River Summers

Stories from the Rappahannock

Book Introduction



The Mother of States— our home state of Virginia, from the mountains, the sea and everything in between, gives us history and adventures, which can bring all the senses together of a person. At some point you will stop, look, listen, and say—Wow, it can’t get any better then that! Then when you think—it can’t get any better— it does.


    For those that are not Virginia born—Sorry— Wherever you come from, I am sure you have your own Wow, it can’t get any better then that. That’s great because, you know, it doesn’t matter where you are from, whatever your —That is— that’s good enough.


    For those that cannot find any —Wows— elsewhere, visit Virginia. Y’all will find them here. Better yet, welcome! Come and stay! It is a wonderful placed to live, grow, and make your own great history.


    There were and always will be more —Wows— just around the corner anywhere you look in this grand state. My families’ wows were around the river, oceans, and mountains. It didn’t matter where you were, you would be guaranteed a —Wow.


    There were times in our own family history that gave us the opportunity to witness and participate in what Virginia has to offer. The major draw for us was the Rappahannock River and areas of the Northern Neck of Virginia.



    As one looks back on the early years of growing up, there are times in these periods of innocence that are retained in our memories throughout life. These memories effect our growth, our direction, and the influence we place on others as well. Everyone holds these event recollections from infancy to adulthood; though, some of these memories may become cloudy or lost due to the trails taken and tribulations of the developing teenage years. That is a hold different story for another time.


    From the first days as a curious toddler of fourteen months, to my teenage years, there was always some sort of connection to water. Whether it was in a toilet, bathtub, muddy ditch, or the wide expanse of the bountiful rivers and bays of Virginia, discovery and adventures were around every corner.  


    We all remember something—some more, others less. Good, bad, or indifferent— it is in there somewhere. Close your eyes, take some nice deep breaths, and try to reflect back as far as you can. Then slowly reflect forward; you may surprise yourself on what you thought you had forgotten about, you had not.


    Sit back, relax, read these stories at your own comfortable pace. Be entertained by the antics, excitement, and adventures of a southern country kid and his family. Growing up with a close family, great cooking, the best dogs, all with memories of a time and place dear to many others and myself, on and around the breathtaking and wonderful river.


  You might find some of the narratives may bring out that old recollection of your own. They might even give you ideas that will be fun for yourself or your family and start the process of developing your own great memories.


Russ Francis 2006