Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas in brief.

                CHRISTMAS IN CULPEPER, VA ..... IN BRIEF                
 This year has seemingly been a banner year in Culpeper.  The outward appearances are that lots of people are shopping and the economy is on the upswing.  Spirits seem to be high.  However,  I spent very little of the actual Christmas season here in town and so my Christmas blog is briefer than usual.
One of my sons lives in Fresno, California and so we flew out of Charlottesville on December 4th to spend about ten days before we continued on to Salt Lake City to help celebrate my mother in law's 90 birthday.  When we are in Fresno in December we have a Christmas dinner with that part of the family and open our gifts to them.  We were busy busy on that trip......  AND it was cold!  Even Fresno, which would normally be in the 60s was in the 20s and 30s and believe me....the people there are not equipped with winter clothes....especially my grandkids.  In Utah it was 8 and 12 degrees some of the nights and the highs were in the 20s.   But we had a great time, especially with the four grandkids in Fresno.  I can't seem to get enough of them.   We were not back until after 10 pm on December 18th and then there was a lot to do before Christmas.  So we missed out on the great December blizzard in Culpeper....or not so great a blizzard.  But I understand there was enough snow for kids to ride down the hill behind our house. We had last minute shopping, but not much.  Then we had our other two sons and their families over for what has become a traditional early Christmas Eve dinner.  We had a great time!  Andrea, my wife, works so hard to see that everyone has a good time and a great meal (along with major contributions of the daughters in law).  Anyway.... not much time for picture taking for this blog, but what I have I will share. 

So that is how that happens!
So that's how that happens!  Since I have moved to Culpeper, one of the things I enjoy the most is the decorating of the downtown area for various holidays or seasons.  Our downtown looks so nice.....and it is as if by magic.  One day I drive through town and everything looks normal and the next day, voila...beautiful decorations.  They especially grab me at Christmas time.  I have wondered how they seem to just, poof,  appear.  I have long suspected Santa's elves, but now I know the truth.  It is the city workers (i.e. Santa's elves) who make our town so lovely.  Thanks, guys!
Thanksgiving wasn't even over when I realized that Christmas was just around the corner and I better be getting some Christmas "snapshots."  This is such a great time to go to the downtown area and just walk around and browse.  Of course it is also a great time to buy with all of the very special stores that we have there.  My wife and I went into the store that is called, "Found" and "My Secret Stash"  and found a cornucopia of candy and Christmas treats with lots of free samples.  It was all soooo tasty that we just had to make a purchase. These two ladies helped and encouraged us.  I think it is obvious that they have sparkling personalities to go with all the amazing treats available in the store. They are: Katie Silata who is a mom of three and Ana Rodriguez who began working there recently.  Drop in and see them... you won't be sorry.

 We were in Cameleer looking for a Christmas elf when I noticed this young lady checking out tree ornaments.  I could not resist taking her picture and she graciously obliged.  In chatting with her I discovered that she is a school teacher.  If you have followed my blog or my "snapshots" then you know that I have a real soft spot for teachers.  We moved to Culpeper after I retired from public education in Fairfax County.  This is Emily Wolfford and she teaches at Culpeper Middle School.  She is originally from Pennsylvania 




On my Christmas visit to the downtown area, I stopped at Harriet's General Store which I quickly discovered is one of the most eclectic and special of the cool stores in our town.  Harriet's has to be experienced.  I found a really neat glider plane that quickly took me back to my youth and that I had to buy to share with my three year old grandson.  At Thanksgiving I learned that everyone from three to fifty three wanted a turn with this glider...some even asked it I would get them one for Christmas. So we got two.   What a hit! Here is Arie Shrewsbury who along with his wife, Kate, own the store. He is standing near a very creative Christmas display and holding....ta dah!.....THE GLIDER.

This is a feel good story.  This house is owned by a gentleman named Tony who is originally from the Philippines and it is pretty spectacular.  In my opinion it is the best decorated house in Culpeper.  It has a very impressive light and sound show that is run by computer through a program  Tony made.  He has the sound broadcast so that it will play through the radios of cars that are passing by if the just dial 107.1.  The lights are synchronized with the sound.  It is so fun!  When Tony first came here he found that wanted to provide a gift for his kids and all the other kids in Culpeper.  He has done that and then some.  Tony is a Registered Respiratory Therapist and is here with two of his three sons, Carlos and Christopher.  They live on Belle Avenue right at the top of the hill.....can't miss it.

