Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodnight 2008. Here's a bedtime story for you.


Once upon a time there was a town called Ashland where lots of different people lived.


There were rich people and poor people, and young people and old people.



There were college students, artists, teachers, store owners, and politicians living there.


















There were very serious people and people who liked to joke and laugh.





There were some people who had lived their whole lives in Ashland, and there were new people who had only moved to town recently.
Sometimes all these different people had a hard time agreeing on things. Some people wanted more shops in town, and some liked it the way it was. Some people wanted more sidewalks in town, and some didn’t. When the people of Ashland disagreed, they would write letters to the editor or put signs in their yards. Often, they would go to a Town Council meeting to tell the Mayor about their opinion.

But one day, all these different people of Ashland realized that their town was about to have a birthday. A big birthday; the town of Ashland was turning one hundred and fifty years old. It was hard to even imagine that many candles! Everyone was very excited and formed committees that began to plan celebrations that would last the entire year. Every month there was some kind of event, which always included a cake and singing: "Happy Birthday dear Ashland....".


In January, Betty Carol Stevens gave a lecture at the town library about other towns in the United States named Ashland. In February, the town celebrated Black History Month with a visit from L. Douglas Wilder, the mayor of Richmond, and music at Randolph-Macon College. In March, people celebrated by running in the Ashland Railroad Run.

In April people celebrated by planting trees on Arbor Day.




May was an especially busy month: there was a photograph taken of all the people who had lived in Ashland for more than fifty years, a special bicycle cruise was organized along the town streets, and the first Street Party of the summer was held behind the library.

In June, as the summer heat was beginnning to arrive, the Strawberry Faire was held in the shady streets of the College.

July was always a fun month in the town of Ashland because the people loved to celebrate the 4th of July with a parade and a town picnic on the lawn of the Arts and Activities Center.

August gave the people of Ashland cool evenings listening to the Bluemont Concert Series under the stars and theater performances by the children of the town.

In September school started again, the Tiger Trot was run, and everyone began rehersing for the big celebration in October.


All the people agreed that the party in October was a huge success. There were four marching bands that paraded down Henry Street to the football field, the children of the town sang the Town Song- "Ashland, Ashland", and everyone sang Happy Birthday.
There were exhibits on the history of Ashland, photographs of long ago, and a theatrical performance of the history of Ashland. There was even a birthday present for the town- a beautiful clock for the train station. There were games for the children and birthday cake for everyone. Everyone went home happy and tired.




Thanksgiving came, and the different people of Ashland gathered around their tables with families and friends. People cheered for the Holiday Parade as it marched through town on a cold afternoon, and December brought Christmas with school plays and lights decorating almost every house.
The last day of the year came and as people waited for 2009 to begin, they thought about the old year. They thought about how proud they were to be an "Ashlander". How lucky, how honored. They shouted "Happy New Year" to their neighbors and tucked their children into bed. All the people of Ashland realized that even though they were different, they had a wonderful year together. All the people of Ashland realized that in one way they were very much the same: they loved their sweet town. Together they all lived happily ever after. The End.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

12/25/08 "Strings of street lights, even stoplights, blink a bright red and green..."


This past weekend was a busy one at our house, but I found the time to drive through town and take pictures of the Christmas lights Saturday night. I had been needing some holiday pictures for my blog, so after a splendid dinner party with racquet ball players, and after our energetic babysitters, Hannah Herbert and Julie Chambers were driven home, I drove around town around 11pm. I found myself standing in the middle of the street in high heels and my Thalhimers coat, snapping pictures of inflatable Santa's, and sculpture-like strings of lights. There was even a tribute to the R-MC 2008 ODAC Football Champions written on a roof, which might have been my favorite, as I do like it when people spell out words with lights.



There in the dark, I realized that our sweet town and I have something in common. We both like things sparkly and shiny this time of year, whether it's the sparkle of a pair of danging earrings, or the twinkle off multi-colored snowflakes suspended above Stebbins. I love that Ashland isn't exclusively a restrained, candles-in-the-window kind of town. We love our plastic nativities, our larger-than-life snow globes, and trees showcase every kind of lights that can be strung on a string (see Henry Clay Street). We do not limit ourselves. We can be dressed for a soirée with silver and china, or a party where high-class means bacon wrapped around a Club cracker.
Cars slowly drove past me and I fully expected someone to call Chief Goodman, but they didn't. All I could think of was how many years did I waste before I found this town? Ashland was here all along.

