The residents of the Glen Forest subdivision near Baileys Crossroads were pleased when they heard that a bookstore would soon be opening in the small shopping center on Rte. 7 near their homes.
"We thought, 'a neighborhood bookstore, how nice,'" said Joyce Fendley, who has spent most of her 30 years in the 88-home neighborhood filled with young professionals with children, retired couples, and a small sea of neatly trimmed lawns.
That was before the Fendleys and their neighbors discovered that the books sold in the crossroads bookstore had names like "Wife Swap" Weekend, "Drugged Sex" and "Her Husband's Nympho Sister."
The bookstore has been in the shopping center for two years now, and Joyce Fendley and her husband, Bill, are looking for a home in Fauquier County. The area, Bill Fendley said, "has become an embarrassment."
The Fendleys are afraid now to let their four children stay farther than one home beyond their own, they say. A sexual deviant has begun to frequent the neighborhood, and his exposed himself to several young girls who live nearby.
In the summer, women from a nearby massage parlor paraded down the street, said Joyce Fendley and it was difficult to explain to the children why they "didn't look like the other mothers.
For awhile, the trash behind the store contained prophylactics and sexual devices, and there was a man who sat in his car in the bookstore parking lot and made remarks to little girls that outraged their parents.
"We're not Bible beaters or anything," Bill Fendley said. "But it's unbelievable that this sort of thing is being just shoved down our throats."
Neither the Fendleys nor the rest of Glen Forest, however, blame the shopping center's owner for the bookstore's presence. "It's not her fault," Irene Shuman said.
According to Shuman, the center's owner, Mrs. L. M. Dominquez, did not know what kind of bookstore was going to open in her shopping center. "A nice-looking young couple from Maryland came to sign the lease," Shuman said Dominguez told her. "They brought their 3-year-old daughter along and the wife was pregnant with another child."
According to Shuman, Dominguez has been in court ever since, trying to evict the store tenants and the case is currently on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Mrs. Dominguez declined to comment on the advice of her lawyer.
The Fendleys and their neighbors have tried to help Dominguez, testifying in her behalf in court and circulating petitions protesting the store's presence to the county. At the request of the Fairfax County police, they have "sifted through magazines and sat through movies" shown at the store, Fendley said, because according to law they must be able to say that specific publications offend them, not merely that the type of publication offered offends them.
"We've made every normal effort to participate and make ourselves heard as citizens." Fendley said. "And nothing's been done. It's kind of disheartening."
It is particularly disheartening for a family like the Fendleys. Husband and wife grew up in Glen Forest and both of them can see their parents' homes from the windows of their own. They went to school together, from first grade to senior high school, but now they've been locking at the schools in Fauquier County.
There is concern now, Shuman said, that property values will go down in Glen Forest, although so far she said, no one has left because of the bookstore. "It's just that people moving in are older, the ones without children," she said. "A neighborhood doesn't stay the same without children."
The neighborhood children, Shuman said, used to walk to school and play for hours outside." Now, she said, "they check on them every half-hour."
"It's not fair," Shuman said. "We were here first."