THE WOMEN OF VIRGINIA WINE
ELIZABETH LAWRENCE BAND
SOUTHERN CLASSICS, REINVENTED
Farm Bell Kitchen excels at reimagining traditional fare SPRING 2019 â€¢ $5.95
Charming, welcoming, wonderful country inns
“The Hunt in Belvoir Vale” by John Ferneley Sr. Photo courtesy of National Sporting Library & Museum
Discover our Traditions while creating your own... Shopping, Dining, Arts, Horses, and History VA Fall Races
Horses History Dining Shopping
Jumping Rocks Photography
March • March 30
Middleburg HEALth Fair & 5K Middleburg Community Center
April • April 12
Opening Exhibit: NSLMology: Science of Sporting Art, NSLM
• April 14
Middleburg Concert Series Middleburg United Methodist Church
• April 19
Concert on the Steps Middleburg Community Center
• April 20
99th running of the Middleburg Spring Races Glenwood Park
• April 28
Middleburg Hunt Point-to-Point Races Glenwood Park
May • May 18
Art in the ‘Burg Madison Street, Middleburg
• May 27-28
Hunt Country Stable Tour
Red Fox Inn
Jodi Miller Photography
The Middleburg Business & Professional Association in support of the local business & retail community.
540 . 687 . 8888
www.visitmiddleburgva.com VA Fall Races
Red Fox Inn
Slate Mills Road, Boston
Slate Mills Road is the perfect combination of sophistication and country charm. The 3 BR, 3.5 BA home offers the convenience of one level living with space for entertaining. The home features both an attached garage and a detached 3-car garage. The 20.4 acre parcel is beautifully landscaped and includes a woodland pond. $790,000
Penny Lane, Sperryville
Penny Lane is a magical place where the Hazel River conducts a symphony as it rushes through old forest. On a high knoll above the wild Hazel, this handmade 4 BD/4BA masterpiece offers mountain views with Old Rag on the horizon. Walk to several SNP trailheads. The home and guest cottage are on 13 acres. $945,000
Camp Meadowlark is the perfect country retreat. The 13.3 acre property has views of the Blue Ridge, frontage on the Rush River and space to relax and enjoy life. The property features a chalet-style 2 BR home and a 2 BR cottage. $449,900
Old Firehouse Hill, Castleton
The original 3 BR farmhouse c.1912 has been enlarged to accommodate a gourmet kitchen, great room & outdoor spaces that beckon with gardens & cool breezes. Original portion includes a main floor suite & a den/office with fireplace. Heated in ground Salt System gunite pool and 3 BR pool/ guest house. Perfect getaway & family compound on 24 acres! $829,000
Seronera has a special ambiance with a sense of time and place that makes it a quiet and relaxed refuge. The landscape on 34.8 acres is surrounded by 360-degree views of mountains, foothills, fields and rolling pastures, with the Blue Ridge and SNP to the west. Shade trees and landscaping featuring mostly native plants surround the 5 BR, 4.5 BA home. $1,095,000
307 Main Street, Washington
One of the best retail locations, could also be made into apartments. The main floor is retail with a 1/2BA. The lower Level is currently used as a gallery with ample storage. The 3rd fr. has a 2 BR/1 BA apt for extra income. $549,000
Sperryville Pike, Sperryville
Picture perfect circa 1920s Colonial close to Sperryvilleâ€™s Main Street. This 3 BR/2 BA home on a half acre lot has been lovingly maintained over the years. Sip your morning coffee by the cozy wood stove before you walk to the Village. $445,000
37 Main Street, Sperryville, VA 22740
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2 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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R ck no han
P o t oma c Ashburn
M A R
— Walter Nicklin, Piedmont Virginian founder
Sh en an do ah
IRG T V
A “ ffinities, not simply geography, create the Piedmont’s unique regional identity. We strive to give voice to this special — even magical — place in the hopes that it remains so.”
FEATURES SPRING 2019 • VOLUME XIII • ISSUE 1 PEOPLE OF THE PIEDMONT
8 Ben Walters
GARDENS AND THE LAND
Warm Hospitality and Southern Classics BY KAITLIN HILL
14 This is Virginia Wine! Women at the forefront of the Piedmont Wine Industry BY FRANK MORGAN
Clore Furniture BY PETE PAZMINO
FOOD AND DRINK
Farm Bell Kitchen
31 A Second Chance at Quality
BY ED FELKER
ART & ARTISANS
Hidden Treasure Fortune’s Cove Preserve BY DANIEL WHITE
44 From Sea-Monkeys to Seed-Monkeys Where is the Truth in Advertising?
54 Chalk-o-holic The Art of Tonia Priolo BY ED FELKER
48 Springtime Art Piedmont artists’ spring landscapes BY PAM KAMPHUIS
BY CARLA VERGOT WRITING
H ER I TAGE
Piedmont Country Inns
A Window Through Time
BY EMILY CHILDRESS AND WILL SCARING
Fauquier County’s 18th-century past
BY KRISTIE KENDALL
Life in the Piedmont
ELB The Elizabeth Lawrence Band has rocked the Piedmont for over a decade BY WENDY MARTIN-SHUMA
44 Winslow A Canid Interview BY ED FELKER
Fiction Lily Barlow, The Mystery of Jane Dough BY CARLA VERGOT
On the Road Again
BY TONY VANDERWARKER On the Cover: The colorful Carolina Shrimp Creole at Farm Bell Kitchen is bursting with flavors of the South. PHOTO BY KAITLIN HILL
| SPRING 2019 3
FOUNDING EDITOR: Walter Nicklin
CO-FOUNDERS: Arthur W. (Nick) Arundel, Sandy Lerner
A Family Legacy
PUBLISHER Dennis Brack EDITOR Pam Kamphuis ART DIRECTOR Kara Thorpe SENIOR EDITOR Gus Edwards ASSOCIATE EDITOR Ed Felker
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4 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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SALES DIRECTOR Jim Kelly ACCOUNTING MANAGER Carina Richard Wheat CIRCULATION MANAGER Jan Clatterbuck 540-675-3338 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Glenda Booth, Kristie Kendall, Pete Pazmino, Tony Vanderwarker, Carla Vergot, James Wilkinson BEAGLE MIX Angel The Piedmont Virginian is published quarterly by Rappahannock Media, L.L.C. 11 Culpeper St., Warrenton, VA 20186 540.349.2951, firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription inquiries: 540.675.3338 All editorial, advertising, reprint, and/or circulation correspondence should use the above address, or visit the website: www.piedmontvirginian.com The editors welcome but accept no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and art. Reprints or bulk copies available upon request. Single-copy price, $5.95. One-year subscription rate, $19.95, Two-year rate, $33.95 © 2019 by Rappahannock Media, LLC. ISSN # 1937-5409 POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to The Piedmont Virginian, P.O. Box 59, Washington, VA 22747.
OUR CONTRIBUTORS Glenda Booth, a freelance writer and editor who lives in Northern Virginia, writes about natural resources, historic sites, interesting people, public policy, travel, and other topics for magazines, newspapers, and online publications. She grew up in Southwest Virginia and received degrees from Longwood University and the University of Virginia. Ed Felker is a graphic designer, photographer, writer, outdoorsman, and Virginia native. His award-winning writing and photography have been featured in many fine Virginia publications. Ed can most often be found outdoors near his studio overlooking the Potomac River, usually with a camera, often with a fly rod, always with a dog. Douglas Graham’s award-winning career spans over 35 years as a staff and freelance editorial photographer. His work has covered national and international news, national politics, professional, Olympic, and college-level sporting events. He retired from the Economist Group in Washington in 2014 but continues to freelance at the local level. He holds first place news photo awards in many categories from Florida Press Association, World Press Photo Contest, Virginia Press Association, Virginia News Photographers Association, North Carolina Press Association, The White House News Photographers Association, and the National Press Photographers Association. Kaitlin Hill is a Culinary Institute of America trained chef with a B.A. in History from the University of Richmond. After completing her culinary degree, she worked in New York as a professional pastry chef, recipe tester for Saveur magazine, and editorial assistant to renowned food critic Gael Greene. In 2015, she returned home to Washington, D.C. where she currently runs a catering business and works as a freelance writer and photographer. Kristie Kendall holds a Bachelor’s Degree from James Madison University in History and a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Maryland. She is a native Virginian and works for the Piedmont Environmental Council where she oversees historic preservation efforts.
Camden Littleton is a professional photographer and digital marketing consultant who lives in Charlottesville. When not photographing and creating content, she hangs out with her poodle, Grace, and explores menus, music, and mountains with friends and family throughout the Piedmont. She grew up in Middleburg and graduated with a BS in Communications from Appalachian State University.
A Virginia native, Frank Morgan works in the Legal and Data Privacy group of a global company by day. He is the author of the DrinkWhatYouLike.com wine blog, started nine years ago to chronicle his wine travel experiences and to share stories of the wines, wineries, and winegrowers of Virginia. His site was recently named one of the top wine news blogs by Millesima. Morgan is also a con-
| SPRING 2019 5
Every Great Painting Deserves a P.H. Miller Studio Frame A match made in Heaven?
tributor to the wine site Snooth, Wine Industry Network, and Savor Virginia Magazine, among others. As work and family commitments permit, Morgan is working on the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) wine diploma. He lives with his family in Chesapeake. Pete Pazmino’s fiction and non-fiction has appeared in a variety of regional and national publications. He lives high on a mountain in Rappahannock County, Virginia, and loves to spend his free time visiting wineries, hiking the Appalachian Trail with his Catahoula hound, or renovating his log home. His favorite places on Earth (besides where he lives) are the Finger Lakes and Florence, Italy. Contact Pete at email@example.com. Wendy Martin-Shuma is a freelance writer and editor and has worked on both consumer and professional publications for over 20 years. She is the lead singer of Warrenton’s Silver Tones Swing Band and plays French horn in several ensembles in and around Fauquier County. Wendy lives in Warrenton with her husband and three children.
圀栀攀爀攀 攀瘀攀爀礀 昀爀愀洀攀 椀猀 愀 眀漀爀欀 漀昀 愀爀琀⸀
No, made right here in Berryville 䘀愀爀洀椀渀最琀漀渀 刀椀瘀攀爀 戀礀 倀攀琀攀 䈀攀爀最攀爀漀渀
Gilding, Carving and Restoration Services offered
䔀愀猀琀 䴀愀椀渀 匀琀爀攀攀琀 䈀攀爀爀礀瘀椀氀氀攀Ⰰ 嘀椀爀最椀渀椀愀 ㈀㈀㘀 ⠀㔀㐀 ⤀ 㤀㔀㔀ⴀ㌀㤀㌀㤀 椀渀昀漀䀀瀀栀洀椀氀氀攀爀⸀挀漀洀 眀眀眀⸀瀀栀洀椀氀氀攀爀猀琀甀搀椀漀⸀挀漀洀
1 East Main St. Berryville, Virginia 22611 firstname.lastname@example.org www.phmillerstudio.com
Tony Vanderwarker attended Andover and Yale, served in the Peace Corps, Marine Corps, and Army. A recovering adman, he has authored four books, including his latest, I’m Not From the South But I Got Down Here As Fast As I Could. He lives in Keswick with his wife, four dogs, two horses, and a Sicilian donkey named Jethro. Tonyvanderwarker.com Carla Hogue Vergot recently finished her first book, Lily Barlow, the Mystery of Jane Dough, a mystery romance set in Marshall. She’s working on the second in the series. For fun, she and her husband Ricky work in the garden, play fetch with the dogs, and take jeeps offroad. Ricky points out that Carla’s planting skills far exceed her wheeling skills. To date, no one disagrees with that.
Best the W A R R E N T O N L I F E S T Y L E
FA U Q U I E R
THANK YOU FOR VOTING US
BEST EYE CARE PROVIDER
DR. SAM L.WEIR
Daniel White taught literature and writing at Clemson University and the University of New Mexico prior to settling in Charlottesville. As a senior writer for The Nature Conservancy, he has covered topics ranging from kayaking with singer-songwriter James Taylor in Virginia to conserving elephant habitat in Africa.
& associates optometrists
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6 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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A journal of appreciation of nature, place, people, and ways of life.
OUR MISSION Affinities, not simply geography, create the Piedmont’s unique regional identity. We strive to give voice to this special—even magical—place in the hopes that it remains so.
er to ar Mak
ont Piedmation Inspir E E ISSU HOM
Inside ed Renown r Designeon’s Dix Barry ay Hall Elw
inating Illum Space Your with e ptur t Scul Ligh
TIME: Take a
A place tour AT HOME:
built around pictures
Setting the THE
m ing Drea Build es in a Hom old of ngh Stro n Space Ope
ONE SIP AT A
The Pied mon t Hold s Its Own
Holiday Tab le
Adorn, Reflect, Nourish Plus: The Chef Who Saved a Dying Art
ANN IE ATT BEExclus ive
Worl d • Spies
Chef Anthon Nelson y
of our favorite Airbnbs in the Piedmont
the GAR NOV/DEC 2016
at Fie Fork ld & Ma in
Winter birds of Virginia Page 50
Welbourne: 8 generations of home & history NE 2017
From Field to
FUND ING GENE THE NEXT RATI MUS ON OF ICIAN S MAR/AP
ART AROUND US
Beyond the Gilded Frame 16TH ANNUAL FIRNEW FARM ARTISTS CIRCLE SPRING ART & PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW SUNDAY, MAY 19, 2019, 1 - 5 P.M. THE BARN GALLERY AND SILO 19 WOLFTOWN-HOOD ROAD, HOOD, VA. (ROUTE 230 WEST, 4.5 MILES FROM STANARDSVILLE)
Firnew Farm Photo by John Berry
he Firnew Farm Artists Circle’s spring art and photography show will feature 35 artists working in various media, from watercolor, drip, oil, and acrylic painting, to photography. Photography will include digital, film, and tintype techniques, which will push boundaries to present both two- and three-dimensional installations. This will be a two-for-one show with two separate installations. Inside the Barn Gallery will be a white construct, a “room within a room,” that will feature three-dimensional pieces, while the
traditional much-beloved two-dimensional works will hang on the barn walls. The Silo Installation will house a creative interpretation of The Socrates Project: Poisonous Plants in Virginia, in collaboration with the Virginia Master Naturalists, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University. The Grymes Memorial School and the Firnew Artists will dance the Maypole at 2 p.m., and the Tucker Hill Memorial Scholarship Award High School recipients will be announced at 3 p.m. PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019 7
PEOPLE OF THE PIEDMONT
BEN WALTERS FOLLOWS THE IRRESISTIBLE PULL OF MUSIC
BEN WALTERS has felt the pull of music his entire life. As a
kid growing up in Loudoun County, he started a punk rock band with some friends. Their first live performance was at a school talent show. Feeling the energy and creativity on stage, he understood then and there that music was going to be a big part of his life. He was fourteen years old. He moved around for a few years in his late teens and early twenties, spending some formative time in New Orleans. Ultimately, he landed back in the area where he grew up. And what he found when he returned was a rich and vibrant music scene. “Loudoun is full of music lovers, and there are all kinds of places to play,” he said. “Breweries, wineries, listening rooms, bars, private events and town events are everywhere.”
