Page 1

the green edition Leafy, barky & recycle-ready

march/april 2012 • vol. 3, no. 2


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contents | mar.-apr. 2012

EDITORIAL R.E. Spears III Editor Tracy Agnew News Editor Beth Beck Land Staff Writer

ADVERTISING Sue Holley General Manager Sue Barnes Marketing Consultant Brett Carter Marketing Consultant Earl Jones Marketing Consultant Tina Louise Harris Marketing Consultant

PRODUCTION Troy Cooper Designer Suffolk Living is published six times per year by Suffolk Publications, LLC. P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 (757) 539-3437

Advertising rates and information available upon request. Subscriptions are $16 annually in-state; $20 annually out-of-state; $24 for international subscriptions. Please make checks payable to Suffolk Publications, LLC PO Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439

Inside this edition



18 suffolk living

Suffolk Events

So there wasn’t all that much in the way of winter this year, but still things slowed down around Suffolk. Get ready for that to change, though, with the coming of spring. Keep track of all the city has to offer with our calendar of events. And get outside for a bit. You’re looking a little pasty.

The Keepers of the greens

Country goodness from the ground


f you drive through Suffolk during the right time of year, you’ll see handmade signs announcing their sale. They are a staple of country cooking, and a compliment to fried chicken, ham, or even a big ol’ hunk of cornbread. Collard greens are reminders of home when you’re from the south. They conjure up days when the cast iron skillet on the stove held their moist, rich green leaves, with chunks of salt pork or ham to season them. Their undeniable smell filled your home with the promise of a good meal in the near future. And as with many things in the South, it takes a person familiar with the taste from early in life to truly appreciate what good collards mean to country cooking.

eat your greens!

See GREENS page 19


You think it’s hard to keep your yard looking clean and green? Try taking care of a whole golf course. With five of them in Suffolk, there’s a veritable army of men and women hard at work every day with equipment you never imagined, all designed to prune, prep and pare each blade of grass to perfection.


Have you seen this image around Suffolk? Guess the location correctly and you could win a $25 gift certificate.

where am I?


n each edition the Suffolk Living staff provides a challenge of sorts, testing how much of Suffolk you really know. We photograph some location in Suffolk that is readily accessible and open to the public, and see if you can tell us where it is.

Nothing says green quite like all those blue containers that line the road on recycling day. But it’s a still a relatively new program, and things have changed a bit since the last time Suffolk recycled. You can be the greenest recycler on your block if you follow these tips.

If you know where this photo was taken, submit your answer, along with your name and contact information to news@ If you’re right, you will be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to any one of our partner advertisers. So, if you know where this is, let us know. If you’re right, you could be a winner. Go out and enjoy Suffolk!


Byron Carmean might not actually hug trees, but he has a passion for them, nonetheless. Especially the big ones, the champions. And he’s got an unequaled knack for finding the trees against which all others in their species are measured. Sometimes, it turns out, legends are real.



suffolk living 27

The Dirt on Recycling

Big Tree Legend

Most of us have heard a mother or grandmother or aunt say it: “Eat your greens!� That’s easy when they taste so good.




Suffolk's Green

This time of year, plants are sprouting up all around the city. Fields planted with row crops are turning from the brown-black of the soil to the green of new growth. It has been that way in Suffolk for many generations. Take a look back in time at how agriculture once looked in this retrospective.

n n editio e e r g e th BA RK Y LE AF Y, AD Y CL E- RE & RE CY

On the cover: Photograph by R.E. Spears III

m ar ch

/a pr il

20 12 t



sen-7509 Colorectal Cancer ad_7.5x10:Layout 1


2:29 PM

Page 1

Don’t Sit On Colon Cancer. Some of the worst colorectal cancer rates in Virginia are right here in Hampton Roads.*

The Sentara Cancer Network is working to change that.


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suffolk living

what to do


"Masters of Motown"

Paint the Town Red


3/10-4/14 — Juried Photography Exhibit Location: The Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave. The Suffolk Art Gallery will present its 28th annual Juried Photography Exhibit from March 10 through April 14. Hampton Roads’ oldest and largest photography exhibit features beautiful works from professional and amateur photographers. For more information, call 514-7284 or email nkinzinger@

