The Berryville Beat

Dispatches from the Berryville Town Council

As 2019 dawns, there is a lot going on in the Town of Berryville. The Town Council is hard at work on several initiatives as we draw closer to the annual budget season.In addition to our monthly Town Council meeting, the council also has five council committees. The committees serve as a time for members to review initiatives, programs and more, and provide a recommendation to the full council at a future meeting. As always, all Town Council business and committee meetings are open to the public, and we always welcome your input.

Personnel, Appointments & Policy is chaired by Recorder Jay Arnold, and includes Mayor Patricia Dickinson and Council Member Erecka Gibson. Streets & Utilities is chaired by Council Member Diane Harrison, and includes Mayor Dickinson. Public Safety is chaired by Council Member Donna McDonald, and includes Council Member Harrison and Mayor Dickinson. Budget & Finance is chaired by Council Member Gibson, and includes Council Member Kara Rodriguez and Mayor Dickinson. Community Development is chaired by Council Member Rodriguez, and includes Council Members Harrison and McDonald.

The Personnel Committee is looking to allow an additional line of communication for Facebook followers, as the Town Council will be reviewing a social media policy that could establish Facebook pages for the Town of Berryville and the Berryville Police Department. This policy would also outline social media guidelines for town employees and elected town officials. Policies will be adopted to meet the legal requirements of archiving all content. 

At January’s Streets & Utilities Committee, members discussed the results of the surveys submitted by citizens as it related to stormwater issues, or non issues, they were having at their property. We found a number of situations that were new due to 2018’s wet weather, but also a number who have had a history of issues in basements and yards. These homes have experienced an increase in the water this past year. We looked at three areas to have the town manager look into having engineered: the Jackson Pond, the Town Run, and homes abutting the Battlefield Estates development and including impact to Walnut Street if changes were made. This will be presented to council in February to release funding from the monies already in the stormwater fund.

The Public Safety Committee is in the process of reviewing Chapter 20 of the town code, which focuses on special event regulations on town property and public spaces. The objective of the review is to first formulate a policy that incorporates the interests and safety of the event sponsors, as well as members of the public in the use of public space. The regulations and processes within the policy, once reviewed by legal counsel, will then be incorporated into the town code. The committee is simultaneously reviewing Chapter 8 of the town code in the same fashion. Chapter 8 concerns regulations associated with garbage and recycling. Further, we anticipate changes to the town trash collection program, particularly in regards to recycling. At our next council meeting, February 12, the council will be considering whether to eliminate glass collection from our 
recycling program. 

The Budget & Finance Committee, like the rest of the council, is anticipating the arrival of budget season, as we prepare to review the fiscal year 2020 budget, which will take effect July 1. The committee’s next meeting, Thursday, February 28, at 10:30am, will be the first work session on the town manager’s proposed budget. The full council will have its first budget work session Tuesday, March 12, ahead of our regularly scheduled monthly meeting. In January, the committee also continued its review of online payment options for water and sewer bills, something we hope to implement in the future.

Finally, the Community Development Committee went over potential changes to the website, as the council has previously indicated a desire to revamp the website. We received a briefing on the logistics, pricing and timeline for such an update, and took a look at website updates that have worked for 
other municipalities. 

This monthly column is authored by the members of the Berryville Town Council. For more information on town government, including meetings, agendas, and contact information for the Town Council and town staff, visit

