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M A G A Z I N E Volume 2, No. 4

“I fancy that every city has a voice.” 336.617.0090

227A North Spring Street, Greensboro, NC 27401 www.ohenrymag.com Jim Dodson, Editor jim@ohenrymag.com Andie Stuart Rose, Creative Director andie@ohenrymag.com Ashley Wahl, Associate Editor Cassie Butler, Photographer/Graphic Designer Kira Schoenfelder, Graphic Designer Contributing Editors David C. Bailey, Maria Johnson, Jim Schlosser, Deborah Salomon Photographers Sam Froelich, Cassie Butler Contributors Harry Blair, Tom Bryant, Quinn Dalton, Sara King, Sarah Lindsay, Jo Maeder, Meridith Martens, Mary Novitsky, Lee Rogers, Stephen E. Smith, Stacey Van Berkel

O.H

David Woronoff, Publisher Advertising Sales Marty Hefner, Sales Manager 336.707.6893, mhefner@ohenrymag.com Hattie Aderholdt 336.601.1188 Kathryn Murphy 540.525.0975 Circulation 336.617.0090 ©Copyright 2012. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. O.Henry Magazine is published by The Pilot LLC

4 O.Henry

August 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012 9 12 15 17 19 23 27 31

Hometown

By Jim Dodson Short Stories Most requested recipe

By David C. Bailey the City Muse

By Ashley Wahl

artist at work

By Maria Johnson

The Omnivorous Reader

By Stephen E. Smith gate city icons

By David C. Bailey

34 37 41

Street Level

By Jim Schlosser On Sport

By Maria Johnson The sporting life

By Tom Bryant

74 Arts Calendar 83 GreenScene 94 Life’s Funny By Maria Johnson 96 O.Henry Ending By Jo Maeder

The Hophead

By David C. Bailey

Features

5 O.Henry Ending 4 All Things O.Henry 46 New poetry By Sarah Lindsay By Jim Schlosser

So, you thought there was just a hotel named for our boy, eh?

48 New Risk

By Quinn Dalton New fiction

The Dog Truth 52

By David C. Bailey

Our roving rundown of the Gate City’s favorite hot dogs

A Simple Treasure 56

By Ashley Wahl

Cozy and comfortable, this Fisher Park bungalow turned out to be the perfect home

64 In the Neighborhood

By Lee Rogers

Fisher Park is an oasis of leafy coolness. Always has been, always will be

August Almanac 71 By Noah Salt

Meteor showers, spider flowers and dragonflies. Must mean Dog Days are here again

Cover Illustration by Harry Blair, award-winning illustrator and longtime Greensboro resident

Photograph this page by Cassie Butler 6 O.Henry

August 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The one thing that was talked about

more than Walter’s new wife.

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HomeTown

Why Opti is Smiling

The opening of a wonderful new practice facility and continued growth of the Wyndham Championship say good things about the state of golf in the Triad

BY JIM DODSON

J

ust after dawn on a warm summer morning recently, I met my friend Geoff and his son John on the first tee at Greensboro National for a bit of early morning dewsweeping. We were the first off the tee with a newly risen sun at our backs, reminding me of the many rounds my father and I played at courses all over the city — usually at the edges of the day — when I was a kid growing up in Greensboro. In those days we belonged to Green Valley, the late great semi-public course where hundreds of Gate City golfers got their start. Every time I drive past the splendid Proximity Hotel on Green Valley Drive, I feel a small twinge missing that humble layout and the characters who haunted its fabled men’s grill under the watch of one Aubrey Apple, the gloriously profane hall-of-fame professional who banished me from the course for burying my Bulls-Eye putter in disgust after missing a two-foot putt for birdie on the 14th hole. Worst of all, after making me repair the wound I inflicted on the green, my dad made me walk back and report my crime directly to pro — who unplugged the slimy stub of a cigar that resided in the starboard corner of his mouth, leaned over the pro shop counter, and said, as politely as I can put it here, “You did what? Why you little &*%^$#@! Nobody beats up one of my greens and stays around here to tell about it! Tell you what, you get your &%$#@ little ass out of here and don’t let me see you again till Labor Day! Now git!” Needless to say, when my bony 13-year-old knees finally stopped knocking, I was devastated to realize what I’d done. In a way, though, the banishment was a blessing in disguise. First, obviously, it illustrated my father’s cardinal belief that golf is a game that brings out the best or worst in people because essentially you are your own policeman of the rules — and there are consequences both seen and unseen for those who choose to ignore them. Sportsmanship and personal integrity, he believed, were the most distinguishing features of the old Scottish game because they guaranteed honest competition. My nickname for my father, owing to his lofty regard for the spiritual integrity of the game, was “Opti the Mystic.” Initially at least, this was not meant to be a compliment. By showing my temper and beating up an innocent green, I was subject to the laws of the universe and my old man’s own personal code of behavior.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Thus he had little or no sympathy for my summer-long banishment. It was well-earned and deeply felt. The very next Sunday after church, however, he mysteriously drove me down to the Sandhills and showed me Pinehurst No. 2, a shrine of golf right up there with Augusta National, which he explained I would never get to set foot on if I didn’t learn to conduct myself with dignity on a golf course. We drove a few miles down the road to the adorable Mid Pines Hotel, where he introduced me to his friend, the head professional, Ernie Boros, and I even got to meet his famous brother, U.S. Open champ Julius Boros, who happened to be visiting Mid Pines that day. Boros asked me if I loved and respected the game, and I assured him that I did, receiving an autographed visor but too awestruck to realize how artfully I’d been set up. No matter. The lesson stuck. I never threw a club or beat up a golf green in anger again — at least when my old man was anywhere within sight. Eventually I fully reformed and began to get the message. The good news was, as I and a couple of buddies discovered, there were plenty of other places for a young buck to learn the game around town. Longview Golf Course out by the airport was a fun “goat farm,” as my best friend Pat McDaid called it, where you played all day for twelve bucks, including the hot dog and a large Pepsi Cola. Pat’s family belonged to Starmount Country Club, but our games weren’t up to that level yet. So we bashed the ball around Deep River, the Bur-Mil Club, Bel-Aire, TwinOaks, Dawn Acres, and Longview for the balance of the summer, having a high old time, scouring creeks for unblemished Titleist balatas and playing matches that rivaled Arnie and Jack for Pepsi and dogs. Something gets into your blood when you get hooked on golf as a kid. By the next summer I was playing Green Valley and Oak Hollow in High Point and the Jamestown Golf Club on a regular basis, occasionally Sedgefield and Carlson Farms as well, ever improving my game and my appreciation for it. When Bryan Park opened for play in the late 1980s, instantly named one of the nation’s premier municipal layouts, I was among the first to play it. Many years later, a few years before I took my ailing dad back to play the golf courses in England and Scotland where he’d learned the game during World War II, I flew home to play Green Valley on the day it closed. By then I was a contributing editor for Golf Magazine. Aubrey Apple heard I was in town and actually drove over to my parents’ house to give me a flag from the 16th hole. “You know,” he growled at me, “I never thought a Valley August 2012

O.Henry 9

HomeTown

Rat like you would amount to a &^%$#@ thing. But you did. That’s what golf will do for a snot-nosed kid.” Following our trip to golf’s Holy Land, a few months before he passed away, my old man and I played Stony Creek Golf Club — our actual final round together — and went to have a look at the new East Course at Grandover Resort, which had just opened. I was blown away by it. Somewhere about this time, days after it opened, I also got to play Greensboro National, and was impressed by its high quality. When you factored in the outstanding private courses around the Gate City — beginning with Sedgefield and Greensboro Country Club, also counting gems like Alamance Country Club, Forest Oaks and Pete Dye’s maniacal Cardinal course — it was tempting to think Greensboro was just this side of golf heaven, equal if not better than any other place in the state. Partly because of the things I learned from my dad on the golf course, and partly because I couldn’t bear the thought of letting him go, I spent the last month of his life sitting by his bed and serving as his personal care attendant, thanks to the good folks at Greensboro Hospice. On the March morning he slipped away, my old friend McDaid appeared and suggested we go play a round of golf in honor of Opti the Mystic. “Let’s go to a goat farm,” he proposed with a sly grin. We went out to Longview and had a hell of a match for a hot dog and Pepsi. I have no idea who won. It was tough from afar to watch the old GGO fall on hard times, I must tell you. So when Bobby Long invited me to speak to sponsors of the revitalized Wyndham Championship last August about my passion for golf in general and Greensboro and the Triad in particular, I jumped at the chance. Moreover, when I saw what Long and tournament director Mark Brazil and the good folks at Wyndham Hotels and Resorts have done to restore

our beloved hometown tournament, I damn near had tears in my eyes. Combined with John McConnell’s comprehensive renovation of Sedgefield, the tournament’s spectacular restoration — benefiting its legacy as a place of champions — makes the Wyndham one of the classiest events you’ll find anywhere on the PGA Tour, and a symbol of a powerfully resurgent Triad. That’s why, days after playing Greensboro National with Geoff and his son John, a former Page golfer now attending UNC-Chapel Hill, I was thrilled to mosey over to Gillespie Park Golf Course, where my dad played his first actual round of golf in Greensboro as a young man, to meet my friends Terry Jones of the Wyndham Championship staff and Mike Barber of the First Tee of the Triad to see how the new First Tee practice complex is taking shape and pleasure. In a word, I was thrilled by what Wyndham and the First Tee have created, turning an old course into a birthing ground for future generations to learn the values of the game. To consider the potential long-range effects a revitalized PGA Tour event and an outstanding First Tee facility may have on golf in the Triad makes me feel — well, almost like a giddy Valley Rat again. Better yet, despite strong economic headwinds, the state of both public and private golf here seems decidedly on the upswing. Greensboro Country Club’s brilliant restoration of their Farm Club by renowned British designer Donald Steel, and a welcome management change out at Greensboro National that has doubled paid greens fees over the past year, herald very good things about the state of golf in the city. Grandover Resort continues to attract national attention, and Bryan Park has never been better — one of the best bargains in America. Somehow, wherever he’s watching from, I suspect Opti the Mystic would be very pleased. Perhaps old Aubrey Apple, too. OH

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Contact editor Jim Dodson at jim@ohenrymag.com

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Monday-Friday: 10am to 6pm Saturday: 10am to 3pm The Art & Soul of Greensboro

O.Henry

Short Stories Your Guide to the Good Life in Greensboro

Tongue in Cheek?

As a boy growing up in Greensboro, I kept hearing a disturbing story: New York sculptor Francis Packer committed suicide in 1915 just after he’d sculpted the iconic statue of General Nathanael Greene at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. Upon completing the work, I was told, Packer discovered he had left the tongue out of the horse’s mouth and took his life in shame. On a recent boat tour down the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary, an echo of that story resounded. Pointing to an ancient bridge, our guide said a sculptor had crafted two enormous lions to guard the bridge’s portal. Upon completion, the artist was so devastated that he’d forgotten to include tongues in the lions’ mouths, he jumped off the bridge to his death. Great story. Not true. The tongues are there. The sculptor didn’t kill himself. Back to Packer and Greene. Look for yourself. Greene’s horse has got a great, lolling tongue, and Packer went on to create a number of other, treasured works across America. But stories about missing tongues can cause real tongues to wag, creating urban myths. One wonders if every city with an old statue has a missing tongue story. JS

Yes They Can

For some men, the meaning of the word “cook” may vary from how Mr. Webster would define it. But the Women’s Resource Center is convinced that men have more culinary prowess than they’re sometimes given credit for — and the WRC’s annual Men Can Cook fundraiser is proof. On August 11, 50 community men will put on their chef hats and serve up their signature dishes in a semi-progressive tasting experience that allows guests to sample a little bit of everything. Highlights this year include a silent auction and a “Battle of the Bakers” decorated cake competition featuring area confection wizards from Ollie’s Bakery, Maxie B’s, plus Godino’s Bakery and Dessert Café. Come hungry. Event kicks off at 6 p.m. at Greensboro Coliseum’s Special Events Center. Tickets: $45/adults; $10/children under 10. For tickets and more information, visit www.mencancook. org; www.womenscentergso.org or call (336) 275-6090. AW

12 O.Henry

August 2012

Porter: Unplugged

Looking for O.Henry memorabilia? The Greensboro Historical Museum has got you covered, quite literally the cradle (William Sydney Porter’s) to, immediately behind the museum, his parent’s and a brother’s graves (O.Henry’s grave is in Asheville). The museum’s shrine to O.Henry is part of the Voices of a City exhibit. Wander into the section highlighting Greensboro’s Denim Capital era and look for the O.Henry storytelling corner, where you can sit and read a few of his short stories. In the display cases overlooking the reading table are items that are just about as personal as anybody could want — a baby picture of the author, young Will’s slingshot, a handwritten love letter, a voice clip about the secrets behind his short stories and, don’t miss it — in an alcove on your right — a hilarious sketch Porter drew of the family cat being shooed from the bed by a gentleman wielding a sword (perhaps his father?) in an advanced state of undress. Info: 130 Summit Avenue, (336) 373-2043 or www.greensborohistory.org DCB

Outside the Fringe

It’s hot outside. But if there’s cool music, who cares? Music for Greensboro’s Sunday Evening in the Park concerts are free — and a great excuse to pack a picnic. Visit www.musep.info for details on who’s jamming which Sunday — and where. Were he still around to shake his dreads in approval, Bob Marley and his merry band of wailers would do just that in response to the Triad Reggae One Love Family Reunion Music Series, a multicultural festival on August 4 and 5 featuring the most delicious Jamaican music in the region. Listen from 2–10 p.m. at Aggie Park, where you can also eat your weight in yummy vendor food. Tickets are $10 either day, or just $15 for the whole weekend; for information, call (336) 558-5715. Drive out to Doodad Farm (4701 Land Road, Greensboro) — an old tobacco-barnturned-quirky-concert-venue ten miles from downtown Greensboro — on August 11 for a Groove Jam/Food Drive to benefit Greensboro Urban Ministry. Jam starts at 3 p.m. Bring canned goods. Visit www.facebook. com/DoodadFarm for details. AW

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

You, Too, Can Serve Like an Isner

What a year it’s been for tennis ace and Greensboro native John Isner. He cracked the world’s top 10; notched a victory against Roger Federer; made the cover of Tennis magazine and represented the United States at the Olympics. He’ll return to this area to defend his title at the Winston-Salem Open, August 19–25, at Wake Forest University. He’ll stay with his family in Greensboro, which means his mom, Karen, will be getting a workout in the kitchen. John, who raves about his mama’s cooking, rarely dines out when he’s home, and his mother eats it up. “I really look forward to it,” she says of her youngest boy’s longest visit of the year. For breakfast, she usually serves him a six-egg omelet, toast, and Greek yogurt with fruit and granola. For dinner, the 6-foot-9 Isner likes healthy, hearty fare such as steak-and-chicken fajitas, bison burgers or fish. Karen was nice enough to share her recipe for one of John’s faves, Thai chicken satay. It serves four regular-size people. 8 12-inch bamboo skewers 2 English cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin (ask the produce manager to point them out to you) 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup well stirred, unsweetened coconut milk (not cream of coconut) 4 medium-sized skinless, boneless chicken breasts, each cut diagonally into six strips. 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon water 1/4 cup rice vinegar 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 medium shallots, sliced thin 1 jalapeño chile, minced, with seeds discarded Soak skewers in water for at least 30 minutes. Toss cucumbers with salt and let stand 30 minutes. In a bowl, stir curry paste with 1/4 cup coconut milk. Add chicken and turn to coat. Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature. Prepare charcoal fire or gas grill at medium heat. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut sauce by whisking together the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, red pepper, 1/3 cup coconut milk, water and cilantro until smooth. Drain cucumber, discarding liquid. Pat dry. Return cucumber to bowl. Stir in the pickling solution of vinegar, sugar, shallots and jalapeño. Refrigerate sauce and pickles until ready to serve. Thread two chicken strips accordion-style on each skewer. Discard marinade. Place skewers on grill, cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes total, turning once. Chicken should no longer be pink. Arrange skewers on a platter. Serve with pickled cucumbers and peanut sauce. Great with jasmine rice. MJ

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Short Stories Sauce of the Month

Fifty years ago this August, Guy Parker opened a restaurant where he cooked whole pigs low and slow over hickory coals. “My father did not know at the time that he was making history by allowing blacks and whites to dine together in his restaurant,” says his son, John Parker. Although the Goldsboro outlet closed in 2005, John Parker still cooks up Guy Parker’s Old Fashioned Bar-B-Q Sauce out of Greensboro. Carried in Fresh Markets, Harris-Teeters and Best Way (store locator at www.guyparkersbbq.com), it’s a classic, Eastern North Carolina dip, from red peppers, vinegar, spices and not a grain of sugar. Though not quite as hot as Scott’s, also from Goldsboro, it’s a little more aromatic. Still too hot for you? “Don’t shake up the bottle,” John Scott advises. DCB

Please Excuse Our Dear O.Henry

“Eat the turkey, pardon O.Henry,” Scott Henson, a Texas crusader for prison reform, wrote on his blog in 2011. He was referring to President Barack Obama’s speech, pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey while employing a quote from O.Henry. Were the President’s speech writers totally unaware of what some people consider O.Henry’s wrongful three-year imprisonment for embezzlement? Creating PardonOHenry.com, Henson invited people to sign a petition urging a posthumous pardon of the writer. Henson’s goal? About 10,000 signatures. The reality? Less than 500 in early July. Henson is hoping the publicity surrounding the forthcoming O.Henry stamp in September will spur more publicity and signatures. “We’re hoping to reach our goal by Thanksgiving,” he says, “when we plan to submit the petition just before President Obama does his annual turkey pardon.” But Henson’s real goal is to shine a light on the decline in the use of pardons. “U.S. presidents once granted pardons to more than 30 percent of applicants,” he says. “Today just a tiny fraction of 1 percent are granted. Clemency has become a running joke among the political class but none of the reasons the Founding Fathers thought it was important have gone away.” DCB

August 2012

O.Henry 13

Most Requested Recipe

Gone Coconuts

The Ultimate Driving Machine

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John Isner & Crown BMW.

Dot Lambeth’s popular three-layer cake is as easy to make as it is delicious to eat

Instinct for Distinction.

BY DAVID C. BAILEY

O

n the third Wednesday of every month, the Monticello United Church of Christ in Browns Summit hosts a fundraiser. “We have what we call a munchie,” explains longtime church member Gayle Hughes. “Different families furnish the food, and we ask for a donation.” The money goes toward a new family life center the 103-year-old congregation is building just across the road. On the dessert table, which is always laden with goodies from the church’s Centennial Cookbook, one dessert towers above all the others, Dot Lambeth’s coconut cake. “Everybody just fights over it,” says Hughes, who was on the cookbook committee. Not that other sweets from the cookbook such as the Cherry Yum Yum, the Lemon Lush, the Tea Time Tassies or the Dump Cake aren’t popular. “We have a lot of really good cooks in our church,” Hughes says. But Lambeth’s three-tiered coconut cake, carpet bombed with mile-high icing and handfuls of coconut, stands out. “When it gets put out, everybody just runs to get them a piece before it gets gone,” Hughes says. The secret, Lambeth says, is ladling milk cooked with sugar over each of the cake’s three layers before they’re iced. Other than that, there’s nothing particularly exotic about the recipe. She uses a Duncan Hines Classic Butter Golden cake mix, Cool Whip and finely-grated frozen coconut. “I used to buy a coconut and grate it and do all that, but as time went by, I found that frozen coconut worked just as well,” she says. Most important, she says, is the cake’s appearance: “Food needs to have a certain look to it,” she says. “I always think if it looks pretty, it’s just got to taste good.” The 83-year-old Lambeth has had a lot of experience, both cooking for crowds and making food picture pefect. For decades her husband, Phil Lambeth, farmed tobacco. “We raised tobacco all over Guilford County all the way to the airport,” she recalls. “I fed all the help at lunch for years.” Not to mention their four children. Snap beans, creamed corn, pintos, macaroni and cheese, sliced tomatoes, slaw and The Art & Soul of Greensboro

always cornbread, along with maybe chickenand-dumplings or meat loaf — and, of course, either pound cake or cobbler for dessert. “I don’t do the gourmet stuff,” she says. “I just cook good Southern food.” Which is what you’ll find in the Centennial Cookbook: Louan’s Squash Posh, for instance, loaded with eggs, mayo and cheese. Or Okra Hoecakes, Uncle Clay’s Sweet Pinto Beans, Mayonnaise Muffins, Sawdust Salad and Cabbage Casserole.

