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Manufacturers of European-inspired down pillows, comforters and featherbeds. Fine bed, bath and table linens from France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and beyond. Located in the High Country. ABYSS & HABIDECOR ANALI BOVI DASH & ALBERT HOME TREASURES LE JACQUARD FRANCAIS LYCELLA® BY DEWOOLFSON MATOUK PEACOCK ALLEY PINE CONE HILL JOHN ROBSHAW SCHLOSSBERG SFERRA STAMATTINA TRADITIONS LINENS WOLF YVES DELORME

© 2006-2018 DEWOOLFSON Down Int’l., Inc.

Photo courtesy of Yves Delorme

Since 1983

9452 NC Hwy. 105 S between Boone & Banner Elk

Photo courtesy of YVES DELORME

828.963.4144 dewoolfson

Up here, this is the only therapy you’ll need.

Come Discover Eagles Nest: High Country living the way you want it. There is no better place to experience all the natural beauty and variety of the Western North Carolina High Country than right here. With one of the highest elevations in the area – and just 3 miles from the charming downtown of Banner Elk–Eagles Nest is a haven for year-round outdoor activity, catering to every age and interest.

Home sites available from the 80’s. Turn-key cottage packages from the 390’s. Call 866-370-1052 or visit


Autumn Leaves Woolly Worms

Spectacular fall color awaits in Banner Elk, framed by the majestic peaks of Grandfather Mountain, Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain and Hanging Rock. Banner Elk is home to upscale lodging, dining and shopping, as well as the world famous Woolly Worm Festival (Oct. 20-21).

Photos Š Todd Bush

Photo by Todd Bush

Autumn on Sugar Mountain

There’s no better place to enjoy an Appalachian autumn than the Village of Sugar Mountain. Named long ago for the prolific Sugar Maple Tree covering the mountainside, the four-seasons resort town provides the perfect stage for the dancing flames of yellow, red and orange that will light the fall landscape. With an average elevation of 4,000 feet above sea level, (the peak at the crest of the Sugar Mountain ski slopes stands at 5,300 feet), the annual fest of color begins late September and grows in intensity through the third week in October. Sunday drives to the lower elevations of the surrounding foothills in every direction from Sugar Mountain extend the beauty of fall for travelers. But you won’t have to stray far for a fabulous time when visiting here. Few destinations combine the spirit of the outdoors and a central location to all that is good in the North Carolina High Country quite like Sugar Mountain. Some of America’s most spectacular hiking, fishing and white water rafting is only a step away. Iconic attractions like Grandfather Mountain, Linville Gorge, The Blowing Rock, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are just around the corner from Sugar Mountain. The crisp autumn air is great for your soul, and good for your appetite. At the end of your daily adventures, you’ll find some of the world’s finest dining nearby featuring local fare to continental in casual to formal dining rooms.

With hundreds of lodging options in the village, from condos to chalets, you can dine in with family and friends by the fire, or on the deck enjoying distant autumn vistas. Don’t forget your golf clubs. The 18-hole public golf course sports perhaps its finest conditions each fall. With the par-64 showing immaculate putting surfaces, made even speedier with each morning frost, golf at Sugar Mountain is a special experience this time of year. The course is open until the end of October, and never forget your sweater. That goes for tennis, too. Sugar Mountain is home to six har-tru clay courts and everyone is welcome. But perhaps there’s no more special time on Sugar than Oktoberfest Weekend, held this year on October 13th and 14th. Stirring Oom pah band, dancing, Bavarian beer, knockwurst and bratwurst lend an unforgettable spirit to the resort each autumn. This year’s rendition, the 28th consecutive celebration, promises lots of fun for the family with plenty for the kids to do, not the least of which, is a ride to the top of the mountain on the resort’s new high speed Summit Express chair lift. The autumn leaves should be in full color, and you can see for miles. • You’ll find it all on Sugar Mountain. The only thing missing is you. To learn more about Sugar Mountain go to



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*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/22/18–12/10/18 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Rebate will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim approval. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. See complete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2018 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 18Q4MAGVC2

*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/22/18–12/10/18 from participating dealers

*Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 9/22/18–12/10/18 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Rebate will be issued in the formnot of expire. a prepaid rewardtocard and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim do card balance 6 months after card i Subject applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will beapproval. assessedFunds against not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. See complete terms distributed with reward card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2018 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the pro dealer for details and rebate form. ©2018 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 18Q4MAGVC2



Fall In Love With A New Custom Built Home

Fuller & Fuller GENERAL CONTRACTING & DESIGN Build the new home you’ve been dreaming of...

1880 Tynecastle Highway Banner Elk NC 28604 828-898-8180

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3990 NC Hwy 10 5 S. Suite 9, Banner Elk, NC 28604 • 828.898.9633 •


What’s Inside . . . 16.............. A Time for Festivals 24.............. Photographing Autumn By Skip Sickler

28.............. A Visitor’s Destination By Steve York

39.............. CoMMA’s Most Exciting Season Ever by Keith Martin

Cover Photograph by Les Saucier, Saucier Photography. This image is just one of many stunning photographs in their newly released coffee table book, Mountain Blue: The beauty and grandeur of America’s Southern Appalachian Mountains by Les Saucier and Janet Garrity Saucier. See our book review for more details.

41.............. App Theatre Welcomes First Director By Keith Martin

42.............. Music Mash Up By CML Staff

48.............. Where Legends Play & Stars Are Born By Steve York

55.............. Rocking the Dance Floor with Soul Benefactor By Mark Freed

58.............. Painting the Vibe with Kent Paulette By Cindy Michaud

59.............. Plein Air Artist Bryan Koontz By Julie Farthing

62.............. The Artistic Voice of Noyes Capehart By Lynn Rees-Jones

82.............. A Trail of Two Cities By Frank Ruggiero

85.............. An Autumn Fling with Disc Golf By Joe Tennis

94.............. Appalachian State’s A+ Transformations By Kim S. Davis

98.............. Lessons Learned from the 1940 Flood By Eric Plaag

105............ A Real Action Hero By Jane Richardson

125............ Saving Heirloom Seed By Jim Casada

Cultural Calendar with Keith Martin….30 Notes from Grandfather with Amy Renfranz….75 Blue Ridge Explorers with Tamara Seymour….77 Fishing with Andrew Corpening….79 Birding with Curtis Smalling….81 Blue Ridge Parkway Update with Sam Baker ….87 Mountain Wisdom and Ways with Jim Casada….91 Local Tidbits & News….107 Community & Local Business News…114 Finance with Katherine S. Newton….117 Health with Koren Gillespie….119 Be Well with Samantha Stephens….121 Wine with Ren Manning….129 Recipes from the CML Kitchen….132

autumn! CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —



SALE OCT 1 - 31

Live Music through October

Visit our Tasting Room MONDAY - SATURDAY 12 - 6, SUNDAY 1 - 5 CLOSED TUESDAYS DEC 1 - MAY 15

225 VINEYARD LANE, BANNER ELK, NC 28604 • 828-963-2400



Gilded Age Antiques Interiors & Gifts

From 18th Century to Mid Century Modern

Grandmother Clock

1940’s Lounge Chairs by Guglielmo Ulrich, Italy

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10890 Hwy 105 South Banner Elk, NC (828) 963-8633

1930’s Art Deco Rocket Cabinet

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1830’s Georgian Mahogany Chest

Crossnore Weavers, Weavers on the campus of Crossnore School & Children’s Home, opened in the early 20th century to preserve the Appalachian art of handweaving. Today we employ adults and students to keep the art alive and provide beautiful wearables, table linens, and home decor. Drop by for a visit on campus or check out our online store at



205 Johnson Lane | Crossnore, NC 28616 | (828) 733-4660 | CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE 12 — Autumn 2018All proceeds support the children of Crossnore School & Children’s Home.

A publication of Carolina Mountain Life, Inc. ©2018 by Carolina Mountain Life Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher. Babette McAuliffe, Publisher & Editor in Chief Deborah Mayhall-Bradshaw, Design Director Kathy Griewisch, Account Manager Tamara Seymour, Editor Keith Martin, Cultural Arts Editor Jane Richardson, Assistant Editor Contributors: Sam Baker, Rebecca Cairns, Jim Casada Andrew Corpening, Kim S. Davis, Craig Distl Julie Farthing, Brennan Ford, Morgan Ford Mark Freed, Koren Gillespie, Meagan Goheen Elizabeth Baird Hardy, Annie Hoskins, Lynn Rees-Jones Rita Larkin, Darby Logan, Ren Manning, Tom McAuliffe Pan McCaslin, Kelly Melang, Cindy Michaud Katherine Newton, Eric Plaag, Frank Ruggiero Karen Sabo, Skip Sickler, Samantha Stephens Curtis Smalling, Ken Swanton, Mike Teague, Joe Tennis and Steve York Share us with a friend! CML is published 4 times a year and is available by subscription for $35.00 a year (continental US) Send check or money order to: Carolina Mountain Life, PO Box 976, Linville, NC 28646 828-737-0771

Publisher’s Note

This morning I took the Blue Ridge Parkway from Linville to Blowing Rock to take pictures and experience walking around the Prayer Tree on Main Street at Take Heart. Owner Sheri Furman followed a spiritual prompt to let those in need of prayer do just that – place their words on paper and tie them to her tree. Now the tree and little garden outside her small unique shop are laden with requests for healing, offers of thanksgiving and even notes from little children. Blowing Rock was already a buzz of activity on this Sunday morning on the Labor Day weekend, but there was a quiet calm around the garden. I stepped inside and was surrounded by hand-written messages asking for healing from cancer and peace in a home and then hanging just beside it was a note of thanksgiving and a message of hope. I think no matter who you are or where you are in life – we all need a quiet place to cast our fears, gather our thoughts, ask for help, give thanks and simply relish the gifts God has given us. Thank you, Sheri and Take Heart, for this quiet space on a busy street. I left my note on the tree and walked away feeling, “It is well.” Just walking around Blowing Rock I could sense that fall was in the air. It is undoubtedly my favorite time of year. Enjoying a drive over the Viaduct with the fall leaf spectacle alone makes it special, but then add in Appalachian football games, tailgating, and cool crisp days for hiking and cycling and you have a recipe for great times. I especially look forward to working the sausage booth at the Valle Country Fair and helping at the Woolly Worm festival with worm race registration the third weekend in October each year. It just happens that while folks enjoy great art, crafts, music, watching apple butter cooking, racing woolly worms (yes, I mean racing) and amazing food – that thousands of dollars are raised from both fairs that are given back to local children and non-profits in our area. It is truly an amazing weekend in the High Country. In fact, the entire fall season is packed with even more festivals, music, theatre, art exhibits, and happenings to entertain and delight just about any age. We hope that you will take CML magazine with you as a guide to all the great offerings and we would love to hear from you. Most of our features come from folks suggesting story ideas to us. Be careful on our busy roads, take your time enjoying the sights and enjoy these days before the snow flies and opens even more adventures to explore.



Mike Smith Builders, LLC 17 Years of Quality Custom Home Building and Remodeling in the High Country

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Your Mountain Home isBeckoning Set on a beauitfully wooded lot with views of Linville Mountain, the Cumberland Trace can serve as your mountain getaway or your year round home. As with all our new homes you find touches of rusty metal, stone, barnwood, horizontal chinked siding and of course our signature mahogany front door found nowhere but at the Mountain Club.


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45 Blue Ridge Drive North, Suite T, Marion, NC 28752


Valle Country Fair: People Helping People By Pan McCaslin


ounded in 1978 by members of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Valle Crucis, the first Valle Crucis Fair was held on the grounds of the Apple Barn at the Valle Crucis Conference Center. Held yearly since that time, the Valle Country Fair, as it came to be called, returns all proceeds, after expenses, to the communities of Watauga and Avery counties to assist those in need. This year the Valle Country Fair is October 20, 2018 from 9 - 4 p.m. Always held the 3rd Saturday of October, the Valle Country Fair has grown from being a church arts and crafts fair with freshly pressed apple cider, home baked goods, and a pig roasted on the spot for fresh barbeque at the end of the day to a juried arts and crafts fair with more than 160 vendors. Over 13,000 visitors travel to the area, often parking in the early morning hour before sunrise as the fog lifts over the field. Today, having outgrown the Apple Barn grounds, the Valle Country Fair is held across Hwy


194S in the hay fields of the Valle Crucis Conference Center. “People helping people, that’s what we’re here for and that’s why we do this year after year,” said Polly Capps, one of the first chairs of the Valle Country Fair, in a 1981 newspaper article. “I still believe that today,” she recently agreed. Ray Lutz and his wife Pam Conover, the 2018 co-chairs of the Valle Country Fair share the vision of the Fair: “The Valle Country Fair is a community event, under the umbrella of The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross, Valle Crucis, and in cooperation with the Valle Crucis Conference Center. The Fair’s continued purpose, over these 40 years, is to utilize the money received to in turn make a difference in the community for those in need.” In the early days of the Fair, apples were gathered from area orchards and pressed on site for their cider. Apple butter preparations began days before the Fair and the mix was stirred over open

fires in brass pots. It took every member of the family, including cousins and distant relatives to help prepare the food for the day. At the end of the day, the Apple Barn would be the site of square dancing, dinner and a cake walk. In 2018, the Valle Country Fair has grown in numbers of vendors, food offerings and volunteers needed to staff many of the booths, but some things have not changed. Appalachian music still can be heard as area musicians, who donate their time and talent, perform on two stages across the property. Apple butter is still prepared in brass pots and bottled on site. Apple cider demonstrations are held, but due to health regulations, prebottled cider is available for sale and for takeout. Hay bales are stacked along the walkways for visitors to sit and listen to music, munch on a sweet potato or corn on the cob, or just people watch. In the early days of the Fair, it is rumored that Polly Capps would tell each woman in the church to make 13 pies to

cele brating 40 years!

have available for sale at the Fair. Today, members of the church, both men and women, help prepare jams, jellies, relishes, and an assortment of baked goods, ready for eating or to freeze for upcoming holiday dinners. Food available on site in the dining area includes Brunswick stew, chili, barbeque, hot dogs, hamburgers and sausages and brats. In addition, take-out food is available for tail gate parties for the football game, or to feed family and guests who have come for the fall festivities. The Fair boasts over 160 juried arts and craft vendors, several of whom have returned for over 35 years. “I think when I first started coming, there were only seven or eight of us, shared Chrissie Callejas. “I make pottery, John Dean still comes and he makes baskets. I keep coming back because I feel so appreciated, both by the people who continue to buy my pottery, but also appreciated by those who put on the Fair. Everybody is so kind.” Visitors come prepared

for their holiday shopping. Return visitors head for their favorite baked goods, jellies and apple butter, making several treks to their cars. “This year, we celebrate 40 years of the Valle Country Fair helping people,” says Lutz. It takes a community of people who care for each other to come together for a one-day event and have a great time doing it. We have so many groups who work together. The Valle Crucis Conference Center prepares the field for parking and walking safety. US Foods donates a refrigerated truck for food storage. Skybest has donated time, professional skills and money to help provide internet connections for the vendors.” He says that volunteers from two elementary schools help with parking cars and selling coffee, donuts and drinks for meal times. The musicians and dancers who perform donate their time and talents to provide entertainment throughout the day on two different stages. Spirit Ride brings horses to

demonstrate therapeutic equine therapy. “It’s people coming together to make a difference.” Over 200 volunteers are needed to set up, serve, and clean up the Fair. Last year, National Guard members, Masons Snow Lodge of Boone members, Boy Scouts, the Watauga High crosscountry track team, volunteers from local non-profit organizations—Health and Hunger Coalition, Mountain Alliance, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock, Children’s Coalition, Hearts of Hospitality House of Boone, Western Youth Network, Valle Crucis Elementary and Parkwood Elementary Schools—sent volunteers to assist. Summer residents make their plans to return to Florida or other states until after they have volunteered at the Fair. “It’s an opportunity for those who benefit from the services they have received in the High ...continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


VALLE FAIR: continued from previous page Country to give something back to the community and have a good time while they are at it,” stated Lutz. In addition, area community police, fire and EMS members assist with traffic control and public safety. Proceeds from the Fair come not only from food sales, but also from the vendors who are asked to tithe or give 10 percent of their proceeds from the day. Following expenses, the money is then used for grants to local non-profit organizations in Avery and Watauga counties as well as used by the Mission and Outreach Commission of the Church of the Holy Cross to assist those in need throughout the year. The 2018 grant recipients are: Casting Bread Ministries, Community Care Clinic, Hospitality House, Mountain Alliance, Parent to Parent Family Support Network, Reaching Avery Ministry, Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center, and W.A.M.Y. The Woolly Worm Festival is held on the same 3rd weekend in October for two days in Banner Elk. “We are a complement to the Woolly Worm. We invite folks to come to the Valle Country Fair on Saturday and the Woolly Worm on Sunday. Proceeds from both events help make a difference for the needy in the High Country,” shared Pam Conover. Admission to the Valle Country Fair is free. Parking on site is $10 per car, $25 for small bus or van, $50 for large bus or motor coach. NO PETS ALLOWED due to health regulations. For further information, visit the website:


CarltonGallery Celebrating 36 Years! Mid-Summer Group Exhibition & Spectrum – Beyond Color & Abstraction By Andrew Braitman & Lisa Boardwine Continues thru September 23

Autumn Group Exhibition & Harmony of Spirit – 3 Artist Friends

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n October 20-21, Banner Elk, NC will again host one of the Southeast’s quirkiest gatherings, The Woolly Worm Festival. Now in its fifth decade, the festival can proudly add a new distinction: Official State Woolly Worm Festival of North Carolina. The festival garnered that honor when NC House Bill 425 was signed into law on June 25, 2018 after unanimous passage in the NC House and Senate. The full text from the general statutes reads: “The Woolly Worm Festival, held the third weekend of October of every year in the Town of Banner Elk in Avery County, is adopted as the official Woolly Worm Festival of the State of North Carolina.” Banner Elk Town Manager Rick Owen came up with the idea to pursue the designation last year after a brainstorming session with town officials. Owen mentioned it to NC Senator Deanna Ballard at last year’s Woolly Worm Festival, and Ballard got behind the idea with the help of local NC Representative Josh Dobson. “I’ve been lucky to attend and participate in this festival for many years—as a kid, and in recent years in my service as a State Senator,” Ballard said. “I’m excited to see Banner Elk will be home to NC’s only official Woolly Worm Festival and trust this investment and local support will continue for many years to come.” That sentiment was echoed by Dobson, who said, “The Woolly Worm Festival is a special part of not only Banner Elk but all of Avery County.” The festival was created by Jim Morton in 1978 as a way to decide which woolly bear caterpillar predicts the winter weather in the NC High Country. Folklore says the 13 bands of fur on the caterpillar correspond to winter’s 13 weeks. Brown bands mean a mild week and black bands mean a cold, snowy week. Unfortunately, colors differ from worm to worm, so the festival determines the prognosticator by holding several woolly worm races on the main stage. Winners come together for a final heat, with the champion receiving the forecasting honor, plus $1,000. The festival is co-sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk and the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, and draws an average of 20,000 people to Banner Elk during a prime weekend for fall foliage. In 40 years, it has raised more than $1.4 million to better the lives of children in Avery County. “Getting this designation really shows Banner Elk’s commitment to the Woolly Worm Festival,” Owen said. “We recognize its importance and impact on our community.”



October’s Woolly Worm Festival Earns State Recognition

Pick Up a Copy! Don’t miss out on your copy of the souvenir Woolly Worm Festival publication, looking back at 40 years of the world famous festival. Inside you’ll find the complete history of the festival, as well as a list of “Woolly Winners” through the years, a weather forecast table to fill out, information on the natural history of the woolly worm and the Isabella tiger moth, tips on the care and release of woolly worms, and a variety of “Fun Pages” and photos for kids and adults alike to enjoy! Pick up a copy at the festival gate, while quantities last. For only $10, you can purchase one Adult Ticket plus the Historical Collector’s Book. All proceeds from the festival are given back to the community to enhance local schools and children’s programs, and to promote business and tourism in Avery County.

! n Fu

The 41st Annual Woolly Worm Festival takes place the third weekend of October on the 20 & 21. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children, and free for 5 and under. Hours are Saturday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. More info is available at




Regional Happenings & Featured Events Oktoberfest At Sugar Montain Oct. 13-14

Ashe County n Lansing on the Scenic Byway

Like numerous villages throughout Ashe County, Lansing (pop. 160) began as a small trading center for the local agrarian population. The Virginia-Carolina Railroad (later owned by Norfolk & Western) was constructed through Ashe County in 1914 to 1916 and had a significant impact on the growth of Lansing. Following many decades of both economic growth and decline, Lansing is today in a new stage of growth. As a town with a “Scenic Byway Designation,” Lansing is worth exploring as you travel through the High Country. One of the most vibrant town projects is the Lansing Creeper Trail Park. This area was a small part of the original Virginia Creeper rail line that ran between Virginia and North Carolina. It has since been turned into a park and picnic area with a dog park. Lansing is also home to Big Horse Creek, which is a NC Heritage trout water. On October 5 and November 6 (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), visitors and residents can attend workshops at Lansing Creeper Trail Park to learn about and fish for mountain trout. NC Wildlife Resources Commission staff will provide information on trout life history, habitat needs, and trout management in NC, with an emphasis on Brook Trout conservation. The workshops include general spin-fishing and fly-fishing methods to catch trout, knot tying and fishing


tips, an overview of trout regulations and tips on finding places to go fishing. Participants will also have the opportunity to fish a portion of Big Horse Creek that is stocked with trout, located at the park. Space is limited, learn more at NC/ or

Avery County n Oktoberfest

On October 13 and 14, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., prepare for “yodels and yodels of fun” at Sugar Mountain Resort’s 28th Annual Oktoberfest Celebration! The festival features Bavarian music performed by the 15-piece Harbour Towne Fest Band and traditional American music by the Valle Crucis Middle School Band. German and American food is available; plus, barrels and barrels of beverages flow lavishly. The children’s fun center includes hay rides, corn hole, pumpkin bowling, water balloon tossing, play time with Sugar and Sweetie Bear, and an array of bounce houses. Partake in a traditional Bavarian costume contest. Local & regional craft and fun food vendors sprawl out their wares on the back lawn. From Sugar Mountain’s 4,100-ft. base to its peak of 5,300 feet, visitors can glide through the forest and above the treetops aboard the Summit Express chairlift. Sugar Mountain Sports and Gift Shop will also be open. The celebration goes on wind or rain or shine or snow. Admission, parking,

and shuttle service are free. Lodging discounts are available Oktoberfest weekend, and there’s always room for vendors and volunteers to join in the Oktoberfest presentation. Call 828-898-4521 or go online for additional details.

n A Small Town Christmas

Banner Elk’s “A Small Town Christmas” has become a BIG deal in this popular Blue Ridge mountain town! As the Christmas season arrives, Banner Elk, NC, gets in the holiday spirit. On December 7 – 9, visitors and residents will enjoy a full weekend of festive holiday activities, including a tree lighting ceremony, a parade of lights, train rides in the park, a synchronized light show, visits with Santa, cookie decorating, Ensemble Stage theatre performances, and much more. “Banner Elk at Christmas is like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting,” says Nancy Owen with the Town of Banner Elk. “All the local businesses and residents get involved.” The event kicks off with a tree lighting ceremony at the new “Corner on Main” park on Friday, December 7 at 6:30 p.m. Join the crowd and enjoy caroling and hot chocolate. The official town Christmas tree will be donated by Elk River Evergreens in Elk Park. Following the tree lighting, head over to the Historic Banner Elk School for Ensemble Stage’s opening night of their highly entertaining Christmas Variety Show, A Banner Elk Christmas. “Ensemble

Choose And Cut Your Family’s Tree Nov.-Dec. Stage has provided us so much to look forward to,” says Jo-Ann McMurray of the Banner Elk Chamber. Theatre performances continue on Dec. 9, 14, 15 and 16 (learn more at Saturday’s events begin early in the morning and stretch well into the evening. Early day festivities include a 5K run, breakfast with Santa, a candy cane hunt, storytelling, and ornament making. Shopping at local businesses is available all day, and most businesses and activities are within easy walking distance in this one-stoplight resort town. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, the parade of lights makes its way down Main Street, ending in Tate-Evans Park. Families can hop on a mini-train as it rides through the lights and luminaries, enjoy Christmas music and visit with Santa. Throughout the weekend, Apple Hill Farm, about 15 minutes from downtown, hosts mini tours of the working alpaca farm every 30 minutes between 10 a.m. and 4p.m. After meeting the animals, visitors shop the farm store for scarves, blankets and other locally made items. Sunday is reserved for that special tradition of visiting one of the many tree farms in Avery County, picking out just the right Christmas tree, cutting it down and hauling it home. Choose-andcut lodging packages are available and include lodging, breakfast, coupons and Christmas tree vouchers. For more information about A Small Town Christmas, including details about

A Small Town Christmas In Banner Elk Dec. 7-9

the choose-and-cut lodging packages, visit, www.bannerelk. org, or call (828) 898-8395. For a complete listing of North Carolina’s Choose & Cut farms, pick up your free guide at the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce or the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, or visit

Caldwell County There’s always something fun happening in Caldwell County! Fall and winter opportunities abound in the towns of Lenoir, Granite Falls and the surrounding foothills. Here we provide just some of the seasonal events that you’ll want to check out:

n Festival on Main

Bring your family and friends for a day of food, entertainment and fun in downtown Granite Falls. This festival is the labor of love of the Merchants’ Association. Held on September 15 from 2 - 8pm in Downtown Granite Falls.

n Caldwell County Agricultural Fair

championship BBQ from professional cook teams, BBQ food vendors, live music, beer gardens, corn hole tournaments, and more! Downtown Lenior, October 19-20.

n Veteran’s Ceremony

Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans are thanked for their services to the United States on Veterans Day. Lenoir celebrates this day on November 12 with a ceremony held on the square in Downtown Lenoir.

n Christmas events galore!

Nov 17th, Rotary Club Christmas Festival (Downtown Lenoir); Nov 19th, Light Up Granite Falls Christmas Tree Lighting (Downtown Granite Falls); Nov 30, C.O.L Christmas Parade (Downtown Lenoir); December TBA, Lenoir Holiday Light show Nightly on the Square (Downtown Lenoir); December 1, Granite Falls Rotary Club Christmas Parade (in Downtown Granite Falls); December 1, Santa-fly In (foothills airport). Visit for more information in all the upcoming events in Caldwell County.

come have some fun! Since 1946, this fair has featured fun for the entire family including livestock competitions and agricultural exhibits, a wide variety of food and attractions, commerical vendors and more. September 18-22 at the Caldwell County Fairgrounds.

n Smoking in the Foothills

continued on next page

Smoking in the Foothills BBQ Festival is a delicious festival not to miss! Enjoy



“Mountain Glory Festival In Marion Oct. 13”

McDowell County

Watauga County

n Mountain Glory Festival

n Blowing Rock Art in Park

The 35th Annual Mountain Glory Festival is held in Marion – “Where Main Street Meets the Mountains” – On October 13 from 9am – 5pm, Marion celebrates the arrival of autumn in the Blue Ridge during their annual Mountain Glory Festival. For 35 years, beautiful downtown Marion has hosted this popular celebration on the second Saturday in October. Make plans to celebrate small-town life in the mountains, with plenty of choices for Christmas gifts as you stroll through three jam packed blocks featuring locally made arts and crafts. Enjoy festival foods and a wide variety of live entertainment, focusing on old time mountain music. Inside the McDowell Arts Council building, you’ll find the annual Mountain Glory Quilt Show. Kids will have fun in the “Children’s Arena” with hands-on activities, local entertainment and the ever popular best-dressed pet contest. The Mountain Glory Festival is sponsored by the City of Marion.  For festival information visit or call 828-652-2215. To locate additional area events, attractions and lodging information, visit or call toll free (888-233-6111) to receive a free visitor guide and map.


The 56thannual “Art in the Park” extravaganza continues into October, with the last Saturday event of the year taking place on October 6, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The historic village of Blowing Rock comes alive with artists selling beautiful and functional handmade goods along Park Avenue— the perfect opportunity to find Christmas gifts for the art enthusiasts in your life! The quality of work exhibited draws thousands to the mountains each year. Under the direction of Loni Miller of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, Art in the Park’s high standards and professional jury attract artists from all over the Southeast to exhibit. Admission is free, and free parking is available at parking decks on Wallingford St. and Chestnut St. Free trolley rides are available from the Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway and the Food Lion grocery on Hwy 321. Learn more at artinthepark/.

n 9th Annual Artists in Residence

When you stroll toward the south end of Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock, be sure to explore the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) and its Edgewood Cottage, the former home and studio of renowned American artist Elliott

Dangerfield. Dangerfield (1859-1932) is well known for his images of the local landscape and his legacy of encouraging artists in the High Country. Presented by The Blowing Rock Historical Society, the Artist-in-Residence series runs through October 30 and takes place daily from 10am - 6pm, except on Wednesdays, and noon - 6pm on Sundays. During this time the cottage is home to a variety of artists representing their original two and three-dimensional pieces. Free open studio events to meet the artists. See them create new art, and purchase their works. • September 13-18: Patricia Collins and Patrick Richardson • September 20-25: Tim Larson, Pete Lupo, and Earl Davis • September 27 – Oct 2: Susan Grant, Rhonda Hale, and Pam Washer • October 4-9: Kim Abernethy, Kathy M. Reece and Barbara Ballesty • October 11-16: Gale Champion, Pat Grant, and Pat Moritz • October 13-23: Jeremy Sams and Beth Taylor • October 25-30: Lee Harper Vason and Tunde Afolayan-Famous Half of all net proceeds will be donated to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation for restoration projects at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Learn more at blowingrock. com/artists-in-residence/.

Fall in Love with Fall By Kelly Melang

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the Autumn tree.” —Emily Bronte

Blowing Rock’s Christmas In The Park Nov. 23-24

n Blowing Rock’s Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town Blowing Rock’s Christmas in the Park & Lighting of the Town celebration is an annual holiday event that visitors to the area look forward to each and every year. The festival is always the Friday after Thanksgiving, and is the perfect time to kick off your holiday and Christmas celebrations! Bring the whole family to enjoy free hot chocolate, caroling, the romance of the lights, and a jovial atmosphere. On Friday, November 23, meet Santa, enjoy games and crafts in Memorial Park, take a hayride through Blowing Rock, listen to live music, see the lighting of the town as the sun goes down, and take in a Christmas movie at the American Legion. All Friday events take place in Memorial Park on Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock. The American Legion building is located just behind the park. Free Parking is available on Maple Street and on the parking decks by the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum and the American Legion, both on Wallingford Street. On Saturday, November 24, gear up for the Christmas Parade on Main Street and participate in the holiday cheer and Christmas spirit with fun costumes, floats, animals, and more. A prize will be awarded to the best decorated float! For more information, contact Blowing Rock Parks & Recreation at 828295-5222. All weekend, enjoy FREE admission to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum as it holds its annual Holiday Open House featuring fun events for the whole family!

come have some fun!

Fall is a magical time for High Country visitors and locals alike. A great resource for planning scenic drives during this time of year is our local online leaf reports. One of the best resources is the “Fall Color Guy” page on Facebook. The “Fall Color Guy,” also known as Dr. Howard S. Neufeld, is a Biology Professor at Appalachian State University. “I usually start late summer with predictions for the fall leaves,” says Dr. Neufeld. “Many people make lodging accommodations for fall trips, and things tend to sell quickly. By starting predictions early, this helps with trip planning.” Dr. Neufeld says there are a lot of different factors that go into the report, and the science behind it. “The Facebook page is a simple version of the report, with more depth on my website with the university.” He says that peak times usually run in the same basic timeframe from year to year, historically. “The weather in September is one determinate for fall color. Peak usually runs between October 10 and 21. Typically, if September weather is warm, colors are delayed. I like to say if September is typical, peak runs October 10-14; a warm September delays peak to October 14-21.” He cites an old wives’ tale that says a rainy summer dilutes the colors of fall. “I haven’t found any research to substantiate this myth. The best weather for fall color is partly sunny days with cool nights. But we can always experience change; one year we had beautiful color but a storm with high winds passed through and blew everything off. Another year a snowstorm during fall weighted the leaves making them fall early. We do our best to be accurate with our reports, but sometimes Mother Nature has her own ideas.” Once the season starts, Dr. Neufeld gets more specific. “I always remind fans of the Facebook page that peaks start at the highest elevations. We provide a fall color map showing dates on peak times based on elevation. Then during the season I do what everyone else does: I go out and drive the parkway enjoying the colors as I report back to the page. I also remind fans once the color is past in the High Country, they can still drive the parkway enjoying the fall colors 1,000 feet below in the valley.” As a volunteer, Dr. Neufeld includes predictions for the festivals of fall, ranging from the Autumn Leaves Festival of Mt. Airy, NC (October 12-14, 2018) to the Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk (October 20-21, 2018). You can find the fall color report on the Department of Biology website or the Fall Color Guy Facebook Page Plan your trip around the predictions of Dr. Neufeld and fall in love with fall!



Photographing Autumn in the High Country By Skip Sickler

Through the lens...

Mile High Bridge on Grandfather Mountain Clear, sky-blue days of

autumn are special, inspiring us to write home, dance a happy jig or shout praise from the highest mountain. Although one should rejoice and enjoy their pleasure, some of the most dramatic and inspiring scenery is directly related to storms and extreme weather. It is often said in the High Country, “If you do not like the weather, wait a minute for it to change.” Indeed, the weather changes frequently, often rapidly, in the mountains. Do not let a little rain, or even an early snow shower, get in the way of enjoying “life to the fullest.” Taking a walk in a gentle rain can be a life-inspiring, joyful event. The woods take on a special smell, an earthy aroma one does not perceive during everyday travels. Look carefully about, observe and experience: raindrops clinging to colorful leaves, yellow reflections staring at you from the puddles, swirling clouds sweeping down to carry you into a flight of fancy. Let a friend share your experience and hold the umbrella over your camera while you photograph. Rainy, overcast days can be an excellent time to zoom in and capture the intimate details of the environment. The defused, even lighting brings out the vibrant colors of leaves and enhances the details of macro, or close up images.