Virginia Regional Festival of flight

3/10 — Rockin’ for a Cure Location: Bridges restaurant, 13162 Carrollton Blvd. The Beacons of Hope Relay for Life team will host a “Rockin’ for a Cure” concert fundraiser at 9 p.m. at Bridges restaurant, 13162 Carrollton Blvd. in Carrollton. Honkytonk Highway will be featured. Cost is a $5 donation. 3/17 — Masters of Motown! Location: Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave., will host Masters of Motown! at 8 p.m. Masters of Motown celebrates the legendary 1960s music of Motor City. Tickets are $25. Call 923-2900 or visit www. 3/17-3/24 — Suffolk Restaurant Week Location: Suffolk restaurants Suffolk Tourism will hold its Restaurant Week, featuring the best restaurants citywide offering fixed-price, three-course meals. There are no passes to buy, coupons to carry or cards to punch. Food lovers may simply dine at as many participating restaurants as they like during Suffolk Restaurant Week. Take this opportunity to explore new dining opportunities or enjoy old favorites. For more information, call 514-4130 or visit

Juried Photography Exhibit

3/24 — Circurious! Location: Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave., will host Circurious! at 2 p.m. The show features a heart-stopping, mind-boggling display of artistry and athleticism. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for kids. Call 923-2900 or visit

Suffolk Restaurant Week

Send us your news To submit your calendar or news item, simply email it to:

8 suffolk living

what to do 3/25 — Hidden Treasures Antiques Appraisal Show Location: Suffolk National Guard Armory, 2761 Godwin Blvd. The 14th annual Hidden Treasures Antiques Appraisal Show will raise money for Riddick’s Folly House Museum. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $7 per item. There is no limit on the number of items. For more information, call 934-0822 or email 3/24 — ForKids Children’s Art Auction and Casino Night Location: Norfolk Waterside Marriott, 235 E. Main St., Norfolk The 11th annual ForKids Children’s Art Auction and Casino Night will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. at Norfolk Waterside Marriott, 235 E. Main St. in Norfolk. Tickets to the auction will cost $50. For more information, contact Aline Landy at 622-6400 ext. 136 or at Visit their website at 3/31 — Outdoorsman’s Banquet Location: King’s Fork High School, 351 Kings Fork Road Nansemond River Baptist and Southside Baptist churches are sponsoring an Outdoorsman’s Banquet from noon to 3:30 p.m. at King’s Fork High School, 351 Kings Fork Road. The guest speaker will be Wade Nolan, a biologist, whitetail deer professional and worldwide adventurer. Tickets are $10 and include a pork loin dinner with all the fixings. Tickets can be purchased by calling Nansemond River Baptist at 484-3423 or Southside Baptist, 539-6629. 3/31 — Paint the Town Red Location: Hilton Garden Inn, 100 E. Constance

Road The Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross will host its annual Paint the Town Red celebrity waiter event from 6 to 11 p.m. on March 31. The evening includes silent and live auctions, cocktail hour and dinner, celebrity waiter challenges and entertainment. Tickets are $60 each or two for $100 and can be purchased online or by calling 325-8623 or emailing erobinson@hrredcross. org. All proceeds benefit the Suffolk Chapter in providing lifesaving services to the Suffolk community. 4/13 — Folly at the Point Location: Cedar Point Country Club, 8056 Clubhouse Drive The annual Folly Ball will be held from 7 to 11:30 p.m. and is a fundraiser for Riddick’s Folly House Museum. Tickets are $60 per person. Call 934-0822 to purchase tickets. 4/13 — The Jim Newsom Quartet Location: Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave., will host The Jim Newsom Quartet at 8 p.m. for Downstairs at the Center. Tickets are $25. For more information, call 923-2900 or visit www. 4/20 — Black Violin Location: Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, 110 W. Finney Ave., will present the musical group Black Violin at 8 p.m. The violinists and their DJ combine a wide array of musical styles and influences to create a unique performance. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for kids. For more information, call 923-2900 or

visit 4/21 — Neigh Days benefit Location: Diamonds in the Rough Equine Rescue, 19251 Bob White Road, Windsor The Diamonds in the Rough Equine Rescue, 19251 Bob White Road in Windsor, will host its Neigh Days annual benefit event from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will be demonstrations, vendors and information booths. The event will raise money for the rescue. For more information, call 804-8154286 or email Visit the website at 4/28-4/29 — Virginia Regional Festival of Flight Location: Suffolk Executive Airport, 1200 Gene Bolton Drive See and hear hundreds of homebuilt, antique, classic, military, light sport, ultralight and powered parachute aircraft during the largest “fly-in” in the Mid-Atlantic. There will be a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and other food will be available all day. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sunday. The cost is $10. For more information, visit www.virginiaflyin. org. 4/30 — Bridge, Games and Fashions Luncheon Location: The Suffolk Art Gallery, 118 Bosley Ave. Suffolk Art League will host a Bridge, Games and Fashions Luncheon fundraiser. The day will include lunch, fashions and a raffle of fun and unique items. Tickets are $20 per person. Proceeds go to help the league provide education programs for children and adults. For more information, call 925-0048.

