Since 1988 • Priceless
From the Bay to the Blue Ridge
"BREWS, BOOZE & BACCHUS" The Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries of Southern MD Personality Profile
"FROM CIRCUS CLOWN TO SURGEON AND BACK" Dr. Neil Kahanovitz Gallery Beat
“THE QUILTS OF GEE'S BEND SYNDROME” An Art Critics Condundrum Open Space
“LITTLE FLAKES EVERYWHERE” They Matter Big Time
march’18 A Division of Crier Media Group OTC Media LLC PO Box 320386 Alexandria, VA 22320 703. 836. 0132
firstname.lastname@example.org oldtowncrier.com Published the first week of every month. Worth waiting for! PUBLISHER Bob Tagert MARKETING & ADVERTISING Lani Gering Bob Tagert SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE Ashley Schultz DESIGN & PRODUCTION Electronic Ink 9 Royal Street, SE Leesburg, VA 20175 703. 669. 5502 Peggie Arvidson Nancy Bauer Sarah Becker F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Sherrie Cunningham Doug Fabbioli Nicole Flanagan Lani Gering Miriam Kramer Genevieve LeFranc Sarah Liu
CONTRIBUTORS Jeff McCord Ron Powers Kim Putens Julie Reardon Ashley Schultz Jaime Stevens Bob Tagert Carl Trevisan Ryan Unverzagt Lori Welch Brown Molly Winans
© 2018 Crier Media Group, Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The Old Town Crier is published monthly and distributed to select Alexandria residents, hotels, restaurants and retail shops. Also distributed in the Annapolis, Fredericksburg, Blue Ridge and Washington, DC areas and St. John, USVI.
Since 1988 • Priceless
A Bit of History............................................................. 16
From the Bay….............................................................22
From the Trainer............................................................42
Pets of the Month.........................................................19
Alexandria Events............................................................ 2
Points on Pets.................................................................18
Arts & Antiques..............................................................13
Get Your Irish On!............................................................. 8
Behind the Bar................................................................30
Business Profile................................................................. 6
Exploring Virginia Wines............................................39
Masters of Cuisine.........................................................32
Financial Focus.................................................................. 5
To the Blue Ridge..........................................................24
On the Road with OTC................................................... 1
Virginia Wine Trail Profiles .........................................40
Publisher’s Notes.............................................................. 2 Road Trip...........................................................................26 Social Media Message....................................................3 Spiritual Renaissance...................................................44 The Last Word.................................................................... 9
From the Bay to the Blue Ridge
"BREWS, BOOZE & BACCHUS" The Breweries, Distilleries & Wineries of Southern MD Personality Profile
"FROM CIRCUS CLOWN TO SURGEON AND BACK" Dr. Neil Kahanovitz Gallery Beat
“THE QUILTS OF GEE'S BEND SYNDROME” An Art Critics Condundrum Open Space
“LITTLE FLAKES EVERYWHERE” They Matter Big Time
on the road with OTC about the cover Ahhh, the Shamrock! See how to grow your own on page 14!
Check out some fun facts about St. Patrick's Day On Page 8!
Old Town Crier
This shot was taken while local Alexandrian Brian Marquis and his family took a short trip to the Big Apple during the holidays. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island made their agenda. Brian’s son, Collin, scopes out the OTC with this iconic view of the statue on a nice sunny day behind him. They were able to walk up to the balcony along the top of the base, but not actually go up into the statue itself. If you would like to see your picture here, take the OTC on your next adventure, snap a high resolution photo and send it along with information for the caption to email@example.com. Happy Trails!
March 2018 | 1
Alexandria FEBRUARY TOURS, EXHIBITS, EVENTS
As I write this at the end of February the temperature today is 52 and a little overcast. The rest of the week will be in the low 50’s. We have even had a few days that hit 70 degrees. These temps made me think of the work I need to do on my sailboat and my thoughts turned to southern Maryland. With that in mind, we took a Road Trip to our Maryland neighbor and our typical summer playground and checked out a fun event at the Pax River Naval Museum. As we have done for several years, the From the Bay column regales the cathartic “Annual Burning of the Socks” that takes place in Eastport. Julie Reardon has noticed the warm temps as she writes about spring steeplechasing and other early springtime events in her To the Blue Ridge column. Ashley Schultz takes a break from all of the bad stuff out there in the interwebs and clues us in on the new blockbuster movie, Black Panther in her Social Media Message. In keeping with the Irish theme we interviewed Andrew Bryan at Irish Whisper for our Behind the Bar and the man who makes the Irish stew at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, Lester Fields, is this month’s Master of Cuisine. Our Personality Profile takes a look at the local man who saved the “Big Apple Circus” while the Business Profile looks at John Crouch Tobacconist after 50 years. These and all of our other columns and features are just waiting to be read. Don’t forget the St. Patrick’s Day Parade here in Old Town. It is way too early for us but at least it will get you in the mood for the real day. It steps off at 12:15 on the 3rd and is the only parade that goes down King Street! Am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we have been publishing the OTC for over 30 years…I guess that gives me a chance to say that we have been Alexandria’s go-to publication for a long time! In the spirit of the month of March, I leave you with…..Erin Go Bragh!
2 | March 201
ALEXANDRIA’S 37TH ANNUAL ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE ON MARCH 3 IS THE FIRST IN THE DC REGION CLASSIC CAR SHOW AND FUN DOG SHOW ROUND OUT A DAY OF FESTIVITIES
in honor of this year’s Grand Marshalls, Pat and Bernadette Troy. The dogs will then kick off the parade.
Visitors and residents are invited to don their green and line King Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia to kick off the D.C. region’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at the 37th Annual Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade presented by the Ballyshaners, a nonprofit that aims to promote and preserve Irish heritage. More than 3,500 participants will march in the parade, including dog rescue groups, pipe and drum bands, historical re-enactors, Shriners and Kena cars, and Irish dancers. Parade-goers come early for the Classic Car Show featuring more than a dozen cars on Pitt Street and the Fun Dog Show on Market Square. This year’s fun dog show is hosted by WUSA9 News’ Peggy Fox and benefits the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. More than 20 costumed dogs will compete in a range of categories, including Best Human/ Canine Look-Alike, Most Talented and Most St. Paddy’s Spirit. Each of the winners will receive a 2018 “Pet” Troy Award Trophy,
WHEN: Saturday, March 3rd TIME: Parade starts at 12:15 p.m. and ends at 2 p.m. Classic Car Show is from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Fun Dog Show is from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. WHERE: Parade starts at King and Alfred Streets and ends at Lee and Cameron Streets Classic Car Show is on Pitt Street between Kin and Cameron Streets featuring more than a dozen cars Fun Dog Show is on Market Square in front of Alexandria City Hall at 301 King Street www.ballyshaners.org ALEXANDRIA CALENDAR> PAGE 17
Old Town Crier
SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGE
Old TOwn Shoe & luggage Repair • Serving Alexandria for over 17 years • Shoe & Luggage Repair • New Luggage
Courtesy Marvel Studios
n a time where it seems like we are ridden with tragedy everyday, it is always nice to see some light in this seemingly dark World. The movie Black Panther has inspired many, and partially through the use of social media! An online crowd funding effort turned a social media hashtag into a movement that has already let tens of thousands of kids see Marvel’s latest superhero movie for free. Thanks to a worldwide effort, dubbed #BlackPantherChallenge. The challenge prompted community members to pay for children’s tickets and concessions via websites like GoFundMe. New York resident, Frederick Joseph reportedly started the movement by raising more than $40,000 to let Harlem children see the superhero movie in theaters. The global GoFundMe page claims that more than $400,000 had been donated by at least 10,000 people in 40 different countries. The Atlanta Hawks, invited 150 youth and chaperones at Regal Atlantic Station Stadium as part of the team’s Black History Month celebration. Hawks players, included Mike Muscala and 2018 Mountain Dew Kickstart Rising Stars participant Taurean Prince, who addressed the youth and engaged in a Q&A session prior to watching the film. “We are beyond excited to accept the Black Panther Challenge and provide an opportunity for local teens to watch this film and learn ways they can be heroes in their own right,” said
Old Town Crier
824 King Street Old Town Alexandria, Virginia 703.299.0655 Mon-Fri 7:30 am-7 pm • Sat 9 am-5 pm
Changed Lives Andrea Carter, Senior Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Atlanta Hawks. “We are determined to impress upon them that they can make a positive difference regardless of their circumstances and we are proud to use our NBA platform to inspire our young people.” Attendees included young people who have been touched by the juvenile justice system, members of the BlazeSports Jr. Hawks wheelchair basketball team and youth from local parks and recreation centers in underserved communities. Upon their arrival, the youth received a VIP welcome, complete with a red carpet photo shoot. #BlackPantherChallenge is going to take donations and distribute the money to organizations that may need help meeting their goals for the challenge. In order to be considered, the campaign must be started by or for a charity that aims to take kids to see the movie. Some critics are calling it the best Marvel movie to date, it maintains a 97 percent “certified fresh” score on review site Rotten Tomatoes. The film features a predominantly black cast and focuses on T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, who succeeds his father as king of the fictional African country Wakanda. Besides being one of the best Marvel movies…..Black Panther has brought an inspirational story that we have been waiting for!! March 2018 | 3
The Big Apple Circus is back thanks in large part to Dr. Neil Kahanovitz, a Maryland Surgeon.
From Circus to Surgery And Back
was a tough year for the circus. After 146 years of performances, with Washington, DC as an annual stop, Ringling Brothers called it quits. And the more intimate Big Apple Circus filed for bankruptcy, after entertaining audiences of all ages for nearly four decades. But thanks to a retired surgeon, Dr. Neil Kahanovitz, Big Apple Circus is back, and opening at National Harbor March 8 through April 1. Dr. Kahanovitz and a team of investors rescued Big Apple Circus, buying it out of bankruptcy in February 2017, and arranging its successful opening this fall in New York at Lincoln Center and its 40th Anniversary Season and National Road Show. Kahanovitz’s love for the circus dates back to when he was a toddler, growing up in Baltimore. At age four, his mom Bettie, took him to see his first circus. During his elementary school days, he became a voracious reader of anything circus-related, not able to get enough of books related to clowning and the magical life of circus performers. At the young age of eight, Kahanovitz built his own trapeze in the backyard, using a broomstick and two pieces of rope. Athletically inclined, Kahanovitz excelled at youth sports, playing ice hockey in the winter and winning awards as a diver in the summer. A mishap on the ice led to a broken elbow at age 13, but Kahanovitz took it in stride, in awe of the surgeons who repaired his bones and joints with precision and a couple of
4 | March 201
pins. In his own words, “the orthopedic surgeon who did it was like a god to me. I wanted to be just like that guy.” But Kahanovitz’ love for the circus never faded, as one day en route to high school, he and a friend passed the arena in Baltimore where Ringling Bros. was setting up. Having been to dozens of hockey games at this same venue, Kahanovitz was mesmerized by its transformation, trapeze swings, tight ropes, and tigers. Kahanovitz’s parents, Jake and Bettie, had other plans for their only son, which
Kahanovitz (left) in his early days did not include running away with the traveling circus, but rather going to college and medical school. And so began these dueling, divergent dreams and career paths, one as a trapeze artist in the circus; the other as an orthopedic surgeon. Luckily, Kahanovitz has been able to pursue both passions. One summer while in college, he landed a job with Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus selling concessions. And while attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Kahanovitz took a leave
of absence to perform in the comedy trampoline act and later as an aerialist in a large circus in the Midwest. Kahanovitz went on to a distinguished medical career, including serving as head of Spine Surgery at our very own Washington Hospital Center for more than a decade. He has been published in over 50 articles in scientific journals, written about spinal disorders in medical textbooks, and authored a book on the treatment of lower back pain. He has served as President of the North American Spine Society and has received the prestigious Volvo Award for Low Back Pain Research, as well as a Commendation from The United States House Physician’s Office for his care and surgery performed on members of the United States Supreme Court and Congress. He was also awarded one of the Soviet Union’s most prestigious civilian honors, The Order of The Supreme Soviet Medal of Personal Courage, for organizing relief efforts following a devastating earthquake in Armenia. Now in retirement, Kahanovitz has thrown his hat back in the ring. According to the good doc, “I’m not the kind of guy who would look forward to a quiet day on the porch.” So, rather than assuming a low-key lifestyle, this 68-year-old former surgeon has taken on a new challenge in retirement: saving the centuries-old art form of the circus to ensure that current and future audiences can experience the thrill and delight of live and daredevil human acts in the intimate atmosphere, where no seat is more than 50-feet from the action, all under the Big Apple Circus Big Top. Old Town Crier
CARL TREVISAN, CFP© & STEPHEN BEARCE
Personalize Your Social Security Payout Strategy
nly you can decide if claiming Social Security at age 62 or waiting to claim later makes more sense. Lifestyle and philanthropic intentions, marital and employment status, and gender are all factors.
When do you claim? If you’re in a position to think through your Social Security claiming schedule, do it. It could mean thousands or tens of thousands to your annual retirement income. Here’s your choice: You can start receiving monthly payouts at the qualifying age of 62 like many people. Or you can hold out for a bigger payout down the road. It’s your call – and it could be a game-changer in retirement. Though an immediate need for funds will usually trump other considerations, delaying Social Security for just eight Old Town Crier
years – until age 70 – could mean up to 30% more from Uncle Sam every month. Some key considerations will likely factor into your claiming strategy:
What’s age got to do with it? If 60 is the new 40, then 80 is the new 60. Longer life spans are only part of the story, though. The rest of it plays out every day in 21st century lifestyle and retirement expectations, not to mention philanthropic intentions or plans to help out the family or grandchildren. Along with modern realities, retirees’ multiple income sources and investments are changing traditional Social Security claiming patterns. It may make more sense to begin drawing funds from other income sources while delaying Social Security. Or you may even decide to put off retirement for a few years to
make it possible.
What’s your claiming combo? If you’re married or in a relationship, you’ll want to look at where you both stand in relation to retirement. We’re talking “still working” versus “already retired.” Depending on your personal circumstances, a number of scenarios could apply, including: • Both spouses or partners wait until 70 to claim • One spouse or partner claims early while the other waits • A lower-earning spouse claims a spousal benefit at or after full retirement age while deferring his or her own retirement benefit (available only to anyone born on or before May 1, 1950, from full retirement age through age 70) Your claiming strategy may
• Decide on a Social Security claiming strategy that works for you.
Wells Fargo Advisors does not provide tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and/or legal advisors before taking any action that may have tax and/or legal consequences. This article was written by/ for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Carl M. Trevisan, Managing DirectorInvestments and Stephen M. Bearce, First Vice PresidentInvestments in Alexandria, VA at 800-247-8602. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANKGUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.
• Write it down, revisit it occasionally, and tweak it whenever necessary.
© 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.
be as unique as your financial circumstances and retirement outlook.
What’s your gender? Longer life spans apply here, too. Women, on average, outlive men. Take gender into account in your claiming strategy. Look at your gene pool, retirement expectations, and whether or not you’ll receive dependent Social Security benefits should you lose your spouse. Give yourself the gift of planning ahead, especially as you approach Social Security eligibility, to help you get more from this valuable retirement income source.
March 2018 | 5
Carter, Ethan and John
Walk In Humidor
The Chief Bids You Welcome
John Crouch Tobacconist W JOHN CROUCH TOBACCONIST 215 KING STREET OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA 703-548-2900 6 | March 201
henever I write a business profile, it is rewarding when I get to write about one of those businesses that as survived through the years and has prospered. For over 50 years John Crouch Tobacconist has been providing Alexandrians and tourists alike with the best in smoke products and also a chance to enjoy a pipe or cigar while you sit and chat with the proprietors. When Old Town Alexandria was mostly the
100 to 300 blocks of King Street, the Old Dominion Boat Club was men only and there was nowhere to take a water taxi, John Crouch was the go-to place in the 100 block of King Street. About 35 years ago Dan and Susan Geller bought the store from John Crouch (yup, really was a guy named John Crouch) and began to up tick the store and expand on their inventory. Dan began to import estate pipes, fine tobaccos, quality cigars and the collectable Meerschaum
pipes. These were the days when you could buy a Macanudo Portifino cigar in its crush-proof aluminum tube for a mere $2.10. In the early 90â€™s when the cigar craze hit, the Gellers realized they needed more room and partnered with the Scottish Merchant, which was located at 215 King Street and is their location today. The move made it possible to enlarge their humidor to where it is one of the largest in the metro area. The combination of the two stores
worked out well by combining Old World Scotland with some of the finest tobacco products in the area. Over the years the company has pared back on its Scottish inventory although they will still special order anything from a kilt to a clan crest. They do, however, still carry a selection of scarves, key chains, books, driving caps and tweed Scottish hats. You can pick yourself up a little something while you are in Old Town for the St. Patrickâ€™s Day parade this month! Dan and Susan Geller semiretired a few years ago and relocated to South Carolina. Long time employees Ethan Wagner, Carter Poole and John Pann now manage the store with a little help from a handful of customers who will sit a spell and enjoy a smoke. It has become quite a place for Old Town Crier
63rd Anniversary Storewide Sale
20% - 40% Off Fine Jewelry, Watches & Giftware* *Discount does not apply to Rolex and Shinola watches and our already competitively priced diamond engagement rings.
