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."