suffolk living


suffolk scene

Pancake Supper

Dozens of people celebrated Shrove Tuesday with a dinner of pancakes, sausage and apples at Suffolk Christian Church. At right, Cheryl Ashcraft and Elaine Abernathy fill plates for the crowd; below, Mary Ann Rose, James Worrell and Celia Outten enjoy pancakes and sausage; bottom right, George Smart and Renee and Keith Jones smile before their meal; bottom left, Shirley Gayle and Emma Brady socialize during the pancake supper. Photos by TRACY AGNEW

10 suffolk living


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Need more information? 757-539-3437 •

Experience the Duke difference.

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suffolk living


suffolk scene

Police Ball

Law enforcement officers from the city joined at the Suffolk Law Enforcement Ball on Feb. 17 to raise money for the Genieve Shelter. Above, from left, Kevin and Kym Harrison and Erin and Josh Hughes attended the event; at left, Douglas and Katherine Christian enjoyed the event; bottom left, Ben DeLugo and Mary Rimasse were all smiles at the ball; bottom right, Junius and Gayle Jackson listen to the guest speaker. Photos by Tracy Agnew

12 suffolk living

suffolk living


suffolk scene Poetry Reading

The Suffolk Art League hosted a Poetry, Prose and Pizza open-mic night at the Suffolk Art Gallery in February. At left, Suffolk native and poet Nathan Richardson was the master of ceremonies for the event. Clockwise from below, Gary Clark reads some of his work, Florence Martin reads a poem about dust; Jess Broaddus reads her work; and Lori Giles, wife of renowned poet Timothy Giles, reads some of her husband’s work. Photos by Tracy Agnew


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suffolk living


suffolk scene Stop Hunger Now

Volunteers from Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Churchland Baptist Church and the North Suffolk, Smithfield and Churchland Rotary clubs teamed up to pack meals for Stop Hunger Now in February. Clockwise from left, Sam Wolfe, 9, a member of Ebenezer, rolls packed boxes of meals through the church family center; Kenny Lamonea calls for more bags of food so he can begin filling a box; Abbi Stopyra, 15, holds a box closed while another volunteer tapes it shut; Ashton Yusician, left, and Antonio Velasquez, both 11, help fill bags with soy protein, rice and dried vegetables; volunteers measure out ingredients into a funnel. Photos by TROY COOPER

16 suffolk living


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18 suffolk living

Country goodness from the ground


story and photography by Troy Cooper

f you drive through Suffolk during the right time of year, you’ll see handmade signs announcing their sale. They are a staple of country cooking, and a complement to fried chicken, ham, or even a big ol’ hunk of cornbread. Collard greens are reminders of home when you’re from the south. They conjure up days when the cast iron skillet on the stove held their moist, rich green leaves, with chunks of salt pork or ham to season them. Their undeniable smell filled your home with the promise of a good meal in the near future. And as with many things in the South, it takes a person familiar with the taste from early in life to truly appreciate what good collards mean to country cooking.

eat your greens!

See GREENS page 19

suffolk living


GREENS continued from page 18

One local establishment that knows the value of collards to Southern food is Farmer Frank’s Farm Market. The market was established in 1989, when Farmer Frank Holland himself began selling vegetables and peanuts from his garden. Farmer Frank’s has gained attention from people all over since that time. They’d come from miles to get his produce. When Farmer Frank passed away, his daughter Jill Peacock picked up where the old man had left off and even made some improvements to the family business by introducing her country cooking to the market’s list of offerings. These days, people from all around visit the small Holland Road market and eatery for fresh produce and Jill’s fine country cooking. There’s Brunswick stew, country ham sandwiches, chicken salad, and their homegrown collards by the pound. Peacock, who spent her life soaking up her father’s knowledge of farming, believes the key to good collards essentially starts in the dirt. Using all-natural products to grow the collards makes for a finer end result. As for cooking collards just right, Peacock keeps it simple. She cooks them in ham broth and seasons them with red peppers for a hint of spice. Once they’ve reached the desired tenderness, they’re ready for the table. On your next drive along Suffolk’s back roads and alongside its fields, look for the signs announcing “Collards for Sale.” With the help of a big pot and some pork seasoning, you’ll soon have some of Suffolk’s best country cooking on your table. ←

According to Jill Peacock of Farmer Frank's Farm Market, you only need all-natural products to grow good collard greens, and some ham broth and red pepper to season them.

