Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12/15/2011 Cross Brothers' Baby, Scotchtown, RMC's "A Christmas Carol"


We have seen lots of birds these days in town. There was a hawk perched behind Town Hall and Bald Eagles spotted on both the east and west sides of Ashland. I am sure they are searching for some tasty autumn field mice- remember to look up when you’re outside!

There is nothing better than a new baby to remind us of the beauty that exists in the world. Elliot Thomas Warren arrived on December 8 th, and has brightened the lives of many people in Ashland recently, especially his great grandparents Catherine and David Willis, his grandparents Charles and Cathy Waldrop, and his doting parents Patrick and Casey! By all accounts, he is a sweet and charming boy.

This Saturday, December 17th, bring your kids and pets by the Ashland Firehouse Theater to visit with Santa beginning at 1pm. Take pictures and give Santa any last minute changes to your Christmas list!

Then come back that evening at 7pm for that wonderful Christmas classic, “The Polar Express.” It’s a perfect movie to help kids & grown ups remember to believe in the unbelievable. As always, tickets are free!

Also this Saturday, there will be a Hansel & Gretel Party at historic Scotchtown for ages 6-12 years old. From 2 pm- 4pm, come decorate a Gingerbread house, and enjoy seasonal refreshments and entertainment. The cost is $25 per person and supplies are included. Call 804-227-3500 for more information.

Congratulations to the cast and crew of the most recent production of Randolph-Macon’s “A Christmas Carol.” It is a delight to see it, especially with so many Ashland kids in it. The tickets go on sale right after Thanksgiving, and they always sell out quickly, so if you didn’t see it this year, write a reminder for 2012.

We have some belated birthday wishes for George Stiles who turned 14 on December 9th!

You’re not finished decorating, are you? If the lights still work, then you must hang them up. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Sparkle and shine, COTU, sparkle and shine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

11/23/2011 Thanksgiving, Deck The Halls, Ashland Runners


Well Ashland, I hope that you have safe travels if you’re leaving town for Thanksgiving, and if you’re staying home, I hope that you have a wonderful day with your family and friends! Eat, drink, and be merry.

The Ashland Holiday Parade was a great success; many thanks to everyone who watched and clapper, everyone who waved from a hay bale on the back of a float, and everyone who made music fill the air.

The 7th annual Deck the Halls event is right around the corner- December 4th from 12:30pm to 5pm. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children ages 5 through 12. Included in your ticket are all the supplies you need to create holiday decorations for your home: fresh-cut greenery, ribbons, wire, wreath forms, gloves, etc. Tickets are available at http://www.hilliardhouse.org/ or by calling 798-9131.

There is no movie at the Ashland Firehouse Theater this weekend, but mark your calendars for the following Saturday, December 3rd and “My Cousin Vinny” with Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei and Ralph Macchio. Remember, all tickets are FREE!

I can’t believe that last week I forgot to mention all the Ashlanders who ran in either the marathon, the half-marathon, or the 8K in Richmond on November 12th! Running in the 8K were Emily Parris, John Hodges, and Kevin Proffitt. Half-marathon finishers were Jackie Plank and Dennis Hansen. Marathon finishers were Tamra & Rodney Bardwell, Susan Spence, Tracy Brown, Amy Rutherford, Patricia Reagan, Tom Grant. They were supported by some very enthusiastic home-town cheering squads!

The town is still this week. The Randolph-Macon students are gone, and the school buses are quiet. Take some time to walk through your beautiful streets and jump in a pile of leaves.

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



11/10/11 NYC Marathon Runners, Firehouse Theater, RMC vs. HSC


Here they are, those beautiful fall colors that grace our sweet town every year. It is simply stunning and it is easy to forget about our crazy mid-Atlantic weather when we watch this fashion show outside our windows.

Happy birthday wishes went out last week to Madison Brown who blew out thirteen candles on her cake! Good grief, she’ll be off to college in the blink of an eye.

Some really big congratulations are in order for the two newest members of the New York Marathon Club: Jo Ann Hunter and Craig Hatz! These two runners began with just a mile or two on the flat streets of Ashland, and now they’ve run in the world’s largest marathon. We are very, very proud.

This Saturday, November 12th, the Ashland Firehouse Theater will feature its second foreign language film: “The Motorcycle Diaries” from Brazil. Produced by Robert Redford, this movie is based on the true story of Che Guevara’s motorcycle adventure across Latin America. Remember, all tickets are FREE! The curtain goes up at 7:45pm- put it on your calendar.

There are two great classes coming to your friendly local library next week. A computer basics class will be held on Monday November 14th at 6:30 p.m. This is a great class for someone who’s interested in learning the basics of using a computer. Find out about the parts of a computer, learn how to use a mouse, begin to explore & search the Internet, and set up an e-mail account. Call 798-4072 to register for the class.

Then on Tuesday at 7pm, come hear local gardening and author, Nancy Hugo, talk about her newest book, “Seeing Trees: Discover the Secret Lives of Everyday Trees. A book signing and refreshments will follow the presentation.

You do know what happens this Saturday, don’t you? The place to be is at the Randolph-Macon stadium for the last game on Day Field: our fearless Yellow Jackets against Hampton-Sydney! Kick-off is at 1pm, but it will be packed, so get there early. Please, please, please- knock the ties off those HSC boys. Go Jackets!

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a wonderful weekend- visit your local farmer’s market!





11/3/11 Halloween Fun, COTU Runners, Gallery Flux




Oh, we love a good holiday, don’t we Ashland? We love to have a reason to dress up, decorate, visit with friends, and listen to some wonderful music. The sidewalks of our town were packed with little princesses, zombies, and witches. We especially liked Alan Funk’s “Center of the Universe” costume!


Hopefully you got a chance to stop by the Hanover Arts and Activities Center to listen to the Hanover Concert Band play their spooky music. Visit their website to learn about some fun, and free, craft classed for kids over Christmas holidays: www.hanoverarts.org.


This Saturday, November 5th, the Ashland Firehouse Theater will debut its first foreign language showing of the season with the Belgium film, “The Chorus.” A new teacher at a strict boarding school attempts to bring music into the lives of the students. Remember, this movie is FREE! The curtain goes up at 7:45pm- put it on your calendar!

We have our share of Halloween babies in Ashland: Parker Marchetti, Renee Maier, and Bob Brown all celebrated their birthday with ghosts and goblins.


Congratulations to the COTU runners who recently ran in (and finished) the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, D.C.: Susan Spence, Jill Voekler, and Rodney Bardwell. They all ran very fast, despite the freezing temperature and some snowflakes at the start!


Congratulations are due to Ashland District Chief Benjamin P. Murray who was recognized as Firefighter of the Year by the Doswell Ruritans. Chief Murray was honored for his experience and excellent leadership skills, and the countless hours he dedicates to public safety in Hanover. We are fortunate to have such dedicated public servants in our sweet town.


Have you heard about the new art gallery in town? Gallery Flux will have it’s grand opening on Saturday, November 12th from 7 to 9pm. Come pretend you’re in a Manhattan art gallery and see some of the incredible art created by our local high school students. Gallery Flux is located in the brick building behind Jessica Roberson’s new photography studio at 301 England St. You can’t miss the great sculptures outside!


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have you turned on the heat yet? Have a wonderful week!



12/08/2011 Firehouse Theater, Recycled Art Auction, Teen Movie Night, Distracted Driving


The decorations are spreading around town! If you really want a treat, drive down Center Street one evening and look at all the lights- there are some for everyone’s taste.

