People & Places Sunday, Nov. 15

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 15, 2015

Rockwell High School Class of 1945


The 1945 graduating class of Rockwell High School celebrated its 70th class reunion on Oct. 16 at Blue Bay in Salisbury. Eleven members and six guests attended. Jake Setzer (treasurer) entertained us with amusing memories of our ast. A cake decorated in our school colors of blue and gold was served. our president, Sarah Cornelius, gave each member a hand painted glass commemorating the occasion. It was decided to meet again in Octover of 2016 at the same location. Pictures were made and all left after an enjoyable afternoon.

Members: Sarah Cornelius, Jake Setzer, John Yelton, Gertrude Sigmon, Glenn Ray Holshouser, Jennie Barrier, Mary Deal, Betty Wyatt, Rose Swicegood, Thelma Odom, Brownie Stirewalt.

Guests: Harry Stone, Patsy Yelton, Rose Holshouser, Charles Odom, Susan Giessler, Steffi Sides.

Granite Quarry Civitan is 70 and Claude is 104


It may be a record of some sorts; at the very least, it should be noteworthy.

On Nov. 5, the Granite Quarry Civitan Club celebrated its 70th anniversary and the birthday of a charter member Claude Lyerly, who was 104 the day before. In case you’re wondering, yes, Claude was there, smiling and joking as usual.

His wife of 75 years, Pauline Cauble Lyerly, shared in the adulation of her husband, often patting him on the shoulders. Pauline’s father told her that she couldn’t get married until she was 19, so Claude and Pauline married the day after she turned 19. Pictures shared on the big screen Thursday night showed a formal wedding at Christiana Lutheran Church.

In attendance Thursday night were Claude and Pauline’s three sons, Brantley, David and Donald, who gave humorous “toasts and roasts” to their father.

The couple had been married five years when community-minded men in Granite Quarry decided to organize a Civitan Club. As Claude tells it, “They wanted every man in Granite Quarry to join, and 54 did so.” Given the size of the town in 1945, that had to be a sizeable percentage of the menfolk. At that time, it was the largest Civitan Club ever to be chartered.

The Civitans went to work making the general Granite Quarry community a better place to live. Some big projects over the years were recounted Thursday night: construction of a Scout hut, Staton baseball field, Easter Monday parade and festival, Granite Civic Park, town entrance signs, and, most recently, the renovation of the Legion Building for use as a community center.

The club sponsors Junior Civitan Clubs at East Rowan High School and Rowan Early College.

In addition to the local projects, the Civitans have assisted with Special Olympics, the Civitan Cottage at Boys and Girls Home, the Civitan Cottage at Victory Junction, the Civitan Research Center in Birmingham and hundreds of others.

Thursday’s celebration included videos of the Lyerly family and the club’s 70 years. Past President of Civitan International, Horace Davis of Gardner, was keynote speaker. Lanny Merrell, president of Granite Quarry Civitan, presided.

October Kneeling Gardeners


KANNAPOLIS — The Kneeling Gardeners met on Oct. 26 at Trinity United Methodist Church for the monthly meeting. President Chris Wielandt presided and chaplain Jan Query led devotions. Our guest speaker had taken ill and was hospitalized, but Earl Gray volunteered to speak on fragrant plants and winter blooms.

Earl Gray is one of the founders of the Kneeling Gardeners organization some 14 years ago. He has a love for plants and maintains a beautiful home and landscaped garden. Earl likes something for every season, but blooms are his favorite — the fragrance of flowers are important. With no formal training, Earl has educated himself through reading and studying about flowers and shrubs, but sometimes his method is just plain trial and error.

Tonight he taught us about witch hazel, camellias, winter iris, winterberry, where the leaves fall and the berries stay. You have to have a pair of shrubs, male and female for them to thrive.

