Friday, March 11, 2011

3/10/11 Too Many Goodbyes...

I would like to talk about the daffodils that are blooming, the dogwoods budding, and the other hints of spring that are all around us. But today I have to talk about people who have left us. Ashland lost three important people this past week, and we are a little melancholy today because of it.

I have been privileged to serve on the Chief’s Advisory Committee with Billy Lawing, so it was with great regret that I learned of his death last week. He was dedicated to this community and to his family, and he will be dearly missed.

A few days later we lost Biz Dull suddenly. I am sure that her family and friends are still surprised each morning when they remember that she is gone. She was too young and it was too soon for her to leave her grandchildren.

And lastly we lost Sherwood Washington, who was a fitness instructor and trainer at the Patrick Henry YMCA. Sherwood was a former military man who ran the incredibly popular “Boot Camp” class at the Y. You had to get there early because his classes filled up so quickly. He was loud and gruff, but he would raise you up with his words of encouragement and hope. He made you feel strong and powerful. He pushed you to your physical limits and told you that you were beautiful inside and out. He ended each class by telling us to “take a kid fishing” because he knew that we all had that potential inside- the potential to make a difference in someone else’s life. We miss him.

Beginning on March 22nd, the Ashland Library will have a special visitor: Dolly, a reading therapy dog. Studies have shown that reading to a dog can improve a child’s reading and communication skills. Why? Because a good dog listens and doesn’t judge. The program will run from 4:00 to 5:30 with the children signing up at the front desk in advance for a 20 minute timeslot. The Library is working with the Sprite’s Hero .org a local chapter of the Paws to Read nationwide program. This program will continue on the 2nd and 4th afternoons of the upcoming school year months. Please call 798-4072 for more information.

On Thursday, March 31st at 7pm, Ashland native Matthew Green will give a presentation about his walk across America in 2010 at the Ashland Library. Please come out to hear about this incredible experience!

There are two birthday girls this week to mention! Tracy Stanley Brown blows out a few candles on March 10th , and Hannah McGraw celebrates her 7th birthday on March 11 th! We hope they both get lots of presents and birthday cake!

The Ashland Firehouse Theater is preparing its spring movie schedule! There is a wonderful line-up of movies and special subscription prices available. Please visit or call 798-9721 for more information.

Have you bought your tickets for the Variety Show yet? This is truly an event not to be missed! You will have to wait another two years to ever see another show like this again. Call 798-2881 for tickets. The show is March 24, 25, 26 at 7:30 pm.

One last reminder, this warmer weather should have you thinking about getting outside, and what better way to see your town than to go on a casual run. Sign up for the 2011 Ashland Railroad Run on April 30th by visiting Sherwood would be proud of you.

So please have a wonderful weekend! Spend some time outside, with family, with friends, and be thankful for all the beauty around us. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, Make it an easy day.

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