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s u mmer 2010 • vol. 1, no. 3

Gardens in

BLOOM

plus Special Travel Section

www.suffolklivingmag.com


contents | summer 2010

EDITORIAL Tim Reeves Editor R.E. Spears III Managing Editor Tracy Agnew Staff Writer Leila G. Roche Staff Writer Lauren Wicks Contributing Writer news@suffolklivingmag.com

ADVERTISING Sue Holley Director of Advertising Nikki J. Reeves Director of Special Projects Sue Barnes Marketing Consultant Earl Jones Marketing Consultant Paul Kube Marketing Consultant sales@suffolklivingmag.com

PRODUCTION Troy Cooper Designer PHOTOGRAPHY James Bielmann James Bielmann Photography www.jamesbielmann.com Suffolk Living is published four times per year by Suffolk Publications, LLC. P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 www.suffolklivingmag.com (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

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Suffolk Events

suffolk living

PreParation Use your choice of hard cheese (asiago, aged, Provolone, etc.) and cut into 2” x 4” rectangles. Mix 1/2 cup of flour and 2 to 4 tbsp. of water to a batter consistency. add salt and pepper to taste. Coat cheese slices with batter. Fry in hot olive oil over medium to medium-high heat until crispy and golden. Brown approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Pour 1 shot (1-2 tablespooons) of ouzo over cheese, light with torch. allow flames to stop. Squeeze fresh lemon over cheese. Serve with grilled pita bread.

One of Suffolk’s mottos goes something like this: It’s a great time to be in Suffolk. Based on the overwhelming number of festivals, concerts, benefits and other events on the upcoming calendar, the city’s motto has never been more true. Try to see just how many events you can get to this summer.

Southern Appeal

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Sasser Construction may have widespread appeal in Hampton Roads for the quality homes they build, but their allure is growing. Thanks to a gorgeous home constructed in the Harbour View development and a prestigious award, Sasser Construction is proving they are worthy of the buzz.

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Hidden Treasure

The days of finding buried treasure are no longer relegated to the history books or Disney movies. Thanks to the evergrowing hobby of geocaching, residents today can feel the rush of scrounging up some “lost” trinkets.

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saganaki flame cheese

Recipe by Jimmy Tsipliareles chef bio

Born in Greece and moving to the U.S. at the age of 9, Jimmy tsipliareles started his culinary career making pizzas at age 13 on Broadway in new York City. Since that time, he has owned and operated five restaurants, his current being Jimmy’s Pizza and Subs in the heart of Chuckatuck. Don’t let the name fool you though, Jimmy still brings his heritage out for an easy to make, delicious Greek dish for this issue’s featured recipe.

A lost art

far from landing

by Tim Reeves editor

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s far as most maps are concerned, Suffolk is not part of the state of Rhode Island. It’s not connected in any way to the “Ocean State,” and to get there would be a road trip of more than 500 miles. But for Rhode Island native Rear Admiral Ted Carter, Suffolk and Hampton Roads are home. “For whatever reason, I’ve always had the opportunity to come back here,” Carter said of his 28-year career in the U.S. Navy. “This is where I started flying (F-4)

Rear Admiral Ted Carter’s distinguished career leads him to Suffolk home, Suffolk command

44 su mm

It would seem your food catching on fire would be a bad thing. Not so with this tasty treat.

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get to know

Submitted photo

We often forget about the craftsmanship, artistry and attention to detail that go into creating high-end saddles. But one Suffolk man is creating works of art everyday with his hands and showcasing a type of art not normally appreciated.

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He has landed aircraft aboard 18 different carriers, but today Rear Admiral Ted Carter is in command and at home here in Suffolk.

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ns in Garde

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How do their gardens show

Spring and summer afford Suffolk and Hampton Roads the chance to let their natural beauty show. For a number of North Suffolk families, their work is in full bloom and received some recent, well-deserved recognition.

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Cover photograph by James Bielmann

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what to do Virginia Historic Garden Week

Farmers’ Market

National night out

CALENDAR OF EVENTS Through 6/11 — “Vibrant Spirits: The Art of Crones and Innocents” Location: The Suffolk Museum, 118 Bosley Ave. “Vibrant Spirits” features the artwork of older and emerging female artists. The exhibit is part of the statewide exhibit “Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts.” The Suffolk Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call the Suffolk Museum at 514-7284 or the Suffolk Art League at 925-0448. Through 6/30 — “Mirror, Mirror: The Female Image in Portraiture” Location: Shooting Star Gallery, 118 N. Main St. “Mirror, Mirror” features prints, paintings, photography and pastels celebrating women in the arts. The exhibit is part of the statewide exhibit “Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts.” Gallery hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call 934-0855 for more information. 6/22 – 7/23 — Suffolk Art League’s Open Members’ Show Location: The Suffolk Museum, 118 Bosley Ave. The annual Open Members’ Show allows members to display their work in any medium completed

within the last two years. The Suffolk Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call the Suffolk Art League at 925-0448.

Send us your news

6/25 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Constant’s Wharf Park Unwind to the sounds of Slapwater. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information.

music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information.

7/1 – 8/5 — Summer Art Days Location: The Suffolk Museum, 118 Bosley Ave. Summer art days will allow children to explore new art activities. Held every Thursday from July 1 to Aug. 5, art days cost $1 per student per day. Registration is accepted the day of on a first-come, first-served basis. Times are 10 to 11:30 a.m. for ages 5 to 8, and 1 to 3 p.m. for ages 9 to 14. For more information, call the Suffolk Art League at 925-0448. 7/2 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Constant’s Wharf Park Unwind to the sounds of the Hotcakes. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach

To submit your calendar or news item, simply email it to: news@suffolklivingmag.com

7/2 – 8/27 — Friday evening farmers’ markets Location: Shoppes on the Village Green, Route 17 Enjoy this fun summer tradition as you find local fruit, vegetables, homemade jellies, jams and treats, along with live entertainment. Each Friday from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Call 238-3810 for more information. 7/4 — July Fourth in North Suffolk Location: Various locations around North Suffolk Celebrate with your neighbors with a parade through the Eclipse neighborhood at 11 a.m., a raft race beginning at 3 p.m., and a fireworks display at 9 p.m. Ebenezer United Methodist Church is the best place to watch the fireworks. 7/4 — Stars and Stripes Spectacular Location: Constant’s Wharf Park Visit this annual celebration of America’s independence, complete with entertainment, food and fireworks. Free and open to the public from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information.


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what to do TGIF Concert Series

7/9 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Constant’s Wharf Park Unwind to the sounds of The Rhondels. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 7/16 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Constant’s Wharf Park Unwind to the sounds of A Touch of Spice. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 7/23 — TGIF summer concert series

Location: Constant’s Wharf Park Unwind to the sounds of Strictly Bizzness. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 8/3 — National Night Out Location: Citywide Suffolk neighborhoods will host crime, drug and gang prevention events throughout the city, including visits from public safety and city officials, during this community event. For more information, call 514-4104 or visit www. SuffolkNNO.org. 8/6 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Bennett’s Creek Park Unwind to the sounds of FAB. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass,

rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 8/7 – 9/2 — “Journeys” Location: The Suffolk Museum, 118 Bosley Ave. “Journeys,” a one-man show by Russell Schools Jr., the first-place winner of the 2009 Suffolk Art League annual juried exhibition, will feature paintings and photography. The Suffolk Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call the Suffolk Art League at 925-0448. 8/9 – 8/14 — Art Camp Location: The Suffolk Museum, 118 Bosley Ave. “The Big Three: Drawing, Painting and Sculpture” art camp for ages 6 to 12 will allow children to explore the artistic process while having fun and using their imagination. Camp will be held from 10 a.m. to noon for ages 6 to 9, and from 1 to 3 p.m. for ages 8 to 12. Registration deadline is July