The Ashland Firehouse Theater has another free movie for you this weekend. “High Noon” staring that dreamy Gary Cooper will be shown on Saturday, December 10th at 7:45 pm. Just enough time to go out to dinner before the curtain goes up- especially if you have dinner in town.

Hurry, Hurry: the Arts and Activities Center has brought back its online Recycled Art Auction just in time for Christmas, BUT the auction ends Thursday, Dec. 8th at 3pm. Visit http://www.hanoverarts.org/ and bid on all kinds of beautiful creations. If you miss it this year, sign up to be on the email list for the Center and come back next year.

This Friday, December 9th, is Teen Movie and Pizza Night at your friendly neighborhood Ashland library. Call 798-4072 for more information.

If you see Rebecca Cline, wish her a happy birthday! She blew out candles on December 7th.

The Ashland Police Department is joining the fight against Distracted Driving by hosting an educational event this Saturday, December 10, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The event will be held at the Ashland Junction Shopping Center and is open to all ages regardless of driving ability. This sounds like a wonderful opportunity for our young drivers out there!

The lights were on in the Ashland Movie Theater a few days ago- what a tease. Lights on or lights off, please; I keep getting my hopes dashed.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. I hope the Christmas spirit has found you and you’re spending your evenings hanging tinsel and humming carols. Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10/27/2011 Free Movies, Computer Class, Pumpkin Throwing





Most of the time the trains don’t bother me, and I am like the Ashland kids in the Library who hardly look up from their puzzles when a train goes by. They are just a pleasant background noise. But there are times when I’m reminded of what a nice interruption they can be. In this crazy, busy life, it is nice to have a 200-ton mass of steel make me stop and wait. I have to put the car in park and just sit there, not knowing exactly how long it will be. The trains don’t care if you’re running late, and no one can argue with you when you say, “Sorry I’m late- there was a train.”


Happy birthday to Megan Mudd & Paige Christy, and to Max Thompson of Beaverdam who all blew out candles on October 25th!



This Saturday, October 29 from 10:00am to 2:00pm, the Ashland Police Department will partner with the Drug Enforcement Agency to take part in a nationwide prescription drug “take back.” There will collection sites operating around the nation to include the Ashland Police Department where Americans can turn in their unused, unneeded, expired prescription medications. Drugs can stay in its original sealed container or emptied in the bin. For more information pertaining to the event, please contact Community Support Officer Joe Perkins at (804) 412-0601 or Officer Tommy Gilbert at (804) 412-0615.



The Ashland Firehouse Theater is back with some great movies for us this fall, and the best part is that they’re all free! Make plans to come see Ghostbusters II next Saturday, October 29th. The movie starts at 7:45, plenty of time to grab a bite out beforehand. Stay tuned for some foreign language films in November! Visit ashlandfirehousetheater.org or call 798-3429 for more information.



The Ashland Library is holding a Beginners Computer Class on Monday, November 14th at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in learning how to use a computer, this class will help you find out about the parts of a computer, learn how to use a mouse, and begin to explore & search the Internet, and set up an e-mail account. Call 798-4072 to register for the class.



Come take out your aggression on a pumpkin, and help a wonderful local charity at the same time! The Ashwood Gardens & Nursery 6th annual Pumpkin Chunk-A-Thon to benefit Hanover Arc will take place Saturday, October 29th from 10:00AM-3:00PM. There will be pumpkin chunking and carving, a pet costume contest, tattoo booth, face painting, hotdogs, games, a corn maze and an alpaca zoo and much more. All proceeds will benefit Hanover Arc, a non-profit organization serving adults and children with developmental disabilities. Please call Hanover Arc at 798-2400 or Ashwood Gardens & Nursery at 798-2280 for additional information.



Make it a Saturday morning ritual to visit your local Ashland Farmers Market open until November 12th! The market has lots of wonderful fall fruits and veggies, plus wonderful homemade treats. Find your favorite vendor behind the Town Hall from 9AM until noon.


We have another beautiful weekend ahead of us, Ashland, and no shortage of out-door events to choose from! Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com .

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

10/13/11 Mystery Solved, Civil War Historian, Dolly the Listening Dog,




Well, apparently the playground wasn’t abducted by aliens, but it was removed for safety reasons: there were lots of splinters on it. We’ve heard that a new playground has been ordered, but we’re wondering why they didn’t leave the old one there until the new one had arrived. And maybe a sign could have been put up telling everyone the details. Just an idea.


Bob Krick of the National Park Service will be at the Ashland Library on Tuesday, October 25th at 7:00 p.m. He is a recognized authority on the Civil War in the Richmond Area and he will talk about the Civil War’s effect on the Ashland area, including details about everyday life and the impact of the military involvement.


Dolly, the dog who wants to be read to, will be returning to the Ashland Library on October 25th at 7pm. Call the library with more information and to schedule time for your child to read to Dolly: 798-4072.


Let’s wish happy birthday to Corinne Luck, one of our favorite Ashland teachers, who celebrated this past Saturday. She followed it up by running 18 miles the next day- isn’t that a great way to start a new year!


Our Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets will play a little football with Washington and Lee this Saturday afternoon at 1pm.


Come out to cheer on all the runners this Saturday at the 2011 Henry Clay & Gandy Tiger Trot! The kids’ races begin at 8:00am & the 5K begins at 9:00am at Henry Clay Elementary. This is a wonderful fundraiser for our two little schools, so please come out and make it a great event.


The Tiger Trot will be great training for the 8th Annual Ashland Harvest Run on Saturday, October 22, 2011. The 10 K race begins at 9:00, with the 5k following at 9:15. This year, the race proceeds will benefit Hanover Habitat for Humanity and Patrick Henry Family YMCA- two very important organizations. For more information, or to register for the race, please go to http://www.ashlandharvestrun.com/ or call 690-1259.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. The leaves are getting ready to burst into color. Where’s your camera?

10/20/2011 Another great Tiger Trot, PH Homecoming, Harvest Run, Dolly the Reading Dog


Our hats are off to all the amazing volunteers at Henry Clay and John Gandy Elementary who helped the Tiger Trot run so smoothly- especially chairman JoAnn Hunter! After running the Ashland Railroad Run for so many years, she made the Tiger Trot appear effortless. Well done!

There will be a Randolph-Macon haunted house at 113 College Ave on Thursday, October 27th from 7 to 10pm. Come get scared by some coeds and help support Relay For Life!

It’s Homecoming this weekend as your Patrick Henry Patriots to take on Thomas Jefferson this Friday night at 7pm at home. Come out to see the game and the Homecoming Court.
Bob Krick of the National Park Service will be at the Ashland Library on Tuesday, October 25th at 7:00 p.m. He is a recognized authority on the Civil War in the Richmond Area and he will talk about the Civil War’s effect on the Ashland area, including details about everyday life and the impact of the military involvement.

Dolly, the dog who loves people to read to her, will be returning to the Ashland Library on October 25th at 7pm. Call the library with more information and to schedule time for your child to read to Dolly: 798-4072.

It’s supposed to be another gorgeous weekend, so come out to cheer the 8th Annual Ashland Harvest Run on Saturday, October 22, 2011. The 10 K race begins at 9:00, with the 5k following at 9:15. This year, the race proceeds will benefit Hanover Habitat for Humanity and Patrick Henry Family YMCA- two very important organizations. For more information, or to register for the race, please go to http://www.ashlandharvestrun.com/ or call 690-1259.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. We have another beautiful weekend ahead of us- enjoy it!



Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10-06-11 Missing Playground, Tiger Trot, Harvest Run, Baby Finn








Ashland, you just don't know how fickle I am. You don't know how many times I've almost thrown in the towel, how many times that I've said: 'I just can't think of anything to write." Do you know how many times I've been teased for my over-use of the word "lucky?" Do you know how many times my father has fussed at me about all the exclamation points? Here I sit, a jaded Ashlander complaining about the trains & my hectic life, and then something like this happens.




The playground at Pufferbelly Park has disappeared. Not just a swing to be repaired, not a slide to be replaced, but the whole thing. It is gone, like it was never there in the first place. The citizens of Ashland are rather vigilant, and yet, not one person that I've spoken to witnessed the removal. Kellan Morris has some suspicions about an alien abduction, and until we hear otherwise, that's what we're going with. I have a jar of sweet pickles that I made this summer for the first person who tells me where it went.




It’s Family Movie Morning at the Ashland Library this Saturday, October 8th at 10:00am. Snacks will be provided! Dolly, the dog who wants to be read to, will be back at the Library on October 11th and the 25th at 7pm. Call the library with more information: 798-4072.




Happy birthday to Jill Voekler who celebrated her birthday this past Saturday at Maplewood in Elmont!




Now that the rains have gone, it’s a perfect time to get outside and walk or run around town. Sign up now for the 2011 Henry Clay & Gandy Tiger Trot to be held on Saturday, October 15th. The kids’ races begin at 8:00am & the 5K begins at 9:00am at Henry Clay Elementary. You can register online at http://www.raceit.com/ or pick up a registration form at either school. We are only a good town if we have good schools- help support them.




The Tiger Trot will be great training for the 8th Annual Ashland Harvest Run on Saturday, October 22, 2011. The 10 K race begins at 9:00, with the 5k following at 9:15. This year, the race proceeds will benefit Hanover Habitat for Humanity and Patrick Henry Family YMCA- two very important organizations. For more information, or to register for the race, please go to http://www.ashlandharvestrun.com/ or call 690-1259.




This past Sunday was a happy day on Center Street, for sweet baby Finn Robert Morris was baptized by Father Chris at St. Ann’s. Surrounded by his Ashland friends and family, Finn laughed and smiled, and we were reminded of what really matters in life. We look forward to watching Finn grow up, to see him become an Ashland kid and enjoy a COTU childhood.




Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Go solve that mystery- find that playground!



Tuesday, September 20, 2011

9/22/11 Autumn Birthdays, Road Races, Reading Dogs, Hometown Football Games




Goodbye linen, madras, and seersucker; hello corduroy, plaid, and wool. This cool weather is always a welcome change as we put away the bathing suits and start thinking about campfires and football games. Autumn is a wonderful time of year in the Center of the Universe. I hope you find some time to get outside and enjoy it!


Happy birthday to Father Chris Haydinger, who celebrated his birthday this past weekend. We are so glad that he's here in Ashland, and keeping those Catholics in line with his faith, dedication, and sense of humor.


If this cooler weather has rejuvenated your walking or running, sign up now for the 2011 Henry Clay & Gandy Tiger Trot to be held on Saturday, October 15th. The kid's races begin at 8:00am and the 5K begins at 9:00am at Henry Clay Elementary, and you can register online at http://www.raceit.com/ or pick up a registration form at either school.


Birthday wishes also go to Lorie Foley, our favorite director of anything! Her non-stop energy and creativity continue to enrich our little town and make us smile.


The Tiger Trot will be great training for the 8th Annual Ashland Harvest Run on Saturday, October 22, 2011. The 10 K race begins at 9:00, with the 5k following at 9:15. This year, the race proceeds will benefit Hanover Habitat for Humanity and Patrick Henry Family YMCA- two very important organizations. For more information, or to register for the race, please go to http://www.ashlandharvestrun.com/ or call 690-1259.


Dolly the dog returns to the Ashland Library Tuesday, September 27 th at 7pm. Dolly is a trained listening dog who will listen as your child (ages 5-8) reads a book to her. This is a wonderful way to encourage good reading habits and help the child who is struggling. Call the Ashland Library to schedule a reading session: 798-4072. Dolly is sponsored by the Ashland Library and Sprite’s HERO.


Go watch a game this weekend: Patrick Henry plays Lee-Davis at home this Friday at 7pm, and the Randolph-Macon Women’s soccer take on Randolph College at home on Saturday at 2pm. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com . Have a beautiful weekend!





9/15/11 Street Party, CJ Art Auction, Football, BBQ




One of the reasons that I like Ashland so much is its oddities. Has anyone else seen the chicken and her friend, the duck, strolling near the 7-11? They seem very content together, and I was wondering if they are pets or if they just happened to find a backyard they like.


Happy birthday to Rachel Reynolds who celebrated her birthday just the other day! Rachel is busy getting ready for the CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation’s Art Auction to be held Friday, September 30th from 7 to 11pm, at the Cultural Center at Glen Allen. I know that many of you remember her daughter, Charlotte, who passed away almost two years ago from a brain tumor. The CJ’s Thumbs Up Foundation raises money to help families of children with chronic and life threatening illnesses. You can find out more at http://www.cjstuf.org/.


It’s very hard to believe that we’re looking at the End of Summer Street Party this weekend! Come dance outside one last time before the cold weather gets here to Ron Moody and the Centaurs from 6 to 11pm behind the library. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Children 12 and under are free with adults.


I love having the R-MC students back on campus these days, and I love all the activity that happens on the weekends. Come out to cheer for the football team as they take on Shenandoah at 1pm, and try to keep this winning streak that they’re on! Women’s soccer also plays at 2:30 at home against Hollins College. Go Jackets!


And if that wasn’t enough to do this weekend, the 40th Annual Ashland Kiwanis Club Barbecue is on Saturday, Sept. 17th from 4-7pm. There will be live music, a classic car show, and lots of fun door prizes. This is a major fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club which is such a valuable community group. Tickets are available at Union First Market Bank branches in Ashland, Luck Chevrolet, Cross Brothers Grocery and from any Kiwanis member. You can also buy tickets at www.eventbrite.com/AshlandKiwanis. For more information, call (804) 627-1003 or email jmcdaniel@bbvirginia.com.


The weather should be beautiful this weekend. I think that the heat & humidity may be gone, but you never know. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Enjoy this prelude to autumn!









9/8/11 The End of Summer, Tiger Trot, Kiwanis BBQ, New Yellow Jackets





The summer ended the way most summers end, with a final whistle at the town pool and the slow departure of kids from the water. Those Ashlanders do not like to be alone: they celebrate endings and beginnings together. There are frequently not enough chairs, or plates, but that doesn’t seem to matter because no one is ever left without food or conversation.


I’d like to thank the staff of the Ashland Town Pool for another stellar season. The lifeguards blew their whistles with authority, and played with the kids when they were off-duty. The managers were amazing and we felt like we were at the Country Club! A big thanks to Hunter Hoy, Kevin Proffitt, and Mike Rohr.


If you were inspired by those dedicated runners, sign up now for the 2011 Henry Clay & Gandy Tiger Trot to be held on Saturday, October 15 th. The kid's races begin at 8:00am and the 5K begins at 9:00am at Henry Clay Elementary, and you can register online at http://www.raceit.com/ or pick up a registration form at either school.


Happy birthday to Daphne Read Gilmore who turns 11 on September 14 th!


