On Monday, September 14, a ship of dreams set sail on the most recent leg of its journey in memory of one human spirit that set an example for us all. That ship is affectionately known as the Glenn Ship <glennship.com> or as christened by its skipper Glenn Mikulak, the K’nector of the Seas.
With the assistance of some Front Royals finest encountered at Skyline Middle School, the K’nector of the Seas most recent port of call, the ship estimated to be assembled from 10,000-odd K’NEX pieces was moved in its massive glass case to the C&C Frozen Treats complex at 413/409 East Main Street, in Front Royal’s Historic Downtown Business District.
“Overseeing” the operation was Glenn’s mother, Glenda Mikulak Roberts, husband William “Billy” Roberts, and C&C proprietor William “Willie” Huck. We asked, first mom Glenda, and then Huck about the relocation to a downtown place of prominence. Ironically, or perhaps magically, the Glennship’s new port lies in the shadow of the Town Gazebo where the K’nector of the Seas laid anchor with several hundred mourners, including Class of 2010 Warren County High School classmates of Glenn’s at his October 24, 2010, Memorial Service.
“It was October 19 when Glenn sailed to his distant shore. And my daughter, Robin Mikulak Dodson, got together with Willy (Huck) at C&C Frozen Treats, and they had a plan to move it down here. So, we executed their plan today, and we’re going to hang up some information on Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne’s particularly, and remind people how somebody with a disability could really go way and beyond and make a creation like the one with over 10,000 pieces here.”
As some “docking” logistics were being ironed out and Glenn’s K’nector of the Seas already began drawing attention from passing East Main Street foot traffic and perhaps a passing motorists horn honk, we asked Huck about the genesis of the Glennship relocation born of conversations with a C&C Frozen Treats customer, Glenn’s sister Robin.
“She asked me if we could do it, and I was like ‘most certainly’ and (wife) Nina was like, ‘YES, we’d LOVE to!’. There are love and magic in the ice cream shop, connectors, connections all over. And K’nector, connections – it all just fits. It truly is about the connections and it’s an honor to host this in the ice cream shop so the magic can continue to live. This truly represents our community coming together and that’s the most important thing,” Huck observed of Glenn’s K’nector of the Seas sailing C&C Frozen Treats way.
“To have this young man’s legacy live on in our building is a little overwhelming because I never met the man, didn’t know him, wasn’t in Front Royal at the time. But I can see his passion for life. And the ship that he’s done – I’m about love and magic, and this is his love shining to the world to see the magic that he’s created,” Huck said.
“The research behind what he has done with this ship says that it’s passion. And that’s what he lived with. Even to his end, he lived with passion and wanted to touch people. And we’re about memories and about celebrating – and the adventure, there’s always an adventure. And … we can all load on and take an adventure anywhere we want to go, anywhere we want to be.
“Glenn’s adventure continues, and he’s going to continue to touch people even in his passing. And to be a part of his legacy is an honor here at C&C Frozen Treats,” Huck concluded, locking in on the importance of the example Glenn Mikulak gave us all during his 18 years with us. As a footnote to this story, Glenda reminded us that Glenn’s First Mate, his dad Robert Mikulak, aka “The Ratchetman”, rejoined his son’s crew on that far, shining shore in November 2012.
“Interesting in the 10 years since Glenn has been sailing away, they have come up with some really good treatments, and they’ve got some good trials going for Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. So, we’re hoping that something really good will evolve from 2020, maybe. In my lifetime I want to see a successful treatment/cure for Duchenne’s,” Glenda said of the deteriorative muscle disease that took aspiring engineer Glenn’s life.
In addition to its stops at various Warren County Public Schools, Glenda noted a year’s port of call in Winchester’s Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum; and she asked for a shoutout for the Glennship’s massive protective glass enclosure case, made courtesy of Mark Dick’s MD Construction. And not one to miss perhaps cosmic irony, Glenda pointed to the company owner’s connecting initials to the disease Glenn battled throughout his life.
“At his funeral, we carried it down the street here, 350 people went to the Gazebo where we had a little ceremony. And as we were driving up in the truck today, it reminded me of the emotions as we were bringing it down, and we came in that same direction,” Glenda said, also recalling a certain camera-toting reporter jogging to the front of the procession as the K’nector sailed into this downtown neighborhood the first time.
In 2010 this reporter covered Glenn’s ship being brought into his high school for display under his watchful eye his senior year; and just months later of his passing in a story titled “An Improbable Tale of the High Seas: A captain among men, Glenn Mikulak sails toward a brighter shore”. In reporting on his creation’s latest port of call at C&C Frozen Treats, I will include passages from that latter story, including references to the earlier story:*
Ten years gone
For most people, me included, memories of a nice trip, whether it be on a ship or by another mode of transportation, are generally recorded in our sometimes flawed memory banks or on photographs soon to be curled and yellowing in some forgotten scrapbook.
