Eliza Jane and 811 W. Cary

I am sorry to say that I just heard that “Granny”, the woman who inspired the “Eliza Jane RVA” blog, passed away earlier today. I enjoyed relating “The Lady in the Lavender Hat”. Here’s “Laughter & Freedom”, in her honor:

Granny’s family lived at 811 W. Cary Street. In those days Oregon Hill continued into that area, before the Downtown Expressway sliced through it’s edge, and before Virginia Commonwealth University put up a parking deck at Cary and Laurel. The house was just a few doors down from Paragon Pharmacy, where Granny and her friends would roller skate out front due to it having the only concrete. The rest of the sidewalks in the neighborhood were red brick. The family’s house had two sets of steps on the front: one set went up to the porch and front door, the other set went down to the family grocery store where Granny would steal penny candy throughout the day.

Backyard at 811 W. Cary St., Oregon Hill

The house was attached on the right side to another home and the two families were friendly. Granny says she rarely got from one place to another in the usual fashion, much to her mother’s (Lena’s) chagrin: To visit her neighbors, Granny would simply climb over the railing dividing their porches.


Sisters Frances and Claryce (“Ikey”), eldest two of the four siblings

Eventually the family moved around the corner to Randolph Street. On the left side of the home there was a low building with a metal roof. Instead of going downstairs and out the front door, Granny would jump from her second story bedroom window onto the metal roof next door, then jump once more to the ground to run off and go play. She still describes this act with a far away look in her eyes and laughter in her voice.


811 W. Cary Street (with Harvey Hardware in the background) Photo courtesy of Charles Allen Sugg

Author’s note:

The two middle homes pictured here – the first of which is 811 W. Cary St. – were torn down just a short time before I arrived to take a picture for my Granny. I was devastated. She had given me the address in her distinctive “Old Richmond” accent: “Eight Eleh’m West Curry Street” (811 W. Cary Street). Fortunately, Charles Allen Sugg had photographed it in 2008 and came to my rescue. A copy of this photo now sits framed in my Granny’s home.

Shirley Anne Trower’s Memorial Service Tomorrow At Pine Street Baptist Church

From obituary in Times Dispatch:

TROWER, Shirley Anne, 87, of Richmond, passed away March 16, 2017… Shirley was a native of Oregon Hill and was a lifelong member of Pine Street Baptist Church. She was a retired employee of the City of Richmond…A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at Pine Street Baptist Church. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 20, in Riverview Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Endowment Fund of Pine Street Baptist Church, 400 S. Pine St., Richmond, Va. 23220.

Stormy Night Problems

Neighbors reported various problems last night in the midst of stormy weather-

At 11pm Monday nite, at two Intersections, Traffic Lights completely dark. Corner of Belvedere & Idlewood Ave. and corner of S. Laurel St. & Idlewood Ave. Reported to SeeClickFix.

2:15am Power outage here 500 block S. Pine St.
Report all outages (888) 667-3000

Chimney fire on 600 block of S. Pine. Thank you RFD for a quick response.

Power out on part of 400 block Laurel.

Also, sometime between 8-10pm, there was an apparent hit and run on 1000 block of Idlewood. Looks like someone coming off expressway too fast hit two parked cars, knocking them into each other and up onto the sidewalk.

Pine Street Baptist Partners With Grace Baptist To Serve Homeless Breakfast On Thursday

From Grace Baptist Church (Dover Road):

On March 9, Grace Baptist Church will be partnering with Oregon Hill Baptist Center to provide and serve breakfast to 40-60 people as part of the Center’s homeless ministry. Grace had this opportunity last October and it was a most rewarding experience. There is a signup sheet on the table outside the office to volunteer to provide food for the breakfast and/or serve the meal. In addition to the breakfast, Grace will be providing snack bags for the guests to take with them as they leave the Center. Please consider making a contribution by check or online (designate “Snack Bags”) to help cover the cost of items for the bags. Your contributions of food, time and monetary gifts will be appreciated.

Richmond Hostel Travel Scholarships

From email announcement:

Hostelling International’s Richmond location is offering five $2,000 travel scholarships in 2017 exclusively for Richmond, Virginia residents, who attend school in or reside in the city of Richmond, Chesterfield County, Hanover County, or Henrico County.

