Growing up in Fairfax, Woody Lashley's family would go on evening outings to the local ice cream parlors. As Lashley grew older, the parlors disappeared, but his memory of them didn't.
After retiring from his auto business, Lashley started Woody's Ice Cream at 4005 Stonewall Ave. in 1998, so that future generations could have their own memories of getting ice cream with the family.
"I guess I wanted to recreate some of that," Lashley said.
Located at 4005 Stonewall Ave. near Lashley's old auto shop and former residence, Woody's Ice Cream dishes out sundaes and ice cream cones to hungry children and adults alike.
Through his ice cream stand, Lashley has befriended residents from all over the city and has watched neighborhood children grow up from Little Leaguers to teen-agers driving their own cars to get a fudge sundae.
"It's just enjoyable meeting the people and having the neighbors go by," Lashley said.
Lashley got into ice cream because he wanted to be involved in a "fun" business venture after he retired. While his ice cream stand isn't a decade old yet, Lashley has served the community for decades through his auto parts business. Although he now lives in Prince William County, he lived in Fairfax City for over 40 years, working and living near where his ice cream stand now sits. As proprietor of Woody's Ice Cream, he sponsors local groups like the Fairfax Little League.
EVERY YEAR at the end of October, Lashley hosts a block party celebrating summer's end. In addition to free ice cream, the celebration includes costume contests, live music and a car show. The Fairfax mayor, City Council, commissioner of the revenue and city treasurer help cook the free hamburgers and hot dogs. Lashley has planned this year's celebration for Oct. 30.
"I wouldn't say this is Woody's place. This is Fairfax City's place. This is for the people," Lashley said.
Lashley intends to continue the ice cream stand for many more summers. As for his favorite dessert, he particularly enjoys the twist cone but likes everything.
"I go through the menu all the time," Lashley said.
His dream of sharing his nostalgia with others may have worked, as patrons lined up for some ice cream on a recent Friday afternoon, well before the evening busy period.
"Woody's so nice, and it's so good," said Mary Grimes of Fairfax, as she was eating a chocolate sundae.
Several feet away from her, JoAnne Civello of Annandale came with her son Joe and several of his summer basketball teammates. She was looking at the menu.
"We heard about it through a friend. We loved it so much," Civello said. She pointed to Joe and his teammates. "They just came from basketball camp, so we thought it'd be a nice way to end the week."
Amy Lewett, who lives next door, was taking a break from her work as a doggie-day-care owner, to have some ice cream with her friend, Giuseppe Mercadante of Italy.
"There's always people here, whenever we drive by," Lewett said.
Mercadante agreed. "Woody's so nice. He's always fun."
"He doesn't do it for the money. He likes kids," Lewett added.