BY ED FELKER
People of the Piedmont is an ongoing portrait series spotlighting compelling individuals of the Piedmont. Captured in genuine moments through the lens and words of Ed Felker, the subjects are portrayed immersed in the pursuits that get them up in the morning and drive them all day. 8 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019
The large number of families in Loudoun also means lots of teaching opportunities. Walters, who is one of these baffling people who can pick up any instrument and just “get” it, teaches students on all kinds of stringed instruments including violin, viola, cello, mandolin, bass, banjo, and of course guitar. Outside of teaching, choosing a favorite instrument to play isn’t always easy for someone proficient at so many. At times he has played more mandolin, or banjo, or bass. But lately most of his time is dedicated to guitar and fiddle. Of those two, when pressed into a desert island scenario, Walters chooses the fiddle. “It’s pretty small and keeps me challenged,” he said. The fiddle he holds in this portrait didn’t come easily, however. Walters had been through five fiddles in the last three years, all of them completely different. “I was searching for something and learning what to listen for in the instruments,” he said. But this one is his favorite, and he can envision it by his side for years to come. Feeling that connection with an instrument is extremely important. “If you’re going to spend thousands of hours with something for expressing yourself, it’s worth it to find one that makes you happy.”
Warm Hospitality and Elevated Southern Classics at Farm Bell Kitchen Chef Jabari Wadlington excels at updating traditional fare STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAITLIN HILL
teps from The University of Virginia’s iconic Rotunda, Farm Bell Kitchen at the Dinsmore Inn offers reinvented Southern classics in a relaxed setting with a historic past. The barely year-old restaurant, on Charlottesville’s bustling Main St., has already become a favorite among locals and university students, and a dining destination for out-of-towners. Owner Ryan Hubbard’s wonderfully executed vision of hospitality and chef Jabari Wadlington’s distinct culinary style culminate in a dining experience that is not to be missed. Entering the Dinsmore Inn feels like stepping back in time. Though the decor is updated and sleek, and Farm Bell Kitchen’s coffee bar still has that new-equipment sheen, the architectural details reflect the house’s true age. The Federal-style townhouse was built in the early 19th century by one of the era’s great artisans, James Dinsmore. Dinsmore was Thomas Jefferson’s preferred master carpenter. His projects include some of Virginia’s most-loved historic sites, including Monticello, Montpelier, and the Rotunda. Like these now-famous landmarks, the Dinsmore Inn has a similar Old-Virginia aesthetic. Dinsmore even used the same type of bricks that were used to form the Rotunda. Inside, the restaurant’s high ceilings and wood floors are bathed in light, courtesy of the enormous original windows that line the front wall. At the back of the room, an elegant Colonial fireplace and intricately designed lead glass doors— which Hubbard restored—hint at the building’s past. The restaurant’s name comes from a bygone era, too. Farm Bell Kitchen is named after the clanging bells rung daily at 19th-century farms to beckon hands home for supper. The bell of Farm Bell Kitchen stands just outside the front patio. Salvaged and refurbished by Hubbard, the bell speaks to his desire for guests to feel as welcome as if they were dining at home. 10 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019
Hubbard, a Charlottesville native, UVA graduate, and founder of three local hospitality businesses, says, “With this place, even though we are in a 200-year-old building that’s elegant and could be perceived as a little stuffy, we always wanted it to feel open—like a community place.” He continues, “All of the intention around what we did here was to make it feel comfortable.” Farm Bell certainly accomplishes that goal. On a weekday afternoon, college students can be seen studying, even smiling, sustained by snacks from the coffee bar. A table over, business partners pass proposals in between bites of brunch. By the window, a visiting couple enjoys lunch as they plan a day of sightseeing.
Far Left:The colorful Carolina Shrimp Creole is bursting with flavors of the South. Top: Thick-cut brioche is smothered in a caramel sauce and overflowing with fresh fruit. Bottom Left: Loaded with juicy pork belly and crispy pumpkin seeds, The Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad is a winning combination. Bottom Right: Bison meatloaf is better than mom’s, with rich tomato sauce and melty cheese fondue.
Though the dining room atmosphere is decidedly casual, chef Jabari Wadlington’s food is thoughtfully elevated and an expression of his culinary journey. A Johnson and Wales graduate and Goodstone Inn alumnus, Wadlington started honing his skills from a young age, learning from his grandmother and the cookbooks she bought him. “I would always see her cooking,” Wadlington reflects. “Every time I would visit over the summer, it always smelled like something’s cooking—pies, cake, anything.” In college, he pursued a career as a pilot, but returned to the kitchen because of a desire to interact with others. “I had this feeling that I wanted to work
with people and have a closer connection. I was attached to [cooking] and how it could get people together.” He switched his degree from aeronautical engineering to hospitality. As part of his training, he interned with Tom Wolfe in New Orleans, and later worked with Christopher Carey and Tarver King at the Goodstone Inn in Middleburg. Wadlington’s food is a perfect balance of his homecooking roots and professional fine-dining experience. For brunch, French toast is reminiscent of mom or dad’s, lovingly made and piled high. However, the Farm Bell Kitchen chef ups the ante with a Bananas Foster version. The thick-cut house-made brioche is PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019 11
covered in fresh fruit and dripping with a sweet caramel sauce. The bread is delightfully crisp on the outside and pillow-soft on the inside. While any restaurant that opens before noon has avocado toast on the menu, at Farm Bell Kitchen this food trend is given an interesting spin. Wadlington splits his avocado and bakes two farm fresh eggs in each cavity. He plates it with a crunchy toasted baguette, which, by design, is the ideal vehicle for runny egg yolks and the side of tomato chutney. Farm Bell Kitchen’s supper menu is a collection of Southern favorites with a few surprises, too. Carolina Shrimp Creole screams Southern cuisine with okra, the Cajun holy trinity—bell peppers, onions, and celery— and juicy Wanchese-region shrimp. It is all served in a spicy tomato broth over a mound of jasmine rice. Grandma’s meatloaf is given a facelift and made from bison. The tender loaf is served with potato gratin and smothered in cheese fondue. The richness of the fondue is cut by the slightly acidic tomato ragout. Thyme gremolata adds a hint of freshness. The dinner menu, which is broken into three courses, includes a selection of smaller but equally enticing plates. Warm Brussels sprouts are loaded with pork belly, heirloom tomatoes, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Here again, Wadlington pairs rich with fresh. The tomatoes are a clever contrast to the succulent pork belly while pumpkin seeds add a delicate nuttiness and irresistible crunch. He laughs, “I am not big on doing what the next person is doing.” 12 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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Chef Jabari Wadlington offers refined southern fare in the heart of Charlottesville. Farm Bell Kitchen’s welcoming atmosphere has made the eatery a favorite among university students, locals, and visitors alike.
Hubbard echoes Wadlington’s desire to do things differently and has a similar vision for the restaurant. “The way we have been received by the community is more than we could have ever hoped for,” Hubbard explains. “And now for us it is, ‘How do we keep pushing to get better?’” “We have a lot of energy and we have really high aspirations for this place. If we are not changing and we are not growing, then we shouldn’t be doing it.” He admits, “I am not shy about telling my team that I want us to be the best at what we do in this town. Those are big words.” With the support of the community, a unique historic backdrop, Wadlington’s refined food, and Hubbard’s unfailing hospitality, the team at Farm Bell Kitchen may be closer than it realizes to making those big words a welldeserved reality. FARM BELL KITCHEN 1209 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22903 434-205-1538 • farmbellkitchen.com Brunch served seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Supper served Thurs.-Sat., 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Coffee Bar open daily, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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This is Virginia Wine! Women are moving to the forefront in the Piedmont’s wine industry BY FRANK MORGAN PHOTOS BY DOUG GRAHAM
ituated between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the coastal plains, the picturesque rolling hills of Virginia’s Piedmont are home to many of Virginia’s top vineyard sites, wineries, and winemakers. Nearly half of Virginia’s 270 wineries are located in the Piedmont and a growing number of these wineries are led by women. Just two decades ago, the number of women winemakers in the region could be counted on one hand. Today, women account for roughly 20 percent of all winemakers or assistant winemakers in the Piedmont. The industry has a way to go to gender parity, but the demographics are changing fast. From winemakers to vineyard managKatie DeSouza of Casanel Vineyards and Winery (left) and Corry Craighill (opposite page) of Sunset Hills Vineyard are leading the next generation of winemakers writing the next chapter of Virginia’s wine story. 14 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019
WINE ers, viticulturists, oenologists, winery owners and tasting room staff, women are a driving force of Virginia’s Piedmont wine industry today. In 1973, Lucie Morton planted her first vineyard, one of the first in the Piedmont region, on a three-acre plot at her family farm in King George County along the banks of the Potomac River. “I returned to our farm after finishing my undergraduate degree in History at the University of Pennsylvania and I wasn’t sure what professional route to take next,” explained Morton. “My dad read an article in the Southern States Co-op magazine about a Kentucky farmer with a ten acre vineyard of French hybrids. He loved wine so he asked me to research whether grape vines could grow on our property other than the Concords in the garden. There weren’t any other vineyards around back then in the early 1970s, but I believed they could grow so I planted the vineyard.” After planting a mix of varieties in their vineyard, Morton saw that she needed more viticulture experience. What began as a trip to France to work the 1973 harvest in Bordeaux ended with her becoming the first American woman to attend the viticulture course at Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique in Montpellier. Based in Charlottesville, Morton is recognized as one of the most renowned viticulturists and ampelographers (one who identifies grape varieties by their leaves) in the U.S. today. Last year, she was awarded the Virginia Lifetime Achievement Award by the Virginia Wineries Association and was recently named one of 100 “game changers” in the past 100 years of winegrowing in North America by Wines & Vines magazine. In the four decades since planting that first experimental vineyard on her family farm (named Morland Vineyard), she has helped establish some of the most notable vineyards in the region. In 1977, writer Felicia Warburg Rogan found herself picking grapes in Morland Vineyard with her husband, John, and their friends. Morton convinced the Rogans to try to make wine from the grapes. This initial experience led Rogan to plant grape vines on her farm in Charlottesville
the following year and open Oakencroft Vineyard and Winery in 1983, Virginia’s seventh winery. Rogan went on to help establish what is known as the Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA) and was named First Lady of Virginia Wine by then Gov. Gerald L. Baliles. In 1988, Juanita Swedenburg founded Swedenburg Estate Vineyard in the rolling hills of Middleburg (now the site of Greenhill Vineyards) after retiring from the Foreign Service. In 2005, the feisty Swedenburg won a landmark case in the U.S. Supreme Court (Swedenburg v. Kelly) to remove barriers that kept wineries from shipping directly to consumers in other states. The same year the trailblazing Rogan retired and closed Oakencroft after serving the Virginia wine community for 25 years, Dr. Sudha Patil was going “all in” on her wine dream and beginning a new chapter of the Virginia wine story. Born and raised in a small town outside Mumbai, India, Dr. Patil moved to the U.S. more than forty years ago to pursue an education in dentistry followed by a three decade career as an endodontist. Dr. Patil and her late husband, Pandit Patil, fell in love with wine during their travels to Europe, which served as the catalyst for the couple to consider planting a vineyard and opening a winery when they retired. “We started visiting local wineries and
learning as much as we could about grape growing and I took vineyard management and winemaking classes from Jim Law [winegrower at Linden Vineyards],” says Dr. Patil. “The Virginia wine industry was just beginning to be recognized and we wanted to be part of it.” On the way home from their anniversary dinner at the Inn at Little Washington in 1999, the couple happened to find a 51-acre plot of land for sale in the town of Amissville. The Patils purchased the property and began making plans for their vineyards and winery. “With guidance from Patty Peacock at Virginia Tech and Lucie [Morton], we planted our first two acres of vineyards in 2004, added eight acres of grapevines in 2005, and I made my first vintage at Barrel Oak Winery in 2008.” The couple opened Narmada Winery (named for Pandit’s mother) the following year. Today, Dr. Patil manages twenty acres of vines at Narmada and produces about 3,000 cases of wine annually. Dr. Patil is among a group of accomplished women who built successful careers in the sciences before entering the local wine industry. Among this group is microbiologist turned wedding planner turned winemaker, Kirsty Harmon. PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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WINE Top: Viticulturist and Ampelographer Lucie Morton pictured with her vineyard companion, Scout, is one of the region’s early wine pioneers. Bottom: Dr. Sudha Pathil, co-founder and winemaker at Narmada Winery in Amissville.
