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LO C A L B R E WS • S E N I O R C E N T E R S E C R E T S

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A SMASH HIT PROFESSIONAL AND NOVICE BADMINTON PLAYERS TRAIN AT ASHBURN FACILITY


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Ashburn

VOLUME 3, ISSUE 4 PUBLISHER

Bruce Potter publisher@ashburnmagazine.com 571-333-1538

FROM THE PUBLISHER

EDITOR

Chris Wadsworth editor@ashburnmagazine.com ADVERTISING

Sales Leader: Connie Fields cfields@insidenova.com Account Executives: Judy Harbin jharbin@ashburnmagazine.com Linda Suter lsuter@ashburnmagazine.com Maria Wilson mwilson@ashburnmagazine.com ART DIRECTOR

Kara Thorpe CONTRIBUTORS

Glenda C. Booth • Jill Devine • Bill Kent • Astri Wee PUBLISHED BY

Rappahannock Media LLC • InsideNoVa 1360 Old Bridge Road Woodbridge, VA 22192 (703) 318-1386 PRESIDENT

Dennis Brack BUSINESS OFFICE

Michelle Freeman accounting@insidenova.com ON THE WEB www.ashburnmagazine.com

Facebook and Twitter: @ashburnmagazine Ashburn Magazine is published every other month and distributed to over 13,000 selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to Ashburn Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustrations or photographs is strictly forbidden. ©2021 Rappahannock Media LLC.

BIRDIES AND BEER

F

ootball season is underway, which means millions of us will be glued to our televisions this fall rooting for our favorite teams. But in some countries, badminton – yes, that backyard sport you play with a featherweight racket and a funny-sounding birdie (or shuttlecock) – is just as popular as football is here. All you needed to do was catch a badminton match during the Olympics this summer to see the intensity and speed at which the sport can be played. And while the “Ashburn Football Team” practices right here in our community, literally just a booming Tress Way punt away from its facility so do some of the country’s best badminton players. In the cover story this month, writer Jill Devine introduces us to the Northern Virginia Badminton Club, which is considered one of the top training facilities in the country and has produced players like Sri Kolla (Broad Run High School) and Sanchita Pandey (Dominion), who have competed internationally. And what’s better after a hard-fought badminton match than a cold beer? Well, Ashburn has just the thing, with no fewer than five breweries making their homes here. The Lost Rhino Face Plant is my go-to, and the name speaks for itself. But what about that brewery’s MIG Pale Ale or Old Ox’s

Motor Goat Bock Lager (say that five times fast!)? Where did those names come from? In our Wine & Dine feature this month, Editor Chris Wadsworth takes on the, er…, tough assignment of exploring the stories behind some of our community’s favorite libations. Can’t wait to see his expense report! Elsewhere in the magazine this month, you’ll meet a woman who created a docuseries inspired by a local child’s courageous battle against cancer, as well as get a unique behindthe-scenes look at Ashburn’s new Senior Center, and learn about a treasure trove of movies just a short drive away. And following on the success of last year’s spooky short story contest for local high school students, we’re excited this year to announce a winter short story contest. Students and teachers, check out the details on Page 49 and get your entries in soon – you just might see your story in the November issue. In the meantime, enjoy your fall!

BRUCE POTTER, PUBLISHER PUBLISHER@ASHBURNMAGAZINE.COM

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contents 08 amazing kids SEEDS OF SUCCESS Ashburn teens grow vegetables, selfconfidence BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

14 more amazing kids Highlighting local kids doing great things

16 our neighbors A PROMISE MADE Ashburn woman produces documentary on childhood cancer BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

26 more business boom Updates from the Ashburn business community

28

20 cover story business boom feature

feature story

A SMASH HIT Professional and novice badminton players train at Ashburn facility

BACK TO NATURE Local writer takes us on a stroll around Ashburn

BY JILL DEVINE

BY BILL KENT

48

32 wine & dine feature BREWING UP A NAME Ashburn brewers share the stories behind their unique beer monikers

local adventures ‘AMERICA’S TREASURE CHEST’ Nation’s audio-visual heritage is preserved in Culpeper BY GLENDA C. BOOTH

BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

54

40 real estate round-up

the burn The latest restaurant, retail and other cool news

The latest facts and figures about home sales in Ashburn

42 time of our lives SENIOR CENTER SECRETS 5 Fun Facts about the new Ashburn Senior Center

ON THE COVER Sri Kolla goes for a shot while playing badminton at the Northern Virginia Badminton Club in Ashburn. Photograph by Astri Wee of Astri Wee Photography

BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

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amazing kids

Ashburn teens grow vegetables, self-confidence and smiles BY JI L L DE V IN E

BY HEATHER LYNN OVERHEU

Seeds of Success

(Left) Simon Keeling and Connor Freeman working in the Creative Garden’s garden; (above) some of the produce grown by the teens in the garden.

I

t’s recess at the Creative Gardens preschool in Ashburn, and dozens of young summer campers spill through the doors to play outside. On this hot, sunny morning, many of the kids race past the playground to the school’s well-tended vegetable garden, where they crowd around to help two Ashburn teens — Simon Keeling and Connor Freeman — with the day’s harvest. On this day, that harvest involves armfuls of enormous green zucchini, along with a healthy crop of smiles and giggles. “Our students always look forward to days when Simon and Connor come to work on the garden,” said Creative Gardens CEO Garrett Wilhelm. “They can’t wait for them to arrive, and they learn so much from these skilled, knowledgeable young men.”  8 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

Neurodiversity is a concept in which neurological differences are recognized and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those identified with dyspraxia, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyscalculia, Asperger syndrome, autistic spectrum, and Tourette syndrome, among others.


AMAZING KIDS Simon and Connor work in the garden with their mentor, Ian Shanholtz (center).

Simon and Connor are long-time friends and Ashburn neighbors who planned, created and continuously tend the school garden through Legacy Farms, a Leesburg-based nonprofit that trains and hires neurodiverse apprentices, pairing them with mentors for paid positions in the community. Such partnerships offer the apprentices useful work opportunities where they can strengthen job skills, social

awareness and self-advocacy. Simon, 18, a senior at Berthold Academy in Herndon, is dual-enrolled at Northern Virginia Community College in tandem with his Montessori education. A selfdescribed entrepreneur, Simon says his true passion is developing business models and creating and selling handcrafted products, such as t-shirts and coffee mugs. But he loves working in the garden as well.

