Saying goodbye

- Posted on Apr 10, 2019 - 12:49 PM

Photo: Jean Ferber, left in photo at left, Loyd Milstead, right, Penny Dixon and Sue Sherrill were among the 20 neighbors wishing Ginger and Jim Richards a fond farewell. In photo at right, Let the feast begin as Mickey Ramer brings Cherry Point Low Country Boil to the table. Photos by Betty Wrenn Day

Jean Ferber, left in photo at left, Loyd Milstead, right, Penny Dixon and Sue Sherrill were among the 20 neighbors wishing Ginger and Jim Richards a fond farewell. In photo at right, Let the feast begin as Mickey Ramer brings Cherry Point Low Country Boil to the table. Photos by Betty Wrenn Day

 Bon Voyage get-togethers are staged in many styles and fashions with beach parties, cocktail parties, receptions and more. Memories, goodbyes, and best wishes are the main topics of conversation, spiced by gourmet foods waiting for the tasting.

In one Mathews community, Cherry Point, you can count on a full-blown bon voyage party whenever a neighbor moves away.

Mathews County occupies 54,673 acres or 85 square miles of space in this world. Gwynn’s Island claims 1,429 acres or 2.2 square miles of this area. On this island a small tract of land known as Cherry Point extends into the Chesapeake Bay with the Piankatank River in view and flanked by Kibble Creek. The point claims 21 acres (0.03 square miles or 900,000 square feet) of the island’s acreage. This was the setting for a recent bon voyage party.

The point has 40 homes with 20 permanent family residents and 20 family weekenders residing in them. They have formed the Cherry Point Home Owners Association which brings all residents together where decisions for improvements and whatever else needs to be done is discussed and voted on. Here’s an example: not too long ago they erected a dog monument near the beach. Every Island dog’s tag is attached to the monument. In this close-knit community dogs feel at home at all 40 doors.

The residents have even created a small park area where picnics and parties to watch the sun set on the Piankatank are often held.

This special occasion calling for a party at Cherry Point was a warm but sad send-off for Ginger and Jim Richards who had discovered this tiny spot on the map 20 years ago. She said, “We had a place across the river for several years and when that was no longer available we started looking for another. A friend told us about a place on Gwynn’s Island that was for sale. I came down and at first I thought it’s maybe OK but when I stepped into second floor and saw the view I would be able to see every day, it sealed the sale,” Ginger explained. Due to health problems the Richardses are returning to their home town of Richmond.

Ted Young was host and chief chef for the party. The other 19 guests provided the side dishes and desserts. Asked what she thought about her going-away party Ginger quickly replied, “It’s a hello party. Come see us again,” adding, “We will certainly be coming back for visits.”