Pine Lake

A Hotly Debated Memoir by Keith Patterson

1966, Hello
Monkey Boy
Not every monkey has an uncle, and I can’t see Darwin or his detractors, either one, laboring to contest that fact. But each of us, from the free thinkers down, has a family. And every family has its fair share of secrets. And while money and stature can buy your family some time in terms of allowing certain secrets to remain hidden, eventually the truth always comes out. And just as the glamour and power of the Kennedys couldn’t conceal or be diminished by the factually-based myth of a defective cousin warehoused somewhere deep in the bowels of Hyannis Port, neither can the years of denial and obfuscation by members of my own family manage to obscure my memory of what I know that I saw one summer’s day in my youth at Pine Lake.
I don’t pander to mythos. Anybody with half of an imagination can testify to that. And even though my personal reality might be skewed by my unique perceptions, the fact is, I deal in hard realities. One hard reality that I’ve been dealing with is the fact that I’ve been trying to write this story for over forty years, but never had an ending until now. Another hard reality is that Pine Lake is really just a pond. And it isn’t even a very large pond.
Pine Lake is actually a small pond in an abandoned corn-field surrounded by red-clay mud. About a hundred and fifty yards up the hill from this optimistically-named natural body of water is an old in-ground concrete swimming-pool, a remnant of a long-gone motel deemed irrelevant by the bypass. But bypass or no, Pine Lake was the uncontested summertime mecca to several generations of western Pittsylvania County’s finest.
One summer Saturday afternoon when I was six or seven in 1966, my family descended upon Pine Lake. My mother, her mother and father, my mother’s younger sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, in-laws, outlaws, my siblings, first and second cousins, third cousins, my dad, his dad, and I took over the destination in its entirety. Half of us attempted to splash all of the water out of the pool while my two uncles on my mother’s side backed up their truck and put their homemade motorboat into the lake down the hill.
My father was lighting a charcoal grill, grinning from ear to ear. As my mother double-coated my back with lotion, I heard my uncles down at the lake roar in approval as they successfully started up their motorboat. I broke free from my mother’s clutches and bounded down to the belching boat bobbing up and down in the red-brown water.
My teenaged uncles, Dallas and Charles, were looking quite pleased by the fruits of their efforts. They had been on a mission for over two years to construct a motorboat, put it in the water at Pine Lake, and water ski. The summer before they had rigged-up an oversized outboard motor to an old wooden canoe. That motor had also started right up. But Dallas and Charles hadn’t quite worked out the details of a functional rudder or a kill switch. So when they fired up the motor, the canoe shot straight across the lake with them in it, hit the bank at full-speed and cut a foot-deep groove in the red-clay beach that ran fifty yards down the hill to where the canoe finally came to its final resting place.
As nearly a quarter of the water in Pine Lake drained away downhill through the foot-deep ditch cut by the runaway boat, the engine then exploded. What was left of the canoe and gasoline had burned well into the evening. Uncles Dallas and Charles escaped with some burns and abrasions.  Lessons learned. This time around, their boat had all of the amenities, including steering, a kill switch and a rudder.
“Who wants to be first?” Uncle Dallas threw out the tow line into the water.
I immediately leaped into Pine Lake. I ran out towards the tow-line that was visible in the water behind the boat. When the water got over my head I attempted to swim. I couldn’t swim. I reckon the water was about four feet deep and that was just a couple of inches deeper than I was. I was down in that murky water ham-paddling nowhere for what seemed like a week. Uncle Dallas finally pulled me up sputtering and shooting water out of my nose.
Dallas said “Here, you wild thing. Put these on.” Then he helped me put on a faded orange life-vest and a pair of skis. After some brief instructions the rudder was dropped, anchor hove, steering wheel buried hard-left and the slack was taken out of the towline.
Uncle Charles goosed the motor while Uncle Dallas simultaneously let go of me and I was up . . . skiing! And then I was down . . .  underwater . .  .
above the water . . . on the water . . . refusing to let go of the handle of the towline.
We circumnavigated Pine Lake exactly three times before I was beached. Still refusing to let go of the tow-line, I circumnavigated the bank of Pine Lake once more and then skittered off down the hill following a similar trajectory to that of the previous year’s ill-fated canoe, where I came to rest at the base of an elm tree and just lay there like I was dead for a while.
“Hey, kid. You’re an animal! Nice ride.” Dallas helped me to my feet and removed my life vest. “Get in line and you can have another ride later.”
There was a line of people, young and old, family, friend and strangers queued-up for a chance to water-ski in Pine Lake behind Dallas and Charles’ homemade motorboat. I just stood there for a while and watched the procession and listened. They had gleaned much from that initial ride that I’d taken. The water was about four-feet deep so they put out four and a half feet of rudder, and basically just let the boat spin around like a top in the middle of the lake.
The more experienced skiers were getting more like four times around the lake before getting beached. It looked like a long wait to get another chance to ski, so I started walking back around Pine Lake towards the uphill side. I was covered in red-clay mud and needed to rinse-off. I considered a dip in the lake but the motor-boat and skiers made that difficult. Plus, the lake’s water, naturally reddish brown, was taking-on a darker, oily hue. I decided to rinse off in the pool.
I scrambled up the hillside from the lake and jumped into the pool in the shallow end. As soon as I hit the water people started screaming!
“He’s filthy! Get him
out! Eeewww!”
A brown cloud spread-out from my body and filled the shallow end. I could smell and taste the lake water and local mud mixed with what was left of my sunscreen and various ointments as they dissolved into the pool water, which tasted better than it looked. The nasty comments from family and strangers continued.
“Get him out! Gross! Geez.”
It wasn’t as if the water in the pool was pristine before I got in. Then my mother jerked me up out of the pool by my arm and stood me up on the pool’s deck.
“Go over there to the shower and clean-off before you get back in this pool! You hear me?”
I hated to disappoint my Mama and started trudging around the deep end of the pool toward the shower, which was a garden-hose tied to the top of a two-by-four which was stuck in the clay. The sun came out from behind a cloud and its sudden brilliance blinded me. I had to avert my eyes, and looked down at the murky red water-cloud that I’d contributed to the shallow end as it reached the deep end, lending a clarifying background hue to the reflection in the water.
In the reflection I could clearly see him. He was standing on the concrete deck across the deep end of the pool from me. It was a monkey boy!
 I was gob-smacked. Stunned. Time stood still. The monkey boy met my gaze as we both stared at his reflection on the water. He looked to be about my height and was covered from head-to-toe in a fine, reddish fur and wearing a special monkey diaper that allowed his little tail to breathe and wiggle around. I was mesmerized by his twitchy movements that seemed to mimic my thoughts.
“Comment allez-vous?”
The monkey boy spoke French! Although I didn’t recognize the words I could intuit the context. But before I could answer the monkey boy’s query, my mother had me by the elbow and was dragging me away. “Time to go home!”
I protested but it was no use. I didn’t even get a chance to water ski again. Some of the locals, family and strangers alike, clapped and cheered as my mother removed me from the premises. And that’s not the first time that that
has happened.
An obsession meets the Internet
Over these long, fruitless years I have investigated every dark corner and questioned everyone that I know, repeatedly. Nothing solid. Just lies, innuendo and more lies. I’ve knocked on doors, put ads in the paper, visited internet chat rooms, tweeted, twerked, Tindered, Face-timed, Snap-chatted, Snack-chatted, Facebooked, Fakebooked, I even launched a commercial website you can buy Monkey boy merchandise, and hopefully aid me in my quest for answers.
I even got into politics without knowing it. A local candidate was having a rally and a bunch of folks were wearing Monkey Boy teeshirts, and somebody yelled “Do you b’leev in the Monkey Boy of Pine Lake?” The candidate replied “Nawwwww. There ‘aint no Monkey Boy of Pine Lake! Never was and never will be!”
They booed him off of the stage and he lost the election.  And I’ve gotten a couple of “hot leads,” but nothing has ever turned out to be the Monkey Boy of Pine Lake. I will surely know him when I see him again. I can guarantee you that.
