Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine February 2020

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Warrenton F E B R U A R Y

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DWIGHT winner of Warrenton’s Cutest Pet Contest!



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PUBLISHER Dennis Brack dennis@piedmontpub.com


from the E D I T O R

Pam Kamphuis pam@piedmontpub.com


his issue has been eagerly awaited by many, since our annual pet issue reveals the winners of our Cutest Pet Contest. This year, for the first time, our winner in Fauquier County is a cat. Congratulations, Dwight! Fauquier county has many animal lovers, and some really good, generous people who work for and with our local rescue organizations. One of these, Paws for Seniors, is particularly close to my heart. My mother in law fostered several dogs for them, having one right up until she passed away at the age of 90. Brenda and Jim are truly amazing people who gave her a lot of support with her foster dogs. They made such a huge difference in Oma’s life, and for that we are very grateful. As of the beginning of February, Warrenton Lifestyle will be operating out of our new office on the third floor of the Mason Enterprise Center at 70 Main Street in Old Town Warrenton. While our new office is not quite as visible as the one on Culpeper Street, I do hope people continue to visit us to talk about story ideas, pick up a copy of our Lifestyle magazines or The Piedmont Virginian, or just to say hello. And yes, you can still pick up your copy of Culpeper Times and Rappahannock News every week also. One thing that gives me joy as editor of Oma with “Jake,” a Paws Warrenton Lifestyle is celebrating our community in for Seniors foster dog. Fauquier. We have so many good people here. We are starting a new feature, Familiar Faces, which will profile interesting residents. This month we start with Mary Tremblay, who many of you will recognize from behind the lunch counter at Renee’s Gourmet to Go. Do you have a favorite barista? Grocery cashier? Please let us know if you know someone who would be interesting for us to profile. At the back of the magazine, we have our usual spring special advertising section featuring summer camps and private schools. This is the time of year to start making plans for summer. If you are a private school administrator or an organization that hosts summer camps, this special section will run again in our March issue. Contact us for advertising opportunities.

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EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING OFFICE Piedmont Lifestyle Magazines 11 Culpeper Street Warrenton, Virginia 20186 540-349-2951

ON THE WEB www.PiedmontLifestyle.com Facebook: @PiedmontLifestylePublications Email Newsletter: Sign up at www.PiedmontLifestyle.com The Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine is published monthly and distributed to over 11,500 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. ©2020 Rappahannock Media LLC.


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The decision to list your home might be simple. But then there are the many things that come next. Like finding a realtor, determining your home value, showing your home, negotiating offers, and then the many more steps that come while under contract. Once you’ve decided to sell, listing with Patti Brown makes the next choice a simple one. And as a gesture of her commitment to you, she’ll provide a complimentary professional pre-listing home inspection when you list with her. Call Patti Brown today!

contents 46

The Journey to a “Furever” Home



Mary Tremblay

Ending Teen Dating Violence





Familiar Faces

Air Serv

Providing a foster home for a pet BY CHARLOTTE HARVEY


The Badger’s Adventure of a Lifetime

Local organization helps combat ebola in Africa BY DANIELLE PAYANT

Keith Selbo on the Appalachian Trail



Microgreens Making a Macro Difference Living Springs Microgreens

Lending a Paw Ways to assist shelter animals BY NATHAN RAY

the pet section


Fortuitous Excursions



Fauquier photographer Gomer Pyles

2020 Pet Contest Winners


An Impeccable Eye for Beauty





The Newby Families of Fauquier

Old Pets, New Beginnings

Marta von Dettingen BY PAM KAMPHUIS




Special Advertising Section

Main Street Wellness Company

Raising a puppy for to become a guide dog



Summer Camps & Private Schools

Wellness Through Yoga



Paws for Seniors



Must Love Dogs

ON THE COVER: Dwight, Voted Warrenton’s Cutest Pet, photographed by Kara Thorpe


The Lifestyle magazines are sister publications of Northern Virginia’s Leading News Source, INSIDENOVA.COM TWITTER.COM/INSIDENOVA FACEBOOK.COM/INSIDENOVA


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MARY TREMBLAY New England Transplant Mary Tremblay is a Favorite in Warrenton BY PAM KAMPHUIS


ccasionally, our Art Director, Kara, who sits across from me in our office, will get a phone call around lunchtime. It’s from Mary Tremblay, whom many of you will know from behind the counter at Renee's Gourmet To Go. She’s calling to tell Kara that they are serving her favorite soup — vegetable — that day. Kara will always head right over to Renee's and return with a fragrant, steaming cup. Mary is a people person. She loves working at Renee's, and she knows all of her regulars by face, and almost all by name. She also knows their favorites, so she lets them know when Renee's is serving them. “I have a list of customers now that I call when we have a particular soup I know they like. I feel like it brings people in, and makes a sale. And it’s a personal touch, which I think sets us apart,” she explained. While many restaurants post their daily specials on their webpage or social media, Mary’s right, this is far more personal, and likely more effective in bringing people in.


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As most people know, Renee's has been sold to Bob Moore of Shelf Life, and Mary is looking forward to continuing to work there. She feels that he is working to keep the good qualities that have made the cafe successful all these years, and he also has some new ideas as well. But people want to make sure there are no staff changes. “I’m really blessed,” Mary said. “People would come in after the news broke and ask, ‘Is Mary staying?’ It is really heartwarming.” A Rhode Island native and Providence College graduate, Mary and her husband Dennis lived for 40 years in Littleton, New Hampshire, operating a glass business. Their introduction to Fauquier County came in 2014 when their son Joshua’s wedding was held in Hume. It happened to be Heritage Day in Old Town and, since the wedding wasn’t until late afternoon, they toured Warrenton and fell in love with its small town charm. After their only son grew up and moved to Northern Virginia, they started thinking



about moving south. As with so many other New England transplants, they were tired of the cold and the snow. Their U-Haul was packed, and the very day they closed on the sale of their house they hit the road. Dennis had secured a job at Home Depot in Manassas as a starting place, so they stayed in a Manassas hotel for a week to get their bearings. “We quickly realized that wasn’t for us,” Mary said. They thought back to their visit to Warrenton and were thrilled to find that it was so close, both to Dennis’s job and to Joshua and his wife, Sarah, in Burke. Mary and Dennis now live in Old Town, a block from the library on Winchester Street. “I absolutely love it,” Mary said. “I walk everywhere, I never take my car to work.” Her favorite thing about Warrenton is the small town feel which they noticed during their first visit. “People are so friendly,” she said. “I hadn’t even been here 6 months when people started to recognize me and talk to me in the grocery store.” She can walk home from Old Town at night without feeling afraid. Now grandparents of 3-year-old Rory and 3-month-old Sloan, the Tremblays chose to stay in Warrenton rather than moving closer to Joshua’s family. “Burke is too crowded for us, and we like the pace here.” An avid sports fan, Mary will talk sports with anyone and everyone. She still roots for her New England teams, and is instantly recognizable by the Patriots sweatshirt she always wears. “I had people come into the restaurant and razz me when the Patriots lost the Superbowl, but I razz them right back,” she said. “After all, the Patriots have been in nine Superbowls in the last 20 years, and they’ve won six of them. I’m happy with that.” What does she miss about New England? Coming from the land of lobster, fresh fish, and clam bakes, it is the seafood, she said. Here, they have a hard time finding their favorite dish, baked haddock with cracker topping. She also misses her favorite Italian restaurants and, of course, her family and friends. What she doesn’t miss: the black flies, and the snow. “If I never see snow again, I’d be very happy,” she admitted. ❖



Warrenton-based Air Serv Helps Combat Ebola in Africa



n August 1, 2018, four cases of the Ebola virus were confirmed in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Following on the heels of a previous outbreak which had just been contained in the western part of the country, these cases were the beginning of what was to become one of the largest Ebola epidemics in recorded history. In just over one year, the virus has taken over 2,100 lives and affected over 3,000 victims. And in the middle of it all has been Air Serv, an international aviation nonprofit headquartered in the heart of Warrenton. The Ebola crisis is exactly the type of emergency which first inspired the mission of the organization: to utilize bush aircraft for the safe movement of humanitarian cargo and personnel in disaster areas. In 1984, a small group of humanitarian aviators recognized


