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December 20, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

“A Carolina Christmas”: Gaston Today Magazine

GT Mag Carolina Spotlight

A Carolina ChristmasA Carolina Christmas

by:  Darryl Warren

From the tall pines of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the soft breeze of the Atlantic seashore, the holiday season in Carolina offers an array of beauty and imagery that is like no other part of our wonderful country.  For certain, the soul of any true Carolinian is equal parts mountain and sea.  Memories of snow covered hills mix with the salty air of the sea to provide a collage of Christmas memories that are common to all native Carolinian sons and daughters.

Those who spent their youth in Carolina, traveling to and from family gatherings, have special memories that are precious and burn brightly this time of year; they define us and provide a bond that time cannot break.  Most are of children playing, Grand-parents smiling, as the smells and sounds of the holiday season fill the air.  Together, we share these timeless memories that come alive during the season.  They define us, and provide us a common thread from generation to generation.  A Carolina Christmas is rich in tradition, shared in song and laughter in a spirit filled with what we hunger for most; FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.

But as public as our common fellowship is, the most precious memories of Christmas in Carolina are our most private, shared only by a quiet, solitary smile as we drift off into the night’s embrace.  These memories forever bond us to loved ones no longer with us, the gentle touch of our past relieved in our heart with the passion and love that time can never erase.

There is comfort in knowing the Birth we celebrate at Christmas is our unbreakable link to loved one’s who are no longer here.  But as sure as night follows day, they are still with us, seen in every twinkle of our Children’s eye, in every embrace of family and friends, and in the heart that still beats with the Promise born in a Manger long ago.

As we share another Christmas in Carolina, as quiet solitude is interrupted by the season’s hustle and bustle, keep the most private memories of this precious time of year locked tightly in your heart, for they are the embers that will forever warm your soul.

May you all have a Merry Carolina Christmas, and may Peace be with you all.

Love, Your Native Son


December 7, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

September 21, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

It’s OFFICIAL! Charity Case is coming to Gaston!

It’s Official… Friday October 28th … Charity Case will be headlining in downtown Gastonia at the Carolina Smoke Off/Celebrate Gaston!!

Charity Case began with special appearances on the Ace & TJ Show aired on Kiss 95.1 (WNKS-FM) back in 2001 and since that time has performed over 200 shows and raised over $700,000 for Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids, a 501(c)3 charity that creates magic in the lives of children who are terminally ill and chronically disabled by taking them to the happiest place on Earth… Walt Disney World!

The name of the organization comes from Ace & TJ’s motto on their morning show, “You Grin, You’re In!”

Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids is designed to enhance the lives of children in our listening areas who are terminally ill and chronically handicapped, ages five through twelve, by taking them to DisneyWorld with their entire family.

Each year, Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids charters a 737 to take these children, with their sibling, parents, and health care workers to Disneyworld in Florida. Because of their special needs and financial strain, this is an experience that many of these children and families would not be able to know without the help of Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids.

Over the years, Ace & TJ’s Grin Kids has taken over 241 Grin Kids and their families to Disneyworld. And during the 5-day vacation, all expenses are paid, including air travel, ground transportation, Disney Park-Hopper passes, meals, hotel rooms at a Disney Resort, and Disney Dollars for souvenirs.

Grin Kids is funded exclusively by listener donations. Some are large, some are small, but without the listeners, the “Radio Family” participating in various fundraising events, the Grin Kids trip would not be possible year to year.


Check out Charity Case !!!

September 18, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

“Darrylized”: My take on life, love, and what’s wrong with everybody but me


An off the wall look at life, love, and what’s wrong with everybody but me.

Darryl Warren

My Mom

Sometimes you have to go backwards to move forward……

When I was a kid, I could always count on my mom to be home when I needed a parent.  Be it praise or punishment, mom was the one who would be on the front line of raising me.  Dad was at work most of the time.  He was the cavalry, ready with the big guns if mom needed back-up.

Today, most kids are left with others when they most need a parent.  Out of necessity, both parents usually have to work, sometime more than one job in order to just keep food on the table.  I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I think maybe it’s time we take a look at reversing the trend of gender equality and see if maybe, just maybe, going backwards will allow us to move forward.

Being a liberal most of my life, I believe that ALL people are created equal.  My 14 year old daughter, thankfully, will have a choice in what she will become.  What she will NOT have a choice in, is to be a stay at home mom.  She will have to work all her life.

What I think we should consider is kind of crazy.  It goes against everything I’ve ever said about America and equality, but I think we should let men have first dibs on jobs.  Now, if you will stop cussing me out and calling all your friends and telling them what a jack-ass I am, I will explain myself.

According to Washington, the unemployment rate is around 10%.  According to the real world, it’s about 35%, if you add in the under-employed and those who just flat-out stopped looking for a job.  While Washington hollers back and forth about what to do about it, babies are starving, people are losing their homes, old people are eating cat food, and it’s getting worse, not better.