But for Warren County High senior Glenn Mikulak, the memories of a 2006 trip with his late grandmother, Linda Hogoboom, on a Caribbean cruise were translated into an astonishing reconstruction of a cruise ship. On April 28th Glenn’s ship christened “K’nector of the Seas … was brought for display in the Warren County High lobby. The reactions of classmates, teachers and even Principal Ernestine Jordan mirrored my own.
“Glenn, that’s incredible – did you draw a picture of it first?” “No, I just started building it,” Glenn replied.
“I couldn’t do that if I had my whole life to finish it,” one student exclaimed.
The fact Glenn oversaw the event from his wheelchair underscores perhaps the added awe with which his classmates viewed his achievement. Glenn suffers from a form of Muscular Dystrophy known as Duchenne, an irreversible deterioration of the muscular system. As a consequence of his condition, Glenn has a reduced life expectancy and must face that fact each day …
Glenn’s outlook is an inspiration to all. We asked him how he does it.
“Designing and building is my passion,” he told us. “I try to use all that I have and make the best of it. I anticipate a cure in the future and while it’s getting harder and harder for me every day physically, I am doing all I can. It’s discouraging at times, but I am still creating and building. I hope I’m an inspiration to other people. This ship will be my legacy.”
But Glenn was wrong, at least in part. It isn’t just his ship that is his legacy. Rather, as repeatedly commented on by emotional friends, family, and classmates at his Oct. 24 (2010) Memorial Service, it is Glenn’s spirit that is his most enduring legacy … Glenn’s legacy to all of us is the example of achievement under duress; of hope where hopelessness might seem the answer; of life lived to the fullest under the constant shadow of death.
Glenn was dealt a lousy hand physically – but spiritually he carried a full deck.
His hand played out on his mother’s birthday, Oct. 19, 2010. Captain, permission to leave the bridge of the “Royal K’nibbean Line’s K’nector of the Seas” is granted. Please take your next duty station on the bridge of another ship of dreams, a ship without unwanted anchors, a ship sailing into a port of call on a distant and shining shore.
Back to the present
As the 10th anniversary of his passing approaches, Glenn’s ship has sailed a familiar route into a new port of call his mother called, if not a shining shore, a “shining store” in downtown Front Royal. And in coming months for those of us willing to really look into that perhaps magical C&C Frozen Treats complex storefront window, we will be reminded, not only of who Glenn Mikulak was but of who we can be with a little more focus, a little more effort and a little less complaining about the hand we are dealt in this world.
Check-in with Glenn’s Ship on Facebook where you can share thoughts, photos, and a dream or two can mingle with others touching those afloat in the wake of a visit to the K’nector of the Seas.
Footnote*: Excerpts from stories first published in 2010 in the Warren County Report.
Facts about Glenn’s ship:
- Length: 8 feet 6 inches
- Width: 1 foot
- Height: 2-feet-5-inches
- Build Time: 6 weeks in 2006
- Upgrading Time: 3 weeks in 2010
- Estimated K’NEX pieces used: 10,000
VDOT: Warren County Traffic alert for October 18 – 22, 2021
The following is a list of highway work that may affect traffic in Warren County during the coming weeks. Scheduled work is subject to change due to inclement weather and material supplies. Motorists are advised to watch for slow-moving tractors during mowing operations. When traveling through a work zone, be alert to periodic changes in traffic patterns and lane closures.
*NEW* or *UPDATE* indicates a new or revised entry since last week’s report.
Vegetation management may take place district-wide on various routes. Motorists are reminded to use extreme caution when traveling through work zones.
Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511. Traffic alerts and traveler information also are available at www.511Virginia.org.
The VDOT Customer Service Center can assist with reporting road hazards, asking transportation questions, or getting information related to Virginia’s roads. Call 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623) or use its mobile-friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Front Royal Main Street eatery changes ‘Yappy Hour’ day from Friday to Monday, updates menu
One of Main Street’s popular restaurants recently underwent a name and menu change and also switched the day it devotes to “Yappy Hour.”
During the past couple of years, ViNoVa owner Rachel Failmezger and executive chef Chris Kenworthy featured a tapas menu similar to a Spanish favorite, now moving along to an Italian-Mediterranean style of cooking and changing its long-running “Yappy Hour” from Friday evenings to Mondays (4-6 p.m.). Restaurant hours of operation also have been amended, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (closed Tuesday) and noon to midnight Friday and Saturday.
The restaurant’s new name retains its original “ViNoVa” with the added words “Mediterranean Bistro.” The property seats about 50 and each Friday, off and on for the past decade, has helped donate thousands of dollars to the Humane Society of Warren County’s Julia Wagner Animal Shelter.
Rachel, noting differing (earlier) eating habits since the pandemic struck, suggests closing earlier than 2 a.m. better meets the needs of an expanded staff and earlier diners, as would the changed menu.
