Spring Meeting in Charlottesville

The spring General Meeting of DSDI will be held in Charlottesville, Va., March 31-April 2, 2017.  A room block has been reserved at the Boar’s Head Inn.  The invitation for this meeting will specify local hotels as a backup in the event the room block is full when you make your reservation.

The weekend begins with a Friday night dinner March 31 at the Greencroft Club a short distance down Route 250 West from the Boar’s Head Inn.  Saturday morning, April 1, bus transportation will pick up members at the Boar’s Head and proceed to Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop home, Monticello.  Since our last visit in 2003, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation has added an incredible 42,000-square-foot Visitor and Education Center “offering guests fresh perspectives on Monticello and the enduring significance of Jefferson’s life and ideas.”  From the Center, we will break down into groups of 25, board the shuttle buses provided and cover the uphill trek to Monticello to begin our private tour.  Our special tour will permit us to see Monticello’s famous upstairs Dome room.  Be advised, the steps are narrow and steep.  Once the tour has concluded, shuttle buses will transport our groups back to the Visitor and Education Center.  Our own bus transportation will then take us to the very popular and historic Michie Tavern for lunch 18th Century style.

After lunch, bus transportation will take us to the heart of the picturesque Grounds of the University of Virginia where we will hold our General Meeting in one of the rooms of Jefferson’s newly renovated architectural masterpiece, the Rotunda.  Afterwards, student guides will provide a “show and tell” of Mr. Jefferson’s “Academical Village.”  Our tour will culminate at the University’s Albert H. Small Declaration of Independence Collection, which has “the most comprehensive collection of letters, documents, and early printings of the Declaration of Independence.  The exhibition sheds light on not only the writing and signing of the Declaration, but also on its first printing, distribution across the colonies, and future impact on American history.“

After returning to the Boar’s Head by bus, with time hopefully permitting a short respite, members will gather for cocktails preceding our Black Tie (optional) Saturday night banquet.  At the dinner, we are very fortunate to have as our speaker Coy Barefoot, a local best-selling and award-winning author and journalist as well as a historian and media personality.  Coy is the host and Executive Producer of the Coy Barefoot Program (ABC and PBS) and “Inside Charlottesville” radio program.  He has been a special investigative reporter for CNN, for which his work was recognized by the Virginia Association of Broadcasters as best news reporting for 2015.  Coy has a special love for history, and is an authority on Thomas Jefferson.  He founded the Virginia History Lab, which promotes history from a story-telling perspective.  Coy has a unique style, and you will not want to miss his talk on “Exploring the Revolutionary Moment.”

On Sunday, those desiring to attend a church service will be able to do so.  Also, for those whose travel schedules will permit, arrangements have been made to visit King Family Vineyards nestled in the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.  Wine tasting will be available.  From Memorial Day to mid-October, polo matches are played on King Family’s expansive acreage.  Award-winning wines aside, the views alone at King Family Vineyards are worth the visit.

Invitations to the Charlottesville DSDI meeting will be mailed out in early February, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Lawrence “Laurie” M. Croft

Immediate Past President-General