June 2012

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Music Notes

Growing up with a father who played fiddle and who had the patience to even make fiddles, that instrument holds a special appeal to me. I love that common expression, “The violin sings, but the fiddle dances.”

Jim Ainsworth Publishes 'Go Down Looking'

Pre-release copies of Jim Ainsworth’s fifth novel, Go Down Looking, are now available from Tate Publishing and at www.jimainsworth.com. The book will be officially released to Amazon and other online and traditional bookstores June 12.

House is Round Shows Kids to Protect Earth

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Kids may know what these words mean, but do they understand why they’re important? Our House Is Round: A Kid’s Book About Why Protecting the Earth Matters, a new environmental picture book, answers the question by explaining pollution, climate change, energy conservation, and natural resources in engaging, child-friendly ways. It’s written by Yolanda Kondonassis, the internationally acclaimed, Grammy-nominated harpist, and founder and director of Earth at Heart, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing earth awareness through the arts.

Picture Book is About Girl with Hearing Loss

According to the March of Dimes, about 12,000 babies with hearing loss are born in the U.S. each year, making it one of the most common birth defects. Kids can also lose their hearing due to childhood illnesses. Wendy Kupfer’s new picture book, Let’s Hear It For Almigal (Handfinger Press, April), is the story of a happy little girl who feels unlucky because she can’t hear everything she wants to hear. Endearing, lighthearted and informative, the book can be enjoyed by children with and without hearing loss.

Tire Barn in Tyler is a Family Business

Kelsey and Clay Lemmert take pride in offering quality products and fairly-priced service.

Live Music Grant Program Funds Free Concerts

The Texas Music Office, a division of the Office of the Governor, announced recently the creation of the Live Music Grant Program, which will fund free, live-music concerts across the state. The program is made possible by a settlement from the Compact Disc Minimum Advertised Price Antitrust litigation and does not utilize taxpayer dollars.

Champion Fiddler and blacktopGYPSY Performer Enjoys Her Career

Heather Stalling is one of the principals, along with Andie Kay Joyner, of the popular, eclectic blacktopGYPSY band. Her family moved to Bullard, when she was in sixth grade, where she maintains a home with husband and singer-songwriter Max Stalling. She got her first fiddle when she was four, and won so many competitions that, Max joked, that contest officials said she couldn’t enter anymore. She began playing professionally at age 14 and moved to Branson, Missouri, to play for two years.

Bob Dodd Helps Young Musicians Care for Brass and Woodwinds

After a career on the road with some of the biggest names in music, Bob Dodd finds his reward in helping young musicians find their own futures.

Kilgore Prepares for 27th Season of the Texas Shakespeare Festival

East Texans can delight in not five, but six, plays in the comfort of the Van Cliburn Auditorium at Kilgore College with the 27th season of the Texas Shakespeare Festival beginning June 28.

TRAHC Shows Student Juried Exhibition

Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanities Council presents the Annual Student Juried Exhibition through June 16 at the Regional Arts Center in downtown Texarkana. The Student Juried Exhibition has been a part of TRAHC’s regional art shows for more than 20 years and features art from middle and high school students. This year’s show is sponsored by Stanhope’s Art, Framing and Stationery.

Sherri Martin Turns Thown-Away Objects into Works of Art

If Sherri Martin can find it, she can turn it into art. She calls it repurposing, which is a modern term for something just about everybody used to do: find a new use for something old. It begins, for Sherri, with found objects, which she usually finds at flea markets, garage sales, or estate sales that she believes she can turn into something else. “They are things that — from an artist’s point of view — you can usually repurpose into something else: an animal, person, robot, collage, or whatever strikes your fancy,” said Sherri, who, with her husband, Randy Martin, operates Flying Fish Gallery in Ben Wheeler.

Bronze Sculpture at Cedar Creek Lake

“Breezy” by Jo Saylors is one of the beautiful bronze sculptures that was part of the recent Sculpture Gardens & Art Tour of the Upper East Side of Texas

Tour Guides Add Boat at Lake Ray Hubbard

Local sailors and entrepreneurs Scott and Jan Self have carried more than 40,000 people across Lake Ray Hubbard for sightseeing, parties, and other events in their sailboat, the Seawolf, from April through October each year. That success led them to build another vessel with heating and air conditioning that will operate year round.

