This summer seems to have flown by faster than most. I guess I was traveling for a good part of it and the school year is beginning earlier, so maybe those are factors. Anyway, a lot went on in Culpeper and I grabbed a glimpse of some of it. The Fourth of July is always a treat and then as an added plus, I got to meet new people who are doing fun things. The Crowleys had a family reunion and I will show all of us together in this blog. Earlier in the summer I posted my blog on people in the Pepper with tattoos and if you have not viewed it, just go to the next blog down after you read this one. So let's look back a little on the summer past and let's meet some new faces.
Fourth of July
It may be a bit difficult to see exactly what this is, but it is a colonial color guard marching up Davis
Street and through the car show audience on the Fourth of July. It looks like there might be a couple of extra stars on this flag, but having these guys representing patriotism was pretty darn cool.
This year's car show on July 4th was especially fun for me. I asked this handsome couple (Lesley and Chris) to pose by the 1956 stretch Cadillac for me. I was really excited to see this particular car and to see that it is not restored, but in original condition. Emmaculate is the word for this car. In the sixties I was in a band that had a few regional hits in the Northwest part of the United States. We bought this exact car only black and white and played throughout the Western states endlessly. This car was totally dependable and was way ahead of its time. Everything on it was power; power brakes, power windows, power antenna etc. just an amazing automobile. We never carried a penny of insurance on it....whew!...dodged a bullet on that one. We were a five man band, The Fabulous Chancellors, and we had a driver and towed a trailer. Great memories.
Hats off to these guys who served to preserve our freedom.
CULPEPER HAS BEEN INVADED....
......And I am excited about it! Tanom Motors of Culpeper is manufacturing a new motorcycle like vehicle that goes from 0-60 in under four seconds!!. It is a reverse tricycle called the Invader.
They advertise this vehicle as a "Three wheel adrenalin rush" and I'll bet it is.
The bodies will be manufactured right here in Culpeper and then they will be married with a hot hot Yamaha engine. The plan is to eventually employ 300 people at the plant and produced four thousand Invaders a year.
Here is Chris Hall who is the plant manager. He was most patient with me. I really wanted shots of the Invader and I called him again and again until they had a couple that were ready for prime time. These sweet babies start in the $50,000 range so I won't be getting one this month, but I love seeing them out on the road and certainly have pride in the fact that they are manufactured in Culpeper.
It's summertime and the livin is easy
Well sort of......... I carried my camera almost everywhere for a solid week and saw lots of interesting and fun things.
If I am purposely looking for photos, Mountain Run Park is usually worth a drive-through. On this day retiree Leon Hurt was fishing away. He says he does that a lot and always eats what he catches. He was a great guy to talk with. He worked for forty three years for New England Stone as a stone mason and that is hard work. Now he spends some of his hard earned retirement time in this beautiful spot fishing and relaxing. He reminded me of the line from the song, "Summertime." It goes like this: "It's summertime and the livin is easy, fish are jumpin and the cotton is high."
Gregg Deal is a relatively new member of the Culpeper community and quite an artist. Although Gregg has skills in lots of areas and does great work as a portrait artist, I chose to put a couple of pictures that are near and dear to him. These are paintings of Native Americans. Gregg is a Native American himself who is from the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Northern Nevada. He is an outspoken advocate for American Indian rights and is often a spokesperson on the issue of the name of the Washington Redskins football team. Gregg is also a performance artist which is quite fascinating. Google him to get a taste of exactly what that is.
I find Gregg to be an interesting guy. We had a chance to visit quite a bit when I visited his studio. I want to remind you that he is an excellent commercial artist who has fine art work for sale. He also accepts commissions. Now, full disclosure ....... I had a wedding and portrait photography business in Fairfax County for lots and lots of years. It turns out that I photographed the wedding of Gregg and his cute wife, Meagan several years ago, but it took us a while to figure that out.
Dudes building decks! I think the economy is recovering..... at least in the deck building part of it. This summer seems to have been a great one for people adding decks to their homes. I saw these three guys building one in my neighborhood and stopped to chat and get a picture. These guys are serious workers.... they hardly looked up. Every day I pass the deck that Enrique Marshall, his brother Desmond Marshall and Daniel Theis built in our neighborhood. It is attractive and looks very very solid. BTW.... they work for True Built Construction.
You would never know that big black clouds were rolling in and thunder was rumbling when I took this shot. You might figure out however that I was standing out in the middle of Davis Street in order to get the angle. It is times like that when I think, ROAD KILL!!!! On the way to an appointment, I saw this guy sitting in front of the Raven's Nest and really hoped he would still be there when I came back in about a half an hour but honestly did not hold out much hope. What I did not realize is that Chuck Bowen was in no hurry. He likes to come down to the Nest, get a cup of coffee (or something), and settle down in this chair on the sidewalk with a good book and spend some serious reading time. I would never be able to read like that and not be totally distracted by the traffic and who was driving by. Chuck seemed to be handling all of that very nicely. He is a free lance writer and seemed very content. BTW, that is a plant behind him and not some crazy hairdo. Not very good camera technique.
