The Rapp for Dec. 21

Winter is here

Winter officially begins today (Thursday, Dec. 21) with the arrival of the winter solstice. It is the one day of the whole year with the fewest hours of sunlight (meaning the sun’s path has reached its southernmost position, and will begin advancing northward tomorrow).

While today is the beginning of astronomical winter, December 1 is the actual start of meteorological winter.

Pause to celebrate

The Rappahannock News will be closed this Monday through the following Monday (Dec. 25-Jan. 1) in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. We will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 2. There will be no newspaper published next Thursday (Dec. 28). Follow and our Facebook page for news updates.

The News staff wishes all of our readers the beauty, blessings and joy of the holiday season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.

Final sermon

Pastor John Burke has spent 46 years at Gid Brown Hollow Baptist Church in Washington. Courtesy photo

Retiring Pastor John Burke, who for an impressive 46 years has preached at Gid Brown Bible Baptist Church in Washington, will give his final sermon as pastor this Sunday, Dec. 24 — his 89th birthday, no less.

The farewell church service will begin at 11 a.m.

Pastor Burke stresses that he won’t be fully retired, as he plans to step into the pulpit as needed. He was born and raised in Rappahannock County, having grown up in and around the town of Washington.

Christmas feast

Townies and business owners alike joined Washington Mayor John Fox Sullivan and other leaders for the annual Washington Town Christmas party (and potluck) this past Sunday at the historic Town Hall.

Trinity Episcopal Church Rector H. Miller Hunter led the townspeople in prayer and a hearty “amen” before all endeavored to partake in generous fare that included country ham, potatoes au gratin, mac n’ cheese, lemony greens, delectable Persian chicken salad, baked cauliflower, peel-n-eat shrimp, a variety of cheeses — with assorted pies, chocolate cake, cookies, and gourmet cheesecake for dessert.

Town Hall in Washington was setting Sunday night for the town’s annual Christmas celebration and feast. By Veronika Benson

Santa and Mrs. Claus took time from their busy schedules for an appearance, presenting gifts to the town’s children.

Boxing Day benefit

Come hang at Pen Druid Brewery in Sperryville from 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec, 26, Boxing Day, where the craft beer will be flowing and Gold Top once again performing. As the band puts it, nothing says Christmas Cooldown like a good get together for a good cause. Please bring some food items to donate to the Rappahannock Food Pantry.

Brewers and bandmates alike hope to surpass last year’s generous 116 pounds of donated goods!

The pantry seeks peanut butter, jam and jelly, hearty soups, coffee, tea, canned meat and tuna, pancake mix, cooking oils, ketchup, mustard, and syrup; and also accepts financial contributions, pet foods, plastic sheeting, cookbooks, and much more.

Barley, by golly

Speaking of beer, our next door neighbor Madison County is now among the top three barley producing counties in the state of Virginia.

Amelia County is the leading barley producing county for 2017, with production totaling 55,100 bushels, followed by Shenandoah County with 43,800 bushels, and Madison County with 30,200 bushels.

Madison’s barley yield is 57 bushels per acre. All told, barley production for Virginia in 2017 is 803,000 bushels.

The publication Organic Facts educates that anybody suffering from medical conditions like hypertension, arthritis, asthma, impotence, skin problems, anemia, obesity, constipation, diabetes, kidney problems or heart disease, needs to learn more about the health benefits of barley.

“The benefits are mostly attributed to the eight essential amino acids which it contains, meaning that it represents the complete protein requirement in our diet,” it states.

Place to rehab

Longtime Rappahannock resident Ted Pellegatta, who’s worn many a hat in his life — proud U.S. Marine, accomplished equestrian, singer and songwriter, budding poet, professional photographer and author of “Virginia’s Blue Ridge: A Pictorial Journey” — is behind a popular new shirt spotted around the county, and beyond.

“Rehabahannock,” it simply says.

“Just living here is rehab for me,” explains Pellegatta. And for countless others who live and visit here it’s no different, “a place to escape, refresh, recharge the batteries — rehabilitate!”

Ted Pellegatta models his popular new shirt By John McCaslin

“It’s been selling very good,” he adds. “Long sleeve, and made in America.”

Pellegatta often displays his creative wares — his coffee table book, music CD’s, and the cleverly worded shirt — outside Copper Fox Antiques and Pen Druid Brewery in Sperryville.

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