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Since 1988 • Priceless

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

October 2017

Road Trip


HORSE-N-HOUND IN FLINT HILL, VA Everything Equine, Canine & More Caribbean Connection

PARADISE LOST The Ravages of Irma & the Resilience of the Residents Dining Out

HANKS PASTA BAR Rustic Chic Italian In Old Town Alexandria Grapevine


Old Town Crier

October 2017 | C1

october’17 A Division of Crier Media Group OTC Media LLC PO Box 320386 Alexandria, VA 22320 703. 836. 0132


29 Published the first week of every month. Worth waiting for! PUBLISHER Bob Tagert



A Bit of History................................................................ 8

First Blush.........................................................................44

Personality Profile.............................................................4

DESIGN & PRODUCTION Electronic Ink 9 Royal Street, SE Leesburg, VA 20175 703. 669. 5502

After Hours.......................................................................10


Pets of the Month.........................................................17

Alexandria Events............................................................ 2

From the Bay….............................................................20

Behind the Bar................................................................30

From the Trainer............................................................43

CONTRIBUTORS Jeff McCord Melinda Myers Kim Putens Julie Reardon Ashley Schultz Chester Simpson Bob Tagert Carl Trevisan Ryan Unverzagt Lori Welch Brown Molly Winans

Business Profile................................................................. 5

Gallery Beat.....................................................................12

Caribbean Connection...............................................18

Go Fish...............................................................................45

Road Trip...........................................................................24

Chef's Special..................................................................32


Social Media Message....................................................3

Civil Discourse................................................................... 9

Halloween Lore..............................................................21

Dining Guide...................................................................34

High Notes.......................................................................10

Dining Out.......................................................................29

National Harbor.............................................................47

Exploring Virginia Wines............................................38

On the Road with OTC................................................... 1

To the Blue RIdge..........................................................26

Financial Focus.................................................................. 6

Open Space.....................................................................46

Urban Garden.................................................................14

Chris Anderson Peggie Arvidson Nancy Bauer Sarah Becker F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Doug Fabbioli Nicole Flanagan Lani Gering Miriam Kramer Sarah Liu

© 2017 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

Points on Pets.................................................................16 Publisher’s Notes.............................................................. 2

Spiritual Renaissance...................................................41 The Last Word.................................................................... 9

From the Bay to the Blue Ridge

October 2017

Road Trip


HORSE-N-HOUND IN FLINT HILL, VA Everything Equine, Canine & More Caribbean Connection

PARADISE LOST The Ravages of Irma & the Resilience of the Residents Dining Out

HANKS PASTA BAR Rustic Chic Italian In Old Town Alexandria Grapevine


Old Town Crier October 2017 | C1

about the cover These wooly sheep keep the grass under control in the vineyards at Ankida Ridge Vineyards in Amherst, VA.. Photo courtesy of Ankida Ridge

on the road with OTC The Alexandria families of Tom, Grace, & Kyle Cross and Igor, Holly, & Filip Boras recently took OTC with them on their journey through Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. They’re pictured here high above Lake Bled, Slovenia enjoying their tour of the 11th-century Bled Castle and taking in the views of the Julian Alps around them and the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria atop an island in the lake's center. 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 Happy Trails!

Old Town Crier

October 2017 | 1




Courtesy of C. Davison for VTC


New to Old Town Alexandria this year is the 42nd Annual Virginia Wine Festival, bringing Virginia’s best wineries, craft exhibitors, seminars and incredible music to the Potomac River waterfront. There’s fun for the whole family during the Mount Vernon Colonial Market & Fair and Fall Harvest Family Days happening at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Specialty tours and events include the the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum’s series of “Geek Tours” and an “Outlandish Event” for fans of Outlander and Gadsby’s Tavern Museum’s History by the Glass: Whisky. Minutes from Washington, D.C., yet a world away, Alexandria is more vibrant than ever during the city’s most colorful season. With luxurious accommodations just steps from festival and event venues, galleries, boutiques and restaurants, visitors can easily transform a culture-centric afternoon into a creativity-filled weekend.

OCTOBER 7TH Here we are over a week into fall with summer still trying to hang on. Temperatures were in the high 80’s to low 90’s the last full week of September, however, while driving through the Blue Ridge mountains a week ago I noticed that the light yellow leaves were changing and beginning to fall. You can see the colors changing on the mountain sides. This is the perfect month to take a drive. It is Virginia wine Month and all of the wineries will be throwing out the red carpet. We have written about a few of our favorite places to enjoy some of the Commonwealth’s finest vintages in the wine section. Nancy Bauer has some fun VA wine facts in her Grapevine column as well. Our Road Trip takes you through the beautiful Virginia countryside as you make your way to Old Town Winchester, Virginia. You can get your Patsy Cline fix here! Sarah Becker writes about George Washington and the Masonic National Memorial in A Bit of History and Miriam Kramer celebrates 10 years of writing her Last Word column for us, and what a great addition she has been! It is Halloween this month so check out our Highlights of Animal Superstitions in Points on Pets. We bid goodbye to our Urban Garden contributor, Farmer D aka Jimmy Deaton. Jimmy has his hands full with his garden and his “real” job. We will miss his garden wisdom. On a bit of a depressing note, we have all been painfully aware of the damage to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this past month. Caribbean Connection author Jeff McCord gives us local insight as to the damage and in the coming months, the recovery of our beloved St. John as well as on island causes worth giving to.

Featured Events

22ND ANNUAL ART ON THE AVENUE 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission: Free Mount Vernon Ave. Art on the Avenue is a multicultural arts festival celebrating our community’s diversity through the arts in the Del Ray neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia. This festival is held on the first Saturday in October, rain or shine. Every year, over 50,000 visitors stroll down Mt. Vernon Avenue in Del Ray between Bellefonte and Hume Avenues. People are greeted by more than 300 artists (jewelers to silversmith and beaders, woodworkers, pottery makers, soap crafters, glass makers, unique painters, sculptures, and fabric artists), musicians (Irish, folk, rock n’ roll, country and more), and food vendors (hot dogs, BBQ, Indian, crab cakes, chocolate bananas dipped on a stick, and homemade cider donuts). Activities for children include stuff-your-own scarecrow, paint a pumpkin, lotus flower design and weave screen art to name a few.

OCTOBER 14TH & 15TH 42NDANNUAL VIRGINIA WINE FESTIVAL Noon-6 p.m. Admission: General Admission: $35; VIP: $65 Oronoco Bay Park, 100 Madison St. 202-244-3700 Coming for the first time to Old Town Alexandria, the 42nd Annual Virginia Wine Festival will present Virginia’s best wineries, craft exhibitors, seminars and incredible music on the Potomac River waterfront. Enjoy the oldest wine festival on the East Coast and stop by the Virginia Oyster Pavilion for a shucking good time! Craft beer trucks will also be available at an additional cost. General admission tickets include a tasting glass, unlimited wine tasting from many Virginia wineries (with cider, too!), festival access to the Virginia Oyster Pavilion, and all concessions and musical entertainment. VIP passes include all the general admission perks plus one-hour early admission, an exclusive VIP reserve wine tasting, and a private tent and bathrooms.


More Events

This and much more awaits in the pages following.


Happy Halloween!!!

6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: Friday, October 7: $40; Saturday, October 8: $48; Sunday, October 9: $36 George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy Visitors learn about the successes and failures of our Founding Father’s wine endeavors, enjoy live blues music, and meet “George and Martha Washington” on the Mansion’s piazza. Guests experience an evening tour of the ALEXANDRIA CALENDAR> PAGE 5

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Old Town Crier





ow that school is in full swing; it is more likely that the chance that kids will either be the victim of cyber bullying or be the bully. This issue needs to be heavily addressed. Let us look at some statistics about cyberbullying and see how scary this epidemic actually is. • According to Reportlinker, 71% of young generations say they are concerned about cyberbullying.

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• A 2016 report from the Cyberbullying Research Center indicates the 33.8% of students between 12 and 17 were victims of cyberbullying in their lifetime. 11.5% of students between 12 and 17 indicated that they had engaged in cyberbullying in their lifetime. • Girls (40.6%) are much more likely to be victims of cyberbullying than boys (28.8%). Girls also dominated social media, while boys tend to be more on video game platforms.

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• 25% of those who have been cyberbullied, have had an experience face-to-face confrontation with their bully. • 13% have had concern about having to go to school the next day after an attack. • 90% of social media-using teens who have witnessed online bullying have also witnessed others joining; 21% say they have joined in the harassment. • Only 7% of U.S. parents are worried about cyberbullying even though 33% of teenagers have been victims of cyberbullying. • Over One million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year. What can you do as a parent to help prevent your child being bullied online? Keep your computer in a busy area of your house. Set up email and chat accounts with your kids, make sure you know their screen names and passwords. This will allow you to make sure they do not include any personal information in their profiles. Ask your kids who all their friends are, and how they know them. Discuss the issue of cyberbullying, and that you will not blame them if they are a victim. Hopefully, with education and monitoring you nor your child will have to deal with the effects of cyberbullying. Old Town Crier

2727 Mt. Vernon Avenue Alexandria, VA 22301


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MICHAEL STRUTTON Music Man by Night, Entrepreneur by Day

Photo: Breanna Starr Johnson


s I have said before, by writing this column I have met many interesting folks over the past 29 years, and this month is no exception. When I heard that the former Trattoria da Franco Restaurant here in Old Town Alexandria had been sold to a “guitar player” I had to check it out. That being said, Michael Strutton is not your “ordinary” guitar player.

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You may have already heard Michael perform. His band, Both Sides, plays at Murphy’s Irish Pub twice a month. He is the lead singer and his music is his joy. Promoting, marketing and branding, whether it be people or businesses, is his passion. Michael grew up on the Jersey Shore, which is a beautiful place. Over the years it has unfortunately gotten a bad

rap though not deserved. He was the only child to a policeman father and his mother worked as a nurse. His dad also played guitar, which Michael learned at an early age. His musical talent extended to the piano as well as singing. During his early years the Jersey Shore was a hot bed of music. The sound evolved from the mixing of pre-Beatles rock and roll, rhythm and blues, doo-wop, and the urban culture of the Mid-Atlantic States. The form has a strong ItalianAmerican influence, in as much as many of the form’s key precursors and artists, from Frankie Valli through Bruce Springsteen, are of Italian ancestry and urban background. This music had a great influence on Michael as well as his dad. When Michael’s dad retired, the family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. He continued his schooling PERSONALITY PROFILE > PAGE 5

Old Town Crier


and playing music but he was also developing an interest in the business world. After graduating from high school, Michael enrolled at Belmont University in Nashville and majored in Music Business. Belmont is home to the only AACSB International accredited Music Business program in the world. “Most of the kids wanted to become singer songwriters and get a record deal, music business was secondary. I was more interested in the business end,” he tells me. “I went to class with the likes of Brad Paisley, but I was more concerned about managing artists, so that is what I did.” With everyone else looking to perform, Michael began the business of managing their careers. In a short time he was managing a number of entertainers and getting paid. Dreamcatcher Entertainment, a company founded by Kenny Rogers, noticed Michael and they offered him a position. Michael began to do the marketing and publicity for such stars as Rogers, Sara Evans, and Diamond Rio. While his former classmates were still looking for that elusive record deal, he was beginning to manage those careers. “I may have been one of the only guys in the music business school that actually wanted to be on the business side,” he says. Michael received three RIAA Gold and Platinum Album awards for his work at Dreamcatcher. Over the six years that he was in Nashville, Michael met and started working with Ed Nash, another Belmont alum and music business leader. Through the years they became good friends and eventually formed a partnership, which exists today. Their business began to flourish as their hard work was paying off, however, an old work related injury to his dad was getting worse, so in 2003 he returned to Charlottesville to be with his family. While he was there he bought a local furniture/ antique store called the Consignment House. “It was a good store but it needed a jolt of energy,” he told me. “Once I changed things around and everything was working properly, the cash flow tripled.” “I love and have a great knack for creating an Old Town Crier

experience,” he says. “That is what I like doing best…it is all about attention to detail.” It was during his time with the Consignment House that he found his new calling. “I sold the Consignment House and started to buy businesses that were good but I wanted to make them great,” says Strutton. This is when he became a “business flipper”. He would buy a business, streamline it, and then sell it. “It seemed like the businesses were good, the problem was with the owner…I changed that,” he continued. In 2005 Michael liquidated his businesses again and decided to take some time off. “I just kind of did what I wanted to do,” he says. “I dabbled in the cigar business, played professional poker, consulted with small businesses, and started playing music again.” In 2011 he came to Alexandria and fell in love with the city. He got a regular gig playing and singing at Murphy’s Irish Pub and moved here permanently in 2012. His business in Nashville with his partner Ed Nash continues to prosper. They continue to develop television concepts, entertainment strategies, and help to build brands through content and substance. All during this time period Michael had been thinking about opening a restaurant. When he wasn’t playing at Murphy’s he would frequent Trattoria da Franco where he got to know the proprietor, Franco Abbruzzetti, pretty well. He expressed his desire to own his own restaurant and one day Abbruzzetti asked, “Why don’t you buy mine?” Eventually, he thought…why not? “I am half-Italian and I love to cook and Italian food and culture is a large part of my life. Italian dining is a ritual in my house. My grandfather was from Sicily and a longshoreman in Brooklyn. My grandmother would go to the market every day and buy things like live chickens and lobsters for dinner…meals were a very important part of life,” he says. And so it is at his own house. Every Christmas Michael prepares the Feast of Seven Fishes for friends and family. This is the attitude that he will take to

a restaurant. His mantra is, “It’s not just the act of eating. It’s the right wine, the right music...the experience.” Eventually Michael brought in partners Bill White and Alain Bolliger and they purchased the restaurant. With Strutton as managing partner and his goal to practice “La Dolce Vita”, the sweet life, at the newly named La Trattoria of Old Town the adventure has just begun. The enthusiasm of this entrepreneur turned restaurateur is undeniable. It is clear that he likes and welcomes a challenge. “In three weeks we have made some great cosmetic changes with many more to come,” he says. I for one am excited. The restaurant is only four doors from where I live. Come in and check it out, and watch the changes as they occur. I have yet to hear Mike Strutton and Both Sides play their music, but I will do that soon. If he is as accomplished on the guitar as he has been in the business world, it will be something to see and hear.


121 N. Fairfax St. 703-549-2997

Washingtons’ home and are invited to visit the basement where he stored his wine. To accompany the wine tasting, fruit and cheese boxes are available by advance purchase for $29.99. VIP tables start at $1,100 and include admission for 12 people, three bottles of Mount Vernon house wine, a dessert platter from Alexandria Pastry Shop, a fruit and cheese tray from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, and private waiter service. Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour takes place rain or shine. 

OCTOBER 14TH OUTLANDISH EVENT 1:00-4:00 p.m. Admission: $18 Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum 105 S. Fairfax St. 703-746-3852 Tour the historic apothecary and learn about a few of the herbal medicines featured in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series of novels from cascara to dauco seeds. Enjoy a cup of herbal tea and an herbal craft just like Claire would make.

SCOTTISH HERITAGE DAY AT CARLYLE HOUSE Noon-4:00 p.m. Admission: Free, $1 donation suggested Carlyle House

Celebrate Scottish Heritage at the oldest stone house in Alexandria, home of John Carlyle. Throughout the day enjoy Scottish music, dancing, and fashion as well as tours of the Carlyle House.

OCTOBER 21ST LECTURE: HISTORY OF CANDY 11:00 a.m. Admission: $15 Alexandria Black History Museum 902 Wythe St. blackhistory Susan Benjamin, candy historian, returns to the Alexandria Black History Museum to talk about the historic origins of candy based on her book Sweet as Sin: “The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure.” This program focuses on African American contributions to sugar production and candy making.

OCTOBER 21ST & 22ND FALL HARVEST FAMILY DAYS 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission: Included in general admission ($20 adults; $10 youth) George Washington’s Mount Vernon 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy. 703-780-2000

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REASONS WHY ... Beneficiary Designations Are Important


eneficiary designations can provide a relatively easy way to transfer an account or insurance policy upon your death. However, if you’re not careful, missing or outdated beneficiary designations can easily cause your estate plan to go awry. We often complete these designations without giving it much thought, but they’re actually important and deserve careful attention. Here’s why: Beneficiary designations take priority over what’s in other estate planning documents, such as a will or trust. For example, you may indicate in your will you want everything to go to your spouse after your death. However, if the beneficiary designation on your life insurance policy still names your ex-spouse, he or she may end up getting the proceeds.

Where you can find them Here’s a sampling of where you’ll find beneficiary designations: • Employer-sponsored retirement plans [401(k), 403(b), etc.] • IRAs • Life insurance policies • Annuities • Transfer-on-death (TOD) investment accounts • Pay-on-death (POD) bank accounts • Stock options and restricted stock • Executive deferred compensation plans Because you’re asked to designate beneficiaries on so many different accounts and insurance products, it can be difficult to keep up. However, it’s worth the effort; failing to maintain the beneficiary designation on that 401(k) from three employers ago could mean money will go to the wrong place. When you first set up your estate plan, go over all the designations you previously made and align them with your plan. After that, you should review and update them regularly – a least once a year.