Dot’s Coconut Cake 1 box of Duncan Hines Classic Butter Golden cake mix, plus one-half a recipe from another box to make three 9-inch cake layers (follow directions on box to prepare). EXTRA MOISTURE FOR THE CAKE 2 cups milk 1 cup sugar Bring to a boil. Drizzle over cake layers while they’re still warm. ICING 3 packages frozen coconut 1 large tub Cool Whip Bake cake as directed. Drizzle milk mixture over top of cake layers, waiting until layers are completely cool. Layer Cool Whip and then coconut on the bottom cake. Stack second layer and cover with Cool Whip and coconut. Repeat with top layer, icing the sides of the cake amply with Cool Whip. Be care to save enough coconut to cover all of the outside. Keep refrigerated. Centennial Cookbooks are available at the church or by mail order from Monticello United Church of Christ, 5001 N.C. Highway 150 East, Browns Summit, NC 27214; $15, plus $5 postage and handling. Call (336) 656-3256 for more information. Do you have a favorite local cookbook? We’d love to know about it. Email us at ashley@ohenrymag.com

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O.Henry 15

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Whispered Secrets, Public Places, Artist Unknown BY ASHLEY WAHL

P

erhaps it happened on a warm summer evening, the sky aflame with a tangle of such deep and lustrous color that it could make a poet or a lover out of anyone. The act was innocent enough: a simple inscription of their names together. Maybe he told her that he’d love her forever. Maybe she giggled as they fled into the darkness, with dewy eyes and dirty fingernails. ** Wet concrete, like a snapshot, captures moments in time. Sometimes: happenstance. More often: audacious traces of local minutiae. Sidewalk vandals keep their secrets. We’re left with their tactile whispers, and our wild imaginations. ** For street artists, much to the chagrin of city officials, all the world’s a canvas. Find unsanctioned tags on trash cans, sidewalks and buildings. Here today, gone tomorrow. Behind the abandoned Guilford Dairy Skate Shop on West Lee Street — former home of Mayberry Ice Cream — an arresting graffiti tableau beckons novice urban artists. Beware of paint fumes. Ditto the crude messages. Among the scrawl is occasional talent. A small yet striking stencil tag catches the eye. A rat with a blurry sign that appears to say: OUR LIE. I recognize this distinctive style. Chances are slim that the British street artist who calls himself Banksy was here. The stencil, however clever, is a blatant imitation. Identity crisis, anyone? Banksy’s works often drip with black humor and sociopolitical satire. Never heard of the guy? Watch Exit Through the Gift Shop, directed by the anonymous artist, for a crash course on Banksy and the Bristol Underground Scene, plus a peek into the psyche of the French immigrant who accrued the footage. On Spring Garden Street, another Banksy imposter — or perhaps the same one — tagged an iconic stencil on the otherwise blank exterior wall at The Corner Bar. An ape in a wearable sandwich board that says: The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The City Muse LAUGH NOW, BUT ONE DAY WE WILL BE IN CHARGE. He appeared there last fall, but could be gone by the time these words are read. “The fact that they can’t make their own art is pretty lame,” says a friend. Good thing Banksy doesn’t get all worked up about copyright. “Stolen Picasso Quote” was on display in the Banksy versus Bristol Museum Summer Show in 2009. Etched in stone, it looked like this: “The bad artists imitate, the great artists steal.” Pablo Picasso Banksy ** Research suggests that public art murals discourage graffiti, “which I think says something positive about the human spirit,” says Ray Martin, a Greensboro College art professor. August before last, tasteless vandals marred a new tunnel for bikers and pedestrians on the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway. By September, Martin and a jolly band of local talent animated the space — a $1.2 million underpass at Cone Boulevard — with paint supplied by Greensboro Parks & Recreation. “There must have been hundreds of volunteers over the course of the mural’s manifestation,” says Martin, whose enchanting watercolors served as the motif for the project. Pass through by bike or foot. Delight in the tangled whimsy of wildflowers, city landmarks, nursery rhyme characters and visual puns. ** Dirty Fingernails, a student art exhibit, opens at the Center for Visual Artists (CVA) on August 3, across the hall from the vaunted Green Hill art gallery at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center. I hope it’s half as enchanting as the Maurice Moore exhibit, “Invisible Man,” which was on display there during May. Maurice Moore makes his art in public spaces. Why not draw in the privacy of a studio? Because he doesn’t have one. “I don’t like to feel isolated,” says Moore. “I like working around people.” See his intimate drawings and bear the weight of his incessant insecurities. “I hate the fear and the pain, but it drives me,” says the black artist, who is openly gay. “Undisclosed Desires” is a mixed media work composed of 500 hands done on 8” x 11” sheets of paper. Each hand is his, but each is different. Look closely. Some hands are made up of microscopic words, which whisper intimate confessions. Some contain Moore’s own fingerprints. Some are missing fingers. Some are done on crumpled notebook paper. Each offers a glimpse into the psyche of an artist uncovering himself. Find one of Moore’s works in the “Art on Paper” exhibit at the Weatherspoon Art Museum when it opens this October. Or maybe you’ll see him out in public, making art in a coffee shop, or on some sunny patch of sidewalk. OH Our muse, O.Henry associate editor Ashley Wahl, is a born wanderer. August 2012

O.Henry 17

Every successful presentation is preceded by

thorough preparations.

shorescleaners.com

High Point

I Greensboro I Winston Salem

Artist At Work

Being O.Henry

A few minutes with the man behind the mustache

By maria JohnSon

O

PhoToGraPh By CaSSie BUTler

nce in a while, strangers will see local actor Stephen Hale eating out, and they’ll greet him by another name. “Hey, O.Henry,” they’ll say. “Hello,” Hale will answer without skipping a beat. After nine years of playing William Sydney Porter — aka O.Henry — on stage, he’s used to being recognized as Greensboro’s favorite literary son. This year — the 150th anniversary of Porter’s birth — will increase his visibility. Hale-as-Porter was the grand marshal of the July 4 parade in downtown Greensboro. He’ll also appear at a September 21 gala to benefit the Greensboro Historical Museum and to honor O.Henry at his namesake hotel. And, as he has done for the last nine years, Hale will slip into character to introduce the one-act vignettes in 5 by O.Henry, a handful of Porter’s short stories adapted to the stage. This year’s show will be Sept. 6–9 and 13–16 at the Greensboro Historical Museum. Recently, we sat down with Hale to talk about his life as O.Henry. O.Henry: How did you come to be O.Henry? Stephen Hale: Well, before I was O.Henry, I was in the ensemble of the show. I was a character in one of the short stories. That’s how I got my foot in the door. The nice thing about being in 5 by O.Henry is that because it’s not an auditioned group — it’s an invited group — it’s a lot of friends who get together and work, and just enjoy being together, and it really comes out on stage. Had you been in acting for a long time? Since high school. I went to college at UNCG, then I went to school in New York City, and I did ten years working in theme parks before moving back to Greensboro. I’ve been performing and slowly getting into directing and choreographing shows. And in real life, you . . . By day, I’m a payroll and benefits manager for a local software-auditing firm. That helps to pay the bills so I can do what I love at night, which is perform. How do you portray a character like O.Henry, who is so unfamiliar to people today? The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Other than the period dress, what I do is grow a mustache, a handlebar mustache, and I have for nine years. That’s how I identify O.Henry — as the gentleman with the mustache. I also slick my hair back and part it in the middle. What were his other physical characteristics? He was a little larger than I am. He liked his drink. Do you appear with a cocktail in hand? In the show, I will bring it out only if the prop is called for in the story I am introducing. The show, 5 by O.Henry, is so much more about the stories than it’s about O.Henry. How would you describe the essence of O.Henry? I think what made him such a great storyteller is that he observed what was happening around him, and he took that, and he put it on paper so that every man could understand it. He didn’t make it too complicated. He kept it simple so it appealed to a large audience. Plus, he did something other people didn’t do: He had that hook at the end of his stories, that unexpected ending, and August 2012

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Artist At Work that’s often what makes his short stories translate so well to the stage. What’s your feeling for what his personality was? I think his personality was probably more withdrawn and quiet. In reading his biographies, you see that he was a good student and a good worker, but I think he wanted to be in the background rather than someone in the forefront, the center of attention. He would watch what was going on, then he’d do little doodles and sketches. He was an observer. It’s hard to play an observer. You can’t just stand up there on stage and watch the audience and say, “I’m being O.Henry now.” So I take his observations and try to make them interesting and interactive. I try to bring humor to it, and I often ask the audience questions to get their response. I try to get them to feel like they’re part of the experience. I like to single out one person, and talk to them, and have a little fun. Like if there’s a song or a part of the story that’s suggestive, I might say, “You seemed to be enjoying yourself, didn’t you? A little too much.” I try to make it light. You’ve studied him; tell us something most people might not know about him. He grew the mustache to hide himself. He didn’t want people to recognize him after he’d been to prison. Do you like O.Henry? Absolutely! I really do like him. What I think is interesting is he traveled a lot and his stories are a reflection of where his travels took him. I like that he was a giving person. He didn’t die a rich man, and it’s not because he didn’t make money from his writings. But he gave his money away to anyone who asked for it. He was an unselfish man. He had some good qualities as well as some big character flaws. If he were alive today, what would he be doing? I think he’d be a writer because he enjoyed it. If he weren’t a writer, I think he’d be someone who did satirical cartoons and political commentary cartoons in the newspaper Still low paid after all these years. (Laughing) Probably. I think he would do it because he enjoyed it, and it made him happy. And it would have been a way for him to get his point across, which I think is what he really wanted to do. For information about 5 by O.Henry and the gala honoring O.Henry, go to www.greensborohistory.org and click on “events.” OH

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The Omnivorous Reader

Boy, Lost and Found

This meticulously detailed account of the famous Bobby Dunbar case takes readers on a tantalizing journey

By STePhen e. SmiTh

I

n August 1912, an Opelousas, Louisiana, couple, Lessie and Percy Dunbar, and their 4-year-old son, Bobby, vacationed at Swayze Lake in nearby Landry Parish. On the afternoon of the 23rd, Bobby wandered away from his parents and into a bayou populated with alligators, thus initiating an eight-month statewide search that led to the apprehension of William Cantwell Walters, an itinerant organ and piano repairman/tuner who was thought to have been traveling through Landry Parish at the time of Bobby’s disappearance. Accompanying Walters was a boy of the approximate age and general description of the missing Dunbar child, and despite Walters’ claim that the boy in his charge was Charles Bruce Anderson, the son of Julia Anderson of Robeson County, North Carolina, he was held on suspicion of kidnapping and the child was placed in the custody of the Dunbars. What followed was a series of legal and journalistic convolutions that will test the credulity of the most patient reader. Tal McThenia and Margaret Dunbar Cutright’s A Case for Solomon is a meticulously researched and soundly written history of the much-publicized Bobby Dunbar case. McThenia, who presented the radio documentary “The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar” to NPR audiences in 2008, has collaborated with Margaret Dunbar Cutright, a North Carolina resident and the granddaughter of Bobby Dunbar, to unravel this complex and often incongruous tale of happenstance and human frailty. Much of the confusion surrounding the Dunbar case is attributable to media coverage. Louisiana and Mississippi newspapers followed Bobby’s disappearance and recovery in minute detail, piling one sensational piece of misinformation upon another. When the child was returned to Lessie, one paper reported that he cried “Mother!” Competing papers claimed that the boy immediately rejected Lessie and that she was unable to make a positive identification. Distinguishing marks, most prominently a burn scar on the child’s big toe and a mole behind one ear, were offered as proof that the boy was Bobby Dunbar, but not long after Lessie had confirmed her identification, Julia Anderson arrived to claim the child, although she was also reticent about making a positive identification. Anderson was a single mother — she’d been jailed briefly in Robeson County for refusing to identify her child’s father to a magistrate — and as The Art & Soul of Greensboro

such was the object of derision among the audience that followed the everevolving story. An editorial in the State suggested that the boy’s true identity was of no matter since Julia was undeserving of custody. As the case progressed, competition among regional newspapers grew more intense. The Dunbar case was exactly what was needed to increase circulation and advertising. Headlines such as “‘FOR GOD’S SAKE, BABY SPEAK TO ME!’ CHILD DOESN’T RECOGNIZE HIS MOTHER” blared above the masthead in many of the papers. Blatant misreporting and rampant gossip molded public opinion, which at first favored the Dunbars’ claim on the child and then Anderson’s. After much haggling, the boy identified as Bobby Dunbar returned to Opelousas and a joyous homecoming parade. Walters was charged with kidnapping. To further complicate this complex tale, witnesses testified under oath they’d seen other “tramps” and boys roaming the countryside when the Dunbar child went missing and that these vagrants bore no resemblance to Walters or the child accompanying him. Walters meticulously retraced his movements during the time the Dunbar child was missing, and he presented witnesses and testimonials as to his whereabouts on the day of the child’s disappearance. Many of these witnesses identified the child as Bruce Anderson. The trial was a sensation — that year’s “trial of the century” — and each session brought another bizarre twist. Overflow audiences crowded into the courtroom, and order was difficult to maintain. The child, whoever he was, frolicked about the room, using it as a playground. Defense attorney Edward Dubuisson came closest to the truth in his final argument: “There are times, he said, when a mother’s identification becomes poorest of all; times when an idea has become an obsession and the wish is father to the thought.” But the prosecution was playing to a August 2012

O.Henry 23

Reader hometown audience, and Julia had no chance of recovering the child. Walters was found guilty of kidnapping and carted off to prison, but the verdict was eventually overturned. He went free after serving only two years, and for the remainder of his life, he maintained his innocence. Julia Anderson settled in Poplarville, Mississippi, married and gave birth to seven more children. She became a nurse and midwife and helped found a local church. The child known as Bobby Dunbar grew up, married, raised a family and died in 1966, leaving his parental origins a mystery, even to himself. But in 2004, Bob Dunbar Jr. con-

The trial was a sensation — that year’s “trial of the century” — and each session brought another bizarre twist. sented to a DNA test, which proved conclusively that he was not related by blood to his assumed cousin, the son of Alonzo Dunbar, the younger brother of Bobby Dunbar Sr. What became of the child who wandered into the bayou will likely remain a mystery. To assist readers in identifying the principal players in the Dunbar case — over 32 individuals were intimately involved — the authors have wisely included a list of characters. Maps of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana allow the reader to trace the movement of Walters, Anderson and the Dunbars during the course of the narrative. And readers familiar with the NPR documentary will find McThenia and Cutright’s storytelling compelling and the story beautifully paced. A Case for Solomon is irresistible. It does what all rewarding nonfiction should do: It takes the reader on a fascinating and informative journey. It also raises serious questions about the role of media in shaping public opinion. More importantly, it sets the record straight. OH Stephen Smith’s most recent book of poetry is A Short Report on the Fire at Woolworths. He can be reached at travisses@hotmail.com.

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Friendly Family Ties

Gate City Icons

For more than 40 years, Tex & Shirley’s Pancake House has served the city. By David C. Bailey

Photograph By Cassie Butler

W

hy would anyone give up a position as vice president of Greensboro’s vaunted Quaintance-Weaver Restaurant and Hotels to run a lowly pancake house? Bart Ortiz’s short answer as to why he bought his dad’s Tex & Shirley’s Pancake House is, “The draw was to help in the family business and to have my own thing.” The longer answer involves him honoring his father and mother, following his heart and preserving local jobs. Most of all it’s about saving a Greensboro landmark, one of the city’s most popular enclaves, where for more than 40 years people have congregated to chat, to celebrate, to commiserate, to cut business deals, to go on first dates, to pop the question, or to just eat way too many chocolate-chip pancakes, topped with a big slab of melting butter and drizzled with gobs of maple syrup. As they sit in pine-paneled booths and tuck into stacks of flapjacks hot off the griddle, few customers know how close Tex & Shirley’s came to being shuttered. “It’s been tough,” says Bartolo Joseph Ortiz, 66, who bought the restaurant from Lubbock, Texas, native Slater “Tex” Moore, and his wife, Shirley, in 1989. “If I had not had money saved up, we wouldn’t be here.” Sure, the restaurant is jam-packed every weekend. And groups like ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) and the Bokeh amateur photographers meet there regularly. But since the economy began to falter in 2008, the competition has been brutal — from a spawn of new chain restaurants in The Shops at Friendly Center to Whole Foods’ buffet bar. “It took a year for our lunches to get back to where they were after Chick-fil-A opened,” says the senior Ortiz. “I’m dealing with a little bit of burnout.” So just about a year ago, young Bart, 40, his brother Josh (who manages the High Point location) and their father sat down to formalize their options at Friendly, “everything from keeping it going, to selling it, to closing it,” Bart Ortiz recalls. “The most logical business decision was to close it and leave the High Point location open. None of us were comfortable with that.” Why? Bart points with his pen to a waitress balancing, like some high-wire acrobat, a tray topped with a half-dozen plates of pancakes. “Susan [Almazan] has been here for more than 30 years, as has the other Susan [Estioko], and there’s Lesley [Schmidt] and Linda [Marshall], who’ve been here just as long, if not longer.” All of them, who signed on to work with Tex and Shirley, are on a firstname basis with countless regulars. They know their food preferences about as well as their mommas. One customer, for instance, insisted having toast almost burnt to a crisp. Everyone knew why. That’s the way his wife fixed it. “The people side of it weighed heavily,” Bart Ortiz says. “If the doors were The Art & Soul of Greensboro

locked, they wouldn’t have a job.” Tex and Shirley Moore came to town in the 1970s to help a Michigan franchisee manage two Uncle John’s Pancake Houses, one on Battleground, one in Friendly Shopping Center. By the time the owner decided the stores were too far from his other restaurants, “Tex and Shirley had fallen in love with North Carolina and offered to buy the Friendly location,” Bartolo Ortiz recalls. Tex had an Uncle John’s in Lansing, Michigan, where Bartolo worked his way up from dishwasher to line cook to manager. In 1978, Tex brought him to Greensboro to run the Battleground restaurant, which suited Bartolo fine: “I hated the winters in Michigan,” he says. The Friendly Tex & Shirley’s struggled from the beginning. Things really didn’t catch on, Tex Moore once reflected, until Sears built a store across the street in 1973. Although Tex was temperamental and stubborn (as long as he owned the restaurant, he refused to serve country ham, grits or sweet tea), Bartolo came to regard him as a second father. In 1980, the senior Ortiz became manager of the Friendly location and, in 1989, bought it from Tex and Shirley (Shirley died in 1995 at 61, and Tex died in 2008 at 86). Both of Ortiz’s sons spent a lot of time at the restaurant after their mom, Debbie, moved to Florida following the parents’ divorce. The staff, Josh Ortiz says, “were like an extended part of the family who watched us from a very early age grow up all the way to adulthood.” Bart went to work at Tex & Shirley’s at 13. Although his job description had him washing dishes, sweeping floors and busing tables, “all I wanted to do was cook,” Bart recalls, “so I’d do anything that got me a little closer to the kitchen. Even as a dishwasher, I’d drop toast for the guys or make waffles.” At 18, he cooked at several other restaurants, including Lucky 32. Joshua Justin Ortiz, the younger brother by five years, followed a similar route and went to work at the restaurant full time right out of high school. Only a few months after Josh signed on as a line cook, the night manager announced he was quitting — only hours before he was due to manage the night shift. “My dad and I kind of looked at each other,” Josh recalls, “and I said, ‘Well, I’ll go home and shower up and come back.’” He’s been a manager ever since. His dad credits him with turning the night business around at the Friendly Tex & Shirley’s and helping him launch the High Point location. “He’s the glue,” says Bart Ortiz. Bart’s own love of cooking got sidelined by a new-found passion, music. August 2012

