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Style · February 25, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Her book introduces children to town

“I wish there were more shops and cafés to inspire people to linger” in town, Jessica Smolinski says.
My husband and I were looking for a permanent home with a small-town feel. We came to Warrenton and really enjoyed it. I had never been here before, but my husband had worked with the PEC here several years ago. We are walking distance from town. On Saturdays, we leisurely take walks on the greenway and to the post office.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Her new children’s book encourages readers to explore and learn about Old Town Warrenton.

Motivated by her love of the town, Jessica Smolinski decided to write and illustrate “The ABCs of Old Town Warrenton.”

As a stay-at-home mom, Mrs. Smolinski worked on the book in her spare time, during her two children’s naps.

Art “is calming and peaceful to me,” she said. “We had seen a similar book in Bethany Beach (Del.) and wished we had a book like this for Warrenton, and my husband said, ‘Why don’t you write one’?”

The 32-page book features well-known landmarks and special events in Old Town, each incorporated with a letter of the alphabet.

The simple illustrations depict places Mrs. Smolinski and her family frequent, including the Warrenton Branch Greenway, the library, Eva Walker Park and the Bluemont summer concerts.

She hopes to continue her passion, writing and illustrating more books for children.

A “newcomer” to the town, Mrs. Smolinski and her family have lived here for 3-1/2 years. They love the small-town atmosphere.

She hopes Warrenton stays relatively unchanged and a place where people can start families.

“The ABCs of Old Town Warrenton” sells for $12 at the Great Harvest Bread Co., the Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail and the upcoming First Friday events on Main Street. The public library also has copies.

• Age

• Home
Town of Warrenton

• Work
Author and illustrator of “The ABC’s of Old Town Warrenton,” self-published through Piedmont Press in December 2014. She previously wrote a personal book for her daughter’s first birthday, “My Wish for You.”

• Why do you do the job?
We had seen a similar book in Bethany Beach and wished we had a book like this for Warrenton, and my husband said, “Why don’t you write one?” I’ve taken art (classes) for a while. I love to be creative, and it opens up a different side of me. I get to express myself differently. It’s calming and peaceful to me.

• Family
Jason, husband. He’s my unofficial marketer. Children, Gianna, 2, and Giovanni, 8 months.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree in religious studies, with a minor in dance studies, George Mason University, 2007. Woodbridge Senior High School, 2003.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Warrenton; coordinator of the St. John moms’ group.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Three and a half years. We are still newcomers to Warrenton. I came from Woodbridge to Fairfax and then Warrenton.

• Why do you live here?
My husband and I were looking for a permanent home with a small-town feel. We came to Warrenton and really enjoyed it. I had never been here before, but my husband had worked with the PEC here several years ago. We are within walking distance from town. On Saturdays, we leisurely take walks on the greenway and to the post office.

• How do you describe this county?
In Warrenton, even people we don’t know too well recognize us. We like being “townies” and seeing how the town looks different day to day.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
Warrenton specifically needs more businesses that would inspire people to stay in town longer . . . . I wish there were more shops and cafés to inspire people to linger.

• What do you do for fun?
Crafting and crocheting. I make crafts for my kids.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I love Main Street, especially when it’s closed for events.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
It will grow. I hope it continues to be a family friendly place. I hope it continues to be a place where people can begin their families. That’s why my husband and I moved here.

• Favorite TV show?
“Gilmore Girls”

• Favorite movie?
“You’ve Got Mail”

• Favorite book?
The “ABCs of Old Town Warrenton.” My favorite illustrator is Mary Engelbreit.
I always enjoy looking at her artwork. My favorite book to read to my children is “On the Night You Were Born” by Nancy Tillman.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Italy with my husband and Disney World with the kids.

• Favorite food?

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
“Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain,” from Vivian Greene. I heard it at a graduation speech.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My husband, because he takes care of everybody in the family. He’s caring and thoughtful and helps other people. He still notices the little things.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Probably pay off all my debts, take my family back to Disney World. Practical stuff. Maybe go on a small shopping spree.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.

• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.

• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.

• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.

• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.

• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.

• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.

• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.

• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.

• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”

• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.

• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.

• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.

• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.

• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.

• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.

• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people

• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.

• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.

• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.

• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.

• Pastor a constant in Calverton.

• She keeps the courthouse spotless.

• He loves working working outdoors at the park.

• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton

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