Friday, August 29, 2014

Matthews Alive!

    Though it was called the Stumptown Festival when I took my kids in the '80s only the name has changed. This popular Labor Day weekend tradition has raised over a million dollars for local causes since its inception. See you there this weekend!

'Matthews residents and visitors crowd the sidewalk during the second annual Stumptown Festival Saturday.'
1977. Staff

'Cheerleaders for the Mint Hill Bandits (a junior football team) yell their way down N. Trade Street as thousands watch in the downtown business area.'
1985. Don Sturkey/Staff

'Joseph Hancock, 16 months, of Mint Hill, is enthralled with his feet at his first parade.'
1985. Don Sturkey/Staff

'A Hunk of Skunk: Kelly Samuel, 5, holds a skunk while his brother Kevin, 3, gets in a few pleasing pets. The brothers were visiting the North Lawn Zoo of miniature and exotic animals at the Matthews Stumptown Festival.'
1985. Don Sturkey/Staff

'Crowds of people gather around the attractions at Matthews Alive.'
1993. Staff

'Merry in Matthews: Cindy Satink of Matthews helps her son, Kevin, 2, on the merry-go-round at the Matthews Alive! festival in downtown Matthews on Saturday afternoon. '
1995.  Diedra Laird/staff

'Matthews mayor Lee Myers waves to the crowds during the Matthews Alive! Festival.'
1999. Staff

'Megan Cavanaugh, 7, of Matthews enjoys one of the several carnival rides.
2007. Robert Lahser/Staff

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spirit Square: 'A bold new beginning'

    Entertainer Joel Grey opened Spirit Square's new Performance Place on April 16, 1980. 

Scroll down for photos of the restoration and an editorial.

'View from pulpit of First Baptist Church sanctuary.'
1930s. Courtesy of Warren J. Redd

An editorial by Tom Bradbury, former Observer Associate Editor
April 16, 1980

    Spirit Square is one of the very nicest things Charlotte-Mecklenburg has done for itself in a long time.
    It was the vehicle for preserving the old First Baptist Church, a handsome Romanesque structure that is an important link with the rapidly vanishing past of Charlotte's downtown.
   The $4 million project has involved the community's public and private sectors, its citizens, businesses and government in an impressive example of cooperative endeavor.
   Along with Discovery Place, it will be an anchor and a focal point for the North Tryon Street end of the revitalized downtown. It is a project that will bring people and activity at all hours, which will in turn attract new private investment.
   Perhaps most important, it is the occasion and the stimulus for a breathtaking expansion of artistic and cultural activity. That is visible in the rush of talent across the stage on NCNB Performance Place in the eight-week grand opening season that begins today. It is visible in the flowering of local activity and instruction already under way.
   It is a bold and sparkling venture. It is not yet finished physically or artistically. But today's celebration and the opening of NCNB's Performance Place mark the realization of a major part of the dream that voters endorsed in the bond issue three years ago.

Do you think Tom was right that Spirit Square would be an 'anchor' to enliven North Tryon Street?

'What do you get at a groundbreaking with no ground? For ceremonies marking the beginning of a $2.5 million renovation at Spirit Square, dirt was carried from Discovery Place, across North Tryon Street from the community arts center. The building, built in 1908, was vacated by the old First Baptist Church in 1972 and acquired by Mecklenburg County in 1977. The bond-financed project will include renovation of the building's 650-seat auditorium, rehearsal hall and an adjoining mall.'
December 1978. Phil Drake/Staff

'David Edsel, a carpenter with R.H. Wheatley Co., saws a board which will become part of the staircase descending from the sanctuary balcony at Spirit Square.'
January, 1979. Staff

'Thomas C. Watson (left) and Dan G. Partis of Queen City Automatic Sprinkler Corp. survey the inside of Spirit Square sanctuary.'
Febuary, 1979. Staff

'Jeff Whitten takes a breather from the electrical work he was doing to transform the old First Baptist Church on North Tryon and Seventh Streets into a theater and rehearsal hall for the Spirit Square arts complex.'
August, 1979. Tom Franklin/Staff

'Visitors to Spirit Square still have to wear hard hats while construction workers finish the mortar work on the dome.
November, 1979. Bob Brown/Staff

'This stained glass shown from inside is in the front corner of Spirit Square's Performance Place. The finished hall will have back lighting to make the stained glass visible from the inside.'
November,1979. Bob Brown/Staff

Spirit Square dedication, April, 1980.  
Mark Sluder/Staff

The renovated Spirit Square arts center.

A more recent photo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

American Legion through the years

Take a look at a past American Legion convention in Charlotte and other local doings!

