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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
July 13, 2000     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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July 13, 2000

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4 SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON Farmer's ADVOCATE - Thursday, July 13, 2000 Becky Shaffer 876-0600 Mary and Myra When I bring to mind some of the people I have known or come in contact with during my life- time, it is difficult to believe that Mary Todd Lincoln spent any time in an asylum for the insane. In her play Mary and Myra, currently playing several times a week as part of the Contemporary Ameri- can Theater Festival, Catherine Fiiloux provides a portrait of a somewhat eccentric woman who has been deeply affected by the deaths of two of her children and her infant half-brother, as well a the horror of the shooting of her husband, Abraham, and its atten- dance death watch. Mrs. Lincoln's husband, whom she calls the "Great One" throughout the per- formance, was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth during a per- formance at Ford's theater. Fascinated by the story of Myra Bradwell's determination to se- cure Mrs. Lincoln's release from the asylum, despite son Robert's manipulation of the facts about Mary's life and sanity, Filloux re- searched her subject as well as she could and created the story of the struggle for Mrs. Lincoln's re- lease. Myra Bradwell, a woman trained as an attorney but never accepted by the New York Bar As- sociation, had been Mary Todd Lincoln's friend for many years. Although she tried to see Mrs. Lincoln for many months after her commitment, Robert Todd Lincoln prohibited this. Entering the asy- lum clandestinely, Myra puts the wheels in motion for Mary's free- dom. Try as he might, Robert could not prohibit the ultimate outcome, for his mother finally confided in Myra a questionable legal situation in which he was in- volved, and which Myra used for a bit of arm-twisting. Playwright Filloux discovered, when searching for correspon- dence between Mary and Myra that related to the asylum situa- tion, that whatever passed be- tween them had been burned. Seems that the attorneys for the estate of Robert Lincoln had bought the letters from a member of Myra's family. Filloux indicated during an interview with Nelson Pressley that "there is one biogra- phy of Myra, the 'Chicago Journal' which she founded, (something) about Mary's stay in the asylum which mentions Myra briefly, a few things written about her when she died, and some scanty news- paper articles " These items gave the author enough material to write a very moving chronicle of the situation. Rosemary Knower gave a won- derful dimension to Mary Todd Lincoln. At times humorous, often philosophical, angry at her pre- dicament most of the time Knower's performance gave the audience a gentler perspective on eccentricity. I didn't know if I would find Babe Harrison's portrayal of Myra Bradwell to my liking at the be- ginning of the evening, but as she settled into the part, listeners could feel the frustration of a woman who had also lost a child and who was thwarted in her at- tempts at being accepted, offi- cially, as a lawyer. The set for the theater-in-the- round production provided the right atmosphere for the produc- tion. If I could make one change, I would exchange that tan, contem- porary briefcase for one more in keeping with the times. (I had one just like it when I taught in the 1960s.) Sara Cree Studio Theater was an appropriate venue - it pro- . vided a closeness which would have been missing at Frank Cen- ter. The CATF will continue through Sunday, July 30, with more performances of Mary and Myra, as well as Hunger by Sheri Wilner; Something in the Air by Richard Dresser; and Miss Golden Dreams by Joyce Carol Oates, who has authored her third presenta- tion for the festival. Additionally, there will be pre- and post-perfor- mance discussions, lectures, and art displays at Frank Center and at galleries throughout Shepherd- stown. On the Move Those "buggy" people, the Freewheelers Driving Group, gathered at the home of Dori and Mike Blue near Shenandoah Junction for an afternoon of horse and carriage touring and the usual picnic supper. A goodly num- ber of folks came by from our area of the mountain state as well as some Freestaters from Maryland. Pleasant afternoon temperatures and lots of country scenery were enjoyed by all. The Freewheelers drive monthly in the area and welcome anyone with a