Sperryville column for July 4

Big hurrah for One Year Only

Sperryville welcomes a new business at 29 Main Street. Some of you have probably noticed the former Old Rag Photography building — once the home of an enterprise that manufactured canvas for covered wagons — has been transformed yet again.

One Year Only proprietors (from left) Wynn Ludwig, Peggy Severson and Eva Malerich pose outside their new (and purposefully temporary) home on Main Street. Courtesy photo.
One Year Only proprietors (from left) Wynn Ludwig, Peggy Severson and Eva Malerich pose outside their new (and purposefully temporary) home on Main Street. Courtesy photo.

The newly pink-trimmed, whimsical gingerbread house, with a magical garden on the babbling Thornton River, is now a shop called One Year Only — a “Last Hurrah for Aging Artists,” as the sign says. It is the lighthearted brainchild of a delightful crew of seasoned and talented artists who, over the years, built a friendship on the Virginia art show circuit.

Peggy Severson, Eva Malerich, Lynn Schultz, Wynn Ludwig, Kris Ratches and Linda Elliff offer an eclectic mix of reasonably priced wares ranging from hand-painted furniture to home accessories, miniatures, jewelry, fabric designs (including creative ties) and all sorts of treasures geared toward each artist’s specialty.

These ladies are all about humor, especially the self-deprecating sort when it comes to their age and experience. Grandmothers several times over, they’ve decided on a limited-edition “last hurrah” and thus the name, One Year Only.

The shop is also filled with funny signs, for sale as well as decorations. This author’s favorite: “ ‘Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness’ Is Written By Someone Who Doesn’t Know Where To Shop.” They give out coupons that reportedly allow you take 10-percent off your age, and they welcome consignors — so please drop by and say hello to these charming ladies.

Store hours are 10 to 5 Friday-Saturday and 11 to 4 Sundays. Call them at 540-987-9400.

Sperryville’s barrel-racing Boucher

Sperryville’s Maeghan Boucher is a gifted barrel racer, horse trainer and all around equestrian, and has been on horseback, she says, since she was just three months old. Her mom, Sally, would ride out and strap her daughter to her in a child’s sling; at the culmination of the ride, Maeghan would apparently start crying, not wanting to be wrested from her snug equine perch.

Barrel racer Maeghan Boucher and her horse, Hokie. Courtesy photo.
Barrel racer Maeghan Boucher and her horse, Hokie. Courtesy photo.

Now 25, the 2006 graduate of Rappahannock County High School is a fearless rider, a survivor and one who has suffered many an injury in pursuit of her passion. (At one medical exam, she was asked to list all the bones she’d broken, to which she respectfully responded that it would just be easier to list the bones she hadn’t fractured or broken.)

She has a handsome young five-year-old son, Cole, who is already following in his mom’s footsteps: He’s also fearless, and loves all things quadruped.

Maeghan usually rides in a professional rodeo circuit, but is riding amateur this year to train her young horse, LuckyForMeIfoundU (aka Hokie). He is green but supple, athletic, agile and intelligent. Certainly the recipe for success in the world of barrel racing.

On a recent Saturday evening, I accompanied Maeghan and her family to Gordonsville and to Oatland Heights Farm, home of the nationally renowned David Lamb, host of this rodeo every second Saturday during the season. Hundreds of fans filled the stands, families and small children, dogs on leashes and smiles all around. Great country music blasted over the oversized speakers.

The aroma of cheeseburgers, fries and hotdogs wafted through the hot summer air as announcers introduced bull riders, and agile rodeo clowns deftly maneuvered bucking and massive bulls, nostrils flaring, safely back into their pens after each run.

Maeghan’s initial entrance into the ring is a group event. Beautiful ladies, some as young as 13, adorned in classic country girl bling, with leather belts studded with rhinestones, cowboy hats and custom leather boots, warm up their horses. Their skill is plainly exhibited, athleticism of horse and rider so clearly displayed.

Maeghan is finally up, and dashes out the starting gate. At what seems like breakneck, lightning speed, she maneuvers the cloverleaf course, and with piercing accuracy her mount maneuvers ’round the metal drums. This is a discipline that celebrates precision and speed. Hokie garners a score of 17 seconds; considering an excellent performance typically falls into the 15-second range, Maeghan is pleased – not bad for a green horse still learning his craft.

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Chris Green
About Chris Green 128 Articles
Chris Green (formerly Chris Doxzen) is an an executive recruiter by profession who enjoys exploring and writing about all things Rappahannock. Friends and neighbors with potential stories for her Sperryville column should email her at chrisdoxzen@gmail.com.