Washington column for Sept. 27

Power lines trump pines

v By John McCaslin

One of the world’s greatest and most beloved trees is the pine tree. Its beauty and fragrance lasts all year long and adds a nice dash of green to a white winter landscape. Two such stately pine trees on Gay Street saw their life come to a swift end last week. I was turning the corner and immediately noticed the void, their beautiful evergreen branches and pine cones we’d come to collect gone with the slice of a saw blade.

I asked the four guys standing amidst the downed branches if they were going to cut down the remaining pine trees. One answered no, just the pair on the corner. He explained that the branches were hanging on the electrical wires and Rappahannock Electric said the trees needed to come down.

I told them the pine trees had been there since I was little girl, when I would walk beneath their flowing branches with my brother and sister on our way to the Old Washington School. Oh what memories!

Abdo expands

A birdie told me last week that longtime county homeowner Jim Abdo, who operates the White Moose Inn on Main Street, has a new hospitality interest in Rhode Island.

Abdo made headlines from Little Washington to Big Washington several years ago when he proposed, to the angst of several in the county, that the widely popular Red Truck Bakery come to Main Street, suggesting it would bring some life to our often sleepy town — which will become even sleepier once the post office moves out onto the highway, as just announced.

In Rhode Island, Abdo is readying his next Hotel Hive, having purchased the old Providence Journal newspaper building and former Kresge’s department store next door in downtown Providence. He is expected to spend at least $30 million dollars to renovate the two historic buildings.

Abdo opened his first Hotel Hive in Big Washington in 2016.

CCLC to the rescue

Tuesday, Sept 18, was a special day for 18 three and four-year olds in Rappahannock County — the First Step Collaboration. This new partnership between Rappahannock Public Schools and The Child Care and Learning Center began barely a month ago federal Head Start funds were pulled out of RCPS.

Quickly, a team including CCLC, RCPS, County Administrator Garrey Curry, and DSS head Jen Parker pulled together to find a way for those eligible for Head Start to attend CCLC’s high quality early childhood program. The Board of Supervisors appropriated the money so that 18 children could attend the First Step through the end of May 2019.

Every parent, grandparent, and relative continues to express enormous gratitude for all those superheroes who stepped up to help make it possible for their beloved children to attend First Step.


RappCats had the largest Catstravaganza ever, 111 paying guests plus 20 or so volunteers working the event on Friday night, Sept. 22. By Ted Pellegatta

According to Bob Kramer, RappCats had the largest Catstravaganza ever last Friday evening — 111 paying guests, plus 20 or so volunteers working the event — with all proceeds used to support RappCats’ ongoing activities.

“The weather cooperated so guests could flow in and out of the house while also enjoying a spectacular collection of Haitian art,” said hosts Beverly and John Sullivan. “In short, a very good time for a very good cause. Rappahannock volunteerism at work.”

RappCats is especially grateful to its gracious hosts, to the many sponsors and to the businesses who provided food, drink and auction items: the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, Abracadabra, Blue Door Kitchen & Inn, Candace Clough Estate Gardening, Greenfield Inn Bed & Breakfast, Kerry Mullany, Tom Mullany, Schoolhouse Nine, Stonewall Abbey Wellness and Three Blacksmiths.

RappCats, a Rappahannock based non-profit organization, rescues, cares for, and finds loving homes for needy cats and kittens.

Remember in prayer

Lets remember Martha Lou Hitt in our prayers each day. She broke her arm and hip after being bumped and knocked down by her horse last week. She had hip surgery in Culpeper Hospital and is now home recuperating. Martha Lou, I wish you speedy recovering.


Sympathy to Dorothy Moore and Louis P. Moore, Jr. on the passing of their father, Louis Printz Moore, 100, of Flint Hill. He passed away at his lifelong family home, Rock Hill Farm, on Sept. 24.

Mr. Moore was a successful farmer and orchardist his entire life. He had the best apples for making applesauce and pies. In the fall he would have apples for sale at his home. I remember taking my mother-in-law by there to get apples. He always had a smile on his face, as did his daughter, Dorothy. They made everyone who stopped by for apples feel welcome.

Mr. Moore will be laid to rest in the family cemetery on his beloved farm. A memorial service will be held at a later date to honor a life well lived. My prayers are with you both.

Stay dry and have a wonderful week.