Oysters and you!

Jessy Diaz preparing some oysters at the King Street Oyster Bar

Jessy Diaz preparing some oysters at the King Street Oyster Bar

What do folk like to do on a Friday evening, perhaps downing a “happy hour” beverage and that iconic bivalve, an eastern oyster, from the Chesapeake Bay?

Don Peterson, from Brunswick, Maryland, said, “I didn’t like oysters when I was a kid.  But I went down to Jacksonville Beach, in Florida, and found I like them, and like them best, raw, and I eat them as white as you can get ‘em.”  Some favor the Blue Water Daquiri and Oyster Bar in Jacksonville.

Closer to home, Magnolia’s at the Mill in Purcellville, get its oysters from the War Shore Oyster Company, according to Magnolia’s floor manager, Julie Dalrymple, and they almost always “get them once a week and serve them as ‘specials’.”

Lovettsville’s Market Table Bistro gets their oysters from Chincoteague and further up the east coast from Nantucket, according to Eddie Johnston, the “front of the house” manager at the Bistro.  Continue reading

Enemy of the People

Alexander Hamilton – the first Federalist

Alexander Hamilton – the first Federalist

The Bill of Rights including the First Amendment, protecting freedom of speech and press, was written to protect us against the wrongs that might otherwise be done against citizens, by an oppressive government or by a willful majority against a weaker minority or individual.

The U.S. Constitution replaced the colonies’ Articles of Confederation, declaring the Articles ineffective, making it necessary, the Federalists insisted, to re-create our government, so that we might survive as an independent nation.

We formed a government divided into three departments, each with specified powers and responsibilities, separated one from the other, a federal government.

But the Constitution, created in Philadelphia, said nothing about the individual rights reserved to the people.

Some called the Constitution a “gilded trap” created by the aristocratic elements and charged it was anti-democratic.

An anti-federalist from Massachusetts wrote under the assumed name, John DeWitt, “[t]hat the want of a Bill of Rights to accompany this proposed system [of federalism], is a solid objection to it ….” Continue reading

Mike Pugh – In Defense of a Meadow

Mike and Sian Pugh in the Meadow he’s defending – an echo of American Gothic?

Mike and Sian Pugh in the Meadow he’s defending – an echo of American Gothic?

Mike Pugh is from Kansas where, as a young man, he worked a fair amount of his time haying.

Despite his work in the fields, he didn’t consciously consider how he might be forming a partnership with nature that would stay with him.

This connection with the land became clear when he came to Western Loudoun County where many are struggling to preserve the land’s rural character.

Mike didn’t expect he’d become a combatant in a debate to preserve what he found. Continue reading

GEORGES MILL – a waltz through history

The Main House on Georges Mill Road – the Millview House

The Main House on Georges Mill Road – the Millview House

The ever-present multi-generational George family and the Wire family have a history bound together with an old mill and the parcel’s Main House on Georges Mill Road, just West of Lovettsville.

The fabric of these long family trees is woven together, beginning with John George in about 1750.

 

Fred George and Fran Wire

Fred George and Fran Wire

Fred George, President of the Lovettsville Historical Society, wrapped his arm around Fran Wire, and said, “Fran is the hardest working 90 year old I ever got to know.”

Fran said, with a chuckle, “Thank you Fred for mentioning my age.”

In the 1750s, John George signed a lease obligating him to maintain the land. Continue reading

Migrant Artist – Kevin Delandtsheer

What makes Kevin Delandtsheer run?

What makes Kevin Delandtsheer run?

Kevin Delandtsheer, when 6 years of age, lived around the corner from the Dutch Sint Baf Gothic Cathedral, named after Saint Bavo, consecrated 942, in Ghent, Belgium.

Kevin said, “In that church is the ‘Mystic Lamb’ by Jan vanEyck.”  This work is considered one of the most important works of the early Northern Renaissance, and one of the greatest masterpieces in all of Belgium.

But Kevin’s early love of art didn’t come from that masterpiece, nor an art class at school, at Sint Amandus. Continue reading

Stanley Caulkins – No Ordinary Shopkeep

Stanley Caulkins (l) and former Mayor Frank Raflo (r)  at the 1963 groundbreaking of Godfrey Field

Stanley Caulkins (l) and former Mayor Frank Raflo (r)
at the 1963 groundbreaking of Godfrey Field

The measure of a hero is found among the doings in a day to day life, when the exceptional act or word appears more regularly, so that it becomes “expected,” and reveals the character of a person as “a hero.”

Stanley Caulkins was such a person.

Stanley was a World War II B-17 radio operator, an airman, and his love of flight and aircraft, discovered in the armed forces, carried over into his private life back home in Loudoun County, where he became a moving force in organizing the Leesburg Airport Commission in 1962.

