Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine November 2016

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HIKING into the

WILDERNESS Boots ‘N Beer Backpacking Excursion ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Brumfield’s Jess Beach VolTran offers rides to disabled and seniors | Fauquier’s Juvenile Justice

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from the PUBLISHER }


Dear Lifestyle Magazine Readers:

PUBLISHERS: Dennis Brack for Piedmont Publishing Group Dennis@rappnews.com

EDITORIAL: Debbie Eisele editor@piedmontpub.com

ADVERTISING: Susan Yankaitis susan@piedmontpub.com

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Jan@rappnews.com For general inquiries, advertising, editorial, or listings please contact the editor at editor@piedmontpub.com or by phone at 540-349-2951.

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING OFFICE: The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine c/o Piedmont Publishing Group PO Box 3632 Warrenton, VA 20188 www.warrentonlifestyle.com The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed to over 11,800 selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustration or photograph is strictly forbidden. ©2016 Piedmont Publishing Group.

2016 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Mille Baldwin Marianne Clyde Dave Colleran Louis Dominguez Robin Earl Debbie Eisele Rebekah Grier Dr. Robert Iadeluca Andreas Keller Michelle Kelley Danica Low Sallie Morgan Deborah Cosby


Aimée O’Grady Rachel Pierce David Goetz George Rowand Nicolas Sicina Jocelyn Sladen Dr. Kimberly Pham John Toler Charlotte Wagner Bonnie Zacherle Gertie Edwards Lissy Tropea Mary Jane Tropea

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Maria Massaro Chris Primi Helen Ryan Mary Ann Krehbiel Jeff Whitte Steve Oviatt Jim Hankins Jocelyn Alexander McNeill Mann Dink Godfrey Joe Austin Louise Stowe-Johns Mark Grandstaff



Piedmont Press & Graphics created and published the area’s Lifestyle Magazines beginning in 2005. Our publications have grown to three (Warrenton, Haymarket and Broad Run) and about 160 pages each month with a total mailed distribution of over 33,000. We were very pleased with the success in the region, especially for you, our monthly audience. Our goal has always been to deliver the best local stories to create a better community. We love these magazines. We love our printing and sign businesses, too. But all three took too much time and we knew, eventually, we had to let something go. There was no deadline to do this. No financial pressures. Simultaneously, there was interest in acquiring our ‘babies’. Making sure the publications ended up in the hands of local, devoted people was number one on our list of criteria. Fortunately, we ultimately chose to work with Rappahannock Media, a team led by local publishing veterans Dennis Brack and Tom Spargur and an entire team of people from the area including editor Pam Kamphius of Warrenton. Combined with our existing staff, we believe this is a dream team. Rapp Media publishes the Culpeper Times, the Rappahannock News and the prestigious Piedmont Virginian Magazine. Quality journalism will reign with the Lifestyle Magazines. Holly and I will be here at Piedmont Press & Graphics, focusing on our core business of printing, design, signs and mailing services as we have for 29 years. And, yes, we will still be active in the region and with this magazine. Please stay in touch.












by Rebekah Grier

Ed Moore & Vint Hill Village by Rebekah Grier As Companion Animals by Charlotte Wagner

The Virginia Department of Justice and Warrenton Court Service Unit by Rebekah Grier

22 24













Restoring the ecological health of the Commonwealth by Katie Fuster

Healthy steps program designed for those with chronic illnesses by Robin Earl LFCC’s newest STEM offerings by Katie Fuster

Helping the community “one ride at a time” by Lawrence Stillwell by Andreas Keller

by Ethan H. Morris, DVM

Thank you and warm regards,

Tony & Holly Tedeschi Co-Publishers











Brumfield art teacher Jessica Beach by Aimée O’Grady

Recalling the life of World War II veteran Johnny Sekelsky by John T. Toler Restaurant Guide

One local winery providing new service options for patrons by Steve Oviatt

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PATRICK NEWELL Lionshare Antiques 17 Horner Street Warrenton, VA 20186 WHAT DO YOU ALWAYS CHECK BEFORE BUYING A PIECE?

“There has become so much in the reproductions and fakes that you have to be very careful with porcelains and furniture. You need to check for repairs. And not all repairs are bad. If there’s a halfway decent repair on a leg of a table or a chair, it’s not going to ruin the value totally. But they are so good now, in China, with making primitives and porcelains, that you really need to research. My point to everyone has been, if it looks too good, just walk away. If it’s a piece that you love and it’s a $100, but in the back of your mind you know this should be $600, there’s something wrong. I can ninetynine percent guarantee you it’s a ‘faked-up’ piece.”




By Rebekah Grier

ith such a rich local and national history, Virginia is prime real estate for antiques. The rise of popular television shows such as American Pickers, Salvage Dogs, American Restoration, and even Fixer Upper, has led to an increase in demand by collectors, repurpose artists, and decorators. Even you can get in on the pickin’ action if you know how to look! We spoke to local picking experts and found the best tips for sifting through and rejuvenating the junk into jewels.

“Estate sales are always a fabulous place to go. Auction houses are wonderful, there’re still some good local auctions. Sometimes you can go to auctions and they don’t know what they have. Also, thrift stores can be really great. Every once in awhile you might fall over something that’s pretty cool. Places like that are interesting and certainly worth going and checking out.”

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ThankYou! We want to take this time to thank our listing clients, our buyer clients and all the people who came out and supported us in community events this year. We are thankful we were able to participate in:

Kettle Run After Prom Program | Vint Hill Festival for Kettle Run After Prom Program Habitat for Humanity | Kettle Run Scholarship Program | Cystic Fibrosis (Spencer’s Heroes) Potomac ATC Open 2016, supporting the Boys and Girls Club and Kim’s Place Kettle Run Booster Club | Trunk or Treat at the WARF | The Gerry Henson Memorial Golf Tournament

Bottom Left: From Patrick Newell, Lionshare Antiques, own collection- A book personally owned by JBKO from her apartment at 1050 Fifth Ave. Sotheby’s auction (1996). Top Right: This was a hard fought auction item for Patrick at Lionshare Antiques - the one and only sign from a Honky Tonk bar (long gone) in Orange,Va (90”x 57” in size). Top Left: Lionshare acquired this wonderful piece from a lady who found it stored in her parents attic for over 50 years. This Eskimo child was painted early 20th Century.


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Mistakes that you made early on, warn novices “Do your homework. We’ve all been taken in this business, believe me. I have bought many a mistake over the years. If you have a chance to go to an auction or an estate sale, do go and preview the stuff because you can check for nicks, cracks, see the condition of it. If you go to an auction and you’ve seen nothing and you’re so excited to be there and you wanna buy something and you end up going nuts, you overpay for it. Research, buy what you love, and don’t necessarily think about it as an investment. I’ve always told people, “you’re never going to retire on this stuff, unless you’re one of the lucky ones that finds a Rembrandt at the Salvation Army. But if it appeals to you and you really love it, and you want to make a collection out of it, go for it, enjoy it.”



SUE MYERS Labahoula Designs Sold at Vintage Hill 7167 Lineweaver Road Vint Hill, VA 20187 WHAT ITEMS DO YOU LOOK FOR THE MOST AND WHY?

I usually look for the most functional pieces: dressers, desks, beds, tables, and coffee tables because they sell better. Most people need them. To hit a wider variety of people, I look at unique things because those are sometimes fun pieces to work on and somebody who is looking for something unique might purchase it.


My criteria for purchasing a piece is that it has to have good bones; there’s no mold, and it hasn’t been severely weathered. There might still be nicks and scrapes and missing handles, but handles can be replaced and nicks like that can be sanded out or you can “shabby chic” it and it looks great. What should novice pickers look for when debating what is a good purchase? Someone who hasn’t picked before shouldn’t

Dawn Arruda & Co. Realtors Call for Best in Class Real Estate Service

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buy a piece that’s going to cost him a lot - because then you have money invested that you may not be able to get out of it. You also need to look at how much work the piece needs and if you’re realistically going to be able to do the work yourself. If you have to have someone upholster a piece for you because that’s not something you can do, and the piece can’t be painted, that’s going to be a lot of cost that you’re going to have to recoup in the sale price.

JUN E 2016




FLIGHT s Circus begin The Flying n with hairanother seaso y fun, and , famil raising thrills for all ages! education n Wells Photo by Verno








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Before and after photos from The Empty Nest. BEFORE







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Some of my best pieces are when people call me about a piece or if I happen to go by an old barn and I asked the owners if I could take a look!

The Empty Nest 92 Main Street Suite 102 Warrenton, Virginia 20186


They’re going to be ups and downs, no-shows, and people that will want to buy things for almost nothing (compared to the amount of work that you put the piece). The main thing is to enjoy what you’re doing, love the piece you’re working on, and know where to learn what you need to know if you get stuck.

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il er’s Civ Fauqui dier War Sol rs Schola Farms Lindera egar craft vin t igh takes fl rshall The Ma nity Commuis a local Center e treasur



ronica and Ve Rio. Kieffer Lauren Team USA in man. ink ride for Shannon Br Photo by

Antique and vintage solid wood dressers and wardrobes WHAT ARE YOUR CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING A PIECE TO PURCHASE?


Not thoroughly checking over a piece (do drawers glide nicely) Paying too much Knowing the difference between antique and reproduction

The Piedmont Virginian Magazine is part of



What I wish I knew .....better knowledge of the value and demand of items. What’s hot... what’s not. ❖

Piedmont PUBLISHING GROUP A Rappahannock Media Company

The most extensive advertising source for the Piedmont Region of Virginia. For more information, please call 540-812-2282


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thethe local local


here not only here notgives only you givesaccess you access What are What theare topthe three top business three business to open to land openand landfarm andlands, farm lands, tips and tips tricks and can tricks you can offyou er offer we’re we’re faced with facedopportunities with opportunities other professionals? other professionals? to create community to create community Honesty, Honesty, integrity integrity and passion. and passion. environments withinwithin our our environments ThoseThose are theare pillars the pillars for for serviceservice districts wherewhere peoplepeople districts success success as wellasaswell happiness. as happiness.can live, canwork live, and workplay. and play.

