Friday, December 21, 2007

12/21/07 Christmas Caroling, Leroy Foster, Ms. Harris & Ms. Winkler

Christmas Caroling in Ashland was a cold event this past Monday, but that’s the way that it should be in December. Bundled in hats and scarves, we gathered near the quiet fountain in front of Town Hall and sang with Donna Whiteway, Lorie Foley, Patrick and Casey Warren, Hayes Handley, and Sue Watson. It’s funny, we hear those songs on the radio starting in November, but how often do we really belt them out? We caroled to the fire department where we sang “Silent Night” and watched the firefighters return from a call. I’m sure that we were all thinking the same thing: “Let them have a quiet night tonight”. From there we hurried to the warmth of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center where Faith Boyle and Doris Hassel waited for us with hot cider, coffee, and two tables full of sweets. Patrick Warren and Anna Edleman graced us with their voices while we warmed our toes under those old radiators and readied ourselves to go out and sing some more. Madison, Aiden, and Carter Spence were there, along with Madison and Caitlin Brown, Seth and Max Foster, Raelynn Maier, Annika and Corrina Cline, Meade Riehl, Susannah and Daphne Gilmore, and George and Ethan Stiles. It will be interesting to watch these kids of Ashland grow up together. I hope they remember these Christmases of their childhood as nearly perfect, and tell their friends what a great time they had growing up here.

My person-of-the-week is Mr. Leroy Foster, Sr. If you drive through town in the mornings of afternoons, then you’ve seen him standing by the railroad tracks to make sure that our school buses cross safely. He also helps relieve the traffic congestion caused by four roads intersecting with two railroad tracks. When the school buses aren’t running, Mr. Foster provides Ashland with our very own taxi cab! I think that’s extraordinary because usually a little town like ours wouldn’t have a service like that. Roll down your window and wish Mr. Foster a Merry Christmas when you see him, and call him when you need a ride – 798-7873

The Town needs volunteers and suggestions to help plan and prepare for the sesquicentennial celebration. Suggestions may be dropped in suggestion boxes placed around town or mailed to the Town of Ashland, P.O. Box 1600, Ashland, VA 23005. Those who wish to volunteer to be on a committee may get more information by calling Town Manager Charles Hartgrove at (804) 798-9219 or Rob Stiles, Team 150 president, at (804) 798-6611.

Three Cheers to two wonderful music teachers: Ms. Harris at Henry Clay Elementary, and Ms. Winkler at Gandy Elementary. They both worked for weeks to stage magnificent Christmas programs with the second and forth graders. How thrilling to listen to those children sing with such enthusiasm! It is clear that both of those teachers are greatly loved by the children they teach.

“May happiness pursue you,
Catch you often,
And, should it lose you,
Be waiting ahead,
Making a clearing for you.”
Salute by A.R. Ammons

Have a wonderful holiday! Call me if you need me: 310-5320, or email You can also find a record of all these columns at

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