Commonwealth Journal

Obituaries

October 18, 2012

SCC’s International Festival fiery hot

Somerset —  

Somerset Community College’s annual International Festival is always well-attended, but John Fryman made for an especially “hot” ticket on Thursday.
As crowds of students — college, high school — sat riveted on the SCC lawn just off Monticello Street, Fryman twirled a fire poi, a set of swinging weights that are lit on fire and twirled as a sort of dance, imported from the Maori culture of New Zealand. The danger and beauty of the art led to one top-notch show — and a mob of kids surrounding Fryman afterward hoping he’d sign his autograph somewhere on their skin.
“It was unbelievable to him,” said Elaine Wilson, SCC’s Director for Cultural Diversity. “He doesn’t expect that kind of thing.”
It just helped add up to what Wilson called “probably the best” International Festival yet in seven years. Around 400 people were in attendance, she said, with 250 youth from all three Somerset Independent city schools and even more from the county.
“We had a lot of extra community people who don’t normally come,” she said. “It’s probably the best one I’ve done as far as variety of activities, and as far as there being a lot of people there. I thought it was great.”
Ideal weather — sunny, not too chilly — helped and allowed functions to go outside. Last year, Lexington’s Big Maracas Band had to perform indoors, leading to a somewhat subdued reception. This year, they took the stage outside, allowing for a larger, more spread-out crowd and praise from SCC staff as one of the year’s most captivating feature presentations, showcasing the music of Hispanic culture.
Fryman was another outdoor hit. He’s been twirling the poi for about six months, after been shown the art by a friend from Idaho, and he’s been practicing it ever since. He noted that the Maori would traditionally use the poi to celebrate before or after a war. On Thursday, however, the poi was used to bring people together — in amazement.

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  • Viola Nichols

    Viola Keith Nicholas was born Sept. 5, 1921 to the late William and Alice Jones Keith and she departed this life to her eternal home on April 7, 2014, having attained the age of 92 years.
    She was a devoted wife to the late Wesley Nicholas for 50 years. She was a faithful member at Grave Hill Baptist Church where she taught the Ladies Sunday School class for many years. She retired from the Pulaski County Board of Education. After retirement she served as a foster grandparent at Oakwood Training Facility for special needs children. She also volunteered at the Burnside Elementary preschool program, giving her time, talents and love to the 3 and 4 year old children whom she adored.
    Viola is survived by two daughters, Diana (and Austin) Alton, and Tana (and Tom) Chesney; one son, Rex Nicholas; and three brothers, Robert (and Barbara) Keith, Danny (and Ann) Keith, and David (and Ellen) Keith.  
    She was also blessed with many grandchildren and all were special to her.
    Other than her parents and husband, she was also preceded in death by two sons, Wayne Nicholas and Gale Nicholas; two grandsons, Ricky Alton and Michael Nicholas; a granddaughter, Karen Alton Cogdill; and the following siblings: Alicie Super, Emerine Neeley, Mattie Keith, Maggie Godsey, Bertha Duncan, Clara Helton, Otis Keith, Clora Hardwick, Vergie Keith, Grover Keith, Mertie Yeskie, Lowell Keith, Joyce Sellers, Bill Keith, and Jim Keith; and the following step-siblings: Murphy Owens, Geneva Hill, Louise Fritts, and Reva Jones.
    Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, April 11, 2014 at the chapel of the Pulaski Funeral Home with Bro. Darry Hatfield and Bro. Doyle Worley officiating.
    Burial will follow in the Grave Hill Cemetery.
    The family of Mrs. Viola Keith Nicholas will receive friends at the Pulaski Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 10, 2014.
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to The Grave Hill Cemetery Fund, P.O. Box 85, Tateville, Ky. 42558, or Hospice of Lake Cumberland, 100 Parkway Drive, Somerset, Ky. 42503.
    Pulaski Funeral Home is honored to be in charge of all arrangements for Mrs. Viola Keith Nicholas.

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