Down Memory Lane for Jan. 17

March 8, 1984

Most subscribers to the Rappahannock News don’t get 17 copies each week, but most subscribers don’t use their papers in as many different ways as Bobbie Brochu at the elementary school reading lab.

The county weekly as well as the daily issue of the Star Exponent stimulate 6th and 7th grade students to debates on all manner of events, ranging from the extinction of the dinosaur to the Super Bowl defeat of the Redskins. The pupils avidly follow Rappahannock sports, supervisors races and controversial issues.

In fact, the children are encouraged to take their arguments home. Teacher Brochu says she occasionally assigns her pupils to start family dinner table discussions based on news and editorials they’ve read in class.

Brochu works with a total of 125 children who are reading below grade level or have special reading related difficulties that their regular classroom teachers have identified and asked her to help with. The newspapers in the upper level lab are simply “an additional motivational factor,” she says, which “reinforce skills from their regular reading book and classroom teacher” as well as the assortment of other books and magazines in the lab.

“This benefits so many people. When you weigh that against the little bit of damage it causes for a few, it seems to me we have no choice but to make an exception,” said Supervisor Clarence Baldwin, as the Rappahannock board voted unanimously to approve a special exception allowing Amissville’s ballfields and eight acres to be deeded to the village’s Ruritan Club.

The property would be deeded as a gift to the Ruritans for the benefit of area youth, said Mrs. Luther Stuart, who noted that deed restrictions and covenants will require that the club fence the fields, keep them clean and prevent loitering, and maintain the roadway leading to the fields.

Feb. 15, 1990

Once again, the old toll house on U.S. 211 is abustle with merchant activity.

An interest in firearms is in the blood of the McCoy family. John, his brother, Downing and their father Quentin needed little encouragement from a relative to begin a shop.

Though the three began the business, Downing found obligations elsewhere more demanding and withdrew from the business, leaving John and his father to man the shop.

Testing the ground before making the jump, the two opened their door just part-time.

Guns, old and new, are part of the McCoy family’s heritage. Selling them is something new for both men.

“The love of guns has been in our family for three generations,” Quentin McCoy said, explaining that his father before him was a tradesman, lover and owner of guns, in a day when guns were less regulated and more of a necessity to a man.

“This is the first time we’ve had a store,” he said, leaning his feet against the wood stove, which spreads warmth and atmosphere into the tiny room, its walls measured with gun barrels and bows. Glass cases keep handguns dust free and hunting supplies stand waiting for purchase in each corner.

“It’s part of us,” John McCoy said of the family’s interest in guns. “My grandfather gave me my first gun when I was five-years old.”

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