10 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

“I like when the youngsters at the school join us and want to know more about the garden and the plants,” Simon said. “I also like knowing that at lunch the students eat the vegetables that we harvest. The vegetables go from the garden to the kitchen and are served the same day in a meal.” Simon’s favorite vegetable in the garden is the zucchini. “I eat it plain with dip, but it’s also good in pasta.” Connor, 17, is a junior at Stone Bridge High School and is particularly fond of the garden’s sweet watermelon. This is his third year working with Legacy Farms, and he says he enjoys landscaping and mowing best, but he also likes working with the children and learning to communicate in different ways. “At the school, I have to explain what I’m doing in the garden in a way the kids can understand,” said Connor. “Legacy Farms helps me develop life skills, like patience and improvising when something goes wrong or doesn’t work.” During the summer, Connor puts those skills to use in his other job as 


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AMAZING KIDS

Simon talks with a young student about planting and gardening.

a lifeguard, and he hopes one day to work in law enforcement. “I would like to be a detective.” For a preschool like Creative Gardens, which is dedicated to early education, the presence of Connor and Simon serves two purposes, Wilhelm said. “First, we are providing meaningful work and purpose to individuals in

the neurodiverse community, which is extremely important,” he added. “And second, we are providing a unique, inclusive environment where our students have the opportunity to interact with people who are neurodiverse.” In addition to the garden at Creative Gardens in Ashburn, Legacy Farms has two Leesburg gardens. Altogether, the nonprofit grows vegetables and flowers on more than 8,000 square feet of land, which their participants sell and deliver to clients such as local restaurants, merchants and farmers markets. Participants handle tasks according to their interests and skills, including landscaping, gardening, deliveries, sales, photography, marketing and writing. The work Simon and Connor do at Creative Gardens is just one of Legacy Farm’s many community partnerships that help participants transition from a school or therapeutic setting to the work world, where typically abled coworkers often have limited understanding of the capabilities and potential of neurodiverse workers. A key component for all the apprentices is working with a mentor. In the case of

Simon and Connor, that role is filled by Ian Shanholtz, owner of Shanholtz Farm and Gardens in Hillsboro. Shanholtz, who proudly identifies as part of the neurodiverse community himself, is also a Legacy Farms board member. “Legacy Farms is a natural fit for me,” said Shanholtz, who remembers his own struggles finding his path while growing up with an individual education plan in public school. “I love working with neurodiverse individuals, because their enthusiasm is natural and real,” he said. “The one constant in the neurodiverse community is exceptional intelligence. … They are more receptive to training (and) are not addicted to checking their cell phones constantly.” And enthusiasm abounds at Creative Gardens, where Simon and Connor are already thinking about what to plant next. “Maybe some kale or carrots,” said Simon, digging deep in the soil to tackle the roots of a dandelion. A Jill Devine is a freelance writer and former magazine editor from Loudoun County who writes for a variety of Virginia publications.

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more

amazing kids

OK, we know all kids are amazing, but if you know of a kid who’s so amazing that he or she should be featured on this page, please email information to editor@ashburnmagazine.com.

ASHBURN STUDENT GETS TELEVISION ACADEMY INTERNSHIP Stone Bridge High School grad Karen Zipor was one of just 50 students chosen this year for the Television Academy Foundation Internship program. The UVA student, who is majoring in drama and computer science, spent the summer interning remotely with the Lex + Otis Animation Studio in Glendale, Calif. Growing up as a fan of cartoons like “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” Zipor says she hopes the internship will provide a foot in the door into the fields of animation and filmmaking.

Brambleton golfer Julie Shin shot under par in all three rounds of the inaugural Sam Burns Classic golf tournament and took home the championship. The tournament took place in July in Savannah, Ga. It was the first American Junior Golf Association tournament title for Shin, a senior at Independence High School in Ashburn. Over the three days of the event, Shin notched 12 birdies and scored a 5-under-par 211 to win by three strokes.

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A local middle schooler has been recognized for her anti-bullying efforts. Medha Pappula won an award from the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center. Among her achievements, Medha used artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop a bot that determines whether an incoming message is cyberbullying. If it is cyberbullying, the bot deletes the message before the receiver sees it. Medha, an eighth-grader at Brambleton Middle School, also created an animation to promote the anti-bullying Unity Day event that was seen by more than 5,000 people. A

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our neighbors

A Promise Made Ashburn woman produces documentary on childhood cancer BY C H R IS WADSWO RT H

I (Clockwise from above) Donna Speckhard conducts an interview with a production crew; Ashburn teen Gavin Rupp, whose death in 2013 from cancer inspired the docuseries “The Promise”; Speckhard was honored as one of the “Loudoun 100” in 2019 for her work. 16 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

t’s a bittersweet memory — a mix of happy times and terrible loss — that endures for the many Ashburn friends of Gavin Rupp. The 13-year-old Eagle Ridge Middle School student and local athlete touched hearts around the community with his two-year battle against brain cancer before succumbing in 2013. His close friends, his classmates and their families have never forgotten. Donna Speckhard has also never forgotten. Gavin’s mother is one of her close friends. Speckhard, who is married and has a collegeage daughter, works in crisis management, helping companies plan for, respond to and recover from major disasters. But despite that background, she found herself struggling with how to reach out to the Rupps and what to do and say during that terrible time. Eventually the Broadlands resident found her voice — and made a promise that would change her life. She created a five-part, awardwinning docuseries about childhood cancer to inform and educate as many people as possible. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so Ashburn Magazine spoke with Speckhard about the promise and her journey. Here are excerpts from our conversation.


OUR NEIGHBORS Donna Speckhard (center) with producers Kristi Gatto (left) and Maria Palacio (right). they need [their] voices to be heard for funding and research.

YOUR PROJECT IS CALLED “THE PROMISE.” WHERE DID THAT NAME COME FROM? I get asked this question a lot. And honestly the title came to me at 3 a.m. “The Promise” is an actual promise. I made it to Gavin two days before he died. I had been avoiding going to the family’s house because I was frankly a coward and didn’t want to face the enormous heartbreak of the family. I wrestle with a lot of guilt and regret there. WHAT WAS THE PROMISE? When I finally put on my big girl pants and went over, I sat with him for a few minutes, held his hand, and I promised him I would do whatever I could to help other children not have to go through what he did. I know that was important to him. A pretty big promise. One that will never be truly and fully realized, but I like to think of “The Promise” as a promise to all kids with cancer and that we will give them a voice to be heard. WHERE DID THE IDEA OF A DOCUMENTARY COME FROM? This docuseries came from an idea I had about raising awareness of childhood cancer. I knew nothing about childhood cancer prior to this. And it alarmed me not only how little I knew, but of what I did know, how much of that was wrong. The childhood cancer community is this amazing group of families who have been touched with this horror. But

