Dead Skunk

Greetings From The Booth!

The Hornets are still playing baseball! Congrats to Kevin Anderson’s 34-10-1 squad, who rolled through the ODAC tournament this past weekend and captured their 4th league title, and now will make their 12th appearance in the NCAA Division-3 baseball tournament. On top of that, SU will host the opening round Regional tournament this coming Friday through Sunday at the newly-renovated Bridgeforth Field at Jim Barnett Park in Winchester. The other 3 teams are Stevens Tech, Catholic (DC) University, and St. Joseph. The Hornets will open Friday against St. Joe at 11am, kicking off what should be a great weekend of baseball. I urge everyone to come out and fill the stands and cheer on the Hornets!

I’ve been asked to do the public address announcing for some of the games this weekend, and look forward to returning to my announcing roots, so to speak. I am the long-time PA announcer for Shenandoah basketball (as well as the play-by-play voice for Hornet football), and that is my comfort zone. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve done public address duties from a baseball press box, so let’s take a trip back to the mid-70’s.

As a 14-15 year old playing in the Martinsburg (WV) Senior Little League, my love for baseball extended beyond the diamond up to the press box at Pikeside Field. I also had a love for radio announcing, and always dreamed of being a baseball play-by-play broadcaster. I used to simulate games into a tape recorder, using TV “white noise” as the crowd. The next best thing to doing PBP was PA announcing, and I was fortunate enough to be allowed to handle those duties on nights that I wasn’t playing. I was in heaven, putting my own style and spin on the announcements, starting lineups, etc.

But the thing that got the most comments and attention was my “5th inning stretch” song (games were only 7 innings, so there was no 7th inning stretch). In the booth at Pikeside was a record player, wired in to the PA system. This was used for the National Anthem, and songs between innings, usually pop hits of the day. I somehow stumbled upon the song “Dead Skunk” by Loudon Wainwright III, a fun, nonsensical tune about, you guessed it, roadkill. I decided to play it between innings one evening, and I could see everyone looking up into the booth with either an amused or puzzled expression. I played it again the next game, and the ritual picked up steam, finally becoming the 5th inning stretch song of the Martinsburg Senior Little League (at least when I was doing PA). The song became our version of the Baltimore Orioles’ “Thank God I’m A Country Boy.”

I’m not sure you’ll hear Dead Skunk this weekend at Bridgeforth Field, as someone else will be handling the music, but when I make my way up to the booth on Saturday, I’ll be looking for that record player…

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO HORNET BASEBALL!!!


Shenandoah Reel Women: A Conversation About Fly Fishing Camps For Girls

Shenandoah Reel Women

Today’s conversation on The Valley Today with host, Janet Michael featured Joan Chapman from Shenandoah Reel Women. It was all about fly fishing. She explained how/why the group was formed and the camaraderie she’s found by being a part of it. Click here to have a listen to the conversation.

Shenandoah Reel Women was founded in 2018 by three women who wanted to get out on the river fishing with other women. SRW has now grown to a group of 20+ women of all ages, from all corners of the county. These women gather to learn from, teach, and mentor each other. The goal of SRW is to get more women and girls into the river to try their hand at fly fishing and, also, to engage in other outdoor pursuits like hiking, birding, tree and wildflower spotting, and nature photography.

In the past day camps had been offered to encourage a younger generation of women (ages 12-18) to experience fly fishing. This year an overnight camp has been added. Both flyfishing camps are made possible by the 2021/22 Virginia Wildlife Grant Program through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia and awarded to Friends of North Fork Shenandoah River.

In these camps, young women will be mentored by established SRW members and volunteers. They will be introduced to the art of fly fishing, learn the basics of knot tying, the use of appropriate equipment, good casting techniques, river entomology and watershed conservation education.

The day camp will be held at Seven Bends State Park in Woodstock, VA on June 13-14, and 16, 2022 (Mon/Tue/Thur) 9am-3pm each day. The registration fee for this camp is $45 with enrollment limited to 15. Scholarships are available. Rods, reels and necessary equipment will be available for participants’ use during the day camp and for additional summer fishing activities.

The overnight camp will be a 5-day, 4-overnight camp at Shenandoah River State Park in Bentonville, VA. Girls will arrive at camp at lunchtime on Sunday, June 26, 2022 and depart late afternoon on Thursday, June 30, 2022. The registration fee for this camp is $125 with enrollment limited to 12. Meals and snacks are included. Scholarships are available. Rods, reels and tool lanyards that are used by the participants during the overnight camp will become their property at the conclusion, as part of the grant award. All current COVID guidelines will be followed.

Registration for either of these camps can be made at: The deadline to register for the day camp is Monday, June 6, 2022. The deadline to register for the overnight camp is Monday, June 20, 2022.

Space is limited for both camps so early registration is advised. Joan also explained that there are scholarships available for both camps and encouraged interested parents, coaches, school personnel to reach out to her personally.

For more information about Shenandoah Reel Women, the camps and/or scholarships, please contact: Joan Chapman via phone: 703-507-2276 or email: Follow them on Instagram for updates as well.