Old Town Crier October 2023 - Full Issue

Page 10

oldtowncrier oldtowncrier.com otcregionalmag From the Bay to the Blue Ridge PRICELESS • SINCE 1988 OCTOBER 2023 Celebrating Virginia Wine Month


It is officially fall now and the weather started to turn at the end of September. It was a brutal summer. Hopefully this fall will be cool and we can get out the blue jeans and sweaters.

The October issue is one that we always look forward to putting together. Lani is a huge proponent of all things Halloween as is evident with her infatuation with Witches and Stingy Jack – see the special feature on both. For some reason she forwent a piece on the “Day of the Dead” this year but watch for it next October.

Getting out in the country side this month is a must do. Whether it is a full-on drive on Skyline Drive (see Road Trip) in Shenandoah National Park or a trek to one of the many corn mazes, fall markets or steeplechase races in the Blue Ridge. Not to be discounted, however, is the countryside bordering the Chesapeake Bay. A day trip down Route 2 with side trips toward the water is a treat as well.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that October is Virginia Wine Month. We have been strong supporters of the Commonwealth vintages for 35 of our 36 years. There are some amazing vineyards within an hour of Old Town with varied styles in both tasting rooms and wines. And….a good portion of them also brew beer on premise – this appeals to a lot of the guys out there. The majority of the wineries celebrate this month with special events to boot.

Martin’s Tavern Celebrates 90 Years!

We would like to congratulate our friend Billy Martin, a fourth generation Martin, who just celebrated the 90th Anniversary of Martin's Tavern on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown.

For a few years we also published a Georgetown Crier and that is when we met Billy and got to know him and appreciate his unique brand of hospitality. We were honored to be among the VIP invitees! Make a trip to Martin’s this month and congratulate Billy and his staff...you can sit in the booth where John Kennedy asked Jackie to marry him. The place is loaded with history.

Here's to many more years Billy!!

September brought a bit of sadness to a lot of us with the passing of Jimmy Buffet on September fi rst. Unlike all of the true Parrot Heads, I only attended one live concert of his. It was the Banana Wind tour at Jiffy Lube Live. We went with another couple and sat up our “tailgate” behind my old Maxima with lots of other professional tailgaters and had a grand time. While none of us had on shark fi n hats or coconut bras, we did get a lot of attention… several revelers thought that I was Jimmy! He had a reputation of getting out among fans so I guess I was as close as they were gonna get.

I have spent some wonderful days sailing my boat and listening to the magic words of Buffet. It all began with his reconciliation song Come Monday. His boat songs were the best... Changes in Latitudes Changes in Attitudes, One Particular Harbor, A Pirate Looks at Forty and Lovely Cruise! The words to School Boy Heart are very special to me. Jimmy Buffet will be remembered for a long time and celebrated on Karaoke and Open Mic nights for years to come. I’m looking forward to memorizing the lyrics to his last song Bubbles Up

4 October 2023 Old Town Crier
Welcome fall!
“Follow In My Wake…”-Jimmy Buffet Banana Wind album

Financial Focus.......................................11

First Blush.............................................39


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

From the Trainer.....................................40

Gallery Beat...........................................14

Go Fish...................................................44


High Notes.............................................16

Last Word...............................................17

Let's Get Crafty......................................36

National Harbor......................................46

On the Road............................................5

Open Space............................................45

Pets of the Month...................................43

Points on Pets........................................42

Publishers notes......................................4

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

Special Feature.......................................18

To the Blue Ridge....................................22

Urban Garden.........................................38

Where is the Mural?.................................6


Look who took the Old Town Crier to his homeland! Shaun Sheehan and his lovely and talented wife Barbera toured Europe in August with the OTC in hand. They started in London, then France, Germany, a stop in Amsterdam then Ireland and fi nally landed in Dublin on their way back to Alexandria. Of course, this pub was a block from their hotel and Barbara said, “I couldn’t drag Shaun away!” Imagine that. Lots of Sheehan’s in Ireland!

If you would like to see your photo in this space, take the OTC with you on your next adventure and take a high resolution photo or photos of you and yours checking us out and send it with information for the caption to office@oldtowncrier.com and put “On the Road” in the subject line.

Old Town Crier October 2023 5 october ‘ 23 A Division of OTC Media LLC OTC Media LLC PO Box 320386 Alexandria, VA 22320 571-257-5437 office@oldtowncrier.com oldtowncrier.com Published the rst week of every month. Worth waiting for! PUBLISHER Bob Tagert MARKETING & ADVERTISING Lani Gering Bob Tagert Meg Mullery SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE Erin Koons CONTRIBUTORS Stephen Bearce Sarah Becker Alexander Britel Cheryl Burns F. Lennox Campello Steve Chaconas Scott Dicken Doug Fabbioli Matt Fitzsimmons Nicole Flanagan Lani Gering Miriam Kramer Timothy Long Cindy McGovern Glenn Morel Meg Mullery Melinda Murphy Ron Powers Kim Putens Julie Reardon Ashley Stimpson Bob Tagert Carl Trevisan Ryan Unverzagt Catherine Varchever Lori Welch Brown © 2023 OTC Media LLC. 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 from the Chesapeake Bay to the Blue Ridge Mountains and USVI. A Bit of History........................................12 After hours.............................................16 Alexandria Events....................................8 Art & Antiques........................................14 Business Profi le.......................................10 Caribbean Connection.............................26 Dining Guide..........................................29 Dining Out.............................................30 Exploring VA Wines ...............................33
24 12

The arrival of fall is celebrated with the annual tradition of Virginia Wine Month. Dating back to 1988, each October is a chance to toast to the bountiful harvest and the farmers, winemakers and local supporters that help make Virginia Wine what it is today. Staging by Kathy Condon, Photo by Lani Gering.

Where Is This Mural?

Well, we didn’t have a winner last month but it wasn’t for lack of trying on your part. The mural we featured was “removed” shortly after we went to press with the September issue. So, here we are with a brand new challenge!

Be the fi rst person to respond with the correct location and receive a $50 gift certificate to a local dining establishment of our choice. In order to participate, you will have to Like and Follow us:

Facebook @oldtowncrier

Instagram @otcregionalmag

Send a PM with your guess and we will contact the winner each month via PM to arrange for prize delivery.

So, pick a vineyard or a weekend, plot out the perfect itinerary or follow wherever the road takes you to explore the shifting landscape and extraordinary wines of Virginia! Photo: ©Rick Collier Imagery.com

6 October 2023 Old Town Crier
Mural Photo by Lee Moody.
Regional Magazine
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Town Crier
Old Town Crier October 2023 7 ELMWOOD SMALL GROUP AND PRIVATE TOURS SEE DC TODAY Best Part of Our Trip! “This tour was not only the highlight of our time here in DC but the best city tour/excursion we have been on in the 22 years we have been traveling.” 202.900.3015 SEEDCTODAY.COM NIGHT URS IN ADVERTISE WITH US o ce@oldtowncrier.com (703) 548-0885 alexsym.org Featuring four commissioned pieces to celebrate ASO’s 80th anniversary! SEP 30 & OCT 1 Tchaikovsky’s 4th & Brahms Violin ASO at 80-oh! NOV 4 & 5 New World Symphony Going Home DEC 16 & 17 Celebrate The Season Holiday With A Twist FEB 10 & 11 Mozart Requiem & Copland Do Not Go Gentle APR 20 & 21 On The Town & Shostakovich 5 Shuffle And Deal Tickets & Subscriptions on Sale Now! 23 24 S E A S O N Estate Jewelry and Previously Owned 20% OFF OPEN Thur 10am - 8pm Mon - Sat 10am - 6pm Closed Sundays KingsJewelry.NET 609 King Street Old Town Alexandria 703-549- 001 1 Family owned and operated for over 65 years

Art Festivals, Spooky Happenings and More in Alexandria

Autumn brings favorite art events, outdoor festivals, Halloween haunts and bright-hued foliage to Alexandria. Treat yourself to a goosebumps-inducing Ghost & Graveyard Tour. Browse al fresco art festivals including the 21st Annual Alexandria Art Festival in Carlyle and Del Ray’s 28th Annual Art on the Avenue, plus attend ever-popular autumn events at George Washington’s Mount Vernon like the Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour.

New this year, enjoy inaugural Halloween events hosted by tall ship Providence at the newly-opened Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center on Alexandria’s waterfront.

Dive deeper into fall events and activities in Alexandria with the listings below and at VisitAlexandria.com/Fall.

Alexandria Colonial Tours’ Ghost & Graveyard Tour 21st

Nightly in October at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, 8:30 and 9 p.m.

Admission: $15 for adults; $10 for children; free for children under 6 years old Tours meet at the Alexandria Visitor Center 221 King Street alexcolonialtours.com

Walk your way through the charming streets of historic Old Town Alexandria. Follow a colonial-costumed guide by lantern light for an engaging history tour on Alexandria’s original Ghost & Graveyard Tour. During this entertaining tour, you’ll hear ghost stories, legends, folklore, unsolved mysteries, tales of romance and angry ghosts looking for revenge.

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour 6th - 8th

6 to 9 p.m.

Admission: Friday: $49 for members, $59 for general public; Saturday: $53 for members, $63 for general public; Sunday: $43 for members; $53 for general public George Washington’s Mount Vernon 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway 703-780-2000 mountvernon.org

Taste samples from Virginia wineries after hours at George Washington’s estate. Bring a blanket and relax on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River and meet General Washington

28th Annual Art on the Avenue 7th

10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: Free

Mount Vernon Avenue between Hume and Bellefonte Avenues artontheavenue.org

The 28th annual arts festival held in the Del Ray features more than 350 juried artists, from quilters to card-makers to cartographers, displaying their one-of-a-kind wares. Arrive with an appetite and grab a bite from 20+ food vendors and set to the soundtrack of live music along the avenue. Trolley transportation will be available from the Braddock Road Metro.

3rd Annual Carlyle Halloween Stampede 28th

2 to 6 p.m.

Admission: $10 per person

Whiskey & Oyster

301 John Carlyle Street eventbrite.com

The 3rd Annual Carlyle Halloween Stampede features all-day festive cocktails, signature party favors, costume contests, photos ops, giveaways and more. Guests can start the crawl and pick up their wristbands at any of the participating restaurants: Whiskey & Oyster, Sweet Fire Donna’s, Tequila and Taco or Lost Boy Cider. Costumes are recommended. There will be costume prizes for the most festively dressed participants. 10-100% of the registration fee will be donated to the nonpro t ALIVE! in Alexandria.

Tall Ship Providence Presents the Halloween Howl

10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; tours 45 minutes to one hour

Admission: $20 per child (ages 1-13); free for accompanying adults

Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center

1A Prince Street tallshipprovidence.org

Arrive in costume for some Halloween fun aboard tall ship Providence! Little ghosts and goblins will be taking over the oating maritime center as they rotate through stations of story time, crafts and activities then step aboard Providence with legendary Captain John Paul Jones.

8 October 2023 Old Town Crier

Old Town Family Trick or Treat 28th

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission: Free

Various locations in Old Town oldtownbusiness.org

Bring the family and enjoy trick-or-treating in the various shops and restaurants in Old Town along upper and lower King Street and select side streets. Visit oldtownbusiness.org for the starting point and map pick-up location.

Tall Ship Providence Presents "Ghost Ship Providence" 28th

7 to 10 p.m.

Admission (adults only): $85 per person; $150 per couple

Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center

1A Prince Street tallshipprovidence.org

All aboard for an adults-only costume party! Cross the gangway (if you dare) for a hauntingly good time. DJ, open bar, food, costume contest and raf es will all take place at the oating heritage center and aboard Providence.

Old Town Doggie Trick or Treat 29th



Market Square

301 King Street

Saturdays, 7 am – 12 Noon

Year Round

The Old Town Market is thought to be the one of nation’s oldest continuing markets operating since 1753. It is said that George Washington sent his products from Mount Vernon to be sold here. Today the plaza is a mecca for farmers and artists to sell their wares. The Market is a primary source for meats, dairy, sh, fruits, vegetables and owers for all those who visit.


Corner of Mt. Vernon and Oxford Avenues

Saturdays, 8 am to Noon

Year Round

This market is strictly a producer grown market.  Lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, sh and salmon, fresh mushrooms, baked goods, hard cider.  Farmers are within a 150 mile radius of Alexandria.  A non-pro t is featured each weekend.


Montgomery Park

901 North Royal Street

Thursdays, 3 pm – 7 pm

Year Round

Alexandria’s favorite dog friendly market! The Old Town North Thursday Market is a growers only market with a focus on produce from small family farms and local artisans. Products sold at the market include fresh fruits and veggies from Virginia’s Northern Neck, Micro Greens from an urban farm, Empanadas, Fresh baked pastries with a European air and much more.


4109 Mount Vernon Avenue

Sundays, 9 am – 1 pm

Year Round

This market offers fresh, nutritious food to people of all income levels and strives to re ect the diversity of Alexandria’s community. Local artisans display their arts and crafts as well.

1 to 5 p.m.

Admission: Free

The Dog Park

705 King Street oldtownbusiness.org

Bring your dog for a howling day of walking through Old Town and visiting participating merchants who will offer treats for your four-legged companion. Start at The Dog Park boutique, located at 705 King Street. For more information, visit www. oldtownbusiness.org.

Del Ray Halloween Parade 29th

Del Ray Halloween Parade

2 p.m.

Admission: Free

Begins at Mount Vernon Avenue

South of E. Bellefonte Avenue visitdelray.com

Children, pets and strollers are invited to march and show off their nest and scariest Halloween garb. For more information, including details on the house decorating, pet costume and stroller decorating contests, visit www.visitdelray.com.

Connect with us!

Web: VisitAlexandriaVA.com

Blog: Blog.VisitAlexandriaVA.com

Facebook: Facebook.com/VisitAlexandriaVA

Twitter: Twitter.com/AlexandriaVA

Instagram: Instagram.com/VisitAlexVA

Not to be missed on the Waterfront:

Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson

Admission: Free Waterfront Park

1A Prince Street visitalexandriava.com/public-art

Photo Credit: Lee Moody

Two Boxes of Oranges and Admonia Jackson is the fth temporary public art installation on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront. Created by Jamaican-born, New York-based award-winning artist Nina Cooke John of Studio Cooke John, the installation is inspired by the ships uncovered on Alexandria’s waterfront in 2015 and 2018 which carried cargo like tobacco, molasses, rum and limes, but also enslaved people who were traded as part of the transatlantic and domestic slave trades. The outer blue of the installation is contrasted with an orange inner surface depicting text pulled from ships’ manifests listing items like herring, coconuts and gin, alongside names and descriptions of enslaved people, such as “Jane Tailor, female, 5’ 2”.” Also listed are “two boxes of oranges” and “Admonia Jackson.”

