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Easter dinner Cooking for 45 guests

House Tour

A look at how the Camps lived

Catching up with ... Judge Daniel Balfour

SPRIN G 2012 • vol. 3, no. 1


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Age 6: Mom was always there to make the monsters go away. Age 13: My biggest cheerleader made sure I was never late to cheerleading practice. Age 18: She could still always tell when something was wrong. Age 27: Tears of joy when I told her she was going to be a grandma. Age 29: We found that warding off monsters is even easier as a team.

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4 western tidewater living

letter from the publisher

W

inter? What winter? At the risk of jinxing us at the time of this writing in early March (anyone remember the “Circus Blizzard” of 1980?), Winter 2011-12 will be remembered for its wimpiness. Few in Western Tidewater are complaining – not after a prior winter that was considerably less kind. Spring sprung early this year, evidenced by the daffodil blooms outside Ruth Camp Campbell Memorial Library in late February. Within weeks, the signs were abundant: the ding of bats hitting balls on baseball diamonds; businessmen sneaking away from the office for a round of weekday golf; and busier parking lots at area lawn-and-garden centers. The greatest fear after a mild winter is Mother Nature’s payback: a brutal summer. We’ll find out soon enough. For now, we’ll savor springtime and its many delights, including the Franklin Garden Club’s home tour during Historic Garden Week. Catch a sneak preview on the pages that follow.

Sincerely, Steve Stewart

our 96 customers

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contents | spring 2012

inner Easter dCooking for 45

e Tour Hous ps lived the Cam at how A look ... g up with Catchin Judge Daniel Balfour

Cover photograph by Frank A. Davis

SP RIN

no . 1 • vo l. 3, G 20 12

ON THE COVER: Marguerite Leathers rides 8,849 miles over 363 days in 2011.

Inside this edition

22

22 western tidewater living

cooking with

gourmet & more

Each quarter our magazine features a local cook. See what Debra Alphin’s cooking up for the Easter holiday.

Story by Merle Monahan Photography by Don Bridgers

D

Steve Stewart Publisher Tony Clark General Manager

6

party pix

From Franklin’s 50th Anniversary Gala to the Jameer Woodley Benefit, Western Tidewater had a busy winter celebrating.

ebra Alphin’s husband, Rex, says she has kitchen sense. “Well I don’t know about that, but I’ve never been intimidated by the kitchen,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve been cooking, it seems, all my life. In fact, I don’t ever remember not being able to cook.” The 54-year-old former elementary school teacher, who also has a degree in nursing which she earned when she was 50, is the mother of three adult children, Judson, Leah and Amanda. Despite the commitments of family and education, Alphin has also become a gourmet cook and is well known in her community for her culinary talents. When she is not volunteering at the Western Tidewater Free Clinic in Suffolk, where she often takes home-baked snacks to the staff, she can most likely be found in the kitchen on the family farm or at her church, preparing one of her award-winning dishes. The York County native began cooking by helping with the family meals. See ALPHIN page 21

Gwen Albers Managing editor Dale Liesch Staff writer

Tour of Homes

Rex Alphin Columnist

Franklin Garden Club’s tour of homes will feature three Camp homes.

Merle Monahan Contributing writer

26 western tidewater living

where am I?

Troy Cooper Designer Ryan Outlaw Designer Loretta Lomax Editorial assistant

32

In each edition, our magazine staff provides a challenge of sorts for readers, testing how much of Western Tidewater you really know. We photograph a scene in Western Tidewater that is visible to motorists or pedestrians. Whoever can identify the locations of the most houses 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. E-mail your answers to magazine@tidewaternews.com Go out and enjoy Western Tidewater!

Michelle Stainback Office manager

Friends Forever James Riddick, Jack Camp shared special bond

Western Tidewater Living is published four times a year by Tidewater Publications, LLC P.O. Box 497, Franklin, VA 23851 757-562-3187 Advertising rates and information available upon request to magazine@tidewaternews.com. Subscriptions are $20 annually in-state; $24 annually out of state; and $30 annually overseas.

Nuptials Cynthia Pegram and Moses Wyche marry

34

46

46 western tidewater living

40

Colmunist Rex Alphin shares thoughts on spring.

Pedaling along Marguerite Leathers keeps commitment to cycle

37

Tell us where our photographer took this photo and get a chance to win a gift certificate.

Mitzi Lusk Marketing consultant Kate Archer Marketing consultant

37

expectant earth H

old it. Cut the television off. Silence your cell phone. Better yet, stash it in the top drawer. Put distance between you and your computer and flee the tablet. Come with me! The world awaits! Come, sit by my side. Watch! Look! The earth is warming! Can you feel it? Close your eyes. Tilt your face upwards. Let your cheeks bask in the rays! Now look about. Can you sense the restlessness? The earth is expecting, is it not? No longer can it be denied! No longer can its crust contain the life underneath! Just watch. Watch with me. There! Do you see it! There! It is bursting forth! A sliver, a tiny sword of green bursting through that crack! Right from the soil it comes! Out of bare ground! How can that be? How can such

