OFFBEAT: Hammond actor nets TV gig and cat's meow in Portage

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-06-23T00:00:00Z 2013-06-23T18:13:04Z OFFBEAT: Hammond actor nets TV gig and cat's meow in PortageBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Actor David Ashley, who is originally from Hammond and graduated from Hammond High School in 1998, is now officially a "man of uniform."

A resident of Los Angeles for six years, Ashley is playing a police officer for his first speaking television role. He was cast in April and just completed filming his scenes for the cable network series "Franklin & Bash" airing on Ted Turner's TNT.

The show's season premiere was last Wednesday and his role is featured in the seventh episode.

"My only problem is that I don't know exactly when it is going to air, just yet," he said.

"My best guess, since the show just had the season premiere opening episode, is I'll be seen sometime in August. Since it is a speaking role, they have yet to add my credit to, which is now something that happens just before a shows episode airs."

Ashley got to spend time on and off camera with the stars of the show, Brecklin Meyer and Mark Paul Gosselaar.

Cat call

If you have something in common with cats, and hate to get wet, whether it's from this weekend's humidity or predicted rain showers, an inside option has felines featured in today's Sunday spotlight for this weekend.

Today is the final day for the 2013 Cat Show in the Oakwood Grand Ballroom in Woodland Park, 2100 Willowcreek Road in Portage. I'm told Randy Rothbauer and Chris Savoy of Savoir Faire Bengals Cattery in Indianapolis are in town with their claim-to-fame breed/brood, including Savoirfaire Firenze, who now ranks as the number one all-breed kitten in the world, as well as number one Bengal kitten and number one kitten for the Great Lakes Region. You can find out more at Today's show is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and promises more than 125 cats showcased in four show rings. Admission is just $3. FYI: (219) 762-1675.

A growing interest

Next weekend's Porter County Garden Walk offers an extra special surprise. It's from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 29, and branded as "a horticultural treat you won't want to miss." The 2013 Porter County Garden Walk hosts include Oprah Winfrey's landscaper for 16 years, Nancy Marshall.

This year, I'm told six "awe-inspiring home outdoor spaces" and one community garden in and around Valparaiso, are to be showcased, with master gardeners available to answer questions and explain plantings, along with door-prize drawings at every garden.

The walks begin between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Hayes Leonard School, 653 Hayes Leonard Road in Valparaiso, where guest can also view the Garden of Heroes at that same location.

The garden walk is sponsored annually by the Porter County Master Gardeners Association and Purdue Extension Porter County.

Admission is $6 in advance or $8 the day of the walk, with children under 12 free. FYI: or (219) 465-3555.

As for Oprah's landscapers, sisters Nancy Small-Marshall and Becky Small-Whitacre bring 60 years of experience to their landscaping projects at their business Small's Nursery in Valparaiso. In addition to Oprah, their client portfolio includes landscaping for Benessere Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif. and baseball greats Ron Kittle and Carlton Fisk.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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