“Overall, we will be more flexible, more accommodating,” Rachel opined in a recent interview as nearby regular customers appeared to be in agreement with the menu changes. “Whatever restaurants did two years ago, they cannot do today. It’s a new age for us,” she said, mentioning that the entrees will be larger, and there will be an emphasis on lunches, particularly the quick “take out” type featuring the “Viva Bowl” in which you choose your own ingredients for an affordable $9 “to go!”
Something to remember by early birds at the Bistro: beer and wine prices are staggered starting at $3 per glass for a beer at 3 p.m., rising to $4 at 4 p.m. and then on to $5 at 5 p.m. for the rest of the evening.
Linden man arrested, charged for child abuse
On October 12, 2021, at approximately 8:20pm, Warren County Sheriff’s Office received a call about an 8-year-old juvenile walking on Freezeland Road, Linden, Virginia. The caller stated the juvenile advised them they were running away from home due to being abused by their father. Deputies responded to 78 Lookout Point Way, Linden, Virginia, where the juvenile resides to perform a welfare check. Upon arrival deputies spoke with Matthew Steven Lewis, the juvenile’s father, and made contact with the juvenile. During the welfare check, deputies observed that the juvenile had sustained multiple injuries. Deputies had Warren County Fire & Rescue respond to the residence, and the juvenile was transported to Warren Memorial Hospital for further treatment.
After the initial investigation Matthew Steven Lewis was placed under arrest for Domestic Assault (M), Child Endangerment (F), and Strangulation (F). Matthew Steven Lewis was held without bond at RSW Regional Jail, preliminary hearing is set for November 4, 2021.
Warren County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Front Royal Police Department, Virginia State Police, and Warren County Department of Social Services for their assistance.
Social Security announces 5.9 percent benefit increase for 2022
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022, the Social Security Administration announced today.
The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2022. Increased payments to approximately 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 30, 2021. (Note: some people receive both Social Security and SSI benefits). The Social Security Act ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some other adjustments that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $147,000 from $142,800.
Social Security and SSI beneficiaries are normally notified by mail starting in early December about their new benefit amount. Most people who receive Social Security payments will be able to view their COLA notice online through their personal my Social Security account. People may create or access their my Social Security account online at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.
Information about Medicare changes for 2022, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov. For Social Security beneficiaries receiving Medicare, Social Security will not be able to compute their new benefit amount until after the Medicare premium amounts for 2022 are announced. Final 2022 benefit amounts will be communicated to beneficiaries in December through the mailed COLA notice and my Social Security’s Message Center.
The Social Security Act provides for how the COLA is calculated. To read more, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.
Wildlife biologist to explain changes to deer hunting season during October supervisors meeting
BERRYVILLE, VA — A wildlife biologist from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has been invited by the Clarke County Board of Supervisors to talk about the significant changes to the 2021-22 deer hunting season in Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren counties. Fred Frenzel makes his public presentation during the Supervisors’ evening session at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 19. The session includes public hearings on proposed code changes. The presentation and public hearings are in the second-floor meeting room of the Berryville-Clarke County Government Center at 101 Chalmers Ct.
DWR made changes to this year’s deer season because of chronic wasting disease, Frenzel said. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that can pass between deer through saliva, feces, and urine as well as through water or contaminated soil. CWD was first diagnosed in deer in West Virginia in 2005. It was first detected in Virginia in 2009, and has been reported in Fauquier, Frederick, Clarke, Culpeper, Loudoun, Madison, Montgomery, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren counties.
“As a result of chronic wasting disease, DWR made drastic changes to deer season in four of the counties I cover,” said Frenzel, the DWR district wildlife biologist for Clarke, Frederick, Shenandoah, Warren, and Page counties. He said the changes were made to mitigate the spread of CWD, noting only minor changes were made to deer season in Page.
Supervisor Doug Lawrence, who represents the Russell District, requested the Supervisors host a public presentation to address questions about the current deer season. “When they changed deer season, it caught a lot of people by surprise,” Lawrence said. “I thought our hunters should understand the rationale behind the changes.”
Clarke Supervisors have also asked Frenzel to discuss coyote bounties, game bird preserves, and Clarke’s prohibition of hunting within 300 feet of public roads.
Read about Virginia’s 2021-22 deer season at dwr.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/deer/.
For more information about the Oct. 19 public presentation on deer hunting and/or the public hearings, contact County Administration at (540) 955-5100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
RMA Interact students help clean up our community
Our local RMA Interact Club had a great experience cleaning up Kendrick Lane last week. 17 RMA middle school students participated with our very own Nancie Williams, Arnold Williams, and two faculty members. One of the most interesting items they collected was a old piece of metal, featured in a picture below!
Do you have a student in one of our local schools and want to learn more about Interact? Contact us: www.warrencountyrotary.org