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Absolutely Priceless! Spring 2014

A Taste of Our Mountain Life Awaits You . . . Come Sit a Spell, Relax & Enjoy.

“...a wonderful read for 17 years!”

Estab. 2001

Since its inception in 2001, The Farm has matured into one of the finest communities in the High Country. Our homes have been praised for their architecture; likewise, our community for its overall beauty. Located in the city limits of Banner Elk, The Farm is easily accessible to stores and restaurants. While the location is urban, generous open space including two ponds, a trout stream, acres of pasture and the outdoor pavillion give The Farm the serenity of a more remote locale. The Farm is a very special place to live . . .


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One of our goals is to inspire each visitor to be a good steward of the earth And to appreciate the wonders found here. We are not trying to move mountains, just people. w w w. g r a n d f a t h e r . c o m



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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


A Kitchen is a Kitchen is a Kitchen ...unless it’s DISTINCTIVE! Take a good look at this kitchen. Beautiful and distinctive, right? It was custom designed for one of your neighbors. They love it. We loved working with them to create it….. just for them.

That’s what we do. We design hand crafted custom cabinetry for your kitchen, master bath, media room, home office….to reflect your lifestyle and needs. We can even help you coordinate all the appliances, fixtures and accessories to make your project more beautiful and functional. Come visit our new boutique showroom and meet our new management team at our new location in the Grandfather Center at Tynecastle (next to Mountain Grounds Coffee Shop). We are the same wonderful Parks family you’ve come to know and trust….but Mom and Dad have semiretired and we’re running the new store. So let’s get together and start creating something truly beautiful and distinctive just for you!

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Inside . . .

Front Cover:

Blackburnian Warbler By Dr. Sreven Bulluck, a great friend of Audubon North Carolina The Blackburnian Warbler is a breeding bird from here in the High Country that likes older hemlocks, and other taller trees. They can be found with regularity at Trout Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway and other High Country locations.

12...........An Appalachian Summer Festival Celebrates 30 Years By Keith Martin 14...........Highland Games Turns up Volume By Steve York 18...........Making Music with Wayne Henderson By Jean Callison 20...........No Need to Fret - Banjo Making in the Blue Ridge By Carl Tyrie 22...........Joe Shannon & Mountain Home Music By Mark Freed 26...........The Spanish Empire in Burke County By Steve York 35...........Remembering Ruthie Houston By Elizabeth Baird Hardy 45...........SW Virginia Beaming with Activity 48...........Underground Railroad of the Blue Ridge By Michael Hardy 52...........Mary Ray - Sew Talented By LouAnn Morehouse 57. ...........Good Doctor Tate By Jerry Shinn 76. ...........Tale of Triumph - the Story of Houston Matthews By Steve York 82. ...........A Story of America - Pilar Harding By Mary Ray 85. ...........What’s New for Spring Planting By Bob Oelberg 86. ...........Birding Extravaganza By Curtis Smalling & Jane Richardson 88. ...........Bee Aware By Julie Farthing 96. ...........Spruce it Up!

spring By Steve York

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Invest in the Future Spring is a time of renewal — so consider renewing your commitment to the mountains. Support our work to protect the land, air, water and communities by providing a cleaner energy future for Appalachia.

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Need legal advice or representation? Call Walker DiVenere Wright. If you’re like the clients who have built our reputation, you want a lawyer who’s local and available, one who listens and is responsive to you, answers your questions and understands your case and the courts. At Walker DiVenere Wright, we’ll answer your calls. We’ll make time for your questions. We’ll listen. We won’t waste your time. We’ll explain the law and your choices and offer guidance. All Real Estate Matters • Wills & Trusts Automobile • All Accidents • Personal Injury All Construction Matters • Insurance Claims Wrongful Death • General Civil Litigation

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Publisher’s Note New Beginnings


ew beginnings. Violets and sprouts of all kinds are emerging as I write this note. The hummingbirds have flown a miraculous flight from the South of approximately 550 miles, monarch butterflies hatch and delight children with their amazing evolution from chrysalis cocoon to a beautiful winged creature. Our long Winter finally gives way to warm breezes, leaves bursting forth and signs of Southern license tags appear everywhere. The rebirth of Spring is filled with discovery. With that being said, we have taken our long winter days at CML to produce what we feel is an immense diversity of stories that reflect our mountain culture. We have an eclectic group of writers that have shared their love of interesting subjects and personalities. Now as we welcome Spring to our mountain communities, our home received the announcement of our daugh-

ter’s pregnancy. Excited? Baby booties and children’s books are popping up all over the house. Recently at Harmony Center for Women’s Health & Vitality, we witnessed the new life moving about —tiny hands and feet and the pumping of her little heart. It was a miraculous moment. The technician took the time to write on the ultra sound, “Hey Daddy! Your little girl hopes you feel better soon!” He was home awaiting the news and nursing a bad bout of Spring poison ivy. So as Spring has marched in, I’ve decided to take a pause and give notice to the wonder around me. We hope that as you turn the pages of this edition that you too, will discover new and different people, places and things. Roll us up, take us with you and tell our advertisers, thanks! And don’t forget you can also view us online 24/7 at www. cmlmagazine.com

Mountain Life Carolina

The Heart & Soul of the High Country

A publication of Carolina Mountain Life, Inc. Publisher & Editor, Babette McAuliffe ©2013 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.

Share us with a friend! CML is published 4 times a year and is available by subscription for $20.00 a year (continental US) Send check or money order to: Carolina Mountain Life, PO Box 976, Linville, NC 28646

livingcarolina@bellsouth.net | 828-737-0771 | www.CMLmagazine.com Contributors: Deborah Mayhall-Bradshaw, Holly Barrett, Gina Bria, Glenn Bruce, Carol Burns, Psy.D., F.T., Jean Callison, Andrew Corpening, Julie Farthing, Brennan Ford, Morgan Ford, Mark Freed, Jean Gellin, Dudley Gilmer, Judah Goheen, Meagan Goheen, Elizabeth Baird Hardy, Michael C. Hardy, Koren Huskins, Ren Manning, Keith Martin, Willa Coffee Mays, Tom McAuliffe, LouAnn Morehouse, Katherine Newton, Bob Oelberg, Mary Ray, Jane Richardson, Carl Tyrie, Jerry Shinn, Curtis Smalling, Caroline Stahlschmidt, and Steve York

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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


An Appalachian Summer Festival 2014: 30th Anniversary Season is Reason to Celebrate By Keith Martin Sheryl Crow


here are very few traditions here in the North Carolina High Country to rival the annual events that comprise An Appalachian Summer Festival. And next to the natural beauty of the area, nothing brings arts lovers to the mountains in greater numbers and with such passion as Appalachian State University’s annual gift to our region. 2014 marks the 30th anniversary season of this venerable celebration of the arts. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music festival and has developed over the years to become one of the nation’s largest regional multi-arts festivals with more than 26,000 people in attendance each year. Presented by the Appalachian State University Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, the festival takes place every July on and around the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film. For nearly a decade, the Southeast Tourism Society has named the festival one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast.” In May 2013, An Appalachian Summer’s classical music programming was featured in The New York Times Summer Stages section. The newly renovated Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts will host a majority

12 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

Anthony Savoy & Stephanie Williams

of offerings this season, providing artists and audience members alike with a state-of-the-art venue. “An Appalachian Summer Festival has become a travel destination for arts patrons across the nation, and a major point of pride for the university and community that embrace it,” says Hank Foreman, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Communications Officer. “The breadth and quality of programming offered by the festival enhances the cultural landscape of our entire region, and serves as an important ‘gateway’ onto our campus, for visitors and community residents alike.”

A Balanced Vision The festival’s artistic vision has three key components: artistic excellence, innovation and engagement. Presenting accomplished and respected performing and visual artists who are regionally, nationally and internationally recognized while providing opportunities for emerging artists has been the key to developing a long history of artistic excellence. As Director of Arts and Cultural Programs, Denise Ringler is the primary force behind artist selection and program creation, assisted by an experienced staff with input from An Appalachian Summer Festival’s 30-member Advisory Board, a diverse group of university

and community supporters. In putting together the schedule for 2014, Ringler says, “The festival’s 30th anniversary season offers an opportunity not only to present the stellar artistic programming everyone expects from An Appalachian Summer Festival, but to honor the festival’s founders and supporters who have embraced and sustained the festival for three decades.” Ringler’s enthusiasm for the festival is palpable, as is her organization’s unwavering commitment to Boone, the region, and the thousands of attendees they exist to serve. “The anniversary also offers a great opportunity to celebrate our remarkable ‘home community’ and the festival’s audiences, whose love for the arts makes it possible for events such as AppSummer to grow and prosper.” Picking a favorite artist or concert from among hundreds of events over thirty years is akin to choosing a favorite child, but Ringler noted several that festival patrons cite as especially memorable. “Programs such as the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble and the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition are central to the festival’s identity, and are definitely festival favorites.” Beyond that, Ringler mentioned Bill Cosby, Willie Nelson, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, k.d. lang, Chicago, and the Doobie Brothers, as well as classical guest artists Dawn Up-


Photo by Matthew Murphy

Sir James Galway shaw, Midori, Garrick Ohlsson, and Evelyn Glennie.

Artists and Programs for 2014 The Schaefer Popular Series, featuring the most exciting pop artists of today, includes nine-time Grammy Awardwinner Sheryl Crow on July 24, Broadway and Glee star Matthew Morrison on July 12, and Nickel Creek on July 14, with additional artists to be announced shortly. One of country music’s biggest names, Little Big Town, will take the stage for the annual Outdoor Fireworks Concert on June 28. The Classical Music component includes the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble concert series with Gil Morgenstern, Artistic Director and the Eastern Festival Orchestra with Gerard Schwarz, Music Director, featuring world-renowned flutist and guest artist Sir James Galway, and guest artist Shane Rathburn (first prize winner of last year’s Rosen-Schaffel Competition, which showcases the talents of young artists from across North Carolina through a juried competition process). In addition, the National Youth Orchestra with David Robertson, Music Director and violinist Gil Shaham, will perform, appearing as part of a national tour organized by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and featuring 120 of the brightest young players from across the

country. The always-popular Hayes School of Music Faculty Showcase Concert will have a return engagement. Dance enthusiasts have reason to celebrate with residencies by two of the world’s foremost companies, Pilobolus Dance Theatre and the Dance Theatre of Harlem. Triad Stage of Greensboro will return to Boone to entertain and delight theatre fans with “a classic reinvented,” Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the last official event in the High Country Shakespeare Celebration commemorating the 450th birthday of the immortal Bard. Visual Arts And Film will again hold a prominent place in An Appalachian Summer Festival. The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition will observe its 28th season with an Exhibition Opening of contemporary art from South Africa celebrating 20 years of democracy and the legacy of Nelson Mandela. The festival’s popular Global Cinema Series will be announcing titles in the near future. The festival’s dynamic Educational Programs will include the Turchin Center’s Lunch and Learn Series, “Family Day,” and a Visual Arts Workshop Series, as well as the Belk Distinguished Lecture, and a special workshop for young audiences, offered by the Dance Theatre of Harlem entitled “The Making of a Ballet Dancer.”

Nickel Creek

Season Highlights Little Big Town Sheryl Crow Matthew Morrison and the Greensboro Symphony Nickel Creek Pilobolus Dance Theatre of Harlem Eastern Festival Orchestra with Sir James Galway, flute; Gerard Schwarz, Music Director Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra with Gil Shaham, violin; David Robertson, Music Director Broyhill Chamber Ensemble

cele brate Hayes School of Music Faculty Showcase Concert Triad Stage: All’s Well that Ends Well

Contemporary Art From South Africa

28th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition

Global Cinema Film Series

For a complete listing of events, dates, times and ticket information, visit www.appsummer.org.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Re-Energizes Celtic Glory By Steve York

Jamie Laval


sk people about their favorite entertainment at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) and music is at the top of the list. From traditional Celtic folk performers to contemporary fusion groups to full-regalia piping bands, it’s the music that wraps MacRae Meadows like a warming tartan every July. Organizers are particularly keen about this year when they showcase an expanded venue of bands, including the long-awaited return of the iconic Celtic Rock band Seven Nations. Perhaps the driving force behind the 2014 lineup is E.J. Jones, the new GMHG Director of Grove Entertainment. Jones has embraced that demanding role to pull together perhaps the best lineup in a decade at the Games. He’ll be a constant presence on the Friday and Saturday night stages as well as the daytime events and the intimate grove sessions. If his name sounds familiar it’s no surprise. E.J. is lead piper for Clandestine, a popular contemporary Celtic band he founded in his hometown of

14 — Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014

Houston, Texas. They’ve gained national recognition, have released five CD’s and have been one of the top GMHG bands in recent years. So you have seen Jones frequently in the Groves and on stage playing both the Scottish pipes and the Irish flute. But Jones is more than ‘just’ a good musician. He’s a renowned professional Highland bagpiper, as designated by the Eastern United States Pipe Band Association. It took him 14 years of continuous lessons from three Gold Medalist pipers to earn that ranking. “I’ve been fortunate to play at many Highland Games and Irish Festivals for the last 20 years and have learned how they manage their entertainment venues,” Jones said. “So I’ve had a lot of time to become prepared for my new role at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.” To concentrate resources towards a more impactful musical venue, the Games will feature two Grove stages this year. Grove 1 will headline with The Freestylers of Piping, a quartet of traditional pipers and drummers from three of the best bands in the country. These four artists will perform for the first time together at the July Games. Also in Grove 1 will be recording favorites, The Red Wellies, from Asheville, plus Jill Chambless, one of the most beautiful Celtic circuit singers anywhere. She will be performing with her musical partner, guitarist Scooter Muse. Along with Seven Nations, Grove 2 will showcase US National Fiddle Champion, Jamie Laval plus The Good Sets with Jen Hamel, guitarist and former lead singer for Clandestine. The Good Sets is Jen’s new power band. And, on the ever-popular Alex Beaton stage, Scottish song legend, Ed Miller, will be headlined. The Friday night Celtic Jam will feature traditional music culminating with Brian McNeill, founder of the Battlefield Band. He will close the night with a spontaneous true Celtic jam session. On Saturday night, it’s the GMHG legendary Celtic Rock concert featuring

the Freestylers of Piping, plus the most inspiring Irish singer and guitarist of his time, John Doyle. Doyle now makes his home in Asheville and is the hero of countless Celtic musicians all over the world. Then, after more than a ten-year absence from MacRae Meadows, Seven Nations will take the stage and top off Saturday night. Seven Nations is led by Kirk McLeod, who is founder, lead singer, and piper, and has witnessed the band morph its style and membership since its start in 1993 as Clan Na Gael. They helped revolutionize traditional Celtic music by adding electric guitars, contemporary-sounding vocals and a rock-style presentation. For long-time GMHG followers, Seven Nations’ new incarnation will offer a more acoustic sound, yet with the same distinctive dynamism that ignited their nationwide fame. Looking ahead, E.J. Jones foresees an even greater connection between nearby Celtic music schools and a growing enthusiasm for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. “This area offers incredible music summer camps. One is the NAAPD, for Highland pipers and drummers, run by Sandy Jones and held at the Valle Crucis Conference Center; where I’ve been fortunate to teach over the last two years,” he explained. Another camp is held at the Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College focusing on fiddle, flute, guitar and songs, plus other instruments. Both occur in July and attract legendary Celtic music performers who teach there. Their close proximity to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games makes it possible for many of them to play here for the first time. And that is big news for both the Celtic music industry and western North Carolina. “We’re helping to nurture the young area musicians of today to become the top performers of tomorrow,” Jones said.

music For complete games and music scheduling, visit www.gmhg.org.

Brian McNeill

Freestylers of Piping

Seven Nations

Chambless & Muse

The Good Sets

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Watauga Violinist Wins Scottish Fiddle Crown


aura Shawn Scanlin of Watauga County was crowned champion at the Glenfiddich Fiddle Competition October 27 at Blair Castle in Perthshire, Pitlochry, Scotland. Glenfiddich is considered the most prestigious competition in traditional Scottish fiddle music. Musicians are invited based on musical merit, recognition and through other prestigious competitions.

“The Glenfiddich Championship is a competition brimming with amazing talent and it was an honour to be invited to Scotland to compete,” said Maura. “Winning this year takes the experience to a whole new level.” Blair Castle, 1265 AD, is the seat of the Dukes of Atholl, where 18th century Scottish fiddler Neil Gow was patronized by three Atholl Dukes throughout his career. His portrait and fiddle grace the great hall where the competition was held. The late violinist Yehudi Menhuin also drew a band together at Blair Castle for a BBC documentary. “Scottish fiddle music is living proof that the origins of all music are in our pulse and the true and colourful folk heritage and tradition must always remain at the very source of culture and musical life,” said Menhuin. Maura Shawn has been playing the violin for 15 years. Her teachers have included Nan Stricklen of Banner Elk, Dr. Nancy Bargerstock at the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University,

Sarah Johnson at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in WinstonSalem, and currently Lucy Chapman at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Maura was a first violinist for several years in ASU’s chamber and symphony orchestras, the UNCSA Symphony Orchestra and chamber groups where she attended high school. At the New England Conservatory, where she is now a college freshman, she is in the Symphony Orchestra and chamber and improvisational groups. In 2012 she was selected to be concertmaster of the NC All-State Honors Orchestra and the NC Regional Honors Orchestra. She is a Junior US National Scottish Fiddling Champion (2008) and a two-time Open US National Scottish Fiddling Champion (2010, 2012). Maura Shawn is the daughter of Dennis Scanlin and Charlene Trestain.





A colorful life is waiting for you just south of Grandfather Mountain • Lake & Linville river fishing • 18-hole golf course • Tennis • Pool • Hiking trails • Covered shuffleboard pavilion • Square/round & ballroom dancing • Plus many other recreational activities

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hether you’re visiting for the first time or carrying on a summer tradition, it’s time for an evening at The Eseeola Lodge. Join us for dinner or stay the night.

Dinner served nightly: 6:30 til 9 Thursday Nights Seafood Buffet

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HIGHLAND GAMES & Gathering of the Scottish Clans

JULY 10-13, 2014 AT MACRAE MEADOWS, LINVILLE NC Come join the fun and excitement of the Games. There will be dance competition, athletic competition, piping and drumming, sheep herding, music in the Groves on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, concerts Friday and Saturday nights, Worship Service and Parade of Tartans on Sunday, and children’s activities each day. www.gmhg.org Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


A 20th Anniversary Celebration for The Wayne Henderson Festival

Wayne Henderson: The Legend Of Rugby, Virginia Jean Callison The Wayne Henderson Festival will mark twenty years of presentations on Saturday, June 21. This is an all day festival held from 10:30am until 7pm at the picnic center of Grayson Highlands State Park, off Hwy 58 just beyond Rugby, VA. The festival is renowned for its stellar guitar competition; the winner goes home with a coveted Wayne Henderson guitar. This year, VINCE GILL is the headliner in an afternoon filled with great bands. Scholarships will be announced, and late in the afternoon, the guitar competition winner will be announced. The Festival concludes with “Wayne Henderson and Friends” playing the crowd out. By this anniversary the Wayne Henderson Festival will have distributed over $100,000 in scholarships, $20,000 in this, the 20th year! The Festival is held the third Saturday of June, rain or shine, and festival goers are encouraged to bring their own chairs (no high-back chairs, or chairs with umbrellas or other attachments please) and encouraged to pack a picnic lunch to avoid food lines. There will be vending that includes barbecue, hot dogs, ice cream and kettle corn. There are free supervised children’s activities from noon-5 pm. No alcoholic beverages. No pets please. More Info: waynehenderson.org Event sponsored by Wayne Henderson Music Festival, Inc. and the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, division of State Parks (VA.)

