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Once America’s Favorite Drink – Hard Cider Is Back

September 3, 2014 Lifestyle, Vineyards Comments Off on Once America’s Favorite Drink – Hard Cider Is Back

By David Williams

Completing a journey begun when the first English settlers arrived in Virginia carrying apple saplings with their few belongings, hard cider has returned to Loudoun County where, as in most of the nation, it once held sway as America’s favorite alcoholic drink. With the opening of Corcoran’s Cidery at the Corcoran Vineyards off the Berlin Pike on July 5 and the opening on August 1 of Mt. Defiance Cidery and Distillery in the heart of Middleburg, Loudoun has a new product to boast of. … Continue Reading

Why Protest? Why Even Be There?

When the Southern Collector Road finally opened the other day, I stood there with Sam Brown and a few friends holding up signs protesting the road that cut Sam’s 250 year old farm in two so a few commuters could cut their hour commute by 4 or five minutes. I know … what a waste of a Friday morning, I am sure most people say. You cannot stop progress. Today I spent 20 minutes held up on the back road going from Hamilton to Lincoln by a VDOT crew paving over the gravel road that had carried Loudounites between the two villages for centuries. Once again, progress, which cannot be stopped. Someone’s Lexus was getting dust on it. But why bother? It is a good question. … Continue Reading

Dave Williams Releases New Book

February 21, 2010 Behind the Scenes Comments Off on Dave Williams Releases New Book

Searching for God in the Sixties

This paradigm-breaking book dares to rethink the whole of the ’60s experience, not from a political or sociological but from an historical/theological perspective. Camille Paglia wrote that “the spiritual history of the sixties has yet to be written.” This is that book. For now that the academic theorists have run into an empty ditch, the time has come to reconsider the religion that has long been the principal discourse through which most Americans make sense of reality.

Since the Old Testament was replaced by the New, we have had in Western culture a constant back and forth between the law and the spirit, between the establishment and the awakening, between the rational head and the irrational heart. If the ’50s were all structure, the ’60s were another romantic effort to escape the control of the rational and give full vent to the repressed spirit. Who are we, anyhow, when all the lies are stripped away? As scripture asks: “What is man that thou art mindful of him?” The romantics of the ’60s, like the Transcendentalists, rejecting the very idea of sin, dared to open the cage and let the repressed id come forth, only to find that the light at the end of the long dark tunnel of consciousness was the gleam in Charlie Manson’s eye.

With the election of Barack Obama, the Sixties has finally ended, not because he fulfills the ideals of that decade, but because he, like Jojo, has returned us to where we once belonged. Bush may not be the last hippy, but his approach to life, to governing, purely intuitive and from the gut, a rejection of his father’s rationality, was the last breaking wave of that ocean storm. Paradoxically, Bush was much more like Bill Clinton in being led by his id, his passions, than any true conservative.

The book’s chapters each correspond to a line in Emily Dickinson’s poem “Finding is the first act.” The parallel to Dickinson’s experience in the psychic wilderness demonstrates just how much the experience of the ’60s was part of an ongoing American story and not an aberration. Though it seems contradictory, this book argues for an appreciation of the three ’60s: 1960s, 1860s, 1660s, each a chapter of the religious core of the American story.

The central theme of the decade, a romantic rebellion against neo-orthodox cynicism, may well have been a mistake, but a necessary mistake, a correction that had to be made. Post-modernism’s rejection of the essential romanticism that drove that decade, its emphasis on contingency and absence, is but another signifier for our powerlessness in the hands of an angry God. The enemy turned out to be not them, nor the social structure, but as Pogo said us. Hence the final line of the Dickinson poem: “Jason sham too.”

About the Author

Baby boomer David R. Williams, born in Boston in 1949, experienced the ’60s up close and personal. Taking 1968 off before entering college, he shipped out with the merchant marine, fought against the Vietnam War, worked to elect McCarthy president, rioted in Grant Park, and arrived at Harvard in time for the campus takeover.

He later earned a Masters in Theology from Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in American Civilization from Brown. He wrote Wilderness Lost and Sin Boldly! and won the “Excellence In Teaching” Award at George Mason University. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Czechoslovakia in 1991, has two sons, Nathan and Sam, and lives in a former black community, “Swampoodle,” where he writes and brews his own bitter beer.

University of Delaware Press
On the Web at http://www2.lib.udel.edu/udpress

A Christmas Conversation

December 14, 2009 News Comments Off on A Christmas Conversation

“Have you seen the lights in Hamilton this year? And Round Hill? even Lincoln? I took the kids out driving the other night just to try to find the brightest. It seems that everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit.”

