Waterford has suffered a lose
Wilhelmina 'Billie' Hetzel was buried last week next to her husband Fred in the cemetery of the New Jerusalem Church in Lovettsville. From that vantage point you can look east onto the roof peaks of Waterford against backdrop of the Catoctin ridge. Billie was a Waterfordian who never lived here but whose ancestors were Govers who lived in our house and many others throughout the village. She belonged to the Waterford Citizen's Association, The Waterford Foundation and as a member of the Goose Creek Meeting in Lincoln could be counted as one of the few descendants of the Fairfax Meeting, part of the reason d'etre of Waterford.
No activity in Waterford went without her interest and support. At times of the all to frequent community crises, usually confronted before the Board of Supervisors, she was usually there with the rest of the concerned villagers these thirty years past. One of her unrealized quests was to buy a house in Waterford. This was a part of her desire to return to her roots that began when she purchased what was known as the " family farm" southwest of Purcellville.
She had another quest that dominated her life. That was to convince everyone she met in the correctness of her many idealistic beliefs. These included Quakerism, the Democratic Party, historic preservation, and organic foods. She also believed in the importance of astrological signs, telepathy, extra terrestrials and UFO's. These were just the tip of the iceberg of her beliefs. It was inconceivable to her that if you shared any one belief you did not believe in them all. If you professed doubt about any of her beliefs she viewed this as a temporary lapse and eventually, with her help, you would see the light.
It is said of some that they do not suffer fools gladly. In Billie's case she suffered fools gladly, so gladly she reveled in the process. Because she did, we fools, we Waterfordians, Loudouners, Virginians, Americans, we band of travelers on the spaceship earth are so much the wiser.
Waterford has a pecking order
At a tennis party recently we found out that Waterford has a new chicken flock and arranged with the newly hatched hen herders for some local yolks. The eggs arrived nested in a gray paper mache carton. They were pale tan to deep brown in color, oozing the rich glow of eggyness that makes breads, cakes, cookies, custards, noodles, pastas, quiches, omelets and all sorts of sauces in to the special fare that sustains us all to well through the deepest part of winter. These were not those store bought eggs that are trucked away from long steel building that house thousands of hens who never see the sun or set foot on the ground. These are eggs from Waterford hens that walk on the earth and flock-wide only lay 16 eggs a day so that the happy hens share the work load among the 62 hens and two roosters. They lay less when the days are short, as they are now, but will become more prolific as the days grow longer and they gain experience.
These are not eggs that drop from wire cages and roll into a conveyer to be candled and sorted by size. The Waterford eggs are all sizes in one carton so if you want a big egg you have it, or a medium or two smalls. The discerning cook can shade the amount of egg in any given dish to just the right amount. These eggs are not the old eggs that flow out flat in the pan but fresh eggs whose yolks stand up like peach halves and they are not a barely pale yellow but a deep yellow going toward orange that make breads, custards and sauces the color they were when they were invented before food dye. Cracking open these eggs is enlivened frequently by the surprise and wonderment of finding a double yolk, sometimes even twice in one dozen.
We have seen the new moon of Ramadan and Hanukah and now with a carton of Waterford eggs on the counter and a fifty-pound sack of flour on the floor we are working our way towards a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Old house before holiday blues
Living in this old house, a characteristic of almost everybody in Waterford hits its low point at this week of the year. Village life seems to be a study in contrasts in a manic depressive sort of way. You know that in about one week the upward swing of the holiday season will bring life to its fullest for the dwellers of the old. It is like the old houses store up the joys of years past and infuses them into everyone who gathers in the alembic of cold old walls.
A taste of this was felt last Sunday at the John Wesley Methodist Church as the community was treated to a feast of music given in memory of one of Waterford's most vibrant Christmas traditions of Anne Carter presented by The Waterford Book Club arranged with Robert Chamberlin and all the rest of the Chamberlin family. This first feast was followed by a gift to the village from Elaine Head of a desert course of more music by Madeline MacNeil of dulcimer fame and then another desert course in the churches activity room that included traditional cookies and accompaniments. The stellar performer of Elaine's culinary delights in our opinion was the little plate of home made toffee on the lower right hand edge of the groaning table.
Years ago Waterford's legendary baker, Alma Arnold was famous for a cake that came to be known as "Alma Arnold's Apple Sauce Cake But Don't Ask Her For The Recipe Because She Won't Give It To You." We are afraid that that has been that has been joined by "Elaine Head's Toffee But Don't Ask Her For The Recipe Because She Can't Give It To You." This is because of a promise made to her English mother-in-law never to reveal the recipe. Those of us who have failed miserably at toffee know that even having the recipe doesn't do any good because you have to know when and how and what with to do everything involved to make a successful batch.
Toffeeless we sit, listening to the furnace and waiting for a star to rise in the East.
Crowd oohs and ahhs artifacts
Thursday evening owners Sandra and Jack McGowan displayed to a crowd of oohing and ahhing friends and neighbors the artifacts uncovered during the site investigation attendant to the recent renovation of the Mahlon Myers House. The items were uncovered by sifting and metal detecting by Jack Bullock, the house restoration specialist. Some were recovered as part the demonstration at the house during the last Homes Tour and Crafts Festival in October. The most recognizable historic objects were Minie balls that were dropped by soldiers. Other Civil War objects included both Union and Confederate buttons and the part of a butt plate from an Enfield rifle musket. The assortment of military items mixed with the domestic artifacts indicates that soldiers spent several days in and around the house. This is nor surprising as it is known that a large portion of the Army of the Potomac walked right past the front door at least once, most notably shortly after the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863. Soldiers remarked that Waterford had lots of pretty girls then too. They also remarked on the drinking water.
The sifting revealed many 19th century objects such as assorted plates, cups and pots that were not likely brought to the house by soldiers on the march but by the usual inhabitants of the house. A shopping bag full of animal bones, the last remnants of many past meals were also discovered about the house. Pieces of paper flour sacks from the Waterford Mill and scraps of fabric were also found as places were uncovered during the restoration process.
Signs that Christmas is approaching have been seen as lights are starting to appear decorating the village. There were unconfirmed reports that a red sleigh drawn by eight reindeer was seen parked along the fence on the north edge of the Water Street meadow on Saturday evening. Waterfordians Jim and Diana Keesee were seen Saturday afternoon at the Middleburg Christmas Parade. Diana is an Executive Director for the paws4people Foundation Educational Assistance K-9 Program. The Keesees were watching the paws4people therapy dogs and their volunteer owner-handlers who were part of the parade.
JoEllen to Little Rock library
JoEllen Keating is representing Waterford this week at the opening of the President William J. Clinton Library in Little Rock Arkansas. Her entourage is composed of Evelyn Johnson of Bluemont who provided VIP tickets to the gala as a birthday present and Judy Randall of Lovettsville who is recording the historic event for posterity. The trio braved almost two inches of rain during the dedication ceremonies attended by President George W. Bush and all former living Presidents except Gerald Ford. Those who watched on television will know that they were seated in the VIP seats directly in front of the speaker's platform. The seats were shown silhouetted against the cloudy skyline above a sea of raincoats and umbrellas. They are spending the remainder of the week touring the Library and other local attractions returning late Saturday. The trip began on Tuesday morning as they were driven out Clarke's Gap Road and over Bald Mountain on Stumptown Road. They had to get to Baltimore-Washington International Airport for check-in by 4:50 am. Hundreds of deer were scampering back and forth in front of the car and lining the roadway. As you looked at the startled deer faces in the headlights you had the impression that your were traveling the route of a weirdly Kafkaesque reversed presidential inaugural parade.
For theater aficionados the talent of Waterfordians is displayed in two venues this Christmas theater season. In The Growing Stage's production of a Christmas Carol at Harper Park (not Valley of PTA fame) Middle School on 3,4 and 10,11 December at 8 pm. and on 5,11 December at 3 pm. you can see Sophia Curtis as Belle, Kristen Fitzgerald as Cratchit girl, Fan and starring in the title role, Maddy Curtis as Caroler.
In Loudoun Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" two Waterfordians have major roles this year. Bridgid Corcoran is dancing the roles of Big Mouse, Spanish and Snow. Cathleen Corcoran is Harlequin and Snow. They will be performing at Dominion High School on 11,12 and 18,19 Dec. at 3:30 and 7:30 pm.
Our white post may rise again
At the center of the universe, a point equidistant from the Post Office, the Corner Store and the Pink House a white post once stood. These White Posts once stood at the center of many colonial villages and notices would be posted on them so that things like duels could be arranged and messages could be carried toward their ultimate destination. White Post gets its name after its post that still stands. The point about the post in the center of the village came up at the meeting of the Waterford Citizen's Association at the Old School on Tuesday night while discussing the addition of another stop sign at the intersection, The sign will cause the traffic that comes whizzing up Main Street to stop before turning the corner onto Second Street. This will put four stop signs within fifty feet of each other and thoughts were that a traffic light might be a better solution but for the addition of the overhead wires that we aspire to underground. A solution would be to restore the white post that could serve as a stanchion for a traffic light. It could also serve the traditional purpose of a place to post notices and such that used to be served by the bulletin board in the Post Office until some witless cretin objected. Now we all have to stand in the rain to read about lost cats so we might as well calm traffic while we are at it.
Last week the Planning commission voted unanimously to recommend that Route 9 be made as many as eight lanes wide in the CTP (Countywide Transportation Plan). Since Waterford is the alternate route for Route niners in the event of blockage the white post intersection will get a real workout from time to time.
For theater aficionados the talent of Waterfordians is displayed in two venues this Christmas theater season. In The Growing Stage's production of a Christmas Carol at Harper Park (not Valley of PTA fame) Middle School on 3,4 and 10,11 December at 8 pm. and on 5,11 December at 3 pm. you can see Sophia Curtis as Belle, Kristen Fitzgerald as Cratchit girl, Fan and in the title role, Maddy Curtis as Caroler.
In Loudoun Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" two Waterfordians have major roles this year. Bridgid Corcoran is dancing the roles of Big Mouse, Spanish and Snow. Cathleen Corcoran is Harlequin and Snow. They will be performing at Dominion High School on 11,12 and 18,19 Dec. at 3:30 and 7:30 pm.