Now thru March 31, 2018
KingsJewelry.NET 609 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703-549-0011 Family owned and operated for over 60 years.
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm Open Thurs 10am-8pm Closed Sundays
WASHINGTONIAN’S TOP 100 B2USINESS PROFILE | FROM PAGE 6
socializing. Sort of like the old days when local guys sat around the “barber shop”. It makes for a nice relaxing time. If you are a pipe smoker, you have to try their blend of Cobblestone, one of the most aromatic pipe tobaccos anywhere. It has been a staple product of John Crouch since the early days. Their walk in humidor is worth a visit. This is where you can choose from over 10,000 cigars and 178 brands and they receive shipments almost every day. As you would expect, they also have a complete selection of every accessory in the tobacco trade. The next time you take a stroll down King Street, stop in for a visit with Ethan, Carter or John and I am sure that you will find something that you always wanted – even those of you who don’t imbibe in the smokes. Tell them you saw it in the Crier! Old Town Crier
SPECTACULAR SEAFOOD • CREOLE & CAJUN SPECIALTIES Alexandria’s Renowned Neighborhood Restaurant & Bar Open daily for lunch and dinner and dinner on Sundays
3804 Mt. Vernon Avenue • Alexandria 703-684-6010 • rtsrestaurant.net March 2018 | 7
Lauren Fleming • lfbphoto.smugmug.com
GET YOUR IRISH ON!
The shamrock, which was also called the “seamroy” by the Celts, was a sacred plant in ancient Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. By the seventeenth century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism. As the English began to seize Irish land and make laws against the use of the Irish language and the practice of Catholicism, many Irish began to wear the shamrock as a symbol of their pride in their heritage and their displeasure with English rule.
Irish Music Music is often associated with St. Patrick’s Day — and Irish culture in general. From ancient days of the Celts, music has always been an important part of Irish life. The Celts had an oral culture, where religion, legend and history were passed from one generation to the next by way of stories and songs. After being conquered by the English, and forbidden to speak their own language, the Irish, like other oppressed peoples, turned to music to help them remember important events and hold on to their heritage and history. As it often stirred emotion and helped to galvanize people, music was outlawed by the English. During her reign, Queen Elizabeth I even decreed that all artists and pipers were to be arrested and hanged on the spot. Today, traditional Irish bands like The Chieftains, the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem are gaining worldwide popularity. Their music is produced with instruments that have been used for centuries, including the fiddle, the uilleann pipes (a sort of elaborate bagpipe), the tin whistle (a sort of flute that is actually made of nickel-silver, brass or aluminum) and the 8 | March 201
bodhran (an ancient type of framedrum that was traditionally used in warfare rather than music).
The Snake It has long been recounted that, during his mission in Ireland, St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop (which is now called Croagh Patrick), and with only a wooden staff by his side, banished all the snakes from Ireland. In fact, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The “banishing of the snakes” was really a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Within 200 years of Patrick’s arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.
Corned Beef Each year, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage. Though cabbage has long been an Irish food, corned beef only began to be associated with St. Patrick’s Day at the turn of the century. Irish immigrants living on New York City’s Lower East Side substituted corned beef for their traditional dish of Irish bacon to save money. They learned about the cheaper alternative from their Jewish neighbors.
The Leprechaun The original Irish name for these figures of folklore is “lobaircin,” meaning “small-bodied fellow.” Belief in leprechauns probably stems from Celtic belief in fairies, tiny men and women who could use their magical powers to serve good or evil. In Celtic folktales, leprechauns were cranky
• First St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in Boston in 1737. • Saint Patrick was not Irish by birth; he was a RomanoBriton Christian missionary born in England. His true given name was Maewyn Succat. • St. Patrick’s Day did not become a national holiday in Ireland in 1903 and the first parade wasn’t held in Dublin until 1931. • Upwards of 15 million pints of Guinness will be consumed on St. Patrick’s Day. • The color originally associated with St. Patrick was blue; green became associated during the 19th century. • According to legend, St. Patrick was known for banishing dangerous animals from Ireland, particularly snakes. • St. Patrick’s celebrations were originally religious festivals. • There are 36.5 million U.S. residents who claim Irish ancestry, more than eight times the population of Ireland itself (4.5 million). • There are four places in the U.S. named Shamrock: West Virginia, Texas, Indiana and Oklahoma. There are nine Dublin’s — Dublin, Calif. and Dublin, Ohio are the most populous. • More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States. New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.
souls, responsible for mending the shoes of the other fairies. Though only minor figures in Celtic folklore, leprechauns were known for their trickery, which they often used to protect their much-fabled treasure. Leprechauns had nothing to do with St. Patrick or the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, a Catholic holy day. In 1959, Walt Disney released a film called Darby O’Gill & the Little People, which introduced America to a very different sort of leprechaun than the cantankerous little man of Irish folklore. This cheerful, friendly leprechaun is a purely American invention, but has quickly evolved into an easily recognizable symbol of both St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland in general. Old Town Crier
THE LAST WORD
y recently gobbling up Jason Matthew’s longawaited new release The Kremlin’s Candidate, I finally finished his fascinating Red Sparrow trilogy: a spy novel trifecta focused on an intelligent, beautiful Russian double agent and her American CIA handler. While I had a few issues with this recent book, I can still recommend it highly for those who have enjoyed his previous works. Matthew’s newest spy thriller follows Red Sparrow, which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and its successor, Palace of Treason. In the first novel Nate Nash, a young CIA officer making his bones in Moscow, Finland, and other CIA stations, is tasked by his superiors with recruiting a Russian foreign intelligence (SVR) agent, Dominika Egorova. Egorova, a talented former ballet dancer, has gone into Russia’s secret service, the SVR. Physically lovely, she is forcibly sent off to Sparrow School, where she must learn how to seduce and manipulate SVR targets sexually, compromising and extracting information from them. Gifted with a superb Old Town Crier
MIRIAM R. KRAMER
THE KREMLIN’S CANDIDATE memory and synesthesia, an ability to see music, feelings, and others’ psyches in the form of colored halos, Dominika has the potential to rise high in a male-dominated service where guessing others’ intentions is crucial to survival. In Finland she is sent to meet Nate Nash, the talented young agent fluent in Russian. They play games as each tries to recruit the other as a double agent. Disgusted by the roles she is forced to play, Dominika decides to do her part to bring down the corrupt SVR, military, and internal security bureaucrats surrounding the Putin regime by working for the Americans. In the process she and Nash fall in love against all the rules of his agency and colleagues. In The Kremlin’s Candidate, Matthews picks up the story continued in Palace of Treason. Dominika has skillfully risen through the ranks to become an SVR colonel, playing the dangerous game of feeding intelligence to the Americans while avoiding being detected by her own service. In
discovering the presence of a Russian mole codenamed MAGNIT, she and her handlers are in a race to find this American double agent who, as a potential candidate for Director of the CIA, might secretly betray Dominika to the Russian government when confirmed by Congress. From Red Sparrow onwards to this novel, Matthews, a former CIA officer and Chief of Station in multiple countries, has written three captivating thrillers with serious characters who utter occasional funny, earthy asides to break the tension. His portrayal of the conflicts between Nash’s colorful colleagues and their use of CIA tradecraft makes me wonder how he even got his novels past CIA censors. In any case, both are to the reader’s benefit. His detailed plots move very quickly and provide riveting armchair travel. As usual with Matthews, the characters, their handlers, and various international spies play dangerous games across global borders, with a cacophony of foreign intelligence agencies
such as the CIA, SVR, Chinese MSS, and Australian ASIS clashing and forming alliances during operations. He also offers an inside peek at the bureaucracy inside the CIA and the SVR, with a scathing look at the current state of Russian politics as embodied by a hierarchy of Kremlin intrigues and the enigmatic, dangerous President Vladimir Putin. Through Dominika’s rise up the ladders of power, she is enticed into increasingly frequent interactions with the President. One can imagine from reading about Russian-American events of the past two years that Matthews’ observations might even be more astute than he knows. All that being said, I have a few caveats about this last work. The Kremlin’s Candidate, unlike the first two in the series, could have benefited from fewer subplots and more stringent editing. In addition, Matthews exhausts a few character tropes from his previous novels. While spy novels are not generally known for their detailed
character development, I still find repeated versions of ubervillain Russian underlings, steamy seductresses, and sexually erratic shrews tedious. His portrayal of Putin shows more subtlety in describing the Russian president’s subtle political machinations and penchant for spreading violence and mayhem overseas. I was not thrilled with the ending of this book, however, and found it anticlimactic. It seemed that Matthews knew he had to tie together plots and characters to finish the novels, but was not sure how to do that best. Regardless, if you enjoy sharply written thrillers, reading about contemporary Russian politics and history, or an inside look at the politics inside foreign intelligence services, I’d recommend the Red Sparrow trilogy highly. These works are much better written and more detailed than most others in the genre. If you go to see the new film Red Sparrow starring Jennifer Lawrence, please read the story first. Remember, the book is always better than the movie! March 2018 | 9
got a preview of a new EP entitled “Love” by The Lords of Easton & Stan Medley. I must say this EP has wonderful vocal duets by The Lords of Easton’s Raven Kane and Sy Gorieb and just as impressive musical arrangement.
The Wedding Song Duet (In the Morning Light) If ever a song were to meet precisely with the sentiment implied by its title, this is the one. The performances from each of the two leading singers come through with absolute passion and genuine affection, the intensity or brightness of which grows and grows accordingly as the song pours out. For what begins as a notably gentle soundscape, with two softly spoken voices declaring their loyalty and promises, it later explodes into something incredibly moving and far more fittingly reminiscent of the true dedication and adoration that is the essence of a marriage commitment. The lyrics also begin in a fairly subtle way, presenting peaceful imagery and references that slowly start to alight that fire and connectedness. Moving onwards, the lyrics take on an even more poetic form, fusing truth, realization, learning, desire, and depth – this is backed up beautifully by the musical creativity surrounding it, and of course by the sensational vocal performances. There’s a lot about this single that underlines the blessing of true love and the dedicative essence
alternative characters or sides to the story-line bounce off of one another in a manner that keeps things colorful and forever interesting. The entire soundscape holds tight to your attention with this kind of detail – everything has been professionally and thoughtfully arranged, so as the lyricism pours out more intensely, the instrumentation follows suit. The single begins with a delicately classic musical rhythm, fusing a little of the organic with something a touch more electronically retro. On top of this, Sy Gorieb, the initial leading voice adds to the delicacy, the song is almost whispered to you at first, or perhaps more accurately – the two voices whisper to each other, slowly increasing the intensity of their delivery as the music moves forward. This is precisely what takes place to keep that balance between the heavy and the wholesome consistent. There’s a peacefulness at times, but it moves on through passion and power, in just about every way, so whenever things feel a little too gentle – this dramatic re-animation draws you right back into the center of the action. It’s a mighty release, the build-up is phenomenal, the saxophone that comes in during the latter half adds yet another hint of style and character, and as the voices fade out further into the reverb – the melody and lyrics are left lingering clearly in your mind. It’s a really well written and brilliantly performed piece of music, immensely enjoyable.
THE LORDS OF EASTON STAN MEDLEY
10 | March 201
and a pleasure to of a wedding, perhaps You can hear more of The Lords of Easton witness. most distinctly & Stan Medley on Spotify: though, it is the lyrics HTTP://SPOTI.FI/2OLD9RD Love Love Love and the back and Or watch the video on Youtbe: (Arabian Nights) forth between the HTTP://BIT.LY/2OLRNCA two performers that You get a striking Or at their website: speaks the loudest. and mildly theatreWWW.THELORDSOFEASTON.COM The music has a like sense of contrast classically theatrical and development a special occasion. There’s or stage feel to it with this song, the sort that plenty about it that is deeply – the way the soundscape overwhelms and completely meanders, the changing levels personal, but it’s been made takes control of the moment appropriately accessible to of passion, the various details and the room within which it all – these statements and the and moments that make it plays. At just over five minutes way they’ve been expressed what it is. For fans of musical long, the piece fully utilises can become unique to each theatre or performance and the time frame to progress partnership; that’s the magic power ballads in general, this gradually and relevantly of the writing and the music. will make for a gorgeously to the unfolding theme. A powerful song, well-crafted entrancing song to mark The two voices offering up
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Submit your best images to be featured on the cover of the Old Town Crier each month in 2018! Dimensions: 10.75 x 15.25in @ 300dpi Photographer must be Local to the DMV Subject Matter must be relative to the season (holidays included) Info for Photo Credit with any copyright info must accompany submission Please include a short blurb (1-2 sentences) about your image & contact info. for the ToC page Compensation: Photo credit and front cover exposure Submit images to firstname.lastname@example.org Photo: Lauren Fleming lfbphoto.smugmug.com
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March 2018 | 11
F. LENNOX CAMPELLO
President Obama by Kehinde Wiley
National Gallery of Art
Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald
National Gallery of Art
‘Artmospherics’ Meets Tradition The Quilts of Gee’s Bend Syndrome In the rarefied artmosphere (not a misspelled word – I’m using the word “art” and thus instead of “atmosphere” … get it?) of the art world, there is a curious case of the PC review that many years ago I dubbed the “Quilts of Gee’s Bend Syndrome.” In a nutshell: There are some art shows, and some artwork, which no one (who cares how other “perceive” them) dares to write a negative review about because if a writer did dare to criticize it, he/she would be skewered by readers and others in the 12 | March 201
art world cabal’ PC police. It is essentially the PC’ing of the art world. I called it the “Quilts of Gee’s Bend Syndrome” because I first wrote about this curious self-policing of art criticism in response to a spectacular show that traveled the US many years ago to the universal acclaim of everyone who wrote about it in the critical press (including me), even though there were many art critics in that set of writers who’d rather dig their own eyes out with a teaspoon than actually “like” a museum show about quilts. The reason for that was that the amazing quilt show was about the
work of the nicest, warmest, and friendliest set of elderly African-American women that anyone had ever met! In 2004, the Quilts of Gee’s Bend displayed the craft produced by the women (mostly) of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, a very isolated, small African-American community in southwestern Alabama. As one of the quilters put it herself at the press preview that I attended back then, “the road ends in Gee’s Bend and there’s nothing else past us.” Descended from the former slaves of two area plantations, the inhabitants of Gee’s Bend (who call themselves “Benders”)
have been historically an agricultural society that was geographically isolated and nearly self-sustaining at a bare survival level through agriculture. And the women of Gee’s Bend not only plowed and planted and worked in the fields alongside their men, but also reared large families, cooked and kept house and made beautiful quilts; not as art, but out of necessity. These quilts first began to emerge outside Gee’s Bend in the 1960s, but around 2004 began making a true impact across the rarified upper crust of the fine arts world; a world usually too
pre-occupied by what’s new, rather than “discovering” the art of common people such as the wondrous ladies of Gee’s Bend. Back then, The New York Times dubbed this show one of the “ten most important shows in the world,” and art critics who one would imagine would rather have their eyes poked out with a blunt butter knife than hang a quilt as “art” in their postmodernist flats all lined up to applaud this show and connect the bridge between craft and fine art for the Quilts of Gee’s Bend. GALLERY BEAT > PAGE 13
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GALLERY BEAT | FROM PAGE 12
The Obama Portraits Enter the two new game-changing portraits of former President Barack Obama (by Kehinde Wiley) and former First Lady Michelle Obama (by Amy Sherald), and other than a torrential deluge of really funny memes by Internet trolls, and several weird pieces by right wing authors who never before wrote about art, I suspect that we will not find a major mainstream art writer in America writing anything remotely critical of the two paintings. Why? Because the set of President and Mrs. Obama portraits are the “perfect storm” of the “Quilts of Gee’s Bend Syndrome” – I suspect that no one whose paycheck depends on writing art stuff for a living will dare to write anything tenuously negative about them, lest the PC police of the left wing let loose the dogs of word war upon them. But I noted earlier that they were simply paintings, and we can criticize a painting… right? For decades now, the top-of-the-foodchain art critics around the world have been declaring the death of painting, so we could start there, but since painting refuses to die, and stubbornly hangs on as the king of the money side of the art world where “art” is just another commodity, these two paintings are open to fair criticism, both positive and/or negative.
