Down Memory Lane for Dec. 26

May 17, 1973

A single car crash near Flint Hill severely injured one man, two collisions occurred involving animals and a minor crash happened in the past week, according to police reports. Saturday night on U.S. 522, a 1968 Chevrolet operated by Joe Lewis of Washington went out of control and struck a tree, totalling the vehicle and injuring two. The driver sustained severe injuries, including fractures of both legs and jaw and multiple lacerations. Ernest Rooker, also of Washington, had numerous lacerations. Lewis was charged with reckless driving.

Honor students of the 1973 graduating class at Rappahannock County High School have been announced by school principal Dennis Wingfield. Highest honors went to Drucilla Davis of Washington, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George H. Davis, Jr. Salutatorian of the class is Charla Sisk, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sisk of Sperryville. Ranking third is Mauri Raney of Flint Hill, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Raney; and in fourth place is Linda Ralls, whose parents are Mr. and Mrs. Ike Ralls of Washington.

Mrs. Mary B. Quaintance and Mrs. Fred W. Schaefer of Sperryville were hostesses Saturday afternoon with a bridal shower at Trinity parish hall for Miss Carolyn Johnson, whose marriage to Andrew Meade will take place on May 26 at Trinity Episcopal Church.

March 25, 1982

A carefully tended rock garden with its burst of brilliant color surprises springtime picnickers and sightseers on their way to the top of Red Oak. Two miles up, the garden marks the entrance to the old man of the mountain’s home. At 87, Howard Jones doesn’t do much weeding anymore. Nowadays, his grandchildren have taken over the tending of the iris and daffodils that Howard’s  wife planted so long ago. Born and raised in Rappahannock, Howard has roots in the county that go back to pre-Civil War times when his ancestors labored as slaves here. He’s been a worker just about all of his life. “I never did go to school. Anyway, they only had three months of school a year when I was a little fellow,” he recalled. Howard has spent most of his life in Rappahannock and remembers when horses and wagons travelled the streets of Woodville, the little village at the bottom of Red Oak. “It looked  then just about like you see it now ’cept for the cars.” When Howard was a young man, Woodville’s white children learned their ABCs right in the village. On May 2, 1929, a freak storm brought tragedy to the little school house. The tornado that hit half a century ago followed a path around the base of Red Oak and right through the center of the community at the foot of the mountain.

Finding no evidence of insanity under legal terms, Judge W. Shore Robertson sentenced Ernest Lee Douglas last Wednesday to 15 years in the penitentiary for the malicious shooting of Peter Marx in November 1979. Robertson said he felt “substantial compassion” for everyone involved in the case, particularly for the defendant. He noted, however, that with Douglas’ prior record of convictions on breaking and entering and three counts of attempted murder, he had no choice but to impose the jury’s sentence with the recommendation that Douglas receive psychiatric counseling while an inmate.

Jan. 20, 1993

The county got permission from the Washington Town Council last week to move the magistrates’ office out to a garage. After listening to County Administrator John McCarthy plead the county’s case, the council unanimously agreed to rezone a small garage near the jail from village residential to village services (government offices.) The supervisors have been asked by the judges to ease the overcrowding on the first floor of the courthouse so that more room is available for witnesses, defendants and lawyers. McCarthy told the council last Wednesday night that he hopes to convert the garage, which is next to the rectory of Trinity Episcopal Church, into a magistrates’ office and provide space for the breathalyzer machine that is now stored in the courthouse.

Sheriff John Henry Woodward said Tuesday that three thefts were reported to his office within the past week. During the basketball game against Brentsville last Saturday night, a portable tape player was stolen from one of the basketball players, J. C. Welch of Sperryville, a junior guard for the Rappahannock Panthers, reported that the tape player was stolen from his vehicle. On Jan. 14, Raymond Nicholas of Flint Hill reported that his red 1985 Toyota pickup truck was stolen, Sheriff Woodward said. The day before, Buck Williams of Chester Gap lost the tailgate to his 1989 Ford F-150 pickup truck. It was stolen while the truck was parked at Massies Corner, the sheriff said.