18 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

Rig for bending the sides of a guitar using extreme heat and clamped pressure


o say that you are a friend of Wayne Henderson puts you in the company of thousands of people from all over the world. Having the great fortune to live near him and visit his shop from time to time makes for fine adventure! Wayne lives and works as a luthier— a master guitar builder—and gained fame crafting a guitar for Eric Clapton, among others, from his shop in Rugby, VA, in Grayson County. When Wayne is in town, his shop is peopled with wellknown and lesser known musicians who enjoy spending time in his presence. He is gracious to all, and just a good, generous man. Doc Watson, a Deep Gap legend, was a frequent guest to the shop, and the two men were devoted to each other until Doc’s passing. I had the privilege of spending another afternoon in Wayne’s shop recently. I interviewed him for CM magazine on the subject of the upcoming 20th Annual Wayne Henderson Music Festival, to take place June 21, rain or shine. I know Wayne and the men and women who work there and frequent his shop. It’s a congenial place. When I arrived last week, Wayne was sharpening a pencil to a fine point using his pocketknife. He

began drawing on a scrap of paper what seemed to be a very intricate and small circle; a perfect circle in free hand. Then, the circle took on grooves as it became a “snowflake” design that would be cut from abalone shell for an inlay on the fret board of someone’s soon-to-be Henderson guitar. It was a fascinating process. The circle became a snowflake. He took the pocketknife that had sharpened the pencil and carefully cut along the border of his intricate design and sure enough, it was a perfect snowflake. He attached the tiny slip of paper onto a thin layer of abalone shell. The shell was put in a homemade clamping device that held the shell in place while Wayne began cutting the design by hand with a coping saw. He held the tension of the clamp, loosening it for each angle of the cut, with his foot hovering over a rigged pedal, attached to a bar, attached to a spring, attached to another bar, attached to the homemade clamp. This is one of the things to love about Wayne’s shop. He and his shop gang are engineers putting together just the right tool or jig for the job. Oh, there are standard saws, planers, drills, sanders, routers and the like; but the clamps, wood benders, and mirrored tools to look into the belly of a guitar are works of wonder.

Daughter Jayne working on the body of a guitar she is building

Curiosities abound in his woodshop. I spied a cow bone hanging on the wall. This will yield many guitar bridges and nuts. The smallest scrap of wood has a profound use. Indeed, as Wayne patiently cut the abalone shell for the inlay of the guitar fret board, he commented that this step had already been done, “but they must have dropped to the floor and somebody swept them up.” He would spend hours on this step, but the fact that he had to do it all over again he just shrugged away. The inlay work looked tedious and difficult as he would cut it in delicate motion, and then take a hand file to get the edges perfect. Tedious, exacting work that was later artfully inlaid into an ebony fret board. Building the body of the guitar is what Wayne enjoys most in the process. The artisan begins with thick chunks and slabs of seasoned hard wood, and winnows them down to thin pieces that will be assembled into a museum-quality instrument. The backs, sides, and top are of different woods, each selected to get the best tone from the instrument. It is the vibration in the fibers of the wood that makes for the richness of a tone. The backs are actually two pieces cut from the same thin slice of wood to produce a mirror image of each other, joined by a

Photo on shop wall of Wayne Henderson and Doc Watson

custom “spine” down the middle. His penchant for woodworking developed early in life. Wayne remembers practicing his art carving initials into classmates’ pencils when he was in elementary school. He did it on the sly, trying not to get caught by his teachers, sliding the pencil and pocket-knife in and out of his desk. He would later employ this skill by kerfing—cutting the strip of wood next to the binding that holds a guitar front to the back—by hand, something now accomplished by power routers. Wayne built his first guitars from cardboard boxes at the age of ten. He learned under the tutelage of Albert Hash, a well-known fiddle player and instrument builder from the area. Wayne respected Albert and was fascinated by his skill at making and playing instruments. He wanted to learn how to do it “right.” He recalled he finally made his first “good guitar” at the age of 17. It took a full year to finish it to his liking. His mother, in an intuitive move, had the foresight to not let Wayne sell his first guitar. “She wouldn’t dare let me even use it for parts on other guitars,” he remembered, with a glint in his eye. He still has that guitar—and the glint in his eye. The upcoming Wayne Hender-

son Music Festival—the 20th event— takes place June 21 in Rugby, Virginia. Wayne’s guitars are in the hands of many of the musicians performing there. Funds raised by the festival provide scholarships for young people to study the music of the Appalachian Mountains. Every year he creates a new guitar for the first-prize winner of the guitar contest. But the real prize of the festival is spending an afternoon in the company of Wayne. He’s played his music in Carnegie Hall, and in 1995 he was the recipient of the National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment of the Arts. He has carried his music around the world to audiences drawn to his brand of mountain music, a blend of old-time, blues, and bluegrass with a unique fingerpicking style best described as a hybrid. His is a legacy of excellence now followed by his daughter Jayne, a fine luthier in her own right, along with a band of men creating instruments alongside the master craftsman in his shop in the Virginia mountains.


To learn more, go to www.WayneHenderson.org for the full lineup of the 2014 music festival, headlined by Vince Gill.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Keeping the Old-Time Music Alive By Carl Tyrie


he North Carolina High Country is home to a tradition of old-time music that flourishes through the efforts of many area residents. At almost any Jones House jam on Thursday nights in downtown Boone, some musicians play instruments that were around a century ago. Jones House Cultural Resource Coordinator Mark Freed says defining “oldtime” music can be tricky. “I guess it’s the rural country music of our country,” he offers, “but that style will change depending on what region you’re in. When you’re in southern Appalachia, it’s a lot of string-band music and some people would include some old-world unaccompanied ballads.” Freed adds that musicians aren’t the only old-timers in the High Country. “There’s also a rich tradition of instrument building in the area,” he explains, citing craftsmen such as Charlie Glenn, Paul Graybeal, Earl Moretz, and Rick Ward. They all build high-quality acoustic instruments including guitars, banjos, fiddles, and dulcimers. Freed points to a relative newcomer to that group, John Peterson, who is producing a classic example of one old-time musical instrument—the ‘fretless’ banjo. Peterson is turning out perhaps more fretless banjos than any place in the world from his workshop home on Three Top Road in Todd. Frets are the ridges placed uniformly along the neck, or fingerboard, of stringed instruments that guide the player’s fingers to produce varieties of notes. The fretless banjo pre-dates the American Civil War. The ‘fret’ would appear on banjos and guitars later in the 19th century. The absence of frets allows the player’s hands to easily slide up and down the neck. “Instead of being restricted to the notes allowed by each fret, the banjo projects all the tones going through the scale,” Peterson explains, adding that the ‘skin’ used on old-time banjo heads produces a mellower tone than that found

20 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

on modern fretted instruments built with plastic heads. Born in Ohio, John spent most of his youth in Boone where his father served on the business school faculty of Appalachian State University. The younger Peterson pursued a degree in Anthropology at ASU, but it was his minor in Appalachian Studies that sent him on the path to banjo building and preserving the music of the region. Peterson credits Boone musician Mary Greene with leading him down the musical path to where he is now. He met Greene not long after his first attempt at instrument building. In 1990, he completed a mountain dulcimer kit his dad had started but not finished several years earlier. “So then I had a dulcimer and didn’t know how to play it,” Peterson remembers. “I saw a newspaper ad for a dulcimer class Mary was going to teach at the old Appalachian Cultural Museum, so I signed up.” The class not only helped him learn to play the dulcimer but also sparked his interest in the historical story of its music. He ended up working at the cultural museum in Boone for nine years before moving to Fargo, North Dakota. “I started volunteering at a museum up there,” he recalls. “Then they hired me and I worked there for about ten years before returning to Boone.” By the time Peterson returned to the High Country, he had already decided to build instruments full time. In Fargo, he posted a photo of the first banjo he built on his own website, inspired by a fretless model built by a man from Watauga County. “I was doing an old-time music workshop and playing my Stanley Hicks banjo,” Peterson says of his efforts to promote old time music in Fargo. “After the program, this fellow came up to me and asked, ‘Can you build me one of those?’ I told him I had never made one before, but I’d try.” The result was a fretless banjo made mostly of plywood and, in the builder’s

words, “looking really rough.” The banjo’s photo on the website, however, was interesting enough for a player from Seattle to request John Peterson’s fretless banjo #2. That banjo began a tradition that Peterson continues. He photographs his banjos and records a video in which he plays each instrument before it is sent to its owner. These videos are posted on his YouTube channel, http://www. youtube.com/user/frailingbanjo, where viewers can check out his instruments and see videos posted by his customers as well. In fact, one of the first videos on the website is by the owner of banjo #2. With more than 13,000 hits, it has contributed to a number of inquiries about additional banjos. “That’s a great thing about YouTube,” Peterson says. “It’s free advertising.” Today, his is a short commute to work, just down the front steps and around the house to his basement workshop. It’s no small irony that an instrument from a primitive era is being heard around the world thanks to the Internet. And thanks to the abundant natural resources available locally, Peterson’s work is the real deal. Unlike guitars, where the wood used to build the body of the instrument is crucial to the resulting tone, most of the sound from a fretless banjo comes from the vibrating skin on the banjo head. The only place sound waves actually hit wood is on the bottom hoop. This makes the choice of wood less important to the sound. “I tell people to mostly go by looks,” he says, although he thinks there are subtle differences between the woods. “Walnut seems to be a little brighter, whereas cherry and chestnut seem to have a little more mellow tone and maple seems to give you a little more volume,” he says. “But if I build two allwalnut banjos, they’ll each have their own characteristic sound. I think it has to do with the tree’s growth pattern.” Peterson favors the dark look of walnut, but admits the next banjo he builds for himself will have hoops made of

John Peterson, who is producing a classic example of one old-time musical instrument—the ‘fretless’ banjo. Peterson is turning out perhaps more fretless banjos than any place in the world from his workshop home on Three Top Road in Todd.

wormy chestnut. The last banjo he kept for himself was his 100th instrument. It’s on the first video on his YouTube channel and is all walnut with inlaid brass on the top half of the neck. With more than 350 hand-made banjos under his sanding belt, so to speak, he still remembers stories behind many of them. One of his favorites involves a banjo he built for his wood supplier, Willie Trivett, whose sawmill in western Watauga County has been in the Trivett family for generations. “After dealing with Willie for about three months, I figured I’d better take a banjo out and show him what I was doing with his wood,” Peterson says. “That’s when he got the idea for me to build one for him.” Trivett admits he’s not a banjo player. Instead, he wanted an instrument he could put on his mantle in honor of his grandfather, who built a farmhouse on the family property in 1874. During his ongoing restoration of the house, he came across rare wood his grandfather had milled and used in the attic. “There were two or three pieces on the corner of

the house that were curly poplar,” Trivett recalls, adding that he also discovered some curly maple. The end result was John Peterson banjo #290, an instrument built from trees felled during the Civil War. A four-byfour curly poplar beam is now the banjo neck and curly maple forms the hoops. You can see and hear this remarkable creation on Peterson’sYouTube site at www. youtube.com/watch?v=BDSKYW00vpl. There’s an obvious irony to John’s use of modern technology to market a type of banjo that became rare when frets were added to the instrument in the latter half of the 1800’s. His use of YouTube and e-Bay helps him market his banjos across the country and overseas. Those same marketing opportunities may give potential luthiers—the traditional name for makers of stringed instruments—incentive to try building mountain-style fretless banjos. Peterson lives up to his website’s name, carryinon. com, in volunteering to help others carry on the old-time music tradition. “I have a photo album on my Facebook page showing how to build one,” he says. “I’ve

had a few people contact me wanting to build one for themselves and asking me how I do things. I’m willing to help.” He’s currently producing a video showing step by step how to build an old time banjo using Trivett’s Civil War era wood. And you can hear him play in Boone at the Jones House Thursday night jams and in Valle Crucis Sunday afternoons at the Mast Store Annex. By necessity, John Peterson is working on his repertoire of songs, in part because he posts a music video for each new banjo he builds—a collection surpassing 350 instruments. “The problem,” he said, “is I don’t know 350 tunes, so there are a lot of repeat songs.” That’s a problem John Peterson is sure to overcome in due time.

music Musicians interested in purchasing a fretless banjo can order a custom-built instrument from John’s website, www.carryinon.com. Fretless banjo-building information can also be found in the 1975 book, Foxfire 3, which has a chapter describing several dulcimer and banjo builders in the region 40 years ago, including Stanley Hicks.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Joe Shannon: Home Sweet Home in the Mountains


t was a homecoming of sorts in November of last year at St. Luke’s Church in Boone, when a regular Mountain Home Music concert turned into a celebration for the series founder and director, Joe Shannon. “There was no more room for any chairs,” he reminisced a few weeks later. “We put out all the chairs. There was no more room for people to stand. It was that packed. And the board had called all my musician friends to be there, and they gave me an award. I think, ‘How does it get better than that?’” The concert that night began like every Mountain Home Music concert, dating back to the first show at Our Daily Bread in Boone in 1993, with a performance of “Home! Sweet, Home.” Except, for the first time, Shannon was not alongside his friends playing banjo. Battling cancer diagnosed a year earlier, his hands weren’t steady or strong enough to pick the tune on his banjo. “I just stood there,” Shannon said. “I was listening to them, and it was sort of a poignant moment for me.” The next week, at the annual Appalachian Christmas Concert, Shannon was narrating the show with longtime friend David Johnson, a key member of the Mountain Home house band. The two met not long after Shannon had arrived in Watauga County in the mid-1970s, to teach public school and immerse himself in the rich culture of mountain music. Since that meeting they have shared the Mountain Home stage together many times. In the middle of his narrative, Shannon recalled their time together. For 20 years, David, who is in high demand, came to each Mountain Home concert whenever I called. Of course, he was often already scheduled, but many times he was not. It didn’t matter. Sometimes I called a couple of hours before a show; sometimes I called when he was in a recording session; sometimes I called during a meal. Even though he lives in Wilkes County, he always came. So, as he was helping me narrate An Appalachian Christmas, I had a flash about

22 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

all he had done for me and all he had done for Mountain Home Music. Shannon expressed his appreciation for their friendship. “We both broke down crying and couldn’t stop,” he said. “His dad just died, and I said, ‘I’m sorry Dave. I started that didn’t I?’” Johnson replied: “That’s a good start. A man that can’t cry; there’s nothing to that man.” The end of the 2013 Mountain Home Music series marked 20 years celebrating and honoring the musicians, storytellers, dancers, and poets of the region. Over those two decades, Shannon developed the show into a revered High Country institution with a loving and dedicated network of fans, musicians, volunteers, and board members. Some have returned since the very first concert, and many have been season ticket holders for 15 years or more During that time, fans became friends, fellow musicians became brothers, and the Mountain Home Music community became family. “I have been able to hear some incredible music by incredible musicians and even joined in sometimes, but the friendships are what have meant the most—not only the performers, but the audience,” Shannon explained. “It is a cliché that we are sort of like a family, but the musicians and audience members are there year after year after year.” Shannon became best of friends with Ned Trivette, found a confidant in Wade Wilmoth, ate bacon and eggs with Ada and Lonnie Webster, and, when the going got tough, saved the Mountain Home Music series with Karen James by establishing the non-profit organization. “We hit a low spot, and I was doing everything,” he recalled. “I was trying to pay the musicians as much as possible, because most of them were my friends, and I knew what they were going through without playing music. Bluegrass guys are junkies about wanting to play.” Running out of money, James submitted the paperwork to earn the nonprofit status that breathed new life into the organization. Shannon became the

By Mark Freed

director of the revived entity and continued to lead the series, from booking the venues to lining up the performers, writing press releases and set lists, and of course, hosting the show. For a man most describe as modest, reserved, quiet, and humble, Shannon feels at home on the stage. Opening for the legendary Garrison Keillor and his Prairie Home Companion cast in the Holmes Center at Appalachian State University, Shannon made all his friends feel like they were enjoying the Mountain Home Music Boys at St. Luke’s, or the Blowing Rock School auditorium. Shannon makes his audience feel welcome and part of a shared adventure. He thoughtfully crafts his concerts by weaving stories, poetry, and humor in between the songs and tunes performed by the region’s best folk musicians. Shannon created the series to showcase the best in local and regional traditional music. He knew numerous world-class bluegrass, old-time, and folk musicians living in the area who rarely performed on stage for a well-earned dollar. “Our philosophy has always been that we don’t try to pay the performers the least, we try to pay them the most,” Shannon said proudly. “You know how most musicians are—they don’t have health insurance. So we try to pay them as much as we can and still watch our bottom line.” Honoring traditional music and musicians has been the backbone of the Mountain Home Music concerts, but the series has also been on the cutting edge of invention. Years before the Del McCoury Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band created their popular American Legacies combination, Joe thought to pair some of Appalachian State’s music faculty with some of the region’s premier acoustic pickers to create the Bluegrass and Brass concert. “The very first time we did it, some of the horn players thought they might walk off,” he recalled. One of the bluegrass musicians, Patrick Crouch, was also

a band teacher in Caldwell County, and he wrote out charts for the horn players. “When the show was over, I got a call from one of the brass players who said he walked around his house all night after the concert because he was so excited and couldn’t get to sleep.” The ground breaking experiment became an annual Mountain Home Music tradition. The annual Labor Day show was another celebrated Mountain Home tradition, one that frequently required Shannon to navigate a complicated mix of political perspectives. “Some of the guys are pretty conservative, and they know I’m not,” he explained. “One of the things I have learned, you can talk about nearly any subject if you preface it with a good story.” Shannon revels in sharing a good story with his audience. In one of the Mountain Home concerts last fall, he wrote a narrative of his life filled with stories interwoven with kindred songs. David Johnson picked instruments to match the storytelling and affirm the lyrics with music. Afterwards, one of Shannon’s most ardent fans called it “the best show he had ever done.” “It’s like when a chord feels just right on a banjo or piano,” Shannon mused. “That show just felt right and really meant a lot.”

Pulling off a show like that requires a little bit of luck—the right feel to the room, musicianship that clicks, perfect timing, cadence, and flow. But mostly, pulling off a show like that requires hard work and dedication. Joe Shannon poured himself into Mountain Home Music for two decades, grinding away at the behind-the-scenes work that made each show appear seamless to the audience. Months before a season starts, Shannon met with sponsors, filled out grant applications, negotiated with venues and musicians for dates and prices. He spent hours sitting at his computer to create brochures and press releases to promote the beloved series, tirelessly paving the path home. “The work of it all, I never knew it was going to be so hard,” he admitted. “But if there is a theme to this, it is that my riches are in my friends. And my riches are in the music that I heard and that I got to play.” Early this year, he stepped aside as the executive director of Mountain Home Music. Karen James will fill in for the upcoming 2014 series backed by a board of like-minded folks intent on another successful 20 years for Mountain Home Music. At the “homecoming concert” at St. Luke’s Church last November, the Board of Directors of the Mountain Home

Music series presented Joe Shannon an award that read: With sincere appreciation, we recognize 20 years of dedicated community service through Mountain Home Music. Joe’s vision with the creation of Mountain Home Music has provided a showcase to honor the musicians, storytellers, dancers, and poets of the Appalachian region. Joe has enriched our community by preserving and promoting the artistic heritage of the Appalachian Mountains.” It’s no accident that Joe Shannon opened every new show with a performance of “Home Sweet Home.” The standard, written in the early 19th century, was passed down from generation to generation. Commonly played on mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, banjo, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, concertina, and most every folk instrument, the song signals the beginning of another moment shared together—a homecoming. In many ways it was a home Shannon created, one that offered a chair to everyone in the community. A home that honors the region’s musical traditions, and an institution that promises to carry on for decades to come.


