Cape Fear Living Magazine May 2018

Page 1


M ay 2 0 1 8

C arolina

Strawberry S eason

Connecting Cape Fear Cultures




f eatur es //

May 2018

4 1

The Story of 314 S Front St

de pa rtm en t s // History & Legend 8

Burgaw Antiqueplace: Keeping Life Simple

Fashion & Beauty 24 26

Arts & Entertainment 10

Silver arts 2018

The story of 314 S Front St



Carolina Strawberry Season Strawberry Fields Forever: A Look at Lewis Nursery and Farms

38 40 42 45

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Little pink houses of hope

Climbing pilot mountain

From the community




Travel & Adventure 35

Food & Beverage 18

Storytelling piece by piece

Health & Wellness

Home & Garden 14

Southwestern treasure hunt



A mother's double happiness A life well lived MOMENTS ASTROLOGY


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writers & photographers

May 2018

Publisher Leping Beck Editor Laura Frank

Kelly Johnson Professional ballerina, model, world renowned aunt, scribbler of words, day dreamer, over thinker, and Kansas at heart.

Debra McCormick Wife, mother, writer, dreamer, traveler, live music lover.

Assistant Editor Kelly Johnson Graphic Designer Samantha Lowe Marketing director Melissa Snowden business development/sales director John Reed

Star Soza Jeweler and gem aficionado. Globe trotter. Scuba explorer. Dog-mom and beachcomber.

Claudia Stack Writer, educator and filmmaker, view her trailers at

Account executives Jeff Chalfant Will Hair Kym Hilton Samuel Hall contributing writers Claudia Stack · Susan Buteau · Colleen Thompson · Debra McCormick Star Soza · Veronica Wernicke · Kelly Johnson Hayley Swinson · Dr Shara Eisen · Tony Tata contributing photographers Rich Gehron · Sydney Williams · Will Hair · Justin Mitchener for event submissions:

Hayley Swinson Casual gardener. Whiskey dilettante. Realtor. Trying new things and looking for adventure.

Colleen Thompson Writer. Picture taker. Raconteur. Wine sommelier. Loves the art of a crafted cocktail and the storytelling that accompanies it.

published by CFL Media & Marketing LLC P.O. Box 1552 · Wilmington, NC 28402 910.408.2498 ·

All contents in this publication are the property of CFL Media & Marketing LLC. Reproduction or use of the contents in this magazine without authorization by CFL Media & Marketing LLC is prohibited. CFL Media & Marketing LLC takes every effort to provide correct and accurate information that is published in this magazine. CFL Media & Marketing LLC accepts no liability on behalf of contributing parties for any inaccuracies or copyright infringement. CFL Media & Marketing LLC also cannot be held responsible for any services or claims provided by our advertisers. Cape Fear Living Magazine is designed as an art, culture, and community resource. Our staff loves to hear from our readers. Contact us at


ca pe f ear l i vi n g / may 2018



K ee p in g L ife S i m p le W ri t t e n By: C l audia Stac k


Carolyn and Johnny L. Westbrook, II, welcome visitors to Burgaw Antiqueplace (101 South Wright Street, Burgaw, NC) with her legendary fudge and his gift for sharing stories behind some of the many objects on display. From Art Deco lamps to taxidermy, Johnny and the dealers who rent space at Burgaw Antiqueplace offer an incredible array of antiques, art, and collectibles. The Westbrooks’ journey from architectural design firm owners in Maryland to proprietors of an antique mall in the town where Johnny grew up has been long and full of challenges, but they feel blessed. As Johnny says about a business setback his father had in Florida that led him to Burgaw, “When bad things happen, put it in God’s hands.” Johnny and Carolyn felt drawn to return to his birthplace in 1999. after 40 years in Maryland. Johnny had inherited the building that his father, Hubert Westbrook, had constructed in 1948 to house the Westbrook Five & Dime. Originally located in another building, Westbrook Five & Dime grew to fill its spacious new home on a corner lot opposite Burgaw’s courthouse square. The elder Westbrooks worked long hours in the store, and Johnny recalls with a twinkle in his eye that on Saturdays “Rowe Theater was my babysitter… for twenty cents I could stay at the movies all day.”

P h otogr a p h ed by: Ri c h G e h ro n

On Saturdays in the 1950s, Johnny says that everyone in the surrounding area would come to downtown Burgaw. However, by 1999 those bustling days were just a memory, and the building sat vacant. In 1996 Hurricane Fran had peeled back the roof and caused extensive water damage. Ever the designer, Johnny drew up plans to renovate the building for mixed use. He envisioned retail downstairs and apartments upstairs, but he couldn’t persuade any banks to back his plan. He and Carolyn drove to other small towns, looking for inspiration. They met a woman in Swansboro, NC who had a successful antique store. She persuaded them to open an antique store, and they are now celebrating the eighteenth year of Burgaw Antiqueplace. While the motto “Keeping life simple” adorns Burgaw Antiqueplace business cards, the building has layers of complexity that can be confusing to a first time visitor. Designs in red on the front windows announce the F.W. Woolworth Co. name, and an elaborate art deco lunch counter fit with the identity of that iconic store in the era of the 1940s. However, the signs and lunch counter are actually from a set for the Turner Network Television movie Freedom Song (2000) starring Danny Glover. Just before renovating the building, Johnny and Carolyn leased the space for that film’s production.

“A way to look to the past to build for the future.” ­—


C a r o l y n

ca pe f ear l i vi n g / may 2018


J o h n n y

W e s t b r o o k ,

i i

You also might need to look twice to appreciate fully the latest innovation at Burgaw Antiqueplace. The second floor is now home to ten artists’ studios, and as you wander through you might see some of the artists working in various media, from paint to textiles to stained glass. The novelty of the creative efforts going on upstairs creates a wonderful synergy with the furniture, china, farms tools and hundreds of other antiques downstairs. Johnny and Carolyn opened the artists’ studios in June, 2017 and the reception from artists and the public has been overwhelmingly positive. To generate excitement about the arts in Pender County they have participated in creating a “Fourth Thursday” event in Burgaw that takes place every other month. This is a chance for artists to display their work for sale, for customers to pick up great bargains on antiques, and for community members and out of town visitors alike to socialize. While their business is still rebounding from the recession, you can hear the excitement in Johnny and Carolyn’s voices as they speak about the future. Married 53 years, they have worked together constantly. When Johnny shares the motto of the design firm they had in Maryland, you can hear the common theme that seems to echo through all of their endeavors: “A way to look to the past to build for the future.” ¶

Along with an array of antiques the Westbrook’s also sell their homemade cream and butter fudge.

ca pefea rliving mag a zin e .com


a r t s & e n t e r ta i n m e n t




2 0 1 8 W ri t t en By: S u sa n bu t e au

Not only does the month of May bring forth flowers, but it also brings Art to Wilmington, especially during Memorial Day weekend. The Orange Street ArtsFest and the High School Art Show will be going on in and around the Hannah Block Community Arts Center, plus about a mile south, theArtWorks will be hosting the 2018 Silver Arts Show and Sale. Please come! Art in many forms and styles will be occupying the Verrazano Gallery in the theArtWorks at 200 Willard Street, across from Greenfield Lake and Park. YMCAs across the state of North Carolina offer sporting, performance, and art events in the spring for the over age 50 group. In the Wilmington area, all events are called Senior Games by the Sea. We have the best name, hands down. Sporting events take place from April 12 through May 9 and are handled through the Y.