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10 tips about beneficiary designations Because beneficiary designations are so important, keep these things in mind in your estate planning: 1. Remember to name beneficiaries. If you don’t name a beneficiary, one of the following

could occur: the account or policy may have to go through probate court. This process often results in unnecessary delays, additional costs, and unfavorable income tax treatment or; the agreement that controls the account or policy may provide for “default” beneficiaries. This could be helpful, but it’s possible the default beneficiaries may not be whom you intended.

2. Name both primary and contingent beneficiaries. It’s a good practice to name a “back up” or contingent beneficiary in case the primary beneficiary dies before you. Depending on your situation, you may have only a primary beneficiary. In that case, consider whether a charity (or charities) may make sense to name as the contingent beneficiary. 3. Update for life events. Review your beneficiary designations regularly and update them as needed based on major life events, such as births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. 4. Read the instructions. Beneficiary designation forms are not all alike. Don’t just fill in names – be sure to read the form carefully. 5. Coordinate with your will and trust. Whenever you change your will or trust, be sure to talk with your attorney about your beneficiary designations. Because these designations operate independently of your other estate planning documents, it’s important to understand how the different parts of your plan work as a whole. 6. Think twice before naming individual beneficiaries for particular assets. For example, you establish three accounts of equal value and name a different child as beneficiary of each. Over the years, the accounts may grow unevenly, so the children end up getting different amounts – which is not what you originally intended.

7. Avoid naming your estate as beneficiary. If you designate a beneficiary on your 401(k), for example, it won’t have to go through probate court to be distributed to the beneficiary. If you name your estate as beneficiary, the account will have to go through probate. For IRAs and qualified retirement plans, there may also be unfavorable income tax consequences. 8. Use caution when naming a trust as beneficiary. Consult your attorney or CPA before naming a trust as beneficiary for IRAs, qualified retirement plans, or annuities. There are situations where it makes sense to name a trust – for example if: your beneficiaries are minor children; you’re in a second marriage; or you want to control access to funds. Even in cases like these, understand the tax consequences before you name a trust as beneficiary. 9. Be aware of tax consequences. Many assets that transfer by beneficiary designation come with special tax consequences. It’s helpful to work with an experienced tax advisor, who can help provide planning ideas for your particular situation. 10. Use disclaimers when necessary — but be careful. Sometimes a beneficiary may actually want to decline (disclaim) assets on which they’re designated as beneficiary. Keep in mind disclaimers involve complex legal and tax issues and require careful consultation with your attorney and CPA.

Next steps • When creating, updating, or simply reviewing your estate plan, pay attention to your beneficiary designations. • Remember, beneficiary designations take precedence over what you may have specified in a will or trust. • Put a reminder on your calendar to check your beneficiary designations annually so you can keep them upto-date.

Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to nonaffiliated companies of Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors and its affiliate do 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

Director-Investments and Stephen M. Bearce, First Vice President- Investments in Alexandria, VA at 800-247-8602. Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/ NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/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. © 2017 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. Old Town Crier



HORSE HOUND NOVA’s One Stop Shop for Saddlery, Gifts, Outdoor Wear and Pet Supplies

No better time of year to check out an out of the way store that caters to the “horsey” set…and more…than in the fall. I know that lots of you are probably “leaf peepers” and will be trekking to the Blue Ridge to take in the foliage at some point in time this month and the Horse ‘N Hound (HNH) in Flint Hill is a must stop. Proprietor Sheila Whaley, a native of England who made her way to the US via Canada, is an avid lover of horses and has worked with them in a variety of capacities nearly all of her grown life. Her last employ in that area was working with the rehabilitation of them. The physicality of the job was becoming too much so she changed careers and started working in the retail end of all things equine. In 2006 she acquired Horse ‘N Hound and the rest is history. HNH is a very eclectic place. It is very unassuming from the exterior but fascinating on the interior. It really is a little hard to explain here in print (see accompanying photos). There most definitely is everything that the fox hunting set and hunter jumpers are looking for as well as for the recreational rider. However, on and above that, she has a great selection of outerwear including some of my very favorite line of boots – Ariat - and of some of the coolest socks that I have seen in quite some time. For those of you who love your “hounds” there are socks with images of every breed out there. If she doesn’t have your favorite, I bet she can order it. My favorites are the brightly colored “solmate socks”. These socks don’t even match! Perfect! Either of these would make fantastic “stocking stuffers” for the upcoming gift giving season. There are other things in the gift/accessorie line ranging from beautiful jewelry, purses, hats and gloves and scarves to fun cards and kids games. While HNH has a full line of proper riding attire, there are clothes that are interchangeable for riding, skiing, hiking, and even sailing, yes I said sailing. The materials in the jackets and shirts are all conducive to weathering the elements of our area. Next in the line of inventory at HNH are the pet supplies for both the canine and feline friends that may reside at your house. Sheila admitted that she really isn’t a “hound” person and much prefers the company of her two felines Prudence and Timothy, however, this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have top of the line food and supplies for both species. I have saved the best for last…..HNH handles the ever popular “BugZooka”! This item is a must have for anyone in the area that has had the pleasure of a Stink Bug infestation. The BugZooka is handy for removing lots of annoying insects that migrate into your living space. It actually sucks the bugs into a removable catch tube with the simple push of a button all without the need of batteries. You will have to check it out! Horse ‘N Hound markets their wares online as well as selling directly at the store. If you can’t make it to Flint Hill this fall, check out their inventory online. Some of the accessories are not available online and they are really the most fun part of the store so I recommend taking the drive. It’s only about and hour and a half from Old Town when you take a leisurely drive!

Old Town Crier

HORSE N HOUND 667 Zachary Taylor Highway Flint Hill, VA 540-675-1650

October 2017 | 7




hat do George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette; Benjamin Franklin and Amadeus Mozart; W.E.B. Du Bois, Winston Churchill and Harry S. Truman have in common? All are Freemasons. Washington became a Freemason in 1752 at age 20 in Fredericksburg; then Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22 in 1788. “Brother Washington was, in Masonic terms, a ‘living stone” who became the cornerstone of American civilization.” “Being persuaded that a just application of principles, on which the Masonic fraternity is founded, must be promotive of

from religion. It is coincident with the Age of Enlightenment, a fraternity that emphasizes “personal study; the dignity of man and the liberty of the individual.” Freemasons worship as they choose. “It has been suggested that [George Washington] learned as a Mason to believe in a ruling Providence rather than an orthodox Christian deity,” biographer John R. Alden wrote. Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22 meets regularly in George Washington Masonic National Memorial. A National Historic Landmark, the Memorial is located at King and Callahan Streets, atop a high hill. Charles Callahan chose the Alexandria site in 1908; then donated four of the necessary eight lots. The century old Memorial interprets both fraternal and George Washington history. The Memorial Hall’s George Washington statue stands 17 feet, 3 inches tall and occupies a central space. The bronze statue, delivered in eight pieces, was designed by Bryant Baker as a character statement. Washington stands alone, a symbol unto himself, the wise Master of the lodge. The statue was dedicated in 1950 by President Harry S. Truman, a Mason who credits the fraternal order with his 1948 Presidential win. “This heroic likeness of our first President makes even more impressive the entrance hall of this temple,” Truman said in his February 22 dedication speech. “It is altogether fitting that this work should stand in the community that Washington did so much to build….” “George Washington, like ourselves, lived in a period of great change—a period when new forces and new ideas

George Washington Masonic National Memorial private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be considered by them as a deserving brother,” President Washington told Rhode Island’s King David’s Lodge in 1790. Stone masons, during the Middle-Ages and after, were among the most ethically correct of the local tradesmen. Freemasonry is the world’s oldest fraternal order, a brotherhood that combines talent, intellect and virtue. By 1733 the colonies had established at least three Masonic lodges: in Boston, Savannah, and Philadelphia. The order’s ceremonies, as novelist Dan Brown has noted, are shrouded in secrecy. Freemasonry is not a religion; it is a non-denominational order that borrows 8 | October 2017

were sweeping across the world,” Truman continued. “Washington was unwavering in his devotion to the democratic concept. He never yielded to those who encouraged him to assume extraordinary powers.” “The task of Americans today is fundamentally the same as it was in Washington’s time,” Truman concluded. “We, too, must make democracy work and we must defend it against its enemies. But our task [in 1950] is far greater than it was in Washington’s time. We are not only concerned with increasing the freedom, welfare, and opportunity of our people we are also concerned with the right of other peoples to choose their form of government, to improve their standards of living, and to decide what kind of life they want to live.” “…the Cause of Virtue and Liberty is Confined to no Continent or Climate, it comprehends within its capacious Limits, the Wise and good….,” George Washington wrote in 1775. Truman’s speech was timely, then and now. “We are convinced of the necessity for an international agreement to limit the use of atomic energy to peaceful purposes,” Truman persisted. For 1950 was post Hiroshima; the year of Senator Joe McCarthy, the Algier Hiss trials, and the onset of the Korean War. North Korea’s Communist troops crossed the 38th parallel and invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. When Democrat Harry Truman announced his decision not to run for another Presidential term only 25% of Americans thought he was doing a good job. Truman, who became a Mason in 1909, now is regarded as among the nation’s greatest Presidents. Like most A BIT OF HISTORY > PAGE 15

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his month is my tenth anniversary of writing this column. In 2007, I began penning reviews here while working part-time as an employee of Old Town’s Olsson’s Books & Records, which once reigned on South Union Street in the former warehouse where the restaurant Virtue Feed & Grain now holds court. I continued writing after it shut its doors, thriving with the Old Town Crier as it has grown and expanded while remaining a local cultural institution. I remain proud of it and what we offer to our community of long-time locals and people passing through. The surrounding D.C.–area literary landscape has changed significantly in the past decade. My beloved Olsson’s disappeared. Many of my former colleagues and I still miss it greatly for its unique literary and musical culture. Big box stores like Borders folded, leaving a Barnes & Noble here and there, although it also closed it doors in many local locations. The Books-a-Million chain has also disappeared from both Old Town and the District of Columbia. Our area has luckily retained other treasured independent institutions such as Kramerbooks & Afterwords, which is expanding its footprint by taking over neighboring space in Dupont Circle. In addition, the powerhouse Politics & Prose has expanded its scope under the ownership of Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, offering classes and its own printing press while continuing its unparalleled calendar of author readings and book signings. The biggest change in this past ten years has been the advent of the e-reader along with smartphones and tablets. The Amazon Kindle has dominated that market from its incipience in July 2007. My own reading habits have changed as a result. I read both hard copies and books on my Kindle, which offers some distinct advantages in allowing the reader a dictionary at the push of a finger, and necessary space saving for transient bibliophiles with burgeoning shelves and little storage space. Yet e-readers ultimately offer an impoverished sensory experience by depriving readers of all the sights, smells, and enjoyment of hefting weighty tome in their hands or carrying awaited paperbacks away to enjoy at a local coffee shop. We shop differently in person than online. There is no substitute for stacks curated by sophisticated and passionate buyers who create a store’s culture and character. Browsing stacks is like no other experience. We book-lovers get lost in our search, looking up hours later with a sense of satisfaction to make spontaneous purchases that we might never have found otherwise. Luckily there is now an uptick in new indie bookstores in the DC area and across the country, perhaps similar to the return of vinyl’s popularity during the waning era of CDS and current era of musical downloads and streaming. The importance of tangible interaction with any art form cannot be underestimated. I have so many memories of books discovered in my eclectic browsing during the past decade that I will mention only a few here in no particular order. Old Town Crier

At Olsson’s I participated in two midnight book launches of the last two Harry Potter books at Olsson’s, joyous occasions in which I made chocolate “Cockroach Clusters” for our parties and celebrated J.K. Rowling’s literary juggernaut with the children and adults who lined up to buy all the books we could provide. Speaking of J.K. Rowling, I cannot forget to mention British writer Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, also ostensibly meant for children but perhaps enjoyed as much or more by adults. Rowling’s dominance in that time period overshadowed Pullman’s wonderfully written, compelling and philosophical series featuring young heroes Will Parry and Lyra Belacqua, who set off on an adventure that might ultimately save their parallel worlds. Through perusing the stacks at Olsson’s I discovered the Irish crime writer Tana French, who always leaves me thinking about her eloquent writing and haunting characters months afterwards. I wait eagerly for her next novel year after year. Author and journalist Carl Hiaasen caught my attention with his hilarious novels about crazy Floridians capers and passion for environmental issues. Susanna Clarke’s unique book-brick Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell indulged my penchant for British literature with gorgeous Jane Austen-style writing that recounted a brilliant, unnerving fantasy about magicians and the land of Faerie in nineteenth-century England. After Olsson’s closed in 2008, I browsed elsewhere in stores and on my Kindle, finding much more to celebrate in new releases everywhere. Journalist Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, with its passion for social justice and politics in Sweden absorbed me with its dark humor and intricate plot. In creating the characters of the crusading journalist Mikael Blomqvist and his cohort in research, Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo, he penned a compelling series of bestsellers that examined societal injustice and corruption through a thoughtful, firecrackerfast plotline. Salander has become one of my favorite literary characters, her loner brilliance as a socially inept hacker and uncompromising ferocity as a survivor making her an unconventional superheroine for the computer era. Although David Lagercrantz has stepped in to continue the series, I wish Larsson were still alive to offer us his unique, ardent perspective on media, politics, social welfare and social injustice. Another jewel I discovered was the gorgeous history The Warmth of Other Suns, a National Book Award winner by New York Times journalist Isabel

Wilkerson. In writing a definitive history of the African-American migration from the South in the twentieth century, she created a book that should be required reading for anyone interested in the history of the United States. I flew through the book in twentyfour hours, her bell-clear, unsentimental writing and precise focus making the trip as easy as breathing. As a natural speed-reader, I later re-read it to appreciate it even more. Those who read this column regularly will have noted my great enjoyment of George R.R. Martin’s cynical medieval fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, currently depicted on screen in HBO’s blockbuster series Game of Thrones. A great escape, it will leave any reader fascinated with its politics and battle between good and evil, One of his show runners, David Benioff, also wrote a book I greatly enjoyed. City of Thieves is a highly unlikely buddy comedy set during the Siege of Leningrad. Having endured an unrelenting Russian winter myself, I felt the story viscerally in all its humor, bitterness, and poignancy. Where do I stop? How many authors and books have I not mentioned? How about Malcolm Gladwell, whose unusual perspective on sociology and culture I have always championed? Jhumpa Lahiri, whose gorgeous writing and depiction of the Indian-American experience depicts loneliness so beautifully? David Sedaris, one of our most eccentric and hilarious social observers? Laura Hillenbrand and her perfectly written book Unbroken, a depiction of World War II POW and former Olympic athlete, Louis Zamperini? There would not be enough room to include all my authors and books if I were to take over this whole magazine. In the end I cannot leave out three of my favorite THE LAST WORD > PAGE 15

October 2017 | 9




osh Ritter has come a long way from the coffeehouses in Oberlin, where he got his start twenty years ago. Those intervening years has seen Josh grow into one of the most significant songwriters of the modern era, thanks to albums such as The Animal Years, The Historical Conquests Of Josh Ritter, The Beast In Our Tracks, and 2015’s astounding Sermon On The Rocks. Over the course of nine studio albums, two standalone EPs, a healthy handful of singles and live sets, and one monumental album collaboration with Bob Weir, one thing has been made abundantly clear – Josh Ritter can do no wrong. That sounds like a bold statement, that sort of hyperbole that I am so often accused of tossing out, but it’s true. The man has never released a bad album in his career, not even a bad song. When he puts pen to paper, whether he is writing in character or not, there is a certain charm that comes out that is impossible not to like. Having met the man in person, I can attest that this charm is no put-on either. Josh Ritter is a genuinely good soul and that comes through in his music, and it is always a pleasure to listen to him sing. Anyone who has ever seen Josh perform knows the joy that radiates from him on stage. In a world short on positivity, Josh Ritter’s got ya covered. Gathering is Ritter’s ninth studio album – the first release of his 40’s – and it finds the artist careening into middle age with a massive exclamation point. Kicking off with the haunting, a cappella “Shaker Love Song (Leah)”, the mood is set for the upbeat groove of “Showboat”, a number that has a classic Glen Campbell feel to it, but with a modern twist. Like “Rhinestone Cowboy”, this song is sung from the perspective of someone who is a bit of a sham. Mexicali horns in the middle are a nice touch. “Friendamine” is a super upbeat number, somewhat jittery. I don’t recommend listening to this if you have had more than three cups of coffee – you might blast off. That chipper-ness continues with “Feels Like Lightning”, which is somewhat


GATHERING reminiscent of early Paul Simon, if perhaps Simon was a rancher. When Ritter was writing the songs with Bob Weir for Blue Mountain, the theme they were going for was “modern cowboy songs”. That is a style that has most definitely carried over into this new album. Not quite “country”, not quite “western”, these are nonetheless songs that evoke a vast, dusty expanse. That collaboration with Bob Weir carries over to “When Will I Be Changed”, which the two perform as a duet. This slow, ethereal masterpiece is the sound of a man slowly riding into the sunset, determined to come back stronger. When Weir comes in on the second verse, there is no way the hair on your arms won’t stand on end. Even though it’s Bob that he is working with, you can clearly hear the

10 | October 2017

ghost of Jerry Garcia weaved within the fabric of this song, a beautiful descendent of “Black Muddy River”, that sort of perfect song that the Dead would so often encore with. I most certainly would like to hear them work together more. The mellow mood of this album continues with “Train Go By”, which reminds me a lot of “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga (incidentally, a song that Bob Weir has been covering lately, and fantastically at that). A close listen to this song – and this just might be my imagination hard at work – this kind of feels almost like a response to that song, as if they each represent two sides of the same conversation. I might be way off base but this is the story that I am sticking to. The album soon takes a swift

turn down a dark, dirty road with “Dreams”, a spiritual successor to “Birds Of The Meadow” and “Rattling Locks”. One of the most intense and unsettling songs I’ve ever heard from Ritter, this haunting number is going to be epic on stage. The slow, gentle “Myrna Loy” brings the album back to the ground a bit. The darkness of the previous song carries over, but the thing is – even when Josh gets dark and moody, he is still comforting. There’s just something about him as a writer and as a singer. Moving on, “Interlude” is just that – a minute and a half of beautiful brass playing a piece that is in the style of late 19th century salon HIGH NOTES > PAGE 15

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October 2017 | 11



Hail. All images by David FeBland

A Day In the Life of a Dealer


opened my first gallery in 1996 in Georgetown, and a second one in Bethesda in 2002. In 2006, for three years I left the DC area and lived near Philadelphia, where I started my third art gallery. In all those years (until recently and because of art fairs), we have rarely worked with “art consultants” or “interior decorators.”