Since that life altering encounter across the deep end at Pine Lake, 50-some-odd years hence, I have received little solace as I’ve drifted like a refugee from hint to clue. Many of my older relatives that might have had first hand knowledge as to my life’s answers are now departed. And now, our old, ancestral family home is boarded-up and everyone has
moved away.
The Secret Cellar
Recently, after a long absence from the fold, I attended a family reunion in North Carolina. The after-dinner conversation inevitably came around to the Monkey Boy of Pine Lake. Those relatives that were old enough to be familiar with the story were still denying it. The younger, more educated crowd were ambiguous. And the younger set were all ears. Nothing new here. Denials and digressions. But then Uncle Dallas, who’s somehow survived more than just one canoe explosion to become the Pater-familias, offered-up an
absolute gem!
“I do seem to recall,” Dallas began, ensconced in a deck sofa, surrounded by family and sipping the remnants of an iced Scotch. “There was a rich
family that lived in a big, white house up-the-hill-a-ways from Pine Lake.”
“Yeah, I remember that house.”
Uncle Dallas continued. “I know for a fact that those people kept pet monkeys. Treated ‘em like family. Those monkeys used to tear that nice place apart. And the bigger monkey did wear a diaper.”
Dallas seemed as sincere as I’d ever seen him.
“Is that really true?” asked a first cousin’s wife.
“Sure, that’s true.” Dallas nodded. “And that’s what you saw that day, Nephew. It was them rich people’s big monkey. And I remember that monkey had a little tail, too.”
“Yeah, I remember that
big monkey.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Yeah, that’s what you saw. It was them rich people’s
big monkey.”
Something didn’t jive here. I’d never heard this story before. “Why now?” My head swam. I’d asked this same crew for answers a hundred times. It was some vast conspiracy, spanning generations. Then a vital clue popped into my head. “But, The Monkey Boy of Pine Lake spoke French!” I blurted. “How do you explain that?”
Uncle Dallas replied calmly and authoritatively “Those rich people were French. ‘LeFleur,’ I believe it was. That’s why that big monkey of theirs
spoke French.”
A stone in every pathway. I felt sick and needed to sit down. The festive gathering continued without my further input as I struggled to keep my composure. This was my biological family, and I couldn’t trust anyone.
Maybe an hour passed. Uncle Dallas found me, and whispered in my ear, “The monkey story was just a smokescreen.” Dallas looked me squarely in the eyes. He was serious. “Go back to your old family home. It’s all boarded up.”
“I know.” I replied.
“Well, there are some other things that you need to know. Those things are hidden away in the secret cellar underneath of that house.”
“Secret cellar?”
“Be quiet and listen!” Uncle Dallas clutched my shoulder and looked around suspiciously. He had been a butcher by trade and his hands were still strong from his life’s work. “There’s a crawl-space opening around back behind the azaleas. Bring a flashlight. You gotta crawl to your left and go three right turns around the original foundation and then you’ll see the stairs down. The door is open. You’ll find out everything that you want to know. Now, that’s it. It’s done. I don’t ever want to hear about the Monkey Boy of Pine Lake EVER AGAIN!” Dallas turned away quickly and
was gone.
And as of this writing I have not seen or heard from
him again.
Return to Pine Lake and the old homestead
On my way back home from the reunion, I rerouted through western Pittsylvania County. First I drove out to Pine Lake, parked and walked around. It actually looked much the same as it did fifty years ago, but smaller, abandoned and derelict. I stood on what was left of the crumbling concrete pool deck, looking across the deep end to where I’d seen the Monkey Boy of Pine Lake so many years before. It was about the same time of day as that original encounter. The sun was high in the sky, blinding me. I had to divert my eyes downward to the surface of the dirty water in the deep end. I could see my own reflection.
I looked around what was left of Pine Lake a little more, reminiscing and searching for memories, and then got back in my car and drove over to the old-family home, down the Blair Loop Road off of Westover Drive. I parked, grabbed my flashlight, walked around back, and found the crawl space door behind the over-grown azaleas.
I lifted the latch, swung open the door, turned on my flashlight, swatted away years of cobwebs, and crawled under the old house.
It took a while for my eyes to adjust to the harsh beam of my flashlight juxtaposed with the otherwise total darkness. I crawled on my hands and knees and struggled to follow Uncle Dallas’ instructions. The
passage way was narrow and rocky. “Three rights.” It was stifling. My knees and hands hurt. Cobwebs were everywhere. I was hoping not to meet up with a snake.
At last I rounded a third corner of the original foundation. And there it was! A narrow stone stairway down to the dank opening of the old home’s original cellar.
I took a deep breath. The dank air was dead and stale. I made my way down the steep, narrow stairs, pushed aside the old wooden-plank door and stepped inside. A quick flashlight sweep of the carved-out stone walls revealed no major menace or surprises. There were several broken things and an old, rusted boiler. There was a rickety shelf with one Mason jar and an old seaman’s trunk covered in decades of dust.
I tried to remember if Uncle Dallas had given me any clues that I’d forgotten. I couldn’t remember anything. I swept the flashlight over the walls again. Then the ceiling and floor.  Nothing new immediately jumped to my attention. I was a little bit relieved. And a little bit disappointed.
Again I shone my light on the Mason jar up on top of the rickety, wooden shelf. It was two-thirds filled with a pale, yellowish liquid. There was something submerged in the liquid, and I strained to see what it was. The shelf on which the jar was resting was too high for me to reach. “If it would just float to the top of the jar I could see what it is.” I thought. Then the object in the liquid floated to the top of the jar!
Instantaneously I had to tend to an itch at the base of my spine and my flashlight beam fell away as I scratched myself. The beam of light fell upon the ancient seaman’s trunk. There was no lock, on it so I opened it up. There was no pirate’s treasure inside. Only neatly filed papers. They were medical bills for expensive ointments and lotions. And electrolysis treatments. There was also a medical journal with a page marker. I opened the book to the marked page and read the highlighted words. “At any time, any mother can birth offspring with mutations that reveal traits of any ancestor along their
evolutionary tree.”
“What could it mean?” I put the papers back in the trunk, dragged the trunk over to the high, rickety shelf, climbed-up on top and retrieved the Mason jar. I carefully climbed-down from the trunk, set the jar down on a low ledge of the stone wall and retrained my light on whatever it was that was inside.
I stared at it for a while, but did not fully comprehend. It looked like a skinny, little pickle covered with fine, red hair. I jiggled the Mason jar with one hand while I held the light with my other. When the hairy, little pickle jiggled in the amber brine the itch returned to the base of my spine. Realization began to descend upon me, and my entire world began crashing down. All of the denials, deceits, and outright lies cascaded through my mind like an avalanche of pain, doubt, and disbelief. All of these many years, my family, the lying, denying lot of them, had only been trying to protect me.
I must have passed out for a while. When I awoke, I was lying flat on my back on the cool stone floor of the secret cellar. It was dark as pitch. My flash-light batteries were completely dead. I crawled out and up the stairs of the hidden cellar, reversed directions, made three lefts, and finally found the door to the crawlspace. I retrieved a pack of matches and some fresh flash-light batteries from the glove-box of my car and went back to re-enter the
secret cellar.
I wanted to retrieve the treasures of my life’s sojourn. As I re-entered the crawlspace behind the azaleas I lit a match. It burned-out quickly so I threw it down and lit another. The light from the second match revealed that the first match that I’d tossed had landed on an old rag. The smelly old rag ignited and I could now see the solvent can near the flames! I scrambled out and away from the old, frame house as it was quickly engulfed by fire. I had to move my car to keep it from also being lost and just kept on driving. I could hear the wailing of the fire-trucks and police cars as I took the backroads home, where I immediately sat down to finish this story.
Thank you, Uncle Dallas, should you ever read this, for helping me to finally lay to rest the quest that had so consumed me. But while I finally have an ending for my story I still lack closure. Now I have an entirely new scenario to ponder and for future reference I will set aside my books by Darwin, and crack open the Pavlov. For every time I hear the wail of ambulance, fire truck, or police car sirens, I have to scratch an itch at the base of my spine.

