Warrenton Lifestyle Magazine October 2019

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PUBLISHER Dennis Brack dennis@piedmontpub.com

EDITORIAL Pam Kamphuis pam@piedmontpub.com

ART DIRECTOR Kara Thorpe kara@piedmontpub.com

from the E D I T O R



y husband and I have been looking at those little teardrop trailers for camping. You know, the tiny ones that only have room for a bed inside, and the back opens up to a little kitchen? Well, it turns out they’re a little more expensive than you might think. So now our interest has turned to a Runaway Trailer... about a third of the price, but they don’t have that nifty little spot for a kitchen. We’d have to bring a table and keep the camp stove and the cooler and the coffee pot and all the other kitchen paraphernalia in the truck. But, possibly still workable. We’ve done a bit of tent camping, and love it. But, to be clear, we are strictly fair weather campers. We’re not as adventurous as we used to be. So that means we don’t go camping when it’s too cold, or too hot, or too rainy, or too humid, or too windy, or too anything, for that matter. The circumstances have to be just about perfect for us to venture out into the outdoors. Hence our interest in the little camping trailers — with air conditioning and heat, it could extend the camping season quite a lot and provide a significant comfort level over a tent. And it’s the coming of fall that’s turned our thoughts toward camping. We’d like to go tent camping once more before the cold weather sets in. And fall is the perfect time to camp. Autumn is, for some, the most anticipated season of the year. The weather finally breaks from the hot, humid summer into the clear, crisp, cooler days that we have been dreaming of. Pumpkin Spice Lattes aside, we can also look forward to fall flavors with the fall fruits coming into season (yes, pumpkins are a fruit — who knew?) And what better time than October to sit back and get acquainted with some of our local hard ciders? All these things can be enjoyed in abundance in Virginia, and our fall section will certainly help get you in the mood! Next issue: holidays — already?

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contents 08


Giving Kids the Gift of Good Manners


Southern Fauquier Spotlight

Recipe: Apple Crumb Muffins

Rodney Smith of SmithMidland Corporation






Get Creative with Kerry Molina


When Love Comes to Town

With Clean Water Comes Health

Warrenton’s Love Sculpture

Creative DIY costumes for the season

The Warrenton Chapter of Friends of Fort Liberté raises funds for wells in Haiti



Kid Pan Alley Celebrating 20 years and looking forward to a bright future BY JOHN MCCASLIN


A Treasure for Musicians and Audiences Alike The Fauquier Community Band



Navigating the Mists of the Past



Get into the Spirit of Autumn


With local cider



The Mistress of Poplar Springs, Part 2


A Fruitful Fall Pick your own apples and pumpkins

The life of Jane Hall Cutler






One Traveler, Many Paths Poet, teacher, and coach Tom MacQueeney BY NATHAN RAY



Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie

Down Memory Lane

With real pumpkin

The Warrenton HIgh School Marching Band




ON THE COVER: Rodney Smith of Smith-Midland Corporation. Photo by Kara Thorpe

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


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



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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.

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Give Kids the Gift of Good Manners



tiquette guru Emily Post once said, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners no matter what fork you use.” Of course, having polite children with good manners doesn’t happen out of the clear blue sky. It takes devotion, time and persistence. As a parent of two teenagers and in my work as an etiquette instructor, I know that children are born with many innate gifts and abilities – but behaving politely is not one of them. We are our child’s first role model and teacher and, as we begin the journey of life with these little beings, it’s on us to teach, show, expect, and reinforce polite behavior and manners. We’re also teaching our children social graces that count more than ever these days, and devoting time to this core value is one of the more exhausting and rewarding parts of parenthood. Following are a few things I’ve learned on this journey that I hope will make yours a little less exhausting and a lot more rewarding.

Establish clear expectations up front. The

secret to raising a well-behaved kid is smart discipline. Begin by establishing clear expectations up front for how you want your child to behave. Model that behavior, praise your child when he or she meets your expectations, and correct them when they don’t.


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Set your expectations, give praise when they’re met, and constructive, even humorous help when they’re not. Model the behavior you seek; teach and lead by example.

Teach self-control and delayed gratification. We live in an instant

world. If your child wants a video game or to watch a movie he or she hasn’t seen, they can download the game in thirty seconds and get the movie, quite literally, on demand. This makes it tough to teach them to wait and keep their cool. Don’t give in though. Not only will you end up with a well-behaved member of society, you’ll have given your child the gifts of civility and peace by teaching them to slow down.

A little humor always helps. You don’t have to be a drill sergeant

when teaching your kids how to behave politely and use good manners. A little humor always helps, and laughter goes a long way, too.

Make the time to help your kid shine. We need to find the time,

Practice when you’re out and about socially with your children.

maintain the commitment, and be deliberate in teaching our children how to behave in polite society. It is possible to raise a courteous, friendly young lady or gentleman, but it takes dedication and consistency.

Laugh often. It takes a lot of work to teach – and learn – good manners. Might as well have some fun doing it!

At the end of the day, etiquette education is undeniably necessary for every child’s lifelong confidence and success. Manners will always matter in our society and our children are relying on us to get them started and on the right path. ❖



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When Love Comes to Town The Warrenton LOVE Sculpture



To celebrate the theme of love and community that is the focus of the new LOVE Sculpture, Experience Old Town Warrenton, a group dedicated to cultivating a vibrant and neighborly local atmosphere, organized a contest in conjunction with Ciao Bella Events to give one lucky couple the chance to celebrate their wedding at the unveiling of the work of art last September. The contest, which consisted of an essay, asked applicants to give testimonies of healthy, happy, and enduring love in their relationships. The winning couple, local yoga instructor Monica Anne Ferandi and mail carrier Mike King “Mailman Mike,” was delighted to share their special day with the community. “Our story was one of unconditional love,” Monica said of the newlyweds’ courtship. “On that beautiful day the Ciao Bella Trolley drove Mike and I, with our close friends and family, to the new Love Sculpture at the start of the Warrenton Greenway. I felt so relaxed and full of joy that my smile seemed larger than my head.”

When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that train When love comes to town I’m gonna catch that flame Maybe I was wrong to ever let you down But I did what I did before love came to town!


veryone’s noticed the proliferation of Love sculptures in our area in the past few years — it appears that everyone wants in on celebrating Virginia’s “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan. It’s only to be expected that Warrenton participate! The “Loveworks” project began in 2013 when the state began began soliciting local artwork that incorporates this iconic theme of Virginia and showcases the now 50-yearold slogan. Since then, local communities have commissioned over 150 sculptures representing their unique vision on how “Virginia is for Lovers” applies to them.


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Surrounded by friends, family, and members of the Warrenton community, Monica and Mike enjoyed a ceremony that incorporated their passion for their careers and highlighted their love for each other and the community they have embraced. “We each spoke our own vows and even asked the group to take a big yoga breath, knowing we are all connected in this love” the bride said. “It was not just our wedding, it was an expression of love and gratitude as the town gave back the love we have given to it,” Monica maintained. “Truly we are all capable of limitless love.” BY MONICA FERNANDI


When the Sitting Vice Mayor and Experience Old Town Warrenton’s Design Committee Chair Sunny Reynolds first heard of the Loveworks project and the state initiative soliciting local art projects, she immediately knew Warrenton had to get involved. Just like the U2/B.B. King Blues song, It was time for love to come to town. As part of the National Main Street Program, Experience Old Town Warrenton is tasked with helping find ways to revitalize the historic downtown area both economically and aesthetically. After conferring with other committee members including Annabelle Rigby, Sunny approached the organization's Board of Directors to seek approval for Warrenton's entry for the statewide initiative and begin the long process of finding an artist, selecting an appropriate site, and then obtaining the necessary funding. Armed with the board approval, the Design Committee began searching for the appropriate artist. There are many talented artists in the region, but fortunately for Warrenton, Sunny was already aware of one who would be a perfect fit for job, renowned local sculptor Dorothy Smith. Sunny said,

“I have always appreciated Dorothy’s style. Working with metal is most difficult and can look and have a feel of heaviness. Dorthy's work for me is open and free and gives the perception of open space. She is very versatile. I thought she would be the perfect artist to produce the piece we were looking for and we wanted a local artist.” The committee approached Dorothy as to her interest first, then her design proposals, and finally, her costs. After Sunny discussed her vision and location for the sculpture, Dorothy drew up a rough sketch of what she thought would fit in the space, with fun lines and light, playful colors, and a nod to the prior use of the area as the train depot. After a few suggestions from the committee, mostly regarding the color palette, and some subtle changes, her design was approved. Soliciting the required funding was no small matter, as the cost involved would total $10,000. However, once again the committee had someone in mind. Local businessman, Matt Iten, had long been interested in supporting efforts to revitalize historic Old Town Warrenton as well as enabling artistic expression. Once approached about the project and learning of the design proposal,

Mr. Iten generously agreed to fund the effort. Now the final part of the task would be deciding where to place the work. The most important part of any public works project where visibility and access are paramount is the location. In order to maximize accessibility while also doing the most for Old Town Warrenton, it was important to find the appropriate central public location. Of course, public lands require permission from the town council, as well as aid from county officials in maintaining the site after completion. As everyone knows, this takes time and effort. However, in the case of Warrenton, the perfect spot was readily apparent. Depot Park was the obvious location and was selected as the site because of its central location as well as being representative of the historic importance of the railroad in Warrenton's development. With funding secured and the site selected and approved, it was then time for Dorothy to begin work incorporating the theme of the historic railroad site with Virginia’s slogan for her new sculpture. Given the go-ahead, she began work on what would prove to be her most readily visible public project and one

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Art by Dorothy Smith

“The Bond” owned by Chris Rush



About the Artist A Broad Run resident for forty-something years, Dorothy is for the most part is a self-taught artist who has learned the craft of welding because it is instrumental in her art; while she works in a variety of media, she is best known for her bronze and metal sculptures. Her most frequent muses are horses, and she wrote, “There is something about the strength and grace of a horse and its ability to form such a binding union with mankind, which cannot fail to inspire beauty.” When asked how she would characterize her style she said, “ My sculptures are like line drawings in air. I want my work to have life and a feeling of movement, to go beyond the simple materials that comprise its structure.” She also finds inspiration from studying ancient petroglyphs, aboriginal art, and universal symbols then combining them with modern techniques into new expressions. As far as the Warrenton Love Sculpture, Dorothy’s winning design sought to combine a piece of recognizable and traditional history, the railroad, with the state slogan, while also addressing the evolution of the word to a modern day community. Dorothy said, “When Sunny contacted me about building the sculpture, I was very excited to have a part in putting the word and idea of love in the middle of our town. My favorite part of the project was developing the ideas with Sunny and the Design Committee, and working with Dean. I also loved it when Bo came up with the idea of placing the sculpture on the rails. It was perfect!” Now that it’s done and part of the community, Dorothy said, “I get huge pleasure when I see people interacting with the sculpture, and enjoying it. That’s what art is for.”


