From working as the head chef at his restaurant, to enjoying tennis, basketball, skiing
motocross, Andrea Ferre
From working as the head chef at his restaurant, to enjoying tennis, basketball, skiing
motocross, Andrea Ferre
Ilove living in this small community that’s still mostly rural. Last month, we woke up to a dead deer in our yard. Our year-old Golden Retriever was thrilled. We weren’t.
What do you do with a dead deer in your yard? Gone are the days when we lived in the coun try and had a tractor.
So, I called Fauquier County Animal Control. They answered right away, “911, What’s your emergency?” I said, “I don’t have an emergency, I’m trying to get Animal Control. Why am I talking to 911? I don’t want to hold up anyone who has a real emergency.” I was told that on weekends Animal Control’s calls are re-routed to emergency dispatch when they’re not busy.
Anyway, 911 did not have any useful suggestions other than a business out of Culpeper called — I kid you not — “Critter Gitters” that specializes in dead animal removal. So I called my neighbor, who is a wildlife rehabilitator, whose suggestion was to let the vultures take care of it.
Then I received a text from my daughter: “I heard you have a dead deer in your yard.” That small town gossip mill was going full speed ahead. “I have my sources,” she replied when I asked her how she had heard about it, tossing back at me the phrase I used to say to her all the time when she was in high school and I would say to her, “I heard you had coffee with the girls after dance today.” She’d stomp her feet and say, “I hate small towns! You and Dad know every move I make!”
So yes, among many other things, this community is something I am thankful for this year, as well as my job which allows me to be a part of it and meet so many great people. I’d like to thank the many readers who reached out to me with cards and food and gifts and good wishes when I had surgery. I felt very loved and supported. Thank you.
The dead deer? Critter Gitters was expensive, and the contract was ultimately awarded to the vultures, who, after all, don’t charge a penny.EDITOR Pam Kamphuis
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I w a n t t o g i v e a B I G D e f e n d e r s s h o u t o u t t o t h e
1 y o u n g m e n t h a t I h a v e h a d t h e a b s o l u t e p r i v i l e g e & j o y o f c o a c h i n g t h i s y e a r I c o u l d n o t b e p r o u d e r o f y o u r e f f o r t , a n d I h o p e t o s e e y o u a l l a g a i n n e x t F a l l ! U n t i l t b e s t o f e v e r y t h i n g
C o a c h J o e
This is one of many equestrian items available for sale at Fox Den. Honor the rich equestrian culture and history of our area with one of these valued items that have come from estates across America and internationally.
There are so many reasons to consider shopping second hand: it’s budget friendly, good for the environment, and supports local business. Plus, you never know what you’ll find! For this feature we wanted to give you a sneak peek into one of our oldest local second-hand shops, Fox Den Antiques in Warrenton. In the following pages you will see just a few examples of the kinds of items you can find there. Whether you are a collector or just looking for unique and inexpensive decor for your home, be sure that Fox Den has a plethora of options. If you haven’t visited yet, you should.. we guarantee you won’t regret it!
for their beauty and historical value. They make great decor for garages, movie rooms, kids bedrooms, and man caves.
These Edison cylinder records date back to pre-1900. In their time, they brought music to people around the world and started the record industry that brought us millions of records. What a perfect addition to a music enthusiast’s collection.
Fox Den offers a wide variety of comic books for sale. Factors that determine value include rarity, title, issue, subject, and condition. Comics make a great gift for the DC or Marvel fan in your life.
From hammers, to shovels, to rakes, to kitchen tools, Fox Den has something for every hobbyist. Use a vintage rolling pin for its intended use, or a collection of old hammers and screwdrivers for an eye-catching wall display.
Vintage clothing is a way to dress up and be the central attraction at that special party or event. Buying second hand is the best way to ensure that no one else will be wearing the same thing! Many of these hats and dresses have been spotted at local horse races.
Quality, timeless design, and value are just a few of the reasons to consider purchasing antique furniture. Can you imagine the stories this old desk would have to tell if it could? Put it to its intended use in a playroom, or style as a plant stand or side table. The possibilities are endless!
Numismatics, known as the study or collection of currency, has existed since ancient times. Just a few items available at Fox Den include this 150 yearold Confederate Note and modern silver bullion coin.
A great decorative item and one to give plenty of incentive
Before the age of the 99cent gas station lighter, many lighters were true works of art. A lighter wasn’t just a tool, but an expression of the class, beliefs, and values of its owners back in a time when smoking was widely practiced.
that happened right here in our own
There is a wide selection of cutlery, glassware, and serving dishes at Fox Den to choose from. These items are often mixed and matched to create beautifully eclectic table settings for dinner parties and wedding receptions.
You won’t believe the selection of farmhouse decor you can find at Fox Den. Country-style pieces like this unique Hoosier kitchen cabinet will add warmth and coziness to any farmhouse. Just imagine how many baskets of farm-fresh eggs sat upon it, or how many loaves of bread were kneaded while mother’s apron was tugged at by their babes from below.
For over 30 years Fox Den has provided collectibles, antiques, and vintage items to Warrenton shoppers. Items range in price from one dollar to thousands of dollars for rare and unique pieces. The 41 dealers at Fox Den have thousands of items for your perusal and are bringing in new items every week. If you are looking for inexpensive items or that rare one of a kind item, make sure to check them out!
Fox Den Antiques | 355 W Shirley Avenue, Warrenton 540-347-1162 | foxdenantiques.com
John Barton Payne Building, Old Town Warrenton
GumDrop Square will open Saturday Dec. 3 and run for the 3 weekends before Christmas on Saturdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Sundays 1-4 p.m. GumDrop Square is a long-time Warrenton holiday tradition. The visit provides a personal experience with Santa and a beautifully decorated backdrop including Christmas trees and a fireplace. Another highlight of a visit to GumDrop Square is Santa’s Secret Shop, where children can purchase $2 tickets to buy gifts for family and friends without parents looking over their shoulder.
Friday, December 2
Don’t miss this year’s parade led by Santa in his horse and sleigh, and featuring lighted floats, bands, and kids and lots of holiday cheer!
Saturday, December 3
Pretty, historic Marshall is once again hosting its Christmas Parade. Come out and join the fun!
Saturday, December 3
The Remington Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department sponsors the parade, which features floats, bands, and more.
The new 66 Express Lanes are now open between Route 28 and Gainesville. By the end of this year, you’ll be able to travel the Express Lanes to I-495. With convenient access points and multiple payment methods, you’ll experience more
travel to the things that matter most. Plan your drive, see current toll rates, and learn about the project and VDOT’s upcoming I-66 change to HOV3+ by visiting ride66express.com.
December 3 & 4, 4 p.m. Fauquier High School, 705 Waterloo Road, Warrenton
Centre Performing Arts Company presents their annual Nutcracker, featuring dance students from the Lasley Centre alongside special guests and renowned principal dancers Cory Stearns and Devon Teuscher of American Ballet Theatre dancing the roles of the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Saturday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m., Marshall Community Center
The Silver Tones Swing Band is excited to bring audiences a holiday dance to kick off the season right. The band, the Silver Belles vocal trio, Wendy Marie, and Gene Bates will bring you some of your holiday favorites plus favorite big band swing hits. The Marshall Community Center features a huge dance-floor with plenty of room to swing and audience seating for those who wish to just enjoy the music and watch the dancing. There will be a beginner swing dance lesson with world-class swing instructor Ewa Burak at 7 p.m. to get you all up and dancing.
GumDrop Square is looking for volunteers: teens (elves) for Santa’s Secret Shop and adults to handle tickets. Contact Experience Old Town Warrenton at DIRECTOR@OLDTOWNWARRENTON.ORG
Sunday December 11, 3 p.m., Michael A Hughes Center for the Arts at Highland School
Get into the holiday cheer with PSO. The concert will feature a sing-along to selections from Handel's “Messiah” as well as other holiday favorites such as “Sleigh Ride”, and a Mozart flute and harp concerto. PIEDMONTSYMPHONY.ORG
For many local residents, the Christmas season does not begin until they have heard the Warrenton Chorale’s annual Christmas concert, the eagerly awaited opportunity for the community and families to come together to experience and share the joy of Christmas. Dressed in formal attire, the Chorale members will once again bring color and beautiful music to the expanded sanctuary with an outstanding sound system at Warrenton United Methodist Church with a variety of religious and secular songs to celebrate the season.