Around Clarke County


Around Clarke County

12 Irish Music Concert

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. The Alt, three masters of Irish music, perform. 8pm. $20 in advance, $25 at door, 12 and younger free. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday
to Saturday).

13–15 “The Little Mermaid” Musical

Clarke County High School auditorium. 627 Mosby Blvd.Berryville. Students will bring to life the Disney musical based on the beloved animated movie. 7:30pm Friday and Saturday, 2:30pm Sunday. Adults $12, children $8.

14 Tastefully Simple Open House

Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. 210 E. Main St. Berryville. All welcome to stop by and sample products. Proceeds benefit Clarke County Relay Team Razmataz. 1–4pm. 540-323-0097.

14 Downtown Berryville Yard Sale

Various locations in downtown Berryville. Begins at 8am. Contact Berryville Main Street for details at 540-955-4001.

14 Family Dance Party and Silent Auction

D.G. Cooley Elementary School Lower Campus. 240 Westwood Road. Berryville. DJ, concessions, silent auction, glow store, dessert bar and more for elementary students and families. $1 admission. 6–

14 An Evening with Elvis and Conway

John Enders Fire Hall. 9 S. Buckmarsh St. Berryville. Join the Stone’s Chapel Memorial Association at a special benefit concert featuring tribute artist Kevin Booth. First half features Conway Twitty and second half Elvis Presley. All proceeds benefit the ongoing restoration of the historic Stone’s Chapel. 7pm. Tickets sold at door only. Adults $10, students $5.

14 Mount Bleak House Tours

Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Lane. Delaplane. Walk through history by touring historic Mount Bleak House and hear the stories of the many owners of the 1840s house. Free, $5 parking fee. 11am–4pm. 540-592-3556.

14 Astronomy for Everyone

Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Lane. Delaplane. Hear about the importance of dark skies and light conservation, and look at deep space objects through telescopes. Free, $5 parking fee. 7:30–

15 Desegregation Retrospective Roundtable

Boyce United Methodist Church. 8 Old Chapel Ave. Boyce. CCHA and the Josephine School Community Museum will partner together for a discussion with former teachers and students with firsthand experiences from Johnson-Williams High School and Clarke County High School 2pm. 540-955-2600.

15 Meet the Beekeepers

Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Lane. Delaplane. Meet with local apiarists Doug and Ramona Morris and discover the art of beekeeping. Free, $5 parking fee. 1–3pm. 540-592-3556.

17 Wildflower  Identification Workshop

Blandy Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Two day event also held April 19 uses Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide and the Flora of Virginia app to identify spring wildflowers in the lab and field. Bring lunch, a 10x ocular, and books and app if available. 9am–2pm. FOSA and VNPS members $35, nonmembers $40. Reservations required. 540-837-1758.

18 Live Trivia

Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. CCHA and the Clarke County Library team up to bring live team trivia with categories including history, movies, literature, science and more. Prizes donated by local businesses. 7pm. Free. 540-955-2600.

21 Spaghetti Dinner

Boyce Fire Hall. 7 S. Greenway Ave. Boyce. All you can eat dinner with food, fun and fellowship to benefit Boyce United Methodist Ministries. Takeout trays available. Free will offering. 4–7pm. 540-336-3585.

21 Conservation Event

Llangollen Farm Horseshoe Barn. 21515 Trappe Road. Upperville. Numerous speakers will hold a conversation about the future of our landscape and our communities. Free, but RSVP is requested. 9am–12pm. 540-687-6681.

21 Earth Day Celebration

Sam Michael’s Park. 235 Sam Michael’s Lane. Shenandoah Junction, W.Va. Local artists, musicians, food vendors, environmental organizations, kids’ activities. Free. 11am–7pm. 240-520-7058.

21 Garden Tour

Headquartered at Blandy Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Tour four local properties featuring beautiful views and architecture. Hosted by Winchester-Clarke Garden Club. $30 ahead, $40 onsite, single site admission $20. 10am–5pm. Visit for details.

22 CCHS Band Fundriaser

Clarke County Band Assoc. is hosting a fund-raising event for the CCHS Band programs.  Touch a Truck.  There will be several types of trucks for all to see and touch. (NO rides) There will also be a Petting Zoo, classic cars, kids games, bake sale and a Basket Raffle. Sunday 11am to 3pm. (No rain date) Admission: $5 at the gate, age 2 & under free. Event is located at Clarke County High School, 627 Mosby Blvd, Berryville, VA. Any question please email

22 Lularoe and Perfectly Posh Fundraiser Open House.

6 Spring House Lane. Berryville. Browse a large selection of clothes in sizes for most body types, as well as body pampering products. Drop in anytime, children welcome, refreshments provided. A portion of proceeds benefits the MS Society. 3–6pm. 540-664-0670.

22 Blue Ridge Hunt Point to Point Races

Woodley Farm. 590 Woodley Lane. Berryville. First race at 12pm. Stick horse races for children and other activities. $25 per car, $150 for VIP tailgate parking. 540-631-1919.

27 Patron’s Night Art at the Mill

Burwell Morgan Mill. 15 Tannery Lane. Millwood. Enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres as you preview and purchase art. 6–9pm. Tickets are $65 a person and available at or 540-955-2600.

27 Arbor Day Celebration

Blandy Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Outdoor workshops, panel discussion, Foundation of the State Arboretum annual meeting and social with refreshments. 2–7pm. FOSA members free, nonmembers $15. Reservations required. 540-837-1758.

28 Art at the Mill

Burwell Morgan Mill. 15 Tannery Lane. Millwood. Runs through Sunday, May 13. 250 artists display for sale over 1000 works of art in a historic 18th century, operating mill. Saturdays 10am–6pm, SundayFriday 12–5pm. 540-837-1799.

