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!!