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River Creek Blog: Halloween Spooktacular
The Potomac Club in Lansdowne says they are, “Calling all goblins, ghosts and creatures of fright to creep, float or crawl over to the Potomac club on Saturday night.” On Oct. 21 from 5 to 7:30 p.m., the Club will be having a Halloween Parade at 5 p.m., hayrides from 5:30 to 7 p.m., a marshmallow roast at 5:30 p.m. and Halloween crafts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Interestingly the hayride will consist of a horse drawn wagon and will wind its way through the Lansdowne community. The entire event will be a preview of the upcoming true Halloween when kids will be flocking the neighborhoods to ‘trick or treat’. We will have more next week based on personal experiences plus a heartfelt greeting for the spirit of Halloween.

Residents can call the Club for reservations at 571-333-1212. Cost for family of four is $10. Each additional person $3.

Event at Lansdowne Resort and Spa

The Lansdowne Resort and Spa will open its doors to the public at 4 p.m. Oct.19 for Happy Hour at Spa Minerale. As stated in their announcement: “sign up for our giveaways which include gorgeous jewelry from Kendra Scott, two 50 minute spa giveaway services and Coton and Rye $50 gift card.”

The Resort states that, “October is cancer awareness month, where 10 percent of all proceeds will benefit a local non-profit fighting breast cancer. Pink cupcakes and champagne will be served.”

The Spa offers an Alchimie Skin Care for $50; nail polish changes for $10; a cosmetic makeup for free; 21 drops of essential oils for free; 20 percent off retail purchases and special gifts.

Advance reservations can be obtained by calling 703-729-4036.

Tidbits from the Past

This week marks the anniversary of the Battle of Balls bluff that took place 156 years ago. On October 19,1861 two days prior to this battle according to Leesburg records, General McClellan had ordered a bombardment of Edwards Ferry, thinking that the Confederates had troops in the River Creek backyard. Instead General Beauregard and his cadre had been positioned in Leesburg. When there was no reaction to this bombardment, Union General Stone sent Captain Chase Philbrick of the 15th Massachusetts Infantry to determine the enemy position; the inexperienced captain mistook a stand of trees for an unguarded camp.
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River Creek Blog: Loudoun Couple in St. Thomas
Nick Wassum and his wife Kerrie returned to Loudoun County from their home in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands a week after Hurricane Irma struck the Island. They had endured the thrust of the hurricane and thanks to relatives, they were evacuated following the devastation that severely damaged their home and businesses. What little remained after their departure was destroyed at the hands of Hurricane Maria. They are staying with Nick’s Mother, Ginger Wassum in the River Creek Community for the time being trying to comprehend the frightful experience they had.

Nick said that when Irma struck the Island, “it looked like a bomb had gone off.” Kerrie described what they experienced at the peak of the hurricane. “Winds reached speeds of 205 miles per hour, generally 180 to 182 miles per hour.” She says there were tornadoes in the area. The wind was so strong that the walls of their condo shook. “It was terrifying, and it got worse.”

They moved to safer quarters at the nearby resort. But Nick says, “All the rooms were starting to flood because of all the rain.” The resort did have hurricane proof windows and doors but no shutters so they could look out and see the havoc that was being wreaked. At one point, an electrical box shot out a spark that caught the drapes on fire. Nick says he put it out with a fire extinguisher, but they had to leave the room because of the fumes. Kerrie sprained her ankle as they ran to the room next door that was flooded with two to three feet of water.

At present, they have taken on the task of raising emergency funds to provide assistance for some of their friends and staff who remain in St. Thomas. So far they have raised $7,000 on their site https://fundly.com/limetree-irma-relief/. Kerrie says, “We just don’t want the people there to be forgotten. They are all U.S. citizens.”

Nick described the beauty of the island and said it is very relaxing and friendly. meet someone just walking along the street.” They hope to return in the near future to salvage what may be left of their property.
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River Creek Blog: Dialogues of Discovery
Assistant professor of Bioengineering at Stanford, Dr. Manu Prakash gave an eye opening lecture at Janelia Research Campus last week, in keeping with novelist Marcel Proust who said, “the real voyage of discovery is not stretching our landscapes but in having new eyes.” Prakash’s philosophy involves ‘Frugal Science’ and “How to inspire around the world.” He cited a number of examples, learning that scotch tape does X-rays; another one involving string and a paper disc to develop a centrifuge that can separate plasma from blood. “The issue he says is to find objects that can be used in the hinterlands.” He showed several examples of areas in Africa where he has been, where access is difficult and medical and scientific instruments and devices are scarce. Perhaps his crowning achievement is something called a Foldscope, a microscope produced by inserting a lens into a sheet of paper that can be made for one dollar. He says, “it costs more to ship it.” These have been distributed worldwide.
An Usher at Nationals Stadium

Paul Smith spent 40 years in the community newspaper business, including executive editor at the Times Mirror, 2006-2009. Following his retirement from the newspaper business he decided to become an usher at Nationals Stadium. He has “three part time jobs with the Washington Nationals—game day usher, stadium tour guide and greeter at various corporate events.”

This being his eighth year as an usher, he says, “What I like most about being an usher at Nationals Park is the interaction with the fans. It’s a customer oriented job.” He says he pays particular attention to the “first time visitor.”

Paul naturally has gotten to know the regular season ticket holders. One gave him a Washington Senators tie from the 1960's. He says, “it really humbled me to know that what sort of relationships you can foster with the fans.” The tie had belonged to the ticket holder’s husband who had passed away during the winter.

“And as far as well-known baseball fans, I once took Spike Lee to his seat when the Yankees were in town. He gave me a $5 tip.”

Now that the playoff season has started what does he predict for the Nationals? “The Nats have the makings of the best team ever. If they likely beat the Dodgers in the playoffs, they’ll be primed to win it all.”
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River Creek Blog: A golfer’s delight
River Creek Blog: Dialogues of Discovery
River Creek Blog: Remembering 9/11
River Creek Blog: Charity Classic at River Creek
River Creek Blog: The First Tee Fundraiser
River Creek Blog: Pooch pool party set for Sept. 4
River Creek Blog: ‘Cry Baby’on stage at Belmont Ridge
River Creek Blog: The Robert Royal Foundation
River Creek Blog: Senior member guest tourney
River Creek Blog: The whimsical game of golf
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