The Wiley Portrait of President Obama Earlier on this saga, when it was announced that the very talented Kehinde Wiley would be doing the portrait of former President Obama, my first thought was “who else, but Wiley!” After all, he meets nearly all the “requirements” that someone checking off a list for the official portrait of America’s first African-American president would have: Wiley is a brilliant and intelligent artist, he’s a superb portrait artist, he’s a “hot” commodity in the art world, he nearly exclusively paints black people as his subjects, he has some disturbing art imagery in his past (he once cleverly - I say “cleverly”
because it gathered him a lot of attention twice portrayed a black woman holding the severed head of a white woman in an analogy of the Hebrew story of Judith and Holofernes) to tease the right wing, and he’s AfricanAmerican. Wiley is the natural choice as the official portraitist for President Obama. And I was curious as to how Wiley had come across the President’s attention, and subsequently had been picked? I then asked a friend of mine who works at the White House, and who has been there since Dubya, in a position best described as “gofer.” I wasn’t sure if this WHG (White House Gofer) would know, but since I also know that he has a direct familial relationship to the DC art scene, I was not surprised when he “knew” how Wiley was selected from a list of potential artists (all African-American) that was, according to my WHG source, reduced to a couple of candidates and eventually the recommendation for Wiley all came from Presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett directly to the President. In spite of the giant hands that appear to be waaaaay out of proportion to the rest of President Obama’s body (and which make me think that Wiley possibly uses projection to achieve a good likeliness of his subjects) it was a great choice, and the Wiley portrait of President Obama has already done more for contemporary portraiture than anyone outside the art cabal realizes. In my opinion, it stands a chance to re-shape the “standard” for traditional portraiture and kick-start the National Portrait Gallery into the 21st century. I really, really hope that the old-fashioned fuddy duddies who usually jury the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition take notice! That’s it for my “criticism.” There are plenty of deeply analytical reviews of the Wiley “Obama” already printed on paper and in cyberspace, so next month let’s spend some time doing that for the even more interesting portrait of Mrs. Obama by the superbly talented (and Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition winner) Baltimore artist Amy Sherald.
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March 2018 | 13
How to Grow a
n the spirit of the month of March and one of the Old Town Crier’s favorite celebration days – St. Patrick’s Day – we bring you our annual column on growing shamrocks. We are sure you wnat to know the secret to growing these lucky plants! Stories have it that shamrocks won’t grow any place other than in Irish dirt. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The word, “shamrock” is the English form of the Irish word “seamrog,” which means “little clover” and clover is something that grows just about everywhere. If you’d like to grow shamrock, also known as “white clover,” you’ll find it to be a fun and flowering, low maintenance plant. Read on to learn how to grow shamrock: 1. Select a good plant by looking for one with new growth, a few flower buds just opening and more ready to bloom. You can grow shamrock from seed, but starting with a plant is much more reliable. 2. While it can be grown outside, it does best indoors. Shamrock needs bright light (not full sun) and moist, well drained soil until its two- or threemonth dormancy period in the winter. That’s when you’ll need to keep the plant in a cool, dry area and the soil barely moist until spring when watering should resume. 3. Place plants in trays or flower boxes for best results. Shamrock grows from the tip by sending out runners that take
14 | March 201
root. Being in containers allow the tips to make contact with the soil to produce the runners. 4. Keep your plants cool at night, about 50 to 65 F and don’t let them get any warmer than 70 to 75 F during the day. Plants habitually exposed to warmer environments will go dormant quicker. 5. Fertilize your shamrock once a month during the winter and spring growing periods. A liquid or water soluble fertilizer works best. When the plant stops growing, fertilize every other month until it goes dormant. 6. Protect your shamrock against the occasional attack of aphids or whitefly. A natural and safe insecticidal spray can be made at home by chopping up onions and chilies, simmering them together. Shamrock is fairly disease free, susceptible only to root rot if you keep them too wet. WARNING: Be careful where you place your shamrock plant because if it is ingested by pets, it can cause them to suffer kidney failure or worse. Publishers Note: Credit for this article is given to contributors from ehow.com. To read more on How to Grow a Shamrock log on to the following link: http:// www.ehow.com/how_2156526_grow-shamrock. html#ixzz1EWkJuDbZ Old Town Crier
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March 2018 | 15
A BIT OF HISTORY
John Adams and Satan the Dog
PARKER A. POODLE™
Dog Gone It America, Read!
H John Adams
16 | March 201
ello, Alexandria! I, Parker A. Poodle, am reporting from the backseat of my mistress’ car. We have just crossed the 14th Street Bridge en route to The White House. Massachusetts-er John Adams— slaveless property owner, husband of Abigail, father of three and dog owner of two—was the first President to inhabit The White House. His stay was short, four months. The election of 1800, Adams v. Jefferson, was bitterly fought. Adams dogs, Juno and Satan, were the first First dogs to dabble in Washington politics. To—how shall I say?—speak smartly, snarl angrily, perhaps pee on The White House lawn. March 2 is National Read Across America Day and, as biographer David McCullough confirms, children “should read history.” “If it should be the Design of Providence that you should live to grow up, you will naturally feel a Curiosity to
learn the History of Causes which have produced the late Revolution of our Government,” John Adams wrote son John Quincy in 1777. “It will become you to make yourself Master of all the considerable Characters….” Reading Education Assistance Dogs are characters, of a type. We went home by way of the Alexandria library. Children are educated. Dogs are trained. I entered the library quietly. George Washington’s Breakfast, a book by Jean Fritz explains the library process. “The librarian smiled when she saw [a poodle patron] come through the door,” Fritz noted. “[I] walked up to the desk” and sat. The librarian “picked out four [children’s] books to take home,” then “promised that she would look at the rest.” “As [George] Washington was the father of our country and [Thomas] Jefferson the author of its ideals, John Adams was the champion of government,” Cheryl
Harness wrote in The Revolutionary John Adams. “When the Congress was a brave group of men leading colonists through revolution to nationhood, John Adams was its leader.” Adams first job was as a teacher. “Honesty, Sincerity and openness, I esteem essential marks of a good mind,” schoolmaster Adams said in 1756. Two years later lawyer Adams was admitted to the Suffolk County bar. “I wish you would think of forming the Taste, and Judgment of your Children, now, in Early Youth, before any unchaste Sounds have fastened on their Ears, and before any Affectation, or Vanity, is settled on their Minds,” an absent John Adams wrote wife Abigail in 1776. “Your children have Capacities equal to any Thing. There is…a Spirit and Fire in the Temper of every one of them, which is capable of ascending the Heights of Art, Science, Trade, War, or Politicks.” “The Faculty of Writing is attainable,” Adams continued, “by Art, Practice, and Habit.” I am a 14 year-old dog who repeatedly writes, who appreciates the Sounds of children reading aloud. “On April 19, 1775, British and American soldiers clashed in a bloody battle in Massachusetts,” Jim Murphy wrote in The Crossing. “Part of it happened in the village of Lexington, while the other part took place fifteen miles away in Concord. These first shots that started the American Revolution were the result of many years of anger, frustration, and growing hostility over how Great Britain governed and taxed its American colonies.” The British Parliament declared the colony of Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion on February 9, 1775. “Once the war had begun, the representatives of the thirteen original colonies at the Continental Congress were faced with a major decision,” Murphy continued. “Who would organize the ragtag group of rebellious men into a real army and lead it in the fight with Great Britain? To answer that question, these representatives assembled in Philadelphia in June.” It was Massachusetts deputy John Adams who suggested the Continental A BIT OF HISTORY > PAGE 17
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A BIT OF HISTORY | FROM PAGE 16
Congress appoint George Washington General and Commander-in-Chief of the Army. As a Connecticut deputy said, “Washington was no harumscarum, ranting, swearing fellow….” He assumed command on July 3, 1775, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “…You may believe me…when I assure you…that, so far from seeking this appointment I have used every endeavor to avoid it, not only from my unwillingness to part with you and Family, but from a consciousness of its being a trust too great for my Capacity,” General Washington wrote wife Martha. “But, as it has been a kind of destiny, that has thrown me upon this service, I shall hope that my undertaking of it, is designed to answer some good purpose…I shall rely therefore, confidently, on that Providence which has heretofore preservd, & been bountiful to me.” His bounty included ten hunting dogs. “…I have every thought, and am still of Opinion that no terms of accommodation will be offered by the British Ministry, but such as cannot be accepted by America,” General Washington wrote deputy Adams on April 14, 1776. “We have nothing my Dear Sir, to depend upon but… unanimity among ourselves.” On July 2, twelve of the thirteen Congressional delegations voted to support Virginia deputy Richard Henry Lee’s call for independence. Independence was declared on July 4, 1776. “We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of
these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of the right ought to be, Free and Independent States….” Signers included John Adams and Benjamin Franklin; Thomas Jefferson and Richard Henry Lee; Edward Rutledge, Charles Carroll and John Hancock. “You remark upon the deficiency
among the body of the people, being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in the various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duties of legislatures and magistrates, in all
Satan the Dog of Education in your Countrymen,” Abigail Adams wrote husband John on August 14, 1776. “It never I believe was in a worse state…The poorer sort of children are wholly neglected, and left to range the Streets without Schools, without Business, given up to all Evil…I most sincerely wish that some liberal plan might be laid and executed for the Benefit of the rising Generation, and that our new constitution may be distinguished for Learning and Virtue….” John Adams wrote the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780. Part II, Chapter V, Section II: “Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally
future periods of this commonwealth, to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences; especially…public schools and grammar schools in the towns….” With independence came victory. Read the story of British General Howe’s Dog; the Dog’s unintended escape during the 1777 Battle of Germantown; his American capture and October 6 return, with Washington’s compliments. The peace treaty—as negotiated by John Adams and others —was ratified in 1783. “You will be glad to know that Juno yet lives, although like her mistress she is gray with age,” former First Lady Abigail Adams wrote in 1811.
“She appears to enjoy life and to be grateful for the attention paid to her. She…announces a visitor whenever one appears.” Juno was a guardian of history. “I look back with rapture to those golden days when Virginia and Massachusetts lived and acted like a band of brothers,” like a pack John Adams wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1825. Their friendship renewed, both lived to celebrate John Adams son, President John Quincy Adams March 4, 1825, inauguration. “There are several good Histories of this great Revolution,” John Adams told John Quincy. “Sir William Temples is short but elegant and entertaining… The most full and compleat History, that I have seen, is one that I am now engaged in Reading. It is intitled ‘The History of the Wars of Flanders,’ written in Italian.…” Ask your favorite librarian for a history pick and read with me today. Did you know the Mayflower arrived in Massachusetts in 1620 with two dogs aboard, a spaniel and a giant mastiff? Parker A. Poodle™ is the significant companion of columnist Sarah Becker. Sarah started writing for The Economist while a graduate student in England. Similar publications followed. She joined the Crier in 1996 while serving on the Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association Board. Her interest in antiquities began as a World Bank hire, with Indonesia’s need to generate hard currency. Balinese history, i.e. tourism provided the means. The New York Times describes Becker’s book, Off Your Duffs & Up the Assets, as “a blueprint for thousands of nonprofit managers.” A former museum director, SLAM’s saving grace Sarah received Alexandria’s Salute to Women Award in 2007.
ALEXANDRIA CALENDAR | FROM PAGE 2
NBC4’S NORTHERN VIRGINIA BUREAU CHIEF JULIE CAREY WILL EMCEE THE MEET THE LEGENDS RECEPTION THURSDAY, MARCH 15 AT 6:00PM Sponsored by Living Legends of Alexandria, the event introduces the 2018 Living Legend honorees and will be held at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts on the NOVA Community College Alexandria Campus. Nine truly remarkable individuals from the Alexandria community will be honored for their impressive contributions to the city and its residents. The event will include a brief program recognizing their work before a catered reception allowing all attendees to meet the 2018 honorees. The roll call of 2018 Alexandria
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Living Legend inductees include Sherry Wilson Brown, Ann Dorman, Rick Dorman, Jason Ellis, Charlie Euripides, Florence King, Gwendolyn Lewis, Marion Moon, and Lori Morris. Ms. Carey covers Northern Virginia and Virginia politics, courts, crime, growth and government policy since arriving in Alexandria in 1992. She and her husband live in the Beverley Hills neighborhood of Alexandria and have two children who are proud TC Williams graduates. The Center for Design, Media & The Arts is located at 3301 Netherton Drive in Alexandria, Virginia. 5000 Dawes Avenue is
located directly across from the Center for Design, Media & The Arts and can still be used for GPS navigation to the event.
Living Legends of Alexandria was founded in 2006 to identify, honor and chronicle the lives of our most extraordinary citizens. For information
about this year’s inductees, to purchase a ticket, become a sponsor or buy a congratulatory program ad, visit https://alexandrialegends.org/.
March 2018 | 17
POINTS ON PETS
Spring is Coming…
…And so is Kitten Season!
pring is just around the corner and with spring comes kitten season. Kitten season begins in the early spring and lasts until the early fall. With unseasonably warm weather in January and February (or in warmer climes), kitten season can come early, end later, and last nearly year-round. During this time, shelters experience an unusually high number of cats and kittens. It is not common knowledge
that cats reproduce at almost the same speed at rabbits; an unspayed female cat can become pregnant as early as 5 months of age, and can have multiple litters a year. Each litter is typically 4 to 6 kittens, so just one mother cat can bring 12 to 18 kittens into the world every year of her life. That’s a lot of kittens! Foster parents are always in short supply and can be difficult to find. I chatted with Robyn Anderson, a long-
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18 | March 201
time kitten fosterer living in Alabama, and local resident Andrea Cerino about their experiences fostering. Robyn has fostered 339 (not a typo!) cats since April of 2005. She and her husband took most of 2006 off after ending up adding two “foster fails” to her family. If not, she said, the number would surely be higher! It should be noted that Robyn and her husband Fred have upwards of ten permanent cats (again, not a
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typo). Andrea, who has three cats of her own, including one with feline leukemia, began fostering for King Street Cats in August of 2015, and has fostered 23 kittens and 5 adult cats (including two long-term fosters). Contrary to what most might think, you don’t need much to start fostering, although both women agree that a room where the kittens can be sequestered from the other cats is crucial. The
usual equipment – litter and litter boxes, food, and food and water bowls, toys, a soft place to sleep…. and it’s a good idea to have some flea and dewormer medication on hand, too. Supplies are also tax deductible! I’ve considered being a foster parent for many years but was concerned about not being able to be available on a 24/7 basis. When I asked POINTS ON PETS > PAGE 19
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POINTS ON PETS FROM PAGE 18
Robyn and Andrea, they told me how wrong I was. Unless you’re fostering bottle babies, kittens can be left alone for several hours at a time. Research shows that a mere 45 minutes per day was optimum for socializing kittens, though obviously the more time you can spend with them, the better. Handle them a lot, pet them, hold them, and rub their paws so that cutting their nails will be easier as they get older. Not exactly a hardship, right?! Should people who have cats at home try to foster? This also gave me pause as I considered fostering. As a human of a couple of cats, I have wondered how my pets at home would feel about any “intruders.” It took Pookie, our female tuxedo, over two weeks to stop hissing at her brother, Beau, after his last vet visit. How difficult is it for people with animals at home to foster without upsetting the permanent residents? Both women noted that it depends on the cats. Some are more used to seeing kittens coming and going. In any event, it’s important to introduce the visitors to the permanent residents gradually. Robyn and Andrea reiterated that it is important to have a separate foster room to keep everyone safe and minimize the disruption of the household. Kittens usually go to foster homes with at least one other kitten so they will have a playmate and not be lonely. When the fosters are old enough and have been at the foster home for a few weeks, they can have more freedom to investigate the rest of the house. The introduction to the permanent cats should be gradual, and kittens should be shut away at night to give the permanent residents a break. Kittens are full of energy and can quickly exhaust a senior
cat! I asked both women how they dealt with giving up the kittens when it was time for them to go. Both agreed that is was hard not to become attached to their fosters, particularly the kittens. Initially, Robyn wanted to keep all of the kittens but realized that if she wanted to save more of them, she needed to make room for the next group. Kittens who are healthy and ready to go, therefore, need to leave. She also noted that the pain of saying goodbye is mitigated by the joy she finds seeing them go to homes where they are spoiled and adored. Andrea agrees, knowing that King Street Cats will make sure they go to carefully vetted, well-matched, loving homes. What have these women learned since they started? How to administer medications, how to recognize when a cat needs a vet visit or just some tender loving care but, primarily, that kittens are more resilient than they seem. Any advice for a first time foster? Both agree: Robyn: “Just do it!” “Seeing formerly sick, frail, or feral kittens turn into happy, healthy, welladjusted cats makes it so very much worth it.” Andrea: “Have fun!” and “Don’t worry too much. Kittens are very resilient.” While fostering can be hard work, the rewards greatly exceed the down side. For more information, visit www.kittencoalition.org; www.alleycatallies.org; http:// www.love-and-hisses.com/; www.kingstreetcats.org
PETS OF THE MONTH
Skye Terrier, Neutered Male, 10 years old
Domestic Shorthair, Spayed female, 8 years old
Hi! I’m Stevie! I am blind and a little hard of hearing, but I don’t let that bother me. I’m looking for a home with lots and lots of snuggles. My friends here at the AWLA don’t think I ever walked on a leash before so I’m learning how to do that. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks! I absolutely LOVE other dogs, and I’m fine with cats, but as I can’t hear too well or see, I sometimes get startled. So probably a home without young children would be the best fit for me. If you have a comfy, warm home and you’re looking for a snuggle buddy, look no further than me! Gezebelle is a sweet cat who loves sun spots! She’s cheerful and will greet you with a tail shake and a chirp every day. She is
Green Turtle, 15 years old
affectionate, loves to hang out with you, and enjoys being petted. She won’t steal your snacks or smother you with attention. Gezebelle previously lived with another adult cat and may do well with another calm adult cat. She’s a bit picky about her food, but what cat isn’t? We can help you with tips for making sure she settles in quickly in her new home. Do you have a sunny spot in your heart and home for her? Frank is a fun loving fella looking for a home where he can swim his heart out and lay out on a comfy rock as he leisurely enjoys the day. He may have a serious face, but he is all about fun filled days and memories in the making!
