The Rapp for May 25

Fourth Estate Friday

Time once again to brainstorm with Rappahannock News staff — 9 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, May 26, at the Country Cafe in Washington. We call the gathering Fourth (Estate) Friday — a “story conference” held on the fourth Friday of every month.

Please bring with you story ideas, submissions and suggestions for both the newspaper and the website. And yes, we invite your criticism and will address any concerns. We’ve even been known to accept a compliment or two. Tell us what you think, what you like and don’t like about the newspaper, and better yet get to know the faces behind the bylines.

Witness the birth

Thanks in part to the generous support of the Mitchell Fund, administered by the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community (RAAC), this Sunday. May 28, will mark the the world premiere of Republic For Which We Stand. As we go to press, the weather forecast seems perfect for the outdoor production at the Stone Hill Amphitheater near Flint Hill. So bring a blanket and enjoy John Henry’s witty drama about the drafting of the Constitution, the birth of the American Republic and the meaning of American exceptionalism.

While they wait for a convention quorum, George and Martha Washington stage three plays at Benjamin Franklin’s home in Philadelphia. The plays-within-the-play dramatize the conquests of the three great warrior kings in Medieval England: William the Conqueror, Edward III and Henry V. After each performance, Benjamin, George and Martha — together with James and Dolly Madison, George and Sarah Mason — spar with Alexander Hamilton over their competing vision of the American Revolution.

Like his earlier Arguing with God, Henry’s new drama is filled with humor and conflict. Don’t miss Henry’s pithy May 4 interview on Republic For Which We Stand: “At Stone Hill…The Play’s the Thing.”

Republic for Which We Stand is directed by Rick Davis, Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and Professor of Theater at George Mason University. The cast of three-dozen actors will perform at Henry’s outdoor Stone Hill Amphitheater in Rappahannock’s beautiful countryside. Tickets available at

No postage due

Photo by Chris Green

Flint Hill Postmaster Johnna K. Taylor showed up at the Food Pantry in Sperryville this week lugging over 200 pounds of food donated from the post office’s P.O. Box customers.

The donations, presented here by Taylor (left) to Food Pantry director Mimi Forbes, were part of the 25th anniversary of the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Food Drive.

Come to Neverland

Come to Neverland and be young forever! The Child Care & Learning Center is holding its annual garden party on Saturday, June 17, from 5 to 8 p.m., and the public is invited.

The party theme is Peter Pan so look for Tinker Bell but beware of Captain Hook! Please join CCLC staff, supporters, and children in a spectacular setting for scrumptious food and drink, silent and live auctions, and children’s activities.

Tickets are $50 per adult and children under age 16 are free. The party, CCLC’s major annual fundraising event, will be held at Mountain View, located at 86 Botts Lane in Woodville.

CCLC is the largest childcare provider in Rappahannock with a proud tradition of serving the county for over forty years. Despite its age, the center is constantly improving. CCLC has a nationally renowned preschool educational curriculum as well as a dynamic, highly regarded program to integrate natural studies and nature into students’ everyday learning.

The entire 8-acre property is used as a classroom. It has created trails, gardens, and greenhouses; built innovative playgrounds; and upgraded its facilities for its preschool, elementary afterschool, and summer programs.

CCLC’s goal is to help children become independent, socially competent, and inquisitive learners who are prepared to succeed in school and in life. It strives to serve a representative cross-section of children from the Rappahannock community. CCLC is the only child care program in this 11-county Piedmont area that is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

To Haiti with love

Trinity Episcopal Church in Washington led another relationship-building visit to St. Marc and Trouin in Haiti earlier this month.

According to parishioner Russ Collins, the church team had 3 new members: Rev. Miller Hunter, Richard Easley from St. David’s Ashburn, and Dana Bennett, Collins’ daughter from Glastonbury, Conn. Also on the trip were Collins, Susan Laing, and Mary Frances leMat.

“Our friends in Haiti continue to express their great gratitude for our willingness to invest our time and resources to spend time with them so as to grow our relationship,” Collins writes. “After spending our first night in Port Au Prince, we traveled to St. Marc for Tuesday through Thursday . . .

“We hiked into the hills above Trouin and observed a couple of the homes that were repaired using post-hurricane relief from Region 13 churches. Our team also met with Voix et Actions, a local Haitian organization that has partnered with Trinity Washington over the last 3 to 4 years for our micro-loan and goat and pig breeding and distribution projects in and around Trouin. We reviewed the status of our ongoing effort to establish a series of self-sustaining agri-business enterprises in Trouin that can support themselves, while helping others establish their own small businesses.”

Job well done

Courtesy photo

As these two photographs show, four graduating seniors from Rappahannock County High School — Gabriel Hernandez, John Riedel, Tyler Whetzel, and Tyler McDowell — have just completed a seven-month long “Go Fund Me” service project at the Rappahannock County Park, located off US 211 at the entrance to the town of Washington.

Courtesy photo

“Good kids doing good things,” notes Vaughn Barkdoll, who alerted us to the building project.

Unfortunately these budding craftsmen didn’t reach their fundraising goal, albeit they did collect an impressive $860 towards the $1,000 project. So far, 17 contributors have stepped up to the plate, among them Rappahannock County Supervisor John Lesinski and his wife, Heidi.

“Thank you for this wonderful effort to improve our community,” the Lesinskis posted on the students’ Go Fund Me page.

Perhaps these pictures will help generate the needed extra funding. To contribute to the project click into the Go Fund Me site and search “Fix Up the Park — Service Project.

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