Friday, December 14, 2012

12/13/12 Christmas Heartache, Donations to ACES, Singing Madrigals




Our hearts ache for the Wenzel family who has suffered two losses less than a month apart. Luke Wenzel, who was just 21, passed away suddenly on November 10th, and his father Neil Wenzel lost his battle with liver cancer on December 3rd. If you know the Wenzels, take the time to check on them this Christmas. If you don’t know them, say a prayer or send a wish that they can find some peace.


If you missed the show at Randolph-Macon last weekend, you should try and catch the movie at the Ashland Firehouse Theater this Saturday: “A Muppet Christmas Carol.” This re-telling of Charles Dickens’s classic story is a great treat for families. The popcorn starts at 7 p.m., and the movie starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is FREE! The Firehouse Theater is located in Ashland next to the Rescue Squad at 201 S. Duncan Street, across from Town Hall.

Then next week, after the schools are out, The Patriots Relay for Life Team will be showing “A Christmas Story” (Ralphie!) at the Ashland Firehouse Theater on Thursday Dec.20th at 7 pm. Advance tickets are $5, available soon at Cross Brothers and Ashland Ace Hardware, or from me. Tickets will be $6 at the door. Concessions will be sodas well- all proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

The Girl Scouts of Ashland have been collecting canned goods to donate to ACES and your help is needed! Bring your extra food to the Hanover Manor Assisted Living Facility at 809 Thompson St., and the Girl Scouts will be there December 17th to sing Christmas Carols and sort through the donations.

On Friday, December 14th, St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Montpelier will have a Free Community Pancake Dinner with Santa starting at 6:00 PM. Following dinner the children will hear the Christmas story, sing holiday songs, spend time with Santa, and have the opportunity to pick out a gift for their parents. St. Peter's is located at 15599 Mountain Road. Please call 883-5596 with any questions.

Is George Stiles really 15 years old? That’s doesn’t seem right. Happy birthday to George and John Hodges who both celebrated last week.

The Hanover Arts and Activities Center has two fun performances coming up! The Children’s Music and Culture series presents the 2nd act of the Nutcracker on Saturday, December 15 at 11:00 am. Tickets will be available at the door for $2.00 limited to $10.00 per family.

Then on Tuesday, December 18th at 7:00 PM, the Hanover Concert Band will conduct a Holiday Concert with refreshments afterward. The concert is free to the public. Join us to get in the Holiday spirit!

The Patrick Henry Madrigal Choir put on a wonderful Christmas Concert and dinner this past weekend. For 20 years, this has been a great way to kick-off the holiday season. We’re sending many thanks to Choral Director Stephanie Ransome and her wonderful volunteers!

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



12/06/12 Firehouse Movies, A Christmas Carol, Performances at the Arts and Activities Center





How is your social calendar looking so far? Ashland loves a holiday, so there are lots of events going on this December.



The Ashland Firehouse Theater is showing “Amelie” this Saturday, a charming story about a young woman who moves to Paris and her adventures with the people around her. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards, it's sure to have you smiling! The popcorn starts at 7 p.m., and the movie starts at 7:30 p.m. Admission is FREE! The Firehouse Theater is located in Ashland next to the Rescue Squad at 201 S. Duncan Street, across from Town Hall.



Randolph-Macon’s annual tradition has returned with our favorite: “A Christmas Carol.” Performances will be from December 7th through the 13th, with 2:00 p.m. matinee performances on the 8th and 9th. All other dates are evening performances at 7:30 p.m. Reserve your tickets by calling the Cobb Theatre Box Office at 752-7316. Tickets are $2.50 for adults and $1 for children under 12.

Have you seen the windows at Ashland Coffee and Tea? What a wonderful winter scene.

On Friday, December 14th, St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Montpelier will have a Free Community Pancake Dinner with Santa starting at 6:00 PM. Following dinner the children will hear the Christmas story, sing holiday songs, spend time with Santa, and have the opportunity to pick out a gift for their parents. St. Peter's is located at 15599 Mountain Road. Please call 883-5596 with any questions.

The Hanover Arts and Activities Center has two fun performances coming up! The Children’s Music and Culture series presents the 2nd act of the Nutcracker on Saturday, December 15 at 11:00 am. Tickets will be available at the door for $2.00 limited to $10.00 per family.

Then on Tuesday, December 18th at 7:00 PM, the Hanover Concert Band will conduct a Holiday Concert with refreshments afterward. The concert is free to the public. Join us to get in the Holiday spirit!

I have heard rumors of a big snow storm on December 20th, and there certainly were enough acorns dropping everywhere this fall. Personally, I am already looking for a hill to sled down.



Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Where are your snow boots?



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

5/31/12 Strawberry Faire, R-MC Graduates, Yard Sales, Pool Membership




Get your wagon or basket ready and plan to spend this Saturday, June 2nd, at the Strawberry Faire. There will be music, arts & crafts, food, and bushels of those sweet berries! Come walk the shade-covered streets of Randolph-Macon and marvel at all the new construction.

Happy belated birthday to AC Bruce, who is making Ashland a beautiful town, one house at a time!

Congratulations to all the Randolph-Macon seniors who graduated this past weekend! I’m sure that none of them are reading this column, but they add another dimension to this town. It is quiet after they have left, and even though that’s nice, I miss their youthful energy.

