Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Faces of Culpeper ...... Summer in the Pepper

                                               Hot town summer in the city
                                               Back of my neck gettin dirty and gritty
                                               Been down, isn't it a pity
                                               Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city
                                               Lovin Spoonful

  My Granddaughter and I beating the heat with
 a Tropical Smoothie

   It has been beastly hot so far this summer here in the Pepper.  We have had record highs and I don't think anyone has thought it has been much fun.  I decided that since I spent time out talking to people when it was freezing last winter, that it would be interesting to go out in the community to see what some of the people do to avoid the heat.  Hmmmm that presented a problem...if people are avoiding the heat then they are not out where I can see them doing it.  Did that make sense? Still  I moved bravely on.   I was out there with my camera mostly alone on the really hot days.  So I looked inside as well as outside to see what was cooking (no pun intended).   Here is how it went:

I had given up on finding even a single person out and about on one of the 98 degree days and  so headed over to UPS to mail a package.  As I drove past Starbucks a lady was lounging on the chairs out in front.  It was 98 degrees mind you and she was enjoying life as though it was 70!  I had to find out about this person who was so comfortable in the heat.  She is Cindy Wenzel and she has been a trainer at Golds Gym for the last three years.  She has done lots and lots in the world of physical fitness from teaching gymnastics to teaching taekwondo to being a massage therapist and on and on.  She is very interesting AND she did not think it was all that hot.   Oh, did I mention that she is a graduate of Culpeper County High School and so a genuine native?

Reassured that people were outside I headed down the road and found Rose and Mark at the gas station where they were just making sure that all the fluids were proper in that big ol red Dodge pickup of his.  They are brother and sister, by the way.

I decided I would wait until early in the next morning to see who was out. It seemed that  one way people were avoiding the heat was by doing what they needed or wanted early in the day before the real heat hit.  Sure enough here was Wendy, at the park by 7 am to get her run in.

And Martin doing sit ups for crying out loud!!!  Tummy looks good, though.  He has worked at Masco Cabinets for the last 20 years. 


A little later I found Steve standing in the shade making calls on his cell phone.  I commented on the scooter or bike or whatever and he told me his friends had just given it to him for his birthday.  I, on the other hand, am lucky if I get a card or even an email on my birthday. 

I have made note in this blog before about how people feel about their dogs in this town.....possibly a tad over the edge in some cases.  Guess what I found?  When it gets hot the groomers at Pet Smart get busy.  No one wants their dog to get too hot so .....off with their hair!  Here are Julia and Mary making these dogs comfortable.  These two have such great personalities that they could even work for a dentist, but they are lovin what they do.

Nothing to do with the heat but this pretty girl and her dog were doing some serious shopping and I could not resist shooting these two great faces. Adriana is holding her dog, Daisey.

I guess I better admit it right now.....I am a 7-11 junkie.  I usually make my way there every day for a Big Gulp and sometimes a lottery ticket.   On hot days I might go two or three times.  Sooooo, with that as my frame of reference, I was absolutely sure that on these 98+ days there must be a line in front of the soft drink fountain and the Slurpee machine at 7-11.  I will admit that I only went three times (and each time got a Big Gulp for myself), but no one, zzzeeeeeroo, nada, peeps were getting drinks or Slurpees.  What is wrong with you people?   So the third trip I decided to hang around until someone showed up to get said drinks.  I stood around for twenty minutes with my camera and Big Gulp waiting....... no stalking, by the soda machine.  I was seriously starting to get strange looks. I told the clerk I was giving up.  Just as I turned my head to talk to her, there was a rush on the Big Gulp machine....well two people came but that constituted a rush in my book. 

This is Steve who works for Republic Services.  This guy is a lot faster than he looks. He slipped in, got a drink and was over to the counter before I realized that he was just who I was waiting for and he had a drink in his hand.

This is Melissa!!!!  Yeah!!!! Getting a Big Gulp! Whoopee!!  I knew she was out there somewhere....I just had to wait for her.  She is a good soul.  She is a home care provider and works for the Rappahanock Service Board. 

I pondered where else people might be on a scorcher?   I had the answer.... Dairy Queen having ice cream.  I zipped over there and sure enough there were people at four of the tables.  However, not a drop of ice cream had been ordered.  Well, it was the lunch hour and there were lots of hamburgers and fries.  I  knew that people really came in droves at night for ice cream but I left for a few minutes and came right back to find Jojuan White, who works for the state police department, proving me right once again!  People do get Dairy Queen to cool down.  As you can tell she was a great sport.

On Saturday I checked back downtown and discovered these three old timers just outside the post office sitting in the shade where it was a bit cooler.  The two on the right say they have been friends for forty years. All three are Culpeper natives.   Shhhhh, we are going to ignore the sign or at least they are.

I have wanted to go into Janal Leather ever since I moved here.  Well, this was my opportunity.  This is Janice Kraus the owner of the well air conditioned store.  They have lots of cool stuff like cowboy boots and jackets etc. 

I also went to the famous Farmers' Market right across from the depot.  Here is Stacy Geppert and her girls talking with Al who has a goat dairy.  He has quite a variety of cheeses for sale.  Stacy says they are wonderful.....

Well.....seems that everyone was handling the heat in their own way, but mostly by staying inside  and/or avoiding the serious heat.   However, in addition to the heat refugees,  I found a very neat man I want you to see and meet.  The other day I was driving on 29 right by McDonald's when a big car pulled up next to me.  I glanced over and the driver waved which is a bit unusual.  I waved back and then took a moment to look at his car.  WOW! It was a 1983 Cadillac!  That is back when a Cadillac was a Cadillac.  This gentleman has taken such great care of this car that I would dare say that he has taken loving care of the car.  I was just going to the middle of town, but I drove clear over near Merchants Tire just to jockey to be next to him at the stop light and ask him to pull over for a picture.  What a sweet guy he is.  He is:  Reverend Marvin E. Jackson, Sr.  and he is a Baptist minister.  He represents his position well.  It was my honor to meet him.



The Culpeper Times will be running one of the pictures from my blog and my comments every week.  We are calling it,  Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper.  Be sure to look for it.  This lady arranged for our association.  Her name is Anita Sherman and she is very cool.  She is the editor of the Culpeper Times. 

Well that is it for this time.  Be sure to send comments, thoughts, questions, suggestion etc. to me at:

PS  If a picture of you appears in my blog and you would like a copy be sure to contact me at the email above and I will send it to you absolutely free.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the regular spot in the paper. Way to go!