Down Memory Lane for May 3

Dec. 6, 1990

Jennifer McNear is midway through her first year as a West Point cadet. It has not been an easy year, but she does not regret her decision to go there. Her grandfather was a career Army officer, and her father went to West Point and spent ten years in the Army Corps of Engineers.

But Jenny didn’t plan to go into the Army or go to West Point until her junior year in high school at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania when she started looking into colleges. “I was really impressed by the standards and facilities there,” she said.

Jenny spent the summer between her junior and senior years on a coast to coast bicycle trip. She was in a group of 62, and she was one of the youngest in the group. “They were mostly college kids,” she said, and she got a really strong feeling for the scope of the country she is planning to serve during that trip.

During her senior year she applied to West Point. She had just found out that Seventh District Congressman D. French Slaughter Jr., planned to nominate her for appointment when a head injury during a skiing accident landed her in the University of Virginia hospital in a coma.

She was in the hospital for several weeks, followed by months of physical therapy. She was able to return to high school and complete only her English course but she graduated. After talking with her parents and academic advisers, she withdrew her application to West Point.

The position of Director of Social Services for Rappahannock County, currently held by Beverly Bowen, will be eliminated under a proposed state consolidation plan.

A letter to County Administrator John McCarthy from Howard Cullum, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, stated that the state will not force localities to consolidate, but will not allow state or federal monies to be used to reimburse localities for salaries for administrative positions unless the localities have at least one and a half percent of the total state easeload.

Rappahannock is exploring the possibility of consolidating its Social Services department with Culpeper, Mr. McCarthy said.

Under the proposed plan, the local office will remain open, and local eligibility and caseworker positions will not be affected, Mr. Cullum’s letter states. The state expects to save $2 million from the administrative consolidation.

Feb. 4, 1998

John and Libby Byam became the new owners of the Foster-Harris House when they bought the property from Phyllis Marriott in December. “We enjoy being home and sharing our home with others,” said Libby.

Innkeeping is a new career for the Byams. They both said they were ready for career changes when they sold their West Virginia home. Byam, trained as a mechanical engineer, retired early from the Department of Energy where he traveled internationally developing new technologies to find uses for coal. Libby worked as an interior designer.

They made the decision to put their home on the market in July and eight days later it was sold. At that point they weren’t sure if their move would be to the Philippines, a possibility resulting from Byam’s consulting business, or if it would be the beginning of innkeeping.

“People couldn’t believe that we were moving after 20 years in Morgantown and we didn’t know where we were going,” added Libby Byam.

Linda Kalassay and Amanda Holt opened a shop in Flint Hill in October called “Love in Bloom” which unfortunately did not. They plan to close at the end of February.

Although some items, like the European glass ornaments did exceptionally well, they have not had enough business at their present location at 714 Zachary Taylor HIghway to continue.

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