Features http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/features/todaysfeatures en Unusual artifact: Bottle of brandy had belonged to Earl Draper http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/unusual-artifact-bottle-brandy-had-belonged-earl-draper <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/dday_calvados_etched_bottle_verticle.jpg" alt="This bottle of calvados, a Norman apple brandy, was presented to Earl Draper after surviving a nearly fatal mishap during a parachute jump in 1994. The bottle is etched with the date of D-Day, in French, and the date of the 1994 jump, also in French. There is a pear at the bottom of the bottle." title="This bottle of calvados, a Norman apple brandy, was presented to Earl Draper after surviving a nearly fatal mishap during a parachute jump in 1994. The bottle is etched with the date of D-Day, in French, and the date of the 1994 jump, also in French. There is a pear at the bottom of the bottle." align="left" hspace="6" width="57" height="85" /><p> The National D-Day Memorial Foundation has been accumulating a collection of D-Day related artifacts and documents for nearly 20 years. One of the most unusual is a vintage bottle of Calvados, a Norman apple brandy. The bottle belonged to Earl Draper.</p> Local middle schooler has gift for playing the piano http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/local-middle-schooler-has-gift-playing-piano <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/dianne_fitzgerald_1_4_col.jpg" alt="Though only 11 years old, Dianne Fitzgerald is already using her gift of playing the piano to help others feel better." title="Though only 11 years old, Dianne Fitzgerald is already using her gift of playing the piano to help others feel better." align="left" hspace="6" width="113" height="85" /><p> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One of the area&rsquo;s most talented pianists is only 11.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;A sixth grader at Bedford Middle School, Dianne Fitzgerald performs at three local churches, including her home church, Big Island Baptist.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;She&rsquo;s also performed at other venues. One of these was the Pearson Regional Cancer&nbsp; Center, where she played to sooth patients as they received cancer therapy. Fitzgerald played classical music, hymns and &ldquo;American classics.&rdquo; She selected the music herself.<br /> Splinters and Threads http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/splinters-and-threads <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/march_ff_004.jpg" alt="Artisans Des and Linda Black are retired, but busier than ever. " title="Artisans Des and Linda Black are retired, but busier than ever. " align="left" hspace="6" width="64" height="85" /><p> By Patricia C Held<br /> Contributing Writer<br /> news@bedfordbulletin.com<br /> &nbsp;</p> Child’s illness leads to fight for funding http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/child%E2%80%99s-illness-leads-fight-funding <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/jake_c_3_col.jpg" alt="This photo is from the Spring of 2014 during a campaign to get legislators involved and supporting the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act." title="This photo is from the Spring of 2014 during a campaign to get legislators involved and supporting the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act." align="left" hspace="6" width="65" height="85" /><p> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Jake Russell was 3 years old when he started having pain in his leg.<br /> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;His parents initially thought he might have injured his leg in a fall so they took&nbsp; him to the doctor. An initial exam revealed Jake didn&rsquo;t have an infection and that there wasn&rsquo;t any break.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;More tests were run and soon they realized the diagnosis was much worse.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Jake had cancer &ndash; specifically Ewing&rsquo;s sarcoma.<br /> Four generations at mill http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/four-generations-mill <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/minnis_b_3_col_1.jpg" alt="Kevin Minnis, left, and his father, Larry, both work at Georgia Pacific’s Big Island mill." title="Kevin Minnis, left, and his father, Larry, both work at Georgia Pacific’s Big Island mill." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Larry Minnis and his son, Kevin, represent third and fourth generations of their family to work at the paper mill in Big Island.</p> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The first generation was Jessie Minnis, Larry&rsquo;s grandfather. The second was Larry&rsquo;s father, Marshall, who started in 1939. Larry&rsquo;s uncle, J. W. Reynolds was the mill&rsquo;s first black supervisor.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Kevin noted that his maternal great-grandfather, Gilbert Spinner, also worked at the mill.</p> Ringing the bell http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/ringing-bell <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/bell_tower_3_col.jpg" alt="Edward Stanley today" title="Edward Stanley today" align="left" hspace="6" width="57" height="85" /><p> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Last year&rsquo;s renovation of the bell tower on Bedford&rsquo;s courthouse included repairs to the clock. Long before that, however, Edward Stanley worked on the clock and made sure it rang on the half-hour, along with tolling on the hour.<br /> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Stanley always liked clocks and repaired them as a hobby when he was a child.<br /> They left not knowing what they would face http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/they-left-not-knowing-what-they-would-face <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/company_a_1940_national_guard_yearbook_5_col.jpg" alt="Company A in 1940" title="Company A in 1940" align="left" hspace="6" width="205" height="85" /><p> By April Cheek-Messier<br /> President<br /> National D-Day<br /> Memorial Foundation<br /> <br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Seventy-five years ago, on February 20, 1941, a group of hale and hearty American boys kissed mothers and girlfriends goodbye, picked up their duffels, and filed in good order onto a train in Bedford, Virginia.<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;None could know it, but they were departing for an unexpected rendezvous with history. They were Company A of the 116th Regiment, 29th Division&mdash;better known as the Bedford Boys.<br /> Bedford County woman celebrates her centennial http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/content/bedford-county-woman-celebrates-her-centennial <img src="http://www.bedfordbulletin.com/sites/www.bedfordbulletin.com/files/imagecache/thumb85/eva_author_3_col.jpg" alt="Eva Arthur talks with her sister, Betty Lipscomb." title="Eva Arthur talks with her sister, Betty Lipscomb." align="left" hspace="6" width="128" height="85" /><p> Eva Arthur, who grew up near Ivy Creek, celebrated her 100th birthday at Carriage Hill last week.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br /> <p> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;Arthur grew up on a farm at the foot of Jackson Mountain. She got lots of exercise when she was young. She had no transportation and frequently walked up, down and around Jackson Mountain &ldquo;running after cows.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;The family didn&rsquo;t raise cattle, but they had two Jersey cows that provided milk for their own use. Arthur helped milk the cows every morning.<br />