Tuesday, July 27, 2010

6/8/10 Successful Fourth, Summer Vacations, No One Can Catch the Barracudas

From all accounts, Ashland had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. Despite the heat, the parade was full of decorated bikes, scooters, and dogs. The lawn chair brigade returned, along with the kazoo brigade, and the basset hounds made a strong showing. Our Grand Marshal, Lorie Foley, looked regal in her horse-drawn carriage, and the lawn of the Arts and Activities Center was alive with picnic blankets, good friends, and cold ice cream. The Hanover Concert Band provided patriotic music, and that, combined with the shrieks from the three-legged race & water-balloon toss, gave us the quintessential summer soundtrack.

There were almost two dozen pies submitted for the apple pie contest, and I was lucky to have been asked to be a judge. Honestly I thought they all tasted really good, and a scoop of ice cream would have made them close to perfect. But, being judges, we scrutinized the crust, the texture of the apples, the flavor, and the attention to detail. The award of Best Overall went to Chrystal Tandberg; Most Patriotic to Jamie Doyle; Most Creative to Gilbert Green; and Best Kids Pie to Kate Melson. Congratulations!

There were lots of dogs entered in the Patriotic Pet contest, and even two chickens this year! First prize went to Olivia, the Springer Spaniel escorted by Alex Collard, second place went to Carly the Chihuahua escorted by Brenda Madani, and third place went to Cody the Mastif escorted by Stacey King. Congratulations to the winning pooches!

The new Red, White, Blue, and Green Sculpture Contest was a great addition to the day! Participants were asked to create a red, white, and blue sculpture out of used or recycled materials- hence the “green.” Congratulations to Nancy Cozart and Betsy Taylor who took first place for their Horse sculpture “Ode to Dali”, and second place for their “Pork of July” kitchen stool sculpture. Congratulations also to Susannah Gilmore and Annika Cline who took third place for their Cow creation!

The Ashland Barracudas are on a roll these days, or maybe we should say that they’ve caught a good wave. Last week they defeated Ashcreek by a score of 1386.5 to 1236.5. Will Mallory set team records in senior boys’ 100 free, 50 fly, and 50 free, and joined with Curran Henry, Chris Rothlisberger, and Elisa Worrell to break the team record in the senior 200 free relay.Quadruple winners for Ashland were: Jake Harris, Carson Ryan, Olivia Sewell, and Elisa Worrell. Triple winners were: Jillian Allen, Will Burch, Claire Bear Grant, Curran Henry, Libby Klinger, Will Mallory, Bennett Pienkowski, Lucas Pienkowski, Chris Rothlisberger, Kristen Trexler, and Natalie Willett.

There seems to be a family of raccoons living near the Ashland Pool these days, so be on the lookout if you’re at the pool or on the paths of Carter Park.

We were happy to welcome Rodney and Tamra Bardwell home from their annual trip out west to Arkansas! Other Ashland travelers were Jim & Lorie Foley who just got home from seeing Ireland with Jimmy and Nora. The summer is a great time to travel, but isn’t it comforting to cross the tracks and know that you’re home?

The Ashland Farmer’s Market continues to be a hub of activity on Saturday mornings, and now that the summer heat is here, the tomatoes are spectacular. Come fill your basket with blackberries, squash, tomatoes, onions, fresh-baked breads, and flowers for your garden.I’ve heard cicadas chirping in the heat of the mid-day sun, and there are crickets in the evenings.

I know the heat is oppressive and the lawns are turning brown, but summers in Virginia have never been that easy. We’ve learned to take the bad with the good. We eat our tomatoes, find a cool place to swim, and develop a deeper appreciation of central air. Have a wonderful week, Ashland- find a piece of shade and read a book. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.

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