‘Tis the season for yard sales, and the Hanover Arts and Activities will host a community Yard Sale on Saturday, June 30th, from 7:00 a.m. – Noon. All proceeds go to repair their 153-year-old roof. Donations are gladly welcomed, and you might consider renting a space for $15.00 to sell your own treasures. Contact the Center to schedule a drop off of your goods or to reserve a booth space by phone, 804-798-2728, or email: info@hanoverarts.org.

The Ashland Town Pool is open every weekend from now until the end of school when summer hours start. Membership for the pool is a great deal, and you’ll find yourself there a lot in the summer. Stop by Town Hall to register and get your pass.

Registration is also open for the Ashland Barracudas Swim Team who is looking ahead to another undefeated season. All the coaches are returning, and practice begins Tuesday, May 29th. You can register online at www.ashlandbarracudas.com.

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



5/24/12 Party in the Street, Memorial Day March, Theater Camp, Redecorated Luck



The first Street Party was a wonderful event: the weather was perfect, the band was great, and the dancers all so talented! If you missed this one, mark your calendar for the next one on Saturday, June 16th- the Saturday after the last day of school. Two Richmond Music legends will electrify the stage: Ron Moody and the Centaurs along with their very special guest, Steve Bassett.

The 11th Annual Memorial Day March, hosted by American Legion Post 206, will be this Monday, May 28th at 12:30 pm at the Library. This event is unique because all patriotic persons are encouraged to participate in this solemn observance. The march ends with a ceremony at Woodland Cemetery, an American Flag Folding, reading of the names of Hanover County War Dead, and our guest speaker, a US Army Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran.

Registration is open for the Hanover Arts and Activities Summer Theater Camp! It’s become an Ashland tradition for kids to sit under those big trees and dream up characters. Participants in 1st through 5th grades will take fun classes in acting, improvisation, music, dance, makeup and more! Visit www.hanoverarts.org for a registration form and more information.

Events, like this theater camp, are possible because of the dedicated volunteers that fill this town. It’s especially nice when they are recognized throughout the county! Recently, our Sharon Stiles was awarded the Hanover’s Spirit of One Volunteerism Award. We are lucky to have Sharon in our town, and even luckier that she gives so much of her time to us.

The Grand Re-Opening of Luck Chevrolet will be on Friday & Saturday, June 8th & 9th. Stop by on Friday from 3 - 6:30 pm, or Saturday from 11- 4pm, to see all the work that they did. They’ll have food & beverages, and a few shiny new cars as well!

Make sure you take the time to write to your Hanover County Supervisor and tell them who you’d like to see in the Ashland seat of the School Board. For Ashlanders, you can reach Chairman Ed Via at (804) 550-2600, or gevia@co.hanover.va.us.

If you’re reading this from outside the Town of Ashland, you have a voice, too. Once Chairman Via nominates someone, the rest of the Board of Supervisors will vote. You can find contact information for all the Supervisors at www.co.hanover.va.us.

The Ashland Town Pool opens this weekend! If you haven’t signed up for your summer membership, do it now. There is no better place to while away the summer than by the crystal blue waters of your community pool. We have the best lifeguards and the best management. Stop by Town Hall to register and get your pass.

Registration is also open for the Ashland Barracudas Swim Team who is looking ahead to another undefeated season. All the coaches are returning, and practice begins Tuesday, May 29th. You can register online at www.ashlandbarracudas.com.

What’s your favorite Ashland sound? I love it when two trains are meeting each other in town, and they whistle back and forth to each other; a great freight melody. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashalndnews@gmail.com. Have a fun Memorial Day weekend!



5/17/12 Losing Sue, Hanover Kids, Street Parties, Farmers Market



Ashland, we are losing a real gem: Sue Watson is retiring after 36 years as the Ashland Representative on the Hanover County School Board. For 36 years, she has worked to make our schools top notch, which has made our county a desired destination for many families.

There are three candidates who have offered to serve in Sue’s place: Hank Lowry, Michael Shannon, and Lorie Foley. All have worked to make Ashland a good place to live, but our Supervisor Ed Via will only nominate one. Do your research and let Chairman Via know who you want on the School Board! He can be reached at (804) 550-2600, or gevia@co.hanover.va.us.

If you’re reading this from outside the Town of Ashland, you have a voice, too! Once Chairman Via nominates someone, the rest of the Board of Supervisors will vote. You can find contact information for all the Supervisors at www.co.hanover.va.us.

Here’s a perfect example of the great kids in our Hanover County Schools! Katie Goodman, 11, was the youngest person ever to be awarded the 2012 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Awards’ Youth Volunteer Award. Katie has always believed in helping others, especially those less fortunate and in need. Keep your eye on this little girl; she will do great things.

Do you have your ticket yet? The Ashland Street Parties are about to make their spring debut! Get your dancing shoes shined up and arrive early on Saturday, May 19th for Shag lessons from the Richmond Shag Club from 6:30 – 7:30pm. The Band of Oz will provide music, and there will be drinks and food for everyone. Tickets are available around town, or online at www.ashlandstreetparties.org.

The Ashland Farmer’s Market is serving up all kinds of wonderful fruits, vegetables, plants, and homemade treats! Make it a part of your Saturday routine. They are open from 9am to noon, behind Town Hall.