Friday, December 2, 6 p.m.
The Warrenton Christmas Parade has kicked off the holiday season, bringing thousands of residents from the region to Warrenton, for many years and features over 80 local businesses and nonprofit organizations with floats, dec orated vehicles, pets, and marchers.
This year, the Town of Warrenton has chosen Premiere Hospitality to produce and coordinate all elements of the parade.
Hero’s Bridge, a local veteran-serving non-profit, has been chosen by Premiere Hospitality as this year’s Warrenton Christmas Parade’s beneficiary. A por tion of the parade proceeds will support Hero’s Bridge’s programs that help to im prove the quality of life for aging veter ans in the five-county region of Fauquier, Culpeper, Rappahannock, Madison, and Orange. “This is a great opportunity for us to get our name and mission out there while also contributing to our commu nity’s holiday celebrations,” said Hero’s Bridge CEO, Molly Brooks.
“We are honored to continue the tradi tion of festivities that Councilman Polster and his family have worked so hard to establish over the years while benefiting a very worthy cause,” added Carlton Shutt, CEO of Premiere Hospitality.
The Parade will be accepting participant registrations and sponsorship applications until November 18. Email
The reading of a 20 th century war novel leads Warrenton man into 21 st century careerBY WHITNEY PANDIL-EATON
Robert Brice of Warrenton credits Ernest Hemingway for his military service.
“I joined the Army because I read “A Farewell to Arms” so I had a ridiculous but very ro mantic notion of the military and of war,” he said.
Due to the economic downturn of the 1980s Brice looked to the Army with the hope of parlay ing his experience with television and radio broad casting into a career as a combat videographer.
“I was going to jump out of a helicopter with a
video camera and be embedded with the troops,” he said. “I was going to be the next Hemingway.”
The Army had other plans.
“The recruiter was like, we don’t need that, but here based on your scores we have another job for you: cryptologic analyst,” he said. “I didn’t even know what that was.”
Brice enlisted and was sent to the Defense Lan guage Institute in Monterey, California, where he spent two years studying the Arabic language and associated dialects.
After graduating as an Arabic speaker, Brice was assigned to Vint Hill Farms Station, a military intelligence gathering and electronic warfare site near Warrenton in 1989.
As a cryptologic analyst Brice was tasked with listening to, translating, and analyzing electronic
Cryptography is the study and practice of securing electronic communications in the presence of adversaries using mathematical algorithms. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, cryptography is used “in commercial applications from tablets and cellphones to ATMs, to secure global e-Commerce, to protect US federal information and even in securing top-secret federal data.” Types of cryptography include block ciphers, cryptographic hash algorithms, and random bit generation.
communication broadcasts from Arabic-speaking countries to gather intelligence.
In 1990 Brice was deployed to Saudi Arabia to support American forces during the Gulf War. During his one-year tour he used his language skills to act as a translator and assisted in interrogations.
When he wasn’t translating Brice would go back to his roots fixing electronic surveillance and radio equipment.
“During deployments you have a lot of time
Established in 1942 by the United States Army Signals Intelligence Service, the 696-acre facility was used as a cryptography school, refitting station for signal units, and later transitioned into research, development, and support of intelligence and electronic warfare according to the Department of Defense.
The surveillance and decryption efforts conducted at Vint Hill Farms Station had a direct impact on the planning of D-Day and was vital to the overall war effort during World War II.
but don’t always have a lot of help so I would figure out how the machines worked,” he said.
Brice transitioned from active-duty service to the Army Reserves and then left the service in 1997.
Originally from Arizona, Brice made Warrenton home due to the abundance of government con tracting opportunities in the area. As a contractor Brice would again travel to several countries in the Middle East where he taught soldiers how to operate the electronic surveillance equipment and develop appropriate training documents.
Combining his broadcasting background and military training Brice founded his own elec tronic security and surveillance company called OnSight Systems LLC, which services residential and commercial markets in the Warrenton area.
The retired Army specialist credits his military service with the trajectory of his life.
“The Army literally changed my life,” he said. “It opened so many doors, getting that training and meeting all these different people. I don’t know what I would be doing otherwise.”
Two of Brice’s four children added their own chapters of military service to the family history book. A daughter worked as a Persian linguist with the United States Air Force while a son worked in the intelligence field with the U.S. Army. Now a grandfather of five, Brice lives on a livestock farm in Warrenton. wRobert “Bo” Brice points to the dorm he lived in while being assigned to Vint Hill Farms Station as a cryptologic analyst for the United States Army.
Robert Sommer would love to tell you about the places he “didn’t” go, the projects that “don’t” exist or the facilities that “cannot be named.”
What he can tell you about is the people.
“There were the heroes on the ground (soldiers in the ater) and then there were the heroes of the mind,” he said alluding to his colleagues who toiled away in laboratories using mathematics, engineering skills and research to ad vance military weaponry and communication technology.
Sommer first cut his teeth on advanced communication equipment working on the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo and the F-4 Phantom — one of the most versatile fighter jets of the 20th century — when he was enlisted with the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1966.
After leaving military service, Sommer continued his work on geolocation, decryption and other communica tion technology as an electronic technician and procure ment specialist at Vint Hill Farms Station.
In his work with the federal government, Sommer said he helped various branches of the military and the intelligence community with some of the most pressing
The plans for Hero’s Bridge Village, a tiny house gated community for older veterans, are progressing nicely.
Features planned for the Village include a community center furnished with a full kitchen and laundry room as well as a library complete with computers. Additional amenities include a garden, walking trails, a bird sanctuary, communal outdoor grill stations, and a neighborhood store.
To date more than $300,00 has been raised and an additional $1.5 million “in support has been expressed once a location has been determined,” according to the organization’s 2021 annual report.
For more information visit www.herosbridge.com/village
technological issues of the time.
“One problem they (a federal intel ligence agency) gave us they had been working on for 30 years. We finished it in 90 days,” he said. “I worked with the brightest bulbs in the box — the top scien tists and academicians in the world.”
It is Sommer’s affinity for people that led the 80-year-old to volunteer with a local veteran advocacy organization.
“When I was enlisted, I noticed so many people who enlisted had no education, no career and when they got out of the mili tary they had nothing to do and no place to go,” he said. “They stuck their necks out for us so we should give them a structured way to learn and help the community.”
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was one of the most versatile fighter jets ever built, setting 16 speed, altitude, and time-to-climb records during its service, according to plane maker Boeing.
Utilized by the United States Air Force, Navy, and Marines in various capacities from 1961 until its retirement in the 1990s, the fighter jet saw action in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.
Sommer is one of the oldest volunteers for Hero’s Bridge, a local non-profit veteran advocacy group which focuses on issues concerning transportation, social isola tion, housing, and access to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare for veterans over the age of 65. The or ganization has helped more than 400 local veterans since it was founded in 2016.
Sommer participates in the organization’s friendly caller program which enables volunteers to reach out to veterans to establish a rapport and provide any assistance needed. As a veteran himself, Sommer recognizes the strong camaraderie between all veterans due to their unique shared experiences as service members, and he found these phone calls to be very rewarding. With each call he said, “I felt a reciprocation on the other side. It's not just good ‘ol Bob helping out. It was good for me to talk to an old friend [fellow veteran].”
Before being sidelined by an illness, Sommer also spent many hours in Hero’s Bridge’s central office telling stories and bringing goodies to staff members.
“He is a very smart man, incredibly witty and sweet,” said Shanna McClain, volunteer coordinator and office manager for Hero’s Bridge. “Bob kept the office lively and fun.”