Village all set up for a set
All day Sunday all up Main Street and around on Second Street ladders were leaning, ropes and wires were unreeling and painted panels were being tied and duct taped up everywhere amongst a cobwebbed melee. Tables and chairs were going in and out of windows and in the Pink House courtyard in particular, a damsel in distress was being gibbeted beneath a rampart unicorn on the hill. When darkness fell the streets were filled with a crowd that would have done justice to the fair. It seemed like everyone in the county between three and four feet tall had come to Waterford, each carrying a sack and accompanied by one or more parents.
The cobwebs had drawn scores of spider men and the village had many celebrities roaming around amid the staccato flare of flash bulbs. Martha Stewart had either escaped or had been given a furlough from nearby West Virginia and President Bill Clinton had stopped by between heart surgery and campaigning. The circles of light formed by floodlights were crowded with groups having their images broadcast into the Ethernet by hundreds of digital cell phone cams. Residents of Sterling and Ashburn were asked why they came all the way out to Waterford on Halloween night. All had the same answer. They wanted to bring their children out trick or treating to somewhere that was safe. Those who tried to count how many trick or treaters were in the village lost count as they ran out of treats between 375 and 400. A group of boys described as being from a middle school east of Leesburg were seen carrying off entire bowls of treats set out for the crowd. By ten the crowd had gone and only the rustling of the leaves and candy wrappers could be heard. By sunset on Monday another Halloween had vanished for another year.
Tuesday morning at 6am. as the Waterford polls were opened, a line had already formed. After the morning rush, the line went down to not much, to no waiting and by 7pm, 1317 voters out of 1807 had voted. By sunset on Wednesday another election had vanished for another year.
Fall colors mean Means House
The leaves are at their peak around the John Wesley Church and on Wednesday morning a large red truck was part of the orange, yellow and red among the leaves as an oil truck was not delivering but removing oil from a tank at the Samuel Means house. It seems that the new heating system is gas fueled and the old underground oil tank was being emptied to eliminate the possibility of eventual leakage. Chris and Ann Belland are now past the mid-point in their restoration of one of Waterford's most dramatic houses and have reached the point were all the good stuff is revealed. Each doorway shows a history of paint and lock prints and the old floors are sound and have never seen the destructive forces of sandpaper. Decorative painting has been discovered on one of the mantels and all the accumulated wall treatments are now visible in multi-layered glory. All that remains is to select the best from the past to be preserved as the final surface.
The 1850's kitchen revealed a brick oven that has both an inside and outside door and the earlier 18th century kitchen in the stone side is still unobstructed and contains the old pole trammel. Upstairs is the largest expanse of old flooring in the village. The old wide boards are dished but the tongues and grooves have never been cut up by sanding and attempts to "refinish" as has been the fate of most old floors. Hopefully the grooves will be cleaned out and the floors protected by a floating surface so that the old dished boards can return to their flattened state. The wear polished heads of the old original nails still form orderly lines that are the mark of an old house that was built with care and built to last. By one of the doors a plaster imbedded row of pegs that must have held Captain Sam Means's uniform blouse during the War of North Loudoun still stand ready to hold the coats of the new generations that will make this their home.
Village's signs hatred victim
Waterford continues to suffer the onslaught of hatred expressed by tearing down and theft of yard signs posted in the yards and fields of the supporters of one set of political candidates. The directed political vehemence in the village has not been so apparent in recent history and quit possibly not since the unpleasantness in the early 1860's.
The Waterford poll for the national election on Tuesday 2 November day 2 November will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. at the Waterford Elementary School. We are fortunate in having a thoroughly experienced set of election officers headed by Norma Neuf assisted by Joan Rollins. Other officers are Elizabeth Williams, Betty Greene, Elizabeth Mentzer, Nancy Love, Sylvia Merchant and Jay Merchant. A heavy turnout is expected and there are two more officers of election at the poll than ever before.
Our voting machines in Loudoun read and electronically record a paper ballot so that the choice is clear to the voter and a record of each vote is preserved. Sample ballots on paper a different color from the official ballots are handed out and printed in the newspapers so that a voter can be prepared to mark a ballot that is familiar. To vote you should have identification ready to show to the officers of election so that your name can be checked off on the voter registration rolls that contained, since in Waterford all things are historical, 1775 names last mouth. The number of voters on the rolls in the Waterford precinct is expected to exceed 2000 by Election Day. Unlike other Loudoun precincts to the east the only time we have a line is at closing time as the late commuters crowd in to vote. Generally the earlier before 2 p.m. you vote at Waterford the less time it takes. Vote before 2.
Voters who have a legitimate reason preventing access to the polls on Election Day can go to the Electoral Board office in Leesburg before 5 p.m. on Saturday, 30 October, and vote early.
The nice thing about all Waterford voters is they all love Waterford.
Smoke simultaneous with tomato
As frost nipped at the outer edges of the village and fireplaces began to come onto use even though the tomatoes are still getting ripe on the vine. Last week the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department answered a call on lower Main Street in response to an automatic smoke alarm. When a fireplace starts to smoke the alarms senses smoke even though the rest of the household may not notice. Smoking fireplaces are a problem to Waterford as the folks who seek to bring old fireplaces into compliance with modern standards have apparently never heard of Benjamin Thompson, more commonly known as Count Rumford.
The old fireplaces followed his design which allowed for a relationship to the cross sectional area of the chimney to the volume and shape of the fireplace served. His design also allowed for a wind shelf so that the flow of air necessary to maintain a fire could come down the sides of chimney and the smoke produced could go up the center so that the house could remain smoke free. When you try to install a damper and try to line the chimney constricting the airflow the inevitable result is a smoke filled house.
Years ago we solved the problem by shoving a Christmas mornings worth of wrapping paper in an unaltered fireplace and setting it off. The house did not burn down. We also solved the problem of creosote buildup in the chimney by setting off a dry Christmas tree once a year in the fireplace. Again nothing happened, so far. Now this is not the recommended solution because you never know what some one has done to the chimneys since they were built but there is some comfort in harboring the belief that all the houses that had a fireplace built about 200 years ago that was faulty in design or workmanship have burnt long ago and what we are left with is the survival of the fittest.
Waterford houses are proof of some sort of architectural Darwinism though this may be refuted by some sort architectural creationist theory. Please let us know if you hear of one.
The no show fairgoer from hell
When you live in Waterford through more than one fair inevitably you encounter the no-show fairgoer from hell. It is usually a relative who has stated at all family gatherings that they always wanted to go to the Annual Homes Tour and Crafts Festival but since it is so far, abut 50 miles, and in Virginia, that exists on the outer fringes of civilization, they never were able to attend. When you offer to host a trip to the fair they usually refuse as they are always "Too busy". Until one year they call the Sunday before the fair and say they are coming and what is the best day. You tell them Friday is always best. You give them detailed instructions on haw to come in the back way and tell them to get to your house before 9:30 Friday morning. Needless to say they never arrive. Friday night you get a call saying they "had to work' but they will defiantly be here the next day and could you get a ticket for their friend but they won't be able to get here until noon. You tell them the tickets will be at the booth by the Mill.
Again Saturday is a no show and you get a call about 8 o' clock at night saying they could not make it but their friend went and had to wait in a long line from Clarke's Gap and when she asked for tickets they never heard of her and she bought one so could you get them a refund. You explain the difference between the back way on Old Wheatland's Road and the front way on Clarke's Gap Road, twice; because they have lost the directions they wrote down the week before. They assure you that absolutely they will be at the Mill at 9:30 Sunday morning.
Sunday you go down to the Mill ticket both and when 10:30 arrives you buy a ticket and leave it in an envelope with the ticket taker. At 3:30 Sunday afternoon there is a call on the answering machine that says they are not coming after all but they called so you could give the tickets to someone else. And then you never hear from them again, until next year.
The proceeds from these fair tickets are used for the activities of the Waterford Foundation such as the Fall 2004 George E. Bentley Lecture Series. The next presentation will be acclaimed Civil War filmmaker Ron Maxwell at the Old School at 4 PM on Sunday 17 Oct. Before the series at 2 PM there will be a guided walking tour of the historic village These are free and open to the public.
Waterford floods twice weekly
Beneath sapphire blue skies by 11 in the morning the flood had filled Main street from curb stone to curb stone on Friday the first day of the annual Waterford Homes Tour and Crafts Festival. The flood of visitors was in sharp contrast to the flood of water that reached halfway up First Street the Tuesday before. The water was not nearly a high as it has been in the recent past but observers of many years has never seen the Catoctin Creek come out of its bank so quickly.
The perfect fair weather had been preceded by perfect Fair booklet that was the best that we have seen in the sixty some years of booklets that had been published before stating with a mimeographed sheet in the 1940's. For the first time the booklet did not have the failing common to all endeavors that are put together involving a committee. That was because it was designed and executed by one person, Ellen Banker who even did the sketches and illustrations herself.
The Waterford Fair is an enduring spectacle year after year but the only thing that is enduring from a particular fair is its booklet and this year's has never been surpassed or even equaled. For the fist time Fair visitors to the historic village were impressed by the number of political yard signs that showed in the yards of many of the historic homes not on tour. None showed in the tours houses to honor a request by the Waterford Foundation that no signs be visible in the houses and yards that were on tour and this was scrupulously honored. Many of the visitors said that they have been hesitant to display political signs in their homes and businesses in the past because of fear of vandalism but they now had their fears somewhat allayed by the example of Waterford.
The food at the fair this year went up a notch or two as the Waterford Elementary School continued to expand its menu. From the amount and variety of baked goods available every parent must have stayed up all night baking. The old standard Cinnamon buns started by Loraine Dale were still available but only briefly as they were sold out before the Fair even opened all three days. It is a shame that perhaps the very best never gets out of the village. The Waterford Citizens Association placed more emphasis on its ribs than it has in the past and many considered the rib platter the best meal of the fair.
Local gourmets will have a weeks rest to tune up their palette as the Bethel Methodist Church on Stumptown Road in Lucketts is free will offering a fall Ham and Turkey Dinner On Saturday 16 October from 5 to 7 pm. Live music will be served up along with the mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and, of course, deviled eggs.
Wyatt Preservationist of Year
Last week Waterford resident Cate Magennis Wyatt was recognized as Preservationist of the Year for 2004 by the Preservation Society of Loudoun County in a ceremony at Ayrshire Farm. This was in recognition of her long-standing preservation efforts, only one of which was her efforts that culminated in the purchase by the Waterford Foundation of the Phillip's Farm thus saving an essential part of the setting that causes us to be a unique Historic Landmark. This effort was so complete that the Foundation was able to purchase the property with no additional fund raising required to do so. Linda Porter of Waterford's neighbor Paeonian Springs was also honored as Preservationist of the Year.