PLEASE CALL 703-746-4774 OR EMAIL ADOPTIONS@ALEXANDRIAANIMALS.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION AND COME VISIT US AT THE SHELTER TODAY!
4101 Eisenhower Avenue • Alexandria, VA 703-746-4774 • alexandriaanimals.org Mon-Fri, 1-8 pm • Closed Wed • Sat & Sun, 12-5 pm
Jaime Stephens lives in Alexandria with her rescue cats, including Jezebelle, adopted from King Street Cats in 2003. Special thanks to Robyn Anderson and Andrea Cerino for sharing their wisdom.
Resources NATIONAL KITTEN COALITION WWW.KITTENCOALITION.ORG ALLEY CAT ALLIES WWW.ALLEYCATALLIES.ORG LOVE & HISSES WWW.LOVE-AND-HISSES.COM KING STREET CATS WWW.KINGSTREETCATS.ORG
Old Town Crier
March 2018 | 19
CARIBBEAN CONNECTION JEFF MCCORD
Baby Coconut Palm
Just Passing Through
fter more than eight years on island, we’ve placed our St. John home on the market. This difficult decision has more to do with life changes than hurricanes. My son graduated from high school on St. Thomas. My wife and I have both been active in the island community. I’ve worked for the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park and she is best known as “Christmas Tree Martha” for her five years of work helping islanders decorate their homes for the holidays to raise money for her non-profit disability group. She and my son have also been active in our Rotary Club. And, as readers know, I’ve researched and written two books here (available on Amazon) and more Old Town Crier columns than I can recall. We’ve had glorious adventures with our Down East 32 cutter rigged sailboat and hosted many wonderful visitors in our guest suite. As so often happens in the lives of families, though, the dynamics change. People grow up. New needs and interests take precedence and it’s time to move on, regrettably. Dynamics in the life of the extended “family” of St John’s 4,500 residents are also changing. Many old timers transplanted decades ago from the mainland are going back. Their generation worked hard alongside those born on the island to build a beautiful and comfortable community 20 | March 201
capable of accommodating thousands of visitors annually. The baton is now passing to a new generation of vibrant, creative and skilled people who are arriving daily. Just as the hurricanes initiated a cycle of creative destruction within our rapidly recovering tropical forests and animal kingdom, the storms are doing the same within the human community. Recovery of businesses and residences is proceeding remarkably quickly – mostly because of the energy and hard work of new arrivals and the young Virgin Islanders who are together becoming the new caretakers of these spectacularly beautiful islands. My wife is contemplating what it means to be a “local.” The British Virgin Islands makes a legal distinction between “belongers” born in the islands and “nonbelongers.” With our more egalitarian approach (enforced by the U.S. Constitution), Virgin Islanders wisely rejected that approach a few years ago. Can we say in good conscience that a family originating from St. Lucia, Dominica, Massachusetts or Virginia who have lived and worked here for decades doesn’t belong? In the old National Park tradition of leaving your campsite better than you found it, we’ve made multiple improvements to our own property. They include air conditioning and new windows and porches. We’ve also maintained and expanded a mature garden comprised of
indigenous trees and shrubs and beautiful (although, nonnative) palms, lime trees, orchids and bananas. We also have a bay rum tree purchased as a seedling from the Audubon Society. We also asked St John botanist Gary Ray to plant a few rare endangered indigenous trees. We chose our house in the hills above Cruz Bay with thoughts of the long term. Rather than the kind of clifftop dwellings with spectacular ocean views highly favored by visitors, our house is tucked into the leeward side of a central mountain just below the peak. It has views of wooded valleys and the Caribbean in the distance. Its’ substantially protected from prevailing winds and storm paths. Because it’s in the lee of a mountain, clouds brushing the peak yield above average moisture on us as they pass over. This creates a lush micro-climate fostering greener gardens and trees than found in many parts of our islands. It’s the reason our cul de sac was cut into the mountain side and its few homes built in the woods 30 years ago by pioneering St. Johnians who were very mindful of weather risks. They constructed homes in which to safely raise families and founded a nearby school then known as Pine Peace School and now as Gifft Hill School (which operates the only high school on St. John) and is observing its’ 30th anniversary this year. It is walking distance from our home. It turned out that we chose
our property wisely. Like the locally famous contractor who built our house, we, too, were cognizant of the realities of Caribbean weather and living conditions. We weathered the worst hurricanes in St John history with relatively minor damage and our garden survived, with the exception of a very tall Norfolk Pine and an aged coconut palm. Perhaps symbolic of the Virgin Islands’ recovery, five young palms are now sprouting from coconuts fallen from their deceased parent. It’s a special joy to find baby palms growing from a nut that you can pick up and move to any spot in your yard. You need not even plant it, because the “milk” and meat in the coconut provides all the nourishment needed to feed a tap root below and small fronds above. All it needs is a place to rest and water. While purists prefer the
native tyre palms, which have a better storm and drought survival rate, I appreciate the majesty and fruit of coconut palms. Although they are relatively recent arrivals brought - along with breadfruit trees and other South Pacific species – by European colonizers, they have a lot to offer. Another notable import are baobob trees, known in Africa as the “tree of life” that have sprouted throughout the Caribbean from seeds carried here by slaves. The only known baobob tree on St. John can be found along the L’esperance trail within the Estate Sieben plantation ruins in the National Park. It survived. The choice between tyre palms (which closely resemble the native palms of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida) and coconuts might inform the ongoing tensions between CARIBBEAN CONNECTION > PAGE 21
Escape to paradise Hillcrest Guest House is located within a residential area, rising two stories above Cruz Bay, on the crest of a hill and minutes from the beach and the US National Park, Virgin Islands. Six suites available, $185-$235/day Call 340-776-6774 or 340-998-8388 hillcreststjohn.com
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Old Town Crier
CARRIBEAN CONNECTION FROM PAGE 20
“belongers” and others. As in the continental U.S., however, the only true Caribbean “belongers” were the Native Americans (the Taino people) and even they came to these islands by dugout canoe from South America. Whether their ruins are 18th century Danish, freshly created 20th century American or the artifacts and stone-carved petroglyphs left by Tainos, the detritus of human visitors to the Caribbean can be found side by side on small islands like St. John. Mostly covered by bush, they are picturesque reminders that we are all just passing through. Jeffrey R. McCord is a free-lance journalist whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Gannett newspapers and Truthout.org, among other publications. For more than 20 years he’s called Northern Virginia home. Jeff is the author of two fact-based Caribbean novels available on Amazon. com: “Undocumented Visitors in a Pirate Sea,” a quarter-finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest; and, “Santa Anna’s Gold in a Pirate Sea,” a finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book contest. He now divides his time between Virginia and St. John, USVI.
You Could Be Swimming in Warm Waters Right Now MYSTERY READING AT ITS BEST
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Apartment on St. John. $170/Night, no minimum stay. Pets allowed with some restrictions. Pool, kitchenette, private bathroom, screened porch overlooking tropical forest with banana and papaya trees, double bed, and separate living area. Perfect for a couple or young family. Amenities include kayaks, snorkel gear, and bamboo walking sticks. More than 60 percent of this spectacular Caribbean island is Virgin Island National Park, offering hiking, snorkeling, and unbelievable views. Reservations: Get out of traffic and email@example.com come to paradise.
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CARIBBEAN MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE A dead Marine washed ashore on a Caribbean island leads investigators to otherworldly perpetrators in historic pirate waters and high level abuses in Washington. An intrepid maritime historian working the case for U.S. Naval Intelligence discovers a 60-year record of extraterrestrial activity in the Caribbean basin. History and national security politics meet science fiction in this mystery based on exhaustive factual research and informed conjecture.
CARIBBEAN hISToRY AND ADvENTURE Where did the villain General Santa Anna of Alamo infamy retire? Is time travel possible? What was it like on the ground in the worst hurricane of the 19th century? Can a band of rogue sailors from Coral Bay, St. John, defeat ruthless corporate mercenaries? These questions and more are answered in Jeffrey Roswell McCord’s new fact-based novel “Santa Anna’s Gold in a Pirate Sea.”
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March 2018 | 21
FROM THE BAY …
Rites and Refusals
refuse to burn my socks. It’s a quiet refusal. I’m not trying to mess up anyone’s rites of spring or to rally support for an anti-sockburning movement. It seems to me that my quiet rebellion, exercising my right to just be me, is in the spirit of the season. I’m not the only sailor in Annapolis who will attend a sock-burning gathering for the vernal equinox and walk away still wearing socks. I’ve seen a few shamelessly sock-clad friends participate by pulling old socks out of a pocket and dropping them into the bonfire. As if removing and torching one’s footwear as a seasonal ritual isn’t quirky enough, imagine what the outside world would make of such cheating. As well as a fondness for the occasion, the sock-inpocket crowd and I share a preference for warm feet on damp, chilly March days. Besides toasty toes, I have other reasons for clinging to my socks. I don’t have that many pairs. If I’m wearing them to a bonfire party, 22 | March 2018 201
it’s likely that I consider them part of my sailing gear. I’m not trying to perpetuate the stereotypes of the frugal sailor or the starving writer. I can afford new socks, but I choose not to buy them often. Why? I’m not desperate yet. My feet are still warm. I have enough pairs of socks to get by—just not enough to sacrifice to the equinoctial gods for fun. I think a lot of sailors have this sort of attitude toward their gear. They hang on to it until it’s lost, destroyed, or so leaky that they suffer for one bitter day before throwing it away, if they can part with it. Imagine a sailor friend blowing out a toe in his old dinghy boot. Does he: a) immediately drive to a boat supply store to buy new boots, or b) duct-tape it? If he chooses the tape option, when it wears off, does he: a) go out and buy new boots, or b) re-duct-tape it? If this image makes you smile, then you know that it’s less about frugality and more about the challenge of surviving a boot blow-out and the joy of sporting a boot with a story.
Sailing gear, even a pair of socks, has memories attached to it. That’s why it’s tough to say goodbye to it. I would love to survey sailors about the first time they wear their foul weather gear in the spring and what treasures from the previous season they find in the Velcro pockets. Among the items friends and I found last year were a ginger beer cap, lost sunglasses, a cotter pin, a hotel key, a nail file (crucial on deck in foul weather), a business card from a guy long forgotten, five beer bottle labels stuck together, and two drink tickets from the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Even if each item in our pockets didn’t spark a specific memory (such as the Bermuda ticket surely did), a relic like a ginger beer cap suggests a lively moment in time. After a long winter, such a memento may rekindle hope, as a budding crocus does, and reminds us that sailing season is coming. Pull enough hopeful tidbits out of any jacket pocket, and it’s a sure bet that you’ll become attached to it for its pleasant
association if not for its warmth and wicking wonders. That’s why we tend to hang on to our gear until it’s over. Perhaps this is a rationalization for being too cheap to buy new gear. There’s a grain of truth in that. But ``vthere’s more to it. My attachment to my gear, including my socks, is a mix of practicality, sentimentality, and resistance to change. Besides the fact that it’s a lighthearted, home-grown tradition, what’s so charming about the Burning of the Socks, is that it’s a shunning of cold days—held on a cold day. The temperature at the spring equinox usually peaks at 48.9 degrees in my neighborhood. Not exactly flip-flop weather, but the natives strip off their socks and burn them anyway. If that doesn’t hold some loony charm for you, then you won’t like this place. As much as I enjoy the concept, I resist it. That the chill may linger for a few weeks following the equinox is okay with me. I like the winter months and their empty weekends, free for dawdling around the house or taking walks. Fresh in memory is a beautiful, bright February morning walking through the fluffy snow, so light that it whisked away with one swoop of a broom, and seeing it sparkle in the trees. I don’t need to rush forward into the next season when there’s still something to savor in this one. Do I want to go sailing? Yes. Soon. But on that symbolic date when the day is as long as the night, I’m going to hang on just a little while longer to my memories, my quiet time, and my socks. Whether we force it or not, spring will come.
ANNAPOLIS OYSTER ROAST & SOCK BURNING This year join the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s Annual Oyster Roast and Sock Burning, Saturday, March 24. Admission includes unlimited raw and roasted oysters, live music, admission to the museum’s exhibits, and a chance to enter the oyster shucking competition. Barbeque, lobster rolls, beer, wine, Bloody Marys, Dark & Stormies and more will be available for purchase. A display of waterman’s workboats will be at the museum’s waterfront campus. General admission: $25 per person in advance $30 at the door FREE for kids 12 and under.
