Another Cleveland artist — as in painting — had an exhibit at the Arts Center in Athens. The “Kaleidoscope” exhibit by Helen Burton included 30 paintings grouped into four themes: “Portals from the Past,” “Botanical Beauties,” “Local Scenery” and “Still Life.” A 10-year elected member of In-Town Gallery in Chattanooga, Burton is a Signature Member of both the Georgia and Tennessee Watercolor societies, an honor which requires acceptance into their juried shows over a six-year period.
Lydia Brink wanted her Sweet 16 celebration to be magical and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of East Tennessee made it happen, wrote Joyanna Weber . Lydia was diagnosed with T-cell Leukemia in 2009 and took her first treatment on June 23, 2009, the day after her diagnosis. Her wish was to go to Las Vegas. The family was given a trip to Vegas from Dec. 18 to Dec. 24. They stayed in the Paris Hotel and were given a special nighttime tour of the city by helicopter to see the lights. Although the leukemia has gone into remission and her hair has grown back, she still has a long road to recovery.
Stephen Hatchett is a real-life crime fighter, according to Lifestyles Editor William Wright on Jan. 9. The assistant district attorney offered free advice to anyone pursuing a life of crime in Bradley County. “Move,” he says. “You need to turn from a life of crime or move out of the 10th Judicial District.” He says there are some outstanding officers throughout the district who work really hard.
Debbie Moore is the “unofficial history detective” of Bradley County, according to writer Evans. Moore and her husband, Ron, broadcast a history show, “Old Town Cleveland” and her purpose in life is to track history. Moore’s interest in history began with her mother’s observations about people, “so I guess it came about from her interest in genealogy.” Some people write history down; others track it down; and still others handle history like a priceless antique. But some, Moore said, “store history in their hearts, like buried treasure.”
A story on Ed Allen, 83, and his life from World War II was offered by Wright on Jan. 12. Allen was drafted into the military in July 1945 at age 18 and was trained in field artillery. He served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II, married his teenage sweetheart, Ruth, and helped raise their three sons, whom they put through college. Allen described his wife “as beautiful from the day they met to the day she died in July 2006.”
Robert Green, a former U.S. Amy Green Beret, now armed with the Word of God, is now on a mission to encourage others to “finish strong.” Lifestyles Writer Melissa Snyder, on Jan. 30, told the story of a self-proclaimed “kingdom player” who is committed to changing lives as the Ocoee Region area director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After leaving the military, he met his wife, Teresa, and together they started in the ministry. He became an evangelist for the Church of God and their journey brought them to Cleveland where he served as student pastor at Westmore Church of God. He began volunteering with the juvenile court system, leading a chaplaincy program and serving as the chaplain for the Cleveland Fire Department.
Local author Dr. Charles Hawkins shared his memoirs in his recent book, “Borrowed Shoes,” the story of his life during World War II in a story by Wright. Hawkins was drafted at the age of 18, reporting for induction at Camp Shelby, Miss. He said, “... for the first time in my short life, I sensed that I knew if I survived my tour on duty in the military, my life’s work would be as a minister of the Gospel.” Wright, in the story on Jan. 30, also writes about Hawkins’ efforts to understand the homeless by becoming homeless himself.”
An exciting new romantic comedy, “Farm Girl in New York,” writes Wright, co-stars former Cleveland resident and Cleveland High School graduate Joshua Wade. It was released in time for Valentine’s Day. Wade not only was the co-writer of the film, but producer. Wade said he hoped his fans and local supporters would enjoy his “screwball romantic” comedy. He had performed in several theatricals, including “The Fantastics” before co-starring in his latest.
Another Clevelander Todd Burns, the son of Dr. Jim and Doris Burns, has had his music aired in no less that 70 TV shows and specials. According to Wright, Burns’ award-wining music has been heard on TV for more than a decade. But before composer Burns brought music to the ears of Hollywood, he honed his skills at the Lee University School of Music. He met his wife, Brenda, at Oral Roberts University in 1988; they married in 1994 and moved to Los Angeles. The couple has two sons, Max and Dylan.
