Rockfish Valley News: March 2023

Connie Brennan and John Hesselbart

Spring Musical Guys and Dolls

Nelson County High School’s Drama Department will offer the musical “Guys and Dolls” Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m., Saturday, March 11, at 2 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, March 12, at 2 p.m. 

Diana Driver, the director, is the 2022-23 National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Section Two Theatre Educator of the of the Year. Driver has been teaching drama and film studies at Nelson High School for more than 25 years. Along with Hamner Theater’s Peter Coy of Faber, she directs the Virginia High School League One-Act Play Festival, leading students to winning performances seven times. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, first responders and military. Please email questions to [email protected] 

Photography Exhibit

A public reception was held Friday, February 17, to open an exhibit of local professional photographers at Rockfish Valley Community Center. Photographers include Stephanie Gross, Dennis Boone, Andy Dyson, Brenda Lambert-Gardner and Diana Maier. 

The exhibit will remain on display through April 15. All works are available for sale through the gallery with a commission for the benefit of RVCC.

Local Master Naturalists

The annual meeting of the Virginia Master Naturalists’ Central Blue Ridge Chapter was held February 2 and new officers were elected.

Chapter historian Susan McSwain said the event’s highlights were a corn snake and an oppossum that Sarah Cooperman, executive director of Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary, brought along for her talk. “The snake was well behaved,” said McSwain, “but the opossum was a rambunctious fellow, attempting to climb onto the presenter’s shoulder to play and showing off all of his 50 sharp teeth in a big yawn.” 

The Central Blue Ridge Master Naturalists are community-based volunteers trained as citizen scientists in conservation and natural resource management. A basic training course is offered every other year through Virginia Cooperative Extension. Information about next year’s course is available through [email protected] or 434-263-7180.  


Kelli Diaz, recruitment and development director for CASA of Central Virginia, is looking for volunteers to serve in Nelson County.  CASA is a national association of Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children that are trained in understanding child abuse and neglect and the juvenile justice system in place to address it. Pat Yoder, a Nellysford resident for 13 years, has been a CASA volunteer for five years now and has served 12 individual children. Yoder brought Diaz to the Rockfish Valley Community Center and invited her to use the center as a hub for volunteers. 

Send any questions for Diaz directly to [email protected] Get information and an application for volunteer opportunities at  Meet Diaz at the RVCC Pancake Breakfast April 1. An information session will be offered on April 14 at 1 p.m. in the Rockfish University room 5 at RVCC.

John Clifton Hesselbart

A community of friends gathered February 19 at the Faber home of John Hesselbart and Connie Brennan to express a final goodbye. Hesselbart was laid to rest in a peaceful place on his family farm near the log cabin he refinished by his own hands. Peter Coy sang “Parting Glass,” an Irish song, and a grandson, Oliver, played Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” on trumpet. 


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