Overall, the experience (in the very few times that we’ve worked with them) has been quite a waste of time -such as the time that we wasted months dealing with then Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Georgetown-based interior designers to select a work by New York painter David FeBland. Because the focus of my art dealer side has mostly been contemporary

representational work (“realism with a bite”), it seldom agrees with the bland, “cannot afford to insult anyone,” art selection process of most major corporate and business buyers (and public art projects). But I think that you constant readers may be interested in the glamorous life of a gallery-owner, and thus a story from my diary for

this months column – something that happened about 12 years ago: “Yesterday I bit again, and delivered work by several of our artists that had been selected by a very major law firm’s art consultant to possibly hang in their new meeting room in a beautiful building in downtown DC. GALLERY BEAT > PAGE 13

….Art That Is! 12 | October 2017

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Criss by Cross GALLERY BEAT | FROM PAGE 12

Come in to the building; get a security badge; then drive to the loading dock behind the building with a loading dock pass, and start delivering work to the 9th floor. As soon as I got there I knew that our chances were slim to none, as I saw a lot of bland, abstract work on the walls – nothing of the caliber and skill of a great abstract painter, such as Anne Marchand or Georgia Nassikas (to name drop a couple of brilliant DMV artists).` And then, the very nice and professional art consultant was horrified to see that I had brought a piece by one of our artists (South American artist Javier Gil, whose twisted DC area landscapes were really brilliant!). “Get that out of here before anyone sees it,” she advised. “Nothing like that can even be considered and it may poison their minds about the rest.” Her favorite from our four artist selection was the work of our best-selling artist

David FeBland. I explained that David’s works have been selling very well, especially since the Europeans have discovered his work. Since his prices have been skyrocketing (law of supply and demand), we both doubted that they’d be interested in his work, since he was by far the most expensive artist in what was being presented. But I schlepped all the work over, including a massive, framed photo by Maxwell MacKenzie, perhaps the DMV’s most talented landscape photographer. After a few trips I returned to the gallery van, which had been parked in the loading dock, as directed, to find it blocked by a truck delivering paper supplies. I then asked the guy nicely if he could please move a foot so that I could leave. He then cusses me out. I then wasted 10 minutes of cussing and yelling and threatening the very large truck driver, in the process

Climbing to the Light getting pretty near to a fist fight with a guy who looked like George Foreman, before another huge guy comes in and breaks up the argument... all that before I can leave, now in a total black mood. I returned to DC around 3:30PM to pick up the work; back up into the tiny loading dock, where I manage to put a huge gouge on the left side of the new gallery van (less than 800 miles on it). Then I get a large smear of grease from one of the dumpsters on the back of my new suit, which I had naturally just worn for the first time this morning. Things are going great uh? Up to the 9th floor, which for some strange reason, in this building is actually a few steps below the 7th floor. Not too surprisingly, none

of our work had been picked. And what was picked can best be summarized as “big, bold, large abstract art,” mostly by names I had never heard of. In retrospect, I can’t say that I blame the corporate art buyers, especially in selecting work for their public meeting spaces. We’re at a juncture in our history where anything that could remotely be offensive to anyone, is not part of the PC art process. When was it the last time that you saw a nude in an American airport? On one of the trips I run into a very tall woman who had been (I think) the head of

the “art pickers” from the law firm; she sees me packing the David FeBland. “That was our favorite among all the artists,” she says. “He’s our best-selling painter,” I replied, too tired to inquire as to why he wasn’t selected (I already know: price). On the massive table I see the work selected; around 20-30 pieces of mostly abstract, large, work. Waste of my time; scratch on my new van; possibly a ruined suit; and near fist fight with a huge burly truck driver... another day in the life of an art dealer.”

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October 2017 | 13



photo: Mark Avery Unique daffodil varieties like Lingerie offer double flowering.

Plant Easy Care Daffodils Now for Added Spring Beauty

14 | October 2017


affodils have a cheery presence in the spring garden and are a surefire way to chase away the winter blues. These fall-planted bulbs are also reliable perennials that require no maintenance and are not bothered by deer or other pests. The National Garden Bureau has declared 2017 the Year of the Daffodil, and with the fall planting season right around the corner, now is the time to choose your favorites. Yellow trumpet daffodils are classics, but there are many other flower styles and colors to choose from. Double-flowering types like white and yellow Lingerie and long lasting lemon-yellow Sherbourne feature multiple rows of petals and some varieties look more like peonies than daffodils. Multi-flowering varieties like Beautiful Eyes, display several flowers on each stem. This variety’s white and orange blossoms have a gardenialike fragrance. Miniature daffodil Baby Boomer has five to ten flowers per stem. After blooming, the grassy foliage quickly fades away, allowing nearby perennials to take center stage. Split corona daffodils have an unexpected beauty and are lovely cut flowers. The cups on these daffodils are divided into segments that are

pressed back against the petals. Narcissus Cassata has a ruffled yellow split cup and white petals. Lemon Beauty’s shorter split cup is adorned with a yellow star. These are just a few of the many choices that are available for gardens, containers and spring bouquets. Most daffodils are hardy in growing zones 3 to 8. In warmer zones, look for heat tolerant varieties such as Thalia and Silver Smiles. Mix daffodils into shady gardens filled with hostas, ferns and other shade-loving perennials. As the daffodil blooms fade, the perennials will grow, mask the foliage and provide beauty throughout the remainder of the season. Plant daffodils on a hillside, woodland border, beside a pond or under trees and shrubs. Over time, the bulbs will grow and multiply with minimal care from you. Choose cultivars with different flower styles and bloom times, and plant in drifts to create an attractive display. Can’t decide? Consider one of the many pre-mixed packages such as Fragrant, Double, Miniature or Multi-flowering daffodil collections ( Or, create your own long-lasting display by combining early, mid and late blooming varieties. Get your daffodils off to a great

start with proper planting. Order the bulbs early for best selection, and plant them in mid to late fall, any time before the ground freezes. Dig a hole and position the bulbs 6” deep with the pointy side up. Cover with soil, apply a low nitrogen slow release fertilizer and water thoroughly. Once in the ground, the bulbs can remain in place for years to come. Reserve a few daffodil bulbs for your containers and window boxes. Pot them up in the fall and make sure they get at least 15 weeks of chilling at 40-45°F. In mild climates, the containers can be left outdoors. In zones 6 and colder, they should be stored in an unheated garage where they will be cold, but won’t freeze. Start now and enjoy a brighter beginning to next year’s garden season. The daffodils you plant this fall will delight you year after year as their carefree blooms announce winter’s end and spring’s return. Melinda Myers has written numerous books, including Small Space Gardening. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. Myers was commissioned by Longfield Gardens for her expertise to write this article. Myers’ website is Old Town Crier


Americans Freemasons believe Truman bettered mankind. “Probably the most momentous occasion in the annals of Masonry in the United States will pass into history,” The Washington Post reported in 1923, “when the cornerstone of the great granite building being erected as a memorial to George Washington is lowered into place.” The building has five orders of architecture, three of which are included in the Masons’ teachings. The 1931 cost: $4 million. “Shooter’s Hill was the property of Washington, and but for his intervention would now be occupied by the Capitol of the United States,” The Post continued. “The commanding eminence was the selection of [Thomas] Jefferson and [James] Madison, but their choice was vetoed by [President] Washington, lest it might be thought that he chose this location for the advancement of his private interests.” Dedicated in 1932, the 85 year-old building is undergoing repair. Interior walls are “bulging” inexplicably and valuable artifacts, including the murals, have been jeopardized. The mural depicting the 1793 U.S. Capitol Cornerstone Laying Ceremony, an 18’ x 46’ canvas completed in 1955 by American artist Allyn Cox, was removed last March for restoration. “The South East corner Stone, of the Capitol of the United States of America in the City of Washington, was laid on the 18th day of September 1793, in the thirteenth year of American Independence, in the first year of the second term of the Presidency of George Washington, whose virtues in the civil administration of his country have been as conspicuous and beneficial, as his Military valor and prudence have been useful….,” The Columbia Mirror & Alexandria Gazette reported. The apron and sash worn by President Washington during these ceremonies can also be seen in the sanctum of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22. The second floor Replica Lodge Room includes the Memorial’s George Washington collection. “The movement to unite the colonies originated in colonial Freemasonry,” Fredericksburg’s John J. Lanier wrote in 1922. “Indeed Freemasonry was the only institution THE LAST WORD | FROM PAGE 9

books of all time. They are a part of me. J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, incorporating elements of a romanticized Britain with Scandinavian and Icelandic sagas at their most beautiful. I have re-read it somewhere between five and ten times at different points in my life, including the last ten years. In addition, Mikhail Bulgakov’s classic The Master and Margarita is a cult book in Russia, only published after the death of Joseph Stalin. The Devil visits Moscow with his familiars in tow, including a black cat named Behemoth who carries a Browning automatic shotgun. A brilliant writer, the Master, burns his book in despair at the Stalinist stifling of literature, while his muse and great love, Margarita, redeems his sacrifice. Last but equally important, Bulgakov re-tells the story of the ultimate redemption, the story of Pontius Pilate and the crucifixion of Jesus. I also read this book overnight, finishing Old Town Crier

in colonial times in which the leaders of all the different colonies could meet upon common ground. The faith of nearly all was grounded in the English Bible.” “But, the Puritans of New England, with their Congregational form of government, looked askance upon the Established church of the Southern Colonies and regarded its prelates with little less abhorrence than they felt for the papacy,” Lanier continued. “Only the Masonic Lodge was the same institution in every part of the colonies. In their Lodge communications and other fraternal gatherings, the Freemasons established a common meeting ground where men of diverse religious and political views, rich or poor, could come together in the spirit of harmony and mutual confidence.” To Washington, the Masonic Lodge was “a kindly refuge,” Lanier concluded. “Throughout the Revolution” Washington had “the confidence and support of his Masonic brethren…James Otis, Paul Revere, Peyton Randolph, John Hancock, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, John Jay, Robert Morris and others.” Now the George Washington Masonic National Memorial needs your support. For more information, including tours, building requests and the Century Landmark Campaign, visit Sarah Becker 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. Email: Columnist’s Note: For those readers who have the inquired regarding the accreditation status of Jefferson-Houston School the Virginia Department of Education released its accreditation report on September 13, 2017. Accreditation was again denied. Jefferson Houston School “made gains and reached benchmark in History, but were below in the other three areas.” it the next day overwhelmed by its brilliant surrealism and deeply moving ideas. I also read it in Russian, eventually visiting all the places mentioned in the book when I moved to Moscow, Russia. One more for the road: Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov. I recommend the annotated version with commentary by Alfred Appel, Jr. Nabokov’s native language was Russian, but in English he wrote perfectly, incorporating eclectic cultural references with sly verbal rhythms and sleightof-hand, creating a mysterious, surreal portrait of the mythic American road trip that yields endless new layers of interpretation upon each reading. Lastly, dear reader, please visit The Last Word on line at under Arts & Entertainment. Let me know your thoughts and reactions in our comments section. After writing to share my love of books for ten years, I would enjoy your recommendations and comments. Thank you for sharing this literary journey with me.

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music. This allows for a breath or two before the peppy “Cry Softly”, one of the most cowboy of the cowboy songs on here. I can very easily hear Waylon singing this. Likewise, “Oh Lord, Pt. 3” finds Ritter with a bit of a drawl on a song that evokes Johnny Cash, or at least a revved-up Tennessee Two, and is replete with some wicked lap steel soloing. “Thunderbolt’s Goodnight” calls to mind Josh’s earlier work, with its gentle fingerpicking and folk melodies, and that subtle storm that often bubbles underneath some of his more recent acoustic songs. This bliss gives way to the album’s closer, the slow burn of “Strangers”, a song that has a bit of a “Happy Trails” feel to it. While I would not personally end an album with two slow songs in a row, this works - a brilliant farewell to one of Josh Ritter’s most unique albums. I’m not sure if these songs were written at the same time as Blue Mountain or if this album was written as a reaction to it, but this material really suits Ritter. A step aside from what he has done in the past, this is a genre excursion that works. The reason why it works is because, as with everything else he does, it’s not jive. Josh Ritter goes country and still sounds like Josh Ritter. That is the mark of a true artist.

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ther than pumpkins, one of the most recognizable symbols of Halloween is the black cat with arched back and luminescent eyes. How did this arise, and what other superstitions are associated with our animal brethren?

Photo: Chris Usher Genghis, a Bokeh Ridge farm resident.

Black Cats: A Familiar Superstition In Greek mythology, a woman named Galenthia, or Galen, was turned into a cat and became a priestess at the temple of Hecate. During the 12th and 13th centuries, witches in Europe were often found with their “familiars,” usually black cats, and were said to turn themselves into cats. The reputation of black cats in the United States seems to have started with the Pilgrims, who were Puritans and distrusted anything associated

with witches and sorcery, including black cats. During the witch-burning era of the 17th century, witches’ cats were put into baskets and burned alongside their humans. Some cultures, though, believe black cats bring good luck. This is traced to the Egyptian goddess Bast (or Bastet), the cat goddess. Egyptians believed they could gain favor from Bastet by keeping black cats. Sailors believed having a black cat aboard ship brought good luck, and the wives of sailors used to keep black cats to ensure their husbands’ safe return. In Britain today, a bride and groom who encounter a black cat on their wedding day are ensured a happy marriage. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has conducted studies to determine if black cats are less likely to be adopted than other cats because of superstitions. While the research does show significant number of black cats in shelters, it also reports a

high number of black cat adoptions, leading some researchers to conclude that there may just be a lot of black cats. Some rescues, such as King Street Cats, have special adoption promotions for black cats, like “Back in Black” at other animal groups nationwide. Some shelters see a surge in black cat adoptions shortly before Halloween, with many of these cats returned shortly

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16 | October 2017

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Photo: Amanda Breeden Local pooch, Sirius.

thereafter, which seems to indicate that adopters wanted a living Halloween decoration. For that reason, some shelters won’t allow black cat adoptions in October. Any animal suffers real trauma from being dragged back and forth from a shelter to a strange new home and back again.

The Black Dog Syndrome What about black dogs? Ancient folklore says the apparitions of black dogs were the unquiet ghosts of wicked souls. Other cultures associate dogs with the path to heaven—or hell. The ancient Greeks believed a threeheaded dog named Cerberus guarded the entrance to Hades, ensuring that no one went in—or out—who wasn’t supposed to.Winston Churchill battled serious bouts of depression, which he called “the black dog.” Some legends have black dogs appearing as an apparition or ghost and signify that Death is near. In The Hound of POINTS ON PETS > PAGE 17

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the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the black dog is a creepy, spectral figure that haunts cemeteries and is a death omen. More recently, in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a big black dog called the Grim stalks Harry. These superstitions still resonate today and are known as the “Black Dog Syndrome.”

Just as with cats, this belief can also lead to fewer adoptions from shelters. In addition to having dark fur, large size can make black dogs appear menacing. Another theory holds that their dark fur is hard to photograph for advertising purposes. Black dogs can get lost in dark kennels with shadowy corners and poor lighting, which again makes them seem dangerous. According to the ASPCA,

big, black dogs—Labradors, shepherd mixes, pit bull mixes, and Rottweilers—are often the last adopted and make up the bulk of the dogs euthanized at shelters. There is no evidence that black dogs are any more aggressive than dogs of other colors; what matters is each dog’s disposition.

