The Rapp for Sept. 25

Fourth (Estate) Friday at Old Hollow Store

Our monthly Fourth (Estate) Friday caffeine-and-conversation hour heads back to Sperryville tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 26) — specifically to the Old Hollow Store (U.S. 211 at Old Hollow Road). We’ll buy your coffee from 9 till 10 a.m. (but Old Hollow will be happy to provide a breakfast- or muffin-based upgrade). We’ll be open to coverage suggestions, ideas and criticism from any readers who can join us. See you there. (Call us at 540-675-3338 if you have questions.)

‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ on Gay Street Oct. 3

Ralph Fiennes, left, and Tony Revolori in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
Ralph Fiennes, left, and Tony Revolori in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

The Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community (RAAC) screens Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at 8 p.m Friday, Oct. 3, at the Theatre in Washington.

Admission is $6 for for the R-rated, 100-minute comedy starring Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Jude Law and Bill Murray. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. The concession stand has popcorn, candy and water. For a review and more, visit or call 800-695-6075.

Is your mask ready? Theirs are.

1000 Faces brings its magnificent masks to Stone Hill on Oct. 25 for a Halloween performance.
1000 Faces brings its magnificent masks to Stone Hill on Oct. 25 for a Halloween performance. Jules Coon

Rappahannock’s Peggy Schadler and her 1000 Faces Mask Theater return on Saturday, Oct. 25, to the Circle of the Standing Stones at Stone Hill, John Henry and Ann Crittenden’s farm on Springwish Lane (off Crest Hill Road, about two and a half miles east of U.S. 522 in Flint Hill). Costumes, though optional, are definitely in the majority at these annual Halloween-inspired lawn parties, which also feature (starting at 4 p.m.) bagpipers, sheepdog demonstrations and a scene-setting intro by astro-political Celtic rapper Caroline Casey.

Oh, and there’s a fabulous sunset, heavens willing, over the Blue Ridge. And then a bonfire.

Bring a picnic, and at least $10 per person to donate at the door (though there isn’t really a door). The 1000 Faces performance is made possible in part by a grant from RAAC’s Claudia Mitchell Fund. More information at

Mark Russell, Saturday at the Theatre

Famous political satirist Mark Russell returns to the Theatre at Washington at 8 p.m. this Saturday (Sept. 27) for his annual performance for a typically large and enthusiastic audience. Many members of the audience will also recall Mark’s regular performances at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. in the old days, and his widely acclaimed television shows on PBS.

Mark continues to play off the day’s headlines, performing stand-up comedy while accompanying himself on the piano as he finds the humor hidden in the pomposity of public life

He explains that reading three or four newspapers a day allows him to constantly update his material. “I thrive on newspapers,” as he says. “And it looks like I will be thriving longer than them.”

The show is already heavily subscribed, according to theater owner Wendy Weinberg, but some tickets may be available at the box office on the night of the performance. Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations: 540-675-1253 or

Public lands, resident artist

Entrance to Shenandoah National Park is free this Saturday (Sept. 27), Public Lands Day, and so is a two-hour easy hike with Sandy Long, the park’s recently chosen “artist-in-residence,” and a park ranger, for a casual exploration of the Big Meadows area starting at 1:30 p.m. (meet at the Byrd Visitor Center).

Detail of one of the paintings of F.T. Valley by Chris Stephens on exhibit at Haley Fine Art in Sperryville through October.
Detail of one of the paintings of F.T. Valley by Chris Stephens on exhibit at Haley Fine Art in Sperryville through October.

Pennsylvania photographer Long was chosen earlier this month in the park’s inaugural Artist-in-Residence program. “We are very excited to debut the Artist-in-Residence program in Shenandoah. This program is a great avenue that will allow artists to discover, reveal and share Shenandoah’s wonderful natural and cultural resources with new audiences,” said superintendent Jim Northup.

With a background as an artist, writer and educator, Long gained her devout appreciation for wilderness during visits to iconic landscapes which, she notes, “have inspired my work as an advocate for wilderness and opportunities that allow people to interface with it.” During her two-week residency, she’ll embark in explorations that will allow her to capture Shenandoah’s wilderness from an artist’s perspective. More information on the programs online at

Landscape, and Oktoberfest, this Saturday in Sperryville

There’s “New Work by Chris Stephens” this month and next at Haley Fine Art, which is hosting a solo show by longtime gallery artist Chris Stephens.

“Rhythm, pattern, texture and contrast were key to capturing a changing landscape,” Stephens writes. “Over the past 18 months, from season to season, as fields grow and are mowed, baled, harvested and planted, and as clouds blow in and cast rapidly moving shadows across the land, I have painted Rappahannock County.”

Haley Fine Art is open 10 to 6 daily (closed Tuesday-Wednesday) at 42 Main St., Sperryville. For more information: 540-987-1000 or

Also this Saturday, from 5 to 9 p.m., Sperryville’s Hearthstone School is holding its second annual Oktoberfest — a time to dust off the lederhosen, dirndls and Steinzeukruege (stoneware tankards) and head to 11576 Lee Hwy. for a German buffet, including appetizers, desserts, grilled wursts, sausages, spaetzle, vegetarian options, soft pretzels, Black Forest cake and a biergarten. Also movies, popcorn and crafts for kids, and traditional music, games and raffles. Dinner is $15 ($5 ages 11 and younger).

