Postcard from 2020

Source photos by John Fuller and Laura Massie; fakery by Photoshop and the Rappahannock News

This following was sent in with a return address — and a sense of humor — suspiciously resembling that of Flint Hill resident Ron Maxwell.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Having the most delightful time with my friend Clare. For the past few days we’ve been at her parents’ place in Rappahannock County. Reminds me of our home in the Hollywood Hills. Houses on quarter acre lots up hill and down dale. Such a variety of architectural styles. There’s a shopping mall called Massies Corner, all the brand names. Fifteen eateries. Cuisine from every continent. Yesterday there was a farmer’s market in the back corner of the parking lot. Can you believe it, there are still some farms in this place, only an hour and a half from our nation’s capital.

After lunch, Clare’s brother Bob showed us around his country club in the F.T. Valley. It boasts the most challenging golf course in the country. He’s got this spectacular pad right on the green. Cost a fortune but he can golf every morning.

We had an early dinner at the Sperryville Grand Hyatt. They’ve got this really neat revolving restaurant on the 45th floor with the most spectacular view of the Blue Ridge mountains. Afterward we attended a concert at the Castleton Bowl. Handel’s Messiah was played by an orchestra of 250 musicians and a mixed chorus of 1,023 voices. The audience was asked to join in on the “Hallelujah Chorus,” but Clare didn’t want to get caught in the two-hour traffic jam following the concert, so we left in the middle of “The Trumpet Shall Sound.”

Best of all was a quaint village called Little Washington. It’s the only town in Virginia with no traffic lights and it doesn’t permit neon signs. But Clare says that won’t last for long because the last people who care about such things are dying off. What’s wrong with neon anyway?

Clare is starting a new job next month at the Amissville Regional Recycling plant. It’s got the latest cutting-edge technology. Some residents didn’t want it in the county because of health concerns, but since opening it’s employed 2,000 people and pumped so much revenue into the county coffers that there’s a new 10-story County Government Building with the most stunning water fountain, a new football stadium, a year-round ice-hockey rink and a natural history museum. That was best of all! I got to see stuffed foxes, bears and bobcats. They’ve got this great display of mounted birds of prey, wings stretched out as if in flight.

Tomorrow is my last day. We’re going to the Rappahannock History Museum. It’s got a great set of photographs from when Clare was just a kid. This month they’re featuring a special exhibition on the old cell phone technology and the six 280-foot towers that were first built in the county in 2011.

Clare says that was the year the county really turned around. All kinds of businesses set up shop in the county once they and their customers could talk on their phones in their cars, trucks, motor homes, motorcycles, bicycles skateboards and perambulators. Until that improvement Rappahannock County was just a poor, forgotten backwater. A place that time forgot and that mattered to no one.

Can you imagine, once upon a time Hollywood and Vine was a backwater too!

At the end of the month they’re tearing down the cell phone towers to make room for the mountaintop-removal mining operation that’s starting up. Some old-timers and hippies now in their 80s are objecting, but no one wants to turn away that kind of revenue. I mean. Hey, like jobs, right?

I can’t think of another place in America I’ve liked to so much!


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