Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 61

Fearless

A Christmas Story
The moment of genuine connection between a young child and a stepparent is a magical one, and made only more so when it is carried out and
framed in holiday glamor and glitter.
By Alexia Stone
My stepdad's name was Fearless. He
was a retired Air Force Colonel and
that was the name he earned in
the service for reasons unfathomable to the common man. Like the
time he flew his B-52, leaking jet
fuel, into a snowstorm, attempting to land at the nearest fuel station, dangerously close to enemy
territory. Legend has it when he
landed he pushed the door open to
his plane, and as a plume of snow
settled he demanded, "Where can I
get a drink around here?!"
One other reason I think they
gave him that name is because
he had a commanding presence
and he could walk into any room
whether it was the waiting room at
a Tire and Auto shop or a first-class
place like The Hotel Roanoke, one
of the finest institutions in Roanoke, Virginia, where we lived, and
be treated like a king.
He had an unshakeable confidence, and, I would later learn, a
crisp supply of $10 bills on hand
for tips for anyone who helped
him. From my perspective as a
young girl, he seemed like the master of his universe.
Before I met Fearless through
my mom, I never would have even
thought about stepping foot into a
place like The Hotel Roanoke. Built
in 1882, it was a beacon on the hill,
something that maybe I would be
worthy of seeing someday, but I
would be much older, certainly richer and more distinguished.

From left: (Mom) Joy Brown, Alexia Stone and (Fearless) Frederick Brown stand together on a happy
day long after the Hotel Roanoke excursion.

Growing up, I never knew my real dad.
I would always envy my friends who
had dads. They would pick them up
from school, or plan special fatherdaughter dates with them or generally give them that ol' "Hey, I'm your
dad and I'm proud of you" pat on
the back kind of thing that can really
build a young girl's self-esteem.
So even though I was standoffish
with Fearless at first, I knew that he
was the person I'd always dreamed
of meeting. I had so many ideas for
us! He would take me to ball games
and teach me how to fish and maybe even take me shopping. And

even though he wasn't my real dad,
I knew he cared about my mom and
that he cared about me, too.
I wasn't exactly sure how to approach the whole "You're my dad
now, let's go do all these fun things
together" conversation. I thought for
several days on how to ask him to assume his new role as "My Dad," and I
couldn't come up with any ideas.
So when Fearless invited me for
the first time to be his date at The
Hotel Roanoke for brunch, I was relieved, but I still wasn't quite sure
what to say. It was a moment I had
been waiting my whole life for. Was I
November/December 2016 61



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 31
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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