a thing happen? Before our very eyes! And look! Over there! Yellow! Yellow, I tell you! It is coming alive in our presence! Exploding forth! And purple! Now orange! Red, amber, pink, white! Striped, streaked, dotted! What variety! What assortment! What random diversity! Why, the ground is now covered with life! Painting its own picture, producing its own show! And what sculptures, what captivating works of art! Fingers thrusting to the sky! Embroidery weaving its own designs! As if it

column and photo by Rex Alphin

was all planned and devised! How can this be? Why are we so privileged to see it, to touch it, to smell it? To revel in it! Ah, it’s spring, I tell you! Let the earth burst forth and wrap us in its arms! Smell the honeysuckle and let the fescue tickle your toes! Curtsy to the daffodils and bow to the Bradford pear. Take a knee to the great oak as he stretches his arms over your shingles. For you are a chosen audience, I tell you! To you were given sight and senses! A witness to splendor! Ah, it’s spring! Ring the bells! Proclaim its entrance in the public square! Announce its arrival from the hilltop! The curtain has parted! The grand, intoxicating season of life is unfolding before our very eyes! Let the show begin! ←


6 western tidewater living

party pix

50th Anniversary Gala

Top, Warren Beale, from left, Texie Marks, Walker Gillette, Rhonda Stewart, and Phil and Marcie Wright attend the Franklin 50th Anniversary Gala at Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Workforce Development Center on Feb. 17; above left, Arwen and Will Councill; above middle, Chantal Roemer and Tim Dalton; above right, Nancy Cornwell, from left, Stan Rich and Irma Brown; at right, Bob and Margaret Mackan. Photos by Don Bridgers


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8 western tidewater living

party pix

The ‘70s at Full Gospel Kingdom Church

Top right, Kiliyah Clarke, from left, Keliyah Childs, Asia Powell and Laniyah Hunter wear fashions from the 1970s during a January program at Full Gospel Kingdom Church in Franklin; at right, from left in front are Asia Johnson and Courtney Britt; and in back, Talisha Wilson, Tevin Sumblin, Desiree Elliott,  Sara Lyons and  Bruce Odom; below, Carlye Artis, left, James Artis Jr. and Kylee Artis. Submitted Photos


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10 western tidewater living

party pix

High Street Seniors

Above, High Street seniors attending a meeting in January in Franklin are Ilene Koenig, left, and Beulah Williams; at left, Shirley Drake, from left, Lucille Brock and Geneva Sessoms; below, Jane Branch, left, and Helen Nurney. Photos by Stephen Cowles


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Franklin City Public Schools Building High Expectations for Success!

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12 western tidewater living

party pix Jameer Woodley Benefit

At right, John and Virginia Scott of Ivor, from left, and Earnell Winfield of Courtland attend the Jameer Woodley Reading Foundation Benefit and Silent Auction at Paul D. Camp Community College on Jan. 14; below left, Heather Simmons, from left, and Peggy Simmons, both of Courtland; Wayne Williams of Newsoms; and Lynn and Mary Burgess of Sedley; below right, in front from left, Jacqueline Rose of Clarksburg, Md., and Dionne Rose-Edmond of Leesburg, and in back, Michael Rose of Hampton and Yvonne Rose of Courtland, at bottom, Jack Wright, from left, and Blake Phillips, both of Franklin; Tim Lowe of Sedley; and Ben Lane of Franklin. Photos by Gwen Albers


western tidewater living

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14 western tidewater living

party pix

Newsoms Ruritan Club Auction

Above, Emma Drake of Newsoms, left, and Sarah Williams of Courtland at the Newsoms Ruritan Club Auction in February; below, Lynda Updike of Statesville, left, Virginia Brett of Como, N.C., and Nannette Brett of Williamsburg. PHOTOS BY Dale Liesch


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16 western tidewater living

party pix Relay for Life Fundraiser

At left, Gladys Edwards of Newsoms attends a Relay for Life fundraiser for the Sojourners at Bethel United Methodist Church on Feb. 4 with her daughter-in-law Wanda Edwards of Newsoms and great-granddaughter, Bailey Edwards, 16 months, of Sedley; below left, Sharon Gryder of Sunbeam, from left, Emma Gryder of Chesterfield and Susan Kaplan of Emporia; below right, Wayne White, from left, Irving and Gracie Malcolm and Linda White, all of Sedley; at bottom, Sojourners Relay for Life team members helping in the kitchen, from left, are Pat Gardner, Ginny Outland, Hilda Drake, Beverly Steward, Linda Drake and Alice Mason. PHOTOs BY Gwen Albers


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18 western tidewater living

party pix Toast A Teacher

At right, attending the Toast A Teacher for Southampton Academy on March 1 at the Rawls Museum Arts were, from left, Anne Ray, Kim Drewry and Ann Marie Vinson; below, Mary Addie Flowers, left, Temple Glenn, Barry Glenn; bottom left, Rachel Pope, from left, Kim Pope and Julia Owens; bottom right, Nina Whitley, left, Leona and Lewis Davis.