Footnote:  I feel very bad about this picture.  I had asked to have it published in my Culpeper Times piece called, "Rich Crowley's Snapshots of Culpeper" on the 19th.  While I was out of town there was some confusion and it ran the week after Christmas instead of before.  Anyway, be sure to catch this display. 

So, there we go....short and sweet.  It is such a great season of the year and it gave me the opportunity to meet more Culpeperites who are really really cool.  I hope that your season was a good one and will close here with a final:



Saturday, October 19, 2013


It seems like such a short time ago that I started doing my "Faces of Culpeper" blog.  In actuality it is well over three and a half years since my first one.  Conservatively, I estimate that I have featured over five hundred faces in this blog.  I have only repeated two faces that I know of.  That's quite a few "peperheads" that have been in my photos in this space.  The "Snapshots of Culpeper"  in the Culpeper Times is younger but still is a bit over three years old.  Soooo....come February I will have completed my fourth year of this blog.... time flies.    I have slowed down on the number of blogs but not on the great faces in each one. 
Let's get on with it.
Let's start this edition with local artist Beau Curtis who can be found all over town drawing and painting.  He also goes on the road to other areas.  In addition to selling those works he has already completed he accepts commissions for personalized work.  He may be emailed at

I received an invitation to visit Cornucopia Volunteer Farm Foundation which is located on Cherry Hill Road.  This is a project to "plant, maintain, and harvest fresh produce and proteins for the hungry in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties" and is managed by Chuck Jackson.  This organization is supported by the donations of individuals, churches, groups and grants.  Here are some volunteers in action.  They are: Lindsey Dolan, Michael Watts (local veterinarian), Emily Watts (recently enrolled in Va Tech studying Agriculture) and Rebecca Watts.  The two youngest girls are students at Epiphany Catholic School.   