Old Town Crier October 2023 9

Responders, Bringing Responders Help

Our community depends heavily on Responders, and we have very high expectations of them. But did you know Responders represent a special population disproportionately vulnerable to acute injuries and chronic illnesses – like cancer and depression – the price for keeping us safe? They spend their careers serving the public with few options for taking care of their own.

In 2017, Congress designated October 28th as National First Responders Day. On this day we honor law enforcement officers, fi refighters, dispatchers, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and paramedics who answer our calls for help, doing so often at great risk to their own life and safety. This day pays tribute to Responders, honors Responder lives lost in the line of duty, and serves as a nationwide callfor-action to support Responders.

With Responders being active members of our community, perhaps we should ask ourselves what role can we play to ensure the quality responses we demand? How can we respond as a community to aid our Responders? The story of Responder Care™ exemplifies a local Northern Virginia response to a silent call-foraction!

It all started in November of 2022 when local Alexandria Responder was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Despite having comprehensive health insurance, workers compensation, and all the traditional services available to Responders, gaps in medical coverage were quickly identified. Despite being an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) trailblazer for pubic facing Mobile Integrated Healthcare – Community Paramedicine (MIHCP), where non-traditional care is brought to the bedside, not a

single MIH-CP option emerged for this Responder. Despite being surrounded by a cadre of EMT and paramedic colleagues, all fully capable of providing volunteer EMS & MIH-CP care to their fellow Responder, not even one could do so.

We all experience gaps in medicine and care, but few are so daring to challenge the status quo. While it would be socially acceptable for an off-duty EMTs or Paramedic to provide care to a fellow Responder, Responders are legally limited to providing care only while on-duty, in their jurisdiction, and under the scope and direction of their Medical Director. Additionally, EMTs and Paramedics cannot use public EMS or MIH-CP resources for private individuals, even fellow Responders suffering chronic illness, since resources are reserved for public calls for help.

In most all jurisdictions and communities, this is simply how the system works. But this is no longer the case for Responders in Northern Virginia. You see, once word spread that a fellow Responder, colleague, and friend was dying with pancreatic cancer, it was no longer a silent cry for help. This was a silently deafening call-for-action, and a locally owned business named EMERGILITY™ responded to the call for help.

Utilizing a newly established and fully licensed private EMS & MIHCP infrastructure, in collaboration with off-duty Paramedics from the Alexandria Fire Department and

other local agencies, a team of Paramedics were affiliated under the EMERGILITY™ EMS Agency and authorized to provide private MIH-CP at the home of the dying Responder.

While battling cancer over several months, nine unnecessary trips to the hospital were avoided. That’s nine consecutive times when the Responder was able to be treated in the privacy of their own home, surrounded by family, friends, and fellow Responders.

It can’t stop here. There are more Responders that need our help.

March 2023, with the support of the Responder’s family, friends, and EMS colleagues, Responder Care™ officially launched as an EMERGILITY™ Special Program with Fiscal Sponsorship provided by Global Impact, a 501(c)(3). Established in honor and loving memory of Alexandria Fire Department Deputy Chief Brian R H ricik (B.R.H.), the aim of the program is “Bringing Responders Help.”

The idea behind Responder Care™ is relatively simple. Private EMS MIH-CP services are delivered by a professional EMS cadre (career & volunteer), with medical operations

falling under an existing private EMS Agency infrastructure. These services neither supplant nor compete with existing public emergency 9-1-1 services or private medical resources, but rather provide enhanced and alternative access to care not otherwise available. The goal moving forward is doing the same for other Responders, in honor of Brian.

Today is our local call-to-action. If we expect Responders to take good care of us, we must be willing to take better care of our Responders. Responder Care™ is an invaluable service for our Responders, and it cannot exist without your help!

We invite you to help, volunteer for, and donate to this charitable endeavor so we may continue to help serve, protect, and care for our Responders. To learn more about Responder Care™ visit us at https://responder. care

For tax-deductible donations, please visit https://responder.care/donate or scan the QR code below.

10 October 2023 Old Town Crier BUSINESS PROFILE
Anthony Barone (left) Executive Director, Responder Care & CEO Emergility and Dr. Joseph Marfori (right) Medical Director, Responder Care & Emergility

What is Long-Term Care and How Can You Plan for it Financially?

Long-term care is the services needed to help you if a chronic illness or disability stops you from living on your own or performing daily personal activities such as getting dressed, taking medicine, or making meals. You might not need these services until later in life, but consider planning well in advance. You don’t want to be developing a plan to pay for long-term care after you already need it. Here are four considerations to keep in mind as you develop a long-term care plan:

Know the different levels of care and their costs.

Aging in place often refers to services being delivered to you in your home and can include aid rendered by visiting nurses, family and friends. It can also mean living in a continuing care community that has different facilities, each providing increasing levels of care. You move into the facility that matches the level of care you need and move to higher levels of care as you require them. The benefit of residing in such a community is that you “age in place” as you progress through the facilities that offer the level of care you need. It can be comforting to know that you will not need to seek a new care facility each time your care requirements change. You just progress through the stages within the same community.

An assisted living facility is often a residence that provides staff who can assist with daily needs (showering, dressing, taking medications). Moving into assisted living may also add a level of security knowing that you are not alone if a fall or a health event occurs.

Skilled care refers to a residential facility (or nursing home) that includes on-site medical care. These facilities often include short-term rehabilitation services following a hospital stay as well as 24-hour nursing care for full-time residents who require extensive assistance and supervision. Memory care units may also be provided in these facilities for residents with cognitive challenges such as Alzheimer’s who require the most extreme level of supervision and care.

As you would expect, the associated costs for care increase with the complexity of the level of care.

Discuss how you want to be looked after with loved ones.

It is important for you to communicate your wishes so that they can be understood and considered. Though you may assume your adult children are going to care for and support you if the need for long-term care arises, you should fi nd out whether that is the case by speaking to them directly. Consider working together to create an action plan that supports your needs.

Consider how you’ll pay for long-term care.

Health insurance and government programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, impose restrictions and limits when it comes to paying for long-term care. That means you may need to incorporate other approaches into your plan such as liquidating assets, paying out of pocket, relying on a family member to pay, or purchasing long-term care insurance. For help with deciding, discuss the choices thoroughly with your legal and fi nancial advisors.

Insurance products are offered through non-bank insurance agency affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company and are underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies. Wells Fargo Investment Institute, Inc., is a registered investment adviser and wholly-owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. 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.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. Our firm is not a legal or tax advisor.

Old Town Crier October 2023 11 FINANCIAL FOCUS CARL TREVISAN, CFP© & STEPHEN BEARCE Investment and Insurance Products are: • Not Insured by the FDIC or Any Federal Government Agency • Not a Deposit or Other Obligation of, or Guaranteed by, the Bank or Any Bank A liate • Subject to Investment Risks, Including Possible Loss of the Principal Amount Invested ©2021-2023 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved.

Guns VS. Non-Violence

“Non-violence is a weapon of the strong,” India’s Mahatma Gandhi [1869-1948] said. America’s gun violence statistics speak for themselves. Said Alexandria police Chief Don Hayes: “The amount of crimes being committed with guns, I’ve never seen it at this multitude.” Guns, it seems, are a power tool: hand or untraceable ghost, assault or semiautomatic.

“Gun ownership and gun homicide rates are high in the United States,” the Council on Foreign Relations said. “Mass shootings in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom prompted those governments to tighten gun laws.”

“Recent years have seen some of the worst gun violence in U.S. history,” the Council continued. “In 2021 guns killed more than 45,000 Americans… and the upward trend is on track to continue.” The total number of Americans killed by gun violence between January 1 and September 11, 2023 [254 calendar days]: 30,104. Sadly, gun violence is now the leading cause of death for U.S. children and teen-agers.

According to a 2017 Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey “the United States, with less than 5% of the world’s population, has 40% of the world’s civilianowned guns…is number one in fi rearms-per-capita, 120.5 per 100 people.” As disturbing, “the U.S. has the highest homicide-by-fi rearm rate of the world’s most-developed nations.” The number of U.S. homicides as of September 11, 2023: 13,340.

“Places with the highest U.S. gun murder rates in 2021 included [in descending order] the District of Columbia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and New Mexico,” Pew Research reported.

“Those with the lowest gun murder rates included Massachusetts, Idaho, Hawaii, Utah and Iowa.”

The Second Amendment, the U.S. Bill of Rights: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the

security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The U.S. Supreme Court did not grant individuals the right to own guns until 2008 [District of Columbia v. Heller, 5-4]. “The two sides in this case have set out very different interpretations of the Amendment,” U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia [1986-2016] wrote.

“Petitioners and today’s dissenting Justices believe that it protects only the right to possess and carry a fi rearm in connection with militia service. Respondent argues that it protects an individual right to possess a fi rearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

“Undoubtedly some think that the Second Amendment is outmoded in a society where our standing army is the pride of our Nation, where well-trained police forces provide personal security, and where gun violence is a serious problem,” the five Justices decided. “That is perhaps debatable, but what is not debatable is that it is not the role of this Court to pronounce the Second Amendment extinct.” Only in the United States, Mexico and Guatemala is gun ownership a constitutional right.

“We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed,” Gandhi believed. “But we must keep nonviolence as a goal.”

Gun ownership regulations vary. More than 175 of the world’s countries allow their citizens to own guns. Seventeen do not, North Korea included.

“As I am convinced that no other Method can be used to raise 2000 Men but by draughting [French and Indian War]; I hope to be excused, when I again repeat, how great Care should be observed in choosing active Marksmen,” provincial militiaman George Washington wrote in 1756.

“George Washington’s understanding of what we now often call ‘gun rights’ would not seem to readily square with the views of today’s contending factions,” Jeffrey L. Zvengrowski Assistant Editor of the Washington Papers explained. “He does not appear to have thought that every citizen possessed an unlimited individual right to bear arms.”

“The Founders never intended to create an unregulated individual right to a gun,” Michael Waldman author of the Second Amendment: A Biography, President of the Brennan Center for Justice wrote in 2014. “There is not a single word about an individual’s right to a gun for self-defense or recreation in [James] Madison’s notes from the Constitutional Convention. Nor was it mentioned, with a few scattered exceptions, in the ratification debates in the states. Nor did the U.S. House of Representatives discuss the topic as it marked up the Bill of Rights.”

Four times between 1876 and 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court “declined to rule that the Second Amendment protected gun ownership outside the context of a militia.” As the Tennessee Supreme Court put it in 1840—Aymette v. State, 21 Tenn.— “The words ‘to bear arms’ have reference to their military use, and were not employed to mean wearing them about the person as part of the dress. To bear arms in defense of the state is to employ them in war.”

“To hold that the Legislature could pass no law… by which to preserve the public peace, and protect our citizens from the terror which a wanton and unusual exhibition of arms might produce…would be to pervert a great political right to the worst of purposes,” the Tennessee Supreme Court continued. “Suppose it were to suit the whim of a set of ruffians to enter the theatre in the midst of the performance, with drawn swords, guns, and fi xed bayonets, or to enter the church in the same manner,

12 October 2023 Old Town Crier A BIT OF HISTORY © SARAH BECKER

during service, to the terror of the audience, and this were to become habitual; can it be that it would be beyond the power of the Legislature to pass laws to remedy such an evil?” the Tennessee Supreme Court asked. “Surely not.”

Yet the Tennessee Legislature failed to pass a requested Red Flag Law five months after Nashville’s March 2023 Covenant school mass shooting.

Unlike Tennessee the New York State legislature responded quickly to Buffalo’s May 2022 supermarket mass shooting. Their June 6 legislative package included “bills to prohibit semiautomatic rifle sales to people under 21; ban body armor sales outside of select professions, and strengthen the Red Flag Law.” Then, to the amazement of many, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned New York’s 2022 restricted gun carry law [New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, 6-3].

The Bruen decision was a game changer. “Only after the ratification of the Second Amendment in 1791 did public carry restrictions proliferate,” the six U.S. Supreme Court Justices concluded. “None of these restrictions imposed a substantial burden on public carry analogous to that imposed by New York’s restrictive licensing regime.”

New York State has regulated the public carry of handguns since 1905, if not before. Wrote U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas [1991- ] on behalf of the majority: “Only if a fi rearm regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s ‘unqualified command.’”

According to the U.S. State Department, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review [UPR] is a process “through which the human rights records of the United Nations’

193 Member States are reviewed and assessed,” a process which examines the fulfillment of each member country’s human rights obligations and commitments. The U.N. conducted its last United States UPR in 2015.

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence contends the U.N.’s UPR, as submitted by the U.S. government, “did not contain a single reference to the epidemic of gun violence.” The Center found it “perplexing, especially given that the United States is party to several international human rights instruments imposing a duty to protect.”

“Despite these obligations, the U.S. government has failed to take basic actions to protect individuals from gun violence,” the Giffords Center wrote the U.N. Human Rights Council: The total number of U.S. gun violence deaths in 2020: 43,742.

Former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords [AZD, 2007-2012] founder of the now Giffords Center was the target of a 2011 assassination attempt. A Fulbright Scholar, she was shot in the head.

“Women in the U.S.,” the Center claims, “are 21 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high income countries.”

The U.N. Human Rights Committee expressed its “concern” and “called on the U.S. to pursue efforts to reduce gun violence on minorities, women and children…including through the continued pursuit of legislation requiring background checks for all private fi rearms transfers.”

The U.S. Congress has made some progress. Congress passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, P.L. 117-159 in June 2022. Said Pew Research one year later: “49% of U.S. adults say gun ownership increases safety by allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves: an identical share says it reduces safety by giving too many people access to fi rearms and increasing misuse.”

“The Court’s opinion [District of Columbia v. Heller] should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of fi rearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of fi rearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms,” Associate U.S Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reminded.