Early Autumn Linn Cove Viaduct The mountains of North Carolina

are one of the best places to view the splendor of the seasons. Autumn, with its vibrant colors and cooler temperatures harkening the advance towards winter, is a favorite of many photographers, who eagerly look forward to capturing nature in all its glory. Flocking to the mountains, they follow the season’s progression from the upper elevations to the foothills, in shades of red, orange, yellow and green. One of the earliest areas to turn in the High Country is the upper reaches of Grandfather Mountain. Indeed the Linn Cove Viaduct, situated on the flanks of Grandfather Mountain, is one of the most photographed scenes in the High Country. Here, it is possible to witness how elevation and geographic aspect, and its orientation to the sun, affect plant communities and color change.

Boone Fork Trail Bridge While

many people prefer to view the season from their car, motoring along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the many other scenic roads within the High Country, autumn can be one of the best times to experience the natural world in “first person” by taking a hike on one of the many trails or paddling a canoe on one of the local rivers or lakes dotting our spectacular region. The options are numerous and there is an appropriate challenge for all ages and physical abilities. A short walk from the roadway can provide a new perspective, metaphorically as well as physically. Rather than driving frantically from place to place, snapping away to capture all the beauty, photographers might be well advised to pick a place and tell the story of their experience with an in depth study of a particular area, showing it from varying perspectives with the depth and back drop of their own thoughts and feelings. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Wilson’s Creek We live on the water planet. It is no secret that water is also abundant throughout the High Country. From the loud ruckus of roaring waterfalls, to babbling whispers of tumbling streams, to quiet reflections of silky lakes, water was instrumental in forming this terrain, and continues to do so. Water has a tendency to draw us in, forcing us to study its texture, its form and its reflections, providing us with contemplative opportunities for putting our hopes and dreams into order. Many a photographer has been lost in time studying the texture, forms and reflections of water. Look closely, frame it thoughtfully, and choose aperture, shutter speed and ISO with care. Many combinations will work, but not all of them will convey the feeling, mood and vision of the photographer’s intent. A slow shutter speed with a small aperture for greater depth of field will create a silky, quiet mood to moving water, or mysteriousness to the movement of colorful leaves in the swirl of water at the base of a waterfall. A faster shutter speed can create great drama and vibrancy. Experiment with varying shutter speeds and depth of field aperture settings to recreate what you see in your mind’s eye. Stackrock Creek Any visit to the

High Country should be filled with joy and light-hearted play in the natural world. It should be a time to wonder and wander. Do not fill your “dance card” so full that you do not have time for a spontaneous adventure. Get out and look around—explore. Stay open to new possibilities. It is these adventures that allow us to see the world in new and exciting ways. Let your hair down; don’t be so serious. Let the natural world whisper in your ear and fill your photographs with joy, love and happiness so your photographs can inspire and delight the eyes of your friends and family.

Through the lens...


Open to the Public!

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Quilt Display

A Destination Attraction unto Itself:

Northwest NC Visitor Center W

ho ever heard of an interstate highway rest stop and visitor’s center actually becoming a travel destination? I mean, seriously…when was the last time you said, “Hey folks, let’s pack up the car and go spend the afternoon at that rest stop on interstate whatever?” Well, oddly enough, that’s exactly what people are saying and doing when it comes to the very unique Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center (NWNCVC) on Hwy 421 just east of North Wilkesboro. Seriously! Fact is, locals, regionals and travelers from all around North Carolina and beyond are doing just that; and have been for a few years now. Why? Well, of course, that corridor is the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains for anyone from anywhere traveling from east to west in North Carolina. It’s also the last official state highway rest stop along Hwy 421 heading from Wilkes County into Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties. So, anyone who isn’t familiar with all the attractions of


these High Country destinations—and/ or anyone who wants to know what’s new about our seasonal events, festivals and outdoor adventures—will wisely make a point to stop at the NWNCVC to get their bearings and gather all the information they can to help plan their mountain getaway. And those travelers won’t be disappointed, because this Visitor Center is loaded with free brochures, maps and lifestyle publications (including CML) that detail virtually everything of interest to be found anywhere in northwest North Carolina. From area wineries and craft breweries to lodging and dining, historical landmarks and museums, hiking and camping sites, outdoor dramas and theater productions, bluegrass and fiddler’s conventions, free community concerts, the Appalachian Trail, our spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway scenic overlooks and beyond: it’s all at your fingertips. And the front desk folks— like Stacy Dunn, Donna Wood, Ella and William Rhodes, Kathy and Bill

By Steve York

Luck and Valisia Morgan—are as warm, friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable as you will ever find. The information center is both inviting and beautiful with seating, table-top and glass-enclosed displays, plus decorative wall hangings, all featuring examples of the arts, crafts, heritage, special events and attractions that are either native or distinctive to our Blue Ridge Mountain communities and cultures. On top of all that, this Visitor Center is a designated LEED Certified Gold Level NCDOT Sustainable Rest Stop. What that means is…all the water, lighting, grounds maintenance and facilities comply with strict LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards. This includes rainwater gathering and recycling, solar panel electricity, a geothermal heating and cooling system and more. The NWNCVC’s Green Energy sanctuary is very impressive and literally attracts car caravans and busloads of visitors each year from schools and other organizations to experience

Stacy Dunn, Outlander NC’s Beth Pittman, Donna Wood & Mary Helen Ellis

I mean, seriously…when was the last time you said, “Hey folks, let’s pack up the car and go spend the afternoon at that rest stop on interstate whatever?” how sustainable public facilities can be successfully designed and operated. Now, as if these factors weren’t enough to draw visitors, the Center has also begun hosting live demonstrations, performances and exhibitions that spotlight our mountain culture, arts, music, attractions and special events on most Fridays and Saturdays from May through October, and occasionally into November and December. This year alone the Center has featured regional Celtic and mountain music performers, historians, painters and sketch artists, crafters and woodworkers, mountain quilters and authors, just to name a few. Recently, followers of the popular Diana Gabaldon-authored Outlander eight-book saga and STARZ Outlander TV series were treated to a special presentation by Outlander North Carolina founder, Beth Pittman. Complete with life-sized figures of the STARZ Outlander series’ lead romantic characters, Jamie Fraser and Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser, Beth—and associate Mary Helen

Ellis—offered visitors books, information and an engaging discussion about both the Outlander storyline and her “A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming” event held at Leatherwood Mountain Resort in Ferguson, North Carolina September 20-23. For the few who aren’t familiar with the Outlander phenomenon, although a fictional novel and TV series, the historical baseline very closely follows the struggles of Scottish highlanders as they were driven by the British to migrate from their Scottish homeland to our North Carolina shores and highlands during the late 1700s. Such special events are part of an ongoing initiative by the NWNCVC to educate and entertain visitors with an authentic taste of all that is exceptional about the heritage, culture and attractions of our North Carolina mountain life. And it’s one more reason why this unique North Carolina Visitor Center has become a destination unto itself. More information about the Center and its schedule of events can be

found at www.wilkeschamber.wixsite. com/nwncvisitorcenter. And, if you’re a craftsperson, musician, artist or event planner who’d like a venue to share your story, give them a call. There’s no budget to pay presenters, but it’s a great place to get a lot of free publicity and exposure to travelers from all over the U.S. and world who come to visit our northwest North Carolina mountains. The Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center is located at 2121 East Highway 421, N. Wilkesboro, 336-667-1259,





Cultural Calendar Spotlights


ust as the autumn leaves begin to fall, the curtains rise on stages all over the High Country as local performing arts organizations begin their production seasons. In five full years covering this beat, I can’t remember so many productions on our local stages in such a relatively short period of time. That’s very good news for everyone involved, but especially our readers who support the performing arts with their financial resources and attendance. Here, in our opinion, are the 16 most interesting shows on the horizon opening from now through midDecember, listed alphabetically by company. PLEASE NOTE that all performances, dates and times are subject to change; you are strongly encouraged to contact the box office for the most current information. See you at the theatre! Over at Appalachian State University, the Department of Theatre and Dance is producing the heartbreaking docu-drama The Laramie Project as the culmination of a six-month long collaboration (see sidebar for details). Sarah DeLappe’s dramatic comedy The Wolves performs October 25 - November 3, with a portrait of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness surrounding a girls’ indoor soccer team. The ever-popular Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble takes the stage from November 14 – 18 with no fewer than six premiere works. Info at (800) 841-ARTS (2787) or

Here are five very good reasons to make the scenic drive to Abingdon, VA to attend productions at the Barter Theatre, “The State Theatre of Virginia.” Hailed as “the greatest movie musical of all time,” Singin’ in the Rain (September 27 – November 10) makes a splash on the Gilliam Stage in this stage version of the MGM classic film. It is performed in repertory with playwrightin-residence Catherine Bush’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (September 14 – November 9), in what the Barter promises is “a humorous and moving adaptation of Dickens’ tale… commissioned as a gift for all of us.” Across Main Street at Barter Stage II, the musical version of Bridges of Madison County (now through November 11), is based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller about a forbidden love affair between a photographer and a housewife that changes both of them forever. The show features a Tony Award-winning score with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Finally, Alice Stanley’s Sally McCoy (October 4 – November 10) was winner of Barter’s 2018 Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights. Set in 1882 during the early days of the legendary Hatfield and McCoy feud, the script takes a look at how women’s stories and perspectives are too often excluded from our historical narratives.  Info at or (276) 628-3991.

cultu re Long before “gaslighting” became a current political term for the psychological manipulation of facts designed to plant seeds of self-doubt and alter perceptions of reality, British dramatist Patrick Hamilton used the term as a plot device in his thriller Angel Street. The Ashe County Little Theatre will present the classic play from October 12 – 14 in the Ashe Civic Center in West Jefferson. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (336) 846-2787.


By Keith Martin

Beanstalk Community Theatre is cultivating the next generation of stage directors by producing four student-directed one act plays on November 8 and 9 at Harvest House in Boone. For tickets and information, visit or call (828) 312-0263.



The Laramie Project at Appalachian Ensemble Stage’s expansion to year-round programming is a welcome addition to the High Country theatre scene. From October 5 – 14, the company will produce Father, Son & Holy Coach, a family comedy by John Posey that takes place in a town where high school football is a religion and the local fans are so rabid they shoot rival football teams’ field goal attempts out of the air. The fun continues with two live, staged radio plays: Frankenstein on October 26 and 27, and It’s A Wonderful Life on November 24 and 25. This will be followed by the annual holiday show A Banner Elk Christmas, with an expanded five-day run on December 7, 9 and 14 – 16. All performances are in the Historic Banner Elk School. For more details and ticket information, please visit or call (828) 414-1844. Also, in Avery County at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC. is the delightfully wicked rock musical comedy, Little Shop of Horrors by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman running from October 5 – 7. A meek flower shop assistant pines for his co-worker Audrey despite interference from an unusual, bloodthirsty plant. From November 15 – 18, LMC produces Craigslisted by Sharai Bohannon, wherein a down-on-her-luck college student turns to the Craigslist personals in order to make a living. Info at or (828) 898-8709. The entire seven-show line-up of the 2018 “Schaefer Presents” series at Appalachian is listed elsewhere in this edition of CML. The fall highlight is undoubtedly the November 14 performance by Ballet Folklórico de México, a worldrenowned, folkloric ballet ensemble that is beloved for its artistry and ability to captivate audiences. The performance takes place in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on the university campus. Contact the box office at (800) 841-ARTS (2787) or visit for tickets and information.

In our last issue, CML reported on the unprecedented “town and gown” collaboration centered on the play The Laramie Project. The numerous events mark the 20th anniversary of the Matthew Shepard hate crime, including the selection of the play by Appalachian’s Common Reading Program. The play’s themes of community membership, inclusion, and the power of art to explore and shape people’s viewpoints have helped launch thousands of transformative conversations. Judy Shepard, mother of the late Matthew Shepard, moved thousands of participants to tears with her heartfelt remarks at Appalachian’s Black and Gold Convocation on August 20. The university will next welcome Moisés Kaufman—playwright, director and founder of the Tectonic Theater Project—to campus in September to meet with the student cast and crew working on his play. Kaufman will read from his work and sign copies of the book in Appalachian’s Plemmons Student Union at 2 p.m. on Monday, September 17, an event that is free and open to the public. The Department of Theatre and Dance will produce The Laramie Project with an extended nine performance run from October 2 through 9, 2018 in the Valborg Theatre. Tickets to this production are available by phone at (800) 841-ARTS (2787) or online by visiting On October 6, the exact date of the Shepard hate crime back in 1998, the Henderson Springs LGBT Center at Appalachian is coordinating a campus and community-wide vigil in remembrance of Matt Shepard. “Watauga Reads” and numerous book clubs have been studying the script, and the Watauga County Public Library has taken up the Shepard Foundation’s “heart challenge.” The number of projects continues to grow, but here is a link to a comprehensive listing of all events: commonreading. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —



19 Diverse Productions Illuminate the Local Performing Arts Scene As College/University Programs Announce Their 2018-19 Season By Keith Martin


he High Country is blessed with exceptional cultural programs at Appalachian State University and LeesMcRae College with numerous offerings for campus and community audiences. From September through May of each academic year, hardly a week goes by without a major event that enriches the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Three different groups recently announced their seasons, and the following is a brief overview of what to expect during 2018-19. For more information, visit the websites listed at the end of each section. The Department of Theatre and Dance at Appalachian State University, under the direction of chair Kevin Warner, has announced a slate of nine offerings produced in four different venues on their Boone campus. Running from early September through the end of April, the season highlights include three plays just named by the New York Times as the best 25 shows of the last quarter century, plus Shakespeare’s most popular classic and over a dozen world premiere dance works. The box office numbers are (828) 262-4046 or (800) 841-2787.


American Dance Festival’s “Movies by Movers” Film Festival September 13 through 15, 2018 Various times each day. Turchin Center for the Arts and Varsity Gym First Year Showcase September 26 through 29 at 7pm, September 30, 2018 at 2pm I.G. Greer Studio Theatre The Laramie Project By Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project October 2 through 5 and 7 - 9 at 7pm, October 7, 2018 at 2pm Valborg Theatre The Wolves By Sarah DeLappe October 25 through 27, 29 – 30, and November 1 - 3 at 7pm, October 28, 2018 at 2pm I.G. Greer Studio Theatre Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble November 14 through 17 at 7pm, November 18, 2018 at 2pm Valborg Theatre

Eurydice By Sarah Ruhl February 20 through 23 at 7pm, February 24, 2019 at 2pm Valborg Theatre Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble March 21 through 24 at 7pm, March 25, 2019 at 2pm Valborg Theatre A Midsummer Night’s Dream By William Shakespeare April 10 – 12 at 7pm, Gala Performance April 13 at 8pm, Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 2pm Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Valborg Theatre The Ugly Duckling By Larry and Vivian Snipes Presented by Appalachian Young People’s Theatre April 26 at 7pm, April 27 and 28, 2019 at 2pm I.G. Greer Studio Theatre The Performing Arts Department at Lees-McRae College, housed in the School of Arts, Humanities and Education, is led by Director of Theatre Arts

THE WORLD OF MUSICALS Danielle Curtis. The Department has scheduled a three-show theatre season with two works by women playwrights and a popular musical, the kick off to the academic year. Performances are given in the Broyhill Theatre of Hayes Auditorium on the idyllic campus in Banner Elk, NC. The box office phone number is (828) 898-8709. All seating is by general admission and tickets are only sold at the door one hour before show time, or online at Little Shop of Horrors By Alan Menken and Howard Ashman Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6 at 7:30pm Sunday, October 7 at 2pm

chian State University literally programs “something for everyone” with music, dance and theatre highlighting each and every season, smartly programmed by the same creative team behind the venerable An Appalachian Summer Festival, under the leadership of Denise Ringler in the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. Simply stated, if this organization didn’t provide such a diverse, international lineup across the full spectrum of the arts for culture lovers in the High Country, who would? All performances take place in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on the university campus. The box office numbers are (828) 262-4046 or (800) 841-2787.

These music icons will pull from their rich catalogs and share warm and intimate stories from their journeys. Thursday, November 8, 2018 Ballet Folklórico de México This world-renowned, folkloric ballet ensemble is beloved for its artistry and ability to captivate audiences. Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Herbie Hancock “A visionary architect in the post-bop sound” whose “passion for innovation and creativity remains unparalleled.” Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Craigslisted Shovels & Rope By Sharai Bohannon A husband and wife duo from CharlesThursday, November 15 – Saturday, ton, SC who blend folk, blues, rock and November 17 at 7:30pm roll, gospel and country. Friday, October 5, 2018 Sunday, November 18 at 2pm Silent Sky By Lauren Gunderson Thursday, February 21 – Saturday, November 23 at 7:30pm Sunday, February 24 at 2pm Schaefer Center Presents… at Appala-

The North Carolina Symphony Founded in 1932 as America’s first statewide orchestra performs under the artistic leadership of Grant Llewellyn. Friday, October 19, 2018 Stephen Stills and Judy Collins

Dance Theatre of Harlem “A globally-acclaimed dance institution that brings innovative and bold new forms of artistic expression.” Tuesday, February 19, 2019 The World of Musicals “Brings the very best of musical theatre to life… leaving audiences spell-bound with their favorite show tunes.” Friday, April 5, 2019



Two in Two


Walk through history at Watauga Lake Winery. Our historic school is rumored to be haunted. Come visit our tasting room and just maybe meet our resident ghosts. Enjoy “Sangria Saturdays” with our special sangria blend and wood-fired pizzas. Saturdays from noon to 3:00 p.m.


Experience Tuscany in Tennessee — Nestled in the Appalachian High Country, the vineyard-laced hills of our winery give way to a breathtaking 360-degree view of the mountain ranges. Enjoy “Wine with a View” as you enjoy the special character of fruit produced from the vines of Villa Nove Vineyards.

Villa Nove Vineyards Winery

1877 Dry Hill Road Butler, TN 37640 423-768-3633 / 423-768-0345

Watauga Lake Winery

6952 Big Dry Run Road Butler, TN 37640 423-768-0345 / 423-768-3633

home | mary t miller design Grandfather Center, 4004 Hwy 105 South, Suite 1, Banner Elk (Tynecastle area), NC 28604 828.898.4449 | |


The Consignment Cottage Warehouse

“From Classic Traditional To Unique Eclectic ... And Everything In Between...”

66 Pershing St, Newland, NC / 828-733-8148 / Winter: Thursday – Saturday 10-5 / Summer: Wednesday - Saturday 10-5


One of the largest Antique Markets in the High Country with over 45 unique dealers in 10,000 square feet.


Large selection of Ashe County Cheese. Local Honey - Farmer’s Wife Pies - Bottled Sodas - Gifts & More. Relax on the front porch or in the picnic area.

EAT, DRINK, BE SOCIAL... Lunch • Dinner • Full Bar Tues-Sat, 11am-9pm 128 Pecan Street Abingdon, Virginia (276)698-3159

COME VISIT THE PUMPKIN PATCH! 8807 NC Hwy 105 S. Boone, NC 28607, 828-963-7450, Open daily! See you tomorrow! CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


In/Visible Theatre of Boone In/novates I

n/Visible Theatre of Boone prides itself on being different. The theatre is the brainchild of former Barter Theatre artists Derek Davidson and Karen Sabo, who bonded while in the acting company at Barter, where they also directed plays. “We discovered that we were both very literary, and also pretty idealistic,” said Davidson, the Artistic Director of In/Visible Theatre. “Karen is the kind of actor who, when she was in a show adapted from a book, always eagerly embraced the excuse to read the book and I’ve been a reader all my life. One of things we bonded over was loving good literature and wanting to give it more of a central place in theatre.” They claim that when they started In/ Visible Theatre in 2012, it happened by circumstance. “Our Barter friend Mike Ostroski wanted to be in the New York


Fringe Festival,” said Davidson. “He gave us a challenge, and we took it.” Ostroski suggested that Davidson, a playwright, enter a recent script for consideration in the festival. Ostroski said that he would also enter his own script, and if either project was accepted, Ostroski would get to be involved. Davidson and Sabo agreed to go along with the plan and submitted one of Davidson’s scripts, expecting it likely would not be one of the 20 percent of projects that were accepted. Davidson’s play got in, and that was the formal start of In/Visible Theatre. Their idealism leads to producing a great deal of new work, while nurturing young playwrights and developing young theatre artists. The name In/Visible Theatre reflects their mission to shine a light on things that we usually keep in our peripheral vision, and their producing reflects this idea.

Davidson, a full-time theatre professor at Appalachian State University, said, “We have much respect for all theatre producers, because it’s so challenging. And like them, we make shows that are entertaining. But we also like our plays to ask difficult questions, and to illuminate people and issues usually kept in the dark.” Sabo and Davidson implement their mission in numerous ways. One of In/ Visible’s signature events are Pop-Up Plays, which are short, new plays done in secret locations. For audiences, showing up to a location and following a stranger to an unknown place to see a new piece of art feels risky, and the very structure of the event reflects the In/Visible mission. While they do sometimes hire outof-town actors and have used actors from as far away as New York and Los Angeles, they start locally when casting shows. They also consider themselves to


Special to CML be a hybrid theatre in terms of structure. “Usually a community theatre doesn’t pay actors,” explains Sabo, Artistic Producer for In/Visible Theatre. “A ‘professional theatre’ pays performers, and expects them to have some conservatory training so that they know professional techniques, which are very specific. We’re a hybrid, using different kinds of performers—often in the same show—and mixing highly trained pros with talented community actors and students.” In/Visible Theatre also donates a portion of its ticket sales to other organizations. “It’s important for us to be good citizens in many ways, including environmentally,” says Davidson. With each show, the theatre donates money to offset their carbon footprint. After their production of Shakespeare’s #MeToo play Measure for Measure, they donated to OASIS, the High Country’s Domestic

Violence and Sexual Assault prevention organization, and also to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. As for what’s next for In/Visible Theatre, Sabo says, “We need a third to complete our triumvirate. Derek and I are confident about the art part of making theatre, but we want an arts manager with great administrative and organizational leadership skills to help us grow and develop a national reputation. We’re currently searching for that perfect person who is passionate about the kind of innovative, pertinent theatre we make.” Information about In/Visible Theatre is at www.





“Our biggest season yet!” says CoMMA Director Jim Smith By Keith Martin MAINSTAGE MORGANTON’S 2018-19 SEASON ANNOUNCED: “Oh, What A Night” isn’t just a song by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, it’s the theme for the 33rd annual slate of offerings by MainStage Morganton, a line-up proclaimed to be “our biggest season yet” by Jim Smith, director of the City of Morganton Municipal Auditorium. CoMMA has presented live entertainment and cultural events to the delight of local and regional audiences for over three decades. Smith isn’t kidding with his boast. With four national Broadway tours, a Cirque Elioze production, two children’s shows, “Peter Pan & Friends On Ice,” and more than a dozen music events, CoMMA has programmed something to appeal to every possible taste in entertainment. It is the theatre productions that deserve top billing, with four musicals in less than four months in 2019. CoMMA has established a reputation for bringing Broadway touring shows to our region at affordable prices, saving audiences a trip to Charlotte or other cities for their musical fix. It all begins on January 11 with the national tour of “Kinky Boots,” winner of every major best musical award, including the Tony, the Grammy, and London’s Olivier Award. Based on true events as portrayed in a 2005 British film, this huge-hearted hit tells the story of two people with nothing in common… or so they think! The award-winning score and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper are paired with a clever book by Harvey Fierstein.

On February 21, the tenth anniversary tour of “Rock of Ages” will blast forth from the CoMMA stage. This jukebox musical is built around classic rock songs from the 1980s as an homage to the famous glam metal bands of that decade. It features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi,  Pat Benatar,  Twisted Sister,  Steve Perry, Poison, and Europe, among others. Audiences may remember the 2012 film version of the 2009 Broadway musical starring Tom Cruise. And, of course, you can’t have a theme like “Oh, What A Night” without bringing in the blockbuster musical from which the song derives: the national tour of “Jersey Boys” stops in Morganton on March 21. It is presented in a documentary-style format that dramatizes the formation, success and eventual break-up of the 1960s rock ‘n’ roll group The Four Seasons. The Tony Award-winning best musical is structured as four “seasons,” each narrated by a different member of the band who gives his own perspective on its history and music. Finally, the beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “The Sound of Music” arrives on April 30, almost sixty years after its 1959 Tony-winning Broadway debut and subsequent 1965 Academy Award-winning best film. It is the story of a 22-year-old postulant (originally played by a 46-year-old Mary Martin) who proves too high-spirited for religious life and is dispatched to serve

as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval captain. It will be hard not to sing along with the actors during this performance. In his annual letter to CoMMA patrons, Smith says of the other performances, “From the high-flying passion of Cirque Eloize to the light airy jazz of The Hot Sardines, there is something for everyone.   This year we have two great kids’ shows that are value priced and super memorable: The classical tale of The Three Billy Goats Gruff portrayed through larger than life puppets, along with an exhilarating Christmas spectacular from Lightwire Theatre.  A Lightwire Christmas will be a total pitch-black auditorium with the story acted out in lighted costumes.” Smith is also excited about the concerts, saying that he “searched from Las Vegas to New York to find some of the best bands for the season, and found A Neil Diamond Tribute, A Carpenters’ Christmas with a local children’s choir, Yesterday - A Tribute to the Beatles and Country Music favorite Aaron Tippin.” CoMMA’s 2018-19 season is listed in its entirety in this issue (see opposite page). Box office hours are from noon until 5 p.m. weekdays and one hour prior to all events. For additional information, or to request a season brochure, please call 828-433-SHOW or 800-939-SHOW, or visit their website at CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Get out and enjoy the music !!! The most Incredible Toy Store in the High Country! Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 1-5pm Hwy 321 South between Boone and Blowing Rock 828 264 1422


Appalachian Theatre Hires First Executive Director By Keith Martin


n announcing that arts management professional Laura Kratt had been hired as the Appalachian Theatre’s first Executive Director, board chair John Cooper said, “It was truly a national search with finalists from California, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas, but we found the perfect candidate right here in North Carolina, just 100 miles away in Charlotte. All the pieces are in place to begin the final stage of construction that will restore this jewel in the cultural crown of the High Country to its former glory.” Carolina Mountain Life spoke with Kratt about her 20 years of experience managing the visual and performing arts, about historic theaters, and asked her first impressions of the Appalachian and her plans moving forward. The following are excerpts of that conversation.

CML: What can you tell our readers about the unique nature of historic theatres? Kratt: Well, the Appalachian is my third historic theatre to manage. As a student of both music and history, I fell in love with these legendary spaces. Generation after generation, they touch people’s lives. People share their theatre stories of friends being swept away by an amazing concert. A secret first kiss in the balcony. Cheering movie star heroes at a Saturday matinee. Doc Watson remembered his first time taking the stage at the Appalachian Theatre. The best part of working in the arts is bringing artists and audiences together to create more of these special moments for our community to share. CML: In your interviews with the search committee, you spoke about the transformational power of historic theatres as economic engines in downtown areas; can you elaborate?

Charlotte native Laura Kratt brings decades of experience to Boone

Kratt: My first historic theatre to manage was the Springer Opera House in Columbus, GA. Downtown used to be a ghost town after 5 p.m. and restaurants only stayed open at night if we had a show. When we were able to pull the community together and renovate the theatre, that’s when downtown development really took off. Vacant storefronts filled with new restaurants and breweries and a lively night life was born. Downtown Boone is already a pretty lively place, but we are looking forward to kicking that up a notch and contributing to the economic vitality and cultural diversity of our region. CML: In addition to a permanent home for local arts groups and other nonprofits, you’ve shared your vision of the Appalachian as a community gathering space, a place where exciting unique, memorable events happen. Kratt: That’s correct. Boone is really blessed to have so many wonderful cultural organizations, but I’m learning that some of them struggle with the lack of a performance space in town. It’s my job to advocate for the needs of the artistic community and create programs that complement the great offerings we have here in Boone while actively looking for opportunities to collaborate. The 600+ seat theatre will be the perfect size for intimate concerts, plays, independent films, operas and comedy. As an ongoing celebration of Doc Watson’s

local roots and the rich musical heritage of the region, we plan to showcase performances by top flight Americana, Bluegrass, Folk and acoustic musicians. There may be some special events that require a higher ticket price but, on the whole, we are determined to keep ticket prices affordable. CML: What is your first task as Executive Director? Kratt: My first task is to listen, learn and contribute as quickly as possible. I arrived at a very busy and exciting time at the theatre with construction just beginning, and I count myself lucky to work with such a dedicated and talented Board of Trustees. CML: What can our readers do now to support the Appalachian? Kratt: I would like to encourage folks to give to the capital campaign and reopen the Appalachian Theatre. Over $9 million has been raised so far, but at least one million more is still needed. Every gift can make a real difference and serve so many in our community. We hope to see you at the grand reopening in the fall of 2019! Additional information about the Appalachian Theatre and their ongoing capital campaign may be found on the theatre’s new website, www.apptheatre. org.



Music Mash-Up


isitors and residents of the CML region know that autumn is a busy time of the year with fall festivals, leaf looking, school and university activities, and lots of live music. There are plenty of regular opportunities to participate in jam sessions, join square or contra dances, and listen to some of the best bluegrass, jazz, and folk music the region has to offer. The fall festival season kicks off with the 5th Annual Blowing Rock Music Festival, held on September 15 at the historic Blowing Rock Attraction and hosted by The Harris Brothers and featuring regional favorites of bluegrass, blues, and American roots music. Hosts Reggie and Ryan Harris grew up in Lenoir and helped get the festival started by inviting a bunch of their musical friends to join in a day of outdoor beauty and excellent live music. In addition to a performance by the Harris Brothers, the 2018 festival will include sets by The Robertson Boys, The South Carolina Broadcasters, Jeff Little Trio, Wayne


Henderson, Strictly Clean and Decent, The Neighbors, Shelby Rae Moore Band, Soul Benefactor, and more. Music starts at noon, and it continues until sunset, when a fireworks display will conclude the festival. Food will be available for purchase at the festival. Tickets at the gate cost $45 (advance tickets purchased before Sept 10 are $30); children 12-and-under are admitted for $10. More info at The Kruger Brothers, another of the region’s favorite Americana, roots-music performers host the 4th Annual Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival in downtown North Wilkesboro on September 21 and 22. The German-Swiss-born Kruger Brothers have made Wilkes County their home for more than a decade. They started the Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival as a way to celebrate the region’s roots music and excellent food and beer. The festival will include performances by The Kruger Brothers, The Steel Wheels, The Secret Sisters, Jim Lauderdale, Front

Country, Humming House, The Roosevelts, The Contenders, Fireside Collective, Snyder Family Band, Arcadian Wild, Roanoke, Salt & Light Bluegrass Band, The Trailblazers, Wayne Henderson, Presley Barker, and more. This two-day festival features lots of local and regional cuisine and multiple stages of top-notch progressive bluegrass music. Tickets and information can be found at For those looking for a fall camping music festival, the 5th Annual Carolina Ramble and Reunion takes place from September 28-30 at the Brayshaw Farm in the Vilas community of Watauga County. This festival is hosted by Possum Jenkins and Dave Brewer Presents and is a family-friendly event with lots of music, games and activities, and rural mountain camping. This year’s festival will include performances by Possum Jenkins, Soul Benefactor, Melissa Reaves, Tellico, David Childers and the Serpents, Worthless Son-In-Laws, and more. There will be food trucks on site, and festival-goers are welcome to bring their own food and beverages (BYOB event). Kids 12-and-under are free with a paying adult, and tickets can be purchased online at carolinaramble. com. Other long-standing hometown style festivals are plentiful in the fall in communities all around the Carolina mountains. They include live music featuring local bluegrass, gospel, and rock bands. The 24th Annual Mountain Heritage Festival takes place in downtown Sparta on September 15. The Brushy Mountain Apple Festival fills the streets of North Wilkesboro on October 6—one of the town’s biggest annual events and attractions. The Todd New River Fall Festival at the Walter and Anne Cook Park in Todd celebrates its 24th year on October 13. And the Valle Country Fair happens on October 20 at the Valle Fair Grounds in Valle Crucis—a local fall favorite for decades. Those looking for more intimate— and cozy—indoor music performances will have plenty to check out this fall

FALL CALENDAR & EVENTS LISTINGS The CML region is full of musical

By Mark Freed as well. The Jones House Cultural and Community Center ( will feature a series of indoor workshops and house concerts, and the Mountain Home Music series presents shows in Boone and Blowing Rock. The Jones House fall indoor series kicks off with violinist-fiddler Maura Shawn Scanlin and her duet Rakish. Scanlin grew up in Watauga County and was a member of the fiddle-driven quartet The ForgetMe-Nots. Well versed in many styles and forms, Scanlin is a two-time U.S. National Fiddle Champion in Scottish fiddling, and she is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she studied violin with Lucy Chapman. In addition to her accomplished performing career as a fiddler and violinist, Scanlin is pursuing a Masters in Violin Performance at Yale School of Music. Rakish is Scanlin’s duet with guitarist Conor Hearn, a native of the Washington D.C. area, who grew up playing in the Irish music communities. Rakish performs a house concert at the Jones House on September 22 at 7:30 p.m. On October 27, the Jones House indoor series features a concert with legendary bluegrass, old-time, and folk multi-instrumentalist, singer, song writer Alice Gerrard, starting at 4 p.m. One of the icons of folk music, Gerrard made a series of influential recordings with Hazel Dickens in the 1960s, helped document the old-time music community with Mike Seeger in the 1970s, and became the founding editor of The Old-Time Herald, which has been in publication for more than 30 years. Gerrard is a top-notch song writer, and she brings a top-notch band with her to the Jones House, including Chris Brashear, Jim Watson, and Cliff Hale. The Jones House indoor concerts are presented in a close, unamplified room that seats only 40 people—so be sure to make reservations by calling ahead to the Jones House (828.268.6280). Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music series will present concerts at the Harvest House in Boone, the Blowing Rock

School auditorium in Blowing Rock, and the Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Boone this fall. Some of the highlights for the fall series include Three Generations of Music on October 6 and the Mountain Treasures Bobby McMillon and Glenn Bolick on October 28. The Three Generations of Music concert will feature Dori Freeman, Scott Freeman, and Willard Gayheart at the Harvest House. Hailing from southwest Virginia, the Freeman-Gayheart clan brings both the mountain traditions and future to the stage. Gayheart and Scott Freeman have been staples of the traditional bluegrass community for decades, and Dori Freeman’s songwriting is steeped in those traditions, but through the lens of a young mountain woman. The family comes together with harmony, instrumental prowess, and humor on the stage and their concert should not be missed. The Mountain Treasures performance features two of western North Carolina’s most important tradition bearers, Bobby McMillon and Glenn Bolick. Both have been awarded and recognized for their contributions to keeping the songs, stories, and tunes of North Carolina alive and documented. McMillon is one of the foremost authorities on ballads and folk songs in a region known for ballads and folk songs. Bolick is a fourth-generation sawmill man who grew up learning traditional gospel songs and banjo tunes; he, with his wife and children, keep pottery traditions alive at their famed homeplace between Blowing Rock and Lenoir ( Whether you want to get outdoors for the free mountain air and some bluegrass, or into one of the High Country haunts for a close-up listen at a jam session or concert, check out the fruitful fall calendar of live music events, and you will find plenty to keep you busy!

events this fall, with regular ongoing and special events. Listings below include websites and phone numbers where you can find information about specific band listings, anyamssion costs, and more.