driving or riding horse. It's a family-oriented group, which means no liquor or strong language. Hello There! Harpers Ferry's Spirit on-leave correspondent, Laura Galvin, stopped by our Shepherdsto, Farm Market booth on Sunday, and during a lull in a very busy morning, we had an opportunity to visit. Laura tells me that she is taking a bit of time for herself and her family - seems she has a young one who is full of energy and needs her attention. Daughter Hannah has become quite a young lady; she has been her mother's assis- tant reporter since her mom began as a correspondent. Hurry back, Laura! I'm sure the folks of Harp- ers Ferry miss your newsy writ- ings. Reminder The Shepherdstown Fire De- partment Carnival is ongoing this week. If you haven't been there yet, do stop by sometime during the next several evenings. Thurs- day evening is Family Ride Night, with rides at a lower fee. Friday night offers the ever-popular cake auction, as well as the always- spectacular fireworks display at dark. And on Saturday evening, the karaoke finals will take place. Of course, there is always the tasty food and the quarter bingo. See you there! Support your lo- cal volunteer firemen and the work they do! Father's Garden In any discussion of animals in the garden, many arguments for and against a particular species present themselves. The relation- ship of the animal to other living creatures in the garden and to the plants comes to mind first. Most of us are aware of the destructive nature of deer when they invade our garden patches and devour en- tire rows of beans, melons, and greens in several hours. As cute as they are, rabbits can also be a threat to vegetation. The question of economic loss is very important when considering whether to rid the garden of some menace or whether to allow the creature to remain. Does the animal's presence add to or de- tract from the garden's attractive- ness, or the owner's pleasure? Some of the most worthy gar- den residents from an economic standpoint are the ones most likely to upset a gardener's nerves and destroy his peace of mind. We should consider our blood pres- sure and attempt to overcome our prejudices and cultivate useful helpers. Crop damage is a strong consideration when considering some of the rascals of nature. Squirrels and chipmunks are certainly attractive and amusing, they add color and life to any gar- den, they are not noisy, and they adapt well to the human presence They forage for nuts, acorns, seeds, berries, and insects and are not particularly destructive to plant material. A weakness of this middle-of-the-road darter is its liking for the eggs and fledgling~ of insect-destroying birds, a trait which often makes them unwel- come visitors. The red squirrel is probably the worst offender when it comes to nest-robbing. Its size and rusty- red coloring, its scolding, and its curiosity distinguish it from its larger cousins, the fox and the gray squirrels. Chipmunks sustain themselves on vegetables, seeds, berries, nuts, and grains with occasional tidbits of insects, young mice, and small bird eggs. Moles are often unjustly ac- cused of damage they don't do. This tiny creature burrows dozens of tunnels near the soil's surface, leaving a network of slightly mounded soil in their wake. It is true that the grass roots die out above the burrows, because the moisture supply is interfered with. Because of this, we often take it for granted that moles are feeding on the roots. But that is a false assumption, for the mole takes nothing in the way of plant food and its activities are concen- trated on the hunt for worms, in- sects, and even mice, which are Mike Blue (standing), host for the Freewheeler Driving Group's monthly get-together, joined by Ken Cook and Jacob Blue, prepares to lead the tour of the Shenandoah Junction area. (Photo by Diane Steece) Dr. Dale Keyser, retired Jefferson County veterinarian, trots out at the beginning of the Freewheeler Driving Group's monthly picnic drive, hosted by the Mike Blue family of Shenandoah Junction. (Photo by Diane Steece) nectar. A longtime favorite of the tiny needle-nosed hummer is the petunia. Autumn sage, anise- scented sage, and bee balm are other colorful additions. And while we are on the subject of natural foods for birds, I should mention other herbs. Some attract our feathered friends because of the above-mentioned nectar. The leaves of mints have glands that produce pungent oils which birds enjoy. Wild bergamot and lemon mint should be added to the herb garden, as well as sweet marjo- ram, hyssop, anise hyssop, pine- apple