The Waterford Citizen's Association met Thursday Night at the Old School. Residents of Main Street expressed concern about the speed and volume of traffic on the two way section of Main Street especially now that there are four more small children living there.
VDOT has informed us that a stop-go traffic light will be installed at the intersection of Clarke's Gap Road and Charlestown Turnpike (662 and Rt. 9) in mid 2005. Also in October 2006 bids will be sought for the construction of a turn lane into Clarke's Gap Road. This has been a deadly area of roadway for some time and even though the requirement for a turn lane will become immediately as soon as the first red light clicks on VDOT has to delay for more accidents to build the turn lane. Already grading in the area has eliminated the wetlands that helped clean the run-off in the upper reaches of the Schooley Mill Branch. The grading was so extensive that now VDOT studies forget that the wetlands ever existed. Waterford is the little village built in the spot that VDOT forgot. VDOT's memory may be improving, but evidently not as fast as their ability to forget.
If you are just arriving in Waterford, look out as the Annual Homes Tour and Crafts Festival starts Friday, day after tomorrow. There can be as many as 40,000 people through the village by the time you can again hear the creek run Sunday night. All those people and still the white tailed deer continue to thrive enough to be a traffic hazard and for there to be at least one black white tail deer running around in the Waterford National Historic Landmark.
Lisa Perkins and Liz Sadak win
The Women's Doubles Consolation finals between the team Lisa Perkins and Liz Sadak and the team of Debbie Burke and Susan Verdan was Waterford Tennis at its traditional best, all four being long time supporters of the tournament. The triumph of Lisa and Liz was inadvertently missed in last week's column.
Remember that tomorrow, Thursday 23 September 6:30 pm social and 7: 00 meeting of the Waterford Citizen's association. That's tomorrow night, at the Old School.
This is the last meeting before the Fair so come prepared to signup yourself and all your Fair visitors for a shift at the WCA's Barbeque Stand. You should be able to see all the faces that showed in the twilights last gleaming during the Fourth of July celebration behind the counter of the stand.
Fair preparation is in high gear around the little village in the spot that VDOT forgot this week. Paving is taking place all around us and perennial construction sites are all getting cleaned up. Grass has been planted on the west slope above the Tannery Branch Bridge. Workman replaced the leaning power pole of Pisa just north of the bridge Wednesday and discovered an 18-inch layer of old brick beneath the fence by Main Street.
Chief of the Waterford Poll Norma Nuef reminds us that the national election for President and two state referenda is on 2 November. On entering the polls you should have your Voters Registration Card or your drivers license or your Social Security Card. If you haven't voted in the very last election, for Supervisor, you may have had your poll changed. Check your card or call. Absentee or early votes must be applied for by 30 October and ballots must be in the Voter Registration office before the election. And this above all else, if you have not registered or have been purged because you have not voted in over four years you must register to vote by 4 October.
Bethel UMC, of ham and turkey fame, on the road to Stumptown has big doings on Yom Kipper, Saturday, 25 September. Starting at 4 pm is the Youth Kick Off ending with a scavenger hunt. Then a warm up outdoor movie "Dora the Explorer" This will be followed by the main event movie at 8:30, "Black Beauty". Bring your snacks to enjoy during the outdoor movie but lookout for scavengers who escape the hunt.
Awards at Huntley end summer
Labor Day weekend peaked Monday afternoon at Huntley Farm at the awards festivities for the Waterford Tennis Tournament hosted by Liz and Hans Hommel. The tournament had woven its rainy way during the week through local courts generously provided by the Ashbaugh, Burke and Henderson families as gaps in the effects of hurricane Frances did not provide enough time for all matches to be played on the Waterford Elementary School home court alone. As rain started falling there on Monday morning halfway through the Mixed Consolation the remainder of the finals were completed at the Loudoun Racquet and Fitness Club. Gurus Ron Carpenter and John DeCourcy won the Nancy McCracken Felton Award for the Spirit of Tennis in Waterford. Patsy Atchison won the Wellman Chamberlin Award for Good Sportsmanship. Ron Carpenter had teamed with Steve Solow and won the Men's Doubles and earlier John Decourcy had teamed with Bud Boardman to win the Consolation Men's Doubles. The winners of the Mixed Doubles were Cathy and Mike Healey and the Lady's Doubles winners were Jennifer Walthers and Cathy Gutch. The Mixed Consolation winners were JoEllen Keating and Fred Hetzel.
Sunday night about 10:30 a SUV left the rain soaked road and struck two trees in the yard of the first house on the right as you come from Clarke's Gap even though the driver was going toward Clarke's Gap. The Hamilton Fire and Rescue were on the job right away arriving to clean up broken glass even before the Virginia State troopers arrived.
Fashion has always been a factor in Waterford, long being known throughout the County as a place where you are expected to dress for dinner. Recently passers by the former Doug Meyers House on Factory Street may have noticed the stuffed goose in the Whiskey barrel planter. We are not sure what it says about the village when the best dressed may be a stuffed goose. This week she was even wearing a Sou'wester during the effects of Hurricane Frances.
Tennis rears fuzzy yellow head
'Tiz the week before Labor Day and half the village is either beating the daylights out of a defenseless tennis ball or waiting for a relative to finish beating the daylights out of a tennis ball. The quality of tennis in the Waterford Tennis tournament continues to ramp up especially in women's tennis as more and more beneficiaries of Title 9 move into the Waterford area and the results of a high tennis gene density in the Waterford gene pool have began to reinforce each other. Next week the results of the Waterford Tournament will be published in this column.
Now you may ask, "Why bother as the entire population of Waterford will already know who won what?" and the casual reader who stumbles blindly into this column by mistake does not care who won what. The reason is that this is done as a service to the Waterford Tennis community because they forget. When is comes time to present the trophies each year they must be retrieved from the obscure place of honor in the house of last year's recipient, engraved with last year's winner, the obligation of that/those winner/s and polished, ditto. This is not always done in a timely fashion. As matter of fact it is not unusual for the previous recipient/s to be seen at the beginning of the presentation ceremonies franticly applying polish and shining one of the trophies about to be awarded.
The week of the tournament we sometime receive calls asking who won and in some cases calls from the previous winner asking who their partner was because they cannot find the trophy and hope that their partner, it is a doubles tournament, has the trophy. Finally, new comers to Waterford must understand that the term "trophy wife " or "trophy husband " has nothing to do with the age or glamour factor of a spouse. In Waterford it means the spouse has trophied in the Waterford Tennis Tournament, something akin to having won a medal in the Olympics.
The center of the universe is a spot hovering above the center of a triangle formed by the Post Office, the Corner Store and the Pink House, which is for sale. A resident of the Pink House, a beagle type dog named Justine used to sleep in the road beneath the center and now her home is for sale. It has long been the home of the rest of the Chuck and Marie Anderson family who have been known, strangely enough, as the Pink House Andersons. The reason for this was to clarify the situation wrought by the fact that there were at one time living in or near the village four Anderson families. Besides the Pink Houses there were the Yellow Houses, the White Houses and the 704s. Also there were other Andersons, like Ned, showing up to perform on the Waterford stage, so this was the method used defining which Anderson. Some Andersons may have spelled Anderson differently but still, since all were active in Waterford and most had children who were doing things, you got the feeling that Waterford was some kind of Icelandic colony and the Andersons had to be told apart.
No one knows who devised the house color method of keeping the Andersons straight but it may have been Ruth Bentley, a former fifth grade teacher and writer of this column. It is not known if the house color defined the Andersons or the Andersons defined the house but in the case of the Pink Houses the children were all girls. The dog too. This may have been a coincidence since the Pink House was pink long before the Andersons moved in. It got pink shortly after WWII when painted by an owner who wanted to prove that the Waterford Foundation could not determine what color she could paint her house. Other versions claim that it is pink because it was a mixture of red and white paint stolen from the government or it was white and the red brick bled through. The true version remains to be determined by some historic restoration paint analyst, probably hired by the Waterford Foundation whose offices now overlook the Pink House from the Corner Store.
The Pink House Andersons certainly defined the Pink House. For example music can often be heard coming from the second floor music room. It contains a Grand Piano and a mural. The mural is a view of the Met as seen from the stage. (For the benefit of some of those who review this column before releasing it on the pages of this paper, the Met is short for the Metropolitan Opera, a large opera house in New York City.) The audiences seated in the Met mural are all of Waterford's residents and visitors formally clad, frozen in the late '70's. Some are also wearing their signature apparel, Dick James his butcher's apron, Norman Weatherholtz his nail pockets and John Rollison his hickory stripped bib overalls. The way things are lately, the Pink House will probably be sold to someone not named Anderson and who wants to repaint.
This Summer End Drawing Neigh
The dog days of summer are included in this week before the beginning of the Waterford Tennis Tournament on Sunday at the Waterford Elementary School, weather permitting. The tournament ends on the Sunday before Labor Day and usually has enough changes wrought by rain to give the schedulers enough experience in getting all the matches played at different locations to make putting on the Olympics easy by comparison.
Now is the time that back to school clothing is being arranged for all the Loudoun students and Waterford College crowd has the laundry done that was dumped at the foot of the family washing machines at the beginning of the summer. Why our students leave some facility that has all the water in the world available and bring massive amounts of dirty clothing to waterless Waterford is beyond reason. If you have a student at Waterford Elementary School who you have only had fleeting sightings of all summer long you might want to locate them and make sure that they are available 7 September which is the first day of school. They may tell you something different but do not believe them, no matter what they say.
A new to Waterford additional teacher is coming on board for one of the first grades and she is Amy McIntosh. All classroom teachers from last year are returning though not necessarily to the same classes. Again this year Waterford has no split classes so all classes will have the students in the same year in the same classrooms.
The Waterford Foundation is still looking for volunteers to help with the presentation of the Waterford Homes Tour and Crafts Festival this year on 1,2,3 October. Help is especially needed for Tour guides for the houses. Being a house guide is always a revelation to those who live here about the perception of others of our village. Many visitors are surprised to find out that someone actually lives here.
Rubber laid on Hannah Drive
The ghost of James Dean, the red jacketed star of "Rebel Without A Cause", must be lurking somewhere around the back end of Hannah Drive where it dirts down into Browns Lane. This smoothly paved and gently winding road has become a late night impromptu drag strip. This can be determined by the periodic echoes of squealing tires. We can barely remember these activities, as the main requirement is to be driving a car that belongs to or at least is payed for and maintained by someone else, preferably a parent. What ever happened to James Dean anyway?