Other Animal Superstitions Cats don’t really have nine




Bette – We’re not sure about Bette Davis eyes, but our beautiful Bette could certainly inspire a few songs! This sweet-natured gal is a good listener - how could she not be with such amazing ears? - and she’s happy to plant a few snuffly kisses on those she loves. If you’re seeking your lyrical muse, this sweetie is your lady love! **Thanks to a generous donor, my adoption fees have been paid!** Pohaku – Meet our Pohaku! His foster reports that this senior kitty may not be interested in playing, but he doesn’t act like an old man. He is a calm presence in the household and a great buddy when you are working from home. He’d be


happy to spend an afternoon watching the world outside his window and then join you on the couch when you come home after a long day. He’s so relaxed, he doesn’t even need a full “meow” – he’s happy enough to just say “mehhhhhh.” If you are looking for a mellow man to relax with, Pohaku is your perfect match! Little Buddy the Guinea Pig – Little Buddy is looking for a new best friend and he hopes it will be you! This adorable guy can be a little shy initially, but warms up nicely with some patience and a few extra treats. If you are looking for a sidekick with an irresistible mug, Little Buddy is for you!


lives. This resilient belief is most likely attributed to their strong survival skills— keen senses, speed, agility, sharp teeth, and claws—all of which help cats out of many dangerous situations. Can your pet predict the weather? If a dog seeks a cozy spot or curls up in a corner, cold weather is coming. A cat sitting with his back to the fire is a sign that frost is on the way. (More likely, your pet just found the warmest spot in your home.)What about earthquakes? The jury is still out; but rats, weasels, snakes, and centipedes have reportedly left their homes and headed for safety several days before a destructive earthquake. Carrying a rabbit’s foot won’t bring good luck to the bunny, but some think having one in your pocket will. One school of thought attributes this to the fact that rabbits are born with eyes open, while another suggests their fertility links them with growth and prosperity throughout life. Frogs or toads won’t give you warts if you touch them, because warts are caused by

a virus, not by amphibians. But frogs and toads are also associated with witches and were sometimes tossed into boiling cauldrons as part of the witch’s brew.Yes, there are a few bat species that drink blood (most notably the vampire bat), but most are harmless. Sleeping cattle and horses are the usual victims of the vampire bat, and while bats don’t remove enough blood to harm their host, their bites can cause nasty infections and disease. Birds have many common folk references, such as the dove of peace, the bluebird of happiness, and the stork who delivers babies. But not all references are positive; one old wives’ tale says that if a bird flies into your home, it foretells a death. As for birds who fly into or peck at windows, the Audubon Society says it’s because birds see their own reflection in the glass, or they think it’s another bird and will try to drive out the intruder. This Halloween, remember your animal friends and the positive roles they play in our traditions.




Bob is one big, bold boy in search of a new best buddy.  Bob is partially blind, but he doesn’t let that slow him down! He gets around great and needs no special care. During a stay with a foster family, he used his litter box like a pro and took to the apartment in no time at all. Bob is the first kitty you’ll spot when you enter the cat room at the AWLA, and even if he doesn’t see you come in, this friendly boy will meow a welcome.  Thanks to a generous donor, Bob’s adoptions fees have been waived. Mya is the independent lady of the AWLA: a fun, spunky and vocal feline favorite of staff and volunteers. Mya recently took a break from the shelter to spend some time with a foster family, who reported that she settled in well at their


home and loved waking at dawn with her foster mom. If you’re an early riser seeking a morning coffee companion, consider this kitty. McMuffin was found as a stray outside a fast food restaurant and brought to the AWLA by an Old Town citizen. This senior gent recently enjoyed a stay with a foster family where he received love, attention and all the toys you can shake a feather stick at. He made friends with the family cats, but he is also happy to watch the world go by the window. McMuffin get a lot of attention for his unique look - a curled ear and freckled nose - and he’s hoping his endearing appearance will help him find his new family.  Thanks to a generous donor, McMuffin’s adoptions fees have been waived.

4101 Eisenhower Avenue • Alexandria, VA Mon-Fri, 1-8 pm • Closed Wed • Sat & Sun, 12-5 pm Old Town Crier


October 2017 | 17


photos: Niko Dellios

Caribbean Apocalypse and Recovery


atural catastrophes bring out the best and worst in people. Most band together, help others and even risk life and limb to save strangers from harm. A few, though, prey on weak individuals and the weakened society. By any measure, Category Five plus Hurricane Irma inflicted catastrophic damage on the small, vulnerable Leeward Islands in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. The hardest hit U.S. island is St. John, best known as the primary location of the spectacular Virgin Islands National Park. Not far behind in level of destruction is St. Thomas, the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands. My family and I were fortunate to get off St. John a couple days before Irma struck. I have kept in contact with residents through Facebook and scoured the media for information in the days and hours before

the storm struck and in the aftermath. This article is based on those sources. First, just how bad a storm was Irma when it burst upon our idyllic islands? Irma was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic ocean (without entering warmer Caribbean waters). It also had the lowest barometer (914 mb) ever recorded in an Atlantic storm. It fielded sustained winds of 180 mph. Gusts of 220 were recorded in St. John’s largest town Cruz Bay. On September 6th between the hours of about 1 and 3 pm, the eyewall of this immense force of nature came ashore on St. John’s east end, known mostly for pristine Coral Bay, and plowed over the entire island, exiting over Cruz Bay. It then veered a bit northeast, hitting St. Thomas and then passed off shore of Puerto Rico. Earlier that day, St Johnians were posting on Facebook about

18 | October 2017

their preparations and plans to hunker down in safe rooms and concrete houses as the storm approached. The posts, which later seemed like the last wireless messages from the Titanic, continued until about 1:00 pm when all communications towers and masts on St. John were carried away and electric wires downed. For nearly 24 hours, St. John and its’ approximately 4,000 residents present were mostly silent. Two weeks later, the electricity remains “off ” and cell phone service very spotty. Late in the afternoon of September 6 after the eye passed over, mostly young people made their way out of the wreckage in states of shock (“Zombie-like,” people say) and walked over rubble strewn roads into what remained of the village of Coral Bay on the east end and down to wrecked Cruz Bay, the island capital on the west end. Designated EMTs

in each village had satellite phones and they began taking down names of survivors – often written by hand in lists on pieces of cardboard – that were then phoned to residents off-island who posted them on Facebook. And, eyewitness accounts began to trickle out. They are

remarkably similar. Many reported that the storm’s extraordinary low air pressure caused the worst headaches and earaches ever. One said he thought his head would explode. At the same time, many were also dealing with CARIBBEAN CONNECTION > PAGE 20


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The US Virgin Islands hold a very soft spot in our hearts, most specially St. John. It is our favorite island getaway. We have long time friends living on the island who lost everything in the after math of both hurricanes Irma and Maria. Some of them transplants from Virginia. It is both heart breaking and surreal to have something so devastating happen so close to home. We have received emails from Alexandrians who have family who live on island that have no livelihood to go back to and others who own vacation homes on St. John and St. Thomas. Our very own Jeff McCord calls St. John home and was one of the lucky few who will be able to repair his home and be back to some semblance of “normal” in the next months. Only time will tell. We thank God that everyone we know are safe and physically unharmed but their lives are changed forever. The people on the islands are pulling together and are “VI Strong” as they help each other get back on their feet. We encourage you to make a donation to the rescue/repair effort in any capacity that you can and plan a trip in the future and give these island communities a bit of an economic boost!

Available January 2018

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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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Courtesy of Clayton P. Henry ST. JOHN RESCUE St. John Rescue a non-profit organization, incorporated on November 30, 1996, is an all-volunteer non-profit organization on the small island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands dedicated to providing emergency rescue and medical support services to the St. John’s EMS, Police, Fire, National Park and Health Clinic personnel. There are many ways you can help St. John Rescue provide quality emergency and support services to the island of St John; become a member, volunteer time and expertise, donate equipment, or make a monetary donation. To help in anyway, contact St. John Rescue. Monitary Donations of cash and property are deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax. St. John Rescue, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Log on to ST. JOHN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION The St. John Community Foundation is committed to collaboratively identifying and addressing community needs to enhance St. John. All donations go to the benefit of the island. LOVE FOR LOVE CITY FOUNDATION Created by country singer, Kenny Chesney who lost his home on St. John to the ravages of Irma has set up a foundation to help his neighbors. You can support online via PayPal, by mailing a check, by making cash contributions via Wire or ACH transfer or by contributing Marketable Securities. Details for all of those options are below. Mail Checks To: Love For Love City Foundation c/o Wells Fargo Private Bank 3100 West End Avenue, Suite 530 Nashville, TN 37203 TAX ID#:35-2129262 Cash Contributions: May be transmitted by wire or ACH transfer to: Wells Fargo Bank, Routing Number: 121000248 Credit To: Renaissance Charitable Foundation Inc. Fund Account Number: 2000044161466 Be sure to include the Donor’s name and Love for Love City Foundation in the instructions.

roofs flying off and windows exploding. Several either got under their beds or pulled mattresses off and held them above their bodies for some protection. For those whose buildings maintained their integrity, many still struggled to keep doors from blowing open, which would lead to their homes imploding. At least two people in different households tied their doors shut with dog leashes and then braced against them, holding the leashes tight in a struggle that lasted a couple hours. Others piled bureaus and other objects against doors and retreated into interior bathrooms, hoping for the best. While the barometric pressure was causing some excruciating pain, the sound of the storm terrified all. Several likened it to being next to a jet engine. And, winds blowing at 150 to 185 mph are in the same range of speed as a Boeing 747 at takeoff. Several believed they would die. Some residents who were older and lived in St. John’s remote mountains or in spectacular clifftop villas stayed put and/or found themselves imprisoned in their safe areas by debris. Remarkably, one retired couple who were trapped on their heavily damaged mountain top property for four days were finally rescued by members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue squad. That’s right, Fairfax County, Virginia’s rescue squad! A friend down in Coral Bay had told them where to look for the couple on the top of Bordeaux Mountain. On St. Thomas, Fairfax County squad members were also alerted by neighbors to a critically ill elderly woman stuck in her storm damaged apartment. They found her debilitated but alive and delivered her safely to an emergency medical station where she was airlifted to a hospital. How did Fairfax’s finest get there? The squad, which had just returned from rescuing people from Hurricane Harvey’s floods in Houston (where they saved folks in my own brother’s Kingwood neighborhood), left for the Virgin Islands on September 6, following an alert from FEMA. A crew of more than 50 Fairfax squad members drove to an air force base in Florida and was flown to Puerto Rico. From there, they took helicopters to St. Thomas and St. John. As of September 15, Fairfax County had 20 rescuers on the ground in St. John, 30 on St. Thomas and others stationed in

Puerto Rico providing logistical support. Sadly, during the first hours following Irma’s passage, St. John criminals looted ATM machines and other commercial targets. Others, desperate for food and water, broke into grocery stores. At the same time, St. John’s own volunteer rescue squad and many rugged islanders worked together to begin search and rescue operations and road clearing. FEMA had a small presence on-island on day one and called for resources from the mainland. Within a few days, the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and even the FBI arrived to distribute food, water, bolster the medical staff at the island’s clinic and stabilize the situation. Private nonprofit groups and individuals in boats also arrived with resources and professional help from St. Croix, Puerto Rico and the mainland. States and localities like Fairfax also sent help. I estimate that 40 percent of St. John’s dwellings were destroyed or seriously damaged, based on the many photographs and first-hand accounts posted. Many businesses were lost. Yet, to a remarkable degree, home and business owners vow to rebuild and many are already making plans and lining up contractors and building supplies. And, St. John’s remarkable tropical forests and other fauna and flora are already recovering in a natural cycle of rejuvenation that depends upon periodic tropical storms. As I write, the core of the somewhat less powerful Hurricane Maria missed, but seriously damaged, the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix and slammed directly into Puerto Rico as a Cat 4 hurricane. The same Caribbean resilience and resolve displayed by St. Johnians – coupled with help from generous U.S. mainlanders – will stimulate recovery as soon as the clouds dissipate. And, this correspondent’s St. John house survived and I will remain the Caribbean columnist for the Old Town Crier. Jeffrey R. McCord is a free-lance journalist whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Gannett newspapers and, among other publications. For more than 20 years he’s called Northern Virginia home. Jeff is the author of two factbased Caribbean novels available on “Undocumented Visitors in a Pirate Sea,” a quarterfinalist 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.

Marketable Securities: Contributions of publicly traded stock, publicly traded bonds, and similar securities may be made. Marketable securities may be transferred using the following transfer instructions: DTC# 0141 Account Owner: Renaissance Charitable Foundation Inc. Account Number: 5101-0940 Be sure to include the Donor’s name and Love For Love City Foundation in the instructions. While we here at the Old Town Crier have a soft spot in our hearts for St. John, don’t forget about those on the other islands in the USVI – St. Thomas, St. Croix and Puerto Rico. They have been devastated as well. 20 | October 2017

Mother Nature's healing has begun. Old Town Crier

halloween lore The Witches Caldron Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting, Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing For a charm of powerful trouble, Like a hell-broth boil and babble Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and caldron bubble –William Shakespeare Witches have had a long history with Halloween. Legends tell of witches gathering twice a year when the seasons changed—on April 30, the eve of May Day and the other the eve of October 31, All Hallow's Eve. The witches would gather on these nights, arriving on broomsticks, to celebrate a party hosted by the devil. Superstitions told of witches casting spells

on unsuspecting people, transforming themselves into different forms and causing other magical mischief. It was said that to meet a witch you had to put your clothes on wrong side out and you had to walk backwards on Halloween night. Then at midnight you would see a witch. When the early settlers came to America, they brought along their belief in witches. In America, the legends of witches spread and mixed with the beliefs of others: the Native Americans, who also believed in witches, and then later with the black magic beliefs of the African slaves. The black cat has long been associated with witches. Many superstitions have evolved about cats. It was believed that witches could change into cats. Some people also believed that cats were the spirits of the dead. One of the best known superstitions is that of the black cat. If a black cat was to cross your path you would have to turn around and go back because many people believe if you continued bad luck would strike you.

One of the world’s oldest holidays, Halloween didn’t start out as a holiday for costumes, trick-or-treating or carving pumpkins. The Halloween celebrated today has elements of several different religious and cultural traditions. The name Halloween is an abbreviation of “All Hallows Eve,” a traditional name for the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ Day. Halloween wouldn’t be what it is today if not for the Celtic holiday of Samhain, an ancient celebration of the spirits of the dead. A Roman festival called Feralia is another Halloween inspiration. Although Feralia occurred in February, it was a public festival where citizens made offerings and sacrifices to calm the spirits of the dead so they wouldn’t haunt the living. The original Celtic holiday of Samhain occurred on November 1, not October 31. Samhain was one of the most important holidays for Celtic people, and its festivals were conducted by their priests, the Druids. On Samhain,

the Celtic people believed that the spirits of those who had died over the course of the year would mingle with the living before traveling on to the afterlife. In addition to the spirits of departed souls, other supernatural creatures like fairies and demons came out “to play” during Samhain. Festivals and celebrations were meant to aid the good souls on their way, and keep bad spirits from doing harm to the living. Samhain also celebrated the harvest, and foods associated with fall, such as apples, pumpkins, spices and cider, were part of the early traditional celebrations.

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October 2017 | 21



Photo: Mark Talbott

Photo: Bob de Young


t’s good luck,” I said to my beau, as I saw the butterfly flying astern of us with his wings orange and black against the blue sky. Or were praying mantises the lucky creatures? Butterflies signified transformation? As we passed Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse in 13 knots of breeze, gusts up to 18, and 75-degree temperatures, on the sunny side of the cockpit, after a satisfying ham-and-cheese wrap for lunch, that September Saturday buzzed with good fortune. That nature’s orange, fluttering work of art whispered a shift to autumn did not occur to me. Although, I noted other signs of seasonal shift. The black fleece vest with the Truckee Freestyle Ski Team logo I zipped up to my chin. The jeans I had dug out of the back of my closet the previous weekend, now rolled up to mid-calf, as if I were digging clams or walking on the beach—a small rebellious gesture that seemed to say, I’m not really wearing jeans yet. That’s so October. How later, after dropping the hook in a quiet anchorage, we scrambled to spice the chicken and grill it before the early sunset, when we both donned long-sleeved fleeces. And this, the most conspicuous autumnal 22 || October October 2017 2017

EFFECT harbinger: the skipper, who is always the first to strip and jump in the Bay, crinkled up his nose and admitted tentatively, as if it compromised his manhood, that it was too chilly for an after-dinner dip. Then, there were the stars. A few years back, we had a late fall British Virgin Islands trip to plan for. This year, we will bundle up in our goose down jackets and enjoy the brisk fall days to come. We still have mini-getaways to plan. With the U.S. Sailboat Show coming over Columbus Day weekend October 5-9, we can count on at least two available weekends left this season to comfortably overnight at anchor. In November, we will pay for a boat slip, and “plug in” at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum docks. Dinner at a restaurant and heat on the boat: for us, that’s unusual luxury. For our final cruise three years ago, on a cloudy, windy day, we took a memorably quick sail from Annapolis, down around Bloody Point, up Eastern Bay, into the Miles River, and up the Wye River, where we slowly motored up Quarter Creek, until we were scared of running out of water. “You’re here already?” my friend asked when we called to say we were anchored in her creek. Not

often, but sometimes, the wind blows just the way you want it to. I put the lasagna I had assembled the night before into the oven. A while later, my rain-jacket-clad friends, Kirsten, John, and their two sons, Jack and Ben, motored over in their Whaler through the drizzle and climbed aboard. You may have dear old friends who bring out the laughter in you; for me, that’s the Elstner family. If you are looking for a recipe for warming up a boat’s saloon in 50 degrees at anchor, baking lasagna and gathering six people who crack each other up are surefire ways to steam up the hatch windows. If our last cruise of this season ends as it did that year, we will indeed be lucky. I googled butterflies (and “butterflies and luck”), and based on what I learned, I believe the one I saw that day was a Monarch, known to start its migration in August and yes, thought to be a symbol of change. I also learned that the pioneer of chaos theory’s “butterfly effect” discussed the flap of a seagull’s wings affecting the course of weather; he later changed it to butterfly to give it a poetic ring. Our Monarch friend sailed alongside us for quite a while, his wings apparently well-equipped for a fresh breeze. Perhaps, he will hang out along the West River until the first frost. Then, the circadian clock in his antennae, his inner compass, and some say, the earth’s magnetic field will guide him south, maybe to Key West, maybe to México. Mother Nature loves an escape plan. A version of this article first appeared in the October 2012 SpinSheet. Molly Winans is managing editor of SpinSheet, PropTalk, and FishTalk Magazines out of Annapolis, MD. OldTownCrier Old Town Crier





The 15th Annual Riverside

At Sotterley

October 7 & 8

Wine Tastings, Craft Beer, Food Vendors & more

Visit for more info!

