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Francis Gary Powers Jr. dishes on his dad, the famed U-2 pilot, June 9 at Cold War Museum he founded at Vint Hill

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Francis Gary Powers

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.

Francis Gary Powers and Francis Gary Powers Jr.

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

For tickets to the Cold War Museum, visit: Spy Pilot: The Truth About U-2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers

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.

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Samuels Public Library Adult Programming events for September 1-15

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Library Closing

The Library will be closed Monday, September 2nd in observance of Labor Day. The Library will resume normal hours of operation Tuesday, September 3rd.


General Education Development

Samuels Public Library invites you to register and attend the General Education Development course. This course will be every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 AM-12:30 PM (except on school holidays or closings). The GED course is completely free. Let this course be the stepping stone to your success.


English as a Second Language Discussion Group

Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and join us for our English as a Second language discussion group starting. This is a conversational English language class for adults whose primary language is not English. All skill levels are welcome. Practice speaking English in a welcoming, group atmosphere. This group meets every Tuesday & Thursday at 10:00 AM.


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 AM (September 9th, & 10th) and every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 6:00 PM (September 23rd & 24th). People with all levels of sewing skills from beginner to advanced. Bring your own sewing machine. There is a limited number of extra sewing machines available for people who give advance notice.


Crochet Group

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 AM (September 11th & 25th). All ability levels welcome.


SamiCon 2019: One Card to Rule Them All

Samuels Public Library invites you to come out and join us for our annual geek convention SamiCon, Saturday, September 14th from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM! SamiCon is a free event for all comic & tech fans, geeks, gamers, and cosplayers. Checkout local products in our vendors fair, visit the Digital Bookmobile by Overdrive, as well as participate in our makerspace, crafts, prize drawings and more. This year’s theme is Tolkien’s Middle Earth! Come dressed as your favorite character and enjoy many activities such as conducting your own quest, solve Gollum’s riddles in the escape room and participating in Bilbo Baggins’s 111th birthday party!

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DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast to benefit local horse rescue

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Come join us for our first ever, all-day Music and Wine Festival! We will be at the Warren County Fairgrounds for a full day of entertainment for the whole family. The Shenandoah Valley Equine Rescue Network (SVERN) mini-unicorns will be there in the Kid’s Zone, along with games and fun activities for the young ones! For the adults, we will be having over 60 International Wines for tasting and purchase by the glass and bottle. The Front Royal Brewing Company and Winchester Brew Works will be helping us on the craft beer side of the show. Hand picked food trucks will be on site to take care of your hunger needs! We will also have our favorite vendors set up catering to your buying impulses.

On stage will be a day of music, hosted by the one and only DJ Skyhigh, celebrating his 20th Anniversary! He has brought some friends like the Luke Johnson Band, The Revolution, The Bridge, The Burning Dirty Band and maybe some special guests as well!

Kids under 12 are free, and general admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the gate, which includes 5 wine tasting tickets! Additional wine tasting tickets are available for purchase. Tickets are available at EVENTBRITE.


This event is to benefit our local horse rescue, Shenandoah Valley Equine Rescue Network (SVERN). SVERN is a 501(c)(3), dedicated to providing care and rehabilitation for unwanted, abandoned, neglected, abused and malnourished horses, while educating the public in equine rescue and all aspects of horse ownership and care.

Over the past decade, SVERN has taken in and adopted out dozens of horses to forever homes. Click here to learn more about SVERN.

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Children’s activities at Samuels Public Library for the month of September

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These are the events taking place in the Youth Services Department of Samuels Public Library during the month of September. Thank you for sharing this information. More information about Samuels Library and the programs and services available can be found at www.samuelslibrary.net or by calling (540) 635-3153.


Tuesday, September 3

  • 11:00 Time for Baby. What do books, scarves, puppets, music and babies have in common? They are all part of Time for Baby. Join us as we use all of our senses to explore the world around us. “Happy Birthday” will be the theme this month. Meet with your baby up to two years of age. Siblings welcome.
  • 4:30 Science Scouts and More. Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! This month, our discoveries and activities will be based on the book Matilda by Roald Dahl. For ages 6 – 11. Registration begins August 3.

Wednesday, September 4 and Thursday, September 5

  • 10:15 Toddler Story time.
  • 11:00 Preschool Story time.

You’ll hear about them in stories, songs, and movies, but we also need them in real life… Heroes! Join us for stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome.


Saturday, September 7

  • 10:00 Books and Barks. Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog. For beginning readers and up. Choose a time slot at registration, which begins August 7.
  • 2:00 Discuss This. Are you inspired by good books, articles, movies, and art? Do you write, draw, or enjoy playing music? If so, join us as we discuss books and share our creations. This is a group for those who wish to talk seriously about a variety of topics. Refreshments will be provided. For ages 12 and up. Registration begins August 7.

Wednesday, September 11

  • 10:30 Children’s Sing-Along. Local musician John Kovac will lead and accompany the singing of children’s songs. Come ready to sing along with your friends and discover the instruments that Mr. Kovac uses.