20 suffolk living

keepers of the greens story by Tracy Agnew photography by R.E. Spears III


uffolk’s five golf courses means there are 90 greens and fairways to keep green for thousands of golfers each year. But the grass hardly keeps itself green — especially in the winter, when players mostly have to imagine the green as a state of mind. There are hundreds of employees at local courses dedicated to keeping the greens perfectly lush and trim for the players. “I just try to think about doing the job perfectly,” said Kevin Clarke, a groundskeeper at The Riverfront Golf Course. “You can’t do half a job. It has

to be looking good every day.” Keeping the golf courses in top shape is a year-round job for some. Local courses employ a golf course superintendent, whose full-time job is to ensure the courses are kept green and perfectly manicured. They in turn hire full-time and part-time employees which vary in number depending on the season. The groundskeepers don’t just mow the grass. They fertilize, water and maintain the sand bunkers, which ironically require the biggest use of time. “We joke the bunkers are kind of See KEEPERS page 22

Andy Woolston, left, and Bob Scott adjust the location of the cup on hole 15 at The Riverfront Golf Course. The two work year-round with dozens of others to keep the greens green.

suffolk living

'It’s challenging from a weather standpoint. Mother Nature has her own ideas about what she wants to do.' Chris Petrelli — Groundskeeper


22 suffolk living Keepers continued from page 20

a money pit,” said Chris Petrelli, the golf course superintendent at Cedar Point Country Club. Employees have to even out the sand, rake the bunkers, clear them of debris and edge them. “The golfers hate them, too,” Petrelli said. “They’re challenging.” While the sand pits may be the most troublesome to care for, the greens are definitely the most important. In some ways, golf course superintendents are like farmers — they spend the vast majority of their time caring for a genetically engineered crop, but Mother Nature can always come along and spoil everything. But Petrelli and his counterpart at The Riverfront, Andy Woolston, are reluctant to call themselves farmers. Petrelli, whose father was a golf course superintendent, grew up on golf courses, but that didn’t mean he got into working at a golf course right away. “Initially, I wanted no part of it,” he said. But then the greens drew him back. He was an assistant superintendent in Atlanta for five years before coming to Cedar Point. “It’s challenging from a weather standpoint,” he said. “Mother Nature has her own ideas about what she wants to do.” Woolston came at it from a different direction. He initially wanted to be a game warden, because he loved wildlife. But then he realized he couldn’t feed his family on a game warden’s salary. He still gets to see wildlife on the course, though. “Golf courses are wildlife magnets,” he said. He admits to being a “terrible golfer,” though he does play every once in a while to get a feel for how the course is doing. But the folks who really do the work, he said, are the employees. Both golf courses mow the greens six times a week and the fairways three times a week during the growing season. Both courses use bent grass, a cool-season crop, on the greens. The greens are kept trimmed to 1/8 inch using special mowers that are more precise than the ones folks use at home. These mowers have a continuously turning drum that slices the grass, rather than rotary mowers, which can tear the grass. When mowing the greens, employees take care to mow in a different direction each time to keep the grass looking fresh. The crop also must be fertilized and watered. Though golf courses often get a bad rap for using so much of these resources, the reality is that they use much less per square foot than the average homeowner. Both The Riverfront and Cedar Point said they use only two to three pounds of nitrogen, the active substance in fertilizer, each year, though the amount of actual fertilizer is higher. Despite all the work in all kinds of extreme weather, employees said they are dedicated to keeping the courses looking green. “It’s good to do everything perfect, so when the golfers come out, they enjoy every moment of it,” Clarke said. ←

Above, a groundskeeper at The Riverfront golf course blows gumballs from the fairway in front of one of the course's greens. Below, Bob Scott mows the green at No. 15 at The Riverfront.



The Village at Woods Edge

Small town charm. Engaging senior living.


