Sperryville column for Feb. 16

And all the snow that never falls is now
Back home and mixed up with other piercing
Memories of childhood days . . .

– from “A Winter Without Snow” by J.D. McClatchy

It was cold and windy this past weekend. We stayed home next to the wood stove most of the time and brought the feral cat in for the night. I was a bit of a couch potato and did not get out to get much news.

News about bridges

Both the bridge at 211/Main Street next to the rescue squad and the one-lane bridge on Water Street had guard rails that had been pretty badly crumpled by vehicles that ran into them, and VDOT recently repaired both railings. I am waiting to learn when the bridge replacement construction (U.S. 522 at Shaw’s) will begin this year. The bids on the bridge have been received but the contract has not yet been awarded.

Fire and rescue awards

At the annual Rappahannock Fire and Rescue Awards dinner last week, Harold Beebout received Outstanding EMS Provider of the Year for the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad. Besides serving as president of the rescue squad for four years (and now as its chief), he is consistently a top service provider and responded to 213 (or 63 percent) of all calls in 2011 – and has responded to more than 700 calls since 2008. On top of all that, he is always available to assist other members, work on the grounds, write reports . . . you name it. Harold is there, quiet, calm, dependable. Thank you, Harold.

Donald Gore has been an active running member of SVRS for 35 years. This year he received the award for Outstanding Supporting Member of the Year. Not only has he written grants that were awarded to SVRS that helped achieve goals for supplies and equipment, but also keeps members appraised of statewide issues. Donald travels long distances to purchase supplies needed for fundraising events and is readily available to help when something needs to be taken care of at the squad building. Even though Donald no longer lives in the county and the county incentive system does not apply to him, he is a loyal chair of meetings, trainings and fundraisers. Thank you, Donald, for 35 years of professional service.

J.D. Hartman, owner of High on the Hog restaurant (across Main Street from the SVRS building), received Outstanding Supporting Citizen award. He furnishes food for every RCVF/RA meeting and food for SVRS’ annual Miss Rappahannock Pageant – at no cost. On many occasions, when SVRS volunteers return from calls or are working at the building, he will not charge for food. J.D. also supports many other community activities such as the Fourth of July and the Hazzard Homecoming. Be sure to stop in at High on the Hog and thank this generous man. (And while you are there, try his shrimp creole dish with hush puppies and collard greens. It is delicious!)

I am frankly in awe of the services that all our fire and rescue volunteers provide in the county, 24/7. On Monday this week, there were no fewer than four calls for service for SVRS. Our volunteers’ lives are unpredictable and exhausting. We are most grateful to all of them and I know that we will continue to support them for their service. Please remember that you can be part of that team.

Guest columnist

For the next two weeks, Monica Worth will be your guest columnist for Sperryville. Contact her at monicaworth@mindspring.com if you have items you want included in the column.