Inside this Issue

October/November 2016

The Only Way To Fly
Gliding Above the tree tops in a Hot Air Balloon

By Kirsten Smith
Lead Photographer Rick Stillings

I rise early that autumn morning, the sun still shy over the horizon and the crisp air sending a chill down my spine. With eager and quiet steps, I grab a quick cup of coffee and make the scenic drive to Charlottesville’s Boars Head Inn. The warmth of my travel mug soothes my too-easily-frozen fingers, but the tingles of excitement through them remain unabated. I relish the promise of my adventure ahead.

As soon as I arrive, I’m greeted by Mandy Baskin, pilot and owner of Monticello Country Ballooning. A tall, friendly-looking woman, she seems to be well into her day, despite it being 5:45am.

She introduces me to my two fellow passengers for the day. A few warm handshakes later, we pile into Mandy’s vehicle and listen in wonder as she speaks with her chase crew over walkie-talkies.

“It’s southeast wind today? Cool, we’ll meet you at the old Pepsi factory.”





















Faulkner’s World
Uva Spearheads Effort To Digitally Map William Faulkner’s Literary Scope

by Anne E. Bromley, Office of University Communications
Images Courtesy of the UVA Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library


The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

These oft-quoted lines from American author William Faulkner echo one of the major themes in his work. Now the celebrated writer’s fictional world of Yoknapatawpha County in Mississippi comes alive in a new website at the University of Virginia where viewers can see how the past influenced his imagination.

UVA English professor Stephen Railton and collaborators from around the country and abroad began the Digital Yoknapatawpha project several years ago and will continue developing the website, thanks to a three-year, $286,000 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Collaborative Research division. The grant is one of 14 for collaborative research awarded by the NEH, in it's 50th anniversary year.

With interactive maps and timelines, the website will eventually include links to places, characters and events in Yoknapatawpha, the fictional setting of 14 of Faulkner’s novels and 54 of his short stories written between 1926 and 1960. About two-thirds of the data have already been entered, making even the prototype usable right now as a resource for scholars, teachers and students.

Digital Yoknapatawpha is mapping the world Faulkner created in new ways, by means of a collaboration that brings together 35 scholars from 34 institutions and a team of technologists from UVA,” Railton said.



University of Virginia Professor Plots a Path to a Better Life for Refugees
Associate Professor Christine Mahoney has a new book that explains how we’re only offering temporary solutions to what has become a permanent refugee crisis. She proposes a new approach that uses social entrepreneurship to improve the lives of displaced people.

by Katie McNally, UVA Today


As of earlier this year, 65 million people around the globe have been displaced by violent conflict. That’s the highest number since World War II. This isn’t a new problem, but heavy media coverage of the crisis in Syria has forced the world to pay more attention to refugees of all nations.

“In spite of how terrible the Syrian crisis is, the small silver lining is that the international community is paying attention in a broader sense than just the aid organizations that were helping before,” the University of Virginia’s Christine Mahoney said. “Displacement is a major focus now. The UN and implementing partners and host governments are open to innovation in a way they haven’t been before.”

Mahoney is an associate professor of public policy and politics at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and director of Social Entrepreneurship at UVA, a program that creates opportunities for students to learn about social entrepreneurship both in and out of the classroom. She’s spent the last seven years researching displacement crises around the world and hopes to use the wider public attention to find solutions.



Tech Businesses in Unexpected Places
Rural Virginia Towns Are Becoming A New Tech Frontier Thanks To Increased Connectivity

By Katie Manning Henry


Late one morning in 2011, Matt Carson nervously awaited a phone call from the Capital One, trying to win the biggest contract of his life. The self-described “river rat” introduced himself in a thick country accent as the founder and CEO of SiteWhirks, a website design company from Warrenton, Virginia. It’s a town famed for its rolling horse country, not cutting-edge technology.

"Folks snickered on the phone when we explained where we were based. The idea was that a tech company had to be based in northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, or New York,” said Carson. “You have to spend the first part of the meeting describing where Warrenton is, and then defending the fact that Warrenton can actually have a internet company that knows what they’re doing.”