Born in the Netherlands, Harmon grew up in Charlottesville and attended the University of Virginia, where she earned a degree in biology. “I wanted a break from microbiology so I became a wedding planner and planned a wedding for Patricia Kluge [founder of the former Kluge Estates Vineyard & Win16 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019
ery],” says Harmon. “After planning her wedding, she asked me to meet with Gabriele Rausse and start planning a winery for her property.” After working with Rausse for a couple of years, Harmon left the area to attend the University of California at Davis, where she earned her Master’s Degree in viticulture and
oenology. In 2008, musician Dave Matthews hired Harmon to be the winemaker at Blenheim Vineyards, where she remains today and is one of the most respected winemakers in the Commonwealth. “There are definitely more women winemakers today than when I started,” says Harmon. “People used to show up wanting to meet the winemaker and weren’t expecting a woman. Being treated differently because I’m a woman happens much less now.” Dr. Joy Ting, who holds a doctorate in applied biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a certificate in winemaking from the University of California, Davis, landed her first job in the local wine industry with Michael Shaps Wineworks in 2013. Dr. Ting started as lab manager and was promoted to lead oenologist a year later and then served as winemaker for two years. In June 2018, the Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange — a state-funded research cooperative charged with enhancing wine quality and economic profitability — hired Dr. Ting as research oenologist and exchange coordinator. As one of the only full-time oenologists in the Commonwealth, Dr. Ting serves as a role model for women entering the industry. “Role models are important; it’s important for women to see other women in the roles they aspire to,” explained Dr. Ting. “For men and women, the Virginia wine industry is open to anyone who is going to do good work. Whether you come from a family wine background or you went to school to study viticulture or you have no experience and want to learn. Success in this industry is based on the work you do.” Emily Pelton, winemaker at Veritas Vineyard & Winery in the town of Afton, is one of three founding members of the Virginia Winemakers Research Exchange. Pelton is one of the growing number of second generation local winemakers. She completed a Master's Degree in oenology at Virginia Tech and has been the winemaker
WINE at Veritas for more than a dozen vintages. The sweat equity of the early industry pioneers like Lucie Morton, Juanita Swedenburg, Felicia Warburg Rogan, and others paved the way for the next generation of women in Virginia wine. Among the most talented and experienced young winemakers in the region is Corry Craighill, who grew up in Lynchburg and attended the University of Virginia, where she earned a degree in religion and bioethics in 2011. “I was drawn to the wine industry through my love of travel,” says Craighill, who completed 12 vintages in just eight years, hopping across time zones and hemispheres, often working two harvests in one year. “I’ve worked harvests in Oregon, the Central Otago region of New Zealand, in western Australia, South Africa, Burgundy, France, and with Kirsty Harmon at Blenheim Vineyards and Matthieu Finot at King Family Vineyards.” After stints in the vineyard and cellar at Blenheim and King Family Vineyards,
my end goal was to grow the best possible grapes on our estate, not deal with their antiquated ideas of female capability. Only then was I able to earn the respect of my crew and confidently take my place as head of vineyard operations here at Casanel Vineyards & Winery.” DeSouza’s early experiences highlight the importance of mentors like Morton and Katell Giraud, who provided winemaking guidance at Casanel. Giraud grew up in southwest France where her family owns a winery in the Monbazillac region. Following a degree in agronomy, she went on to earn a Diplôme National d’Oenologie (National Diploma of Oenology) from the University of Bordeaux and a second master’s degree, Oenologie et Environnement Viti-Vinicole (oenology with specialization in environment). After working several harvests in France and New Zealand, she came to Virginia in early 2009 to be the still winemaker at the former Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard before taking on the role at Casanel. To-
Craighill took over winemaking at Sunset Hills Vineyards in Purcellville in 2016. Along with Craighill, Katie DeSouza is among the group of talented young women winegrowers writing the next chapter of Virginia’s wine story. After earning a degree in English from Virginia Tech in 2009, DeSouza returned to Leesburg to work at Casanel, the winery established by her parents in 2006. As one of youngest winemakers in the region, she has experienced gender and age challenges. “Because I am considerably younger and a female, it was difficult in the beginning to make my voice heard when challenged by my older male peers,” shared DeSouza. “The best advice I ever received on how to deal with the macho men came from my mentor, Lucie Morton. She urged me to keep a cool head, and lead by example rather than let it get me down. Lucie's wisdom reminded me of the old adage that ‘respect is not given, rather, it is earned.’ So, I got up at the crack of dawn, laced up my boots, and got to it, rain or shine, showing them that
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day Giraud is the winemaker at Slater Run Vineyards in Upperville. Other women contributing to the region’s rise in stature and wine quality include Jean Case, the former AOL executive who purchased Early Mountain Vineyards (formerly Sweely Estate Winery) in 2011. Of the many notable contributions Case has made to the industry since buying the winery, hiring talented wine professionals like Maya Hood White may be the most important. Born in California, Hood White studied math as an undergrad and then earned a Master’s Degree in viticulture and enology from the University of California, Davis. She joined the Early Mountain Vineyards team in 2014 as associate winemaker and viticulturist. As the first local winemaker to produce pétillant-naturel (Pét-Nat for short) wines for commercial sale, she brought new techniques and a fresh perspective with her to Virginia. “Generally, I think the Virginia wine industry is quite welcoming to women. Per-
haps, being such a young industry, there are fewer preconceived notions as to the types of people who make wine and people finding their way into the industry from such different paths,” says Hood White. Jenni McCloud, who founded Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg two decades ago, is known globally as a champion of Virginia’s native grape, Norton. With 40 acres under vine, McCloud farms the largest planting of Norton in the world. Elizabeth Smith jumped in to the Virginia wine industry in 2009 when she and her husband Tony purchased Afton Mountain Vineyards. Smith serves as general manager of the winery overseeing all phases of the operation. Not all of the women contributing to the local wine industry are in the cellar making wine. Leanne Wiberg, a naturalist and geologist at NOVA Parks by day, provides wine and history education tours at Fleetwood Farm Winery in Leesburg. Other women driving the growth of the local industry include Annette Ringwood
Boyd, director of the Virginia Wine Marketing Office; Jennifer Breaux, vice president, Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville; Patricia Kluge, who poured a fortune in to building Kluge Estate Winery & Vineyard in Charlottesville, bringing much-needed attention to the local wine industry in the early 2000s; Aimee Henkle, co-owner of The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek; Melanie Natoli, winemaker at Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg; Maggie Malick, owner and winemaker at Maggie Malick Wine Caves in Purcellville; and Mimi Adams, assistant winemaker at RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, among others. The future of wine in Virginia’s Piedmont is brighter because of the dedication and expertise of these exceptional scientists, winemakers, oenologists, winery owners, and viticulturists leading the way. Reflecting on her four decades of mentoring winemakers and sharing her hard-earned expertise, Morton says, “This is a good time for women in wine.”
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COUNTRY I N NS Charming, welcoming, wonderful
BY EMILY CHILDRESS AND WILL SCARING
hether you’re looking for a wonderful weekend escape or ideas for where family and friends can stay while visiting, you’ve come to the right place. The Piedmont is filled with charming country inns that leave guests feeling refreshed and relaxed. What follows are just a few of our favorites. Why not pick one and make a reservation? And while you’re visiting, do try the restaurants, wineries, and boutiques mentioned in the “While you’re there” section that follows the description of each inn. They’re a few of our favorites, too!
THE GOODSTONE INN
PIEDMONT TRAVEL FLINT HILL
STAY BLUE DOOR KITCHEN & INN 675 Zachary Taylor Hwy., Flint Hill TheBlueDoorKitchen.com
Formerly known as Flint Hill Public House, the Blue Door Kitchen & Inn has four gorgeous guest rooms available on its stunning five-acre country estate. All the rooms offer modern amenities such as king-sized beds with luxury linens, free high-speed internet, complimentary tea and coffee, a large shared second-
DRINK NARMADA WINERY 43 Narmada Ln., Amissville NarmadaWinery.com
Narmada Winery offers a wide selection of tasting flights with different flavor profiles to please every guest’s palate. SHOP COPPER FOX ANTIQUES 7 River Ln., Sperryville CopperFoxAntiques.com
Copper Fox Antiques has everything from architectural salvage to pieces that are vintage, rustic, old, new, and much more. Stop in and explore.
STAY INN AT EVERGREEN 15890 Berkeley Dr., Haymarket InnAtEvergreen.com
BLUE DOOR KITCHEN & INN
floor lounge, and more. The restaurant has been hailed as a winner by The Washington Post’s food critic. Stay for one night or a whole week; there’s no minimum night requirement, so this is a great place for a midweek or weekend getaway.
A former Civil War Era mansion, this 11 bedroom inn offers the perfect mix of modern amenities and historic charm. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and completely restored two years ago, this charming bed and breakfast serves as the centerpiece of the Evergreen Country Club. Whether you
Julles Cafe. It offers everything from juices to sandwiches to coffee, making it perfect for breakfast or lunch. DRINK WINERY AT LAGRANGE 4970 Antioch Rd., Haymarket WineryAtLaGrange.com
With a gorgeous vineyard and tasting room, the Winery at LaGrange is a lovely destination for a day out. Order some of the gourmet snacks available to guests and enjoy with a bottle of one of the winery’s award-winning wines. SHOP DETAILS FOR THE HOME 6590 Jefferson St., Haymarket On Facebook at @ShopAtDetails
Details for the Home is two floors of delightful and unique clothing, jewelry, and household items and accessories, and its attentive and helpful staff make it an all-around great shopping experience.
STAY BENNETT HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST 9252 Bennett Dr., Manassas
BENNETT HOUSE B&B
elegance with modern amenities and a convenient location to all that Old Town Manassas has to offer. It’s within walking distance to restaurants and the Prince William County Courthouse complex, and is within striking distance of the Washington, D.C. area. Everything about Bennett House is unique and inviting, from the country-style breakfasts to the comfortable accommodations. While you’re there… EAT CARMELLO’S 9108 Center St., Manassas Carmellos.com
This family-owned restaurant features American dishes infused with Portuguese and Mediterranean influences. The
While you’re there… EAT GRIFFIN TAVERN 659 Zachary Taylor Hwy., Flint Hill GriffinTavern.com
Located in a renovated 1800s home, Griffin Tavern is pleasing to both the eyes and the tastebuds. Enjoy great homestyle food or a pub drink in a casual setting.
INN AT EVERGREEN
want to relax by the pool, play tennis, or enjoy a round of golf in the rolling hills of Northern Virginia, the Inn at Evergreen has you covered. While you’re there… EAT HIDDEN JULLES CAFE 14950 Washington St., Haymarket HiddenJullesCafe.com
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For a locally-sourced and organic treat, stop by Hidden
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Bennett House Bed & Breakfast is located in the historic district of Old Town Manassas and is the perfect place for business travelers, tourists, or locals looking to change things up. A 100-year-old house that’s been a B&B for the past 15 years, Bennett House offers hospitable and antique
result is an unforgettable fine dining event. DRINK MONZA 9405 Battle St., Manassas eatmonza.com
Named after the biggest event in the Formula One Italian racing Grand Prix circuit, Monza offers a high-energy and exciting sports bar experience.
PIEDMONT TRAVEL MARSHALL
STAY THE ROOMS UP THERE 8393 West Main St., Marshall TheRoomsUpThere.com
SHOP MANASSAS OLIVE OIL COMPANY 9406 Grant Ave., Manassas ManassasOliveOil.com
Did you know olive oil tasting can be as complex and delicious as wine tasting? Experience it for yourself at Manassas Olive Oil Company where you can simply do a tasting, or even take a painting class while you sample the store’s incredible selection.
The Rooms Up There offers guests three luxurious king-size suites with a private entrance, foyer, courtyard, and commons. Two of the suites are located above the original stone storehouse built on the property in 1800, while the third occupies the second floor of an addition built in the 1820s. Each suite includes a marble bathroom with handcrafted Italian faucetry, and guests receive complimentary breakfast at the famous Red Truck Bakery just steps away on Main Street.
While you’re there…
SHOP 3 HENS’ TREASURES
EAT FIELD & MAIN 8369 West Main St., Marshall FieldAndMainRestaurant.com
Named one of the D.C. area’s best restaurants by The Washington Post, this charming upscale eatery serves Southerninspired fare and fine wine in a rustic-chic setting. Pop in for a drink at the bar, or reserve a spot overlooking the kitchen and watch the magic happen.
8362 West Main St., Marshall Facebook @3HensTreasures
Discover a treasure trove of antiques and collectibles, gifts
DRINK BARREL OAK WINERY 3623 Grove Ln., Delaplane BarrelOak.com
Barrel Oak Winery is a dogfriendly winery started by real people with a real passion for real Virginia wine. There’s always something going on — live music, kids’ activities, and more — so check it out.
FIELD & MAIN
and home furnishings at this terrific little shop just a stone’s throw from The Rooms Up There.
W W W. I N N AT W I L LO W G RO V E . C OM
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CHILTON HOUSE B&B
STAY CHILTON HOUSE B&B 97 Culpeper St., Warrenton TheChiltonHouse.com
Chilton House is an intimate, upscale four-room Bed & Breakfast on an acre of gardens and groves just two blocks from Main Street. Enjoy an authentic small-town experience in a beautiful 200-yearold home that tells the story of Warrenton's past. The house includes eight fireplaces, private baths, and easy access to breweries, restaurants, and shops.
THE OAKHURST INN
In the spring, summer, and fall, grab a seat on the deck for a beer, glass of wine, or one of the Bistro’s creative cocktails. In the winter, head downstairs for a seat near the fireplace or at the bar. SHOP SHERRIE’S STUFF 77 Main St., Warrenton Facebook @SherriesStuff.va
Sherrie’s Stuff sells everything from vintage and fair trade goods to handmade, handpainted accessories and gifts. Sherrie is usually there, so say hello when you stop in!
While you’re there… EAT CLAIRE’S AT THE DEPOT 65 South 3rd St., Warrenton ClairesRestaurant.com
32 Main St., Warrenton
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STAY THE OAKHURST INN 100 Oakhurst Cir., Charlottesville OakhurstInn.com
Located steps away from the University of Virginia’s campus, The Oakhurst Inn is the perfect place to go while exploring the city. From there, take the trolley to the Downtown Mall for shopping and dining, see a sports event at the Scott Stadium, or even grab a bite at the inn’s own gourmet cafe — the choices are abundant. By combining modern amenities with the historic
character of the area, Oakhurst creates a truly memorable experience for its guests, and a reasonably priced one at that. While you’re there… EAT BRASSERIE SAISON 111 East Main St., Charlottesville BrasserieSaison.net
Drawing from Europe’s best traditions of beer culture, Brasserie Saison uses primarily Belgian and Dutch food on their beer and food menu, although their menu is nothing if not diverse. Add to that a choice wine and cocktail selection, and what comes out is a perfect expatriate European experience. DRINK CHAMPION BREWING COMPANY
Claire’s at the Depot offers locally-sourced and seasonallyfocused Southern-style food in what was once a train station. If the weather is right, reserve a spot on the patio for a truly romantic time. DRINK BLACK BEAR BISTRO
3324 6th St., Charlottesville ChampionBrewingCompany.com
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The Champion Brewing Company’s mission parallels their name: to create the best beer possible. Their personal facilities create both consistent and limited edition beers to keep their menu new and exciting
8393 w main st., MARSHALL, VA 20115
Photo by: Tara Jelenic Photography
Photo by: Tara Jelenic Photography
www.danieljmooredesign.com WED-SAT 10AM-6PM & SUN 12PM-4PM
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PIEDMONT TRAVEL views of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding countryside. While you’re there… EAT RED FOX INN AND RESTAURANT 2 East Washington St., Middleburg RedFox.com
THE INN AT WILLOW GROVE
every visit, so be sure to stop by for a drink soon!
While you’re there…
SHOP ROXIE DAISY
110 East Davis St., Culpeper Fotisrestaurant.com
101 East Water St., Charlottesville RoxieDaisy.com
Roxie Daisy was founded by Karen Myers with one goal in mind: creating spaces that reflect the rustic but elegant charm of a countryside home, and the clothing and design items inside match this goal perfectly.
STAY THE INN AT WILLOW GROVE 14079 Plantation Way, Orange InnAtWillowGrove.com
Located deep Virginia’s wine country, the Forbes Travel Guide four-star Inn at Willow Grove is a hit among tourists due to its gorgeous colonial plantation architecture and aesthetic. Activities include a spa and gym at the Mill House Spa, an award-winning Vintage Restaurant, and a generous selection of wines from the local area. The grounds of the inn are meticulously tended to, allowing guests to roam and relax as they please.
