Community Briefs November ’19

Surviving the Holidays After Losing a Loved One

When a loved one dies and condolence visits from family and friends have dwindled, often the bereaved are left trying to piece their lives back together. For those grieving the loss of a loved one, the holidays can be an especially 
difficult time. 

Blue Ridge Hospice’s Grief Support Staff is offering workshops in Winchester and Front Royal throughout November designed to help individuals and families prepare for a holiday season without their loved one. All grief support offerings are open to the public and free of charge. 

“The reason we offer these workshops is because every year around October we see an increase in people seeking grief counseling,” explains Christina Thomas, a Blue Ridge Hospice Grief Support Counselor, “The holidays are when we take time to be with our loved ones. It’s where we have a lot of our memories of family. We recognize the need to talk about how grief may look different during this time of year.” 

Surviving the Holiday workshops are for adults, and will occur on November 12 in Front Royal and November 21 in Winchester, Va. Preparing for the Holidays as a Family workshop is for families with children ages 4–17. Using music and other activities, families will have the opportunity to identify and work through feelings associated with their loss in preparation of the holiday season. All holiday workshops require pre-registration by calling 540-313-9214 or emailing

Thomas states, “In these workshops we focus on creating a plan. Instead of focusing on the holidays being ‘easier’ we want you to feel they are possible. That although you are grieving, you can get through them in the way that you want and the way that makes the most sense to you.”

Blue Ridge Hospice’s Grief Support Services are made possible through generous donations from the community. For a full list of grief support offerings, visit or 
call 540-313-9214. 

Sanctuary Wellness Center Has Booked 5-week Radio Series

Beginning Tuesday, December 3, from 4:30 to 5pm, Berryville’s Sanctuary Wellness Center will be featured weekly on Mind Body Radio, found at The show will not air on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve).

“We will be discussing much more than herbal medicine,” said owner Geo Derick Giordano, MSc, RH (AHG), a Registered Medical Herbalist. “We hope to include more holistic types of healing like those that we offer here at the Sanctuary Wellness Center. In my interview we discussed a bit about Homeopathy and Ayurvedic medicine. You can hear that interview from a link on our Facebook page.”

For information, contact the Sanctuary Wellness Center: 410-707-4486;

Blue Ridge Singers Christmas Concerts

The Blue Ridge Singers, a non-profit chamber choir in its eleventh season, invites the community to two Christmas concerts this season, “Canticum Novum: Sing a New Song.” A December 13 concert in Front Royal will be performed at Front Royal Presbyterian Church, located at 115 Luray Ave. at 7:30pm. A December 15 concert in Winchester will be at First Baptist Church, located at 205 W. Piccadilly St., at 4pm. Concerts are free to the public; the suggested donation is $10. A reception for all will immediately follow the performances. Visit for more information.

The choir’s members come from Hagerstown, Berryville, Boyce, Winchester, Front Royal and surrounding townships.  Along with the two scheduled concerts in Front Royal and Winchester, they have performed for Westminster Canterbury and The Village at Orchard Ridge, and more informally as carolers at Christmas in Front Royal at several assisted living locations.

Dr. Jeffrey Alban, artistic director for the tone of the Christmas concert series, explained that the choir will explore a new harmonic language through the music of Gerald Near. “Prominent in this music is the juxtaposition of melodies of Latin Gregorian chant with polyphonic choral settings of more common Christmas carols,” he said. “The choir is accompanied by the organ with a good deal of intense, but controlled dissonance. Because of the non-metric nature of Gregorian chant, the music is rhythmically challenging as well. 

“The choir will contrast this style with a variety of works featuring Renaissance polyphony, a 19th-century chorale and fugue by Johannes Brahms and contemporary settings of carols, old and new. This will be an eclectic, but enjoyable program, with something for everyone.”

Recounting The Glory Days Of CCHS Football

A new book recounts The Streak, a magnificent winning run for the hometown Eagles

By Robert M. Moore

In the early to mid-1960s, Clarke County High School football was synonymous with winning. Games against the Eagles were dreaded by opponents — and with good reason. 

Clarke County High School had success with its football program in the late 1950s after Coach Don Maphis came to Clarke County. His 1958 team had a record of 8-1-1. The 1959 team had a record of 5-3-1. 1960, however, was different. The Eagles won the first District championship in the history of the high school. The team had a record of 7 wins and 3 losses while scoring 213 points and allowing only 94 points throughout the season. The Eagle defense had four shutouts in the 10-game season. 