ED MOORE ED MOORE Vint Hill Vint Village, Hill Village, LLC LLC 4263 Aiken 4263 Aiken Drive, Drive, Vint Hill, VintVA Hill, 20187 VA 20187 540-347-6965 540-347-6965 | vinthill.com | vinthill.com | info@vinthill.com | info@vinthill.com

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the difference. the difference. Take aTake looka look of purpose of purpose and place and in place the in the PleasePlease share one share ofone the of the WhenWhen and why anddid why youdid decide you decide at VintatHill: Vintonce Hill:aonce thriving a thriving heart of heart VintofHill. VintWe Hill. can We docan do greatest greatest moments moments you’ve you’ve to start toyour startown yourcompany? own company?this bythis Army Army base, humming base, humming with with integrating by integrating existing existing experienced experienced in your in business. your business. life, and life, with and a with loss of a loss its of its features and neighborhoods, and neighborhoods, In May InofMay 2014, of Vint 2014,Hill Vint Hill features purpose purpose and excitement, and excitement, it it of the of greatest the greatest and supplement them with them withSome Some Village, Village, LLC, LLC, comprised comprised of ofand supplement has one beenofone the of County’s the County’s moments moments that my that role myasrole as has been new services and amenities— and amenities— five partners five partners with myself with myself new services biggest biggest challenges challenges to findto find president of VintofHill VintVillage, Hill Village, including shopping, shopping, dining,dining,president included, included, was formed was formed to to including economic opportunity opportunity there. there. LLC afforded has afforded me areme are economic cultural attractions, attractions, living living LLC has revitalize revitalize the former the former army army cultural met that metchallenge that challenge give businesses small businesses We’veWe’ve and offi and ces.offi All ces. of All of to givetosmall base into basea into diverse, a diverse, mixed-mixed-space,space, with smart planning planning and and the opportunity to grow to grow with smart fostersfosters economic economic the opportunity use model use model community community of of whichwhich community-centric community-centric growth growth successfully successfully in a dynamic in a dynamic development, development, helps keep helps keep enduring enduring qualityquality with awith Maina Main and we’re and we’re already already seeing seeing environment. Take the Take Green the Green jobsand localincreases and increases our ourenvironment. StreetStreet environment. environment. Our Our jobs local positive positive change. change. MapleMaple Market Market and Vint andHill Vint Hill county’s tax base. tax base. mission mission is to create is to create a sensea sensecounty’s


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How have Howyou have been youinvolved been involved If you could If you have couldahave superpower, a superpower, with GWCC? with GWCC? what would what would it be, and it be, why? and why? In addition In addition to attending to attending Time Time travel.travel. I’d like I’dtolike propel to propel networking networking eventsevents and and myselfmyself forward forward 20 years 20 so years so participating participating in sponsorship in sponsorship that I that couldI could turn around turn around and and opportunities, opportunities, on a number on a number lookatback atVint whatHill Vinthas Hill has look back what of occasions of occasions we have weinvited have invited become. become. the Chamber the Chamber to participate to participate with Vint withHill VintinHill a number in a number of of If you could If you be could famous be famous for for ribbon-cutting ribbon-cutting ceremonies, ceremonies, an an something, something, what would what would you you anniversary anniversary party in party 2015 inand 2015 and want to want be known to be known for? for? at community at community festivals. festivals. Having Having enough enough insightinsight and and foresight to understand to understand that that For you, Forwhat you,iswhat the primary is the primary foresight balance in one’s in life one’s is life the is the benefibenefi t of being t of an being GWCC an GWCC balance greatest greatest thing you thingcan you leave can leave member? member? behind. behind. Over the Over years, the years, I’ve I’ve Spreading Spreading the word the and word and become a preservationist, a preservationist, excitement excitement about about what we’re what we’rebecome conservationist and a farmer. and a farmer. doing doing in VintinHill. VintWhen Hill. When we we conservationist I pride I myself pride myself for having for having the the go to ago chamber to a chamber event event or have or have foresight foresight to preserve to preserve historic historic the Chamber the Chamber members members out to out to landsI get andexcited I get excited about about Vint Hill, Vintwe Hill, have wethe have earthe of ear of lands and being being a part aofpart our of farming our farming the community. the community. EveryEvery chancechance community. community. I wantIto want be to be that we that have weto have interface to interface for creating for creating qualityquality with GWCC with GWCC members members is an is an knownknown communities communities wherewhere peoplepeople can can opportunity opportunity to meet to someone meet someone come to come raisetotheir raisefamilies their families and and who iswho going is going to want toto want be part to be part call home. call home. of the of excitement the excitement of VintofHill. Vint Hill. What is What yourisfavorite your favorite take-out take-out If you could If you live could anywhere live anywhere in the in the world,world, wherewhere wouldwould you live? you live? food? food? Fauquier Fauquier County! County! Having Having Tops China—their Tops China—their Chicken Chicken never never lived outside lived outside of a 50-mile of a 50-mile Chop Chop Suey was Sueymy was my radiusradius of Fauquier, of Fauquier, I wantI want grandfather’s grandfather’s favorite. favorite. It’s It’s to staytoright stayhere. right Ihere. love Iour love our not mynot preferred my preferred dish, but dish, it but it countycounty for its for diversity. its diversity. LivingLiving reminds reminds me of me him.of❖him. ❖


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Save $

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ousehold birds can make excellent companion animals - especially for people who have limited space, or are allergic to other pet species. Pet birds come in a colorful variety of sizes, hues, and personalities depending on your individual preference and lifestyle. Birds are great to observe and have the capability to provide beautiful songs, learn speech, and are very entertaining! Amongst the more common pet species are Parakeets, Cockatiels, Finches, Canaries, Quakers, Conures, Lovebirds, Macaws, African Greys, and Cockatoos. Handling Your Pet Bird Some bird species such as Parakeets and Cockatiels are cheerful and easy to handle if cared of from an early age. Other breeds such as African Greys, Macaws, and Cockatoos require more extensive physical contact, bonding time, and handling in order to ensure that they remain social and friendly to humans. Longevity One of the most concerning factors when considering a pet bird, is the varying life span from species to species. Parakeets live on average for 6 years, but can


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thrive until 18 years of age if well maintained. Similarly, a Cockatiel’s lifespan is about 5 years, but with good care some have lived just over 30 years of age. Larger birds, such as Cockatoos, Macaws, and Conures, generally have greater longevity ranging from 20-100 years! Ensure you are willing to make a commitment to the life of the pet when thinking about which species fits your lifestyle. Containment There are a variety of enclosures, cages, and perches available depending on the species of bird you choose. Larger parrots such as Macaws will need larger, more heavy-duty space for confinement, whereas smaller birds, like Parakeets, can suffice with a simple wire cage. When purchasing or adopting your bird, consult with a representative as to what would work best. They should be able to walk around, climb, and ideally fly. There are varying styles of cages with different doors, locks, pans, and feeding/watering features. Cages should be kept away from direct sunlight, drafts, and out of reach of other pets. Special accessories such as plastic or mesh guards can be purchased to contain any messes, toys and perches can be fixed to most bars, different locking

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Veterinary and Medical Care Birds have very specific needs when it comes to veterinary care, some of which can not be met by a regular companion animal practice. It is best to inquire with your local clinic about handling and experience regarding the treatment of exotic pets and research for a local avian vet. Nutrition needs vary from species to species. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure a healthy, balanced diet is provided. The better your pet is cared for, the more quality of life it will have. Birds are very sensitive creatures and are prone to illness and even death if exposed to chemicals, oil diffusers, and even fumes from teflon cookware. Scented household products, candles,

Bird Behavior As noted previously, birds require regular handling in order to remain tame. They are not considered to be domesticated pets. In addition to physical contact, many species require regular mental stimulation. African Grey parrots, Macaws, and Cockatoos can learn an extensive vocabulary, tricks, and behaviors. Providing enrichment toys, large enclosures, and rotating items can help keep them entertained. Regular time and activities outside of the cage will also assist in providing healthy outlets for natural behavior. Birds are whimsical, entertaining, and silly, but raising a companion takes a lot of time, commitment, and integration into the


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Charlotte Wagner is a certified animal trainer and behavior consultant. She owns and operates Duskland Training and Behavior in Warrenton. Learn more at dusklanddogs.com

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and cleaning products should be used carefully. Either ensure your pet is removed from a given area or do your homework and eliminate certain household hazards. Simple things like smoke from burnt food can lead to respiratory issues. Fluctuations in temperature can also cause illness. So be prepared as seasons change to accommodate your feathered friend. Most species originate from subtropical climates, so ensuring the home is not too dry, and using a humidifier in winter is beneficial to their health.

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mechanisms will secure your bird. It is vital to ensure your bird’s wings are clipped (trimming the primarily feathers; it’s painless) so they cannot escape when allowed to roam the home; or you need to keep a close eye on open doors and windows along with some training to ensure they do not fly into windows or get injured within the home. Birds receive stimulation and enjoy time outside of their enclosure, it is important to do so responsibly. Pets can have fatal accidents by falling onto heaters or into toilets, which is why time roaming should be supervised.




Good to Know About Birds Birds are messy - so if a tidy home and cleanliness is your top priority, then it may not be a good match for your lifestyle. Birds will toss their food from their bowls, shed feathers, scatter bedding, and excrete while hanging from their cage bars … resulting in more mess. Birds can also be extremely vocal, so if you are sound sensitive or easily frustrated by loud, high-pitched noises, then make sure you pick a species that is less verbal. This may also be an issue for people living with neighbors in an apartment complex. Some birds provide song, whereas others can be taught tunes, sound clips, and words. Pick your pet bird wisely. Birds make excellent family pets, although they require special care, enclosures, and conditions in order to thrive. There are many species specific bird clubs to learn more about the different variety of pets. Acquisition can be through a bird rescue, breeders, and specialty pet stores. Look for a lively, bright, and social bird when making a selection and consider consulting with a specialty veterinarian to further discuss your bird’s individual needs. ❖

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household. If birds do not receive enough appropriate behavioral outlets, they can become aggressive, begin plucking out their feathers, lose body condition, and develop redundant compulsive behaviors. In some cases plucking is a normal part of grooming behavior, but in other cases it may signal distress, mites, or a sick bird.




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The Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice and Warrenton Court Service Unit By Aimee O’Grady

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hen Andrew Block accepted the role of Director at the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in Richmond in April 2014, he quickly recognized the longstanding trend of high recidivism rates. Juveniles, defined as youth under the age of 18 at the time of their offense, are recommitting crimes following incarceration. In order to determine better outcomes for the children, families and communities that DJJ serves, Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran invited the Annie E. Casey Foundation to Virginia to assess its juvenile justice system and help the Commonwealth carefully review new programs. DJJ’s mission is to protect the public by helping court involved youth become productive citizens. To reach this goal the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, along with the help of the comprehensive assessment by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is now in the midst of an ambitious “Transformation” initiative. This program involves reducing the population in existing facilities, adopting a rigorous rehabilitative approach and replacing existing facilities with treatment-oriented and community-based alternatives. The Transformation has redefined the roles of both probation and correctional officers. Correctional officers, now referred to as resident specialists, received counseling training and Left: Mr. Block with a resident.

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the youth who once expressed feelings of insecurity while incarcerated, now recognize a safer, more comfortable environment where they share their feelings and values. This shift has helped direct the children down a path for effective behavior modification. The DJJ is also responsible for the Warrenton Court Service Unit which employs seven people. It is the smallest court service unit in the state with a jurisdiction that covers both Fauquier and Rappahannock counties. Elaine Lassiter, the Court Service Unit Director, Mary Pitts, the Probation Supervisor along with three probation officers, a senior probation officer, and an administrative assistant are part of Warrenton’s team. “People tend to think that the juvenile justice system is for someone else’s child, but it should be there for all of our children” says Director Block. By working with local organizations such as The Boys and Girls Clubs and Verdun Adventure Bound, as well as representatives from the police and sheriff departments, DJJ can offer parents new supports, such as improved conflict resolution skills to employ when they find themselves in a situation that could land them in trouble. Verdun Adventure Bound (VAB) provides a unique setting for court appointed youth for skill building. Working with Will Fairhurst, Therapeutic Day Treatment Programs Director for TIME Family Services, LLC, court appointed families are introduced to therapeutic sessions in a natural environment at the VAB campus. “For example, we can work with the entire family using high rope elements having the parents belay their child. This gives us an idea of the family’s priorities,” Fairhurst recalls. The VAB campus is a calming outdoor environment that often encourages adults and youths to open up. One of the best measures of success, according to Fairhurst, is the desire for court-appointed youths to return as interns. “One youth came out at age 13 appointed by the court for truancy. After the 8-week intensive summer session, he was no longer at risk. He was so excited about everything he had


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Elaine Lassiter, experienced during the session that he came back out two years Warrenton later as an intern and served as a role model to other kids.” Court Services The Boys and Girls Club offers programs for local youths Unit Director after school to keep them focused when the school day is over. and her team participate in According to Liz Rose, Resource Development and Mentor team-building Specialist at the Boys and Girls Club, “We help the court service exercises unit to identify and support any mental health needs and we at Verdun connect the member and family with mental health services if Adventure necessary. We offer diversion, intervention and prevention (to Bound this past summer. all members) in the form of general mentoring services and our programming.” Some of their programming includes Power Hour to complete homework with assistance, High Yield Learning Activities which build upon Power Hour, Smart Moves to help improve judgment, Social Therapy for children on the spectrum, and Smart Girls that guides young women toward healthy attitudes and lifestyles. The Boys and Girls Club also offers therapeutic day treatment counseling for members who require one-on-one treatment.