The Wilmington Art Association collaborates with the Y to bring the art portion - Silver Arts - to the community. This year, show chair Janet Johnson from the Wilmington Art Association and Y representatives Bridget Carroll and Wendi Epps are working together to make this a great event. One of the special aspects is that it is open to artists of all levels, first-timers to professionals. Visual art mediums include oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, collage, and mixed media, sculpture and jewelry making. Heritage Arts are exhibited and can be for sale. These include handmade talents that have been around for a long time such as quilting, knitting, and woodturning. Literary Arts are incorporated in the show, too. Writers are encouraged to submit poetry and short stories that will be available for attendees to read. All entries will be judged, and ribbons will be awarded to the winners. Âś

The Silver Arts Show is a free event and open to the public. Friday, May 25 from 10:00 am to 9pm and May26-27 from 10:00 am to 4pm. theArtWorks 200 Willard Street, Wilmington Left: Mary Trowbridge and Jo Hancock. 10

ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

Clockwise: Elizabeth Desmond and Pat Pinter; Cathy Johnson and Jo Hancock; Laura Smith and Chris Bloom; Tryg Thorsen; Tracy Knox; Janet Johnson and Elena Wright. ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com



ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

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home & garden

T he

S tor y


314 S Front St W ri t t e n By: C o l l een T h o m pso n


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018


P h otogr a p h ed by: Fo c i i s

O Opera House Theatre Company brought artist, designer and actress Jenny McKinnon Wright to Wilmington, NC. A friend insisted that she and her two young daughters stay in his house, which was perched on Sunset Hill in the historic downtown of the city. The house overlooked the Cape Fear River, which captivated Jenny’s heart and she knew then that she wanted to live in a house of her own looking over the river.

“That river! That river is magnetic to me. There were only 8 houses on Sunset Hill that had a close- up view of the river,” said Jenny. A few years later, she bravely knocked on the door of 314 S Front St, where friends Guy and Justine Ferreri lived – to simply ask them if she could buy their house. “Upon walking up to the porch, you immediately see the river shining beyond. They invited me in for a conversation that ended up with me becoming the next caretaker of the charming Queen Anne home. Philander Pearsall, a wholesale grocer, and his wife, Mary Brown Pearsall, a socialite from Richmond, VA, built it in 1899. It was important to Jenny from the beginning to respect the history and integrity of the house, so she went about opening up closed rooms and replacing architectural details that had been removed, allowing the house to ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


home & garden


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

breathe and return to its gracious origins, but still accommodate a contemporary lifestyle. As an interior designer, her inspiration came from the stained glass feature above the front door that drove the color scheme as it shone through the house. Beveled glass French doors were added to open up the music room and the south parlor, allowing light to filter through and complete the circular flow through the house. Overlooking the Cape Fear River the house begged for double porches, which were added, matching the style and proportion of the front porch. A porcelain tile floor with a border design from the 1800s was added to the kitchen. Bathrooms were updated with modern touches like granite and quartz, and hardwood flooring replaced old vinyl throughout the house. “A happy accident while shopping for a client led to my favorite addition to the house. An exquisite crystal chandelier signed by F and C Osler and made in Birmingham, England in 1860. It throws light throughout the rooms and is a central focal point downstairs. It's perfectly at home with family antiques and new purchases. When asked what her favorite room in the house might be, Jenny is hard pressed to choose the music room. “This house has such a joyful spirit and loves a party and she has had her share. From cabarets and cast parties to art shows and gathering friends to toast the glorious sunsets which are simply stunning from the back porch. I never tire of that river that drew me here and continues to have a hold on my heart but the time has come for another family to enjoy those sunsets." Jenny and her husband, Richard Knight, have listed the home for sale. It is being marketed by Landmark Sotheby's International Realty. For more information, call Jane Davis at 910-520-4444. Âś ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


Food& Beverage

C arolina


Strawberry S eason

They have since ancient times denoted purity, passion and healing. A symbol of Venus, the Goddess of Love, because of its heart shape and bright red color. Shakespeare’s Othello decorated Desdemona’s handkerchief with their symbolism. Madame Tallien, a prominent figure at the court of Emperor Napoleon, bathed in their juice. Medieval stonemasons carved designs depicting them on altars and around the tops of pillars in churches and cathedrals. We are of course talking about Strawberries. These sweet, red jewels are in abundance this month as they ripen

through April and May, making them the first spring fruit to make an appearance and brighten our lives with the promise of warmer days and sunshine. All across North Carolina (ranked fourth in the nation) strawberry season is being celebrated this month with gatherings and festivals paying homage to the red berries. Whether you venture out this month to pick your own berries, buy a carton at the farmers market, or take a road trip to one of the festivals, Carolina strawberry season is short so you’ll need to act fast. ¶

Strawberry Skillet Cake If you’re looking for an excuse to take a road trip head to the 15th annual Franklin County Strawberry Festival on May 10, at the Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market. This strawberry skillet cake recipe won the judges over in last years annual baking competition. Ingredients ¾ Cup unsalted butter 1 1/3 cup sugar ¼ Cup strawberry gelatin 4 Eggs 2 Teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 ¼ Cups cake flour 2 Teaspoons baking powder ½ Teaspoon salt ¾ Cup buttermilk ½ Cup chopped strawberries Directions Preheat oven to 325°F Beat butter, sugar and gelatin 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture. Mix until fully combined then fold in strawberries. Spread in skillet and cook for about 50 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


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Strawberry Cheesecake Chadbourn, NC located approximately 54 miles west of Wilmington, was once dubbed the Strawberry Capital of the World. Each year the town hosts a Strawberry Festival – besides being the longest running agricultural festival in the state, the Strawberry Festival is also a major three-day party fit for the whole family. Find your summer spirit with a strawberry cheesecake from the festival’s youth winner Logan Elkins. Ingredients- Graham cracker crust 2 Cups Graham cracker crumbs 1.3 Cup brown sugar (firmly packed) 6 Tablespoons butter Ingredients- Filling 4 Packages (8oz.) cream cheese 1 ½ Teaspoons sugar 4 Eggs 2 Tablespoons flour ½ Cup strawberry syrup 1 Tablespoon pure strawberry extract

Directions- Crust Combine crumbs, sugar and butter. Press in bottom and up sides of a 10” springform pan. Bake at 300°F for about 8 minutes. Directions- Filling Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and eggs one at a time then stir in flour. Reserve 1 ½ cups of batter, pour remaining batter over Graham cracker crust in the pan. Combine 1 cup reserved batter with strawberry syrup and extract. Pour over batter in the pan. Drop remaining batter batter by the tablespoon over strawberry batter. Use a knife to create a swirl in the batter. Bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave in oven (door closed) for 4 hours. Remove, chill and decorate with fresh Carolina strawberries.

