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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



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

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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Community Events

Youth Empowerment Conference aims to help students find their paths



The 2nd annual YES Conference (Youth Empowered for Success) will be held at the Stimpson Auditorium at Shenandoah University on August 1, 2022, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and is open to rising Seniors and Juniors in the Warren County Public School system. Reaching Out Now is partnering with Shenandoah University to provide students with a series of presentations and interactive panels around wellness, networking, and leadership skills necessary to succeed in their personal lives, academics, and professional careers. Students will also be able to take a tour of the college grounds. This year’s theme is “Finding Your Balance”.

Registration is $15. Transportation will be available to Winchester from Skyline High School. Continental breakfast will be provided and lunch will be served at the University’s Allen Dining Hall, all are included in the registration costs.

Interested students can register at:

About Reaching Out Now
Reaching Out Now supports under-resourced youth to be the best version of themselves with preparedness to face the world with hope, purpose, and optimism. Serving students and their families in need of support in the school system through engaged community partners and a volunteer network. Through its programs, they provide opportunities and new experiences for all involved to reach their full potential.

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Community Events

Help replenish the blood supply after holiday weekend



All are invited to the next Front Royal Community Blood Drive on Wednesday, July 6th, from 8am-1pm, at the Front Royal Fire Hall (221 N. Commerce Ave) to be a hero and give the GIFT OF LIFE! Please visit for more info and to register (appointments are required).

While not required, you can speed things up by completing your RapidPass® (if you choose to, please note that it must be completed on the same day as your donation). The process is simple – just 4 steps, and takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Get started with some initial information, read through the pre-donation materials, answer your health history questions, and print, download or email your RapidPass® to yourself, and bring it with you.

  • One pint of blood can save up to 3 lives!
  • Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
  • Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.

WHY give blood?

  • You don’t need a special reason to give blood. You just need your own reason.
  • Some of us give blood because we were asked by a friend.
  • Some know that a family member or a friend might need blood some day.
  • Some believe it is the right thing to do.
  • Some do it for the free cookies and juice, cool sticker and time off from work.
  • But EVERYONE enjoys the great feeling of helping save lives!

WHAT are the general Blood Donor Requirements?

  • Be in good general health and feeling well.
  • Be at least 17-years-old in most states (16-years-old with parental consent in some states).
  • Weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
  • Have not donated blood in the last 56 days.

Download the BLOOD DONOR APP to save time!

THANKS for joining us in helping to replenish the blood supply by donating! If you can’t give, please take a moment to invite someone else to donate! Sometimes, all it takes is a heartfelt ASK and a person will become a blood donor for LIFE, and YOU can be a part of saving countless lives by inspiring a new donor!

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Community Events

This week’s showtimes at Royal Cinemas as of June 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, June 30:

• Thursday: 12:45, 4:10 & 7:35
• Daily: 12:45, 4:10 & 7:35
Rated PG-13  |  2 Hours 40 Minutes

• Thursday: 2:00, 4:15, 6:30 & 8:40
• Daily: 1:20, 4:15, 6:30 & 8:40
Rated PG  |  1 Hour 30 Minutes

• Thursday: 1:00, 4:15 & 7:30
• Daily: 1:00, 4:15 & 7:30
Rated PG-13  |  2 Hours 27 Minutes

Ticket prices are as follows:

  • Adult: $10
  • Child (under 12): $7
  • Military: $8
  • Student (college): $8
  • Senior: $8
  • Matinees, All Seating: $7


  • “Thor: Love and Thunder” premiering Thursday, July 7th, @ 4:15 & 7:00
  • “Paws of Fury”
  • “NOPE”
  • “DC League of Super Pets”
  • “Bullet Train”
  • “Easter Sunday”
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Community Events

Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center Annual Fireworks Show



The Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center is pleased to again host the 2022 Independence Day Celebration. This year’s event will be on Friday, July 1st, at the 4-H Center; 600 4H Center Drive, Front Royal.

