Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Asheboro Sunset lecture series featuring embedded journalist Kevin Maurer rescheduled to October 5

Kevin Maurer

ASHEBORO – A talk by journalist Kevin Maurer, who co-wrote the bestselling book No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Laden with a Navy SEAL who confronted bin Laden, has been rescheduled to 7 p.m. Friday, October 5, at downtown Asheboro’s Sunset Theatre.

Maurer will talk about his experiences with the book and as an embedded journalist with U.S. troops around the world in the concluding talk of the 2018 Friends of the Library Sunset Signature Series.

Maurer’s appearance is free and the public is invited. The series is sponsored by the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the City of Asheboro and the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library.

The format of the talk will be a conversation between Maurer and Mike Adams of Asheboro. Adams was editor of The Fayetteville Observer in 2003 when he hired Maurer to cover the newspaper’s military beat.

Shortly after joining the Observer, Maurer followed the 82nd Airborne Division during the initial invasion of Iraq. He returned to cover the soldiers more than a dozen times, most recently in 2010 when he spent 10 weeks with a Special Forces team in Afghanistan. He has also embedded with American soldiers in east Africa and Haiti.

No Easy Day, written with SEAL Mark Owen (a pen-name for Matt Bissionnette), spent several weeks atop the New York Times Best Seller List and became the bestselling hardback book of the year.

Owen and Maurer followed No Easy Day with No Hero: The Evolution of a Navy Seal in 2014, a New York Times bestseller. Last year, Maurer co-authored American Radical: Inside the World of An Undercover Muslim FBI Agent with Tamer Elnoury, which also landed on the bestseller list.

Other books he has co-authored include Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds with Rusty Bradley; No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan with Pulitzer Prize winner Mitch Weiss; and Hunting Che: How A U.S. Special Forces Team Helped Capture the World’s Most Famous Revolutionary, also with Weiss.

Based in Wilmington, Maurer is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., and a graduate of Old Dominion University.

Maurer’s appearance was postponed from an earlier date due to Hurricane Florence.

The Sunset Theatre is located at 234 Sunset Avenue. For further information, call 800-626-2672.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Unique theatrical presentation to honor Randolph County’s WWI Company K on battle anniversary

ASHEBORO – The sacrifice and heroism of soldiers from Randolph County in World War I will be on display in a one-time dramatic presentation on the 100th anniversary of the decisive battle in which they played a leading role.

“Company K: From Asheboro to the Fields of France,” by Asheboro-born poet and playwright Barbara Presnell, will tell the story of the local soldiers – and their loved ones on the home front – at 8 p.m. Saturday, September 29 at downtown Asheboro’s Sunset Theatre. It is being staged by RhinoLeap Productions, the non-profit professional theatre company based in Asheboro.

The play, sponsored by the City of Asheboro in association with RhinoLeap and the Randolph County Public Library, is free and the public is invited. A discussion with members of the cast and crew, and County History Librarian Mac Whatley, will follow the show.

Company K was raised in Asheboro in 1911 as the local unit of the State Militia, a forerunner of the National Guard. The unit was called up for service in the U.S. Army in World War I and sent to France.

Barbara Presnell
There, the local troops were in the vanguard of an Allied attack on September 29, 1918, near the village of Bellicourt, that broke the German Hindenburg Line defensive position and hastened the end of the war. The unit sustained over 60 percent casualties, with 27 young men killed.

The play draws on firsthand documents and accounts, especially letters home from Company K soldiers – with recognizable Randolph County names like Dixon, Bunting, Luck, Gatlin, Kivett, Bulla, Burgess, McDowell and others – that routinely were reprinted Asheboro’s newspaper, The Courier. Featuring music from the period performed live, it focuses not only on the soldiers but on those at home awaiting their return, as well as the often-overlooked contribution to the war effort of women and African Americans.

Rhinoleap Artistic Director Jeremy Skidmore is directing the production, in which a small team of professional actors who hail from around the United States and Canada take on multiple roles. The cast includes James Alton, Chance Carroll, Isaac Klein, Patrick Osteen, Scott Thomas and Dayna Tietzen. Music will be performed by Mark Dillon and Christen Blanton.

The crew includes Dorothy Austin-Harrell, costume designer; Noah Trimmer, lighting designer; Tara Raczenski, stage manager; Dillon, musical director; and Whatley, dramaturg.