The squealing tires from Hannah Drive reminds us of the squealing tires from lower Main Street not heard since the resident chickens left in the 1970s. The construction of new stone walls in the area has created a menace to catdom in a rather indirect way. Major stonewalling requires the presence of a sand pile and this has caused a shift in the cat territory map of Waterford. The squealing tires are not being caused by drag racing on lower Main Street. It is caused by people cramming on their brakes to avoid cats crossing the road to and from the sand pile.
Our dear departed neighbor Norman Weatherholtz would not tolerate cats in his sand pile. His signature in the mortar of his stonework was a cathead, a tribute to those cats he caught that had used his sand for a litter box.
Speaking of litter, elections are fast approaching and last week a candidate for something somewhere's yard sign was placed along side the road near Clarkes Gap. This may have something to do with the regional shift in the political territory map from red to blue. In Loudoun County we don't have road signs like West Virginia, only yard signs. Candidates that put up road signs in Loudoun are called losers.
The patriotic nautch girl by MaryAlice Coussoules that danced on the Morten's steps has moved up to lower Main Street from the newer part of the village and is expected to become politically active.
Alex thwarts village lemmings
In Waterford's annual lemmings to the sea movement David and Carol Lee with daughter Marion left Ocracoke Island just ahead of hurricane Alex just as across the Main Street neighbors Karl and Katherine Riedel and their sons arrived. The surprise storm surge caught the Riedels on the island as waters rose higher and faster then ever before in recent memory and by the time the storm had passed on Tuesday night they found themselves right at home with no power. In spite of gourmet dining opportunities furnished by the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army, the North Carolina State officials had decided the islands should be evacuated. Karl said the Red Cross served pancakes, hotdogs, hamburgers and Hostess Tea cakes. Hundreds of cars had been flooded in the fast rising water that flowed out of the Pamlico Sound and over Ocracoke Island as the storm passed. This led to cars catching on fire from shorts in the electrical systems and in one case burning the house down that was above the carport.
Back on mainland Waterford, moving in recently next door to the Riedel's on the up hill side of Main Street are new neighbors Rob and Liz Hale with son Andrew. Next to them even newer neighbors arrived from Orno Maine last week. Be sure to welcome Gordon Bonin and Catherine DesPrez and their children. They are Pieter who is a rising second grader at Waterford Elementary School and twins Nina and Will who are two and speaking of hurricanes, four month old Isabel.
As we start the hurricane season that causes periods of colonial conditions here in the historic district, as usual we will see Dominion Virginia Power on the job. Asplundh Company completed clearing of the lines in the village last week unfortunately resorting to the use of gaffs or climbing spurs. We have been assured that these are only used in an emergency and that anyone seeing them used otherwise can call Dominion Virginia Power at 703-359-3026.
Gaffs committed on our trees
The tree trimmers from Asplundh pruned through the village trees for Dominion Virginia Power this week and by Thursday morning the agile gaff clad Hispanic climbers were lopping the trees in the yard of the Brock's historic Marshall Clagett Log House at the end of Main Street. The last time the tree branches were cleared away from the power lines and the use of gaffs was discussed, the Waterford Citizens were assured that an arborist from Virginia Power would be responsible for the methods used. Terry Arney pointed out information from the National Arborist Association such as that included in the NAA press release "Climbing Spurs Damage Live Trees" at that time. According to the workers from Asplundh the Virginia Power arborist responsible for Waterford is Keith Evans. It turns out that Keith Evans is a forester which may explain the gaffs.
The cooperation of Virginia Power sought by Waterfordians is necessary in our efforts to underground all the utilities as in most of Loudoun's new developments. Of course one of the reasons for burying the wires is to eliminate the need and cost of the constant tree trimming now required to make our frequent power failures less numerous. The concern for trees shown by Virginia Power has been of interest out side of Waterford recently because of the discussions about using the W&OD bike path, another of Loudoun's scenic wonders, as a right of way for bigger transmission lines.
Tuesday morning last week nightriders, apparently from the Ku Klux Klan, distributed flyers wrapped around old newspapers for heft all along Main, Second and Factory Street. Most residents threw the flyer, concerning recent immigrants clogging emergency rooms, away without reading it. A search of the Internet looking for a reason why the Klan targeted Waterford revealed only that the Klan is planning a rally in Sharpsburg MD and a local Maryland prosecutor has stated that it is against Maryland law for people to bring their guns to a Klan rally. Perhaps this was a feeler put out by the Klan seeking support for a rally location in Virginia where it is not against the law to bring your guns to a Klan rally.
A life long leader of cheer
A lifetime ago, we found an invitation for dinner from Ann Carter Chamberlain in our door. We had bought the Hollingsworth-Lee House, late in the previous winter and now in the spring were in a race to get things livable while living in house that had a long list of no heat, electricity, walls, plumbing etc. Going through the looking glass door of the Bank House just up Main Street a few days later was to step forward from a Waterford at its worst, ours, to a Waterford at its best, hers. Our life of dust and chaos contrasted sharply with the long established settled grace that Ann Carter presided over in the company of the scholarly wit of Wellman Chamberlin. Due to her influence as Waterford's greatest cheerleader we are still in Waterford at its best 35 years later.
During the years between new Waterfordians joined the old Waterfordians who had instantly appreciated her enthusiasm on her arrival as a bride from Alexandria during the midst of the Great Depression. The Depression must have flown with her arrival. Since then, Ann Carter was always at the fore of all celebrations. No play, performance or concert issued from the Old School without her on or before the stage, a necessary presence for an evening of joy. No public meeting every passed without her comments and encouragement. This even took the form of being the first Waterford Columnist for this paper.
All through the years, no matter how wintry the weather, a few days before Christmas we would shuffle around to all our houses or stand in our doors while our white mittened leader coaxed carols from us. Civic projects of planting, picking up or fixing up always had her imprimatur and support. No New Years passed without her instigating the singing of Old Lang Sine and no Fourth of July passed into history without us all getting stars and being urged by her though God Bless America one last verse.
It is inconceivable that she is not still with us, still urging us onward to fill our hearts with the joy of living in the village of Waterford at its best.
Historic Simms's House doomed
The historic Lizzie Simms's House was oozed closer to its ultimate death Monday as the Historic District Review Committee turned down the application for inappropriate change/bulldozing. This enabled the owners Paul and Malarie Madison to slide the unfortunate house one slippery step closer to its inevitable destruction by proceeding with an appeal to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors. Now you may wonder why are the Madisons persisting in their efforts to disregard the supposed protection of historic properties, the overwhelming wishes of the community and the recommendations of the counties professional staff. It is because they are assured that their wishes will prevail because of a decision made by those foreign to historic districts, the Loudoun BOS Finance/Government Services Committee members.
The Madisons are acutely aware of the rules that govern events in Loudoun. They know the deductive logic shown by dripping slime. If a blob of slime falls to the to the ground and so does the second, third, etc. you can be reasonably assured that the next blob of slime will fall to the ground. In the case of the Simms's House, if a new housing development project can jump from 162 houses to 500 houses, if a public facility can be named after President Reagan then the destruction of a historic building that is part of fabric of the Waterford Historic District is a piece of cake.
If you have enough naiveté to believe that you could deter this slimy glide to destruction to your Catoctin BOS supervisor Sally Kurtz or any Supervisors who have historic districts, Jim Burton or Jim Clem or the Chairman Scott York, forget it. They are not members of the Loudoun BOS Finance/Government Services Committee.
It is seldom that we have an opportunity to see something that is to be ripped from our midst. It is like the difference between talking to a person who dies suddenly the next day and talking the condemned person who we know is about to die the day. First the black citizens of Waterford and now even their homes that were uniquely black historic homes are being banished to be fading images in all our hearts and minds.
Schadenfreude fraughts Fourth
Waterford's Fourth was fraught with Schadenfreude as a wonderful red, white and blue jigsaw puzzle of events fell into place without a drop of rain falling on our parade or anything else. However, before, between and after there was plenty of rain that fell with exquisite timing for us and to the inconvenience of all around who were not in Waterford this historic day.
Once more Paige Cox herded a host of volunteers involving almost everyone in the Waterford Citizen's Association, and then some, through the day that in many ways surpassed all previous efforts. The length of the parade, from the first speeding scooters that always rush to the finish line once Main Street slopes down from the Post Office, to the last bedraggled red white and blue bunting beribboned dog, was longer than any other military event in Waterford since the Army of the Potomac passed through Waterford a few days after Gettysburg in 1863. The weather this year would be correct for a reenactment of that event of the Army trying to stay between the enemy and the capitals.
"Chili Man" Robert Farr of Loudoun Valley Foods, speaking from the Tannery lot, delivered a plea for the use of sustainable agriculture to preserve the farms of Loudoun. The use of his hot sauces and salsas had become a tradition by the time the potluck started.
Barry Charlton showed us his versatility and talent during the potluck supper on the Old School outdoor stage. Playing non-stop for over two hours he was a one-man concert displaying an excellence seldom heard even on the largest of stages.
Also special this year was the fireworks display. The grand finally was a classic crescendo of sound and fire that combined all the senses. No TV even with Tivo can duplicate the flash of heat on your face the tickle to your throat, the punch in your paunch and the tingle in your toes you feel from the real thing. The air around the Schooley Mill Barn burned with hundreds of glowing lights that froze as the final fountains of fires boomed on and on against the backdrop of surrounding clouds that throbbed with the pulsing explosions of the surrounding towns not so fortunate as us. Immediately after the last spark blinked out a misty drizzle descended on the end of another wondrous day in the life of our wondrous village.
Catoctin Creek needs a treat
Catoctin Creek was first reported as exceeding the state standards for E.coli bacteria pollutants in 1994, well before Goose Creek and Limestone Branch were similarly reported in 2000 and 2002. The reason for this pollution that makes the creek unfit for recreational uses is suspected to be the large numbers of drain fields in the watershed coupled with the removal of the protective buffers of trees and wetlands in the immediate proximity of the creek that purified the water naturally.
Those of us who have lived in the Catoctin Watershed since the late 1960's can remember the wetlands around the intersection of Route 9 and Route 7. Last month the reports dealing with a traffic light at this former marshy area denied that they exist and said that no wetlands were affected. More was affected besides the view when the bulldozer destroyed the areas containing the marshy grasses and cattails that are the sign of pollutants incidental to wild life and agriculture are being processed with out the need for the expenditure of labor and equipment involved in a treatment plant. The clearing of brush and planting grass and the tons of landfill dirt have almost erased the wetland.