24 suffolk living

get to know

big tree legend story by Tracy Agnew photography by R.E. Spears III


he legend goes that Byron Carmean can spot a champ from the highway at 60 miles per hour. He acknowledges it’s partially true. He can identify the species — “I can probably do it 90 percent of the time and get it right,” he said — but every legend has its limit. He actually has to get out of the car to make sure it’s a champion. Carmean and his traveling partner, usually Gary Williamson, spend their spare time criss-crossing Virginia and North Carolina looking for champions. They trek into old cemeteries, nature preserves, small towns, plantations and swamps in search of the largest trees of each species in the state. It’s an obsession that was sparked by his horticulture and forestry background but never really caught fire until about 30 years ago, when he saw a Virginia forestry magazine that listed the biggest trees in the state. He looked out the window and saw one he knew was bigger. “We nominated that one,” he said. “It all started in ’83.” He has found 45 or 50 current See LEGEND page 25

suffolk living 25

How to measure a tree step 1

step 2

2. Measure tree’s height in feet by using the Pythagorean theorem and a clinometer.

3. Measure tree’s branch span in feet with a tape measure, then measure again at a right angle. Average the numbers and divide by 4.

1. Measure tree’s circumference 4.5 feet from the ground, in inches. 4.5 ft. from ground

step 4 4. Add together the three numbers — circumference in inches, height in feet and ¼ the average branch span. You now have the number of points the tree earns.

Byron Carmean, shown at left with an unusual tree at Cedar Hill Cemetery, measures the circumference of a coast redwood, above, behind R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home. The tape measure shows it at 16 feet, 7 inches.

step 3

legend continued from page 24

state champions, making him the holder of more records than anyone else in the United States. Several of the state champs are in Suffolk. Some that he’s found — including one in Suffolk — currently are recognized as national champions. Before he was letting the trees teach him, he was teaching about trees. He taught horticulture and forestry in Chesapeake for 21 years after earning his degree at Virginia Tech. He added another 10 years in alternative education before he retired. Now that his teaching days are over, he has plenty of time to go in search of trees. It’s not only big trees that he’s found. In his travels, he also has found many unusual trees, including one in Cedar Hill Cemetery. One of the cemetery’s trademark red cedars has a black cherry growing up through the middle of its trunk and out of its eastern side. But big trees are his passion. He plans his trips weeks in advance — gathering tips on where there might be a champ, tracing his route and contacting arborists in the area to ask for help. Often, they can give him tips on where to find champions. Sometimes, they even take him to the trees. Finding champs doesn’t always require traveling, though. His hometown of Suffolk has 29 trees listed on the Virginia Big Tree Database, which honors the top five of each species. Virginia’s biggest Quercus mysinefolia, the Chinese evergreen oak, is in the front yard of a private residence on West Washington Street. In a neighbor’s back yard stands the largest slash pine, or Pinus elliotti, in the state. One of Carmean’s national champs, currently the only one from Suffolk, is on Babbtown Road near its intersection with White Marsh Road. The bigleaf snowbell, or Styrax grandifolius, isn’t as big as its name would suggest. It’s only 20 inches around the trunk and 17 feet tall, but that’s pretty large for such a tree. See LEGEND page 26

26 suffolk living LEGEND continued from page 26

Byron Carmean, inset, measures the height of a coast redwood behind R.W. Baker Funeral Home using a clinometer. The larger photo shows a cedar tree with a black cherry tree growing through it, one of the unusual trees Carmean has found.

“You’ve got to be intimately in touch with what is big for a particular species,” Carmean said. That also requires knowing how well a particular species can be expected to do in Virginia. A coast redwood growing behind R.W. Baker Funeral Home is one of the biggest in the state, but it’s practically a sapling compared to those in California. Robert Baker’s mother dug it up in California in 1954 and brought it to Suffolk. “It looked like a fishing pole,” he said. Since then, the tree has grown so that it rivals one at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the state’s top spot. Baker has watched it during several hurricanes from the back of the funeral home, willing it to stay in place as it swayed with the wind. The top of it has died twice, but it always comes back healthy. “It’s on the edge of hardiness here, but it does survive,” Carmean said. On this day, he measures it for the first time in several years. The measurements are standardized throughout the nation, so all trees can be compared to each other. First, Carmean gathers a large tape measure out of his bag and strings it around the trunk four and a half feet from the ground. It’s 16 feet, 7 inches around. He converts that to inches to get 199 inches. Next, Carmean needs to find the height of the tree. He measures out 100 feet from the trunk and uses a clinometer to measure the distance from where he’s standing to the topmost part of the tree. Now that he knows two sides of the triangle, he can figure out the third with a bit of simple geometry — 87 feet high. For the final part of the measurement, he needs to find the crown spread, the width of the branches. He measures from the longest branch on one side to the longest on the first, then repeats the process at a right angle to the other measurement. He averages the two — 40 and 43 feet — divides by four, and rounds down to get 10. Adding the three together — 199 + 87 + 10 — he gets 296, a disappointing one point shy of the Norfolk tree. “This was the state record for a while, then they got all jealous,” he said. “But we’re never going to beat the ones in California.” Carmean said he doesn’t see himself giving up his hobby anytime soon. “We just keep finding more champs and having more fun,” he said. ←

suffolk living 27

where am I?