Lamenting his own failure to finish his college degree, Sommer said he would like to see an increased focus on general education and occupational training for veterans.
“There are so many (resources) out there to use but aren’t because no one can get it all together,” he said. “I hope I can inspire people along this track.” w
I’ve neglected my mouth for years and I am scared to death of the dentist. How can you help me?
a. We develop a rapport with our patients. Once you get to know us, your anxiety will diminish. We have medication, nitrous oxide, and administer painless injections. We are very sensitive to your feelings. We want you to be comfortable. If you need a lot of dental work, we can do one tooth at a time, or your whole mouth in as little as 1 to 2 visits. We tailor our treatment to your needs.
Kitty and her second husband Pat, the love of her life, have been married for 38 years.
Fauquier native Kitty Kendrick Head publishes her first book at the age of 92BY PAM KAMPHUIS
Fauquier County native Mary Catherine “Kitty” Kendrick Head has led a long and very interesting life. Warrenton Lifestyle readers first met her in the February 2017 issue in a story written by Aimee O’Grady about her life and careers as mother, wife, telephone operator, and emergency dispatcher in mid-twentieth century Fauquier. Now, Kitty has added another dimension to her accomplishments: she is a published author.
Always wanting to express herself, she penned her first poem in 1943 at the age of 14, and has been writing about her life through po etry and prose ever since, amassing an impressive collection. In 2021, at the age of 92, with the help of her daughter in law Rose Kendrick, she published them into a book, My Lifetime in Poetry and ProseBY LUKE CHRISTOPHER BY LUKE CHRISTOPHER
Below: Kitty waving to the cheering crowd in the Warrenton Fireman’s Parade after winning the Saturday night section of the National Country Music Contest at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds in 1958. “I’ll never forget that night of the contest. I was dressed in a pretty blue Western style dress and white cowgirl boots. I sang “Letter Edged in Black”, and my backup band was the Free State Ramblers. I couldn’t believe the applause when I finished singing.”
FreedomAbove: Working as an operator for C&P Telephone Company in 1961, Kitty connected the last operator-assisted switchboard long distance phone call in Warrenton before the system was switched over to direct dialing. She was then recommended to the police department as a dispatcher for fire and rescue. It takes a cool-headed person to manage emergency dispatch, but she excelled. Her quick thinking helped the Warrenton Police arrest two fugitives from Fairfax County who were passing through Fauquier.
Shining through this very per sonal book are this remarkable woman’s lifelong values of hard work, making do and appre ciating what you have, good, old-fashioned manners, patrio tism and the appreciation of our military, steadfast faith in God, and immense pride in family.
The book is also a fascinating window into life in yesteryear.
Born in 1929, the middle child of seven children of the Garman family, Kitty grew up on Canterbury Farm off Springs Road in Warrenton where her father worked.
Woven through her poetry are memories of home-sewn dresses from sugar and flour sacks (“They had the prettiest flower patterns that I loved,” she said), the thrill of new shoes once a year, the big black woodburning stove her mother cooked on, the amazement
We take for granted our freedom And all for what it stands
As our military gave up their dreams
To go into battle in foreign lands. We rarely give the credit Where so much credit is due.
For those who fought and so many died For freedom, for me and you. They gave up their freedom
To keep their flag at home flying free, For our liberty and justice for all And for a right to live happily. There’s no way we can imagine What horrors, what fear they go through. So we’ll pray to God to let them return
To our love and special thanks that’s way overdue.Kitty’s childhood home on Canterbury Farm as it appeared in 1998. It has since been torn down.
Below: Kitty has made hundreds of Afghans to give away. In 2001, she made 56 commemorative flags after 9/11.
So often memories of my childhood, Float back to so many years before, When we were very happy with what we had Even make-believe toys and wanting nothing more.
The boys would play cowboys, with guns made of sticks. And we’d all play Simon Says or hide and seek. But the boys would never be nice or fair. They’d pretend not to watch but always peek.
We walked to school every day.
Through rain, cold, wind and blinding snow. We thought every child did the same. For what better would a farm child know.
Mom made the girls dresses for church and for school. And dad worked hard to meet our every need. Mom worked hard too, washing, ironing and cooking. The most delicious meals as they had seven kids to feed. We were happy with new shoes and a winter coat. That mom ordered from the catalog of Sears and Roebuck. But sometimes Santa brought them at Christmas. And mom and dad enjoyed the good luck. There is so much more I would like to write. As so many good memories appear. But I’ll always treasure that which Jesus gave me, Including mom and dad which I’ll always hold dear.
at a modern refrigerator and freezer which eliminated the need to chip ice off a block, feeding chickens, and hog-killing time.
There was the heartbreak of childhood diseases before vaccina tions, home childbirth, the loss of four siblings who died at birth, and old-fashioned treatments for injuries such as burns treated with black motor oil before modern medicine.
We see also her high school years when she had a job as a “soda jerk” at Gardner’s Drugstore ice cream counter in the Old Town building which now houses The Bike Stop. We follow her story through meeting her soldier husband John Kendrick through a pen pal program in school, her marriage, the birth of her son Johnny, living in Saipan for 18 months, and her divorce and second mar riage to Pat Head.
Ninety-four now, Kitty is still going strong. She doesn’t write much any more, but is constantly busy with her crochet and craft projects. “I have friends who constantly complain of being bored. I tell them to get out and do something. My husband is a workaholic too, and it’s a wonder we even have time for meals.” w
My Lifetime in Poetry and Prose is available on Amazon.comBY LUKE CHRISTOPHER BY LUKE CHRISTOPHER
In the age of entrepreneurship, many of us feel pres sure to turn our side hustle or hobby into something that makes money. Mike Di Silvio, the founder of MAD Wood Creations in Warrenton, offers a great re minder that a hobby can be just that — a hobby.
“Find what you like to do and do that. Art is not in the eye of the beholder, it’s in the heart of who’s making it,”
Di Silvio said. “If other people like it, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s fine, too.”
Di Silvio was born in New York and moved to Reston when he was just two years old. After getting married, he lived in Centreville for 8 years before moving to War renton in the spring of 2018. He founded MAD Wood Creations a year later as a therapeutic activity that helped him cope with his stressful career working for the Sher iff’s office in Fairfax County.
“I started woodworking on a whim,” Di Silvio said. “I was up late one night watching YouTube videos and You Tube decided I should be watching woodworking videos. I bought tools, tried some things, and it sort of exploded from there into a hobby. Woodworking has become my self-care therapy. It helps to just get into my shop and make something. That’s my zen and my quiet time.”
Di Silvio started with wooden flags, then moved to cutting boards, charcuterie boards, picture frames, and more. His lumber comes from a local yard that sources a majority of its wood from Virginia and Pennsylvania, and the beeswax for his butter board conditioner is made by bees in Fauquier and Culpeper.
Top: A pen made o f holly wood.
Bottom: A resin pen made with cigar labels.
starts with a pen “kit,” which includes all the metal parts and ink refills.
Then a “blank” is made from whatever material is being turned, typically ¾” x ¾” x 6”. For the non-wood pens, I cast my own “blanks” in a silicone mold with a two part epoxy resin and whatever I am choosing to encase, such as coffee beans or cigar labels.
Once a blank is made, a hole is drilled down the center and a brass tube is glued into it. Then the blank goes on the lathe and various tools are used to shape the square blank into a rough rounded shape.
After the rough shaping is done, the sanding begins to achieve the final shape. Wood can be sanded relatively quickly — in as little as 20 minutes — and then finished to a natural sheen with wax and oil or a high gloss urethane. Resin, on the other hand, requires a lot more sanding — up to an hour and a half — using a number of grits that get progressively finer, until a glass-like finish is achieved.
Then the parts from the kit and the turned pieces are assembled.
“That’s the only time I’ve ever set up a booth some where. It went really well and I am hoping to participate again this year,” Di Silvio said.
