Washington column for May 24

News from ‘Rappahannock West’

I had the pleasure to talk with Lois Manookian this week by phone. Almost six years ago, the artist and Washington resident moved to Portland, Ore. She says she’s loved living there, almost as much as she loved her 35 years in Rappahannock County. Despite the difference in size, she says, she’s been known to call Portland “Rappahannock West” – a beautiful place filled with interesting, friendly people, and a culture that includes supporting all the arts. She resides in a very nice retirement community.

Lois talked about another west coast reminder of Rappahannock – Charlie Hales, the son of Ross and Carol Hales, who also lived in Rappahannock County for about 20 years. Hales is running for mayor of Portland!

Lois says she first met Charlie when he was still a student at U.Va. in the late 1970s. The Hales were good friends, and Lois continued to visit Ross and Carol after they moved to Olympia, Wash., about 15 years ago.

Charlie, meanwhile, has lived for many years in Portland, and Lois says she is a strong supporter of his bid for mayor (last week was the primary election, where Hales won the chance to run in November). He is well known from his years on the Portland City Council, she says, and speaks to city concerns with a clear voice. “He may indeed win the election,” she says, “and yes, ‘Rappahannock West’ isn’t so far-fetched as you might think.”

Nice to hear your voice again, Lois!

Picnic appreciation

One could not have asked for a better day for the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office’s annual police memorial picnic last Friday (May 18) on the courthouse lawn. A huge crowd enjoyed those hot dogs and hamburgers, along with side dishes of potato salad and green beans. This was my first time to attend the picnic, and I enjoyed the food and the good fellowship.

A night of remembering

Zack Huff starts off the 2012 Relay for Life with a moving performance of the national anthem.
Hope Huff
Zack Huff starts off the 2012 Relay for Life with a moving performance of the national anthem.

If you happened to drive by Rappahannock County High School Saturday night (May 19), you might have seen the many cars and people there, but those who got closer to the action would have also felt the event’s many different emotions.

For part of the opening ceremony, Zack Huff sang the “Star Spangled Banner.” I was told on Monday that his voice was so amazing that he was sure to be heard by those who had lost the battle with cancer, up there in Heaven, as well as those who live to fight on and were out in force at this weekend’s walkathon, part of the national Relay for Life fundraising effort.

Some were there to celebrate those surviving cancer, some to remember those that have gone on,  and all were there to fight back – to help put an end to cancer.

This outstanding show of support proves that the people of Rappahannock stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the American Cancer Society to achieve its mission of saving lives by helping people get well and stay well and by finding cures.

Barrels replanted

On my daily walks around town, I have noticed that the barrels have beautiful flowers in them. The town council provided the flowers planted by Laura Dodd and her daughter, Ellie Dodd-Henze, last Thursday. The flowers came from Blue Ridge Growers of Culpeper. Thank you, Laura and Ellie – and Mary Ann Kuhn for the use of your truck.

Breakfast at WVF&R

Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue held its monthly fundraiser breakfast Saturday, (May 19), serving a hearty fare of pancakes, potatoes, scrambled eggs, gravy, biscuits, sausage, bacon and stewed apples. Sixty came for breakfast and everybody seemed happy and had plenty to eat. WVF&R thanks everyone for their continued support. The next fundraiser breakfast is June 17.

Special wishes

A belated birthday wish to my grandson, Trey Singleton. He celebrated his day on May 1. And happy birthday to my grandson, John Michael Fox, whose day is this Friday (May 25).

Belated anniversary wishes go out to Alvin and Pat Grigsby, who celebrated their 33 years of marriage last Saturday (May 19). May you both have many more to come.


Sympathy goes out to Chuck and David Moore on the passing of their mother, Ruth Moore of Harrisonburg. Ruth Moore passed away on Tuesday, May 15, at the age of 94. Our deepest sympathies are with you, Chuck, and your brother.

Memorial weekend

For those who have lost loved ones or friends in the armed forces, understand that Memorial Day is not only a holiday for barbeques and celebrations but it is a time for traditions that honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. As we celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, whether visiting friends or relatives or just staying at home, let’s take time to remember the families who have lost loved ones.

Are you headed out of town this weekend? A lot of people are. With more drivers, we need to pay more attention. There will be a lot of distractions on the roads. We will need to be more patient with people on the roadway. Remember to buckle up – and don’t text and drive!