Tuesday, September 17

  • 4:30 Science Scouts and More. Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! Based on the book Matilda, we will explore magnet manipulation and making things move with them. For ages 6 – 11. Registration begins August 17.
  • 6:00 Homeschool Fair. Are you interested in homeschooling and want more information? Come learn about the state homeschool laws, local homeschool groups, and curriculum options. Join us in White Meeting Room B at Samuels Library to learn more.

Wednesday, September 18 and Thursday, September 19

  • 10:15 Toddler Story time.
  • 11:00 Preschool Story time.

Rrraauurrr! We’ll have a roaring good time with our dinosaur friends! Join us for stories, songs, and a craft. Siblings welcome.


Saturday, September 21

  • 2:00 Dungeons & Dragons (Group A). Hail and well met, Adventurers! A new program is taking place for teens 13+. Dungeons and Dragons is an interactive, imaginative game that stimulates the mind with critical thinking, problem solving, and quick wits. New to the game? No problem. Our Game Master is prepared to help all learn the game and provide an enjoyable experience for all. Space is limited, so join up while there’s still room on the list!

Tuesday, September 24

  • 4:30 Science Scouts and More. Kids will explore popular books and book series through science, games, food, and more! Based on the book Matilda, we will have a craft and game focused on the book. We will also have the chocolate cake from the book. For ages 6 – 11. Registration begins August 24.

Wednesday, September 25 and Thursday, September 26

  • 10:15 Toddler Story time.
  • 11:00 Preschool Story time.

Music is all around us! We’ll read some great stories, sing some songs, and have a craft all about music. Siblings welcome.


Saturday, September 28

  • 11:00 Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Fall Spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves! Oh, my! Children will make and taste recipes that include an array of yummy fall spices. For ages 8 and up. Registration begins August 28.
  • 2:00 Dungeons & Dragons (Group B). Hail and well met, Adventurers! A new program is taking place for teens 13+. Dungeons and Dragons is an interactive, imaginative game that stimulates the mind with critical thinking, problem solving, and quick wits. New to the game? No problem. Our Game Master is prepared to help all learn the game and provide an enjoyable experience for all. Space is limited, so join up while there’s still room on the list!
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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of August 22nd

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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, August 22:

•  Thurs – 6:45
•  Fri-Sat – 6:00 & 8:35         
•  Sun – 12:35, 3:10, 6:00 & 8:35
•  Mon-Wed – 6:00 & 8:35 

Rated PG13 |  Run Time: 2 hours 15 min

•  Thurs – 6:55
•  Fri-Sat – 6:05 & 8:55         
•  Sun – 12:40, 3:30, 6:05 & 8:55
•  Mon-Wed – 6:05 & 8:55 

Rated PG |  Run Time: 1 hour 45 min

•  Thurs – 7:00
•  Fri-Sat – 6:10 & 8:50         
•  Sun – 12:45, 3:25, 6:10 & 8:50
•  Mon-Wed – 6:10 & 8:50

Rated PG |  Run Time: 1 hour 55 min


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:

  • “IT: Chapter Two”
  • “Abominable”
  • “Joker”
  • “Gemini Man”
  • “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
  • “Zombieland 2”
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Band of Brothers: Jesus Saves Tour at Skyline Ranch Resort September 14th

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Band of Brothers in the studio with Royal Examiner publisher Mike McCool. Photo and video by Mark Williams.

The Band of Brothers is a local music ministry dedicated to bringing Jesus to the community through music. As part of their on gong Jesus Saves Tour, they have scheduled an event on September 14th at Skyline Ranch Resort at 751 Mountain Road (Rt 619), Front Royal, VA.

Jeff Jenkins, a member of the band, said, “100% of the proceeds will go to the Warren County School Board Nutrition Department, so no kid goes hungry.” The Band of Brothers will be playing their eclectic mix of music along with others. Scheduled to appear is David Clanagan, Christ Rock, Watching East, Steve Foster and Gracie, Jay Powell and from Tennessee, Freddie Redmon.

Several speakers are also scheduled: Bryam Keyser, Rusty Pleasants, Breon Johnson and Brandon Stevens.

For more information, check out their Facebook page.

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You’re invited to the Tree Stewards “All About Trees” class

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WHAT MATTERS WARREN — The community is invited to an “All About Trees” class presented by the Tree Stewards (Tuesday evenings beginning 9/3). Watch this video to learn more about the class and about volunteer opportunities with the organization that keeps Front Royal/Warren County looking beautiful! Also learn a trick to easily spot poison ivy!

  • Click here to register for the courses.
  • Click here to learn more about the positive impact the Tree Stewards are having in our community.

“All About Trees Classes”

Each year the Tree Stewards offer the “All About Trees” course. Course participants learn proper planting, maintenance, and pruning of trees. Our knowledge of trees is constantly changing as we learn more about these fundamental elements of our natural world. These annual training sessions strive to keep up with this evolving knowledge.