28 World Tai Chi and Qi Gong Day Event

Sanctuary Wellness Center. 208 N. Buckmarsh St. Berryville. Qi Gong instructor Marisol Mayell will lead the event open to all fitness levels, with no previous experience necessary. 10:30–11:45am. Free. Pre-registration appreciated, walk-ins welcome. 540-227-0564.


Methylation Mutants Presentation

Sanctuary Wellness Center. 208 N. Buckmarsh St. Berryville. Dr. Susan Fidler will present current strategies for navigating genetic mutations and cellular pathways associated with complex health issues. 4–5:30pm. Pre-registration recommended. 540-227-0564.

29 Spring Fever 5K

Sky Meadows State Park. Parking at Turner Pond. 1111 Winchester Road. Paris. Beautiful course followed by music and prizes. Pre-registration is $35. 9–11am. 540-592-3556.


1 Bird Conservation: Past, Present, Future

Brewbaker’s Restaurant, back room. 168 N. Loudoun St. Winchester. Dr. Eric Kershner shares conservation successes of the past 100 years and explores challenges for the next 100. Free; food and drinks available for purchase throughout. 7–8:30pm. Free. Reservations required. 540-837-1758.

4–5 Reiki Training Level 1 Workshop

Sanctuary Wellness Center. 208 N. Buckmarsh St. Berryville. Training will prepare students to practice Reiki on themselves, their family, friends, pets and surroundings. Friday 5–9pm, Saturday 2–5pm.Pre-registration recommended. 703-244-4427.

6 Homeopathy for Children

Sanctuary Wellness Center. 208 N. Buckmarsh St. Berryville. Certified Classic
Homeopath Kathy Miller will speak about  one of the easiest and safest forms of wellness treatments for children. 2–3:30pm. Pre-registration recommended. 540-877-4303.

6 Meet the Artists at the Mill

Burwell Morgan Mill. 15 Tannery Lane. Millwood. Enjoy the 1000 pieces of displayed art for sale and meet the artists in a historic 18th century, operating mill. 2–5pm. 540-837-1799.

17 Walking Tour of  Arboretum

Blandy Experimental Farm. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Come see glorious displays of flowering trees, shrubs and wildflowers. 1–2:30pm. Free. Reservations required. 540-837-1758.

26 Annual Strawberry Festival

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. 219 N. Buckmarsh St. Berryville. The public is invited to enjoy delicious fried chicken lunches, homemade ice cream, scrumptious strawberry shortcake and fantastic baked goods. Enter to win prizes including a $100 gas card, restaurant gift cards or a plant. Lunch is $10; all proceeds benefit St. Mary’s outreach projects. 11am–2pm. 540-955-4617 or 540-837-2374.



Tuesdays, 8:15–9:15pm. Grace Episcopal Church. N. Church St. Berryville. For friends and families of alcoholics.  If someone else’s drinking bothers you, please join us. 540-955-1610.

FISH Clothing Bank

Saturdays, 9am–12pm. Old Chapel Road and Route 340 south of Berryville. Also new location at 36 E. Main Street. Berryville. 540-955-1823.

Around Clarke County December/January


14 FISH Christmas Open House at Rosemont
Historic Rosemont Manor. 16 Rosemont Manor Lane. Berryville. View elaborate decorations in the Georgian-style mansion dating back to 1811. Representatives from the featured charity will be on hand with information. 5–8pm. Adults $10, students $5, children 5 and younger free.

16 Yuletide Feast
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Be welcomed with a cup of Wassail and have a holiday dinner in King’s table style, complete with traditional bûche de noël as the king and queen preside over a group of performers for your entertainment. The Master of Revels directs the merriment and explains some of the customs of Medieval life. 6pm. $75, limited seating. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday
to Saturday).

16 5K and 10K Runs
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Enjoy the scenic beauty and rejuvenation of the park with one last race before the holidays. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Sky Meadows. Parking is located at Turner Pond. 5K $30, 10K $45.

16–17 Holiday House Tours
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Enjoy special tours of the Historic Area and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows home celebrated the holiday in the past. Free admission. 11am–4pm.540-592-3556.

17 Blandy Bird Count and Family Festival
Blandy Experimental Farm Learning Center. 400 Blandy Farm Lane. Boyce. Bird-centered family activities and crafts will include learning to identify common birds, helping count and making a bird feeder. Recommended for ages 5 to 14 with adult. Partly held outside. Free. 2–4pm.540-837-1758 ext.

17 Film Series: “Beatriz at Dinner”
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Beatriz (Selma Hayek), a Mexican immigrant living in LA, inadvertently joins a dinner party during which she tangles with Doug Strutt, a cutthroat, self-satisfied “Anglo” billionaire (John Lithgow), a man from another world. 4pm. $8, $5 for Barns members. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday
to Saturday).

19 Trailblazers Lacrosse Meeting
Clarke County Parks and Recreation Center. 255 Al Smith Circle. Berryville. 6th to 8th grade girls at 7pm; 2nd to 7th grade boys 7:30pm.

23 Holiday House Tours
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Enjoy special tours of the Historic Area and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows home celebrated the holiday in the past. Free admission. 11am–4pm.

28 Soul-Full Community Meal
Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. 210 E. Main St. Berryville. All are welcome every fourth Thursday for good food and community fellowship. The meal this month is provided by Berryville Baptist Church. Free. 5:15–6:30pm. 703-477-8940.

29 Where’s Aubrey Benefit Concert
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Where’s Aubrey, playing together since 1985, performs to benefit Habitat for Humanity. 8–10pm. $15 in advance, $20 at door, children 12 and younger free. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).


1 “History Gone Wild”
First Day Hike. Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Usher in the new year on a hike with the park’s historian and naturalist who will interpret the stories reflected in the unique landscapes of the park. All are invited after the hike for light refreshments and a tour of historic Mount Bleak House. Dressing in layers, wearing comfortable shoes and bringing water are recommended for the approximately two mile hike. Free admission. 11am–1pm.540-592-3556.

5 Music and Art Opening
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Special evening of music by Furnace Mountain and artwork by Julie Miles and Tia Maggio. 8–10pm. $20 in advance, $25 at door, children 12 and younger free. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).