Mark your calendar now for the 40th Annual Ashland Kiwanis Club Barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 17th from 4-7pm. Legend has it that the BBQ recipe is top secret, and is better than anything you’ve ever had before. There will be live music, a classic car show, and lots of fun door prizes. This is a major fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club which is such a valuable community group. Tickets are available at Union First Market Bank branches in Ashland, Luck Chevrolet, Cross Brothers Grocery and from any Kiwanis member. You can also buy tickets at www.eventbrite.com/AshlandKiwanis. For more information, call McDaniel at (804) 627-1003 or email jmcdaniel@bbvirginia.com.


This Friday is Teen Movie & Pizza Night at the Ashland Library. The movie begins at 6pm, and ages 12 to 18 are invited. Bring a friend! Pizza and drinks will be provided by the Friends of the Ashland Library.


If the world of computers is foreign to you, come to the Computer Basics Class next Monday, September 12th at 6:30 pm at the Ashland Library to learn how to do basic tasks in Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer.


We’re glad to see all the Randolph-Macon students back on campus this week, with apparently the largest freshman class ever! The Yellow Jacket football team had a great season opener against Methodist College, winning 47-3. Our fingers are crossed for next weekend when the boys in gold and black travel to Averett College. This is our year to beat Hampton-Sydney!


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









9/1/11 Picking Ourselves Up and Dusting Off...




I don’t know where to start. Since the last time we’ve talked, there have been earthquakes and a hurricane, and I’m wondering if I shouldn’t have bad-mouthed the month of August.


I give my condolences to everyone who is still without power, who lost a beautiful old tree, or who had an old tree fall on top of something. We’ve noticed that most trees seemed to have been blow down by a wind from the north, and there are big patches of sunlight where there used to be shade.


The earthquake was another matter entirely, and I am surprised to find myself startled at any little rattle or rumble that I mistake for another quake. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of Ashlanders are sleep-deprived these days; there has been a lot to worry about the past week.


Congratulations to all the soggy runners who finished the Patrick Henry Half Marathon just before Irene arrived! And a big thanks to all the volunteers who stood out in the rain all morning to help. I’ve heard good things about the new course.


If you were inspired by those dedicated runners, sign up now for the 2011 Henry Clay & Gandy Tiger Trot to be held on Saturday, October 15 th. The kid's races begin at 8:00am and the 5K begins at 9:00am at Henry Clay Elementary, and you can register online at http://www.raceit.com/ or pick up a registration form at either school.


Mark your calendar now for the 40th Annual Ashland Kiwanis Club Barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 17th from 4-7pm. Legend has it that the BBQ recipe is top secret, and is better than anything you’ve ever had before. There will be live music, a classic car show, and lots of fun door prizes. This is a major fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club which is such a valuable community group. Tickets are available at Union First Market Bank branches in Ashland, Luck Chevrolet, Cross Brothers Grocery and from any Kiwanis member. You can also buy tickets at www.eventbrite.com/AshlandKiwanis. For more information, call McDaniel at (804) 627-1003 or email jmcdaniel@bbvirginia.com.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. I hope your Labor Day Weekend is filled with lots of electric light and free-running water.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

8/25/11 Hello Irene, Planes Identified, New Rocking Chair at Library






I knew we were due for a hurricane. And isn’t it just like Mother Nature to send us some beautiful weather right before she blows Irene our way. If you haven’t found your flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and weather radios by now, drop this paper and get moving! You can find a lot of good information on www.vaemergency.com.




My sources on Mt Hermon Road have informed me that those two airplanes patrolling Ashland lately are AT-6s, which were training airplanes during WWII. They were known as “pilot makers” for their role in preparing pilots for combat. Now, I think the owners need to come forward because I’d love a ride, and I think I could convince Janet Taylor to come along!



The last Bluemont Concert of the summer is scheduled for this Sunday, August 28th on the front lawn of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. Get there at 5:30 to hear our very own Hanover Concert Band perform. The band this Sunday is the Pan Masters, who will bring their Caribbean, Calypso, and Reggae music to the COTU. Tickets are $5 per person, $4 for Bluemont Friends and seniors, and $2 for kids under 12. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic dinner.


Mark your calendar now for the 40th Annual Ashland Kiwanis Club Barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 17th from 4-7pm. Legend has it that the BBQ recipe is top secret, and is better than anything you’ve ever had before. There will be live music, a classic car show, and lots of fun door prizes. This is a major fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club which is such a valuable community group. Tickets are available at Union First Market Bank branches in Ashland, Luck Chevrolet, Cross Brothers Grocery and from any Kiwanis member. You can also buy tickets at www.eventbrite.com/AshlandKiwanis. For more information, call McDaniel at (804) 627-1003 or email jmcdaniel@bbvirginia.com.


The Patrick Henry Half Marathon is right around the corner (8/27/11), and this year the race will begin and end on the Randolph-Macon campus. Come and join the runners for this 13.1 miles course, or stand and cheer them on as they run through town! You can register online at http://www.sportsbackers.org/.


There is a wonderful new rocking chair in the Ashland Library’s children’s section. It was donated by the Friday Morning Book Club in honor of Elizabeth Dull, whom they all miss so much.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. My fingers are crossed that we’ll all get through Irene’s visit with little damage!





















8/18/11 Air Raids, Bluemont, Patrick Henry Half Marathon




Has anyone notices two small, propeller planes flying over Ashland lately? Last Friday they were circling over town, flying around each other, and it looked like a scene straight out of a World War II movie. We half expected to hear machine gun fire at any moment, and thought that maybe a war had started but someone forgot to tell us. Earlier this week I saw them again, although this time they were flying together towards the east. I think they were going to patrol the coast. Let me know if you see them.


One of the best things about these Bluemont Concerts, is that our very own Hanover Concert Band gets to warm up the crowd every Sunday from 5:30 to 6:30. There’s no extra charge for this pre-concert entertainment, so be sure to set your chair up early.


We’ve heard great reviews of the Bluemont band for this coming Sunday, the Dixie Power Trio. They have taken lots of classic rock and roll, and added some jazz-zydeco-cajun spice. Tickets are $5 per person, $4 for Bluemont Friends and seniors, and $2 for kids under 12. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic dinner.

Mark your calendar now for the 40th Annual Ashland Kiwanis Club Barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 17th from 4-7pm. Legend has it that the BBQ recipe is top secret, and is better than anything you’ve ever had before. There will be live music, a classic car show, and lots of fun door prizes. This is a major fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club which is such a valuable community group. Tickets are available at Union First Market Bank branches in Ashland, Luck Chevrolet, Cross Brothers Grocery and from any Kiwanis member. You can also buy tickets at www.eventbrite.com/AshlandKiwanis. For more information, call McDaniel at (804) 627-1003 or email jmcdaniel@bbvirginia.com.


The Patrick Henry Half Marathon is right around the corner (8/27/11), and this year the race will begin and end on the Randolph-Macon campus. Come and join the runners for this 13.1 miles course, or stand and cheer them on as they run through town! You can register online at http://www.sportsbackers.org/.


As we move closer to fall, there are so many wonderful fruits and vegetables waiting for us at the Ashland Farmers Market. They’re open every Saturday from 9 to noon behind Town Hall.


Even if you don’t have a child in your house, you can still do some back-to-school shopping. All of our schools would love to have some extra supplies, and they’re easy to pick-up when you’re doing your shopping. Please consider donating extra; they won’t go to waste.


The “Three Sisters” (Hazy, Hot, and Humid) seem to have left for vacation this past week, but don’t let your guard down. Don’t think, for one minute, that they are gone for another year! They will return just when you want to pack up your summer dresses, and pull out some sweaters. They will wait until you turn off the A/C and throw open the windows. They are sneaky old biddies.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Enjoy the week.