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what to do 30. Registration is $50 for Suffolk Art League members, $55 for nonmembers. For more information, call the Suffolk Art League at 925-0448. 8/13 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Bennett’s Creek Park Unwind to the sounds of Cedar Creek. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 8/20 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Bennett’s Creek Park Unwind to the sounds of The Janitors. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 8/27 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Bennett’s Creek Park Unwind to the sounds of Overtime Band. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 8/28 — Suffolk Summer Slam Location: Bennett’s Creek Park Bring a back-to-school supply for admission and enjoy a day of fun, food and entertainment. Play volleyball, cornhole and the H2O balloon challenge while listening to music by Hemotheory, Pursuing the Hero, Raiderz of the Lost, and Youth Quest, and enjoying drama by Youth Quest and VA Fire Team. The event is from 2 to 10 p.m. Sponsored by Impact Suffolk. 9/3 — TGIF summer concert series Location: Bennett’s Creek Park Unwind to the sounds of Island Boy. Each Friday evening throughout the summer is highlighted by a different musical genre, including salsa, bluegrass, rock and roll, country, dance, beach music and more. Free and open to the public from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Call 514-7267 for more information. 9/11 — Taste of Suffolk Downtown Street Festival Location: North Main Street between Finney Avenue and Washington Street Come downtown for the fourth annual Taste of Suffolk street festival, a free, family-friendly event with two stages, sample signature dishes from Suffolk eateries, children’s activities, shopping opportunities and on-site vendors. For more information, call 514-4130. 9/18 — Hidden Treasures Appraisal Show Location: Suffolk National Guard Armory, 2761 Godwin Blvd. Riddick’s Folly presents the 11th annual Hidden Treasures Appraisal Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., an opportunity for people to clean out their attics and have their hidden treasures appraised by experts. Written appraisals available for an additional fee. Each item is $7, no limit. For more information, call 934-0822 or email rfcurator@verizon.net.


suffolk living

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news + notes Suffolk shines at Homearama

Popular Suffolk builders and home-grown decorators put their best foot forward at the Spring 2010 Homearama. Tidewater Builders Association’s first spring Homearama kicked off May 7 with many area custom homebuilders and interior designers being recognized for their contributions. The 29th annual TBA Homearama featured eight custom showcase homes in Founders Pointe in Isle of Wight County. A sought-after area builder, Birdsong Builders Inc. was the top-selling builder in Founders Pointe and built Affordable Elegance: The Artist’s House, which highlighted Smithfield and Isle of Wight County’s artist population. The house featured a working artist’s studio and an exhibit of work by artists from The Smithfield Art Guild. It won a gold award for Best Landscaping and Best Curb Appeal, with landscaping done by Bristow Landscaping. Sasser Construction, a popular builder in Suffolk and Southern Living Custom Home Program Builder of the Year, which has an award-winning home in The Riverfront subdivision, built this year’s Charity House. The house featured a garage mural painted by five Portsmouth children enrolled in the Douglas Park Unit of The Boys and Girls Clubs of

Southeast Virginia. The home was sold to benefit the charity and won the Associates’ Choice for Coolest Feature for its pet center. The house also took home The Hampton Roads Realtors Association Most Livable Home Award and bronze for Best Landscaping, done by Landworks Unlimited Inc. ABT Custom Homes, which has built in more Homearamas and won more awards than any other builder in Hampton Roads, constructed The Music House: A Tribute to Ryan Farish. The home highlighted the latest in electronics, with digital connections for a variety of music sources, a kid cave for electronic games, the Apple iPad and an interactive coffee table. The home won Best Closet, by The Closet Factory, Best Use of Technology and Most Creative. Two Suffolk-based interior designers showcased their talents at the event. A. Dodson’s decorated the Smithfield House, and Powell Home put the finishing touches on the Nature Watch House. For its furnishing of the Smithfield-inspired home, A. Dodson’s won the bronze award. Powell Home won the silver award for Best Home Furnishing and gold award for Best Interior Design and Most Creative. ←

Heather Kent, of East West Communities, arranges pillows at the Nature Watch House, which won gold for Best Interior Decorating, at the 2010 Spring Homearama.


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suffolk scene Paint the town red

The Suffolk chapter of the American Red Cross fundraiser “Paint the Town Red” raised about $26,000 in March to support local programs. Clockwise from left, Heather Buchanan, left, and others participate in “human tricks” for the entertainment of the audience; celebrity waiters including Jesse Johnson, left, and Darren Schultz collected money in their paint cans during the evening; local television anchor Nicole Livas, left, and Leah Powell attended the event to support the American Red Cross; from left, Duane Eby, Roseland Worrell and Donna Eby enjoyed the food and entertainment at Paint the Town Red; Robert and Marie Baker helped raise money for the American Red Cross by attending the event.

Photos by Tracy Agnew


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suffolk scene

Chili Fest 2010

The third annual Chili Fest, hosted by the Bennett’s Creek Sertoma Club, attracted thousands of food enthusiasts to the Bennett’s Creek Park in mid-April. The event, which raises money for many of the Sertoma Club’s charitable functions, attracted competitive cooking teams from Washington, D.C., Richmond and right here in Suffolk. Some of the funds also go to support the Reading Enrichment All Children programs in Suffolk. Photos by James Bielmann & Troy Cooper


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suffolk scene

Shake, Rattle & Roll

Hot rods, coupes and muscle cars took over North Main Street on May 18 during the second annual Shake, Rattle & Roll Spring Car Show, which honored the racers, records and fans of the former Suffolk Raceway. The raceway operated from 1964 to 1991 at the Suffolk Airport. At top left, Jamal Artis earned an honorable mention during one of two Hula Hoop contests. There also was a pedal-car race for children. But the cars — 160 of them in all — were the main event. From the whimsical to the sublime, they represented the pride and joy of their owners and the fleeting fantasies of those who came to ogle them.

Photos by R.E. Spears III


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suffolk scene ReLay For life

With a crowd of 3,000 people, the field at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy was silent as the torch, held by Colby Bennett, was lit and walked around the track in memory of those who had endured their fight against cancer. On May 14, the Suffolk Rockin’ Relay for Life attracted one of the largest crowds in years, according to organizers. The Suffolk Relay, which began in 1981, had 74 teams participating this year, with their friends and family coming out to support them. Photos by Tracy Agnew, Leila G. Roche & James Bielmann


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suffolk scene Oliver!

A cast and crew of dozens of actors culled from Hampton Roads cities presented the musical “Oliver!” at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts in March. Adapted from Charles Dickens’ classic novel about an orphan who is taken in by a gang of pickpockets, the play featured songs like “Food, Glorious Food” and “Pick a Pocket or Two.” The show drew crowds to four performances over three days with its cockney London accents, children’s dirty faces and depictions of workhouse life. Suffolk actors ranging from age 8 to adulthood filled major roles in the musical, including Oliver and the Artful Dodger. Photos by James Bielmann


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suffolk scene Summer Youth league sports

Clockwise from top, Kyrsten Haley of the Athletics gets set to step into the batter’s box during a coach-pitch league game against the Yankees at Bennett’s Creek Little League; Payton Harrell of the U8 Warriors dribbles through midfield during a game on a Saturday morning at Suffolk Youth Athletic Association; Catcher Cortez Walker makes a catch while two Yankee runners cross the plate during a Bennett’s Creek Little League tee-ball game; Jackson Lyons steals home while Hunter Ward waits to bat for the Nansemond River PONY Blacksox during a game against Boykins; Nansemond River’s Matthew Waterman gets set to pitch against the SYAA Mets in a Mustang league game at Nansemond River PONY’s home field at John Yeates Middle School.

Photos by Andrew giermak


A Taste of Things to Come . . .

Saturday, September 11, 2010 • 10 am — 7 pm • Live musical performances • Narrated historical tours • Stilt-walking jugglers • Bounce houses

FREE and open to the public!

