Clark Hollow Ramblings: I think that I shall never see . . .

I thought when that long-forgotten survey by the Foothills brigade was done I had seen the beginning of the end. No matter what was said in the survey, the purveyors interpreted it to mean what they wanted it to mean. Then, the talk about a bike path, and I thought to myself it couldn’t possibly get any worse. It is still a ridiculous idea that the majority of the people in this county do not want. But it has been overshadowed by even more bizarre happenings.

Picture this: The other day I am riding down a beautiful country lane, rather bucolic, shaded by a few maples and oaks and some dying ash trees. I come upon an open field, and there someone has erected, on rather garish white PVC pipe, a picture of a country lane. Then I recalled a piece I had read in the paper about a grant being given to a photojournalist from Barcelona, Spain, to take pictures of Rappahannock County and put them up around the county so . . . what? . . . so we would know what Rappahannock County is all about?

What is happening to us? I mean no offense to the photojournalist, I am sure he is quite talented and a fine fellow. But who needs a picture of a shady lane erected alongside the road, that is, itself, a shady lane? We are losing our common sense. Why do we want to look at a picture of a tree, when the tree is standing right there? Now, Joyce Kilmer was talking about poems when he wrote, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” But my version of that is I don’t think I will ever see a picture of a tree as lovely as the tree. People, the tree is right there. Look at it. Who wants to look at a picture when the real thing is right there? I repeat, we have lost our common sense.

A month or two ago I was out in Sperryville to get my hair trimmed, as I was getting pretty shaggy. On the way back from the barbershop, I noticed a lovely, quite creative and artistic sign that said, “Welcome to Sperryville.” I thought to myself that it was a nice touch. I have since learned that the mural or sign was painted by a fellow who was opening a place of business in Sperryville. Please note, the sign did not advertise his business. It simply welcomed passersby to Sperryville, in a very nice way.

Then I heard there were, of all things, complaints about the painting and questions as to whether the painter had received a permit. So, answer this riddle for me. If the fellow who painted the welcome sign had to have a permit to put his artwork on the side of his building, what kind of permission and permits did the fellow who put up his photos all over Rappahannock County have to go through to put up his artwork? I am sure it must have been approved by the Planning Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Board of Supervisors, right? You can’t tell one person they can’t paint a picture on their own building and then tell somebody else they can plaster theirs all over the county. Right?

But perhaps I just don’t understand the workings of our county government, and I realize the use of “workings” and “our county government” in the same sentence may be oxymoronic. But, just saying.

I feel almost as if I dozed off and awoke in the middle of a parade. Leading that parade is a buck-naked fellow, who happens to have a crown on his head, as he is the king of this area where the parade is taking place. You do remember the story of the king’s new clothes, do you not? Are we all going stark raving mad? We have to have pictures of Rappahannock County taken and placed all around the county so we will know what Rappahannock County is all about? It must be a dream. Or, perhaps, a nightmare.

Oh, well. I guess I will just go grease up the old Schwinn 3-speed and pump up the tires and wait for The Folly Expressway to open. That’s “bike path” to you. See you there.

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 154 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.