Merry Christmas!

Christmas Lights

I rode around all over Gaston County photographing the best-decorated houses in town for the Christmas eve edition of The Gazette. I got some good tips and was able to find some truly impressive light displays.

Carols for Curly

Carols for Curly
Zachary Etherton weeps at the 'Carols for Curly' candleligt vigil in support of his close friend and relative Michael 'Curly' Hastings in Cramerton on Sunday December 19, 2010. Hastings, an N.C. State Trooper and Cramerton Native, is in a coma in New York City after hitting his head in an accidental fall recently.

Carols for Curly
Hastings cousin-in-law Lori Davis, above, speaks at the Carols for Curly vigil and Autumn Cauthen, 7, below, holds a candle during the event.

Carols for Curly

Salvation Army Star

Salvation Army Star
Serenity Lincoln, 2, eats dinner at the Salvation Army shelter on South Broad Street on Wednesday December 8, 2010. Lincoln currently lives at the shelter with her mother and three year-old sister.

Everyone Loves a Parade!

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Everyone loves a parade. I shot a bunch this year (Seven, I think, but I lost count). Enjoy some of my favorite moments from all the various parades. And by favorite I mean my favorites, as I shot litteraly hundreds of parade photos over two weeks. Visit to see slideshows and videos of them all.

Panthers vs Falcons

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Just Missed It

Lincolnton Celebrates
Lincolnton defensive lineman Jamie Stamper celebrates after Lincolnton recovered a ball fumbled by Polk County during the playoffs game at Lincolnton on Friday November 26, 2010.
Almost interception
Lincolnton defensive back Jonathan Sherrill, left, nearly intercepts a pass intended for Polk County receiver Ryan Thomas during the playoffs game at Lincolnton on Friday November 26, 2010. Sherrill was unable to maintain control of the ball as he went to the ground.

Gift of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Rapper
The dancers of Camino Haciaclo twirl flags as Christian rapper Jonah Greene performs during the Gift of Thanksgiving giveaway at Dixie Village Shopping Center on Thursday November 25, 2010.


Kevin Miller
Lincolnton place kicker Kevin Miller lines up with the uprights while taking practice kicks on the Linconton practice field on Wednesday November 17, 2010.

Easy Feature

Easy Feature
Underneath a nearly full moon, Cliff Hale with Hatley's Sign Service puts the finishing touches on a sign on the facade of the new CaroMont Psychiatric Associates location in the Northridge shopping center on Friday November 19, 2010. The CaroMont Health facility is moving from a location in the professional building near Gaston Memorial Hospital.
This was an easy feature hunt. I found this across the parking lot shared with The Gaston Gazette building.

Ghillie Dhu's Enchantment

New Sculpture Dedication
'Ghillie Dhu's Enchantment,' a new tree-like kinetic sculpture by artist Harry McDaniel stands some 20 feet tall in Center City Park off of Main Avenue on Tuesday November 9, 2010 as crowds gather for Keep Gastonia Beautiful's dedication service for the piece.

Fall Colors

Crowders Fall 1

Fall color in it's peak at Crowders Mountain State Park on Monday November 15, 2010.

Crowders Fall 2


WWII Veteran
World War II veteran Foy Mercer at his Gastonia home on November 10, 2010. Mercer has survived the battle of the bulge and brain surgery, but still remains lively in his nineties.
I thought it was cool listening to this vet tell his story. As it turns out, he's lived just about everywhere I've lived, only a few (or more) decades earlier. He was a pastor in Brevard, where I went to College, and in Rocky Mount, where I got my first newspaper job and lived for a year. Small world.

Etiquette Edge

Julie Roberts 1

Photos for a cover story in
The Gazette's women's magazine Gaston Woman about Julie Roberts, owner of Etiquette Edge, which provides good manners and decorum education for children K-12. Roberts teaches proper etiquette for every aspect of social life, including writing thank you notes, talking on the phone, online interactions, and text messaging.

