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Jan & Feb 2012


Business Person Of The Year Things to Do...

E.P Beekeepers Bloomery Plantation

Habanero Grill One Block West

Mayor George Karos Coach Dave Walker

Places to Go... $2.99

People to Know...

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Contact Agency Recruiter Cindy Coburn (304) 673-5228

Rebecca LaFevers State Farm Agent

State Farm • Bloomington, IL


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FEATURES January & February 2012

Things To Do - 31 -

Bloomery Plantation Limoncello glides from glass to taste buds

- 68 -

Eastern Panhandle Beekeepers Association

Places To Go - 73 -

- 25 -

On The Cover Jan & Feb 2012

Habanero Mexican Grill Worth the High Praise We Promise!


- 79 -

One Block West Serves Sensational, Seasonal Cuisine

Business Person of The Year

People To Know

. Things to Do..eepe rs

E.P Beek Bloomery Plantation

- 21 -

George Karos Get to Know the Mayor

- 39 -

Coach Dave Walker 28 straight wins, 2 championships & 2 perfect years [4]

Places to Go...Grill

Habanero One Block West

w... People to Kno George Karos


Mayor Dave Walker

- 21 Pam Wagoner - 2011 Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

contents 6 8 11 13

48 Our Top Ten

Dear Readers

Once in a Lifetime Experiences

All About Us Photo Contest

52 Smithfield Farm

Dave Walker

60 Inside Out with Eli

2011 Business Person of the Year

25 Kenny Lemaster

Plantation Distillery Tastefully exceeding expectations around the Panhandle

for Success

How Quickly We Forget — How Easily We’re Reminded

Healthy Living

Snow Removers

Healthy Comfort in Trying Times

Beekeepers Assoc. Habanero’s Grill

76 Lending a Hand

Meals on Wheels

79 The Featured Eats

One Block West




68 Easten Panhandle

Get to know the mayor

44 Mountain View

88 Apples & Oranges

73 The Unknown Eater

40 Not Waiting Around

35 George Karos

Turn - Recipes

64 Panhandle

Meet Your Sheriff

31 Bloomery

Seven-plus 93 Lawrence Crouse Doing his part to build Generations & Going Workshop Strong a culture of winning. Quality is still an 58 Rely on Rick Caption Contest American Family

19 21 Pam Wagoner

84 Now It’s Your

- 93 -

You Can’t Afford to Miss CLIP & SAVE

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{ x Around o b l i {Ma PANHANDLE January/February 2012 | VOL 3 | NO 5

Dear Readers: With a year like 2011 now behind us, whoever tries to predict what 2012 might bring, certainly has their work cut out for them. Hopefully, there will be more highs than lows this year, and in all the right areas! Politics will only get more intense. Sports will, no doubt, captivate us, delight us, and devastate us—as it does every year. Food, friends, family, and entertainment will entwine itself within our lives in a way that gives life meaning, hopefully for the better. Some of us will travel. Many of us will discover new places; a few of us will discover new faces. And most of us will be revisiting our New Year’s resolutions in a couple of months (and probably every month thereafter). One thing’s for sure: Around the Panhandle Magazine will be your steady source for People to Know, Things to Do, and Places to Go. If it’s exciting, compelling, delicious, or just plain worth a look, we’re going to bring it to you. We’ve been doing it now for nearly three years, and what a wonderful three years it’s been. To kick the year off right, we put local businesswoman, and prominent volunteer and philanthropist, Pam Wagoner, on our cover. She’s had an impact on this community in ways that almost resist explanation. Pam has been in business for fourteen years in Martinsburg, and has involved herself in the promotion, progress, and success of this community from the start. The Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce recently named her Business Person of the Year, which was well deserved, but to truly identify Pam’s value to this area, there should probably just be an award named after her in the future. Something to think about. A story on Pam Wagoner probably could have been enough, but we couldn’t help ourselves. David Walker just won his second state football championship in a row at Martinsburg High School—complete with another undefeated season—so you know we were sitting down with him. What a great story—what a great journey! Congratulations to Coach Walker and every single one of those inspiring young men. The Panhandle is so proud.


Mike Hornby


Mike Chalmers


Mike Hornby James Schaffner


Hornby Publishing LLC ProDesign , Brian Joliff

WRITERS Mike Chalmers Eli Andersen The Unknown Eater Claire Gibson Webb Debra Cornwell Dana DeJarnett Victoria Kidd Rick Hemphill Bonnie Williamson PHOTOGRAPHY

Eric Fargo - All Photos unless otherwise specified are by Eric Fargo


Hornby Publishing Orchistrated Design


Panhandle Printing & Design

Have you had enough? No? Good. We sit down with Martinsburg Mayor George Karos, as well as Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster. Both of these men probably deserve an entire issue to themselves—their stories are truly that interesting and inspiring. Fortunately, writer Victoria Kidd does a splendid job capturing the story within a story on these two pieces. Everyone in the Panhandle should get to know these two men—and we provide a worthy glimpse this month.


So you’re probably thinking—what else? Well, let’s just throw out some key words: Polo, Limoncello, Beekeeping, FOOD!, Meals on Wheels, Hand-Crafted Furniture, Organic Farming. Did we mention… FOOD?!

CONTACT US [304] 874-3252

Needless to say, this issue is the perfect way to start your year—intrigued, inspired, and informed. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re thrilled to be your source for local information and stories of interest. We simply couldn’t get along without you. (We hope you feel the same.) Enjoy.


PO Box 1254 Martinsburg, WV 25402

Around the Panhandle is a bimonthly publication of Hornby Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The magazine is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photos. Distributed through subscriptions, advertisers, online and at ROC’S convenience stores throughout the Panhandle.

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Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

We’re making great strides at WVU Hospitals-East as we work to enhance healthcare services for our Eastern Panhandle residents. The expansion of the Emergency Departments at both our City Hospital and Jefferson Memorial Hospital campuses has been one of the major accomplishments realized. Both hospitals have completely renovated their labor and deliver suites with an equal focus to improve access to more intensive care for mothers with certain high risk pregnancies. And keeping at the forefront in the latest in technology, we have expanded and enhanced our women’s health services. At WVUH-East we remain focused on our goals to bring healthcare to a whole new level for the benefit of our Eastern Panhandle residents.

WVUH-East Physician and Services Referral Line:

1.888.WVU.1DOC ®

or visit our website

s U t u o b A l Al A little

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team th e th n o d n u o backgr

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Debra Cornwell Debra is a freelance and ghostwriter, contributing articles to several regional publications, including Around The Panhandle and Around Harrisonburg. She is an active community volunteer and fundraiser who enjoys entertaining, cooking, antiques, fashion, equestrian activities, and history. She is currently writing a book on entertaining and celebrations in Charles Town, with her husband and son. Visit Rick Hemphill Rick was born in Hagerstown, MD, in 1953, and graduated from Hagerstown High School in 1971. He received his BA from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 1976, and went on to work in public service for the state of Maryland for thirty years—issuing marriage and business licenses and even performing civil marriages. Along the way, he has also developed several businesses that include: computer programming/integration, political consulting/printing, and video/film production. He continues to toil away within all of these mediums today, in various forms. He has been married to his lovely wife, Suzanne, for twenty-five years, and they proudly claim two very talented children: Kathryn, 21, and Alexandra, 15. Rick published Disloyal Union in 2010, a Civil War book with a focus on Lincoln and McClellan at the battle of Antietam. Mike Hornby Mike was born in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe, where he spent his first nineteen years, before immigrating to the U.S.A. A 1993 Graduate of St. Johns College—with a major in fine arts and minors in mathematics and English literature—Mike worked for ten years in the restaurant industry on the West Coast. He moved east in 2007, where he met his soulmate, Kresha, in the mountains of West Virginia. They currently live in Hampshire County with their three children: Matthew(17), Dexter(2), and Karli (5 mos). Mike is the proud owner and publisher of Around the Panhandle and Around Harrisonburg Magazines, as well as The Hornby Marketing Group. Victoria Kidd Victoria is the co-director of OMP Consulting Group LLC, a copywriting and editing firm in Winchester, VA. The business provides a forum for her to express her passion for writing, and she spends much of her time creating résumés for individual clients or designing written materials for corporate accounts. In addition to an impressive professional and academic history, she is proud of her volunteer efforts with several local social service agencies that serve returning veterans and persons living with terminal illnesses. When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and four cats (Godzilla, Cuervo, Casanova, and Attila the Hun). Secretly, her prize possession is a metal comic book stand that dates from the late 1960s. Detailed information about Victoria can be found by visiting her website at www. Jimmy Schaffner Jimmy is the lead designer and right-hand man at Panhandle Printing & Design. He grew up in Martinsburg, where he currently resides with his beautiful wife, Donna, and eight children: Caleb, Ian, Kyler, Briana, twins Madison & Hannah, Brayden (a.k.a Monkey), and Collin. When his unbridled passion for coaching youth athletics gives him time for anything else, Jimmy finds himself helping Mike Hornby design the pages of ATP until the wee hours of the morning.


Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

Eric Fargo Eric was born in Wheeling, WV, in 1969, and moved to Charles Town in 1973. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1987 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1990. He earned a degree as an Aerospace Physiology Specialist from the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. In 1994, he earned a Regents BA from Shepherd University. He pursued careers in the family insurance business, as well as home building, before settling on his true passion, photography. He considers his job with Hornby Publishing to be a match made in heaven. Eric’s other passions are his photography company——and his two children: Kylie, 19, and Brady, 16. Bonnie Williamson Bonnie has been a writer and editor for more than twenty years, writing for newspapers, radio, television, textbooks, and newsletters. She was previously an editor and writer for Platts/McGraw Hill in Washington, D.C., writing newsletters on the electric industry. She spent more than eight years in New Jersey state government, first as Public Information Officer for the New Jersey State Senate, then as speechwriter for the Commissioner of Transportation. She also authored the novel Hard to Dance with the Devil on Your Back. In addition, she teaches ballet, tap, and jazz to students of all ages. Claire Gibson Webb Claire was born and raised in the Panhandle until she went off to college in Philadelphia, PA. After earning a degree in urban development from Eastern University, she joined AmeriCorps and served in both Atlanta and Washington, D.C. To support her travel habit, Claire became a substitute teacher, and spent time looking for adventures in countries near and far. These adventures included learning Spanish, climbing volcanoes, visiting the Great Wall of China, eating strange things in Myanmar, enjoying sunsets on Zanzibar, and watching cheetahs hunt for lunch in Tanzania. To support her writing habit, Claire is now a full-time teacher for Jefferson County Public Schools, and enjoys teaching as much as she does her travels. Mike Chalmers Mike graduated from Martinsburg High School in 1993, and Shepherd University in 1997, with a degree in communications. He has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006, and joined Hornby Publishing while sitting at a table in a coffee shop, in 2008. Before devoting all of his attention to writing, a little over two years ago, he spent the previous decade in education, in both WV and VA. He now pulls double duty, living as a freelance writer/editor and physical trainer, in both WV and Chicago. Locally, he is the editor of Around the Panhandle and Around Harrisonburg magazines, as well as the co-owner and creator of In his spare time, he mostly daydreams about how he might one day become as cool and good looking as Eli Andersen. Eli Andersen Like his hero, Mike Chalmers, Eli splits time between Martinsburg and Chicago. A freelance print and digital writer for over ten years, he works in wind energy and photography, in addition to writing full-time. Eli graduated from Northwestern University and is currently finishing his first novel Kristen LeMaster Kristen is the owner at Orchidstrated Design, established in 2009, and is a 2008 graphic design graduate of Shepherd University. Kristen enjoys working tirelessly for her clients, from initial concepts and designs to the final stages of the printing process. She is married to her husband, Tim, and her baby girl, Naomi, is her pride and joy. Kristen likes to relax by spending time with her family and friends, shopping and dining out, and watching TV shows that involve food, home decorating, and design. She helps Mike Hornby create all the personalized marketing plans for ATP’s advertisers. Brian Joliff Specializing in website design, development, search engine optimization, and web hosting for local and national small- to medium-sized businesses, Brian graduated from WVU in 1994 with a BFA in graphic design (Go Mountaineers!). He worked professionally as a graphic artist in the newspaper industry for nine years and has over thirteen years professional freelance experience in both print design and website design. Visit for more information.


o t o Ph

Do you have an eye for photography?

Show off your photo skills to the world and you could be our $50 lucky winner (one per issue).

Winner Sunset Biker by Robert Baronner There are quite a few things going on in this great photo to make it this issue’s winner. This is an awesome action photo—with a great sunset and long shadows. Notice how the sunset is in the middle third of the photo, while the main subject is in the final third of the photo (great use of the thirds rule). The lighting also separates this photo from the pack. I assume the photographer used some sort of flash to light the subject, so as not to silhouette him. There is probably a high ISO setting in use here, as well, for that quick shutter speed needed to stop the biker in action. This type of shot isn’t necessarily an easy shot to make look this good. Congratulations!

Honorable Mention(s) Girl and Canal by James Liu Possibly a little more exposure would help here. The photo is good, but a little more exposure could make it pop. Baby on Bed by Marcia Whitehair-Lico Same thing here. A little more exposure could make this photo pop. Don’t be scared to use post-photography enhancement software to experiment with contrast and exposure.

Submit your photos at or email [Don’t forget to read the important stuff] All photo submissions must include name and contact information and must be the original work of the submitter. Photos must be at least 300dpi and in .jpg or .pdf format. All pictures will become property of Hornby Publishing LLC.