The role of the probation officer is to help youth discover new, positive values and help them understand their role in society. This is referred to as “protective factors.” Pitt says, “It can be a family member, a teacher, a neighbor … you never know who is positively contributing to someone’s life and acting as a mentor.” Sometimes it is as simple as reminding them that they have younger siblings who look up to them and view them as the role model. “It is a powerful thing to realize someone looks up to you,” says Lassiter. When local probation officers (PO) receive a new case, they delve as deeply as possible into the individual’s life in an effort to understand the underlying issue(s) spurring negative behavior, often a symptom of a deeper cause. From school records, to home life, and social interactions, the PO draws as accurate a picture as possible of the individual. “Each juvenile’s behavior is modified on a case-by-case basis,” says Pitts. “There is no cookie-cutter format to follow. Each person comes from a vastly different background with different values and oftentimes repeated trauma.” Collaboration among local organizations is imperative. “There is a tremendous amount of overlap with local groups,” explains Pitts. “We want to work together to empower both the children and family, to let the parents know that they have certain resources available to them to help modify behavior.” Probation officers often face resistance from families when dealing with juveniles and need to overcome this obstacle in order to move forward successfully. “We are here to help the family through the rough patch. We may only be with the child for a few months, but they will parent forever,” says Pitts. It is also critical for the children to understand that a single infraction, or even a repeated one, does not define who they are. “They are in their formative years,” says Pitts, “This does not have to shape who they will become as an adult.” Which is one of the reasons Pitts chose juvenile probation. “I have the chance to help kids correct their behavior and become model citizens and role models for other kids.” Lassiter continues, “We work to identify protective factors, the positive people in the child’s life. These people help to encourage and reinforce positive behavior. Juveniles on probation don’t wear a label, which is why it is so important for the community to attend forums such as the one in November, because you never know who you could be a positive influence on.” Acting as a protective factor for others comes naturally in Fauquier’s tight knit community. Lassiter took the

role of Court Service Unit director only two years ago but can already sense that Warrenton is a village. “You can feel the sense of community in this area. People genuinely care about their neighbors.” Director Block’s focus is on Fauquier and Rappahannock counties. The residents of both counties are encouraged to attend the November 16 forum, which will feature Director Block as the keynote speaker and a panel of local agency representatives. Some of the questions addressed will include why disruptive behavior leads to criminal activity, when antisocial behavior begins, and how the behavior can be reversed. The forum is organized by the Piedmont Chapter of the VA Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and their mission is to encourage the community to help build a comprehensive set of services and supports for youth in the region. ❖

Interfaith Forum on Juvenile Justice November 16; 7:00pm Warrenton Community Center 340 E. Shirley Avenue, Warrenton

Aimée O’Grady is a freelance writer who enjoys transforming stories told by Fauquier residents into articles for Lifestyle readers. She learns more and more about our rich county with every interview she conducts. She and her husband are happy with their decision to raise their four children in Warrenton. { NOVEMBER 2016 |




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In November we are kicking of our Operation Santa Project for 2016. We will be collecting gifts for many children and families in our community that might not otherwise have a Christmas. Part of this project is collecting NEW games. Donate a new game at Chick-Fil-A Warrenton and receive one free combo meal from November 21-December 5. Please email us about additional ways to you too can help spread Holiday Cheer is year.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Collection Project

November 10 from 5 pm - 7pm at Foster’s Grille. Donations of small toys and completed shoeboxes may be donated before or during the event. Get a head start on your holiday shopping or purchase donations for our Hero’s Project or Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes from FIVE BELOW in Gainesville between November 1-November 7 and bring your flier or mention Families4Fauquier’s fundraiser and we will receive 10% of the sales during this time. This is a great way to help our projects as well as help raise some additional money to provide Christmas gifts to those in our community we will be sponsoring this Christmas. Visit our website for a flier.

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Below: Citizen scientists in training. Photo by Jen Davis.




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Have you given your child the gift of manners? Restoring the ecological health of the Commonwealth (Part one in a three-part series addressing sustainability in our region) by Katie Fuster


ew people have more beautiful workplaces than Tom Akre and Charlotte Lorick, the Director and Outreach Coordinator, respectively, of Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL). That is, if you can make it past the death-defying drop just outside the door to their offices. “I’m thinking you need more handrail here,” I mutter as I shimmy past the drop and step down to level ground. Akre and Lorick are taking me on a ten-minute hike out to see VWL’s demonstration plots at the Smithsonian Biology Conservation Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal. The SCBI is a lovely 3,200-acre campus of rolling hillside just across Remount Road from Shenandoah National Park. “It is pretty awesome to look out and see the Shenandoah


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Valley over there,” Akre says as we hike. The locale is the perfect headquarters for VWL, whose mission is to study and promote practices that increase the biodiversity, or varieties of plant, pollinator, and animal life, in the agricultural landscapes in Virginia. Some 30-40% of the Commonwealth is some form of agricultural landscape – either grassland, cropland, or pasture. Over the last 200 years, many native grasslands have been lost. Sometimes this is because landowners replace them with non-native cool season grasses, like fescues. Other times it is due to intensive land management, or to invasive plant species like Autumn Olive, which outcompete and displace native grasses.

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a way to get through a coolseason field.” But in a native warm-season meadow, “the quail can move under the cover of the native plants and weave through them and over patches of bare ground.” And when winter snows cover the meadow, dormant native plants provide places for birds to perch on, seeds for them to eat, and structures that they can use to hide from predators. “Quail are one of the species that have declined in the Southeast,” Akre says. “That decline has been in large part because of fescue. We’re at the

edge of the quail range, but our partners are trying to restore quail across Virginia, and we want to be part of that process through restoring warm-season grassland habitats.” This was VWL’s mission at its founding – installing and restoring native warm-season grasslands. To do this, the program works with a variety of landowners with different goals. Some of the landowners are ranchers who come to VWL for help establishing patches of native warm-season grasses in their grazing land. “The native warm-season grasses have a peak growing

season in the summertime, in hotter, drier months,” Lorick says. “The cool-season nonnatives grow in the spring and then again as summer ends and we enter fall.” If you have a combination of both grasslands, you can graze your stock almost year-round. Other landowners who come to VWL are hunters. “They want to establish wildlife habitat, and native grasses are great for that,” Lorick says. In partnership with VWL, private landowners have established hundreds of acres of native grasses to attract turkey, deer, quail, and doves. “That’s their primary objective, but at the same time, they’re benefitting a lot of different animals,” including grassland birds, the second most endangered type of bird in America. Then there are the people who consult with VWL for the sole pleasure of looking out on a native meadow. “Some people establish native fields for the reason of ‘I like birds, and I want to see more of them in my landscape,’” Lorick says, “or ‘I like pollinators, and I want to do something to help these native species that rely on these grasslands.’” When landowners come to VWL for help, Akre says, the program determines their needs and plugs them into VWL’s information-

Warm season (left) and cool season (right) meadow illustrations by Charlotte Lorick. Above: Tom Akre, Director of VWL, and Charlotte Lorick, Outreach Coordinator, pose in front of VWL’s demonstration plots at the SCBI.


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The VWL program was formed in 2010 in response to grassroots demand from “a community of folks who wanted to learn how to improve stewardship of grasslands,” Akre says. He and Lorick explain that when we lose native grasslands, we also see a decline in the numbers and varieties of plants, birds, and pollinators like bumblebees, honeybees, and butterflies. Native warm-season grasslands, lands where grasses, flowers, and herbs flourish during summer months, increase biodiversity. They also improve the health of the local ecosystem by serving as better habitats for native species. Lorick hand-painted a pair of illustrations to show the differences that make a native warm-season meadow preferable to a non-native coolseason meadow. “When you look at a native warm-season meadow, you see different plant structures, different root systems, and more open space,” Lorick explains. “These grasses tend to grow in clumps and be mixed in with flowers and flowering plants, whereas non-native cool-season fields are pretty much a mat. If you imagine a quail trying to move through the landscape, it doesn’t have

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Citizen scientists birding at SCBI. Photo by Charlotte Lorick.

sharing network. “We have private landowners and ‘citizen scientists’”, volunteers who help out by collecting data and information. “We have agency professionals and contracting professionals that actually provide services, and then NGOs (non-government, non profit organizations) that foster these relationships and act as either networks themselves or clearinghouses of information. And at the same time, we’ve got boots on the ground with graduate students, who are leading interns and citizen scientists to do plant, bird, and pollinator surveys.” VWL, its partners, and citizen scientists complete wildlife surveys in the 15 counties that surround Shenandoah

National Park. “We’ve worked in Fauquier County and around Warrenton for five years now,” Akre says, ticking off survey sites like the Volgenau property in Orlean, Kinloch Farms, and Sky Meadows State Park. It was at the state park that a citizen scientist found an endangered bumblebee that was long thought to have been extirpated from the area. As we trek across the SCBI campus, Akre stops to point out a hillside of native grassland. Now that the weather has turned chilly, the site, called Redmond Hill, has become brown and thick. Nearby, cool-season fescues are, as Akre puts it, “photosynthesizing like crazy.” Ecological land management keeps Redmond Hill biodiverse. “Native grasslands are maintained by either grazing, or burning, or both. So one of the reasons native grasslands aren’t common anymore is because we don’t have any more bison, and we’ve suppressed fires for a couple hundred years now.” A controlled burn, performed every March in thirds on a three-year rotation, controls plant growth on Redmond Hill. “This whole area is an old United States Cavalry Remount Station,” Akre says as we hike on. “It was given to the USDA after World War II. But before that, it was essentially a horse-breeding facility for the military.” One of the hills on the SCBI campus is named for the racetrack that once encircled it. Just north of Racetrack Hill are eight native meadow demonstration plots. Akre explains that students from the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) monitor the diversity of plants, pollinators, and birds in these plots as they are preserved and maintained. The plots are also used for landowner workshops, teaching, demonstration, and outreach. “These are primarily demonstration sites, so the students and landowners are looking at gross differences in the composition of plants, or gross differences in the amount of pollinators there.” Akre’s background as a university professor comes to life here. He points to the first two plots, each 0.3 hectares. “What differences can you notice

between Plot 1 and Plot 2?” he asks, turning his interviewer into a student. I point out tall switchgrasses and goldenrod growing in the first plot alongside clumps of shorter, bushier flowering plants and the already-brown spires of dormant warm-season plants. “The second plot looks less biodiverse,” I say, tentatively trying out my newly-learned term. “And the plants there are about the same height.” “Right. Each of these has a different establishment technique, and a different maintenance technique,” Akre explains. “Plot 1 was installed with herbicides and then burned for maintenance, and Plot 2 was installed with disking and then mowed for maintenance,” Akre says. He explains that visible differences between plots can be chalked up to both installation techniques and management. There are two sets of plots, one installed organically and one conventionally. One plot from each set is managed using either herbicides, prescribed burns, mowing, or hand-pulling of non-native plants. “They’re all done differently so that people can see how they turn out when they’re all established differently, or maintained using a different method,” Lorick adds. This helps VWL’s audience of landowners, students, and citizen scientists learn how each approach affects the diversity of plant, bird, and pollinator life. Akre ends our tour on a philosophical note. “One of the things we’re trying to do here is connect the health of these wildlife populations that we care about to the health of ourselves. These animals are emblematic of healthy, functioning ecosystems, which are what we need to survive – all of the resources we need, the clean air and water, the healthy economies, and sustainable futures. It’s a stretch, but it’s a stretch that’s necessary for the next century – for our children and grandchildren.” ❖