photo by Don Bridgers


sen-7514 western tide ad75x10:Layout 1

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20 western tidewater living

party pix Sedley Woman’s Club Valentine’s Dance

At right, attending the Sedley Woman’s Club Valentine’s Dance at the Southampton County Fairgrounds on Feb. 11 were, from left, Mary and Jerry Winningham, and Bobbie and Jeff Butler; below left, Sedley Woman’s Club members, from left, Marti Clark, Cindy Darden and June Dunlow; below right, Carolyn Cook, from left, Terry and Wayne Whitehead; bottom left, Heather and Rusty Dunlow; bottom right, couples from left, Bob and Dot McDonald, Matt and Donna Bernocco and Joey and Gina Arzola. PHOTOS BY Don Bridgers


western tidewater living

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22 western tidewater living

cooking with

gourmet & more Story by Merle Monahan Photography by Don Bridgers

D

ebra Alphin’s husband, Rex, says she has kitchen sense. “Well I don’t know about that, but I’ve never been intimidated by the kitchen,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve been cooking, it seems, all my life. In fact, I don’t ever remember not being able to cook.” The 54-year-old former elementary school teacher, who also has a degree in nursing which she earned when she was 50, is the mother of three adult children, Judson, Leah and Amanda. Despite the commitments of family and education, Alphin has also become a gourmet cook and is well known in her community for her culinary talents. When she is not volunteering at the Western Tidewater Free Clinic in Suffolk, where she often takes home-baked snacks to the staff, she can most likely be found in the kitchen on the family farm or at her church, preparing one of her award-winning dishes. The York County native began cooking by helping with the family meals. See ALPHIN page 23


western tidewater living

23

ALPHIN continued from page 22

“When I was really young, my mother, Hilda Hogge, was gracious enough to let me help her in the kitchen,” Alphin said. “I learned a lot from her. But surprisingly, I also learned a lot at summer camp.” When she was in high school, Alphin annually attended a four-week Christian summer camp in Lenexa for teenagers, where she helped prepare three meals a day for about 60 people. “I really enjoyed it,” Alphin said. “Cooking just seems to come natural to me. I don’t mind using a new recipe, but I don’t have to. I sometimes experiment, take something out, or put something different in. So far, things have turned out well.” Cooking is indeed Alphin’s passion. On Easter and Christmas, the Alphins invite 45 members from Debra’s extended family for dinner. “The cooking is my department, of course, and I like to mix things up a bit,” she said. “For instance, we don’t have the traditional foods that most people have for these holidays. In the meat line, we can have anything from grilled pork tenderloin to steak or seafood. We usually have two meats.” The vegetables vary except for corn pudding. “We always have that because of the fresh corn from our garden,” Alphin said. “Desserts, of which there are several, are not the same either. The exception here are two pies — always a French apple for Easter and a black bottom for Christmas.” Alphin also makes her own bread on occasion. “My children have all shown an interest in cooking,” she said. “Even Judson, who is going to school in England, sometimes emails me to ask how to cook a certain thing. Once when he was in the States, he called me from the grocery store.” Alphin acknowledges cooking isn’t for everyone. “For some, though, it is an art,” she said. “I like nothing better than to decorate a pretty cake for a special occasion — like for my children’s birthdays, or for a sick friend.” ←

DEBRA ALPHIN’S RECIPES: ORANGE-PINEAPPLE PUDDING CAKE Ingredients 1 box butter cake mix 15-ounce can mandarin oranges with juice 4 eggs ½ cup vegetable oil FROSTING Ingredients 9-ounce carton frozen whipped topping, thawed 20-ounce can crushed pineapple with juice 1 large box instant vanilla pudding Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three, 9-inch cake pans. In mixing bowl, combine cake mix, mandarin oranges, mandarin orange juice, eggs and oil. Beat two minutes with electric mixer. Pour into pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for five minutes, turn out of pans and finish cooling on wire racks. Mix frosting and frost cake. Keep cake refrigerated. STRAWBERRY DESSERT Ingredients Crust 2 cups crushed graham crackers ¾ cup melted butter 3 tsp. sugar Mix together and press crumb mixture in bottom of 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Bake eight minutes at 400 degrees. Do not over bake. Filling 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature 1 cup sugar 8 ounces whipped topping Mix well and spread on top of graham cracker crust. Refrigerate until chilled. Topping 2 small boxes strawberry gelatin 2 cups boiling water 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen strawberries. Place gelatin in bowl and add boiling water. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add strawberries and let stand 10 minutes. Break strawberries apart with fork and pour mixture evenly over filling. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

CHEESY SAUSAGE QUICHE Ingredients 2 pounds pork sausage (1 mild and 1 Italian) 1 cup chopped onion 2/3 cup chopped green pepper 3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese 2 Tbsp flour 2 unbaked deep-dish, piecrusts 4 eggs, beaten 2 cups evaporated canned milk 1 Tbsp parsley flakes 1½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. black pepper Directions In skillet, fry sausage until no longer pink. Remove sausage from skillet and dry on paper towels. Reserve 4 Tbsp. drippings and sauté onions and peppers in drippings. Combine cheese and flour and stir in sausage, onions and peppers. Spread in piecrusts. Mix remaining ingredients and pour into piecrusts over sausage mixture. Bake on cookie sheet for 35 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees until browned and filling is set. CHICKEN AND SPINACH PASTA BAKE Ingredients 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium) 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed 3 cups cubed cooked chicken breasts 1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes 1 (8-ounce) container chive-and-onion cream cheese ½ tsp salt ½ tsp black pepper 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese Directions Prepare rigatoni according to package directions. Meanwhile, spread oil on bottom of 11- by 7-inch baking dish. Add onion in a single layer. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until just tender. Transfer onion to a large bowl and set aside. Drain chopped spinach well, pressing between layers of paper towels. Stir rigatoni, spinach, chicken and next four ingredients into onion bowl. Spoon mixture into baking dish and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes until bubbly.


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Antiques and Collectibles Up and down the East Coast clients shop Southampton Antiques for rare and hard to find antique, period furniture, primitives and collectibles. We carry jewelry, glassware, vintage signs. We carry more than the eyes can see! Southampton Antiques 115 S. Main St., 757-647-8700

DaVinci Beads BUY 4 beads at $6.99 GET 1 FREE! Now carrying DaVinci beads! Each bead is a small work of art; handcraft designs and each crystal is hand set. DaVinci Beads, let them tell your story at a fraction of the cost. We carry bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Stop by and see our new collection at Designs by Sandra 757-562-6455 111 N. Main St.

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Southern Taste. Southern Hospitality. It’s the simple things in life like great conversations & delicious foods that one should enjoy. Step in and check out our newest selections of Italian meats and gourmet cheeses perfect for entertaining. For a taste of the south visit Simply Divine! 757.516.8557 - 102 N. Main St.


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For the Little Adventurers! New for 2012! The Carlisle Saber. A great paddle for kids! Short and sweet, lightweight paddle is easy to maneuver and handle. Kid-proof and designed for fun, the Saber is the perfect choice for little kayakers! Call 757-56WATER for Kayak and Canoe Rentals, Sales & Guided Tours! Blackwater Outfitters, 240 S. Main St., www.blackwateroutfittersva.com

Settle Into Your Zone Enjoy a quiet afternoon in our elegant tea room with a variety of teas and delicious entrees. Pam’s Tea Room - 757.516.6400 107 E. Third Ave. And make sure to call Dot’s Kitchen for all your catering needs! 757.562.4434 Most Comfy Flip Flops! When comfort meets style you’ll get Corky’s® Flip Flops! Our style flops are uniquely designed to take you from beachy to dressy in a slip! Come see our newest collection at Hair Design, 95 Fifth Ave., (757) 562-7072


26 western tidewater living

Camp family homes to be featured on tour Story by Merle Monahan Photography by Don Bridgers

T

he closing of Franklin’s International Paper Mill in 2010 brought to end a more than 100-year era of prosperity with the formation of IP’s predecessor, the Camp Manufacturing Co. Established by P.D. Camp and his brothers, the small lumber mill grew into an interna-

James L. Camp Sr. and his wife, Carrie Savage Camp, built this home at 216 Meadow Lane, Franklin, in 1895.

A look tional manufacturer of fine paper, providing jobs for families in the region. Known for its generosity and philanthropy, the Camp family has always felt a sense of responsibility for the well-being of the area, funding various public safety and non-profit organizations. The family support continues

through its foundations. The Franklin Garden Club for its annual spring tour on Saturday, April 21, will feature four of the early Franklin homes built during this era, three by the Camp brothers and another by Dr. J.F. Bryant, Franklin’s first mayor. Homes on the tour will include:

THE MAPLES 216 Meadow Lane

Built in 1895 by James L. Camp Sr. and his wife, Carrie Savage Camp, the original architecture was Victorian and appeared very much as it does today. James Camp’s brother, Paul D. Camp, liked the house so much that he built the Elms in a similar fashion. In 1942, the home was passed on to James’ son, William “Bill” Camp Sr.,

and in 1977, it went to Bill Camp Jr. and his brother, Clay. It was sold out of the Camp family in 1978. The interior of the home has custom millwork, raised paneling, arched doorways, an elevator, hardwood floors and rare black cypress paneling in the den. The home, which is getting an interior facelift, is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Everette Story.


at history western tidewater living

Above, the Elms at 717 Clay St., Franklin, serves as the administrative offices for the Camp Foundations. Below, this oil painting was given to P.D. Camp, an avid fox hunter, after the home was built.

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THE ELMS 717 Clay St.

Paul D. Camp and his wife, Ella, built the home in 1897. The Camps’ eight children lived there until they married. The Elms today is the administrative quarters for all the Camp Foundations. The interior of the six-bedroom home, which has space for two additional bedrooms on the third floor, is maintained as it was during Ella Camp’s life. It features North Carolina shortleaf curly pine prized for its beautiful grain and so rare that it took Paul D. Camp 25 years to collect enough for the interior trim. The Elms has a remarkable collection of Doughty birds and a wall-size oil painting given to P.D. Camp, an avid fox hunter, when the home was built. The home is probably best known in Franklin as the Santa Claus House. Since 1935, large painted cutouts of Santa and his reindeer have been placed on the roof each December.


28 western tidewater living

THE RYLAND CAMP HOUSE 724 Clay St.

Ryland Camp, the son of P.D. Camp, purchased this American Foursquare home shortly after it was built in 1916. The house was sold in 1980 and underwent several renovations before its current owners purchased it in 2005. The home has a wide front entrance hall, a game room with a fireplace wall, wainscoting, two walls of cabinetry and bookcases made from hand-carved oak. The four-year-old remodeled kitchen includes an island with granite counter, three Italian wall mosaics and refurbished cabinets. Numerous oil paintings throughout the home were painted by friends of the owners, Bryan Harshall and Michele Tono.


western tidewater living

THE BRYANT HOUSE 205 N. High St.

