Down Memory Lane for Feb. 9

Feb. 12, 1976

The old barn on the Bird family farm in Jefferson, Md., had not aged gracefully. After 150 years, the shingled roof was rotted through and the fondation sat in four feet of manure. With the passing of a few more years nothing would be left.

The barn might have fallen into complete ruin if the Birds had not also had a farm outside Flint Hill, in Rappahannock County. On Horseshoe Hollow Farm, Chris Bird needed a structure for hay storage and shelter for his herd of Angus-Hereford cattle. The old “Pennsylvania bank barn” 75 miles away would fill the need perfectly. Here was an opportunity to preserve an example of antique craftsmanship while serving a practical purpose. The Birds decided to move the barn and restore it, while preserving its pre-Civil War Character.

The “Pennsylvania bank barn” was a classic early 1800’s farm structure. The barn was built into the side of a sloping bank of earth, with the lower level used for livestock shelter and the upper level used for hay storage. By building in this fashion, both sections could be entered easily at ground level.”

The shingle roof on the 30 feet by 60 feet structure could not be salvaged. It was left behind with the buried foundation.

Meanwhile, Rappahannock County may have to buy one voting machine in time for use in the upcoming presidential election, for use in Hampton Precinct.

John G. Carney, Jr., chairman of the county electoral board, appeared at the Feb. 5 meeting of the Board of Supervisors to remind them that state law dictates that voting machines must be provided for all voting precincts which have 500 or more registered voters. Hampton is the only precinct that qualifies in Rappahannock, he said, with “around” 607 voters.

In reply to questions from the Supervisors, Carney said the law specifically prohibits “gerrymandering” of voting districts to avoid the voting machine requirement. Therefore, some of the Hampton precinct voters could not be shifted to Sperryville. And Sperryville is close to the requirement already, he noted.

“But we wouldn’t be shifting it around for that,” grinned Supervisor H.B. Wood.

“We’d be doing it for the convenience of the public,” said the commonwealth’s attorney.

April 23, 1997

When Grady Vest, of Flint Hill, woke up last Thursday morning he didn’t know it was his lucky day — literally. Mr. Vest had managed to do what others dream of every day, he won the lottery — to the tune of $13.5 million.

For the Vest Family it’s really a family affair. The Vests have been playing the lottery almost since its inception and everybody in the family, Mr. Vest, his wife, Doris, and daughters, Renee and Crystal, and son, Alan all contributed to the ticket — never imagining they’d win, said Doris.

The ticket was purchased at Hillsdale Grocery on Route 211 in Washington, where Renee works. It made the Vest family the first Pick 6 winner in the area of Rappahannock, Culpeper, Orange, Fauquier or Madison counties and the lone winner for Wednesday’s Lotto drawing.

The family will receive a first check for $464,108 (after taxes of course) and 19 payments of $461,040 each according to the Virginia Lottery. Doris said they have decided how it will be broken up, since everyone had a share in it, but getting everyone together to go pick up their winnings has been a logistics problem.

Karen Henderson of Sperryville is the newest DJ at C103 — the “Cruisin” Country” FM station in Culpeper.

She gets up at 3 a.m. so she can be on the air from 5 to 9 a.m. , Monday through Friday. She started with the AM station, WCVA, in January, playing old-time music and memories, and recently was asked by the station if she wanted to try the FM station. Henderson is very much at ease on the radio, as she was the weekend overnight voice at WMAL radio in Washington, D.C. for 12 years.

Her voice training came when she studied opera from the ages of 13 to 17. She was accepted to Juilliard, but was told she was too young to attend and would have to wait a year. By then, her life was going in another direction, so she never did get to go to Juilliard.

Henderson has lived in Gid Brown Hollow with her husband Warren since 1990; she said they moved here to get away from the rat race. But they both still work in town a lot.