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that ground convoys were sometimes inefficient or at risk when traveling through difficult terrain or war zones. Using lightweight aircraft, they were able to fly above the danger and transport critical cargo in a fraction of the time. Thus was born Air Serv. Since the first case in 2018, Air Serv planes have been a crucial part of the international response to the most recent Ebola epidemic in DRC. In addition to the challenges faced in every humanitarian disaster, the North Kivu outbreak is accompanied by a particularly difficult set of obstacles due to its location amid an active war zone. While treating the sick, responders and victims are enduring attacks on medical facilities. Medical convoys have been hijacked, and funds must be diverted to provide necessary additional security. Air Serv airplanes provide a quick and safe method of delivery for lifesaving medicine, supplies, and medical personnel, as well as the means to reach remote affected areas to evacuate victims. During medical evacuations, patients are transported with portable breathing equipment and in sterilized capsules, which require specialized attention and care. Recently, Air Serv staff in the neighboring country of South Sudan completed training with the World Health Organization (WHO) for handling the transport of Ebola-affected patients. In addition to awareness training, the Air Serv team participated in a practical drill with personnel from a United Nations Mission in South Sudan, United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, and the WHO. The drill was staged on the airport ramp in Juba, using an Air Serv aircraft, and addressed proper patient handling procedures with medical equipment during the transport process. The recently completed training with the WHO qualifies Air Serv as one of the only air operators within the region to be specifically trained and experienced in Ebola response. “The Ebola outbreak has provided unique challenges to all caregivers,” says Bill Young, Air Serv’s Managing Director in Uganda. “Air Serv is proud of the role it has played in combating this most devastating virus.” Air Serv remains committed to providing services for the Ebola response as long as it is needed, while utilizing other aircraft in its fleet for ongoing humanitarian programs through DRC, Sudan, and South Sudan. Air Serv aircraft are the bridge connecting lifesaving aid with those who need it most, and are dependent upon the generosity of donors to keep flying. For information about humanitarian programs or to make a donation to support emergency response efforts, please visit www.airserv.org. ❖

Paul Morrison

D I V O R C E M E D I AT I O N HOW IT WORKS 1. You decide to be in charge of the outcome of your own case instead of letting a Judge tell you what to do. 2. You or your lawyer contacts our mediation coordinator, Sharon Wiggins, who sends initial paperwork and sets up a pre-mediation conference call with Paul to ascertain the issues, schedule the date and place for the mediation and set ground rules. 3. Show up with an open mind and settle your case with Paul’s help.

COST Paul requires $3500 to be placed in a trust account and billed against. This fee is usually split between the parties. Paul bills at $350 per hour for mediation services. Most cases are successfully resolved in less than 8 hours.

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Paul began his own law firm in 1987, concentrating on trial work including primarily Family law. In 1999, Paul began performing neutral case evaluations and mediations with an emphasis on divorce cases.

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Microgreens Making a Macro Difference These tiny plants from Living Springs Microgreens pack a big punch of flavor and nutrition



tepping into the Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility one crisp winter day to visit the weekly farmer’s market, I was greeted by an unexpected aroma. Although I had assumed that my arrival at the facility would be met with the potent smell of chlorine, I was instead enveloped by welcoming, earthy tones, which wafted from the far side of the lobby. Reaching the famer’s market tables, I was met warmly by Timothy Ernst, the owner of Living Springs Microgreens. His table was the source of the delectable fragrance that filled the building, its numerous trays of abounding produce enticing to both the eye and the stomach. A little over a year ago, Tim and his wife, Jan, founded Living Springs Microgreens with the mission of providing Fauquier families with healthy and appetizing produce options for their kitchen tables. “I was in the medical field for over thirty years,” explained Tim, whose job it was to ensure the safe and sanitary transportation of donated organs for surgery. Observing his father’s experiences in reactive medicine, Tim’s son encouraged him to seek another avenue to promote patients’ wellbeing. “Get ahead of the disease,” his son urged him, pointing Tim towards research that explored a new development in nutrition: produce known as “microgreens.” Tim had never heard the term, but after some research, he


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whole-heartedly embraced the idea. “The term ‘microgreen’ is a label for a stage of growth for vegetable greens,” Tim explained. A seed contains enough nutrition for a plant to sprout and grow two leaves, at which point it runs out of energy. However, according to studies conducted by the University of Maryland, it is at this stage of growth that the plant reaches a maximum level of nutritional value. In fact, Tim reported that “Microgreens provide over four times the nutrition that the adult plant provides. For instance, one ounce of broccoli microgreen is nutritionally equal to 20 ounces of your regular grocery store cut broccoli.” Not only that, but microgreens are at the peak of flavor, prized by chefs and foodies and used to create side dishes and “haystack salads,” to garnish soups and sandwiches, or to add a burst of health to a smoothie. At Living Springs Microgreens, Tim and Jan are revolutionizing the way in which Fauquier families get their nutrients. Unlike greens purchased in a traditional grocery store, which can sit on the shelf for up to a week after they have been cut — and thus are no longer nutritionally maximized — the microgreens provided by Living Springs are living when they are delivered to their customers. “All of our seeds are planted in vegan-friendly, steam-sterilized coconut pads


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in our facility,” said Tim. “Then, when a customer purchases our produce, they take home the coconut pads with their living microgreens so that they are fresh when they reach the plate.” The gorgeous pallet of produce can then be placed on a kitchen counter, serving as a vibrant bouquet that can be plucked and utilized to add flavor and nutrition to any meal. “The strength of your immune system begins in your stomach,” Tim stated. With this in mind, Tim and Jan are eager to provide their customers with the best resources to fuel a healthy immune system. “At Living Springs, every decision we make is in pursuit of one goal: pure.” This goal is evident in the organization’s agricultural facility; from the water, naturally filtered from their underground reservoir, to the air, sanitized by medical-grade technology, the resources used to grow the microgreens reflect the mission of Tim and Jan to provide unadulterated nutrition to Fauquier families. Offering an incredible range of produce, from satisfyingly sweet red cabbage to delectably zesty arugula, the team at Living Springs Microgreens is ready to help you and your family enjoy the highest level of taste and nutrition. ❖ LIVING SPRINGS MICROGREENS LIVINGSPRINGSMICROGREENS.COM FREE DELIVERY IN THE WARRENTON AREA


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Marta von Dettingen Created with her impeccable eye for beauty, Marta Irmen’s shop shines BY PAM KAMPHUIS


orn in Dettingen, Germany during World War II, Marta Irmen’s favorite thing to do after school as a child was to visit the small town’s two jewelry stores. It was just a dream then, but having her own jewelry shop someday became her goal. The realization came when she and her husband, John, opened the Marta von Dettingen jewelry shop in Old Town Warrenton in 2003. The story of the shop, and the Irmens themselves, came to light in a lively interview with John and Marta. Truly wonderful, engaging people, we chatted for a long time as if we were old friends. They shared stories of their past, how they met, and the creation of their store, all while good-naturedly quibbling about various details as they went along. Sometime during the morning, John asked me, “Was this the conversation


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you expected when you came in here this morning?” “Actually, yes,” I could answer honestly. I have known Marta for a few years now, through a mutual interest in history, and, of course, her shop. I knew that the interview would not be short — Marta likes to talk, and, it turns out, so does John. I enjoyed my time with them immensely, and not only that, they sent me back to my office with a sample of my favorite candy from their gourmet chocolate case: dark chocolate covered orange peels. Under the sponsorship of her uncle, George Wurster — “A wonderful man,” she recalled, — Marta came to the U.S. when she was 19 years old with the intention of staying a couple of years to learn English and then returning to Germany. Which she did. What she hadn’t counted on was falling in love. During her time in the U.S., she had met John Irmen, and after a short time back in Germany, she returned to Toledo to be with him. They were married 3 years later. After some time, the Irmens made their way to Virginia, purchasing a large rural property in closeby Viewtown which is still in the family today where they raised their three children. Then, they started thinking about Marta’s dream.


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The couple, who share an appreciation for history, purchased the store property on the corner of Main Street and South Third Street in 1995. Some will remember Edgar Snowden’s Oriental Carpet shop which was housed there at the time. The building, which was built by Chief Justice John Marshall for his son to operate a confectionary shop, was almost 200 years old. Although it was still standing, it was about to be condemned by the town. The wall bordering South Third Street was 4 inches off-plumb within the first 20 feet, which rendered the building extremely unstable. A significant amount of work and restoration was needed. Undeterred, the Irmens set about saving the building, a 7-year project which they largely did themselves. The first order of business was the troublesome wall, which needed to be completely rebuilt. They started this project, and then realized that their contractor had laid the foundation of the new wall not on their property, but on the sidewalk, which was town property. They had to start over. After bringing the structure of the building up to code and more, they started on the interior. Anyone who has been in the shop must appreciate the care that has gone into its construction. Light and airy with large windows, the interior was restored with historical decor in mind. This was important to the Irmens, and, they felt, to their town. “The more you work on an old building like this, the more important it becomes to you,” they explained together. The interior is striking, with a lovely arch and elaborate moldings. The jewelry display cases are vintage, from the 1920s, handrestored by the Irmens with the help of Joe Baldacci. The red oak floors were hand cut, laid, and finished by John himself in an elaborate pattern, which, he noted dryly, Marta has covered up with Oriental carpets. Antique chandeliers with Swarovski crystals hang from the ceiling, suspended from rosettes brought from Germany. A wide variety of art adorns the walls.


