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Of Spotsy, the queen, and a pair of pants page 2
Of Spotsylvania, the queen, and a pair of pants

 Queen Elizabeth II was a big hit with the Yanks as she toured Jamestown this month--but why?
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Date published: 5/20/2007

By Richard Amrhine


I checked out a few blogs about the royal visit to see what some opinionated types were saying about it. Some people seem so enamored with the bluebloods that they probably seek out toads to kiss in search of the perfect mate.

But I thought this entry offered a succinct, if rather coarse, opposing view:

"I hate the royals they are pointless dated idiots what the point in them, thousands of years ago they ran the country now they sponge from the country and look down their noses at the common people who pay for them to do so"

Can't you just feel the outrage? And punctuation is so overrated anyway.

Sometimes eye-opening events are more gradual than startling. I have lived in Spotsylvania County for the past 18 years, but learning about it is an ongoing experience.

Work often takes me along roads I've not traveled before, and as my kids grow up, their athletic pursuits and other activities are taking them to the farthest reaches of the county. Of course it is up to their parents to get them there. Quick: What's the best way to get from Lee Hill Park off U.S. 17 to Ni River Middle School?

Spotsylvania is a huge county and still beautiful--except where it isn't. While growth and progress are healthy and expected, it's important for leaders and residents alike to to insist that goodly portions of its rural character be retained.

Not only that, but those far-flung areas deserve to have their roads, parks, and other facilities maintained just as well as those in more populous areas closer to Fredericksburg.

Many of the residents of these areas represent families that go back generations in Spotsylvania--precisely those who are paying the price in taxes for growth they didn't bargain for.

Chewning Park, which might be kindly described as "way out there" on Post Oak Road, has a couple of ball fields that, with just a little attention, would be decent places to play. A gap under a backstop at one, and a poison-ivy-covered hillside that's a foul-ball magnet on the other, take a heavy toll on the fun.

Our route of choice to Chewning Park takes us along Robert E. Lee Drive and Pamunkey Road, among other county byways, and portions of those are in serious need of repair and resurfacing. Along one narrow, twisty stretch is a roadside memorial, drawing attention to a life lost.

The merging of rural and suburban is often a recipe for danger. Too much traffic on roads ill-equipped to handle it is a Spotsylvania specialty. It's a recurring issue in several surrounding counties. The key is to make sure problem spots get the timely attention they need.

Why it has taken so long to build a Spotsylvania Courthouse bypass, for example, is among the great mysteries of life.

Richard Amrhine is a writer and editor with The Free Lance-Star.

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