6 “No One Left Behind: A Bond Forged in Combat” Talk
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Afghan combat veteran Matt Zeller and Janis Shinwari, a former Afghan interpreter will be speaking about their non-profit No One Left Behind. 2–3pm. $8. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).

14 Film: “Loving”
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Film screening is in partnership with the Josephine School Community Museum and Handley Regional Library. The story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a couple whose arrest for interracial marriage in 1960s Virginia began a legal battle that would end with the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 decision. 4–6pm. Free. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday
to Saturday).


Tuesdays, 8:15–9:15pm. Grace Episcopal Church. N. Church St. Berryville. For friends and families of alcoholics.  If someone else’s drinking bothers you, please join us.

FISH Clothing Bank
Saturdays, 9am–12pm. Old Chapel Road and Route 340 south of Berryville. Also new location at 36 E. Main Street. Berryville. 540-955-1823.

Medicare And How It Could Be Affected By The New Tax Bill Just in case you were wondering . . .

By Karen Cifala
On a bipartisan view, and no matter what side of the aisle you vote, 65 is still 65 years old, and everyone that is currently on Medicare or who will be registering for Medicare in the next few years (me) should be paying attention to what’s going on with the tax overhaul currently being hotly debated in Washington, D.C.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, (my mom said “what’s the CBO?” — she is so darn cute for 85) the tax bill currently being debated by our congressional leaders would result in a measured increase of the federal deficit over the next decade. Largely unknown, but first enacted by President George H.W. Bush, a law passed in 2010 called PAYGO (pay-as-you-go law), was designed to keep the deficit in check by requiring the administration to reduce spending in many mandatory programs if the law doesn’t also provide offsetting revenue. Among the programs included, but not limited to, in this mandatory group are Medicare, federal student loans, operations of the US Custom and Border Protection, and agricultural subsidies.
Exempt from these reductions are programs like Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, and other safety
net programs.
The enforcement of PAYGO would cap the trimming of Medicare at 4 percent, (which is estimated at $25 billion dollars in cuts for 2018), and, depending on the size of the budget, the amount could be higher over the years. While Medicare experts don’t expect the Medicare fund to run short until 2029, this “anti-deficit” law (PAYGO) could trigger automatic cuts immediately in the New Year.
Individual Medicare benefits would not be affected. However, PAYGO would affect payments to doctors, hospitals, and other providers treating Medicare patients. Consequently, these cuts would likely decrease the number of participating providers in Medicare, even prompting some healthcare providers to stop taking Medicare patients. That would result in reduced access across the board for seniors. Compensation for cuts to Medicare Part D drug plans could force passing those cuts onto beneficiaries by charging higher premiums.
So, not only would this tax overhaul, in its current form, trim the Medicare budget, it also undermines the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets by repealing the individual mandate requiring everyone to be covered. Many good providers have already left our area, leaving few choices this year in Virginia. By losing the healthiest people in the pool of those covered — because the mandate to have health insurance would go away — economic evidence concludes that premiums will go up even higher, leaving millions without coverage at all.
The proposed tax overhaul also toys with limiting or greatly reducing the high-medical-expense federal tax deduction that is taken on the income tax Schedule A. This would affect millions of people, many of them seniors. As we know, large medical bills are still one of the largest contributors to bankruptcy in our country.
In the past, Congress has found ways to work around the PAYGO rule by including provisions in legislation to exclude the PAYGO cuts. Republican leaders say that this law has never been enforced since its passage in 2010, and have no reason to believe that Congress would not act again to forestall the PAYGO cuts. However (if you are not confused enough as it is), the special budget process Republicans are using for tax overhaul this year does not include this exception. The measure could pass by the end of the year, but would need 60 votes in the Senate, and they don’t have the support of
the Democrats.
In short, I believe the Senate tax bill really is also a healthcare bill in disguise. And it will have sweeping consequences for our American healthcare system that could affect the vulnerable and the
elderly most.
I really pray this holiday season that our congressional leaders will be given the knowledge and the sense they need to figure this all out.
Karen Cifala is a Realtor for Remax Roots in Berryville, VA and can be contacted by either email, or on her cell 303-817-9374.

Bre Bogert’s Natural Moments Photographer captures the people and places of Clarke County

by Claire Stuart
Kids running through the woods. Kids grinning and mugging for the camera. Kids sometimes looking sulky or even crying. Kids giggling and peeking from behind trees. Kids with their siblings, their moms and dads and their dogs. Clarke County photographer Bre Bogert loves catching families in natural moments against a backdrop of nature, unpaved roads, old barns and rustic benches. The uniform of the day is often jeans.
But you don’t have to have (or be) a kid to enjoy a photo shoot with Bogert. She also does informal portraits of individuals, couples, and even pets.
Interestingly, in some of Bogert’s most captivating shots, her subjects have their backs to the camera, walking away down narrowing country lanes or running off through the woods. Observers are left to wonder where they are going and to make up their
own stories.
Bogert says about half of her business is photographing people and animals. The other half is shooting nature and rural landscapes, and she offers prints for sale. She is adept at capturing the tranquil essence of the countryside in simple scenes. It might be a curious cow peering through a fence, a barn and silo in snow, the tailgate of an old truck, a railroad track winding away into the distance, or a gravel road in fading, dappled autumn sun.
You could say that Bogert was practically born with a camera in her hand. She has been taking pictures most of her life, learning from her father, a dedicated amateur photographer who took pictures wherever he went. Every summer they headed out to Colorado, where he photographed landscapes, mountains, nature and horses.
In Colorado, they did a lot of travelling on horseback. “Dad took pictures of everything with his old Nikon,” Bogert recalled. “He always carried his camera equipment, and he even had a saddlebag for our horses to carry it.”
As a child, Bogert practiced photography at her father’s side. “He was an engineer for NASA who worked on the lunar module,” she explained. “He was very exacting because he was an engineer, and he taught me everything about cameras and photography. I learned all about apertures, F-stops, speed, all the manual controls.”
Her father passed away when she was 13, but he left her his Nikon camera, which she still has. It’s presently in a specialized camera shop
being repaired.
She started taking pictures on the side as a teenager, and continued through college in her spare time. She used film cameras until about eight years ago, when she finally went digital, but she uses various lenses and manual controls.
She began her career by taking landscape pictures, and in the beginning she was
hesitant to start photographing people. “Now I love taking pictures of people,” she said, “but I was scared at first because I didn’t like posed pictures. I got around that by concentrating on what I call my ‘natural moments portraits’.”
Bogert doesn’t do much in the way of weddings because of the traditional poses and formality generally demanded of wedding photographs, but she will consider weddings on a case-by-case basis. “I hired a photojournalist for my own wedding because I wanted more behind-the-scenes type pictures. Besides,” she laughed, “it was cheaper!”
She also enjoys what would probably be called art photography — studies of architectural details of buildings.  She finds beauty in a weathered wooden door, a wrought iron gate decorated by a dewy spider web, a rusty outdoor faucet, a skeleton key in an old lock.  A series of her photos of locks and doors was purchased to decorate an “escape room,” the trendy activity game where a group of people is locked in a room decorated in a theme that goes with a story. They must work together to find hidden clues and solve puzzles that will lead them to the key to escape the room in a given amount
of time.
Bogert says that about 99 per cent of her photos are taken around Clarke County. She does a few complimentary shoots over the year on subjects of her choice. Every holiday season, Bogert does what she calls a “deserving family shoot.” This year, it celebrated the hopeful occasion when a young local girl who was seriously injured in a house fire found a courageous matching donor for a kidney transplant.
Bogert is now offering gift certificates that can be given in any denomination, good for full or mini photo sessions or for a print of any of her landscape, rural or architectural photos.
Visit her Facebook page at BreBogertPhotography; see her work at:

Around Clarke County – November/December 2017


17 Timothy Chambers TED Talk, Book Signing and Reception
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Evening with accomplished local portrait and landscape painter, founder and teacher of Iguana Art Academy and author, Tim Chambers, as he shares his TED Talk given in Chicago as well as his latest book, “Seeing Beautiful,” followed by a book signing. Chambers’s landscape paintings of Clarke County will be on display throughout the month of November. 7:30–9pm. $8 in advance, $10 at door.

18 Local Singer/Songwriter Concert
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Local singer/songwriter Julia Kasdorf will open the show and perform original songs with her husband, Lynn, on pedal steel. $15 in advance, $20 at door. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).

19 Community Harvest Dinner
Good Shepherd Episcopal Church. 27 Good Shepherd R. Bluemont (Pine Grove). All are invited for a free community harvest dinner at 12pm following the 11am service of Morning Prayer. 540-252-5825.

19 Turkey Trot Races
Clarke County High School. 627 Mosby Blvd. Berryville. 39th annual event features races of 2, 4 and 6 miles for runners, joggers and walkers. Awards and frozen turkeys will be given away in random drawings. 10am. Adults $13, students $10 ahead of time; adults $15 and students $10 day of race. 540-247-6475.

19 Pancake Day
John Enders Fire Hall. 9 South Buckmarsh Street. Berryville. 7am-Noon. Adutlts $8. Children $4. Children under six eat free! For information call 540-955-1110 or visit www,

19 Winter Film Series: Things to Come
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Critically acclaimed 2016 documentary portrays the first female in generations to hunt with eagles in Mongolia. 4pm. $8, $5 for MLT/MSV/Barns members. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).

23 Soul-Full Community Thanksgiving Meal
Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church. 210 E. Main St. Berryville. 13 local churches get together to provide a meal open to all in the community. Free. 540-955-1264.

25 Holiday Open House
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. The Historic Area will be filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the holidays with tasty holiday treats, costumed interpreters telling stories of holidays past and music. 11am–4pm. 540-592-3556.

25– 26 Pottery Show and Sale
Jim Barnett Park War Memorial Building. 1001 E. Cork St. Winchester. The Shenandoah Potters Guild will hold their 21st annual holiday show and sale, featuring more than 15 local artisans. Refreshments served. 10am–4pm. Free admission. 540-931-1694.

26 Holiday House Tours
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Enjoy special tours of the Historic Area and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows home celebrated the holiday in the past. Free admission. 11am–4pm. 540-592-3556.

28 Abba Care Christmas Open House at Rosemont
Historic Rosemont Manor. 16 Rosemont Manor Lane. Berryville. View elaborate decorations in the Georgian-style mansion dating back to 1811. Representatives from the
featured charity will be on hand with information. 5–8pm. Adults $10, students $5, children 5 and younger free. 540-955-2834.

30 Blue Ridge Hospice Christmas Open House at Rosemont
Historic Rosemont Manor. 16 Rosemont Manor Lane. Berryville. View elaborate decorations in the Georgian-style mansion dating back to 1811. Representatives from the featured charity will be on hand with information. Special music and light refreshments. 5–8pm. Adults $10, students $5, children 5 and younger free.


1 Tree Lighting Ceremony
Rose Hill Park. Main St. Berryville. Clarke Community Band will play carols while attendees sing along by candlelight, the Clarke County High School Carolers will sing, the parking meter contest winners will be announced and Mayor Dickinson will officially start the holiday season by lighting the town Christmas tree. 6pm. Free. 540-955-4001.

1 Clarke Community Band Christmas Concert
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Annual concert features lively Christmas music. 7pm. Free. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday
to Saturday).

2 Christmas Parade
Main Street. Berryville. Bring the family to see festive floats, marching bands, fire trucks and finally Santa Claus himself at the fun annual event. 12–1pm. Free.

2–3 Holiday House Tours
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Enjoy special tours of the Historic Area and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows home celebrated the holiday in the past. Free admission. 11am–4pm. 540-592-3556.

3 Yuletide at Barns of Rose Hill
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Berryville. Special sale of original artwork at 1pm in the Upper Gallery. The Hall will be decorated for the Yuletide season, and this eclectic exhibit and sale will include several works by beloved regional artists. Blue Ridge Dance Studio will perform Nutcracker excerpts at 2pm and the Clarke County High School choirs at 3pm. Free. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday
to Saturday).

5 Health Clinic Christmas Open House at Rosemont
Historic Rosemont Manor. 16 Rosemont Manor Lane. Berryville. View elaborate decorations in the Georgian-style mansion dating back to 1811. Representatives from the Dr. Terry Sinclair Health Clinic will be on hand with information. 5–8pm. Adults $10, students $5, children 5 and younger free. 540-955-2834.

