produce, so each $25 donation brightens the lives of five people. Funding is also needed for a special $800 machine that imprints words of encouragement and scriptures on the pillowcases. . “It is amazing how making the pillowcases helps everyone in the picture,” says Fawcett. “So many of the people love making the pillowcases because they make something beautiful, they make it for someone else, and the cases are so intensely bright and cheerful.” Some of the people making the pillowcases have their own health issues, and it lifts their spirits as they gather with others in order to help others. The pillowcases also cheer the administrators and health staff because the pillowcases remind them that the community cares about their patients. Most importantly, the pillowcases cheer up people who are down on their luck or are ill. Says Fawcett, “I like to think of how many people smiled at the pillowcase from beginning to end.” To get involved in the Pillowcases of Love Ministry, drop by the next “Gathering” on March 25 between 10am1pm at the meeting room in the Salem Church Library or visit the website www.pillowcasesofloveminisry.com to find out more. Business donors are also needed to sponsor the 501c3 organization. The mailing address for donations is 2215 Plank Road, #252, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Kathy Rivers is manager of Ten Thousand Villages in Central Park.

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

27


COMMUNITY LINK

FXBG Music Scene

Courtesy of WFVA and Front Porch

Pillowcases of Love By Kathy Rivers

karen jonas by ashleigh chevalier

Oklahoma Lottery! It is here! Karen Jonas’ long awaited and anticipated solo album is finally here! Oklahoma Lottery is ten songs of amazing; superb song writing, honest vocals, and tumbleweed riffs. Jonas was in the middle of laying track by track, week by week, when she decided to record the album live in two days at Wally Cleaver’s Studio, with master and award winning engineer Jeff Covert at the helm. Tim Bray (Crown Vic) laid

guitar, Claude Arthur thumped the bass, Piper rat-a-tat-tatted the drums, and Jay Starling added some texturous notes with his lap steel guitar. The talented players are just the icing on the cake, topping an already strong foundation. Karen Jonas’ songs, unique rhythm guitar style, and sultry voice stand strongly in themselves. “Karen Jonas’ songs take you places,” one fan commented Sweet sentiments and honest

“I just found out my friend Rob Grogan, Front Porch Fredericksburg Magazine editor, died last night. He saw it coming (cancer), he looked it in the eye and took it on the chin, wrote about what was going on, and somehow always found someone to say thank you to, something to be grateful for. It was while I was writing my column for him that I discovered my niche in Fredericksburg and finally felt at home there. Hospitality was one many gifts he gave freely. Sweet dreams, Rob.” Megan Hicks, 2/23/14 26

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

internal frustration of love and life carry through each song brilliantly. “Get Out of My Head,” counters a heart’s ache and longing in “Thinking of you again,” while “Suicide Sal” immediately sets you in a saloon in the wild west in 1880, smoking a cigarette, shooting bourbon, and spitting in a spittoon. Jonas’ lyrics are eloquent, witty, succinct, painting pictures in your head; these lyrics set her song writing apart, standing proudly in solo among a chorus of well heard, well known voices. “This album is adventurous and spirited,” Jonas comments. That it is. Put Oklahoma Lottery on your iPod, put it in your car, play it while in the shower. There is a song for every mood and every time of the day. It may just put the pep back in your step! Jonas has been playing guitar and singing since she was an early teenager. When she heard Joni Mitchell, that was all she wrote. “I can do that,” she decided. “I can play guitar and sing.” After a few solo acoustic, home recorded albums, and a dynamite recording with her last band The Parlor Soldiers, founded with fellow songwriter Alex Culbreth, Jonas was ready to go out with her band. Oklahoma Lottery will undoubtedly turn heads. With a premier solo album like this, who knows what is in store in the years to come. Karen Jonas and her fabulous band will release the album at Colonial Tavern, Friday, March 21. The Green Boys open. Doors are at 8p.m.

Advanced Dental Care of Fredericksburg 540-891-9911

Ashleigh Chevalier and her 10month old daughter adore Karen Jonas and her new album.

