Sperryville column for March 15

Bridge replacement

Construction to replace the bridge that carries traffic over the Thornton River at U.S. 522 (by Shaw’s) will begin within the month and the bridge will be closed for 60 days, if time lines are met. The citizens of Sperryville had formally requested from VDOT several traffic-calming devices on Main Street which were needed as a matter of course, but especially during the period of bridge closure. These included painted crosswalks, two additional stop signs and two electronic speed monitoring devices. All these were denied because they did not meet VDOT criteria – criteria which, to some of us, seemed more appropriate for a larger community and not intended for a smaller one with homes built a few feet from the road during horse-and-buggy days.

We were not happy with the VDOT denial and we must now count on local enforcement to handle the volume of traffic that will be directed onto Main Street. It is also up to each of us to travel well within the 25 mph speed limit on Main Street, and south on 522 to the intersection with Route 231. All traffic will be routed along Main Street to the bridge between High on the Hog and the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad and then back onto U.S. 522/211.

Trucks and tractor-trailers that cannot make the sharp turn there will be diverted – if they read the signs – in Culpeper, Warrenton and Madison, away from Sperryville.

Beatlemania in March

We sure do miss those pickin’ parties at the Sperryville fire hall, but we do have the opportunity to gather there for Beatles tunes and other entertainment at the “All Together Now” variety show and dinner fundraiser for Hearthstone School starting at 6 p.m. Friday, March 23.

Beatles-inspired musical and artistic performances feature Karen Henderson (the show’s emcee), Robert “Smiggy” Smith House Band, and other local and out-of-town artists!

Your $30 ticket will include a make-your-own pasta buffet, salad, bread, beverage and dessert. (Also tickets are available at $50 per couple; $10 for ages 13 and younger; $20 for show only; and $5 off on advance sales). For more information, call 540-987-9212.

The Bug-zooka

Run, do not walk, to 24 Crows in Flint Hill. They are selling the Bug-zooka. It is one way to catch those stink bug critters and not totally lose your sanity. Well, I am quickly developing a real hatred for this creature, but at least we are now armed for a defense. Thanks to Heidi and Vinnie for carrying this item  . . . and do enjoy one of their fantastic lunches while you are there.

School House repair

ROOF WORK: The Sperryville School House auditorium, closed since a fire in the heating system in late November, is getting a new roof and will soon reopen for community activities.E. Raymond Boc
ROOF WORK: The Sperryville School House auditorium, closed since a fire in the heating system in late November, is getting a new roof and will soon reopen for community activities.

A work crew was seen last week replacing the roof that was damaged during the fire at the historic Sperryville School House last winter. The school auditorium had become a center for many community activities and we look forward to completion of repairs so that you can schedule your event there in the future. We will keep you posted when that is possible. In the meantime, be sure to stop in at the shops in the school house. Their inventory will amaze you.

Photography instruction

The photographers at Old Rag Photography Gallery Cooperative continue to offer photography classes to those who want to improve their knowledge of their digital cameras and learn basics in exposure and composition. Later in the season, they will schedule half-day field trips during which you can shoot and have an instructor assist in getting the results you desire. For information, contact Raymond Boc (540-987-9706 or eraymond.boc@att.net). Classes are at the gallery (12 Main St.). Tuition is $100. Additional classes will be scheduled in the future.

This weekend, there are classes for Point-and-Shoot Camera owners (9 to 4 Saturday, March 17), to review camera functions, exposure and focus issues, and Digital Single Lens Reflex camera users (9 to 4 Sunday, March 18). Saturday’s class is led by Francie Shroeder and Ray Boc, Sunday’s by Ray Boc and Joyce Harman.

Spring is . . . here

Is winter really over? It seems so. We took care of our three little grandchildren in Kensington for four days and, in sunshine and 70-degree weather on Sunday, their lemonade stand became the center of activity on the block. The daffodils are in full bloom and the manure is being worked into the garden. Enjoy these beautiful days and the treasure of living in Rappahannock County.