Friday, May 23, 2014

Kapow!! Shazam!!! Kablooey!!!! Culpeper is exploding with growth and cool people.

Here we go with another posting of Faces of Culpeper.   I have met a bunch of new people that appear in this posting.  Several people are new to the Pepper and others are ones that I am just now getting around to meeting.  I wonder if I will get to meet everyone in town at least once in my life.  I am giving it a good shot.  I said, "Kapow" etc in the title because we seem to be growing so fast commercially that if you leave town for a week there will be at least one new store or restaurant when you come back.  I know there are those who miss the "old Culpeper" when everyone knew everyone, but I think it is kind of exciting to see the growth.  Of course, I wasn't a part of the "old Culpeper" so I am biased.  Anyway there are people for you to meet so let's get started. 
I have to start with my own personal favorite of the new restaurants, Jersey Mike's.  Of course I still have my old favs, but I can make room for one or two more.  These folks are the owners and operators Kathy and Patrick White.  This is one of five Jersey Mike's that they currently have..... watch for more!  I would like to say that I am working my way through their menu, but after trying two sandwiches I seem to be stuck.  I always figure that if you find something you like what sense does it make to keep trying things?  I guess you can identify the items that you don't like if you keep going, but I doubt that I would find anything I did not like at this place.  For now  I have found what I will order every time.
 The first couple of weeks people were lined out the door.  Now they are just busy.  One thing I have noticed is that the kids who work there are very well trained.  That must not be common because it really grabbed me.  Good place and nice people.

I am going to leap from brand new Mike's to really well established David's.  This is David Eddy and he owns a really interesting and fun store called, "David Eddy's."  David moved here in 1960 from Minnesota and opened this store in 1966.....same store and same owner.  That is a long time.   The store is cool and fun (so is David for that matter).  You can get just an inkling of what is in his store from this picture, but there are hundreds of gifts and decorative accessories to choose from.  He is on Main.  If you have not been there you simply owe it to yourself to go. 

I turn off 29 and onto Ira Hoffman to get to my house.  It is a rare day when I don't drive past CFC Farm and Home Center at least once and often several times.  However, the truth is until the other day I had only gone in this store once before.  So I decided to revisit that store and I am glad that I did.  It has lots of interesting things there that are primarily for (ta dah!) farmers and farm work.  I am not too familiar with all of that, but I enjoyed looking around.  I wasn't in the store long before this lady, Karen McGowan, who is the store manager came over to help.  Maybe I looked a little helpless.  We ended up in the lawn and yard section as you can see. Karen has been with the company for six years and has lived in the Pepper eleven years.  Nice lady!  I have been contacted by the company since this picture appeared in the Culpeper Times to ask permission to use it for their publications.  Hope that means good things for Karen!

The other day Andrea and I were walking around town and ended up at the Culpeper Museum in the depot.  On the way  I noticed this guy sitting, strumming and singing in front of the LOVE sculpture.  I feel an affinity for street musicians so I headed over and met Jeremiah Raines who is not a street musician but was just singing for fun.  He is a pretty religious guy and is a member of the praise team at Culpeper Baptist Church.  In addition he works at Childhelp which is an extremely important organization that offers help and resources for abused children.  He has his priorities in the right place.
My wife thought her life in Culpeper was complete when Panera opened.  It is her second favorite restaurant right behind Chipotle which will be opening soon, by the way.  This Panera has a drive through which is pretty cool.  This is the manager Richard Frakes.
We had a lot of snow this winter and now we are getting tons of rain this spring.  One day I was driving past the memorial park on Old Brandy Rd and Wine Street and was startled to see the entire park flooded.  In the six years I have lived here I have never seen the park like this.  I parked my car took my camera and started walking up and down the sidewalk by the park.  I was hoping that someone would walk by, but that was pretty crazy thinking.  Then I decided to flag a car down and see if the driver would pose in front of the flooded park, but they all sped by.  Just as I was about to give up, this lady along with her mother and baby  pulled over and she rolled her window down to take a picture of her own.  I practically begged her to pose in front of the new lake, and she was very gracious and willing.  She is Mia Speech and she  lives in Culpeper, but works as a server at Outback Steak House in Warrenton.  Just about a month after I took this picture we had another big, but rather brief storm and the park was flooded all over again.  Twice I have seen it this far.

There are more new kids on the retail map in the Pepper and right on Davis Street in Old Town.  My wife and I visited the Lollipop Station just a few days before the grand opening.  It is a unique place and totally geared to children.  The interior is alive with colors and you can just feel the enthusiasm oozing from the owners,  Faith and Walter Gil.  There is a plethora of things for kids like toys, cotton candy, novelty candies, a party room and a gallery for the art of children.  Fun, fun, fun!  My son took his little kids once during the week and then back to the grand opening.  They loved it!

It was just before Easter and I happened to be near Petsmart when this really neat family walked out the door carrying a puppy.  The kids were pretty excited and so was I ..... here was a perfect family of faces for my blog and for my "Snapshot of Culpeper" that is featured in the Culpeper Times.  They were extremely nice and friendly.  Not surprisingly he is the Athletic Director at Osborne High School in Manassas.  What makes it not surprising is because school people are always cool.  These guys are the Laines .... Stacy and Keith Laine and their really cute and quite rambunctious crew.  I commented that it looked like they had an Easter Beagle and he replied that it was more like a "Passover Puppy."  Pretty funny!  They call the pup, Motzi! The little guy in the red shirt moved to a new spot every time I  pressed the shutter.  I love this picture because it captures personalities and is relaxed.  I liked these guys.  Oh, did I mention that Stacy is a professional photographer?  Yep, and a good one.  Check her out at:

Now here is something that I have never done before.  I am plugging an animal rescue group that is in another town.....Madison, to be exact.  Volunteers from that animal rescue come every single Saturday, rain or shine and bring some homeless pets looking for adoption.  They set up in front of Petsmart or just inside depending on the weather.  Shannon Junior is always here and this week Jim Tredway joined her.  The Culpeper community has supported this effort for a long time and a lot of animals have been placed.  So if you are thinking about a sweet dog that does not require house training.... hustle over to Petsmart.   BTW,  check out the reflection in the not the cars!  The handsome dude with the camera.

On the way to the Chamber of Commerce which is located in the old depot, I saw these guys having lunch.  I am not sure that I had every paid any attention to the tables there, but this looked like a great idea for a little family picnic.  These people are Erin and Dan Ference and their two cute kids.  I discovered that Dan is a software engineer here in the Pepper and had an afternoon off so they decided to go bowling by way of a picnic downtown.  Their kids were so well behaved that I am sure they are excellent parents.  Erin is a teacher in the virtual high school for Prince William County Schools.  She teaches Spanish.  If you are not sure about what a virtual high school is.... Google it.

OK....this is the big finish for this time.  I have always thought that Hallmark was the "go to" place for cards.  So when I needed a card I visited Banner's Hallmark store here in the Pepper.  I had only been there a couple of times before, and this time I was cheerfully greeted by these two shiny young women. They are left to right, Gracie Schlapo and Jenny Dellinger.   Look in the picture and you will see that the store has more than simply has tons of interesting things.  Check them out. 

Well, that is it for now.  Remember that I am always looking for interesting people and faces and may show up almost anywhere.  If you have an idea of something I should shoot or an interesting theme please contact me by email  at 

Watch for my , "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper" on page two of the weekly newspaper, "The Culpeper Times"

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