Down Memory Lane for Oct. 4

Dec. 22, 1966

On cold and snowy winter days in Rappahannock one may find Mrs. Janie Beahm snug in her log home nestled against the Blue Ridge in Keyser Hollow, close to the Park line, busily sorting, washing and preparing wool pieces for hand braided rugs. A favorite past time of Mrs. Beahm’s, though she has only been doing this handwork for about eight or ten years, her products have traveled to many parts of the world.

Mrs. Beahm has made at least one 8×10 braided rug every year since she became interested in doing this work, and in addition has made many smaller ones. Four of her large rugs went to Italy with a family in the service. The last one, just finished the past summer, went to Michigan.

Friends save wool pieces and garments for her and she spends the winter preparing her wool strips then starts the rug, but finishes them in the summer when she can work outside on the lawn where there is more space. She says the most important thing is to keep the rug flat to avoid buckling and curling, for I have seen some people make them and they look like dish pans they are so curled up.

Investigation by Rappahannock Deputy Sheriff John Walker Jenkins of a breaking and entering led to the apprehension of a West Virginia trio on similar charges in a neighboring county.

Deputy Jenkins was investigating the theft of western tack from the farm of E.M. Johnson near Amissville. He alerted auction houses in the surrounding area to be on the lookout for suspicious characters trying to sell such items as saddles, bridles, etc.

May 4, 1978

On a summer afternoon in 1969, Greg Bright celebrated Christmas in August by tossing a glass bottle with a message sealed inside into the Thornton River at Sperryville. Nine Years and 100 miles later, Greg’s message reached its destination.

Richard C. Payne, a procurement official with the U.S. Navy Center at Dahlgren, was walking along the banks of the Rappahannock at Port Royal two weeks ago when he spotted a small glass bottle half hidden in driftwood and marsh grass.

Payne said he’d hoped to find a check for $1 million inside so he could quit work and retire. “I Knew the thing had a message in it. My hands were wet and I was so anxious to get it out. I broke the bottle.”

But instead of a check, the shattered bottle held a faded blue Christmas card that told the story of Christ’s birth in a clear typewritten message. “His mother knew that Jesus would grow up to do wonderful things. People who saw the baby knew he had been sent from God,” it read.

Payne took the message home to his family and they contacted Greg Bright, who’d signed the short note nine years before.

When Greg Bright was seven years old and a Sunbeam in Mary Clarke’s Baptist youth organization, he sent a message in a bottle down the Thornton River. Greg met with his old Sunday school teacher this week after the bottle was finally found on the Rappahannock River.

Rappahannock County now has a bus service. It’s not Greyhound or Trailways, but Ron Wilson’s shuttle service promises to provide cheap, reliable transportation to Culpeper and Front Royal for those who don’t have a car to drive for grocery shopping and doctor appointments.

After living in Rappahannock for five years, Ron recognized the need for some type of public transportation. With his six passenger van, he hopes to be able to at least partially fill the need. He began with transporting clients for the Welfare and Health Departments on a contractual basis and now plans to expand with regularly scheduled runs to Culpeper on Fridays and Front Royal on Saturdays.

Wilson has a chauffeur’s license and the necessary insurance coverage, both prerequisites for the license he obtained from the State Corporation Commission to run a shuttle service.