Thursday, February 4, 2010

Faces of Culpeper .... People of the "Pepper" by Rich Crowley

My wife and I chose to retire in Culpeper, VA. It is a small town that is nestled near the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia about 75 miles south and west from Washington DC. Originally natives of Idaho, we moved to Northern Virginia in 1970 where I worked in the Fairfax County Public School system in administration until October of 2009. For 30+ years I had a wedding and portrait photography business as my second occupation. Now I am through with all commercial photography and have picked up my camera again to shoot only things that are of interest to me.
The people of Culpeper are diverse and unique. This town is rich in both Revolutionary and Civil War history. Culpeper experienced a growth boom in the first part of the last decade, which like in many other areas in the country, turned to bust. Now things are slowly starting to come back. The boom introduced to the area a variety of people, of which I am one, from diverse locations and backgrounds. Like Boise, Idaho which is my home town, Culpeper is a town where people are friendly and smile and speak to you on the street. The old timers here all know each other. It is pretty fun! We are enjoying the culture and the people. It is a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll. We have found that the folks here are good people, pretty conservative and have rock solid values.

On my first photographic trip out for this blog I had some interesting experiences. I met one of my son's senior law partners whom I had never met before. We made the connection after the photo. And.....I just had to take a shot of the young man and his friend by his spotless pickup in the Farm Home Center parking lot. It was February 11th and everyone's car was covered with snow and road debris, but his vehicle could have just come off the showroom floor. You know a young man has two first loves in his life and only one is a woman. You can tell which one owns the truck from the look on his face. Then I ran into an old friend from Fairfax City and his sons; found interesting people at the Post Office, the bank and other work places; and finally a cute young mom in a baseball hat at Martins with three children who were impossibly well behaved. It was a great start.
This blog is a work in progress. The pictures are of people who live in the town I affectionately call, "The Pepper." I hope that some day these photos will number in the hundreds. If a guy with a Boise State Broncos hat asks to take your picture....just say's me!

Charlie , an important attorney in "the Pepper." He is a partner in Davies Barrell Will Lewellyn and Edwards PLC.

This man fixed my car and took the time to do it right. He owns A-1 Automotive.

It seems that everyone knows this happy face

CJ and his boys. He is an old friend and owns the ice

cream stand near the library.

This lady helped me get a snow shovel at Farm Home Center when they were hard to find.

These folks do great framing work! Their business is Village Frameworks & Gallery.

My new friend at 7-11

Sweet woman at the Post Office.


  1. Hi Mr. Crowley! Matt linked to your blog on facebook, and I had to check it out! Hope all is well with you!

    Sarah McElveen

  2. Looks like you are really enjoying retirement! Great pictures! I love the faces of Culpeper, but I really love the links to the pictures of the "kids" cute!

  3. Great blog on Culpeper! We moved here in 2006 from Centreville. Folks may prefer it the way it was, but they still welcome us warmly and have enabled us to become real members of the community. Looking forward to seeing more pics of our favorite home town.