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she hoped would appeal to all. Because of its location on the historic Warrenton-Culpeper railway and now current jogging path and park, Dorothy thought that by combining several contrasting elements she could evoke the foundation of the town's inception and also include the evolving nature of the community. The sculpture is rustic yet colorful, traditional yet modern, and romantic yet industrial. To ensure its sound structural design, Dorothy garnered the help of local structural welder Dean Arbogast to make sure the sculpture will be around for generations to come. It is built to last, with welded steel and industrial marine paint. It is also very heavy. Upon the sculpture’s completion, its weight proved problematic when it was time to place it in the park. Since the sculpture is essentially a gift from Experience Old Town Warrenton to the town, it fell under the purview of the Town Public Works and Utilities Department. Bo Tucker and his team provided the brawn and the sculpture was carefully loaded onto a flatbed, transported, and unloaded at Depot Park. It was upon the innovative recommendation of Tucker that the sculpture was placed on an actual section of old railroad track that were left from former rails. The entire process took nearly a year to complete, but went smoothly until the very end when Hurricane Florence delayed the unveiling for a week. All the hard work and effort by all involved came to fruition on September 20, 2018 when the sculpture was publicly given to the town of Warrenton. After the official dedication, the site was immediately used as a fitting location for a more personal dedication. What better way to inaugurate such a timeless piece of art centered on the romance of train travel coupled with the slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” than to have a wedding? Local mailman Mike King and his lovely bride, Monica Anne Fernandi, officially tied the knot. Now that the sculpture has been part of Old Town Warrenton for a year, it has become a destination for residents and tourists alike. Amelia Stansell, Chair of EOTW’s Board of Directors, said, “Personally, I love that when my family visits from out of town, they like to take photos on it. I love that when I am in the park, I see so many other families doing the same thing – then during homecoming and prom season, I see lots of photos on Facebook of teens in formals taken at the sculpture. It has become part of our community and I love that!” ❖


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Kid Pan Alley has cowritten and performed songs with 65,000 children across the United States.

Celebrating 20 years, Kid Pan Alley sees a very bright future The program has taught thousands of kids in Fauquier and across the country the joy of making music BY JOHN MCCASLIN


or founder Paul Reisler, reaching the 20th anniversary of Kid Pan Alley isn’t so much a milestone as it is a window into the future. And if the coming years mirror what’s transpired just in 2019, Kid Pan Alley and the many children it benefits have much to look forward to. Consider that Kid Pan Alley, in addition to its celebrated songwriting residency programs in schools in Fauquier County (one is scheduled this month, another in December) and across the nation, has launched into writing and composing fully staged musicals (read “The Talented


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Clementine”), will release on October 11th its fifth album (“Best Friends”), and has just brought aboard as its new executive director Jen Jacobsen, for the last 14 years Sony Music Entertainment’s vice president for industry and government relations (and a lifelong musician and theatrical performer to boot). “We kind of came to a crossroads, and that crossroads was do we just play this out as long as I can stand up and do it? Or do we think [KPA] is so valuable that it needs to continue past me?” Reisler expands in an interview.

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As it was, Paul and his valuable musicallyinclined partner, Cheryl Toth, along with KPA’s board of directors “and everybody else involved with Kid Pan Alley felt that this was something both quite unique and also incredibly valuable to children. So we decided we wanted to keep it going past what I can do — I’m 70 now,” oberves the KPA founder. “When I'm doing a residency it’s a 60 to 70 hour week, it’s hard work. I have to be totally focused the whole time. “So we’re working now at growing it to a point where it will continue without me. I kind of view that as a five-year ‘crossfade,’ which is why we hired Jen Jacobsen. She’s been on our board for about five years and she’s really committed to Kid Pan Alley. She decided she was tired of the corporate world and wanted to do something that was really meaningful to her. So she started September 1. “Jen has so many ideas about where to take it,” Paul continues, noting that Jacobsen brings with her “energy and big time experience, working for one of the three major music companies in the world. And with that comes all of her connections. Right now she’s getting the lay of the land. She has ideas for different kinds of projects that we can do… to bring kids of different cultures together… to use the songwriting process to promote understanding between cultures.” To a very limited extent, Reisler is already lessening his personal load. “I’ve been doing the work of several people and… I’m now training others and doing less of the residencies myself,” he observes of KPA’s popular children’s group songwriting programs, held in inner city, suburban, and rural schools from the East Coast to Hawaii — “2,700 songs and about 65,000 children, give or take,” he tallies. At the same time, Reisler realizes that while he will slowly step back from the stage “we still have to grow. We realize we have to double in size in order to have [KPA] really continue in a healthy way. One of the things I've been doing is writing musicals using Kid Pan Alley songs, because we feel that could be a source of income in the future… We’ve actually done two KPA musicals, focusing now on ‘The Talented Clementine’ that had a run back in June in the DC area, and will be here [in nearby Rappahannock County] the first two weekends in December. We’ve gotten a lot of interest in that.” It certainly helps that Sally Pennypacker, the award-winning author of the famed Clementine series, happens to a friend of Paul’s, which made this particular book


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Kid Pan Alley founder Paul Reisler inspires children across the country to work together to become creators of their own music.

selection a no brainer for the founder’s first foray into musicals. “Let’s take a property that’s well known that will help bring people in,” was the thinking behind Clementine, Paul explains. “It’s the first musical I wrote, did everything — the script, developed the story. Clementine is appealing… everybody is really enjoying it, including the adults. It’s a charming little musical there.” Reisler has come a long way since being influenced, face-to-face, by Richie Havens at Woodstock 50 years ago. Besides creating and performing his own music, he has for decades taught professional and semiprofessional songwriters at venues from West Virginia to Utah, including the prestigious Rocky Mountain Song School in Lyons, Colorado, the summit of songwriting. Then came 1999, when Sharon Wyrrick, a “dear friend” of Paul’s and his lovely late wife, Julie Portman, applied for a grant with the Virginia Commission for the Arts to convene a first-of-its-kind three week interdisciplinary residency at Rappahannock County Elementary School, barely a mile as the crow flies from Reisler’s Piedmont Virginia home. “Sharon asked me to do the music,” Reisler remembers. “She was a choreographer, and we brought in a visual artist. I wasn’t really interested in teaching kids ‘Comin’ Round the Mountain,’ or anything like that, but I thought it would be interesting to see what it would be like to write songs with kids. “I walked in there for the first day and it just took off!” he exclaims with a smile. “We wrote six songs with six classes the first day. And it went from there. In the three weeks I was there we wrote about sixty songs, and also ended up going over to Hearthstone and Wakefield schools. I feel like I worked



with every elementary-age kid in the county during that time.” Better yet, Kid Pan Alley was successfully born — and in Reisler’s rural backyard, no less, where despite all of its accomplishments it remains today. But “what really put us on the map,” Paul points out, was when singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman, of “This Kiss” fame, introduced the Kid Pan Alley founder to the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, “and within about ten minutes we were doing a project together.” “Kid Pan Alley Nashville” became a Grammy nominated, Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning album, an extraordinary collection of songs co-written with enthused Nashville children — “music without boundaries,” he calls it — and recorded by the likes of Amy Grant, Delbert McClinton, Kim Richey, Suzy Bogguss, Kix Brooks, Raul Malo, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, and other top artists. The latest album to be released in October, “Best Friends,” contains “songs written all over the country, featuring well known children's artists — some of the most beloved children's artists in the country,” reveals Paul. “Most of our other albums have featured well known adult artists. We’ve already released three singles off of it that have already gotten substantial play. It made for a real fun album.” He pauses for a moment to reflect on Kid Pan Alley’s first two decades, how they have inspired and empowered children to work together to become creators of their own music, lyrics to the melodies, rekindling creativity as a core value in education. “As always with Kid Pan Alley songs they’re very deep, and insightful, because the kids have such a unique, innocent way of looking at the world,” he says. Which in these often-troubled times, particularly for children, propels Paul, who is never distant from his guitar, to continue KPA’s mission with unbridled enthusiasm. And beside Paul, of course, is his tremendous troupe of young singers and songwriters from across the country, with countless more untapped children patiently waiting in the wings to have their voices heard. ❖ Photos courtesy of Kid Pan Alley

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. We hope you will take some time this month to educate yourself about the risks, symptoms and various screening tools. BREAST CANCER FACTS In 2019, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.

About 2,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2019. A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer in about 1 in 1,000. (from breastcancer.org)

Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month. While mammograms can help you to detect cancer before you can feel a lump, breast self-exams help you to be familiar with how your breasts look and feel so you can alert your healthcare professional if there are any changes. Visit nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam for more information.