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



5/10/12 Henry Clay Teachers, Endagered Spaces, First Street Party




Have you seen the front steps and sidewalk in front of Henry Clay Elementary? As a surprise for Teacher Appreciation Week, the parents and students got together Sunday evening and decorated with sidewalk chalk! The teachers and staff were met with a rainbow of thanks when they arrived at school Monday morning.

Did you hear that our Ashland Theater was just named as one of the most endangered historic places in Virginia? It is just so sad that this beautiful landmark is sitting vacant and is beginning to fall apart. It is becoming a blight on the town instead of the showcase that it should be. Our town deserves better.

Happy 34th wedding anniversary to Rod & Linda Deal this Sunday, May 13th! We wish them another 34 years together. What an accomplishment!

Congratulations to Kevin Proffitt who was named Coach of the Year at Randolph-Macon! Of course, we always knew that Coach Proffitt is the best coach ever.

The Ashland Street Parties are gearing up for another wonderful season. Get your dancing shoes shined up and arrive early on Saturday, May 19th for Shag lessons from the Richmond Shag Club from 6:30 – 7:30pm. The Band of Oz will provide music, and there will be drinks and food for everyone. Tickets are available around town, or online at www.ashlandstreetparties.org.

The Ashland Farmer’s Market is up and running for the season. Make it a part of your Saturday morning schedule.

May 7th-12th is Children's Book Week, so stop by the library and your child can pick up a free book each day this week! Join in the writing spirit and add a page to their community storybook.

On Thursday May 10th, there will be a special Family Story Time featuring Ashland school board representative, Sue Forbes Watson reading a great children's book. Come have some treats for both your taste buds and your ears! The fun starts at 6 p.m.

A very happy birthday was celebrated by Miss Meriwether Gilmore this past week. We are so lucky to share in the sunshine that she spreads around!

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





Thursday, August 16, 2012

5/3/12 Street Party Returns, Black History Celebrations, Food Baby





May is a beautiful month, isn’t it? Ashland is just awash in color, and the dog-days of summer haven’t started yet. We have so many things going on this month, too!

The (official) Ashland Farmer’s Market celebrates its opening day this Saturday, May 5th! The market is open from 9am to noon behind Town Hall, and you’ll find all kinds of early fruits and vegetables, plus flowers, plants, and home-baked goodies.

Come wish Cross Brother’s a Happy Birthday this Saturday at 5pm in the Library Plaza. There will be music, refreshments, and all your favorite people. The celebrations have been continuous at this Ashland landmark, so stop in & see what’s going on.

The Ashland Street Parties are gearing up for another wonderful season. Get your dancing shoes shined up and arrive early on Saturday, May 19th for Shag lessons from the Richmond Shag Club from 6:30 – 7:30pm. The Band of Oz will provide music, and there will be drinks and food for everyone. Tickets are available around town, or online at www.ashlandstreetparties.org.

Let’s wish a happy birthday to our friendly, neighborhood librarian, Cathy Bach who blew out the candles on, May 1st, and Lower Ashlander, Peyton Luck, who opened presents on April 30th!

Have you seen all the construction on the Randolph-Macon campus lately? It’s exciting to see so much growth happening and we can’t wait to watch the first football game on the new field this fall!

The third and final part of the Black History Celebration will be a visit by Ezibu Muntu - an African Dance Group – on Sunday, May 6, at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Ezibu Muntu African Dance and Cultural Foundation is a professional organization of dancers, drummers, entertainers and other individuals dedicated to invoking a better educated positive understanding of African culture, values, traditions and the cultural arts as a whole. This event is free and open to the public!

Also, come see “Food Baby,” an original musical production directed by Lorie Foley at the Ashland Firehouse Theater this Sunday at 7pm.

My sources must be lazy this week because I still do not know who was in the Bigfoot costume and scaring little old ladies at Garden Week. C’mon Ashland! Call or email me with your information: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a lovely weekend!



4/26/12 Big Foot Sightings, Early Farmers Market, Black History Celebration




Have you recovered from your busy weekend? From all accounts, the Railroad Run and the Garden Club Tour were incredibly successful. The runners were fast, the houses were gorgeous, and, in typical Ashland fashion, we have a mystery! Apparently there was a Big Foot (or someone in a Big Foot costume) who delighted in peeking over fences and startling the ladies. What makes this even more of a mystery is that it was not Jeff Reihl!

If you have any clues to share about this masked marauder, please let me know.

The Saturday night movie at your Firehouse Theater this weekend will be “The Cain Mutiny” starring Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Fred MacMurray, and Van Johnson. This 1951 drama takes place on a destroyer in WWII and was nominated for seven Oscars. As always, tickets are free and the curtain goes up at 7:30pm. Popcorn and drinks are available for purchase.

There are several vendors who have been out at the Ashland Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. The Market doesn’t officially open for a few more weeks, but stop by during your weekend errands!

The deals continue at Cross Brothers leading up to their big celebration on May 5th. Spend at least $25 and your name will be entered into a drawing for weekly prizes, with a grand prize winner on May 5th. Mark your calendar!

The third and final part of the Black History Celebration will be a visit by Ezibu Muntu - an African Dance Group – on Sunday, May 6, at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Ezibu Muntu African Dance and Cultural Foundation is a professional organization of dancers, drummers, entertainers and other individuals dedicated to invoking a better educated positive understanding of African culture, values, traditions and the cultural arts as a whole. This event is free and open to the public!

