Among the newest residents of Sunnyside are Jim and Edie Hanscom, who moved into their Locust Circle cottage at the end of January. Before their move to Harrisonburg, Jim and Edie had lived for thirty years outside of Berryville in a 130-year-old house on ten acres of land across from Holy Cross Abbey.

Although Jim was born in California, his roots go deep into Maine, where his father and grandfather were born and raised. After a stint of harvesting trees in 40-below weather, Jim’s father decided that California looked like a more promising place—or at least a warmer one. In World War II Jim’s father was stationed near Washington, DC, so Jim went to high school in Arlington and then to Washington and Lee University. Edie was born in New Jersey and went to high school in Morristown before getting a degree in biology from the University of Delaware. And this academic work of Edie’s preceded her getting a certificate in physical therapy from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s degree in special education from George Mason University. Even more recently, she earned a doctorate (DPT) from Rocky Mountain University.

Following the trajectory of Jim’s career path is challenging, and the following merely gives a taste of his interests and accomplishments. He had studied journalism at Washington and Lee and began as a reporter for the Roanoke Times. After that, he moved to the Richmond News-Leader and the Norfolk Pilot. And all of this was a prelude of what was to come: work in the Federal Railroad Administration, as a railroad consultant, as a securities analyst on Wall Street, as a transportation editor at the Journal of Commerce. In fact, Jim once actually owned a railroad—the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway Company. Even now in his retirement years Jim still writes a monthly column for the shipping magazine Sea Trade. Jim asserts that while his career seemed to go in wildly different directions, each individual change he made led logically to the one following—and all arose from his persistence in asking a single question: “What next?”

Edie’s vocation largely involved her training in physical therapy. She even started her own company, Cool Spring Physical Therapy in Berryville. And while her career was devoted to PT, her avocation was and remains art, for she’s an avid watercolorist. At one time Edie had the opportunity to live in Germany for several years, and while she claims her ability to speak German is limited, she’s still able to read the language.

But if you think Jim and Edie’s career paths were convoluted, they pale in comparison to the travels they’ve done. Jim has been to 65 countries, and Edie to almost as many. They’ve visited every continent except Antarctica—and one of Edie’s travel wishes is to visit that as well. They’ve participated in a dozen or so Earthwatch trips, including one to Mongolia. They’ve visited Thailand, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Bali, as well as Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and Bosnia. They’ve traveled the Silk Road train from Beijing to Moscow, a three-week trip. In fact, it’s difficult to name a place they haven’t been. Each year they join friends on the trans-Canada railroad trip from Toronto to Vancouver.

When they’re here in town they enjoy eating at Taste of India restaurant, a sister restaurant to one they enjoyed in Winchester when they were living in Berryville. In addition, both Jim and Edie have eclectic musical tastes, ranging from bluegrass to jazz to classical.

If you can catch them in the interstices of their busy lives, please welcome Jim and Edie to Sunnyside! --John Noffsinger