The Rapp for Dec. 6

Close call on 522

Cliff Mumm Courtesy photo

Should anybody need reminding, Rappahannock Fire & Rescue volunteers risk their lives day in and day out to protect county residents.

That said, we are happy to report there were no injuries last Wednesday when a Sperryville Volunteer Rescue Squad ambulance, its siren blaring as it rolled south on Route 522 between Woodville and Scrabble, collided with a vehicle pulling out of Fox Creek Lane.

The vehicle “was totaled,” its driver told this newspaper, while the ambulance had “considerable” damage, according to a Sperryville volunteer.

Young arrivals

Not one but two bear cubs are presently hanging around the town of Washington, one of the pair spotted during the lunch hour on Tuesday happily munching on fallen apples near the corner of Warren Avenue and Gay Street before disappearing over the Middle Street Gallery fence.

There’s been no sign of the cubs’ mother, according to a maintenance worker at the Inn at Little Washington. A story on orphan cubs in Virginia appears on page A2.

Coping with chaos

Rappahannock resident Cliff Mumm, one of the world’s foremost disaster rebuilding experts, will be the Second Friday speaker Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. at the Rappahannock County Library.

Mumm was in charge of the World Trade Center cleanup after 9/11, rebuilding Iraq after the Gulf War, and coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, all immense and risky undertakings. In Iraq, following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, 52 people working for Mumm were killed.

He spent three decades as a top official of the engineering giant Bechtel, specializing in mega-projects around the globe: the subway in London with the Olympic games looming, the Channel Tunnel linking England and France, and the aftermaths of natural and manmade disasters.

“I’m not that interested in managing a company,” Mumm once told an interviewer. “What I just love is the mess and complexity that comes with big projects.”

Mumm is described as a master storyteller who has coped up close with chaos. Come hear his behind-the-scenes tales of life in the breakdown lane. His talk is free, and all are welcome.

Dress code: Ugly

Now that the annual Christmas parade has finished winding its way through Little Washington we can look forward to the early evening visit by Santa Claus to the Laurel Mills Store in Castleton on Saturday, Dec. 15th, from 5 to 7 p.m.

“Please come and have some hot chocolate with us,” invites proprietor Danny Hitt. “You are encouraged to wear your ugliest Christmas sweater.”

McCarthy bows out

Former Rappahannock County Administrator John McCarthy has reportedly taken his name out of consideration to become the next Warrenton town manager, citing his busy work schedule that includes the Piedmont Environmental Council.

Which leaves former Warrenton Interim Town Manager Cole Hendrix and former Manassas City Manager Larry Hughes as potential candidates for the job.

Ethyr ‘exemplary’

Courtesy image

It is her first-ever book, the title “Ethyr” — a pre-teen adventure story that inspires gamers to read — and wouldn’t you know Amissville author M.P. Follin has won a 2018 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.

Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The awards recognize and reward the best of these books and bring them to the attention of parents, booksellers, librarians — and to children themselves.

In Follin’s novel for pre-teens, gaming leaps off the screen and onto the page when two kids, Skyler Beam and Ellie Claire Martin, use gaming powers to thwart a mysterious threat to Skyler’s life. With high stakes, fast adventure, and imaginative world-building, gaming fans love the hunt, and parents love noses in books instead of eyes on screens.

“Kids get tired of hearing, ‘Turn that thing off!’” says Follin. “But tearing children away from electronic devices is an ongoing battle for many parents. Ethyr is an edge-of-your-seat story about a boy, a girl, and a video game — which makes everybody happy.”

Follin provides marketing, communications, and writing services to companies in multiple industries. She writes from her Rappahannock home.

Old Rag training

Old Rag Master Naturalists will offer a basic training class (limited to 15) starting in March 2019 and running for 14 weeks. Master Naturalists work on citizen science projects, educational outreach to the community and help with conservation of natural resources and public lands. The Old Rag chapter is based in the Piedmont area.

Applications will be accepted starting now until Dec. 15, so don’t delay!

If you are interested visit the website: Click on the “Become a Master Naturalist” page. There you will find more information regarding the training classes and an application form. Once completed the application should be emailed to:

If you prefer you can also send it via the post to: Roberta Jalbert, 481 Malvern Drive, Madison, VA 22727 Phone # 540-407-0552. The class will be held at the VFW in Culpeper on Route 522. Cost for the classes, field trips and materials will be $170 payable by check at the first class.

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