Wednesday, August 17, 2011

8/11/11 Swim Coaches Win Award, Back-to-School Shopping, Bluemont, BBQ




If I could record what August sounds like, it would be a cricket chirping in the dried up grass. That’s all I heard the other day as I fought with the Bermuda grass that invades our yard every year. I shouldn’t say that; it’s not really invasive- it lives there quite comfortably.


Congratulations to the coaches of the Ashland Barracudas swim team on winning the Coaching Excellence award from the Greater Richmond Aquatics League! Kevin Trent, Alan Rosenberg, Jenny Yonce, and Tim Wiles were chosen for their outstanding leadership and coaching skills, plus their professional demeanor and attitude. This is the third time that these coaches have won this award, and we are not surprised.


St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Montpelier is having a Back-to-School Community Clothes Closet this weekend, August 13th from 8am to 2pm. Families with kids of all ages are welcome. What a great chance to save money on back-to-school shopping! Please call Susan Hendricks at 883-6243 with any questions.


The Bluemont Concert Series continues this weekend on the front lawn of the Arts and Activities Center. Our fingers are crossed that these summer evening showers wills tay away and we can listen to Ted Garber perform his American Rock-Blues under the starts. Tickets are $5 per person, $4 for Bluemont Friends and seniors, and $2 for kids under 12. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic dinner.


The Ashland Library would like to invite all kids to their Ice Cream Party Finale on Friday August 12 at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Program with free ice cream. Ice cream provided by the Friends of the Ashland Library.


Mark your calendar now for the 40th Annual Ashland Kiwanis Club Barbecue on Saturday, Sept. 17th from 4-7pm. Legend has it that the BBQ recipe is top secret, and is better than anything you’ve ever had before. There will be live music, a classic car show, and lots of fun door prizes. This is a major fundraiser for the Kiwanis Club which is such a valuable community group. Tickets are available at Union First Market Bank branches in Ashland, Luck Chevrolet, Cross Brothers Grocery and from any Kiwanis member. You can also buy tickets at www.eventbrite.com/AshlandKiwanis. For more information, call McDaniel at (804) 627-1003 or email jmcdaniel@bbvirginia.com.


Do you have batteries in your flashlights in case a hurricane blows this way? We haven’t had one in a few years, so it will probably be our turn again before too long. Some of my best memories from childhood were running around the yard before a hurricane picking up toys and lawn chairs as the wind started to blow. My mother would tell stories about those famous old hurricanes, Camille and Agnes, and we would be so scared.


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


















8/4/11 August, Schoolhouse Rock, Bluemont, Library Social




Poor August. Does anyone love you with your exhausting heat, your wilted flowers, and your “Back to School” sales? You are not subtle or sweet; you are tough and stubborn just like all the people born under your hazy sky. So tough, in fact, that it takes a hurricane to cool you off for a few days.


You’ll forget about the hear for a while if you come to one of the performances of the Children’s Music Theater’s production of “School House Rock-Live!” at the Hanover Arts and Activities center next week. The singing and dancing happens Friday and Saturday, August 5th and 6th at 6:30pm, and then Sunday, August 7th at 1:30pm. Tickets are $5 in advance and $6 at the door. Please call Becket Franklin for ordering information: (804) 380-6953.


Happy belated birthday to Lucy Klisz who celebrated on July 28th ! We hear she had a fabulous birthday party.


The Bluemont Concert Series returns this weekend to the front lawn of the Arts and Activities Center. Come out every Sunday in August to while away the evening listening to wonderful music under the stars. August 7th brings us The Flaming Shillelaghs and their traditional Irish dance music. We hear that their performances also feature traditional Irish step-dancing. Tickets are $5 per person, $4 for Bluemont Friends and seniors, and $2 for kids under 12. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic dinner.


The Ashland Library would like to invite all kids to their Ice Cream Party Finale on Friday August 12 at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Program with free ice cream. Ice cream provided by the Friends of the Ashland Library.


Lastly, the best celebration of the month may be at the home of Mrs. Annabelle Reynolds who will turn 95 on August 11th! I am sure that Mrs. Reynolds has so many wonderful stories of her 95 years, and I hope that she tells them to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Eat some ice cream: summer is almost over.
















7/28/11 End of July, School House Rock, Bluemont Concerts Nearing



Here we are, saying goodbye to the last few days of July and dreading the beginning of August. As much as it hurts me to say this, August has never been one of my favorite months. It is awful hot, and its arrival means that we have to think about summer ending. However, we are lucky to live in Ashland which means that even a hot, humid August day is filled with music and laughter. See below.


Happy Birthday to Susannah Gilmore who turns 14 today, but who was a toddler last week and who will be off at college next month. At least that’s the way it seems to her mother.


For the third consecutive year, the Barracudas have finished the regular season undefeated. Last week, Ashland defeated Milestone by a score of 1518-1152 .Quadruple winners were: Erin Gannon, Mattie Grant, Seth Gulas, Libby Klinger, Will Mallory, Miranda Menk, Taylor Smith, Kyle Talmage, and Helen Wasz . Triple winners were: Curran Henry, Addy Klinger, Lucas Pienkowski, Will Roberts, Ben Schubert, Ted Schubert, Hill Sewell, Melissa Talmage, Kyle Tyson, and Bender Vaught .

Qualifying for the GRAL championship meet qualifiers were Max Cook, Jacob Davis , Claire Grant, Nick Gulas, Jimmy Foley, Tyler Pimblett , and Jonathan Waller . Coach Kevin Trent would like to remind all the fans of the Barracudas that it wasn’t so long ago that their record was 1 and 5, so don’t get too confident. I believe that’s how Rome was lost.


This town loves a show, so I know that you need to mark your calendar now for the performances of the Children’s Music Theater’s production of “School House Rock-Live!” at the Hanover Arts and Activities center in August. Come see tomorrow’s stars on Friday and Saturday, August 5th and 6th at 6:30pm, and then Sunday, August 7th at 1:30pm.


Happy Birthday to Lorelei Holloway who turned 7 on July 25th ! We hope she had a huge cake and got lots of presents.


The Bluemont Concert Series returns in just about a week to the front lawn of the Arts and Activities Center. Come out every Sunday in August to while away the evening listening to wonderful music under the stars. August 7th brings us The Flaming Shillelaghs and their traditional Irish dance music. We hear that their performances also feature traditional Irish step-dancing. Tickets are $5 per person, $4 for Bluemont Friends and seniors, and $2 for kids under 12. Bring your lawn chairs and picnic dinner.

The Ashland Library would like to invite all kids to their Ice Cream Party Finale on Friday August 12 at 6:00 p.m. to celebrate the end of the Summer Reading Program with free ice cream. Ice cream provided by the Friends of the Ashland Library. August is a good month to spend with a book; I’ll have to give it that.


Keep your humor in spite of the heat. Enjoy a sub-tropical afternoon at your Ashland pool! Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.







7/15/11 Barracudas Poised for Third Undefeated Season, Street Party




The heat has found us. It took it a little bit longer than usual, and we’ve spent many late-night at swim meets bundled up in sweat-shirts. No more! It’s now in the eighties when you wake up in the morning and the heat comes up from the ground like we live on a paved parking lot. Stay cool. Move slowly. Drink iced tea.


As always, canine Ashlanders seem to enjoy the 4th of July as much as their owners. First place winner of the Patriotic Pet Contest was “Cody” who was dressed as Uncle Sam. Second place winner was “Olivia,” a Setter mix, and third place was won by “Chloe” who was dressed in a festive tutu.