In September 2023 California lawmakers imposed an 11% sales tax on both fi rearms and ammunition. Governor Newsom’s call: for the California legislature’s Right to Safety Amendment to become federal law—the Constitution’s 28th Amendment. Like the worn down ERA, the multi-state road to passage will be long.

Responsible, as defi ned by the American Heritage dictionary: “Liable to be required to give account for something; Involving personal accountability.” To what extent is today’s gun industry and or lobby liable, are gun owners accountable for the increases in gun violence?

The total number of mass shootings as of September 11, 2023 Jacksonville, Florida’s hate crime included: 496.

About the Author: 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: abitofhistory53@gmail.com

Old Town Crier October 2023 13

A Torpedo Factory Stroll

Along with hundreds of other visitors to Old Town Alexandria, a few days ago I spent about three hours wandering around the Torpedo Factory, visiting every single space, gallery and studio that was open. The place was very busy, full of tourists, locals, artists, and all kinds of people walking around the DMV's most precious art jewel.

Over the years I've written multiple articles and blog posts about this very special place, including two recent ones via this column discussing my thoughts on what is happening at the Factory since the City of Alexandria took over.

On the subject of "open", I was both surprised and very disappointed by the significant number of studios which were closed on a Saturday afternoon. "Saturdays are our busiest day," noted a prominent Torpedo factory artist who has been there for decades... as I left her studio after chatting with her for a while, she was working to close an $8,000 sale.

On the third floor alone, I would estimate that half the studios were closed, which in my opinion is not acceptable, especially when they are apparently routinely closed. By that I mean that I saw signs on the studio doors that stated the open hours, and in several of them they were Monday through Friday, with Saturdays and Sundays being either "Closed" or "By Appointment Only."

Since the heavy hand of the city now dictates every and all things Torpedo Factorish, I would recommend that the City Commissars order the next wave of artistic comrade workers selected (when the three year leases expire) to be open on weekends. In an amendment to that motion, as there are 52 weekends a year - let's settle on 42 weekends. Current artists are exempted, since this is a new rule.

At the Art League Gallery on the ground floor, I walked through the current group show, which was curated by Regina DeLuise.

As art jurying is very subjective, I usually knock heads with jurors when I form my own decisions as to prize winners, etc., but in this case, Ms. DeLuise and I agree 1000% that Party on East Park Place by Wendy Donahoe indeed earned that Best in Show prize!

I also liked Ravishing Strength by Stephanie Chang, Joy by Dian McDonald, and several others.


In studio 204 I met and chatted with Sarah Bentley, a classically trained young painter with elegant paintings done and delivered with the kind of technical accomplishment that is only achieved after thousands of hours of laborious practice and study of the Old Masters. She notes that:

I began copying at the National Gallery of Art in 2017, drawn to copying paintings as I further my education and skills. I have found that copying from the old masters allows me to examine the surface of the paintings, the texture of the paint itself. While being allowed to copy is an honor, I feel as though copying the works from the NGA allows me to have a conversation with the painters who have come before me, further continuing my education as an emerging artist.

representation of the likeness of the subject, but also (and equally as important and hard to do) to capture that ethereal psychological imprint that is also part of any portrait.

And here is the shocker: Incredibly inexpensive and affordable prices! Her Gouache portraits start at $100 for a 5x7 inches, $200 for an 8x8 inches Acrylic, and $300 for an 8x8 inches Oil!

I suspect that we're going to hear a lot more in the near future about this bright young star.

Throughout the hours I visited and continued to revisit the Target Gallery, where "Sound Horizons" was being featured. The exhibition was being presented by the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).

The exhibition includes four video, sound, and time based artworks by professional staff, students, and colleagues at Virginia Tech University selected for Alexandria and the surrounding region.

With the possible exception of a superb fiveminute audio and video presentation titled "Dear Younger Me" (Keisha V. Thompson, Jada Hoffman, Gilette B., Adele, Ben Knapp, Dacia Kings, Tianyu Ge, Eric Lyon, Geefa Adane, Sydney Johnson, Meaghan Dee, Andraé L., Brown & Tilandra Rhyne), I was overall very underwhelmed by both the presentation and the presented works. In fact, I felt as if I had

stepped back into the late 1990s technology birth of video and artists.

Also on the WOW scale of the art ratings was The Feast Of The Gods by Teresa Oaxaca, a huge oil on linen which as usual lets Oaxaca showcase and remind us why she's one of the most gifted artists in the DMV.

On the third floor I walked into Jacelyn Orellana as she was painting a small portrait in another artists’ assigned studio on the most remote corner of the third floor.

Orellana is a Pro Tem artist at the Factory, and yet this very young and gifted painter already shows and displays the painting bravura and skills of a much more seasoned painter.

Orellana has already mastered one of the most difficult tasks in the realm: the rare ability to create intimate portraits that are not only a true

The exhibition runs through January 28, 2024, so it will be boring a lot of people for a long time to come.

The Torpedo Factory and its family of artists and galleries is one of the jewels of our DMV's cultural tapestry - keep visiting it and keep supporting our artists!

About the Author: F. Lennox Campello's art news, information, gallery openings, commentary, criticism, happenings, opportunities, and everything associated with the global visual arts scene with a special focus on the Greater Washington, DC area has been a premier source for the art community for over 20 years. Since 2003, his blog has been the 11th highest ranked art blog on the planet with over SIX million visitors.


Exclusively representing the works of F.

Price and additional images upon request.

14 October 2023 Old Town Crier GALLERY BEAT F. LENNOX CAMPELLO
Alida Anderson Art
info@alidaanderson.com Syreni Caledonii (Northern Atlantic Mermaid). Watercolor, charcoal and Conte. 2019, 12x36 inches.
Lennox Campello
Projects, LLC, Washington, DC www.alidaanderson.com /
F. Lennox Campello
Exclusively representing the works of
and additional images upon request.
woman in love with abstraction”
watercolor on paper with embedded electronic images that rotate every 5 seconds.
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The Feast Of The Gods by Teresa Oaxaca; oil on linen
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The Smashing Pumpkins

Brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher helped defi ne the music of the 1990s with their rock-n-roll band Oasis. By the mid-90s these legendary Brits had released two hit albums and were probably the biggest band in the world. After producing mega hits like “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, expectations for what would come next from Oasis were high to say the least. It was in this environment that, on July 7th 1997, they released “D’You Know What I Mean?”, the fi rst single off the bands third studio album, Be Here Now. Upon its release, the song reached number one on the UK, Finland, Ireland, and Spain singles charts. Additionally, in October 2016, NME placed it at number 77 on its list of "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".

“D’You Know What I Mean” begins with a sonic picture that communicates the giant rock-n-roll attitude that Oasis is famous for. First, we hear the sounds of helicopters and airplanes mixed with low volume guitar noise along with the sound of morse code. Next, Noel adds pick scrapes which are run through a wah wah pedal giving a touch of rhythm to the ominous, almost warzone feeling rolling out of the speakers. A cracking drum fill erupts after this and crashes out introducing a new flavor of effect-soaked guitar notes. Additionally bass guitar is added deepening the power and depth of the music. The intro music starts to come into focus when acoustic guitar is layered in delivering the song's chord structure. Atop the music we hear more drum fills along with singer Liam Gallagher gearing up to deliver the verse with a guttural sound that anybody who has felt the weight of life can understand.

After more than a minute of intro music, the fi rst verse gets rolling with a drumbeat made up of snare smashes, a sharp hi hat sound, and booming kick drum. The percussion and bass work together while acoustic and electric guitars fill up the midrange creating a groove you can’t help bobbing your head to. Midway through the verse Noel adds simple lead guitar notes that have heavy flanger and delay effects giving a slightly spooky feeling to the mix. The subtle sound of morse code also peppers the verse along with reverse guitar sounds and other uniquely processed noises. As the verse progresses, we hear Liam deliver the thought provoking lines: “Look into the wall of my mind's eye / I think I know, but I don't know why / The questions are the answers you might need / Coming in a mess, going out in style / I ain't good looking but I'm someone's child / No one can give me the air that's mine to breathe.”

As the band explodes into the chorus we hear a symphony of rock-n-roll noise referred to by some as the “wall of sound”: Endless layers of electric guitars, swirling lead guitar, rumbling bass, and slamming drums. All this and more supports Liam’s iconic vocal delivery and Noel's epic harmonies to create that unmistakable Oasis sound. The famous lyrics, "All my people right here, right now / D'you know what I mean?" have been echoing through time for the last 26 years. And fans all over the world continue to sing along to this rock-n-roll juggernaut, whether they know what Liam means or not.


Unfortunately, we haven’t heard new music from Oasis since their tumultuous 2009 breakup. However, there are rumors circulating that the band is scheduling a reunion tour for 2025. Whether or not that means we’ll be hearing new music from this legendary band remains to be seen. In the meantime, if you’d like to listen to “D'You Know What I Mean” or any of Oasis’ other fi ne music, you can fi nd it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like to learn more about Oasis, you can fi nd them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.


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16 October 2023 Old Town Crier RON POWERS HIGH NOTES
AFTER HOURS These establishments offer live entertainment. Call to con rm show times, dates and cover charges. Check our advertisers’ websites.

From the Vault, September 2015: These novels remain compelling and evergreen. I also recommend The Kremlin’s Candidate, which was published as the last in this trilogy after I wrote this review.

As one who lived in Russia twice since the fall of the Soviet Union and visited the American Embassy in Moscow several years ago as part of a diplomatic delegation, I consider them among the best Russiaset spy thrillers I have read in recent years. What would Jason Matthews, Graham Greene, or someone as gloomily introspective as John Le Carré write about gathering intelligence during Russia’s war on Ukraine? May Vladimir Putin end his reign and the Ukrainian people resoundingly repel his aggression.

Ripped from the heart of Mother Russia, Jason Matthews’s spy novels Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason are two very enjoyable ways to while away this month. Red Sparrow won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American in 2014. Its successor is a worthy follow-up, packed as completely with inventive plots, the type of burned-on-theretina characters that make thrillers actual page-turners, and a dizzying variety of locales that would satisfy even Jason Bourne’s lust for travel.

The characters dancing fi rst in Red Sparrow are the SVR operations officer, Corporal Dominika Egorova, and CIA case officer Nathaniel Nash. Egorova, a once-promising prima ballerina and pure-blooded Russian patriot, sidelined by a foot injury, is introduced to the world of Russian spycraft by her sleazy uncle, First Deputy of the Foreign Intelligence Service Ivan Egorov. He uses her beauty to sideline one of Vladimir Putin’s rival oligarchs during an evening à deux in the oligarch’s apartment on Moscow’s Arbat.

After her training in traditional operations, her uncle sends her to Sparrow School, a degrading Soviet-style institution where she must learn to act the courtesan professionally, using sex to compromise foreign operatives with access to intelligence. Egorova, an artistic synesthete

From Russia, With Love

who sees objects, music, dance, and people’s personalities in waves of color, makes great progress in understanding their motives with the aid of this gift, unknown to her colleagues. Gradually the sharp-witted operations

officer grows disgusted with the bureaucracy, brutality, and chauvinism she encounters on her way to becoming an officer. She longs to exhibit her independence and defend Russia, but her superiors make it impossible.

Her counterpart, Nate Nash, has other points to prove. One of the scions of a staid Southern family with his father heading an old Richmond law fi rm, he breaks free of tradition to study Russian. While his family doubts that he will stay in the service, he makes his way through school and lands a plum assignment in Moscow, where he ends up running an extremely high-placed mole code-named MARBLE. When Nash is ejected from Russia by an incompetent superior and sent to run his Russian mole from Finland’s CIA station, he sets off on a collision course with Egorova, whose uncle sends her to spy on him. Their meeting seems to set the course for a potential series of spy novels, of which Palace of Treason may only be the second. The novels pick up one after another as each service hunts frenetically for high-placed moles in their midst, coming close to fi nding them as plots spiral and take shortcuts down dark alleys. Characters take on new roles as the plots progress. Matthews packs his writings with an alluringly over-thetop cast of characters. On the Russian side, they include everyone from a Lubyanka-era torturer with Kremlin ties slithering his way through the 2010s, hired assassins with equally dubious pasts in Afghanistan, honorable generals, and the SovietMan toadies surrounding President Vladimir Putin himself at a St. Petersburg retreat.

The Americans include fresh-faced recruits in training, screw-ups who fail upwards to important positions where they can do the most damage, and funny, capable veterans and Chiefs of Station who have served in European capitals and every hardship post from Managua to N’Djamena. Cowboy heroes abound on the American side, but that is as it should be in American spy fiction.

These works prove their strength with plots that move incessantly, bringing in outside players such as the Iranians, who are searching for ways to improve their nuclear program unbeknownst to the Americans. In the meantime, the old Cold War partners spar, thrust, and occasionally expel each other’s diplomats. I much prefer my spy thrillers action-oriented as well as atmospheric, unless they have literary reason to be otherwise, and Jason Matthews has delivered well-written suspense with plausible drama. He includes a recipe for a dish mentioned at the end of every chapter in both books, adding a fun touch for foodies. For armchair travelers, these works will help you check in to a great destination. From Moscow to Athens to Helsinki to Paris to Vienna, operations hopscotch across Europe. Readers living in and around Washington, DC will have great fun following the players on the DC-area stage, from Georgetown to Southern Maryland to the George Washington Parkway, not to mention the lovely Meridian Hill Park in DC, site of a huge plot development with the FBI and CIA in Palace of Treason.

As one who has focused on Russian studies over time, I appreciate Matthews’ understanding of certain types of Russian mentalities that never seem to fade away. His understanding of current geopolitics and how Russia fits into that picture, in particularly regarding the United States of America, is spoton.

Unfortunately, it seems that the more things change in Russia, the more they stay the same. Therefore, Matthews’s books fulfill one of my requirements: accuracy. Not only are they entertaining, but they also give someone new to the subject a broad overview of Vladimir Putin’s goals and paranoia as the head of the Russian leadership, and accurately show how he operates. As Egorova notes when listening to one of her classmates, “Interesting. The Cold War never ended.” Indeed it has not.

If you would like to send comments, feel free to send them to the author at krameroldtowncrier@ yahoo.com.