Parking will open at 5:00pm and festivities will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will continue throughout the evening, including live patriotic music performed by the American Legion Community Band. Also, food trucks will be set up so guests can enjoy some dinner while listening to the band until the capstone event of a professional fireworks display – which is sure to produce many “oohs and ahhs!”. Food trucks include: Fearless Eats (burgers and hot dogs), Rutz BBQ, Mike’s Concessions (pizza, funnel cakes, and cotton candy), Sugar Creek Snowy & Sweet, and Lemon Squeezers.

Parking will be available and Warren County Sheriff Department will be present for security and egress traffic support. A voluntary donation (recommended $5 per vehicle) will be requested at the gate to help offset the cost of the event.

New 4-H Center Director Katie Tennant says “We heard such great feedback about last year’s show that we contracted with the same vendor to provide another spectacular event! I am excited to help host this annual celebration for the community and meet more of the residents and businesses who support us throughout the year. This event would not be possible without the generous sponsorships we receive.”

The Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization with a mission to facilitate experiential learning programs for youth, families, and adults. Since 1981, the 4-H Center has offered year-round, research-based programming to the youth and families of Northern Virginia. In addition to nine weeks of summer 4-H camp, the Center offers a full range of day and overnight camps, environmental education and team-building programs, and conference and meeting facilities and services. The 4-H Center provides meals and lodging for campers and adult guests, as well as access to the Appalachian trail, a challenge course, outdoor pool, pond fishing, sports fields, and horse stables.

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Community Events

Winchester SPCA’s Dog Days of Summer Jam



City National Bank presents… the Dog Days of Summer Jams to benefit the Winchester SPCA.

Stop by the Winchester SPCA Campus on Featherbed Lane every Thursday evening in July, from 4:30pm-7:30pm. Jam sessions will include food trucks, lawn games, refreshments, live music, raffles, art show, tours of all SPCA campus facilities, adoption specials, and thrift shop sales! Save the dates and come jam at the Winchester SPCA on July 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th. There will be something for everyone at the Dog Days of Summer Jam!

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Community Events

Royal Shenandoah Greenway Rotary Cleanup Day – come join us!



Royal Shenandoah Greenway Trail is one of our community’s natural treasures. Let’s keep it clean! You are invited to come out on July 2nd to help pick up litter with local Rotary clubs. We all need to work together to keep our town litter-free for us all to enjoy!

We will be meeting in the parking lot of PaveMint Smokin’ Taphouse off of Commerce Ave. Bring gloves, trash bag, and a little extra energy as we set out on a trash collecting mission! Work side-by-side with like minded community members. Bring your children to help! It’s a great experience to encourage our youth to get involved and take ownership in our town and keeping it beautiful.

For more information, call Jennifer Avery at 540-683-0790, or email


  • 9am Meet at Pavemint Smokin’ Taphouse
  • Saturday, July 2, 2022
  • Event link: Facebook

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal
5:50am8:42pm EDT
Feels like: 84°F
Wind: 2mph ENE
Humidity: 37%
Pressure: 30.2"Hg
UV index: 9

Upcoming Events

6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 1 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
10:00 am A Tree-mendous Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 2 @ 10:00 am – Jul 3 @ 11:00 am
A Tree-mendous Walk @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Join Shenandoah Chapter Master Naturalist Paul Guay and explore the rich natural history of trees along the park’s Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Discover the tips and tricks of basic tree identification and the[...]
11:30 am Declaration of Independence reading @ Warren Heritage Society
Declaration of Independence reading @ Warren Heritage Society
Jul 2 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Declaration of Independence reading @ Warren Heritage Society
On 2 July, at 11:30, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution will read the Declaration of Independence on the porch of the Archives at the Warren Heritage Society. [...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 2 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what tasty treats are cooking on the hearth. Watch as a Sky Meadows volunteer dons historic clothing and cooks delicious[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 2 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 6 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Jul 8 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
…and be sure to attend our Fourth of July event!
all-day Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jul 9 – Jul 10 all-day
Great American Campout @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Don’t miss your chance to camp out in the beautiful Historic Mount Bleak backyard. See all that Sky Meadows has to offer through activities beginning at noon on Saturday and running until noon[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jul 13 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]