Down Memory Lane for May 21

Dec. 4, 1975

Several Piedmont Virginia hostesses and restaurants are featured in the November issue of Gourmet magazine, including Mattie Ball Fletcher of Rappahannock, Gene Prendergrast of Loudoun and restaurants in Leesburg and Middleburg.

In “Little Washington,” a label she notes is not to the liking of most residents of that county seat, Mrs. Thomas had lunch with “sprightly silver haired” Mattie Ball Fletcher, “renowned for her cooking throughout Rappahannock and Culpeper counties,” and described her visit.

“As soon as I arrived, Mattie Ball opened a bottle of homemade wine that had been given to her by friends and within minutes the table was laden with goodies from her minute kitchen. There were fluted pastry shells filled with creamed chicken and mushrooms, slices of cold ham and salsify, pears poached in ginger syrup, filled with mincemeat and baked, and warm apple pie with whipped cream and chopped walnuts. After lunch, the writer toured Mrs. Fletcher’s boxwood garden.

Triplet Angus heifer calves were born about three weeks ago on the D. D. Miller farm at Washington. The mother took one and Mr. Dick had to adopt the other two which he gives very special care. He mixes their formula in his kitchen and carries it to them in feeder buckets which he hangs on the board fence. You see what happens. The mother of these calves produced last year. Mr. Miller said he didn’t reckon she would have four next time. Multiple births in Angus cattle is rare and to have triplets is indeed rare.

A recycling collection area is being established for the use of Rappahannock residents who wish to recycle paper and glass. A trailer will be located behind Merrill’s Garage in Washington beginning Saturday, December 13. It is hoped that eventually the monthly volume of recycling material received will average 20 tons. This service is for the entire county and should be used by all.

March 22, 1984

Bill Hutchinson of Sperryville says he’s had collies ever since he was 12 years old. His wife Mary dreamed of dogs in a big way ever since she was a little girl.

The Hutchinsons live near Old Rag with about 20 of the best dogs in the world. That isn’t just their opinion. They can show Kennel Club awards and a high price on their puppies to prove it. Their dogs have won honors all over the east coast and their kennel, Hi Vu, is considered among the best in the nation for breeding collies.

Marie Davis placed first in the Senior Vocal Competition at the Northern District 4-H Share-the-Fun. Marie will represent the Northern District and Rappahannock County at the State 4-H Congress Share-the-Fun Show during the week of June 18 through 22. State 4-H Congress is held at VPI in Blacksburg.

The Rappahannock County School Board was hard at work until nearly midnight Tuesday and has most of its budget review behind it. “The real nitty gritty” of the evening was also how Bill Oliver phrased the reasoning behind his index salary proposal. The new plan he brought to the School Board would be easier to sell to the Board of Supervisors, he said; and he did not want to see an index salary scale for teachers fail again.

As Superintendent Robert Estabrook put it, “Enough is enough, I think we need an index now.” The plan was amended to include a four percent step at the fifth year as well. Past figures had shown more teachers leaving the system at that point in their careers, according to the board. A motion by Randall Updike to approve the index figures as amended was unanimously approved.

June 22, 1994

A prisoner escaped out the kitchen window from the Rappahannock County Jail last Sunday night.

James Riley Williston, 26, of Washington, tied a rope to a leg of the freezer and lowered himself out the window just above Sheriff Woodward’s office. The rope was short, and he had to jump at least 15 feet to the ground.

According to Sheriff Woodward, he had been an inside trustee at the jail, and worked in the kitchen. Last Sunday night, he cooked supper which was served at 5 p.m. Later in the evening, he was let into the kitchen to clean the floor. “At approximately 10:30, the jailer went to check on Williston, and he was gone,” said Sheriff Woodward.

When asked how Williston got the rope, Sheriff Woodward answered “That is the $64 million question.” It is possible that someone threw the rope up to Williston in the kitchen window. It would be unlikely that he was able to get it from someone else, as anyone entering the jail is searched.

The Planning Commission began tackling the issue of how to preserve Rappahannock County in the face of growth from the Washington area at last Wednesday’s meeting.

With no applications to consider, the planners heard a presentation by Ed Risse of Synergy Planning Inc., who has made a study of the effect of the Disney Company on Anaheim, California, and Orlando Florida. Mr. Risse came to the meeting on behalf of the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection and the Piedmont Environmental Council.

He noted that he had appeared before at the high school to talk about controlling growth in the Piedmont.

“That was theory; this is reality,” he said. When Mr. Risse came to the high school in 1992 he said that if all the development in Fairfax County had been as dense as the development in Reston, two-thirds of the county could still be farmland. He said the way to prevent development in Rappahannock County was to encourage areas closer to Washington, D.C. to develop more densely, and in a way that is less dependent on private automobiles.