Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

July 21, 2013

Tim Preston: Raceland’s business revival; hot dogs with Randy; and magic soap: 7/21/13

ASHLAND — I must salute a small group of business owners and others who have joined forces to form the Revive Raceland Business Association. The group has been meeting for a short while and already seems to be producing results, including last week’s announcement three new businesses are doing business, or preparing to open up there.

The first is Tint Wizard, which has been open in Grayson for a dozen years and decided to come to Raceland when it found a building that perfectly suited its needs at 511 Pond Run Road. Owners John and Michelle Fleming offer a wide variety of services, including vehicle window tinting and home and office applications, car and truck graphis and aluminum and plastic signs. For more information, call (606) 833-1676.

Next on the “new in Raceland list” is Big Blue Storage, at 880 Cherokee Road, where you can reach owner Tony Collins at (606) 887-0071 or 615-6343. And, opening “in the coming months” will be G and I Ammunition, which sells ammo, firearms, accessories and components in addition to offering CCDW and firearm safety classes. Owners Tyler and Jackie Gambill can be reached at (606) 834-1020.

The business association has several active projects, including development of a historical walking trail, and spokesman Don Sammons encourages anyone with an interest in locating or expanding a business in the city to give him a call at (606) 922-0639. Sammons assures me they will work with business owners to get them in touch with all of the right people.

Hot dogs with Randy

I caught back up with Randy Yohe last week and he wanted to get something good to eat, so I had him meet me at Jim’s Hot Dogs and Spaghetti in downtown Ashland, where we both enjoyed a couple of dogs with signature hot-and-spicy sauce.

Leave it to a couple of news guys to make it a bit of a hit-and-run meal, but it was good to catch up with him and hear more about his new job as a client development associate for the Barnes Agency of Hurricane. If you want to contact Yohe to learn more about the full-range of advertising services offered by the agency, shoot an email to ryohe@jbarnes.com. Perhaps the most interesting part of our lunch conversation, however, was Yohe’s confession he had never been to Jim’s and didn’t even know the little restaurant existed.

I’ve taken nearly every out-of-town guest I’ve had in Ashland for lunch at Jim’s and a few of them still mention the restaurant when I say the word “lunch,” ranking their meal there among their favorite midday dining experiences. If you’ve never been there, you’ll find Jim and his family in the Camayo Arcade building, which is in the middle of the 1500 block of Winchester Avenue. The restaurant, which has only three or four tables and a couple of window seats, isn’t fancy, but it has plenty of charm and some of the friendliest people you’ll ever be served by. I love the hot dogs, although the spaghetti is hands-down my wife’s favorite. They also make a “Bluegrass-style” burger, which has been a big hit. And, when I get a craving for homemade vegetable soup, I turn to Jim before even thinking of going anywhere else.

Jim’s is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information or to place an order, call (606) 615-4888.

Out of magic soap

It was February 2012 when I last wrote about one of my favorite products, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, which I found at a local health-food store. I used the last drop in the bottle last week and suddenly became concerned I wouldn’t be able to easily replace it.

 Dr. Bronner, for those who have never heard of him, was a bit eccentric. He formulated the soaps that bear his name after escaping from a mental institution in 1947 and was a self-proclaimed rabbi, and his “Moral ABC” is printed on every bottle. The next time you are looking for something unusual to watch on Netflix, check out the documentary “Magic Soapbox,” if you want to know more about him.

Back to my soap problem. Before panic set in, I picked up the phone and called shopkeeper Mary Ann Large at Living Naturally Health and Nutrition at 246 Russell Road in the shopping plaza near Dunham’s Sports, and asked for more. She checked the inventory and found a smaller bottle than the one that lasted more than a year and was nice enough to set their last bottle of peppermint soap back for me. She reported she also has some of the lavender version of Dr. Bronner’s formula.

When I get there to pick up the peppermint soap, which is known for “making your undercarriage tingle,” I plan to take a few minutes and look around the shop for other good things. The shop, which stocks many things not soap related, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (606) 324-1236.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at (606) 326-2651.

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