Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show carves a niche in history

The first Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show held a carving contest for canvasback gunning decoys. There were about 15 entries. Winners from left were third, Ted Mallory of Richmond; second, Jimmy Scates of Warsaw; and first, Clarence McKenney of Mt Holly.

The 40th annual Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show (RRWS) will be March 16-17 at the White Stone Firehouse. Despite a rough start in 1980 this show is now one of the longest running wildlife art shows on the East Coast and is well regarded as one of the top shows of its kind.

The first Rappahannock River Waterfowl Show was held on March 1, 1980, at Windmill Point, sponsored by the Windmill Point Yacht Club. Phil Cross, manager of the yacht club, asked William and Pat Bruce of White Stone to help him organize the show. They agreed and are still at the helm of this 40th show. About 30 exhibitors were scheduled to attend the one-day show, but due to a severe snow storm, which eventually dropped about 14 inches of snow on the area, only about half of the artists and carvers actually attended. Despite the weather a large crowd of visitors came, but the show was forced to close at 3 p.m.

Exhibitors who braved the snowstorm that day and who are exhibiting this year include Bill Bolin of Midlothian, W. Bruce, Guy Crittenden of Richmond, Dick Cook of Topping, Ned Ewell of Cockeysville, Md., and Art LaMay of Palm Coast, Fla., formerly of Great Falls….