Page 1

OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021


gpd vs thc PAGE 6

coming to terms with ghoe PAGE 9

triad’s best halloween houses PAGE 12




OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021


Writing at night

Coronavirus in the Triad: (As of Wednesday, Oct. 27)

Documented COVID-19 diagnoses NC

1,472,655 (+14,857)


51,630 (+495)

Guilford County

66,819 (+755)

COVID-19 deaths NC

17,935 (+295)


562 (+13)


862 (+10)

Documented recoveries NC

1,422,175 (+22,782)


*no data*


64,320 (+1,192)

Current cases NC

40,765 (-10,023)


*no data*


2,083 (-659)

Hospitalizations (right now) NC

32,545 (--8,220)


*no data*


1,636 (-447)

Vaccinations NC First Dose Fully vaccinated


5,745,592 (+28,316) 5,796,977 (55%, +45,532)

Forsyth First Dose

228,276 (+859)

Fully vaccinated

213,734 (56%, +1,407)

Guilford First dose

316,732 (+1,281)

Fully vaccinated

298,888 (56%, +1,845)


’ve been pretty jammed up with business these last few days, but I’ll be damned if I don’t file my copy before I go to bed tonight. by Brian Clarey I haven’t missed a deadline in at least 16 years and probably more. Not professionally, anyway. And so I’m writing at night, which I don’t do much anymore but was once a hefty part of my regimen, before I quit the booze and the drugs and started falling asleep on the couch if I stayed on it past 10 p.m. It’s not even properly late right now, just a couple bours after sunset. But here in a quiet house, with cats swirling around my workspace and a silence so deep I can hear it — alone — it feels a lot like it did when I was writing features in Greensboro after working shifts at the restaurant while my wife and baby slept. Like it did when I would bang away at an impossibly bulky, green-screen laptop in my moonlit French Quarter apartment, chainsmoking and drinking until my fingers couldn’t hit the

right keys. Like it felt in my parents’ basement that one year after college, after midnight, writing my way through an existential crisis on an IBM Selectric typewriter that sounded like a machine gun when I got on a roll, and later on an old KayPro computer that a high school girlfriend gave me. Writing done at night taps into a different sort of consciousness than words composed first thing in the morning when everything is new, or in the late afternoon when the dinner bell looms. It comes from a different place, maybe a better place because writing at night is lonely. Even more lonely than other writing, all of which is, at root, an intensely solitary business. Writing at night is the dark luxury of those who don’t have to get up early in the morning. But it feels sort of desperate, too, because writing done at night is writing that, for one reason or another, must be done. It feels that way still.

But it feels sort of desperate, too....

QUOTE OF THE WEEK I think that we were targeted because we are a hemp shop downtown that sells Delta-8 flower that resembles marijuana and GPD had a hard time distinguishing. And I don’t think it’s our responsibility to solve that for them. — Hector Gabriel, page 7

1451 S. Elm-Eugene St. Box 24, Greensboro, NC 27406 336.256.9320 BUSINESS PUBLISHER/EXECUTIVE EDITOR

Brian Clarey


Allen Broach


Jonathan Jones





Michaela Ratliff Nikki Miller-Ka


Jordan Green





Sayaka Matsuoka Nicole Zelniker

Charlie Marion

Drew Dix

TCB IN A FLASH @ First copy is free, all additional copies are $1. ©2021 Beat Media Inc.

Chris Rudd Carolyn de Berry, James Douglas, Matt Jones, Jordan Howse, Jen Sorensen, Clay Jones


GREENSBORO: Gabriel Sanchez, Hector Sanchez and Kattry Castellon stand in front of their shop Essential Hemp. WINSTON-SALEM: Model James Flynt shot by Rachael Fern.

OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021

Jen Sorensen


UP FRONT | OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021

CITY LIFE OCT. 28-31 by Jasmine Gaines


Ilderton Jeep Music Fest @ Truist Point Stadium (HP) 5:30 p.m.

