Monday, October 29, 2012

Soccer and Air Shows in Culpeper

  Soccer and Air Fest....Fall in Culpeper

Time really seems to be slipping away from me this year.  After a summer filled with family from Fresno, new grand babies, the beach, surgeries, 50th class reunions and too much heat....fall has finally arrived in all of its beauty.  It is my favorite time of the year and I am trying to enjoy each and every moment of it.  So far, so good!  Don't you just love the cool nights?
Along with fall comes the main soccer season for the little ones.  My granddaughter at age 5 is participating for her second season and is really making progress.  In addition to that, my son invited us to go to the Air Show with him.  I have lived here for five years and never once made it.  What a  treat!
Let's get on with pictures and comments about people I have met at these two places. 
I am sure that as my grand kids get older and play more, I will have lots more comments about soccer but for now I will be a bit brief.    One of the things that impresses me about the Pepper is the Sports Complex that is next to Eastern View High School.  Coming here from Northern Va and with three sons, all of whom played soccer, I am pretty familiar with soccer fields.  These are just the best.  What a perk for the citizens of this community.

As I was walking to Lottie's (my granddaughter) game I saw this family walking my way.  The dad was carrying a bag of soccer balls and so I knew that he wasn't just another father.....he was a coach.  When I asked if I could take a picture of the Capellini family, they were most agreeable. In fact the two oldest boys who had just had their team pictures taken the week before dropped right into the accepted soccer team pose.  It was really cute!  The youngest has a ways to go before he gets that pose down, but the parents looked great and they were as pleasant as they look.  Jeff Capellini is a civilian with the Marines and Cara is a speech clinician with the Culpeper County School system.  If you have read my blogs at all, you know that I worked in public education for 42 years.  I admire the people who are dedicated to the young people and so my hat is off to her.  Their three boys' names are: Braden, Baylor and Beckett.  I think those are fun names!
While at Lottie's game I noticed this guy sitting on a bag of soccer balls, but not really sitting near any of the fields.  In fact he was sitting a ways away from two fields, but right where he could watch both of them.  He had this big grin on his faces as his head moved from one field to another.  I had to meet this guy, but first I shot his picture.  As we talked I found out that he is Roy Flores and he that did not have a child on either field.   He  told me that he is married and has "three beautiful daughters" but none of them were on these teams.  It turns out that he is what he calls, "sort of a league official."  He oversees the U5 and U6 groups.  Last December I featured Hannah and Mark a young couple who had moved here so that Mark could organize and supervise the soccer programs.  Well.....Mark and Roy work together.
I love this picture!   There are a lot of interesting men in Culpeper.  One day I hope to do a series that truly is just faces of those men.  It is hard enough to approach people and ask if I can take their picture....I think it would be much harder to say, "I think you have an interesting face, can I take a picture of it?"  I suspect they would want to know why their face is interesting and very often it is because it reflects a life hard lived.  This man, however has an interesting face because of the scarf, the shades, the beard.....AND the really quick smile.  In talking to him I felt like he is a bit of a character and totally his own man. He seemed like he would be fun to hang out with.   I feel fortunate when I run into a true character because I believe that they are the people who enrich our lives.  We talked and joked a bit, but I really did not learn much about him.  He is Chas...his wife is Cindy... he has a granddaughter who plays soccer and he has lived here since 2007.  He is retired from the Air Force.  I can just see him with Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters or even better yet.....I can see him in the next "Expendables" movie.  I am going to be looking for him.

I get surprised every once in a while by the quality of some particular event here in Culpeper.  One of the events that really impressed me recently was the Air Show last Saturday.  First, I have to comment on the size of the show.  I was not expecting anything even approaching the depth and breadth of this event.  Second, it was so  very well done.  Culpeper should be proud.  I have lived here for five years now and every year I would think that maybe I should "drop in" at the air show one of these times.  Well, last Saturday my son invited Andrea and me to go with him and the grand kids to the Air Show and so we went.  Man, we were so pleasantly surprised!!!!

The first thing to meet my eyes once we got past the car show was all of the planes that were lined up so that we could walk by an examine them.  This picture is just a drop in the proverbial bucket of the number of planes on display.  They were so interesting and I had a great time looking at them.