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Clothing X Lingerie Jewelry X Bath & Body Tabletop X Baby Home Accessories 1826 Pembroke Road, Greensboro, NC 336-274-3307 (Behind Irving Park Plaza) Monday thru Friday 9:00–4:30 Saturday 10:00–4:00

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Gate City Icons

At Ragsdale High School, Ortiz had fallen head-over-heels for marching band and Carin Speckhard, a fellow drum major who became his wife (and still is after 18 years). Bart studied at UNCG, but transferred to Indiana University, where he joined the school’s famed Marching Hundred, even writing a drill and arranging some numbers for the band. Ortiz also played in the pep band for Indiana’s basketball games, “front row for every game, behind the basket,” he recalls. Right out of school, he landed a job teaching band in Charlotte. “I enjoyed the teaching and the music, but it didn’t move fast enough with me, and I’m not good with bureaucracy,” he recalls. Knowing Dennis Quaintance, Quaintance-Weaver’s CEO, from Lucky 32, he gave him a call. “I joined Quaintance-Weaver as manager of flavor and consistency,” Ortiz recalls. Despite a lack of formal culinary training, Ortiz dove in, helping with the company’s trademark seasonal menu changes at Lucky 32 and mastering Green Valley Grill’s signature woodburning oven just before the restaurant opened in 1998. Prior to the debut of Quaintance-Weaver’s Print Works Bistro in 2007, he traveled to Paris, where he met and interned with veteran chefs. He returned to concept the French-inspired menu at Print Works. Wearing his red beret at a jaunty angle, he served as Print Works’ executive chef for the next three years, garnering rave reviews locally and nationally. On Quaintance-Weaver’s corporate ladder Ortiz went from happily managing Print Works’ frying pans into the fire to managing the company’s flagship O.Henry Hotel, with 131 guest rooms and 7,000 square feet of meeting space. The O.Henry was competing — with a higher room rate — not just against other hotels, but head-to-head with Quaintance-Weaver’s brand new, highly publicized Proximity Hotel. Bart says he’s indebted to QuaintanceWeaver for how he learned “to run complex kitchens, to lead people and to come at things from the guests’ perspective.” But he says he slowly came to

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

realize that “the day-to-day managerial duties in a corporate environment turned out not to be right for me.” And there was another factor: As his father knows from experience, “there’s a big difference between working for someone else and owning it yourself.” Says Josh Ortiz, “There’s a certain satisfaction you get from ownership that you just can’t get anywhere else.” Most of all, Bart Ortiz missed what he enjoyed both in teaching school and as an executive chef — mentoring. “I’m at my best when I’m helping others achieve optimal experiences in their life and work.” Says his dad: “He has a unique quality of working with someone who is having a hard time and getting them to change their attitude, coaching them in the right direction.” The brothers Ortiz agree that not much needs changing at Tex and Shirley’s. Bart did want to upgrade the coffee, but not before involving his father, brother and numerous customers in taste tests. After rejecting several hearty blends, he selected a mellow, single-origin Guatemalan coffee. Chicken tenders, chopped salads and fresh locally grown tomatoes are in the offing. Crépes Suzette? “Never,” says Bart Ortiz. And the pancakes, made from scratch daily, with eggs, sugar, flour, baking powder and two semi-secret ingredients, buttermilk and corn meal, slavishly follow the original recipe. The real secret? How the ingredients are blended and in what order — and knowing just when the pancakes need flipping. And there’s something else that won’t change: “I’d never want to change the name,” Bartolo Ortiz says. “It was established as Tex & Shirley’s, and it’s become a Greensboro icon. I don’t think you want to spoil a good thing.” The challenge his sons face is to take a good thing and make it better. OH David C. Bailey is a regular contributing editor of O.Henry magazine.

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The Hophead

Will to Drink

Did anyone ever have as much fun — and grow his literary fame — while pickling his liver better than O.Henry?

By David C. Bailey

W

ill Porter, I’m convinced, would love this magazine, and not only for its superb poetry and fiction and the inside scoop on his native Greensboro. No, I can think of three other topics that would interest him — our incisive coverage of wine, spirits and beer. O.Henry loved all three to excess and led what’s come to be known as a drinking life — just as his father did and grandfather before him. The stories about his taste in, and capacity for, all things alcoholic are legion and have been well-documented in David Stuart’s poignant O. Henry: A Biography of William Sydney Porter. In fact, Stuart’s primary theme is how the short-story master created a “surrogate character, the author known as O.Henry . . . so that William Sydney Porter could live in the shadows of New York and slowly drink himself to death.” Yes, it’s a grim storyline, and Stuart relentlessly draws it out, but I don’t think I’ve ever read about anyone who had as much fun as O.Henry did as he pickled his liver. Stuart, however, doesn’t answer a basic question I keep asking. Would today’s drinkers recognize the brews he quaffed? As I read the book I kept asking myself, “What would O.Henry drink?” O.Henry’s “love of liquor,” Stuart says, began in Texas, where the 20-year-old Porter signed on as a ranch hand down by the Rio Grande, hoping fresh air and hard work would improve his health. What it did for sure was give him a powerful thirst, which he would periodically quench in Cotulla, where he and the other cowboys “stopped at the saloon for a little liquid refreshment.” Lager, rather than ale, would most likely have been on tap as Germans had been immigrating to Texas — and setting up breweries — since the 1840s. But there’s an even bigger reason why they would have been drinking lager in the 1880s. It had been officially judged nonintoxicating. Porter, born in 1862, was 3 when the Civil War ended. Along with a maelstrom of other social changes, the end of the Civil War brought about a radical change in what Americans drank: “Lager beer replaced whiskey as the national beverage of the working man,” says Iain Gately, in Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol. The primary reason was that the Union commanders, staging much of the war from the wharves and railheads of St. Louis, “banned intoxicants from camp and field, leaving lager — officially nonintoxicating — as the troops’ choice of drink,” writes Maureen Ogle in Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer. Whoa, there! Did she say “nonintoxicating”? Yes, as she explains earlier in the book, lawyers — in a number of precedent-setting court cases brought against The Art & Soul of Greensboro

saloons that served German-style lager on Sundays — had produced a parade of expert witnesses who testified, among other things, “that, when consumed in moderate quantities, lager could not and did not intoxicate.” One expert testified “he had watched men imbibe as many as sixty glasses of lager without any evidence of intoxication.” So the troops came home from the war loving lager, while the more potent English ale came increasingly to be considered “a rank broth with the taste and texture of muddy water,” according to Ogle. In 1884, Porter gave up ranching, moved to Austin and returned to what he’d done in Greensboro, clerking in a drugstore. Hating the work, he spent his evenings carousing with other bachelors and his weekends sharing kegs of beer with his buddies on fishing trips. After courting some of Austin’s fairest beauties, Porter, at 25, eloped with Athol Estes. The next two years were “undoubtedly the two happiest years of Will Porter’s life,” says Stuart, but the birth of their daughter, Margaret, was followed by the mother’s collapse and a diagnosis of tuberculosis, a disease that ultimately took her life. Though Porter doted on his daughter and was, according to Stuart, a good husband, “sometimes Will came home in a highly liquefied condition.” After going to work for the First National Bank of Austin, “Will Porter continued to enjoy the companionship of his old friends of bachelorhood and liked to stop off at a saloon.” When he came staggering home, “sometimes [Athol] lay on the floor and screamed at him,” Stuart continues. As humiliating as that might have been, it did not stop Porter’s drinking, which slowly became intertwined with his budding career as a writer: “You can’t write a story that’s got life in it by sitting at a work table and thinking,” O.Henry told a New York Times reporter. “You got to get out in the streets, into the crowds, talk with people, and feel the rush and throb of real life.” It was an argument O.Henry used throughout his career to justify his heavy drinking. “How much of it all was for pure research, and how much for entertainment of a lonely writer was another of the questions that O.Henry never answered,” Stuart concludes. Before serving three years for embezzling funds from the bank, Porter jumped bail and fled to New Orleans, where he discovered a new love — the Sazerac cocktail, which competed for his affections with the mint julep. The Sazerac, made with rye whiskey or cognac, is amped up with absinthe. Even France made absinthe illegal because of its narcotic effects. Add sugar, a lemon August 2012

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The Hophead peel and some orange bitters, and you’re ready to dance with the green fairy, as some have described the experience. Years later in New York City, O.Henry would enjoy “long liquid lunches of the publishing trade,” Stuart says, where he’d “order Sazerac cocktails before a meal and was known to consume a number of them.” Fish and white wine followed, then red wine with the meat, “and perhaps some champagne with dessert and fruit, and then a brandy or two.” And that was lunch, mind you. Evenings often consisted of “O.Henry’s favorite pursuits, which were drinking, dining and observing the people of the city, especially young women.” In some of New York’s sleaziest saloons, where Stuart says the profits came more from larceny than lager, beer would have been the beverage of choice. But for our high-living author, not just any beer would do. O.Henry favored Pilsner, a Bohemian lager that had originated in the town of Budweis in the Pils region of Bohemia and had stolen the show at the 1873 Vienna Exposition. Determined to come up with an American version, Busch and others had worked to produce a beer as light, as bright and as sparkling as the Bohemian Pilsner. But beer made with American protein-rich, “six-row” barley proved heavy and thick — until corn and/or rice were added. For instance, Busch’s brew master added eight pounds of rice to his mash for every five bushels of barley. Using Saaz hops, Bohemian yeast, beechwood strips in the aging, Budweiser was born, sparkling and light. The King of Beers (rather than the Beer of Kings) originally sold at a premium, just the sort of beer that a big spender like O.Henry would have gone for. Asked by a reporter once whether he was Bohemian by “nature or extraction,” obviously referring to the author’s Bohemian lifestyle, O.Henry quipped, “By extraction. Never like to drain kegs. Prefer the bottles.” O.Henry was letting the reporter know that keg beer that could be had for five cents a mug was below his notice. “Writing is my business,” he once said, explaining it’s the only way he

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

could afford Pilsner. Although it might seem to the modern reader that O.Henry was using Pilsner as a synonym for beer, he was really referring to the price of the Bohemian brew — about a dollar a bottle then or $17 in today’s dough. That’s not to say he didn’t like his whiskey: A friend noted after O.Henry’s death that “O.Henry drank and drank hard. He was a two-bottle man.” Stuart writes that one bartender could always tell “when O.Henry was going back to his digs for a long session of writing, because the writer asked that a bottle of Scotch be sent to the room.” But his muse eventually became his nemesis. By 1906, at the age of 44, O.Henry “found himself too often unable to concentrate long enough to turn out a story,” Stuart says. Although he promised to change his ways after marrying Sara Lindsay Coleman and even spent some time drying out at the Battery Park Hotel in Asheville, he backslid. After months of trying to reform her husband, Sara observed, “No one could manage that man. He was a law unto himself and had a deep dislike for anything that resembled nagging or fussing.” Once his wife had moved back to North Carolina in 1909 to live with her mother, O.Henry returned to his old haunts. “He had to be in the streets . . . dancing with the bar girls in the tourist traps and boozing with the hoi polloi in the saloons,” Stuart says. “This was his chosen life.” Of course O.Henry knew where this life would lead. Only months before his death on June 3, 1910, at the age of 47, his doctor found his heart enlarged, his kidneys shot and his liver in a sad state. The doctor asked what on earth he had been doing. “I know I smoke too much, keep late hours, and drink too much,” O.Henry admitted. Then, unable to resist one of his classic twists, he added, “but that’s about all.” OH David Bailey’s first “real” beer was in a pub in Oxford, England, while hitchhiking across Europe. The beer was warm and bitter. “I’ve never looked back,” he says.

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Street Level

The Mysterious Hotel Guests

A new exhibit on presidents who visited Greensboro highlights an unanswered question

By Jim Schlosser

T

he story is so unbelievable that it just might be true. Perhaps it’s best not to let skepticism spoil a good piece of Greensboro historical trivia. On July 19, 1881, three men are purported to have walked into the Central Hotel at Elm and Market streets and registered for one room, No. 5. According to the register, two of the three included Ulysses S. Grant, former president of the United States and top general of Union forces during the Civil War; and Gen. Dan Sickles, a scandalous famous figure who at Gettysburg lost a leg, which he donated to a museum, where it remains today. The date was only 16 years after the Civil War ended. Could the commander of Union forces really be staying in a city that had sent lots of young men to fight and die for the Confederacy? “Forget, Hell!” Some former rebels here still harbored hatred of anything blue or Yankee. After the war, Ulysses S. Grant served as president from 1869–77. His tenure came during a period many in the South despised: Reconstruction. That’s when, among other reforms, federal occupiers elevated some newly freed slaves and other so-called carpetbaggers rose to public offices. This caused apoplexy among many locals. That Grant and Sickles may have visited here is highlighted in an exhibit this election season at the Greensboro Historical Museum. The exhibit focuses on presidential visits to Greensboro, either before or after the men held office or while they served. Including Grant, the museum staff counts 18 presidents who dropped by the Gate City, starting with the first, the nation’s Founding Father, George Washington, and ending with the incumbent, President Barack Obama. Washington stopped here in his magnificent coach in 1791, before Greensboro was founded. He toured the battlefield where the tide-turning Battle of Guilford Courthouse was fought in 1781 during the American Revolution. The other presidents are Andrew Jackson (who practiced law here as a young man), Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George

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Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Grant is the most intriguing of the bunch. The hotel registry is the only evidence that remains that suggests a man named U.S. Grant was in Greensboro. The local weekly newspapers of July 1881, The Greensboro Patriot and The North State, made no mention of the former president being here or of the notorious Dan Sickles. In 1859, Sickles was acquitted on the grounds of temporary insanity of killing his wife’s lover. He was nearly court-martialed for conduct at Gettysburg, but wound up being awarded the Medal of Honor instead. Two days after July 19, 1881, The North State ran a story that Grant was in Ohio for the dedication of a monument to Gen. James McPherson, the highest ranking Union officer killed during the Civil War. The Grant-Sickles registration entry was discovered about 50 years ago by Bill Moore, then a student at what’s now High Point University and the man who later would serve for decades as the Historical Museum’s executive director. While visiting the museum, he encountered the registration book and spotted among the many names those of Grant and Sickles. He showed the entries to the staff, who had no idea they were on the registry. That day was pivotal for Moore. “That got my interest up in the Historical Museum,” he says. He would soon join the staff and began a rise to the top position, from which he retired about eight years ago. He doubts if a prankster penned Grant’s name. A jokester, he theorizes, would have stopped at Grant’s name. He wouldn’t have seen fit to add Sickles. Even though the two were friends, the public didn’t associate the two. But neither Grant’s nor Sickle’s name on the registry matches his signature. Maybe, just maybe, they were registered by a third person traveling The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Street Level

with them. That person’s name on the registry is unreadable. One museum staff member who magnified the name believes it may say John Brown, who listed his hometown as “H.F., Va.” Could that be Harpers Ferry? But it couldn’t be the abolitionist John Brown of historical fame. He was hanged in late 1859 after leading a raid that year on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, which until 1863 was in Virginia. Brown planned to use seized arms to start a slave rebellion. Grant’s and Sickles’ hometown was given as Washington. Grant, however, actually lived in the New York area. Sickles was probably familiar with the Greensboro area. After the war, during a time of Northern occupation in the South, he served as commander of the Carolinians. But here’s another fact that adds doubt that Grant was at the Central Hotel. A check of Grant’s historical documents shows him writing a letter that day. The contents of the letter indicate that the place it had been written was not Greensboro but New York. The letter also shoots a hole in The North State story about Grant being in Ohio two days later. Grant writes in the July 19 letter that it’s unlikely he’ll attend the McPherson monument event. The North State may have based its story on an advance program of the event showing Grant as a participant. By making some assumptions it’s possible Grant may have been at the Central Hotel. Perhaps, he and his colleagues checked in early on July 19 for a few hours’ rest while waiting to make train connections for home. En route to New York, Grant could have started the letter and finished it that night — still July 19th — in New York. Another possible supporting factor is that for about three weeks before the 19th, Grant wrote no letters, which suggests he was traveling. Matt Young, the Historical Museum’s assistant director who helped create the presidential exhibit, says, “Grant was part owner in a Southern-based railroad company, and it was my guess that he was coming from Charleston or Atlanta . . . before hopping on a train.” Still, that Grant visited here seems a stretch, given all the facts. But is it any more unbelievable than the location of those official Grant papers that include the July 19, 1881, letter? Grant’s body rests in Grant’s tomb in New York City, but incredibly his papers reside deep in Dixie. Mississippi State University is home to the U.S. Grant Presidential Library. It moved there in 2008 from Southern Illinois University. “I’m not sure,” Bill Moore says, “if he would be pleased with that.” OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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O.Henry 35

On Sport

Love Match

Fifty years ago, at a time of racial tension in America, two friends — Arthur Ashe and Greensboro’s Allen Morris — put on a historic exhibition

By maria JohnSon

E

very year about this time, when the tennis world’s attention turns to the U.S. Open and fans buzz about who’s slugging it out on the tournament’s main stage, Arthur Ashe Stadium, Greensboro’s Allen Morris remembers his local match with the arena’s namesake. Morris and Ashe played an exhibition match — one of the city’s first integrated matches involving top players — on Greensboro’s Memorial Stadium tennis courts in 1964. It was mid-August. Morris, now 80, doesn’t remember the exact date, but it was the same week that he won the fifth of his nine singles titles at the N.C. Closed Tennis Championships. Morris remembers leaving work at Burlington Industries on Eugene Street and driving a few blocks to play Ashe at Memorial. After winning 6-4, 7-5, Morris drove home, took a shower, changed back into work clothes and returned to the office. In an era when all tennis players were amateurs, Ashe, then 21, was a rising star. He was ranked No. 6 nationally. He played for UCLA and just that week had become the first black man to be named to the U.S. Davis Cup team. A few years later, at the inaugural U.S. Open in 1968, he would become the first African-American man to win a Grand Slam tournament. Ashe, who died in 1993 of AIDS contracted from a blood transfusion, remains the only black man to have won a singles title at the U.S. Open, Wimbledon or the Australian Open. Morris, who was 32 at the time of his match with Ashe, was no slouch as an athlete either. A native of Atlanta, he spent a year at Georgia Tech, where he played offensive end on the football team before taking an athletic scholarship at South Carolina’s Presbyterian College, then became a tennis powerhouse. He was an alternate for the U.S. Davis Cup team. During the summers, he played the national amateur circuit. “I beat Rod Laver when he first came over here,” says Morris. “I played Vic Seixas a number of times but never won.” Just after graduating from Presbyterian with a degree in economics in 1956, Morris reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. “Allen Morris, an ex-football player from the tennis-shy deep South, warmed a cool English crowd into a rooting section today with the comeback of the week at Wimbledon,” read a dispatch from England on June 29, 1956. “Morris, chewing nonstop on a wad of gum, defeated Ashley Cooper of Australia, the world’s best under-21 player, 1-6, 12-10, 8-6, 3-6, 6-3.” Morris achieved his top ranking, No. 16 among American men, that year. He also joined the Army with an ROTC commission. “When I played, there was no money in tennis, so I had to get a job,” he says. He served as a platoon leader at Fort Benning, Georgia, then landed a job as a

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Allen Morris, Wimbledon 1956.

recruiter for Burlington Industries, which sent him to New York. Morris continued to play in area tournaments, including the forerunner of the U.S. Open at Forest Hills. “I knew Arthur up there and considered him a friend,” says Morris. “He was personable and easy to talk to.” The two men never played each other while Morris lived in New York, but Ashe made a good impression. “Super guy, very nice,” he continues. “He had a very strong competitive streak about him. You could tell that. He wanted to win, and he wanted to play well.” Morris moved to Greensboro with the textiles company in 1961 and continued to play tournaments. He owned the state singles title from the late ’50s to the mid-’60s, so it made sense that he was asked to play an exhibition match when Ashe came to town in 1964 to promote a national tournament of the American Tennis Association, an organization dedicated to the development of black players. Morris remembers that someone from N.C. A &T State University called him to arrange the match, which was to be played on the concrete courts behind the Memorial Stadium baseball field. “I remember saying to myself, ‘Oh my heavens, I’ll never handle his serve on this surface,’” says Morris, recalling Ashe’s serve-and-volley game. Still, he agreed to play the exhibition match. He received no pay. Several hundred people turned out to watch the midday match. “A lot of my friends at Burlington Industries came to the match. A lot of them took that time as their lunch hour,” Morris says. Ashe and Morris both dressed in white tennis clothes. Morris wielded a Wilson Jack Kramer racket strung with gut. His reddish-blond hair was cut in a flattop. So was Ashe’s. A number of black spectators — many of them recreational players at a time when the sport had few black participants — came to watch the tall, lean Ashe. “Of course, with him being black, we all wanted to see him, but it was also the fact that you were going to see some good tennis. It wasn’t just a blackwhite thing,’’ says Cleve Riddick, then an insurance salesman who had played in some of the first integrated matches among recreational players at the city’s Latham Park. “That caliber of play was something we didn’t get to see on a regular basis, that’s for sure,” says Riddick. “They both hit the ball pretty hard. Allen hit the ball like a bullet.” August 2012