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EAT FOTI’S RESTAURANT
Foti’s Restaurant is nestled comfortably in the heart of Culpeper, and specializes in farm-to-table Mediterranean and New American food. Come in for lunch or dinner and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere while you do! DRINK BARBOURSVILLE VINEYARDS 17655 Winery Rd., Barboursville bbvwine.com
This winery, restaurant, and inn is located in the Southwest mountains of the Virginia Piedmont region. Open for business every day, Barboursville vineyards offers tours and wine tastings for visitors. Make sure to leave some time in your trip for a tour; the Octagon Barrel Room where their famed Octagon wine is made is not a sight to be missed. SHOP THE CAMELEER 125 East Davis St., Culpeper TheCameleer.com
Deriving their name from the leader of a camel train, this trading store’s original stock ws comprised of selections of aboriginal art and handcrafted
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items from Central Australia, but now includes products from over 80 different countries from around the world.
STAY THE GOODSTONE INN 36205 Snake Hill Rd., Middleburg Goodstone.com
The Goodstone Inn prides itself on its award-winning French restaurant and its THE CAMELEER
Dedicated to sourcing its menu from the Virginia’s Piedmont region, the Red Fox Inn and Restaurant combines cooking techniques with appropriate seasonality of ingredients, and pairs that with a large selection of local beverages from all over Virginia. If you’re looking for a romantic atmosphere for your dinner, this is the place to go. DRINK GREENHILL VINEYARDS 23595 Winery Ln., Middleburg GreenHillVineyards.com
Greenhill is a must-visit location in Loudon because of its leading wine as well as its charming location. Guests are invited to stay for a winery tour and wine tasting. SHOP THE FUN SHOP 117 West Washington St., Middleburg | TheFunShop.com
location in Virginia’s wine and hunt country, with six historic guest houses designed in English and French country décor. Besides that, there are 18 guest rooms and suites available on the expansive 265-acre estate, ensuring that there is plenty of space available. Guests are able to enjoy the comfort of their rooms or set out and explore to see the breathtaking
The Fun Shop prides itself on providing unique gifts of excellent quality at a reasonable price. Items available for sale include Bed and Bath, Kitchen and Gourmet, Children’s Toys, Books and Clothing, and more. The store also includes special ordering and free gift wrapping services, as well as personal shopping service and shipping. Stop by and find the perfect gift for a loved one!
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ROCK OF THE ELIZABETH LAWRENCE BAND HAS ROCKED THE PIEDMONT FOR MORE THAN A DECADE
BY WENDY MARTIN-SHUMA
t’s entirely possible that almost everyone in Fauquier County knows Elizabeth Lawrence. A Fauquier native and one of six children, her family was heavily involved in the community as she grew up. And as an adult, even more people know her as the front of the Elizabeth Lawrence Band, where her throaty vocals and powerful voice that evoke powerhouse singers like Bonnie Rait and Susan Tedeschi, lead the group in playing popular hits by blues and rock artists as well as original songs of their own. Her rock-solid band, also known as “ELB,” is comprised of Elizabeth on lead vocals and three other talented musicians: Joe Cody on guitar and backup vocals, Jeff Cody on electric bass guitar, and Sven Bridstrup on drums and backup vocals.
THE BEGINNING Although the band members had known each other for years before ELB was formed, Joe was the one who took the initiative to approach Elizabeth. Joe remembers, “I was personally kind of tired of the loud rock band thing, and I asked Elizabeth, ‘If I got a band for you to do all the stuff you want to do, would you be up for it?’” Elizabeth recalls, “We were all in different projects that overlapped, and Joe thought it would be a really great matchup.” So, together with Joe’s older brother Jeff on bass and Sven on drums, they put together an award-winning band that has been entertaining audiences of all ages in Fauquier County and beyond for more than a decade.
PHOTO BY KARA THORPE
Elizabeth was born and raised in Casanova, and her parents still reside in her childhood home. Most of her siblings still live near Fauquier County and have close ties to the community. One reason Elizabeth enjoys living in Fauquier County is that she loves the small-town feel. She explains, “This community’s been very good to me. I just love it here. I think it’s a great place to raise my daughter.” Even though Elizabeth has lived outside of Fauquier County, she has always been drawn back and considers it home.
Below: The Elizabeth Lawrence Band. From left to right: Jeff Cody, electric bass guitarist; Sven Bridstrup, drummer and backup vocalist; Elizabeth Lawrence, lead vocalist; and Joe Cody, guitarist and backup vocalist.
PHOTO BY KARA THORPE
Elizabeth started singing when her mother would take her to choir practice at church. She remembers, “When I was about 15, the church would ask me to sing as the cantor. Then people would hear me sing and hire me for weddings.” Elizabeth’s mother was also a talented singer and was part of the Sweet Adelines, an all-women musical group formed in 1945 that was committed to keeping the musical art form of barbershop harmony alive. In the mid 1990s, Elizabeth started performing with Steve Hagedorn in the small pub at Fiddler’s Green in The Plains, where she garnered a large, loyal following of locals. “The nights Elizabeth played, we were always packed to the gills in that small room,” says Pam Kamphuis, who worked as a waitress there. She fondly recalls, “Thursdays with Elizabeth were always fun, busy, late nights. She really rocked, and was hugely popular.” Over the past few years, Elizabeth has collaborated with two 28 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019
groups local to Warrenton, the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra and the Silver Tones Swing Band, and has shared her powerful voice as a guest singer. In 2016, Elizabeth performed a solo with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra in their high-energy rock show, backed by the full symphony orchestra and accompanied by PSO’s rock ensemble. In December 2017, Elizabeth was a featured vocalist at the Silver Tones Swing Band’s holiday swing dance in Marshall. ELB is community-minded and has donated performances to many local venues, including St. John’s Catholic Church, the Town of Warrenton’s First Friday celebrations, and Verdun Adventure Bound. Almost monthly, you can hear the band at Warrenton local hot spots Molly’s Irish Pub on Main Street, McMahon’s Irish Pub on Lee Highway, or at the Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill. Elizabeth has a long history playing at Molly’s and has performed there since they opened their doors in 2001. Elizabeth and other ELB members consider Molly’s their “home base” and a favorite venue. Molly’s owner, Casey Ward, says, “The Elizabeth Lawrence Band is a talented group of artists, who are extremely down to earth, always have a great vibe about them, and always bring in an amazing crowd.” Although most of the band’s performances are local, ELB has travelled as far as Front Royal, Winchester, and Richmond to share their music.
THE BAND ELB guitar and bass players Joe and Jeff Cody grew up with music in their house. Their father played guitar and piano and wrote his own music. The brothers lived in Herndon in their early years. And although Joe credits his dad for introducing
MUSIC music to him in the house, he says his mom, “God bless her, also put up with a lot of noise coming from the garage when we were teenagers!” Joe has fond memories of the brothers playing in high school, and they would rehearse in their garage. He explains, “Back in those days, out here, people would have field parties. It was crazy. A bunch of guys who had a farm in Arcola or Ashburn, which was all farming country back then, would charge people five bucks a car and would fill the space with people. There would be a couple different bands. It was so much fun!” Jeff always remembers having instruments lying around the house during childhood, and he started off playing drums. “I realized early in middle school that there were too many drummers out there, and that motivated me to switch to bass,” he recalls. When talking about his experience with ELB, he says, “I love the fact that my brother is involved, and then, really, the big thing is Elizabeth. I’ve known Elizabeth since 1995 and have played a few acoustic gigs with her back in the 1990s. When there was an opportunity to get involved with Elizabeth and Joe, I was so excited; I couldn’t say ‘no’ to that. The best thing and my most favorite thing I would say is just the camaraderie and our musical relationships. For me, that comes out in our music. It’s very rewarding, personally.” ELB drummer, Sven Bridstrup, took his first music lesson when he was eight years old. He played all through high school and has been in various bands since 1980. While serving in the U.S. Army, Sven played in the Army Fife and Drum Corps at Fort Myer. Before joining ELB, Sven played and made recordings with many local bands. When not playing with ELB, Sven works for the FAA and has put in 31 years. “Elizabeth is one of the best singers I’ve ever heard. I just love playing with Elizabeth, Joe, and Jeff. They are all really good, and we get along. We all kind of like the same kind of music,” Sven explains. Originally from Ohio, Sven came to Warrenton in 1980 after joining the Army. He says he loves Warrenton, and he and his wife hope to retire here. “We love the town. You walk down in Old Town, and there’s people walking around, with all the great shops and great restaurants.” When Joe recruited Sven for the band, he knew that Sven’s drumming style would be a perfect fit. He recalls saying, “I think I know a guy who can play…he’s played in the Army band and all through high school. He’s this ‘super musician guy’…and he sings, too!” ELB rehearses in Sven’s basement, where he has installed the full-size Foundation Recording Studio.
INSPIRATION Elizabeth cites her musical inspiration as artists Bonnie Rait, Susan Tesdechi, and Koko Taylor. Her “throaty vocals” echo these popular singers. Another female vocal inspiration is Aretha Franklin. Elizabeth says, “From the time I could speak, I could sing Aretha.” At the 2018 Summer on the Green concert series with the Allegro Community School of the Arts in downtown Warrenton, ELB performed an Aretha Franklin tribute with a medley of famous hits by the Queen of Soul. Although the band started by featuring only Elizabeth on vocals, over the years they have incorporated vocal harmonies into their music. These multipart vocals add depth and richness to the band’s sound, and Joe, Jeff, and Sven all join in, depending on the song. “We make sure to find songs that can feature backup vocals because the guys are great singers,” says Elizabeth.
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create most of the music, and Jeff and Sven will write the bass and drum parts to match. They are all so very talented.” Some original At ELB shows, you’ll hear many favorite rock and blues hits. ELB song titles include “Miss You Haze” and “Home.” Another is When the band finds a song they want to bring to audiences, “Put Your Tears Away,” the genesis of which originated with Joe, they sit down and figure out an arrangement to perform. “Joe, who based the song on the things his little girl would say to him Jeff, and Sven are all incredibly well educated in music theory. before bedtime. “Home” was inspired when Joe was travelling to They arrange songs for the band. They’re brilliant; they’re like California and became homesick for Virginia. mathematicians. Their music theory background really comes in No Purchase Necessary ELB has a strong following of fans in the Piedmont and handy,” Elizabeth explains.–Each show Northern Virginia areas. One of those fans is Josh Lowe, a Oriental by Karastan 100% Woolthat ELB brings to the stage is different, they varyMar their musical lineup of songs at FREE musician who has his own band, The Dubious Brothers. 5’ 6” xand 8’ 3” Sierra IAL some local C E P S eachSedona– venue.Beige/Ivory The band members have written and produced Josh has been performing professionally in bands and as a solo Background with Rust Border PAD S famous artist for over 20 years. “I think there’s a definite harmony original songs,Retail and play favorite “cover” O charts in RDERmade Valuemany $1,308 Hunter Douglas Window Treatments – Free Installation by artists such as Rait, Floyd, The the Elizabeth Lawrence Band that comes from having siblings VisitTedeschi, store to sign up. Elvis Presley, Pink ONLY Rolling and Fleetwood GetStones, a Free 2’ x 4’ Bound RugMac. with visit. in a bandSave in which two of Hardwood performing – Ceramic together. – LVT – I’ve WPCplayed – Laminate 50¢/sq ft JoeDrawing says, “Something held on Octoberthat 31stElizabeth at 5:00pmis really passionate about the members were brothers, and that creates a synergy that is is being creative with the songs that we pick…maybe do stuff greater Thank Youtheforsum Helping Make Roomthat in Our than of its Us parts. Couple withWarehouse the fact that AreatoRugs that’s a little off the beaten path. And if it is something that’s Elizabeth sings in an extremely soulful manner and she puts her To Go! FREE FREE a standard find an arrangement of Reg. try to Sale Smartstranor well-known, she’ll heart into it, no matter the crowd. It’s her passion and it comes Vinyl Remnents Fabric – Assorted 2’x4’ $10.00 70 oz. Artisan Delight: it that is kind of unique.”$62.00 He sq continues, is the key yd $32.00 sq“Elizabeth yd throughPieces in herorperformance.” Heavy Texture. 3 Colors: Size 5’x6’ and below 3’x5’ $20.00 Bolts $3.56 sqknow ft ingredient to Bend the- Gilded band’s success. People her, and they Coachman - Creek When asked,for“Where in five years?” 4’x6’ $30.00 for Bath & Excellent Drapes do you see yourselfExcellent 45 listening oz. Delightful to Character: love her.” 5’x8’ $40.00 Elizabeth says, “We will still continue to find new, interesting $37.60 sq yd $25.50 sq yd Laundry Rooms stuff Re-upholstery 2 Colors: First Come 6’x9’ $59.00 $2.84 sq ft how When about their original music and it’s created, Sand Dollarasked - Ice Crystal to play.” Fans will be glad to hear that because the band plays and Cabinet Liners Crafts Basis 8’x10’ $89.00 45 oz. Pearly Gates: Elizabeth says, “Typically,$44.60 Joe comes up with a riff and we come Small Areas gets along so well together, they will be making music a long time Table Covers (We’re not kidding!) sq yd $26.00 sq yd Heavy Tweed Texture. 3 Colors: 9’x12’ $129.00 up Atrium with- Harmony ideas- Shades and produce the rest of $2.89 the sqsong ft and the lyrics. I’m Earth to come. Elizabeth proudly comments that her daughter, Lily, is 12’x12’ $159.00 heavy onSolo: the lyrics, and he’s heavy on the music.12’x15’ But it often$199.00 starts the reason she keeps singing, and explains, “Lily is my first joy, 25 oz. $20.90 sq yd $12.00 sq yd Texture. 2 Colors: with a riff.” continues, “It’s a collaborative effort. 12’x18’Joe will $249.00 and music is my second.” $1.34 sq ft Brushed Nickle -She Homestead First Come Basis
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past the stop light at 229 crossroads, We are only 13 miles from Warrenton. Take Rte. 211W toward Washington, VA pass proceed approx. 2 miles beyond Amissville sign, make U-turn across from Rte. 645. Early’s is on right (211E)
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Clore Furniture A Second Chance at Quality BY PETE PAZMINO, PHOTOS BY CAMDEN LITTLETON
or Madison, Virginia’s E. A. Clore and Sons, a local business operated by a family whose ancestors had been hand-crafting furniture in the area for nearly 200 years, 2016 was almost the end. Clore president Troy Coppage, who traces his connection to the Clore family through his grandmother, speaks frankly about what went wrong on the morning we meet in his office at the Clore compound, a white sprawl of low buildings tucked into a small valley. We are there with his wife, Karen, who now works as Clore’s Marketing Director. “A variety of things led up to it over a fairly long period of time,” Troy says. “Things had been in somewhat of a decline. It seemed like nothing was
helping.” Then he gets to the heart of it. “I think tastes had changed.” All of which led to their devastating announcement that the business would be closing for good. It was a devastating end to a storied history. The original Clores arrived in the Madison area in 1717, and by 1830 Moses Clore had started making tables and chairs. It was his grandson, E. A. Clore, who in 1921 built a workshop at the business’s current location. That workshop burned in 1927, was rebuilt, then burned again in 1930. In 1946, E. A. sold the business to four of his 12 sons. That same year, with the two fires still fresh in their minds, the Clore family played a key role in founding the Madison County Volunteer Fire Department. Two things have been true
Left: Child and Youth Chairs. Right: Billy and Troy Coppage along with Sara Utz in the shop. Billy has been with Clore for over 50 years, Troy has been at Clore almost 35 years and Sara, 33 years.