Registration is now open for the Hanover Arts and Activities Center’s Children’s Summer Theater Camp for rising 1st through rising 5th graders. Participants will take fun classes in acting, improvisation, music, dance, makeup and more! This camp will fill quickly, so register today at www.hanoverarts.org.

And sadly, our thoughts and prayers go out to Ashland Police Corporal Grant Bonistalli and his wife, Rachel, who recently lost their infant son, Evan. We truly value the service that Corporal Bonistalli gives to this town, and we are so very sorry for the loss of Evan.



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

4/5/12 Firehouse Movie, Cash Mob, RRR, Sotchtown





The colors of spring are all around town! Hasn’t the wisteria in the woods been spectacular? It reminds of me of the morning after a really good party, before someone has had the chance to clean up- a beautiful mess.

We were so sad to hear about the passing of Mary Francis Luck last week. She will be missed by so many people, but how wonderful to get to spend 98 years in Virginia and the town of Ashland surrounded by friends and family.

The Saturday night movie at your Firehouse Theater will be “The Miracle Worker” starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. This 1962 classis won Oscars for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. As always, tickets are free and the curtain goes up at 7:30pm. Popcorn and drinks are available for purchase.

The crowd at Cross Brothers’ “Cash Mob” was terrific! Stay tuned for lots of 100th Anniversary special events.

Happy birthday to Becky Sewell who celebrates her birthday this week! We are sure that she’ll have lots of presents and cake.

Have you registered to run in the Ashland Railroad Run yet? We’ve seen so many people out running and walking the sidewalks to town that we know you’re ready! Visit www.hanoverarts.org for a registration form or stop by the Center. The 10K, 5K, and Kids’ Mile Run are on Saturday, April 21st.

Scotchtown has some fun reenactments planned for the weekend of April 14th and 15th. Come visit from 10am to 4:30pm as the Hanover Independent Company gathers and prepares to march to Williamsburg to retrieve the gun powder Lord Dunmore took from the Magazine. Our Patrick Henry was a key part of this effort as he was elected Colonel of this company of men. For additional information call 804/227-3500 or email scotchtown@preservationvirginia.org.

One of the best things about Ashland is our talented community of artists. On Sunday, April 22nd, from 1 to 5pm, Cross Mill Gallery will exhibit some of the artwork of Jerry Peart, whose large-scale aluminum sculptures are displayed all over the city of Chicago. Cross Mill will also be showing Jeremy Witt photographs, David Camden pottery, and some vintage Nancy Witt paintings! Who needs the VMFA with Cross Mill in your backyard?

If you’re traveling, enjoy your Spring Break next week. If you’re staying put, enjoy one of the prettiest places on earth. Stop by the Feed Store and get your garden planted. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a lovely weekend.







3/29/12 Beautiful Spring, Cross Brothers, 100K Runners, Ashwood Gardens





Spring has burst out all over this past week. Everyday it seemed as though something new was blooming, and over-night the grass has started to grow in the yard. We have had to shut out windows as our southern yellow pines have begun blooming as well, spreading their yellow pollen everywhere. But I do miss falling asleep to the sound of the frogs from Meachum’s Creek.

There were lots of birthdays in town this past week: Mayor Faye Pritchard, Elizabeth Melson, Jeremy Witt, Chris Dull, and Annika Cline. I hope everyone met their quota for icing and presents!

Cross Brothers Grocery Store is celebrating its 100 Anniversary this year! Do you know how lucky we are to have a store that possesses this kind of staying power? Think of all the stores that have come and gone just in your lifetime: Thalhimers, Ames, A & P. Cross Brothers has weathered it all! Come gather in the store this Friday from 4-6 and participate in a “Cash Mob” to show your love.

Congratulations to Rodney Bardwell and Tom Grant who ran 100K races this past weekend in Florida. I love it when ordinary people show extraordinary strength and endurance. Sign up for the Railroad Run 10K at the end of April and break your own record! Register at www.hanoverarts.org, or stop by the Center for a form.

Come see a wonderful movie at your Ashland Firehouse Theater this Saturday: “Life is Beautiful” about life inside a concentration camp during WWII. This important piece of cinema won three Academy Awards, including a Best Actor Oscar given to Roberto Benigni. Does anyone remember how he stood up in his seat when they called his name? It was such a genuine Hollywood moment. As always, tickets are free with popcorn and drinks available for sale. The curtain goes up at 7:30pm!

Ashwood Gardens celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend with all kinds of wonderful events. You know that you need to work on your yard, so stop by the nursery from 9 to 5pm for planting demonstrations, door prizes, sweet treats, and as always, gorgeous plants and flowers! Visit their website, www.ashwoodgardens.com for more details.

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





3/22/12 Railroad Run, Scotchtown, Firehouse Movie, Tickles & Giggles





Everywhere I look there are people out on the sidewalks of Ashland enjoying the nice weather and the flowers that are popping up everywhere. The Ashland Railroad Run is late this year on Saturday, April 21st, so you have plenty of time to train (pun intended). Stop by the Arts and Activities Center for a registration form or download one at www.hanoverarts.org.

This Sunday, March 25, Patrick Henry's Scotchtown will have a special event to celebrate the 237th Anniversary of Patrick Henry's famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech. Actor Mark Wilcox will share those words as Patrick Henry, the Voice of the Revolution for this event at Scotchtown. The speech will be presented at 2 PM, 3 PM and 4 PM. For additional information please call 227-3500.

