Local New Market News
In terms of its population, New Market is undeniably a small town. Google estimates the number of local residents at 2,183, a figure that hasn’t changed much with time (about 1,500 people lived here in 1990). What New Market may lack in sheer population, though, it more than makes up for in community! We’ve told you before about the local summer concert series, our fantastic holiday celebrations, and the area’s wealth of historical sites. This month, we’d like to tell you about one more New Market institution that adds to the town’s character: The Schultz Theatre and School of Performing Arts.
Founded in 2010, the Schultz offers performances and instruction, training students in disciplines from playwriting to musical theater. This summer, the staff is offering summer camps and putting on several shows. Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike begins its run in May, while Elvis has left the Building premieres in June. A musical adaptation of the Little Mermaid is on tap for July.
The Schultz is the perfect spot to take a break from the heat in New Market this summer. Even if you’re not a performance enthusiast, the building itself is worth a look. Begun in 1901 as a combination town hall and opera house, it was funded by Charles Broadway Rouss, a New Market native with a love of the arts. A 2006 restoration sought to return the building to its 1901 splendor.
For performance schedules and more information, check out www.SchultzTheatre.com. We hope to see you at show, soon!
Shenandoah Place News/Announcements
Our new memory care community, Shenandoah Terrace, is nearly complete! It is shaping up to be a beautiful facility, with lovely architecture, interior design, and landscaping. We look forward to welcoming residents to the Terrace in early June.
For more details about Shenandoah Terrace, or to access a residency application, please visit www.ShenTerrace.com or contact us directly.
We are happy to introduce two new Shenandoah Place residents: Phyllis and Geraldine (“Gerry”).
Resident Spotlight: Cornelia “Rich” Proctor
When “Rich” Proctor, one of our newest residents, speaks, you can hear the smile in every word she says. It doesn’t matter if the story she’s telling is uplifting or sad as can be; Rich delivers it graciously, and often with a gentle laugh. Though she claims to be “boring,” we respectfully disagree!
Rich was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, and raised with her sister in the nearby small town of Louisburg. Her father was an attorney and judge, and her mother, a court reporter. She loved growing up near farms and having the freedom to roam and play as a child. Rich fondly remembers her “lovely” family and friends, and laughs when she describes the first school she attended. Mills High School was a consolidated school that educated elementary students downstairs and high school students upstairs. Her friends are surprised when she tells them that she began school at a high school!
Rich’s early interest in art led her to the Richmond Professional Institute, which is now Virginia Commonwealth University. She met her future husband, Sidney Fletcher Proctor, during her very first week on campus. “Fletcher,” as he was called, grew up in Durham, a mere 40 miles from Louisburg. He was the son of a civil engineer and a wonderful mother. He had served in the military and was attending RPI on the GI Bill. Although they had not previously met, their lives already had overlapped: Fletcher once visited Rich’s hometown church, and even sketched a picture of the choir she joined.
Rich and Fletcher quickly discovered that they “enjoyed all the same things,” from sketching to their college courses. Engaged during a Thanksgiving holiday, the couple caused her mother to “stand on her head” by planning a wedding for muddy, wintry February. But, as Rich recalls with a smile, it turned out to be a “beautiful day.” The Proctors honeymooned in Delmarva before settling in Arlington, VA.
Like Fletcher, Rich began working as a teacher. She left the job to stay home with the couple’s newborn daughter, and, later, their son. Occupied with childcare, the PTA and occasional substitute teaching, Rich also made lifelong friends in Arlington. The family lived there for over 25 years, exploring the shore and the mountains in their spare time. They fell in love with Harrisonburg during a garden tour of the Belmont neighborhood.
When Fletcher retired from teaching in 1986, he and Rich decided to move to Harrisonburg. They were disappointed when their first-choice home was purchased by someone else, but quickly found an even better option: a Belmont builder worked with Fletcher and Rich to design a custom home of their own. When he showed them prospective lots, the builder teased the couple about being from “Sin City,” since they locked their car doors at each stop!
The Proctors loved their new home in Harrisonburg, where they lived together until Fletcher’s passing in 2015. Their daughter, Carolyn, lives nearby and works at JMU, while their son, “Fletch,” has retired to the Philippines. A grandson is also there, and has a wife and children of his own in the country. Altogether, Rich is grandmother to four and great-grandmother to eight, with a ninth on the way! Many of her family members have lived and traveled abroad, including Fletcher’s brother, Harris, who was once introduced to Ghandi in India. She uses Skype to keep in touch with some of her family members.
Rich and Fletcher loved to travel, too. She calls their trips a big part of their “happy, happy life.” One especially memorable trip was a 40th anniversary gift from their daughter and her husband, who brought them for a visit to Alaska! They spent time in Fairbanks and Anchorage, and even took a helicopter ride to the top of a glacier, where they had a picnic lunch. Rich also recalls seeing the top of Denali, as well as moose eating in the sunlit August night. She finally saw the moon again on the flight home via Seattle.
Though their travels were usually smooth, Rich also remembers babysitting her granddaughters in California when the Northridge earthquake struck in 1994. The water jumped out of the family’s pool, but the house and family emerged unscathed. Other members of her family have also had harrowing adventures; a cousin and his pregnant wife were working in China when WWII began, and were held as prisoners of war for a year and a half! With their child, they finally were returned to the US in a prisoner exchange.
Rich feels fortunate as she looks back on her 86 years of life, though the recent passing of siblings and of Fletcher, after 63 years of marriage, has been difficult. She acknowledges her sadness, but is grateful for the support of her family and friends, who came from all over to honor Fletcher, and of neighbors who organized a beautiful family meal. The admiration in her voice is unmistakable: “I just can’t believe all they did.” Her experiences have given Rich poignant advice to share: Though “you just want things to stay…things don’t go forever. I tell everybody, enjoy every day. Make your happy memories.”
Activity Spotlight: Gardening with the FFA
The Valley is in bloom right now, and Shenandoah Place is no exception! Our sunroom is filled with light, and our porches are warm and inviting. This year, we have even more greenery than usual, thanks to the Broadway High School FFA.
The FFA, or Future Farmers of America, recently sent club members to Shenandoah Place. Their mission? To help our residents get their hands dirty in a new outdoor garden! With the assistance of several residents, the high school students built a new raised bed for growing vegetable plants. They also brought along a resident-adapted cart, which allows gardeners to sit or stand comfortably while working.
The FFA afternoon was a lot of fun for everyone. Residents enjoyed talking with the students, and reminiscing about some of their previous experiences with gardening. The best part, though, is that the project isn’t finished! As the plants grow and produce, residents can participate in the harvest and eat the “fruits” of their labor. We love our new addition to Shenandoah Place, and thank the Broadway High students for their kindness.
You may be gone from my sight, but you are never gone from my heart.
In Memory of
Mary “Kitty” Hayes