To me, a logical choice is to back-up and see what we were doing when America was great.  Back in the day, we had one parent working and one parent staying at home raising kids and taking care of the house.  It was almost always a man working and a woman at home.  Not every family, just MOST families.  If we stopped just a few of the wasteful government programs those fools in Washington are yelling about, surely we could come up with some sort of tax credit to PAY moms to stay at home and whoop their kids if they needed it.

Crazy as it seems, I believe it’s at least worth taking a look at.  Men could have a better shot at getting a job, kids would have a parent to praise or punish them, and maybe, just maybe, America can survive so that my daughter will have a chance to burn her bra and raise hell about equality in the workplace.

September 17, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

This months GT Mag “Good Things” Poll


Here’s your chance to vote on this months favorite “Good Things” about Gaston poll.

Gaston Today Magazine will feature a monthly poll to find out what YOU like the most about Gaston County!  To vote simply click your choice.

September 17, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

Gaston Today Magazine: All about the “Good Things” in Gaston.

Gaston Today Magazine is a new venture between Darryl Warren, formerly of Rocks Entertainment Magazine,  and IDesign, a super talented design team from Charlotte, NC  The purpose of Gaston Today or “GT Mag,” is to promote the “Good Things” in and around Gaston County, NC.  Launching in the Fall, GT Mag will be a complimentary magazine available in many high traffic areas in and around Gaston County.

The first edition will spotlight the “Good Things” that attract a growing amount of visitors to Gaston County.  Thanks to our friends at Gaston County Travel and Tourism, we are able to feature local attractions like the Schiele Museum, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, “ChristmasTown USA” (Mcadenville), and Crowders Mountain.

Gaston Today will come out six times a year, and each edition will have it’s own unique theme and design.  We rely on our advertisers to bring you this local magazine at no charge, and ask that you take a minute and thank them by shopping, dining, or visiting their locations.

We welcome your input and comments about GT Mag and hope you enjoy what we do!

Thank You!

Darryl Warren



September 5, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

GT Mag spotlight: Cramerton, NC

Cramer Mountain


Geography: Located in the southwestern part of town are Berry Mountain (922 ft.) and Cramer Mountain (850 ft.). The South Fork Catawba River crosses through the center of own.

History: Cramerton was founded in 1906 when J.H. Mays built a spinning mill along the banks of the South Fork of the Catawba River, just east of Gastonia, NC. In 1910, textile engineer and Thomasville, North Carolina native, Stuart Warren Cramer became owner and president of the mill and property. He turned the mill and the surrounding community into a model mill village. In 1922 Mr. Cramer changed the name of the mill to Cramerton Mills, and the name of the town to Cramerton. In 1923, Cramer built the Mayflower Weave Mill.

Business/Industry: Cramer is credited with designing and equipping “about one-third of the new cotton mills in the South” between 1895 and 1915, and simultaneously acquiring extensive holdings in textile mills. Among Cramer’s numerous industrial engineering patents was one for the “Cramer System of Air Conditioning,” which included the automatic regulation of temperature and humidity. These early innovations in air conditioningresulted more from the need to remove lint from the air (a persistent problem in the textile mills) than to cool the factory atmosphere. The term “air conditioning” is attributed to Cramer. In 1946 the mills and homes were sold to Burlington Industries who in turn sold the homes to residents. The Town of Cramerton incorporated in 1967 and began providing municipal services.

The textile industry has long been central to Cramerton’s economy, but globalization has caused many of the local plants to close. Burlington Industries, which had operated the former Cramerton Mills, went bankrupt in 2001. Employers like Eagle Mountain Finishers and Lakewood Dyed Yarns (both subsidiaries of Joan Fabrics Corp.) were closed in 2006 and 2007[8]. Textile companies Brookline Inc. and Wagner Knitting, Inc. have also been affected by the economic downturn. Syncot Fibers and Plastics, Inc. operates a facility in Cramerton specializing in the recycling of nylon.

Point Of Interest: A well-known feature is the Cramer Mountain gated development featuring luxurious homes and an 18-hole golf course at Cramer Mountain Country Club.


August 27, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

GT Mag community spotlight: High Shoals, NC

High Shoals

Geography: Located in Dallas Township, High Shoals the town has a total area of 1.8 square miles. The South Fork Catawba River flows through High Shoals. Areas northeast of the river are assigned to the Hoyle Creek watershed, while those southwest of the river are in the Beaverdam Creek watershed. Sulfur Branch flows through western High Shoals (including Briarcreek Golf Course) and enters the South Fork at the south end of town. Most of High Shoals is located in Dallas Township, except for a western portion of the town which is in Cherryville Township.

History: High Shoals was the location of the High Shoals Iron Works, founded by Swiss-born John Fulenwider in about 1795. Fulenwider developed one of the earliest methods of making pig iron with the charcoal process. During the War of 1812, his High Shoals ironworks produced cannon balls for use by the United States Army. Fulenwider died in 1826 and is buried at High Shoals cemetery. The ironworks he developed remained in operation until 1875.