“THE PROMISE” IS A DOCUSERIES. HOW DOES THAT DIFFER FROM A STANDARD DOCUMENTARY? We did a 34-minute proofof-concept with the intent to film a full documentary — those are about 90 minutes to two hours long. A friend of mine in the film industry told me that the [proof-of-concept version] was too sad and hard to watch. He had to stop the film a few times to take a break from the emotion of it. So, we decided, based on talking with him and a few others, to split the series into five 12- to 16-minute chunks so we could have a better shot at reaching more people outside the childhood cancer community. WHAT WERE SOME OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU ENCOUNTERED IN PRODUCING IT? Fundraising is hard when it’s for a film. I would have to say the multiple screenings of the film I had to do was difficult from an emotional standpoint. Watching these families tell these stories over and over again was really difficult and raw. My family had to deal with my emotional state for a few months. WHY WAS IT SO IMPORTANT TO KEEP GOING DESPITE ANY CHALLENGES? Here in the D.C. area, we have so many families that have been impacted by childhood cancer — almost all the participants we filmed are here. Look into the eyes of any one of these parents and you will see a look I can only describe as the look you see  ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 17


OUR NEIGHBORS The team behind “The Promise” recently won an Award of Excellence from the Communicator Awards, which honors effective and meaningful communication in various media. when soldiers come back from war. They have experienced horrors that you and I will hopefully never know. I don’t see how I could be complacent. WHAT DID YOU PERSONALLY TAKE AWAY FROM THE PROJECT? I wanted to recognize the amazing strength and courage these kids show on the daily. These kids are so incredibly resilient – even in times when they are really sick they still find things that can make them laugh or smile. I find

The docuseries “The Promise” was made in conjunction with director Kristi Gatto and her company, Risk It Productions. You can watch the series and learn more about the project at www.riskitproductions.com/thepromise. CHILDHOOD CANCER FACTS — UNITED STATES Childhood cancer research is consistently underfunded. Less than 4% of the federal budget for cancer research is dedicated to childhood cancer.

that incredibly inspiring. DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE KEPT YOUR PROMISE? I struggle with that question. The problem is so big – the promise itself evolved. So, I made a promise that I can never really complete. But to be able to start a project and — as emotionally challenging as it was — to bring it to fruition was an accomplishment. So, I guess I feel like I’ve chipped away at my promise to Gavin. A

Each day, 43 children are diagnosed with cancer in the United States, which means about 15,600 children in the U.S. are diagnosed each year. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in American children, resulting in the death of about 1,800 kids each year. In the United States, 84% of children diagnosed with cancer are alive at least five years after diagnosis; however, this does not mean they are cured or free from long-term side effects. Even those who are cured may suffer long-term side effects as a result of the cancer treatments they received. Children who were treated for cancer are twice as likely to suffer chronic health conditions later in life compared to children without a history of cancer. SOURCE: Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer

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Broad Run High School grad Sri Kolla is a nationally ranked badminton player and travels around the world to compete in badminton tournaments. 20 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


A SMASH HIT

PROFESSIONAL AND NOVICE BADMINTON PLAYERS TRAIN AT ASHBURN FACILIT Y BY J IL L D E V I NE

S

ri Kolla first learned a love for badminton from his parents when the family lived in his native India. He carried that love with him when they moved to the United States when he was about 12 and settled in Ashburn Village. Now 18 and a graduate of Broad Run High School, Kolla continues to excel at a sport that many Americans see as nothing more than a pastime at a summer picnic. “I was truly born into badminton. Both of my parents played, and growing up, it was the only sport I ever knew,” said Kolla. He notes that several Loudoun County high schools, including Broad Run, have badminton clubs. “Anyone who questions the seriousness of badminton should just give it a try. It requires a high level of fitness and agility, as well as quick thinking.” Backyard badminton is the only exposure most people in the United States have to what is 

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 21


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actually an intensely competitive sport — one that has been part of the Olympics since 1992. It’s pursued professionally by athletes who compete across the globe in tournaments offering millions of dollars in prizes. And Ashburn is home to the only facility in the Mid-Atlantic that is fully dedicated to badminton recreation and professional-level instruction and competition. It’s called the Northern Virginia Badminton Club, in an office park near the W&OD Trail on Guilford Drive. The academy attracts players from around Virginia and nearby states like Pennsylvania and Delaware. Its nine courts stay busy every day and night. The club — home to the Northern Virginia Badminton Academy — was opened in 2014 by a group of investors who are all badminton enthusiasts. They felt there were no adequate local venues for players, so they decided to create their own and give badminton a home in Northern Virginia. “There are other facilities that are used for recreation or introductory instruction,” said Ashburn resident Shubra Chowdhury, director of the academy. “But we designed this space for professional use, including 30-foot ceilings, Olympic-quality mats and double the number of courts of anyplace else.” Chowdhury, who was born in India, played at the national level there as a state champion


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badminton is the second most played sport in the world behind soccer. Its roots can be traced back more than 2,000 years to games played in ancient Greece, China and India. The modern version was derived from Poona, a game played by British army officers stationed in India in the 1860s. It became known as badminton in 1873, named after an estate where it was played in Gloucestershire, England. AIR CONDITIONING Badminton has long been a major sport in most Asian countries and many European countries. Current rankings by the World Badminton Federation show players from countries such as Japan, Denmark, Taiwan, Indonesia, China and England among the sport’s most dominant. The owners knew Ashburn was a good location to open a center because of its rapid growth and internationally diverse population. “There was already enough demand for facilities,” said Kendrick Liu, the academy’s general manager. “We created an environment where athletes with true passion have everything they need to train to meet their full potential, thus elevating badminton within the United States.” 

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BY ASTRI WEE

While many recreational badminton players refer to the projectiles used in the game as birdies, the preferred term among professional players is shuttlecock.

SANCHITA PANDEY

The club is home to many retired competitive players who are glad to have a place to keep playing a sport they love, but Liu and Chowdhury’s focus is on mainstreaming badminton into the community to grow interest in the sport and train future competitors. “You don’t have to tell anyone in the United States what baseball is, and we want it to be that way with badminton,” Chowdhury said. They acknowledge it will take time, so the current focus is on international recruitment of talented coaches and networking with county and state governments to promote badminton through school physical education classes and recreation center programs. Kolla is one of only a handful of players in the region who play badminton internationally. He recently returned from Guatemala, where he reached the quarterfinals in both men’s doubles and mixed events at the Pan Am Adult Championship this spring. He also played in Russia in 2019 in the World Junior Championship and was regularly listed in the top 5% of players in the U.S. Juniors. “I really love the travel with tournaments,” Kolla said. “It’s like going on a fun vacation, but it’s also great to meet people from all over the world. We get to meet, watch and play with the top players in the sport.” Sanchita Pandey, 19, a Dominion High School graduate who lives in Potomac Falls, plays competitive badminton and trains at the Northern Virginia Badminton Club. She held the number-one girls’ spot for U.S. Juniors for two years and her team won a silver medal at the Pan Am Adult Championship in February 2020 in Brazil. She is sponsored by the sports equipment company Yonex. “I’ve played in lots of places across the country and world,” Pandey said. “Honestly, the Northern Virginia Badminton Club facilities in Ashburn are as good or better than any I’ve seen anywhere, and they are definitely the best on the East Coast.” A Jill Devine is a freelance writer and former magazine editor from Loudoun County who writes for a variety of Virginia publications. For more information on the Northern Virginia Badminton Academy, check out its website at www.novabadmintonacademy.com.