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Food& Beverage


Strawberry Cupcakes

By Sara Ellison Carone – The Carolina Strawberry Festival began in the early 1900s when Wallace, N.C. was known as the world's largest strawberry exchange. During WWII, the festival fell into a hiatus, and in the years that followed other Strawberry Festivals sprung up around the Carolinas. It was resurrected in 2010, and the modern Carolina Strawberry Festival was reborn. Each year the festival hosts a baking competition in three categories: Appetizers, Breads & Biscuits and Desserts, and each recipe features fresh-picked North Carolina strawberries. Sara Ellison won the baking category with these delicious fresh strawberry cupcakes. Ingredients- Strawberry Frosting 1 Cup of large, fresh strawberries 1 Cup butter 8 Oz. cream cheese 3 ½ Cups sifted confectioners sugar 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract Ingredients- Cupcakes 2 Eggs 1 Cup granulated sugar 1/3 Cup vegetable oil ½ Teaspoon vanilla extract ½ Teaspoon lemon zest 1 ½ Cups cake flour 2 Teaspoons baking powder ¼ Teaspoon salt 3 Tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix Directions- Frosting Place strawberries in a blender; puree until smooth. Transfer strawberry puree to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil stirring often until puree is reduced by half. Remove from heat and cool completely. Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Beat 1 cup confectioners sugar into mixture until blended. Beat 2 tablespoons strawberry puree and vanilla extract into butter mixture until just blended. Repeat with 1 cup confectioners sugar, followed by 2 tablespoons strawberry puree, repeat twice. Directions- Cupcakes Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Place strawberries into a blender and blend until smooth, strain to remove seeds. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, white sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and strawberry puree until well combined. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla pudding mix. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 23 minutes. Allow the cupcakes to cool at least 10 minutes before frosting. Once cupcakes are thoroughly cooled, ice with the homemade strawberry frosting and garnish with a fresh Carolina strawberry.


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e r ry F i b w el a r



Food& Beverage



A Lo o k at L e w i s N u r s e r y a n d Fa r m s W ri t t e n By: D eb r a Mc C o r m i c k

There is rich heritage in the history of farming in southeastern North Carolina, and it is alive and well at Lewis Nursery and Farms of Rocky Point, North Carolina. Lewis Nursery and Farms is a third-generation farm specializing in the production of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Cal Lewis is carrying on the family tradition that his father Everette Lewis carried on from his parents, E.A. and Gertrude Lewis, in the Riley’s Creek area of Rocky Point. In 1953, Everette Lewis, a WWII veteran, purchased land from his uncle that was next to his parents’ land to create the current location of Lewis Farms. Cal Lewis joined his father in 1982, and since then, the family farm has added two retail farm locations on Gordon Road and in Castle Hayne. Lewis Farms on Gordon Road is certainly the more prominent location in most people’s minds. Among locals and Wilmington visitors alike, it is a cherished place to visit for pick-your-own-strawberries since the mid-1980s. With a bucket in hand, one can wander through the strawberry farm and pick all of the most desirable fruit there is to be harvested. Also available at this retail location is their delicious homemade ice cream, made on site with the fruit they grow. There is also a thriving nursery with vibrant hanging plants and garden flowers, where you can find traditional plants like geraniums as well as some unusual finds like lush beehive ivy. It was a sunny, breezy day in April when I sat down with Cal Lewis at the retail location on Gordon Road. He explained to me that the Lewis Farm headquarters has always been eighteen miles north


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P h otogr a p h ed by: W i l l H a i r

of Wilmington in Rocky Point, N.C. and that the Gordon Road location is the berry farm for pick-your-own, ice cream and the nursery. When he joined his father in the family business, they diversified by adding crops of blueberries and blackberries. Today, Lewis Farms has 350 acres of blueberries and twenty acres of blackberries. From the Southeastern region, Lewis Farms provides the largest percentage of blueberries to the overall American supply. Their strawberries are shipped and distributed to North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and sometimes to New York. Harvest seasons are different for each type of berry and involve some overlap, but basically, strawberries are harvested in April and May, blueberries from midMay to July, and blackberries in June and July. Still, strawberries reign, says Lewis, “Strawberries are the most consumed of all the berries.” Lewis shared with me the challenges of being a modern-day berry farmer - the regulation, labor shortages during harvest times, and moisture. Since the Rocky Point and Wilmington areas get rain quite frequently and berries are easily susceptible to too much moisture, one of the greatest challenges is protecting them from over-exposure to water. The use of covers is essential to managing moisture, so blackberries and winter strawberries are grown under protected tunnels as a way to control the environmental conditions. His wife Jackie Lewis manages the Gordon Road retail location. Originally from High Point, North Carolina, her family was in the furniture business, and she was a teacher when she married Cal Lewis. Undoubtedly, it has been a long journey of expansion since

Right: Owners Cal and Jackie Lewis.

she first joined the family business. “In the beginning, Cal said to me, ‘We’ll just have a small flower project to the side and hang a few plants for sale,’ never thinking that it would expand to what we have today,” she said. For many Wilmington residents, picking strawberries at Lewis Farms has become a hallmark of growing up in the area. Part of what has made this tradition possible is that Lewis Farms used to sponsor field trips for area schools. “We did the field trips through the nineties and the early 2000’s, and my sister-in-law Beth Lewis managed them, but we had to stop because the retail location just started getting too busy,” explained Lewis. There is a “full-circle” feeling she gets when she sees the same families return to pick their own berries. Very often, with buckets in hand and excited to begin picking, mothers, grandmothers and children will gather in the area near the nursery before they begin, and she will hear women say to their children, “When I was a little girl I came here to pick berries too.” “That,” she says, “is one of the really nice things about the business that gives me a lot of joy and a lot of gratification.” ¶

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Fa s h i o n & B e au ty

Treasure Hunt


W ri t t e n an d P h otogr a p h ed by: Sta r Soz a

Mention the name Tucson to anyone associated with the jewelry industry and you’ll see the light of recognition flash in their eyes along with wistful longing and excitement. What incites such a response, you might ask? Well the renowned Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, of course. Not just one show, but a conglomeration of over 45 unique events and venues over a two week period every winter that attracts tens of thousands of people to the desert city. That single word, Tucson, describes a panoply of trade shows, flea markets, street vendors that cover literally miles of the Interstate 10 corridor. Back in 1955, the Gem Show started as a humble mineral club show. Over the years the focus expanded and other promoters added specialty events. Now you’ll find not only minerals but also incredible fossils, meteorites, crystals and geodes, gemstones in both their raw crystalline forms and exquisitely faceted, pearls and beads in every color and shape, native artifacts and products from around