n each edition the Suffolk Living staff provides a challenge of sorts, testing how much of Suffolk you really know. We photograph some location in Suffolk that is readily accessible and open to the public, and see if you can tell us where it is. If you know where this photo was taken, submit your answer, along with your name and contact information to news@ If you’re right, you will be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to any one of our partner advertisers. So, if you know where this is, let us know. If you’re right, you could be a winner. Go out and enjoy Suffolk!

28 suffolk living

news happenings

the dirt on recycling story by Beth Beck Land file photography


f you’ve noticed the bright blue cans multiplying on the streets of Suffolk, you’re not the only one. The bins mark the arrival of the TFC Recycling program to Suffolk. TFC rolled out the bins to more than 29,000 homes last August. Company officials say the recycling program has become a success. “Suffolk has surprised us. We were a little worried, but as it’s gone on, it really has turned out amazing,” said Kristi Rines, public relations event manager for TFC. “Suffolk’s done really well. Those trucks come back full. Even the drivers are noticing how well the neighborhoods are doing,” said Rines. With that in mind, here are a few facts about what you can — and can’t — recycle and what recycling means for Suffolk residents. What can you recycle?

Steel, tin and aluminum cans; glass bottles; #1 and #2 plastic bottles, including water, shampoo, detergent, lotion and milk containers; mixed paper; cereal and snack boxes; and any cardboard, as long as it is grease-free and has been flattened. Only shredded — as opposed to cross-cut — paper can be recycled, and TFC asks that shredded paper be placed in a paper bag so it doesn’t fly around during processing. What can’t you recycle?

Aerosol cans, plastic bags, motor oil, Styrofoam, electronics, wood products, paint cans, yard waste and containers that held corrosive agents, like bleach Should recyclables be rinsed?

Not necessarily. “We just ask that they be as empty as possible,” explained Rines. Since everything is eventually compacted at the plant, anything left in the recyclables may get squeezed out and can sometimes make an unwelcome — and potentially dangerous — mess. What about bags?

For several reasons, bagging is not recommended, with the exception of shredded paper. First, the items are scanned as they come in. Items in bags cannot be recognized or sorted automatically and so must be hand-sorted by workers, increasing the cost and time needed to recycle. Second, plastic See Recycling page 29

suffolk living 29 num is 100-percent recyclable,” Rines said. “So in 60 days, once it leaves our facility, it’s back on the shelf as an aluminum can.” What is the weirdest item that has come through the processing plant?

Rines’ short answer: “We get everything.” Often, people either don’t know what they can’t put in the cans, or they treat them like another trash can. “We get stuffed animals, bowling balls, water hoses, extension cords and tents. We get Barbie dolls. I couldn’t figure out why we got so many Barbie dolls,” Rines said. “Then I realized, people think it’s plastic. They say, ‘Oh, I can recycle this plastic, so I can recycle any plastic.’ But that’s not true. Those items are better donated to Goodwill.” What’s the most common argument you hear against recycling?

“The idea that everything ends up in the landfill anyway, so why bother,” Rines said. “But when you recycle, it goes to the TFC facility and it stays there until it goes off to the companies who reuse it. What recycling can do is divert as much waste from the landfill has possible, and that is good for Suffolk.” A worker at TFC Recycling’s plant in Chesapeake sorts through a pile of delivered materials to pull out non-recyclable items. The plant sees strange items ranging from bowling balls to Barbie dolls come through their system. Recycling continued from page 28

grocery bags, Ziploc bags and shrink wrap are not recyclable by TFC. “It’s like the Willy Wonka of facilities. We have conveyor belts that go up and down and over and under — it separates the items. It’s an amazing process to see everything coming down the line perfectly separated because of this huge crazy system of conveyor belts,” said Rines. But any product that is light, such as plastic bags, shredded paper, cellophane and Ziploc bags, can throw a wrench into the process. “Air catches the plastic bag, and it will wrap around the machinery. Then we have to shut it all down and send somebody in to clean it off.” Most grocery stores will accept these items for recycling. What about those pesky bottle caps?

