Day: June 1, 2019

Arts & Entertainment, Last Word

The Class Clown of Radio

The Class Clown of Radio By Miriam R. Kramer Ever since I was aware that he existed, Howard Stern has turned me off. As an avid fan of Late Night with David Letterman in the 80s, I’d see him come on the show as an edgy, juvenile loudmouth. In the early 90s I had a typical long DC commute. I’d change stations frequently, so every now and then I gave his syndicated show a chance. I’d last two minutes at the most before I had to move on. Yet quite recently I’d heard and seen some of his interviews on YouTube. They were calmer, insightful, and provocative. So I was sufficiently intrigued to give his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, a collection of interviews with celebrity guests, a chance. Before I started reading I wondered: Is Howard Stern just trying to change his image? Or is he being honest in describing where life, age, and therapy have taken him? My answer now: Probably both. Stern has never shied away from saying exactly what’s on his mind, even if he exposes himself in the process. He also knows just how to turn publicity to his advantage. I enjoyed his introduction and his explanations of his career path. From having heard his neuroses in action, I also bought into his redemption arc. Stern started in radio to get attention from his father, a radio engineer. His insecurities about his worth and abilities drove him to seek top ratings at any cost. He bounced around from radio station to radio station in the pursuit of fame. His immature sense of humor, self-loathing, and need for attention turned him into a shock jock who hired strippers for the studio and played games like Lesbian Dial-a-Date and Butt Bongo. In the meantime, he kept…

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Single Space

Tomorrow Never Knows

By Lori Welch Brown Tomorrow Never Knows My family took a big hit recently with the loss of my oldest brother, Phil.  Actually—I think the ripple effects extend far beyond our family as he had a work family, a church family, a baseball family, a coaching family, etc.  He had childhood friends and new chemo friends.  As often happens with illness—especially cancer—you may know the end is coming at some point off on the horizon, but then something happens and quite suddenly you find yourself at the end of the line with your loved one.  All of the sudden, far away and distant becomes now and real.  That’s how it was with my brother.  He was good and then he wasn’t and then he was gone in the span of two weeks.  I’m glad he is now at peace and no longer has to spend hours tethered to a chemo drip and didn’t have to add dialysis to his ‘to do’ list. We gathered as a family to mourn.  He had been living out West for 40+ years so I didn’t really know about some chapters of his life.  Everyone, however, knew he loved the Beatles, the Eagles and baseball.  It was great to hear from his friends, co-workers, kids he had coached, etc. who confirmed that he was beloved.  There was a huge void, however.  His child from his first marriage wasn’t in attendance as they had been estranged since she was a teenager.  He wasn’t perfect—he made some mistakes and wasn’t the best father to her when she needed him.  Her mom (his ex) had been trying to broker a reconciliation, but she wasn’t ready.  She was coming around to the idea of a visit when I called her to let her know of his passing.  It opened…

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Pets of the Month, Pets, Places, & Things

Pets of the Month

Phoebe, Young, Spayed Female, White and Black Hotot Rabbit Phoebe is the most fashionable bun in town. Her look is as bold as her personality, which she isn’t afraid to show either. Miss Phoebe loves her people, especially when they’re doting on her with pets and treats, and would be happy to lounge by their side for spa nights in or an evening of TV on the couch, with breaks for strolls in the garden in a bunny harness. She can’t wait to meet her future best friend and that might just be you! Adoption profile: Adoption information: Photo courtesy of Alison Lane Photography Katie, Senior, Spayed Female, Black and White Domestic Longhair Hello, my name is Katie and I’ve been asked to introduce myself. I’m not one for greeting new people, but I’ll give this a try. My favorite people let me sit on their laps and are quiet and patient with me while I settle in for cuddles. My hobbies include maintaining my fluff, bird watching – robins preferred – and watching history documentaries, but mostly because they are so nice to sleep through. I will do my best to introduce myself when you stop by the shelter to meet me and I hope you do soon. Adoption profile: Adoption information: Photo courtesy of Alison Dombrowsky Sally, Adult, Spayed Female, Tricolor Beagle Harry, Adult, Neutered Male, Black German Shepherd We don’t know when Harry met Sally. But we do know this bonded pair is inseparable. To paraphrase a famous movie quote, “then two dogs realize they want to spend their lives together in a new home, they want to find their home as soon as possible”. Harry is a cuddlebug who loves attention from humans. He’s a little pickier when it comes to dogs. Sally is patient and…

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Arts & Entertainment, High Notes


