ON THE PORCH
Contributing Writers & Artists Rita Allen A.E. Bayne Laurie Black Tracey Blevins Kevin Brown Alison Carlin Collette Caprara Judy Chaimson Renee Dunn Christina Ferber Frank Fratoe K. Jeanne Frazer Rich Gaudio Joan M. Geisler Jon Gerlach Rita Girard Alexis Grogan Ralph “Tuffy”Hicks Anita Holle Karl Karch David C. Kennedy Lenora Kruk-Mullanaphy Nephthalie Lautuce Jo Loving Pete Morelewicz Vanessa Moncure Patrick Neustatter M.L. Powers Elisa Pritchard Ester Salgurro Norm Shafer Casey Alan Shaw Georgia Strentz James Kyle Synder Woodie Walker Wayne Whitley Tina Will Norma Woodward
Front Porch Fredericksburg is a free circulation magazine published monthly by Olde Towne Publishing Co. 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 / Artists / Photographers are welcome to request Guidelines and query the Publisher by e-mail. Front Porch Fredericksburg PO Box 9203 Fredericksburg, VA 22403 Ad Sales: E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site: www.frontporchfredericksburg.com Facebook: @Front Porch Fredericksburg 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 2018 Olde Towne Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
Guest Porch Editorial
memories of home
where cultures collided four centuries ago
by A.E. Bayne I read a lot of student essays as an English teacher, especially around this time of year. One of the prompts that is a favorite for many of my students is one that asks them to write about a place they would like to travel, to describe it, and to tell why they want to visit. Students like it because it’s an accessible prompt; almost everyone has some place they’ve thought about visiting. This year, I was struck by the number of students who vividly, almost longingly, wrote about places they consider to be home rather than the usual places not yet seen. This year, students described places like Pennsylvania, where hills and hunting mean time with grandfathers and uncles over weekends. Places like Florida, where aunties wait with cookouts and hot tubs, Cocoa Puffs and trips to the shore. Places like Louisiana where fishing is done off of piers and Granmè’s spicy turtle stew fills bellies. Places like Los Angeles, where older sisters wait with promises of studio tours and star sightings. Places like Nicaragua, where horses and fireworks take center stage; and El Salvador where mariscadas and pupusas are packed into baskets for the beach. All these places, all these people, mean home in some way to my students. Their longing for home calls to mind my own memories rooted in preadolescence. When I was a child, I lived in eleven different houses before the age of twelve. My parents enjoyed buying older homes around Northern Virginia and fixing them up to flip and build equity. While I remember things that I liked about most of the houses, one in particular remains my image of home - a large farmhouse on Leesburg Pike outside of Vienna, just around the corner from Beulah Road.
The house is isolated, a former residence for Potomac Vegetable Farm next door that remains a working business to this day. The old farmhouse sits on a hill at the top of a double driveway on an acre and a half of land. When we lived there, a cement slab porch ran the length of the front facade, with four massive pillars supporting the porch’s roof. Inside was a winding staircase, a set of French doors leading into the dining room, and a sun porch. Outside was a swimming pool, a weeping willow tree, and sloping lawns, front and back. It’s hard to explain why this house is home in my memory, since other houses we occupied were certainly closer to friends, school, and entertainment. There was a comfort there, a familiarity with and connection to the land around the house, and there was my parents reconciliation after a long separation, all of which contributed to my fondness toward it. There were holiday parties with friends still living, first kisses and first sleepovers, and there were many long summer days with nothing to do but lie on my tummy with a good book, swinging my crossed feet behind me in the afternoon warmth. Despite its isolation, that place was home. And now, as my adult-child prepares to head off to grad school next year, it occurs to me that Fredericksburg will represent the memory of home. Memories of reading and a love of books are housed in the downtown branch of the Central Rappahannock Regional Library and upstairs among the stacks at Riverby Books. Memories of cocoa and coffee are sitting on oversized wooden chairs in Hyperion Espresso. Memories of music, mentorship, and a fond friendship remain
December 2018) I'm so happy you used Stacy Gaglio's print. It's perfect with the story.
