The Year in Review: 2012, Part II, May through August
by By WILLIAM WRIGHT Lifestyles Editor
Dec 30, 2012 | 2475 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
2012 Year in Review: Part II
HAPPILY MARRIED IN 2012, Peggy and Julian Robinson may serve as an inspiration to generations about the ability to find love at any age. The Cleveland couple were childhood sweethearts at age 4. Below, Terril Littrell posed with some of the girls who live at the Mary Diana Samuel orphanage in India, the destination of the couple’s latest trip overseas.
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Summer in Bradley County brought fun in the sun to a variety of volunteers who chose to serve others in foreign lands, act as extras in a major motion picture, get fit and fall in love in one of the hottest summers on record.

Readers learned about the mission projects of Pat and Gary Fuller, who have been involved in bringing joy and relief to the people of Haiti for more than 16 years, including an orphanage. In the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, the orphanage lost two main buildings. Five children and two workers were also killed, as reported in the May 2, Lifestyles article.

“Our aim is to be a help to children who don’t have someone to see after them,” Pat was quoted as saying. Before the earthquake, 82 children were in the orphanage — now there are 65. The next trip to Haiti is set for the first week in March. Anyone interested in volunteering to join the team to Haiti should contact Gary Fuller at 423-715-1454.

Another Cleveland couple, Jason and Toby Long, set out to transform the future of the children of Thailand with a message of drug prevention, anti-sex trafficking and a moral development program, according to the May 20, Lifestyles feature story.

As part of the Think Small Foundation, Jason and Toby use entertainment, education and youth empowerment to impact the abused and underprivileged children in Thailand, many of whom are victims of sex trafficking between the ages of 12 and 16.

Toby admits what they are doing is seen by some as “putting a Band-Aid on a volcano,” but the couple believes each and every child saved from a life of prostitution or drug abuse is worth the effort. For further information, readers were asked to visit www.thinksmallfoundation.org.

With Hispanics becoming the leading minority in Bradley County, it was no surprise when a New York couple, Moises and Keyla Gonzalez, left the Big Apple to live in the City With Spirit to reach out to the Hispanic community who were interested in learning more about the Bible. The bilingual couple made volunteer service a priority individually and as a couple after their marriage in 2008, as reported in the May 9 article on “Hispanic couple falls for Cleveland.”

Moises, who served at the world headquarters of the WatchTower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn, N.Y., at Bethel, joined his wife in the full-time ministry and moved to Cleveland where the need was greater for evangelizers who wanted to serve the Hispanic community. At one time the couple was conducting 14 home Bible studies.

The Cleveland newcomers said their first assignment out of New York has taught them how to make adjustments quicker in their marriage and ministry. The pioneer couple have recently been reassigned to a new location and will be moving to another area in Tennessee in early 2013.

May was also National Foster Care Month and no one better expressed the difficulties of a dysfunctional family that lead to her turbulent life in foster care than Cleveland resident Nicole Price.

In a candid interview, Price shed light on the plight of children in broken homes and the need for more attention in foster care in her tell-all account, “Anatomy of a runaway,” which ran May 30.

Price, who stopped running and went on to graduate cum laude with an associate in science degree from Everest University, said, “You can’t choose to run away from your problems all of your life, because in the end they will be there in your face.” She married her biggest supporter, Matthew, and is currently pursuing a career as a child advocate and speaker on behalf of children in foster care.

Cleveland residents were among the 500 promotional extras featured at Chattanooga’s Historic Engel stadium for the filming of the Hollywood motion picture, “42,” starring Harrison Ford. Mara Grisham, a reading interventionist at Stuart Elementary School, became the first prize winner when her name was picked in the first raffle giveaway on May 21. She won an Apple iPod Shuffle, the world’s smallest digital music player, but the real “payoff” will be local residents seeing themselves on the big screen on April 12. The time period of baseball film’s release will coincide with major league baseball’s “Jackie Robinson Day,” commemorating the date when Robinson, whose uniform number was 42, broke the color barrier in baseball.

The discovery that her great-grandmother was of the Shawnee tribe gave Native American Donna Jean Barone, also known as “Fallingwaters,” a whole new perspective on life, as reported in the June 3 article, “Amazing Grace touches Fallingwaters.”

“Finding out about my heritage has made me stronger. It has made me determined to be a better person,” she said. “We are here to help others; that is our purpose in life. I think everyone is here to love and to give love. When you give love you get it back, usually a hundredfold.”

In 2011, she rode 100 miles in 10 hours for Habitat for Humanity’s Bike to Build. Currently, she is learning the Cherokee language, known as Tsalagi, and is studying the Bible with friends. To view Fallingwaters’ handmade crafts, visit: nativeamericandreams.webs.com.

Summer heated up in the most romantic way when former childhood sweethearts Julian Robinson and Peggy Moxley, both born in 1940, were married May 26, after 68 years apart. The true-life, fairy-tale romance of two 4-year-olds who went their separate ways but found each other later in life was a favorite among our readers. Discovering that both love and romance can happen twice in a lifetime was the feature of the July 1, Lifestyles article that detailed the happy couple’s reunion and wedding day after nearly seven decades apart.

“It’s wonderful,” said Julian regarding their marriage. “It has brought life and happiness to both of us. I never dreamed I could be in love again. Now we’re going for happily ever after.”

