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I wanted to write and thank all those with yard signs warmly welcoming me and my family to Rappahannock County. In this era of rampant misinformation, it helps to know who is friend and foe; to determine who is a kindly Christian neighbor and who is likely disparaging me and my kin behind my back. Without the blazing clarity of your thoughtful signs, how would I ever discern between my fellow country dwellers whom I’ve come to know and love, versus the handful of ne’er-do-wells whose sole occupation seems to be blaming perceived “outsiders” for their multi-generational insecurity?

Since passive-aggressive yard signage seems to be a local rite, ranked alongside apple-picking and poaching deer in the park, please accept a few humble editorial notes: Though quaint at first glance, the titular font resembles a yellowing cookbook from the 1910’s. The itty-bitty print of discordant run-on sentences is troublesome, especially for those of us who choose to address our myopia with glasses. In the future, please consider using fewer words, as brevity is the soul of wit. For example, “Whites Only” has a considerable legacy in this state and parallels your message whole-heartedly. You might also consider replacing your convoluted, ill-punctuated diatribe with a single ancient symbol — like the signs paraded through Charlottesville in 2017? Virginia history has no shortage of fascist rhetoric from which to pull. In fact, your chosen wording bears an uncanny resemblance to signs posted by another clan.

My seventh great-grandfather, John Holladay, was born in 1676 in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in what was then called “The Colony of Virginia.” As a tenth-generation resident of Virginia, please allow me to welcome you to my state and in the same breath, demand that you respect my beautiful and beloved Virginia:

You came here because history dropped you here, though not a single one of you holds a title deed to the culture, yet somehow, you want us to believe your last name makes you the gatekeepers of a county that was founded in 1833? Please understand, I am not a snob, or a liberal, or whatever term you employ as a crutch to impersonalize and disregard me and my family as “other.” We simply like the way it is here, and many of us actually came to live here because that is our right as citizens of the United States of America. You are most welcome to stay here, but please stop imagining yourselves as volunteer bouncers to my own backyard.

Many thanks.

Andrew Evans



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