24 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


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ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 25


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business boom A NEW VIEW HOME DÉCOR MAKES A MOVE A New View, a boutique home décor shop in Ashburn, has made the short move from one historic building to another. The shop — featured in Ashburn Magazine last year — has moved from the old Ashburn Mill building to a renovated building across the street that was once home to Weller Tile. That’s at the corner of Hay and Ashburn roads. The history at play is fitting because many of the things for sale at A New View are old, discarded items that have been refurbished and turned into wall hangings, décor items, furniture and the like. “We are proud to call the Weller Building our new home and look forward to highlighting the beauty and history of the building with all of our creations,” said Kimberly Harris, the shop’s owner.

EMPOWER CHIROPRACTIC OPENS IN THE BROADLANDS The Broadlands Village Center shopping plaza has a new tenant — Empower Chiropractic. Dr. Bryan Lichtenauer is the owner and operator. He uses what’s known as the torque release technique. “We utilize an innovative approach to chiropractic care that allows us to create fast and long-lasting results without the use of twisting, cracking or popping that is most typically associated with the chiropractic industry,” Lichtenauer said. This is the second location for Empower Chiropractic. The first opened in Fairfax County in 2018.

LOCAL MAN LAUNCHES WINE PROFESSOR LLC

MOMS MEAN BUSINESS IN ASHBURN

Kevin Chung grew up in Ashburn and graduated from Broad Run High School. After college, he went on to a career in wine — as a sommelier at a Washington restaurant and a manager at an area winery. But in the pandemic economy, Chung found himself laid off. That’s when he decided to launch the Wine Professor, a wine-centric consulting business here in Loudoun. His services include private wine education classes, at-home custom tastings and advice on wine purchases and cellar management. He also hosted a series of wine tastings at Fleetwood Winery this summer. “I hope to share enduring moments alongside my clients,” Chung said. “Wine can be very intimidating, and it’s a turnoff for a lot of folks, especially folks who are just getting into wine. I'd like to demystify the wine world.”

Being a mom is a full-time job, no doubt about it. But there are plenty of mothers who also run their own businesses. That’s where Moms Who Mean Business comes in. The new networking and support group for business owners who are also moms launched earlier this year in Ashburn. It’s the brainchild of Patricia Gallardo, a local real estate agent. She’s producing a series of videos where other “mompreneurs” share their challenges, successes and best advice. There’s a social media component to the group and they hold quarterly in-person gatherings as well. “Our mission is to create a place for mom entrepreneurs to connect, share, inspire, support and thrive together,” Gallardo said. Their next networking meeting is scheduled Sept. 14. You can learn more at Gallardo’s Instagram page: www.instagram.com/ patriciagallardohomes. A

26 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


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BACK TO NATU 28 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


LOCAL WRITER TAKES US ON A STROLL AROUND ASHBURN BY B ILL KENT PHOTOG R APHY BY ASTRI WEE

Bill Kent is a prolific writer and author whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Kirkus Reviews and elsewhere. Captivated by the many streams, ponds and bridges in our community, the Ashburn Farm resident set out to explore these natural areas and share some of what he saw and learned with Ashburn Magazine readers.

T

RE

he Japanese call it shinrin yoko, “forest bathing.” The idea is to immerse yourself in a forest for your physical and spiritual well-being. In Ashburn, we call it “doing the trails.” We follow our dogs, push our babies in strollers, power walk, run, bike and, occasionally, pause to gaze through the dappled light coming down through the leaves, hear the water trickling under bridges, smell the air after a rain, touch the trunk of a tree that may be older than any of us are, and enjoy it. The trails can be scary and strange. Some take you into a wilderness so dense you’d think you’re in another world. A few veer so close to homes and busy roads that they might as well be sidewalks. Others swoop through tunnels under those roads and emerge where you’d least expect to be. The Zawistowski family loves exploring the trails around their home in the Loudoun Valley Estates neighborhood. Dad Greg, mom Meagen, daughter Mara, 7, and son Owen, 4, have used regular walks in the great outdoors to help keep them sane and grounded during this past year and a half of pandemic-imposed togetherness. “There’s something about being outside … that just lifts you up and changes your attitude for the best,” Greg Zawistowski said. “Even without the stress and strain of the lockdown, exploring the trails would be important for us. With the lockdown, it has made all the difference.” Mara is a huge fan of Pokemon, the kids cartoon series that has spawned an industry of games, toys and books. When she walks with her family, she comes up with Pokemon names like squirtles, piggers and spadderows for the many birds, insects, fish and other creatures they spot along the path. It’s a fun game they play. “It’s OK to come up with crazy names for things,” said naturalist Bobby Colicci. “It’s one more way to make 

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 29


a connection with living things. When you give them names, they become part of your world. Learning the correct names can come later.” BOBBY COLICCI

FOLLOWING FOOTPRINTS

Colicci is the park naturalist at Claude Moore Park in Sterling. With degrees from Radford and George Mason University, he has spent nearly 15 years giving nature tours to people of all ages in the county where he was born and raised. So, I met up with him in Ashburn for my own personal field trip. It’s one of those bright, not-too-cool, not-too-warm, perfectly clear days when you can’t hear cars or jets or smell the pollution wafting off the roads. We’re on the long, circular trail that winds through Bles Park, on the Potomac River at the very northern edge of Ashburn. “When the trails are wet you can see footprints, and they aren’t dogs,” Colicci said. “We like to think these trails were made for us, but other animals use them too. Do you think they want to go through a mess of foliage to escape a predator or get a meal? They use the drainage culverts for habitats. They live under the bridges. These parks aren’t just about what helps us. What helps us, helps animals.” In the same way that trees and plants scrub the air of some pollutants, wetlands collect rainwater and purify it as it goes into the reservoirs from which we draw our drinking water. They also absorb water and reduce the potential for flooding during storms. “Tree roots, entire colonies of insects and macroinvertebrates — tiny, crawly, spidery things like snails and crayfish and dragonflies that are at the bottom of the food chain that turn so much of what’s in the soil into food for plants. They also clean the water and are eaten by other, bigger critters,” he explained. “Nature doesn’t waste anything. If you get down on your hands and knees and just look for a while, or you lean over a bridge railing, you can see them. There are living things everywhere you look, and 30 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


we need them as much as they need us.” The trail continues along the edge of the river and then turns south, along the western bank of Broad Run, toward athletic fields and townhomes rising over the horizon. We come to a steel bridge. Colicci leans over. “I’ve always loved watching the way water flows.” He jumps down to the edge. “You have to see this.” I follow and he points to what looks like streaks of mud under the arch. “Remember what I said about things that are good for us being good for other living things? That’s a mud dauber nest. Mud daubers are a wasp that doesn’t sting humans and doesn’t bother us much. They kill spiders. If you don’t like spiders, the mud wasp is your friend.”

