Sept. 27, 1984
Ten years ago, there was no such thing as a video cassette recorder. Today, 15 percent of all the homes in America have one of the machines that bring the magic of Hollywood’s giant screen into the living room.
Some of those homes are in Rappahannock County. Every time we wanted a movie we had to drive to Culpeper, Warrenton or Front Royal to rent one. And then we’d have to make another trip to return the darn things. It can be a long drive and an inconvenient one. And when a movie’s not returned on time, the late charges add up. We paid a lot of late charges — a fortune in late charges!” recalled Susan Kauffman, co-partner with Rae Haase in Washington Video Rentals.
And now, movie buffs in Rappahannock are the winners. They can see the Disney characters that won the hearts of the world, the fancy footsteps of Michael Jackson, the brave adventurers who searched for lost arks and romantic stones, Superman and The Man Who Would be King. Washington Video already has in stock films to suit all tastes and eras. Kauffman and Haase have 103 titles in Beta, 110 titles in VHS and more on order. And customers don’t have to drive 50 miles or more roundtrip. The office and showroom are in the basement of the Baumgardner Building (the old Washington Post Office).
An exciting match it was last Thursday afternoon as the Rappahannock Polo Team whacked the 3½-ounce ball through the goal posts five times for a 5-2 win over the British Army Team. The Britons gave the Rappahannock riders good competition though, as they galloped at full speed on the polo field, swinging their mallets and whips and scoring two goals on a field the size of three football fields.
The outside polo field is located at Castleton on Route 618, between the Route 729 intersection and the Laurel Mills Store. It is owned by C. W. “Bill” Fannon, Jr., who also supplied the thoroughbred horses for the match. The Rappahannock team consisted of Bill and Chet Fernandez of Argentina and Phillip Staples of Ruther Glen in Caroline County, Va.
Aug. 14, 2002
Micah Solomon has both created and discovered an oasis. Originally the oasis was Mr. Solomon’s business, begun in 1987 in College Park, Md., because he needed a company to do what wasn’t being done. As a musician, composer and recording engineer, he had been disappointed by the quality of his work when it came back to him from the duplication process.
He knew he could do better, so he did. Solomon named his new business Oasis.
From his recording studio in Maryland and a staff of one (himself) he produced records and cassettes and a reputation for quality and innovation. Oasis expanded with the industry to CDs, adjusting its name to Oasis CD Manufacturing.
He now employs a fulltime staff of 28. Along the way, he gained a partner, his wife Vandy. In 1997, with the help of Jean Lillard, the Solomons bought the beautiful Frances Bradford house on Route 522 in Flint Hill. Jay Monroe, a local architect living in Huntly, turned the house into a workable headquarters for Oasis CD.
With the business growing at 14 percent a year, they outgrew the limited space at their headquarters in Flint Hill. From the moment Mr. Solomon first saw the Faith Mountain building near the Rappahannock Coop on U.S. 211, he fell in love with it and wanted it.
Oasis CD moved into its dream home on June 10 and got the phones and all things technical working by June 11, thanks to the technical wizardry of Martin Henze. Solomon says that everything feels right.
It is obvious that his husband and wife team have been moving in harmony for many years. “Junior” Switzer and his wife Gloria have spent most of their lives making music. Drawing music from the saw came easily for Switzer, and with the preacher on the accordion and the son on the saw, their ministry on the streets of Philadelphia began to draw the curious and the converts. They’d play a little and then Rev. Switzer would preach a little.
The way to Rappahannock came in 1959 when Rev. Switzer became pastor of Hope Hill Baptist Church near Castleton. The gift for music has followed Junior Switzer always. He is adept on the piano, guitar, bass, trumpet, sax, and of course the saw. For Junior and Gloria Switzer it is the sounds of their children’s young voices caught on tape. Switzer is in the process of re-mixing those tapes to make a good CD.