I have so enjoyed writing about the people of Sperryville since former Rappahannock News editor Anita Sherman first asked me to take on this task in April 2006. I have decided that I will not continue so that I may have time for other weekend activities; my last regular column will be on Jan. 31. I will be happy to help with the transition to a new columnist, supply news and occasional vacation coverage. For now, keep your news coming for the next three weeks!
Allen (A.Y.) Stokes celebrated his 89th birthday on Jan. 4. Peggy and Arthur Smith and Andrea Wooten hosted a luncheon for him in honor of the occasion.
Allen is diligent about taking care of his health: He walks and exercises daily on an exercise bike and stepper that he keeps in his garage. No matter what the weather, he’s on them! Allen keeps his mind active by reading and communicating online, is very involved in his Charolais cattle operation and is the neighbor that everyone knows as the “go to” person for any issue related to the farm or information about the county. With Allen’s positive attitude and self-discipline, he’ll probably live to be 100!
So far we are having a warm winter and the days are thankfully getting longer. In the meantime, here are a few activities to keep us intellectually and physically stimulated during these dark months. Create your own at-home weekend getaway with friends right here in Sperryville.
Old Rag Gallery has significantly expanded its class offerings to include several all-day classes, such as Point and Shoot basics on Sunday, Jan 13 and Feb. 2 ($125); DSLR Basics on Jan. 27 ($125) and iPhone-ography on Feb. 9.
Other topics include a two-hour evening lecture on HDR photography (Jan. 22, $45), and potential advanced classes on panorama photography, focus stacking, garden and travel photography, and composition. For more information, contact Ray Boc (firstname.lastname@example.org); Joyce Harman (email@example.com); Francie Schroeder (firstname.lastname@example.org); or Bette Hileman (email@example.com).
Tucked away in Old Hollow, Patti Brennan offers a variety of stained glass workshops. Check out her class information on line at dedanann.net
In addition to weekday classes Stonewall Abbey Yoga has classes at 9 and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Check out the full schedule at stonewallabbeyyoga.com or call Susan at 540-987-8369. Jane Weisenberger offers a class on Fridays at 4:30 p.m. at Mountainside Physical Therapy and Kit Johnston continues to have a 9 a.m. class in the auditorium of The Schoolhouse Saturday mornings.
Mountainside Physical Therapy has something for everyone. Cindy Griffin (firstname.lastname@example.org) teaches pilates, strength training and stability ball classes. Philip Rosemond offers creative dance for children, teen and adult ballet classes, and modern dance at Mountainside Dance Center. Charmaine Lee teaches SynergyDance at 9:30 a.m. on Fridays; call 540-987-8696 or email email@example.com.
Our own Triple Oak Bakery will enter the Chili Cook-Off at the Doneheys’ barn in Huntly at noon this Saturday (Jan. 12), to benefit the Food Pantry. (Register, if there are any spaces left, at firstname.lastname@example.org.) In the meantime, get your winter comfort food from the bakery, which features bread pudding ($5 each or $25/pan); Belgian chocolate torte ($5 or $38/cake); and spanakopita ($6). Other items are available by special order. Call 540-987-9122 to place yours.
Bruce Sloane is recovering from surgery. His peaceful surroundings in Old Hollow should help him get better soon.
We send our condolences to the family of Angela Bane, who passed away on Dec. 24. Angela was a wife and mother, and a member of the Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad. She served in a support role and could always be counted on to help with bake sales and fundraisers.
Maybelle Smith, mother of Fran Krebser, died Jan. 1. Fran read this poem her mother wrote at the funeral service. I think speaks to all of us in Rappahannock County:
A farmer is a person who from daylight to dark,
Toils seven days a week with love in his heart.
With the forces of nature he must deal,
If the fruits of his work he is to gather with zeal.
With the help of soil conservation,
He will find that good crops need rotation.
A farmer needs the help of a lot of forces,
Because he works as hard as a team of horses
He works with nature and this is a must
For raising crops and in God he places his trust
He works for his community with faith in his heart,
That America will be a better place for his children to start
He is a good neighbor to all in need,
And it makes no difference what color or creed
Upon his shoulder, rests the hope of the world,
With millions of hungry mouths unfurled.
Upon farmers the world must depend
Upon them rests the means to a great end.
The hungry world they must feed
If they are to end this war on need.
For this is why some wars start
So we must help farmers from the bottom of our heart.
This can be accomplished in many a way
Easier credit, lower taxes, better markets if we may.
Better cooperatives and records, this helps a heap
A conscientious and hard-working farmer is hard to beat.
A farmer has to be a many-faceted man
A designer, an engineer, an architect and businessman
A laborer, a chemist, a bookkeeper and banker
To name a few, we couldn’t be franker.
A veterinarian, a manager, a machinist and repairman
An economist, a teacher, a secretary and salesman.
The requirements of a farmer are a lot you see
As his blessings are from the soil, and the maker of a tree.