What an uproar has erupted as a result of the recent newspaper article in The Washington Post, and subsequent opinion pieces both in that paper and the Rappahannock News! I hope people have had the chance to take a deep breath and truly think about the news about recent property purchases and discussions on plans either in the works, on a drawing board somewhere or perhaps in someone’s creative imagination.
For one thing, the execution of some enterprises described take awhile to emerge. There would be jobs created for construction, renovating and staffing; some of these could even draw upon the extremely talented and hardworking folks who already live in our beautiful county. The question is, where would new employees live? I’m not aware of much in the way of affordable rental housing in the area.
One comforting thought is that, like the wonderful American president Teddy Roosevelt, who established the system of national parks to protect and preserve great stretches of our precious land and resources, many Rappahannock County residents have joined in that movement by putting land into easements to keep the open visages so comforting to those traveling our highways and byways.
Moreover, I believe it was Dr. Werner Krebser’s heirs who established a fund to work with farmers here to be able to keep and work their fields and streams, enriching us all. The late Richard Lykes left a wonderful legacy of funding to aid various needs in our community. Then there are the “newcomers” like John and Beverly Sullivan who have generously opened their home in Washington many times over the years to benefit causes like the Child Care and Learning Center.
Others, like John Anderson, have restored historic properties and opened them to fundraisers for the the Food Pantry, the Rappahannock Historical Society and other organizations. Patrick O’Connell has created a magnificent enterprise which has also preserved the enchanting atmosphere we who live here can appreciate. On the recent tour of the Inn, held to benefit Trinity Episcopal Church, I learned that the gardens are hand-cultivated, using only minimal electric tools, which certainly is an exquisite attention to detail, providing a lovely peacefulness. Remember that it took Patrick decades to make this happen; it was not overnight.
In closing, do we have a lot to think about? Yes, of course. However, I believe that our small place on earth will be just fine. My late husband, Jack Dwyer, was a “newbie” when he came to Rappahannock in the mid-’60s, and I’ve been here just 32 years. Our Black Rock Farm has been in easement since 1991, so the mountains Jack loved as he rode his tractor will always be a view for future generations.
Sheila Dwyer Gresinger