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Where do you live?
I live in Fluvanna near the Albemarle County line.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
I actually moved to Fluvanna not too long ago. I was looking for beautiful country outside of Charlottesville and I found that here.
Tell us about your work.
I’m the lead singer and rhythm guitar player for my band, the Will Overman Band. We are an Americana-folk band and we play all over the place, especially Charlottesville and areas around here. We have played, and hope to play again soon, at the Dogwood in Palmyra – that place rocks. We consist of four members: me, Daniel McCarthy, Chris Helms, and Brittney Wagner. Daniel, our guitarist and banjo player, grew up in Fluvanna.
Tell us about your family.
I’m biased, like everyone, but I come from an extremely loving and encouraging family. I have one sister named Molly and my parents, Bill and Denise. I also have a pretty dang cool dog named Huck, he’s a “bagel” (basset/beagle mix).
Tell us about a hobby you have.
As I mentioned, I’m in the Will Overman Band. We are an up-and-coming group and we’re definitely hungry. I write the music and I have to say I pull from a lot of different influences. I grew up listening to the Avett Brothers, so I definitely hear a bit of them in my songs, but I’m also very inspired by bands such as Kings of Leon, Josh Ritter, John Prine, and others.
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
Being able to make music and getting paid to do so – that’s very special to me. Not so much the being paid, but the fact that I can create this music that means so much to me, and share that with people for a living – well, that’s just awesome.
We recently opened for Fridays After Five at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville and man, what a thrill! Being up on that stage was fantastic. I’d have to say that was a pretty big highlight.
Another gigantic life highlight for me was completing the Appalachian Trail out of high school. I graduated in 2012 and immediately set out to complete the A.T., a 2,000+ mile hike from Maine to Georgia, and I did it! It was by far one of the most beautiful, humbling, and pure experiences I’ve ever had, and probably will ever have.
Describe one of the biggest surprises of your life, and describe a tragedy/struggle of your life.
Last year my extremely healthy, active, full-of-life girlfriend was diagnosed with cancer. For me, and anyone, that was a huge blow. Everyone thinks “Why me?” or “It’ll never be me,” but in this case it wasn’t me, it was my girl, who I never in a million years would have thought something like that could touch her, and that sucked the worst of all.
However, I’m very fortunate to be able to say she is doing so, so well now. She kicked cancer’s butt and is back to soaking up life like she always has.
Describe a dream you have for your future.
I hope to take the Will Overman Band to great heights. I want to share my music with as many people as possible and connect to people on the large scale. Music is meant to be shared, and that’s what I plan on doing, in a big way.
Describe a fear you have for your future.
A fear I have for the future is that I’ll lose sight of what’s important and makes me happy, and I’ll get caught up in the whirlwind that is “life.”
Here’s your chance to sound off. If you could give one public service announcement or word of advice to the public at large, what would it be?
Stop, breathe, look around, and if you find you aren’t happy, then do what does make you happy. I think that is much easier said than done, but I also think life is 10 percent what happens to you, and 90 percent how you react, so if you’re on board with that, then really – your happiness is all up to you.

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Photo by Stephanie PellicaneWhere do you live?
Scottsville.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
I moved here when I was two from Buckingham. 
How long have you been working in Fluvanna Schools and what positions have you held?
I started working right out of college in 1970. I worked at the Fluvanna Junior High School which was basically 8th and 9th graders. I taught Geography and US History until 1976. Then I taught at FCHS,now the current middle school, as a Government teacher for all the seniors and started teaching Sociology. In 1989 I was an Assistant Principal to Ervin McQuaige for one year. I decided I didn’t think I liked being an assistant  principal so I went back to teaching. After that I was a Guidance counselor for one year and then just decided to again stick with teaching. For three years, over the summers and on some weekends, I was an educational consultant. I traveled all over the US including Lake Tahoe, Nevada, Austin, Texas, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
The students. That’s the reason why I keep coming back. I think if I’m making a difference, maybe I should stay here.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in Fluvanna Schools?
I have seen a change in the attitude towards teachers. At one time I felt like I was respected for being a teacher. Now I feel demoralized sometimes. Another thing is they desegregated Fluvanna when I was in college but I didn’t know it well until I began to teach here.

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Where do you live?
Lake Monticello
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
Since 1994. Twenty years ago I retired here for what I thought would be a quiet, relaxing life. It didn’t quite work out that way, but it was even better!
Tell us about your work.