For more things to do and places to stay:

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STONEY’S KINGFISHERS SEAFOOD BAR & GRILL 14442 Solomons Island Road Solomons, Maryland 20688


DEEP WATER AND COVERED SLIPS AVAILABLE 14485 Dowell Road Solomons, MD 20629 410.326.4251 October 2017 | 23



Exploring Winchester


ith the season changing to fall, we thought it a great time to take a drive to the mountains of the Blue Ridge and the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Our destination was Winchester, Virginia and the beautifully restored George Washington Hotel, a Wyndham Grand Hotel. The drive from Alexandria is also a beautiful journey this time year as you pass through small towns, rolling hills and Virginia wineries along Route 50, where travelers from the ports of Alexandria and Georgetown followed it to Winchester at the lower end of the Shenandoah Valley for trade. As with any new and growing area, the history of the Shenandoah has been steeped in conflict, turmoil and growth, from the Shawnee and Iroquois Six Nations, the arrival of European settlers, the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Today this history still lives in Winchester, and waits to be discovered. Winchester is the county seat of Frederick County. The rolling hills and rich farmland makes for absolutely beautiful country, particularly this time of year. If you plan to make the trip I would recommend spending at least one night and there is nowhere better located than the George Washington Hotel. Situated in the heart of downtown Winchester, it is close to many historical landmarks as well as Old Town Winchester’s two-block pedestrian mall. The first of its kind in Virginia. The pedestrian mall features many unique restaurants as well as a variety of shops, boutiques and specialty stores. For a fall adventure, most of the cafes and restaurants have outdoor seating along the openair mall. One of our favorites was Lloyd’s Tropical Island Coffee and Café. With Lloyd “Everything be Irie, Mon.” This easy going Jamaican transplant is a blast. Armed with a big smile and a bigger laugh, he makes you feel welcome. Lloyd and his wife serve up Jamaican coffee and cuisine and I hear the Jerk chicken is to die for! Old Town Winchester is located within the heart of a 45-block National Register Historic District and in addition to the shopping and dining you can visit the many museums located in and around the mall. Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum, George Washington’s Office Museum, the Old Courthouse Civil War Museum and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum are all located within a comfortable walking distance of each other and convenient parking. The four Auto Park garages located in the area only cost $10.00 for the day…a very good deal. We had reservations at the beautiful George Washington Hotel. As I mentioned earlier, this hotel is in the middle of everything and you can spend a whole day just walking. This historic hotel was built in 1924 by The American hotel Corporation as part of their “Colonial Chain” of hotels. Like many hotels of the era, the property was built in close proximity of a Baltimore & Ohio train station and was constructed to provide lodging to railroad passengers. The station still remains across the street today. Originally the five- story hotel was built in the shape of an “L”, with a rear one-story kitchen wing.

24 | October 2017

Old Town Crier

It contained 102 rooms and 45 baths. The lowest level contained a barbershop, cafeteria, candy shop and men’s furnishing shop. In 1929 an additional wing was added to the hotel, which provided 50 more guest rooms. In 1950 the property was remodeled to include a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. With the construction of interstate highways and widespread availability of motorcars, railroad travel began to decline. Undoubtedly, this change in travel options contributed to the closing of the property as a hotel in 1978. The property was then operated as The George Washington Home for Adults from 1978 to 1993. It then lay vacant until 2004. That year it was purchased and renovation work began which lasted until the property reopened in April 2008. The property has undergone a complete renovation and revitalization. It now includes 90 guest rooms, and indoor pool and hot tub, fitness room, and their signature restaurant “Georges Food and Sprits”. The property contains all the amenities of today while capturing the historical elements that make it so unique. The simple patterns of the muted fabrics relive a time long ago and the antique pieces scattered about make it truly seem that you have stepped back in time. They even have the antique mailbox that sits between the two elevators on the lobby floor with the glass shoot that allows a letter to be posted on any floor and dropped in the slot for pickup by the mailman. There is also a massive elegant bar that dominates the main foyer near the front desk and behind the bar there are couches and chairs among the wall murals that offer a nice quiet hideaway. On a personal note, I have to give recognition to the staff of this classic hotel. From the first person you meet to the last, they are probably the most gracious and professional group I have ever run across…and it begins with the first phone call. Probably the two biggest claims to fame in Winchester is country singing legend Patsy Cline and the annual Apple Blossom Festival. Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932. Virginia, known to her family and friends as Ginny began singing on nights and weekends at the age of 16, as she tried to help support her family. Patsy quickly rose to stardom as she

Old Town Crier

The cozy piano bar in Winchester’s George Washington Hotel.

won amateur contests, sang on local radio stations and performed with a number of bands. On March 5, 1963, her life was tragically cut short in a multiple fatality plane crash. Patsy is remembered as a musical icon and Grand Ole Opry favorite with her popular hits, Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, and Walking after Midnight. The Patsy Cline House is located at 608 S. Kent Street, in a working-class neighborhood of Winchester and was her home from 1948 to 1953. The annual Apple Blossom Festival is the signature event for Winchester. For 90 years this event has been a tribute to the apple industry in Frederick County. In late April and early May the town and over 250,000 visitors get together for a week or so of events, dances, parades and just about anything else. The whole town comes out to decorate so they can put their best foot forward. A bit smaller fall event – The Apple Harvest Festival – takes place in early October. This year it falls on the 7th and takes place at Marker-Miller Orchards. Stephens City, five miles south of Winchester, is the second oldest town in the Shenandoah Valley. During the late 18th and early 19th century, the town was renowned for its production of wagons. Situated as it is on presentday U.S. 11 – formerly known as the

old Valley Turnpike or the Great Wagon Road – town inhabitants have witnessed the movement of travelers for over 250 years. Five more miles down the Great Wagon Road is the town of Middletown. Located in this quaint Frederick County town is the Wayside Inn, reportedly America’s longestrunning inn. While in Middletown a visit to Belle Grove Plantation is a must. Originally the center of a 7,500acre grain plantation, today Belle Grove is a Historic Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and partner in Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. In the early 19th century, Belle Grove’s fields were used to grow wheat, barley and other grain crops. Livestock grazed in pastures north and west of the mansion. In the fall of 1864 these peaceful fields were at the epicenter of the pivotal Civil War “Battle of Belle Grove,” later called the “Battle of Cedar Creek.” Restored to agricultural use after the war, Belle Grove continues to operate as a working farm. On October 14th and 15th you can join spectators and re-enactors for a commemoration of the largest Civil War battle in the Shenandoah Valley held on the original battlegrounds in Middletown. Battles are on Saturday

and Sunday. Engage in military, civilian and living history camps. Photographer Chester Simpson has been photographing reenactments for a number of years and declares Cedar Creek is the best of them all. At one point the abundance of grain at Belle Grove was tempting enough that a distillery was constructed on the property. Although all that is left is the history, our friends at Copper Fox Distillery make a whiskey called 1797, which is sold in the state as a memento and recognition of Belle Grove. With the changing of leaf color every day now, it is a great time to take the 75-mile drive to Winchester Virginia and enjoy the history, and then write your own chapter. Note: While you are in this beautiful part of America, take the time to check out our friend Bill Schwasta at the Rocking S Ranch outside of Winchester. Enjoy the fall colors from horseback with a real Virginia cowboy! Happy Trails…see his ad in this issue!

October 2017 | 25



Photos: Julie Reardon


English driven shooting meets Old Virginia


o, we won’t be regaling you with the unions fathers suggested to boyfriends of their pregnant young daughters. This marriage is the perfect combination of shooting and country sport at a new venue in rural Rappahannock County, about 90 minutes southwest of Washington D.C. Castle Mountain Wingshooting began last year, and this year opens on October 15th for its first

October 2017 26 || October 2017

full season. “We’re offering something that’s a little different,” said Castle Mountain’s Rusty Carrier, who brings British style driven pheasant shooting traditions to old Virginia style bird hunting. Wild pheasant and quail have all but disappeared in Virginia due to development and modern farming practices. So absent a vacation to areas where they still exist, managed

or preserve hunting offers the upland hunter opportunity to hunt released birds similar to the way wild birds are hunted here, and many offer tower shoots, where large numbers of flighted birds are released for hunters who are stationed at pegs, or shooting stands. In Great Britain, the hunting style is very different: there is no walk up hunting but rather driven shoots where beaters push game toward areas where the hunters are located. Castle Mountain Wingshooting’s staff endeavors to give hunters an experience you formerly had to travel overseas to get. So far, the British concept seems to be a hit. Carrier, a former steeplechase jockey, went to his first shoot over 30 years ago in Ireland, by invitation from the owner of a winning horse he rode. He was immediately hooked, and has since TO THE BLUE RIDGE > PAGE 28

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VisitRAPPAHANNOCK background photos by John McCaslin

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Washington, Virginia, was originally surveyed by a young George Washington in 1749, and officially became a town in 1795. Now the county sits in Rappahannock County, where Little Washington is home to 145 residents and nearby wineries, antiquing, hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and exciting dining options. Tula’s Restaurant and Bar offers farm to table dining, excellent wines, craft beers, and fun with friends and visitors alike. Come join us and enjoy sophisticated country life at its best!

Tula’s Restaurant

311 Gay Street • Little Washington, VA 540-675-2223 •

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October 2017 | 27


traveled to different shooting operations all over the world yet returns frequently to several favorites in England. He dreamed of bringing the British style shooting experience to America, and specifically to the hunt country of Virginia. That dream is now reality at Castle Mountain Farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural Rappahannock County. Not just another preserve, Carrier offers the sportsman something a little different while embracing a complete conservation approach to managing the several hundred acres of Castle Mountain Farm as a prime destination. Conservation practices were inspired by some of the finest European shooting estates. But Carrier credits his team of farm manager Harvey “Skip” Sutphin and Cory Ruble for helping make his dream a reality. Sutphin and Ruble maintain the shooting areas, crops and equipment, man the shoots and are an integral part of the operation.

Sutphin, who was born and raised in Castleton, also designed and built a wagon that transfers hunters to the different shooting areas on the farm. Crops are rotated so as to provide cover and habitat for birds without depleting the soils or causing erosion on the steep hillsides. Shooting locations at Castle Mountain are thoughtfully selected for the ever changing weather; if weather makes the birds fly poorly, guests can easily move mid drive for more advantageous sport. Hidden high spots allow birds to be released over valleys in the different shooting areas, an experience designed to thrill and challenge shooters of all levels. Not only are high shots exciting, they’re much safer than dangerous low flying shots, which are prohibited for safety reasons as well as not being in keeping with European sporting tradition. Carrier is quick to credit Sutphin and Ruble along with trusted advisor Robert Peel, for turning his dream into reality. British citizen

28 | October 2017

Peel, the founder of Lioncrest Shooting Experience U.K., is a frequent visitor to Castle Mountain; he’s a former shooting instructor for renowned gun maker Holland & Holland. He said, “It’s the attention to the little details, and the hospitality, that make this the best European style shooting experience you can find in the U.S.” A typical shoot might begin with a cup of coffee and ham biscuits as guests gather for a trip to the shooting range. Clay targets simulating flight of the birds to be hunted are launched. “It’s quite different shooting at something high and coming toward you,” Carrier explained. “Most clay targets are going away from the shooter, but these resemble how the birds fly here,” he said. Lunch might be served before or after guests are transported by farm wagon to begin at one of several different shooting areas. Each area has pegs, or shooting stations; any number of different areas might be hunted during a day’s shoot. When the action is finished,

those hungry for more can go out with their own or a pick up dog and handler to flush escaped birds hidden in cover. All birds are plucked and cleaned after the hunt. Top notch birds are integral to the Castle Mountain experience. Not typical pen raised pheasants, these are supplied by Rich Smith, who founded the Royal United Gamebird Company. They’re raised as close to wild as you can get in the area, for superior flight and acclimation. Smith has the pedigree for the job: he’s the son and grandson of British gamekeepers and has a college degree in Countryside Management emphasizing gamekeeping. Before relocating to the U.S., he managed all aspects of many shoots in Britain, including a breeding program for as many as 100,000 birds on 6,000 acres. He’s also a shooting instructor. Speaking of instruction, novices are welcome at Castle Mountain Wingshooting; instruction and hands on help is available. Level 3 clays

instructor John Alexander is usually on hand if anyone needs help or adaptation to a different style of shooting; private lessons can be arranged as well. Whatever your preferences are, a day afield or a private or corporate party, Carrier and his crew can probably arrange it for you along with a classic dose of Virginia hospitality. Castle Mountain Farm is on its way to becoming a one of a kind destination for American wingshooters, aspiring sportsman and Anglophiles. Whether you wear tweed, khaki or camo, you’ll be welcomed and treated royally while you enjoy the pure sporting excitement at Castle Mountain Wingshooting. INFORMATION: Castle Mountain Farm is located in Castleton; wingshooting season starts October 15. Information about upcoming shoots and more on the website or call Rusty Carrier at 540 937 2520 for special arrangements, private or corporate parties.

Old Town Crier



Hank’s Pasta Bar Rustic Chic Italian In Old Town Alexandria


ith the temps beginning to cool and the introduction of their new fall menu, we decided to go to Hank’s Pasta Bar in Old Town for this months restaurant showcase. Having opened in February of 2016, Hank’s has made an impact in north Old Town. I am sure that you have heard of Hank’s Oyster bar. Like the Pasta Bar, the Hank’s legacy of restaurants is through the efforts of founder, owner and chef, Jamie Leeds. Hank was her father, who she credits as her inspiration for becoming a chef. Hank’s Pasta Bar is a rustic seasonally driven Italian restaurant in north Old Town. They feature hand-made pasta made fresh every day, cheese & charcuterie, fine wines, craft cocktails and draft beers. It is a warm and comfortable environment with the well stocked bar welcoming you as you enter the room. There are a few high tops adjoining the bar and a medium sized dining area beyond. There is also a second room for over flow crowds or for special gatherings. The place has a lot of energy. While the Hank’s Oyster Bars greet you with a dish of “goldfish” snacks, the Pasta Bar starts you out with savory Italian snacks. We love a gimmick and this is a good one. We were lucky on our visit because the new fall menu had just been released that day. The menu at Hank’s Pasta is pretty much “just

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right”. There are creative items – think Chic - mixed with traditional items – think Rustic - in all sections of the menu and it isn’t overwhelming with too many choices. We won’t bore you with the details since you can check out the entire menu online. As an example, there are a number of starters including Antipasti Boards, Crostini and Grilled Flatbread. Small plates start at $8.00 and range from Tomato Gazpacho and Grilled Octopus to Meatballs made of lamb, beef, veal and pork. I have a friend who makes a dish like this so I decided to try the Meatballs. This dish consists of meatballs in a very thick and savory marinara. The combination of meats was very delicious leaving me wishing I had ordered more. We also had the tomato bruschetta featured on the Crostini menu and that didn’t disappoint. You can taste the “fresh” in all of the ingredients. For the main course I ordered one of their new seasonal entrees…pan seared scallops and lentils… puy lentils, shallots, olive oil, white wine, thyme butter basil oil, garlic and parsley. To my mind, scallops are difficult to cook just right. You need to sear enough to create a little firmness with the scallop but not under cook where it is flabby. They hit it just right. Seared to just beyond a golden brown and serving a firm and tasty mollusk. The usual sweetness of the scallop was well balanced by the flavor of the lentils and made for a very enjoyable combination. Lasagna had been on my dining pals mind all day so that was her choice before we even sat down. Consisting of layers of homemade lasagna noodles, beef Bolognese, ricotta, pecorino romano, besciamella cheeses topped with marinara and a dusting of parmesan, this was a big hit. The portion is quite hearty and she wanted to save room for some dessert so I enjoyed the left overs a couple days later. It was as good the second time around as it was the first.