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

the world as well as a fascinating array of colorful characters hailing from over 25 countries. What started in a couple of Quonset huts in 1955 is now housed in a modern convention center and huge permanent tents with carpeted floors and air conditioning. Nearly every hotel along the interstate hosts a separate show with vendors lined up in their parking lots, central courtyards, ballrooms and even in the guest rooms. Each venue can have a specific theme. A festive mood prevails among the visitors while the vendors, who are often there for weeks at a time, simply strive to endure the long hours and exhausting interactions. The influence of this now massive undertaking is vast, injecting over $120 million into the local economy, not to mention the global wave of money that ripples all the way from dusty mine shafts worked by artisanal miners in remote corners of exotic countries to the polished counters of some of the finest jewelry stores. One posh highlight is the annual award dinner at The Spectrum Awards, hosted by the American Gem Trade Association. Something that Susan and I have both attended on various occasions over the years as we collected our own trophies and accolades for our jewelry designs. The Spectrum Awards are sometimes likened to the jewelry trades version of The Oscars. The similarity extends right down to the red carpet and the fashion photo shoots that include celebrity models wearing the winning designs. I have personally attended the Gem Show for about 30 years running. In the early days, I was on the hunt for raw materials like opal and turquoise to have

cut into unique cabochons and to inlay into gold jewelry. Later my search evolved to seeking out new colors and shapes in gemstone and pearl beads that I would craft into fashion jewelry for my store. For the past six years, I have been joined on my journey by my in-store designer, Susan Drake. Our emphasis tends to be on exotic fine gems, baroque Tahitian and South Sea Pearls, ancient artifacts and coins, and new jewelry designers to supplement Spectrum Fine Jewelry’s collections. Just this year we met with and purchased from vendors from Brazil, Africa, China, India, Australia, Russia, Germany, Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, Afghanistan and more. Sometimes we deal directly with the person who mined the material, the one who cuts the gems, or with brokers who travel the world to purchase from local miners out in the bush to bring back materials for their cutting shops to process. Some businesses are vast in scope and take over an entire tent the size of a football field. Others are tiny operations focused on one specific product or mineral. All have fascinating stories and their own particular perspective on the world. There are a large number of family-run businesses, often with multiple generations that grow up in the trade. Over the years I’ve watched kids playing around some booths until they step up and I find myself negotiating with the next generation. While attending the shows is highly educational, there are many opportunities for learning outside of the tents. The bigger trade shows offer seminars and symposiums. The tools and equipment suppliers have training sessions. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) hosts some of their lab courses where jewelers can gain credits toward their Graduate Gemologist degrees. The bead shows give demonstrations of stringing techniques and lampwork glass bead making. For instance, Tucson is where I got a chance to preview the new laser welder I purchased earlier this year. I even tried it out and ended up blowing a few holes in an old ring (on purpose, for the

fun of it). Good thing my jeweler is more skilled with it than I am. Every year the Gem Show is an excellent resource to learn the latest developments in the jewelry industry covering everything from new mineral finds, industry trends, ethics and standards, technology both in the workshop and at the jewelry counter, just to name a few. Each visit I prefer to attend with an open mind, ready to be surprised and delighted and seduced by something new and different. One year it was amazing fossil sculptures created by an artist from Germany. Another time we discovered a talented Russian American knife maker. Among this year’s highlights was a coin dealer with a wealth of knowledge about ancient Greek and Roman Coins. At another road-side show, I purchased several large sliced and polished agate and crystal geodes, something I have been coveting for many years. Susan and I were both entranced with rose-cut gems and purchased a colorful collection in Tourmaline, Moonstone, Tanzanite, Aquamarine and Spinel. You can expect to see these highlighted in our new jewelry collections in the months ahead. I can honestly say that attending “Tucson” is one of the highlights of my year. It inspires and enlightens and helps jumpstart me into new directions in my jewelry business. ¶

ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


Fa s h i o n & B e au ty

Sto r yte l l i n g Piece

b y p iece

W ri t t e n by: C o l l een T ho m pso n Photo g raphe d by: J ust in M itc h e n e r


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From her studio in Wilmington N.C. artist and metalsmith Jessie Yeager creates delicate, understated handcrafted pieces, all of them inspired by people and places in her life. With delicate precision and heritage craft skills, Yeager creates pieces of jewelry under her label I Like It Here Club. Named in honor of her grandfather Fredrick Yeager, who was captured by Japanese forces and held captive as a prisoner of war during WWII. He remained as a POW for over three years and during this time started a club of sorts - which they named the I Like It Here Club. “The I Like It Here Club is named after my grandfather Fred Yeager or Super Fred as he was known. Even in captivity, his positive attitude and his belief in education made him boundless and in that way, he protected himself and those around him,” said Yeager. “He continued his own education in the POW camp by learning to speak Russian fluently from another POW and he went on to become a military attaché in Russia after the war and then a Professor of Russian at Rider College.” Small quirks from grandfather Super Fred, her grandmother’s collection of art and design books throughout her life (the 70s design book is her favorite) to travels and adventures in everyday have inspired her storytelling through simple pieces of handcrafted jewelry. Pieces that can be worn everyday and passed on from generation to generation, the stories and characters inextricably linked.

Left: Jessie Yeager. Above: Jessie Yeager fashions delicate, handcrafted jewelry under her label the “I Like it Here Club”.

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Fa s h i o n & B e au ty

The I Like it Here Club was formed by Yeager’s grandfather Super Fred, while being held captive as a POW during WW II. Right: A hand written note from her grandfather was the inspiration behind the Highlights Ring.

“For my newest collection, I took many memories from Super Fred and turned them into motifs and patterns etched into different designs. Fred wrote my family letters every day and the Highlights Ring is a motif that he would use while highlighting a certain word in a letter, usually squiggling around the word GRITS, since he loved grits,” said Yeager. She learned her craft at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she majored in metals and jewelry. After graduating she returned to Wilmington and gained experience at Edge of Urge before launching her own jewelry collection. Yeager wanted each of her handcrafted pieces to radiate positivity and creativity, with the hopes of inspiring the wearer to stay positive, keep an open mind and take a glance at life from a different point of view.