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no mention of the exhibition match between Ashe and Morris, though separate Morris says that Ashe, who normally attacked the net, stayed back that day, stories noted Ashe’s selection to the Davis Cup team, the results of the ATA approaching only on short balls, which Morris — a baseliner — tried not to give tournament, and the results of the state closed tournament. him. Morris’ best shot, a flat backhand, was working. So was Ashe’s serve. The exhibition match was reported in the newsletter of the N.C. Tennis “The biggest thing was his angles,” says Morris. “He’d serve out wide, Foundation. then he’d serve down the middle. It was hard for me to pick up sometimes.” Morris says the score didn’t tell the whole story. Ashe had difficulty handling Morris’ serve, too. The “I have to be honest: I really don’t think he played court was slick. The points were short and, like many his best tennis — or was trying to. I don’t think in a exhibition matches, dotted with teasing. regular match, I would have been able to beat Arthur “We’d laugh and say, ‘Well, I was gonna get you Ashe.” with that one.’ It was not a real knock-’em-out, serious Morris stayed in the game for many years. As a sematch,” says Morris. “It was a fun match, and I think nior, he was ranked in the world’s top 10. He coached the people there enjoyed it.” the UNC-Chapel Hill men’s tennis team to two ACC Morris remembers that the only water on court was titles. He retired as the athletic director of his alma in an empty metal tennis ball can that sat on the umpire’s chair. Ashe drank from the can on a changeover. mater, Presbyterian College, in 2000. A shoulder replacement in 2003 ended his tenLater, Morris learned that some people in the crowd wondered if he would drink from the same can as a nis playing, but he still follows the sport that gave black man. He did. It never crossed his mind to refuse. him pleasure for so many years. He’s a fan of an“I was thirsty,” says Morris. “I was hot.” other Greensboro boy, John Isner, whose big serve he Each man conducted himself as the “ultimate admires. Morris after State Singles Championship 1961 “I’m not sure I could see it,” says Morris, laughing. gentleman,” says Greensboro’s Thomas Bynum Jr., He’ll follow Isner at the U.S. Open, hoping that who watched the match. he makes it to Arthur Ashe Stadium where the big “It was a great thing for our city,” he says. “I wish a lot more things like that matches are played. And when he hears Ashe’s name, he’ll think of a match on a would have happened back then.” hot weekday afternoon in Greensboro almost 50 years ago. The summer of 1964 was a tense time for U.S. race relations. New civil rights Today, anyone would be embarrassed to host an exhibition match on laws had just been passed, and there was much frustration — among black and Memorial’s hard courts, which are terribly run-down. There’s no marker comwhite people — over their enforcement. Blacks had rioted in several cities in the memorating the match. But in Morris’s mind, he’ll always have that day. months preceding the match. A year before, African-Americans had marched in “Whenever they say ‘Arthur Ashe Stadium,’ it brings back memories,” says Greensboro to protest segregation. Morris. “He was a great guy. He left us too early.” OH Local newspapers — including one that covered the black community — made

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

O.Henry 39

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M A G A Z I N E

Life at the Farm

The Sporting Life

Nestled between two rivers, the Pee Dee and the Rocky, Fork Farm is a sportsman’s paradise By Tom Bryant

I

t’s a little idiosyncrasy I’ve developed over the forty years I’ve spent in the newspaper and magazine industry. It seems as if I’m always early. If I have an appointment at nine o’clock, I’m there at quarter till. If I’m to pick you up to go duck hunting at 4:30 a.m., you’d better be looking for me at 4. I’ve read in a couple of psychology books that people who are always early have some kind of insecurity complex, but I firmly disagree with that hypothesis. In my case, being early is just a symptom of excitement, sort of like getting up early Christmas morning to see what Santa brought. Without a doubt, it has been more of a positive than a negative in my life. And it worked for me again, when I visited The Fork Farm and Stables a few weeks ago. I had heard of The Fork Farm and what a great outdoor shooting preserve it is from several friends who had visited, toured the property and shot sporting clays. So, long ago I put the farm on my list of places to see and perhaps to write about. My little habit of arriving early paid off again as I got to the farm about thirty minutes before my appointment with the property’s owner, Jim Cogdell. Well, I thought as I pulled up to the gate, I’ll just ride around the place on my own. The Fork is just as I had pictured it. Fortunately for all of us, there are still some places in our great region of the South that are jaw-dropping beautiful; and thankfully I’ve been able, in my outdoor career, to see a bunch of them. Places like Boone Hall Plantation close to Charleston, the Harwell Plantation in Mars Bluff with Black Creek flowing through it, Fore Oaks Plantation in the same area, and the Orton Plantation close to Wilmington. These fantastic man-made creations are what make our part of the country so beautifully different, and The Fork Farm rates high on that list. When I rolled through the gates and followed the curves of the wide gravel road, I came upon a small brick house with an office sign. Well, I thought, I’d better stop and let the folks know I’m here before somebody thinks I’m trespassing. When I opened the door, two Labrador retrievers and a frisky little Jack Russell greeted me. It gets better and better, I thought. A pretty lady dressed in jeans and boots came out of the hallway and I introduced myself. “Why yes, I knew you were coming. Jim is still in a meeting at the Common and will be through in a while. Why don’t you sit down and I’ll let him know you’re here. My name is Bernadette. I talked to you on the phone the other day.” Bernadette is Jim Cogdell’s wife and, as I found out, a big cog in the horse side of the farm’s operations. “Since I’m early, why don’t you tell me a little about the farm,” I said, “that is, if you’ve got the time.” Being early pays off again, I thought, more information and from a pretty lady at that. “You can tell by the accent, I’m from Ireland. I’m also a big lover of horses, and before Jim and I got married, I had my own horse farm outside of Columbia, South Carolina. When Jim bought The Fork, it was a natural for me to run the stables and put together the trials. Our equestrian team for the Olympics does some of their training here. As a matter of fact, my daughter,

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Sinead Halpin, is in training for the team.” I asked Bernadette about the farm’s horse trials, and she did her best to explain to me how their one big trial of the year works. “It’s an international CIC horse trial, and last year we hosted over 350 competitors from across the country. It’s amazing to see, and I encourage you to come this year and watch. We’ve also developed a contest for another trial that combines the best riders with the best shooters. We call that event Shooting for the Stars. It’s tons of fun.” When I inquired about the equestrian facilities, she said, “In a few minutes you can follow me up to the barn. I’ll show you to the barn dining room and get Jim for you. The barn kind of speaks for itself.” And it sure enough did. I drove right behind Bernadette as we wound our way around pastures and fields, pulling up to a huge 12-stall horse barn. “Here we are,” she said as she stepped out of her Land Rover. “Rebecca Howard manages the barn and is our horse trainer. She’s from England and has been with us for five years. Unfortunately, though, she is going home this year. We will miss her tremendously. I’ll round up Jim for you. Make yourself at home.” And she hurried off. The barn dining room, or gathering place, was right out of a Hemingway novel. A big bull elk mount was hanging over the entrance to the sitting area and was flanked along the other walls with mounts of ducks, turkeys, deer and ancient duck decoys. To the left were French doors that opened to a deck rising over a big pond that overlooked the river. Needless to say, I was impressed. I walked out on the deck, sat down at a big outdoor dining table and reflected on the history of this beautiful fork in the confluence of two rivers, the Pee Dee and the Rocky. Indians from the Siouan and Pee Dee tribes were the first to use the area in the 1700s. In 1748, a family by the name of Colson purchased tracts of land with the fork of the river supporting an inn, or ordinary, where lodging was available to travelers. It is even said that George Washington spent a night or two at the Colson’s ordinary. I thought I heard a car pull up at the east end of the barn, so I went back in to be greeted by Jim Cogdell. Jim looks exactly the way I had pictured an owner of a place as magnificent as The Fork. Tall, with a mane of silver white hair, Jim was dressed to work on the farm, as he said, with jeans, a denim shirt and comfortable clogs. We shook hands and got down to business. August 2012

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The Sporting Life When I asked how he ended up at The Fork, he replied, “I was living down in the low country of South Carolina at Brays Island. Now, I’ve got nothing against the low country, but the alligators never go to sleep down there. Plus it’s so hot in the summer, our bird dogs had a time dodging the snakes. So I made up my mind to hunt for a place closer to a temperate zone where we would have the best of all seasons, and after a couple years, I found The Fork. If you noticed coming in, the farm is shouldered right up against the Uwharries, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the country; and located as it is between two rivers, the weather here is always conducive to outdoor sports. I imagine Bernadette told you about our equestrian facilities.” “She did a great job with that. I understand that y’all are heading to the Outer Banks to celebrate your anniversary.” “Yep, we’re leaving this afternoon right after you and I finish our conversation. Did you get to ride around the farm?” he asked. “I did. It’s beautiful and really looks as if it’s a working farm.” “We’re trying to do it all here, Tom. Everything a shotgun enthusiast would want, including a 12-station large gauge course, a 7-station small gauge course, a covered five stand and a four per-

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son twelve trap, 65-foot tower/flurry. Oh, by the way, the British designer John Higgins designed our shooting courses. “There are fifteen weeks of quail hunting with birds that you can’t distinguish from wild ones and eleven weeks of duck hunting using our blinds on the Pee Dee in a river setting like you’ve never seen before. “A visitor has over 1,600 acres and 38 miles of trails, great for bird watchers or anyone who wants to visit our bed and breakfast and just have a restful stroll around the property. Or better yet, you can ride a horse here for six hours and still see only a third of the property. Last year, we were awarded Conservationist of the Year by the Soil and Water Board.” It was easy to tell that this farm was Jim’s life. His eyes lit up as he was talking. “It’s the kids I’m excited about,” he said. “We have student shooting out here, and we teach wildlife habitat to all the youngsters. We’re trying to get kids away from all the television and video games and show them what really counts, and that’s the beauty of nature. And it’s working. I’m on the board of the Wildlife Federation, working with Gordon Meyers, the executive director.” I mentioned Nat Harris, an old friend of mine, who I knew was active with the Wildlife Resources

Commission, and Jim smiled. “He is one fine gentleman,” he said. “He and I have been able to really make a difference where youngsters and wildlife are concerned. “Well, Tom, I’m going to have to leave. We have a long drive this evening. Bernadette is packing now. Come back this winter and do some duck hunting. I guarantee you a great time.” The next day, as I was working on this story, I called Gordon Myers at the Wildlife Resources Commission to see what he had to say about Cogdell. “Jim has been a commissioner for a relatively short time but has added so much to our organization,” he said. I then called my friend Nat Harris. “Tom, I’ve served as a commissioner for ten years, and Jim is one of the most dedicated members I’ve had the opportunity to work with.” All in all, it seems as if the folks at The Fork Farm are doing everything right. I can certainly understand Jim Cogdell’s parting comment as he was walking me to my car. “Tom,” he said, “this is my last walkabout, the end of the rainbow for me.” OH Tom Bryant, who graduated from Elon and lived in Alamance County for decades, is a lifelong outdoorsman and O.Henry’s Sporting Life columnist.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

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August 2012 O.Henry Ending People like your stories tight as the spiral tucked in the works of a watch, neat as the strands from her hairbrush Sara wraps around her finger by lamplight, then rolls off her fingertip so they make a ring, and throws it away. Not like the matted hurricane coils that flogged Carolina, then Texas. People like your stories to end with a twist, like a pig and its tail. You mix up tales like tinctures in glass tubes that fit the hand like prison bars, tilted solutions golden as whiskey. But brace yourself, O., listen to this: People hold no monopoly on curly-tailed surprises.

Turns out moths in Madagascar feed on the tears of birds. And in Java the fig tree loves the silvery gibbon because only having passed through his guts will the fig seeds sprout. The sigh you let loose from your New York window (Sara stayed home in North Carolina) presses air into southward motion; its stream intersects with the little breeze from a Greensboro dog’s wagging tail, and the doubled current slips on to Honduras, where it makes a flashy pink flower nod, whereupon the butterfly balanced there dips its wings. And the whorl thus caused inhales as it spins back north. — Sarah Lindsay

Turns out blind mice can sense blue light.

PhotograPh by cassie butler The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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All Things O.Henry

What’s in a name? Plenty, if you happened to be William Sydney Porter by JiM schlosser

1918 O.Henry Hotel

1998 O.Henry Hotel

O.Henry Hotel Cab

Oh Henry! Candy Bar 46 O.Henry

August 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Postcard Photo from Greensboro Historical Museum Archives. All others by Cassie Butler

T

here was a time when you could buy O.Henry by the gallon in Greensboro. There was O.Henry Texaco, aptly located at 3121 North O.Henry Boulevard. And O.Henry Exxon, at 3105 Summit Avenue. And, in the same block, O.Henry Phillips 66. Greensboro has been generous about naming shops and stores after its native son. Also a neighborhood, an expressway, a civic club, a study club, two hotels, a playground, a shopping center, several restaurants, a nursery school and, for a while, a public school that used the short story writer’s real name, William Sydney Porter. Except during the naming of Porter School — in an out-of-the-way neighborhood in northeast Greensboro — no one expressed concern that the honoree was an ex-convict. As is well-known, Will Porter, who lived in Guilford County and Greensboro from his birth in 1862 until leaving for Texas in 1882, spent three years (1898– 1901) in prison. He was convicted of embezzling from a bank in Austin, Texas, where he had worked, though subsequent evidence suggests O.Henry may have been the victim of sloppy bookkeeping on the part of the bank. Guilty or innocent, some objection was reportedly raised when the old Greensboro City School System renamed Ball Street School for Porter in 1955. (The school later closed and the site is now a vacant lot.) And maybe that reflects a turning of the tide when society no longer felt that native sons who became famous writers lent cachet to their businesses or public spaces. The present county school system (a merger of the city and two other school systems) certainly hasn’t named any of its new schools after O.Henry — or any other writer. What would be wrong with a Randall Jarrell Elementary? How about a Jim Dodson Dairy Bar? And will we ever see an Orson Scott Card Planetarium? When O.Henry died in 1910, the local newspapers surprisingly gave scant coverage. The initial story was only a few paragraphs and wasn’t on the front page. Follow-up stories received more prominent display, but they too were short. It was as if the city had forgotten the man who had grown up on West Market Street, worked in his uncle’s drugstore, where he drew clever cartoons of local characters before leaving for Texas when he was about 20. He returned only once with his first wife, Athos (who died 10 years later). With them was their baby daughter, Margaret, who died in 1927. But it didn’t take local people long after his death to realize the importance of O.Henry as a person and as an internationally acclaimed writer. When the city’s first truly modern, luxurious hotel opened in 1918, it was named the O.Henry. Located at North Elm and Bellemeade streets, the hotel included the O.Henry Hotel Barber Shop, the O.Henry Hotel Café, the O.Henry Hotel Cigar Stand and, later, the O.Henry Hotel Pharmacy. The hotel closed in 1975 and was later demolished for a municipal parking deck. In the 1990s, when Quaintance-Weaver opened its first hotel across from Friendly Shopping Center, its architectural features, inside and out, echoed the original hotel and recalled the grand era in which the writer lived. Appropriately for a man who became a registered pharmacist while working five years at his uncle’s drugstore on South Elm Street, two O.Henry Drug Stores did business here for years, in addition to the hotel pharmacy. The first O.Henry Drug Store opened in the early 1920s, at 121 South Elm Street. This was in the very same storefront as the pharmacy operated by O.Henry’s uncle,

W.C. Porter. The second O.Henry Drug Store opened later on West Market Street near the county courthouse. Also early to take the writer’s name was O.Henry Shirt Co., at 220‚ South Elm Street, and O.Henry Bedding Co., 617 South Spring Street. In the 1930s, enterprises named for the writer included the O.Henry Insurance Agency, at Elm and Market streets, and O.Henry Motor Co., a Ford dealer at 445–449 West Market Street. The car company occupied most of the block across the street from the block on which the Porter homestead stood in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Porter house was demolished in 1927 to make room for the Masonic Temple. Also in the 1930s were O.Henry Beauty Salon on South Elm Street and O.Henry Oil Co., 906 West Lee Street. The list goes on through the years: O.Henry Income Tax Service (two locations); O.Henry Antiques; O.Henry Barbecue; O.Henry Food Market; O.Henry Café (not the one connected with the old hotel), O.Henry Coffee Shop; O.Henry Country Kitchen; O.Henry Cleaners; O.Henry Nursery School; O.Henry Auto Parts; O.Henry Launderette; O.Henry Outlet; O.Henry Camper Sales; O.Henry Copy Shoppe; O.Henry Construction Co.; O.Henry (bowling) Lanes; O.Henry (auto) Leasing; O.Henry Auto Service. In the 1950s, a new subdivision was named O.Henry Oaks, with a beauty shop, a playground and a neighborhood pool and recreation complex using the O.Henry name. Nearby was O.Henry Boulevard, which is a slice of U.S. 29, from Phillips Avenue until it merges into Interstate 40 in south Greensboro. Near the O.Henry Oaks neighborhood was the O.Henry Oaks Shopping Center at 1457–71 East Cone Boulevard. A Civitan club named itself for O.Henry, as did a study club, which for years presented a writing award for a deserving student in the city schools. There has been the O.Henry Arms Apartments, which stood at 1406 North O.Henry Boulevard, and the O.Henry Mobile Home Park at 5005 Watlington Road. Perhaps the most fitting business with the name was O.Henry Pen Co., even though the writer usually wrote with a pencil. The pen company evolved into O.Henry Subdivision on Sidney Porter Dr. O.Henry Inc., which sold wholesale office supplies and closed recently after being in business more than 50 years. Another old timer with the O.Henry name was an oak tree that stood on the lawn of the old Swaim home, which is now the Sherwood Law Office in the 400 block of West Market Street. The red brick house with white columns looks stately and is across the street from the block that the old Porter homestead occupied. O.Henry and his boyhood pals surely played in the tree, hence the name. The tree is gone but another mammoth oak on the lawn serves as a reminder. For many years, a group has staged annually “Five by O.Henry.” These are plays adapted from the more than 400 short stories O.Henry wrote during his short life. A more recent venue with the O.Henry name is a concession area at New Bridge Stadium. Part of the stadium stands on the site of Bellemeade Mansion, demolished in the early 1960s. O.Henry played as a boy on the mansion grounds and used to read in the cupola atop the house. Several products come close to bearing the writer’s name. “Oh Henry!” candy bars are sold worldwide and are available at the Greensboro Historical Museum gift shop and at the O.Henry Hotel. Still another business of recent vintage to borrow the author’s name was O.Henry Builder, incorporated about ten years ago to develop the Southside residential and commercial project along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Gorrell Street. Don’t be fooled by a 1911 postcard with a view of South Elm Street looking north. What does that advertisement say that’s painted on the corner of a building? O.Henry Whiskey? No, upon closer examination, it says Old Henry, though a booze O’Henry named O.Henry would have been appropriate. He admitted a lust for liquor. While businesses with the O.Henry name have come and gone, one permanent legacy stands almost forgotten at Elm and Bellemeade streets, across from the site of the original O.Henry Hotel. O.Henry Plaza contains statues of the writer, of the yellow dog from one of his stories and of the New York skyline, with a passage from his most famous short story, “The Gift of the Magi.” And if we do choose to build an arts center downtown, as has been proposed, could there be a better name for it than the O.Henry Performing Arts Complex? OH