• Arts & crafts • Vendors

A Salute to Hometown Heroes

• Special ceremony honoring public safety heroes

For more information or for sponsorship opportunities, call 757.514.7267 or visit www.Suffolk-Fun.com


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suffolk scene March of Dimes March for babies

Residents of Riverview and surrounding neighborhoods woke up to see their street crowded with hundreds of people one Saturday morning in April. More than 300 marchers took to the streets in support of the March of Dimes, walking a five-mile route that began at Constant’s Wharf and wound through several downtown neighborhoods before ending up back at the wharf. The organization’s research helped save the lives of at least two local girls, Callen Pabis and Virginia Hughes. Both girls led the walk. Photos by Leila g. roche


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suffolk scene Suffolk Living Goes on Vacation

Annette Spears, at left, enjoys the sound of the ocean as she reads Suffolk Living magazine on a beach-access boardwalk in Nags Head, N.C., on a cool, windy day this spring. Below, Michelle Abbot, a waitress at Nags Head’s Grits Grill, also took a few minutes to flip through the pages. Photos by R.E. Spears, iii

Suffolk Living Meets Hollywood

Above left, Daniele Caballero, 13, of Suffolk, was one of 300 lucky fans who got to meet cast members from the hit movie “New Moon” at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach in March. At left, visiting Hampton Roads for the event were cast members, from left, Alex Meraz (“Paul”), Christian Serratos (“Angela”) and Daniel Cudmore (“Felix”). Photos by Nikki Reeves


Industry happenings

it’s all in the details Story by Leila G. Roche Photos by James Bielmann

I

t’s the little things that count. And at Sasser Construction, focusing on the little things helped win the team the title of 2010 Southern Living Custom Builder of the Year. “It’s really just a tremendous compliment for our team,” said Eric Sasser, owner. “We are custom home builders here. We focus on what we need to do to make our customers happy, and this serves as a confirmation that we’re doing our job as we’re supposed to.” “Southern Living” is a southern lifestyle and entertaining magazine and, based on its readership, is the seventh largest monthly consumer magazine in the United States. It has a monthly circulation of 2.8 million. Sasser Construction has been building custom homes in Hampton Roads for 24 years and received an exclusive invitation to become a Southern Living Custom Homebuilder, of which there are fewer than 100, in the early ’90s. “It’s an exclusive honor to be invited to be a Southern Living Custom Homebuilder,” Sasser said. “To be named Builder of the Year is especially exciting.” Sasser’s honor came as a result of the Falkirk Ridge Southern Living Showcase Home, located at 3002 North James Drive at The Riverfront at Harbour View. The home is on display each Friday through Monday from noon to 4 p.m. “It’s certainly not the largest or fanciest home we’ve ever built, but it’s all in the details,” said SassSee Details page 29


Details continued from pg. 28

er. “That’s the one constant in our businesses, whether we’re building a 15,000-square-foot mansion or a cottage. We get to know who we’re building for and get right the details to accommodate their lives.” The Falkirk home boasts two outdoor living spaces — one open space with a fireplace and sitting area in the front and another in the back, on the water that has an outdoor barbecue, as well as air conditioning and motorized screens that can be drawn down to keep the bugs out. Inside, Sasser’s team blended good looks with functionality in every area of the home. There are wide doors to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers, custom cabinetry, exposed rock in the living room, a master closet with organized shelving, a built-in area for a dog kennel, an electronic charging station and plenty of windows. “A lot of the details are commonsense stuff that you don’t necessarily think about during the construction phase,” Sasser said. “Most of the living space is all on one level, so people can age in the home or a younger family can have an accessible home for their parents.” Downstairs, Sasser built a basement with a bar and kitchen area, a game room and home theater that he said has made the home popular among many men. “Building the home was a chance to do something completely different,” Sasser Construction builder Matthew Hovey said. “We like to be trend setters and on the cutting edge, but as custom home builders we’re often building what our customer is looking for and comfortable with. This gave us an opportunity to branch out and show people what we can do.” ←

The outdoor living spaces at the Falkirk home include a patio with a fireplace and a separate room with an outdoor barbecue and air conditioning.

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saganaki flame cheese

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featured recipe

Preparation Use your choice of hard cheese (Asiago, Aged Provolone, etc.) and cut into 2” x 4” rectangles. Mix 1/2 cup of flour and 2 to 4 Tbsp. of water to a batter consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Coat cheese slices with batter. Fry in hot olive oil over medium to medium-high heat until crispy and golden. Brown approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Pour 1 shot (1-2 tablespoons) of ouzo over cheese, light with torch. Allow flames to stop. Squeeze fresh lemon over cheese. Serve with grilled pita bread. Photo by James bielmann

Recipe by Jimmy Tsipliareles chef bio

After being born in Greece and immigrating to the U.S. at the age of 9, Jimmy Tsipliareles started his culinary career making pizzas at age 13 on Broadway in New York City. Since that time, he has owned and operated five restaurants, including Jimmy’s Pizza and Subs in the heart of Chuckatuck. Don’t let the name fool you though, Jimmy still brings his heritage out for an easy to make, delicious Greek dish for this issue’s featured recipe.


get to know

far from landing Rear Admiral Ted Carter’s distinguished career leads him to Suffolk home, Suffolk command

A

Story by Tim Reeves

s far as most maps are concerned, Suffolk is not part of the state of Rhode Island. It’s not connected in any way to the “Ocean State,” and to get there would be a road trip of more than 500 miles. But for Rhode Island native Rear Admiral Ted Carter, Suffolk and Hampton Roads are home. “For whatever reason, I’ve always had the opportunity to come back here,” Carter said of his 28-year career in the U.S. Navy. “This is where I started flying (F-4) Phantoms See CARTER page 33


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CARTER continued from pg. 32

out of Oceana in 1983. I was executive officer of the Harry S. Truman and the commanding officer of the Carl Vinson.” Today, Carter is the commanding officer of the U.S. Joint Forces Command’s (USJFCOM) Joint Enabling Capabilities Command in Suffolk; somewhat more reserved a command and assignment for the long-time naval aviator. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1981, Carter attended flight school at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. It was there, he says, that he experienced the moment that helped shape his distinguished career. “When I was in flight school in Pensacola, I wasn’t sure what type of airplane I wanted to fly. I just knew that I wanted to fly,” Carter said. “I remember the commanding officer of Top Gun coming to Pensacola.” “I remember listening to him. Seeing the way he carried himself. I thought that was what I

“I still love what I do. As long as the Navy or the Joint Forces finds a need to deploy me or operate me, I’m going to do it. I can’t say what the future holds but as long as I’m doing meaningful, relevant work, then I’m really happy to be a part of it.” Rear Adm. Ted Carter — U.S. Navy

wanted to be,” Carter said. “So, that was the start of it.” What that experience started was a more than two-decade stint as a naval aviator, which took Carter to the decks of 18 different aircraft carriers — including all 11 active carriers — allowed him to command fighter squadrons, gave him the chance to attend Top Gun and provided

him the mission to train countless aviators as an instructor. In the Phantom, and later the F-14 Tomcat, Carter set forth a career that to date gives him the active record for number of carrier-arrested landings at 1,815 and more than 5,750 flight hours. Carter said USJFCOM’s mission of providing See CARTER page 34

Rear Admiral Ted Carter is pictured here with his wife, Lynda (far left), his daughter, Brittany and his son, Christopher, during the recent Virginia Beach Rock and Roll Marathon. The family started and finished the marathon together.


34 suffolk living CARTER continued from pg. 33

key training and support to forces throughout the world gives him just as much fulfillment as flying combat missions, training naval aviators and commanding squadrons. “Absolutely nothing can change out the level of intensity that goes with landing on a carrier at night or catapulting off a carrier at night. Or flying in a combat mission where someone is shooting at you. You don’t trade those out. You don’t forget them.” “And I don’t suggest we try to trade those out,” Carter said. “But the challenges are still just as great in terms of managing an organization like this. They’re just on a much different scale.” Among Carter’s military decorations are the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Combat V, the Bronze Star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (four awards) and the Air Medal (two awards with Combat V and five Strike/Flight), among others. Carter is quick to point out he spends very little time reflecting on the career he has built, but rather the opportunities he has remaining at USJFCOM, with the Navy and with his family. Just recently, Carter took advantage of his entire family being together, including wife Lynda, daughter Brittany, and son Christopher, to participate in the Virginia Beach Rock and Roll HalfMarathon. “We set a goal of everyone starting together and finishing together,” Carter said, smiling. “We did just that, but I don’t think any of us expected it to be as tough a task as it was.” With nearly three decades of service, Carter, who carries the call sign “Slapshot” honoring his four years playing hockey for the Naval Academy, has no plans of slowing down any time soon. “I still love what I do. As long as the Navy or the Joint Forces finds a need to deploy me or operate me, I’m going to do it,” Carter said. “I can’t say what the future holds, but as long as I’m doing meaningful, relevant work, then I’m really happy to be a part of it.” ←

Rear Adm. Ted Carter (left) has spent most of his career in the Navy on the naval aviation side, serving as a pilot, instructor, squadron commander and later as commander of the USS Carl Vinson. Carter even completed the prestigious Top Gun course during his career.


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Toys, trinkets, a logbook — and even a bit of junk — spill out of an old ammunition box that is at the coordinates of one downtown Suffolk geocache. Finding these treasures won’t make you rich, but they’ll help you learn more about your community.


