The Rapp for Oct. 19

Nobody ordinary

The 19th annual “No Ordinary Person” series will feature (left to right) Pete Pazmino, Joyce Abell, Bill Dietel and Nadia Itraish. Courtesy photo

The ever-popular “No Ordinary Person” show returns to the RAAC Community Theatre for the 19th year one week from this Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28. This year’s autobiographical storytellers include local residents Bill Dietel, Pete Pazmino, Nadia Itraish and Joyce Abell, with stories about a 4th grader’s first love, discovery of a passion for writing, growing up as the child of Fresh Off the Boat parents, and escaping the clutches of 16th Century Puritans.

“No Ordinary Person” is directed by Joyce Abell and Sallie Morgan. Shows begin at 8 p.m. at the RAAC Community Theatre, 310 Gay Street, in the town Washington. All four performers will appear both nights.

As a special treat, after each performance Joyce Abell will sign copies of her just released memoir, Prickly Roses: Stories from a Life. It was Abell who first brought “No Ordinary Person” to the stage and who has directed the show since its inception. She has also told many of her own vibrant stories over the years as part of the show, several of which are included in Prickly Roses.

Reservations for the Oct. 27 and 28 performances can be made through the RAAC (Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community) website ( For those without internet access, call the RAAC Theatre at 1-800-695-6075.

Spooky town

Washington as usual will be a haunted town this Halloween. Seen here last year scaring literally hundreds of trick or treaters descending on the county seat is Businesses of Rappahannock President Theresa Wood; Rappahannock realtor Butch Zindel dares trick or treaters to come close and grab a piece of candy otherwise there for the taking in front of his Gay Street office; and the chilling movie classic “Psycho” plays to a large crowd on the pumpkin and spider web bedecked patio of Tula’s Restaurant and Bar. By John McCaslin

A reminder to Rappahannock County ghosts, goblins, zombies, tramps and Trumps that Halloween arrives in the town of Washington this year on a Tuesday — October 31, of course.

“A truly fun event,” says Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan, “which is unique in that it is organized by nobody, raises money for nobody . . . just organically grown to attract all generations, approximately 500 people.”

And yes, the mayor adds: “Trinity church folks will spend the day turning Parish Hall into a spooky house.”

Stone Hill Spectacle

A Rappahannock Halloween tradition returns to John Henry’s Stone Hill near Flint Hill next Saturday, Oct. 28.

The Spectacle returns next Saturday. By E. Raymond Boc

This year, a mentalist is joining the Spectacle. “The Man Who Knows” will challenge your perspective of reality. Bring a kitchen spoon and Alain Nu will bend it with his mind for you, Henry writes. Nu is an International Spy Museum attraction, entertains at inaugural balls and predicts the Oscars with startling accuracy.

The Spectacle begins at 3 p.m. The City of Alexandria Pipes & Drums and the Gold Top County Ramblers bluegrass band will play in the Amphitheater and the Circle of Standing Stones.

Win a costume prize for Best Overall, Historical, Scariest, Political, Funniest, Animal, Environmental and Fantasy. Still time to think big and go for it! Awards at 6 p.m. The Pipes & Drums will then lead a torch-lit procession at dusk from the amphitheater to the Circle of the Standing Stones. A large bonfire will burn into the evening.

And bring your camera to capture the spirit of the Spectacle. If your images are used in the event’s picture book, you will receive a copy with acknowledgment. This year’s goal: Beating the past record of 38 photographers.

Etlan Little Country Store will serve food throughout the Spectacle.

Adds Henry: “If you are coming from Washington, we recommend you stay for the evening. We have dozens of places for you to stay in Rappahannock. Just let me know and I will give you one. If you have a place and can host guests, please let me know.”


Wildfire season

Fall wildfire season in Virginia is underway and will run through Nov. 30. Rappahannock residents are asked to be extra careful with anything — matches, campfires, bonfires, and mechanical equipment — that could cause a wildfire during this time.

Because of recent dry conditions, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has all of its emergency response equipment and personnel in an increased state of readiness. The county’s volunteer fire departments will work closely with VDOF to protect citizens and property.

“Before the rain this [past] week, it had been more than 30 days since any measurable precipitation fell on the Commonwealth,” noted Fred Turck, VDOF’s wildfire prevention manager. “That has us very concerned because when things are very dry they tend to burn much more quickly. And that makes battling a resulting wildfire that much harder and puts lives and property at risk.”

More than 96 percent of wildfires in Virginia are caused by human activity. People burning trash or debris remains the No. 1 cause of wildfires in Virginia.

That said, weather also plays a critical role in wildfire.

“Before you light your fire, make sure winds are less than 15 miles per hour and that the relative humidity level is above 35 percent,” said Turck.

Red Ribbons

The local chapters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) are teaming up to promote safe driving and good choices — such as choosing to avoid drugs and alcohol.

National Red Ribbon Week returns October 23 through October 31. Janet Robey, the new Rappahannock High School organizer of SADD, and Kim McKiernan, the local representative of MADD, are working with students and the community to make the event a success.

According to McKiernan, fun activities and theme days are planned for students and staff. For example, Monday is pajama day, themed “My Choices are Key to My Dreams.” On Tuesday, students and staff are encouraged to wear red shirts and take a picture for the Red Ribbon Week photo contest. Friday’s Halloween theme is “Drugs Are too Spooky for Me” and, of course, students may wear costumes to school.

As in past years, businesses and homeowners are asked to display large red ribbons on their mailboxes or other highly visible places to show our community’s support. MADD and SADD provided a number of ribbons last year and ask that they be used again. Or you can use a large red holiday bow or piece of red ribbon.

Said Robey, “Our goal is to blanket the community so everywhere our students (and adults) travel, they are reminded to make good choices and avoid drugs and alcohol.”

In addition, a SADD Rock the Belt initiative engages schools, parents, and communities about the importance of wearing seat belts in every vehicle, in every seat, every time. The Rappahannock chapter of SADD will be holding activities from October 15 to 21, in conjunction with National Teen Driver Safety Week.

For more information, contact Janet Robey at RCHS 540-227-0745 ( or Kim McKiernan at 540-229-1112.

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