O.Henry Drugstore Photographs by Carol W. Martin/Greensboro Historical Museum Collection. All others by Cassie Butler

O.Henry Drugstore

BBQ

O.Henry Blvd.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

O.Henry 47

New Risk Fiction by Quinn Dalton

There

was a woman that summer whose boyfriend nearly killed a guy for her. She was a waitress at Angel’s Tavern on College Street. I saw her during the last visit I had with my father before he left. The bar was deserted by then, most of the university students gone for summer break. My father had taken me there to tell me he was leaving, too. I wanted to say something to make him change his mind, but I could think of nothing, and so I stared at the yellow-and-purple flashing jukebox which kept playing the same Kool & The Gang song since no one had put any money in. My father ordered a beer, a soda, and a basket of onion rings when the waitress came to check on us. She was dark-haired with arched, movieperfect eyebrows that made her look heartbroken even as she smiled down on us. She was small and bow-lipped and pale; she looked like a character out of Jane Austen’s imagination, my favorite writer right then. I was 14 and feeling the ache of being born at the wrong time ‚— too late for corsets and carriages, parlors and parasols, for fathers who wore suits to breakfast and remained constant to their wives. “You want anything else?” my father asked me. He winked at the waitress, and she smiled back. He was doing the indulgent daddy routine, and she was eating it up. He had a good ten years on her; even I could see that. I hesitated. By the time my father had finally gotten up that day, holding his head, my mother had left for work and the sky was already sun-white. We’d split the last of a box of Froot Loops and then he’d suggested we go

48 O.Henry

August 2012

downtown. I didn’t want to say no to him or to this girl, who was a woman as far as I was concerned, just exactly the kind of woman I wanted to be — soft-spoken and sweet and too delicate for the heat, flushed all the time, sweat pearling on her upper lip. But I shook my head, and my father, watching her walk away, said, “What’re you gonna do all summer?” I knew he was asking out of curiosity only. “Help Mom out, I guess. Hang with my friends.” I kept the friends part vague; I only had two girlfriends, and neither of them were within biking distance. I wanted my father to believe my life was more exciting and complex than it actually was; as if I could intrigue him enough to stick around. “That’s good,” he said. “You should help Mom out.” He took a drink from his bottle, and looked past me through the front windows, which let in the fuzzy, washed-out afternoon light. “This town is dead,” he said. “I like to think of it as quiet,” I said, exactly echoing my mother’s response to this frequent complaint. My father shook his head, then pinched the bridge of his nose and smiled down at the table. The skin of his hands was cracked and leathery from years of working in the sun. “You two are going to be fine,” he said. “Better off, as a matter of fact.” The waitress brought the onion rings and my father ate, and we both watched her wiping down tables. No one had come in and used them for the entire time we’d been there. I wondered, but decided not to ask, what my father’s plans were. I didn’t want to give him the satisfaction — a stand I felt The Art & Soul of Greensboro

I had to take on behalf of my mother, who seemed resigned to him leaving after the many nights they’d woken me up fighting, not loudly, but tearfully, on the screened porch, where they thought I wouldn’t hear them from the other end of the house. My father finished his beer and he wanted another; he kept looking at the bar, where the waitress was filling ketchup bottles. He dug in his pocket for change. “How about I play you a song?” I said OK, and he asked me to name one, but I couldn’t decide on one that fit our situation right then — two people who already knew what was ahead of them and were just waiting for it to happen. I didn’t want to give him that neat an exit. “OK, name a number,” he said, impatient — all the songs had three-digit numbers beside their titles. I shook my head. Somehow this request, the randomness of it, made me want to cry. I was afraid if I spoke, I wouldn’t be able to fight the urge down. My father was already on his feet. He jingled some coins in his hand, started for the jukebox. “Hey, Miss,” he said to the waitress as he passed the bar. She turned, and he said, “I’m sorry, what’s your name?” “Anne Marie,” she said. “Anne Marie,” my father said. “Give me your lucky number — actually, it has to be three.” He grinned. He had this nice little game going now, and all was well. She named three numbers and he dropped the coins in and punched the numbers. He sauntered back my way, but not without thanking her, so she’d turn around again, thank him with her heart-melting smile. Then she said, “Well, how about you? What’s your lucky number?” My father opened his mouth to answer, and I stood up a bit too fast. I had to grab the back of my chair to keep it from tipping. My father looked over at me. “My wife has it,” he said. We left, the song he’d chosen just starting; I didn’t hear enough of it to recognize what it was. Two hours later he had his car packed and I sat on the porch and watched him drive away.

My mother

worked as a secretary in one of the offices on campus, right where she’d met my father when she was a senior and he was working on a paving crew, building a new parking lot for the dean. She graduated two months before I was born, but she never got a teaching job. There was only one elementary school in our town, and the entire county shared one junior and senior high. The three art teachers at those schools were going nowhere fast. There were a lot of road construction jobs though, and my father snagged one and my parents settled here. Once I started school, my mother took the secretarial job. For extra money, when the road work was thin, she painted or drew pen-and-ink portraits of the children of doctors, lawyers and professors in town. I was her favorite subject, though. There were dozens of sketches of me all over the house in simple wooden frames — my hands thrown up as I zipped down a slide (drawn from a Polaroid), playing with our family dog, Hobo (my father’s name choice), and hollow-eyed after chicken pox. Dozens more were stacked in drawers. There was only one of my father. He was tipped back in a chair, feet up on a table, laughing. This, too, she’d drawn from a snapshot she’d taken on their honeymoon. He looked so happy it was hard for me to figure what had gone wrong between them. On Friday afternoons when the college’s administrative offices were closed, my mother volunteered as a police artist. Once I started junior high, I walked to the station on Fridays after school to meet her. The room she

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

worked in was adjacent to the waiting room, so if no one was on the phone at the front desk, I could sometimes overhear the victims’ muffled descriptions while I pretended to study. I heard enough to understand that a normal situation could go awry very quickly — a spilled drink, a wrong turn — and that a normal person could get dangerous just as fast. The victims were almost always women. And the assailants — those whose images I could glimpse on the sketchpad my mother carried when she walked out with an officer and the victim — were always men. By the time I finished ninth grade — the summer my father left — I became aware that men were looking at me. Men of all ages. I was no great beauty, according to the teen magazines and TV shows — I was freckled and brown-haired and skinny like my mother — but men had started seeing me. They looked no different from the men my mother sketched, with their blank, appraising stares. I wondered what the difference was, and how I would learn to see it.

I had

a babysitting job that summer, caring for 3-yearold twin girls. The twins lived in a house slightly closer to downtown than mine. To get to it, and to get downtown, I had to pass a small house that had been occupied by Mrs. Polk until her death the previous year. Her son, who’d moved away, rented the house to a pair of college boys, much to the consternation of the rest of the neighborhood. It turned out the boys were no trouble. They grilled in the afternoons and drank beer on the porch, and occasionally girlfriends visited, but any energetic partying must have been reserved for the bars or frat houses near campus. Once summer came, one of the boys must’ve gone home, because there was only one car in the drive. The remaining boy had a dog, a white husky, which stayed chained to the porch. These days such a thing would bring out the ASPCA, but back then it wasn’t uncommon. Our dog had a pen outside and a dog house. He was never allowed in. The husky apparently went in at night, but during the days he sat in the shade of the porch, watching passersby. Occasionally someone would raise his ire and he’d lunge, never seeming to anticipate the end of his chain. Neighborhood boys loved this; I was terrified. But no matter how calmly I tried to pass, on foot or on my bike, the dog always lunged for me. I could’ve gone another route to avoid the house. But I never did. This was because on those afternoons when I was headed home from my babysitting job, sometimes the boy who’d stayed for the summer was out on the porch reading, the dog at his feet, a sweating bottle of beer next to him on the railing. The fact that the dog barked at first sight of me saved me from wondering if the boy — who was of course a man to me then — would notice me otherwise. Unlike the older men slowing down in trucks when I walked the twins to the park, or eyeing me in the drugstore, that one boy’s gaze made me want to run into his arms. But really, he only glanced up at me, not gazed. There was a flicker of interest, in the split second when he registered a female within view, and then as he realized I was barely more than a girl, he would wave, and go back to what he was reading. That was exactly what he should’ve done, but I didn’t like it at the time. To increase the amount of time I spent passing the house each afternoon, and maximize the chance of a conversation, I started walking to the twins’ house and back each day. I usually saw the boy one or two afternoons a week. He was never out in the morning. My mother asked me one Friday when I met her at the station if something was wrong with my bike. I told her I enjoyed walking; it gave me time to think. “In this heat?” she said. I thought of what my father had said at the bar; she had my number too. August 2012

O.Henry 49

Then one

afternoon, in the humid dead of summer, only a couple of weeks before I was to start tenth grade, and thus move up to the county high school, I walked home from my babysitting job and came to the Polk house to find only the dog panting alone on the porch. The boy’s blue hatchback was in the drive, but the house was sealed and silent. Up the street, Mr. Colson was trimming his front bushes; he had a pair of them close together, which looked like ass cheeks, but I’d never felt the need to mention this to him directly. The buzz of his trimmer seemed to be part of the heat itself. My skin felt hot, and I wished I had the courage to walk up onto the Polk porch and knock on the door and ask for a glass of iced tea. Or, if we were really going with the fantasy, a beer. But the thought of doing that was scarier than tangling with the husky. The dog eyed me as I came even with the front walk — on the opposite side of the street, though. His eyes were ice blue and dark-rimmed, and they seemed to glow, even in the shade. He got to his feet slowly, his tail still, his pale eyes staring straight into mine. I turned and looked ahead, focused on Mr. Colson, so I didn’t notice until almost too late that on that day, the husky wasn’t chained. I saw the blur of him out of the corner of my eye and I began running without even thinking; it was instinctual, and it probably saved me from getting mauled. I aimed for Mr. Colson, and I could feel, but not hear, myself screaming. What I could hear was the dog, his claws on the pavement, his ragged panting. I was sure he would be on me any second. Mr. Colson turned and quickly grasped the situation. He screamed back at me, pointing at the open front door of his house. I understood I was to run inside. Mr. Colson ran toward the dog, his trimmer revving. I didn’t turn to look until I was at the door, and I saw that Mr. Colson had stopped the husky in the street. The dog stood there and looked at him for a beat or two while Mr. Colson swung his trimmer and shouted. Then the dog turned and walked back down the street toward his house. Mr. Colson was red with rage when he met me at the front door. “I am calling the police right now,” he said. I stood in the foyer as he made the call. I felt dizzy from heat and fear. My leg muscles were quivering so hard that I finally had to sit down on his linoleum floor. He didn’t seem to register this after he got off the phone and told me he would drive me home. I got to my feet again and Mr. Colson put me in his station wagon. “Is your mother home?” he asked. His wife had died a while back. They’d had no children. This was all I knew of him. I shook my head. “She’s at the police station,” I said. This caught him my surprise. I tried again. “She’s — she volunteers.” “Well, that’ll work just fine.” He turned the car and headed for town.

The sheriff

himself came to investigate the case of the loose husky. He drove his cruiser; my mother and I followed in her car. She was so angry she was talking to herself. The sheriff parked behind the boy’s car; she parked on the street. The husky sat where he’d been stationed when I’d passed a half-hour earlier. “You stay in the car,” my mother said. She got out, unlocked the trunk, and pulled out a baseball bat. My father’s departure and her work at the police station had made her more conscientious about matters of personal safety. She kept a knife by her pillow and checked all the doors and windows before going to bed at night. The windows were rolled down in our car, but the heat quickly dried my mouth. I thought about getting out but I was scared the dog would come at me again. I watched as my mother advanced on the dog, which hadn’t even gotten up since our arrival.

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August 2012

“Whoa, now, Ellie,” the sheriff said. His use of my mother’s first name caught my attention. He was smiling at her with what looked to me like admiration. “That animal attacked my child,” my mother said. It seemed she intended to club the dog right in front of the sheriff and neighborhood, because of course everyone who was home that afternoon had come out to see what had happened. “Let me just see,” the sheriff said. He was a big, gentle man. He’d come to talk at my elementary school every year. He took the front steps slowly, and the dog watched him without raising his head from his paws. The sheriff stepped past the dog, found the chain and clipped it to the dog’s collar with a swiftness and grace you wouldn’t have expected of a man of his size. “Something wrong with it,” the sheriff said. “Probably rabies,” my mother said. The baseball bat dangled from her hand. She seemed disappointed not to have had an opportunity to use it. “Nope,” he said. “He just looks wore out. His water bowl’s empty.” The sheriff turned his attention then to the front door. He opened the screen and knocked. The dog growled but stayed down. Maybe I knew when the door swung inward even at the sheriff’s light touch that something was wrong. I could say that now. In any case, when he went in and then came out only a minute or two later white-faced, staggering down the steps to his cruiser to radio for an ambulance and backup, we all knew. “What?” my mother said to him. He turned to her and in that instant it seemed he wanted to embrace her. But then his eyes flicked to me. “You take her home right now.” My mother turned without a word and dropped the bat in the back seat. As we pulled away I could hear the sheriff yelling for people to go inside and lock their doors. “What happened?” I said, knowing she didn’t know any more than I did. I just couldn’t help it. “He’ll tell me later,” she said. The story was in the paper the next day, but not all of the details, which my mother told me the following Monday when I got back from babysitting. The college boy — the paper gave his name as Landon Blumenthal — had gotten involved with a waitress at a bar near campus. The waitress had a jealous boyfriend who enlisted his brother to help dissuade Landon from continuing the affair. They broke in just before dawn, found him in bed alone, tied him spread-eagled and castrated him. By the time the sheriff found him, he’d lost almost all his blood. But he lived. It wasn’t clear what would be medically possible in his recovery. My mother was called to the hospital on Monday, once Landon was able to speak. She sat next to Landon’s bed with his parents and the sheriff while he whispered his description to her. He did not know his attackers; he had not known that the waitress — Anne Marie, he called her — was involved with someone else. But the boyfriend had apparently supplied this information right before he’d pulled out his knife. My mother cried as she told me this. Her tears made me unable to cry. I was stunned by the awfulness, the evil, of what had happened, and the fact that it had happened so close. The boy I’d waved at, who’d looked at me with a friendly but dismissive smile, who had not seen what was coming. The questions that crowded my mind seemed unworthy of asking. Why had no one heard screaming? And — since I wasn’t clear on exactly what castration meant — what was left of him? Finally, how had the men gotten in the house (even considering that my mother’s policy of locking doors and windows was an exception in the neighborhood) and gotten past the dog? The boyfriend and his brother had left town, but they didn’t make it to the state line. It seemed that no lawmen wanted to let criminals of this sort get away. Sometime after I started school, Landon Blumenthal’s parents came in a van to collect his belongings. His father drove away in the van and his The Art & Soul of Greensboro

mother drove the hatchback with the husky in the back. A neighbor had been feeding and watering the animal. People said the Blumenthals left the bed, frame and all, for Mr. Polk Jr. to dispose of. It was years before Mr. Polk succeeded in selling the house. In the trial that fall, the judge offered the boyfriend (whose brother testified against him as the lone cutter) a sentence of castration or life imprisonment. This may sound strange in these times of strict sentencing requirements, but this was the ’70s, and the judge had been on the bench for fifty years. He’d seen his share of human cruelty, but it was reported his voice shook with outrage when he addressed the defendants. The boyfriend chose life imprisonment. My father came back to town sometime after that. We had not heard from him at all during the months he’d been gone, but my mother allowed him to come for dinner. Apparently whatever discussion there’d been about him moving back in was already over. My mother seemed to bear him no grudge; she had moved on. I wondered if the terrible crime in our neighborhood, and the close working relationship she’d developed with the sheriff, had something to do with her attitude, but I couldn’t be sure. She was never openly involved with another man until after I’d left for college. My father and I sat on the porch after dinner while mother washed dishes, normally my job, but she wanted to give me the time. I told him about what had happened in the Polk house. I said nothing of my habit of passing by each afternoon, hoping for a glance from Landon Blumenthal. I pretended not to know his name. One detail I made sure to mention: the name of the waitress. My father shook his head. “Remember?” I said to him. “At Angel’s Tavern?” My father said nothing, but I knew he did. I suspected he was thinking about where a moment of flirtation could lead. I wondered if he felt the chill of that, just as I felt the chill of not knowing what a man’s stare meant, or what it hid. My father cleared his throat. “Well, I hope they were able to put him back together OK.” He took another swig of his beer. “Anyway, women love a man with scars. I’ll bet they’ll be lined up to see what he’s about.” I felt sorry for him then; I did. I thought about the lovely Anne Marie. Had she not suspected the danger? Maybe she was no different from those women at the station, murmuring their descriptions to my mother — shocked at the way a man could turn. If she’d left Landon Blumenthal alone, I theorized, maybe I would’ve had a chance. Surely, I could’ve saved him. OH

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

O.Henry 51

Be it ever so humble, the beloved Carolina-style hot dog rules in these parts By David C. Bailey • Photographs By Cassie Butler

W

hy, you may be asking yourself, would the editors of a magazine focused on “The Art and Soul of Greensboro” let The Serial Eater devote two precious spreads in the feature section to Carolina dogs? To answer that question, I need to take you back more than 90 years and tell you about how Wisdom Brown Aydelette, founder of Yum Yum Better Ice Cream Co., decided to sell ice cream out of a storefront after getting kicked by his horse. Chili dogs, invented in the 1920s, were on the menu from the get-go, but it was not until W.B. came back from the World’s Fair in New York that Yum Yum’s bright red signature hot dogs were introduced to the Gate City. Since then, millions of us have grown up addicted to Yum Yum’s hot dogs. Nearly 400,000 were served last year. Add the prevalence of New York delis in Greensboro serving kosher wieners, with Jay’s leading the way, and you get a community steeped in a rich hot-dog heritage. But somewhere along the line, hot dogs started going upscale — with quarter-pound frankfurters, imported knockwurst, even faux vegetarian (do-we-dare-call-them) dogs. Exotic and enticing ingredients got piled on — from bacon to peanut butter (we’ll get back to that later). Several local eateries even offer Chicago dogs, decked out in fresh tomatoes,

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August 2012

bright green relish and incendiary peppers. Fun. But I inevitably come back to the old-fashioned Carolina dog, tastefully dressed in chili, slaw, mustard and onions (ketchup is traditionally a user option). It’s not hard to find a good Carolina dog in Greensboro, but over the years I’ve discovered there are countless variables in their preparation. Do you boil or steam the dogs or deep-fat fry them or let them sizzle on the griddle? Should the bun be steamed, griddled or pressed in one of those bun warmers perennially clad in aluminum foil? Should the chili contain beans or not? Should it be spicy or bland? And when do you go for savory, brown deli mustard instead of the bright yellow ballpark variety? And preferences for slaw, whether creamy mayonnaise-intensive cole slaw or spare vinegarbased, are as controversial as styles of barbecue. Frankly, I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers to these probing questions. But having spent decades eating hot dogs — and the last two months winnowing Greensboro’s so-so dogs from its best-in-show dogs — I’ve narrowed the field down to a dozen iconic hot dogs, every one of them worth seeking out. You’ll doubtless know of others, some that I’ve never heard of. Please share them on our Facebook page. I already feel the pangs of a deep craving for a dog coming on as I write these very words.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Fincastle’s

215 South Elm St. Greensboro, NC 27401 (336) 272-8968 or www.fincastles.com

Talk about hot off the griddle: Sit at Fincastle’s long lunch counter and watch your dog as it sizzles moments before it’s slapped into a bun and popped onto your plate. The chili is a variation of Fincastle’s chili with beans, but pureed and amplified. The dog itself is juicy, the onions red and the slaw just right. Fincastle’s loud, lively and distinctly retro vibe conjures up images of its namesake, the Boar & Castle. Ask for fries that come tonguetorching hot straight from the fryer.

Skipper’s All Beef Hot Dog 1940 East Market Street, Greensboro (336) 274-3647

Skipper’s hot dogs, advertised as all-beef, have a distinctive, salty taste, counterbalancing the sweet chili and even sweeter slaw. Wrapped in waxed paper, they arrive sort of mushed, which I think always adds to take-out cachet. Save your car’s interior by sitting at one of the picnic tables beneath the shade of a locust tree and watch the world go by on East Market or on U.S. Highway 29. And, sure, you can walk up to the window and place your order, but why not do a drive-through so you can hear Skipper’s dog bark at you before you place your order?

