Inside this Issue

August/September 2017


“Apple of My Eye”


Cool evenings are soon to replace hot, humid nights, and the soft blossoms of spring will become the crisp apples of autumn. Students are heading back to school with juicy delicious apples neatly packed into their lunches, anxiously awaiting fall’s new adventures. The change in season keeps Virginia orchard owners active, sorting apples by the bushel and awaiting the visiting crowds of apple pickers.

Apples in Virginia date back to colonial times when European settlers brought different seed varieties to supplement North America’s native crab apples. Through trial and error, the colonists gradually learned to grow more fruitful trees. In 1622 apple production truly took off when the first shipment of pollinating honeybees arrived from Europe. Apples became the most widely grown fruit in Virginia, cultivated both in small settlements and large estate orchards such as Monticello. Thomas Jefferson, the ultimate gentleman gardener, experimented with roughly 20 varieties of apples with names such as “winter banana” and “melt-in-the-mouth.” Apples became so ingrained in our culture that today we describe things “as American as apple pie.” Montpelier’s exhibition The Mere Distinction Of Colour reimagines how to tell the story of slavery during the time of our founding fathers

By Katie Henry

























Venomous Snakes in Virginia
Photos by Jack Looney


There are over 120 species of snakes in the US. Most snakes are harmless and, much like bats, provide a valuable service around your home in the way of pest control (snakes control rodents, bats control insects). In fact, the presence of snakes around your property or in your house may indicate a rodent problem.

There are only three species of venomous (able to inject venom through hollow, needle-like teeth) snakes in Virginia. The copperhead (found statewide) is the most common, and while it is usually not found inside homes, it may be common in gardens and woodlots. Timber rattlesnakes are commonly found in the mountainous regions of western Virginia and a small area of extreme southeastern Virginia where they are known as canebrake rattlesnakes (experts disagree whether the canebrake is a separate species or a sub-species of the timber rattlesnake). They are a state endangered species. Water moccasins, also frequently referred to as cottonmouths, are found to the south and east of Petersburg and are common only in wet areas.

The Blue Ridge Poison Center at the University of Virginia School of Medicine receives an average of 80 calls each year about poisonous snakebites in our region. Nationwide, experts estimate there are about 3,000 venomous snakebites annually, although most believe that many more cases go unreported. Death from a venomous snakebite in the US is very rare, occurring in only a few cases each year.



Poisons: Tips for Keeping Yourself and Your Loved Ones Safe


Poisoning is the #1 cause of injury-related death in the US. Poisons are all around us and can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. Millions of cases of poisoning occur in the United States each year. In most cases, the victim is a child under the age of five. Curiosity, inability to read warning labels, a desire to imitate adults, and inadequate supervision lead to childhood poisonings. The elderly are the second most likely group to be poisoned. Mental confusion, poor eyesight, and the use of multiple drugs are the leading reasons why this group has a high rate of accidental poisoning.

Poisons, common in the home and workplace, consist of two major types. One group consists of products that were never meant to be ingested or inhaled, such as shampoo, paint thinner, pesticides, houseplant leaves, and carbon monoxide. The other group contains products that can be ingested in small quantities, but which are harmful if taken in large amounts, such as pharmaceuticals, medicinal herbs, and alcohol. Other types of poisons include the bacterial toxins that cause food poisoning, such as Escherichia coli and the venom found in the bites and stings of some animals and insects.

Be aware of the following poison risks often encountered each season—but of course, be aware of these poisons all year round, as well. If you suspect someone has been poisoned, contact the experts at The Blue Ridge Poison Center at the University of Virginia School of Medicine Help line at 1-800-222-1222.



Transformational Education at Little Keswick School
By Lynn Bell Pechuekonis


“You are really respectful. You’re always really positive. You always have a smile on your face, which is a really good thing.”

Early adolescent boys aren’t typically known for their tendency to compliment their classmates. Yet these affirmations, spoken by real teens, are a common occurrence at the Little Keswick School, especially during its weekly community meetings. The school encourages positive social interactions every day among its students—all of whom are boys working through one or more social, emotional, learning, and/or behavioral challenges.

This small, private, therapeutic boarding school—unknown to many Albemarle County residents—is located on 25 pastoral acres off Louisa Road behind the old Keswick Depot. For more than five decades, however, the Little Keswick School has been a lifeline for boys and their families from all over the US and abroad—boys who have been unable to succeed in a series of prior educational and treatment settings. They come with complex, usually multiple, diagnoses, including learning difficulties, social difficulties, mood disorders, attentional difficulties, and cognitive processing issues.



