Down Memory Lane for April 13

June 30, 1983

In 1951, a small group of people led by Commonwealth’s attorney George Davis worked tirelessly through the spring and summer to bring an unusual summer event to Rappahannock County. The Blue Ridge Musical Festival Association wanted to sponsor concerts in the country, hoping that Rappahannock would grow into the summer home for the Virginia Orchestra and provide music instruction to local children as well.

The spot they chose for the series was Avon Mill, building a stage where the mill wheel had been, and clearing an amphitheatre all the way to the river.

Restaurants were described and prices given: the Washington Cafe, with breakfast and lunch for 50 cents and supper for $1.00; the Washington House restaurant with slightly higher prices; and the Lee Highway Motel, no prices given.

“At that time, every other home took in tourists,” explained Mrs. Davis. “The musicians loved it. It gave them a chance to spend the day in the country. There were wonderful meals — ham and fried chicken and homemade pie.”

The people loved it too. Over six hundred attended, according to Marjorie Horne Warren, a Culpeper music teacher who reviewed the concerts.

“You live with the hounds, you hunt with them, it gets in your blood. Fox hunting is a disease. Once you get it, you never get over it. You can quit but you never get over it.”

Jack Bruce has lived and hunted with foxhounds for more than a half-century. He has the disease. “There’s no sport in the world like it. But only a fox hunter will say that!” he acknowledged, chuckling.

At 74 years old, he still looks like he can ride a horse for eight hours over Rappahannock’s mountains, down into the hollows and back up again on the trail of a crafty fox.

Feb. 15, 1968

Ford Motor Company and its local dealers donated automotive equipment worth $1,680 to Rappahannock County High School during a ceremony at the school’s automotive shop at 12:30 p.m.

L. V. Merrill, owner of Merrill Motor Company, the local Ford dealership, and spokesman for the Ford, Lincoln-Mercury and tractor dealers, said the new equipment is for use in the school’s automotive training courses. It consists of a 289-cubic-inch V-8 Ford engine with standard transmission and rear axle assembly.

The grant of these training aids is part of a continuing program to provide auto mechanic students with equipment featuring the latest in technological, scientific and engineering improvements.

Dennis B. Wingfield, principal, Francis S. Boze, automotive instructor, and Ronald Updike, assistant instructor, accepted the equipment for the school from Mr. Merrill.

Miss Beverly Payne, a junior at Rappahannock County High School, was named Sweetheart of 1968 at a Valentine dance and party Saturday evening at the school. She received her tiara from last year’s winner, Miss Betty Jenkins. Beverly is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Payne of Boston, and was escorted by Steve DeMent of Sperryville.

The contestants entered in the campaign collected votes at a penny each with proceeds to go to the school Scholarship loan Fund. Revenue realized from the contest totaled $687.46

First runner-up was Miss Eleanor Rector of Flint Hill, escorted by Jack Atkins of Amissville. She is a senior at RCHS, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Rector.

Other contestants were Miss Joan Kay Welch with Bobby Settle as escort; Miss Mary Lynn Smelley, escorted by Bill Settle  and Teresa Cordani with C. H. Deal escorting.