Improv Comedy Show @ Reynolds Place Theatre (W-S) 8 p.m. Winston-Salem’s most punctual improv troupe welcomes you to a special Halloween comedy show. This PG-13 interactive show will include spooky elements of Halloween themed content. Visit their website for more information on tickets.

Truck & Treat BOOsted @ Kaleideum North (W-S) Noon

Fall Festival @ 3405 Lewiston Rd (GSO) 10 p.m.

Help support Open Door Ministries by coming out to this family event. Live music, food and vendors will be available. Tickets come in the form of a $25 wristband. To purchase tickets, visit their website.

FRIDAY Oct 29.

Vendors Festival @ Sternberger Park (GSO) 11 a.m.

Awaken Church and Unique Busy Kids are collaborating to host this lively game night. Food, games and activities will be included in this free event. For more information visit their event page.


Aggie Pride! Vendors are showing their blue and gold all day with a festival chock full of vendors. Everyone is invited to celebrate the first year back for one of the biggest events during the Greatest Homecoming on Earth. For more information visit the event page.

Community Market Fall Festival @ Winston-Salem Shrine Club (W-S) 8 a.m. Visit the Winston-Salem Shrine Club for this festive morning event. There will be plenty of food with the chili cook off and pumpkin pie contest. Trick-or-treating and games will be provided for children while vendors will ensure a fun time for everyone else. Visit the events page for more information. Southeast Crab Feast @ 1590 Bolton Street (W-S) Noon The all-you-can-eat blue crabs’ event is back for the fall


All Hallows Eve Party @ Centennial Station Arts Center (HP) 7p.m. Start the spooky evening early at the High Point Arts Council Halloween Eve party for adults. Costume attire is optional, but masks are not. Come enjoy a live DJ and Halloween classics such as “Thriller” and “The Monster Mash” with a chance at winning an arts and entertainment gift basket. Tickets are $15 per person and can purchased online on the event webpage.

SUNDAY Oct. 31

30-Minute Jump @ Sky Zone (GSO) 10 a.m. Jump into Halloween at Sky Zone Trampoline Park. With a purchase of Skysocks jump for free for 30 minutes. Jump pass will be valid for a future return date. For more information visit their website. Halloween Market @ Incendiary Brewing Company (W-S) Noon Join the Incendiary Brewing Company for their second annual Halloween Market. This free event will have trunk or treating, craft vendors and festive costume contest for the children and dogs. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

HalloWheels @ Hobby Park (W-S) 7 p.m.

This ghostly mountain bike ride offers some nighttime fun. Be sure to bring a light, mountain bike and helmet to ride in the woods safely. Stick around afterwards for a taste of local brews. View the Facebook page for more information.

Let’s get eerie at the outdoor science and environmental park. Join Kaleideum North to enjoy the spider web obstacle course, live entertainment and a number of spooktacular activities. Prizes and food will be available. All proceeds will go to the fundraiser for Kaleideum. For more information visit their website.

season. The highly-anticipated event will allow you to eat fresh blue crabs with one side of fish and chips. This family friendly environment will also have music and entertainment. For more information visit the Facebook page.

Fall Festival @ 1800 N. Main St. (HP) 5 p.m. Halloween is here. Enjoy it trunk or treating with local businesses and organizations. Horses and hayrides will be available for the festive atmosphere. Dessert trucks will be one of many provided for those that want more than just candy. For more information visit the page.

A love letter to Hawaii


cried last week because I’m mourning a loss. It feels like the loss of a part of me, a part that I always suspected by Sayaka Matsuoka might exist, but wasn’t sure because I hadn’t felt it, touched it, experienced it until I landed in Hawaii two weeks ago. On Oct. 16, my husband and I visited the island of O’ahu for the first time on our honeymoon. We had initially planned on going to Japan, but then the pandemic hit. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve been able to visit family there. And with Japan out of the question, we settled on the next best thing — another small island in the Pacific, ripe with Asian culture. I knew that the Japanese population in Hawaii was numerous, and I longed for a place where people looked like me. Growing up in North Carolina as a Japanese-American meant that my eyes, my skin, my thick black hair, the food I ate and other parts of my identity were foreign to most people. It meant that I explained myself a lot. Nobody could pronounce my name on the first try. I can’t remember when I started giving my middle name, Sheila, at restaurants instead. It meant hiding, cutting off, lessening parts of me for most of my life, just to make things easier. When I landed in Hawaii, something shifted. I felt those parts of me that had been tucked away start to rise to the surface again. Signs at the airport had messages in English and in Japanese.

