Sidewalk this way

Dear Ace: What’s with these newfangled sidewalks the city is putting in? Are they supposed to be artistic, longer-lasting or just cheap?—Connie CreteConnie: Even though Ace has cheerfully covered other readers’ sidewalk-related questions in the past, never has he had the opportunity to tell this (he thinks) uproarious story from his childhood. Allow him now, […]

The zen of Ben

Dear Ace: There used to be a singer around here named Ben Arthur. I had a mad crush on him. Whatever happened to him? (And, if you find him, could you give him my e-mail address?)—Jen Guinevere Jen: Might Ace take this time to remind you that he is an investigative reporter, not a matchmaker? […]

Fur your information

Dear Ace: Did I read something in C-VILLE about UVA’s first mascot being a dog? That seems awfully far-fetched to me.—Joan Clawford Joan: Pardon Ace, but aren’t the whys and wherefores of UVA in the first chapter of your Charlottesville 101 study guide? Ace thought this sort of Hoo-related question was a no-brainer! Or maybe […]

Do the right thing

Dear Ace: Am I allowed to ride my bike on the sidewalk?—Nancy Armstrong Nancy: Ace understands that you just want to ride your bicycle and ride it where you like. And, trying not to hit you brave bikers when cruising around town in the Acemobile, Ace would definitely be amenable to the idea that you […]

Can you dig it?

Dear Ace: Is it O.K. if I bury my dead pet in my backyard?—Digger Upgraves Digger: Ace would be happy to give his own seal of approval, if only this question didn’t concern him so. He realizes, in his infinite wisdom, that you may be one of those “Type A” people, and you’re simply always overly […]

The mother load

Dear Ace: I saw Howie Long on the Downtown Mall the other day and he was looking kind of small. Think you could take him?—B. Igshot B: When Ace was but a wee boy, a poolside confrontation with the neighborhood thug (during which Ace was left pantsless and crying) taught him that he’s a lover, […]

Irish eyes aren’t smiling

What’s up, Ace? I was at McGrady’s this weekend and noticed a St. Patty’s Day poster above my table with horrible grammar. Who makes those signs?—Eddie Torre Eddie: Firstly, how nice of you to inquire about Ace; so few people actually stop to consider the (albeit handsome) faceless man behind these words you read each […]

Cat in the vat

Dear Ace: What are the other ways to skin a cat?—Mick E. Maus Mick: Well, assuming you already know the most common way (grab hold and pull, pull, pull! …Oh, how Ace kids), Ace will take a literal approach and he’ll also give a few of his own suggestions. First, Ace needs to be sure you […]

Down but not out

Dear Ace: I was driving to the skate park on McIntire the other day, but when I got there, it was gone! Can you find out where it went?—S. Kate Urgurl Kate: May Ace call you Kate? Well, Kate, first Ace must ask you: Do you think perhaps the park grew tired of its location, […]

Bully for her

Dear Ace: Can you find out who this Buford character was? And why did they name a middle school after him?—Ed Ukate Ed: Although Ace loves nothing more than to sink his teeth into a good “Why’s such and such named such and such?” question, might he just take this moment to point out your […]


Dear Ace: What is the story behind the Bamboo House on Route 29N? Every time we go by, there are only one or two cars, and it seems a little shady. Do they actually serve food there, or is something else going on?—Skip T. Cal Skip: Ace is a grown man and, as such, he […]

The answer lies in the grave

Dear Ace: I was down by City Hall the other day and noticed statues of three presidents sculpted into the building. Somewhat disconcerting to me was the size of James Madison; he was a pretty short guy, no? In the sculpture, he isn’t. Why?—Constance Tooshun Constance: It isn’t simply that James Madison was a “pretty short […]

Out with the mold

Dear Ace: The Robert E. Lee statue in Lee Park looks kinda weather-beaten. Any plans to restore it? Or does its original artistic effect only make it appear weather-beaten? Well, think about it.—Warren TorneWarren: Don’t you worry. Ace is definitely thinking about it. [Nods reassuringly, walks away to procure snack.] Ah, Ace kids. While he […]

What would Kenny G do?