Would you like to know the secrets of at stress-free school year? Duncan Memorial is sponsoring a workshop on January 18th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, with Kirk Martin who has trained thousands of parents and teachers. This workshop is especially helpful for families with anxiety or sensory issues such as Aspergers, Autism, and AD/HD. Child care will be provided and the program is free of charge. Contact Rev. Sandra Stanley for more information:798-7224.

The Third Annual Elf Run, sponsored by the Ashland Track Club, was held this past Saturday morning at the Rail-Side Park in Ashland. This has become a holiday favorite because nothing cures a restless child like a good run outside. The winner of the half-mile was Dylan Quinn, and the winner of the ¾ mile was Jack Dull. All the runners were rewarded with candy canes and loud cheers from the spectators.

If you're baking cookies this week, make a few extra and bring them by either the Ashland Fire Department or the Rescue Squad. Imagine how these wonderful volunteers give up their precious pre-Christmas hours to watch out for us, to keep up safe.



People tease me. They'll talk about a new restaurant in Richmond, and say to me,
"But it's not in Ashland, Meriwether." And I'll say,
"Oh, right, I might have to miss that one."


As a rule, I do not like to leave Ashland, and there are some days that I don't like to go east of Rt. 1. It's ridiculous, I know. The twenty-year old me who wanted to travel the world would be horrified. How could you spend the first part of your life kicking and screaming to get out of the Northern Neck, to end up in little-old Ashland and never want to leave? It still makes me shake my head in disbelief. But then, on a cold drizzly night, from the center of James Street, I am struck by the beauty of simple strings of colored lights now wet from the rain. I think of how there is no place in the world that I would rather be, and how I can't wait to get home and write this all down so I can tell you about it.


Thank you for reading. I get a thrill every time someone says that they read this column. It's the best job I've ever had. Let me know what Santa brings you, and what you're doing New Year's Eve: 804-310-5320, or ashlandnews@gmail.com. You can see pictures of my favorite Ashland Christmas decorations at http://www.ashlandnews.blogspot.com/.



Thursday, December 18, 2008

12/18/08 Countdown to Christmas, Pageants, Santa on Firetruck

There is only one weekend left before Christmas, which is alarming, I know, but you are lucky because living in the Center of the Universe means that you don’t have to leave to find presents for everyone on your list. We have book stores, toy stores, wine shops, jewelry stores- so many places to find the perfect gift. Don’t forget the mailman, the paper-person, and the recycling guys. I’m sure that Town Hall would welcome some Christmas Cheer as well.




The Church of Our Saviour in Montpelier is having their first Christmas Contata on Sunday, December 21 at 4:00 pm. The Church in located in the Village of Montpelier approximately one mile west of the intersection of Route 54 and Route 33. Light refreshments will be served afterwards in the Parish Hall. For more information, please call Hannah Crew at 883-5232.




Happy Birthday to Susan Spence who celebrates this Friday, December 19th!

If you hear non-stop sirens from the fire department this week, there is no emergency, just a fat, jolly elf visiting the children of Ashland. This is such an exciting thing to see, so come outside if you hear them and thank those fire-fighters for all their volunteer hours.
St. James the Less Episcopal Church will have a mulit-generational Christmas pageant on Sunday, December 21 at 10 am. For information call 798-6336.

There will be two Christmas Eve Masses at St. Ann's Catholic Church- at 6pm and then at 8pm. I would advise you to arrive early to any church service that you're planning on attending- Catholic or Episcopal! There's also a mass on Christmas Day at 10:15 am. You can call the church office for more information : 798-5039.


Mt. Olivet Baptist Church will have it's live nativity this weekend on Saturday and Sunday evenings, at 6 and 7 pm. I have heard that it's a great event, and that there are lots of angelic children involved. The church is located at 15583 Coatesville Road in Beaverdam. You can reach the office at 883-5950.


