Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rub a Dub Dub, Three Men in a Tub

I recently had a reader drop me a note suggesting that I feature more local merchants in my blogs.  Although it is rare for me not to have several merchants in each of my "Faces of Culpeper" blogs, I will work on having more.  However, as I thought about local merchants, the nursery rhyme in this blog title came to mind.  It goes: "rub a dub dub three men in a tub and who do you think they be?  The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker and all rowed out to sea."  I thought it would be a great idea to find those three occupations and feature them as Culpeper merchants.  There were a couple of problems.... I could find no candlestick maker, and I discovered that most meat is delivered to the stores already cut.  Oh, well.... if you look carefully you will find a butcher, a baker and a cheese maker and that will just have to do.  I have also thrown in a few entrepreneurs and some other cool people.  So..... let's get to it.

Summer is here!
First a tip of the hat to summer..... it is here and it is hot!  These two were cooling of by rowing at Mountain Run Lake Park.  I don't think they know that I took this.  If you know them.... please let them know.

The Butcher 
Alright!  Here is the butcher already.  This is Will Gaines and he has been a butcher and now also meat manager for Martins for eleven years.  He has been in Culpeper as long as they have.  I often note Culpeper people that have long commutes somewhere.  In a reversal,  I will tell  you that Will commutes an hour to get here for work every day.

Park Workers
It stayed cold here for a long time and the leaves were late in coming out.  My wife and I walk in Yowell Meadow Park almost every day and often comment on how well the park is maintained.  Occasionally we see men on lawn mowers racing across the open spaces, but rarely if ever see the guys who work on the trees and who see that certain areas are nicely maintained.  This morning I discovered these guys at the "Kennifer" memorial, just about to get in their trucks and head out.  They had to have started work very early. That memorial, by the way, commemorates a couple of Culpeper residents who were attendants on the airplane that was crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11.  These men are:  Shane Breeding who has worked for the city for 15 years, Mike Wright (7 years) and Andy Newman (26 years).  I would love to be able to photograph all the workers who keep that park up, but for now these three will have to represent them.  Thanks, guys!

Presenting Culpeper Photograph
 In March of 2014 I took a great shot (he said humbly) of East Davis Street in the snow.  Here my wife Andrea and I are presenting a framed copy to Group Sales Director, Tom Spargur and Editor, Anita Sherman to hang in the office of the Culpeper Times. 

Wizards at TechBox
I needed something copied off a thumb drive that was invaluable to me and I wanted to be sure to take it to a place that I was confident could handle it.  I decided to try the TechBox and I was not disappointed.  In addition to getting my job done, I had a nice conversation with the store manager, Larry Brown (that is Larry in the middle) and discovered that he is originally from Iowa.  Since I am originally from Idaho we had something to connect us since lots (make that LOTS) of people mix those two states up. I often have people tell me that Idaho is not really a Western state.  What??!!!
Anyway.......the two handsome dudes with him are technicians, Chris Burg on the left and Devin Hopkins on the right.  I am pretty sure that they can fix anything thing computer related.  Know what else is interesting?   They have a part of the store dedicated to products for lefties..... you know, left handed people.  There are things like: a left handed computer keyboard; left handed can openers, left handed scissors and serving spoons, and the list goes on.  One last thing is that they have a children's book about being left handed....very cool. 

The Baker
Moving Meadows Farm on E. Davis Street is a great store to visit.
Right on the premises they mill their own wheat.

Here are the two types of wheat they use.  On the left is Hard White Wheat and on the right is Hard Red Spring Wheat which is higher in protein.

Wally Hudson uses his unique mill to grind the wheat.  Notice it is in the street window so that you can watch the process.  He even posts the times in the window when he will be grinding so that you can plan to be there and watch.
I have known for a while that the Moving Meadows Farm had opened their store on E. Davis.  I finally stopped in and am very glad that I did.  This place is fun.  Wally and Amy Hudson are the owners and they make the very best bread from start to finish right in the store so you can observe it.  Besides they offer free delicious samples of the various kinds of bread. It is a great place to take kids for a fun and tasty bit of education.
They also sell fresh meat that they have raised on their farm.  They have: beef, goat, chicken and turkey plus farm fresh eggs.

New Yoga in the Peper

This woman is a very ambitious entrepreneur.  Her intent is to impact the wellness of the citizens of Culpeper in a positive way.  She has just opened a studio downtown and the name of  her business is Pranapiloga.  The name comes from "pran" (vital energy/life force) and a combination of pilates and yoga.   Her name is Rebecca Elsen and her motto is breathe-believe-become.  Rebecca is demonstrating a couple of traditional yoga positions here.  Note that she is in jeans and a tshirt.  That is because she wants everyone to know that her approach is welcoming and casual.  "This is a studio for everyone... all shapes and conditions ..... yoga is for every 'body'."  At noon on the first Wednesday of each month she offers a "get acquainted" free session.  She is located at 133 East Davis Street, Suite 360 Downstairs.  You can contact her at  info@pranapiloga.com  or just drop in. 

