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Barry Courter

Stories by Barry

Julia Koschulla knew when she was in high school back in Germany that she wanted to attend college, but she had no idea what field she might pursue.

LISA DENTON: Barry, I’m thinking I might head out to the Trumpet Festival of the Southeast this weekend at UTC. I don’t play a trumpet, mind you, and I’m not sure how welcoming they’d be if I whipped out my kazoo.

A trip to the River Gallery this month will offer a blending world of metal, ceramics, print and wood.

Q: Dad, we’re looking to rent a house. How is it different than renting an apartment?

Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, the dual lead guitarists for the Allman Brothers Band, have both issued statements that they will be leaving the band this year to concentrate on their own careers.

There are many time-honored topics that people will always joke about in part because they are, or were, based on some level of reality.

Whether he is jumping off a hotel balcony into a swimming pool, allowing a friend to shoot a BB gun at his bare butt, firing off a bottle rocket from that same part of his anatomy or performing stand-up comedy, Steve-O has one goal in mind.

LISA DENTON: Barry, I was looking at the entertainment calendar the other day and realized the old saying "feast or famine" might apply. Late December and early January had far fewer options than the norm, but the middle of the month is definitely picking up steam.

We've all done it or been tempted to.

Q: Dad, some of my friends are feeling pressure from their parents to choose a career path they aren’t really interested in. What should they do?

Obviously, the need for food is something we all have in common.

I think I’ve eaten at least once in each of the various eateries that have occupied the space in the bottom of the Union Square building over the years.

BARRY SAYS: For awhile there, it seemed like everyone was cooking shrimp and grits.

LISA DENTON: Barry, can you believe we've almost reached the end of another year? The other day, I started thinking that maybe I should come up with a few resolutions to better myself in 2014.

Q: Dad, Santa was awfully good to me this year? Can I thank him, and maybe an elf or two, in an email?

Last year was an educational one for me, I have to admit. I’ve done this job essentially for almost three decades and written probably a couple of hundred stories previewing, promoting and showcasing all manner of arts and entertainment events. I’ve been happy to do it, and will continue to do so.

Lots of people host open houses during the holidays, basically opening their doors for any old friends who might be in town. Michael Alfano at the Comedy Catch, 3224 Brainerd Road, is doing the same thing.

BARRY COURTER: Two more days, Lisa. Can you stand you it? The big day is almost here, which means some of us are looking for things to do to complete the holiday mood and festivities.

Dad, it suddenly occurs to me that I probably might maybe need to work this summer. Any suggestions?

Diamond Hayes sits among her schoolmates at Rivermont Elementary School, engrossed in the sounds.

I would rather take a beating than shop. So when I found myself last Saturday at a large discount retailer, I was both surprised and kind of proud of myself for the calm, ninja warrior-like attitude I carried. I was prepared for anything. Except what happened.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, it’s hurry-up time. This is the time of year when everybody must hurry up and finish their shopping, decorating and getting those Christmas cards out. We are running out of days.

Q: Dad, do some companies really check out the Facebook pages of people applying for jobs?

Darrell Patterson has spent the last three months cataloging and watching 760 3/4-inch video tapes (the old-school, pre-digital kind about the size of a decent Webster’s dictionary). That’s almost 1,000 hours worth of stories he’s presented during his nearly 40-year career at WTVC-TV 9.

Gary Miller’s film credits are fairly impressive even if you have to have pretty sharp eyes to catch him on-screen.

Celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, both former stars of “That 70s Show,” among other television and film credits, visited Rock City and Ruby Falls on Monday. The couple reportedly was traveling from Florida, where they had attended her brother’s wedding, to Nashville.

Ashton Kutcher and girlfriend Mila Kunis spent some time in Chattanooga on Monday visiting Rock City and Ruby Falls.

LISA DENTON: Barry, I know you're not a big follower of country music, but there's an artist coming to Track 29 on Friday who's worth putting on your radar. Her name is Kacey Musgraves, and she's just a breath of fresh air.

The shopping has to be done, and you can't exactly take the kids with you to buy Christmas gifts for them.

At a photography workshop Brandon Cawood attended more than a year ago, the instructor stressed the idea of doing personal projects. In his case, a photo series that was not a commissioned work — something just for himself.

It's not even Christmas but the music search committee at Friends of the Festival has signed its first three acts for the 2014 Riverbend Festival, set for June 7-14 at Ross's Landing.

Caitlin Hammon has always enjoyed singing, but hearing guest vocalist Stella Zambalis sing opera with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera changed her focus.

Riverbend is going high tech and will replace the admission pins that have been used since 1983 with wristbands that include a bar code, according to executive director Chip Baker.

Q: Dad, neither the radio or the cigarette light, I mean phone charge thingy, is working in my car. Why?

It’s not the first thing you notice watching an Alanna Royale show.

Melanie Young, a Girls Preparatory School graduate and the daughter of Sonia “The Purple Lady” Young and the late Mel Young, was named one of three honorees in the 2013 HandCraft Heroes Breast Cancer Campaign.

Two markers, one commemorating the old trolley car that brought residents and domestic workers to the houses along Missionary Ridge and another for the elementary school that once stood near Bragg Reservation were placed Tuesday.

BARRY SAYS: Kelley and I actually met many years ago while we were both working at the Gazebo and Brass Register on Georgia Avenue. While we were talking about what to make this month, we started talking about the Dickens Dinners that the Gazebo hosted every Christmas.

Kirby Yost remembers loading up her SUV with toys, then filling up her mother's vehicle with even more.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, you and I have done this a long time, but I don't remember the first week of December ever being this busy, and I'm not just talking about shopping for the holidays.

Q: Dad, what is your best advice regarding Christmas shopping?

A little more than 100 movers and shakers in the arts community gathered last Thursday at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center to talk about the state of the arts in education.

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I'm thinking this might be the week I put away the smiling pumpkins and the bite-size candy treats and start thinking about Thanksgiving.

As the big retailers go all out this year, starting traditional Black Friday sales on Thursday (Black Thanksgiving?), smaller, locally owned stores are also looking to the holiday season to bolster their business.

As most office workers can tell you, sitting all day at a desk can bring stiffness and aches to your neck, back and even legs.

Q: Dad, it looks like I might need to find an apartment for the summer. I want to stay near campus, but not in a dorm. Where do I even start to look?

It’s been a bad several weeks when it comes to news regarding the health of some of our better-known local musicians.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Barry Courter has a 24-year-old son who is a college graduate and a 19-year-old daughter who is a sophomore in college.

The WTM Band, The Dismembered Tennesseans and several of the young musicians who recorded songs for a CD called “Let Beauty Awaken” will perform at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre tonight, Nov. 21, as a fundraiser for arts programs in local public schools.

We’ve experienced a relatively mild fall, so the cold temperatures of last week (and forecast again for this week) may have surprised some area homeowners, but it’s not too late to prep the home for winter.

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