Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


April 6, 2014

Tim Preston: S. Ashland business, sausages and tours of yesteryear: 4/6/14

ASHLAND — We landed in South Ashland shortly after I joined the Independent staff a few years back, and there was always something about that part of the city that held strong appeal for me. For no real reason other than I liked the look of the area, the section of 29th Street between Hackworth and Moore streets in particular embodied something almost symbolic in my mind.

I had a chance to visit the old neighborhood last week when a note from a business owner guided me to the newly opened Reagan & Ryder’s Children’s Boutique at 2036 29th St., next door to Lee Gibbs Photography. Owner Lauren Gibbs-Burgess welcomed me to the new shop and explained the business is the result of her experiences as a mommy, and named for her twins. Sitting behind the counter, she gave my “keen observation skills” far too much credit when she assumed I had already determined she and her husband, Joda Burgess, are expecting another baby. And, while she readily agreed to let me take a couple of snapshots for this piece, you’ll notice we struck an agreement that she could hide her belly from the lens.

I’m as far removed from knowing anything about stuff and things for babies and children as any man you’ll ever meet, but I had a great time shooting the breeze with the shop owner. She noted her grandfather, Pete Stambaugh, was the man who owned and operated the His & Her shops that were once a staple in several towns along the Big Sandy River, and she proudly included the lettering from one of his old stores on one of the walls at her new shop.

Reagan & Ryder’s specializes in children’s clothing and products designed to meet the needs of newborns to 12- or 14-year-olds, with services including baby registry, and products designed for feeding, bathing, nursing and other maternal concerns. The shop is stocked with brands including Tea, E Land, FORE! and Zutano (Lauren assures me most moms will know what those are) as well as “eco-friendly and natural lotions” by M.D. Moms, a company founded by mothers who are also physicians.

For me, the best part of the conversation came at the end of the interview when I noticed a selection of lullaby songs on CDs on the counter, featuring the songs of artists including Led Zeppelin, Foo Fighters and Mr. Bob Marley himself. I saw the Marly disc and thought, “I bet they didn’t cover ‘Get Up, Stand Up’” on this, but then looked at the song titles and found the somewhat angry and fiercely Rastafarian-theme tune was indeed among the selections. I can’t begin to relate how much this amused me, but that’s a topic for another column. And, the shopkeeper assures me the Led-Zep based lullabies are just incredible.

Gibbs-Burgess said she was born and raised in Ashland and “was a Tomcat until I became a Red Devil,” as a member of the Russell High School class of 2001. Her husband is a Ceredo-Kenova native who is often recognized for his time as a Marshall University basketball player, and owner of We Care Medical. The new shop will have a website (reaganandryderscloset.com), as well as a page on Facebook. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call (606) 369-4068.

 Free dental help

All jokes aside, there is no doubt that many people in this area need help with their teeth, including dentures, and simply can’t afford to even make an appointment with a dentist. The people at the Aspen Dental office in Ashland will soon be pitching in to help that situation, as one of six of the offices in Kentucky where dentists and team members will volunteer their time and talents for a free “Day of Service” for people in need.

“To receive free service, patients must make advance appointments at a participating Aspen Dental location by calling (844) 234-9030. Spaces are limited! In the spirit of helping as many people as possible, dentists will focus on treating the most urgent dental needs of each patient by providing services such as fillings, extractions, X-rays or basic denture repairs,” according to a statement from the company.

Aspen Dental and Oral Health America have joined forces to create the Healthy Mouth Movement, which is a community-giving initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands in communities across the United States, and oral health education to millions more.

“100 million Americans didn’t go to the dentist last year, and millions more live in communities where there is little or no access to care. The Healthy Mouth Movement will deliver much-needed dental care to those who need it most,” they said while announcing the plan.

The Ashland Aspen Dental office in the Ashland Town Center will be providing free care from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information or to make an appointment, call (844) 234-9030.

Making sausage

I’m like a lot of others fascinated by traditional methods of preserving and preparing good things to share at meal time. And, one of the best friends this newspaper has ever had just happened to pass along information about an excellent opportunity in this category, a sausage-making class, just as I was writing this week’s column.

The class, which costs $5, will use meat from a freshly processed hog (grown in the region at Watson Farm in Flemingsburg and processed locally at Miller’s Custom Meats in Catlettsburg), to create mild and hot sausages, as well as chorizo (depending upon availability of the proper spices).

“Samples will be cooked that day, as well as available to take home as part of the cost of the class,” the source reported.

The class begins at 10 a.m. April 14 inside the Franks Building at the Boyd County Fairgrounds in Coalton. For more information, call Hannah Leonard or Lyndall Harned at (606) 739-5184.

Time travel

“Sherman, set the Wayback machine to 1944.”

Pardon the dated cartoon reference, but there is a movie out now that should once again make the phrase relevant. And, getting to the point, there is simply something magical about remembering things from days, and years, gone by. This became obvious last week as I shared a map drawn up from Ashland’s city directories, listing each business along the busiest part of Winchester Avenue in 1944, when this city was a bustling little metropolis with an incredible amount of activity ongoing as a result of World War II.

Editor Mark Maynard, for example, just lit up as he read the names of some of those long-gone businesses, and he directed our top graphic-design guy to begin thinking about something really cool he can do with the information.

The Winchester Avenue “map” was created for the upcoming “A 1944 Walking Tour of Downtown Ashland” organized by members of the Eastern Kentucky Military Historical Society. Instead of simply printing a pamphlet pointing out where the city’s oldest and most elaborate homes are, the group went above and beyond, dreaming up a day that will transport people back to a time that can’t possibly be remembered by anyone who is younger than 84. The guided walking tours will honor the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, while also boosting morale for Flag Day — a holiday that has become woefully forgotten in this country. The effort has already generated tremendous excitement in the downtown district, with businesses decorating windows and individuals digging into their old family photos to find scenes of the local people and places of those days gone by. The tour will be presented at the top of each hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 14. For more information, call (606) 547-2607.

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

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