Come Play With Us ! Key Board Classes ~ Ages 3-4: Tues. 1:30pm; Wed. 10am ages 4-6: Wed. 7pm; Teens & Adults: Tues. 7:30pm Schedule Posted on Website

540-371-4526

FREE INTRODUCTORY LESSONS

207 William Street

www.ymsfred.com

Certified Experienced Staff YAMAHA MUSIC SCHOOL OF FREDERICKBURG Located in Downtown Fredericksburg for Over 40 Years

$79

$650

New Patient Special

Per Arch Full AcrylicDenture or Partial

With this Coupon only for non-insured patients. Not valid with other offers or prior services. Offer Expires 5/1/14 A $239 .00 Value

With this Coupon only for non-insured patients. Not valid with other offers or prior services. Offer Expires 5/1/14 A $1100.00 Value

Includes Exam, X-Rays and Cleaning

Because we care for you! 10524 Spotsylvania Ave. Ste #104 Fredericksburg, VA

Brilliantly patterned pillowcases not only brighten sterile white hospital beds, but they also put smiles on the faces of cancer patients, nursing home residents, and children in hospitals. This is the purpose of a new local non-profit Pillowcases of Love Ministry. Volunteers will meet on March 25 at 10 am at the Salem Church Library to cut, sew, press, and pack colorful pillowcases for delivery to people who need encouragement. The community is invited to join in. A couple of years ago, Susan Fawcett of Spotsylvania made a couple of cheerful pillowcases for her mother and friends recovering in the hospital. She was happily surprised at how much this gesture cheered them and gave them a positive outlook during recovery. Fawcett felt compelled to start the non-profit. As an accountant, she knew firsthand which paperwork needed to be completed for a new non-profit. Local groups such as Empowerhouse, Paul Stefan Home for Mothers, and Golden Living Nursing Home have appreciated the pillowcases, but they have also been delivered to places as far as Eckert Boys Home in Florida and hospitals in Pittsburgh. The March “Gathering” will assemble pillowcases destined for El Salvador. The Fredericksburg District of the United Methodist Church is sending a mission group to El Salvador who will deliver the pillowcases to children there. At first Fawcett had more requests for the handmade pillowcases than the volunteers could handle. Her first sewing group consisted of only eight volunteers, but now as many as twentyseven people gather together to make them. The group meets at the Salem Church Library so that anyone in the community who would like to help can drop by and get involved. “It’s a win-win all the way around,” says Fawcett. Stations are set up in the meeting room so that everyone can work safely and efficiently. If someone cannot sew, they can still find a place to help. Everyone has a job to do, even if it is “quality control”- checking for loose threads. A typical “Gathering” lasts three hours. Each pillowcase takes fifteen minutes to make from start to finish. Pillowcases change seasonally and are customized to the recipients. Recent

child pillowcases included bright prints of animals and cars, while those destined for adults included heart and candy prints for Valentines Day. Although Fawcett will accept donated fabric, it must be 100% cotton and of an appropriate size. She usually purchases fabric by the bolt at local fabric stores but often cannot take advantage of seasonal deals because funds are always being used for the next immediate need. The bolts are easier to work with than smaller pieces of fabric because they can be cut in an assembly line fashion. Fawcett hopes that as the word spreads about Pillowcases of Love, monetary donations will fund fabric purchases. Each pillowcase costs $5 to produce, so each $25 donation brightens the lives of five people. Funding is also needed for a special $800 machine that imprints words of encouragement and scriptures on the pillowcases. . “It is amazing how making the pillowcases helps everyone in the picture,” says Fawcett. “So many of the people love making the pillowcases because they make something beautiful, they make it for someone else, and the cases are so intensely bright and cheerful.” Some of the people making the pillowcases have their own health issues, and it lifts their spirits as they gather with others in order to help others. The pillowcases also cheer the administrators and health staff because the pillowcases remind them that the community cares about their patients. Most importantly, the pillowcases cheer up people who are down on their luck or are ill. Says Fawcett, “I like to think of how many people smiled at the pillowcase from beginning to end.” To get involved in the Pillowcases of Love Ministry, drop by the next “Gathering” on March 25 between 10am1pm at the meeting room in the Salem Church Library or visit the website www.pillowcasesofloveminisry.com to find out more. Business donors are also needed to sponsor the 501c3 organization. The mailing address for donations is 2215 Plank Road, #252, Fredericksburg, Virginia. Kathy Rivers is manager of Ten Thousand Villages in Central Park.