Even though she doesn't live in Ashland, I'd like to wish my grandmother, Elspeth Ward, a happy 90th birthday! She had a lovely day surrounded by her family, all except her older sister, Lucy, who is 92 and wasn't able to be there.

Remember the things that really matter this Christmas. It's not how many presents are under you tree, but the people gathered at your table. Send me your news of holiday parties, Secret Santa's, and stories of giving. I can be reached at 310-5320, or ashlandnews@gmail.com.

Message From Lorie Foley:
Hello neighbors!

Let’s show our thanks to Ashland’s Finest this holiday season. The Ashland Police Department and Ashland Fire Department work hard all year to ensure a safe environment for all of our citizens. We would like to show our appreciation by sending in food for the officers and volunteers working over the holiday.

We would like provide them with deli platters, rolls, munchies, cakes, cookies, fruit, veggies, etc on December 22, 23 and 24.

Instructions for the Ashland Police Department:
Please bring food directly to the PD on the 22, 23rd or 24th. On the 22 and 23, the lobby is open 8am to 10pm. On the 24, the lobby is open 8:00am to 3:00pm. The building will be locked on Dec 25.

Instructions for the Ashland Fire Department:
A good time to bring food is around 6:00pm, when they have a shift change. However, you may bring food anytime. From the Hanover Ave side, please go around to the alley. The kitchen entrance is the door next to a double paned window.

If you would like to participate, please let me know what you plan to bring – that way we can ensure they receive a variety of food items. You may also bring food to me, and I will arrange transportation and distribution.

Many thanks!

Lorie
798-0704; 339-6175

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12/11/08 It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” This column begins with music because it is everywhere this time of year, as it should be. I know that your calendar is nearing capacity, but there are a few things that you should try and attend.

As their annual gift to the community, the Hanover Concert Band will present its Holiday Concert on Tuesday, December 16th at 7 pm at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. This is a free concert, and right in your backyard! There will be sweet treats, and I promise that everyone will have a wonderful evening. Don’t miss this!

Congratulations to the Ashland Youth Soccer U-8 Champions who won the Western Hanover County U-8 Championship game recently! Peyton Attkisson, Blake Boschen, Andrew Datovech, Jessica Haines, Sean Hartigan, Caleb Kulinowski, Ronny Maier, and Rachel Sheldon were the fast-footed players. Their coaches were Ron Maier, Matt Boschen and Jeff Haines. Way to go!

The Richmond Brass Consort will present a concert of traditional and popular Christmas music for brass and percussion at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Ashland on Wednesday, December 17 at 7:30 p.m. The cost of admission is a donation of nonperishable foods or money for the Central Virginia Food Bank, who needs our help so much right now.

Happy Birthday to Lee Sloppy who turned 65 on December 12th. I love it that Lee doesn’t mind telling everyone how old he is!

Come join your neighbors for an afternoon of community sharing. The 3rd Annual Abundance Swap will take place Sunday, December 14th from 2 to 4 pm at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center on Center St. Find 2-3 items in your home that are in good or like-new condition, items that someone else might enjoy, and bring them to the swap! At the Swap, pick the same number of items that you brought. No money is involved, only sharing. No clothing, jewelry, or paperback books, please. Refreshments will be served.

Happy Birthday to Rebecca Cline who celebrated her birthday on December 7!

Wasn’t that snow pretty? It’s amazing how children can instantly become so excited, and try to scoop together a snowball from the flurries. I’m cautiously optimistic that we might get a big snowfall this year. If it’s going to be this cold, it might as well snow, although in this flat town it’s hard to find a hill to sleigh down. Not that I’m complaining! Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a peaceful week!

Friday, December 5, 2008

12/4/08 Winding Down the Year, Holiday Calendar, Deck the Halls, A Christmas Carol




I am writing this on December 1st and it’s hard to believe that this year is almost over with. There is less than one month left to 2008 and to our Sesquicentennial. It has been a good year to live in Ashland; one filled with bustling activities and celebrations. Will 2009 be quiet and ordinary in comparison? That would be alright, wouldn’t it? There’s nothing wrong with ordinary as long as it’s not accompanied by complacency, and I would struggle to find that in our sweet town.

