“Spy Pilot” is the engaging name of a new book.
“Bridge of Spies” was a recent movie at Winchester’s Alamo Theater.
Francis Gary Powers is the literal hero of both.
Francis Gary Powers, Jr. of Richmond is the son and author.
Carol and Malcolm Barr, Jr. of Front Royal and Gloucester. Va., are cousins of the two Powers. Both Barr Jr. and Francis Gary Powers coincidentally had similar, interrupted, military careers. Both served in the U.S. Air Force. Both were intelligence specialists. Barr served in Iraq; Powers flew U-2s.
On June 9, Powers Jr., will meet his kinfolk, one of them for the first time, at the Cold War Museum, Vint Hill, near Gainesville, where he will discuss his book, his hero dad, and the museum he founded.
And we all know, don’t we, that Francis Gary Powers piloted a U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union in 1960, was shot down, imprisoned, released in a spy swap in 1962, thus ending one of the biggest international incidents of any war in recent history.
Except that it didn’t end there. A cloud of suspicion lingered over Powers until his untimely death in a helicopter crash in California in 1977. “Powers should have done this (taken a poison pill), Powers should have done that (blown up the U-2),” some were saying.
It has taken Gary Powers, the son, more than 40 years to complete, along with co-author Keith Dunnavant, the definitive account of the famous Cold War incident proving that his father acted honorably through a trying ordeal while serving his country. In other words, he was doing, for the CIA, as he was told.
The book, “Spy Pilot,” is billed as a biography. To me, it reads like a novel. It is riveting throughout, and is impeccably researched. Gary Powers, exhibiting extraordinary patience in dealing with bureaucrats, mainly in the United States, and including a director of our Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but also in the Soviet Union, to set the record straight.
His dad, it can truthfully be said, is and was a hero from the get-go, and his son now has thousands of documents to prove it.
In an unlikely Foreword, unlikely to me, anyway, Sergei Khrushchev, son of the president of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, who effectively jailed Francis Gary Powers for espionage, said of Gary the Younger: “I have watched Francis Gary Powers Jr. work tirelessly to honor and preserve the memory of his father, an ordinary American who was caught up in extraordinary circumstances. I, too, have made great efforts to honor and preserve the legacy of my father…”
Khrushchev was credited with helping avert nuclear disaster while working with American presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, moving the two super powers toward “peaceful coexistence.”
Sergei and Gary became friends.
While at the CIA in Langley in 2009, Carol paused at the Francis Gary Powers exhibit in the main building’s small museum, saluting its heroes of the past. “My cousin,” she murmured to our retiring host. “I never knew him growing up but knew who he was later. I was 20 and worked in Washington when he crashed and also when he came home.” The cousins lived a few miles from each other in Southwest Virginia, she in Coeburn, he in Pound.
Hollywood actor Robert Conrad, a Powers family friend, said of the U-2 pilot: “Francis Gary Powers was a patriot who got a raw deal, and his son has devoted his life to revealing the truth.”
Gary will discuss his book in detail on Sunday afternoon, June 9 from 2-4 p.m. If you don’t make the relatively short trip to Vint Hill, you may buy “Spy Pilot” by going to Prometheusbooks.com
The Museum is located at Vint Hill, a former top secret intelligence base. The address is 7172 Lineweaver Rd., Vint Hill, 20187, next to Vint Hill Craft Winery and across the parking lot from Old Bust Head Brewery.
Biography on Francis Gary Powers, Jr.
Born June 5, 1965, in Burbank, California, he is the son of Francis Gary and Claudia “Sue” Powers. Gary holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from California State University, Los Angeles, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration / Certification in Non-profit Management from George Mason University (GMU), Fairfax, Virginia. He graduated in 2019 with his Master’s Degree in U.S. History from Adams State University, Alamosa, CO.
Gary is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Cold War Museum, a 501(c) (3) charity located at Vint Hill, VA 45 minutes west of Washington, DC. He founded the museum in 1996 to honor Cold War veterans, preserve Cold War history, and educate future generations about this time period. As Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee for the Cold War Theme Study he works with the National Park Service and leading Cold War experts to identify historic Cold War sites for commemorating, interpreting, and preservation. Recently, he consulted for a Steven Spielberg Cold War thriller, Bridge of Spies, about James Donovan who brokered the 1962 spy exchange between KGB spy Rudolph Abel and CIA U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, Sr.
