Washington column for Jan. 26

New face in clerk’s office

The Circuit Court Clerk’s Office has a new face working for them now, Kaitlin Struckmann, born and raised in Warren County. She worked for the Circuit Court Clerk’s office there for five years, where she was primarily in charge of managing the criminal docket. After leaving, Kaitlin worked as a title examiner for several years.

Kaitlin fell in love with Rappahannock County after meeting her boyfriend, Jason, who is from here, so she decided to  moved to Flint Hill about 18 months ago.

Kaitlin Struckmann js the new deputy clerk at the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in Washington. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck

About 9 months ago, she started a volunteer project called “The Rappahannock Record” in order to provide videos of local government meetings via YouTube.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the process,” she said.

She started her new job on Monday, Jan. 9, as the new deputy clerk at the Circuit Court clerk’s office in Washington, and is very excited to be a part of the town.

According to Kaitlin she is very excited about having an opportunity to work for Peggy Ralph and she has received a very warm welcome from everyone on Courthouse Row.

She plans to be a permanent fixture here helping to serve our community.

I had the pleasure of talking to Peggy Ralph last Friday, who said nothing but good things about Kaitlin. She was pleased to have her on board and added that she was doing a great job.

Be sure to stop by and welcome her to our town.

Welcome Kaitlin!

Birthday party

A birthday is a special time, a day you started your life’s journey, and one day each year our family and friends help us celebrate a very special day. Although Saturday afternoon was gloomy for the occasion of Anna Clatterbuck’s 89th birthday party, people still made it a happy enjoyable time.

Anna Clatterbuck celebrated her 89th birthday with family and friends Saturday evening at the Washington Volunteer Fire Department. Photo by Hope Huff

Her daughters Mary Gochenour and Mae Racer, granddaughters Beverly Exline, Hope Huff, and Emily Dodson, were in charge of giving the party at the Washington Volunteer Fire Department. Around 70 people came, including family, friends and neighbors. The ladies did a fantastic job decorating and members of the family pitched in and  prepared food for the party.

Melvin Gochenour asked for the blessing of the food, then everybody was ready to eat. There was chicken, ham and biscuits,  baked macaroni and cheese, green beans, and chips and dip, other side dishes. I have to say those green beans were out of the world, made by Hope Huff. They were definitely delicious. I even made a second trip back for more and the pan was empty. Hope, for our next get together please have extra green beans.

After the food and fellowship, a beautifully decorated birthday cake was presented by Hope and everyone joined in singing “Happy Birthday.” Melvin made a homemade German Chocolate cake which everyone enjoyed. After the cake, Anna opened all of her cards, receiving some nice gift certificates and even some  money. She received a beautiful bouquet of roses from her daughter Mary.

Sandra Stoots, her daughter Crystal, husband Dick Owens, and son Paul and wife Leska with their daughter Alisha Stoots, traveled the furthest for the party. They came all the way from Marion, Virginia. Always great when they can come up.

Anna would like to thank everyone that came  to her celebration, for the gifts,  and most of all for sharing this memorable time with her.

Job well done, everyone! It was the perfect way to end the day and to say happy birthday to a wonderful  lady who everyone loves and adores so much.

Another surprise for Anna: when she got home she found a beautiful mixed bouquet of flowers on her front porch from Charles, Laura and Garrett Smoot.

At the close of the birthday party, everyone could say that the evening had been memorable — and that no one left hungry.

There was also food left over, so Beverly Exline and Austin Huff went out of their way to help feed a person in need. Other leftover food went to Debbie Mills, her daughter Ashley and son Adam on Piedmont Avenue.

Debbie had a tragic accident on Friday, Jan. 13 after leaving her job at the Country Cafe. She fell at home and broke her leg. She has no insurance. Medical bills can be overbearing.

David Huff has a big glass jar in the cafe, taking donations to help Debbie through her rough time.

She will be off from work at least 6 weeks, maybe more, depending on how well she recovers.

As a community, let’s make a stop at the cafe and give a donation to help Debbie with her medical financial. Let’s keep in mind it could have been one of us.

CCLC news

The Child Care Learning Center has officially received its School Yard Habitat certification through the National Wildlife Federation. Photo by Christina Loock

The Child Care Learning Center in Washington officially received its School Yard Habitat certification through the National Wildlife Federation on Thursday, Jan. 19. The certification is for schools that “give students a place to learn outside and connect with nature, while providing the habitat elements wildlife need to thrive: food, water, cover, and places to raise young.” Among other activities, CCLC students have built bird baths, installed a pollinator garden, put up bluebird boxes, and fill their bird feeders regularly as they learn to care for and respect wildlife.

Remodeling Sale

According to Rachel Hayden, director of public relations for the Inn at Little Washington: The Inn will be  having a remodeling sale on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will be letting go of many objects and artifacts from the inn’s rooms and public spaces. Featuring gently used antiques, art work, rugs, household items, books, lamps, fabrics, linens, china and much more. Stop by and check it out.


Sympathy goes out to Charles Dodson on the passing of his wife,  Mabel Estelle Dodson. Mabel, 70, of Culpeper, died Friday, Jan. 13, at the University of Virginia Medical Center. The family held a memorial service on Friday, Jan. 20, at 11 a.m. at Washington Baptist Church.

I had the pleasure of getting to know Mabel while working at the Aileen sewing factory in Flint Hill many, many years ago. She was so pleasant and kind, and would do  anything for you. She will be missed by so many people who knew her.

Have a wonderful week.