Front Porch: I enjoy reading Front Porch. I feel connected and belonged to the town I live in. Thanks for all the good work.
Thanks!, Lou Gramann
Dear Virginia, Thank you for publishing the article! (Moss Clinic Helped By Elves,
Front porch fredericksburg
By woodie walker
April 14 hike will focus on Native American story at moment of contact
with Brittany Frompovich and Picker’s Supply. School memories, fellowship memories, the familiar and friendly and belonging memories will be here. Fredericksburg, too, is home. Wherever your heart, there lies home. My students’ hearts remain with their families in far-flung places, and a bit of my heart lives in the past with my young self, exploring the boundaries of a world before adulthood. For my own child Fredericksburg will be the memory of home, a fortunate memory, even as life propels us forward. And here in this coverto-cover read, our Front Porch Fredericksburg Magazine, are the stories that store those memories each month. A.E. Bayne is a local writer, artist, and veteran educator who publishes Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review. She is a partner in the Fredericksburg Independent Book Festival and the Fredericksburg Indie Authors Conference. Thank you Virginia & Lexi for all your amazing support! (Artful Dimensions New Home, January 2018) Elizabeth Woodford Virginia
Virginia, You fill our community with love! Thank you for communicating good news which is a foundation for us to believe in a positive foundation of good people and change trending positive. We need it now more than ever! Kathy Anderson
Many thanks for the wonderful article about me. I certainly was honored and humbled by the award, and very surprised by the article. A number of worthy people have received the award and I feel fortunate to be in such great company.(A Tireless Advocate, Jan. 2018) Karl Karch
Hunter’s Island looks today much as it did in 1608, when Englishman Capt. John Smith fought with Manahoac Indians who had been fishing nearby in the river that isolates and protects it. The meeting was a clash of cultures, a portent of things to come. Nothing would ever be the same for the Indians, or the island. Yet today, more than 400 years acre time machine located later, it’s an 87-a in the middle of the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg. Traces of its human past remain, but Hunter’s Island is again covered with tall trees, and home only to wildlife. This month, Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR) will host their annual Hunter’s Island Magical History Tour, led by its owner, Fredericksburg architect and history enthusiast Mary Ellen Wheeler. Her late husband, Robert, bought the island in 1980. To them, the property was a piece of history, a place for nature. It has been managed in that spirit for decades.
Smith’s writings about his Virginia adventures relate that the Manahoac shot arrows at the Englishmen that August day in 1608, and the English were forced to shoot back with their guns. In the fight, a Manahoac named Amoroleck was wounded and captured. Upon interrogation, Amoroleck said his people had heard the English had come “to
can still see evidence of all those layers of history, from Native Americans to 20thcentury farmers,” said Jason Sellers, a U.M.W. history professor who attended last year’s hike. In addition to the discussion about Native Americans, Mary Ellen will tell the group about the island’s later history. She will also explain why its legal name
ivy are abundant, so folks wear closed-toe shoes and carry bug repellant. Tickets are available on the FOR website for $30 per person, and $90 for a group of up to four. FOR members receive a 20% discount. For more information, log onto www.riverfriends.org/events or call Woodie Walker, (540) 373-3448 x. 117.
Woodie Walker is FOR Community Conservationist Photos courtsy of Friends of the Rappahannock
take their world from them.” Within a couple of generations, the island was settled by colonists. It was the site of a grain mill shortly after the Revolutionary War, and farmed throughout much of the 1800s. It remained at least partially inhabited until the historic flood of 1942. “Because of how the island has been managed, you
is Hunter’s Island. This year’s hike takes place Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and attendees travel to-and-from the island in pods made of three canoes tied together. Everyone brings water bottles, snacks, and lunch. While getting into and out of the canoes can be physically challenging, the terrain is level and leaders maintain an easy pace. Insects and poison
Hunter’s Island Magical History Hike April 14, 10a - 3p riverfriends.org Friends of Rappahannock, 540-3 373-3 3448
Just in Time for April Showers... Reversible Rain Capes 723 Caroline St 899.8077 Daily 10-5:30; Sunday 12-5 front porch fredericksburg