My goodness, what a busy weekend. Downtown Davidson was a bee hive of activity all day on Saturday with the Run for Green, Garden Club sale, Farmer’s Market, 14th Anniversary of Summit Coffee and the afternoon dedication of the Book Garden. How lucky we were to have beautiful weather on Saturday but even a little drizzle on Sunday could not keep Panther fans from cheering their team to a home stadium win against the Saints.
A busy week is ahead and Around Davidson today reminds readers of a few special activities in Noteworthy Notes. There is also a report on the Book Garden dedication, a look back at an Olympic adventure with River Run resident Maryline Roux and news about the “Adopt a Grandparent” program.
FROM DRAB TO DELIGHTFUL
Drab is the right word to describe the space that used to exist on Main Street between CVS and the Davidson Public Library. Thanks to the generosity of Wells Fargo Bank, David and Betsey Stewart, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Arts and Science Council and many others, this area is now a delightful Book Garden for all residents to enjoy. As Assistant Town Manager Dawn Blobaum said in an earlier press release, “Karen Donnelly and all the members of the Public Art Commission have worked collaboratively to make this project happen. We are grateful to them, designer J’Nell Bryson, and our funders.”
The dedication of this space owned by Louis Stephens and Davidson College took place on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. with a large crowd of townspeople (and dogs) attending. Mayor John Woods spoke first followed by remarks from landscape architect J’Nell Bryson. Former Town Commissioner Margo Williams thanked all whose donations made the Book Garden possible. At the end of the short program, people listened to Birdsnest owner Billy Jones and guitar student Morgan Batley sing children’s songs, visited with Curious George, read a few lines to PAWS-to-Read dogs, Dudley and Faith, and waited in line for a ride around the block in the shiny Wells Fargo stagecoach.
As Betsey Stewart’s mother, Karen Gallagher of Sarasota, FL, commented, “This is a real Norman Rockwell moment.” Mom Karen was on hand to applaud Betsey and David Stewart’s support of the project, as were Betsey’s sisters, Susan Gallagher Bell of Ballantyne and Anne Gallagher Towbar of Charlotte. How nice to have this “drab” spot turned into a delightful outdoor reading room. We also applaud the creative use of The Cat in the Hat/Book Garden signage atop “abandoned” pole in front of CVS. Nice work!
LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN AND WOMEN…SENIORS, that is
Remember when Davidson Senor Services used to meet at the old train Depot on Jackson Street? They started a great Student Senior Friendship Program way back in the 1970’s. Disbanded in 2004, the program was taken over by the Town of Davidson Department of Parks and Recreation with the enthusiastic help of student coordinators at Davidson College. The program, now called the “Adopt a Grandparent” strives to match students and “grandfriends” in the Davidson community hoping to foster meaningful connections.
Imagine your child or grandchild just starting her/his freshman year at Davidson, miles from home, and a little homesick for family. How reassuring to know that an older member of the community with similar interests and hobbies has connected with your student. There are currently 50 students on the Davidson campus who wish to get to know a local senior citizen but not enough “grandfriends” in the program. Participation can mean sharing a meal, a social planned on campus, a movie or shopping together. As much or as little as you want.
The 2012-2013 program year kicks off with an Ice Cream Social in the Lilly Gallery on September 26 so now is a good time to call Colleen Whalen at Parks and Rec (704.892.3349) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her of your interest. She will answer your questions and match you with a student.