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Martinsburg High School Football Coach David Walker Doing his part to build a culture of winning. - Mike Chalmers Winning a high school state title in any sport is no accident. Winning two titles suggests a cohesion of formulas and talent that is usually reserved for higher levels—where the ability to recruit, as well as receive a wealth of funding, is literally designed to produce wins. Two titles in a row without losing? Well, it doesn’t matter what level you’re on, what league you’re in, or what sport you play— that’s remarkable, and ultimately, historical. At this point in the Panhandle, perhaps nothing represents an example of how leadership, organization, structure, and unity can turn around a sports program better than Martinsburg High School football, and their committed architect, David Walker. To say that Walker’s arrival to Martinsburg in 1997 marked the beginning of a transformation the likes of which this area, or the state, could hardly anticipate is, well, quite the understatement. Within a year, the Bulldogs planted themselves within the WV AAA High School Football playoffs as the Eastern Panhandle’s annual representative

(and every year thereafter), and by 2001, they were in their first state championship. (Jefferson High School made an impressive run deep into the playoffs in 2005.) And local fans have been steadfastly enamored with the continual success of the program since Walker took over. Appearances in the state championship game in 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2006—though resulting in four losses—only served to tantalize the growing fanbase, and the state at large, with the looming question: “When Martinsburg figures this thing out, how good can they be?” It certainly looks like the first part of that question has been answered. In 2010, the Bulldogs blanked Brooke High School 30–0 for their first title. And for an encore, they weathered a tough contest this past December in Wheeling, and knocked off George Washington 35-27 for their second state championship in a row, and second undefeated season. As far as how good they can be? “I think every year is different, but the kids seem to have bought into the system we’ve put in place,” Walker asserts, “and if we, as coaches, continue to push

them to be the best students and athletes that they can be, then the sky’s the limit for these young men.” Walker, 46, isn’t a man who’s afraid to tell it like it is, but he also knows that the greatest group of athletes in the world won’t do much without the proper guidance and structure. “You know, Martinsburg’s always been known as a place with great athletes. Even when I was down in East Hardy, we knew about Martinsburg—everyone did. But they weren’t necessarily winning the big games. When I got here in ’97, I saw a whole lot of potential, and very little organization. We knew it was going to take some work, but we also figured if we could put all of this talent within the proper system, it could really be something.” So, he went about building that system. To say he was the right man at the right time for the right job is, well, yet another understatement. When you win two state titles in a row, without losing, the understatements tend to stack up. Walker originally applied for the Martinsburg job in 1994, after six years at East Hardy

[ 13 ]

Photo courtesy of John Frazer Photography

High (Baker, WV)—where he turned that program around, as well—but didn’t actually get it until three years later. “This was a dream job for me, and the kids were great, but we needed a lot of work,” he remembers. “The first thing we needed to do was get these kids stronger and more disciplined. Now, we didn’t have much in the way of facilities yet. I was pretty much running the strength and conditioning by myself, along with Brian Sine and Buddy Hesen.” Sine (defensive coordinator) and Hesen (offensive and defensive line coach), both Martinsburg football standouts in the early nineties, came on board with Walker in that first year, and he attributes much of the current success to the foundation that the three of them built through trial, error, and a lot of sweat. “My goal in coming in wasn’t to dishonor the program, or the tradition of Martinsburg football. I just wanted our kids to take a new step in a different direction. I knew they hadn’t been winning, and the numbers were down, and maybe the attitude wasn’t where it needed

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to be. I just wanted the kids to get a fresh start, and have some of the opportunities that some of the other programs in the state were having.” Walker, currently an assistant principal at MHS, simply believed that if he could get the kids to buy in to what he and his staff were building, there was no way they couldn’t have success. “We’ve had so much talent over the years. I’ve been very fortunate to be around a lot of good people who have really bought in to what we’re trying to get done.” Buying in, as it happened, ended up being pretty contagious. The inside of the coaches’ office adjoining MHS’s weight room is a virtual photomontage of standout players, newspaper headlines, and tributes to, inevitably, what was and is the system that Walker and his crew originally installed. Pictures of former and present stars pepper the walls, to go with a seemingly endless flow of applicable articles—all of it detailing a channel of success that Walker has been carving out for nearly fifteen years.

What you come to realize fairly quickly, while in the coach’s presence, and the office, and around his staff, is that this whole operation, and its infectious success, has as much to do with family as it does football. One of Walker’s two sons played for him and graduated in 2010—which means he didn’t win a state title, but came close, and certainly possesses a worthwhile spot on the roster within the recent history of Martinsburg’s historic run. Walker’s other son is currently a sophomore and played on the undefeated JV team this year. (Incidentally, the freshman team was also undefeated.) And his wife, Belinda, provides a crucial balance at home and away from the game, which is truly priceless when you start to experience the level of success that Walker has realized. But it goes even beyond that. Walker can name every coach at every position on each team, down to the freshman squad. He can also describe to you something personal about them, why they’re great at what they do, and what type of contribution they’re

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

making to the overall program. The reason for this is simple: if you join the Martinsburg coaching staff, you become part of a football family. “This is definitely a family here. To be honest, I’m very blessed. It’s a very loyal group; all of the staff either has ties to me or to Martinsburg. We’re all friends, and we have fun. That’s the main thing—we have fun. We have our meetings and we get our work done, but we have fun. We don’t get paid enough for it to be miserable. And theses guys take a lot of pride in what they do. They’re good teachers and they love kids.” Over half of the coaching staff currently teaches at Martinsburg, a fact that Walker points to as a large part of the team’s success off the field. And, as the coach points out, if they’re not Martinsburg alum, they’ve likely played for him at Hardy or coached with him along the way. Britt Sherman gets a ton of praise from Walker for his off-season strength and conditioning work, as well as his in-season role as special teams coordinator. Sherman played for Walker at East Hardy, as well as Martinsburg his senior year. “We get

players coming back all the time,” adds Walker. “Britt’s been a great addition to this staff. He’s up on all of the latest training methods. He does an incredible job. Some of these guys go away to college and come back into this office one day and sit down, just like they did when they played here. That gives me a lot of satisfaction; it tells me that I’m having a positive impact on someone’s life. I tell them—once you’re part of this, you’re always part of it.” Another notable name is former Hedgesville coach, Dave Lopez, who runs the defensive backs and tight ends. Lopez’s affable manner and dry wit seems to be a perfect fit when you’re in the presence of the group. Filtering down through is an impressive and talented mix of former athletes and football minds—many names the community would recognize as being former standouts themselves. Collectively, they’ve created a winning culture at Martinsburg, and it’s something that resonates from the top down. “When these kids walk through the door as freshmen, they already understand what we expect of them,” Walker

guarantees. “And they know that if they do what they have to do, they’ll find success here. “And we try to adapt our system around the people that we have— offensively and defensively. We try to mold around the kids. As a coach, in order to have success at this level, you’ve got to be able to adapt. Athletes are different today; you see the training methods changing—kids are getting more athletic. We have to plug into that and evolve with the times. You see other coaches trying to force their kids into a system and it doesn’t always work. If we have a great passer, you might see us passing more. If we have a bunch of big kids one year on the line, you’ll probably see us running more. But the kids understand that, and when they buy into it, some really good things start to happen.” Many folks might assume he’s just talking about kicking butt and taking names, but that couldn’t be farther from the reality. There’s likely an entirely different, or at least additional, reason the Bulldogs have gone 28–0 over the last two seasons

[ 15 ]

(and 125-18 in eleven years): they’re also serious “students” of the game. During the first nine weeks of the 2011/2012 school year, forty-six of the seventy football players in the Bulldog system had a GPA over 3.0. Of those forty-six, thirteen players had over a 4.0. “I’m extremely proud of these kids and I think all of us here take a tremendous amount of pride in those numbers,” Walker emphasizes. “These kids live in an entirely different world than players did even ten years ago. They’re pulled in so many directions, and so much of it involves instant gratification. I think it’s important to provide them with the message that there’s a time and place for everything. When it’s time to practice or workout, that’s what needs to be done. When it’s time to study and go to class, that’s what they need to focus on. And my staff and I try to lead by example with that. They see us on the field and during meetings, and we’re very serious, but we also lighten up off the field and have some fun. And that all goes back to adapting. You have to be flexible, especially in today’s world.” The players are provided with after-

school tutoring, and Walker allows the players to be late for practice if they need the extra work in the classroom (as long as the player brings a note to practice). “Back when we started here, we did a lot of our stuff on a VCR and TV. Now we can break down film digitally, and this year we went with software where we send the kids game film online, and they can break it down themselves at home on the Internet.” Walker admits that kids these days definitely study the game more than in years past, but that’s because they certainly have more options, and better technology. “We’re on top of that stuff here, and it’s creating better all-around players. I think when I first started here, there was one kid in the school with a cell phone, now there might be one kid without one, maybe.” Inevitably, fans want to know. Opposing coaches certainly want to know. Sports writers and radio announcers regularly ponder. How did the Martinsburg High School football team get so good, so fast? And how much better can they be? Walker, who was named WV Coach of the Year in May of 2011 (just the third Panhandle

coach to ever receive the honor), isn’t going to reveal everything, but he doesn’t have to. “Our fans have been really loyal over the years; this community has done a wonderful job supporting us. Our facilities are now some of the nicest in the state, which certainly makes us a better football team. And we’ve had some really bigtime players come through here over the years. I think it’s a testament to the system we put in place and the willingness of the players and the parents and the school to embrace it. It’s been a total effort, and I think the results speak for themselves.” Needless to say, whispers of “threepeat” are already circulating through the community, and likely the state. The future is bright for Martinsburg football—that goes without saying. But how bright could it be? Walker smiles, “We’ve got a lot of good kids coming back, and a lot of good kids coming up. You never know. I think a lot of people look forward to Friday night, and if we can provide them with a great team and a great experience, then I think everything else will take care of itself. We’re definitely going to do our part.”

Photo courtesy of John Frazer Photography

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Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

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Pam Wagoner

Martinsburg-Berkeley County’s Business Person of the Year — By Victoria Kidd The Eastern Panhandle is home to many remarkable people. They are the volunteers, business owners, and concerned citizens who work tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. When you meet these people, you find yourself inspired by their selflessness. One of these remarkable individuals is Pam Wagoner, a local business owner who is known throughout the Eastern Panhandle for her volunteerism and philanthropy. Her efforts were recently recognized by the Chamber of Commerce of Martinsburg-Berkeley County. At the Chamber’s recent annual dinner, she was presented with the prestigious Business Person of the Year Award. She owns Depot Florist, at 532 West King Street, and her story, along with a dedication to community activity, serves as an inspiration to the Panhandle.

Wagoner’s journey started when she was born on leap day, February 29, 1960. Having grown up in Jefferson County, she is a true native daughter of the Eastern Panhandle. Her youth was spent in service to her father’s nursery business, but that wasn’t the only influence impacting what would become her lifelong profession. She is noted as the fourth generation of horticulturists on her grandmother’s side of the family, with relatives recorded as having come from Scotland to open a greenhouse and flower shop in Jefferson County. As a professionally trained florist, with experience dating back to 1978, Wagoner has been able to build an incredibly successful business in Martinsburg. One could almost say that she was destined to be a florist, but she will tell you that fate has a competing force that shapes the lives of men and

women. “Luck played a part, too,” Wagoner permits. “I have always loved this type of work, but I was really fortunate that I answered an advertisement while attending James Rumsey Technical Institute as a senior. I was hired by Ginger’s Flower Shop and went on to become the store manager. From there, everything really fell into place.” Wagoner left the well-known Ginger’s Flower Shop, a business for which she still has incredible respect, to open Depot Florist, in 1998. It was one of the first businesses to open in the renovated Caperton Train Station. From a small oneperson operation in a space of 555 square feet, Wagoner’s business began to grow. Always wanting to help others, she served as the unofficial information person for Amtrak passengers, providing details about exchanges and local points

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of interest. She became so strongly associated with the train station that when it was time to pursue a new location, she was suddenly faced with a problem. “The name ‘Depot Florist’ originated because of our association with the train station,” she explains. “I needed a location where the name would still fit.” Her problem was solved by selecting the West King Street location. With its proximity to the railroad tracks, her recognized name would still fit the location, and she began renovating the space immediately. The historic building needed a considerable amount of work, but Wagoner and her husband (and business co-owner), Elwood, saw the preservation of the unique building as an honor rather than an effort. Their two sons, Benjamin and Collin, also pitched in. Benjamin, her oldest, even restored all of the external stonework—which reportedly predates the railroad itself—to historic preservation standards. The new location was ready for business by Valentine’s Day of 2003. Now in a perfectly

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suited location, Wagoner went about building a well-recognized business that still flourishes today. Although she is well-known with her business, Wagoner is even more recognized for her community involvement. She has served as president of the Hedgesville High School band boosters, participated in the Read-A-Loud Program, and has served as a past PTA officer at Potomack Intermediate. She also participates in Hedgesville High School’s mock interview programs, and presents an annual program for the Rosemont Elementary third grade sunflower festival. And if that’s not enough, she hosts tours for the Burke Street Elementary kindergarten class. Wagoner’s involvement is not limited to just academic programs. She also assists the Berkeley County Youth Fair, through activities that range from service as a judge for floral projects to work in the concession stands. For the Boy Scouts of America, she has helped organize honor ceremonies and

has even assisted with coordinated safety breaks at I-81 rest stop locations. She is also a graduate of Leadership Berkeley and an active member of the Rotary, the Chamber of Commerce of MartinsburgBerkeley County, and Main Street Martinsburg. Through these organizations, her service record has expanded greatly, but her community participation doesn’t stop there. Wagoner coordinates donations and dinners for Young Lives of the Eastern Panhandle. She serves on the Women of Distinction Committee, participates in the Martinsburg Festival of Trees, and has been a guest speaker for The National Association of Active and Retired Federal Employees, as well as the Eastern Panhandle Entrepreneurs Forum. Capitalizing on her skills as a florist, she leads several workshops for local garden clubs, and has also been a presenter for the General Federal of Women’s Club (GFWC) annual holiday design and craft show.

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

Wagoner is completely committed to making this community a better place to live. In addition to all of the aforementioned activities, in just the past twelve months, she has donated time, ideas, money, or flowers to organizations that include the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) association, the Berkeley Senior Center, Hospice, Friends in Action of the Eastern Panhandle, the Friends of Norwalk Foundation, and the Boy Scouts of America. She has also supported a collection of local faith-based organizations and educational programs. Wagoner is driven to serve because she grew up recognizing generosity as a positive influence in her life. “My grandmother was very active in our lives,” she remembers. “She would always leave canned food under the tree that stood by the front of the property. The next day, the food would always be gone. She never knew where it went but she knew that someone, somewhere, needed it, and that was enough for her.” This experience, coupled with her father’s similar desire to contribute to those in need, shaped her idea of what it meant to live with a sense of community. Each year, the Chamber of Commerce of Martinsburg-Berkeley County recognizes a person who exemplifies a sense of community, through their Business Person of the Year Award. Wagoner says that she is incredibly honored to have been presented with this year’s award, yet she humbly admits that her service is driven, not by recognition or accolades, but by a strong commitment to the people of this area. She explains, “I am a smalltown kind of girl who has raised children, gone to church, and been involved here in this community. That makes your bond strong, and I feel that it is very rewarding to be able to make a living here.” She further believes that the community as a whole is generous, and she’s proud to live here and support it. Stop by Depot Florist in Martinsburg today, and meet Pam Wagoner— you’ll be better for it. For more information, visit or call 304-263-1488.

