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Clintons visits W.Va. cafe, gallery

January 07, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION

Staff Writer

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - President Clinton took downtown shop owners by surprise Friday afternoon when he walked into a cafe, sipped a cup of coffee and took a stroll through an art gallery across the street.

"He just came in and asked about the restaurant and how old it was," said Amanda Tremba, an employee at the Old Pharmacy Cafe on East German Street. "I was very impressed. I was very, very impressed," Tremba said.

Tremba said Clinton then sat down and had a cup of coffee with the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who was already in the restaurant.

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News photographers snapped pictures, and Clinton allowed restaurant employees to take photographs of each other with him, Tremba said.

Clinton then walked across the street to the Entler Hotel, where he looked at a peace tapestry that is being exhibited during the peace talks. Clinton had his picture taken in front of the artwork, said Mary Jo Kennard.

"We had no idea he was coming through town. I was nervy enough to ask him if I could get a picture of him with my artwork and he did," said Kennard, of Charles Town.

Kennard's oil paintings were part of a second exhibit in the Entler Hotel, which included works by Dan Rees of Martinsburg, Peg McNaughton of Shepherdstown and Diana Suttenfield of Shepherdstown.

The peace tapestry, titled the "Peaceweaver's Web," is an abstract work meant to offer insight into a solution when two groups are trying to reach a compromise on an issue, according to Jan Scopel, the Shepherdstown resident who brought the tapestry to the art gallery.

The tapestry was created by E. Thor Carlson, who lives in New Hampshire.

Clinton did not say a lot when he came in the gallery, Scopel said. He commented on the tapestry and thanked gallery officials for inviting him in, Scopel said.

"He seems to be very caring and sensitive to people. He just seems to be very intuitive," Scopel said.

After leaving the Entler, Clinton stopped momentarily on German Street and shook hands with people downtown.

Clinton made the unexpected visit downtown on his way to a U.S. Marine helicopter, which left for Washington about 2:45 p.m., according to Mayor Vince Parmesano.

Clinton has been in and out of town four times since the peace talks between Syria and Israel started Monday at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's National Conservation Training Center on Shepherd Grade Road.

During a motorcade ride Monday, Clinton got out of a limousine and shook hands with people on German Street.

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