We had not even walked all of the way in when we heard a very large explosion and saw a huge fireball leap up from the runway.  This is the smoke from the explosion.  Most of the crowd began running toward the runway and everyone was very concerned.  However, when I got to where I could get a good look I noticed that the fire engines on the runway had not moved.  None-the-less I was concerned and quickly read the article in the Star Exponent (all the Crowleys call it the "Culpaper") Sunday morning until I noticed that they had explosives that they used to simulate bombing and other explosions.
This is the first family that grabbed my attention just inside the gate.  I loved her hat and outfit and his sweater and the shades etc and had to shoot them.  They are Eden and Brian Coltrane and their son Dashel.  In the 60s I would note that they were "very mod."  Now I will just say that they were very cool!
These guys were checking out this plane.... actually they were just standing by the plane chatting.  I thought she had a familiar face and when she told me who she is I was a bit embarrassed that I had not recognized her.  After all she had just been on the front page of the Star Exponent.  In front with the dogs are Greg and Megan Frederick....she is running for Commonwealth Attorney.  With them are friends Bill and Lida Anderson.  Greg said that Bill is "The World's Greatest Custom Builder."
The funnel cakes always seem to be a big hit wherever they are.  I did not get the entire line here, but people were happily waiting in line.
One of the best things about taking my camera to the events around Culpeper is that I always end up meeting special people.  Here are Erick, Candice, Kayden, Karston and Kalenga.  Candice grew up in the Pepper and works at the hospital.  Eric has been here 12 years and has a ministry.  His church is called, "His Village."
Lots of people and lots of families.  Right up near the planes it was very crowded.  The same was true, not too surprisingly near the food vendors. 

I did not get names here, but it is obvious that these guys enjoy their jobs.  These are two friendly deputies who have stopped to chat with a young man.  Check the smiles.  This is a friendly conversation and after I took the picture the deputy on the left waved.
More of the crowd!
This group caught my eye....well first the tank caught my eye.  Pretty cool to have a British tank at an air show.  These folks are D Company, 23rd Battalion of the Virginia Defense Force.  If the National Guard is called up then these people automatically assume the tasks that were being handled by the National Guard.  Here we have Pfc Nora Lee, Spc. Ronnie Lee, "Eric" the K9,   1LT Tom Woolman and Cpl. Chris Hoover.  If anyone has questions about joining, the contact is:

These people were a riot.  Honestly I could not keep the attention of 100% of the group to get the picture.....well to be honest all but one were giving me their best.  I won't mention the person by name who wasn't, but I'll bet you can figure it out.   Ah, boys, boys, boys!  These are all Culpeper friends and either live here or lived here.  I believe they, like me, are retired.  Connie Weis, John Weis, Bob Bice, Mary Bice and Kathy Eddy.  I had fun with them!!
Sometimes I like to sneak my family in my Faces blog.  This is my son, Matt and his two kids, Nathan and Charolette with my wife Andrea.  The other people in the picture know Andrea as Mom and Grammie. We are all residents of the Pepper.

A little camera competition for me from some non Culpeper residents.
This is extremely hard to show photographically, but it was one of the best parts of my day.  The plane in the picture is a Harrier.  It is unique because it can move forward, backward, up and down plus it can hover which is what it is doing in this shot.  So impressive.
So...............We loved our visit to the Culpeper Airfest.  If you have never gone be sure to put it on your bucket list.....or at least your calendar. 
That's it for now.  If you would like to contact me for any reason just write me at:
Be sure to watch for "Rich Crowley's Snapshots of Culpeper" in the Culpeper Times.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

YOU KNOW IT IS SUMMER IN CULPEPER WHEN................................

I spent some time this winter talking about what a wimpy winter we were having.  Well......summer has come with a vengeance this year.  It is hot, humid and dry.....a real scorcher!  I got to thinking about sure signs that summer has hit the Pepper.  Let's see what I came up with.

You know it is summer in Culpeper when:

The guys play shirts and skins outdoors

One thing I learned is that you know it is summer when you are out looking for signs of summer and everyone is inside. This day was a hot one, but it is never too hot if they guys are going to play a game.  Once the guys discovered that I was there to take a picture of them, only a handful of them got the ball and once they had possession they did not give the ball up until they had shot.  Oh, wait a minute!  That is almost always the case in pickup games.  Oh, well I saw the shirts and skins as a sure sign that summer was here.....oh yeah, and it was a school day and they were all out an playing.  Must be summer.

Men begin barbecuing in the heat

These guys were barbecuing at a church picnic I was attending and I hustled to my car to get my camera while I could get action pictures with meat on the grill.  I think they must have hustled with equal speed because when I got back they had the meat off the grill and the corn ready to go.  They are:  Sean Clubb on the left and Mike Paul on the right.  Their blinding speed kept me from getting the  A+ picture I wanted, so I settled for this.....about a B.

