CIAA Journal: Thursday
Courtesy of www.qcitymetro.com
By Qcity Staff – February 26, 2010
Keepin’ her head above water
Richard Horsley stood frozen in the vendor area at Time Warner Cable Arena, staring at the object of his adolescent desire.
Seated before him at a vendor table, hawking autographs, photos of herself and copies of a booklet she has written, was Bern Nadette Stanis, aka, Thelma Evans from the 1970s sitcom “Good Times.”
Like many of the men who stood there, jaws agape, Horsley, of Charlotte, tried to express the level of his boyhood crush on the former TV star.
“Man, that was my girlfriend when she didn’t even knew she had a boyfriend,” he said. “But her daddy, James Evans, wouldn’t let me come up there to see her.”
Crowds gathered around Stanis’ table throughout the evening, mostly to gawk or snap photos. Thirty dollars could get you a picture with Stanis and a copy of her relationship booklet, “Situations 101.”
When price is no object
Located less than a block from Time Warner Cable Arena, the new Ritz-Carlton may be perfectly situated for CIAA fans. But with normal room rates costing close to $300 a night, did it attract huge crowds?
In keeping with the hotel’s upscale image, officials there weren’t saying too much, only that the 146-room Ritz is booked solid throughout the tournament.
“We are very pleased with the turnout over CIAA,” said Heidi Nowak, director of sales and marketing.
Nowak said hotel officials weren’t sure what to expect, this being their first CIAA experience. When the tournament ends, she said, managers will assess the week as they make plans for 2011.
One thing the hotel did do in anticipation of CIAA week, she said, was hurry to finish the new lobby bar.
Doing her part
If you go inside the Ritz, be sure to say hello to Shez Kennedy. She’s a CIAA volunteer manning the hotel’s hospitality/ambassador desk.
Kennedy said she went with her daughter to an orientation session for volunteers and decided to sign up herself.
“I wanted to be involved in what was going on in the community,” she said. “I wanted to be able to show what a great city Charlotte is and welcome people from out of town to this wonderful city.”
Kennedy, a retired flight attendant for Delta Airlines, moved to the Qcity from Los Angeles about a year and a half ago. She’s a graduate of Norfolk State University.
As for her new home, she said: “I love Charlotte. I live uptown. I feel like I’m in a major city because I can walk to theaters and restaurants.”
CIAA taught them to party
Neither Barbara Minnicks nor her husband, Clinton, attended an HBCU. But five years ago the Richmond, Va., couple came to CIAA Week for the first time and “got the feeling of how to party.”
They have not missed a CIAA since.
“Just to be around such a large group of positive people,” she said. “Everybody is so nice. Everyone we meet, from the police on down, is so wonderful and helpful.”
We caught up with the couple at the live broadcast of the Yolanda Adams Morning Show at the Charlotte Convention Center. Minnicks was waiting in line for Adams to sign a copy of her book, “The Points of Power.”
The Minnicks said they used to wait until the weekend before coming to CIAA. Now they arrive on Wednesday.
“Each year it gets earlier and earlier,” she said.