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Of all the metals Yeager works with, she is most comfortable with brass, silver and gold. “While in school, I had a professor that would always claim “it’s just metal” which really made me realize that metal is extremely forgiving. You can hammer it, file it, sand it and mold it into whatever your heart desires,” she said. “Sometimes it’s important to realize that if something isn’t turning out the way you envisioned it, you can keep working with it over and over again until you get it right and sometimes you find some happy mistakes along the way. I constantly find myself saying, “it’s just metal” before I take a big step in a project.” Wearable, simple and classic is the design aesthetic that drives the I Like It Here collection. From the delicate Cleopatra Earrings inspired by the line drawings of Matisse and Picasso –particularly their deconstructed drawings of the human form. “I loved how they would give so much information from just one line. These statement earrings have a similar line quality, then as you get closer you realize they are actually snakes biting the ear.” Her favorite piece in the collection is a classic wearable band with a pastel rainbow of stones, gypsy set along the front with a tiny rainbow moonstone in the back called The Artists Ring and named after her grandmother. “Grandmommy June was an amazing painter and she had a glass prism hanging in the window of her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It created an explosion of rainbows throughout their adobe brick home.The Artist’s Ring feels like it can evoke emotions and memories like this for anyone who chooses to wear it,” said Yeager. This summer Yeager will be collaborating with Wilmington artist and illustrator, Emily Caulfield on the Anywhere, Anywhere Medallion Necklace. The two-sided talisman is meant to inspire travel, in the physical or psychic realm. “The hand drawn design signifies joy in the present moment, whether that be on a beautiful adventure or in the simple motions of a routine day,” said Yeager. “It protects and exhilarates, reminds the wearer that she is part of a network of lovers and travelers, and that people can go places larger than themselves." ¶

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H e a lt h & w e l l n e s s

Volunteers excited to be serving on the Myrtle Beach Retreat.

W ri t t en By: V e ro n i ca W e r n i c k e

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H e a lt h & w e l l n e s s

When Jeanine Patten-Coble was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 her life took on a whole new meaning. While on a run past an abandoned compound of beach houses, during a family vacation to the Outer Banks right after her diagnosis, she was struck by a calling. A calling to start some kind of retreat center for breast cancer patients and their families. Fast forward nine years later and Little Pink Houses of Hope has been serving families affected by breast cancer for seven years now. Their mission statement is simple: “To promote breast cancer recovery by offering opportunities for survivors to reconnect and celebrate life.” Quite simply, they provide week long vacations for breast cancer patients and their families at no cost. They believe a cancer diagnosis does not just affect the patient, but the entire family. Every retreat is designed to help families relax, reconnect and rejuvenate during the cancer journey. Since their first retreat in Kure Beach, NC in May 2011, Little Pink now has 16 retreats each year all over the country and they have served over 600 families. Families have the option of applying to and visiting any of the retreat locations at no cost. Everything except the traveling cost to and from the retreat is taken care of by the organization. All they have to do is get themselves to one of the retreat locations. A week at a Little Pink retreat is about creating a relaxing environment for the families and making sure they are not worrying about cancer. Instead, families get to kick back and relax. They get to create lifelong memories that they might not have been able to do otherwise. They get to meet other families facing the same challenges as they are. They get to forget about cancer for just a little while. They get to learn to Stand Up Paddleboard, have a beach day, a date night, go on a boat ride, and so much more depending on


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

the specific retreat location. Currently, retreats are held in Carolina Beach, NC; Scottsdale, AZ; Hatteras Island, NC; Ocean City, MD; Sedona, AZ; Key West, FL; Emerald Isle, NC; Orange Beach, AL; Grand Haven, MI; Lake Tahoe, CA; Oak Island, NC; Myrtle Beach, SC; New Smyrna, FL; Dallas, TX, and Southern California. Through continued fundraising they are looking to send even more families on their retreats and add even more retreat locations around the country. In our own backyard, those who attend the Carolina Beach retreat spend their week creating beautiful memories in a place we are lucky to call home. To start off their week families check in at Kate’s Pancake House where they get to meet their VolunSTAR, other families, and enjoy a delicious dinner together. Families also get to enjoy a private tour of the Fort Fisher Aquarium and enjoy a group dinner with the animals. The rest of the week the families have the option of doing activities such as yoga, fishing, bike riding, kayaking, along with many other fun activities. At the end of the week, families get professional pictures taken and come together for one final group dinner as they share their favorite moments and say their goodbyes. The retreats are made possible by donations and fundraising. Every October, Little Pink hosts a gala fundraising event near their home office in Burlington, NC. Community members compete in a friendly dance competition all geared to raise money for the organization. After its major success in raising money for the non-profit, they decided to bring one to Wilmington to raise more awareness for the organization. Little Pink chose Wilmington because of the already great group of support they have here as well as its close proximity to current retreats like Oak Island, Carolina Beach and Myrtle Beach. This

M i s s i o n

"To promote breast cancer recovery by offering opportunities for survivors to reconnect and celebrate life."

Little Pink creates a community of support for survivors and their families throughout the week.

year’s fundraising event will be held on Sunday June 10th from 6PM to 9PM at the River Front Park in Downtown Wilmington. The event will feature a cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, guest speakers, a live auction, and live music from local bands. This year’s speakers include founder and President Jeanine Patten-Coble and retreat recipient and now volunteer Veronica Wernicke. The Chair of this event is Wilmington’s local and cancer survivor Suzanne Lundin. Suzanne first heard about Little Pink before her cancer diagnosis through her co-worker Paula Lowe, when Paula was one of the dancers at the Burlington gala back in 2014. Little did she know that cancer would be knocking at her door not long after. Suzanne was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer a year ago in March 2017. She described her experience with breast cancer as life changing. “No one wants to hear the word cancer, let alone when it involves your own body. Life just kind of stopped. I remember feeling like I could not breathe. But then you pull up your pants and rally your tribe and you take it one day at a time.” Life can already be stressful, but with cancer Suzanne felt the added feelings of loss, confusion, vulnerability, and above all “why me.” It was during this time that she learned how valuable family and friends are while you are in a fight for your life.

“My family took me away for a wonderful vacation and my friends spent an amazing weekend with me at the beach before my surgery. I cannot express how much those times meant to me and had an effect on my focus and gave me strength to fight my cancer. This is what Little Pink does for people.” when Suzanne heard about a Little Pink event coming to Wilmington she jumped on board to help in any way she could. For locals looking to get involved please visit Little Pink’s website at Once on the website, you can find the tab “how to help” which will direct you to donation pages or volunteer applications. There are several ways people can get involved within the organization. You can donate money, donate your beach houses for a retreat if you live where a retreat is held, sign up to become a retreat volunteer, or sign up to be a local volunteer and serve on a Team Little Pink committee which helps before and during retreats. Most importantly please attend this summer's fundraiser for Little Pink! Tickets are still available for $100 at wilmington. Little Pink hopes to make this events first year one to remember and they are excited to bring together the Wilmington community to raise money for a great cause. ¶

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ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

