Down Memory Lane for Nov. 6

June 13, 1974

When Pat and Ginger Biggs move into the new “Dutch colonial” house they’re building atop a knoll near Flint Hill, they’ll have no trouble furnishing it. Pat Biggs makes furniture when he’s not busy with his duties as a science and physics teacher at the intermediate school in Front Royal. But now, he’s not making desks, sideboards, tables, lamps, deacon’s beaches or dressers at the rate he usually does. Pat has been working with wood since he was a teenager, and he prefers to work in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles. The house he and Ginger live in now is furnished with handsome pieces from those periods.

Floyd Thomas Grigsby graduated June 8 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a BS degree in marketing management. While at Tech he was a member of the Marketing Club and participated in baseball and intramural football and basketball. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alvin P. Grigsby of Castleton and a 1970 graduate of Rappahannock County High School.

Alvin Atkins is retiring from the position of maintenance supervisor and custodian of Rappahannock County High School, a post which he has held at this facility since its construction 14 years ago. He will complete his tenure of duty the first of August, and plans to take a good rest before becoming involved in anything else, mostly odd jobs and tending his small place, which includes a few head of cattle. Mr. Atkins took care of everything: furnace, water system, cleaning and all that was bent or broken. As one can imagine, there is no end to the duties, he said. His wife, Marie Atkins, helps him in the afternoons.

April 14, 1983

Marilyn Bailey jokingly refers to her family home on the outskirts of Washington as the “Dog House.” It’s been a fitting title for the past decade since it has sheltered four generations of bouncy silver poodles, the inventory that comprises the Bailey’s dog breeding business.

But the name may soon have to be changed to the “Fashion House” as pedigrees give way to patterns, and puppies to the gingham dresses with muslin pinafores of Marilyn’s newest enterprise. The metal filing cabinets full of records of who sired whom have been moved over to make room for the racks of children’s clothes from Marilyn’s sewing machine. Her one-woman factory is a hobby reborn by necessity as a business.

She started sewing back in 1953 for her daughter Nina. “Only her shoes and socks came from the store. I made everything else, “Marilyn recalled. “I started with a pair of surgical scissors, a spool of thread and a needle and made 20 some dresses by hand before my husband realized I was serious and bought me a sewing machine,” she said, the explanation punctuated by her characteristic laughter. “ I still have the same machine! It has a lot of miles on it now and I don’t remember ever having it served.

Weldon Burke, a monument to strength, integrity and hard work in Rappahannock, has retired from carrying the mail in Woodville. His contributions span almost a half century of history in this county, beginning with his boyhood on Hazel Mountain to moving from his ancestral home when the federal government took the land for Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National park. His memories would fill a book.

The postal service career that began at Rock Mills and Cloud (now Five Forks) ended at Woodville this past March due to his declining health. He’s now enjoying semi retirement, helping his son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Jimmie Falls, run their cattle farm and sitting back at the local Woodville store recalling the good old days that will never return.

J R Latham, current chairman of the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors, announced this week that he will seek reelection, as the Jackson District representative, in the November general elections.

Dec. 30, 1992

The county Board of Zoning Appeals again turned down a variance request last Wednesday, but by Monday the issue was moot. According to County Administrator John McCarthy, John and Helen Dixon had requested a variance from the zoning requirement that construction for a pond not disturb land within 100 feet of a property line without the neighboring landowner’s written permission. The Dixon’s property is off Route 642 near Viewtown.

William Parish, the neighboring property owner, had not given written permission. However, the pond was already under construction, including earth disturbing activities within 100 feet of the property line, Mr. McCarthy said.