Down Memory Lane for March 5

Feb. 20, 1975

L.V. Merrill and Mrs. Bertha Armel are honorary life members of the Washington Fire Company and Rescue Squad. Both have been active members for many years and have served the county and community diligently. Washington was the first fire company organized in Rappahannock and the only one for a long, long time. This unit was organized in the early ’30s and Mr. Merrill was probably the instigator of the movement. He was a charter member and chief for some 15 years. It was incorporated in 1939. He served as a vice president among other positions, in later years. Mrs. Armel has responded to innumerable traffic accidents, illnesses and other emergencies during her tenure as a member and officer of the rescue unit. She has taught first aid classes for a number of years, also.

“Rappahannock County is to be congratulated,” said Raymond Williams of the Virginia State Library Association during his visit to the Rappahannock Library on Feb. 14, “on the number of well-qualified and interested county residents who have willingly agreed to served as judges for the Library’s 1975 Book Review Contests.”

When Williams inquired on what basis the judges had been selected, Mary Jamieson, Chairman, stated: “For two primary reasons, first because they are extensive readers themselves and secondly, because they believe it is extremely valuable to make young people familiar with the important cultural resources that are theirs through the use of public libraries.”

Williams agreed, when she added, “Historic time is measured from the date when man could record his doings in a written language. None of us needs to hang around being prehistoric as long as we have free public libraries!”

Mrs. Ruth Clark, president of the Washington Ladies Auxiliary, presented a check for $2,500 to the Washington Fire and Rescue Squad groups during the annual banquet held Friday. The Rev. Jennings Hobson III, president of the Fire Department, accepts the large contribution for the volunteer organizations. Two individual donations were also received that evening, one for $25 and one for $30.

Nov. 3, 1983

W. Clifford Latham and Gordon Thornhill were the Rappahannock representatives present at last Thursday’s annual awards night banquet at Graves Mountain Lodge for the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District.

Also among those appearing at the head table to receive his award was Rappahannock seventh grade student Dicky Burke who took first place in the Rappahannock division of the SWCD conservation week poster contest.

“Natural Resources for today and tomorrow,” Burke drew two pictures showing before and after discovery of uses of solar energy for home heating. His mother said Burke has been an artist “since he was big enough to hold a pencil,” he loves to enter contests and does so regularly, but said he was surprised to win the SWCD first place honors.

Young Burke wasn’t pleased about having to appear before the crowd, but he was happy about the $10 cash prize. His father, Richard Burke of Woodville, said he was happiest about the meal at Graves Mountain Lodge that Dicky’s parents received while escorting the prize winner to the ceremony.

Marion Eastham was named University of Virginia’s Nurse of the week for the 1983-84 Week of the Nurse designated earlier last month by Virginia Governor Charles Robb.

“A friendly, open attitude toward people, a knack for planning and time budgeting and a strong dedication to nursing are only a few of the qualities which prompted fourth year student Marion Eastham’s selection” noted an article in the October 3 edition of the University Journal.

E.P. “Pete” Luke was the first Rappahannock citizen to receive the official tour at last week’s open house at the new school board business office and bus shop.

The open house was planned to coincide with “Back to School Night” at the elementary school. The school board convened in its new meeting room at 7:48 for a work session on the new policy manual.

Luke was especially impressed by the many safety features built into the garage, “Safety hazards are more serious than having cash shortcomings in education,” he said, “I know we’ve been taking a whipping in teachers’ salaries, but some of these things take a priority, don’t you think?”

School officials agreed.

The tour was repeated several times as more citizens arrived from the program at the elementary school, then the board went back to the business of the policy manual.

Dec. 29, 1993

Wayne Waller worked his last day at Hughes Aircraft last Friday after 25 years of employment there as a senior engineer. Now, instead of designing radar systems for F-15s, his thoughts lean more toward news recipes to dish up in his country store, Ben Venue Market.

Wayne and Dot Waller have found the right combination for running a successful country store — good homemade food and gas pumps. Customers had complained about having to make more than one stop to fill up the car and pick up a gallon of milk. Now they can do both at Ben Venue Market, and more.

Mr. and Mrs. Waller took over the Ben Venue Market in June 1992. They bought the business from the Gilbert family, but lease the property from Louise and Thomas Eastham. They have increased the deli portion of the business, and Mr. Waller says, “That is what put this store on the map.”

The Rappahannock County Citizen of the Year for 1993 is Marie Davis, office manager at the Department of Social Services and volunteer extraordinaire.

Mrs. Davis was born in Rappahannock County. She is the mother of three grown girls and has two grandsons. Her husband David Davis is a driver for United Van Lines.

“Marie is a wonderful person to know. If someone comes in with a problem, if she can’t help , she will refer that person to someone who can help, You never see her grouchy. She always gives someone the benefit of the doubt,” said Ms. Reeve.

The Scrabble Singers, under the direction of Franklin Warner, serenaded passersby on Christmas Eve from the porch of Dennis’ Store on Route 626 near Scrabble. Although the thermometer hovered right at the freezing mark, singers were in good voice and the audience enjoyed hearing familiar Christmas carols sung in traditional style. The carollers concluded their program by singing at the home of wheelchair bound Mrs. Catherine Dennis, who invited them in for coffee or tea.