In the marshy area to the north of Purcellville the wetlands protected the creek from the impervious surface runoff from the town. Though they are still there landfill for the industrial park diminished it size. That Purcellville was a factor in the health of the Catoctin became painfully apparent when a " minor chemical spill" killed every fish in the creek to the joy of the Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania vulture population. As the trees protecting the Catoctin gave way to lawns once the zoning regulations were modified, the health of a stream that had been assumed safe since typhoid struck Paeonian Springs in the 30's along with suspicion of polio later on failed. Perhaps all houses having drain fields should be billed for sewer treatment the same way Waterford is. The contaminants dumped into to septic tanks and lawns that are finding their way into our creek are going to have to be dealt with somehow. They just don't go away.
The meeting at the Old School last week to develop an implementation plan to restore the water quality of Catoctin gives us hope that once again children can play along the creek and fishing spots that were favorite places for hundreds of years can be used again.
Sunday is the Fourth of July
The Waterford Citizens Association will be presenting the usual Glorious Fourth of July beginning with the registration for the parade on Factory Street at 10 to 11 a.m. Following the parade, at the Tannery Lot on Bond Street, patriotic songs, this years speaker," The Chile Man" Robert Farr, awards and at 12:30 p.m. hot dogs, hamburgers, watermelon and games for all. For the 4th The Greystone Pool will be open to all starting at noon. To avoid the non-member fee then, now is a chance to become a member, as there are a few vacancies still available. The pool is scheduled to be open all summer, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 7 days a week. At 5 at the Old School the softball game begins and at 6:30 the Potluck (Don't forget to bring a dish for all of yours and a little extra). During the potluck Barry Charlton will be performing for our dinning enjoyment at the Old School Stage. Of course at dark the traditional fireworks will begin.
Generous donations from Waterfordians and their guests are the only way the WCA is able to present our traditional 4th for the Community. Don't forget to remind yourselves and all our visitors of this and remember to sign up to help with the Waterford Citizens Association Barbeque during the Fair.
Thursday evening al the Old School a meeting was held concerning the water quality of Catoctin Creek. In a report delivered by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality the reasons for Catoctin Creek not meeting the standards for human contact were outlined. Methods for returning the creek to an acceptable standard were discussed. The presentation made obvious the fact that the creek side development has removed the protective woods and grasses that used to line the creek. Since zoning changes in 1993 stripped away the buffers that shielded the creek from failing or non-existent drain fields, diaperless deer and cooling off cows to touch the water in which we used to swim may be hazardous. Fortunately funding is available to enable property owners affecting creek water quality to clean up their act voluntarily before cleanup becomes mandatory.
Accidental tourists need more
An accident blocking Charlestown Pike put Waterford on the Grand Commute Tour a week ago and Waterfordians who were trying to cross Main Street realized that we had become Route 9 for the morning. Those who chose to see cars from exotic places like West Virginia and Maryland mixed in with the usual coterie of Lovettsvillians, Hillsborons and Neersvillagers could stand and watch for hours for a gap to dash across the street. Some cats trying to get home from their dawn patrol had to settle for a late brunch. It was observed that West Virginia cars never give you any warning where they are from as you can only see the license plate as they are leaving the scene.
Discussion as to what should be done so that you can get to your car when this happens brought up the usual suggestion of a traffic light at each end of the village that could be activated to pulse gaps in the traffic flow depending on whether the flow was in the morning or afternoon. Since the Village is a National Historic Landmark it might be nicer to merely accommodate these accidental visitors as accidental tourists.
Last week as the Loudoun Board of Supervisors mourned the passing of President Reagan suggestions were made that perhaps some public facility in Loudoun could be named after our 40th President, Main Street in Waterford would be ideal. The President Ronald Reagan Memorial Boulevard has a lot of characteristics that would suit the purpose. Starting at the top of the Olympian Heights of the Big Hill it descends one way past the President Nixon Jail, the only other public building in Waterford except the treatment plant pump house.
The rainwater trickles down slope after the street becomes two ways, in theory, at the Post Office. Actually it is only one and a half ways being narrow. The gutters are such that only on rainy occasions does the water trickle into the houses. Eventually the water flows into the Tannery Branch and thence to the Catoctin Creek at a point that contains the only wild catchup patch known. The Indian roots and origin of both Catoctin and catchup words are obvious.
Basils bloom and 4th to boom
As the copper basil bloomed in the sidewalk cracks the Waterford Citizen's Associations met Tuesday formulating plans for the traditional 4th of July celebration. Private donations have assured funding and the only lacking element in all the committees is some Waterford teens to provide input from that prospective to the 4TH effort.
The Waterford teen has become hard for us to find recently as the last batch that we were able to catch in the glare of headlights or startle at a feeding frenzy have slid into the nether world of twenty something. If you know of a Waterford teen that wants to provide input to the 4th put them in touch with Paige Cox Stup.
For outdoor eating in Waterford, the 4th is always a focal point for gastronomic excellence. One of the delights to look forward is the Waterford hotdog served after the parade. To our way of thinking there is only one other place to eat this traditional fare of the 4th and that is at the Roanoke Weiner Stand in (duh) Roanoke.
Outdoor grilling in Waterford officially starts on Memorial Day since in Waterford the ground has thawed long before and we do not have to spend the entire day burying as they do further north. A Barbeque run was made last weekend to assemble the ingredients for enough to last us through the summer. This involves traveling The Valley (duh again) of Virginia via 340 from Berryville to Dooms then over to Fishersville. Towns that have the holy trinity of churches, Methodist, Baptist and Presbyterian, just like Waterford, populate this stretch. The importance of this route is the location of "Flea Markets" along the road. Hot Sauce, the essential ingredients for outdoor, and indoor for that matter, cookery can be purchase for as little as $1.00 for 4 gallons. The reason for this is shrouded in mystery but might somehow relate to the proximity of large food processors and world-class barbeque stands.
Waterford Sauce Recipe: I bottle of lowest price on sale BBQ Sauce, I bottle coke, 1 cup chopped bush basil leaves (This is the stuff called copper basil that has purple black leaves and is now growing in the cracks of the sidewalks of Waterford.), 1 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup brown sugar, hot sauce, salt and ground black pepper to taste. Simmer.
Diversity still surrounds village
Waterford has a diversity in its houses that maintains the diversity of thought and the surrounding diversity of houses continues. Two things in the past have influenced the evolution of housing types around us. One is the zoning as different types of houses are built depending on the zoning and the second is the concepts of the ideal life held by those who would purchase the houses.
With 10 acre zoning the 10-acre horse farm came into existence. The houses that were built tended to be designs that were imported from other locations at the whim of those who bought the land and then made arrangements for contractors to build their concept of a dream house. This led to strange combinations such as a house that was designed for zero lot lines placed in the middle of 10 acres of former hay field. The unsuitability of many of these houses became evident in direct proportion to the realization of the owners that they had chosen a life style that was governed by living on land that was to little to farm and to much to mow. If the ranch ever did get horses what did you do with all the horses and tack once the equestrienne of the household had either discovered members of the opposite (or same) sex or already knowing about it had run off with the person hired to muck out the stables?
Developers immediately seized upon the now traditional 10-acre subdivision and what with a proliferation of divorce lawyers began producing the McMansion. This dwelling was designed to impress. The brick veneer solidly embraces the Styrofoam box that was entered by a lawyer foyer a full two stories high containing the Gone With the Wind winding staircase. In the mean time, at the other end of the housing spectrum, town houses were evolving encompassing the latest advances in building material and small lot subdivision. The name of the game was to get as many single-family dwellings into the least amount of space and serve the dynamic housing concepts of a shifting society.
This resulted in the Vinyl-Sided townhouse.
The Ken and Barbie Starter, The Single Mom and Divorced Dad, and the Last Stop Before Assisted Living Model could all be accommodated by the same 2 bedroom one and one half bath floor plan. The design and concept was flexible enough to accommodate both the upward McMansion bound and the downward condo bound portions of society. As the infill sites around the towns filled in and the desire to live on ten acres succumbed to the interest in subdividing the ten into two additional three acre sites a third type of housing has began to evolve and is now appearing on the greater Waterford edge.
This is the McMullet named after the ever-popular mullet-cut hairstyle of the 70's that was business in the front and party in the back. The evolved McMullet has the brick façade of the McMansion designed for the business of impressing in the front and the vinyl sided sides leading around to the deck of the vinyl-clad rear that is the party in the back.
It is an ill wind not that bad
A snapping series of small explosions streamed into the wind from the century old elm behind the log cabin on lower Main Street as a huge limb two feet in diameter dropped across the Brock's patio last Friday night. At first light a blasted butt remained precariously attached in fibrous shreds to the trunk twenty feet above the ground creating what loggers call a dead man or a widow maker. The outer most branches of the limb, formerly seventy feet in the air, had been stabbed into the crotch of the maple tree just above the Tannery Branch alligator who had clung to the bottom like cement as the torrent of water rushed over his concrete hide on the way to the Phillip's Farm flats. This was through a space that used to be the last floodgate protecting the mill. The pulsing wind that had twisted the elm was not yet done with its damage. Behind the Bank House a large maple under full sail with a canopy leaved out from topgallants to mainsail drivers, sailing on a sea of rain soaked soil, healed over on beam-ends. Unlike ships, trees do not right themselves. The intact root system shoved one edge skyward as the driving rain washed the dirt from the tendrils back into the gaping hole left behind and the wind moved on.
Blunted by the houses at the beginning of Second Street the wind went for higher ground toward the Insurance Company but in a parting shot took down a tree along the driveway toward the back of Trouble Enough Indeed. The treetop sprawled across the roof and its trunk blocked the barn.
As it is an Ill wind that does not blow some good and knowing Bill Hunley is the ultimate craftsman, that tree has just begun its life. We are waiting to see what he makes of it.
Strong north winds blowing into the mill gap are not unique and do periodic damage. They also have a cumulative effect as careful measurements of the Mill have shown. The brick top of the Mill leans out over a foot from the vertical, down wind.
Yes we have no cicadas today
Very few periodical cicadas have made their way into Waterford even though a short distance away they are abundant. Waterford's wood burning past kept the trees constantly at a minimum in the village as nearby firewood was always being fed into the fireplaces. Proof of this is seen in the relatively tree barren photos taken from the 1860's on. No trees, no cicadas. Only recently has the growth of trees been left undisturbed and even encouraged as the Farbs among us use oil, gas, electricity and imported firewood for heat and cooking.
