By Mark Raiford
With the local elections over and along with it the venomous diatribes and ramblings of the few, I spent some time reflecting on the wonderful place so many of us call home.
My family and I spent this past weekend enjoying the many wonderful splendors this lovely county has to offer. Friday didn’t start out so well, as we were just a few cars behind the school bus accident on our way to take the kids to school. Thankfully, no-one was seriously hurt, but I can’t convey how amazed I was the way the kids, faculty, EMS workers and sheriff’s office handled the situation; a true testament to the type of community we live in. After everyone was declared safe and healthy, the annual Veterans Day celebration held at the high school went ahead as scheduled. Once again the band performed a variety of songs flawlessly, and I’m happy to report everyone stood for the National Anthem, which made my 95 year-old father and a WWII veteran especially proud of our school, students and community. Afterwards we had a delicious lunch at the Headmaster’s Pub; the soups prepared there are absolutely delicious. They also have a great gift shop. Stop by and do some Christmas shopping.
Saturday, the RCHS drama club captured the regional championship for the second consecutive year! They move on to the state championship in early December. Talk about a courageous group of actors. I doubt many who are reading this have the courage to get up in front of an auditorium full of people like these young and talented actors and lay it all on the line. Mr. Paulette, their drama coach, had the kids sharp and they delivered a flawless performance of an original play written by Paulette himself.
After the competition we ventured down to Sperryville Central, also known as — Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen, Francis bar and the Corner Store. The place was packed door to door with old friends and newcomers alike shopping, eating and enjoying the eclectic cocktails made by the friendly mixologist at Francis. After one of these aforementioned cocktails, our pizzas came out of the wood-fired oven piping hot and were devoured with great delight by all! If you haven’t had a pizza from RPK you are truly missing out, as it is, in my opinion the best pizza this side of Italy.
Sunday, we drove from Castleton to Little Washington to pre-run the Jingle bell 5K course, which will be held mid-December. Check the paper for details and come out and support the food pantry. There is something truly special about Little Washington during the holidays and no better way to see than by foot or bike travel.
While traversing between the county’s villages I couldn’t help longing for the completion of the proposed bike path. For those who have ever ridden a bike on 522 or 211 you know how treacherous it can be at times. The path will be a welcome and safe haven for the recreational cyclist and joggers alike. For those who don’t ride and spend the spring time hunting mushrooms in the hollows instead of tuning up the old Schwinn, well you probably won’t even notice the path. I’m sure it will be a welcome attraction to the tourists who pump thousands of dollars into the county’s businesses each weekend as well, provided we can avoid the terrorist targeting the cyclists and dog walkers, as some folks around the county seem to be wary of. I wouldn’t worry too much about that though. I encounter more angry and territorial canines during my bike rides that Taliban warriors.
Someone asked in this paper last week, ‘What in the world is the matter with us?’ Well, after looking around at the world which surrounds us and all the terrible things happening elsewhere and then taking stock of the beautiful place we call home; I can honestly say, not a gosh darn thing, we are doing just fine . . . Is there a bicycle shop in Sperryville yet?
The writer lives in Castleton