Bettie Marlowe’s four-part series took readers back to the late 1800s when Centenary female college opened its doors and emphasized music and art to its students.
When Professor Carl Fallberg and his wife, Madame Gunhild Sjöestedt-Fallberg joined the faculty, the “prestige of European training and high level of talent” brought a touch of glamor to the campus,” according to Ann Almond Pope in her book, “The Fallbergs and Their Friends.”
Between the two, they covered classes in piano, organ, violin, voice, theory and harmony.
Everyone from Ann Almond Pope, featured in the Sept. 17 Lifestyles, and Easter Frady, a past president of the Cleveland Music Club, to Cleveland’s Community Concert Band founder R.G. Wolf, and his wife, Jan, (Sept. 14 Lifestyles feature) were spotlighted in the insightful series.
Marlowe wrote, “In two years, the community band had proved to be a viable performing arts organization for the Cleveland and Bradley County area, as well as Meigs, Rhea and Polk counties.”
When it comes to viable individual performers, however, few musicians could match the durability, energy and excitement of professional accordionist Lisa McGarvey, as told in the Oct. 5 Lifestyle article, “Lisa McGarvey’s life and music.”
At age 79, McGarvey is still going strong as one of Cleveland’s busiest professional entertainers and respected senior performers. Her lively shows have lifted the spirit of many residents — young and old — across the region.
Artist Helen Burton made her hometown proud when she was honored as a Signature Member in the National Watercolor Society in September, considered one of the most prestigious art organizations in the world.
After 27 years of outstanding artwork with watercolors, Burton, who painted a new watercolor specifically for the International Exhibition, called the special honor “The highlight of my entire career” in the Sept. 18, article about her outstanding achievement.
Cathryne Blocker became another woman whose outstanding achievement made news in the Oct. 2 Lifestyle feature, “Planting seeds of hope.”
Blocker, the granddaughter of William and Nancy Blocker, is continuing the legacy of her grandparents in giving back to the community by reading to children at the Unity Center in Cleveland.
Blocker, who taught American high schools for the U.S. Department of Defense in Germany and Japan, said it is exciting to see what her grandparents planted decades ago flourishing in the community today.
Thanks to law enforcement officers in the community like Evie West, Jen McGuire, April Ratcliff and many others, Cleveland is still one of the safest places to live in the country.
As reported in the Oct. 16 Lifestyles feature article “Policewomen of Cleveland: To protect and to serve,” it has taken some very special women to suit up for a job that puts their lives on the line as they brave public opinion, often negative, while protecting and serving her community. But that is what is happening with policewomen across the country.
When the cross-country show “American Pickers” picked the Museum Center at Five Points to host co-authors Mike Wolf and Libby Callaway to speak and sign their new book, “American Pickers Guide to Picking,” the popular History Channel show won even more fans to the series and proved to be a hidden treasure for its local fan base.
October ended with a strange connection to the month of June as one Lifestyles reader found the answer to her special prayer in 2011.
Retired Oak Grove Elementary School teacher Carol Jobe is fighting inoperable breast cancer. The former history major said her lifelong desire was to have an authentic log cabin built to complete her bucket list in life.
Enter lumberjack Dave Hampton of Decatur, who was featured in the June 1 Lifestyles article, “Log Cabins: A simpler way of living.” It seems Hampton, 62, was also praying for extra work to make a living. These two strangers were able to fill each other’s needs in a rare way.
Jobe, who has been a Banner subscriber for 34 years, said in the Oct.30 Lifestyles, “I told Mister Dave that he was an answer to my prayers. He said, ‘I was praying too!’ I tell everybody this is my miracle cabin.”
Some people might describe five couples who have remained close friends for more than 50 years to be a miracle of sorts, but longtime friends David and JoAnn Beatty, Travis and Wanda Porter, Bill and Nellie Thompson, Jerry and Peggie Young and Joe and Mava Taylor called it a special blessing in the Nov. 13 Lifestyles feature, “A friendship for the ages.”
