Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Randolph library’s Summer Reading continues with more heroes, more stories

ASHEBORO – “Stand Tall” and celebrate the hero in us all with Steve Somers, a.k.a The Amazing Teacher, as the Randolph County Public Library summer reading initiative, “Every Hero Has a Story,” rolls into July.

Somers, a veteran educator and children’s entertainer, will visit all seven libraries to teach young readers good character traits and engage them in  the excitement and joy of reading with amazing tricks, puppets, audience participation and humor.

He will appear at the libraries as follows:
  • Archdale: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 15 (at the Archdale Parks & Rec. Gym);
  • Asheboro: 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 15
  • Franklinville: 2 p.m. Thursday, July 23;
  • Liberty: 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 14;
  • Ramseur: 10 a.m. Thursday, July 23 (at the Ramseur Municipal Building);
  • Randleman: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 16
  • Seagrove: 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 14.
Meanwhile, there will be more stories and more heroes at all libraries throughout the month with weekly storytimes, performances and other activities. Highlights include Zelnik the Amazing Magic Man and “Snake Man” Ron Comer at the Randleman library; a Creekside Park Parade at the Archdale library in which kids are invited to decorate their trikes and wagons; a chance to “Be a Hero in Your Community” at the Asheboro library; a visit with Susie, the American Humane Society’s Top Hero Dog award winner at the Seagrove library; a super hero mask-making contest at Ramseur; a visit with fire fighters at Franklinville; a Super Hero Summer Reading Party Liberty; and much more.

Teens and ‘tweens can look forward to the 7th Annual Lego Mania competition on Friday, July 31 among the events at the Asheboro library, and join in weekly Hands-on Science activities at Randleman.

Adults (and all Andy Griffith Show fans) will want to hear “How Andy Met Opie’s Mom” with Mayberry expert Dr. Gary Freeze at the Randleman library, and join in other weekly events there as well.

Full schedules and details are available at your local library and at www.randolphlibrary.org/summer.

The Summer Reading Program is sponsored by Friends of the Randolph County Public Library with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s part of a national effort to keep children reading during the break from school; research shows that kids who read during the summer do better in school the next year.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

PEN/Hemingway writing honorees Watts, Hudson to speak in Asheboro

Stephanie Powell Watts
ASHEBORO – Two award-winning writers with local ties will share their work during a reading at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the Sara Smith Self Gallery of the Randolph Arts Guild in Asheboro.

Stephanie Powell Watts and Marjorie Hudson, who were recognized in the PEN/Hemingway First Fiction Awards in 2012, will perform a joint reading entitled “Southern Neighbors/Different Worlds.” They employ a call and response format that reveals the connections between the shifting and separate worlds of the contemporary South – rural and small town places, New South and old South cultures, Black families and Northern retirees, religion and family life.

Their appearance, sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the Randolph Arts Guild, is free and the public is invited. A reception will precede the reading.

Marjorie Hudson (photo by Brent Clark)
Watts was a PEN/Hemingway finalist for her short story collection We Are Only Talking About What We Need. She writes about African American families under stress, religious conversion and young black women in Randolph County, Raleigh and Hickory.

Hudson’s story collection, Accidental Birds of the Carolinas received an honorable mention in the awards. It tells tales of Northern newcomers and Southern old timers in central rural North Carolina, exploring themes of loss, migration, rural life and religious conversion, in language that author Doris Betts called “pure as birdsong.”

The two writers met at a reception for PEN/Hemingway honorees and discovered their North Carolina connections.

The Randolph Arts Guild is located at 123 Sunset Avenue in Asheboro. For more information about the event, call 318-6803.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Library Friends to serve up food writer John Batchelor

John Batchelor
ASHEBORO – Join the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library for a tasty talk with food and travel writer John Batchelor at 6 p.m. Monday, June 15, at the Asheboro Public Library.

His appearance is free and the public is invited.

Batchelor will discuss his latest book, Chefs of the Coast: Restaurants and Recipes from the from the North Carolina Coast, and sign copies.

He’s also author of a companion book, Chefs of the Mountains: Restaurants and Recipes from Western North Carolina.

Once known as the Gate City Gourmet in his longtime role as food critic for The Greensboro Record and the News & Record, Batchelor now writes travel articles and leads tour groups focusing on dining, historic sites and art galleries. He blogs at johnbatchelordiningandtravel.blogspot.com.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street in Asheboro. For more information, call 318-6803.

The event is part of “Escape the Ordinary,” the library’s adult Summer Reading Program. For more information about summer events at the library for adults, teens and children, visit www.randolphlibrary.org/summer.

Monday, June 1, 2015


ASHEBORO – “Every Hero Has a Story” – and you can learn about them this summer as the Randolph County Public Library’s 2015 Summer Reading Program gets underway with appearances by storyteller Kali Ferguson at all seven libraries, and 164 more storytimes, performances, hands-on activities, movies, author appearances and more for children, teens and adults.

The reading initiative runs from June 15-July 31 at the Archdale, Asheboro,  Franklinville, Liberty, Ramseur and Seagrove libraries (the Randleman library got a jump and began its program in May).

During the summer, children can sign up to track and report minutes read in return for reading rewards. Last year, 2,507 local children reported reading for a total of 912,688 minutes.

Teens and adults can get in on the act too, and keep track of their summer reading for chances to win prizes such as Kindle Fire HD tablets and gift cards from booksellers.

Schedules and complete details can be found at www.randolphlibrary.org/summer and at your local library.

