The Rapp for April 12

Happy Camper

The soon-to-open Happy Camper Equipment Co. in Sperryville and its proprietor Robert Archer (seen here) will have a groovy neon squirrel for a mascot. By John McCaslin

Word has it Happy Camper Equipment Co. in Sperryville will have a soft opening the day of the Great Rubber Duck Race Down the Mighty Thornton River — which is a good thing, given the race will commence directly adjacent to the apparel and home goods store at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 28th.

In a first for Rappahannock County, the outdoor lifestyle concept store packs a punch offering revered apparel brands, design-y home goods and apothecary brands from around the world.

To boot, Happy Camper Equipment Co. brand furniture and apparel — all designed in Sperryville — will be available to take home.

Funding anyone?

Rappahannock County has partnered with People Incorporated and the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to give small business owners in the county access to affordable assistance and financing.

Funds are available for building acquisition and renovation, fixed asset purchases, working capital and other related costs for business startup and expansion. Extensive training and technical assistance for entrepreneurs is offered at no cost.

The funding specifically targets entrepreneurs unable to obtain financing to expand or to open their own business and who will be creating jobs in Rappahannock County. Contact Jenny Knox at 571-359-3897 or

Katrina kindness

No caption necessary, play poster to accompany the ‘Katrina kindness” item. Courtesy image

Hearthstone School is inviting the community to the performance, “The Flood of Kindness, Inspired by Hurricane Katrina,” based on a book by De’Ante Webster of Indianapolis that surrounds a third-grade historical fiction assignment at the age of eight.

The book was illustrated by former Rappahannock resident and co-founder of Hearthstone, Laurie Marshall, who now lives in northern California. Webster and Marshall worked for six years to make a story to help children cope with massive weather events.

Hearthstone students, teachers and parents will present the play this Friday and Saturday evening, April 13 and 14, at 7 p.m.

Friskies Supreme

On Friday, March 30, CBS aired on its popular soap opera “The Young and The Restless” Rappahannock musician Ben Mason’s original song, “I Can’t Make You.”

It turns out the show’s writer went through 324 pieces of music before landing on Mason’s song and he “loved it — all one minute and ten seconds of it, playing over a very steamy scene involving two people who broke up but just want to have a baby,” Mason points out. “Now I’m sending lots more music out to CBS with raised levels of chocolate, strawberries and scented candles.”

The episode, he adds, “aired in 22 countries and the U.S. so I’m hoping I can actually buy some decent cat food.”

Apart from solo accomplishments, Mason has recorded with or opened for dozens of well-known acts, including Styx, Foreigner, John Cougar Mellencamp, the Dillards and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Pop a cork

April marks a new wine grape growing season, so what better time to toast Rappahannock County’s fastest-growing agricultural industry? Not to mention April is Virginia Vineyard Month.

The Old Dominion is now home to more than 280 wineries — a number that has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Nearly 300 vineyards cultivate more than 3,800 acres of grapes.

Rappahannock is home to several of the wineries — Narmada Winery, Gray Ghost Vineyards, Magnolia Vineyards, Rappahannock Cellars, Chester Gap Cellars, Gadino Cellars, Little Washington Winery, Quievremont Winery, and at the base of Old Rag Mountain Sharp Rock Vineyards and DuCard Vineyards — as well as field after field of additional vineyards from Flint Hill to Rock Mills to F.T. Valley.

Virginia is in the top five U.S. states in number of wineries and wine grape production.

Meadows burn

We’re not sure exactly what day, but Shenandoah National Park fire managers plan to burn 33 acres of Big Meadows sometime between April 16 and May 31, weather playing into the factor. A portion of Big Meadows (milepost 51), the open area across from Byrd Visitor Center, is burned each year for the purpose of maintaining the open vista by preventing encroachment by trees and shrubs..

The burn is anticipated to take one day to complete. Smoke from the burn may be visible in and around the Big Meadows area. All park facilities will remain open during the prescribed burn, but access to Big Meadows will be restricted during the burn.

Screenplay ready?