Feeling Good For A Lifetime

It is hard for someone who’s 20 or younger to think about how they are going to feel 30 or 40 or years down the line, but it’s wise to begin seeing the big picture at an early age. That being said as the best scenario, it is also never too late for anyone to begin living healthier at any age.

Pet Ownership Requires a Lifetime of Commitment and Responsibility

Being a responsible pet owner is more than just providing adequate water, food and shelter for your pet. Domestic pets are completely dependent on their owners for their welfare.

Let's Build An Outdoor Shower

Once upon a time, outdoor showers used to be reserved for those with large, sprawling backyard pools. Not anymore! Outdoor showers are starting to become a common item for anyone with a backyard, imagination, and extended summer weather.

Local Gardens Provide Fresh Ingredients

One of the benefits of local produce is that the buyer knows how long it’s been in a warehouse or on a shelf, and that’s not long.

Villa Montez in Tyler

Appearances can be deceiving; oftentimes, this is a good thing. And in the case of Villa Montez, one of Tyler’s surprisingly unsung “Cocina Latina” food establishments, it has never been more true.

Liangs, in Tyler, Restaurant Review

The smell of rich hosin sauce and sesame, the comforting warmth of hot green tea, the snap of fresh steamed broccoli and the nutty salt of the soy fried rice — this is a combination of my favorite meal and the home that houses it. I have been a long time customer of Liang’s Chinese restaurant in Tyler and utterly shocked when I realized I have not entered it into County Line for a dining review for the past three years.

Geezer Voice, Geezer Walk

You get to my age and you start worrying about decrepitude. That’s not the same as getting older—which is inevitable, and it’s not the same as looking older, which in spite of Ginger Roger’s best efforts, is also inevitable.

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

“What if the world’s worst serial killer was your dad?” I am not going to lie the tag line for this book is what hooked me at first sight and I immediately downloaded the first ten chapters free on my Nook. This new series by teen author Barry Lyga is called the Jasper Dent series and I Hunt Killers surpasses the teen genre to hook any reader of mystery.

The Power Makers

Having recently become interested in the Industrial Revolution and the development of infrastructure in America, I came across Maury Klein’s The Power Makers: Steam, Electricity and the Men Who Invented Modern America. Trying to avoid any obvious metaphors for lights coming on in my head, I will say that this remarkable piece of research definitely made me think of the power running our everyday lives in an entirely new way.

Library, Other Groups Donate Books to Troops

The Longview Public Library partnered with the Thrifty Peanut Book and Media Warehouse in Louisiana and the Soldier’s Angels project to donate hundreds of books to troops stationed around the world

Best of the Upper East Side of Texas 2011

Don Williams to Perform for Threadgill Series

The legendary “gentle giant” and Country Music Hall of Fame crooner Don Williams performs at Greenville Municipal Auditorium on June 19 with special guests Max Stalling and Matt Hillyer, who is known as the lead singer for Eleven Hundred Springs. He releases his new CD, And So It Goes, the same day, his first studio album in eight years.

Jefferson Theater Awards Scholarship

Jefferson’s community theater group, the Opera House Theatre Players, has awarded its annual $250 scholarship to Kylee Paige Parker, a graduating senior at Elysian Fields High School.

Houston County Celebrates 175th Anniversary in June

Houston County, the oldest county in Texas, is celebrating its 175th anniversary with multiple activities happening over several weeks in June.

Longview Art Museum Shares 'Peanuts at Bat'

“Peanuts at Bat,” a review of comic strips from the 1950s-70s of the Peanuts Gang during their summer baseball seasons,” is on display at the Longview Museum of Art through June 30. It comes from the Charles M. Schulz Museum.

Farmers' Markets in East Texas

In Texas, what is as authentic as the Alamo, unique as the mockingbird, and identifiable as an armadillo? It’s the tradition of public markets where farmers and consumers come together in a way that has shaped local cultural heritage since the days of the Republic. The Upper East Side of Texas is celebrated with hundreds of public markets.

Ray Price, Country Boy Life in East Texas

At the age of 86, country music legend Ray Price still spends a lot of time on the road going to a seemingly endless series of gigs and then home again to the Northeast Texas farm where he’s learned to slow down — just a bit — and to pay real attention to the “country boy” life.

2012 Summer Fun Guide

Make this a smart, fun summer. Not the lazy, hazy daze but the amazing days that are good for, often at the same time, both the brain and the body by exploring the many selves — the self and others — and the environment. Discover the whole of the Upper East Side of Texas.
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