The Rapp for Oct. 31

The tour du jour arrives . . .

Scores of volunteers are preparing for this weekend’s ninth annual Artists of Rappahannock Studio & Gallery Tour. If you aren’t one of them, you’ll be free to head over anytime after 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday to the Washington fire hall, tour headquarters, check out the participating artists’ gallery and pay your $10 — which is good for two days of visits to the studios of more than 20 artists (who are also hosting 60-plus guest artists) and seven galleries in Washington and Sperryville. Visit for details (or see the advertisement on page 9).

. . . and the Pack’s back

At River District Arts in Sperryville, the often edgy and always excellent art that many came to know at the former Six Pack Gallery in Washington will be back this weekend (and on exhibit through December), with RDA’s “Six Pack: Unpacked” show. Also, one of the cooperative’s best-known members, Jeanne Drevas, expects to be back on the east coast, specifically Sperryville, for the weekend (the potter and nature artist moved earlier this year to Oregon).

From left: Six Pack artists Jim Ramsay, Pam Pittinger, Ann Georgia McCaffray, Linda Tarry, Chris Stephens, Jeanne Drevas, Janet Brome (and, in the picture frame, Ann Currie).
From left: Six Pack artists Jim Ramsay, Pam Pittinger, Ann Georgia McCaffray, Linda Tarry, Chris Stephens, Jeanne Drevas, Janet Brome (and, in the picture frame, Ann Currie). Courtesy photo

The Six Pack group is still homeless since leaving, in 2010, the gallery that members had carved out of the old packing shed at Gay Street and Mount Salem Avenue in 2007, but it’s still grown from six to eight members. And it looks like all of them — Drevas, Janet Brome, Ann Currie, Ann Georgia McCaffray, Pam Pittinger, Jim Ramsay, Christopher Stephens and Linda Tarry — will be on hand, along with their newest (or most recently unpacked) works, this weekend. Contact Ann Georgia McCaffray at or RDA’s Jim Allmon at for details. RDA is open 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday at 3 River Lane, Sperryville.

In touch with your feline side?

Then consider showing up between 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday (Nov. 3) to celebrate the official opening of the RappCats Adoption Center. Should it not be okay with you that some folks think it’s okay to literally throw away unwanted cats — the shelter’s first two residents (the kittens pictured here, enjoying the shelter’s new kennel area) were rescued from a trash dumpster — you’ll want to wish the nonprofit, volunteer organization well with a suggested $25 membership donation at the door (though it’s not required).

Photo courtesy of F&E Schmidt Photography
Photo courtesy of F&E Schmidt Photography

Sheriff Connie C. Smith, whose department handles animal control in the county, will be cutting the ribbon at 2 p.m. at the shelter, which is in the old Vierling warehouse at 714 Zachary Taylor Hwy. in Flint Hill (next to the Mullanys’ Studio School, which is part of the artists’ tour this weekend). RappCats is now six years old, created to help to the county’s abandoned, abused and homeless cats find homes. Until now, all cats have been fostered by county residents; the center is the first time Rappahannock County has a facility to house homeless cats awaiting adoption.

Light refreshments and tours are available for the opening. RappCats has also been offered a matching grant of up to $5,000, which you should consider when deciding whether to bring along your checkbook.

Meanwhile, the RappCats fundraiser created in 2006 by Michelle and Gary Schwartz of Washington will be underway through Dec. 8, so expect to see one or both of the former Heritage House B&B owners on the streets of Washington during the weekend’s artists tour, selling $5 raffle tickets for a chance to win a romantic one-night stay at Middleton Inn and dinner at The Inn at Little Washington. All proceeds of the ticket sales benefit the RappCats Spay & Neuter Fund. A Cause for Paws was created by the Schwartzes in memory of Toby, their rescued cat and a guest favorite who was killed by a motorist on Main Street. Some $10,000 has been raised in the five raffles held since 2006.

