Editorial: Time and place

As the rest of world “globalizes” into one huge fast-food outlet and discount-shopping mall, we here in Rappahannock County can take pride and comfort in our backward ways. And that includes looking backwards.

We understand that, as William Faulkner famously said, the past is never dead. Heck, it’s not even past.

It lives with us now and forever, particularly in Rappahannock, where a sense of time and place is palpable. Indeed, as the early morning mists roll down the hillsides, you can sometimes feel as if history is enveloping you. The feeling is not in any way scary or imprisoning but, rather, liberating, enlightening, even empowering.

It gives you perspective, provides context. You are not alone. You are walking shoulder to shoulder on the same ground with the ghosts of those who came before.

They saw what we see, because the land has not in any fundamental way changed. And it is our responsibility to keep it that way.

We may like to think we own the land. But it possesses us. Those landowners who grant conservation easements — honored last Saturday at the annual Evening View gala — understand this. We at the Rappahannock News understand this.

And we would not be the local newspaper of record without a politely recurring yet always meaningful tip of the hat to the past. Our Out of the Attic and Down Memory Lane features, compiled by Jan Clatterbuck, are among our most popular.

To these, we now add Rapp Facts, courtesy of John Tole and Gary Anthes of the Rappahannock Historical Society. These facts from the county’s past are not only interesting but also, we hope, fun. In the week before they appear in the print edition of the newspaper, you’ll have a chance to test your local history knowledge with an interactive Rapp Facts quiz on our Web site.

Now that definitely should be fun, particularly if you win.

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