Above, Franklin’s first mayor, Dr. J.F. Bryant, built this home at 205 N. High St. in 1890. At right, a sitting area in the home.

Dr. J.F. Bryant and his wife, Maggie, built the home in 1890. J.F. Bryant was Franklin’s first mayor, the superintendent of Southampton County Schools for 35 years and a Confederate veteran of the Southampton Cavalry. The two-story, post and beam construction home with a wrap-around front porch and an upstairs porch has a view of Franklin Baptist Church. The double front doors are original and feature a twist bell. The hallway walnut banister is original and unusual because no two turnings are the same. Owned by Ron Cornwell, the house will be open to the public for the first time.

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30 western tidewater living

Above left, An interior shot of the Elms. Above right, A staircase at the Elms. Below, an interior shot of the Camp home at 724 Clay St., Franklin.

During the tour, lunch will be served for $15 at the High Street Methodist Church on Camp Parkway. Other activities will include twohour Riverkeeper boat tours, leaving from the public boat ramp off Main Street in Franklin. Tickets are $20 for a full tour and $10 for single-site admission. Children 6-12 will be admitted at half price. Tickets may be purchased at any of the homes on the tour. Advance tickets may be purchased by calling Gayle Urquhart at 562-0915 or Judy Livesay at 562-2600. �


©2011 Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser® Beer, St. Louis, MO


32 western tidewater living

s d n e i r F ‘til d n e e th Story by Susan Taylor Block Photography submitted

James Riddick, Jack Camp shared special bond

J

Above, James Riddick, left, and Jack Camp

ames Andrew Riddick Jr. is a Southampton County native, as was his African-American father, who lived near Sycamore Church. His mother, Lula Faulcon Riddick, was a Native America who was raised on a family farm in Southampton County. Eleven years after the local family-owned business Camp Manufacturing Co. merged with the Union Bag and Paper Co. of Savannah, James Riddick began working there on Dec. 21, 1967. Founded in 1887, Camp Manufacturing was processing 50 million board feet of lumber anSee FRIENDS page 33


western tidewater living FRIENDS continued from page 32

nually by 1948, and the number just kept growing. The 1956 merger helped turn the thriving mill into a small town within the city. A recent graduate of Hayden High School, Riddick stood out among the small army of forklift operators. Supervisor Melvin “Cookie” Williams noticed the even pace at which Riddick worked and the care with which he regarded company equipment. He soon became a straddle carrier operator. Aptly named, the bulky vehicle carried 2,000-foot units of rough lumber to the planing mill, storage, or sales areas. Riddick was the youngest man ever at the mill to operate the vehicle. “It was a large piece of equipment for the small man I was,” he said. “It stood about 14 feet high. So I climbed up in that thing, knees shaking, because it was so tall.” “It seemed like that if you went to the right, or the left, the whole thing would turn right over,” Riddick continued. “The steering wheel turned all four wheels at the same time, and you had to drive it in a zigzag pattern.” It took him a couple of days to get the hang of it and Riddick spent the next 10 years as the smooth captain of his carrier. It was during that time — from a distance — that he got to know John M. Camp Jr. By 1983, Jack Camp, a grandson of founding president Paul D. Camp, managed the Virginia Division of Union-Camp, including the Seaboard, N.C., sawmill and the particle board mill. Though Jack could seem a bit aloof at times, he was usually friendly to the employees, greeting one after another and often asking about their families. “I can see Mr. Camp now,” Riddick reminisced. “He would drive up in his Jaguar, and he’d be dressed in those fine clothes he wore.” “Then, he would come over to greet the employees,” Riddick continued. “I had met him before I ever went to work at the mill because I did chores at Franklin Baptist Church when I was a teenager. He was a very active member there. So we had been greeting each other for many years.” One day in 1983, Melvin Williams told

Riddick to report immediately to Jack Camp’s office. “It came out of the blue,” Riddick said. “I thought to myself that I might be about to lose my job. I just couldn’t imagine why Mr. Camp wanted to see me.” Much to the contrary. Camp was offering Riddick a new job. Camp’s wife, Jean Stafford Camp, was quite ill and not responding well to medical treatment. Jack Camp was a few months from retirement, so he chose Riddick to leave the mill and go to work at 217 Meadow Lane as Jean Camp’s driver. The job included numerous other responsibilities. Though it seemed abrupt to Riddick, the offer was well thought out. Camp had been watching Riddick for years. Camp admired the way Riddick worked, and he especially liked his even-tempered personality, optimism and easy smile. Though poignant and short-lived, Riddick found pleasure in knowing Jean Camp. “Miss Jean was one of the most beautiful and most wonderful ladies that I’ve ever met,” Riddick said. “She had a bright smile and personality. I enjoyed being with her so much.” Jean Camp died just six months after Riddick took the job. “It hurt me, and it hurt the whole community,” he said. “She was much loved. I felt so bad for Mr. Camp and his children — daughters Sharon (Carter) and Jean (Harrell), and his two boys, John and Robert. I got to know all of them, and they felt like family to me.” Prepared to return to the mill, Riddick received another surprise. Jack Camp wanted Riddick to stick around and offered him a private retirement plan. At age 64, Camp was ready to leave Union Camp, and there would be plenty in his new life for Riddick. Some of it truly was work. Maintaining the expansive grounds at 217 Meadow Lane, grooming the horses and keeping things running inside and out fell within the definition, but then there was a delightful hazy area. Riddick also had the good fortune of calling decades of marvelous fishing, hunting and sightseeing trips with Camp “work.”