This year I have become very attracted to a Culpeper park on the outskirts of town called Lenn Park. We became acquainted with it when Andrea was looking for a place with fire pits for a cookout with grandkids. There are several at Lenn Park plus baseball fields, a covered area for group gatherings, a model airplane field, a sweet playground, a beautiful stream, historic Civil War sites and more. It is just a fun place. My picture with my grandson, Chase, at the top of this blog is taken near one of the fire pits at the park. My wife, son, daughter in law and their four kids had an old fashion wiener roast followed by smores.
I think that this portion of the stream running through the park is so fun that I asked our friend Brooke Clubb to pose in the middle of it for me so that I could share the beauty of both Brooke and the stream with all of you. This spot is great for wading. Brooke is going to college in the West in a little town in Idaho that is my mother's hometown, Rexburg. BYU Idaho is there. It is in an area that is not too far from West Yellowstone and the Idaho side of the Teton Mountains are clearly visible just outside or town.
This couple was walking on the trail that goes from the entrance of the park for almost exactly one mile. It is a nice two mile walk, or hike, or bike. These young people were so cordial and stopped and chatted with me. They were just enjoying each other and the beauty of the park. Karie Kovacs and Jarrett Sites are students at Germanna Community College.
Ok, so I really do see the most unique things and meet the most interesting people.... I admit it. I had a guy at the Culpeper Times say to me: "So do you just carry your camera around and run into interesting people?" I said, "Pretty much." This is one of those people and something that you simply don't see every day. Once again I found something a bit unusual and interesting. I saw this man with this gear and I am pretty sure that he was bent over with his face in the water....maybe it was just very near the surface of the water. I was driving up the trail in Lenn Park to the part of the stream where I planned to shoot Brooke (above) when I saw him and I hoped mightily that he would be there when I came back. A half an hour later I returned to the spot with little promise that he would still be there..... but he was. This is Jason Stanley and he has a metal detector in his hand.... must be waterproof... and he was busy in Mountain Run Stream looking for Civil War relics. He had worked his was downstream a half a mile and had not discovered anything yet, but that area is so rich in Civil War history that I can't imagine that he did not find something that day. It was enjoyable talking to him. I found out that he is an electrician, is married and has four kids.
Now to a whole different part of the park.
I mentioned earlier that Lenn Park has baseball diamonds along with other features. One day I saw that a group was gathering near the ball field and went over to see if there was a photo op there. When I handed one man my card he handed it right back and said, "Yeah, I know you.... you are the photographer guy." I love it when people know who I am even if they couldn't tell you my name, because it makes everything easier. Of course the fact that I was carrying a camera may have had something to do with the recognition also. Sooo I learned some things from these guys. They play in the Culpeper Church Softball League which has been in existence for over thirty years. There are ten teams in this league. From left to right they are: Nate Viar, Marvin Hinchey and Kevin Pope.
The depth and breadth of the industries in Culpeper amazes me. Lately I have seen a number of large freight trucks with massive loads of hay. Generally I have seen them on Route 29 somewhere in the vicinity of Southern States and Martins. I have not been in a situation where I could follow them to see where they were going, but I have wondered. Some of them have the newer big round rolls of hay but some still go with the kind on this load. I obviously could not flag them down and hold up traffic while I tried to get my shot ..... can you imagine? So I was pretty happy to be driving down Rte 666 and see this big old rig coming at me. I turned around at the first opportunity and chased them down.... to what I assume is the Payne farm. The driver was Steve Ankrom and the truck belongs to Payne Hay and Straw Inc. This load was destined to a "large horse farm" in North Carolina. Apparently this company services the entire Mid Atlantic region. Steve educated me a little and told me that this is a family business and it is run by a father and son. I should note that he says the Paynes are "very very fine people." I believe him!
It is not everyday that you see a guy walking around dressed like this on a 90 degree day, but I saw this one. Antonio Yates is a personal trainer turned hair stylist. His new shop located in Hilltop Plaza has been open for about seven or eight months and business is good. He not only does haircuts and styles, he offers shaves and "the latest trends." He is a life long resident of Culpeper and would love to see you drop by.
Ok, here comes the big finish, the piece de resistance, the crown jewel etc.
Here we are in all of our glory... the Rich and Andrea Crowley family! I love them all!
Well that's it for this time. Hope you enjoyed it. You can direct comments and/or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don't forget to check out my weekly feature in the Culpeper Times. We call it, "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper."
For the next blog I will be looking for smiles so get yours ready.