I stopped in to the Chrysalis Counseling Center the other day.  I had been planning to do it for some time, but just hadn' good reason....just hadn't.  For about four years since I moved here I had been distressed by the terrible condition of the building that was to become this counseling center.  I remember reading in the Star Exponent that someone named Elsie A. Stevenson had purchased the building and I was hopeful that she would improve least a little.  Wow!  Were my expectations ever low.  She made it into a showpiece and improved Culpeper at great deal with the renovation that I could see that she had done.  It was not, however, until I went inside that I experienced the true beauty of the transformation.  The inside of the building, in my opinion, is spectacular!  The big plus to our community is that Chrysalis can provide the counseling and therapy that many in our community are in need of.  Elise is impressive and engaging.  I had fun talking to her.  I supervised the 700 plus school counselors in Fairfax County Public Schools and so my heart is with mental help services.  Now I see that they have taken over the car dealership building plus another building in the back.  This program is on the move and we are the winners!
This is Eric Moon.  He is my next door neighbor along with his family.  He is the manager of the Mosby Meadow Market which is his family business.  It is a very nice convenience store and is located on Rixeyville Road directly across from the roller skating rink.  One of their claims to fame is that they sold a million dollar Powerball ticket....... but not to me!  Dang, it!!!
I have noted several times that we have several interesting older men in Culpeper.  It will not be too long before I will join their ranks......well, I hope it will be several years, but anyway, this guy is one of them.  He is Steve Sabol and I stopped him in Walmart for a chat concerning his tattoos.  Right away he said they were "the most foolish thing I have ever done!"  I found out that Steve was a navy vet and that he served from 1951 until 1970.  I hope he won't mind if I reveal at this point that he lied about his age so that he could enlist at age 17.  Steve is a life long resident of Culpeper.  I was checking on the tattoos because I am currently working on another blog on tattoos that people in Culpeper have.  Steve has the variety of tattoos that servicemen wore "in the day."  At that time tattoos were not common, but were often worn by our warriors.  One of his says, "Death Before Dishonor."  The other one is an eagle.  He is a really interesting and upbeat guy.  It was my pleasure to have met him.  Sometimes I just get lucky.  He will also be in my tattoo blog which I will post sometime soon. 
It seems like the signs are everywhere that Culpeper is growing and the economy is recovering.  Sports Authority is a well known national store that just opened a store next to TJMAXX.  They had a gala grand opening and had lots of people came to check what they had to offer.  It is a nice large store with lots of interesting sports related merchandise.  I think this could be a big deal for Culpeper....I hope so.  This is the manager Ben Hoskyn who moved here from Virginia Beach to run the store. 
It is the season for mums, mums and more mums!  It seems that almost every store I go into is selling them this year.  We bought three huge plants this fall....beautiful yellow plants.  Two for our front porch and one for our deck.  I even bought a normal size mum for the flower garden that I made just this year.  This is Laura Allen.  I met her when we stopped by the Shenandoah Garden Spot to check out their excellent selection guessed it.....mums!   I only spoke with her briefly, but she was a most upbeat lady. I learned that she moved to Culpeper from Maine about six years ago.  She recently joined the staff at Shenandoah Garden Spot.
 Halloween is just a great time of year.  Every day....often several times a day....I drive past the "pumpkin patch" on the corner of 29 and Ira Hoffman.  What a cool place....especially for kids.  In addition to hundreds of pumpkins, they have treats and recreation particular a bounce house.  I stopped by and found this cute family schooling their baby early on the fine art of pumpkin purchasing.  The dad is Gordon Mackison and he is a fire fighter.  Mom is Cheyenne Fowler and she is a medical assistant at Medical Express.  Grandpa is David Fowler and he is a park policeman.  Baby is Paige Mackison and she is...well....a baby!
 There are so many great things that happen in Culpeper that I am not aware of....and I'll bet that I am not the only one lacking in certain awareness.  For example:  I had no idea that there is a group in Culpeper called, The Early Childhood Work Group which is a part of Healthy Culpeper.  Yep, there is such a group and I spoke with Tracey Forloines who has the title of coach with the Work Group.  They were having an information activity in Yowell Meadow Park on Saturday.  They were encouraging, "Community awareness for the citizens to know about resources for kids."  Right there at their program were these three, Sergeant Jeff Dodson of the Culpeper Police Dept., McGruff (really explorer police cadet Rebecca Hilmick) and explorer police cadet Marcus Tyler.
I have noted a couple of times in this blog that I love the reality shows that deal with restoring  older cars.  I saw this 1977 Chevrolet El Camino in the parking lot at LOWES and had to feature it in my blog.  The first thing that hit me was how long it is. I looked up the dimensions and it is 216 inches long. That is 18 feet, if my math is correct!  Dats long!!!!  I had a 1977 Ford station wagon when my family was young and it seemed extra long to me so I looked up the length of that wagon vs. this car ( is a hybrid).  My wagon was long....225 inches which is roughly 18 and 1/2 feet!  That was the last year that the American car companies made those behemoths, but they are sooo fun to look at and remember. Before I asked this guy whose name is Doug Furr if I could take a picture of him with his car, I watched him for a few minutes.  He walked around the car a couple of times and would touch it here and there and brush it with his hand.....he loves this vehicle.  He has been restoring it for a while and is getting close to completion.  I think it is beautiful!!!!  Doug is a retired guy who has lived in Culpeper for the last ten years.  He worked for 43 years at Shoppers Food Warehouse!
Well, that is going to wrap up this edition of "Faces of Culpeper."  Hope you enjoyed seeing our citizens and sometimes even learning about them.  If you would like to you may write to me at:
Be sure to check out my weekly contribution to the Culpeper Times,  "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper."

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hot Rods, Motorcycles, Cute Women, Ice Cream at CJ's, Sweaty Men and Hot, Hot, is summer in Culpeper!!

