There are wonderful online efforts to connect our community: this blog, the Ashland Hawk, the Hanover Ledger- all small, grass-roots, and led by passion and dedication. But we cannot assemble and disseminate the news like a local newspaper.
Is it morose to say that we miss being able to read the local obituaries? Those short stories of lives-well-lived made me feel grounded to this place, and we miss that. We miss local church news and sports' teams scores. We miss the pictures of people traveling and holding up their copy of the H-P outside of the British Parliament or Big Ben. When is the next salt-fish breakfast?
We do have one local voice that is free to the public and readily available in any home, and that it WHAN radio, 102.9 "The Mater."
When I was growing up in the Northern Neck, my grandmother's kitchen radio was always tuned to WRAR in Warsaw, and we were treated to all the quirkiness of a small radio station. They had a show called the "Swap Shop" where they would open the phone lines and people would call in to say that they had a refrigerator for sale, or that they were looking for a cheap garden tiller. Sometimes they would call in to say that they had lost a hunting dog somewhere near Farmer's Fork. And everyday the DJ would read the report from the local funeral home while heavy organ music played in the background. It's the soundtrack from a hot summer day in my childhood, when my life was so boring that shelling beans on the front porch was a welcome chore.
So, WHAN, I'm talking to you- I think your role here could be bigger than you know.
If you have a kitchen radio, or one in your car, save the 102.9 spot. It's a really great station with interesting and fun music. The signal is pretty strong, too, I can listen all the way down in the West End. Now is your time, 'Mater...
In other Ashland news, the brand new snack bar at the Carter Park pool is up and running although they are maintaining some tight security so none of my informants can tell me much about it. Apparently all the life guards are not allowed in the snack bar, nor do they get a discount on the food items. Poor lifeguards- they are always hungry and texting their parents to bring them food. The next time someone is at the store, maybe you could pick them up some nabs. #carterpark4ever
Henry Clay Elementary School, has two wonderful inner courtyards that were created when the school was enlarged many years ago. This summer, they will begin renovations to one of those spaces as a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) outdoor classroom. Funding of this project is underway, and you can purchase an engraved brick to be used in the walkway. These bricks are $50 each and can be engraved with a message up to 60 characters. What a great way to leave a piece of your family at Henry Clay after your kids have grown up! Stop by the office at Henry Clay to get an order form this summer.
Congratulations to all the kids who will be graduating from Patrick Henry this weekend! I remember when you were all at Henry Clay. It was just last week, you know. I am so excited to hear stories of where you land and the good things that you will do out there. Please come home on holidays and maybe for a few more summers. Be glad you got to grow up here; you have so many wonderful stories to take with you.
Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, email@example.com. Have a wonderful weekend COTU!