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A Treasure for Musicians and Audiences Alike The Fauquier Community Band BY GARY CARROLL


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Paul met his wife, Lori, when they were both members of the U.S. Air Force Band; he played the trombone and she, the clarinet. They traveled and performed together for the Air Force and married in 1991. They have been making beautiful music together ever since and have passed on their musical talent to a son, now studying music in college, and a younger daughter who is trying to decide whether to join the band. Three high school teens, seeking more of a challenge in their musical development, currently are members of the band. Past President Deborah Ray, who lives in Culpeper, has been with the band many years after playing the bass clarinet in high school and college. She says her employer, who played the tuba, encouraged her to join the band after learning of her talent. Deborah recalled several memorable band events, including a Disney films concert where some children dressed as Disney characters, and a Christmas concert at the Fauquier Community Center where homemade Christmas cookies were offered to guests. A music selection committee develops the themes and suggests selections to be played. Previous performances have been held at Highland Center for the Arts and Harris Pavilion in Manassas and have included movie music, composer themes (such as the music of George Gershwin), and music focused on holiday celebrations. This month, on October 28, for example, the band will perform music from Broadway, including favorites from The King and I and West Side Story, among many others. Further performances will be held at 7 p.m. at Fauquier High School’s auditorium on December 16, March 23, 2020, and June 1, 2020. Find further information at FauquierCommunityBand.com ❖





riddle for you—what is composed of some former members of the U.S. Air Force Band, senior citizens, school kids, retirees, and talented local musicians with diverse backgrounds, and regularly provides fun, lively, exciting, patriotic, and entertaining music to Fauquier residents for free? The answer, of course, is the Fauquier Community Band. If you were lucky enough to have attended Warrenton’s Town Limits festival in June, you have enjoyed hearing them playing spirited patriotic music as fireworks exploded overhead. At the children’s Independence Day parade in downtown Warrenton, band members also entertained and displayed their talents as they accompanied the marchers stepping in time down Main Street. The Band and its community predecessors have been entertaining locals on and off since it was organized by Barbara Taylor in the late 1980s. Over time, the band has fluctuated in size and instrument composition and now has some 65 members. Demonstrating band members flexibility and commitment, Secretary Sandy Ludes, a violinist, volunteered recently to become a percussionist when one was needed, learning to play the cymbals at the home of the band’s current conductor, Paul Hicks. As with all the other Band members, conductor Paul Hicks is also a volunteer. According to Paul, previously a trombone player in the band, he stepped into the vacuum as conductor when his predecessor had to leave. But being a band conductor is nothing new for him; he teaches band and is the band conductor at Marshall Middle School. He clearly loves teaching and performing music and refers to Fauquier Community Band as “an incredible group of talented people” who just love “having fun and playing music.”

Join the Band! Warning: If you play an instrument, or have ever played an instrument, do not mention it to a current band member unless you want to be urged to join the band. On the other hand, if you love music and do want to be a part of the band, don’t worry about the stress of an audition, as auditions are not required. Whatever your skill level, you can have fun and make a contribution to the band. Rehearsals are held at Fauquier High School’s band room on Monday evenings from 7 - 8:30 p.m. All you need to do is show up with your instrument and prepare to have fun with some of the nicest folks in the area.

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o n e t r a v e l e r, many paths: Thomas MacQueeney’s Reflections On Nature, Teaching, and Poetry BY NATHAN RAY


obert Frost’s farmhouse in New Hampshire contains conspicuous traces of the legendary poet’s writing. Gentle views of distant mountains from the porch, stone walls that meander around the property, and a path that splits in the nearby woods all indicate the lingering presence of the poet’s elegant expressions. Echoes of Frost’s work may also be found in Warrenton in the form of Thomas MacQueeney, an educator and poet at St. John the Evangelist School. We spoke with MacQueeney, who points to Frost as his greatest influence, emulating the artist’s writing with pieces that meditate on the underappreciated miracles of the natural world.

WL: Aside from teaching, you coached and refereed soccer for many years, and you are still involved with the middle school soccer club at St. John’s. What drew you to working with adolescents?

Thomas MacQueeney: I feel like a sea turtle, a creature that always returns

home to the beach on which it was born. I had spent 35 years in public school and was ready for something different. I heard about an opening for a middle school teaching position at Saint John the Evangelist School in Warrenton and decided to apply. It was a good decision; Virginia is a beautiful state. There’s nowhere else as lush and verdant as it is here in the spring and summer. I love working in Warrenton and living in this area, where we’re so close to the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park. I’m always in the national park, whether it’s to hike, kayak, or mountain bike.

{ OCTOBER 2019 |

Virginia, I left you years ago – reluctantly As lovers must do sometimes I blew around like pollen upon the wind But as the hummingbirds do I migrated back to you You embraced me smiling and laughing As when old friends reunite after years apart I missed so much about you: The big, round, granite boulder atop Old Rag, Did it move an inch? Hay bales lying idle in the golden fields, The sweet scent of honeysuckle, Lithe horses grazing in the lush pastures, Pink azaleas screaming out spring, And such green like nowhere else I’ve ever seen, Yellow fields of buttercups so bright Van Gogh would weep, The quiet beauty of the morning mist upon the pond, So much, so much … They say you can’t go home again, but you can. I am —Thomas MacQueeney

Warrenton Lifestyle: You grew up in Virginia, but left to receive your master’s degree at the University of Oklahoma. After teaching in the public-school system in the Midwest for many years, you made your way back to Virginia. What inspired this migration?


home again



TM: How you treat people is what matters most in life, and that is a lesson I want to impart on younger generations. Teachers have a big influence on their students, one that goes beyond the classroom; it’s important for educators to be aware that students are listening and impressionable. They’re also funny; they crack me up each class. I try to reflect that joy, to project light in and out of my classroom. As a referee, I always talk to the kids on the field and explain why I did or didn’t make a call, trying to show them respect as players as well as instruct them on how to improve their performance. WL: Having worked for so many years as an English teacher, what is the importance of getting kids to read and write? TM: Reading develops cultural awareness, which is an ability to discuss current news and global issues competently and thoughtfully. It broadens your horizons by expanding and elevating your vocabulary. At the very least, being an avid reader makes you more interesting to talk to. With the accessibility of information on the Internet, I think kids these days are, in many ways, the most intelligent generation yet. The issue is that they struggle to get through classic literature. But books are still going strong. Harry Potter, Eragon, and The Hunger

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the birth of a poem

turkey vultures

Games; these modern stories have as much value as the classics, because they are all matchups of good and evil. There is no such thing as a bad book. If kids are reading, it’s a good thing.

(from latin vulturus – “tearers”) Up close they are hideous Their heads and even their posture - ugly They cannot sing like the songbirds They grunt unpleasant sounds They eat putrid, dead things There are so many of them We take them for granted They do not inspire awe Like their cousins, the raptors Yet when aloft, they too are majestic Soaring in circles endlessly Without flapping their wings They’ve mastered the art of flying Better than most birds At such great heights They are not ugly They are timeless As they circle around and around Watching and waiting patiently

WL: Where do you find inspiration for your poems? TM: I draw inspiration from

nature, but all of my poems are allegorical. If I’m writing about nature or animals, it’s also about humans. The poet tries to get people to see or feel the emotional impact of what they are seeing. Take the turkey vulture, for example, which most people consider to be very ugly…and they are. But the turkey vulture can fly, and that’s amazing. I try to tie that idea in with humans; some of us do not conform to the expectations of attractiveness set forth by the media. But every person is a creation of God and has good in them, an awesomeness which should be recognized and appreciated.

Some things are more beautiful at a distance Some truths are better left unspoken —Thomas MacQueeney

Out of the imperfect gray egg Of subconscious thought Comes a pecking There emerges an Orc-like fledgling Covered in slime Weak, fragile, featherless Eyes closed; mouth open Uttering faint little cries Unheard Wisps of down emerge It molts It morphs Brighter feathers appear Wings grow stronger All the fears disappear Now comes the bold leap from the nest The songbird takes flight and thrives Or crashes to the forest floor and dies Unseen and unheard Resplendent in colorful plumage Fading —Thomas MacQueeney

WL: What role do you think art plays in dealing with emotions, especially painful ones? TM: Art expresses the frustrations of the world, which can be beautiful or not. Everyone deals with pain and stress, and poetry is a good way to let that out. If you can let pain out through something creative, you are helping others and the world. Take the music of rap and hip-hop, for example, which are just poetry to a beat. They serve as an outlet for artists and listeners to channel their frustrations with unemployment, poverty, depression, loneliness, and racism. Art can help to communicate these themes in a positive way rather than with violence.

WL: You have written that, in your experience going to some of the world’s most prestigious art museums, you felt they were ‘Guarded with seemingly haughty disdain.” However, your work is refreshingly accessible. How is this achieved, and who is your intended audience?

WL: What advice do you have for aspiring poets and other artists?

TM: I taught Advanced Placement Literature, so I’m familiar with many poets. I’m with you. If you didn’t have my college professor explaining the work of classic writers to you, the language can be too obscure and difficult…it’s a different generation and style of writing. If a teacher assigns a student a reading with unfamiliar language, then that student is not going to get much out of it. My poems are mostly for middle and high school audiences, designed to not be esoteric or over their heads.

TM: Writers need writers. Feedback on anything you create is invaluable. There is no such thing as the perfect work of literature, so you need to be able to take criticism. For anyone who wants to create art: be present in the moment. Focusing on how you feel in the now can lead to an unexpected reflection into something meaningful and profound about the human experience. It’s a big world. Get off the cell phone, step away from the video games, and go do something amazing…go live. ❖


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



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Highlighting the people, places, and businesses in BEALETON • REMINGTON • MIDLAND • OPAL • GOLDVEIN & points between

A Local Business with International Outreach


erhaps without even being aware, you probably have been protected by traffic barriers and sound minimization walls along I-66 built by Fauquier-based manufacturing company Smith-Midland Corporation. You may also have used prefabricated restroom facilities at nearby parks or visited schools or other public buildings constructed in part with walls and other architectural products built by the same company, which has its headquarters along Catlett Road near Midland. Chatting with Smith-Midland’s Chairman of the Board Rodney Smith at the company headquarters, I was impressed by the fact that this is a company


{ OCTOBER 2019 |

born of a local farmer’s need to control his cattle that has grown into a major successful enterprise — still family-run, community-focused, and concerned about its employees. Despite only a high school education at former Bealton High School, Rodney has excelled because of his own ingenuity, determination and hard work. When I asked Rodney why he has been so successful, he said simply, “I dream up something and make it happen.” Smith-Midland and its predecessor, Smith Cattleguard Company, have been making these dreams come true by building and selling prefabricated products for almost 60 years, during which




it has earned a national and international reputation for innovation and high quality products. Its history clearly verifies the company motto — “Attention to Detail is the religion of success.” It all started simply enough when David Smith, a local farmer and father of current owner Rodney Smith, decided he was tired of repeatedly opening and closing gates surrounding cattle pastures to keep his cows from escaping. The solution was installing into the ground at the gate’s opening a simple but cleverly designed frame with round bars on top that cattle hooves could not cross but that could withstand the heavy weight


Smith-Midland Corporation

Smith-Midland’s Chairman of the Board Rodney Smith (center) and his sons (from left to right) Jeremy, Easi-Set Building Products Manager; Matthew, Vice President of Sales and Marketing; Roderick, General Manager, Smith Carolina; and Ashely, CEO and President.