Fat Dog’s Grille & Pub

2503 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro (336) 856-1364 or www.fatdogsgrill.com Fat Dog’s lives up to its name with juicy hot dogs that are fried atop the griddle. The chili is obviously homemade, and it’s excellent. My advice? Skip the slaw, and pile on the spicy mustard, chunky onions and savory kraut. Whether you dine indoors beneath the soft glow of neon beer signs or under the swags of twinkling Christmas lights on the patio, there’s nothing fancy or pretentious about Fat Dog’s. It’s a bar. Open till 1 a.m. if you ever find yourself pining for a midnight hot dog.

Church Street Drive-Inn (aka Whataburger) 3434 North Church Street, Greensboro (336) 621-2682

Despite its name, this is not a drive-in restaurant. And what keeps me coming back are not the Whataburgers, but the Whatadogs. The dogs are deep-fat fried and the buns lightly toasted. The chili and slaw are absolutely text-book. But what really elevates your wiener into a Whatadog experience is the old-timey diner setting: the padded Naugahyde booths, the ruffly red-checkered curtains, genuine Formica-surfaced tables and the Coca-Cola menu board on the wall. And thank goodness, this authentic diner is in no way associated with the 700-restaurant Whataburger chain out of San Antonio, Texas. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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First Carolina Deli

1635 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro (336) 273-5564 or www.firstcarolinadeli.com If you’re in the mood for a highly refined New York-style deli dog, head to First Carolina Deli. Chili? Fuhgeddaboutit. Think savory sauerkraut, sassy brown mustard and chopped onions over an all-beef Hebrew National kosher wiener in a steamed bun. The slaw, sweet, is best ordered as a side (pictured in center). The space is nicely broken up and the décor bespeaks a college deli, which is just what it is. Have an icy draft with your dog and feel instantly smarter.

Mayberry Ice Cream 946 Summit Avenue, Greensboro (336) 333-2800

Mayberry’s hot dog is toothsome, its bun is pillowy, and the onions are freshly cut and piled high. However, they openly admit that the mild chili and sweet slaw come from an institutional food distributor. Still, Mayberry’s dog has a certain satisfying and predictable signature, bringing to mind the dozens of hot dogs consumed over the years — in gas stations, at football games, in bait shops and at county fairs. Plus, the 1950s’-style ice cream parlor setting with its pink wainscoting and frilly wallpaper took me back to my childhood. Can you say banana split?

Stamey’s Old Fashioned Barbecue 2206 High Point Road, Greensboro (336) 294-2570 2812 Battleground Avenue, Greensboro (336) 288-9275 or www.stameys.com

The distinctive crunch of fresh and sassy barbecue slaw gives Stamey’s dogs a unique signature. Buns are lightly steamed and super soft. The chili is mild and the dogs are long and meaty, almost chewy. Add onions and the combination is a perfect symphony of contrasts. Whether you eat at the counter with its view of the open kitchen or in the rustically furnished dining room, the mood is friendly and the service crisp. By all means, leave room for peach cobbler.

O’Henry BBQ

3501 Summit Avenue, Greensboro (336) 375-9770 Locals still call this place the Rankin Grill after the neighborhood diner that preceded it. It’s a no-frills, working man’s eatery. Their barbecue comes from Hursey’s in Burlington, as does the creamy slaw and meaty chili for its hot dog. The dog itself, smokyflavored and from Tennessee, is enhanced by a dip in the deep-fat fryer. Buns are lightly toasted in one of those aluminum-foil covered bun warmers. The combination of toasty bun, savory wiener and hearty chili makes this dog one of Greensboro’s best in show.

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The Red Onion

219-A South Elm Street, Greensboro (336) 676-6691 or theredonion.webs.com

The Red Onion is arguably Greensboro’s most upscale hot dog house, with its long, sweeping bar and bistro décor. Dogs come in twenty different guises, from the sublime Stinky Cheese Man (with blue cheese and garlic red pepper relish) to the ridiculous Elvis (with fried bananas and peanut butter). But don’t overlook the Carolina dog. Topped with really spicy chili, superb housemade slaw and freshly chopped onions, it’s a refined take on a true classic. But what else would you expect from the Hot Dog Lady, aka Katie Darnley, who’s been serving her dogs on the courthouse square for nearly 20 years?

Jay’s Delicatessen

630 Friendly Center Road, Greensboro (336) 292-0741 or facebook.com/JaysDeliFriendly

Think of Jay’s hot dog as a New York take on an all-time Southern favorite. Jay’s begins with a meaty, all-beef Hebrew National kosher wiener in a lightly toasted bun. The housemade slaw is chunky, creamy and even has carrots. The chili is standard and understated, never interfering with the frank’s flavor. With chopped red onions topping it all, this is the consummate deli dog — for chili lovers. With red Naugahyde banquettes, movie posters on the walls and other deli requisites, Jay’s décor is kitschy and retro.

Emma Key’s Flat Top Grill 2206 Walker Avenue, Greensboro (336) 285-9429 or www.emmakey.com

The centerpiece of Emma Key’s hot dog is a meaty Nathan’s kosher wiener, slashed diagonally and griddled beneath a metal bowl till it’s plump. The chili, full of green peppers and onions, is definitely a cut above. The mayo-based slaw is creamy in the extreme. Served in a crisply griddled bun, the total dog, bristling with red onions, is a study in textural contrasts — the toasty crisp bun cradling an interior so moist you’re going to need extra napkins. Emma’s Key’s old-fashioned diner ambience and a good selection of bottled microbrews crown the total hot dog experience. Consider a Hawaiian shaved ice afterward.

Yum Yum Better Ice Cream

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

1219 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403 (336) 272-8284 or www.facebook.com/ yumyumbettericecreamandhotdogs For loyal fans, Yum Yum’s hot dogs are the benchmark against which all other Greensboro hot dogs are measured. The centerpiece is the brightest red Curtis dog you’ll ever see. It’s cushioned by a bun fresh out of the steamer. The chili is meat-intensive and mild. The cole slaw is superb, not in the least mayonaissey or sweet. (Skip the onions. They’re an acquired taste.) Above all else, the setting is nothing short of iconic, whether you favor the noisy ice-cream parlor ambience of the interior or want to join the UNCG crowd who tend to sit on the brick wall out front. Don’t even think about resisting the ice cream. August 2012 O.Henry 55

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Story of a House

A Simple Treasure

Cozy and comfortable, this Fisher Park bungalow turned out to be the perfect home By Ashley Wahl • Photographs By Stacey Van Berkel

L Living room, furnished with various thrift store treasures, is a showcases for Jane and Hannah’s art. But they live in every inch of their Fisher Park home.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

ive long enough and accept life as a series of plot twists. That’s how Fisher Park was established. In the 1880s, a retired British Army officer named Basil John Fisher immigrated to the United States with hopes of making his fortune at a gold mine in Asheboro. When that didn’t happen, Fisher began investing in real estate. In 1902, Fisher donated 28 acres to the city of Greensboro. That swampy tract of land — which had previously served as somewhat of a public dumping ground — became Fisher Park, the Gate City’s first planned suburb. Most of the original houses in the neighborhood were constructed sometime between 1915 and 1930. Stroll through the neighborhood today and marvel at an array of palatial homes designed by some of the finest local architects of the Gilded Age. But notice an assortment of modest structures, too. Cozy bungalows and enchanting cottages. And the unassuming brick house on North Eugene Street that ended Jane Nickles’ search for a place she and her daughters could call home after a simple twist of fate changed everything. In Jane’s case, that simple twist of fate was called divorce. It was spring, 1999. Jane, however, remembers dark skies and a sweeping rain. But when she entered the front door of a Colonial Revival with a mansard roof and an aura of understated charm and elegance, the walls seemed to sing a soothing incantation. “It just felt good,” she says. So in they moved, into a space much smaller than the grand home they’d left behind in Sunset Hills. Still, the 1,800-square-foot cottage proved space enough to fit their needs. Seven rooms, says Jane, eight if you count the little screened-in porch. August 2012

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There is nothing architecturally remarkable about this sturdy brick house. County tax listings indicate that it was built in 1921, and that a salesman named Isaac Reinheimer and his wife, Flora, were the first owners. Their daughter, Virginia, would have been about 8 years old when the house became her home. Jane’s youngest daughter, Hannah, was 6. Old houses were nothing new to Jane. She grew up in one — a small ranch home in the old O.Henry Oaks neighborhood where she would pirouette on creaky hardwood floors and dream of becoming a dancer. She changed her mind in college, three years into the rigors of UNCG’s dance program. “I had sense enough to know I was never going to be famous,” says Jane. “I realized I was going to have to support myself.” So she became a certified computer programmer and was hired by the city of Greensboro. “It really is more creative than people think,” she insists. Pointe shoes and tutus were stowed away. Meanwhile, life happened: love and marriage and kids. Home was Sunset Hills, where Jane and her engineer husband fixed up an elegant French country dream house named for a family who must have raised a dozen children there. Resplendent architectural features included breathtaking glassed-in walkways that led to the home’s connecting wings. Jane’s oldest, Olivia, lived for summertime at that grand old home, when neighborhood children flocked to the coveted backyard pool. Divorce forced Jane to downsize. Above: A floor buzzer is hidden beneath the dining room rug. Painted table is Jane’s handiwork. Left: Paintings by Jane. Her colorful goddesses are found throughout the house. Right, clockwise: Jane and Hannah Nickles in their French country kitchen. To drink: pink lemonade; Ambrosia, the tortoiseshell cat, isn’t shy. Tux hides elsewhere; Jane works on an adventure series starring Hannah and the two house cats.

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Her house in Fisher Park is no grand dame. It’s a simple treasure, with a dark wire-cut brick exterior, symmetrical windows and a modest portico. The centered front door, painted gold and anchored by assorted planters and a friendly pair of lion sculptures, beckons. Enter and see that the house is a sacred temple in which Jane’s artistic spirit sings out. Paintings are displayed on living room walls in the eccentric manner you might find inside an independent coffee shop. Asymmetrical ivory window scarves in the living and dining rooms echo Jane’s whimsical nature, while gold beaded curtains — chosen to steal attention from the blinds — are gypsy-chic. Sunlight trickles in through ornamental sidelights. Queen Anne-style furniture, acquired from various thrift stores, is practical in both size and function, and gives each room an air of romance. Jane never passes up the chance to browse The Red Collection. Antiques, she says, are painted and repurposed. True elegance is economy. Not an inch of space is wasted. Three may be a crowd in the French country kitchen, but the dining room can comfortably seat six — maybe even a few more if furniture is rearranged. A tiny, screened-in porch serves as a sacred niche for quiet meditations. Jane added a back deck. Upstairs, Jane has transformed a tiny space between two of three bedrooms into an intimate boudoir with a simple vanity table and a mirror. Between Jane’s bedroom and the only full bath, find a lush upholstered bench fit for a lady’s powder room. Tux and Ambrosia, the curious housecats, often claim the cranny as their own. Creaky hardwood floors are original, but light fixtures and appliances have kept pace with the times. With agony, Jane installed central heat and air. “I hated to see the radiators go.” Tiny bathrooms (one full, one half) contain original recessed cabinets. A floor buzzer — concealed under a soft floral rug beneath the dining room table — suggests a servant may have lived here. Perhaps in the teeny bedroom upstairs where Hannah slept until Olivia, now married, left for college? In the living room, ornamental plaster molding on the federal mantel draws eyes to the cozy fireplace. And note the window, smack in the middle of the wall, which looks straight into the added sunroom, a modern comfort that came along well before Jane did. Like Jane, this house is well-acquainted with change. Art is everywhere. And constantly rearranged. The artists, Jane and Hannah, see blank walls as blank canvas. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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Hall space between two of three upstairs bedrooms is spacious enough for an intimate boudoir. Left: Jane’s bedroom, beside the only full bath, is chic and simple. Chest, hand painted, is one of her favorite thrift store snags. Furniture is constantly rearranged. And color schemes change as often as the AC filter. Jane painted the living room blue, raspberry, then a soft, fanciful gold. Tubes of acrylic paint in the sunroom, though, are used for other types of expression. Not long after Jane and her girls started their new life in Fisher Park, Jane attended an art show at a neighbor’s home gallery. There, Jane met local artist Denise Landi, from whom she began taking art classes. “She really knows how to make a beginning artist feel comfortable,” Jane says of Landi. Paintings — mostly still life — began to fill the walls. Then Jane started painting everything: picture frames, doors, old furniture. The claw-foot coffee table, done in distressed white, might be blue next week. Years ago, Jane painted a Tuscan scene on the face of an old dresser, which now sits in the sunroom-turned-art-studio. But she didn’t dare paint over the panel where Hannah scribbled her name, in crayon, as a girl. That girl, now a Grimsley graduate, is counting down the days until dorm life begins. Her artwork, striking self-portraits and prodigious explorations with mixed media, is displayed in decorative easels throughout the house. “I don’t ever remember not making art,” says Hannah. Plans to study art at UNC Charlotte? Even Jane tried to talk her into it. “I’ll probably study biotechnology and engineering. Art can be my hobby,” says Hannah. “Like it is for you, Mom.” The Art & Soul of Greensboro

For Jane, art is her therapy. Lately, she has developed an affinity for painting goddesses — mystical women with glowing, pastel skin and cool, calm eyes that seem to hold a secret. “I just became interested in the serenity of their faces,” she says. Or perhaps these goddesses are a reflection of Jane’s own radiant spirit. “I’ve been through a lot of turbulence in the past,” she says. “I’m at a peaceful, calm, good place now.” Dreams change. Jane never did become a dancer. Occasionally, though, she dances with her boyfriend, Wade. Her artwork is a dance between her paintbrush and the colors of her ever-changing soul. “I think this is a happy house,” she says of her modest brick home on North Eugene Street. “It has good energy.” Virginia Reinheimer, the 8-year-old that once resided here, lived to be 94. Turns out, she became the first woman to receive a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University’s School of Textiles. She even took stage at the Metropolitan Opera House once on an opening night production of Aida. Perhaps she used to spin around on the sturdy wood floors of her house on North Eugene Street and dream of becoming a singer. As for the old house: She’s been around long enough now to know that life is but a series of plot twists. Families come and go. Children grow. Change is inevitable. But time has been kind to her. And all who simply call her home. OH August 2012

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In the Neighborhood A little wilderness in Fisher Park By Lee Rogers • Photographs By Cassie Butler

“L

et’s find a garden O.Henry would have loved!” my editor barked in the spirit of the magazine’s celebrated birthday boy, with or without a tipple in hand. And so, on a recent fine summer day, my friend Ashley and I set out to stroll the shady paths of Fisher Park in search of evidence. We headed first for the Love Tree. Although we examined every carved inscription carefully, we did not find “William Sydney Porter loves Sara Coleman” inscribed anywhere. Or “Porter was here,” or even a “W.S.P.” So being resourceful and imaginative lady reporters and undeterred by a strict adherence to the truth, we quickly whipped out our penknives and got ready to create the needed evidence. “But wait, Mom!” echoed my daughter’s voice in my mind. “Isn’t it bad to carve on trees?” Oh yeah. Maybe we could use Sharpies! But that wouldn’t even approach historical accuracy. What to do, what to do? Let’s face it. There’s not a single solitary link that I could find between Fisher Park and O.Henry. Please tell us if you know of one. However, if you wanted to walk in a Greensboro park that resembles the Lindsay Woods that was O.Henry’s boyhood stomping ground in the 1870s, it would be Fisher Park. Its land was purchased by Scottish developer Captain Basil Fisher in 1902. He then drained the swamp and sold 28 acres to the city for five dollars “for the purpose of a public park and pleasure ground.” This was in exchange for the city developing the loop road surrounding it to make our first planned community accessible. All this transpired about when O.Henry was at his literary apogee and penning a short story a week. Unlike later parks, it is not highly manicured, making it delightfully wild but with paved pathways, stone bridges and occasional open glades along with shrub and groundcover borders. And like O.Henry’s fertile imagination, Fisher Park has produced its share of humorous, curious and poignant anecdotes. Tree stories abound. Besides the Love Tree, there is the Troll Tree, an enormous willow oak whose gnarly roots straddle the culvert leading from Fisher to Latham Park. And there have even been political trees, two magnolias planted at the Eagles Nest residence on South Park Drive, home of Mr. and Mrs. G.H. Walker. According to a 1910 Greensboro Daily News article, Mr. Walker “planted them both on Election Day and called one ‘Bill’ Bryan and one ‘Bill’ Taft. The one in the front yard is Taft, and Mr. Walker says it has grown to be a mammoth tree.” How appropriate. This could be the start of an interesting horticultural/political trend, and Greensboro could make national news! I’m excited to pilot this project and will be soliciting candidates to submit to our Parks and Rec department. But of all the natural features, the one that might have generated the most stories, is the boulder outcrop hidden in the middle of the stream with its delightful waterfalls and little vistas into wild places. You could

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Life and Home Style

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imagine you were up in Pisgah Forest sitting there cooling your feet in the flow. But turns out it is not so secret after all. Every resident interviewed, no matter his or her age, remembered the joy of rock-hopping in that stream. Mary Hart Orr says she used to enjoy her PB&J in that exact spot. And Kitty Robison recalls how they would take their shoes off and walk in the stream even in the dead of winter. “That was just heaven to me to get down there in that stream,” she says. “ I just loved it, and I was not afraid of creatures.” Turns out that was an important attribute as she had a cousin who delighted in throwing creatures like spiders and crayfish at her, assuming that she was a sissy. “But I would not budge. I would catch it!” Like war and doll tea parties, this game probably persists even in our age of political and gender correctness. Doug Copeland grew up on Magnolia Street and recalls, “On a Saturday you’d leave at 9 in the morning and you had to be home at 6, and where you went in between no one worried about because you were safe.” Former resident Charles “Buddy” Weill agrees. “It was a wonderful neighborhood. There were so many kids on Magnolia Street that we called ourselves the Magnolia Blossoms. That was our handle,” he says. “And we all played in the middle of the street. Everybody left their houses open and nobody had air conditioning, so they all sat on their front porches.” Like one big happy family. But there was sometimes neighborhood discord. Mr. R.D. Douglas, going

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

strong at age 100, is possibly the oldest Greensboro resident who remembers living on Fisher Park Circle in the 1910s. “We lived next door to the Henry Thurmans. One of them, Nell, was learning to play the piano, and on a summer night she would practice resoundingly quite late and keep my mother awake.” Mrs. Thurman told Mrs. Douglas that she was so happy that her daughter wanted to excel in piano that she would not forbid her practicing late at night. (We’re talking 9:30 here.) And so commenced an epic battle. “When Nell would start playing piano, Mother would come wake me up and hand me my bugle, and I would blare out my Boy Scout bugle calls for a half hour. And my bugle was louder than the piano. So finally the mothers had to call a truce.” Yes, Boy Scout training is good for many reasons. Eagle Scout Will Copeland rebuilt the entry staircase at the South Park Elm Street corner and dedicated it to his grandmother, Mary Copeland. “We decided to restore the steps. But we got it uncovered, and as we dug and dug we found out it was really going to be a building project,” says proud father Doug. “We had to dig two feet down here and add two feet up here, so literally every piece of dirt we pulled out was used. There were twenty tons of dirt and rock removed on this project. All with shovels and the Boy Scouts. It was incredible manual labor. It looked like the slaves and the pyramids.” This area of Fisher Park also featured a thirty-foot-wide concrete wading pool

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that was removed in the 1950s, along with the “Summer House� located just west of Elm Street. “So when I grew up, the wading pool was long gone,� Copeland recalls. “Matter of fact, this was our baseball field. Because sometimes we didn’t have enough people for a catcher, and this was where the hill went up, and that’s where the ball would stop. And this was first base, the telephone pole was second base, and there was a rock over there that was third base.� In the winter, baseball gave way to sledding. “On top of that driveway. Oh yeah. Across the road and down the hill. And of course, just like all kids, it was how far could you go,� says Copeland. “Of course having the trains run through here all the time was fun,� he says. “There was a hobo jungle across the tracks with real hobos. We’d run over there. We never told our parents, of course.� And we all remember that the railroad line was originally built by the Confederacy in their retreat from Richmond in 1863 and 1864. Picture Buster Keaton from The General blowing up the Church Street Bridge. There are so many wonderful stories of earlier carefree days, but Fisher Park was not without its criminal element. In fact, it was well-known among older residents that you could “avoid the constabulary by going through the drainpipes,� recalls Buddy Weill. Especially one malefactor identified as “Teensy,� a notable neighborhood troublemaker of the 1940s who reportedly would pick up penny candy while cruising the shops on Church Street. “There wasn’t a day gone by that he didn’t come home and the

police were sitting on the doorstep.� Must have been too big to follow through the drainpipes. Threats to the natural beauty of the park have cropped up over the years, including a scheme in the 1960s. Kitty Robison says that “at one time the city was going to increase the size of Greene Street and run it through the park and extend it to Wendover. Ann Hagan literally went down there and stood in front of the bulldozer.� In the best outraged Steel Magnolia tradition, one imagines. Lucky us. Then in the 1970s, a developer proposed putting a multistory office building on the corner of North Fisher and North Elm. Too late to save the beautiful granite house that had graced that corner. Doug Copeland’s mother Mary “just declared she had had enough!� her son recalls. She organized the Fisher Park Neighborhood Association in response to this challenge, and it is an active body — not to be trifled with — to this day. This story reminds us that we must continue to be vigilant stewards of our public green spaces. Neighborhoods and times have changed, but it is still possible to catch a feeling of wilderness if you wander down through the middle of Fisher Park, take your shoes off and sit in the waterfall. Without a doubt I will take my PB&J to that very spot during the sweltering heat of August. But I will absolutely scream like a girl if anyone throws a crawdad at me! OH Lee Rogers, a landscape designer in Greensboro, last wrote about Mary Hart Orr’s garden for O.Henry magazine. Contact her at lee@leerogersdesign.com.

