Rockbridge Life & Culture

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Rockbridge
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Joined: 2009 Feb 21 18:09

Back in Time

Postby Rockbridge » 2009 Feb 21 19:53

Once in a while I reflect on earlier times, as I suppose everyone does. During some of these reflections, it’s not hard to see, in my mind's eye, a picture of my Grandfather, dressed in bib overhauls and wearing a weathered 1930's era hat, standing on Lexington's main street, carrying on a conversation with another man across the street. I have no recollection of specific topics of these short conversations, but I do remember the 1950's ford and chevy sedans whizzing past as the two men raised their voices to overcome the sound of whining gears and motor noise. Lexington was the heart beat of the county then, and I suppose it still is today. On a farm located several miles from this Historic Virginia town, I spent a lot of summers during my youth, working in hay fields during the day, milking cows in the evenings and sleeping under a tin roof that made one of the best sounds in the world when it rained. After spending a hot summer’s day in the sun, my Grandfather and my Grandmother and I would sit on the front porch and look out across the valley to catch the glint of the setting sun, shining off of a car, traveling along the Sky Line Drive. These were some of the most peaceful and secure times of my life and I thought they would last forever. Little did I know about the horrors that lay ahead, in a very short progression of time, which would sever this existence forever, erasing it, as though it never was, except for the dim recollections in my mind.

resigned

Re: Back in Time

Postby resigned » 2009 Feb 22 08:18

What beatiful reflections----they almost parallel to mine. I grew up in the Ozark Mountains and spend lots of time with my Grandparents. They lived right across the pasture from our home. I believe Grandparents have a great deal of influence on our lives. So sorry to hear you had some bad times following. You mentioned the horrors. While I went through some difficult times growing up (still growing up) I felt they all helped to make me the person I am today. I remember my Mom telling me when I was struggling with a particular difficult time that I was metal being forged into steel. I would tell her I didn't need any more forging.

My Grandfather wore those bib overalls also

Rockbridge
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Joined: 2009 Feb 21 18:09

Re: Back in Time

Postby Rockbridge » 2009 Feb 27 17:10

Thanks for the kind words.

Rockbridge
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Joined: 2009 Feb 21 18:09

Horror Explained

Postby Rockbridge » 2009 Mar 12 22:39

Horror is a very subjective term, I suppose, depending on the sensibilities of those who use the word. What would be considered a horrible act to most folks, could and probably would mean nothing to a psychopath. I am not trying to describe that type of horror (see my last posting). The kind of horror I am trying to describe here is one which can follow suddenly, after years of struggling to arrive at a temping plateau. It is the horror preceded by a mindset of self sufficiency. It is ushered in by an ever increasing notion, which suggests tomorrow will be just as good as today. The welcoming corridor of our brain invites this type of horror, by telling us that we have made it through the tough times and now we have more than enough to see us through this present time.

My Grandfather’s horror was initiated by a stroke. The horror, itself, was spending his remaining years watching what he had worked so hard for, during the depression years, be destroyed. The farm was sold and the great hardwoods, including the giant walnut trees, which he treasured, were stripped from the land. Apartment buildings for college students were built next to the farm house, desecrating the old home place forever.

MissTheRC

Love/Hate

Postby MissTheRC » 2009 May 11 22:55

Hi all, longtime casual reader, first-time poster.

Most of the threads here focus on current events, politics, philosophical musings, what-have-you. I thought I would start a thread just to see generally what is it that others think makes Lex/Rbridge a special place. I was born at SJH and grew up in the county, have been gone for about 5 years now doing the push-off-getting-a-job-as-long-as-possible school thing. I often find myself missing the area terribly, regularly checking up on the NG and RW's websites and trying to keep up with the goings on. I love the times when I get a chance to come back, but find that most of my peers have moved on elsewhere and that is sad to me, though I can't say I blame most of them for trying to make something of themselves.

So what is it about Rockbridge that makes it such a special place to you? What is your favorite part about the area? Least favorite part? Were you raised here or are you a newcomer? If an oldtimer, what kept you around? If new, what brought you here and made you want to stay? My aim here is to create a light-hearted thread for all of us to reflect on our hometown/new hometown/place we've taken a fancy to/etc. Feel free to throw in some interesting personal anecdotes. I look forward to reading the responses.

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Wise One
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Re: Love/Hate

Postby Wise One » 2009 May 13 15:09

Thanks for the stimulating and innovative posting.

You say you were "born in SJH." I was born in the original, Stonewall Jackson's actual house, which was the town hospital for years.