LEFT: Smith-Midland’s Chairman of the Board Rodney Smith posing in front of their concrete barrier products at their Midland plant; wearing his FFA jacket in high school (below); showing off one of his products in early 60s (bottom).

{ OCTOBER 2019 |




of farm machinery and vehicles. With very little advertising—the older Smith thought advertising was like bragging—Mr. Smith sold 12 cattle guards to local farmers in 1960, and 60 the following year. As young Rodney Smith became more involved in Smith Cattleguard, his ingenuity and talent for marketing served as a catalyst for the company’s expansion. In 1966 the company designed and started marketing cattle feed droughts and in 1968 the company produced its first brochure, designed by Rodney himself. Two years later the company’s expansion prompted a move to its current 20-acre location on Catlett Road, and in 1971 Rodney took over leadership of the company. One of his first major contracts he negotiated after becoming chairman of the board involved creating road barriers for Washington, D.C.’s new Whitehurst Freeway, then under construction. The company proudly displays a wall chronology of its successes and expansion over the years in the large company break room at its Midland headquarters: • 1975 Development of a precast home • 1977 Commonwealth of Virginia accepted Smith’s newly designed traffic safety barriers • 1979 Expanded by opening new office in Reidsville, North Carolina • 1980 Rodney Smith named small

business person of the year in Virginia 1982 Construction of Liberty Bank using pre-cast walls • 1985 Transformed from Smith Cattleguard to Smith-Midland Corp. • 1993 Provided JJ hook barriers for Presidential inauguration in D. C. • 1993 ACI award for excellence for Smith-Midland’s role in construction of Reston Town Center • 2000 Provided Slenderwall panels for 42nd Street renovation in Manhattan • 2002 Blue Ridge restrooms for parks • 2003 Provided retaining walls for Pentagon repairs/construction • 2010 Received award for I-66 roadway panels. When this chronology is Ωupdated, it will need to include establishing a new office in Columbia, S.C. and licensing of Smith-Midland products in a number of foreign countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Canada, and Chile. Rodney says he has traveled to some 60 foreign countries for business or pleasure, or both. Smith-Midland has also been a major contributor to the community, and Mr. Smith sits on the Board of Visitors for Bridgewater College. •

RIGHT: Rodney received the honor of Small Business Person of the Year for Virginia in 1980. Source: Fauquier Times. BELOW: Rodney inspecting Beach Prisms, a Smith-Midland product developed as a costeffective solution for shoreline erosion prevention.


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



The list of local community organizations supported by the company includes Midland Christian Academy, Wakefield Country Day School, Fauquier Community Theatre, Boys and Girls Club of Fauquier, the Fauquier County Fair, Habitat for Humanity, and Fauquier County Public Schools. It also currently employs some 150 workers living in the area. Smith-Midland became a publicly traded company in 1995 and currently is valued at almost $60 million. The family is still very involved with the company — in addition to Rodney as Chairman of the Board the team also includes his four sons: Ashely as CEO and President, Matthew as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Jeremy as Easi-Set Building Products Manager, and Roderick as General Manager Smith Carolina (the North Carolina office). For more information on the company, its products, and job opportunities, you may access its comprehensive website, www.Smith-Midland.com. ❖



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With Clean Water Comes Health

Warrenton chapter of Friends of Fort Liberté raises funds for wells in Haiti They moved on to assist with transitioning the orphanage system to a foster care network for children in need, and developed a sponsorship system by which supporters could sponsor the education of a Hatian child through the university level.

Well Water

Tamee Sutherland, Angela Smoot, Pastor Dasnis Pierre, and Kaity Grimley at a newly installed well from the 2018 FFL Well Fundraiser donated by The Whitney Family of Warrenton.



he need for clean water has always been paramount in Haiti. In many areas, the only source of water is contaminated river water, which brings pollution and disease. A group of members from the Warrenton Baptist Church, including Angela Smoot and Tamee Sutherland, has made it their mission to help. They raise money to build wells in and around the Fort Liberté area of Haiti, in conjunction with the nonprofit organization Friends of Fort Liberté (FFL). The origin of this mission had its genesis in the early 1970s. A Pastor from West Virginia formed a relationship with a pastor from a Haitian church, the Jerusalem Baptist Church in Fort Liberté, now headed by Pastor Dasnis Pierre, to offer assistance in constructing a new church. This developed into the FFL organization which quickly spread beyond the environs of West Virginia as churches throughout the country became involved, taking on FFL’s mission “To honor God through our partnership with the Jerusalem Baptist Church of Fort Liberté by helping feed, heal, house, and educate His children in Haiti.” While FFL’s initial mission was the church building, it then evolved into general humanitarian aid: education, food, housing, and medical needs of the residents of Fort Liberté.


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



The Warrenton Baptist Church group has been involved with FFL for about 25 years, thanks to all the dedicated mission trip leaders, working along with the organization to provide basic humanitarian aid. Then, a few years ago on her first mission trip, led by Kaity Grimley and Kim Raines, Angela asked Pastor Dasnis Pierre what else was needed in Fort Liberté. Clean water, he immediately said. Due to government restrictions, there were limited wells, and some of them were broken. Members of his church, which includes about 4,000 people, many of them living in poverty, had to walk miles to find clean water, and many just drank from and bathed in the unclean rivers. So was born the Warrenton Chapter’s new mission. They would work to raise money to build wells in Haiti for Pastor Dasnis Pierre’s church and the whole community of Fort Liberté. Angela and Tamee dove headfirst in to fundraising and sourcing donations. Their annual fundraiser is held at Barrel Oak Winery in March, where last year they began with the goal of raising funds for two wells, each costing $2,500 to install. The fundraiser was a huge success and raised enough for seven wells. This year at the March fundraiser -- one of the biggest fundraisers Barrel Oak has seen -- the funds for nine wells were raised. Recently, a private donation was received which will enable 10 wells to be built this year. Angela and Tamee handle the lion’s share of the fundraising, assisted by Tamee’s husband, Steve Sutherland of SiteWhirks, who built and maintains the websites for the well fundraising event and helps with sourcing donations. Each works many hours a week on FFL and well-related things starting in January for the March fundraiser, most of that time sending emails, making phone calls, and trying to make contacts and solicit donations. And they are overwhelmed with the response from the community. “We couldn’t have raised this much without so many people in the community donating,” they said. Barrel Oak, who hosted the fundraiser, donated a portion of the night’s proceeds. The merchants on Main Street were just wonderful, Tamee said, donating many items for the silent auction. Old Town Athletic Club held a spin class fundraiser which raised $800, and Warrenton Middle School raised almost $1000 through holding a Lollipop Pull and Penny War. The list goes on and on, from donations from Warrenton Baptist Church Vacation Bible School to big corporations like Disney, the Washington Redskins, and the Baltimore Ravens donating tickets and memorabilia for the silent auction. “We are truly blessed,” Angela and Tamee agree. The wells are received by the residents with enthusiasm, joy, and gratitude. At a depth of 100 feet, not only do the wells provide enough clean water for drinking and bathing, they also provide water for agriculture.

Beyond the Wells

The Warrenton Chapter of FFL goes above and beyond raising funds for wells. Each year, the week of Thanksgiving, a group of

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1. Trish Putnam talks with Mom of a 2-year old child with hydrocephalus at the Eben-Ezer Clinic in Fort Liberte. Child is now in the sponsorship program to help with their needs. 2. 2018 Warrenton Baptist Church Medical Team works with the Haitian Medical Team on Hypertension-Diabetes Clinic day. 3. 2018 Warrenton Baptist Church Thanksgiving Mission Team with Pastor Dasnis Pierre. 4. Angela Smoot and Tamee Sutherland try out one of seven newly installed wells funded through the 2018 “Pop A Cork, Pour A Pint, Drill A Well” fundraiser. 5. The team visiting one of seven wells from the 2018 FFL Well Fundraiser as it is being installed. The children living on the outskirts of Fort Liberte watch with excitement as a newly installed well will allow them access to clean water. 6. The team visiting one of the seven wells from the 2018 FFL Well Fundraiser as it is being accessed by the community of Fort Liberte for clean water.

about 20 local residents travel to Fort Liberté on a humanitarian aid mission. Recently, they have visited the wells they have funded, and then get to work doing anything and everything that is needed, from assisting with education to repairing roofs to helping with planting or harvesting on the church's farm...really, anything that needs to be done, they do. This year, due to government unrest, food shortages are an issue, so they will be conducting a food distribution in November for which they are now fundraising. The group consists of both adults and teens, and many make it a point to go every year. Angela and Tamee consider it life changing for their teenagers. Angela said, “I went to Fort Liberté for the first time three years ago with my husband. Last year, we brought our two teenage sons. It’s such a good experience for them because we want them to serve others, and it was just wonderful. Tamee’s teenage daughter has been going on the trips for the last two years.” Both Angela and Tamee were quick to point out that you do not need to be a member of their church to go on the missions; everyone is welcome. “It’s really an eye-opening, humbling experience, to meet the residents of Fort Liberté. It made me cry. They literally, through our American eyes, have nothing, but they are such joyful, giving people who value what they do have and their families,” explained Angela. “The poverty there is incredible, but there’s also joy, and they also have a lot of pride. Last year, on the road back from the farm we saw a very poor family whose children were playing barefoot