Happy 21st birthday to Assistant Barracuda Coach Tim Wiles! Tim has certainly proved himself a valuable part of the Ashland Swim Team coaching squad. We hope he got lots of presents!Here’s proof: the Ashland Barracudas are well on their way to their third undefeated season!


Last week, the Ashland kids won against Ashcreek by a score of 1399 to 1013. Whew! Samantha Senfield was a quadruple winner, Joseph Boyle, Julia Chambers, Mattie Grant, Seth Gulas, Addy Klinger, Quinny Kinser, Thomas Perkins, Meade Reihl, Emmeline Roberts, Taylor Smith, Kyle Talmage, Robbie Talmage, Ben Williams, and Elisa Worrell were all triple winners.


Elisa Worrell also broke the team record in senior girls’ 100 fly. When she leaves this fall for the University of South Carolina, (on a full swimming scholarship no less) she will leave some big shoes to fill!


Practice for the Arts and Activities Center’s annual Summer Children’s Theater is going strong. Mark your calendar now for the shows in August: Friday and Saturday, August 5th and 6th at 6:30pm, and then Sunday, August 7th at 1:30pm. This summer’s show is “School House Rock- Live!” Remember those from Saturday morning cartoons?


A great way to fight this heat wave is to come dancing this Saturday night behind the Ashland Library! Come dance to King Edward and the B.D.’s at the Mid-Summer Wine Festival, this Saturday from 7 to 11pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Advance tickets can be found in all the usual spots until June 15th .


We are lucky to have the sounds of the Bluemont Concert Series returning to the front lawn of the Arts and Activities Center this August! A complete schedule of the concerts can be found on http://www.hanoverarts.org/ .


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










6/30/11 Summer Storms, 4th of July Celebrations, Ashland Tweets, Crepe Myrtles



We’re glad that no one was hurt in that odd little storm we had last Wednesday. The National Weather Service won’t confirm that it was a tornado, but it sure looks like something decided to take a walk from Dejarnette Park, behind Allan Funk’s house, towards the tracks! Those tree service companies are loving Ashland this week.



It’s time to decorate, Ashland! I know it’s one of your favorite things to do. Shake out those flags and that bunting, and show your patriotic pride. It’s time to stock up on crepe paper and decorate those bikes for the Annual Ashland 4th of July Parade. Line up begins at 10:15am (on the 4th) in the Henry Clay Elementary parking lot.


Pack a picnic and plan to spend the 4 th on the front lawn of the Arts and Activities Center. This event is the epitome of what a 4th of July celebration should be: friends, family, mom, apple pie, and John Philip Sousa marches played by the Hanover Concert Band. The Friends of the Ashland Library will be having their annual used book sale, so you might want to bring a big box, or a wagon, to carry home your books.


Have you thought about your pie for the Apple Pie Contest? You can drop off your homemade apple pie between 9 and 10:30am on the 4th for judging. I might have a shot at it this year if Jill Voekler stays away. Call the Center at 798-2728 for rules.


This Friday, July 1st is Movie night at the Ashland pool! Bring your rafts and floats to relax in the pool and watch the movie, “Hoot” around 8pm. A sweatshirt usually comes in handy when the sun goes down. Regular admission applies.


Do you Tweet? The Town of Ashland and the Ashland Police Department are now both using Twitter to help inform citizen quickly of town emergencies. If you have a cell phone and a texting plan, this might be something for you to try. I know it comes in handy when a train gets stopped on the tracks and you’re just about to walk out the door for work. Visit http://www.twitter.com/ and search on “townofashland.”


Today, the crepe myrtles are heavy with their white, pink, and purple blossoms. If you look upward, there are big fluffy clouds in a beautiful blue sky. I would advise you to find a hammock. Call or email with your Ashland news: ashlandnews@gmail.com, 310-5320. Have a lazy week!










Thursday, August 11, 2011

6/16/11 Farmers Market, Mightly Barracudas, Summer Camps




The Ashland Farmers Market is bursting at the seams with fresh, local produce these days! You can find everything you need for your kitchen from the vegetables and meats, to home-baked bread, and flowers to decorate. Stop by every Saturday morning from 9am until noon.


Congratulations to the mighty Ashland Barracudas who won their first swim meet against the Milestone Makos by over 500 points! It looks like those Barracudas are on their way to a third undefeated season, and while they do have some amazing swimmers, there are a ton of volunteers who make sure those meets run smoothly.


The Hanover Arts and Activities Center still has room in their summer Theater camp for rising 1st through 8th graders. If you’ve ever seen any theater or musical production that has been produced through the Center, then you know how amazing this camp will be! The camp runs July 5th through July 21st from 12:30 to 2:45pm. Register now online at http://www.hanoverarts.org/, or in person at the Center, 500 South Center St.


The Center will also be offering Improvisation classes for teens on July 6, 7, 13, and 14 from 3-5pm at the Center. The cost is $10 per session, and you can sign up for all or individual dates. Please call Faith Boyle if your teenager would like to attend: 798-2728.


If you didn’t get a copy of that Ashland Variety Show and would like to see some of that amazing talent again, please give the Center a call, 798-2728. I can tell you that those DVDs are providing hours of entertainment at our house!


Happy Belated birthday to Oliver Mudd who turned 5 recently!

Congratulations to all of the local kids who graduated from high school! Maggie Chambers, Kevin Cook, and Jimmy Foley will be leaving town shortly to begin their great adventure.


Enjoy this warm, humid weather. I heard a cicada the other day; there is hardly another sound which is more “summer” to me, except maybe the slam of a screen door or the hum of a fan in a window. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a great weekend!










6/9/11 Graduations, Theater & Improv Camp, Variety Show DVDs




Congratulations to all the kids who are graduating this June: from pre-school to high school, the finishing of a year and looking forward to a fresh start in September is always a satisfying feeling. Can there be anything better than the whole summer stretching out before you? I hope that the Ashland kids get the chance to be lazy & ride their bikes around town. Give them good memories to talk about when they’re all grown up.






The Hanover Arts and Activities Center still has room in their summer Theater camp for rising 1st through 8th graders. If you’ve ever seen any theater or musical production that has been produced through the Center, then you know how amazing this camp will be! The camp runs July 5th through July 21st from 12:30 to 2:45pm. Register now online at http://www.hanoverarts.org/, or in person at the Center, 500 South Center St.


The Center will also be offering Improvisation classes for teens on July 6, 7, 13, and 14 from 3-5pm at the Center. The cost is $10 per session, and you can sign up for all or individual dates. Please call Faith Boyle if your teenager would like to attend: 798-2728.


A little bird told me that there are extra videos of the recent Ashland Musical Variety show. If you didn’t get a copy and would like to see some of that amazing talent again, please give the Center a call, 798-2728. I can tell you that those DVDs are providing hours of entertainment at our house!


There is a wonderful exhibit right now at our very own Gallery 606 art gallery on England St. There are works on display from the Metropolitan Richmond Artists Association, and the gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11 to 5pm, and Saturdays from 11-4pm. Call 752-7126 for more information.


Wave to those buses one last time on Thursday! Thank those teachers that have worked so hard with our local children, and then get to your summer. I know you’re tired of me telling you to be lazy- I say it because I want it so much for myself. Plan a cook-out. Smile at a beautiful Daisy. Happy Summer! Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.







6/2/11 Start of Summer, Library Events, New Farmer's Market Location






I know that this heat feels unbearable sometimes, but it’s this time of year that we have to remind ourselves to switch into that summer gear; slow down, dress lighter, and care less about the sweat rolling down your back. We should all be as lazy as is possible without losing your job, and spend ridiculous amounts of time sitting by the Ashland pool.






