Down Memory Lane for Sept. 29

Aug. 16, 1984

Hunt Harris, instructor for RRA-sponsored tennis clinics, talks with pride about his first student. “I was 10; he was 6,” he chuckles.

“He turns out to be Hunt’s younger brother, Hank, now Virginia State Champion and third-rated regional tennis player.

Harris was a boy in Franklin, Va., where he attended a YMCA clinic. After a few lessons, he was hooked. By 11, he wa playing in tournaments, going on to the finals of the Virginia State Junior Championship.

At Hampden–Sydney College, Harris became the top rated tennis player and retained that honor for four years.

It was at this time he first became acquainted with a sideline that was to increase his appreciation of the game. He played in the grass court tournament circuit in Britain, and came away with a fondness for this version of the sport as well as an appreciation for the gentlemanly, social approach to tennis that he found overseas.

Harris finds the increasing popularity of tennis to be a great thing. “Tennis is such a life-long sport,” he explains. “You can play on some level from very early childhood to old age. It works every muscle, providing long term conditioning as well as quick, energetic bursts. It’s an individual as well as a team sport, and requires little investment and no expensive equipment.”

Charlotte Turnmeyer of Flint Hill has been getting better at softball these days — thanks to her son Scotty, an Amissville Little Leaguer.

“She throws the ball like a shot putter,” he says of her early fielding. “Everything else is pretty good.”

“I kept worrying about my throwing (at first),” his mother recalls. “He’s my best critic.”

Scotty has been playing second base and shortstop for Amissville for the last three years, after spending his rookie Little League season with Rappahannock’s Little League.

Unhappy with Rappahannock’s organization, he opted for the Amissville teams and the Fauquier Recreational League — which allows teams from Rappahannock and Fauquier counties to play on its Amissville minor Midget and Peewee teams.

July 24, 2002

A turn-of-the-century general store finally closes its doors — to reopen shortly as a place for antique toys.

Richie Burke gave the old store a new lease on life. This is the store today: Burke’s Antique Shops & Consignments, they buy, sell and trade.
Richie Burke gave the old store a new lease on life. This is the store today:
Burke’s Antique Shops & Consignments, they buy, sell and trade. By Richie Burke

Built in the early 1900s by George Johnson, Burke’s Grocery has been in the Burke family since 1945 when Richie Burke’s grandparents, Weldon and Elizabeth Burke, bought the store. Elizabeth Burke was in charge for twenty years. When she died, Myrtle and Jimmy Falls (aunt and uncle to Richie) managed the store followed by second cousins, Wilson and Jean Burke who ran it until 1986. After putting in several years himself, Richie Burke turned the store over to his mother, Mabel Burke, who was there day and night until Sunday, July 14, when the doors closed.

Over the years Burke’s Grocery was Woodville’s gathering place. Groceries, fresh meats, dry goods, news and gossip, gasoline pumps, and later the Lotto could all be found there. The gas pumps were removed about five years ago — too expensive to run with too little traffic; the lottery terminal was pulled out about a month ago.

Richie Burke is planning to give the old store a new lease on life. Burke’s Grocery will begin its transformation shortly and will look much like a country store from the ’30s — with a twist.