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

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

12/14/07 Christmas Caroling, Brass Concert, Woodcarver Market

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas...” Have you driven past the Ashland Police Dept. at night? Why drive all the way to the botanical garden when we have a fest of lights on our own streets? Henry Clay St. is looking especially festive this year. Pile everyone in the car and take a spin around town.

Three cheers to our local Garden Clubs who outdid themselves this past weekend decorating the homes for the bi-annual Christmas House Tour. They took such care to let the personality of the houses show through in the gorgeous flower arrangements. Many thanks also to the owners of those homes on the tour for opening their houses, which raised money for the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. “Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays…”

I hope to see everyone this Monday, December 17th, in front of Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. for Community Caroling! This is your chance to share the Christmas spirit with your neighbors as we carol to the Arts and Activities Center and then along the streets of the Ashland Historic District. Please bring a flashlight if you can. Refreshments and lyrics will be provided to all. Call 798-2728 for more information. “We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...”

The Richmond Brass and Percussion Consort with George Tuckwiller, Conductor along with special guest Lisa Edward Burrs will present a concert of traditional and popular Christmas music at St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Tuesday, December 18 at 7:30 p.m. This concert will benefit the Central Virginia Food Bank. There is no admission charge; a donation of non-perishable foods or money for the Central Virginia Food Bank is requested. “Good King Wenceslas looked out on the feast of Stephen…when a poor man came in sight, gathering winter fuel.”

Woodcarver and Ashland resident Tom Lowe is hosting a Holiday Market this weekend featuring his carved wood bowls, platters and spoons. Tom has been a woodcarver for 24 years and has taken up making the bowls just in the last 2 years. You might have seen his work at the Heavenly Creations Art Show at St. James or seen his bowls at The Caboose. See Tom’s art along with other local artists on Saturday, December 15 from 11 am - 4 pm at 12341 Wildwood Blvd. (Oak Hill Estates). Other items that will be available are Tie Dye Clothing, Handmade Jewelry, Indonesian Coffee, Scented Soy Candles and more. The rain date is Sunday, 16th from 11 am - 4pm. “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree…”

Teen Movie and Pizza Night is tonight- Friday December 14th- beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Ashland Library. “Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree at the Christmas party hop...”
I hope that your decorations are up and many things are marked off your shopping list. May you each have the time to sit quietly with a child, a friend, or your true love, and be thankful for this lovely time of year. Tell me your holiday stories of life in Ashland: 310-5320, or email You can also find a record of all these columns at

6/14/2018 An Open Letter to WHAN, Feed the Life Guards, Local Kids Earn Their PHDs

We have been without a local newspaper now for two months and the void is still there.  It hasn't been without effort, though.  I hav...