At hotel check-in, the lady at the counter didn’t cock her head to the side and try to sound out my name or ask me to spell it slowly. She just knew. As we started making our way around the island, I noticed other things too. One of our first stops was to Mitsuwa, a Japanese grocery tucked into the third floor of the shopping mall next to our hotel. All in all, it’s a pretty unremarkable shop: small and brightly lit like other grocery stores you’ve probably been to, but on the shelves were foods I had grown up eating: bento boxes stuffed full of rice, karaage, eel, katsu and more; next to them onigiri of varying flavors from tuna mayo — my favorite — to mentaiko or spicy cod roe, which is rare and usually avoided by people back in NC. I cried as I went down the aisle. Every day, we would find a new Japanese restaurant; they were numerous and varied. The options weren’t limited to just sushi or hibachi. There were sweet green tea cakes and puffy, pillowy milk-breads. There were mochi daifuku and red-bean buns. In a matter of hours, I began to blend in; I was in the majority. The last time I had felt this way was as a teenager on a trip back to Japan. And even there, I think I felt differently than I did in Hawaii. Because in Hawaii, I was distinctly Japanese American. The language expressed my duality. It was a place that reflected and catered to exactly who I was. I realized that I had never been somewhere that made me feel so at home. So fully myself. So complete. Today, back in NC, I’m comfortable. The leaves are changing and there’s a crispness in the air that I look forward to every year. I consider the state to be home; it has been

When I landed in Hawaii, something shifted.

OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021 | UP FRONT


for most of my life. It’s where my family is, and my friends comfort me. But now, Hawaii feels like it is a home that I didn’t know existed. In the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles away, there is a place that feels like it was built for me. And walking away from it is indescribable. When I was a child, my mom used to talk about returning to Japan one day. Whether it was after we graduated high school or college or once she was an elder, that has always been her dream. Being in Hawaii made me understand just a fraction of what she has likely felt in the US all these years. I understand now that there is something that is lost when you leave a place like that. And to know that she has felt this loss for decades is hard to put into words. The ache she must feel every time she visits Japan and then must leave her one true home is unimaginable.

I’ll miss Hawaii. I’ll miss the sandy beaches and the bright, blue water. I’ll miss the warm air and the kind people who actually say “aloha” and “mahalo” to each other like they’re family. I’ll miss the strong sun and the temperate climate and the fact that there is an ABC store on every corner. But what I’ll miss most is the way it made me feel. The way I melted into it completely and never wanted to separate. I’ll miss the part of me I always knew existed but hadn’t found. I’ll miss you, Hawaii. Mahalo for an indescribable experience and until next time, with love, Sayaka.


NEWS | OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021


Hemp shop owners say the GPD wrongly searched, seized and charged them for selling legal THC products by Sayaka Matsuoka


hy us? That’s the question a couple hemp-shop owners in Greensboro are asking themselves after their stores were raided by Greensboro police and their products seized. Police detectives determined that the products are were illegal, though they were purchased from reputable, legal suppliers according to the owners. In mid and late September, Detective DS Rake with the Greensboro Police Department executed search warrants at Essential Hemp downtown and at three OG Hustler Smoke Shop locations in the city. More than $50,000 in product was seized from the four shops, and one shop owner has been charged and arrested. Essential Hemp, located at 529 S. Elm St. next to Bourbon Bowl and Hudson’s Hill, is co-owned by Hector Sanchez and his partner, Kattya Castellon. The shop opened in July. The business sells hemp products including those with CBD and the more recently popular Delta-8 THC, which unlike traditional cannabis, is legal in North Carolina. Filings for OG Hustler Smoke Shops show that they have been in business for less than a year. The locations sell a myriad of things including sodas, cigarettes and some CBD and hemp products. According to the search warrants for Essential Hemp and OG Hustler Smoke Shop, multiple “marijuana” products were seized from the businesses because they were found to be “illegal” under North Carolina law. While marijuana is not legal in the state of North Carolina, in 2018 the state SAYAKA MATSUOKA

