Francis Gary Powers Jr. dishes on his dad, the famed U-2 pilot, June 9 at Cold War Museum he founded at Vint Hill
“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
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.
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® welcomes Victoria Chuah, Miss Virginia 2022 to festival
Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® President, Sharen Gromling, is pleased to welcome Ashburn, Virginia native and reigning 2022 Miss Virginia, Victoria Chuah, to the Festival this spring. She is no stranger to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, as she was Miss Apple Blossom 2019.
Victoria obtained her Bachelor and Master Degrees of Science in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh in May 2022, graduating Summa Cum Laude with honors in four years. She was featured on the Morgan Stanley billboard in Times Square and is one of their incoming software engineers.
Victoria was selected Miss Virginia 2022 in Roanoke, VA, on June 25, 2022, and was the recipient of $22,500 in scholarships. She was also awarded the overall Social Impact Award with her initiative 4A: Awareness & Advocacy for Adults with Autism, inspired by her 19-year-old brother Luke, who lives with autism. As Miss Virginia, she is using her voice to advocate the need for Home Life Community – community developments for adults on the autism spectrum, providing services and long-term support plans for them to thrive.
Victoria was awarded a $10,000 “Women in Stem” scholarship at Miss America in December.
She also serves as the ABC Spokesperson for promoting healthy choices and substance abuse prevention to students in Virginia’s elementary schools as part of Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority’s Miss Virginia School Tour program.
As part of her year of service, she makes personal appearances to promote local businesses and non-profits. She is the keynote speaker at various events across the Commonwealth, participating in fundraising events and conferences. Her advocacy within these diverse arenas offers schools the opportunity to target the programs that best meet the needs of their students.
Victoria will visit many festival events when returning to our springtime homecoming. Among those events are the Coronation, presented by Morgan Orthodontics, and the Hang 10 Car Wash Firefighters’ Parade on May 5. She will then ride in the Glo Fiber Grand Feature Parade at 1:30 p.m. on May 6.
Tickets to Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
Apple Blossom Sports Hall of Fame 2023 Inductees named
The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival® is pleased to announce the 2023 Apple Blossom Sports Hall of Fame Inductees, Debby Sanders and James W. “Jim” Casey. Debby and the Casey family will be honored for their contribution to sports in the region at 8:00 a.m. during the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast on Saturday morning, May 6, 2023, in the Tolley Dental Zone at the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Event Center, 1188 Ralph Shockey Drive. General admission tickets are $45 and VIP tickets are $125. Both are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
Debby retired from Frederick County Public Schools after 30 years as a Health and PE teacher, Department Chair, and Head Girls’ Basketball Coach.
She coached Millbrook High School girls’ basketball team from 2004-2013 with 84 consecutive wins. The team titles include the following: State Champions 2010, 2011, 2012; Regional Champions 2010, 2011, 2012; District Champions 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013; Regional Runner-Up 2009; and State Semi-Finalists 2009.
She was named State Coach of the Year from 2010 through 2012; Regional Coach of the Year from 2009 to 2012; and District Coach of the Year in 1997 and from 2009 through 2013.
After coaching, Debby served as an assistant athletic director for one year and volunteered at numerous sporting events. She was inducted into the Millbrook Athletic Hall of Fame and started the Millbrook “Go Pink” Millbrook vs. Cancer annual events that help to raise money to support individuals and families in the community impacted by cancer.
James W. “Jim” Casey
A native of Boyce and 32-year employee of James Wood High School, James “Jim” William Casey died at the age of 92 on Jan. 8, 2023. He is remembered and missed by scores of people in the area as he is inducted into the 2023 Apple Blossom Sports Hall of Fame.
Casey is survived by two of his three children – James M. and his daughter Ann. His son, John Casey, noted blacksmith and manager of the family farm, died at age 61 this past March. Coach Casey is also survived by his brother Jerry. Jim’s wife Eleanor MacDonald died in 2005. She, with Jim, founded and operated one of West Virginia’s most successful thoroughbred and racing operations. The operation was first named for Eleanor, and then after her death, for their horse farm Taylor Mountain.
Jim graduated from Boyce Agricultural High School and the College of William and Mary where he ran track, played baseball, and was the varsity football manager. After two years in the military, Casey returned to begin his career at James Wood High School, where he was a teacher, coach, and athletic director.
Retired athletic director at Handley High School, Jimmy Omps, said of Casey, “I remember watching Casey run the cinder track at Handley, the 100-yard dash in close to 10 seconds. He was very intelligent; he knew the rules.”
Don Shirley, a retired principal at James Wood, agreed that his intelligence was a comfort to him and a sounding board. “He was good listener…I missed that greatly when he retired. He was one of the most loyal persons I can think of. He remembered everything, the kids, who did what in which game. Unbelievable!”