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



in the dirt yard with a kite made of sticks, a garbage bag, and some string. They were running and laughing, making real joy out of literal scraps. Here in America, we have so much, but we sometimes miss out on the true meaning of life and family.” She continued, “There, it’s just the opposite of what it’s like here on Black Friday. After my son’s first trip to Haiti, he couldn’t think of a single thing he wanted for Christmas. ‘I have so much, Mom,’ he told me. I find it actually depressing to come home, especially during the season of excess that December always turns out to be." When in Haiti, the group makes a point to go and see each and every well that they have funded. It’s a way of seeing in person the way your efforts are benefiting others. Tamee said, “When I donate to a cause, I really want to make sure my money is going directly to something good.” Staffed entirely by volunteers, one hundred percent of funds raised by this group go directly to the wells and other efforts and needs in and around Fort Liberté. ❖

Want to help? • • • • • • •

Attend the fundraiser at Barrel Oak Winery, held every March Donate a silent auction item Donate to FFL at haitifriends.com Donate toward wells at haitiwellwater.com Donate towards food needs at letsfeedhaiti.com Join the mission trip as a volunteer Email kraines@warrentonbaptistchurch.org for more information

L E AV E S are falling, AU T U M N is calling A FRUITFUL FA L L : P I C K YO U R O W N FA R M S





Get into the spirit of autumn... Spend an afternoon at a cidery BY MARK LUNA


TOP: Winchester Ciderworks’ partners Stephen Schuurman and Diane Kearns. CENTER, LEFT: Patty and Katie man the tasting room at Lost Boy Cider in Alexandria.


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



his October, as was last October, is Virginia Wine Month. I hope you enjoyed many of Virginia’s great wines this past year! For this year’s fall feature, however, the spotlight turns to another great Virginia libation, perfect for the autumnal season…hard cider. By traditional definition, hard cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Whereas apple cider and apple juice are essentially the same thing, separated only by filtration and pasteurization processes, hard cider is its own unique drink. An ancient beverage, hard cider has no discernible origins, which essentially holds true for apples as well. But, it’s been around seemingly forever and is produced all over the world. It’s wildly popular in Europe; in fact, the UK has the highest consumption rate in the world, plus many top producing hard cider companies are located there. Styles and flavors of hard cider can vary greatly, as well as the regulations imposed upon its production, depending on where and how it’s produced. For example, Canadian regulations state that cider can’t be called cider unless apples are used. Being that one can ferment juice from an array of fruits – pears for example – this is an important distinction. Also, alcohol levels and apple juice percentages help to define various styles, from dry and traditional to fruity and modern; and additional contents such as sugar or extra fruit juice can also come into play, giving hard cider that much more variance.

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A Letter from Dawn

As fall approaches and the holiday festivities get underway, we want to thank all of our clients, past – present – future, for a fantastic 2019. You are the heart and soul of what we do. We love helping you through your home buying and selling journey. This is our passion! To all future home buyers and sellers, we are excited to hear from you. Let the journey begin – Give us a call.


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TOP, LEFT: Cider so good, even four-legged guests like it! BOTTOM: Mt. Defiance partner and cider maker, Marc Chretien, far right.

Closer to home… Virginia ranks 6th in the nation in apple production (by acreage) and has quietly become a haven for hard cider lovers, with more than twenty cideries peppered throughout the state. Ciders, in general, have a textural history in the Commonwealth, prominent


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



in Colonial times and in the 19th century. In more recent times, Virginia became the first state in the country to have “Cider Week,” as declared in 2012 by then Governor McDonnell. This year’s week of festivities will be November 15 – 24th, leading up to Thanksgiving, as is tradition. Around the greater NoVA region, there are several wonderful cideries to visit, and spending a weekend afternoon at one of the many is a fantastic way to get connected with the fall season. In Middleburg, the heart of horse country, there’s a beautiful cidery called Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery. Housed in a stunning barn - their Cidery Barn – Mt. Defiance partners Marc Chretien (cider maker) and Peter Ahlf (distiller) have created the perfect backdrop to enjoy their handcrafted, small batch ciders. There’s a separate distillery in downtown Middleburg that also functions as a tasting room for both their ciders and spirits. Back at the cidery, which sits atop a hill on the eastern edge of town, Mt. Defiance offers both classic and craft ciders, ranging from traditional farmhouse blends to single varieties. In addition to some tasty fruit-infused ciders, such as blueberry and ginger, they produce an English ale yeast influenced cider called Old Volstead’s, similar in both taste and finish reminiscent of, you guessed it, an English ale. Their featured cider is called General's Reserve Hard Cider, aged in an oak bourbon barrel. It’s strong, dark and complemented with whiskey notes plus hints of vanilla and caramel, and was named in honor of General John Allen, Commanding General of all forces in Afghanistan from 20112013, for whom Chretien served as political advisor while there. Head west on Highway 50 for about 35 miles and you wind up in Winchester. Just northwest of

town is Winchester Ciderworks. Stephen Schuurman, a British winemaker turned cider master, and Diane Kearns, a fifth generation orchardist of German/ English descent, partnered up less than a decade ago and created this jewel of a place. As they’ll tell you, “marrying old world tradition and new world knowhow” is what makes Winchester Ciderworks unique. Offering four different signature ciders and five barrelaged creations, there are plenty of great options to enjoy. Their flagship cider, Malice, is a ‘proper English cider,’ a slowly fermented and lightly effervescent blend of five apple varieties. The barrelaged ciders are called Wicked Wiles and are aged for more than nine months in oak barrels that were once used for the aging of different spirits, including bourbon, rye, brandy and rum… all of them are uniquely their own experience to be enjoyed. As is cider house tradition, WC also offers a reserve series of ciders called Thwaite's Reserve. Named after James Thwaite, who settled the family farm in 1880 and planted the first five hundred York Imperial and Baldwin apple trees, these ciders are slowly, naturally fermented using the yeasts abundant within the apples, and bottled with no filtration nor carbonation, as in the times of Thwaite himself. Mt. Defiance and Winchester Ciderworks are just two of the many great cideries in NoVA. Other notable stops include Cobbler Mountain (Delaplane), Wild Hare (Leesburg), Hinson Ford Cider & Mead (Amissville) and Lost Boy Cider (Alexandria). This fall get to know your ciders and visit a local cidery…it’s another great way to experience all that is wonderful about Virginia. Until next time, Happy Cider’ing and Vino’ing! ❖


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A Fruitful Fall It’s “Pick Your Own” Season for Apples and Pumpkins!

benefits of the harvest without having to get up with the chickens? Several local farms and orchards including Stribling Orchard, Yankey Farms, and Valley View Farm are open to the public for picking apples, pears, pumpkins, and the like. There is live entertainment provided at several, including every weekend at Stribling Orchard, but the intent is “for the families to unwind, unplug, and make memories.” All three farms are family-owned and represent the effort involved in maintaining family-run farms in an era of commercialized farming. In order to keep the farms solvent and within the family, they turned to “pick your own” farming after World War II. Pick your own farms charge flat rates per pound, depending on the produce. Now everyone in the Piedmont can experience life on the farm in their own laid back way.



abor Day has come and gone and it’s now time to turn our attention to the changing seasons, upcoming holidays and the perfect weather for being outdoors. Fall in Virginia is a great time to be outside with cooling temperatures, few insects, changing foliage, and ample sunshine. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that the best time to visit our state is between September 3 and October 28, which also means that’s the best time for us locals to take advantage of living here. What better way to enjoy our area than to play the part of the farmer and reap the


{ OCTOBER 2019 |




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The three farms are also varied enough that it would be a great fall if you could visit all three. The eighteenth-century Stribling Farm is a beautiful setting to pick apples then picnic, gaze at the Blue Ridge, check out the farm animals, listen to music, and stock up on bakery items, honey, and cider! At Yankey Farms, the Great Pumpkin Patch is available for self picking from the end of September to the end of October. There is also a corn maze scavenger hunt, cow train ride, hay piles, pedal tractors, and other activities for kids as well as thousands of pumpkins. You can also stock up on fresh corn and local sustainably-raised beef. Customer satisfaction is their goal and they believe they are “one of the most affordable fall events in Northern Virginia.” Valley View Farm has been under the stewardship of the Strother family for five generations now and has become a onestop weekend getaway. Not only do you have a great selection of apples, pears, and pumpkins to pick from this fall, but the family has recently partnered with Philip


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



11587 Poverty Hollow Lane Markham (540) 364-3040 striblingorchardstore.com info@striblingorchard.com Pick your own apples and pumpkins Through November Tuesday – Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays after Columbus Day VA L L E Y



1550 Leeds Manor Road Delaplane (540) 592-1021 valleyviewva.com info@valleyviewva.com Pick your own apples, pears, and pumpkins September and October Fridays and Sundays 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. YA N K E Y


14039 Owls Nest Road Nokesville (703) 618-3782 Yankeyfarms.com sonjanjay@verizon.net Pick your own pumpkins September 26 through November 1 Sunday - Friday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.


Carter Winery to open a tasting room for wine and hard cider. In addition, there is also The Orchard Branch Collection of furniture and art handcrafted by local artisans. “We are thrilled to provide a complete destination experience for customers who appreciate locally produced edible products who we refer to as Locavores.” Like Stribling Orchard, the farm was first laid out in the eighteenth century and has a connection to none other than George Washington. The site also hosts weddings, corporate events, church outings, and other celebrations. There is even a retreat house capable of sleeping 14 guests. This fall is the time to get out of the house, away from the traffic and enjoy some quality time with family and friends before old man winter forces you indoors. Keep the doctor away by picking apples, and if you have the faith of Linus you may even find the Great Pumpkin. ❖ Photos courtesy of Stribling Orchard



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DIRECTIONS: Puréed Pumpkin 1. Preheat oven to 350°F 2. Slice your pumpkin in half and remove the stem, seeds, and stringy portions, scraping the inside until clean, leaving the skin on. 3. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on a baking sheet. 4. Roast until the inside of the pumpkin flesh is soft and the skin can be pierced with a fork, about 4045 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. 5. Scoop out the softened flesh and purée in a food processor until smooth.