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

27


Fredericksburg Fashions:

Porch Light

For Sale Now at Amazon.com

Front Page News

Stories that shine a light on life

By Emily Taggart Schricker

Shopping in downtown Fredericksburg has always been a fashionable event. There have always been many options for ladies in search of a new dress or hat, even in the nineteenth century. Browsing through a newspaper in 1852, shoppers could find a plethora of dry goods stores selling the fabric they would need for a new gown—Swiss muslins, Canton silks, even Paris dress goods could be found right here in Fredericksburg. If one preferred to hire a dressmaker, there was a variety advertising their skills. Dressmakers such as Eliza Morgan or The Misses Samuel posted in the Fredericksburg News offering their services as well as thanking their “former customers and friends generally for their liberal patronage.” Being up-to-date with the latest fashions was given credence by having made recent trips to “the North.” By 1884, after the ready-made clothing industry had arrived with the Industrial Revolution and the allimportant sewing machine, shoppers’ options increased dramatically. Ready-made clothing was plentiful in downtown Fredericksburg as well as millinery (hat) shops and specialty services from smaller boutiques. Some shops, such as Lowery’s, claimed they were the place to get a bargain with taglines like “Lowery’s: Original Cheap Cash Store.” Others advertised their bargains under the cover of projected decadence. Isaac Hirsh, a native of Germany, advertised his dry goods and millinery store under the name “The Crystal Palace Dry Goods Store.” Located at 924 Main Street (now Caroline Street), the millinery portion of the store was run by his wife and was reported to have a “large patronage.” A 1915 advertisement for the Hirsh

28

April 2014

establishment shows that readymade clothing had been added to the inventory, but it appears high fashion was still the marketing plan. A delicate drawing of a fashionable lady, complete with parasol, stands out in Hirsh’s almost half-page ad in the The Daily Star. Fabrics and fashion were indeed important, but every proper lady needed accessories. Mrs. M.E. Holmes billed herself as carrying “Fashionable and Stylish Millinery” but also offered five different styles of faux hair. Collars, cuffs, hosiery, gloves, and corsets could all be found up and down Main Street in 1884. Many shops advertised them, but Grasty’s Banner Store claimed to be “headquarters for Corsets.” If Grasty’s variety of products was not enough to get customers into his establishment, perhaps the “Funny Looking Glass” mentioned in a variety of newspaper ads did the trick. Often not welcome in downtown stores at the time, African Americans could make their way to Benjamin Goldsmith’s readymade clothing store at “Market Corner.” Mr. Goldsmith claimed that “Big Folks and Little Folks, White and Black, All must be clad, and all desire to have their wants supplied at the lowest cost.” A variety of fashions can still be found up and down Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg. There are a variety of ready-made clothes, modern as well as vintage fashions. Tailored suits can still be found in downtown as well—the art is still alive. Fashion is thriving in downtown Fredericksburg, but as to the location of the Funny Looking Glass, I’m not too sure. A special thank you to the staff of the Virginiana Room at the Central Rappahannock Library for their aid in the research for this article. Emily Taggart Schricker is an event coordinator for Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. Image Info The above picture picture is from The Daily Star (Fredericksburg, VA) from March16, 1915. It is part of the Isaac Hirsh & Son ad. See the original here. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= 1297&dat=19150316&id=QMlYAAAAIBAJ &sjid=WMDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2956,1801958

Front porch fredericksburg

I grew up thinking of snow as a luxury you visit By jo loving

Old Town’s Greatest Tour 35 Monuments, Markers, & Attractions AND the Fredericksburg Battlefields Weddings Reunions Shuttles Parties Group Outings Fredericksburgtrolley.com

Author: J Robert Du Bois Edited by Rob Grogan

540-898-0737

This year's plethora of winter weather has rekindled memories my first REAL snow. Although people tire of the ice, snow, slush, and snow days, that first year in Virginia, all forms of weather were new, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. We had moved to Fredericksburg from Florida the previous Spring and I had been looking forward to experiencing the wonders of winter. In Northwest Florida, our winters were typically limited to a day or two of temperatures near or below freezing, and once a decade or so, we would get a dusting of snow that would disappear almost as quickly as it fell. In my childhood dreams, I would imagine the feel of a true snow. Would it be something like the beautiful white sand of my native home's beaches, or would it be lighter, like powdered sugar? Maybe it would be like shaved ice or snow cones. I had no frame of reference for snow, so I created my own version. In my imaginary world, snow was fluffy and crystalline, pure and beautiful.