Travel& Adventure

C l i m b i n g

Pilot Mountain

W ri t t e n a nd p h otogr a p h ed By: H ayl e y Sw i n so n

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D Travel& Adventure

Dangling from my left hand, toes digging in to the cliff, my fingers clutched the trigger on the number-five cam, a toothy metal apparatus smaller than my fist, designed to bite into the rock and protect the climber from a fall. I finagled it into a crevice, debating whether it fit. My left arm began to shake; I didn’t know how much longer it would hold. After a couple failed attempts, the cam expanded in place and stuck. I fumbled for my rope, clipping it in to the carabiner attached to the cam before moving on. As I climbed, I glanced over my shoulder at the scenery behind me. The trees surrounding Pilot Mountain looked miniature, the tilled fields an orange and green grid. In the distance, a donkey brayed. It was my first time attempting traditional climbing. Luckily for me, this was just a training exercise. My instructor, Lindsay Fixmer of Wilmington Rock Gym, stood below, belaying me from an anchor at the top of the route. The rope I clipped into the carabiners was an extra one, a “mock-lead”. This way, I could learn without the added risk that comes with a lack of experience. Pilot Mountain lies thirty minutes north of Winston-Salem, jutting out of the Earth like a lighthouse, a natural landmark the native Saura and Tutelo Indians had called “Jomeokee” or “Great Guide.” Rising 1,400 feet and surrounded by over 3,500 acres, the mountain is the focal point of North Carolina’s 14th state park, Pilot Mountain State Park. The park is home to species of flora and fauna both common and rare. From the wide red deck of Airbnb hosts, Mark and Kari Barbar’s vineyard, the mountain is framed by grapevines and trees just starting to bloom. French double-doors lead out to the deck and down to the turquoise swimming pool. We were only six minutes driving from the base of the mountain. Friday morning was clear, the sun shining over the mountain and surrounding valley; hawks circled in the air. Over breakfast, the Bar-

bar’s asked questions about rock climbing. They were middle-aged empty-nesters, who had recently retired to the countryside. The routes at Pilot Mountain, I had explained, are between fifty and a hundred feet in length, all single-pitch. The mountain has over eighty climbing routes, primarily top-rope (fixed anchor at the top of the route), though there are also a few sport and traditional routes too. Their difficulty ranges from beginner to advanced and everything in between. Over the last few years I’d learned top-rope and sport leading in gyms, and now I wanted to take the first step towards learning traditional, or “trad” climbing. Trad climbing involves placing your own protective gear into the crevices of the rock and clipping your rope into the gear as you climb past and is the riskiest type of roped climbing, but also the most adventurous. Theoretically, a climber could create their own route this way, giving them the greatest amount of freedom and creativity. You don’t have to be an experienced climber to enjoy Pilot Mountain, but it’s important to go with someone who knows what they’re doing. With over 7,000 climbers visiting each year, there are usually five to ten serious accidents at the park per year, and most are easily avoidable. If you’re new to climbing, go with a class or hire a guide like Lindsay. She also emphasized how important it is to know your limitations as muscling through pain or fatigue can put you and your entire crew at risk. Climbing at Pilot offers many advantages. “It’s the perfect venue to have an outdoor climbing experience,” Lindsay says. “Whether you are new or a developing climber honing skills, Pilot offers a range of difficulty as well as an accessible learning environment.” For skilled climbers with experience outdoors, swing by the ranger station at the base of the mountain and ask for a climber-specific guidebook. Inside the guide, you’ll find a map of the local routes as well as their ratings. Don’t forget to register on the trail before you embark.

What Guided Rock Climbing Trips Through Wilmington Rock Gym Where Stay at Pilot Mountain Vineyards through Airbnb or camp on-site When Spring and Fall for the best weather, park is open year-round Pilot Mountain State Park 1792 Pilot Knob Park Road


Pinnacle, NC 27043

Phone: 336-325-2355

For non-climbers, Pilot Mountain State Park has plenty to offer. Book a campsite (they have both family and primitive sites) and go for a hike along the numerous trails. Try canoeing on the Yadkin river, or take a horseback riding tour in the countryside. Stop for lunch at one of their picnic sites and look for rare species of birds and frogs among the foliage. Take a day trip to Mt. Airy AKA Mayberry, the small southern town where the Andy Griffith Show was filmed. Winston-Salem is only thirty minutes south, where you’ll find restaurants and shopping and other tourist attractions. In the Old Salem Historic District, you can experience living history—and the famous Moravian sugar loaf. If art is more your speed, check out Reynolda House and Gardens, the former estate-turned-art-museum of tobacco magnate R. J. Reynolds and his wife Katharine.

Packing to leave, I was already planning to return. One last stroll around the vineyard, looking more closely at Mark and Kari’s little fruit orchard, I tried to guess the spot on the hill where Mark said they’d soon be arranging a table for two. They’re adding another dinner option, he’d explained, a secluded romantic dinner with a view of the mountain. As we drove down the long hilly driveway from the vineyard, a few remaining daffodils swayed along the side of the road, and the house slowly disappeared from sight. But Pilot Mountain, that great guide, lighthouse along the historic Wagon Road, stayed in sight for days to come. ¶

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[ May Events ]







Disney's Tarzan

Carolina Strawberry Festival

1 Tuesday Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles Wilson Center | 5th Annual Wilmington Jewish Film Festival Thalian Hall 2 Wednesday Cape Fear Comedy Festival Various Venues | FUNDRAISER: Jewish Art: Diverse Cultures Thalian Hall 3 Thursday Souvenir Thalian Hall | Riverfront Music Series Marina Grill | Art Exhibit: Janette K. Hopper's Water & Sky PinPoint Restaurant 5 Friday UpScale ReSale and Design Challenge VIP Preview Party and Sale The ArtWorks | Disney's Tarzan Hannah Block 2nd Street Stage 6 Saturday Little Explorers: May Day Play Cape Fear Museum | Beginner Skateboard Clinic Greenfield Grind Skatepark | Belville Founders Day Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville 7 Sunday

5th Annual Wilmington Jewish Film Festival Thalian Hall | Lecture: Saving the Burgwin-Wright House Cape Fear Museum | Carnivorous Plant Hike Carolina Beach State Park | Boogie in the Park Concert Ocean Front Park

8 Tuesday National Theatre Live in HD Kenan Auditorium | Wilmington Boys Choir Concert St. Paul's Episcopal Church 9 Wednesday Sip-n-Shop Vintage & Makers Market Legacy Architectural Salvage | Buddy Guy in Concert Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | Poplar Grove Farmers' Market Poplar Grove Farmers' Market | UNCW Baseball vs. East Carolina Brooks Field 10 Thursday FUNDRAISER: Kids Making It Luncheon -- Building Brighter Futures First Baptist Church Activities Center | Preschool Math & Science Cape Fear Museum | Concert at the Park Leland Municipal Park 11 Friday Carolina Strawberry Festival Historic Downtown Wallace | 2nd Annual Thalian Hall Bluegrass Bash Thalian Hall | Cape Fear Disabled Fishing Tournament Kure Beach Pier | Dinner Theater: Good Ol' Girls TheatreNOW | Little Explorers: Camping Out Cape Fear Museum 12 Saturday Carolina Strawberry Festival Historic Downtown Wallace | Riverfront Farmers’ Market 70 N Water St. | FUNDRAISER: I Am Beautiful Fashion Show Pine Valley United Methodist Church | 3rd Annual Marina Day Carolina Beach State Park | Family Farm Day Children's Museum of Wilmington | Little Explorers Nature Program Halyburton Park 13 Sunday Mother's Day Jazz Brunch TheatreNOW | The Illusionists Wilson Center | FUNDRAISER: North Carolina Wildflower Festival Old Homestead Farm 14 Monday Pedal Power: Bike to Work Week May 14-20 Cape Fear Region | A Fantastic Woman Cinematique @ WHQR/Thalian Hall 15 Tuesday An Evening with Jay Leno Wilson Center | UNCW Baseball VS North Carolina Brooks Field