SPECTACULAR SCENERY One of Ashburn’s most spectacular natural places must certainly be the wetlands preservation area in Broadlands. Bounded by Mooreview Parkway, DeMott Drive and a Dulles Greenway exit ramp, the area was envisioned by developer Albert G. Van Metre and built at the cost of $1.1 million. The preserve’s major draw is a boardwalk that descends over the wetlands, with benches that allow close views of flowering plantings, some of which grow so close that you can touch them. The Virginia Bird Atlas says the vast pond and the surrounding trees and grasses is a way station for 138 species of birds. During the spring and late summer, butterflies meander overhead, and the air can fill with the scent of blossoming Roses of Sharon. Near the entrance, a wooden observation deck juts over an open pond. Look down and you’ll see small fish and large turtles gliding below. You can watch squadrons of geese and ducks zooming in for a landing. The place is all about looking and — in some areas — touching the plants nearby. Beneath the roar of jets soaring out of Dulles Airport, and the rumble of vehicles along the Greenway, you can hear the wind rustling through the grasses and the insistent conversation of birds, some of whom will paddle up to the observation area and look at you curiously as they welcome you to their world. A

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ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 31


wine & dine feature

E e M m A a N N

A P U G N I W BRE

ASHBURN BREWERIES SHARE THE STORIES BEHIND THEIR UNIQUE BRANDS BY CH R I S WA DSWO RT H 32 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

W

hen beer lovers stop in at a local brewery, the main joy is — of course — the beer. Crisp and clean. Hoppy and bitter. Malty and sweet. Dark and roasty. But there is something else that sometimes brings a smile to the faces of imbibers — the creative, funny, sometimes even meaningful names that brewers give their magic libations. Think Lost Rhino’s Face Plant or Hit The Lip. How about Tunnel Vision or Colorful Kite at Dynasty Brewing? Or Blue Hornet and Berry Bad Ashley at House 6 Brewing. Ashburn Magazine reached out to the Ashburn breweries and asked for an interesting backstory to one of their beer names. And interesting stories we got.


LOST RHINO BREWING COMPANY 21730 RED RUM DRIVE, SUITE 142 WWW.LOSTRHINO.COM Certainly most people under the age of 60 — both men and women — have played a video game at one time or another. Lots of us probably have spent far too much time playing them. And still gamers are the butt of gentle jokes. Take MIG West Coast Style India Pale Ale over at Lost Rhino — the granddaddy of breweries here in Ashburn, dating back to 2011 when it picked up the pieces left behind by Old Dominion Brewing Company and started afresh. Their MIG Pale Ale is described as having papaya and mango flavors with a bitter finish. The acronym MIG stands for “My Imaginary Girlfriend,” a “playful riff,” as the brewery describes it, on folks who are so big into gaming that they may need to make up an imaginary girlfriend to boost their social standing. “She’s very real if you drink a few of these,” said Dave Hoffman, president of Lost Rhino Brewing Company.

HOUSE 6 BREWING CO. 44427 ATWATER DRIVE WWW.HOUSE6BREWING.COM House 6 Brewing opened in 2018 and quickly became a go-to spot for local brew fans. One of the most popular beers at House 6 has a name that is perfectly fitting for the firehouse theme — but only if you know a little Spanish. El Bombero Kölsch is best described as a light, crisp and moderately hopped beer. And no, “el bombero” does not mean “the bomb” but rather “the firefighter.” And who is El Bombero — none other than Rolando Rivera, the founder and head brewer at House 6. You see, Rivera, who hails from Puerto Rico, has also been a volunteer firefighter in Ashburn for 11 years. He combined his passion for firefighting with his passion for beer and created House 6. El Bombero Kölsch is literally named for him. “We didn’t realize how hard it [would] be for many people to pronounce,” said Marian Arcelay, the director of operations at House 6. “But everyone loves to hear what it means and why we named it. El Bombero won a gold medal right out of the gate and has been a staple [of ours] since day one.”  ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 33


OLD OX BREWERY 44652 GUILFORD DRIVE, UNIT 114 WWW.OLDOXBREWERY.COM Finding names that haven’t already been taken is a challenge with the proliferation of craft beers, say the folks at Old Ox Brewery, which has been an Ashburn favorite for seven years now. Nevertheless, they came up with a clever name for a seasonal beer that is returning this October. Get ready for Motor Goat Bock Lager. It turns out there is more to this name than you might think. The bock beer style reportedly originated in Einbeck, Germany, during the Middle Ages. Over the years, Einbeck has been spelled and pronounced different ways, and the Barvarians pronounced it as Einbock, which was also the word for billy goat. The word bock stuck to the new beer style and so did the image of a goat, which has been connected to bock beers ever since. “We honored this tradition by calling our beer Motor Goat,” said Old Ox president Chris Burns. “We think it’s a pretty bad-ass beer, which needed to be represented by a bad-ass character. Hence, we imagined our goat cruising the autobahn [a type of German highway] on his chopper.” 

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34 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


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tHE CRAFT OF BREWING 21140 ASHBURN CROSSING DRIVE, SUITE 170 WWW.THECRAFTOB.COM

For this next one — brace yourselves. We will word it as delicately as possible. The Craft of Brewing rotates a large number of beers through their 14 bar taps and their 20 taps on a self-serve wall. All in all, they have come up with more than 150 beer names over the years. But one jumps out — the Bedwetter ESB, or Extra Special Bitter. The beer was named after an alleged true story told by a former employee. It seems said employee made a connection on a dating app. The date went swimmingly, to say the least, but overnight there was an… “incident.” We’ll let you infer what that was — but the story quickly became legendary at the brewery and the new ESB had its name. At least for a time. “[Our current brewer] hates the Bedwetter name, so we haven’t used it [in a while],” said Travis Travers, CEO at The Craft of Brewing. “I still chuckle when I think about the story, but he won’t budge on using it.” 