The Ashland Firehouse Theater has a big, beautiful movie for you this weekend: The “King and I”, starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr. This is one of my favorite movies and it is just bursting with Technicolor! The movie will start at 7:30 and tickets are free! Popcorn, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase.

There’s a great opportunity this weekend to find inexpensive, quality children’s clothes. The Tickles and Giggles Children’s Consignment Spring sale in will be held this weekend (March 24-25) in the Presidential Business Park on Hill Carter Parkway. A portion of the proceeds are donated to Hanover Safe Place. Visit their website, www.ticklesandgiggles.net for more information.

If you know someone who is interested in learning some computer skills, tell them about the Learning Microsoft Word Class at the Ashland Branch Library at 6:30 p.m. today, March 22nd. This class will let you get a handle on the basics and commonly-used features in Word. Basic computer skills are preferred. Call 798-4072 to sign up for the class.

I did it; I made the switch. I took all those dull winter clothes and packed them up. It was almost like Christmas to find all my spring clothes and to hang them up on hangers. How lovely to have some pink to wear now instead of dark, cold weather colors!

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

3/15/12 Cross Brothers' Birthday, Scotchtown Events, Firehouse Movie





We are on the brink of spring around here. By the time you read this, the Redbud trees may be blooming along with the Bradford Pears. Before long, that lovely pale green will start to spread among our trees and the sound of lawn mowers will fill the air.

These pretty weekends are a perfect time to do your shopping close to home. Stop by some of the wonderful stores in town, both old and new: Ashland Feed Store, Cross Brothers, Thrill of the Hunt, and the Tobacco Trading Center.

Speaking of Cross Brothers, did you know that they will celebrate their 100th anniversary this year? Stay tuned for opportunities to celebrate that incredible achievement!

On March 25, Patrick Henry's Scotchtown will have a special event to celebrate the 237th Anniversary of Patrick Henry's famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech. Actor Mark Wilcox will share those words as Patrick Henry, the Voice of the Revolution for this event at Scotchtown. The speech will be presented at 2 PM, 3 PM and 4 PM. For additional information please call 227-3500.

This Saturday night, the Ashland Firehouse Theater will give you a comedy from the Emerald Isle. “Waking Ned Divine” will be shown at 7:30 and tickets are free! Popcorn, snacks, and drinks are available for purchase.

This Thursday evening, come to the Ashland Library and meet Elizabeth Van Lew at 7:00 p.m. Mrs. Van Lew, a Richmond resident who built and operated an extensive U.S. spy ring during the Civil War, will be interviewed in the library. Meet the area’s most notorious spy in person! Refreshments provided by the Friends of the Ashland Library.

Next Wednesday, March 21st the Ashland Library will host a Microsoft Word Class at 6:30 p.m. This is a class to help you understand the basics and commonly-used features of Word. Basic computer skills are preferred. You must call 798-4072 to sign up for the class.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. I hope your Ides of March is a good day!

3/8/12 Library Fun, ET Returns, Spring Soccer Sign-Ups





By all accounts, the Raise-the-Roof evening at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center was a huge success! Money was raised to help with much needed repairs, and shoes were worn out from dancing. I do have to mention Sara Holloway who headed the decoration committee. Who knew that a construction-themed party would be so cool?

Our best wishes are with Dave Klisz this weekend as he participates in the Outer Banks’ “Graveyard 100K Race” this weekend. That’s right; that’s not a typo. We are continually amazed at how far his feet will take him!

Happy birthday to two March babies: Tamra Bardwell and Tracy Brown! We hope that they both got lots of presents and birthday cake.

On Thursday, March 8th, the Ashland Library will be celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday with a special story time. The event is at 6 p.m., open to kids of all ages, and will feature guest readers from Henry Clay & Gandy Elementary Schools. Come dressed as your favorite Seuss character!

Send your teenager to the Ashland Library the very next day, Friday, March 9th, for YouTube Video Sharing at 6:00 p.m. Share your favorite YouTube videos and find more from your friends. Pizza provided by the Friends of the Ashland Library.

There’s a fun, free movie this Saturday night at the Ashland Firehouse Theater! “ET” will be shown at 7:30 and, as always, admission is free. Popcorn and snacks are available.

We think its fun that there will be a “Center of the Universe Brewing Company” opening soon. They picked a great name, and I will be sure to think of them when I need interesting Christmas presents this year.

The soccer fields at Poor Farm Park will be open soon, and I highly recommend signing your child up for the Ashland Youth Soccer League. Registration is available online at www.aysl.org.

By the time you read this, I think the weather will have warmed up. I have to say that this winter greatly disappointed me and I am moving on. Spring is my new focus, and my garden is calling my name. Stop by the Ashland Feed Store for wonderful cool crops to plant now in your garden. The earlier you put in peas, the sweeter they will be.

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



3/1/12 Raise the Roof, Birthdays, Singing Methodists, Firehouse Movie



Where are your dancing shoes? Go home this afternoon and find them, and then go get your ticket to the biggest party of the weekend: The Raise-the-Roof Celebration at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. I think that these are tickets still available, but you should call the Center as soon as you can to make sure: 798-2728.

