Getting To Know ...

Getting To Know ...


Number of years in the community: I moved into Fairfax Station in April 1981 and prior to that, I lived in the Mount Vernon area. I was a third generation Alexandrian until I moved to Fairfax County in 1972.

Family: My wife, Karen, and I have one daughter, Ashley, a 12-year-old rising seventh grader.

Education: I have a degree in geology from George Washington University.

Primary occupation: I retired from active work in 2002, after a 34-year career in the federal government. Since then, I have been engaged in numerous volunteer organizations including the Bull Run Civil War Round Table, the Civil War Preservation Trust, Friends of the National Parks Gettysburg and Friends of Fairfax Station. I am also civilian Civil War re-enactor and member of Company D of the Fairfax Rifles, the Victorian Society of Falls Church, and Historical Entertainment. In addition, I have been a docent at the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum since 1996 and on their Board of Directors since 1998.

As a re-enactor, I do history presentations at numerous living history events, battlefield re-enactments, and presentations at Civil War Round Tables, civic associations, historic societies as well as school classroom presentations. I also have conducted tours to local Civil War battlefields, railroad and other significant Civil War sites, and have run a Civil War rail road camp for a Prince William museum and a train week specialty camp for a private school.

What started as a hobby as I approached retirement has bloomed into opportunities for my me and my family to be in local TV vignettes, a National Geographic TV presentation, a motion picture, and special filming at Ford's Theatre for the National Park Service. All were very interesting and requiring a great deal of work and patience.

Awards: With a 34-year government career, I received numerous citations, letters, awards and certificates. Since retirement, my awards include letters, notes, posters, drawings and photos from teachers and school children thanking me for visiting in their schools and bringing history to life for them. Reaching out and presenting living history to the youth of our country is truly a very wonderful, exhilarating experience, and a reward in itself. In early August, I received the Interservice Council Volunteer of the Year award for my efforts at the Fairfax Station Rail Road Museum.

Favorite local place: Our favorite local restaurant is Bellissimo in Fairfax City, which we literally discovered while marching in the Fairfax City 4th of July parade several years ago as members of the Fairfax Rifles.

Community concerns: Outside of our local, homegrown traffic problems where we exhibit a total lack of

civility, kindness, and respect for our fellow travelers, my other concern is the lack of volunteers throughout the area. This area is blessed with many fine institutions and organizations, and even though we have a wealth of retirees here, these facilities often go begging and scrambling for volunteers. Some even have to cut back on their service to the community because of the lack of volunteers. The reward of giving something back to our communities and to others is very much like that credit card commercial — priceless. Yet, too few volunteer. Perhaps we are afraid of commitments.

Community hidden treasure: I will paraphrase the former Fairfax County Board Chairperson, Kate Hanley, when during a Civil War Trails Marker dedication at the Fairfax Station Railroad Museum in 2003; she referred to it as our "Little Gem." It really is, and it is unknown to many in the county. It was the oldest operating train station in Fairfax County and was saved from destruction almost 30 years ago by a group of committed volunteers. It is now a museum housing artifacts from 1850 on and it is open every Sunday except Easter from 1-4 p.m.