Give a Child Something to Think About Books, Games, Amusing Novelties M-Sat. 10am-6pm; Sun. 1pm-4pm

I am sure I speak for all of us who free lanced for the FP, it was an honor to write for him each month . He was always such a gentleman and friend, Ann and I would make a special trip to the bar just to chat with him and others that loved being in his company. If we all could be so well respected and have his principles in such a short life taken away so soon we loved him dearly like a family member. Tuffy Hicks

Serving Up Local “Good” News Since 1997

Front Porch Fredericksburg

810 Caroline Street (540) 371-5684

That first winter in Fredericksburg, what seemed like tons of snow fell in a little less than 10 hours, and the children and I were exceptionally excited. My husband, who was from Maryland, was our winter guide. As the snow started falling, all five of us ran to the deck, and we happily danced around, sticking out our tongues for our first taste of snow. We watched in wonder as the feet of snow completely covered our world, and marveled in the perfect silence. When the power went out, we camped in the living room next to the fireplace. We played games, roasted marshmallows and hotdogs, and told stories by candlelight. The snow gave us an excuse to have a time-out from our very busy lives. As daybreak came, the snow had stopped, and we went out early for a little walk around our property and neighborhood. It was a beautiful snow -pure, wet, and sticky -- perfect snowmanmaking snow. So we made a snow family, running inside from time to time to get warm. What came next made an already wonderful day perfect. When we moved to Virginia, my husband returned from a visit to his Mother and Father with a couple of his childhood sleds. Once the snow had fallen, he felt it was time to drag them out of our garage and give the kids a lesson in sledding. We had wonderful hills in our neighborhood, and he spent hours instructing and then sledding with them. The children were young, so he would sled down the hill with one of them on his back at a time. Eventually, or oldest daughter had solo trips down the hill. I watched and took pictures, and I remember being so very thankful for this time, for this family, for the love I felt for them and for our new home. And then, what I had spent a lifetime dreaming of happened. My husband asked me if I wanted to have a go at the hill on the sled. Did I ever!!! And so, after a brief lesson, he sent me on my way. Oh, the exhilaration! I felt free, and childlike, and filled with nothing but glee and wonder and laughter. I laughed the entire time. It was a pure moment in life, and the feeling of the cold air, the taste of

bits of snow flying up as I sledded down the hill, and the sheer joy of that first time sledding has never left me. What a thrill!!! I can relive it at any time as if it were yesterday. So, as this winter gets to you, try to take yourself back to that first time you enjoyed the snow, and maybe it will be more bearable, if only for a moment.

Jo Loving never tires of Fredericksburg's weather, whatever the season from the perfect illumination of the Front Porch Light"

THE POETRY MAN - BY FRANK FRATOE

Those Gone From Us Even when clouds shroud the moon it flashes white beyond our Ken, even the “new” moon dark to us brightens space from another side. So after we lose our loved ones who appear to vanish in darkness, We can see that death takes them but know their radiance never ends.

February 23, 2014 Frank Fratoe lives and writes in the city

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

29


Fredericksburg Fashions:

Porch Light

For Sale Now at Amazon.com

Front Page News

Stories that shine a light on life

By Emily Taggart Schricker

Shopping in downtown Fredericksburg has always been a fashionable event. There have always been many options for ladies in search of a new dress or hat, even in the nineteenth century. Browsing through a newspaper in 1852, shoppers could find a plethora of dry goods stores selling the fabric they would need for a new gown—Swiss muslins, Canton silks, even Paris dress goods could be found right here in Fredericksburg. If one preferred to hire a dressmaker, there was a variety advertising their skills. Dressmakers such as Eliza Morgan or The Misses Samuel posted in the Fredericksburg News offering their services as well as thanking their “former customers and friends generally for their liberal patronage.” Being up-to-date with the latest fashions was given credence by having made recent trips to “the North.” By 1884, after the ready-made clothing industry had arrived with the Industrial Revolution and the allimportant sewing machine, shoppers’ options increased dramatically. Ready-made clothing was plentiful in downtown Fredericksburg as well as millinery (hat) shops and specialty services from smaller boutiques. Some shops, such as Lowery’s, claimed they were the place to get a bargain with taglines like “Lowery’s: Original Cheap Cash Store.” Others advertised their bargains under the cover of projected decadence. Isaac Hirsh, a native of Germany, advertised his dry goods and millinery store under the name “The Crystal Palace Dry Goods Store.” Located at 924 Main Street (now Caroline Street), the millinery portion of the store was run by his wife and was reported to have a “large patronage.” A 1915 advertisement for the Hirsh