It’s really hard to believe that Jackson Proffitt turned 18 last week! I know that his family had a wonderful time celebrating with him.

And speaking of birthdays, we have two Toms blowing out candles this week: Thomas Voekler and Thomas Grant. Many happy returns to them both!

It’s become customary for children to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss, in March, by reading his wonderful books. On Thursday, March 8th, the Ashland Library will be celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday with a special story time. The event is at 6 p.m., open to kids of all ages, and will feature guest readers from Henry Clay & Gandy Elementary Schools. Come dressed as your favorite Seuss character!
Congratulations to all the kids who put on a fabulous show at Duncan Memorial this past weekend! We heard that “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” was spectacular, and we’d expect nothing less from these talented COTU kids.

Your Ashland Firehouse Theater is open for the spring with a wonderful line-up of free movies! This Saturday, March 3rd, “Born Yesterday” will be shown at 7:30pm. This film was nominated for four Academy Awards, and the star, Judy Holliday, won an Oscar for Best Actress. I think you’ll find this comedy timely today, as it shows you the art of political lobbying.

The weather has really been beautiful lately! We’re fortunate to have lots of great out-door spaces near Ashland. The Pufferbelly Park playground should be installed soon, and Poor Farm Park is always a beautiful place to spend an afternoon.

Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. See you Saturday night at Raise-the-Roof!

2/23/12 Circus Train, COTU Dogs, Raise the Roof at the Center





I am yawning this morning while I write this because I tried to stay up to watch the Circus Train roll through town last night. We had hoped that we’d see elephants waving their trunks at us, but we just couldn’t stay up until 11:30. Apparently it took longer to turn the train around in Burkeville then they thought it would. But, there’s always next year!



Dolly, the Greyhound- who-loves-to-be-read-to, returns to the Ashland Library, this Saturday, February 25th. Stop by the Library to sign up for a time slot for your child to read to Dolly. This event is sponsored by Paws-To-Read, a non-profit group that encourages kids in their reading by using their well-trained dogs.



Speaking of dogs, we have heard that Father Chris Haydinger, priest at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, has a very special beagle at his house. So special, in fact, that he was awarded a medal at the recent Westminster Dog Show in New York City.



Hurry up and get your tickets for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” which will be performed at Duncan Memorial Church on February 25th, 25th, and 26th. Tickets are $5 per person with children 6 and under free. Proceeds support Duncan youth mission projects, retreats, and special programs. For more information, call 798-7224.

Do you know what you’re wearing to the “Raise the Roof” celebration? This fundraiser will be held at the Center on Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 7:30 – 11:00 PM. You can find tickets at The Center and at Cross Brothers Grocery. Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple and include heavy hors d’oeuvres, dancing to your party favorites and a night of fun. All proceeds will benefit their roof repair fund. For more information, visit www.hanoverarts.org or call 804.798.2728 or email info@hanoverarts.org.

And if you see Rodney Bardwell next week, wish him a happy birthday! He’ll turn 52 on February 27th.

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

Sunday, June 17, 2012

2/16/2012 Valentine Town, Feeding the Elephants, Catholics Gambling

 
Hey sweet town, hope you had a good Valentines Day!  There are all kinds of fun things on the horizon, so read carefully.
Councilman Jim Foley told me that the new playground for Pufferbelly Park is scheduled to be installed in April, just in time for warmer weather!  We can’t wait to see it.
There are so many business renovations springing up around town.  We’ve heard wonderful things about the big renovations at Luck Chevrolet, and we love the work that Chopper Dawson & Becky McKown have done to the old shop on Center Street.  It makes the empty Ashland Theater & the broken windows on England Street that much more apparent. 
The circus has arrived in Richmond, and if you’re planning on going, you can take pride in knowing that our Ashland Feed Store is supplying the food for the elephants!  Ringling Brothers called Danny & said they needed “Elephant chow.” Isn’t that a great request?
The St. Ann’s Casino Night is this Saturday, February 18th .  Tickets are $20 per person, and that includes dinner and some chips to start off your evening.  There are always lots of wonderful things up for auction: trips, club memberships, spa trips, etc.  A good time is always had by all. 
Dolly, the Greyhound- who-loves-to-be-read-to, returns to the Ashland Library on Saturday, February 25th.  Stop by the Library to sign up for a time slot for your child to read to Dolly.  We all know that dogs can be wonderful listeners.
Happy Birthday to Sam Voekler of Elmont and Zachary Rutherford of Montpelier who both celebrated this past weekend!
Hurry up and get your tickets for “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” which will be performed at Duncan Memorial Church on February 25th, 25th, and 26th. Tickets are $5 per person with children 6 and under free.  Proceeds support Duncan youth mission projects, retreats, and special programs.  For more information, call 798-7224. 
Plan on being at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center this Saturday, February 18th for the first event in a three-part series for Black History Month. “Black History in Story, Film and Dance” will feature nationally-known storyteller Dylan Pritchett. These are free events, but donations are appreciated. Look for details about the other events to come on March 16 at the Firehouse Theater and May 6 at the Center.
And a big birthday kiss to our town as Ashland celebrates its 154 th year this Sunday, February 19th!  Show your town some affection by walking her sidewalks and shopping in her stores.
I told you there was a lot going on!  Call or email me if I have missed something: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.  Have a wonderful weekend, fingers crossed for snow!