Gary is the author of Letters from a Soviet Prison (2017) and Spy Pilot (2019) which both help to dispel the misinformation surrounding the U-2 Incident. He is a Board Member of the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum near Omaha, NE and an Honorary Board Member of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. Because of his efforts to honor Cold War veterans the Junior Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” for 2002. Gary lectures internationally and appears regularly on C-SPAN, the History, Discovery, and A&E Channels. He is married and has one son.
The American Legion Community Band Concert at the Gazebo. Enjoy!
The American Legion Community Band performed its first concert in June 2019, on Friday, June 14th. The second will be on Friday, June 28 at the gazebo on Main Street in Front Royal, Va. The concert will begin at 7:00 pm and is free of charge.
The Royal Examiner’s camera was there. Enjoy the concert.
The Gazebo Gathering Summer Concert Series 2019 is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Arts Council & Gallery of Front Royal, VA.
The American Legion Community Band, located in Front Royal, Va, was formed in 1986 and has been playing concerts in the area ever since. The conductors and band members are all volunteer musicians from the local area and new members are always welcome.
The American Legion Community Band performs at a variety of concerts and community festivals throughout the year. All performances are free and open to the public. Their repertoire is both versatile and traditional with works ranging from classical to popular, marches and operatic overtures to modern works for band.
The band is sponsored by the Giles B. Cook Post #53 of the American Legion.
Meet local author Bryon Johnson: From Dope Fiend 2 Son of a King
Local author Bryon Johnson dropped by our studios to talk to publisher Mike McCool about his book From Dope Fiend 2 Son of a King. He will be at the Royal Oak Bookshop located at 207 S Royal Ave in Front Royal on July 6th from 1 – pm.
About the book:
In this book, you will travel the road to redemption in the experience of a young male who was destined to fail from birth. You will witness trauma that turns into triumph in the face adversity when God decides to introduce himself to a person struggling in addiction with limited education, resources and hope. This book will inspire all who dare to read it to know that all things are possible to them that believe. Upon completion of this book, every soul will find their inner giant, strength and courage to do the impossible by the power of the Holy Spirit who resides in every believer.
Front Royal Cardinals 2019 Baseball Camp starts June 17th
The Front Royal Cardinals 2019 Baseball Camp starts June 17th at Bing Crosby Stadium in Front Royal.
The Cardinals Baseball Camp is designed to help the up-and-coming baseball player learn the skills they see used a Bing Crosby Stadium everyday by the Front Royal Cardinal Baseball players.
The Camp will be separated by age groups. Generally each participant will play in their own age level groups, but can be dependent on individual skills and abilities.
Leading the camp this year will be the Front Royal coaching staff and players. They have designed the camp to help the campers learn how to master proper fundamentals in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Top-level Collegiate baseball players from around the country will be instructing your child on how to play like players do in college.
Assistant Coach, Mark Vaughn stopped by the Royal Examiner’s studio and discussed with our publisher Mike McCool some information about the camp this year.
Pitchers & Catchers
Both Camps: $140.00
Front Royal Cardinal Baseball
382 Morgan’s Ridge Road Front Royal, VA 22630
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of June 13th
Are you looking for the full movie-going experience without having to wait in the long lines that often accompany that experience? Then look no further because Royal Cinemas movie theatre is the answer. Get the whole gang together and enjoy a movie! Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, June 13:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $9
- Child (under 12): $6
- Military: $7
- Student (college): $7
- Senior: $7
- Matinees, All Seating: $6
Other movies coming soon to Royal Cinemas:
- “Toy Story 4”
- “Spider-Man: Far from Home”
Winner of Miller Williams Poetry Prize to read at the Winchester Book Gallery
Winchester, VA — Veteran slam poet Jose Padua, a 10-year resident of Front Royal, Virginia, will read from A Short History of Monsters at the Winchester Book Galley on Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 6:00 PM. Padua’s first full-length book, A Short History of Monsters, was chosen by former poet laureate Billy Collins for the Miller Williams Poetry Prize.
In his introduction to the book, published by the University of Arkansas Press, Billy Collins says, “We are the happy riders on the stream of Padua’s consciousness… a smart, sympathetic mind at work.”