Visit amaritime.org to learn more Winans is the Managing Editor of Annapolis based SpinSheet Sailing and PropTalk Powerboat Magazines and an avid sailor. Publishers Note: This article first appeared in the March 2007 issue of SpinSheet. We only feel it right to publish it annually since it is a ceremony dear to our sailor hearts. Old Town Crier
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Old Town Crier
March 2018 | 23
TO THE BLUE RIDGE
Warrenton Point to Point
Photo by Nancy Milburn Kleck
espite some unseasonably warm 75 and 80 degree days in February, technically spring’s not here quite yet. But the days are noticeably lengthening and the sun is stronger; in sheltered areas daffodils and crocus are already blooming. They might just be mixed up due to those balmy days, even though we could still get a big winter storm. I personally take comfort in the fact that the snow doesn’t hang around in March the way it does in January or February. Gardeners are itching to get their hands dirty although we know better—we scratch the itch by starting seeds indoors and pruning things that need it until the danger of frost passes. Skunks have been on the move—February is their mating season; and we see the geese and wood ducks pairing up and nesting a little earlier than usual. This can be a tricky month to plan ahead for outdoor activities, so we’ve included both indoor and outdoor fun things to do and see in the
Blue Ridge. Most don’t require much, if any, advance planning. And you’re guaranteed to see lots of daffodils, forsythia and maybe even some early blooming redbuds at the end of the month on the drive out. Starting with the Warrenton Hunt point to point on March 17, there is no better harbinger of spring than horse racing over fences in the hunt country. The typically smaller and casual point to point races, also known as the pots and pans circuits (because horses race for trophies only, no purses) serve as tune ups for the big sanctioned steeplechase races that start in April. So pick one to attend--there are races every weekend for the next two months. General admission is generally $15 to $20 for the point to points and tickets can be purchased at the gate; although reserved railside party spaces do require advance planning and the good ones sell out early. See schedule below with information and websites where applicable. For the athletes who prefer to run cross country
themselves rather than watching horses do it, check out the Shamrock Shuffle on Saturday, St. Patricks’ Day, March 17. This is a 5K Fun Run at Verdun Adventure Bound in Rixeyville (located about halfway between Culpeper and Warrenton). Participants can walk or run while enjoying the beautiful cross country trail on the property and there is even a 1K Run around the pond for children with postrace activities including face painting. Feel free to walk or run. Verdun Adventure Bound is located at 17044 Verdun Adventure Bound Trail, Rixeyville. $40/person, $70/couple, $25/student | $12 youth 1K Run. Verdun Adventure Bound is probably better known for its socially conscious summer camp youth programs with emphasis on land stewardship although they also offer team building and corporate outings for adults, visit verdunadventurebound. org for details. If you frequent social media, then you’ve surely seen those paintings done by your friends
that tried their hand at creating art while sipping wine. Yes, it’s a thing now. Even if you aren’t an artist, it’s like magic—an instructor to help you, a glass or two of wine and voila, you’re an artist. You won’t believe your eyes at the sleight of hand and other tricks magician/ mentalist Savino Racine puts on March 10th at Otium Cellars;
friendly staff there invite you to “say Goodbye to winter and “Hello” to spring at a fun, two-canvas painting event. The cost is $52 ($48 for Otium wine club members; the cost includes everything you need to create two masterpieces plus a glass of their fabulous wine to loosen the creative juices. Non-alcoholic beverages are
Paint and Sip at Otium Winery he’s a very popular performer and according to the winery, his shows usually sell out. Admission is $20 ($5 discount for Otium wine club members. The paint and sip class is Friday, March 16th at Otium; a winery in western Loudoun County near Purcellville. The
available for those under 21. The magic show and the paint and sip events are very popular and usually sell out. Contact Otium Cellars today to book your spot, as space is limited. 540-338-2027; for more information visit them at www. OtiumCellars.com
EARLY SPRING POINT TO POINT SCHEDULE SATURDAY, MARCH 17 12:00 NOON Warrenton Hunt Point to Point Airlie Race Course, Warrenton, Virginia (540) 270-1730 www.warrentonhunt.com 24 | March 2018 201
SATURDAY, MARCH 24 1:00 PM Piedmont Fox Hounds Point to Point Salem Course, Upperville (540) 592-7100
SUNDAY, APRIL 1 | 1:00 PM Orange County Hounds Point to Point Locust Hill Farm, Middleburg (540) 687-5552 firstname.lastname@example.org
SATURDAY, APRIL 7 | 12:00 NOON Old Dominion Hounds Point to Point Ben Venue Farm, Ben Venue (540) 364-4573 (540) 636-1507 olddominionhounds.weebly.com
Old Town Crier
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Old Town Crier
March 2018 | 25
Brews, Booze and Bacchus W
SOUTHERN MARYLAND STYLE!
ith the few 70-degree-days that we had in February, I contracted a big case of spring fever and started to think of the work that I need to do on my sailboat so we combined a trip to southern Maryland to check out one of my favorite summer hangouts in the winter. We also timed the trip so that we could attend the Maryland Distillers Guild event at Patuxent Naval Air Station Museum. This would give us the chance
to check on the boat, see friends and taste their new whiskeys and see how Solomons Island fared during the winter. If you haven’t been to the museum at Pax River you must really check it out. On this particular day, however, the museum was closed to the public so that the distillers could set up their wares for display, tasting and sales. Let’s start out with a little history from the Guild’s web page: “Maryland’s distilling history dates
back as early as the 1500’s, when the colonists first began producing rum and whiskey. Over the next few hundred years, the number of distilleries surged, solidifying Maryland’s place as a leader in the nation’s spirits industry. Prior to Prohibition, Maryland was the third largest producer of rye whiskey, with over 100 brands on the market. The 13 years of Prohibition hurt
ROAD TRIP > PAGE 28
Welcome to Solomons 26 | March 201
Old Town Crier
The Boardwalk On Solomons
Ruddy Duck Brewery & Grill
Old Town Crier
Jane and Scott Sanders, Proprietors of Tobacco Barn Distillery
March 2018 | 27
ROAD TRIP FROM PAGE 26
the entire industry, but Maryland gained its reputation as the “Free State” by refusing to pass any legislation enforcing Prohibition. Not surprisingly, distilling rebounded following the repeal of the 18th Amendment with distilleries increasing production to satisfy demand of the distinctive & renowned spirit unique to our state: Maryland Rye Whiskey. However, the boom was relatively short-lived, and after WWII a combination of economic changes and decreased demand let to the shuttering of one distiller after another, eventually bringing to close this highly prosperous era. Since 2008, new distilleries are opening in Maryland at a record rate, reviving old traditions and developing new, unique spirits that reflect the ever-changing landscape of distilling. Each distillery has its own story: from producers focused on locally grown, farm-to-bottle spirits, to those experimenting with extremely rare ingredients and exotic recipes. From rums & whiskeys to vodka, gin, brandy, grappa and more, Maryland is fast becoming a Mecca for spirits enthusiasts. In addition to the distilleries, there are a number of wineries and breweries that have popped up over the last 5 years or so that have had an impact in southern Maryland. In fact, March is Maryland Wine Month and an excellent time to take advantage
28 | March 201
Running Hare Winery of special tasting and events. Contact the individual wineries for details. In Calvert County you can visit these wineries: Cove Point, Fridays Creek, Perigeaux, Running Hare and Solomons Island Whistle Stop Winery. The only wineries in St. Mary’s County are Port of Leonardtown and Slack Winery. The brewing companies continue to grow and right now Calvert Brewing, Green Spring, Gypsy, Molly’s, Ruddy Duck and Scorpion are making local brews for your drinking pleasure. There are only two distilleries in southern Maryland: Tobacco Barn Distillery in Hollywood in St. Mary’s County and Blue Dyer in Waldorf in Charles County. Tobacco Barn is a true ground-to-
glass distillery. They grow all of the corn used in their bourbon and whiskeys right on their farm. Grains that they do not grow are sourced from other local farmers and suppliers. Even the ingredients that go into their rums are sourced from Maryland. Their Big Z Rum is one of my favorites. Blue Dyer Distilling Company is relatively new and produces Cold Rum, Dark Rum, Whiskey, Gin and their Barrel Rested Gin. These are great places to visit on a weekend. By taking Route 4 east from St. Mary’s County and crossing over the Patuxent River Bridge, you will come to Solomons Island. I have written about it many times over the years as most of you know. During the summer
this is a go to place for northern Virginians but does it bode well to visit in the winter months? Actually, the cold months are a great time to visit. Even though the crowds are missing, the eateries, shops and museums are open to the public. In addition to the popular summer eats like crab cakes, oysters (actually winter is better for oysters) and spiced shrimp you can find offerings of winter specials. A perfect time to make this road trip would be March 24th when the Solomons Business Association hosts the annual Taste of Solomons, a oneday food festival showcasing the many wonderful places to eat in this waterfront community. Tickets are $4 each and may be purchased at any participating business. Each ticket can be exchanged for a sample of selected food or beverage. It is always a good time. Another advantage of visiting this time of year is that there are no waits for a good table and chances are very good that you will catch an owner at the bar with their local regulars. This always makes for lively conversation. It is their only time to kick back. The last of the winter months are a great time to get out and explore. If you end up having too much fun there are a number of hotels around so you can spend the night and reap the benefits of a discounted rate or two. Who knows, it might turn out to be 70 degrees and you would have beat the rush.
Old Town Crier
with St. Patrick’s Day almost upon us, there is no better way to celebrate this special day than to make that quintessential Irish dish―Irish Stew. There isn’t just one recipe for Irish stew (Irish: stobhach or stobhach Gaelach). Recipes can vary from home to home or region to region, but all are agreed that the meat must be lamb-mutton can be used, but this is meat from an older sheep and is less tender, fattier and has a stronger flavor. Another point of agreement is that the dish must include onions and potatoes. Many are adamant that carrots are a must and some even like peas, turnips, parsnips and/or celery. The purist will insist it must also contain pearl barley, but this would not be common nowadays
at least. The meat used is not the best cuts of lamb, but the cheaper ones such as shoulder, leg or shank. This famous meat stew is different than most in that the meat is not browned. In French culinary parlance, it is cooked blanquette style.
Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces 1/2 salt 1/2 ground black pepper 2 bay leaves 1 large onion, sliced 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch sections 1 parsnip, peeled and cut into large chunks (optional) 4 cups beef broth, canned is acceptable 3 large red potatoes,
peeled and quartered 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary 1/2 cup cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Directions Heat oil over high heat in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add lamb pieces and cook over medium heat, stirring gently, but do not allow to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add onions, bay leaves and beef broth. Cover and simmer over low heat until meat is slightly tender, but still undone― approximately 20-30 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes and parsnips. Replace lid and cook until meat and veggies are fork tender―approximately15-20 minutes. Stir in parsley and rosemary. Taste again for salt and pepper; adjust a necessary. Serve piping hot in bowls garnished with sprig of fresh parsley or rosemary. Serve with crusty bread and butter.
Sheep Jailbreak in Dingle, Ireland
Lauren Fleming • lfbphoto.smugmug.com
Old Town Crier
March 2018 | 29
BEHIND THE BAR
ANDREW BRYAN THE IRISH WHISPER 177 FLEET STREET NATIONAL HARBOR 301-909-8859
ANDREW B R YA N How did you get started in the bartending business? My family has owned and operated one of the oldest bar/restaurants in college park MD, cornerstone since the 70’s when it was the Rendezvous. I worked there when I was in high school doing maintenance and once I was 18 I started bar backing and eventually worked my way up to bartender and I’ve been a bartender ever since.
What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? My biggest bar pet peeve is people who are
30 | March 201
inconsiderate of other guests. Being in their space or being too loud and obnoxious when others are trying to enjoy their time out.
What is cleverest attempt a customer has made to garner a free drink from you? I like really classic cheesy pickup lines. I would say the best was when I was first starting out and a girl came up and said “hey, you look like I could use a drink.” Twirled her hair and batted her eyes. That was worth a vodka cranberry. The best BEHIND THE BAR > PAGE 31
Andrew serves up the traditional Guinness Pint and a shot of Jameson
Old Town Crier
part though was right after that, a drunk college guy came up and used the exact same song and dance followed with “hey, it worked for her!” He also got a vodka cranberry.
with a nice conversation and then actually become friends. I have a few really close friends that were made from behind the bar and we are still friends to this day.
What is the best and or worst pick up line you have heard while behind the bar?
If you could have a drink with anyone in the world, both past and present, who would that be?
Like I said before, I like cheesy pickup lines so they’re already kind of the best and worst. The best is when someone gets totally shot down when they try one. The delivery has to be right. A guy once tried the old “is that a mirror in your pocket? Cause I can see myself in your pants.” That got him a quick slap and everyone had a nice laugh.
Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with a customer(s). The most interesting encounter I have had with customers would have to be the ones where we hit it off
If I could hang and have a drink with anyone it would probably be James Franco because I think his humor and mine are super similar and he seems like a totally kick ass dude. Then we would become best friends and that would mean Seth Rogan would hang with us also…..that’s just two for one right there. Andrew’s schedule varies from week to week but he is typically behind the bar a few weekdays and a weekend night or two. If you would like to see your favorite mixologist featured in this space, send contact information to office@ oldtowncrier.com,
BEHIND THE BAR FROM PAGE 30
Eight Glorious Days to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Saturday, March 3 - St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Doors open at 9:00am with live music starting at 10:00am by Both Sides, Pat Carroll and John McGrath
Saturday, March 10
Live music by Pat Carroll from 3 - 8pm followed by Pat Garvey and the DCeivers.
Sunday, March 11 - Traditional Irish Brunch
Join us from 10am - 3pm. Live music by Martin Marron at 8:30pm
Tuesday, March 13 - Irish Trivia
Irish Trivia with great prizes starting at 8:30pm. Live Music by Siobhan O’Brien
Wednesday, March 14 - Weekend Kickoff
A Taste of Ireland, Featuring Jameson Brand Whiskey, Food sampling on Irish cheeses and crackers. 5 - 9pm/$20 fee Live music by Siobhan O’Brien starting at 8:30pm
Thursday, March 15 - Perfect Pint Challenge
Entrants must be 21 or older Live music by Siobhan O’Brien and Pat Carroll.
Friday, March 16 - St. Patrick’s Day Eve
Live music by Pat Carroll 4-8pm followed by Siobhan O’Brien and Both Sides. St. Patrick’s Day toast at 7pm (midnight in Ireland)
Saturday, March 17 - St. Patrick’s Day **No Cover Charge**
Doors open at 8am Live music starts at 10am. Irish Dancing by the Boyle School of Irish Dance throughout the day.
Murphys Irish Pub • 713 King St. Alexandria, VA • 703-548-1717
Wine Dinner Featuring
Tuesday, March 6 at 6:30PM 5 Paired Courses • $125 per person
Call for Reservations! Don’t Forget, EASTER is APRIL 1st BRING THE FAMILY FOR DINNER!
SHAD ROE is Here Get It While You Can!
Alexandria’s Finest Dining • Veteran-Owned Brunch • Weddings • Private Events
Wine Tastings, Saturdays 2-4
7966 Fort Hunt Road (In the Hollin Hall Shopping Center)
Call 703-347-7545 RiverBendBistro.com Plenty of FREE parking
Old Town Crier
214 King Street • Old Town Alexandria 703.683.6868 • warehousebarandgrill.com March 2018 | 31
MASTERS OF CUISINE
CHEF LESTER FIELDS MURPHY’S IRISH PUB 713 KING STREET OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA 703-548-1717 MURPHYSPUB.COM
LESTER FIELDS When did you first become interested in cooking? When was in high school I worked at Manny’s Restaurant in Washington D.C. cleaning the kitchen area. I thought that the chef was awesome and that his food presentation was great and it seemed that people always had smiles on their faces when he cooked for them. I said to myself then that “this is what I want to do some day.” In 1980, I was given the chance to work in the kitchen at the Holiday Inn in D.C. I will never forget this because Ronald Reagan became president that year. This is where I started cooking. I started out making soups and sauces and working with Ben, the Banquet Manager, at the time. Ben knew that I had my hopes on becoming a full time cook and he passed that information on to the Chef and it all mushroomed from there. I have been at Murphy’s 10 years now.
Who have been your biggest inspirations in your career? That would be Chef Steven White, because he gave me the MASTERS OF CUISINE > PAGE 33
Lester gets ready to enjoy some of his Traditional Irish Stew. 32 | March 201
Old Town Crier
MASTERS OF CUISINE FROM PAGE 32
tools needed to be the chef I am today. He taught me that there is more to being a chef than just cooking the food. Treating your employees well and by example is the most important. He also taught me how to cost out food and how to negotiate with all of the vendors!
What are some qualities that you think a successful chef should have? I think a successful chef needs to be good with people, receptive to feed back and be able to adapt to any given situation. Being a “multi-tasker”, not cracking under pressure and keeping the kitchen a safe place to work are good qualities to have as well. I do my best work under pressure!
What do you enjoy most about your work? I love to look at the smiles on the faces of the customers when they taste my food. If the customer is happy, I know I did my job.
What is your greatest joy? My volunteer work. I like giving back simply because I will never forget that I was given a chance in 1980 to get into my line of work out of the caring from others. I have been volunteering my time catering at Christ Church right here in Old Town for the last eight years and that has inspired me to be the
best that I can. I always get positive feedback from the members of the church and it’s great.
What do you feel sets your food apart from others in your field? We have large portions of very tasty Irish/ American pub cuisine at a very reasonable price. We also strive to cater to those with gluten intolerance.
If any chef in the world wanted to cook for you, who would you want that to be? Rock Roheim - he has a unique style and I like his cooking. With everything you have accomplished during your career, are you still learning as a chef? You never stop learning. There is so much out there - presentation, fusion, ingredients, new cuisines - it never stops evolving. If you think you know it all, the only person you are fooling is yourself.
