Mark your calendar…

Anderson County Property Assessor, Vernon Long, will be serving up his famous BBQ — free — on the next two Saturdays, as a "thank you" to his constituents.

No matter where you are in the county, there’s a place for you.  This Saturday:

  • 11-2 in Norris Square
  • 5-8 at Marlow Community Park

On August 16, conveniently after I drop Beta off at her new dorm, he’ll be at the Oak Ridge Marina from 5-8.

If you’ve never had Vernon’s BBQ, you’ve missed out.  I have.  I’ll be there, because it’s really, really good (and because Vernon’s a good guy).

Gearing Up

Oak Ridge is gearing up for back-to-school, except, of course, for Willowbrook and the Preschool students, who are already in session.

At last night’s Board meeting, we heard that the transportation transition from in-house service to First Student has gone "exceptionally well."  All but one of the drivers elected to continue with First Student, and we have six new drivers in training, which will give us an adequate pool of substitute drivers — a luxury we haven’t seen in several years.  First Student is still looking for an experienced diesel mechanic for Oak Ridge, but for now, they’ve provided someone from another facility.

The new bus routes should be published on Monday, although it is expected that there will be some changes at the elementary level.  Bus stops for elementary students will be targeted to the homes of kindergarten students, while the older elementary students will have bus stops within 0.15 miles of their homes.  Middle and high school students will have a bus stop within 0.25 mile of home — that’s where we’re expecting complaints.  With a population accustomed to almost door-to-door service, we do expect there to be some grousing about walking up to a quarter-mile to a bus stop.

The grand opening ceremony for the new ORHS will be held on the first day of school, Aug. 18.  Although there still may be a little tinkering to be done here and there, along with some outside work, it will be finished.  One of the graduation speakers from the class of 2008 likened getting around the construction zones to the shifting stairwells of Hogwarts, but this year’s students will have the benefit of clustered classes and indoor passageways throughout the campus.

Gone are the waterfall stairs — perhaps to the detriment of the track team, for which it provided a strenuous indoor training area.  But the rest of us who may have experienced slipping and falling on the monstrosity will be greatly relieved.

And although the building occupies substantially the same plot of earth that is has for more than 50 years, re-orienting the main entrance to the South side of the building has generated a new address: 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike.

Mean Mom Monday

We’ve been out of town for almost three weeks, living in a tiny camper just feet from a beautiful lake.  Every evening, the sun set majestically across the lake from my window.  By day, we picked cherries and blueberries; by night, we cooked over an open fire.

We left Saturday after supper, drove all night, and arrived home yesterday morning to reminders of real life, which expects us to catch up and keep pace immediately. 

This morning, I dropped off Gamma to get braces; while that was being done, I took Beta and Delta to get shots that were due.  Including, of course, the dreaded Tetanus booster that makes the arm unbearably sore for a couple of days.

Welcome home!