Join Kim Strader, ANFT Certified Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, for a gentle walk (no more than a mile or two) where we will wander and sit. Through a series of invitations and prompts, we will reconnect or deepen our connection with the natural world in a way that supports overall health and wellness. Nature and Forest Therapy walks are inspired by Shinrin-Yoku, a term coined in Japan in the 1980s, where it is a prominent feature of preventative medicine and healing.
Registration is required and the cost is $50 per person (parking included). This walk will take place rain or shine but will be canceled in the event of dangerous weather conditions. To register for this program, click here.
All adults (12+ years old) are welcome. No prior outdoor experience or naturalist training is required. Wear shoes or boots with good tread, bring water to drink and a camp stool or sitting pad.
POLICE: 7 Day FRPD Arrest Report 12/4/2023
Front Royal Police Department’s arrest report for the past 7 days:
Warren Coalition’s “We See You, Warren County” December 2023 Theme: You Belong Here
Whether you are a lifelong resident of Warren County, or have been here only a few days, Warren Coalitions’ We See You, Warren County theme for December reminds you that “You belong here.”
The purpose of the We See You, Warren County campaign is to make every person feel welcome and provide a sense of belonging for everyone in Warren County. Cultivating this type of atmosphere helps our youth develop a sense of community and safety, which is a protective factor against drug use and alcohol misuse. Greeting others is the foundation of this program, but the monthly themes provide messages that our youth—and indeed, every person—need to hear as well.
“We are all imperfectly perfect,” is a favorite saying of Warren Coalition Executive Director Christa Shifflett. Each and every person in our community has value. Each and every person matters. Though no one is perfect, our imperfections and differences help make us strong, and together, we are the community of Warren County. Embracing our differences and building a community where every person feels a sense of connection, safety, and belonging makes a difference to everyone. It improves mental health overall.
Challenges for this month’s theme include: Learn something about another point of view. Stand with someone who is being treated unfairly. Write “You belong here” on your vehicle. Notice people who are alone at holiday functions and make an effort to speak to them.
There are a total of seven challenges for this month, which can be accessed via the website.
More about the We See You, Warren County Campaign
We See You, Warren County partners have agreed to help create a more connected community by greeting others and taking on at least one challenge each month. A connected community creates a sense of safety and belonging, which is a critical part of preventing drug and alcohol misuse. Members are encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the hashtag #WeCUWC. Organizations and individuals that register receive a window cling to show they are participating. The program now has more than 250 registered partners, and over 1100 Facebook members. Sign-ups are ongoing. Go to weseeyou.warrencoalition.org to learn more, or to officially sign up yourself, your family, or your business or organization. You can also join the Facebook group.
In addition, the Warren Coalition features individuals of the Warren County community on the “We See You” website, and on the Warren Coalition social media accounts. People do not have to be registered members to be featured. Anyone who lives, works, or plays in Warren County can submit a profile on the We See You website (weseeyou.warrencoalition.org)
“Christmas on Main” Festivities Usher in the Holiday Spirit for the Town of Front Royal
“Rhythm trumps all!” declared Annie Guttierrez, owner of the Jig N Jive Dance Studio. “How can you argue with the sound of bells?” she asked the audience gathering for the Town of Front Royal’s official launching of the Christmas season with “Christmas on Main Street” and the Christmas Parade on Saturday afternoon, December 2.
Students from Jig N Jive at 529 East Main Street shared their talent with a crowd of revelers enjoying “Christmas on Main,” a longtime, yearly tradition for Front Royal, featuring many venues, including food, other merchandise, and face painting. It culminates in a parade and caps off with the Christmas tree lighting at the Gazebo in the Village Commons Park area. So, it was a still unlighted tree standing sentinel over the scene, as the young people infected their onlookers with their Christmas cheer as they performed numbers in the style of Irish, swing, and ballroom dance.