28

April 2014

establishment shows that readymade clothing had been added to the inventory, but it appears high fashion was still the marketing plan. A delicate drawing of a fashionable lady, complete with parasol, stands out in Hirsh’s almost half-page ad in the The Daily Star. Fabrics and fashion were indeed important, but every proper lady needed accessories. Mrs. M.E. Holmes billed herself as carrying “Fashionable and Stylish Millinery” but also offered five different styles of faux hair. Collars, cuffs, hosiery, gloves, and corsets could all be found up and down Main Street in 1884. Many shops advertised them, but Grasty’s Banner Store claimed to be “headquarters for Corsets.” If Grasty’s variety of products was not enough to get customers into his establishment, perhaps the “Funny Looking Glass” mentioned in a variety of newspaper ads did the trick. Often not welcome in downtown stores at the time, African Americans could make their way to Benjamin Goldsmith’s readymade clothing store at “Market Corner.” Mr. Goldsmith claimed that “Big Folks and Little Folks, White and Black, All must be clad, and all desire to have their wants supplied at the lowest cost.” A variety of fashions can still be found up and down Caroline Street in downtown Fredericksburg. There are a variety of ready-made clothes, modern as well as vintage fashions. Tailored suits can still be found in downtown as well—the art is still alive. Fashion is thriving in downtown Fredericksburg, but as to the location of the Funny Looking Glass, I’m not too sure. A special thank you to the staff of the Virginiana Room at the Central Rappahannock Library for their aid in the research for this article. Emily Taggart Schricker is an event coordinator for Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, Inc. Image Info The above picture picture is from The Daily Star (Fredericksburg, VA) from March16, 1915. It is part of the Isaac Hirsh & Son ad. See the original here. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= 1297&dat=19150316&id=QMlYAAAAIBAJ &sjid=WMDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2956,1801958

Front porch fredericksburg

I grew up thinking of snow as a luxury you visit By jo loving

Old Town’s Greatest Tour 35 Monuments, Markers, & Attractions AND the Fredericksburg Battlefields Weddings Reunions Shuttles Parties Group Outings Fredericksburgtrolley.com

Author: J Robert Du Bois Edited by Rob Grogan

540-898-0737

This year's plethora of winter weather has rekindled memories my first REAL snow. Although people tire of the ice, snow, slush, and snow days, that first year in Virginia, all forms of weather were new, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. We had moved to Fredericksburg from Florida the previous Spring and I had been looking forward to experiencing the wonders of winter. In Northwest Florida, our winters were typically limited to a day or two of temperatures near or below freezing, and once a decade or so, we would get a dusting of snow that would disappear almost as quickly as it fell. In my childhood dreams, I would imagine the feel of a true snow. Would it be something like the beautiful white sand of my native home's beaches, or would it be lighter, like powdered sugar? Maybe it would be like shaved ice or snow cones. I had no frame of reference for snow, so I created my own version. In my imaginary world, snow was fluffy and crystalline, pure and beautiful.

Give a Child Something to Think About Books, Games, Amusing Novelties M-Sat. 10am-6pm; Sun. 1pm-4pm

I am sure I speak for all of us who free lanced for the FP, it was an honor to write for him each month . He was always such a gentleman and friend, Ann and I would make a special trip to the bar just to chat with him and others that loved being in his company. If we all could be so well respected and have his principles in such a short life taken away so soon we loved him dearly like a family member. Tuffy Hicks

Serving Up Local “Good” News Since 1997

Front Porch Fredericksburg

810 Caroline Street (540) 371-5684

That first winter in Fredericksburg, what seemed like tons of snow fell in a little less than 10 hours, and the children and I were exceptionally excited. My husband, who was from Maryland, was our winter guide. As the snow started falling, all five of us ran to the deck, and we happily danced around, sticking out our tongues for our first taste of snow. We watched in wonder as the feet of snow completely covered our world, and marveled in the perfect silence. When the power went out, we camped in the living room next to the fireplace. We played games, roasted marshmallows and hotdogs, and told stories by candlelight. The snow gave us an excuse to have a time-out from our very busy lives. As daybreak came, the snow had stopped, and we went out early for a little walk around our property and neighborhood. It was a beautiful snow -pure, wet, and sticky -- perfect snowmanmaking snow. So we made a snow family, running inside from time to time to get warm. What came next made an already wonderful day perfect. When we moved to Virginia, my husband returned from a visit to his Mother and Father with a couple of his childhood sleds. Once the snow had fallen, he felt it was time to drag them out of our garage and give the kids a lesson in sledding. We had wonderful hills in our neighborhood, and he spent hours instructing and then sledding with them. The children were young, so he would sled down the hill with one of them on his back at a time. Eventually, or oldest daughter had solo trips down the hill. I watched and took pictures, and I remember being so very thankful for this time, for this family, for the love I felt for them and for our new home. And then, what I had spent a lifetime dreaming of happened. My husband asked me if I wanted to have a go at the hill on the sled. Did I ever!!! And so, after a brief lesson, he sent me on my way. Oh, the exhilaration! I felt free, and childlike, and filled with nothing but glee and wonder and laughter. I laughed the entire time. It was a pure moment in life, and the feeling of the cold air, the taste of

