Vol. XXXIV No. 11
THURSDAY, November 29, 2007
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In Lt. Gov's race,
Besse relies on roots
BY LAYLA FARMER
It seems that City Council Member Dan
Besse has always had a mind for politics.
When he was in junior high,
he volunteered for his first politi
cal campaign and started a peti
tion to block the desecration of
the woods behind his childhood
home in Hickory.
By high school, he was a
patrolling streams in search of
leaking pipes or signs of illegal
"My parents were not politi
cally involved . . . but they taught
me . . . that the way we could change things
was through the Democratic process," Besse
said. "I always looked to elections and pol
itics as a way to implement change."
His parents' lessons weighed heavily on
his decision to run for the City Council in
2001. The Democrat defeated a popular
Republican incumbent to win the Southwest
Ward seat. He won re-election easily in
Besse is hoping for another victory a
year from now. He is one of four Democrats
so far who have thrown their hats
into the ring for the N.C.
Lieutenant Governor's job.
While Besse's reputation here
in his own backyard is solid, not
much is known about him in other
parts of the state. Over the next
year, he says, he and his growing
list of supporters will work to
change all of that. No doubt, the
other Democrats in the race -
Canton Mayor Pat Smathers,
Durham lawyer Hampton
Dellinger and State Sen. Walter Dalton -
have similar game plans.
The competition is stiff, according to
Fred Terry, a former City Council Member
who served with Besse and is the chair of the
See Besse on A13 i
Dan Besse speaks at a recent Urban League event.
Volunteers work to provide X-mas bikes
BY TODD LUCK
THE CHRONICLE .
Students at Forsyth Technical
Community College are working tire
lessly to restore used bicycles to give
to disadvantaged children this holiday
The program called "A Bicycle
Built for You" collects donated bikes
dropped off at any of FTCC's loca
tions and gives them to the Salvation
Army. The bikes will go to the orga
nization's toy shop where families
that qualify for the Salvation Army's
aid get to pick out toys for their chil
The bikes that are donated can be
new, but bikes that are dirty, worn or
broken are welcome as well. That's
where FTCC student volunteers come
in, donating their time and hard work
to make the used bikes as good as
new again. The students clean, paint
and even replace bad parts on the
bikes, restoring them to their former
The project is the brain child of
Mark Walker, auto body program
coordinator at FTCC, who did a simi
lar program for several years when he
taught at Davidson Community
College over a decade ago. Walker
said he wanted to teach his students
not only about teamwork but also
about giving back.
"I told them to think about (how)
not everybody grew up having every
thing at Christmas and know this sit
uation, it does very much still exist in
the United States, it's not just a world
wide thing," said Walker.
Walker said the volunteers come
Photo by Todd Luck
Eric Rivers, left, and Cory Hooks repair a used bike.
from auto body classes, the Motor
Sports Club of Forsyth Tech and the
general student body. A couple of
auto body classes that were learning
detailing worked on painting the
bikes in class but other than that.
Walker said, the work has been pure
Walker said the response has been
great. As of two weeks ago, well over
hundred bikes had been collected and
he said he hoped to get hundreds
more. He said he wanted every child
that meets the Salvation Army's crite
ria and wants a bike to have one.
Walker said that he and fellow
auto body instructor Alton Allen have
actually gone out to many people's
houses who had a hard time getting to
their old bikes or couldn't transport
them to the drop off site. Allen has
also been in the workshop working
See Bikes on A6
Garrett Davis ' holiday
play hits stage Dec. 8
BY LAYLA FARMER
THE CHRONICLE ?
Union Baptist Church will welcome the
presence of a new Christmas tradition and
perhaps, the dawning of a new era for
Playwright Garrett Davis, one of its newest
members, all in one fell swoop, with the
premiere of the holiday production, "The
Real Meaning of Christmas."
Penned by Davis and performed by
church members, the play will be held at the
church Dec . 8 .
said he fell in
love with the
ater after see
ing a play as a
by what he
Davis tried his
hand as a
"I wrote a
that play just
moved me so
much it was
wanted to do,
A communications major with a love for
radio broadcasting, Davis says his flair for
theater took a back seat to his career for sev
eral years. He produced his first play, meant
to serve as a fundraiser, in the early 1990s.
"Success hit me very quickly," he
recalled. "I was named the Funniest Gospel
Playwright in America by the NAACP in
'96. I toured that play for the next five
years - that's all I did."
Riding on waves of critical acclaim.
Davis says it seemed the good times would
"At that time in the early 1990s, the only
play on the east coast that was having any
success was my play, 'Lord Why Me?' and
a man by the name of David Peyton, who
had a play called, 'A Good Man is Hard to
Find,'" he commented. "No one told me
that it was going to end."
When it came time to start anew, Davis
was faced with the daunting task of trying to
recreate his initial success.
See Davis on A12
L a r e n t e
J a Q u a n
ing the 2007
Hamlin's kin continue theater legacy
SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
For years, the late Larry Leon
Hamlin created vibrant and intense pro
ductions through this state's first pro
fessional black theatrical company, the
North Carolina Black Repertory
Company (NCBRC). Now his prot?g6s
are continuing his work and vision of
JiQuan James Hamlin, the 13-year
old grandson of Hamlin, has begun an
apprenticeship program with the com
pany's tech crew. He is busy now
preparing for the Black Rep's upcom
ing performances of "Black Nativity."
"I started out by, helping the tech
people backstage with whatever they
needed during different shows. Got
things, for cast members and listened a
lot." explains J6Quan. "Now I work
with the light board and sometimes I
work the fly rail above the stage."
On the fly rail, a technician manual
ly "flys" in suspended set pieces to
become apart of a scene.
At 7, JiQuan began helping in the
NCBRC office under the watchful eyes
of his grandfather
and his father.
Hamlin. He fold
stuffed and sorted
large mailings -
rehearsals - he
office and backstage getting things for
the technical director and executive
producer. But this year, during the 2007
National Black Theatre Festival,
JSQuan was officially assigned to the
crew at the Stevens Center.
"I mainly listened and did what 1
was told, and watched what the profes
sionals did so I could leam." he says.
It's not surprising JiQuan enjoys
working with his hands. He takes after
his father, Larentl.
"I've always been a technical per
son, by trade I was a mechanic,"
explains Larent? Hamlin. "I went from
cars to computers and from computers
into the theatre. And I've been off and
running ever since."
In 2001, LareaU Hamlin, along
with his son, joinc4_J-arent6's father.
Larry Leon Hamlin the family busi
ness - the Black Rep. for years, Lany
Leon Hamlin encouraged his son to
leave Providence, R.I. and settle in
Winston-Salem to work with the com
S#e Dunlins on A6
In Grateful Memory of Our
Florrie S. Russell and
Carl H. Russell, Sr.
"Growing and Still Dedicated to Serve You Better "
3Rug sell % utteral jSome
Wishes to Thank Everyone For Their Support
H22 Carl Russell Ave.
(at Martin Luther King Dr.)
Winston-Salem, NC 27IOI
Fax (336) 63 X -8268
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