Bringing the Christmas spirit to people who may be at a disadvantage this holiday, two charities were represented among the many booths that were situated in the parking lot adjacent to the Gazebo. Close to the Visitor Center, the bell of the Salvation Army could be heard tinkling in the crisp but not uncomfortably cold air. Being present at “Christmas on Main” is a tradition for the Salvation Army; they use it to make the season pleasant for those facing unique challenges that might make it hard for them to observe the holiday. Similarly, Catholic Charities, located at 613 North Royal Avenue, provides food to anyone in the community who needs it and anyone in the state of Virginia who needs it. They are open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and any Virginia resident who needs food can come to the office with an ID and a piece of mail confirming his or her address and get food at no cost. They are always looking for volunteers.
“Kids are going to be kids,” Officer Clingerman explained in relationship to his duties that day. While it is the job of his fellow officer Fogle and himself, as well as the other officers stationed at key points on Main and Chester, to make sure that everyone is safe and having a fun time, he is always concerned at events like these that children do not stray too far into the street, especially as candy is being thrown in the parade. Of course, there is always the possibility that a car will sneak in off a side street, so that eventuality must also be guarded against.
As the parade began around 4 p.m. and the floats moved past onlookers who stood or sat in folding chairs, they had brought for the event, this relatively new reporter was moved to take a side: this town rocks! As our next Sheriff Crystal Cline, and then the Town Council went by, there was a sense that whatever its imperfections may be, the community is still celebrating Christmas, as the nation does, and perhaps for a moment, the past can be forgotten, and the possibility of a bright future can be entertained. After the parade, as the mayor and Santa shared a hug at the Gazebo, followed by the lighting of the tree, hope for a fresh beginning did not seem entirely unrealistic.
Magical Radio Days Reimagined: Selah Theatre Project Brings a Holiday Classic to Life
Andrew J. Fenady’s ‘Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus’ Hits the Stage This December.
The charm of old-time radio, where imaginations ran wild and stories came to life in the minds of listeners, is being rekindled in Middletown, VA. This holiday season, Selah Theatre Project, in collaboration with Laurel Ridge Community College, is set to enchant audiences with its latest production, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” The play, written by the celebrated Andrew J. Fenady, is a visual and auditory feast, an adaptation of the beloved 1897 editorial from the New York Sun.
In an era dominated by screens, this production harks back to the golden age of radio, offering a unique theatrical experience. It revolves around a heartwarming exchange where young Virginia, in her quest for truth, writes to the New York Sun asking about the existence of Santa Claus. This inquiry leads Ed Mitchell, the editor, to assign the task to Frank Church, a reporter grappling with personal struggles. Church’s profound response, affirming Santa’s existence, has since woven itself into the fabric of Christmas traditions worldwide.
With nineteen actors, both budding and experienced, the Selah Theatre Project’s rendition promises a blend of nostalgia and innovation. Audiences will be swept away to an era where radio reigned supreme, meeting an array of vivid characters including Virginia, Frank Church, and Santa Claus himself. The cast, under the skillful direction of LaTasha Do’zia, breathes life into this classic tale, ensuring a visual and auditory treat.
Selah Theatre Project, known for its commitment to quality community theatre, finds this production especially close to its heart. The play not only celebrates the Christmas spirit and the innocence of childhood but also stands as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling. Supported by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, this production is more than a play; it’s a community event, fostering the arts and bringing people together in the spirit of the holidays.
As the holiday season approaches, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” offers a perfect opportunity for families and friends to gather and immerse themselves in a world of wonder and joy. Selah Theatre Project invites everyone to experience this enchanting production, which not only entertains but also supports the arts in the community. With performances scheduled from December 8-10 & 15-17 at the William H. McCoy Theatre, Laurel Ridge Community College, this is an event not to be missed. Tickets are available online, via phone, or at the door, promising a magical evening for all.
Tickets can be purchased at selahtheatreproject.org or call 540-684-5464 or at the door.
Warren County HS vs Luray HS – Boys Basketball, December 5, 2023
Join us on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, when the Warren County High School Boy’s Basketball team takes on Luray High School. JV starts at 6 p.m., followed by Varsity. The pre-game action starts at 5:45 p.m.
Catch all the action right here on the Royal Examiner.
The Loss of Innocence
There are certain days in our nation’s history that are simply more important than others. These days tend to be ones that have changed our nation for better or worse. These are turning point days and generation-defining dates.