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Meet Your Sheriff Kenny Lemaster — By Victoria Kidd

Working under an oath to serve and protect the people of Berkeley County, the Sheriff’s Department helps ensure the quality of life that county residents enjoy. The feeling of safety is an essential part of that quality of life, and the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department is charged with ensuring safety through prevention initiatives, investigation activities, and routine patrols. Leading these efforts is Sheriff Kenny Lemaster, a highly trained department veteran who first began his service to the county in 1977. His experience has laid the foundation for a tenure that has brought notable changes and improvements to the department, and his story is one of great interest to anyone living in Berkeley County, as well as neighboring communities. Sheriff Lemaster is a local at heart. He graduated from Martinsburg High School in 1974 and went on to study industrial engineering at West Virginia University. He eventually joined the department as a uniformed patrol office in 1977. Five years later, he was promoted to corporal and shift supervisor. In 1989, he was again promoted to sergeant, and became an investigator with the Criminal Investigation Section. He excelled in this position and was named lieutenant in charge of investigations in 1991. After serving on the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crime Task Force between 1998 and 1999, he returned as investigative supervisor and administrative officer. Shortly thereafter, in 2000, he was again promoted, to captain, his first position with wide-sweeping responsibilities over the entire department. A promotion to chief deputy sheriff in 2001 followed, and Lemaster remained in that position until he was elected sheriff in 2008. On January 1, 2009, he became the county’s first fully certified and trained sheriff to have made his way through the ranks of the department. When asked what has allowed him to be an effective sheriff, he answers, “I have been training for this position for thirty-five years.” When one reviews his professional history, the sincerity of this statement becomes evident. Having spent his entire adult life in service to this community,

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Sheriff Lemaster has a long list of experience that contributes to his ability to lead. He has served as a member of the U.S. Marshal’s Warrant Task Force, as well as the joint task force of the WV State Fire Marshall’s Office. He is a founding member of the Berkeley County Schools Safety Committee, and serves in leadership positions with the Sheriff’s Association, the Apollo Civic Theatre Board of Directors, and the Apple Harvest Board of Directors. He’s also served as the Sheriff’s Department representative to the Regional Organized Crime Information Center (ROCIC) for approximately eighteen years. Lemaster is a graduate of the National Sherriff’s Academy, in Colorado. He has received training in everything from school security and anti-terrorism procedures to financial management and personnel administration. The full list of completed specialized training courses is too lengthy to be printed, but residents benefit from having a sheriff that has personally pursued every opportunity for professional growth. Along the way, Lemaster has been repeatedly awarded for honorable service by numerous local organizations and civic groups. These organizations include the Berkeley County Crime Solvers, the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, the Inwood/Bunker Hill Lions Club, the Martinsburg Kiwanis Club, the Berkeley County Council, and many more. Also, after assisting in operations that saved the life of now-retired Captain Richard

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Steerman, he was presented the Award for Life Saving Effort by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to these local accolades, Lemaster has received letters of appreciation from Governors Bob Wise, John D. Rockefeller IV, and Joe Manchin. His service record even includes appointment to the Governor’s Records Management and Preservation Board, as well as the Governor’s Commission on Prison Overcrowding. “It’s a real honor to be able to contribute to larger law enforcement efforts,” he assures. “I want to use my experience to help continuing efforts to improve law enforcement agencies state-wide.” His experience is being used not only for the greater good of the state, but also to shape the future of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office. Working in law enforcement for three-and-a-half decades has given him a wide-ranging perspective on the challenges facing the department. One of the avenues where Lemaster would like to make improvements is with the department’s use of technology. “I’m committed to getting this department up to speed with regards to technology,” he maintains. “With the aid of the county’s IT department, we’ve made some major improvements already.” With planned usage of up-andcoming technologies, such as easily deployed camera surveillance, and strategically located Wi-Fi hotspots for official use, the ability of patrol officers to prevent and investigate criminal activity will only continue to improve.

Another major endeavor being overseen by Lemaster is the conversion of the old Martin’s grocery store, located at South Raleigh Street, into the department’s new 35,400-square-foot headquarters. The existing location, at 802 Emmet Rousch Drive, does not provide an adequate amount of space for the growing department. Currently, the department has fiftyeight uniformed officers, and is recognized as the second largest in the state. Many more support staff members are also working in cramped spaces throughout the building. Exasperating the problem is the growing need for evidence and equipment storage. The new building—complete with a layout that was custom-designed by the sheriff himself—will greatly improve working conditions for the staff. Lemaster explains, “Moving to this location is part of a long-term effort to improve deputy moral and retention in the department.” With some deputies presently reduced to using little more than an aging countertop mounted on short filing cabinets, the new space promises to correct many of the long-term issues that have faced the department since they moved into the Emmet Rousch location nearly twenty years ago. His focus on improving the working conditions for his officers is inherent in his philosophy of leadership. If you ask him what has fueled the department’s success, he says, “People need to remember that it takes the department operating together as a whole for everything

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

to work. It’s the officers working the night shift in the rain and snow that deserve the attention. It’s the officers who respond to crime scenes on holidays that deserve the respect, and I’m just trying to make sure that they have the equipment, technology, and support they need to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.” These changes are indicative of the sheriff’s philosophy that the growing community needs a law enforcement agency that has access to all of the most modern technologies and equipment. Recent efforts have focused on upgrading an aging fleet of vehicles and obtaining grants to provide bulletproof vests for the department’s officers. Additionally, Lemaster worked to

obtain a sophisticated Lenco BearCat armored vehicle, a response vehicle that is ideally suited for situations where superior protection for law enforcement officers really does mean the difference between life and death. The vehicle was provided to the department through a generous donation from former Sheriff, County Magistrate, and Powerball winner William “Randy” Smith. Meeting the needs of the citizens of Berkeley County is the sheriff’s number one priority. With economic factors increasing crime rates across the country, these improvements contribute to the department’s ability to keep residents safe. Berkeley County benefits from Lemaster’s dedication to service and forwardthinking leadership. “What people

need to know about me is that I am a twenty-four-seven sheriff,” he insists. “The protection of county residents is my biggest priority, and I will continue to put their needs above all else. That is my most direct promise to the people.” Under the leadership of Sheriff Kenny Lemaster, and through the support of the Berkeley County Council, the department continues to improve its ability to protect and serve the residents of Berkeley County. To learn more about the programs within the Sherriff’s office, call 304-264-2158, or visit them on the web at BerkeleyCountyComm. org/officials/sheriff.cfm.

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Est 1998

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Bloomery Plantation Distillery

Tastefully exceeding expectations around the Panhandle.

— By Debra Cornwell

Pucker and “Mwah!” That’s the lip-tickling reaction as Bloomery Plantation Distillery’s limoncello glides from glass to taste buds. Newly opened on September 17th, 2011, the distillery has already hosted visitors from twelve states and counting. Located on Route 9, just east of Charles Town, before the Bloomery Bridge, Bloomery Plantation Distillery (BPD) handcrafts fruit cordials: Limoncello, Cremma Lemma, Lemon Ice, Proprietary Raspberry Limoncello, and Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cello. These “cellos” rival any Italian limoncello. Linda Losey and her husband, Tom Kiefer, traveled to Italy for the canonization of his great-greataunt, Mary MacKillop, as Saint Mary of the Cross. While in Italy, Linda and Tom fell in love with limoncello, from the taste and the related

hospitality to its merits as an afterdinner digestif. Upon returning home, Linda and Tom chased the taste, so to speak, and came up empty handed. Linda recalls, “We came back and just couldn’t find anything that tasted like the limoncello we had in Italy—not even close. So I began cooking—playing with ingredients and tasting. Perhaps with a little divine intervention, I developed a great recipe!” Tom smiles, “Our trip to Italy and the Vatican left us with a good taste in our mouths. We researched opening a craft distillery and determined it was a viable idea. We were definitely blessed with a good idea.” Linda and Tom found Jefferson County the same way their neighbors at Mountain View Polo did. They had first visited

Harpers Ferry some time before. “When we ate at the Charles Town restaurant, Dish, we knew the area would support a craft distillery,” remembers Tom. “What Owner Doug Vaira is doing with his restaurant, and the charm of a real town, sold us on this area. Charles Town is authentic—it’s not a faux town.” Linda says she found the twelveacre parcel, with its circa 1840 ramshackle cabin, for sale on Craigslist. “The location was great. I told Tom that he needed a lot of vision. We set out to preserve the building as best we could. Much of the wood is boat-board from the C&O Canal.” The building is reported to be one of only two slave quarters still standing in Jefferson County. Once part of Willowdale Plantation, the name Bloomery derives its name from

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the iron works—a bloomery—that once stood on the nearby banks of the Shenandoah River. BPD’s Moonshine Milkshake pays homage to the Moonshine Boatmen of the river. One of the first things that Linda and Tom did was hire Rob Losey, Linda’s ex-husband, to plant the raspberries. Since everyone is so cordial, pun intended, Rob has stayed on to assist, and is the operation’s biggest cheerleader. “There are only five limoncellos made in America—ours is the fifth,” Rob divulges. “No one is doing flavored cellos and there are very few cream cellos.” In just a short time, BPD has developed quite a following. “This limoncello is the real deal. We get great reviews from the customers endorsing the quality of the product. It’s really an affirmation that the effort is worth it—this limoncello is something special.” After zesting thousands of lemons, BPD sold out of their first batch in the first five business days. Some recipes for homemade limoncello call for 100-proof vodka. BPD’s starts with 190-proof neutral grain spirits. “That’s right—hooch— legal moonshine,” declares Linda. There’s art and science creating the limoncello. Linda creates the recipes, Tom then “formulizes” the recipes. BPD’s cellos range from eight- to forty-proof. Linda explains that the lemons in commercial limoncellos are machine-zested. “Handzesting eliminates the pith, and subsequently, any bitterness. When we say handcrafted, we mean it— we grow our own lemons.” What? Lemons growing in West Virginia? “Sure, we have a green house. We make our own syrups and cream. Only twenty-five percent of our ingredients comes from out of state. We grow twenty-five percent, and the remaining fifty percent is sourced locally.” There are many state and federal regulations governing farm wineries, breweries, and craft [ 32 ]

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

distilleries. Tom says the liquor board even regulates the type of display racks used. “The process was not easy, but the staff at various government entities really tried to work with us. The people of the county have been great. We’ve met lots of Shannondale residents and folks on the mountain.” As a result of the regulations, BPD is only open for sales and tasting on Fridays and Saturdays from 11a.m. to 8 p.m. Linda relates a funny story. She and Tom entered their wagon and horse teams in the Charles Town Horse Parade. Two of their friends dressed as lemons and danced along the parade route. “We won an award,” Linda exclaims. “We thought everyone was being neighborly and just gave us a trophy, but it’s a real award that we proudly display!” These cellos are also excellent in recipes: cocktails, punch, sorbet, granita, custard, over ice cream and pound cake, in lemon bars, etc. Part of the recipe for success at BPD is entertainment. Billy Thompson, a road-worn blues guitarist (the best kind), has performed at BPD. Of Billy’s music, Rob proclaims, “Lawd, that’s smokin’.” Others on the entertainment roster include The Dill Pickers and Deane Kern. Everyone is mellow at the cello, including the punch-drunk bees. They all agree that BPD is an operation of pride. “We have history, hooch, and hospitality, and there’s always something masquerading—sometimes new flavor experiments,” Linda admits. Tom continues, “We want guests to walk away with the feeling of goodness all around.” Look for upcoming events, such as cook-offs, art shows, and mixologist competitions. For more information, check out their website at or call them at 304-725-3036.

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Getting to Know Martinsburg’s Mayor

George Karos - By Victoria Kidd

Patterson’s Drug Store has been a recognized business in downtown Martinsburg for over eight-five years. The business is proudly owned by the city’s well-respected mayor, George Karos. Customers can often find him sitting at one of Patterson’s diner-style booths while he conducts business and makes things happen for city residents. The combination of his responsibilities as mayor, and his activities as owner of a thriving local business, have made him a person of interest in the Eastern Panhandle. When he’s not at City Hall, Karos can be found everyday at the Patterson’s location in Martinsburg, at 134 South Queen Street, or at the store’s alternative location in Inwood, within the Inwood Center. At the core of this well-known business is a full-service prescription counter, but customers can also find a wide range of over-the-counter healthcare products, as well as a large selection of cosmetics and gift items. Named “Best Pharmacy” by The Martinsburg Journal Readers’ Poll for the past several years, customers recognize a level of service uncommon among nationally branded competitors. Karos is extremely proud of his business, but he is especially proud that he has been able to maintain a little piece of Martinsburg history therein. Harkening back to days long past, Patterson’s is also home to an old-fashioned soda fountain and lunch counter that serves as a quaint place to grab a great lunch or enjoy a quick snack. They are perhaps most known for their world-famous “Jo-Jo” sundaes, a sinfully delightful blend of vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge, marshmallow, and peanut butter that has even been showcased in The Washington Post. Following graduation from Martinsburg High School, Karos served in the United States Navy as a hospital corpsman for four years. After obtaining the rank of 3/C Petty Officer, he returned to the Eastern Panhandle and

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attended Shepherd College. Later, he received a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the Medical College of Virginia’s School of Pharmacy in Richmond, Virginia. His career direction was shaped by his experiences as a young boy. “My father owned a shoe shining and hat cleaning business where the BB&T bank is located in Martinsburg today,” he explains. “He passed away when I was nine, and Mr. James A. Patterson, who was the owner of Patterson’s at the time, took me under his wing, so to speak. I came around a lot, really wanting to be closer to where my father had worked, and eventually he hired me to use my bicycle to deliver prescriptions. When the business became available, I was excited to take over and keep the Patterson’s tradition of service going for many years to come.” The City of Martinsburg has grown dramatically around the drug store, and with it, Karos saw an opportunity to further serve the area’s residents. He served on the Martinsburg City Council for nearly thirty years before running for mayor in the 2000 election. “I like to see things get done,” he admits, “and creating harmony and cooperation between the Berkeley County Council and city government is really in everyone’s best interest.” That cooperative approach to governance has helped fuel continual growth within the city, and Karos is excited about the local improvements to which he has contributed. “I love that I get to help keep the city and the county growing, and I love to see that progress is being made everyday. This is a great place to live. We just have to ensure that residents have opportunities, businesses can grow, and kids can get a quality education.” Karos’s contributions to the city of Martinsburg and its residents extend far beyond the service of his business or the growthoriented leadership demonstrated through his time in office. He is also extremely involved in the community. He is an active member

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Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

of the Chamber of Commerce of Martinsburg-Berkeley County, having served previously as chamber president. His record includes service to the Berkeley County Development Authority, the Roundhouse Authority, and the Inland Port Authority. He has also been appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Substance Abuse.

West Virginia. The West Virginia School of Pharmacy presented him with an Honorary Alumnus Award, and the West Virginia Municipal League recognized him as the 2007 Mayor of the Year.

If an issue or activity is important to continued progress in Berkeley County, Karos has made certain that he is active and involved. He remarks, “I think that part of my role as mayor is to serve as a conduit between the community, city government, and county government. When we all work together, we can accomplish anything.” Not only has his work impacted growth locally, but he has also contributed to a growing awareness of what the Eastern Panhandle is able to contribute to the state as a whole.

Karos is honored to have received such accolades, but he is most grateful for the support of city residents, who have contributed to the success of his business and previous successful campaigns for office. He’s also quick to state that the people with whom he surrounds himself are key contributors to the success of both his business and his endeavors as mayor. “It’s not only me who works to accomplish these things. I am blessed to be surrounded by people—both at the drug store and at City Hall— who make my job easier. The folks around me are what I call expediters. They get things moving and get things done. Those people have a lot to do with where we are today.”

