Fluvanna Faces

Captain Mark Black. Photo courtesy of Mark BlackWhere do you live?
Lake Monticello.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
We have resided here for 18 months. My assignment to the University of Virginia brought us here.
Tell us about your family.
I am married to Kim Black, who is originally from Pace, Florida. We have been married for 28 years. We have two sons, Victor and Luke, that have both graduated from college and are making their way in life.
What do you do for a living?
I am an officer in the United States Navy. I am currently the commanding officer and professor of naval science of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Virginia. I served as a naval flight officer flying the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18F Super Hornet.
What is one of your pet peeves?
People who are inconsiderate of those around them.
What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy spending time with family, athletics, and physical fitness.
What pivotal decision helped to shape your life?
Believing and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal savior.
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Note: Dennis Holder, a former humor writer for 713 Magazine, Ultra, and other publications, may have stretched the facts just a little for this interview.
Where do you live?
I live in Kents Store. Understand, though, that my home is not in downtown metropolitan Kents Store but on the outskirts. I live in a house that I built with my own hands using nothing but matchsticks. There are more than 300 million matchsticks and it took me 17 weeks just to count them. When the wind blows, I live in my car. I own 300,000 acres of fertile Fluvanna County farmland that I won in a poker game a couple of years ago. Except for a small kumquat orchard, this land is planted entirely in radishes. I am the largest radish grower in Virginia. Most of the others are dwarves.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
I came to Fluvanna County rather hurriedly in 2001. My first ex-wife’s next husband was a Greek sailor with a typical Mediterranean temper. He became enraged when my ex told him that I hated retsina. My former father-in-law called to say that the Greek had a gun and was looking for me. I decided to get out of Dallas, where I lived at the time. I knew the sailor did not speak English, and a little research showed there was no Greek word for Fluvanna, so I figured he could never find me here. What actually brought me to Fluvanna, however, was a rented Penske bobtail truck. I stowed away in a crate marked “Fragile!”
Tell us about your family.
I came from a show business family. My mother was the bearded lady in the famous J.W. Peterson’s Traveling Episcopalian Tent Revival and Cavalcade of God’s Mistakes. She also sang bass in a Polish barbershop quartet. My father played the harp in a marching band and gave private lessons on the ukulele. I had two brothers, both younger. One was a professional tennis player who one day charged the net too hard and strained himself. The other also was athletic, but he wound up singing soprano with the Atlanta opera after a pole vaulting accident.
Currently, I live with my delusional girlfriend, Helvetica, who steadfastly believes she is Phyllis Diller. She has a cat, Pajamas, an ocelot from Trinidad. I have a dog, Brobdingnag, an Abyssinian Beaverhound that we rescued from a sausage factory near Seattle. We also have 16 penguins who live in a refrigerated room in the basement.

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Where do you live?
I live in Lake Monticello.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
After meeting my wife Bethany in college at the University of Virginia, we got married in 2005 and lived for two years in Charlottesville. Then we decided to settle in Fluvanna in 2007 because we thought it would be a great place to raise a family.
Tell us about your family.
My wife and I have been married for 10 years and have two beautiful cats named Caedmon and Ciara. We are hoping to grow our family through adoption very soon!
What do you do for a living?
I am a software engineer for a data mining company in town.
What is one of your pet peeves?
I really don’t like it when people cause me to be late for something.
What do you do in your spare time?
I enjoy many hobbies, including cooking, reading, and miniature painting. However, my primary hobby is playing modern board games. I am a member of the local Lake Monticello Board Game Club, which meets every other Saturday at the clubhouse. You should join us.
What pivotal decision helped to shape your life?
I can point to two pivotal decisions that have shaped who I am today. The first was my decision to become a Christian. The second was deciding to ask my wife to marry me. I would not be the same person I am had it not been for those decisions.
Tell us about a way you have changed over the years.
I think I’ve become more open to experiences outside my comfort zone. For example, we went to Honduras on a medical mission trip through our church two summers ago.
What has surprised you about your life?
One of my biggest surprises occurred soon after I got my acceptance letter to college. My mom was really excited that I would be only about two hours from home. However, the next week, my dad came home and asked how she and my siblings felt about moving to the United Kingdom! He had received an opportunity to go over there with his company for about two years. It was seven years before they moved back to the United States.
What’s one thing you hope to accomplish before you die?
I want to live my life in such a manner that others can remember me by my love for God and for other people. Anything else is a pure bonus.
Tell us about one of your regrets.
I try not to focus on regrets because I believe that all of our experiences help to grow and shape us.
What quote or saying do you connect with most? Why do you like it?
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” by Anais Nin. I resonate with this quote because it helps me keep perspective. If I realize that all of my viewpoints are driven by my experiences, I am better able to empathize with those with whom I disagree.

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What brought you to Fluvanna?
Although I do not live in Fluvanna, I have taught here for 25 years. I was fresh out of college at the University of Virginia (I grew up in Charlottesville) and was moving to Richmond. Fluvanna offered me a job (thank goodness) and although it was a long commute, I took my first (and only) teaching position here.
Tell us about your family.
I am married and have two children. My husband works at State Farm, and has met many of my students’ parents there over the years. I have a 19-year-old daughter, Cierra, who is in her second year at U.Va. She wants to become a sports psychologist. I also have a 13-year-old son, Drew. He goes to Burley Middle School and plays both soccer and basketball.
What do you do for a living?
Currently I teach fourth grade at Carysbrook Elementary School. Over the years, I have taught fourth and fifth grade, and worked in a resource position.
What is one of your pet peeves?
I am very impatient, which is funny because I am a teacher and would like to think I am patient with my students. But I cannot stand to wait in lines, traffic, etc. It is a running joke in our family.
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Photo courtesy of Roland BeaufordWhere do you live?
I live in Lake Monticello. I was born and raised in Charlottesville. I’ve been a resident of Fluvanna County for 21 years.
What brought you to Fluvanna?
My wife and I had two beautiful young daughters and wanted a safe and good life for them. Fluvanna County was the perfect venue and we have been very satisfied with what Fluvanna has delivered. In addition, we have met lifelong friends in Fluvanna County. That’s considered to be the bonus.
Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my wife, Matilda, also known as “Tilly,” for 27 years. I have two beautiful daughters, Adrienne and Amanda, and I have one beautiful granddaughter, Morgan, who is 5 years old.
What do you do for a living?
I am retired from the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. I retired as the deputy superintendent with the rank of lieutenant colonel of the facility.
What is one of your pet peeves?
I have several, but the most disturbing is the amount of homelessness in our country. A nation as bountiful and wealthy as ours should not be fostering families or persons who have no viable and safe place to live. This country has to re-evaluate its homeless ideals and focus more on delivering stable and affordable housing to families, to our seniors and to our veterans.
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