In the proverbial good old days, in Kilmarnock we had two dry cleaning establishments, namely Cox Cleaners on Irvington Road and Henderson Cleaners in the former Safeway, now Tri-Star, parking lot. Each had its loyal base of customers, and each gave excellent service. At Cox’s front counter, Audrey Hinson greeted the customers as if they were visiting in her home. She knew everyone by name, taking a personal interest in each of them.
Ultimately Robert Henderson bought Cox’s, and Audrey moved across the road to begin a new career at Henderson’s, where she remained for nearly a quarter of a century until she retired at the age of 76, now nearly another quarter of a century ago. When she left the cleaning industry a great void ensued as she had been such an institution in the business life of Kilmarnock for over a half century.
Audrey’s life centered on Foxwells, where she was born and lived until she died at the age of 100 earlier this month. Basically, she left Foxwells each day to drive to Kilmarnock to work or to go for personal errands, returning to her native burg each evening. She never married, finding her extended family of brothers and sisters and their offspring fulfilling her familial interests. She followed the comings and goings of each niece and nephew with consuming interest, and always was there for whatever any of them needed.
That concern for others carried over into her customers as well. Audrey was a friend for life. She had a marvelous memory that never faded. When I would see her, she would speak of my mother who had died 40 years earlier, remembering details of their friendship with total accuracy. Her strength might have waned, but her memory did not. She remained until the end of her life a wonderful friend to all who knew her and a steadfast contributor to the quality of life that characterizes the Northern Neck.
Audrey Valine Hinson, May 29, 1920 – August 9, 2020. R.I.P.
For many years, one of the most popular features of the Rappahannock Record was a short entry entitled “Bill’s Briefs.” The author was Bill Richards, and his item entailed a short paragraph or two offering tips for buying or selling one’s house. Bill had a flair for expressing himself succinctly and cogently. To those who were buying or selling, as well as to those who had no plans to move, Bill had something to say.
He and his wife, Barbara, were local realtors, and rather than taking the standard form of an ad, Bill sought to pass along the fruits of his experience and wisdom in dealing with properties. He could make telling the readers the importance of cleaning their gutters interesting reading.
After a successful career as a Virginia State Trooper and police officer in localities across the Commonwealth, Bill moved to Lancaster County where he purchased some acreage near the Robert O. Norris Bridge, and built a traditional Southern-style home, which he named, “Catawba.” He designed and built the home with extraordinary attention to detail, but once built, he was willing to sell it to let a new owner enjoy his handiwork.
Fifteen years ago, Bill and Barbara moved out to Highland County, but after a few years there, they returned to Lancaster and Barbara went back into the real estate business. I repeatedly told Bill that he had a gold mine in the amassed copies of “Bill’s Briefs,” noting that if he published them as a booklet, he would have a market with every realtor in America. He would smile, replying that part of his life was behind him.
Throughout his life, Bill was a solid citizen. Whether serving in law enforcement or engaging in the world of business, he was a man of integrity and trust. In that course, he never wavered.
William Fitzhugh Richards, January 28, 1937 – August 5, 2020. R.I.P.