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December 29th

Just Imagine

December 29, 2011

Just imagine flying across the nation on Christmas Day. Just imagine 12 nights in Burbank, Calif. Just imagine working six of those days under pressure, on deadline, with no pay. Just imagine being part of the 2012 Rose Parade in Pasadena.

Just imagine what it feels like to see float No. 56 round the magic corner.

“Just Imagine” is the theme for the 123rd Rose Parade, and Conover resident Michael Paysour will be in Pasadena for the third year in a row as a float decorator.

Paysour, 59, is a retired teacher who taught U.S. history and civics at Fred T. Foard High School.

December 15th

Images in ‘Conover' enlighten, entertain

December 15, 2011

Lifelong Conover resident Don Barker spent many years behind a camera as a photographer for The Observer News Enterprise. Photography was also his hobby, along with history — especially area history.

In 2007, Barker wrote “For the Love of the Game,” which reports the history of the Newton-Conover Twins baseball team.

Barker’s “Big Time for a Dime” delivers a history of movie theaters in the Catawba Valley.

Barker’s recently released book “Conover” is the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular “Images of America” series.

December 9th

‘The Lettermen’Ready for Newton Concert

December 9, 2011

In addition to a history of unparalleled love songs from The Lettermen, here is another constant: Tony Butala, original and founding member.

Butala remained with the popular vocal group for its 50-plus year career. As the only founding member in the trio (Butala, Donovan Tea and Bobby Poynton), Butala, 73, said as long as there is a Lettermen group, they will be singing good, quality and positive harmony music that the whole family can enjoy.
How has the trio managed to keep the sound, the genre and popularity?

“Because I am the lead on most of the hit records,” he said candidly.

December 2nd

Art + Poetry + Books = Bethlehem Branch Library

December 2, 2011

Amidst the growing community of Bethlehem and off the beaten path of N.C. 127 North, Bethlehem Branch Library offers an engaging blend of books and art.

The library, part of the Alexander County Library, opened five years ago on Rink Dam Road.

Through the efforts of the Bethlehem Branch Friends, the small library expanded last year and added a children’s section.

Bud Caywood, president of Friends, Bethlehem resident, artist and poet, said the new area is called “the gallery.”

November 17th

‘The Nutcracker Suite’ sweeps into Newton

November 17, 2011

Symphonic music and artistic dance have taken over the stage of The Newton Conover Auditorium as The New Art School of Ballet makes its final preparations before “The Nutcracker Suite” is preformed in front of hundreds of people.

Under the direction of Michael and Melissa French, co-artistic directors for the New Art School of Ballet, in collaboration with Reggie Helton, executive director of The New Art School and the Kontras String Quartet, “The Nutcracker Suite” will be presented on Dec. 3 for two public showings, in addition to two private showings reserved for area students.

November 14th

Metro Jethro Checks in With Outlook

November 14, 2011

Hickory’s Jon Reep returned to the Unifour last weekend to perform before a sellout crowd at the J.E. Broyhill Center. The 2007 Last Comic Standing took time to check in with Outlook readers

October 28th

Ballet Dancer, Baker Is ‘On Pointe’

October 28, 2011

Emily Perry, 16, began dancing when she was six years old and hasn’t stopped. As soon as she was old enough to help in the kitchen, she started baking.

Little did she know that her skills in the kitchen would help her dancing career. Her dancing, however, led her to use her culinary skills. Hence, “Cupcakes4 Ballet.”

From the time she was 6, she danced, and she danced on pointe to where the increase in the intensity of her ballet training caused her to wear out two to three pairs of pointe shoes per month.

October 6th

Standing in a Ring of Fire

October 6, 2011

Lawyer Eades is now hailed as folk artist Eades
Robert Oren Eades’ first art show was at Hickory Museum of Art in 2006.
“I sold all my stuff and had fun,” Eades said.
That day was pivotal — Eades closed his law practice and turned his attention to art — 3-D folk art.
As a resident of Sherrills Ford, Eades spends his days creating more folk art in 3-D.
Eades recalls a childhood of drawing and always making things.
“I don’t recall taking art lessons,” Eades said.

August 23rd

Conover Couple Creates Home For Art Teachers

August 23, 2011

Some people would look at the building on 1717 Highland Ave NE in Hickory and just see an old building, but Jeff and Carol Anne Hartman see much more.

“It’s an old house, so it’s not super fancy,” Carol Anne said. “It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a new building, but it has charm and character of a space where you just want to soak in everything that’s been there for the last 70 years and let it create something.”

August 11th

An Eye-opening Experience

August 11, 2011

Dr. Richard Griffin recently returned from Bolivia. Again.
Griffin, 78, was 34 when he made his first trip to Bolivia. After 44 years, he lost count of the number of times he traveled to Bolivia.
“Oh, I guess 30 trips, something like that,” Griffin answered softly.
The gentle-mannered doctor is accustomed to the hectic pace of a busy ophthalmology practice. Griffin — born and raised in Hickory — was in practice with his father for many years, the late Harold Griffin. He continued in the family practice when his father retired. Then, Griffin signed on at Graystone Ophthalmology.

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