For his service, Karos has been the recipient of many noteworthy awards. He has received the Sam Walton Wal-Mart Business Leadership Award for Service to the Customer. He has also been recognized with the West Virginia A.H. Robin’s Hygeia Award for Outstanding Service to the Community and to pharmacies in

When asked about his future, Karos says, “I love doing what I’m doing. Ultimately, I want to keep people happy, and I want to contribute to that happiness by helping this area continue to grow.” He is recognizably excited about the many major projects that have impacted or will impact the city directly. The recent completion of

the Town Square Pedestrian Plaza is an example of the projects that Karos has supported during his tenure. Other projects to which he is contributing include the Raleigh Street Extension Project and the proposed development of an expanded City Hall and Police Headquarters/Judicial Complex. In addition to involvement in major building and expansion projects, he has been active in programs to revitalize the downtown area. “Vacant buildings don’t help anyone,” Karos says. “We have been working with downtown landlords and Main Street Martinsburg to bring in businesses and find tenants for these buildings. Commerce is good for our local economy, and I strongly support that.” For his support of initiatives to make Martinsburg a better place to live, Mayor Karos is recognized throughout the Eastern Panhandle as an integral piece of the community. To learn more about Patterson’s Drug Store, visit or call the store at 304-267-8903. For more information on Karos’s hometown, visit CityOfMartinsburg. org.

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- By Bonnie Williamson

Trying to be successful in the music business is a real challenge, even when you’ve appeared on a hit TV show. Still, thirty-one-year-old Maryland native Drew Stevyns won’t be giving up any time soon. “It’s so hard to get your foot in the door. You have to have very thick skin,” Stevyns says. Two years ago, Stevyns, a singer/ songwriter and guitarist, was a Top 10 Finalist in NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”—Season Four. Even though he didn’t win, he impressed reviewers. Michael Ross, of, said at the time, “While it is freely open to speculation which of the finalists deserves to win the most, there [ 40 ]

should be no question about who wants it the most. Drew Stevyns has been an underdog from the very beginning, but unlike other competitors who were at risk but unaware, or who became aware of their status but did nothing to change it, Stevyns has given every round of finals everything he has as if it truly were his last chance.” That hunger hasn’t ended, by any means. “I learned a lot about the music industry from that experience—made a lot of good connections. But it also gave me a different perspective,” Stevyns reveals. “You don’t have a lot of say about what you do. You’re even told what to wear. You have to take the good with the bad.” He does emphasize, however, that there are

a lot of good people in the industry trying to help him. “I had a great opportunity. It really taught me how to be patient.” He returned to the East Coast after the show, and kept on touring, writing music, and making CDs. His first CD is aptly entitled “Waiting.” He followed that up with “Please Excuse the Machine” and then “A Long Way to Fall.” All of the albums contain original material. “I’ve performed about a hundred and fifty cover songs, too. I may make an album using some of those songs in the future,” he maintains. Stevyns says his taste in music is all over the map, from John Denver to Jimi Hendrix to The Doors. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

and refers to his own style of music as “…rock and roll, alternative rock, blues, country—it’s all in there.”

Nashville recording artist Shelly Rann. He even recorded the theme song to the hit web series “Pretty.”

He began his career in music at the tender age of two, singing in church choirs. This part of his career took place in England, where his father was working. He wrote his first song when he was fourteen, after learning how to play the piano. He and his family eventually returned to the United States.

He describes his songs as snapshots of his life. “I write about things that have affected me in a profound way. Too much is fabricated these days. The music is not coming from the heart and soul. I think if you want this career, you have to realize that it’s all a game. It’s hard not to listen to other people’s opinions. But you should do your own thing.”

“I knew three chords on the piano. I was very excited about my first song and sang it to my parents. I think it was about a girl,” he laughs. He experienced factory work but realized it wasn’t for him. He then attended the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, but dropped out to start his musical career as a member of a band called Love Struck Nymphs. “We did pretty well for a while. We opened for SR-71, a rock band out of Baltimore,” he remembers. Stevyns was actually forced to learn how to play the guitar when the lead guitarist with another band he was with quit. He taught himself. By twenty-four, he was a lead singer, and as he approached thirty, he decided to pursue greater opportunities, hence the audition for “America’s Got Talent.” “I had been playing in bars most of my life. I started to think I was getting a little old for just that.” Presently, Stevyns performs solo, as well as with other artists. He has had studio musicians with him in the past. He’s played in such venues as The Lyric, in Baltimore, Maryland; Margaritaville, in Key West, Florida; The Whiskey, in California; and the Sunset Hills Vineyard, in Purcellville, Virginia. He recently performed at the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge Air Show in Martinsburg (WV). “I was playing in the back of a crab truck, a crab feast. It was freezing that day but it was fun. I did a lot of classic rock and the crowd really seemed to enjoy that,” he reflects.

Singer/songwriter Billy Joel once told a group of music students that they should not have other jobs. They should dedicate themselves exclusively to their music. Despite his own dedication, Stevyns’ approach is not quite as severe. “Choose your own path. Do what works for you,” he says, adding that the current music scene can be “disheartening.” He says a monopoly exists with maybe five main producers. “It seems they want someone about sixteen years old who they can mold and control, then discard. It limits creativity. Something needs to change.” Despite the many challenges in his chosen field, Stevyns will continue writing and collaborating with his peers, and performing. He has another project in the works, a CD called “American Noise,” consisting of songs written by his producer Scott Ensign. After heading for another gig in Key West, he will, once again, continue his recording work, and appear at other gigs. He’s waiting for that next big break, but definitely not standing still. To follow his inspiring journey, visit him online at drewstevynsmusic. com.

Stevyns has performed with Thelma Houston and has opened for The Charlie Daniels Band, as well as

[ 41 ]

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Polo Arrives in the Panhandle Anyone Can Play! — By Debra Cornwell

“A polo handicap is a passport to the world.” That quote, from Winston Churchill, is on a humorous illustration, which hangs, oddly enough, in my equestrian-themed laundry room. It’s a daily reminder of how much I enjoy watching the sport. Churchill’s statement is true in several variations of the sentiment. He specifically meant it as an introduction to society—its highest reaches. Dr. Laura Goddard, co-owner of Mountain View Polo (MVP) in Charles Town, adds, “Anywhere I have lived, from New York to California, and back to the East Coast, I have found instant bonding and friendship through polo.” There are ten polo clubs in Virginia and five in Maryland, all within fifty miles of the Eastern Panhandle, but the opening of Mountain View Polo in Charles Town is the first polo club [ 44 ]

west of the Blue Ridge, and in West Virginia. For a little less than ten years, forces have been at work to develop western Loudoun County into a polo destination much like Wellington (FL), Bridgehampton (NY), and Santa Barbara (CA). The Mid-Atlantic, along with the Eastern Panhandle, is poised for polo because of the strong horse industry and equestrian traditions. Polo in Jefferson County is a natural extension of the presence in Loudoun. It was only a matter of time. The timing was right for Goddard, and Hugo Pasten, in 2010 to purchase a farm on Falcon Ridge Drive, within eyesight of the Bloomery Bridge, on Route 9. The pair, partners in life, as well as the polo business, have been acquiring and training horses, building fences, and creating the framework for their polo farm.

Goddard is a lifelong equestrian, and learned polo after she successfully tried out for the Cornell University Women’s Polo Team during her undergraduate years. “Our program is modeled on the Cornell program both in how we teach and how the program is organized,” says the entomologist turned cancer-drug patent examiner. “I went on to the University of California at Davis and refined and organized their polo program. When I moved back to the East Coast, I helped set up the Capitol Polo Club in Poolesville, Maryland—so I have a lot of experience running a polo school.”

Pasten, a native of Chile, is a professional polo player with over twenty years of experience in training, grooming, and playing. He is currently ranked as a two-goal

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

player in both outdoor and arena polo by the United States Polo Association. Goddard claims Pasten has the natural-born horse and polo talent that many South Americans possess. She asserts, “Hugo is a great instructor. He has a relaxed and fun approach to lessons.” Pasten’s two-goal rating is an achievement. The ratings range from -2 to 10. There are less than a dozen ten-goal players in the U.S., and only fifty worldwide. Pasten and Goddard are emphatic that anyone can learn to play polo regardless of riding skill. “We provide the horse, the helmet, the mallet, and the polo balls,” Goddard explains. “The student needs to show up wearing sturdy shoes with a heel. We teach lessons to people who have never been on a horse, as well as experienced riders.” Many equestrian pursuits are solitary, but if you’re interested in team sports, then this might be the one to try. Both Goddard and Pasten agree that taking a private lesson first is the best way to determine if you have enough interest to pursue additional lessons. There really is nothing like the exhilaration of rocketing down a field on a trusty steed and whacking a polo ball! According to Goddard, the horses are patient—some being less motivated than others. That is, some of the horses are quite relaxed, even if they have previously raced. She observes, “Polo is a great second career for race horses. The horses are young, well-bred, and athletic.” The term “polo pony” is a leftover tradition, and none of the equines used for polo are actual ponies— they are full-size horses. “I will never have a groom for my horses,” she reveals, “because I love the connection with them. They are my pets, my children.” Ancient polo has its origins as warrior training in fifth-century Persia. By the Middle Ages, it had spread across Asia and India. The world’s oldest polo field is in India, circa 33 A.D. The British formalized and popularized modern-day polo,

starting with the mid-nineteenth century establishment of the Calcutta Polo Club. It is debated whether the first matches in the United States were in New York or Texas, in 1876. Meanwhile, British settlers played polo in Argentina, and the game soon spread to the gauchos. The recognized world epicenter of polo is arguably now South America, specifically Argentina. Variations of the traditional outdoor polo include arena polo, snow polo, and polocrosse, which is a mix of polo and lacrosse. Water polo, while similar in name, is more like handball. There are several Panhandle residents who have already taken up mallets and are hooked on polo: Dr. Derek Wilson, Robin Huyett-Thomas, and Jim Thomas. The three have been playing for years and can be found on weekends playing matches at Mountain View Polo. Games are usually at noon on Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. There is no cover charge; just come out and watch the matches and scrimmages with instructors and students. Call or email MVP to let them know you are coming, and to make sure there are no cancellations. MVP is also unique in that they are open yearround, when most polo barns in the region shut down for either a winter break or to move to Wellington for the season. Also, watch for a Spring Open House at MVP. According to Goddard, “The Sport of Kings” is not unattainable or overly expensive. “If you choose to go that route, it can be, but it is not necessary to get started.” In the broader polo world, there is a whole sub-context of lifestyle and intrigue, peppered with names like Nacho Figueras, Tareq Salahi and Roberto Villegas, but perhaps that is for another article? In the meantime, we will concern ourselves with learning polo, both as player and spectator… and stomping the divots—though not the steaming ones! For more information, visit

[ 45 ]

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Top Ten

Once in a Lifetime Experiences

In the 21st century, when people really want to celebrate something, they strive for an event that will be remembered through the years. As the difficulty increases for trying to create that unique experience, concepts have moved away from standard activities, such as paint-balling and bar-hopping, to world famous events and festivals, which are more often than not, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Below, we look at ten of our favorites.



8. [ 48 ]

The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain

Known to the locals as The Festival of San Fermin, due to the location, this internationally recognized event has grown massively since its believed origins back in the 13th century. It now attracts tens of thousands who wish to run with the bulls. The running of the bulls allegedly originated from men using fear and excitement to hurry the process of taking cattle to market, although this quickly turned into a competition amongst them—and has since turned into an annual event known the world over.

The Burning Man Festival in Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Burning Man is an annual event that places emphasis on community, creativity, and self-reliance—centered around an enormous collective artistic effort. Up to fifty thousand attendees turn up and create “Black Rock City”—the second largest city in Nevada for nearly two weeks— after which, they proudly depart without a trace. The community welcomes all newcomers with open arms. Their ethos believes that the more active the participant is, the more they will gain from the event. This festival is all about the experience, and to truly benefit from it, you must throw yourself wholeheartedly into it.

The Festival of Light in Amritsar, Punjab, India

The Festival of Light, Diwali to the indigenous people, marks the commencement of the New Year for Hindus. This five-day festival celebrates good over evil, light over dark. Each day of the festival brings its own meaning. The third day is where the “Festival of Light” title has emerged, as lamps and candles are lit, and fireworks are set off. Traditionally, gifts are exchanged between the nearest and dearest. Diwali is a celebratory event that demonstrates the warm and considerate nature of an entire culture. Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, China


Full Moon Party on Haad Rin Beach in Koh Phangan, Thailand


Boryeong’s Mud Festival on Daecheon Beach, South Korea


The Chinese New Year is a lively affair where millions fill the streets to celebrate peace and happiness. It generally starts with a banquet, which includes significant dishes. For instance: prawns represent liveliness and happiness. Traditional red clothing is also worn, as this is intended to warn off any evil spirits. In Hong Kong, a spectacular fireworks display lights up the evening sky, and for New Year’s Day, there are floats and traditional performers complimented by music and dragon dancers. Victoria Harbor, with its world-famous skyline, lends itself as the ideal backdrop for experiencing this must-see event.

Haad Rin Beach is located in Koh Phangan, and has earned its reputation as the hot spot for hedonistic nightlife in Thailand, due to the fact that a party is held every time there’s a full moon. It is rumored that the Full Moon Party tradition started with a local throwing a farewell party for his Australian friend. It proved to be such a popular concept that it now attracts anything from 8,000 to 30,000 partygoers every month. This is hardly surprising, due to the white sandy beach setting, alcohol by the bucket, and an amicable, bohemian attitude shared by all.

The Mud Festival in Boryeong, on Daecheon Beach, is an event that allows the most mature person to embrace their inner child. Rebelling against the famous maternal saying: “Don’t get your clothes dirty,” this festival encourages smearing mud all over yourself. You can equally justify your submersion into this culture of mud; the participants claim that the mud contains important minerals, which reduce wrinkles and remove excess oils. Needless to say, the occasion isn’t completely committed to personal wellbeing. Events include: mud body painting, mud beauty contests, and mud sculptures.

New Year Celebrations in Sydney Harbour, Australia

Possibly the best place to bring in the New Year. The world famous fireworks display from the Sydney Harbour Bridge is now an iconic view—as much as its Opera House counterpart. The energetic personalities of the Australians, coupled with a great setting and climate, will ensure that you have the best New Year’s party possible. The crowds on the shore give the evening an electrifying atmosphere. However, the view from the water is equally aweinspiring. Plenty of boats-for-hire are willing to make your night even more beautiful.


[ 49 ]

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


The Rio Carnival has become synonymous with Brazil. The colorful event, which occurs fortysix days before Easter, is celebrated all over the country, but Rio remains the biggest and most spectacular hub of activity. With the famous parades displaying a spectacular array of shapes and colors, the beat and energy of this event naturally encourages anyone who attends to throw themselves full-heartedly into the spirit of the Carnival. Recently voted the happiest city, it’s easy to see why the people of Rio de Janeiro hold the most vibrant and famous of celebrations.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Fringe Festival has had a history of finding the comedians of the future. Many current British stars have emerged through the festival, which has a knack for discovering and promoting fresh talent. Edinburgh is a city with a great atmosphere— further enhanced during the festival. During this time, the city is rife with street acts and performers. It is an energetic place—guaranteed to excite. And the Scottish people are friendly and hearty, and have an affinity for good humor and alcohol—two of the main themes of the festival.


2. Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

Oktoberfest is possibly the most famous beer festival in the world. The festival is the world’s largest fair, with over six million visitors attracted to the beer tents every year. But it’s more than just large quantities of Bavarian Beer, lederhosen, and beer halls. While Munich offers the famous steins (the drinking tankards) and German sausages, the true enjoyment factor comes from the generous German hospitality. Sitting amongst the locals, you can chat and sing along to traditional German songs, all performed by Oompah Bands—catering to the large crowds, who in turn, cheer them on. [ 50 ]

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Smithfield Farm: Seven-plus Generations and Going Strong - By Debra Cornwell

History Local, modern American farmers deploy many talents and tactics, including creativity, diversity, and ingenuity, in developing and maintaining their business. Years ago, farmers, or members of their family, might have a side business, like hauling or handy work, to ensure year-round income. Today, that is no different, but the savvy farmer has kicked it up a notch. At Smithfield Farm, near Berryville, Virginia, the Smith descendants are perfecting that diversification with great success—a bed & breakfast, a farm with retail meat sales, a kitchen with prepared foods and cooking classes, and an art studio. First cousins, nine-year-old Benson Weidemer and six-year-old Linus [ 52 ]

Pritchard, are the rising eighth generation to one day own and operate Smithfield Farm. Benson’s mother, Betsy Pritchard, says, “We tell them, go and live your life, travel the world, but know that this is here for you, and the farm will be your responsibility one day.” The farm is nearing its 200th anniversary in the same family. Ruth Smith Pritchard took the reigns of Smithfield Farm in 1988. She and her three siblings inherited 1,500 acres in mostly Clarke County, Virginia, but some in Jefferson County, West Virginia, along Wickcliffe Road. Two of her siblings still own their share and Ruth, along with her son Forrest and daughter Betsy, owns about 400 acres.

Edward Smith purchased the farm in 1816, began building the barn in 1820, and started the large, Federalstyle home of Flemish bonded brick in 1822. Edward and his brother George had inherited the princely sum of $5,000 from a great aunt in England. He went on to build the fieldstone fortress of a house, Hackwood, near Winchester (VA), which is visible along the east side of Interstate 81, just north of the Route 7 exit. The manor house is largely in original condition. “Our ancestors were not highfalutin; they were farmers, so they never had money for upgrades and renovations,” Betsy shares. “My parents took ten years to restore the house from the ground up.” Of working with family, Ruth reflects, Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

“It is a dream come true to have our children want to come home and take up farming. I hoped they would want to continue what my late husband and I started, but didn’t want to pressure them or make them feel guilty if they needed to go elsewhere. It is a beautiful thing that Forrest and Betsy have returned to our idea of going back to the way my dad started out in the 1930s—i.e. organic—although it wasn’t called that. They’ve taken it so much farther than we ever dreamed. I love living and working with the kids and grandsons, and feel extremely fortunate that they want to be here on the land, continuing what their ancestors started almost two hundred years ago.” Bed & Breakfast Part of the de-stress process is the release from conversation. In addition to being an outstanding hostess and innkeeper, Ruth is known for her ability to listen. Betsy says being an innkeeper is not always about offering food and a place to sleep—offering an ear is important, too. She admits, “Sometimes it takes guests three days before they can smile back at you. We want guests to relax, and notice what they can and cannot hear. It’s a real treat to hear the spring peepers. We can see the stars. Guests can hang out in the hammock, read in the library, gather in the parlor or porch for conversation, stroll the orchard, and walk the farm.” The breakfast at Smithfield Farm is awesome. Usually four courses served by candlelight, the meal includes a plated entree, fruit, bread, and dessert. The plated entree could be Eggs Smithfield, omelets, or French toast with sausage, bacon, or ham. A typical bread selection includes muffins or quick breads. Dessert might be a dessert crepe or apple crisp. The leisurely, elegant, gourmet breakfast is sourced from the farm and other locals. Of course, dietary restrictions are taken into account with notice. Accommodations are large and grand without being too fussy— just right. There are three rooms en suite on the upper level of the house. The English Garden Suite at

[ 53 ]

ground level is a favorite. Private and spacious with a kitchen, the suite is a wonderful retreat. The Summer Cottage Kitchen Suite is located in one of the free-standing dependencies adjacent to the house. The two-story building is popular with honeymooners. The bed and breakfast is really the introduction and window dressing on so much more that happens at Smithfield Farm. Smith Meadows A graduate of William & Mary who studied geology and English, Forrest is an authority on best practices of organic farming. He notes, “Our farm has no bad odors. Our animals are genuinely free range. They eat clean, fresh pasture. There are no medicines, hormones, or chemicals.” Smithfield Farm offers grass-fed, grass-finished beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and veal—in the building that also houses the kitchen. Additionally, the offerings are available at seven farmers’ markets in and around Washington. Midas Touch, a healthy foods store in Berryville, carries Smith Meadows meats, as well. Two outstanding restaurants serve Smith Meadows meat—Cafe Saint-Ex in D.C. and Bastille in Alexandria. Smithfield Farm is a great example of true economic, environmental, and nutritional sustainability. “Sustainability, in a multi-use sense of the word, must be our focus,” states Forrest. “It is critical that we remain able to pay our bills, improve our land for future generations, and try to produce the highest quality, cleanest, safest, most nutritious food on the planet.” Forrest says he can taste the rank odor of confinement from concrete feedlots and cages in conventional food, even eggs. “It is the first thing our customers tell us when they try our free-range eggs—that they never knew how gross other eggs actually tasted. It was very, very easy for me to take our farm in this direction. “This is food with a linear identity, raised by a real farmer, paying his workers a sustainable wage, sold straight to the customer. It doesn’t get trucked halfway across the

[ 54 ]

country, or sit in warehouses for weeks. The food is fresh and clean.” To the first-time purchaser, Betsy recommends spending ten dollars on fajita meat or ground beef, rather than investing seventy dollars on steaks. “Try it first. If you like the taste of real beef, come back and see me.” She notes that the veal are beef calves, on mothers milk and grass-fed, and never caged. Smith Meadows Kitchen As with everything at Smithfield Farm, the kitchen happened “organically.” It evolved out of the need to do something with excess egg production, according to Betsy. Smith Meadows Kitchen emerged as a complement to Smith Meadows. Nancy Polo, mother of Linus and former wife of Forrest, delves into her Italian heritage of good food and years of experimentation, to offer pastas, sauces, and prepared foods. Noodle varieties include Winter Wheat and Oat, Oat and Whole Spelt (my favorite), Whole Wheat and Oat, basil garlic, and nutmeg squash. Stuffed pastas are offered, as well, including bacon sage ravioli and sweet potato ravioli. Bolognese meat sauce, Neapolitan Marinara, and spinach pesto are also available. Prepared foods include sausage empanadas, salsa beef empanadas, spinach empanadas, chicken pot pie, and the newly offered beef and pork rillettes. In addition to operating the kitchen, Nancy assists Forrest with the farmers’ markets, and is assisted, herself, by Chef Kimber Herron, with the cooking classes offered at the kitchen. “I loving working with Kimber, and our focus for another series of classes will probably be basic cooking for adults who want to improve their eating habits,” Nancy explains. “There are some wonderful books out there on nutrition, but it’s difficult to wade through them all. We have had people interested in learning about soaked grains, fermented foods, and other traditional methods, ask us to teach them how to improve their diet. We need six to ten of these eager people to form a class. tchen is hosting a cooking camp for Powhatan School kids, ages nine through. The farm

is a perfect setting to introduce children and adults to a healthy diet.”

LaCapretta Art Studio

In addition to being an artist in the kitchen, Nancy pursues her other interest—art. The small pigsty/ horse stable now houses La Capretta Gallery, Garden, and Studio. With its stone walls, floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, and a Palladian entrance, the family-restored building showcases a gallery for Nancy’s paintings, a teaching garden, and her studio. Nancy is a former art teacher who apprenticed at the Goat House Gallery in Pittsboro, North Carolina. La Capretta means “little goat.” Nancy intended La Capretta to be a space where she could encourage apprentices to pursue their dream, as she had been encouraged at Goat House Gallery. She is proud of her art apprentice Lynsi Pasutti, who has gone on to open a pottery studio in Stuart, Iowa (visit lynsi-pasutti. com). As for Nancy, she says, “I have started painting portraits again. I still draw bunnies, and I have hope of creating sculptural clay lanterns for the garden some time soon. I exhibited a painting in Art at the Mill in Millwood (VA) this spring. With the support of the family and Smith Meadows, it has been a great way to become a business woman.” Forrest sums it up best, “Mother Nature has all the answers to what we need—she always has. If we can continue to learn from her, we’ll be growing the best food possible. What can be better than the best? I don’t have the pride or arrogance to suggest that I can make anything better than the universe has already perfected.” For more information, visit for links to the various offerings at Smithfield.

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RENTING VS. BUYING What works best for you? Renting or Buying? Now is the time to really consider the pros and cons between the two. Perhaps you’re content helping your landlord pay for their real estate investment by renting. My father told me at a young age: “If a person can make money renting anything to another person, it makes sense to buy it.” Wisdom is priceless, and that quote has stayed with me throughout my life. Below, you will see the pros and cons of renting or owning. Right here, right now, is the time to truly consider owning a home. Interest rates to borrow money are, and have remained, very low over the past year. Sooner or later, rates will begin to creep up. In other words, you will have missed the opportunity to take advantage of really cheap money! This money is cheap now, and it lasts for thirty years with a fixed mortgage. Houses are still very abundant, and builders are ready to get the hammers out if you desire new construction. Buying a home also creates jobs in your community and strengthens the local economy. Strong local economies will attract more jobs, better schools, and higher wages for the working force. Owning a home is being assured that you control your destiny as long as you pay your monthly payment. Landlords that don’t pay their debts can directly determine if you must move unexpectedly—due to the bank foreclosing on a property. Just because you pay your rent on time, doesn’t mean your landlord [ 58 ]

pays his mortgage. If you own your home, paint the walls purple if you want to. I doubt most landlords allow this freedom for you to personalize your living space. Your home is your castle, and a reward for working hard. You control what happens in your home, and you are the king or queen of your domain. Home ownership is “powerful,” and provides emotional satisfaction! Take a look at the chart below to help you decide on renting or buying. If you want to pursue the possibility of home ownership, contact us. We will assist you each step of the way, and will help you speak to a lender to find out what financing programs work best for

you. It doesn’t cost anything to investigate if home ownership is right for you.

holiday season) to view a home is a serious buyer, and the same can be said for those who leave their homes on the market during this time and continue to have viewings. Fewer buyers in the marketplace during these months means less competition and a better chance of getting a home at a lower price. Also, potential buyers in the winter months have the luxury of spending more time researching homes without as much concern of losing a house to another party. When viewing a home in the cooler months buyers get a realistic idea of a home’s energy efficiency, as well. Pay attention to the thermostat temperature, and take note of any drafts in the home. Trees without leaves give potential buyers an accurate picture of the privacy (or lack thereof) from neighbors, or the street. Because the majority of moves take place in the warmer months, moving companies may be readily available when it comes to your desired move date, and even flexible on their rates.

Benefits of buying a home in the winter Typically, home sales are strongest in the spring and summer months; however, there are several advantages to shopping for homes in the fall and winter. Sellers are often more motivated in the winter and may be willing to negotiate terms, such as price, repairs, and even a closing date. The rule of thumb is that anyone braving the elements (or taking the time during the busy

304.263.2121 (office) 301.991.3454 (direct) Rick Boswell (Broker/Owner) Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012




inside out with


How Quickly We Forget — How Easily We’re Reminded

the occurrence, as And so here we are—facing another of through a book while twelve months, as if looking into an abyss. What will happen tomorrow? In a month? In the summer? What will be common knowledge by fall; what will the “year-in-reviews” consist of by the end of December? Could any of us have predicted the tsunami in Japan, or the Arab Spring—this time last year? What about the deaths of Osama bin Laden, or Steve Jobs? And the Occupy movement? Some would say yes, some of these were quite predictable. What about the feverish campaign to find a Republican worthy of toppling President Obama from his podium? Yeah, I guess you could’ve predicted that—as well as the resulting debacle thus far. Some would say that we’re living amid such volatility and speed that we’re losing our ability to cherish the moment—to recognize the lasting value in a person or an occurrence. They might say that the easiest way to test yourself is to be reminded of how quickly you forgot along the way. Though we can likely buy the tribute or documentary on DVD (or actually, just download it), many of us have probably already let so many circumstances slip to the back of our minds from the past year— and probably for that very reason— because we can just Google it later. The ability to watch something again and again at a later date, within this age of incessant documentation, actually impairs our ability to watch it now—i.e. when it is happening— and be present in the moment. Alas, we literally skim through the reality