Classic Pumpkin Pie — from real pumpkins RECIPE AND PHOTO BY NATALIE ORTIZ


ith the approach of harvest season for apples and pumpkins, it’s time to start thinking towards the holidays. Pumpkin pie is easy, right? Using those cans of pumpkin pie filling from the grocery store, you can whip it up in a snap, especially if you’re using store-bought pie crust. But maybe treat your family to something more authentic this holiday season. It’s really not hard to make pumpkin pie from actual pumpkins — it’s a simple matter of roasting them in the oven until the flesh is soft, and then puréeing it in a food processor. Using fresh pumpkin puree gives the pie a creamier mouth feel and a thicker, better texture, well worth the effort! Sugar pumpkins are the best pumpkins to use for roasting and pies. They are usually smaller than your regular jack-o-lantern variety, are less stringy, and have a firm, sweet-savory flesh that makes a smooth purée once roasted, making them ideal for soups or — in this instance — pies. A good rule of thumb is that one 3-4 pound roasted sugar pumpkin yields approximately 3-4 cups of pumpkin purée. They’ll be at your local farmers market soon!


{ OCTOBER 2019 |


INGREDIENTS For the crust: 12 tbsp. unsalted butter 3 cups all-purpose flour 1½ tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. kosher salt cup very cold vegetable shortening, such as Crisco ¼ cup ice water ¼ cup vodka, chilled For the pumpkin custard filling: 1 sugar pumpkin, ~3-4 lbs. ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour ½ tsp. sea salt 1½ tsp. ground ginger 1½ tsp. ground cinnamon ¾ tsp. nutmeg ¼ tsp. ground cloves 3 large eggs, beaten 1¼ cups evaporated milk


Pie Crust 1. Cut the butter & shortening into cubes (sized about ½ TBSP) and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, place the flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor using the blade insert and pulse a few times to mix. 3. Add the butter and shortening to the processor, and pulse until the butter is the size of small pebbles. Continue pulsing while simultaneously pouring the ice water and vodka down the feed tube until the dough begins to form a ball. 4. On a floured board, divide into two equal portions and roll into balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Note: You will only be using one ball of dough for this pie, so you can reserve the other for another use. Pie Filling 1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, flour, salt, and spices. 2. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, 2 cups of the pumpkin purée, and evaporated milk. Whisk into the dry ingredients. For best flavor, cover and refrigerate the filling overnight before baking. Assembling the pie 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. 2. Roll one dough ball out on a well-floured board into a circle. Be sure to roll the dough about 1” larger than the pie pan. 3. Fold the dough into quarters and gently transfer it into the pie pan, being careful not to stretch it. Unfold the crust to fit the pan. Cut the dough 1 inch larger around than the pan. Fold the edge under and crimp the edge with either your fingers or the tines of a fork. 4. When the oven is hot, place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The filling should be set 2" in from the edge, but the center will be wobbly. Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a rack; the center will finish cooking through as the pie rests. Overcooking will result in cracked custard filling. ❖

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{ OCTOBER 2019 |




local expert THE EXPERT:

Laura Sears

Once you’ve picked your own apples, make Apple Crumb Muffins! RECIPE AND PHOTO BY LAURA SEARS


veryone loves apple pie, but when you come home from a morning of apple picking with the kids, you’ll be happy you’re making muffins instead. (No homemade pie crust required!) This recipe for Apple Crumb muffins is one of my favorites. It’s my “company is coming over and these will wow them” muffin, my “last minute playdate and I need muffins” muffin, and my “eek, the freezer is low on muffins so better make a bunch!” muffin. I think the crumb topping is what really sends them over the top and hope your family enjoys them as much as ours does.

INGREDIENTS: 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar 1/2 cup chopped pecans 1 tsp. baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt 1 egg 1 cup whole milk buttermilk 1/2 cup butter, melted 1 tsp. vanilla 2 cup diced and peeled apples from about 2 apples


Easy, familyfriendly meals

Haymarket resident Laura Sears has been blogging at LB’s Good Spoon since 2008. There she dishes up her love of food, family, and more. Pay her a visit at blog. lbsgoodspoon.com

For the Crumb Topping 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup chopped pecans cup flour 1 tsp. cinnamon 2 T. melted butter

DIRECTIONS: 1. Preheat your oven to 375. Coat your muffin tin with baking spray or butter. If you’re using multiple racks, trying cooking on convection. 2. Mix the dry ingredients, flour through salt in one bowl and, in a separate bowl, mix the egg through vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients then add the apples. Stir until just combined and then, using a little muffin scoop or tablespoon, divide into greased muffin tins. 3. Next, make the crumb topping. Mix the brown sugar through butter and spoon onto muffins evenly. 4. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until center comes out clean when tested with a toothpick. If you’re making larger muffins they will bake closer to 25 minutes.


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



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local expert





An artist, writer, teacher, and tutor, as well as the owner of Yellow Brick Road Studio and Enrichment Workshops, Molina was voted Lifestyle’s 2018 Best Local Artist. She holds a BA in Art History from Ithaca College and an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University. She resides in Gainesville with her husband, two children, and two cats. Visit her online at KerryMolina.com

DIY creative costumes H


alloween is but another chance to whip out your creativity and what a great opportunity to come up with something unique. Don’t spend a ton of money on a store-bought costume. Instead, start with items you already own and/or things that are easy to get your hands on locally at Dollar Tree, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, or Goodwill. Here are a few ideas. Try one of these creative, fun and cost-effective get-ups, or let them inspire one of your own!





There are lots of costumes you can build around an umbrella. Think about attaching items to the umbrella with fishing wire. How about little plastic cats and dogs and go as “Raining Cats and Dogs,” or photos of attractive male movie stars to go as “It’s Raining Men!” This Mary Poppins costume was built around the umbrella, too. You just need a black skirt, white shirt, red ribbon, hat and artificial flowers.

A chef and his spaghetti, the perfect couple. Wear red sweats. Purchase a mop. Trim off the ends and glue on bunches along with brown pom-pom “meatballs.” Put the rest of the mop on your head for hair and finalize the look with a colander as a hat. This costume is perfect for kids, too.

With a white apron, anyone can become a chef. Add a paper chef’s hat and a mustache and your husband is Chef Boyardee in no time. A wooden spoon, whisk and a menu in the apron pocket add a few nice finishing touches.

No one wants to spend a ton of money on costumes for toddlers. After all, they only wear them once. Dress your little one as a “Crazy Cat Lady” This even uses little stuffed animals (cats in this case) that your child probably already has. Put her hair in rollers, add some fuzzy slippers and you have a funny outfit. This could obviously work for adults as well. A guy in this get-up would be hilarious!





I hope I’ve gotten your creative juices flowing. Here are a few other items around which you could build costumes: bandanas (cowboys, Rosie the Riveter), wings (butterfly, fairy, tooth fairy, social butterfly—complete with social media icons). Even a sash and a tiara could turn you into Miss Informed, Miss Behaved, Miss Understood…you get the idea. Have fun with creating your own costumes and have a safe and happy Halloween!


{ OCTOBER 2019 |









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{ OCTOBER 2019 |


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Escape from it all, just down the road... Pristine landscapes, fine dining, award-winning wines, great hiking, all close to home — but a world away. Exhale in the villages at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Little Washington, Sperryville, Flint Hill and points between are just an hour (or less!) from your daily hustle. See what Rappahannock has to offer here and online at rappahannock.com. Fi n e A r t • Fi n e C r a f t S t u d i o Fu r n i t u r e

Invites you to the 15th Annual Fall Art Tour!

Thursday - Monday • 11am - 5pm

Sperryville, Virginia • 540.773.2700 • www.cottagecurator.com


More than 40 Studios & Galleries FREE ADMISSION

November 2-3, 5pm November 2-3,10am 10amto - 5pm

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Relax and Rejuvenate Visit our 1760s Southern Georgian-style mansion on 83 acres with breathtaking mountain and pastoral views. Enjoy relaxing, comfortable, understated elegance. Book your stay at GreenfieldInnVA.com or call 540.675.1114.

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Japanese Maples, Ginkgoes & Dwarf Conifers Open House Weekends:

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Magnolia Vineyards & Winery is located in Amissville, VA, just off scenic Route 211 in Rappahannock County. Owned by Glenn & Tina Marchione, we are a family-run boutique winery & vineyard, making small lots of mostly Bordeaux varietals. Quiet country peace, tranquility & great mountain views. Come spend an afternoon with us & enjoy a picnic & some wine - either inside the cozy tasting room or outside among the vines. We offer our tastings paired with cheeses & chocolate. The Tasting Room is open year-round (check our website or Facebook page for current hours and events).

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November 2-3, 10am to 5pm More Than 40 Studios and Galleries

ABOVE: Stephannie Addison-Mudd teaching the African American Research and Resources class. In the background is Bill Schwetke teaching Researching the Internet in Your PJs class.

