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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Cooksville Road

By Tim Jon
You see – there’s this bell: A church bell, suspended inside a little white tower atop the old Mount Olive Baptist church building – that you can see for just a few split-seconds as you make your return trip toward Lincoln Road and the rest of your assignment; I don’t recall the first time I noticed this friendly, reassuring feature on one of my favorite spots along my mail route – but it could have been as long as three or four years prior to this writing. There’s something about the silhouette of that metal clanging device (though I’ve never heard it ring) that seems to calm and center me every time it comes to my attention; the message is much more subtle than to simply remind me to let go of momentary pressures and to fix my attention on the eternal and timeless – and, maybe I’ll never fully understand its meaning. And, maybe it’s better that way. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: The Stone House

May 3, 2017 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: The Stone House

At Harper Park
– By Tim Jon

No – they don’t serve fresh oysters here, there are no wi-fi hook-ups, and there is no Happy Hour; from what I hear, though – this little place used to jump and swing with the best of ‘em – at least by early 19th Century standards. You’d never know it by that quick glance you give the Stone House at Harper Park as you buzz past on Route Seven, just east of Leesburg – that this was once a popular destination for weary (or maybe just thirsty) travelers – who, perhaps, even, were not all that different from you or me. Jenkins’ Ordinary, as it was called back in the day, reportedly sold rum, ‘vittles’ and a place to bed down for the night; kinda hard to believe just from scoping out the relatively small size of the structure – I’m guessing that they (like many other establishments of their time) had an outdoor (or basement) kitchen – and the rafters must have been used for sleeping quarters- making for a pretty cramped arrangement, at best. But, history tells me that – quite long ago – this was a successful business, for its time. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: North Fork Road

April 5, 2017 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: North Fork Road

It’s difficult to be in a hurry when all the surrounding geography seems to encourage thoughtful, relaxing contemplation – maybe even a meditative cat nap thrown in for good measure; now – turn your TV off and take the music earplugs out for a couple of minutes and I’ll tell you about something new – and old – actually kind of timeless: see, whenever I found myself tasked with the responsibility of delivering the good, old US Mail on the Rural Route in Purcellville that includes North Fork Road, I inevitably felt that odd conundrum of trying to play ‘Beat the Clock’ in a slow-motion photography sequence – like being stuck in quicksand or something. Anyone who’s traveled some of our local dirt roads in an ungainly vehicle similar to a mail truck will empathize when I say that the speed limits along these corridors are pretty much irrelevant; you simply drive as fast as conditions allow – negotiating the washboard surfaces, blind intersections, patches of loose gravel, horse-trailer-pulling trucks, and tree limbs worthy of the term ‘widow-maker.’ The Virginia Department of Transportation (in its wisdom) states that you can drive up to 35 miles an hour on unposted, gravel roads; I don’t think I’ve ever even approached that limit on North Fork Road – or any other unpaved surface – while attempting to keep a mail truck ‘between the ditches.’ … Continue Reading

Wage Radio

March 8, 2017 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Wage Radio

I will always remember – very fondly – the first time I ever set foot on the property at 711 Wage Drive Southwest in Leesburg, Virginia. It was a warm, sunny July morning in 1997, and I’d driven all the way from Minnesota – stopping along the way only to get my used car fixed and to take a couple of cat naps. I left behind pretty much everyone and everything I ever knew or did, and looked forward to a completely new life in broadcasting in Northern Virginia. As I pulled into the little parking lot at the end of Wage Drive, the image of the one-story, rambler-style building – sheltered under the huge evergreen on the east side, dogwoods out front and gone-to-seed apple trees out in the yard – forever-more created this fantasy for me of the old-time radio station – something out of my hometown in southern Minnesota – yet having the flavor of Mayberry – complete with Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Fife. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: George Marshall Center

February 1, 2017 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: George Marshall Center

I used to wonder why – after an assignment to visit the interior of this place, I’d return feeling exhausted – both mentally and physically worn out – as if I’d been carrying an extra couple hundred pounds or so – and gone sleepless for days – for the duration of my stop. Now – jokes about my waistline aside (I’m no Tarzan, but I’m not that rotund!) – and having studied the enormity of responsibilities placed on the former occupant at this address – I no longer marvel at whether my imagination weighed me down – so to speak – or if I actually absorbed some of the former Secretary of State’s energy while touring his house; either way it makes perfect sense to me that I’d feel a bit like Atlas in trying to identify with the late George C. Marshall at Dodona Manor in Leesburg. I’d notice – upon returning from these trips to the quaint little Newsroom at Wage Radio – that my usually bright, peppy energy level (in those days, anyway) had settled into a more contemplative, ‘grandfather-ish,’ and almost dreamy state after communing with the modern-day stewards at the five-star General’s home. … Continue Reading

