Down Memory Lane for Nov. 9

April 7, 1999

The Lee family farm, located between Route 211 and Fodderstack Road in Washington, exhibits a quiet efficiency that is reflective of its owners.

There is little activity apparent to the eye at this time of year, but one can feel that the impending bustle, which will not be restrained by the early Spring chill for much longer.

Bryant Lee, a candidate for the Hampton District seat on the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors, operated the farm with the assistance of his father, Thomas, and uncle James Lee.

He views his political role in the county as “a spokesman for the people . . . and I will continue to be.”

This may be interpreted to mean that Lee is a consensus builder but, as he clarified, it is more than that: he believes that he shares the opinions of a broad majority of his constituents.

Now 37, Lee gained his political experience largely through twelve years of service to the county as a member of the school board; at the time, he was the youngest person ever to serve in the post in Rappahannock.

For his part, Lee will seek to fill the Hampton District seat to be vacated by Mike Massie in November.

The proposed cellular/PCS towers in Rappahannock County, the school budget and the Miller subdivision were among the topics that came before the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors during their April meeting.

All five members were present, as well as County Administrator John McCarthy, County Attorney Peter Luke, and Clerk Diane Bruce.

There was a lengthy discussion on the cellular tower issue, which was addressed last month at a joint meeting of the supervisors and County Planning Commission.

Although many citizens are opposed to the tall communications towers in Rappahannock, the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits local governments to pass ordinances that deny erecting such towers.

McCarthy noted that Sprint is attempting to minimize the number of towers they need by placing them in strategic locations.

The board instructed McCarthy and Luke to present a draft ordinance to the Planning Commission with review by the supervisors.

April 3, 1980

Theodore and Margaret Barron love their store. Their little neighborhood grocery in Viewtown is more than just a business. It’s a way of life, family history and a mirror of the past.

Their pride and affection glows along with the shining floors and walls of the old frame building. The Viewtown store is spotless with the kind of clean that marks a labor of love.

And when the Barrons’ talk about their memories from almost a half century of minding the store, both Theodore and Margaret beam with pleasure. If they have any complaints or regrets, they keep dissatisfaction well hidden.

Barrons have been Viewtown storekeepers since 1919, when Theodore’s father bought the business from H. W. Spilman. As a youngster he worked for his dad. “But I didn’t get any salary,” Theodore recalled. It wasn’t until after he married Margaret that his father paid him a salary — a monthly check of $35, according to Theodore.

Ledgers dating back half a century show the impact that the passing years have had on food prices. In 1939, a one pound bag of coffee sold at Barron’s for 13 and a quarter cents. Coffee in the can was more expensive, going for 18 and a quarter cents. A pound of cocoa was only 18 cents.

Two loaves of bread sold for ten cents in 1933 while gas then was 22 cents a gallon, according to Theodore’s ledgers.

Adoption of an in-school suspension program will “establish a jail house inside the schoolhouse,” maintained school board member Robert Eastham in opposing a grant application for federal funds to run such a program.

At a special meeting held Monday, March 24, the board voted unanimously to oppose a grant application by the Rappahannock-Rapidan Criminal Justice Advisory Council on behalf of the county for in-school suspension. The money was to be channeled through the state from the federal Law Enforcement Assistance Administration.

According to Eastham, three Rappahannock students were under suspension as of March 24, none by action of the board. In addition, he said, no students were suspended in the previous month by board action. With the lack of suspended students, there’s no need for an in-school suspension program, Eastham said.