Monday, May 28, 2007

5/25/07 RMC Bells, Street Party, Kate Melson, CRG Mtg., Soccer, RMC KA

This past Thursday, a few minutes before 2pm, I walked out into my back yard to here the bells at Randolph Macon playing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Those bells have been a real joy to listen to since their installation almost a year ago. Not only do they sweetly chime the hours, but apparently they play popular favorites as well.

Mark you calendars early for the 25th Annual Strawberry Faire coming Sat. June 9th on the streets around Randolph-Macon from 10am to 5pm. It’s so nice to have those streets closed off to traffic and be able to stroll along with your wagon or the friends that you’ll need to help carry home all the good things to be found there: hanging baskets, flats of strawberries, hand-made crafts, antiques, and plenty of strawberry shortcake. Linger a while and listen to some great music and cheer on the contestants in the Little Miss and Mr. Strawberry.

From all the essays in the Ashland Library, you know that we’ve got some kids in our town who are involved citizens and who really care about this place. Here’s what Kate Melson, a second grader at Henry Clay Elementary has to say about Ashland: “What I like about Ashland is that I have the best town and everybody is nice. We have a great community. We get to bike ride and I walk my dog. Especially, I like my parents and my wonderful teacher, Miss Smith at Henry Clay. She is very nice and caring. I love Ashland very much! I'm so glad to be here.” We sure are glad that you’re here, Kate!

What a time we all had this past Saturday at the Street Party! We look forward to them every summer, and you couldn’t have asked for a better evening to be out under the stars. The weather was cool, like a California evening, and the waxing crescent moon paired up with the planet Venus for a stunning backdrop above the Library. The band, Alibi, was lively and talented, playing a wide variety of music from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Jimmy Buffet to Keith Urban. A surprising benefit from the work on the train track was that the trains crept through town and didn’t drown out the band. As usual, the dancing was slow to start. Maybe people wait for the sun to go down and shadows to fall, or to have a glass of wine before they try out the dance floor, but I am always impressed by the talent that is eventually displayed. Lee and Amanda Sloppy are an especially enjoyable pair to watch.

There was beer- poured by the Ashland Jaycees, wine from James River Cellars, food from the Smokey Pig, and ice cream from the Club Car. Tabitha Boothe painted faces for three hours as a representative of her beloved Ashland Community Preschool. Her children, Dalton, Lane, & Emily, enjoyed the fun and displayed wonderful patience as well. There were babies and kids everywhere, a moon bounce to help tire them out, balloons from, and a wonderful pot-bellied pig to giggle and point at. We had to leave around 9pm as our baby had fallen asleep, but we walked away smiling and laughing from such a great evening with good friends. What could be better? Mark your calendar for the next Street Party on July 21st, and check out the pictures on

Wish A.C. Bruce a Happy Birthday if you see him this weekend!

On May 30th, at 7pm at Ashland Library, The Citizens for Responsible Growth will be holding an open meeting for all Ashlanders regarding the application from Lowe’s to build a home improvement store on Route 1 behind Slash Cottage. Mayor Faye Prichard will be in attendance. Whether you support Lowes or not, your opinion is important to the town and your voice should be heard.

There were some sad faces Sunday afternoon as the U6 division of the Ashland Youth Soccer wrapped up its final games on the beautiful fields of Poor Farm Park. It’s been a great spring season and the players of Bob Brown’s team were disappointed to hear that Bob will not be returning to coach in the fall. His daughter Madison was drafted by the Kicker’s Travel Soccer Team and won’t be returning to recreation soccer. They will both be missed by many.

Speaking of soccer, Henry Clay Elementary was the lucky recipient of two soccer goals from the Richmond Strikers Soccer Club. On hand to assemble the goals were Alan Abbot, Greg Calabrese, Mike Spence, Bryan Cline, Sharon Stiles, and Keith Hunter. Many thanks to these parent volunteers.

Randolph-Macon’s graduation is this Saturday, June 2nd. Ashland is a little quieter over the summer without the students, but we miss their energy and community involvement when they’re not here. A good example was the Kappa Alpha fraternity who spent much of a Saturday putting together the new playground equipment for St. Ann’s Catholic Church, under the guidance of parishioner Dave Kliz.

Thank you so much to everyone who has mentioned that they’ve read this column and enjoyed it! I’m having a great time putting it together and hopefully will improve as time goes by. We’ve got a wonderful town with lots of interesting people, so there’s no shortage of interesting stories and fun events. Let me know if you’ve got a graduate to brag about, a new baby to welcome, or a neighbor who makes this world a better place. You can reach me at 804-310-5320, or Have a great weekend!

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