Tag Archives: Kurt Michael


Artist: Trace Adkins
Music by Jeremy Spillman — Lyrics by Dave Turnbull

This song was inspired when lyricist and Virginia Tech graduate Dave Turnbull heard the story of a young Tennessee U.S. Marine, Corporal Patrick Nixon, who was killed in action during Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 23, 2003.  He was laid to rest in Arlington Cemetery. After a chance encounter in Nashville with Corporal Nixon’s father who said he had just returned from burying his son at Arlington,  Turnbull felt inspired to write the song.

Teaming up with Jerry Spillman who wrote the melody, they put the story to music to honor those who had died to protect America. The haunting melody and lyrics reflect the thoughts of a soldier who died on the battlefield and was laid to rest on that sacred ground along with thousands of others who paid the ultimate price for freedom.

In 2006 Mr. Turnbull, a successful lyricist in Nashville, sent a framed copy of the lyrics to his cousin, then-chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee Kurt Michael, who delivered it to the mother of a fallen Augusta County Marine. Memorial Day 2016 … may we never forget.

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‘Overnight Christmas’ reminds of the reason for the season at Thomas Road Baptist

Thomas Road Christmas 1

Photo from Thomas Road Baptist Church Facebook page.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

In the past I have attended the West End Assembly of God’s Christmas productions in Richmond but today was the first time experiencing Thomas Road Baptist Church’s Christmas spectacular celebrating the birth of Jesus. With more than forty years of productions under its belt, TRBC pulled out all the stops once again for an entertaining, music-packed, two-hour production with an underlying message of faith while pastor Jonathan Falwell bumpered the event with inspirational remarks and prayer.

My husband and I were invited by long-time friend Kurt Michael, who is managing editor of this blog and an assistant dean at Liberty University, and his wife Pam, to attend the production. We were not disappointed. For some the show has become a holiday tradition; for others, it was a first-time experience.

The entertainment included plenty of toe-tapping, hum-along music, dancers, jokes, soloists, and talent galore. Props and costumes were outstanding, and the 37-foot living Christmas tree filled the air with the voices of a 100-member chorus that was accompanied by a 30-member orchestra and 60 members of the children’s choir.

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LynnRMitchell.com gives thanks

Thanksgiving 8By Lynn R. Mitchell

The heart of this blog is those who give freely of their time and talent to make us who we are. On this Thanksgiving Day 2015 I’m grateful to our managing editor and contributor Kurt Michael, and to contributor Daniel Cortez, and to all our guest posters who have added opinions, entertainment, and friendship. We don’t all always agree on issues but we try to contribute to the conversation without being disagreeable.

When Kurt and I began this blog about 18 months ago, it came at a time when I was looking to stretch beyond my SWAC Girl blog that had been up and going since 2006. We were  looking for rational discussion about the very serious issues that face our nation, but not to totally dwell on politics. Our photos of back roads, stand-up paddle boarding, weather, and the world around us as well as light-hearted posts about holidays, family, and anything else that comes to mind keep us from bogging down too much. We bounce writing ideas around, sometimes pitching some out the window while embracing others. There are many talented writers out there who don’t have the time to manage a personal blog but who are often willing to write columns to share. Their insight into issues is invaluable and their opinions are always appreciated.

So on this Thanksgiving I’d like to give thanks to all of them. Our list of contributors and guest posters is here. It is a varied list from all walks in life. Thanks, Kurt and Daniel … you help make this a fun adventure. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Veterans Day 2015 … their service and sacrifice protect our freedom

By Lynn R. Mitchell

“For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.”

Veterans Day 2015. Today we honor those who have served and sacrificed to protect our freedom.

At LynnRMitchell.com, we honor two of our own who are veterans and thank them for their dedication to God and country. Marine veteran Daniel Cortez is a Vietnam vet who was wounded in 1970 and was decorated for extraordinary heroism in combat, and managing editor Kurt Michael is a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers veteran.

My husband, a Southeast Asia-Vietnam era Air Force veteran, is flying American flags in front of our home along with the POW-MIA flag, a reminder of those who did not come back. My parents are visiting this week so we have a World War II Navy veteran in the house; my late father was also a World War II Navy vet. Brother-in-law Jon served in the Army as well as cousin John, and another cousin Jim served in the reserves.

Grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors … heroes surround us.

As then-Governor Bob McDonnell, himself a U.S. Army veteran, noted in 2012, “The sacrifice of these heroes and their families makes it possible for us to continue to live and to freely pursue our dreams here in the greatest nation this world has ever known. Freedom is not free. Our brave veterans remind us of that every day. … I urge all Virginians to once again renew our pledge to all of those who are serving and have served: an eternally grateful Commonwealth and country stand forever ready to serve you. … We can’t just stop and recognize our heroes on one day. We must recognize them, serve them, and thank them every day. Our liberty depends upon their sacrifice.”