The combination of the meatballs and scallops were just enough to fill me up without feeling like I had over eaten. Other additions to the fall menu include oven roasted fresh catch, grilled shrimp and polenta, oven roasted chicken, a New York strip steak and rosemary grilled lamb chops. There is also a Hank’s autumn vegetable plate available. Everything but the steak is under $30.00. We would be remiss if we didn’t admit that we had to order dessert after we found out Jamie has a special recipe for her Key Lime pie. It was over the top good. We both like a good graham cracker crust (yes we have had bad graham cracker crust) and really tart filling and her version is right on target! Hank’s also offers Family Style dining that features their signature pastas. This is a great way for a group to enjoy “a little of this and a little of that”. You have your choice three, four or five pastas depending on the size of your table. If you are a Happy Hour kind of person, it takes place every day from 4-7 and you can even reserve a table for your group and arrange for personalized eats and drinks. For some even bigger fun, Hank’s Pasta hosts Drag Queen Brunch the third Saturday of every month. This is a must see! We both love a good brunch and when you add some fabulously outrageous Drag Queens to the menu it doesn’t get much better! They have two seatings, so it is best to call and make reservations. Be sure to take your sense of humor and be prepared to laugh until you cry! This piece just touches on some of the gastronomic experiences you can have at the Pasta Bar. See their ad in this section for hours. They are only open for dinner during week with brunch served on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you haven’t visited them yet, put it on your dining out list this month. Mangia! October 2017 | 29


Miguel Lemus How did you get started in the bartending business?

or whistle. It’s rude and annoying and doesn’t improve their level of service.

I have worked in Alexandria for many years. I worked on my serving skills at Belle Haven Country Club in the restaurant and banquet service. However, I have always been interested in what went on behind the bar and got to mix drinks every once in a while at Belle Haven. While working as a server in Landini Brothers in Old Town, Kathy Coombs, then the daytime bartender, took me under her wing and really showed me the ropes. She was my mentor and I will always be grateful to her for inspiring me to step behind the bar. Being a bartender at The Wharf has given me the freedom to develop new cocktails for special occasions such as the Sweetheart Martini that I created for Valentine’s Day. I also enjoy thinking about what our regulars drink and having it ready for them as they sit at a table or the bar. I love to see the surprise on an out-of-towner’s face when I remember their cocktail of choice the second night they come in the The Wharf.

What is the cleverest line anyone has given you in order to garner a free drink?

What is your biggest bartender pet peeve? This is a tough question for me mainly because we have such a great team at The Wharf – managers, kitchen, wait staff, bussers, food runners and bartenders. We all work together and help each other. I guess from a “behind the bar” perspective, one pet peeve is the impatient customer. Instead of seeing the crowd, they immediately snap their fingers

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a clever line from someone trying to get a free drink. Because I’m Hispanic, many people try to speak to me in Spanish – some with good results; some not so good. One story about free drinks comes to mind. After the last election, a gentleman was in the bar with friends having a great time. He announced to everyone at the bar that he would like to buy drinks for those that had voted for his candidate. Several of our regular customers raised their hand for a drink and raised their glass to toast the gentleman’s candidate. I had to laugh because I knew they voted for the other person. But I guess a free drink is a free drink!

What is the best/worst pick-up line you have overheard at the bar? I was having a hard time with this one so I asked one of our regulars the same question. He dipped his fingers in his water glass, sprinkled a few drops of water on his wife and said “Let me get you out of those wet clothes!”

Tell us about an interesting encounter you have had with your customer(s)? The Wharf is an interesting place to work because on any given night

30 | October 2017

Miguel conjures up the Devil’s Advocate Martini - Jalapeño infused herradura tequila with Cointreau, a splash of grapefruit juice and topped off with champagne and a lime twist.


I am serving regulars who have been coming in for years as well as people from all over the world who are experiencing our restaurant for the first time. I had a customer from New Zealand one night and she was so excited that I served her a glass of Rose from the region where she lived. One story I remember is when I was mixing drinks at a 50th birthday party at Belle Haven. A young woman asked me for a Sea Breeze. She looked so young, I was afraid she was under age and I would have to card her. As it turned out, it was Katie Couric and she was old enough to have the Sea Breeze. I became a fan of the Today Show from that day on.

I had a wonderful encounter a number of years ago at Citronelle in Washington DC. I was sitting at the bar enjoying a glass of red wine and a Cuban cigar – smoking was still allowed inside a restaurant back then. Michel Richard, the distinguished chef/owner of the restaurant, sat next to me at the bar and offered to buy me a glass of wine. It was a memorable experience. I offered him a cigar which he gratefully lit up and we had a wonderful conversation about food and drink. Chef Richard passed away last year. I would like to be able to have another drink, cigar and conversation with him.

If you could sit down and have a drink with anyone – past or present – who would it be?

If you would like to see your favorite mixologist featured in this space, send contact information to office@

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October 2017 | 31



Photos Š Chester Simpson (L to R) Crab Cakes, Grilled Octopus, Lobster Lemon Linguine, and Whole Branzino

Jorge Chicas Chef Jose Andres who gave me the opportunity to travel and eat amazing food at the best restaurants in the US, Spain, France, Greece, and Turkey. Working with Chef Cathal Armstrong and learning his style keeps me very motivated and excited to continue my learning experience as a chef. CHEF JORGE CHICAS HUMMINGBIRD 220 SOUTH UNION STREET OLD TOWN ALEXANDRA 703.566.1355 HUMMINGBIRDVA.NET

When did you first become interested in cooking and what made you choose a culinary career? As a young kid, I was a very picky eater and my grandmother always cooked something different for me. She taught me lots in the kitchen and I always enjoyed

cooking what I liked. When I came to the USA my parents worked in the restaurants and I offered to go and work with my mother. I enjoyed the craziness of it all when the kitchen was busy.

Who or what has been your biggest inspiration during your career? Being able to work with

32 | October 2017

What dish on the menu are you most curious to see how it is received by your clientele?

If any chef in the world (past or present) could prepare a meal for you, who would you want that to be? One of the most amazing dining experiences I have had was with Thomas Keller at the French Laundry in Yountville, CA. I would like to experience that again as well as some

sushi prepared by Chef Morimoto or Chef Nobu.

What is your guilty food pleasure? In & Out burgers in Los Angeles are always enjoyed! If you would like to see your favorite chef featured in this space, send contact information to chester@

The Grilled Octopus. Every market is different and I am very intrigued to see how our guests in Alexandria react to the dish.

What do you feel sets your cuisine apart from others in your field? Because I work with Chef Armstrong, our emphasis is working with local farms and procuring fresh seasonal produce. We are very selective when it comes to the food we offer here at Hummingbird. Old Town Crier

“The Finest Lebanese Cuisine” –Washington Post, 2001 Family Owned & Operated Come and Enjoy a Cozy Candlelit Dinner Carry-Out Available • Free Delivery Open 7 Days for Lunch & Dinner

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October Pork Roast! See our website for details

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G GERANIO RISTORANTE Redefining Italian Cuisine in Old Town Alexandria Dinner Entrees from $14 722 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703.548.0088

October 2017 | 33

t.j. stone’s grill house and tap room

celebrating american cuisine with libations from around the world

, , Daniel O Connell s Irish Restaurant & Bar

Eat, Drink & Be Irish

SHORT RIBS MONTH! 112 King Street Alexandria, VA (703) 739-1124 Nightmare on King St. Saturday October 28th Photographer: K Summerer for Visit Alexandria


ourdoor patio dining private event room over 300 beer & wine 608 Montgomery St Alexandria 703.548.1004


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With seasonal menu changes, a waterfront patio, and a fireplace in each room, Cedar Knoll is the perfect setting for a romantic evening, a gathering of family and friends, or special events small and large.

Ask us about our private event space! Walk-ins Welcome, Reservations Recommended 703.780.3665 9030 Lucia Lane Alexandria, VA 22308

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Rappahannock Cellars. Photo: Rick Collier

Fall into

Virginia Wine Month

Wine Country by Rick Collier

This easy day-trip is packed with Blue Ridge wine and dine originals October: the month we savor most. Weekends are reserved for long, meandering rides along Skyline Drive. We leaf peep and pumpkin pick. We inhale deeply, sip instead of gulp. We downshift. Meanwhile, winemakers run around like their hair’s on fire. It’s crush time in the Valley.

Try this day trip out to the Blue Ridge, where you’ll discover wine country’s Ponderosa, sip some local spirits, eat like a king in Front Royal, and then dip into the Valley for some of the upand-coming Shenandoah region’s most polished wines.

and Chards are poured around a horseshoe bar. Listen to the owner’s travel tales, then kick back on the shady front porch. Tasting: $5-$10. Desert Rose Winery, 13726 Hume Rd., Hume; (540) 635-3200, desertrosewinery. com

Start here: Desert Rose Winery

Next Stop: Rappahannock Cellars

Your cowboy boots will fit right in at this Westernthemed winery, where Cabs

Sample a line-up of classic European varietals, rounded out with a rich, Oloroso



Sherry-style wine that’s aged in the sun, called Solera. Then head to the new, onsite distillery, which crafts grape-based vodka and gin, along with brandy. Wine Tasting: $10. Rappahannock Cellars, 14437 Hume Rd, Huntly; (540) 635-9398,

Lunch Stop: Blue Wing Frog Lunch is in downtown Front Royal, where you’ll order at the counter in this everything-from-scratch kitchen. The menu changes daily, depending on what’s fresh, and even the ketchup and mustard are made in house. Try the Shrimp Po’boy – choose either ¼ or ½ pound of shrimp – or a Grown Up Peanut Butter sandwich, which comes topped with nuts, seeds, fruit and honey vanilla yogurt for dipping.

Blue Wing Frog, 219 Chester Street, Front Royal; 540-6226175;

Last Stop: Glen Manor Vineyards Perched 1,000 feet up in the shadow of Skyline Drive, this ancestral farm has some of Virginia’s steepest vineyard slopes and, not coincidentally, some of the best wine. Insiders know to scoop up the Bordeaux-style reds and small-lot Sauvignon Blanc the minute they’re offered; they don’t last long. The winery’s newest release? The charcuterie-friendly Morales Rose’. Just don’t dawdle. Note: No groups larger than 6, including nontasters and kids. Tastings: $10. Glen Manor Vineyards, 2244 Browntown Road, Front Royal; 540-635-6324;

Love Local Wine? Tasting Room Hours - Open Year Round Thursday-Saturday, & Monday 11-5 pm • Sunday 12 pm (noon)- 5 pm

Mention or bring this ad for a complimentary tasting for two through 12/23/2010 10100 Three Fox Ln. • Delaplane, VA • 540-364-6073 36 | October 2017

Us, too! Drop us an email to Nancy@ with your name and mailing address and we’ll send you this nifty Drink Local decal – free! From your wine-drinking friends at the Old Town Crier and Virginia Wine in My Pocket. Old Town Crier

The Winery Lifestyle:

Is it for You?


our volunteer opportunities that will give you a taste of what it takes to be a vigneron.

Harvest – September and October are crunch time at area wineries, when tasting room traffic and grape ripening hit their peak simultaneously. Many wineries use only professional pickers for harvest, but others seize the opportunity to tap into customers’ “behind-the-scenes” interest and create loyalty. Check with Fruit Pallets at Gray Ghost Winery. Photo: Rick Collier your favorite winery to find out how the hands and feet to make the day run you might be able to lend a hand. And here’s smoothly. It always turns out to be a good a bonus: most wineries “pay” their volunteer bonding experience between the staff and the labor in wine. customers!” Gray Ghost Vineyards in Amissville runs A few other wineries that welcome bottling the largest volunteer harvest program in the volunteers are Potomac Point Vineyards region, with many helpers coming back year (Stafford), Bogati Winery (Round Hill), after year. Be prepared for a pre-dawn start, Veramar Vineyard (Berryville), James Charles and lots of standing and bending. Volunteers Winery (Winchester), Magnolia Vineyards get a t-shirt, breakfast, and lunch - with wine, (Amissville), and Barrel Oak Winery of course. (Delaplane). Tina Marchione of Magnolia Vineyards, also Internships – Several area wineries offer in Amissville, says, “As a small winery, we need more formal opportunities to get involved, all the help we can get. We take volunteers including these: during harvest and crush, and we still bottle manually (no truck or automated line for • Potomac Point Winery (Stafford) offers us) so this is one of the tasks we always call internships in Events, Marketing and volunteers for and people love it!” Sales. Sorting - Grape sorting and pressing (or “crush”) follow right on the heels of harvest. This job takes a keen eye, as you’ll be tasked with picking out unripe or damaged grapes as they travel along a conveyor belt, plus a good many leaves and bugs. Potomac Point Vineyards in Stafford uses volunteer help for sorting, in addition to Magnolia Vineyards.

Bottling - Bottling wine can happen any time of year. Equipment is expensive, so smaller wineries, like North Gate Vineyards in Purcellville, typically contract with a bottling truck that rumbles up outside at the appointed hour. Says Vicki Fedor of North Gate Vineyards, “We always appreciate help on bottling days. Our mobile bottling service provides the equipment, but we provide

• Stone Tower Winery (Leesburg) offers paid summer internships in Event Design, Marketing and Accounting. • The Winery at La Grange (Haymarket) brings on a harvest intern each year to assist with all harvest related activities. Mead – With honey bee decline so much in the news, Stone House Meadery (Purcellville) is tapping into a renewed interest in bee keeping and mead making, with volunteer opportunities in hive building, honey harvest, tasting room operations, and mead making. Nancy Bauer is co-owner of Virginia Wine in My Pocket, a travel website and smartphone app for Virginia Wine Country. Contact her at

Are You a Virginia Wine Geek? Take the Quiz to find out!

Virginia now has how many wineries? Fewer than 150 Between 150 and 250 More than 250

Virginia is swimming in four of these grapes, with harvests of over 500 tons each. But one is tiny by comparison, with just over 60 tons. Which one? Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Chardonnay Merlot Pinot Noir

Grapes are grown in more than 30 counties in Virginia. Which one grows the most? Albemarle Fauquier Loudoun Nelson Orange

How many varieties of wine grapes (e.g., Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, etc.) are grown in Virginia? Fewer than 10 Between 10 and 20 More than 20

Which type of grape does Virginia grow the most? Vinifera Hybrid American

Which is the “signature” grape of Virginia? Cabernet Franc Chardonnay Concord Norton Viognier Source: Virginia 2016 Commercial Grape Report, Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office Answers on page 38


Our History is Wine



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The “Strategery” of Winemaking


inemakers are mostly an odd group of people. They are certainly well respected as a producer, an artist and often a farmer with vision, drive and stamina it takes to bottle the best of Mother Nature each year. We get the recognition of dancing with the weather and making decisions that will lock in the quality level of that wine years before it will ever be judged or enjoyed. Winemaking is a team sport that the winemaker is the coach and oftentimes the

quarterback. It is also a chance to learn and apply new lessons each year. The harvest season is a chance to teach the next generation the process, the passion, and the pride of accomplishing the challenging feat of bringing in the harvest in future award winning fashion. Every grape variety and every vineyard section is handled separately. A batch of wine may

be 1/2 ton for one barrel or many tons to fill hundreds of barrels. At Fabbioli, we will have about 30 different “lots” of grapes coming in. Each of these will go through the process separately and later blended together. We now have a cold room where we can store grapes overnight for processing the next day. This can buy us time if the grapes come in faster than we can handle. Some grapes will be “whole cluster pressed” giving a brighter character to the wine. This optional processing style will take more press loads to process the fruit because the whole cluster grapes take up lots of space in the press. Each press cycle can take up to 4 hours between loading pressing and emptying. As the grapes ripen, the winemaker schedules up receiving of the fruit and handles that fruit according to the plan that was built in the months prior to harvest. I liken it to a busy night at a fine dining restaurant. Each party of diners is greeted, seated and served. It takes planning, focus, attention and commitment so all comes out well. Each batch of wine needs attention to make the best wine for where it is destined. Acid adjustments, cold settling, different yeasts, barrel fermentation, skin soaking, co- fermentation with other grapes or skins, tannin or oak chip additions and any combination are some of the tools of the winemaker for the early stages. As much as winemakers would like the grapes to make reservations for their time slot, the condition of the fruit, weather conditions, and picking team availability can adjust a plan adding more pressure on to the winemaker’s shoulders. The

winemaker knows that this first process of the grapes can make or break the wine that it turns into so quickly. Thoughtful adjustments will keep those wines on a sound path for quality. Sometimes long days get longer, the days off disappear, and family time slips away as the grapes take the priority. Winemakers and their teams understand this push. It may be very intense for a period of time, but we know the season will end as there are only so many grapes. We each have a bit of a bond through this process. The crush pad operates like a NASCAR pit stop many times. The press is the race car and our jobs are to keep that working all the time. When a pressing cycle is finished, the dried skins are emptied, the next batch is loaded and the 2 hour pressing cycle begins again. Setting the tone with the new workers is critical to the success of the pit crew. Forklifts, pallet jacks, crusher, slide, bins, pumps and tanks all need to be used to make this turn as efficiently as possible. Being efficient adds to our quality by getting the juice in the best place as soon as we can. So plan as best you can, teach and respect the “sense of urgency” in handling the fruit, and be as flexible as possible. Mother Nature does not hand you a perfect season very often. Your reputation, team and business rely on the ability to make quality wines year after year. It all comes down to the crush. Doug Fabbioli is the owner operator of Fabbioli Vineyards located just outside of Leesburg. Doug has been an active member in several of the Virginia Wine organizations for many years.

