Rappahannock News - - OBITUARIES • WASHINGTON - JAN CLATTERBUC­K [email protected]­news.com; 675-3338

Boun­ti­ful (un­planted) gourd har­vest

At 96 years old, for­mer Rap­pa­han­nock News ed­i­tor Sarah Latham nor­mally leaves gar­den­ing to oth­ers. She gets her ex­er­cise pick­ing up the small branches and sticks in the fall from trees in her Amissville yard. She be­came fas­ci­nated this sum­mer, how­ever, by a sur­prise plant that sprouted in her com­post pile. It soon pro­ceeded to take over a cor­ner of the yard, with 25 to 40 foot vines in all di­rec­tions.

What on earth was it?

Wouldn’t you know the spread­ing vines even­tu­ally yielded more than 170 gourds, surely mak­ing Sarah the undis­puted if not un­in­tended Rap­pa­han­nock County cham­pion of gourd grow­ers.

Sarah started work­ing for the Rap­pa­han­nock News in Au­gust 1956. She stayed about twenty-five years She did not start as ed­i­tor, of course, in­stead help­ing gather news and sell­ing ad­ver­tis­ing. But it wasn’t long be­fore she be­came ed­i­tor. She did ev­ery­thing — you name it she did it — wear­ing many as­sorted hats. Sarah snapped pho­tos, an­swered phone calls, wrote sto­ries, set type on the lino­type ma­chine, trav­eled to War­ren­ton, Culpeper and Front Royal to so­licit ad­ver­tis­ing, ran the press, pack­aged pa­pers for mail­ing, de­liv­ered pa­pers to post of­fices, han­dled the ac­count­ing, sent out the bills. She loved the job and did it well.

Of course, she had her helpers — usu­ally there was a staff of 4. At one point, it was Sarah, Mr. Many, Emily Miller and Louie Miller, who was in high school. She would usu­ally have a high school stu­dent work­ing there and learn­ing the trade. Some­times she had a grad­u­ate from Gal­laudet Univer­sity in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., on the staff.

Sarah was one amaz­ing lady that kept the news flow­ing in our com­mu­nity. Thank you Sarah for you ded­i­cated long hours you gave to our news­pa­per. And en­joy the gourds.


An­nie: How about my ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign? Let’s plas­ter these pho­to­graphs of our scarf-wear­ing friends all over Vogue, Cos­mopoli­tan and Van­ity Fair. Char­i­ties will be helped be­cause the scarves will fly off the shelves.

Tom: Are you nuts? Both the Rap­pa­han­nock News and the Trin­ity Times are help­ing to pro­mote the scarves. It’s a well-known fact that they have a wider cir­cu­la­tion than those other rags. The Inn at Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton is let­ting us sell scarves at their Sun­day Farm­ers Mar­kets, and Rare Finds has them. We have the Trin­ity House Tour com­ing up dur­ing the week­end of Oc­to­ber 2122. We are pro­mot­ing on Face­book, Trin­ity web­site (http://www.trin­wash. org?RAPPAHANNO­CKSCARF/), and friends are help­ing to spread the word. Our out­lets are far trendier than Vogue, Cosmo, which are all go­ing down the tubes. To find out more, email: [email protected]

An­nie: Let’s still use our friends, but in the worl­drenowned Rapp News and Trin­ity Times…. By the way, aren’t you buy­ing me a scarf for Christ­mas?

Tom: No.


The RAAC Com­mu­nity The­atre pre­sented a staged read­ing of Ge­orge Or­well’s clas­sic dystopian fa­ble “An­i­mal Farm” for three per­for­mances last week­end. Nel­son Bond adapted Or­well’s novella into a script for seven ac­tors who cre­ated over 15 char­ac­ters, in­clud­ing pigs, horses, goats, birds, and sheep.

The the­atre’s artis­tic di­rec­tor Patty Hardee ex­plained that in a staged read­ing the ac­tors are seated on a bare stage with their scripts be­fore them on mu­sic stands. The ac­tors use their voices, fa­cial ex­pres­sions, ges­tures, and in­ter­ac­tions with each other to cre­ate the story and char­ac­ters.