The Virginia Film Office 2018 Virginia Screenwriting Competition will accept screenplay submissions beginning tomorrow, April 13. Now in its 30th year, the competition provides Virginia screenwriters the opportunity to present scripts to professionals in the motion picture and television industry. Submission deadline is May 29 and each entrant receives a written evaluation from the first round judges.

Distinguished past winners include Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, who won in 1989 for his screenplay Home Fries, and Megan Holley in 2003 for Sunshine Cleaning.

Competition is open exclusively to Virginia residents or students currently enrolled in Virginia schools. Each script must take place in Virginia, or at locations that can be filmed in Virginia. Feature film scripts must be approximately 90 to 120 pages in length. Scripts made for one-hour series pilots also accepted at approximately 45 to 65 pages in length.

Email scripts Three winning screenplays will be recognized before a spotlight screening at the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville in November. Winners also receive $1,000. Visit, or call (800) 854-6233.

Second Saturday

Have you ever stayed in a 1700’s mansion, made your own jewelry, dyed yarn, been a wine critic, or listened to a real Italian play a real accordion? You can do it all Saturday on the Rappahannock County Artisan Trail.


Magnolia Vineyards and Winery: Enjoy acoustic guitarist Andrew O’Day from 2 to 5 p.m. as you relax over wine in the cozy tasting room. Open 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Flint Hill

Contemporary Color: Guided by artist Carolyn Roth, create a trio of monotypes, using the most ‘painterly’ method of printmaking techniques. Email for reservations. $40.00 materials fee. Class 1 to 4 p.m.

Griffin Tavern: Enjoy lunch or dinner, then work it off dancing to Vicki Marie’s All Stars from 8:30 to 11 p.m.


Blue Ridge Artisans: Learn yarn-dyeing basics from Jennifer Tepper Heverly and dye three skeins of yarn using three techniques: kettle dyeing, hand-painting, and speckling. Fee of $160. Must be 18 or over. Purchase tickets online Workshop 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

De’Danaan Glassworks: Design jewelry from small pieces of colored glass; learn about fusing glass from stained glass artist Patricia Brennan. Each student makes three projects of glass earrings and/or pendants. Call 540-987-8615 or email for a reservation. $30 fee. Class 1 to 3 p.m.

Ridge Line Designs: Time to check out jeweler Gina Irwin’s new one-of-a-kind designs. Large selection of jewelry for sale. Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

River District Potters: Create a colorful ceramic tile for wall or table coached by potters Doris Jones and Susan Hornbostel. Participants will make an 8 x 11 decorative tile. Ages 13 and up, all levels of experience. $30 fee. Email for reservations. Class 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wild Roots Apothecary: Enjoy a plant walk, screen-printing demo, paper marbling, kombucha demo and tasting, wild food cooking demo and more. Day ends with a foraged spring supper. Details at 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Gadino Cellars: Gadino’s estate selected Spring White Wine Special Three Pack all day long and receive a 20 percent discount on your purchase. Listen to Bill Gadino play venerable accordion tunes between 1:30 and 5 p.m. Open 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Greenfield Inn Bed and Breakfast: Stay in Georgian-style 1700’s mansion on 83 acres of beautiful land. Enjoy complimentary round-trip ride to any town of Washington restaurant and a three-course gourmet breakfast. Mention Artisan Trail for 20 percent discount off two-night stay for Second Saturday weekend.

Little Washington Winery: Winemaker Carl shares wine lore and teaches how to achieve aeration perfection and select and order wine in a restaurant. Sandwich and chocolate pairings included. Book online. $40 fee. Class 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Middle Street Gallery: Marilyn Armor’s solo exhibit opens Friday, April 13 and includes an artist’s reception Saturday 3 to 6 p.m. Her inspiration comes from the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cape Cod, and Taos. Open Fri. to Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Quievremont Winery: Meet artist Peregrine North, who has been captivated by Native American nations and tribes since childhood. North at 1 p.m. will display graphite and charcoal originals available for sale. Open: Noon to 7 p.m.

Wine Loves Chocolate: Taste eight Malbec wines and discover the similarities and differences in aromas, flavors, and food pairing ability. Fee $40. Reserve online. Class 2:30 to 4 p.m.

For more info: Click on Open Door Tour.

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