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ever since: Clores have always led or served on the fire department, and Clores have always run the business. But then came the announcement. News of the company’s closing hit in May 2016. “People were crying,” Karen says. Their plan was to sell off what remained of their inventory and give their older customers a chance to place any final custom orders. And then the miracle happened. “We had a significant inventory in our showroom,” Troy says. “That was gone in a matter of days. Lines were out the door to buy our remaining inventory and place orders. Within two weeks we probably had an eight-month backlog.” Orders continued to pour in. The eight-month backlog became ten, and still the orders came. By the year’s end, they were reconsidering the decision to close. Today, the business – rebranded as, simply, Clore – is thriving, with a regular three- or four-month backlog on custom orders. More importantly, they’re working hard to adapt to the times. “The customers we need to reach are 32 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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the younger professionals,” Troy says, and Karen agrees. “It’s nice to see the younger generation when they come in,” she says. “The 20-somethings.” Many of them, she adds, have parents who themselves own Clore furniture. “But they don’t shop the way our grandparents or parents did,” Troy says. “Technology has made the world smaller.” As a way of reaching that younger, more digitally connected audience, Troy and Karen have put great effort into updating Clore’s website and social media presence. They’ve also been updating their existing furniture lines with newer pieces and more modern looks, although it’s required a careful balancing act. “Quality has always been our number one,” Troy says. “We’ve never tried to make anything ornate or fancy, but we do concentrate on making something that’s going to last. If it’s not going to last, we’re not going to build it. You can build a chair that’s pretty to look at, but if it’s going to fall apart in a few years, we’re just not going to build it.”
THROUGH THE FACTORY The factory where Clore’s 17 full-time workers hand-craft the chairs, tables, bedroom and dining sets, and other pieces of furniture offered in the Clore catalogue is adjacent to the company’s reception and office space. It’s a sprawling warren of interconnected rooms, and the first thing I notice as Troy walks me through is the wall of noise, a cacophony of humming machinery, whirring saws, buzzing drills, and hissing spray guns. But the noise is itself overpowered by the smell – that rich, earthy, vibrant scent of fresh-cut wood. As we wind our way to the very back room, I ask Troy how big the factory is. He shrugs. “I’d say somewhere in the 40,000 to 50,000 square foot range,” he says. The factory’s back room is the receiving area where the raw lumber arrives. Wood in all shapes and sizes is stored here – thick planks that have already been glued together, dowels of varying thickness, panels that will be cut to make doors, drawers, shelves, or whatever else that’s needed. Clore uses four primary woods in their furniture – walnut, oak, mahogany, and cherry – as well as some poplar for inside pieces. They source what they can right here in Virginia. “When we can find what we’re looking for locally,” Troy says, “we buy local.” From the receiving area, we retrace our steps into a room where some of the furniture’s initial assembly takes place. One worker there is building steps for a bunk bed ladder. “Most of our patterns are just hanging on the walls in various places or just scribbled in a book,” Troy tells me. He shows me the worker’s pattern for the bunk bed, hand-drawn on a piece of paper. “That’s his plan, right there. That’s his blueprint.” When I comment on the fact that all the workers I see are using hand tools, Troy is quick to confirm my observation. “The vast majority of the tools we use here are the same thing that you would use in a home woodworking shop,” he says. “No mass produced or high production.” As we continue through the room where bedroom sets are finished, the depth of the family’s connection to this enterprise becomes even clearer when we meet Troy’s father, Billy Coppage, a master craftsman who served as the company’s president before Troy took over in 2009 and then chose a return to the workshop instead of retirement. Troy points out a bedroom dresser being built with a wrap-around base, explaining that’s one of the more modern bits of design they’re now offering in their furniture lines. Then we move on to the chair room. Clore builds a lot of chairs. All kinds, too – rockers, arm chairs, side chairs, children’s chairs, benches, stools, all in a variety of styles. Because of this, chair production has its own distinct space in the factory. Lumber comes in, then gets ripped into lengths of one-inch or two-inch squares. The one-inchers become rungs, while the twoinchers become posts. Troy walks me to the back of the room where a large tank that looks like a deep bathtub sits against the wall. “Any part that needs to be bent, such as the post and back slats with curves, we put in Clockwise from top left: Billy Coppage sanding a shelf, William “Pete” Richards sanding a bed post, Gary Jenkins wiping off excess stain on a Ladder Back Chair. PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019 33
this tank in the corner and basically boil it.” The process, he explains, is called steam bending, and essentially involves putting the wood in the tank, weighing it down with rocks, then filling the tank with boiling water. After an hour or so, the wood is removed and put into a press that bends it into the desired shape, then put onto a rack to dry. It’s then up to the craftsman to select the best pieces that match the individual chair he’s building. FINISHED PRODUCTS All this is, of course, tremendously time consuming. Consider, for example, a typical rocking chair. Toward the end of our tour, Troy shows me one of their finished rockers, a signature piece that he explains would sell for “right at $1,300.” Then he explains where the price is coming from. “On this chair, the back posts are bent, this top slat is bent, these slats are bent, the bottom piece is bent, the arm is bent. There’s a lot of bending that goes into this particular chair. It’s a lot of labor involved in this.” It’s a fascinating perspective to consider that each one of the wood pieces on this rocker started as a square piece of wood that was cut and turned into a dowel, then hand-sanded, steamed, bent, dried, and hand-assembled by a master craftsman.
But quality, of course, is more than just a calculation of how long something takes to build. I ask Troy about this, about what’s really the difference between this $1,300 rocker and a mass-produced rocking chair one might purchase at some big box store. He doesn’t even hesitate with his response. “When you look at the fit and the finish you’re getting, that’s where the difference is,” he tells me, going on to explain that part of their process in crafting these chairs involves kiln-drying the rungs, but rack-drying the posts. This ensures that, once the chair is assembled, the posts have a much higher moisture content than the rungs. When I look confused, Troy explains further. “Over the course of its life, the posts in this chair will continue to lose moisture and shrink. It keeps that joint tight over the years. That’s something you don’t get with mass produced products.” Clore chairs, in other words, don’t get rickety with time. They get stronger. My visit to Clore ends in the showroom, across the parking lot from the factory and office space. Karen takes me there. It’s another cavernous room filled with finished products that customers can purchase on an in-person visit without having to call in a custom order. There are lots of chairs, of course, as well as a variety of tables, stools, and rockers. Some of the rockers are sized for very small chil-
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Right: The management and staff of Clore, almost all of whom have worked at the company for 30+ years. Bottom, left: Completed foot stools. Bottom, right: Danny Fincham hand rubbing a stool between coats of lacquer.
dren, and range in price from $235 to $266. There are also very small stools available for $92, and all kinds of other small items – handmade clocks, flag holders, key holders, even shirts. They’re the sorts of items that would be ideal as small gifts, and when I mention that idea to Karen she nods. “That’s what we’re hoping for,” she says. “That’s what we’re trying to fill the showroom with right now.” The showroom is open from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturdays they’re open from 8 a.m. until noon. For customers ordering larger pieces or sets of furniture, Clore also offers delivery. “What we’ll do sometimes is use UPS,” Karen says. “Sometimes we use a freight system. A lot of times, the bigger pieces, we have a truck.” She laughs. “Actually, Troy and I on our honeymoon, we made deliveries. Two years ago, we went to Montana. We went all the way out west nonstop. We’d drive 15 hours a day.” I ask her what, in her opinion, is most special about this place. She thinks for a moment before replying. “The people,” she says. “I mean, the guys are so proud of what they do. They really are. They’ve been doing it 30, 40 years, some of them. It’s their life. And they’re proud of it. I think that’s important. You’re not getting just quality furniture. You’re getting a story.” And then she speaks to the miracle that happened two years ago, the miracle that gave them a second chance when it looked like their story was ending. “We’ve prayed like crazy for everything to work and still do every day. It was an answer to a prayer. A lot of prayers.”
CLORE 303 Clore Place, Madison www.clore.furniture 540.948.5821 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/CloreFurniture www.instagram.com/CloreFurniture
| SPRING 2019 35
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Hidden Treasure Fortune’s Cove Preserve challenges hikers and rewards those who go slowly and observe closely. STORY AND PHOTOS BY DANIEL WHITE
’m no master naturalist, but I’m feeling pretty good about my powers of observation. One of these leaves is not like the others. A lime-green caterpillar about the size of my thumb clings to the underside of a slender branch, head raised to mimic the curl of surrounding foliage. Sides lined with yellow dots and back bristling with silky hairs, the caterpillar will soon transform into one of North America’s largest, showiest moths. Yellow to greenish, with brown to nearly purple patches and speckles, the imperial moth boasts a wingspan of up to seven
inches. In focusing on the caterpillar, though, I’ve overlooked one of the most significant details in the story of this forest. “He’s sitting on a chestnut tree,” says Sam Truslow, pointing out the leaves’ sawtooth edges to my chagrin. On this summer morning, Truslow and I are hiking the Upper Loop (or Yellow Trail) at Fortune’s Cove Preserve, a 755-acre natural area near Lovingston in Nelson County that The Nature Conservancy (TNC) opened to the public in 2002. As TNC’s Virginia land steward, Truslow oversees the care and maintenance of preserves across PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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TNC Land Steward Sam Truslow shows off bur (which encases the nut) from American chestnut in the experimental orchard
the commonwealth. Here at Fortune’s Cove, in addition to maintaining public access and trails, Truslow coordinates with the American Chestnut Foundation to manage an experimental grove far below us on the cove floor, where our trip began. Over millions of years until barely more than a century ago, American chestnuts evolved to dominate the canopies of our eastern United States forests. Massive, straight-grained and rot-resistant, chestnut trees provided lumber for everything from farm fences to flooring to furniture, while the nuts fed wildlife, livestock, and the people of a growing nation. At the turn of the 20th century, heaping railroad cars rolled into American cities from early November through December to meet the holiday demand for chestnuts. Around that time, a fungus was introduced—likely from imported Chinese chestnut trees—and, within a few decades, chestnut blight had decimated the most dominant tree in the East. The ecological consequences, especially here in the Appalachians, can scarcely even be imagined today. The majestic chestnuts that graced our mountains remain as difficult to envision as the vast savannas of longleaf pine that once spread along our 38 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
| SPRING 2019
Southern coasts. But whereas reintroduced longleaf can thrive and grow to maturity, chestnuts today rarely rise above understory shrubs, or survive the blight long enough to bear fruit. Down in the chestnut grove, a fenced one-acre enclosure keeps browsing deer away from a handful of nut-bearing trees. These are the most blight-resistant specimens remaining from a 2010 planting of seedlings produced by varied back-crossings of American and Chinese chestnuts. In spring, these mature trees produce white fringe-like catkins. A prickly green tennis-ball-sized bur protects the budding fruit through summer, and ripe chestnuts drop to the ground in early fall. Nuts collected in fall 2018 will be used to propagate new strains of hybrid seedlings for future plantings. Our caterpillar-bearing chestnut, Truslow explains, is like others of its kind scattered along the ridges surrounding Fortune’s Cove. It sprouted from the roots of a much older tree that long ago succumbed to chestnut blight. “The root system persists and continually sends up new growth, some of which can reach sexual maturity and produce nuts,” Truslow says. “But for the most part, they don’t become a canopy tree; they get killed by the fungus first.”
Hickory horned devil (regal moth caterpillar)
While the history and potential future of American chestnut capture my imagination, this subplot is only one of many written across this natural area. Fortune’s Cove nestles within a largely intact forested landscape encompassing nearly 30,000 acres, much of which can be seen from rocky outcrops along the ridgetops. Tucked away mere minutes from the steady traffic of Route 29, the preserve sits at the intersection of the Piedmont and the Blue Ridge. These factors combine to make Fortune’s Cove hospitable to a remarkable diversity of plants, songbirds, and other wildlife, as well as to hikers seeking a physical challenge and exceptional scenery. One thing you will not find here: crowds of people. On previous weekend excursions, I’ve arrived to find, at most, two to three other cars in the parking lot. Typically, hikers begin by walking east from the parking area off Fortune’s Cove Lane and following a series of switchbacks up the ridge. Shortly after reaching the ridgetop, the trail forks at the 0.8-mile mark. Continuing along the Upper Loop makes for an arduous 5.1-mile counter-clockwise trek around the horseshoe-shaped cove. Veering left onto the Lower Loop (or White Trail), however, shortens the total distance to 3.7 miles and
lowers the intensity by cutting out the steepest climbs. But since Truslow and I started out from the chestnut grove deep in the valley, we use an unpaved service road to intersect with the trail on the west side of the cove, just below where the two loops re-converge. An enormous white oak shades the trail at the point where we begin hiking clockwise against the usual traffic flow—if there were any traffic. We seem to have the place all to ourselves on this mid-week morning, until a pair of white-tailed deer leap from the trailside brush. The two does lope ahead 50 yards or so at a time as we ascend toward the summit of High Top, the preserve’s highest point. High Top offers stunning winter vistas, but a profusion of summer foliage and undergrowth confines our view to a dome of blue sky and a county communications tower perched on the peak. As we retrace the short spur leading back to the main trail, Truslow pauses briefly to admire the rust-colored flowering spikes adorning a sumac tree. Of course, spring is prime time to enjoy the greatest diversity of flowering trees and wildflowers at Fortune’s Cove. Truslow cites an PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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abundance of white fringetree (often called “old man’s beard”) as a star attraction. “It’s kind of a nondescript tree until that handful of weeks in the spring when it flowers, and then they really pop out of the forest,” he says. Truslow recommends the Lower Loop as the best place to find these billowing white blooms. Springtime displays here also include flowering mountain laurel, rhododendron, dogwood, and wild azalea. On the ground, look for more delicate wildflowers such as fire pink, which boasts the ruby-throated hummingbird as its primary pollinator. Summer is no slouch of a season, either. Perhaps a quartermile beyond High Top, we take a water break at a small rocky clearing, roughly half of which is carpeted with dayflowers. Blooms hover over emerald-green, ground-covering foliage, like tiny periwinkle-hued butterflies. At eye level, an opening in the foliage affords views of The Priest Wilderness in the distance. Nearby, Truslow points out a stone foundation, all that remains of a former camp cabin. “The Woods family built it in the early 1900s, and they used it as a retreat to play cards and things like that,” says Truslow. As we follow the preserve’s undulating eastern ridgeline, a series of rocky glades affords us clear views of picture-book farm scenery down in the cove’s heart, as well as seemingly endless blue mountain ridges. When the late Jane Heyward first approached The Nature Conservancy about donating Fortune’s Cove and creating public access, it was these glades that most excited TNC’s conservation scientists— but not because of the views, however breathtaking they can be. Thanks to surveys conducted by state Natural Heritage Program biologists, TNC discovered an ecological treasure hidden among these rocky outcrops. “The glades are globally rare,” Truslow explains. “There are probably fewer than 20 of them in the whole world.” These westfacing rock surfaces create a desert-like environment in which an extremely unusual combination of plants can thrive. “I think they’re cool because these plant communities grow on top of super-hot rock,” says Truslow. “It’s a bunch of really tough plants that are capable of surviving those conditions, but also vulnerable globally as a community because there aren’t many of them.” One of the largest glades is situated at the eastern junction of the upper and lower loops, and we linger here for a while, absorbing the scenery and taking time to observe details— from the varied hues and textures of rock-clinging lichens to dainty yellow wildflowers and little bluestem grass waving in the occasional breeze. Scanning the surrounding trees—Virginia pines and chestnut oaks, mostly—I spot a praying mantis waiting on a dogwood branch for its next meal to wander by. Then, putting a bookend on our hike, I notice a cigar-sized caterpillar dangling overhead. This aptly named hickory horned devil will soon turn into a regal moth, but eyeing its fearsome-looking head, I’d as easily believe I’m staring into the face of a freshly hatched dragon. Truslow says exactly what I’ve been thinking over much of our hike: “A lot of what you see here—it’s just best to go slow and take your time and enjoy it. You will miss a lot if you go quickly.” For a trail map and other information about visiting Fortune’s Cove Preserve, go online to nature.org/fortunescove.