It appeared that the 1960 season might be an outlier. Nineteen players were lost to graduation from that 1960 team. The entire offensive backfield was lost. When you consider the fact that only 26 players appeared for the first practices of the 1961 season, the 19 players lost to graduation was a great concern. It was generally thought that 1961 would be a rebuilding year.

As it turned out, that was not the case. The Eagles, led by three dominant running backs (James “Pickles” McCarty, Gene Strother and a 15-year old sophomore named Dickie Longerbeam) and a 15-year old quarterback named Dave Childs, went undefeated and won the second District championship in the history of the High School.

Success did not end with that 1961 season. The 1962 and 1963 teams also went undefeated. The teams in those three seasons not only won every game, but they won in a dominant fashion. The 1961 team won its games by an average margin of 30.6 points per game. The 1962 team beat its opponents by an average of 29.9 points per game. The 1963 team was the most dominant of all — winning its games by an average margin of 31.6 points per game.

By the end of the 1963 season, the Eagles were chasing a record in the state of Virginia. Norview High School had set a state record by going undefeated for 37 games. By the end of the 1963 season, Clarke County was ranked as the Number 1 team in the state in its size grouping. More importantly, the Eagles had won 29 games in a row and the record was in sight. 

The 1964 Clarke County High School Eagles would have the opportunity to break the unbeaten streak record in the state. During that 1964 season, after 32 wins in a row, the winning streak ended with a 0-0 tie against the Elkton Elks. While the winning streak had ended, the unbeaten streak continued. 

On October 30, 1964, the Clarke County High School Eagles set a new Virginia high school record of 38 games without a defeat. For almost four years, the Eagles had not lost a football game. When the Eagles set the record with its 38th game in a row without a defeat, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. The last time the Eagles lost a football game, Dwight Eisenhower had been President. In other words, the Clarke County did not lose a football game during the entire Kennedy administration.

The unbeaten streak came to an end in the last game of the 1964 season. The streak ended with a 7-6 loss to James Wood High School. To this day, the referee’s call that the James Wood extra point was good is disputed throughout the County. Even more frustrating, the Eagles’ last drive of the game ended at the James Wood four-yard line on a fourth-down play that was one foot short of a first down. 

The streak ended with that loss to James Wood on November 6, 1964. The unbeaten streak set by this small team from a small county was an outstanding achievement. However, the response by the Clarke County Eagles to that heartbreaking loss epitomized the character of the high school, the team, the coaches, and the fans. The 1965 Clarke County Eagles went undefeated. The 1965 team ended its perfect 10-0 season with a dominant win over James Wood and, in doing so, ended James Wood’s 19 game winning streak — which was the longest winning streak in the state at that time.

When the 1965 perfect season ended, the record of the Clarke County High School football team from 1960 through 1965 was an unbelievable 54-4-1. On average, the teams in that span of six seasons won their games by a margin of 22.4 points per game. In other words, for six years, the Eagles won their games by more than three touchdowns per game. Legends were made during these Glory Days of Clark County football — names that should never be forgotten like Ramsburg, Longerbeam, Buckner, Childs, McCarty, Denney, Fuller, Potts, Stoneberger, Tumblin, Combs. Winning may not have been everything during that six-year period, but it was the only thing.

GLORY DAYS, Clarke County High School Football and “The Streak” was recently published by the author. It is available for purchase at the Bank of Clarke County in Berryville and Boyce, Virginia. All proceeds from the sale are donated to the Moore Family Scholarship administered by the Clarke County Education Foundation.

Barns of Rose Hill Rocks! Extraordinary fall programming at the Barns

The Barns mission to enrich lives through the arts, education, and community opens an entire world of creative activity that brings people together in Berryville from near and far. That mission has brought superb music of every genre to the northern Valley, as well as art exhibits, contemporary and classic films, writers’ presentations, and arts camps for kids. The fall lineup of events is truly exciting. Whether it’s gypsy jazz and swing, a memoir writing workshop, a Civil War spy tale, old-time toe tapping music, or the best blues and BBQ around, the Barns is buzzing. Add to that vibe gallery art exhibits featuring extraordinary talent, a National Geographic documentary film, and the beautiful music of the masters, and you’ve got the reason audiences are growing at the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville.

A new audience was drawn to the beautiful James R. Wilkins, Sr. Great Hall of the Barns when a classical music series was introduced in 2018 that culminated in an April debut of the Rose Hill Chamber Orchestra that won a standing ovation. Opening this fall’s season on October 5, the Orchestra presented “Serenades from Vienna,” offering the gorgeous music of Richard Strauss and Mozart’s Don Giovanni as well as the beautiful Brahms Serenade in A Major. 