Regular & Ongoing Musical Events: n DAILY AND REGULAR Woodlands Barbeque Restaurant in Blowing Rock features live music every evening, starting at 6:00pm. They are open every day except Monday. or 828-295-3651 Orchard at Altapass on mile 328 of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pine featuresamuntain apple orchard and live music every Wednesday through Sunday afternoons, usually starting around 1pm. or 828-765-9531 Alleghany Jubilee in downtown Sparta features clogging and square dancing to live mountain music every Tuesday and Saturday night, starting at 7pm. or 336-657-1441 Sims Country BBQ in Granite Falls offers all-you-caneat food with live bluegrass music and square dancing every Friday and Saturday night, from 5-9pm. or 828.-396-5811 Linville Falls Winery in Linville Falls, near Blue Ridge Parkway mile 317, features live music every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 3-6pm through October. or 828-765-1400 Mountain Home Music Concert series with events typically on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, featuring evening and matinee performances, mostly at the Harvest House in Boone. Concerts this fall are listed in the calendar below. See for more info. continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —



live music!

The Pedalin’ Pig Bbq Restaurant 6:30pm at the Banner Elk location and various nights at the Boone location. Showcasing local talent. Banner Elk 828-898-7500 Boone - 828-355-9559.


Lost Province Brewery, Boone Live music every Friday and Saturday 7:30-10:30pm. or 828-265-3506


Sorrento’s Bistro in Banner Elk Live music Saturday night, Wednesday night jazz with Shane Chalke at the Chef’s Table, and Friday night karaoke. n MONDAYS Crouse Pickers Jam Session Crouse Park at 60 Cherry St. in Sparta, NC. 6-9pm. Free TUESDAYS Red White and Bluegrass Jam 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at La Quinta Inn in Boone from 7-8:30pm (Sept 18; Oct 2, 16; Nov 6, 20). n WEDNESDAYS Bluegrass & a Biscuit Bluegrass jam session at the Hardee’s restaurant in Lenoir, from 6-10:30am. n THURSDAYS

Old Hampton Store Summer Concert in the Backyard Old Hampton Barbecue and The Tavern at the Old Hampton Store in Linville - Live music on most days either at noon or 6pm Concert Series in the Backyard continue until Thursday, October 25 from 6-9pm and donations will go to Feeding Avery. Old Hampton Store Facebook page or 828-733-5213 Banner Elk Winery Saturdays 11am-7pm and Sundays 2-6pm. . or 828-898-9090 Music in the Vineyard Grandfather Vineyard and Winery hosts a summer full of live music at its tasting room on Saturday starting at 1pm and Sunday afternoons starting at 2pm through October. or 828-963-2400 Carolina BBQ in Newland - Live Music Weekends, every weekend, year-round. or 828-737-0700 Banner Elk Cafe – Live Bands on the Patio Fridays and Saturdays throughout the autumn, 6-10pm. 828-898-4040


Jones House Old-time Jam Jam session at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone, weekly from 7:30-11pm. Free. or 828-268-6280 Music and Oyster Night at Chetola in Blowing Rock with music by the Lucky Strikes, from 6-9pm $32/person. or 800.243.8652 Inn at Crestwood Summer Music Series in Blowing Rock with live music weekly through October 11 from 6-9pm or 828-963-6646 Old Helton School Hogstomp jam session at the Old Helton School in Lansing, with music starting around 7pm 336.384.4707 n FRIDAYS Phipps General Store Jam in Lansing (2425 Silas Creek Rd) features weekly bluegrass and old-time jam sessions, with music starting around 7pm. 336-384-2382 Music on the Lawn The Inn at Ragged Gardens in Blowing Rock. Friday evenings through October 12, 5:30-8:30pm. Bring your own seating, outdoor bar and lawn menu available. or 828-295-9703

The Mast Store in Valle Crucis Live Music at the Original Mast Store – Saturdays, Noon. or 828-963-6511 Music on the Veranda at the Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock, with music starting at 5pm. or 828-414-9230 Shane Chalke BE Jazz at the Beech Alpen Inn starting at 6pm in the Old Fireplace Room, weekly through October. or 828-387-2252 n MONTHLY Banner Elk Community Jam at the Historic Banner Elk School every 2nd Saturday (Sept 8, Oct 13, Nov 10, Dec 8) from 12-2pm with loaner instruments available. High Country Jazz Society concerts every 2nd Sunday through October at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. Boone Country Dancers featuring monthly contra dances at the Valle Crucis Conference Center Apple Barn in Valle Crucis and the Old Cove Creek School in Sugar Grove. Times and locations vary slightly. See or call 828-406-0580 for more info. Community Square Dance at the Todd Mercantile on the 2nd Friday of the month. 7pm. or 336-877-5401

Special Live Music Events: Sept 14 Jimmy Smith Park Marathon Fun Run and Street Party Jimmy Smith Park – Boone 6-9pm. FREE Sept 15 – 5th Annual Blowing Rock Music Festival – Featuring live music from noon until sunset at the Blowing Rock Attraction in Blowing Rock. Tickets and info at or 828-295-4812 Sept 15 Mountain Heritage Festival 24th Annual Celebration of Craft and Music – FREE - 10am – 4:30pm in downtown Sparta, NC. or 336-372-5473 Sept 21-22 Carolina in the Fall Music and Food Festival Hosted by The Kruger Brothers with live music from 10am until midnight in

Oct 13 24th Annual Todd New River Fall Festival at Walter and Anne Cook Park in downtown Todd, from 9am to 5pm. More info at

Oct 28 MHM Mountain Treasures Bobby McMillon and Glenn Bolick 2pm at the Harvest House in Boone. Tickets and info at mountainhomemusic. com

Sept 22 Maura Shawn Scanlin House Concert at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. 7:30pm. Tickets and info at or 828-268-6280

Oct 14 High Country Jazz Society Concert with ASU Jazz Ensemble at Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. Tickets and info at highcountryjazzsociety.

Nov 23 Christmas in the Park and Lighting of the Town Memorial Park – Blowing Rock 3-8pm.

Sept 25 MHM Musical Potpourri with Lois Hornbostel and Ehukai Teves at Harvest House in Boone, starting at 2pm.

Oct 20 Valle Country Fair Valle Fair Grounds in Valle Crucis from 9am to 4pm. Info at

downtown North Wilkesboro. Tickets at or 336-990-0747 September 21-23 Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion Downtown Bristol, VA/TN. Tickets at www.

Sept 28-30 5th Annual Carolina Ramble & Reunion Music festival at Brayshaw Farm in Vilas, hosted by Possum Jenkins and DB Presents. Tickets and info at Sept 29 BooneDoggle! 12-hour Contra Dance, from 11am to 11pm at Appalachian Folk School in Mountain City, TN. Tickets and info at

Oct 20 Oyster and Shrimp Festival at the Burke County Arts Council in Morganton, from noon until 7pm. More info at Oct 27 House Concert with Alice Gerrard and Friends at Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. 4:00pm. Tickets and info at or 828-268-6280

Nov 24 MHM Celtic Christm 7:30pm concert at the Harvest House in Boone. Tickets and info at Dec 7 Jones House Christmas Tree Lighting at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. or 828.268.6280 Dec 14 MHM An Appalachian Christmas Anniversary Concert starting at 7:30pm at the Grace Lutheran Church (115 E. King St) in Boone. Tickets and info at

Oct 3 Indoor House Concert at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone. 7:30pm Tickets and info at or 828-268-6280 Oct 6 MHM Three Generations of Music w/ Dori Freeman, Scott Freeman, and Willard Gayheart, starting at 7:30pm at the Harvest House in Boone. Tickets and info at Oct 6 Brushy Mountain Apple Festival in downtown North Wilkesboro, from 8am until 5pm, rain or shine, featuring a street festival with live music. Oct 7 Concert in the Park in Blowing Rock with The Starlighters (swing band) in downtown Blowing Rock, starting at 4pm. FREE. concertinthepark Oct 13 MHM – Sheets Family/Trevor McKenzie, starting at 7:30pm in the Blowing Rock School Auditorium. Tickets and info at Oct 13, 14 Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest 10am- 5pm with free parking andamssion. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


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Cantina & Saloon Concert Crowd

Saloon Studio A Video Livestreaming

Where Legends Play & Stars Are Born: M

ove over Motown! Watch out Westworld! West Jefferson, North Carolina has a new wild west music attraction. And it’s ready to rock the world of live music concerts, livestream music performances and western themed attractions. It’s called Saloon Studios Live! It’s what you get when you cross an 1860s western town with a professional recording studio located inside a fullsized, Dodge City-type saloon featuring legendary bands and rising stars on stage live and in concert. But that’s only a snapshot. This is something you simply have to see and experience! And, thanks to the vision of Mike and Laura Jones, inspiration from Mike’s gifted guitar-playing nephew and the urging of legendary musician, Dave Mason—you CAN experience it—both live and livestream. But first, a little backstory: Since early childhood, Mike has always loved classic westerns like The Outlaw Josey Wales, Rooster Cogburn and Gunsmoke. Laura has, too. Mike’s other passion has been music, especially rock music. He’s known and seen some of

the great legendary musicians in concert over the years. But he found the actual concert experience to be sorely lacking. Let’s face it…most live concerts happen in giant venues with thousands of screaming fans. Just to get there, you struggle with heavy traffic, crowded parking, long walks and even longer lines. And despite expensive tickets, you’re so far back that all you can see are blurry two-inch stick figures on a distant stage. What’s more, unless you have VIP seats with backstage passes, there’s no actual face time with the performers. Sure…the concert was great. But, the experience? Now, let’s get back to our story. Imagine you stepped through a time portal and found yourself stepping back more than 150 years. Suddenly you’re standing in a Westworld type set with a wide dirt and gravel street flanked on both sides with hitching posts, a quaint mercantile store, clothier, barber shop and bathhouse, blacksmith, local bank, the sheriff ’s office and jailhouse, the undertaker’s dreaded parlor, a cantina and, of course, in the center of it all, a grand saloon hall. Yes, that iconic giant saloon, complete with

black jack gambling tables, long rustic bar with saddle bar stools, barmaids, roulette wheel, walk-around balcony with pool table, lots of authentic western artifacts and an elevated stage where traveling minstrels and showfolks sing, dance, tell stories and entertain a small, spellbound audience. Got that picture in mind? Well, Mike and Laura have brought that picture to life. Some 18 years after settling down on their 180-acre mountain spread just off Hwy 221 in West Jefferson, Saloon Studios Live was born. The Joneses have created an authentic old western town with a giant saloon hall and a big stage, all outfitted with stateof-the art audio-video recording studios plus top-of-the-line stage lighting, full instrumentation and sound equipment. In this setting they invite legendary rock bands, solo musicians and rising stars to perform live concerts which are livestreamed over the internet! And, the best part…instead of suffering with overcrowded stadium venues, musicians and their fans are up close and personal in a limited 100-seat western saloon hall where both the performers and the

live! 48 — Autumn 2018 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

Dave Mason

Peter Rivera

Saloon Studios Live audience can have the most intimate musical experience possible. Following a few private events in 2017, Saloon Studios Live officially opened to the public in May, 2018 with Dave Mason and Steve Cropper. Since then, performers for 2018 will have included Rick Derringer, Peter Rivera (Rare Earth lead), Foghat, internationally renowned Celtic bagpiper Eric Rigler, and Southern Rock superstars Molly Hatchet—all part of their Legends Series. Their Rising Stars Series has begun with one of country music’s hottest Nashville recording artists and Lincolnton, NC native, Kelby Costner. And the best part? “Everyone gets the VIP treatment here,” notes Laura. “The audience can relax at one of the tables or get up and dance, and it’s all within a few feet of a live stage performance. To complete that VIP treatment, after the show performers come down from the stage to mingle with the audience for an hour or so,” adds Laura. “That’s part of our deal with the bands, and the musicians love it as much as the audience,” says Mike. “Performers

Donovan Murray In Video Production

By Steve York

get real-time, in-person appreciation and a chance to socialize directly with their fans. And the audience gets that rare opportunity to meet the real people behind the great music they came to hear. Frankly, once you’ve had that experience, you may never want to hassle with stadium concerts again,” Mike adds. “Artists get to enjoy a creative getaway here in this quiet, beautiful mountain setting to write, practice, produce and perform, using our equipment without the hassle of hauling their own if they choose,” notes Entertainment Director Donovan Murray. “Thanks to Mike and a recommendation from Dave Mason, we had a consultant from Sweetwater working with us to assure we can offer the best recording and sound engineering system anywhere. The saloon acoustics are phenomenal, and we have complete music video production capabilities plus a full backline of music instrumentation available for performing and recording. Our front-of-house Studio A offers superior sound and four remote cameras to assure us great live stage concerts in the Saloon, plus enable seamless livestreaming

of those concerts via our Saloon Studios Live YouTube channel. And, by the way, we recently produced an incredible music video for the Appalachian Celtic Tribal Rock band from Gatlinburg, Tennessee called Tuatha Dea. The video for their song, “Get Along Home,” was shot entirely on site here. You can check it out on their website,,” adds Donovan. Along with public music performances and audio/video production, Saloon Studios is also available for corporate retreats, organizational outings, private parties and advertising or promotional videos. For out-ot-town concert ticket holders, there are 30 to 40 beds located within five miles, so ample overnight and weekend lodging options are available. Plus, there are plenty of restaurants around West Jefferson for almost any kind of dining. There’s also a fully equipped serving kitchen in the Cantina when food catering is needed for onsite events. Today, with the strong team support of Donovan Murray, Hospitality and continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


You can’t throw a rock and not hit something musical in

Ashe County The Coolest Corner of North Carolina!

West Jefferson Backstreet Concerts

Discover treats for your ears, eyes, and soul around every mountain curve.

Lansing Blues Festival Todd Summer Concert Series Music On The Green Christmas In July Old Time Fiddlers Convention New River Blues Festival Phipps Store Friday Night Jam Saloon Studios

SALOON: continued from previous page Executive Assistant Ashley Honeycutt, Technical Director/Head Engineer Phil Gorey plus a full support crew, Saloon Studios Live has turned it up to 11 and is churning out exceptional live music events showcasing big stars of yesterday, today and tomorrow. There’s an air of quiet anticipation within the whole team. And all will attribute that enthusiasm to Mike and Laura Jones. They seem to have nurtured an atmosphere of mutually supportive creative freedom that brings out the best in everyone and inspires an unencumbered vision for the possibilities ahead. Saloon Studios Live may not have the rep of Motown, Apple or Muscle Shoals yet…but give them time. Once the word gets out across the music industry, who knows? And their full special event potential is yet to be realized. As their team agrees, “We’re just getting started.” For more information and upcoming music events, visit Or…visit in person!



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DISCOVER EXCELLENCE ELEVATED. Nothing compares to the quietness of a cool evening spent gazing out across the majestic mountain landscape, set aglow by golden rays peering down upon the signature Jack Nicklaus golf course. Elk River members enjoy many activities such as an equestrian center, fly fishing, tennis and social events. The private airport sets Elk River in a class of its own. But what makes Elk River truly special is the

“Elk River is an exceptional golf course. But the best work was accomplished by nature long before I got there.” - JACK NICKLAUS

warm camaraderie our members enjoy with each other every day. Elk River is now accepting requests for an exclusive opportunity to enjoy all the club has to offer in Banner Elk, N.C. Learn more about our Discovery Visit and all that Elk River has to offer. (828) 898-9773 D I S C OV E R E L K R I V E RC LU B N C . C O M As a 501(c)(7) private, member-owned club, Elk River Club membership is limited & by invitation only. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Serving the High Country for over 35 years

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January 24-27, 2019

Celebrate the fun side of Winter with WinterFeast, Polar Plunge Winter Wine Tasting, Beer Garden & Chili Cookoff, WinterFashion Show Ice Carvings, WinterPaws Dog Show, & Shopping. There’s something for everyone! FOR INFORMATION & CALENDAR OF EVENTS:

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Christmas magic is found on the farm, not in a parking lot.

Make the trek to the Boone & Blowing Rock area in Watauga County to hand pick your family Christmas tree. Many farms offer hayrides, farm animals, cookies and cocoa, and even Christmas Shops where wreaths and roping are also available. Visit the Choose and Cut Capital this season, and start your own family tradition. To find a farm, visit: or call 828.264.3061

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• Abode Home & Design • Linville Animal Hospital • Distinctive Cabinetry • Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea • Edward Jones • Elevations Tavern & Grill • Reid's Café & Catering Co. • Ericks Cheese & Wine Shop • Root Down Hair Studio • Gentiva Health Services • Verizon • High Country ABC Store • Western Carolina Eye Associates

Only One Space Available for Lease! Join these successful businesses.

• Contact David Conrad with Blue Ridge Brokerage for leasing information at 828-265-2199 • Managed by Blue Ridge Professional Property Services • 828-262-4646 • CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


The 2018 Watercolor Society of North Carolina ANNUAL JURIED EXHIBIT

hosted by the Florence Thomas Art School




Furniture • Glassware • Tools • Primitives • Jewelry • Clothing 199 Howard Street • Historic Downtown Boone



October 7 - November 17 Opening Reception October 7, 2 pm - 4 pm


Do You Know that...

Gallery Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am - 5 pm

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.

more information at:

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.

10 S Jefferson Ave • West Jefferson

A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. 


Featuring original works of art by Contemporary Impressionist Rick Reinert and over 50 regional and nationally acclaimed artists.

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9am-9pm Mon-Sat | 10am-8pm Sun Main St., Blowing Rock | 828-295-9326

Soul Benefactor : Moving Feet in the Carolina Mountains “Our pleasure is rocking the dance floor,” says drummer, singer, multi-instrumentalist and co-founder of Soul Benefactor, Dave Brewer. “We have a deep passion for honest, heart-onyour-sleeve, funky soul music.”


rewer, also a journalist, worked for High Country Press (HCP) in 2007, as the media company was preparing to celebrate its second anniversary. Aaron Burleson, another veteran musician and multi-instrumentalist, also worked for HCP as a graphic designer. Brewer and Burleson were tapped to put together some entertainment for the anniversary celebration. They pulled in musical friends Steve Greene and Chris Hice and found their collective repertoires had a lot in common—heavy with blues, rock, and soul. The guys had too much fun to call it quits after one performance. “It was so easy playing with each other,” Burleson recalls. “We said, ‘We ought to keep this going.’” What began as a friendly gathering of cohorts to play a single event has turned into a musical party that has lasted more than a decade. Shortly after the celebration, they booked a handful of gigs and envisioned an expanded repertoire of their favorite deep grooves from the 1960s and ‘70s. Since they could all play multiple instruments, it allowed them to switch around and broaden their repertoire. Brewer and Greene both played drums, and everyone took turns on the bass. “We like to lean toward the B-side, for folks who remember playing 45 records,” Burleson says. “The songs that are familiar,

but not the overplayed radio hits.” The band sought out gems from artists like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Junior Walker & The Allstars, Al Green, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, James Brown, Otis Redding, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & The MGs, and many more. A lot of the material called for horn parts, and they started inviting some local ASU student players to join them on gigs. The horn section allowed Soul Benefactor to expand their repertoire and arrangements even further, and it has set them apart from other rock and blues bands in the area. But, it wasn’t long before the students graduated and moved away. The horn section is lovingly called “The Horns Du Jour” because of the rotating cast of players who joined the group. Eventually, Beaver Robinette and Rusty Smith started playing with the band, and they have been mainstays with Soul Benefactor for quite a while. Other current horn players include Ross Robinette and Jordan Craig. Soul Benefactor’s core rhythm section has also undergone changes over the years. The current line-up includes Brewer on drums, Burleson on keys, Tim Salt on bass, and Dustin Hofsess on guitar. While they still switch instruments on occasion, the players have settled into their primary roles, giving them a chance to tighten the unit. Over the years, they have also continued to expand their playlist, collaborating with local groups and musicians and presenting special concerts. They have helped produce entire evenings of music by Otis

By Mark Freed

Redding and also Al Green. They have collaborated on numerous occasions with singers from the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church’s Junaluska Gospel Choir. Incorporating singers from the choir helped inspire Soul Benefactor’s “Motown in the Mountains” presentation, which they performed several times as a fundraiser for the Boone Service League. The band has spent more than a decade honing their sound and working hard to create something different in the local live music soundscape. “We keep going down this path seeking out old gems to share with people, as long as it has a good message,” Burleson says. “That is a conscious choice we make—whether it is politically or socially relevant, the song has to have a good, positive message… and, of course a good beat for dancing.” The perseverance has made Soul Benefactor one of the premier party and dance bands of the High Country. They are regularly featured at local and regional festivals, and they are staples of the outdoor summer concerts in Boone, Blowing Rock, and Valle Crucis. Carolina Mountain Life readers who would like a chance to catch Soul Benefactor live and in action this fall are in luck. They will be performing at both the Blowing Rock Music Festival (Sept 15) and Carolina Ramble & Reunion (Sept 28-30). Fans can also find out more about the band, including the Soul Benefactor performance schedule at www.



35th Annual

“A Small Town Celebration!” October 13, 2018, 9:00 am – 5:00 p.m. Main Street, Marion, North Carolina Local entertainment &150 crafts & food vendors Children’s Activities & Best Dressed Pet Contest 2019 Miss Mountain Glory Festival Pageant Local Beer, Wine & Taps FREE ADMISSION!

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Boone’s Town Square Open Saturdays 8-Noon May through November


fighting for a

Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West Parking Lot, Boone NC



This year, Appalachian Voices is celebrating two decades of bringing people together to stand up for the mountains, for rivers and drinking water, for works farms, forests and wildlife, and for healthy Appalachian Voices to prevent the scarring of our communitiesand across Appalachia. us asbywe beginfuel ourindustry next 20 landscape poisoning of ourJoin planet fossil practices like mountaintop removal and fracking. Help save our years. (New members: take advantage of our special “$20 for 20” land, air, water and communities by supporting our efforts to membership discount!) facilitate the shift toward clean, renewable energy. Join today.

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CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 — CML-AppVoices_fall_2018b.indd 1

8/21/18 4:53 PM


Painting the Vibe: Kent Paulette’s Canvas By Cindy Michaud

Kent Paulette painting ‘Frank Sinatra’ outside of Studio 140 at Sorrento’s


s the sun rises over Powder Horn Mountain artist Kent Paulette quietly walks to the creek and steps in. “It can be snowing or raining, doesn’t much matter,” he explains. “I need to be there, I walk in the water, wet my hands, my face and I fill a bucket to bring back.” Nature is Paulette’s most influential muse. After this morning ritual he heads up to his deck where he paints barefoot listening to birds, feeling the breeze and responding to his environment. The bucket of water? That almost-holy creek goes into the art itself providing the washes and drips that begin each of his paintings. For full immersion into the art of Kent Paulette, dine at Sorrento’s Italian Bistro or Chef ’s Table at Sorrento’s in downtown Banner Elk. Walls are filled with Paulette’s huge, colorful work recognizable by geometric designs and high energy motion, all teased from just three colors. As the eye moves from piece to piece two juxtaposed subjects reveal: na-


ture and music personalities. Move in closer and enjoy the brushstroke. Look for patterns and rhythm. Back up and check your memory bank, the art often transports the viewer. This is all by design. Paulette is an honest painter. He puts it out there. What he is thinking, how he feels, what he struggles with…it’s all on the canvas. And he has a reverential respect for the process. When he invites interaction while painting in public he listens. “I realize that people bring their own stories to my work,” he explains. “There is a reason they call for a color or decide it is finished. This becomes integral to the piece.” Paulette has even invited bystanders to pick up the brush. “I want them to feel it,” he continues. “I am learning to give up the expectation of a specific ending and see where the process takes us. I want that art interaction to be a positive experience.” Random marks by viewers are as precious as that creek water to his work. Still a young man at 37, Paulette has been finding his artistic path since he was a child growing up in Hickory. He counts supportive parents and “a neighborhood lady that gave art lessons” as early enablers of his career path. He purposely avoided formal art education other than the basics taught at high school. “I needed to find my own style,” he says, “I wanted the challenge of self-teaching to determine where I went.” So where does a self-taught artist turn for inspiration? “Music and nature,” he answers. And suddenly Frank Sinatra’s portrait hanging next to a gigantic blue bear makes sense. Honest. The artist elaborates, “Music always inspired me, moved me. If I paint indoors I have something on. It might be experimental-electro or bluegrass but the rhythms, transitions and surprises are all informative.” He mentions patterns and uses that word again talking about earth influences. One begins to understand

that music and nature offer different sides of the same coin of inspiration. Paulette knows he could be content painting alone on his mountain, listening to his creek and responding to the flow of Mother Nature. But he also purposely sets up challenges that cause him to deal with new situations. “That’s growth,” he says. “It forces you to abandon control, to respond instead to the now.” So six years ago when Sorrento’s owner Angelo Accetturo offered Paulette studio space near the restaurant and walls on which to hang, the artist started a new venture: Studio 140. “It’s a different vibe,” he admits, but one he clearly enjoys. Now it is not the sound of the creek but the energy of the crowd that impacts the canvas. “I let them in, answer questions, respond to their comments. It is entirely different than working with the crickets and birds.” And whether he knows it or not he becomes a pied-piper for painting, not just with children who stare fascinated as he slings paint, but with adults who may have had an urge to play with color only to abandon it. Paulette shares his message that the outcome doesn’t have to be worth a frame to be worth doing…the process has value. Paulette is now reaping the fruits of honest dedication via increasing sales and prices. He’s at the Banner Elk Winery regularly repainting the mantelpiece elk as it sells off the wall and he just shipped a bear off to Paris. While he believes in the magic of original art he has also made giclees available so that smaller sizes become affordable at various price points. Spend some time at www. and his philosophy of art, if not life, will become evident. It’s a vibe you will want more of. Contact the artist at:

En Plein Air: Why Bryan Koontz is Out Standing in This Field By Julie Farthing


t this place in this moment...that seems to be the mantra of artist Bryan Koontz who travels through Western North Carolina, brush in hand, capturing the beauty of the mountains and foothills. I first met Bryan on the winding road that connects Valle Crucis to Banner Elk. It’s not often you see an artist painting “en plein air” on the side of the road, so I had to stop and check it out. “En plein air” is French for “in the open air,” referring to painting outdoors rather than in a studio. There Bryan was, his car pulled off the road, hatchback open, standing in front of an 8x10 canvas painting the Dutch Creek Valley enveloped in a soft gray mist. We recently reminisced about that afternoon many years ago, and I asked if he was still chasing clouds on canvas. “I still enjoy painting out in the open, and there is no better teacher for an artist than to study the subject right before his eyes,” he said. “The sensation of being out there adds to the experience. Trying to replicate the sounds and images through my paintings, though, is very challenging...the light changes dramatically during the day.” Bryan often will begin paintings en plein air, and complete them in his studio based on the actual conditions from photo references. “One goal I have is to do more finished work within the 2-4 hour time frame that one gets en plein air. The light shifts so quickly, that one has to paint rapidly, or come back to the location several times at the same time of day to capture what one sees. This is not always possible, so I am thankful for photographic reminders.” A native of Asheville, Bryan’s roots run deep in the mountains, and it was his grandmother who influenced his love of painting. Growing up in a close-knit family consisting of early settlers of the Southern Appalachian region, Bryan has been following an artistic path since he was a child. “I think most children have a desire to create, and I was much like they were, however, I kept on drawing

and painting while many gave up those ideas taking interest in other vocations. My grandmother was a primitive artist, in that she painted a lot of paintings, but had no art training. She would encourage me to paint, so from her leading, I began to paint basic pictures when very young.” Bryan studied commercial design with a graphics minor at Appalachian State University. And although he has worked 30-plus years in graphic design and illustration, painting is what he loves most. It wasn’t until he was laid off from his job during the recession that he began to fully devote his life to art. Studying under several proven painters located in Asheville, NC, Bryan began to improve his fine art skills. These experiences opened his horizons to the almost lost art of realistic painting and broadened his desire to paint in the similar realistic styles as the midto late 19th century American painters in landscape and still life, American and European Romantic and Pre-Raphaelite painters for portraiture and figurative work, and the great American Illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His ability to replicate a sensory experience was not lost on Biltmore Estate in Asheville. Bryan was chosen to paint this year’s Christmas wine label, due to the popularity of his Christmas card paintings for the Mast General Stores, one of which is in Asheville. “Biltmore asked me to come up with two designs: one from the vantage point of the lagoon behind the estate with wildlife, and one from the front with lights and people,” said Brian. “There were over 7,000 votes cast to decide which label would adorn the Christmas bottle, and they were equally divided between the two paintings.” For the first time since its inception, the Christmas label will be based on two different paintings. The painting entitled “Reflection” will be on the Christmas Red Wine and “Glowing” will adorn the Christmas White Wine. Bryan will once again be out in nature, canvas in hand, during the Crossnore

Bryan Koontz

Fine Arts Gallery In Plein Sight 2018 in Crossnore, North Carolina. A reception will be held Thursday, October 4 from 5-7 p.m. Proceeds will help benefit the Crossnore School and Children’s Home. In his hometown of Asheville, Bryan will participate in a gala event benefiting the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The three-day show entitled Of Valle and Ridge: A Scenic Journey Through the Blue Ridge Parkway kicks off with a ticketed gala from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, October 26, at the historic Zealandia estate atop Beaucatcher Mountain. With Christmas just around the corner, Bryan is painting the Mast General ...continued on next page



KOONTZ...continued from previous page

Store’s Knoxville location for their annual Christmas card; and the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce will feature his painting of the historic Westglow Resort and Spa for their 2018 Christmas ornament. The resort was originally the summer home of famed artist and writer Elliott Daingerfield. “I feel it is a great honor, especially knowing a little about Elliot Daingerfield and actually drawing and painting at his home and in almost the same spots he painted gives me great satisfaction.” Bryan’s deep appreciation for the mountain culture, heritage, and scenery is evident in his artwork. He captures the region’s surrounding beauty and compels one to stop and engage with wonder. “I work to produce paintings that have an intrinsic sense of beauty, truth and goodness that permeates our lives and world, and try to capture a bit of that.” For more information, visit Bryan’s paintings can be purchased at Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery in Crossnore, NC (828-733-3144) and Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, NC (828-253-7651).

OCTOBER 13 & 14, 2018 10 AM to 5 PM both days





The Florence Thomas Art School to Showcase the Watercolor Society of North Carolina


f you’re a watercolor artist or enthusiast, you won’t want to miss this annual event! The Florence Thomas Art School will host the 2018 Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC) Annual Juried Exhibit from October 7 to November 16, 2018. Located in historic downtown West Jefferson, the school will have over 60 works by members in the gallery. The location of the exhibit changes each year to allow accessibility to different regions of North Carolina, yet always offers the public a comprehensive showing of North Carolina’s most prominent watercolor artists. The juror for the 2018 exhibit, Iain Stewart, is an internationally recognized watercolor artist and signature member of the American and National Watercolor Societies. The Florence Thomas Art School was founded by Ashe County native artist Florence Young Thomas. Thomas was a prolific painter whose passion for art was matched by her desire to teach. She believed everyone should have the opportunity to create art, and to produce it to the best of their ability. Now in its tenth year, the Art School, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, provides instruction for artists of all ages in all media of the fine arts and heritage crafts. Workshops for adults, from three hours to three days, are offered year-round. More details about workshops, exhibitions and special events can be found online at, or by calling 336-846-3827. The Watercolor Society of North Carolina, Inc. is a professional nonprofit art organization with the purpose of strengthening and promoting watercolor throughout the state. WSNC strives to do this by: elevating the standards of excellence in the medium, educating artists by hosting workshops by nationally recognized artists, sponsoring juried exhibitions, and involving the people of North Carolina in the arts. The Watercolor Society began in 1972 with 18 charter members and the society now has a membership of nearly 500. WSNC invites anyone interested in the arts to support WSNC by becoming a member today at The Opening Reception for the 2018 WSNC Annual Juried Exhibit will be held on Sunday, October 7, from 2 to 4 p.m., and is open to the public. The exhibit will be open October 7– November 16, 2018. Gallery hours are Mon – Sat, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


The 12th Annual

Spruce Pine Potters Market




favorite event for many who appreciate fine craft, the Spruce Pine Potters Market is an annual weekend sale in the NC mountains, happening this October during the height of the fall season. Including the work of local artists with important national reputations, this invitational market showcases the diversity of ceramics that are being made in Mitchell and Yancey counties. From table settings to display pieces and sculpture, the range of objects presented is just as wide as the styles that are represented. In addition to decorative ceramic works, utilitarian pottery such as bowls, platters, mugs, and tumblers become “works of art that are integrated into our daily living,” says exhibiting artist Suze Lindsay. “I envision functional pottery not only in terms of straightforward usefulness, but also, its ability to invite the user to take pleasure in everyday activities, inviting participation, promoting hospitality.” In North Carolina, there is broad support of handmade ceramics—vessels and sculpture—as a living tradition. Today, the thriving arts industry of Western North Carolina (WNC) is driving the creative economy, providing jobs, growing tourism, and attracting new artists to relocate to the region. According to the Western North Carolina Vitality Index, the creative sector of WNC has 41.7% more sales of artwork than the state average. Many of the artists who currently exhibit their work were a part of the initial cluster of potters who were instrumental in establishing Mitchell and Yancey counties as a hotbed for pottery. This year’s event includes thirtytwo artists: Stanley Andersen, William Baker, Pam Brewer, Cynthia Bringle, Melisa Cadell, Naomi Dalglish and Michael Hunt (Bandana Pottery), Claudia Dunaway, Jon Ellenbogen and Becky Pummer (Barking Spider Pottery), Susan Feagin, Terry Gess, Becky Gray, Shawn Ireland, Lisa Joerling, Nick Joerling, Michael Kline, Suze Lindsay, Shaunna Lyons, Jeannine Marchand, Courtney Martin, Kent McLaughlin, Teresa Pietsch, David Ross, Michael Rutkowsky, Valerie Schnaufer, Ken and Galen Sedberry, Jenny Lou Sherburne, Ron Slagle, Gay Smith, and Liz Summerfield. Spruce Pine Potters Market is an affiliate of the Toe River Arts Council. Admission to the Potters Market is free, but visitors are encouraged to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a piece made by one of the SPPM artists. A portion of the raffle proceeds will benefit the Fund for Mitchell County, an affiliate of the Community Fund of Western NC. Food will be available for purchase from this year’s vendor, Fresh Wood Fired Pizza. The 12th annual Spruce Pine Potters Market will be held October 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Cross Street Building, 31 Cross Street, Spruce Pine, NC.

