By: Ernie Wren
“There’s no place like home” is a common saying but is so true! After having spent 18 days camping through 12 states with my wife, backing the camper into the driveway was a soothing feeling. We had a great time and saw lots of beautiful places, but familiarity and returning to Southern Boone is always a comforting feeling. That, and going from $6.05 a gallon for gas in California, to under three dollars here is easier on the wallet!

I will say that people across America are friendly and willing to help when needed, especially in small towns. Twice we had minor mechanical issues, and both times we had people come up and offer their assistance. It reaffirms my belief that people are good overall. But still, I am glad to be back!

So what’s going on “Around Town”?

First place to look is the Optimist Club. This coming Saturday, June 22nd from 9am to 10:30am, is the annual Optimist Fishing Derby at the city park pond. There is no cost to this, and fishing poles and bait are provided. Bring out the kids and have fun! Next up is the Annual Arcie Sapp Memorial Blood Drive at the Optimist Building on Wednesday, June 26th, from 2pm to 6pm. If you did not know Arcie, you missed out on one of the most humorous guys, who had a sharp wit and deeply cared about his community. Arcie passed away tragically due to an MFA gas truck explosion, and this blood drive was established in his honor. Pop out and donate if you can!

And finally, as you may know, the Ashland Optimist Community Swim Pool is privately owned and subsidized by the Ashland Optimist Club. Optimist members are volunteers who donate their time to help the community and raise funds for local causes. But occasionally, there are pool needs not covered in the budget, and such is the case with the new pool diving board. Consider going to “Support Ashland Pool’s Diving Board Upgrade” on social media and gofundme or sending a Venmo to @jennifer-zagorac .

The annual “Dine in the Dirt” is being held this Saturday, June 22nd, from 5pm to 7:30pm at the garden location behind the primary school building at 803 S. Henry Clay. This is a fantastic fundraiser for the Learning Garden and provides a “dirt to table” experience and farming appreciation in young school-age children. Per their social media statement, “This is an annual event to raise awareness and funds to support the Learning Garden. We will dine in the garden, take tours and there will also be a silent auction. All proceeds from this even go directly to the garden for programming.” You can go to the Learning Garden’s Facebook page to purchase advance tickets or pay at the door.

“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a camper, which is kind of the same thing.” ― Unknown