Old Town Crier October 2023 17

Spooky Season Fun

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 was on 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.

Halloween, celebrated each year on October 31, is a mix of ancient Celtic practices, Catholic and Roman religious rituals and European folk traditions that blended together over time to create the holiday we know today. Straddling the line between fall and winter, plenty and paucity and life and death, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. Halloween has long been thought of as a day when the dead can return to the earth, and ancient Celts would light bonfi res and wear costumes to ward off these roaming ghosts. The Celtic holiday of Samhain, the Catholic Hallowmas period of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day and the Roman festival of Feralia all influenced the modern holiday of Halloween. In the 19th century, Halloween began to lose its religious connotation, becoming a more secular community-based children's holiday. Although the superstitions and beliefs surrounding Halloween may have evolved over the years, as the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, people can still look forward to parades, costumes and sweet treats to usher in the winter season.

One of the most popular activities surrounding the celebration is carving Jack O’lanterns. People have been making Jack O'lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack."

According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset

by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the Jack O'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect Jack O'lanterns.

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

Stingy Jack - The Legend of the Jack O’Lantern
October 2023 19


Over the years, the Annapolis Boat Shows have developed a reputation as an excellent venue to debut boats. This year, the Annapolis Powerboat Show (October 5-8) and the Annapolis Sailboat Show (Oct 12-15) will again feature a great selection of premiering boats from manufacturers from around the world.

“There is no better place to search for the perfect vessel for your next adventure than our fall shows,” says Sheila Jones, general manager of the Annapolis Boat Shows. “These cutting-edge models are the result of years of research, engineering excellence, and a commitment from our wonderful exhibitors to providing our show guests with the ultimate on-water experience.”

The best way to experience your next boat is in-person and on the water, and the Annapolis Boat Shows provide attendees the opportunity to climb aboard

hundreds of boats. Small boats, weekend cruisers, performance sailboats, innovative center consoles, multihulls, luxury yachts, and modern monohulls spring from the drawing boards of engineers and designers to line Ego Alley, eagerly awaiting the inspecting eyes of boat lovers and potential new owners.

Climb aboard brand-new center consoles such as the Donzi 39VRZ, Contender 26BAY, Sportsman Open 252, the latest Everglades model, as well as the Sportsman 231 Heritage and 232 Open that will both feature the Seakeeper Ride System. The exciting new all-electric Candela C-8 hydrofoil boat will make its Annapolis debut. Brandnew manufacturer Aluminus Ray will show off their latest model, among other exquisite models making their debut such as the Princess V50, Regal LS9, Solara S-310 Sport Coupe, as well as the Fountain 39DX_CS.

Over 300 new powerboats and counting will fill the Annapolis harbor for the Powerboat Show fi rst weekend in October. Dealers will have their booths staffed with dedicated teams of experts to provide information, answer questions, and assist attendees in exploring the features and benefits of each model.

When the Powerboat Show winds down, the powerboats will head south, and the sailboats will take center stage for the Annapolis Sailboat Show, the largest in-water sailboat show in the world. Over 100 sailboats will line the docks and hundreds of colorful flags and banners waving from the masts at City Dock, a sight not to be missed.

“The Annapolis Sailboat Show is the most important event that we have in America for sailboats,” says Eric LeVine, director of Lagoon USA for Groupe Beneteau. “It’s the Super

Bowl of sailboat shows, both in terms of the group image and in sales.”

Monohulls making their North American debut include Jeanneau Yachts 55, Aventure 37, Dufour 41, Italia Yachts 12.98 and 14.98, Solaris 44, Hanse 510, and Beneteau Oceanis 37.1 and the RS Toura.

One of the biggest draws will be the 50 plus multihulls from 25 different manufacturers ranging from the tiny Guppy to a 66’ luxury catamaran. Debuting models include the Bali Catsmart, HH44, Seawind 1170, Fountaine Pajot Aura 51, and Aventura 37. Also making their world premier is the highly anticipated Tao 452, a fast and spacious midsize performance catamaran that is yacht grade in every respect; and the Xquisite 30 Sportcat that features a mini keel to offer convenience when navigating shallow waters.

Over the two weekends, over 650 exhibitors will showcase

boats, electronics, engines, boating clubs, sailmakers, charter companies, accessory and equipment providers, foul weather gear, boating clothing, and more. In addition to the impressive boat displays and new products, the fall shows bring a host of educational opportunities, special events, boating celebrities, and marine industry experts. Businesses and restaurants, including the four that open into the Shows, welcome showgoers with open arms.

“It is an exciting time,” said Sheila Jones, General Manager of the Annapolis Boat Shows. “Annapolis is the place to be and experience the best of the boating life in October. We have over 200 manufacturers from 10 countries exhibiting this year. We can’t wait for opening day.”

For a complete list and descriptions of the new and premiering boats at the Annapolis Sailboat Show, visit AnnapolisBoatShows.com

20 October 2023 Old Town Crier FROM THE BAY MICHAELA WATKINS
Mark your calendars for the Annapolis Powerboat Show (October 5-8) and Annapolis Sailboat Show (October 12-15 ). Tickets are available for advance purchase on the Annapolis Boat Shows website. For more information, visit AnnapolisBoatShows.com. Photo courtesy of Annapolis Boat shows
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Harvest of Hunt Country Happenings!

If you're not busy hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding or otherwise enjoying the outdoors at this time of year, head west—an embarrassment of riches awaits you. Even if you're not rich, there's so much to see and do this month with the spectacular weather and fall palette to enjoy it in, that a list of everything to do would fill this entire magazine. So…we've narrowed down a list of things to so and see that are proven winners if you're looking for a day or weekend trip. Our 2023 fall activities range from free to inexpensive to moderate; check websites or contact numbers for details.

October 14: Virginia Fall Races & Field Hunter Championship Finals, Glenwood Park , Foxcroft Rd. 1 mile north of Middleburg, Va. Horse lovers can take in two days of steeplechase racing in a beautiful setting under 200 year old trees at one of the area's premiere social and sporting events. Gates open at 10 a.m. Post time for Saturday's fi rst race is 1:30. General admission for 4 starts at $30; box seats, railside and picnic parking spaces are available by calling (540) 687-5662 or visiting www.vafallraces.com

October 14: Annual Fauquier Farm Tour featuring thoroughbred horse breeding and training facilities, a winery, an orchard, beef and sheep farms as well as the Fauquier Educational Farm, demonstration gardens by local Master Gardeners and Sky Meadows State Park's Fall Farm Festival. Hay rides, farm-fresh local goodies and more at this year's tour, which features the beautiful scenery of Northern Fauquier County in and around The Plains, Marshall, Delaplane, Markham, Hume and Orlean. Print a brochure and fi nd more information at www.fauquierag.com

October 21 & 22: Loudoun County Fall Farm Color Tour is a self-guided tour of various farms around Loudoun. You can sample or purchase apples, pumpkins, trees and other seasonal goodies or bounce ideas off proprietors of vineyards, nurseries and farms; the kids can learn about cows, horses, llamas, sheep while enjoying the colorful backdrop of the Blue Ridge, Sugarloaf and Short Hill mountains. For information, or other farms that are open for visitors during the month, visit www. loudounfarms.org

October 28: International Gold Cup Races, Great Meadow, Corner Rt. 17 & Old Tavern Rd., The Plains; gates open at 10 a.m., post time 1 p.m., advance ticket purchase from $55 call (540) 3472612 or visit www.vagoldcup.com

Bull Run Post Office Rd., www.claytargetsonline. com If you'd rather watch, not shoot birds, clay or otherwise, there's a free bird watching walk October 28th at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, 11661 Harper's Ferry Rd., Purcellville at their gorgeous 900-acre refuge near Harper's Ferry and the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers. It's free, and led by a birding expert from the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy; call (540) 554-2542 or visit www. bcres.org

Looking for a local corn maze or hayride in northern Virginia? Scroll down this page and you will see the all of those in northern Virginia, sorted by county. Some are huge corn mazes with hayrides, pumpkins, corn cannons, inflatables and others are simple corn mazes with little else. Most also have loads of pumpkins to choose from. To really make it fun for your kids, look for those that have the extra activities, like a corn cannon, cow train, inflatables, farm animals, pumpkin patch or zip lines. There is usually a small fee for the mazes (of course, the more elaborate mazes tend to charge more. Hayrides are often free. Always call before you go to confi rm whether they are open this year and any requirements. For a list of mazes log on to https://cornmazesandmore.org/VAnorthern.php

The October full moon, known as the Hunters Moon, is Thursday October 28th this year. Book a hunt at www.shady-grove.com . If you aren't a hunter, try your hand at sporting clays, one of the fastest-growing sports in the Mid Atlantic area at www.shady-grove.com/SportingClays.htm or at the Bull Run Shooting Center in Centreville, 7700

And, a reminder: If leaf peeping and photographing/viewing scenery tops your agenda, consider taking off midweek, especially the second half of October, the peak foliage times. Traffic can get heavy, and you do get enough of that inside the beltway, don't you? The pretty country roads including the Skyline Drive (see the Road Trip column in this issue) can get crowded with gawking tourists, motorcyclists and bicycle riders each weekend in October.

22 October 2023 Old Town Crier TO THE BLUE RIDGE JULIE REARDON
Photo by John McCaslin

Cruising Along Skyline Drive

In 1924 the search for a national park site in the east brought the Southern Appalachian National Park Committee to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Their job was to fi nd a site accessible to the 49 million Americans living in eastern cities including Washington, D.C.

The committee recommended the site that is today visited by millions of Americans each year...Shenandoah National Park.

As part of that recommendation the committee, recognizing the proliferation of the automobile, suggested that he "greatest single feature" of the proposed park should be a ‘skyline’ drive along the mountain top, following a continuous ridge and looking down westerly on the Shenandoah Valley...and also commanding a view of the Piedmont Plain stretching easterly to the Washington Monument."

Construction of such a roadway was a pioneering work of landscape architecture and engineering, as well as a famous workrelief project. Work was begun before the park was even established using emergency employment relief funds, and continued by the boys of the Civilian Conservation

Corps (CCC) who spent thousands of hours building beautiful rock walls and landscaping sweeping overlooks to make Skyline Drive the experience it has been for over 75 years.

It was on September 15, 1934, that the fi rst section of the Drive, 34 miles long, was opened for travel. This made available an extensive region of the Blue Ridge in which was located the vast central portion of the proposed Shenandoah National Park extending from Thornton Gap, where U.S. Highway 211 crosses the ridge, to Swift Run Gap, there the historic Spotswood trail, U.S. No. 33, winds over the mountains. Within a year more than one-half million visitors were attracted to this portion of the park.

Recognizing that additional facilities soon would be necessary and responding to the public's desire for enjoyment of more of the famed Blue Ridge, the Service bent every effort to fi nish the second link of the Drive from Front Royal to Thornton Gap by the fall of 1939. That northern portion was opened officially October 1st and for the next three weeks the travel was enormous on the 32-mile stretch.

It was on the aforementioned stretch that we decided to take our annual pre-leaf peeping Road Trip this year. We are very familiar with the drive and its surroundings since we deliver the Old Town Crier to this area each month and sometimes take a side trip on portions of it. The day we picked to focus on just the drive was a beautiful 72 degrees with blue skies.

We entered the Drive at Front Royal where there were a number of vehicles in both lines being admitted to the park. There is a fee (depends on the vehicle for price) to enter the park. I am lucky as I purchased a senior citizen pass many years ago for a mere $25 that allows any vehicle I am in and all occupants in free. This applies to ALL National Parks.

It was 72 degrees as we began our ascent on the mountains. After taking in the fi rst few views at the overlooks we were soon farther up the mountain and in 68 degree temps. This is something to remember if you come in the cooler months...expect a temperature drop from 4 to 8 degrees. The shortest elevation is at the entrance at 561 feet at the entrance and the highest is Hawksbill

24 October 2023 Old Town Crier ROAD TRIP BOB TAGERT

at 4,050 feet. The area is resplendent with verdant forest and species such as white-tailed deer, black bear and red fox, not to mention the many smaller animals that scurry through and across the road. Because of the wildlife it is always wise to maintain the posted 35 MPH speed limit...after all, didn't you come to see the scenery?

Shortly after entering the Park, you will come to a visitor’s center. This is a good stop to catch the view and learn more about the Drive and the overlooks. It is a good orientation point to begin your trip.

If you get a nice clear day on your visit, the views will be spectacular. You can see the Shenandoah River snaking its way through the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the Piedmont region of Virginia to the east. Crisp fall days bring brilliant leaf colors, usually peaking between mid to late

October. During this time when the "leaf peepers" arrive, plan to go during the week and skip the weekends. With the coming of winter you will fi nd more clear days and leaf-bare trees and this is the time for distant views and tumbling waterfalls.

As we exited the park at Thornton Gap we could either head west to Luray or east to Sperryville to fi nd a beverage and bite to eat. The town of Luray has much to offer including everything from brewery and distillery experiences to white table cloth dining spots with the requisite fast food joints included. We chose to go east to Sperryville - one of my favorite little towns with big dreams. We made it to Copper Fox Distillery an hour before closing (6pm) and found two comfortable chairs on the back porch, ordered a Single Malt Whiskey and a Peach smoked Rye...delicious. Doesn’t hurt that we also had a nice view of the Thorton easing its way over the rocks beyond the porch and got

to see our favorite distillery cats – Midnight and Steve. After a second drink and a nice cigar, we headed a few blocks to The Black Twig Restaurant. The Black Twig is relatively new to the area and they are doing a great job. Very good food and a reasonable price. They even have their own ninehole golf course that visitors can play. Forgot your clubs? They have some for you.

If you are looking for accommodations for overnight, check out the Mimslyn Inn in Luray, Shadow Mountain Escape (couples only) at the foot of the mountain. On the other end, check out the Rappahannock Getaways ad in this issue for the Cottage in Sperryville, the Loft in Little Washington or a whole house at Revel Farm in Sperryville.

Take a Road Trip this fall…the Mountains are calling.

October 2023 25
Old Town Crier

The Best Credit Cards for Caribbean Travel

If a Caribbean vacation rates as a dream, the fantasy is to get the trip paid for by someone else. And one way to do that is by signing up for a credit card where you earn points that can be used to defer the cost of travel.