After graduating from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a doctorate in engineering, I spent a couple of years in the chemical industry, had a brief stint in the Army and then joined IBM. There I had a very enjoyable career for 31 years, about half of which was spent in the international side of IBM.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married for a little over two years now. My wife Peggy and I both previously had great marriages that lasted over 50 years. After both of our spouses had passed away, we met and decided we could do it again – probably not for 50 years this time. This does now make us the reincarnation of the “Brady Bunch,” which you may remember from your TV oldies. She has three daughters and I have three sons. Between us we have 10 grandchildren.
Tell us about a hobby you have.
If you rate your hobbies by the time you spend on them, I guess that would be golf. I do still enjoy bridge and fooling with computers.
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You look so familiar…where do we know you from?
I have been a teacher and school librarian in Fluvanna since 1986. I was a classroom teacher for nine years (4th, 5th and 6th grades,) and have been a librarian since.
How long have you been a librarian in Fluvanna County Schools, and in which schools? What do you love about your job?
This year will be my 20th year as a librarian – 17 years at Central Elementary. This will be my third year at Carysbrook. I have taught students in library in grades K-5. Now I have 3rd and 4th. I love everything about being a librarian but my favorite part is still actually teaching library lessons to the students. I am now at a place in my career where I am teaching the children of students that I taught years ago. It is hard to believe I’ve been doing this that long.
Where else do I know you from?
I also love music and enjoy singing with the choir and praise band at my church. For a number of years, I sang with a local group – “Just Us.” I have also sung with the Piedmont Virginia Community College Chorus. I have also had parts in several local theater productions.
Have you lived in Fluvanna all of your life? What was it like growing up here? What would readers be surprised to learn about your childhood?
I have lived my entire life in Fluvanna County. I grew up on a farm. We had cows, pigs, horses and chickens. I helped get up hay bales, fed the animals, collected eggs, and helped repair fences. I got to drive the tractor once while getting up hay, until I caused my father to fall off the hay wagon. I wasn’t allowed to drive it again! You would be surprised to learn that we did not have an indoor bathroom until I was six years old. Life in Fluvanna was very laid back when I was a child. Lots of families farmed and it seemed as if everyone knew each other.
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Photo by Christina Dimeo GusemanWhere do you live?
Lake Monticello.
How long have you lived in Fluvanna? What brought you here?
We’ve been here about a year and a half, since we opened Sal’s Italian Restaurant by Lake Monticello.
My parents own the Sal’s in Fork Union. Some people came by and told them about this building (where Sal’s is now) and said it needed an Italian restaurant. My husband and I were running a restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the time, but we wanted to be closer to my family. We were at the point with the restaurant where we needed to either buy out our partner or come up here and set up shop with my parents. It was risky, but we felt more comfortable with my parents. So we came up here and opened this restaurant.
Tell us about your work.
My husband and I opened Sal’s here at Lake Monticello on Oct. 24, 2012. We’ve been in the family restaurant business for so long – we like to become kind of family with people and get to know people’s names. Our food is all fresh and we make everything homemade. Nothing is pre-made, the marsala is made when you order the marsala, everything.
We put our heart and soul into the restaurant because that’s what we love to do. A long time ago we tried to switch. We were so tired of the restaurant, because it’s 12 hours a day, six days a week. We tried doing something else – we went to Italy, we got married, we were going to live there. And we found ourselves wanting to get into the restaurant again because we missed it so much. We didn’t know what else to do with ourselves. Everything else – it didn’t really fit. So after two years we came back to the States, moved to North Carolina, and got back into the restaurant business. It’s just what we love to do.
People say to find something that makes you happy. This is what makes us happy - even though it’s a lot of work.
Why didn’t you just open a restaurant in Italy?
In Italy it’s hard opening up a restaurant because you stay till 1 or 2 a.m. Over there you sit and enjoy your dinner, you have a glass of wine, you take a bite here and a bite there. It’s not about the food as much as it is about the experience, every time. Going out with friends. Usually people are sitting out for two hours, just taking their time enjoying their meal. Even with kids – they just run around the restaurant. People come out at 9 or 10 p.m. still wanting dinner. You couldn’t really have a restaurant and close at 10 p.m. Plus, being in Italy, you’d want to be out and about, too.
But restaurants don’t open till 4 p.m. over there – they don’t have lunch. Some of them are starting to. But in my town in Sicily, none are open for lunch. People usually go home for lunch.
Tell us about your family.