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36 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

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ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 37


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DYNASTY BREWING CO. 21140 ASHBURN CROSSING DRIVE WWW.DYNASTYBREWING.COM Dynasty Brewing just celebrated its third anniversary in Ashburn. One of the beer names they are most proud of is El Supremo, an Italian-style pilsner that is dry-hopped. El Supremo is named for co-owner Travis Thompson’s father-in-law, Joseph LoBue, a former professor at New York University and avid league bowler for years in northern New Jersey. LoBue’s nickname was El Supremo and, whenever it was late in a game and his team was behind, he would stand up and recite the same poem to help rally the guys to victory. Here’s the final verse: “It’s not over yet/On that you can bet/Our brows may be wet/From cursing and sweat/No, have ye not fear/El Supremo is here.” LoBue passed away two years ago, but he lived long enough to see and taste his namesake beer. “He loved it,” Thompson said. “He was very honored. He thought it was fantastic. He was tickled.” A

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real estate roundup

ASHBURN’S TOP 10

H

ome sales soared in Ashburn during the second quarter, compared with 2020, in part, of course, because of last year’s slowdown during pandemic-related closures. In 2021, sales were up 76% in the 20147 Zip code and 54% in the 20148 Zip code, according to data compiled by the Dulles Association of Realtors. Those were the first- and third-largest increases among all Zip codes in Loudoun County; the 20165 Zip code in Sterling was second at 66%. The median sales price in the second quarter rose by an astounding 20% across Loudoun County -- compared to 1%, 4% and 5% increases

20147

in the prior three years. The 20148 Zip code had the largest increase, at 27%, while the median sales price rose 15% in the 20147 Zip code. In the 20147 Zip code, houses were on the market an average of just seven days before selling, while in the 20148 Zip code the average was just nine days. Highlighted below are the five highest-priced homes that sold in each of Ashburn’s two Zip codes between mid-June and mid-August, along with the sales price and other key information. Data and photos from Realtor.com.

20148

19762 WILLOWDALE PLACE

22460 CONSERVANCY DRIVE

$1,925,000 Sold: Aug. 13 4 bedrooms 6½ bathrooms 7,025 square feet

$2,990,000 Sold: Aug. 16 7 bedrooms 7½ bathrooms 10,147 square feet

19726 WILLOWDALE PLACE

23060 CHAMBOURCIN PLACE

$1,650,000 Sold: Aug. 19 6 bedrooms 4½ bathrooms 7,172 square feet

$2,260,000 Sold: Aug. 20 7 bedrooms 7½ bathrooms 9,224 square feet

20567 WILDBROOK COURT

41236 TYNEDALE COURT

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40 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 41


time of our lives

Senior Center Secrets

1

Baked fish is a big hit — just don’t mention the pork

5 fun facts about the new facility in Ashburn BY C H R I S WADSWO RT H

Each weekday, the center serves lunch to members, and the most popular dish is the baked fish. Sometimes it’s tilapia, sometimes salmon, but it always draws raves from the diners. The new center is trying to offer a nicer experience than you might typically expect — tables are set up on one of the pickleball courts, complete with tablecloths, real silverware and, when possible, even a centerpiece of fresh flowers. “It should be a dining experience — that’s what I keep calling it,” said Melissa Flores, the café supervisor. “When you walk through the dining room door, we are all just here to break bread together.” Indeed, there is no set cost for a lunch, either — a donation is requested, but no one is turned away. (And in case you’re wondering: If fish is the most popular dish, what’s the least popular? We’re told it was the time they served sweet and sour pork. Lesson learned.)

2

T

he new Ashburn Senior Center on Marblehead Drive opened in June to large crowds. It seems there are lots of local residents ages 55 and older looking for the types of amenities — fitness, arts and crafts, lecture series, games — that the center offers. Not to mention the good-natured camaraderie among the members. Ashburn Magazine recently visited the center, but we weren’t looking for the usual feature items. Instead, we went looking for “5 Fun Facts That (Almost) No One Knows about the Ashburn Senior Center.” 42 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

Pickleball is king, or queen, around here

Five senior centers are scattered around Loudoun County, but the Ashburn location is the first one to include dedicated pickleball courts in the plans from the getgo. If you’re not up to speed, pickleball is the hottest racquet sport for the over-55 set (and a lot of younger folks too). A dedicated indoor pickleball court sees action basically morning to night. Demand is so high that a second room is also used as a pickleball court on certain days. 


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TIME OF OUR LIVES

3

Windchimes are not the ideal craft

“There is quite a bit of etiquette and camaraderie among the players,” said Michele Ferris, the center’s recreation programmer. “They are competitive, but not cutthroat.” But when this reporter paused outside the courts on a recent visit, we distinctly heard some friendly trash talking and a little good-natured shouting. “They feel like kids in there,” Ferris said.

The senior center offers regular crafting classes. Floral centerpieces, decoupage pumpkins and wine glass candle holders are all on the schedule. Just don’t ask the crafters about the time they were asked to make the “Thar She Blows Wind Chimes.” “It was a little more complicated. There were lots of parts and lots of measurements. There was a lot of math involved,” Ferris said. “Even some of our craftier crafters thought they needed a PhD to complete it.” Ferris takes responsibility for the windchimes and, with a laugh, says it won’t happen again. 

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44 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

Ashburn, VA AshbyPonds.com 37750

Call 1-800-981-9329 or visit us at AshbyPonds.com.


...and boy, do we have a lot going on, so mark your calendars!

• Over 200 of the East coast’s best vintage hip vendors gather at the Clarke County fairgrounds in Berryville to bring one of a kind finds for your home and garden • Vanish brewery • Yummy food trucks • Old school fun & shopping in a beautiful country setting • Bring the whole family... and don’t forget the truck!

But wait...there’s more!

November 11th thru December 12th 2021 (Every Thursday thru Sunday - closed Thanksgiving Day)

Join us for our fabulous Holiday Design House and decked out Lucketts Store starting in November! A magical holiday event filled with Christmas shopping, fun holiday murals, photo vignettes, Vanish wine garden and more!! Our ticketed event will allow you access to our Design House, a 19th century farmhouse that Lucketts transforms into a winter wonderland. All decor inside is available for purchase. **A ticket is not required to enter Lucketts Store or our grounds.** Tickets for the Holiday Design House must be pre-purchased online and are not available at the door. For more information on our events or to purchase tickets, please visit our website

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TIME OF OUR LIVES

4

5

The backyard is like a scene from “Snow White”

Remember that scene in the movie “Snow White” where she is surrounded by all kinds of gentle wildlife? That basically plays out daily in the woods and pond behind the Ashburn Senior Center. A flock of geese regularly makes the trek back and forth from the pond to the nearby Ray Muth Sr. Memorial Park. Mallard ducks are paddling around. Deer wade in the shallow water. And then there’s the all-high overseer — a large hawk that spends time in a fallen tree next to the pond. “He’s a big boy,” said Ceola Grant, the manager of the Senior Center. “He sits up there and you can see him eyeing the water, looking for breakfast.” At press time, Grant was looking forward to the arrival of patio furniture so center members could relax out back and have their own “Snow White” moment.