SPECIAL NOTE: On Sunday, March 16 Joe Shannon was presented with North Carolina’s highest civilian award for service—The Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


A Summer Event Making Us Laugh On Habitat’s Behalf

A Weekend? A Season? A Lifetime?

Photo © Todd Bush

Award-winning humorist Jeanne Robertson will perform at Lees-McRae College in Hayes Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 12th, in a fundraising event for Avery County Habitat for Humanity. She is nationally known for regaling audiences with her experiences as a 6’2” Miss Congeniality winner in the Miss America Pageant and for outlining the steps to developing a sense of humor. Jeanne is past president of the National Speakers Association and was the first woman to win NSA’s top honor, the Cavett Award. A member of the Speakers Hall of Fame, Jeanne was also honored by Toastmasters International when it named her the recipient of its Golden Gavel Award, presented annually to one individual who has demonstrated outstanding skills in communication and leadership. Author of three books on humor, Jeanne has produced seven DVD/CD humor programs in the last 14 years and can be heard daily on Sirius XM Radio’s Laugh USA, the Family Comedy Channel. Her video clips are big hits on YouTube, with “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store” having been viewed more than 5 million times. According to her bio, she is a North Carolinian who charms her audience by speaking two languages: English and Southern. When you hear her in person you will understand why audiences across the nation proclaim, “The meeting ain’t over ‘til the tall lady speaks.” Avery County Habitat for Humanity is a locally run affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing organization. Habitat for Humanity works in partnership with people in need to build and renovate decent, affordable housing. The houses then are sold to those in need at no profit, financed with interest-free mortgages. The Avery affiliate is celebrating the construction of its 40th home and continues to build three homes a year. Tickets are $50 each. For more info call (828) 733-1909, email Jordan Slagle at slaglej@averycohfh.org or visit Avery County Habitat for Humanity’s Website and Facebook Page. Also visit Jeanne Robertson’s Website at jeannerobertson. com.

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Visit www.BlueRidgeMountainClub.com to download The Call, our community magazine, or find us on Facebook to learn more about homes in this unbelievably great outdoors. Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law before signing anything. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted. This information shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required. This information and features and information described and depicted herein is based on proposed development plans, which are subject to change without notice. Actual development may or may not be as currently proposed. No guarantee is made that the features, amenities, or facilities depicted by an artist’s rendering or otherwise described herein will be built, or, if built will be the same type, size, or nature as depicted or described.

Continued on next page Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


history H

...excavating a corn cob pit.

Did Morganton Determine The Fate of The World? By Steve York ow much can you remember from your high school American History class? Do you remember anything from that class? Or—like a lot of us—did you just memorize essential names and dates in hopes of passing the next test? Well there may be some US history that wasn’t even known when you took that class. For example, did you know that, had early Spanish conquistadors triumphed over Native Americans along our very own Catawba River valley, this country might have been named “Los Estados Unidos de Espana”? American history teaches that Spanish explorers occupied the Carolinas long before England. After all, who did Italy’s Columbus get his ships and financing from anyway? King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. And that first voyage launched Spain’s conquests and attempted colonization of the new world. Those are the historical facts. But what’s more fascinating is this: Thanks to Columbus, those early Spanish explorers came close to conquering the Catawba River territory and discovering major gold deposits near modern-day Charlotte, the site of America’s first true gold-

26 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

rush. And, if they had—and if they had secured major settlements and wealth in this region—England and other northern Europeans would have been beaten back and would never have dominated North America. You see, Spanish expeditions—led first by Hernando de Soto in 1540 and later by Juan Pardo in the late 1560’s— were seeking an overland route to the territory of Mexico. Both traveled across Native American trails and both passed through the rich Catawba Valley foothills of North Carolina. During his exploration, Pardo established six military forts from the area of today’s Beaufort, South Carolina all the way to western Tennessee. One of the most strategic forts he built was in the middle of Burke County near Morganton in January of 1567. Pardo named that Burke post Fort San Juan. It was located in a Native American settlement known as Joara, a town named for Chief Joara and established by native Cofitachequ Chiefdoms centered near Camden, South Carolina. Joara existed from about 1400 to 1600 A.D. and may have been among the largest Native American settlements in North America. For a while, the Spanish and Indians lived peacefully side by side. But, after only 18 months, friction

between the two cultures resulted in the overthrow of Spanish soldiers. Fort San Juan was destroyed and all but one of its soldiers were killed. Keep in mind that this fort existed about 20 years before Sir Walter Raleigh founded Roanoke Island, and a good 40 years before Jamestown, Virginia. In fact, Fort San Juan is the oldest known European settlement on this continent. But eventually, all of Pardo’s forts were destroyed, Spain’s conquests were halted, and any ambitions for Spanish dominance here were forever thwarted. Upon closer study, it’s evident that these events likely determined the entire course of world history. Flash forward over 400 years to 1986. We find that an impassioned doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill has chosen to base his Ph.D. dissertation upon proof that Native Americans had a major farming community during the 16th century in the upper Catawba Valley. His name was David Moore. “Little did I know back then that my efforts to uncover the Joara Indian village would help lead to the unearthing of this Spanish Fort San Juan,” Dr. Moore recalled. “And little did I know that I might be spending the bulk of my career on this one project.” Initially, Dr. Moore felt confident that, if he could gain access to the probable locations of those Native American settlements, he could substantiate his doctoral thesis. So he set out to convince local folks to let him dig on their properties. After initial resistance, Moore got lucky when James and Pat Berry said yes. That “yes” resulted in a dramatic archeological discovery known today as “The Berry Site,” a four to five acre parcel of land located just outside of Morganton. The remains of a man-made earthen mound and various Indian artifacts were among the findings Dr. Moore used to support conclusions made in his doctoral thesis. For an aspiring archeologist, those findings alone could launch his career. But he wasn’t the only person fascinated with ancient Burke County history. A local man named Robin Beck had long been interested in the area’s pre-English/ Scots-Irish/German history. His family had roots in both Burke and McDowell counties dating back to the land grants issued by England’s King George III in

the late 1700’s. Ironically, Beck just happened to be a nephew of James and Pat Berry. In fact, for years he had walked their property picking up arrow heads and pottery fragments, then scurrying to local libraries to compare those with items pictured in archeological publications. Beck closely followed Dr. Moore’s work and continued to scour the site for years afterwards. By 1994, Beck’s hobby had become a career, eventually leading to a Professorship of Archeology at the University of Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Moore had taken a position as Professor of Anthropology at Warren Wilson College near Asheville in the Swannanoa Valley. One day, while walking the Berry digs, Beck came across a fragment of pottery that seemed to have distinctive European characteristics. Upon further research, it was confirmed that this finding was, indeed, of Spanish craftsmanship. Coincidentally, Dr. Moore had found similar pottery pieces back in 1986. “At the time, researchers dismissed mine as latter 18th century Moravian pottery,” he recalled. “Yet, when Robin Beck confirmed their Spanish link, he contacted me and we jumped back into the project.” Soon archeology students from Warren Wilson College and a “who’s who” of other kindred researchers had joined in. Western Piedmont Community College and the Town of Morganton combined their resources to support and showcase the project. Given the short-lived 18-month history of Fort San Juan, site “diggers” have a lot of hard work and careful scrutiny ahead to unravel the full story behind the dig. But some facts have already come to light. For example, it appears the native Joara people built on top of fallen Fort San Juan, probably to re-establish their territorial rights. Additionally, the archeology team uncovered remains of four buildings used to house Spanish soldiers that had been burnt to the ground. Along with several post holes that apparently supported some of these structures, they’ve also found evidence of a moat, plus more Spanish pottery pieces, glass beads, olive jar fragments, a trader’s knife blade, a wrought-iron nail spike, iron chain mail armor and a molten lead rifle shot.

All of these artifacts have been au- being developed at Catawba Meadows thenticated as being from Juan Pardo’s ex- Park in Morganton. This fascinating livplorations and fort compounds through- ing history complex is designed to feaout the Carolinas and western Tennessee. ture reconstructed models of the Joara Beyond all that, this ever-more-revealing village along with displays, exhibits and dig connects some vital historical dots special events. Visitors will be able to see, learn, and about how our state, region and country even participate in Center activities while avoided Spanish rule. Think about the broader international witnessing a work-in-progress from the implications of that destiny for a mo- Berry Site dig. The new Interpretive ment. Had Spain followed a similar path Center will be a fun and engaging visitor as did their northern European follow- attraction, and will also become a central ers—and had they become a sovereign focus of an “Archeological Trail” linking political and economic power from coast heritage tourism sites throughout North to coast—how would the whole global Carolina. For High Country folks, Morganton picture have been altered? Would Spain have also been able to maintain rule of and its many surrounding attractions are South America? Even assuming contin- less than an hour away. Yet, once you set ued English/French control of Canada, foot on the Joara sites, you’ll be instantly how would the enormous magnitude of transported back 400 years when the desSpain’s multi-continental domination tiny of the world was forever changed; to have impacted the rest of the world? No a time when this continent seemed to say, doubt that Spain could have become the “Adios Espana y Hola America!” most powerful empire on the planet. And with that level of military, geographic, and Site work on the Berry Dig restarts in early June economic superiority, who’s to say how and a public Open House event is scheduled for June the rest of Europe may have evolved? 21st. To learn more, full details are available at Of course many events could have www.exploringjoara.org and www.warren-wilson.edu. altered that one possible future. But the point is…history matters! And as dry a subject as it may have seemed in high school, WOW! Even a brief span of time revolving around a minor turn of events located within a few square miles of the Catawba River Over 500 people visit Morganton, NC each year to learn about archaeology Valley could have and discover how Native Americans and Spanish explorers lived and interacted in the 16th-century. See Joara & Fort San Juan, as well as transformed the artifacts, demonstrations, and archaeologists at work. entire fate of global civilization. Today, the Exploring Joara Foundation sponsors the Warren Wilson College student archeological summer school program lead by Dr. Moore. The foundation also helps support the Catawba Meadows Archeological Interpretive Center


Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


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5th Annual Joara Pottery Festival: May 16-17


Celtic Pottery

unny how the word “artifacts” includes the word “art.” Of course, there isn’t always a literal connection between those two words. But in the case of pottery, there definitely is. And by pottery we mean both functional pieces like drinking vessels and dinner plates as well as decorative urns and vases. From the most ancient artifacts discovered in prehistoric caves all the way to today’s finest royal china, pottery has always been a standard medium for artistic expression. Whether simply by shape and design or by ornate colored patterns baked onto its surface, pottery has typically been created to include some kind of artistic message.

Sometimes that message is no more than a graphic symbol of local cultural significance. Other times it’s a simple stick figure story of a hunting exploit or tribal war. And in more advanced cultures it can be a full landscape, social scene or even a historical event. Whatever the era or societal origin, pottery often tells a vivid story of the people, lifestyles and beliefs of that time and place. That fact is nowhere more evident than in the pottery artifacts found at the famous archeological digs of the ancient Joara Native American tribe in Morganton. Commonly called the Berry Site digs—due to its location on the Berry family’s land—this fascinating landscape of unearthed American history includes pottery artifacts from both the Joara Indian peoples and Spanish conquistadors dating back to the late 1500’s and before. Spanish explorers set up Fort San Juan within the Joara community back then, but were ousted and driven completely out of the Carolinas. Their fort was burned and overbuilt by the native Joaras, leaving the Spanish legacy— including many artifacts and pottery remains—largely undiscovered until the late 1980’s. (See our companion story on the Berry Site digs in this issue.) The fascination of those findings within the upper Catawba River Valley counties has led to an all-out celebration of pottery near the Berry Site digs called The Joara Pottery Festival. May 16th and 17th mark their fifth annual festival at Morganton’s Old Armory building, with many present-day pottery works on

By Steve York

display representing both traditional and contemporary design styles. A $40 per-head Preview Party from 5:30 till 9:00pm Friday night, May 16th, allows the public to meet some 28 handpicked potters from all over Western North Carolina. Party-goers also have a chance to purchase pottery plus enjoy an evening of music by Alan Darveaux, a catered dinner and adult spirits. The pottery show, which starts Saturday morning at 9 am and runs until 4 pm, is only $5.00 a head and kids under 12 get in free. Artifacts and historical background on the Berry Site digs will be on display. Alan Darveaux will again provide music throughout Saturday’s event, with food available on site by a local eatery, the Pie Hole. “One of the many wonderful components of this pottery festival is how graciously the potters are treated. They are well cared for. Their booth fee includes a Friday evening meal and a hand-made breakfast on Saturday morning. They are our rock stars for the day,” says Beth Bailey, this year’s pottery festival director. Proceeds from the Festival go to the Exploring Joara Foundation, which helps spon­sor and promote pub­lic involvement in Foothills archae­ol­ogy through edu­ca­ tional pro­grams, archae­o­log­i­cal sur­veys, and exca­va­tions of Native Amer­ic­ an and Euro­pean settlements. More information is available at www. joarapotteryfestival.org. Tickets for the Preview Party may be purchased by calling the Explor­ing Joara offices at (828) 439‑2463. Tickets can also be purchased online.

30 booths featuring the Southeast’s most notable potters with live music & pottery demonstrations.

The Old Armory Building Morganton, NC Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


30 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life


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Lees-McRae College: Highlights from Winter


t was a busy, snowy winter at Lees-McRae College filled with performing arts productions, art exhibits, athletic and administrative achievements, and more!

President Buxton elected to NCICU Executive Committee On March 18, Lees-McRae College President Barry M. Buxton was elected to serve on the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) Executive Committee. NCICU is comprised of the 36 nonprofit, private liberal arts, research and comprehensive colleges and universities across North Carolina. This organization represents its constituents on public policy issues with the state government and other educational entities in the state. NCICU is responsible for several other areas including managing of the Independent College Fund of North Carolina, coordinating NCICU Collaboration Initiative, providing research and programs, and supporting college access and college success programs. Treven Salminen named to 2014 Finnish National Lacrosse Team Lees-McRae freshman Treven Salminen has been named to the 2014 Finnish National Lacrosse Team for this summer’s World Championships in Commerce City, Colo. The Lynden, Wash., native previously competed on Finland’s U-19 National squad in 2012, where he was one of two Americans to earn a spot

32 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

on the national team of players 19 years old and under. The 6-1 freshman is one of five players that are playing at U.S. colleges. McRae Claims Women’s High Jump Title at Conference Carolina Indoor Championships Lees-McRae senior Persephanie McRae won the women’s high jump while senior teammate Kortnie Curry finished second to pace the LMC Track & Field squads at the Conference Carolinas Indoor Track & Field Championship at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem, N.C. Lees-McRae Enactus Team travels to S&D Coffee in Concord, N.C. On Monday, January 13, six members of the Lees-McRae Enactus Team, along with Enactus advisor Amy Taylor and faculty member Joe Walsh, traveled to S & D Coffee in Concord, North Carolina. The day included a tour of the facilities as well as a presentation on the production and development of its products. 140 Student-Athletes Named to 2013 Conference Carolinas Fall Presidential Honor Roll Conference Carolinas continues to emphasize “Academics and Athletics Working Together” as each school strives to grow their Presidential Honor Roll each and every year. The Presidential Honor Roll recognizes student-athletes who have earned a 3.20 GPA (up from 3.00 in previous years) on a 4.00 scale for

the semester and includes freshman and transfer student athletes that have participated in either a conference or nonconference sponsored sport. Lees-McRae ranked no. 6 for affordable online degree programs In December 2013, AffordableCollegesOnline.org analyzed online degree programs from more than 2,000 accredited colleges and universities across the nation. Lees-McRae ranked no. 6 out of 30 for affordability in North Carolina with a list including top institutions such as Duke University, East Carolina University, Campbell University and many others. Werner Wins Individual Title, Bobcats Finish Third at Cyclocross National Championship The Lees-McRae cycling team finished third in the Division I Collegiate Cyclocross National Championship, while tallying 192 points. Senior Kerry Werner claimed his second consecutive individual title over the weekend on the men’s side in Boulder, Colo. Summer Programs As we welcome the spring and summer months, Lees-McRae will be hosting a variety of academic and athletic summer programs including wildlife science, soccer, softball, lacrosse and CAPA. To learn more, visit lmc.edu/summerprograms. Call 800.280.4562 or visit www.lmc.edu to learn more. For Bobcat athletics, visit www.lmcbobcats.com.

From the Oven to the Stars: What’s Popping up This Spring at Mayland Community College By Elizabeth Baird Hardy Mayland Community College is a place where exciting developments always seem to be on the horizon, but this spring, there is a greater than usual abundance of new opportunities and celebrations that make our local gem of a community college even more special. Recently, Mayland was once again ranked as one of the best community colleges in the nation, this time by Bankrate.com. As one of the top 1% of community colleges in the country, Mayland constantly seeks to improve prospects for both students and the community. With those goals in mind, the college is unveiling a number of new resources that will benefit both the students of the college and the members of the Mitchell, Avery, and Yancey County service area. Students on campus often find it hard

to make time to get to the doctor’s office when they are ill, but the college’s new Telemedicine Service will provide students, faculty, and staff with a way to avoid long waits or special trips for office visits. In conjunction with MY Health-e Schools, Mayland now offers a telemedicine service so students can get treatment for common illnesses or chronic conditions or even receive help with medical forms and prescriptions. The service handles insurance and works with students without insurance to make sure they receive care for a manageable fee. Mayland’s medical assisting students also get hands-on experience helping patients as part of their professional training. Students training for employment in industrial careers have an amazing new opportunity before them. This year, the Anspach Advanced Manufacturing School will be completed and will begin serving students pursuing degrees in Applied Engineering. Students will learn robotics, mechatronics, design, machining, and computer-numerical control programming in a new 13,000-squarefoot, state-of-theart facility created in partnership with the generous contributions of individuals and local industries including Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., Glen Raven Inc., and Unimin Inc. Grant funding has

also come from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Cannon Foundation, and the Samuel L. Phillips Family Foundation; support for the new center has also come from a USDA Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program and French Broad Electric Membership Corporation. The center will prepare students for the high-tech industries of the future and will prove extremely beneficial to the local economy as well. Local economic benefit will also be seen in new developments in Mayland’s welding program, which provides muchneeded training for the local workforce. With generous grant support from the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Accelerating Workforce Development through Innovation and Simulation program will make available valuable resources for welding training. At the Avery Campus in Newland, the college’s welding facility is undergoing an expansion and will be home to a new welding simulator. The welding facility will be used by curriculum welding classes at Mayland as well as in some of the many popular Continuing Education offerings for community members. Benefits to the community are readily available in the college’s new community kitchen, which held an open house and ribbon-cutting on March 14. The community kitchen will provide work space for local entrepreneurs to develop catering, baking, or other food-oriented businesses but who cannot yet invest in a professional kitchen facility. Such developing small businesses are a vital part of the community, and Mayland’s top-of-theline equipment and central location will doubtless prove to be the key ingredient in the recipes for a number of delicious new enterprises in the community. Travelers who wish to explore tastes and sights further afield are joining Mayland for an exciting trip to Ireland and Scotland this summer. They will visit historical landmarks and sites, enjoy regional food and specialties, and take tours to see if they can spot ghosts or the elusive Nessie herself. Those who wish to explore even further away will also have a chance to do just that thanks to Mayland’s exciting new role as host for the only Dark Sky Continued on next page Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


MAYLAND: Continued from previous page Park in the Southeast. The International Dark-Sky Association recently made the designation for the Blue Ridge Observatory and Star Park, located on the six-acre site that Mayland manages which is also home to the EnergyXchange. The location provides excellent opportunities for star viewing without interference from light pollution, and it is ranked fifteenth among the twenty-nine Dark-Sky certified sites in the world. The use of limited lighting and fully shielded LED outdoor lighting make it ideal for astronomers both amateur and professional. The Blue Ridge Astronomy Group, which helped to bring about the park’s designation, looks forward to sponsoring programs and events at the site. The college will be installing a remarkable new 34-inch telescope that will make Mayland’s service area a gateway to the universe. Gateways of another kind are being celebrated this spring with the publication of the third edition of Gateways, the college’s creative arts journal. This year’s issue will be presented at a kick-off gala on May 4, and the collection of photographs, poems, short stories, and more will include variations on the issue’s theme of the untraveled road. Gateways features the work of students, faculty and staff members, community members, and friends of Mayland. The previous two issues have been warmly received, and the new issue will be another exciting journey showcasing the remarkable gifts and talents of the region. These opportunities, and many more, can be found at our very own nationally acclaimed community college. Visit www.mayland.edu or call (828) 828-766-1200 or 1-800-462-9526 for more information.