Bill and Nellie Thompson put it best when they said, “Our special friendships have been great sources of comfort, joy, love and happiness. We have prayed, wept, and shared one another’s burdens. We have also laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.
“We have endured by overlooking our faults and failures and looking for and encouraging the best in one another. God’s Word tells us that friends love through all kinds of weather and circumstances. We have found that to be so true.”
The birth of baby Aubree June Hannah of Cleveland came at 11-11-11 at 11 a.m., at SkyRidge Medical Center, making her and her parents, Nathan and Carrie Hannah newsworthy in Lifestyles’ Nov. 16 article.
Another couple, Kenneth Anderson and Dawn Haynes, married on 11-11-11. Since they had found “the one,” the Cleveland couple made it official by marrying on all 1s, as featured in “Diary of a second marriage,” in the Nov. 6 Lifestyles article.
November ended with an article about the Cleveland Music Club celebrating its 100th anniversary. The club celebrated its centennial at the Cleveland Bradley County Public Library on Dec. 4.
In the Nov. 30 feature article, Bettie Marlowe wrote, “It’s been 100 years since ladies met at the home of Mrs. Aiken and began a legacy of music — a gift to the community — and it has, through the years, enriched the lives of Cleveland and Bradley County people.”
It was nearly 50 years before Lee University saw its first African-American win Miss Parade of Favorites, but Amber LaShae Kienlen was crowned the 49th POF on Nov. 12, as featured in the Dec. 11 Lifestyles feature article.
Kienlen, who also won the interview award and dance award, said, she would like to be known for her social platform on child development, which helped seal her historic win.
The month of December was marked by special people like Debbie Meierhoefer, whose efforts to make the holiday season unforgettable was the featured in the Dec. 14 Lifestyles article, “Ornaments for Alzheimer’s.”
Meierhoefer, a fitness instructor at the Cleveland Family YMCA, hosted two ornament-making workshops at her house, with students from her classes supporting her cause. Soon local businesses joined in the fundraiser, allowing Meierhoefer to display her ornaments in their stores.
More than $300 was raised to donate to Alzheimer’s research by mid-December and sales would continue through the holiday season with paintings and quilts included in the fundraiser.
After hearing the statistics of Alzheimer’s, Meierhoefer said she decided she wanted to help make a difference.
Others who made a difference and were honored for it included “Hometown Heroes” John Duncan, Noel Chance, James Collins, LaWayne Taylor, Mary Walkins and Karen Lamon, as featured in the Dec. 18 Lifestyles article.
Signature Healthcare of Cleveland Administrator Tiffany Sawyer said the purpose of the Hometown Heroes program is to “change the landscape of long-term care forever.”
With its Hall of Fame Café, envisioned by Signature HealthCARE corporation and launched in the summer of 2003, the program honoring hometown heroes is well on its way.
As the holiday festivities, concerts and caroling closed out 2011, many readers were touched by the story of Rick and Gina Bell — “A family of second chances,” as featured in the Dec. 18 Lifestyles article.
Fighting stage 4 cancer may be their toughest fight so far, but the Cleveland couple and their two sons, Camden and Kimsey, have met it with courage and confidence and strongly believe that healing is in the hands of God.
The soft-spoken, close-knit couple said they are enjoying life, laughter, traveling and family togetherness, thanks to prayers answered, new medication and a positive attitude that is making all the difference in their approach to coping with cancer.
Currently, the melanoma that had spread has disappeared in Rick’s brain and bones and is being held at bay under medical supervision, according to the couple, who offered a piece of advice to everyone.
“Take time to enjoy life,” Rick said. “We get so involved we forget to look up and enjoy the little things.”
In the end, it was not the weather or the festivities that made 2011 an unforgettable year. It was the people who stood up to make difference.
Some said it was about family, about volunteers and a community who stayed together, prayed together and reached out to make a difference in the lives of others. Others said it was about doing what you can with the time you’ve been given.
Now, it is time to delve into 2012.