Cicadas are abundant in the traditionally wooded areas around the village that were between the constantly plowed fields. To establish a big population cicadas have to emerge from the ground and climb trees to eat the leaves. Their survival was assured by the woodlots being constantly wooded remnants of the eastern deciduous forest. If the trees had cicadas 17 years ago, you have cicadas now.
Waterford now has more trees then any period since settlement. Periodical cicadas don't fly far and only fly every 17 years. There has not been enough time for the cicadas to cross in 17-year successive generations the open fields that form the now practically unique setting for the village. Waterford is thus protected by its historic open space. Keeping the historic fields mowed, grazed, plowed, cropped and house free will keep the village cicada free.
Irises are out and a display that should be seen by all is right across from the Post Office at the wall between the Pink House and the Iron Store House. The whole vignette fits so well in its place and time that if you don't live here the view seen by all the daily postal patrons is worth a trip into the village.
Warm days have brought small sporty new cars that are beginning to dot Waterford's Streets in reaction to the need for gas economy and summer travel so important to live truly well. A top down and to the beach mentality is growing as the soil temperature reaches the starting point that pushes tomatoes plants to overflowing abundance.
The Waterford Elementary School is in its final yearly throws of SOL exams before the great escape. When you move to Waterford, as stated in this weeks New Yorker," You're moving into a place where all the parents live well and all the kids test well."
Rats is more than just a book
The eastern wood rat is among us. He lives in burrows in the yard and occasionally ventures into the basement. He is smaller than the more urban Norway rat from northern China and has a fur covered tail. He has been known as the pack rat and the trade rat. He has been in Waterford longer than people and began to move in as soon as houses were built. The little piles of stored objects found in hidden places whenever renovation takes place prove this. Old furniture and cabinets often bear the marks of tell tail chewing and the MacCallum family once found a silver spoon that had been carried into the chimney in the early 19th century
Last winter when the hard crust of snow had melted you may have noticed trails all throughout the grass that was underneath. This would indicate how dense the rat population is. The black snakes and cats don't seem to be keeping up their at control as the grass growth last year caused the rat population to zoom. Usually the grass growth provides cover for snakes and they are able to increase and help control the rats. The employment of lawn services that fertilize the grass to increase food for the rat population than cut the grass to decrease the snake population is somewhat productive in increasing our rats.
Now is the time for everyone in Waterford to start watching out for people with weed whackers killing trees. Needless to say it does not do much for the survival of small trees to girdle them with a weed whacker because those with the weed whackers do it anyway.
We are now passed the last frosty day of May 15 so now is the time to plant. Remember nothing tastes better than a tomato while lying on your back with a saltshaker in one hand in your neighbor's garden looking at the night sky.
Loudoun County High School was Waterford's high school in 1955. The class of 1955 is looking for the lost members in preparation for a 50th. The lost should contact email@example.com or call Judy Fisher at 703 777-3156
Violin and mandolin wed at Mill
"A peanut sat on the railroad track
David Tiller got married to his long time duettest Enion Pelta Saturday.
To Quote from their web site;" David Tiller and Enion Pelta have been on their musical journey as a violin and mandolin duet for nearly two years. They met in New York in the spring of 2001, while playing in Brooklyn Browngrass, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, based band. After spending some time honing their duet act in the subways of the city, they traveled across the country to Portland, OR, to form Taarka, with percussionist Jarrod Kaplan and bassist James Whiton. They still continued to work as a duo, performing original works composed by both musicians, and interpretations of traditional music from a variety of musical cultures - celtic, bluegrass, gypsy, and hungarian and indian folk. Following the example of the powerful duo violin and mandolin of Darol Anger and Mike Marshall, they create a sound that is both compelling in its composition, rhythm, and fullness."
They both plan to continue to perform with Taarka and with the recently reactivated Thamusement that with tour bus visited Waterford from their base in the Southwest several years ago. The musical association with Aimee Curl of Furnace Mountain and other Virginia musicians reads like a Whose Who of original music now evolving throughout North America.
The wedding and reception took place in the Old Waterford Mill with a rehearsal dinner being held Friday in the recently renovated fellowship room of the John Wesley Methodist Church across Main Street. With the use of the Wisteria Covered Cottage in all its seasonal glory as a guesthouse for the Parents of the bride the older part of the historic village has reached a level of use and occupancy not seen for many years this weekend.
We are sure that the life of the newly-weds like all great music and the village of Waterford will continue to be greater than the sum of all the parts.
Purple heralds spring and king
Waterford took on a royal purple hue this week as the wisteria, grape hyacinth and lilac all bloomed at once. Purple is one of the Easter colors of spring and this year the timing of the purple came just after Easter here but a week before Easter in the Levant where it first became emblematic as a sign of royalty.
Hercules was walking with his sheepdog along the shore of the Levant about 3500 years ago when he noticed that his dog's mouth had been dyed purple from chewing on the murex mollusk shells. This started a dye industry in Tyre and the color purple became a sign of royalty after a decree by Phoenix, King of Phoenicia, meaning land of the purple. The wisteria at the bottom of Main Street by the Tannery Branch was especially glorious as it hung from the trees as a huge purple drapery.
Linda Landreth has been busy shearing and sorting as Waterford has had its yearly fleecing. Linda says that with 15 fleeces here and eight more at the farm she has, yes sir, yes sir, not three but twenty three bags full.
If we could just get the purple from the flowers we could make "toga picta".
This Saturday starting at 9am and running until 3pm is Waterford's Yard Sale and Flea Market. The event has more scheduled participants with more things for sale and trade this weekend than ever before. In the past the items presented for sale have been furniture, antiques and collectables that suit historic houses such as those found in Waterford.
Waterford water creeps closer
Wednesday when the Shockey family and a few other residents of the area to the east of the Historic Oatlands Plantation asked for water and sewer to be extended into what has been called the transitional zone the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors leapt into action and acquiesced by a vote of six to three. The Shockey family explained the inconvenience of not being able to wash automobiles and conserve water during the dry season even though they had drilled wells as deep as 250 feet. By some strange coincidence the Shockey family has been active in CPR and has been among those persuading the Supervisors to lift the growth control measures in this same area so that thousands of more homes can be built now with water and sewer already provided courtesy of the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority.
The board of Supervisors has not demonstrated the same concern about delivering water to the village of Waterford. That must be because we never wash automobiles and as some wells yielding a quart a minute from depths of up to a thousand feet don't require much effort to conserve water. We do not deserve the same consideration as houses not yet built. Besides why bother with water when more is paid for just sewer in Waterford than any one else in the county pays for both? We have to keep subsidizing growth. After all Loudoun County did not get to be the fastest growing county in the country by making things at all difficult for the developers.
The water quality in Waterford has benefits that no other public water supply could possibly have. We just returned from Istanbul and had been drinking water from the tap with no ill effects. We found out that the Istanbulians don't drink tap water, just bottled water, just before we left. Invitations to the Shockey family of Arcola to visit Waterford last year were never answered. Maybe it's because of the water.
30 April is the deadline for your dues to the Waterford Citizen's Association. Don't forget 8 May is the Waterford Flea Market and Yard Sale.
A night ride through the past
When you ride the night bus across Anatolia through the blackness of the Turkish countryside the horizon stands hard against the overcast sky that reflects the glow of the lights from thousands of evenly spaced villages. Each light in those villages appears as a speck of gold dust sprinkled on the black velvet of the rolling fields. These fields have been growing wheat and barley and every thing else we eat for as much as six thousand years. The blackness of the velvet is complete only late at night when the last shepherd's tea fire has gone out.
Until a few years ago, even though the night sky was much lighter to the east and there were tears in the velvet darkness caused by farm lights, Waterford had that same scattered gold on black velvet look. Now, looking down on the village from the Catoctin heights, you can only see a dark band around the flash of the streetlights. To the east you see the lights from the drool of houses flowing up from Leesburg. The reflection back from the clouds is harsh. The heaven and earth boundary has gone all soft and you are never sure where one stops and the other begins.
The fields in that dark band grew wheat and corn for less than three hundred years. Now they grow hay and less and less of that each year and no one knows how long it has been since a shepherd last warmed tea over a fire. Some people may wonder why so many Waterfordians travel to other places when many of those who live in other places aspire to be where and what we are. And why do Waterfordians devote so much time and effort resisting or examining any change?
Judith Lane will be appearing with the Loudoun Chorale in their Spring Concerts. She will first be at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Leesburg on Saturday 24 April at 7:30 pm and then at St. Mathews Episcopal Church in Sterling on Sunday at 4:00 pm. She will be singing "Requiem" by John Leavitt and "Frostina" by Randall Thomson (and Robert Frost of course) along with the rest of the Loudoun Chorale.
Taking a turn at the steeple
In the evergreening greenscape of Waterford the missnamed turkey vultures slide down the air currents rising off the roofs of the historic village. When they get to the bottom of the hill they tilt and turn over the steeple of the John Wesley Church at the bottom of the hill. The steeple has lost the shroud of scaffolding that covered it two years ago when the steeple was repaired in the name of hisoric preservation. The setting sun catches the vultures under sides as they tilt and for a brief moment they glow gold in a lapies lasulli sky.They then slide sideways toward Catoctin Creek that also glows gold in the setting sun. You would think that the sun was reflecting off some golden treasure the was thrown in its depths. But then who would throw treasure into a creek beside a village that for most of its one hundred and seventy some years of existance serviced the needs of the surrounding farms.
In the reddening tile roof scape of innermost Istanbul the misnameed mediterainian gulls slide down the air currents rising off the roofs the pre-historic city wedged between the Marbel Sea and the Black Sea at the very edge of both Europe and Asia. When they get to the Sultanhomet they tilt and turn over northeastern mineret now shrouded in scaffolding. The Sultanhomet is in the center of the prehistoric city between the Bosphorus and the Golden horn. The scafolding was inastalled to support the workers maintaining that wich has always been so that it will always be. This is not historic preservatin but the idea is the same. The setting sun catches the under sides of the gullsas they tilt and turn over the minerete and for a brief moment they glow gold in a lapis lasli sky. They then slide sideways toward the Golden Horn that also glows gold as the lights come on in the darkening city. They say that the reflection is from all of the golden treassure thrown into the Horn to prevent it from falling into the hands of invaders such as the Ghengis Kahn or the Greeks or Phillip or Alexander the Great or the crusaders. Istanbul was once a small village that serviced the needs of some farmers of the Thracian Plain for most of the first hundred and sevnty some years of its initial existance, but hen that was three or four thousand years ago.
