The Rapp for Dec. 20

Fourth Fridays: One’s on, one’s not

A couple of holiday-disturbed production schedules are forcing us to cancel the Rappahannock News’ monthly “Fourth (Estate) Friday” meeting originally scheduled for Dec. 28 at Tula’s Off Main in Washington. Assuming the world once again fails to end this week, we will be back to our normal schedule in the new year – and stay tuned for word of other Rappahannock News-sponsored special events in 2013.

Meanwhile, Sperryville’s merchants and galleries decided to go ahead with their monthly “Shop Sperryville” evening hours and special events Dec. 28; there’s a note below about one at Middle Street Gallery, and there will be more in the Dec. 27 edition of the Sperryville column.

‘Riddled in Rhyme’ debuts

“Riddled in Rhyme,” the debut CD from Lorraine Duisit, Wendi Sirat and Frances Miller – collectively known as Mandalele – was officially born Dec. 7, after nine months of effort. The trio has been busy thanking everyone involved – and getting the CD onto shelves and in the mail.


The album will officially be released in 2013, but in the meantime, the band is doing a “soft release” throughout December to get the music out to supporters, local stores and the community (the album will also be available online soon). Those who pre-ordered during Mandelele’s Kickstarter fundraising campaign will receive two free additional songs to download.

Meanwhile, Miller became a mother on Nov. 13 with the birth of her son, Eli, and is taking a break from performing for a while. Duisit and Sirat are performing locally until her return, including at a special dinner event (sold out, we hear) at Tula’s tomorrow at 7.

Copies of “Riddled in Rhyme” are $15, and you can skip the $2 shipping by buying them at several local businesses, including Ginger Hill Antiques, Belle Meade Bed & Breakfast, Tula’s Off Main, Merry Moo Market, R. H. Ballard and a number of the shops in Sperryville (including Coterie, Knit Wit Yarn Shop and others). Questions:, or visit to hear samples and subscribe to the band’s email list.

5K brings $1.2K to deputies’ kids program

It’s been a busy month for the 4-H Community Club. Last Tuesday (Dec. 8), 132 runners and walkers “took their marks” for the second annual Jingle Bell 5K. Running through the beautiful and festively-decorated town of Washington with jingle bells on their shoes, race participants helped the community-minded 4-H teens raise money for the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office “Shop with a Deputy” program.

Danny Collins of Warrenton took top honors as the overall race (and men’s) winner, while Cyndy Berryman of Marshall finished first for the women (full race results can be viewed at Racers congregated at the Old Washington School amid holiday music and light snacks, as members of the 4-H Club selected winners for the anxiously awaited door prizes.

4-H Club members (from left) Josie Kritter, Shelby Burnett, Maddie Heneghan, Brooke Downs and Ben Estes present Sheriff Smith their $1,200 “Shop with a Deputy” donation.
4-H Club members (from left) Josie Kritter, Shelby Burnett, Maddie Heneghan, Brooke Downs and Ben Estes present Sheriff Smith their $1,200 “Shop with a Deputy” donation.

While Tri Performance tallied the chip-timed results, Sheriff Connie Smith addressed the group, explaining about the office’s annual “Shop with a Deputy” program to provide a Christmas outing and gift-shopping experience to local children who may not otherwise have one.

After race clean-up, the 4-H Club donated over 70 pounds of food and water to the neighbor across the parking lot – the Food Pantry. The final closeout of the Jingle Bell 5K occurred later that week, when club members presented $1,200 to Sheriff Smith, wishing her and her crew happy holidays and happy shopping with the kids.

Spande expands on the ‘Art of Revision’

Middle Street Gallery’s own Renaissance Man, Thomas Spande, offers an informal talk at the gallery in Sperryville’s River District at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28.


In “The Art of Revision,” Spande will reveal his secrets for revising works of art and music as they develop in the studio. Using examples from his drawings, paintings and recorded music (used in two short films shown at Silverdocs, the preeminent documentary film festival in the U.S.), he demonstrates the potential for improvement – and the pitfalls – in revising an original idea as a work of art is made. If you have ever struggled to improve a piece of art or writing, don’t miss this behind-the-scenes glimpse of genius at work. Middle Street is at 3 River Lane, at Rappahannock Central.

Settle completes security studies degree

Virginia State Police Capt. Gary Settle, division commander of the state force’s bureau of criminal investigation in Culpeper, last week completed a master of arts degree in security studies at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Settle, of Sperryville, has held positions within the state police with responsibilities for intelligence collection and analysis, and supporting counter-terrorism initiatives. His current division command puts him in charge of the Culpeper Field Office’s general investigative section and the drug enforcement section responsible for investigating criminal activity and domestic terrorism. He earned a bachelor of science degree in the administration of criminal justice from Bluefield College.

Capt. Gary Settle
Capt. Gary Settle

During the 18-month program, Settle collaborated with homeland security officials from across the nation on current policy, strategy and organizational design challenges. He wrote a thesis addressing the emerging threats and violence potential of radicalized groups as they relate to domestic terrorism.

The visitors center’s winter hours

The Rappahannock County Visitors Center is only open for holiday weekends from January to March. The center is open during Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend (Jan. 18-21), President’s Day weekend (Feb. 15-18) and St. Patrick’s Day weekend (March 15-18).

Throughout the winter months, staff will maintain the information kiosk located outside the center with a supply of county visitor guides and other tourism materials. The center is open this Friday-Sunday (Dec. 21-23) and next (Dec. 28-30), but is closed both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The center reopens for the 2013 tourism season with its regular weekend schedule April 5.

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