What has happened to Rappahannock County? My family moved here in 1991. Initially I was a “city” girl and hated the “stinkin’ fresh air.” I had just graduated from Chantilly High School and my parents moved out here that very weekend.
As the years moved on and I got older, I started to enjoy the peace, tranquility and beauty that this county has to offer. Back then, you couldn’t drive down one road and pass someone without waving. That was the appropriate greeting to your neighbor. Also, if you broke down or hit a deer, some good ol’ boy would stop and offer you help.
About 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28, I was coming from my sister’s house in Chester Gap down U.S. 522 when one of our local furry animals (a deer) jumped out in front of my minivan and I hit his tail end. Well, needless to say my van started dying as I tried to pull off on the opposite side of the road, as my side of the road had nowhere to pull off.
My cell phone almost dead and beeping, my two-month-old baby in the back seat, I called my husband for help. I was shocked and disappointed as my flashing lights were blinking and not one person who passed by from either direction stopped to ask if I was okay. Now, granted, I probably would have only cracked my window, but I was so sad and disheartened.
What happened, Rappahannock — have you lost that lovin’ feelin’? Have we turned so skeptical and cynical towards our friendly neighbor that we no longer care to offer help or show concern? I sure could have used a friendly face and helping hand that night.
To that end I would like to thank State Trooper Don Corbin, who came upon me and so graciously helped this hysterical woman. I would also like to thank the rescue squad who came and unlocked my van as my baby lay screaming inside. My van usually unlocks all the doors as the driver gets out, but that night it did not and as I got out to talk to the trooper, I accidentally locked my door. Of course I was in hysterics!
I would like to thank my sister and her husband, Jessica and Greg Langley of Chester Gap, who came to assist and loan me a vehicle. I would like to thank my husband, Matt, for coming to the rescue of his hormonal wife; and my mother, Sally Letsen, who watched my children as they slept. To Rappahannock, I challenge you to find that “feeling” again and “love your neighbor as yourself.” I know I certainly will never forget that night, and will try my hardest to be there for my neighbors in their time of need.
Sara Letsen Kleppinger