Rims on the River Car Show

Fundraiser: CFCC Bridge to Bridge Run

16 Wednesday North Carolina Arts Council's Artist Fellowship Exhibition Cameron Art Museum | Play Time! Cape Fear Museum | Poplar Grove Farmers' Market Poplar Grove Farmers' Market 17 Thursday Wilmington Wine & Food Festival Various Venues | Messy Hands Toddler Art Main Library 18 Friday Sweet Charity Thalian Hall | Wilmington Wine & Food Festival Various Venues 19 Saturday Sweet Charity Thalian Hall | Kidstock: 3 Hours of Peace, Love & Kids' Music Wrightsville Beach Brewery | FUNDRAISER: Roots of Love Yoga Festival Poplar Grove Plantation | Moon Taxi in Concert Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | Music & Mausoleums Tour Oakdale Cemetery | Wilmington Wine & Food Festival Various Venues 20 Sunday Sweet Charity Thalian Hall | Waterfront Music Series Bluewater Grill | Shakespeare Brunch TheatreNOW | The Wilmington Choral Society Concert Wilson Center | FUNDRAISER: 26th Annual Greek Festival St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church | Rims on the River Car Show Downtown Wilmington (Front Street) | Wilmington Wine & Food Festival Various Venues 24 Thursday Concert at the Park Leland Municipal Park | Compton-Newberry in Concert Thalian Hall | Little Explorers Nature Program

Halyburton Park

25 Friday Dinner Theater: Good Ol' Girls TheatreNOW | Little Explorers: Fruits and Veggies Cape Fear Museum | SilverArts Exhibition & Sale The ArtWorks 26 Saturday Carnivorous Plant Hike Carolina Beach State Park | SilverArts Exhibition & Sale The ArtWorks 27 Sunday

23rd Annual Orange Street ArtsFest Downtown Wilmington (2nd and Orange) | SilverArts Exhibition & Sale The ArtWorks |

Sweet Charity Thalian Hall | Planetarium Film: Explore Cape Fear Museum 28 Monday

53rd Annual Memorial Day Observance Battleship North Carolina | RBG Cinematique @ WHQR/Thalian Hall | Art Exhibit: Janette K. Hopper's Water & Sky PinPoint Restaurant

29 Tuesday RBG Cinematique @ WHQR/Thalian Hall | Art Exhibit: Janette K. Hopper's Water & Sky PinPoint Restaurant 30 Wednesday Poplar Grove Farmers' Market Poplar Grove Farmers' Market | RBG Cinematique @ WHQR/Thalian Hall | Art Exhibit: Janette K. Hopper's Water & Sky PinPoint Restaurant 31 Thursday Wilmington Sharks Baseball Buck Hardee Field-Legion Sports Complex | Riverfront Music Series Marina Grill | FUNDRAISER: CFCC Bridge to Bridge 4-Mile Run, 1-Mile Run and 2-Mile Riverwalk Cape Fear Community College

ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


f r o m theCo m m u n i ty


Mother ’ s

Double Happiness


W ri t t e n By: K el ly J o h n so n


Raised on an island off the coast of South East China, May Chen knows the tastes and smells of Chinese cuisine all too well. Living in the Cape Fear Region for the past twenty years, she feels at ease by the water and has found her niche in Wilmington, growing both her family and business. Having previously worked in a restaurant, May’s heart sparked with an idea to bring her love of cooking to Wilmington, offering something she felt Wilmitonians didn’t have yet. In 2010, her mission of opening an authentic Chinese restaurant transformed from a vision to a truth. Looking through the menu of Double Happiness, you’ll find a selection of meals made to “attain the harmony of taste, texture, color, and aroma.” For May, a favorite meal is, Shrimp with Ginger and Scallion – anything with fresh seafood is a taste of home to her. With an authentic Chinese meal, the goal is to maintain a balance between Fan and T’sai foods. Fan foods being rice, noodles, grains and dumplings. T’sai foods are vegetables, meats, poultry, and seafood. With these principles and fresh ingredients, May and her staff deliver quality cuisine, and tastefully so. With a name like Double Happiness, there had to be a story or reason behind it. When asked about it May chuckled and said, “that was my husband’s idea, I have to give that credit to him,” and goes on to tell me the origin of the Double Happiness symbol. “The legend of the Double Happiness dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). A young, brilliantly gifted scholar named Wang An Shi secured the hand of a wealthy maiden at the same time as [passing] the imperial exam with highest distinctions. In celebration of this dual accomplishment, he created the Double Happiness symbol.”


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

P h otogr a p h ed by: W i l l H a i r

May’s own endearing definition is that “two things joined together become even happier– a perfect fit,” which seems to fully explain her work as both a mother and business owner. In April of 2010, May’s first restaurant location opened, making her a new business owner and mother. Her daughter Abigail, was just twenty-nine days old. Laughing at the irony May says, “everything was ‘double’ tough, but the passion of bringing an authentic Chinese restaurant to Wilmington kept me going.” Today, May has two restaurant locations, and naturally, the second opened just as her son, Isaac, turned fifteen months old. Feeling as if she is a mother of four, with Abigail, Isaac, and her two restaurants, one can assume the madness of motherhood is twofold for May Chen. In Chinese culture, “good things come in pairs,” and as a mother of two, May has plenty to tackle in her daily routine. Abigail, age eight (going on twenty) loves her violin, reading, and writing. Isaac, on the other hand is only eighteen months old and will do anything that involves playing outside or getting into something he shouldn’t. Though a mother’s work “comes with a package of sleepless nights” it produces a reward that no other occupation will. Just as any mother, May’s hope for her children is for them to work hard to “fulfill the gift that God has given them” in order to find their happiness. With the time put forth towards her restaurants, May hopes for her business to succeed, but even more so, for her children to have a role model in their mother. Between violin lessons, running around the yard, and picking up innumerable amounts of legos May is a businesswoman, and it is important to provide excellent service to her customers, which comes naturally for May. She is thankful for Wilmington in providing her a home in which she

can give the community an authentic Chinese meal, full of fresh quality ingredients. While speaking with May, it is evident, the amount of passion and care she has for her work, the memories of her childhood home, and how she wishes to share that with her community here. As she hopes for her children to grow and work hard at what they someday pursue, she too is growing and working hard to see her passions unfold. While May loves both her children and her business, being a mother is always her priority, but finding time to grow her business takes a close second. She has great pride in the quality of her business and the hospitality her customers are greeted with as they step through her restaurant’s doors. For this mother, it is a busy life between restaurant and family, but it is a life of Double Happiness. œ

May Chen with her children Abigail (8) and Isaac (18 months).