Stanley was at the groundbreaking for the first local airport in 1963 with former Leesburg Mayor Frank Raflo, an effort made largely possible by the then famed entertainer, Arthur Godfrey, who lived in the area, and preferred to fly to NY to air his show.

Stanley was in the thick of it again at the celebration of a second airport, the one off Sycolin Road.

After the war, Stanley learned watchmaking and, by fits and starts, established his own jewelry store on King Street.  He worked in that shop for 60 years until a fire forced him to close in 2015. Continue reading

The Story of Flight From Central America

Young Dylan Keefe at the DC March to bring families together

Young Dylan Keefe at the DC March to bring families together

Our neighbors from Lovettsville, and across Loudoun County, traveled as best they could this past Saturday from their homes here to Washington, DC.

They made the journey despite the harsh 90 degree summer heat, by car, bus, train, and on foot, to protest the separation by our government of young Central American and Mexican Children from their parents.

Most of these migrants insisted, through interpreters, that this was a story of flight from the dangers that they had to leave behind, from what had been their home.

They fled the abuse and danger they suffered there, to find asylum and safety in these United States, as had the many who came before them to find peace and a new life.

Migrants who anticipated that this Administration might resist their asylum petitions said they had no alternative. Continue reading

Government – Just Leave Us Alone!

There was a time when a diary that you wrote in long hand, in India ink, kept confidential in a false drawer in your worn mahogany desk, was private, and safe from the prying eyes of anyone including our government – as a matter of law.

Not so anymore.

I advise my clients these days to destroy their mental notes.

From the vantage of a criminal defense lawyer (and “recovering” federal and state prosecutor), I’ve seen the most craven governmental intrusions into individual privacy – shocking to any Accused person who never before had to endure the unwanted embrace of a criminal prosecution.

Little has improved since the author’s privacy article published in 1972

Little has improved since the author’s privacy article published in 1972

Here in Loudoun County, if you’re arrested and denied bail, when you are jailed in Loudoun’s Adult Detention Center (ADC), don’t make the mistake of talking about your case on the jail house phone with your wife (or anyone else), because everything you say is taped – and they’ll use it against you.

We have an “expectation” of what is private, predicated upon our 4th Amendment right to be secure in our person and property, and the penumbra of other constitutional rights.  This is what must be protected.

Who would expect it was right and just to intercept a family conversation when the Accused has no other way to talk to his family?

We believe we get to control what information is circulated about ourselves – in or out of jail.

But practice and the law is more complicated than what we might fairly expect and what common sense dictates.

When I was a puppy law student, I was concerned with privacy, so much so that I wrote about it for our journal, the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.

Our technology was relatively primitive in the 70’s.   Indeed, I wrote how intrusions into a person’s privacy might not have been possible “if the information was manually handled and manually disseminated.”  Continue reading

A Dad’s Duty

Dad_in_profile_St_Thomas_cuWhen younger, a child, your child, is the Gerber creation, a puffy cheeked, but still inarticulate goo-gooing charmer, consuming your every eager and cherishing attention without end or complaint.  And you wouldn’t have it otherwise.

There are the parental touches, for comfort, amusement, the cooing assurances, the baby talk, the light play, washing, dressing, cleaning, among the many acts that introduce your child to a world of sensation, of caring and of love.

Anything less would be neglect, and we know random or failed attention to a child’s needs in any familial or institutional setting prompts, among other things, poor impulse control, social withdrawal, problems with coping and regulating emotions, low self-esteem, pathological behaviors including tics, tantrums, stealing, self-punishment, and poor intellectual functioning.

Good parents, Dads and Moms, prepare their children for the world coming at them.

And here’s the rub.  It is never over.  They are always our children no matter that they become adults. Continue reading

On Suicide

A troubled man – sketch by the author

A troubled man – sketch by the author

Mike was older and I thought invincible.  One day he summoned us to visit him at a hospital. Mike was having tests and, when we were alone, he said, “I feel great, don’t feel any different.”  He paused, struggling to understand what he felt, “but they tell me I have cancer that will likely kill me.  It doesn’t seem possible.  But I’m going to fight it.”

Mike took the painful therapy to combat the cancer but, in the end, it was too much for him and he cut short his own life.

What incredible pain or suffering makes life not worth living and compels one to desire death instead?

We understand intuitively that those who jumped from the World Trade Center on 9-11 to avoid the intense heat and flames were suicides only technically, that they were more like homicides, forced to choose how to end their lives.

In recent days, we have had two celebrated persons who seemed to “have it together” and yet they took their lives.

The Kate Spade news headline that Kate had taken her life prompted one lady close by to say involuntarily, “No, it can’t be.”  It wasn’t the purses that Kate designed, so chic, functional, artful, and “different,” though that was part of it, some have said.  It was how Kate made others feel, her vision of life, now suddenly ended.  Kate’s husband said, “There were personal demons she was battling.” Continue reading