Down Memory Lane for Sept. 8

May 10, 1984

From the May 10, 1984 Rappahannock News: It was Hackley Day in Amissville this weekend. Graham (left), storekeeper for 50 years, and his wife Dorothy (right), left their usual spot behind the counter long enough to accept a tribute penned by Richard Pierson and presented by Elliott Doyle and Ginnie Pierson on behalf of the community.

All of Amissville, most of Castleton and Viewtown and delegates from the rest of Rappahannock County came Saturday to wish Dorothy and Graham Hackley a happy 50th anniversary.

Hundreds of bobbing red, yellow and blue balloons welcomed passersby on Route 211 to the celebration in honor of Graham Hackley’s half century of minding the country store that is the center of life in the little village. Friends served free hotdogs, potato chips and soft drinks from the store while singers on a flatbed truck led the crowd through a special verse of “Gimme That Old Time Religion.” Former employees like Irva Poe, who had started work there when Graham did, came to wish the Hackleys well. It was a grand turn out on a grand spring day for a grand couple.

Graham himself began his long association with Amissville’s country store while a young man still in school. His father and mother, Lewis E. and Rosalie Hackley, founded the store in 1907 across the street from its present location. They sold out in 1926 and then reopened at the present site in March 1934. Graham worked after school and on weekends until his father died in 1937. Then he helped his mother run the store until she turned management over to him in 1953.

The Rappahannock County Historical Society heard at its May 4 meeting from a guest speaker who grew up in Gid Brown Hollow during the 30’s. Jean Racer-Glick spoke of life at the Smedley Store, which was owned and operated by her parents from 1935 to 1947. Mrs. Glick, now a mother of five, said it was a challenge to research and go back to her childhood days. Now that she has, considering writing a book on growing up in Smedley.

An only child, Mrs. Glick recalled vivid stories of her youth and the many personalities who frequented the old Smedley Store. She told of always wanting to be the storekeeper, she wished for the time to come when she could manage the store on her own. Finally the day arrived. Her parents had to attend a funeral and she was left alone to tend the store. “I was doing real well,” she recalled, “until I saw an old gentleman coming in with a feed bag. There was no way I wanted to scoop, sack and weigh it. So, when he came in I said, ‘We’re out,’ and he replied, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll go right on in and dip it out myself.’ ”

Feb. 6, 2002

At a continuation of the Jan. 8 meeting of the Washington Town Council, held on Jan. 31, Vice-Mayor Steve Critzer announced that the trustees of the Carrigan estate agreed to a no-cost extension of the Avon Hall purchase option through July 30, 2002.

Upon a motion by council member Alice King, the Town Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution accepting the extension. This extension provides the additional time required for performance of engineering and feasibility studies, for holding public hearings, and for obtaining financing necessary to acquire the property and to design and construct a town-wide wastewater treatment system. Mayor Stew Willis noted too that the Town’s consulting engineer, Resource International, said that they are 95 percent complete with their preliminary engineering work, and that they expect that it will take another month to finish. Within a week or so, the mayor said, he will get a draft drawing of the proposed drainfield from the firm. Mayor Willis reported that Mr. Allen of the Rural Development Administration (RDA) had paid a visit to the town, and that he said that the RDA could provide funding for the reservoir, but not as a grant.

Behind the humble facade of a little shop on the west end of Main Street in Sperryville, hard by the bridge over the Thornton River, the wily minds and consummate comestible skills of Chef/Manager Tom Henry and Owner John Shipman have created a gastronomic endeavor unlike any in the county. It will not feature a static menu heavy with sandwiches and light on pizzazz — the initial menu features more than 30 items, plus sides, only a few of which come wrapped in bread. And it will not be a source of gourmet fare at $50 a plate or more — gourmet fare yes, but entrees start at $4.95 and appear to average seven bucks. The restaurant’s principals have plenty of experience in upscale cooking and baking to offer to their patrons, and the tastes on a first night at Tom Foolery confirm that the going will more more than just good.