Up & Coming Weekly

April 16, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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4 UCW APRIL 17-23, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ EDITOR Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly. com ASSISTANT EDITOR Leslie Pyo leslie@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. EarlUCWSports@gmail.com REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Long art@upandcomingweekly.com SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR Kimberly Herndon kim@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/ SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.G. Martin, Pitt Dickey, Margaret Dickson, Karl Merritt, John Hood, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Prudence Mainor ––––––––––– Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan St. P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: (910) 484-6200 FAX: (910) 484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the pub- lisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. © 2019 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Various ads with art graphics designed with elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. Celebrating a rock 'n' roll icon by BILL BOWMAN PUBLISHER'S PEN Last Saturday was a big day here in Fayetteville, and spring means even bigger and better days are on the horizon. is month, this town is bursting with fun-filled days of carriage rides, music, great food, minor league baseball, Easter eggs, visual arts, local crafts, motor- cycle rides, Dogwood queens, hockey games, river concerts, symphony concerts and even live theater performances featuring a Lion, a Witch or a Devil's food CAKE. e warmth and friendli- ness of this community and the Southern hospitality it radiates make me proud to call Fayetteville and Cumberland County home. e best way to experience it is to get out and immerse yourself in it. Last Saturday, April 13, more than 2,500 people came down- town to get their first look at the city's new baseball stadium and home of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, our Class A minor league team affiliate of the Houston Astros. Based on the comments and the smiles and laughter of the young and young at heart, this event was a major league home run. Con- gratulations to our city officials and the dozens of people who made the day happen. e AsONE Prayer Walk and festivities took place in Festival Park that same day. ere, too, music, food and fun were the order of the day as this annual pre-Easter event reminded us that love, empathy and compassion continue to play a vital role in humanity. Across the street from Festival Park, at Gallery 208, Up & Coming Weekly hosted an event of a different nature. e Crown Coliseum board was gracious enough to let us borrow the commemorative photos and plaques documenting Elvis Presley's visit to Fayetteville in August 1976, when he performed for three nights in a row at Cumberland Memorial Auditorium. ese mementos also honored him after his death on Aug. 16, 1977, just nine days before he was to return to Fayetteville to a sold-out concert scheduled for Aug. 25. Dozens upon dozens of disappointed, shocked and saddened Elvis fans donated their ticket refunds in his honor to purchase special medical equipment to aid cardiac patients at Cape Fear Valley Hospital. e names of all those dedicated and generous Presley fans are on those plaques. ose mementos are very important to our community, and they went missing around 2008 when the complex was under- going major renovations. PWC employee and devoted Presley fan Phil Barnard realized they were no longer displayed in the auditorium. He posed the "what happened to them?" question to longtime Fayetteville Observer columnist Bill Kirby, who made it his quest to find the answer. After talking with several people familiar with the history of the facility, Kirby contacted former Coliseum Manager Paul Beard, who at the time of the Presley con- cert was the facility manager of the complex under General Manager Rick Reno. Beard is a Fayetteville resident and cur- rently the general manager of the Florence Civic Center in Florence, South Carolina. Beard not only knew where they were — he had preserved them and placed them in storage for nearly 11 years. Beard knew these Presley mementos represented one of the greatest enter- tainment performances ever held in Fayetteville, and he didn't want to risk them being dis- carded as trash or destroyed. It was more than a decade before anyone even knew they were gone. Both Kirby and Beard were on hand at Gallery 208 Sat- urday. Coincidently, all three of us were in our 20s when this amazing hunka hunka of burning love hit this town like a tornado and spent three days entertaining and honor- ing our military families in a community he couldn't wait to get back to. e amazing talent of Pre- sley is, no doubt, lost to this younger generation. at's all the more reason to preserve memories and unique trea- sures like these. Kirby hopes the Crown Coliseum will work with him to restore and display these mementos to amplify the significance of Presley's pres- ence here when he came to the Fayetteville community. I doubt that Presley, when on tour, did many three-night stands in any one city or town like he did here. So, I'm with Kirby. Let's build that display and honor the King! Special thanks to everyone who came by, especially Robin Johnson, who brought out her mother's full, lifelong collec- tion of Elvis memorabilia. It included an Aug. 17, 1977, edition of e Fayetteville Observer with an "above the fold" photo of then 24-year- old Hope Mills resident Milton Smith, a talented pianist who was to go on tour with Elvis. Smith never got to meet him. anks also to Joe Riddle for coming by and checking out the Elvis albums and to Barnard and his wife Mary, who got this party started by asking the question. A special thanks to Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop at Marketplace for setting everything up — Elvis style. anks to all our readers, especially the three gentlemen from Cleveland, Ohio, who came by after reading the Elvis article in last week's Up & Coming Weekly at the Holiday Inn on I-95. And ... thank you for reading Up & Com- ing Weekly. L to R: Up & Coming Weekly Publisher Bill Bowman, former Coliseum Man- ager Paul Beard and Fayetteville Observer columnist Bill Kirby. Phil Barnard (left) and his wife, Mary (right), posed the "what happened to them?" question, which set the Elvis memorabilia recovery in motion. BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COM- MENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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