Down Memory Lane for Sept. 4

March 7, 1974

James E. Ellmore of Amissville transported the mail from Warrenton to Washington by way of Amissville and back again on Friday for the last time on a regular schedule. Had he continued until April 4 of this year, his service on the mail route would have encompassed 26 years. In the past year, he says he had one day off. Mr. Ellmore came to this area in 1944 and purchased a small farm near Amissville just over the line in Culpeper County. He sold this in 1951 and bought some acreage on U.S. 211 east of Amissville. He assumed the duty of rearing his two sons by himself when the oldest was about seven. A few years later they lost everything they owned when their house was completely destroyed by fire. Mr. Ellmore is married to the former Annie Pullen of Washington and they reside in their trailer home on U.S. 211.

Mrs. J. Bradley Atkins of Sperryville has been in the service station business since the mid-1940s and the station had been in operation for many years prior to that. “This is the first time I have ever had to hang out a ‘no gas’ sign,” she said. The precious liquid had become somewhat scarce in the Rappahannock area until March supplies arrived to alleviate the situation.

Susan Latham of Amissville, Connie Barbour of Madison and Lynette Scott of Culpeper were presented with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution’s Good Citizen awards last Tuesday at the February meeting of the Culpeper Minutemen Chapter. Each had been selected from her respective high school as a candidate for the award based on leadership, service, dependability and patriotism. Mrs. Claude I. Guinn of the Culpeper organization made the presentation.

Dec. 30, 1982

Valerie Gehringer is the first female to lead a boys’ basketball team at RCHS. She follows in the grand tradition set by Ann Spieker, who for years has directed the high school’s predominantly male cross country contingents through successful seasons. Val applied for the post of J.V. coach this summer, but it wasn’t until practice was already underway that the county school board approved her appointment. Naming a woman as mentor for a boys basketball team was apparently considered so potentially controversial that the board directed high school principal Robert Chappell to call the parents of players to a special meeting to hear the announcement.

If President Ronald Reagan ever wants an example of the volunteer spirit he’s looking for in the American people, he needs only to look to Rock Mills to find Howard and Helen Holschuh, the Rappahannock News Citizens of the Year for 1982. As federal and state budget reductions cut deeper and deeper into community service, health and welfare programs, governments in Washington and Richmond will be looking to volunteers to fill in the holes in the safety net. There is no better example of the wonders that volunteers can work than the Holschuhs’ achievements.

High drama in the Rappahannock County courthouse was the big story of 1982. Following hours of arguments on legal technicalities by a courthouse full of lawyers, Judge Shore Robertson set aside a portion of Virginia Fletcher Wood’s will last June and directed that half of her more than $1.6 million estate go to her heirs-at-law rather than to heart research. Virginia Fletcher and Robert Eugene Wood died when flood waters swept them from the bridge at Fletchers Mill in August 1979. They left no children or other close relatives; only two holographic wills dated 1948. Mr. Wood’s will, which divided his $153,116 estate between the cancer society and heart fund, was upheld by the judge. Robertson’s ruling split Mrs. Wood’s estate between the Virginia affiliate of the American Cancer Society and her heirs-at-law.

Oct. 8, 1992

“Alcohol is the most abused drug,” Jeff Brown from the sheriff’s office told parents at last Tuesday’s program at the Washington fire hall sponsored by Concerned Citizens Working for Healthy Youth (CCWHY). “In 20 years in law enforcement, I’ve seen a lot of problems caused by alcohol. We see wrecks, family fights, broken homes, vandalism, thefts — even murders,” Capt. Brown said. He said that although .1 percent alcohol in the blood is considered evidence of driving under the influence, the average charge in Rappahannock is for those who test .17. “Our society has pretty much accepted alcohol and alcohol abuse,” he continued. “Many times people drink a six pack on the way home from work. By the time they get to Rappahannock they are over the limit. They have another six pack at home. The kids see their role models under the influence.”

A surprise 16th birthday party was held for Wanda Payne on Friday night at the home of her parents Albert and Barbara Payne. Wanda turned 16 on Sunday, Oct. 4. Those helping her celebrate besides her parents included Mr. and Mrs. David Dodson and their son Cody, Mrs. Eva J. Sample, Bobby Menefee, Allen Jenkins, Wendy Jenkins and Stephanie Switzer, all of Culpeper; Mrs. Annie Payne of Sperryville; and locals Mr. and Mrs. Ricky Pullen, Melissa Payne, Al Payne, Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Jenkins and their daughter Julie, Mrs. Emily Jenkins, Kirk Jenkins and their children James, Christal, Tom and Ted. Wanda received many nice gifts.

Former Rappahannock resident and famous musician John Jackson and friends played for the crowds at the Sperryville Apple Festival this past weekend. The festival, one of the biggest thus far, drew over 10,000 people.