Julie Roberts panels

Julie Roberts 2

Hooters for Neuters

Hooters for Neuters
Brandon Dougherty, 7, and his mom Cathy Dougherty pet a dog from the Gaston County Animal Shelter up for adoption at the Hooters for Neuters event at Hooters on Saturday November 6, 2010. The shelter brought eight last-chance dogs to the event, with several, including this one, finding homes.
Adopt Me
Two kittens wait to be adopted during the event, put on by the Gaston County Low-Cost Spay / Neuter Clinic.
Sloppy kiss
Caleb McCraw-Guyer, 8, gets a sloppy kiss from a dog in the back of a Gaston County Animal Control truck on Saturday November 6, 2010 at the Hooters For Neuters event. Friends of McCraw-Guyer's family adopted the dog at the event, and while he won't be the owner, he said he will be seing the pet all the time.

Conference Carolinas Championship

Conference Carolinas Championship
Pfeiffer players celebrate after Belmont Abbey's Connie Axiotis, right, missed an overtime penalty kick giving the victory to Pfeiffer in the Conference Carolinas Championship match on Saturday November 6, 2010 at Alumni Field. 
Conference Carolinas Championship
Belmont Abbey's Rebecca Mateo wins a header during the match.
Conference Carolinas Championship
A referee tries to break up a fight that broke out between Belmont Abbey and Pfeiffer players during the heated and emotional match.
Conference Carolinas Championship
Belmont Abbey goalkeeper Anna Donaldson attempts to block an overtime penalty kick.
Abbey Soccer 3
Belmont Abbey players console one another after losing to Pfeiffer in overtime penalty kicks.

Abbey Men's Soccer

Abbey Men Goal Shot
Limestone goal keeper H.B. Lockwood dives to make a save after Belmont Abbey's Gianluca D'Agata, right, took a shot on goal during the game at Alumni Field on Saturday October 30, 2010.

Touchdown Pass

Cherryville Touchdown Reception
Cherryville's Dashaun Brooks, left, makes a touchdown reception over Bessemer City defender Damian Scott to end the first half at Cherryville on Friday October 29, 2010.

Lunar Halo

Lunar Halo
The steeples of the Belmont Abbey Basilica point towards the moon surrounded by a 22 degree halo, an optical phenomena caused when light from the sun or moon refracts through hexagonal ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere, the early hours of Sunday October 24, 2010.

Goble Street Fire

Goble Street Fire
A firefighter lifts a burning trash can from the remains of an unoccupied house on Goble Street that burned to the ground around midnight on Saturday October 23, 2010.

Crane vs House

Crane vs House
A firefighter walks past the wreckage of a 70-ton construction crane that fell onto a house at 1212 Oakwood Avenue on Thursday October 21, 2010. Crews contracted through Denton's Tree Service were using the 140 foot boom to remove a large tree on the side of the home when the crane tipped over and fell onto the house.

Crane vs House
EMS personnel take a worker from Denton's Tree Service to an ambulance after the crane collapsed. The worker was reportedly a tree climber working to cut sections of a large tree that were being removed by the crane, and when the crane began to collapse in his direction he jumped or slid down the tree sustaining non life threatening injuries.

Orchid Cactus

Orchid Cactus Flower
A flower of the 'Epiphyllum oxypetalum,' commonly known by names such as orchid cactus, dutchman's pipe, or Night Queen, at the home of Hilda Olive on Saturday October 16, 2010. The species of cactus native to Sri Lanka commonly grows in trees and rarely blooms, and only at night, with flowers wilting before dawn.

Prep Soccer Action

Forestview goalkeeper Anderson Gibbons dives to make a save as teammate Justin Henry, center, attempts to defend Ashbrook's Marc Del Castillo, during the match at Ashbrook on Wednesday October 20, 2010. 
Soccer Celebration
Ashbrook's Carlos Loazia, left, celebrates with teammate Juan Villa after scoring a goal against Forestview.

Abbey Volleyball

Belmont Abbey Volleyball
Belmont Abbey's Jennifer Angelich, above, makes a kill during a match against Mount Olive on Saturday October 2, 2010 in the Wheeler Center.

