Down Memory Lane for Aug. 13

June 17, 1976

Dick Pierson of Amissville considers himself one of the last practitioners of a dying art, a master of a craft that is no longer being properly taught. He is a calligrapher of the old school, instructed in that discipline at the Zanerian College of Penmanship.

Dick’s interest in calligraphy began when he was young. “As a kid, I never liked anything around me except my grandparents. They lived two miles away and I wore a path to their door, going back and forth.” Under their influence, Dick started collecting “old things” and in a book found an example of old fashioned calligraphy that particularly impressed him. “I can do that,” he told himself. Self satisfaction was his reason.

“I live in the 1890s. I should have come from another time, I belong in another time . . . a time when life was slower and the quality of craftsmanship was higher.”

Elementary school principal Buddy Carter gave Jennifer six eggs. The three that hatched were a minor miracle since Carter said his wife put the eggs in the refrigerator for two days by mistake. Jennifer kept her homemade incubator in her room until the ducks hatched. She constructed the incubator out of two cardboard boxes with a 25-watt light bulb and tried to keep the temperature at 100 degrees. The eggs had to be sprinkled with water several times each day to keep the shells from becoming too brittle..

May 16, 1985

Dogs wandering the streets of Washington have concerned the town council for years. During their regular meeting on Wednesday, May 8, council members decided to hold a public hearing next month on a dog ordinance written by a previous council. Mayor Peter Kramer said that the ordinance had been advertised several years ago, but there was no record of its passage by the council. The ordinance includes a provision for a $5 charge over the cost of keeping a dog that the owner would have to pay if his or her dog is caught roaming the streets.

Susan Carney’s Vintage Fashion Show will take place in conjunction with the antique show at the Sperryville Antique Market on Sunday, May 19. Carney will supply fashions for the show from her newly opened shop “Twice Remembered.” Other fashions will be on loan from Washington Antiques and Upholstery.

One hundred students from the elementary and high school reading labs participated in the annual reading lab auction last week. The students wrote letters asking celebrities for items to “sell” at the auction. Clint Carlson was the happy high bidder for a belt buckle sent by Mickey Gilley. Before bidding on items, the students had to check on their supply of “money.” They have been earning their auction “money” by reading books through the year. Records were kept in pass books donated by Jefferson Savings and Loan. Students from the math lab were in charge of keeping the books in order at the auction.

Dec. 7, 1994

Johanna Day is one of the stars in an Off-Broadway play running from now through Dec. 18 at the Circle Repertory Theater in New York City. Ms. Day is the daughter of Walter Day of Flint Hill and Eileen Day of Sperryville. She was born in Fauquier County and moved to Rappahannock with her parents and eight older brothers and sisters in 1969, at the age of 5. According to her dad, she has been playing small parts since then and has done some modeling. She starred in a TV commercial for Jell-O, and has modeled for the Country Manor catalog. Ms. Day has an interview this week with Fox Television, the result of an agent from Fox seeing her in the play recently and being impressed with her talents.

The Piedmont Environmental Council won its greatest battle in defeating the Walt Disney Company, and it has many more ahead. But it will fight them without Robert Dennis as its president. Mr. Dennis, 58, who is a Rappahannock County resident, has announced his plans to step down after nearly 14 years of service. He cites a desire to be relieved of the constant responsibility of running the organization, as well as a recognition that the group has fresh goals and decisions to make about its direction, and would benefit from the injection of fresh blood. Mr. Dennis is uncertain about the schedule for replacing him, but does plan to stay involved with the environmental group.

The Board of Supervisors decided to pursue the possibility of having the Aileen property included as one of the state’s “Enterprise Zones” in order to help attract another employer to purchase the plant and hire local workers. Under this program, sponsored by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, a company can qualify for a variety of state and local tax breaks. Qualifying for full tax benefits would require the employer to provide 80 percent of the jobs to people making 80 percent of the median income of the area. The jobs would not qualify if they were simply moved from somewhere else in Virginia. Piedmont District representative Charle K. “Pete” Estes said the county would not want to bring in an employer who would import workers from elsewhere, leaving the county in the position of having to provide education for the workers’ children.