Rappahannock News

The past is behind us. Let’s look toward the present and future

- S G Washington

Nostalgia is de ned by my online dictionary as “…a wistful desire to return to a former time in one’s life … a sentimenta­l yearning of a former place or time…” I thought about this while reading Ben Jones’ commentary in last week’s Rappahanno­ck News.

Those people he mentioned, those places like The Appetite Repair Shop, the visions of children bicycling to school in the Town of Washington, are long gone, as are the acres of orchards that used to ll our hillsides with thousands of Spring blossoms with later bountiful apple harvests (last listing is my addition to memory lane, my favorite). Some of the shops have new owners in the steady March of time. Not sure where The Appetite Repair Shop was but am sure someone will tell us. I remember eCow that was a popular gathering place, gone but replaced by a hard working local resident, Greg Williams. County and town o cials, famed lawyers of the past, are gone as death and elections have wrought the today we have.

Memories can be good, enriching us. However, nice as those were and are, isn’t it up to as many as possible to acknowledg­e the good that has come into our lives here as well? Our spacious landscapes here are the result of prior years of wonderful & skilled planning, with the addition of quite a few future looking landowners looking to preserve wide swaths through conservati­on easements. Farmers, both large and small, have tried to use land use practices to keep their businesses viable despite many and varied struggles.

I would like to concentrat­e on the new positives that continuall­y occur that bene t many. When Bob Hurley wrote about the need for transporta­tion drivers for a Rapp At Home service for Rappahanno­ck citizens in the newspaper, volunteer Mike Wenger reported success in recruiting a few new drivers from the story, a triple win: citizens in need, scarcity of drivers remedied, and showing how the local newspaper can help. And, as for Ben’s “sort of” compliment­s on Sperryvill­e, the little village has banded together to provide festivitie­s and support shops there which attract families with small children, in addition to a business wise tourist destinatio­n, as well as welcoming entry to our jewel, Shenandoah National Park, providing important outdoor. educationa­l and healthy activities.

I do share with Ben the same concern and wondering about the anger surfacing more than before throughout our community. Rather than pointing ngers, though, might it be possible to redirect conversati­ons to what’s possible and how? People get along in lots of places here, engaged in cooperativ­e activities such as what I described in Sperryvill­e, generating fun and goodwill.

Let’s support similar ideas. I remember grand Fourth of

July celebratio­ns in the Town of Washington and know some folks trying to accomplish that again. The Christmas Parade is planning to return with Santa and Mrs. renewing their prior joyful appearance­s. Rememberin­g that some people will never be pleased, I think there are many more ready to take part in a vibrant future for this beloved Rappahanno­ck County of ours.

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