Conductor Jon Goldberg is the force behind the series, and wants to invite you to three concerts set for October, November and December at the Barns. “We’ve put a lot of thought into this programming,” Goldberg said, “and it offers beautiful works, a delightful variety of composers and styles, some humor and fun as well. Our soloists are world class, and the Rose Hill Orchestra brings together some of the top performing professionals in the region. We hope folks will come out.” 

In store for the fall are soloists of international renown and the Music of Downton Abbey (come dressed!)

On Friday, October 25: Eric Himy and Michael Guttman. Guttman is a violinist, conductor and music director of prominent festivals around the world, including Pietrasanta in Concerto, Crans Montana Classics in Switzerland, Le Printemps du Violon in Paris, and Made in Polin in Warsaw. He is also the music director of the Napa Valley Symphony and the Belgian Chamber Orchestra. Guttman received the prestigious Scopus Prize (2014) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for his achievements in music, and was also nominated for a Grammy award for his Hindemith Album with the Philarmonia Orchestra. Eric Himy has been hailed as a colorist with a technique that transcends normal barriers in the pursuit of the rare magical combination of music with meaning, yet alive with visceral energy and passion. He excels in exploiting the resources of the instrument to create something out of the ordinary. His playing has been described by The New York Times as “flawlessly poised, elegant and brilliant.

On Saturday, November 16: Brian Ganz. The Washington Post has written: “One comes away from a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.” For many years Mr. Ganz has made it his mission to join vivid music-making with warmth and intimacy onstage to produce a listening experience in which great works come to life with authentic emotional power. A laureate of the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, Mr. Ganz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Philharmonic, the National Symphony and the City of London Sinfonia, and has performed with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich and Piotr Gajewski. 

On Saturday, December 14: The Music of Downton Abbey. Dress in your finest 1920s gowns and tuxes as the Rose Hill Chamber Orchestra brings you the music of Downton Abbey! The evening starts with two of Scott Joplin’s most famous rags (and the conducting debut of Diana Kincannon, Barns chair) and continues with Igor Stravinsky’s sly and witty Ragtime, and La Creation du Monde by Darius Milhaud. Think of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, but infused with all the exuberant jazz of the 20s. The second half features one of the quintessential pieces of English music from between the wars, Façade, with poems by Dame Edith Sitwell set to music by William Walton. The poems are high camp and the music brings it all together with jazzy riffs, evocative sounds and British nautical tunes. Just what you would expect to hear at Downton Abbey!

Goldberg is Professor of Music at Northern Virginia Community College, Loudoun Campus.  He serves as conductor of the NOVA Chamber Orchestra, as well as teaching music theory and music history.   He is also frequently invited to present lectures on musical matters. Goldberg served as musical assistant to Leonard Bernstein on his Grammy winning recording of Tschaikovsky’s Symphony #4 with the New York Philharmonic.  He was a founding member and Music Director of the Endymion Ensemble, 1975-1979, a New York City based chamber orchestra that for four seasons gave a four concert series of performances in Carnegie Recital Hall, sponsored by the Carnegie Hall Corporation and the New York State Council on the Arts.  He has also conducted the Memphis Symphony, the Oklahoma City Symphony, the El Paso Pro Arte Orchestra, the Doctor’s Orchestra of New York, and the Goldman Band in summer concerts at Lincoln Center.

The Barns are at 95 Chalmers Court in Berryville. Doors open at 7pm for these 8pm programs, and reservations can be made online at or by calling the Barns at 540-955-2004, or in person at the Barns from noon to 3pm Tuesday-Saturday. Free parking is available at the Government Center.

Leaf Collection, Street Lights And Halloween in Berryville

Berryville Beat Welcome to fall, Berryville! It sure hasn’t felt much like it in the waning weeks of September, but recent rain and the resulting falling foliage have proven otherwise. With fall upon us, we thought it an appropriate time to go over some seasonal reminders. First off, what to do with those falling leaves. […]

Giant Bear of a Friend Flies Home

A Natural Curiosity: Norman Fine On Microwave Radar In WWII

A Natural Curiosity: Norman Fine On Microwave Radar In WWII By Stephen Willingham With 2019 marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day, it would seem that everything there was to know about WWII would be known by this time. However, the natural curiosity of Millwood resident Norman Fine has proven this to be a mistaken notion. As […]

Clarke County Historical Association Bids Farewell to Mary Morris

Longtime archivist retires after three decades

By Rebecca Maynard

Clarke County Historical Association (CCHA) archivist Mary Thomason Morris has retired after more than 30 years, but her infectious enthusiasm for preserving local history has not diminished. She has been with the organization since 1987, during which time she has seen incredible changes.