Girls start wearing shorts
They are everywhere during the summer!  It is a sure sign that we are immersed in summer heat.  This is Kayla Jenkins and she is a genuine Culpeper native!  She is taking classes at Germanna and works as the desk clerk at that Holiday Inn.

The Farm Show is held in unbelievable heat!!!!

This is Shawn Walters from the Sheriff's office and his son, Trenton.  He told me his wife was pretty tickled when they came out if matching outfits. It was darn cute, actually.   Trenton was having a great time with the animals although it had to be waaayyy over100 degrees in those buildings. 

Here we are in the arena and goats are being judged.  These young people raise and take care every day  of the animals they bring to the show.  The best ones are awarded ribbons.  Certain of the animals that are raised are auctioned off.  It is important for the young people to learn and  understand the difference between livestock and pets.

This is a group of really good looking young men. They are the ones who have raised pigs to be auctioned for market.  This was a Friday and the judging had occurred the evening before and the auction would be on Monday.  Right in the middle is a young man who is just a tad older than the others.  He is a father of one of the boys and his name is Alex O'Dell.

The Crowley grand kids come all the way from Fresno, California to visit

It is such a rare treat (once a year) to have these good kids in our home.  Left to right, Tanner, Chase, Emery and Carsen.  This year we got to have them for sixteen days.  Other grandparents will understand the joy when they arrive and the emptiness when they leave.

The Fourth of July Parade goes through town

There are lots of fun reasons to like living in the Pepper.  This parade is one of them.  It takes me back to when I was a little boy.

Here we go with just a few comments.

A policeman shakes my granddaughter's hand.

I complained when there were no horses in the parade.  This year there were some....WHOOOPPPEEEEE! To me, a parade is not a parade without some horses.

That Marlys Houston is such a clown!!!

Whew!  That was a lot of pictures.  Let me remind you of what we are doing.


You know it is summer when you see a young man skateboarding without his shirt.  When I walked out my front door I was met with  the first image above.  I was a bit concerned until the person  turned around and started down the hill.  Austin O'Rourke is a friend of the kid next door.  He is a musician (drummer) and says that he plays a lot of gigs.  Good for him.  Being a musician myself I can relate.....well, not to the skateboarding, but to playing rock and roll.

This young lady is Britany Walton and she has one son who is full of energy.  She went shopping at Target in great summer attire.  She works in accouting for a heating and air conditionin company. Bet they are busy.

It is summer when you see this cute family waiting for the bus in the heat and smiling.  This is the Moyo family and they have been in Culpeper for about five years.  I could tell by the musical lilt in her voice that she did not come from the Pepper.  The mom is originally from South Africa.  I suggested that she probably was accustomed to the heat and she said that she was, but not the humidity.  I learn new things all the time.

It is a great time to just hang out.  In this case hanging out in the parking lot of the Regal Cinemas.  It was hot but these two did not mind.  They describe themselves as "long time good friends."  She is Katie Kincheloe and says she lives on a farm.  He is Caleb Jackson and he said that he is just enjoying the summer.  He was pretty protective of his long time friend. 


You know it is summer in Culpeper when your thermometer reads 103!!!!!

I think that wraps this blog up. You can contact me at

Be sure to watch for "Rich Crowley's Snapshots of Culpeper"  in the weekly Culpeper Times.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

People you should know in Culpeper, Virginia (of course!)

While doing this blog I take the time to meet lots of great people.  In many cases we would all benefit from knowing them.  I think these people are the kind of folks that we all should get just a little acquainted with.  Let's get to it.

There are few things that please me more than to see a father doing something fun and/or worthwhile with his children.  I was driving down Belle Ave and saw this dad and his son mowing the lawn together.  I thought it was very impressive.  I was running an errand and so I hoped they would still be mowing when I was able to get back.  They were and they seemed to enjoy having their picture taken together.   This is Tom Mize and his son, Will.  Tom works at Dulles Airport with the airport authority.  In addition to Will, Tom and his wife have two daughters.