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Happy Birthday, Lt. Governor John Hager

By Lynn R. Mitchell

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Former Virginia Lieutenant Governor John Hager with then-7th Congressional District Chairman Linwood Cobb … 2014.

Birthday greetings to one of the hardest working Republicans in Virginia — former Lieutenant Governor John Hager! He travels all over the Commonwealth to events and supports candidates, something he continues to do. He’s everywhere! Together with wife Maggie, they are in-laws to the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Bush. Their son Henry is married to the Bush’s daughter Jenna. Here are just a few of the many photos I have taken of the LG at GOP events throughout the years with a sincere thanks for all he has done to advance the causes we all believe in. Happy Birthday, John Hager!

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Happy Birthday, Kurt Michael, from all of us at LynnRMitchell.com

Happy Birthday 1Everyone at LynnRMitchell.com wishes the happiest of birthdays to our managing editor

Dr. Kurt Michael!

He has met many people along the way so here’s a little walk down Memory Lane. We’ve had an exciting year that will continue and only get bigger as we grow. Wishing this long-time friend many more birthdays!

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9

??????????Kurt and Ed Gillespie

18aLieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Kurt at the Capitol.

??????????Governor Mitt Romney and Kurt

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6th District supporters rally around Congressman Goodlatte at outdoor Augusta County event

By Lynn R. Mitchell

6Hearing the issues now being tackled by Congress reminded of a gathering of supporters from Augusta, Rockingham, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Harrisonburg held for Congressman Bob Goodlatte earlier this month in Weyers Cave. While there, the congressman was able to address the crowd of about 60 donors and supporters and expand on the wide array of discussions and issues that are occurring in Congress. With the animosity that is prevalent these days in politics, it was good to hear the update.

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) on James River near Snowden

Kurt Michael 000By Kurt Michael

Near the community of Snowden, Virginia, deep within the Blue Ridge Mountains, a road crosses over the James River. Alongside the roadway, the CSX railroad tracks run parallel to the river and then traverse the James on their way south to Lynchburg. See Map.James 826A few thousand feet from the Route 501 bridge is where the Appalachian Trail foot bridge crosses the James River high above the waters of the Cushaw Dam reservoir. At this place is the convergence of four modes of transportation: truck, train, foot, and stand up paddle board (SUP).

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Happy Father’s Day to the dads at LynnRMitchell.com

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Father's Day

Sending Happy Father’s Day wishes to the dads including guest posters who have been part of LynnRMitchell.com with thanks for all they do throughout the year.  A special shout-out to our Managing Editor Kurt Michael. It wouldn’t be possible without all of you!

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Behind Emmett Hanger’s winning strategy

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Emmett Hanger for Senate election night watch party at the Clocktower Restaurant in downtown Staunton.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

As I reflected on the past weeks working Senator Emmett Hanger’s 24th District primary, there was much to remember — memories, thoughts, observations (see Emmett Hanger wins huge in 24th Senate District). It was a short, intense campaign due to a lawsuit that was filed by the 24th District legislative committee, and it was not settled until April (see 24th Senate District: Court upholds laws of Commonwealth, Hanger gets primary). Once the court ruled, everything fell into place as Senator Hanger’s team set about working for his re-election in the June 9 Republican primary.

The result was a resounding victory with Senator Hanger taking 60 percent, Dan Moxley 27.5 percent, and Marshall Pattie 12 percent. Staunton City voters provided a whopping 71 percent of the vote for Hanger.

Now some are wondering who was behind the definitive winning strategy. They are some of the best Virginia has to offer.

Political consultant Boyd Marcus was dedicated and an inspiration to work with during the past weeks — a professional who was friendly, funny, and knowledgeable beyond belief while strategizing, developing the campaign plan, and overseeing the other consultants. The native Virginian and long-time political player, whose services were offered as an in-kind donation by the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, has consulted and worked with Governor George Allen, Governor Jim Gilmore, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, and many House and Senate races throughout the years. This time he put his golden touch on the 24th Senate District and Emmett Hanger. It was a familiar partnership for the two political veterans. In 1995, Boyd advised Emmett Hanger when Hanger first won the 24th Senate District nomination, eventually defeating Democratic incumbent Frank Noland in the general election. Interestingly, Emmett was the first elected Republican in Augusta County since Reconstruction, leading the way in a county that is now solidly red.

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Grace Christian School’s 16th annual Boots and Bandana Auction

By Lynn R. Mitchell

2It was Grace Christian School’s 16th annual fundraising auction that pulled out hundreds of supporters. The gymnasium was busy with silent auction lookers while those in the barbecue line (background) waited for BBQ dinners. The wait seemed longer than in the past with some standing an hour as the line crept toward the food.