Marie Poole is the center’s oldest member

Marie Poole isn’t shy about telling folks she was born in June 1922, in Kansas. Today, the Ashburn Farm resident is 99 years old and has technically been a “senior citizen” for almost half her life. She started going to Loudoun County’s first senior center, in the Cascades neighborhood, more than 20 years ago. Then they opened the Ashburn center. “My friend brought me around and I walked the halls and looked around. It was so big,” Poole said. “A lot of people say they don’t like change, but I don’t mind.” Since then, Poole has settled right in, visiting multiple times a week. She loves playing bingo, and recently learned to play Mexican Train, a

dominos game. She also likes being with other people — especially when her beloved Nationals are on television. “They’re not doing too good this year, but they won in 2019 and I watched every game I possibly could,” she said. “I even got a shirt.” A

IF YOU GO: WHAT: Ashburn Senior Center WHERE: 20880 Marblehead Drive, Ashburn WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; closed weekends WHO: The Ashburn Senior Center is open to members age 55+ INFO: 571-367-8340

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local adventures

‘America’s Treasure Chest’ Nation’s audio-visual heritage preserved in Culpeper BY G L E N DA C . B OOT H

O

n Jan. 7, 1894, the Library of Congress received its first request for a motion picture copyright for a five-second, black-and-white silent film of Fred Ott sniffing a pinch of snuff and sneezing. The applicant? Thomas Alva Edison. Rather than taking a still picture, director William K.L. Dickson had captured Ott’s motion on film. Ott was Edison’s assistant at the Edison Manufacturing Co. in West Orange, N.J., the country’s first movie studio.  The film, “Fred Ott’s Sneeze,” a series of 45 frames, is the country’s earliest surviving copyrighted motion picture. A photographic print representing what was on the film is among the treasures housed in Culpeper in a former Cold War bunker. It’s called the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center’s Packard Campus and it’s about 90 minutes south of Ashburn. Edison went on to produce over 1,000 films for the public. Of these, 341 are stored at the Packard Campus, including an even older Edison experimental film, “The Newark Athlete,” a 10-second silent from 1891 for which he did not seek a copyright.

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

Larry Smith, a nitrate film specialist, holds a 16-inch transcription disk that contains a half-hour Jack Benny radio program.

The campus has another Edison motion picture treasure, his 1891 kinetoscope, a series of rollers on which film was threaded as a continuous ribbon inside an upright wooden cabinet with a peephole and magnifying lens so one person at a time could view motion pictures. The kinetoscope became popular at penny arcades for watching short films. Even earlier, in 1877, Edison had invented a tinfoil cylinder sound recording machine. In the 1880s, he improved on it with waxcoated, cardboard cylinders and the Audio-Visual Conservation Center is home to thousands. Late 19th century anthropologists used Edison’s wax cylinder devices to record Native Americans’ languages and songs, probably some of the first recorded human sounds. This recording method was used from roughly 1896 to 1915 before flat disk records came along. These pioneering inventions are just a few of the priceless items among 7.5 million at the Center. “We house the audio-visual treasures of the United States,” said Gregory Lukow, the center’s chief and manager of the world’s

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS

48 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


9-2021 Ashburn Magazine 1-4 Page ad_Virginia Run l1/4 Page ayout 8/24/2

LOCAL ADVENTURES largest collection of films, sound recordings and radio and television programs, from “Gone with the Wind” to Groucho Marx to Walt Disney’s first “Cinderella” film to “Jurassic Park” to “Brokeback Mountain.” In non-pandemic times, the Packard Campus shows movies to the public in the 205-seat theater designed like a 1930s movie palace with ornate chandeliers, cloth wall covers and red velvet curtains. Two projectors play 35- and 70-millimeter films, one reel-to-reel plays 16-millimeter films, and one digital projector plays digital films. A custom-made organ provides music for silent films. Currently, plans call for resuming showings in the theater in January.

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THE BUNKER There’s no roadside sign for the center. Visitors who turn off route 522 onto Mount Pony Road see a gray, concrete building looming next to what looks like a grassy hill. Two streams of steam appear to puff out of the 784-foot mound, but they are actually rising from two chimney-like pipes of an underground building. Much of the building was constructed in the 1960s and nestled into Mount Pony, the highest point in Culpeper County, for the Federal Reserve Bank to store billions of dollars in currency. Designers wanted the building to be bomb-proof in case Washington was attacked. With additions, today it is a sprawling, 415,000-square-foot, one-quarterA hallway of fireproof, mile-long structure and 90% is nitrate film vaults with underground. Its 173,000-square-foot green roof, the equivalent of three 50 separate vaults. football fields, is one of largest of its kind on the East Coast. The center archives the nation’s audio-visual heritage: 1.8 million moving images, 3.6 million sound recordings, and 2.1 million related documents. The collection includes radio and television shows and commercials; theatrical films and newsreels; educational, industrial and advertising material; commercial sound recordings, and early voice recordings of historical figures.  But it’s not just an archive. Experts in three preservation laboratories are digitizing much of the collection, including obsolete formats dating back 120 years. Among other challenges, staffers deal with physical degradation and obsolescence, such as lacquer discs and magnetic tapes used from the 1930s through the 1990s. Preserving American cultural creativity is a calling for these employees. “It’s the audio-visual history of our country,” said Lukow, the chief since 2007. “It’s vitally important to understand our nation, its strengths and weaknesses, whether its newsreels or Groucho Marx or ‘Gunsmoke.’ It tells us a lot about who we are, what we cope with. We have to understand the historical context. If you read a book, you have to imagine what the people and the times looked and sounded like. With audio-visual products, we can hear and see.”

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Attention, students: Enter Ashburn Magazine’s

Winter Short Story Contest

With winter approaching, Ashburn Magazine wants to encourage creative writing and see what kind of stories our local high school students can come up with. We are looking for the best fiction Winter Short Story by a local high school student in Ashburn. The story could relate to the season, the weather, a holiday, or anything else that fits a Winter theme. The winning entry will be published in the November/December issue of Ashburn Magazine. GUIDELINES: *Maximum 1,500 words. *Extra credit if the story has a tie to Ashburn (setting, character, etc.). *No mature topics or violence. We are looking for stories appropriate for a family magazine. *Submissions must come from high school students who attend an Ashburn high school or reside in Ashburn. *Judged by the editorial staff of Ashburn Magazine. *Some light editing for style and length may be necessary. *Winning entry will be published in Ashburn Magazine. The second- and third-place finishers will be published on the Ashburn Magazine website. *Submit to editor@ashburnmagazine.com. *Deadline: October 1 ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 49


LOCAL ADVENTURES Take movies, for example. Today, production companies send a digital package to theaters. But 100 years ago, a technician hand cranked a projector to unspool and respool reel-to-reel film. The operator could crank faster to speed up a chase scene and crank slower for a crying scene. Between 1925 and 1940, projection equipment had motors and gears to propel reels of nitrocellulose or clear plastic film at a steady speed. This type of film was especially flammable, so theaters had trained union projectionists. Starting in the 1920s, non-flammable “safety film” evolved and schools, churches and homes showed movies using reel-to-reel projectors. In the 1980s and 1990s, many home movie buffs plunked magnetic tape video cassettes into home video players. Today, people livestream movies to their computer or mobile device or subscribe to a movies-on-demand channel.