“Yeah, I’ve seen ’em. How can I miss ’em? Gaudy, vulgar displays of ostentatious one-upmanship. All they do is enrich VEPCO and pollute the night sky. Those mass-produced lighted deer everyone has prancing through their yards have about as much to do with Christmas as the muzak in the malls: ‘Angels we have heard on high/ Tell us to go out and buy!'”

“Hey, lighten up, already. I love the lights. Don’t be such a grinch.”

“Me? A Grinch? I didn’t steal Christmas. Wal-Mart did. Television did. GE did. I’m simply pointing it out. Why do you think people create all those expensive displays? At best, they represent a totally phony constructed kind of happiness that doesn’t do anything more to hide the darkness than the artificial cheer of alcohol does.”

“Ok, maybe the whole thing is forced, and maybe it’s even phony. But what makes you think that those of us who love the artificial lights don’t know the darkness that they keep at bay?”

“Because I hear nothing in the malls but ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’ and ‘Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.’ What’s the point of ‘Rudolph’ anyhow? All his colleagues hate the guy ’till the boss needs him, and then suddenly ‘all the other reindeer love him.’ It’s a celebration of office politics at its worst, as meaningful as a neon Frosty the Snowman on the roof. The only Christmas display I ever liked was one that said ‘BAH HUMBUG’ in blinking colored lights.”

“That, my friend, is because you are looking much too closely only at the fluff on the surface. Stand back a bit. Stand way back. The circle of light, even of the biggest displays, is not all that big. The loudest caroling cannot be heard two blocks away. We all feel the cold darkness of the season, the shortness of the days, the length of the nights, the death of the land. And we all have our personal wolves prowling out there. Even before Christianity put the “Christ” in Christmas, our ancestors had their festivals of light and artificial happiness at this time of year. Of course it’s artificial. What else have we humans got to keep away our prowling fears but our hopes and the artificial constructs that remind us of our hopes?”

“Then you admit that Jesus isn’t real? That the whole thing is one big, noisy, empty myth?”

“Whether Jesus is ‘real’ is not the point. Is hope real? We have three grim months of winter ahead of us. Will there be a Spring? I hope so. I even believe so. But hope is a pretty abstract concept. The birth of Jesus is a good symbol for the birth of hope. We need symbols; we can’t live in abstractions. To me, all those lights, artificial as they are, all those out-of-tune carolers, even the commercial vulgarity of the malls, is part of the need to construct out of whatever materials we have at hand symbols of our determination. The lights may be vulgar, but they are also brave, like a flickering candle in the wind. Some may see only the artificial light; you may see only the darkness; but to stand back and see them both, the flickering light framed by the blackness of darkness against the winter night, is a real symbol of real hope. So there, and Merry Christmas!”

David Williams’ latest book, Searching for God in the Sixties, is due out this Christmas


 

 

 

 

Columns

Charles Murray’s Middlebury Melee

“Earthrise”, photo taken from Apollo 8 by Bill Anders on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. By Tony Noerpel On March 2, 2017, the appearance of Charles Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont caused a small riot [1]. The media blamed …

Earth System and Paleoclimate Change

In a new paper Owen Gaffney and Will Steffen [1], present a high order abstraction of the Earth System, E, in the form This is fine as an abstraction and shows the subsystems which impact the Earth System. The authors …

Famous Estate Blunders and How To Avoid Them

These celebrities’ tales are a strong reminder to review your estate plan before it’s too late. There’s a calm comfort that comes with estate planning: a sense that your family will be taken care of after you pass away (hopefully …

Fidget Gear, Good or Bad?

What do you think about the new fidget cubes and fidget spinners, and do they really help kids with ADHD? They’re making their way around our neighborhood, but I couldn’t find any good studies out there on either of the …

A Community Together: The Ten-Year Remembrance of 4/16/2007

Time moves forward, whether we are ready to move on or not. It’s been ten years since the massacre that shocked America. I’m talking about the event that started a standard of condolences from the president, tears and prayers from …

Soul Lost in Translation

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good,” Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) tells us in the 1987 movie Wall Street. The newly released book, Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted …

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 …

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

April 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017 March 29, 2017 March 30, 2017 March 31, 2017 April 1, 2017

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Nebbiolo Vertical Tasting

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner

Old Time Country Ham and Turkey Dinner
April 2, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater, “One Slight Hitch”
April 3, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 4, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 5, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 6, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 7, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

First Friday at the Winery

First Friday at the Winery
April 8, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Cherry Blossom Celebration