A WINDOW THROUGH TIME
A look into Fauquier County’s 18th-Century German Past BY KRISTIE KENDALL
BY KRISTIE KENDALL (2)
riving through Fauquier County, I am often reminded of the strong German history in the area – signs for Rectortown off Route 17 north of Marshall, Holtzclaw Road near Warrenton and Fishback Mountain near The Plains – all subtle reminders that German roots run deep here. The Rectors, Holtzclaws, Fishbacks, and other families were part of a group of 42 people who settled at Fort Germanna in 1714 and were later named the Germanna “First Colony,” as they were the first organized group of German immigrants to settle in Virginia. Many other Germans came as part of the “Second Colony,” in 1717. And well into the 1730s, even more German immigrants came and settled near their relatives in Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, and Madison Counties. A recently re-discovered historic property with a log house and cemetery along the Rappahannock River in western Fauquier County is beginning to teach us more about this early group of Germans that settled the area. Nestled among groves of oak, poplar, and pine trees, just a few hundred feet north of the Rappahannock River is a small log house. At first look,
Top: Southern and eastern façades of the Peter Hitt house, January 2018. Above: Cemetery at the Peter Hitt Property. Stakes with survey flagging mark each of the 35 burials. PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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HISTORY the house appears to be just barely standing. In 1803, the family owned four horses, 15 Germanna Foundation Its western wall is bowing out and the stone head of cattle, 15 head of sheep, four calves, In addition to the recently acquired chimney is crumbling from the weight of and 44 hogs. The animals, coupled with the Hitt property in Fauquier, the Germanna Foundation owns the failing wall. The logs have been removed presence of two scythes, various tools, a cutseveral properties in the area from the northern façade of the house, leavting box, cross cut saw, two flax wheels, and where the First and Second Colony ing it open to the elements. I see window a woolen wheel on the inventory demonof Germans settled in Orange and Culpeper Counties. glass scattered on the ground in front of the strate a small agricultural operation on the house. I step inside. farm. A grindstone, one still, and tubs and A 178-acre property in Orange County along the Rapidan River The old pine floors creak and bow under a series of gallon measures suggests that the that houses the Fort Germanna my weight. I look up to see exposed beaded family also ran a small distilling operation, Visitor Center and Siegen Forest joists in the ceiling, which have never been as well. Inside the house, the family had with a variety of hiking trails and historic sites covered up. H-hinges are still attached to two beds with furnishings, and two smaller the little door underneath the staircase. Rose bedsteads in the living area, along with two A 58-acre Fort Germanna archaeological site that includes an head handmade nails support floor boards side stables, six stone jugs, one trunk, and a active archaeological investigation on the staircase. This house is older than I mirror. In the kitchen area, the family had to locate the site of the previously thought. Faint writing covers various kitchen furniture, along with seven westernmost settlement in Britain’s large Virginia Colony in 1714 the walls – bushels of corn totaled, cords of chairs, several pieces of earthenware, ten wood cut– important reminders that this pewter plates, three pewter dishes, and two A 19-acre property in Culpeper property was once a working farm. pewter basins with a soup spoon. County near Stevensburg that includes the historic Georgian One hundred yards from the house is a Hannah continued to live on the property mansion known as Salubria cemetery with a handful of fieldstones and following her husband’s death. She renewed (ca.1757). crudely inscribed headstones. I study the Peter Hitt’s lease of 200 acres in 1840, once The Fort Germanna site along stone marking the grave of Peter Hitt, a dethe property’s ownership passed from the the Rapidan River in Orange scendant of the early German group that arFairfax heirs to James Markham Marshall. County, where we have an active archaeological investigation, gives rived in Virginia in 1714. A crisp February Hannah died in 1846 and is buried next to us another incredible opportunity day, the grass that envelops the cemetery in Peter Hitt in the family cemetery. to learn about the lives of these the spring and summer has since died and In the decades following Hannah’s death, subsequent generations of German immigrants who were it is easy to see undulations in the earth. I the property passed into the ownership of pushing up against the next crouch down to look at a clearly disturbed the Cromwell and Gore families. In 1872, frontier in the late 18th century. area near Peter’s grave that has a deep deCraven O. Gore and Thornton Cromwell germanna.org • 540-423-1700 pression. There seems to be a rock that was jointly purchased a 184-acre tract of land, pushed down into the earth. I run my fingers which overlapped with the 200-acre Hitt over the cold stone and begin to trace over lease. Craven, along with wife Sarah Madthe faint imprint of letters and numbers. It’s another headstone. dux and children lived in the former Hitt family’s log house and Peter Heite (Hitt), grandfather of the Peter Hitt buried in this farmed the surrounding 91 acres along the Rappahannock River. cemetery, emigrated to Virginia along with his future wife, Ells- Craven and Sarah’s sons John and Joshua remained on the farm beth Otterbach, and 40 other Germans in 1714, as part of the with their respective families until sometime around 1918 or 1919. “First Colony.” They initially settled at Fort Germanna along the Seemingly forgotten and abandoned, this small family cemetery Rapidan River under the auspices of Lieutenant Governor Al- was re-discovered in the early 2000s. In order to protect it, Russell exander Spotswood, who intended to use them for mining ven- Hitt, a distant relative of Peter Hitt, purchased the cemetery and tures. By early 1719, they moved to Germantown in Fauquier adjacent parcel with the log house in 2006. In 2007, Russell gifted County (then part of Stafford County), along Licking Run near the cemetery parcel to the Germanna Foundation, a non-profit orpresent-day Midland. Peter and Ellsbeth’s son, John Hitt, had a ganization chartered in 1956 to preserve the heritage of the earliest son named Peter, born between 1756 and 1760. Peter married organized settlements of Germans in colonial Virginia. In October Hannah James at Turkey Run Church near Warrenton in 1783, 2017, the Hitt Foundation gave the adjacent parcel with the log following his service in the Revolution. house to the Germanna Foundation as well. Peter Hitt acquired a 200-acre lease in 1791 along the north bank As a Hitt descendant myself, and a board member of the Germanna of the Rappahannock River and west bank of Thumb Run, land which Foundation, I was thrilled by this generous gift from the Hitt family. was owned by the heirs of Lord Fairfax at the time. His 200-acre lease Research over the past year into the history of the cemetery first appears in the Fauquier County land tax books in 1799, when and the log house has revealed a deeper and more complicated his property is valued at $4 per acre and his total land tax is $0.64. In history. A Ground Penetrating Radar study found that this 1802, Peter Hitt died and was buried just north of his home. Peter’s supposedly small family cemetery, with only a handful of grave wife, Hannah James, remained on the property after his death. markers, actually had 35 burials. Local experts visited the log From Peter Hitt’s 1803 property inventory and appraisal, we get house and located a number of early features in the building a unique glimpse into the lives of the Hitt family on this property. such as six panel doors with H-hinges, exposed beaded ceiling
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Clockwise from top left: Newly discovered headstone in the Hitt Family Cemetery. Inscription reads: L.R. July 31, 1829. PHOTO BY KRISTIE KENDALL
Detailed view of a batten door on the southern façade of the Peter Hitt house. The door is likely original to the house construction. PHOTO BY ELLIS HITT.
Close up of Peter Hitt’s headstone in the Hitt Family Cemetery. PHOTO BY ERIC LARSEN.
Detail of tight v-notching in the logs on the southern façade of the Peter Hitt house. PHOTO BY ERIC LARSEN.
joists, handmade rose-headed nails, and original window casings. A dendrochronology (tree ring dating) of the logs in the house in the summer of 2018 revealed that the logs were from yellow pine trees felled in the spring of 1800. The one-and-ahalf-story, four-room log house would have been completed before the winter of 1800.
Beginning in early January 2019, the Germanna Foundation took the first steps at rehabilitating the log cabin by doing preliminary stabilization and bracing of its elements. The long term plan for the Peter Hitt farm and cemetery is still being developed, but the foundation is investigating the best ways to preserve the historic cabin and make this property accessible to the public. PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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WINSLOW: a canid interview BY ED FELKER
Piedmont Virginian recently had the opportunity to sit down with Winslow, a 2-year-old Wirehaired Dachshund living in Loudoun County. Over biscuits on his front porch, we found out a bit about what makes this Teckel tick. PIEDMONT VIRGINIAN: Thanks for chatting with us. May I call you Winslow? WINSLOW: Of course. I also answer to Chikinbutt, Squirt, or any number of other nicknames. But mostly it’s Winslow. PV: Winslow is a very distinguished name for a dog that’s 44 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
rather… well, you know. W: No, I don’t know. PV: I don’t mean to offend, but you’re kind of… W: Just say it. PV: Silly. W: Oh that. Yes I can see how some might say that. It’s my body, right? | SPRING 2019
PV: Yes. Your legs, W: Some say they
in particular. are very, very short. I like to think they’re just long enough to reach the ground. PV: Also your feet. W: What’s wrong with my feet?? PV: Well, your front ones are really big. W: Ah, my diggin’ paddles. Im-
pressive, huh? I think I’m bred to hunt burrowing animals or rescue trapped miners or something. Until I find that special purpose I intend to just keep practicing by ruining the yard. PV: And your back feet are rather… delicate. W: Are they? Never seen ‘em,
to be honest. They’re pretty far away. But when I’m running they are sort of just along for the ride. I’m what you’d call front wheel drive. PV: Sorry, I’ve gotten off track already. So you are a Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund, also known as a ‘Teckel?’ W: I started as a Miniature, but I outgrew that designation. My dad says it’s because so much awesome could not be contained in a miniature body. ‘Teckel’ can refer to any Dachshund, but in places like Britain and Hungary, where I’m from, it means a working, Wirehaired Dachshund. PV: Tell me about your hobbies. I understand you enjoy the outdoors? W: I have been hiking a lot with my siblings and that’s super fun. I love tracking too. I tried kayaking and I like it, but the water makes me nervous. Not a strong swimmer, despite these canoe paddles at the end of my arms. PV: So the swimming, is it a mental block? W: Oh no, it’s definitely a physical block. I get in the water and spin upside down like a fat guy in a hammock. Try doing the backstroke with two inch legs. PV: You mentioned tracking. What kind of tracking? W: I’ve been training to do blood tracking for wounded deer. It’s something we Teckels are often good at because we have great noses. Being close to the ground helps with the scent, of course, but with that comes often having to navigate through heavy brush and tall grass. So you’ve also got to be tough to push through all that. But when I get on a scent trail, there’s no stopping me! I have recovered a few deer for my dad and his friends. They always
make me feel like a hero whether I find the deer or not. PV: Can we talk about clothes and costumes? W: Oh, my God! Look, I don’t know what kind of photos you’re planning to run but I can’t help what he makes me wear. I have an attorney and I will… PV: No no no, don’t worry, we will only run photos you have agreed to. No costumes, I promise. It just seems like small dogs tend to get humiliated with embarrassing outfits. W: Well if it’s cold and I’m wearing a coat, that’s one thing. As we touched on before, I am close to the ground and sometimes I welcome an extra layer. But the ‘I’m with Stupid’ tshirts and stuff I can do without. He got me a sweatshirt once, a hoodie, with pockets on the back so you could see them. Think about that. Pockets. On the back. Two inch legs. Hope there’s nothing important in there. And forget about hats. I do not do hats at all. The only purely decorative clothing I like is my Oktoberfest outfit. PV: You’re an Oktoberfest fan? W: Where I live in Lovettsville there is a great festival that features Wienerdog races. That’s another name for dogs like me, Wienerdogs. Anyway, it’s a big deal. I had only been in America for a couple months the first time I ran as a 5-month old, I was the youngest racer in the field. But it’s a whole weekend of fun and everyone dresses up in German whatever it is, Leadersomething? PV: Lederhosen. W: That’s it. I have a little shirt that looks like that. Everyone loves when I wear it. PV: How did you do in the race? W: I won my first race and lost my second one. The following year I did the same, won one
JOANNA WRIGHT CLOVER CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY
and lost one. It’s a single elimination tournament. PV: So, not exactly dominant in the racing. W: Easy now. Lots of Hall of Famers with records worse than .500 you know. But, sure, I’ll admit that it took me a while to even figure out I was supposed to race. I like to chase dogs that run away from me, for instance. My dad says that’s a great way to come in second in a two-dog race. PV: But you did eventually fig-
ure out the point of it? W: Oh yeah, this last Oktoberfest I had my best races yet. I won my first two races and reached the Final Four, but lost the next one. I did get to race again for a shot at third place but came up a couple inches short (heh) so I ended up fourth out of sixteen racers. I’m happy with that. Mostly I’m happy for my dad. PV: He’s proud of you, win or lose, I’m sure. W: I know. But I think for him, for months leading up to Oktoberfest he’s promoting me, designing logos, printing shirts, stuff like that. Then the day comes, and the whole town is cheering, chanting my name even, and he holds me up like Lion King, I know that’s fun for him. PV: So it’s good to win and keep that moment going for as long as possible. W: Right. It’s the one time when the entire town celebrates me, celebrates every dog there, the same way we are celebrated every day at home. PV: You are the Lion King. W: I am the Lion King. PV: Winslow, it has been a pleasure. Thank you for your time. Would you like a cookie? W: Don’t mind if I do.