'Legion Convention: Well-decorated members of the American Legion listen as Gov. Jim Hunt addressed the group's annual state convention at the Sheraton in Charlotte. Hunt drew the biggest round of applause when he told conventiongoers: 'I believe that the people in Washington, D.C., can find some way to cut without cutting the veterans' program in this nation.' About 900 members from 127 state posts are attending the convention.'
June, 1983. Fred Wilson/Staff

'North Carolina American Legionaires listen to NC governor Jim Hunt at their convention at the Sheraton Hotel.'
June, 1983. Staff

'Ivan Sweatt, 78, was honored by American Legion Post 337 in Pineville for his 60 years of continuous membership in the Legion. Sweatt joined the organization as a bugler with Battery E of the 111th Field Artillery in France in 1919. Two members of his WWII unit, Claude Allen or Chester, Pa., and George Martin of Danville, Va., attended the meeting.'
1978. Staff

'Veteran Barbecue Servers, Eaters: S.H. Porter dishes up a helping of barbecue during American Legion Post 262's barbecue, held recently at the post on Donald Ross Road.'
April 1, 1987. Tom Franklin/Staff

'89-year-old Howard Johnson, Post 262's last surviving World War I veteran, enjoys his barbecue-with-all-the-trimmings lunch.'
April 1, 1987. Tom Franklin/Staff

'Raising flag at Unionville American Legion Post.'
1981. Chuck Burton/Staff

'No, J.J. Collins isn't taking aim at the clouds. He was just enjoying one of the nice spring days Charlotte is famous for. Mr. Collins found himself a seat in front of the American Legion Post on West Boulevard near the airport. And there he sat, waiting to play bingo.'
1982. Davie Hinshaw/Staff

Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to school shopping, 1960

Lunch kits, dungarees and new school shoes

 I hope you enjoy these ads from the Observer and the News, August, 1960!

    Captain Windy and his 'gorgeous parrot Rita' visit Sedgefield Shoes!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Yard work. Some things never change.

Unless you have a lawn service (lucky!) yard work is a part of having a home.

I try the mow my grass after work on Fridays so it's done...

'The Lawn Ranger: Sparky the dog supervises from behind the fence as his master, Rick Combs, mows the grass at their Dickens Avenue home.'
1984. Wes Bobbitt/Staff

'Hot Weather Work: Springtime may bring warm weather, but it also brings warm-weather chores. William Ashford takes care of one of those chores by trimming the hedge next to his home on 4th Street recently.'
1985. Nancy Andrews/Staff

'There's no point in making something more work than necessary. At least that seems to be the philosophy of Nell Sherer. She's watering her yard on Eden Terrace in Rock Hill, but she pulled up a chair so she would be more comfortable.'
1981. Diedra Laird/Staff

'Yard Work: Annemarie Li works in Cherokee Road yard as her 2-month-old daughter, Madison, snoozes.'
1985. Tom Franklin/Staff

'Learning Early: Periwinkle and other flowers go into the ground in the front yard as Dorothy Parks shows grand daughter Carrey Parks how to make new plants feel at home. The earth work is going on at Parks's home on Benton Street in Monroe.'
1983. Cathy Ciucevich/Staff

'Brett Christian adds some pleasure to his job by listening to music on headphones while using a hose to clean off a sidewalk at the Reddman Pier Apartments in east Charlotte.'
1982. Art Gentile/Staff

'Alton Goss works in flower bed.'
1981. Tom Franklin/Staff

'Teamwork: Elizabeth Lee, 9, and James Allen Lee, 6, do a little yard work at their Monroe home recently.'
1982. Cathy Ciucevich/Staff

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

317 E. Morehead Street

American Dry Cleaners vacated their East Morehead Street location in 1984 to make way for I-277. 

    They are still in business, though, on N. Graham Street. Look for the gigantic American flag!

'Making Room For The Road: American Dry Cleaners and Laundry is one of many businesses displaced by construction of I-277.' March, 1983. Fred Wilson/Staff

'Sign in front of American Dry Cleaners.'
January, 1984. Milton Hinnant/Staff

'Lisa Smith waits on last customer, Robert Berton.'
January, 1984. Davie Hinshaw/Staff

'Bill Linney disassembles equipment at American Dry Cleaners. 
This equipment was sold to B-Kleen Cleaners.'
January, 1984. 

'American Dry Cleaners at 317 E. Morehead Street.'
Fred Wilson/Staff

'David Allen (right) and his employees of American Dry Cleaners.'
December, 1983. Don Hunter/Staff

'Blue Bricks Falling: Demolition of the American Dry Cleaners building on E. Morehead St. began Wednesday, clearing one of the last obstacles to construction of the I-277 downtown loop. Anyone with a soft spot for the building can buy one of its blue bricks next week at Machine Gun Kelly's, a nightclub across the street at 300 E. Morehead St. Patrons can buy club admission and a brick for $1, which will assist victims of the March 28 tornadoes.'
April 12, 1984. Fred Wilson/Staff