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TRAINS continued from pg. 36

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Hi-tech tools help uncover Suffolk in a whole new way Story by R.E. Spears III Photos by James Bielmann

T

he treasure hunters move slowly forward, eyes fixed on the screen of a handheld GPS unit, which shows an arrow and a steadily decreasing distance-to-destination. She watches the screen, while he checks around for people who might be watching them. No need to tip someone off to the location of the cache. That would be against the rules of the game. Soon, they have found the general location of the hidden treasure, and it’s just a matter of figuring out exactly where within a 20-foot radius or so that it’s been hidden. Often, though, that turns out to be the hard part. Pam and Tom Dubois are geocaching, and they’re hot on the trail of a new find. For the uninitiated — people whom geocachers like Pam and Tom would call “muggles” — geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a sort of modern-day hide-and-seek game for hidden treasure. Emphasis is on the word “hidden,” not “treasure,” as caches normally contain trinkets, small toys, coupons and other items of questionable value. The caches — which are waterproof containers that range from the size of a pencil eraser to ammo boxes and even larger — are hidden See TREASURE page 38


38 suffolk living Pam and Tom Dubois look through some of the tools and toys they keep in their geocaching box, which goes with them every weekend when they head out to find new caches or maintain the ones they’ve hidden.

TReasure continued from pg. 37

by participants who upload coordinates and clues to the Internet. They are found by other “cachers,” who download that information and then head out into the field with a GPS receiver and a pen to sign the logbooks once they find the caches. Usually, the finder is encouraged to leave something in the cache if he takes something out. Clearly, it’s not your old-fashioned treasure hunt. “I use multi-million-dollar satellites to find other people’s junk.” That’s the message on one of downtown Suffolk resident Tom Dubois’ favorite bumper stickers, and it irreverently sums up the hobby of geocaching. But there’s much more to the

pastime than looking for junk, as evidenced by the fact that he and his wife have logged more than 635 finds since they started caching last summer. “The main thing about geocaching is that it will take you places in your hometown that you never knew existed,” he said. Like the cable-driven ferry five miles down a dirt road near Murfreesboro, N.C. Or the church in downtown Suffolk with a Civil War-inspired stained-glass window. Or the church where they met a fellow cacher, an Episcopal priest who had hidden caches at each of the Episcopal churches in the area. There are 20 different caches located in the downtown area of Suffolk, alone. Within a 30-

mile radius, that number jumps to more than 1,300, and it’s growing every day, as more caches are hidden all the time. In March of this year, the number of active caches worldwide surpassed the million mark, according to Groundspeak.com, the organization that was formed in 2000 to support the growing community of geocachers. Groundspeak claims a community of more than 3 million treasure hunters in more than 150 countries. There are geocaches in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are caches hidden underwater — accessible only to those with SCUBA equipment — and on rock faces — accessible only to those See TREASURE page 39


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with climbing gear. There is even a cache aboard the International Space Station, left there by astronaut/geocacher Richard Garriott. Pam and Tom Dubois joke that they’ve set a goal to find and log that particular cache one day. Most caches, however, are far more accessible, if not precisely easy to find. “BeanerPops Goes to Oderzo,” for example, is located in a small park-like area beside the Godwin Courts Building. “Keep Looking” is near a municipal parking lot on S. Saratoga Street. “Lynette’s Lair,” whose name plays on the fact that Suffolk Tourism Development Manager Lynette White works nearby, can be found near the Prentis House, where the city’s Visitor Center is currently located. The names are set by those who hide the caches — the cache owners, in the parlance of geocaching. Sometimes the names, themselves, are clues to their locations, sometimes they’re whimsical comments on the community, and sometimes they’re simple identifiers. After taking some time to learn about the hobby by spending weekends and even a short vacation searching for caches that others had hidden, Pam and Tom Dubois — known as Suffolk Nana & Papa in the geocaching community — decided to hide a few treasures of their own. With Tom’s background in management on the nuclear side of the shipyard, it was, perhaps, not surprising that the couple settled on a series of somewhat sterile names for their 14 caches hidden around the city. “Suffolk History 001” takes cachers behind a well-known downtown business and gives them a look at a part of the city’s past that they might never have known about. Thirteen “EGGS” — Easy Guardrail Grab Series — caches give searchers a tour of some of the city’s best-known features. When someone finds one of See TREASURE page 40

Some geocaches, like this nanocache, contain the bare minimum — just a tiny, rolled-up strip of paper used for a log. Geocachers learn to bring their own pens, at a minimum, along on their hunts. And they learn to be very resourceful when looking for the caches.

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Tom’s caches and logs the find online, Tom receives a message, so he can keep track of how popular the cache is in the community. A “did not find” message lets him know that the cacher was unable to locate the treasure. A string of DNFs alerts Tom that something may have happened to the cache. It happens. Sometimes, a landscaper will find and remove a cache. Sometimes a muggle will see cachers fiddling with the cache and discover it on his own. Muggles, which take their name from nonmagical people in the popular Harry Potter book series, are people who don’t know about geocaching. One of the unofficial rules for the loosely organized geocaching community is to keep the muggles clueless about a search. “If there’s people around where we think a cache is,” Pam Dubois said, “we’ll just move on.” The whole concept of muggles betrays an interesting characteristic of the geocaching culture. It is a community with, shall we say, more than its share of self-proclaimed geeks. (“I’m not a supergeek,” Tom said, “but I’m a geek.”) Such a community would be expected to develop a broad new language for its activities, and geocachers do not disappoint in this regard. Sprinkled in amidst a head-spinning number of acronyms (GPS, DNF, TNLN and others, for a start), there is talk of attributes, benchmarks, geocoins, hitchhikers, reverse caches and Travel Bugs — all of which should help keep the average muggle pleasantly clueless. But those who hear about the hobby and think it might be interesting will find that there are few pastimes that are easier to get involved in. A GPS receiver and an Internet connection is all that’s necessary. Knowing a geocacher can help, though. The online community, which can be found at www.geocaching.com, includes forums that allow geocachers to contact one another and organize special events together. As with many hobbies, those who are involved in it often bring others into the action. Pam and Tom Dubois were introduced to geocaching through their daughter and son-in-law, as well as one of Tom’s co-workers. Pam found their first caches — “Hair Today” and “Suffolk is ArtFull” — on successive days last June, and they’ve been hooked ever since, ready and eager to teach newcomers the art of the search. They recently completed a drive around the four-state region, a mini-vacation that was devoted entirely to finding caches. It was a fun trip, both said. But Pam learned a lesson that is a common refrain for geocachers. Don’t forget to look up from the GPS receiver and see the scenery. After all, the whole point of most caches is to show the treasure hunters something new and unusual about a location they may have seen so many times before that it had begun to fade into the background. “On that four-state trip, I missed all of what we passed” because of watching the GPS, she said. It’s not a mistake she plans to make again. ←

a brief history of treasure Story by R.E. Spears III

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hatever one might think of former President Bill Clinton, one thing is sure, albeit relatively unknown: If it weren’t for a seemingly insignificant technical decision he made in 2000, GPS receivers would probably not be showing up today in so many new cars, trucks, telephones and handheld units. And without all those receivers getting into the hands of the average consumer, geocaching as a hobby would be stuck in the 19th century. Everything changed for private GPS users on May 1, 2000, when the U.S. government removed “selective availability” from its global positioning satellite networks. Selective availability was a feature of early GPS systems that automatically degraded the satellite signals, limiting accuracy for non-military users to about 100 meters. When Clinton’s The ready availability of personal GPS receivers and mobile InternetPresidential Directive to ready devices has helped make geocaching a hobby with a fast-growing following. What many cachers may not know, however, is that their highremove selective availtech pastime is a close cousin of an avocation born more than 150 years ability went into effect, the average civilian GPS ago in England. receiver was immediately up to 10 times more accurate than it had been on the previous day. Suddenly, GPS receivers could pinpoint a location to within 30 feet or less, and their usefulness expanded exponentially. Two days later, to celebrate the change, Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Ore., hid a bucketful of trinkets in the woods near Portland, Ore., and published coordinates for the stash on the newsgroup sci.geo.satellite-nav. By May 6, it had been found twice and logged once, according to a history of geocaching at GeoCacheGuide.com. Within days, other stashes had been hidden in California, Kansas and Illinois, and by the end of the month a stash had been hidden as far away as Australia. On May 30, Matt Stum, writing on a Yahoo mailing list for geocaching discussions, suggested the term “geocaching” to avoid any negative connotations associated with the word “stash,” and the term stuck, according to another history of the hobby posted at GPSgames. org. Before the end of the year, there were websites dedicated to the new pastime, and enterprising individuals had begun selling memberships, clothing and other items related to it. Despite the technical requirements of geocaching, however, it has ties to another hobby, “letterboxing,” which goes back 150 years — long before the Internet, GPS and computers. Letterboxing got its start in England in 1854, when a Victorian guide named James Perrot placed a bottle with his calling cards inside it beside a pool in a wild, nearly inaccessible area of Dartmoor, England. Those few people who found the bottle would leave their own cards to show they had been there and would contact him to let him know of their find, according to a history of letterboxing at AtlasQuest.com. Letterboxing eventually made it across the Atlantic, spurred by a feature in Smithsonian Magazine in April 1998. But it never reached the level of popularity that geocaching has found.←


where am I?