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IN THE GARDEN
From Sea-Monkeys to Seed-Monkeys Where is the Truth in Advertising? BY CARLA VERGOT
s the seed catalogs fill the actual mailbox and the emails from our favorite garden companies fill the virtual one, I find myself contemplating truth in advertising. Who here is old enough to remember the ad for sea-monkeys printed in comic books? The detailed illustration showed a family of creatures who lived in a world that anyone could create using a fish bowl from K-Mart. There was a mom, a dad, an older child who was definitely a boy, and a toddler who I assumed was a girl. The mom had blonde hair in a kicky mermaid bob, lipstick, and a red bow around her threepronged antennae apparatus. My border collie, Molly, left me sorely wanting the first time I saw an ad for sea-monkeys. Dog schmog. A sea-monkey— now that was a family pet! They were sea-monkeys, for crying out loud, with arms and legs, hands 46 PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
and flippers, fingers and tails. They had mouths, and in the advertisement I was sure I saw bubbles, as if they were actually speaking to each other. I mean, who knew what language, but they were clearly evolved enough to communicate. I wanted sea-monkeys in the worst way. It was all I could talk about. And I talked about it to everyone non-stop, until my mama couldn’t take the sustained pleading any longer and in a moment of weakness caved. She started, “If that’s how you want to spend your money…,” at which point I promptly stopped listening. Yes. Yes! That’s how I wanted to spend my money! In addition to the buck twenty-five (plus fifty cents shipping), I had to scrape together enough to buy a fish bowl because no sea-monkey family of mine would live in a mixing bowl previously used to make meatloaf and snickerdoodle cookies. I needed a real fish | SPRING 2019
bowl, and I needed a castle for them to live in, which meant a trip to the aquatics department at the local pet store. I gave my dad a fistful of sweaty coins, and he wrote a check. I carefully clipped the yellow coupon and addressed the envelope in my best penmanship. Then I thumb-tacked the picture on my cork board and started checking the mailbox twice a day for a package that would include sea-monkey eggs, a one-year supply of food, and the “magnificent, fully illustrated manual of seamonkey care, raising, training and breeding.” My “bowlfull of happiness” couldn’t arrive fast enough. Yep, that’s how “bowlful” was spelled in the ad. The eggs I got seemed like microscopic shreds of dehydrated dish sponge that did
absorb water but did not grow legs, teeth, or flippers, and most certainly did not talk. And not one of the rehydrated sponge shreds had a red bow. Not one. I was inconsolable, and to this day, the sea-monkey deceit still stings. I measure all other ads by that one, not just commercials for products, but anything that encourages me to believe something.
IN THE GARDEN WITH CARLA VERGOT
Ricky, for example, did not pass the sea-monkey test when we met. He led me to believe he was an accomplished texter. Come to find out, not only did he not send text messages, but he didn’t even know how. In the time it took for me to uncover this blatant case of false advertising, I was already in too deep. Our dog, Booker, (aka Ricky’s dog) is another example. He wears a collar with the phrase “Best. Dog. Ever.” emblazoned in thread. Flat out lie. This dog is in the running for the worst dog of all times. Stands to reason that a man who falsely advertised would have a dog who does the same. The garden might be the one frontier where I let my guard down. It’s where I fall for it all over again. The seeds equate to vegetable sea-monkeys. Seed-monkeys, if you will. I see pictures of Brussels sprouts the size of golf balls, slender lilac-colored eggplants, and golden purslane with its tantalizing tenderness and whopping amounts of omega-3 fatty acids… and I want them. Catalogs promise me that Lime Crisp cucumbers produces “hordes” of fruit, that Magellan Persian Carpet zinnias “weave a plush tapestry of color,” and that Castelfranco Radicchio is a “high dollar crop for market growers.” Don’t get me started on the Moon and Stars watermelon whose dark green rind is decorated with splotches of yellow that look like the heavenly bodies from which it derives the name.
The eggs I got seemed like microscopic shreds of dehydrated dish sponge that did absorb water but did not grow legs, teeth, or flippers, and most certainly did not talk. In the moment, my desire knows no limit. Hard scientific data like hardiness zones or soil composition can’t bring me back to reality. I pretend I’ve never seen a bug and that disease doesn’t exist. If that guy could grow it, surely we can, too. The lesson I learned regarding truth in advertising is so far away. Lesson? What lesson? I want them in our garden in a way that only a sea-monkey would understand. Even memories of failed crops don’t dissuade me. We’ve planted pumpkins every year. In print, the jolly orange globes look fat and happy and so easy that a little kid in a striped shirt can win a blue ribbon at a county fair. In our garden, there’s never been a blue ribbon pumpkin. There’s never even been a green softball on its way to becoming a pumpkin. Just a lot of long leafy vines running all over the place and getting in my way. I fell for the okra lie, too. I devoted half a bed to the promise of pounds and pounds of delicious fried okra. They grew like crazy, big and rambunctious, and for the six or seven pods we collected, not worth the investment. And then there was the broccoli… Since Ricky also has zero self control where wishful planting is concerned, I circle items and fold the corners down, knowing he’ll take the bait. As I flip the pages, I hear the faintest whisper, “If that’s how you want to spend your money…” Yes. Yes it is.
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pringtime in Virginia is arguably the most beautiful season of the year. The landscape begins to green, the redbuds’ pink blossoms are always a welcome sight as they add color to the landscape. The daffodils and crocuses bloom, adding even more color. By springtime, we are so tired of the greys and browns that dominate the winter landscape, and eager for the beauty of spring to arrive. Not surprisingly, springtime in the Piedmont is a favorite season for creating art for many of our talented local artists...how could it not be, with all the natural splendor emerging? We’ve collected a few of their colorful, springtime landscape and floral images that should help you see our emerging landscape through their eyes and appreciate this wonderful season all the more. Imagine yourself in a field of bluebells, or arranging fresh-cut flowers in a vase in your home, and enjoy the Piedmont’s most beautiful season!
Riverside Bluebells by Armand Cabrera, Warrenton, armandcabrera.com
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP, LEFT: Lillies by Barbara Sharp, Round Hill, sharpartdesigns.com Mekong by Winslow McCagg, Millwood, facebook.com/winslow.mccagg White Roses by Becky Parrish, Gordonsville, beckyparrish.com | Gig in the Garden by Brian Whelan, Waterford, Brianwhelan.co.uk PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP, LEFT: Oh Shenandoah by Chee Kludt Ricketts, Stanardsville, cheekludtricketts.com | Peach Trees Blooming in Chiles Orchard by Ida Simmons, Esmont, idasimmonsart.com | Irises by Leslie Barham, Stanardsville, firnewfarmartistscircle.wordpress.com | Plane Tree by Daphne vom Baur, Warrenton, corrigangallery.com | Rooster XVII by Gail Guirreri, Millwood, equineimpressions.com | Praying Grasses by Trish Crowe, Hood, trishcrowe.blogspot.com
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THE ART OF TONIA PRIOLO BY ED FELKER PHOTOS COURTESY OF @CHALKOHOLIC
f you’ve been to Lost Rhino Brewing Company in the past seven years or so you have, no doubt, been introduced to the captivating art of Tonia Priolo. Upon entering the popular tasting room in Ashburn, the first thing customers see is the draft board with colorful illustrations for each of the beer offerings. Elsewhere around the brewery, oversized portraits, moviethemed event boards, and special event announcements are on display. High on one wall, Napoleon Dynamite’s portrait draws attention to the upcoming live music lineup. Some of the blackboards
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The appeal of Priolo’s work is not just local, though. The advent of social media – Instagram in particular – has been most valuable to artists like Priolo, bringing a huge community together in one place, including other local chalk artists. “Instagram is so helpful for sharing work, tips, tricks, and coordinating events and collaborations,” she said. “It has also put me in direct contact with people all over the world, providing me with unique opportunities to travel and do what I love.” Instagram has opened unexpected doors for Priolo. She was contacted by a professional skateboarder in L.A. who wanted her to do some artwork for his company’s social media outreach. Having been a part of the skateboarding community since she was a kid, she was understandably ‘stoked’ to do work for them. Thanks to connections made through Instagram, she is also working on a project with a tour manager of one of her favorite bands. “I’ve been able to see shows from backstage and meet people I never thought I’d meet,” she said, grinning. “It’s incredible.” Priolo is excited to be a featured artist at Northern Virginia’s All Star Comic Con this summer, displaying and selling prints of her work as well as doing live demos at the Chalkoholic booth. “The
(LEFT) PHOTO BY ED FELKER
are bright and playful, others dark and soulful. All are created in chalk. Priolo, known around the area and on social media by her moniker, “Chalkoholic,” has been drawn to art since childhood. Her favorite Christmas gift was always Crayola crayons. “My mom let me draw on the wallpaper in my bedroom,” she said. “I remember drawing a giant kangaroo and a mountain lion with crayons and colored pencils.” In middle school and high school art classes she used pastels. It was much later, working for a brewpub that needed large menu boards designed for a festival, when her love affair with chalk took hold. “I realized how much I loved working with chalk and how much people enjoyed the artwork,” she said. It was fun to use her lifelong passion for art at her job, even if it meant designing only menu boards from time to time. After five years there, then eight years of being home with her kids, Priolo was going through major changes in her life and needed to take on some outside work. She had enjoyed the fun atmosphere of the brewing industry, so she started by looking there. As luck would have it, Lost Rhino had advertised that they needed some chalkboards done.
“I went there with my tiny portfolio and got the job to do some artwork for them,” she said. “A month later, they expanded their hours and I found myself working there full-time, doing chalk art and helping to manage the tasting room.” Almost seven years and more than 1,000 chalkboards later, Priolo’s style has become an integral facet of the brewery’s brand identity. “Tonia’s work provides an organic and personal touch to the entire identity of the brand,” Logan Martin, the brewery’s in-house graphic designer said. “It helps Lost Rhino stand out amongst the cookie-cutter establishments.” While Lost Rhino does keep her busy, she finds time for additional corporate clients as well as doing animal portraits and other projects. Balancing her growing career with being a mom is challenging, to say the least. “Luckily, most of the projects that I do are based on things that I love,” she said. “Passion is an incredible driving force.” One recent work that’s getting much attention is a mural (in paint, not chalk) on the wall of the dining room at Ashburn’s Buffalo Wing Factory. The mural depicts a row of beer taps, each with a different glass of local craft beer beneath it. The painting is extremely realistic. “So many times we have had guests stop on their way in or out of the restaurant to check out the mural, often going up to touch it because the ‘wood’ frame looks so real,” Nikki Sicilian, the restaurant’s director of communication and public relations said. “She was so committed to getting this project perfect we even went to the breweries to get photos of the beers in their proper glassware.” Sicilian admitted that particular field trip for research and development was not a painful one. Restaurants like the Buffalo Wing Factory can buy wall art from anywhere to decorate their walls. But to collaborate with a local artist to create something utterly original is more meaningful to customers and staff alike. Just as people desire quality local beer, they enjoy the connection with local art as well.
people that are involved in this Comic Con are some of the most fun, creative, and genuinely nice people I have ever known,” she said. “It is a true family.” When doing live demos, Priolo sketches out a design ahead of time, then draws live for up to five hours. “I really love doing live art projects,” she said. “Feeling the energy from a crowd and seeing the response from people is truly a fun and rewarding experience.” Watching Chalkoholic at work is mesmerizing. Working mostly on textured plywood that she paints with chalkboard paint, she builds layers upon layers of colors that might not seem right at first but blend perfectly on the board. Details, highlights, shadows, all unfold before your eyes. Music is a major component of the creative process for Priolo, helping her focus during those long live sessions as well as when she’s working alone. If she has chalk in her hand and a board in front of her, her signature Bose headphones are sure to be on her head. “Listening to music during a project not only provides me with a certain kind of creative energy while I’m drawing, but also helps to basically transport me into a working zone that can last for hours,” she said. “It allows me to be fully emerged into my work without any distractions.”