6.E - Viognier was named the “signature” grape of Virginia in 2011 5.A - By far! Vinifera is grown on more than 2,000 acres, Hybrids on nearly 400 acres, and American grapes such as Norton and Niagara on fewer than 200 acres. 4.C 3.C - Loudoun County produced nearly 1,400 tons of grapes on just over 550 acres in 2016. 2.E - In 2016, Virginia vineyards also produced more than 500 tons of Vidal Blanc 1.C - Virginia has more than 285 wineries Answers from page 37:

38 | October 2017

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Publishers Picks By Bob Tagert


ancy has told you about one of her favorite winery excursions in her Grapevine column and that inspired me to tell you about a trek that I encourage you to take as well. In this short piece I will hit on a few of our favorite wineries and stops to make as you drive through northern Fauquier County and into neighboring Rappahannock county. The journey is straightforward. You can either take Interstate 66 into Fauquier County and end up in Sperryville or drive from Warrenton down Route 211 and begin the journey in Sperryville. On this particular trip we will do the later because of the inns and B&B’s where you might want to stay at the end of a long day. In visiting these wineries use whatever GPS app that you have and try to use the back roads to get from one winery to the other and enjoy the road less traveled. The first stop on our

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trip will be right off of route 66 near Delaplane…Barrel Oak Winery. This winery is one of Virginia’s largest producers with over 11,000 cases a year. The views of the valley are great and if beer is your pleasure they have it here at the Barrel Oak Farm Taphouse. Our next stop will be Three Fox Vineyard. You will usually find owners John and Holly Todhunter on the property. The winery is set halfway up a small mountain with terrific views from the top of the mountain down to Cedar Creek meandering by the entrance. Check out their ad in this issue for special events in October. Across I–66 and up the hill is Naked Mountain Winery and Vineyard, home to one of Virginia’s best Chardonnays. Owner Randy Morgan is making a capital investment in a new crush pad, barrel room and expanding the tasting room. Excuse their dust but enjoy the wines and view. PUBLISHERS PICKS > PAGE 40

Pearmund Cellars


email us at 15669 Limestone School Rd • Leesburg, VA 20176 703.771.1197 •

October 2017 | 39


Going back under I-66 you will pick up Leeds Manor road and head for Philip Carter Winery. In 1763 the Carter family was successfully growing European wines at their estate. This is the first recorded history of successful grape production in Virginia with European vines. Take a tour of the vineyard and enjoy some of their award winning wines. Head back to route 55 and turn left to Fox Meadow Winery. Turning right on Freezeland Road you will begin the climb to Fox Meadow. The winery is located on what once was Feezeland Orchard and the mountain views are spectacular, particularly on a clear day. To end this excursion you need to head back up Route 211 toward Warrenton. Our destination will be Pearmund Cellars. Once you get to Warrenton refer to your GPS device to locate the winery. There is a sign on Route 29 leaving Warrenton that can help direct you. Chris Pearmund has been a leader in the Virginia wine industry and has just opened Effingham Winery in Nokesville, Virginia. Including the popular Vint Hill Craft Winery located in a hundred year old barn that was literally a “nest of spies” during the Cold War, Effingham will be his third winery. Take some time to enjoy some of Virginia’s vintages as well as the beauty that the season offers in the Blue Ridge.

40 | October 2017

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All Psychics Are Not Created Equal


any people believe that all psychics or readers are pretty much interchangeable. They think that they should all be able to talk to your pets, connect with your dearly departed as well as give you the details about your future. Not to mention they believe that all can read hands, tarot and use other psychic tools interchangeably. Not so. Each has their own “specialty” and while some combine various skills and tools, others stick to their area of expertise. In case you’re looking for a psychic or other reader, here are some rules of the road to help you before you go to your session. Psychics can’t read for someone who isn’t there. It’s not ethical to read for a person who is not present and who hasn’t given their express permission to be read. If you’re going to a psychic to find out what someone else’s motivations are, just check that idea now. Instead, focus on your motivations and your role in whatever situation you find yourself in and ask about that. If you want someone to use a specific tool for your reading, ask before booking if the person uses that tool! If you want someone to use Tarot, say so, just don’t presume that they use cards for your reading. It will save you and them time and energy if you know ahead of time what you’re getting! Be specific. When you go to a reader and don’t tell him what you want to cover during your session you’re likely to walk out feeling frustrated. Not because the reader doesn’t give you useful information but because YOU come in full of energy and messages. While most readers are going to listen to their guidance to give you the information that they are told you most need at that time, they are able to let you know whether it is or isn’t related to what you want to hear. Readers can’t tell you everything. Life is full of twists and turns and you have the ability to change your mind and make different choices along your path every step of the way. If a reader shares with you a particular, likely outcome of a current situation, it’s based exclusively on the energy you have at that moment. If you wake up the next day with a desire for a big change, you may change the trajectory of their “prediction.” That doesn’t mean they were wrong, it just means you made different choices. Think of it this way, if Spirit, through your psychic took the time to tell you EVERY POSSIBLE outcome for any particular situation, you’d be in that Old Town Crier

session for days and days. Time is a human construct. It’s not real. Therefore when you ask for time-frames from your psychic she’s at a disadvantage because Spirit doesn’t use a calendar or a clock the way you and I do. Therefore, take any timing guidance as a rough estimate, not an engraved guarantee. Not only can you make different choices which alters outcomes (as discussed in #4) Spirit also has no real understanding of the time frames we live in. Ask for assistance in healing or making choices more in alignment with your goals, rather than asking for predictions that things are going to work out. Again, Spirit’s lexicon is different than ours and they don’t see things in terms of good and bad. What feels like a set-back or a heartbreak for us, is part of the Divine plan that Spirit sees. Therefore when you ask if things are going to “work out,” Spirit knows that EVERYTHING always works out in your favor and they may simply answer ‘yes.’ However, when you ask, “What’s the best way for me to get the most joy out of my current situation?” or “What can I do now to ensure that the best outcome for all involved is reached with grace and love?”

you are likely to get details that can help you move ahead. Run everything through your own personal B.S. meter. I always say that my favorite clients are those who are open but skeptical. They don’t simply take what I tell them as gospel, just because I told them so. If they don’t understand what I’m sharing or they need more clarification, they ask. In this way the reading is co-creative and deeply effective for them. Take action on what you learn. A reading is only as good as what you do with the information. If you go to a reader and ask for the steps to the best possible outcome for all involved in your job search and then you go home and sit on the couch, waiting for the right job to come to you, I guarantee you won’t have the best possible outcome. Your reader works with Spirit working with you – you are the central figure here and as long as you are able to breathe, you are required to take action on your own behalf! Now that you know that not all psychics are the same and you have some great tips for getting the most out of your reading! Enjoy all that autumn has to bring to you.

Are you at a crossroads and need to make some serious decisions? If you’re feeling stuck at work, in love or in general, it can feel impossible to get out of your own way. Peggie helps you assess your situation, using ancient and modern tools to help you move forward with a specific plan of action. Private Sessions are available by phone or Skype. October 2017 | 41





ed wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of “good” cholesterol and protecting against artery damage. While this news might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, it’s not a reason for anyone to start drinking alcohol. That’s because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body. Still, there is something in red wine that appears to help your heart, though it’s unclear just exactly what that “something” is. Researchers think antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have promising heart-healthy benefits. Studies on the heart-health benefits of red wine have reported mixed results. Some studies show that red wine seems to have even more heart-health benefits than other types of alcohol, while other studies show that red wine isn’t any better than beer, white wine or liquor

42 | October 2017

for heart health. There are some studies that suggest that the antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. These antioxidants come in two main forms: flavonoids and non-flavonoids. Flavonoids. These antioxidants are found in a variety of foods, including oranges, grape juice, apples, onions, tea and cocoa. Other types of alcohol, such as white wine and beer, contain small amounts, too, but red wine has higher levels. Non-flavonoids. These antioxidants found in red wine have recently been of particular interest because they appear to help prevent arteries from becoming clogged with fatty blockages. Resveratrol might be another key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces “bad” cholesterol

and prevents blood clots. The resveratrol in red wine comes from the skin of grapes used to make wine. Because red wine is fermented with grape skins longer than is white wine, red wine contains more resveratrol. Simply eating grapes, or drinking grape juice, has been suggested as one way to get resveratrol without drinking alcohol. Some studies have suggested that red and purple grape juices have some of the same heart-healthy benefits of red wine. There are other foods that contain some resveratrol which include peanuts, blueberries and cranberries. It’s not yet known how beneficial eating grapes or other foods might be compared with drinking red wine when it comes to promoting heart health because the amount of resveratrol in food and red wine can vary widely. Red wine’s potential

heart-health benefits look promising. Those who drink moderate amounts of alcohol, including red wine, seem to have a lower risk of heart disease. Regardless of the potential benefits of drinking red wine it is not recommend that you start drinking alcohol just to prevent heart disease. Alcohol can be addictive and is associated with other health issues. Drinking too much increases your risk of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, liver damage, obesity, certain types of cancer, accidents and other problems. If you already drink red wine, do so in moderation. Of course a healthy diet and exercise is always good for you too! Publishers Note: Since October is Virginia Wine Month you might want to pick up a bottle of Virginia’s finest and sit back and enjoy!

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f you seem to be stuck in the same old cardio routine, you might want to try interval training. This type of cardio training involves alternating bouts of high and low intensity exercise. Interval training can accomplish many things. The first benefit of interval training is that you can finish a greater amount of work (calorie burn) that is normally not possible with continuous exercise. You will be able to burn more calories in the same amount of time when compared to traditional (same-intensity) cardio. The second benefit of interval training includes improvements in your lactate threshold or your body’s ability to clear lactate from the bloodstream. Lactate (lactic acid) is what causes muscular fatigue, interferes with muscle contraction, and often times makes you feel ill. By elevating lactic acid levels, you are challenging your body to manage lactate more efficiently. Eventually, you will be able to handle more intense exercise. Interval training can be performed many ways. It can involve short periods of high intensity exercise (2-5 minutes at 80-90% Heart Rate Max) with longer periods of lesser intensities (6-10 minutes at 40-60% Heart Rate Max). For example, you can try running faster than your

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normal pace (2-5mph) for 2-5 minutes, and then slow it down to slightly less than your normal speed. Interval training can also involve even higher intensity exercise (90100% HR Max) for 10-15 seconds with “active recovery” between bouts. An example of this on a stationary bike would require pedaling at a higher resistance level (say 18) for 10-15 seconds, and then returning to a much easier resistance level (4) with a slow pedaling pace for 4550 seconds. Interval training can also include performing two different modes of cardio exercise such as treadmill running for the high intensity and riding the bike for the low intensity bout. Interval training should only be used after you have established a good aerobic base and are able to maintain your heart rate within your training zone for about the same amount of time spent on interval training. 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.

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he trends for the season seem like a repeat of the trends from last fall. The themes are the same – bold, rich, 80’s inspired. The main difference is the extent to which the trends have skewed to garner attention and make a statement. EYES: Eyes are the focus this season. Wild eyes are the best way to describe them. The big trend are cat-like eyes made by drawing eyeliner past the corners of the eyes and out to the temples. Many may remember this look in the 80’s. However, what makes this more modern is it is paired with bold colors in shades of red, orange, violet and yellow. But, for a smoldering eye, hues of black, blue, brown or gunmetal still remain a trend. Other wild trends for

eyes this fall are glittery eyelids, blue eye shadow, and under-eye accents. Glittery eyelids are paired with the cat inspired look. Blue eye shadow is making a comeback on its own without further amplification. It is also shown paired with cat-like eyeliner. Under-eye accents, inspired by Twiggy, are making a different appearance. This look is achieved by applying jeweled accents and extra long eyelashes to the lower lashes to create a wide-eyed and doeeyed look. BROWS: If the eyes are the picture, think of the brows as the frame. And, framing these wild eyes is the key to being on point with this trend. This season, brows are well defined and well groomed. Groomed brows should not have a hair

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out of place. If bald spots exist, the groomed brow is drawn on and filled in to achieve perfection. LIPS: The look of lips this season can only be described as extreme – opposite ends of the spectrum. On one end of the spectrum are bold, red lips paired best with a subtle eye. On the other end are pale lips, which are a better pairing with this season’s wild eyes. The subtle lips have little to no color almost blending in with the one’s skin tone. CHEEKS: Quite simply, cheeks are rosy. In some instances, the chiseled cheek look is making a quiet comeback. This is achieved by swooping check color along

the cheekbone and up toward the temple. NAILS: While it is always wise to choose the color that best matches your skin tone, for those that are uber style conscious, knowing the trends can chart the course for the season. Shades of gray, beige and metallic gold and silver hit the runways with force this season as the newest trends for nails. Half moon and reverse French manicure are also among the new trends. Older favorites such as intense reds and shades of black and navy are still very current. HAIR: Hair has taken on new heights and a new attitude. Up dos and buns are reaching for the sky. These

new dos conjure images of Spiderman leaping tall buildings at a single bound. These up dos and buns are not all about structure and height. Many are disheveled and loose in an attempt to look like it was thrown up in a hurry and without much thought. Also trendy is wavy, long hair seeming to be the antithesis to the up do look. To get this trend right, the waves hit low, starting around and below earlevel. Publishers Note: This column first appeared in the October 2010 issue. Amazing how some things go full circle. This column almost mirrors a current column in Harpers Bazaar.

Teadora Rejuvenating Red Clay & Scrub Masque What they say about this product: This unique and powerful combination of clay masque and sugar scrub will gently detox and hydrate sensitive skin while improving elasticity and toning. Infused with powerful super-fruits and actives, this treatment will leave your skin smoother and brighter. Packed with Teadora’s exclusive blends of powerful Amazon superfruits and anti-aging botanicals proven to bring out naturally glowing skin, this powerful scrub removes dead skin, smoothes, brightens and minimizes ingrown hair while infusing your skin with moisture, antioxidants, and antiaging botanicals. The organic Sugar Scrub provides a more gentle detox & exfoliation for sensitive skin, formulated to work well for body and face. This superfood cocktail for your skin includes RainforestYouth(tm) Elixir, a superfruit cocktail especially formulated with Açaí, Andiroba & Maracujá Oils. Our RedAmber(tm) Clay complex is made with an Exotic Brazilian Red Clay for which clinicals show 172% increase in elasticity and 34% in firmness when used at this level. Our YouthSpark(tm) Actives complex combines the power of Açaí, Babassu, Maracujá & Rice Bran to provide long-lasting hydration, revitalization, regeneration, and silkiness for younger-looking skin. Teadora’s Scrub & Clay Masque features our 100% natural Amazonian Afternoon

scent with exotic cattleya orchids, freesia and river cyclamen flowers, sparkling orange peel, savory green sage and delicate ylang-ylang blossoms.

Did it meet our expectations? YES, YES, YES. It is rare that you find a beauty product that lives entirely up to its hype. Only one drawback is the packaging. The tube that they sell this in doesn’t have a wide enough opening to easily dispense the scrub. It is an effort to get enough in the palm of your hand to cover a decent area of your body. It was put to good use in the shower and used as an all-over scrub as well as on the face.