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Fairies in the Garden

By Noah Salt

The Night Sky for August With its hot, muggy days and hazy nights, August is often the poorest month of the year for stargazing, a problem compounded by the fact that, of the major planets, only Saturn, Jupiter and Mars show themselves to interesting extent — the former in the evening sky to the west just after sundown, the latter two just before sunrise on the eastern horizon. Since the earliest of medieval times, however, August’s Perseid meteor shower, which typically peaks around August 12-14, has provided both fear and fascination to astronomers and nighwatchers alike, the source, as one beloved Persian poet noted, “of a thousand falling stars.” The meteors, typically the size of a green pea, originate in the constellation Perseus, which rises in the northeast sky around midnight during the month, and can travel upward of 100,000 miles per hour before burning up harmlessly in our atmosphere, etching bright paths across the sky that can be seen for hundreds of miles. Scientists have determined the source of the shower is a debris field left behind from a comet that passed too close to the sun. At its peak between midnight and dawn, four to five meteors an hour may be seen. If you’re for making a wish on a falling star, this may be your moment. The Art & Soul of Greensboro

A sensible and crack gardener of our long acquaintance, practical in every sense of the word, maintains that fairies not only exist but are a very good thing for the health of any garden, especially in August, when the heat and dryness of long sunny days can wilt the spirit of even the hardiest plant. “Anyone who spends any time in a garden knows nature spirits are real. I’ve seen garden fairies since I was a little girl. Laugh if you wish, but they caretake the spirit of plants even in the harshest conditions and provide the feeling of enchantment that comes with every well-kept garden.” Who are we to doubt? According to our friend, garden fairies have favorite plants, among them: lavender, snowdrops, garden rose, periwinkle, snapdragon, cyclamen, yarrow and mint. She even sends along a spell for welcoming fairies to your garden plot, a ditty known to gardeners since ancient times: Fairy host, from the wild Come and tend this plot a while; Come dancing from the hollow hill, To raise the power, and do God’s will. Fairies the work of my spirit I give thee, Be true lovers of my garden, I bid thee.

The August Bird and Bug Report “With the viburnums, mulberries, plenty of grapes, and other oddments in the neighborhood, the birds seem to be eating pretty well. They like the combination of open space and thick hedgerow-type growth, and they like the constant supply of water provided by the main fish pool, which I try to keep brimming. “Among dragonflies, we have the usual heavy representation of the bright blue ones and occasional massive bronze ones, and a few damselflies, also blue. We have no lizards or toads, which I greatly miss, and more than anything I wish we had some of those black skinks with yellow stripes and metallic blue tails. If there is anyplace to buy some, I’d like to know it. I have the ideal conditions for them — plenty of sun-warmed masonry, billions of leafy twigs, and undisturbed compost in which the young could grow.” — from “August” in One Man’s Garden, by Henry Mitchell.

Late-Summer To-Do List For most gardeners, August’s arrival heralds the transition into another season. There are still showstoppers in the garden — cranesbill geraniums, Russian sage, black-eyed Susans and cleome (a.k.a. spider flowers) are our favorite late-summer bloomers — but as subtle changes in weather, and slightly shorter days, often allow plants to get a second wind, now’s the time to get a good jump on your autumn spruce-up duties. Cut back foliage of early bloomers and prune flowering shrubs as flowers fade. Trim and feed hanging baskets to encourage new growth and flowers. Pick herbs for fresh use and drying purposes. Collect seeds for future propagation. Begin dividing perennials. Best to start with early bloomers. Rake out garden beds and add fresh compost and new mulch to encourage additional root growth. Order spring bulbs and prepare your cold frame. August 2012

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August 2012

Arts Calendar

August 1

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August 3

CAROLINA KIDS’ CLUB FILM. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Horton Hears a Who. Rated G. Specialty-priced kids’ snack packs available for purchase. Pre-show starts at 9:30 a.m. Tickets: $5; $20 for a 5-pack. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com. TUNES AT NOON. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Live music from Wickerbach. Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

BARN DINNER THEATRE SHOW. 6 p.m. David McClintock, Minstrel Pianist. Tickets vary. 120 Stage Coach Trail, Greensboro. Info: (336) 292-2211 or barndinner.com.

ELSEWHERE ARTISTS TALK. 8 – 9 p.m. New visiting artists in residence, staff and special guest artists share concepts, culture and art through this salon style presentation and discussion. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

ELSEWHERE TOUR. 4 – 4:30 p.m. Join Elsewherians on a tour through the living museum. Open to everyone. Cost: $5. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

August 4–5

celebration. Center for Visual Artists Gallery, Cultural Arts Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7485.

STEWART & STEVIE NICKS. 7:30 p.m. • ROD Rock and Roll Hall of Famers reunite and reprise their

FIRST FRIDAY. 6 – 9 p.m. Self-guided tour of Downtown shops, art galleries, studios, museums and alternative art venues. Downtown Greensboro. Info: www. downtownfridays.com.

August 1 - December 30

ART EXHIBIT & OPENING RECEPTION. 6 – 10 p.m. Portraits and Classic Lines. Exhibit runs through August 25. The Studio and Gallery, 109 N. Cedar St. #3, Greensboro. Info: (336) 420-4810.

highly acclaimed “Heart & Soul Tour.” Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Lee St. Tickets/Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

• •

MUMMIES EXHIBIT. East Coast FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE. 7 – 10 p.m. Live music • ACCIDENTAL • debut of Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato. Learn from HWYL (7 p.m.) and Lost in the Trees (8:45 p.m.) why these perfectly preserved beings were exhumed Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

from their crypts, and what forensic technology reveals about their lives and culture. Natural Science Center, 4301 Lawndale Drive, Greensboro. Information: (336) 288-3769 or www.natsci.org.

August 2

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL & MIXED TAPE SERIES. 7:30 p.m. Super Mario Brothers. Running time: 104 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com. Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

74 O.Henry

August 2012

Performing arts

STAND-UP COMEDY. 8 – 10 p.m. “No Nonsense Comedy” is a stand-up comedy show featuring the best comedians in North Carolina. Held on the first, second and fourth Friday of every month. Tickets: $7. Idiot Box, 348 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699.

August 4

• FASHION SHOW FUNDRAISER. 10 – 12 p.m. • • • • • Film

EXHIBIT & OPENING RECEPTION. 5 – 8 • ART p.m. Dirty Fingernails. Summer art camp student exhibit and

CLAY DATE. 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Meet three North Carolina clay makers, Amy Sanders, Ron Philbeck and Stephanie Martin, as they demonstrate techniques in stamping, drawing and image transfer on clay. Meet guest curator Ronan Kyle Peterson. Green Hill Center, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7460 or www.greenhillcenter.org.

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). Running time: 135 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

“Hope in Style” features children’s fashion show, brunch and silent auction, with entertainment by Nashville musician Buddy Jewell. Doors open for silent auction at 9 a.m. Proceeds benefit children living at Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina. Greensboro Country Club. Tickets: $25; contact Karen Slate at (336) 474-1211. Info: www.bchfamily.com/events.

Literature/Speakers

Fun

History

ROOTS ROCKIN’ PRODUCTIONS REGGAE REUNION MUSIC SERIES. 2 – 10 p.m. Multicultural family-oriented music festival featuring various reggae artists, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and children’s activities. Cost: $10/one day; $15/both days. Aggie Park, East Lee St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 558-5715.

August 5

CAROLINA WEDDINGS SHOW. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bridal show features aisle after aisle of the region’s top vendors, plus fashion shows every hour. Tickets: $10/at door; $5/ online. Greensboro Coliseum (the Pavilion), 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.33bride.com.

MUSEP CONCERT. 6:30 p.m. Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park. Live music from the Greensboro Concert Band (Classical, Pops). Free admission; donations welcome. Bring non-perishable food items to donate to “Feast Not Famine Food Drive.” Latham Park, W. Wendover Ave. at Latham & Cridland Roads. Info: (336) 373-2489.

August 6

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. Hitchcock’s • Vertigo (1958). Running time: 128 min. Tickets: $6; $4/ student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

Sports

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August Arts Calendar August 7

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. All About Eve • (1950). Running time: 138 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior

and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

August 8

CAROLINA KIDS’ CLUB FILM. 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Puss in Boots. Rated PG. Specialty-priced kids’ snack packs available for purchase. Pre-show starts at 9:30 a.m. Tickets: $5; $20 for a 5-pack. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3332605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

TUNES AT NOON. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Live music from Lyn Koonce & Friends. Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. The Quiet Man (1952). Running time: 129 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

Art

Music/Concerts

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL & MIXED TAPE SERIES. 7:30 p.m. Talladega Nights. Running time: 108 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

••

ELSEWHERE ARTISTS TALK. 8 – 9 p.m. New visiting artists in residence, staff and special guest artists share concepts, culture and art through this salon style presentation and discussion. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

August 10

STAND-UP COMEDY. 8 – 10 p.m. “No Nonsense Comedy” is a stand-up comedy show featuring the best comedians in North Carolina. Held on the first, second and fourth Friday of every month. Tickets: $7. Idiot Box, 348 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699.

BARN DINNER THEATRE SHOW. 6 p.m. Elvis Tribute Artist Stephen Freeman & The Echoes of a Legend Show Band. Tickets vary. 120 Stage Coach Trail, Greensboro.

• •

August 9

PETER FRAMPTON IN CONCERT. 8 p.m. “Grin and Bear It Tour.” Tickets: $25, $45 & $75. Greensboro Coliseum Complex, 1921 W. Lee St. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com; www.frampton.com.

August 8 & 9

Key:

Info: (336) 292-2211 or barndinner.com.

Performing arts

August 11

GROOVE JAM AT DOODAD FARM. 3 p.m. Fundraiser and food drive for Greensboro

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Urban Ministry featuring bands like The Groove, Swamp Nots, The Fairlanes, Sinai Mountain Ramblers, and The Swell. Doodad Farm, Greensboro. Info: (336) 260-7999 or www.facebook.com/doodadfarm.

ELSEWHERE TOUR. 4 – 4:30 p.m. Join Elsewherians on a tour through the living museum. Open to everyone. Cost: $5. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

MEN CAN COOK. 6 – 9 p.m. Annual fundraiser to benefit the Women’s Resource Center. Features 50 community men serving up samples of their signature dishes, “Battle of the Bakers” decorated cake competition, silent auction, and an honoring of Shirley Spears, the first Women’s Legacy Honoree sponsored by Lorillard. Greensboro Coliseum’s Special Events Center. Tickets: $45/adults; $10/children under 10. Tickets/ Info: www.mencancook.org; www.womenscentergso.org or (336) 275-6090.

SWING DANCE. 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. Introductory jitterbug lesson starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by live swing music. No partner necessary. Tickets available at door. Members: $8; Non-members: $10. Vintage Theatre, 7 Vintage Avenue, Winston-Salem. Info: www. piedmontswingdance.org or (336) 508-9998.

Sports

August 2012

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hands-on Greensboro’s premier Montessori School... Serving children ages eighteen months through eighth grade, where students develop a love of learning through individually guided, hands-on discovery and exploration. Come discover the GMS difference for yourself! s !UTHENTIC -ONTESSORI CURRICULUM

exceptional and caring faculty s 5NPARALLELED ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS s ,OW STUDENT TEACHER RATIOS s "EFORE  AFTER SCHOOL CARE ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS  -IDDLE 3CHOOL SPORTS Open House Tours: October 9th & 16th at 9 am. Call today to reserve your spot!

Celebrating 20 Years of Excellence. PreK - Grade 8

Please join us for an Open House this fall.

www.canterburygso.org

5400 Old Lake Jeanette Road • Greensboro, NC 27455

336-288-2007

Challenging the mind. Nourishing the spirit.

76 O.Henry

August 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August Arts Calendar

August 12

August 17

MUSEP CONCERT. 6 p.m. Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park. Live music from the Allison King Band (Pop, Soul, Jazz, Blues) and the Rob Massengale Band (Variety, Rock n’ Roll). Free admission; donations welcome. Bring non-perishable food items to donate to “Feast Not Famine Food Drive.” Hester Park, 3615 Deutzia St. Info:

FRIDAY AT FIVE. 5 – 8:30 p.m. A celebration of music and arts to support local causes. Featuring live music from the Chris Land Band. Text “EXPLORE” to 72727 for free admission. Governmental Plaza, 110 Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 285-0158 or www.greensborofridayatfive.com.

• •

CENTER CITY CINEMA. 8:30 p.m. Sixteen Candles. Free. Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org

(336) 373-2489.

August 13

August 18

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). Running time: 109 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

MUDDY BUDDIES. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. A parent/ child pottery class. Center for Visual Artists, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-7475 or www. greensboroart.org.

August 14

ELSEWHERE TOUR. 4 – 4:30 p.m. Join Elsewherians on a tour through the living museum. Open to everyone. Cost: $5. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

CENTER CITY A.M. BRIEFING. 8 – 9 a.m. Bimonthly meetings for those who live, work or support the downtown area. Includes information on developments, activities, growth and projects. Guilford Merchants Association, 225 Commerce Place, Greensboro. Info: (336) 378-6350.

August 19

MUSEP CONCERT. 6 p.m. Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park. Live music from West End Mambo (Latin) and Soul Biscuit (Motown, Beach, 60s, 70s). Free admission; donations welcome. Bur-Mil Park, Hwy. 220 N., right on Owl’s Roost Rd. Info: (336) 373-2489.

August 20

MONDAY NIGHT POETRY. 7 – 9 p.m. Open mic session celebrating rhythm and rhyme every third Monday. Central Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 373-3617.

NOON AT THE SPOON. 12 p.m. A 20-minute docentled tour of new exhibit, Close Relations and A Few Black Sheep: Sculpture from the Permanent Collection. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu. SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. Cabaret (1972). • Running time: 124 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

August 22

TUNES AT NOON. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Live music from David Via. Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

August 23

FILM & DISCUSSION. 7 – 8:30 p.m. The Guestworker. • Directed by NC filmmakers Cynthia Hill and Charles Thompson. Public discussion on current NC migrant labor issues follows film. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

August 15

TUNES AT NOON. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Live music from The Zinc Kings. Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

ARTISTS TALK. 8 – 9 p.m. New • •ELSEWHERE visiting artists in residence, staff and special guest artists share

$6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www. carolinatheatre.com.

August 24

FILM FESTIVAL. 7:30 p.m. Mr. Smith • SUMMER Goes to Washington (1939). Running time: 129 min. Tickets:

concepts, culture and art through this salon style presentation and discussion. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

August 16

SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL & MIXED TAPE SERIES. 7:30 p.m. Blue Velvet. Running time: 120 min. Tickets: $6; $4/student, senior and military. Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-2605 or www.carolinatheatre.com.

••

ELSEWHERE ARTISTS TALK. 8 – 9 p.m. New visiting artists in residence, staff and special guest artists share concepts, culture and art through this salon style presentation and discussion. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

Key:

• • Art

Music/Concerts

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Performing arts

STAND-UP COMEDY. 8 – 10 p.m. “No Nonsense Comedy” is a stand-up comedy show featuring the best comedians in North Carolina. Held on the first, second and fourth Friday of every month. Tickets: $7. Idiot Box, 348 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 274-2699.

PLAY CITY AT ELSEWHERE. An improv role playing game where Elsewhere’s first floor is imagined as an urban metropolis. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

August 25

FLIP FLOP BEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL. 1 p.m. All-star line-up includes Band of Oz, The Embers, Swingin’ Medallions, Eric and the Chill Tones and The

• • Film

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports August 2012

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August Arts Calendar Tams. Gates open at noon. Charity event benefiting Operation Smile. Tickets: $20/lawn; $25/reserved. White Oak Amphitheatre, 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro. Info: www.greensborocoliseum.com.

ELSEWHERE TOUR. 4 – 4:30 p.m. Join Elsewherians on a tour through the living museum. Open to everyone. Cost: $5. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

SWING DANCE. 7:30 – 11:30 p.m. Introductory jitterbug lesson starts at 7:30 p.m., followed by live swing music. No partner necessary. Tickets available at door. Members: $8; Non-members: $10. The Oriental Shriner’s Club, 5010 High Point Rd., Greensboro. Info: www.piedmontswingdance.org or (336) 508-9998.

August 26

ART EXHIBIT OPENING. 3 – 5 p.m. Celebrating Creative Teaching. A broad range of expression and media on display, including works by talented artists who teach or have taught at historically black colleges. African American Atelier Inc., 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 333-6885.

CENTRAL LIBRARY BOOK DISCUSSION. 3 – 5 p.m. Discuss Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. A limited number of discussion books are available for check out to group members. New members welcome. Greensboro Public Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro. Info: Beth at (336) 373-3617.

August 29

TUNES AT NOON. 12 – 1:30 p.m. Live music from Michael Ken. Center City Park, 200 N. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

August 30

The U.S./Mexico Border along with participating artists Todd Drake and Pedro Lasch. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 3345770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

Music/Concerts

78 O.Henry

August 2012

Performing arts

ARTISTS • •ELSEWHERE TALK. 8 – 9 p.m. New visiting artists in residence,

staff and special guest artists share concepts, culture and art through this salon style presentation and discussion. Elsewhere Collaborative, 606 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: www.goelsewhere.org.

WEEKLY HAPPENINGS Mondays

FITNESS BY THE FOUNTAIN. 6 – 7 p.m. Free. Turbo Kick (8/6); Zumba (8/13); Tai Chi Ch’uan (8/20); African Dance (8/27). Center City Park, Downtown Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

LIVE MUSIC AT LUCKY 32 SOUTHERN KITCHEN. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Skillet Fried Chicken & Songs From a Southern Kitchen. Featuring Cheff Jay’s skillet fried chicken, select beverage specials and live music by Laurelyn Dossett and friends. Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen, 1421 Westover Terrace. Info: (336) 370-0707.

Fridays & Saturdays

WEEKEND WINE & MUSIC. 7 – 10 p.m. Live music at WineStyles, 3326 W. Friendly Ave., Suite 141, Greensboro. Info: 336-299-4505.

IMPROV COMEDY. 10 p.m. (Fri. and Sat.); 8 p.m. (Sat.). Actors create scenes on-the-spot and build upon the ideas of others. Performances based on suggestions given by the audience; each show is one-of-a-kind. Saturday 8 p.m. show appropriate for the whole family. Tickets: $10/$7(students). Idiot Box, 348 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info/RSVP: 336-274-BOXX.

