The Rapp for Oct. 3

A violin for an endowment

Lorin Maazel's 1873 Guadagnini violin, to be auctioned for seed money for a Castleton Festival endowment.
Lorin Maazel's 1873 Guadagnini violin, to be auctioned for seed money for a Castleton Festival endowment.

Maestro Lorin Maazel, 82, is hoping the sale next week at New York’s Tarisio internet-based auction house of his cherished 1873 Guadagnini violin – a transaction expected to bring between $800,000 and $1.2 million for the instrument he first began playing when he was 15 – will provide the seed money for an endowment to keep the Castleton Festival going well beyond anyone’s conducting years. (Although the 82-year-old maestro himself shows no signs of slowing down, having conducted 40 performances around the world since the third annual festival for young artists finished up in August.) Stay tuned to the Rappahannock News for an update – or visit  

The Inn, The Post, the 4 stars

The double-page spread of chef Patrick O'Connell from "My Last Supper: The Next Course" by Melanie Dunea.
The double-page spread of chef Patrick O'Connell from "My Last Supper: The Next Course" by Melanie Dunea.

Happy news for the tourism-conscious: The Washington Post’s annual Fall Dining Guide again awarded the county’s highest-grossing visitor attraction these last 30 years, The Inn at Little Washington, its highest accolade of 4 stars (making it one of only six restaurants in the region). A glowing review by Tom Sietsema in the Oct. 16 Washington Post Magazine notes many new developments at The Inn over the last year, including the addition of “Farmer-in-Residence” Joneve Murphy, estate gardener Stuart Poole and California pastry chef Mia Ponce. Chef and proprietor Patrick O’Connell likened the review to “our annual report card” and praised his “dedicated and hardworking team for their continued efforts to exceed expectations.” O’Connell, meanwhile – if you were wondering what this photo is about – was also featured in Melanie Dunea’s just-released book of photographic essays of some of the top chefs in the world and their fantasies about their last meals. Called “My Last Supper: The Next Course,” the book features O’Connell in a double-page color spread captured in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., having an imaginary tea party with the Dalai Lama.

Author Dunea will be autographing copies of her book at the Inn’s Shops this Saturday (Nov. 5) from 3 to 5 p.m.

Soap Box Derby: the movie

Actor Corbin Bernsen
Actor Corbin Bernsen

This weekend, actor-writer-producer-director Corbin Bernsen – who plays Harry Spencer on USA network’s “Psych” and starred in the “Major League” films – is rolling into Culpeper this weekend with his film, “25 Hill,” to spread the word about the feel-good film and the legendary All American Soap Box Derby, which celebrates its 75th anniversary next year. “We’re so excited to be bringing this film to an area where we have so many enthusiastic derby racers and families,” said Bernsen, whose script was inspired by a newspaper story about the financial difficulties of the Soap Box Derby. “Together, we’re going to fire up a whole new passion for the soap box derby across the country.”

The all-free weekend begins this Saturday (Nov. 5) with a screening of “25 Hill” at the Marquee Theatre in Fredericksburg at 11 and moves on Sunday to Culpeper County High School, with a derby fun run for both experienced racers and novices – even adults — from 11to 4. The high school auditorium doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. showing of “25 Hill.”

RCHS provides some drama

The RCHS Drama Club, which competed in the VHSL One-Act play competition at William Monroe High School this week will have an encore performance of “Variations on a Theme” by Ed Monk on Friday (Nov. 4) in the high school auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome. The performance is free, but donations ($5 suggested) accepted. (All donations will benefit the spring musical, “Into the Woods.”)

Slow down, and buy a raffle ticket

Toby, in whose memory "A Cause for Paws" raffle was created.
Toby, in whose memory "A Cause for Paws" raffle was created.

This year’s “A Cause for Paws” raffle is underway, and tickets are on sale through Saturday (Nov. 5) at RAWL, Rose Hill Vet and the Co-op.  Members of RappCats will also be selling tickets this weekend in front of the Heritage House B&B during the RAAC artists’ tour. Purchase a ticket for just $5 (or 5 for $20) and enter the drawing for a chance to win a romantic package for two including dinner at The Inn at Little Washington and a one-night stay at the Heritage House B&B. Only 500 tickets will be sold. And since the tickets and prizes were donated, 100 percent of ticket sales will benefit the RappCats Spay & Neuter Fund. The raffle was created in 2006 by Heritage House’s Michelle and Gary Schwartz in memory of their rescued ginger tabby, Toby, who was killed by a speeding motorist on Main Street.  For more information, call RappCats at 540-987-8099 or visit

Advance notice: ‘Sudarium’ authors speak

Next Friday (Nov. 11) at 8 p.m. the Rappahannock Association for Arts and the Community welcomes now-local famous authors David Richards and Leonard Foglia to the Second Friday at the Library series, for a reading from their intriguing novels known as the “Sudarium” trilogy. Look for our interview in next Thursday’s paper with Richards (once the theater critic for The Post and later the New York Times) and Foglia, a world-renowned theater and opera director and librettist.

Holiday flora: ‘Cherub’ and ‘Senior Angels’

The holidays are quickly approaching and the Rappahannock County Department of Social Services (DSS) will sponsor “Cherub Trees” again this year. The trees will be in place at Trinity Episcopal Church and the Rappahannock Library by Thursday, Nov. 18. If you adopt a cherub to provide Christmas gifts, the gifts must be brought to the DSS office in Washington by Dec. 12. Last year more than 80 children, infants up to age 18, were served. If you have a child who needs Christmas gifts, contact the DSS (at 540-675-3313) by Dec. 1 to complete your application.

Beginning Friday, Nov. 19, the Senior Angel Tree also returns to Rappahannock. There are upwards of 100 senior “angels” – participants at the Rappahannock Senior Center at Scrabble School, recipients of the RRCS home-delivered meals or other seniors recommended by Social Services and other community organizations. Each will be given a designated “angel” – which includes their Christmas wish list – to be hung on a Christmas tree at Union First Market Bank, Washington. No names pass hands, so it is a gift of love, later to be received by the senior. Gifts must be purchased – wrapped with the angel attached, and returned to the Union First Market Bank or the Senior Center at Scrabble School – no later than Thursday, Dec. 15, to ensure delivery before Christmas. Contact Darcy Canton at 540-987-3638 with questions.

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