We learned about arum (wild calla) which looks like an elephant ear. If we plant it beside the hostas, when the hostas die back arum will thrive. Breath of spring is a vertical honeysuckle and is the first to bloom in spring. Daphne has a spicy smell, and flowering quince can be brought inside and placed in water and forced to bloom. Cast iron plant is expensive to purchase but loves the shade, tea olive has a sweet clean smell, mondo grass is a slow grower and a good filler, heather has small delicate purple blooms, ornamental cabbage usually holds up to winter weather and Helleborus (Lenten rose) may be cut off at the ground and move the mulch out to allow the seeds to fall and pollinate. Most of these plants were on display and they were all from Earl Gray’s Garden.

Refreshments were provided by Arlene Clark, Janelle Murray, Jan Query and Kay Smith. The speaker for the November meeting will be Alice Moody on holiday décor. Anyone interested in gardening is invited to attend.

November Woman’s Club

Connie Connolly, a former missionary in Zimbabwe, shared African experiences at the November Woman’s Club meeting. She has written a book, An Unlikely Missionary, describing the five years she and her husband spent in Africa. She began her presentation with a song composed of reasons she would not make a good missionary in Africa. Ann Bingham, chaplain, prepared devotions using stories of gratitude.

Angelia Bates, president, presided at the brief business session. Hostesses Barbara Lloyd and Kathy Kruckel prepared colorful arrangements of fall flowers used on the tables and given to the members. Trinity Oaks catered the luncheon for members and guests.

November Rowan Redbuds

The Rowan Redbuds Garden Club will meet on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. in the Stanback Room of Rowan Public Library, 201 W. Fisher St. With questions, call president Kim Fahs at 704-754-8905.

Freedom Fund Banquet

The 21st annual Rowan NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet is at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, with the keynote address by Michelle Laws. Held at Livingstone College School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, 530 Jake ALexander Blvd. Tickets are $50 at 704-798-3498, 704-314-5997 or at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m.

SHS to host ’70s and ’80s Christmas Party

The Salisbury High School classes of the ’70s and ’80s will host a night of ’70s and ’80s and today’s best dance music on Saturday, Dec. 26, from 7-11 p.m., at the King Tut Cafe and Hookah Lounge​, 220 N. Lee St.

The evening starts with a complimentary cocktail, followed by a buffet dinner and then singing and dancing the night away. Tickets are $15. Email “Reserve” with names and number of tickets to

This is also a party with a purpose. Bring gifts for male residents of the Veterans Home, such as men’s socks, slippers, robes, music CDs, electric or disposable razors, belts and grooming products.

Popular artist gets ready to retire

WELCOME — Artist Dempsey Essick announces that due to the beck and call of his six grandchildren he is retiring.

“I am sad and happy at the same time, “ Essick shared, ‘ to leave the many friends and customers that I have come to love but there are some little people in my life who need me more.” Essick and wife, Shelley, announce the arrival of their 6th grandchild.

A major influence in the decision to retire was the sudden death of long time friend and fine art printer, Tom Hall.

Essick’s first blue ribbon in art was received in first grade at Welcome Elementary School and his first One Man Show was at the North Davidson Library in 1971 when as a junior at NDSH, he painted life size murals in the children’s story hour room.

As this is the last holiday season at Dempsey’s Place, the Essick’s invite the public to stop by and allow Dempsey the opportunity to express his thanks for the many years of support. Future plans are to sell the building once the inventory, props and furniture are depleted. For more information, call 336-731-3499.

Big Band Bash to celebrate Sinatra 

On Jan. 9, 2016, the Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society, Inc. will present its 15th Big Band Bash, chaired by Andrea Anders and Michael Bitzer. Popular aspects remain the same, such as the sit-down concert in Hedrick Auditorium that begins the evening and the dinner and dancing that follow in the Crystal Ballroom. David Hagy’s big band will again provide the music, and several suave crooners will vie to conjure up Frank’s unforgettable sound.

New this year, we are kicking off a bit earlier in the evening — 6:30 p.m. — to leave more time for dinner and dancing to the tunes of Frank Sinatra.

This year ticket holders are offered free dance lessons by Diana Moghrabi in advance of the event.

Finally, new this year: attendees will have the opportunity to support the Symphony while having a chance to win an all-expenses-paid Frank Sinatra-style weekend in New York City, courtesy of Charles and Rachel Oestreicher Bernheim. For tickets and information, visit or call 704-637-4314.

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