sage, lavender, foxglove, aloe (flowers), rosemary, purple cone flowers, and a variety of other herbs. Birds will be drawn to your offerings and you can enjoy the scented breeze while observ- ing or listening to your avian neighbors. A Glimpse into History It was far from "full steam ahead" for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company following the July 4, 1828 groundbreaking in the Georgetown area. The com- pany encountered problems from the very beginning of the con- struction of the waterway. "Cheap" labor was scarce, so two shiploads of indentured workers were brought from England. An unpleasant sea journey and the conditions in which they worked motivated many to run away. When the company did capture one of the elusive escapees, it found that the Maryland courts sympathized with the "exploited" immigrants. destructive to plant roots and bulbs as well as tree trunks. It is a powerful destroyer of beetle lar- vae, and holds no animosity to- ward birds, toads, and other natu- ral insect pest controls. For the Birds For all of you butterfly fanciers out there, the Potomac Valley Au- dubon Society is offering a butter- fly safari with noted collector and guide, Bill Hartgroves. The group will be searching for the flying beauties in three places on Satur- day, July 29, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The safari begins at the but- terfly garden at Shepherdstown Elementary School, continues at the National Conservation Train- ing Center (U.S. Fish and Wildlife on Shepherd Grade) and con- cludes at Bill's home outside Charles Town, where his garden of caterpillars and butterflies will be open for inspection. Incidentally, lunch at the NCTC may be either a brown bag brought by safari-explorers or one purchased in the NCTC cafeteria - food there is usually very tasty. The public is invited to meet Bill and other PVAS members at the Shepherdstown Food Lion at 10:30 a.m sharp. For information call 725-6423. Want to attract hummingbirds to your homestead? Following are ten plants noted for their hardi- ness, nectar production, and ulti- mately, a host of interested hum- mingbirds. The tough and cold-hardy coral honeysuckle is trouble-free and full of nectar. Usually rooted from previous year plants, the shrimp plant may be grown in a handing basket. The cardinal climber, a member of the morning glory family, has bright red blossoms filled with nectar. The cardinal flower is cold-hardy, but virtually nectarless, attract- ing the hummers with red blos- soms and the tiny insects which attack the blossoms. The Texas sage is a must, with its dripping Y of effer en -.-- . ; [bloe ate (USPS 510-960) ESTABLISHED 1844 Published Weekly on Thursday by The Jefferson Publishing Company, Inc. 210 North George Street. Charles Town, West Virginia Telephone: (304) 725-2046 Periodicals paid at Charles Town and additional mailing offices Mail Address: EO. Box 966 Charles Town, W. Va. 25414 Periodicals Postage Paid (including tax) (including tax) (no tax required) Annual Subscription Price To Jefferson County addresses $21.00 To all other West ruginia addresses $23.00 To all other USA addresses $24.00 EDITOR & PUBLISHER Edward "Pat" Dockeney POSTMASTER: Please send address change to The Spirit of Jefferson-Farmer's Advocate, P.O. Box 966, Charles Town. WV 25414. Shepherd's Town and its neigh- boring communities were deeply involved in the development of the canal. At some point during the 1830s, the Shepherd's Town Com- mon Council evidently pledged monies to the construction project, for we read in the record of the council's April 8, 1839 meeting, that "it was resolved that the Mayor, Mr. (W.L.) Webb, be ap- pointed for the purpose of investi- gating the true and correct amount of debt due Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company by this Corporation at this time, and he to report, if prepared, by our next meeting." The mayor's presenta- tion was postponed until the June 7 meeting when "taxes were levied and $404.39 was ordered paid over to the Canal Company." At that same meeting, the record here shows a statement of what the town "contributed" to the building of the C & O Canal, as fol- lows: November 27, 1834, amount given was $500. Payments on same were made in 1834, 1835, 1837, 1838, and 1839. The record also indicates that an excess sum of $452.83 was paid on this ac- count." Shepherd's Town completed its payments in 1848, for in the Coun- cil minutes we read that "on mo- tion ordered that the account of Webb and Markle embracing a balance of debt amounting to $280.39 due by this Corporation to the C & O Canal Company for the purchase of sundry shares of stock " Clifford S. Musser writes in his Two Hundred Years' History of that "The town authorities evidently were solidly behind the construction of this ca- nal on Maryland soil opposite Shepherds Town, as this, together with orders heretofore entered, would indicate. But then it was a new means of navi tide-water to during the passing prime method of for Shepherdstown until more and Ohio along some years later." Shepherd's Town's river neighbor, John had built his impos' Ferry Hill, atop a Potomac River eral enterprises from He took over operation ferry in 1816 and laterC an unsuccessful river lock at She would take business the ferry. Perhaps correct, for the ferry by a covered bridge in The Shepherds Lock, a popular hikers and boaters built of gray in West Virginia. It three locks that were draw traffic from the ginia side of the river,: turns out, was the only! three to do much The cement used the canal locks was Boteler's Mill, near Ford, or Boteler's mile downstream from; stown. The line of river-users are actually the dam that provided millrace for the cement known as Potomac sive timbers river bottom indicate was quite a mechanic structed this crib yond his lifetime. Or knew the river's into periodic rages and! erything within its large areas beyond. Continued next Musical Adaptation of at Opera ! ! will be presented in a musical ad- Ayres designing the aptation great for the whole family Defibuagh designini and authorized by Tolkien himself. Claire Ayre Because of the majority of male roles in the show and the number of females who auditioned, many females will play traditionally male parts. Cast as the hapless Huntley as Whitacre as ager, and Kristen props coordinator. are Karen title character, the hobbit-turned- Ruth Raubertas, burglar Bilbo, is Rebecca Walker- John Bloomquist is Keegan. Bilbo's nephew is played ~ sor, with Richard by Devan Whitacre and his sister set foreman. by Nicole Wheeler. The thirteen mighty dwarves are led for the most part by Evan Howlett as Thorin. Other dwarves are: Kaylee Hathaway as Dwalin, Meg Allen as Balin, Michael Palencar as Kili and Matthew Palencar as Fili, Beth Caste as Dori and Beth Lee as Nori, Beth Ferguson as Ori, Caitlyn Pratt as Oin and Joseph Huntley as Gloin, Clara Raubertas as Bifur, Erin Bloodsworth as Bofur, and Amanda Grove as Bombur. Playing William, Bert, and Tom (the trolls) are Aaron Huntley, Carly Houghton, and Scott McKinney. Vanessa Walters, Luke Lukens, Ashleigh Carstens, and Keri Lewis play the spiders Arachne, Arachnius, Widow, and Recluse. Kevin Roberts is the Elven King and the elves are Giles Howlett, Scott Chapman, Nolan Ayres, Troy Zangara, and Jesse Pratt. As gob- lins, the cast includes Adin Ray, Brian Andersen and Chris Peterson. Danielle Beaulieu plays a servant and Tara Roberts is Mrs. Sackville-Baggins. The mysterious signed by Debra props collected by Nikki St. Germain is signer, with assistance Downs. Performances 28 and 29 at 8, and will be presented on 29th and Sunday on the OOH main are $10 for adults dents. Tickets can be advance in person located at in Charles Town Monday through ing the Old Opera 725-4420 or toll-free SHOW. The theatre cated at Tomorrow is tant thing in life. us at midnight perfect when it we've learned yesterday. Saturday, July 22, 2000 9:30 a.m 10:00 a.m. -Continental Breakfast 10:00 a.m. - Noon -Seminar Ptace: Bavarian Inn Shepherdstown, WV Route 480 at the Potomac River Free Continental Breakfast will be served: Free Door Prize Raffle! TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED: Hinl le, The 10 deadly mistakes retirees make with their money. How to protect your assets from health care catastrophes/ How to reduce you taxes safely. How to avoid paying taxes on your Social Security. The pros and cons of a "Living Trust" "FREE REPORT" The ten secrets your banker won't tell you about// New ways Seniors can earn double digit returns on their savings and investments without the ups and downs of the market/ AND MUCH MORE////// Seating is limited, therefore pre-registration only Please call 1-301-729-5514 or 1-800-843-0458 for FINANCIAL SERVICES P.O. Box 3388 La Vale, Maryland 21504-3388 Thirteen dwarves, a fire- breathing dragon, elves, trolls, goblins, and a bumbling hobbit will come to life on the Old Opera House stage at the end of this month. The magical world of J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Hobbit Gollum is played by mas, and Gandalf thl acted by Nic Peterson. the dragon Smaug is Will Heyser. Many youth are behind the scenes,