Or if you know twins Loyce Davis and Joyce Hight, longtime Davidson residents now living at The Pines, be sure to ask them about the program. They have “adopted” students since 1999, keeping most for all four years of their Davidson career. Around Davidson found time to visit with Loyce and Joyce and meet the student coordinators of the “Adopt” program for this year. They are sophomores Jordan Siskind-Weiss and Lexy Leib. These young ladies come from New York City, love Davidson, enjoy getting to know members of the community and are eager to find additional “seniors” to fill the slots for the dozen or so students wanting to participate in this year’s program. (More information can be found in this link, PDF)
A HAPPY OLYMPICS FOR MARYLINE ROUX
Around Davidson has reported earlier on River Run resident Maryline Roux who loves to run. Born in Ivory Coast, raised in France and now living in Davidson, Maryline dreamed of representing her birth country in the recent 2012 London Olympics. Her track record is impressive with many achievements in the 400 m. events as well as 4×200 and 4×400 relays. Maryline, now 45 years old, has been training non-stop for the past four years and working tirelessly to contact the proper persons in Ivory Coast hoping to win a spot as part of the Ivory Coast delegation. Sadly politics and miscommunication got in the way and she was not named to the team but asked if she could walk with her countrymen in the Opening Ceremonies. When that request came up short, Maryline decided to go to London anyway to feel the Olympic spirit.
Finding London lodging with a contact through her husband’s work, Maryline booked a flight and was lucky enough to get Track and Field plus Velodrome tickets through a broker. Having never been in London, she took the Big Bus Tour, visited Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, mastered her “Oyster card” riding the tube, and found the Londoners very helpful and kind. Contacting the Ivory Coast Embassy, she found a welcoming group who invited her to join the country’s athletes at a dinner resulting in a one day pass to the Olympic Village and a ticket to the Closing Ceremony. What an experience! She got to experience Track and Field events, visit with athletes, and be a spectator in the beautiful and moving closing event of the Games.
As Maryline commented, she did not get to run but was able to experience the joy of the Olympics and a real closeness to the team she had wanted to be a part of. Although she hardly knew her mother, leaving Ivory Coast when she was less than one year old, Maryline always was thinking of her and the stories told about how her mother loved to run.
In reflecting on her Olympic hopes and her last minute decision to go to London anyway, Maryline writes: “I prayed so much, every day, many times a day to make it to London. I had only a month to make it happen and I felt God’s presence during my entire journey. And today I realize that sometimes things don’t exactly happen the way you would like them to. However if you have faith and if you work hard you can always count on God’s plan. So never give up!”
Could be with Maryline’s determination and perseverance, we will be hearing more about her speed on the track in future competitions!
This Friday, September 21, at 12:30 in the Tyler Tallman Hall, the 2012-2013 Musical Interlude program “kicks-off” its first recital with the trio of Tanja Bechtler (a member of the Bechtler Family Museum in Charlotte), cellist, David Russell, violinist, and Chair of the Musical Interludes Program, Cynthia Lawing at the piano. Tanja has been a cellist with the Charlotte Symphony for fifteen years and a member of the Bechtler ensemble. Violinist David Russell is Anne R. Belk Distinguished Professor of Violin at UNC Charlotte. This Musical Interlude program lasts about an hour and is free and open to the public.
Skyping with Ann Patchett
A live interactive webcast with Ann Patchett, author of ReadDavidson 2012 book “State of Wonder” will occur this Friday, September 21, at 1 p.m. in the Community School of Davidson High School at 404 Armour Street in Davidson. This is the first of the fall events concerning this fictional novel and is free and open to the public.AVANTE is Coming
Davidson United Methodist Church (DUMC) is hosting Avante, a contemporary vocal jazz group, on Saturday evening, September 22, at 7:30 p.m. The church is located at 233 South Main Street in Davidson. Tickets in advance are $20; $25 at the door. Most exciting is that a member of this a Cappella octet is Lacey Burt, who grew up in this area and had her first singing experience in the DUMC choirs. Lacey has studied with Jacque Culpepper at Davidson College, is a Meredith College grad, and is the daughter of proud parents, Lea and Robin Burt of Huntersville. More on this talented young lady in Thursday’s column but in the meantime, check out concert info at www.davidsonumc.org or Avante information at www.avantevocaljazz.com.
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Have news for Around Davidson? Write to Brenda Barger at email@example.com.