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58 Main Street during the extensive renovation

There’s not so much a theme to the artwork; rather, Marta simply acquires what she likes and displays it. Many pieces have a historical theme. Her jewelry inventory, which is about half new and half estate jewelry, is acquired the same way — with her exquisite taste, if she likes it, she buys it. “But it has to be to my liking,” she explained. “If I like it, I can help others appreciate its beauty.” As far as estate pieces, Marta favors Art Nouveau and Art Deco designs. She appreciates jewelry that was made in the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s for the oldworld craftsmanship and its solid weight and feel. “New jewelry is so much lighter,” she explained her preference. But, she conceded, “There are some beautiful new pieces out there now too.” The pieces have to be special, though. For instance, they do carry new jewelry from MarahLago which features the unique Larimar Caribbean blue stones. Select other new jewelry lines are displayed, but carefully selected by Marta. The building’s initial history as a confectionery shop, in addition to Marta’s love of European chocolate, led to an addition to their inventory. In the back of the store stands a refrigerated case (handmade by John in cherry wood) displaying gourmet German and Belgian chocolates. If you’re a chocolate lover, you must stop in and see her selection, which includes everything from solid chocolates to those with exotic fillings, to Belgian cocoa-dusted truffles, to hazelnut pralines, to chocolate covered almonds. Again, Marta’s personal preferences shine through in her inventory, which also features several kinds of marzipan. “I love marzipan,” she said. “When I open one I eat the whole thing because I cannot stop.” ❖ MARTA VON DETTINGEN 58 MAIN STREET, WARRENTON 540-347-7670








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wellness through yoga

ew forms of fitness have roots that date back over 5,000 years – only yoga has those bragging rights. The ancient practice that includes meditation, breath work, mantras, fluid muscle-building and stretching movements, and poses (called asanas) has had many evolutions and iterations over the years. And Main Street Wellness Company in the heart of Old Town, is proud to be part of one of such evolution. Studio owner and teacher Gretchen Yahn has prioritized physical fitness her entire life. A competitive swimmer in her early 20s, she has run the gamut of exercise forms with weightlifting and spinning being her two former top favorites. But after repeated massages and active release therapy (ART) treatments, Gretchen realized the work she was doing to improve her body was actually taking an unexpected toll in the form of chronic pain and injuries. Her physical therapist recommended she try yoga to alleviate pain and introduce a low impact form of physical fitness. It didn’t take long for her to be bitten by the yoga bug. At first, she preferred heated vinyasa, a sequenced fluid series of movements done in coordination with the breath. But once she was comfortable with vinyasa, her interest in other forms was piqued. Many who embark on a yogic journey, find exploring new disciplines and studying the art to be satisfying. But Gretchen is a community-minded business owner who is constantly striving to push herself, find ways to share with others and give back, so her journey didn’t stop at the personal level. After practicing yoga for five years, and learning from friends who have participated in various forms for fitness and other forms such as yin, which focuses on poses held for a length of time to get deep into the fascia, restorative yoga, which helps restore balance to the body, and Thai yoga, an ancient form of yoga massage, Gretchen took the next step and began her teacher journey to become a RYT 200-hour certified yoga instructor.




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In 2018, when the historic building on Main Street became available, she thought it would be the perfect location to create a co-operative of yoga professionals and community. “The building has a great energy and vibe, with the exposed brick interior walls and its rich history. People often comment on the energy in here and feel a good harmony in the space. It all systematically came together very quickly,” Gretchen said. She refers to the set-up of Main Street Wellness as a think tank because she feels it is a place where teachers and those who practice all contribute to the direction and flow. “I don’t hold ownership

for content dictation, I ask others to come up with unique ideas, unique things that different people of different ages would want. It’s like a consortium,” she said. With many gyms now offering yoga and Pilates, how is this studio different? Gretchen believes there is something for everyone and doesn’t discourage anyone from doing yoga where they feel most comfortable. However, she feels strongly that in the right environment with creative teachers who encourage students to get out of autopilot, you allow yourself to let go and try new things. The studio setting offers smaller classes and strips away the other pressure of fitness. While yoga has all of the key components to fitness, it is not just a workout, it is a systematic, holistic approach to wellness of the body, mind and breath. Gretchen found this to be a personal journey as she found that practicing in a studio gave her the perspective of taking away the competitiveness of what workouts and what you ‘should do’ every day.


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |


“The building has a great energy and vibe, with the exposed brick interior walls and its rich history. People often comment on the energy in here and feel a good harmony in the space.”

Main Street Wellness offers a variety of yoga classes that include but are not limited to ashtanga, hatha, yin, restorative, chair, and rope yoga. It also offers mat and springboard Pilates. Specialty classes, such as harmonic bowl meditation and an upcoming Solo Jazz Workshop with community member and teacher eWa Burak, are constantly being added to keep things fresh and to offer different options to the community. Gretchen likes to keep creativity top of mind and recently added her aptly named “anti-slouch asana” to one of her classes to help break habitual habits such as slouching and open up clients to a new perspective. She likes to offer things in class that can be taken off the mat and added to daily life. COMMUNITY

Working with and giving back to the community that has welcomed Main Street



Wellness is important. Gretchen is an investor in White Springs Senior Living, the new assisted living facility in town and has been working with leadership to integrate yoga into the facility. “This has been an evolution owning the studio and being around great yogis, going to retreats and creating a sense of community. I have been in Warrenton since 1988, and the community has been very good to me, so I was happy to have the opportunity to do something to give back. This has provided me with a great platform to engage with people I’ve been passing in town for the past 20 years. I now know their names and it makes me very happy,” Gretchen added. In the vein of giving back, The Karma Club is a discounted class pass for active or retired educators, first responders and active or retired members of the military. This was created to give back to those groups who the staff at Main Street Wellness feels need it the most. There has been a great response from these groups and they are excited to watch this group grow. Within the Main Street Wellness community is Andie, Gretchen’s sister and right arm. Andie handles the marketing and all administrative duties at the studio. And while Gretchen began Main Street Wellness, she very humbly praises the teachers at the studio. “They all come to the table with amazing years of experience and bring an incredibly broad spectrum of expertise, knowledge, thoughtfulness and caring to the students.” Wellness and community are clearly two top tenets of Gretchen’s life. When you speak with her, you can quickly tell that she is organized, busy and always on the go. For her, yoga has become not just a way of life, but a way to life and through Main Street Wellness, she hopes to spread the message of wellness through yoga to the community. “Yoga is a reconciliation about where you are in your life and what you can really do in an honest, authentic fashion. And that can change every single day. You feel different every day.” Namaste. ❖

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local expert THE EXPERT:

Michelle Kelley HER EXPERTISE:

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Michelle Kelley, LCSW, is owner of Warrenton Women’s Counseling Center. “My passion is helping girls and women to thrive in their life and personal relationships. Together we can find balance between caring for yourself and others.” For more information go to www.WarrentonWomens CounselingCenter.com or call 540.316.6362


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |


o parent wants to see their teen in an unhealthy relationship, much less an abusive one. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 21% of high school girls who date and 10% of high school boys who date stated they had experienced some form of dating violence within the last 12 months. Teen dating violence can be physical, emotional, or sexual, and includes stalking. Through my counseling experience I have concluded that teen girls and women have more lax relationship standards than boys and men do. I am concerned for our teen girls. I want them to be able to overcome the “people pleaser” inside of them, learn how to say “No”, and know when and how to end a bad relationship. Teens today are more likely to say they “hang out” rather than date. This broad definition of being in a relationship is rather confusing for us parents as well as our teenagers. The hook-up culture is rampant and it creates an environment where relationship boundaries do not exist. I suspect relationship violence statistics are even higher due to the changing definition of being in a relationship. It makes me sad to see our youth succumb to a culture where relationships are not valued and boundaries do not exist. It’s important for parents to model healthy relationships and have frequent discussions with their teens about what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. Yes, I’m giving you permission to annoy your teen because this is very important. It’s the parent’s job to help them to set their own relationship standards and empower them to clearly articulate their relationship “deal breakers.” Even many adults do not have these skills. Raising a teen is not easy, especially in today’s world where social media can hide their relationships and activities from parents. Trust your intuition. You know your child better than anyone. Be present and connected in their lives. You want to be their shield that protects them from abuse. ❖



Characteristics of a healthy relationship include: Good communication: This means the ability to speak one’s mind respectfully. Compromise: All relationships require an element of compromise but it’s also imperative to set limits and know subjects about which you will not compromise (tolerating abuse or dealing with substance abuse). Anger control: Everyone gets angry, but it needs to be expressed properly. When one partner feels afraid of their partner’s anger, this is a problem. Kindness: No explanation needed. Fighting fair: Everyone argues, but learning to disagree without slinging insults or flying off the handle is critical.

Characteristics of an unhealthy relationship include: Rage: When one partner’s anger turns scary. Control issues: When one partner tells the other what to wear, what to do, and who to talk with. Jealousy: When unreasonable, it can be a real problem. Dependence and insecurity: When one partner feels they cannot live without the other. Physical violence: Hitting, slapping, grabbing, or shoving. Sexual violence: When one partner pressures the other into sexual activity without their consent. Substance abuse: Any form of abusing alcohol or drugs should be a deal breaker.

LoveisRespect.org is a 24-hour support hotline for teens who are experiencing any form of relationship violence. It is a national organization whose purpose is to engage, educate, and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships.

