Tim Merrick’s Wintergreen Summer 2011 Newsletter

Western view across the famous Shenandoah Valley from the new Pooch Park

Dr. Bob Roth is our IT Director, our Webmaster, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi of Cyberspace. Bob holds a PHD in Computer Science and is a retired senior executive from IBM. Bob, whose office is the Internet, drives up from Raleigh every couple of weeks to make sure the programs and monitors within our office are working properly He constantly improves and monitors our website which I have been told by many that it is one of the best in the industry. Our website has been invaluable in attracting buyers to our markets and Wintergreen Real Estate is at the forefront of technological innovation thanks in large part to our friend, Dr. Bob. I asked Bob last week what he was working on which would be considered cutting edge with regard to helping us attract more buyers and visitors to Wintergreen. You can see his response here.

If you have checked our web site www.wintergreenrealestate.com and I encourage you to occasionally go on-line and visit the areas of interest you will see that we are hosting and Independence Day Celebration Saturday, July 2nd, 2011   12pm -6pm at the New WREC Event Site 121 Blue Ridge Drive, Wintergreen VA. (behind the Wintergreen Real Estate Office and Black Bear Cafe) Wintergreen Real Estate Company (WREC) would like to invite property owners and guests to join us for a general celebration and appreciation of our beautiful community by throwing a party at our newly open Event Site. Everyone is welcome. We will have parking nearby, live music, free hamburgers and hotdogs and soft drinks as well as local artist exhibits and activities and games for children and their families. It is going to be a wonderful weekend to be in the mountains. The resort also has many activities planned as you are probably aware. In addition, the 2011 Wintergreen Summer Festival will take place from July 6 through August 7 at the Evans Center at Wintergreen Resort. Activities include orchestra and chamber music concerts; a series of informal seminars; cooking classes; pops concerts; a film festivals; wine tastings; coffee concerts; programming for children; nature hikes—more than 150 events in all, many of which are free. These activities are one of the most anticipated events in Nelson County and bring with it a large influx of visitors who visit our community, spend money, and enjoy the incomparable beauty of Nelson County.

Remember when Ronald Reagan turned to address the Russian leader and said, “Mr. Gorbachov, tear down these walls”. Finally, the developers from Charlottesville are tearing down the foundations of The Seasons development at the corner of Wintergreen Drive and restoring the site. To assist with this effort, Wintergreen Real Estate Co. is going to recycle the material from that site, grind it up and use it as a foundation and fill, adding top soil to expand the site behind our office on the hill. We will be building a bocce court, a children’s play area, gazebo and benches for relaxation and most importantly a dog park. This will be the first Wintergreen Pooch Park. It will be a place where owners can take their dogs to play and relax away from roads and golf courses yet close to the condos and homes on Devils Knob. And yes, cats are welcome too.

In closing, allow me to share one of my favorite and most poignant and eloquent tributes to the dog.

Many years ago, in 1869, Senator Vest represented in a lawsuit, a plaintiff whose dog “Old Drum” had been willfully and wantonly shot by a neighbor. The defendant virtually admitted the shooting, but questioned to the jury the $150 value plaintiff attributed to this mere animal. To give his closing argument, George Vest rose from his chair, scowling, mute, his eyes burning from under the slash of brow tangled as a grape vine. Then he stepped sideways, hooked his thumbs in his vest pockets, his gold watch fob hanging motionless, it was that heavy. He looked, someone remembered afterwards, taller than his actual 5 feet 6 inches, and began in a quiet voice to deliver an extemporaneous oration. It was quite brief, less than 400 words:

“Gentlemen of the jury: the best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his worst enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man’s reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous… is his dog.

“Gentlemen of the Jury: a man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.”

The jury deliberated less than two minutes then erupted in joint pathos and triumph. The record becomes quite sketchy here, but some in attendance say the plaintiff who had been asking $150, was awarded $500 by the jury. Little does that matter. The case was eventually appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, which refused to hear it.

Contributed by Tim Merrick

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