Washington column for Feb. 3

New faces in town

On my daily walk around town I have noticed that some of the houses that were for sale or for rent are now occupied. Diane Bruce sold her house, Rabbit Gum, to George H. Eatman, who cowrote the book “A Treasury of Anglican Art.” George is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church and originally is from Rocky Mount, N.C., but he’s also lived in Rome, Florence, London and New York. George is an attorney who escapes from big Washington to spend his weekends in Little Washington.

Andrea Wooten and Steve Ray sold their house on Mt. Salem Avenue to Susan Stoltzman and Dan Spethmann.

The stone house on the corner of Main Street and Porter Street (across from Douglas Baumgardner’s offices) is occupied by Charles “Chuck” Hunter and he has two cats, one of which is a Hurricane Katrina rescue. In addition to being a cat lover, Chuck is a bookkeeper and a wonderful gardener.

Ray Gooch, a longtime Little Washington weekender and former Town Council member, has moved his D.C. law offices to the second floor of the old Rappahannock Bank Building on Gay Street and will be a full-time resident here, continuing at the cottage on Main Street where he first lived 28 years ago. Ray, a member of the Virginia Bar, does not intend to establish a Rappahannock County practice, but will maintain his trusts and estates practice with his existing D.C. and Virginia clients. He hopes to spend not more than one day a week in D.C. Ray welcomes drop-in visitors at his office and says he will turn off his lawyer clock for such occasions.

Stop by and say hello to Ray, Chuck, George, Susan and Dan and welcome them. We are delighted to have such fine people as our neighbors.

Rap Owings, who hired Jan Palmer to work with Virginia Cooperative Extension 30 years ago, visits with her at her party Friday at Town Hall. Staff Photo/Jan Clatterbuck.

Sendoff for a special lady

A retirement party for Jan Palmer, the longtime administrative assistant at the Cooperative Extension Service office here in Washington, drew friends to Town Hall last Friday (Jan. 28). There was plenty of food, flowers, and people who had lots of good stories about Jan. Rap Owings, who hired her 30 years ago, told everyone that when he hired her, “he got both a secretary and an Extension agent.”

People from all areas of Jan’s life were there to wish her well; friends from work, from church, friends of her son who was raised in Rappahannock County, and friends she has known for 30 years as she registered their children for 4-H camp or an agricultural program. Most people in Rappahannock County have been touched by Jan somehow, and her presence will be missed.

Jan has retired from Virginia Cooperative Extension and will begin working with the Farm Service Agency in Warrenton in mid-February. We wish her only the best!

Good luck Jan!

Fuzzy’s back home

Fuzzy, a friendly gray cat with black stripes, has returned. He was missing for 10 days. A Sperryville resident who mistook Fuzzy for her missing cat picked him up on Gay Street but had him returned after realizing the error. Thanks to all who helped in the search for him. He’s home with his brothers and sisters at the Middleton Inn, but he still loves to visit around town. You may see him visiting at John and Diane’s Foster Harris House Bed & Breakfast or at Elizabeth and Nancy Buntin’s home on Main Street. Depending on which route he takes, he may be visiting Kevin and Jay at the Gay Street Inn before he heads over to Rev. and Mrs. Phil Bailey’s house on Mt. Salem Avenue or goes across the street to Rev. and Mrs. Jenks Hobson’s house.

One day don’t be surprised if you see him with a collar and leash being walked by his owner, Mary Ann Kuhn.

WVF&R news

Washington Volunteer Fire & Rescue had its monthly meeting on Saturday (Jan 29). Response calls were reviewed. There were reviewed 41 EMS calls in January as of Saturday, including two “save” calls (meaning that without the prompt rescue intervention, the patient would likely have died), four severe strokes, two seizures and several unresponsive or unconscious patients. The squad is also exploring with neighboring hospitals ways to enhance responsiveness when evacuating patients.

There were also nine fire calls, including a chimney fire that had spread from the chimney into the walls. This call is noteworthy for several reasons: the flue liner stopped at the rafter line and creosote had accumulated causing fire to flare and spread. This is a reminder to all homeowners to make sure their chimneys and stoves are installed properly and to have them inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.

It was also reported that new firefighting tools such as the “K-Saw Block” heavy-duty block saw were indispensable when bricks and metals had to be cut (twice in January) to reach and combat the fire as quickly as possible.

To purchase such tools and generally help fund their operations, WVF&R is holding its third annual winter ham and oyster dinner on Saturday, Feb. 12, from 4 to 8 p.m. Cost is $20 for adults, $12 for kids 10 and under. More details at www.WashingtonVolunteerFireAndRescue.org.

The squad also has a new member. Bill Walton joined in January.

Book lovers

A group of Washington and county women have formed a book club and met Jan. 20 at the Middleton Inn on Main Street for dinner and discussions of their current book, “Cutting for Stone.”

Mary Ann Kuhn, who hosted the gathering, served chili, cornbread, salad, chocolate cake and fruit. Yum! Those attending were Fawn Evenson, Joanie Herrema, Nancy Keyser from Washington and Kathy Christie and Benita Batten from the county as well as former county resident Marilyn Armor.

Variety show canceled

Washington Baptist Church regrets to announce that its 15th annual variety show, originally planned for Feb. 5 at the Theatre at Washington, has been canceled. It’s hoped it’ll be back even stronger next year. The church extends its appreciation to all its loyal supporters.


Two editions back, in my column I reported that Sylvie Rowand from Harris Hollow recently contributed the recipes for Sauveur magazine’s “Seasonal Table.” She actually wrote the article for Sperryville’s Flavor magazine.