It’s a short drive from Saluda. About six miles on 33 East, then a brief stretch on 3 West, which is “Gray’s Point Road.”
You turn off on a asphalt driveway and head past acres of soybean and corn plantings. A mile in, there’s a turn-off and you drive straight back on a dusty road to the banks of the Rappahannock River. There’s a small house, a big house and a 10-acre clearing for pickup sports and games. A short walk away is the might Rap, just a couple miles from its confluence with the Bay.
Our family bought the farm nearly 100 years ago. Even then it was old, an antebellum house surrounded by forests and the remnants of tobacco fields. Ever since it has served as a rallying point for generations of our family, even as the family has spread from its initial source in Middlesex County.
This weekend, they’ll be coming back from all over the USA. Many of us live in Fairfax or Alexandria. Another group lives in Richmond or Williamsburg. The furthest branches live in Colorado and California. Then there’s our cousin who lives in Bali. She also came in this weekend, with her fiancee originally from Vienna (Virginia).
The weather was sunny. Perfect for swimming and informal games of soccer and football. I took a run out the driveway to the main road, dodging vehicles operated by “learning to drive” teenagers. Yes, I learned to drive on that same driveway.
I can’t stay the whole weekend – not with Memorial Day events all weekend. It’s a short couple days but worth every moment. Topping, Virginia.
It’s going to be a great weekend, regardless of the weather. Friday and Saturday, we will be down at our family farm in Middlesex County.
On Sunday, I’ll be home for the parade and rally at Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax. Sunday afternoon, I’ll be at the Viva Vienna! festival on Church Street. I will also stop by the annual barbecue for Fairfax-Arlington Elks.
Memorial day Monday will feature presentations by the American Legion and VFW post in Fairfax and in Vienna. Then back all day at Viva Vienna! Hope to see you out there.
I read in the news this week that the Arlington County Board — having run out of actual problems — has decided to enter the world of naming professional sports teams. So what names fit for Virginia’s most “politically correct” elected body? Here’s a short list:
1. The Dog Park Warriors.
2. The Million Dollar Bus Stops.
3. The Abandoned Street Cars.
4. The (Over) Regulators.
5. The Tax and Spenders.
6. The Vicious Vegans.
7. Poets in Turtlenecks.
8. The Exploited.
9. White Liberal Angst.
10. The Granola Bars.
Today I attended the opening of the new INOVA Cancer Center, formerly the Exxon Mobil headquarters off Gallows Road in Fairfax County.
Years ago, Exxon Mobil began phasing out its “Downstream” assets, including distributorships, fuel trucks and gas stations. Eventually that led to the announced closing of the Gallows Road headquarters — a major blow to the Fairfax County economy.
Into the breach stepped INOVA, which the major player in northern Virginia medical care. With some assistance from Governor McAuliffe, INOVA secured possession of the ExxonMobil offices – across the street from its flagship operation. It also hired “Skip” Trump as its chief executive officer. Will it be long before Gallows Road Cancer Center is known as “the Trump Tower?”
The new offices will be state of the art and specifically focused on studying the human genome, so as to better understand cancer and its causes. It’s what INOVA CEO Knox Singleton calls “personalized medicine.”
The new cancer center is made possible by some truly staggering donations, starting with $50 million from Dwight Schar, the founder of NVR Homes (and equity partner in the Washington Redskins). Many of those donors were here today, along with Governor McAuliffe and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.
The new cancer center will create jobs, some of the highest-tech and best-paying jobs in the medical industry, as the top minds come to Fairfax County to join INOVA’s quest to map the genome and understand cancer.
Last week I had an unusual experience that my Twitter account (which I never see) and www.oxroadsouth.com were emitting some unusual content, not authored by yours truly. Suffice to say that it was not within the usual journalistic standards.
I found out when a public official, who follows this blog (but is afraid to reveal his/her name) quietly let me know. Anyway, I’ve been off the air for about ten days, but am ready to rebound with gratuitous commentary of any of the following:
1. The historically great match-up between Rangers-Caps.
2. The ridiculous 4-game suspension of Tom Brady.
3. The President’s controversial trade bill.
4. The beautiful spring weather.
5. The legacy of Santana Moss, a great Redskin
6. All of the above.
Regardless, I have a new password and am poised to resume my terse and trifling observations on the human condition.