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the local


Colvin Floors Wishes the Community a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving

Healthy Steps Program Designed for Those with Chronic Illnesses

By Robin Earl


The Wellness Center offers free Healthy Steps classes on the second Saturday of each month, from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Anyone who completes this intro class will receive a two-week pass. For those who decide to join after the two weeks, additional discounts will be available.


t the Fauquier Health Wellness Center, fitness experts work closely with members who suffer from a wide variety of chronic conditions to develop safe and effective exercise programs tailored to their unique needs. Healthy Steps - a therapeutic exercise and movement program that incorporates music and other elements to promote physical and emotional health and well-being - is the latest offering. “We’re always striving to provide innovative programs that motivate our members to remain physically active and help them achieve the best outcomes possible,” says Denise DeCarlo, an exercise physiologist and personal trainer at the Fauquier Health Wellness Center. “We are really excited about Healthy Steps because it is an internationally recognized program that addresses the whole person - mind, body and spirit. It’s appropriate for all fitness levels, easy to do and fun. We think anyone


{ NOVEMBER 2016 |

transitioning from our rehabilitation services and any of our members that would enjoy a new gentle class … are going to love it. SLOW AND STEADY Healthy Steps was developed in 1980 by former professional dancer Sherry Lebed and her brothers, surgeons Marc and Joel Lebed, to help their mother cope with lymphedema, swelling in the arms and legs. Lymphedema can occur after lymph node removal, chemotherapy, radiation, and trauma, sometimes not until many years later. The emphasis of the Healthy Steps Program is on slow, fluid movements that are set to music and can be performed from a seated or standing position. Props such as glittery hats, pinwheels, colorful balls and feather boas are incorporated into the program to up the fun quotient. In addition to helping patients with lymphedema, the Healthy Steps program benefits people with chronic illnesses



such as arthritis, frozen shoulder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. The program is offered in more than 600 hospitals nationwide. Participants can expect to see improvement in: • Range of motion • Upper body mobility • Lymphedema swelling • Frozen shoulder • Flexibility and strength • Balance • Posture • Body image • Self-esteem • Depression SPECIALIZED TRAINING Fauquier Health feels so strongly about the potential health benefits of Healthy Steps that four Wellness Center staff members attended the certification training, DeCarlo says. “We’re proud of the expertise we have in caring for patients with more complex health issues through specialized programs such as pulmonary rehabilitation, cardiac rehab, joint replacement rehab and services for people with diabetes and cancer,” she says. “Healthy Steps is a natural extension of these services. “We cannot overemphasize to our patients with ongoing medical conditions how important it is for them to have regular physical activity,” DeCarlo said. ❖

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example, in criminal justice, unmanned aircraft are being used to find missing children and locate escaped inmates. In agriculture, farmers are using drones to monitor soil erosion, forecast crop yields, and spot the spread of weeds, pests and diseases. “We’re looking at Drones 101 as an interesting STEM class to run for the folks who want to do this as a hobby,” Coutts says. “But we’re also looking at drones and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and those kind of technologies as integrated through a lot of what we do,” both at the college and in the community. “Our goal is to create partnerships and develop new coursework in ways that help our community. That is our focus.” To that end, the college plans to roll Drones 101 into a certificate program designed to give students a strong background in this emerging field. The college has also kicked off a new cybersecurity program. “Cybersecurity is very much in demand right now,” Coutts says. “It’s a skill set that folks can use to get great jobs in the area.” In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that cybersecurity professionals earn an average of $116,000, which is nearly three times the national median income for full-time workers. LFCC’s



n late August, Fauquier County made the national news when a local woman shot down a drone near the property of her neighbor, actor Robert Duvall. The drone was rumored to have been piloted by gossip magazine paparazzi who hightailed out of town in a black Range Rover. The event captured the attention of Fortune Magazine, Ars Technica, and even Popular Mechanics. Far fewer people heard that the same week, drones were all the buzz at the Vint Hill campus of Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) - although for far less nefarious purposes. This fall was the first semester that LFCC offered a three-credit course called Drones 101. Students in this introductory course learn about drone operation, licensure, safety, and potential employment fields. The classes are held a stone’s throw from two Federal Aviation Administration air traffic control facilities and the Trimble Unmanned Aircraft Systems Academy. The course is just one of many new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) offerings at the college. Dr. Christopher “Chris” Coutts, Provost of LFCC’s Fauquier campus, says that drone technology is being integrated into a number of fields in interesting ways. For


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cybersecurity program coursework is offered online and at the Vint Hill and Middletown campuses. The classes educate students about Web security, firewalls, data encryption, E-commerce security, network attacks, computer crime and hacking, among other topics. Students in the program can earn a Cybersecurity Career Studies Certificate or an Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity degree. The two-year degree opens the door for students to transfer into bachelor’s degree programs in cybersecurity at George Mason and George Washington Universities. LFCC’s cybersecurity program faculty are industry professionals as well as instructors. Program lead Dr. Henry Coffman has more than 30 years of experience in Information Technology (IT) in positions at the Department of Navy, Defense Mapping Agency and Interpol. Fulltime cyber security faculty member Dr. Jose Nieves, a former USAF officer, has over a decade of IT experience in the private sector. If design and scientific analysis are more your speed, you might be interested to learn that LFCC


{ NOVEMBER 2016 |

also fired up its pre-engineering degree program in Warrenton last year. Coutts explains that there are two program paths. “We have a pre-engineering degree that is pure engineering – think civil and mechanical engineering. These are folks who want to become engineers and will ultimately transfer to Old Dominion University, the University of Virginia, or Virginia Tech,” fouryear schools that LFCC has closely aligned its coursework with. Because students in this degree trajectory intend to go on to four-year schools, they must complete core general education requirements, meaning that they take classes in composition, communication, the humanities, and social sciences. “Then, in terms of the major, close to fifty credits are in engineering, math, and physics, so it’s pretty intense,” Coutts says. “Our first group started in the fall of 2015, and we just started our second group. The cohort that started last year will be graduating this spring.” The other pre-engineering program path focuses on electrical engineering technology and civil and mechanical engineering



technology. These classes are designed for students who wish to enter the workforce instead of transferring to a four-year school. Coutts explains that “these are terminal degrees to prepare folks for jobs in those fields. They are applied workforce programs. They’re more skills-based, so we’re training people on the fundamentals of electricity, DC/AC power, PLCs, and programmable logic controllers.” LFCC continues to offer a strong allied healthcare program. This fall, the college expanded its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and paramedic training programs to Fauquier County. The college also began offering surgical technology coursework at its Vint Hill site. “Expanding the EMS and paramedic program to Fauquier is a great example of what community colleges do well. We are addressing a local workforce need and providing residents with a career training opportunity in a high-demand field.” To this end, the college recently hired a new instructor in EMS and Paramedics to teach Advanced EMS.

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Funding for this coursework comes from a $75,000 grant from the PATH Foundation as well as a partnership with Fauquier County Fire and Rescue. Their common goal is to eventually graduate students with a full Associate of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Services degree. According to Darren Stevens, the county’s Interim Fire and Rescue Chief, “There is strong demand for paramedics and never enough credentialed candidates to hire. Recruitment and retention of qualified individuals is a major challenge.” For now, many of these new programs and courses are offered at the college’s Vint Hill campus. “Our site at Vint Hill is interesting and unique,” Coutts

County and working in Northern Virginia.” Coutts goes on to say that “Vint Hill presents an opportunity for us to be innovative, to pilot programs, work them out and get them up and running. We can’t get something going both here in Warrenton and twelve miles away at Vint Hill. There’s just not enough capacity initially. If something takes off, that’s great. And if it takes off in a way that scales up, we can offer it here in Warrenton as well.” Work has already begun on a twostory, 40,000 square foot building that will increase the Warrenton campus’s capacity for education and workforce development. “We’ve spent a lot of

will accommodate science, chemistry, physics, engineering, and some technical engineering and trades classes. Plans include space for science labs, two chemistry labs, and a multipurpose room that can house large gatherings, recitals, concerts, and presentations. “The other piece we’ll have on the first floor is a maker lab,” Coutts says. “We’ll have the ability for folks to use 3-D printers to make and fabricate just about anything they want.” The second floor will be dedicated to healthcare and healthcare-related fields. There will be simulation labs, clinical skill labs, teaching labs, and a cadaver lab. Faculty offices will also be located on the second floor.

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“It’s important to us to find and offer programs and training that has value to the local workforce, businesses, and industry.” says. “Vint Hill was an old listening post, so there’s history there, and there’s a lot of industry around there. There are a lot of companies working in IT and the cybersecurity realm, on a consulting basis and for the Department of Homeland Security and other organizations.” The site also gives the college an opportunity to serve Fauquier residents outside of Warrenton. “Vint Hill is in the service district within Fauquier County,” Coutts explains. “We know that a lot of people are commuting east in the morning and coming back home in the evening. As an educational institution and as a community college, we’re charged with training for workforce development and educating for transfer to four-year schools. The Vint Hill campus offers the ability to reach a population that is not necessarily coming to Warrenton to take classes; these folks are living in Fauquier

time designing the new building, which we’re in the schematic design phase of,” Coutts says. “We’re asking, ‘How can we offer programs in an integrated way? How can we integrate our science and biology classes, our EMS and paramedics classes, and nursing, billing and coding in ways that prepare students for real life?’ We want to do this in an interdisciplinary manner that prepares people for the real world. So we’re designing labs and classrooms to be innovative and to simulate real-life situations.” The Hazel family was the impetus behind LFCC’s state-of-the-art building. Longtime supporters of the college, the Hazels donated a million dollars toward its construction. The PATH Foundation gifted an additional million dollars. “That community support is so generous,” Coutts says, “and it speaks to the fact that we’re on the right path.” The first floor of the new building

Looking to the future, Coutts says that the area the college would like to focus on is its partnership with the local school systems. “We’d like to assist students who need help accessing higher education, navigating how financial aid works, how college admissions work. We can help folks find trade or apprenticeship programs. And the community college can be really useful to high school and even middle school students – it can show them the value of higher education, and also what their options are.” “We want to be of value to the community,” Coutts concludes, “so it’s important to us to find and offer programs and training that has value to the local workforce, businesses, and industry.” With its focus on the future, its targeted STEM and healthcare offerings, and a new, state-of-the-art building in the works, LFCC appears poised to do just that. ❖

Katie Fuster lives in Warrenton with her husband and two children. Learn more about this story by visiting her Web site, katiewritesaboutlove.com.


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VolTran H E L P I N G T H E CO M MU N I T Y “ O N E R I D E AT A T I M E ”




olTran, Fauquier’s volunteerdriver program for the elderly and disabled, is making a comeback and expanding its mission. This nonprofit initially formed to assist an identified transportation need. Over the years, the organization struggled financially and required a larger volunteer support system. Now, it is once again a thriving organization helping many within our community. Local seniors have consistently identified lack of transportation as their most crucial problem. After the county’s Senior Care Network began surveying seniors in 2005, it found that transportation topped their list of concerns year after year. Michael Soule, a support coordinator in aging services for RappahannockRapidan Community Services, was determined that something should and could be done to solve local seniors’ transportation problem. He found an office and phone line at the local Red Cross office; contributions from Aging Together, Fauquier Health, DSS and others funded outreach efforts. In 2007, Voltran offered its first rides to elderly and disabled Fauquier residents. Over the first three years, volunteer drivers put in over 2,200 hours, logged over 35,000 miles, and made nearly 700 trips, averaging four or five trips a week. In its heyday VolTran had a paid parttime coordinator and 24 drivers on its roster.