NIGHTMARES AROUND ELM STREET. 8 p.m. A 90-minute historical candlelit ghost walking tour of Downtown Greensboro. Open Year-Round. Cost: $15/adults; $13/ children 8-12. Children 7 and under are free. Group rates and online discounts available. Info: www. carolinahistoryandhaunts.com/ information.

FITNESS BY THE FOUNTAIN. 6 – 7 p.m. Free. Belly Dancing (8/1); Yoga (8/8); SocaGroove (8/15); Jazzercise (8/22); Pilates. Center City Park, Downtown Greensboro. Info: www.centercitypark.org.

WINE & MUSIC. 7 – 10 p.m. Mussels •$15,MUSSELS, for wines from $10 to $15 a bottle, live acoustic musice

Thursdays

WEEKLY WINE TASTING. 5 — 7 p.m. New flights featured each week. WineStyles, 3326 W. Friendly Ave., Suite 141, Greensboro. Info: 336-299-4505.

• • Film

CINEMA UNDER THE STARS. 9 p.m. The Adventures of Robin Hood (8/3); Raiders of the Lost Ark (8/10); To Kill a Mockingbird (8/17); Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (8/24); The Princess Bride (8/31). Gates open at 8 p.m. Bring a picnic. Wine and beer available for purchase. In case of rain, screening will move to the Babcock Auditorium. Admission: $5 (cash only). Reynolda House Museum of American Art, 2250 Reynolda Rd., Winston-Salem. Info: reynoldahouse.org or (336) 758-5150.

Wednesdays

by AM rodeo. Print Works Bistro, 702 Green Valley Rd., Greensboro. Info: (336) 379-0699.

TOUR. 6 – 6:30 p.m. Curator • ARTEdenEXHIBIT Xandra leads a special tour of Zone of Contention:

Art

FINE WINE FRIDAYS. All wines by the glass are $5. WineStyles, 3326 W. Friendly Ave., Suite 141, Greensboro. Info: 336-299-4505.

• •

Tuesdays

MUSEP CONCERT. 6 p.m. Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park. Live music from Doby (Funk-Soul) and the Groovin’ Band (Beach Music). Free admission; donations welcome. Lindley Park, Starmount Drive at W. Market St. & Wendover Ave. Info: (336) 373-2489.

Key:

Fridays

LECTURE. 7 – 8:30 p.m. Paul Cuadros discusses his book, A Home on the Field, and the impact of the burgeoning Latino community in North Carolina. Public reception follows lecture. Seating is limited. Weatherspoon Art Museum, 500 Tate St., Greensboro. Info: (336) 334-5770 or weatherspoon.uncg.edu.

Literature/Speakers

• • Fun

History

Sports

Saturdays

••

CHILDREN’S STORY HOUR. 11 a.m. Dynamic leaders in our community conduct story hour. Makeand-take arts activities follow. All books are written for children, especially ages 5-12. International Civil Rights Center & Museum, 134 S. Elm St., Greensboro. Info: 336-274-9199 or www.sitinmovement.org.

WEEKLY WINE TASTINGS. 4 – 6 p.m. New flights featured each week. WineStyles, 3326 W. Friendly Ave., Suite 141, Greensboro. Info: 336-299-4505. To add an event, e-mail us at ohcal@ohenrymag.com by September 1 for the October issue.

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

O.Henry 79

Arts & Culture

dance local

23(1-8/<7+58'(&(0%(5

the

school

at city arts all kinds of dance for all kinds of people

Register now for youth and adult classes

Cultural Arts Center, Downtown Greensboro project the school at city arts www.danceproject.org

80 O.Henry

August 2012

H ISTORY U NEARTHED SCIENCE DISCOVERED 1$785$/6&(,1&(&(17(5 2) *5((16%252 _1$76&,25*

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Arts & Culture

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

O.Henry 81

GREENSBORO BUILDERS ASSOCIATION

Tour of Remodeled Homes Friday, Saturday & Sunday

AUGUST 24 - 26, 2012 | 12 Noon until 5:00 pm each day

16 Beautiful & Creative Homes throughout Greensboro & Guilford County

KItcHENS SuNroomS BatHS outdoor LIvINg tHEatrE roomS maStEr SuItES addItIoNS

Take a tour of remodeled homes through Greensboro and Guilford County

out

compLEtE rENovatIoNS

| Green sboroB uilder s.org Augus t 24-26 | 12:00- 5:00 PM

The following companies will showcase professional remodeling projects for the 15th annual Tour of Remodeled Homes: acorn construction | alert construction remodeling & repair Booe Building & remodeling | dLm Builders & marion tile gary Jobe Builder | Homes Built by design | JLB remodeling Kevin Jones design-Build | omega creations Kitchen & Bath piedmont personal Builders | Southern Evergreen omas-James construction Windsor's cabinetry For Kitchens & Baths | Wolfe Homes

Special anks to our Tour Sponsors

Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. | New Home Building Supply tickets are $10 and can be purchased at any tour home, providing access to all 16 homes. magazines are available at greensboro Harris teeter & Lowe’s Home Improvement stores as well as each tour home. tour projects are listed on the greensboro Builders association website.

www.GreensboroBuilders.org 82 O.Henry

August 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene

O.Henry Barber Shop Quartet

Independence Day Parade Downtown Greensboro Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Photographs by Liam Frank

MERIDITH MARTENS, artist Large Scale Paintings Custom Residential & Corporate Design

Wendy Dodson, Stephen Hale, Margaret Benjamin, Jim Dodson

www.meridithmartens.com The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

O.Henry 83

GreenScene BB&T Beach Music Concert Series Thursday, June 28, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Chipper Stevens, Kathi Smith, Mike Tolley

Chrissy Smith, David Rapp

Regina & Bryant Anderson

Missy Mowery, Rebecca Spough, Evelyn Nadle

Hal McAdams, Emily & Henry Scott, Sheri McAdams

Sleeping Booty

84 O.Henry

August 2012

Justin & Shannon Taylor

Terri Bowman, Hal Poythress

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

BETTER PARTNER… BETTER EXPERIENCE… BETTER FUTURE Keeping your word, an unwavering commitment to our core values of client first, conservatism, independence and integrity have never gone out of style at Raymond James. In fact, these core values have a storied and strikingly consistent history at Raymond James for over 50 years. We believe this sound decision making in an ever changing world has led to 97 consecutive quarters of profitability for Raymond James.

2412 North Beech Lane North Beech, Greensboro

4BR/4.5 BA -- Full finished Basement. Move-in condition with many extras: Generator; Central Vacuum; 3 Car Garage; Ceiling Fans; Raised Deck; Garden area; Neighborhood Pool; Porch; Security features; Bonus Room, Den and lots of Storage. $499,999

As Financial Advisors, we believe having a better partner helps us to help our clients have a better experience and achieve a better future.

300 Parkmont Drive New Irving Park, Greensboro

4BR/3.5 BA -- Classic Brick Ranch completely updated. New roof in 2009. Hardwoods, Moldings, Master Suite with Dressing Area. Gourmet Kitchen/ Breakfast Bar/Stainless Appliances. Triple Zoned HVAC. Fenced Yard/Brick Patio. $529,000

Please call us today for a non-obligatory meeting to learn more about how we are helping other successful individuals and their families.

The Premier Alternative to Wall Street

5207 Bodie Lane

Northern Shores/Lake Jeanette 4BR/3.5 BA -- Brick home in great condition with great location. MBR on main level. High Ceilings, lots of Hardwoods. Additional Space may be finished. Wired for Security. Screened Porch overlooking Fenced Back Yard. $459,000

803 Hood Place Old Irving Park, Greensboro 4BR/5 Full Baths/3 Half Baths – This French Style home has been totally remodeled. It sits on a quiet street overlooking Greensboro Country Club’s Golf Course. It boasts large rooms with Master Retreat, Guest Quarters, 4 Car Garage and Spectacular Grounds. Price upon request.

Bill Krebs, CRPC®, CLU, ChFC® Senior Vice President, Investments

Charles Betts, CIMA®

Senior Vice President, Investments

804 Green Valley Road, Suite 100 Greensboro, NC 27408 T 336.574.5731 | T 855.211.9820 piedmontwealthadvisors.com This is provided for information purposes only and is not a solicitation to purchase shares of Raymond James Financial. Raymond James & Associates, Inc., Member of New York Stock Exchange / SIPC

“CLICK OR CALL… WE DO IT ALL” Xan Tisdale Kay Chesnutt 336-601-2337 336-202-9687

Yost and Little Realty

Xan.Tisdale@pruyostandlittle.com Kay.Chesnutt@pruyostandlittle.com

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

August 2012

O.Henry 85

86 O.Henry

August 2012

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene

Music For A Sunday Evening in the Park at Guilford College Sunday, July 8, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Laura Jordao, Jean Marques

Larry & Claire Morse

Marlis & Gary Craver Jenny Gregoire, Steffan & Emma Thurman

Holly Schofield, Greg Brynildsen Ben Mann, Nate Shaw

Lidiya Selikhov, Hannah Fell

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Deb Calusdian, Laurey Solomon

August 2012

O.Henry 87

Picture The Perfect Appetizer Then picture yourself enjoying it with a wonderful glass of wine, in a relaxing atmosphere and feel the tension of the workday fade away. With a delicious assortment of small plates and appetizers, a deep variety of wines and a large selection of microbrews, 1618 wine lounge is the perfect place to unwind after a long day at work.

Irving Park Plaza at 1724 Battleground Ave., Suite 105 ph. 336.285.9410 | www.1618concepts.com

1 88OhenryAdshalfpage.indd O.Henry August 2012

7/10/12 11:05:18 AM The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene

“Uncle” Sam Hummel

Fun Fourth in downtown Greensboro Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

The Bankester Family

Destiny Goodwyn, Angela Winchester

Kathy Sample

Tona Willet

Mark & Roberta Case

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Megan Tucker, Nathan Wiles

Evan Olson, Jessica Mashburn

Ben & Caythia Donaldson

Maria Reginaldi

August 2012

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Triad Local First

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

90 O.Henry

VKRSV ‡ VHUYLFHV ‡ IRRG ‡ IDUP August 2012

www.triadlocalfirst.com

February/March 2012

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73

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Join Us: Buy Local

Triad Local First

www.triadlocalfirst.com

Wedding Elegance Our Gift to You!

Free Groom’s Tuxedo with rental of 5 or more tuxedos for the wedding party

Our wedding directors have more than 20 years experience in formal wear for weddings, balls and other special events. Please call to set up your free personal consultation.

Gordon’s

Gentlemen’s Apparel & Formal Wear SALES and RENTALS 3712-F Lawndale Drive • 336.286.2620 Next to The Fresh Market | Mon-Sat 10-6

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

VKRSV ‡ VHUYLFHV ‡ IRRG ‡ IDUP

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

February/March 2012

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August 2012

73

O.Henry 91

Join Us: Buy Local

Triad Local First

92 O.Henry

August 2012

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The Art & Soul of Greensboro

GreenScene Kirkwood Neighborhood Fourth of July Parade Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Photographs by Sam Froelich

Barbara Blust

Michael & Toni Picarelli

Chris & Amy Marriott

Boone Redding, Laura Kilpatrick, Molly Ruth Redding, Molly Goble, Ryan Benton Pat Nuss, Herb Hartsook

Connie, Jeff & Minnie Lester

Reid Knox, Diane Sanderson, Kim Knox Kate Austin

Hugh & Fred Carlson

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Hunter Oeming, Mac Ball, C.G. Oeming, Jay Summerall

“Penny”

August 2012

O.Henry 93

Roberta and the Snake

Life’s Funny

A parable with a payback

T

here I was, having lunch with pals one day, when the conversation turned to my friend Roberta Rohan, an award-winning teacher at Grimsley High School. “I guess you heard about Roberta and the snake,” said one of my lunch mates. Roberta and the snake? That was almost as good as Peter and the Wolf. Andy and the Lion. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. A parable waiting to happen. Do tell, I said. She gave me the capsule version, which sent me digging for my cellphone. “A freakin’ snake?” I texted Roberta. My phone lit up with a call. There was her hearty Irish-bred laughter followed by a flood of words punctuated with the occasional “I’m tellin’ ya . . .” After a few shrieks — on my end — I decided this truly was a story with a moral. So now, I’m tellin’ ya. Parable style. Once upon a time, there was a red-headed math teacher named Roberta. She was a fiery lass, sharp of wit, loud of mouth, full of fun. She was from a little place called Brooklynville, which explained a lot. When she wasn’t teaching our youth, attending Mass, or saying novenas, she was — as she liked to say — “busting chops.” Roberta did not suffer fools gladly. But she liked to pull practical jokes, and she found kindred spirits among her fellow teachers, who, God knows, needed some relief from dealing with sassy, drama-mongering, hormone-addled teenagers (the parable teller’s words, not the teacher’s). Anyway, the pranks were innocent enough. Like, one teacher would confess to losing an important paper, and another teacher would tease him, then, suddenly, the teaser would be missing an important paper. Well, one spring, a device called an Annoy-a-Tron was making the rounds among the teachers. The Annoy-a-Tron was the size of a credit card, and you could set it to make pesky noises — say, chirping crickets. It was entirely believable that crickets might invade the Old Science building, a 1929 gem with tile hallways, transom windows and more gaps than a sieve. This was the backdrop against which Roberta walked into her room for second period, her planning period, that fine April morning. She had met her first-period class in the media center. She walked into the cool darkness of her room. The lights were off. The blinds were shut. She walked around her desk, which abutted an old lab table, her lectern. One of the table’s drawers was open slightly, as usual. That’s when she saw it. A black snake that started in the drawer and draped over an old natural gas spigot above that. Its top third lay flat on the table. It was perfectly still. Roberta was startled for a second. Then she calmed. “Good one, fellas,” she thought with a mental nod to her peers. Her next thought was that her nephew Sam would enjoy that rubber snake. So she reached out and grabbed it with her left hand. Now, Roberta is not what you’d call a nature girl. She’s from Brooklynville, and they don’t take field trips to the Natural Science Center in Brooklynville. So, when that rubber snake, which felt unusually rough and slimy for a toy made in

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August 2012

China, curled its head around to look at Roberta and flicked its forked tongue at her, she did what any respectable former softball player would do: She flung that sucker a good eight feet. It bounced off the recycling can, gathered itself and slithered behind a filing cabinet. “Damn, that girl has an arm,” the snake thought. Or so the parable teller imagines. Roberta snatched up the phone and called her friend, earth science teacher Daniel Glaze, in the adjacent building. “Look, Glaze, I got a snake up here. You need to come and get it.” “So that’s where it came out.” Glaze’s comment puzzled Roberta, but she didn’t ask questions. There was a snake behind her filing cabinet. Glaze was there in a minute, sizing up the situation. Black rat snake. About three feet long. He could get the snake out, but it probably would release a musky odor, a defense mechanism common to nonpoisonous snakes. “I couldn’t care less,” said Roberta from Brooklynville. “I want it out.” So Glaze picked up the snake with a yardstick, laid it in a trash can, walked outside and released it in a patch of woods, from whence it probably came, flushed out by recent construction that erased an even bigger swath of woods. Meanwhile, inside Old Science, Roberta marched into a room across the hall, where her colleague Troy Corsner was teaching a class. Actually, he was receiving a formal observation from an assistant principal. Not that Roberta noticed. “Excuse me,” she announced as she strode in front of Corsner, headed for the sink. “I need to wash my hands. I just touched a snake.” A murmur rippled across the class. Some of the kids knew what Roberta did not — that the snake had appeared the day before in the classroom right below hers. Glaze, the critter ridder, had been called. He had tried to grab the snake. But it slipped away, through a hole in the wall where a water-filled cooling pipe passed from room to room. Glaze checked the next room. No snake. An email had gone out to the teachers on the first floor. But Roberta’s room is on the second floor, and it was the last period of the day. There was no time for word-of-mouth to travel. But there was plenty of time for a snake to travel — up the wall, through the floor and out a hole where more pipes came into Roberta’s old lab desk. And that is how — just a few hours later — Roberta came to reach for the real live made-in-the-U.S. of A. snake. The moral to the parable? Actually, there are three: One, the next time there’s a school bond referendum for facilities in dissssssssssrepair, vote for it. Two, sometimes the best prankster makes the best prankee. Think about it — the only reason Roberta picked up the snake is because she thought she was being pranked, which made for the best prank ever. Or, as Roberta might say, “Good one, snake.” And three — and this one goes out to the snake — you’d better watch your long, skinny back once school starts again. Because the payback from Roberta is going to be hell. OH The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Photograph By Cassie Butler

By Maria Johnson

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O.Henry Ending

The Call of the Wild

By Jo MaEDEr

“I

hit an animal last night.” I told Rita this as we drove up Lawndale toward Summerfield, just after we’d passed a small carcass on the side of the road. It was late, the street fairly empty, the air filled with the sweet sadness of a fleeting summer night. “It dashed in front of my car, out of nowhere. Without thinking I slammed on my brakes, heard an awful thud and saw a car behind me brake and swerve. There was nothing I could do!” He ran toward death like a kamikaze pilot. I can still see him; hear that sound. “I’m sorry. You’re lucky the car didn’t hit you.” “At first I didn’t know what it was. I drove back around to make sure it wasn’t a dog or cat. I still couldn’t tell. I was pretty sure it was something wild. There was a lot of gray fur. I drove back again in the daylight. I saw some orange.” “A red fox. Their tails are gray.” “That’s what I thought. Maybe I saved someone’s chickens by hitting it.” This happened in rural-ish Oak Ridge in the northwest part of Guilford County. “Maybe.” Then I felt bad I’d brought up the incident. Rita and I had just indulged in an overdue Girls Night Out at The Bistro at Adams Farm. Glorious wine from thousands of miles away accompanied my pan-seared duck breast over sweet potato, fig and walnut ravioli. The duck was tossed in a whole grain mustard and maple cream sauce and topped with candied walnuts. Truly a meal that transports you. Here I was talking about dead animals. Rita’s voice shifted into a dreamy state. “I hit a deer one morning when I was taking my girls to Greensboro Day School. Right on this road. I was crying, the girls were crying. Then a beat-up pickup truck appeared.” A woman got out, looked over the deer and declared, “Got yerself a nice-un.” “She gave me a big smile. Her teeth were brown from smoking or chewing tobacco. She was probably 50 but looked 60.” Still sobbing, Rita said to her, “I don’t know what to do. Is there someone I should call?”

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The woman’s head jerked up. “Ya ain’t keepin’ it?!” When Rita made it clear that wasn’t her intention, she said, “I’ll git my son. We’ll take care of it.” Turning on Lake Brandt, I said, “I know there are people who scout for roadkill to eat. I was a little surprised the fox was still there the next day.” “It gets worse.” “Oh, no.” “I drove by later and there was the deer strung upside down to a telephone pole with its insides gone. You have to let the blood drain right away or it’ll taste too gamey.” “Is that legal? On a public street?” “I guess here it is.” I let that image sink in, and the fact that offal sounds like awful. I said, “A friend told me he saw some Latino workers chase a groundhog that was in a field and stuff it in their ice chest to eat later.” We simultaneously said, “What does groundhog taste like?” Nothing like that duck I’d had, I’m sure. Rita told me someone she knew was invited to a Cinco de Mayo party at a park in Winston-Salem two years ago. “They brought in a live cow and slaughtered it, right there in the park. They said it was cheaper than buying the meat.” Again I wondered if that was legal. Then I thought, why shouldn’t it be? She added, “He was invited this year and didn’t go.” As we drove on it occurred to me that with all that technology has done to create a global village there are still plenty of sharp cultural edges firmly rooted in a time long forgotten by most Americans. The woman in the pick-up truck got her son. She didn’t whip out her cellphone. Though butcher shops may be a rarity now, how you cut up an animal hasn’t changed one bit. Not that I would know what to do. I would have to Google it. OH Jo Maeder is the author of When I Married My Mother. She can be reached through her website, www.JoMaeder.com Illustration By Meridith Martens The Art & Soul of Greensboro

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August 2012 O.Henry