Before we move forward into 2009, take a moment to remember what Ashland used to be like. On Thursday, December 4th, at 7 pm., come listen to longtime Ashland residents share their stories of the town’s past as part of the continuing 150 Celebration. You really need to attend this. Listening to these stories will make you feel like a real Ashlander, even if you’ve only lived here a few years.

On Saturday, December 6th, from 10 am until noon, bring your kids to the library to make holiday ornaments for your tree. Holiday refreshments will be served by those wonderful Friends of the Ashland Library.

Come have breakfast with Santa at the Ashland Masonic Lodge #168 Saturday, December 6th, from 8:30 to 11:00 am. $7 for adults and $4 for children under 12 will get you pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and biscuits. Bring your cameras for pictures with Santa.

Sunday, Dec. 7th is the 4th Annual Deck the Halls fundraiser to benefit Hilliard House at Pine Grove Farm, home of Jerry and Carolyn Peart. From Noon- 4:30pm, come out to the farm and create your holiday decorations with fresh cut pine, cedar, and boxwood collected from historic homes in Hanover County. Parking and transportation will be available from St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Snead St. Everything is provided to help, including Master Gardeners who can offer artistic advice. There’s also a wonderful children’s area for kids to make their own decorations. Donations are $25 per person, and $35 per family. Call 798-9131 for reservations.

There may still be some seats left for Randolph-Macon’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens at the Cobb Theater. Reservations are made by calling 752-7316. The shows are December 5 through 11th, and you can hear the show times when you call the reservation number.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We traveled to the Northern Neck for the day and got home late Thursday evening. It was wonderful to see family and to be in the country, but it is always a pleasure to arrive home. Dave Gilmore routinely says, “This looks like a nice town- let’s move here.” We all agree. Call or email me with your holiday events, Christmas pageants, or tacky light sightings: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. You can find an archive of these columns at http://www.ashlandnews.blogspot.com/. My fingers are crossed for snow.




Sunday, November 30, 2008

11/26/08 Holiday Parade, Deck the Halls Fundraiser, Santa on the Firetruck, A Christmas Carol at RMC




I’ll tell you, I fell in love with this town all over again this past Sunday. I don’t care what anyone else says. They can say our town is snobby and full of rednecks. They can laugh at our nickname and snicker at our calendar. I don’t care. At the Holiday Parade, we sat on the curb and clapped. We waved to the clowns and the beauty queens. We shouted out to our friends riding on the floats, and warmed our hands around cups of hot chocolate. I struggle to think of how it could have been any better. It is a satisfying life here. We are content and happy. This is our Ashland- not only the center, but the best place in the universe as well.

Come have breakfast with Santa at the Ashland Masonic Lodge #168 Saturday, December 6th, from 8:30 to 11:00 am. $7 for adults and $4 for children under 12 will get you pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs and biscuits. Bring your cameras for pictures with Santa.


Sunday, Dec. 7th is the 4th Annual Deck the Halls fundraiser to benefit Hilliard House at Pine Grove Farm, home of Jerry and Carolyn Peart. From Noon- 4:30pm, come out to the farm and create your holiday decorations with fresh cut pine, cedar, and boxwood collected from historic homes in Hanover County. Parking and transportation will be available from St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Snead St. Everything is provided to help, including Master Gardeners who can offer artistic advice. There’s also a wonderful children’s area for kids to make their own decorations. Donations are $25 per person, and $35 per family. Call 798-9131 for reservations.


There are some great holiday events coming up at your friendly, neighborhood library. On Thursday, December 4th, at 7 pm., come listen to longtime Ashland residents share their stories of the town’s past as part of the continuing Birthday Celebration. This is a really important evening. This is like your grandmother saying, “Sit down, I have a story for you.” If you miss it, you’ll regret it. Time will move on and these old stories will be forgotten.


On Saturday, December 6th, from 10 am until noon, bring your kids to the library to make holiday ornaments for your tree. Holiday refreshments will be served by those wonderful Friends of the Ashland Library.