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The Badger’s Adventure of a Lifetime Warrenton resident and author Keith Selbo thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail at the age of 64. BY PAM KAMPHUIS

“Where my wife and my other hiking friends see six months of drudgery, I see adventure ... and maybe a little drudgery — OK, after 5 days on the trail I sometimes ask myself what I was thinking — but I can’t stay away. I’ve waited a long time for this hike. Maybe too long. I’ll be 64 when I start. My knuckles look and feel like they got slammed in a door, the ringing in my ears is so loud that people sitting near me complain about the noise, and if I don’t wear braces, my knees seize up like a Yugo’s parking brake. That said, adventure awaits!”


unday, March 4, 2012. Keith Selbo signed into the park register at Springer Mountain in Georgia, the beginning of the Appalachian Trail for northbound hikers. His pack, which contained everything he would need for the trail and enough food and water for 6 days, weighed in at 37 pounds. His goal: to thru-hike the AT, a 2,200 mile long trail that stretches much of the length of the East Coast from Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. A true feat of endurance, thru-hiking the AT is a huge accomplishment. Of course, everyone who hikes the AT needs a trail name. Keith’s became The Badger, after the mascot at his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin. He also maintains that it refers to his sunny disposition. A retired electrical engineer who has lived in Warrenton for almost three decades, Badger had a little camping and hiking experience in childhood when

his parents would take the family on overnight camp trips in the State Parks. He liked being outdoors and being around nature, though, and in the years before his retirement he started hiking more and more, hiking the length of the Shenandoah National Park in stages. Then, after retirement, he set his sights on the AT. So why take on the AT? Thru-hiking the AT is something of a bucket list item for a lot of people, as it was for Badger. “I just like backpacking, It’s just fun for me. I like getting out in nature, seeing the scenery, and being fit. I like the independence of having everything I need on my back and making my own schedule.”

ABOVE: An emotional moment: The Badger finished thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail on August 19, 2013, reaching the summit of Mount Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine. His wife, Janis, accompanied him on the last leg.


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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The contents of Badger’s pack during his time on the Trail, weighing in at a total of 37 pounds; The Trail contains many dangerous sections, including this one in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Hikers may reach the New England section in the fall when the temperatures and weather at these high elevations can become threatening; Blisters are a frequent problem on the Trail, but hikers power through with determination.

He explained, “Tackling the AT is different from day hiking. It’s like a cruise without the encumbrance of a ship. You’re out for days at a time. Instead of thinking of it as a 2,000 mile hike, you can think of it as forty 50-mile hikes, broken up by stops at small towns and hostels along the way where you can stay overnight, take a shower, charge your electronics, resupply, and then move on. Before hiking the Trail, Badger weighed more than he, and his doctor, liked. “I like to eat,” he admitted. After getting back to his high school weight, he prepared for the hike by doing daily cardio workouts for about a month, which served him well. Even in his mid sixties, at the start of the hike he was covering more ground per day than younger, less fit hikers. Then, he said, the others became fitter over time and eventually surpassed him in speed. Even so, over the course of the hike Badger averaged a very


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |

respectable 15 miles per day, with 22 miles per day being his personal best. Eating on the AT is a science unto itself. Hikers burn a significant amount of calories every day, more than they can easily take in, and the challenge is to eat enough to maintain your weight and energy levels. Keith’s goal was to take in 2500 calories per day, which still was not enough to maintain his body weight. As always, the balance of how much weight can be carried in your pack factors in, and a rule of thumb is to



hike with about 6 days worth of food and water between opportunities for resupplying. AT hikers tend to subsist on lightweight, dehydrated foods that are also calorie dense and that stay fresh for 3-4 days. Things like Ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and instant mashed potatoes often appear in hikers’ diets. Sausage and cheese will stay fresh for a few days in a pack, and Tang (being higher in sugar than other powdered drink mixes) is also a favorite, as are granola bars, Snickers bars, and desserts of all kinds. Then, at trail stops in various towns along the way, Badger could eat to his heart’s content without worrying about gaining an ounce. He gorged on ice cream, burgers, pizza, steaks, and anything else that he wanted, all the ingested calories, and more, expended by the exercise during the day. All-you-can-eat restaurants were a favorite, and Badger indicated that they may have actually lost money on the days he frequented them. Badger slept in a tarp-covered Hennessy Hammock, which he prefers over a tent. As with everything on the AT, weight is a primary consideration. Weighing in at 1 pound 10 ounces, the hammock was a winner. Badger doesn’t particularly like sleeping on the ground, and with a hammock

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he didn’t have to find a flat, dry spot to pitch a tent every night; he could just string it up between two trees and crawl right in. After having hiked from Georgia to Hanover, New Hampshire, Badger was injured in a fall which left a chunk of pine embedded in his hand. He soldiered on, but eventually came off the trail for surgery and antibiotics. After a few weeks of healing, he took another stab at continuing, but then admitted to himself, “I was kind of a wreck. The surgery took a lot out of me, and the antibiotics had affected my tendons and joints. I just wasn’t enjoying it any more. It was time to go home.” Badger returned to the Trail a year later, healed and rested, and thoroughly enjoyed finishing the thru-hike. He reconnected with friends he’d met the previous year who came and hiked a portion with him, and then his wife, Janis, whom he credits as being “a trooper,” joined him for the last leg to Katahdin, which he reached on August 19, 2013. The best parts about the experience? Being able to eat absolutely whatever he wanted was high on the list of favorite parts of the hike. He even finished the trail about 7 pounds underweight. But another bonus was the people he met along the way. AT hikers come from all walks of life and, in Badger’s experience, they were all very friendly and helpful. “Everybody you meet is your friend,” he said. “Sometimes you’ll hike together for a few days, then they’ll disappear and reappear sometime later. But I’m still in touch with a lot of the people I met out there.” Often in the evening, hikers would gather around a campfire and socialize. And, of course, the Trail Angels are always appreciated. Anonymous supporters of AT hikers, Trail Angels leave treats such as soda, candy, and snacks along the trail or in the shelters for


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Badger with fellow hikers Vern and DreamTime; Trail Magic: Badger and other hikers enjoy the hospitality of Trail Angels John and Jody Nelson; A dinner party at Badger’s camp.

hikers to enjoy. Some, like John and Jody Nelson, who hiked the Trail in 1999, even welcome hikers into their home for homecooked meals and banana splits. Throughout the experience, Badger kept a blog. Nighttimes found him typing away in his hammock on his little folding keyboard that was connected to his phone. Partly it was to record the experience, and partly to keep his family and friends at home informed of his whereabouts and activities. He would upload his posts to his blog whenever he got a cell signal or found a place with wifi. The blog took off, with over 300,000 hits in 2012 and 2013. These statistics were unusually high for a male AT hiker at the time, and bolstered Badger’s resolve. “The hit volume and encouraging emails from complete strangers went a long way in helping me keep at both the blog and the hike,” he said. A few years ago, Badger’s wife suggested he compile the blog entries into a book for his family. Organizing the posts and photos was like reliving the whole experience, he said. Then, his wife had another suggestion: “Since you’ve gone to all the trouble of putting it together, why not publish it and see how it flies?” After some research, Badger decided to self publish through Amazon, which, he said, has been a great experience. The book, The Badger: A Day to Day Account of Backpacking the Appalachian Trail, was published on January 8, 2018. Since then, it



has gained an average of 4 stars in reviews and at one point ranked #9 in Amazon’s Hiking and Walking Travel category. “It was a lark,” he explained. “I really had no expectations. It pleasantly surprised me. It has done well, and it has earned enough to cover the costs of the trip.” So, now at age 71, what is Badger up to? Once a month, as a volunteer for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, he travels about 60 miles to the Tuscarora Trail, a 250-mile long trail through the Appalachians of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. There, he helps to maintain a 3-mile section of the trail by weed eating, clearing the trail of deadfalls, and inserting stepping stones across streams so hikers don’t have to get their feet wet. He enjoyed doing small engineering projects, such as inserting a pipe into a spring to bring water for hikers to the surface. Why? “After the AT, I just wanted to give back. On the AT you’d run into people maintaining the trail and you would know how helpful and important it is.” And, of course, cardio exercise plays into his everyday life. Off the trail, he has to exercise and watch his calorie intake to keep his weight down, all while fondly remembering the days on the Trail when he could gorge on whatever he felt like eating. The Badger: A Day to Day Account of Backpacking the Appalachian Trail is available on Amazon and at The Open Book on Main Street in Warrenton. ❖



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Warrenton Lifestyle announces Fauquier’s Cutest Pet!

1st place:


This year, for the first time, our Cutest Pet Contest winner is a cat! Clearly, a lot of our voters thought he was the cutest one out there. Owner Karla Yocum says that not only is he beautiful, but he’s also the sweetest cat around. Dwight came into the Yocums’ life on a winter day in 2014. Not being in the market for a pet at the time — or so they thought — they took him to the shelter to be rehomed. But then they were told that the cat had feline AIDS and would be euthanized. After some research and discussion, the Yocums returned to the shelter and brought Dwight home for good. With proper veterinary care, Dwight has a normal life expectancy, and, Karla wrote, “We’re lucky to have him!”

2nd place:



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3rd place:



Since she was 12 weeks old, Charlee has been a therapy pup at Warrenton Dentistry, providing affection and comfort for patients. According to owner Jamie Childress, she’s as sweet on the inside as she is cute on the outside.