Storyteller Kali Ferguson (photo by Courtney James)
For children and their families, the dynamic Ferguson will energize, educate and entertain with participatory stories, poems, dances and songs from Latin American, African American and African traditions. She will appear at the libraries as follows:
·        Archdale, 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 24;
·        Asheboro, 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 17;
·        Franklinville, 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 23;
·        Liberty, 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 16;
·        Ramseur, 2 p.m. Thursday, June 25;
·        Randleman, 2 p.m. Thursday, June 18;
·        Seagrove, 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 16.

In July, Steve Somers, a.k.a. The Amazing Teacher, will engage young readers with magic, puppets, audience participation and humor in a performance entitled “Stand Tall: Celebrating the Hero in Us All.” In between, all the libraries will offer a range of weekly storytimes, performances and other activities, from a Superhero Training Camp to Fish the Magish and “The Snake Man.”

Real life heroes – including fire fighters, law enforcement officers and armed services members – will make appearances, too. Another special guest will be therapy dog Susie, subject of the film “Susie’s Hope.”

Meanwhile, teens are invited to “Unmask” with weekly events featuring aikido, comic book illustration, conservation, hands-on science and more – along with the 7th annual Lego Mania competition.

Adults can “Escape the Ordinary” with Miss Julia author Ann B. Ross, as well as former Gate City Gourment John Batchelor, PEN/Hemingway writing award honorees Stephanie Powell Watts and Marjorie Holmes, author and centenarian John Q. Pugh, Andy Griffith Show expert Gary Freeze, and more.

The Summer Reading Program is sponsored by Friends of the Randolph County Public Library with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s part of a national effort to keep children reading during the break from school; research shows that kids who read during the summer do better in school the next year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

“Miss Julia” author Ann B. Ross to visit Asheboro

Ann B. Ross (photo by Sarah Sneeden)
ASHEBORO – Miss Julia will lay down the law as author Ann B. Ross visits Asheboro to talk about her popular series of novels and sign books at a luncheon hosted by the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library.

Tickets are on sale now for the event, which will take place at noon Saturday, June 20, at Pinewood Country Club. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased thru June 11 at the Asheboro, Archdale, Liberty and Randleman public libraries, and at the Friends of the Library Bookshop in downtown Asheboro.

Miss Julia Lays Down the Law is the most recent of 17 books featuring Miss Julia Springer, an outspoken “woman of a certain age,” and set in Ross’s hometown of Hendersonville. The previous installment, Miss Julia’s Marvelous Makeover, debuted at #10 on The New York Times Bestseller list when it was published in 2014.

The series began in 1999 with Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind, which went through six printings in the space of a year and was ranked #9 on the Independent Booksellers’ 76 most highly recommended books for that year. It also was named to the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers list, and has been translated into twelve foreign languages.

Ross, mother of two daughters and a son, enrolled at UNC-Asheville when she became an empty-nester to complete her Bachelors degree. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in English at UNC-Chapel Hill, and returned to UNC-Asheville to teach literature and humanities.

She published her first novels, two paperback mysteries, in the early 1980s, and embarked on a full-time writing career with the publication of the first Miss Julia book.

Pinewood Country Club is located at 247 Pinewood Road in Asheboro. For more information, call 318-6801.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quadcopter videographers to swoop down on Asheboro library

SkyHound takes an aerial look at the Asheboro library.
ASHEBORO – “See beyond” with quadcopter pilots and videographers Josh Hogan and Ben Harless at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 21, in and around the Asheboro Public Library.

Their visit is hosted by the TeenZone and sponsored by the Friends of the Library. It’s free and the public is invited.

Hogan and Harless operate under the name SkyHound and are using quadcopter drones to shoot aerial footage of Asheboro and surrounding communities.

Their slogan is “see beyond” because they love to give viewers a birds-eye view to help people see the “big picture.”

The pair will talk about flying quadcopters and then demonstrate them in the library parking lot.

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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fabulous Beekman Boys to bring tales of farm living to Asheboro

ASHEBORO – Downtown Asheboro’s Sunset Theatre is be the place to be at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 14, as the Fabulous Beekman Boys reflect on their agricultural adventures.

The duo, Randleman native Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, will share “10 Things We Learned from Goats, or How We Got Where We Are Today.”

Their appearance is free and the public is invited. A book signing will follow.

The couple purchased the historic 1802 Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, N.Y., in 2007, as a weekend getaway. When both lost their jobs during the recession and risked foreclosure, they set about to make the farm profitable.

They started with goats, making and marketing cheese and soap. Soon they had drawn other farmers and artisans from the area into the project, which included seasonal festivals and cookbooks, and drew major media coverage.

The Discovery Channel’s Planet Green network tracked their ups and downs in a reality series, “The Fabulous Beekman Boys,” which brought them worldwide renown. In 2012, they competed in — and won — CBS’s Amazing Race.

Ridge is a graduate of Randleman High School and UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and also holds an MBA from the New York University’s Stern School of Business. While working as a fellow in geriatric medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, he collaborated with world-famous architect I.M. Pei to design a care center for older adults, and recruited Martha Stewart as benefactor.

He later became  vice president for healthy living at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, the post he lost prior to the launch of Beekman 1802.

Kilmer-Purcell, from Albany, N.Y., is a journalist and best-selling author of six books including the memoirs I am Not Myself These Days, and The Bucolic Plague, about the Beekman experience. He grew up in Wisconsin and holds a degree in English literature from Michigan State University.

The Beekman Boys’ appearance is the last event of the 2015 Sunset Cultural Series and is sponsored by the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library as part of the group’s annual meeting. Reserved seating is available for Friends members until 10 minutes before start time.

The Sunset Theatre is located at 234 Sunset Avenue. Call 318-6814 for further information.