RhinoLeap was founded in 2017 by Dr. Tom Osteen and his son Patrick, a graduate of UNC School of the Arts, to present professional theatrical productions in Asheboro that then tour to towns across the state, and to provide educational residencies that bring North Carolina high school students into direct contact with experienced working artists.

Presnell, an award-winning writer who now lives in Lexington, has penned four books of poetry. Her most recent book, Blue Star, considers on the impact of war on her family from the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan, and includes poems related to her grandfather, who was a member of Company K.

Another of her books, Piece Work, was about her father’s experience in the textile mills of Asheboro from their heyday to their decline in recent years. Piece Work was developed into a play by the Touring Theatre of North Carolina, and was performed around the state for several years.

The Sunset Theater is located at 234 Sunset Avenue. For further information, call 336-318-6803.


Monday, September 10, 2018

Asheboro Sunset Series event with journalist Kevin Maurer postponed


ASHEBORO – The Friends of the Library Sunset Signature Series event featuring Kevin Maurer, scheduled for Thursday evening, September 13, has been postponed due to Hurricane Florence.

Maurer and his family live in Wilmington.

The talk by Maurer was the final 2018 installment of the Sunset series, which is sponsored by the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the City of Asheboro and the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library.

It will be rescheduled and a new date announced shortly.

Maurer was embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, east Africa and Haiti. In 2012, he co-authored the bestselling book No Easy Day with Mark Owen, a Navy SEAL who was present when Osama bin-Laden was killed.

For further information, call 800-626-2672.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Learn about Randolph Room historical, genealogical resources in Asheboro library class


ASHEBORO – Learn about a treasure trove of local history and genealogy in “What’s in the Randolph Room?”, a class with librarian and genealogist Ann Palmer from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday, September 20 at the Asheboro Public Library.

The class will begin in the meeting room of the library, where Palmer will discuss highlights of the collection and recent improvements. A tour of the room will follow, with time available for research.

The class is free and the public is invited.

The Asheboro library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6815.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Grandon, Willett to discuss ‘Seed Saving’ in Asheboro library talk


ASHEBORO – Learn tricks and tips for saving seeds from your garden in “Seed Saving” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, September 17, at the Asheboro Public Library.

Focusing on flowers, herbs and vegetables, Ben Grandon of Randolph County Cooperative Extension and Master Gardener Vernece Willett will talk about starting a seed collection, and how saving seeds can also save on next year’s gardening budget.

The talk is free and the public is invited.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Holocaust survivor Dr. Zev Harel to share experiences in Asheboro library talk

Dr. Zev Harel (photo by Corey Weller,
courtesy of Elon News Network
ASHEBORO – A survivor of three Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz, Dr. Zev Harel will reflect on his experiences in a talk at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, September 27, at the Asheboro library.

His appearance is free and the public is invited.

Harel was 15 when he was liberated by U.S. troops at the Ebensee concentration camp in Austria.  He had experienced deportation to a ghetto, transport to Auschwitz in railroad cattle cars, separation from his family there, and forced labor at Ebensee.

A professor emeritus in the School of Social Work at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio,  Harel has been a public speaker about the Holocaust for the past 40 years, seeking to honor the memories and legacies of the Holocaust and reflect on its meaning.

After his release, Harel assisted with the immigration of Holocaust survivors to Palestine. He served in the Jewish defense forces and later in the Israeli military after the country was established by the United Nations in 1948.

He was educated in Israel and the United States, and earned a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He and his wife retired to Greensboro, where one of their daughters resides.

Harel’s appearance is sponsored by the North Carolina Holocaust Council.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Randolph library Friends to host novelist Wiley Cash

Wiley Cash -- photo by
Mallory Brady Cash
ASHEBORO – Tickets are on sale now for a talk by New York Times bestselling author Wiley Cash during a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 25, at Pinewood Country Club, sponsored by the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Asheboro Public Library, 201 Worth Street. The ticket price covers the cost of lunch.

Cash, who lives in Wilmington, will talk about his most recent novel, The Last Ballad, which focuses on heroic women and men of the labor movement in the textile mills of Gastonia during the early 20th century who risked their lives to secure basic rights for workers.

Cash’s first novel, A Land More Kind Than Home, became a bestseller. It was named a New York Ties Notable Book of the Year and received multiple awards, including the Southern Independent Booksellers Book Award.

A North Carolina native, Cash is writer in residence at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, and has held residency positions at Yaddo (an artists’ retreat in New York) and the McDowell Colony in New Hampshire.