Airfare and lodging are typically the two biggest expenses for Caribbean travelers, so choosing a credit card that rewards purchases with points that can be used for flights or hotel stays is your best bet for underwriting your next tropical trip. Some of these cards are specific to certain airlines or hotel chains, while others deliver reward points that can be used generally to book travel on the airline or at the hotel of your choice.

Here are our picks for the top rewards credit cards for Caribbean travel:

American Airlines

AAdvantage Mastercard

American Airlines has more flights to the Caribbean and Latin American of any airline, with more than 800 weekly flights to 35 Caribbean destinations plus Mexico’s Caribbean coast. Holders of the Citi bank issued American Airlines AAdvantage Mastercard thus have the most choices for redeeming rewards points for an island getaway. The Advantage Mastercard comes in four versions — the entry-level MileUp Mastercard, the Platinum Select Mastercard, the Executive Mastercard, and the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard. Introductory miles bonuses range from 10,000 to 65,000 points, depending on the card selected; useful perks include priority boarding and — for the Executive Mastercard — entry into American Airlines Admirals Club airport lounges. However, Caribbean-bound travelers should note that the free checked bags offered on the Platinum, Executive, and CitiBusiness cards are for domestic flights only, so you’ll still pay to check bags to the Caribbean.

Delta Air Lines

SkyMiles American Express Card

Delta flies to 13 Caribbean destinations plus Mexico, Bermuda and Costa Rica: the airline’s

regional routes include popular destinations like Punta Cana and Montego Bay as well as less-traveled cities like Port au Prince, Haiti, and Havana, Cuba. If you’re a traveler used to paying off your credit card balance in full each month, the SkyMiles Amex Card may be a good choice: the card comes in Gold, Platinum, and Reserve versions, with introductory bonus mile offers of 40,000 to 50,000 miles. All offer priority boarding, and fi rst checked bag fee waivers; the Platinum and Reserve cards have higher fees but include reimbursement for TSA Global Entry membership, airport lounge access, and a free annual companion travel certificate.

Southwest Airlines

Rapid Rewards Visa

Southwest Airlines brings its low-fare model and Rapid Rewards program to eight Caribbean destinations — Aruba, Grand Cayman, Havana, Montego Bay, Nassau, Punta Cana, Providenciales, and San Juan — and the Mexican Caribbean. The airline’s Rapid Rewards Visa, issued by Chase, has a 60,000-point introductory offer, plus a promo code that can be used to take 30 percent off an upcoming flight. Top perks include priority boarding and the ability to earn points toward a companion pass. The card comes in Plus, Premier, and Priority versions.

JetBlue Mastercard

JetBlue Airways flies to more than two dozen destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America, including some unexpected places like Guadeloupe and Guyana. The Barclays Bank issued JetBlue Mastercard comes in a base version with no annual fee and 10,000 introductory points and a Plus version with a $99 annual fee with 60,000 bonus points. The latter includes free fi rst checked bags, a $100 statement credit when booking a JetBlue Vacations package, and 5,000 bonus points each year.


Airlines Explorer Card

United Airlines includes more than 20 “beach destinations” in the Caribbean, Mexico’s Riviera Maya, and Latin America on its route

map, and travelers can use points earned on the Explorer card to visit any of them. The Chase Visa Signature card entices new users with 50,000 introductory bonus miles plus perks like two United Club passes each year, free fi rst checked bags, priority boarding, and up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or NEXUS fee credits.

Marriott Bonvoy

Marriott has more than 80 hotels in the Caribbean, ranging from basic brands like Courtyard to five star luxury RitzCarlton and St. Regis resorts. Unique properties are grouped under the Autograph collection, while Marriott increasingly offers stays at all-inclusive brands like Royalton. Marriott’s Bonvoy credit cards come in four versions — two Visa cards and two American Express cards. The Bold Visa is the no annual fee card and comes with 30,000 introductory points, while the Boundless Visa has a $95 annual fee but includes three free nights as an introductory offer. The Amex cards have higher fees but bigger signup bonuses and include Marriott elite-level status.

Hyatt Visa

The World of Hyatt includes dozens of Caribbean, Latin America, and Riviera Maya properties, from Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara all-inclusive resorts to distinctive resorts like The Reef by Cuisinart in Anguilla. The Chase Hyatt Visa card offers 30,000 bonus points to new members plus an opportunity to earn another 30,000, a free night each year, and the ability to earn a second free night based on how much you charge in a year.

Hilton Honors

Hilton’s Caribbean portfolio includes 30-plus hotels, from business (and budget) friendly Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites properties and downtown hotels to luxury resorts like the Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa. With the Hilton Honors American Express, users can earn up to 70,000 bonus points on the no-annual-fee level credit card to use on resort stays plus a free night certificate. The Hilton Amex card also is available in Surpass ($95 annual fee) and Aspire (4450 annual fee) versions with more bonus points and other perks.

Capital One Venture Card

Want a travel rewards credit card that’s not affiliated with a particular hotel chain or airline? The Capital One Venture Card is consistently rated as one of the best credit cards for earning points toward travel. The card has a $395 annual fee but gives $300 of that back in the form of statement credits for travel-related expenses, and perks include 75,000 introductory bonus miles, 10,000 anniversary miles, and $100 toward TSA PreCheck or Global Entry.

Publishers Note: We are happy to partner with Alexander Britell, Founder and Editor in Chief of the Miami, Florida based Caribbean Journal and his staff contributing to the OTC and our Caribbean Connection Section. Check out the popular online magazine/website at caribjournal.com.


Now that we're all working remotely Wouldn't you REALLY rather work from the beach?



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PORK BARREL BBQ 2312 Mount Vernon Ave. 703-822-5699

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ROCK IT GRILL 1319 King St. 703-739-2274

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Old Town Crier October 2023 29

River Bend Bistro & Wine Bar- Celebrating 10 Years!

Ten years ago this month, Bill Ross and Caroline Bruder Ross opened River Bend Bistro & Wine Bar. Both Bill and Caroline are well known in Old Town as Bill was a partner in Letter Comm Type and Caroline was cheffing in some of Washington's well-known establishments. As their dream began to take shape, they looked around to fi nd a suitable building to open their restaurant. They ended up choosing a part of the former Village Wharf Restaurant in the Hollin Hall Shopping center in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria.

As Bill began to put all of the fi nancing together, Caroline began working on the menu. The end result was a perfect fit all the way around –flavorful offerings with something for every palate without being overwhelming, perfect portions and a very reasonable price point.

On October 21, 2013 they opened their doors.

Notwithstanding the headaches involved with the buildout, their opening was a great success and they have had a very successful ten years. The menu features Snacks, Starters, Entrees, a nice choice of sides and some impressive desserts.

They kick the menu off with eight Snacks featuring three flat breads: Hot Italian Sausage, Wild Mushroom and Parmesan - Oven Dried Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Roasted Garlic - grilled Radicchio and gorgonzola w/balsamic glaze. Rounding out the Starters are Caramelized Onion Tater Tots, Sweet Potato Biscuits with Edward's Country Ham and daily cheese and charcuterie selections. East Coast Oysters on the Half Shell are on the Fall menu as well.

The Starters feature 3 salads, Vitello Tonnato, Roasted Honeynut Squash Soup, Crispy Duck Confit w/frisee salad and Smoked Oyster Dip. There is also a Soup of Day offering.

The Dinner menu includes choices ranging from Smoked Pork Chops, Pan Seared Scallops, Grilled Fillet of Salmon, Sauteed Crab Cakes, Roasted Duck Breast to Roasted Chicken Breast with fresh Tagliatelle Pasta, Cotswold Mac and Cheese, Today's Risotto and Grilled Shoulder Tenderloin. Prices range from $12 to $28.

Most of our visits are for lunch so that we can visit our friend Kathy Coombs who tends bar Wednesday through Friday days. That being said, we are very familiar with that menu. Lunch Entrees include a few of the dinner offerings along with their very popular Chedder Cheeseburger, a Liverwurst Sandwich and the House smoked Eye of Round Sandwich, Tagliatelle Pasta to Poached Salmon and Grilled Ham and Brie Sandwich. River Bend also offers a special each day and if you are lucky, you will be there when it is Shrimp and Grits.

They also offer seven different desserts highlighted by their Seasonal Fruit Cobbler and Rosemary Olive Oil Cake, and as it says on the menu...It's Delicious, Trust Me!

River Bend’s Brunch is very popular as well. We decided to take some friends on that rainy Sunday when the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia were coming through. We figured we wouldn’t have to wait for a table since most sane people were staying home. We got there early and did indeed get seated immediately but they were filling up as we left.

As with the Dinner and Lunch menus they offer the aforementioned Snacks and Starters. Their Entrees start off with the expected 2 Eggs Any Style, with Bacon or Sausage and Home Fries for $10 and Traditional Eggs Benedict for $12. The Ike - Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Pickled Red Onion, Capers and a Fried Egg on Toasted Rye Bread for $15. Waffles (Mom's recipe) with Maple Syrup and Sausage, Pancakes with Maple Syrup

and Bacon for $8. The Wild Mushroom Omelette is $12. The non-breakfast items are five selections from the lunch menu...Cheeseburger, Liverwurst Sandwich, Eve Round sandwich, Tagliatelle Pasta and Cotswold Mac and Cheese.

I ordered their special which was Steak and Eggs. Two perfectly cooked over easy eggs with a nice ribeye and toast. The eggs were very good and the steak was exceptional...medium rare and very tender. The ladies ordered Eggs Benedict and my pal ordered 2 Eggs, etc. We are very particular about eggs benedict and they never disappoint at River Bend.

Check their web site for a complete and comprehensive menu.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that service at this establishment. The dynamic duo of Non and Antonio were on the floor during our visit. They work together like a well-oiled machine. Friendly, attentive and efficient.

Bill and Caroline have realized their goal of serving good food at a fair price and compliments their menu with a large selection of good wines. Caroline knows her wine inside and out and has chosen an impressive selection with a price point that fits everyone’s budget.

If you haven’t been, give River Bend Bistro a try for dinner, lunch or brunch or just stop in for a friendly cocktail at the bar. There is plenty of FREE parking. Be sure to tell them Happy Anniversary and that you read about it in the Old Town Crier.

30 October 2023 Old Town Crier DINING OUT THE GASTRONOMES
River Bend Bistro 7966 Fort Hunt Road Hollin Hall Shopping Center (703) 347-7545 Riverbendbistro.com
Old Town Crier October 2023 31 Daniel O'Connell's Irish Restaurant and Bar danieloconnells www danieloconnells com Fax: 703.739.1125 Book your Holiday Party Today! 703.739.1124 info@danieloconnells.com 112 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314


It’s Virginia Wine Month. Our local vineyards are bringing in the new crop and celebrating the harvest. There is music, food, good company, and, of course, good wine toasted against beautiful blue skies. Amidst the celebration and excitement of a bountiful harvest, the wine industryworld wide - is facing challenges.

I have a wine writer friend who is putting together a story about the current state of the wine industry. I decided to share my thoughts in this forum as well.. It may be a bit heavy and a bit in the weeds, but it is a reality for us and important to share with those we have come to call friends and those we rely on, our customers and appreciators. We can weather any changes together. What follows, are my answers to his questions.

As shown in a recent wine industry report, the wine sales trends are down. What do you see as a tailwind to keep you positive?

First, having been in this industry for four decades now, we have seen a number of highs and lows in the demand for our products. This will shift again but we need to ride out the storm and evolve as best we can. As grape farmers, we have to keep growing our fruit to keep our vineyards healthy. Taking a year off is not an option, so we try to fi nd new homes and new markets.

Second, I am always encouraged to see young, energetic folks wanting to work in this industry. We need them and their excitement and energy to be part of this industry and help it thrive. Old codgers like me need to welcome the new folks as they will help take our wine trails, regions and reputations to the next level.. There is a lot to learn, but also a bit of old school to embrace. New vines thrive when grafted with the old.

2. What are headwinds or challenges that you see need to be addressed?

A friend told me recently that,

Tough Questions

“bourbon is the new IPA,” we need to understand that all beverages seem to have their moment. We need to redefi ne and promote our next thing, new or old. For example, the younger generation is generally not looking to build up a wine cellar —hey barely have furniture. Seasoned wine folks bank up wine. We need to recognize this trend and educate about the value of cellaring wines. It can be a tough sell.

3. What are you doing or hope to be doing to carry your business through this trend?

My wife has been our mixologist in the tasting room. We have monthly themes and with each theme, she creates different wine cocktails, sangrias or mulled wine to fit —using our wines. This enables us to offer not just great wine, but a little something new and different. We have also been selling wine in different containers — not strictly traditional bottles. Quality wine in a pouch or a box is a relatively new thing. We started this a few years ago and it has grown well with our retail customers. We have also been making smaller batches of new wine, and making more styles of wines hoping to stay relevant to consumers tastes and wants. This is not easy!

4. Some say that the wine industry is not working together to address the obvious demand issue in the wine category. Agree, disagree, and what could they do better?

Well, we have been down this road before. I think we are addressing it as an industry but we can do better. Our local wine industry is a product, wine. But we are more than just our product. We have evolved into a fabulous experience where visitors can come out for a glass of wine, music, and great food from the winery or a food truck. But, at the end of the day, if visitors are not bringing wine home, the farm wineries are not meeting their business needs. We are farmers that need to sell our product. Selling

by the glass, or wholesale to the wine shop is not enough to survive. We all love what we do and we want to share that love with our guests. Selling our bottles makes all of the difference. Got Local Wine? Maybe that could be a new slogan to help our local and regional wineries spread the message. There is an old adage in the wine, whiskey, and bourbon industries — the angel share. When our precious wine is aging in the barrel, some is lost to the angels as a bit inevitably evaporates and we lose a little of what we started with. Maybe it’s time in the industry to let the angel share go. Let go of what isn’t working, hold on to what is, and make room for the new innovations and ideas to take root.

As this is Virginia Wine Month, we all look forward to seeing you at the wineries, dinners and events to celebrate what we have done over the past few decades. Keep us going, share a bottle with a new taster, visit your old favorite winery or discover a new one. Your patronage will make all the difference in our industry! Thank you from our roots!