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n each edition the Suffolk Living staff will provide a challenge of sorts, testing how much of Suffolk you really know. We will photograph some location in Suffolk that is readily accessible and open to the public. If you know where this photo was taken, submit your answer, along with your name and contact information to news@suffolklivingmag.com. 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! Photo by James Bielmann


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Mike Fowler with South Point Saddlery in the Whaleyville community works some of the fine details into one of his handmade leather saddles.


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“The thing is, this is a dying art. There are not a whole lot of people who are doing this. So I have my acquaintances I regularly call, and we exchange information and try each other’s ways of doing things.” Mike Fowler - South Point Saddlery

a lost art A Whaleyville man’s hobby quickly turned into a business

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osie was a sweet old horse. At least that’s how Mike Fowler, her owner, described her. The strawberry roan had a peculiar quality — she had a pinkish beige hue, complete with pink ears and eyelashes. Hence, her name was Rosie. Rosie was Fowler’s first horse, and from this horse would spring a new career, a new passion and an unleashed talent in one of the country’s oldest art forms. When Fowler brought Rosie to Suffolk in the early ’80s, he had not yet told his family his big decision. More specifically, he had not told his mother, Jeannette Fowler. “I thought she would split the roof when I told her,” Mike said. Instead of breaking the news at first, Mike boarded the horse with a friend just up the road from his house. After about a month, he decided

Story by Lauren Wicks Photos by James Bielmann

the time was right. Bracing himself for his mother’s anger, he told her about ol’ Rosie. “He said, ‘Don’t be mad, Mama,’” Jeannette recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah, I am mad. I’m mad you didn’t tell me so I could get one, too.’” Soon, Jeannette had her own horse, as well. Then, they got another — and another. Before long, the Fowler family had earned a name for its horses — and especially for having available the necessary equipment and gear for horses. “People kept borrowing stuff from us,” Mike said. “There was nothing out here for people.” So the Fowlers helped change things. They converted an extra 10-foot by 10-foot stall into a little tack shop. “If you had more than two people in there, you had to wait outside,”

Mike said. It was the humble beginning of South Point Saddlery. Today, the farm and saddle shop in Whaleyville is a leading provider of boots, saddles, bridles and accessories to the commonwealth’s equestrian set. Even more impressive, the store is not just a supplier of these goods, but a manufacturer of them, as well. Once the tack shop was open, Mike Fowler began learning the art of leatherwork. Project by project, study by study, he has become an expert in the field. By 1991, he was making whole saddles by hand. By 1995, the demand for his work in the shop had grown to the point that he left behind his career as a small engine mechanic. See LOST ART page 46


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LOST ART continued from pg. 45

Today, his work has extended past the equestrian field. Fowler has done leatherwork for scuba divers and weightlifters, and he has been called in to do all the leather detail in World War II-era planes that are housed at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach. “There is nothing that he can’t make,” Jeannette said. “People come in here, and they talk to him about what they want, and he can make it.” For his part, Mike credits two people for his

skill with leather. The first influence was a high school teacher. At John F. Kennedy High School, Mike took an industrial arts class that introduced him to the world of leather. “We were making wristbands and things like that,” he said. “Little stuff, but it stuck with me. (My teacher) had no idea what his little industrial arts class did for me.” Years later, Mike was working in the store when he would meet another, more unlikely

teacher, a friend he refers to only as George. George was new to town, having moved down from New York, and was experienced in leatherwork. It was not long before Mike began picking George’s brain for tips. “I didn’t understand back then what I was doing with my future,” Mike said. “I was just tearing things apart, repairing them, and learning from him. I had a great apprenticeship under him.” Throughout the years, Mike continued to


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South Point Saddlery in Whaleyville offers a wide range of crucial horse-related items including handmade saddles by Mike Fowler. The business grew out a 10-foot by 10-foot shed into the expansive business it is today.

hone his skill, taking different correspondence courses and keeping in touch with other saddle makers in the South. “The thing is, this is a dying art,” Mike said. “There are not a whole lot of people who are doing this. So I have my acquaintances I regularly call, and we exchange information and try each other’s ways of doing things.” While people have come to Mike with new projects — including custom gun holsters, knife cases or belts — saddles are still Mike’s favorite

projects. Because of the time involved for each saddle, Mike develops an almost intimate connection with it. The same investment of time, however, means there is very little profit margin in the typical saddle. South Point Saddlery relies on repair jobs for most of its profit. For Mike, though, the saddles represent far more than a source of revenue. “When a man sits down, plans and creates a saddle, it’s a lifetime,” Mike said. “I know it’s

crazy, but every one I’ve built, when it leaves out of the stores, it’s like a piece of my heart goes with it.” Each saddle is custom-made, from the planning stage to the leather tanning to the specific tooling, or engraved work, on the leather. And it all starts with nothing but a tree. A wooden tree is the blank canvas that begins the masterpiece of a saddle. The wooden base is ordered from a wood See LOST ART page 48


48 suffolk living Lost art continued from pg. 47

product manufacturer, and then the planning begins. Mike takes specific measurements of the horse owner to create the right pattern for the perfect fitting saddle. “When I build one saddle, I throw the pattern away, so it’s a one-of-a-kind for the customer,” Mike said. “It’s kind of like going to the Ford plant and watching trucks being built piece by piece, but it’s more personal, because there’s only one.” Once the pattern is made, the raw leather — which sits in giant rolls like carpet in Mike’s workspace — is ready to be dyed, cut and sewn right on site. Leather is ordered in “half-cow” units. A saddle usually takes an entire cow of leather. One saddle usually takes about 80 hours of uninterrupted work, Mike said, but he does not mind the time. The work makes him feel connected to the saddle makers of the late 19th century, who would have used the same methods and tools in the 1880s that Mike does today. As a sort of homage to that connection, he has built several exact replicas of 19th-century saddles. “It’s pretty cool for me,” Mike said. “I think it’s like this connection with American history and the old West. I always loved those movies growing up, and to me, to connect to that makes it interesting.” Even the occasional saddle repair can prove rich in connections to the past. When someone brings an old family saddle for repair, Mike sometimes finds archives of the past under the layers of leather. “You’ll find initials and things people carved into them years and years ago,” Jeannette said. “It’s fascinating what you can find.” Today, Mike, Jeannette and Mike’s wife, Pat, work in the saddlery and have about every type of saddle possible. “We try to have a wide selection of everything,” Jeannette said. “But, there are some that just mean a little more to us.” And, while Rosie is no longer here, there are 23 other horses at the family barn thanks to her. “It did all start with her, I suppose,” Mike said. “Now, here we are.” ←

Mike Fowler learned the art of making saddles on his own, picking up tips and tricks of the trades from others in the business.


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how their gardens show Story by Leila G. Roche Photos by James Bielmann

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ost people have doormats. Bill and Linda Pinkham have fish. Visitors to the Pinkham’s home hear the light trickle of a waterfall in the background and the splash of the flame-colored koi swimming inches from their feet, below royal purple irises and water lilies as big as a hand, as they walk across their pond on their way to the front door. The pond is one of the six gardens on the Pinkham’s six-acre wonderland. With nearly an acre of garden space on the premises, the setting is the culmination of Bill and Linda’s talent and passion, represented by more than 60 years of professional gardening and landscaping experience between them.