Former JWHS student Danny Hoopes recalled that Casey was a great strategy coach; he was not vocal, but he was a confident man. Hoopes, who Coach Casey nicknamed Hoops, Jr. greeted him that way for years. Why Hoops, Jr? Hoops was told to figure it out himself. Seems Hoops was the 1945 Kentucky Derby winner.
Casey’s son, a veterinarian like his grandfather, said, “He never really got upset about anything. He could take things in stride.”
The 1954-55 school year marked the beginning of Casey’s run of success as head coach in three sports. In baseball, he never had a losing record; his football winning record included a 10-0 season in 1964, but he was at his best with basketball. After James Wood High School hired Casey as head coach, he had a record of 132-29, winning eight District titles.
Casey’s post-educational career as horse owner and trainer featured more than 1,200 wins, including a record 35 West Virginia Breeders’ Classic victories as a trainer. Casey moved from Winchester to Charles Town, W.Va. in 2002 after acquiring 146 acres in Jefferson County.
Like his grandfather, he was generous. There is the Dr. Joseph M. Casey scholarship at Clarke County High given to a student pursuing a degree in science or veterinarian medicine. The generosity and encouragement Casey and his wife Eleanor left to future generations are scholarships named the JAMES & ELEANOR CASEY ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS which are awarded yearly at James Wood High School, Millbrook High School, Sherando High School, Clarke County High School, Washington High, and Jefferson High Schools. The scholarships are used by an athlete to further their education and playing a college sport is not a requirement.
As late as 2022 he won 24 races and was at the track every morning. On the morning of January 6, 2023 Casey fell at the track and suffered a broken leg. He won the race while in surgery and seemed to be on the mend when he died two days later. His wife Eleanor had died in similar circumstances, A loose horse caused her to fall and break her hip at age 74 in 2005.
His son, James M. Casey, told the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred journal, “He enjoyed it–the people, the horses, the races. He went to the track every day until the very end.” Casey’s racing resume records over 1,200 wins, his horse, No Love for Juba, a homebred horse, won the West Virginia Futurity on Jan. 8, the day of his death. Late in the Game, came in second.
Coach Casey’s son and daughter will accept their father’s induction into the 2023 Apple Blossom Sports Hall of Fame.
Join us at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast at the Tolley Zone in the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Event Center on Shenandoah University Campus on Saturday morning, May 6, 2023 at 8:00 a.m. Tickets to Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
Washington Redskins two-time Super Bowl Champion & James Madison University football great, Gary Clark to be Festival Sports Guest
Two-time Super Bowl Champion and Washington Redskins legend, Gary Clark, has been announced as a Special Sports Guest by Festival President, Sharen Gromling. In 1985, Clark was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins and went on to playing 11 seasons in the NFL.
Clark is considered one of the toughest players in Redskins history, a tenacious blocker and consummate professional. He was the first wide receiver in NFL history to catch at least 50 passes in his rookie season. Clark was one of the top wide receivers in the National Football League at the time of his retirement, ranking 8th in receptions and 7th in receiving yards. Clark was a two-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time Redskins MVP, three-time All Pro, four-time Pro Bowler, and an eight-time All-Madden Team member. Clark’s “competitive fire, tenacity, and ability to make clutch, game-changing plays,” made him a favorite of legendary commentator, John Madden.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Clark, Ricky Sanders and Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Art Monk were nicknamed “The Posse” for being one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Clark’s NFL career totaled 699 receptions and 10,856 yards. He scored 65 touchdowns; 58 of those came with Washington. Gary Clark is recognized as one of the 70 Greatest Redskins list and was honored as an NFL Hall of Fame Nominee. Gary was inducted into the Washington DC Sports Hall of Fame, the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2007 into the Washington Redskins Ring of Honor.
Gary attended James Madison University (JMU) and was inducted into the JMU Hall of Fame in 1994. As a Duke, Clark held every significant JMU receiving record at the end of his college career. Clark was named Virginia Offensive Player in 1982 and Honorable All American in 1982 and 1983. He was the first player in JMU Football history to win a Super Bowl Championship and the first ever to have his #80 jersey retired by the University.
Clark’s outstanding college career stood out when the United State Football League (USFL) was formed in 1984. Clark was the first ever draft pick for the Jacksonville Bulls and the first JMU player to be drafted as a first round pick by a professional team. His impact with the Bulls soon came to the attention of Washington Redskins.
Gary C. Clark is the Founder of Gary Clark Incorporated and Co-Founder of T&G Real Estate Advisors and The MetaVerse Sports Group. A serial entrepreneur, Gary considers his five children, Gari, Aiden, Nathaniel, Gabriella and Gary 2.0, his greatest joy.