Waterford has a mineret on the John Wesley Church.
Palms pilot in Easter season
Easter is but a Sunday away with Palm Sunday being this Sunday if you are looking forward past the waving palm fronds for the Easter Bunny coming to the village. The Easter grass has been growing bright green and in clumpy tufts that are perfect for the bunnies to hide their eggs. The palms are not doing well as we lost our last one in the freeze about two weeks ago. Such is the peril ignoring the signs and putting the pots out too early.
Garden guru Doug Lea was seen pruning last week and that indicates that the planting season is in accord with the calendar this year. Based on the natural progression of the seasons Waterfordians know that when Doug prunes it is now time to start seedlings indoors for setting out on the frost-free day of 15 May. We also know that the cherry blossoms around the tidal basin are genetically timed to Doug's activities and they will also be on schedule.
Church schedule sachem Jane Piercy tells us that the Catoctin Presbyterian Church invites the community to Participate in the following Holy Week services: 11 AM on 4 April, Palm Sunday Worship; 7:30 PM on 8 April, Maundy Thursday Worship; 12 PM to 3 PM on 9 April the church will be open for prayer and meditation; 7 AM, on 9 April, Community Good Friday Worship at Zion Lutheran Church in Lovettsville; 7 AM on 11 April, Sunrise Service at the Waterford Baptist Church with The Catoctin Presbyterian Church next door's Rev. David Douthett delivering the sunrise sermon. Breakfast will be served following the service. Then at 11 AM at The Catoctin Presbyterian Church the Easter Morning Worship will be held.You can't say that Waterfordian worshipers are any slouches when it comes to Easter.
By now all have noticed the new décor at the corner of Clarke's Gap Road and Route 9. The former Waterford Texaco is now a Shell. No ownership has changed with the station. It seems that Shell bought Texaco and is changing all signs to reflect this action. Technically the establishment that we have been getting gas and service from has been Piercy's Garage since Ted Dillon stopped operating it as Dillon's.
Listening to the lilac bushes
Saint Patrick's Day along with the fattened buds on the lilac bush whisper to us that spring is here. Those of us lucky enough to walk past the Old Waterford Inn on Main Street can look over the Weatherholtz wall and see that spring has started to shout in Neil Keller's yard. Croci and snowdrops are in full bloom and so thick that they carpet stretches of the garden. Daffodils are starting to get thick headed and the foliage of the tulips is marking beds that promise blazes of color right about now. Further down Main Street, standing on the tannery branch bridge looking toward the pasture, you can see that great clumps of naked ladies will be showing up along the stream bank after a hot summer rain. These are a legacy that has been left to us by Mary Elizabeth Wallace. This legacy has been hiding during the years spent on renovating the Vine Covered Cottage.
All of these flowers and plants that grow on the southwest side of Main Street from the Camelot School to the mill are part of a cat community that exists juxtaposed with the human community. Currently it has four cats that are permanent residents and three other journeyman cats that exist on the sides or pass through on temporary visas. At times the same area has hosted a cat population in excess of fifty in the same space. This caused the local veterinarians to label Waterford as the source of a cat AIDS epidemic and finally necessitated the great cat roundup in 1992. The cats that live in this part of Waterford are Billy, a black and white Sylvester type, who has his own custom cat door, Rupaul, a gray oyster pattern who is a transvestite and Lula, a gray brindle who is the victim of a botched hysterectomy. Tuffy, who is a big orange, works both sides of Main Street down by the mill. These cats have individual prowls that are carefully marked in an elaborate pipe stem arrangement that resembles the lots that developer's computer generate in order to build the maximum number of houses on the minimum amount of land. A sure sign of spring can be heard at night now as these prowls undergo minor adjustments.
The County and town planning offices are also sounding like spring.
Brock deepens Tannery Branch
The construction season for the spring of 2004 is under way with Caroline Brock taking advantage of the warm days last week to deepen the Tannery Branch and throw a protective levee along the bank in her yard. The state of this small, now vernal, stream has been pretty much neglected since Ory Jones's death about 1972. He kept the streambed clear of leaves and branches and made sure that grass and plants were growing along the banks. He saw that the watercress and duckweed in the stream itself were not disturbed. Woe be it to any of the neighborhood children who started digging in the bank or doing anything to muddy the water. When he came out with his pail to get his water from a deep spot in what is now the Brock's back yard you could look clear to the bottom and see no particles floating or settling out.
If only all of Loudoun Streams could have remained that clear. Fairfax always prized the water from Goose Creek because trees growing along its banks protected the streambed and assures high quality water free of fertilizer. Limestone Branch flowed clear until Beacon Hill and the golf coarse changed it into a Loudoun version of the Red River. Catoctin Creek was classic pastoral creek until the zoning cut the set back down to 50 feet so that developers could get more house sites and chemical spill in Purcellville along with copious deposits of sludge altered the water quality and removed most of the once abundant flora and fauna.
Just in time for spring the 4-H Sheep, Goat and Non-Ownership livestock clubs are selling 3 cubic ft. bags of high quality shredded hardwood mulch at a good price with volume discounts, no taxes and delivered free to Waterford. The mulch sale is to benefit the rebuilding of the barn destroyed by Hurricane Isobel at the Loudoun Fairgrounds. To order call Tricia Virts at (540) 882-4940.
Another sign of spring last week was the arrival of the spring chickens, ducks and rabbits at the Tractor Supply Store in Leesburg. They were sold out of chickens before we could determine if they were suitable for traffic calming but said they were restocking. They still have lots of rabbits and if they remain Non-Ownership are going to have lots more.
Working for the school budget
Over 30 parents from the Waterford Elementary School attended the budget hearings Wednesday at Heritage High School in Leesburg with ten speaking. The hearings were so crowded that shuttle buses had to take people from the Simpson parking lot. So many had signed up to speak that many from the east who wished to speak will never be heard. All who attended wondered where were those who felt the school budget should be reduced. The only people who possibly were in favor of a school budget reduction were the supervisors who had recently taken steps to assure that the number of students served would continue to increase.
Fortunately in the case of Waterford Elementary School the PTO and the community resources can help offset the budgetary restrictions if imposed. All pity the easterners who are going to bear the full brunt of the budget restrictions, barring a loaves and fishes type miracle, as they do not have a PTO with over 60 years experience in school funding and the opportunity to participate in the Waterford Fair.
The PTO even now offsets costs so teachers never have to pay for supplies themselves and the PTO also provides grants to teachers and staff for continuing education and other special needs. This is in addition to supplementing the Artist-in Residence programs and a monthly assembly program (for March the Shizumi Dance Theater) that is the envy of all who find out about it.
The anticipated increase in class size can be off set as it has in the past by drawing on a cadre of parents, many with advanced degrees, who serve as volunteer teachers aids. This cadre of parents also includes world-class lobbyists and fund raisers who have been available in time of crises. There is a down side to the excellence of the Waterford Elementary School and that is the tax assessments on houses in the Waterford School District keep being increased to carry other schools.
The Waterford Gardener's Club is going to The Philadelphia Flower Show Thursday (tomorrow) morning at 7. For information call Joe Keating (540) 882-3217
County Tax Assessor mistake
You must have made some terrible mistake in this year's assessment for our house in Waterford that we received on Tuesday. You said that the assessment increases would be about 12%. This would fit in with the reductions in the tax rate to 99 cents and $1.05 made by Supervisors Delgaudio, Staton and Waters mentioned during their Election Campaigns and still increase our tax bill. The notice you sent us has an increase of more than 25.6%. This is an increase in one year of more than 3 and a half times the total amount we paid for the place.
Some things about our house do make it special but not more valuable. It resembles the Simms's House that has been getting attention lately except it does not have the incomplete abandoned addition. It does have only about 1300 square feet inside but our lot is probably smaller. Like the Simms's House it needs much work, the lot has no well and no substantial improvements have been made recently. The last ones to our house were in early 1960's when the front fell into Main Street and the back collapsed in a snowstorm. These were fixed with the help of a grant from the Waterford Foundation saving the house from being bulldozed. Since the early '60's VDOT has raised the street level in front of the house but we don't count this as an improvement as they do because it caused water to come in the front door.
There are some things here that are different from the Simms's House. For example the property is eased so that changes and additions cannot be built without approval from some state agencies and it currently has only one bedroom. One thing did happen recently. All the neighbors did some renovation and this caused the basement to dry up. This means we can't use it as a root cellar any more. The only way that you could have made such a terrible mistake is to think that since a lot of money has been spent on the Simms's House and its legal fees we did the same. We did not. - property taxes -
We are sure this mistake will get straightened out eventually.
Bifurcating budget yeas Fourth
The Waterford Citizens Association met Wednesday night at the Old School, bifurcating by the budgeting process last years Fourth of July and this years Fourth of July. Plans are for the traditional celebration to continue even though there has been a drop in WCA membership apparently stimulated by a burgeoning increase in the surrounding population. Our Catoctin Supervisor, Sally Kurtz, gave an overview of the activities of the present Board along with the likely conclusions and their impact on the village. Some concern was expressed about the lack of attendance of the other Supervisors at Waterford Community meetings such as the WCA meeting as they all collectively are the Waterford Town Counsel since we gave up our charter in 1932. Chairman York and Supervisor Burton along with Supervisor Kurtz have been present in the village fairly often but we cannot recall ever having seen any other members.
Unlike incorporated towns in western Loudoun that have elected Town Counsels and may resent the Supervisors that were not elected by their citizens interfering in town affairs, Waterford would welcome the entire BOS's presence at any public discussion and hope that they would come and take notes so that they could solve the problems faced by our small unincorporated village in a county that had over 720 building starts in the month of January alone. We have no resources except the county budget.
Sally Kurtz spoke of the VDOT criteria that the intersections of Route 7 and Clarke's Gap Road, Hamilton Station Road and Old Wheatland Road needed in order for the traffic lights to be set so that cars from the village could get on or cross. They are evidently criteria that are too horrible to hope for.