SPECIAL STAFF, SPECIAL CONDITIONS The center’s 115 employees, many with very specialized skills, manage the 7.5 million items and nearly 90 miles of steel shelves and in 184 customdesigned vaults 20 feet underground in spaces set at 30% humidity and a constant 37-degree temperature. The area storing compact disks, vinyl records and wax cylinders spans the length of a football field. During the pandemic, the center’s employees worked remotely. The highly flammable, nitrocellulose film is in a room with sparkproof lights and switches. Before 1950, 98% of the films made were made of nitrocellulose. When they age, they get very dry and brittle and even crystalize. At least 85% of silent films have not survived. This means that 30 years of American culture has been lost.

“That’s why film preservation is so important,” said Larry Smith, a nitrate film specialist at the center.

PACKARD’S FORESIGHT AND GENEROSITY In the early 1990s, the audio-visual collection was spread across four states. A 1997 law authorized the Packard Humanities Institute to purchase the decommissioned Federal Reserve building. The bunker-type building was ideal to hold the nation’s cultural treasures. In 2007, the Institute’s head, David Packard, gave the facility to the U.S. government. The gift was valued at $160 million, the largest private sector gift to the federal government in history except for James Smithson’s bequest of the Smithsonian museums. Packard, a Californian, had a long-established interest in movie preservation and wanted a permanent record for the nation. Most items in the collection come from the Library’s Copyright Office once copyrights are granted. Some are gifts from individuals, production companies and television networks. In general, the center accepts original creative works and unpublished materials, important to audio-visual history.

CHALLENGES The center’s preservation work is not without challenges. “Every 10 to 20 years the technology doubles on how much information we can get from the analog media as well as the amount of detail the digital copies can now offer,” Smith said. “As in the VHS of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1939) compared to the DVD and now the Blu-Ray restoration, I think it looks as good or better than new.” Today, fine detail is measured in bytes, and conservators can

November 6-7, 10am to 5pm More than 40 Studios & Galleries and 80 Artists

50 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021


LOCAL ADVENTURES

TREASURES SECURED Here are just a few of the thousands of gems from the last century or more that fill the vaults at the Packard Campus. Film copies of all of the 1950s “I Love Lucy” television shows, donated by comic Lucille Ball, a.k.a. “Lucy Ricardo.” Jack Benny’s 1930s to 1950s radio shows recorded live on big black transcription disks, devices sent overseas to cheer World War II soldiers. Comic Bob Hope’s collection of his work. The original camera negatives of Universal’s 1931 “Frankenstein” horror movie and Disney’s 1937 “Snow White,” the first animated feature film.

The first copy of Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” record released in 1942 and recorded onto a big black disk called the “mother disk.” It has three takes — the second was deemed the best.

repair and copy film in ways not envisioned even a decade ago. Smith worries that the pioneering movies of the 1930s and 1940s are losing their allure among today’s younger generation, who may prefer to click around the internet and social media or text and tweet rather than watch an old movie. Nevertheless, the center wants to maintain these gems forever. “Today, there are more film titles available to the public than any other time in our lives, and the … [National Audio-Visual Conservation Center] is America’s treasure chest of audio-visual

The first color television broadcast, President Dwight Eisenhower dedicating WRC television station in Washington in 1958 preserved on a 2-inch videotape. The 1941 radio broadcast of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “date which will live in infamy” speech. The 1962 radio broadcast of Wilt Chamberlain’s record-breaking 100-point basketball game.

culture,” Smith said. Thomas Edison would no doubt approve. A Glenda Booth is a freelance writer based in Virginia. She writes for publications around the state. To learn more about the Packard Campus, the preservation efforts and to track when showings in the theater will resume, go to: www.loc.gov/programs/audio-visual-conservation/aboutthis-program/packard-campus/

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021 • 51


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the burn A ROUND-UP OF THE LATEST RESTAURANT, RETAIL AND OTHER COOL NEWS FROM ASHBURN AND BEYOND. CHECK OUT THE BURN AT THEBURN.COM AND FOLLOW IT ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM.

&pizza (pronounced “and pizza”) is planning a new Loudoun County location in the heart of Ashburn. The DC-

54 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021

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6 FILLING CO. READIES THIRD LOCATION

A third location for the Filling Co. Gas & Grub is getting ready to open in Ashburn. The convenience store and Exxon gas station will be coming to the

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the complex. This is the second Qwench location in Loudoun. The first is in Sterling.

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A new juice and smoothie bar called Qwench has opened at the Lansdowne Town Center. Qwench specializes in “blends” — their version of a smoothie — and also serves acai bowls, grain bowls and salad bowls. The shop has taken over the former Starbucks location after the coffee shop moved to a freestanding building elsewhere in

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BAR OPENS AT THE LANSDOWNE TOWN CENTER

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At press time, the new extension to Riverside Parkway on Ashburn’s north side was scheduled to be opened to traffic the week of Sept. 5. The extension connects Riverside southeast to Loudoun County Parkway, meaning commuters can travel from Leesburg to Loudoun County Parkway and back without having to use Route 7. Offering alternative routes to congested Route 7 has long been a goal of local transportation officials.

based pizza chain will open in One Loudoun in the space vacated last year by Spinfire Pizza. Earlier this summer, &pizza opened a store at the Dulles 28 Centre in Sterling. There is also one inside Dulles International Airport.

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The eagerly anticipated Crumbl Cookies has opened in the Ashburn Village Shopping Center. The cookie shop — part of a fastgrowing chain — offers a rotating menu of cookie flavors each week. A warm chocolate chip cookie and a chilled sugar cookie are on the menu every day. This is the second Crumbl Cookies in Loudoun. One opened earlier this year in Leesburg.

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Loudoun center. The restaurant is part of a small Connecticutbased brand that also included a location in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of DC. No reason was given for the closure.

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Brambleton Corner Plaza at Northstar Boulevard and Evergreen Mills Road. The new brand — from the owners of the local Rubino’s Pizzeria chain — has two other locations in Ashburn already. At press time, the newest store is expected to open by mid-September. A

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