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if skimming studying for a test—or only half-listening to a teacher who is giving a lecture on something we know we should be paying attention to, but just can’t muster the focus for. I suppose the question then becomes: How do we decide what is worth honoring in our minds—worth remembering? And how do we go about assessing value to the parts of our modern lives that deserve it most? Yes, technically the world’s population increases by approximately seventyfive million people per year, but we’re only affected by a very small number within that number. In addition to millions of people that passed away last year, some of them near and dear to us, quite a few famous names also joined the list, though we may have forgotten within the commotion. Amy Winehouse died at just twentyseven. Joe Frazier passed on at sixtyseven. Elizabeth Taylor was seventynine when she died earlier in the year. Actor Jeff Conaway died at just sixty years old. Peter Falk (Colombo) was eighty-three. Harry Morgan (M.A.S.H) made it to ninety-three. How many of these folks have already begun to slip from your files? Bubba Smith (NFL and Police Academy movies) was sixty-six. Al Davis (Oakland Raiders) died at eighty-two. NBA player, Robert “Tractor” Traylor, passed away at just thirty-six. Randy “Macho Man” Savage was fifty-eight. Jack LaLanne wasn’t ever supposed to die, but he did, at ninety-six. IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon died towards the end of the year, at just

by Eli Andersen

thirty-three. The music world also lost Pinetop Perkins, ninety-seven; Heavy D, forty-four; Clarence Clemons (E Street Band), sixty-nine; and many more. Former First Lady Betty Ford passed away at ninety-three, as did pioneering politician Geraldine Ferraro, at seventy-five. Bil Keane (Family Circus artist) passed away at eighty-nine. Right-to-die activist, Jack Kevorkian, was eighty-three. Renowned journalist, Christopher Hitchens, died late last year at sixtytwo. Andy Rooney also passed, at ninety-two. Kim Jong II was sixtynine when he died in December in North Korea. And joining the list of so many millions whose names didn’t flash across screens or news wires, four hundred and sixty soldiers lost their lives in Iraq last year, as well as over four hundred in Afghanistan. Perhaps you remember the controversial Casey Anthony trial, or the Arizona shooting spree that nearly killed Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The world watched with steadfast fervor as Will and Kate got married in England, and then again, as Muammar Gadhafi met his inevitable demise. Unemployment and the debt debate only boiled higher. The NFL got off to a late start, amid labor, financial, and representation disputes—and the NBA followed suit, stumbling around through the courts and not kicking off its season until midway through December. And just when we thought it was safe to go outside again, Mother Nature thought otherwise. This time last year in the states, the MidWest would soon be under whiteout conditions, and the snow wouldn’t let Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

up for a month. (I know, because I got caught in it in Chicago.) True to form, drought and wildfires attacked the West, especially in Oklahoma. A spring tornado outbreak stunned the South, as well as Joplin, Missouri, with massive storms that wrought historic damage, and took 321 lives. The devastating Missouri and Mississippi River flooding did nothing to slow down the relentless summer heat wave that eventually paved the way for Hurricane Irene. And who can forget the snow on Halloween? Some towns and cities farther north of D.C. received between fifteen and thirty inches of the white stuff. All told, 2011 saw fourteen record-breaking weather disasters in the U.S. that cost over a billion dollars each in damage. For better or worse, the curtain came down on a few things last year. Oprah Winfrey finally called it a career, at least on network television. Harry Potter turned its last page, though I’m thinking Joanne Rowling hasn’t cashed her last check in relation to it. Borders Books closed its doors. And the Space Shuttle program flew its last mission in July—the overall cost of the thirty-year program was estimated at $209 billion. When you think about our time in space thus far, consider that cost, compared to not even a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan—with a price tag approaching $1.5 trillion. What

could have been accomplished, and what could still be accomplished, if our leaders thought more about the greater good, and less about profits? That being said, at least its over—at least the Iraq part. Under the Obama administration, all U.S forces left Iraq by December 31st, with some smaller groups remaining for training and administrative purposes. Nearly 4,500 soldiers lost their lives, and nearly 30,000 servicemen and women were injured—which is a nice way of putting it. The physical, mental, and emotional cost that will be heaped on the injured survivors really can’t be estimated. Indeed, they served their country proud—they served all of us back home who chose not to go—and they should be honored as such. But the debate continues as to whether this country, including its fighting force, is better off for having inserted itself into this eight-year conflict. It bankrupted the country, plain and simple. And we now see the vast ripple effect globally. We’re broke, and yet we keep borrowing. And we keep finding out, in new and agonizing ways, how corrupt our leaders are. And the world sits and watches us trip over ourselves—many of them enjoying the show. Is there hope? Of course! There’s always hope. Where there are people willing to evolve, and seek a better way forward, there is always hope.

But in America today, that means personal and collective change. And therein might lie the problem. There are a lot of people who recognize the need for change. But so many people are unwilling to do it—either personally or as a group. And that’s going to be the story of this nation going into this new year, the next decade, and beyond. How many of us will change aspects of our own lives for the greater good? How many of us will belong to groups that are doing the same? How many of us will admit to ourselves that we, and/or people we identify with, might be part of the problem, and not the solution? It’s a slippery slope, as they say, and a tough road altogether, but nothing speaks louder than the present. And it’s a little hard to miss at this point. If you need a little encouragement, check out these sites: CostOfWar. com and They’re pretty startling at first, but once you settle down, you begin to realize that we’re all part of this mess. We got in it, and we can get out of it. But it’s going to take some effort. One thing’s for sure: stubborn, defiant, closeminded people will not do well in the coming years. As society evolves, and changes are made to address the problems that we face, efforts are going to be needed by everyone—not just a few. You can start with your own life—we all can. It’ll be good practice.

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Television, newspapers, and many other media outlets are filled with stories about the economy, more people than ever living in poverty, unemployment, house foreclosures, and international conflict. These are stressful, trying times. What do people turn to when under stress? Comfort foods and behaviors. How many times have you thought during a snowstorm, I just want to snuggle in front of a fire with some hot cocoa and fresh-baked cookies? Or when something goes wrong at work—I could sure go for a beer, or a piece of cake. In these tough economic times, the only sales going up are fast food, chocolate, alcohol, and cigarettes. To relieve stress, not many people say, “Let’s go for a run.” Some do, but most turn to comforting foods and behaviors that are not always the healthiest. We need to learn to cope with stress in healthy ways. Stress triggers u n h e a l t h y behaviors that can lead to obesity, heart d i s e a s e , illness, and back pain. For the first time, the National Center

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Healthy Comfort in Trying Times | By Dana M. DeJarnett, MS

for Health Statistics reports that the number of obese Americans outweighs the overweight. Seventy percent of coronary bypass patients revert to unhealthy habits within two years of their operation. Don’t let stress curb your health; it could cost more in health problems and medical costs in the long run. On average, people who are considered obese, pay $1,429 more in health care costs than those at a healthy weight. With all the health messages we receive daily, why do we, as a nation, have poorer health now more than ever? People are doing what feels good in the moment, but that isn’t necessarily good for them long-term. Unhealthy behaviors have immediate rewards and distant negative consequences. Healthy behaviors may have immediate negative consequences and distant rewards. It feels good to eat the donut but soon after, you crash, feel tired, depressed, and hungry for more donuts. A whole grain bagel with lean protein may not provide the immediate rush of the donut, but it sustains your energy, hunger level, and mood longer and more evenly. There is hope! There are healthy ways to cope with stress that provide satisfaction and fulfillment. First, choose your foods wisely. As with the donut/bagel example above, you want to choose foods that provide the nutrients you need, while also satisfying your energy and hunger level, as well as your taste buds. If you are eating fast food to save money and time, search for the items

with the least fat, sugar, sodium, and calories. You can find menus and food values for most fast food establishments on the Internet. Each restaurant should have its own site, and there are several sites that post similar information, such as Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to sustain energy. To save money and help the local economy, shop at local farmers’ markets. Eating locally also has health benefits derived from consuming fresher produce. Become a savvy shopper—check to see what’s on sale, plan meals, and stick to your shopping list. Make foods from scratch instead of buying more expensive pre-packaged foods. Eat at home more and pack your lunch and snacks. You’ll have control of what you eat and save money. If you need your chocolate fix, try high-quality dark chocolate with at least sixty percent cocoa solids. Dark chocolate is filled with flavonoids and antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage, reduce clot formation, and improve blood sugar levels. Studies have also shown that dark chocolate can help with blood pressure. Researchers at Cornell University found that hot cocoa is full of antioxidants that prevent cancer. In fact, cocoa has nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times those found in green tea. However, enjoy your dark chocolate and hot cocoa in moderation. Savor one-third of an ounce of dark chocolate a day—about two squares. One ounce is equal to 150 calories.

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

For hot cocoa, an eight-ounce serving has about 130 calories. Second, exercise regularly to maintain energy level, weight, and to reduce stress. We all know the many health benefits of exercise, and we know how good we feel when we move our bodies. Walk in your neighborhood, at a local school track, or at the Mall. Put on some music and dance. Just put one foot in front of the other and get moving. Before you know it, you’ve developed a regular exercise habit. Last, but not least, find ways to reduce stress through relaxation techniques. Techniques can include talking and connecting with friends or family, keeping a journal, deep breathing, visualization, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation. It helps if you can unplug at least once every day. Take five minutes to close your eyes—take deep breaths and release your mind of thoughts and worries. Learn to live in the moment and not jump ahead. Savor the moment. Meditate on your dark chocolate; make it last a long time. The Wellness Center at City Hospital offers classes that can help you find comfort in trying times. Classes include Drop 10 in 10, Eat Well for Life, and Discover Relaxation Within. These classes can give you skills needed to make healthy food choices, practice stress management techniques, and keep your exercise program on track. Take action with your health today to find healthy comforts during trying times. The Wellness Center will be offering FREE Monthly Running Clinics with Dr. Cucuzzella starting in January. The Running Clinics will be open to the public. Also starting in January, The Wellness Center will offer FREE healthy lifestyle classes just for members. For more information on programs offered at The Wellness Center, please call 304-264-1287, ext. 1814, or email

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A beehive is an unimpressive structure. Rising less than four feet, its squat linear design stands in stark contrast to the gentle curves of the natural environment that is so dependent upon the efforts of the sixty thousand or so inhabitants. Gently and quickly, a beekeeper in a white protective full-body suit, which more closely resembles a visiting alien, raises the cover to inspect the contents and marvel at the efforts of the all-female work crew—working steadily to create honey, store

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pollen, and most importantly, raise more bees. The insects are uninterested with the gloved hands pulling and pushing at their home, and the worker bees go about their daily chores, oblivious to everything except nature’s important duties. They’ve been ignoring the interference of beekeepers, or Apiarists, for at least three thousand years. “I remember the first time I

opened a hive; I had a good deal of trepidation,” says Herb Everhart, the president of the Eastern Panhandle Beekeepers Association (EPBA). “So I like to take a new beekeeper directly into the hive, to get over all the nervousness of reaching into ten or twenty thousand bees that first time.” Everhart remembers the early years being a bit difficult. “I’ve been keeping bees for ten years; the first two years, I lost my bees over

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

the winter.” He wasn’t aware of an organization in this area back then. “I had no mentor, so it took me some time to get the hang of it.” The club was started in 1982, when ten local beekeepers got together and set up a simple set of bylaws to begin the group. It has since grown into the largest of its kind in the state, with over 150 dues-paying members, who share information and experiences. “The membership of the club is more diverse than any organization I can think of,” Everhart reveals. “We have school teachers, lawyers, people who are retired, and young people in their twenties. The scope is so broad that it takes in everybody, regardless of their ages and occupations.” Member Ed Burwell chimes in, “We all have to start from somewhere, and we started with no knowledge at all, and we progressed from there.” Donna Miller adds a female perspective, “I got involved in beekeeping six or seven years ago when I saw an advertisement for the beekeeper’s course. I don’t really think my take on beekeeping differs

too much from a man’s. My hives are perhaps more brightly colored, and I have handles on my hives so I don’t break my nails.” Miller stresses that she loves to go out and work her hives—all six of them. “Our main focus is education,” Everhart admits. “We want to help people define their goals in beekeeping and reach those goals, and we stress our mentoring program.” Burwell adds, “There are a lot of personal benefits from beekeeping, but you are never going to get rich. But we do have a lot of fun; we’re meeting an awful lot of nice people.” Miller brags on the club’s mentoring component, “I would have never gotten this far if it weren’t for the club’s mentoring. It’s the only reason I got bees that first spring, and continued. It’s great to read and study about beekeeping, but until you stand in front of someone else’s hives and watch them work the hives, and then allow you to work their bees, well, that’s absolutely priceless.” Everhart appreciates the club’s

ability to explore new avenues. “Like organic beekeeping; it’s a direction for the club to explore for those who are interested.” He particularly enjoys seeing a successful harvest. “What I look forward to is seeing that smile on their face when a new beekeeper gets that first big crop of honey. Nothing beats the taste of your own honey. And I never get over the excitement of tasting next year’s crop. Each year is different.” The benefits of natural honey are many. “The stuff you buy in the store has been pasteurized, and it may have been cut with corn syrup,” Burwell explains. “The honey your bees grow has many different flavors and the listing of the therapeutic values is incredibly long. We have pages of them around here.” Some people may be more concerned about the little barbed stinger on the business end of the worker bee. That can instill a bit of fear and hesitation in most everyone. Burwell insists there’s nothing to be afraid of. “My wife is a classic example; she was really uncomfortable with insects.

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Now, I’ve seen her walk through a hundred thousand bees in our driveway. So the best answer is just familiarity. You learn that they really aren’t that interested in you.” Building upon and spreading that familiarity is something the club really wants to establish in both the immediate and long-term future. “Our youth program is starting slow this year, and some of the members are contributing to make it work,” Everhart affirms. “Any young person from thirteen to eighteen can submit a paper on beekeeping and we will provide the hives and bees to help them get started. They’ll have to buy the tools, and their own gear, and make so many meetings and field days.” The club is also investigating the development of a similar program for disabled veterans. “I’m a hundred percent disabled vet, and if I can do it, anybody can,” Everhart insists. “It should be operational before the 2012 season gets here.” Burwell knows that every season is vital. “The biggest contribution of beekeeping, without a doubt, is pollination. Honeybees account for eighty percent of all insect pollination, and thirty percent of everything we eat is absolutely dependent upon pollination. The insecticides people are using on their lawns are wiping out a tremendous amount of bees.” Everhart understands the value of educating the public about bees, but he also knows that such knowledge does very little to benefit bees or humans if it isn’t shared. “I want to help others avoid what I went through. If we are going to take the time to teach you, then you are going to have to take the time to go out and teach someone else. It forces people to reach out and give something of themselves to help other people.” The EPBA meets on the second Tuesday of each month at James Rumsey Technical Institute in Martinsburg at 7:00 pm. For more information, check out their website at:

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Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

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Mexican Grill Worth the High Praise We Promise! Let’s talk Mexican food. What comes to mind? If you’re like me, I think of the typical fare that graces many Mexican restaurants found in this country—a plate of enchiladas, tacos, or burritos, symmetrically aligned and all covered with some sort of unidentifiable sauce. There may be a bland side of rice and refried beans to accompany it, and you go home stuffed, but not necessarily satisfied. Granted, for many people, this very image is what hits the spot for their Latin food craving. But for others who want a bit more, keep reading, because I’ve got the spot for you! Let’s head to downtown Martinsburg, to the corner of Queen and Burke streets, where Habanero Mexican Grill has found a home. You will not find another Mexican restaurant like it in the tri-county area, and upon walking inside and being greeted by a cheery orange décor and an even cheerier staff, you might just stop looking. A companion and I headed to Habanero on a Tuesday evening, where I assumed that I would find a quiet downtown night. Most downtown businesses were closed and I figured we would have the place to ourselves. I was wrong. A steady stream of customers had similar plans, and as I soon found out, for good reason. Having traveled all over Latin America, I have become slightly

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discriminating when it comes to sampling fare from that part of the world. I’ve had the real deal, and it can be hard to compare. But this place served up simple and fresh ingredients—a combination that can be hard to beat no matter the type of cuisine. It was certainly a winner this night. After perusing the overhead menu (no table service or extensive menus here), I chose the fajita veggie burrito (with rice and black beans) and my companion chose the chicken tacos. I love guacamole and am always looking for the next best batch, so we ordered the large basket of chips, a side of the green stuff, and a side of cheese dip. Everything was prepared right in front of us, and we chose all toppings for the burrito and tacos. Mine was graced with lettuce, tomato, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole. (To be honest, I was much too busy anticipating my first bite to even notice what my companion chose.) I was not disappointed, and neither was my partner. He can be fairly picky, so I was secretly wondering

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how this was going to work out for him. My worries were unfounded; after that first bite, he declared, and I quote, “Oh yeah, this is it.” High praise, I assure you. There wasn’t much conversation after that, as we were both hungry and happy. The guacamole definitely passed muster, as there was not a bite of it left. Another mark of high praise for Habanero! Now let’s talk to Charly Zawacki, the chef and owner of Habanero, and the woman responsible for its presence in the Panhandle. Her first job was in a restaurant at age fourteen, and she fell in love with the environment. She eventually attended Johnson and Wales University, where she studied pastry and food service management. Shortly thereafter, Zawacki relocated to the Panhandle, where the cost of living appealed to her. Working in various establishments around the area, she was quickly able to gain multiple perspectives on how to run a business. In one coffee shop, the owner told her it was always best to learn on someone else’s dime. “I

thought that was good advice!” she laughs. All that experience paid off one summer day, when the stars aligned for her and Habanero. She had just been laid off from a job, and happened to be in downtown Martinsburg for an appointment. She had an hour to waste prior to the meeting, and it was then that she stumbled across the empty storefront on the corner. Zawacki called the city to arrange a showing, liked what she saw, and set the plan in motion. “I’d saved lots of money and decided that I was going to use it for something big someday,” she remembers. That “something big” turned out to be a restaurant of her own, and with help from her family, and a speedy permit process from the city of Martinsburg, her dream was realized. That was in September of 2008, and three years later, Habanero Mexican Grill is a staple in downtown Martinsburg. With meals as delicious as what I was able to sample, it’s not a surprise. Ultimately,

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

At a

it’s Zawacki’s goal to serve fresh ingredients, from scratch. “Fresh food is very important to me. No freezer, no microwave, no can opener,” she insists. “There are no unnecessary fats—we keep it simple, and try to keep everything as natural as possible.”