His first public performance on the piano came at age 8 during a Sunday night service at Shady Springs Community Church — a 42-second rendition of “Just a Little Talk With Jesus.” The next year he “Gave his heart to Jesus” and by age 12, he was playing the piano for the Gilliam Quartet of Beaver. In a Feb. 6 story, Wright says, “Jack Clark has been hailed a humorous, virtuoso pianist who had the privilege of playing with the best.” The 76-year-old musician has been playing the piano at Westwood Baptist Church for the past 43 years. Over the years, Clark has proved himself to be a pianist, songwriter, arranger and producer, winning an Angel Award for video music production and receiving an honorary doctorate of keyboard wizardry from Calvary Christian Academy. In 1998, he was inducted into the Southern Gospel Piano Roll of Honor and proclaimed a “Living Legend” by the Grand Ole Gospel Reunion.
On Feb. 6, Snyder wrote about Machelle McClulley, who created her own makeup and beauty line, VindiMa Girl.” She said she wanted to walk into retail stores and see her own makeup line on the shelves. It was easy to imagine for the inventor who says she enjoys being a “girl-girl.” Besides that, she is a business-minded woman who has built her business into a success with the help of her husband, Patrick.
Wright told the story of a survivor of a life-changing fall. Mike Crittenden’s tragic fall head-first out of a tall tree, became an opportunity for redemption, according to the courageous hunter, who said he tuned his life over to he Lord. “When all is said and done,” he said, “I’d like people to remember me as someone who tried to serve the Lord with them, make them smile and could say, ‘I see the Lord in him.’” In his book, “I Didn’t Have to Stay,” he describes his love for hunting and the events that led to his fall.
A Banner intern, Christy Armstrong, wrote the story of family ties: Brenda Porter and her daughter Breandra celebrated a mother-daughter graduation with degrees in medical assistance from Miller-Motte Technical College in Chattanooga. Together they walked across the Tivoli Theatre stage to accept their diplomas on Jan. 30. The mother and daughter agreed that regardless of which job positions they might hold in the future, their college experiences taught them the value of determination.
Local couples shared their secrets of decades of marriage happiness in a story by Wright for Valentine’s Day. Charles and Shirley Hawkins celebrated 62 years “of bliss” on April 2. They cited having God in their lives, laughing together and seeing life together as important ingredients to a long and happy marriage. J.D. and Alience Silver were to be married 65 years on June 1. The Cleveland couple said “putting God first” is the biggest reason for their success. Shirley and J.T. Shadden celebrated their golden anniversary on July 9, 2010, and look forward to their diamond anniversary.
Teresa Shull, a counselor at Hiwassee Mental Health, said failed relationships can cause heartbreak and tremendous stress on individuals. In her story written by Evans, she said, “To help heal a broken heart and make it through Valentine’s Day, make it about someone else. “Have a generous spirit ... give instead of expecting to be given to.” She and her husband, Don, have a son Nathan who is married to Beth.
Claudia Hoffer is on a quest “to see the world,” wrote Snyder, Lifestyles writer. Hoffer loves to read and she loves photography, which is enhanced by her travels. She has been fortunate, she says, to be able to have traveled to many faraway places, sparking her love and appreciation for the world. With her degree in art, she wants to put her education to good use.
Meet recording artist DieDra, writes Lifestyles Editor Wright. From her earliest singing career as a young girl in a family gospel choir to opening shows for soul-singing legends Al Green, R&B aritst DieDra has been bringing down he house with her soul-stirring voice and rhythm-and-blues performances. Her debut album, “Overcoming Hurdles” was released in 2008 and, in 2009, Joe Douglas, manager of the Grammy-nominated group Frankie Beverly and Maze, signed her with his company, JD Entertainment.
If prayer is meeting with God, said Banner writer Evans, then Joy Obadiah might be likened to a prayer. Obadiah, a London native, has turned the waiting area of Express Oil Change into an “Upper Room” where customers watch her create seed bead designs bursting with color. The jewelry designer has resided in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, and in Nigeria, and says her innate love of color expanded when she lived in different places. She can transform even broken things into useful, beautiful works “that brighten the world.”