2/9/2012 Playground still Missing, Police Chief Plunges, Window Dressings

 
For Publication February 9
Oh, it’s almost Valentines Day Ashland- let’s show the love!  I would like to see mailboxes full of red hearts and pink candies. 
Happy belated birthday to some winter babies! Monica Klisz, Allan Funk, Jen Chambers all blew out some candles recently.
The first event in the three-part series for Black History Month will be held Saturday, February 18th at 2pm at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center. “Black History in Story, Film and Dance” will feature nationally-known storyteller Dylan Pritchett. These are free events, but donations are appreciated. Look for details about the other events to come on March 16 at the Firehouse Theater and May 6 at the Center.
Congratulations to Ashland Police Chief Doug Goodman for participating in the Polar Plunge in Virginia Beach this past weekend!  Chief Goodman went for a swim in the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for Virginia Special Olympics.  Even though it’s been a warm winter, I bet that water was still bone-chilling.
I’d just like to thank Nursing Companion Extraordinaire for their nice window display on England Street.  It reminds me of the big Miller & Rhodes’ and Thalhimers’ windows that you used to see downtown.  Their window right now is called, “Nursing Then,” and it shows all the old equipment that nurses used.  I am expecting a “Nursing Now” window to appear shortly.  Stop by and take a look if you can!
There are two fun events coming up in Ashland.  The first is the St. Ann’s Casino night on Saturday, February 18th at St. Ann’s Catholic Church on Snead St.  This party is famous for its wonderful auction items and dinner!  Tickets will be available at the door or by calling the church office: 798-5039.
The second event is the “Raise the Roof” celebration and fundraiser at the Center on Saturday, March 3, 2012, from 7:30 – 11:00 PM.  A limited number of tickets will be available, going on sale beginning Monday, February 6, 2012 at The Center and at Cross Brothers Grocery.  Tickets are $25 per person or $45 per couple and include heavy hors d’oeuvres, dancing to your party favorites and a night of fun. All proceeds will benefit their roof-replacement fund. For more information, visit www.hanoverarts.org or call 804.798.2728 or email info@hanoverarts.org.
Mark your calendar for the weekend of February 24th as the Youth Group presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”  Tickets will be $5 with children 6 and under, free.  Proceeds support Duncan youth mission projects, retreats, and special programs.  For more information, call 798-7224. 
Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 2, 2012

1/26/12 Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Abundance Swap, Dolly the Reading Therapy Dog




As I said last week, all we need is consistency, but we are certainly not getting it. We seem to have fallen into a weather pattern that changes everyday: cold, wet, warm, dry. No wonder we are as confused as the daffodils!


There are some birthdays being celebrated around town! Rob Stiles, Rhonda Lacoss, and Carleigh Luck are all getting presents this week. We hope they have a wonderful year.


Mark your calendar for the weekend of February 24th as the Youth Group presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Tickets will be $5 with children 6 and under, free. Proceeds support Duncan youth mission projects, retreats, and special programs. For more information or to place an ad in the handbill, contact Kendra or Teena at 798-7224.


Clean out your cabinets and enjoy a fun afternoon at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center’s Abundance Swap on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. Find 3 to 5 items in your home, shop or office that someone would enjoy as a gift, bring them to the Center, then you can pick out 3 to 5 items that you would like to have. No money is involved – just sharing. Feel free to drop off your items ahead of time if you’d like. No clothes, jewelry or paperback books, please. Call 798-2728 for more information.


Congratulations to everyone who auditioned for the Hanover Idol singing competition! The finalists chosen for the Junior Idol were Jordan Brown, Blake Draper, Allyson Flinn, Faith Gitchell, Haley Joyce, Kayla Lipford, Sara Newcomb, Sarah Prevost, Austin Riley, Brooke Walker, Kendall Wilkinson, and Jean Woodrum. Finalists for the Hanover Idol (ages 16 and above) were Carrie Cauthorne, Lindsay Coggins, Jamie Flanagan, Andrea Fornel, Sarah Hopkins, Zhane Jackson, Beth Martin, Tricia Wiles, Lisa Williams, Tim Wilson, Jr., and Alyssa Wright.


The finals competition will be held at The Center on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 (two shows – one for Hanover Junior Idols and one for Hanover Idols). Winners in each category will become this year’s reigning Hanover Junior Idol and Hanover Idol. For questions, please email info@hanoverarts.org or call 804.798.2728.


This Saturday, Dolly the Reading Therapy dog will listen to your school-aged child read a book to her for thirty minutes. Call your friendly neighborhood library to sign up for a time slot: 798-4072.


Readers, we’re coming up on the 5th anniversary of this Ashland column in April. We should have a party, don’t you think? Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.









1/19/12 Firehouse Theater, A Day of Mindfulness, Knitting Class




I really don’t have anything to say about the weather. Whatever I write today will sound odd when you read this because the weather will be completely opposite. One day I can’t seem to get warm, and the next we’re sitting on the porch. This winter just can’t decide what it wants to do.


This Sunday will be a happy day in the Sloppy house! Dorothy Sloppy will turn 90 years old and we know that she’ll be surrounded by her family & gifts!


Dreaming of snow? You can bundle up and come see the James Bond movie, “From Russia with Love” on Friday, January 20th at the Ashland Firehouse Theater. Tickets will be $5 each and all the proceeds will benefit the Model United Nations at Patrick Henry High School. The curtain goes up at 7:30pm.