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In recent years, however, funding for recruitment, coordination and publicity dried up. Many older volunteers had to stop driving; in some cases they turned to VolTran for transportation assistance themselves. Rides provided by the program diminished to only a few per month. Without paid staff, board members didn’t have the resources to rebuild the program; in time, some of them moved on as well. The transportation needs of the elderly and disabled in Fauquier County, however, did not go away. Fortunately, in early 2016 the PATH Foundation stepped forward with an offer to help VolTran revitalize its organization and



Larry Stillwell, services. The grant Jean Lowe, Ed funded promotional Jones are three materials and publicity volunteers who to help recruit volunteers have assisted and spread awareness of in rejuvenating VolTran. the program’s services. The new PATH Resource Center also guided VolTran organizers in building an effective and revitalized Board of Directors. Based in Fauquier County, VolTran now also serves residents of Rappahannock and northern Culpeper counties. The program’s volunteer drivers use their own vehicles to take their passengers wherever they need to go, whether to a doctor on the other side

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of town or all the way to Charlottesville or Fairfax. Board President Phyllis McBride recently spent a Saturday morning introducing her new volunteers to VolTran and its mission: helping the elderly and disabled, and others in serious need, get to medical and other important appointments. She says she’s “thrilled” to have the new recruits. “If we have even a few new drivers who are really committed, we can put a dent in this,” she said. “We can make a difference in people’s lives.” Along with its geographically expanded mission, VolTran’s board of directors has added serving “others in serious need,” to its mission, since lack of transportation can be a major impediment to healthy living even for those who are neither elderly nor disabled. The expanded VolTran mission also recognizes that residents have serious needs other than medical appointments and prescriptions. “I’m really glad we added ‘serious need’ to our mission statement,” McBride says, “because now we’re directly addressing the isolation and social needs of the elderly and disabled and others.” Research points to social engagement as perhaps even more important than nutrition or exercise in preventing dementia. Getting to church, to a bingo hall or bridge game, or to a luncheon with friends can make all the difference in a senior’s quality of life. In other words, while transportation to medical services is vital, so are social needs. “Well-being is a critical need,” points out VolTran vice-president Mittie Wallace, a Department of Social Services program and policy manager who is also a nurse. “There’s not a lot going on for seniors in this county. The more volunteers we have, the more we can do with this.” VolTran hopes to find funding for a volunteer coordinator’s position soon. McBride points to the new funding, new board members, and a new website (www.voltran.org) as signs that this fall’s volunteer recruitment is “just the beginning” of a rebirth of the program. She encourages others to consider joining the program’s team of volunteer drivers.

Drivers must be 21 or older, have a good (if not perfect) driving record, and have an insured vehicle they can use. (VolTran has insurance to supplement the driver’s.) Volunteers choose when to make themselves available for driving and where they are willing to go. The small nonprofit organization more than doubled the number of volunteer drivers on its roster recently, from four to nine, and may well add another half dozen before 2016 comes to a close. McBride asks potential volunteers to see the VolTran website, call 540-2722306, or email contact@voltran.org to learn more. There are other ways people can help, too, she points out: VolTran needs local businesses to display VolTran signs and brochures so customers and their families will know about the program; it needs medical offices to inform their patients. And of course, tax-deductible donations are always welcome. VolTran also has the use of a wheelchair-accessible van through Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services. For this service, passengers are asked to provide VolTran least five days’ notice. Volunteers must have special training to drive the vehicle. At a recent training event, current VolTran drivers described the satisfaction they feel when helping others and the rich relationships that have developed between them and their passengers. One of the new volunteers said that’s why she responded when she saw VolTran was recruiting. New to Fauquier County, Jennifer Ellis McIrvin said she was looking for a way to connect with local senior citizens. “I have two grandmothers in their 90’s, both of them very active, and I’ve always enjoyed being around them and other older people,” she explained. New volunteer Judy Lohman described why she decided to volunteer: “I have some experience driving friends and neighbors to appointments and I was looking for an opportunity to give back – and this fills the bill.” Voltran is hoping more people will feel the same way and take the opportunity to serve their community – one ride at a time. ❖

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Volunteer driver, Rose Smith

Anyone needing a ride should call VolTran two days in advance at 540-422-8424 and leave a message that includes their contact information; the phone line is open for messages 24 hours a day and calls are always returned by 3:00 pm the following day. VolTran will return the call, collect information about the rider and the appointment, and then find a volunteer driver available on that date, assuming one is available. VolTran does not currently offer rides or respond to phone calls on weekends or holidays.

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Lawrence Stillwell, M.Ed, is a writer, editor, educator and social worker involved with several local nonprofits. He was the founding editor of the Partnership for Community Resource’s Community Resource Guide and has served on the board of directors for the Fauquier Free Clinic, VolTran, and the Fauquier Community Coalition. He lives in Opal.

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{ NOVEMBER 2016 |



{ NOVEMBER 2016 |




the great



iking and backpacking are exciting outdoor activities that without a doubt not only bring us closer to nature, but also hold the promise of adventure and new experiences. Yet the differences between the two are distinct despite many similarities. Hiking means walking mainly on well designated nature trails for the pure pleasure it provides and rarely needs more than a pair of hiking boots, a rain jacket, some water and a snack. Backpacking with the idea of camping overnight involves the study of maps, detailed preparations for a stay in the wilderness, and the ability to carry 25 to 35 pounds on one’s back. The goal of day hikes at Boots ’n Beer is to enjoy getting out in nature with the camaraderie of others, to get a solid workout, and to revel in banter and laughter while rewarding ourselves at the end with a cool draft beer in a neighborhood tavern. Our Boots ‘n Beer backpacking excursions, on the other hand, involve more detailed planning and preparation, venturing farther out into the wilderness, pitching camp and eating. And when returning home, cleaning and restoring the equipment. Backpacking is considerably a more grounding and deeper experience. It tests not only one’s independence and self reliance but also the ability to work together. Whether hiking or backpacking, John Muir said it best: “In every walk with Nature one receives far more than one seeks.” And so it was with our latest Boots ’n Beer three day backpacking trip, which took us deep into the wilderness of West Virginia.

HIKING into the

WILDERNESS by Andreas A. Keller


{ NOVEMBER 2016 |



“Hiking and backpacking are exciting outdoor activities that without a doubt not only bring us closer to nature, but also hold the promise of adventure and new experiences.”

Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia Dolly Sods Wilderness is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in West Virginia. It’s an area of high elevation of windswept plains. It is located on the Allegheny Plateau is known for its extensive glacier shaped rock formations, upland bogs and sweeping vistas. With crooked and stunted trees, huckleberry bushes and ferns, its climate and plant life resembles that of Canada. Dolly Sods is like a unique island of wild country surrounded by Appalachian hardwood forests. Once the home to vast forests of massive spruce and hemlock trees, between 1899 and 1924 the entire forest was logged, which makes the area susceptible to wildfires to this day. During World War II this plateau was used for artillery and mortar training, and in 1975 Congress designated close to 18,000 acres as protected wilderness.

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Mapping Out The Trails And Hiking The Map With close to 50 miles of a variety of trails of single track, old logging roads and railroad grades, the generally well marked paths meander in quiet solitude through the ever changing landscape and often vanish amongst roots, rocks and bogs. This happened to us two years ago on a Boots ‘n Beer day hike in Dolly Sods. The trail simply disappeared on us, and we had to bushwhack for three hours against diminishing daylight to find our way back to the trailhead. But our hiking group was lucky on this trip. We never went off trail once, due in large part to our hiking buddy, Cooper Wright. He had studied the maps and planned out two hikes with exit routes in case of an emergency.

The group at Dolly Sods.

Cooper’s Detailed Hiking Plan The beginning of our hike, however, threw us a surprise. After a three hour drive from Warrenton to the North Section trailhead, we discovered that the South Section was closed due to wildfire prevention. Plan B came to our rescue, and we would approach Dolly Sods from the South Section trailhead. This put us an hour and a half behind schedule, starting around five in the evening. Our goal was to pitch camp before nightfall which we were able to accomplish. The weather forecast promised us a clear and mild night. Because of the wildfire warnings, we could not light a campfire so we all crawled into our tents in the hope of a good night’s sleep. Despite the Boy Scouts’ motto

“Be Prepared” some of us were not. The temperature dropped unexpectedly into the mid 30’s, and I, for one, was shivering through the night under my summer quilt. Breaking camp early in the morning helped get our cold stiff bones ready for the day’s hike. With 11 miles to go through rolling landscapes, we wanted to strike camp before a bad weather front moved in on us. By three o’clock in the afternoon we established camp and prepared dinner. By six o’clock that evening the temperature turned pleasantly warm and a light rain began to fall. As darkness fell, all of us were in our tents and falling asleep to the steady drums of raindrops coming down faster and heavier. It was actually a most agreeable way to fall into a deep and sound sleep. The witching hour arrived with low rumblings of thunder while rain poured heavily and lightning flared in muted colors through the tent wall. Now fully awake, I had hoped that the rain would have stopped so that the morning would provide us with a clear and crisp start as we hiked home to the trailhead. It was not to be. The storm moved closer and closer and unloaded its full fury on us. My quilt accumulated a fine mist of water droplets, and rain seeped into the bathtub of my tent because I had pitched it in a slight dell. That’s when you learn to balance on a 20-inch wide mattress without moving and just let the soothing lullaby of the falling rain take you back to sleep. At daybreak we gathered in the rain around some tree trunks and enjoyed a first cup of coffee before breaking camp. We were in a cheerful mood, for surprisingly we had all slept well. John Hagarty reminded us that one cannot spend two days in Dolly Sods without having a downpour and walking in wet trails. The joy of backpacking is perhaps best encapsulated in the Boots ’n Beer maxim “There is no bad weather, just bad equipment.” The rain followed us to the end of the trail where we met a group of backpackers hailing from Florida, Illinois and Kentucky. They were ready to start their three day hike in the Dolly Sods Wilderness. As our tents and backpacks were drying out at home, they reminded us of our three day experience of hiking in intermittent rain! But our greatest take-away was that we all felt fortunate and grateful to have enjoyed the great variety of everything Dolly Sods had to offer - clear blue sky, sunshine, unusual rock formations, deep green forests, dark grey hanging clouds, rain and wet trails, starry nights, and the rare camaraderie and friendship of shared adventure and experiences. ❖

Andreas A. Keller is a passionate hiker, avid backpacker and a Charter Member of Boots ’n Beer, a drinking club with a hiking problem. He can be reached via email at aakeller@mac.com.

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any dog and cat owners are awakened in the middle of night or relaxing at home on a Sunday afternoon and find themselves concerned about their pet’s wellbeing. When is it necessary to call the veterinary emergency clinic to have your dog or cat evaluated? There are emergencies in veterinary medicine that require immediate attention. The following are some of the more common urgent cat and dog emergencies you should be aware of as an owner. BREATHING PROBLEMS If your dog or cat appears to have any difficulty breathing they should be evaluated immediately. This is frequently caused by the following: Cats, like people, can be affected by asthma that requires immediate oxygen therapy. Old large breed dogs that are exposed to heat or exertion can exacerbate degenerating laryngeal function and can present as if they are being choked. This condition is called laryngeal paralysis. Puppies and kittens can bite into electrical cords and cause their lungs to fill with fluid. Heart disease can affect dogs and cats. Clinical signs, including rapid shallow breathing, can be seen immediately.