Freedom Park

January 4, 2017 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Freedom Park

A great name for a great place, this public space shows us – in my opinion – what’s best about Leesburg, Loudoun County and our country. Freedom Park – just off the Dulles Greenway on the South side of Town – represents – to me – much more than just its 20 acres of land, with a series of athletic fields and support facilities. And this goes back to its very beginning. I remember getting a lump in my throat as Council Members – well over a decade ago now – came up with the idea for this site as the location for the Town’s 911 Memorial – and what better title for the spot than Freedom Park? … Continue Reading

South Riding

November 30, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on South Riding

I should have known that this one would take me far from my contemplative, Zen-inspired comfort zone; after I’d traversed more construction projects than I wanted to tally, competed with hurried, coffee-driven commuters with no time for mere existence, and kept a respectable distance from a fleet of school buses which would have made General Patton proud, I tried to enjoy a few moments of near peace at the South Riding Town Hall and pavilion – way down there in the corner of the County – smack dab in the center of a busy universe of activity. Now – having negotiated the pinball-like series of traffic circles on Route 50 – and successfully avoided all the heavy equipment entering and exiting my route – I felt entitled to just a bit of solace and deep breathing before heading back on the road for my return trip. I needed to hear some of those Tibetan monks, or something. Well, this is South Riding, I thought. … Continue Reading

Oatlands Plantation

November 2, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Oatlands Plantation

It was one of those warm evenings in mid to late July – when the air feels almost as thick as honey, but you don’t even mind, because you’re in a beautiful place, enjoying a unique cultural event in about the coolest setting in the world. My first visit to Oatlands – in the summer of 1997 – I checked out a performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream by one of the local theatre troupes; they used the front of the Greek Revival mansion for the opening sequence- appropriately set at the Athenian Capitol, and some of the later forest scenes utilized the surrounding greenery. If there were a better way to charm a famous local landmark into one’s heart, I’m unaware of it; Oatlands Plantation became – and has since remained, for me – synonymous with grace, character – and maybe even a little magic and fantasy thrown in for good measure. … Continue Reading

Robinson Park

October 5, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Robinson Park

Looking back, now – I’m glad it wasn’t what most people would’ve considered a nice day; I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of hot and sunny to last me for at least a generation (especially since my ‘office’ is right out in the street where you may live). No – the morning of my last visit to Robinson Park in Northeast Leesburg, the conditions were memorably cool, cloudy, and even a little windy. The day hadn’t really gotten started yet (you would’ve been hard-pressed to say just exactly where the sun was – somewhere behind all those greyish masses marching across a dark sky), and I recall moving with a definite purpose of generating a little personal warmth out of the situation. Now, all this may serve as evidence to keep most of us safe at home under similar weather; for me – I’ve long preferred the sort of day that comes right up and introduces itself (even working outside – as long as I survive the experience, I look back at elemental inclemency as at least stimulating – if not always ‘fun’ at the time).

Now – a walk around Robinson Park isn’t exactly a remote, wilderness excursion, is it? The small, scattered stands of trees and the culverted little part-time brook serve as about the only outstanding natural features, with the ballfields and manicured grass looking pretty tame; so, a little challenge from the climactic conditions came as a welcome distraction from the surrounding domesticity.

But I was still outside, after all – exposed to whatever the skies chose to throw my way. So, the antemeridian perambulation left its indelible mark on me: Literally – I had goosebumps and raised hairs from the low temperatures, and figuratively – my sense memory being more accurate than that of the mere intellect – I can still ‘feel’ my way back there in time and enjoy it all over again– like, right now. And, if the human race retains any of the herd and flock instincts of the ‘lower’ creatures (Ever wonder how a swarm of blackbirds can all change direction in the same instant?) you can get an inkling of the experience for yourself. And, I just may possess a better mental picture of Robinson Park’s 10 acres, athletic fields, walking trail, gentle sloping hill, picnic tables, nearby Leesburg Elementary School and surrounding Exeter neighborhood because of Mother Nature’s participation in the event.

And – who knows? Maybe next time it’ll even be raining; one can only hope. So, if you should see a strange character out there walking the perimeter some early – wet – possibly cold – morning, it could be yours truly – out for a stroll when any ‘sensible person’ would be safely tucked in at home. Not that I would disagree – much of the time – with those instincts, but I really do feel like that local walking path makes up a portion of what I consider my enlarged ‘home.’ OK, Robinson stands a bit more out of the way for me than Brandon Park or Olde Izaak Walton – and it’s certainly far under the radar of the more popular Ida Lee – but I will keep it filed away under my list of places to stop and enjoy the atmospheric rewards of whatever moments find me in that part of town. And if it’s inclement enough, I may even leave my electronic device in the car – truly ‘roughing it,’ as Mark Twain might have said. And, as I pull my hat brim down a bit to shield my face from whatever’s falling from the clouds, I just may be thinking, “My, what a nice day!”

