Sperryville column for March 29

Thornton River bridge replacement begins

Work has begun to replace the U.S. 522 bridge over the Thornton River. According to the VDOT press release, the actual closing of the bridge will take place sometime in May, with rerouting of truck traffic away from Sperryville (except for local deliveries). Other vehicles will be detoured onto Main Street. The original press release also indicated Water Street as a detour route. However, VDOT spokesman Lou Hatter announced a reversal of that plan:

“The signed detour route during the Thornton River bridge project will be Route 1001 (Main Street). We anticipate that some local traffic will elect to use Water Street but it will not be marked as a detour route. Future releases and other public information will not mention Water Street as an alternate route.”

We sincerely appreciate that decision because of the danger posed by Water Street’s one-lane bridge with its poor approach visibility. We will keep you posted as plans progress.

Spring holiday help

NEIGHBOR Amber Dodson models one of Beech Spring’s Easter hats.
E. Raymond Boc
NEIGHBOR Amber Dodson models one of Beech Spring’s Easter hats.

We have just passed the spring equinox which leads us into diverse spiritual traditions and family celebrations. My mom always bought us a new Easter outfit and she never failed to wear a new big hat. Because of mom, I have a real emotional soft spot for hats and I could not resist sharing with you information about the new Kate Middleton-style hats that are available at Beech Spring Farms gift store at 11600 Lee Hwy., just west of the village. To really show off these hats I asked our neighbor, Amber Dodson, to go back with us to model the hats for you. Both Amber and the hats are adorable!

I originally went to Beech Spring Farms to look for Easter baskets for our three little grandchildren. I bought three medium-sized African baskets that can be used year after year for the children and that will also be useful for holding toys the rest of the year. Check these out if you want a durable basket for those Easter treats and egg hunts.

Of course there is Easter dinner. We always had Italian meals, supplemented with baked ham to incorporate an American tradition, and the meals ended with a traditional Easter ricotta pie.

Here in Sperryville you can enjoy an Easter dinner at Thornton River Grille featuring dishes with lamb sourced from Cliff Miller’s farm. Terri Lehman is away at a wedding so I cannot check to see what her specials will be, but you know that calling her guarantees a terrific takeout catered dinner. Call 540-987-8185.

JD Hartman, at High on the Hog on Main Street, is taking orders for smoked Easter hams. He soaks the hams in cherry and pineapple juice, rubs them with brown sugar, studs them with cloves, cherries and pineapple, and then they are smoked over cherry wood! Gail Swift says it is the best ham she has ever had. To reserve one of these outstanding hams, call 540-987-8113. While you are at it, try his Rappahannock Apple Cake, made with local Jenkins apples and topped with pecan glaze made with Wasmund’s whiskey.

Looking for your own local, pastured lamb to cook yourself? Check out what our our local farmers are offering: John Kiser at Meadow Green Farm (540-987-8445) and Cliff Miller at Mount Vernon Farm (540-987-9559).

Do you need some Passover treats? Triple Oak Bakery can provide you with “forgotten cookies” (meringues with pecans and chocolate chips) and Belgian chocolate torte made grain-free for Passover. To place your order, call  540-987-9122.

Old Rag Gallery reopens

Although Old Rag Gallery was closed for retail during the winter months, the members of the photo cooperative were busy. Nineteen Rappahannock residents took individual and small group lessons during the last two months. A grand reopening reception is 2 to 5 p.m. this Saturday (March 31), with new work by four of the photographers. Be sure to stop in. Regular hours also resume this weekend: 10 to 4 Saturdays and Sundays.

Birthday wishes

Happy Birthday to Amber Dodson, who will turn 16 on April 3. Amber hopes to go to U.Va. and is considering biotechnical medicine as her field of study. Whatever she chooses, Amber is an excellent student and will do well. Amber is the daughter of Lisa Dodson, who works in the county treasurer’s office, and Ronnie Dodson, a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office.