What is your guilty food pleasure? Pork chitterlings! If you would like to see your favorite chef featured here, please send contact information to office@ oldtowncrier.com
A local favorite since 1978 American comfort foods and over 250 wine & beer from around the world
March Cajun Fish & Chips! See our website for details
Specials Every Day Saturday & Sunday Brunch Wine Bar and a Sports Pub Private Party Room
RampartsTavern.com 1700 Fern St, Alexandria 703.998.6616
The Whiskey Bar & Cocktail Den Wednesday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m. “Over 150 whiskeys & cocktails dedicated to the adventurous” Whiskey Wednesdays! “Enjoy a taste of the rare & interesting” weekly beginning at 5 pm Saturday & Sunday brunch 11am-3pm, $3 bloodys & mimosas
121 South Union St. Old Town Alexandria 703.548.1785
March 22, 2018 6pm 16 BREWERIES, 4 BRACKETS, 1 CHAMPION! Old Town Crier
March 2018 | 33
ASHLAR RESTAURANT AND BAR 116 South Alfred St. 703-739-6090 BILBO BAGGINS 208 Queen St. 703-683-0300 BLACKWALL HITCH 5 Cameron St. 703-739-6090 CAFE 44 44 Canal Center 571-800-6644 CARLYLE CLUB 411 John Carlyle St. 703-549-8957 CHADWICKS 203 Strand St. 703-836-4442 chadwicksrestaurants.com An Old Town tradition since 1979 and an original Georgetown pub and restaurant since 1967.
HUMMINGBIRD 220 South Union Street 703-566-1355
NORTHSIDE 1O 10 East Glebe Rd. 703-888-0032
HUNTING CREEK STATION 801 King St. 703-836-5126
OCONNELLS RESTAURANT & BAR 112 King St. 703-739-1124 danieloconnellsrestaurant.com
JACKS PLACE 222 North Lee St. 703-684-0372 JACKSON 20 480 King St. 703-842-2790 JOE THEISMANNS 1800 Diagonal Rd. 703-739-0777 KING STREET BLUES 112 N. St. Asaph St. 703-836-8800 LAPORTAS 1600 Duke St. 703-683-6313 LIVE OAK 1603 Commonwealth Ave. 571-312-0402
CHART HOUSE One Cameron St. 703-684-5080
LOST DOG CAFE 808 North Henry St. 571-970-6511
CITY KITCHEN 330 South Pickett St. 703-685-9172 fatcitykitchen.com USA City inspired menu choices that bring together traditional American and global cuisine with their own personal touch. Casual dress. $30 and under. Lots of free parking. Open 7 days a week with brunch on Sat & Sun 11-3. AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
MACKIE’S BAR AND GRILL 907 King St. 703-684-3288
COLUMBIA FIREHOUSE 109 S. St. Asaph St. 703-683-1776 EVENING STAR CAFÉ 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-549-5051 FIN & HOOF 801 N. Saint Asaph St. 703-836-4700 FIVE GUYS 725 King St. 703-549-7991 FLAT TOP BURGER 529 East Howell Ave. 571-970-1006 FOSTERS GRILLE 2004 Eisenhower Ave. 703-725-1342
MAGNOLIA’S ON KING 703 King St. 703-838-9090 MAJESTIC CAFÉ 911 King St. 703-837-9117 MASON SOCIAL 728 Henry Street Old Town Alexandria 703-548-8800 mason-social.com MOUNT VERNON INN Mount Vernon, Va 703-780-0011 MURPHYS IRISH PUB 713 King St. 703-548-1717 murphyspub.com Old-world Irish pub featuring a roaring fireplace, serving a variety of imported, domestic and non-alcoholic beers in a friendly atmosphere. Serving robust American-Irish meals at fair prices. Favorites include fish and chips and Irish stew. Irish-style entertainment nightly.
GADSBYS TAVERN 138 N. Royal St. 703-548-1288
MYRON MIXON PITMASTER BBQ 220 North Lee St. 703-535-3340
HARD TIMES CAFE 1404 King St. 703-837-0050
NECTAR COFFEE & WINE BISTRO 106 Hume Avenue 571-431-6150
HEN QUARTER 1404 King St. 703-684-6969
NICKELLS AND SCHIFFLER 1028 King St. 703-684-5922
34 | March 201
PORK BARREL BBQ 2312 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-822-5699 RAMPARTS 1700 Fern St. 703-998-6616 rampartstavern.com REYNOLDS STREET CAFÉ 34 S. Reynolds St. 703-751-0830 RIVER BEND BISTRO 7966 Fort Hunt Rd. Hollin Hall Shopping Center 703-347-7545 riverbendbistro.com ROCK IT GRILL 1319 King St. 703-739-2274 RT's RESTAURANT 3804 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-684-6010 rtsrestaurant.com SAMUEL BECKETTS IRISH GASTRO PUB 2800 S. Randolph St. Villages of Shirlington 703-379-0122 SHOOTER MCGEES 5239 Duke St. 703-751-9266 SNACK BAR 2419 Mt. Vernon Avenue 703-566-1283 SOCIETY FAIR 277 S. Washington St. 703-683-3247 SONOMA CELLAR 207 King St. 703-966-3550 SOUTHSIDE 815 815 S. Washington St. 703-836-6222 SWEETGREEN 823 King St. 571-319-0192 T.J. STONES GRILL HOUSE & TAP ROOM 608 Montgomery St. 703-548-1004 tjstones.com American cuisine with libations from around the world. Bar specials Mon-Fri, 4-7 pm. Brunch served Sat & Sun. TRADEMARK 2800 Jamieson Ave. 703-253-8640
UNION STREET PUBLIC HOUSE 121 South Union St. 703-548-1785 unionstreetpublichouse.com Old Town’s favorite neighborhood tap and grill. Southern style menu, fine steaks, fresh seafood. Sunday brunch, private parties, happy hour. VERMILLION 1120 King St. 703-684-9669 VIRTUE GRAIN & FEED 106 South Union St. 571-970-3669 VOLA’S DOCKSIDE GRILL & THE HI-TIDE LOUNGE 101 North Union St. 703-935-8890 THE WAREHOUSE BAR & GRILL 214 King St. 703-683-6868 ASIAN
ASIAN BISTRO 809 King St. 703-836-1515 MALAYA 1019 King St. 703-519-3710 MAI THAI 9 King St. 703-548-0600 NASIME 1209 King St. 703-548-1848 RED MEI 602 King St. 703-837-094 STREETS MARKET AND CAFE 3108 Mt. Vernon Ave. 571-431-6810 THAILAND ROYAL 801 N. Fairfax St. 703 535-6622 TOKYO JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 66 Canal Center Plaza 703-683-8878 CAPHE BANH MI VIETNAMESE 407 Cameron St. 703-549-0800 SANG JUN THAI 300 King Street 571-312-3377 KAI ZEN TAVERN 1901 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-836-1212 THE SUSHI BAR 2312 Mount Vernon Avenue 571-257-3232 CONTINENTAL
CEDAR KNOLL INN GW Parkway at Lucia Ln. 703-799-1501 RESTAURANT EVE 110 S. Pitt St. 703-706-0450 TEMPO 4231 Duke St. 703-370-7900 temporestaurant.com Northern Italian, French provincial & American cuisine featuring fresh seafood, meats and pasta served in a contemporary, romantic atmosphere. FRENCH
BASTILLE 606 N. Fayette St. 703-519-3776 bastillerestaurant.com LE REFUGE 127 N. Washington St. 703-548-4661 FONTAINES CAFFE & CREPERIE 119 S. Royal St. 703-535-8151 LA MADELEINE 500 King St. 703-729-2854 TWO NINETEEN RESTAURANT 219 King St. 703-549-1141 YVES BISTRO 235 Swamp Fox Rd. (in Hoffman Ctr.) 703-329-1010 LA BERGERIE 218 N. Lee St. 703-683-1007 labergerie.com ITALIAN
BUGSYS PIZZA RESTAURANT 111 King St. 703-683-0313 bugsyspizza.com FACCIA LUNA 823 S. Washington St. 703-838-5998 THE ITALIAN PLACE 621Wythe St. 571-777-8981 HANKS PASTA BAR 600 Montgomery Ave. 571-312-4117 IL PORTO RESTAURANT 121 King St. 703-836-8833 LA TRATTORIA 305 S. Washington St. 703-548-9338
BRABO by Robert Weidmaier 1600 King St. 703-894-3440 BRABO TASTING ROOM 1600 King St. 703-894-5252 Old Town Crier
LENA’S WOOD-FIRED PIZZA & TAP 401 East Braddock Rd. 703-960-1086 PARADISO 124 King St. 703-683-5330 PINES OF FLORENCE 1300 King St. 703-549-1796 RED ROCKS FIREBRICK PIZZA 904 King St. 703-717-9873 MEDITERRANEAN
LA TASCA 607 King St. 703-299-9810 TAVERNA CRETEKOU 818 King St. 703-548-8688 tavernacretekou.com
PITA HOUSE 719 King St. 703-684-9194 thepitahouse.com DELIAS MEDITERRANEAN GRILL 209 Swamp Fox Rd. Alexandria, VA 703-329-0006 SEAFOOD
HANKS OYSTER BAR 1026 King St. 703-739-HANK FISH MARKET-OLD TOWN 105 King St. 703-836-5676 fishmarketoldva.com Internationally known and locally owned! We serve shrimps, a few crabs, tall people and lots of nice people, too! Live music and lively food! ERNIES ORGINIAL CRABHOUSE 1743 King St. 703-836-0046 THE WHARF 119 King St. 703-836-2834 wharfrestaurant.com "Its All About the Seafood," traditional and creative coastal cuisine.
BOMBAY CURRY COMPANY 2607 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-836-6363 DISHES OF INDIA 1510A Bellview Blvd. 703-660-6085 NAMASTE 1504 King St. 703-970-0615 MEXICAN LATIN SOUTHWESTERN
DON TACO TEQUILA BAR 808 King St. 703-988-3144 LOS TIOS GRILL 2615 Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-299-9290 LOS TOLTECOS 4111 Duke St. 703-823-1167 TAQUERIA POBLANO 2400-B Mt. Vernon Ave. 703-548-TACO (8226)
FISH MARKET-CLINTON 7611Old Branch Ave. Clinton, MD 301-599-7900
t.j. stone’s grill house and tap room
celebrating american cuisine with libations from around the world
$10 LUNCH SPECIALS HAPPY HOUR 3-7 PM WEEK DAYS
AT THE BAR
Fish & Chips Month!
70” wood burning fireplace private event room over 300 beer & wine
tjstones.com 608 Montgomery St Alexandria 703.548.1004 Old Town Crier
FOR CONNOISSEURS OF GOOD FOOD, GOOD FRIENDS AND THE PERFECT STEAK, MACKIE’S IS WHERE YOU’LL FIND ALL THREE AT THEIR UNCOMPLICATED BEST
LANDINI BROTHERS 115 King St. 703-836-8404 landinibrothers.com Elegant, classical Italian cuisine served in a lovely historical setting. Fresh veal, homemade pastas, and fresh fish are some of the daily choices. An extensive list of wines and champagnes served in a sophisticated and friendly atmosphere.
VOTED BEST17 BURGER IN 2RI0A ALEXAND LE BURGER BATT
BRUNCH EVERYDAY 10-3
MIMOSA & BLOODY MARY SPECIALS AVAILABLE ON WEEKENDS
907 KING STREET OLD TOWN ALEXANDRIA 703.684.3288 MACKIESBARANDGRILL.COM March 2018 | 35
G GERANIO RISTORANTE RedeďŹ ning Italian Cuisine in Old Town Alexandria Dinner Entrees from $14 722 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703.548.0088
The Old Town Crier bids a fond farewell to Troy Clayton and the Geranio staff. They have closed their doors after 42 years of dedicated service.
Braised Lamb Shank!
Inspired by foods found in cities across America with a toast to their craft brews, wines, and spirits
FatCityKitchen.com 330 S. Pickett Street | (703) 685-9172
36 | March 201
la dolce vita, inside and out. www.LaTrattoriaOldTown.com
Old Town Crier
LIBERTY, CHEER, GOOD FOOD & DRINK FOR ALL! HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY
37th Annual Old Town ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE March 3, 2018 Starting 12:15 PM King & Alfred streets ST. PATRICK’S DAY LONG WEEKEND Live music every day Thursday, March 15 through Sunday, March 18
112 King Street old town alexandria 703.739.1124 danieloconnells.com
Old Town Crier
MARCH 2018 6 NATIONS RUGBY SCHEDULE Sat 10th Sat 10th Sun 11th Sat 17th Sat 17th Sat 17th
Ireland v Scotland France v England Wales v Itay Italy v Scotland England v Ireland Wales v France
9:15 am 11:45 am 10:00 am 7:30 am 9:45 am 12:00 pm
March 2018 | 37
Loving Cup Winery GROWING ORGANIC IN VIRGINIA
L For wine to be certified organic, both the grapes and the winery have to be certified, through separate, multiyear, federallymandated processes. Loving Cup’s vineyard was certified-organic in 2012, and the winery in 2016, and certifications must be renewed annually.
38 | March 201
oving Cup Winery outside Charlottesville is an organic winery in a climate that doesn’t care for organic wineries. At any given time, a dozen grape-growing trials are underway, and a tour of the vineyard turns up surprises, like a field of 4-foot sticks standing at attention – prunings from Cayuga vines, part of an experiment to find simpler growing methods – and a half-acre of chokeberry bushes, planted to resolve what owner Karl Hambsch calls a “swamp issue.” The bushes are filled with small black-purple berries. A rebranding effort a few years back helped propel the astringent, anti-oxidantrich chokeberry into the stratosphere of superfoods, as aronia. Karl will turn the aronia into wine. And that, in a nutshell, is the story of organic farming: finding natural solutions to
Here’s what you’ll taste in the glass at Loving Cup Winery in 2018 Cayuga White | Vidal Blanc Marquette | Corot Noir Also Apple | Aronia nature’s challenges. So with all the experimentation and whatnot, it comes as a surprise, when you visit, that Loving Cup Winery is more beautiful, and the wines are much better, than you might expect. And that’s not a side-eye to the wines; Karl’s winemaking education is solid, including a long stint with the highly respected Veritas Vineyards. But his work in the vineyard, and his partner and father, Werner, who owns the farm and runs the tasting room, is what makes Loving Cup succeed. That, and doggedness in the face
of the usual predictable, and unpredictable, challenges. In November of 2015, huge, rogue winds ripped the roof off the winery, forcing an early closure for the season. Then in 2016, two freezing nights killed off two thirds of the vineyard crops. When asked if he’d recommend others in Virginia get into organic grape farming, Karl quickly answers “Oh, no. I want people to grow organic grapes for us, but I can’t in good conscience suggest that they do. There’s no template for it. Maybe if we’re still here ten years from now I’ll have some kind of a
Karl and Werner Hambsch template. But for now, it’s year to year.” Nancy Bauer is the author of the new book, Virginia Wine Country Travel Journal, and the founder of the wine country travel app and website, Virginia Wine in My Pocket.com. The book is available on Shopify and Amazon, and the app is available on iTunes and Google Play. Contact Nancy at email@example.com
Old Town Crier
EXPLORING VA WINES
Lamb…? IN L I K E A
remember growing up with the old saying describing March as “coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb.” As a young boy I learned how this saying can be turned around and adjusted to fit the weather of any particular March--it can just as easily be “in like a lamb and out like a lion.” As farmers, we learn to ride Mother Nature’s waves so that we don’t expend too much energy fighting her, instead trying to make the most of what she gives us on a regular basis.