bits of snow flying up as I sledded down the hill, and the sheer joy of that first time sledding has never left me. What a thrill!!! I can relive it at any time as if it were yesterday. So, as this winter gets to you, try to take yourself back to that first time you enjoyed the snow, and maybe it will be more bearable, if only for a moment.

Jo Loving never tires of Fredericksburg's weather, whatever the season from the perfect illumination of the Front Porch Light"

THE POETRY MAN - BY FRANK FRATOE

Those Gone From Us Even when clouds shroud the moon it flashes white beyond our Ken, even the “new” moon dark to us brightens space from another side. So after we lose our loved ones who appear to vanish in darkness, We can see that death takes them but know their radiance never ends.

February 23, 2014 Frank Fratoe lives and writes in the city

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

29


SpotLight On: Scarlett Pons, President Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative

By Mary Lynn Powers

The Main Street programs have been growing rapidly in the last two decades in an effort to preserve and strengthen the spirit and structure of the downtown areas in our country. The

Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative is a newly formed nonprofit organization that will connect stakeholders including local residents, business and property owners as well as development organizations and the city itself. The Main Street programs work with The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Fredericksburg joins 24 such communities throughout the state. The consensus of an original study by the EDA (Economic Development Authority) was that the program would strengthen and energize the economy of downtown. A new board was elected in October of 2013, with Scarlett Pons, who I had the pleasure of chatting with on the first day of Spring, was elected President. Scarlett is well known and respected around town. She and her husband, Gabe own PONSHOP Studio and Art Gallery which is a working studio for both of their artwork. They are personally involved in many of the activities downtown. Their shop is a staple for First

Friday Art Walks, offering fun activities for all ages. They are sponsors of Art Attack, a street art festival, every year, and the list of involvement goes on. She is also the mother of two young boys, Diego, 8 and Cairo, 6. This in itself can be a wonderful, but exhausting experience. So to take this additional responsibility on is a zealous proposition. There is no doubt though, that Scarlett has the passion to be successful in this new role. Scarlett’s business sense was honed in her earlier career as an architect. She worked in this position for eight years, learning the ins and outs of business principles, as well as interacting with a wide and diverse clientele base. Her commitment to her business and the downtown community was apparent in our talk. She feels strongly that the Main Street program should operate as caretakers and stewards of the city, preserving the essence of its history, and assimilating its unique art community along with supporting old and new businesses. According to Scarlett, vacancies in Fredericksburg stores are at the highest point she has known in eight

years of doing business downtown. Why is the question? The Initiative hopes to study and work with the various agencies to amend this dilemma. They are working on a vision statement, and have asked for input as to what people want Fredericksburg to look like. From there, they will begin to assess and prioritize the goals that can be feasibly accomplished. The question is what is the role of Fredericksburg in the region? Scarlett explained it as a cross between art, history, culture and business. On the downhill from this outrageous winter, take a walk downtown, soon the Bradford Pears will be in bloom. Those nasty, stinky buds that stick to your car, but look so beautiful for the few days they are on the branches. Say hello to someone you don’t know, admire all the dogs out and about, visit the market, feel for a moment the nostalgia of “our town.” These things are all fragile, and to quote Scarlett - “None of this should be taken for granted.”

UNIQUE PERSONALIZED GIFTS Plasma Cut 11 Gauge Steel with Indoor/Outdoor Finishes in Copper, Bronze ,Black or Airbrushed 12x24/$135 .. 12x12/$75.00 Your idea and their passion becomes a “one of a kind” custom gift to treasure

30

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Dominion Inspires Young Tree-Planters with Project Plant It!

by Sara Hunt

Mary Lynn Powers gets the inside story on business in Fredericksburg.

Steel Designs of Virginia

540 848 0088

Project Plant It!

