Thursday, July 2, 2009

7/2/09 Ashland's Fourth of July, Mighty Barracudas, Remembering Harry




In the summer, I like to see beach towels hung to dry on porch railings. I like to see kids riding their bikes everywhere. In our house now, the windows stay shut and the air conditioner stays on, but I miss the sound of a fan in the window. In the seventies, sometimes my parents would sit on the front porch with their friends and their gin & tonics, and I could hear their voices through my bedroom window. It was a comforting sound to listen to as I fell asleep: muffled laughter and the buzz of August cicadas. Are summers ever as perfect as the ones we remember from our childhood?

Rest up for the Fourth of July! The Ashland Library’s Used Book Sale begins at 9am inside the Arts and Activities Center, and your apple pie for the contest needs to be dropped off by 10am.

Get your kids to decorate their bikes and line up for the parade in the Henry Clay Elementary parking lot by 10:15, and the parade starts at 11:00- SHARP! Bring your blanket & chairs, and find a shady spot on the front lawn of HAAC. There will be music, games for the kids, food, ice cream, crafts, and carriage rides around town. It is hard for me to believe that any place on earth could have a better 4th of July than we do.

The Patriotic Pet judging will begin at 11:45 at the corner of Cox Lane, and the winners of the Apple Pie Contest will be announced at noon.

The Ashland Barracudas are unstoppable these days! At press time, they were 3 and 0 against Pebble Creek, Milestone, and Ashcreek. It’s really thrilling to watch these swimmers evolve over the years and just fly through the water. My fingers are crossed for another great meet against Kings Charter this week.

In other news this week, the Spence Manufacturing Co. announced that it was shutting down production on its most popular model. Industry analysts were not surprised by this move, and CEO Susan Spence said that this reorganization was planned for many months and is “just not a big deal”.

The 11 year old Ashland All Star District 5 team opened up play this past weekend with an exciting come from behind win against the Mechanicsville Nationals. The boys of summer on the Ashland team are Garrett Allen, Trey Inge, Phillip Lockwood, Eric O'Malley, Kipp Proffitt, Dylan Ross, Holden Samuels, Hunter Snelson, George Stiles, William Strong and Cole Woods. Dylan Ross got Ashland off to a great start as he led the game with a homerun; he also had 3 runs batted in and came in to pitch in relief and picked up the win for the hometown squad! The team is managed by Kevin Proffitt and the coaches are Steve O'malley and EG Allen, and faced the Chesterfield Little League this past Monday evening.

I doubt if anyone else noticed this sad anniversary, but it was 80 years ago this past Monday that Sargeant Harry Valentine Smeeman was murdered in Ashland. He was young, just 38, and he left behind his wife, Lula, and their two daughters, Dorothy and Mildred. It is a sinister story, one that still gives me chills when I think about it, and it is a story that won’t leave me alone. Perhaps it is destined to remain unsolved. We will see.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a wonderful weekend!