Retiring Teachers
I think that many of the heroes of our time are teachers.  Monica and Kim Williams have given their lives to the children of Culpeper and now they are retiring after long careers in the Culpeper County school system.  Kim has completed 42 years of teaching in public schools with all but three being in Culpeper.  Monica is right behind him with a total of 40 years of service, 39 of them in Culpeper.  Kim has been an art teacher plus a track and field and cross country coach.  Monica has been a kindergarten teacher for thirty eight years.... bless her heart.  Can you imagine how many  Culpeper lives have been touched by these two?   However, there comes a time to move on and now is the time for the Williams.  When they first came to Culpeper they were the first people from out of state (Pennsylvania) to be hired by our school system. They were so unique that the newspaper did a story complete with pictures of them in their apartment creating lesson plans.  In the near future they will be moving to West Virginia where they are going to be ski instructors at the Canaan Valley resort.  That doesn't sound too bad!  Good luck folks and thanks for all you have done for our kids.

Rolling Thunder
I guess everyone knows that each Memorial Day there is a gathering of motorcyclists at the Vietnam Memorial in DC.  Many of the participants are veterans of the Vietnam War.  I was lucky to catch these two returning from the event and pulling into their driveway.  I asked if they would let me get a shot of them to commemorate that activity and they graciously agreed.   They are Dwight and Desiree Cox and they have been going to Rolling Thunder since 2001.  They told me that the best part of it is how appreciative and emotional people are.  Dwight is a union electrician.

Sweet Frog
Linda Kidd came to Culpeper to open  a store and the store she picked is a winner! She opened Sweet Frog four years ago and it has been part of the buzz ever since.  If you are not familiar, Sweet Frog is a premium frozen yogurt bar with several flavors and endless toppings.  You create your own combination.  If you haven't been..... what are you waiting for?  It is located in the strip mall right next to the Suntrust bank.

Trolley Bus
I am making this one extra large because I think one of the fun quaint things about Culpeper is that our bus system consists of trolley car facsimiles.  AND....... because I have wanted to get a picture of one of them and the driver forever so now having it, I am making it big!  This is Austin Faulkner and he has been driving for Culpeper the last three years.  Before that he was a union crane operator for thirty five years.  He and his wife, Sheila have been married for forty nine years!  That is a pretty good life I would say. 

Coupon Tease
Just a little tease about a product that will become available in the near future.  I can tell you that it is called Coupon Crank and that it will be a money saver for merchants and customers.  This is DJ Moberley who is the creator  and entrepreneur

The Cheese Maker
This rounds out my three men in a tub scenario.  There are many talented people in the Peper and this guy is certainly one of them. He is Jeffery Mitchell and in actuality he is the owner of the Culpeper Cheese Company which really makes him a wine and cheese merchant and a major Culpeper entrepreneur.  Before entering this business Jeffery worked for Kodak and also was a very skilled photographer in his own right, who worked providing stock photos for the news media. I asked him to hold one of his photos for my "faces blog".  This shot  of the Capital is the only one he had in his store, but it is a goodie.

Now for the BIG FINISH!!

Mellifera Homestead

This is one of the most enlightening visits I have made while creating this blog.  Chris and Vy Goddard are most interesting people.  They are in the process of following a "back to basics" concept of living and product creation.  They are the creators and entrepreneurs of Mellifera Homestead.  In their brochure they say that "we try our hardest to do what is healthiest for us, our animals, our bees, and our environment."  They keep bees and chickens plus they grow a garden.  They estimated that fifty percent of their summer veggies come from their garden.

These guys have five beehives and that number is growing.  After they harvest for themselves, they sell the surplus at the Culpeper Farmers market and upon request.  They are members of the Northern Piedmont Beekeeps Association. 
Vy is engaged in making products made from natural sources.  Some of these are: Beeswax Lip Balm, Beeswax Lotion Bar, Beeswax and Tallow Balm, and Homemade Soap.  
To learn more about them and their products you can contact them at:  vy@melliferahomestead.com

That does it for this edition....number 52 of the Faces of Culpeper series.  You may find it interesting to know that to date we have had over 44,000 visits to this blog!  

My  Faces of Culpeper Facebook page is rapidly building quite a following... so be sure to check it out.  I just started a "Face of the Week" feature that is already proving to be a draw.  Let me know if you would like to be a featured face. 


Don't forget that every single week I have a large picture in the CULPEPER TIMES NEWSPAPER.  My piece is called "Rich Crowley's Snapshot of Culpeper" and is the first thing you see when you open the cover page.