Monday, September 14, 2009

9/17/09 September Whirlwind, JDRF Walk, Goodnight JR Radder


OK, September- I’ve got your number. You thought you could break me, didn’t you? You thought that you could make me dizzy with your endless calendar of events. You thought that you’d make me say “Uncle” with countless over-scheduled days. Well, Ha! The joke’s on you, Back-to-School Month! (Standing like Peter Pan) I can take anything you dish out.

Happy birthday to Daphne Gilmore who turned 9 on September 14th!

The Patrick Henry High School class of 1964 is having their reunion on Sept. 26. If you are a member of the class and have not gotten your information or have any questions please call Vaden Russell at 355-3679 .

The Tiger Trot 5K is this Saturday, and you still have time to sign up and run! Come see me at the registration table on the morning of the race and tell you’re running! September 19th will be a beautiful morning and what better way to spend it than either running through our pretty streets, or cheering on those runners. The kid’s races (1 mile and ½ mile) begin at 8am, and the 5K race begins at 9am. Come out to support the PTAs of Henry Clay and John M. Gandy Elementary! Email or call Tracy Brown if you have any questions: bob.and.tracy@verizon.net, 804-752-7762.
You have to come to the last Street Party of the summer! It just won’t be the same if you’re not there. Gates open at 6pm, and Ron Moody & the Centaurs will entertain us. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door, and are available at Cross Brothers, Ace Hardware, and Train Town, among other places.

Congratulations to everyone who ran in the Patrick Henry Half Marathon on August 29th! The weather was great this year, and there were more runners than ever. I wish I could have been out there with you- maybe next year- 8/28/10.

Once again, Ashland-Americans are showing their determination when faced with life’s challenges. On Sunday, September 20, Buddha & Jennifer Morris will be leading the largest family team of walkers in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk at 2pm in Byrd Park. Both Morris kids, Kellan and Rosie, have this disease-without-a-cure, and they are joined this year by two other amazing kids: Adam Price and Anna Dykshorn. If you can come out and walk with them, they’d love your company. If you’d like to donate to the cause, please contact Buddha Morris at anthonymorris5@verizon.net.

I hate to end our conversation this week on a sad note, but we have lost another really important person. JR Radder was a son, a husband, a father, and a friend. He leaves behind his wife, Gayle Carter, and their son, Coleman, who is a fourth grader at John M. Gandy Elementary. I am at a loss to find something comforting to say, because it is so incredibly unfair. No one should lose their Dad when they’re just a kid.

So let me wipe my eyes and remember the good things. Remember this crazy life is extraordinary, in part- or mostly, because we are here together. I will never believe that it could be better someplace else. You will never convince me that it’s more fun in California, or Nantucket, because we are all exactly where we are supposed to be. Life is here, and just waiting for you to walk through that door tomorrow morning, or step across those tracks. I can ask for no greater gift than a lifetime in Ashland, with you. Fingers crossed.

You can reach me with your Ashland news at ashlandnews@gmail.com, or 310-5320. Have fun this weekend!

9/10/09 Tiger Trot, RMC Students Return, Charlotte Home


Well Ashland, the summer of ’09 is behind us, but it certainly was a nice one, wasn’t it? The Three Sisters: Hazy, Hot, and Humid, didn’t come to visit until it was August and we were spared their love for most of the summer. I have to admit that I’ve grown accustomed to them over the years and would miss them if they ever went away for good.

I am looking forward to school starting, but I will miss the late evenings when bedtimes were non-existent. I will miss the giggling sleep-overs, and the shoes, clothing, towels that have turned up at our house: “Now who does this belong to?” I will miss the 8pm ice cream socials, and watching the kids play “Dibble” at the pool. But I’m not really sad about summer being over because it will be here again in a few months, and autumn is especially nice here in our Sweet Town.


Have you registered yet for the Tiger Trot 5K? You can register online at https://www.raceit.com/Register/?event=506 , and in fact, just go ahead and do that right now. September 19th will be a beautiful morning and what better way to spend it than either running through our pretty streets, or cheering on those runners. The kid’s races (1 mile and ½ mile) begin at 8am, and the 5K race begins at 9am. Come out to support the PTAs of Henry Clay and John M. Gandy Elementary! Email or call Tracy Brown if you have any questions: bob.and.tracy@verizon.net, 804-752-7762.



The fun thing about September 19th is how much is going on that day. You can run the Tiger Trot in the morning, visit the Farmer’s Market before noon, and then come out to dance behind the Library that evening at the last Street Party of the summer! That is almost a perfect Ashland day. The gates open at 6pm, and Ron Moody & the Centaurs will entertain us. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door, and are available at Cross Brothers, Ace Hardware, and Train Town, among other places.





Let’s welcome all the Randolph-Macon students back to town; we missed you! The campus is busy, and we’re lucky that so many of their events are open to the public. We caught a great football game this past weekend, even though Pedro’s boys lost. (I like those “Uncommon” shirts- can someone get me one of those? I’ll give you a prize.) The next home football game will be October 3rd against W&L. Visit http://www.rmc.edu/ to see the schedules for all the fall sports.



We are happy to report that little Charlotte Reynolds is back home in Ashland after weeks and weeks at the MD Anderson Clinic in Houston, Texas. I think Charlotte and her parents are incredible warriors, fighting that horrible cancer. I continue to be amazed at their perseverance and stamina, and I’d like to thank Roger and Rachel for writing about their struggle on the Caring Bridge website (www.caringbridge.org/visit/charlottereynolds). I’m sure I speak for most of Ashland when I say, if I knew any magic, I’d be casting spells left and right. Keep fighting. Keep going.





This Sunday, September 13th, Independence Christian Church of Ashland will have a gospel music concert featuring the popular Homeward Bound. The concert will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be followed with an ice cream and cookie social. There is no charge and everyone is welcome. I had the pleasure of hearing their pastor, Rebecca Highfield, give the invocation at a Town Council meeting. She gave thanks for our summer heat- I liked that.





This time last year we were all busy with the 150 Celebration- do you remember that? Are you glad that this fall is not as busy, or do you miss singing “Happy Birthday” to Ashland every fifteen minutes? I do like a party, so I will miss all those festivities, but I think we have plenty to keep us laughing.





Oh, and speaking of that, have you noticed how much people laugh around here? I have a story to tell you about that, but I’ve run out of column space this week. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Any hurricanes out there?