Riddick flew in Camp’s propeller planes and had frequent use of whatever Jaguar Camp owned. Other interesting duties presented themselves with regularity. Riddick’s employment lasted from 1983 until Camp’s children sold their father’s magnificent home following his death on Aug. 11. Certainly, the biggest perk was getting to know, and know well, the inimitable Jack Camp. “We got along just fine,” Riddick said. “We disagreed on some things, but we always worked it out between us.” Becoming more inseparable over time, the two were a very familiar sight together in Franklin. In later years, they sat together at Camp’s church and occasionally were spotted in Wilmington, N.C., after Camp married port city native Rachel Cameron in 1988. “She was beautiful, too,” Riddick said. “I enjoyed working with her.” Through Camp, Riddick became friends with his boss’ friends. “Do you know my friend, James Riddick,” Jack would always say during introductions. Some of Camp’s favorite people became Riddick’s, including the Rev. Dr. Ray Spence, the Rev. Ben Duffey, Franklin Police Chief Phil Hardison, pilots Jimmy Howell and Everett Williams, and the late Jim Wyatt. Riddick was touched by the love Camp had for these men, and they had for him. “Mr. Camp taught me many things,” Riddick said. “I didn’t even know how to tie a tie when I met him, and I had never even thought of saving money. He taught me other deeper things, too. He was like a father to me.” Riddick’s words illustrate what Dr. Spence said of his friend of 40 years. “Jack had a passion for wanting to make things better and constantly sought, in all areas, to improve the lives of those around him.” Riddick was not only “around him.” He had a special place in Camp’s heart. Like many of us, Riddick as Camp’s employee, confidant and friend is still grieving over his death. “I miss him dearly,” Riddick said. “I loved him and he loved me.” ←

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nuptials

The new Mr. and Mrs. Moses Wyche

man & wife C

Photography by Don Bridgers

ynthia Renee Pegram of Stony Creek and Moses Wyche of Capron married at 4 p.m. Dec. 18, 2011, at St. John Baptist Church in Stony Creek. The Rev. Herbert Holly officiated with the Rev. Daniel Crump assisting. The bride’s father, Glover Pegram, gave away his daughter. Matron of honor was Angelia Booker, cousin of the bride. Maid of honor was Shavonta McKeeverHarris, daughter of the bride. Bridesmaids were Terry Massenburg, sister of the bride; Renata Evans, friend of the bride; Cathy Stith, cousin of the bride; and Loretta Stokes and Jacqueline Sledge, daughters of the groom. Flower girls were Reese Elder and Jaylan See WEDDING page 35


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WEDDING continued from page 34

Forbes, family friends, and Shaundra Sturdifen, the groom’s great-niece. Best men were David Price, friend of the groom, and Cornelius Wyche, brother of the groom. Groomsmen were Anthony and Moses Wyche, sons of the groom; Larry Stith and Marvin Good Sr., cousins of the bride; and Nathaniel Key, friend. Ushers were Antwain Briggs, godson to the bride; and Willie Westbrook, Woodrow Wilson and Chris Everette, all friends of the groom. Ring bearer was Kevonta Brown, grandson of the groom. A reception was held at Golden Leaf Commons in Emporia. The couple spent three days at a bed and breakfast in Williamsburg and will take a cruise to Mexico. They live in Capron. The new Mrs. Wyche is a registered nurse supervisor for Southside Virginia Training Center in Petersburg. Her husband is retired from J.T. Barham and employed by Southampton County Public Schools and Engram Funeral Home in Franklin. �

At left, Moses Wyche with his best man and younger brother, Cornelius Wyche. Below, bridal party members were, from left in front, Reese Elder, Shaundra Sturdifen and Jaylan Forbes, and in back, Jacqueline Sledge, Loretta Stokes, Shavonta Harris, Cathy Stith, bride Cynthia Wyche, Angelia Booker, Renata Evans and Terry Massenburg.


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36 western tidewater living

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western tidewater living

where am I? In each edition, our magazine staff provides a challenge of sorts for readers, testing how much of Western Tidewater you really know. We photograph a scene in Western Tidewater that is visible to motorists or pedestrians. Whoever can identify this structure 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. E-mail your answers to magazine@tidewaternews.com Go out and enjoy Western Tidewater!

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38 western tidewater living

Marshall Rabil comes across a rusty car behind the City of Franklin Garage during Clean Rivers Day in 2011. This year’s event is April 28.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

3/31—SOUTHAMPTON ACADEMY GALA-RUN FOR THE ROSES Location: Paul D. Camp Community College Regional Development Workforce Center Dinner, live and silent auctions at 6 p.m.

Gov. Bob McDonnell greets visitors as he arrives at the 63rd annual Wakefield Ruritan Shad Planking in April 2011.

