Down Memory Lane for May 12

June 22, 1950

There’s been much fanfare over the ladies of Washington, who are taking over the town’s government, but for the past 14 years a lady of the town has filled a responsible job and no one thinks it unusual.

Miss Margaret Compton is Justice of the Peace and magistrate, and has held this place — as well as Registrar of Vital Statistics — since the death of her father in February 1936.

Miss Margaret’s father, John A. Compton, was 98 years of age at the time of his death. He served as magistrate for over 40 years and in his latter years his eyesight was impaired. As his deputy Miss Margaret had done much of the work for him, and at his death she was requested to continue to serve as Registrar of Vital Statistics.

An old-fashioned “Spelling Bee” for the benefit of Washington Baptist Church Building Fund will be held in the high school auditorium at Washington June 30 at 8 p.m. Rev. Paul Thompson will give out the words and Rev. M. E. Sliger and Ned Jones will act as judges.

At least 40 contestants are expected to compete.

Dec. 29, 1983

Vic Pickett and Nol Putnam won first place awards from the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects recently. AIA presents awards in only three categories annually. Pickett took top honors for sculpture in an architectural setting and Putnam for craftsmanship. Both are part time instructors at SPECTRA School of Design in Flint Hill. Putnam, a blacksmith with a forge and shop in The Plains, is also a resident of Flint Hill.

Equipment is installed and renovation work on the jail completed but sheriff elect John Henry Woodward still doesn’t know if he has staff to operate Rappahannock’s new center for county-wide dispatch of police and fire and rescue volunteers.

However, Woodward did receive approval from the State Compensation Board last week for three full-time jailers plus allocation of funds as needed for part-time help to cover for vacations, sick leave and holidays of full-time corrections employees. According to Woodward, the authorization to hire jail staff came at the Compensation Board’s December 21 meeting in Richmond.

But the Compensation Board did not okay Rappahannock’s request for police and emergency services dispatchers. “They said they had nothing in writing on it,” Woodward reported.

When people talk about Rappahannock’s natural resources, they usually mean its rolling green fields and mountainside forests, its clean air and sparkling streams, the beauty of the countryside with the Blue Ridge marching across the horizon. But there’s another kind of resource — the special people who make Rappahannock such a special place. Near the top of that list are Don and Judy Bomberger, Rappahannock News Citizens of the Year for 1983.

They work with the county’s most precious resource, its children. They devote hours to teaching those children, giving many of them their first — and only — exposure to art and classical music, two of the things man points to prove he;s civilized. Together, they’ve introduced hundreds of children to drama. Alone at first and then with support, Don has labored to bring computers into the schools, so the young people of the county would have the opportunity to work in a state of the art medium.

Aug. 6, 1997

Walter Longyear is thrilled! He won the Flint Hill Volunteer Fire Department’s first prize in their raffle, a 1997 Ford Ranger equipped with power-steering, air conditioning and radio.

Casey, his 13-year old daughter, thinks the Caiman green color is perfect.

Walter said he bought the winning ticket from Nancy Jones, who was selling tickets at Kmart on a hot day in July. She said she was going to stay there until her last ticket was sold, so he and his wife, Susan, bought her last 12.

In 1996, Walter was involved in an automobile accident, his Ford Escort was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler and was totaled. Amazingly he walked away from the accident.

The insurance money he received from the car wreck was not enough to purchase another one, so he and Susan had to make do with just one car.

The Rappahannock Board of Supervisors had a hot issue on their hands at Monday’s meeting — they had to decide on whether to require fingerprinting for concealed weapon permits in the county. As of July 1, the law changed and left the decision up to the counties as to how to handle the ordinance.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Peter Luke said, “I wish I could say that everything comes back on a background check, but I can’t. With a fingerprint check you get any criminal conviction from anywhere in the United States.”

Rappahannock Sheriff Gary Settle said, “It amazes me sometimes when we get back the information. For 98 or 99 percent of the checks we get nothing back but there are usually one or two that are flagged. It echoes what Peter said.”