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34 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

A New Showroom for Distinctive Cabinetry of the HIgh Country There’s a distinctive new face in the Grandfather Center shops on Hwy 105 in Banner Elk and—not surprisingly—it’s called Distinctive Cabinetry of the High Country. Yes, immediately next door to Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea Company is Distinctive Cabinetry of the High Country’s new retail store and showroom. If that shop name seems somewhat familiar, then you probably remember them from their old name Distinctive Cabinetry Design and old location on Hwy 105 in Foscoe. And the “NEW” is more than just about a new address. It’s also about new management. But, before you start worrying about not having the same great people-pleasers as before, DON’T. The Parks family is still at the helm. It’s just a new generation of Parks. Pat and Dave Parks, who founded the business in 2002, have stepped back from their ownership roles and have turned the reins over to their son, John, and daughter-in-law, Leah Parks. Of course John and Leah have been full time with the store for a combined 16 years, with John heading up project management and Leah as certified NKBA Kitchen & Bath Designer. Along with Dave and Pat, John and Leah have helped craft some of the most beautiful and functional kitchens, media rooms, home offices and bathrooms in the High Country. “Our new boutique shop in Tynecastle is a lot warmer and fuzzier than the old one, and our custom work is more of a focus than ever,” notes Leah. “And when we say custom, that means our products and designs are literally custom made to fit YOU—your lifestyle, your home, your tastes—not the other way around. It’s not like a bad glass slipper where we’re trying to squeeze some off-the-shelf cabinetry into your space. Our job is to listen, measure, design, customize and follow the job with you all the way from concept to completion. It’s about giving you a finished design that is both beautiful and totally functional; something that will always feel like home. After all, isn’t that what you really want?” Leah adds. “Mom and Dad are still working with us on a consulting basis and lend all of their knowledge and creativity to every design project we take on. Plus, with our new showroom location, we’re more convenient for everyone. We’re set right in the crossroads of the High Country’s busiest home and development activity. So it’s a lot easier and faster for everyone to get together and work together,” says John. “Leah and John really know what they’re doing, and they love it. On top of that, our customers pick up on their passion and—before you know it—we’re all having a lot of fun. And, when it’s all said and done, everyone is happy with the results; and we’ve all made some new friends,” Pat concludes. Visit them ! Suite 9, 3990 Hwy 105, Tynecastle. 828-963-9633.

“Remember To Let Your Heart Shine Through”

Photo by Samantha Murchison

A Storied Life: Remembering Ruthie Houston and The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree By Elizabeth Baird Hardy


tories have the remarkable ability to ensure that the people we love will stay with us forever. While many of us have treasured stories about our beloved family members, few of us have been blessed with the opportunity to share those stories with the world. On January 15 of this year, a remarkable lady left this world just short of her 100th birthday, and yet Ruth Houston’s life is one that continues both in the timeless story she inspired and in her legacy of educational and social stewardship. Millions of readers have delighted in the tale of little Ruthie, whose father nearly misses an unforgettable Christmas, as told in Gloria Houston’s awardwinning children’s book The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree. The beautifully told and illustrated story chronicles a miracle engineered by Ruthie’s industrious and determined mother, managing the family farm while her husband is off fighting in World War I. When he is kept away until Christmas Eve, she takes her little girl up the snowy mountainside to cut the Christmas tree Ruthie and her father had marked before he shipped out and left them. She also cuts up her wedding dress and silk stockings to make

Ruthie a beautiful dress and a matching doll for her pivotal role as the heavenly angel in the Christmas Eve pageant at Pine Grove Church. Although Houston fictionalized some elements of the story, as any good storyteller would, her Ruthie was a very real person, her mother, Ruth Houston. A gifted storyteller in her own right, Ruth Houston and her husband, J. Myron Houston, made the Ingalls section of Avery County their home for decades, and their Sunny Brook store was a beloved landmark where a visit with the owners was always a treat for customers. When her husband passed away in 1993, Ruth continued to run the store, but eventually her health compelled her to live with her daughter Gloria in Asheville, where she passed away just a month and a half from her birthday, March 9, when she would have turned 100 years old. In expectation of that milestone, Ruth had a request, a birthday wish, which she shared in a video made shortly before her passing. Her wish was for help in reducing the national debt. As someone who had experienced truly devastating economic hardship, Ruth was concerned that future generations might also be subjected to deprivation, and she requested donations of pennies to help bring down

the debt. Of course, pennies may be hard to send to the U.S. Treasury, so large denominations of currency, as well as other forms of payment, are welcomed in the Ruthie’s Wish Campaign; in her video, she also mentions that she is happy to hear from anyone who might have a millionaire friend as well. Her bright, active mind and her desire to help others will continue to have an impact on the world, as the campaign will go on in her honor and help the world even though she is no longer in it. Ruth was a person who wanted to see good work done, regardless of whether she herself would receive any direct benefit. She also hoped that those who wished to make gifts in her memory might do so either to the Sarcoma Foundation for its groundbreaking research into the extremely rare leiomyosarcoma, or as a scholarship donation for future teachers at Appalachian State University. Ruth dreamed of being a teacher, “but the Great Depression intruded,” says Gloria Houston of her mother, who was passionate about making the world a better place. Ruthie’s impact on the world around her is undeniable. After visiting the Sunny Brook store, Charles Kuralt dedicated an entire page to the site and its owners in his iconic 1986 book, North Carolina is My Home. And the millions of readers who have come to know her through visits to the store or in the pages of The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree have become entranced with her and her story. Though the book, now over twentyfive years old, has been adapted to a number of formats, including a ballet, opera, and musical theater, this past Christmas, the story came home as the children of the book’s real setting, Pine Grove United Methodist Church, presented their adaptation as the 2013 church Christmas play. Using live action, music, and slides, the children told the story of a little girl, an amazing mother, and a glorious tree. “Ruthie” was portrayed by Ellie Pittman, who strongly resembled the story’s riveting illustrations by Barbara Cooney, and the children delighted in portraying their forbears; many of the children are

Continued on next page Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


STORIED LIFE: Continued from previous page descended from those who played a role in the tale so long ago. The church always prepares “treat pokes” (paper bags stuffed with candy and fruit) for the children after their play each year, but this time, as part of the climax of the story, the tradition was even more meaningful. The packed sanctuary of the historic church included a very special guest, Gloria Houston herself, who declared that the presentation was her favorite of all the many adaptations of the story. Such a compliment is a testimony to the hard work and love lavished on the production by the children and their families. Michelle Scott, who organized the play, stated that this was the “right time” for it. In addition to the book’s anniversary and Ruth’s upcoming centennial, Scott and her dedicated volunteers wanted to produce the play while the real Ruthie would know about it. Though Ruth herself was unable to attend, her “baby” sister, Wilma Heaton, is a member of the church who seems as much a part of its character as the gently worn pews and warm wooden walls. Affectionately known as Miss Wilma, she is the guardian of the church nursery, and has lovingly watched over nearly all of the children involved in the production, and even many of their parents, in her half-century of service. Though she laughs that Ruthie, along with her lifetime best friend Addie Burleson Barrier, who passed only a few weeks later, are now both in heaven to boss everyone around, Miss Wilma was also delighted with the opportunity to see this adaptation of the story; she has given numerous copies, signed by the author, to the children fortunate enough to have been in her care. Just a few weeks after Christmas, Ruthie was again the focus of a fond gathering in the little sanctuary, as family and friends came to tell her goodbye, to thank God for the blessing of such a meaningful life, and to take encouragement from her example. Through the book, through her wish, and through the memories of those blessed to have known her, Ruthie will remain with us. Each Christmas, as her tale is told again, she will truly be that Heavenly Angel, declaring the good news, and wishing peace on earth to us all, even to those who will only ever know her as a little girl in a story. To learn more and to honor Ruthie with a contribution to her wish, go to: www. youtube.com/watch?v=aG4q3jAFFKs

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Play tennis, hike, shop, tube, zipline or just relax while enjoying some of the best views around! From nature lovers to adrenaline junkies, there is so much to do and see in the area, and staying in Seven Devils makes everything easily accessible from our great central location. You will find an array of lodging choices... whether you stay for a weekend, a season or a lifetime!

Take The Nuwati Trail To Storyteller’s Rock Young Morgan Ford and Tyler Moore enjoy the Nuwati Trail


eople hike Grandfather Mountain State Park trails for various reasons. Some people are looking for the challenge of a long, strenuous hike to Calloway Peak and some people look forward to the technical aspects of the ladders and cables on the Grandfather Trail. I have met hikers who are training for major hikes out West, or even Africa’s Kilimanjaro. Often though, Grandfather Mountain State Park Rangers are asked what would be a fun hike for everyone in the family. The Nuwati Trail always come to mind for families and others looking for the trail that is for everyone and not just experienced and conditioned hikers. Nuwati is a beautiful trail, which follows a stream, passes under tunnels of rhododendron, and leads to a stunning view from Storyteller’s Rock. Spring and summer wildflowers add color to the lush, green background. Total round trip hike from Boone Fork parking lot along the Blue Ridge Parkway to Storyteller’s Rock and back is 2.8 miles. Total elevation gain is about 450 feet. The Nuwati Trail follows the corridor of an old railroad bed most of the way, so the grade

is fairly consistent. The trail surface is somewhat rocky and there are several small stream crossings. The last crossing, about a tenth of a mile before Storyteller’s Rock, can be challenging if the water is high. Caution is recommended and hikers should use their judgment if conditions are appropriate to cross or not. Shortly after this crossing, a short spur trail to Storyteller’s Rock breaks off to the left. This section is a little more challenging with some hand over foot climbing up to the view site, but it is worth it. From Storyteller’s Rock, one can see Calloway Peak, the Boone Bowl, and across the parkway into the Pisgah National Forest. To access the Nuwati Trail, hikers should park at the Boone Fork parking lot just north of the 300 mile marker on the Blue Ridge Parkway. After leaving the parking lot, hikers will cross a wooden foot bridge, after which they will find the state park kiosk with maps and hiking permits. All hikers are strongly encouraged to fill out permits when hiking in the state park, as a standard safety precaution in this rugged terrain. After filling out a permit at the kiosk, hikers will follow the Tanawha Trail for four-tenths

of a mile where the Nuwati Trail breaks off to the right. Even though this is an a relatively easy trail, hikers should always be prepared in case of an emergency. All hikers should carry water, a snack, a rain jacket and wear trail appropriate footwear and clothing. The Nuwati Trail accesses the Cragway Trail, Flat Rock Overlook, and the iconic Daniel Boone Scout Trail. To make a 4.3 mile loop, hike the Nuwati Trail to the Cragway Trail and come down the Daniel Boone Scout Trail. The Grandfather trail network promises many hiking adventures you may be anxious to tackle in the future once you’ve found your trail legs. Dogs are permitted in the state park, but must remain on a leash no more than 6’ in length and under their guardian’s control at all times. The Nuwati Trail is more dog friendly than any of the other Grandfather Mountain State Park trails. Families looking for an enjoyable way to spend a few hours together, exploring the outdoors, just might find the Nuwati Trail the perfect backcountry experience. For full descriptions of Trails and access to maps, go online to www.ncparks.gov, or call the Park office 828-963-9522. Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


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Make a donation Choose a handmade pottery bowl Enjoy homemade soup, bread, and dessert Keep the empty bowl as a reminder hungry familes in our community!

You can be part of this exciting Empty Bowls Event! To help prepare or serve food, contact Lynn: 828-897-9113 or 386-337-1648 or vsaylynn@aol.com

Feeding Avery Families, Inc.™ 125 Farm Lane Banner Elk NC 28604 a 501(c)3 non-profit organization Feeding Avery Families, Inc.


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1st Annual Doggie Fun Walk & 5K Run

Bare Bones Boutique: Treasures for Animals

Paws for a Cause, the first annual doggie walk/run to benefit the Avery County Humane Society (ACHS), is scheduled for May 24. There are several ways to participate: you can pay a registration fee to run a 5K race, with or without you dog, or you can solicit sponsorships to walk with your friends and pets in the Doggie Fun Walk. All money raised will go to support our local animals, the shelter, and its programs. Private donations, special events, and adoption fees cover more than 90% of the cost of caring for the hundreds of animals who come to the Humane Society each year. The ACHS is the only facility in Avery County that takes in animals in need.  In 2013, the ACHS helped place nearly 800 dogs, cats and other animals in loving homes all across the High Country. In addition to adoptions, the ACHS provides low cost shot clinics, low cost spay and neuter services, the “Leash on Life” program, community outreach and education programs, and a food bank that helps feed pets in homes with financial difficulties. Prizes will be awarded to top fundraisers as well as top female and male finishers in the 5K.  Runners will also have the option to stick around after the race and join in on the Doggie Fun Walk.  All well-behaved dogs are welcome.  Please use your discretion to decide if your dog plays well with others. All dogs must be on a leash at all times. All participants must be 18 years of age, or have the signature of a parent or guardian. Runners and walkers can sign up at: runsignup.com/Race/ NC/Newland/PawsForACause. At registration, you will have the opportunity to set up your own fundraising page, where your friends and family can join you in raising money for the cause. You can also pick up a registration and fundraising form at the Avery Humane Society. Runners who sign up before April 30th will receive a free Paws for a Cause t-shirt. Walkers who raise more than $25 can return the form along with the money collected to the shelter before April 30th and receive a free t-shirt. The Humane Society will gladly accept any money received after April 30th, but there is no guarantee of a shirt after that date. Updates will be available on Facebook at: AveryCountyDoggie5kandWalk or at http://www.averyhumane.org/catalog/ dogrun.php. If you have any questions, email us at PawsForACauseAvery@gmail.com.

There is no better feeling that recycling or repurposing an item and helping homeless animals at the same time, and that is just why Bare Bones Boutique Thrift Store, originally Zillah’s Bare Bones Boutique, was founded. Bare Bones Boutique Thrift Store, an all-volunteer operation, was founded in the early 1990s by board members Zillah Apley and her husband, Skip Apley, and a small group of volunteers seeking to make the most of leftover merchandise from the annual humane society rummage sale. The Boutique now makes approximately $30,0000 per year to help the homeless animals of Watauga County, thanks to many donations from generous animal lovers in our community. The Boutique also helps distribute information to the public about Watauga Humane Society events and programs. Bare Bones Boutique is at 2670 Old Highway 421 South, just across the street from the Adoption Center next to Rutherwood Baptist Church. It is open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and accepts donations of gently used clothing and jewelry, books and movies, furniture and sporting equipment, housewares, home décor, small appliances, children’s items, linens, towels and blankets, and antiques and collectibles. It also accepts and offers antiques, signed and dated art pieces and pottery, jewelry, collectible items, and holiday items, as well as hand crafted treasures. Bare Bones encourages those who are moving, de-cluttering, downsizing, or have items from an estate that need a meaningful place to go to remember the animals. Tax receipts are provided. Manager Judy Clarke is a Watauga Humane Society Board member and has significant retail experience. Judy is retired and generously donates her time to manage the boutique with the help of an all-volunteer staff. The warm and welcoming staff has boundless enthusiasm for helping you and helping the animals, through their service. They are excited to see visitors and will help you find that perfect item that you need for your home. Bare Bones Boutique’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/ BareBonesBoutiqueThriftShop) regularly posts sales and specials, as well as special items that are for sale. You can also shop online at Bare Bones “Four Paws Budget Shop 2010” on Ebay. Anytime you shop on Ebay, you can donate to Watauga Humane Society through the Giving Works program. Just search for Watauga Humane Society at checkout. Come in any time in May or June and mention this article and you will receive 20% off of your purchase, limit one per customer.

Bare Bones Boutique Helping The Watauga Humane Society 2670 Old Highway 421 South, Boone

20% OFF purchases in May and June when you mention this ad (or the article above)! Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Feed your Sense of Adventure this summer with “Lodging and Learning” on the Blue Ridge Parkway

August 6-9 - Exploring the natural world and rich history of Peaks of Otter, VA (milepost 85) Rising abruptly from the Great Valley to over 4000 ft., the “Peaks of Otter” have a rich and long history of attracting visitors and settlers including pre-historic hunting parties and our third President, Thomas Jefferson. You will explore the history and ecology of the area including Johnson Farm, a historic working farm. Naturalist hikes will include birding, wildflowers and plants, and instruction in nature journaling, sketching, and capturing nature with watercolors. Other activities will include a fascinating night hike, optional instruction in fly-fishing and time for photography. No former experience is necessary. $695/person, double occupancy.  Children in same room with two adults $395pp. Meals, snacks, and accommodations are provided from check-in until check-out. Only 20 spaces are available--so reserve early. For more info contact: Willa Mays at wmays@brpfoundation.org 866-308-2773 x 305

Explore the Oldest Mountains in the world on an intimate adventure with expert naturalists into the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Immerse yourself in Parkway lore, history, and spectacular natural beauty.

Sept 4-7 - Exploring the Grand High-Country Retreats, NC (milepost 294) Living the good life while enjoying nature has long been a tradition in the village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Participants will enjoy double occupancy at the beautiful and historic 87-acre Chetola Resort next door to the expansive Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. An intriguing behind the scenes tour of Moses H. Cone estate will compliment naturalist led hikes featuring birding, wildflowers and plants, nature journaling, sketching, and capturing nature with watercolors. Outdoor activities will also include an optional fly-fishing lesson and time for photography. No former experience is necessary. Special evening activities and just enough free time to explore the village of Blowing Rock or to take advantage of the Spa at Chetola. Rain or shine- bring rain gear. $695 pp double occupancy. Meals, snacks, and accommodations are provided from Thursday, Sept 4, check-in until check-out Sunday, Sept 7, at 11 am. Spa treatments additional.Only 20 spaces are available--so reserve early. For more info contact: Willa Mays at wmays@brpfoundation.org 866-308-2773 x 305

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mountain notes M o u ntain N otes from the G randfather M o u ntain S tewardship F o u ndation

After a cold and snowy winter, a sense of renewal and rebirth fills Grandfather Mountain each spring. The calendar also fills with exciting events and special programs designed to expose the season’s newfound buds. After a long winter slumber, isn’t it time you got outside?

Naturalist Weekend May 16-18 The annual Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Weekend offers an indepth look at the Mountain’s plants, wildlife and history in fascinating programs spanning three days. Guests can participate in guided hikes and workshops at the travel attraction as well as Grandfather Mountain State Park. The weekend kicks off Friday with a spring bird count and nocturnal owl prowl. Birds of prey, both common and endangered, visit the Mountain on Saturday, courtesy of a special program from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute at Lees-McRae College. The weekend continues with guided hikes and outstanding programs on the Mountain’s unique wildflowers, birding in the Appalachians, Native Americans on Grandfather Mountain, trail history and much more. Activities resume Sunday with a kid-centric Forest Expedition “spiked” with artifacts and additional programs, including one titled “Squirrels: The Original Hoarders.” Visitors also have ample opportunity to explore the Mountain at their leisure. All activities are included free with park admission, but some require advance registration. Visit www.grandfather.com/events/ naturalistweekend/ for more information.

Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble June 1-16 Few sights rival that of the Catawba rhododendron in bloom on Grandfather Mountain.To celebrate the annual arrival of the flamboyant pink blooms, staff naturalists will lead a series of guided walks and programs at 1 p.m. each day, June 1-16. Here you’ll learn more about the iconic mountain shrub and enjoy its splendor along the ridges and peaks. The first blooms will appear at the lower overlooks in early June, climbing to the peak by the end of the month. Locals and visitors wait anxiously for the pink petals to burst from their pods in stark contrast to the shrub’s dark green, leathery leaves. Whether you’ve seen them a thousand times or never before, the rhododendron at Grandfather Mountain are sure to make your jaw drop. Participation in the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble is free with park admission.

Plan ahead: Grandfather Mountain Campout July 25-27 Registration opens May 1 A rare opportunity to camp overnight at Grandfather Mountain awaits guests July 25-27 — but the time to register is now. The Grandfather Mountain Campout includes two days and nights of exciting programs, including after-dark adventures on the Mountain to search for nocturnal creatures. Staff naturalists help you pitch your tent in MacRae Meadows on Friday night, then join you around the campfire for s’mores, storytelling, music and conversation. During the day, join the naturalists and interpretive rangers for guided hikes, bug hunts, birding tutorials and nature workshops before gathering again in the evening for reflection and bonding around the campfire. All are welcome to be a part of the weekend, whether it’s your first time camping or you’re an experienced veteran. The fun-filled weekend is appropriate for all ages, but space is limited. Camping is $30 per campsite per night, plus park admission. Online registration starts May 1 at www. grandfather.com.

About the Mountain: The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park in the public interest and participate in educational and research activities. For more information, call 828-733-2013 or plan a trip at www.grandfather.com. Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


44 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

SW Virginia: Wine, Trails, and a new Beer Fest!


uzanne Lawson still remembers the day her son David called to say he’d decided to make wine instead of becoming an engineer. “He called us up and said, ‘Get Dad on the line,’ which is always bad news or some kind of news, and he said he didn’t want to be an engineer; he wanted to be a wine maker,” she said. “I said, ‘David, are you crazy? We don’t even drink wine in this family,’ and he said, ‘Mom, we can learn.’” This year, the family’s MountainRose Vineyards is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its first grape harvest. MountainRose, located in Wise County, is one of more than a dozen wineries in Southwest Virginia, where the region’s unique combination of soil, location and climate is capable of producing some very nice wines. This is also the third year for the Southwest Virginia Wine Festival, which happens in May and features wineries from across the 19-county region that’s known for its heritage music, skilled artisans and outdoor recreation – but is also becoming a wine destination. Bob Carlson, owner/winemaker at Abingdon Vineyard & Winery, which opened its doors in 2001 as one of the region’s first wineries, recalls how the festival began. “We had four wineries here in Southwest Virginia that were very interested in doing something that would showcase the wines of Southwest Virginia,” said Carlson. “When Heartwood came here, representing the 19 counties in Southwest Virginia, it gave us a chance to have a greater number of wineries involved in a wine festival.” Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway, which opened three years ago as a showplace for Southwest Virginia culture, has hosted the festival each year, giving people a chance to taste wines from around the region, talk with the winemakers and hear their stories. The stories are unique, like that of MountainRose: The Lawsons followed their son’s winemaking dream on family land they traded for, a former surface mine site where they restored the soil with dump truck loads of manure – and

the family invested “our hands and our heart” to make it successful. In addition to grape wines, the Southwest Virginia Wine Festival has also been known to include mead, which is made from honey, and wine and cider made from other fruits. Sue Carter, general manager of Foggy Ridge Cider in Carroll County, said that inclusive attitude among the wineries has been important to Southwest Virginia’s development as a wine region. Also important, she said, has been Virginia’s decision to create a supportive environment by eliminating legal hurdles for small wineries and becoming actively engaged in promoting Virginia wines. At the same time, she said, the economy has contributed to the proliferation of wineries as people pushed out of jobs in the downturn have seen the opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Finally, Carter said, Southwest Virginia offers a unique cultural experience that pairs wine with music, craft and mountain scenery for an unforgettable experience.

Trestle 7 Reopening on Virginia Creeper Trail

As if all that weren’t enough to draw tourists to Southwest Virginia, there are the hiking and cycling trails throughout the region, including the spectacular Virginia Creeper Trail, which attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year. The route was a working rail line for the VirginiaCarolina Railroad until 1977. Congress designated it as a National Recreational Trail in 1986. It crosses 47 trestles along its 33.4-mile route from Abingdon, Virginia to the North Carolina line, but one of the largest, Trestle 7 – 636 feet long and 46 feet high – was lifted off its base and toppled by a tornado on April 28, 2011. The following day crews for the Town of Abingdon began working to clear the fallen trees and debris, and the trail was reopened, without Trestle 7, within two months. Meanwhile, the town and its insurance carrier began working on plans for replacing the lost trestle. After considering numerous alternative methods, ranging in cost from just

over $1 million to well over $2 million, the Town Council and staff chose to erect a timber structure similar in appearance to the original, but anchored to concrete foundations instead of timber sills, which are still in place under most of the trestles along the trail. Tysinger, Hampton & Partners of Johnson City, TN, designed the new trestle. Inland Construction of Abingdon was awarded the construction contract. The Town of Abingdon expects the new trestle to be in place by late April 2014.

Visit www.vacreepertrail.org or to plan a trip, visit www.visitabingdonvirginia.com.

And now announcing…

A new addition to the summer lineup of events is the first annual Hops & Howlers Craft Brew Fest on June 14, 2014 from 12-5pm. Over 24 regional micro-breweries will be represented at the fest, as well as 2 local music acts. “Hops refer to the beer, and Howlers is a nod to the musical acts we’ll have throughout the day,” according to Kevin Costello, Director of Tourism and Economic Development. “With the popularity of Abingdon’s micro brewery, Wolf Hills, as well as several other regional breweries, having a craft brew fest to showcase these places just made sense as an event to add to the schedule.” Annabelle’s Curse and This Mountain will both be performing during the entirety of the festival. The event is 21+, and tickets are now available for pre-sale. Cost is $35 online, and will go up to $40 on the day of the event. Special VIP privileges are being offered for a $55 ticket, including entrance to the fest 30 minutes early and exclusive brews. Tickets include up to 32 2oz tastes and a tasting glass to keep. Key sponsor of the brew fest is Eco-logical Energy Systems, who will be set up with a solar charging station at the event.   Immediately following the Hops & Howlers Craft Brew Fest is a free concert from 6-10pm at the Abingdon Market Pavilion. Soul Jams is open to all ages, and will showcase Dirty Bourbon River Show and soul singer, Jesse Dee.

Visit abingdonmusicexperience.com and hopsandhowlers.com. Or call 276-676-2282 or email scardinale@abingdon-va.gov. Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


From classic traditional to unique eclectic and everything in between...

Lunch–Dinner Tues-Sat: 11-9 128 Pecan St. SE Abingdon, VA 24210 276.698.3159 Beer & Wine “You don’t have to eat here every day, but you’ll want to!”

The Cottage Consignment Warehouse

Shannon & Greg Seiz , 66 Pershing St, Newland, NC / 828-733-8148 theconsignmentcottagewarehouse@gmail.com Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10-5

Fine Furniture Consignments

Now featuring Chalk Painting Classes and Furniture by Kelley Livingston. Call for details.

Copeland’s “Appalachian Spring” is based on the Hymn “Simple Gifts” which reads: ‘Tis the gift to be simple, ‘tis the gift to be free. ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be. This Spring, you ought to be on our campus to see our new “Appalachian Spring” Collection

Crossnore Weavers & Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm (828) 733-4660 www.crossnoreweavers.org weavingroom@crossnoreschool.org

Crossnore school the

mountains of hope

46 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

“Moth” painting by Julia Fields | Photograph by Heidi Fisher

Heartwood Southwest Virginia

Wine Festival SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014 1-5pm B HEARTWOOD SW VAwinefestival.com Taste a variet y of Southwest Virginia wines, meet the wine makers, and hear their stories! Hear t wood is also a year-round one-stop shop for Southwest Virginia wines.

Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway Local Craft, Music and Food

The curtain rises on another day

in historic Abingdon.

How will you spend iT? Catch a performance at

bArter theAtre. pedal along the scenic

VirginiA creeper trAil. sample the cuisine including

locAl beer And wine.

888.489.4144 · www.abingdon.com

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Ihistory Many of the Federals soldiers who passed through our area were confined at the prison in Salisbury, North Carolina.

f one mentions the Underground Railroad in western North Carolina, most people envision safe houses with conductors and passengers moving from the cotton fields to freedom. The area did have safe areas, conductors, and passengers, but during the Civil War years, it was not escaped slaves seeking their freedom, but escaped Union Prisoners of War, along with dissidents hoping to evade capture. A prison for Federal soldiers opened in the town of Salisbury in 1862. That was the same year the Confederate government enacted the Conscription Act. This law stated that all white men, between the ages of 18 and 35, were required to serve in the military for three years or the duration of the war if it ended sooner. These two events, the prison in Charlotte and the Conscription Act, led directly to small streams of men seeking the protection of Federal lines in Kentucky, and as the war progressed, east Tennessee. At times, these men would set out on their own. Felix Sluder was a thirty-sixyear-old farmer living in Ashe County with his family. In August 1863, he was

48 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

on his way to join the United States Army when he was caught on Roan Creek in Johnston County, Tennessee. Sluder was sent to join the Fifty-eighth North Carolina Troops, then stationed along the Tennessee=Georgia state line. After the war, Sluder wrote that, “they then tried to force me to Enlist in the Confederate army, and I willfully refused to do so. Then they threatened to starve me until I did enlist in their services and I yet willfully refused. They kept me under arrest until about the 26th day of Nov, 1863 and then about the same day they placed me in the breastworks at Missionary Ridge and in the front of the battle, where I was captured by the Yankees refusing all the while to enlist under any service for the Confederate authorizes.” Eventually, Sluder was transferred north were he enlisted in the United States Navy. Shepherd Monroe Dugger chronicled in his book, War Trails of the Blue Ridge, that after the conscription law was changed in 1864 to include 17 year olds, many started “scouting their way to Yankee lines in Tennessee.” Many of these men would meet a guide in Blowing Rock, people like Keith and Malinda

Blalock, Harrison Church, or Jim Hartley. These guides conducted the men through Shulls Mill, Dutch Creek, and Hanging Rock Gap to Banner Elk. At Banner Elk, other guides met the parties and conducted the men on into east Tennessee. Even though the Banners were slave owners, they were firm Unionists and helped many a man by hiding travelers in an area known as the Land of Goshen, feeding them, and helping them get on their way to the Federal lines. Another slave-owning Unionist was Boone resident John Horton, also known as Jack Horton. Horton claimed after the war, in an attempt to receive compensation for items confiscated by Union soldiers in March and April 1865, that on several occasions during the later years of the war he had hidden escaped Union prisoners of war, fed them, and at times, lent them horses to help them on their journeys. Hazards abounded for the men who were attempting to get through the lines. In July 1863, the state established the Home Guard. In Watauga County, the home guard battalion was composed of two counties and under the command of

A War Within A War: The Underground Railroad of the Blue Ridge By Michael C. Hardy

James Hartley was one of the pilots on the local underground railroad.

Capt. Harvey Bingham commanded two companies of home guard in Watauga County.

Maj. Harvey Bingham. It was the home guard’s job to round up deserters and conscription dodgers who were robbing the country blind. And on at least two occasions, regular Confederate soldiers were sent into the area to try to break up the outlier bands that formed and were raiding the countryside. Besides the men who were trying to avoid military service, there were the prisoners of war. Francis Hosmer of the fourth Vermont Infantry was captured in Virginia in June 1864, and while on his way to Salisbury, he jumped off the train and made his way west. He eventually joined a group of 132 men attempting the journey. As the party crossed over the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, they were found by Uncle Billy Cook. At fifty-five years old, Cook was beyond Conscription age, but, had made it known that if the “Confederacy compelled him to fight he proposed to commence on his own premises.” Food was provided to the party, but the group was so large that it was a strain on the Unionist resources in the area. The party was soon discovered by the home guard and forced to split up into smaller groups in an attempt to

After a short stint in the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Troops, Keith and Malinda Blalock also served as pilots on the local underground railroad.

avoid capture. Hosmer was recaptured, taken to Boone and quartered in the jail, and eventually on to Camp Vance in Morganton and then to Salisbury. During his incarceration in Boone, Hosmer was quartered with Cook, but denied knowing him, probably saving Cook’s life. One pair of men who did successfully make it through the mountains were newspapermen Junius Browne and Albert Richardson. They escaped from Salisbury and arrived in Watauga County on January 1, 1864. A local Unionist permitted them to sleep in the upstairs of a storehouse before finding a guide to take them through the area. The weather was cold, limiting the number of patrols out, although at one point, the fugitives were forced to hide behind a pile of logs evading capture. The men complained that the winter wind was “cutting” and that they were always falling “into a number of mountain streams” as they worked their way west. One passenger on the local underground railroad thought the route through the mountains of western North Carolina “as systematic and as well ar-

ranged as that which existed in Ohio before the war.” That being said, this was seldom a route used by slaves seeking freedom. A soldier who had escaped from prison would typically not allow slaves to accompany him. While there were routine patrols looking for dissidents and escaped soldiers, a missing slave would warrant a large group of men hunting for that slave. And to be found with a runaway slave almost always warranted death. The mountains of western North Carolina experienced a war like no other during the 1860s. While hundreds of men marched off to fight for the Confederate army in Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia, the area became a path for people seeking the solace provided within Union lines to the west. There were numerous clashes between these men, as they sought ways to survive, their guides, and the local home guard. Like other areas on the border, the High Country of North Carolina experienced a war within a war during the Civil War.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


A Store from Days Gone By...

Brinkley Hardware — Established 1903—

828-733-2107 Downtown Elk Park, NC Two NC mountain lumbermen in old growth chestnut and poplar grove before logging Photo courtesy of Forest History Society FHS3245

The Lumbermen of Shulls Mill Circa 1935

[circa 1909 / 1910]

By Glenn Bruce [Old-growth chestnut, Great Smoky Mts., NC.] A rail line once ran to Shulls Lumber Mill, built solely for

Tools, Hardware, Toys, Furniture, Bedding, and Much More!

Mountain Retreats Realty, Inc.

Caption 1: Characteristic growth of chestnut in poplar cove. The big trees in the background in the Celebrating 33 years of managing & the purpose of harvesting the forest—and harvest they did. center of the illustration are poplar. The five large ones in the foreground are chestnut. This growth is renting privately owned homes, cabins WellThe over three were needed banish thedefects. woods, but unusually heavy. trees aredecades large, sound and freetofrom visible and condos in the High Country Area. success was had by the late the Big Boom, which[Santeetlah] ocCaption 2: Nantahala National Forest. Old1940s. growthInhardwoods on Santella Creek, 828-898-6325 curred concurrent with the Great Depression, trees were felled Toll Free: 800-819-7647 at a steady rate of three per hour, the total time required to cut diane@ncmountainretreats.com

them down with axes, limb the trunks and load the logs for conveyance. Since tractors were just coming into use elsewhere on flatter ground, but this land was nearly vertical in places, the men used horse-drawn log sleds. In Canada, loggers called the sled a travois. No one spoke Canadian in North Carolina, so they called it a skidder. Because the work was so dangerous, the loggers lied a lot about their pasts, conquests of women and Indians, scars and such. Many died. No one cared about a man’s real history; all that mattered was how many trees he had cut or hauled, split or mauled, dragged down to the river and thrown in, or run through the steam mill, turning logs into boards and mountainsides into mudslides. “I bared that top,” was a common refrain, said and accepted with pride. By the early 1950s, no trees could be seen for a hundred miles in any direction. The men moved on. The rail lines were taken up and the old store closed two years later. Shulls Mill, North Carolina was no more. The lumbermen were victorious.

history 50 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

4/24/14 3:37 PM


at the Crossnore School


remember the day well. After months of planning, loading the car, unloading the car, a quick lunch and a few errands, my parents waved goodbye and drove away. And there I was—on my own, in a large college town several hours away from home—walking back to my highrise dorm knowing that my life had just changed forever. Perhaps you had a similar transition into adulthood. Many of us marched into a mapped-out future, and even if life threw us a few curveballs, we still had an idea of where we would end up. We likely had a soft place to land when the curveballs came, too. Now imagine the scenario without the plan, without financing, and without home support as you launch into adult-

By Holly Barrett

hood. Many students face this scenario as they age out of foster care. Most 18-year-olds are not ready to launch into adulthood upon high school graduation without proper support. Foster children have additional odds stacked against them. On average, 25% of these students become homeless after leaving care. It’s a frightening reality and one for which states are increasingly being held accountable. In an effort to better prepare their students for independent living after high school, The Crossnore School has a Stepping Stones program for older high school students. These students have met certain criteria such as working off-campus and maintaining their own transportation. They are encouraged to take more responsibility for themselves and their

well being, all under the watchful eye of cottage parents, case managers, and social workers. After high school, the next step is a similar program for college students, the Miracle Scholars. In Fall 2013, CEO Brett Loftis decided the group home that the Crossnore School owns in Mitchell County would be the perfect place for such a program. I was hired as Program Director and work began to establish a residential support program for collegeaged students who have experienced foster care. I am a native North Carolinian and an ordained minister, most recently serving with a church in Charlotte NC. My professional experience includes work in the corporate world, churches, and with a private foster and adoption care agency. Since my arrival, the group home has been fully refurbished. It will house six students plus the director. It sits on a beautiful lot with a full basketball court and plenty of room for outdoor activities. Inside there is ample space for cooking, dining, and group activities. Students must enroll full-time in an educational program, work 10-20 hours per week, provide their own transportation, and participate fully in the Miracle Scholars community. This includes several service projects per year, learning life skills, and making satisfactory academic progress towards educational goals. Once students complete their educational programs, they will proceed to independent living and pursue further education or full-time employment. The program opened at the beginning of February and we admitted the first Miracle Scholar a week later. With the right combination of mentoring and accountability, we are confident that each Miracle Scholar will be able to successfully transition to independent living. For more information or to find out how to partner with Miracle Scholars to help support these students, contact Holly Barrett at hbarrett@crossnoreschool.org. The Crossnore School is proud to announce The Plein Air Paint Out and Auction, hosted by Crossnore Patrons. Invited artists spend three days painting in Avery County. The following week, on June 18, 2014, an auction is held to raise money for the Stepping Stones Program. For more information contact Heidi Fisher at hfisher@crossnoreschool.org.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Sew Talented Mary Ray By LouAnn Morehouse


t wasn’t very long ago that practically every woman sewed her own clothes. To many, dressmaking was more than just a matter of being thrifty, it was a creative outlet. People who were good at sewing had an “eye” for matching fabric to pattern; they had the manual dexterity to smooth a shoulder seam and fit a waistline. And when all was done, they had created a garment, the culmination of vision, materials, patience, and skill. It wasn’t called Art, although the process required the same skills. Music and painting, theater and dance, those were the Arts. Like lots of other little girls, Mary Ray took scraps of fabric and wrapped them around her dolls to make “dresses.” She had plenty of scraps for doll dresses. Mary grew up in a household of sewers; her grandmother and mother made their clothes, and a favorite aunt had a flair for knitting and crocheting. It turned out that Mary was even more skilled at sewing than they were. By the time she was a teenager, her dressmaking talents kept her in fashion at all times. It was at the piano, however, where she pursued her Art. Her mother said she had played the tabletops at age 5. A loving older relative promised her a fine instrument if she was diligent in her lessons, and Mary obliged.