It has been observed that when traffic is backed up on Route 15 or more often between Paeonian Springs and Route 287 the traffic increases in the Village. Maryland commuters will bypass Route 15 by going down Loyalty Road and around Furnace Mountain. West Virginians will bypass the 287 intersection by turning toward Waterford and going to Lovettsville on Milltown Road to either take the back road to Hillsboro or cross the river to Brunswick. Main Street residents have no trouble telling that traffic is blocked just by reading the license plates.
Six more as groundhog is missed
Our groundhogs met very early Tuesday morning to decide whether or not spring was six weeks off. The primary way Waterford's boar whistle-pigs decide is to cast lots, what ever a lot is, the winner, or loser, depending on your point of view, journeys up to Clarke's Gap Road. Once there he waits in the pre-dawn darkness of 2 February and at the opportune time hurls himself in front of a car heading toward Route 9. If the car misses there will be six more weeks of winter. The car missed.
Proof that this prediction is accurate came Friday morning as the ice storm began causing the usual pattern of flickering that is the precursor of power failure. Just as the mighty Catoctin overflowed its banks for the second 100-year flood this century the lights went out for an hour.
By now Virginia would have gained brief nation-wide notoriety, as the results the Democratic primary became known and Waterford should have maintained its position as a national bell-whether.
Molly Keating attended the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner Saturday in Richmond as part of Waterford's " Kids for Kerry" Catoctin Contingent.
This Sunday at the Old School at 3 pm the Waterford Lyceum will have Fred Johnson, author of 19th Century Loudoun County, Virginia, Chair Manufacturing lecturing on Loudoun County Furniture. This will be a chance to join the Lyceum and also get a copy of Fred's book. In case it snows again the program will be same time next Sunday.
Tonight 7:00 pm, 11 Feb. at the Old School the Waterford Citizen's association will hold its 3 Feb. meeting. Agenda items include planning for the Fourth of July.
Prodigal Paeonian returns to poll
Chief of the Waterford Precinct Poll at the new school, Norma Neuf, notified us that during the Democratic Primary election on 10 Feb. we will welcome back Paeonian Springs voters who had been shifted to the Clarke's Gap Precinct that was at the Church of the Nazarene last election but who will now vote in Waterford once again. This change to Waterford only affects the voters who live within the triangle formed by Rt. 9, Rt.7 and Hamilton Station Road and has no effect on the rest of Clarke's Gap Precinct that will be voting now at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Leesburg instead of the Church of the Nazarene. The Catoctin Magisterial District encompasses both Waterford and Clarke's Gap Precincts so no ones elected officials change.
Waterford is bracing itself for the tax assessments on our historic and non-historic homes that usually make those of the rest of the county, expected to be a mere 12%, pale by comparison. Fortunately some of the newly elected supervisors have pledged during their campaigns to reduce the rate to $1.05 and in one case Supervisor Delgaudio mentioned the possibility that the tax rate may be as low as $0.99 per $100 assessed value. This should help us offset the increases wrought by the higher assessments.
We expect that the overweight schools are going to have liposuction applied by the cost cutting conscientious board. Those cholesterol-clogged classes in art and music are a fat that taxes should not carry. Foreign languages are as suspect as if they were a traveler without luggage. If foreigners want to talk to us they should learn good old American English. The thrifty six should attack the steroid swollen extra curricular activities like football, tennis, all sports for that matter, should be the first to go. That is first, right after journalism, long suspected of being a hotbed of intemperance.
And speaking of hotbeds, it is only just that hotbeds of preservation like Waterford be burdened by greater taxes to support the rest of the county. According to Supervisor Snow preservation is only fluff.
The Preservation Society of Loudoun County invites you to its 30th Valentine Membership Reception, " A Renaissance on 21st Street" Sunday 15 Feb. starting at the Purcellville train station from 3 to 5 pm.
Loudoun furniture fans should mark Sunday, 15 February, 3 p.m. on your calendar. Fred Johnson will be at the Old School.
Eggs mar Martin Luther King Day
Monday night of Martin Luther King Jr. Day vandals struck Waterford again when more eggs were thrown at Waterford's historic homes and cars. Each time these criminal attacks are made more and more profiling information is assembled on the perps. Since the targeted cars seem to belong mainly to women it has been surmised that the perps are males with some sort of dysfunctional issues. The use of eggs gives the Freudian analysts a real clue as to the depths of the vandals problems. Some feel that the selection of the day for the attack should cause this to be doubly classified as a hate crime against women and minorities. Sheriff Simpson has submitted a budget increase of $20.6 million over last year that possibly may help the department deal with this problem. Deputy McKeever along with Deputy Scalzo has been assigned the case. Call 703-777-0475.
Hey Bluegrass buddies. Waterfordian "International Danny" Knicely will be appearing with David Via and Corn Tornado at the Old School on Friday 30 Jan. at 8 p.m. For the price of a CD that you get to keep you will be able to hear and see "Blues-grass," "Americana," "Roots," "Y'all-ternative," or whatever you want to call it. The music, an eclectic acoustic mix of bluegrass, jazz, blues and funk, is driven by the soulful songs of David Via, three-time winner of the Merlefest Songwriter's Award. Via's songs are real. They tell the true stories of love gone wrong, living off the land, and of hard times and good times.
On Thursday 29 February at 7:00 p.m. in the social hall of the Catoctin Presbyterian Church the Broadlands Regional Medical Center will be giving a short talk and answering questions about their proposed hospital to all who are interested. The presentation of a check for $2000 to the Waterford concert committee and a light supper for all will follow.
Our shortest month is a little longer this year. If you have a birthday this year and you have not had one in the past three years please let us know about it now.
Sky Richardson is collecting books and willing to store books in her garage unless people want to deliver direct to the library on Feb 27. The Rust Library is going to have its annual book sale on 28 Feb from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the library.
Cecelia Hayford is media star
Waterford has a new media star with Cecelia Hayford appearing on national television last Friday morning from somewhere "outside Des Moines." She was on "ABC's Good Morning America" which was reporting in the activates in Iowa in preparation for The Iowa Democratic Caucus. Celia was interviewed and identified as Cecelia from Oberlin, the collage she is attending. During the holidays leading up to the Iowa Primary Cecelia is working for the Howard Dean campaign as one of the so-called "Deanie Babies."
Other Waterford college students were returning to School this week, not without some Apprehension. Robin Smith, snowboard champion, noted the wind chill factor around her school was forecast at 50 below.
"If Winter comes, can spring be far behind?" said Shelly and the Catoctin Presbyterian Church says that they will present The Waterford Gardening Series, 2004. As we are in the grasp of winter you should think warm thoughts of the coming spring. For complete information contact Donna Williamson at PO Box 252, Clearbrook VA 22624 or e-mail at Donna9715@aol.com .
Tuesday 27 Jan. at The Old School the Waterford Citizen's Association will be thinking warm thoughts beginning with fellow ship at 7 pm and the meeting stating at 7:30 The warm thoughts will be thinking ahead about the events that will occur on the 4th of July, the planning of which will begin at this meeting. Input is needed on how to continue the 4th as we have in the past even with rising costs. The new WCA Officers for 2004 will be introduced; committee plans discussed and the 2004 budget will be discussed and approved.
Historic houses and cars struck
Friday night about 8 o'clock vandals struck Waterford's streets once again in the form of an egg attack along Main Street, continuing on Second Street and finally ending half way up Factory Street where the miscreants abandoned their oversized egg carton. Particularly hard hit was the older end of Main Street where the initial attack occurred. JoEllen Keating's van and Neil Keller's car were singled out for extra viciousness as the vandals smeared the eggs all over the sides in order to maximize the damage and with the freezing weather to increase the potential for permanent harm to the paint. The vandals did not restrict their harm to cars, pausing to hurl eggs houses and at the Peaceable Kingdom's sign as well the Lea's car.
Similar events have occurred in the past 4 years especially to our classic SUV, which escaped any damage this time because we hide it when trouble is expected. Villagers surmising a profile of the preps, that is short for perpetrators, deduced that they are wealthy wastrels who are slackers and probably boomerang babies. This was deduced by the fact that they bought an oversize carton of eggs to waste at the time of year when eggs are most expensive. A relationship to the timing of this event and the cusps of the school year were also noted.
The Loudoun County Sheriff's Department was called. They have been most active in Waterford last year efficiently ticketing cars parked facing traffic. Villagers are hoping for a swift prosecution of the vandals responsible for this latest travesty of justice, the second in one week, inflicted on the village. All remember the skill and effectiveness shown by Deputy Michael Cenate when he swiftly solved the great Mary Dudley hit and run in March of 2001. A reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals. Your identity will be protected. Call 540-882-3217. Deputy Scalzo has been assigned the case. Call 703-777-0475.
Mad Cow disease threatens all
A speaker at the Board of Supervisor's public comments session last Tuesday spoke of the actions the previous night to be the salvation of her family fortunes because she could not give away her cattle because of Mad Cow disease. She had mentioned that the actions taken by the previous board to lower the density of development in Loudoun had removed value from her families land and that appeals not to do this had fallen on deaf ears. She said she was motivated to speak because the vast majority of the speakers before her had spoken about the disregard shown by the actions of the BOS last Monday in removing the powers of the elected Chairman Scott York, removing the ability of the Catoctin Supervisor Sally Kurtz to appoint a Catoctin member of the Planning Commission, not appointing the Blue Ridge Supervisor Jim Burton to the Purcellville Area Management Planning Committee and taking steps eliminate growth controls, expand density potential by bringing water and sewer to transition areas and eliminate the purchase of development rights.
We are a lonely unincorporated village on the pond of tranquility of the National Historic Landmark that has only the protection given it by our elected officials. This is a slender thread that has been ripped apart. The actions taken appears to be the result of the same combination of greed aided by indifference that enabled the spread of Mad Cow disease in Great Britain and then Europe. The actions of six supervisors are viewed as a threat to Waterford's National Landmark, our economic ability to continue to carry the tax burden of runaway development, the quality of our schools, our roads and all necessary county services and the life Waterfordians have enjoyed until now. The sad thing is that no matter what the impact on Waterford is, the impact on the rest of Loudoun, especially Leesburg and east, will be even worse. The only solution to this " Mad Cow" crises is to appeal to the 72% who did not vote in the last election to have a referendum for Recall, Recall, Recall, Recall, Recall, Recall.
Best and Worst for 2003 Waterford
The nice thing about Waterford is that all of our residents are aware of the potential for everything that is worst on this list to become the best of this list with no diminishment of those that were the best for this year and Candidely, that in this best of all possible worlds, Waterford is the best of all possible places to live.