noted that hemp could be legally grown and sold in the state. L-R: Gabriel Sanchez, Hector Sanchez and Kattya Castellon stand in front of their shop, Essential Hemp, in downton Greensboro. In Hemp is derived from the same plant family that produces marijuana — cannabis. However, the Farm Bill noted that as long as hemp products contained less than 0.3 percent of Delta-9 THC, the compound in the plant that gives the user a high, they would be permitted. And so, thousands of hemp and CBD shops began ‘They don’t know what they’re doing’ popping up across the country and in the state. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to drive ccording to the search warrant, Rake and other down Battleground Avenue without noticing some kind of hemp or smoke shop on ed controlled buys of various products from Essential Hemp in August almost every block. That’s what led Sanchez and Castellon to open their business 2021. They then sent a few products, including three grams of Moon earlier this year. Like many other owners in the hemp trade, Sanchez, Castellon and Walled Musleh tory in Durham for testing. The test results, according to the GPD, showed that the of OG Hustler Smoke Shop say they are careful about where they get their products, products had 1.79 percent and 3.05 percent “THC concentration” respectively, which they noted was above the legal limit of 0.3 percent. In all, Sanchez noted that ers. These reports break down the chemical compounds of each item. Sanchez said,


“My point is that it’s completely false,” Sanchez said. “We sell Delta-8 which is completely legal.” And that’s where things get a bit confusing. Delta-8 and Delta-10 products are some of the most popular items in hemp and types of THC, making them highly desirable in states like North Carolina, where traditional marijuana is not yet legal. But according to state law, it’s not the total amount cally the percentage of Delta-9 THC that is in question. And that’s where Sanchez and his attorney believe GPD got it wrong.


Triad City Beat by Sanchez for products show that the Delta-9 THC percentages are all under 0.3%. The moon rock product by Jazzy CBD shows a total THC level of .311 percent Dream cartridge by Diamond CBD shows a total THC percentage of 93.72 but that it comes from Delta-8 and Delta-10, not Delta-9. Based on these breakdowns, data they received from Avazyme Laboratory. “The way that the police are behaving it seems like they don’t know what they’re doing,” Aberle said.

the lab results that GPD used to charge and arrest Sanchez on Oct. 25, more than a month after his product was seized. Aberle also believes that Sanchez was only arrested “in retaliation” to an article by the News & Record that was published on Oct. 21. In the article, both Aberle and Sanchez asked why there had been no charges police department thought they were selling marijuana more than a month earlier. Shortly after the article came out, an arrest warrant for Sanchez was executed, charging him with possession of a Schedule VI controlled substance, possession with intent to sell or distribute a controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for the purposes of keeping controlled substance. Sanchez was eventually released on a promise to appear in court in November. In the meantime, Sanchez and Castellon say they’re going they haven’t done anything wrong. “I think that we were targeted because we are a hemp shop downtown that sells Delta-8 and GPD had a hard time distinguishing,” Sanchez said. “And I don’t think it’s our responsibility to solve that for them.” On Tuesday, the police department returned close to half of the product that had were also returned. None of it can be resold. police deemed to be illegal was kept by GPD. illegal was returned,” Glenn said.