Training will include:

  • Basic tree anatomy, biology and life functions
  • Soils, water and nutrition
  • Selecting the right tree for the right spot
  • Tree identification
  • Tree ID Walk (field trip)
  • Landscaping with trees
  • Planting and site analysis
  • Tree Health and care
  • Pruning and identifying hazard trees that should be removed.
  • Pruning Demo and Tools (field trip)
  • Urban Forestry
  • Class Tree planting

The program uses materials from “Trees Virginia,” developed by the Virginia Urban Forest Council. Classes are taught by ISA certified arborists, nurserymen, landscapers, horticulturalists, and Tree Stewards.  The course ends with the hands-on planting of a “Class Tree.”

CEUs available for ISA Arborists.


2019 All About Trees Class

Classes will be held on Tuesday evenings beginning September 3, 2019, at the Warren County Government Center. Class Fee is $75 per person or $130 per couple. Early Registration Fee is $65.*

*From Tree Stewards website at https://treesfrontroyal.org/


A WHAT MATTERS INITIATIVE

Are you or your group in need of a free video that could be created to help market your cause or event?  Beth’s WHAT MATTERS Warren videos post on Facebook and YouTube. They are also shared with the Royal Examiner online (most are distributed in their daily email blast to thousands of local residents). Sign up for Royal Examiner Email Alerts HERE and check out the “WHAT MATTERS Warren” tab under “Features.”

Visit www.whatmattersw2.com “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid.

Learn more Beth’s nonprofit, WHAT MATTERS, a 501 (c) (3), at www.whatmattersw2.com – check out the “Community” section to request a TOWN TIP or WHAT MATTERS WARREN BETHvid or contact her at 540-671-6145 or beth@whatmattersw2.com.


About WHAT MATTERS:

WHAT MATTERS is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on local and global outreach to help spread the word, support and raise funds for causes that matter (primarily through Facebook). WHAT MATTERS has ZERO overhead as 100% of the expenses are funded by Beth’s real estate business thanks to her clients and supporters.  Every cent raised goes to the cause she’s promoting and most are matched by Beth. If you’d like to get involved, or travel to Africa with her on a future trip to work with the children of Light up Life Foundations, please visit www.whatmattersw2.com.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Aug
27
Tue
1:30 pm Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
Aug 27 @ 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor I @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with the instructor, Elena Maza, will deal with the basic three-primary color palette, different pigments and how they interact, how to mix all colors from three primary colors, how to apply[...]
Aug
29
Thu
1:00 pm Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
Aug 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Substance Abuse and Recovery Summit @ Mountain Home Bed and Breakfast
The McShin Foundation and RSW (Rappahannock, Shenandoah, and Warren County) Regional Jail would like to invite you to our substance abuse and recovery summit to be held on August 29, 2019, in Front Royal, Virginia.[...]
Aug
31
Sat
1:00 pm DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
DJ Skyhigh’s End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
Aug 31 @ 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
DJ Skyhigh's End of Summer Blast @ Warren County Fair
Come join DJ Skyhigh for his end of summer blast. Lisa Bell will be hosting wine tastings (at an additional charge) of over 50 international wines. Wines may also be purchased by the bottle to[...]
Sep
3
Tue
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Sep 3 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor Elena Maza will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance.[...]
Sep
4
Wed
1:30 pm Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Sep 4 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Botanical Drawing @ Art in the Valley
Learn and practice the art of botanical drawing in pencil with local artist and instructor Elena Maza. This four session course will focus on learning basic drawing skills as applied to botanicals: basic line drawings[...]
Sep
7
Sat
10:00 am SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundr... @ Skyline High School
SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundr... @ Skyline High School
Sep 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
SHS Marching Band Mattress Fundraiser @ Skyline High School
Skyline High School Marching Band is having a mattress sale fundraiser on Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Skyline High School (151 Skyline Vista Drive, Front Royal, Virginia). There will[...]
12:00 pm 2019 NFL Kick Off Party @ Sly Fox Golf Club
2019 NFL Kick Off Party @ Sly Fox Golf Club
Sep 7 @ 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2019 NFL Kick Off Party @ Sly Fox Golf Club
Golf – “Captains Choice Format” 12pm Shotgun “Tail Gate” Food and Drinks – 5pm to 8pm Golf + Food & Drinks $45 Tail Gate Food & Drinks Only $15
1:00 pm Strokes of Creativity: 1-year ce... @ Strokes of Creativity
Strokes of Creativity: 1-year ce... @ Strokes of Creativity
Sep 7 @ 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Strokes of Creativity: 1-year celebration @ Strokes of Creativity
Join us for our 1-year celebration on Sept. 7 from 1-6 pm. We will have demos, and Artist meet and greets. Unique and one of kind items, face painting, crafts and Chase from Paw Patrol will[...]
6:00 pm FRUMC Celebrates Homecoming @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
FRUMC Celebrates Homecoming @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
Sep 7 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
FRUMC Celebrates Homecoming @ Front Royal United Methodist Church
In tandem with the 110th anniversary of the church building, the Front Royal United Methodist Church will host Homecoming ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, September 7th and 8th. Five previous pastors have agreed to return[...]
Sep
10
Tue
1:30 pm Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
Sep 10 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Watercolor Landscapes @ Art in the Valley
This four week course with instructor Elena Maza will focus on learning basic skills to create watercolor landscape paintings: basic composition and use of color and value to create a sense of depth and distance.[...]