Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

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March 24, 2013

TIM PRESTON: Sunday sippings, sourdough cravings, mud and art

ASHLAND — Unless something strange happened after I filed this one, today will be the first day of Sunday alcohol sales in the city of Ashland and I have to write something about it just to mark the occasion. This is a topic that has been talked to death, by my measure, and I don’t have anything resembling a revelation myself.

I had to get official clarification on this, but here’s the deal. If city officials approved a second reading of the ordinance Thursday and met the advertising requirements Saturday, you will be able to buy beer in restaurants today, as well as anything you want from a package store.

Restaurants and any other place seeking by-the-drink sales for distilled spirits and wine will have to complete a license application which is then approved by the city before anything stronger than beer can be served.

My musical buddy Rob Triplett has invited me to team up with him and celebrate the moment by bringing our guitars and harmonicas out to play some blues on the sidewalk downtown. I haven’t done that in a while and it sounds like fun, although I don’t think either of us have bothered to ask if there are any city ordinances against such street performances.

Unless it is still freezing out there, you’ll find us somewhere around the corner of 15th Street and Winchester around the time those first drinks are being served this afternoon.

I have heard from a few people who will have a direct impact from Sunday sales in Ashland, primarily in the form of wages and tips. A few among them have nothing good to say about it because they will lose their only day off, or more importantly, the only day they had to share relaxing with family — something they obviously hold at the top of their priority list. For the majority of my friends in the service industry, however, it is a welcome change.

One of the folks at Shamrock Liquors reports industry insiders predict the extra day of business for local package stores will likely cause an initial bump in sales, but eventually average out with reduced Friday and Saturday sales. The “X factor” seems to be the question of Ohio consumers’ inclination to cross the bridge to buy beverages they can’t get in their own state on Sunday.

I’ve also heard from a surprising number of people from cities and towns along the Big Sandy River who plan to make Ashland their first choice for an end-of-the week dinner and drink, as well as the place they plan to be during upcoming Sunday sporting events.

If everyone acts like an adult and we maintain a strict designated-driver policy, I think this could work out just fine.

Sourdough madness

I hadn’t been back to Weaver’s Market in Grayson since the last time I wrote about it, and I wasn’t about to get out of town there last week without counting up the change in my console to come up with enough scratch for a loaf of their incredible sourdough bread.

I had to laugh at myself after making my purchase and practically trotting to my car so I could enjoy that first slice.

Before taking the first bite, I caught myself looking left and right and growling a warning for any who might dare try to take it away. I had another slice while driving back to Ashland, then stopped at home to make a turkey and cheese sandwich with it before reporting to the office. My wife found the loaf waiting when she got out of work late that night, and apparently had to stop herself from going on a major sourdough binge after testing the bread in the toaster.

Much like the old-fashioned cookies baked by the folks at Weaver’s Market, the bread continued their shop’s tradition of waking me up in the middle of the night craving the goodies I got there.

Early this morning, I found myself standing by the toaster tapping my foot anxiously as I impatiently awaited my third and fourth slices and fearing I’ve run the loaf too near the end for my wife’s next round.

Maybe I can get back down to Grayson for more before she realizes what I’ve done. I could really go for some more of their molasses cookies, too.

And, I once again missed a chance to visit with market owner Linford Weaver, who never has any warning when I’m going to stick my head in the door. Weaver has been trying to make a sandwich for me using that good bread and a few other select ingredients, but we truly seem to have a record-breaking history of missing each other.

One of these days I’ll get to take him up on the offer. While I tend to fixate on their bread and cookies, the shelves at Weaver’s Market are well stocked with all kinds of things which anyone who enjoys baking and good stuff from the kitchen would certainly appreciate.

For more information about Weaver’s Market, located at 539 W. Main St., Grayson, call (606) 474-0304.

Mud and money

I heard from a lot of people from a shocking number of places across the country last week after we printed a story about Rush Off-Road, a new off-road motor vehicle recreation park straddling the border of Boyd and Carter counties.

Apparently, quite a few people in the off-road world passed my contact information along to other enthusiasts, who contacted me thinking I am the owner of the 7,000-acre park.

I tried to point each of them toward E.B. Lowman III and his associates who’ve been working to develop the park’s more-than 100 miles of trails, as well as improve parking and otherwise develop the place into a worthwhile destination.

Each of them made it clear they plan to visit to the rural community of Rush, Ky., and expect to spend considerable funds while they are here. A few pointed out they can ride elsewhere for a little less, but don’t mind spending a few more dollars if the experience (great trails, access to food and fuel, friendly people) is worth it.

For more information about Rush Off-Road visit rushoffroad.com, or make plans to see the place for yourself during a day-long grand opening event planned for April 20.

Continuing today

Dan Click at The Grayson Gallery & Art Center continues to welcome people to this year's annual Pot of Gold Antique Show & Sale today in Grayson at East Carter Middle School.

This is the 16th year for the show, which attracts hundreds of visitors and “dozens of dealers with thousands of things” to Grayson each year. Today’s event goes from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The GGAC gallery itself is located at 301 E. Third St., Grayson in the old city fire station, and will also be hosting several booths and dealers.

Click reports the majority of the art work from the gallery’s February “Peace & Love" exhibit will remain on display and for sale, “so there will be a wide range of original art in different media in addition to antiques, art prints, furniture, glassware, linens, vintage items, old books and much, much more available for purchase,” he said, adding “And deals!”

The non-profit GGAC invites artists, volunteers, friends and supporters to stop by the gallery to see what is offered, as well as helping with funding for future programming, and plans for upgrades to the building.

Admission to the gallery is free during the annual show.

For more information contact Gallery Coordinator Dan Click by email at graysongallery@gmail.com, or by calling (606) 922-0927.

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

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