Hero By Ron Powers Award Winning Director Jantonio Turner and Multi-Genre Billboard Charting Musician Stan Medley recently came together to show their gratitude, respect, and admiration for firefighters. Their collaboration has resulted in a powerful video called “Hero” based on Stan Medley’s song by the same name, “Hero”. The video was made in honor of International Firefighters Day, and all income from streaming of the video is being donated to help injured firefighters or the families of firefighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty. “Hero” communicates the sacrifices firefighters make every day. It gives us a glimpse into the lives of the brave men and women who risk their lives facing unbelievable danger. Many losing comrades and loved ones, all in the effort to keep us safe. Some making the ultimate sacrifice in giving their lives. The video opens with Fire Dispatch radioing Assistant Chief David Pruso after a fire fight has been completed. We hear the dispatcher calling out Pruso’s ID number (2612): “Watermen 2612…”. Then a chilling silence. She calls a second time with pain and trepidation in her voice: “Watermen 2612…”. Again, silence fills the airwaves. The pain in the woman’s voice as she tries to reach Pruso makes your stomach sink and heart ache. Emotions rise as you realize Pruso has been lost to the flames. This poignant moment sets a tone for the video. We watch with new appreciation as Director Turner shows us what it’s like for firefighters to be called into duty. We’re shown the quiet interior of a Fire Station in the dead of night. Then the sound of an alarm and a bright red light flood the station, waking the sleeping crew. Next, we see the focused rush of these brave souls charging into danger and risking…

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Beauty & Health, From the Trainer

Hydration Tips

From the Trainer By Ryan Unverzagt Hydration Tips This month officially marks the start of the summer season. I hope all of you have cool vacations planned that include lots of physical activities. As the temperatures rise through the summer, it becomes extremely important to monitor when, where and how much exercise you should be doing along with hydrating properly. Did you know that water accounts for more than 60% of the human body’s volume? Water is so vital to life that we can survive only about three days without it depending upon climate conditions. The hotter and more humid the environment, the faster we become dehydrated. It takes as little as a two percent change in body weight to negatively affect exercise performance. For a 150 lb person, that equates to only 3lbs! There are many factors that affect your hydration status such as: ♣ Ambient Air Temperature (Outside) ♣ Humidity ♣ Individual Sweat Rates ♣ Body Temperature (Internal) ♣ Exercise Intensity & Duration ♣ Fitness Level ♣ Individual Body Fat Percentage ♣ Existing Health Conditions such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, kidney failure, etc. Dehydration can have several negative effects during exercise such as decreased muscle strength & endurance, coordination, mental acuity, and impaired thermoregulation. One of the most important functions of water within the body is to help regulate body heat. When the body is properly hydrated, exercise will feel easier and you will typically have a lower heart rate at the same intensity than you would if you were in a dehydrated state. This is due to optimal blood volume and cardiac output to deliver nutrients and oxygen to your working muscles. There is no single “Gold Standard” for measuring hydration levels because too many factors play into how your body stores water. However, here are some…

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

Where are the lines drawn in the alcohol world?

By Doug Fabbioli Where are the lines drawn in the alcohol world? Beer, wine or liquor? How do you make what, who sells it and how is it regulated? I must admit, I have learned a few things about this subject over the past few decades. When working with alcohol products that are based on crops that grow locally, I have had to study up on the regulations and enforcement of those regulations in the industry. My first venture into the grey area of wine was with our Raspberry Merlot. It seems that putting the word “Raspberry” on equal footing as “Merlot” will lower the credibility of this noble wine grape. The feds have pushed hard to deny my label approval, but I choose to stay grandfathered in and keep the name. As we went to make our port wines, I started working with a local distillery who distilled our base pear wine to a high proof product that I then blended back into the base to create the style I was looking for. So I can have high proof brandy in the winery, but I can’t sell it. Fortunately over the past few years, Virginia has raised the max alcohol level for wine from 18% to 21%. This change gives us the artistic freedom to make the products that fit our style and that customers are looking for. The ciders were an easy fit for us to make as the licensing is the same, although the definition of cider now includes pear base rather than just apple. Usually these are 4-8% alcohol with some spritz in the product. Remember these are based in fruit but not grapes. Beer is a product where the alcohol comes from the fermentation of malted grains but it is not distilled. The brewers can…

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From the Bay to the Blue Ridge, To the Blue Ridge

Horsing Around

By Julie Reardon Horsing Around   The drum of hoof beats kick off the unofficial start of summer in the Blue Ridge as racing over fences winds down and horse shows and polo get into full swing in horse country.  This month, fact the oldest horse show in the country is the Upperville Colt & Horse Show, holding its 166th edition June 3 – 9 under the oaks at the venerable old show grounds at 8300 John Mosby Highway (Rt. 50) west of Middleburg. This show, one of the country’s most prestigious, has been held annually since 1853. It was started by a group of locals to improve horse breeding and these days hosts the top hunters and jumpers from all over the country but still holds classes for colts and fillies too young to be ridden. Still an important part of the social fabric of rural Virginia, horse shows are held all over the state every weekend, small and large, English and Western, casual and formal. For every horse and rider, there is a class somewhere at a show somewhere—children too young to ride on their own have “leadline” classes where a parent or adult leads the pony; there are “short stirrup” classes for beginner riders, children’s and adult classes and open classes where anyone, including professionals, can compete. There are classes “in hand” for miniature horses too small to be ridden, young horses and horses being judged on conformation or grooming and presentation; there are trail classes with obstacles the horse and/or rider must navigate; there are equitation classes where the rider is judged, pleasure and hunter classes where the horse is judged on its movement and smoothness, and jumper classes where the horse is penalized for knocking down rails and clear rounds are called back to do…