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f r o m theCo m m u n i ty

A Life Well Lived W r i t t en By: To n y Tata


ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

M y

m other ,

M J erri


T ata ,


said ,

“Whatever you do in life, make a difference.”

Born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia near Charlottesville, Mom lived this creed. She was a public school teacher and counselor for forty-one years, later serving as a Virginia Beach school board member for two terms. Throughout her public service career, her fundamental belief was that we made a difference one day and one person at a time. She wasn’t some pie in the sky thinker, but, like most mothers, a very practical woman who wanted the best for her family and community. Raising three athletic kids, all playing three sports every year and being the wife of a high school football and baseball coach, my mother lived the life that she dreamed about as a child. Marriage, family, children, community. Her social networks were vast and built upon the twin pillars of kindness and acceptance. Weekly, mom hosted friends each of us would bring over; cooking dinners or making snacks as we played whiffle ball in the backyard. She enjoyed prepping for dad’s legendary cigar and poker nights and her own bridge club days. Rarely missing a game or event my brother, sister, or I were involved in, my mother demonstrated selfless devotion to family every day. I have fond memories of her running up and down in the stands when I won a big wrestling match in the state tournament or her hugs when I would return from West Point or combat. As we reflect on mothers this month and celebrate them on Mother’s Day, this will be the first year where my brother, sister and I have no mother to give flowers, hug, and thank for being such a wonderful person and role model. Likewise, since she passed on Thanksgiving weekend at the age of 90 last year, every day this year is a first “without mom” for my father as well. We focus on surrounding him with love and companionship that 62 years of marriage to our mother provided him. Together, mom and dad made a powerful couple, two school teachers leading their community and raising their children. Dad

was a 15-term member of the Virginia House of Delegates. Mom fully supported his grassroots political life by walking door to door and hosting constituents in our home routinely for those 30 years. Wanting to come full circle with her life, mom decided to relocate to the family farm north of Charlottesville, Virginia, near her birthplace. She designed and had built a home where she and dad would spend her final days. Even as she transitioned from walking to walker to wheelchair, mom remained civically engaged. She supported the public school system in Greene County, where my sister serves as a teacher and coach. She hosted students on the farm and generously gave of her time to worthwhile causes in the region, including conservation of land. Never one to be deterred, a couple of days before Thanksgiving 2017, mom was pushing up from her wheelchair to begin holiday preparations, as family was descending on the farm for our routine get together. This time, though, she slipped, fell, and never recovered. With her husband and three children surrounding her on Thanksgiving Day, she came back to us and had a full day of tearful interaction, every bit as lucid and connected as she ever was. Then, as the cold reality settled in and she digressed, we were able to move her back to the farm where she saw one final sunset over the Blue Ridge mountains and experienced one more sunrise over the South River. Surrounded by her children and husband, on Sunday morning mom slipped upward where she is now peering down on us with those beautiful blue eyes and knowing smile. To the very end, my mother served her purpose, chiefly her family and community. And true to her words, she made a difference, just like millions of other moms do daily. And on this Mother’s Day, though we miss her dearly, our family will have a great memory to honor and flowers to deliver. Indeed, all moms are special people we should cherish every day, not just once a year. ¶

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c a p e f e a r l i v i n g moments

Š North Carolina Azeala Festival

1. The Children's Museum of Wilmington's Easter Egg Hunt, featuring the lucky winners of the golden eggs containing a birthday party package at the Museum.

2. Moments from the North Carolina Azalea Festival 2018. First photo features Emily Cornwall, Justin Colwell, and Dawson Cooper.

3. 25th anniversary of the Instructor of the Year Luncheon at the USO of Jacksonville NC. Col. Grant presenting the award.

I f y o u o r y o u r o r g a n i z at i o n w o u l d l i k e t o s u b m i t p h o t o g r a p h s o f a r e c e n t e v e n t, we'd love to showcase them in an upcoming issue of Cape Fear Living. Send your photos to: I N F O @ C A PE F E A R L I V I N G M A G A Z I NE . C O M 44

ca p e f ear l i v i n g / may 2018

c a p e f e a r l i v i n g moments

A st r o lo gy

Walking the Moonlit Path Taurus New Moon May 15, 2015 W r i t t en By: Dr . s h a r a e i s e n

Happy Birthday Taurus, and a Happy Taurus new moon to all! This moon becomes new

on the 15th and it turns out to be quite an exciting time for Taurus, as well as the other earth signs, Virgo and Capricorn, and the three other fixed signs, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. Not only is the monthly meeting of the sun and moon occurring this month in the sign of the bull, but Uranus moves into Taurus for the first time since May of 1942! Uranus is also known as the great awakener, and for shaking things up, especially when complacency or stagnation has become an issue. Lookout Taurus, for the next few months you might expect the unexpected. Even though Uranus spends approximately 7 years in a sign, later in the year we will get a retrograde that will bring Uranus out of Taurus and back into Aries for a grand finale before settling into Taurus for the longer haul. Even if you are not a Taurus, this change will be noticeable as some aspect of your chart, and thus your life will reflect this change. Taurus, the bull, is known for being determined, persuasive, and persevering. With Venus as the ruler of Taurus, they are often gifted in the arts, especially music, with a disproportionate number of successful singers and musicians (David Byrne, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby, Janet Jackson, Enya, Brian Eno, Duke Ellington, and Pete Townshend, just to name a few) born under this sign. They are the green thumbs of the zodiac, and often tune into the plant kingdom the way others tune into dogs and cats; having conversations, cooing, and fussing over them like family members. This new moon is an auspicious time for getting in the garden and creating beauty while healing yourself with some dirt and clay therapy and having fun as well. It is excellent for picking up an instrument or at least going to support some of the music venues in our city. Given that this is also the sign of money, possessions, and luxury, it can be the ideal time to splurge on whatever indulgence will make you feel more like royalty; be it jewelry, furniture, or a couple of wardrobe upgrades. Whether your portfolio is worth millions of in the red, this is also the best time of year to bring some order, planning, and intentions to your financial picture.

4. Art League of Leland welcomes artist Dan Beck to its first meeting at the Leland cultural arts center.

To read your horoscope this month, visit our website for the full article at To learn more about the writer, visit her personal website at ca pefea rliving mag a z in e .com


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