Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 27, 2012

TIM PRESTON: Karats, peaches, wings and brews, old couches and new beauty

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — I was leaving the newspaper office last Saturday and thought I was about to be attacked by dozens of people wearing yellow t-shirts and literally running toward the building. I stood my ground long enough to realize they were not after me and began wondering what they were up to.

I first thought there was some serious demand for the remaining copies in the newspaper rack out front, but quickly discovered the fast-moving mobs were searching for a serial number on the building.

I rounded the corner onto Winchester Avenue and was overwhelmed at the number of people in yellow shirts, literally running from place to place and stopping only long enough to check for new clues and information from their cell phones.

The chaotic yellow-clad crowd was taking part in the Pollock’s Jeweler’s Diamond Dash, a form of high-tech scavenger hunt, in hope of ending the contest as the owners of a 1.5 carat diamond total weight “Hearts on Fire” engagement ring.

It was undoubtedly one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in downtown Ashland for quite some time and the people at Pollock’s deserve a pat on the back for finding a way to promote their business while also showcasing the city.

Peaches for me!

I made a near-screeching halt on 13th Street in Ashland last week as I passed by Artirp’s Market after noticing a sign that said something like “TIM! The South Carolina Peaches are here!” I may not have the words exact, but that was the message my peach-loving brain received.

I actually made a careful inspection of traffic before entering the produce market and found owner Ken Artrip inside, grinning like he knew it wouldn’t take long for the lure of the first fresh peaches of the year to draw me in. I was a little worried that I didn’t have enough cash in my pocket to get many of my favorite fresh fruits, but soon discovered $2 can go a long way at the fresh fruit market.

With no one at home to monitor my behavior that evening, I stood over the sink and consecutively consumed all five of my peaches, washing them all down with a big glass of lemonade. It was a simple supper that could noy have been beaten at that time.

Next up? The classic southern tomato sandwich made from a few slices of vine-ripened tomato with a dash of salt and pepper between two slices of bread with a liberal helping of Duke’s Mayo (the official mayo of the true southern tomato sandwich).

Do you remember?

I’m calling on people who’ve been around Ashland awhile in hopes of answering a trivia question this week. Virginia Griffith left a message talking about the old bus station that used to be located on 13th Street and included a barber shop and a restaurant.

“I wonder if anyone can remember the name of that restaurant?” she asked. If anyone knows the answer, or better yet if anyone has a surviving photo, contact me at the email or phone number at the end of the column.

Still winging it

I’ve had minimal response to a recent question about the best place to find “lightly breaded” chicken wings along with a cold malt beverage. The few who did call or email said they know of no such wings being served at anyplace that also has anything on draft, or in a bottle or can. In fact, the consensus was “lightly breaded” wings can only be found at one or two franchise restaurants in the region.

I also asked for personal opinions about the best thing to drink with hot wings. While beer was the obvious answer, it seems local wing eaters prefer a Bud or Bud Light with the meal.

I’m still doing my personal research on the local hot-wing scene, so if you know of any good places I may be missing, please drop a note, give me a call or leave a message.

Old couches and more

Husband and wife team Paul and Lisa Fletcher recently celebrated their seventh year in business at This Old Couch, located at 342 Bellefonte St., in downtown Russell.

I spoke with Lisa Fletcher last week and she said their business was listed as an upholstery shop for many years, but experienced a serious jump in their numbers after embracing social media and gaining more than 3,000 friends on the Facebook website.

“We’ve tripled our business in the last two-and-half years,” she said.

Fletcher said they often greet first-time visitors who seem to be expecting something else from their family operation. “This Old Couch is not a thrift store, flea market or garage sale,” she said, explaining the shop focuses on finding good, clean, smoke-free, pet-free upholstered furniture, in addition to selling items including rugs, lamps and prints, all displayed as if in a home instead of being “all piled up” as in some other shops.

Fletcher said she seeks out “good modern, functional furniture,” and is “trying to get away from antiques” due to the quality of antique furniture available at other nearby shops.

For more information about This Old Couch call (606) 836-0800.


Tamara Belville is excited to be providing a variety of services at the recently opened U Wellness Spa at Kyova Mall in Cannonsburg, offering organic products for help with problem skin, as well as doing facials, facial toning, microderm abrasion, airbrush makeup, airbrush tanning and waxing.

Tamara, as she is known professionally, said she gets a personal reward from helping teens and adults who are dealing with acne trouble. Her treatments are non-medical, she explained, and rely upon organic ingredients for excellent results. Her skin-care clients include pageant contestants and even one person who drives from Louisville just to work with her.

Tamara, inside U Wellness Spa, is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except Tuesday and Sunday.

All about U

Owners Scott and Sally Vance want to convey “It’s all about you” at their new business, Nu U.

Nu U is a new medical aesthetics provider at 4338 13th St, in the Shannon Plaza.

 Walk-in hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment before and after hours as well as Saturdays 10 a.m. -noon.  Call for an appointment (606) 547-1525.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.