4/14—4TH ANNUAL COURTLAND RENAISSANCE FAIRE Location: Walter Cecil Rawls Library Event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 653-2821 for information. 4/14—DOWN HOME DAY Location: Heritage Village Courtland A family day full of heritage activities will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Check out the petting zoo and sheep shearing. Come watch logs being sawn on a 1928 sawmill. Corn will be ground into cornmeal on the replica gristmill. Cornbread patties will be cooked for a free tasting. Cornmeal will be available for a donation. Local printers will demonstrate the 1880s printing press. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children. For more information, call 653-9554

4/15—SHAGGIN ON THE BEACH Location: Franklin-Southampton Fairgrounds The Band of Oz, Hip Pocket Band and Steve Owens and the Summertime Band will play from 3 to 7 p.m. 4/18—SHAD PLANKING Location: Wakefield Sportsmen’s Club, 12205 Brittles Mill Road The 64th Shad Planking sponsored by Wakefield

Ruritan Club will take place 2 to 6:30 p.m., rain or shine. For more details, contact Robert Bain at 757-641-8060. 4/21—FRANKLIN ERa OF THE CAMP FAMILY GARDEN TOUR Location: Franklin Tour three Camp homes and the new High Street United Methodist Church on Camp Parkway, where lunch will be served for $15. Tour tickets are $20


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and $15 in advance. Riverkeeper boat tours are $10. 4/28—CLEAN RIVERS DAY  Location: Franklin Spend the day cleaning up trash along the Nottoway and Blackwater rivers. Contact Riverkeeper Jeff Turner at 562-5173 for information. 5/12—SECOND ANNUAL CARDBOARD ROBOREGATTA Location: Barrett’s Landing in Franklin Event is a fundraiser for the Franklin High School Robotics Team. Call Liz Burgess at 641-8341 for information. 5/12—SOUTHAMPTON AGRICULTURE MUSEUM BEEF BARBECUE Location: Courtland Ruritan Club Fundraiser will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Tickets are available from museum members. 5/14—CHAMBER’S 20TH ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT Location: Cypress Cove Country Club For details call Southampton-Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce at 562-4900. 5/14—2nd ANNUAL GAIL PARKER MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT Location: Sleepy Hole Golf Course, Suffolk Social with the Parker family begins at 11 a.m. followed by a complimentary lunch at noon and shotgun start at 1 p.m. Cost is $80 per person and $320 for a team. Proceeds will fund Franklin City Educational Foundation. Register by May 1 by contacting Jim Jervey at jim.jervey@vafb.com.

A car is reflected in a chrome hubcap during the Cecil Proffit World of Wheels International Custom Auto Show at Heritage Park in Windsor last year. 5/12—CECIL PROFFIT’S WORLD OF WHEELS INTERNATIONAL CUSTOM AUTO SHOW Location: Heritage Park, Windsor Colosse collector Cecil Proffit and Isle of Wight County Fair officials will host this auto, car, truck, van, motorcycle and farm equipment show from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To register, call 365-6325 or send an e-mail to dkeyt@isleofwightus.net. 5/31-8/30—WE BE JAMMIN’ Location: Barrett’s Landing at 300 S. Main St., Franklin. Join us 6 to 10 p.m. every Thursday for free concerts featuring local and regional bands,

refreshments and concessions. Dance or just relax and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and entertainment. Downtown Franklin Association sponsors the events. 6/24—PATRIOTISM IN THE PARK Location: Barrett’s Landing at 300 S. Main St. The U.S. Fleet Forces Band will perform a patriotic celebration. Highlights include a tribute to all branches of the armed forces. As the band performs a medley of tunes representing each branch, all military in attendance — active or retired — are asked to stand for recognition and appreciation.

Get Western Tidewater anywhere. Subscribe today.

Subscriptions are $20 annually in-state; $24 annually out of state; and $30 annually overseas.


40 western tidewater living HAPPY continued from page 39

just pedaling along Story by Dale Liesch Photography by Frank A. Davis, submitted

Marguerite Leathers vowed to ride her bicycle every day in 2011; the 58-year-old Courtland woman missed her goal by two days, despite riding 8,849 miles.

See BIKING page 42


western tidewater living

Marguerite Leathers rides on a bike trail in Florida.

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42 western tidewater living BIKING continued from page 40

An Aug. 13 bike crash while in Maine for a family reunion resulted in a broken collarbone. Leathers was told she couldn’t ride for six weeks. That wasn’t an option. She converted her Madone Trek into a stationary bike and continued “her ride” two days later. Riding indoors, she did about half of her normal, 30-mile daily ride while healing. A recent retiree, Leathers has been an avid cyclist since attending Mars Hill College in North Carolina. She knows where every dog in Southampton County lives, and once made headlines after hitting an ostrich that darted in front of her from an exoticanimal farm near Emporia. Leathers was well on her way to reaching her 2011 goal when mayhem struck. While in Maine, she went for a ride. When the driver of a car attempted to turn into a driveway in front of Leathers’ path, Leathers reacted quickly. “I swerved to avoid her and wrecked,” she said. Cyclist Dave Chirayath came upon the accident and remained with Leathers until the ambulance arrived. “The 13th was one of the worst days of my life,” she said. “I wasn’t as concerned about the streak as she was,” said Paul Leathers, who is Marguerite’s husband. “I was worried about her. It was a sad thing because cycling is such a big thing to her.” Chirayath lent Marguerite Leathers the device to convert her bicycle into a stationary bike. She still keeps in touch with Chirayath, whom she and her husband call a “good Samaritan.” Paul Leathers, 77, traded in his bike for a motorized scooter. That was before the husband and wife each completed 100,000 miles on their bikes three years go. They have ridden bikes in every county in Virginia. Marguerite Leathers said Southampton County is her favorite place to ride. “Southampton County is a great place for biking,” she said. “There are so many quiet country back roads.” ←