Clark, a native Virginian from Radford, Pulaski County High School grad, JMU Football standout, and Washington Redskins legend will attend many festival events including the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah presented by Morgan Orthodontics and the Hang 10 Car Wash Firefighters’ Parade. Gary will speak at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast on Saturday morning, May 6 at the Tolley Dental Zone in the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Event Center on the campus of Shenandoah University Campus and then ride in the Glo Fiber Grand Feature Parade.
Tickets to Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of March 30th
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! Reserved seating in all auditoriums.
Here is a list of this week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of Thursday, March 30:
Ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult: $10
- Child (under 12): $7
- Military: $8
- Student (college): $8
- Senior: $8
- Matinees, All Seating: $7
- 3D: add $3
- “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3″
- “Super Mario Bros.”
- “Fast X”
- “The Little Mermaid”
SAR presents Patrick Henry to senior living facilities
On March 24, 2023, the Colonel James Wood II and Culpeper Minutemen Chapters of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution conducted presentations on Patrick Henry to the residents of senior living facilities in Warren County.
Patrick Henry was a driving force in the lead up to the American Revolutionary War. He was an attorney, planter, soldier, politician and orator who was primarily home schooled. He was born in 1736 at Studley, in Hanover County. Growing up, young Henry engaged in the typical recreations of the times. He played the flute and violin and was particularly fond of hunting. When he was 15, he began working for a local merchant and a year later opened store with his brother William, which was an unsuccessful endeavor.
In 1754, Henry married Sarah Shelton, whose dowry included Pine Slash, a 600 acre farm. In 1757, fire destroyed the house, ending his attempt at farming. He returned to storekeeping before working for his father-in-law at Hanover Tavern. This was located across the road from the county courthouse. He was influenced by the lawyers who came to the tavern and became a self taught lawyer by the time he was 24.
Henry established a thriving practice in the courts of Hanover and adjacent counties and came to prominence in 1763 while arguing the “Parsons’ Cause”. This was a dispute about colonial rights in the payment to clergy. At this time, Virginia had a tobacco based economy and clergymen were to receive tobacco in payment for their services. After an extended drought, the price for tobacco increased tremendously, greatly inflating the salaries of the clergy. The House of Burgesses responded by passing legislation allowing debts in tobacco to be paid in currency at a rate of two pennies per pound. King George III vetoed the law which created an uproad. A suit was brought against the community with Patrick Henry advocating in favor of colonial rights.
In 1765, Henry was elected to the House of Burgesses from Louisa County. That same year, parliament passed The Stamp Act, requiring colonists to pay a tax on every piece of paper they used. He responded with a series of resolutions that was the basis of America’s stance against taxation without representation. He was asserting the colonists rights as Englishmen. His resolutions were published throughout the colonies and established his reputation as an uncompromising opponent of imperial policy. In 1773, Virginia established Committees of Correspondence to coordinate opposition to the British Parliament. He attended the Continental Congress in September 1774, receiving several important committee assignments.
On March 23, 1775, Henry gave his “Give me liberty or give me death” speech to the second Virginia Convention at St John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia. He then recruited a regiment of colonial militia from Hanover County that was incorporated into the Continental Army. Henry left the military and was elected to the 1776 Virginia convention. He became a strong supporter for independence and assisted in drafting the resolution calling upon Congress to declare the colonies “free and independent”. He was elected the first Governor of Virginia and eventually served five terms before returning to his law practice and his family.
Patrick Henry had two wives and 17 children. He had amassed almost 3,000 acres of land, eventually moving to “Red Hill” in Charlotte County. He declined to run for President and opportunities to serve as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Secretary of State and Ambassador to France. He died on June 6, 1799, from stomach cancer and is buried in the family plot at Red Hill. A gifted orator, successful lawyer and politician, he will forever be remembered for his most famous speech “Give me liberty or give me death” which helped convince Virginians to prepare for war against Great Britain.
Presentations were given by Dale Corey, Chip Daniel and Bill Schwetke at Commonwealth Senior Living and Dale Corey, Chip Daniel, Bill Schwetke and Richard Tyler at Hidden Springs Senior Living Facilities with the singing of “God Bless America” at the conclusion of the commemorations.
Phoenix Project to hold candlelight vigil in support of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Did you know that as of January 1, 2023, Phoenix Project has been recognized as a dual agency who now serves survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence?
In support of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, won’t you join us, in collaboration with The Laurel Center for a candlelight vigil in support of local survivors.
Stop by our office to get your Phoenix Tee to wear to the event! T-shirts will also be available at the Vigil and are FREE!
Date: Thursday April 13, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Main Street Gazebo
TOGETHER, WE CAN END ABUSE.
Services are free and confidential
Wind: 2mph NNE
UV index: 2