Web: Facebook Instagram: Email: Phone: 828-765-2670




The Artistic Voice of Noyes Capehart By Lynn Rees-Jones



he name Noyes Capehart may be familiar to you. You may have recently visited a High Country art gallery and seen a collection of his evocative multi-layered paintings. Or you may recognize the name because you just finished reading his historical fiction suspense novel, Devil’s Mark, with a plot featuring artwork stolen by the Nazis, interwoven with a multi-million-dollar forgery ring and a missing Medici diary. Perhaps you were under the tutelage of Professor Capehart in an art class during your college days at Appalachian State University. Though you likely would not remember, if you were at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the late 1950s you may have seen a young guard wearing a nametag that said “Noyes Capehart.” Or very likely, you may have recently seen or purchased a copy of the newly released book Cheap Joe about the life and accomplishments of local artist, businessman and Boone icon, Joe Miller and noticed that the author of the book is Noyes Capehart. One thing is clear, Noyes Capehart has had, and continues to have, a rich career and has made a meaningful impact in the arts, literature and education. His early days were spent growing up in Old Hickory, a small industrial village on the outskirts of Nashville, which lacked any cultural amenities and where he was discouraged from pursuing art in


school. Other than creating a few posters, his only other creative endeavor was a job during high school painting Coca-Cola signs in Nashville. It was only as a sophomore in college that his true passion for the arts emerged when he realized he was more influenced by the patterns and colors of the microscopic images in his biology lab than in their scientific interpretation. He transferred to Alabama Polytechnic Institute (better known as Auburn) where the art school was small but the impact of the professors and classes on Capehart was huge. A pivotal point in Capehart’s life came immediately after graduation. While he received an official education in the arts, he had never been to a major art museum so he and one of his studio teachers went to New York City where the instructor stayed with a friend and Capehart stayed at the YMCA. The plan was that they would reconnect in a few days but the teacher never got back in touch with him to organize the trip home (it turns out that four days after arriving in NYC the teacher tragically drowned during a ferry passage to Staten Island). Due to dwindling funds, Capehart had to choose—call his father in Tennessee and ask for bus fare for the trip home with no plan for the future, or eke out a life in the city. Not keen to return home, nor keen to take the mysterious subway, he walked 45 blocks to the Metropolitan

Museum of Art (The Met) and applied for a job. Capehart worked at The Met for three years, first as a guard and then as a night watchman, both which had a profound impact on his artistic aspirations. During the time he spent in the galleries, particularly during night watch where he was alone but completely surrounded by works of the masters, he felt he was “being silently tutored by some of the world’s most accomplished artists.” In addition to the artworks, the synergy and ambitions generated by the many other young artists and creative minds at The Met was intoxicating and greatly impacted his outlook. Capehart has been making art for over half a century and has amassed an abundant portfolio of works, many of which are in private collections. The pleasure he gets from making pictures comes from the freedom to explore diverse visual domains and not by sticking to one single style or approach. When asked, “What’s your art like?” Capehart admits that the answer depends on the day or circumstance. “Over my professional lifetime I’ve danced with non-objective imagery, flirted with surrealism, walked the dark path of expressionism, struggled with the conventional notion of realism and reveled in the world of purely imaginary invention. I’ve nursed my bruised spirit

“Over my professional lifetime I’ve danced with non-objective imagery, flirted with surrealism, walked the dark path of expressionism, struggled with the conventional notion of realism and reveled in the world of purely imaginary invention.”

and celebrated my joyous moments through my pictures and, yes, I’ve event taken on a commission or two.” Capehart is perhaps best known for his paintings, but not long after he started painting he also began expressing himself through the written word. While training in the visual arts was firmly part of Capehart’s education, the same is not true for writing. He readily admits, “I didn’t take into consideration the fact that I knew absolutely nothing about writing techniques. It was like responding to an itch. I simply wanted to write.” And write he did. Over the years, Capehart has authored numerous books including a novella, Ghenna’s Child, and novels Potato Eaters, God’s Acolyte, Devil’s Mark and Chameleon. His art and writing came together in his autobiography, The Private Diary of Noyes Capehart, which is a body of visual works, many of which incorporate snippets of text that express Capehart’s thoughts, feelings and experiences and feel like short stories in themselves. As Capehart’s writing and art have evolved, he has recognized that his processes for both are similar. When creating the first marking of a piece of art or when initially putting pen to paper, he admits he has no vision of what the final picture will be and when writing he doesn’t know what the story will be— instead he has to hunt to find it. When

he writes he often begins with what becomes the middle of a story and ends by writing the first half of a story. Much of this is because his art and writing are driven by emotion. He projects his most private thoughts and feelings onto the surface of a canvas, or the pages of a story, and the result reflects his reality. He says his paintings are “less a reflection of what I see than what I think or feel about what I see.” For both art and writing, he simply begins with an action and then reacts to it and continues to manipulate it until a final outcome emerges. He says, “The result is not always pleasing or successful, but when it bears the DNA of our soul and spirit, it resonates with a sense of honesty.” Capehart’s most recent work is as author of the story of local Boone native Joe Miller, who trained and practiced as a pharmacist before reshaping his career as the owner of Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, one of the most successful art supply companies in America. Truly a local icon, Miller was born in front of Boone Drug Store in 1939 and spent his lifetime making invaluable contributions to the welfare and best interests of the town of Boone. As long-time friend and fellow artist, Capehart felt that Joe Miller’s life story needed to be told. Their friendship began back in 1985 when Capehart helped Miller hone his watercolor painting skills and shortly thereafter Miller

began selling assorted art supplies from a shelf in the Boone drugstore where he was the pharmacist. And as they say, the rest is history. To celebrate Joe Miller and the release of the book, the Watauga Historical Society and the town of Boone officially proclaimed Sunday, September 9 as Joe Miller Day. Books are available at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff and other venues around town. Noyes Capehart lives in Boone, NC and welcomes the opportunity to visit area book clubs and galleries to discuss his work. He can be contacted at capehart@ or 828.264.0685. Visit his website at www. Capehart’s artwork can be viewed at the Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk (828-898-5175,



NOW on Main St!

Rachel Stevens

Susan Moffatt, Succulent

Seven galleries

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Changing exhibitions l Free admission

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts 423 W. King Street, Boone, NC 828.262.3017 •

Sally Nooney ARTIST STUDIO GALLERY Fine Art Paintings Glass Creations & Heirloom Jewelry Scenic Hwy 194 South Midway between Valle Crucis & Banner Elk Tuesday thru Saturday 10-5 828-963-7347 • • Commissions Invited! Frank Nooney Furniture Restoration, and Antiques at the Gallery, next door


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Unique Art for Sale! Artist Demonstrations!

Enjoy free admission to our galleries. Thomas Sayre. “Thicket” (detail), 2016. White laminated masonite panel with roofing tar, Kilz paint, and water based acrylic floor sealer. Photograph by Art Howard. Courtesy of Clearscapes, Raleigh, NC. Organized by CAM Raleigh.

WSK’s Old Time Music and Bluegrass Show, hosted by Gary Poe, broadcast live from the Arts Center, “a little after ll”

Helen McCarthy (1884-1927). “Mayview Road,” c. 1910. Oil on canvas. Private collection.

336-846-2787 On the Corner of Chestnut & Main | 159 Chestnut St. Blowing Rock

(828) 295-9099 @brmuseum

2780 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk, NC 619-964-0038 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —

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Hunter’s Tree Service, Inc.

“My mission is to offer people life-changing experiences and a sense of connectedness through the discovery of different cultures. - Wendy Snider

Encore Travel is a full service travel agency specializing in experential travel and complex itineraries. Looking for a truly unique, safe and comfortable adventure? Why wait— now is the time to travel! Call Wendy Snider to discuss your next dream destination. Visit Our Travel Lounge by Appointment 2780 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk | 828-719-6955

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Hunter’s Tree Service, Inc. has served the High Country since 1980. Our mission is to provide you with skilled tree care and outstanding customer service, while caring for one of your most valuable resources. As your complete tree specialist, we offer a range of services:

Pruning View enhancement Tree removal Stump grinding Bucket truck service Crane service Cabling Lightning protection Pre-construction consultation Disease and pest control

POB 1674, Banner Elk NC 28604 / 828-733-3320 or 828-953-5094

Alta Vista Gallery Jenny Lou Sherburne

Monique Carr OVER 100 ARTISTS: including Joan Sporn, Monique Carr, Jeremy Sams and Will Moses, heir to Grandma Moses OPENING RECEPTIONS: Every 4th Saturday, June thru Nov

A celebrated arts destination for 25 year Featuring paintings and sculpture by regionally, nationally and internationally acclai O N T H E N AT I O N A L R E G I S T E R O F H I S T O R I C P L A C E S Including regional pottery, 37 N. MITCHELL AVENUE • BAKERSVILLE, NC 28705glass and woo 2839 Broadstone Road, Crucis • 828.963.5247 A Valle celebrated arts destination for 25 years. 828-688-6422 Near Mast Store Annex • 15 minutes from Boone or Banner Elk Find Our Season Schedule Online or Vis Featuring paintings and sculpture micagallerync IN OUR 29TH YEAR: Oils, Watercolors, Pastels, Prints, Custom Framing, Craftsman Art Tiles, Stained-Glass, Mangum Pottery

920 Shawneehaw Avenue | Banner E by regionally, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. 828-898-5175 | | info@artcell Including regional pottery, glass and wood.

Find Our Season Schedule Online or Visit Us at 920 Shawneehaw Avenue | Banner Elk

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“The High Country’s Finest Artists”

Gabriel Ofiesh Trunk Show July 19 - 22, 2018

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Gabriel Ofiesh Trunk Show July 19 - 22, 2018

Gabriel Ofiesh Trunk Show Oct 4: 1-5 • Oct 5: 10-5 • Oct 6: 10-5

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West Jefferson, NC • 336.246.5647 • Boone, NC • 828.266.1401 • www.thecarolinaca

Limited Edition

newly released

Get your copy today! The improbable but true story of Joe Miller, a small town pharmacist who mastered the fickle technique of watercolor and along the way created one of the most successful art supply companies in America. Retail: $39.95 Sale: $24.95 Available at these fine retailers: Boone Drug, Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, Mast General Store

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Chris Wotell, Broker-in-Charge: 828-260-1366 Jim Fitzpatrick: 828-898-3257 4501 Unit #6 Tynecastle Hwy. Banner Elk |

Converting Vinyl Records to CD! • 3-D Printer • Web & Multimedia • Copies & Printing • VHS to DVD • Wide Format Scans/Prints • Sign Services

Providing solutions for all your printing, copying, signs, websites and multimedia needs! • (828) 265-2800 Hwy 105 Bypass, Boone CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Book Nook

Poetry Calling

It’s not only being a banjo player but also embracing the instrument with love knowing how it’s made from long neck sanded down metal and wood and skin to round head. This is what you have, sleeping, waiting until Mind and fingers, heart and senses combine their magic to bring this instrument to Life.

Mountain Blue: The beauty and grandeur of America’s Southern Appalachian Mountains By Les Saucier and Janet Garrity Saucier

Pristine waterfalls, rich wildlife, old forests and characteristic blue mist adorning our surroundings… one peek inside this coffee table book of photographs and you’ll renew your love for the Blue Ridge Mountains and Great Smoky Mountains. Photographers and authors Janet and Les Saucier share their take on the beauty of our ridges and forests capturing every hue, at every time of day, in every season. The couple, who reside in Brevard, NC, use rich photography and inspirational text to reveal the unique native flora and fauna, natural water features, and spectacular landscapes of our region. You’ll find current and historical images portraying mountain culture, as well as field notes on the many species of plant life and wildlife unique to the Blue Ridge ecoregion. The authors also provide Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost numbers with detailed captions so you can set out on your own adventure and scout the photographers’ locations. Famous quotes, mountain recipes, and camera equipment recommendations round out this tribute to the majesty of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Learn more about the authors, view their photo galleries, and order the “Mountain Blue” at product/52247/.


And what speaks through banjo tunes but ancient sounds of mountains witnessing creeks and streams that quench; echoes and hollars, whispered love in starlight; fingers frantically racing the energy of Place. You have to Become; become the instrument, become the mountains jubilant with your blood circulating through strings desiring the entire instrument alive! It’s a teasing rhythm coy and romantic, inviting and frenetic, comical and amusing. So come, sit awhile and take in the metal and twang, the dance and excitement play the tunes of Culture reminiscing of horses and donkeys hardworking and trustworthy remembering knotted, calloused hands of women and men and banjo players who worked this land then sang its substance! - By KJ Maj

First Language: The Race to Save Cherokee

A Beautiful Film and an Inspirational Mission By Elizabeth Baird Hardy


ur High Country is a land that was once traveled by the Cherokee, who hunted the region and lived in their principal settlements to the west. They did not actually call themselves the Cherokee, but the “Ani Yun Wiya,� the Principal People. Though they were once a vast tribe, the Cherokee have suffered loss of their land and power, most notably in the forced removal of most of the tribe in the nineteenth century. Throughout their many hardships, they have managed to persevere, and today the members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee continue to celebrate their heritage and culture even as their home draws tourists to learn and play. However, they now face a challenge that could determine their legacy going into the future: saving their language. First Language: The Race to Save Cherokee, produced in conjunction with the Language and Life Project in 2014, is an award-winning documentary that chronicles the remarkable efforts being made to preserve the Cherokee language. While there are roughly 16,000 Cherokee living on their traditional homeland in western North Carolina, only a fraction of them are fluent in the language of their ancestors, the complex and beautiful language of the Principal People, which was entirely oral until the creation of the Syllabary by Sequoia in the early

decades of the nineteenth century. As the Cherokee struggled to survive and adapt in a changing world over the last two centuries, many of them adopted both the lifestyle and the language of the culture around them, sometimes being forced do so in government schools. More recently, Cherokee parents have encouraged their children to learn English in order to be successful members of society outside their tribe. In the process, the language of the Cherokee has become endangered as the small number of fluent elders decreases daily. Only about 200 elders are fluent speakers of their language. Fortunately, there is a mission to save the language of the Cherokee, and with it, an irreplaceable aspect of their culture. First Language is both a beautiful film that showcases the history and landscape of western North Carolina and an educational and inspirational story of the efforts being taken to preserve and promote Cherokee language, including an immersion school where children as young as infants hear and speak only Cherokee. The film lets the people saving the language speak for themselves, often in Cherokee with subtitles. There is no well-spoken actor narrating the film. Instead, interviews with tribal leaders, teachers, and native speakers tell the story, with stunning scenic shots woven alongside them. The

captions identifying places are unobtrusive, and are both English and Cherokee. Thoughtful and respectful, the film is also an uplifting and riveting narrative, showing the strength of those determined to save their language, even when they may disagree on methods or philosophy. One of the most poignant voices used in the film is Jerry Wolfe, the Beloved Man, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 93. But equally inspiring are the voices of children and the people who are helping them to recover something precious and pass it along into the future. Suitable for all ages, First Language is available both through streaming services or on DVD and is a great film for those who have been to Cherokee, NC, many times or those who have yet to visit this treasure just down the Blue Ridge Parkway. Viewers who have never experienced this fascinating language will learn of its complexity and fragility even as they are inspired by the work being put into preserving it. The film is a wonderful reminder of the beauty of our mountains, their heritage, and the tenacity of their people.



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mountain notes


Autumn 2018 Schedule of Events at Grandfather Mountain As the Blue Ridge Mountains begin to burst with fall color, Grandfather Mountain invites leaf-lookers to see the brilliant change from one of the best leaf-looking destinations in the South. Grandfather Mountain is home to myriad species of plants and hardwood trees that range from pumpkin-colored beech trees to blood-red sourwoods and rusty red oaks. One-way leaf-lookers can enjoy fall foliage this season is Grandfather’s guided walk series, “The Fantastic Fall Color Ramble,” offered every day at 1 p.m. from October 1 -12. The Ramble culminates on October 13 with a day full of fall-colorful programs and activities throughout the park. Even after color has peaked on the mountain, Grandfather’s elevation offers guests a lofty view to observe the colors changing in the valleys below. “You’re essentially able to see the entire season unfold before your eyes,” said Frank Ruggiero, the foundation’s director of marketing and communications. “Autumn always looks spectacular from a mile high.” In addition to the programs offered inside the park in October, fresh fall color photos are posted daily throughout the month on the mountain’s website and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. With a few exceptions where noted, most special events are included with park admission. Creatures of the Night & Bonfire Delight • Saturday, September 29 As night falls on Grandfather Mountain, guests can enjoy rare after-dark tours, fireside tales and a chance to meet the park’s nocturnal residents. Additional cost. Limited to 48 participants. Registration opens September 1 at

The Fantastic Fall Color Ramble • Hikes Led Daily at 1:00 October 1-12 • Special Event on Saturday, October 13 The flora diversity on Grandfather Mountain makes it a spectacular location for fall color display. Learn more about the great deciduous forest and the science behind the color with a series of guided walks, held daily October 1-12 at various locations on the mountain, depending on where fall color is most vibrant. Call ahead or stop by the Nature Museum to see where the day’s walk will start. The Ramble culminates on October 13 with a day full of fall-colorful programs and activities. A Beary Scary Halloween • Saturday, October 27 Grandfather Mountain gets spooky with its annual Halloween celebration. Guests can enjoy a day full of nature programs focused on animals considered creepy and crawly. Activities also include making Halloween-themed enrichments for the animals, and kids will be able to trick-or-treat through the habitat overlooks. This event is included with admission, although children in costume are admitted at half price. And More Grandfather Mountain will add additional events to its schedule throughout the year, including the Grandfather Presents summer evening lecture series, daily programs, special events, night walks and more. To learn more, visit www.grandfather. com, email, or call (828) 733-2013.

RIGHT: One of Grandfather Mountain’s resident black bears enjoys a special Halloween enrichment during A Beary Scary Halloween, Grandfather’s annual Halloween celebration. Throughout the day, guests can attend special nature programs, craft Halloween-themed enrichments for the animals, trick-or-treat through the habitat overlooks and more. Plus, children in costume are admitted at half price. LEFT: The diversity of flora on Grandfather Mountain makes it an idyllic location for fall color display. On October 13, guests can meet with Grandfather’s naturalists to obtain a map on where to find the most fantastic of fall colors. Plus, special programming throughout the day will help families explore the great deciduous forest and learn about the science behind the annual phenomenon. Photos by Monty Combs Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or visit to plan a trip. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


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“The perfect holiday gift for friends, family or business!” Our fresh holiday greenery decorations are made of fragrant Fraser Fir, Magnolia, Boxwood, Cedar, and White Pine. Combine species for your own custom creation! Our 26-inch Double-Face Wreaths are beautifully handmade and decorated with your choice of waterproof velvet or plain taffeta bow, redapples and pine cones. Our shop will be open Thanksgiving week through December 17, 2018. If you are in the Newland area, please stop by and select your wreath and specialty ribbons.

See our beautiful wreaths online at 828-733-2844

675 Pineola Street Newland, NC 28657 (half mile past McDonald’s on the left)


Order Your Holiday Wreath Year ‘Round

Blue Ridge Explorers:

The ‘Wild & Scenic River’ in Our Own Backyard By Tamara Seymour

WILSON CREEK STATS: Wild — 4.6 miles Scenic — 2.9 miles Recreational — 15.8 miles Total — 23.3 miles Headwaters: Grandfather Mtn Joins: Johns River

Inset: L to R: Biologist and Stream Conservation consultant Shea Tuberty of Appstate; ACWC’s Executive Director Wes Waugh; Grandfather Mountain State Park Superintendent Sue McBean; Susan Preston Owen, Core Team Member of ACWC. The more we know about our High Country surroundings, the more we appreciate the treasures that are right here in our own backyard. This is certainly true of Wilson Creek, one of only a handful of river stretches in North Carolina that has been federally designated as a “Wild and Scenic River.” This year, the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System celebrates 50 years of protecting some of our country’s most beautiful and valuable waterways. Congress passed the landmark Wild & Scenic Rivers Act on October 2, 1968, “to preserve selected rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.” Of the approximately 3.6 million miles of streams in the U.S., less than one quarter of one percent—only 12,734 miles—are protected by the Act. These miles include some of the most primitive and spectacular landscapes on our continent, including our very own Wilson Creek, right here in Avery and Caldwell counties. While the United States Forest Service (USFS) had begun to evaluate Wilson Creek as an area to be protected as early as 1915, it wasn’t until August 18, 2000 that Congress designated the 23-mile Wilson Creek—from the headwaters below Calloway Peak on Grandfather Mountain, to the confluence with Johns River—as a Wild and Scenic River.

From Government to Grass Roots The Wilson Creek watershed is a hub for recreational activities, including fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and scenic drives. Its popularity, however, can also pose problems. One of the biggest threats to the river today is misuse by

recreationists and local residents, namely littering and pollution. A local movement to protect Wilson Creek has caught on in recent years, and in March of 2017, Bruce Gray, Owner of Betsey’s Ole Country Store & Cabin Rental, incorporated a 501c(3) non-profit organization known as the “Wilson Creek Clean Up Fund” to promote environmental stewardship and a litter-free Wilson Creek. Soon after, local renowned artist Wes Waugh joined in the effort. Following lengthy discussions and planning, Gray asked that Waugh assume oversight of the existing 501 in hopes of taking it to a new level, which he agreed to do. “After years of being an artist and feeling strong support in this vein for many years by the High Country Community, I felt it was time to begin giving back to the very places that motivated me to paint,” says Waugh. While volunteers from all over the state have been participating in Wilson Creek clean-ups for years, the organizers have been especially impassioned this year about protecting the Creek through greater outreach. With Waugh as Executive Director of the newly branded 501c(3), “A Clean Wilson Creek,” supporters of the organization have launched a fully-funded conservation effort—to get the word out

about this crisis of misuse in and around our local Wild and Scenic River. “One of our goals of ‘A Clean Wilson Creek’ is to expand our networks of support and awareness over the coming year,” says founder Bruce Gray. “We find that many folks who love the outdoors and are conservation minded are unaware of the area, and certainly the extent of the current challenges it faces.” He says there are both short and long term goals for “A Clean Wilson Creek” and components include direct river clean up; informational signage; assisting with improvements in surveillance and enforcement of existing laws in the Pisgah National Forest, Wilson Creek Wilderness; and educational outreach. Waugh adds, “The initiative will continue to fund ongoing daily patrols, supplies and equipment to focus on workable solutions, conservation education, and to build a community of support among persons, groups, and area and state officials who are passionate about the preservation of this wilderness and river.” To learn more visit or email

n The “Clean Wilson Creek” Bumper Decal, with artwork by local artist Wes Waugh, is produced in partnership with and Betsey’s Ole Country Store to fund constant clean-up efforts in the Wilson Creek Wilderness Area. n Decals are just $5 each, and 100% of the proceeds generated from the sale of this decal go to the Wilson Creek Clean Up Fund, a 501(c) non-profit public charity. n Order your decal at, or purchase one in person at Betsey’s Old Country Store and Campground in Mortimer, N.C. That way, you will be able to see this remarkable scenic river in person and will immediately know the worthwhile nature of the cause. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —




A Store from Days Gone By... Downtown Elk Park, NC

Best Guides in the High Country The only ORVIS endorsed Fly Shop in the High Country

828-733-2107 Fall & Winter Needs: Eden Pure Heaters Bee Keeping Supplies Ashley & U.S. Woodstoves

Apple Hill Farm Store

“Get back in touch with what's real.” Largest selection of alpaca yarns & accessories in the High Country. Summer Hours: Mon - Sat 10-4; Sun 12 to 4 Banner Elk, NC | (828)963-1662

Appalachian Angler

Our guides have over 50 years combined fly fishing experience. Many of our customers are first time Fly Fishers. In addition to being a full line Orvis dealer we offer Sage, Simms, Umpqua, Rio, Fishpond, and Rising Fish gear. Our stores stock Rods, Reels, Flies, Wading & Footwear, Apparel and Fly Fishing Gifts.

FOSCOE FISHING CO. Pioneers in Southeastern Flyfishing Since 1988 Worldwide Outfitters & Guide Service Outfitting Float & Wade Trips on Local Streams & Tailwaters Guides • Fly-Fishing School • Fly-Tying Hwy. 105 Between Boone & Foscoe Guide Service: 828-963-5050 Theo Copeland: 828-268-5311 • Haden Copeland: 828-832-6039


Two full service fly shops offering high quality fly fishing on the Watauga River, Linville, Toe, Elk, New River, and many other pristine streams. We also offer float and walk guides on the trailrace waters of Tennessee on the famous Watauga and South Holston Rivers.

8857 Hwy 105, FOSCOE Between Boone & Banner Elk 828-963-6556

4210 Mitchell Ave, LINVILLE Downtown Linville 828-733-2181

FISHING Great Fall Fishing By Andrew Corpening


he High Country is a special place during the fall. Fans are cheering the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Everywhere you look the trees are showing their autumn colors. For hunters autumn means the excitement of the hunting season. All of this plus the annual autumn festivals make fall in the High Country a wonderful season. What many people forget is that the fall also offers great trout fishing. Lots of fishermen think of fishing as a spring and summer activity only. This idea is only partly correct. True, trout fishing in the spring is great. The fish are active and insect hatches are abundant. However, as the summer progresses and the streams heat up, trout become less active and harder to catch. The truth is that the two best seasons for trout fishing are the spring and fall. As we go into September and October the days get shorter and the temperatures cooler. This means that the area streams and rivers get cooler also. As the water temperature goes down, the trout, a cold water species, get more active. The fish are much more likely to move to take a fly than in the warm days of late July and August. Another reason that fall fishing is great is that winter is coming. Trout seem to know that soon there will be fewer insects to eat and they start to stock up on fat to hold them through the lean winter months. This makes them more opportunistic feeders. In other words, if it looks like food, they will try it. This makes it easier for the angler to fool them. In September and early October some good flies to use are size 16 to 18 Light Cahills, size 12 Dun Variants, and size 20 to 24 black and brown flying ants. The Light Cahills work best usually at dusk and the Dun Variant can work, sporadically, all day. The ants are most effective

during the middle of the day when it is warmer and they are most active. Also, terrestrial or land based insects are still active this time of year so don’t hesitate to use beetle, inchworm, black ant, and grasshopper patterns. As October goes into November, terrestrial activity will slow and stop and the aquatic insects will get smaller and darker. Size 18 to 20 Grey Midges, Blue Winged Olives, and Adams are good flies to use during the afternoons. But remember, the trout are becoming more opportunistic feeders so attractor flies, such as Stimulators, Humpys, and Caddis, can also work well. This is particularly true in faster water when the trout have less time to see the fly. Since autumn means so many different things to different people, this also helps make the fishing better. With many people watching their favorite college team in person or on the TV, there are fewer people fishing. This means less pressure on the streams. The same applies on Sunday when fans are pulling for their favorite NFL team. Hunting season also means fewer people on the streams. Hunting consumes people in much the same way fly-fishing does so more hunting means less stream pressure. On a serious note, if you are fishing during hunting season, be cautious. This is especially true if you are fishing wild trout streams in the Pisgah National Forest or any large tract of land where hunting is allowed. Even though it is normally recommended that you wear subdued colors when fishing small, wild trout streams, during hunting season it would be a good idea to have on something brightly colored, such as a blaze orange cap. You do not want to be mistaken for a deer. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission also contributes to great fall fishing. Even though the

Commission stops their stocking program in the middle of the summer, they stock the Delayed Harvest streams in October and November. Delayed Harvest streams are designated catch and release and only single hook, artificial lures are allowed. The Delayed Harvest season runs from October 1 to the first Saturday in June. From the first Saturday in June to October 1, Hatchery Supported rules apply. This means that you can use any sort of bait and keep seven fish with no size limit. But remember only fishermen under 16 years old can fish until 12 noon on the first Saturday in June on Delayed Harvest waters. There are several Delayed Harvest streams in the High Country. The Watauga River in Watauga County has two sections designated Delayed Harvest. The first is in Valle Crucis from S.R. 1114, Dewitt Barnett Rd., to the Hwy. 194 bridge. The second is further downstream from the S.R 1103 bridge to the confluence of Laurel Creek. Helton Creek in Ashe County is another good Delayed Harvest stream. It is a long stretch from the Virginia state line to its confluence with the New River. Delayed Harvest streams in Mitchell County are Cane Creek from the N.C. Hwy. 226 bridge to the N.C. Hwy. 80 bridge and the North Toe River from the U.S. Hwy 19E bridge to the N.C. Hwy. 226 bridge. Even though technically not part of the High Country, Caldwell County has a stretch of Delayed Harvest. It is on Wilson Creek from the confluence of Lost Cove Creek to the confluence of Phillips Branch creek. A final reason that fall fishing is great has nothing to do with catching fish. What better way to enjoy the splendor of the fall foliage in the High Country than on a beautiful mountain stream. So get out and enjoy the fishing before there is ice on the rivers. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


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BIRDING Celebrate the Year of the Bird By Curtis Smalling


018 has been designated the Year of the Bird by a partnership of the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and others. Each month, folks are asked to take some action to help birds in their own yards and neighborhoods as well as through advocating for policies that support bird conservation. Birds have amazing stories to tell and lessons to teach us. Here in the fall season, we are reminded of that as migration heats up and millions of birds stream through our region heading to Central and South America. It is a wondrous thing to think about birds as small as our hummingbirds making these amazing journeys year in and year out. And many of these birds return to the same places year after year. This means many of the birds that use your yard or your favorite park might be the same individual birds that you have seen

for years. Some of our larger and longer lived birds might use your yard for their entire lives. A Blue Jay for example can live to be 15-20 in the wild, and use the same territory! Even the Phoebe nesting on your porch can live more than 10 years and use your yard each summer. Our individual role in bird conservation can be simply providing food and shelter through our plantings with an emphasis on native plants (which provide the food birds need), plenty of cover to hide from predators and survive our cold winters, and making our spaces as safe as possible through simple actions like reducing the use of pesticides, keeping our cats indoors, and reducing other dangers like window collisions. In fact, for September, the national emphasis is on reducing window collisions. Many of our local Audubon chapters are working in our cities through our Lights Out program to reduce collisions

at tall buildings by turning off or reducing the amount of lighting used during migration. Here in North Carolina fall is also a peak time for planting native plants to benefit birds. Audubon partners with many groups for this work and thanks to an anonymous donor, the Daniel Boone Native Gardens are planting a new Audubon garden for a splash of fall color. The garden will host a variety of fall blooming species, including the black and gold of ASU Football’s official flower, Black-eyed Susan! Plan to visit the gardens to see the colors of fall but also to learn how you can do the same in your own yard and garden. There are many interesting articles, blogs, and resources at both the Audubon North Carolina website nc.audubon. org and the Year of the Birds website at There will be a “Share Your Shot” project rolling out in November for you to share your best bird pictures, so start taking pictures of your favorites! And don’t forget that even small actions taken together can make a huge impact on our birds. Welcome your returning residents each year with more native plants, food, shelter and safety. Make your yard a refuge for our feathered friends!

Hwy 105 in Linville at the Foot of Grandfather Mountain • 828-733-3726 • CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


The Middle Fork Greenway is a multiuse recreational trail from Blowing Rock to Boone, providing residents and visitors of all ages safe and healthy access to the natural world while protecting the environment and strengthening our local economy. The Middle Fork Greenway is a Blue Ridge Conservancy Project in partnership with High Country Pathways, Town of Boone, Town of Blowing Rock, and Watauga County.