6 Internet Safety Presentation
Bluemont Community Center. 33846 Snickersville Pike. Bluemont. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department will demonstrate how to protect yourself and your family from online predators. 7–8pm. Free. 540-554-8643.

7 Danny Barnes Trio Concert
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Danny Barnes, the roots music legend and recent winner of Steve Martins Prize for Excellence in Banjo, is teaming up with two young creative voices of the acoustic world, mandolinist Joe K. Walsh and guitarist Grant Gordy. 7pm. $20. Visit or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).

9 The Woodshedders Concert
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Five piece string band
performs roots music, with Jordan Springs Market barbecue for sale. 8pm. $18 in advance, $25 at door. or call 540-955-2004 (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).

9–10 Holiday House Tours
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Enjoy special tours of the Historic Area and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows home celebrated the holiday in the past. Free admission. 11am–4pm. 540-592-3556.

10 Holiday Homes Tour
Historic Rosemont Manor. 16 Rosemont Manor Lane. Berryville. Three other homes in historic Berryville will be open for the tour. Tickets may be purchased at Fire House Gallery. 1–4pm. $15 in advance, $20 on day of event. 540-955-4001.

12 CCEF Christmas Open House at Rosemont
Historic Rosemont Manor. 16 Rosemont Manor Lane. Berryville. View elaborate decorations in the Georgian-style mansion dating back to 1811. Meet Santa Claus from 5–6:30pm, Clarke Co. High School choir performs holiday music and light refreshments will be served. Proceeds benefit the Education Foundation. 5–8pm. Adults $10, students $5, children 5 and younger free. 540-955-2834.

12 Boyce Christmas Tree Lighting
Main Street. Boyce. Gather with the community to light the town tree. Free. 540-837-2901.

14 FISH Christmas Open House at Rosemont
Historic Rosemont Manor. 16 Rosemont Manor Lane. Berryville. View elaborate decorations in the Georgian-style mansion dating back to 1811. Representatives from the featured charity will be on hand with information. 5–8pm. Adults $10, students $5,
children 5 and younger free. 540-955-2834.

16 Yuletide Feast
Barns of Rose Hill. 95 Chalmers Ct. Be welcomed with a cup of Wassail and have a holiday dinner in King’s table style, complete with traditional bûche de noël as the king and queen preside over a group of performers for your entertainment. The Master of Revels directs the merriment and explains some of the customs of Medieval life. 6pm. $75. Visit (12–3 pm Tuesday to Saturday).

16 –17 Holiday House Tours
Sky Meadows State Park. 11012 Edmonds Ln. Delaplane. Enjoy special tours of the Historic Area and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows home celebrated the holiday in the past. Free admission. 11am–4pm. 540-592-3556.

Everyone is Welcome at the Hideaway Cafe

By Claire Stuart
Hideaway Café in Winchester has announced they are moving from the Old Post Office Building, and hope to be up and running in their new location by Thanksgiving, or December 1 at
the latest.
The café has billed itself as the community’s living room — more than just a place to enjoy a cup of your favorite coffee or to grab lunch. It has been a place to gather with friends, make new friends, and meet with business colleagues. It is a place to enjoy evening performances and for local artists to show their work. Most important, it was founded as a safe gathering place for everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or
gender identity.
Some seven years ago, Victoria Kidd and her wife, Christy Berghoff, then working and living in the D.C. area, decided to buy a home and start a family. Looking for an affordable place that was good for raising children, they discovered that Winchester was the perfect spot.  Now they have that home and a five-year-old daughter.
The Hideaway Café was founded by Kidd and Berghoff and their friend, Jess Clawson, about a year and a half ago. The entrepreneurial Kidd, who has an additional career as a consultant, met the previous owner of the Old Post Office Building in the course of her business. He gave her a tour of the historic building, which had been inaccessible to the public for a long time.  She fell in love with it, and it meshed with her dream of creating a safe, progressive space where everyone would
be welcome.
“The owner believed in our mission and gave us favorable rent to start up. We are humbled by how we’ve been
adopted by the community,” said Kidd. But she recalls that, “not everyone was welcoming toward a welcoming space. We’ve experienced some rejection from some people, but it has been insignificant compared with the people who embrace us. People come here for the purpose of spending time in a space that welcomes them, no matter who they are. That was needed in
this area.”
Kidd observed that owning a coffee shop has been romanticized, but she had no illusions that it would be easy. “It is a lot of work and a 24-hour commitment. But patrons know that they can get something more than a cup of coffee here. They’ll meet people who really care about them on a deep
human level.”
Contributing monetarily to causes and organizations that work for the community is part of Hideaway Café’s mission. With the Caffeine For A Cause program, an entire day’s profits each month are shared. The programs helped range from Embrace Treatment Foster Care to the Adult Care Center to Millbrook High School
Band Boosters.

The Old Post Office Building changed hands in June, and the new owner wanted to rent the entire floor rather than just the space that the café now occupies.  That was more space than they needed, and “we couldn’t afford to renovate the rest,” said Kidd.

Patrons of the café wanted them to stay in business, but downtown space in Winchester is hard to find. “I spent two months searching,” said Kidd, “looking at every possible
suitable space.”
She finally located a spot at the south end of the walking mall, next to the Cork Street Tavern, in a historic
building that used to be a bakery. A bonus is that it is at ground level. The Old Post Office site is down a flight of stairs into the basement, and the possibility of eventually making it handicapped accessible was always a problem to be solved. In addition, the new location has plenty of convenient parking and a larger food prep area.
Partner Jess Clawson left this past summer to pursue a different career, and Kidd says, “When Jess left, we had to ask ourselves where we are going. Her role was central to our identity. We have a new partner, Jason Blosser, who is
stepping in.”
The larger prep area means they can offer more restaurant fare, and the location at the end of the mall means that they will doubtless have more lunch and drop-in business. However, their aims remain the same. First and foremost, it will be a safe and welcoming space.  They will continue to hold their monthly events. There will be spoken word evenings where people can read their poetry and short stories. There will be game nights and live music. The very popular monthly drag show will continue. The Old Post Office seated 90 people, and Kidd says that the show
always sold out.
Kidd says that the Old Post Office was never intended to be a permanent spot. “It’s time for Hideaway Café to go
above ground!” Watch for news of the grand opening.