Be on the lookout for Santa riding on the Ashland Volunteer Fire truck beginning Sunday, December 14th through Friday the 18th. You can look for the schedule in the Herald-Progress, or on-line at http://www.townhound.com/.


The Randolph-Macon box office is now taking reservations for their annual holiday favorite, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens at the Cobb Theater. Get your seats today by calling 752-7316. The shows are December 5 through 11th.



The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will present a holiday concert Sunday, December 7, at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry Street, Ashland. Performances will be at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm and will feature Bach’s Magnificat in D and other seasonal selections, including “Coventry Carol” and Holst’s “Christmas Day.” Tickets are $15 and $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. They may be purchased in advance at Cross Brothers’ Grocery in Ashland or at the door prior to each performance. To reserve tickets, please call 804-798-3283.

I hope your Thanksgiving plans have included a few extra items in your grocery cart for ACES. We have so much to be thankful for, and we need to teach our children that life is not easy for many people. Let’s make sure that people know that we take care of our own in Ashland. No one should be hungry or cold. There is too much love to go around. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a delicious Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008



To the Randolph-Macon football team and their coaches: Beautiful; absolutely beautiful.







The ODAC Champion Yellow-Jackets will travel to Alliance, Ohio, this Saturday (11-22-08) to play Mount Union in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. I have great confidence in our boys’ ability to plow down those Raiders. Let’s keep this party going.





Happy Birthday to Jennifer Morris had a wonderful dinner on November 16th, and managed to avoid the big green sombrero!

Here’s a great Ashland Holiday tradition- ‘A Christmas Carol” at Randolph-Macon’s Cobb Theater. The box office will begin taking reservations on November 24th by calling 752-7316. The shows are December 5 through 11th. We go every year.

The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will present a holiday concert Sunday, December 7, at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry Street, Ashland. Performances will be at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm and will feature Bach’s Magnificat in D and other seasonal selections, including “Coventry Carol” and Holst’s “Christmas Day.” Tickets are $15 and $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. They may be purchased in advance at Cross Brothers’ Grocery in Ashland or at the door prior to each performance. To reserve tickets, please call 804-798-3283.

Get all your Christmas shopping done early at the 12th Annual Heavenly Creations Arts and Crafts Show at St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Ashland. On Saturday, November 22, the show will include over 40 artists and includes woodworkers, quilters, photography, weaving, ornaments and fabric art. Doors open at 9 am and admission and parking are free. Call 798-6336 for more details.

Have you planned out your spot for the Ashland Holiday Parade? It’s a hard choice- do you sit in the sun to stay warm, or do you leave your sunglasses at home, bring a blanket, and sit in the shade? The show begins at 2:30, and I know that we have some wonderful floats planned. Watch your toes when the Shrinners come by!



This Friday, November 21st, is Teen Movie Night at the Ashland Library. The show begins at 6pm, with pizza served by the Friends of the Ashland Library. Visit the library’s website to see all the incredible programs and events that happen there: www.pamunkeylibrary.org/ashland.htm.

This is the last Saturday for the Ashland Farmer’s Market and then it will be gone until April. We have a long winter ahead of us, so stop by from 9 to 11 and stock your pantry. Thank you to all the vendors who brought us fresh fruits and vegetables all summer. We hope to see you again in the spring.

You must know that I think our schools are the best for miles around, but I’ve got another example of concrete proof. The REB Award for Teaching Excellence was awarded to two Ashland teachers: Allison Kahl, who teaches 4th grade at John M. Gandy, and Erin Smith, who teaches 2nd grade at Henry Clay. Mrs. Kahl plans a cultural trip to Ghana, and Ms. Smith will visit schools in Australia.

Congratulations to Rene Clark who won in the Win with Your Bin contest sponsored by Central Virginia Waste Management! The judges decided that her recycling was exemplarily, so if you need any curb-side advice, Rene is the person to ask.

