Thanks, Mom

On Their Special Day, Four Generations Of Women Get ‘Perfect’ Ride

Posted: May 12, 2014

Matt Hickey, owner of Classic Carriages, and horses Doc and Dale give Mother’s Day rides through the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg on Sunday afternoon. (Photos by Jason Lenhart)
Ruth Holloway and her husband, Bob, of Massanutten, say hello on Sunday to Doc and Dale, the two horses who gave Mother’s Day rides at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg.

HARRISONBURG — A horse-drawn carriage ride on Mother’s Day was a trip down memory lane for one Harrisonburg woman.

Martha Philpott, 84, experienced the ride at the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University with her daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter.

She said the 1-mile ride through the woods was extra special.

“It just brought back a few memories,” she said. “This is the only way we traveled when we were little,” she said, reflecting on her time growing up in Jay, Okla.

During the ride, Heather Sedwick, 29, Philpott’s granddaughter, asked her how old she was when she got a car.

“We never had one until I bought my own at age 19,” Philpott said.

Nancy Sedwick, 57, Philpott’s daughter, said the carriage ride was “a lot better than a card or flowers because the memories last longer than something that wilts with time.”

Nancy Sedwick was especially pleased with how her 2-year-old granddaughter, Charlotte Sedwick, reacted to seeing the horses — 6-year-old black Perchrons. “When she saw the carriage and horses, she just went bonkers,” Nancy said.

This is the 10th year the arboretum has offered the carriage rides for Mother’s Day. A portion of the fee goes toward maintaining the arboretum, which receives state and private funding. The carriage rides are also offered at the arboretum at other times of the year, including Valentine’s Day.

Matt and Staci Hickey, owners of Classic Carriage of Staunton, have been giving the Mother’s Day rides for the past several years.

“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a nice day for mothers,” Matt Hickey said.

The idea for the Mother’s Day gift to the Philpott and Sedwick women came from Nancy’s husband, Richard E.N. Sedwick, 65. “It’s such a pretty place,” he said. “It’s a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon.”

While the females in the family were enjoying the ride, the males were also having a good time. Richard and his son, Richard W. Sedwick, 31, watched their grandson and son, 10-month-old Elliott Sedwick, at the arboretum.

Richard the elder apparently hit a home run with the carriage ride idea.

Heather Sedwick called it “a perfect combination for all of us.”

Contact Caleb M. Soptelean at 574-6293 or 

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