The Christian rock band Decyfer Down was the headliner for the Spring Jam benefit concert at Lee University’s Dixon Center in March. The concert helped local children have a great Christmas through the efforts of the Fraternal Order of the Police Blue Christmas for Kids Charity. According to Snyder, Police Officer Josh Nix is considered the brainchild behind the Spring Jam event. He says he believes music is the best way to raise money for a worthy charity.
Having the intelligence not to let a lack of schooling interfere with his success, Howard Woods of Georgetown became as close to a self-made man as most people will ever meet, said Lifestyles Editor Wright. Woods, 66, did what he could as a teenager to make it in the world where formal education was not a perfect fit for him, but hard work came as second nature to the youngest of 18 children.
He’s a teenager — 16 years old — but John Burton, the son of Mike and Freda Burton, may be one of the happiest teenagers around, says Wright in a March 2 story. He will perform the third movement of the Hummel Trumpet Concerto with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra during the Cleveland Symphony Guild’s free youth concerts. Burton, a student at Walker Valley High School, maintains a 4.0 GPA in school while practicing his music.
Wright made his own headlines with the publishing of his book, “The Little White Book of Light.” Based on his weekly newspaper column, the book may be little in size, but huge in scope, says writer Evans on March 6, as Wright shares his endeavors “to navigate his life and help steer the lives of others toward safe harbor.” The author said it is his hope people will see life a little clearer with the aid of his browser-friendly book.
Cleveland singing artist Tanner Flowers co-wrote and sang the latest song about “The Dancing Outlaw,” a biography song about Jesco White, who lives in poverty despite his celebrity status. Flowers said if the song is a success, part of the proceeds will go to assist White.
Rodney Wiseman, a former Cleveland resident, is making a name for himself playing sinister characters like his latest “bad boy” role in the faith-based film, The Frontier Boys.” The film won the coveted Adam Award for Best Picture at the Sabaoth International Film Festival in Milan, Italy. Wiseman’s parents are missionaries Gene and Lorene Wiseman of Cleveland.
The look of opera is changing with bright young faces like the operatic soprano Sarah Kate Walston, who returned to Cleveland as featured guest in the Squires Hall Recital series at Lee University. In a March 9 story, Wright says Walston has been described by renowned vocal musician Phyllis Bryan-Julson as showing “incredible versatility.”.”
Emily Owens, 22, visited Guyana in 2010. The former Meigs County youth told Wright this was a way of expanding her ministry and reaching out to serve where the need was greater. She said in the mission trip she discovered something remarkable about herself and a life of sacrifice, and the experience enhanced her view of people’s need.
Nationally known artist Kim Weitkamp returned to Cleveland for a special evening performance at Nola Café and to release her two new CDs. She performed at the National Storytelling Festival and is featured on public radio and Sirius SM.
Evie West found courage at New Hope, says Banner writer Bettie Marlowe in a March 27 story. As a 19-year-old mother of 2-year-old Joshua, she had come from a gang lifestyle in California and just wanted to get away from Los Angeles. She enrolled at Lee University, not knowing where her past decisions would lead her. She found answers at New Hope and eventually became a career woman; her life story is told in her book, “Revolving Choices.” The message is “choose life always.”
“Head over Heels” in love is what many people called Ann and Clarence Black, who married within a week of first laying eyes on each other. The Cleveland couple have turned their whirlwind romance into almost seven decades of marital bliss, producing two children, five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. It is a romantic tale for the ages.
Henry Nauman is called “One Colorful Character” in the story by Wright on April 17. He had set his sights on Hollywood with its commercial appeal and film industry reputation for making movie stars out of multitalented actors like himself. This “Colorful Character” was hoping to get his big break in the City of Angels.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The second series of The Year 2011 in Review will highlight stories in the Banner Lifestyles section from May through August.