The Rapp for July 28

Just between us . . .

Although we’re actually not yet having such a contest, if we were having a contest among our readers to come up with a new slogan for the Rappahannock News, the leading contender would definitely be one suggested this week:

“The Rappahannock News — Please keep my name out of it.”

Are you wondering who suggested this slogan, which some of us here find hilarious but none of us would recommend we adopt?

Sorry. We said we wouldn’t tell.

The very green thumb award

Staff Photo/Jan Clatterbuck

Tommy Starks of Washington gets the unofficial grower-of-the-week trophy for his cherry tomato and cucumber plants, shown flanking him at his home. Starks says he’s never seen tomatoes or cucumbers grow so high.

Things must be looking up — including Starks, and he’s six-foot-two.

Award-winning broil

Photo by Carrie Gilliam/American Angus Association

The Virginia team won second place overall in the intermediate roast division of the All-American Certified Angus Beef Cook-Off at the 2011 National Junior Angus Show in Harrisburg earlier this month, and on that team was Courtney Pooton of Sperryville (third from left).

The full team, from left: Morgan Alexander, Berryville; Connor Orrock, Woodford; Pooton; Cameron Simmons, Moneta; Callie Eastin, Gretna; and Catie Hope, Berryville. They prepared Marinated London Broil for the competition, sponsored by the American Angus Auxiliary.

Attention, bargain shoppers

R.H. Ballard Art, Rug & Home — the Washington shop and gallery that has so many cool gifts and items that you could easily spend next month’s electric bill payment before your spouse lays a gentle hand on your shoulder to slow you down — holds an Annual Summer Sale that offers 30 to 60 percent off its inventory of French tablecloths, art, rugs, lamps, purses, scarves, jewelry, dinnerware, soaps and more. It is your chance to bring all that good stuff home, and still have air-conditioning come September.

The sale ends this Saturday (July 30). Call 540-675-1411 or stop by at 307 Main St. before it’s too late.

Attention, peach shoppers

Peaches are growing well this summer in Rappahannock County. In an informal, highly unscientific survey conducted by the Rappahannock News, most respondents report peach yields to be satisfactory, if slightly less than last year’s crop.

James Jenkins, owner of Jenkins Orchard, said that his orchard was doing well. However, he cautions that the final outcome depends on the quantity of rain received until the end of the season in August.

Hot, dry weather slowed growth in Williams’ Orchard, said manager Eddie Williams. The quantity is a little less than last summer, he said.

Stink bugs seem to be staying out of peach trees in Rappahannock. Jenkins and Roy Alther of Roy’s Orchard have not seen any of the brown marmorated stink bugs, an Asian import blamed for major inconvenience and potentially major crop damage in the region. Williams’ peaches suffered minor damage. The orchard was sprayed in the spring with the insecticide Mustang Max. Since then, Williams has followed his usual spraying regimen, as has Jenkins.

Cold air in April diminished peach yield by 25 percent, said Alther. The remaining fruit is doing well.

The development of Rappahannock’s peach crop corresponds with a positive report by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). Total yield for the state is forecasted to be 210 tons less than the 2010 crop, which was 6,210 tons of peaches. This crop brought over $3.8 million to Virginia farmers. Virginia has about 2,000 acres of commercial peach orchards, not including pick-your-own operations, according to VDACS.— Alisa Booze Troetschel

A Soap Box Derby winner from the Piedmont!

Second-year Soap Box Derby driver Gabrielle Beville of Linden, a seventh-grader at Warren County Elementary School, was first to cross the finish line six times last Saturday in Akron, Ohio to earn the title of All American Soap Box Derby Champion.

Racing in the Rally Division, she competed against drivers from across the United States, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Germany to become the 2011 Rally Stock Division World Champion.

Locally, she placed second in her division of the Piedmont Area derby, held June 25 in Culpeper, but had previously qualified for the Akron event by garnering the necessary rally points in regional competition.

She becomes the third driver in local derby history to win a world championship in Akron, joining Brandon Feagan of Culpeper, the 2008 Masters Division Rally Champ, and Sean Brown, of Spotsylvania, last year’s Super Stock Division Rally Champ.

Gabrielle began her racing experience in 2010 with the Winchester Soap Box Derby, but with that community not participating this year, and because of Linden’s proximity to the Culpeper event, she chose to race with the Piedmont Area Derby. As the World Champion, she receives a $2,000 college scholarship, a derby crested gold ring, a championship wristwatch and jacket, and next year during the 2012 event will preview the derby activities from aboard the Goodyear Blimp.

She was accompanied to Akron by her parents, Trina and Jim Beville.

Roger Piantadosi
About Roger Piantadosi 544 Articles
Former Rappahannock News editor Roger Piantadosi is a writer and works on web and video projects for Rappahannock Media and his own Synergist Media company. Before joining the News in 2009, he was a staff writer, editor and web developer at The Washington Post for almost 30 years.


  1. Having grown up in the county and seeing my name (I think) in the paper, I would suggest the slogan be, “If my name appears in the paper, please SPELL IT CORRECTLY!”

    • Are you referring to something specific? I mean, we try to spell everyone’s name correctly and if we’ve failed I’d like to correct it in our archives and in our eEdition, plus my apologies to you.

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