During the day, Mike works for the Sheriff's office in Fairfax County, and has been there for 15 years. “I worked in the jail for two and a half years as a supervisor on the peer support team,” Di Silvio said. “My goal is to be a resource for people, especially my direct line of staff. I’m big on stopping the stigma of asking for help. We’re hu mans. Humans aren’t supposed to be okay with what we deal with on a daily basis. I know because of what we do, we feel like we can’t ask for help because we’re supposed to be the ones helping.”
While MAD Wood is technically still just a hobby, Di Silvio is not ruling out it becoming a business someday. At any rate, it has grown enough for him to build a workshop in his backyard. “I build stuff because I want to try some thing new. It’s not my goal to sell. When I list things online, I do it throughout the year, but stuff only sells closer to Christmas time when people are looking for gifts.”BY LUKE CHRISTOPHER
“Right now, I’m almost solely focused on pens other than a few furniture pieces around the house. One of the pens, specifically, I gave to my wife as a gift. I made it out of a piece of the crib that all of our kids grew up in. I also made a pen for a friend from a small branch of holly that is sentimental to him.”
Mike and his wife are parents to three kids, a 9-year-old and 5-year-old that go to Brumfield Elementary, and a 4-year-old that goes to Tiny Tots at Warrenton Baptist Church. If you recognize any of his creations, you might have seen them at the craft fair at Warrenton Baptist last October.
Even at work, Mike chooses to prioritize mental health. “[At work], I try to prioritize communication and being a resource. I’m not a licensed counselor, but I always try to point people in the right direction. That’s really what I’m involved in. Most of what I do in the community is in Fairfax County, geared towards mental health with law enforcement officers. I’m trying to work with our local Sheriff’s office to get them involved, also.” w
Galaxy Strikes Bowling Center celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremo ny in October and offered some of their first visitors free bowling for the afternoon.
The new 18-lane, sci-fi-themed bowling alley (com plete with the latest laser light show technology and color changing lane effects), is located at 251 W. Lee Hwy., Suite 650 in Warrenton. The large building was formerly a Peebles and, for a brief period, Gordman’s department store. It is now the only bowling alley in town after Broad view Lanes closed in 2013.
Alec Burnett, president of the Fauquier Chamber of Commerce, was disappointed the building was left empty for so many years. But Burnett said he was excited when he found out Brett and Patti Mills, owners of Galaxy Strikes, decided to lease the space for their new business.
“I just couldn't be happier to have a business like this
Brett Mills and his wife Patti(center left), co-owners of Galaxy Strikes Bowling Alley, thanked visitors for attending the grand opening of their business
in this space because I see this kind of next generation of this iconic location,” Burnett said.
Brett Mills said opening a bowling alley has been his lifelong dream.
“It's been a long time coming,” he said during the cere mony. “I've been dreaming about this since I was in high school, and I figured if I didn't quit what I was doing and do it now, it was never going to happen.”
In addition to bowling, Galaxy Strikes also features an arcade and nine-hole black light mini golf course. The arcade currently houses about nine different games to
In Warrenton at Galaxy Strikes Bowling
choose from, but Patti Mills said more are on the way.
“Seven more games are coming. It’s just what the coun try is going through right now,” she said. “Everything is backed up.”
There is also a jukebox where people can stream music and the “Space Station”, a small restaurant that offers fresh grilled sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, and appetizers. Drink options include sodas, the usual beers on tap and in bottles, and wine, with select wines and beer from local breweries and wineries.
Many people, including Adam Parezo, who lives in Woodbridge but spends a lot of time with his fiancé in Warrenton, said they believe the bowling alley is a welcome addition. “The community needed some form of entertainment to bring everybody in,” Parezo told FauquierNow. “Good family fun. Lots of options. I think this was definitely needed for the community.”
Denise King, who lives in Vint Hill, said she was excited about the business opening because it has also given peo ple in the community with special needs the opportunity to have jobs and gather together.
“And we have a group of six special needs kids that are here ... that work with Special Olympics, and it gives them a great opportunity for something to do together as a group,” King said.” It's a wonderful environment, and we all are encouraged by the hope that our kids can grow and have jobs themselves.”
Cost $5 per person per game
per lane, one hour up to 6 people
Fridays and Saturdays, 8 p.m. - midnight, $24.95 per lane
On their first visit, patrons must purchase a “Fun Card,” which requires a one-time $3 activation fee. This card can be used to pay for bowling, mini-golf, arcade games, food, and beverages, and may be used for future visits.
Senior, ladies, youth, doubles, and mixed
Clockwise from top left: Kai-Kai with his wife Cassidie; in action at Shepherd University in 2016; at Kettle Run during his junior year in 2013; at Fairmont State in 2016.
“When you put your mind to something and surround yourself with people who are willing to help you, you can achieve your goals,” Abu Kai-Kai said. A 2015 graduate of Kettle Run High School, he is currently working towards his dream career of playing in the National Football League.
Kai-Kai, who grew up in Warrenton, attributes much of his success and mentality to his coaches at Kettle Run High, where he was a three-sport athlete
— basketball, football, and track. “Coach Whisenant was the strength coach at the time. He formed me into the man I am today,” he said. “He is one of the reasons I was able to play at a high level in football while I was at Kettle Run. He had a big impact on my life, especially when it came to the weight room aspect.”
When attending Kettle Run, Kai-Kai did not originally have his sights set on football. “I didn’t play football my freshman year because I was focused on basketball,” he said. “When I was a freshman, Coach Lloyd was the head football coach. He pulled me aside and asked if I ever wanted to play football, but I told him I wanted to play basketball. He saw me again in the weight room that sum mer, and asked again and I told him I was still focused on basketball. He asked me again before school started, but this time he was more direct. He said if I wanted a chance at a full ride to college, my best bet was playing football, and the rest is history.”
There were other coaches that influenced Kai-Kai’s journey, as well. “Coach Washington was my basketball coach at Kettle Run and he had a huge impact,” he said. “Coach Peterson was a D-line coach when I was there and even to this day, we still talk to each other from time to time. I was dealing with a lot in high school, but when I was at school I had Coach Lloyd, Coach Peterson, Coach Whisenant, and a couple of team
mates that really supported me. Being there felt like home to me.” He achieved first team all-conference and first team all-American during his time at KRHS and even held the sack record for football, as well as some weight room records there.
Since his Kettle Run days, Kai-Kai has gone on to reach even more personal and professional milestones. After graduating, he received a scholarship and committed to attend East Carolina University, but after some coaching staff changes he decided to play football at Fairmont State University in West Virgin ia. “I earned my degree in Criminal Justice in December of 2019,” he said. “I met my wife Cassidie there. It was supposed to be my last season playing football, but my wife had pregnancy-related issues, so I decided to forego my last season
to focus on my family.”
Done with school, Kai-Kai decided he was going to work for the government and put football aside. Then, when COVID happened, the NCAA canceled every thing,” he said. “Since I still had one year of eligibility left, I decided to get back into it. I was only 23 at the time and felt like I had a lot left in the tank.”
He recently finished playing football at Glenville State University in West Virginia, and has been training serious ly and working with an agent to obtain a position to play professionally. “There are three teams that are interested in me in the Canadian Football League and we’re currently waiting on offers,” he explained. The plan would be to go to Canada, get some good film, and then bring that back to send to people at the NFL and eventually play in the U.S.
My family and I have been in West Virginia for seven years now and we are thinking of moving back home,” he said. “My parents still live in Warrenton. I’m a very family-oriented guy. I love having fun with my daughters and am always looking for a better opportunity to put my family in a better situation. I’m doing this for them, not just for myself.” w
I love having fun with my daughters and am always looking for a better opportunity to put my family in a better situation. I’m doing this for them, not just for myself.In action at Glenville State in 2021.