These two ladies have a handful of boys.  Each one of them has one son of their own plus they were tending two more for a friend or maybe a relative.  They are true Culpeperites being born and raised here.  They are Qiana Staten and Tori Faulkner and have brought this crew to the park  to enjoy lunch outdoors.  Let me tell you......these ladies dress when they go to the park.  Just look at them, makeup....perfect; hair.....great; ....clothes....fine; and though you cannot see them....there are some serious high heels going on here.  Here is a surprise....Qiana loves to work with kids.  She used to be Marketing Coordinator for the Merrifield branch of Phoenix University. Tori is a cnc operator (whatever that is, I failed to ask) and loves to do hair.  You can tell by looking at her hair that she has some skills.  These boys were well behaved!!  I was impressed.

I like to check out Mountain Run  Park when I am looking for pictures for my blog.  Not always, but quite often I find someone who is interesting.  This is Coleman Walters (sounds like the name for a starting quarterback at Harvard) enjoying fishing.  He says he comes here every time he has a day off. He works at Coffewood Correctional Institution (he called it, "The Wood") as a corrections officer.  I understand why he would want to fish a little just to relax.  He has been married just over one year.  I can only assume that he married a very understanding woman.  Nice guy!

This is John Harden and he is a carpenter.  I caught up with him in the parking lot of Lowes.  He mostly does smaller jobs since he is a one man band.  He has been doing this independently now for over three years although he has twenty five total years of experience and is a VA Class "A" General Contractor.  His business is called Reva Ridge Construction.  You can reach him at 540 547 3787 or on his cell at 540 308 0610.

Here is Ron Collins and his daughter Anneliese.  I ran into them at the grand opening of Ace Hardware.  I quickly discovered that Ron is another Idaho boy and so we bonded easily.  He came here with Micron.  In addition to Anneliese, he has a wife, an eleven year old daughter and a fifteen year old son.

You meet the nicest people at the park.  Andrea and I took two of our grandchildren to Yowell Meadow Park to burn off some energy.  I took my camera because as I have noted,  I am paying special attention to parents and their kids this time.  This young mom was playing with her kids for quite a while before she was joined by her husband who had slipped away from lunch to spend a little extra time with his family. These folks are Dave and Danielle Wheatly and their children, Phoenix and Wren.  Danielle is a full time mom and Dave is the Associate Pastor for the Church on the Rise which is the Free Methodist Church at 522 North St.  They are originally from the Eastern Shore and they love Culpeper.

This lady was having so much fun with her daughter that I could not resist getting a picture of them.  I started to tell her who I was and why I wanted to take her picture but  she already knew me because of my "Snapshots of Culpeper" in the Culpeper Times.  She is Nicole Harmon and this is her daughter Millie.

Nicole's son Matt was also at the park, but he did not want to be in a picture.  I hope he won't be too mad at me for sneaking this one.

It seems like there are often occasions when I come oh so close to missing a shot that I want...this was one of those.   On our little visit to the park with our grand kids I had been hoping for a father/child picture.  I had no luck, but just as I was getting in my car in the parking lot on the far side of the park, I spotted Greg Gause and his four year old son Demetrius heading for the slides.  They were exactly the picture I had hoped to find that day.  I drove over to the main lot and walked over to talk with them.  As you can see, Greg was very gracious about allowing a picture.  For the past eight years he has been in Field Services.

My wife and I were on our daily walk when as luck had it I saw a perfect picture for this particular blog.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that I had no camera, no business card, no other words I was totally unprepared to take this "perfect picture."  Here was a dad and his young daughter (going into the seventh grade next fall) working on her batting for softball.  They were really working and it was fun to watch as he helped her understand batting from both sides of the plate.  I must note that this girl can already really tag that ball.  My wife reminded me that she had her phone and that you could get good pictures with it.  I went to the car and dug around in the console and found a pen, a business card with notes on the back  and a "blood sugar diary" for keeping track of my diabetes and thus armed we headed over to these two.  The father lives here in the Pepper and works at Mike's Glass and Mirrors.  His daughter resides in Fauquier County and he coaches her softball team there.  Thank heavens for cell phone cameras.  If you don't know it....this is a perfect picture....a perfect picture of love and devotion. 

I think that will do it for this time.  I have spent the last couple of weeks in Idaho and Utah.  I went to Boise for my class reunion and had a chance to bring together a few members of my sixties band, The Fabulous Chancellors.  When we hit the stage the magic was still there.  So much many people get the chance to be 18 again?  One of the people told me that we were so good in part because we played the music of the early sixties the way it was played then and is meant to be played.  I think she was right.  The people in bands now often take a stab at our music, but they miss the heart of it.  It is and was basic rock and roll from the infancy of the music.  Long live rock and roll!!!

If you have comments or questions, contact me at

Enjoy the summer!!