The couple met in college while they were studying horticulture at Virginia Tech. After graduation, Linda became an agent with the Virginia Cooperative Extension and later joined Bill working at Smithfield Gardens, the nursery they opened in North Suffolk in 1972. This year the Pinkhams opened their private garden to the public, as one of the seven Suffolk stops in the Virginia Historic Garden Week Tour, which came through Suffolk in April. “This was the first year our garden was on tour,” Linda Pinkham said. “I’ve been a part of the Elizabeth River Garden Club, which helps host the tour every year when it comes through Suffolk. I’ve been able to spend more time in the garSee GARDENS page 50


50 suffolk living GARDENS continued from pg. 49

den since my husband and I retired eight years ago. When we were lining homes up for the tour this year I said, ‘I think I’d be ready to do that now.’” The gardens on their property overlook the James River. During 12 years of developing the project, the Pinkhams have planted tropical, marsh, formal, secret and rock gardens. “If it’s above 35 degrees and sunny, I’ll be out there,” Linda Pinkham said. “There’s a perennial garden book that tells you how much time to spend in the garden, depending on how many flowers you have. According to it, I should be spending 80 hours a week in it.” Bill Pinkham’s handiwork also could be seen in another of the gardens on display during this year’s home and garden tour. Barrell Point belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Richard F. Barry III and is located at the confluence of the James and Nansemond rivers. The property has broad, waterfront exposure and a panoramic view of the Hampton Roads harbor. Bill Pinkham helped with the landscaping there. With masses of a single kind of flower or plant grouped together in separate areas throughout the gardens, the resulting environment is a visual symphony and indicative of the landscape style made popular by Wolfgang Oehme and James Van Sweden, whose book, “Bold Romantic Gardens: The New World Landscapes of Oehme and van Sweden” helped redefine American landscape architecture. “It’s just full of big, bold sweeps of color — just masses of color,” Linda Pinkham said. “Instead of one or two knockout rose bushes, they have 30. When they bloom, they make a big show.” But it’s not just the roses and bright colors that lend themselves to the broad brush of the garden’s artistry. The concept also is carried over to the grasses. “The outlying beds near the marsh emulate the grasses in the marsh,” Bill Pinkham said. “They’re masses of different types of ornamental grasses.” Even when the majority of the garden goes dormant, “the structure of the garden lends itself to its beauty,” Bill said. “It’s beautiful moving in the wind and when the snow falls on it.” The property also boasts winding pathways and a pier. Another favorite garden feature of the tour was found at the home of Harry and Tracy Tillman. The home boasts a butterfly garden, a hobby that began when Tracy Tillman helped her daughter with a Girl Scout project in Florida. After the family moved to Virginia, Tracy’s enjoyment of the hobby led her to plant a new garden in Suffolk, this time assuring that it would meet all the requirements necessary to become a certified butterfly waystation. “As they migrate, they stop in our garden, and there’s nectar sources and host plants for them to lay their eggs on,” she said. “It’s been a really good project we just found and love. We even catch the butterflies with a net and tag them from April through December.” Each year the gardens and homes in the tour change. “No two gardens or homes are alike,” Nansemond River Garden Club Chairwoman Jodi Browne said. “I don’t think people realize they have neighbors that are as passionate as they are about their gardens. It’s great to let people see that.” The 2011 tour is scheduled for April 16-23. ←

“There’s a perennial garden book that tells you how much time to spend in the garden, depending on how many flowers you have. According to it, I should be spending 80 hours a week in it.” Linda Pinkham - Gardener


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a little Annual Alpaca shearing gives these local animals their cooler, summer haircuts


off the top Story by Lauren Wicks Photos by James Bielmann

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he sounds could have come from any barbershop in the city. People were laughing and making small talk over the buzz of the clippers. Those in line for haircuts waited patiently for their turn. And after every cut, someone would come by to sweep up all the loose ends from the ground. But these were not the usual buzz cuts. By the time they’d finished with a customer, these massive clippers had sheared between

seven and 10 pounds of alpaca fleece. The annual shearing of alpacas is one of the biggest and most profitable events to hit any alpaca farm, including the Golden Eagle Alpaca Farm in Whaleyville. “It’s one of our biggest days,” said John Gasser, owner of the farm. These shearings take place in the spring only after the cool weather has passed and the warm weather has yet to set, in order to keep the alpacas as comfortable as possible.

It’s a long wait for the desired product. The fiber from alpaca fleece is used in the same ways as wool from sheep — for making knitted and woven products such as sweaters, blankets and bedding. “I have a pair of socks made of alpaca fiber,” Gasser said. “They’re the best socks I’ve ever had in my life.” The fleece of an alpaca comes in more than a dozen natural colors, so there are no dyes or See ALPACAS page 54


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“They’re the sweetest thing. People should really get the chance to see them.” John Gasser — Alpaca Farm Owner


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chemicals added. Additionally, Gasser said, the alpaca skin secretes fewer oils, making its fleece easier for many consumers to wear. “For people who have problems with allergies and stuff like that, alpacas can be very helpful for them,” Gasser said. The high quality also yields high profits. Gasser said he gets roughly $3 per ounce of fiber, which adds up quickly using his nine alpacas on site. Gasser got into the alpaca business last year, when he opened his farm in July. Looking for something to do after retiring from his wholesale produce business, Gasser was intrigued by

the ease of caring for these llama-like species. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of time,” he said. “You have to look after them, that’s for sure, but if you have good fences and have a big dog or llama to look after them, you’re fine. The ease of care is wonderful.” There are other benefits to raising alpacas, as well. Trenton Bishop, who owns and operates Box Elder Ranch, said the alpaca community is a tight-knit one. “It’s a wonderful industry,” Bishop said. “The people are just great.” Bishop researched the industry for more than two years before opening his own farm in 2008.

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While he does sell some fleece, Bishop’s farm is more focused on pure-blood breeding of the animals. Through his work in the alpaca community, Bishop has met farmers and alpacas from around the country. “I’ve really enjoyed the community that is the alpaca industry,” he said. “The products that come out of the alpaca fleece are absolutely amazing, and the people are truly wonderful people. There’s nothing really like it.” Both farmers said they welcome visitors who want to come meet the alpacas in person. “They’re the sweetest things,” Gasser said. “People should really get the chance to see them.” ←


travel virginia

From your backyard to the other side of the state, Virginia gives you plenty of ...

places to go & things to see You a re

re he


suffolk living 57 The Mariner’s Museum, Newport News

Courtesy of Newport news Tourism Development office

HAMPTON ROADS & THE COLONIAL TRIANGLE Southeastern Virginia’s Hampton Roads region is the birthplace of Colonial America. Centuries of American history blend with the performing arts, the richest cultures, the best nightlife in Virginia, and a breathtaking view in any direction surrounded by the one thing that ties it all together – water. Here are our picks for can’t miss travel opportunities in the Hampton Roads region. WHERE TO STAY Great Wolf Lodge – Family fun is the ultimate goal at Great Wolf Lodge. It’s one of our top picks for lodging in the area because of one thing: you can find it all under one roof. Of note is “Fort Mackenzie”, a four-story interactive treehouse water fort set amidst a year-round indoor water park. There’s also fun for the whole family at the Eagle Peak Rock Wall and the Race Zone, as well as an on-site spa for a day of relaxation. DEAL: Valid thru Sept. 2, get the Summer Special with rates from $199.99 including waterpark passes for the entire stay. Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg, VA; 1-800-551-9653, www.greatwolf.com/ williamsburg Turtle Cay Resort – Inspired by the Old-World charm of a Key West conch cottage, the Turtle Cay Resort’s sweeping verandas, charming villas and swaying palm trees will whisk you back to a simpler time of easy beach living. Situated on the quieter end of the resort strip, just across the street from the Virginia Beach boardwalk, Turtle Cay is in great proximity to area attractions without the intrusion of noisy crowds. Great for the romantic or relaxing getaway, Turtle Cay ranks as one of our best finds in Hampton Roads. Turtle Cay Resort, 600 Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA; 888-989-7788; www.turtlecay.com

