Due to the holiday weekend, this month’s Fourth (Estate) Friday – the newspaper’s monthly open-to-the-public editorial meeting – will not happen this Friday (May 25). The morning meetings will resume next month on June 22, at a place and precise time to be announced in this space in our Thursday, June 21 edition. Have a safe and rewarding Memorial Day weekend!
On Sunday, June 3, consider visiting the intimate and airy Airlie Center Pavilion near Warrenton for a 6 p.m. concert by Paul Reisler & A Thousand Questions – which is the name of the occasionally touring and almost always virtuosic collaboration of beyond-folk musicians put together by veteran Rappahannock songwriter and performer Reisler.
The concert is a benefit for the Bluemont Artist-in-Education Program and for Reisler’s Kid Pan Alley program, which has had great success teaching songwriting and collaboration to kids in schools all over the country.
The band features original songs and instrumentals by Reisler, harmonica and piano mad scientist Howard Levy (of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones), virtuosic singer-songwriter Amy Speace and percussionist/multi-instrumentalist wizard Joe Craven (formerly of the David Grisman Quintet and the Jerry Garcia Band).
The music cuts across borders, combining American roots, world music eclecticism, classical precision and mysticism with the vitality and energy of contemporary pop music. Much as a certain Washington Post wordsmith once said of Trapezoid, the band Reisler cofounded and fronted for more than 25 years: It’s music that “climbs up the Blue Ridge and down to the bayou and back up the Himalayas.”
You kind of have to be there to fully understand – and if you want to be there at a discount off the door price, visit bluemont.org or call 540-955-8186 now. Seating is limited in the Airlie Pavilion, where the concert is sponsored by the Bluemont Concert Series through the generous support of the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Paul Mellon Collection.
Despite threatening skies, rain stayed away for those attending the Junior Master Gardener 4H workshop May 15 at Mountain Laurel Montessori Farm School (shown here getting some ground-level experience). Elementary school students rode the bus to Flint Hill, where they enjoyed an introduction to the Junior Master Gardener program scheduled to commence there in the fall.
After sampling salsa made with ingredients to be grown in the hoophouse at the school, the children went on to plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash and herbs. The produce and fruits of their labor will be harvested in early fall and will be donated to the Rappahannock Food Pantry. Participants were then introduced to the sheep, hens and pigs on the farm.
The Junior Master Gardener program will be a collaboration of 4H, Rappahannock County Master Gardeners, Rappahannock County Public Schools’ Farm-to-Table and the Mountain Laurel farm school. The aim is to draw children into the world of discovering nature, of growing and sharing. Through a series of activities and exercises, participants will work towards becoming certified Junior Master Gardeners.
This free program will be available to all fourth- through seventh-graders, with older students being invited to participate as junior leaders. More information will be forthcoming this fall, but if you would like to know more now, call the Extension office at 540-675-3619.
– Pat Johnston
The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) will not be showing the “The Artist” on June 1 as planned; it will not be released in time. The June 1 film at the Theatre in Washington is “Hugo,” the Academy Award-winning film that stars Sacha Baron Cohen and Ben Kingsley. The film is rated PG and runs for 127 minutes. Showtime is 8 p.m. Popcorn, candy and water are available at the concession.
This is RAAC’s last film until the monthly Friday night movie series resumes in September. For more information, including a film review, visit raac.org.
The great acoustic guitarist Laurence Juber returns to the Theatre in Washington during his tour of the East Coast for a solo concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 2.
Juber has been living in California for several years, but he grew up in England where, as a young musician, he became lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings, a job that brought his first Grammy award. (He earned a second Grammy some years later with his solo arrangement of The Pink Panther.) His concerts at the Theatre always attract an audience from far afield – and Theatre owner Wendy Weinberg reports this concert is already heavily subscribed.
“The Theatre is one of my favorite venues to play,” Juber says. “It has just the right combination of intimacy and pure acoustics. I always look forward to my return visits.”
If you do as well, you’ll want to call 540-675-1253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org soon for a reservation. Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger).
The Thrift Store’s ‘synergy’
The Thrift Store, located next to the Little Washington fire hall, is the ultimate one-stop shop for clothing, household items and good conversation.
Mary Collins of Washington took on the project of organizing the store after the former Ladies’ Auxiliary closed. With the help of Louise Bondelid of Woodville, the pair teams up to cover shifts, alternating days with Shirley Franey and Dorothy James, both of Washington, with additional help from Patricia Fransella of Warrenton and Ann Spieker of Washington, also a longtime volunteer at the firehouse.
Each of the women volunteers approximately 30 hours a month helping to raise funds for the firehouse (also volunteer-based) for needed equipment and rescue supplies. The store’s items are donated by Rappahannock County residents, making the experience “a nice synergy,” says Mary. “There are generous people in Rappahannock County. That shed is sometimes so packed, we can’t get in. We literally ran out of hangers.” And that’s a good thing.
Wall-to-wall and shelf-to-shelf, there is an array of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing folded, hung and organized by size and style. Each drop-off bag is sifted through for tears, rips, lost buttons, and stains, and is divided between the women for laundry duty at home. The dedicated time and effort certainly shows in the organization and success of the store, but, as Shirley exclaims, “We need help. All the help we can get. There’s only four of us in here.”
Dorothy agrees with Shirley about the need for extra hands. At the age of 83, she wants to let others know that – at any age – you can volunteer and benefit from it. “Everything you read in the magazines, newspapers,” she says, “people live longer . . . you live longer if you volunteer and help people.”
In addition to volunteering, donating and shopping, there is also another way to lend a helping hand: vouchers. Five-dollar shopping vouchers can be purchased at the Thrift Store to be donated to local churches or the Rappahannock Food Pantry for families in need. The donations are tax deductible and much appreciated.
And this Saturday (May 26) is the last day of the store’s current $5 Bag Sale. Purchase a bag for $5 and dig in to the all-you-can-find buffet of second-hand treasures, with the small exclusion of linens and household items.
Although space is limited, the store accepts and sells clothing, household goods, shoes, accessories (hats, jewelry, belts, scarves, etc.), children’s toys and, occasionally, small furniture. “We really have something for just about everybody,” says Louise, and she’s not kidding.
The store is open 10 to 5 Mondays and Wednesday and 9 to 3 Saturdays. Cash or checks accepted.
– Katie Taylor