The Rapp for May 5

RAAC movie: ‘Brooklyn’

 RAAC’s next Movie Night is 8 p.m. this Friday (May 6) at the Theatre at Washington. Tickets are $6, and popcorn, candy, and water are available for purchase. For more information visit or call 800-695-6075.

“Brooklyn” tells the profoundly moving story of Eilis Lacey (Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish immigrant navigating her way through 1950s Brooklyn. Lured by the promise of America, Eilis departs Ireland and the comfort of her mother’s home for the shores of New York City, where romance blooms, but the past catches up. The 111-minute PG-13 film is directed by John Crowley and stars Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen and Domhnall Gleeson.

‘Sustainable’ Second Friday

Molly Peterson and Forrest Pritchard talk about their book at the Rappahannock Library May 13.
Molly Peterson and Forrest Pritchard talk about their book at the Rappahannock Library May 13.

Molly Peterson and Forrest Pritchard will bring the 2016 season of Second Friday at the Library talks to a rousing finish at 8 p.m. May 13. Along with farmer-author Forrest, Peterson, a Rappahannock farmer and prize-winning photographer, has produced a much-acclaimed new book. Peterson and Pritchard will discuss their “Growing Tomorrow: Behind the Scenes with 18 Extraordinary Sustainable Farmers Who Are Changing the Way We Eat.”

Molly and Mike Peterson have lived in Rappahannock since 2008. They raise beef, lamb and pork and run Heritage Hollow Farms in Sperryville. Come to the library and learn about sustainable farming, new recipes and the inside story of life as a Rappahannock farmer.

The talks are free, and all are welcome. For more, visit

Order of Saint John benefit

The Order of Saint John is holding a benefit concert featuring Antonio Piricone on Saturday, May 14 at 6 p.m. at The Theatre in Washington. Tickets for the concert are $75; an optional benefit cocktail reception follows the concert at the The Inn at Little Washington. Tickets for the cocktail reception are $150 (including admission to the concert).

All proceeds benefit the St. John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital. Established in 1882, the hospital provides diagnosis and treatment to hundreds of thousands of the neediest people in the Holy Land, without regard to race, religion, national origin, gender, age, creed or ability to pay.

Piricone is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning pianist. He performs and teaches in venues throughout Europe and Asia. In 2009, he received First Prize at the Van Wassenaer Concours, and in 2011 he received the Clementi Award, the coveted prize for researching original repertoire on historical keyboards. His interpretative skills, versatility, sense of style, and technical qualities distinguish him as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician.

For more information, call 202-510-9691.

Wheelock’s advanced degree

Phi Theta Kappa scholar Elise Wheelock of Sperryville, right, with fellow LFCC graduate-to-be Tessie Van Dyke.
Phi Theta Kappa scholar Elise Wheelock of Sperryville, right, with fellow LFCC graduate-to-be Tessie Van Dyke.

Dozens of students from Virginia’s community colleges were honored recently for their commitment to academic excellence and public service during a celebratory luncheon in Richmond, each of them named to the Phi Theta Kappa 2016 All-Virginia Academic Team.

Among the team’s Top Ten students this year is Rappahannock’s own Elise Wheelock from Lord Fairfax Community College. Thanks to dual enrollment, she will graduate high school later this month with an associate’s degree.

“I’ve gotten to take a lot of different classes and I’ve been more challenged than I would’ve been in a normal high school program and I’ve really enjoyed that; taking challenging classes and studying with people who are motivated and trying their best.”

In addition to being named to PTK’s prestigious list of academic elites, Wheelock also has a pilot’s license and plans on further developing her flying skills at the University of North Dakota. The university’s aviation program — considered by some to be the best in the country — is what caught her attention. With a robust 4.0 GPA and enviable ACT scores, Wheelock says she had little trouble getting accepted.

“What was hard was getting into their honors program. There were several essays and a lot of questions.”

Wheelock, who turns 18 this summer, has already plotted a career course as a rescue pilot.

“I want to do fixed-wing rescue, preferably. Not helicopters.”

When she’s not in the air, Wheelock is busy maintaining a vigorous class schedule and training to become a paramedic. It’s an unrelenting grind. But the ambitious teenager says she still makes time for friends.

“I’m a very outgoing person and I start going crazy if I don’t see other people.”

Wheelock describes community college as a “welcoming” experience and says her friends and classmates sometimes admit they wish they had followed in her footsteps.

“I think it’s sad, honestly, that more people don’t get the opportunity to do what I’m doing — to go to college while you’re in high school, and I think it should be open to more people.”

Yard sale, plant sale

The pit crew poses at Saturday's successful yard sale to benefit local Soap Box Derby drivers on the Sperryville Schoolhouse grounds.
The pit crew poses at Saturday’s successful yard sale to benefit local Soap Box Derby drivers on the Sperryville Schoolhouse grounds. Chris Green

Last Saturday, despite the mist and occasional rain, turnout was keen for two annual outdoor sales in Sperryville.

The large and well-attended yard sale on the grounds of the Sperryville Schoolhouse benefits our local Soap Box Derby team. The funds raised from sales of goods at the SPD (Sperryville Piedmont Derby) yard sale, donated by parents, friends and neighbors alike, included beautiful plants, herbs, furniture and antiques, kitchenware and more.

The monies support Rappahannock County SBD drivers and, according to Derby committee member Thom Pellikaan, “the purchasing of new cars, yearly registration, weights, parts, rally registrations, and, if successful, helping with expenses for derby champions who would represent the local derby and Rappahannock County in Akron, Ohio for the world championship.”

The Piedmont Area Soap Box Derby is June 11-12 at Paul Bates Raceway in Culpeper County. Interested sponsors should contact Pellikaan at 540-987-8447 or

Nol Putnam of Huntly stocks up at Saturday's 15th annual Waterpenny Farm Plant Sale.
Nol Putnam of Huntly stocks up at Saturday’s 15th annual Waterpenny Farm Plant Sale. Chris Green

Just up the road on Saturday, Waterpenny Farm celebrated its 15th annual plant sale, about which Waterpenny’s Rachel Bynum writes: “Thank you, Rappahannock, for another great Plant Sale! We were busy in the mist, and it was wonderful to see such a big crowd here enjoying the company and supporting our local growers. Happy planting, everyone! We will keep having plants, as well as spinach, kale and other greens for sale Friday and Saturday afternoons through May.”

The grounds were packed with eager customers, and despite the mist and rain, smiles, hugs and handshakes abounded as many friends and neighbors in the crowd filled boxes and bags for a long-awaited spring planting season.

— Chris Green


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