Here's some of the good stuff:

  • As a kid I loved spelunking in the county's many caves, almost all now closed off by the goddamn lawyers and owners fiercely shouting "it's mine, go away!"
  • I loved hiking the hills and swimming the streams. Still do, although the streams are degrading rapidly.
  • I loved the characters of the town, who seemed more vivid and real and "out there" than those we see today. For example,
  • KAT (Kenneth Thompson) taught high school and inspired me to science and mathematics, nice, although he also betrayed a shocking mean streak. I'd been the yearbook's photographer the year before. He assumed and stated that I'd be doing it again. When I meekly asked if I couldn't, instead, write and edit to broaden my experience, he exploded, threw me out of the room, and forbade me to work on any publication in any capacity.
  • Art Silver, nearly the only Jew in town, regaled boys with tales and jokes and routines from his Vaudeville days, and taught us that girlie magazines exist.
    I never tired of a joke he told a thousand times, "I was walking down Main Street when this bum came up and asked me for money. I screamed at him, GO AWAY! I'm working this side of the street!"
  • Willie Shields was seen every day, all day, walking the streets of Lexington collecting stuff people threw away. I delivered the morning newspaper to his house, once peeked inside, and saw that every cubic inch of interior volume was packed with junk accumulated over the years.
  • You could still walk and camp freely nearly anywhere without selfish and inhospitable landowners chasing you away. I remember being approached on a camping trip up in the hills by honest to god Moonshiners hawking their wares.
  • I learned some of my best moves at Hulls Drive-In.
  • Every kid walked or biked to school.

And here's some of the bad stuff:

  • It was mean back then, segregated schools, prejudice was open and raw, and many blacks stepped off the sidewalk into the gutter to yield to whites walking by. White/colored signs were everywhere. Blacks were required to sit in the balcony of the local movie theaters.
  • There was a military draft. It was understood and accepted as normal that Mrs. Price, the head of the draft board, would see that no son of the rich, powerful and connected in Lexington would be touched by the draft. She delivered.
  • "Religious instruction" appeared in the public schools. My Dad thought this to be unconstitutional and arranged for me to sit in study hall during those times. I had only one partner in avoidance, the Catholic kid, whose parents objected to the protestant nature of the instruction. Naturally, my Dad's position was affirmed by the Supreme Court.
  • During the desegregation of Virginia's schools, conservatives rammed through their "massive resistance" campaign. One particularly obnoxious feature was a State grant of money to parents wanting to send their kids to private schools, thereby enabling them to stay 'way from them colored folk. My Dad figured out how to screw the bastards, took the money for two of his kids, and used it to send his children to northern integrated private schools! He predicted the system would collapse, and it did.
  • Only a few people had TV sets. We didn't. Wait, maybe that was the good stuff.
:tiphat:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Amy Probenski
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Re: Back in Time

Postby Amy Probenski » 2009 Jul 23 22:26

Here is a collection of of old photographs in the Rockbridge area from way back.

I love these old photographs!

Note: photo not there any more.
And here's a wonderful photo of a covered bridge in Lexington, with VMI in the background. There should be enough information in the photo to figure out where it was taken, but I can't quite make it out. Is it perhaps at the location of the old railroad station?

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Coondog
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Re: Back in Time

Postby Coondog » 2009 Jul 24 11:18

Amy

Thanks for the "wonderful photo". I haven't seen that one before. The perspective is from what is now the northern end of the East Lexington bridge.The Beechenbrook Chapel and Stono are recognizable on the far left. Most of the closer structures (now gone) are on what is now Jordan Point Park. Old Rt. #39 on the right looks fairly new. I wonder...is that a canal boat under the bridge? I don't know who those two guys are, but from the hat, that might be Wise One on the right.

Coondog :tiphat:

Somehow, it all looked better then than it does now.

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VoiceCryingOut
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Rockbridge County Heroes

Postby VoiceCryingOut » 2011 Jul 21 22:04

I couldn't find a topic to add this to, but it is inspirational. Rockbridge County is full of quiet heroes.

http://www.mlive.com/opinion/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/07/guest_commentary_the_reality_o.html

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Wise One
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Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby Wise One » 2011 Aug 02 10:00

After all these years we finally got a chance to attend Stonewall Country at Lime Kiln. It was wonderful, a Broadway class show right here in our tiny community, written wholly for it. Catch it while you still can!

Here's a photograph I took of the core musical group ... you won't hear better music in these parts. Left to right are: Doug Harwood, Linda Williams, Robin Williams, Barry Mines (not Jim Watson). I'd heard Robin & Linda Williams for years on Prairie Home Companion so it was great finally to see them perform in person and meet them briefly.

DSC03951w.jpg

Stonewall Country, the music.

:coffee:
Last edited by Wise One on 2011 Aug 03 08:56, edited 1 time in total.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

Daddio

Re: Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby Daddio » 2011 Aug 02 14:55

I agree that Stonewall Country is a gem, witty dialogue, historically accurate, snappy acting and fantastic music. But Barry Mines is playing bass in the photo - it's probably taken at the beginning of the 2nd act, when Jim Watson makes a grand entrance in the song, "Here Comes Jeb"

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bookfan
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Re: Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby bookfan » 2011 Aug 02 16:03

Agreed. Wonderful stuff. This was one of my favorite numbers.

Image

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Wise One
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Re: Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby Wise One » 2011 Aug 02 18:03

Daddio wrote:Barry Mines is playing bass in the photo - it's probably taken at the beginning of the 2nd act, when Jim Watson makes a grand entrance in the song, "Here Comes Jeb"

Thanks for the correction ... yes indeed, it is Barry Mines.

I have no idea what a photo of Fred Willard has to do with this, even though he did attend VMI. Most likely bookfan is just pranking us again under one of his many aliases.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Juggler
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Re: Back in Time

Postby Juggler » 2011 Sep 16 10:49

When I was a boy, my mother would send me down to the corner store with a $1, and I’d come back with -
    5 bags of potatoes
    2 loaves of bread
    3 pints of milk
    a hunk of cheese
    a box of tea
    and 6 eggs
You can’t do that any more. Too damn many security cameras.

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Crux
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Theft.

Postby Crux » 2011 Sep 16 14:19

...and your momma turned the blind eye?
crux identifies with American Principles. Personal Liberty, Respect and Limited government.
He is a classic liberal, a libertarian at heart, and a conservative in the classical sense...

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Wise One
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Re: Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby Wise One » 2011 Oct 22 11:03

Hey, get a load of these 50 strange buildings around the world.

Our own Teakettle Building is #24 on the list. How many of us have rented a canoe at the livery there and paddled down the Maury River? I have!

Does anybody know the history of this building's design and construction? I'd love to know.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Phd
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Re: Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby Phd » 2011 Oct 22 19:52

It is a funny little place isn't it? If my memory serves me well, it was built in the mid sixties, called the Coffee Pot and served up really good sandwiches and coffee.

I also remember that some time in the eighties, one of Barger's dump trucks was moving along at a pretty good clip on Rt. 60 when a wheel came off the truck and rolled right into the coffee pot and out the other side. I came by just as it had happened. Fortunately no one was in there yet as it was early in the morning and fortunately the little pot was able to be repaired!

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Wise One
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Re: Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby Wise One » 2011 Oct 22 20:52

Yes! And why is it referred to in the article as "Teakettle" when most of us have called it the "Coffee Pot?" Which is correct? And who knows the complete history?
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Wise One
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Re: Rockbridge Life & Culture

Postby Wise One » 2011 Oct 23 22:05

We've attended some of these in the DC area and they are superb, almost better than attending live and a helluva lot cheaper. You get interviews and a roving/multiple camera view you cannot get in a theater. I hope the State installs quality audio equipment and quality HD projection ... they are essential to a good experience.
State Theater Going All-Digital
New York Met Opera Live Broadcasts To Be Shown

The State Cinema is in the process of converting to all digital projection. While the theater's primary focus will continue to be presenting first run movies this new technology provides the opportunity to broad its cultural and entertainment offerings, collectively referred to as "Alternative Content".

The first Alternative Content at the State Cinema will be live presentations of selected performances of the New York Metropolitan Opera. This is the 6th year that the Met performances will be broadcast live to movie theatres around the world (45 countries) and has been hugely successful. The 2011/12 season starts off with the presentation of Donizetti's Anna Bolena on October 15, 2011. The theatre should be ready for this presentation,but if not, then it will join the program later in the month with Mozart's Don Giovanni on October 29th. The full schedule is available at http://www.rctheatres.com/events.asp?type=opera.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Neck-aint-red
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It's Over

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2011 Dec 04 16:25

So many things, formerly useful, have faded away. Buggy whips, 8-track tape players, LP vinyl records, pay phones, fountain pens.

It is now time for the Post Office to go bye-bye. Analyses of the customer base, the revenue stream, the nature of mail pieces, the competition ... all point to the imminent death of the Post Office.

Sigh, she served us well. But now she's got to go.