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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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WomenGathering with Joanne Mulherin & Chateau O’Brien Wines

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Photos by Jennifer Avery

The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center hosted a combination monthly WomanGathering this week and a new membership drive. The guest of the evening was wine tasting expert Joanne Mulherin with Chateau O’Brien Wines. Her presentation was absolutely excellent combining wine making facts, humor, geography, and history. What a great experience!

Watch the video to see Joanne in action and learn a thing or two about wine. To learn more about Chateau O’Brien click here.

Guest Speaker: Joanne Mulherin
Topic: Wine Tasting with Chateau O’Brien Wines & FRWRC Membership Drive

Learn more about FRWRC supporting local women. Levels of Support – you decide:

  • Individual Membership – $35 – $50 – $100 – $500+
  • Business Partner – $100 – $200 – $500 – $1000+

About FRWRC
The Front Royal Women’s Resource Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1996 to provide a support network for women in Warren County. Through monthly networking meetings, yearly grant presentations, special events, email connections and program activities, we have forged a link between women in our community. www.frwrc.org.

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Royal Oak Children’s Theater meeting and auditions Tuesday, January 21, at 6pm

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WHAT MATTERS Warren – Royal Oak Children’s Theater invites families with children aged 6-12 to their informational meeting and auditions on Tuesday, January 21, at 6pm, at the Royal Oak Community Church next to Rural King in Front Royal. In their “upward” format, they find a role to fit each child who wishes to participate to allow them to grow in theater skills and confidence.

Children should come prepared with a short presentation (15 to 60 seconds) of a memorized piece (nursery rhyme, Bible verse, poem, jokes, monologue, song, original story, etc.) OR a reading (picture book, portion of a book, poem, famous speech, original speech, etc.). Rehearsals will be after school on Tuesdays. They’ll be presenting “The Mystery of the Missing Medallion” on March 21 & 22.

Lead Directors, Beth and Rodney Bascom, are passionate about children and the lessons being a part of theater teaches them. Child actors they work with have this to say about them: “Thank you for giving me ideas of how to play my part better, I had a really, really, really, fun time, I may forget what you taught me, but I will never forget the way you made me feel, Thank you so much for always giving us a laugh.”

Spread the word about this inspiring opportunity for children and contact royaloakchildrenstheater@gmail.com with questions.

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.

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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This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of January 16th

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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, January 16:

•   Thurs – Fri: 6:00 & 8:50
•   Sat – Mon: 12:30, 3:15, 6:00 & 8:50
•   Tues – Wed: 6:00 & 8:50
Rated R  |  Run Time: 2 hours

•   Thurs – Fri: 6:10 & 8:45
•   Sat – Mon: 12:45, 3:20, 6:10 & 8:45
•   Tues – Wed: 6:10 & 8:45
Rated PG  |  Run Time: 1 hour 40 min

•   Thurs – Fri: 6:05 & 8:55
•   Sat – Mon: 12:40, 3:25, 6:05 & 8:55
•   Tues – Wed: 6:05 & 8:55
Rated R  |  Run Time: 2 hours


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:

  • “Birds of Prey”
  • “Fantasy Island”
  • “Sonic the Hedgehog”
  • “Onward”
  • “Godzilla vs. Kong”
  • “A Quiet Place Part II”
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Virginia Beer Museum celebrates Robert Burns birthday January 25th

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Here in the highlands of Warren County on January 25th from 6 until… the beer Museum will be celebrating the Robert Burns birthday commemoration. There will be Kilted Bonnie lasses and brave laddies in addition to bagpipes singing and of course haggis. No you don’t want to know…. but try it anyway and enjoy!

In addition to their normal fine selections In Brews there will be some tasting of that fine elixir to which Scotland lends its name. So you’ll definitely want to mark your calendars for this evening of fun and frolic. Don’t miss this one. See you there.

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Shenandoah National Park hosts Youth Art Contest

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Photo / National Park Service website

Local children and teens who like art and wildflowers will have a chance to combine both in Shenandoah National Park’s annual “Youth Art in the Park” wildflower art contest. The contest is held in conjunction with the park’s annual Wildflower Weekend May 9-10, 2020.

The contest is open to students in grade levels K-12 in Albemarle, Augusta, Greene, Madison, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham, Shenandoah and Warren counties. Students attending public, private and city schools, as well as home-schooled children living in these counties, may enter. Works may be submitted from home or through participating schools. The deadline for entries is April 10.

The contest overview, rules and the downloadable entry form are posted on the park website.