‘I think it’s racism’

hile Sanchez and Castellon don’t want to believe they were targeted because of their race, they said that as one of the only Latinx-owned businesses in the downtown area, they can’t help but think that their ethnicity played a role in what happened. “I think that due to the fact that we’re Hispanic,” Castellon said. “Because I don’t know any other shops that are Hispanic downtown.” Sanchez and Castellon aren’t the only ones that believe their business was targeted because of race. Amari Jabaly, one of the managers of OG Hustler Smoke Shop on Bessemer Avenue, also believes his father’s shops were the target of police raids because they are Arabic Muslims. Jabaly, who was working the shop on Tuesday afternoon, said that the owners of the shops are his brother Khaled Musleh and his father Walled Musleh, who were listed in three separate search warrants. The warrants were ex-

ecuted on Sept. 20, just days after Essential Hemp was raided. ucts and also $30,000 in cash. According to Jabaly, he was pulled over by Greensboro

from Homeland Security, were waiting outside. According to the search warrants for Essential Hemp and the OG Hustle Smoke Shop locations, Rakes is

OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021 | NEWS

Still, the attorney said they won’t know for sure because they haven’t seen the actual lab results that the police department received from Avazyme to conclude whether

partment of Homeland Security Investigations” in addition to narcotics division. Jabaly and Walled said they were never shown a warrant before police entered their home. Walled and Jabaly also told TCB that no one associated with the business has been charged or arrested since the searches. Glenn from the GPD noted that he cannot comment on ongoing investigations, the process or “when or if charges will be taken out.” Still, Jabaly said that as smallbusiness owners, losing $40,000 of assets has hit the shops hard. SAYAKA MATSUOKA “We are struggling,” he said. On Tuesday afternoon at the Bessemer Street location, Jabaly mostly sold packs of cigarettes and cigars over a half hour. He says CBD products only make up a small percentage of his sales. That’s why he says he doesn’t understand why their businesses were targeted. There’s only one reason that he can think of. “I think it’s racism,” Jabaly said. “I think someone said something. I mean isn’t it weird? Why don’t they go to the white folks down the road?” And that’s a question that’s been on the Walled Musleh’s mind too. “There is everybody doing it,” he said in a phone call on Tuesday. “Everybody has [Delta-8]. [Police] said they’re going to every shop, but I haven’t heard of other shops being raided.”

‘GPD is in over their head’


n Greensboro alone, more than 30 businesses sell some kind of CBD or hemp product, according to a Google search. And many of them sell products that are exactly the same or very similar to the products that were

them were on display. One of the products was a Terp Nation Delta-8 product called “Moon Rocks” that was very similar to the Moon Rocks seized by GPD from Essential Hemp. A quick scan of the QR code on the packaging found that like Essential Hemp’s product, the Terp Nation version showed what appeared to be a total THC percentage that was higher than 0.3 percent. But on closer inspection, the number was attributed solely to a 4.39 percentage of Delta-8 THC while the Delta-9 THC percentage was listed as 0. At the nearby Apotheca, a bunch of 3 Chi products, which Detective Rake had


NEWS | OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021


frustration with how the police treated him. Police Chief Brian James and to Mayor Nancy Vaughan, but we haven’t heard the GPD.” On Wednesday, Vaughan told TCB that she responded to Sanchez’s letter and told him that the reason why he wasn’t charged for a month was because the police were waiting for lab results to come back. She also told Sanchez and Aberle the GPD, which they ended up doing. As for why Essential Hemp and OG Hustle Smoke Shops were targeted even though other shops sell similar items, Vaughan investigated. “I don’t know anything about these other shops, but I don’t believe Essential never even been in a hemp store so my knowledge is limited.” When the police raided their business in September, Sanchez and Castellon


City Smoke Shop.

of Delta-8 bud, Delta-8 Blue Dream carts and various gummies, carts and chocolates were also on display. Smoke Rings and Hemp XR, both a few minutes way, also sold dozens of Delta-8 products with varying levels of Delta-8 THC. And that’s why Aberle said that he believes their case against the GPD, which has been initiated by a formal complaint, is strong. Now that Sanchez has been charged criminally, Aberle will be able to ask for materials during the discovery process of the legal proceedings. That’s when he hopes to get the actual lab tests that the police department used as eventually arresting Sanchez. “If the labs are actually good, why wouldn’t they just show it to everybody?” Aberle asked. “Why wouldn’t they show it to the magistrate? Why wouldn’t they show it to us? If the labs prove what they say it proves, then just turn it over. I don’t know what they’re doing…. But my thought is GPD is in over their head and they’d rather hand this over to the pros-