The program is called Explore the World, and it’s administered by the nonprofit organization, Hostelling International USA (HI USA). HI USA is committed to creating a more tolerant world, and these scholarships are for young travelers inspired to make the world a better place, but lack the financial means to go abroad.

The scholarship is open to individuals, ages 18-30, who will engage in an educational or service learning component during their trip. Eligible candidates must also meet specific financial need requirements. More information can be found at www.hiusa.org/travel-scholarships.

The application deadline for the 2017 Scholarships is March 15th, 2017.

Richmond Residents Form Solar Co-op To Go Solar Together, Get A Discount

From press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28, 2017
Contact: Ben Delman
202-888-3602 ben@communitypowernetwork.org

Richmond residents form solar co-op to go solar together, get a discount

Richmond, VA – Neighbors across the Richmond region have formed the Greater Richmond Solar Co-op to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters. Drive Electric RVA, the Richmond Temple, RVA HUB, and VA SUN are the co-op sponsors. The group is seeking members and will host two information meetings, March 13 at the Glen Allen Library and March 28 at the Pamunkey Regional Library to educate the community about solar and the co-op process.

VA SUN expands access to solar by educating Virginians about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Virginia’s solar policies, as well as its community of solar supporters. The group has helped hundreds of Virginians go solar.

“I am excited to work with Richmond residents to educate them about the benefits of solar energy,” said Aaron Sutch, VA SUN Program Director. “If you’ve ever thought about going solar before, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

Greater Richmond-area residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up at www.vasun.org/richmond. Joining the co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, VA SUN will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.

Co-op members will select a single company to complete all of the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participant can save up to 20% off the cost of their system.

Information sessions

Monday, March 13, 6:30 p.m.
Glen Allen Branch Library
10501 Staples Mill Road
Glen Allen

Tuesday, March 28 6:30 p.m.
Pamunkey Regional Library
201 South Railroad Avenue
Ashland

Radio Show Open Source RVA Shares Call For Monroe Park

From WRIR radio show Open Source RVA:

Open Source RVA has been following the progress of the Monroe Park renovation for more than three years, and our next episode will explore breaking news on the controversial dealings of the private Monroe Park Conservancy, which has been given control of the park. Here is former Monroe Park Advisory Council member, and Sierra Club Green Giant award-winner, Todd Woodson on a hastily-scheduled meeting that is happening next week that would apparently (no pun intended) cover up the destruction of healthy trees in the park. He also has a call-to-action:

“As you’ve probably noticed, the historic tree canopy in Monroe Park has recently been decimated by the removal of mature healthy trees. Last December, 14 beautiful trees were destroyed illegally- 7 without the requisite variances and 7 after being declared dead, although photographic evidence refutes that claim.
Now, in typical Richmond form, there is an application before the Richmond Urban Design Committee (UDC) this Thursday, February 9, 2017 seeking approval of a component in the updated Monroe Park Plan called “Tree Removal Plan” – this “plan” seeks to legitimize this tragic removal of tree canopy, even though the trees were destroyed over a month ago without public notice. We’ve seen the tree damage Richmond is capable of – the Redskins Training Park as well as Kanawha Plaza and the Maggie Walker Memorial live oak.

I urge you to read the following paragraph and if you agree, please sign and forward to the UDC at Kathleen.Onufer@Richmondgov.com

‘Dear members of the Urban Design Committee
I am opposed to the component in the updated Monroe Park Plan seeking approval this Thursday, February 9, 2017 entitled “Tree Removal Plan”. Mature healthy trees were removed in December 2016 with no public notice or requisite variance. I support a full investigation into this loss which is not only aesthetic and ecological, but constitutes a financial loss to the taxpayers of Richmond as well. I also support holding those accountable for the replacement of these trees. Thank you,'”

“On Valentine’s Day, Bring the Love Out into the Street… Cumberland St That Is.”

From unstoppable Cherry Street neighbor Jimmy Blackford:

How ’bout helping us clean litter late morning on Valentine’s Day? Meet at Fine Foods Market parking lot 11am. We’ll collect litter along a manageable stretch of Cumberland St. & Idlewood Ave. We will supply equipment (grabbers, bags & gloves). Enjoy being under healthy clear skies. Plus help to beautify our land in time for the onset of springtime. Remember: on Valentine’s Day, even trash deserves a little attention.

Here’s the Meet Up link.