waiting for the right window to put forth the effort towards success. Maybe that patience has come with the experience and maturity. I have been farming in Virginia for 21 years now, and have learned plenty about what works and what doesn’t. Just as patience is important when working with the ground, I see how it makes a difference in business as well. Some ideas take time to come to fruition. Being a farmer of perennials, I know that patience has to be accepted—some things just
winemaker grow right along with the vines. The more years spent working with wine, and selfevaluation of styles, skills and quality, the more capable that person is of making a better product. As our business has been open for 12 years now, we have hopefully worked out the bugs of operation to a point where each of us knows how to handle a very busy day, a power outage, a sudden storm, an injury, a bad
This year’s phase of late winter/early spring has been great weather for the farmers to keep their tractors in the barn! We have had bits of rain, bits of snow and bits of sunshine. I have been hesitant to do any ground work as everything will just be a mud pit after 20 minutes of tractor work. I have a few sections where I need to get some ground work done but I know it’s not worth the mess I would make. Through this process of working with Mother Nature, I think I have learned a bit of patience,
can’t be rushed. Grapevines and pear trees can only grow so fast, and businesses often grow the same way. Hopefully we find that plateau of sustainable, balanced business before over-building or overinvesting. We certainly do not want to see the bursting of an economic bubble, especially one that is built around barnyards and farm animals. I have learned that well-established vines can deliver more flavor, depth, complexity, and overall quality than they did when first planted. The skills of the
review, or any of the thousand things that can throw a young business off its game. The success of these sustainable businesses are built around time, patience, persistence, and wise decisions. As our rural economy continues to grow and diversify, we will see more businesses popping up and entrepreneurs learning their land, products, customers, and staff. The risks can be great, but the customers are generally interested in the discovery process. We all appreciate the patience our
Old Town Crier
customers show when things are not going exactly as we planned on a busy Saturday afternoon. Each business has its opportunity to succeed, stumble, learn, and face another season if the leaders are wise enough to be patient. So the lion or the lamb may be a great way to define a point in time, but through patience we have learned that both will show up at some point. Hopefully we have the shears ready when the lamb comes and the cage waiting for the lion. March 2018 | 39
VIRGINIA WINE TRAIL PROFILES BEDFORD COUNTY WINE TRAIL bedfordwinetrail.com The Bedford Wine Trail in the Central Virginia region includes five vineyards and wineries surrounding Bedford. BLUE RIDGE WINE WAY www.blueridgewineway.com The Blue Ridge Wine Way features eight wineries and vineyards in the spectacular mountains of the Northern Virginia region. BOTETOURT COUNTY WINE TRAIL botetourtwinetrail.com The Wine Trail of Botetourt Country features three wineries in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
real people. earth friendly. fabulous wines. HOLD YOUR ‘FABB’ EVENT AT FABBIOLI CELLARS! WEDDINGS • CORPORATE OUTINGS • GRADUATIONS • CELEBRATIONS
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 15669 Limestone School Rd • Leesburg, VA 20176 703.771.1197 • fabbioliwines.com
EASTERN SHORE WINE TRAIL esvatourism.org The Eastern Shore of Virginia Wine Trail hosts three wineries along the Land Between Two Waters. This area is a unique rural coastal environment. Hundreds of miles of Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay shoreline provide a wealth of recreational opportunities for beach-lovers, fishermen, and boaters in addition to wine lovers. FAUQUIER COUNTY WINE TRAIL fauquiertourism.com/wineries.html Fauquier County is home to 16 wineries and vineyards — each with its own unique flavors. Enjoy award-winning Virginia wines, wine tastings and tours. SHENANDOAH VALLEY WINE TRAIL svwga.org The Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail is an association of six vineyards and wineries. LOUDOUN WINE TRAIL visitloudoun.org Loudouns Wine Trail in Northern Virginia takes you through Virginias hunt country to 23 participating wineries. CHESAPEAKE BAY WINE TRAIL chesapeakebaywinetrail.com The Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail, in the Chesapeake Bay region, highlights six different wineries. HEART OF VIRGINIA WINE TRAIL www.hovawinetrail.com The Heart of Virginia Wine Trail in Central Virginia presents several events throughout the year at four wineries located in the central region of the state. BLUE RIDGE WINE TRAIL blueridgewinetrail.com The Blue Ridge Wine Trail features five wineries and vineyards in the spectacular mountains all within minutes of the Blue Ridge Parkway. GENERALS WINE & HISTORY TRAIL thegeneralswinetrail.com In 2009, 10 wineries banded together to form a new type wine trail experience. The new wine trail experience was to tie our rich wine heritage with our rich historical heritage and thus the Generals Wine & History Trail was born.
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MONTICELLO WINE TRAIL monticellowinetrail.com The Monticello Wine Trail leads to 24 wineries from its hub in Charlottesville. Source: Virginia Wine Marketing Office
VISITING VIRGINIA’S WINE COUNTRY It’s always a good idea to call before visiting. Many Virginia wineries are small, family-owned operations and may be closed during the time you are planning to visit. If you are a group of eight or more, call ahead to help the winery prepare for your visit and to make sure they can accept groups. Most of our wineries have grape cluster highway signs within a ten-mile radius pointing the way to the winery. Many of these signs also tell you how many miles to go before reaching the winery. Old Town Crier
ho says that you have to work out for a whole hour every day? Some days we are able to sweat through a 90-minute spin class, or hold our own in advanced yoga, and some days we barely have enough time to get everything done. On days that you feel like
you are running out of time just trying to find time, take a 30 minute breather and get a little work out in. You can blast calories and boost your energy in less than 30 minutes, which may be just what you need in the middle of a hectic day. To start, get on the treadmill, elliptical or rowing
LUNCH BREAK WORKOUT
machine and begin with five minutes at a moderate pace to get warmed up. You are going to alternate each strength exercise with 2 minutes on the cardio machine of your choice. End this workout with a five minute cool down: Wall Sit with shoulder raise - Hold a dumbbell in
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each hand, arms by your side, palms facing forward, lean against a wall with back straight, feet hip-width apart about 2 feet from wall. Bend knees and slide down wall until thighs are parallel to floor. Maintaining squat, raise both arms straight out to sides at shoulder height, then bring them close together in front of chest, palms facing each other. Reverse arm move to complete 1 rep. Do 15 reps Hamstring Leg Lift - Lie facedown on a bench with legs extended in a wide V behind you, hips just above end of bench, feet flexed, toes on floor. Grip the bench with your hands, arms extended overhead. Lift both legs up in line with your torso, then bring feet together in midair. Open legs back out to sides, then lower to start. Do 15 reps. Pilates Bench Press Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie face-up on a bench and extend legs and arms straight up toward ceiling, palms facing thighs. Simultaneously bend elbows 90 degrees out to the sides at shoulder level (like a goalpost) and lower legs 45 degrees toward the floor. Return to start. Do 15 reps Dumbbell Row - Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie facedown on a stability ball with legs straight behind you, toes on floor, and arms extended toward floor, palms facing toward feet. Drive elbows up and out to the sides to bring weights near armpits.
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Pause for 1 count, then lower to start. Do 15 reps. Lateral Lunge/Yoga pose - Stand with hands on hips and bend left knee out to left side to place sole of left foot on inner thigh of right leg (tree pose). Hold for 1 count, then step left foot out into a side lunge, left knee bent and aligned over ankle, toes pointing forward and right leg straight. Push off with left foot to immediately return to tree pose. Do 10 reps. Switch legs; repeat. Baseball Swing - Stand with feet hip-width apart on center of an exercise tube, cross it once or twice in front of you, then grasp a handle in each hand, arms by sides. Bend knees slightly in a half squat and bring both handles together in front of you, elbows slightly bent, palms nearly touching. Keeping elbows bent, bring both hands together over right shoulder as you rotate torso to right, pivoting on left toes and straightening both legs. Slowly return to half-squat position. Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat Each strength exercise should take about one minute or less. After each strength exercise, jump back on your cardio machine for two minutes. This workout keeps your heart rate up while giving you a total body strength routine. If you have an hour for lunch you can get in a great workout and still have time to shower before you get back work! March 2018 | 41
FROM THE TRAINER RYAN UNVERZAGT
Spring Into Fitness with These Tips
arch is here and I hope you are still excited about your exercise routine. It’s been two months since the start of the New Year and not to mention those new fitness resolutions. Motivation levels tend to fizzle out during the month of March, especially once your spring break vacations are over. I realize that not everyone is motivated in the same way or by the same things. Therefore, staying motivated can be a challenging task. I would like to share a few ways to boost your commitment toward exercise.
Gather Social Support Besides working out with a buddy, let family and friends know that you need their support to keep you motivated. Schedule weekly meetings with them to talk about how your exercise program is going, what you have accomplished for the week, and how it makes you feel when you finish a workout. Focus more on the positives and less on the negatives. Who knows, you just might be able to inspire others in your support group to start exercising by being a role model with your success!
Change Your Workouts Staleness and loss of interest in your workouts can be a result of doing the same old thing for too long. If your workout consists of riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes at a resistance level of 8, try riding hills or choose intervals for a change. For 42 | March 201
Re-Evaluate Your Goals It is normal to encounter bumps in the road. You should expect them. Find a reason WHY you want to exercise. There should be more meaning behind your goals than the typical “I want to lose weight” or “Because my doctor said I need to exercise”. Both are legitimate reasons to exercise, but they don’t state the true meaning. For example, “I want to lose weight because it will make me feel more confident” or “My doctor says I need to exercise because I could end up having a heart attack someday. I want to watch my children and grandchildren grow up.” These statements are more meaningful and can help you stay focused on the WHY of exercise.
Workout with a Buddy Find someone to train with who has similar goals. You will be less likely to ditch out on a workout if you know that somebody else will be expecting you to be there. It’s actually safer to exercise with a friend because you will have a spotter for resistance training and a ---- during cardio training. In the worst case scenario, your buddy can assist you should any injuries happen. Try the partner exercises that I discussed in last month’s issue of the Old Town Crier.
you how to safely perform new exercises! As a personal trainer, I find that keeping people motivated is one of the most challenging aspects in the fitness industry. It’s easy to lose sight of why you should exercise. Re-evaluating your goals,
changing up your workouts, gathering social support, and working out with a buddy can help boost your motivation levels and commitment to exercise. Unverzagt holds Bachelor of Science degree in Wellness
Management from Black Hills State University. He is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength & Conditioning Association and a Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography.
example, pedal at an easier resistance (5) for the first couple of minutes at a rate of 75 RPMs, then increase the resistance (10-15) for 10-15 seconds. Try to keep your pedaling pace within ten RPMs from your target (75), and then bring the resistance back down to recover. Repeat this every minute for 30 minutes. If you are used to lifting the same amount of weights for two sets of 15 reps while resistance training, try increasing the weight and decreasing the repetitions or just the opposite. Better yet, hire a personal trainer to show Old Town Crier
et’s face it gals, it’s a tough world out there and who couldn’t benefit from a few tricks and tools that make our beauty routines (and lives) easier. We all want to look our best and be able to rely on tools that get the job done quickly and effectively. With a beauty arsenal of reliable weapons, you can face each day with confidence knowing you possess the must-haves to pull off any great look.
Tweezer You may think there is little difference between the drug store tweezer you discovered in the back of a messy drawer and the precision options praised by beauty editors. But quality makes all the difference. Tweezerman is the Cadillac
of tweezers and relatively inexpensive when you consider its unmatched performance and precision. Its sharp steel tips are hand-filed and grab the hair every time. It comes in different shapes, sizes and styles, some with fun patterns to complement your style. And here’s a bonus - Tweezerman will sharpen your tweezer when it becomes dulled from everyday use at no cost! This coveted favorite pays for itself, so invest! Nothing frames your face better than a set of neatly groomed, excellently manicured brows.
Eyelash curler Short of a solid eight hours in dreamland, nothing makes you look more awake or brighteyed than curled eyelashes.
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the Trade Even if you have absolutely no time to throw on makeup, curling your eyelashes takes seconds and gives you a flirtatious look that lasts all day. Don’t feel like swiping on the mascara? No problem—a pair of curled lashes makes your peepers pop. Invest in a quality tool to make your curl last. The brand adored by makeup artists and professionals is Shu Uemura. It yields a perfect curl with unmatched precision, accentuating even the smallest lashes. This top performer lifts lashes to new heights with exceptional results and curls your lashes quickly with little pressure or tugging. After all, who has successfully batted their eyelashes at the cute Starbucks guy without curling them first?
Brush set This one almost goes without saying. Your makeup is only as good as the tools with which you apply it, so this is not the place to cut corners. Good makeup brushes are expensive, but will outlast their cheap cousins by a long shot and yield a noticeable difference in the application of your makeup. Whether you collect them individually or buy a set, do some research about which type works best for you. Synthetic brushes are easy to clean and available in antibacterial versions, while animal brushes last but will cost you. The three brushes every woman should possess are eyeshadow, powder and blush. Add different brushes to your collection over time. Trust me, they’re worth it!
Good hair tools The same goes for hair tools—your hair will only look as good as the tools you use to maintain and style it. Every woman should have a decent hair dryer and hairbrush. Whether you’re willing to break the bank or prefer to shop around for cheaper alternatives, every good hair dryer should have multiple heat and speed settings with 1800 watt power or higher. Diffusers and nozzle attachments are added bonuses.
I use my hairdryer as much to dry my locks as for handy beauty tricks. When you don’t have the time to allow justpainted nails to fully dry, use your hairdryer to speed things along! Keep it on a low, cool setting so as not to distort the polish from the dryer’s heat or blast of air. If you curl or flat iron your hair, invest in a solid, ceramic iron. As for hairbrushes, the champion of mane tamers is the Mason Pearson, originated in 1885. These rubber-cushioned brushes are handmade with the best materials to care for your tresses. Regular brushing conditions and cleans your hair and stimulates the scalp while imparting suppleness and healthy sheen. Mason Pearson’s quality simply cannot be matched and is available in boar hair and nylon bristles. Always use a wide-tooth comb on wet hair, never brush it!
Q-tips If I could only have one “beauty tool” in my bag at all times, it would be the Q-Tip. It’s your cheap and versatile beauty workhorse. Stash them in your desk, purse and car— you’ll thank me! Q-Tips fix mascara smudges, correct makeup mistakes, function as an applicator for lipstick, gloss, and shadow, and are perfect for removing unsightly clumps of makeup buildup from the inner corners of your eyes. Correct polish slip-ups with Q-Tips while the color is still wet. Your hands and feet will look like they were done professionally. And here’s a bonus: run an oil-soaked Q-Tip along sticky, stubborn zippers. The oil acts as a lubricant making the teeth open and close with ease.
Mani/Pedi tool set As much as I love indulging in a professional mani/pedi, I often kick myself for indulging in something that chips three days later! Manicures and pedicures are relatively simple to perform at home, so shop around for a tool set that will get the job done right. You can find professional quality,
affordable sets with a full array of tools and most come with a step-by-step guide to ensure a perfect paint job. By deciding to DIY your mani/pedi, you can afford that new pair of sandals you’ve been dying to buy and show off your handiwork at the same time. Even if you’re not a nail polish kinda gal, keep a nail file on hand for unexpected breaks or tears. In a pinch, you can use a closed zipper as a file! A little crude, but it works!
Clear nail polish Not only does slapping on a coat of the stuff instantly give dull, naked nails a shiny, sophisticated polish, this unassuming little bottle will wow you with its versatility. Everyone knows the helpless feeling when you spot the start of a run in your stockings. That little hole that, with your luck, you notice just as you’re walking into that all-important job interview. A dab of clear polish will stop the run dead in its tracks. Similarly, you can prevent frayed fabric from unraveling at cuffs and hems by brushing on a swipe of the clear goo. My favorite trick is applying it to inexpensive costume jewelry to keep it sparkling clean and free of tarnish. And remember, storing polish of any color in the fridge keeps it fresher longer!
