Washington column for Nov. 10

A centennial celebration

Did you know that one of Washington’s residents, Elizabeth (Betty) Buntin, celebrated her 100th birthday on Nov. 1 (All Saints Day)? A huge milestone indeed. Betty celebrated her day with her daughter, Nancy, and her husband’s family in Danville.

Elizabeth (Betty) Buntin, with the Rev. H. Miller Hunter, celebrated her 100th birthday with her Trinity Episcopal Church family. The centennial party was arranged by Margaret Baumgardner.
Elizabeth (Betty) Buntin, with the Rev. H. Miller Hunter, celebrated her 100th birthday with her Trinity Episcopal Church family. The centennial party was arranged by Margaret Baumgardner. By Loraine C. Channing

She moved to Rappahannock County in 1946 with her husband, W.A. Buntin, who was a state trooper, assigned to this area who never left. Betty taught at the high school for several months, then became the director of Social Services. They lived on Main Street and raised one daughter, Nancy, by the way who is a wonderful, kind person.

Betty joined Trinity Church in 1948. She first started volunteering at the church when the church office was in the basement of the rectory. She and two other ladies, Margaret Muter and Margaret Tucker, handled the duties of the office. Betty’s specific tasks were keeping the register, the church records, and archives, which she continued to do for many years. She was involved in the office for over 15 years, as the office moved from rectory basement to parish hall basement (under the new addition in 1985) to the current Trinity House office.

She wrote many short histories of Trinity that were inserted into the church directory each year. Later, her book, “Mission: A Study of the Churches of Bromfield Parish”, a history of the parish which includes Trinity, was compiled and completed in 2012. As her preface mentions, her interest was piqued from volunteering at the church office and working with our historic parish registers and vestry records. It is a wonderful and comprehensive book and collection of historical facts and information.

Former church rector, Rev. Jenks Hobson, says that he is “very grateful for the very special care of the church records” that Betty handled all through the years of her service.

One other member of Trinity before Betty turned 100 and was still active, Mattie Ball Fletcher, Jim Bill Fletcher’s mother and Bill Fletcher’s grandmother, was still coming to church at 102 and lived in town. She lived to be 107 but not active at that time.

A beautiful cake with candles was in her honor on Sunday, Oct. 30 during the coffee hour at the Trinity Episcopal Church and they sung “Happy Birthday.”

Congratulations on this amazing milestone Betty. I hoped that every minute of your 100th birthday was filled with everlasting joy, sunshine and smiles, laughter.

I would like to thank Loraine C. Channing, Rev. H. Miller Hunter and Mrs. Douglas (Margaret) Baumgardner, for the information on Betty Buntin on her 100th birthday.

Tula’s brings the country together

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dolls, which for six months swayed in the mountain breezes above the bar at Tula’s, finally sat together for a drink this week.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dolls, which for six months swayed in the mountain breezes above the bar at Tula’s, finally sat together for a drink this week. By John McCaslin

After the longest and most divisive presidential election campaign in U.S. history, the votes have finally been cast and Americans can now bury their hatchets and move on for the good of the country. Which also means that Tula’s Restaurant and Bar in Little Washington, which hosted several well-attended debate-watching parties, can now mothball its colorful Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dolls that for the past six months swayed in the mountain breeze above the bar.

Nobody is happier about that than Tula’s co-owner John McCaslin, who pointed out that in these final heated months of the campaign patrons of Tula’s regularly took possession of the dolls and twisted their arms and legs into unbecoming positions that this family newspaper won’t further describe. Fortunately by Election Day of this week the pair of dolls untangled themselves and were observed sitting side by side on two of Tula’s bar stools, sipping craft beer and watching the polling results come in.

Better yet, and hopefully a harbinger of some much-needed healing, not a nasty word was spoken between the two.

A Salmagundi Club member in town

Kevin Adams last week was elected a member of New York City’s Salmagundi Club, one of the oldest arts organizations in the United States. One of Kevin’s paintings of Shenandoah National Park was juried into a non-member’s exhibition at the club this summer, and after that exhibition, Kevin was nominated for membership by several members. As a member, Kevin will have the opportunity throughout the year to show work at the club’s exhibitions at its historic brownstone on Fifth Avenue, where he joins a long list of illustrious American artists, including Thomas Moran, William Merritt Chase, Louis Comfort Tiffany, N.C. Wyeth and Childe Hassam. Kevin says he’ll make sure paintings of Rappahannock’s beautiful landscapes are regularly seen in in New York.

Congratulations Kevin!

Rappahannock Ladies Lunch Bunch

According to Chris Green: Tula’s hosted the successful resurrection of the Rappahannock Ladies Lunch Bunch on Friday, Nov. 4. Laughter, great conversation, good food and libations were enjoyed by a packed room of terrific ladies. Women representing all walks of life, from socioeconomic to political inclinations, farmers, stay at home mom’s, local shopkeepers, local political officials, retirees, entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, artists, and so much more. Sheila Gresinger couldn’t have summed the event up better in her note to the group: “Yes, all, the lunch gathering today was truly welcome and spectacular! Thank you, again, Chris, for making this happen. In talking with one of my daughters this evening, I mentioned what a joy it was to meet so many wonderful women as well as seeing some I already know. The ladies lunch bunch provided a happy place to pause away from our crazy busy world for a bit, for which I am grateful.”

The ladies lunch bunch meet the first Friday of every month and rotate restaurants. Their next meeting will be Dec. 2, hosted by Debby Donehey, owner of the Griffin Tavern. Please contact Chris Green at 703-867-5571 or chrisdoxzen@gmail.com if you are interested in joining the group.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go to a special girl, Parker Critzer, who’s celebrating her birthday Monday (Nov. 14); and to my sister, Judy Alther, who’s celebrating her day on Nov. 18.

Have a great week!

1 Comment

  1. As for your newspapers assertion that this has been “the longest and most divisive presidential election campaign in U.S. history” I would like to point out that in 1864, Lincoln vs. McClellan (the Democrat who wanted to reverse the Emancipation Proclamation BTW), we were actually shooting at each other in a little action in and around Rappahannock County known as the Civil War. Where do you get your reporters? The Faber College Bulletin?

    Could they actually be that stupid? See also the 1824 election, J. Q. Adams vs, Andrew Jackson, and going back further, 1800 with Jefferson vs.Aaron Burr.

    I know the bar for the media is pretty low but a basic knowledge of American history and/or not being too lazy to do some basic research before making dumb statements would be nice.

    Mickey Campagna
    Orlean, VA

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