Down Memory Lane for Nov. 10

Nov. 15, 1984

The Cabbage Patch Kids craze again is sweeping the country just in time for the holidays, and Rappahannock County also is being brushed by the phenomenon.

Nov. 15, 1984: Cabbage Patch Kids are fun if you’re fortunate enough to have one, like Ashleigh Cannon of Castleton.
Nov. 15, 1984: Cabbage Patch Kids are fun if you’re fortunate enough to have one, like Ashleigh Cannon of Castleton. By Jon Heddleston

Cabbage Patch Kids, registered and manufactured by Coleco, are dolls that normally retail between $29 and $35 “if you can get them,” says Frances Foster Short, a former Rappahannock resident who sells Cabbage Patch Kids when she has some to sell.

The problem is few people can get them, and stores that should have the dolls have long lists of back orders instead. Thus, the reality of supply and demand — and what that does to prices — has become the rule of the day. At an auction in Page County last Sunday, with Rappahannock residents reportedly attending, four Cabbage Patch Kids sold — for $97.50 each. Higher prices have been reported, but not confirmed. According to Short, the current craze extends to other dolls, too, particularly Barbie dolls, manufactured by Mattel, with the date of manufacture and “Barbie” stamped on the doll’s rear.

How widespread is the doll-collecting craze? According to Short, even actor John Wayne was an avid collector. Dolls rank number two in collector popularity, second only to trains, according to a recent report.

Joan St. Clair, proprietor of the Black Kettle Restaurant and Motel in Washington, is upset over the quality of the television reception at certain times in the town and the surrounding area. She was upset enough to begin a petition to send to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting that someone be sent to Washington to determine the cause of the problems and how to solve them.

The petition, which will also be sent to Washington’s Town Council, asks that action be taken to stop radio and television interference caused by machinery, tools and/or any other equipment or sources. “We’re not against people using equipment in town, but if there are going to be rules about developments it would seem that equipment that interferes with radio and TV should be controlled,” St. Clair said.

St. Clair originally wrote to the FCC about the interference, and she received a do-it-yourself booklet telling her how to determine what kind of interference her television is experiencing. She filled out a form that was included, and someone from the FCC called her and told her to begin a petition.

Oct. 10, 2002

Walking into Mimi Forbes’ house, there is a presence of flowers everywhere, especially lilacs: strewn in print across upholstered furniture, gracing the collection of dessert plates hung on the walls, on pillows and in frames, as artwork.

Ms. Forbes loves flowers, gardens and all things decidedly feminine. New to Rappahannock since early this year as a resident, Ms. Forbes has big plans for her little yellow house. She envisions French doors leading off the kitchen to an outdoor eating area, a bedroom extension overlooking a garden, more gardens and a garden shed. Renovations, fabrics, color and furniture are Ms. Forbes’ mind all the time, actually, because she is an interior design consultant, owner of Lilac Far.

Charging under one hundred dollars an hour, Ms. Forbes’ rates are reasonable. She is articulate and enthusiastic. I could tell she has a real love for fabric and color and gets very excited about working with them.

I noted the attractive custom upholstery of a plump chair, done in green damask with a heavy bullion fringe trim and a country French style fauteuil, done in stripes, with a shirred treatment around the chair’s apron, said Donna LaPre.

Lottie Aylor has a touch of arthritis in her right arm. “I can only lift it up to here,” she said as she raised it just above her waist. At 91, Lottie Aylor realizes it may finally be time to be taking care of herself. Lottie Matthews was born and raised in Rappahannock and Mrs. Martha Ball Buckner Fletcher did the raising. Miss Mattie lived until she was 107, and in the 77 years the two were together, the caregiver roles may have changed; neither ever forgot who did the raising.

Lottie’s mother lived and worked on Miss Mattie’s mother’s farm and that’s where Lottie was born. When she was eight, she came to live with the Fletchers at Thornton Hill in Sperryville. By then, Miss Mattie and her husband William Meade Fletcher, a lawyer, and two children, Nancy and Jim Bill. Nancy like to read and that left the playing to Lottie and Jim Bill.