As usual, we saw many friends from the community. That is one reason we have attended this event for the past 12 years — to support Grace Christian School and to reunite with friends at an event that is a kind of homecoming and reunion, all rolled into one. It was good to see folks like Dr. Kurt Michael, Jim and Marilyn Rimel along with Charlie and Lauren Rimel, Patti Lam, Don and Debbie Reid, Peggy Bell, Susan Wenger, Seth Gardner, and many others.

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Bob McDonnell’s appeal continues in the courts and with supporters

Bob McDonnell 14 wit Kurt

Dr. Kurt Michael, Governor Bob McDonnell at Executive Mansion, 2013. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

Posted yesterday on former Governor Bob McDonnell’s Facebook page:

Governor McDonnell’s attorneys are reviewing the Government’s filing and preparing his response.

In the meantime, Governor McDonnell remains buoyed by the unprecedented broad support his appeal has received from bipartisan state attorneys general who served in states stretching from Maine to Hawaii, bipartisan federal officials including White House counsels to every President since Ronald Reagan and two United States Attorneys General, nationally recognized law professors, including one of President Clinton’s most well-regarded district court appointees, bipartisan state and national legislators, the association that represents 31 sitting governors across the country, countless business leaders, the nation’s leading criminal defense lawyers association, as well as one of the country’s most prominent civil rights leaders.

Governor McDonnell further remains hopeful he will succeed in demonstrating on appeal that he never abused his office or committed any crime. He considered it an immense privilege to serve as governor and worked tirelessly with his team of public servants to improve the quality of Life in the Commonwealth. Governor McDonnell’s deep faith in God and the remarkable support of friends and family continue to sustain him during this appellate process.”

Earlier this month the Virginian Pilot reported that 44 former attorneys general backed McDonnell’s appeal, noting that they “support Mr. McDonnell’s appeal because his convictions represent a drastic, legislatively unsanctioned expansion of the federal police power, Basing federal criminal prosecutions on common political pleasantries would extend the federal government’s reach far too deeply into state political life” (see 44 former attorneys general back McDonnell appeal).
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Kurt Michael for Wayne District supervisor?

Dr. Kurt Michael and his family. Election Day 2011.

By Lynn R. Mitchell

The grape vine is working overtime these days with phone calls and inquiries from folks asking if Dr. Kurt Michael is running for Wayne District supervisor in Augusta County. He was approached weeks ago and asked to please run for the position that he had almost won four years ago.

In 2011, then-chairman of the Augusta County GOP Bill Shirley would not even talk with Kurt about seeking the Republican nomination and, as a result, he had to run as an Independent candidate. Never mind that he had been active in the Republican Party for over 20 years and had served as GOP chairman in Fairfax City while in his 20s, and as Augusta County chairman from 2002-08. Shirley recruited a candidate who had not been involved with the Republican Party before running for supervisor. Kurt lost on election day to voters who walked in and asked, “Who is the Republican candidate?” without knowing either one.

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More backyard chickens? Augusta County supervisors say ‘no’


By Lynn R. Mitchell

Who knew backyard chickens would be such a controversial idea in rural Augusta County? I am not an expert on the policies nor have I read much on either side. However, for someone who is pretty plugged into the news, the chicken issue was under my radar until arriving at the supervisor meeting Wednesday night and seeing the partition open and extra seating set up for an overflow crowd.


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Happy New Year! 2014 year-end review from LynnRMitchell.com

This is our first year-end review at LynnRMitchell.com. We started up eight months ago as a group blog, providing daily posts that include opinion, information, and humor about politics and many other issues. It’s been a good year. Our readers have included everyone from politicos to homeschool moms to friends and neighbors. We are generally right-of-center but promote rational thought and discussion as part of the dialogue with our contributors and guest writers.

During our eight months, we’ve published over 900 posts from our four regular contributors — Kurt Michael who is our managing editor, David Karaffa, Daniel Cortez, and Lynn R. Mitchell who is executive editor — as well as 23 guest writers.  Our very first guest writer was Mike Thomas whose post zoomed to the top of the ratings and helped launch us into the blogosphere.

The Top 5 posts for 2014 covered a variety of topics:

Dr. Rob Marsh … Delta Force soldier finds peace as country doctor
Augusta County’s Dennis Burnett passes away
Summer 2014 … 40 things to do in and around Staunton, Virginia
Louisa tea party chairman wins 7th Congressional District chair
WSJ: ‘Health Care and the $20,000 bruise’

The next five posts were just as varied:

Afton’s 2014 Bethlehem Village and the greatest story ever told
Unaccompanied Child Immigrants in Verona, Virginia
Sabato: ‘This is not a good development for Mark Warner’
Did judge in McDonnell trial have conflict of interest?
Kay Coles James for RPV chairman: A visionary for the future of the party

We have been read all over the country and around the world, thanks to our readers and contributors, and we’re looking forward to what 2015 will bring. We hope you’ll continue the journey with us. Happy New Year!

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