New Market News
One of the best things about New Market is our thriving small business community. We’re grateful for the mix of long-established shops and new additions that help keep our town energized. If you’re in the neighborhood, you can browse The Home Store or Simple Times, or go for lunch at Jalisco Mexican Restaurant.
Starting this spring, you can also stop by a brand new business, The Jon Henry General Store. The store is right on North Congress St., so it’s convenient to other downtown mainstays. If you’re familiar with New Market, you may recognize its location as the stately old BB&T bank building.
On its website – jonhenrygeneralstore.com – the shop says it “features an eclectic mix of local, American, and Fair Trade goods, snacks, provisions, toys, and gifts.” We’ve seen everything from Melissa and Doug puzzles to vintage sodas and honey straight from Singer’s Glen on their page. They even sell old-fashioned candies.
If you have a favorite New Market restaurant, shop, or event, mention it to us when you stop by Shenandoah Place. We hope to share some of your favorite recommendations in a future newsletter.
Activity Spotlight: Licorice Day
Did you know that there’s a National Licorice Day? It’s on April 12th, and this year we celebrated it at Shenandoah Place! To mark the occasion, we had a short discussion of why and how the holiday came to be observed. Our residents were able to taste black licorice – which many of them remembered from their own grandmother’s houses – as well as other flavors. We talked about the candy’s health benefits and history, too.
Since our residents love activities involving food and drink, we hold lots of celebrations like this one. One recent success was a jelly bean tasting for Jelly Bean Month. Many of the residents got to try flavors they’d never encountered. Buttered popcorn, for instance, was a big surprise, and a big hit!
In the coming weeks, we plan to celebrate Pretzel Day, Hoagie Day, Grape Popsicle Day, and Macaroon Day. Though these activities are educational, the best thing about them is the opportunity to gather our residents and let them enjoy refreshments together.
Resident Spotlight: Fran Minnich
Ever since she was a girl, Fran Minnich has thrived on good company. Growing up as an only child in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, she mostly stayed with her great-grandmother, Sarah. That was partly because she was “the best great-grandmother in the whole wide world!” but also because there were more kids to play with near her house. Fran thought of her parents’ home as “in the country,” though she laughs now because it really wasn’t far from town.
Fran was born in 1935. Her mother stayed home and her father was a printer for the Sentinel newspaper. He began working there when he was just 16 years old. Fran sometimes liked to visit her father at work and see the next day’s paper all laid out on printing plates. She also recalls practicing reading with him by using the Dick and Jane books. She didn’t like that quite as much, and has never been a big reader.
For first and second grade, Fran attended the one-room school near her parents’ home. There were eight grades together with one teacher. She remembers the potbellied stove that warmed the room, and that her teacher was a nice man. Still, Fran was glad to move to the school in town as a third grader. She could play jacks, softball, and other games with friends, and spend time with Sarah. Fran’s grandmother, Florence, also lived in the town house, though she was often busy working at the shoe factory across the street.
When she was in 6th grade, Fran began to care for younger children. She babysat for neighbors that year, and by 7th grade she was taking jobs at the nearby Carslile Barracks (part of the local military base). Fran would stay overnight with the families she worked for and leave for school in the morning. Around this time, she also experienced two life-changing events. Fran lost her great-grandmother when Sarah died. But, she also met the man she would marry, Robert Monroe Minnich.
“Monie,” as they called him, was the son of friends of Fran’s parents. The grownups would go dancing together in Hershey on Saturday nights. When Monie and Fran met, she was in 7th grade and they, too, were just friends. She went on dates with a couple of other boys. But, one evening he walked her home, and it took off from there. They dated until Fran was in 11th grade, when they briefly broke up at the insistence of Monie’s mother, who thought they were too young to be serious. Fran thinks of the Nat King Cole song “Too Young” when retelling this part of her story.
Just before her high school graduation, Fran let Monie walk her home from the restaurant where she was working. She had been dating a little bit and attending dances with some of the college students who came to the restaurant, but when Monie asked her to be his girlfriend again she was thrilled. There was just one issue: Fran was already planning to attend the graduation dance with a friend and didn’t want to upset him! Once the festivities were finished, she reunited with Monie and they were engaged soon after.
Early in their marriage, Monie joined the Marine reserves. He eventually became a fully enlisted Marine, and attended training in South Carolina. After a stint in North Carolina, he moved to Arlington, Virgina, where Fran joined him. They had four children – Randy, Rick, Rusty, and Anita – whom Fran raised. She also continued to babysit and sewed. Monie became a police officer in Arlington after he left the Marines.
When her youngest, Anita, was in 7th grade, Fran took a job outside of the home. Her friend had opened a Carvel shop, and asked her to come make ice cream, decorate cakes, and more. After discussing the idea with Monie, Fran decided to take the job. She worked there for 14 years and had a blast! They worked hard, but had fun, too. In the meantime, her children grew up. Rick, Randy, and Anita now live in Virginia, while Rusty is in Colorado Springs. Fran also has 7 grandchildren, with 4 born in a 5-year span.
In 2014, Fran suddenly lost her sight. She’d never worn prescription glasses, but one morning she woke up and could not see out of one eye. Her daughter came to help her visit the doctor’s, where it was determined that she’d had a stroke of the optic nerve. Unfortunately, she lost vision in her other eye soon, too. Fran is still adjusting. She has learned to get around well by feeling her way, but misses seeing her kids’ faces.
Fran misses Monie, whom she calls “tall and thin with curly hair and the answers to everything.” She also has recently lost dear friends, Ingrid Middleton and “Rich” Proctor, much loved residents of Shenandoah Place. But, she enjoys being around people here and compares her friendships to a sisterhood. When she’s not sure about the color of her shirt, for instance, she just pops out into the hallway: “Hey girls, what color is this?” We’re glad this social butterfly found her way to our community!
Volunteer Opportunity: Join Us at Shenandoah Place
We are eager to add volunteers to our community. If you have a special skill or talent you could share with our residents, or even if you’d just like to call Bingo, please give Melissa a call. You can reach her at 740-4300.