WHERE TO EAT Freemason Abbey – Located in a 136-year-old renovated church, Freemason Abbey has been a locals’ favorite in the heart of downtown Norfolk for more than 20 years. The atmosphere is elegant, yet casual, so feel free to go dressed as you are. The menu features fresh seafood, lobster, steaks, pasta dishes and plenty of ‘wild game’ specials to add to the menu if you’re looking for a little extra something. We highly recommend the She Crab soup, a cut of Filet Mignon and a decadent cheesecake for dessert. Freemason Abbey, 209 W. Freemason Street, Norfolk, VA; (757) 622-3966; www.freemasonabbey.com The Bier Garden – It’s Oktoberfest all year long at one of Portsmouth’s most recognized eateries – The Bier Garden. Located on High Street in the heart of Portsmouth, this local hub of Bavarian cuisine will keep you in good spirits with a stellar beer selection and Osfolk-family recipes from bratwurst to goulash. The Bier Garden, 438 High Street, Portsmouth, VA; 757-393-6022; www. BierGarden.com WHAT TO DO The Mariners Museum – This Newport News museum tells the story of 3,000 years of maritime history through artifacts, ship models and paintings. The USS Monitor Center houses a fullscale replica and artifacts of the historic ironclad ship, and visitors have a chance to maneuver a sailing frigate in battle. The museum is a great destination for the whole family, as well as the history buff in us all. During the summer, the museum plays host to Thursdays by the Lake – a summer concert series featuring party/dance bands. The Mariners’ Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA; (757) 596-2222; www. mariner.org

Virginia Zoo – From the plains of Africa to your own backyard, the Virginia Zoo has a world of discovery for you. Open year-round, the Virginia Zoo offers family fun, education and excitement for everyone. More than 350 animals make residence on 53 acres in Norfolk, but our pick for best part of the zoo has to be the interactive prairie dog habitat, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with these furry creatures. Virginia Zoo, 3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA; (757) 441-2374; www.virginiazoo.com EASTERN SHORE A tiny peninsula in Eastern Virginia is home to one of the state’s best features and one of the last pristine stretches of land bordering the Atlantic – the Eastern Shore. Where the Bay meets the sea, watermen ride the tides and family farms stretch lush and green. With such diverse and unique opportunities here, we’re surprised it is still considered one of Virginia’s best-kept secrets. WHERE TO STAY The Inn at Onancock – Experience the perfect antidote to a hectic life at this rare find in the quiet bayside town of Onancock. With only 5 guestrooms, this laid-back luxury inn is all about getting you away from it all. Each room is decorated with a different inspiration, including the Far East, Provence, Tuscany, Maine and Williamsburg. Perks of this quaint inn include a gourmet breakfast and a daily wine-down hour. The Inn at Onancock, 30 North Street, Onancock, VA; 1-866-792-7466; www.InnatOnancock.com Matchotank Country Home – Imagine this: you’re sitting on the 72 foot wrap-around porch in perfect 73-degree morning temperatures reading your favorite book. At Matchotank Country home, this is by no means left up to the imagination.


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The Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Va.

Courtesy of The Homestead Resort

This fully furnished 3,700-square-foot, secluded rural home is located on 50 private acres with exquisite waterfront views of the Chesapeake Bay. Charter fishing, guide services and abundant wildlife are just a step away for guests. A great getaway for families, couples or business retreats, the Matchotank Country Home is an experience unlike any other. Matchotank Country Home, Matchotank, VA; (757) 787-3399; www. easternshoreretreat.com Pickett’s Harbor Beach House – This contemporary beach cottage on the Southern end of the Eastern Shore is adorned with unfinished cedar planks facing the woods, and sand-based stucco on the beachside. It is unlike any beach house you’ve ever rented, that’s for sure. The house can comfortably sleep 8 people. With 27 acres of private beach at your doorstep, a winding walkway of salt-treated lumber will take you from the back door to the white sands of the Chesapeake Bay. If you’re searching for a unique nature experience off the beaten path, Pickett’s Harbor is for you. Pickett’s Harbor Beach House; www.phbeachhouse.com WHERE TO EAT The Sea Shell Café – Nestled on Chincoteague Island, this restaurant redefines simplistic cuisine on the Eastern Shore. A casual dining experience at lunch transforms into an intimate restaurant at night. Our recommendation: Start with the Steamed Clams Bordelaise, move on to the signature Crab Cakes for your entrée, and finish it out with the delicious crème bruleé. Sea Shell Café, 7085 Maddox Boulevard, Chincoteague, VA; 757-336-6005; www.TheSeaShellCafe.com The Island House – Designed after the old Parramore Island Life Saving Station and built in the late 1800’s, the Island House is tucked away overlooking the tranquil Wachapreague waterfront. Visitors can enjoy some of the best flounder at this weathered local landmark, and afterwards climb to the top of its tower for a

view of the barrier islands. The Island House, 17 Atlantic Avenue, Wachapreague, VA; (757) 7874242; www.wachapreague.com WHAT TO DO Eastern Shore Hang Gliding – If you are looking for one of the most exciting things to do i.e. you want to fly like a bird and see some of the most beautiful scenery on the East Coast, then take an introductory aerotow tandem hang gliding lesson at the Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center. Operated only March – October. The adventurous spirit in all of us is sure to peek out. Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center, 9114 Bayford Road, Weirwood, VA; (757) 752-8811; www. EasternShoreHangGliding.com Chatham Vineyards – Get a bit of history and a bit of spirits all rolled into one when you visit Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo. The land, which overlooks Church Creek, was patented in 1640, and the Federal-period brick home was built in 1818. Having been a working farm over the last four centuries, the addition of the winery in 2005 has added a new life to the old place. Events at the winery include Expedition’s Winery Kayak Tour and Girls Day Out regional explorations. Open for complimentary tours and wine tastings Thursday – Monday. Chatham Vineyards, 9232 Chatham Road, Machipongo, VA; (757) 678-5588; www. chathamvineyards.net

WESTERN VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS & VALLEYS WHERE TO STAY The Homestead Resort – Surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains, this spectacular resort in Hot Springs encompasses 15,000 acres. 506 rooms and suites reflect the Georgian style, and extra on-site amenities include multiple dining options, several boutiques and a world-class spa. The Jefferson Pools, hot mineral spring waters, allow guests to restore themselves using the

natural healing powers of the land. Spring to fall activities include golf, outdoor and indoor swimming, tennis, caving, fly fishing and more. Fall to winter activities include snow tubing, snowmobiling, ice skating and cross-country skiing. The Homestead, 1766 Homestead Drive, Hot Springs, VA; (800) 838-1766; www. thehomestead.com Craddock Terry Hotel & Event Center – Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, the Craddock Terry hotel is a remarkable boutique hotel that makes a statement. Most of the 44 guest rooms have exposed brick or stone exterior walls, and feature a stylish modern décor with high ceilings. If you’re looking to explore Lynchburg, this is the place to call home base. Craddock Terry Hotel, 1312 Commerce Street, Lynchburg, VA; (434) 455-1500; www.craddockterryhotel.com WHERE TO EAT Blue 5 Restaurant – Blue 5’s menu is filled with a mixture of great food with a Southern twist. Dishes range from seafood and pastas to burgers, chicken and steak. But even though you may come for the food, stay for the show as Blue 5 offers live music four nights a week from acoustic performances to smooth jazz to rockin’ blues. Blue 5 Restaurant, 312 2nd Street, Roanoke, VA; (540) 904-5338; www.blue5restaurant.com Blackbird Bakery – Located just off State Street in the historic section of downtown Bristol, Blackbird Bakery will make you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time to the small towns of old. Pastries, desserts and doughnuts are the treats of the day at this quaint local shop. Blackbird Bakery, 56 Piedmont Avenue, Bristol, VA; (276) 645-5754; www.blackbirdbakerybristol.com WHAT TO DO Natural Bridge – The immensity is startling … the majesty is striking. Twenty stories of solid rock, carved by the fingers of nature — Virginia’s


suffolk living Natural Bridge. The exterior isn’t the only amazing part. Visitors can also explore Natural Bridge’s caverns, a Native American Village and the beauty of the outdoors. Natural Bridge of Virginia, 15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, VA; (800) 533-1410; www.naturalbridgeva.com

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Kayaking, Richmond, Va.