Her music of choice: punk rock. Chalk by nature is not a permanent medium. Undoubtedly, many of her signature pieces will stand the test of time, whether hanging on a wall out of reach, or fixed with a sealer (Priolo is always experimenting with materials and methods of preservation). But inevitably, some work is erased to make room for something new. “Erasing my work is always kind of sad, but I take hundreds of photos and always have a plan in mind for what’s next,” she said. “Chalk allows me to have a never-ending platform to always be creating and learning.” PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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Carla Vergot’s Lily Barlow, the Mystery of Jane Dough We are delighted to feature this excerpt from Lily Barlow, the Mystery of Jane Dough by Carla Vergot, Haymarket resident and longtime writer for The Piedmont Virginian. We have long appreciated Carla’s writing, which revolves around her garden as it helps her through life’s ups and downs in stories related with a dry humor and sometimes heartbreaking honesty. Lily Barlow, the Mystery of Jane Dough is part romance, part mystery, and totally entertaining. It’s set in Marshall, Virginia, and stars Lily Barlow, a UVA co-ed who comes back home begrudgingly to deal with her family’s struggling bakery, her best friend Jack (who suddenly wants to be more than friends), a quirky landlord, and some aggressive chickens, all while trying to solve a mystery of an unidentified murder victim. We couldn’t put it down, and you won’t be able to either.
ithout so much as a handshake, I had my apartment. Cleaner and more comfortable than I could have hoped… It was around six p.m. when I jumped in the Wrangler…My destination was Cinco Sombreros, a small, turquoisecolored Mexican dive on the edge of town… I didn’t bother to text [Mercedes]. She’d be there. She was always there. Mercedes poured me a shot of ice cold tequila and put a basket of chips and a bowl of guacamole in front of me… [She] pulled a stool to the other side of the bar and started slicing limes… “What are you going to do?” she asked. “If drinking is an option, I think I’ll just do that.” “Here’s my advice…Go home, google ‘dough,’ and start researching. Learn everything you can about it. Get intimate with it. Embrace it. Maybe you hate the bakery so much because it’s always been an adversary.” “Learn to love it?” I couldn’t have sounded more incredulous. “No,” she shook her head. “That’s not what I’m saying.” She started again, “You know that chiquita in the books you like so much? Stacy Prune?” “Stephanie Plum,” I corrected, tartly. “Yeah, yeah. P fruit. Prune, pear, peach, pomegranate,” she said and smiled her wicked smile. “Pull a Plum. Get all undercover with dough. Detective the shit out of it. Find its weaknesses and exploit them. Maybe, on your terms, you’ll decide you could have a relationship with the bakery after all. If there’s no bakery, Lilita, how will you pay for college?…” I didn’t have time to respond. From my stool, I watched Wayne Davis and Joe Turner meander into the restaurant. Hell’s bells and sizzling snowflakes. The place was mostly empty, but they made their way to the one table that was annoyingly close to our spot at the bar. Joe circled around and pulled me off my perch. “Lily Barlow. Mmh, girl.” He leaned in for a hug. “When’d you get home?” Hugging was kind of a standard greeting in these parts, so after Joe, I stepped over and gave Wayne a hug. “Today,” I answered, and to underscore just how recently I had arrived, I added, “Haven’t even seen Dad and ‘em yet.” PIEDMONTVIRGINIAN.COM |
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FICTION Wayne and Joe were friends of ours who wards embrace, I turned around to face drove boomEXT:png:END trucks for Republic Building him. “Hey, Jack-a-lope,” I drew out my EXT Supply. It was clear from the day’s worth greeting, taking him in. After I gave him EXT:png:END of dirt on their clothes that theEXT boys had the once over, I asked, “You here for tacos?” “Nope. I’mIra here for you.Lane Joe texted to just gotten off work and were stopping in 16033 Hoffman a few shots. I’ll drive home. for a beer before getting serious about their say you had 16033 Hoffmanyou Lane Culpeper, VAIra22701 I’m on later tonight, and I don’t like workFriday-night options. Oh, and Joe hapEXT:png:END EXT Culpeper, VAespecially 22701 when kmlawngardenarborist.com car accidents, pened to be Jack’s older brother. My Jack. ing single they involve people I care about.” Best friend Jack… (540)kmlawngardenarborist.com 825-8371 Ira Hoffman Lane I considered just how much I had to On the slim chance Jack didn’t know I 16033 (540) 825-8371 drink. It’d been over the course of a couple was home, I gave it about fifteen seconds Culpeper, VA 22701 three hours, and it wasn’t like I slammed before he heard it from Joe. I watched a kmlawngardenarborist.com waitress drop two bottles at their table, and shots the whole time. “I haven’t had that (540) 825-8371 in my peripheral vision I saw Joe punching much.” “Listen, it’s been my experience that something into his phone. Didn’t matter. I was fixin’ to leave any- you never know exactly how much you’ve way. I got up to hug Mercedes, which, like had. So, since I’m here...” he gently nudged any alcohol-laced goodbye, took longer me… Outside…I climbed into his truck…All than necessary. During the process, I was surprised when a strong arm came from too soon, [he] opened his door, triggering behind and pulled me into a broad, hard the obnoxious dinging noise that brought me out of my half sleep. Now I felt every chest. I felt a kiss land on EXT:png:END EXT the side of my ounce of the alcohol. I let him walk around head. 16033 the Ira Hoffman front Lane of the truck, because he always “Lily of the Valley,” Jack tightened his VA 22701 opened doors for women… embrace. “When’d you get back, girl?” Culpeper, kmlawngardenarborist.com He helped me out and I dug for the Disengaging from the awkward back(540) 825-8371
orange starfish in my pocket. The stairs looked a little steeper than they had this afternoon, and I leaned on him, enjoying his clean soapy smell. Then I asked him a question which showed I definitely had too much to drink. “We’ve been friends for a long time,” I started. It looked like he was adding it up in his head. “Sixteen years, right?” He filled in the number. “If we’ve been friends for sixteen years, why haven’t we ever slept together?” He made a soft, hum sound, waited a beat and whispered close to my ear, “Here’s the thing, Lily. We just haven’t slept together yet.” I stumbled on the next step, but I didn’t know if it was from the buzz or this new information. “Tonight?” I suggested, surprising myself. “Not tonight.” “Why not tonight?” “Two reasons. First, you’re stressed, which likely accounts for reason number two, you’re drunk.” Checking to see that I
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FICTION was listening, he said, “When we do, it’ll be awesome, and you’ll wanna remember it.” He took the key, unlocked the door, and maneuvered me toward the bathroom. The place was small, so there were only two doors it could be. “Can you stand?” “Yes,” I insisted, holding the doorknob tight. “Can you pee?” “Yes.” “Good. I’ll wait here.” When I was done, he was right where I left him, only with a glass of water and two Tylenol. I had no idea where the Tylenol came from. For never having been a Boy Scout, Jack was always prepared so he probably brought the pills with him. I drank about half, handed the glass back, moved to the couch and plopped down. Looking up, I smiled. “Thank you.” “You’re welcome. Do you need anything?” Tipping my head to think, I decided I didn’t need anything. He reached down for my hand and hoisted me up off the couch. “I’ll come by tomorrow around ten and take you for the Jeep. Lock the door when I leave.” I followed him to the door, where he gave me a long hug that felt like a warm blanket. He pulled his hands down my bare arms, stopping to grab hold of my wrists, “I’m serious about what I said.” I blinked, “About locking the door?” “No, Lily. About sleeping together.” He let himself out before I could process the comment, let alone formulate a reply. I was still thinking about it five seconds later when he rapped on the other side of the door. “Lock it.” Clicking the deadbolt, I heard his heavy boots disappear down the steps, but I side-stepped to the little window and moved the curtain an inch to spy. Jack stopped by his truck. I saw him tip his Washington Nationals ball cap, something he did when greeting women. Was he talking to somebody in the yard? Miss Delphine? I could make out a shadow at the dark end of the porch and a slow, rhythmic movement. Was she in the rocking chair? He nodded in that direction, got in the truck and left. Back on the couch, I finished the glass of water, wished I had another beer, and tried to remember something from the bar. Something Mercedes told me to do. Google something? What was it? Something to eat? P fruits? No...No...Dough! Yes, google dough. Embrace the dough. Be the dough. I flipped open the Mac, stumbled over to the fridge for the WiFi code, checked the fridge in case the last tenant left a bottle of beer in there,
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FICTION cursed the last tenant for drinking all the beer, and headed back to the living room. A notoriously bad speller, my hazy mind and slow fingers were not helpful, so the first thing that made it into the search window was the wrong kind of dough. I typed the letters d-o-e and hit enter. *** It was a chicken noise that roused me from the hypnotic Doe stupor at five thirty a.m. I hadn’t been to bed. In fact, I hadn’t moved more than a few inches within the burrow of macramé pillows on the couch. Remembering my commitment to feed Miss Delphine’s chickens, I slipped on a pair of lime green flip flops and took the stairs nice and slow ‘cause of the hangover. At the bottom, I encountered one of them blocking my way. We stared each other down for about thirty seconds. “C’mon, McNugget, get outta the way.” *** It was ten-o-five when I heard the knock and yelled, “Come in!” “Why isn’t the door locked?” “What?” I said from the couch.
“The deadbolt. Remember? You locked it last night when I left.” It took me a few seconds to think it through, but I got there. “Oh, right,” I nodded. “I forgot to lock it back after I fed the chickens at the butt crack of dawn this morning.” Jack retrieved two large cups of coffee wedged carefully into opposite corners of the box he set on the kitchen table. I knew one was black and one had plenty of cream and sugar. Handing me the cream and sugar, he repeated, shaking his head in obvious confusion, “Wait. You fed the chickens?” “Not by choice, believe me. It’s a little arrangement I have with Miss Delphine.” “Well, how did that go?” “I’ll tell you exactly how it went. I would have dialed 911, except my freakin’ phone was up here on the freakin’ coffee table.” He laughed. I guessed he was trying to imagine me running from a single chicken, and then chickens plural. Couldn’t blame him. I didn’t possess one chicken-related skill… I watched him take in my messy brown ponytail and overall rumpled appearance. He seemed to notice I was still wearing the shorts
and Abercrombie tee I had on yesterday. “Did you sleep?” In mid coffee-sip, I shook my head no, avoiding his blue eyes. “Why not?” he asked, genuinely confounded. “Jack, you don’t want to know,” I sighed. “Literally, more than anything.” He grinned. “I kinda got sucked into something on the computer.” “Can you tell me about it while I check the batteries in your smoke detectors?” He moved over to the box he brought with him and unloaded several new smoke alarms and an unopened Costco-sized sleeve of nine-volt batteries. After a quick walkthrough, which he could have done standing in one spot and turning in a circle, he asked, “How’s your head this morning?” I groaned for emphasis. “I could damn sure use an aspirin. You got any in that box?” “Down in the truck. Cover your ears while I test this one.” He was standing on a kitchen chair, which didn’t look safe at all. The smoke alarm only made a few sickly
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FICTION chirps. He popped the cover and replaced the battery. With that one in good working order, he pulled the chair into the bedroom and got to work screwing one to the ceiling in there. “Is that for when I’m in here burning up the sheets with my latest conquest?” I smirked from the doorway. “For when we’re in here burning up the sheets.” Over his shoulder he gave me one of his trademark winks. Was that a reference left over from something we talked about last night? Good Lord, did we kiss or something? Impossible. But there was an idea nagging me. I just couldn’t pull it out of the dark, drunk corner of my mind. Expertly changing the subject I said, “So last night I found this website called the Doe Network. Have you ever heard of it?” “Dough like in bread?” “That’s what I was looking for! Mercedes told me to study up on dough, make my peace with the bakery, blah, blah, blah. Well…Instead of typing d-o-u-g-h, I accidentally typed d-o-e. I saw the Doe Network and thought—cool, a bunch of people who bake.”
“That kept you on the computer all night?” “Yes! But wait,” I said, excitedly. “It’s not about baking at all. It’s a clearing house for records of all the bodies the cops haven’t been able to identify, dating back to the early 1900s. Doe as in John Doe. Or Jane. There are postmortem photos, reconstructed heads, clothing and jewelry the victims wore at the time, dental work, gold teeth. They list any unusual marks, like tattoos, scars. How the person died if they know.” “You spent all night looking at dead bodies?” he asked, stepping down off the chair. “Maybe we should have had sex after all.” He smiled. “Way better use of time.” It came crashing back that I invited him to have sex and he took a rain check. This was not and never had been part of our relationship, and I suddenly felt uncomfortable. Shifting my weight from one foot to another while I tried to appear in control, I directed his attention back to the Doe Network… “Lily, you can change the subject all you want, but we will have this discussion before you head back to school.” He squeezed his 6’4 frame past my 5’8 frame, going slow
on purpose. Borderline shocked by the sexually charged repartee, I couldn’t decide if something was going on or if he was just messin’ with me. Regardless, I was unnerved and didn’t know what to do next. In another weak attempt to divert, I said, “By the way, I have a problem.” “Perfect,” he said, as he dropped the screwdriver back in the box with the remaining smoke detectors. “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to solve a problem all morning.” “I can’t take a shower because there’s a spider in the bathtub.”
LILY BARLOW, THE MYSTERY OF JANE DOUGH is available on Amazon.com, at Barnes and Noble, and at select local bookstores. www.carlavergot.com
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LIFE IN THE PIEDMONT
On the road again A Spring Ritual BY TONY VANDERWARKER
t’s the same every winter in the Piedmont. The snow, ice, rain, and fluctuating freezing temperatures wreak havoc on our rural gravel farm roads and driveways. And the spring ritual is always the same: figuring out how to fix the huge potholes that have emerged with the warmer weather to make traveling up the road less of a harrowing experience. Every winter, like metastasizing tumors, the potholes would appear. First one, then it would spawn another, and another, until there was a line of teethrattling holes in my driveway. I have a half-mile drive and the pothole devil chose three areas to infiltrate, each about a hundred yards long, creating plate-sized holes that turned the sections into washboards causing the car to jitterbug down the road. Potholes are invidious creations of Mother Nature, filling with water and for each car tire that drops in, the hole tosses out gravel and digs itself deeper. As if that wasn’t enough, with each warm day the top inch of the driveway would melt and turn to mush and with the ground underneath frozen solid, the mush would rut under the tires and create long gooey channels that often caused the car to slalom. So you’d be slip-sliding along until you hit pothole city when the rattling would shake your eyeglasses off. The double trouble drove me crazy, causing me to bang on the steering wheel and swear my head off. Anybody riding with me would
look at me with alarm, obviously thinking I should start seeing a professional of some sort. Being cheap at heart, I first attacked the pockmarks with a wrecking bar, knocking down the edges to make the holes shallower. It was tough work and I felt like I was in a chain gang and should be wearing black-and-whitestriped pajamas. The rehabilitated potholes stayed inactive long enough to make me feel victorious but, like guerillas sneaking out of the jungle, they soon reappeared, making me feel stupid for having spent six hours whacking at them with my wrecking bar. My backup tactic was ordering recycled building material and having it spread over the sections where the potholes lived. It was golf ball-sized stuff, teeth-rattling itself, but for a while it put the potholes to sleep. But not for long: one good rain and a couple car trips and the potholes would begin to reappear. Now, I guess a more even-tempered soul would have taken the reemergence of the potholes in stride, but I’d spent over a grand for the golf balls and I was pissed. To coin a phrase, it was like throwing money down a pothole. Until I happened to talk with my friend Bruce who introduced me to his secret weapon, a guy named Wesley who has special equipment, including a skid steer, a steamroller, and all kinds of special grading gizmos. So I got with Wesley and he gave me the lowdown. “This recycled stuff just sits on top and lets the water run through. What you need is crusher run with lots of dust, you put enough on so you can crown it, roll it
“To coin a phrase, it was like throwing money down a pothole.”
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down good and the water will run right off,” he explained. As I was at the end of my rope, though I winced at his numbers, I knew I had to step up. One Tuesday, Wesley attacked, invading my farm with huge trucks carrying loads of crusher run and spreading it evenly over the road. Smoothing it out with his skid steer and crowning it slightly, he then compacted it so if looked like the surface of Interstate 64. Driving it is nothing short of rural ecstasy: no more dodging potholes, no more shaking your fillings out, no more skating on a gushy surface, just an asphalt-smooth ride. No longer did I have to envy my friends with paved driveways, now I had one of my own, but with gravel! Not stopping there, Wesley deepened the ditches along the road, even creating new ones where needed to keep water from washing the gravel away. My driveway was getting a complete makeover, like sending my road to Charlottesville Skin and Laser. No more pockmarks, nasty wrinkles or age lines, my road had the ultimate facelift. Sure, I was out a few bucks, but I was a happy camper for, finally, I had a real road.
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