what to do with it.” Reached by phone on Tuesday, Detec-

tive Rake said that he couldn’t comment on the case and that any questions should be directed to Police Chief Brian James. While James could not be reached, appropriately and executed search warrants because they had “probable cause” that illegal activity was taking place at the businesses. When asked exactly what the probable cause was, Glenn did not menfor a judge to execute a search warrant. Whether or not there was actual probable cause will be determined at a probable cause hearing that will take place ance in court which is scheduled for Nov. under oath as to what the probable cause was. They will also need to show the lab reports by Avazyme at that time. “If they don’t bring them and a judge determines that there was no probable cause, the judge could dismiss the case right then and there,” Aberle said. Sanchez said he also reached out to Mayor Nancy Vaughan and Police Chief Brian James via a letter expressing his

said that they were stressed out and didn’t sleep much. “We own a family business,” Sanchez said. “One of the reasons why we have this family business is because we know that Greensboro wants family businesses downtown. What happened to us was it didn’t break our spirit. To see and to know that another family is going through this and to be able identify with feel really bad about the state of things in Greensboro when families are opening businesses and then the police become a major obstacle for their success.” But now, with the help of Aberle and the support of the community behind come out on top. “When you have nothing to hide and you have done nothing wrong, it’s frustrating and upsetting but other than that, the truth is going to come out,” Castellon said. “And it’s going to be in our favor.”


OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021 | OPINION



Greensboro has come around to GHOE


erhaps it can’t be proven but we know it’s true: NC A&T State University invented the HBCU homecoming as we know it today. Show us the lie. This means that A&T is one of the most important entities in the city of Greensboro and the Greatest Homecoming on Earth, known as GHOE to everyone who isn’t totally clueless, one of its most important events. And while it’s true that “official Greensboro” — meaning city government, the white business community, the mainstream media, various muckety-mucks and other people who have a seat at the table — are more or less boosters for GHOE these days, it has not always been thus. Longtime Greensboroans might remember the many times A&T and its annual Bacchanal have been used as political footballs, like in 2007 when council voted to curtail vending on Lindsay Street. Believe it or not, the mayor of Greensboro did not always ride in the GHOE parade. Some of us remember the old Rhinoceros Times crusading against GHOE in content that has either since been scrubbed from the internet or never made it there in the first place, and overtly racist calls made to their “Sound of the Beep” column, which was just their answering machine transcribed on the

page. Some of us remember the complaints from (white) downtown business owners and other (white) concerned citizens about the (Black) crowds GHOE attracted and the (Black) people who profited from it. We remember conservative bloggers and politicos using GHOE as a dogwhistle. But just like you can’t find anyone around town these days who was against the ballpark — and we can assure you, a great many were, including that defunct, conservative, onehorned newspaper — you won’t hear too many (white) folks speaking out against GHOE these days except for maybe the least muckety of the mucks and the few hardcore racist holdouts who keep threatening to move out of the city but never seem to do it. So it’s true that racism is still a big problem in Greensboro — is perhaps one if its driving forces, still — and that progress comes slowly and awkwardly. But it is some kind of progress that we don’t have city council members sounding off about the “problems” with GHOE in official meetings anymore, and that quashing the Greatest Homecoming on Earth is no longer a viable campaign issue. Maybe now’s a good time to bring back Superjam.

Friday, October 22



NC A&T State University invented the HBCU homecoming as we know it today.