DIFFICULTY URINATING Acute urinary tract obstructions are commonly seen in both dogs and cats. Low-grade infections or a history of stones can lead to your pet’s inability to urinate. If your dog or cat cannot urinate— harmful toxins can build up in the bloodstream and make your dog or cat very ill and even lead to death. Cats and dogs can develop kidney stones just as people do. They are often associated with your pet’s diet. Small stones can

By Ethan H. Morris, DVM


{ NOVEMBER 2016 |



develop in the kidneys and bladder and then try to leave the bladder which can lead to an obstructive flow of urine out of the body. If your cat or dog is straining to urinate—posturing to urinate and nothing comes out—please call a veterinarian immediately. The obstruction needs to be relieved immediately. VOMITING AND DIARRHEA Both young and old dogs and cats eat things they are not supposed to ingest. This includes toys that have been feverishly torn apart then eaten, rocks, socks, underwear, corn cobs, needles, owner’s medication, chocolate, etc. All of these things can make your dog or cat very sick. If you know that your pet ingested something inappropriate, please call a veterinarian immediately. What was ingested and how long ago will determine the urgency of the situation.




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Photo Quilts, Pillows, and Tote Bags. TOXINS Many household items used to kill insects and rodents are very toxic to dogs and cats. Vomiting, increased salivation, weakness, diarrhea, and seizures can result from ingesting toxins. Other toxins include: CHOCOLATE Clinical signs depend on the amount and type of chocolate ingested. For many dogs and cats, the most common clinical signs are vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, a racing heart rate, muscle spasms or tremors, and occasionally seizures. Chocolate is toxic because it contains methylxanthine theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth- muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous and results in severe clinical signs, especially if untreated. Approximately one ounce of milk chocolate per pound of body weight is toxic to your pet. Approximately ¼ ounce of dark chocolate per pound of body weight is toxic to your pet. ANTIFREEZE Ingestion of antifreeze is highly toxic to dogs and cats. The chemical in antifreeze, Ethylene Glycol (EG), causes extensive kidney damage almost immediately after consumption. As little as five tablespoons of commercial antifreeze is enough to kill a mediumsized dog that weighs approximately 55 pounds. Immediate treatment is necessary. FOREIGN MATERIAL Unfortunately, dogs and cats like to eat things they are not supposed to ingest. A simple strand of dental floss ingested by a cat can be life threatening. The string can lead to severe intestinal trauma. If you know your pet has eaten anything he/she


{ NOVEMBER 2016 |

shouldn’t such as rocks, coins, socks, blankets, toys, etc. and begins to vomit, please call a veterinarian.

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art teachers, my surroundings, everything!” With her father’s unassuming artistic creations, to her mother’s meticulous gardens, to her paternal grandmother who was both a painter and a florist, and her grandfather who drew portraits of the neighborhood kids, the artist’s touch runs deeply in Jess’ family, which can be traced back in Fauquier County to her great grandparents. Jess attended CM Bradley Elementary School, Taylor Middle School, and Fauquier High School before attending Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond where she double-majored in Art Education and Sculpture, “I knew I wanted to be an art teacher and I knew I wanted to study sculpture, but I was forcing myself in two different directions,” she explains. “So I decided to switch gears a little and began studying performance art, where the finished product wasn’t the focus, but rather the process of getting there.”


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essica “Jess” Beach grew up in Orlean, VA in the same house where her mother was raised. Her father, a carpenter, would take walks along the banks of the Rappahannock River collecting items that passing storms would wash ashore and create art with them that he would later display in the yard. “Although he has never considered himself an artist, he can see the art in anything,” says Jess. Today Jess, a lifelong Fauquier resident, helps the almost 550 students at Brumfield Elementary School find the art that speaks to them. Each week she spends 45 minutes with every Brumfield class. Year after year, for six years, she has the opportunity to watch the students develop an appreciation for art before graduating and moving on to Middle School. From cutting up plush toys in order to create new ones, to rummaging through “junk” to mold into something new, to piecing together a massive papier-mâché dragon head to celebrate a week-long study on China, Brumfield students walk away with an understanding and appreciation for art. Jess has been teaching at Brumfield for almost a decade and often runs into prior students when she is in town, “They will come up to me and tell me that they are still creating,” she says with a smile. It all began with childhood trips to the Fauquier Library. “I remember going to the library and selecting How to Draw books,” she recalls. “I always wanted to absorb as much art as I could… from my

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She references contemporary artist Janine Antoni and one work in particular where Antoni dips her hair in paint and mops a canvas, “She was making a statement about her role as a woman and how society depicts her. Society felt she needed to have dyed hair and keep the house clean. She made a powerful message without using a single word,” Jess explains. This past spring, Jess helped her students share their own messages. Brumfield participated in a creative county-wide project by the town asking students what Warrenton would look like in 25 years. “Students were so excited about the opportunity to share their ideas with the local government and it was depicted through art,” Jess explains. Students drew two images, the first depicting what they appreciated about Warrenton today and the second about what they hoped to see in the year 2040. The Postcard Project was awarded the Virginia Municipal League “Working with Youth Award”. The images submitted by Brumfield students hang in the foyer

of the school, just outside the art room. Jess used her studies in performance art to improve her public speaking skills and better “sell” art to her students. “Somehow we lose confidence as we get older. People start saying ‘I can’t do art’ and just give up,” she says. “But there is something here for everyone. Making it innate to us.” She also explains, “It’s all about the enthusiasm that I bring to the classroom. If I come into the classroom muttering about what to do that day, the kids would be bored. But when I come in excited about the art we are going to create, it’s contagious and they catch on.” She laughs when she thinks that she sells art all day. Jess is more than an art teacher to her students. She is an example of a successful artist in the community for them as well. Jess has been commissioned twice by Brumfield to create art for the school. In addition, this past June she exhibited her art, along with eight other Fauquier County art teachers, at Sunny Reynolds’ Studio 19 in Warrenton. The title of the show

was “Those Who Can…” to dispel the myth that artists who teach, cannot also create. “One of my main goals this year is for the kids to see me as a working artist,” she says, “I want them to see that they can do it too, if they want to.” One of the pieces she was commissioned to make for Brumfield is a large triptych in the main office. “For this piece I was asked by the Principal to create something welcoming.” Without further instruction, she set off to create. The results are three 3’x6’ canvases depicting an African sunrise with grazing giraffes, representing the school’s mascot. The colors evoke feelings of inspiration and the hope of a new day, precisely the feeling the school would like students to have upon arriving to school each day. The second piece Jess did for the school adorns the courtyard windows in the school cafeteria. Comprised of 18 window panes, the mural is titled “Wonderment”. The images spill from a center image of a boy opening a book. Everything that happens in the school is captured in the windows.

“This mural is inspired by what I have seen here at Brumfield. As a teacher, my favorite moment is when wonder and learning meet. When a child learns something for the first time, it is magical. Using symbolic imagery, “Wonderment” illustrates those moments of learning we do here at Brumfield, from hatching chicks to playing basketball. The shadows cast by this mural make the audience part of the art as they stand beside it. The shadows remind us that this is our experience too. Everyone feels these magical moments of learning throughout our lives, no matter what age.”


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“The PTO charged me with a mural in the cafeteria, and I thought ‘oh my goodness, the cafeteria…’ and then one night I woke up thinking, ‘The windows,’” recalls Jess. Painted on plexiglass, a medium new to her, Jess had to paint the images in reverse on the back, including the words, so they wouldn’t be scratched off by curious students. She discloses, “Surprisingly, I actually love when I see a student touching it now. I have walked into the cafeteria and found students slowly tracing it with their fingers. They are making a connection to it.” Each pane is 2’x3’ and when the sun catches the images, the colors spill into the room, “In this way, students who are looking at the windows become part of the image,” explains Jess. Back in her classroom Jess works hard to break the stigma of art and help students realize

that they are all capable of producing art, “Just because someone doesn’t draw realistic portraiture doesn’t mean they aren’t an artist,” she states defending art’s broad definition. “The artists that use bold lines on canvases are artists because they decided they were,” she says, returning to the idea of selling art. It is her objective to see each 5th grader move on to Middle School confident in their artistic abilities after being in her classroom. And Jess builds confidence outside of the classroom as well. During a summer trip to Maine with her closest friends, she scheduled Art Time with Jess. The friends positioned themselves in front of a heavily wooded area filled with sunlight and mossy Maine trees. “My friends would emphatically state they are not artists, but when we were done, they had each created a

beautiful landscape painting. It was about looking at what was there and not trying to see what they thought should be seen,” explains Jess. She continues, “They told me later that if art had been presented to them that way when they were in school, maybe they wouldn’t have given up so easily.” Jess Beach continues to present art in a way that encourages her students to find their artistic strength. Having securely found the artist within herself, thanks to being surrounded by creativity as a child, through yard ornaments, gardens, flowers, and paintings, she takes the not-so-subtle approach of bounding into the classroom every day. For every class, for each of her nearly 550 students, enthusiastically she encourages them to get dirty, get bold, and find their inner artist.❖

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Aimée O’Grady is a freelance writer who enjoys transforming stories told by Fauquier residents into articles for Lifestyle readers. She learns more and more about our rich county with every interview she conducts. She and her husband are happy with their decision to raise their four children in Warrenton.




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Recalling the life of World War II veteran Johnny Sekelsky By John T. Toler


n his book The Greatest Generation, award-winning news correspondent and author Tom Brokaw writes about “… the men and women who came out of the Great Depression, who won great victories in World War II, and then returned home to begin building the world we have today.” The characteristics – as well as individuality – of those of the Greatest Generation can be seen in the example of John Thomas “Johnny” Sekelsky of Warrenton, who indeed grew up during the Great Depression and served in the Armed Forces in World War II.


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After the war, Johnny took advantage of educational opportunities to develop his talents as an artist and musician, married and raised a family. Now 93, Johnny has been a resident of Amerisist of Warrenton, an assisted living facility, since 2013. His son Alan and daughterin-law Diane live in Warrenton, and visit him at Amerisist, as well as taking Johnny to local Veterans Day and Memorial Day observances. A first-generation American, Johnny was the son of Andrew and Anne Sekelsky. He notes that his father was a native of Czechoslovakia

The crew of Miss Memorial, a B-17G heavy bomber, served together until the end of WWII. Front row, from left: Tech/Sgt. Johnny Sekelsky, Sgt. Roy L. Clement and Sgt. Marvin Elke. Back row: Sgt. Raymond Parker, Sgt. Norman Olsen, Lt. Robert Parks and Lt. Leon Owens.

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and served in World War I – in the Austro-Hungarian Army. Andrew came to the United States in 1919 and settled in Punxsutawney, Pa. where he met Anne Wargo, a young widow who was also from Czechoslovakia. They were soon married, and Johnny was born there in 1923. The Sekelskys moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where they attended the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Catholic Church, founded several years earlier by Slovak immigrants. Johnny served as an altar boy, and attended the parish school. It was there that one of his teachers, Sister Anastasia, organized an accordion band. Johnny, then in fifth grade, was one of 50 boys who joined. Instruction was provided by a professional musician. It was also during his high school years that his talent for drawing was revealed, and he furthered his artistic training at East Tech High School in Cleveland. Johnny was barely out of high school when the U.S. entered World War II. Until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943, he worked as a technical illustrator for a wartime contractor that manufactured aircraft parts.


