Down Memory Lane for Jan. 18

Aug. 11, 1999

Brian Ross of Mountainside Market in Sperryville has taken another bold step in bringing tools of civilization to those of us whose water supply will never accommodate the multiple wash and rinse cycles of a Speed Queen. He will open what appears to be Rappahannock’s first and only laundering facility, The Soho Laundromat.

Featuring four twenty-seven pound capacity “double load” heavy-duty, stainless steel, cleaning beauties, one thirty-five pound capacity monster, four thirty-five pound capacity gas fired dryers, and one fifty pound capacity dryer, the Soho Laundromat will be the answer to washday needs.

The Soho Laundromat color scheme is as bold as Brian’s concept: canary yellow, deep-ocean blue and puce (some call it raspberry) welcome the clean laundry starved sojourner into the facility located on the westside of Mountainside Market. Three extra washing machine and three dryer slots will make expansion of the laundromat’s capacity much more simple a matter than has been the construction of the initial facility, and the need for expansion is likely, with some 3,245 country residents currently without their own washers and dryers.

Rappahannock County writer Bruce C. Sloane will sign and discuss his new book, Scenic Driving Virginia, at a book-publication party at the Old Sperryville Bookshop.

Mr. Sloane, a technical writer and a former editor of the Rappahannock News, has become an expert on the backroads and byways of the Old Dominion, after driving hundreds of miles with his wife Joy to gather material for his new book. The 174-page book details 22 scenic drives within the state, from the eastern seashore to the distant mountains of Southwest Virginia.

The author and his wife spent many weekends over a year-long period roaming across Virginia by auto, searching for the most scenic and interesting routes in every section. Joy did the driving, she said, because “nobody is crazy enough to ride with a guy who is taking notes and looking out the window.”

Oct. 16, 2003

The world-wide trend of publishing nude calendars for worthy causes has reached rural Rappahannock County and taken a somewhat different twist.

A group of prominent Rappahannock men are featured month by month in their birthday suits in a calendar called “The Men of Rappahannock County,” which comes out this week in an initial printing of 5,000 calendars.

The men agreed to pose naked to help raised funds for a Rappahannock County High School track which many parents feel is sorely needed. Supporters are hoping to raise as much as they can to help pay for an estimated $250,000 track and field improvements.

As Bill Dietel, 76, of Flint Hill, said, “I think all of us did it for the sake of the cause. We were willing to do it for the kids.” Dietel is featured prominently in a photo with four other members of the Lunch Bunch at a table at the Flint Hill Public House, one of the sponsors of the calendar.

In addition to Dietel, the men include Peter Kreyling, Ben “Cooter” Jones, Bill Fannon, Hunt Harris, Chris Moyles, Matt Sherman, Nol Putnam, Bob Lucking, Bob Wellemeyer, John Burns, Paul Reisler, Jonathan Partin, Simon Beins, Brian Cramer, Chris Bird, Butch Zindel, Peter Kramer, Hank Gorfein, Walter Day, Jim Racer, Mark Streagle and Shane Thompson. Some are photographed in groups.

The children are back in school, the pools are closed and the grills are heading into hibernation. There is no need to head indoors just yet though. After all, with more than 500 miles of trails winding through nearby Shenandoah National Park, who wouldn’t want to head outside to play one last time especially in the fall foliage.

Shenandoah National Park contains something for everyone, form the Skyline Drive with scenic views and overlooks, to trails for families and avid hikers alike.

Steve Blair, Backcountry Wilderness and Trail Manager at the park, said that while most of the park’s visitors are Virginia natives some travel from out of state, and even overseas, to view this up-close version of nature. He said the park is “a hiker’s mecca,” and “a good place for folks to get away, especially during the park’s peak season in autumn.”

Les Warnell of Warrenton also enjoyed the trail and said that he comes to the park nearly every weekend.

“It’s my escape. I’m here the first day the park opens and the last day before it closes,” he said.