NOV 03 NOV 04 NOV 05 NOV 06



CULTURE | OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021

Rachael Fern brings sexy back from the dead in glamorous Culture and ghastly boudoir shoots by Sayaka Matsuoka


hen Rachael Fern walked into a Dairi-O covered in blood, she expected to get more of a response. Fern, a local photographer, worked as a dancer at a strip club for about a decade; she currently shoots boudoir and maternity photos out of her home in Winston-Salem. Her social dressed up as Disney vilJESSICA PATRICK AS TWO FACE lains or prom queens with blood-drenched gowns. And this time of year, she loves to get her hands dirty. “I would do Halloween shoots all year round if I could,” says Fern, who dressed up as a sexy Grim Reaper last year. “Halloween is an easy vehicle to engage the public in one of my favorite forms of creativity. It’s a rare time to give permission to step into some of our fears. We watch scary movies; we deliberately


characters.” The idea, she says, is to give the models the reins to create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable enough to express themselves creatively. One of her recent projects involved a model who wanted a hole in her chest and her heart in her hands. Needless to say, there was a lot of blood involved. “That’s when I learned that fake blood stays in our skin,” she says. “The shoot ran into dinner time, so we went to Dairi-O and I’m wearing this white shirt that is covered in blood and the model had blood matted in her hair. It was comical to be sitting in a Dairi-O having a milkshake. Somehow we blended right in.” And no matter if she’s doing scary or sexy shoots, Fern says her goal is to empower her subjects rather than box them in as products of someone else’s gaze. “It’s about giving the clients this kind of celebrity experience and giving them permission to experience this fantasy of themselves,” Fern says. “It’s about experiencing all kinds of things that are not designed around, What would someone else want to look at?” One of her most recent shoots involved Jen Brown, the owner and operator of Fearless, a female-led online and in-person community that focuses on

in a bathtub of what looks like


empowerment. Over the course of a few hours, Fern and local makeup artist Jai Armani Phoenix transformed the local brunette into the redheaded Poison Ivy from Batman, but with a twist. While Brown boasted the long, luscious scarlet tresses that the seductive villainess is known for, she also showcased gnarly roots on the left side of her face that framed lipstick added depth to her persona while the sequined emerald cocktail dress and gloves completed the get up. While Brown came to her with the concept, Fern says she directed the vibe of the shoot and the poses. “I reached out to Rachael because I wanted to do something fun and spooky for Halloween, and after we brainstormed a bit, my obsession with plants… helped us ultimately decide on Poison Ivy,” Brown says. “Even though I was nervous coming in, I had full And as someone who shoots people at some of their most intimate moments, Fern says developing a comforting relationship with the models is key. “I want to work toward making my business and my studio a place where people feel welcomed and comfortable,” Fern says. “And that I will not think that their idea is ‘weird.’ I’m pro weird.” Some of the most unique shoots she’s done include a woman who wanted to look like she had been set an individual who aimed to look like an androgynous Satan. Fern also shot a man in a business suit sitting

Although the gory shoots are some of Fern’s favorites, she says that bonding with mothers during maternity shoots are some of her favorite experiences because they allow her to help women feel comfortable and sexy in their bodies again. “I think the experience of pregnancy can leave women feeling really insecure,” Fern says. “Your body changes rapidly and on top of the normal insecurities that we’re saddled with, there’s new insecurities like weight gain, stretch marks, swelling. I want to encourage women at the peak of their pregnancies to take photos that reinforce ownership of their body and the sensual nature of their body and their sexual desirability.” This sort of conscious, intentional approach to her art comes from her background as an exotic dancer and as a woman in general, Fern says. It’s also the direction in which she hopes the industry is moving. “I feel like boudoir is moving away from intimate pictures for hubby’s eyes only and moving closer to, ‘What is your fantasy of yourself?’” Fern says. “It’s about stepping into one’s own sexual expression and owning a kind of power in it that; it’s not passive work.” fantasies and express themselves authentically, the more likely they are to get into the shoots, sometimes so much so that they leave the studio with full makeup still on. “Most people have within them this incredible creativity of their own,” Fern says. “I like to be able to bridge that gap and use my skills to make their idea come to life.” Learn more about Fern’s business at or follow her on Facebook (Rachael Fern), Instagram (@ rachaelfern) or TikTok (@rachaelfern1).

