Monday, May 28, 2007

4/27/07 Va Tech, Marchetti baby, Tom Bass's b-day, Spring Fling, Ukrop's Parking Sign

Our hearts broke last week for the victims at Virginia Tech, their parents, the students, and alumni. Thank you to Nikki Giovanni for her beautiful words: “No one deserves a tragedy. We are Virginia Tech. We will prevail.”

Before we knew about the horror in Blacksburg, we had the occasion to come through our town on the Amtrak Auto Train from Florida. Seeing Ashland from the train windows was a wonderful experience. Kristen Reihl came out on her front lawn to wave to us, as did Cathy, Mary, and Betty Lee Miller (a customer) from Cross Brothers. I wanted to shout to all the passengers in the car: “Look! This is MY town! Isn’t it beautiful?”

Let’s extend a big welcome to our newest Ashland resident, Ellis Isaak Marchetti, born April 17, 2007 and weighing a respectable 8lbs, 3oz. Ellis’ arrival was greatly anticipated by his parents, April & Stefan Marchetti, and his big-brother Parker who is ready to play with him in the backyard.

Happy Birthday to Tom Bass, who turned 75 this past week! Tom came to town in 1950 as a freshman at Randolph-Macon and then returned to live with his wife, Carlene in 1956. He was the announcer for the first nine Variety Shows and has always had a love for the theatre. Does anyone remember the fun that was had by the Huckleberry Players? He spent his birthday surrounded by old friends and family- his children: Stephen, Alison, & Warren; and his grandchildren: Bates, Candace, Jason, & Chip. Tom’s talent, sense of humor, and common sense have graced our town for many years.

Did anyone wonder where the “Parent & Baby” parking signs in the Ukrop’s parking lot went? I loved those spots so much that my sister joked that they were one of the reasons that we had our third child! Apparently the sign was run over, twice, and they are in the process of getting another one.

There are some great websites that can keep you informed and connected here in Ashland:, ,

This Saturday, April 28th, is the Gandy/Henry Clay Spring Festival held from 11am to 2pm at John M. Gandy Elementary School (201 Archie Cannon Drive). This is a wonderful event that benefits the Henry Clay PTA and the Gandy Student Council Association. Come walk in a cake walk, slide down an inflatable slide, or bid on a silent auction basket- Mother’s Day is right around the corner!

My fingers are crossed that the fledgling non-profit, The Ashland Classic Theater Foundation (ACT), will have great luck in negotiations to revitalize our Ashland Theater. The plans are to have a summer film series- with children’s movies on Saturday afternoons, and classic movies for the grown-ups in the evenings. Having that theater open really adds a magic touch to our town.
Did everyone turn out for the Ashland Library’s Ashland Poetry Celebration 2007 last night at the Library? Every year I’m impressed by the amount of talent we have in our town. Stop by the Library to read the winning poems and be inspired. While you’re there, check out the work that has begun on the Plaza out front. Paving bricks are available for purchase to help with the cost of construction. What a lovely way to leave your mark on Ashland with your own personalized brick. Call the Ashland Library at 798-4072 for more information.

You know, our vacation to Florida was wonderful- so sunny and bright, but I couldn’t live there. Give me a creaking wood floor of a musty old house and the surprise of an Easter snow any day. I often thought that I could never live anywhere else besides the Northern Neck, but am now resigned to finding a good cemetery plot in Hanover County. When we first moved here, all my phone calls to friends would begin the same way- “You never believe this..”, and I would go on to tell them about walking my girls to school at sweet Henry Clay, seeing my first Variety Show, or Santa on the back of a fire truck at 9 o’clock at night. These days I keep my mouth shut more often than not. I’m somewhat afraid that they don’t believe me anymore, but more worried that they might move here!

Let me know your Ashland news! Get in touch with me at, or 804-310-5320. See you next week.

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