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engineer/mechanic/gunner), Norman T. Olsen (airplane armorer/gunner), and Roy L. Clement and Raymond O. Parker (aerial gunners). Arriving overseas, Miss Memorial and her crew were assigned to the airbase at Lavenham, England, as part of the 487th Bomb Group, 838th Bomber Squadron, and designated Crew 56.The 487th Bomb Group arrived at Lavenham in April 1944, and flew its first combat mission on May 7, 1944. It was one of the few bomb groups in the 8th Air Force that flew both B-17 and B-24 aircraft. The crew of Miss Memorial would fly 28 combat missions, but their first – an attack on Berlin, Germany on Feb. 26, 1945 – was the most memorable. “The objective was the transportation system of the German capital,” according to Ivo De Jong in The History of the 487th Bomb Group (2004). As part of a massive attack by elements of the 8th Air Force, 40 aircraft of the 487th were involved. Crews were awakened at 2:45 a.m., ate breakfast and were called in for a briefing. “I went to a meeting where they picked out the crews that were going on the mission,” Johnny recalled. “They pulled down a big map showing where we were going to fly that day, and it was to Berlin,” said Johnny. “A bunch of the guys said, ‘Oh, no!’” Loaded with bombs and ammunition, the raiders took off



At the airbase at Lavenham, England, pilot Lt. Leon Owens talks with tailgunner Sgt. Raymond Parker before heading out on a mission. The rendering of ‘Rough ‘n’ Ready’ was painted on the tail of Miss Memorial by Tech/ Sgt. Johnny Sekelsky.

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THE WAR IN EUROPE After Army basic training, Johnny transferred to the U. S. Army Air Forces, where he underwent training at an airbase in South Dakota as a crewman on the B-17 “Flying Fortress” bomber. His primary duty was as the aircraft’s radio operator, but he was also trained as a waist gunner (firing .50 caliber machine guns from a position on the side of the aircraft) and as a mechanic. Promoted to Tech/Sgt., Johnny was assigned to a new B-17-G bomber (448524) nicknamed Miss Memorial, and was soon on his way to the European Theater as part of the “Mighty Eighth” Air Force. Johnny would spend his entire combat tour flying in the same aircraft, and with the same crew. B-17 crews consisted of nine airmen. On board the Miss Memorial were pilots Lt. Leon Owens and Lt. Harry R. Swanson; navigator Lt. Robert L. Parks, and bombardier Lt. Norman J. Weledniger. In addition to Tech /Sgt. Johnny Sekelsky, the enlisted personnel were Sergeants Marvin E. Elke (flight

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Top: Painting by Johnny Sekelsky depicts Miss Memorial, a B-17G, and Chief Wapello, one of the 487th Bomb Group’s B-24 heavy bombers, over the airfield at Lavenham, England in early 1945. Aircraft in the 487th BG were recognized by the large white ‘P’ in a black square on their tails. Bottom: Johnny Sekelsky’s wife, Elizabeth ‘Elsie’ Hamilton Sekelsky, photographed in New York in the 1950s. Elsie, a native of Scotland, was a visiting nurse at a hospital in England when they first met.

from Lavenham at 8 a.m. However, due to engine and other mechanical problems, five B-17s had to abort and return to base. The remaining 35 continued on to the target, “…which was hidden by a complete undercast…they dropped 408 500-lb. GP (general purpose) and M-17 cluster bombs at 12:31 p.m.,” according to De Jong. As they approached Berlin, Johnny moved from the radio room to the waist gunner position in case they were attacked by German fighters. But aerial combat with the Luftwaffe would not be what nearly brought Miss Memorial down. After the bombs were dropped, Miss Memorial encountered “…moderate but fairly accurate flak (anti-aircraft artillery)


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in the target area,” wrote De Jong. Four other B17s suffered minor damage, but Miss Memorial was hit in the starboard outboard engine, and fell from the formation. “From then on, we had to keep flying on just three engines,” Johnny remembers. No one onboard was wounded, but in order to lighten the load, the crew threw out all of the loose equipment except two guns. They headed to the airfield at Grimberghen, Belgium north of Brussels, where they made an emergency landing. Belgium had been liberated by Allied forces by September 1944, and the field at Grimberghen provided a safe haven a lot closer than Lavenham. “When we landed, Belgian children ran up to the airplane, asking for cigarettes and candy,” he recalled. One other B-17 on the mission was running low on fuel, and landed at Antwerpe-Deurne. The rest made it back to Lavenham by 5:30 p.m. – one of the longest raids undertaken by that time. According to De Jong, 8th Air Force planes dropped several hundred tons of bombs on Berlin that day. At the Grimberghen airbase, Miss Memorial’s damaged engine was replaced, and the crew was soon on their way back to Lavenham. They would complete 27 more missions before V-E Day, May 8, 1945 – the end of the war in Europe. Having experienced much during their



tour of duty, the crew of Miss Memorial “…was like a family,” notes Johnny. He recalls that three of the bombers in his group were lost while they were overseas. De Jong states that “…232 members of the 487th Bomb Group paid the ultimate price for service to their country.” “I was in England when the war ended, and the Colonel asked me if I still wanted to fly,” said Johnny. “I told him that I did, and they put me in B-29s as a radio operations instructor.” It is likely that some of the men Johnny trained carried the war to Japan, which surrendered in August 1945. The rest of the crew of Miss Memorial flew home in the bomber, which likely ended its days in storage at Kingman, Arizona. While on furlough in England, Johnny was introduced by a friend to Miss Elizabeth “Elsie” Hamilton, a Scottish visiting nurse who worked in the operating room of a hospital supporting the Mighty Eighth. Their friendship grew, and he visited Elsie in Scotland, which he remembers as a very beautiful country. HOMECOMING AND CIVILIAN LIFE After Johnny returned to the U.S., he sent for Elsie. They were married in New York and started a new life together there. They would have four sons – Andrew, Alan, Robert and David, and a daughter, Anne. Johnny completed his training in art and music at the Cleveland School of Art, which was sponsored by the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh. He then commenced a long and successful career

Left: A versatile artist, Johnny Sekelsky painted fine landscapes as well as commercial art projects. Hanging on the wall of his room at Amerisist of Warrenton is his painting of a fisherman’s home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Top Right: With a stock of art supplies in his room, Johnny Sekelsky still produces an occasional still life, and other artwork. Bottom Right: While he doesn’t play as much as he used to, Johnny Sekelsky likes to perform for his friends at Amerisist, and they appreciate it. ‘Johnny is an excellent accordion player,’ notes fellow resident Roberta “Boogie” Hitt. ‘He has played for us in the hallway and the television room, and accompanied a barber shop quartet when they came to sing for us.’

as a commercial artist in New York City. His work covered a wide range of projects, from catalogues to advertising. In addition, he produced a variety of portraits and landscapes, and a body of aviation art. For many years, he and Elsie lived in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y., and he commuted to his studio in Manhattan by train each day. Johnny was without his accordion when he first arrived overseas (his mother later shipped it to him), and upon his return to the States, Johnny resumed playing. He was invited to perform at various venues and events in New York, including weddings, dances and other celebrations. He went by the stage name “Johnny Silk,” and counted over 4,000 songs in his accordion playbook. The Sekelsky children grew up, left home to start their careers, and married. Johnny and Elsie continued to live at Croton-on-Hudson for several years. But after Elsie’s passing, the children urged Johnny, by then 90, to move into an assisted living facility, and Amerisist of

Warrenton near Alan and Diane’s home was selected. As part of the Amerisist community, Johnny enjoys the company of his many friends. He is known for his musical talent on the accordion, which he plays for the staff and residents. One especially memorable experience was when a group of residents made the trip to Skyline Drive in the big Amerisist van – which echoed with a variety of polkas, waltzes and popular old classics as it rolled down the road. Johnny also has a drawer in his room filled with art supplies, and produces stilllife drawings and other artwork and cards for special occasions, like holidays, and Halloween. In the years after World War II, Johnny attended a number of “Mighty Eighth” and 487th Bomb Group reunions. But with the passage of time, fewer and fewer of those who served in that epic conflict were able to come, or still alive. Nearly all who have survived are in their 90s, like Johnny, and they remain a National Treasure. “If we are to heed the past to prepare for the future, we should listen to these quiet voices of a generation that speaks to us of duty, honor, sacrifice and accomplishment,” wrote Tom Brokaw in The Greatest Generation Speaks (1999). Johnny Sekelsky of Warrenton is one of those “quiet voices.” ❖

John Toler is an author and historian who has served Fauquier County for over 50 years, including four decades with the Fauquier-Times Democrat. Toler is the co-author of 250 Years in Fauquier County: A Virginia Story, and author of Warrenton, Virginia: A History of 200 Years.

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The Warrenton Lifestyle dining guide provides information on Warrenton area restaurants and nightspots. The brief comments are not intended as reviews but merely as characterizations. We made every effort to get accurate information but recommend that you call ahead to verify hours and reservation needs. Listings include Best of Warrenton award winners as well as advertisers and non-advertisers. Please contact us if you believe any information provided is inaccurate.

(540) 349-1382 • 275 W. Lee Highway

Authentic Chinese, Thai, Fusion, and Seafood cuisine. Offer lunch buffet everyday. Feature China Jade specialties and Kid’s menu (includes chicken wings and grilled cheese). Casual dress.


(540) 351-0580 • 589 Frost Avenue chinarestaurantva.com

Authentic Chinese cuisine. All you can eat buffet Saturday 11am to 3pm, Sunday noon to 3pm. Dine in, carry out, or free delivery available ($15 minimum and within 5 mile radius).


(540) 351-1616 • 65 S Third Street clairesrestaurant.com

Casual yet elegant restaurant offering locally inspired seasonal American cuisine. The service is as first rate as the food. Open for lunch and dinner and brunch on Sundays. Broad wine list and craft beers available.


(877) 988-7541 • 6809 Airlie Road airlie.com

Enjoy modern Virginian cuisine centered on locally sourced and sustainable ingredients in an upscale setting. Menus include sophisticated dishes that honor the labor of love and sustainable practices of local farmers. Seasonal cocktails, local wine, and Virginia craft beers complement the menu at The Garden Bistro and allow for a true taste of The Old Dominion State. Open for Sunday brunch from 10:30 to 2:30 and dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday.


(540) 349-8077 • 147 Alexandria Pike #101 coldstonecreamery.com

Cold Stone is back at its new location. They offer unique ice cream cones, shakes, smoothies and cakes. Ice Cream is prepared on frozen granite stone. Fun, family environment. Open year round.


(540) 349-9120 • 623 Frost Avenue countrycookin.com


(540) 351-6155 • 7168 Lineweaver Road covertcafe.com

(540) 341-2044 •105 W Lee Highway applebees.com

Serving up home-style, hot and cold sandwiches, soups, sweets like gobs and muffins, and side items like potato and macaroni salad.



(540) 428-1005 • 32 Main Street blackbearbistro.com

Restaurant offering local beers and wines, soups and salads, appetizers, and entrees. A wide variety of American food with a twist, wood-fired brick oven pizzas, Italian inspired appetizers and desserts. Try the muffaletta sandwich! Also features Sweeney’s Cellar, located one floor below.


(540) 347-3199 • 34 Broadview Avenue • bk.com


(540) 347-2713 • 388 Waterloo Street cafetorinoandbakery.com

Restaurant offering authentic Italian pasta, seafood, appetizers, and desserts. Breakfast served in the morning. Lunch offers sandwiches, pasta, and more. Dinner usually requires reservation and is only available Thursday thru Saturday. Dine-in or takeout. Casual dress.


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(540) 341-8800 • 251 W Lee Highway #177


(703)385-5717 • 251 West Lee Highway

New Orleans-themed bar and restaurant serving fresh seafood, beer, wine and Cajun-style food. Over a dozen large televisions for watching sports and an extensive lineup of musical talent each week make this a great hang out.

FAUQUIER SPRINGS COUNTRY CLUB GRILLE ROOM (540) 341-7500• 251 W. Lee Hwy. #634 fauquiersprings.com

Fauquier Springs Country Club’s Grille Room is an exclusive restaurant for its members and their guests. The Grille Room is open Tuesday thru Sunday and offers a variety of dishes to suit everyone’s taste. Lunch & dinner weekdays with breakfast available on weekends.