According to owner Andie Lyle, Banyan is a happy and smiling pup who cheers everyone around her. She loves dressing up and will always stop what she’s doing to pose for the camera.





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“Moose,” one of Paws for Seniors most recent rescues.

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Brenda and Jim Scamordella, cofounders of Paws for Seniors Pet Rescue holding rescues (from left) “Bria,” “Bella,” and “Moose.”

“The best reward is seeing the transformation of a broken animal into a happy pet who is adopted to a loving family,” say Jim and Brenda Scamordella, co-founders of Paws for Seniors Pet Rescue in Bealeton. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit has been helping senior pets since 2011 with fostering, adoption, and hospice care of animals that come to their home, sometimes in the worst of conditions. To date, over 1,775 senior animals have been rescued through Paws for Seniors, an impressive number for a small organization run out of the Scamordella’s home in Bealeton. With an excellent team of volunteers, they are now projecting 360 adoptions for 2020, and, with the help of Petsmart in Gainesville, have doubled, then tripled their number of cat adoptions in the last 2 years. Brenda also credits the organization’s very active social media presence in increasing adoptions. Paws for Seniors is well known in the area as the place for senior animals to go for love and care. For their purposes, a pet is considered a senior at 7 years old, but the “rule” can be broken for a pet in need. Dogs and cats brought into the rescue are first evaluated for health problems, groomed, and then given all the love and cuddles possible as they adapt to their new environment and begin to feel safe. When they recover emotionally, the animals regain strength and their personality begins to peek through. “When they bark, it means they are happy,” says Jim with a grin. Even though they have a network of about 10 available foster homes, there are


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sometimes more animals in need. The Scamordellas foster many of these pets themselves in their home. But what sets Paws for Seniors apart from other rescues is their ability to match senior dogs with senior people. About 70% of the dogs adopted from Paws for Seniors are adopted by members of the older population in our community. As seniors become less mobile, they become lonely, and the company of a pet can make a huge difference in their lives. This creates a companionship between an animal and a human who understand each other. Senior pets and seniors may suffer similar medical issues, have the same energy level, and possess a desire to give and receive love, no matter the limited time they may have to give it. Older pet owners may have a limited ability to lift heavier weights, so the smaller dogs this nonprofit specializes in make a better match. Older pets often have been around people their whole lives, so they are already socialized and trained. Also, as a general rule, the smaller the dog, the longer they live. Brenda and Jim possess a passion that is heartwarming to witness. Each pet has a story that has been written on the hearts of this special couple. “We are committed for life to each animal we work with,” says Brenda. They call Bria, a little white Maltese, their mascot. Bria arrived at Paws for Seniors malnourished and with severely matted fur, dental disease, mammary tumors, and a swollen and infected front paw. Jim and Brenda weren’t even sure she could be helped but their thoughts were: “would someone cast me out if I were in the same situation?” But it wasn’t her outward appearance that made her case so special. Her spirit and soul were crushed from neglect. Bria and animals like her are the perfect examples of why Jim and Brenda do what they do. No matter




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RIGHT: “Bria” arrived at Paws for Seniors matted, malnourished and with an extremely broken spirit. BELOW: Today Bria is a happy and healthy pup, despite amputation of her front right leg which was necessary due to infection.

what these animals have gone through, they don’t lose the ability to forgive. After being taken in by Paws for Seniors, they are put back together both psychologically and physically. “They change and become wonderful pets,” says Brenda, “and that is what it’s really about.” Bria is unrecognizable now as compared to her original condition when she arrived. With some TLC, nutrition, an amputation, and vet care, her spunk returned. A video posted on the Paws for Seniors facebook page shows the moment they knew Bria was going to be ok… she began to bark! Jim explains that Bria and a few other cases are on the more extreme end, but sometimes the needs the incoming animals have are as simple as dental care, nail trimming, and grooming. Madi Ross, owner of Purple Poodle Pet Salon, takes care of the grooming, which can include flea removal, shaving off matted fur, and medicated baths. With a little bit of care, the animals begin to blossom. Moose and Bella came in as a bonded pair and a medical mess. Bella needed to be spayed, have her mammary masses removed, dental care, medicated baths, bloodwork, vaccines, ear medication, and skin irritation help. Moose needed just as much help in addition to having a mouth full of rotten teeth, and nails that were so long they were embedded into his paw pads, making walking painful. Donations from the community helped pay for expensive veterinary care. After Jim and Brenda worked their magic, they both quickly began to thrive and are ready to start their new chapter.


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Although Jim and Brenda started small, Paws for Seniors has grown through the years with the help of volunteers, their veterinarian partners like New Baltimore Animal Hospital and Helping Hands Veterinary Surgery and Dental Care, and donations from the community. Jim and Brenda use the donations frugally to provide full vetting of each animal and strive to give them the best of care. They research to get what they need for the most affordable prices so they can use each donation wisely and to the fullest. But what they didn’t quite expect was the positive impact Paws for Seniors has had on the senior community. The matches made between these animals that need care and “the amazing people who share the same passion” has rewarded Jim and Brenda in more ways than they even realized at first. “These people give our animals the best life for whatever time they have left,” says Brenda. Even animals who seem like they would never be adopted find homes. To learn more about Paws for Seniors and make a donation to help these special animals in need, go to Pawsforseniors.org. Also, be sure to follow the nonprofit on social media to read their stories and see animals transform and become whole again. ❖

Room for Growth While financial donations are always welcome, Paws for Seniors is also in need of more foster homes for pets in need, and more volunteers, particularly those with a take-charge personality to implement new programs and ideas.

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Must Love dogs Claire Sutliff of Warrenton is raising a puppy who will become a guide dog BY FRANNIE BARNES | PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAELYN SUTLIFF


laire Sutliff loves dogs. In addition to working with them at her job at Paws Awhile Pet Motel in Warrenton, she has a 7-yearold lab of her own named Stella. Last May, as a senior in high school, she also volunteered to raise and train a 2-month-old yellow lab puppy named Viking for Freedom Guide Dogs for the Blind. Claire was exposed at a young age to training dogs, not just as pets, but also as service dogs. Her aunt has worked with and raised dogs from Freedom Guide Dogs also, and Claire wanted to follow in her footsteps. She recalled how as a child it was difficult to see her favorite puppy go to someone else, but as she grew up, she came to


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appreciate the significance of raising them to help someone who needs them. Freedom Guide Dogs is based in New York. Their motto is to provide “another pair of eyes for those who cannot see.� Through their puppy raiser program, puppies are paired with people who take them in and raise them as if they were their own. The pups are treated just as if they are part of the family and undergo preliminary training to prepare them for the next, more rigorous stages of their lives: more specific training as guide dogs and their subsequent placement with a visionimpaired owner. But the important thing is the puppies get a good, solid start in life, with plenty of love. The training they receive from their raisers is general: house

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training, exposure to the outside world, socialization, and basic good manners. Raisers are responsible for food and treats (and plenty of love) and Freedom Guide Dogs pays for their veterinary care. As a busy college student who also works, taking on the responsibility of training a service dog might seem like too much. But for Claire, it felt like the natural next step in her journey. The catalyst was learning about an academic scholarship opportunity based on community service. She’s working towards her associate degree and wants to pursue a career in the sciences, and the scholarship piqued her interest. She applied and chose raising a service dog as her service. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the scholarship, but she chose to move forward with raising a guide dog anyway. “I love getting to work with Viking, but truly it has taught me so much about self management and time management,” Claire said. “I have to make my own deadlines, and I can’t procrastinate. That’s really important for me and I get to learn through Viking.” She explained that unlike other jobs, where you can postpone responsibilities until the last minute, that doesn’t work when it comes to puppy training. The dog needs time to learn. There are building blocks and milestones to be met – no waiting until the last minute or taking shortcuts. And people are watching! Part of the training includes taking Viking out into busy, public spaces like stores, restaurants, or events to help him get used to the sights, sounds, and smells all around. “It has been a learning process taking him in public. People are watching you and you can’t think about them or yourself – you have to focus on your job and the dog and what you need to do. Plus, you’re representing the program,” Claire added. Claire is expected to have Viking until next summer when he is between 12 and 18 months old. Of course, this could change due to his progress and maturity. The timing works out very well as Claire is soon moving to Richmond to attend VCU. Viking will have the experience of moving, and learning to adapt to a new setting. When Claire reached out to Freedom Guide Dogs, she found that her experience working at Paws Awhile helped with the application process, and as luck would have it, a litter was about to be born in the organization. She received information about what it’s like with a new puppy, the training involved, signs of stress, and a home training manual. They also offer support via phone. Claire’s job is to teach Viking to be a good dog at home, a good dog in public, and to focus on his handler in spite of distractions. She is not expected to teach him the nuances of being a guide dog, that will be done when Viking returns to Freedom Guide Dogs. She will soon take Viking to obedience class and undergo Canine Good Citizen certification. When Viking is out in public, he is allowed to be social, but it is important that he learn self-control. She found that the Walmart parking lot, where there are many people, sounds, and smells, is a great place for him to work with focusing in the face of many outside stimuli. He’s also gone to school with Claire several times. Raising and training a puppy forms a strong bond between puppy and handler, which can make it hard for the handler to pass the puppy back to the organization when it’s time. “I’ve always known that if I’m doing well in the moment, that it will be okay,” Claire said when asked how she thinks she’ll handle giving Viking back. But there are certainly more dogs in her future. Her heart is made


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for loving animals. She wants to foster dogs in the future and adopt older dogs and love them through the end of their lives. “I have the capacity to love in the moment and give all I can knowing I’m doing good for others,” she added. Being a guide dog raiser takes sacrifice, love, and patience. But as Claire knows, it’s an act that is greater than yourself, which she believes everyone is capable of. “This is community service. Everyone has it in them. Dogs might be different. They focus all of their love and attention on you – and that devotion is unparalleled and can be hard to get over,” she said. “You are the sun in their world. You might be the sun at this moment, but someone else needs that sun more, and you’re setting them up to be the sun for someone else.” ❖


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local expert THE EXPERT:

Charlotte Harvey HER EXPERTISE:

Pets and Animal Behavior

The journey to a “furever” home What’s involved in providing a foster home for a homeless pet?

