Sperryville column for April 14

New life for old CABINNS

Nestled along the Thornton River just west of the village is the former motel once known as CABINNS, years ago serving visitors to Sperryville and Shenandoah National Park (SNP) — but which has more recently been converted to apartments that welcome new residents into our community. Beverly Atkins manages these six units (called Sperryville Cottages) and the two adjacent homes for county residents Jeff and Jessica Green.

The couples who have rented these units work in Culpeper, Warrenton and Arlington, but prefer to live in Rappahannock County. Some had moved in with other family during the worst of the economic recession, but are now able to move back out on their own into affordable housing, and are perhaps harbingers of improvements to come in the economy.

The CABINNS, including what is now the two adjacent houses, was once a complex that included a motel, a bar and restaurant and a gift shop owned by Emmett and Betty Thompson. One of their employees was Lee Anna.

When Lee Anna was old enough to serve liquor, she went to work at the CABINNS, remaining in their employ for 13 years. She remembers a “chicken in a basket” sign that hung in front of the restaurant for years, proudly announcing the restaurant’s specialty. Lee Anna remembers that the CABINNS closed soon after she left her employment there in 1956.

We are delighted that this once-lively complex of buildings has again become a part of the community and we welcome all residents to Sperryville.

Happy birthday

Elmer Atkins, whose 84th birthday was April 8, celebrated with family and friends at his home last Saturday. Elmer’s Antiques is a must stop for all who come to Sperryville, where one can find both antique treasures and Elmer’s stories — treasures in their own right — about Sperryville.

Italian sausage

Having grown up making Italian sausage every week with my father in my parents’ grocery store, the availability of fresh, homemade Italian sausage at the Corner Store is an item of great significance to me. Although my son on the west coast raises his own pigs and makes his own sausage, I am limited to buying it at Mazzaferro’s Market when Ray and I return home to see his mother in our hometown of Rome, N.Y.

Now, however, Ray and I can buy excellent fresh sausage from Andy Thompson at the Corner Store. Andy credits Mary Arthur for supplying him with recipes from which the current sausage has evolved. Recently I served a classic Calabrian dish to friends that was Italian sausage combined with broccoli rabe (rapini). Let me know if you want the recipe, and check out the sausage at the Corner Store.

Break-in breaks trust

Majors Hollow is a modest hollow of primarily small tracts of land. It has been peaceful here on Pearl Lane . . . a place where you can leave your front door open and not worry. That has suddenly changed. Recently there was a burglary at one of our neighbor’s homes during which the thieves took jewelry and money.

Most of all, they took away our sense of peace and security. One senior citizen who lives independently now has now has anxiety about being alone. We have installed a sophisticated security system on our house . . . not because of our valuables, but more to protect against someone coming uninvited into our home. We hope that whoever has information about those who stole our neighbors’ property and peace of mind will pass that information along to the sheriff so that justice can be served and peace returned to the hollow.

From left, Wendi Sirat, Frances Miller and Lorraine Duisit perform twice in the county this Saturday.

Mandalele

We are fortunate that folk trio Mandalele will perform twice in the county Saturday (April 16). First, they’ll perform at Middle Street Gallery’s Spring Art Festival open house from 3 to 5. Then, after a potluck dinner at 7 at Belle Meade Schoolhouse on F.T. Valley Road, the group will perform from 8 to 10. Donations are appreciated for the concert. For more information, visit listn.to/mandalele.

Bodies beautiful

Auto bodies will abound at the 4th Annual Spring Car and Truck Show at the Sperryville fire hall from 8 to 3 Saturday (April 16). Eighty-eight trophies and awards will be presented to vehicles in many categories. The $3 admission for ages 6 and older will benefit Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church, sponsors of the popular annual event.

And, speaking of popular annual events: Swing from the car show to the Miss Rappahannock Pageant, which begins at 3 Saturday at the Rappahannock Elementary School. From the tiny tots to the most sophisticated categories of teens and women over 20, you are sure to enjoy this annual rite of spring which brings all ages of the community together to raise funds for the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad.