Fluvanna Review

Maggie Watts, Ryland’s grandmother. Photo circa 1930s.  Photo courtesy of Ryland WattsRyland Watts will be celebrating his 93rd Christmas this year. Watts, who lives with his wife Evelyn at Peaceful Farm in Wilmington, came in from his yard work to sit in an easy chair in a sunny widow and share his memories of Christmases past. Watts is a thin man, with glasses and white hair and restless hands. He has a quiet voice and a gentle smile.
When Watts was a boy, he said, Christmas was simpler than it is today. “Well, there were five of us children – four girls and myself,” he explained. “I was the oldest. We used to always get a flat box of raisins – that was al-ways a Christmas present – and we always got a coconut or an orange, and then some type of toy. I would get a pocket knife or a pop gun. It was pretty cheap stuff, I guess – but five or ten cents was a lot of money back then.”
“I remember one Christmas I got a little pocket knife with a chain that hooked through your overall strap,” Watts said. “I went to the spring with a little half gallon bucket to get water. I don’t know if it was on the way down there or on the way back, but I lost my pocket knife. My mother looked and looked for it, but we never could find it. I remember I cried and cried and cried,” he said ruefully. “It was my first knife, and I was just a little boy.”
“My favorite Christmas gift?” he mused, “I don’t know. It was probably when I got a bicycle one Christmas. I guess I was about 12 or 13. ‘Twas a blue and white one,” he said. “I don’t remember the make of it – but it was a boy’s bicycle and that meant the girls couldn’t ride it,” he said with a grin. “I went everywhere on that bicycle.”
Not long after he got the bicycle, he suffered a head injury in an accident, and missed a bit of school. When he was finally able to go back, he was riding his bike to school carrying his briefcase in front of him. When he reached back to catch his cap as it slid off his head, he lost control of his bicycle and wrecked into a pole, scrap-ing his face badly. “I was supposed to be George Washington in the play at school that day,” Watts said, shaking his head. “Instead I got to stay home for a few more days. There was good news, though,” he added with a smile, “I was able to fix the bicycle.”
Christmas dinners consisted of foods his father had hunted, and his mother had canned from the garden. “Daddy used to hunt, so we had a lot of quail and turkey…we used to have a wild turkey for Christmas Day, I remember. My mother would make pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie, and she would serve canned vegetables – things she would put up from the garden, like snaps,” Watts said. “I liked the sweet potato pie better than pump-kin,” he admitted.
“I used to love to go to my grandmother’s at Christmas – that was always the highlight of the Christmas sea-son,” Watts said. “I was the first grandson, and she was so proud of me for that,’ he reminisced.
“Her name,” Watts said, “was Maggie – Maggie Watts. She never left Halifax County,” he marveled, “she lived her whole 90 years in Halifax. She was real skinny – she never weighed over 90 pounds. She always wore her hair in a bun behind her head, and she always had an apron on tied around her waist,” he remembered, lost in the past.
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Photo by Rachel BrownleeKids get caught up in Christmas. While adults talk about good food and family at Christmastime, kids are busy dreaming of presents, Santa, snow, and more presents.
The children in Rachel Brownlee’s third grade class at Carysbrook Elementary picked up their pencils and carefully printed their favorite ways to celebrate the December holidays – or Christmas, for each of these kids.
After presents and family, one other theme emerged. Santa, on behalf of Brownlee’s class, please skip the coal this year.
What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
• My tradition is on Dicember, 5 I set up my Christmas tree. My sister get’s to put on bell’s and I get to put on our angol. (Sydney Chipperfield)
• We set arond th Chrismas tree and open give’s. (Kayden Drumheller)
• Decorating the house, getting the christmas tree, and opening prezents. (Anthony Guseman)
• My favorite tradition is opening presents and having snowball fights and having hot coco. (Conner Jeffries)
• Whine I git up I git my dad and mom up and open presents. (Rick Sponaugle)
• We go to see tacky lights. (Cullen Long)
• Grinch night, Becouse I get to hang out with my freinds and eat pizza, games, make ginge bread houses. (Carson Pfeiffer)
What do you like about Christmas?
• I like the snow and ice. (Sammi Ireland)
• I like running down the hall and getting to see what’s in my stocking. I also like sellebrating God. (Sydney Chipperfield)
• We go to Floruda on befor Christmas and on Chrismas Day we eat egg. (Briana Davis)
• I like Christmas because it’s Jesus’s birthday, and you get to spend time with your family opening presents. (Joseph Campbell)
• That Santa gives you presents that was on your crismis. (Peyton Hasher)
• That we git to open Presents and eat good breakfeast. (Rick Sponaugle)
• I get 2 christmases at my house and my nana’s house. (Cullen Long)
• Spending time with my falimy and going Ice saketing. (Ciara Brown)
What present do you hope to get for Christmas? What present do you hope you won’t get?
• For christmas I want 5 comic books from back then. For christmas I don’t want coal. (Conner Jeffries)
• I hope i get a new tablet I hope i don’t get coal in my stking. (Isaiah Bradley)
• Hope I won’t get is rocks. or book. or Reading. (Briana Davis)
• I hope I get a pogow stick. But I don’t want a miny mouse play set. (Sydney Chipperfield)
• I hope I get frozen dolls because I like frozen. I hope I don’t get toy cars. (Gabrielle Etchison)
• A real puppy. not a Real puppy. (Ciara Brown)
• I hope i won’t get a lump of cole. I hope i will get a new frby. (Sammi Ireland)
• I hope I will get Books, Books and Book’s! I Don’t want to get a Wii or an x Box 360. (Diver Davis)
• I hope I will get a Zoomer Dino. I hope I won’t get some Closes. (Aidan Apelt)
• A Giant life size teddy bear is what I want for Christmas. What I don’t want is: Legos. (Anthony Guseman)
• A four weler so when I wake up I will see the four weeler. (Peyton Hasher)
• I hope I don’t get cole. I want a snow globe with Santa and me. (Reece Matula)
What is your most interesting Christmas memory?
• My memory is, when I was at my Grandparont’s house. A mouse came awt of the chimney. My uncol had to swipe it awt of the house. (Sydney Chipperfield)
• My memory is seeing Santa on Christmas night. (Joseph Mundie)
• Last year when I got christmas picters with my cousins and we had a big supper. (Gabrielle Etchison)
• When we mad cookies for sant and we mad chocklit cookies. (Kayden Drumheller)
• Giving my sister and mom the best present ever. (Megan Gentry)
• In 2013 when I made an igloo and my friends Addison and Ivan Patchett came and we played with it but then we knocked down the igloo and made a big mountain out of it. (Jospeh Campbell)
• Stok in snow. it is so cod. (Shayla Burgess)
• Putting the star on the tree and decradig the tree. With my mom. (Peyton Hasher)
• When I fell in a mud puddle. (Ciara Brown)
• When my dad was waiting for me to open my present. So when I got down and my dad was holding a poket knife and it was mine! (Carson Pfeiffer)

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More than 60 Fluvanna landowners attended a meeting held on Dec. 16. Photo by Tricia JohnsonMore than 60 Fluvanna landowners attended a meeting on Dec. 16 to learn more about a pipeline that will carry water from the James River to support growth in Louisa County near Zion Crossroads.
The pipeline will run from a proposed pumping station on Rt. 6 at the James River near Columbia to a water treatment plant that will be built at Ferncliff, and from there to Zion Crossroads. It will be constructed adjacent to the existing Colonial Gas Pipeline and Central Virginia Electric Cooperative transmission lines.
The 104 Fluvanna County landowners whose properties will be directly impacted by the pipeline had the opportunity to meet with county representatives from Fluvanna and Louisa as well as the agencies and businesses involved in designing and constructing the proposed pipeline to learn more about the project, and to express their concerns.
The meeting, held at the Kents Store ARC by the Louisa County Water Authority and Timmons Group, an engineering firm based in Charlottesville, was attended by numerous county officials from both Fluvanna and Louisa, including both county administrators, and several members of Fluvanna’s and Louisa’s Boards of Supervisors.
Fluvanna landowners who will be compelled to sell easements for the construction of the pipeline on their properties expressed concerns about the impacts the construction will have on their homes. David Beckman of Covered Bridge Road was concerned that he would lose access to his home; Randy Wishon was concerned that fences that contain his livestock would need to be moved; Mary Smith explained that the pipeline would likely not fit between her house and a nearby pond.
Mel Sheridan, Fluvanna County Commissioner of the Revenue, who lives in Kents Store where many properties would be impacted, pointed out that these landowners have already been asked to “consider the greater good” and sell commercial rights-of-way through their properties more than once. He urged those in charge of the process to be respectful and considerate of the affected landowners.
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Recent dog bites at Fluvanna County parks have prompted the county to take action on a new dog leash policy.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip informed the Board of Supervisors Wednesday night (Dec. 17) that a high school student running on the track team was bitten by an unleashed dog at Pleasant Grove. In a separate incident an unleashed dog bit an adult at Pleasant Grove. Not only that, but one dog recently bit another dog so badly that the bitten dog almost died, he said. That case is going to court.
“Now that we know there’s a problem I really think we’re looking for trouble if we don’t do something about it,” Haislip told the Board.
Animal control officer Paul Sheridan told supervisors that the track team frequently runs through Pleasant Grove, and because most students run at different speeds, they are “dissipated” rather than in a pack. Those students are running into large breed dogs such as German Shepherds and Dobermans that are off-leash, he said. Though the owners are out there with their dogs, he explained, they can’t control what happens when their dogs run up to people or other dogs.
Director of Parks and Recreation Jason Smith reminded supervisors that the track team hosts meets once or twice a year at Pleasant Grove, so people from other counties are also at risk.
Currently the county’s policy states that dogs must remain on a leash in “high volume areas,” terminology which Smith said was confusing. He suggested an updated policy that would require dogs to remain on a leash at all times while in county parks, except in designated off-leash areas and at prescribed times.
For example, the county could choose to declare certain days of the week “dog-friendly days.” Visitors to the county’s parks would know that they may encounter unleashed dogs on those days.

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RK&K Engineers this afternoon (Dec. 17) gave the Fluvanna County Board of Supervisors a sneak peek at the preliminary engineering report (PER) the firm is developing for a Zion Crossroads water and sewer system.
RK&K has won the contract to design the water and sewer system, said Director of Public Works Wayne Stephens. Wednesday’s presentation at the work session was a chance for supervisors to touch base with the engineering firm, get a glimpse at its preliminary suggestions, and offer feedback.
Jeff Kapinos of RK&K discussed water options for a Zion Crossroads system. The Department of Corrections (DOC) in Fluvanna has 75,000 gallons per day (GPD) of capacity for Fluvanna County to use. Supervisors could also consider pursuing arrangements with Aqua Virginia at the Lake Monticello plant or with Albemarle, though those choices come with some drawbacks, Kapinos said. The James River Water Authority would be a good long-term option, he continued.
Sewer options start with the DOC, which has a capacity of 100,000 GPD – expandable to 125,000 GPD – for Fluvanna County’s use. Other choices include the Louisa County Water Authority at Spring Creek, Glenmore at Albemarle, Aqua Virginia at Lake Monticello, or an alternate wastewater treatment plant with land treatment. Long-term options would need to include some sort of wastewater treatment plant, Kapinos said.
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