Today I attended the opening of the new INOVA Cancer Center, formerly the Exxon Mobil headquarters off Gallows Road in Fairfax County.
Years ago, Exxon Mobil began phasing out its “Downstream” assets, including distributorships, fuel trucks and gas stations. Eventually that led to the announced closing of the Gallows Road headquarters — a major blow to the Fairfax County economy.
Into the breach stepped INOVA, which the major player in northern Virginia medical care. With some assistance from Governor McAuliffe, INOVA secured possession of the ExxonMobil offices – across the street from its flagship operation. It also hired “Skip” Trump as its chief executive officer. Will it be long before Gallows Road Cancer Center is known as “the Trump Tower?”
The new offices will be state of the art and specifically focused on studying the human genome, so as to better understand cancer and its causes. It’s what INOVA CEO Knox Singleton calls “personalized medicine.”
The new cancer center is made possible by some truly staggering donations, starting with $50 million from Dwight Schar, the founder of NVR Homes (and equity partner in the Washington Redskins). Many of those donors were here today, along with Governor McAuliffe and U.S. Senator Tim Kaine.
The new cancer center will create jobs, some of the highest-tech and best-paying jobs in the medical industry, as the top minds come to Fairfax County to join INOVA’s quest to map the genome and understand cancer.
Last week I had an unusual experience that my Twitter account (which I never see) and www.oxroadsouth.com were emitting some unusual content, not authored by yours truly. Suffice to say that it was not within the usual journalistic standards.
I found out when a public official, who follows this blog (but is afraid to reveal his/her name) quietly let me know. Anyway, I’ve been off the air for about ten days, but am ready to rebound with gratuitous commentary of any of the following:
1. The historically great match-up between Rangers-Caps.
2. The ridiculous 4-game suspension of Tom Brady.
3. The President’s controversial trade bill.
4. The beautiful spring weather.
5. The legacy of Santana Moss, a great Redskin
6. All of the above.
Regardless, I have a new password and am poised to resume my terse and trifling observations on the human condition.
Trivia question: Last Saturday night, did you waste $100 on the glorified pillow fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao — or did you spend your money on real entertainment, namely the production of “Big” at Fairfax High School.
You remember “Big,” the iconic Eighties movie starring Tom Hanks as a kid who inhabits a man’s body and is hired by a toy company to help them connect with young customers.
The FHS production stars off with the young Josh Baskin who wants to “be big.” He gets his wish and is transported to the adult world. The best scene of the show (like the movie) is when he connects with the toy company impresario, Mr. MacMillan, who joins him for the epic scene playing “Chopsticks” and other tunes on a full-body piano. That scene just never gets old.
The high school show had some other fun numbers. My favorites were “Let’s Not Move Too Fast” with Josh and his femme fatale, Susan, and “Cross the Line” with the whole Toy Company ensemble. Most of all I liked the narrative which was fun, romantic and yet always focused on letting kids be kids.
The male leads of Doug Klain and Zion Jang really captured the spirit of the musical, as did the female lead Molly Berry. (Naturally I spent most the time following my daughter Eva who was in the singing and dancing ensemble). The FX Players are directed by Erich (“Mr. D”) DiCenzo, who will also be directing the City of Fairfax Theater Company this summer in their production of “Hairspray.” (Stay tuned for more info on that).
The show continues on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at Fairfax High School. Tickets are available.