For my generation, Gen X, that date is Sept. 11, 2001, as we were in high school or early 20s. It seems like everything in my memory is categorized as either pre or post 9/11. For my grandparents that day was Dec. 7, 1941; it was scarred into their memories and completely changed their lives forever. While my Baby Boomer parents have felt the effects of 9/11, the day from their youth that left a scar happened 60 years ago this month, for on that day the very popular President John Kennedy died, but even more importantly, so did our nation’s innocence.
On that tragic November day, Kennedy and his wife had been in Texas along with his V.P. Lyndon B. Johnson for a few days to kick off his southern campaign tour for reelection. Kennedy knew he had a fight in Texas as he had just recently proposed the Civil Rights Act. Kennedy had avoided getting too involved with Civil Rights earlier in his presidency because Southern Democrats had opposed it, and any support could break up the party. Yet after the 1963 March on Washington and the assassination of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, Kennedy knew it was time to take up the fight. His goal on this southern tour was to try to hold the party together while trying to get support for his bill. Yet while in Texas he spent most of his time talking about the economy and military preparedness, topics much more comfortable for his southern audience.
After speaking in Fort Worth, the presidential party flew to Dallas and rode in multiple convertibles on their way to The Trade Mart. As they drove through Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m., shots rang out as they passed the Texas School Book Depository. President Kennedy was hit.
Before Kennedy was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas police arrested Book Depository employee Lee Harvey Oswald. Our nation came to a halt as word spread over the airwaves.
After his death his wife would refer to Kennedy’s presidency as Camelot, capturing the feeling of most of the nation. His good looks and charisma added to his leadership and strength had captivated America. Even today he is still considered one of the most popular presidents ever. In fact, when I poll students, he usually makes the top ten. While the loss of such a popular president was tragic, what was even more tragic was America’s loss of innocence which opened the door to civic mistrust and a lack of faith in our country.
President Johnson, who was sworn in aboard Air Force One just two hours after Kennedy was killed, ordered an investigation into the assassinations of both Kennedy and Oswald. Oswald was shot and killed by Dallas night club owner Jack Ruby a week after being charged for the Kennedy assassination. The Warren Commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, included two senators, two representatives, a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the former U.S. High Commissioner for Germany. During the investigation the American public believed the government’s story of the lone shooter, but after the commission released its findings, that all changed. While the more than 800-page report initially calmed most people’s fears, it did not completely remove them. While most Americans believed Oswald was the shooter, it was becoming a common perception that he had not acted alone.
The big change began in 1966 with the release of three separate independent investigations. First was Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment that questioned the accuracy of the Warren Commission. Next was an investigation by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison who saw a conspiracy and coverup in the shooting (the Bases for Oliver Stone’s JFK). Finally, Life Magazine released the Zapruder film which was an amateur video which called into question if Oswald acted alone. Americans became so consumed with the new reports that 20 years later when Newsweek took a poll, 74% of Americans did not trust the Warren Commission.
Kennedy’s assassination was a game-changer in our nation’s history. For the first time the majority of our nation did not believe the government. Before this, for the most part, Americans believed the government was telling them the truth, or if not, it was for a good reason. Now America had lost its innocence. If the government had lied about this, what else were they lying about? Our nation entered one of its darkest hours as our own government became the bad guy. The assassination was just the beginning of a long dark road.
Shortly after, came Vietnam War protest in the streets and antigovernment sentiments. The Watergate scandal and the presidential resignation of Richard Nixon made Americans more suspicious and less confident of their government. Events like the Iran hostages made it seem like maybe we were losing the Cold War if we could not even get our hostages out of a far less powerful country like Iran.
Fortunately, the 1980s did relieve some of the stress and brought back some faith in America once more. The problem is we did not come all the way back. Since the 1960s and ‘70s patriotism and American faith have fluctuated. Personally, I do not believe we will ever be as confident in our government as we were pre-1963. That door is closed. As a historian, I wonder if maybe we should have never completely trusted the government; they have never been completely truthful. But as an American, I am disheartened, for I long for the days when we felt our government was always on our side and looking out for our best interests.
James Finck, Ph.D. is a professor of history at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. He may be reached at HistoricallySpeaking1776@gmail.com.