I’d like to think that the perfect Robinson Park experience still lies out there – somewhere – in my future; the same holds true for the rest of my favored – and, even undiscovered – local places. The dawn is on the horizon; we may as well strap on our boots and go out to greet it.

Aren’t you gonna come? We’re just about there, now…

Dulles Air and Space Museum

September 7, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Dulles Air and Space Museum

You ever have those dreams, that (back – probably when you were a kid) you could fly? Not in any kind of man-made craft, mind you – I mean possessing the ability to levitate and travel the skies at will. It’s an exhilarating, empowering feeling. I guess about the closest I’ve come to enjoying that sensation during waking hours is whenever I visit the Air and Space Museum at Dulles – the Smithsonian’s Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center. … Continue Reading

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Balch Library

August 3, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Balch Library

By Tim Jon

Solitude, peace, and quiet: Not exactly the first three adjectives I’d choose to describe the greater portion of downtown Leesburg, although its charms do shine through even on the busiest of weekday afternoons. The last morning I visited the grounds of Balch Library, on West Market Street, though, I enjoyed a sense of isolation in a beautifully-kept setting, amid – pretty much – total silence. I imagine that’s just about what to expect on any given Sunday dawn at that spot – and for me, the experience proves well worth the effort of rising before the chickens. … Continue Reading

Potoma Wayside

June 1, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Potoma Wayside

My advice is: Don’t look straight down; the combination of rushing highway traffic a couple of feet away and, what’s – to me, anyway – a dizzying height, can produce some unsettling sensations. I came to this conclusion after walking back and forth across the river bridge on Route 340 between Virginia and Maryland from one of my newest discoveries in our local treasure chest: Potoma Wayside. Yeah, that’s Potoma, not Potomac – I checked and double-checked the sign. Oddly enough, I’d been just about a hundred yards away countless times – delivering mail at the gas station right at the intersection with Route 671 – Harpers Ferry Road – and had never noticed this little roadside access point nestled in the greenery. … Continue Reading

Foxridge Park

May 4, 2016 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Foxridge Park

You know, I can still taste those sausages: The first early-spring bratwurst cooked over an open flame in a beautiful setting among good friends; nothing so surprising, really, in recalling a good meal in classic context. The thing is, though – I was propelled back more decades than I care to admit – and transported roughly a thousand miles across our nation – back to the banks of the Mississippi River. Good grilling can do that to you. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Public Input June 6, 2017

Public input June 6, 2017 “We must, incidentally, make it clear from the beginning that if a thing is not science, it is not necessarily bad. For example, love is not a science. So, if something is said not to …

Anatomy of a Sunflower

By Andrea Gaines Nothing is as simple and summery as that big yellow ray of light known as the sunflower. These not-so-bashful beauties enter the world from seeds we’ve sown intentionally, or from seeds tossed out as happy, uneaten castaways …

Parental Help Needed

Dr. Mike, My husband and I are planning to hold our son back to repeat eighth grade. He plays on a travel sports team, and the extra year would give him an advantage for high school. My sister did it …

Misconceptions about 529 Plans

Just like the kids you’re saving college funds for, 529 plans are often misunderstood. Read on to learn 529 plans are more flexible than you may think. They can be set up by anyone, for anyone, and used for a …

Transforming Scars – Engendering Hope

By Samuel Moore-Sobel The woman’s voice on the other end of the line is warm and inviting, speaking softly in crisp tones, with great excitement, and at a hurried pace. Her words are eloquent and profound. Furiously I type, trying …

Addicted

By Mary Rose Lunde When most people think of addictions, they choose the more well-known types, such as alcohol or drugs. But there are other addictions that people don’t always want to talk about. These can include: screen time, video …

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Cooksville Road

By Tim Jon You see – there’s this bell: A church bell, suspended inside a little white tower atop the old Mount Olive Baptist church building – that you can see for just a few split-seconds as you make your …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

June 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
May 29, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
May 30, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
May 31, 2017

Coming Up Spring

Coming Up Spring
June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017

First Friday at the Winery

First Friday at the Winery

TGIF@North Gate Vineyard with Maddy Curtis Live

TGIF@North Gate Vineyard with Maddy Curtis Live
June 3, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
June 4, 2017

OPEN HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA

OPEN HOUSE EXTRAVAGANZA
June 5, 2017 June 6, 2017 June 7, 2017

Beale Street Puppets: Teddy Bear Circus

Beale Street Puppets: Teddy Bear Circus
June 8, 2017 June 9, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
June 10, 2017

20th Annual Cajun Festival

20th Annual Cajun Festival

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Healing Service

Healing Service
June 11, 2017

Come Paint with Us

Come Paint with Us
June 12, 2017 June 13, 2017 June 14, 2017 June 15, 2017 June 16, 2017 June 17, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Pete Lapp Live at north Gate Vineyard

Pete Lapp Live at north Gate Vineyard
June 18, 2017
June 19, 2017 June 20, 2017 June 21, 2017 June 22, 2017 June 23, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
June 24, 2017

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

Acoustic Soul Live at north Gate Vineyard

Acoustic Soul Live at north Gate Vineyard

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You

THE PICKWICK PLAYERS: You Can’t Take It With You
June 25, 2017
June 26, 2017 June 27, 2017 June 28, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
June 29, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
June 30, 2017

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids

MAIN STREET THEATER PRODUCTIONS: Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids
July 1, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Willie White Live at North Gate Vineyard

Willie White Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event
July 2, 2017

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard
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Lifestyle

Music with a Cause June Concert: Bud’s Collective

31 May 2017

The Music with a Cause Concert celebrates the culmination of its first year with a concert to be held at Otium Cellars at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 4. Bud’s Collective is a powerful trio of pickers from the hills of West Virginia. The evening will also feature an auction of a piece from David Norton Pottery. Norton is an …

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Loudoun Library Card Design Contest Has Begun

31 May 2017

Loudoun artists are invited to submit designs for Loudoun County Public Library’s Second Annual Library Card Design Contest, which began May 22. A panel of judges from the Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee will choose three finalists based on creativity, originality, and message. Artwork or photography submitted should reflect the spirit of Loudoun and the work of Loudoun County Public …

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Loudoun Art Advisory Committee – Call for Artists

31 May 2017

All Loudoun County artists are invited to submit original photographs for the 2017 Loudoun County Art Advisory Committee show “Loudoun’s Evolving Landscape: At-Risk Art Project.” The photographs, which may be in color or black and white, will be exhibited in Gallery One on the first floor of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg, from September …

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Editorial

Priscilla Nabs Plum Planning Commission Post

Appointment Shocks Many On January 3 Supervisor Tony R. Buffington Jr. (R-Blue Ridge) nominated Tom Priscilla for the Loudoun County Planning Commission to represent the Blue Ridge District. Priscilla was …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

A Winner of a Budget

On May 23, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and the Purcellville Town Council voted to finalize the FY18 budget on behalf of our taxpayers. As an elected government, this is the greatest responsibility that we have. We also have the unlimited ability …

Supports Walbridge

I am proud to endorse and express my full support for Tia Walbridge to represent the 33rd District in Richmond.  As a current Town Council member in Purcellville, I understand the concerns of Purcellville and western Loudoun citizens and I …

View From the Ridge

Envision Loudoun – Bold Action Versus Business-As-Usual

Everyone is talking about it. “Envision Loudoun,” our local government’s effort to reach out to the public for advice on how to rewrite and update the County’s Comprehensive Plan. Officials …

Around Virginia

Tuesday, June 13 – Primary Elections Voting Information

A Primary Election for both parties is scheduled on June 13. Voters will choose a candidate for the Republican Party for the offices of Governor and Lieutenant Governor. For the Democratic Party voters will choose a candidate for the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and House of Delegates for the 33 …

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Cultivate Innovation-Driven Solutions

By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33) Schools are letting out for summer break and many families are celebrating graduations and making plans for college. Few would disagree with the importance of quality affordable education. While it may not be prominent in the conversations, our state and local governments play key roles …

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Transportation: Problem Solving and Promises Kept

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33) Four years ago I came before the voters of the 33rd District, challenging the status quo transportation funding policies that sent our taxes to other parts of the state while leaving us sitting in traffic. I called out projects like the Dulles Rail Project, …

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Sports

Purcellville Cannons: Talent, Talent and More Talent

31 May 2017

By Andrea Gaines Cannons home opener vs. the Winchester Royals at Fireman’s Field, Friday, June 3. At their 2017 home opener, the Los Angeles Dodgers absolutely trounced the San Diego Padres. Said one sports commentator: “Their opening-day bats were so special … it was easy to forget the Dodgers also …

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WLVBC U14 Boys Volleyball Wins WLVBC Invitational

3 May 2017

The Western Loudoun Volleyball Club’s U14 Boys team won the inaugural WLVBC Invitational Tournament held Saturday, April 15 at Foxcroft School.  The team went 4-0 on the day, winning first place against WLVBC U15 boys team in a three-set match 25-19, 22-25 and 15-11. The team reached the Gold Bracket …

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