About the Author: Farmer,

winemaker, entrepreneur, educator, and leader, Doug Fabbioli has been accelerating the growth and quality of Virginia’s wine industry since 1997. With his wife Colleen, Doug is the owner/operator of Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg, VA. He is the founder and director of The New Ag School, which focuses on teaching the next generation of farmers and agriculture-related leaders. No wonder they call Doug Fabbioli the Godfather of DC's Wine Country.

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Reaching for the Sky: Virginia’s High Altitude Vineyards

Standing on the deck of her tasting room, Ankida Ridge Farm & Vineyards owner Christine Vrooman gestured at the scenery before her. “We have a little valley here and a little valley there, and cold air moves down them to the bottom of the mountain. We’ve never been touched by spring frost, and our disease pressure is low since we never get morning dew. I could have called it Utopia Ridge.”

The benefits Christine described are the main reasons winemakers around the world prize mountaintop sites. While farming high, steep slopes is difficult, the grapes’ access to cool weather and direct sunlight gives them the ability to produce complex, high-quality wine.

Ankida is one of Virginia’s fi rst high mountain vineyards, but it’s not alone. While there’s no specific defi nition of what constitutes ‘high altitude’, a handful of Virginia wineries including 12 Ridges Vineyard (highest elevation 3,300 feet), Rock Roadhouse (3,000 feet), Ankida (1,800 feet), Fox Meadow (1,750 feet), Stone Mountain (1,750 feet) and Hazy Mountain’s Little North Mountain Vineyard in Swoope (1,700 feet) easily qualify for this prestigious club. The Advantages (and Tradeoffs) of High Altitude

Christine’s description of how frosty air bypasses her vineyard isn’t an exaggeration. The phenomenon that allows mountaintop wineries to avoid frost is called a ‘thermal belt,’ and is one of the most important advantages of growing at higher altitudes.

Cold air is dense, and like water, flows to the lowest point available. The influx of cold air displaces lighter warm air, which rises. This results in a narrow zone where the temperature is warmer than the air above and below it.

As Ankida is 1,000 feet higher than the bottom of the valley the morning cold air passes through the vineyard, but like an unwanted guest is shown the way out. This lets the vines stay

within a consistent temperature range, one that is conducive for growing grapes.

“Mornings start off warmer than the town below, but in the afternoon, the vineyard is typically 5-15 degrees cooler than the surrounding lower regions. Even in a hot summer, the temperature never hits 90 degrees,” Christine explained.

as good airflow keeps the canopy free from moisture.

But as with nearly everything, there’s a tradeoff.

As the second highest elevation vineyard on the East Coast, 12 Ridges is an especially cool climate site. During a tour of their vineyard adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway, winegrower Josh Seaman discussed how bud break doesn’t even start until late April. While this puts them past much of the ‘danger zone’ of a spring frost, being 3-4 weeks behind the rest of the state elevates their risk to hurricane season.

Cool weather sites must also juggle the tradeoff between ripeness and acidity. Heat ripens grapes on the vine but simultaneously causes their acidity to drop. This means 12 Ridges’ fruit struggles to ripen even into September. Windy conditions also make fruit set more difficult.

Higher altitude vineyards have several other advantages. Grapes grown in such locations are subjected to stronger UV rays, resulting in thicker skins that provide more intense color and bolder tannins.

Strong winds also mean mountaintop vineyards have less disease pressure,

Virginia Wines That Showcase High Altitude Terroir

The cool yet consistent temperature range found at higher altitudes also allows them different options in the vineyard. It’s not a coincidence several of these wineries are the state’s biggest producers of pinot noir, a wine so notoriously difficult its nickname is “the heartbreak grape.”


“One of the things that drew me to pinot is it has a shorter growing season, so it’s ideal for up here in the mountains,” said Stone Mountain owner Deanne Gephart. “Now that we have pinot we fi nish earlier. No matter the bear pressure or what crazy weather happens, our grapes are off the vine.”

While ripening fruit in cooler temperatures can be challenging, the opportunity to create wines with high acidity is too good of an opportunity for most winemakers to pass up. Acidity makes wines crisp, food friendly, and ageable, and is increasingly difficult to attain in an era of global warming.

Acidity is also one of the key components for sparkling wine. Not coincidentally, many high altitude wineries focus on chardonnay and pinot noir, Champagne’s most famous grapes. Ankida already makes both a Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de

Noirs, and 12 Ridges plans on making sparkling wine in the future.

Virginia has a long roster of high altitude wines, so no one list can do it justice. Nevertheless, here are a few favorites:

12 Ridges 2021 Chardonnay: With high acidity and surprising weight, this wine has light apple notes reminiscent of a golden delicious. Its crispness and minerality makes it more Chablis than Burgundy in style. This is possibly the best chardonnay I’ve had all year.

Ankida Ridge 2022 Verday: How does one pick a favorite at Ankida? You don’t; but this wine earns points for being the most ‘fun’ wine of their lineup. Their “Verday” is a light, refreshing, pinot-based wine with the same zestiest of a Vinho Verde.

Fox Meadow 2022 Pinot Grigio: Comparing this to the stellar 2021 Pinot Grigo (best in class at the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association Competition) is a tough challenge, but this vintage may prove its equal. Notes of honeydew and grapefruit makes this an easy-drinking sipper.

Hazy Mountain 2019 Pinot Noir: A great example of a grape rarely seen in Virginia. Aged with French oak (30% new), this pinot is more reminiscent of Old World pinots than those found on the West Coast. Bright fruit (especially cherry), with a fi rm tannin structure.

Stone Mountain 2020 Stainless Steel

Chardonnay: While I’ll have to wait for Stone Mountain’s pinot (2023 is their fi rst harvest!) this crisp, balanced chardonnay with notes of citrus will tide me over.

About the Author: Matthew Fitzsimmons is a blogger who has visited nearly every winery in Virginia – most of them twice. Track his progress at https://winetrailsandwanderlust.com/

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Pictured above is Hazy Mountain winemaker, Luke Trainum.

That Beer You Will Always Remember

a teenager. One of Stroh’s claims to fame was that it was brewed over an open flame. I don’t know about the fi re, but there certainly was some burning.

Then there was Olde Frothingslosh. This beer was produced by Pittsburgh Brewing Company, the brewers of Pittsburgh’s famed Iron City Beer, every Christmas season. It was marketed as “The pale stale ale with the foam on the bottom.” (As if the name didn’t say it all.) It was just Iron City beer in the can. But the famously decorated cans were coveted by beer can collectors. Olde Miss Frothingslosh was depicted on the front. This fictional character was a large woman in one piece bathing suit who appeared to have just won a beauty contest, complete with crown and sash. The cans were always proudly displayed on store shelves at Christmas time.

Then there was the best beer I ever drank. The one that sticks out above all others. This beer changed for me as I grew older. As it does for most people. Our palates develop as we age.

When the craft beer era started bombarding us with new beers, people began fi nding new favorites all the time, me included. But my favorite of all time did not come from the craft beer trend, although I discovered it during the trend. It was around long before the trend ever started. It’s not an American beer. I had to go on a pilgrimage to fi nd it. I had to go to the world’s biggest keg party. I had to travel to Munich, Germany. I had to go to Oktoberfest.

There are always those beers that you will never forget. Ones that are stuck in your memory forever. It may be for a good reason. It may be for a bad reason. It may be the fi rst beer you ever drank. It may be a beer that your family enjoyed. It may be how the beer was advertised or packaged that still sticks in your mind. Or it may be the best beer that you ever drank. Beer is a huge part of not just our culture, but the world’s culture. It’s not uncommon to have a particular brand that was a part of your life.

My fi rst beer was Mickey’s Malt Liquor aka Mickey Big Mouth. That’s right, malt liquor. A name they generally used back in the old days for beer that was over 6% ABV. Mickeys came in a 12-ounce green glass barrel that looked like a hand grenade. It was a terrible brew. My 15-year-old self chugged it down and acted like it was delicious. As one was expected to do in those days. I also remember paying a price when I came home late reeking of it. My father was a stern task master.

My older brother and cousins drank Stroh’s, a supposed Bohemian-style Pilsner that came out of Detroit and was popular in the Pittsburgh area. I would steal it from them when I was

What would Goldilocks have done if all three bowls of porridge were just right? She would have had a blast! She would have danced, sang songs, and joyfully devoured all the porridge. And the three bears would have found her passed out on the table when they came home. Alright, maybe not. But that’s what would have happened to her at Oktoberfest. Which is where she should have been instead of wandering around the woods breaking into houses. This irreverent reference to Goldilocks demonstrates every beer drinker’s dilemma at Oktoberfest. All the beers are not just good, they’re great! Picking a favorite is a monumental task. It took me five trips to Munich to determine which one I liked best. It was a daunting task, but I accepted the challenge. My favorite Festbier? Augustinerbrau. This wonderful beer is light, refreshing, clean, and a delight to drink, as they all are. But the defi ning difference, Augustiner is just a little less sweet than the others. The malt is light, and the hops are crisp. That is why this one stood out to me.

By the way, Festbiers are the light lagers that replaced Marzen lagers at Oktoberfest years ago. Even here in the States, if a beer is advertised as Festbeir, it should be a light Lager, not a Marzen.

I figure the chances are low that you are going to head to Munich for Oktoberfest anytime soon. So here are a few craft beers that are either Festbiers or Marzens that I recommend for you to drink while you celebrate. Prost!!

"My first beer was Mickey’s Malt Liquor aka Mickey Big Mouth. That’s right, malt liquor. A name they generally used back in the old days for beer that was over 6% ABV. Mickeys came in a 12-ounce green glass barrel that looked like a hand grenade. It was a terrible brew. My 15-year-old self chugged it down and acted like it was delicious."

36 October 2023 Old Town Crier LET’S GET CRAFTY TIMOTHY LONG

Tim’s Whiskey and Cigar Recommendations

Tim’s Oktoberfest Craft Beer Recommendations

Oktoberfest, Port City Brewing Company

Port City always offers a great line of German beers for Oktoberfest. Among them, their Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal Award-winning Oktoberfest Marzen Style Lager, made with both Munich and Vienna Malt. Their Swarzbier is a black lager that is deep brown in color and smooth in taste, with notes of coffee and toasted malt. This one will run out before the others, so grab one soon. Their Rauch Marzen, a smoked version of their Oktoberfest bier, is also back again this year.

Sonnenblume Fest Bier, Mustang Sally Brewing Company

Mustang Sally does a great job. I enjoy many of their beers. This is a true festbier. This beer is light and bready. The body is smooth, and you get a light taste of hops. It’s clean, crisp, and refreshing. Great for an afternoon of singing songs and dancing.

Nautifest, Fairwinds Brewing Company

Fairwinds is a solid beer producer. The brewers never fail to please me. They use both Vienna and dark Munich malts to make this wonderful Marzen. It’s malty with a dark copper color. It has a good herbal nose and the maltiness on the palate is delightful. It fi nishes surprisingly dry with a hint of spice. About the Author: Timothy Long is an educator, writer, consultant, and experienced restaurant operator. Email: tlong@belmarinnovations.com . Instagram and Twitter: @wvutimmy. Blog: What is that fl y doing in my soup? http://whatfl yinmysoup.com

Blade And Bow Bourbon

As fall approaches, I always recommend Blade and Bow Bourbon. It’s produced by Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. You’ll detect peaches, honey, and hay on the nose. But then the white pepper, vanilla, oak, and spice on the palate make for a fantastic smooth experience. I must admit that I love this bourbon. There is always a bottle of this distilled delight on my shelf. But it never seems to be there for very long. At $50 a bottle and 91 Proof, it’s a perfect Oktoberfest match.

Fratello Oro Corona

Oro is Spanish for gold, and this little gem is just that. It’s a lighter Cameroon. It’s perfect for a Fall afternoon with a liter of beer in your hand. This cigar starts off creamy and woody, with a hint of pepper. As you get into the smoke, it has a saltiness and gets nutty with citrus flavors, mostly orange and lemon. Midway through, the creaminess really comes through, with hints of raspberry. It fi nishes creamy with the pepper, raspberry, and lemon lasting until the end. Prost!!

This cigar, and many other fine cigars, are available at John Crouch Tobacconist at 215 King St. in Old Town Alexandria. Mention this article and get 10% off the purchase of this month’s recommended cigar.

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The Great Pumpkin!

Going out to a pumpkin patch to pick pumpkins, is a fun filled rite of the fall season. Whether you go out to a field filled with pumpkins, or get them from a roadside stand, we want to be certain that you get the absolutely best pumpkin for carving, decorating and eating!

I have been growing pumpkins since I was a wee little lad. Which, by the way, was a long, long time ago. Friends and family members will attest that Halloween is my favorite holiday. Our website is the direct result of two hobbies running amuck, as I am both an avid gardener and a fanatic on the internet. I do not profess to know everything there is to know about gardening, but I continue to read, experiment, listen and learn as much as I can about gardening and especially pumpkins. It is with this knowledge and a whole lot of fanatical intensity that I created a website in order to share with visitors a little of what I know. Things like “Pumpkins are called Long keepers" and a healthy, uncarved pumpkin can last to Thanksgiving and beyond.

We intend to bring you both the serious and the humorous side of pumpkins. Our website, pumpkinnook.com, has been developed to be informative, but in a light hearted way. As a shrine and library to pumpkins, we seek to be both comprehensive and unique. To borrow a phrase, our Motto is: "We will leave no pumpkin unturned in our research efforts."

I hope you fi nd these tips useful in fulfilling your search for the perfect “Long Keeper”.

How to Select the Perfect Pumpkin

-Select a pumpkin that is completely orange. A partially green pumpkin might not ripen any further.

-Size is an important factor. Medium pumpkins are best for pumpkin carving. Small pumpkins are better for cooking.

-Do not pick a pumpkin that is too big for you to carry, especially if you have back problems.

-Does the shade of orange matter? If so, there are hundreds of varieties, some with different shades of orange.

-Selecting the shape is a matter of personal preference. Some like 'em tall. Others, like 'em round.

-Often, people select shapes to fit the carving patterns they will use. Pick your pattern before you go.

-Do not lift or carry a pumpkin by its stem. The pumpkin stem gives it character.

-A ripe pumpkin has a hard shell that does not dent or scratch easily when pressing on it with a thumbnail. Do this on the back or bottom of the fruit...never on the face.

