Some chances to learn about where we live
Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013

Some chances to learn about where we live

As the New Year begins, readers may consider a resolution to expand their knowledge about the region along with the more familiar litany of “memos to self” to end bad habits and lose weight.

The Waxhaw Weddington Rotary and the Museum of the Waxhaws will offer the “Listen and Learn” lecture series during the winter and next spring.

Nora Brooks will return to the Museum of the Waxhaws at 3 p.m. Jan. 19 to present “The Story of Robert E. Lee as told by his daughter Mildred.” The cost is $7, $4 for students. Buy tickets at or at the door. If you pay at the door, reservations are recommended. Space is limited.

Call Arthur Lightbody at 704-843-6048.

I saw Brooks a few years back at the museum when she took on the persona of Anna Morrison Jackson, widow of the famous Stonewall Jackson. On that occasion, Brooks was entertaining, informative and totally believable. She portrayed “The Widow of the South” as part of the museum’s “Living History” series.

I went on-line to where I learned “Nora Brooks is a native of Union County, North Carolina. She holds a B.S. in the Administration of Criminal Justice from UNC Chapel Hill and an N.C. teaching license from UNC Charlotte. She retired from Union County Public Schools in July 2011 after 26 years. Brooks has been presenting historical drama since 1996. Her first character was Mildred Childe Lee, the youngest daughter of General Robert E. Lee. At the invitation of a colleague, she developed the character of Anna Morrison Jackson, widow of the famous Stonewall Jackson in 2001.”

I also discovered there that Brooks was selected the Teacher of the Year for Sun Valley High School in 1992 and was honored by North Carolina State University as one of the Inspirational Teachers in 2009.

Here are some other upcoming lectures:

• Feb. 16, Oneaka Mack ( will present the topic of African heritage in a lecture entitled “African Cultural Arts Storytelling & interpretive dance with drum beat.”

• March 16, Dr. Mark Cheathem, associate professor of history at Cumberland University will portray Andrew Jackson as more than a frontiersman but as an elite Southern gentleman when he discusses his book “Andrew Jackson, Southerner.”

• April 27, Dr. Tom Hanchett, Donny Murray and Tom Estes will educate and entertain with a presentation on the musical story of country and bluegrass music in the Charlotte area, performed by local musicians and Hanchett, a historian. This is the same team that entertained and informed those who attended the Museum’s December Fundraiser “Red, Green and Bluegrass.”

Many resolutions involve joining gyms, buying clothing and equipment and enormous will power. Attending all four lectures will cost you $28, four hours of your time. And you get to sit down. Need I say more?

Monroe library

Walden Pond neighbor Rebecca Walters said on Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. in the Griffin Room of the Monroe Library, The Friends of the Union County Public Library will offer a free author event featuring A.J. Hartley.

On Sept. 28, 2012, Lisa Thornton reported in The Charlotte Observer that “Hartley, 48, is a prolific New York Times best-selling author as well as a professor of Shakespeare studies at UNC Charlotte.”

His latest novel, “Tears of the Jaguar,” was published that month.

Also, remember April 9, 2014 when the Friends of the Union county library will hold their 2014 Ladies Tea at Rolling Hills Country Club featuring Diane Chamberlain.

Diane Chamberlain is the international best-selling author of 22 novels including “Midwife’s Confession,” and “The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes.”

John Anderson is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for John? Email him at

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