(540) 341-7500 • 6441 Lee Highway www.firehousesubs.com


(540) 878-2066 • 6441 Lee Highway fiveguys.com


(540) 349-5776 • 20 Broadview Avenue fostersgrille.com

Burgers, French fries, hot dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches, milkshakes, wings, and salads. Daily specials. Patio seating available.


(540) 347-3047 • 55 Broadview Avenue

24-hour old fashioned diner serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. Casual dress.


(540) 878-5200 • 108 Main Street warrentonbread.com

Loaves of bread handcrafted using whole grain wheat grown on family farms and ground daily in the bakery. Sandwiches, muffins and a coffee bar.

(540) 347-0401 • 323 Comfort Inn Drive dennys.com



(540) 347-0001 • 81 W Lee Highway dominos.com

A cafe serving a wide selection of fresh and organic foods like stacked sandwiches, fruit smoothies, salads and more. Open for breakfast and lunch.



(540) 351-0011 • 251 W Lee Highway el-agave.com

Authentic Mexican restaurant offering a variety of delicacies for lunch, dinner, and dessert. Menu has specials for lunch and dinner combinations including fajitas, enchiladas, and burritos. Children’s menu available. Full bar. Casual dress. Dine-in or take-out.


(540) 341-0126 • 86 Broadview Avenue

Authentic Mexican restaurant offering a variety of dishes for lunch and dinner. Menu has lunch specials and traditional entrees like chimichangas, burritos, and quesadillas. Children’s menu available. Full bar. Casual dress. Dine-in or take-out.



(540) 316-3121 • 70 Main Street #22

(540)-680-2302 • 41 W. Lee Hwy. #57


(540) 347-3900 • 200 Broadview Ave. • kfc.com


(540) 341-8580 • 8504 Fletcher Drive ledopizza.com

Never cutting corners this pizza, sub and pasta shop serves many Italian favorites. Known for their large square pizzas, Ledos also carries fresh salads, calzones, shareable appetizers and sandwich combos. Casual attire.


251 West Lee Hwy 668 • littlecaesars.com


(540) 341-0392 • 505 Fletcher Drive longhornsteakhouse.com


(540) 341-1962 • 514 Fletcher Drive

(540)347-3704 • 5037 Lee Highway

Comfort food at its best. Featuring Greek/American specialties this restaurant is family owned and operated. Banquet room available.



Sibby’s was voted one of the top BBQ places in Northern Virginia . Catering - Banquet Room. Home of Boss Hawg BBQ

(540) 349-5050 • 139 W Lee Highway

Japanese steakhouse serving Hibachi style chicken, steak, shrimp, fish and sushi. Sushi available for take out. Fun, family environment.


(540) 347-3764 • 11 S. 2nd Street sibbysbbq.com


(540) 349-0950 • 41 W Lee Hwy #53 102 Broadview Avenue • subway.com



The place to go for a bit of Italy and Greece. You’ll find pizza, calzones, souvlaki, gyros, pasta, salads, and hot and cold subs here.

Restaurant conveniently located on Main Street. Offering breakfast, and burgers, wings, entrees and more for lunch and dinner. Check out their soup du jour as well.


(540) 680-2412 • 177 W Lee Highway


The Manor House Restaurant blends “old world table” cuisine together with an emphasis on fresh food from raw and artisanal local sources. Enjoy the new à la carte selections for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. The ambience that is elegant, yet unpretentious: a fieldstone manor house with stained glass windows, a soaring fireplace, a richly appointed bar, and a terrace overlooking a quiet rural countryside.


(540) 347-7888 • 351 Broadview Avenue

MCMAHON’S IRISH PUB & RESTAURANT (540) 347-7200 • 380 Broadview Avenue mcmahonsirishpub.com

Family owned, traditional Irish pub. Relaxed environment offering traditional Irish favorites. Open for Lunch and Dinner 7 Days a week. Irish Music Seisuin and Dinner Special on Sundays. Free Wi-Fi. Private dining room available. Full bar area with happy hour specials and appetizer menu. Outdoor Patio. Live entertainment. Casual dress.


(540) 349-8833 • 251 W Lee Highway #157 mojitosandtapas.com

The only true Cuban/Spanish restaurant in the state of Virginia. Authentic Cuban staples, Spanish tapas and a wide variety of mojitos. Family owned, smoke-free. Open for lunch and dinner. Known for their signature Cuban sandwich and seafood Paella. Happy Hour, Ladies Nights and Special Events. Full bar. Casual dress.


(540) 349-5300 • 36 Main Street mollysirishpub.com

Family owned, traditional Irish pub. Open for lunch and dinner. Laid back, fun environment. Traditional Irish fare and lots of sandwiches available. Sunday brunch from 11am – 2pm. Full bar. Live entertainment four nights a week.


Family owned pizzeria for over 20 years. Offers pizza, subs, pastas, and seafood. Daily lunch specials. Pizza available by the slice.



Organic Deli offering traditional sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. Choices also include vegetarian, vegan, glutenfree, soy-free and dairy-free selections. All organic fruit and fresh vegetable juices. Take-out and catering available.

(540) 347-0022 • 385 Shirley Highway joeandvinniespizza.net

To update your listing please email: editor@piedmontpress.com

(540) 349-0457 • 6419 Lee Highway outback.com



Elegant-casual American dining with international influences. Wine bottles to go, local craft beer, and menu peppered with locally-sourced ingredients. Celebrations and business meetings from small intimate gatherings to restaurant-exclusive events can be accommodated

Authentic Chinese restaurant offering a large buffet selection of sushi, soups, and meats.

An authentic asian cafe offering a wide selection of soups, rice, and noodle dishes.

(540) 428-1820 • 6445 Lee Highway ihop.com

(540) 349-9339 * 29 Main Street

(540)349-4111 • 5 Diagonal Street


79 Main Street • (540) 351-0550

(540) 341-4362 • 251 W Lee Highway panerabread.com


(540) 347-9669/9666 • 5063 Lee Hwy

(540) 349-7172 • 322 W Lee Hwy papajohns.com

Authentic hand-tossed New York style pizza. Dough made fresh daily on premise. Family owned and operated since 1974 - three generations. Voted Best Pizza in 2012.


(540) 347-5444 • 95 Broadview Avenue pizzahut.com


(540)359-6401 • 488 Fletcher Drive sweetfrogyogurt.com


(540) 349-7171 • 251 W Lee Highway pizzarama.com

Pizza, sub, sandwich, and Italian entrée restaurant. Available for pickup and delivery. Offer both hot and toasted and cold subs. Gourmet pizzas and calzones also available.


A self serve frozen yogurt shop, serving all natural frozen yogurt with a toppings bar that is full of sweet treats to customize your creation.


(540) 341-4206 • 316 W Lee Hwy tacobell.com


(540) 347-2224 • 22 Waterloo Street redtruckbakery.com

Bakery located in Old Town Warrenton next to the Old Jail Museum. Serving fresh pies, quiches, breads, cakes, and coffees daily. Online ordering available.


(540) 349-2330 • 147 W Shirley Avenue tippystacohouse.com

Mexican restaurant offering different quality specials everyday. Menu offers tacos, burritos, quesadillas, desserts and more. Dine-in or take-out. Open for Breakfast at 7am. Casual dress.

(540) 349-7100 • 360 Broadview Avenue redhotandblue.com



Asian restaurant serving authentic Chinese food. Daily specials and combos available. Dine-in or take-out.

Gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads and sweets. Open for lunch only. Limited patio seating or grab-and-go options available. Soups are the specialty at Renee’s – each day there are two news soups. She-crab soup available every Friday. Catering and business lunches available.


(540) 349-2828 • 185 W Lee Highway

(540) 347-2935 • 15 S Third Street


(540) 341-4912 • 74 Blackwell Park Ln rubytuesday.com

(540) 349-5031 • 484 Blackwell Road vocellipizza.com

Redzone is a great place to dine while watching your favorite sports teams on their large screen televisions that surround the dining room and bar. Or, enjoy a meal on their patio. Redzone is known for their burgers, wraps and extensive appetizer list. Try the Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots and Chicken Fried Rice. Check their schedule for periodic live entertainment.


(540) 428-5409 * 251 W. Lee Hwy, #189 www.shawnsbbq.com/warrenton

Shawn has worked to perfect the flavors with his homemade sauces and use on on-site smokers.

Café offering bistro sandwiches, wraps, gourmet salads, soups, and smoothies. Meals served with either chips or fruit. Also offer pick-two combination. Catering and kid’s menu available.



(540) 359-6215 • 251 Lee Hwy. #167 redzonewarrenton.com

(540) 428-1818 • 251 W Lee Hwy #679 tropicalsmoothiecafe.com


(540) 349-8118 • 352 Waterloo Street

Asian food available for dine-in, take-out, or delivery. Wide range of dishes available to order. Dishes served with a side of white rice. Casual dress.


(540) 347-5528 • 281 Broadview Avenue wendys.com


(540) 347-4355 • 294 W Lee Highway yencheng.com

First Chinese Restaurant in Warrenton. Wide range of appetizers, soups, and meats. Offer chef specialties and daily combos. Also offer a healthy food section and thai food options.

{ NOVEMBER 2016 |




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Wine Clubs TO Members-Only One local winery providing new service options for patrons By Steve Oviatt


isitors to local wineries have noticed that each has a “club” where members are afforded special perks, privileges and wines. There are a number of reasons for establishing these clubs: • The wineries have a stable base of repeat customers who will pay for new releases and vintages when they come out. • There is a lure for members to come to the wineries to relax, visit with friends and enjoy wines, and enjoy picnics in peace. • When members visit they will spend more money. Casual visitors receive a pitch on the benefits of each winery’s club while enjoying their tastings and may even tour special areas set aside for club members, as well as learn about the wines reserved for club members. Another impetus for establishing wine clubs is to cut down on the mayhem that accompanies various bus tours, which have gained a reputation for being a means for people to safely get drunk with their friends without having to worry about driving while impaired. Policing this type of tour puts a strain on the resources of various wineries. Some buses even allow drinking on

board. Since Virginia strictly regulates who may be served alcohol, allowing drinking on the buses creates tense situations where busloads of visitors must be turned away for being intoxicated. In addition, most wineries cannot allow outside alcoholic beverages to be consumed on their premises, so beer and other outside beverages must either be confiscated or kept on each bus. All this can create problems for everyone involved, leading some wineries to ban large groups to maintain a relaxing ambience. One local winery, The Winery at LaGrange, is planning to take the wine club a step further by making the winery members-only. As Marketing Coordinator Ross Forry explains, the idea has been

around for years and became a stated goal for LaGrange this year. To test the concept, LaGrange closed its grounds to the public for a couple weekends over the past year to allow members to enjoy the atmosphere of the winery in a more relaxed way. The experiment has been so successful that such members-only events will continue. The unintended consequence of LaGrange’s intentions is the message that the winery will soon be closed to nonmembers, which Forry is quick to refute. He explains that The Winery at LaGrange will need 2,500 members in order for the concept to work. Currently, the membership is not quite halfway to the goal. Forry expects it will take a couple more years before the goal of a members-only winery can be realized. In the meantime, LaGrange remains open to the public and will soon be moving to a different tasting experience featuring flights of different types of wines, including those from the wine library. These flights will be at a lower price than the current tasting price. And, as always, The Winery at LaGrange remains open to all and welcomes families, picnics and dogs. ❖

Steve Oviatt is Past President of the Haymarket Gainesville Business Association who runs his own consulting business in addition to working with a number of local and international wineries. Steve acknowledges his daughter taught him everything he knows about wine. He lives in Catharpin with his wife, Nancy.


{ NOVEMBER 2016 |



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