-Examine the entire pumpkin for soft spots. If you

fi nd even one soft spot, go on to the next pumpkin. -Check the pumpkin for cracks and splits. If you fi nd one, examine it to be sure it is not turning into a soft spot or has mold inside of the crack.

-Look for bugs and insects. Specifically, look for holes in the pumpkin, which are indicative of insect problems.

If you are out in the pumpkin patch picking a pumpkin:

-Bring a small wagon with you. It's easier to haul tired kids and pumpkins.

-Wear boots or old sneakers. It could be wet and muddy in the pumpkin patch.

-Pick a pumpkin that you can carry back with you.

-If smaller children are carrying pumpkin, pick smaller pumpkins. Remember those little arms will probably get tired before reaching your car.

-Cut the vine on either side of the stem. After you get it home, you can trim off the remaining pieces of vine, and cut the stem at the perfect spot.

For everything you ever wanted to know about pumpkins and more, log on to pumpkinnook.com. Marshall also maintains a website about gardening in general – gardenersnet.com. Look for more excerpts from Bob in upcoming Urban Garden columns.

38 September 2023 Old Town Crier

The Eyes Have It!

Fewer things leave us feeling more refreshed than the fi rst signs of autumn. Cold, foggy mornings with frosted grass; air that smells smoky, woodsy and crisp; and that tingling excitement that comes in anticipation of the holiday season and time spent with family.

While we briefly mourn the loss of summer, not one of us will miss the days of makeup dripping off our faces under the summer sun, or hiding behind massive sunglasses because of the former. Fall is the time we unpack those boxes of chunky knits and nubby knee socks, and begin to embrace the glittering, sumptuous jewel tones that dazzle this time of year.

Autumn gets better as the days get shorter, and colors begin to unfold before our eyes. From the fiery foliage of morphing leaves, to the earthy palette of pumpkins and gourds, no other season embraces rich, refi ned colors quite like fall. So give your makeup bag an autumnal revamping that will rival the most colorful throngs of Halloween trick or treaters.

Eyes are the stars of fall so don’t be afraid to give them the vibrant attention they deserve this time of year. Bold, striking brows, sleek liner, thick lashes, and mesmerizing palates turned up on the runways at Louis Vuitton, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, and Prada.

The best way to execute a colorful eye look is to work with what you got! Use the natural color of your eyes, using complementary colors to guide you.

Baby Blues

Blue-eyed beauties should stay in the amber to bronze range. Other than that, feel free to explore this color range. If your eyes are a deep, denim blue, try a rich amber, a luxe copper, or a shimmery rust shade to provide a beautiful contrast. For pale, icy blue eyes, try a warm gold or a shade with fi ne shimmer. If you are a bit more conservative, simple earth tones look mesmerizing as well, like a taupe or slate gray. No matter what shade your baby blues, stay far away

from blue shadows and liners. The hue will dull the luminosity of your eyes, and anything in the purple family will only make you look bruised or tired. Pull inspiration from a glowing harvest moon, rich caramel apples, or the glow from a crackling fi re.

Green with Envy

With the right makeup, green eyes can be the most beautiful shade to play up with gemstone palates. The complimentary color to green is red, so choose shades with a red base, such as purples, violets, and mauves. The same goes for hazel eyes. A velvety, intense purple will instantly make either eye color pop, and the striking contrast makes your eye look more dramatic, perfect for evening. A rich plum is absolutely beautiful for autumn, whether in a matte shade or reflective pearl fi nish. Purple looks sexy, striking, and flattering with nearly every eye color, so don’t think green-eyed beauties get all the fun!

Brown Eyed Girl

Brown eyed girls, such as myself, can really have the most fun since we do not have an opposite or complementary color, meaning we can make nearly any color eye makeup work. Play around to discover some tried and true colors you can incorporate into the season. If you’re feeling experimental and funky, fi nd a sparkling amethyst hue. For an easy day-to-night shade, choose a smooth olive green or a festive emerald. I rely on a cultivated arsenal of tried and true earthy browns for a natural go-to look. It’s comfortable and appropriate for all occasions, naturally enhancing, and can be casual or sexy and smoky without muddying your doe eyes. For my brown eyes I absolutely love metallic bronzes and deep, shimmering chocolates.

Autumn is a season full of exciting possibilities and prospects—we are in

that blissful limbo after the sticky hot months of summer but before the biting winter cold and holiday chaos, and everyone seems to be in high spirits thanks to the gorgeous weather and riot of color around us. Don’t let the kids have all the fun this October with the face paint and costumes— decorate your eyes with luxurious, opulent tints and tones. Experiment with jewel tones with shadows, liners, or even colored mascaras. Intensify and deepen colors of powder shadows for special occasions or evening by wetting your makeup brush with distilled water. You can also use rich pigments, highly concentrated loose color powder that is easy to blend, long lasting and can create a subtle wash of color or an intense, dramatic effect.

Polish off your perfect look with shapely brows and black, fringed eyelashes. Autumn is the time to be bold and have confidence. Don’t limit yourself to rich, intense color with just a festive scarf—don the breathtaking palate of fall on your eyes and turn heads this season.

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Keeping Your Balance

Balance is the foundation for nearly every movement. We rely on it so much without even thinking twice about it. Balance is utilized during sitting, standing up, walking, climbing stairs, running, and not to mention…exercise, which is why I want to share a few ways to test your balance this month.

Let me start off by explaining about the two types of balance - static and dynamic. Static balance is the ability to hold a position without excessive movement for a certain amount of time, such as standing on one leg. Dynamic balance is being able to maintain control while performing a movement, such as walking a tightrope. Now, I don’t expect you to be able to actually walk a tightrope, you can leave that up to Barnum & Bailey’s Circus performers!

Here is the fi rst exercise to test your static balance: Stand upright with your feet together and arms at your sides. Slowly lift one foot off the ground by flexing your hip and knee and hold that position for at least 30 seconds. Switch feet to fi nd out which leg has better control. The goal is to feel comfortable on each side in order to progress to more challenging exercises.

The second balance exercise starts just like the fi rst except that you will be looking over your left and right shoulders to increase difficulty. Start by looking at the wall in front of you then slowly scan the room toward your left shoulder without looking down at the floor. Once you’ve looked over that shoulder, scan back to the right side until you’ve looked over the other one. Repeat this 10 times on each leg. Once you’ve mastered this

exercise, try scanning from your toes, along the floor and up the wall to the ceiling directly above you and back down. Sounds easy, right?

This third exercise will test your dynamic balance: You will need something to set in front of you such as a cone or basketball. Stand about two feet away from your object and start by lifting one foot off the ground. Lean forward toward your object by bringing your opposite leg behind you and keep your stance leg straight (knee not locked out). Bend from your hip and avoid rounding the back by keeping great posture. Continue to reach until you are able to touch the object with your opposite hand and slowly come back to the start position.

Your back leg should also remain straight to help counter-balance your torso during this exercise. Try 10 reps on each leg. You can increase the challenge by grabbing a dumbbell.

These are very basic exercises to test your balance skills. Remember to keep movements slow to remain in control. If you lose your balance at any time during the exercise, just place

the opposite foot on the ground to regain control. Do not hop around on one leg. You can always fi nd ways to up the difficulty level by adding an unstable surface such as a BOSU trainer or Dyna-Disc. If you don’t have access to equipment or want the ultimate challenge, try these exercises with your eyes closed. The best time to perform balance exercises is at the very beginning of your workout or as part of your warm-up routine before

you get too fatigued.

About the Author: Unverzagt holds a 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.

40 October 2023 Old Town Crier FROM THE TRAINER RYAN UNVERZAGT

Heading Into the Holiday Season In Good Shape

October marks the beginning of the holiday season. This is the time of year when we start making all those yummy baked goods and delicious homemade soups. Instead of letting all this wonderful food catch up to us this year, let’s make a goal to maintain our fitness. Fall is the best time to get yourself back into a fitness routine and gear up for the cooler months ahead. Well, it has been thirty days since then and hopefully everyone has been able to stick with his or her fitness routines. In case you are starting to falter from your schedule, here are some tips to keep you motivated for the next month.

I’m sure that some of you have had a little extra time to set aside for your workout now that the kids are back in school. Just remember that dedicated workout times are great but you can get your exercise other ways as well. You don’t necessarily have to set aside a whole hour to workout. Exercising can actually be a lot of fun. Wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Look for an activity that suits the whole family! Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Find an activity you enjoy, and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you're moving, it counts!

Exercise helps us deal with stress and can increase the energy we need to deal with all of our daily activities. Exercise stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You'll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly. This will boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Exercise reduces feelings of depression and anxiety. Use regular exercise as a way to improve your own well-being and as a way to keep up with your busy life.

If your weekdays are anything like mine, you are running around from the minute you wake up in the morning until you climb into bed at night. While exercise can help you have more energy throughout the day, it can also help you sleep better at night. Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. The timing is up to you. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to try late afternoon workouts. The natural dip in body temperature five to six hours after you exercise should help you fall asleep. When you sleep better at night, you wake up feeling more energized for the day. Having a good night’s sleep can improve your productivity, mood and concentration. As if all of the above aren’t enough good reasons to exercise,

here is yet another one that will keep you motivated through the cooler months. Exercise helps improve your immune system. We are exposed to viruses and germs every day. As the weather gets cooler, we tend to spend less time outdoors and more time inside. The average adult will get sick with a cold about two times a year. Some people are less susceptible to becoming sick because their immune systems are stronger. More and more research is fi nding a link between moderate regular exercise and a strong immune system. Regular exercise has been linked to a positive immune system response and a temporary boost in the production of macrophages, the cells that attack bacteria. It is believed that consistent exercise can lead to substantial benefits in immune system health over the long-term.

With the holidays right around the corner and things becoming more hectic, we can all count on exercise as one way to de-stress and stay healthy. Aside from the many benefits I have mentioned already, I’m sure you have come to fi nd that exercise is something that can help the many aspects of our busy lives. Whether you work out to distress from work, keep with your family, or simply for the feeling of a good hard workout, exercise is something that you can always fall back on.

Old Town Crier October 2023 41 FITNESS NICOLE FLANAGAN

Cats & Allergies

Cats, like people, frequently suffer from allergies. The most common of these is caused by fleas, which should be no surprise to anyone with pets. But did you know that the allergic reaction in their immune system is caused by the histamine-like agents from saliva that are released when a flea bites your pet? The number one reaction to flea bites is itching, but other allergic symptoms include scratching, particularly the head and ears; chewing and biting themselves; excessive licking (especially around the legs); and red and/or irritated skin (allergic dermatitis). Cats are such fastidious groomers, however, that it’s fairly difficult to fi nd traces of fleas on their bodies. It’s much likelier that you’ll notice fleas jumping around in your house or even on your body before you see them on your cat.

The best way to treat a cat with skin allergies due to flea bites is by using a topical or injectable corticosteroid. If the cat develops a skin infection, these may be treated with antibiotics. Prevention, however, is key – consider using a topical or oral medication or flea collar.


Did you know that pets can also suffer from seasonal allergies? They can, with symptoms that closely mimic those that humans experience. The

same irritants that trigger seasonal allergies in humans do the same to cats and dogs, and both indoor and outdoor cats can be affected.

When do cats experience seasonal allergies? During any season! One may have summer allergies while another may have winter allergies, and some cats suffer from year-round allergies. During the spring and summer months, the most common cause of allergies is pollen from trees, grass, and weeds. In the fall, ragweed is typically the culprit. With seasonal allergies, symptoms are usually skin irritation and/or inflammation. In some instances, respiratory problems such as a runny nose, watery eyes, and coughing and sneezing may occur.

Your vet may prescribe steroids for seasonal allergies, which have minimal side effects in cats and are usually effective at relieving allergy symptoms. Steroids do not, however, provide a cure for the allergy, which will return with exposure to the allergen. Another treatment option is desensitization therapy, which involves repeated exposure to small amounts of the allergen in a controlled environment. Multiple treatments are required in which allergen exposure is gradually increased, until the cat’s immune

system is “trained” not to react to the allergen. This treatment is time-consuming and fairly pricey, however, it is usually effective, and, if successful the allergy will not recur or require further treatment seasonally.


According to studies, food allergies are the third most common allergies in cats. The foods typically associated with food allergies in cats include beef, fish, chicken, turkey, and dairy. A cat needs to have been exposed to a food ingredient before developing an allergy to it. An ingredient a cat has consumed for a long time can still cause an allergy at some point in the cat’s life, as it can in humans.

Symptoms include chronic, yearround itching and skin inflammation. This itching typically affects the face, ears, belly, groin, armpits, legs, and paws. This can be so itchy that cats often overgroom themselves, causing significant trauma to their skin (wounds, abrasions) and hair loss. Affected cats may also develop recurrent infections of both the skin and ears. In some cats, these infections may be the only clinical sign of food allergies. Cats with food allergies may also develop gastrointestinal signs such as

Selected Metro DC Animal Shelters/Rescues

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria alexandriaanimals.org/

Animal Welfare League of Arlington www.awla.org

Fairfax County Animal Shelter www.fairfaxcounty.gov/animalshelter

Friends of Rabbits and House Rabbit Sanctuary

www.friendsofrabbits.org/ King Street Cats www.kingstreetcats.org/

vomiting or diarrhea in addition to their skin symptoms. The most visible signs of a food allergy—the persistent scratching, the emergence of skin lesions, loss of hair, and a general deterioration of the coat—do not develop overnight. Instead, they tend to become evident and intensify over extended periods of time—months or even longer—as the animal’s immune system gradually mounts a defense against certain protein and carbohydrate molecules that are present in most standard cat foods. According to vets, a cat of any age can be affected, and it can occur in a cat that has been on the same diet for years.

When the signs appear, a cat should receive prompt veterinary care. If a food allergy is indeed suspected, the specific allergen should be identified and removed from the animal’s diet. If your cat has a true food allergy, then any sensitive stomach issues should clear up in 2 to 4 weeks. External symptoms like itchy skin will take longer to resolve.


Asthma is more common in cats than in dogs, but relatively undiagnosed. Young cats, as well as Siamese and Himalayan cats, are the most commonly diagnosed with feline asthma. Symptoms of asthma in pets

Operation Paws for Homes, Inc. ophrescue.org/ Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary www.rikkisrefuge.org

42 October 2023 Old Town Crier

includes shortness of breath, wheezing, and difficulty exhaling. In cats with asthma, lung tissue that is inflamed causes air to get trapped, resulting in difficulty breathing.