52 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

At ten years old, she was presented with a beautiful Baldwin piano of her very own. She was a serious music student, the one who accompanied her high school choir and aspired to be professional pianist. When it came time to choose a college, Mary’s favorite aunt, the one who crocheted so particularly well, encouraged her to consider the Pratt Institute. The talented aunt recognized Mary’s fashion skills and thought she should pursue a career in art and design at the famed Institute. But to Mary, sewing was a hobby; why, she couldn’t even draw a straight line. And so it was that Mary began college as a student of piano, which lasted until she encountered Music Theory. She changed her ideas of what her career would be and graduated as a speech therapist. A few years later, married and with a young son, Mary responded to a notice for help wanted at her favorite local fabric store, the Stitching Post, in Willamette, Illinois. Yes, Mary had continued to sew throughout the intervening years. She loved sewing, it gave her great satisfaction, and she was good at it. She says she even dreamed about fabric. Mary was hired at the Stitching Post two days a week and discovered that she loved the work. Being around the fabric designs and textures, and among people

similar to her, who worked with the materials, fitted her “need to do,” she says. It was the beginning of something big in Mary’s life, the transition from avocation to vocation. The creative act of doing something you love as a means of making your livelihood. Over a decade, Mary went from working part time at The Stitching Post to becoming a manager and then a buyer. It was, she says, “a small and personal shop,” and “she learned a lot.” She enhanced her on-the-job experiences by taking college courses in textiles, pattern making, draping, and illustration. Thanks to a professor in one of those classes, Mary came to understand that textile design was in fact her chosen means of expression; it was Art. As a child, “she couldn’t draw a horse” when some of her friends could, so she felt Art was beyond her ability. Now she knew there were aspects of art that could be learned, which gave her confidence in her vision as it enhanced her skills. ­­­­­­­­­­­ The next several years took Mary beyond fashion at the materials level to handling ready-to-wear clothing, but she was happiest when the design and construction of the garment was in her domain. She opened a custom bridal service, which proved to be satisfying work for many years. Along the way there were interesting sidelines, includ-

ing representing Stylecraft, a textile line, to retailers. And there were the competitions. Just as skilled athletes do, people who sew well enjoy competing in their specialty areas. Mary’s many sewing interests included quilting. One of her entries won first place at a 1989 American Quilters Society gathering. The 400-member organization is a center of quilting knowledge, publishing books and magazines on the craft. Mary won $1,000. Her entry, an intricately pieced jacket and split skirt, garnered a lot of attention. It was an honor, of course, and a thrill. More significantly, such approbation from the experts opened her eyes a little more. Mary says she finally started thinking of herself as an artist. Winning awards led to wider awareness among Mary’s peers of her talents as a clothing designer. Happily, too, she was a wonderful teacher. She gave workshops and started writing a column for Threads Magazine. And so it continues: the teaching, the competitions (although she’s as often a judge now), and the design projects, many of which appear as articles in Threads for fellow sewers to make. Some of the projects, such as Mary’s exquisite purses, she makes and sells, and some are kits. And of course Mary still makes many of her own clothes.

A busy schedule attending and teaching at the major sewing and quilt expos is woven between the articles and online classes she prepares in her spacious home studio. In addition to regular features for Threads Magazine, she also blogs about sewing for the Threads website. Since 2009 she’s been teaching in the Apparel Design and Merchandising Department at Appalachian State. Her classes are peopled with aspiring designers who may or may not believe themselves capable of making Art. Mary knows it’s a decision they will come to themselves; in the meantime, she enjoys taking them to the fashion centers of New York City on educational trips. In Mary’s sewing studio, there are shelves of exquisite fabric. There is a clothing rack of intricate, imaginative garments that would be best viewed on a designer runway. One shelf holds a little voile dress displayed on a doll-sized dress form. The dress, made of tiny tucks and delicate stitching, is a recreation of one designed by Madeleine Vionnet, the iconic fashion designer and creator of the bias cut. Mary made it to honor Vionnet as part of an exhibit for the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. Pinned on a note board in Mary’s studio is a favorite piece of inspiration from Vionnet:

We can be talented, rich, or lucky, but I firmly believe that a successful life is made up of every day’s patient work. Life is a staircase that we walk up steadily with a pause once in a while…a breather, and a look back at what we have accomplished. Some people remain in the “plains” all their life because they are too indifferent or simply too lazy. Personally, I have always looked forward and upward and today…I enjoy the panorama of my life. Today, Mary Ray enjoys a similar view thanks to her own patient pursuit of Art. Mary’s website, www.maryraydesigns.com presents a comprehensive view of her workshops, patterns, and handcrafted items. She can be emailed at mary@ maryraydesigns.com.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


The High Country’s Newest Non-Profit Organization Has A Secret...

The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge is a brand-new philanthropic group. In effect, it is the merger of two groups, the Appalachian Women’s Fund and the High Country Women’s Fund. The new entity combines more than 15 years of successful programming, fundraising, and grant making to improve the lives of deserving women re-entering the work force and raising families on their own. With a mission to create positive change and economic justice for local women and girls, the newly christened Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge (WFBR) will continue the fundraising and grant making work of both pioneering groups now joined together. The board and Executive Director are confident that the larger, unified fund creates a new whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts. Board members continue to finalize the details of the merger. Kay McCloskey, the co-chair of the WFBR, likens this particular work to a marriage. “Our members are now exploring the transition from falling in love to the real work of love,” she

said. “It is the ongoing passion and caring which happens in the day to day that ultimately transforms hopes and dreams into the reality of an effective organization.” The newly merged fund has hired a full-time executive director, Karen Sabo. Sabo formerly ran the New Opportunity School for Women at Lees-McRae College, which was a grant recipient from the Appalachian Women’s Fund and the High Country Women’s Fund. Sabo expressed admiration for the members of the new WFBR. “I am so impressed with the handson nature of this transitional board, and with the enthusiasm, intelligence, and caring of our members,” said Sabo. “I love that part of our mission is to be a philanthropic catalyst, enabling our great local non-profits in their activities to help local women and girls reach their full potential. Our members recognize that helping those who most need it actually has a positive effect on the whole community.” While members actively pursue the

WFBR mission throughout the year, the primary fundraising event will be a luncheon in late June, held this year on June 26th at the Linville Ridge Club. In addition to the ticket price, the WFBR will raise funds through its silent auction and sponsorships. Grace Palacios-Will, co-chair of the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge transitional board, is confident that this new union will create a significant force to improve the lives of women in the High Country. “Merging into one new revitalized group,” she explained, “means we are strengthening our commitment to have a more powerful impact as we continue to serve women and girls in need throughout the Blue Ridge Mountain communities.” The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge welcomes new members and supporters. For more information, contact Karen Sabo at info@womensfundoftheblueridge.org, or call the office at 828-264-4002.

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54 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life


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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


The New Science of Water By Gina Bria


hat if there was a new form of water? If everything we learned in school about water was short one fact? Remember learning that water has three forms: liquid, ice and vapor? It turns out there is a form of water no one noticed: gel. Gel explains why water beads, and why clouds form and why lizards can skim across ponds. The gel form of water was identified by Dr. Gerald Pollack of the University of Washington. He had asked the very simple question, “Why do clouds gather? Why doesn’t vapor just evaporate evenly in space? I came across Dr. Pollack’s work when I was asking another question, “How did desert people survive in drought conditions?” As an anthropologist, I was investigating ancient strategies for keeping the body hydrated or facing death. Across the globe, desert dwellers of long ago and today turn to plants that change precipitation, even tiny amounts, into a gel form of water. Think of Aloe Vera as an example,

or cactus. Eating these plants releases water gel into our systems and dramatically increases the body’s ability to retain moisture. Desert dwellers are able to survive on much less liquid because they consume water in gel form. This knowledge came in very handy when I was caring for my 98 year old mom in her nursing home. She was struggling, as so many elderly, with drinking enough liquid to remain hydrated. I first provided her with Aloe Vera juice, but she did not like the taste. I tried another strategy: a mixture of dehydrated and pulverized desert plants ground into a fine powder and flavored with raspberries—a taste I knew she relished. Sure enough, we stirred my little homemade powder into her morning orange juice and she loved the combination, drinking it right down. As I’d hoped, she remained hydrated throughout the day, and another serving at dinner got her through the evening.  Plant gels act like sponges inside the body, holding water longer to keep body tissue moist and well functioning. Little

did I know, at the time of this experiment, that my homemade powder mix would launch an national interest in new approaches to hydrating not only the elderly, but athletes, children and across the ocean, refugees. I have since crisscrossed the country, visiting doctors, speaking at conferences, developing clinical trails and, finally, setting up the Hydration Foundation. It is a global organization dedicated to the public awareness and practice of the new science of hydration, offering programs and solution-based, entirely natural products to be optimally hydrated. To learn more or help us with our mission, visit our website: www.hydrationfoundation.org. And yes, as many people have asked, you can order that little flavored powder that worked for my mom, now called HYCHIA at: hychia.com. Twentyfive percent of your purchase price goes to an initiative to hydrate the elderly in nursing homes. Gina Bria is an anthropologist and the founder of The Hydration Foundation.  To donate to this vital work or reach gina in person, email gina@hydrationfoundation. org or call 917 679 8395   

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56— Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life


Dr. Bill Tate: Legacy And Legend By Jerry Shinn


ow does it feel to be a legend? Dr. Bill Tate says it is “very humbling.” He also says it is “an honor to be associated” with the other Avery County residents who are in the county’s Martha Guy Hall of Legends. He and tree farmer-winemaker Jack Wiseman were the most recent inductees into the Hall of Legends established in 2012 to commemorate Avery’s centennial year as North Carolina’s 100th and final county when it was formed of Mitchell,Watauga and Caldwell counties in 1911.

In the case of William Cummings Tate II, MD, it is not just legend, but also legacy. In 1910, his grandfather, the first William Cummings Tate, came to the community then known as Banner’s Elk to practice medicine at the two-year-old Grace Hospital. The hospital, such as it was, was the work of the Rev. Edgar Tufts, the wellspring of all progress in Avery County in the past century. Tufts, who came to the area in 1895 as a Presbyterian missionary, founded churches, the school that became Lees-McRae College, and the orphanage that became Grandfather Home for Children. The 14-room hospital opened in 1908. The first physician to practice there, Charles Reid, retired because of poor health two years later. While holding a religious service at a lumber camp in Pineola, Tufts met the camp doctor, William Cummings Tate, and persuaded him to come to Banner’s Elk. Dr. Tate continued to serve the community and help plan subsequent hospitals until his death in 1960. His arrival in the High Country 104 years ago was the beginning of the remarkable Tate legacy, but its continuation was as much a result of circumstances as of intentions. The second William Cummings Tate, now known as Bill Tate, was born in 1946, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where his father, Lawson Tate, was practicing medicine in military service. According to his son Bill, Lawson Tate couldn’t wait to get back home. He practiced medicine in the Banner Elk area until his death in 1982. Bill Tate worked as a lab technician at Cannon Hospital during his high school years and realized then that he wanted to become a doctor. Was that because he felt some obligation to continue the Tate legacy? “I knew it was there,” he says, but his decision was also because medicine “was what I was interested in.” He attended Avery County public

schools, and he was one of three Tate brothers who were standouts in football and basketball at Cranberry High School. Bill played linebacker on defense and tailback in Cranberry’s already oldfashioned single-wing, unbalanced line offense. He was also a good punter. From Cranberry High he entered the University of North Carolina, where he completed medical school in 1972. The Vietnam War was raging and the United States was still drafting young men to serve in the military. Tate served his residency in Augusta, Georgia, but still faced a two-year military obligation. Then Lawson Tate had a heart attack. As he recovered, the people of the Banner Elk-Linville-Newland area needed another physician. They successfully lobbied elected officials, from local to state to the federal level, to arrange a deferment for Bill Tate so he could come home and practice medicine. Tate had been reluctant about returning to the mountains to practice. The area was still very rural and not yet connected by emergency medical services with ambulances and helicopters to major hospitals. Medical practice nationally was increasingly divided into specialties, but a physician in Avery County at that time had to handle almost every kind of medical problem—as his father and grandfather had done. Tate was a welltrained surgeon, but he wasn’t sure he was prepared for everything he might encounter as his father’s replacement. Despite that concern, he knew it was what he had to do. Thus, instead of going into military service, he came home to the mountains for another kind of service. “Once I was here,” he recalls, “it seemed like the place to be. I think the Lord was directing that.” Lawson Tate recovered and helped his son learn the ropes of rural medical practice. “I learned a lot from him. It was like Continued next page Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


DR. TATE: Continued from previous page

James W. Ennis, Jr., D.D.S., PA General Dentist

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58 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

post-graduate training in real general surgery.” Bill Tate has put that knowledge to use for almost 40 years in the county and communities where he grew up, continuing the Tate legacy. Two years ago the Tate Clinic, adjacent to Cannon Hospital in Linville, where Bill Tate practices with Dr. Thomas Haizlip Jr., became part of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates, the practice management group of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. The clinic explained the reasons for the new affiliation on its web site. In the years since the first Dr. Tate came to Banner’s Elk, it notes, there have been “many marvelous improvements in medicine, surgery and patient care. New technologies, better treatments and several new hospitals have allowed physicians to provide increasingly sophisticated care to the people of our mountain communities. However, not every change in medicine—more importantly the business of medicine—has been advantageous to rural communities and their doctors.

“Increasingly, equipment suppliers, insurance providers, laboratories and even government agencies have forced doctors’ offices to endure skyrocketing costs, while consistently cutting payments for services. “Smaller physician practices have been forced to seek business alliances to help ensure their survival. Ideally, a medical practice can identify a partner with a strong business position and a similar commitment to their patients. “Fortunately, the Tate Clinic has a century old alliance to rely upon. Dr. W. C. Tate was instrumental in the founding of Grace Hospital in Banner Elk. During the evolutions in medical care that have ultimately resulted , the Tate Clinic has worked closely with Cannon Memorial Hospital and the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System to ensure continued access to quality surgical care for the ‘mountain people’ the Tate physicians and their colleagues have committed to serve. “The Tate Clinic has always provided integrated surgical care with the hospital. It is difficult for many patients to conceptually separate the two entities. Therefore it seems that the union of the Tate Clinic and Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is a natural evolutionary step to guarantee continued access to quality surgical care in Avery County.” As part of the regional system, Bill Tate continues to serve in the place his grandfather came to love more than a century ago. He also enjoys following the careers and achievements of two daughters, two step-daughters and six grandchildren, and the continuing presence of his mother, now 96 years of age. And like most Chapel Hill alumni, he celebrates and grieves with the ups and downs of the Tar Heel athletic teams— most of all, in the past couple of years, with the reports of academic improprieties. He also doesn’t hesitate to demonstrate the proper technique of hand and forearm in shooting a free throw—something he notes that some on the 2013-14 Tar Heel basketball team have failed to master.

The Tate Legacy Alive at Linville’s Tate Clinic By Koren Huskins


or over 100 years, the Tate family has lived among and cared for the people of Avery County. Their legacy celebrates three generations of rural surgeons dedicated to the same calling—to provide medical care in the mountains. Robert Swendiman, a medical student who recently completed an internship at the Tate Clinic, describes the joys of rural surgery in an article featured in the January 2014 edition of the Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. He describes a patient in her mid-70s whose birth was attended to by the senior Dr. W.C. Tate. Years later her own child was delivered by his son Dr. Lawson Tate and later her gallbladder removed by W.C. Tate’s grandson, Dr. Bill Tate, II. A rare occurrence indeed, but one that embodies the Tate family’s devotion to medicine inextricably entwined with generations of their neighbors. Today’s Tate Clinic has changed with the times, but the desire to engage with patients—to know and care about them—has not. “I felt needed,” Dr. Bill Tate explained of his return to the mountains following medical school. “I knew it was a great place to work…I felt good about being a part of what my grandfather and father were trying to do—serve the people here at home.” Dr. Thomas Haizlip joined the Tate Clinic in 1998, drawn by the same ideals. “Being here gives us more opportunities to practice medicine the way we envisioned it,” he said. “We have the ability to talk to the patients and get to know them... to know our patients within a small community medical center. It’s beautiful to be a part of it.” Dr. Bill Tate’s grandfather planted the seeds of the family legacy in 1910, when, fresh out of medical school, he served as the camp doctor for the Linville Lumber Company. There he met Reverend Edgar Tufts, who encouraged him to stay on and serve the Banner Elk community. Dr. Tate’s plan was to stay

“for a little while,” but he ended up staying a lifetime explaining “he fell in love with the mountain people.” The doctor and his wife moved into their new home, which served as a hospital in Banner Elk in the fall of 1910. Dr. W.C. Tate performed many surgeries such as c-sections and appendix removals, and sometimes completed them on kitchen tables when patients were too ill to move. He made house calls on horseback when there was no road, but enjoyed using his car when the roads weren’t too muddy. Dr. Tate provided care to the town’s people, the children of Grandfather Orphanage, and the students at Lees McRae College. He helped found Grace Hospital and would spend his life improving health care throughout the newly established Avery County. In 1947, his son Dr. Lawson Tate returned home following his medical training and military service to help meet the rising demand for medical care in the county. Even in 1950, roads off the mountain were poor, so his arrival as a rural surgeon was a tremendous asset for mountain people. Even in 1977, when Dr. Bill Tate joined his father’s practice, the roads still were not very good, and the medical needs of the people had only grown over time. Father and son practiced together for seven years, an invaluable mentorship for the youngest Dr. Tate. During the 70’s and 80’s, a widely published surgeon, Dr. Nicholas Georgiade of Duke University Medical Center, kept a vacation home on Beech Mountain. A friendship developed between the Tates and Dr. Georgiade, and the Duke University surgeon would take long weekends on the mountain and practice alongside father and son surgeons. Together the Tates honed their surgical techniques at the side of the man who wrote many of the medical books in their own library. “We provide a lot of the same services as big hospitals,” Dr. Bill Tate explained of his locally based clinic. “Our patients receive personal care and are well taken

care of because they see myself or Dr. Haizlip every day during their surgery and recovery period.” “The focus on quality of care available to the people here is different,” Dr. Haizlip affirmed. “Treating people here is different versus treating people in Atlanta, Charlotte, or any urban center. We provide a lot of services here, where it’s a very big deal when a community member is going through surgery. It’s good to keep it local where they know the doctors and know they are in good hands.” Both surgeons keep abreast of surgical advances. And while they may never perform a gastric bypass procedure, they have enough knowledge and experience to treat the complications that may arise from it. They share a network of colleagues at larger hospitals such as Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, who trust them to examine a shared patient and report back, often saving the local patient a four-hour round-trip drive. In the classic medical tradition, the Tate Clinic is actively teaching future generations of practitioners by hosting medical student interns, clerkships, and other observers as they get a feel for practicing rural medicine or surgery. Inspiring others to serve in rural communities is yet another important aspect of the Tate Clinic because the demand is great, and the supply is limited. As is the case of many small medical practices, they have faced challenges trying to navigate an ever-changing healthcare system. The Clinic has adapted to survive the business realities of modern medicine, but their commitment to patients has never changed, and they are determined that it never will. In order to maintain quality surgical services that are readily accessible to people, the Tate Clinic is now part of Appalachian Regional Medical Associates, the practice management group of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). Throughout the years, the Continued on next page

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Jack Wiseman: Trees, Wine And Service


ne of the two 2013 inductees into the Avery County Hall of Legends, Jack Wiseman, represents the past, present and perhaps the future of the county’s agricultural economy. There are a million and a half Christmas trees growing on his 22 farms. His Linville Falls Winery has 40 acres planted with grapes, apples and berries, and over the past two years has won several awards for its wines. Wiseman was born in Crossnore, attended Riverside Elementary School and Cranberry High. He was living with his grandparents when Coach Asa Reese and teacher Walter “Pop” Jarvis brought

60 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

TATE CLINIC—Continued from previous page

By Jerry Shinn

him to Crossnore to live and finish high school—a move he says kept him out of trouble and put him on the right path. He served as a medic in the Korean War and then worked at various jobs in California before starting a janitorial business in Charlotte. While directing that successful enterprise, he began buying parcels of land in Avery County, hoping one day to plant Christmas trees and grapes. Since Wiseman and his wife, JoAnn, also an Avery County native, moved back home, he has not only managed an expanding tree farming enterprise and successfully experimented with viticulture and winemaking; he also has become an energetic advocate for community causes. He has served on numerous organizations and boards, including the YMCA, Mayland Community College and the county Planning Board. And to honor and continue the legacy of a man who became his mentor and friend so many years ago, Wiseman led in the establishment of the Walter “Pop” Jarvis Scholarship Fund, which over the past 11 years has helped more than 80 Avery County high school graduates move on to college. Jack Wiseman and Dr. William Tate make up the second class inducted into the Hall of Legends. In its first year, 2012, the hall inducted Addie Barrier, John Blackburn, Bertie Burleson, Tommy Burleson, Sam Cartner, Rachel Deal, Martha Guy, Sherman Pritchard, Sam Ray and Juanita Shoemaker.

