Down Memory Lane for Dec. 17

Oct. 2, 1980

Honored at her retirement after 41 years as secretary for the Rappahannock Extension Office in Washington, Ruby Jenkins received a replica of the little red building where she has worked since 1939 made by Marjorie Atkins and Linda Owings. She was also given an antique churn and a Bible box made by Peter Kramer and engraved with her name and dates of service.

Now that she’s retired, Ruby plans to devote time to her museum and to a long list of hobbies, including knitting, needlepoint, crocheting and refinishing and restoring furniture. “I love to refinish, to try to make something out of nothing,” she added in her soft voice.

Although she has plenty to keep her busy, Ruby Jenkins will miss her work as much as visitors to the extension office will miss her helpful attention and welcoming smile. “I’ll miss it but the time comes to leave,” she concluded.

In his 50 years of snipping and trimming, Marion Watts has left a trail of hair that stretches from the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific to the Blue Ridge foothills of Rappahannock.

A barber in the county for 36 years, Watts celebrated a half century in the business in September. And after all this time, he still loves his job. “I have no plans for retiring. None whatsoever. As long as I’m able, I plan to keep right on working.”

Now the red and white pole goes round and round again in front of the apartment building next door to Washington’s post office, a flag marking one of the county’s unofficial landmarks.

Watts started his career at a Richmond barbering school in 1930. A native of Lynchburg, he set up shop first in Culpeper, a long way from home. But that was just the first jump. he put thousands and thousands of more miles between his barber chair and southwest Virginia with the outbreak of World War II.

June 9, 1988

Former Senator Eugene McCarthy announced last week that he is a candidate for President of the United States. At a press conference in Philadelphia last Wednesday, Mr. McCarthy said he will run on the Consumer Party ticket in Pennsylvania, although he will run as an independent in states where there is no organized third party in place.

Sitting at his desk, with his pants tucked into a pair of worn leather boots, sporting a comfortably worn chamois shirt, the former Democratic senator from Minnesota appears an unlikely presidential candidate. He spends a lot of time at his home outside Woodville, writing poetry and books on subjects as diverse as politics, economics and life in Rappahannock.

At its meeting on Monday, the Board of Supervisors made the Landfill Advisory Committee a reality with the appointment of Kathleen Shiff and Vincent Day as the “citizen representatives” on the panel. Mrs. Shiff will be the Jackson District representative. She was appointed by Jackson District Supervisor Ellis Bingham, who told the board that in addition to being a firefighter in Fairfax County, she is also a member of its Hazardous Materials Response Team. Through that experience, “she is familiar with hazardous materials and toxic substances. She is very conscientious young lady,” he said.

Hampton District Supervisor Mike Massie nominated Vincent Day to be the at-large representative on the committee. As a geologist, Mr. Massie pointed out, he brings valuable skills and knowledge to the committee. Mr. Day also served as Fauquier County’s sanitarian. He is now in private practice as a consulting geologist.

At Monday evening’s public hearing on nominations to the School Board, only two names were mentioned to fill the two seats up for reappointment. Supervisor Charles K. (Pete) Estes nominated Dorothy Butler to fill the Piedmont District seat vacated by Nancy Reeve, who did not seek reappointment. Col. Ellis Bingham, Jackson District’s supervisor, nominated board Chairman Beverly Massie for another term.

Jan. 31, 1996

The Rev. Phillip Bailey is settling in as the new pastor at the Washington Baptist Church.

What was supposed to be his first Sunday preaching to his new church turned out to be the Sunday of the blizzard. Services at Washington Baptist were canceled, and Rev. Bailey joined four others in a worship service at Trinity Episcopal. Seeing the town under a blanket of snow, he said, was “like a Currier and Ives painting.”

Rev. Bailey is here alone during the week. His wife Karyl is working on completing her training as a registered nurse. She expects to finish in May, and then she will join him. Until then she tries to get to Rappahannock on weekends, but her hospital work sometimes keeps her at home in Waynesboro.

The Library Board hosted a party for Mary and James P. Jamieson Thursday evening, honoring their many contributions to the library over the years. Mrs. Jamieson stepped down from the Library Board in December after serving for 10 years. She also served as a member of the board from 1970 to 1982, for 11 of those years she was the board’s chairman.

Mr. Jamieson founded the Friends of the Rappahannock Library and was the driving force behind raising funds for the new library building. The board gave Mrs. Jamieson a ceramic pitcher made by Merrill Strange with a painting of the old library on one side and the new on the other.

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