Glance Habanero Mexican Grill

With burrito options ranging from tofu for the veggie lover to steak and chicken for the carnivores, she attempts to please all types of Mexican food lovers. Not a fan of burritos? Try the taco salad, quesadillas, or the nachos. Zawacki came up with most of the recipes herself, after experimenting at home. A few of the formulas are inspired by her family. “Growing up, we weren’t limited to one type of food,” she shares. Reaching back to her childhood, it’s her father’s recipe for ground beef that she now uses at her own restaurant, and the advice of her brother on spices that now makes her rice and beans so tasty.

100 N. Queen Street Martinsburg, WV


First Impression

 Service

 Food Quality/Taste

The concept of fresh food has taken off “amazingly,” and she and the Habanero staff have developed a following of loyal customers. They’re busy during the day with downtown foot traffic, but at night, families from all over the Panhandle come out to enjoy a meal together. “We are a destination point in the evening,” Zawacki boasts. She and her staff want to make customers happy at every turn. One customer begged for tofu to be added to the menu, and six months later, it was. They changed their portion sizes after noticing many patrons ordering off of the kids menu. Another customer, at one point, asked them to serve a shrimp burrito in observance of Lent. “Now, if we took that off the menu, there might be a riot!” she smiles.

 Value for Money

 Overall Atmosphere


Aside from good food, though, the chef attributes their success to something equally important: a positive attitude. “Having a friendly environment is very important.” Habanero is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. If you want to check out their menu, or find out what all the fuss is about, visit If you’re just plain hungry, then don’t even worry about all of that, and just get to Habanero tonight!

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Meals on Wheels - So much more than just food.

— By Bonnie Williamson

“It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.” You might think such a statement was made by someone whose work earned a Nobel Prize, or whose invention made lots of money. Or even someone who ran a successful political campaign. You would be wrong. The quote comes from Roger Dailey, president of the board of directors for Meals on Wheels of Jefferson County. The Charles Town resident has been involved with the program for five years. Bringing meals and a friendly face to those who are homebound and unable to prepare meals for themselves are the secrets to a fulfilling life, according to Dailey. Dailey worked as a computer systems analyst for the National Institutes of Health for thirty-five years. His aunt and mother were involved with the Meals on Wheels program. Once he retired, he became a volunteer. Meals on Wheels of Jefferson County began delivering meals on November 3, 1980. Nine meals were delivered that day. The service has grown considerably over the years, preparing and delivering approximately 11,982 noon meals in 2010. Meals on Wheels of Jefferson County is a nonprofit agency that relies on volunteers. About twelve volunteers are needed each day. [ 76 ]

The program has five routes, covering Harpers Ferry, Ranson, Shannondale, Shepherdstown, and Charles Town.

“We spend time with them. Talk to them. We make sure their meals are in their hands, and not just left on the front steps.”

“Our work has tripled in the last three years,” explains Dailey. “Our meals are available to anyone in Jefferson County who is homebound or who is unable to prepare at least one healthful, ample meal a day. We don’t care about age, income, or anything else.”

Meals on Wheels of Jefferson County has only two paid parttime employees: Alice Cook, the cook and kitchen manager, and Patsy Morgan-Runkles, the office administrator. Both are from the Harpers Ferry area.

The program has two goals. The first is to make sure clients receive a healthy, well-balanced daily meal—to prevent malnutrition. The second is to monitor the wellbeing of clients. Dailey admits, “Sometimes we’re the only visitors these people see during the day. Many of our people live in very isolated areas. We have a list of caregivers who can be called if there’s a problem. “We want to keep people in their own homes and not in nursing homes. Let them stay where they are and remain independent as long as possible. They’re happier and I think they live longer.” The program currently has about sixty volunteers, who help package the meals, and about forty drivers who deliver the meals. Each trip includes what Dailey calls a visitor, who talks with the clients. The drivers also try to bring a little cheer where they can, he says.

Meals are prepared each morning, Monday through Friday, in the Charles Town Presbyterian Church kitchen. Home delivery takes place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. For volunteer packers, their day starts about 8 a.m. They work in teams, with the cook, to ladle and sort foods into individual containers, help with cleanup, and help pack the insulated cases (hot and cold) for each of the routes—with the appropriate number of meals to be delivered that day. Cook, the cook, who gets teased about her name, starts her day at 5:30 a.m. “I like to call what I make comfort food. I try to have as much variety in the meals as I can,” she coveys. “I’m on my feet a lot, but I really enjoy my work.” A typical meal consists of a meat, fish, or casserole; two vegetables; fruit; bread (and margarine); desert; and a beverage. Special care is taken for those requiring diabetic meals, or who have critical individual needs. Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

The volunteer driver’s (and visitor’s) day starts about 10:30 a.m. They load up the meals in their vehicles. A driver may deliver solo but is normally accompanied by a visitor, who can help as both navigator and the friendly face who greets the client at the door. Drivers are provided with specific directions and head out on the route of their choice. Each route averages from twelve to fourteen stops. The average travel time is one-and-a-half to two hours. The organization delivers about eighty meals a day. Many of the driver/visitor teams are husband and wife. Dailey and his wife Evelyn are such a team. Dailey says he and his wife “really get attached” to the people they meet. Morgan-Runkles says the most challenging part of her job is finding drivers. “But we always have backup. I’ll deliver if we have a problem. And no one is ever turned down from the program. I don’t want anyone to go without a meal.” On Mondays, one of the volunteers goes to Panera Bread and picks up leftover bread and bagels. Volunteers bag the bread and bagels and deliver them along with the Monday meal. “That is such a treat for us. The clients really enjoy it,” adds Morgan-Runkles. When weather conditions are hazardous, Meals on Wheels is prepared for that, too. “We have what we call blizzard boxes,” Dailey describes. “We prepare two blizzard boxes per client, to be used on the snow days when we are unable to deliver a meal. A blizzard box contains two meals, with a fourteen-week shelf life.” The blizzard boxes are delivered in mid-December to be stored on a shelf in the client’s home until they are needed.

dollars per meal toward the cost of food, or what they can afford. About fifty percent of our clients pay less than that.” Meals on Wheels of Jefferson County gets about a third of its funding from clients, or their relatives and friends. Another third comes from organizations like the United Way, as well as county grants. The last third comes from private donations. “We’re unique in that ninety-nine cents of every dollar we receive goes right back into the program. We’re proud of that,” Dailey smiles. In a survey funded by the national branch of Meals on Wheels, it was estimated that nearly six million senior citizens faced hunger in 2007 nationwide—and that was nearly five years ago. The survey found that the seniors most likely to be at risk were younger, between the ages of sixty and sixty-four, as well as seniors who are divorced, separated, or living with a grandchild. The increasing number of baby boomers is also a concern. Dailey points out that new volunteers are always needed. Each new volunteer works sideby-side with an experienced partner. He remains optimistic, “It’s amazing how much the people of Jefferson County want to help their neighbors. People here are tremendously caring.” Dailey, himself, lives by what the nineteenth century novelist Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot) wrote: “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult to each other?” If you’re looking to help with Jefferson County Meals on Wheels in any way, call 304-725-1601. They also have information online at com/~mealsonwheelsjc/index.html.

Dailey emphasizes that those who participate in the program aren’t just looking for handouts. “They don’t want to accept charity, so we ask our clients to pay a fee of four

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The Hard Part is Picking the Color

“Make 2012 the year your The Easy is Calling house gets Part a makeover�

One Block West |

Winchester, VA

Serving Sensational, Seasonal Cuisine By Debra Cornwell Nearing the tenth anniversary as the proprietor of One Block West, in Winchester (VA), Chef Ed Matthews has an archival repertoire of cooking techniques and epicurean creations that always surprise and delight diners. Long before farm-to-table became de rigueur, Chef Ed was buying local, fresh food. Although his trademark is sensational, seasonal cuisine, it could also be described as eclectic fine dining. Matthews declares, “My crew and I are passionate about food and wine and about supporting our local farmers and wineries. We get as excited about beautiful baby radishes as we do about a lobe of foie gras—as excited by a twenty-eight-dollar bottle of local Claret as we do about a twohundred-and-fifty-dollar Burgundy. I hope that people will sense the passion in both the menu and the wine list, as well as the cooking and plating of the food. We don’t just put food on a plate. We put our hearts and souls on the plate.” I agree with the chef that fine dining is one of those rare luxuries in our increasingly busy lives. The dining experience should be about more than just eating and drinking. He says, “I want customers to have a wonderful time with their friends and family, and to leave thinking they had great food, great service, and most importantly, a great time.” Matthews is good enough to hold his own against any of the Food Network’s Iron Chefs. In fact, he has

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been trying to get on those programs for years. Alas, Winchester is a small media market that wouldn’t draw a large, new audience to the programs. The six-course Chef’s Table menu that I tasted emphasized root vegetables, because that’s what is available at farmers’ markets from now until spring. Matthews expresses, “We are always seasonal, but customers can call us to request dishes for a night when they plan to dine with us. If we can accommodate the request, we will.” I also noted throughout the meal that the chef is a master of the thin, delicate, crispy crust—be it on fish, seafood, or meat. The first course was Baby Beet and Mâche Salad served with Wolfberger Pinot Blanc Alsace, 2009. The pale, fruity wine had notes of peach, and pairs nicely with salads, or anything with fruit in it. Matthews riffs the classic beet and goat cheese salad with candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and a cranberry-balsamic vinaigrette. The hit of the salad was the lemon-cranberry goat cheese truffle. The zingy lemon zest and the sweetened, dried cranberries were the perfect sweet/tart pairing. The course was chewy, crunchy, creamy, and filled with brightness. Course two was an exquisite Napoleon of sea scallop and parsnip latkes, with Linden Chardonnay Virginia, 2009. The wine hinted of pear and honeysuckle. With leekparsnip cream, roasted butternut squash, and puffed wild rice, the dish is a course in texture—the melt-in-the mouth scallops, the crunch of latkes, the slip of sweet cream, and the surprise pop of puffed wild rice, which reminds me of a grilled Rice Krispy. Golden Tile Fish Basque Style was course three—inspired by the Basque region of France and Spain. Matthews described it as an exuberant use of the very last peppers of 2011, with piperade—a sauté of peppers— roasted red pepper coulis, crispy chorizo, and saffron aioli. The tile fish is a moist, large-flaked white fish. The chef emphasizes that he only serves sustainable species; therefore, a diner will never find sea bass or grouper on the menu, nor will there ever be frozen or farmed fish in his kitchen. The crisp lemon notes of the Feffiñanes Albariño, 2010, pairs well with fish.

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Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

Course four was no ordinary pork and grits. Juicy, tender, not too salty, and a delicate crust, the house cured pork belly was served with local hickory bark syrup, grits, and red grape olivada. Grapes and olives? It’s a sweet and salty take on tapenade that works well with the pork. The dark plum and spice of the Cono Sur Pinot Noir Colchagua Valley, 2010, is an appropriate companion to the hearty sweet and salty of this course. Although Matthews calls the fifth course a celebration of root vegetables, this course is simply a celebration. The fragrance of the red wine and cinnamon reduction was heady. The Moulard was an exquisite red-meat fowl—rare, juicy, tender, flavorful. Sweet potato cream, root vegetable hash, wild rice, and sweet potato pilaf rounded out the course. What a great way to get one’s root vegetables! The Ballast Stone Merlot McLaren Vale, 2008, hinted of dark, blue fruits. The final course, local quince and dried cherry strudel, was not all that sweet, but Matthews knows the proper endnote to such a meal. The surprising, delightful touch was the pimentón (smoked paprika), dusted and sea salted, pumpkin seed brittle—a perfect crunchy foil for the creme anglaise—maple syrup, and gianduia—a chocolate hazelnut fudge. I was expertly served by Brittany Roberts, a student who has worked at One Block West for two years. Roberts reflects, “One of the benefits of working here is wine and food knowledge. My friends may want to drink wine, and I can guide them through it. I look forward to the day when I travel and can apply this food and wine knowledge.” In the meantime, One Block West is available to all who seek the finest ingredients. Chef Ed Matthews continues to change the menu daily, as he has done for the last ten years. “It’s one way we stay fresh in all senses of the word—fresh ingredients and fresh presentations for our guests. For more information, visit or call 540-6621455.

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Now It’s Your Turn Recipes to Spice Up Your Life | New Year Treats

b Cheesecake Stuffed Straw




rawberries 1 lb large st ened cheese, soft 8 oz. cream r red suga 4 tbsp powde 1 tsp vanilla ker crumbs Graham crac (optional) yrup Chocolate S l) (optiona

nd the top ies cut arou rr be w ra st e n ball To prepare th with a mello t the center ou w llo ho and all knife. sugar, scoop or sm , powdered eam cheese mix cr se at ee be l, ch w In a bo dd cream A y. m ea cr l ca unti cheese ke and vanilla berries with w ra st ll rries Fi . nce strawbe until smooth ping bag. O pi umbs a cr g r in ke us am crac mixture serve. e top in grah d th an p di p to d, e le are fil p over th ru sy e at ol oc ding or drizzle ch berries stan serve straw to t a an on w u whip cream Note: If yo all amount of of the up place a sm strawberry in the center ace plate and pl . m ea cr

Perfect Prime Rib


10 pound prime rib roast 2 Tablespoons of garlic 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons ground black pepper 2 teaspoons dried thyme 1 teaspoon crushed rosemary

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Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme, and ros emary. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast put in fridge to marinate for 2 hours . Remove from fridge and let rest until it is at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the prehe ated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees, and continu e roasting for an ad ditional 60 to 75 minutes. Th e internal temperat ure of the roast should be at 14 5 degrees for mediu m rare. Allow the roast to res t for 10 or 15 minu tes before carving so the meat can retain its juices.

Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

Oyster Stew


1/2 cup salted bu tter 1 cup min ced celery 3 tablesp oons min ced shall ots 1 quart h alf-and-h alf 24 ounce containe rs fresh shucked oysters, undraine canned o d or ysters salt and pepper to taste cayenne pepper ( optional cilantro fo ) r garnish Serve wit h oyster crackers

s il a T r e t s b o L d Grille tions c e r i D Ingredients


Melt the butter in a large s medium kil heat, an d saute th let over celery un e shallots til tende r. and Heat half and half in a larg med/hig e stock p hh ot on and shall eat. Mix in the b utter, ce ot mixtu le re ry, . Stir con When th e mixture tinuously . is almos in the oy t boiling, sters and pour their liqu with salt id , pepper, and caye . Season Stir conti nne pepp nuously er. until the the ends oysters c . Remov url at e from h with fres eat and h cilantr serve o.

t. igh hea rill for h bowl, eheat g r P e into a e ic ic ju n ju n n o o m oil. The e lem poon le in olive Squeez nd k a is r, h e 2 tables w p p slowly ite pe h il d o w n e a , e a v is li ik w o papr ngth 1/2 cup t tails le dd salt, li a p a S ik . r r. e p e wd inad oon pa ste garlic po flesh with mar 1 teasp alt to ta s h s d u r n a b r and ils flesh eppe Place ta der white p l. w il o r 5 to p g c il li o ar ook for Lightly spoon g n grill. C n the size o n 1/4 tea w o side d ding o g s depen r tails d bastin is 2 lobste 7 minute rning once, an ter s b o L . tu e of tails, e marinad tly with e and firm to th frequen u q a p o hen done w . h c u to

Prosciutto Wrapped Asp aragus


1 pound p rosciutto, sliced 1 package Neufchate l cheese, softened 20 spears fresh aspa ragus, trimmed Parmesan Cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degr ees Spread pros ciutto slices w ith Neufchatel ch eese. Wrap slices of prepared prosciutto ar ound 2 asparagus sp ears. Arrange spears in a wrapped single layer on a lightly sprayed baki ng sheet. Bake 15 min utes in the pr eheated oven, until as paragus is te nder.

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The Answers to Your Snow-Removal Prayers Winter is approaching, and that means snow. Sure, the kids get excited because they miss school and get to run around outside in it, but we adults know better. We still have to go to work, but digging out the cars, the front porch, and often the sidewalk gets old pretty quick. Every year, we tell ourselves that next year, we’ll buy some fancy gadget that will make these tasks immeasurably easier. Well, this year, you have no excuse—here are some very useful suggestions. You can thanks us later.

Ames True Temper 26” Plastic Snow Shovel $26 Built to last through even the most extreme conditions, the SnoBoss 26-inch high-capacity blade, with steel wear strip, allows for the removal of more snow in less time and is constructed using only high-quality resins. Together, the blade and handle provide optimal design integrity, and do so with no unwanted screws, nuts, rivets, or edges. And it’s even reversible. Just turn it over, and it’s ideal for scraping tight areas, such as steps and porches. The aluminum handle is lightweight but highly durable, and two grips allow for optimal hand placement and ergonomic shoveling.

Snow Joe SJ322 Electric Snow Thrower $110 The Snow Joe SJ322 electric snow thrower is designed to easily remove snow from steps, decks, patios, and sidewalks. Unlike gas models, the Snow Joe SJ322 is powered electrically, making it effortless to start and maintain. This model has been constructed using only the highest-grade parts throughout each stage of its production. It has undergone rigorous quality control tests in order to merit its ETL approval.

Structured Solutions II Snow Wolf Folding Wheeled Snow Shovel $130

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Behold, the Snow Wolf Folding Snow Removal Blade Shovel with Wheel and Folding Frame. The new Folding Frame Snow Wolf is the only snow removal device that performs equal to or better than a snow blower. It is recognized by Co-op America and National Green Pages for its positive, pollution-free environmental standards and zero carbon footprint in usage. A University of Massachusetts independent study confirms that the wheeled snow shovel clears snow with a fraction of the effort, and is much safer on the back. This revolutionary Folding Wheeled Shovel clears snow three times faster than shoveling, virtually eliminating back stress and strain. Around The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

Greenworks 26032 Electric Snow Blower $195 The Greenworks 26032 20-inch snow thrower has a ZERO carbon footprint. In fact, Greenworks’ entire product line will never release an ounce of carbon emission into the air. When looking for home and lawn tools, they know you’re thinking about quality. You’re looking for something that will get the job done and get you back to your weekend, and Greenworks is confident that their products will perform at the highest level.

Poulan Pro PR621 21-Inch 208cc Snow Blower/Snow Thrower $385 The Poulan Pro PR621 features a brand-new lightweight design that can tackle the heavier jobs. With a powerful 208 cc snow engine, and 21-inch clearing width, this unit tears through snow. Built by a manufacturer you know and trust.

MTD Products 2 Stage Snow Thrower 26” $689 This animal utilizes a 208cc OHV 4-cycle gas engine for maximum power, performance, and dependability. The push-button electric start makes it dependable, and eliminates pull starts. A 26-inch clearing width and 21-inch intake height makes quick work of driveways, sidewalks, and patios—even with icy or hard-packed snow. The 15” x 5” Snow Hog tires respond effortlessly to the six forward and two reverse speeds, making this product the right choice for any conditions.

Husqvarna 12527HV Dual-Stage 27” Snow Thrower $1,049 This Husqvarna Dual-Stage Snow Thrower moves heavy snow with a sturdy two-stage auger/impeller system and a 27-inch clearing width. Powered by a premium 291cc SnowKing engine, and guided with single-hand controls that allow the operator to rotate the chute or adjust deflector angle while the wheels and auger are engaged, you’ll be ready to take on any storm that Mother Nature delivers.

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TROY-BUILT Storm Tracker 2690 Snow Thrower 26” Deluxe TwoStage Snow Thrower $1,099 Touch-n-Turn power steering comes from the 208cc* 4-cycle OHV engine, and provides the ultimate in maneuverability. Push-button electric start and single-hand operation allows for the free hand to adjust the chute direction without stopping. Three SelecTrac Drive modes allow you to shift the unit’s weight for optimum performance on hard-packed or icy snow, as well as gravel. Snow Track Drive keeps ten inches of track on the ground at all times for maximum stability and traction. Six forward and two reverse speeds, and a clearing width of 21” puts this powerhouse in rare company. A four-way joystick easily controls chute pitch and in-dash lights keep operational visibility at a maximum.

John Deere 342cc 30” Two-Stage Snow Blower $1,499 This beast is equipped with a Briggs & Stratton 1650 Professional SeriesTM Snow OHV engine that is proven to withstand the toughest winter conditions. The Easy Steer® helps navigate even the toughest turns. By simply pulling a trigger located under the handgrips, the operator is able to disengage one wheel, allowing the other wheel to help turn the unit. Push-button controls allow for chute rotation, snowthrow distance, and total control panel access. Durable components, a heavy-duty cast iron gear case, and a heavy gauge steel house prevents riding up on snowdrifts, while the serrated auger chews up ice and snow. All from a name you know you can trust.

Polar Blast 4510 - 45” Deluxe Two-Stage Snow Thrower $2,299 This snow destroyer comes with every feature and amenity you can imagine, as well as a few others. An extrawide 45-inch clearing width and a 22-inch intake height puts this monster at the top of the mountain. Crank chute and remote pitch control? You better believe it—to go with a heavy-duty 16-inch serrated steel auger and impeller. In-dash dual halogen headlights will have you clearing your sidewalk, and maybe the rest of the block! Dual 16” x 6.5” X-Trac snow tires will laugh at Mother Nature. And what’s under the hood? A 420cc Troy-Bilt 4-cycle OHV engine. Go get your hardhat—it’s time for some fun.

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Lawrence Crouse Workshop

Quality is still an American Family Tradition — By Rick Hemphill

A finely crafted Windsor Chair, with its simple lines and elegant form, can be as much a piece of art as anything sitting in the many museums around the world—and as with most artistry, a Windsor chair is far more complex than it appears. Today, right now, an American craftsman is coaxing individual pieces of wood from four different species of trees into the shapes required to recreate these functional works of art. The aromas produced when working to create wooden furniture are as comforting, satisfying, and unique as the furniture itself. It’s the first thing that most people notice when they visit Lawrence Crouse’s Workshop in Kearneysville, WV. Crouse’s hair has whitened over the years, but he has as much enthusiasm and dedication to quality in his many types of furniture recreations as he had when he opened his workshop in 1972. He’s watched his business expand and contract, and expand again, over the last thirty-nine years, as he markets his bench-made furniture wholesale and retail to distributors from California to Canada. And he wouldn’t do it anywhere else. “I’m located in the Panhandle because I was born here in Jefferson County— went to local schools and Shepherd College.” Crouse explains with a smile, “We started out repairing antiques, but mostly what we focus on now is building new things that look like antiques. The antique market has a limited supply and we like to focus on our Windsor chairs.” He points out that an original Windsor can cost thousands of dollars, but not his. “Our chairs are hundreds of dollars, and they’re made just like [ 92 ]

the originals. They have four kinds of wood in them, and each type of wood has different characteristics. Those fellows hundreds of years ago realized this, and placed the different wood in different areas to take advantage of it.” Each chair is made with a tremendous amount of detail, with various pieces of wood contracting and shrinking as it dries. “People that are familiar with antiques will recognize this type of construction,” Crouse notes. “This is not apology furniture; it is well made and has a lot of detail, and will blend in with things that people collect. And you can actually use it.” Crouse’s confidence and pride comes from years of creating each project, from the initial selection of wood to the paint finishes—whether it’s a chair, a bed, case furniture, or a grandfather clock. In today’s throwaway, consumable society, he produces a family heirloom that can last several lifetimes. “This has really been my only occupation,” he boasts. What leads a young man to a lifetime of craftsmanship? Crouse looks to his wife and family. “My wife and I were high school sweethearts,” he grins. “She was the queen of the prom our senior year, so I took the prettiest girl to the prom.” They dated for a bit, and then Crouse asked her father for permission to marry her. “And he said in a typical fatherly fashion, ‘Well, you have been dating awhile, and I guessed you would be thinking about getting married, but I think it would be a great idea if you had a job first.’” Crouse was twenty-one at the time. “I had a lot of construction training but I didn’t want to do that,” he

remembers. “My father-in-law suggested that I go to work over in Winchester (VA) for the Headley Family. They were three generations of cabinetmakers. I was able to see a lot of good quality early furniture, and see how it was done over two hundred years ago.” Crouse remembers the son, Joe, being a great teacher, and admiring his ability to work from memory. “He took me under his wing and showed me how to make the glass doors and the crown molding, and all that. I worked an apprenticeship for over two years until I struck out on my own.” Crouse gives a gentle laugh, “I thought he was an old coot when I went to work for him at twenty-one, and I think I am older now than he was then—so I guess I’m the old coot.” The detail required to make a piece of 18th century furniture is more than just time consuming. It’s also about longevity and heritage. “We do that detail because the originals have lasted over two hundred years, so in theory, these should be around for a long, long time.” A bed from Crouse’s workshop comes with a lifetime guarantee. “Unless you drop these out of a third-story window, you are not going to hurt them.” Defining his niche, Crouse explains his location. “This is what you call a destination shop. It’s not downtown; it takes people to hear about you and drive to the Panhandle to find you. It takes a special clientele to understand and respect the quality we put into our furniture.” His independence and appreciation for history even shows up in his home. “My house is preAround The Panhandle | JAN • FEB 2012

revolutionary. I moved it from Sharpsburg, Maryland. I took it all apart and put it back together—laid the stone myself, all the way to the brick on the fireplace.” His wife would even carry shingles up to the roof, where he would nail them on. There were also rumors that the old place might be haunted. “We heard ghost stories about it, but two friends of mine each had a truck, and a crane lifted the logs onto the trucks, and we set up a caravan through Shepherdstown. If we had any ghosts, they fell off the trucks on the way here,” he smiles. Crouse is especially optimistic about the future, as his son, Abraham, and his daughter-in-law, Diana, add the second generation to the family business. “Right now we have five employees,” Abe asserts. “Each chair will be built by one person, from start to finish, on a work bench—not an assembly line.” Crouse chimes in, “Abe’s a bit of an entrepreneur. When he was in school, he used to make rubber band guns for the arts and crafts festivals, and then sell them at school.” This time, Abe smiles, “Since I was old enough to push a broom, I was down in the shop pushing sawdust to make some money for the weekend. And I did pretty well for a little kid in school.” He had little doubt as to where his future would take him. “I was in high school, and I felt that we had a good operation going, and I couldn’t walk away from that.” Crouse continues, “I engineer the projects and select the wood to be used. Abe is in charge of quality control. I’m the first guy to see it and he does a final inspection before it goes to the paint room. “We used to do arts and crafts festivals. I did the Waterford festival in Virginia, which is a little Quaker town that has just 18th century craftsman working there. I’d also do two of them in Williamsburg at William and Mary, and then I would do two on Sunday down in Washington, at a doctor’s or lawyer’s home.” It has been at least fifteen years since Crouse “jumped the fence” and

developed a new line of furniture, and started selling wholesale. “If you bring up our web page, you will see a list of all the shops we sell to all over the country, along with all of the furniture we recreate.” The quality and detail Crouse imbues in his furniture is such that many of their pieces are purchased for historical landmarks. “The National Park Service has had me do a lot of interesting things over the years,” he recalls. “A big job I had was the fort at St. Augustine, in Florida. We completely outfitted the inside of the living quarters of the fort.” The family business also just got a quote for sixty-eight Windsor chairs for a park in St. Louis. In February, they completed a significant amount of work at the Civil War stronghold, Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River in Tennessee. His personal favorite piece of work? “About six or so years ago, they did a big memorial to FDR down in Washington D.C., and they wanted to have FDR’s wheelchair at this event, but it was up at Hyde Park. The bottom of the chair was a 1920s wheelchair, but they’d fashioned an oak kitchen chair on top of it to hide the fact that it was a wheelchair. They didn’t want the most powerful man in the world at that time photographed in a wheelchair, so they made it look like a regular wooden chair. I duplicated that.” With his history and heritage firmly in tact, Crouse looks forward to a promising future. “With Abe and Diana, we hope that by early next year, things will start to turn around and we can set up our own retail shop here in Kearneysville. Now that we have the new freeway, I’m hoping we can take advantage of that.” Abe’s optimism is just as strong, and he shares his father’s connection to the family business. “I would like to continue this business and one day hope to have a third-generation workshop going on here.” For more information on how you can attain a beautiful piece of Lawrence Crouse furniture, visit, or call 304876-6325.

[ 93 ]

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Around The Panhandle January - February 2012  
Around The Panhandle January - February 2012  

Around The Panhandle Magazine, your local regional magazine featuring Things to Do, Places to Go & People to Know in and around the Eastern...