Washington column for Oct. 22

Big weekend, small request

The town was busy as ever this past Saturday and Sunday, a beautiful, cool autumn weekend for the 59th annual House Tour and Dried Flower Sale and other events.

The tour was sponsored by the women of Trinity Episcopal Church, who had dried flower arrangements for sale in the parish hall. The sale and tour could not happen if not for the dedicated women who spend months planning, planting, growing, drying, preparing, writing, selling, touring and designing. Everyone at Trinity pitches in to help the weekend be a success.

On Sunday at 5, an Evensong service and concert at the church hall, and a reception afterwards, provided a beautiful ending to the weekend.

I stopped in the office Sunday after church and had the pleasure of chatting with several tourists who wandered in. Fascinated by the old Linotype machine on display outside, they said they’d been coming to the house tour for several years. Then their young son, probably about 9 or 10 years old, asked me: How come the town did not have anything for kids to do during house tour weekend? The tour and floral arrangements were for older people, he said, not for younger ones. I told him I would pass this information on. and that maybe next year there will be something for the kids to enjoy.

Hint, hint.

Fall festival at Rose Hill

The Child Care and Learning Center shared a festival of activities on Oct. 15.
The Child Care and Learning Center shared a festival of activities on Oct. 15. Lisa Pendleton

Gail Swift of Washington spent last Saturday afternoon at the first (but not last!) Fall Festival at Rose Hill Veterinary Practice, volunteering with For the Cats’ Sake, which had a table of information and kitties who need homes. (RHVP kindly offered space to the local rescue groups.) Gail reports that it was a great afternoon, well attended by adults and children alike (and multiple animals, of course) filled with pony rides, train rides and a moon bounce; and live entertainment by Ryan Jewel, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter from Front Royal. If you haven’t heard him, it is worth finding his next gig, Gail says.

All the children got T-shirts and bags to go “trunk or treating.” Almost a dozen cars were backed in with trunks up, decorated and filled with goodies for both two- and four-legged guests.

There was a pet costume contest which ended in a tie (Gail was the judge), and a teddy bear clinic at which Dr. Tom Massie saved two bears by doing some fancy suturing.

Everyone was well fed with hot dogs, hamburgers and the always-popular popcorn machine, reports Gail.

Apple butter and more

Also busy last weekend was the Rappahannock Lions Club, selling their hand-crafted apple butter at 211 Quicke Mart. According to my friend Bud Meyer, the sales were brisk.

The Lions will be back at Quicke Mart from 8 to 4 this Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 24-25), when they plan to sell out their 2015 supply. They are also selling Virginia peanuts (salted and honey roast), brooms and whisks. Christmas is just around the corner, so be sure to stock up on those gifts.


Belated birthday wishes go out to John Fox Sullivan. He celebrated his special day on Monday (Oct. 19).

Also on Monday, Oct. 19, Bud Meyer and his lovely wife, Anne Robertson, celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary by having fried chicken at Southern Kitchen in New Market. This is their second year in a row — must be a tradition, says Bud. On the same date (Oct. 19) nine years ago, he says, they saw their home on Long Mountain Road for the first time.

What a special occasion! May you both have many more special years.

Halloween bonfire

Halloween is just around the corner and there will be a Halloween bonfire on Saturday, Oct. 31 in town, beside the pond at Avon Hall. Lighting will be at dusk, weather permitting. All trick-or-treaters in the town of Washington and the greater Rappahannock community and friends are encouraged to attend. Let’s hope for good weather!

CCLC’s festival

The staff of Rose Hill Veterinary Practice, with Dr. Tom Massie (far right) at Saturday's Fall Festival.
The staff of Rose Hill Veterinary Practice, with Dr. Tom Massie (far right) at Saturday’s Fall Festival. Gail Swift

The Child Care and Learning Center shared a festival of activities on Oct. 15-16, complete with a chili dinner and the “Scribble Game” with world-renowned child author/illustrator David Hyde Costello.

Costello performed his book, “Here We Come,” for the children on Thursday morning and worked with the oldest preschoolers to collaborate on a new story.

Born in upstate New York, David began drawing as soon as he could hold a crayon. He drew constantly, filling reams of paper with characters of his own making. His favorites became the subjects of ongoing stories that he wrote and illustrated. One of his early recurring characters was “The Math Wizard,” who lived on the upper-right-hand corner of his eighth-grade math assignments and whose adventures were of continuing interest to the entire class.

After the Hartford Academy of Performing Arts, where he studied acting, and graduating with a theater and visual arts degree from Bard College, David worked on the sets of plays and movies, including “Hello, Dolly!” on Broadway and such films as “Angels in America,” “Spider-Man” and “The Departed.”

Now in Amherst, Massachusetts, David writes children’s stories, songs, and plays; goes hiking and cross-country skiing; and continues to fill reams of paper with the characters and images that populate his imagination.

CCLC’s fall celebration was dedicated to the loyal support of our families and made possible by a generous grant provided by the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community. “Dinner with David was a special treat we won’t soon forget,” said CCLC’s Lisa Pendleton.

Speedy recovery

On Sept. 24, John Kiser had open heart surgery at the UVA hospital in Charlottesville. Some people thought he had an heart attack; he didn’t, he says; it was just preventive maintenance. He came home Oct. 2. John stopped by the office on Monday to let me know that he is doing well and resting at his farm, Meadow Green. He is walking couple of miles each day and welcomes walking partners.

John would like to thank his surgeon, Dr. Kron, and his family and friends for all their good wishes and prayers for him during his recovery.

John, I wish you the best in recovery, and keep walking every day.

Holiday greenery for sale

The Rappahannock County Garden Club is selling beautiful holiday greenery through Nov. 23. All items are handmade using locally collected greens. Pick-up is Wednesday, Dec. 2 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Thursday, Dec. 3 (9 a.m. to noon) at the Washington fire hall. This year’s features are: Golden Door Swag $40; Season’s Greetings $35; Country Swag $25; Blue Ridge $75; Rappahannock Sunset $75; Mixed Greens Wreath $40 and the Long Mountain Centerpiece $30. You can also buy Garland (minimum 5 feet, maximum to 10 feet, $8/feet.)

Now you can order directly online and pay with PayPal, whether you have an account with them or not. You can see the full brochure with much larger pictures of all the items. It is quick and easy and makes pick-up a breeze. Visit rappgardenclub.org. To order by phone, contact Karen Crow at 540-675-9917 or email crowk262@gmail.com. Order early as quanities are limited.

The garden club’s holiday greens sales have provided scholarships to local students for more than 60 years.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the beautiful blue skies and cool weather!