Navigating the Mists of the Past Free Genealogy Workshop Hosted by the Fauquier Court House Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution on November 2 BY CAT CLAUNCH SCHWETKE


{ OCTOBER 2019 |


ave you ever wondered about your ancestors? Wonder where your family came from? Thought about diving into genealogy but don’t know where to start? Maybe started a little digging and ran into the all-so-common brick walls that are common when researching? There’s help for you out there from the Fauquier Court House Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, who will be hostsing a free genealogy workshop that is open to the public on November 2 at the Warrenton Presbyterian Church. The Fauquier Court House Chapter has been hosting this incredibly popular workshop, all run by volunteers, since 2007, where they, with members of the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter, will assist family



historians with starting or continuing their research on their ancestry. Not interested in, or think you aren’t eligible for a genealogical society? This workshop is still for you — everyone, even casual researchers who just wanted to learn a little more about their family history, are welcome. The doors will open at 9 a.m., and attendees will be welcomed by the Regent of the FCH Chapter and the President of the CMM Chapter. Coffee and breakfast snacks will be served. Over the course of the day guests will attend eight classes: Courthouse Records, African-American Resources & Research, No Vital Records – Now What?, Researching the Internet in Your PJs, Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, DNA in Proving Family Links (new class), and Organizing Your Research. A full hot lunch will be served, over which guest speaker Joseph Dooley will give a very informative presentation on researching and writing an analysis to link generations without vital records. Attendees who pre-register will be eligible for door prizes (last year’s door prizes included two free DNA kits, two Family Tree Maker software packages, and three annual subscriptions to genealogy websites [MyHeritage, Fold3, Newspapers. com] – a total value of $1,100). The Fauquier Court House Chapter and the Culpeper Minute Men Chapter look forward to sharing the fun and excitement of family history research with their guests. The workshop, including the meals, is free, but space is limited, so please pre-register with Candy Weitz at candyweitz@gmail.com ❖


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{ OCTOBER 2019 |





The Mistress of Poplar Springs, Part 2

In October 1939, Jane and her dog Kate appeared on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine. The glamorous artwork was done by Bradshaw Crandell.

Jane Hall Cutler of Casanova BY JOHN TOLER

Part 1, published in August, dealt with Jane Hall’s early life in Arizona and California. Orphaned at age 15, she and her brother Dickie came to live with Randolph and Rose Hicks, who had an apartment in New York City as well as his ancestral farm, Poplar Springs in Casanova.


s the Great Depression worsened, Randolph and Rose Hicks were feeling financial pressures, and Jane realized that she should start looking for a job in New York. “Advertising seemed an ideal field for someone with writing and artistic talent, and Jane interviewed at numerous companies, such as Liggett and Myers, J. Walter Thompson, and the fragrance and cosmetics company, Coty Inc.,” wrote her daughter and biographer, Robin R. Cutler, in Such Mad Fun (2016). But Rose insisted that Jane spend her summers at Poplar Springs, and she found ample material for her stories in Fauquier County. One summer, she took her first flight in a small airplane with Randy Carter. It was an experience she would long to repeat in the


{ OCTOBER 2019 |

years to come. As she worked to finish her last year at Cooper Union, Jane sent out more job applications; in December, she was offered a job at the Carlyle Hotel promoting society events, and later took a job in retail at Lord & Taylor. “Something had to give,” wrote Robin. “Two days later, Jane dropped out of art school one semester short of graduation.” Was that a good decision? According to Jane’s diary, her art teacher (Austin Purves) told her, “Success depends on one’s attitude toward the future – whether one welcomes it or fears it.” JANE’S WRITING CAREER TAKES OFF

Just after New Year's Day 1935, Jane’s literary agent, Elsie McKeogh, informed her



that Hearst's InternationalCosmopolitan might be interested in “Out a Year,” the story she had written at Poplar Springs. She met with a Hearst editor who offered both criticism and encouragement. While the story ultimately did not work for Cosmopolitan, another magazine, Delineator, offered to pay her $350 if she made some minor changes. Over the next few months she worked with Delineator editors, and in August 1935, the story was published under the title, “Tell Her 'Hey.” Other magazines wishing to attract a younger, well-educated audience for their advertisers took notice of Jane's debut story in Delineator, and within the next 12 months, she had other articles published in the Women's

Home Companion, the Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping – and Hearst’s InternationalCosmopolitan. Jane was helped immensely by her agent Elsie. If a story was rejected by one magazine, she would send it right off to another. The Hearst publications soon competed for her work, and her payments for each story reached $800 – big money during the Depression. She also found herself in good literary company, published in magazines along with Pearl Buck, W. Somerset Maugham, Ogden Nash, and Erle Stanley Gardner. Her life in Fauquier County also provided inspiration for several romances, including part of a trilogy entitled “Moonlight on His Wings,” published in Good Housekeeping in August 1937.

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FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: 1: Spending summers at Poplar Springs while in art school, Jane Hall painted this mural of the Casanova Hunt that hung over the fireplace for many years. 2: Dinner at New York’s Stork Club in 1942. From left, Miki Crandell, Randolph Hicks, Jane Hall Cutler, Bradshaw Crandell, and Bob Cutler.


{ OCTOBER 2019 |



Warrenton became “Ridgeville,” with “Liz McKelvy” as the main character. Her love interest was “Pell Loomis,” based on Fauquier pilot Cliff Zieger. Jane’s writing and reputation as a “debutante with a brain” caught the notice of Hollywood agent H. N. Swanson, who knew Elsie. Swanson read several of Jane’s stories, which he sent to Manny Wolf, story editor and head of Paramount’s writer’s department. He also sent samples of her work to the story departments at MGM, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Bros., and RKO, with his endorsement. While Swanson lobbied for Jane in Hollywood, in June 1937, Cosmopolitan became the exclusive publisher for her fiction. She wrote a series of five stories that reflected the problems young women like herself faced when having to decide whether to marry for love, social standing, or money. Swanson’s efforts soon paid off, as Edwin Knopf of MGM offered Jane $350 to come on board as a scenario writer. She signed with MGM, and it was off to Hollywood. Jane made the trip west by steamer, arriving at Los Angeles on December 19, 1937, and rented a room at the Garden of Allah complex on Sunset Boulevard. At first uncomfortable in her new surroundings, she quickly adapted, impressed by the facilities at MGM in Culver City and the people she worked with there. One of the first parties she attended was at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gary Cooper, and she was surprised to learn that F. Scott Fitzgerald – who she would be working with at MGM – also lived at the Garden. Among the stars Jane met were Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Graucho Marx, Loretta Young, Cesar Romero, and Carol Lombard; Rosalind Russell went out of her way to befriend Jane. She was also introduced to gossip columnist Louella Parsons. Jane found a best friend in a stray, wire-haired fox terrier

puppy that she adopted and named Catherine Scarlett O’Hara, or “Kate.” The dog would be her companion for many years. Jane maintained a long-distance relationship with Cosmopolitan, taking on special writing projects related to the movies. She appeared on the cover of the magazine with Kate in October 1939 in a portrait created by Bradshaw Crandell (1896-1966). Back at MGM, Jane took on more challenging work, including the story and screenplay for “Such Mad Fun” which would become the movie, “These Glamour Girls,” dipping into her experiences as a debutante and characters she had known. Making the story into a film proved tense and difficult – working with a team of male producers meant lots of rewrites. How the film ended was “guided” by Sam Zimbalist and other studio executives. It was also at this time that Jane encountered the frustration brought by the Production Code motion picture censors. THE WIZARD OF OZ

In February 1938, Jane was selected to write an article for Good Housekeeping magazine about MGM’s upcoming blockbuster film, The Wizard of Oz, still regarded as a masterpiece of film making. Production started on the $3 million dollar movie on Oct. 13, 1938, with a production deadline of March 16, 1939. To get to know the story, Jane re-read L. Frank Baum’s 1900 book, which she enjoyed more than the first time. She interviewed the producer, the legendary Mervyn LeRoy, and met with staff to collect background information on what would go into the film. As production rolled along, she became aware of details few movie goers would ever realize. The 124 Munchkins that appeared were actually “the largest collection of midgets in the world,” not dressed-up children, as many people thought; and that Toto was a five-year-old Cairn Terrier named “Terry” owned by Carl Spitz.

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“The Warrenton Oyster Fry” Painted while she was a student in the Women’s Art School at Cooper Union in New York from 1932-35, Jane Hall Cutler painted “The Warrenton Oyster Fry.” It earned an honorable mention in a school competition, as well as a listing in The New York Times.

Judy Garland, who played Dorothy, was 17 and was required by California law to attend school at least three hours a day, and could work only four hours a day. Jane revealed that Garland loved the role, but was not happy playing a “much younger, simpler girl” than she really was. Jane got to meet the other main characters as well: Cowardly Lion Bert Lahr, Tin Man Jack Haley, Scarecrow Ray Bolger, Wicked Witch Margaret Hamilton, and Good Witch Glenda, Billie Burke. Much anticipated, The Wizard of Oz opened to enthusiastic crowds in March 1939, and at the end of April, Jane returned to Virginia – tired and broke. Her agent Swanson secured a contract for her with Universal Pictures which led to a series of screenwriting assignments and other projects with the big California movie producers. “Working on the assembly line of the dream factory,” while exciting, took its toll, and by mid-June, Hall was seeking more out of life than creating dramatic scenarios and clever dialogue for movies.


{ OCTOBER 2019 |

She had several suitors over the years, and in August 1939 met Robert Frye Cutler (1902-1976), scion of a wealthy New York family. Bob was a businessman and the founder of a leading summer stock theater in New York, and like Jane, an animal lover. He was also recently divorced, and a recovering alcoholic. Jane, who had written about the bad effects of alcohol as a young teen, wanted to help him, and assumed that marrying Bob “… would give her more freedom to write what she wanted to write, the resources to remain a glamour girl, and take some pressure off her guardians,” wrote Robin. Bob Cutler quickly won the approval of Rose and Randolph Hicks. Jane spent the first eight months of 1940 in the east, “immersed in her new beau’s life.” Their engagement was made official at a party at Poplar Springs on September 1, 1940, and soon afterward the couple left for California where Jane had a job at RKO. They were married quietly in Pasadena in November 1940. Their first year of marriage



was magical, but by late 1941, things had changed. With America’s entry into World War II, Hollywood felt the full impact, with skilled employees and technical crews – as well as some actors – going to war. The ambition and ability to concentrate that made Jane’s writing easy and rewarding had faded, and Bob’s summer stock theater, operated badly by a different producer, was failing. Jane wrote a witty story for RKO called, “How to Meet a Man,” but after months of trying, the producers never made the movie. “By then Jane was too caught up in the new responsibilities of her marriage to focus on writing,” wrote Robin. STRUGGLING TO GO ON

Back in New York, Jane found trying to write excruciating. Although Bob never drank during their marriage, his personality changed after the war. He unexpectedly “…slipped back into his silent, inscrutable self,” and began to resent Jane’s artistic

The painting remained in the family for years until recently donated to Harvard University’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research. Curator Sheldon Cheek at the Hutchins Center found “The Warrenton Oyster Fry” to be a “… sympathetic treatment of a theme rarely experienced by most white people. The exaggerated figural style reflects the liveliness of an event where African Americans could truly be themselves,” and that Jane’s style “…is best described as an east coast representation of American Realism, as developed by John Steuart Curry, Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, etc.” John Steuart Curry was Jane’s favorite teacher at Cooper Union. “It is wonderful to know that “The Warrenton Oyster Fry” has such a distinguished home,” said Robin Cutler.