A Trail of Two Cities: Middle Fork Greenway to Connect Boone and Blowing Rock By Frank Ruggiero

Sterling Whitener enjoys a walk along the Middle Fork Greenway — specifically in Sterling Creek Park, named in his honor after a generous contribution to the project. Photo courtesy of Middle Fork Greenway Association


eet the Middle Fork Greenway Association (MFGA), a nonprofit organization devoted to connecting communities—literally. Its mission? To link Boone and Blowing Rock with a scenic greenway, meandering alongside the Middle Fork of the New River. It’s a lofty goal—with already two decades and millions of dollars invested—but thanks to recent fundraising efforts, awareness for the project has gained new momentum. In July, the association closed its “Round Up for the Greenway Campaign,” an effort in which nearly 120 area businesses asked customers to round up their purchases to the next dollar, donating the difference to the project. According to Middle Fork Greenway Association project director Wendy Patoprsty, the fundraiser was a resounding success—to the tune of $77,000 and counting. Plus, it’s raised awareness of the project on a grassroots level, which Patoprsty hopes will inspire others to help see it through. As it stands, the project is expected to cost $12 million, and $4 million has already been raised. “We’re looking at it as a legacy project, where it’s going to outlive all of us today,” she said. “It really is going to be a benefit for generations to come, transforming our community in ways that will provide healthy lifestyles, community connections and economic impacts.” In fact, an economic impact study from N.C. State University projects approximately 38,000 annual trips on the Greenway. With one-third of those being tourism-related, the local economy could see a boost of $6 million annually—more than a million dollars per mile. The Middle Fork Greenway will run

for 6.5 miles, connecting with the existing Boone Greenway to create a nearly 10-mile contiguous trail. In Blowing Rock, it will join the Blue Ridge Parkway and Mountains-to-Sea Trail, opening the breadth of North Carolina and beyond to the more adventuresome travelers. The Middle Fork Greenway, however, will be for everyone. “It will be a 10-footwide, paved path for people of all ages, whether you’re pushing a walker or a stroller,” Patoprsty said. The Greenway is designed to be safe, with no vehicular interactions, she explained, thus encouraging human-powered transportation, such as walking, running, cycling, skating, etc. And then there’s the Middle Fork itself, offering anglers a prime and pristine shoreline from which to cast a line, thanks to the project’s river restoration prioritization plan. “The Greenway is a catalyst to help us protect the river,” Patoprsty said. But it’s not just MFGA that’s hooked on the idea. In 2013, the group gained an invaluable ally when it merged with High Country Pathways, a fellow nonprofit with a mission to plan, develop and maintain trails throughout the High Country. Shortly thereafter, the duo formed a trifecta by teaming with Blue Ridge Conservancy land trust to lead the trailblazing endeavor. “The No. 1 question I hear when I talk about the Greenway is, ‘When will it be done?’” Patoprsty said. “It’s kind of like the $8 million to $9 million question. It all depends on funding.” Funds have been raised through a combination of public grants and private donations, and a full list can be found on the MFGA website. As a result, land has been purchased, and a one-mile section of the Greenway has already been built along

Tweetsie Railroad’s property off U.S. 321. The Middle Fork Greenway is divided into six sections, with three pocket parks (Sterling Creek, Goldmine Branch and Payne Branch) to be located along the way. The sections are: 1) Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway to the Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge, 2) Foley Center to Aho Road, 3) Aho Road to Sterling Creek Park, 4) Sterling Creek Park to Goldmine Branch Park at Niley Cook Road, 5) Niley Cook Road to Jordan V. Cook Road in Boone, and 6) Jordan V. Cook Road to the Boone Greenway access on Deerfield Road. The 2.2 miles that comprise Section 1 are already funded and nearly “shovelready,” according to Patoprsty. Meanwhile, the “round-up” effort will leverage funding for Section 4, which Patoprsty described as a “really beautiful section of the Greenway,” featuring a mature hardwood forest for visitors to traverse, winding around large boulders and rock outcroppings via a series of unobtrusive boardwalks, only to end up at the Goldmine Branch Park, complete with picnic shelter, children’s play area and parking lot. “Success builds upon success, and that’s when the pieces will start rolling together,” she said. “It’s going to be a place that’s not just for recreation, but a trail that connects us in our community. There’s really very few projects that can profoundly touch so many people in so many ways.” To learn more about the Middle Fork Greenway Association, including a project map, timeline, donation/naming opportunities and more, visit



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Discovering Disc Golf in the High Country P

ete Violet does not just putt and walk to the next hole. When this 43-year-old plays golf, it’s with a Frisbee-style disc. That’s called disc golf, and it’s a passion that makes Violet bloom. “I have always enjoyed Frisbee games,” says Violet, a frequent visitor to North Carolina’s High Country, where his parents retired to Linville in 2000. “As a kid, I used to pick 18 trees to aim at around the house with my Frisbee as a Frisbee golf course.” Then, about 15 years ago, Violet explored Borderland State Park in Massachusetts, close to his home at North Attleboro, Massachusetts. “I was running the trails and came across an official disc golf course complete with disc golf baskets and tee pads,” Violet says. “I quickly ordered some discs online and started going there for disc golf instead of running.” Violet developed a new hobby playing a sport in which many aspects of the game are based on traditional golf. “I quickly fell in love with disc golf—in learning how to throw the different discs, get to the basket in fewer throws and improving my scores,” he says. “I started attending singles and doubles leagues, entering tournaments and eventually joining a team.” Disc golf has what Violet calls “an amazing community, and I have connected with so many people and made lifelong friendships.”

Today, Violet takes turns at the disc golf courses of North Carolina’s High Country. “I love the challenge of me versus the course and trying unique courses with different terrains. The mountain courses of this area are especially challenging due to the changes in elevation playing up, down and across the terrain.” What’s more, Violet says, disc golf is simply a sport that is different. “There is just something about learning how a disc flies, getting it to complete its flight exactly where you intended it to go, while shaping it around trees and bushes,” Violet says. “When the disc smashes the chains and comes to rest in the basket, it is a great feeling.” Across the mountains, Violet has tried many sites. “So far my favorites have been Ashe County Park in Jefferson; Highland Park in North Wilkesboro; and Sugaree, a private course in Newland.” When referring to the Ashe County course, Violet says, “What a gem! Beautiful park with a pond, well manicured fields and landscaped with trimmed mountain laurel and rhododendrons throughout the course.” By contrast, he says that Sugaree boasts a rugged terrain with lots of rock outcroppings. “It’s an amazing trip through the woods. I always feel like there must be plenty of mountain wildlife watching me as I play.” Close to the Ashe County border,

By Joe Tennis

another disc golf course sits in Watauga County at Wahoo’s Adventures on the New River. It’s a nine-hole, pitch putt course. “And the tenth hole is a warmup—a practice hole,” says Jeff Stanley, 62, the founder of Wahoo’s. Three years ago, Stanley oversaw adding the course at Wahoo’s with manager Bert Sterton. This three-acre course “covers the mountainside,” Stanley says. “And Bert has built little footbridges out of logs that go over the creek, using natural product. We tried to use as much natural product as possible.” Designed to seamlessly fit into the mountain environment, this public course attracts what Stanley calls “the disc-golf travelers. They go from place to place.” Play is free for Wahoo’s guests, but a $5 donation is welcomed to help keep the course maintained. Other disc golf courses in the region can be found at Beech Mountain Ski Resort (Beech Mountain, NC), Lees-McRae College (Banner Elk, NC), Sugar Hollow Retreat (Butler, TN), Blind Squirrel (Plumtree, NC), Roan Mountain (Roan Mountain, TN), Linville River Cabins (Newland, NC), Catawba Meadows (Morganton, NC), T. Henry Wilson Athletic Park (Lenoir, NC), Fort Hamby Nature Trail Disc Golf Course (Wilkesboro, NC), Ralph Stout Park (Mountain City, TN), Doe River Gorge (Hampton, TN) and Foothills Disc Golf (Hickory, NC). For more information on disc golf in the High Country and beyond, including course locations, rules, events and more, visit CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Williams YMCA lifeguards (left to right) Aidan Betz, Morgan Greene and Sage McKinney kept swimmers safe at Wildcat Lake on June 16. Willard Bare of Mount Airy was one of the many successful fishermen at Wildcat Lake on April 7.

Calling Friends of Wildcat Lake O

ne of the best things of which the small mountain town of Banner Elk can boast is a beach—on a lake called Wildcat. But rising costs worry some that use of the lake may become limited. Wildcat Lake was built during the height of the Depression to answer the need for a permanent water supply for the Tufts institutions of Lees-McRae College, Grace Hospital and Grandfather Home for Children. In 1932, electricity for the Town of Banner Elk was limited. During dry spells Grace Hospital was filled with patients but could not get 24-hour electricity. The Edgar Tufts Memorial Association (ETMA) created the lake to solve that problem. An added benefit was an emergency water supply for fire fighters.  While a lot has changed in and around Banner Elk since Wildcat Lake was constructed in 1933, a lot has remained the same. The waters of Wildcat offered the local community and summer visitors opportunities for swimming, fishing and boating. Under the watchful eye of Grandfather Home for Children, Wildcat Lake became an iconic attraction for the High Country.  Use of the


CML Staff

facilities was free of charge as a gift to the community.   Difficult times arose in 2006: after a safety inspection, the State of North Carolina condemned the dam. The lake was lowered to avert a dam collapse and the lake was closed for fishing and swimming. A long process of gaining state approvals preceded construction; finally, a totally new dam was built and dedicated in May of 2009. Until 2006, investments held by the Edgar Tufts Memorial Association of just over $1 million were used to fund the lake operations—lifeguards, maintenance and improvements. The cost of the new dam was $990,000. In essence, the ETMA investments were all but consumed with the construction costs of the new dam. The problem then became how to fund summer operations and permit the lake amenities to remain free of charge. Grandfather Home for Children believed strongly in the value of the lake for those who lived in and visited the area.  Through special fundraising efforts, users saw little change in the tradition of free admission. Minor fees were charged for pavilion use and revenue producing

Friendly volleyball competition.

concessions were added. The Tourism Development Authorities in Banner Elk and Sugar Mountain helped underwrite marketing and capital expenses.  In 2014, Grandfather Home for Children merged with Barium Springs Home for Children and Children’s Hope Alliance was created. Due in large part to the popularity of the lake, the annual financial costs have risen.  Can you imagine the expense in supplying and maintaining a restroom used by 30,000 people over an entire summer? A partnership with the YMCA of Avery County provides quality lifeguard supervision and oversight. However, maintaining a 25-swimmers-to-one-lifeguard ratio and staying open seven days a week over the summer is no easy budgeting task.  When all is said and done, Children’s Hope Alliance contributes nearly $45,000 annually to operate Wildcat Lake.  Please heed this call to all friends of Wildcat Lake to help financially support the lake’s operational expenses.  Donations can be made payable to Children’s Hope Alliance Foundation, designated as “Friends of Wildcat Lake,” and mailed to P.O. Box 98, Banner Elk, NC 28604.

In front of camper: Jean (front) with her aunt Maggie Hagaman, and mom, Helen Gragg.

Jean and her husband, Rick, at the campground

Jean and her cousin, Cheryl, as young girls at Julian Price Memorial Park.

Jean’s gra nd during th daughters, Luna a eir first v nd Kira, isit Blue Ridg e Parkwa to Price Lake on th y. e

Price Park Campground Host Jean Watts Reflects on Her Lifelong Connection to the Blue Ridge Parkway By Sam Baker

Jean Watts has spent a lot of time on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Born and raised in Caldwell County, North Carolina, it was always close to her, in proximity and in spirit. Throughout her childhood, her family made trips to the Parkway from the small town of Hudson. “I have had so many memorable experiences on the Parkway,” Watts says. “As a child, I played in the woods at our campsites, rode my bike through whatever loop we were in, walked the trails, waded in the creek at the Julian Price picnic area, just too many to list.” Watts has been making trips to the Parkway even before she could form memories; her first was shortly before her third birthday. “According to my parents, my first trip to Julian Price Park was back when only loop A was open all year round,” she says. The family had planned a day trip to visit an aunt and uncle who were camping there, but decided to stay overnight at the last minute. “Momma hadn’t packed any cool weather clothes for any of us. So when I got cold, I wound up with my aunt’s sweatshirt jacket and momma’s scarf tied around my head to keep the wind off…there are still pictures of me beside the fire pit, in a lounge chair, trying to get warm.” Julian Price Memorial Park and neighboring Moses H. Cone Memorial Park comprise the largest recreational area on

the Parkway. But the park’s significance to Watts goes beyond the camping and picnicking. For her, it is an ideal communal space, a place where families can forge long-lasting bonds with each other, with friends, visitors, workers, and with nature. Some of her best experiences on the Parkway were taking her children to Price Park with her parents, aunts, and uncles for intergenerational campouts. She still remembers the names of workers the family would talk to from season to season, who in turn knew the family members by name. Price Park was also the site of some of her initial dates with her husband of 34 years, Rick. This season, the couple is serving as campground hosts at Price Park Campground, milepost 297, a role in which they are living in the park over the summer. Jean is enjoying passing along her knowledge of camping to “newbies” coming to the park, and giving campers of all backgrounds the guidance and assistance they need to enjoy the Parkway to the fullest. Most of all, though, she is looking forward to “seeing old friends and making new ones!” Jean and Rick Watts are Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation volunteers. The eight campgrounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway close for the season on October 28. For more information, visit CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Bring a Book, Take a Book

at the Historic Banner Elk School We offer books to swap, magazines, WiFi, puzzles, book discussion groups, Tuesday Evening Lectures, children’s storytime and the Carolina Explorers “Adventures in Nature” program once a month throughout the year. For daily hours and a full schedule of autumn events, visit:


414 Shawneehaw Ave., Banner Elk NC 28604 / / 828.898.5733 LO C AT E D








At-Risk Students Continue Climbing To Greater Heights as They Complete “The Grandfather Challenge” T

he healing power and majesty of Grandfather Mountain cannot be denied by those among us who have experienced its beauty, wonder, and adventure. Although he was struggling with mental illness throughout his mid-teens and young adult life, Jason Matthew Nipper found peace and serenity as he and his parents hiked the challenging trails of Grandfather. After Jason passed away at age 26 from complications of mental illness and substance abuse in June of 2014, his parents formed The Jason Project, Inc., and then launched “The Grandfather Challenge” program, which takes place at Grandfather Mountain in Linville, NC. Although the program includes at-risk kids suffering from mental problems and/ or drug addictions, the program also seeks to assist any special kids who are struggling with personal adversities, including family, school, or other personal problems or challenges. “The Grandfather Challenge” features four major hikes which are undertaken in a four-week series, with each successive hike becoming more difficult and challenging. These trails are rated as either moderate or strenuous and provide some of the most phenomenal views existing in

the High Country. Each hike is led by two or more qualified and experienced adult hikers, and each child is mentored, encouraged, and supported by caring adult leaders who strive to instill self-confidence, trust, respect, and a strong commitment to complete a rigorous, challenging, physical goal. The Foundation provides hiking boots, socks, backpacks, and raincoats for each student hiker. At the end of the four-hike series, the students’ accomplishments are recognized at a special Awards Dinner in their honor. Now in its third season, the program has served students in Avery, Caldwell, Catawba, Gaston, and Lincoln counties. Although “The Grandfather Challenge” is not affiliated with or part of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation or Grandfather Mountain State Park, both organizations have expressed support of the program and its mission. The Nippers underlying goal is that through adventure and wilderness mentoring, at-risk students can be inspired to believe that through perseverance and commitment to purpose, they can rise above their own “challenges” in life. Testimonies received from students, teachers, and counselors validate the effectiveness of the program.

“It was the best day of my life!” “I have never thought of myself as a leader. I don’t want to ever forget this feeling.”           “I am not as angry as I used to be. I am a better person.” These are just several comments that reflect the impact that this program has on at-risk kids who need encouragement, leadership, improved self-esteem and confidence, and recognition from adults who truly care about them and their futures. For James and Cheryl Nipper, The Jason Project has been a bittersweet journey, but they now affirm that “the sweet has outweighed the bitter.” They take solace in the fact that their son Jason would love this adventure created for at-risk kids, and would be profoundly proud of those kids who successfully tackle and complete “The Grandfather Challenge.” The Jason Project, Inc. is a tax-exempt, IRS 501 (c) (3) non-profit foundation. For further information or to submit a youth candidate for participation, please contact James or Cheryl Nipper via email at james@, or call (828)765-6561 or (904)354-7378. To donate to this project please visit TheJasonProject.



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A to Z Auto Detailing 828.260.0283 Amy Brown, CPA Certified Public Accountant 828.898.7607 Avery County Chamber of Commerce 828.898.5605 / BB&T 888.BBT-ONLINE / Nick’s Restaurant & Pub Open 7 Days a Week 828.898.9613 Creative Interiors by Darlene Parker 828.898.9636 Peak Real Estate 828.898.1880 Rite Aid Pharmacy 828.898.8971 Salon Suites at Tynecastle • SALON M 828.260.3791 Shooz & Shiraz A Shoe & Wine Salon at The Dande Lion The Dande Lion Ladies Apparel, Shoes, & Accessories 866.222.2050 and 828.898.3566 Tynecastle Builders 828.387.1222 / Tynecastle Realty 828.898.7777 / Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill 828.898.4949

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Laying by Time By Jim Casada

y grandfather, and for that matter most everyone I knew as a youngster growing up in the North Carolina mountains, referred to the final portion of summer and the onset of autumn as “laying by” time. There were other descriptions as well, with probably the best known being “dog days,” while “the sweet of the year” ranks as a personal favorite. The latter description came from the fact that most years, providing there had been ample rainfall and generally suitable weather, flourishing crops completed their growth and “made” during this season. April, May, and June were months of long hours and incredibly hard work as crops were planted, cultivated, and generally nurtured through the key growing months. As summer strengthened and the days lengthened, there was some final attention to keeping weeds at bay along with dealing with other problems such as infestations of insects. By the arrival of dog days in August, time for a respite from labor and temporary relaxation was at hand. Finding a measure of simple mountain pleasure translated to activities such as an afternoon visit to a favorite swimming spot or fishing hole; a marvelously messy feast featuring a watermelon bursting with red, juicy goodness and beading with sweat thanks to having bathed for hours in a wash tub filled with ice water; perhaps a churn of hand-cranked peach ice cream chock full of bits of fruit; or sitting on the porch as light gave way to night, chatting with friends or family while pursuing mundane yet meaningful tasks such as shelling peas, peeling peaches, or stringing and breaking beans. These times of comparative leisure were the reward for preceding months filled with incredibly arduous work and precious little time for relaxation. When a man who lived in close connection with the land and garnered most of his livelihood from it could say “I’ve purt nigh got my crops laid by,” he did so with a quiet but deep sense of inner satisfaction. Farmers knew they had done their part and whatever happened between laying by time (literally, when the plow, hoe, and other implements could be laid aside) and harvest time was in God’s hands.

There were many readily discernible features of laying by time. Field corn, that staple of mountain life, would transition from short-lived roasting ear stage to starchy fullness before stalks, fodder, and ears began to dry in the soft sun of Indian Summer. In fullness of time laid by corn (Hickory King was a perennial favorite, eminently suitable for multiple uses) would be ready for harvest. That cycle embracing growth, full maturity, and pulling of fodder and storing of the dried ears still in their withered shucks in effect marked the end of the laying by season. It was now harvest time, a hectic few weeks to gather and store crops; feed, fatten, and finish off hogs for a killing day in the chill of November; and carry the makings of stone-ground meal for many a pone of cornbread and scratch feed for family chickens to storage in a crib. Growing in close harmony with corn, sharing its geographical setting, and likewise completing their growth cycle during laying by time would be the other parts of the traditional “three sisters” plantings—October beans and pumpkins. Like their symbiotic companion, corn, both matured through the dog days and laying by time, reaching full fruition and arriving at harvest time pretty much in company with fall’s first frost. Laying by time has always had a distinctive identity comprised of irresistible colors, sights, and sounds. Who, for example, can deny the irresistible allure of a katydid choir, singing in full chorus at dusk with music which ebbs and flows like the pulse of mountain seasons? It’s visions of Joe Pye Weed stretching to skyward and drawing yellow and black swallowtails, monarchs, painted ladies, and other types of butterflies with a magical, magnetic effect. It’s the purple of ironweed giving color to pastures in creek bottoms while reddening sumac, sourwood, and dogwood leaves serve as harbingers of the turning season. It’s fox grapes sending a heady aroma wafting along branch banks; pawpaws turning yellow and drawing half the critters in the woods to the feast they provide; and persimmons making the transition from green to burnished gold while offering a visual temptation to visiting city slicker ...continued on p. 92 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


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cousins who know nothing of the astringency hidden in those inviting globes of apparent goodness. Most of all though, laying by time is one which carries with it a deeply rooted sense of fulfillment. Another link in the endless chain of plant, grow, cultivate, and harvest has been forged, and that special time poet James Whitcomb Reilly described as “When the frost is on the pumpkin and the fodder’s in the shock” lies not too far distant. To me, laying by time means that the compulsive work ethic which has long driven hardy mountain folk has once again seen them answer that inner drive, and it signifies an inner sense of quiet well being better experienced in person that described in print. As today’s world carries most of us to ever greater distances from the deeper meanings of laying by time and indeed produces fast disappearing awareness of what it means, it’s good to look back on a period of time in the cycle of each year, one which fell on the cusp of summer and fall, with at least a bit of longing for that world we have largely lost. Those who know or have known the deepest meaning of laying by time through having experienced it first-hand will understand; for others, rest assured that in a bygone world of simpler days and simpler ways it was part and parcel of mountain life’s elemental heartbeat.

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Appalachian State’s A+ Transformations

Nearly 3,500 students are enrolled in the Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS), which offers 10 undergraduate and six graduate degree programs. Appalachian's Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, the BCHS' new home, is the first completed project funded by the Connect NC Bond package. Appalachian also received a $5 million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation of Charlotte for the new facility, which is named in the donor's honor. Photo by Marie Freeman


ransformation is a foundational core value for Appalachian State University. Its mission statement reveals, “The transformational Appalachian experience develops individuals who are eager to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, to embrace diversity and difference, and to become contributing members of society. We create rich environments where students can thrive.” For more than a century, Appalachian has expanded these rich environments and grown exponentially particularly in academics, arts, and athletics. From its early beginnings in 1899 as Watauga Academy, the institution rapidly developed into Appalachian Training School with the purpose of preparing quality teachers to serve North Carolina and beyond. The school again transformed from a teachers’ college into a multi-program regional university that valued its roots and relationship with the mountain community of Boone. Building on this


By Kim S. Davis

The Office of Sustainability, partnering with the Physical Plant and Athletics, launched the Zero Waste stadium initiative four years ago, focusing on diverting waste generated by football crowds from the landfill to recycling and composting efforts. The program expanded to the Athletics Center, including catering and the Chancellor’s suite in Zero Waste efforts. The goal is to achieve 90 percent diversion by 2022. Photo by Marie Freeman

strong foundation, Appalachian State University has grown into a destination of choice for high-achieving, intellectually curious students wanting to be engaged in the community. Appalachian alumni have always been aware of the transformational Appalachian experience; however, after the biggest upset in college football history over a decade ago when Appalachian State beat Michigan on national television, the entire country has been introduced to what makes this university so special in addition to their championship athletics: the engaging academic environment, the dynamic and integrated arts programs, and the two greatest natural resources—the people and the mountains. Through the Campaign for Appalachian, the university’s most recent major fundraising effort, the entire Appalachian family worked together toward growth and transformation by raising more than $200 million in support of academics, the arts and athletics.

ACADEMICS IN ACTION As the healthcare field is continuously transforming, fittingly some of the most significant areas of growth in academics over the past few years include the introduction of the Beaver College of Health Sciences in 2010, the graduation of the inaugural nursing class in 2012, the partnership between Appalachian and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for the Physician Assistant program, and the 2016 groundbreaking of the first Connect NC Bond building, which will house the Beaver College of Health Sciences. According to Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Darrell Kruger, “The most visible accomplishment to the local community is the newly constructed Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, which opened in time for August classes on State Farm Road across from Watauga Medical Center. This is the largest capital project to date in Appalachian’s history and will be the first completed project as part of the $2 billion Connect NC Bond

Team Sunergy is Appalachian ’s interdisciplinary team of undergraduate and graduate students transforming solar-powered transportation. Its premier solar car, Apperion, gained national attention with top-three finishes in the 2016 and 2017 Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP), an international collegiate endurance competition that sets the standards for and tests the limits of solar vehicle technology. In 2018, the team's second, Cruiser Class car, ROSE, placed third in the FSGP competition and tied for second place in the American Solar Challenge — an international solar vehicle distance road race held biennially by the Innovators Educational Foundation. Photo by Chase Reynolds

referendum approved by voters in March 2016.” Appalachian University has nearly 3,500 students in its Beaver College of Health Sciences. “With this building, they can study in a state-of-the-art facility that enhances collaborative efforts across the disciplines and fosters a patient-centered practice model,” Kruger adds. “As a result, citizens of the region, many in rural areas, will be served by Appalachian’s well-prepared graduates. An official opening and ribbon-cutting is scheduled for September 21.” In the rapidly growing field of sustainability, Kruger explains, “Appalachian State University was the first higher education institution to offer degree programs in renewable energy and sustainable development, and it continues to be at the forefront of innovation. More than half of Appalachian students choose the university for its sustainability initiatives, and the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, in

Twelve students in Appalachian’s Department of Sustainable Development and the Built Environment worked in summer 2018 to construct a tiny house that will become part of a community housing adults with disabilities. Photo by Chase Reynolds

particular, has seen significant growth.” Among the academic initiatives bringing international attention to the university, the student-led, multidisciplinary Team Sunergy is transforming solar-powered transportation with its vehicles that have earned top-three finishes in international competitions for the past three years. Future growth includes the Innovation Campus project; both a physical space and collaborative spirit, it is expected to have a powerful impact on the region’s economic development by expanding and enhancing Appalachian’s curriculum to produce a workforce of critical thinkers, capable of developing economically, environmentally and equitably sound communities. ARTS: A BIG ATTRACTION Both the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts have seen significant growth and development across all of their programming areas in the past five years. Campus partnerships are key to the

Turchin Center’s programming, now in its 15th year, as demonstrated by exhibitions such as Collective Vigilance: Speaking for the New River, a partnership with Appalachian Studies and Sustainable Development, and Creative Democracy: The Legacy of Black Mountain College, a crosscampus collaboration with a host of academic units. International programming is also prominently featured by the center, which is currently presenting work by artists from Australia and New Zealand in its Main Gallery. According to Denise Ringler, Director of Arts Engagement and Cultural Resources, “The Center’s education and outreach program is a major source of pride, with hundreds of students and community members participating in tours led by the education staff.” Yearround art workshops involve students and community members in hands-on art activities such as painting, drawing, and ceramics. The Center also partners with a variety of nonprofit organizations such as continued on next page



The Elephantine in the Anthropocene exhibition explores historic hunting practices in African countries as linked to the ivory trade in Asia, and how modern conservation is working to save the species. “Humans are but one species on the planet, and we must work together to exhibit environmental stewardship during our lifetimes,” says artist Kelsey Merreck Wagner. The work pictured here was constructed from handmade paper, findings, and yarn. This exhibition can be viewed in the Community Gallery of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts through January 12, 2019.

Watauga Opportunities and Hospitality House to reach underserved communities, and operates a mobile art van that brings art activities to schools, libraries, public parks and community centers. Thanks to a broad base of generous private supporters, An Appalachian Summer Festival, celebrating its 35th anniversary next summer, has been able to sustain itself financially while maintaining its commitment to affordability. The festival has continued to expand its artistic menu across the genres of music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts. The event has transformed into a “community festival” embraced by a broad cross-section of audience members, including local, seasonal and regional residents and visitors—all who feel a sense of ownership in the festival. Ringler also explains that Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs is “very proud of the fact that the festival features worldclass performers that are typically available only in large metropolitan areas, but at a fraction of the ticket prices charged in other venues.” She adds that while the festival includes many high-profile celebrities, “It also takes pride in presenting emerging artists who may not be ‘household names,’ but who audiences describe


as providing their most memorable performance experiences.” Additionally, the Schaefer Center Presents features music, dance and theatre programming throughout the academic year, with audiences for the series comprised of students, faculty and staff, and residents from across the region. Artist residencies have become an important component of the growth of this series, bringing artists and students together in meaningful ways. An ongoing advancement includes the growth in campus arts programming geared to students across the region in grades K-12, now serving more than 8,000 students in public, private and home schools across a 10-county region every year. Through the APPlause Series, students attend free and low-cost matinee performances at the Schaefer Center. These day-long visits provide children with a complete “arts immersion,” and for many of them, it’s their first exposure to art forms such as symphony, ballet or world music—or to visual arts exhibitions presented in a museum setting. For middle-schoolers who may be thinking about college as part of their future, the experience can be life-changing, by exposing them to the resources of a university

campus, and the exhilaration that comes from learning through the arts. Ringler describes future plans for the Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. “We are very interested in ‘branding’ our campus and community as an arts destination for all. This effort involves a variety of partners, from campus arts groups to community arts organizations providing music, dance, theatre and visual arts programming.” A-TEAM ATHLETICS Perhaps the most well publicized transformation has occurred in Appalachian State’s Athletics programs, most recently as they joined the Sunbelt Conference (moving up from the FCS to FBS). App State football went to and won three straight bowl games, including a recordsetting win at the FBS Camellia Bowl in 2015, and two straight conference championships in the Sunbelt Conference. With this success came the ability to attract big name opponent teams to Boone, positively impacting the entire community economy. A joint Economic Impact study with the Athletics Department and Walker College of Business quantified that influence. Appalachian State Athletics brought in $54 million in

Photos courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

ERAS OF INNOVATION 1970s • Appalachian State became part of UNC system • Chancellor Dr. Herbert W. Wey introduced innovations that earned Appalachian national recognition as an institution of change • Enrollment doubled to 9,500 students

1980s • Chancellor Dr. John E. Thomas added exchange programs in several countries including China, Germany and Costa Rica • The university focused on transforming campus technology and blending it into teaching-particularly through Appalachian’s leadership in distance learning

Early 2000s • Distance learning included formal partnerships with 10 regional community colleges

revenue to the High Country, including $3 million in tax revenue, and over 600 jobs as a result of their national success and visibility. Appalachian State Athletics is televised at least 2-4 times a year on ESPN including opening football weekend and men’s basketball pre-season games. As Appalachian State Athletic Director Doug Gillin explained, “Our success and visibility are good for the program, the university, and the community. The better we do, the better everyone else does. We want to be intentional at being a good community partner and giving back to the community.” And Appalachian State athletes do give back, having dedicated 4,576 hours of service to the community in 20172018. As a department, App State Athletics is committed to being involved with local charity organizations, particularly to help end hunger and mentor the youth of the High Country. They recently enhanced partnerships with the Hunger and Health Coalition and Western Youth Network, among others. The Appalachian State athletes serve the community while valuing academics, as they recently earned the highest student athlete cumulative GPA on record at 3.12.

The well-being of the student athletes is a priority for future growth. Currently, Appalachian is not able to provide fully funded athletic scholarships at the maximum level. The goal is to increase endowments to improve and sustain scholarships. Additionally, Appalachian wants to provide wellness and nutrition programs, strength and conditioning, academic supports, sports psychologists, and improve travel capabilities in order to transform the Appalachian State student athlete experience. Appalachian State University has come a long way in its nearly 120-year history and through all of these transformations, the mountaineer spirit of perseverance, pride, and passion in geography and community has remained consistent. Joseph Bathanti, Professor of Creative Writing and North Carolina’s Poet Laureate (2012-2014) captures this spirit best: “Appalachian State University has never been just a college, but a rare place where students and faculty alike, the entire university community, are not only educated and sustained, but transformed.”

• Chancellor Dr. Francis T. Borkowski expanded the focus on international education, created a distinctive learning environment sensitive to addressing rapid changes in globalization and technology but grounded in mountain values and Appalachian’s tradition of teaching, scholarship and service • Under Chancellor Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock, Appalachian became known for undergraduate research, internationalized curriculum, service-learning and sustainability in academic programs and campus practices. • Appalachian State earned national attention for its academics and athletics, including three national NCAA football championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007 • When current Chancellor Dr. Sheri Everts joined Appalachian in July 2014, enrollment exceeded 17,800 and recent projections for Fall 2018 show enrollment will exceed 19,000. Under her leadership, Appalachian continues to distinguish itself as a leader in sustainability and has welcomed an increasingly more diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. 



“A Thief in the Night”:

The 1940 Flood in Watauga County By Eric Plaag, Chairperson, Digital Watauga Project with images from the Rejean Young, Paul and Ruby Weston Collection

Left: Flooding at the intersection of Depot and King Streets wreaked havoc on downtown Boone during the 1940 Flood. Paul Weston’s 75 images of damage from the 1940 Flood are a recent addition to the Digital Watauga / Right: Landslides and flooding from the 1940 Flood severely damaged the track of the Linville River Railway between Cranberry and Boone, ending forever train service to Boone. On August 13, 2018, the Town of Boone unveiled a local historic marker near the old depot location commemorating the event.


round 9 p.m. on August 13, 1940, seven of the eight members of the Andrew Greene family of Stony Fork were gathered in prayer, hoping that the rising waters of the Stony Fork would not threaten their home. Meanwhile, high above their home, a landslide on a deforested hillside broke loose, unleashing boulders, trees, and mud toward the Stony Fork, pushing the already swollen stream out of its banks. Moments later, the Greene house came off its foundation. Then the landslide debris pummeled the house. It tumbled a few times before exploding into fragments, and the Greene family members were tossed into the turgid flow. Somehow, Andrew Greene’s son Hooper survived after a bush snagged him a quarter mile downstream. Andrew’s wife Eliza and young son B. L. spent the night on drifts a bit further downstream before making their way to safety with daylight. Andrew and his daughters Creola, Velma Lea, and Vernita, however, were not so lucky. When Andrew’s body was found well downstream, he was still clutching a piece of the iron bed frame he’d been holding when the house blew apart. The 1940 Flood was the result of heavy rainfall from the first of two unnamed hurricanes to hit western North


Carolina that month. The one affecting Watauga County most seriously moved inland on August 11 near Beaufort, SC, then parked itself over the Appalachian Mountains. While the eye actually passed over Watauga County late on August 14, a meteorological phenomenon known as orographic lifting wrung moisture out of the storm the day before as the storm’s circulation rotated up against the higher terrain of the mountains. This is when the heaviest rainfall and flooding occurred in Watauga County. Nearly four inches of rain fell before the afternoon measurement at Boone on August 13, and another five inches fell that night. It wasn’t Watauga County’s first brush with an extreme flooding event. A storm on February 28, 1902, sent debris from heavily logged Howard’s Knob cascading down the four branches along Junaluska Hill to their convergence at the head of North Water Street, where the debris and flood waters tore up King Street and threatened to sweep away the old Watauga Democrat office. More devastating was the storm on July 14-15, 1916, which destroyed the dam at the Mast roller mill and the Whiting Lumber Company trestles at Shull’s Mill and damaged the New River Light and Power Dam on the Middle Fork of the New River, thus cutting off

power to Boone for weeks, while also carrying away most of the bridges on the Boone to Blowing Rock Turnpike. Perhaps the most important casualty of the 1916 Flood was the Trout Lake Dam at the Cone Estate, which burst and sent water and debris cascading down Flannery Fork and Winkler’s Creek a full six miles to the lowlands outside Boone. Here Winklers, Edmistens, Farthings, and Blairs saw their farmhouses and mills torn up and their lowland crops completely destroyed. We know this area today as the location of the Boone Mall, Walmart, Lowe’s Hardware, the Greenway, and the paradoxically named Boone Heights—areas that have flooded heavily ten times over the past eight years. The 1940 Flood, though, was different and easily the most devastating flooding event in Watauga County’s history. All told, the rainfall in eastern Watauga County totaled between 10 and 14 inches, the vast majority of it falling on August 13. Highway officials estimated that 90 percent of the secondary road bridges in Ashe, Wilkes, and Watauga counties were destroyed. Many main roads also suffered severe damage, and large sections of track for the Linville River Railway between Cranberry and Boone were destroyed, ending forever train service to Boone. For

The Millard Greene home in Stony Fork was obliterated shortly after its residents abandoned the house for higher ground. Paul Weston traveled Watauga County on foot after the flood, photographing the damage and walking the prints to Wilkesboro so that they could get out over the wire service.

a comparison of this event to the 1916 Flood, the Watauga River at Sugar Grove reached a maximum flood stage of 22.1 feet in 1916. Maximum flood stage at the same location in 1940 was an incredible 29.6 feet around 7 p.m. on the night of August 13. Perhaps more terrifying than the flooding, though, were the landslides accompanying the 1940 Flood—2,099 of them in Watauga County, with763 of them in the Deep Gap and Stony Fork areas. One landslide in the Stony Fork area destroyed the Watson Filling Station and the Guy Carlton Filling Station on the North Wilkesboro Highway, just east of where the Blue Ridge Parkway crosses US 421, killing three people and leaving the highway closed for more than a month. Deaths from landslides and drowning were not limited to Stony Fork. In the Howard’s Creek area, three people were killed when their home was pummeled by a landslide and tossed into Howard’s Creek. In the Dutch Creek area, William and Lee Townsend drowned; William’s body was found 70 miles downstream at Elizabethton. All told, at least 16 people in the county were killed and at least 32 homes were completely destroyed, with ...continued on p. 100

This landslide swept away the North Wilkesboro Highway (US 421) at center, along with the Watson Filling Station and the Guy Carlton Filling Station, killing three people. The highway was closed for more than a month. Inset at top: Debris from Junaluska Hill clogged the culvert on North Water Street in Boone, near the 1875 Courthouse at extreme left, causing the floodwaters to destroy the roadway. A temporary bridge was later built to allow Queen Street traffic to cross the chasm created along North Water Street. Inset above: Flooding on February 28, 1902, dumped debris from Howard’s Knob and Junaluska Hill on King Street in front of the old Watauga Democrat building, at left. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


FLOOD...continued from p. 99 far more mills, barns, and other outbuildings lost in the devastation and many more homes submerged. Farm losses were well into the millions of dollars. The flood also hit Boone hard. On North Water Street near the 1875 Courthouse, the culvert handling water coming down the hill from Junaluska completely clogged with debris and failed, causing water to flood across the surface and peel back the asphalt on North Water Street. That water flowing down North Water Street ultimately met with the water flowing down King Street, creating a turbulent scene of turgid water and debris in the streets. At one point, the water was so deep that fish from A. E. South’s overflowing pond at the head of North Water Street were actually captured by a local resident in front of the Sinclair Service Station. Flooding along Boone Creek also strained other town culverts designed to channel streams underneath structures and roads in downtown Boone. At the south end of Depot and South Water Streets, the culverts for Boone (Kraut) Creek collapsed, leaving the train depot and Poplar Grove Road isolated from the rest of town. Two bridges were washed away near the Watauga Hospital (today known as Founders Hall on the ASU campus), and most of the businesses on the south side of King Street from the Watauga Democrat building to the Belk Department Store had flooded interiors. Damage from the 1940 Flood was catastrophic. But was it foreseeable? Contemporary accounts and later studies widely acknowledged the role that logging, poor land management practices, clogged culverts, and impermeable surfaces played in amplifying the 1940 flooding, but people were nevertheless unprepared. “The flood came like a thief in the night,” Mrs. Ivery C. Greene wrote in 1941 about the storm, “suddenly, unexpected by everyone.” In 2013, 2017, and 2018, severe rainfall events featuring less than half of the precipitation of the 1940 event nevertheless resulted in federal disaster designations for Watauga County. This recent history of flooding, coupled with our understanding of the historic 1940 Flood, warns us that the next devastating flood can no longer be considered unexpected.