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44 western tidewater living

catching up with

Judge

Story and photography by Stephen H. Cowles

I Daniel T. Balfour

s a judge’s work ever really done? At the end of January, Judge Daniel T. Balfour retired from Henrico County Circuit Court. The Franklin native’s reason was simple and understandable. “The state has a mandatory retirement at 70 years of age,” he said. “I was going on 71.” But there’s still a need for his expertise. “I’m now a substitute judge,” Balfour said. “The courts are short of judges, and I’ll probably do some mediations. I enjoyed trying cases on the circuit.” An attorney in Richmond for 35 years, he closed out his career with a judgeship, which was presented in 2004. “I liked law and politics and admired some of the lawyers in the area. John C. Parker being one,” Balfour said. “He was a man of integrity, admired by the community and helpful to young people like me.” Traveling with his wife, Jane, would be part of his retirement. The couple’s daughter Jane “Jill” Gillette Balfour is an elementary school teacher. Amy Balfour followed in her father’s footsteps as an attorney, but became a travel writer. “She’s a freelancer for Lonely Planet,” said Daniel Balfour. The son of Richard and Dorothy Gillette Balfour, the judge still has cousins in Franklin. He’s descended from Confederate Maj. Joseph Gillette in Southampton County. “I’m active in the Southampton Historical Society,” said Balfour, who served as vice president. “I wrote several books related to that area,” he said. “One was a pictorial history of the city and county. Another about both areas during the Civil War, and a third about the 13th Virginia Calvary.” Balfour is former trustee for the Museum of the Confederacy, the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington and the Civil War Trust. ←


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46 western tidewater living

expectant earth H

old it. Cut the television off. Silence your cell phone. Better yet, stash it in the top drawer. Put distance between you and your computer and flee the tablet. Come with me! The world awaits! Come, sit by my side. Watch! Look! The earth is warming! Can you feel it? Close your eyes. Tilt your face upwards. Let your cheeks bask in the rays! Now look about. Can you sense the restlessness? The earth is expecting, is it not? No longer can it be denied! No longer can its crust contain the life underneath! Just watch. Watch with me. There! Do you see it! There! It is bursting forth! A sliver, a tiny sword of green bursting through that crack! Right from the soil it comes! Out of bare ground! How can that be? How can such

a thing happen? Before our very eyes! And look! Over there! Yellow! Yellow, I tell you! It is coming alive in our presence! Exploding forth! And purple! Now orange! Red, amber, pink, white! Striped, streaked, dotted! What variety! What assortment! What random diversity! Why, the ground is now covered with life! Painting its own picture, producing its own show! And what sculptures, what captivating works of art! Fingers thrusting to the sky! Embroidery weaving its own designs! As if it

column and photo by Rex Alphin

was all planned and devised! How can this be? Why are we so privileged to see it, to touch it, to smell it? To revel in it! Ah, it’s spring, I tell you! Let the earth burst forth and wrap us in its arms! Smell the honeysuckle and let the fescue tickle your toes! Curtsy to the daffodils and bow to the Bradford pear. Take a knee to the great oak as he stretches his arms over your shingles. For you are a chosen audience, I tell you! To you were given sight and senses! A witness to splendor! Ah, it’s spring! Ring the bells! Proclaim its entrance in the public square! Announce its arrival from the hilltop! The curtain has parted! The grand, intoxicating season of life is unfolding before our very eyes! Let the show begin! ←


Find yours today at

208 South Street, Franklin, VA 23851 • 757-562-6084

www.parkerbattery.com


RANKED HIGHEST IN HAMPTON ROADS Southampton Memorial Hospital is ranked highest in Hampton Roads for the 2nd year in a row on in-patient satisfaction scores (HCAPHS). Results compiled by HealthStream, an independent nationally recognized group. Southampton Memorial Hospital offers a full line of both in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation services; speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy East Pavilion’s Skilled Care Unit is an on-campus full-service rehabilitation center. Southampton Memorial Hospital experienced a growth of over 390 patients in 2011 in patient visits to the Emergency Department. At the same time, wait times for exams decreased 10 minutes ent Emergency Departm and their length of stay times decreased by 15 2010 ..........................13,412 .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Total Visits:.... ..................30 minutes : minutes. SMH am ex an to e tim t Average wai ....2 hours, 30 minutes : initiated their 30 ED in ay st of th ng Average le minute wait time campaign pledge 2011 ..........................13,805 .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... .... Total Visits:.... in May 2011. ..................20 minutes : am ex an to e tim t ai

Average w ....2 hours, 15 minutes : ED in ay st of th ng Average le

www.smhfranklin.com

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Western Tidewater Living - Spring 2012