Sperryville column for June 11

Hospice’s Volunteer of the Year

Julie Music Morrow of Sperryville was recently honored by the Hospice of the Piedmont (formerly Hospice of the Rapidan), presented with the hospice’s Volunteer of the Year 2014 award.

Many of us have lost loved ones, who have been given the gift of a hospice volunteer during their final days. These are the quiet, unobtrusive folks who help grief-stricken families, provide moral support, empathy and much-needed advice, making those final days markedly less painful for all.

A social services major at Syracuse University, after graduation Julie took a detour into aviation, becoming a commercial pilot. She ended up in Sperryville and was prompted to return to her first love, and worked for many a year with Warren County Social Services in adult protective services. After her retirement five years ago, she became a hospice volunteer.

She’s married to David Morrow. Many in Rappahannock know him from his volunteer work and cheery presence at the Rappahannock Food Pantry. He is known for his gentle smile, wry sense of humor, and his boundless love for his two dogs, Lily and Buddy, who are also volunteers; indeed they are favorite children’s reading buddies at Rappahannock Elementary and the local library.

Thank you both of you for your spirit of volunteerism. Julie, your work is selfless and, as someone who lost her dad not so very long ago, while in the competent care of a hospice volunteer; I can vouch personally for how much your work means to so many people.

Women’s defense

Gordon Wicks of Stonewall Abbey Yoga in Sperryville will be offering a two-day workshop, “Walk With Courage: A Course in Women’s Personal Defense” at Golden Harmony Fitness in Culpeper this weekend (June 13-14, 1 to 5 p.m. both days). Writes Wicks: “Learn invaluable awareness, mindset and physical techniques, to prepare you to survive dangerous situations. Held in a warm, friendly, and safe atmosphere, this all-women’s class empowers its participants and forms lasting friendships.” For more information, call 540-987-8369 or visit stonewallabbeyyoga.com.

Gold Top at Telluride — again

Shown here at a recent show at their home base, Sperryville's Central Coffee, the Gold Top County Ramblers are headed to Telluride again this month.
Shown here at a recent show at their home base, Sperryville’s Central Coffee, the Gold Top County Ramblers are headed to Telluride again this month.

This just in from a friend: “Sperryville’s own Gold Top County Ramblers are heading for Telluride, Colorado again to play [for the second year in a row] at the Telluride Bluegrass festival June 19-20. They will compete again in the 42nd annual festival’s band competition, one of just 12 bands accepted — last year they came home with fourth-place honors. Last Sunday afternoon, they played a few preview sets to a packed house at Central Coffee Roasters. A hat was passed to help them with gas money.”

Learn more about Gold Top and the Telluride festival at goldtopcountyramblers.com.

New doings at Copper Fox Antiques

Copper Fox Antiques, nestled in the bosom of the Blue Ridge in three buildings originally constructed in the late 1930s to house apple cooperatives, an apple packing house, a juice plant and a cold storage facility, was purchased from the cooperative by Alex Sharp in 1985, and over time it’s evolved (see the full history at copperfoxantiques.com/about.htm).

Ashleigh and Alex Sharp with daughter Cannon.
Ashleigh and Alex Sharp with daughter Cannon.

Today the complex is now home to not only the Sharps’ Copper Fox Antiques but Wasmund’s Copper Fox Distillery, the galleries and studios of River District Arts and Middle Street Gallery, Valley Green Naturals, Ridge Line and most recently Flourish Root, Wild Roots Apothecary, the (newly relocated) Heritage Hollow Farm Store and the soon-to-open Pen Druid Brewery.

Alex’s wife Ashleigh is frequently seen at the store, busily navigating the stocked floor and bringing in new arrivals. Their little girl, Cannon, is sometimes about as well, always a special treat. While the store’s name indicates antiques displayed and sold, the building houses a wide variety of goods, from custom tables to mid-century modern furniture, high-end china and wares to fit every manner of budgets. The Sharps are also both Realtors and so part of the services they provide include not only furnishing your home but selling it and/or finding you a new one, all offered under one roof! They are also known to give to the community, from providing furniture for RAAC plays to hiring young interns like Julia Estes through Headwaters’ Next Step program. Wish you both the very best in your endeavors!

Thumbelina at Swan Lake

Lynn Sullivan’s Swan Lake Farm, surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, was the scene of a lively salon-style dinner party a couple of Saturdays ago. A well-known entrepreneur, Lynn’s most recent brainchild is Thumbelina (thumbelina.biz), and her dinner was one of several past and upcoming introductions of her idea to the community.

Among the guests were Molly Peterson, Lorraine Duisit, artists Lisbeth Sabol and Melissa Ichiugi (the latter an equestrian at Britta Johnston’s Mount Vista dressage barn), Alex and Ashleigh Sharp and holistic vet Monique Maniet. Attendees enjoyed not only delicious foods but Early Mountain Winery provided an exquisite wine tasting.

“Thumbelina is being created to encourage young professionals to telecommute to this area and we need to have full service luxury rentals for groups which enables them to bring their dogs, children and be with their friends when they are out here,” explains Lynn. “This involves working from here, but also being able to play and receiving full service from laundry service to anything that allows a family and friends to seamlessly enjoy their time here. We think that this will be a major boost to the local economy.”

In the early stages of a startup, Lynn says, Thumbelina “will make it easy and affordable for busy young professionals to enjoy the Town and Country lifestyle in the Virginia Piedmont. Thumbelina is a marketing, curated information and seasonal property management company. Thumbelina LLC markets the products of high value artists/master wood and metal workers, artisanal product makers, sport horse barns and investment grade rental properties, through social media channels and offers member based pricing on listed products. It also helps the busy young professional to easily and affordably integrate the Town and Country lifestyle, through its full service, seasonal group rental properties. Its popular website based blog ‘By George’ offers further insights on the Virginia Piedmont, featuring its most popular recreation, upcoming events and the surrounding social scene.”

Good luck with your newest venture, Lynn!

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