The Prayer Tree:

Growing Hope from Blowing Rock to Argentina By Jane Richardson


here is a cheery little lavender boutique gift shop on Main Street in Blowing Rock called Take Heart. Its owner, Sheri Furman, felt a prodding a few weeks ago to share some little wooden heart-shaped tags she had on hand for passersby to write on. So she put out a bowl of tags and some pens near the door, left a note for people to list their hopes and prayers, and went away for the weekend. When Sheri returned the following Monday morning, she was amazed to see that all of the hearts had been written on, and that her staff had started hanging them from the nearby vine-covered tree in the store’s yard. Sheri put out more tags, this time made of paper, and could not believe how quickly they were used up every day. Folks were writing requests for prayers, sending prayers for others, writing uplifting messages, and other hopeful words directed to their version of a Higher Being. The vine-covered tree quickly became known around town as the Prayer Tree. And it’s still attracting a crowd. Furman says that many of the people who come to see the tree and write out their prayers and messages don’t even come into her shop, they simply want to stand outside and witness this tangible manifestation of spiritualistic hope. “Some of these people may have never even been in a church,” she says, “but they still seek a place to express their hopes, fears and compassion.” Furman feels the tree is a safe place for people to voice their hurts and hopes to a God who hears, listens and cares. At last count, the vine-covered tree had over 4,500 tags hanging from its branches. Many of the tags contain messages of thankfulness. Some of the inscriptions appear to be from children, such as the one that reads, “I wish I had a unicorn,” and on another, “Please help me be returned to my birth parents.” As one can imagine, there are many prayers for those suffering from cancer, including the prayer, “Please help me not to be afraid to die.” All of the messages are read and prayed over by Furman’s staff each day, and each tag is carefully covered to protect it from the elements and re-hung on the tree. “They will stay there forever,” says Furman. The tree has been featured in several magazine articles plus a news clip on Channel 3 in Charlotte, and is prominent on Take Heart’s Facebook page. Furman has learned that the idea has caught on and that there are now similar prayer trees as far away as California, South America and Argentina. Often people come into the shop to tell Furman and her staff that their prayers have been answered. Furman considers her role in this process as one of stewardship and obedience, that she has been called and entrusted to take care of this tree. “It is a reminder to me and others that people carry hope in their hearts, along with their burdens.”


Profile of High Country Native Cory Jankovich


any young people from our community spend their childhood in the mountains of North Carolina. Yet when some of them reach adulthood, they decide to follow a calling that takes them off-mountain to big cities, and distant locales all over the world. It’s exciting when we hear news about some of the wonderful causes and endeavors in which our High Country sons and daughters take interest. In this issue, CML talks with 22-year-old Cory Jankovich of Banner Elk, who first traveled to Nepal in 2017 to volunteer with a local community. Here, she shares with readers her love of the NC mountains, her budding passion for travel, and her excitement about returning to Nepal—on a new mission—this October. CML: What are some of your most memorable moments from your childhood in the mountains of NC? Cory: I grew up outside and never wanting to come in from the creeks and the woods that always surrounded my house. When I was young, sunsets were always what I dreaded most, because it meant that my day’s adventures were over. These mountains definitely challenged me as a child; I always felt like they were daring me to find the top and daring me to explore them. CML: When did you know you wanted to be a world traveler? Cory: It wasn’t until I spent my first day completely alone in Kathmandu

(capital of Nepal). I have always been curious about the world but I honestly didn’t know until I was standing 7,000+ miles away. It made me dizzy thinking about the distance from home, but I really can’t get enough of that feeling now. CML: What took you to Nepal the first time you went? Cory: I went with Wine to Water, based out of Boone, on a water sanitation mission ( I picked Nepal out of all the locations that needed volunteers because I thought spending my birthday in service of others would be a cool way to celebrate; plus, seeing the Himalayas had always been a dream. CML: What is driving the decision to go back a second time? Cory: When I left Nepal I knew I would be back, it would just be a matter of time. On my way to Nepal I met Bikash Gupta, a general surgeon originally from Lahan, Nepal, who practices in Charlotte. As I was walking off the airplane, he said, “You must be going to Nepal,” and pointed at my backpack. He thought I was going trekking because Nepal is the trekking capital of the world, but as I told him about Wine to Water, we totally clicked. We sat for nine hours in the Qatar airport talking about our missions. So he mentioned that maybe the following year I could join the mission he was on with Aloha Medical Mission, which provides free healthcare to local underserved communities ( I got his email and here we are a year later—

I’ve bought my ticket and will return to Nepal this October. CML: How can people here in the High Country follow your progress and help support your mission in Nepal? Cory: I have been raising money for my trip and for medical supplies for the mission from friends and family. I have a “Go Fund Me” page set up at www.; additional donations can be made to the mission, a 501C, so they can be totally tax deductible. Simply go to, make a donation and put in the comments section that the donation is for the 2018 trip to Nepal. These donations go straight to medical supplies, sanitation supplies, etc. for this trip. CML: How have your recent travels changed your outlook on future travel, career, and life, in general? Cory: Traveling to Nepal has really brought my small town view on how important community is full circle. Community really goes as far as you will let it. I have lifelong friends who live across oceans and continents; it really is an amazing feeling. I know that I will always have this drive to travel in service of others—it’s been the most fulfilling thing I have ever done.

community When Cory returns from Nepal, she will continue working at the Painted Fish Café in Banner Elk where she currently works with her parents (owners of the Painted Fish), and will also work part-time at Sugar Mountain as a ski instructor. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Cadet Col. Kate Fitzpatrick receiving the General Carl A. Spaatz award. She is flanked by her father, Maj. James "Fitz" Fitzpatrick, and North Carolina Wing Commander, Col. R. Jason Bailey.

Look, Up in the Sky!

“It’s the Civil Air Patrol!” By Elizabeth Baird Hardy


ven before the United States was thrust into World War II, volunteer aviators formed civilian aeronautics groups, which in 1941, coalesced into the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). During the war, its civilian pilots and coastal spotters helped defend the country from attack, protected shipping and other assets, and supported military operations. Remarkably, in an era when women pilots like the WASP (Women’s Air Force Service Pilots) struggled for recognition, the CAP recruited women and men of all backgrounds, and, in 1942, began accepting boys and girls, ages 15 and up, into its cadet program. During the war, 65 of the over 200,000 CAP members were killed performing their duties. After the war, the CAP became the civilian auxiliary of the newest separate branch of the Armed Forces, the United States Air Force. For seventy years, the CAP has continued to play a vital role even as its tasks have evolved in a changing world. Today, the CAP continues to embody its three core missions: Cadet Program, Emergency Services, and Aerospace Education. Group 1 of the North Carolina Wing of the CAP includes squadrons from Boone, Hickory, Shelby, Gastonia, and Asheville and is commanded by Major Jim “Fitz” Fitzpatrick of Banner Elk.


While some CAP squadrons consist solely of cadet or of senior members, all the Group 1 squadrons are composite, with the Asheville Squadron, at 55 cadets and 75 senior members, representing the largest membership of the Group. Fitz, who joined CAP ten years ago with his son, is enthusiastic about this remarkable organization of volunteers. Some have served in the military, while many cadets plan to enlist, but members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and “commit for a wide variety of reasons.” While many members are or hope to become pilots, the diverse missions assigned to the CAP require ground teams, communications, and other elements. The CAP assists with 92 percent of search and rescue operations, since, as Fitz points out, it is far more efficient to “scramble volunteers in Cessnas instead of F-16s from land bases.” Whether seeking a missing person or providing information to FEMA in an emergency, the CAP is a critical resource. In times of crisis, the CAP provides vital photography and reconnaissance. CAP pilots had “the first craft in the air after 9/11, and flew for days photographing the coastline” after super storm Sandy. Last Christmas Day, Group 1 was crucial in a successful search for a downed plane. In 2018 so far, 146 lives have been saved by CAP.

Aviation training and certification are provided by CAP. Cadets take orientation flights, powered flights, and glider flights as part of their training, but programs are also provided outside the organization as CAP volunteers help provide Aerospace and STEM education for students and teachers. The cadet program provides incredible opportunities for young people whether or not they are considering careers in the military or aviation. Since the organization has essential assignments from the Air Force, cadets, who can serve on ground crews, take an active role in real-life missions such as search and rescue. Many CAP cadets rise to great accomplishments, including the Cadet 2nd Lieutenant/ Brigadier General Billy Mitchell Award, which is the equivalent of Eagle Scout and is awarded to about 10 percent of CAP cadets. The Cadet Colonel/ General Carl A. Spaatz rank, achieved by only one-third of one percent of Cadets, has recently been awarded to two members of Group 1, including Fitz’s daughter, Kate, who was also Cadet of the Year for both the North Carolina Wing and the Mid-east region; she is now a Cadet at the United States Air Force Academy. Countless opportunities are available through CAP; volunteers are always needed as pilots, observers/scanners, communications specialists, public affairs staff, trainers, and much more. As Fitz points out, “its purpose is important to the United States—aerospace education is needed, pilots are needed, EMS needs them.” The vital service of the CAP, using assets provided by the Air Force, is incredibly effective not only in fulfilling important missions but in “training the future leaders.” Joining the CAP requires a high degree of commitment and dedication; it takes a special caliber of person to uphold the organization’s motto of “Semper Vigilans”: Always Vigilant. As Major Fitzpatrick says, the best part of working with the Civil Air Patrol is that “I get to serve in the company of heroes.” To find out more about the Civil Air Patrol or to explore opportunities for membership and service, visit For information on squadron meetings and events, visit

Destination:Â Avery Airport T

ucked away in the picturesque rolling hills near Spruce Pine is the Avery County Airport, a little-known county asset that is currently beginning an extensive revamp. Originally built in the mid-1950s, this airport began as the brainchild of a group of local businessmen. Starting out as a turf runway, Avery County/Morrison Field was upgraded over the years and is now a 3,001-footlong paved runway, with aircraft hangars, outside tie-downs, a helicopter landing pad, a maintenance hangar and 24-hour self-service aviation fuel at competitive prices. The only public use airport in the county, Morrison Field is home to 23 aircraft and offers 23 secure hangars for housing airplanes with 20 more custombuilt hangars included in the current expansion plan. A new 3,200 square foot terminal building with the architectural design characteristics of a log cabin will lend itself to the lush green hills surrounding the field. The terminal building will accommodate pilots and passengers as they arrive and depart the field, offering a lounge area, vending machines, a flight planning area and tourist information. Current non-local airport users include JAARS, Inc. whose instructors and pilots come to Morrison Field to learn and practice mountain flying. JAARS

is a non-profit organization based in Waxhaw that provides Bible translations and communication solutions to some of the most remote places on earth. The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has been provided a facility on the field and in addition to their regular meetings and get-togethers, they partner with Scouting organizations and offer the use of their building for camp-outs and other Scout events. EAA is very active in introducing young people to aviation through their Young Eagles program. Military helicopters also use Morrison Field for mountain training exercises. Limited flight instruction is available on the field at this time, but future plans include expansion of this instruction program and possibly the availability of rental aircraft. Funding for this project comes entirely through state and federal grants, made available to certain smaller airports of this category as an effort to expand and improve their services and capabilities. The time frame for these improvements will focus first on the terminal building, which should be completed within the next two years, and the maintenance hangar is expected to be ready for business within three years. On the drawing board are plans for an instrument approach procedure for the field,

By Jane Richardson which will allow pilots a means of landing here when the weather is less than perfect, as well as lighting along the runway to facilitate night operations that are currently not permitted. The Avery County Airport Authority, which is heading up this project, also hopes to attract a rental car company to make ground transportation accessible to flyin visitors to our area. In 2018, the community of Green Valley purchased a new fire truck which will be located at the airport as well. Since Avery County is located in the heart of the High Country, it is the ideal springboard for visitors to fly in for the day, the weekend or longer, and tour the Blue Ridge Parkway, golf at one of the many fine courses, and enjoy all the many other attractions our area has to offer. The proposed improvements to Morrison Field will add another dimension in tourism by making the airport more accessible and inviting to the flying public. Morrison Field is identified in airport information publications and on aeronautical charts as 7A8. Group tours of the airport and the proposed Airport Layout Plan may be arranged by contacting Sam Calvert at 828-260-1701, Jack Riley at 828-467-3625, or Dempsey Clark at 828-737-6888.



Veterans Memorial Shines Bright in Downtown Boone After two and a half years of support from the Community, the Town of Boone, and the members of the High Country Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (HCCMOAA), the Watauga County Veterans Memorial, “Time and Honor,” designed by Sculptor Suzie Hallier, was formally dedicated on July 4, 2018. In August, HCCMOAA earned the 5-Star Level of Excellence Award for its activities and community service for 2017. Chapter members’ ongoing dedication, contributions and many efforts to make the Watauga County Veterans Memorial a reality were major contributing factors in earning the highest award presented by National MOAA to a chapter. Photo: “Time and Honor,” by Suzie Hallier, Sculptor. A great way to experience the site is to view it at night with the lights shining on the ellipse.

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Profile of a Real Action Hero By Jane Richardson


oward T. Richardson was born in the small rural town of Louisville, MS in 1921, and after college, enlisted in the Army Air Corps’ cadet program in 1942. He was later assigned as Aircraft Commander on the B-17G airplane, a four-engine bomber with a crew of six. With conflict heating up in Europe, Richardson soon found himself in the 385th Bomb Group stationed in Ireland, making practice bombing runs over the English Channel. When the war started, Richardson’s first combat mission, the midnight bombing of Zwickau, Germany on May 12, 1944, was a harrowing initiation, as his private papers’ minute by minute account reveal. Richardson returned safely that night, but forty-one other bombers did not. He went on to fly 35 combat missions in a new B-17 he named “Mississippi Miss” (you could do that back then). That airplane survived the war and was returned to Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. After his combat tour, Richardson was assigned to the 4th Bomb Wing as an operations officer and various other positions. On February 5, 1958, with tensions between the US and the Soviet Union rising, Richardson was assigned a nighttime training mission as aircraft commander of a B-47, a six-engine bomber which carried a nuclear weapon. The mission covered airspace from the Gulf of Mexico up to the Canadian border and involved rendezvous with “enemy” fighter aircraft, simulating intercepts with invading Soviet aircraft. After completing the exercises, Richardson and his crew were looking forward to getting back to Homestead Air Force Base, when while flying over South Carolina, they heard a loud “whomp” and their aircraft jolted hard right. Looking out the right window, the crew could see that the far-right engine was canted up at a 30-degree angle and the right external fuel tank was missing. Midair collision! Richardson shut down the damaged engine and dropped the left external fuel tank to better balance

the plane. He took it down to 20,000 feet to assess the handling characteristics of the damaged aircraft to see if it could be landed. The plane appeared to be controllable enough and Richardson headed for Hunter Air Force Base outside Savannah. As it turned out, Hunter had done some repair work on their runway which left an 18- inch drop-off at each end of the runway. Fearing that the dangling engine might catch on the lip of the runway and send the bomb hurtling through the plane, Richardson informed SAC headquarters that he was going to ditch the bomb in the Atlantic. Pilots have wide discretion in such an emergency situation and Richardson’s primary concern was the safety of his crew. Not waiting around for SAC’s reply, he ditched the bomb into the waters near Tybee Island, GA. After losing its almost four-ton burden, the B-47 was easier to control and although the approach and landing were anything but routine, at approximately 1:26 a.m. Richardson landed the severely damaged plane safely at Hunter. That plane never flew again. Richardson was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions. It was later discovered that the F-86 fighter plane that collided with Richardson’s B-47 had experienced a radar malfunction and was tracking the wrong aircraft, completely unaware of the B-47’s proximity. The pilot of that plane, Lt. Clarence Stewart, ejected safely and was later located in a South Carolina swamp, wrapped in his parachute, with major frostbite on both hands. Over sixty years later, that weapon has

never been located despite a multitude of searches, interviews, documentaries— including one excellent production by BBC—and several books written on the subject. You can see an excellent account of this story on the History Channel’s “Broken Arrow” series. The major controversy is whether the nuclear weapon was armed, posing a continuing threat to residents of Tybee Island; according to Richardson’s official papers it was not. As fate would have it, Richardson and Stewart were both from Winston County, MS but didn’t meet until they were in their 90s, while in Savannah filming the documentary for the History Channel. After the mid-air collision, Richardson went on to serve in the Pentagon and Strategic Air Command, with his last assignment a three-year tour of duty with Tactical Air Command from which he retired as Colonel. He became the literal poster boy for the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, GA that used his favorite photo on its billboard asking “Want to See a Real Action Hero?” When I first met Howard Richardson upon joining his family twenty-five years ago, I’m not sure he knew quite what to do with me, an accomplished pilot/instructor with almost as many flight hours as he had. But we quickly bonded and enjoyed sharing our stories and experiences (and many politically incorrect flying jokes) over the years. Thankfully, he never tired of answering questions about his colorful flying career. Richardson, my beloved father in law, passed away in January, 2018 at the age of 96.  CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —




Except for Woolly Worms, Of Course!

Downtown Banner Elk, North Carolina October 20-21, 2018 Saturday- 9-5pm, Sunday 9-4pm Worm Races, Cash Prizes, Crafts, Food, Rides, Entertainment All proceeds are given back to our community to enhance our schools, children’s programs, and to promote businesses and tourism in Avery County. | 828-898-5605 • 800-972-2183 • 106 — Autumn 2018 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE WoollyWormPoster4-9-18.indd 1

4/9/18 1:19 PM

Local Tidbits Joseph Cave

Hawk Watch Is Here! Being a mile high has its advantages. From atop Grandfather Mountain, visitors can grab a front-row seat to one of nature’s most stunning spectacles— thousands of raptors migrating over the mountains and heading south toward their wintering grounds. Guests can observe the raptors during the annual Hawk Watch, in which official counters and volunteers note the number of passersby in the sky throughout the entire month of September. Counts will be conducted every day the weather permits on Linville Peak and Half-Moon Overlook and will be posted daily at For more information visit Appalachian State University’s Energy Summit 2018 ASU’s Appalachian Energy Center presents 2018 Clean Energy Workshops on Sept 14 and Sept 21-22 at the Appalachian Energy Center. For details, continuing education credits and a list of workshops, visit energy. Lees-McRae Inauguration Ceremony Representatives from the student body, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community will officially welcome President Dr. Herbert L. King as the 16th president of Lees-McRae College and will bestow him with the symbols of office. The inauguration ceremony takes place during the 2018 Homecoming weekend, Friday, October 5 at 2 p.m. in the Historic Commons. A reception will follow in Swank Park.

At the Art Cellar Art Cellar Gallery’s final show of the season continues through October 6. Bright white clouds, crystal blue skies and an array of brilliant colors cover the linen canvas of artist Joseph Cave. The artist’s broad brushstrokes and bold colors set his paintings apart from others. Be it landscapes or florals, Joseph’s work embodies that of an abstract expressionist, with lines and shadows as his guide. Enjoy this exhibition and other events this fall at the Art Cellar, located at 920 Shawneehaw Avenue, Hwy. 184 in Banner Elk.

A Clean Wilson Creek On page 77, you read about the efforts of “A Clean Wilson Creek,” a local non-profit devoted to helping clean up the “Wild and Scenic River” in our own backyard. This fall, the group will be at several events to share their vision with the public, including: - September 29: Appstate Homecoming “Apptoberfest” on Howard Street - October 27: Annual Oyster Roast and Music Festival, an ACWC Fundraiser at Betsey’s Old Country Store and Campground, featuring “The Red Dirt Revelators” and the Jacob Johnson Band. - November 3: 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act at the Wilson Creek Visitor Center. Learn more at

Joe Miller Day Hosted by the Watauga County Historical Society, the town of Boone officially proclaimed September 9 as “Joe Miller Day.” Boone mayor Rennie Brantz recognized Miller and the official release of CHEAP JOE, a new 257-page book by local artist and author Noyes Capehart on the life and accomplishments of Joe Miller. Miller was born in front of Boone Drug Store in 1939 and has spent his lifetime making invaluable contributions to the welfare and best interests of our town. Books are available at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff and other venues around town.

Blue Ridge Music Trails Guide Have you seen the new Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina guidebook? Organized by region and county, Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina welcomes readers into the rich worlds of bluegrass, old-time, gospel, and string band music, as well as clogging, flatfooting and other forms of traditional dance. The book includes a CD with more than 20 songs by musicians profiled in the book, historic recordings of the region’s most influential musicians spanning nine decades. W.A.M.Y. Community Action Everyday people in Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties are forced to focus on life threatening problems during the cold months instead of the tedious things like bad roads and inconvenient cancellations. WAMY provides the resources to make sure that these families are warm and safe. Learn more at | #breakingthecycleof poverty. Continued...



Local Tidbits Pick Up the Latest Issue of The Appalachian Voice... ...and read about stewardship and our national forests, hands-on education in Central Appalachia, remaking downtowns, land conservation, environmental health issues, and a complete list of environmental and cultural events in the Appalachian region! Visit for more information.

Avery Humane Society Receives Colorful, Generous Gift Artist Peg Carino recently gifted the Avery Humane Society with a very special work of art, “Knock Knock Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” which she painted in honor of Marti Huizenga. The 36’ X 36” acrylic on canvas painting was dedicated on July 17 at the Avery Humane Society, 279 Vale Rd. in Newland. Stop by to view the painting and consider adopting a pet in the process! A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming Calling all “Outlander” fans! Walk in the footsteps of Jamie and Claire Fraser on The Ridge, and travel through 18th century history set in Jamie and Claire’s NC Wilderness Backcountry. “A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming,” takes place on September 20-23 at Leatherwood Mountains Resort in Ferguson, NC. Visit for more information.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month...

Mast Store Celebrates 30 Years in Downtown Boone When the Mast Store opened in 1883, the goal was to carry everything its neighbors needed. When John and Faye Cooper bought the store in Valle Crucis, their motto was Quality Goods, Fair Prices, Oldfashioned Friendly Service. Each new old-fashioned location continues that tradition with brands you love, a knowledgeable sales staff, and a fun shopping atmosphere.

Yee Haw, It’s the Fur Ball! Calling all cowboys and gals! Watauga Humane Society invites you to celebrate the 21st Annual Fur Ball in the “Wild Wild West”! Grab your jeans and boots for a lively hoedown at the Blowing Rock Country Club on Saturday, September 22 at 5 p.m. Enjoy complimentary beer and wine, plus a cash bar, throughout the evening! Festivities include a balloon raffle, photo booth, and an abundance of beautiful items in the silent and live auctions. Come prepared to dance the night away with The Lucky Strikes! Visit wataugahumane. org to learn more and purchase tickets.

7th Annual Pink Day October 19 Each year Pink Day raises money through raffle items and donations, 100 percent of which goes toward The Wilma Redmond Mammography Fund. This fund is used to help pay for first-time mammograms for patients in need. This year’s events include: • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Cannon Memorial Hospital lobby in Linville, NC • 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Watauga Medical Center auditorium in Boone, NC Participants are encouraged to wear pink, purchase raffle tickets, schedule a mammogram, and hear remarks from a breast cancer survivor. Kilograms for Mammograms This year, Crossfit Boone, 7 Seals Crossfit and Ashe Crossfit have all agreed to support the cause through a new program called Kilograms for Mammograms. This fitness oriented fundraiser will celebrate survivors and help remove the cost barrier for those in need of a mammogram. Kilograms for Mammograms will take place at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center on October 13. 7th Annual Mining for a Purpose Longtime owners of Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine Randy and Trina McCoy along with their son, D’Artagnan, will host their 7th annual “Mining for a Purpose” event on Saturday, October 6 at the gem mine. The McCoys donate 100 percent of the proceeds from this event to the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center patient emergency fund. Since 2014, more than $59,000 has been donated to support the Cancer Center. Choose and Cut in the High Country Continue the Christmas tradition with family and friends as you visit one of the High Country’s many Choose and Cut farms. Create memories that last a lifetime while searching for the perfect Fraser fir tree, a long-lasting Christmas tree that is native to the western NC mountains. Pick up your guide to NC Choose & Cut Farms at establishments throughout the High Country or visit

Autumn at the Book Exchange The Book Exchange at the Historic Banner Elk School in downtown Banner Elk invites you to peruse the shelves and take a book home with you. Access free wi-fi, join a book discussion group, attend a lecture, join a jam session, participate in children’s readings and activities and more. On Tuesday September 25, 7 p.m., don’t miss the lecture, “Heritage Apples,” presented by Doug Hundley. Hundley is founder of the Avery Apple Program and an expert on the topic. Visit for daily hours and a complete calendar of events. Taste of the Blue Ridge 2018: An Evening in Tuscany Join in for a fabulous evening of food, fun and fundraising games benefitting the Blue Ridge Partnership for Children, serving Avery, Mitchell, and Yancey counties. Highlights include Live & Silent Auctions, Dessert Dash, Food by Reid’s Cafe & Catering, and Linville Falls Wine & Beer Tastings When: Monday, September 17, 2018 6:00 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Where: Linville Falls Winery, 9557 Linville Falls Hwy., Newland, NC Tickets are $50.00. To purchase tickets and learn more about the event, visit, call 828.733.2899 or 828.682.0047, or email cdm@brpartnershipforchildren. org. This event is sponsored by Piedmont Natural Gas

Crossnore Weavers Stop for the history AND Christmas shopping. Visit Crossnore Weavers and experience a working museum. Opened in 1922, Crossnore Weavers, was created to preserve the Appalachian art of hand-weaving, to give an economic opportunity to women, and to promote Crossnore School & Children’s Home through the sale of beautiful hand-woven goods all over the world. Crossnore Weavers continues the tradition, creating beautiful wearables, table linens, and home décor. Learn more at: weaving-room/.

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition Winners Announced For the last 32 years, the annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition has showcased contemporary American sculpture in outdoor settings across the campus of Appalachian State University. 2018 winners of the Martin & Doris Rosen 32nd Rosen Sculpture Competition: • First Place $3,000: Richard Herzog, “It’s all about Electricity,” Steel, Sarasota, FL • Second Place $2,000: Susan Moffatt, Succulent II, Marble on granite and steel base, Chapel Hill, NC • Third Place. $1,000: Beau Lyday, Gothic Doorway, Wood, tin, steel, Valdese, NC • Honorable Mention: Jacob Burmood, Draped Fabrication, Bronze on steel base, Ottawa, KS The works can be viewed through May of 2019. Maps are available at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts or online at

Kent Paulette, Studio 140 Tour De Art Continues In its tenth year, this free art tour takes you down the backroads of Avery and Watauga counties offering a glimpse into some of the best working artists’ studios and galleries. Stops include Sally Nooney’s Gallery, Alta Vista Gallery, Maggie Black Pottery, Periwinke Pass, Cindy Michaud Art, Wildflowers Publishing/Art Purveyors, Carlton Gallery, BE Artists Gallery, Studio 140, and 87 Ruffin Street Gallery. Pick up a map at participating galleries, then plan your tour, every fourth Saturday through November. Lees-McRae Renames Theater Stage as the “Sandi Finci Solomon Stage” Lees-McRae College renamed their theatre stage in their Broyhill Theatre in honor of Sandi Finci Solomon. Originally from Washington, D.C., Sandi now splits her time between Boca Raton, Florida and the High Country. She promotes partner dancing to both Lees-McRae College and Appalachian State University, as well as initiating a High Country Community Fall Dance for the last three years. Sandi has served on the Summer Theatre advisory board for Lees-McRae College for the past six years. Sandi says dancing “brings people and communities together,” so while serving on the advisory board at Lees-McRae she has also given lectures and presentations on “The Joy of Partner Dancing” to theatre students for the past 10 years at both Lees-McRae and Appalachian State University.




Local Tidbits What’s New at BRAHM Here’s a look at the latest exhibitions at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum: -Earthcast Sculptures byThomas Sayre: “White Gold” through November 10 -Photographs by: Houck Medford: “Coming Home to Cotton” through November 3 -Painting Ladies: The Remarkable Students of Elliott Daingerfield through November 17 -Rosen Sculpture Competition ongoing through May 2019 -The Village of Blowing Rock: Exploring our History Learn about all of BRAHM’s autumn programs and exhibitions at www., or call (828) 295-9099. The Festival at Hart Square Village Hart Square bustles with over 300 knowledgeable artisans and docents demonstrating and sharing the craftsmanship and subsistence of Carolina’s pioneers. To enter the village on festival day is to enter the early 1800s. Here, visitors will witness everything from flax making, cotton baling, and tinsmithing to apple butter making and the sweet sounds of old time music. This year’s festival takes place October 27 and runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets go on sale at the Catawba County Museum of History Monday, October 1, at 9 a.m. and sell out quickly. Call 828.465.0383 for tickets; learn more about the festival at


At Alta Vista Gallery This autumn, Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis presents two art shows. Meet the artists and hear about their work at receptions on Sept. 22 with Monique Carr, and on Oct. 27 with Amos Westmoreland, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m..

3rd Annual Fall Community Dance Attend this year and witness how multigenerational, wholesome and fun moving to music can be! The event takes place on Saturday, October 6, with dinner beginning at 6 p.m. and dancing from 7-10 p.m. at Plemmons Student Union, Grandfather Mountain Ballroom on the Appalachian State University Campus. Enjoy live music by the Lucky Strikes. Tickets can be purchased in advance at conferences-camps. This event is sponsored by Sandi Finci Solomon and Tony Luis, and Sandy and Tommy Rouse.

Bluegrass & Mountain Music Jam at the Historic Banner Elk School On Mondays throughout the year, the Bluegrass & Mountain Music Jam will gather at the Book Exchange to play and sing—all lovers of the many sounds of bluegrass music are welcomed! Musicians are encouraged to share their skills and knowledge with the group. Autumn Monday Jams: Sept 17, October 15, November 19 - All jams are 6:15 - 8:15 p.m. And don’t miss the “Slow Jam” (oldtime) on the second Saturday of each month at the Book Exchange.

Alta Vista Gallery is located in a National Register historic farmhouse at 2839 Broadstone Road, Valle Crucis – between Mast Inn and Mast Annex. For info, call 828-963-5247 or visit or the gallery’s page on Facebook.