This Just In.... Holy Mackeral! Have you all heard about this? I might blush next time I order a cup of coffee. www.aceshanover.org


Please keep me updated with any holiday news: Christmas pageants, Yuletide carols, Santa sightings, and mistletoe scandals: 804-310-5320, or ashlandnews@gmail.com. Stay warm and have a lovely week.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

11/13/08 Yellow Jackets set to Sting HSC, PJs at the Library, Have a Local Thanksgiving


It has been a fun week at Randolph-Macon as the football team gets ready to travel to Hampton-Sydney this Saturday, Nov. 15th, for the 114th edition of their historic rivalry. Everyone has been dressed in lemon and black, there have been spontaneous pep-rallies everyday, and the football players have been treated like royalty. This is it. I can feel it. It is our year. There is no doubt in my mind that our boys, our Yellow Jackets will smash those preppy little - sorry, sorry, I got carried away. I'd give anything to be there in Farmville this Saturday, but I am hopeful that many will make the journey and cheer until they have no voice left. Go Jackets! Beat HSC!

It’s Pajama Night at the Library! Friday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m., wear your pajamas, your fuzzy slippers, and bring a favorite stuffed friend to a special evening Family Story time. Milk and cookies will be served, and the sandman may make an appearance. This fun event is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Library.


The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will present a holiday concert Sunday, December 7, at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry Street, Ashland. Performances will be at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm and will feature Bach’s Magnificat in D and other seasonal selections, including “Coventry Carol” and Holst’s “Christmas Day.” Tickets are $15 and $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. They may be purchased in advance at Cross Brothers’ Grocery in Ashland or at the door prior to each performance. To reserve tickets, please call 804-798-3283.


I’ve heard that the Ashland Farmer’s Market will stay open for a few more Saturday’s to help us all get ready for Thanksgiving. You’ll find wonderful local fruits and vegetables waiting to grace your holiday table. The vendors will be out behind Town Hall from 9 am until 11 this Saturday.

Get all your Christmas shopping done early at the 12th Annual Heavenly Creations Arts and Crafts Show at St. James the Less Episcopal Church in Ashland. On Saturday, November 22, the show will include over 40 artists and includes woodworkers, quilters, photography, weaving, ornaments and fabric art. Doors open at 9 am and admission and parking are free. Call 798-6336 for more details.

Draw a big red circle around your calendar on November 23rd for the Ashland Holiday Parade! The show begins at 2:30, so make sure you’ve staked out your seat on the side-lines. There is nothing better to get you in the holiday spirit. And, I’ll apologize ahead of time- the sight of a marching band coming down the street always chokes me up. I feel as sentimental as Jimmy Stewart, and want to holler out: “Merry Christmas you beautiful town, you!”


I think everyone had a great time at Train Day. It’s incredible how much this has grown over the years. Jim Donlon or Train Town Toy and Hobby should be commended for his dedication to Downtown Ashland and this event. His store is a perfect place to shop for Christmas with shelves full of dolls, stuffed animals, and, of course, trains! The Toy shop is located right on the tracks in Ashland.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 804-310-5320, or ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have an incredible week!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Response to Peter Greenberg's new book where he makes fun of the Center of the Universe.



I feel sorry for Peter Greenberg, the man who chose to include my sweet town on his list of places not to visit, I really do. He obviously has no idea of the life that we lead here. He has never been to an Variety Show, or watched the Holiday Parade. He has never sat in the shade by the Ashland pool, or cheered for friends as they finish the Railroad Run. He will always be a passer-by, seeing the motels and gas stations on Rt. 54, but will never be one of us. I imagine him as a sad Charles Dickens character who stands outside a house on Virginia Street while the snow falls. He looks in at the laughing faces illuminated by a warm fire, and realizes that he will never be able to join the party. So let's not be mad at him, let's just feel sorry for him for a few minutes and then forget him. We have other things to think about.



video

Friday, November 7, 2008

11/6/08 Halloween, Train Day, Library Events, Is the Cow Catcher Open Yet?






Halloween in Ashland was wonderful, as expected. The air smelled of fallen leaves, and the costumed children ran ahead as their parents stopped to talk at each front porch. We loved the adult costumes as well, especially Ross Luck and his orange-sherbet three piece suit, and Sister Lori Foley!

On Friday, November 14 at 6:30 p.m., wear your pajamas and bring a favorite stuffed friend to a special evening Family Story time. Milk and cookies will be served, and this fun event is sponsored by the Friends of the Ashland Library.