Making A Difference: The Women’s Initiative
Marking 10 Years of Providing Vital Mental Health Care for Women in our Community
By Kate Edson


The mission of The Women’s Initiative is to provide women with effective counseling, social support and education so they can transform life challenges into positive change and growth. In its first full year of existence, staff and volunteers provided services to 862 women. Ten years later, The Women’s Initiative has transformed into the second largest mental health care provider in our area—3,774 women received service in 2016, marking a 438% increase over the last decade.

The Women’s Initiative continues to expand, both in its physical space and through its ever-increasing breadth of available resources. Newly added programs include The Sister Circle, to provide safe spaces for women of color healing from trauma, and a collaboration with the Shelter for Help in Emergency, to offer support for victims of domestic violence. In the summer of 2016, Elizabeth Smiley, PhD, LPC, taught Internal Family Systems Therapy to The Women’s Initiative clinical team, a mental health treatment that empowers the client. Through frequent updates and improvements like these, The Women’s Initiative continually seeks to offer its clients the best treatment possible.




























2017 Football Rivalry: Virginia Tech versus The University of Virginia


On November 29, 2015, Justin Fuente became the eighth head football coach at Virginia Tech since 1950, replacing retiring coach Frank Beamer, the school’s all-time winningest coach. Fuente came to Tech after serving as the head coach for four seasons at the University of Memphis. He inherited a program that went 5–31 in three seasons (2009–11) prior to his arrival and guided it to a 19–6 mark his final two seasons. In 2015, he helped the Tigers to a 9–3 record, which included a 37–24 win over then-No. 13 Ole Miss. That marked the highest-ranked opponent Memphis had beaten since knocking off then-No. 6 Tennessee in 1996. The Tigers concluded the regular season with a 63-0 win over SMU in Fuente’s finale as the head coach.

Bronco Mendenhall was named Virginia’s head football coach on December 4, 2015. He served as the head football coach at Brigham Young University for the last 11 years before joining the Cavalier program. Mendenhall, Virginia’s 40th head football coach, has compiled an overall record of 99–43 in his 11 seasons as head coach at BYU to rank 12th in total wins among all FBS teams during that time. Mendenhall also ranks 13th in winning percentage (.697) among all active coaches with at least five years of FBS experience, and he ranks 10th among active coaches with at least 10 years of experience.



Slices Of Life
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell


Mary Morony’s ‘Slices of Life’ series will take you through thought-provoking experiences and life lessons along with the Mackey family,using humor and whimsy. Her stories will leave you inspired, nostalgic and entertained.

The weary warriors lay where they fell. Each grasping the "Mackey" rag doll – so named by her imperial highness, Virginia. Her cousin Mackey, older by a few months and a head taller, lay in a heap, her honey-colored head pressed up against the table’s pedestal. The sturdy little body rested between two of the three brass footed feet as if embraced. Fierce determination marked her resolute face. Her lifelong caregiver gazed down at her charge and said, “Girlie girl you fightin’ a war you can’t win.” She rocked her gray head side to side, “Not wit de likes o’ dis here. It’s her way or no way. You best be givin’ up now, chile.”

After Virginia’s baby brother’s arrival, a tacit agreement emerged - don't ask don't tell. This accord allowed Ethel to keep an eye on the children without supervision and saved face for the parents. The last month had taken a toll. More tired than she ever remembered, she leaned her arms over a dining room chair for support. Surveying the carnage of the most recent battle of the two-year-olds brought about a disquieting sense of gloom. It hung over her like smoke on a battlefield.



Last Laugh
Katie Bar the Door
Louise B. Parsley


As I watched The Bob hobble to the bathroom with knee pain so severe it jarred him from a dead sleep, I thought it odd that his first thought was, “think I’ll take a bath.” Not only was I curious how he’d get in the bathtub, I was struck dumb wondering how he’d get out. Much less, downstairs.

After thirty minutes, The Bob, a shriveled porcelain prisoner, wailed from the bathroom, “Call Murray!” “Murray?” I challenged. Murray may be a dear friend who’d be there in a heartbeat, but his threadlike frame hardly makes him Hercules. “You’d snap him in two. I can do this.” After several Cirque de Soleil attempts in his birthday suit, The Bob’s efforts were futile. “I’m calling the paramedics,” I announced.

“Over my dead body,” The Bob hissed.

No comment.

As The Bob dressed in unmatched plaids and bumped down the stairs on his backside, I’d had plenty of time to analyze our future. “We have to move.”

“Move?! We can’t move. It will upset the children.”

What children? You mean those people who haven’t lived with us since the Bush administration? “Don’t post it on Instagram. They’ll never know.”









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albemarle Magazine, an affiliate member of the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR), is pleased to support our area’s REALTORS® in promoting this beautiful and unique part of the country. Living in Jefferson’s Virginia offers the best of all possible worlds, from homes and estates, to farms and commercial properties.

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