The story takes place on Mr. Jones’ Manor Farm where a group of ex­ploited farm an­i­mals run off Jones and seek to build the newly named “An­i­mal Farm” into a kind of Utopia — Utopia that is un­til power strug­gles arise in the barn­yard.

Mike Ma­honey, who di­rected Ar­ca­dia ear­lier this year, was the main nar­ra­tor. Scott McMur­tray, Carolyn Thorn­ton, John Lesin­ski, and Celia Coo­ley — all vet­er­ans of RAAC pro­duc­tions — were joined by tal­ented new­com­ers, Karl Brotz­man and Peggy Emm­ling.

Patty di­rected the play and says she looks for­ward to work­ing with all of these ac­tors again. In fact, she has al­ready cast many of them in the the­atre’s up­com­ing hol­i­day pro­duc­tion of St. Ge­orge and the Dragon at Christ­mas­tide.


If you are head­ing to The Inn at Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton spe­cial mar­ket on Sun­day, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you will find a lot go­ing on, in par­tic­u­lar the Inn will be hav­ing a Septem­ber Gift Bas­ket give­away. Con­tes­tants must be present for the noon draw­ing to be el­i­gi­ble to win.

The bas­ket in­cludes a 6-pack of cook­ies, house­made gra­nola, rhubarb blush, cock­tail syrup, peach jam and kosher dill pick­les. Sounds de­li­cious!

Also sam­ple from the Par­adise Springs Win­ery, Rap­pa­han­nock Oys­ter Com­pany, and there will be the usual good old Blue­grass mu­sic and BBQ. I am sure you won’t be dis­ap­pointed.


RappCats is kick­ing off its an­nual Cause for Paws raf­fle at the 2017 Rap­pa­han­nock County Farm Tour and Fes­ti­val, Sept. 23 and 24. Vol­un­teers will be at Happy Henz in Rock Mills (150 Henze Lane). The prize is a ro­man­tic pack­age for two, in­clud­ing din­ner at The Inn at Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton and a one-night stay at the lux­u­ri­ous White Moose Inn.

Tickets are still only $5, or 5 for $20. RappCats will sell only 500 tickets, so the odds are very good. The pro­ceeds ben­e­fit a good cause. All pro­ceeds will be used to spay/neuter Rap­pa­han­nock County cats. RappCats uses the funds mainly for home­less cats. Also, funds are used to spay/neuter the pet cats of lo­cal fam­i­lies who can­not af­ford to do so.

Af­ter this week­end’s county farm tour, RappCats will sell tickets through its web­site (www.rappcats. org) us­ing PayPal. Tickets will also be avail­able at the RappCats Adop­tion Cen­ter and from RappCats vol­un­teers. Michelle and Gary Schwartz, for­merly of Her­itage House B&B, cre­ated the Cause for Paws raf­fle in 2006. Toby, their res­cued pet cat and guest fa­vorite, was hit by a car on Main Street.

“Know­ing that there were kind peo­ple in the county who res­cued cats but couldn’t af­ford to spay or neuter them,” Gary says, “we cre­ated a fund to help.” They have raised ap­prox­i­mately $20,000 in the eleven raf­fles held since 2006.

It has meant a lot for Michelle and Gary to help other cats through the raf­fle. “If ev­ery­one spays and neuters their cats, it will help to re­duce the un­wanted cat pop­u­la­tion in the county,” says Michelle. “Even if you are not a cat lover, please buy a raf­fle ticket and help us con­trol the cat pop­u­la­tion. It will make your dog and the county’s song­birds very happy!”

RappCats is a non­profit group that de­pends on vol­un­teers and pri­vate do­na­tions. RappCats has the only state ap­proved cat shel­ter in the county. It re­ceives no pub­lic funds. For more in­for­ma­tion, call RappCats at 540-987- 6050 or email [email protected]


Sarah Latham sits among her boun­ti­ful and un­ex­pected har­vest of gourds.


Rap­pa­han­nock News mas­cot Luna was awak­ened from a nap to model this silk scarf adapted from a paint­ing by artist Ruthie Wind­sorMann.

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