Happy Birthday to Madison Brown who celebrated her 10th birthday on November 5th!



Our town will be busy this Saturday with the 6th Annual Train Day. This event has grown and grown over the years, and it’s amazing to see how many people from out-of-town attend! The events will begin at 9am and will be located mainly at the Library and the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. The Town Clock will be dedicated at 9:30 by the Train Station, and there will be free trolley rides all around town.

The Central Virginia Masterworks Chorale will present a holiday concert Sunday, December 7, at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church, 201 Henry Street, Ashland.Performances will be at 2:30 pm and 7:00 pm and will feature Bach’s Magnificat in D and other seasonal selections, including “Coventry Carol” and Holst’s “Christmas Day.” Tickets are $15 and $10 for adults and $5 for students and children. They may be purchased in advance at Cross Brothers’ Grocery in Ashland or at the door prior to each performance. To reserve tickets, please call 804-798-3283.

The newest, greatly anticipated, restaurant will open November 7th. The Cow Catcher’s menu can be found at http://gesan.dyndns.org/menu. and looks like it has something for everyone. We hope that it’s a great place to hang out with friends.

Did you ever see the movie “Holiday Inn” with Bing Crosby and Fred Astair? Their old Inn was only open on Holidays, and Ashland is beginning to remind me of a Holiday Town. I think lots of people in the Richmond area view Ashland as the place to go when you want a small town experience. 4th of July, Halloween, Christmas- all times when we think of our childhood and gravitate to the sidewalks of a simpler time. While those visitors have to say goodbye eventually and watch Ashland slip away in their rear-view mirror, it is here everyday for us. We are Bing and Fred running the Inn, and the movie set is our backyard.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 804-310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. An archive of these columns can be found at http://ashlandnews.blogspot.com/. Have a beautiful week.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

10/23/08 Ashland, Ashland, Center of the Universe



Well Ashland, you outdid yourself. Your 150th birthday party was one of the best, and certainly the largest birthday party that we’d ever attended. The food was great; the music inspiring, and the guest list was top-notch. You ordered up a beautiful fall day- chilly enough to keep us moving, but not cold enough to send us home. We had tears in our eyes as we watched children sing “Ashland, Ashland”, and we went to bed exhausted but smiling.

I could fill up this column with the names of people who helped put on that party, as it includes almost everyone on town and even many outside of town. Robert Lindgren, president of RMC, said “Have the party at my house”, and brought out his staff and students to help celebrate. How sweet of him to say that R-MC is just as proud to be a part of Ashland as Ashland is to have R-MC here.

Thank you Charles Hartgrove and all the Town employees who spent so many hours working towards that day. Thank you Town Council, Board of Supervisors, School Board, and Hanover County. Thank you CSX for lending a hand and coming to the party. Thank you to Lorie Foley and Kathy Abbot who smiled all day Saturday and then had to attend the funeral of their beloved uncle. Thank you to the marching bands of Patrick Henry, Hanover, Atlee and Lee-Davis High Schools who gave us goose-bumps with their thrilling sound. Thank you RMC Chorus whose beautiful song, “It Takes A Village”, reminded us of how lucky our kids are to grow up here. Thank you Nancy Cozart and AC Bruce for building that wonderful birthday cake sculpture. Thank you to the men and women who were up at 6am Saturday morning cleaning the streets and setting up tables and chairs. Thank you to everyone who came and ate cake. It was good to see you there.

Happy Anniversary to Carl and Cathy Sloppy who will celebrate their wedding anniversary on October 25th!

Happy Birthday to Dave Gilmore on October 21!

John M. Gandy’s Bedford Falls Book Fair will be open beginning October 27th through October 31, 8am to 3pm daily. This is a great Book Fair with titles for all ages - picture books, reference books, and all the newest and most popular chapter books. The prices are great and the fair benefits Gandy's library too!

Remember to stop by the Arts and Activities Center on your trick-or-treating rounds on Halloween! Call or email me with your Ashland news: 804-310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. There is no place in the world that I would rather live. We are Ashland.


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