News from the May 12, 1983, issue of the Wilkes Journal-Patriot

Marsh Lyall is school superintendent

Marsh Dean Lyall was unanimously chosen by the Wilkes school board as the next superintendent of the Wilkes County Schools this morning.

Lyall, 44, was announced as the choice after the school board spent about 15 minutes in executive session. Lyall and Charles P. Bentley were finalists. Five semi-finalists were chosen from among 18 applicants.

Lyall and Bentley are both Wilkes natives. Lyall is now principal at Walter M. Williams High School in Burlington and Bentley is director of the Northwest Regional Education Center in Wilkesboro. Bentley was associate Wilkes school superintendent for 16 years.  

If Lyall accepts the position, he will replace C. Wayne Bradburn, leaving the post in June as a result of the board voting to not renew his contract in February. Bradburn has been superintendent here for over 17 years.

Early in the meeting, board member Richard Woodruff made a motion to reconsider the application of William H. Davis, assistant to the Wilkes Community College president. School board member Fay Byrd said Lyall was originally one person’s first choice, but he “eventually won the mutual consent of the board.”

Roy Lowe dies

Roy James Lowe, 80, of the Brushy Mountain community, died Monday and was laid to rest Wednesday in a grave dug by 25 of his neighbors.

His funeral was held at Bethany Baptist Church by the Rev. Ralph Stanley and the Rev. Jonah Parker. Burial was in the Parker Cemetery on Bethany Church Road. Lowe believed a hand-dug grave added dignity to a funeral. When someone he knew on the Brushies died, he often dug their grave at no charge.

A farmer, Lowe was born in Wilkes on Oct. 22, 1902, to Luther and Laura Keller Lowe. Four years ago, he and his wife, Bertha Robinson Lowe, were grand marshals at the first Brushy Mountain Apple Festival. Neighbor Steve Forest said Lowe was known for sitting with people in the hospital, giving them rides to town, providing them firewood and helping in other ways.

In a guest editorial, neighbor Bob Bogue called Lowe a symbol of the area – a free spirit, capable, strong and self-sufficient. He and his wife lived a simple, country life, full of work, warmth and love. Lowe was known for his colorful personality and his stories. For example, Lowe once cut himself from his nose to his chin with a chainsaw. The nurse at the hospital, aghast, asked how he did this. True to his character, he responded, “Did you ever try to kiss a snaggle-toothed woman?”  

Ellen Robinson dies

Miss Ellen Robinson, 93, another well-known resident of the Brushy Mountain community, died on Wednesday.

Robinson was known as a talented pianist and for sharing her love of music with others. Her long, music-filled fingers will no longer grace a piano and her true contralto voice will no longer ring through her beloved North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church. She leaves a community with hundreds of former piano students upholding her teaching and musical tastes.

Lumber company fire

Fire caused about $500,000 in damage to Walker Brothers Lumber Co. on N.C. 18 South in Moravian Falls Tuesday. The Moravian Falls and Boomer fire departments responded to the blaze, which Sgt. M.L. Farrington of the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office said is under investigation as a suspicious fire. There was no insurance.

Alternate site sought

The seven members of the Northwest Regional Housing Authority last night authorized its executive director to work toward finding an alternate site for a 48-unit, low income housing project that it wanted to put on Collegiate Drive in Wilkesboro.

A group consisting of Wilkesboro Mayor Fidell Frazier, other Wilkesboro officials, Wilkes Community College President David Daniel, other WCC representatives and Wilkes County Planning Officer Cecil Wood attended the meeting in Boone to say that the Collegiate Drive site was a poor choice.

‘Mr. Tough Guy’

Zach Brannock was chosen as “Mr. Tough Guy,” a male beauty pageant at Wilkes Central High School, on May 6. The other finalists were Scott Harris, Melvin Burns, Wes Steele and Steve Newton.

Judges were Deneen Graham, student at the N.C. School of the Arts and reigning Miss Elkin Valley (and later Miss North Carolina), Ala Sue Wyke, runner-up in a Miss Watauga Pageant and president of the North Wilkesboro Junior Woman’s Club; Wilkes Sheriff Kyle Gentry; and Becky Carter, reigning Miss Winston Cup.

421 West Water System

The 421 West Sanitary District, moving closer to becoming a fully-functioning independent water system, will soon begin regular membership meetings. A public meeting for the association will be held at 7 p.m. May 16 at the Steam Systems office on U.S. 421 West. The sanitary district is working on obtaining state funding.

Conference champs

The West Wilkes High School Blackhawks and first-year Head Coach Steve Bumgarner unleashed a nine-run attack in the first inning and blasted Alleghany High 17-9 at Sparta Tuesday to win the Blue Ridge Conference baseball crown. The Hawks are unbeaten in the league with two games remaining, while East Wilkes is second with two losses. North Wilkes and Alleghany are tied for third with four losses each.

East Wilkes softball

The East Wilkes High softball team is chasing another Blue Ridge Conference championship this year. On the team are Susan Settle, Marie Layell, Tammy Shepherd, Shelia Somers, LeAnn Alexander, Kim Tucker, Pam Mickel, Amy McCann, Belinda Jordan, Mandy Burchette, Sarah Durham, Michelle Pardue, Susan Wells, Lisa Creel, Michelle Sparks and Sandra Moore. Keith Secreast is head coach.

Dancing at Busch Gardens

Sally Dunn of North Wilkesboro will dance at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., this summer. Dunn, 20, has been taking dance lessons since she was a little girl, said her mother, Molly Dunn. She has attended the Canipe School of Dance and the Sandy Smalling School of Ballet and Fine Arts in North Wilkesboro.

Night spots

This issue had advertisements for numerous local night spots, most with live music. They included Midnight Cowboy near Roaring River, with Delta and Gold Fever performing; Fantasies, in the “old Orange Room location;” Tharpe’s, in the “former Chips location” a mile east of North Wilkesboro on N.C. 268; the Roundup on N.C 115, with Reflections; Tobacco Road off Macedonia Church north of Ronda, with Skeet Kelly; and Bogart’s on N.C. 268 West in Wilkesboro.

Roselli’s restaurant at West Park shopping center, North Wilkesboro, had the Stretchmarks performing. There also was an ad for Reflections, a nightclub in Sparta, announcing that Dixie Dawn would perform there Friday and Saturday nights.   

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