Charlotte Wagner Harvey holds a Bachelors of Science with honors in Animal Management from the University of Essex with a special interest in behavior. As a dog trainer and the owner of K9ology in Warrenton, she helps dog owners and dogs find common ground to establish a peaceful life together. Her core tenets: there are no shortcuts, it is hard, and do it right or don’t do it at all. She lives in Rappahannock County with her husband and a farm full of animals including horses, chickens, cats, and, of course, dogs.



hen animals are given up to rescue organizations, usually the ultimate goal is to find permanent homes for them. But a surrendered pet is not always immediately ready to be adopted; he may need some transition time, rehabilitation, or additional training. That is why the foster system in animal rescue is so crucial. Caring, selfless volunteers welcome these discarded pets into their homes and provide for their care for however long it takes for them to be ready for a forever home. Then these amazing people help promote the pet, assess the potential adoptive family to ensure a good fit, and assist in the transition to his new life. Rescue organizations are always in need of foster homes for surrendered animals. If you


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are an animal lover, consider looking into this important way to help. Fostering a pet can be a very rewarding experience, and it literally saves a life. If you think you might be interested, consider everything very carefully. It takes a lot of commitment, patience, love, and time. Evaluate your living situation, your lifestyle, and know your limitations and boundaries. Are you willing to be patient while a new dog adapts to their temporary digs? Are your family members on board with this potential endeavor? Some rescues will supply foster volunteers with reimbursements, others will not. Can you afford vet bills, food, grooming, etc. to help out pets in need? There are many dogs in need of love out there, some with



more issues than others. Are you part of a townhome community or live in a condo? Then fostering a dog who persistently barks and howls because of separation distress may not be a good foster match for you. Do you have little kids in your family? Then you may want to limit yourself to fostering dogs who have been socialized and do well with children. Do you have cats, livestock, or other dogs in the home? Then make sure you are either willing to manage and separate the animals if need be, or limit yourself to animals who have a history of adapting to other pets.

Consider if you would like to help on a short term basis, or are willing to provide a home for a pet for a longer period of time. Some pets who enter rescue just need a place to crash for the weekend, whereas others need a longer term commitment and more care before they are ready to be adopted. Consider your emotions, as well as those of your family, particularly children. Will it be hard to live with and bond with a pet that you will eventually be separated from when they are permanently adopted? Personally, I could handle a dog visiting for a few days, but after a week, it would tear me apart to think of them leaving. So, know your lifestyle, know your limitations, and know your boundaries. In many cases, it is possible to permanently adopt your foster pet if you fall in love with them. Some rescues and shelters offer foster-to-adopt programs where you can “test drive” a pet to ensure they are a good fit for your lifestyle prior to making the commitment of permanent adoption. This can be an excellent option for inexperienced pet owners. If you are not sure whether fostering is the right way for you to help homeless pets, go ahead and give it a try! Adoption coordinators and other rescue members are eager to help educate potential foster homes, facilitate the process, and provide support. Our area is full of needy animals looking for a place to bunk down before going to a forever home. Check out Paws for Seniors, The Chance Foundation, Fauquier SPCA, and Homeward Trails to learn more about foster or volunteer opportunities. Your community, the pets in need, and your heart will be full of gratitude. ❖

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{ FEBRUARY 2020 |

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Lending a Paw H O W T O G E T I N V O LV E D W I T H H E L P I N G S H E LT E R A N I M A L S NATHAN RAY


very domestic animal deserves a good home with a loving family where they can thrive. Unfortunately, as everyone knows, there are many homeless, neglected animals everywhere. Animal shelters and rescue organizations are crucial in caring for as many of these animals as they can, and they also rely heavily on various forms of support from animal lovers in the community. While adopting a pet is not always possible for everyone who wants to help, there are a myriad of other support opportunities available that can make a huge difference in the lives of homeless animals. After the passing of her beloved cat, a family friend of mine decided to become a member of her local animal shelter’s foster system, hoping to provide a temporary home for a local dog while simultaneously enjoying its company. The dog arrived, she took care of it, and then…the dog stayed. My friend had so enjoyed her time with the animal that she decided to adopt it herself instead of returning her canine companion to the shelter. Still wanting to participate in the foster system, she agreed to foster another dog, and subsequently adopted him as well. This whimsical cycle ended with my friend serving as the proud parent of two rescued pooches, at which point she retired from the foster system, becoming what is known as a “foster failure.” While fostering a dog or cat is a wonderful thing to do, it’s not right for everyone. Many people do not have the experience, suitable


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |

environment, or enough time in their daily lives to properly care for a foster pet. However, for those who love animals and want to help them, there are many other avenues of supporting our community’s rescue organizations who care for a staggering number of pets in need. While funds are always needed and welcome, attention, affection, and social interaction are also paramount to these animals to prepare them for adoption. Donating your time and loving presence can go a long way. Local shelters are always looking for volunteers to provide day-today care for the animals. “We have a very large volunteer program, which includes both adults and juniors, in which members assist in dog-walking and grooming, as well as socialization and play,” says Caroline Folker, Community Relations Manager at the Fauquier SPCA. “We greatly appreciate our volunteers.” Not all volunteer work involves interacting with the animals; if you have other areas of expertise, contributing your time and talent is also a very viable option that can result in far-reaching benefits for the animals. Administrative help is always needed, as is “marketing,” or getting the word out about needed assistance, events, and the adoptable pets themselves. Managing a rescue’s social media presence, which can be time-consuming, can make a huge difference. “Social media has increased our visibility, and greatly increased the number of adoptions in the past few years,” says Brenda Scamordella of Paws For Seniors. Are you a pretty good photographer, even if you’re not



ANIMAL CARE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: • Dog walking • Dog grooming • Cat socialization and play • Transport of animals to vet appointments • Home-safety inspection for fosters and adoption ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES: • Manage social media presence • Organize donations • Participate in adoption and fundraising events • Write and distribute press releases ENCOURAGED DONATIONS: • Cleaning supplies • Leashes, collars, and harnesses • Unopened food and treats • Dog and cat toys • Towels and blankets • Office supplies • Old armchairs

a professional? Taking wellcomposed, quality photos of adoptable pets to put on social media can go a long way to presenting the pet in its best light and attracting potential families. Donations of supplies are also always welcomed by rescue organizations, but they don’t have to be expensive. There are likely things lying around your house that can be of use: old towels, blankets, or used furniture such as those ratty sofas or armchairs that you’ve been meaning to get rid of. Perhaps you’ve bought a trendy new leash or collar for your dog — the shelters can use the old ones. Looking for a tax write off? Donate your old vehicle through the organization’s vehicle donation program. Most rescue organizations have a website with a “wish list” which informs visitors of needed supplies, as well as opportunities for working with the animals themselves. Volunteering to help shelter animals in any capacity is a rewarding act of compassion, and can be an unforgettable experience for both the volunteers and the animals. Contact your local shelter or rescue organization to see how you can get involved in caring for and helping the homeless pets of our community. ❖

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Fortuitous Excursions

The Perfect Storm This photo was taken just north of The Plains in the late summer as I was coming home from a client’s farm. The sky turned very ominous, so I drove to a more open space to watch the storm approach. Catching the lightning was pure luck.

