"Here comes summer! School is out oh happy day!" That is the opening line from a great oldies song sung and written by Jerry Keller. What a differences a few months makes. For this latest blog I went out to see who was around the town. If you are a regular reader, you know that I commented during winter that no matter what the weather, men were outside everywhere. The worse the weather the more men were enjoying the outdoors. Hardley a women was in sight except at Pepperberries or Martins. Well now it is warm (hot) and the women are out in force and a lot of men are hunkered down somewhere near an air conditioner and a tv set. In truth the same number of guys are probably still outside and the women have just joined us. I like it much better this way. Let's see who was out and about.
What is more summerish than mowing the lawn? This is Frank Parker and he mows lots and lots of lawns in his second job. I see him every week. He has made my lawn shine. Frank is long time citizen of Culpeper. He even graduated from Culpeper County High School.
I was driving down Belle Avenue and saw this young man photographing his car from all angles. It is an older, bright red and very sweet looking VW convertible. I had to see what this was about.
This man's name is Brandon and he is a nuculear medicine technician. He has taken a 1967 VW and retro fitted it with parts from 1953. The dash board, steering wheel, seats etc are 1953. It even has a manual choke. If you don't know what that is, call me and I will explain. At the same time the fenders and some other things are still 1967. It is kind of a hybrid. He also tricked it out with some pretty cool adaptations. For example if you look right behind the door you will see what appears to be kind of a rectangle. That my friends is a turn signal that pops out and blinks in the direction he is turning. He is justifiably proud of this car. I would have liked to have driven it around the block once just for fun. I owned a 1959 VW and then a 1972. I am pretty sure that drive around the block would have stirred up some serious memories.
This is Jan Wilkerson. She works in the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce office. Her boss and I tried to get together for the "Leaders" blog I just posted. He definitely is a community leader. He and I did not hook up, but he will be posted in the future. In the meantime I had the opportunity to meet this lady and chat with her. I think she works for the busiest man in town.
Some of these warm summer days just seem to call to the motorcycle people. On a day when the downtown streets were pretty bare I found Michael and Megan.... a father/daughter team out enjoying the day. They seemed to be having so much fun. I caught up to them at a stoplight and asked them to pull over and talk to me. They did it! He works for the Office of Homeland Security. I think they look pretty darn cool together.
I had just finished up my blog on leaders and the next day I pulled in to fill up my car with gas. This pretty lady was in the next aisle and so of course I asked to take her picture. She was fine with it. Her name is Melissa Hart and it turns out that she is the Assistant Registrar for Culpeper County Voter Registration. So here is another important government employee, but this one even looks good pumping gas!
When I was hooking up with the Culpeper County Treasurer I found two very friendly and sparkly women working in that office. They are Theresa Settle and Ginny Settle, obviously identical twins.......or not. Actually I will have to research whether or not they are even related. They were so cooperative that they made my day! Thanks ladies.
I went out to Mountain Run Lake last week with my grandchildren to feed the ducks. I was amazed at the size of the swan flock.....so beautiful. I saw this gentleman getting onto his boat and so headed over to get a shot of him. His name is Mike Farrell (no "Mash" jokes, please) and he is a "transit mechanic" which means he works on things like buses. Pleasant man.... right after I took his picture his hat blew into the water. He used a fishing pole and about 10 minutes later had the hat securely on his head. Then the Virginia Fish and Game officer came and checked his registration and his license which were in order. I think he was at the lake for a little respite and had some guy taking his picture, his hat hit the water, and a discussion with a police officer. Some nice respite.
This goes beyond cool clear to waaaayyyy coool. This gentleman is Aaron Mason and he works for Luck Stone Company. They have a quarry just a few miles east of town on the way to Fredricksburg. It is one of seventeen quarrys in Virginia that is owned by the company. It is about three hundred feet deep and a mile long. Aaron is kneeling down and brushing the dust off a dinosaur footprint! There are over four thousand of those footprints in this quarry. Some sections of rock have been hewn out and are displayed in the Smithsonian Institute. I am told that this quarry has more footprints that any other area in the world!!!!! It's right here next to the Pepper, boys and girls! The quarry has been closed to random visitors, but groups can arrange for a tour by calling the office.
I caught Sherri Schwalm heading home to her three kids after a busy day. She works at the Gannt Insurance Agency.
I don't know why it is, but when I take pictures of guys fishing, their fishing poles disappear. At least in the picture they do. You will just have to take my word for the fact that Jamie is fishing at Mountain Run Lake Park. In other words, it may appear that he is just sitting with just one pole instead of the two he had in the water, but he is productively engaged...well that is his story, he is fishing, you know. It is worth the trip to this park just to see the swans.
Wild Bunch! On Memorial Day weekend there were tons of motorcycle guys and girls in town, or at least passing through. Many of these guys looked pretty rough and many were not citizens of the Pepper, but their faces were here even if just for a short time they were Faces of Culpeper. These guys are geographically diverse but are all in one club. Some are from as far away as South Carolina.
I realize that I did a whole blog on Yowell Meadow Park, but it still is the happening place. My wife and I try to be there by 7 am to take our walk each day..... sometimes it works! I don't carry my big camera gear when I am walking, but I do keep a "point and shoot" camera with me most of the time.... just in case. Thursday morning I ran into these guys talking and laughing. I told them I was going to call the picture, "Three men and a dog." Catchey, huh? I don't know about you, but it does my heart good to see friends enjoying each other's company or friends and brothers in this case. That is John on the left, Rod in the middle, and Jay on the right. Rod and Jay are brothers. They obviously have finished their workout. Well, maybe not Jay.
What says summer more than flowers? I have been thinking for some time that I was going to stop at Meadow's Farm Nursery and see if I could find a good subject to shoot among the flowers. I finally stopped and was lucky enough to find an excellent subject for that shot. She is Shirley and she was shopping for flowers....what else?
Sometimes I just happen upon pictures and sometimes I have to hunt and hunt. The other day when it was about 98 degrees I went out to see who was braving this weather. I saw almost no one, but I went to the ice cream place and here were these two good friends sharing ice cream. Danielle is a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and works at the Culpeper Rehabilitation Center. Rick is a Marine Reservist and works and the North Anna Power facility. My opinion is that they look darn good together.
That's it for this time. If you would like to drop me a line to comment or express an opinion or to suggest blog subjects, please do.