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    River Creek & Lansdowne
    RIVER CREEK: Lifeguards at River Creek
    Each summer lifeguards who provide a safety net for the swimmers nearly always come from Europe and mostly from Eastern Europe. Of the four I spoke with two were from Istanbul, Turkey and it was their first time in the United States. One of the others came from Poland and another from Slovakia. The latter two had been here in previous summers. The one from Poland, Poznan had been here three times before and Alriana had been here a couple times.

    Emre and Yigit from Turkey stay in Leesburg and they get around on their bicycles. Emre says, “It takes us 30 to 40 minutes to come here from downtown Leesburg.”

    I asked him where all he had been since arriving in the states. “Leesburg, Lansdowne, Arlington. We hope some day to go into Washington and New York and maybe California.”

    Their comment on what it’s like here compared with Istanbul, their hometown: “It’s silent compared to Istanbul.”

    Poznan from Poland, her fourth time here says, “I like it. Different than in my country. I feel comfortable. It’s really important for me. Everyone has been friendly.” She has been around the area and to Miami in one of her previous stays.

    Atriana from Slovakia says, “I love it here. Makes us feel like home.”

    I asked them if they had ever had a crisis as a lifeguard. Poznan explained that the swimming pool at River Creek has no diving board and that can be the root cause of accidents. Also when she worked as a lifeguard on the beach it was more likely that people would find themselves in danger.

    Still to insure a safe day at the pool it may behoove swimmers to know how to call for help. In Turkish it’s 'yardin.' In Polish and Slovak it’s 'pomoc.' Or maybe better yet just holler out 'help?'

    “Wreck it Ralph”

    On Saturday, July 19 at 8:30 p.m., the River Creek Club will sponsor a viewing of “Wreck it Ralph” out on the lawn behind the clubhouse. Admission is free and popcorn, ice cream and candy will be available. The movie has been around since 2012 with wide appeal. Even if you’ve seen if before you could take the little ones and enjoy Ralph’s rage with the arcade games.

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    RIVER CREEK: Bear sightings
    Residents of River Creek have recently reported bear sightings in their neighborhoods. Courtesy Photo
    One day last week, Chantel Smith was walking her dog when she spotted a bear at the end of our street – Hill Head Place. As she says, “I was scared. Not able to handle such situations well.” The Loudoun Animal Control Office said they had been tracking this same bear since it left its home. According to them, when the mother bear is about to be a mother again, she sends her latest cubs out to fend for themselves. They roam the countryside until they find their space.

    By some parody of coincidence the bear that paused at the end of our street had positioned himself near the residence of Robin and Eric Bear. Could this be some act of fate? Or as one person commented, “Maybe the bear clawed his way into” Does this bear want to take up residence in River Creek? There is a house for sale in the neighborhood.

    Then one day later another bear appeared on Mid Ocean Place. This time the Animal Control truck was on the scene and the street was blocked off. It could have been the other bear’s younger sister or brother or even cousin. Anyway their fascination with River Creek has likely lifted the real estate market.

    From common references, black bears are not carnivorous; are good tree climbers and swimmers; can run up to 35 miles an hour, which exceeds the speed limit in River Creek; are typically shy and easily frightened. However, mutual fear may be a good thing. They can weigh up to 600 pounds and are intelligent and curious to the extent that the one bear may have been trying to learn about the Bear household.

    “The Goonies” at Lansdowne

    On Friday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. “The Goonies (instead of bears) will be visiting the Village Green in Lansdowne Town Center. Prior to the movie, there will be a treasure hunt, face painting and other activities for the younger set.

    “The Goonies” came out in 1985 about a group of pre-teens seeking to save their homes and in the process find an old Spanish map revealing the location of some lost treasure. It records their adventures in the process. The executive producer is Steven Spielberg.

    For those interested in being comfortable, bring chairs to sit on. Admission is free.

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    RIVER CREEK/LANSDOWNE: Celebrating the Fourth of July
    This Friday will mark the 238th anniversary of the founding of this country of ours. Normally people celebrate with outdoor activities including cookouts and in the evening fireworks. Thanks to the Chinese we have the ingredients for these flamboyant displays. Purportedly as a point of irony William Shakespeare invented the word fireworks which has become synonymous with the Fourth, that recognizes a break with his home country.

    The founding fathers urged everyone to honor this day with displays of joy and certainly fireworks lend themselves to support that urge. While fireworks can be spectacular it pays on a personal level to be careful. Some few years back, one person in River Creek had the misfortune for his house to catch fire after setting off rockets and firecrackers. Thanks to alert neighbors who called in the fire engines, no one was injured.

    Memories of past Fourths of July seem to focus on 1976, the bicentennial of the nation’s founding. Sean Allen, when asked his most memorable never hesitated. “1976, we were on a boat in the Potomac watching the fireworks.”

    Mahlon Jones says he was working with a company that made preparations for the bicentennial celebration. “We redid the Mall.”

    Cindy Holdsworth recounts her experience with family and friends offshore in Norfolk. “We were on a sailboat when the tide went down and we got stuck on a sandbar. So the whole time we watched fireworks our group shifted back and forth from one side of the boat to the other trying to get it loose.”

    Andrea Phaneuf , as a youngster, watched the fireworks on Cambridge Common in Boston where “George Washington took command of the Continental Army troops.”

    Others recalled their experiences on the Mall in that fateful year 1976 besides the festive occasion there had been a breakdown in facilities.

    The Hughes family spent one memorable Fourth at Wolf Trap enjoying the fireworks. Some from the community go over to the Kohl’s parking lot for a view of the ones at Ida Lee Park.

    This year the River Creek Club will have a DJ, games and a barbecue buffet at poolside. No fireworks but an afternoon designed for family fun.

    So each Fourth of July including this one can be special, a birthday party that everyone can enjoy in his or her own way. Have a safe and happy Fourth.

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    RIVER CREEK: Reflections Magazine given award
    RIVER CREEK: Show times in Lansdowne
    River Creek: Leesburg Volunteer Fire Co. benefit June 9
    RIVER CREEK: Memorial Day in Lansdowne
    River Creek/Lansdowne: Concert events kick off in Lansdowne
    River Creek: Mother’s Day in Lansdowne
    River Creek: Operation Homefront at River Creek
    Lansdowne: Dialogues of Discovery
    Lansdowne: Lest we forget
    Lansdowne: Dialogues of Discovery, Real Time
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