Down Memory Lane for Dec. 1

Sept. 13, 1962

Dec. 26, 1985: Walter “Doc” Lillard takes a winter stroll near Jett Street.
Dec. 26, 1985: Walter “Doc” Lillard takes a winter stroll near Jett Street. Rappahannock News File Photo by Greg Turner

Announcement is made this week of a change in ownership of Rappahannock News, Basil C. Burke, attorney of Madison, has sold the newspaper and real estate to Angus M. and R. Duff Green of Culpeper and Orange.

Ownership was effective Sept. 1, with last week’s issue being printed at the plant of The Orange Review in Orange. The larger size paper of this week is expected to be continued.

Mrs. Sarah Latham will continue as editor of the paper, assisted by Mrs. Dorothy C. Davis, at the same office and all business matters of newspaper and commercial printing will be handled at the local office.

The Messrs Green are well known in Rappahannock where they have kin. Angus M. Green, a lay reader of the Episcopal Church, has held services at Trinity Church, Washington.

Specialist Robert E. Atkins, who is stationed with the United States Army in Worms, West Germany, has been awarded an engraved cigarette lighter and a letter of commendation for driving a military motor vehicle 15,000 accident and incident free miles in the command. The award and congratulations were presented by Major Kilcauley at ceremonies in Worms. Specialist Atkins is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh S. Atkins, Sr., of Sperryville. His wife Evelyn, resides with him in Germany.

Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Williams, of Washington, have purchased Bertha’s Diner, the restaurant on Route 211 in the town of Washington. Mrs. Williams had been employed there for some time by Mrs. B. R. Armel, the former owner.

Dec. 20, 1984

This Christmas season as our nation celebrates the holiday in peace, the thoughts of many go back to a Christmas time of war 40 years ago. During that Christmas, American forces were involved in one of the major struggles in the history of World War II; the Battle of the Bulge. Carson Johnson of Sperryville was with the 17th Airborne Division, 193rd Glider Infantry Regiment at the time of the Battle of the Bulge. Johnson’s division experienced its first combat in the battle at Bastogne, and the division commander was General Bud Miley.

Johnson’s division fought off the attackers, but sustained heavy losses. He recalls that in order to regroup the division had to leave its position, and the roads were filled with other divisions. “We made our way through snow, often times up to our waists,” Johnson said. “We encountered the enemy and mine fields, but we kept going and we kept up with the divisions on our flanks although they had the roads and we had none.”

All of the lives lost during the battle is the best testament to that courage. “We remember those who went before us who paid the supreme sacrifice,” Johnson said. “We all did our duty as we were called upon to do it. Some of us were lucky and we are here, but some of us were unlucky and we miss them.”

Johnson received the Purple Heart in Munich, Germany in 1946.

Eve Willis began working in interior design 25 years ago in Taiwan, but gave it up while her two children were small. “I was going to wait to go back to work until both of my children were in college, but when my oldest was a sophomore in high school I started working part time for someone else,” said Willis. “From there it wasn’t long before I was working full time, and then started my own business.”

“Most of my work has been contract, or commercial, and residential work with 85 percent being historically related,” said Willis.

Willis has done everything from one room to four houses for clients, and one of her most unique experiences was decorating a boat. The boat had been purchased by a group of townspeople from Highland Falls, N.Y., and they wanted to convert the boat into a floating restaurant.

“I did the boat in a turn of the century style with gas light look alikes and etched glass,” Willis said.

The boat operates out of New York City, and has been so successful that there are plans to add another boat to the business. Willis has been asked to decorate the new addition, but she considers her first boat project to be her last.