table-plaque Plaque

When Monika and I were looking for a new home in Nelson County in 2008-9, we came across a lovely trail in the Rockfish Valley which led to a stunning view of Three Ridges Mountain.  Monika loved the place, and we often took a picnic lunch there.  One day the picnic table was gone.  While we continued to walk the trail periodically, we missed a place to sit and enjoy the view.  (Monika was a great believer in benches, as well as tables.)

After Monika died in January, it occurred to me that a new picnic table at this special place would be an appropriate memorial to this extraordinary woman, who became in a few short years so deeply beloved by so many people throughout Nelson County.  So I approached Peter Agelasto and his Rockfish Vallley Foundation about sponsoring a new table there.  Peter swung into action immediately, arranging for a group of Future Farmers of America students at the county high school to construct a table.  I arranged for a bronze plaque from an engraving company in Lynchburg.  Our wonderful rector at Grace Church, Marion Kanour, agreed to lead a dedication, which took place yesterday, on November 1, 2014, with many friends and family from near and afar.  While the day was chilly and windy, we were spared rain and the views at and along the way to the table were beautiful.  I hope the pictures below convey some sense of the mix of sadness, appreciation, and celebration that we all felt in coming together to dedicate this memorial for Monika, a woman of extraordinary love, compassion, and energy.

portrait john-nic-alison dave-cally

tim-megan-group circle marion

crowd talking cal-dee

nic bob kids

click on images for larger pictures

FFA students

Special thanks to he FFA students who built the table! Here they pose with the newly-constructed table on Peter Agelasto’s truck.