Achance passage through Remington early in 2021 kicked into motion the earnest pursuit of a dream shared by five friends to not just create a restau rant, but to also fill a niche in a community. When Craft and Crust Pizza Tavern opened there last December, wood-fired brick-oven pizzas and cold, sudsy beverages arrived on Main Street, and the town’s citizens were more than ready. “Oh my goodness,” shared partner Michelle Bland recently, “It’s overwhelming how much support we have received from the community.” Local resident Wilton raved, “The food, service and employees are freaking amazing. Five minutes from my house and this is the place to be on weekends.”
Friends for over 25 years, Jim Peterson and Michelle Bland often casually discussed opening a taco and tequila bar. They both have a restaurant background: Jim is a pre vious restaurant owner and Michelle has accrued years of management experience in Warrenton at Ruby Tuesday and Foster’s Grille. Included in the idea were Jim’s part
The StationBrandy mozzarella, white sauce, steak, sautéd onions, green peppers
The Remington mozzarella, pepperoni, banana peppers, ltalian sausage, fresh garlic
The Culpeper (margarita) red sauce, basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil
The Sumerduck mozzarella, onions, pepperoni, smoked gouda, green peppers, fresh garlic, honey sriracha
The Warrenton mozzarella, smoked gouda, fontina cheese, basil
The Bealeton mozzarella, salami, smoked gouda, onion, green pepper
The Orlean mozzarella, sausage, onion, ricotta, fresh garlic, basil
The Opal (white pizza) garlic, olive oil, fresh mozzarella, fresh parsley, ricotta
The Goldvein fried or grilled chicken, mozzarella, onions, mild buffalo sauce
The Fauquier (meat lover's pizza) red sauce, mozzarella, bacon, sausage, meatball, salami, ham
The Plains create your own pizza
ner Dawn Rana, an equestrian who works in sales, and Michelle’s husband Ronnie Bland, a longtime employee of Appleton Campbell. All four have ties to the community: Jim and Dawn live on a small farm in Marshall, and the Blands have lived in Warrenton for over 20 years. With the addition of their friend Cecil Coleman’s customer service savvy from years at Freddie Mac, the team’s dream was well-poised for success.
The taco and tequila idea was shelved when the pandemic hit. “Then one day during COVID, we went to a [pizza] place up in Orange and saw that the line was around the corner,” related Jim. I thought, “This is a great concept, this is what we need to do. So I went to Michelle and Ron and asked them, ‘Hey, what do you guys think about it? Doing a pizza place?’” He continued, “Then we talked about it a little bit more, and discovered Reming ton and thought it would be a great location. We got back to Ron and Michelle and that was it, we went from there. It’s a cool little town.”
A cool little town with room to grow was just the place to construct their revived dream. “There was not one place for anyone to go to have a glass of beer or wine after work, to unwind, listen to music, and hang out.” noted Michelle of the Remington area. Very soon a lease was signed and six months of rehabbing on the building on East Main Street began to create just that for the community.
Their ultimate success is reflected in patron Jeannie B’s online comment: “This place blew me away. It’s a clean, simple, warm environment, the people are magnificent!”
As the physical space took shape Jim took the lead in conceptualizing the menu, including the inspired names of the pizzas after places in Fauquier and nearby, fea turing different toppings, such as The Warrenton (with mozzarella, smoked gouda, fontina, and basil), and The Goldvein (a Buffalo chicken pizza). Sound too exotic? Then The Plains (a simpler cheese pizza ready to custom ize) might be for you.
Patrons agree it is a very good idea. “When it comes to a pizza you can remember the one you like because it’s named after the town,” said Jim. The concept is a good one, as an online comment from Brian W noted that he “ordered the Brandy Station pizza...essentially a steak and cheese pizza and it was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.”
A popular selection of appetizers, salads and substan tial sandwiches rounds out the offered fare, but it is clear that pizza is the star here, with the wood-fired brick oven a key element. “Our pizza starts out in that oven at 700 degrees, and the oak wood we burn seasons the brick,” explained Jim, who is the lead in the kitchen and also trains the cooks. “We craft pizzas. They are made to order. When you ask for an Orlean, we put it together as you are sitting there. The ricotta, the sausage, the basil on it, everything is freshly chopped.”
With her years of restaurant managerial experience Michelle takes a long view of cultivating both the frontof-house staff and repeat customers. She takes particular pleasure when offspring of former employees come in to work for her, and when generations of customers seek her
out. Of great importance and a challenge initially for the staff of a brand new restaurant is consistency. Michelle puts particular emphasis on training until “everybody’s on the same page, in that making sure every pizza goes out the same exact way, every order is consistent. Making sure that everything is perfect, every single time.”
Michelle observed that one challenge for the new co-owners was handling different ideas. “Not everybody’s always on the same page. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses in different areas.” Recognizing that, the five friends have settled into their roles. Jim and Michelle are the hands-on operators of the restaurant, Rana waits tables as needed, Ronnie acts as handyman and Cecil helps out in a pinch.
As for beverages, the initial eight taps are occupied with a variety of beer with four more taps on the way to meet customer demand for more local brews and cider, but it’s not stopping there. “We’re going to be opening a bourbon bar next door. It will have a very speakeasy feel,” shared Jim. “That is something in process as we speak.”
Currently Thursdays are karaoke night and Saturday is for live music of a wide variety, again activities not previously available in Remington. The numerous TVs will have football in season, and activities are planned for upcoming holidays. Of particular importance to the team is still the community. “I love to do Spirit Nights,” said Michelle. “We’ve had five or six so far and I have three more planned for the near future. So, any time an organi zation wants to have a fundraiser they can set that up with us and receive 15% of the proceeds.”
On the horizon are even more plans. “Next Spring and Summer, we are going to be doing a concert series where we open up the street and have some live music,” added Jim. Vendors would be present and all ages welcome. “At that point it is not about our business, it’s about the com munity, customers will be able to come, bring their lawn chairs, listen to music, have some beer, eat cotton candy, and relax with their neighbors.”
“At the end of the day I think I can speak for everybody, we are there for Remington. We love our restaurant, but we are really happy that these people feel that we put that there for them, that they have a place to go. We’re about that community,” said Jim. w
She may be the new officer in town, but Rachel Shockey’s not short on experience.
A Seattle, Washington native and die-hard Seahawks fan, Shockey, 34, was hired to be the new public information of ficer with the Warrenton Police Department on July 1 after about eight years working at another department in Northern Virginia, mainly as a patrol officer.
But law enforcement wasn’t always at the forefront of Shock ey's mind. After graduating high school, Shockey said she did a lot of odd jobs and would work on cars with her dad who was a mechanic and racecar driver in Seattle, at his shop.
It wasn’t what she wanted to do forever, but she enjoyed it.
“My dad raced and worked on cars for a living and so that's kind of what I did,” she said. “I started in a shop dusting off his car getting ready for the races…but it's helped me in law enforce ment because now I've had all that driving experience.”
But in 2014, Shockey got an invitation to come live with some of her extended family who lived in Southern Virginia in a little town of about 5,000 people called Tazewell. When she got there, Shockey learned about her family’s extensive military and law enforcement background.
When she arrived, Shockey said her uncle persuaded her to apply for work in law enforcement. Not long after that con versation, Shockey said she landed a job with a department in Northern Virginia.
“I wanted to serve my country, but in a way that I could be at home,” she said.
Although Shockey loved the job, she said working for a larger department in a more urban area wasn’t really ideal. Consequent ly, last winter, when an opening came up in the Warrenton Police Department she grabbed the opportunity.
“It's just a happy feeling here and it's really good for the mental health of law enforcement, especially coming from a really busy agency where I saw really bad stuff every single day,” she said.
“People care for one another,” Shockey added. “I could go
to 7/11 and it's like, ‘Hey, how are you? Good to see you again, how’s your family?’”
Shockey said one of the things she loves most about the new job is being able to help the department train the newer officers.
“I would love to get into more leadership positions and just keep climbing the ranks within the department to better myself and then better other people and the better the community,” she said. “If I better myself and take leadership classes and teach, I'm teaching those [leadership skills] to other officers.”