Vaseline It’s cheap, it’s versatile, it’s amazing! Buy a small jar and stash it in your bag. It will last forever and you’ll be surprised how often you pull it out for one reason or another. Vaseline is an excellent moisturizer, especially in winter months when dry skin is at its worst. Use it as hand cream, to sooth rough cuticles, as lip balm, or to tame unruly brows. Put a thin coat on eyelashes before bed. It promotes longer, thicker lashes over time. When applied at perfume points before spritzing, Vaseline maintains the scent longer. In a pinch, Vaseline will work as a makeup remover, too. March 2018 | 43
SPIRITUAL RENAISSANCE PEGGIE ARVIDSON
o matter your spiritual beliefs, it’s hard to argue with the miracle of new life that is reflected in the buds on the trees, the sound of the peepers and the baby birds making their way from their shells to the nest. It’s a great time to reconnect with the Earth. As the sun begins to hang in the sky a little longer each day I’m willing to come out of the self-imposed hibernation that takes precedence in the winter. As humans in the modern world we’re blessed and cursed with modern inventions like lights that illuminate our homes and lives no matter the time of day or season, as well as electronic devices like phones, tablets, laptops, television and even “Alexa” that provide us information and entertainment at all hours and in all seasons. These are wonderful inventions but they also distract us from the natural ebb and flow of the life of the planet we call our home. There are obvious smarter minds than mine working on issues of global warming and carbon footprints and I’m not here to preach to you about recycling or hugging trees (although both can feel really good). Nope, I’m hear to invite you to use Spring as the time to imagine how you want to relate to the Earth this year. Rather than worrying about the big things (like those Artic Circle icebergs that are melting), start where you are, right now and dig in. This doesn’t have to be hard, in fact it’s the most natural thing in the world! Listening to the Earth and your innate rhythms is the key to your happiness and to the loving symbiotic relationship with your home, Mother Earth. Recently I watched a brilliant scientist talking about taking care of Earth and all our worries about pollution, fires, earthquakes 44 | March 201
and tsunamis. She emphasized that while there is a great deal of hand-wringing and fingerpointing the bottom line is that Mother Earth will take care of herself, as she has for millennia. The challenge is that WE wish to inhabit this planet and we’re making it more and more inhospitable
to a 10-minute walk, sans phone or headphones, outside in the fresh air; or even a commitment to bring those canvas bags with you every time you grocery shop. You choose. After 30 days pick another practice and go from there.
so you don’t have to rush to every single meeting and appointment. Give yourself time to breathe deeply as you move from the car to the restaurant. Notice what’s around you, is there a tiny flower growing out of the sidewalk? Take note and ask yourself what that noticing
HOW TO HAVE A REUNION WITH THIS SPRING in both little and big ways. So instead of worrying about what THEY are doing, find ways to align yourself to the pulse of the planet. What does this look like in practical terms? I thought you’d never ask! Here are some suggestions for aligning with and healing your relationships with Earth: • It’s not about anyone else but you, so don’t worry about what your neighbor or the business up the street is doing, focus on your interactions for this exercise. Getting boiled over something which you have no control isn’t going to help you or Earth. • Identify one practice you can undertake each month and then stick to it. Make it small enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed but significant enough that you feel a personal impact. You could commit
• Pay attention. Seriously, simply paying attention to the way your feet feel when they hit the ground as you walk is a deeply moving practice. We’re so distracted from what our bodies are doing most of the time, it’s no wonder that we’re distanced from the energy of the Earth. Leave earlier if you have to, just
does for you, day in and day out. • Consume consciously. This is not about giving up what you enjoy or depriving yourself at all. Rather it’s a practice that myself and many of my clients have chosen to stay present in this highly consumable world. In short, before you
purchase anything, take a deep breath and really look at it. Is it something that will bring joy, peace, even love to your life? Or is it something to simply fill an emptiness. Yes! You can do this with food too. As a nation we’re suffering dramatically with issues around weight and digestion and getting in touch with our feelings about our food before we consume it can help us begin to heal. • Listen to nature. This will require you to turn off the phone, take out the earbuds and stop the incessant mind-chatter. Yet the more time you spend listening to the birds the frogs and the wind, the easier it will get to check out of the chaos of your life and into the peace of nature, even if just for 5 minutes. These are a few ideas for you to use as you begin to embrace Spring and move into your own personal reunion with Mother Earth.
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PeggieArvidson.com Peggie@peggiearvidson.com Old Town Crier
March Comes in Like Aluminum
nd goes out like fiberglass. After spending the last 20 years riding in luxury with two passengers at warp factor Beltway speeds in new 20 foot Skeeter bass boats powered by a 250-horse power Yamaha four stroke outboards, solo days on my wobbly aluminum West Virginia boat were a scenic country roads escape. Every March I’m in the world’s newest and coolest bass boat with 12-inch sonar screens storing secret fishing spots, revealing detailed sub surface images. Oxygenated livewells allow fish recovery for photos and then live release. Deck padding reduces knee and back strain. Storage for tons of fishing gear! It’s like fishing on a dock, stable no matter wind, weather or current, high enough for visual advantage. Powerful 36volt trolling motor stealthily sneaks up on largemouth bass. A built in cooler too! My on-the-water office, open for predawn guiding business for hard-fishing 8-hour days, has everything except a secretary and fax. Recently I said goodbye to my little green 14-foot aluminum boat used at a lake near our Wild Wonderful WV mountain home. Modest, but it offered a large fishing platform, 24-volt trolling motor, carpeting, and tiny 5-inch electronics screen providing not much more than depth and water temperature. Top speed...3.3 miles per hour. Grabbing a handful of rods, bag of tackle, and small cooler, I was one with the fish. Hitting the water no matter the
time of day, and only during comfortable mild conditions, fishing didn’t seem like a job. This 10-year-old boat didn’t ask for much. In one season, I successfully targeted larger fish on the small 50-acre lake in my one man fishing machine. Holding boat ramp classes, introducing locals to techniques and teaching youngsters were becoming routine. I was guiding in my free time! Fishing solo lost its luster and my interest, but this boat was too small to take others. My nephew Ben’s son Cam has a fish fascination. One of his first words was “fish”. Pointing to fish on my clothing he’d say “fish”. In return I made fish faces to make him laugh. That was our deal. His daddy fished with me as a kid and an adult. Cam will be 4. Time to take him on the water. Time to say good-bye to the little green boat. Guide buddy Capt. John Sisson sold me a Mare Marine Bass Tracker boat. Almost 4 feet longer, it’s more stable with comfortable seats. A lower deck can corral a youngster for a safer boating experience. Bringing this starter boat up to my standards began with replacing the basic 12-volt foot controlled electric bow motor with the industry’s most advanced motor. Sporting 24-volt power, this red boat will make small work of nongasoline waters. Smart controls allow remote operation, the motor to keep the boat in one spot, and can follow contour lines. These features will allow me to spend more time ensuring Cam gets all of my
instruction and stays within my reach! Resourceful WV neighbor Don, who has every tool ever made (Navy genetics), helped me through modifying trolling motor mounting. Scrap aluminum lying around, that you knew you would need some day, reinforced the bow for upgrades. Weekends in my heated garage were spent visualizing equipment layouts to network a trolling motor with two electronic displays. Steps were well thought out to create a plan and an Amazon shopping list. My VA fishing buddy Art, another Navy guy, was on the phone viewing photos, advising me. One of us had to figure something out. Trolling motor decision was easy; get the top and don’t look back. Same for electronics. But what models? What cables? Linking them? Mounting options? The bow unit views straight down and locates previously marked spots. The dash unit has bells and whistles with nearly three-dimensional side imaging to reveal key underwater formations and fish cover. But the really cool thing is these units work with the trolling motor to create contour maps as the boat moves around the lake, and allows the trolling motor to follow those established fish paths. No one wants dead batteries to end a trip, so I’m using the battery brand I’ve trusted my last 12 guide seasons, 31 Series DEKA AGM. Calls to Art guided me through wire gauge, fuse amps, and keeping it neat! If it could be taken apart, it was laying on the deck. More orders to Amazon. Things and tools
coming off the deck became a good sign. Art’s clean-as-yougo approach paid off. The new red aluminum recreational boat is ready for family and friends. My 2018 Skeeter is next. Installing DEKA AGM batteries, 10-foot Power Pole Blades and loading fishing gear will have the new red fiberglass business boat ready for my awesome clients. A guide’s
work is never done, but an Uncle’s job is more fun. Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is Potomac bass fishing guide & contributing writer for BoatUS (BoatUS.com) Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com. Book trips/purchase gift certificates: info@ NationalBass.com The author and his 3 year old great nephew Cam
Potomac River Bassing in March Fish are moving shallow! A variety of moving lures will work! In clear water, try suspending jerkbaits on Quantum Smoke spinning reels with 8-pound test GAMMA Edge fluorocarbon to pick off aggressive fish. Mann’s Classic 3/8-ounce willow/ Colorado spinnerbaits with white skirts on 10 pound test GAMMA Edge line work on areas close to deep drops. For creek mouth points and flats with deep water close by, use Mann’s Loudmouth III with rattles to cover shallow areas with riprap and wood cover. Use casting gear with 10-pound test Edge. Time to unleash Mizmo tubes with insert heads on spinning gear with 8-pound test GAMMA EDGE line. Target docks near deeper water, as fish use them as current breaks. These can be fished anywhere along with Punisher ¼ ounce hair jigs. For hair jigs, try 15-pound GAMMA Torque braid with 8-pound Copoly leader. Fish slowly and soak baits with garlic Jack’s Juice Bait Spray. At month’s end, try lipless crankbaits in emerging grass areas.
Old Town Crier
March 2018 | 45
LORI WELCH BROWN
t can take a real effort not to be blue when the sun hasn’t shone it’s pretty face in days—which seems like weeks, by the way. So much tragedy and strife in the world. More crime. More sexual harassment charges. More political nonsense. I was having my own little mini meltdown recently. You know because my life is pretty close to perfect yet somehow I manage to find the rabbit hole to spiral down. Winter doldrums + world news + personal crisis = perfect storm for melt down.
To illustrate how a typical (aka trivial) melt down can occur when monkey mind enters the picture, I present the following scenario that may/may not have happened to a friend: An unanswered text from her niece sent her monkey mind straight to “I’m going to die alone in a nursing home with no one to claim my corpse.” Yeah. Monkey mind can be an evil witch… Hmmm. Wonder why she hasn’t responded to me. The younger generation is so busy—they don’t have time for aunts and uncles. They barely have time for their own parents. Their parents are so lucky to have such smart children. I should have had kids. I have no purpose in my life. Parents have purpose—and they are guaranteed companionship in their old age, not to mention a full house at Christmas. They may even end up living with their children at some point. I’ll have no place to go. If XXL dies before me, I’ll end up in a nursing home. Who will come to visit me? Not my nieces or nephews. I can’t even get them to answer a lousy text. 46 | March 201
of the abyss and into the bliss, but to distract monkey mind by doing stuff beyond plotting your own lonely demise. I don’t often have the kid regret thing, but when I do, it is usually around selfish motives such as “who in the heck is going to pluck my chin hairs and wipe my drool?” This is likely the reason I don’t have children, btw. I am far too selfish. Of course, after a few days of fretting, I go to text our dog sitter and what do I see staring back at me? A text from my niece sent three days ago responding back to me. Oops. And then, another niece sends me a ‘Happy Valentine’s
Ok. So the friend may or may not be yours truly. Of course, right after my monkey mind started driving the conversation, I knew I was in trouble so I went on Facebook to cheer myself up with some kitten pictures and what do I see? Two of my friends on trips with their daughters. FOMO! They are laughing, smiling, shopping, AND in a warmer climate. My life officially sucks. I have massively screwed everything up. I have no recourse; only regrets. Not only am I going to die alone in some roachinfested nursing home, but I have no daughters to guilt into traveling with me in the meantime. I have no younger, cooler version of myself to pass my fashion sense along to in exchange for explaining the ‘cloud’ to me. I have no young adult to mold and shape, who relies on me for maternal advice. Not one single person has ever called on me to ask what to do about a zit the morning of an interview or how to cure diarrhea. I have NO PURPOSE. My
life has been one continuous hollow, meaningless path to “nowheresville”. What do I have to show for it beyond some wrinkles, chin hairs and a fabulous shoe collection? Zip. Zilch. Nada. Talk about a joy suck. This is why God invented yoga and meditation. Not necessarily to pull you out
Day’ text. My heart lifts. The next day I get an unexpected card from a friend that gives my inner joy another little boost. The sun begins to shine. If the birds weren’t sunning themselves in Miami, they’d be chirping. Life starts to look a little brighter. A little better. It
is these little gestures that flip the bird to monkey mind and help me get through the dark, dreary days of winter. They are magical little snowflakes of joy—the best kind of snowflakes—ones that don’t require shovels or salt. The days start seeming a little longer, and it feels like we are starting to see the light at the end of the dark and dreary winter tunnel. Thanks to the little flakes of joy I start noticing more and more, monkey quiets down. Then the news of another mass shooting fills the air. I am nowhere physically near this trauma yet I feel it in my body. My heart weeps. I can’t focus. How do you find joy in what feels like hopelessness? As Brene’ Brown says in her recent book, Braving the Wilderness, you move in closer. You move in closer and you hold hands with strangers. You make connections. You stop thinking about what divides us and you remember what unites us, our human connection. You drop flakes of joy everywhere you can via a card, text, smile or hug. In the darkness, little flakes matter big time. Drop those f ’ers all over and see where they fall.
Old Town Crier
can’t remember the last time I attended a circus. In fact, I don’t think I have ever been to a “real” circus in my entire life. Maybe I watched Under the Big Top enough times as a kid and over the years that I thought I had witnessed the real thing. I grew up in a small town in southeastern Wyoming and the nearest Barnum and Bailey gigs were 190 miles away in Denver, Colorado. During our county fair each year, however, there were small versions of circus performances in my early years. I don’t remember any lions or tigers or bears and certainly no elephants. My hometown is more tuned in to the rodeo circuit! That being said, I am looking forward to seeing The Big Apple Circus here in the Harbor this month. It won’t be quite like the circus’ from “back in the day” since there are no wild animal performances – which I am totally alright with since I personally feel that circus life is no place for those beautiful creatures – but it looks like there will be plenty of acts that we will be “oohing and awing” at during the performances. While I don’t want to get in to all of the sordid history of the circus in general, I think it’s good to know a bit about The Big Apple. 2017 was a tough year for the circus business with Ringling Brothers calling it quits and Big Apple filing for bankruptcy after entertaining audiences for nearly four decades. Coming in to save the day – just like in the movies - were retired doctor, Neil Kahanovitz and a group of like-minded friends. You can read all about Dr. Kahanovitz in the “Personality Profile” in this issue. We found him to be a very interesting local guy who actually went “from the circus to surgery and back”. He literally performed with the circus in his younger years and was the head of the Spinal Surgery Unit at Washington Hospital Center for more than a decade. Thanks to these fine people, the Big Apple Circus is
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Is Coming To Town!
Above: Jenny Vidbel Right: Flying Walendas Pyramid back for “another bite” (I stole that phrase from their marketing people)! The Big Apple isn’t a threering circus, it is renowned for its one-ring, intimate and artistic style. No seat is more than 50 feet from the performers, and they are passionate about revitalizing the circus for modernday audiences with unique and astounding human feats, innovative design and technology. The 40th anniversary season program features the famous seven-person pyramid on the high wire with Nik Wallenda and The Fabulous Wallendas and the daring
quadruple somersault attempted on the trapeze by The Flying Tunizianis – the first time in circus history that both legendary feats are performed under the same big top. The record-setting acts are joined by Dandino & Luciana, a dynamic duo who combine speed, acrobatics and daredevil grace on roller-skates; awardwinning contortionist Elayne Kramer; master juggler Gamal Garcia; Jan Damm on the Rola Bola; acclaimed Risley acrobats The Anastasini Brothers (who broke the World Record for Most Flips on November 9, 2017);
Ringmaster Ty McFarlan; and circus trainer and presenter Jenny Vidbel, who performs in the ring with 16 horses and ponies, as well as six rescue dogs. Outside of the ring, the circus continues to honor the essential and iconic characteristics that have set them apart for the past four decades with multiple community outreach programs and a vital no-wildanimals policy. The Circus of the Senses performance on Saturday the 9th and Embracing Autism performance on Sunday the 10th offer special
enhanced experiences for audiences with autism, visual and auditory challenges. The special performances include ASL interpretation, assistive listening devices with live audio commentary, pre- and post-show touch therapy experiences, and a Braille program book. Sensoryfriendly performances for Autistic audience members will feature lowered light and sound levels, a descriptive picture book showing the different areas and acts involved with the circus, and a “calming center” that can be accessed at any point during the show. I think that having these options for people is very admirable and indicates their desire to include everyone. The 40th anniversary season is directed by Mark Lonergan, artistic director of three-time Drama Desk Awardnominated physical theater company Parallel Exit, with choreography and associate direction by Antoinette DiPietropolo and music direction by Rob Slowik. Tony Award-winning Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter (Peter and the Starcatcher, Something Rotten!), Scenic Designers Rob Bissinger (Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, Legally Blonde – Assoc.) and Anita LaScala (Magic Mike Live) of ARDA Studio, Inc. and Drama Desk-nominated Costume Designer Amy Clark (Heathers: The Musical, Chaplin) come together to create a most vibrant environment to fit the momentous occasion of the circus’s return. I seriously am like a little kid about this event. You know, sort of how I get when it gets close to the holidays and ICE is coming to town at the Gaylord. One wouldn’t believe that I am a 64 year old woman almost eligible for Medicare… ….I hope you are as excited as I am. This will be a great event for everyone. It really is a Cinderella story that is for sure. For details on purchasing tickets, see their very happening ad in this section. March 2018 | 47
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48 | March 2018 201
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Brandywine residents since 2014
because we still do what we wanna do
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Published on Mar 1, 2018