Washington column for Nov. 13

Grateful for the gift of flags

New flags were raised high last Sunday at the Washington Masonic Cemetery.
New flags were raised high last Sunday at the Washington Masonic Cemetery. Jan Clatterbuck | Rappahannock News

This note arrived from Russell (Kenny) Racer of Front Royal:

Washington Masonic Lodge No. 78 A. F. and A. M., family and friends of loved ones buried in Washington Masonic Cemetery and citizens of Rappahannock County would like to express our sincere thanks for their kind donation of the flags for the veterans’ graves and the American and Virginia flags for our flagpoles. Again, thank you and may God bless America.

The new flags were put up last Sunday (Nov. 9) by Kenny and his son, Russ, also from Front Royal. Washington Masonic Lodge No. 78 has been the overseer of the cemetery for as long as I can remember. May they fly high in memory of our loved ones.

Trinity Sing-a-Long

To benefit the Rappahannock Food Pantry, Trinity Episcopal Church is holding its fifth annual Sing-a-Long at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, in the parish hall, 379 Gay St. The famous Hal Hunter will be playing the piano, and everyone is invited, regardless of singing ability. The emphasis is on the Food Pantry, for which free-will donations will be taken. Wine and hors d’oeuvres are provided. If you would like to know more, contact Kay M. Wilson at 540-987-9229 or kaymwilson@gmail.com.

’Tis the season

With Thanksgiving coming in two weeks and the Christmas holiday right around the corner, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday.

Some people have already focused on the Christmas holiday — some earlier than others. (My daughter’s tree is already up, with presents wrapped and under it.) Out the side window of the Rappahannock News office, I notice that R.H. Ballard’s shop windows are also beautifully decorated for the holidays.

A reminder for everyone: Let’s be sure to ring in the holidays with Christmas in Little Washington on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a parade and festivities throughout the town. Come early for a full day of family fun, including pony rides, a petting zoo, musicians and much more. The holiday parade, which starts at 1 p.m., includes a grand marshall (the Rappahannock News’ 2014 Citizen of the Year, to be announced in the Dec. 4 edition) and The Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, who’ll lead a cavalcade of animals, floats and performers — including Santa and a host of local dignitaries — through the town. This year’s procession includes scarlet-clad fox hunters with their hounds and a barrel train of children.

End the day with a bonfire, hot cocoa and a sing-along; free admission and parking. The event benefits the Rappahannock Food Pantry. Christmas is a time for giving, and donation stations for nonperishable food items will be available throughout town. If weather is inclement, all activities will be cancelled. For more information, call 540-675-9913.

There’s plenty to surprise and delight the whole family. Hope to see you there.

Community concert

What better way to usher in the holiday season than to attend a community concert at the Washington Baptist Church on Sunday, Nov. 23, at 3 p.m. The concert — “Thanksgiving Offerings: A Cornucopia of Seasonal Songs” — will be presented by Wendy and Gary Aichele, who happen to be church neighbors as well as the owners and innkeepers of the adjacent Gay Street Inn. Wendy is the organist and minister of music for the church, with degrees in music from the University of Virginia, and has been involved as a choir director and church musician for more than three decades. Though less formally trained, Gary has been singing in church since he was 5. The concert is free, and all are invited. A free-will offering will be received to support the Rappahannock Food Pantry, and light refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall following the concert.


Sympathy goes out to Beverly Atkins and her family on the death of her father, Roy Reynolds Atkins, Sr., 94, who passed away on Friday, Nov. 7, at his home in Sperryville. He was born on Feb. 16, 1920, on the family farm, which is now part of Shenandoah National Park.

A celebration of life was held on Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. at Found and Sons Funeral Home in Culpeper. Interment followed here at Washington Masonic Cemetery.

Our prayers are with Commissioner of the Revenue Atkins and her family in this time of sorrow.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to my sister, Judy Alther. She will celebrate her special day on Tuesday (Nov. 18).

Make sure you have your warm coats, gloves and scarves nearby this weekend. December-like chill is expected to settle in across the region by the weekend.

Arctic air will be steadily surging south and east into the eastern two-thirds of the country, as the polar vortex dips toward the north-central United States. It will affect the weather here.

Stay warm everyone!