Bottle caps can be recycled and even left on empty bottles. If that sounds wrong, there’s a reason. “Recycling companies have spent all this

time training people to take off the caps, because they couldn’t be processed,” Rines said. “Now the companies that receive plastic bottles have figured out how to process the caps, so they are recyclable.” What is the most common nonrecyclable item that shows up at the plant?

Plastic bags, Styrofoam and electronics. TFC can’t process them and while they do their best to get these items to places they are supposed to go, it’s not always possible. What happens to the recyclables once everything is sorted?

TFC sells units to other companies that process the items into something else. For example, water bottles are often broken down and turned into fibers that are then used to make carpeting and clothing. Paper can be recycled seven times before new pulp needs to be added to replenish the fibers. “Aluminum cans are my favorite. Alumi-

What does recycling do for the community besides reduce waste?

TFC firmly believes that recycling is nothing but a boon for the community. “It creates jobs and it’s better for the environment,” said Rines. “It’s the little things people don’t think about. It’s not just the driver, but the mechanics, the guy we bought the fuel from, the employees who sort and process the items, and then more drivers who transfer the units to the companies who make them into something else. It creates jobs in the community, and it's way better for the environment over time.” Another economic boost comes to Suffolk through the Recycling Perks program. “It’s an incentive-based recycling program,” explained Rines. The program offers the homeowner 50 points every time their can is put on the curb. As points accumulate, they can be redeemed for coupons to Farm Fresh, the Virginia Zoo and the Virginia Aquarium, just to name a few. Visit to get rewarded. ←

30 suffolk living

dream home


story by R.E. Spears III submitted photography

ith a golf course around the corner and glorious Nansemond River views from the back windows, the home at 9155 River Crescent in Suffolk’s Cedar Point subdivision is a great example of the old saying that real estate is all about “location, location, location.” But it’s not just a desirable location and breathtaking views that make this 4,471-square-foot brick, Georgian mansion so attractive. With nearly an acre and a half of real estate surrounding it, the home, built in 1973, offers plenty of room to relax outside and enjoy the view. But the amenities really seal the deal. With two stories above ground and a partial basement, the home offers four bedrooms, including a first-floor master suite, three full and two half baths. There are three fireplaces to cast a cozy glow and a zoned oil heat system to keep you warm. There’s an attached two-car garage, with electric garage door, and modern conveniences include a See MANSION page 31

Maybe you can’t afford a mansion. But you can dream, can’t you?

The home at 9155 River Crescent in the Cedar Point golf community is located on the banks of the Nansemond River, with a deepwater dock offering perfect access to the water for your little runabout, even if it’s big enough to carry along its own little runabout. There’s also an in-ground pool for those weekends when you’d rather spend your free time around the house.

suffolk living 31 Mansion continued from page 30

central vacuum, electric range, refrigerator, washer and dryer. You’ll find a utility room for household chores and a library for your growing collection of Suffolk Living magazine editions. And when it’s time to get a little exercise, just step outside the French doors leading onto a backyard patio and you can jump right into the in-ground swimming pool. Or, if you’d rather spend some time on

the river, walk down the deepwater dock and you can be in your boat and on your way in a matter of minutes. Luxury like this doesn’t come cheap, but hard times in the housing market have kept the price below what might seem appropriate when you’re sitting on your patio watching the sun set over the river. ← Asking Price: $875,000 Realtor: Greg Garrett Realty

The Home Specs Location: 9155 River Crescent Approximate Square Footage: 4,471 Points of interest: Big Nansemond River view; 3 fireplaces, classic, stately brick Georgian with bulkhead and dock. 1st floor master bedroom suite. Partial basement and in-ground pool. Sits high and dry above the river. courtesy of greg garrett realty

Experience Cadillac.

Lydia Duke, President Main Street Suffolk 1-800-733-9325

the greening of 32 suffolk living

Story by R.E. Spears III Photos courtesy of Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society


here is a certain sense in which agriculture is a truly timeless profession. Each spring, farmers plant seeds in dark soil, spend the next few months in cultivation, pray for favorable weather conditions and then head into the fields again later that year with high hopes of a bountiful harvest. The seasons change, but from one year to the next, there are markers to which anyone from an agricultural community can always return. The sight of a field white with cotton ready for picking. The smell of freshly dug peanut plants lying on the ground. The taste of the air after fertilizer has been See FARM page 34

At left, a young farmer sets up produce at a roadside stand with a bounty of gourds and melons. In the background photo, an otherworldly mask hides the face of a man operating a peanut picker in a process that took schocked and dried peanut plants, separated the nuts from them and dropped the nuts into a basket for bagging.