For more information, contact Hearthstone at 540-987-9212 or

Fall banquet at Scrabble School

Get your tickets by Oct. 15 for the annual benefit banquet for the Scrabble School Preservation Foundation (SSPF) on Saturday, Oct. 25, featuring a catered dinner, silent auction, music by BLT and more.

BLT provides the music at the Scrabble School Preservation Foundation’s annual banquet Oct. 25.
BLT provides the music at the Scrabble School Preservation Foundation’s annual banquet Oct. 25. Courtesy photo

Built in 1921, Scrabble School is one of more than 5,000 Rosenwald Schools for African Americans built in the southeastern United States during segregation. It closed in 1968 when Rappahannock County integrated its schools. Its original purpose all but forgotten, the school building deteriorated and was slated for demolition. The SSPF was established as a community effort to preserve the school and to share its legacy through educational programs. Restored in 2009, Scrabble School now houses an exhibit that tells the school’s history as seen through the eyes of its students. SSPF has also created educational materials, which are now part of the Rappahannock and Culpeper counties’ elementary school curriculum.

Tickets are $35 for the annual dinner (4 to 8 p.m. at the school, 111 Scrabble Rd., Castleton). Checks can be made out to SSPF and mailed to the Foundation, c/o Ellen Timbers, secretary, 4828 Sperryville Pike, Woodville, VA 22749. For more information, or to donate items for the silent auction, contact Nan Butler Roberts at 540-661-2013 or, or call Ellen Timbers at 540-987-8402.

‘No Ordinary Person’: Oct. 17-18

The ever-popular “No Ordinary Person” show comes to the RAAC Community Theatre for the 16th year on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17-18, with storytelling on topics ranging from baseball to pregnancy, cults and alien cultures by four of our Rappahannock neighbors, including Dick Raines, Ira Chaleff, Sallie Morgan and Tom Oliphant.

There will be no ordinary stories told by (from left) Dick Raines, Sallie Morgan and Ira Chaleff (and the missing-from-this-photo Tom Oliphant) on Oct. 17-18 at RAAC Theatre.
There will be no ordinary stories told by (from left) Dick Raines, Sallie Morgan and Ira Chaleff (and the missing-from-this-photo Tom Oliphant) on Oct. 17-18 at RAAC Theatre. Courtesy photo

“Sometimes,” says Raines, “you have to experience a thing directly, to understand what it’s really all about. I feel that way about pregnancy.” His story, “My Difficult Pregnancy,” shares his perspective as a father on what was anything but a textbook birth. For the last 21 years, Raines has run Carfax, the internet company that provides vehicle history information. He and his wife Nancy split their time between their home in Arlington and their farmhouse on the flanks of Red Oak Mountain.

Chaleff, executive coach, workshop leader and author of several books on leader-follower dynamics, has owned property in Huntly for 17 years and for the past two years has made the county his full-time home. His story, “The Youth, the Man and the Cult,” opens a window on a subject Ira has kept secret for 30 years, posing the questions: Why did I join a cult, and why did I stay in it for 15 years?

Morgan, chair of the RAAC Theatre committee and organizer of RAAC’s Soup and Soul series, has appeared previously in “No Ordinary Person.” This year, her story, “Alien in a Sallie-Suit,” recalls her first bewildered encounter with the third world at age 16. Morgan is executive director of the Mental Health Association of Fauquier, and has lived in Gid Brown Hollow with her husband Tod since 1976.

In “Game Seven,” journalist and author Oliphant takes us to New York’s Lower East Side in 1955, when the Brooklyn Dodgers held a sacred place at the heart of his and many other families. He was a long-time journalist for the Boston Globe, as well as a columnist and commentator, including regular appearances on the PBS NewsHour. He and his wife Susan have owned a place in Rappahannock for the past 30 years.

“No Ordinary Person” is directed by Morgan and Joyce Abell, and this year all four performers will appear both nights. Shows at 8 at the RAAC Theatre, 310 Gay St., Washington. Reservations at (click on Community Theatre), where payment is encouraged as it guarantees your seat regardless of arrival time. (Those who elect to pay at the door need to arrive no later than 10 minutes before showtime.) Without internet? Call 800-695-6075.

Language, equality, spirituality

This Sunday (Sept. 28) at the Unitarian Universalists of the Blue Ridge (UUBRidge) 10:30 a.m. service at Hearthstone School, the topic is: “How Queer — Aren’t We Already Welcoming?” With gay marriage and equity in sexual orientation gaining greater acceptance in mainstream U.S. culture, we are not always conscious of the impact our language and actions have on the LGBTQ folks in our midst. How can we challenge our hidden prejudices and become more inclusive in our spiritual practices? Speaker Karen Allen, a founding member of UUBridge, is a licensed psychotherapist and global health manager whose family was strongly influenced by the calling of the first openly lesbian minister to her Unitarian Universalist congregation in Oak Park, Ill. Hearthstone School is at 11576 Lee Hwy. All are welcome; dress is casual.

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