When it comes to giving, longtime Cleveland resident Josephine Day became the focus on our July 11 Lifestyles for donating her priceless collection of Indian artifacts to Red Clay Historic State Park. Day, 88, and her late husband, Conrad, spent much of their lifetime collecting Indian artifacts. Many of their rare arrowheads, ornaments, utensils, pipes and game pieces will be part of Red Clay’s displayed public collection.

“We need to remember our history,” Day said. “There are some people who don’t even know that there were Indians here and they were made to leave. They were promised they would not have to leave, then they made them leave.”

Day said her donation is one way to honor her husband, be remembered and leave a legacy that future generations can learn from.

After Dawniel King competed in the Team Universe National Physique Committee show and won her pro card for the International Federation of BodyBuilding, in a July 29 Lifestyles feature she called it the completion of a major dream in her life.

Now the bodybuilding and nutrition advocate is out to inspire others to make nutrition, fitness and staying in shape a part of the overall completion of their lives. When asked what she’s learned about fitness and its importance over the years, King said, “It reminds me every day that I have the power to change. Life is full of obstacles, but with desire and dedication you can rise above them.”

King has added a fitness clothing line to her recent accomplishments — fulfilling her dream to be a trend-setter in the field of fashion fitness.

The dream of several youths to become writers is being nurtured in Cleveland, thanks to the local Boys & Girls Clubs starting a journalism program that teaches kids how to write their own ticket to success, according to the Aug. 5 Lifestyles feature.

Writers from the Cleveland Daily Banner met with writers and youths in the new journalism program. Banner General Manager Jim Bryant gave a tour of the presses and other newspaper departments to excited youths in the new program. The unique thing about the program, according to Annalicia Alexander, preteen director, is that the kids are running it.

“The have an editor, a chief-of-staff who goes over everything and a proofreader. It’s very exciting,” she said.

When it comes to excitement, however, Cleveland resident Ed Leech may be one athlete who stands alone. In this year’s Tennessee state Senior Olympics, Leech won six medals and set two Senior Olympics state records.

“I was more shocked than I was proud that I set state records,” he admitted.

The retired teacher placed in both his regional and state competitions. The 64-year-old has been swimming since he was 13 and living in Tampa, Fla.

Kudos went out to Bryan Reed, the history professor at Cleveland State Community College, for uncovering a local historical figure in Clinton Calloway, as reported in the Aug. 12 Lifestyles feature. Calloway was a Cleveland native who joined Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosewald in initiating the Rosenwald Schools program, according to Reed, who spoke at the “National Rosenwald Schools Conference: 100 Years of Pride, Progress and Preservation” event held June 14-16 in Tuskegee, Ala.

Reed spoke about Calloway’s contribution to a building program that provided seed grants for the construction of 5,300 buildings, including schools, workshops and teachers’ homes for African-Americans in 15 states from 1913-32.

“For Cleveland, this is uncovering history that has not been written before,” said Reed, who was joined by descendants of Calloway at the event.

The Aug. 15 article on Bringing hope to orphans in Mexico raised awareness of the efforts of Tony Lane, the son of Joyce Lane Rayburn of Cleveland, who has made 30 trips with 27 different groups to Mexico.

Representing the Youth and Christian Education Department of the Church of God, Lane said he wants to expose the mission experience to as many as possible. He took his son, Josh, and 13 students from South Cleveland Church of God, including other participants from Cleveland and 11 other states, on a mission trip to Mexico in an effort to restore hope for abandoned and forgotten children.

According to Lane, the children in Poza Rica come from abusive homes or no home at all. Some children are living under the bridge, he said. “We can’t get free from the orphanage,” said Lane, who will be returning to Mexico with a group from Jan. 4-11.

Summer was in full swing and temperatures were on the rise as family members of the Hatfields dropped by the Banner to relate information that the Hatfield-McCoy feud may predate American history, as told in the Aug. 26 Lifestyles feature.

According to Carolyn Riddle, the 75-year-old daughter of Elizabeth Hatfield, she had recently discovered through a relative researching the Hatfield ancestry that the family bloodline can be traced back to Hatfield, England.

“My second cousin has been tracing back the Hatfields and he has gone back to 1120 (A.D.),” Riddle said. “They came from East Hatfield, England. The first one was Be Be. He was called Be Be of Hatfield. Back then you may not have had a last name. You were just of a certain town. Then down through the years Hatfield became the last name when we started to immigrate. That’s as far back as our family has gone so far.”

The discovery supports the possibility that the bad blood between the Hatfields and McCoys may have started during the English Revolution when the McCoys (of Scottish origin) supported King Charles I and the Hatfields took the side of Oliver Cromwell, an English military commander and political leader, during the 17th century English Civil War.

When asked how they personally felt about the McCoys, Riddle, who is related to the Hatfields of Mingo County, W.Va., said, “Anything that has ever happened in any way — I don’t care if it was a McCoy or whoever it was — to me it has been forgiven.”

Benson added, “We have no hard feelings towards anyone. I use to work with a McCoy and we got along fine.”

Riddle said she and her daughter are in agreement with the words of Ephesians 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

In the sultry months that saw missions work, marital bliss and legendary figures like Jackie Robinson turned into movies, or a miniseries based on a legendary family feud and the scintillating stories that followed them, Lifestyles had enough steam to make it to September, where cooler weather would arrive just in time for lively festivals, arts-and-crafts and a few surprises that took our readers as far as Africa and India.

The Year in Review will conclude in Wednesday’s Lifestyle.