There are some birthday girls to congratulate this week: Katelynn Brown turned 10 on June 8th and JoAnn Hunter turned 18 on the 9th! We hope that they both had a wonderful day and got lots of presents.






There are lots of events going on at your friendly, neighborhood library, from Teen Movie Night, to Computer Classes, to a Teddy Bear Beach Party! Stop by the library for more information or visit their website: http://www.pamunkeylibrary.org/.






The Bluemont Concerts will return to the lawn of the Arts and Activities Center this summer, so block off each Sunday in August on your calendar! This event is completely run by volunteers, so if you’d like to lend a hand, please call 798-2728.






The Ashland Farmers Market is open every Saturday morning in their new spot behind Town Hall from 9am to noon. Come early to get the freshest vegetables, baked goods, and flowers.






Lunch on the Lawn is back every Wednesday through the end of this month. Bring your lunch and join your neighbors on the front lawn of Town Hall from noon to 1:30pm. This event is sponsored by the Ashland Main Street Association.






The Metropolitan Richmond Artists Association will exhibit new and recent works by its members at Gallery 606 on Thompson Street in Ashland from June 9th through June 29th. The opening reception will be this Friday, June 10th, from 7-9pm. Please call 752-7126 for more information.






There are only a few more days left of school! Do you have kids graduating and leaving for college? Call or email with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a great weekend!













Tuesday, May 24, 2011

5/26/11 Dr. Wilson, Father Chris, Goodbyes





I think there were a lot of people who let out a collective sigh of relief when the Hanover County School Board announced that the new superintendent will be Dr. Jamelle Wilson. How fortunate we are to have a new leader who has been a part of our school system and who understands our county, our schools, and the dreams that our parents have for their children. Congratulations to Dr. Wilson!


Happy birthday wishes to Corinna Cline who turns 11 this Friday!


Happy Anniversary to Father Chris at St. Ann’s Catholic Church who recently celebrated 35 years of being a priest. He embodies everything that a religious leader should be- someone who is tolerant, patient, and supportive. If you see him on one of his daily walks around town, please wish him well.


It is so hard to lose a good dog, no matter how old they are, and our hearts go out to the Brown family who had to say goodbye to their sweet puppy Cody. He was 16, and spent a wonderful life here in Ashland.


The Ashland Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday (9 to noon) from now until the fall in its new spot behind Town Hall. Stop by for your pick of the freshest vegetables, fruits, homemade goods, and gorgeous flowers for your home.


It has been a tough week in our house as we said goodbye to my aunt, Nancy Delano Moore who passed away on May 23rd, the same day that her father died 26 years ago. My Aunt Nancy was a wonderful story-teller, and I remember best the stories that she would tell on herself. She was a picky eater, and when she was 6, she ate only crab-meat and drank Coca-Colas for an entire summer. She’ll be buried this Friday in a beautiful cemetery in Westmoreland County, and we will miss her very much.


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






Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/19/11 50 Milers, Learn to Shag, Farmer's Market





If you could have any view from your bedroom window, what would it be? I was asked this question recently and I had to think about it. The ocean? The Eiffel Tower? The train tracks of Ashland? If I close my eyes, all I can see are the green fields of Westmoreland County.


My hat is off to two COTU runners who travelled all the was to the Florida Keys to run in a 50 mile race from Marathon Key to Key West! Dave Klisz and Rodney Bardwell both finished the race with hardly any injuries other than some ugly blisters. The determination and dedication that they use in their race training is evident in other parts of their lives; Randolph-Macon and the Hanover County Sheriff’s office are lucky to have them.


And let us not forget the support team that enabled them to finish this race! Monica Klisz and Tamra Bardwell were following close behind in a car full of food, band-aids, and ice to help them get through the 50 miles. Obviously Dave and Rodney are very lucky to have such supportive family.


Summer is truly upon us, because it’s time to dance! The first Street Party of the 2011 season will be Sunday, May 22nd behind the library. We’re starting the season off right this year with a Shag Festival! Come early for free shag lessons at the Library at 3pm, and then stay to dance the night away. This will really be a fun evening. Visit http://www.ashlandstreetparties.org/ for more information.


This Saturday, May 21th, come see “The Natural” starring a beautiful, young Robert Redford and Glenn Close at the Ashland Firehouse Theater. Tickets are $6 and the show starts at 7:45 pm- perfect timing for dinner and a movie.


Congratulations to all the Randolph-Macon graduates! I hope that you’ve come to think of Ashland as a home for the time that you’ve spent here. The summers are always quiet without you.


The Ashland Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday (9 to noon) from now until the fall in its new spot behind Town Hall. Stop by for your pick of the freshest vegetables, fruits, homemade goods, and gorgeous flowers for your home.


Happy Birthday to Bryan Cline who celebrated this past weekend!


What would you want to see out of your bedroom window? Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@hcps.us.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5/12/11 Bike Tours, Street Party, Afternoon Tea





Last weekend, some of our COTU girls travelled all the way to New York City to ride in the Five Boroughs Bike Race. Monica Klisz, Tana Garcia, & Laura Boone rode their bikes past the Empire State Building, over the Brooklyn Bridge, through Harlem and past the Statue of Liberty. What a fun way to see the Big Apple! We’ve heard that they all had a marvelous time, and no one crashed- which is surely what I would have done.


To prove that you really never need to leave Ashland, we held our own bike tour in Ashland recently- the Annual Klunker Kruise. Not to be out-done by NYC, our bikers visited such landmarks as Randolph-Macon College, Henry Clay Elementary School, the Ashland Library, and the Station CafĂ©. Look for this fun ride again next year- it’s free and open to all!


Summer is truly upon us, because it’s time to dance! The first Street Party of the 2011 season will be Saturday, May 22nd behind the library. We’re starting the season off right this year with a Shag Festival! Come early for free shag lessons at the Library at 3pm, and then stay to dance the night away. This will really be a fun evening. Visit http://www.ashlandstreetparties.org/ for more information.


This Saturday, May 14th, come see “Something’s Gotta Give” starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton at the Ashland Firehouse Theater. Tickets are $6 and the show starts at 7:45 pm- perfect timing for dinner and a movie!


There are still tickets available for the 4th Annual Afternoon Tea to benefit Hillard House at the Arts and Activities Center on Sunday, May 15th at 1pm & 4pm. The theme for this year is “All Weddings Are Royal” and models will be wearing wedding gowns from the 1880’s to modern day. These tickets sell out every year, so get yours early! Visit http://www.hillardhouse.org/ or call 798-9131 to purchase.


The Ashland Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday (9 to noon) from now until the fall in its new spot behind Town Hall. Stop by for your pick of the freshest vegetables, fruits, homemade goods, and gorgeous flowers for your home.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@hcps.us . It’s a beautiful time of year to live in the Center of the Universe; take a walk and smell those roses!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5/5/2011 Welcome Finn Morris, Congrats on RRR, Where Have You Gone Dr. Roberson?






What a beautiful time of year to be born! We are happy to announce our newest Ashlander, Finn Robert Morris, who was born on April 28th. Finn reserved his spot on the 2026 Patrick Henry football team by weighing in at 10lbs, 11 oz., and was 22 inches long. He is currently getting used to the lullaby of the trains and being thoroughly spoiled by his big brother and sister, Kellan and Rosie, and his proud parents, Jennifer and Buddha. A baby that grows up on Center Street will certainly be a good sleeper!