Outside of work, Shockey said her favorite activity is working out which helps her destress from her day job. “I love working out. I love going to the gym and running,” she said. “Not only does it keep me in shape for the job, but that's kind of my time to just that's kind of my mental clarity…nobody else is around. You plug in some headphones and you just go and work out.” w
Two businesses are filling the Main Street location formerly occupied by Gloria’s in Old Town Warrenton. Although the departure of Gloria’s from Old Town is truly saddening, the space, which has been split into two sections, is coming alive again. Haute Cakes Pastry Shop, our local go-to spot for cakes, cup cakes, macarons, and more, has been located on N. 5th Street since 2018 and is one of the businesses that has found its new home in one of the spaces. The Painted Fox, a multi-di mensional business specializing in body art, will be moving soon into the other space.
MEGAN doesn’t really have a sweet tooth.
“When I do eat sweets,” she says, “it’s usually a regular old chocolate chip cookie!
VANESSA MURPHY , founder and owner, and CLINTON ARNETT , founder and co-owner, of Timeless Arts in Manassas can’t wait to open their newest passion project, The Painted Fox.
Vanessa and Clinton, who have been tattooing for five and six years respectively, truly appreciate tattooing as an art form and means of expression. “I like the history and culture behind tattooing,” said Clinton. For Vanessa, it’s more about creativ ity and personal time. “I always wanted to do art for a living, and as a single mother I found that tattooing allowed me the freedom to be creative and still have time with my kids. I’ve always been drawn to tattoos and found that it’s a great way to help others express themselves outwardly.”
Both Vanessa and Clinton love the energy of OTW and how supportive everyone is of small businesses. “Our hope is to break the negative stereotypes around tattooing and to create a positive, all-inclusive safe space for those who need it,” explained Vanessa. They plan to open The Painted Fox around the end of the year. Until then, check out some of their amazing art and fellow artists at timelessartstattoo.com
VANESSA is a plant lover and CLINTON can’t do without fishing and trucks.
MEGAN NAGAL , founder and owner of Haute Cakes Pastry Shop, has been baking since she was a kid. Encouraged by her mother, baking became Megan’s creative outlet. From the age of six, when she received a cookbook as a gift, she could see that her creations brought peo ple joy and that made her happy. “It was that simple,” she said. No matter what other things she pursued, she always returned to baking.
In 2010, she created her first wedding cake, and soon thereafter what began as a life-long hobby became more of a serious venture. Her business continued to grow and in 2018 she officially opened her brick-and-mortar Haute Cakes Pastry Shop.
“I love being part of a community where people really support each other,” she said. “And I absolutely adore the energy and personalities in OTW.” As for the reasoning behind her move to Main Street? “We are simply out of space!” Megan said. “You guys eat a lot of cook ies, what can I say?” Her new space includes a 30-ft counter that will house all she needs to make her incredible creations and enable her to host more workshops and camps.
Check out all her delicious offerings and updates online at hautecakespastryshop.com.
It’s almost time for Black Friday and Cyber Monday tech sales. There are so many things to be thankful for with new devices and technology, but one must also be aware of the downsides.
In a recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” it was fun to see Simon Cowell singing live on stage, but it wasn’t really him. It was a synchro nous “Deep Fake” rendering. A computer company and the contes tant produced a live performance of what looked 100% like Simon Cowell singing on the big screen.
Downside: Any kind of recording or photo of a person or event could be just a fake, practically impossible to distinguish from the real thing.
I loved the switch from analog to digital photography, but now-adays I have a hard time keeping track of my old content. There are many good ways to digitize your old VHS recordings or audio cassettes. So far, I have copied gigabytes of material onto a shared Google drive. A bit time consum ing, but worth it.
Downside: If your storage starts getting full, Google will try to sell you more storage.
You may have heard about DNA collecting and interpret ing software. One interesting thing I read is that sometimes the database can find relatives you didn’t know about or even murderers in a crime. A few years ago, I bought a pack age which told me where my ancestors probably came from and some things about myself that are probably true, since people with similar DNA have some similar characteristics.
Downside: I still get annoying emails providing updates found years later.
This is an amazing technology that has revolutionized com puter systems. They provide much better speed, and in case you drop a laptop, the SSD and your data are more likely to survive.
Downside: An SSD, like “normal” mechanical hard drives, doesn’t run forever and when an SSD is getting full, it starts to deteriorate quickly.
There are so many great models to choose from. But when shopping, you might notice some printers only support wireless connections (no USB cable anymore). Some of these models have no display, and you need to use a phone app to install and connect it to your wireless network.
Downside: Some providers, such as HP, will try to get you to buy an automatic subscription to send you new ink cartridges when they determine your ink is getting low. If you are not careful during the install process, you can also allow them to keep track of your printing habits. A clever hacker might be able to get a copy of what you are printing.
New medical devices and Apps are flooding the market. It is very convenient to monitor things like blood pressure or sugar with your phone. I saw an ad for a little chip on which you can place two fingers and it will measure your heart beat and rhythm. The results can be transmitted to a lab or virtual doctor who will analyze them for you. Doctors in person still do a better job, but these tools can help.
Downside: Keep in mind, anything that runs through your phone can possibly be hacked, so sensitive information about your health and habits might be available to hackers or agencies profiting from your information.
On a personal note, if I could have been given a choice of where and when I wanted to live my life, I would have chosen this time of technological evolution and medical progress. Thanks to a great tech team, Dok Klaus Computer Care is still operating just fine. I am grateful for the thousands of clients we have had over the last 20 years. And I’m moved greatly by the many well wishes and prayers. One client cheers me up by bringing fresh eggs from his farm. We hope that you will keep us in mind for your computer needs. Have a great Thanksgiving, enjoy holiday tech shopping, but be cautious and stay safe! w
Here’s some easy ways to get them gobbled up fast as well as suggested wine pairings to keep each feeling holiday festive.
The grand-daddy of all Thanksgiving leftover recipes.
Put turkey bones into a large pot. Cover with enough water so it’s 2 inches above the bones. Bring to a boil on high - partially covered. Reduce heat. Simmer for 3 hours. Remove bones and discard. Add soup veggies to taste (carrots, onions, celery, some parsley – whatever you like), plus salt and pepper. Simmer till vegetables are soft – about 45 minutes. Throw in leftover cooked rice or a handful of dry noodles and cook for another 10 minutes or so till done. It’s soup!
Chardonnay is an ideal choice as it complements a variety of flavors, including the herbs used in bast ing a turkey. Local Vintage: DuCard Vineyards 2020 Chardonnay. This Chardonnay comes from a blend of grapes from two of its Madison vine yard sites and exhibits zesty acidity and a long mouthwatering finish. $32. Ducardvineyards.com
Get some fresh mushrooms. Remove the stems and chop. Add to the leftover stuffing. Moisten with gravy so it holds together. Mound into the raw mushroom caps. Melt some butter in a skillet. Put the filled caps into the pan – mushroom side down. Cover. Heat until mushrooms have softened a bit –just a couple of minutes. Pour any remaining juices over mushrooms for serving.
Pinot Noir is a highly versatile, fruit-for ward wine that pairs beautifully with turkey and gravy, not to mention stuffed mushrooms slathered in the stuff. Local Vintage: Stone Tower Winery 2017 Maison Sanglier Pinot Noir. This Burgundian Pinot Noir pairs nicely with poultry and meaty fish, as well as many vegetable dishes. $38.00. stonetowerwinery.com
A quick soup that rivals takeout!
Puree leftover sweet potatoes. It’s OK if there’s other stuff in the sweet potatoes like butter, brown sugar, marshmallow, pineapple etc. Add plant or dairy milk for the consistency you like plus salt and pepper to taste. Heat.