Booklist comments, “Padua is a very wry poet who, in his first book, presents stinging and riotous poems, as in the two-stanza ‘Barbie’: ‘I am Barbie / I live in your dollhouse / You change my clothes every day. / If I could get out / of here I would / kill you all.’ These are works that sharpen the mind on the micro, as opposed to the macro of our human experience.”
A Short History of Monsters presents the sins and obsessions of a poet nimble in beat and slam traditions. Padua wrestles with an American dream interrupted by failure, excess, and other nightmares. Often brash and unruly, these poems range from recollections of lost, drunken days to unadorned manifestations of hope. Throughout, the speaker redefines his relationship to pop culture, praising it, skewering it, and mourning it by turns.
The poems that make up A Short History of Monsters tend toward both dark humor and epiphany, diving deeply into their own despair and rising up again with existential absurdity. This is a poetry that gets down into the grit and grime of the real world, digging out a space to experience being alive as miraculous in and of itself.
Jose’s poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in Bomb, Salon, The Weeklings, Another Chicago Magazine, and many other publications. He’s written features and reviews for the NYPress, the Washington City Paper, the Brooklyn Rail, and the New York Times and read his work at the Lollapalooza Festival, CBGBs, the Knitting Factory, the Public Theater, the Split This Rock poetry festival, the Nuyorican Poets’ Café, and many other venues.
The reading is free and will be followed by a reception.
Samuels Public Library Adult Programming events for June 15-30
It’s Showtime at Your Library!
Summer reading isn’t just for kids. Check out Samuels Public Library’s 2019 Adult Summer Reading Program from June 7th to August 10th. This summer we’re taking show and tell to a new level. Cool programs, movies, and prizes for grownups. There’s something for everyone this summer at Samuels Library! Register for the summer reading program, for an opportunity to win awesome prizes, online at www.samuelslibrary.net or at the adult reference desk. Record each book you read online or ask reference staff to record titles for you. You will receive one entry in our weekly drawing for every print, eBook and audiobook you record. You can also download free ebooks, magazines, videos and music on our website so don’t miss out!
It’s Showtime: Phone Photography
Join us at the library to learn how to use your smartphone to take awesome pictures Saturday, June 15th at 10:30 A.M. Class will meet in the cafe area of the library. Bring your phone and be prepared to try all the neat tricks and tips Sharon shares with you.
SPL – Books & Beyond
Samuels Public library invites you to come out and join us for our Books and Beyond Book Club on Wednesday, June 19th at 10 A.M. where My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman will be discussed. This group meets the third Wednesday of the month.
Genealogy Nuts: Shake Your Family Tree
Samuels Public Library invites you to a workshop for beginning to advanced genealogists. Discover your family roots with a team of genealogists who together have researched more than 50,000 names. Classes are held 1st & 3rd Thursday nights at 6:00 P.M. (June 6th & 20th)
Third Thursday Movie: Bohemian Rapsody
Join us at the library Thursday, June 20th at 5:30 P.M. for a showing of Bohemian Rapsody, the 2018 biographical film about Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the British rock band Queen starring Rami Malek. Winner of four Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture. This is an adult movie. Children under 13 will not be permitted. Youth under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Showtime at your Library: Plant Based Cooking
Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and join us Saturday, June 22nd at 2:00 P.M. for a fun cooking workshop designed to make even the pickiest eaters love healthy, plant-based cooking. Patrons will be able to taste delicious deserts and see if they can guess what plant-based materials are hidden inside. Try your hand at making avocado pudding! Recipes and practical advice on adding healthy and inexpensive foods to your diet will also be provided. Patrons can register online or at the adult reference desk.
Front Royal Sewing Group
Samuels Public Library invites you to the Front Royal Sewing Group that meets every 2nd and 4th Monday at 10:30 A.M. ( June 10th, & 24th) and every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 6:00 P.M. (June 11th & 25th). People with all levels of sewing skills from beginner to advanced. Bring your own sewing machine. Limited number of extra sewing machines available for people who give advance notice.
Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and learn how to crochet or share your talents. The group will meet on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 10:00 A.M (June 12th & 26th). All ability levels welcome.
It’s showtime! Fly Tying with Trout Unlimited
Join us Thursday, June 27th at 6:00 P.M. for a special show and tell session with Ev Zimmer from Trout Unlimited. Learn the art of tying fly fish lures and get some insider tips on the best places to fish in Warren County. Our Summer Reading Programming for adults includes arts & crafts, photography, fishing and more.