The Rapp for Sept. 11

Miller at the library

Cliff Miller, who speaks Friday at the library, with his guard donkey on his Sperryville farm.Courtesy photo
Cliff Miller, who speaks Friday at the library, with his guard donkey on his Sperryville farm.

At 8 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 12), the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) kicks off its new season of Second Friday at the Library talks with a presentation by Cliff Miller, whose family has owned and farmed 845 acres in Sperryville for nearly 200 years. His talk will be a personal account of the changes he has made in the way he farms over the last 15 years, with the aim of continuing his family’s stewardship of this land.

There have been significant changes in the way Miller deals with the Thornton River, which runs through his property, and how the fields, livestock, infrastructure and wildlife are managed. You’ll hear about how those changes have evolved, why he made them, how they have worked out and the trade-offs he has balanced.

There will be a question and answer session following the talk. Miller welcomes dissenting voices, in the hope of a lively and informative discussion. The talk is free. All are welcome. Visit raac.org or call 301-246-0022 for more information.

Rough Riders in Rappahannock Sept. 20

The beautiful hills and dales of Rappahannock County are again the place to be for bicyclists from around the region on Saturday, Sept. 20. For this year’s annual Rough Ride, a fundraiser for the Fauquier and Rappahannock Free Clinics, the route options range from a family-friendly 12-mile loop through Little Washington and Flint Hill, to paved/unpaved intermediate Rough Ride options, to the full 63-mile paved route.

Rough Riders (from left) Rick Marino, Joe Dombrowski (an internationally renowned cyclist for Team Sky) and Rob McGregor at last year’s race.Courtesy photo
Rough Riders (from left) Rick Marino, Joe Dombrowski (an internationally renowned cyclist for Team Sky) and Rob McGregor at last year’s race.

The day starts at 10 a.m.; ride day fees are $50 ($30 ages 11 and younger 12), and all riders get a full lunch upon return to the start/finish at the Washington fire hall. Rest stops will be provided with food and drink along the routes, as always.

Register online for a coveted “Rough Rider” T-shirt and online discount ($40 adults). Volunteers will be selling Rough Ride hats and high-quality cycling jerseys. Breakfast at the fire hall is available for $8 (meal proceeds benefit Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue).

The ride check-in is by 9:30 a.m. Those of us who might be spending some time Sept. 20 on four wheels, rather than two, should keep in mind that the event benefits Free Clinic patients — and drive with as much beauty as the surrounding vistas we sometimes take for granted.

‘Much Ado About Nothing’

That same weekend, Shakespeare’s much-loved comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” arrives at the Theatre in Washington for two performances — at 8 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 20) and 3 p.m. Sunday (Sept. 21) — by the Cambridge American Stage Tour (CAST).

(By the way, the Theatre’s fall season opens this weekend — Sunday, Sept. 14 at 3 p.m. — with the return of jazz guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo. For reservations, call 540-675-1253.)

Hero, a character in CAST’s “Much Ado About Nothing” production Sept. 20-21 at the Theatre.Courtesy photo
Hero, a character in CAST’s “Much Ado About Nothing” production Sept. 20-21 at the Theatre.

CAST, established under the patronage of Dame Judi Dench in 2000, is one of the major international theatre student touring groups of England’s Cambridge University. The performances at the Theatre, part of CAST’s annual September tour of the eastern U.S., have been sufficiently outstanding that the student directors of the last productions have all gone on to professional theatre careers.

This year the play is directed by Emily Burns, who has set the scene in a European holiday villa, where the pace of life slows, the wine flows and a spirit of fun prevails as Hero and Claudio fall in love but find themselves outplayed by the scheming Don John. Meanwhile, old sparring partners Beatrice and Benedick revel in their war of words, but neither wants to get married, and certainly not to each other.

The production is filled with live music, a lineup of vibrant characters and sparkling dialogue. As devious strategies are prepared, sides drawn and redrawn, and untruth after untruth exposed, the outcome of each romantic match is just too close to call, at least until the final hand is shown.

Tickets for the evening or matinee shows at 291 Gay St. are $25 ($10 for students 18 and younger). For reservations, contact the Theatre at 540-675-1253 or info@theatrewashingtonva.com.

Quiz Bowl for all

Attention trivia fans: Rappahannock County High School’s Scholastic Bowl team is hosting one of its Panther Trivia Nights at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 18) at the RCHS auditorium. Test your skills by forming a five-person team and competing against other teams for the coveted Rappahannock “Know-It-All” trophy — and the chance to then compete against RCHS’ own Scholastic Bowl team.

RCHS Scholastic Bowl team’s returning seniors (from left) Jon Streu, Henry Mason and captain James MacLeod ponder a question during a practice session this week.Paige Pilkington
RCHS Scholastic Bowl team’s returning seniors (from left) Jon Streu, Henry Mason and captain James MacLeod ponder a question during a practice session this week.

Teams from local businesses, churches, restaurants and clubs are welcome, as are teachers, school board members, Quiz Bowl alumni and trivia night junkies in general. All are welcome, even those who just come to watch the fun, or can’t make it but might be able to help sponsor the event. There’s a bake sale that night for delicious snacks.

Registration is $50 per team; contact Dave Naser, at dnaser@rappahannockschools.us or 540-227-0745 (ext. 3418), to register or for more information.

Taking control of chronic disease

Nearly 92 percent of older adults have at least one chronic condition; 77 percent have two or more, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, depression, fibromyalgia, asthma, COPD and others.

Chronic Disease Self Management Program (CDSMP) workshops, a six-week program of education and peer support developed by Stanford University and based on nearly 25 years of research, could provide some relief when they arrive in Rappahannock later this month, courtesy of Aging Together.

The peer-led, highly interactive workshops cover the common symptoms of many chronic illnesses and offer tools for creating a more joyful, ease-ful daily life — empowering participants to take a leadership role in managing their symptoms and emotions.

Workshop topics include understanding and interrupting the vicious symptom cycle, including fatigue, stress and depression related to pain, anxiety and disrupted sleep; effective ways to talk with healthcare professionals and loved ones; evaluating new treatment options; appropriate use of medications; healthy eating and exercise choices; and tapping into the mind-body connection through relaxation, stress-reduction and other techniques.

The series takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays from Sept. 22 through Oct. 27 at the Rappahannock County Library; registration is required, but the program is free and all materials are provided.

The workshops are meant for those with a chronic condition, as well as family members and caregivers, said Kristin Stobo, the Live Well! program coordinator for Aging Together, which serves Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties.

For more information or to register, contact Stobo at 540-829-6405 or livewell@agingtogether.org or visit agingtogether.org.

Chili and a chance to win $5K

Save the date, Saturday, Oct. 11, as the Rappahannock Lions Club returns with its annual ChiliFest and Grand Raffle fundraiser. Enjoy the best batches of chili from Rappahannock County’s commercial and home chefs. The fun-for-all event at the Sperryville fire hall offers an excellent chance to win or split $5,000. The day’s activities all support the countywide Lions Club’s service projects.

Tickets remain at $100 and include a shot at the grand prize. Lions are selling only 150 tickets. One raffle ticket guarantees entry in the Grand Raffle and the chili sampling for a whole family. For raffle tickets, contact any Lions Club member or event chair Jim Manwaring at 540-987-8433 or manwaringjim@gmail.com.

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