Cherry Blossom Celebration

Come Paint with Us! Cherry Blossom

Come Paint with Us! Cherry Blossom

Meet the Artist - Robert Merhaut

Meet the Artist - Robert Merhaut

Healing Service

Healing Service

North Gate Vineyard presents a Vertical Tasting

North Gate Vineyard presents a Vertical Tasting
April 9, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

SPRING AWAKENS: DECORATED EGG AUCTION

SPRING AWAKENS: DECORATED EGG AUCTION

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Writers’ Night Out
April 10, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 11, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 12, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 13, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 14, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV
April 15, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo

Easter at the Park

Easter at the Park

Easter Extravaganza

Easter Extravaganza
April 16, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Easter Sunrise Service

Easter Sunrise Service
April 17, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 18, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 19, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 20, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 21, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Jules & The Hammer Band with Teddy Chipouras

Jules & The Hammer Band with Teddy Chipouras
April 22, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

20th Anniversary Celebration & Grand Re-Opening

20th Anniversary Celebration & Grand Re-Opening

Celebrate Earth Day at North Gate Vineyard

Celebrate Earth Day at North Gate Vineyard

Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders

Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders
April 23, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

Franklin Park Big Band is Coming to Franklin Park Arts Center

Franklin Park Big Band is Coming to Franklin Park Arts Center

Jammin' at James

Jammin' at James
April 24, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 25, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 26, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 27, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
April 28, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

April Fourth Friday

April Fourth Friday

CA$H Bingo

CA$H Bingo
April 29, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”

2017 Virginia Touch-A-Truck

2017 Virginia Touch-A-Truck

Live Music: Dear Creek

Live Music: Dear Creek

Music With a Cause - The Loudoun Chorale

Music With a Cause - The Loudoun Chorale
April 30, 2017

”Homage to Mother Earth”

”Homage to Mother Earth”
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Lifestyle

Welcome Home to this Colonial in Lovettsville

6 Apr 2017

By Hannah Hager All of us seek to put down roots in ?a pleasant, safe and prosperous area, and you’ll find as much within this home in the Dutchman’s Creek neighborhood in Lovettsville. Today, Lovettsville has all the trappings of an all-American hometown – a pizzeria downtown, excellent schools and busy streets that settle into quiet nights. Its claim to …

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Keep Loudoun Beautiful

5 Apr 2017

Greater Lovettsville Area Volunteers Needed The Keep Loudoun Beautiful spring clean-up takes place the entire month of April and greater Lovettsville needs volunteers. Bags, vests, gloves and grabbers are available at the Lovettsville Community Center during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.  Contact Lovettsville area leader, Laura Lieberman, for details and to coordinate pick-up  locations:  laura.long.lieberman@gmail.com.

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Take Me To the Garden Show

5 Apr 2017

The 27th Annual Leesburg Flower & Garden Festival comes to town Saturday, April 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, April 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The award-winning event, estimated to attract 40,000 visitors over the two days, gets better and better every year. And, that’s not just the vendors and organizers talking; that’s the truth, …

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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

Why Williams Gap Road Should Not Be Paved

Today, most residents of Loudoun County know nothing about Williams Gap, even those living on Williams Gap Road (Route 711). Knowing who “Williams” was, why a gap in the Blue …

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

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

Rep. Comstock Returns from Bipartisan Congressional Delegation to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon

Representative Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the following statement after returning from a bipartisan Congressional Delegation visit to Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon: “As believers around the world observed Holy Week, I appreciated the opportunity to visit and hear from those who serve our fellow man – our military men and women …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces Growth in Solar Industry-Related Jobs

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia is one of the fastest growing solar job markets in the country. In the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2016, Virginia is 2nd in the Southeast and tied with Utah for 9th in the U.S. for year-over-year solar job growth. The Commonwealth is ranked …

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McAuliffe Vetoes LaRock’s Public Assistance Eligibility Legislation  

On March 28, Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed Del. Dave LaRock’s (R-33) House Bill 2092, which would have required any applicant for public assistance to undergo a full review of death records, incarceration status, employment status, lottery winnings, and all income. Recently, an Arlington woman was arrested on four counts of welfare fraud for …

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Sports

Woodgrove Training for Spring Track

9 Apr 2017

Woodgrove students get ready for the upcoming Spring track season. Photos courtesy of Robert Nelson

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Western Loudoun Volleyball Summer Camp Launched

6 Apr 2017

Western Loudoun Volleyball Club will be hosting its first ever summer camp June 26-29 at Foxcroft School in Middleburg.  The coed, four-day camp will run from 9-5 each day and feature advanced skills training, game strategy and mental approaches to the game.  The program will be managed by WLVBC’s Technical …

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