Carson "hooked the deal" with Capital One and saw his business take off. His company has won several awards, including Entrepreneur Magazine’s "Top Ten Most Dependable Web Development Firms.”

Every day after work Carson drives home to his house on the Hazel River with his wife, two sons and their growing collection of farm animals: chickens, goats, honey bees and dogs.

"It has rivers, mountains—everything a country boy likes,” he said.






















Treating Tremors with PinPoint Accuracy

by Joshua Barney , UVA Health System
Photos by Kay Taylor, UVA Health System


UVA is a world leader in focused-ultrasound research. Jeff Elias, MD and other scientists are testing the capability of focused ultrasound to treat Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumors and benign breast tumors. The research has been supported by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the BIRD (US-Israel Binational Industry R & D) Foundation.



Slices Of Life
Going to High School-Cool

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.


Back in 1960 in Charlottesville, elementary school went to the seventh grade. High school began in the eighth. As much-anticipated as it was equally dreaded, an auspicious life event loomed on Gordy Mackey’s horizon. He was just about to start the eighth grade. On the verge of high school, less than a week, he had grilled his buddy Jack’s older brother for three weeks—they both had on the ways and means of all things high school.

Being with it was their primary focus. A simple fact, that neither Jack nor Gordy appreciated at the time, was when soliciting opinions get some basic facts about who you are asking. If you want to know about cool, you get bankable results if you ask someone who is.



Rising To The Challenges Of Autism
October Gala Celebrates 20 Years For The Virginia Institute Of Autism

By Larry Garretson, Director of Communications, Virginia Institute of Autism


What does it take to grow a great organization? We do a pretty good job of that in Central Virginia. Why? What makes our region so special that everywhere you turn—in the arts, in social services, in education—we find great grass-roots groups seriously upping the value (and the values) of our community.

Mark Lorenzoni, who with his wife Cynthia created and runs the Ragged Mountain Running shop, calls it Charlottesville’s “magic dust.” Lorenzoni is also one of the founding board members of the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA), where he’s seen that dust do its magic firsthand.

Now celebrating its 20th Anniversary year, VIA first opened its doors in 1996 as a private afterschool program for 4 children. Within months it was operating as a full-time day school. Within two years it was serving a dozen students whose needs could not be adequately met by overburdened school systems.



Last Laugh
Near Mrs.

By Louise B. Parsley


On that cold December afternoon, while I was tucked away in my university’s library studying for finals, my father walked through the back door of our home. Maybe it was the bitter cold—or the three Scotch Mists he’d consumed uncharacteristically—but my mother could tell he was not himself.

“What did he want?” she asked hesitating, feeling the answer poised, ready to slice the air like a guillotine.

“What do you think? He wants to marry her.”

The “he” was my boyfriend of one year. His nickname, “Killer.” It was 1977, I was 21, about to graduate. Killer was a great date. What else was I supposed to do? Forget fear of my future, of which I should’ve been scared spitless. But fear of falling? in love? With any guy who looked my way? I mastered in it. My mother, wild-eyed, gasped, “What do we do?”









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“Who’s Who of REALTORS® in albemarle Magazine” is published twice yearly, appearing in the October/November and April/May issues. To become a member of “Who’s Who” and begin your campaign with the April/May 2017 issue call 434-817-2010 ext. 124 by February 28, 2017.



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The 2016 Blue Ridge Home Builders Association
Parade of Homes
October 1, 2, and 8, 9

As a proud member of the Blue Ridge Home Builders Association (BRHBA), albemarle invites you to visit the 2016 Parade of Homes. The Parade gives local builders an opportunity to show off the very best in new construction. Every year this FREE event draws buyers looking for new homes, owners looking for creative ways to renovate existing homes, and consumers who are curious about what’s new in their neighborhood.

Visitors who attend will have a chance to view a wide range of home styles, prices, and locations. Innovative technologies and energy conservation, as well as what is new in the way of floor plans, color schemes, and amenities, will be on display. From foundation to finish, BRHBA members will make sure your home is built to the highest quality standards using the most current techniques and products, and will design your home to fit your lifestyle.

2016 BRHBA Parade of Homes Participants