In the last decade of the 19th Century, the community of High Shoals became totally-owned by High Shoals Mills, a textile company founded byCharlotte, North Carolina industrialist Daniel A. Tompkins.

Eventually, the mill homes were sold to private owners. High Shoals was incorporated on November 6, 1973, the most-recently incorporated municipality in Gaston County.


August 24, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

GT MAG Spotlight: Cherryville, NC


Geography: Cherryville is located along a divide between three watersheds. The western end of Cherryville is in the watershed of Muddy Creek, a right tributary of Buffalo Creek and part of the Broad River catchment basin. The north side of Cherryville is in the Indian Creek watershed, drained by Lick Fork Creek and an unnamed tributary of Indian Creek. The south side Cherryville Township is in the Beaverdam Creek watershed, drained by unnamed right-hand tributaries of Beaverdam Creek. Indian Creek and Beaverdam Creek are tributaries of the South Fork Catawba River.

History: During the last half of the 18th century, German, Dutch, and Scots-Irish families from the Colony of Pennsylvania migrated south and settled in the Cherryville area. Land grants made by King George III of England date back to 1768, and as early as 1792 Governor Samuel Ashe of North Carolina made grants in and around “White Pine”, as the settlement was known at the time. A village began to develop at a crossroads on the Old Post Road, a main thoroughfare between Salisbury, North Carolina and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

In 1862, the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad (later known as Carolina Central Railroad) reached White Pine. The town served as a water and coal stop. Along the railroad, a local resident planted cherry trees, and the train engineers soon began calling the settlement “Cherryville”. The town was incorporated under this name in 1881.

Business/Industry: Agriculture was Cherryville’s main economic base for many years. However, during the late 1800s, the textile industry became established in the town. Cherryville’s first cotton mill, Cherryville Manufacturing Plant, was incorporated in 1891. It was soon followed by the opening of three other mills. By the turn of the century, the rural village had become an industrial community of a thousand people. Eventually, 13 mills would be opened in Cherryville, including Gaston Manufacturing Company (later operated as Dora Yarn Mills), Vivian Manufacturing Company (“Old Sardine”, later operated as Nuway Spinning Company), Melville Manufacturing Company (later Burlington Industries’ Pinnacle Plant), Howell Manufacturing Company, Rhyne Houser Manufacturing Company (later part of Burlington Industries’ Madision Division), and Carlton Yarn Mills, Inc. All of these plants have since closed.

In 1932, a trucking company began operating in Cherryville with one truck hauling produce from Florida to Cherryville. This company would become one of the largest freight carriers in the nation, known as Carolina Freight Carriers Corporation. After operating for more than sixty years, Carolina Freight was bought by the Arkansas Best Trucking Company in October 1995 and operations moved from Cherryville.

Points of Interest: The Cherryville Historical Museum preserves the history of the Cherryville area, and is open to the public each week during specified days. The C. Grier Beam Truck Museum, interpreting the history of freight trucking and Carolina Freight Carriers, is in the former Beam’s Shell Service Station and Office, 117 N. Mountain St., listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1922 Noah Benjamin Kendrick House at 402 N. Mountain Street is a Designated Gaston County Historic Property. Recreational sites in Cherryville include the semi-private Cherryville Country Club, with a nine-hole golf course, on the northeast side of town. The Cherryville Little Theatre.

The New Year’s Shooters preserve the area’s German heritage by honoring the custom of beginning each year with a chant and the shooting of muskets.

August 21, 2011 / Gaston Today Magazine

Gaston Town Spotlight: Lowell, NC


Lowell, NC

Geography: The town of Lowell is bordered by both the South Fork Catawba River and I-85 to the south. It is easily accessed by exit 22 off of I-85.

In 1879 Lowell, North Carolina, was named for Lowell, Massachusetts, because of its interests in textiles. Lowell dates back to 1850, when Woodlawn Mill (commonly called “pinhook”) was built on the South Fork River. When grading was done for the old Charlotte and Atlanta Railroad in 1870 and a small depot was built in the community, it was given the name “Wright’s Station”, because the nearest resident was William Wright.
On a spring day in 1867 a group of men and women who believed in the work of John Wesley met at the Gaston County Court House in Dallas (about six miles away from Lowell) and organized the first church in Lowell. George A. Garay was the founder of this Methodist Church. He gave the lot on the est. side of town (behind the former J.R. Titman home) where a one-room wooden structure was built. Jacob Jenkins and P.L. Horsley were character members. J.W. Puett was the first pastor. The church was on the Gaston Circuit. Since then, it has been replaced by a brick church which was constructed in 1921.
Today, Lowell offers a wide variety of housing options for people from all walks of life. Whether you are looking to rent an apartment or buy a home, we have a place for you here.

The City of Lowell prides itself on being small town that promotes patriotism and southern hospitality. We want you to come and enjoy the camaraderie and friendship that our residents and business owners have to offer.