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Stripping with either hand


hat does a bass fishing guide do on his summer vacation? Takes a trip to Lynchburg, Virginia for an annual flyfishing challenge. For the past 4 years Orvis fly rods are dusted off and loaded up for the threehour drive. For the past 3 years, my buddy Alan Friedlander and I fished the Upper James River. This year, the Staunton River, connecting Smith Mountain Lake with Kerr Lake, was our destination for two days of 10-mile floats. Our guide Capt. Matt Miles launched his drift boat and put us in position to make casts toward rocky-bottomed water only about 2 feet deep. On the right side of the river, Capt. Matt asked that I make backhand casts to avoid hooking him, as I was a lefthanded caster. Oh no! Having a touch of elbow tendinitis, this wasn’t going to happen. On the other hand, most left-handers are quite good at going right. Not many concessions were made for leftys growing up. Right handed scissors, spiral notebook coils dug into hands, and ink pen smudges were dragged across the page. Forget about finding a catcher’s mitt for a southpaw. If there was a way to cast with the opposite hand, it was time to be a switch caster. On this adventure, two significant equipment changes were made. Conventional bass fishing allows matching line with different rods for specific lures and techniques. With fly-fishing the rod, for the most part, stays the same while line and leader change determined by the size and type of bait being cast. While still relying on GAMMA Frog Hair for leader, the fly line itself was changed. During last year’s outing, Capt. Matt noted my reel was spooled with trout line, designed for lighter flies. Fly-fishing is not only a foreign skill; it comes with its own language. At the advice Old Town Crier

of fishing industry pro, Jeffrey Pierce, trout line was swapped to a weight-forward bass line. This line up was supposed to enable longer casts. My Orvis Mirage reel was spooled with Scientific Anglers Mastery Titan Long WF-6-F, turtle grass/buckskin. Translated, this line was brown, floated and had a heavier tip for longer casts on my Orvis Helios 2, 6-weight rod. Changing sunglasses really helped. Seeing into clear water is pretty easy. Most polarized lenses will cut glare, but Maui Jim sunglasses go a bit further in being able to provide more contrast and color with High Transmission lenses. HT lenses enabled locating smallmouth as they darted from behind cover, approaching the streamer. Seeing them allowed me to pause and twitch to make them bite. Setting the hook came much quicker too! I got better at choosing a destination for my streamer and where strike zones were located. On this trip it was evolution time for baits. In previous trips, a cast with a floating bug drifted with the current and enticed smallmouth bass to attack. A cast and the floating lure drifted through the strike zone. After about 5 seconds, another cast presented the bait for another drift. Fish rushing to engulf the easy target created an unmistakable surface commotion. Not much angler input. On this outing, streamers were to be used. I was a bit reluctant when Capt. Matt said we would be stripping that day. I wasn’t sure what he meant and hoped he didn’t mean what I thought he meant. Turned out stripping was a method of adding action to sub surface lures. Taking to this technique, my strip tease began. Floating lures made learning to fly fish pretty easy. This trip was a graduation to working lures to get fish to bite. Stripping line moved the subsurface streamer in a

horizontal presentation. Short strips needed to be coordinated with the speed of the boat to maintain line contact with the bait and to ensure a good hookset when a fish took it. Also, reducing the amount of line on the surface would avoid spooking line wary fish. This was a lot more involved and, since I was just learning how to use my opposite hand, it was additionally challenging. Time to introduce Staunton River smallmouth to the Orvis TeQueely Streamer, size 2. Not sure what this was supposed to be, but contrasting tail colors and rubber legs did the trick. Fish after fish after fish engulfed it. Watching them take it made for an exciting fly rod battle. Capt. Matt is so dialed in to what the fish want, I fed this fly to eager smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass for two full days. Perfect weather; perfect fishing partner, and perfect equipment made for the perfect fishing trip. Lynchburg is an awesome city. It really does have everything, nice hotels, local eateries and chain restaurants, and fishing of course.

on 12-pound Edge. Also pitch Texas rigged Mizmo tubes on 3/0 Mustad Ultra Point tube hooks. Soak all soft plastics in garlic flavor Jack’s Juice bait spray. Mann’s Baby 1-Minus on 12-pound Edge can cover water to find grass and fish. Small Lucky Craft LV-100 lipless cranks in shad patterns can also be worked through grass. Add in drop shot and spilt shot rigs with 3/16-ounce Water Gremlin Bullshot

weights on 10 pound test Edge. Author Capt. Steve Chaconas is Potomac bass fishing guide & contributing writer for BoatU.S. ( Potomac River reports: Book trips/ purchase gift certificates: info@

Potomac River Bassing in October Shorter days bring a weather change and cooling water. The month starts warm, but cools dramatically. Find grass remnants and look for hard cover in areas where grass has vacated. Topwater lures like Lucky Craft G-Splash along with Gunfish can be fished over grass remnants. Once you find fish, slow down and thoroughly fish the area. Stickworms with 3/0 Mustad Mega Bite hooks on Gamma 12 pound test Edge fluorocarbon line will work. Add a 1/8 ounce weight if grass isn’t too thick. At lower tides, fish grass line edges with small ¼ ounce Mann’s Classic spinnerbaits… gold blades with white skirt October 2017 | 45




have issues, but just not 1,200 back issues of National Geographic or some other noteworthy publication which seems to be more common than you might expect. Granted, I have my own issues around ‘letting go,’ but they are more around people and relationships vs. periodicals. As a personal organizer, however, I think they are all closely linked. The letting go process starts early as we are encouraged to let go of and toss pacifiers, binkies and the likes. I’m still fervently trying to hold onto nap times. I still recall my mom’s failed attempt at trying to unceremoniously discard a geriatric Mrs. Beasley just because she had magic marker eye brows (I thought she needed a little more shaping and arching) and a really bad hair cut (my failed attempt at giving her a Dorothy Hamill which was tres’ chic in 1976). Mrs. B was part of my tribe. How could I be asked to part with someone I had shared countless tea parties with, not to mention bedtimes? As I got older, my ‘letting go’ issues carried over to dating. I had a penchant for holding onto relationships with men who didn’t deserve a second date let alone my undying loyalty. Trust me—holding onto a decrepit baby doll is a lot less agonizing than trying to hold onto an alcoholic boyfriend no matter how good looking. I also struggled with letting go of under-performing employees. Looking back, I can see where there were a couple of folks I should have let go of a lot sooner than I did. There was Robin who was afraid to drive into the ‘city’ aka Old Town Alexandria and refused to parallel park anywhere which was slightly challenging because



most of our clients were located in aforementioned city. Then there was Jenny who refused to write anything down which is impressive if you’re a waiter and can pull it off, but she wasn’t and she couldn’t. She inevitably called me 12 times to clarify the most basic instructions. Head. Exploding. Remember the entertainer Wavy Gravy? Yeah. I don’t either. But one of my fave authors Elizabeth Lesser quotes him in her book Broken Open when she says, “We are all just bozos on the bus.” What she forgot to mention is that the trick is to get the clowns off the bus sooner rather than later. The recurring theme here is that letting go of pretty much anything breathing (or with a dated hair cut) has been a lifelong struggle. I remember a long, teary night saying goodbye to a beta fish that was starting to do the dreaded back float. What can I say? We had bonded over the course of those 8 days and I am sensitive! So while my own issue isn’t about letting go of ‘stuff ’ necessarily, I do understand a bit about the psychology of holding onto things. Sometimes we attribute a heavy emotional value to items because they hold memories or we personify them or maybe we just plain ol’ think they are valuable. Sometimes these things are filling huge voids left by the loss of a loved one (death or divorce), loss of a job or other major life change. In 16 years of helping clients get organized, I’ve seen it all. I’ve helped to clear

46 | October 2017

out mountains of newspapers, plastic combs, restaurant carry-out containers, clothes that no longer fit, plastic grocery bags, Beanie babies, etc. Letting go is hard, but whether you’re holding onto empty margarine tubs or deadbeat boyfriends, you deserve the freedom of release. You’ll breathe much better with all the space created once it’s gone. The trick is to get ‘SMART’ about it: • Set an intention—what do you want in your life? More space? More peace? Less anxiety? Go into it knowing that there’s a payoff at the end—a goal achieved, space reclaimed, peace of mind, etc. • Make a plan—start with a room, but get even more specific (think closet, desk, drawer, cabinet, etc.). Every undertaking starts with baby steps. It’s even helpful to set a timer and not try to run a marathon on your first session. Try 30 minutes or an hour to get started. Graduate up to 2-4 hours. • Ask for help (from a neighbor, family member, trusted resource, etc). Sometimes it’s just nice to talk it through with someone. Be sure it’s with someone you feel comfortable talking about whatever feelings or emotions crop up. • Recognize the emotions and feelings you’re experiencing

around ‘letting go’. Label them— sadness, anger, fear, etc. • Take action. Most of the time I ask my clients to make three piles: Donate/Recycle/Toss. If an item, however, is bringing up too many emotions, it’s okay to put it aside and come back to it on the next round. The goal is to make some progress. Pick the low hanging fruit and take action. If it is too difficult to donate your old wedding dress, move onto your hosiery drawer. Life is way too short to be holding onto ANY relationship, item of clothing or plastic doohickey that triggers sadness, anxiety, anger, etc. If it doesn’t bring you happiness, it is potentially holding you back from happiness. Letting go can be hard, but most things in life that are worthwhile are worth the effort. There is an ‘art’ to letting go, but you have to be SMART about it. It takes practice, patience, and sometimes, the passage of time. P.S. If you are dead set on holding onto something because it is important to you, be SMART and store it properly. I can’t tell you how many times clients have told me how much they love something yet it is lying around like rubbish exposed to dust/ water/heat, etc. Show me the love! If you would like to comment or have questions for Lori, email office@ with “Open Space” in the subject line. Old Town Crier




an…Oh…Man…..looks like it’s going to be a quiet month around here until the Halloween celebration on the 29th! In fact, I’m not sure I have enough material to work with to fill a whole column. I guess what is really happening is that everyone is taking a deep breath and preparing to get geared up for the all of the holiday 2017 festivities. I admit that I do love this place during the holidays and I get a little carried away so I guess I should just take a chill pill myself and relax before it all starts up. Speaking of “quiet”, I ran across a new addition to the harbor a week or so ago – we have our very own metallic mime! If any of you have experienced Jackson Square in New Orleans you know how interesting, or unnerving for some, these guys/gals can be. At any rate, joining the fabulous statuary that already adorns American Way was a “silver man” – not just his hair, his whole body – who was entertaining the Saturday crowd. As I watched, he really freaked out a group of kids who thought he was stationary just like the bronze of Dwight D. and likeness of Rosie the Riveter that are erected near each other and where he

What’s The Buzz? This August, Gaylord National acquired four Langstroth beehives to harvest its own honey on the resort’s rooftop. The hives will house 10,000 to 12,000 bees per hive when fully active with hopes of producing 120 pounds of honey by the 2018 spring harvest to infuse into various food and beverage offerings. The honeybees also will assist in pollinating a new chef ’s garden in the spring. The resort’s culinary team plans to plant everything from herbs to tomatoes to flower plants including blueberries and strawberries to help the bees thrive, in addition to having house-grown produce steps from its kitchen.

“We are continuing to look at ways that we can create a sustainable food and beverage program at Gaylord National Resort and help the surrounding environment and eco-

decided to stand. After posing with Ike and Rosie, they decided to pose with him for a photo-op and he decided to put his arms around them! Wish I had been taking a video. In fact, that is when I realized that he was a human and not just a new sculpture. In my never ending quest to find interesting people to write about for the OTC I decided to try to communicate with Silver Man in an attempt to get contact information from him. Well….he is a mime so…..between blinking once for “no” and twice for “yes” I did end up putting my contact information in his “silver” tip can but I have yet to hear from him. I might have been too scarey! That being said, I cannot tell you whether he intends to be a fixture at the Harbor this fall or not. I really hope he garnered enough in his tip can to make it worth his while since it just adds some more character to this fun place to live and play! Treat yourself to a quiet day at the Harbor this month and maybe you will spy the Silver Man playing tricks on the crowd!! (insert groan here) Have a Happy Halloween as well!!

system,” said David Creamer, executive resort chef at the hotel. “By initiating some of our new programs, we will be able to supply even fresher ingredients to guests and attendees we feed on a daily basis.” Some additional culinary and beverage programs that the resort will introduce this fall include juices, barbeque and dehydrated fruits and meats. The resort’s beverage team has sourced an in-house juice maker that will provide 100 percent natural juices to be consumed as standalone beverages or used to elevate its cocktail program. The beverage team also will be aging its own bourbon and gin cocktails in wood barrels at select restaurant and bar outlets.

Gaylord National also will begin smoking meats as part of a new barbeque program this fall. Using a mixture of cherry and hickory wood for flavor, guests will be able to enjoy smoked ribs, whole free range chickens, bacon and more. No barbeque program would be complete without rubs and sauces, which all will be custom made by the resort’s culinary team. Another new menu item that will be found in the resort is housemade jerky. Resort chefs will dry out beef and chicken to create jerky with flavors that include black peppered, maple jalapeno, garlic honey and soy. Using a dehydrator, the resort also will produce dehydrated fruits to include in its beverages starting at its signature restaurant, Old Hickory Steakhouse.

It’s cooler at National Harbor

National Harbor Calendar of Events - October 2017 FREE FITNESS CLASSES On the Plaza Through October Participate in a free fitness classes on the Plaza brought to you by No Excuse Workout. All classes run from 7-8 pm except Saturday morning yoga that runs from 10-11 am. Mondays - CardioHIT Tuesdays - Kickboxing Wednesdays - Zumba Saturdays – Yoga

Old Town Crier

(Please refer to National Harbor’s Facebook page for any weather related cancellations.)

MILLER FARMS MARKET American Way Saturdays and Sundays Through October 10am-5pm Miller Farms Farmer’s Market returns to National Harbor with their wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, beautiful flowers and

plants, and much more. Located on American Way by the fountain. Miller Farms is a 267-acre farm in Clinton, MD that has been family owned and operated since 1840.

THE “FRIGHT” DECK The Flight Deck On the South Pier Fridays in October 7pm – 10 pm The Flight Deck turns into the “Fright Deck” every Friday during the month.

They will be hosting Freaky Fridays with fun drink sampling, roaming ghouls, bar specials, and a prize wheel. Additionally, kids in costume ride The Capital Wheel for free with a paying adult from10 am-6 pm on Fridays.(One free child per paying adult).

HARBOR HALLOWEEN On the Plaza October 29th 12 Noon – 2pm

Celebrate Halloween early at the Harbor with Trick or Treating starting at Noon and running until 2 pm. Other events taking place: 10am-6pm – Kids in Costume Ride the Capital Wheel for Free* 12:30 pm - Hocus Pocus On the Big Screen 2pm – Chef Pumpkin Carving Contest *One free child’s ticket with each paid adult ticket for every child in costume

October 2017 | 47


Potomac RiveRboat comPany SightSeeing – Private CharterS – Water taxiS

AC LOUNGE 156 Waterfront Street 301-749-2299 BOND 45 149 Waterfront Street 301-839-1445 BRASS TAP 164 Fleet Street 301-965-9116 BROTHER JIMMY’S BBQ 177 Fleet Street 301-909-8860 CADILLAC RANCH 186 Fleet Street 301-839-1100 CHIPOTLE MEXICAN GRILL 158 National Plaza 301-749-2016 CRAB CAKE CAFE 140 National Plaza 240-766-2063 ELEVATION BURGER 108 Waterfront Street 301-749-4014 FIORELLA PIZZERIA E CAFFE 152 National Plaza 301-839-1811 GRACES MANDARIN 188 Waterfront Street

301-839-3788 GRANITE CITY FOOD & BREWERY 200 American Way 240-493-3900 IRISH WHISPER 177 Fleet Street 301-909-8859 McCORMICK & SCHMICK 145 National Plaza 301-567-6224 McLOONES PIER HOUSE 141 National Harbor Plaza 301-839-0815 NANDO’S PERI-PERI 191 American Way 301-567-8900 NATIONAL PAST TIME SPORTS BAR & GRILLE Gaylord Resort 301-965-4000 OLD HICKORY STEAKHOUSE Gaylord Resort 301-965-4000 PIENZA ITALIAN MARKET Gaylord Resort 301-965-4000 POTBELLY SANDWICH WORKS 146 National Plaza 301-686-1160 PUBLIC HOUSE 199 Fleet Street 240-493-6120 REDSTONE AMERICAN GRILL 155 National Plaza 301-839-3330 ROSA MEXICANA 135 Waterfront Street 301-567-1005 SAUCIETY AMERICAN GRILL 171 Waterfront Street 240-766-3640 SUCCOTASH 168 Waterfront Street 301-567-8900 THAI PAVILLION 151 American Way 301-749-2022 WALRUS OYSTER & ALE HOUSE 152 Waterfront Street 301-567-6100

alexandria – national harbor Water taxi

washington by wateR monuments cRuise

National Harbor is a waterfront destination across from Alexandria. Round-trip and One-way service provided.

Enjoy our nation’s monuments and historic landmarks on a narrated cruise between Old Town Alexandria and Georgetown Washington D.C.

george WaShington’S mount veRnon by wateR cRuise

Water taxi to the national Mall

Arrive by boat and spend the afternoon exploring the 45-acre estate, grounds, Museum and Education Center.

Arrive in style at the National Mall to view the Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and more!

For additional information, visit our ticket booth located in the Alexandria City Marina, behind the Torpedo Factory Art Center.



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48 || October October 2017 2017

9/28/17 2:52 PM

OldTownCrier Old Town Crier

Effingham Manor & Winery Prince William County's newest Adults Only Winery. Located in a scenic area, the Manor House dates back to 1767 and is a nationally registered historic property. Also onsite are a brown sandstone blacksmith shop, a smokehouse, former slaves quarters, and a terraced garden. Acres of space for leisure and savoring the best of Virginia wine await your visit, wedding or private events. 14325 Trotters Ridge Place Nokesville, Virginia 20181 703.594.2300

Now Open!

Hours: 11am-7pm daily

Cruise the Rhone with Chris Pearmund

Pearmund Cellars will sail from Arles, France to Lyon October 25-November 1, 2018 aboard the deluxe river ship M/S AmaCello. With Chris Pearmund as your host, enjoy a custom itinerary paired with wine education and incredible scenery for a fun-ďŹ lled adventure.

Detailed information and registration can be found online via:

Old Town Crier - October 2017 Full Issue  
Old Town Crier - October 2017 Full Issue