Summer is definitely upon us here in the Pepper.  We had such a nice, moderate June that I was hopeful that this was going to be an exceptionally nice summer, but then we had rains every day for what seemed like forever.  In fact as I launch this edition of "Faces" rain is predicted for the next four days.  The last week to ten days have been beastly hot.... my car thermometer is regularly reading between 108 and 112.   Gotta get that fixed.  I suspect this particular Maxima was built for Death Valley or something, but it is hard for me to know how uncomfortable to be if I don't know the exact temperature.  :) 
Anyway, I started shooting for this blog and for my Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper feature in the Culpeper Times, and found that as it got hotter, the fewer and fewer people there were outside. tell the truth there were usually sweaty men outside working, but how many of those do you think I want to photograph?   The answer is.....not many.  It was almost impossible to find women outdoors (too smart) so I moved into stores and found a plethora of them. 
I have a lot of shots for you this time so let's get going to see who they are.
Here it is, early in the summer and the end of the season for most youth soccer.  I was at my six year old granddaughter's final game of the season.  I looked at all of the parents and grandparents who had been faithful followers of these fledgling soccer stars and thought about how cool it was that  most of these kids had such great support.  Soccer moms are legendary in their devotion to their kids.  Here are three of those moms in Culpeper. 


My wife, Andrea and I will have lived in Culpeper for six years this August and I have already completed my third full year of doing the "Faces of Culpeper" blog which you are reading at this moment.   Here's the deal..... she is my favorite face in this entire town and I have yet to feature here goes.  She is on the right in this picture with our good friend, Jenna Palmer.  Andrea and Jenna are on their way to the Kennedy Center for the opening of a new ballet. One of the great things about living in the Pepper is that we are close enough to participate in cultural and entertainment events, but do not have to deal with the traffic that goes with them... at least not permanently.  If you could just see my face as I took this picture you would see a huge grin.  Not just because I love the subject matter, but because I am not going to the ballet.


In between rain storms the weather has been very pleasant for this time of year.  As I was driving past Culpeper County High School I saw this guy and a friend enjoying the good weather on the tennis courts.  Not long after I took this shot the skies opened and we had a deluge.  This is Michael Leap and he is a Culpeper native and even graduated from CCHS where he was playing tennis.  He graduated from Culpeper County High School in 1989 and is now a mail carrier. 

About a month ago a business new to Culpeper opened on Rte. 29.  It is a
Koons car lot of previously owned vehicles. A Culpeper native, Richard Pratt is the manager.  Richard has lived here all of his life, but told me that this is the first time that he has actually been employed in the Peper.  For the last couple of years he has worked for Koons in Fredericksburg and is excited to be near his home.  They will be creating a showroom in the back half of the  Verizon building which Koons has purchased. I asked him what made this car lot special and he told me that they have cars in a price range attractive to everyone plus he can get financing for any buyer. Then he added  that the Koons family  has been in the automotive business since 1964.
One of the great things about the Fourth of July celebration in Culpeper is the car show.  Lately I have been watching, "Counting Cars"  and "Fast and Loud"  which are reality shows about rebuilding old cars and making them really cool hot rods.  At this local car show I had my eyes open for cars that came from Culpeper when I saw this little beauty.  Many of the cars are from other places and so I was really happy to find a few from the Peper.  It is a 31 Ford Roadster which I am told is driven around town "all the time" by these folks.  This is Frank and Dana Berry who built it and made it such a cool machine.  I have to say that I am really impressed.

 Here is another Culpeper couple with their pride and joy..... or maybe I should say, prides and joys, since there are two cars.  This is Wayne and Sharon and they are standing next to a 34 Ford three-window-coupe which they restored.  Wayne used to build race cars and so working on these cars is a natural.  The car in the background is also theirs and it is a 32 Chevy Roadster.  They tell me that they drive them around town all the time.  That is just waaaay cool.

At the car show there was also a display of motorcycles right across from the Depot.  This is Rick Asby.  As I understand it, he along with his wife Sue Ann are members of the Solid Rock Full Gospel Church   and are in charge of the Motorcycle Ministry.  They have the following scripture on their business card:  "Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in."  Luke 14:23 Kind of fun.....and serious.
 I was in Belk shopping for some new Levis and ran into this man.  Like me his name is Rich, and like me, he is recently retired from Northern Virginia.  He is Rich Florence and he retired from the State Department three years ago.  He and his wife moved here from Alexandria.  He told me that he wanted enough land to build a "garden railroad."   He said that he has been working on it and that is has already gotten bigger than he planned.  I hope he invites me to see it sometime.
 This is Joseph Jackson and he is performing a very important task this summer.  He is representing the USDA in helping to get food to those children who may otherwise do without.  The hours are posted on the sign.  There are two distribution sites for this program and they are, Yowell Park and Belle Avenue near the apartments behind TJMaxx.  Joseph works for the Culpeper Headstart program during the school year.  This food program makes it possible for no children in our community to go hungry for breakfast and lunch.  Please advise anyone that you may know about it.