Start practicing now for the 2012 Hanover Idol competition! Auditions will be held this Sunday, January 22nd at the Center. For more information and a registration form, visit http://www.hanoverarts.org/.


If one of your resolutions was to look inward, there is a wonderful retreat this Saturday at the Arts and Activities Center. Maria Fleshood, LCP, will offer “A Day of Mindfulness,” which will help you cultivate a greater awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Come find your path to spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Call 798-2728 for more information.


Knitting can be a wonderfully expressive craft, and one that it perfectly suited to the winter months. If your child has ever wanted to learn to knit, sign up for the Children/Teen Kitting Classes at the Center beginning next Tuesday, Jan. 24th from 6 to 7pm. The $40 cost covers 4 classes and the knitting needles and yarn are included. Call 798-2728 for more information.


If you know anything about Duncan Memorial Methodist Church, you know that they can sing! Mark your calendar for the weekend of February 24 th as the Youth Group presents “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” Tickets will be $5 with children 6 and under, free. Proceeds support Duncan youth mission projects, retreats, and special programs. For more information or to place an ad in the handbill, contact Kendra or Teena at 798-7224.

So I think instead of dividing our time by some wishing for snow, and some wishing for spring, we could come together and perhaps solve this Virginia winter dilemma. We only need to wish for one thing: consistency. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Enjoy your weekend!






1/12/12 Planning Ahead, Center Classes, Bluegrass, Firehouse Theater




With cold and bleak weather outside, Ashlanders turn to their own talents to amuse themselves.


Lorie Foley is already planning a musical summer for the kids of Ashland. If you have an aspiring musical theater child in middle or high school, then mark your calendar for auditions on Sunday, April 22nd from 3:00 to 5:00pm. Auditions will also be held the next day, Monday, April 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Kids will be asked to sing a song a capella and to read from the script. For more information, call the Center at 798-2728.


There are a ton of winter classes at your Arts and Activities Center this winter! If you have ever wanted to knit, make beautiful origami, design jewelry, become more mindful, or learn how to contribute to the NPR project “This I Believe,” the Center is the place to be. Visit http://www.hanoverarts.org/ or stop by the Center at 500 S. Center St. for more information.


The Virginia Bluegrass and Country Music Foundation will present “A Cool Evening of Hot Bluegrass and Country Music by the Railroad Tracks” on Wednesday, January 18th at (where else?) the Arts and Activities Center. The show starts at 6:30 and tickets are $10 for adults with children 12 and under, free. Don’t miss this chance to hear some wonderful Virginia music.


We’d like to send lots of happy birthday wishes to Samantha Slopey who will turn 8 on Jan 14!


Dreaming of snow? You can bundle up and come see the James Bond movie, “From Russia with Love” on Friday, January 20th at the Ashland Firehouse Theater. Tickets will be $5 each and all the proceeds will benefit the Model United Nations at Patrick Henry High School. The curtain goes up at 7:30pm.

Come to the Ashland Library in your PJs for a good snuggle and great books. There is a special Pajama Storytime on Thursday Jan 12th at 6 p.m.. Pjs , blankets, stuffed animals are encouraged. Good books and light treats will be provided.


Start practicing now for the 2012 Hanover Idol competition! Auditions will be held January 22nd at the Center. For more information and a registration form, visit http://www.hanoverarts.org/.


Just look at everything that’s going on! This winter will surely fly by and the spring will be here before we know it. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com.









1/5/12 Happy New Year, Richmond Jazz Society, Hanover Idol




Oh, I hate taking down Christmas decorations. The houses look so bare and bleak without them. I was trying to think of some kind of January ornaments that we could hang around the eaves, but only snowflakes come to mind. But some of that white stuff wouldn’t be too bad! I love the way our town looks after a snowfall- truly spectacular. Look for some of those trains from up north to come through town carrying some snow on their decks.


If you’re feeling the need to get some exercise after a indulgant holiday, come out to participate in a fun, unofficial 10 miler on Saturday, January 7th. This race begins at 9 am at Railside Trail behind the Brock Center at R-MC, and will wind it’s way around the town. “Uniffocial” means no closed roads or police support, so bear that in mind when planning. A donation of $10 per person will benefit the charity “Faces of Hope” which fights childhood obesity.


Birthday wishes go out to Caitlin Rutherford who tore open her presents on January 4th!


There will be a lot happening at the Arts & Activities Center this winter, so mark your calendars for some great events. On Sunday, January 8th, the Richmond Jazz Society’s “Make Music With Me” program will kick off the first event of the Children’s Culture and Concert series. Bring your kids over at 3:30pm and introduce them to some wonderful music and instruments. Tickets are $5 per person in advance, or $8 at the door. To make a reservation, email info@ hanoverarts.org or call 798-2728.


Start practicing now for the 2012 Hanover Idol competition! Auditions will be held January 22nd at the Center. For more information and a registration form, visit http://www.hanoverarts.org/.


We forgot to wish Ellen Wulf a happy birthday last week, but we’re sure that she had a wonderful New Year’s Eve.


We’re in a cold snap mid-week, so check in on your older neighbors and make sure they’re warm. Call or email me with your Ashland news: 310-5320, ashlandnews@gmail.com. Have a great first weekend!