“One thing I love to focus on is how the dissemination of information has changed from 1987 to today,” she said. “When I look back, when I came on board, there was no computer and I was working on index cards. Everything had to be written out unless I typed it on the typewriter, and there was no way to get information out about what we had unless people came in.”

“Today, it’s all online and accessible through the Google index,” Morris said, noting that people as far away as Dublin, Ireland, have accessed the information she has archived.The CCHA archive, found at, contains church and burial records, historical photographs, newspaper files, maps, drawings, and other materials. A large portion of their archives is available to search online, and the search function is intended to be user-friendly even for those who are not computer literate.“K.I.S.S.,” Morris quipped when referring to the ease of the search function. “Keep it simple, stupid.”

In the late 1980s, Morris worked for the CCHA, Handley Library, and the Warren Heritage Society in Front Royal all at the same time before the CCHA became her sole employer in 1990.

“It was good that I was able to tap into all three of those county histories, because Warren and Clarke are the last two daughters of Frederick County,” she said, explaining that Clarke County was founded in 1836 and a number of planters from the Tidewater area sent their sons and enslaved people to the county.“

One of the first people I had contact me was a lady from Georgia who said she knew her great-grandfather was in Virginia during the Civil War,” Morris said. The man had deserted and was sent back to a different regiment, but after July 1864, the family never knew what became of him.

Morris wondered whether he had been killed in Berryville’s Battle of Cool Springs. She was able to verify her hunch thanks to a book with the list of names in the Confederate section in Mt. Hebron Cemetery in Winchester. “I was able to write these folks to tell them, after 130 some years, and they were able to put a marker on his gravesite beside his wife saying where he died and his death date, after generations of no one knowing,” she said.“

At that time, I was still working with pencil and paper,” she recalled. “To me, watching the progression from then to now is the biggest thing, to see things go from boxes on a shelf that maybe no one would look at for 50 years, and now they’re catalogued and indexed online.”

Local history doesn’t have to be grand or of great interest to those outside Clarke County for it to be important, Morris believes. “History can be people enduring their lives, for good or for bad,” she said. One of her goals in her 30 years with CCHA was to make sure that everyone in the county, regardless of circumstances or family history, was included.

“Mountain people, small farmers, people who came here after 1900, their history is as much Clarke as the Tidewater planters,” she explained.Morris also hopes that young people realize the importance of genealogy and local history and over the years enjoyed having fourth graders visit the CCHA office, where she would show them photographs on microfilm. On one occasion, she showed the children a photograph of a basketball player. “One little boy looked at me and said, ‘There’s my daddy!’ He figured out that his father and he were both history, and that people make history every day,” she said.

“Think of kids getting out of  high school today, how many wars they’ve been through,” Morris said. “They don’t think they make history, but they do. Children are like trees: They need roots before they can stretch to the sun, and having a sense of belonging to a place are the main roots for a child, knowing that they are part of the history of a place.”

“Mary is so dedicated,” said CCHA director Nathan Stalvey. “Every historical association needs someone like her, who loves what she does. She’s inspiring, but she’s humble.”

“As for proud moments, my highest is when I passed the miller’s class and became a legal, bona fide grinding miller for the Burwell-Morgan Mill,” Morris said. ”You wear many hats in a small organization, including sometimes potty cleaner!”

Morris received CCHA’s Professional Achievement Award in 2004, and was awarded the Heritage Hero Award by the Mosby Heritage Area Association in 2016. She also helped Clermont Farm in Berryville catalog its collection and created a database of more than 3,000 people associated with the property over the years.

“Mary has never, ever been about attention grabbing,” Stalvey said. “She genuinely just loves what she does and people see that. It reflects back and that’s why people love to listen to her stories.”

Morris is stepping down for health reasons, but has been involved in the interviewing and hiring of her replacement, whom she plans to help become acclimated to the position. She also hopes to remain involved with CCHA on a volunteer basis.

“It’s all going to depend on health, but over the years I’ve said there’s a plank in the office for them to carry me out, because I always figured I’d never leave,” she joked. “I’m keeping the plank around. I can’t give up the CCHA and I can’t give up learning. If I stop trying to help, I stop living.”

Clarke County Historical Association is hosting a retirement party for Mary Morris Sunday, July 21, at 2pm, at the CCHA headquarters at 32 E. Main Street, Berryville, VA 22611.