LEFT: Pyles walking the Appalachian Trail in 1976. BELOW: Pyles’ daughter celebrating her first birthday while on their cross-country backpacking trip.



itting softly in his wooden chair at Deja Brew coffee shop, Gomer Pyles appears as a landmark of the Fauquier landscape. His careful beard, as white as the fresh snow that lines the streets, spills gently out onto his collared shirt. A flamingopink bandana, masterfully draped over his head, flows down the back of his neck. Rectangular, red-rimmed spectacles frame his cheerful eyes, accompanied by the weathered smile that peeks out. Despite Gomer’s current monumental presence in Fauquier County, his journey did not begin here. In fact, his adventure to and settlement in The Plains has been an adventure


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |



as serendipitous as the photographs he takes. “I’ve been in the area since 1981,” he reports. “The year before, I began a cross-country backpacking trip with the American Hiking Society. We started in San Francisco and came to Lewes, Delaware, which was a 13 ½-month walk.” A challenging trip to begin with, Gomer made the journey with his daughter, who was 6 ½ months old when the odyssey began. During this time, he utilized film cameras to document the scenery and people he met along the way. “When you walk, you are part of the environment,” he explains. “I would sometimes use disposable cameras, but that was really just an exercise in shooting photos. I was afraid they would turn out blurry, so I would rarely get them developed.” Once the traveler reached his destination, he set down his camera as he established a life on the East Coast. “I had a friend that I had met on the Appalachian Trail in 1976 who lived over in Vint Hill,” Gomer reflects. “I had done carpentry work all through college, so I told him I needed a job once I got here, which brought me to The Plains as a carpenter.” The craftsman soon turned his skills



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{ FEBRUARY 2020 |






“I’ll chase the sunset...There’s a whole ritual associated with that, because even if you don’t get a good shot, you still get the experience of being with the sunset.”

Sunset I chase the sunset almost every night, and in a sense track the wobble of the earth in relation to its orbit around the sun. It’s a ritual of saying goodbye to the daylight until we meet again. This sunset is off Belvoir Road south of The Plains.

The Barn I pass this barn south of The Plains almost every day. It’s a reminder of my start in the area when in June of 1981 I drove past this barn to be a carpenter for a project in The Plains. Thirty nine years later I am still here.


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |



to computer repair, constructing his company, Able Bodied Computers Inc., which he runs to this day. It was through this line of work that Gomer recently rediscovered the passion for photography that he had nurtured on his cross-country hike. “In 2012, I had a client throwing away a digital camera. I decided to play around with it and ended up really liking what I was able to achieve with it.” Since then, the computer repairman has taken advantage of the drives he makes between job sites as opportunities to capture the majesty of Fauquier’s rural scenery. “It can be anything,” he says of the subjects of his photographs. “If it’s interesting, I’ll stop and take the picture. Everything is fair game.” One of Gomer’s favorite subjects to photograph is a concept he calls “portals.” “Portals are reflections,” he elaborates. “They can appear on anything from the roofs of cars to the surfaces of still bodies of water.” The artist utilizes this technique to create the feeling of an opening to another dimension, establishing the connection between his world and the perspective of the viewer. One of the best locations to achieve this effect, he muses, is on the island of Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. “There are these big salt ponds,” he explains. “Salt water is almost a perfect mirror, so I love taking pictures of the reflections of the sky in them.” The sky is a fascination of Gomer’s, and he schedules his trips to Anegada to coincide with the appearance of one of the heavens’ most revered heroes: the full moon. On the island, the traveler “can watch the moon rise over the Atlantic Ocean and set over the Caribbean Sea.” Camera in hand, Gomer will pursue the moon as it traces across the night sky, although he is equally entranced by the subject’s daytime counterpart. “I’ll chase the sunset,” he murmurs. “There’s a whole ritual associated with that, because even if you don’t get a good shot, you still get the experience of being

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Planted Car My planted car has evolved over the years. I drove it for 10 months without reverse until it finally died in 1994. For a few years, I would use it for a mailbox where clients would leave their computer in the front seat and I would fetch it to bring inside the warehouse. After repairing the problem, I would put the computer back in the car where the client would come by, pick up their computer, and leave a check. Then around 2000, my neighbor, David Roos, had a few wheelbarrow loads of dirt he could give me and wondered if I wanted it. I said “sure,” and so began the legacy of the car garden that has a “bumper crop” each year.

Church and Sun I refer to reflections, whether they be on water, mirrors, or glass, as “portals,” or illusions or pathways to another dimension. The Delaplane Episcopal Church has beautiful, grandiose windows that allow, depending on the natural lighting, another world reflection shot. Each time I pass by, if no service is going on, I will stop to take a look at what the portal offers. This photo was one shot taken from outside the church reflecting the trees behind me and picking up the light through the windows on the other side.


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |



with the sunset.” Sunrises, however, are much more difficult to capture with his lens. “I’m not a morning person,” he admits, chuckling. Although Gomer primarily focuses his photography on spectacles of the natural environment, he also finds great joy in snapping spur of the moment photos of human subjects. In fact, it is the people of the Fauquier landscape that have kept the artist in the region all these years. “This is a community in which we are all tied together. I like the feeling that everyone makes an impact,” he says. In the Caribbean, he tells me, there is a title for someone who has lived on an island for a long time, but was not born there. If such a person has become an integral member of the community, he or she can be recommended and approved for the title of “belonger,” an appellation that carries legal significance; you can buy property if you’re a belonger. “I’m a belonger of Fauquier County,” Gomer says with a contented smile. “Here, let me take a picture of you,” he grins, pulling his iPhone out of his pocket. He asks me to either strike a “Hollywood” or “serial killer” pose. I choose Hollywood. “That’s more of a serial killer look!” he laughs, setting his device on the table. These days, Gomer typically uses a set of three Canon digital cameras, which help him achieve clarity in shots that involve distance or cropping. Nevertheless, he will happily submit to the “instant gratification” of taking pictures with an iPhone or iPad if he finds himself without his more advanced cameras. Such readiness to snap a photo demonstrates the organic nature of Gomer’s artistic process. “I don’t have a plan for my photography, and that’s what I really enjoy about it. It’s more of an evolution, really a serendipitous process,” he asserts, noting that, “There’s beauty right next to you if you stop to notice and look.” Although Gomer has sold some of his pieces in local art shows, as well as in the form of two books he has published, he says that, more than anything, he loves sharing his work because he enjoys communicating with other artists. “It’s fun to be around creative people,” he affirms, adding that he hopes that his own artistic pursuits inspire others to follow their passions. “Don’t be intimidated. Don’t apologize for being who you are,” he instructs. “Be yourself. If you think something is beautiful, do it.” If you are interested in seeing more of Gomer Pyles’s photography, please visit facebook.com/gomer.pyles.3 ❖


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THE NEWBY FAMILIES Lives intertwined in antebellum Fauquier BY JOHN TOLER


he lives of people from Fauquier County who played significant roles in the Civil War are well-chronicled, from the Confederate officers and private soldiers to the women who kept the home fires burning. Given the time and place, most of those stories are about white Southerners. There were exceptions, most notably Dangerfield Newby (1815-1859), who participated in the raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry led by abolitionist John Brown on October 16-18, 1859. The story of his life and death demonstrates the complexity, inhumanity, and suffering of the enslaved in the antebellum South. It is worth noting that a law pushed by President Thomas Jefferson and passed in 1807 made the importation of slaves into the United States a federal crime. However, the domestic slave trade in the southern U.S. was allowed to flourish. Dangerfield Newby was born in Fauquier County to a white father, Henry Newby (17831861), and Elsey Pollard (d. 1884), an enslaved woman owned by landowner John Fox (d. 1859), who owned the large Great Run Tract in Fauquier County near Fauquier Springs. Henry and Elsey had two farms, the first a 45-acre property near the Fauquier-Culpeper County line that he sold to his brothers in


{ FEBRUARY 2020 |


Dangerfield Newby

1830, and then a 246-acre farm on the Old Richmond Road. Interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia, but Henry and Elsey lived together as man and wife. Dangerfield was the first of their 11 children. As the law required, the status of a person born of an interracial couple was determined by the race of the mother, and so Dangerfield and his siblings were born slaves. “By 1840, Henry Newby held nine slaves, including a male between 10 and 23 years of age, who was most likely Dangerfield, and a female between 24 and 35 years of age, probably Elsey Newby,” wrote Peter Schwartz in Migrants Against Slavery (2001). “By 1850, he possessed 17 slaves. It is likely that those of working age labored on Newby’s 150 improved acres.” It was in the early 1840s that Dangerfield married Harriet Jennings, an enslaved woman owned by Dr. Lewis A. Jennings who owned property along the Rappahannock River below Fauquier Springs, a home in Warrenton, and a farm at Brentsville. Dangerfield and Harriet eventually had seven children, and it became his primary goal to purchase the freedom of Harriet and their children from Jennings. For years, Dangerfield worked as a blacksmith and was hired out to work on the Rappahannock River Canal. “Dangerfield Newby was a quiet man, upright, quick-tempered, and devoted to his family,” wrote Thomas Featherstonhaugh in John Brown’s Men: The Lives of Those Killed at Harper’s Ferry, published by the Southern History Association in 1899.


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LEFT, TOP: Harpers Ferry at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers as it appeared before the Civil War. Author’s Collection. LEFT, BOTTOM: Artist’s depiction of a skirmish at Harpers Ferry between local citizens and militia and the raiders. Dangerfield Newby was the first raider to die, killed in a street fight. Harper’s Weekly.