Riesling pairs especially well with turkey and spicier, herbier flavors and a dry Riesling adds a delicious touch to sweeter items such as sweet potatoes. Local Vin tage: The Winery at Bull Run 2016 Riesling. This crisp, medium-bodied Riesling has a refreshing minerality throughout and offers a delightful balance of fruit and acidity. $55.00. Wineryatbullrun.com
A fancy, no crust quiche.
Put 3 cups of cooked potato chunks in the bottom of a buttered 8 inch X 2 inch square baking pan. Whisk together 6 eggs, 3 cups heavy cream, 1 teaspoon salt & ¼ teaspoon hot sauce. Stir in 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese. Pour over potatoes. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven till set in center and lightly puffed at edges – about 1 ¼ hours. Cool 20 minutes before cutting.
As we mentioned previously, Chardonnay is an ideal choice as it complements a variety of flavors and spices used at Thanksgiving. Local Vintage: Philip Carter Winery 2019 Shirley Char donnay. A full-bodied white perfect for heavier food pairings – creamy sauces like gravy and egg-based dishes. $32. Shop.pcwinery.com
1 (12 to 16 oz.) bag fresh cranberries
2 cups port wine (other wines not recommended)
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1. Wash cranberries under tepid run ning water. Drain.
2. Discard any stems or shriveled berries.
3. In a large pot, bring wine and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.
4. Add cranberries. Cook on medium till they pop - about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove popped cran berries to a heat safe dish.
5. Continue cooking liquid (uncovered) until it’s reduced by half - about 10 minutes - then pour over the cooked cranberries. Stir.
6. Cool. Cover and refrigerate.
Always a winner because not only are they good but people think you’ve gone to culinary school.
Prepare a batch of crepes. Fill them with leftovers and roll up. Put them into a buttered baking dish and pour gravy or cheese sauce generously over the top. Cover. Heat about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven or microwave.
Sparkling wine and Champagne contain high acidity, which bring out the hearty, aromatic flavors typically associated with Thanksgiving. Local Vintage: Pear mund Cellars Brut Reserve. Crisp acidity, silky texture, and just enough carbon ation makes this an incredibly refreshing sparkling. $44. pearmundcellars.com
Saving the best for last.
Split, toast (don’t microwave) and butter both cut sides of a split croissant. Use generous amounts of fillings to make sandwiches that are too big to eat without a knife and fork. Sub corn bread or biscuits, preparing them the same way.
Briefly microwave a generous amount of turkey and brie until the cheese just starts to melt. Slide onto the buttered bottom half of the croissant. Top with a ladle full of warmed, ported cranberry sauce. (Recipe follows.) Cover with crois sant top forming a sandwich. Serve with Dijon mustard.
Petit Verdot pairs nicely with a variety of cheeses, including brie, aged cheddar, gruyere, and gouda. Local Vintage: Barrel Oak Winery Petit Verdot. A full-bodied red with a warm spice finish. $46. barreloak.com
Top a mound of leftover, cooked broccoli with a generous amount of Velveeta or your fav cheese. Microwave till the cheese melts. Slide onto the buttered bottom half of the croissant. Top with a handful of cooked crispy bacon. Cover with croissant top forming a sandwich.
Sauvignon blanc is a refreshing white wine that complements many different cheeses. Local Vintage: Winery at LaGrange 2020 Sauvignon Blanc. A light, crisp white with aromas of stone fruits and a palate of mineral with peach and honey notes. $30. wineryatlagrange.com
Johnson’s story as the focus for her work. Using records from the Library of Virginia and Fauquier County African American Historical Association, Dr. Wolf was able to put together a remarkable accounting.BY DR. AMIE BOWMAN
Almost Free by Dr. Sheppard Wolf, a professor of history at San Francisco State University, is the story of how the ideals of the American Revolution—particular ly equality and liberty—existed with the reality of slavery in early 19th century Warrenton.
Almost Free is the story of Samuel John son, a mixed race man who lived, worked, and loved in Warrenton in the 1780s through the early 1840s. He was a man dedicated to his family, his community, and the rule of law. Though born a slave, Johnson was able to negotiate for, and at approximately age 37, purchase his freedom. Despite an 1806 law that required all freed Blacks to leave Virginia within 12 months of obtaining their freedom, Johnson successfully petitioned the Virginia Legislature for the right to remain in Fauquier County. He then purchased his wife and two children, and the family prospered in Fauquier.
However, Johnson was then between a rock and a hard place. If he freed his fami ly, they would have to leave the state, and, worse, if anything happened to him as their owner, the family would be in a precarious position facing a possible return to slavery.
During the next 20 years, Johnson left a detailed record of his life and perspectives in both county and state level legal documents. He registered with the Fauquier County Court as a free Black man, paid taxes, sued in court, filed paperwork to buy land and other property, wrote a will, and served on road building projects alongside white landowners. He also filed nine petitions with the Virginia legislature to get permission for
his family to remain in Fauquier County after they were legally freed.
By filing so many legal documents Samuel Johnson created the records that would allow his story to be told nearly 200 years after his death. The persistence Johnson showed in us ing the legal system is what brought him to Dr. Wolf’s attention. “It is rare for any historical person to leave enough records to detail their personality; for a person of color, this kind of record almost never exists…I [felt] like he [Samuel Johnson] reached out to me through the records across time,” Dr. Wolf said with a sheepish smile when explaining why she chose
As she learned more about Johnson’s story, the difference between what the law said about relationships between races and what was done between people on a day to day basis became apparent. “Race was more flexible than we thought,” according to Dr. Wolf, within limits.
One of the most surprising aspects of John son’s story was the large number of white Warrentonians who supported his petitions to the Virginia legislature and vouched for his character. Some of the white signatories were politically well-connected and powerful Virginia politicians who, at the same time that they were supporting Johnson’s ulti mately unsuccessful petitions for his family’s freedom, were defending the institution of slavery in United States.
Johnson’s story, particularly his relation ships with the white community and some of the powerful men in Virginia’s governing class, demonstrates that the possibility existed for free Blacks to prosper even in a slave-owning state. Johnson was largely able to live his life according to his values and priorities and build a considerable amount of wealth despite the inequalities in Virginia’s legal code.
However, his inability to truly free his family shows that while race was more flexible than had been thought, there were definite limits to Black freedom even for the unenslaved. w
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Sheppard Wolf is a professor of history at San Francisco State University. While conducting this interview, she wanted to give a shout out to the great work on African American history that the Library of
Map of Warrenton done in 1811 shows the boundaries of the 71 acres within the corporate limits.
Discussions between the Town of Warrenton and Fauquier County regarding the expansion of the town’s corporate limits may sound like a new concept to many people, since the last time this came up was back in 1959. The annexation that took place at that time was significant, increasing the size of the town from about 200 acres to 2,000 acres, and doubling the popula tion from about 1,900 to 3,800.
The original borders of the village of Fauquier Court house, which later became Warrenton, dates back to a 1790 survey by James Routt. It was done at the direction of Richard Henry Lee, who owned much of the property from which the town would rise.
The survey was laid off in relation to the County Court house, believed to have been on present-day Culpeper Street, and consisted of 12 one-half acre lots. Located at the intersection of several main routes, Fauquier Court house steadily grew, and was incorporated in 1810 as the Town of Warrenton. New boundaries were drawn, with the town laid off to include 71 acres.
An effort was made in 1840 to annex land around the town, but it was blocked by several prominent citizens,
including John Marr, Richards Payne and William Horner. Their main complaint was hav ing to pay town taxes.
Preliminary map of the 1959 Annexation shows the existing Town of Warrenton, and the large area surrounding it totaling 2,120.7 acres to be annexed. In a final ruling, three agricultural tracts totaling about 450 acres were taken out.
However, in March 1850, the boundaries of Warrenton were extended, going down Win chester Street to the “bottom of the hill,” and on Jail Street (today’s Waterloo Street), which had been extended to the west. Also added were tracts out Falmouth Street and Alexandria Pike.
By 1877 plans for further annexation were discussed, but again there was opposition. A counter-petition sent to the Virginia General Assembly blocked the plan early in its stages, but a “Special Survey” the following year allowed some expansion.