“October Reflections” by Amos Westmoreland Year of the Bird Continues 2018 is the Year of the Bird! That’s because not only is it the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)—a pivotal piece of legislation that continues to save countless birds’ lives—but birds are also facing many new and serious threats, including attacks on the MBTA itself. The National Audubon Society has teamed up with National Geographic, BirdLife International, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to officially make 2018 the Year of the Bird. Support High Country birds by participating in the local High Country Audubon Society, highcountryaudubon. org. Let Us Hear from You! Have an event or tidbit you’d like to share with CML readers? Send your information to the editor at:

Scottie Bus

Left to right: Fred Pfohl, immediate past chair, Dr. Gary Childers, Executive Director, HCUW, and Johnny Carson, incoming chair of Board of Directors

High Country United Way C

elebrating 40 years of making a difference for those in need, High Country United Way (HCUW) is proud of its history of accepting donors’ contributions and investing them in ways that not only continue to support programs in organizations whose day to day operations provide immediate and emergency needs for many, but also help many in need improve their quality of life by achieving self-sufficiency. Incorporated in 1978 as Watauga United Appeal, Inc., HCUW served Watauga County as its primary county in the early years of the organization. As needs increased and were identified across the region, High Country United Way was formed in 1997 to assess and help address needs for those in Watauga, Ashe, and Avery counties. Two years ago, Mitchell and Yancey counties were included in HCUW’s service area by United Way Worldwide making it truly a regional organization. Today the mission statement “to unite people and resources to improve lives in the High Country” is demonstrated in the many ways community members and organizations work together to provide funding. “We are an umbrella organization where monetary resources are combined to serve our communities in the most effective way possible,” shared Dr. Gary

Childers, executive director of High Country United Way, whose office is in Boone, NC. Currently High Country United Way supports 47 programs through 35 non-profit agencies, with the most recent of those being programs at the Williams YMCA of Avery County and Bakersville Community Health Clinic in Mitchell County. Funding priorities have been established by the Board of Directors, which is comprised of community leaders, practitioners, representatives from businesses and educational institutions, and other concerned citizens from area counties. Following a thorough assessment period seeking input from consumers, organizations and donors, Community Impact Visioning Councils set goals in four key areas for funding proposals: Education, Income Stabilization, Health, and Basic Needs. Organizations or individuals seeking funding from High Country United Way are invited to collaborate whenever possible to serve the growing needs of the communities. The Scottie Bus of Avery County is an example of a program funded under the Education portion of the Community Impact Needs: to envision a community where everyone has the opportunity for education, social and emotional growth throughout their lives. The Scottie Bus, now in its 5th year of funding by HCUW,

By Pan McCaslin reaches out to pre-school age children in rural areas to offer early literary development which helps enhance their chances of having a successful school experience. The Income Stabilization Impact goal addresses not only fulfilling basic needs, but also helps to fund programs which create economic opportunities. “We help fund two programs which continue to support individuals from moving from a point of no, or low, income to selfsufficiency—Total Family Development, through WAMY, and RISE, through Hospitality House of Boone,” stated Dr. Childers. Total Family Development provides services to WAMY—Watauga, Avery, Mitchell and Yancey counties, to help families and individuals break the cycle of poverty. RISE (Relationships Intended for Self-Sufficiency & Empowerment), through a 14-week classroom and mentoring program, helps to teach about the effects of poverty, privilege and trauma on the lives of those who have found themselves in situations where they need emotional, educational and financial support. Paired with mentors in the community, students learn job and interview skills along with improving and strengthening their coping skills and goal setting. continued on next page



The third funding priority addresses health concerns in the area counties. HCUW supports programs through the Community Care Clinic which helps provide access to health care for uninsured/underinsured individuals, both in the Boone clinic and in outreach clinics served by paid staff and volunteers. “United Way funding has played a critical role in our ability to provide free, integrated healthcare to the uninsured of our community,” says Lisa Bottomley, Executive Director, Community Care Clinic. Grants have also been made to area non-profits that support the emotional and mental health needs of children and their families. State of the Child forums have been underwritten by HCUW for the past two years. Finally, the fourth priority, and one that often increases with changes in the economy and weather conditions, is to provide for basic needs such as shelter, medicine, fuel and other unexpected or emergency needs. Numerous organizations work together to share resources and staff to help serve the greatest num-

ber of those in need. Oasis, Inc. provides services for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. “Our partnership with United Way has been critical to the agency’s ability to serve those in need,” according to Jennifer Herman, Executive Director. Health and Hunger Coalition provides food and medications for unexpected situations. “This partnership with United Way has been integral to helping our team provide basic need items to our community, such as food and lifesustaining medications,” says Elizabeth Young, Executive Director Health and Hunger Coalition. Hospitality House serves seven counties in the High Country and provides emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing and supportive services. “High Country United Way is a vital partner and their support has been essential to the work of Hospitality House,” shared Tina Krause, Executive Director. Financial resources to fund the Community Impact goals come from many sources. Individual donors throughout

the High Country provide much of the funds for these programs. Area businesses, both through donations from employees and the company, frequently hold fund-raisers for United Way. A special note of importance is to know that the individual and business donations are allocated to assist in the counties where the donors reside. In December 2017, industrial design students at Appalachian State held a “Selfies with Santa” day. Funds were matched by their department and donated to High Country United Way. Publix Super Market and Mast General Store are both area businesses whose employees fully support the vision of United Way in the area counties. In addition, grants are received from philanthropic organizations wanting to help meet needs in the High Country. “The needs of the communities continue to increase,” shared Fred Pfohl, retiring board chair and business owner. “Our role is to be good stewards of the resources we have been given.” Johnny Carson, incoming board chair and Farm Bureau Insurance agent shared, “We meet people every day who understand our vision and have the desire and enthusiasm to do what they can do to help make a difference for those in need. We envision High Country United Way as a means to join those who can give with those who, for today, are in need.” If you would like further information about High Country United Way, or would like to make a donation to support their work, please call 828-265-2111 or see their website:


“The “TheYYis isthe thesingle singlebest bestthing thingwe wehave havedone donefor for the thehealth healthof ofour ourcommunity communityand andthose thosewho whouse useit” it” 436 436Hospital HospitalDrive, Drive,Linville LinvilleNC NC28646 28646


Carmen CarmenLacey, Lacey,President PresidentCharles CharlesCannon CannonMemorial MemorialHospital Hospital (828) (828)737-5500 737-5500

bou·tique ho·tel

noun a small stylish hotel, typically one situated in a fashionable urban location.


hen Denise and Fulton Lovin saw the Old Horton Building on Boone’s King Street for sale, a stylish boutique hotel rich in history immediately came to mind. Intimate in size and experience while big on views and location, the Horton Hotel will be the first such establishment to serve the downtown area since the historic Daniel Boone Hotel closed its doors in 1978. Luckily for history buffs and sustainable cheerleaders, the Lovins had the vision to reinvent a historic building into something hip and appealing. Boutique hotels, largely popular in not-so-large cities, have at least ten and never more than 100 rooms. Think sexy travel meets hometown appeal. I recently had the chance to talk to Fulton Lovin and take a tour of the hotel, abuzz with the sounds of skill saws and hammers along with smells of fresh paint and sawdust. H.W. Horton, a descendant of Colonel Nathan Horton, erected the building in the 1920s, and his name was forever etched on the facade. The Hortons were an influential family in the development of northwestern North Carolina. Colonel Nathan Horton, along with his wife Elizabeth, moved from New Jersey to western NC in 1785. They are believed to be among the earliest European inhabitants in modern-day Watauga County. “The building was built specifically for Spainhours Department Store; the main level was Spainhours and apartments were above,” said Lovin of the historic building. “We discovered that originally the site was an old shack that was a Studebaker dealership, in which we’ve found some old parts that we will showcase.” A large picture of H.W. Horton in military garb sitting astride a horse during Boone’s 1848 centennial celebration will be placed near the hotel’s entrance. The Lovins found the old photograph and built the hotel’s theme around that special memento. Another exciting historical feature is the original grandfather clock that Colonel Nathan Horton brought from New Jersey to the Horton homestead. “They brought the clock by horse and carriage from New Jersey back in the late 1700s,” said Lovin. The family clock resided for decades at Appalachian State University. “We worked with the University and they are going to let us showcase it.” The community has had a big input on what the boutique hotel experience should offer, and the marketing staff have smartly used social media to gather ideas and suggestions for everything from robes to bar stools. “It’s old school to put paper over the

The New Boutique Hotel on King Street By Julie Farthing

doors until the project is complete, but we purposely took a different approach,” said Lovin. “We want the community to be involved because this is a local hotel, not a chain. I’ve been here for 44 years and I wanted to have local participation, and Facebook and Instagram have helped that.” Once the hotel opens this fall, it will offer 15 rooms with a mix of rustic charm and contemporary vibes. “Not only are we building a hotel, but we are building a lot of the furniture, too— like the platform beds and consoles. Blending the history with Art Deco style and ‘Boone’ style, using the natural elements that are so predominate in Boone. Each unit is unique. We definitely wanted to stay away from ‘cookie cutter,’” said Lovin. One special room will pay homage to the former P.B. Scott’s Music Hall in Blowing Rock. “I wanted a P.B. Scott’s room just because that was my era and I wanted to make this a real creative room,” said Lovin. “It will have a big picture of P.B. Scott’s and a list of bands that played there.” Two large suites on the top level offer expansive views of Howard’s Knob, the Jones House and a perfect spot for King Street people watching. Much of the original brick will peek through years of stucco, providing a bit of historical architecture. Pampered pooches will be able to rest their paws in rooms on the lower level with a private outside door for doggie excursions. These rooms have an earthy feel with slate tiles throughout the wing. The hotel will feature a cocktail parlor where you can cozy up to the fireplace or hang out at the expansive brick and copper bar while enjoying tapas and local craft beers. Lift your spirits even higher at the rooftop lounge. A comfortable L-shaped couch, custom-built fire pit and contemporary seating await. No better view of downtown Boone, ASU and the surrounding mountains is available, except for the top floor of Belk Library—there you have to be quiet and cocktails are a no-no. Imagine roof-top yoga on an autumn morning or sky-gating on game day! With all the special amenities you could hope for, it’s like 5-star hotel meets intimate glamping on steroids. If you plan to visit the High Country or just want a fabulous night on the town, book early. The Horton is already the talk of the town. for information and reservations. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Support the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation The High Country Breast Cancer Foundation (HCBCF) was founded in April of 2017 with a unique mission and promise to the community: 100% of the funds raised go to providing for the needs of breast cancer patients, survivors and their families in the North Carolina High Country. All the members of the organization are volunteers and all foundation expenses are paid for by founder and president, Irene Sawyer. With the funds that are raised, scholarships are awarded to the men and women fighting breast cancer and can be used for various activities in support of the survivor and his/her family—all in an effort to show the patient that the community is fighting the fight with them. Some of the scholarships will provide money for: child care, wigs, hats, and other head gear, lunch & learn, career counseling, restaurant and grocery gift cards, transportation, survivor events, equine and dog therapy, etc. The biggest event of the year is a 5K Walk-Run. This year, the Annual High Country Breast Cancer Foundation 5K Fun Run/Walk will be held October 27, 9am, in Blowing Rock, with the start and finish line at the American Legion, 333 Wallingford Road. Visit to register for the 2018 Walk-Run, to learn about sponsorships, to make a donation, or to learn about other upcoming events.


The Cabin Store

Support the Western Youth Network by Attending the Festival of Trees The Festival of Trees is a popular annual holiday event that draws visitors from all over the region, while helping to raise money to support the Western Youth Network (WYN) through admission donations and the purchase of festive trees and wreaths! This year’s event will be held on November 29 - December 2, 2018 at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. Over 75 themed trees & wreaths will be on display in the Appalachian/Blue Ridge Room of the Resort. No need to buy decorations, simply bid on your favorite fully decorated tree—one that even comes with presents! Best of all, you’ll be investing in the lives of children and adolescents in the High Country through your donation. The Western Youth Network provides programming that offers individualized support to over 2,300 youth each year. WYN works to mitigate Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and provides young people with the safety of a caring environment, the support of positive role models, and the skills needed to learn and grow. The 2018 Festival of Trees event hours are Thursday, November 29 from 7-9pm; Friday, November 30 from 12-9pm; Saturday, December 1 from 10am-8pm; and Sunday, December 2 from 10am-2pm. Visit to find out more about the event, to learn more about sponsorships, to register for online bidding, or to apply as a “tree designer.”

“A cabin in the woods!” That image has inspired many a painting, photograph, song, poem and, of course, movie setting. Maybe it’s a simple one-room, old-timber cabin tucked away within a hushed and snow-blanketed forest. Or perhaps it’s a modern log home with all the basic amenities set at the end of a gravel driveway just a few yards off the hardtop. It could even be that grand lodge perched atop a scenic mountain ridge with views stretching as far as the eye can see. Whatever the scenario, your image of that idyllic cabin in the woods always brings a smile and a sigh of happiness. It’s those images that first inspired Shawn and Sheila Gentry to open The Cabin Store doors in 2001; that and their 30-plus year history as log home dwellers and decorators. Because, no matter what architectural design your dream cabin may be, it’s the furnishings, fixtures and décor— both inside and out—that complete the picture and provide for the optimum comfort, beauty and functionality that matches your dream lifestyle. With two locations in West Jefferson and Boone, a warehousetype annex in West Jefferson, plus their newest store, The Happy Shack, also in West Jefferson, the Gentry’s have created a one-source outfitter for any cabin-like lifestyle; whether farmhouse and cottage or rustic industrial and vintage. From indoor and outdoor furnishings and lighting, to decorative accessories, art and accent pieces, The Cabin Store locations have it all. And The Happy Shack now features all those fun extras like jewelry, Boho style clothing and bedding, t-shirts, hats and handbags, so that both you and your home can dress the part. As the Gentry’s note, “We pride ourselves on providing our clients with quality American handcrafted furniture made from reclaimed barn wood, aspen, cedar, hickory, juniper and walnut, just to name a few. We offer numerous designs from the most rustic to more urban rustic or cottage. Our upholstery and leather is manufactured in North Carolina, Texas and Minnesota. The majority of our furniture online and in our showroom is made in the USA!” As they like to say, “It’s more than furniture, it’s a lifestyle.” —Steve York

“...readCommunity all a&bLocal out itNews ” Business High Country SCORE Clients Are on the Rise

Skyline Emporium Skyline Emporium LLC, located in scenic and nature-oriented Linville Falls, NC, opened its doors in June 2017. The proprietors, Flavio Leite and Charles Murray, purchased the property eight years ago and have spent much of the time since slowly and meticulously renovating, restoring, and upgrading both the interior and exterior of the building. Initially constructed in the late 1930s as a service station, the original portion of the building’s history is barely recognizable today. Envisioning a future store, they quickly discovered that they had a good eye for contemporary, vintage, and antique items for the home. Skyline Emporium primarily focuses on high quality eclectic, unique, and individually selected decorative items. Looking for a one-of-a-kind lamp? Skyline will have it. Vintage Pyrex … think Skyline Emporium. Rustic, Deco, or elegant end tables … you’ll find them at Skyline. Quality furniture, crystal and glass ware, and porcelain items are just some of Skyline Emporium’s specialties. The store also offers a selection of new gift items, including North Carolina made scented soaps, jams, and honey, as well as Comfort Colors tee shirts and Legacy caps. Bring the family for a weekend outing and enjoy hand dipped ice cream and fresh coffee while sitting at a bistro table on Skyline Emporium’s beautiful deck. Make time to visit Skyline Emporium at 10480 Linville Falls Highway (Hwyy 221), Linville Falls, NC 28647. The store is open Wednesday - Saturday from 10am – 6pm and on Sunday from Noon – 6 pm. Contact Skyline Emporium at 828-7662718 or

Avery Heating and Air: Same Name, New Building, New Ownership, Expanded Services A longtime member of the Avery County business community has recently become part of a well-established climate systems organization from Winston-Salem. Avery Heating and Air Conditioning, which has been serving locals since 1971, and Logan Heating and Air, a residential and commercial climate-control company in business since 1952, have joined forces. As a locally owned and operated air conditioning company, Avery Heating and Air has earned an excellent reputation in the community helping customers meet their comfort needs. The company’s friendly, professional staff is available to answer questions and help local residents find the HVAC products and services that are right for them. They also offer repairs, services and installation for both commercial and residential properties, and financing options are available. Contact Avery Heating and Air for a free estimate at (828) 733-5842, or stop by and see their new location at 1600 Linville Falls Hwy.

High Country SCORE continues to add new clients who are working with mentors based in Boone. These clients are in a variety of businesses ranging from manufacturing, to technology, to retail, to personal services, to not-for-profit. SCORE’s mentoring and other services are provided free of charge to companies throughout the High Country. Herman Metzler heads up the local SCORE office in Boone and is currently working with two new notable clients. FeatherLite Batteries is an existing business and the owner, Jonathan Picket, has developed a new technology with great potential. Picket says, “Richard Sears, who is our SCORE mentor, helped us to figure out the financials, streamlined our business development program, and helped overcome business specific issues.” Talk about a “sweet” business, Suzanne Clouzeau is opening Boone Chocolate. “Herman Metzler has been so invaluable in the development of my business plan for Boone Chocolate, which will be launching soon,” says Clouzeau. SCORE’s existing clients have also continued to benefit from SCORE’s expertise. As Jenny Jean Rielly-Moize, owner of 3rd Eye Opened, says, “In 2015, I followed a tip to start a retail business via social media and immediately it took off; I found myself running a fast paced business without much training. I got SCORE involved and they have helped me plan for growth and success.” At Zenergy Massage Therapy in Newland, only their clients get to relax. Owner Deb Cassacia describes her experience with SCORE: “SCORE provided many new ideas to improve upon my business and is an amazing free service provided by successful entrepreneurs.” Herman Metzler and his team invite anyone who would like to get involved to contact him at (919) 280-6123 or by email at When a community is in the midst of transformation, there’s always something new to report. In recent issues we’ve highlighted some of the major changes taking place in downtown Banner Elk. As of fall 2018, here are some updates on this “one-stoplight mountain town”: CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


“ all a b out it ”

Community & Local Business News The Beat in Downtown Banner Elk When a community is in the midst of transformation, there’s always something new to report. In recent issues we’ve highlighted some of the major changes taking place in downtown Banner Elk. As of fall 2018, here are some updates on this “one-stoplight mountain town”:


Mountain Blue Gallery Mountain Blue Gallery is a new and unique art gallery in the heart of Banner Elk, specializing in regional art. The gallery recently opened with a warm reception from the community and has introduced many new artists to the area, including a variety of mediums and styles. Opening a gallery has been a long time dream for the owner, Page Smoak. Page and her husband moved to the area a few years ago to “escape the heat of the south.” She is an artist who has worked in many different mediums including oil, mixed media and acrylic before finding her love for encaustic, which is painting with hot wax and oil pigments. Page, being a lover of art in all of its forms, has gathered a wide variety of artists to represent in the gallery. The search for unique artists took many months and still continues to evolve. The gallery currently shows the works of over 25 artists, ranging from textile pieces by Carmen Grier, Abstract mixed media by Sondra Dorn, watercolors by Marcia McDade McMann, and Banner Elk native Brittany Edsall. Oil artists include Bethany Jewell with her lovely florals, and Boone native fly fishing artist, Brain Hester. Mountain Bue Gallery also represents widely established artists, such as Greg Osterhaus and Bette Coningsby, whose styles are very different, but both capture


the essence of life in the mountains. These two artists have a wonderful grasp of the mountain landscapes both choosing oil as a medium. Bette has a great sense for the traditional, while Greg’s work is more colorful and modern. The gallery also carries a wide variety of pottery, jewelry and glass from regionally acclaimed artists such as Bob Meier, Joanna Gollberg, Janette Franich and Fyreglas Studios. The gallery is located in The Villages of Banner Elk, 151 Shawneehaw Ave. and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Corner on Main If you’ve traveled through the center of Banner Elk lately, you’ll note the buzz of activity at the “Corner on Main.” As of press time, this public park project was nearing completion and is almost ready to become a central gathering spot for those who visit, live and work in downtown Banner Elk. Newly erected is the rock colonnade framed with a timber roof that shelters custom benches, providing dry, shaded seating for passersby. A bike rack and repair station will invite cyclists to stop for a leg stretch and a bit of bike maintenance, if needed. Historic Banner Elk School (HBES) This iconic school in the heart of downtown continues to attract visitors exploring Banner Elk’s cultural arts—Ensemble Stage Theatre, the Book Exchange and BE Artists Gallery—as well as those who are merely curious about the restoration of this historic WPA building constructed in 1939. Two new phases of restoration and repair are underway this season, much of it taking place at the Community Learning Center in the back wing of the property. Phase One includes: replacing windows, doors and the existing roof with a new metal roof to match the front building, and adding industrial size gutters and downspouts. These improvements will be funded by grants that the Town of Banner Elk and the HBES have recently received. Phase Two improvements include: general repairs and painting on the outside of the Community Learning Center; the

installation of a French drain system for gutters and water run-off; and the addition of natural gas to certain sections of the School. Phase Two projects will require additional funding, and the Town of Banner Elk welcomes interest from the public. All donations to help restore this historic property are tax-deductible and can be made to the Town of Banner Elk. For more information, please contact Allen Bolick at 828-292-0047. CHEF’S TABLE AT SORRENTO’S

Local Fine Dining Restaurant remodels and major upgrades have been popular this year, and have also been a big hit with visitors and residents alike. The Banner Elk Café ( has completed its major expansion, Stonewalls ( has a new look and feel inside and out, and one of the newest names in fine dining—Chef’s Table at Sorrento’s—has completed its full remodel. Chef’s Table is the “height of fine dining,” located on the second floor of the Sorrento’s Dining Complex. Once you’ve discovered this little hidden gem in the center of Banner Elk, you’ll want to frequently share this unique dining experience with friends and family. With the remodel comes an expanded gourmet menu by Chef Nicole Palazzo, VIP and private balcony seating, several luxury “lounge” areas, a wine room, and the ever popular live jazz Wednesdays. Chef’s Table and other venues within the Sorrento’s Dining & Entertainment Complex are now available for corporate events, wedding parties and other private bookings. Visit for more information.

What is ESG Investing? Y

ou might have heard of socially responsible investing but you may not have heard the phrase ESG Investing. ESG investing is the term we use in the investment world which stands for environmental, social, and governance.* The overall concept is that you can invest your capital in a way that can both generate returns and make the world a better place. Putting your money to work in companies that do social good is hardly a new idea. However, ESG investing has come a long way over the last 20 years. Clients’ Values Differ: In initial meetings and ongoing, I encourage my clients to talk with me about what is important to them. Across my client base I know that we do not all have identical principles. Some of my clients may feel strongly about not investing in firearms or weapons, and others may feel strongly about the right to bear arms. While it may be easy to agree on a single issue that is morally wrong, such as a company that profits from child labor, few issues are that clear cut. The Challenge of How Far to Take It: Trying to be socially responsible also means defining how far to take it and over what period of time. Should we avoid investing in any company that has ever done anything questionable? If so, that eliminates a large number of older multinational companies. We had one client who did not want to own U.S. government bonds because the money was used to support war. That is true. Government bonds could be seen as being used to support anything the U.S. government chooses to do. There is so much gray area that we have tried to simplify this down to a few options for investors interested in the idea of socially responsible investing: • Tell your financial advisor what is important to you and that he or she invest in companies that make the world a better place. We have great relationships with investment managers who focus on doing well by doing good. Morningstar does research on investment products and provides ESG ratings. Your advisor can design an investment portfolio that scores high by ESG standards set by Morningstar.** Ten percent or 20 percent of your portfolio may be an appropriate target to be devoted to this goal. • As you share your values with your advisor, talk about the specific types of things you do not want to invest in or profit from. Then discuss how far to take it. Your investment approach can be altered to best fit your needs. The Final Challenge: The final challenge will come after talking through these approaches. Think about your answer to the following question: If I implement this strategy and it means that my returns are around one percent lower per year going forward, how will I feel about that? This is not to say that returns will be worse. Some might argue that in the long run, your returns may be better because these companies will be the ultimate beneficiaries of the good that they do. The truth is that socially responsible or ESG investing hasn’t been around long enough to prove how returns are affected.

By Katherine S. Newton, CFP®

Bottom Line: Let your advisor know if socially responsible investing is important to you. If so, work with her or him to custom design a portfolio to reflect your values and desires. You can find many other articles on various portfolio management and planning topics on my website here: articles-katherine., 828-322-9595 * ESG investing involves applying screens to assess how a company performs as a steward of the environment, how it manages relationships with employees, customers, and communities, and how it deals with company leadership, pay, and other internal issues. The views are those of Katherine Newton and should not be considered as investment advice  or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All information is believed to be from reliable sources. However, we make no representations as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note that neither Waite Financial, LLC, Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC, Carroll Financial Associates or any of their agents or representatives give legal or tax advice. For complete details, consult with your tax advisor or attorney. Investors should consider their investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. This information is found in the issuer’s official statement and should be read carefully before investing. Before investing, the investor should consider whether the investor’s or beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other benefits available only from that state’s 529 Plan.

Katherine S. Newton Certified Financial Planner™ Waite Financial, LLC

428 4th Ave, NW ● Hickory, NC 28601 ● 828.322.9595 ● Registered Representative offering Securities through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Carroll Financial Associates Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Waite Financial, Cetera Advisor Networks, and Carroll Financial Associates are unaffiliated. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


AppFaithHealth Partnership Finds Common Ground Between Faith & Health By Darby Logan, AppFaithHealth Connector The connection between faith and health is expanding at Watauga Medical Center. Under the direction of Melanie Childers, Director of Pastoral Care, the AppFaithHealth program partners with faith communities to build strong networks of health and support. AppFaithHealth’s philosophy is that a patient’s successful recovery is directly related to the quality of support given during and after hospitalization. And in a place like the High Country, where religious belief is strong, that quality support frequently comes through a church or faith community. When a congregation becomes a part of AppFaithHealth, its members are connected to training opportunities, health and wellness programs in partnership with Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center, and coordinated hospital services that help patients transition from a hospital stay to full recovery. Training programs include Mental Health First Aid, Caregiver Conversations, Congregational Nutrition and The Foley Center’s “Safe Moves.”

AppFaithHealth volunteers learn caregiving techniques and health-related information to ensure they are prepared and confident to help others in need. Local clergy from AppFaithHealth congregations participate in hospital orientation to help them seamlessly serve their hospitalized members. They also gain information to help them model a healthier lifestyle for their faith communities. Congregations also appoint lay volunteers who coordinate connections with the hospital, and church members may sign a “pre-consent” form that ensures their congregational representative is notified of any future hospital admissions. When discharged from the hospital, AppFaithHealth helps members with discharge planning and communicating with their congregations, as well as information and support needed for recovery. Similar evidence-based models in Memphis, TN, and Winston Salem, NC, have shown that people spend fewer

days in the hospital and readmission is less likely when community connection is strong. AppFaithHealth strives to do everything possible to foster those connections. AppFaithHealth’s annual events seek to bring the High Country’s larger faith community together for support and connection. Clergy come together for a reception each year, and the interfaith “Longest Night” service occurs in December for those struggling to celebrate during the holiday season. AppFaithHealth currently partners with 18 churches and is open to any faith community in the High Country. Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is proud to work with congregations to build a stronger, healthier community through this innovative program. For more about AppFaithHealth or to join the partnership, call 828.266.1178 or email

inspired 118 — Autumn 2018 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

Kenietha Presnell:

ARHS System Recruiter By Koren Gillespie


ncouragement and growth have helped shape Kenietha Presnell’s career with Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS), and now as an employee recruiter, she promotes these values to interested job seekers, new hires and overall staff. “I could talk about how great my organization is all day,” Presnell enthusiastically says. “We have a unique culture here. We’re like a family.” Presnell continues, “I’ve been with the system for 16 years. I started in the kitchen as a cook in Nutrition Services and loved the job. I got to go up and talk to patients about their meal plans and nutrition needs. I enjoyed making sure they got what they needed.” Approximately two years later, Presnell had her son and needed better hours. She was then able to transition to Watauga Medical’s Learning Center as an Administrative Assistant. During her tenure in this department, she was able to grow into a teaching role for CPR classes plus a variety of computer and e-learning courses. Once she discovered her interest in technology, she decided to go back to school for a bachelor’s degree. Later on, her love of learning led her to pursue an MBA degree with a Human Resources concentration. While enrolled in school for both degrees, she continued to work full time and care for her family—not an easy balance, but she did have the full support of her husband and son at home, as well as her ARHS family at work. Because of this support, as well as her own hard work and achievements, Presnell currently serves as System Recruiter for the entire ARHS network. “I love how I grew through the [ARHS] organization. Every employee in our system makes a difference,” says Presnell. “I want to make sure we are hiring people who will continue to make

everyone here successful. The organization supported me when I went back to school and encouraged me to grow. Jobs here provide great opportunities to serve the community. I’m passionate about being successful and taking care of people in the community because that’s my family, too.” As the System Recruiter, Presnell represents ARHS and serves as the point-of-contact for all potential recruits, as well as new hires. She goes to career fairs for high school and college age students and oversees partnerships with universities and community colleges to recruit qualified graduates for ARHS. Additionally, she keeps ARHS’ profile active on professional job sites and networking systems. Beyond recruitment, Presnell and the HR team serve all 1,400 plus ARHS employees, and host approximately 600700 student interns annually from Appalachian State, Caldwell Community College, Mayland Community College, Wilkes Community College, and other schools. “We screen every application and work with hiring managers and other departments to make employment offers and implement orientation,” Presnell explains. We are involved in the process from day one and also touch base with new hires after 30 days to ensure they are transitioning smoothly in their position.” She says that they always keep an open door. “If at any point something isn’t working, we will do our best to figure out a solution. We want all of our employees to be successful.” In addition to family-oriented workplace, ARHS offers a robust benefit package and promotes growth and lifelong learning to employees, if desired. The system is willing to invest in employees with a tuition re-imbursement

program, and the HR department is available to help interested staff members navigate this option. ARHS has also recently partnered with Caldwell Community College to offer a paid training opportunity to anyone interested in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant. ARHS is taking applications for this program, and once an applicant is accepted into the program, they will pay for training costs in exchange for a time commitment from the employees once completed. This program recently passed 10 in the Medical Assistant Certification review course offered to current physician practice staff, which was a celebrated accomplishment within the ARHS organization. Presnell concludes by echoing her earlier sentiment, “We have a very unique culture here; we are very much a family organization. We take care of each other and people know each other. Our executive team is on a first-name basis, and you will frequently see them out walking the halls and interacting with everyone. People love what they do here, and you can feel it when you walk through the halls.” Interested in a job with ARHS? They continually seek qualified candidates for Behavioral Health Technicians, Certified Nursing Assistants, Food Service Workers, Environmental Services (Housekeepers), Medical Office Assistants, and Registered Nurses. Open positions are posted online at Interested candidates are also welcome to send in or drop off a resume, or they can fill out an application in-person at the HR office located at 337 Deerfield Road in Boone. Kenietha Presnell is also available to answer questions at (828) 2624116 or



The Village of BLOWING ROCK ...endless delights The Legend Lives On

“The most unique and lovely creations in Blowing Rock!” – Diana R. Handtiques customer Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm on Park Avenue Farm raised produce, meats, cheese, honey, eggs, plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, artisanal breads and desserts, natural body products, and whole foods from local farms, growers, and whole food producers.

Open May 25 - Oct 12 Thursdays 4-6pm Park Avenue, Downtown Blowing Rock Parking is available at the American Legion


In THe uSa

110 Sunset Drive #2 Blowing Rock, NC ~ 828-295-7001 We’re open year-round!

Hwy 321 South, Blowing Rock 828-295-7111 •

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Be Well: Time for a Change By Samantha Stephens


t’s time to re-assess! Here is a helpful guide to use in helping your Health Practitioner or Life Coach determine where you are and where you need to be. Do you ever feel the need to rearrange your home? Move around the furniture a bit to change the flow of things? Redecorate? What about your life, diet and routine? Ever realize that the routine that was once perfect for you no longer brings the results you’re looking for? Maybe what you used to want and need is different than from ever before. Our needs do change over time...what used to function well may no longer work for you. Now may be the time for a personal assessment and new plan. Take a few minutes and consider ponder the general areas listed below. In the winter issue, I’ll make some generalized suggestions for each of these categories that will most definitely yield positive results. In order to properly assess where you are, what you need, and what changes need to be made, consider the following:

Samantha Stephens is a nutritionist, food scientist and herbalist who loves spending time outside foraging for wild foods while appreciating the abundance of God’s creation. Samantha can be contacted at cmlmag3@

Exercise What type of exercise are you doing? Cardio, weight training, stretching, flexibility or endurance? How many days per week and for how long each session? Dietary intake When do you eat your meals? Do you snack? How often throughout the day do you eat and drink? How much water do you consume daily? Caffeinated beverages? Sodas, sweetened drinks, etc.? Allergies Do you have any food or environmental allergies? If so, how do you treat them? Mood and hormones Describe your mood throughout the day and month. Are you consistently happy? Sad? Irritable? Anxious? Activities and energy levels What are some things that you enjoy? How are your energy levels throughout the day related to your activity, food intake, and exercise? Sleep Are you getting at least eight hours of sleep daily? Do you feel rested when you wake up? Do you dream? Dreaming is an indication of REM sleep, which is restorative. Ailments, health problems and frequency of sickness What type of ailments are you suffering with? Do you have any health problems? Are you frequently sick? What do you struggle with the most health wise? Medical history Do you have a history of medical issues? Are there diseases or afflictions that run in your family? Medications and supplements What medications have you used? How about supplements and dietary aides? Goals Name at least three goals for your physical, mental and spiritual health. With this information, your health practitioner or lifestyle coach has a very good head start when making recommendations. Take time to think and consider as you respond. Have your thoughts ready by the time you pick up the winter edition of Carolina Mountain Life and I’ll supply you with some general ideas on how to start the new year with a plan for the advancement of your overall health. Here’s to a new and improved you! CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Preparing for Winter:

Energy Tips for Greater Comfort, Efficiency and Safety By CML Staff


verything you do to prepare for the colder months of the fall and winter seasons, no matter how small, can add up to greater comfort and safety, fewer hassles and bigger savings. Here, we offer a helpful checklist of actions you can take now to care for your mountain home and better control energy usage as cold weather sets in. Heating Systems, Fireplaces, Fans and More: Set thermostats to 68ºF in winter. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you can gain as much as a three percent savings in energy costs. Close fireplace dampers when not burning a fire. When using the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening the damper in the bottom of the firebox, or open the nearest window slightly. Minimize use of electric space heaters. Ensure floor registers are not blocked with rugs, drapes or furniture. Change HVAC filters monthly; have your HVAC system serviced once per year by a NATE-certified technician. If you have a gas or oil furnace, consider adding a high-efficiency heat pump, which could save you a substantial amount in heating (and cooling) costs. Run ceiling paddle fans on low, blowing up in the winter. Windows and Doors: Ensure windows and doors are properly weather-stripped. Close shades and drapes at night to keep heat in. Make sure drapes and shades are open during the day to catch free solar heat during the winter months. Use heavy-duty, clear sheets of plastic on the inside of windows to reduce the


amount of cold air entering your home. Caulk around storm windows and basement windows. Verify all outdoor doors (including storm doors) close and seal tightly. Keep your garage door down—a warmer garage in the winter and cooler garage in the summer will save energy. Lighting: As the days start getting shorter, equip your outdoor security lights with a photocell and/or a motion sensor. Replace outdoor lighting with its outdoor-rated equivalent compact fluorescent bulb. Replace any indoor light bulbs that burn more than one hour per day with its equivalent compact fluorescent bulb, and turn off unnecessary lighting. Use fixtures with electronic ballasts and T-8, 32-watt fluorescent lamps. Insulation throughout the Home: Inadequate insulation and air leakage are leading causes of energy waste in most homes. Be sure to seal and insulate your home in areas where heat can escape and cold air can intrude. Check the insulation in your attic, ceilings, floors, exterior and basement walls or crawlspace to make sure it’s at recommended levels for your area. If it’s not adequate, have insulation professionally installed. Insulate heating ducts to prevent heat loss. Insulate electric wall plugs and wall switches with foam pads. Ensure attic access door closes tightly. Insulate attic access door. Caulk along baseboards with a clear sealant.

