Friday, May 15, 2009

5/14/09 May Babies, Amtrak CEO Coming to Town, Running, Biking, and Our Local Humanitarian

Wow, it was so wonderful to see the sun and have a weekend with beautiful weather. Everyone is thinking of summer, and not just the kids who can almost touch the last day of school. Parents are dreaming of un-hurried mornings, evenings spent in the backyard instead of studying for tests, and Sunday afternoons at the Ashland Pool. I will be very happy not to enforce bedtimes for a while.

For all my formal proclaiming last week, I left out several very important birthdays. My neighbor-who-built-my-house, A.C. Bruce gets to open presents on May 27th, and my friend-who-I'm-probably-related-to-since-his-family-is-from-the-Northern-Neck, Buddha Morris has his cake on the 22nd. I'll give brownie points to anyone who can tell me what AC's initials stand for and how Buddha got his nickname.

Happy Birthday to Mike Spence who deserves a big party (hint, hint) on May 20th! Mike is one of my favorite Ashland guys, but unfortunately is not allowed to enter the trivia challenge above because he’s a past two-time winner of the Ashland Column Contests.

Understanding that the COTU is a hub of rail travel and fierce opinions about railroad usage, Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman will be at Randolph-Macon's Blackwell Auditorium on Thursday, May 28th from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. This event is free, but they'd like you to reserve your seat by calling (804) 783-9368. I expect to see a HUGE turnout. Fill the seats, make some posters! Amtrak needs to know how important passenger rail service is to our sweet town.

While I mentioned last week that guy who ran 40 miles, I neglected to talk about the friends of his that helped him get through it. Tom Grant ran each step of the way and completed his first 40-miler. I say “first” because I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tom run 50 or 100 miles. He never stops. While also a natural runner, Bryan Cline opted to be the support crew for our Ashland runners and worked for over 8 hours supplying water, food, and chairs to sit in. Neither Tom nor Dave could have completed that race without the support of a good friend and family back home.

Tough little Charlotte Reynolds continues to fight an insipid cancer. They recently stopped chemo as the tumor is still growing, and are facing more surgery and radiation now. There’s a great website:, where you can read daily updates on Charlotte and find out ways that you can help this family. Things shouldn’t be unfair like this, especially not here.

The Second Annual Clunker Cruise was just as successful as the first one, as Joel Street did a wonderful job of organizing and planning the route. The Ashland Police Department was delighted that the 150 cyclists decided not to cross Rt. 1 this year, but opted to stay in downtown Ashland.

Whew, there are so many birthdays this month! If you happen to see Bryan Cline in the next few days, ask him if he got lots of presents on the 14th.

Last week, Parham Henrico Doctor's Hospital awarded Dr. Jeffery Reihl with the first Humanitarian Award. The award reads: "This award recognizes individuals whose daily dedication and care giving epitomize the highest standards of quality and personal commitment." While I have nothing but congratulations to offer, I am not surprised. I have never heard of Jeff doing anything that wasn't of the highest quality, whether that was announcing a swim meet, building a camp fire, or saving a life. Well done Jeff, well done.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that the sun is shinning when you read this. Keep those galoshes by the back door, and an umbrella handy. It is so green outside that I have to shade my eyes sometimes. See you at the Street Party Saturday night! The music starts at 7pm behind the Library. Contact me at or 310 -5320.

6/21/2018 Looking for Uncle Sam, Barracudas Breaking Records, Spoonfuls of Sugar, and Observing the Sunshine Law

Patriotism in the United States can be a tricky thing: too much and its scary nationalism, not enough and its apathetic socialism.   ...