Happy birthday to some other spring children: Peyton Luck turned 13 on April 30th, and Meriwether Harper Gilmore will turn 5 on Mother’s Day. We hope that Peyton had a wonderful day, and that Meriwether’s birthday is as sunny as her smile.


Congratulations and many thanks to the dynamic duo of Tamra Bardwell and Dave Klisz who were the co-race directors of the recent Ashland Railroad Run! This event was carried off smoothly, and I haven’t heard anything except positive commentary. We are lucky to have such generous people who volunteer their time like these two.


The American Cancer Society is having Cure by Design on September 24 at the Hilton Hotel and Spa in Short Pump. It is an evening of cocktails, fashion show, silent auction, and live auction. All of the models are cancer survivors and they are currently recruiting men, women and children of all ages for the fashion show. You can get more infor at hlturner@comcast.net or 798-2901 for more information. All profits from this show will go to cancer research.


Wasn’t that Royal Wedding fun to watch? If you’re missing the festivity and revelry of that celebration, get your tickets now for the 4th Annual Afternoon Tea to benefit Hillard House which will be held at the Arts and Activities Center on Sunday, May 15th at 1pm & 4pm. The theme for this year is “All Weddings Are Royal” and models will be wearing wedding gowns from the 1880’s to modern day. These tickets sell out every year, so get yours early! Visit http://www.hillardhouse.org/ or call 798-9131 to purchase.


Ashland's third annual celebration of the National Day of Prayer will be held on Thursday, May 5, 2011. The event will begin at 7 pm on the grounds of Ashland's Town Hall. This is a non-denominational evening of worship, praise, and thanksgiving. Please bring a lawn chair.


The Ashland Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday (9 to noon) from now until the fall in its new spot behind Town Hall. Stop by for your pick of the freshest vegetables, fruits, homemade goods, and gorgeous flowers for your home.


I am writing this on a Tuesday, and tonight the Hanover County School Board will decide on a new Superintendent. I’m not sure when the name will be announced, but I am feeling a little anxious. For myself, I had gotten pretty used to the casual confidence of Dr. Roberson. I had gotten used to the thoughtfulness that I knew he put into every decision. I looked forward to his sense of humor when his employees needed a laugh, and his genuine interest in our of Hanover’s children. I was used to being spoken to by name. I wish him the best of luck in whatever he endeavors to do, and I hope that he has left very detailed instruction to his successor.


Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com . Happy Mother’s Day!





































"Building responsible and respectful global citizens in a safe and positive environment"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

4/14/11 Water for Life 5K, RRR 10K, Pet Photos, and Macon-a-Difference Day








I’m sure that you get tired of me saying this, but there is no better place to live in the springtime than right here. I just don’t believe that the colors are as bright anywhere else, and the azaleas haven’t even started blooming yet. I think we are in for a lovely year- just think of all the things we have to look forward to: the Railroad Run, the Strawberry Faire, the pool opening, the ice cream truck, and the 4th of July. Smile big, Ashland.



On Saturday, April 16th, come run on the Ashland roads that Anna loved in the “Water for Life” 5K Run/Walk in the Deer Creek Neighborhood near Winston Rd. The money raised will be used to help drill a well in Uganda. The entry fee is $20 before April 11th, and $25 on race day. Contact Anna’s parents, Nancy and Darrell Wright for more information at runningforanna@aol.com .



After Anna’s 5K, you will be ready for your next race- the 33rd Ashland Railroad Run 10K and 5K Fun Walk on Saturday, April 30th. This is a wonderful race through our lovely historic district, full of cheering fans. Visit www.hanoverarts.org for more information and a registration form.



Bailey Herbert is becoming our resident pet-photographer! She’ll be taking Easter Pet Photos at the Ashland Feed Store on Saturday April 16th from 9am- noon. Photos are $5 each and all the proceeds from the photos will be donated to her Relay for Life Team. Bring your pets, children, and owners welcome, too, for a fun Easter photo. The Ashland Feed store will have baby chicks and many more seasonal items!



Make plans to join the Masterworks Chorale for its 2011 spring concert, Luminosity: Music of Light, on Sunday, May 1, 3:00 pm, at Duncan Memorial Church, and Sunday, May 8, 3:00 pm, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 520 N. Boulevard, in Richmond. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students. They may be purchased in advance at Cross Brothers Grocery or at the door prior to each performance. To reserve tickets, call 804-347-7310.



Who doesn’t love a yard sale? Dunn's Chapel Church T.I.M.'s group (Together In Mission) in Montpelier located corner of St.Peters church road and Dunn's Chapel road is having Our annual Big Yard Sale on April 16th from 8-12. All proceeds go to those who need help in the community.



Say hello to any Randolph-Macon students you may see out working around town this Saturday. April 16th is “Macon-a-Difference Day” where the students give back to our community. Their work is much appreciated!



We only have a few more weeks until the Farmer’s Market opens in their new place behind Town Hall! It’s really hard to wait, but won’t it be wonderful to get fresh vegetables and fruits? Mark your calendar for Saturday, May 1st – May Day!



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

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

4/7/11 Run for Anna, Easter Pet Photos, Summer Theater Auditions




There is a wonderful opportunity coming up to honor someone who left us too early. Anna Wright graduated from Patrick Henry in 2007, and was a soccer star at Lynchburg College when she was killed in a car accident this past summer. Her family and friends are determined to honor her memory by continuing the work that was important to her: spreading good health around the world.


On Saturday, April 16th, come run on the Ashland roads that Anna loved in the “Water for Life” 5K Run/Walk in the Deer Creek Neighborhood near Winston Rd. The money raised will be used to help drill a well in Uganda. The entry fee is $20 before April 11th, and $25 on race day. Contact Anna’s parents, Nancy and Darrell Wright for more information at runningforanna@aol.com.


After Anna’s 5K, you will be ready for your next race- the 33rd Ashland Railroad Run 10K and 5K Fun Walk on Saturday, April 30th. This is a wonderful race through our lovely historic district, full of cheering fans. Visit http://www.hanoverarts.org/ for more information and a registration form.


Bailey Herbert is becoming our resident pet-photographer! She’ll be taking Easter Pet Photos at the Ashland Feed Store on Saturday April 16th from 9am- noon. Photos are $5 each and all the proceeds from the photos will be donated to her Relay for Life Team. Bring your pets, children, and owners welcome, too, for a fun Easter photo. The Ashland Feed store will have baby chicks and many more seasonal items!


Happy birthday to Ann Bruce who celebrates on April 9th! We hope she got lots of wonderful gifts.


Are you missing the Variety Show? Never fear, the Arts and Activities Center has more singing and dancing on the way! The 2011 Children’s Theater production will be “School House Rock-Live!” Auditions will be April 13 and 14 starting at 6:30pm at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center. Children in rising 3rd through 8th grade are invited to come to one of the auditions, and will be asked to read from the script and to sing a short song. The cast list will be posted on April 18, 2011 and rehearsals will begin in July. Performances will be August 5th, 6 th, and 7th at the Center.


The Ashland Library will host local author Fran McConnell, on April 13th at 7:00pm who will speak about self-publishing. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, you might want to plan on attending. Also, children who need help with reading should sign up to participate in Paws to Read with Dolly, at 4:00pm on April 12th and 26th. Call 798-4072 for more information.


I always forget what a tease April is- telling us its summer one day, and giving us frost the next. I love you April, I really do, but you don’t make it easy. Stop being so fickle and settle down. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Are the lilacs blooming yet?






(Disclaimer...No, I do not know for a fact that the RMC football field won't fit, but I worry about it. April Fools!)