Ace: I’m fascinated by that funky mosaic mural on Fifth Street. I heard an out-of-town artist organized the effort. Do you think anyone would mind if I replaced the missing “G” tile in the “EVERY THING? Every time I come out of the ABC store, I walk by it and think I’ve got half a […]

Frozen in June

Dear Ace: It seems as though people are trying to squeeze things into the smallest spots these days. What are they building near the corner of 29 and Barracks Road, next to Arby’s?—Rocky Rhodes Rocky: In these situations, Ace is frequently reminded of the oft-quoted (and covered) Joni Mitchell song, “Big Yellow Taxi,” in which […]

Two out of three aren’t good

Ace: Where have all the good Samaritans gone?—Eve Hull Eve: According to the Gospel of Luke, the good Samaritan took mercy on a man who was beaten and left for dead by robbers. Seems like his influence has reached far and wide because if you Google “good samaritans,” more than 500,000 results come up. Type […]

A nonbitter Phyll

There’s a business listed as “Happiness Consultant” in the White Pages. What’s the deal, Ace?—Sadie Sack Sadie: Do something for Ace. Take three deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. After you’ve done that, at your own pace, resume your normal breathing and say to yourself, “I am surrounded by love. […]

Sticker shock

Dear Ace: I’ve seen cars around Charlottesville with Ekeland County stickers on them, but there’s no such county in Virginia. What’s that all about?—T. Own-Cryer T.: Well, Ace isn’t too sure what exactly that’s “all about,” but he can tell you this: Ekeland County isn’t real. Rather, it’s a “fictional composite of counties in the […]

Virginia creeper

Dear Ace: This isn’t a Charlottesville question, per se, but could you help settle a disagreement about driving etiquette? When trying to make a left-hand turn at a traffic light, my wife believes that creeping out into the intersection while waiting to turn is perfectly all right. What is the correct way to handle this […]

Duty calls back

Dear Ace: A few months ago, I was called for jury duty. I didn’t want to go, but took the suggested amount of time off work anyway. When I showed up, it was cancelled! I was thrilled, but a few weeks later a notice showed up in the mail asking me to serve again. What […]

The wrong side of the law

Dear Ace: Where does the Charlottesville Police Department get those cars with the driver’s side on the right? Do they come from England?—Britt Wheeler Britt: Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest ones to answer. That’s what Ace found out when, after multiple calls to various locations, the best response he got was: “Y’know, that’s […]

Mulch ado about playgrounds

Mulch ado about playgrounds

Dear Ace: I have three young children and we have hit every playground in the area. When I was young, instead of playgrounds, we had swings and see-saws. Where have all the see- saws gone? Have there been too many head injuries or what?—Noah Fun Noah: When Ace was young (well, younger), oh how he […]

Inside the houses scoop

Dear Ace: Can you find out who lives in those houses around Observatory Hill?—Jess WundringJess: Ace thinks you must be referring to Alden House, named for University of Virginia alumnus and former astronomy professor Harold Lee Alden, and Vyssotsky House, the Cape Cod-style house found on Observatory Mountain near UVA. While the latter is still […]

Greene acres

Dear Ace: I was out at Greene Meadows Tree Farm in Stanardsville, and I wondered, do the owners make enough money during the holidays to sustain them for the year?—Fraiser Firbank Fraiser: Ah, the holiday season. There’s nothing Ace likes more than nonstop holiday music radioplay, unwrapping and rewrapping presents (to himself), and the yearly trip […]

A dirty story

A dirty story

Dear Ace: The city distributes free plastic bags for leaf collection. Where do these bags go once the leaves are dumped out? To the landfill?—Liv N. Green Liv: Ace wasn’t sure he should uncover the truth to this one. After all of his good tidings, he feels like maybe he’s dropping the ball a little […]

Land of Lincoln

Dear Ace: I saw some guys poking around on the Downtown Mall the other day. Do you know what they were doing?—N. Oz Parker Mr. Parker: Well, whenever someone sees "some guys poking around" anywhere and asks Ace to investigate, he tends to approach the situation as cautiously as possible. This was no exception, but still […]

Tail between his legs

Dear Ace: Something seemed a bit off in your recent column about roadkill.—Bambi Goboome Bambi: What’s that smell, you say? Dead varmint on the asphalt? No, it’s the stench of Ace’s not-exactly-clear previous column. Ace had a miscommunication with an official at Animal Control. Nevertheless, Ace is a gentleman and does not like to place […]