Judging will be among four grade levels:  K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Artists must submit 8 x 10-inch flat art (acrylic, oil pastel, crayon, watercolor, pencil, fiber, charcoal, etc.) depicting one or more native wildflowers. There is a wildflower list and a reference photo gallery on the park website.

Ribbons and other prizes will be awarded to the top entries from each grade level plus “Best in Show.” Top winners, family and teachers will be invited to a recognition ceremony in the park on May 9. Winning artwork will be displayed at park visitor centers, and scanned images may be used in future park promotions. All artwork will be returned to the artists.

For more information about Wildflower Weekend and the “Youth Art in the Park” contest, contact Mara Meisel at (540) 999-3500, ext. 3282.

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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington to host 38th Annual Ball

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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington to host 38th Annual Ball; Raises funds for 21 programs serving those in need in our Diocese.

On February 7, 2020, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington will hold its 38th Annual Ball at The Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner. The event is the largest annual fundraiser for Catholic Charities, providing a significant portion of the resources needed to support 21 programs serving those in need throughout the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese. This year’s theme is “With Love and Charity.”

“The ball is a celebratory evening where the Catholic and wider community come together to honor and support our mission of serving the most vulnerable men, women and families throughout the Diocese,” said Art Bennett, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington. “This year’s theme, ‘With Love and Charity,’ captures the essence of why we do what we do. Our work is made possible not just by monetary support, but by the love and charity of countless volunteers who show the face of Christ to those we serve.”

  • WHAT: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington Annual Ball
  • WHEN: Friday, February 7, 2010  |  7 p.m. Ball Begins (Dinner, Presentations and Dancing)  |  9 p.m. Young Adult Event (Reception and Dancing)
  • WHERE: The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner (1700 Tysons Blvd, McLean, VA  22102)
  • REGISTRATION:  Tickets for both events can be purchased at www.ccda.net.

The volunteer-led ball supports 21 Catholic Charities programs. Among those are Catholic Charities’ transitional housing programs for homeless men at Christ House and homeless families at St. Margaret of Cortona Housing; the St. Lucy Project, a diocesan wide food collection and distribution program for the hungry; free health care at Catholic Charities’ Mother of Mercy Free Medical Clinic; the emergency financial assistance program; mental health counseling for families and individuals; Pregnancy and Adoption Services; Hogar Immigrant Legal Services; Education and Workforce Development; Migrant and Refugee Services; the Prison Ministry and Welcome Home Re-entry program; the Car Ministry, and the new Catholic Charities’ Opioid Epidemic initiative.

For more information, contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or Amber.Roseboom@arlingtondiocese.org.


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington serves the poor and vulnerable who live within the 21 counties and seven cities of the Diocese of Arlington, which is led by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. Catholic Charities provides food for the hungry, a free medical clinic for adults including prenatal care, adoption services, transformational housing for the homeless, mental health counseling, emergency financial assistance, prison ministry, workforce development and immigration and refugee services. Catholic Charities serves all, regardless of faith. www.ccda.net.

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Upcoming Events

Jan
22
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 22 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]
Jan
23
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 23 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]
Jan
24
Fri
9:00 am Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Veterans Services Meeting at Abl... @ Able Forces
Jan 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Services Meeting at Able Forces @ Able Forces
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
Jan
25
Sat
11:00 am Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 25 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Goldilocks and the Three Bears @ Samuels Public Library
A Story Ballet. Join us in a celebration of classic literature through dance! The whole family will enjoy this ballet performance, presented by the Northern Virginia Academy of Ballet.
1:00 pm Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Moving Mindfully: Finding and ke... @ Ruby Yoga
Jan 25 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Moving Mindfully: Finding and keeping your footing @ Ruby Yoga
Join Ruby Yoga and Deborah Romero of Optimal Posture LLC for a series of workshops on moving more mindfully through life using the principles of yoga and the Alexander Technique. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 25,[...]
2:00 pm Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 25 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Aspiring Artists @ Samuels Public Library
Are you aged 7 or older? Do you enjoy art? If so, please join us for our children’s art class. Using the classic scissor cutting art of Scherenschnitte, we will make silhouettes in a nature[...]
Jan
28
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 28 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, January 7 – Based on books about Balto, we will learn more about service dogs this week. For ages[...]
Jan
29
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 29 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]
Jan
30
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 30 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, December 18 and Thursday, December 19: Something we all enjoy this time of year is giving and receiving gifts. Our stories, songs, and craft will[...]