We had a great summer going and then.....
                                      After having a very temperate beginning to summer, in July things got  hot and stayed that way!  One of the favorite things for my family members to do when the weather gets hot is to go to CJ's Ice Cream for guessed it, ice cream!!!     While there I spotted this cute family having their own ice cream event.  This group is the Chad and Tina Smith family and they were enjoying themselves.  Chad is a landscaper for Meadows Farm and Tina works for MEMCO.     No word on who the person is in the background.

While at CJs eating ice cream, I commented to my son that I had trouble finding women to photograph candidly for this blog.  Since it had gotten hot fewer people were  out and about and those who were out  were almost entirely men.  Then he said:


I had not and it made a lot of sense that there would be women shopping at Target.  There always are and I was pretty sure that a little heat would not interfere with that....especially since it is so nicely air conditioned.  Sooooooooooooo  this is who I found at Target.

 I found Jessica Johnson with her son Darren.  She also had a baby in a baby seat on the cart, but I failed to ask anything about that child.  I must be slipping.  She said, "I always see your pictures in the paper and wondered why I have never run into you."  Well.........check that one off.  She and her husband Kevin are former residents who moved to Leesburg for a few years and then came back for him to manage Glory Days. 

         On the right is Angie Myers and on the left is her daughter Sorcha (very cool Irish name) Turnbull. They live in Orange but shop in the Pepper.  I don't make this age mistake often, but I was not sure that either of them was eighteen.  Well.....I was sure about Sorcha, but Angie threw me a bit.   I am only concerned about that because it is prudent to get a parental release before you put a picture of a minor in a public blog such as this.  It is just too much hassle to worry about so I was not only surprised that this was a mother/daughter, but very pleased.                   

                 Here is Jessica Jarrells and Aaron.  Jessica works as a nurses aide at Culpeper Hospital.  She is a lifelong resident of the Pepper.  She was just a little shy but she is going to see in this picture that she is very photogenic. I took about six shots and she was perfect in every one.


Did I mention sweaty men?   Well, these guys were working hard  and it was hot.  My car thermometer said 104 as I recall, but I already established that it doesn't work, but trust was hot.  These guys were working on the playground in our subdivision and making it very nice.  From the left are: Brian Jernigan, Bobby Wright (crew leader), Shawn Bragg and Jason Wright.

This is a great guy!  I saw his bike.... and it is a beauty....sitting in his driveway and hoped the owner would make an appearance and he did.  He was friendly and willing and even climbed on the bike for me.  I am pretty sure that he doesn't ride without shoes.  Glenn Elliot has recently returned with his wife to Culpeper.  He has clocked 25 years here.  He works at Custom Cabinets.


Sometimes I have a big finish for my blog....this is one of those times.  I am going back to Target for my subject.  This is (drum roll, please) Ms. Nikki Sample.  She is a woman with a huge happy personality.  I found out from her that she oversees all the mental health facilities from Manassas to Orange.  That is impressive by itself, but here comes the biggie:  Nikki is (another drum roll would be appropriate) the quarterback for the Culpeper women's football team..... here it comes......THE RAGE!!!!!
They play at Yowell Meadow Park on Sunday mornings.  I have watched them before...although only briefly...and they mean business.  If you don't believe it, just check out Nikki's left foot.  That is a genuine bona fide football injury and this is some fun woman.  She invited me and so I am inviting you, to join the Rage Nation on Sundays.

That does it for now.  If you have comments or suggestions you can write them here or email me at:
also don't forget to check my weekly piece in the Culpeper Times, called, "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper."








Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bits and Pieces of Culpeper, Virginia

It seems like a long time since I have blogged here.  Maybe that is because it has been a long
time.  I have quite an eclectic group of shots and people this time.  One thing is for sure.... there is no shortage of interesting people here in the Pepper. 

