Down Memory Lane for June 22

July 10, 1986

Eleven years ago John Earl and Clarence “Boosie” Dodson approached Captain Luther B. Stuart and asked him if the Amissville Little League Baseball team could use some of his land to play on.

Capt. Stuart readily agreed.

“They’ll have it as long as I live,” Mrs. Stuart recalled her husband saying to a friend. Capt. Stuart died November 27, 1980 but before he passed away he expressed a desire for the land to belong permanently to the young people.

In 1984, to fulfill her husband’s wish, Mrs. Stuart deeded the land to the Amissville Ruritan Club, which sponsored the community’s first baseball team in 1967. The only provision of the deed is that the youth be given priority in usage.

The gift became reality last Saturday when the Ruritans dedicated the field to the memory of Capt. Stuart.

In an eloquent — but wordless — demonstration of the barriers handicapped people face here when they try to participate in local government, two wheelchair-bound men had to seek help from the Rappahannock supervisors to gain the upstairs of the county courthouse for an advertised public hearing.

The hearing scheduled for Monday’s board meeting was on a proposed ordinance to ensure the handicapped ready access and use of public buildings.

As the hearing opened, Richard Abell and Sam Vanneman waited in the heat and humidity on the courthouse sidewalk, unable to negotiate even the steps to the downstairs hall in their wheelchairs. Frank Reynolds, the Washington attorney who represents Mr. Abell, asked the board members for assistance in getting the two men upstairs.

Chairman Hubert Gilkey and Newbill Miller hoisted Mr. Abell’s chair over the stone steps and the carpeted stairs. The chairman returned to help Nelson Lane with Mr. Vanneman’s chair, getting a hand from Charles Estes in negotiating the steep turn in the flight to the courtroom.

May 30, 1974

“It’s my pleasure,” said Lile Sisk, as she loaded down a guest with dilled turnips and carrots and green beans and suggested that some of her carrot cake or black walnut, cake, sweet and sour onions, pickled squash, beet wine or damson cordial would be good to try, too.

“Work and people are my pleasure,” she said. Lile admits that she’s become a bit famous for “working in the yard and the kitchen and being good to my friends.”

Mrs. Sisk has been gardening and cooking for years at her home near Sperryville, but she said she “hadn’t been heard of” until a Rappahannock Arts and Crafts fair two years ago. Then she sold several hundred jars of the canned, pickled and dilled “stuff” she’d saved from her garden.

Since then, her cookies have made it “to the White House table” through a visitor with the Rappahannock Hunt; television newsman David Brinkley, a frequent visitor in Rappahannock, brought his bride over for a little of Mrs. Sisk’s beet wine; and The Washington Post sent a reporter to get the recipe for “Lile’s dillies.” Currently, she cooking the evening meal for the art students studying with Joy Luke.

Mike Smoot of Washington received several awards and letters in athletics at the RCHS sports awards program Monday, including a special award for the athlete giving the most for the cause — or perhaps it could be called a sliding award, said the basketball coach.

It was a replica of a splinter Mike picked up in his posterior from the hardwood floor of the gym. He was taken to a hospital to have it extracted and needless to say, ate off the mantle for a while.