Thursday, April 9, 2009

4/9/09 Perfect Railroad Run, Educators Retiring, Join the Ashland Pool

Once again, the Hanover Arts and Activities Center has given our town an outstanding event! The 31st Annual Railroad Run was held under sparkling blue skies Saturday morning with a record number of runners, walkers, and spectators. There was music echoing across the lawn, and the Green Fair proved to be an event that must grow and expand next year. It was sad to lose Ruby as the pace car, but Jeff Reihl as Green Man on the Vespa sparkled as he drove down the street. I am so impressed by the two race directors, Tammy Proffitt and Tammy Roe who worked around the clock to insure that the day went smoothly. I hope they are enjoying the success and getting some well-deserved rest! Very well done.

The Ashland Police Department was amazing, and a very crucial part of the Railroad Run. Lt. James Shelhorse has quickly moved to the top of the “Favorite People in Ashland” list, and has gone out of his way to help.

There are two Hanover County educators who will be retiring at the end of this year and I will miss them both. Denny Waldrop, the Director of Elementary Education, will be missed for his leadership, his compassion, and his snowball fights. Sandra Lynne, who has taught so many Ashland kids, will be missed for the love that she showed her students, and for the example that she set for other Henry Clay teachers. Her car was always one of the last in the parking lot at night, and her kids had some of the biggest smiles. She gave them an education with laughter, a challenging classroom free from yelling, and usually a life-time friendship. I am lucky to have known them both.

The Ashland Pool is gearing up for another phenomenal season! If you don’t already know, Carter Park Pool is the place to be in the summer- and if anyone runs into Ross Luck, maybe you can help him understand this. Not only are there amazing lifeguards, and all of your favorite people, but the Ashland Barracudas are poised to make their entrance onto the Great Richmond Aquatic League scene. Home swim meets are legendary, and in such a contrast to other pools, which only serves to remind us that we are a privileged people to be living in the COTU. Visit to register your child for Kevin Trent’s team.

Teen Movie Night is this Friday, April 10th, at the Ashland Library. The movie starts at 6pm, and pizza and soft drinks will be served.

Congratulations to Mike Spence who figured out who else had a birthday on April 9th! Mike gets to choose his prize- either a quart of tomatoes that my mother put up last summer, or some tennis lessons.

And yes, it’s my birthday. My father has already sent me a bottle of whiskey, so all I need is a cake and crepe paper hanging from the ceiling to complete the day. Oh, and maybe El Azteca…

Enjoy this weather, but it has snowed three times on April 9th in my lifetime: 1972, 1980, and 1988. Send me your news of the Center of the Universe; 804-310-5320, Have a delightful week!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

4/2/09 The Promise of Spring, Railroad Run, ARG's, Lorie Foley- Super Catholic

Have you seen it? Have you seen that bright, new green color working its way into our field of vision? It’s a gradual thing, and if you’re not careful, you’ll miss this transformation. As we all know, spring doesn’t get much of a chance to shine before summer barrels its way onto the scene, so enjoy these days. Find the pump to put air in those dusty bike tires. Put away your corduroy and plaid, and wear more pink and green. Your hands need to be in the dirt planting lettuces and peas, and there will be baby chicks at the Feed Store soon. It is a lovely time to live in the Center of the Universe.

The 31st Annual Railroad Run is this Saturday! Come out and cheer the participants, or come sign-up and run that morning. The 1 mile kids run starts at 8:30 am, and the 10K starts at 9:00 am. Everything begins and ends at the Arts and Activities Center. The 5K Fun Walk begins at 9:15, and the Green Fair on the front lawn of HAAC runs from 8:30 to 11:30. Come out and learn about lots of earth-friendly products, and things that you can do to help the environment.

Congratulations to the Ashland Runner Girls who shed any ounce of composure or sense of decorum, to participate in the Monument Avenue 10K dressed as a bunch of cave women! Whatever they lacked in respectability, they made up for in laughter and smiles, which I believe is worth more in terms of a good life.

Ok, so obviously other people have learned about the phenomenon that is Lorie Foley. There are three Community Service Awards that will be given out by the Commonwealth Catholic Charities Organization on April 30th, and one is going to our own resident extraordinaire! If you care to attend the gala event at the Botanical Gardens, and cheer on our hometown girl, visit for more information. Well done, Loretta, well done.

Congratulations to the Brown/Winslow U8 Soccer Team who had a great game against Rockville this past Sunday. Now, U8 soccer doesn’t officially keep score, but I do believe that I saw a scout from the Richmond Kickers out there talking to those amazing Ashland kids. Kaci Bentley, Katelynn Brown, Isaac Faison, Daphne Gilmore, Caleb Kulinowski, Camryn Mason, Joseph Prince, Anna Winslow, and Nathan Hayes were all very impressive and a delight to watch.
Happy Birthday to Ann Bruce, who celebrated her birthday on April 9th! Someone else in Ashland has a birthday on April 9th. I’ll give a prize to the first person who can tell me who it is, and Ann- you can’t enter this contest!

Open your windows and breathe in this fresh air. Enjoy your Spring Break and safe travels if you’re leaving home. Send me your Ashland news, and I hope to see you Saturday at the Railroad Run! You can reach me at, or 310-5320. You can find a record of these columns at Have a wonderful week!

4/19/2018 Race the Rail and Save the Earth, Backyard Plant Sale, Mr. Mudd Returns

The forecast is calling for a partly-cloudy Saturday, with high's in the low 60s, so bundle up if you are coming out to run the Ashl...