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‘Local Lens’ exhibit at Depot Gallery, which features work of 11 local photographers, opens Friday

By Kay S. Pedrotti

Opening January 20 with the usual 6-8 p.m. Friday reception is the latest exhibit at the Depot Gallery, featuring local and area photographers’ many views of Barnesville and its residents.

Among the contributors are Aleni Barkley, Bob Barber, Bill Chamberlain, Eduardo Cordon Blu, Walter Geiger, Janet Graham, Stef Parker, Sara Preston, Jessica Traylor, Josh Varnadoe and Lora Watson. Co-curators are Dorothy Carter, Angela Preston and Eleanor Stecker.

Scenes on display will include streets, houses, landscapes and skyscapes, churches, residents, schools, sports events, and other local and area interests.

Geiger, editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette, has entered some poignant crime scenes and “live” sports photos. “I am proud to have my work displayed, I truly am,” he said.

Bill Chamberlain of Zebulon is well-known in the area for his work in black and white. A visitor here from Guatemala, Cordon has been very excited about photographing the area – including a local football game – and is a nephew of Andreas Romero.

“To look at our area through the eyes –Local Lens – of our exhibitors is a real treat,” said Angela Preston. “We encourage everyone who loves a good picture to come look at these camera artists.”

The show will be up through Sunday, March 12, Stecker added.

Note: Lamar Arts supporters generally get postcards with notice of upcoming shows. The tornado that ripped through Griffin made that impossible for this show

Print edition packed with hundreds of Letters to Santa

Santa’s route never changes. He always visits the homes of all the good little boys and girls. The items on the wish lists of those children do morph over time, however.

This 12.20.22 print edition of The Herald Gazette is packed with hundreds of letters to Santa from kids in the community and, as always, they are full of humor and poignancy.

Toys that have popped up on the wish lists in numbers for the first time this year are Rainbow High Dolls, their first cousins Shadow High Dolls, the Gabby playhouse, robots and virtual reality gaming systems.

Old favorites still dot the lists in large numbers. PS5s, remote controlled cars, iPads, iPhones, X Boxes, and Nintendo handhelds remain favorites as do real live puppies and kittens. Pokemon cards and, in particular, vintage 1999 Pokemon cards have made a comeback.

The lists are as varied as the children who wrote them and their family situations.


Hadley, who is seven, writes, “For Christmas, please bring me good health to my MeeMaw Ruth.” Avery would like “a back pack, books and money to give people”.

Raylan, 8, reveals, “This year I have been nice. For Christmas please bring me a Batman Transformer and for you to heal my whole family.”

Shawn Daniel’s second grade class has been communicating with two children in Africa named Noe Benjamin and Faith and several kids mentioned them in their letters.

Saylah writes, “Please help Faith and Noe to get good toys.”

Carson joins in on the plea with, “…give Noe Benjamin a lot of stuff to eat and play with and a lot of toys. And Faith some food and some toys to play with.”

Then there are the usual funny missives.

Maizy Kelly is effusive and specific in her letter, “I have been very good this year. I hope you bring me a gift on Christmas. I want a Squishmallow, a dead baby shark in a jar and an electric scooter.”

Sami is also specific, seeking “a piano and a hover board”.

Allyson Ridgeway also makes her wishes clear to the man in red. “I have been good this year. I want a horse, a baby cat, a puppy, an iPhone 14, a Miko, it is a smart robot. I want a real baby sister, I want a slime kit and a craft kit,” she asks.

Charae is all about helping Santa with his monumental task, writing, “I hope you and the elves and Ms. Claus have a great Christmas. I wish to help by getting on your sled and putting gifts under the tree. I love the gift you brought last year. How are you guys today? I am 7 and I will be 8 soon. Knock, knock. Who’s there? Mary. Mary who? Mary Christmas Santa.”

Ava Grace also has a joke for Santa, “So, why did the child eat his homework? His teacher told him it would be a piece of cake.”

Leigha closes it out with this list, “This year I have been really nice. For Christmas please bring me $100,000 a puppy and a baby. Thank you and Merry Christmas.”

(Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us here at The Herald Gazette and barnesville.com)

Christmas Parade a big hit despite weather

Saturday night’s ‘Christmas in Toyland’ Parade through down Barnesville was a big hit, drawing throngs of people despite a constant cold drizzle.

Crowds were thick all along the traditional parade route.

There were multiple elaborate floats and decorated golf carts, a long chain of tricked out Jeeps and Santa led the way, riding in the bucket of a fire department ladder truck.

PHOTOS: WALTER GEIGER

Catch the Christmas spirit at these upcoming holiday events

Barnesville-Lamar County will be awash in the Christmas spirt in the coming days and weeks with multiple events on tap to help you and your family make merry. Here are those of which we are aware.

Thursday, Dec. 8:
The annual Empty Stocking Fund after hours event will be held at the main United Bank building in downtown Barnesville from 5-7 p.m. Bring an unwrapped toy or a monetary donation for the Empty Stocking Fund. Info: 404.733.7034.

The LCHS Chorus will present its Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center. Info: 770.358.8641.

Friday, Dec. 9:
‘The Polar Express’ will be screened in the meeting room of the Barnesville Library at 6 p.m. This free event is sponsored by Zoe Pediatrics. Kids should wear their comfy pajamas. Info: 678.359.1700.

Saturday, Dec. 10:
‘Christmas at the Ritz’ will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Ritz Park in downtown Barnesville. The holiday marketplace, featuring over 20 vendors and pictures with Santa, is sponsored by the Downtown Development Authority. Info: 770.358.0181.

‘A Hidden Haven Christmas’, a benefit for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home, will be held at Hidden Haven, 383 Van Buren Rd. from 4-8 p.m. It will feature a visit by Santa, food trucks, live music, vendors and activities for the kids. Admission is $5. Info: 770.510.3354.

The Christmas in Toyland parade will begin at 6:30 p.m. and follow the usual parade route through Barnesville. Floats and golf carts will be judged and cash prizes awarded. Check-in and staging begin at 4 p.m. at the Gordon parking lots off College Drive. Info: 770.358.0181.

Sunday, Dec. 11:
“Peace Has Come, a Christmas cantata by Mary McDonald, will be presented by the music ministry at First United Methodist Church in Barnesville beginning at 5 p.m. in the church sanctuary. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall. Info: 770.358.1494.

Monday, Dec. 12:
The LCHS band will presented it Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center. Info: 770.358.8641.

Tuesday, Dec. 13:
The LCMS band will perform its Christmas concert at 6:30 p.m. at the Fine Arts Center. Info: 770.358.8652.

Thursday, Dec. 15:
‘Jingle Bell Jukebox,’ a Christmas concert, will be presented by students at Lamar County Elementary School. The show begins at 6 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. Info: 770.358.5556.

Sunday, Dec. 18:
Golf Cart Caroling will begin at First United Methodist Church at 5:30 p.m. Decorate your golf cart and join in caroling for the homebound. Info: 770.358.1494.

Dec. 28-30:
The Oscar Wimberly Christmas Tournament will be played at the LCHS gym. Info: 770.358.8641.

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