Although related, allergies and asthma are different; allergies can trigger an asthma attack and exposure to allergens can make an asthma attack worse. The good news, though, is just because your cat has allergies does not mean they will develop asthma.

As always, consult your veterinarian at the fi rst sign of any suspected allergic reaction.

About the Author: Jaime Stephens is a frequent contributing writer who lives with her husband John and their cats in Alexandria.

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A 1-2 year old, 63-pound dog who can be shy when meeting new people, but warms up fairly quickly. Gambit does well on a leash, is easy to walk and is good with other dogs. Gambit has good house manners and can be an incredibly loving dog. The AWLA can hold meet and greets between Gambit and any new possible canine siblings to ensure compatibility.

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Old Town Crier October 2023 43
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Fish in A Barrel??

Fishing electronics, fish fi nders, have taken a quantum leap. Some say they’re ruining the sport. Vintage sonar flashers showing blips and flashes really didn’t fi nd fish, just that there was something interpreted to be fish under the boat. You still had to catch them. Then came computerized screens growing rapidly to 14-inch monitors. Bass boats were equipped with one in the console to assist in navigation and locating probable fish hangouts. Another one was added to the bow to assist anglers while fishing. Fishing trips today look like NASA mission control centers with up to 5 or 6 big screens, complete with lake maps, contours, and fishing spot waypoints.

Side-imaging electronics enables anglers to drive around to get an underwater picture, covering a hundred feet to either side of the boat. Tournament anglers mark objects before picking up a rod and tying on their favorite lure. This technology was revealing, but you still had to catch them. Then 360º electronics showed anglers where targets were located, but they still had to catch them.

Despite all these great fishing enhancements from the big three electronics companies, Humminbird, Lowrance and Garmin, the sport of bass fishing remained compelling. Casting skills, lure choices, and mental and physical determination still contributed to tournament wins. The pros used the technology and these amazing devices remained relatively affordable for the average Joe or Jill, but they still had to catch them.

The latest innovation has taken fishing by storm, especially where

offshore bass fishing is concerned. Bigger fish and more of them are being hunted down by tech savvy anglers. Forward facing sonar (FFS) allows anglers to look around and watch the fish they want to catch as it takes the bait. Taunting fish into biting is relatively easy with the simple technique called drop shotting. It doesn’t take a lot of expensive gear, nor does it require accurate casting skills. Oftentimes these presentations are just lowered to fish. A weight, a hook, and a small worm will put fish into the boat.

Prior to FFS, these fish were only occasionally found and caught by the most astute and studious anglers. Studying detailed maps and spending hours driving around looking and casting to fish that not everyone was able to locate is being replaced by FFS raising the expectation of every cast, replacing fishing with catching.

The learning curve for tech-savvy participants is shorter than time-onthe-water trial and error casting and outsmarting prey with tackle boxes

Potomac River Bassing in OCTOBER

loaded with lures. FFS removes much of the guesswork. Mastering one computer aided technique brings home the prize. Anglers don’t look past their many screens as they fish from their video gaming seats. Head down, watching their lure on the screen as fish come to it, the video game begins. But they still must chase them around until they bite. And they are catching them as recent pro events have revealed.

These units carry a $3-5,000 price tag. Every top-level pro must have them to stay in the game. But this is having a trickle-down effect as even small club tournament anglers are coming up with the cash to keep up with their competition.

As far as the sport of professional bass fishing goes, offshore angling demonstrates that big fish can be caught by standing over a big screen and lowering a bait. But it doesn’t make good TV. Wrap-ups and articles detail winning screen settings instead of techniques or secret lures. Recaps begin with credits for the electronics

brand before the fi rst hookset.

FFS might encourage this generation of video gamers to get out of their parent’s basement, expecting boat drones to take them to the fish and robotic reels to bring them in for their grand stage appearance. Will asterisks be placed next to FFS victories? Whatever the answer, solutions will be complicated as there’s a lot more money in “them there” electronics than in a rubber worm.

As FFS becomes normalized, will it level the playing field? Or just level the field? Eliminating those with skills that took decades to develop to fi nd fish, using a variety of techniques to get them in the boat, opens the door for techno anglers adding more screens to their advantage. The fish can do their best to run, but with FFS, there’s no place to hide.

Cooler water temperatures have bass in a fall feeding frenzy. Topwater lures with Gamma 30# Torque braid can be popped or walked around any shoreline cover. When fish miss, have a Mizmo Quiver stick Texas rigged on a 3/0 hook and Torque braid to 12-pound test Edge fluorocarbon leader to cast to missed fish.

On cloudy days, bladed jigs on 10-pound test Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line work around grass and wood. Slow retrieves at fi rst when water is cooler and then speed up after the sun warms up.

Firetiger squarebill crankbaits on 10-pound Edge can be snapped out of grass and bounced off wood.

Pitching Mizmo tubes Texas rigged to docks is working well. Try on 12-14 pound test Gamma Edge. Use pegged 3/16 ounce weights and fish shaded areas. Also pay attention to the current, fishing the up-current side and allow tubes to glide to fish in an ambush position.

Tournament angling has dramatically changed in just a couple years. Those best with technology are now considered the best anglers. Forward Facing Sonar going forward will determine whether competitive bass fishing is considered a sport or a game. The Anti-FFS movement is growing rapidly feeling it undermines everything about what real bass fishing is, casting, reading water, and making decisions. Many call it spotlighting for bass. FFS is creating a new generation who are dependent on technology to fish. Would Opie go to the pond with Andy and a cane pole anymore without Forward Facing Sonar?

About the Author: Capt. Steve Chaconas is a Potomac bass fi shing guide & freelance writer. Potomac River reports: nationalbass.com YouTube channel NationalBassGuide.

44 October 2023 Old Town Crier GO FISH STEVE CHACONAS

Aging has been on my mind recently—having just celebrated another birthday and fi nding myself fi rmly ensconced in my fifties with the bright glare of sixty approaching in my headlights.

Quite frankly, I’m not sure how I feel about that. I try to be positive and optimistic most days and tell myself that I’m aging gracefully while silently contemplating Botox injections to inflate the ventriloquist lines and/or gazing in horror at the gizzard neck that screams at my reflection. Although, I’m witnessing many of my friends seemingly conquering this aging thing somewhat effortlessly. Well—I have two camps of friends actually. Some who are going down kicking and screaming, plastic surgeon on speed dial and others who are opting on using their expendable income in other ways, i.e., international travel and moisturizers made from gold bouillon dust mixed with Kim Kardashian’s stem cells.

I do weigh the options in my mind quite frequently. I love an easy fi x, but I don’t love anything involving scalpels, blood, and/or anesthesia. I prefer to default to the medically-necessary surgeries of which I’ve already encountered three—which I’m hoping is my cap although given my age, I’m guessing that’s probably not the case. In other words, I’m not a big fan of elective surgery, but I’m also not judging those who readily sign up for it. I get it.

We are all trying to keep the ‘Old Man’ or ‘Old Woman’ from inhabiting us, but it’s a futile fight. My current ritual du jour is to utilize the best moisturizers and sunscreens I can afford (none with gold and/or Kardashian DNA) while moving my muscles and joints as much as possible after I complete the NY Times mini-crossword and Wordle to keep my mind agile. Oh—and a truckload of caffeine and perhaps a little vino. That’s the regimen. You heard it here fi rst.

God willing, if I make it to 60 and don’t look like death warmed over and/or can remember my own name, color me winning.

Aging Grace

I do give gratitude for the fact that I am HERE as a few of my friends didn’t have the blessing of making it this far. My dear friend Betty didn’t get to see 43, and I’ve danced on this planet almost seven years more than my bestie Holly. I don’t take that for granted for one minute.

My oldest brother Phil passed just shy of his 64th birthday. He had Leukemia and fought until the end. Just after his diagnosis, he separated from his wife of twenty-something years, and I’ll never forget what he said to me. “Lori—I don’t know if I have six days, six months or six years on this planet, but whatever I have, I want them to be happy.”

Happiness and joy are the goals, along with feeling good in the skin you’re in—wrinkled and/or crepey as it may be/or not be. We all have choices we make every day that feed into both how we look and feel. Rest, movement, and fuel play a big role in both, might I add. As do the people we surround ourselves with—people who bring joy into our lives v. deplete us of our energy. Lucky for me, I’m surrounded by an amazing tribe of brilliant, smart, creative, fun, and funny peeps. And some super honest ones who aren’t afraid to tell me when my roots require attention.

Of course, having great role models for aging helps as well. Not to mention any names and/or ages, but my illustrious publisher here recently hit a birthday milestone and she is rocking into a new decade with flair. If anything, the number of candles on her cake have fanned her passion for life.

You can worry over the gray hairs, but chances are it’s the worrying that brought them to begin with. Embrace the gray or cover it up—but remember to be grateful you’ve reached an age to see them sprout. Middle age (I am still in middle age, right?) has its own share of problems, and I certainly don’t need to be pig piling onto those. And, most all health-related problems circle back to evil Mr. Stress. No one is doing themselves any favors by stressing and worrying over life.

So, if you’ve got a life to live, embrace it. Dance. Skip. Jump for joy. Shake your bootie, and if your bootie has a little more jiggle, embrace that too.

I pray that there is a God. Truly, I do. I want to believe that there’s more to life than buying the newest anti-aging serum touted by some Gen Z influencer. I also want to believe that God doesn’t want us spending our days consumed by our batwing arms or crepey legs which I’m totally not doing, right? Totally not doing that except for when I’m in a downward dog pose or waving at a friend. So not doing that. I am not SHALLOW. I am embracing my body for all its little quirks and lack of collagen/elasticity.

I try to remember that the saving grace is that I’m aging.

Those things keeping me up at night—what will they matter in six days? Six months? Six years? Heck, the way I look at it, today is the youngest I’m ever going to be again. One of my dear friends texted me a photo of us together roughly 15 years ago. We looked like babies. I’d give anything for those arms and that skin. At the time, I probably thought I looked fat. I wish I had known then how beautiful I was—so the challenge is to know it and own it now.

My grandmother, Belle Baker Welch, was one of the most beautiful women I have ever known. Her face was filled with the lines of a life well lived, and her hair a beautiful warm gray. She wore her days—filled with immense sorrow peppered with tender joys—like blessings sewn onto an intricate quilt, and I hope to do the same—but for the record, I’m keeping all my options open while aging as gracefully as my shelves of moisturizers and serums allow.

About the Author: Lori is a local writer, painter and pet lover who loves to share her experiences and expertise with our readers. She has been penning a column for the OTC for over 20 years. Please follow Lori online on Medium for more missives like this.

Old Town Crier October 2023 45

Titanic: The Exhibition – Coming to the Harbor

Something to look forward to this fall is the arrival of this interactive exhibit featuring all things Titanic. While I am sure the major portion of you who read this have seen at least one of the movies that are based on this tragedy, this exhibit will bring its history back home. It opens on the 13th and appears to be ongoing. It comes here after a long stint in New York City. I tried to get some information from the PR people for the exhibit but had to rely on the internet. The following is info garnered from titanicexhibition.com.

“An audio guide will take you on a narrative experience describing the events on that fateful day in 1912 while it unravels the true story of the ship through personal belongings, photographs and other relics as you walk through a recreation of the ship's interior—from a fi rstclass suite to a humble thirdclass cabin.

Titanic - The Exhibition - is far more than a display of historic items: it is a unique narrative experience, a tale of the people aboard history’s most legendary ship on its

maiden and fi nal journey. Travel back to 1912 through photographs, handwritten letters, wayward keepsakes, and other personal belongings telling countless stories about the fates and heroic deeds on board.


The exhibition boasts over 200 original objects. Connect with the Titanic’s passengers, listen to their testimonies, and discover their stories through their belongings. You’ll walk in their footsteps as you explore life-size, detailed recreations of the

ship’s interior, witnessing the stark contrast between a lavish fi rst-class suite and a humble third-class cabin.


Created by the Spanish company Musealia and the contribution of Titanic historian and expert ClaesGöran Wetterholm, this experience separates fact from fiction like never before. An audio guide in multiple languages will serve as your narrator, bringing every historical account to life with music, sound effects and testimonies from Titanic

Harbor Halloween Returns October 22

Harbor Halloween returns to National Harbor on Sunday, October 22 with a fun lineup of spooktacular fun for the whole family with Halloween activities from noon to 3 p.m.

Fun includes community Trick-or-Treating, waterfront activities, chef pumpkin carving contest, a Halloween movie, Pet “Pawrade”, Community Canopy and more!

The day starts with Trick-or-Treating at overly 30 select restaurants and retailers from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Children are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes and visit the restaurants and retailers. The list of participating restaurants and retailers is available on the website (see link below). From noon to 5 p.m. children in costume get a free ride on The Capital Wheel when accompanied by a paying adult. (Limit one free child per one adult admission. Valid for children ages 10 and under.)

A variety of activities will take place on the Plaza at the waterfront. The children’s Halloween classic movie, Hocus Pocus, is being shown at 1 p.m. on the Plaza big screen. At 2:30 p.m., following the movie, multiple National Harbor restaurant chefs and artists will compete in a pumpkin carving contest. Spectators are encouraged to watch the many creative pumpkin transformations and vote for their favorites.

passengers and crew. Unravel the true story of the ship as you embark on a trip through time bringing you closer to the myths, stories and the real history of the Titanic.” I do plan on taking in the exhibit while it is here so can give you a personal insight next month. This is a ticketed event and they encourage you to reserve a session.

Date: From October 13th

Duration: Entire tour - 80 to 90 minutes

Location: 151 St George Blvd. Titanicexhibition.com

While the pumpkins are being carved, National Harbor will host the Pet “Pawrade”. In order to participate, you need register your pet to be included in the costume competition. Prizes will be given for best costume, most creative costume and more. Registration can be made on the Harbor website.

There’s also an opportunity to meet and greet community partners including Prince George’s County Police, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS and representatives with the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System.

For more information on Harbor Halloween, visit nationalharbor.com/events/harbor-halloween/. For more information on National Harbor, visit NationalHarbor.com. Bell photo: Mitch Hodge

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