CENTRAL VIRGINIA WHERE TO STAY Linden Row Inn – To truly experience Richmond, we recommend taking it to the next level with accommodations, as well. Linden Row Inn is a historic urban hotel with a European style — designed to make your visit a gratifying experience. The hotel’s 77 rooms open up to an intimate, winding garden courtyard. Linden Row Inn, 100 E. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA; (804) 783-7000; www.lindenrowinn.com The Jefferson – Centrally located in the heart of downtown Richmond, The Jefferson hotel is just blocks from the state capital, historic Shockoe Slip, the Convention Center and the financial district. Opened in 1895, this hotel has served as a host to no less than 12 presidents – Harrison, McKinley, Wilson, Coolidge, Taft, both Roosevelts, Truman, Reagan, both Bushes and Barack Obama. The Jefferson, 101 West Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23220; (804) 788-8000; www. jeffersonhotel.com WHERE TO EAT Balliceaux – With a focus on new American cuisine, Balliceaux doesn’t disappoint. Their dinner menu is broken into categories – field and forest, farm and pasture, and waters. Popular items include grill-flashed baby octopus, panko encrusted twin oaks tofu, and the classic heritage burger. If you’re looking for a restaurant that prides itself on local seasonal fare with an emphasis on sound ‘farm-to-fork’ practices, this one is for you. Balliceaux, 203 N. Lombardy Street, Richmond, VA; (804) 355-3008; www. balliceauxrva.com Siné - Pronounced “Shin-áy”, this Irish pub and restaurant is a great place to kick back, relax and take in the spirits after a long day of touring historic Richmond. Menu includes traditional Irish pub fare as well as Celtic-inspired American cuisine. Siné Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1327 East Cary Street at Shockoe Slip, Richmond, VA; (804) 649-7767; www.sineirishpub.com WHAT TO DO Hit the Water – Richmond offers plenty of choices for travelers looking to spend time on the water. Take a thrilling canoe or kayak trip through the nation’s only urban setting for class IV rapids; right through downtown Richmond. Visitors can also board Eagle Cruises or hitch a ride on the Kanawha Canal boats to take in a different view of the city. Riverside Outfitters (Kayak Rental), 6836 Old Westham Road, Richmond, VA 23225; (804) 560-0068; www.riversideoutfitters.net. Virginia Capitol – Explore the second-oldest working capitol in the Unites States, as it was originally designed by Thomas Jefferson. Take in the sights of the Capitol Square grounds and learn about the history of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy. Capitol Square Guided Tours, 910 Capitol Street, Richmond, VA; (804) 6968-1788; www.virginiacapitol.gov

Courtesy of Richmond Department of Tourism

NORTHERN VIRGINIA WHERE TO STAY Hotel Monaco Alexandria – Located on King Street in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, the luxury hotel’s 241 rooms offer access to local museums, restaurants, shops and the historic Mount Vernon, as well as a 10-minute drive to Washington, D.C. Pets are aren’t just welcomed at the hotel, they are spoiled with the hotel’s “Sit! Stay! Package,” which includes deluxe pet accommodations, gourmet doggie bag, and a welcome note from the Director of Pet Relations, Charlie – a bichon frise. Hotel Monaco Alexandria, 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA; (800) 368-5047; www.monaco-alexandria.com AKA Virginia Square – On the edge of Virginia Square, Arlington’s educational and cultural center, AKA Virginia Square is situated between the vibrant Ballston and Clarendon neighborhoods. This is a newly built, eight-story midrise with ceiling-to-floor glass windows for you to take in the sights. The loft-style suites will feel to you more like home than any hotel you’ve ever visited. AKA Virginia Square, 3409 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201; (888) 252-0310; www.hotelaka.com WHERE TO EAT The Liberty Tavern – Immediately upon entering The Liberty Tavern, you are embraced by the wonderful aroma of two wood-burning ovens, and you are certain to enjoy the delicious Neapolitan pizzas, thick-cut steaks and pristinely fresh whole and filleted fish that benefit from this rustic method of cooking. Another treat? They handcraft breads, pastas, sausages, ice creams and desserts on site. The Liberty Tavern, 3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA; (703) 465-9360; www. thelibertytavern.com Thai Basil – Nonkgran Daks, executive chef and owner of Thai Basil, was born to cook and teach. She mixed those together for a successful restaurant in Thai Basil, and she has showed her talents alongside Bobby Flay in “Throwdown” and teaching TV personality Samantha Brown how to prepare Pad Thai. Enjoy the native Thai-décor as you enjoy a truly humbling cuisine from one of the most talented Thai chefs in the nation. Thai Basil, 14511-P Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Chantilly, VA; (703) 478-3666; www. thaibasilchantilly.com

Courtesy of USMC Museum

WHAT TO DO Arlington National Cemetery – For the almost four million people who visit annually, Arlington National Cemetery represents many different things. For some, it is a chance to walk among headstones that chronicle American history; for many it is an opportunity to remember and honor the nation’s war heroes. The Arlington Cemetery is a must-see for any visitor to the area. The Arlington Cemetery, 214 McNair Road, Fort Myer, VA 22211; (703) 607-8000; www. arlingtoncemetery.org National Museum of the Marine Corps – The National Museum of the Marine Corps is a lasting tribute to U.S. Marines — past, present and future. Situated on a 135-acre site adjacent to Quantico, the museum’s soaring design evokes the image of the flag-raisers of Iwo Jima and beckons visitors to this 120,000-square-foot structure. Interactive displays, irreplaceable artifacts and giant Lego recreations of important events are highlights of this family-friendly attraction. The National Museum of the Marine Corps, 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, VA; (877) 635-1775; www. usmcmuseum.com


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suffolk living

index of advertisers AAA Suffolk Center..........................20 AllState - Roberts Insurance...............6 Array 700.........................................22 Atlantic Shores Heating & Cooling..30 Autumn Care of Suffolk...................18 Bella Fabrics....................................14 Big Bear Family Campground.........60 Bon Secours Virginia Health System...63 Bronco Federal Credit Union.............4 Carver Cemetery.............................12 Charter Communications................35 Chippokes Farm & Forestry Museum...9 Chorey & Associates.......................64 City of Suffolk..................................24 Consulate Health Care....................10 D.B. Bowles Jewelers......................16 David Rawls Electrical.....................60 Duke Automotive........................6, 26 Eclipse Lawn Care...........................18 Ellen Drames – Long & Foster............2 Farmers Bank..................................22 FLEXA Furniture Outlet....................22 Hampton Roads Financial...............11 Holiday Inn Express & Suites............20 Isle of Wight Academy....................12 James Bielmann Photography..........7 Jammin’ Jerk BBQ............................6 Jett, Sellers, LaRusso.......................61 Johnson’s Gardens...........................60 Lil’ Folks Learning...........................60 Lofts at East Point...........................16

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Want to join us as an advertiser? Contact Nikki Reeves at 757-934-9618 or e-mail to sales@suffolklivingmag.com Meadowbrook Memorial Gardens...42 Mike Duman....................................14 Nancy’s Calico Patch.......................18 Nansemond Antiques.....................60 Nansemond Suffolk Academy.........11 New Life Suffolk..............................60 Obstetrics & Gynecology of Hampton.....................................20 Parr Funeral Home..........................11 Professional Academy of Healthcare Reimbursement Specialists.............18 Quilt With Me.................................60 Rawlings Mechanical.......................10 Ray’s Florist......................................61 Rebecca Keeling Studios................10 RL Howell DDS................................60 Salon Amoré...................................10 Saunders & Ojeda...........................12 Sentara Healthcare............................3 Sesroh Tack Shoppe........................60 Sisters..............................................61 Smithfield Gardens..........................11 Suffolk Auto Body...........................60 Suffolk Day School........................60 Suffolk Insurance.............................14 Suffolk Radio & TV...........................60 Suffolk Sheet Metal...........................9 TFC Recycling.................................29 Village at Woods Edge....................41 Vintage Tavern................................16 Womble Generator.........................18

Upcoming Deadlines: Fall 2010 Issue: August 2, 2010 Winter 2010 Issue: November 2, 2010 Spring 2011 Issue: Feb. 2, 2011 Summer 2011 Issue: May 1, 2011

where am I?

I

n each edition the Suffolk Living staff will provide a challenge of sorts, testing how much of Suffolk you really know. We will photograph some location in Suffolk that is readily accessible and open to the public. If you know where this photo was taken, submit your answer, along with your name and contact information to news@suffolklivingmag.com. 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!

Last issue’s Where am I? In the spring issue of Suffolk Living, we offered you a challenge to identify the location of the mystery photo. It proved difficult. The location of the photo was the old Horseshoe Cafe sign on East Washington St.


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scrapbook

Suffolk 1930s: Camp Matoaka was a Girl Scout Camp on 90 acres on Lake Prince. It was in operation

from the 1930s until 1981. Matoaka was Pocahontas’ middle name and Matoaka Road, previously the Avenue, took the name of the camp. Camp Matoaka is gone now and its remnants have been removed. However, many women who once were Girl Scouts have happy memories of summer days and nights there. Above, circa 1960, Lois McIlwain, waterfront staff member, leads the way for girls headed out for some summertime fun. The building shown was the only enclosed one in the camp. — Photo courtesy of the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society


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Suffolk Living Summer 2010