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friends and career aspirations, hoping she would handle his business interests instead. In February 1944, their daughter Robin was born, and about a year later, Jane gave up on any thoughts of returning to screenwriting. Her last serious writing effort was a story entitled “Acapulco Fizz,” which was published in Cosmopolitan in January 1946. But by 1949, she stopped writing. An entry in her diary read, “It isn’t because I stopped working. I have worked very hard. But nothing finished. It is as if I lost heart completely. No self confidence left.” The family moved to an apartment on Park Avenue in New York, and Jane launched a new career in real estate and investments in order to maintain their lifestyle. But more changes were coming. Randolph Hicks died on July 1, 1951 and was buried in the family cemetery at Poplar Springs. Jane had to return to Virginia frequently to help Rose manage the farm. She also lost her beloved dog Kate that year. “By the time she turned 40 in 1955, Jane’s cheerful, glamorous front masked a flagging psyche,” wrote Robin. Jane’s spirit was greatly helped by a special friend, Count Carl Johan Arthur “Johnnie” Bernadotte, a Swedish businessman whom she had met in 1955. Both were married to someone else during the years of their friendship, which was clearly sparked by romance, but always respectful and restrained, as evident in his many surviving letters to her. Over the decade of their friendship, Johnnie continually encouraged Jane to use her talents and potential. ON TO POPLAR SPRINGS

In April 1957, Rockrest, the Cutler family home in New York, burned, and on Feb. 19, 1958, Rose Hicks died and was buried on the farm next to Randolph. Rose left Poplar Springs to Jane, who


{ OCTOBER 2019 |

leaving Poplar Springs. In addition, she suffered a serious back injury. According to retired pharmacist Jerry Wood of Warrenton, Frank Frazier – who had retired from Safeway – would take Jane’s orders for groceries and medicine purchased at his store, and deliver them to Jane at Poplar Springs. Wood enjoyed talking with Jane, sometimes at length, on the telephone. In addition to hearing about life in Hollywood, she often described her current state of affairs. “She once told me that it was so hot in her house that she saw her cat chasing a mouse – and they were both walking!” recalled Wood. Another time, she asked him for birth control pills – not for herself, but to cut up and give to the mice. She didn’t want to kill them, but didn’t want any more of them, either. Jane Hall Cutler died on April 18, 1987 without a will, and Poplar Springs passed to her daughter Robin. “It took me several years to turn the property into an event site while I was In 1954, Bradshaw Crandell painted this portrait of Jane Hall Cutler. Crandell did exquisite portraits of many prominent men and women. working at another full-time job in Washington,” said Robin. The with Bob and Robin spent much of wicked, dark sense of humor that restoration work was done by local the 1960s living there when not in was so funny to me, as I knew no contractor James D. Eicher. New York. other adults who would say such “I finally had to sell the Randy Carter’s daughter, outlandish things.” property in 1995 to pay the Lindsay Carter Gibson, was Lindsay noted that Jane was mounting debt on Jane’s estate Jane’s goddaughter. She spent “…incredibly loyal to her disabled taxes, but I found a buyer who a lot of time at Poplar Springs husband Bob, bringing him to all shared my dream of making it a when the Cutlers were there, and social events as long as she could.” public space.” remembers Jane as very creative, Bob Cutler died in 1976, and During her ownership of Poplar not only as a writer but as an artist. in 1978, Jane sold their apartment Springs, Robin donated 6.1 acres “Jane was never superficial,” in New York to live full-time at of the property to the Fauquier said Lindsay. “Her mind kept Poplar Springs. “Throughout SPCA in Jane’s memory. In on the prowl for interesting the 1970s, much of her time was addition to knowing her mother’s discussions and other people’s spent caring for aging horses, love of animals, Robin recalled points of view. She also treated burros, numerous dogs, a handful that the SPCA was enormously young people respectfully, of farm cats, and various birds helpful when her mother died, recognizing they had minds of whose lives she had saved,” “…leaving 11 German shepherds their own.” recalled Robin. There was also an in various states of health.” Jane introduced Lindsay ocelot named “Skulnik,” who had The current owner of Poplar to astronomy and to different bonded with Jane in 1953 and Springs is Poplar Springs LLC, personality types, “…which later lived with her until 1972. “Those which operates the Poplar Springs transformed into my career as a devoted creatures were my Manor Inn and Spa. clinical psychologist,” she explained. mother’s closest companions,” For more information about “I adored her and felt I could wrote Robin. Jane Hall Cutler’s life and career, tell her all kinds of things,” said In her later years, Jane led visit the Such Mad Fun Web site Lindsay, adding, “Jane had a a somewhat solitary life, rarely at www.robinrcutler.com ❖







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n the mid 1950s, as a member of the Warrenton High School Band at a time when the high school was located on Waterloo Street, I had the opportunity to see the Fireman’s Carnival parades from the inside perspective. On returning to school at the end of the Christmas holiday, our band director, Mr. Hayden Bell, would have us rehearsing the music we would be playing while marching so that by the time the weather was good we had it memorized and did not need to use sheet music. Once the weather turned fair, he moved our usual indoor band practice out back to Benner Field to hone our marching skills. The first day required the placement of students to fill in for those band members who had graduated the past year and for the new members who had to learn what marching was all about. The Majorettes practiced with us as did our drum Major. Each member had to learn how to keep position in line while playing and while turning corners as well as remembering which foot to step off from in order to keep in step. (Those of you who were in military service know all about such problems — but at least you only had a rifle to worry about and not an instrument to play at the same time!) Mr. Bell, like any good gunnery sergeant (but not quite as verbally expressive) had his own appropriate way with his voice to express his displeasure when one of us got out of step or messed up a note. Soon we were good enough to leave the playing field, thus getting out of the way of the physical education classes and able to use our newly-found skills in the driveways and parking lots around the school. When Mr. Bell felt we had our act together, we would line up in the driveway and, still in our school clothes, head off up one side of Waterloo Street toward the center of Warrenton, squeezing our ranks onto one lane of the street. We had no police escort initially; that only came in later years. Traffic in the 1950s was a shadow of today’s volume and the few vehicles we encountered simply made their way around us when they could — or not, thus joining our parade. The drums sounded constantly with their staccato beat so we could keep time and keep in step, playing our march every block or so. We had fun entertaining the neighbors who came out of their houses along the way to watch and wave. We really enjoyed high-steppin’ it through town, showing off


{ OCTOBER 2019 |

Memory Lane: The Warrenton High School Marching Band in the 1950s BY JOE AUSTIN

our band and displaying our high school spirit. When we arrived at the Courthouse, we could usually play several complete stanzas of our march going down Main Street before stopping at our turn-around point at the fire station beside Rhodes Drug Store. The proprietor, ‘Dusty’ Rhodes, would usually greet us, and those with left-over lunch money would go inside for a coke-break before we turned



ABOVE: WHS Band on parade, 1955. Source: 1955 WHS yearbook.

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TOP: WHS Band and Majorettes at the Bicentennial Parade performing in front of the court house, 1959. Courtesy of Sue Bowman. CENTER: Mr. Bell at band practice, 1958. Courtesy of Joe Austin. BOTTOM: Janet Sophia, band member relaxing after a parade, 1958. Courtesy of Janet Sophia.


{ OCTOBER 2019 |

around and went back. The whole thing was quite fun and a nice break from a stuffy, un-air conditioned classroom. Just as the WHS band wasn’t the only high school band in the Warrenton parades, ours wasn’t the only parade in which our band marched. We participated in a half-dozen or more different parades in towns throughout Northern Virginia, from Fairfax to Culpeper to Nokesville. We were pretty good, too, and since the bands and other different participating groups received awards for good performance, we won quite a few of those, many in first place. The most memorable of these came when we were in a parade in a town near D.C. We were all lined up in a residential area waiting for our turn when one of the typical spring downpours started coming down. Not wanting our uniforms and instruments to get soaked, Mr. Bell asked a lady in the nearby home if we could come inside. This kind soul allowed us in, and our three classrooms of band students all crowded inside, coming in through her basement via the attached garage. After the cloudburst ended we thanked our hostess and formed up again at our position in the street. The rest of the parade had already moved out of our area so we figured that we had missed out on the parade. However, still having to get back to



our bus at trail’s end, Mr. Bell marched us along the parade route all by ourselves, much as we had done in practice back home. We made good time and soon realized we had caught up with the end of what was left of the parade, well before the reviewing stand where the judges were. Recognizing that our day was not finished after all, we straightened up and made sure we were in step, so that when we passed the judges we were all dry and snappy and playing our march. And because we were fresh and not wet and bedraggled — not to mention that we were also pretty good — we took the first place award of the bands. Most of these parades were for the local Fireman’s Carnivals but others included the annual Memorial Day ceremonies and the 1959 Fauquier Bicentennial. For the Memorial Day parades we would end up at the Warrenton Cemetery where one of our buglers — such as Jonny Goldthorpe or Larry James — would play taps at the end of the ceremony. The bugler had moved back into the cemetery away from the crowd, and in the silence following the rifle salute and closing prayer, this mournful melody would be heard coming from a distance, hovering over the congregation and enclosing this ground, hallowed and consecrated by generations of our fallen soldiers and ancestors. ❖


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