Belmont Abbey Volleyball
Belmont Abbey's Jamie O'Connell, from right, stands ready to make a dig as Lydia Schellenberg and Angela Jubb jump to block.

One thing I miss about working at the Rocky Mount Telegram is the diversity of sports we covered there. This is one of only two volleyball matches I've shot this year (and I'm the evening shift photographer), where I had been shooting 1-3 games a week this time of year in Rocky Mount.

The two papers have about the same size sports section, but The Gazette has NASCAR, Panthers and Bobcats to take up a lot of that space. I guess it all balances out, though. We didn't have any pro sports to shoot in Rocky Mount.

Sunday Stroll

Sunday Stroll
Yakotus Speller, 9, from left, Makala Goodman, 13, Kayla Kinney, 12, and Dave Nunez, 13, walk on the Avon / Catawba Creek Greenway near Lineberger Park on Sunday October 3, 2010.

Million Dollar Smile

Million Dollar Smile
Gaston County Animal Shelter employee Boyd Best takes a picture of a kitten given up to the shelter on Monday Sept. 20, 2010. A picture of each pet brought into the shelter is placed on the shelter's website to help reunite lost pets with their owners and get adoptable pets homes.

G-Town Car Show

Car Show
Ingrid Ramos, left, and husband Noe Ramos look in the window of a heavily customized Mercury hot rod on display at the car show on Main Avenue in Gastonia on Saturday Sept. 25, 2010.

Fatal Fire

Fatal fire family

Emergency responders tend to Alicia Addie Ledford, 24, and two of her children Brianna Marie Reyman, 6, left, and Kaylie Ann Reyman, 1, outside their home on Millon Street in Gastonia on Thursday Sept. 16, 2010.

A fast-spreading fire engulfed the family's home, killing the children's 73-year-old grandmother and sending the remaining six members of the family to the hospital. Grandfather Bernard Cornelius Reyman, 75, and a third child Quentin Alexander Reyman, 4, below, were listed in critical condition at the University of North Carolina Hospital's burn center in Chapel Hill.

Fatal fire 2

Fair Time

Another one from the fair

He didn't snap it. Sure tried hard though.

Emotional Send Off

LC send off - Coach

Ashbrook High School cross country coach Al Hess, left, greets guidance counselor and athletic trainer Larry Carpenter in front of the school during a send off event for Carpenter on Sunday August 15, 2010. Over 150 friends, family members and coworkers gathered to give Carpenter support as he left for Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center to receive a bone marrow transplant to treat an incurable form of cancer he was diagnosed with in February.

Below: Larry Carpenter's family, including niece Ashley Terry, clockwise from top left, daughter Elizabeth Carpenter, 6, Daughter Lauren Carpenter, 11, and niece Anna Barvinek, 7, weep during the send off.

LC send off - Family

LC send off - handshake

Red Raider Fan

Raiders Fan

Gazette Cup Action

Gazette Cup Final
Ashbrook's Connor DeHaven, left, makes a header over South Point's Nate Propst during the Gazette Cup final at Poston Park on Saturday August 28, 2010.

...and galleries from other fames in the tournament:

Back in the Saddle Again...

Dan Hughes rides the mountain bike trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center on Friday August 27, 2010.
It's good to be back in a place where there is singletrack. It's no secret that being close to good trails is half the reason I chose to come back home and work for The Gazette again.
They sent me out to shoot some mountain biking today at the Whitewater Center where I used to ride four or more days a week when I lived here before, and it's making me want to get back on the bike bad. 
Maybe when I get finished moving and getting my truck repaired I'll actually have time to start riding again.

Three Ways to Fly

Full Extension Tackle

Full Extension Touchdown Dive

Full Extension Fumble

Here's three pictures of Burns' Darius Lowe at full extension in the air getting tackled, diving into the endzone, and leaping after a fumble during a preseason jamboree scrimmage against East Gaston. Just a coincidence that I got all three similar shots of the same guy in three totally different situations.