An agricultural exhibit at the old Four-County Fair illustrated how a well-balanced farm could give farmers some protection from “disastrous crop surpluses.� Suffolk farmers have grown everything from peanuts and cotton to melons and potatoes.

suffolk living 33

34 suffolk living

FARM continued from page 32

spread on a field. Those are among the touchstones of agriculture. They would be recognized by any 18th-century farmer transported 300 years into his future. What those farmers could not imagine, of course, are the technology and machinery of modern agriculture, the size of the modern farm and the ability of the modern farmer to produce prodigious quantities of a wide variety of crops. It is similarly shocking for many of us who grew up with the machinery of modern agriculture to see just how labor-intensive farming

Suffolk is near the northern limit of hardiness for tobacco, but it was still an important crop during the early part of the 20th century. In this photo, men and boys work without machinery of any kind to harvest tobacco during the late ‘20s or early ‘30s.

could be back in the days when it required many people toiling in the fields to accomplish the things that machinery and technology do today. Our transported 18th-century grower might be surprised at the types of crops grown in Suffolk today — Peanut City, USA’s connection to the goober pea is more tenuous today than ever, for instance. But on passing by one of those few remaining peanut fields in the fall, he’d know in a moment, even in the dark, if that field were freshly dug or recently fertilized. Some things never change. ←

suffolk living 35

As in every other field of human endeavor, agriculture has benefited from the steady advance of technology through the years. The peanut picker pictured below is a marked improvement over the one in the photo on pages 32 and 33. In the background here, on pages 34 and 35, workers pick snapbeans by the bushel in a field that today would be far more likely to yield bushels of soybeans.

36 suffolk living

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index of advertisers 18th Century Merchant......12 Celebration Church...........12 Charter Communications...3 Chorey & Associates..........40 Davis Lakes.......................12 Denison's......................14 D.B. Bowles Jewelers........14 Dr. Jett, Dr. Sellers..............14 Duke Automotive.........10, 31 East End Baptist Church....19 Ellen Drames.......................2 Farmer's Bank...................17 Franklin Incubator.............12 Harbour Veterinary Office..12 Holiday Inn Express...........16 Isle of Wight Academy.......16 Massage Envy....................19 Mike Duman......................17 Nancy’s Calico Patch..........16

Nansemond Suffolk Academy...........................17 Obici House......................17 Peanut Kids Company Store..36 Rawlings Mechanical.........19 RL Howell & Associates....16 R.W. Baker Funeral Home...39 Sentara Healthcare..............6 State Farm Insurance Ken Deloach......................12 Suffolk Pest Control............14 Suffolk Public Schools........10 Suffolk Quality Cleaners....14 Suffolk Sheet Metal............17 Uniquely Leo's...................14 Village at Woods Edge.......23 Virginia Oncology................4 Womble Generator...........13 Woodard Orthodontics.......7 Zuni Peanuts.....................13

Last edition’s Where Am I? Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Michael J. Tompkins Sr. of Suffolk was quick to respond and lucky to have his name drawn from a long list of those who guessed correctly in the Where Am I? contest for the January/February edition of Suffolk Living magazine. where am I? CMSgt. Tompkins I recognized the unit designator for the Virginia Army National Guard’s 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment Troop B, headquartered here in Suffolk. The photo is of the unit’s sign in front of the armory at 2761 Godwin Blvd. Tompkins will receive a $25 gift certificate to the advertiser of his choice for his correct answer.

suffolk living 25

n each edition the Suffolk Living staff provides a challenge of sorts, testing how much of Suffolk you really know. We photograph some location in Suffolk that is readily accessible and open to the public, and see if you can tell us where it is. If you know where this photo was taken, submit your answer, along with your name and contact information to news@ If you’re right, you will be entered for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to any one of our partner advertisers. So, if you know where this is, let us know. If you’re right, you could be a winner. Go out and enjoy Suffolk!


38 suffolk living


Crittenden School: From the early part of the 20th century until it was closed in 1942, the Crittenden School was in session each year from Sept. 15 to June 15, with students attending from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The single-story white building with tall windows on all sides housed grades one through 12, but most boys left school to work on the water or on the farm after the seventh grade. This undated photo shows the range of students at that school one year. — Photo courtesy of the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society

suffolk living


Suffolk Living Mar-Apr 2012  

Lifestyle magazine showcasing Suffolk, Virginia's best

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