SteelDesignsOfVirginia@gmail.com

This spring, thousands of future environmentalists are learning about trees and their many important benefits to the ecosystem with Dominion’s Project Plant It! program. Nearly 2,000 third-graders in Spotsylvania County schools will participate in the free program geared towards children who are bursting with curiosity about the natural world. Project Plant It! provides a variety of educational activities, both inside the classroom and outdoors, for students to get up-close and personal with one of Mother Nature’s most versatile inhabitants. In fact, as teachers know, trees are the ultimate multi-taskers: They make oxygen and clean air, provide shelter for birds and wildlife, prevent soil erosion and can be strategically planted to help reduce heating and cooling costs, among other attributes. Dr. Jean Young, president of the Virginia Science Education Leadership Association (VSELA) and former science supervisor for Spotsylvania County Public Schools, praised the educational components of Project Plant It! “Our third-grade teachers appreciate that Dominion provides all of the instructional tools that support many aspects of STEM learning in science and math. Also, the program includes many nature-based activities for families to enjoy together. It’s a great resource that helps students understand how their lives are closely

intertwined with the environment.” The cornerstone of the program is the distribution of a redbud tree seedling to each participating student to plant in honor of Arbor Day, which is typically the last Friday in April. “The redbud is native to Virginia and grows well throughout the state,” said Paulin Cheatham, Project Plant It! spokesman for Dominion, the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. “It is one of the first trees to bloom in the spring and is easily identified by its beautiful pink blossoms and distinctive red-tinged leaves.” “Each and every year, Project Plant It! continues to effectively engage students by connecting them with nature,” said Jo McElwain of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Project Plant It! puts Eastern Redbud trees into the hands of the next generation of tree-planters who will always cherish the memory of planting a tree and watching it grow.” The Arbor Day Foundation, which inspires people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees, has partnered with Dominion’s Project Plant It! since the program was established in 2007. This organization is responsible for planting, growing, packaging and shipping the more than 250,000 tree seedlings that have been distributed to students in several states where Dominion conducts business. The website, www.projectplantit.com, features videos and interactive games about trees. For example, there’s a leaf matching game that teaches students how to identify the leaves found on different tree species. Another game finds students racing against time to complete a jigsaw puzzle of a tree and learn some cool tree trivia in the process. Several videos help students learn how to plant trees correctly and how to care for them. Project Plant It! is provided by Dominion at no cost to schools, teachers or students. For more information, visit the website or “Like” Project Plant It! on Facebook.

Wills and Trusts Provide for Incapacity Trusts for Minor Children Wealth Preservation Trusts Avoid Probate AhearnEstateLaw.com

540/371-9890

FREDERICKSBURGCOLLABORATIVE

ARCHER DI PEPPE CAGA

CERTIFIED APPRAISER

Insurance Riders Estate Settlements Divorce Cases Damage Claims Oral or Written Appraisals SPECIALIZING IN ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES

Certified Appraiser Certified Appraiser’s Guild of America

adipeppe@aol.com

(540) 373-9636

Sara Hunt is Senior Public Relations Manager at Touch Points Public Relations

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

31


SpotLight On: Scarlett Pons, President Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative

By Mary Lynn Powers

The Main Street programs have been growing rapidly in the last two decades in an effort to preserve and strengthen the spirit and structure of the downtown areas in our country. The

Fredericksburg Main Street Initiative is a newly formed nonprofit organization that will connect stakeholders including local residents, business and property owners as well as development organizations and the city itself. The Main Street programs work with The National Trust for Historic Preservation. Fredericksburg joins 24 such communities throughout the state. The consensus of an original study by the EDA (Economic Development Authority) was that the program would strengthen and energize the economy of downtown. A new board was elected in October of 2013, with Scarlett Pons, who I had the pleasure of chatting with on the first day of Spring, was elected President. Scarlett is well known and respected around town. She and her husband, Gabe own PONSHOP Studio and Art Gallery which is a working studio for both of their artwork. They are personally involved in many of the activities downtown. Their shop is a staple for First