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Featured Post, History, History Column

Woman’s Suffrage Amendment

by ©2019 Sarah Becker Woman’s Suffrage Amendment When the enslaved rebelled against their master[s] they struggled.  To struggle, as defined by The Oxford American Dictionary: (1) make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint.  (2) try hard under difficulties.  (3) contend, fight.  (4) make one’s way with difficulty.  (5) have difficulty gaining recognition or a living.  Do men really believe that woman’s suffrage, the passage of the 1919 Woman’s Suffrage Amendment was not a struggle? “Susan B. Anthony’s self-imposed task, for almost half a century, has been to secure equal rights for her crusade women—social, civil and political,” Ida Hasted Harper penned in 1906.  “When she began her crusade woman in social life was ‘cabin’d, cribb’d, confined to an extent which can scarcely be conceived.  In law she was but little better than a slave; in politics a mere cipher…Is there an example in all history of either man or woman who devoted half a century of the hardest, most persistent labor for one reform?” “We little dreamed…that half a century later we would be compelled to leave the finish of the [voting rights] battle to another generation of women,” Anthony wrote in 1902.  Susan B. Anthony met cohort Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1851; the same year former slave Sojourner Truth delivered her Ain’t I a Woman speech.     Women earned the right to vote only 100 years ago, 24 days before the June 28, 1919, Paris Peace Conference concluded.  It took a world war, not a civil war for women to achieve parity.  In some World War I industries, such as aircraft, the employment of women rose from negligible proportions in 1914 to 19% in 1918.  The percentage of women working in other war related industries was higher, almost double. “We have made partners of the…

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Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Cedar Knoll

By the Gastronomes “At Cedar Knoll, we aim to bring you innovative American cuisine, with elevated French influences, to complement the history and majesty of the views that surround you. Our menu features seasonal ingredients, sourced from local operations such as historic Piscataway Farm and Path Valley Farms collective. No matter what space you choose, you’re sure to have a spectacular waterfront view, and a meal made with finesse and heart.” – Chef Andrew Holden Cedar Knoll – Well Worth the Short Drive It has been almost 3 years since we have profiled this lovely destination dining spot and we thought it might be a good idea to revisit and give you all an update.  It is still the perfect spot for a dining establishment. Its location is easily accessible via a pleasant drive down (or up depending on where you are coming from) the GW Parkway, it looks east over the Potomac River and is an absolutely fabulous spot for outdoor dining as the moon pops over the trees and something very important to many of you readers….it has plenty of FREE parking! Cedar Knoll is also housed in a historical building.  For those history buffs reading this, you might be interested in knowing that in 1760, George Washington purchased the property and dubbed it River Farm, the northernmost of the five farms that made up Washington’s 18th century estate. The building was originally opened in more modern times as the Mount Vernon View Antique Shop and was first operated as an inn and restaurant in 1941. One of the perks of dining here is that you may just be in the company of First Lady Martha Washington – the reenactor at Historic Mount Vernon that is – on any given evening. There are three separate dining rooms at Cedar Knoll and each…

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Personality Profile

Dad aka John Edward Welch

By Lori Welch Brown Dad aka John Edward Welch Last year I had the privilege of profiling several great dads for the June issue.  This year I hit the jackpot—I was able to interview my own father, John Welch.  Up until April, he had been residing in Pensacola, FL.  Unfortunately, he took a fall in February which resulted in a stint at a nursing rehab center during which time he decided to move back to Virginia.  He is currently splitting his time between my brother’s house and mine so I only had to travel as far as my kitchen table for our chat. Dad was born in Fauquier County just below Orlean, VA in 1929.  He was number three in a lineup of nine kids born to Edward Lee and Belle Baker Welch.   Sadly—only six children survived.  His parents lost a set of boy/girl twins and one son from a set of boy twins.  There were also four half-siblings from his father’s first marriage. It was definitely a different time as Dad spent most of his childhood working on the family farm.  Like today, school started in September, and ended in June.  “You can’t wait until plowing crops and harvesting is done to start school and expect to keep up with the rest of them,” said Dad so he didn’t go back after the eighth grade.  During the summer, he worked for the highway department cutting bushes.  When he was 15, he went to work at Stillhouse Hollow Farm as a tractor driver.  About a year later, a friend suggested they go to Washington, DC and get jobs.  They found a room to rent for $20 a week near N. Capitol Street.  “Ernest got a job working at the Wilkins Coffee plant, and I was working for a wholesale…

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