Pianist Yanovitsky at the Theatre Nov. 10

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, the Theatre at Washington presents a piano recital by Mikhail Yanovitsky, a native of Russia who will perform the Sonata in B flat major, D. 960 by Schubert; Six Pieces, Op. 118 by Brahms; and by Scriabin, the Sonata No. 2, Op. 19 Sonata-Fantasy and the Preludes, Op. 11 Nos. 1-5 and 13.

After graduating from the Leningrad Special School of Music, Yanovitsky continued his studies at the Moscow State Conservatory and, in the 1980s, he made his debuts with the Leningrad Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic and the Leningrad Philharmonic. Soon after relocating to the U.S., he won the Young Concert Artists Competition in 1991 and the Gina Bachauer Piano Graduate Scholarship in 1991 and 1992, which allowed him to study at the Juilliard School in New York. In 2002, he completed his doctorate at Temple University, where he now teaches when he isn’t performing concerts around the country and in Europe (including Carnegie Hall). The New York Times said of him: “Particularly striking was the sound: big without brutality, rich but always clear in focus.”

Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email

Marion Winik at the library Nov. 8

On Friday, Nov. 8, (8 pm) the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and the Community (RAAC) welcomes the renowned writer Marion Winik as the featured speaker at RAAC’s Second Friday at the Library Series. Much celebrated as a wry and funny memoirist and an NPR essayist, Winik will discuss her newest book, “Highs in the Low Fifties: How I Stumbled Through the Joys of Single Living.”

Marion Winik "couldn’t pen a boring line if she tried," raves one reviewer.
Marion Winik “couldn’t pen a boring line if she tried,” raves one reviewer. Courtesy photo

“Winik couldn’t pen a boring line if she tried,” one reviewer declared. “She writes like an angel. With a wicked sense of humor.” Much of that humor is directed at her own romantic misadventures. Winik has, as she reports in “High in the Low Fifties,” a genius for finding ludicrously unsuitable partners.

Her range extends far beyond comic tales of dates gone wrong. Winik teaches writing in a master of fine arts program at the University of Baltimore, and her own writing is marked by a distinctive, alluring voice. She began her writing career as a poet and has written nine books. Perhaps best-known is “First Comes Love,” the story of her marriage to a gay man who died of AIDS. That work was a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year” in 1996.

Since then, Winik has written books offering unconventional advice (“Rules for the Unruly”), tales of life as a single parent (“The Lunch-Box Chronicles”) and a widely admired collection of mini-portraits. In that volume, “The Glen Rock Book of the Dead,” Winik tells the story of some 50 people, all of them now dead, who played important roles in her life.

For more information, visit

Greens workshop, anyone?

The Rappahannock County Garden Club is gearing up for the annual Greens Workshop to make wreaths, swags, centerpieces and garlands to help support scholarships to local children for their higher education or to attend nature camps. The workshop itself is a lot of work but also a lot of fun, and if you have ever wondered what the Garden Club does, the workshop is a great way to volunteer and get to know the club.

Members will be cutting greens in their neighbors’ yards Dec. 2-6, and will be making the decorations at the Washington fire hall from 9 to 4 Dec. 9-13. Items will be ready for pickup on Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 11) or Thursday morning (Dec. 12). Items will also be available later this year to make sure they are as fresh as can be and will last the entire holiday season. If you have purchased before, you will be contacted by the club’s sales team. If you are thinking of ordering for the first time, email soon, as some of the items are limited.

Free flu vaccination clinic at RCES

This year’s seasonal flu vaccine will protect you against the three most expected flu strains. The Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District is offering free flu vaccinations from 4 to 7 p.m. at Rappahannock County Elementary School this Monday (Nov. 4). Two hundred and fifty doses of free vaccine will be available for ages 3 and older. Each year, about 200,000 people are hospitalized and 36,000 people die from the flu nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Flu season generally runs November through March.

There’s more about flu and vaccinations online at and at the Virginia Department of Health website,

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