My husband, Giacomo, and I have been married seven years. We have a son, Luca, and another boy on the way. We’re trying to teach Luca Italian. When I was young, my parents only spoke to us in Italian. But here, it’s hard once they get into school, they’re so submerged in English that’s all they want to speak. But we’re just speaking Italian at home.
My family is from Sicily. My dad came to America when he was 17. His family was very poor, and when he was 17 his sisters were getting married and his mom didn’t have enough money to marry them. He was the youngest and a mama’s boy. He called up some family in New York and he came here to work and help his mom by sending money back.
He and my mom knew each other in Sicily. My hometown is very small, so everyone knows everyone else. My dad always said he and my mom hated each other. If they passed on the street my dad would go one way and she would go the other way. I don’t know why they hated each other so much, but they did. But when he came back from America and saw my mom again, he was like, “Who’s that?” so they started going out and got married after two years.
They moved to Petersburg, and that’s where my sister and I were born. They had a restaurant there. From then on we were always back and forth to Italy. My dad always wanted to move back to Sicily – that was his thing. But there were never any jobs or anything that could really hold him there, whereas here there is so much more opportunity. There’s always a job here – if you know how to make food, you can make food. There’s always a chance somewhere if you try, there’s always going to be some kind of door open. But in Sicily there isn’t. You can try and try and there just aren’t any jobs, especially right now.
I’m proud of being Italian. It’s funny – in America there are so many nationalities. People are proud of being Italian and something else.
My sister and I would work in our family’s restaurant, Vito’s, in Cumberland. I was the bus girl and dishwasher, and she would answer the phone to take orders. The funny thing was, she was so small that people wouldn’t trust her to take their orders. They’d say, “Can we talk to your mom?” So she started saying, “Okay, here she is,” then change her voice to sound deeper and getting right back on the line. Then they’d give her their order.
My husband, Giacomo, and I met in Sicily when I was 17. He came to America and worked at Vito’s, too. He was the pizza man. Then we went and got married in Italy. He wanted to live in Italy, but a better opportunity (the partnership in Greensboro) came over here.
Our son, Luca, was born in Greensboro and he’s just like his dad. He’s very quiet and precise with things. And he’s a very good little boy. He loves going up to people and talking, especially kids at a table at the restaurant.
Tell us about a hobby you have.
Talking!
Describe one of the highlights of your life.
Having Luca and my family is my highlight.
Describe one of the biggest surprises of your life.
At one point when we were dating, Giacomo was in Italy. My grandmother was coming over here, and Giacomo just decided to come with her. I didn’t know they were coming – my parents did, though. I was working at the restaurant and in walked Giacomo to pick up a pizza. He had flowers. That was an amazing surprise.
Describe one of the tragedies/struggles of your life.
When I was young, before I was a teenager, my mom had stage four ovarian cancer and they gave her six months to live. She was only 32 or 34. The doctors over here refused to operate on her because they said she was too far along. She got all sorts of opinions.
So she and my dad went to Milan for the operation. The doctor told my dad that they had operated on a woman just like her and she had died on the table. They didn’t want him to have too much hope. But my parents had a lot of hope. They operated on her and she’s been cancer-free since then. She’s 49 now.
It was the hardest time in my mom’s life. We didn’t really know what was going on. My mom told us she had an ulcer in her stomach and that was why she was going to Italy. But I caught on. And we ran the restaurant, my sister and me. We lived with my aunt and uncle – we’d go to school and then we’d go straight to work. We grew up a lot.
Describe a dream you have for your future.
After what I’ve been through with my mom and being in the restaurant a lot, I just want to live happy. There’s so much tragedy and people work so hard – and then, like with my parents, my mom got cancer. You can’t just wait until this is over or that is over, you have to live happy now.
We love this area here in Fluvanna. I want to own our home with a little bit of land and let our kids run out and play. My parents gave us a really good childhood, we were always playing outside, and that’s what I want for my kids. Yeah, we worked a lot as kids, but I still feel like my parents instilled so much into me. I often hear, “You’re 28 years old and you seem so mature, like you know so much more than someone your age should know,” and I think that’s because of my parents. I want to do the same for my kids.
Describe a fear you have for your future.
With the restaurant you never know what could happen. We put our life into this place.
Here’s your chance to sound off.
If you could give one public service announcement or one word of advice to the public at large, what would it be?
Live happy – even if you’re poor and in Sicily. In Sicily they don’t have a lot of money. But they still go to the beach. They’re living life. Take the good moments in life. I try not to dwell too much on the sad.

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