FREEING THE SLAVES It was the intention of John Fox and his sister, Elizabeth Blackwell, to free their slaves before they died. A Virginia law passed in 1856 stipulated that slaves emancipated by their owners had to leave the state within 12 months or they could be sold back into slavery. Fox urged many of his former slaves to move to free states in the north, but many safely stayed in Fauquier, establishing Blackwelltown near Midland and Foxville below Fauquier Springs. Henry Newby sold his farm in 1858 and filed a deed of manumission in Culpeper County for Evangeline Newby, 26, and her three children. He then moved with the rest of his family group to Bridgeport, Ohio, where there was work digging coal. They were listed on the 1859 census as “a white, 70-year-old farmer, along with 21 other people designated as mulattoes,” and Elsey, who was recorded as black, according to Schwartz. Of the group, 13 had the surname Newby, and nine, Bywaters. “Henry was one of those slaveholders who held their wives and children in bondage and then freed them,” wrote Schwartz. “Henry acknowledged Elsey in his will as the mother of his children and willed most of his property to her.” Under the Ohio Supreme Court decision Anderson v. Poindexter (1857), a slave owner’s establishment of residence in Ohio automatically freed that person’s slaves in the state. Now free, Dangerfield made the risky journey south to do what he could to free his own family, or at least part of it.


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THE FATAL RAID AND AFTERMATH The original agreement allowed Dangerfield to purchase Harriet and their youngest child Lucy, then a baby, from Jennings for $1,000. However, after Dangerfield had finally earned enough money, Jennings significantly raised the price. It is likely that Dangerfield’s frustration that he could not free his family compelled him to join John Brown’s raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry. He believed that a successful insurrection like the one planned by Brown and the war that would follow would bring about the end of slavery, and all of his family would be freed. “Dangerfield Newby’s personal stake in the Harpers Ferry Raid was immeasurable,” wrote Schwartz. In addition to Dangerfield, there were four other African Americans in Brown’s 22-member raiding party: Lewis Sheridan Leary and John Anthony Copeland of Oberlin, Ohio; Osbourne Perry Anderson, who was born in Fauquier County and was living in Chester County, Pennsylvania; and Shields Green, who had fled from slavery in Charleston, South Carolina. The conduct and result of the raid are well-documented. Brown and his men successfully occupied part of the arsenal but were quickly taken under fire by local citizens. Confined in the arsenal fire engine house, the raiders were overrun by regional militia companies and a force of U.S. Marines that arrived on the scene. According to raider Osbourne Perry Anderson in A Voice from Harper’s Ferry (1861), Dangerfield Newby was with a group of raiders on the streets of Harpers Ferry on the morning of October 17 when he was shot from a store window by a local citizen. Knocked to the ground by the first shot, Dangerfield returned fire, but was then shot in the head, dying instantly. His attacker was then killed by Shields Green. On Dangerfield’s body was found a letter from Harriet describing the difficult conditions she was facing as a slave of Dr. Jennings, which read in part: “Dear Husband, I want you to buy me as soon as possible, for if you don’t get me, somebody else will. The servants are very disagreeable. They do all that they can to set my mistress

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Robert C. Newby operated a tannery on the property at 319 Falmouth Street, Warrenton, known as Grapewood. This building, located just behind the main house, was likely used as quarters for tannery workers. Portrait by Leisa Collins.

RECALLING THE NEWBYS OF WARRENTON Other members of the extended Newby family lived in the Warrenton area for many years, owning property and having lasting friendships with prominent families of the day. Research done by Sally Harmon Semple on Grapewood, her home at 319 Falmouth Street, indicates that Georgeanna Ward Newby (1824-1868) and her husband, Robert C. Newby (1822-1884) once owned the 17-acre tract on Falmouth Street on which her home was built. Robert was a first cousin (once removed) of Henry Newby, the father of Dangerfield. A merchant in Warrenton who ran a general store in partnership with Baldwin Day, Robert later owned a leather tannery on the Falmouth Street property. He was also the District Overseer of the Poor, and served as a deacon and Sunday school superintendent at the Warrenton Baptist Church. Semple found that he made a generous donation toward the 1861 construction of the church. In 1858, the Newbys purchased the house at the corner of Main and Calhoun streets from Jordan Saunders and William A. Pattie. Robert and Georgeanna had at least five children, but only two survived past infancy: Henry Ward and Lucy. Georgeanna died in 1868 and, as planned, the children inherited the Falmouth Street property. A year later, Robert married Emma Slaughter “Munna” Latham (1841-1932). Robert Newby went bankrupt in 1872 and lost the tannery. The Fletcher & Brother partnership assumed ownership of the business which Robert continued to operate with the assistance of Jim Rollins, an African American. According to Semple’s research, Ned Murray, also an African American, ran the tannery for the Fletchers after Robert died. Semple notes that the small, two-story board-and-batten building behind the main house at Grapewood was likely used as a secondary residence for tannery workers. Reading Robert Newby’s 1877 diary, Semple learned that Robert raised vegetables on the Grapewood property and appreciates the continuity, noting that today she “…is an avid gardener on the same land.” Emma and stepdaughter Lucy were active in the social Baptist Sewing Society, which was “… quite a social group attended by the pastor, his family and female church members, and hosted at the Spilman and Newby homes” and other residences, according to Semple. According to a brief in the September 20, 1875 edition of the Alexandria Gazette, Thad N. Fletcher – who was married to Emma Newby’s sister, Georgia Latham – purchased the Newby house on Main Street from Robert for $3,500. The home remained in the Fletcher/ Tiffany/ Pretlow families until 1963. Henry Ward Newby was for a time an assistant teacher at St. John’s Academy in Alexandria; Lucy married Augustine Henry Shepperd and moved to Anniston, Alabama. Following their father’s death in 1884, they sold the Falmouth Street acreage to Thad N. Fletcher, who later divided the land into lots fronting on the street. Most of the houses built on these lots date back to 1890-1910 and still stand today. In 1890, Emma married John R. Turner (1838-1918), a widower with two adult children who had been married to Sallie Alice Turner (1844-1888). Henry Ward Newby was married to Sallie English of Warrenton (1863-1945), and they had a daughter, Georgeanna Newby Page (1888-1966). She was a schoolteacher in Warrenton before moving to Washington, D.C., and was the last surviving member of the Robert C. Newby family who had a direct connection to Fauquier.


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against me. It is said that the master is in want of money. If so, I know not what time he may sell me. Then all my bright hopes of the future are blasted. For there has been one bright hope to cheer me in my troubles, and that is to be with you.” There are different stories about what happened next. In The Ghosts of Harper’s Ferry by Steven D. Brown, it is alleged that Dangerfield’s body was horribly mutilated by the locals and left in an alley to be eaten by hogs. This description is also found in The Strange Story of Harper’s Ferry by Joseph Barry. However, according to an eyewitness account written by Willard Chambers Gompf that appeared in the New York Times on October 13, 1929, some of the bodies of the 10 raiders who died at Harpers Ferry, including Copeland and Green, were sent to the Medical College of Virginia in Winchester for use as cadavers. Other remains, including those of Dangerfield, were buried in shallow graves on the south bank of the Shenandoah River about a mile north of town, “… where the hogs uncovered them,” according to Gompf. Of those not killed, seven of the raiders, including John Brown, were executed. Five escaped, among them Osbourne Perry Anderson, who became a recruiter for the Union Army and died in 1872. In 1899, an effort was made to collect whatever remains of the raiders that could be found and place them in a common grave on the farm near North Elba, New York, where John Brown was buried. While the final resting place of Dangerfield Newby is uncertain, what happened to his family is known. Following the raid, Mrs. Jennings broke up the family and sold Harriet and the children to cotton planters in Louisiana, where their lives were much harder. Remarkably, Harriet survived her trials there, and was emancipated along with the rest of America’s enslaved by the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. But it wasn’t until the Civil War was over that she and the children were truly free. At a Freedmen’s Bureau camp in Louisiana, Harriet met Virginia native William Robinson who had also ended up there. They married and returned to Virginia about 1870, living in Fairfax County near some of Dangerfield’s and Harriet’s descendents. She died there in the early 1880s. ❖


summer camps & private schools With the weather still chilly and winter coats still hanging by the door, it may seem strange to start thinking about summer camps...but now is the time to plan. Experienced parents know that summer camps fill up fast and early. The benefits of summer camps for children are undeniable. They expose children to a variety of people, places, and activities which help them gain independence and learn lifelong skills. Camps can also get kids unplugged and physically active, as well as providing a break for parents during the long days of school vacation. This is also the time of year that parents may contemplate making a change in their children’s education, perhaps changing schools. If you’re thinking of investigating a private school education for the fall, now is the time to start. That’s why we created this special advertising section for private schools and summer camps to get you started in planning both your child’s summer fun and their education for next year.






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SUMMER DAY CAMPS JUNE Animal Planet Moving and Grooving Mad Scientist Variety Pack Splish Splash

JULY Goin’ Green Artful Antics Sports Extravaganza Buggin’ Out AUGUST Celebration of Nations

Summer Day Camps Information Monday-Friday • 7:30a-5:30p

Location: Parks & Rec facilities – a different location each week Programmed activities keep your child engaged and having fun in a safe, supervised environment. Each week includes a trip to the Vint Hill pool for a swim day plus themed-based games, crafts, and more! Transportation provided from Warrenton Community Center to Crockett Park and Riverside Preserve camp locations.

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