Just a note of explanation....  I have been asked several times why I refer to Culpeper as "the Pepper"  and not "the Peper" which would match the spelling of the town's name.  It seems self evident to me but, I use "Pepper"  because that is how the second half of the name is pronounced.  I think that "Peper" would cause confusion and that many people may pronounce that as "Peeper."  Love it or hate it, that is my thinking.  Pepper, Pepper, Pepper!!

Soooooooooooooooo..... since this blog is all about the faces of people here in the Pepper...let's get busy.

I think that one of the hardest parts of moving into a new town is finding the health professionals
that you can trust and are comfortable with.  I have had a few issues and so I have quite a team of
doctors in Fairfax.   We are continuing to try to find doctors in this area or nearby. I have one that I really like in Charlottesville and now we have a dentist right here in Culpeper!  She is Shannon Butler and is the second from the left in this picture.   From the left is Mona Jenkins who is a Dental  Assistant and a bonafide native of the Pepper.  Then of course is Dr. Butler and then Melissa Carroll who is the office manager and also a native.  Finally the person on the far right is Laurice Toker who is the receptionist.  My wife was referred to Dr. Butler and had excellent experiences with her and her staff.  Finally this week I decided to give them a try.  They were so nice!!!!  They were so professional!!!!  I am sure there are many others here in town, but this is the practice for us.   

It seems to me that one of the most popular places here in the Pepper is at the red box machines.  Knowing that, I laid-in-wait at the one at Walgreens to capture  someone in the act of renting a movie.  The first guy there told me that he "hated" having his picture in the paper.....  Hmmmm, I wonder how many times he has been featured in a newspaper.  However, that is fine with me....I would never want to put someone in the Culpeper Times who did not want to be there.  Robin Amos who is featured here was getting a movie for her kids.  Robin has her own business  as a  bookkeeper (I just noticed that "bookkeeper" has three double letters right in a row!) for some small businesses.  That job allows her to have an office in her home and maximize the her time with her two girls, who by the way, attend Emerald Hill Elementary.  While Robin and I chatted she often looked over my shoulder at her car.  Finally, there was some noise there and I turned around to see two of the cutest faces ever pressed up against the windshield of the car.  I could not hear exactly what they said, but it had to be something like: "MOM!.....come on!!"
I have to admit that I am attracted to people with large personalities.  Just look at Laurie Brown and you can tell she is one of those people.  She cuts my wife's hair and my wife told me that I would like Laurie and should include her in my blog. Andrea was right.   When I went over to take the shot, the whole shop came to a stand still and most of the people watched what was going on.  Laurie who is the manager of the Hair Cuttery located next to the Tropical Smoothie did not miss a beat.  She has four kids ages 4 to 14, runs this shop and is still smiling.  Oh....she is a lifelong resident of Culpeper.
 Yowell Meadow Park is an amazing place.  I have long contended that if I just pitched a tent there and waited,  I could get way more than enough pictures to fill 20 blogs.  When I first started doing my "Faces of Culpeper" blog I prepared a rather extensive piece on the Yowell Meadow Park.  I included pictures of the beautiful surroundings as well as the people who were there.  To date it has remained my most popular blog.   For example last week, after more than two years, it received 45 hits.  The picture above shows a classic reason why.  My wife and I try to walk at Yowell every morning. So often something interesting is going on somewhere in the park ....and this was at nine in the morning.  As we approached the tennis courts I could see something pretty interesting and unusual happening on the basketball courts.  Two men were going through a Kung Fu fight with slow motion.  I, of course, had to find out what was cooking.  First, on the left is Eric Conto who grew up in Culpeper and now works at Culpeper Wood Preservers.  He has a wife and four kids ages 5-14 that I think about it, that may require a little Kung Fu training to manage. The other man is Sifu (a title of respect that means "teacher") Gordon Wicks.  Gordon is from Sperryville, but works at the Culpeper Regional Hospital.  He is located at the Powell Wellness Center and is a personal trainer.  This is the cool part:  Gordon teaches at Yowell three times a week and anyone is welcome.  AND....the best part is that it is free!  He teaches Qigong which is breathing control and he teaches martial arts.  He is at the tennis courts every Monday and Wednesday at 6 p.m. and every Saturday at 8 a.m.  Check it out!
 It is amazing to watch this lady walk these four dogs.  They all stay directed and they mind her!  I see lots of people whose dogs are dragging them along for a walk, but not this lady!  It is probably because she is a professional.  Joanne McCleary is a dog trainer plus she specializes in obedience show training.  She also offers training in behavior modification.  These are her dogs and the shepherd on the left is a therapy dog.  The little black guy on the right closest to her is very old and blind in one eye, but he fits right in with the others.  Joanne has kind of an "all purpose" dog business.  If you would like to contact her write to:

This is Amanda Christensen who, as you can see, is into kayaking.  I have been acquainted with Amanda ever since her parents moved in next door to us about four years ago.  Amanda works at Micron as a manufacturer's technology trainer for photo lithography.