Caulk around plumbing penetrations that come through walls beneath bathroom and kitchen sinks. Outside your home, caulk around all penetrations including telephone, electrical, cable, gas, water spigots, dryer vents, etc. Install water-heater wrap per manufacturer’s instructions, and insulate the hot water heater and hot water pipes. Insulate exposed hot water lines. Generators: While living in the mountains offers many advantages, there are times we experience power outages due to severe weather conditions. As a result, some homeowners utilize backup, portable generators to maintain power to critical appliances. Blue Ridge Energy and other energy service providers offer customers a wealth of tools and tips online, or by calling them directly. Following are some helpful resources and links: Blue Ridge Energy members can see their daily electricity usage along with daily temperatures, which helps them understand the effect weather can have on their power bill. Visit blueridgeenergy. com/resources/usage-tracker. • Need help weatherizing your home? An Energy Efficiency and Weatherization Contractor List of High Country technicians can be found at blueridgeenergy. com/resources/contractors/energy-efficiency-andweatherization-contractor-list. • For more tips to make your home more energyefficient year-round, visit resources/tips-to-save. • For calculators, case studies, energy blogs, and energy videos/tutorials, visit the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Home Energy Saver website at .

An Ounce of Prevention By Mike Teague

What is defensible space? Do you have it?

One of the many beauties of living in the High Country is our mountain scenery with the abundance of trees and greenery. A simple drive through this area will quickly expose you to the beauty and draw of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Conversely, from a wildland fire concern we must also look at this beautiful greenery as fuel for uncontrolled wildfires. Many homes have been built on our mountain ranges in the middle of and adjacent to forested areas. While many may feel these areas don’t pose a significant threat from wildfires, during periods of dry spells and/or wind events, conditions will change quickly and the hazards must be considered. As we continue to build homes deeper into the forests we increase the likelihood and the danger of uncontrolled wildfires. The area where homes are built within mainly forested areas is called the wildland interface, a term used often in fire suppression and land management worlds. The wildland interface is where much pre-fire planning is done and many resources are committed during wildland fire suppression activities. The next few paragraphs will define defensible space and give tips where we can reduce the chances of our homes being consumed in an uncontrolled wildfire. Until the fall of 2016, many couldn’t imagine the possibility of a major wildfire in this region of the country capable of killing citizens and destroying thousands of homes. Gatlinburg TN in late November of 2016 changed all of that forever.

How can we reduce the dangers and improve our chances during wildfire season?

Create a defensible space around your home and outbuildings. A defensible space is one where the trees and bushes are reduced and spaced out. In Gatlinburg, as in our area, many homes were built and kept completely surrounded by combustible greenery. During drought times a wildfire will burn these fuels, which can easily ignite a home and help aid the fire to move from one structure to another. During fire suppression activities, these homes are difficult to save and require a tremendous amount of manpower to quickly modify and/or treat these fuels. A good defensible space is one where at least thirty (30) to one hundred (100) feet of space around your home is kept open and clear from heavy brush and tree buildup. Clear out all underbrush and open up spacing between trees especially with pines, rhododendron and mountain laurel. The steeper the slopes around your house the larger the defensible space needs to be. Reducing underbrush and combustible greenery in the defensible space will give firefighters a head start in their efforts to save your home during a wildfire. Reducing the underbrush will also cut down the chance that a small ground fire will turn into a larger more dangerous fire around your home. The underbrush is a “ladder” fuel which can allow a ground fire to climb and involve larger brush and pines. There are additional steps you can take to improve the chances of your home surviving an uncontrolled wildfire. Don’t stack fire wood near or against the house. While doing so makes getting wood during the winter much more convenient, it also adds a dangerous fuel load to your home. This large amount of dried fuel can ignite easily. Next, take time to rake up leaves and ground debris from around the house and from under decks and porches. Dry leaves can easily ignite during wildfires and provide fuel for the fire to use. Keep grass and ground coverings mowed and neat. Grass buildup creates a natural and easily ignitable fuel around your home. Finally, keep all of your gutters and roof areas clear from leaf build-up. Fire brands and embers from a nearby fire can ignite this leaf build-up which in turn can ignite your roof and attic. Plan and live as if there is always a chance of wildfire, especially around wind related weather. Wind decreases the moisture in vegetation quickly. This vegetation will dry much faster than one would think during windy periods. A rain storm followed by windy periods can still leave the vegetation dry and ready to burn. Use care with stove ashes, fire pits and debris burning. Don’t become complacent just because the area has received some rain. Developing this prevention mindset will help you maintain a prepared state of readiness and will help to protect your home even when you are not around. If you have any questions or a topic you would like to see addressed, please feel free to email me at

Mike Teague is a 1987 graduate of ASU, and has 34 years of fire service experience. Mike served two years as Avery County Fire Marshal and 32 years with the Boone Fire Department, where he is currently serving as the Assistant Fire Chief, certified fire service instructor, and level 3 fire prevention inspector. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


FOLLOW OUR MOUNTAIN ROADS AND EXPERIENCE “WINE WITH A VIEW” Enjoy the taste of “Appalachian High Country Wine” and visit the wineries of the High Country Wine Trail: Banner Elk Winery | (828) 898-9090 135 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Nestled in the awe inspiring majestic Blue Ridge Mountains stands North Carolina High Country’s original winery. Come for a tasting or a tour, or perhaps stay the night at our Tuscaninspired Villa. A private retreat with luxury accommodation, beautiful scenery, and warm hospitality in an idyllic setting.

Grandfather Vineyard & Winery | (828) 963-2400 225 Vineyard Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Our terraced mountain vineyard and winery is nestled along the Watauga River at the base of Grandfather Mountain. We are the first producing winery in Watauga County, NC. Warm breezes during the day and cool crisp nights help develop the flavors and balance of our wine. Enjoy and share with friends.

Linville Falls Winery | (828) 765-1400 9557 Linville Falls Highway, Linville Falls, NC 28647 Linville Falls Winery is part of a 40-acre family owned and operated farm in the Blue Ridge mountains. Just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the winery is in a great location to enjoy the outdoors while sipping on mountain-grown wine. Elevate your taste with us!

Villa Nove Vineyards & Winery | (423) 768-3633 1877 Dry Hill Road, Butler, TN 37640 Experience Tuscany in Tennessee! Enjoy the 360-degree majestic mountain views while you sit and sip on our estate wines. Perfect location for your upcoming wedding or special event.

Watauga Lake Winery | (423) 768-0345 6952 Big Dry Run Road, Butler, TN 37640 Visit the historic and “haunted” schoolhouse where the classrooms have been transformed into our winery. Enjoy tasting the 2015 “Best of Tennessee” wine produced from the fruit of our vineyards. Enjoy a “wood-fired” pizza and Sangria on Saturdays or enjoy a bottle of wine with our Boar’s Head deli items out on the deck or inside our event room. The Appalachian High Country American Viticulture Area

Cut out the Passport above and explore the High Country Wine Trail!




Saving Heirloom Seed By Jim Casada


s I write this piece, my garden is at the peak of summer’s sweetness, with the second planting of corn approaching milky kernels perfection, crowder peas and okra requiring daily harvest, eggplant flourishing, and both Sweet 100 and yellow pear tommy toes threatening to run amok. For all the pleasure these and other vegetables bring, however, particular fondness is reserved for a time-honored trio. Two are heirloom vegetables, Nantahala runner beans and Chambers Creek pumpkins, with a lineage tracing back upwards of a century. The third is flourishing, carefree zinnias which delight my eyes every time I walk by them even as they draw myriads of butterflies for daily feasts. These three cherished items, forming an integral part of my gardening activities, fall into the category of what has come to be widely known, over the last couple of decades, as heirloom plants. For a wide variety of reasons—among them taste; hardiness; love of tradition; predictable productivity; resistance to blight, insects, and other plant problems; an opportunity to practice frugality in a most satisfying and functional fashion; and the elusive but undeniable appeal of nostalgia—using heirloom varieties has become quite popular. Indeed, so much is this the case that enterprises specializing in heirloom seeds and plants have sprung up and flourish across the country. One such operation, Sow True Seed in Asheville, has become a fixture in the High Country.

On a personal level, heirloom varieties and saving seed are a family tradition stretching across three generations (my life as well as those of my father and grandfather), and the joy of seeing current iterations of flowers and vegetables cultivated by my forebears is a source of enduring and endearing joy. I suspect pretty much the same holds true for anyone who loves the land, clings to plants which nurtured or enthralled their ancestors, and who has a sense of reverence for the past. Given their devotion to the past, that is especially the case for those with roots running deep in my highland homeland. What adds a meaningful measure of pleasure to the whole process of dealing with heirlooms is awareness of the fact that I’m following not only in parental and grandparental footsteps but those of legions of hard-working, frugal ScotsIrish who were the primary settlers of the High Country up and down the ancient spine of the southern Appalachians. Moreover, saving seed is for the most part as simple as it is satisfying, and if you are a gardener with any interest at all in the past or the wider ramifications of grubby hands and closeness to the good earth, this annual ritual should be as much of your overall approach to gardening as planning and planting, hoeing and harvesting. The process of saving seeds is, at its most elemental, so simple as to be virtually foolproof. It doesn’t require the hard-earned practical skills derived from

decades of working the land or specialized training of the sort associated with master gardeners. Instead, about all which is required is what might be described as an “everyman” approach. A logical starting point is determining what seeds or plants you want to perpetuate along with a basic “game plan” on how to go about it. Focusing on selective breeding will get you going, and from there forward it is almost literally child’s play (and involving youngsters in seed saving is a grand idea). As plants from which you plan to save seed reach maturity, select a couple of the finest, most productive ones as your source for next year’s plantings (more if you want to share or trade seed). For example, a large, well-shaped pumpkin would be a logical candidate, as would a watermelon of surpassing sweetness. In these instances you can enjoy the food along with saving the seeds. For beans, peas, and other legumes, where the seeds are the edible matter, just let pods develop on flourishing vines, ripen to fullness, and dry while still attached to the plant. You don’t have to be Gregor Mendel or have formal training in selectivity; common sense and close observation will serve you quite nicely when it comes to selecting seeds to save. Once you have chosen the seed for next year’s crop, it is essential that they are protected from potential damage by insects, moisture, and the like. That continued on page 126 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


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translates to making sure seeds are completely dry before they are stored to await planting come ever-returning spring of the next year. In the case of my Nantahala runner beans and zinnias, for example, I always try to gather them after several days of dry weather, the kind the mountains typically experience during the low humidity and bluebird skies characteristic of Indian Summer. As for pumpkin seeds, they are carefully removed from the cavity of the pumpkin when it is worked up for pies or to be frozen, washed gently to remove the fiber holding them in a cluster-like group, patted dry with paper towels, and spread out to dry. Probably the easiest way to save most seeds, once you have dried and separated them, is to place them in a Ziploc bag, mark it with a date and identifying information, and store in a freezer. An oldtime alternative from pre-freezer days, and the fashion in which my Grandpa Joe saved seeds from things as varied as beans, corn, peas, pumpkins, watermelons, mushmelons, and even tomatoes, was to put the dry seeds in a canning jar. He then covered them with a dusting of powdered tobacco (dry snuff ) before closing up the jar with a lid. Of course there is always the alternative of ordering heirloom seeds or buying plants, and at the outset that may be the only option to acquire certain varieties. After that though, saving your own is arguably the best, and certainly the cheapest, way to go. With heirlooms, you establish a strong link with the past even as you enjoy beauty and bounty in the present.

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Monday-Saturday: 5-Close Amazing Magic Night every Thursday, all Winter! 161 Howard Street, Boone 828-386-1201 | continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —



Catering Available | Open 7 days a week Mon-Sat 11am-9pm & Sunday Noon-9pm 190 Boone Heights Dr, Boone, NC 28607 Reservations Suggested 828-386-6101 – Visit our Banner Elk Location –

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On Buying Organic Wine By Ren Manning


airly often we get customers asking for organic wines or wines without sulfites because they think (a) it’s the sulfites that produce headaches and (b) organic wines have no sulfites. And to prove their point they proceed to relate that when they were in Italy they drank wine all the time, which presumably was produced without sulfites, and therefore they got no headaches as a result. We generally don’t like to get into arguments with customers (bad for sales), so we have to bite our tongues about sulfites’ not having been definitively proven to cause headaches. Maybe they do, but there’s no point in playing chemist or physician. My stock answer (which I really believe is true) is that people are more likely to be drinking wine in, say, Italy in a non-stressful environment because they’re on vacation. Back home there are all manner of stressful circumstances, and stress certainly induces headaches, especially when bathed in alcohol. I usually also add that all wines contain naturally occurring sulfites. I note, too, that wines served at many cafés and trattorias in France and Italy are served out of large casks and jugs purchased directly from wineries, and since they were not bottled, they lack the usual sulfite additions that wineries add to prevent oxidation and bacterial spoilage. But since “the customer is always right,” I am only too happy to put a bottle of organic wine in his or her hands. That trick is best left to a knowledgeable wine store clerk who knows his or her inventory because it’s not always easy for the shopper to locate an organic wine. Many wine producers practice organic grape growing and wine production without disclosing that on their label. It’s just

that they follow that practice because of their respect for the environment and their vineyard, and the integration of their organic production processes fits naturally into their philosophy. Giampaolo Tabarrini in Umbria declines to highlight his organic approach because he feels it is “simply advertising.” He farms organically, he says, “because my land is where I, my son and my wife live every single day.” It is rare to see “organic” or “biodynamic” (a more radical approach that starts with organic and goes beyond to address everything from enhancing the vineyard ecosystem to bottling and pruning according to lunar cycles) on a wine label for French wines because the practice is so pervasive, but domestic wine labels tend to be more overt about it because organic farming is relatively rare here, and the organic wine market here is a niche market. The California Certified Organic Farmers certified only 12,650 acres of vineyards in 2017 out of nearly 600,000 grape-growing acres. And American businesses are more into “advertising.” Let’s drill down and make this more complicated. There are two basic organic disclosures on labels that mean different things. Wines labeled “made with organic grapes” are not necessarily organic wines. That simply indicates that no non-organic agricultural ingredients were used in the vineyard, i.e., no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers were put on the vines or on the ground. However, in the process of making the wines, non-organic cultured yeasts, fining agents, sulfur dioxide and other additives can be used, which is not true with respect to organic wines. As to disclosures about sulfites, there are a number of different disclosures that attempt to assuage the wine buyer. Since

sulfites are produced naturally in alcoholic fermentation, you won’t see statements on the back labels that the wines contain no sulfites; but you may see disclosures that no sulfites have been added or the wine contains “no detectable sulfites.” Typically, sulfur products are added to stabilize the wine and kill bacteria during bottling to prevent spoilage. U.S. wines certified organic cannot contain such added sulfites but if the label merely promises organic grapes, the winemaker can add sulfites up to 100 parts per million (ppm), still considerably less than the 350 ppm for wines made with non-organic grapes. If you are insistent that your wines contain the least amount of sulfites, you should shop for wines that disclose on the label “no detectable sulfites,” i.e., less than 10 ppm or at least “no added sulfites.” That does not in and of itself assure you that the wine is organic, but if sulfites are the concern, such assurance should indicate a wine meeting one of your key criteria. Alternatively, you could shop for truly organic wines, not just wines made with organic grapes. Be careful regarding the distinction between “organic grapes” and “organic wines” as discussed above, and make sure whoever is advising you in the restaurant or wine shop knows the difference. If wines made with “organic grapes” are acceptable to you, and you don’t mind the fact that the wine may contain a small amount of non-organic matter, then your search will be easier since many more wines will meet your key criterion. You should be aware of one other point, just to make this even more complex. The European Union (EU) regulations pertaining to organic wines permit continued onpage 130 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


WINE: continued from page 129 limited sulfur additions during bottling to stabilize the wines and prevent oxidation and spoilage. So, what would be considered in France or Italy an organic wine might not be under U.S. certification regulations. I can give you a little head start on searching for truly organic wines—this list is certainly not exhaustive and is only a tiny sample, but the list of producers whose wines are certified as organic under U.S. regulations and are widely available includes: Bonterra, Benziger Estate and Frey Vineyards. And the much larger list of wineries that produce wines from organic grapes (without verifying that the wines are thoroughly organic) include: Tabarrini (Umbria), Qupé (California), King Estate (Oregon), DeLoach (California), Ti Amo (Italy), Frog’s Leap (California), Staglin (California), Grgich Hill (California), Cercius (Rhône, France), Domaine Lionnet (Cornas, France), Alary (Cairanne, France), Ferrand (Châteauneuf du Pape, France), Wittmann (Germany), Tikal (Argentina), Biokult (Austria), Montenidoli (Italy), Valle Dell’Acate (Sicily), Descendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos, Aviron (Chénas (France), Domaine Ostertag (Alsace), Zind-Humbrecht (Alsace), Huia (New Zealand), Volpaia (Chianti, Italy), etc. etc. ….. One final word of warning—if the lowest possible level of sulfites frames your criteria for acceptable wines, you should be aware that without measurable sulfites to protect and stabilize the wine, its “shelf life” will be considerably shorter than conventional wines, even wines made with organic grapes. So if you buy a wine certified as “organic” or with “no detectable sulfites,” drink up! Ren Manning is co-owner of Erick’s Cheese and Wine in Banner Elk, and has a Level 2 diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust. He organizes the wine education program and teaches summer wine classes at Erick’s.

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From CML’s Kitchen By Babette and friends


. . . noun: An assembly or meeting, especially a social or festive one or one held for a specific purpose. Some good friends gathered recently to do just that – enjoy a festive meal and taste local wines from the High Country Wine Trail wineries. We discussed the menu days prior to meeting and who would bring what special dish and as luck would have it – my job was to shoot the pictures and gather the wine for tasting and pairing. I truly believe that friendships can not only be forged but strengthened while sharing a great meal and some amazing wine. As my friends Kristin, Helen and Nancy scurried around prepping their dishes, we all enjoyed chef Tom Jankovich’s (from The Painted Fish) famous Tuna Nachos brought by his wife, Nancy. The nachos disappeared in a flash, but thankfully Tom also sent ingredients and directions for another round… below you’ll find the step by step recipe so you can enjoy them, too! Kristin hosted the gathering at her home in Foscoe and let me tell you her acorn dish below will blow you away – just the aroma of the acorn squash cooking made us all eager to greet the coming fall days and holiday cooking sprees. Helen had prepared our exquisite dessert ahead of time to make sure the custard was chilled. She brought all the fresh ingredients to assemble and serve her Gorgonzola Pear Salad. If you are a blue cheese with fresh fruit lover, you will adore this take on salad. While wine was being poured and I was snapping images, the conversations were humming. There is so much to be cherished with friends in these casual, intimate settings. We’d love to hear from you on your favorite cuisine and gatherings! Enjoy! ...and let us hear from you at

THE WINE PAIRINGS Interesting wine is always a natural complement to a great meal. I asked our local wineries on the High Country Wine Trail to suggest a special bottle for our gathering. Each offered one of their favorites and gave a description of their wine. We enjoyed continued on page 134



……there is a lot involved in this but it’s worth it…. (says Chef Tom) Soy glaze: 1 cup soy sauce 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in water Bring soy to a simmer add cornstarch slowly while whisking…. a little at a time until it begins to thicken. You are looking for the sauce to coat the back of a spoon…don’t worry though….when its cooled you can add water to make it less thick if need be. Sriracha aioli: ½ cup mayo 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tsp sesame oil 4 tsp sriracha Whisk all above and adjust to your taste Sesame vinaigrette: 1 tbsp Dijon 2 tsp sesame oil 2 tsp rice wine vinegar 4 tbsp olive oil….a blend is fine Whisk together and adjust to your taste Won tons: Cut into chips, the size is up to you. Fry in oil 2 to 3 minutes and place on paper towels to drain. For the tuna, combine equal amounts of ahi tuna, avocado and peeled cucumber diced in small pieces. Drizzle with sesame vinaigrette, blend and set aside. To assemble: Dress serving plates with soy mixture. Place chips on plate and top each chip with tuna mixture. Dress the top with sriracha aioli.



Serves 6 ½ cup white wine 3 tbsp honey 2 tbsp butter, cut in small pieces Pepper 3 ripe pears 1 lemon 8 oz gorgonzola crumbled Baby greens Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut pears in half, core and rub with lemon. Put pear halves cut side down in a baking dish. Pour wine, honey, butter and pepper over the pears. Cover with foil and bake until pears are tender, approximately 30 minutes. Remove pears and cool. Reserve the baking juices. Before serving, put each pear half on a cutting board, cut side down, thinly slice lengthwise. Prepare plate with baby greens and then place several pear slices over the greens in a fanned-out design. Spoon baking juices over pear and top with gorgonzola crumbles.


2 acorn squash 2 large eggs 1 medium chopped fresh tomato or grape tomatoes sliced in half 8 tbsp half & half 4 heaping tbsp goat cheese crumbles 1 tbsp fresh thyme 8 slices bacon cooked crisp Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut washed squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seed, discard. Place squash in baking dish cut side down and add enough water to come up ¼ inch on squash. Loosely cover with foil and par bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper. Mix eggs and cream with ½ of the thyme. Pour this mixture into squash evenly. Bake covered for 20 minutes, or until egg mixture is set. Top each squash with goat cheese and tomatoes and continue baking another 10 minutes uncovered. Before serving, top with remaining fresh thyme and chopped bacon. Enjoy!


Serves 10 4 cups heavy cream 1 tsp vanilla ½ cup sugar 4 tsp unflavored gelatin Raspberry sauce

Put the cream in a heavy saucepan. Add the ½ cup of sugar and vanilla, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add the gelatin. Pour the mixture into small glass or pottery bowls, chill for two hours. Raspberry Sauce: 3 cups fresh raspberries 1 cup sugar Grated zest and juice from one lemon Puree the raspberries, transfer puree to saucepan. Mix in sugar, grated lemon zest and juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for five minutes. To serve, spoon raspberry sauce over chilled custard and garnish with a fresh raspberry and mint leaf.

y with friends! CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


PAIRINGS: continued from page 132 the variety of offerings and realized that some of the best wines can be found in our own backyard. If you have not been on the High Country Wine Trail, it is a must do adventure in enjoying great regional wines and exploring some amazing countryside. You can check out their offerings and map on page 124. Banner Elk Winery is positioned on a blueberry farm and honors that history by producing Blueberry Wine. A semidry, 100% blueberry wine, it is a house favorite for their guests. The winery suggests pairing it with a cheesecake or reducing it down with balsamic for your favorite vegetarian dish. Grandfather Vineyard Winery suggested their sparkling wine, made from a blend of Traminette and Seyval Blanc grapes that they say provides the perfect cool climate twist on a classic bubbly. They have named it Appalachia Bubbles. High acidity and apple notes give it a character that calls to its roots in the Appalachian Mountains! Linville Falls Winery presented their Estate Grown Riesling in one of three styles they are producing from this popular vinifera. This version is dry with bright and bold fruit flavors that are locked in by the ideal growing environment of our Blue Ridge Mountains: warm days, cool nights, mineral-rich soil and sloping vineyards. The tropical notes pair well with a summer berry salad or piece of white fish. Watauga Lake Winery & Villa Nove Vineyards Winery offered us their BearGria Sangria for tasting. They suggested we try it over ice and fruit with a sprinkle of cinnamon. It has a crisp fresh fruit taste of peach, blueberry, lemon and blood orange. Pairs perfectly with grilled meats, pizza or just over ice.

The Banner Elk Café: 828-898-4040 The Lodge Pizzeria &Espresso Bar: 828-898-3444 • Weekly Tavern Specials Open 7 days • Football on the big screen: a week for breakfast, lunch Sun $15 beer buckets, Mon $2 domestics all day, Thurs $1 off drafts and dinner • Tuesday Trivia 8-10pm Tavern open ‘til 12am Weekdays, and 1am Friday & Saturday • Wednesday Open Mic 8-11pm • Friday and Saturday Live Music 6-10pm For our full schedule & specials visit us on facebook, or


Serving Lunch & Dinner 7 days 11-10 Sunday Brunch Specials Gluten Free options

Boone’s Donate-What-You-Can Community Cafe “Where Everybody Eats” 617 W. King Street Across from Mast General Store Serving Lunch Mon-Fri, 11-2

Grandfather Center 3990 Hwy 105 S Suite 6, Banner Elk, NC 28604 828-898-9880



(Served on our homemade bread)

Inspire Your Tastebuds Painted Salad

Pies • Cakes • Tarts Shepherd’s Pie Steak & Ale Pie Chicken Pot Pie English Specialties (On request)


Serving Dinner Twice Monthly Call or Check our Website for Dates & Menu

828.963.8228 Fabulous British Chef/Owner

Dominic & Meryle Geraghty

MAKE YOUR RESERVATION NOW! 2941 tynecastle highway • banner elk (across from the entrance to Sugar Mountain)



Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm Lunch served till 3pm 9872 Hwy. 105 S. in Foscoe (Across from Mountain Lumber) CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Autumn 2018 —


Banner Elk Winery & Villa Experience Luxury in the High Country’s Original & Most Acclaimed Winery Savor award-winning wine and pamper yourself at The Villa, a luxury B&B. Spend your days exploring the local golfing, fishing, and skiing. Or recharge with a spa treatment and a glass of wine in front of the magnificent stone fireplace. A weekend getaway, corporate retreat, family vacation, or destination wedding ... it’s the perfect place to relax, re-inspire, and rejuvenate ~ both inside and out.

Soft Sheets Perfect Location Great Hospitality Reservations 828-898-8195

Corporate Meetings • Weddings • Special Events 135 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604

828-260-1790 136

— Autumn 2018 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE BannerElkWVSep/Oct2012.indd 1

8/14/12 10:56 AM

149 Azalea Circle SE Banner Elk 28604

...showcasing Chef’s Table, “Banner Elk’s ‘little hidden gem’ of fine dining.” Newly remodeled Chef’s table features gourmet fine dining with new tapas and cocktail menus, private dining, veranda, and VIP seating. Visit our website for our live entertainment schedules!

Sorrento’S Dining & entertainment Complex in the heart of Downtown Banner Elk


140 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, NC

Sports Bar Chef’s Table | Barra Sorrento’s Bistro |chef

Sorrento’s dining complex has something for everyone’s tastes—traditional Italian, gourmet fine dining, and international cuisine. Enjoy indoor and outdoor entertainment, stocked bars, a wine room, a cigar lounge, exclusive NFL and college sports viewing, private dining, art galleries, karaoke, a family-friendly arcade and so much more! Call 828.898.5214 for reservations. Special Events & Catering: Corporate Events, Weddings, VIP Dining Parties Call 828.528.1558 | Email

OUR SPONSORS: 90............... A to Z Auto Detailing 34,53.......... Abode Home Design 67............... Alta Vista Gallery 90............... Amy Brown, CPA 93............... Andrews & Andrews Insurance 54............... Antiques on Howard 65............... Anvil Arts Sculpture Garden & Gallery 118............. AppOrtho 78............... Appalachian Angler 7................. Appalachian Blind and Closet 80............... Appalachian Elder Law Center 57............... Appalachian Voices 78............... Apple Hill Farm 67............... Art Cellar 65............... Ashe Arts – Art on the Mountain 50............... Ashe Chamber of Commerce 93............... Avery Animal Hospital 90............... Avery Chamber of Commerce 92............... Avery Heating & Air Conditioning 136............. Azalea Inn 88............... Banner Elk Book Exchange 134............. Banner Elk Café & Lodge 88............... Banner Elk Consignment Cottage 69............... Banner Elk Realty 4................. 69............... Banner Elk Olive Oil and Balsamics 136............. Banner Elk Winery 137............. Barra 64............... Barter Theater 128............. Bayou Smokehouse & Grill 90............... BB&T 128............. Bella’s Italian Restaurant 80............... Best Western Mountain Lodge 131............. Bistro Roco 52............... Blowing Rock Ale House Restaurant/Brewing Co 120............. Blowing Rock Farmer’s Market 46............... Blowing Rock Music Festival 120............. Blowing Rock Pages 52............... Blowing Rock Winterfest 104............. Blue Ridge Energy 76............... Blue Ridge Professional Property Services 6................. Blue Ridge Propane 52............... Blue Ridge Realty & Investments 76............... Boone High Country Rentals 65............... BRAHM 78............... Brinkley Hardware 52............... Brushy Mountain Apple Festival 18............... Carlton Gallery

76............... Casa Rustica 69............... Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff 137............. Chef’s Table 93............... Children’s Hope Alliance 6................. Classic Stone 38............... CoMMA 92............... Compu-Doc 127............. CoBo Sushi Bistro & Bar 90............... Creative Interiors by Darlene Parker 69............... Creative Printing 12............... Crossnore School for Children 2................. Dewoolfson 8,53............ Distinctive Cabinetry of the High Country 65............... Doe Ridge Pottery 40............... Downtown Boone 135............. Eat Crow Café 74............... Echota 53............... Edward Jones 135,53........ Elevations Tavern and Grill 51............... Elk River Club 66............... Encore Travel 131............. English Farmstead Cheese 35............... Ensemble Stage 127,53........ Ericks Cheese and Wine 127............. Eseeola Lodge 135............. F.A.R.M. Café 54............... Florence Art School 57............... Footsloggers 80............... Fortner Insurance 78............... Foscoe Fishing 73............... Fred’s General Mercantile 35............... Front Porch Antiques 8................. Fuller & Fuller 80............... Gadabouts Catering 128............. Gamekeeper 66............... Gardens of the Blue Ridge 53............... Gentiva Health Services 131............. Gideon Ridge Inn 11............... Gilded Age Antiques 53............... Grandfather Center Shoppes 139............. Grandfather Mountain 10............... Grandfather Vineyard 88............... Graystone Aesthetic Center 72............... Greater Newland Business Association 64............... Gregory Alan’s Gifts 120............. Handtiques 67............... Hardin Fine Jewelry 53............... High Country ABC Store 40............... High Country Animal Clinic 76............... High Country Resort Rentals

124............. High Country Wine Trail 66............... Highland Forestry Land & Timber 50............... Highlands Union Bank 66............... Hunter’s Tree Service 40............... Incredible Toy Company 130............. Italian Restaurant 35............... Jack’s 128 Pecan 126............. Jerky Outpost 56............... J.W. Tweeds 72............... Leatherwood Mountains Resort 73............... Lees-McRae College 53............... Linville Animal Hospital 46............... Linville Caverns 15............... Linville Falls Mountain Club 27............... Linville Falls Winery 3................. Lodges at Eagles Nest 130............. Lost Province Brewing Company 140............. Mast General Store 131............. Maw’s Produce 67............... Mica Gallery 14............... Mike Smith Builders 47............... Mountain Blue Gallery 72............... Mountain Dog and Friends 56 .............. Mountain Glory Festival 53............... Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea 47............... Mountain Jewelers 81............... Mountaineer Landscaping 72............... My Best Friend’s Barkery 120............. Mystery Hill 90............... Nick’s Restaurant & Pub 135............. Painted Fish Café 69,90.......... Peak Real Estate 126............. Pedalin’ Pig BBQ 92............... Premier Pharmacy 47............... Ram’s Rack Thrift Shop 53,130........ Reid’s Café & Catering 54............... Reinert Fine Art 47............... Resort Real Estate & Rentals 90............... Rite Aid Pharmacy 40............... Rivercross 69,53.......... Root Down Hair Studio 64............... Rustik 64............... Sally Nooney Art Studio Gallery 90............... Salon Suites at Tynecastle 45............... Saloon Studios Live 5,27............ 73............... Seven Devils TDA

90............... Shooz and Shiraz 53............... Shoppes at Farmers 90............... Shoppes 0f Tynecastle 120............. Six Pence Pub 66............... Skyline Emporium 137............. Sorrento’s Italian Bistro 60............... Spruce Pine Potters Market 57............... Stella Blue’s Pawtique 135............. Stick Boy Bread Co. 84............... Stone Cavern 18............... Stonewalls Restaurant 27,5............ Sugar Mountain Golf and Tennis 76............... Sugar Mountain Wreath and Garland 14............... Summit Group 54............... Sunset Tee’s 10............... Tatum Gallery 120,46........ The Blowing Rock 68............... The Cabin Store 35............... The Consignment Cottage Warehouse 90............... The Dande Lion 93............... The Happy Shack 126............. The New Public House & Hotel 56............... The Schaefer Center Presents 131............. The Spice & Tea Exchange 65............... The Twisted Twig 5,27............ The Village of Sugar Mountain 80............... Tom’s Custom Golf 64............... Turchin Center for the Visual Arts 90............... Tynecastle Builders 90............... Tynecastle Realty 34............... Villa Nove Vineyards Winery 90............... Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill 53............... Verizon 68............... Village Jewelers 117............. Waite Financial 53............... Watauga County Choose & Cut 57............... Watauga County Farmers Market 34............... Watauga Lake Winery 53............... Western Carolina Eye Associates 120............. Woodlands Barbecue 106............. Woolly Worm Festival 112............. YMCA of Avery Co

thank you! 138 — Autumn 2018 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE


Even the smallest of us can be part of something very big.


The grown-up sense of discovery at every turn around the mountain will only be surpassed by the childlike wonder our natural playground evokes. w w w. g ra n d f a t h e r. c o m





Carolina Mountain Life - Autumn 2018  

Life style magazine for the entire High Country region of North Carolina (and neighbors). We feature events, support local business & build...

Carolina Mountain Life - Autumn 2018  

Life style magazine for the entire High Country region of North Carolina (and neighbors). We feature events, support local business & build...