No Man Is An Island






The central theme of John Donne’s legendary poem “No Man is an Island” is that no one is truly self-sufficient. To some degree, we rely upon one another — especially in this increasingly interconnected world. But once in a while, you find yourself meeting someone who personifies this age-old proverb. This last weekend, I met 89-year-old Milton Parks…on his island. Tangier Island.


On a long trip to Solomons Island, Maryland this weekend, I made a stopover on tiny Tangier Island, a marshy outcropping of crab pots and little white houses that date back to 1686…50 years after Donne’s death. Tangier natives have an Elizabethan Era dialect, which can make conversation a little challenging. Milton has lost most of his hearing and refuses to wear a hearing aid, which makes communication even more difficult. For example, for the few hours I stayed on Tangier Island, he called me George the whole time. My boat is called Tug Life, but he wrote out the slip rental receipt to Chug White.


“You know I don’t hear so good, George. Maybe you should call me on the radio,” said the legendary, longtime owner of Parks Marina upon approach. We were in the middle of a phone conversation where I was trying to book a slip for the night. I made it to the marina just before twilight, which gave me the opportunity to have a super loud conversation with Milton on his very quiet little island. After all, the only restaurant closes at 4:30 p.m. and I had nothing else to do. Neither did Milton. We talked about fishing. We talked about the election. For Milton, apparently, it wasn’t a very good season for either. 


I watched my three bars on Verizon quickly fall with the sunset. 3, 2, 1…and none. I watched the blue waters of the Chesapeake turn purple at dusk, which was way better than watching my Facebook feed. I cobbled together dinner with what I had on board, because the grocery store also closes early. I then drank a tall tumbler of Bowman Brothers Bourbon on the back of the boat (which goes great with BBQ Lays and Philadelphia French Onion Dip, btw). It was a quick trip but I can’t wait to get back for a longer visit. I’ve read much about Tangier Island over the years — about the fierce independence of its people and challenges they face in the future, especially as the wind and waves chip away at their remote piece of paradise.


If the rest of the men and women on that island are half as nice and entertaining and authentic as Mr. Milton Parks, then I may have found my new favorite place to drop anchor. If you decide to visit, I highly recommend it, but go soon. Tangier Island may not be there too much longer. 


Dear Milton,

I enjoyed meeting you and staying at your marina. 

Thanks again, 





Monday, November 9 — Renovation Conversations


Last week I had the pleasure of consulting with architect Kelley Banks, Vice Principal of Flansburgh Architects and more notably, the sister of M+M Office Manager Mollie Banks. I had some crazy ideas about changing and renovating our building at 101 E. Cary Street and Kelley graciously entertained my ideas and politely explained what I could and couldn’t do within the zoning guidelines. Our building was originally built in 1881 and apparently there are “rules.” Kelley’s firm builds amazing independent schools and school buildings around the globe. Check out their amazing work here.



Tuesday, November 10 — Events Are Back! 


Virginia Energy Sense attended the Virginia Beach Farmers Market this past weekend and shared some essential fall energy-saving tips. They were one of 30 vendors spaced apart throughout the structure and the market was attended by over 500 people from the Virginia Beach area. We even created this fun, snazzy Snapchat filter for event-goers to use. 


Lucy Corr, another awesome client, held their Lucy Living Lecture Series event at a model Independent living cottage alongside our other friends/clients/kicka$$ cancer educators at Hitting Cancer Below the Belt. Guests learned about how to “nourish, breathe, and move” in their daily life to help boost their immunity. They also discussed the importance of early colorectal cancer screenings and colorectal care. #itwastheish





Wednesday, November 11 — Saluting Veterans


In the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, our country paused to celebrate all those who have served her. Although the Madison+Main-iacs were not able to visit the Virginia War Memorial in-person to pay our respects to Veterans Day this year, we were able to shoutout our appreciation on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


We are also proud to work with Veteran-owned businesses such as All American Mobility in Fredericksburg. It is always a pleasure working with owner Chris Hawkins and his team. Check out this spadea (front-page print wrap) we recently designed for All American that ran in the Free Lance-Star.





Thursday, November 12 — Pretty Neat



Our good friend Brian Prewitt, Master Distiller at A. Smith Bowman Distillery, got to show off his knowledge and act as a source for  The Beer Connoisseur’s article about beer aged in bourbon barrels. I’m more of a bourbon guy than a craft beer guy, but if Brian was behind a brew, you wouldn’t have to twist my arm. I’m a hoptimist. #unbeerlievable 



Friday, November 13 — Molly In The News!

Friday the 13th usually means bad stuff, but RVA got a bright dose of sunshine in their email boxes this morning as Richmond BizSense featured M+M’s fearless leader Molly Whitfield in the Q&A interview this week. Check out the article and learn a little more about our dynamic, talented President.











A Few of Our Favorite Events


Master Distiller’s Dinner at A. Smith Bowman Distillery

1 Bowman Drive | Fredericksburg, VA

November 14, 2020 | 6-9 p.m.


A. Smith Bowman Distillery and Earth Apple LLC have partnered to bring you a unique bourbon experience! Master Distiller Brian Prewitt will start the evening off with a guided tasting of rare Abraham Bowman Limited Edition Whiskies, accompanied by delectable small bites specially selected by Chef Jessica Wilkins. Following the tasting, Chef Jessica will treat guests to a 3-course dinner served with carefully crafted bourbon cocktails. Tickets will cost $125 per person and go on sale October 14 at 10 a.m. via Eventbrite.


Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!




“No man is an island entire of itself; every man 

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; 

if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe 

is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as 

well as any manner of thy friends or of thine 

own were; any man’s death diminishes me, 

because I am involved in mankind. 

And therefore never send to know for whom 

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

— John Donne, “No Man is an Island” (1624)