Friday Art Walks, offering fun activities for all ages. They are sponsors of Art Attack, a street art festival, every year, and the list of involvement goes on. She is also the mother of two young boys, Diego, 8 and Cairo, 6. This in itself can be a wonderful, but exhausting experience. So to take this additional responsibility on is a zealous proposition. There is no doubt though, that Scarlett has the passion to be successful in this new role. Scarlett’s business sense was honed in her earlier career as an architect. She worked in this position for eight years, learning the ins and outs of business principles, as well as interacting with a wide and diverse clientele base. Her commitment to her business and the downtown community was apparent in our talk. She feels strongly that the Main Street program should operate as caretakers and stewards of the city, preserving the essence of its history, and assimilating its unique art community along with supporting old and new businesses. According to Scarlett, vacancies in Fredericksburg stores are at the highest point she has known in eight

years of doing business downtown. Why is the question? The Initiative hopes to study and work with the various agencies to amend this dilemma. They are working on a vision statement, and have asked for input as to what people want Fredericksburg to look like. From there, they will begin to assess and prioritize the goals that can be feasibly accomplished. The question is what is the role of Fredericksburg in the region? Scarlett explained it as a cross between art, history, culture and business. On the downhill from this outrageous winter, take a walk downtown, soon the Bradford Pears will be in bloom. Those nasty, stinky buds that stick to your car, but look so beautiful for the few days they are on the branches. Say hello to someone you don’t know, admire all the dogs out and about, visit the market, feel for a moment the nostalgia of “our town.” These things are all fragile, and to quote Scarlett - “None of this should be taken for granted.”

UNIQUE PERSONALIZED GIFTS Plasma Cut 11 Gauge Steel with Indoor/Outdoor Finishes in Copper, Bronze ,Black or Airbrushed 12x24/$135 .. 12x12/$75.00 Your idea and their passion becomes a “one of a kind” custom gift to treasure

30

April 2014

Front porch fredericksburg

Dominion Inspires Young Tree-Planters with Project Plant It!

by Sara Hunt

Mary Lynn Powers gets the inside story on business in Fredericksburg.

Steel Designs of Virginia

540 848 0088

Project Plant It!

SteelDesignsOfVirginia@gmail.com

This spring, thousands of future environmentalists are learning about trees and their many important benefits to the ecosystem with Dominion’s Project Plant It! program. Nearly 2,000 third-graders in Spotsylvania County schools will participate in the free program geared towards children who are bursting with curiosity about the natural world. Project Plant It! provides a variety of educational activities, both inside the classroom and outdoors, for students to get up-close and personal with one of Mother Nature’s most versatile inhabitants. In fact, as teachers know, trees are the ultimate multi-taskers: They make oxygen and clean air, provide shelter for birds and wildlife, prevent soil erosion and can be strategically planted to help reduce heating and cooling costs, among other attributes. Dr. Jean Young, president of the Virginia Science Education Leadership Association (VSELA) and former science supervisor for Spotsylvania County Public Schools, praised the educational components of Project Plant It! “Our third-grade teachers appreciate that Dominion provides all of the instructional tools that support many aspects of STEM learning in science and math. Also, the program includes many nature-based activities for families to enjoy together. It’s a great resource that helps students understand how their lives are closely

intertwined with the environment.” The cornerstone of the program is the distribution of a redbud tree seedling to each participating student to plant in honor of Arbor Day, which is typically the last Friday in April. “The redbud is native to Virginia and grows well throughout the state,” said Paulin Cheatham, Project Plant It! spokesman for Dominion, the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. “It is one of the first trees to bloom in the spring and is easily identified by its beautiful pink blossoms and distinctive red-tinged leaves.” “Each and every year, Project Plant It! continues to effectively engage students by connecting them with nature,” said Jo McElwain of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Project Plant It! puts Eastern Redbud trees into the hands of the next generation of tree-planters who will always cherish the memory of planting a tree and watching it grow.” The Arbor Day Foundation, which inspires people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees, has partnered with Dominion’s Project Plant It! since the program was established in 2007. This organization is responsible for planting, growing, packaging and shipping the more than 250,000 tree seedlings that have been distributed to students in several states where Dominion conducts business. The website, www.projectplantit.com, features videos and interactive games about trees. For example, there’s a leaf matching game that teaches students how to identify the leaves found on different tree species. Another game finds students racing against time to complete a jigsaw puzzle of a tree and learn some cool tree trivia in the process. Several videos help students learn how to plant trees correctly and how to care for them. Project Plant It! is provided by Dominion at no cost to schools, teachers or students. For more information, visit the website or “Like” Project Plant It! on Facebook.

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540/371-9890

FREDERICKSBURGCOLLABORATIVE

ARCHER DI PEPPE CAGA

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(540) 373-9636

Sara Hunt is Senior Public Relations Manager at Touch Points Public Relations

front porch fredericksburg

April 2014

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Front Porch Fredericksburg April 2014