The next growth of the corporate limits was in 1902, and the Town Charter revised by the Virginia General Assembly in 1914. There would be no notable action for the next 45 years.
With post-World War II growth happening around Warrenton, discussion of a major annexation project began as early as 1954. Richard H. Marriott (1911-1968), who served as mayor from 1947-61, stated in 1948 that the town should grow.
According to a survey done in 1950 by the Lynchburg engineering firm of Wiley and Wilson, adding 842 acres surrounding the town to the corporate limits would cost $1,088,258 to provide the required services and improvements. The plan was tabled – for the time being.
In 1953, the town built a 12-sto ry, 500,000 gallon water tank, and in 1957, the Town Council endorsed a $400,000 bond issue to build a new sewage treatment plant.
Residents along Waterloo Street, the Bypass and in the Stuyvesant neighborhood – who lacked public water and sewage services – ex pressed support of annexation, and 28 business owners on the Bypass petitioned the Board of Supervisors to authorize a “sani tary authority or district” to provide them services.
It was pointed out that annexation could move ahead if a petition in favor was signed by 51 percent of the regis tered voters in a defined area, or if the town successfully petitioned the Circuit Court asking for authority to annex certain sections. The Town would also have to show the court that it could provide its public services to newly-an nexed areas “within a reasonable time.”
Responding to requests from a citizens’ group headed by L. L. Hutchison and Dr. W. S. Nicklin, the town council appointed a three-person committee consisting of council men C. Irvin Garrett, Randolph Carter and A. S. Hamilton. In early August 1958, a preliminary study and map of
the proposed annexation boundaries prepared by R. M. Bartenstein & As sociates of Warrenton were presented to the Town Council, where they were enthusiastically received.
The new boundaries took in the Northern Virginia Shopping Cen ter, Fauquier and W. C. Taylor high schools, Highland School, the Fauquier Hospital, homes and businesses on the Warrenton Bypass, and residential neighborhoods built around Warren ton. Some people were not happy about being included in the new corpo rate limits – others, disappointed they
had been left out.
The Aug. 7, 1958 edition of The Fau quier Democrat carried a comprehensive story on the study, and an aerial map clearly showing the current and future corporate limits of the town under the annexation. The newspaper endorsed the plan in an editorial, stating that ex pansion of the town was long overdue, and delaying the process any longer would only make it more costly.
“Annexation isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to take determination by the Town Council to see it through,” ac cording to the editorial. “If anything is clear, it is that a congested population must join together for mutual advan tages of health, protection, public services and community welfare.”
By early September, the Town Council had held several planning meetings and met with Julian Tarrant, a Richmond planning consultant, whom they asked to provide an estimate of the cost of the annexation process. He was assisted by the Wiley and Wilson engi neering firm, with the surveying done under contract by R. M. Bartenstein & Associates. Work started quickly, withRobert M. Bartenstein Engineer and surveyor Richard H. Marriott Mayor 1947-1961
the goal of having a comprehensive plan in place to present to the Circuit Court by year-end. The initial plan called for the annexation to add 2,120.7 acres (3.31 square miles).
At a hearing before the Board of Supervisors in April 1959, residents living in the proposed annexation area voted 87-20 against the plan. What followed was a lawsuit regarding the annexation heard by the State Supreme Court of Appeals, with Robert B. McCandlish of Fairfax serving as the town’s legal counsel.
The Appeals Court directed that three Virginia Circuit Court judges hear the case. Appointed were Judge Rayner V. Snead of the Fauquier Circuit; Judge Edward L. Oast of Portsmouth; and Judge Earl E. Abbott of Clifton Forge. On June 5, Judge Snead met with McCandlish, and attorneys Upton H. Richards and William H. Gaines, who contested the annexation.
A week later, the Board of Supervisors weighed-in, agreeing that the corporate limits should be expanded, but that the boundaries needed to be revised. In the meantime, two large landowners with property included in the annexation were granted permission by the court to become defendants in the case.
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth J. Edwards, owners of Fenton
Farm, and William Schlusemeyer of Broadview, contended that the proposed map was inaccurate, that there was no benefit for them, and “…the only interest served would be that of the Town of Warrenton, in that it will acquire additional taxes from the defendants.”
The suit was heard on Nov. 18, 1959 in Fauquier County Circuit Court, and included a bus tour of the pro posed annexation area. The town was represented by McCandlish, with the defendants being the Board of Supervi sors represented by Commonwealth’s Attorney Charles G. Stone, and the Edwards and Schlusemeyers represent ed by attorneys James William Fletcher and Lytton Gibson.
The hearing lasted until Nov. 20, at which time the judges ruled that the Schlusemeyer and Edwards properties, as well as the Benner farm, be taken out of the proposed annexation area, adding only 1,750 acres to the town.
The order was to take effect on Dec. 31, 1959, contingent on a final annexation map and no appeal of their decision.
A week later, an action by “18 unnamed objectors” represented by Warrenton attorneys E. L. Bain and J. Ray Larcombe called for a 60-day exception, to be filed with the State Supreme Court calling for a one-year postponement of the annexation.
McCandlish told the Town Council that a one-year delay would cost the town $50,000 in uncollected taxes, and unless a suspending bond was given by those applying for an appeal, there was no reason for the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals to reverse the decision. That being the case, the appeal was dropped and annexation was underway.
By early 1961, it was noted in a story in the Democrat that the town was successfully extending services to the recently annexed areas, and the contro versy was over. w
Piedmont Smiles, a one-day pop-up free dental day, pro vided care to 211 patients at Fauquier High School on October 15. Before 6 a.m., a long line began stretching down the sidewalk outside the gym. The culmination of over two years of planning, led by project manager Jay Heroux and including many local nonprofits, Piedmont Smiles offered free dental care to adults in need.
Hundreds of volunteer dentists, staff, medical profession als and general volunteers from all over the region came to lend a hand to provide X-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions, oral surgery, and endodontic services.
Many of the patients said they had not received dental care in years. In some cases, it was their first ever encounter with a dental professional, according to Piedmont Smiles representatives.
Funding partners for the event included the Virginia Dental Association Foundation Missions of Mercy and community stakeholders such as the PATH Foundation, the Virginia Health Care Foundation and the Culpeper Wellness Foundation. Drs. Woodside and Sentz, Griffin and Errera Orthodontics, Digital Mobilizations, Piedmont Environ mental Council, Dr. Lowe of Awesome Smiles, and Fauquier Health all collaborated for the event. The Fauquier school system provided logistical support and a venue.
“The fact that so many people came looking for free dental help is a reminder that this is still a big unmet need for many families in our own backyards,” Marino said.
The Prince William County De partment of Fire and Rescue is mourning the loss of firefighter Derek Shifflett, who died October 12 at his home in Warrenton.
Shifflett joined Prince William fire and rescue in 2008. He leaves behind his wife and three daughters.
"Derek was faithful and devoted to his family, career, and brothers and sisters in the fire service," Prince William Professional Firefighters said in a Facebook post.
Prince William, Fauquier and Warrenton fire crews gathered at Fauquier High School on October 13 to support one of Shifflett's daughters at her volley ball game. Crews created a ladder arch outside the school and saved Shifflett a seat with flowers and several fire department T-shirts.
"Derek’s devotion to serving others was an inspiration to all who knew him," Prince William fire and rescue said in announc ing his death. "Our hearts are with his family now and always."
The iconic former Ben & Mary’s Steak House building located along U.S. 17 in Fletcher ville officially received the green light to be converted into affordable housing.
The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a special excep tion allowing the Foothills Housing Corporation, a local nonprofit committed to providing affordable housing, to transform the historic building, first built in 1927 as a filling station and roadhouse, into four affordable rental apartments.
According to John Reid, executive director of Foothills, rent would range from $800 to $1,200 per month, and he expects the renovation of the building will be completed by the summer of 2024.