Washington column for July 31

Jerry Burke retires after 14 years

Jerry Burke, a fixture at Flatwood Refuse & Recycling Center for the last 14 years, retired last Friday (July 25).

After graduation in 1971, he worked in Culpeper for several years; afterwards, he worked with his father on the Shade Farm. When Flatwood opened its gates in 2000, he applied for a position and was hired, along with David Alther. David left some years back; Jerry says time has simply flown by, and “it’s time to move on.”

Jerry Burke retired on Friday (July 25) after 14 years of service.
Jerry Burke retired on Friday (July 25) after 14 years of service. Jan Clatterbuck | Rappahannock News

He has enjoyed working at Flatwood over the years, something he says allowed him to meet lots of people and make many friends. Naturally, he says he enjoying talking to everyone.

Though he was always busy keeping the place clean and picking up paper around the trash containers, he always had a smile on his face and spoke to you. He would even come to your vehicle and help to get the trash out. Jerry took great pride in his job.

Jerry is also moving on from Rappahannock County and starting a new chapter in his life. He plans to take only a few belongings from his home on Five Forks Road in Woodville and head to South Carolina — a place he says he’s visited many times over the years. He loves it so much that he has decided to make it his second home.

Jerry is making a new start for himself in a state with no family or friends. Nonetheless, he said he’s looking toward good things down there, and plans to return to Rappahannock for visits. Friday was both a happy and sad time for him, as friends — some with cards — stopped in to wish him well on his retirement.

I told Jerry that he’ll no longer have to set an alarm clock to report to work and can get up whenever he chooses.

“Jerry has been a constant, reliable and friendly face for the public who visited Flatwood and for those of us who worked with him,” said County Administrator John McCarthy, who said Jerry’s replacement, Surja Tamang, will start in August. “I will miss his dedication and wish him the happiest of retirements!”

I wish you the best Jerry as you start your new chapter in the deeper South. As they say in your new home, “Y’all come back now, hear?” Keep in touch!

Memorial service

Susan Baldwin, daughter of Clarence and Violet Baldwin, who once owned Baldwin’s Grocery, passed away on Sept. 30. Susan was born and raised in Rappahannock, and resided here for more than 30 years. She spent many years working for her father at Baldwin’s, moving to West Virginia in the 1990s.

Susan is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Steve Baldwin. She leaves behind her fiancé Daniel Richmeyer; her three children, Jamie Atkins Lacey of Front Royal, Susan Jenkins of West Virginia and Donald Jenkins, Jr. of Amissville; 14 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

There will be a memorial service, conducted by Pastor John Burke, at the family plot in the Masonic Cemetery in Washington at 1 p.m. this Saturday (Aug. 2).

Book Barn sale

Get ready for the dog days of August — in your own air-conditioned living room or a sandy beach — with a sale at the Book Barn. Throughout the month, small paperback novels are 10 for $1, while large paperbacks are five for $1.

Of course, hardback novels and nonfiction paperbacks are still only $1, while nonfiction hardback books are $3 (or as marked). Stop by the Book Barn, beside the library, any Saturday from 9 to 3 p.m.

RLEP fundraiser

Gadino Cellars hosts a summer release party (and fundraiser), featuring the music of Robbie Limon and local author Larry “Bud” Meyer, from 2 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 2). Both Gadino’s 2012 Viognier and Meyer’s award-winning comic environmental novel “Mother Fracker,” which is set at Gadino and other spots in Rappahannock, are available for purchase. Portions of both benefit the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP), local leaders of the “Stop the Spectra Pipeline” effort.