Friday, November 23, 2007

11/09/07 Train Day, Plaza Dedication, The Game, Ashland Theater Stories

Scheduling will be tight this weekend. As I’ve been preparing to write this column, I see that it will be very hard to fit in all the events that are happening, but we can do it if we try. Having a good wristwatch and some comfortable shoes may help as well.

Beginning bright and early Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m., there is the Plaza Dedication Ceremony for our wonderful new green space in front of the Ashland Library. The statue of Nina is already in place and you can see the compassion and love that she must have felt for the children of Hanover in her quiet smile. I wish that I had known her.

The Ashland Farmer’s Market will be open this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to noon, and although the vendors are dwindling, there are still wonderful herbs, vegetables, and fruits to be found there. Buying local produce supports our farmers and shows that the value of our land is not measured in real estate figures alone.

The 5th Annual Train Day in Ashland is this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with exhibits on both sides of the track. Meander along the tracks and find displays of railroad artifacts, memorabilia, and models at the Henry Clay Inn, the Ashland Train Station/Visitors Center, the Ashland Library, and the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. There should be a trolley running through town to carry you over to the RF&P Train Club at the Ashland-Hanover Shopping Center where you’ll see some of the more detailed displays of model trains ever.

However, you really must get over to the football field at Randolph-Macon before 1:00 p.m. The Yellow Jacket football team is having an incredible season- the most exciting in many years, and this Saturday they’ll face Hampden-Sydney in the 113th annual match between these two schools. Put on your black and gold and come cheer for our hometown school. The campus is almost electrified with excitement, and they deserve a win more than anything. There is a general admission charge of $5.

Next week, come to the Ashland Library on Thursday, November 17th at 7:00 p.m. for a presentation on organic gardening by Cindy Conner. The Friends of the Ashland Library sponsor this event, as well as the Teen Movie & Pizza night Friday, November 9th at 5:30 p.m. What nice friends to have!

I wish that I had good news to report on the efforts of the Ashland Community Theater group, but I don’t. I do have a fun story to tell, though. When little Sandra Jones was growing up in Ashland, the movie theater was an essential part of life here. When the theater opened she was in second grade at Henry Clay, and the entire school closed early so that everyone could pack the aisles and watch Lucille Ball in “The Long, Long Trailer”. Later on, Sandra and her friends would find themselves there on Saturday afternoons where a quarter could not only buy a ticket, but also a Coke and some popcorn. She was watching a movie there when her little brother Scott was born, and the owner- Mr. Covington, came down from his office and found her among the seats to bring her to the phone to speak to her mother. Was she excited about the baby? Of course, but it wasn’t a surprise- she knew the baby was coming. As only a ten-year-old can think, she wondered: why did he have to come in the middle of my Saturday matinee? No one would build a theater like that today. All of us- the town, A.D. Whitaker, the Ashland Community Theater Foundation, you and I – need to find a solution to bring that place back to life.

Do you have any stories to share about our Ashland Theater? I think I remember hearing that Beth and Ted Schubert had their first date there. My email address is, and my phone number is 804-310-5320. Have a wonderful week! Go Yellow Jackets!

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