CULTURE | OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021


Halloween houses are a bright spot amid ongoing pandemic

by Nicole Zelniker



very year on Halloween, my childhood friends and I had to stop at what we

ghosts, monsters and vampires twice as tall as we were around their lawn. Rumor had it that the man who lived there worked for a company that ent ones every year. Decorations have always been one of my favorite parts about Halloween. Being an introvert, I was never thrilled about the idea of walking up to strange houses and asking their inhabitants for candy, but the cackling witches and leering scarecrows on some of those lawns always made me smile.



Now an adult, I continue to look forward to Halloween decorations as the leaves change and the air turns crisp. Last year, my then-roommate and I walked by the houses on our block and rated them for creativity, spookiness and the sheer amount of decorations the owners managed to cram into their yard. My favorite had a est by far were the clowns, but the dolls gave them a run for their money. The houses brought a little bit of joy to what was then the seventh month of the pandemic. This year, aside from Spooky Woods and Max Carter’s haunted New Garden Cemetery tour, I’m most excited this year to see the Triad’s best decorated Halloween houses.






OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021 | CULTURE

I’m most excited this year to see the Triad’s best decorated Halloween houses.


SHOT IN THE TRIAD | OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021

SHOT IN THE TRIAD Scott Avenue, Greensboro

Happy Halloween!



by Matt Jones

1 CD-___ (outdated discs) 5 Abbr. that’s to scale? 8 Pituitary, e.g. 13 Loads 14 Ranch addition? 15 Decide, in court 17 Partial shadow 19 Turkey’s capital 20 ___ polloi (general population) 21 Outdoor section for cars 23 “Blazing Saddles” actress Madeline 25 ___ Pollos Hermanos (“Breaking Bad” restaurant) 26 The “M” of “MIB” 27 Fencing sword 29 “___ the Seas with Oysters” (Hugo Award-winning short story by Avram Davidson) 32 Some pet chickens 33 Telephone numbers, account IDs, etc. 36 Fiery crime 37 When doubled, that vacuum thing from the Teletubbies 38 Photo-sharing app, for short 42 Snapple offering 45 Gets older 48 Averse (to) 49 A head 50 Put a dent in 51 Airline whose website offers a Japan Explorer Pass 52 “The ___ Duckling” 54 Film with elaborate costumes, often 58 Medicare ID, once 61 Overjoyed 62 Kind of soup, or what the five theme answers demonstrate 64 Medium-sized tube-shaped pasta 65 Sweater neck shape 66 Bitterly regrets 67 Richman of “The New Gidget” and “A Very Brady Christmas” 68 “Gangnam Style” musician 69 Big volcano in Sicily

Down 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 16 18 22 24 27 28 30

Turtle with the red mask, to fans Imitation spread Nicknames “Simpsons” character Disco ___ Site of the Cedar Revolution “It’s freaking freezing!” Lounge in the hot tub Continental breakfast offering, maybe Sources of inspiration? ___-Seltzer Descriptor in many Google Maps searches ___ Green, aka Squirrel Girl Indian flatbreads Speed limit letters “Count me in!” “___ Fables” Anti-pollution agcy. Part of 18-Down Chilled, like blood in an eerie situation

© 2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords (


OCT. 28-NOV. 3, 2021 | PUZZLES

CROSSWORD “Soup’s On!”--it’s getting to be soup weather.

©2021 Jonesin’ Crosswords


If you read

Answers from last issue

31 Greeting at a luau 32 “The Messiah” composer 34 First digit of all Delaware ZIP codes 35 Fifty-fifty, e.g. 39 Refuses to budge 40 Investigator, informally 41 “Delectable!” 43 2019 remake directed by Guy Ritchie 44 Tennessee Tuxedo’s walrus pal 45 Energized, with “up” 46 Language where a crossword puzzle is “tÛimhseachan crois-fhacal” 47 Printers’ mistakes 51 “Nip/Tuck” actress Richardson 53 Moo goo ___ pan 55 ___-Tass (Russian news agency) 56 Invitation letters 57 Tarzan’s cohorts 59 Envisioned 60 Curiosity creator 63 Capri crowd?

Answers from last issue then you know...

• What a Freedom Fridge is • Where to get that bread • How many anti-abortion bills have been introduced this session Triad City Beat — If you know, you know

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