Washington column for July 13

Pulitzer ‘picnic’ reading

According to Bob Hurley, the Rappahannock Association for the Arts and Community Theatre invites the public to a “picnic” reading of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy play “Harvey” on Sunday, July 23, at 3 p.m. The theatre is located at 310 Gay Street in Washington.

If you ever have had a desire to get up on the stage and participate in a production, now is your chance. This fun, low-key event will be a way for aspiring actors to get their “feet wet” and will be similar to the informal readings theatre actors sometimes host in their homes. Tables and chairs will be set up for those who want to bring something to eat and a refreshment of their choice.

“There will be no admission charge,” said Patty Hardee, RAAC Theatre’s artistic director. “This is our way of saying ‘thanks’ for the support the theatre has received from the community.”

“We are calling this low-impact theatre,” added Hardee, “No experience is necessary. We’ll provide scripts at the reading and there will no rehearsals.”

If you know in advance that you want to read a role, contact Hardee at pahardee@gmail.com, or Hurley at hurleyrobertf@gmail.com. Or you can sign up at the door. You are also welcome to enjoy the reading as an audience member.

“Harvey” debuted on Broadway in 1944. It is a story about a happy-go-lucky fellow (Elwood Dowd) and his imaginary friend Harvey — a six-foot, three-and-one-half-inch tall pooka resembling a rabbit. Elwood introduces Harvey to everyone he meets. His family, embarrassed by his eccentric behavior, commits him to a sanitarium. There’s a comic mix up, and his sister is committed instead — that’s when the laughs really begin. There are five major and one minor male roles; three major and two minor female roles; and a slot for someone to read stage instructions.

Come and join them as a participant or audience member as the RAAC Theatre continues to expand its stable of actors and technical staff.

This Camp’s got talent!

Courtesy photo

CCLC campers, ages 5-7, take a bow after performing three improvisational skits before an audience of CCLC and RAAC supporters. CCLC and RAAC are partnering on three theatre camps this summer at the RAAC Theatre.

Historical news

The Campbell house on Mt. Salem Avenue was designed and built circa 1920 by William Curtis Campbell when he returned from World War I, according to Rappahannock historian Judy Tole.

The Campbell house on Mt. Salem Avenue in Washington. Its most recent owners were Bill and Mitzi Young. Rappahannock Historical Society

Campbell came to Rappahannock County in 1914 to supervise the convict crews building the Macadam roads going through the town. Campbell met Mayes Dudley shortly after arriving here, and they soon became engaged before he left for the service and married when he returned.

According to the oral history of Mayes Dudley Campbell, many of the girls around here found husbands in the road crew. They had twins when Mayes was 33 years old: William C. Jr., and Mary. William Jr. was killed in action during World War II in Anzio, Italy.

Campbell passed away in 1969 and his wife, Mayes, died at age 99 in 1990.

The most recent owners were Bill and Mitzi Young. The house is on the market for sale.

Mountain Memories II

The Rappahannock Historical Society invites the community to their next program, “Mountain Memories II”, presented by Jim Lillard on Sunday, July 30 at 2 p.m. at the Washington Town Hall, 485 Gay Street, Washington. Refreshments will be served. A $10 donation is requested.

Computer assistance

Beginning this week and every week on Thursday afternoons, Rappahannock Library computer expert Laura Skauge will assist patrons with tech support from noon to 4 p.m. Her popular computer advice program in the Jamieson Room of the library has moved from Wednesday to Thursday afternoons, due to a scheduling change..

The Library’s Book Barn committee (which funds the computer assistance program along with a variety of other library support programs) also urges all library patrons to stop by and visit the Book Barn — open all Saturdays, 9 a.m to 3 p.m — to peruse the ever-changing selection of great books at great prices for excellent summer reading!

Spirit lives on

The community was saddened to hear that Robert “Bobby” Edward Frye of Castleton, 69, passed away on Saturday, July 1. A man of principles, values, integrity, honesty and respect, he always put his customers first. Bobby was admired by everyone who knew him and will be missed dearly.

I got to know Bobby years back when he drove an oil truck for Aubury North of Huntly. He would deliver oil to our house, and he always would take the time to chat.

I can remember one cold winter night when we ran out of oil, and it was snowing heavy outside, so I called Mr. North and told him we had run out of oil and needed some badly. He told me that he did not have a driver that would come out in the deep snow. Several hours later, we heard a sound of a loud truck, and we thought it was VDOT plowing the road. I looked outside, and guess who it was: Yes! Bobby Frye driving the big oil truck, bringing us oil. If anyone could make it through that deep snow, Bobby Frye could.

I just talked to Bobby last month, in regards to his brother’s newspaper. I know we were on the phone at least thirty minutes or more catching up on the news. He was a wonderful person.

His wonderful wife, Teri Lynn Frye, and I worked together at the Aileen factory in Flint Hill. She was so sweet and kind.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, July 8, at Maddox Funeral Home, 105 West Main Street, Front Royal, with Pastor Roy Riley officiating. Burial followed in Flint Hill Cemetery.

Bobby, you are one of a kind and your spirit will live on forever.

Birthday wishes

Birthday wishes go out to my daughter, Heather Singleton of Hickory N.C. She will celebrate her special day on Thursday, July 27.

Have a wonderful week!