This is Amanda and her friend, Daniel Budd.  


I recently discovered the store called,  "Natural Harvest."  It is in the strip mall on Route 229 directly across from the Dominion Skating Center.  Because the strip mall is mostly empty, it is easy to assume that Natural Harvest is not open......but it is!!  They have a wide array of healthy products and locally grown and raised produce and meats.  Much of what is available is gluten free, allergy free etc.  For the customer who has difficulty finding food that they are not allergic to, this is the place.  They also feature a kind of tea called MTO Kombucha that is made in Orleans, VA.  It promises to improve you health and body functions in many ways. 
This store is owned by Gregg and Erin Hoffman who are natives of Culpeper.  Their store is cool, but more importantly it is unique in its healthy offerings.  You really owe it to yourself to stop by, get acquainted and see what they have that interests you. 
One of the things I enjoy doing during spring is dropping  by the big tent/greenhouse  at Meadows Farm Nursery to see the tremendous array of beautiful flowers.  This is Barbara Burger and she has worked at the Meadows Culpepper Nursery for the last fifteen years.  She knows everything you need to know about plants and flowers and is kind of an institution here.  This year she has moved to a brand new Meadows outlet at New Baltimore.  I was just lucky to have stopped by on a day that she was helping out in Culpeper.

As I walked near the pavilion in Yowell I heard a guitar and a clear voice singing full out.  I asked the young man if he would mind an audience.  We talked about our backgrounds....I was the singer with the Fabulous Chancellors in the 60s (Google:  Fabulous Chancellors 50s, 60s, 70s.... or ITunes) and  he is in the early stages of his career.  Whitney Blanchard has recently moved here from Texas.  We talked about old rock n roll songs that we both know.  I was impressed with his knowledge of  songs from back in the day.  He asked me if I knew "Earth Angel."  I sure do!!!  He started singing it and I joined in on harmony.  It was a very cool moment..... two men about 45 years apart singing a rock classic.  I have sung before thousands of people many times, but this time it was for no audience at all..... just me and Whitney singing a song we love.... "Earth Angel, Earth Angel, will you be mine........"

 I was at the Windmill Heights Garden Center and met this gentleman  whose name is Mason Hutcheson. It turns out that Mason is the original owner of the business and that  he has fairly recently passed it on to the younger generation.  He told me that he came to Culpeper in 1957 as a 4H Agricultural Extension Agent.  He said that he has been growing plants for fifty years. Mason seems to be a true Southern gentleman.  When I asked if I could take his picture he said I could but that he would have to keep moving and watering these hanging plants.  I guess that makes this an action shot.


 When I encountered this group of women walking, I knew right away that they were something special.  Just check out all the happy faces and enthusiasm.  They call themselves, "Culpeper's Lovely Lady Lumps."  They are in training for a walk to support a cure for breast cancer that will take place in October.  This is not just any walk, but a SIXTY MILE walk and, "the boldest breast cancer event in history."  This is truly a great cause and at this time there are 16 members in their group and all  support it.  From the left are Dawn Bender, Tiffany Hampton, Leslie Henry, Mona Bender, Jennifer Bender, Jessica Arnold and baby Ashlynn Hampton.  They are such a positive group.  Mona is a four and a half year survivor of cancer and they are rallying around her.  Their goal is to raise $40,000.  I believe they have raised $6,000 so far.  As a twenty nine year cancer survivor myself, I encourage you to join them in their effort and make a contribution. You can contact,

That's all for now folks!  Be on the lookout.... I may appear when you least expect it and ask to take your picture.  Be sure to watch every week for Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper  in the Culpeper Times.  If you have comments or suggestions, be sure to share with me.