Tate Clinic has worked closely with the local community hospital. The decision to join ARHS in 2012 seemed a natural step. The decision assures the Clinic will always have access to many resources. One advance is the new capacity to provide in-office colonoscopy screenings, strongly recommended for anyone over 50 years of age. Cost savings of screenings in the office will be welcome to patients and may overcome any reluctance for testing based on personal financial considerations. “It’s very important for people to get screened,” Dr. Tate explained. “Sometimes symptoms of colon or rectal cancer don’t show up until it’s too late, so the screenings are very important. I’ve known people who died from it, and I wondered, why? Why didn’t they get screened? Could they not afford it? We’ve been doing colonoscopies here since 1977, really when they first came out, and they are now more convenient, affordable, and they work. We don’t see as many stage threes anymore, which is a great thing. We’re catching it at stage one or two, so the screenings do work.” Please note the Tate Clinic only screens healthy folks or people with medically managed conditions who are also in good health in their office, which is located in the Sloop Medical Center beside Cannon Memorial Hospital. All others will continue to have this procedure done at the hospital. To learn more about the many surgical procedures offered at the Tate Clinic call 828-737-7917 or go online www.apprhs.org/arma/tate.

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TriSeasons.com Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Your Fitness Is Just A Breath Away! By Steve York


emember when you were young and some kid-crisis would come up? Well, just when you were about to lose it— your mom probably said something like, “Okay…just stop and take a deep breath…and you’ll feel all better.” And she was right. You did feel better. Or maybe you’ve been in a contentious group situation where everything was about to explode, and a calmer voice said, “Hey…let’s all take a breather.” So everyone walked away, took a few lessagitated breaths and then came back together…a little calmer and a little clearer. Well, there’s a very good and very scientific reason why those familiar phrases have been passed down over time. They work. Or, more precisely, taking a breath and taking a breather really do work. Now, many of us made New Year’s resolutions back during that way-toofrigid January that included some kind of re-start of a fitness routine; whether running, cycling, swimming or hitting the weight room. But it’s often not until Spring that we actually get around to keeping those fitness resolutions. Every year we get all pumped-up about “really doing it this time”. So we jump back in the game, work up a sweat and start huffing and puffing our way through another attempt at getting fit. And then….? Well, too often that only lasts a short while before we find convenient excuses NOT to follow our fitness schedule. Or we bounce around

62 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

from one insanity workout program to another without ever sticking with any of them. So, the question is: Why can’t we maintain a fitness routine? Well, maybe it’s because IT AIN’T MUCH FUN! Maybe it’s because it’s just too much like work. Or, maybe because it’s EXACTLY LIKE WORK. And… just maybe…that’s because of all that huffing and puffing! Yep, maybe it’s because we don’t know how to breathe our way through an enjoyable exercise program. Okay now, take a breath and let that sink in for a moment. But, this time, only breathe through your nose. You see, there’s solid modern medical science that supports some amazing and measurable metabolic benefits of nasal breathing during exercise. And that science took its lead from the ancient practice of Yoga. But, before we get into that, let me introduce you to a local guy who discovered how all this actually works. His name is Joe Weaver. He has started and operated several successful businesses over the years, from mass market retail products to local development and home building. He’s also tried many body training programs throughout his life. “I did okay back years ago but would constantly fall off the workout wagon and lose whatever gains I’d made. Even though I ate healthy and practiced Yoga, I still couldn’t manage to maintain a workout routine. In fact, the stress and pain of weight training seemed to work against what I had gained through my Yoga practice. One was all about no pain-no gain and the other was about outer ease-inner peace. Well, those two fitness philosophies just didn’t seem to work together for me”, Joe confessed. Then one day, Joe says he came across some scientific studies done in the mid 90’s by a couple renowned medical doctors named John Douillard and Fred Travis. They had incorporated some ancient Yoga nasal breathing techniques

into strenuous exercises like running and cycling. They scientifically measured the objective and subjective experiences of athletes doing traditional mouth breathing during exercise. Then they compared those findings with results from athletes doing the same type and level of exercise…but, this time, only doing the nasal breathing. (Nasal breathing = “in the zone”) Their results were remarkable and, more importantly, repeatable with each study. Without getting too technical, they learned that the nasal breathers were actually lowering their metabolism while increasing their performance and endurance. They found that the nasal breathers didn’t report as much fatigue as mouth breathers and were able to recover faster. When measuring metabolic blood and oxygen chemistry, they noted that nasal breathing provided more enriched oxygen content to the lungs, muscles and brain. And—here’s where it gets really fascinating—when they measured the actual brain functions of nasal breathers during exercise, they discovered that those subjects were experiencing specific brain wave patterns that were similar to those reached during certain types of meditation. Now we’ve all heard of athletes getting “in the zone” or experiencing that “runner’s high”. Artists, musicians, golfers, writers and even theoretical physicists report getting “in the zone” from time to time. It’s an experience when their activity seems effortless, time seems to stop and their performance reaches new levels of achievement. And, at the end of it all, they not only don’t feel fatigued…they actually feel invigorated. According to those medical experts, what’s happening is that these people are accidentally slipping into a more natural, easier, slower breathing pattern which allows their metabolism and brain to also slip into “the zone”. So, hmmmm? If this experience could actually become controllable and repeatable during exercise, guess what? That exercise could produce greater results, cause less fatigue and—just as important—result in a truly enjoyable exercise experience.

Williams YMCA of Avery Co.: More than a “Gym and Swim”

“That’s when the light bulb really turned on for me,” Joe noted. “To be honest, even I was skeptical at first. The whole idea just seemed too simplistic. But I was blown away when it actually worked. So I figured that, if I can incorporate this Yoga nasal breathing into my regular weight training workout—and— if I’m actually enjoying my exercise for a change—maybe I can stick with it. Once I proved that system on myself, I slowly started showing it to others to see if it would also work for them. And…MAN! I was even more blown away and gratified when they all seemed to have the same positive results.” The rest is history and the basis for Joe’s new passion; something he calls the Metazone Performance Boosting System. “It’s a unique mind/body fitness routine I developed that blends specific ancient Yoga techniques with a workout program. This routine regularly delivers that in-the-zone experience during exercise. It’s the antithesis of those insanity no-pain no-gain methods. In fact, my motto is, you don’t have to kill yourself to get a killer body. Plus, you can use this breathing technique with almost any sports or fitness practice. In other words…it makes exercise both sustainable and fun. And that’s what makes the difference when it comes to keeping those New Year’s fitness resolutions,” Joe added. By the way, Joe recently won 2nd place in an international body sculpting contest using his Metazone system. Oh…and one other thing…Joe won that award at age 60. So, if he can do it, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us. That nasal breathing thing could be the game-changer you’ve been looking for. Okay, so maybe you aren’tt shooting to win some contest. Maybe you just want to tone up, get fit and enjoy your exercise. Either way, you may be just one breath away from realizing your own fitness goals. And don’t forget what your mom said, “Just take a breath…and you’ll feel all better!” NOTE: Joe Weaver lives just outside of Boone and teaches his body/mind fitness training through www. Metazonesystems.com.

The YMCA is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits, strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Across America, 2,700 YMCAs engage 21 million men, women and children, regardless of age, income, or background. Their mission is to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to support everyone in the community. You can find the YMCA right here in the High Country. Programs such as Nutrition 101 focus on the importance of diet for overall health and well-being. The Couch to 5K program gives a helping hand to those who are striving to become healthier. One visit to our facility on the campus of the Cannon Hospital in Linville and you will agree, we are more than a gym, we are more than a pool. We’re working to bring the best out of our youth all summer. Camp Tanawa at the Y is a day camp for the kids of our community. Why summer camp? Summer camp helps kids unplug from technology by engaging them in activities that keep them moving, learning, and exploring new things with others. Nearly 50 percent of U.S. parents say technological distractions such as television, cell phones, and video games make it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle for their children. The YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot, a survey that gauges children’s activity levels during the school year, supports that contention. Social responsibility is a cornerstone of the YMCA, and the Y is committed to raising awareness to all persons within our community. The National Inclusion Project has partnered this year with the Williams YMCA Of Avery County to implement Let’s ALL Play, a project to include children with disabilities in all recreational programs this summer. “There is a need in our community to serve all of our children, of all abilities, regardless of their challenges,” said Holly Naumowich, Director of Operations at the Williams YMCA. “We are excited to provide opportunities for these children and our staff beginning this summer. We’re here for our neighbors to make sure that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.”  Williams YMCA CEO Trey Oakley knows firsthand the impact programs such as these have on the development of both youth and adults. “The National Inclusion Project enhances that work,” he concluded. “We are very fortunate to have many like-minded partners who share our passion for health, wellness, and a strong community.” To learn call 828-737-5500 or log on to www.ymcaavery.org WILLIAMS YMCA OF AVERY C OUNTY



DAY CAMP JUNE 16 - AUG. 15 Registration begins April 1 at YMCA front desk! 828-737-5500


DARE. DREAM. DISCOVER | YMCA SUMMER CAMP Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Sally Nooney

Energetic Expressions Egi Antonaccio & Edie Maney Spring Group Exhibition May 24th – July 15th Reception May 24th 2-5pm

ARTISTS STUDIO GALLERY Fine Art Paintings Glass Creations and Heirloom Jewelry Scenic Hwy 194 South Midway between Valle Crucis & Banner Elk Tuesday thru Saturday 10-5

10 miles south of Boone Grandfather Community 10360 Hwy 105 S. Banner Elk, NC 28604 828.963.4288 Tues-Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5

828-963-7347 • Nooney@skybest.com sallynooney.com • Commissions Invited! Frank Nooney Furniture Restoration, and Antiques at the Gallery, next door

Celebrating 26 years in the High Country

An Appalachian Summer Festival

Expanding the Edge of Color Andrew Braitman Mid-Summer Group Exhibition July 26th- Sept 15th Reception July 26th 2-5pm

CarltonGallery Celebrating 32 Years! A G a l l e ry F i l l ed w i th E x q u i s i te G i fts


Matthew Morrison

Sheryl Crow

July 12

July 24

30th Anniversary

Nickel Creek July 14


Outdoor Fireworks Concert: Little Big Town June 28 Pilobolus July 3 Eastern Festival Orchestra with Sir James Galway, flute July 6 Matthew Morrison July 12 Nickel Creek July 14 Dance Theatre of Harlem July 19 Sheryl Crow July 24 National Youth Orchestra with Gil Shaham July 26 Plus theatre, chamber music, film series, visual arts exhibitions, workshops and more!


64 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life



Little Big Town June 28

things to do

As the following events may change, please confirm all details with the event organizer.


Mother’s Day “Make and Take” Craft activity for kids. Free. For more info, call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 4, 11:00am-2:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA

“Young at Art” Exhibition Selected works from this school year created by kindergarten through second grade students at Blowing Rock School. May 5-30 Community Meeting Room, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) Blue Ridge Heritage Day A celebration of local heritage in collaboration with the Yancey History Association. Old-timey activities for kids and concerts by the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) Traditional Arts Program for Students. Free. For more info, call the Association at 828-678-9587. May 24, 10:00am-4:00pm Events will be held on the History Association grounds on Academy Street behind the TRAC Burnsville Gallery. Father’s Day “Make and Take” Craft activity for kids. Free. For more info, call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. June 7, 11:00am-2:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA ART Fire on the Mountain Reception Pizza and Beer reception honoring the blacksmith exhibitors. Free and open to the public. April 25, 5:00-7:00pm Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) Gallery, 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine Exhibition: A Norwegian Legacy Five generations of art from the family of Susan Dahlin Basford. 336846-ARTS April 30-June 7 Ashe Arts Center, West Jefferson First Friday Art Crawl Drop in at the Jones House and other downtown Boone galleries to see and be seen. Light refreshments served. May 2, 6:30-8:00pm Downtown Boone Wine and Cheese Sneak Peak A preview and reception for the Cluster Art Market exhibition. Free and open to the public. Visit www.toeriverarts.org for more info. May 2, 5:00-7:00pm Toe River Arts Council Gallery, 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine TRAC’s Cluster Art Market An informal arts showcase and sale. No-frills, no booths, no piped-in

music, just good people with good art. All media. Free admission. Call 828-682-7215 for more info. May 3, 9:00am-6:00pm Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery, 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine Artisan Demonstration Tracy Balanski, dollhouse quilter. Free. For more info, call 276-4922400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 3, 10:00am-4:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Artisan Demonstration Margaret Rich, fiber artist. Free. For more info, call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 10, 10:00am-4:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Exhibition Opening Reception-“Barns & Quilts: A Rural Tradition” A wine and cheese reception to celebrate the opening of the major exhibition of 2014, Wolf Kahn barn paintings on loan from the Jerald Melberg Gallery, Charlotte, and other private collections, plus twenty historic and artistic quilts. May 16, 6:00pm Exhibition continues May 17-early fall. Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) galleries Art in the Park The first of a season of juried art and craft shows featuring 90 artists. Free and open to the public. www.blowingrock.com/artinthepark May 17, 10:00am-5:00pm American Legion Grounds, Downtown Blowing Rock 8th Annual Paint Out Spend the day in Burnsville and help create a plein air experience. Open to artists of all ages and skill levels who work in painting or drawing media. $30 entry fee (ages 5-18 free). Rain or shine. $1,000 in awards. For more info, call 828-682-7215. Download an application at www.toeriverarts.org/programs/paint-out/. May 17, all day. Reception and awards ceremony at 6:30pm. Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) Burnsville Gallery, 102 W. Main Street, Burnsville Feast for the Arts A fundraiser for the Ashe County Arts Council. For more info, call 336846-ARTS. May 17 Studio Tour Exhibition The geographically displayed work of more than one hundred artists who are participating in the June Studio Tour. For more info, call 828682-7215 or visit www.toeriverarts.org. May 17-June 14 Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery, 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine

tu rn for more...

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


As the following events may change, please confirm all details with the event organizer.

Cork and Canvas! A fun, no-experience-required, painting workshop. All supplies included (wine too!). Limited enrollment, advance registration required. Email Leila@blowingrockmuseum.org or call 828-295-9099 ext. 3006. $35 for BRAHM members; $40 for non-members. May 22, 5:00-7:00pm Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM), Education Center Exhibition-“Visual Cues” Jane Wells Harrison’s new body of encaustic work. For more info, www. micagallerync.com or 828-688-6422. May 31-June 30 Mon-Sat, 10:00am-5:00pm, Sun. Noon-5:00pm Mica Gallery, 37 N. Mitchell, Bakersville First Friday Art Crawl Drop in at the Jones House and other downtown Boone galleries to see and be seen. Light refreshments served. June 6, 6:30-8:00pm Downtown Boone June Studio Tour A three-day self-guided studio tour of more than 100 artists who open their doors and welcome visitors from all over the country to view and purchase work directly from the source. Nine participating galleries. Pick up a guide and plan a route for the weekend.. For more info, call 828-682-7215 or visit www.toeriverarts.org/studio-tours/june-studiotour/. June 6-8, Friday noon to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5:00pm. On June 6, join the artists in a meet and greet reception at the Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery, 5:00-7:00pm. Artisan Demonstration Tracy Balanski, dollhouse quilter. Free. For more info, call 276-4922400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. June 7, 10:00am-4:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Tour de Art Visit thirteen area galleries and studios to meet artists during these popular open house events. Tour maps available at Alta Vista Gallery, Valle Crucis, and other participating sites. Fourth Saturday of each month, June through October Exhibition-“Shadow of the Hills” Annual exhibition of the Blue Ridge Art Clan. For more info, 336-846ARTS. June 11-July 5 Ashe Arts Center, West Jefferson Cork and Canvas! A fun, no-experience-required, painting workshop. All supplies included (wine too!). Limited enrollment, advance registration required. Email Leila@blowingrockmuseum.org or call 828-295-9099 ext. 3006. $35 for BRAHM members; $40 for non-members.June 12, 5:00-7:00pm Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM), Education Center Gallery Crawl Open house at downtown galleries and shops. For more info, 336-846ARTS. June 13, 5:00-8:00pm West Jefferson

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Art in the Park A juried art and craft show featuring 90 artists. Free and open to the public. www.blowingrock.com/artinthepark June 14, 10:00am-5:00pm American Legion Grounds, Downtown Blowing Rock Artisan Demonstration Margaret Rich, fiber artist. Free. For more info, call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. June 14, 10:00am-4:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Opening reception, “Down by the Creek: Artists Working along Cane Creek Road” Honoring the twelve exhibiting artists who live along Cane Creek Road in Bakersville and work in glass, clay, fiber, painting, photography and mixed media. For more info, call 828-682-7215 or visit www.toeriverarts.org. June 20, 5:00-7:00pm Exhibition continues through July 26. Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery, 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine Exhibition-Hound Ears 50th Anniversary Artifacts and other miscellany on display to highlight 50 years of the Hound Ears Club. June 20-September 6 Historic Objects Gallery, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) Second Annual Art Ball Drinks, dinner, dancing, and entertainment in the galleries. Proceeds benefit the Museum. $125/pp, table sponsorships available. June 26, 7:00-10:00pm Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) galleries Alta Vista Gallery Opening Reception Joan Sporn’s new oils, “Trees and More” For more info go to www.altavistagallery.com or call 828-963-5247 June 28, 11:00am-5:00pm 2839 Broadstone Road, Valle Crucis Black and White and Books An exhibition of the black and white photographs of Steve Buettner and handmade books from several artists, both local and from outside the region. For more info, visit www.toeriverarts.org or call 828-6827215. June 28-August 1 Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) Burnsville, 102 West Main Street. First Friday Art Crawl Drop in at the Jones House and other downtown Boone galleries to see and be seen. Light refreshments served. July 11, 6:30-8:00pm Downtown Boone Artisan Demonstrations Margaret Rich, fiber artist, and Tracy Balanski, dollhouse quilter. Free. For more info, call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdonvirginia.gov. July 12, 10:00am-4:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA


things to do

Live Music at the Banner Elk Café Call 828-898-4040 for more info. Every Saturday Memorial Day through the summer, 6:00-10:00pm Old-time Jam Sessions Musicians come each week to play acoustic fiddle tunes and sing folk songs. Often, multiple jams take place simultaneously, with musicians forming circles in various rooms throughout the house and on the porch. For more info, 828-262-4576 or www. joneshousecommunitycenter.org. FREE Every Thursday, 7:30-11:00pm Jones House Community Center, 604 W.King Street, Boone Summer Concerts at the Jones House A summertime tradition, free live music ranging from traditional and bluegrass, to jazz, blues, rock and roll, soul and funk. Bring your own chair and listen in comfort! For more info, 828-262-4576 or www. joneshousecommunitycenter.org. FREE Every Friday from June through September, starts at 5:00pm Jones House Community Center, 604 W.King Street, Boone Live Music at the Original Mast Store Gather ‘round the pot-bellied stove for some toe-tappin’ music performed by local bands. You will hear bluegrass, old-time, traditional, Appalachian, Celtic, etc… Most Every Sunday, music starts around noon (sometimes a little earlier) and lasts until 2:00pm (sometimes a little later) Original Mast Store, Valle Crucis The Crooked Road Venue Showcase Lays Hardware Jam. Free. For more info, call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. April 24, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA First Thursday! Featured art event and The Crooked Road Open Jam Session. Free. Info: call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 1, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Darlyne Cain For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. May 3, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway

First Music Series: Dasch The award-winning student saxophone quartet from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Tickets: $10 May 4, 5:30pm Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) Atrium The Crooked Road Youth Music Showcase University of Virginia/Wise Bluegrass Band. Free. For more info, call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 8, 6:30-8:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Crooked Road Youth Music Festival Free. Call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 10, Noon-7:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA

Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Almost Vintage For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. May 10, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Jazz Concert Series – Wendy Jones, vocalist Performances by members of the Blowing Rock Jazz Society. Admission $20pp, students $5pp. Memberships are available for $75 for all seven concerts. Food and beverage available. Reservations should be made through the Meadowbrook Inn, 828-295-4300. May 11, 7:00pm Meadowbrook Inn, Blowing Rock The Crooked Road Open Jam Session Free. Call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 15, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Murphy & Main For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. May 17, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway The Crooked Road Venue Showcase Free. Call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 22, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Clay Lunsford & Steve Barker For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. May 24, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway Toe River Chamber Ensemble Concert The first 2014 concert of the ensemble that is comprised of volunteers who have worked together for more than two decades. Free. Visit www.toeriverarts.org/trce-concerts/ for updates, or call 828-682-7215. May 27 First Baptist Church, Burnsville The Crooked Road Open Jam Session Free. Info: 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 29, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Sound Travelers For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. May 31, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway First Thursday! Featured arts event and The Crooked Road Open Jam Session. Free. Free. Info:276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. June 5, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: tba For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. June 7, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway

tu rn for more... Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Jazz Concert Series – Lovell Bradford Trio Performances by members of the Blowing Rock Jazz Society. Admission $20pp, students $5pp.Memberships are available for $75 for all seven concerts. Food and beverage available. Reservations should be made through the Meadowbrook Inn, 828-295-4300. June 8, 7:00pm Meadowbrook Inn, Blowing Rock The Crooked Road Youth Music Showcase Free. Info:276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. June 12, 6:30-8:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Coffee House Live! Music, song, and stories from local performers. $11 adults, $5 students. For more info, 336-846-ARTS. June 14, 7:30pm West Jefferson Methodist Church, Hensley Hall Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: High Country 2nd Annual Wine & Beer Festival For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. June 14, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Johnson Brothers For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. June 21, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway The Crooked Road Open Jam Session Free. Info: 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. June 19, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Concerts in Tate-Evans Park Live music from a variety of popular local bands, free and open to the public. Food vendors on hand if you get hungry from dancing. For a complete schedule of performances, call 610-283-8505. Every Thursday starting June 19, 6:30pm. Tate-Evans Town Park, Banner Elk Doc Watson Day Celebration A celebration of the legendary guitar player and singer, Doc Watson. Events include a free concert featuring Doc’s friends, Charles Welch and the Kruger Brothers. For more info, 828-262-4576 or www. joneshousecommunitycenter.org June 20, starts at 5:00pm Jones House Community Center, 604 W.King Street, Boone Music Series: “Wine, Women and Song” Anita Burroughs-Price and Ray Dooley perform poetry and music of the British Isles on the harp and in spoken word. Special Irish refreshments served. $20/pp. June 22, 5:30pm Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) atrium Land of Lakes Choirboys of Minnesota Concert A special concert by a choir trained in the areas of music theory, sightsinging and ear training, and intense vocal studies. But it’s their joy of singing that sets these boys apart.. For more info, go to www.lolcb.org June 25, 7:00pm First Baptist Church, Burnsville

68 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

The Crooked Road Venue Showcase Free. Info:276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. June 26, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Rock-a-Billy’s For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. June 28, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway First Thursday! Featured arts event and The Crooked Road Open Jam Session. Free. Info: 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. July 3, 6:30-9:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Bluegrass Blend For more infon, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. July 5, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway The Crooked Road Youth Music Showcase Free. Info:276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. July 10, 6:30-8:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA Jazz Concert Series – Larry Lapin Performances by members of the Blowing Rock Jazz Society. Admission $20pp, students $5pp.Memberships are available for $75 for all seven concerts. Food and beverage available. Reservations should be made through the Meadowbrook Inn, 828-295-4300. July 13, 7:00pm Meadowbrook Inn, Blowing Rock Sounds of the Appalachians Music Camp Get up close and personal with the Appalachian lap dulcimer, clawhammer banjo, autoharp, & guitar. Info and registration, 828-7335883. July 14-18 Mayland Community College Avery Learning Center, Newland Live Music at Linville Falls Winery: Phat City Beach Trio For more info, www.linvillefallswinery.com or 828-765-1400. July 26, 3:00-6:00pm 9557 Linville Falls Hwy, US 221, just north of the Blue Ridge Parkway GAMES & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES Mountaineer Mud Run www.mountaineermudrun.com May 17 Boone Bike Rally www.boonebikerally.com May 30-31 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show: American Saddlebred Division One of the oldest continually operating horse shows in America, now in its 91st year. Designated a Heritage Competition by the U.S. Equestrian Federation. $5 admission. www.blowingrockhorses.com June 5-8 Tate Showgrounds, Blowing Rock

EVERYTHING ELSE (including 4th of July events!)

things to do

Blowing Rock Walkabout Celebrate NC Beer Month. Get acquainted with local breweries and businesses in a festive atmosphere. All businesses are within a few blocks of each other. Free samples and entertainment. www.blowingrock.com/ncbeermonth April 26, 1:00-4:30pm

Artist-Business Class: Artist Critiques Learn how to critique work with a professional eye. Bring one piece for critique. Taught by Wendy Outland. Free, but pre-registration required. Call 828-766-1295 or email rbranch@mayland.edu. April 30, 5:30-7:30pm ARC Resource Center (upstairs at the TRAC Gallery), 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine. Annual Watauga Chamber of Commerce Expo Meet the business owners who serve you in Watauga County. Free. For more info, 828-264-7286, www.booneshoppingmall.com May 1, 10:00am-9:00pm Boone Mall, 1180 Blowing Rock Road Birth and Beyond Expo Free. For more info, 828-264-7286, www.booneshoppingmall.com May 3, 10:00am-9:00pm Boone Mall, 1180 Blowing Rock Road Artist-Business Class: Artist Portfolio What should be in every artist’s portfolio, what it is judged on, and how to approach galleries. Taught by Linda LaBelle. Free but pre-registration required. 828-766-1295 or email rbranch@mayland.edu. May 7, 5:30-7:30pm ARC Resource Center (upstairs at the TRAC Gallery), 269 Oak Avenue, Spruce Pine. Adult Services Expo Learn about the services and programs that assist senior citizens in the region. Free. 828-264-7286, www.booneshoppingmall.com May 9, 10:00am-9:00pm Boone Mall, 1180 Blowing Rock Road Third Thursday: Dr. Patricia Beaver Dr. Beaver previews her new book, co-edited with Sandra Ballard, Voices from the Headwaters, a collection of stories from three neighboring Blue Ridge communities. Free to members, $5 for non-members. May 15, 4:30pm Community Meeting Room, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) Friends of the Watauga Public Library annual used book sale Great deals on more than 10,000 children’s books, art books, fiction and non-fiction, hardcover and paperback. All proceeds benefit the Watauga County Public Libraries. Free. For more info, call 828-264-8784 or go to www.friendsofthewataugalibrary.weebly.com May 15- “First Choice Night” for members only (join onsite if you aren’t a member already), 4:00-9:00pm May 16, 9:00am-9:00pm May 17, 9:00am-3:00pm Boone Mall, 1180 Blowing Rock Road Southwest Virginia Wine Festival Info: call 276-492-2400 or email heartwood@abingdon-virginia.gov. May 17, 1:00-5:00pm Heartwood Arts and Crafts Center, Abingdon, VA

Grand Opening of the Avery County Business Incubator Visit with the tenant businesses and learn how to participate in the Avery County Professional and Retail Incubator Development Enterprise (AC PRIDE). For more info: 828-737-5150. May 17, Noon-4:00pm. 185 Azalea Circle (former Banner Elk Elementary), Banner Elk

Ball Room Dancing at Linville Land Harbor Public welcome. BYOB and snacks. $5 admission. Five more dates through October 4th. At the resort town’s Recreation Center. Casual dress and fun for everyone. Call John at 828-387-7255 or 828-737-6957. May 24 and June 14 at 6:45pm Night of the Spoken Word Local writers read from their latest works. Free. Info: 336-846-ARTS. May 24, 7:30pm Ashe Arts Center, West Jefferson Memorial Day Celebration Free. For more info, 828-264-7286, www.booneshoppingmall.com May 26, 10:30am-Noon Boone Mall, 1180 Blowing Rock Road 4th Annual Taste of Avery Indulge your palate with samplings from more than a dozen of the finest restaurants of Avery County. $25 advance, $30 at the door. Call 828-898-5605 for tickets and info. June 5, 6:00-8:30 pm. Best Western Mountain Lodge, Banner Elk Horticultural Symposium – “Designing Your Garden” Sponsored by ASU College of Arts and Sciences, Daniel Boone Native Gardens, and The Garden Club of North Carolina, the second annual symposium is designed for local gardeners and homeowners, and features noted speakers. The day long event includes continental breakfast, catered lunch, free parking, and a tour of the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Seating limited. Pre-registration is required. Register online by April 30 at $59/pp. After April 30, $70/pp. Registration deadline is June 2. Register online at conferences-camps.appstate.edu June 7, 9:00am-4:00pm Boone, ASU Campus Appalachian Documentary Film-Anne Braden: Southern Patriot Documentary about the extraordinary life of this American Civil Rights leader. Film followed by a discussion and light refreshments. $6/pp. June 10, 5:30pm Community Meeting Room, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) Third Thursday: Wayne Clawson Clawson will enact the narrative poem, “The Shooting of Dan McGrew,” by Robert William Service, one of the most successful poets of the twentieth century. Free to members, $5 to non-members. June 19, 4:30pm Community Meeting Room, Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) Third Annual Jack Masters Golf Tournament at Sugar Mountain Golf Club. Celebrating Masters’ life as an advocate for children. Proceeds to Wildcat Lake at Grandfather Home for Children. Captains Choice $75 per player, golf, prizes, cookout. June 21, 8:30am shotgun. 828-898-6464

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High Country Festival of the Book Project of the Friends of the Watauga Public Library, the festival presents readings, workshops, and discussions with notable writers, as well as children’s activities and a variety of book exhibitors and food trucks. Most events free. For details and to purchase tickets, visit www.highcountryfestivalofthebook.com or pick up a brochure the library. June 27 “Tales of Imagination and Mystery “Dinner fundraiser with guest Lynn Cullen, author of Mrs. Poe June 28 Festival events Watauga County Public Library, Jones House Community Center, and locations between, Boone Boone Fourth of July Parade The parade route goes down King Street in downtown Boone and will conclude at the Poplar Grove Extension. July 4, 11:00am start time 28th Annual Christmas in July Festival An old-fashioned summer festival: traditional mountain music and contemporary music and dance, crafts, food, children’s activities, a Civil War battle re-enactment, and a farmer’s market. Free. For more info, call 336-846-9196 or visit www.christmasinjuly.info July 4, 6:00-10:00pm Entertainment and food only July 5, 9:00am-7:00pm full Festival West Jefferson Blowing Rock Independence Celebration Festival and Parade Games, music and fun, plus a parade. For more info, check event calendar or call 828-295-5222 July 5, 9:00am-10:00pm Downtown Blowing Rock 47th Annual Roast of the Hog and Fireworks Display A traditional Beech Mountain celebration, the hog is roasted all day and cut up right in front of the crowd. Music, moon pies, games and fireworks—a family event. To purchase tickets, call the Beech Mtn Chamber at 828-387-9283. July 5 Beech Mountain Avery County Dream Home Tour Visit some of the most exquisite and exclusive homes of the High Country. Proceeds from the self-guided tour benefit scholarships and projects of Mayland Community College. Advance tickets are $30/ pp through July 15, $40 thereafter. Info: 828-766-1233 or email mccfoundation@mayland.edu. July 19, 10:00am-5:00pm Avery County locations

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Spotlight On Theatre

w/Keith Martin

Summer always brings numerous performing arts opportunities here in the Carolina Mountains—there are literally dozens of productions from which to choose—but here are the eight most interesting shows on the horizon from now through mid-August. They are listed below in chronological order… see you at the theatre! The Wizard of Oz gets a first-class stage production at the Barter Theatre on the 75th Anniversary of the movie classic. “The State Theatre of Virginia” is never better than when it produces spectacular fare for family audiences, this time with the help of The Wizard, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, “and Toto, too.” Info at www.BarterTheatre.com or 276-628-3991. Runs May 17-August 9 in Abingdon, VA. Macbeth: A Radio Drama is part of the High Country Shakespeare Celebration of the Bard’s 450th birthday. Ensemble Stage presents this classic tale of prophecy, blind ambition, deceit and murder in the style of a 1940’s radio drama, supported by projections and sound effects performed live on stage. Info at www.Ensemble Stage.com or 828-414-1844. One performance only on May 17 in Blowing Rock, NC. Welcome Back to Ivy Gap by Ron Osborne is the third and final play in the popular series that takes you behind the scenes at First Baptist Church of Ivy Gap, where you’ll find some of the most good-hearted, sharp-tongued, casserole cookin’ ladies in East Tennessee. Savvy audience members might realize that the Barter’s main theatre was originally built as a church in 1832, albeit Presbyterian (not Baptist). Info at www.BarterTheatre.com or 276-6283991. Opens May 29-August 10 in Abingdon, VA. Pilobolus is an American modern dance company that challenges the way we think about the art form of dance. Their work is characterized by a strong element of physical interaction between the bodies of the performers and exaggerations and contortions of the human form. An Appalachian Summer Festival will present this popular company on tour in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Info at www.appsummer.org or 800-841-ARTS (2787). July 3 in Boone, NC. All’s Well That Ends Well concludes the Shakespeare Celebration with a production from Triad Stage of Greensboro. One of a handful of the Bard’s plays that cannot be neatly classified as a comedy or tragedy, the proverb on which it is based literally means, “Problems do not matter so long as the outcome is good.” Under the dynamic leadership of artistic director and Boone native Preston Lane, Triad Stage promises, “a classic reinvented,” and this company always delivers. Info at www.appsummer.org or 800-841-ARTS (2787). July 10 in Boone, NC. A Broadway Evening with Matthew Morrison brings teacher Will Schuester of television’s Glee to Boone for a musical lesson on “The Great White Way.” Morrison is a Broadway veteran from the original cast of Hairspray, the most recent revival of South Pacific, and his Tony Award nominated performance in A Light in the Piazza, among others. The Greensboro Symphony will accompany Morrison in a song and dance concert that is not to be missed. Info at www.appsummer.org or 800-841-ARTS (2787). July 12 in Boone, NC. Dance Theatre of Harlem is a multi-cultural dance institution with “an extraordinary legacy of providing opportunities for creative expression and artistic excellence.” Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell and the late Karel Shook, DTH is a bold and innovative company based in New York City whose artistry has been seen around the world and here in the High Country this summer during their 45th Anniversary Season. Info at www.appsummer.org or 800-841ARTS (2787). July 19 in Boone, NC. Monty Python’s Spamalot is accurately billed as a musical lovingly ripped off from the film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” The hit of the 2004-05 Broadway season brilliantly reimagined for the stage and directed by Mike Nichols, it captured 14 Tony nominations and three awards, including Best Musical. Lees-McRae College will help you “Always look on the bright side of life,” under the expert direction of Dr. Janet Speer. Info at www.lmc.edu or 828-898-8709. Runs August 6 - 10 in Banner Elk, NC.

A Brighter Day for Grandfather Home for Children


s Grandfather Home for Children prepares for another summer of events celebrating its centennial, a new alliance has been drawn that promises to provide more care for more children in need than ever before. In a move that will reshape the child welfare landscape across the state, Grandfather Home has merged with a similar ministry that was also founded by the Presbyterian Church more than 100 years ago—Barium Springs Home for Children. When he founded Grandfather Orphanage in 1914, Edgar Tufts probably didn’t expect that a century later it would team with a similar organization to become one of the largest child welfare ministries in the state of North Carolina. The orphanage that he began in Banner Elk with only two children has joined forces with Barium Springs Home for Children and reaches from the state’s westernmost regions to the Carolina coast to serve more than 3,500 children in need. “For the foreseeable future, both Grandfather Home and Barium Springs will keep their individual names and boards of trustees,” said Homes for Children Board Chair Bill Wasulko. “This partnership is not an acquisition, but a merger in its truest form. A parent company called Homes for Children now oversees all operations of Grandfather Home and Barium Springs. The Homes for Children Board of Directors has been retooled to include directors from both ministries. I was nominated to chair that board. Barium Springs’ former President and Chief Executive Officer, John Koppelmeyer, now serves as CEO of Homes for Children. Grandfather Home’s former Chief Operations Officer, Stephanie Knowles, is now COO of Homes for Children. With the unanimous approval of the Homes for Children and Barium Springs Home for Children Boards of Directors, the merger went into

effect on April 1, 2014. This merger puts both ministries in a stronger position for the future. Combining our strengths will increase the breadth and depth of our services to children in need.” The merger has been in part a response to a change in the climate in Raleigh; the State of North Carolina has been allocating less funding to support children’s organizations. Additionally, over the past year, the Homes for Children board has been looking for a new CEO to lead the ministry into a second century of service. As the board explored several options, they not only found a new leader, but also a sister organization with which to partner. This newly formed team expects to put forth a more effective advocacy role in Raleigh—and to be a force looked more favorably upon by the region’s largest charitable foundations. “The idea of teaming with another children’s home was brought up,” explained Wasulko, “so we talked to Barium Springs’ CEO John Koppelmeyer. Our board was very impressed with John and intrigued with the idea of merging with the Barium Springs ministry.” Koppelmeyer said the merger will provide countless benefits for the children who are served by both ministries. “This partnership will offer more opportunities for children and increase our service area,” he reasoned. “The partnership also allows us to better serve children who are in desperate need of healing after experiencing unthinkable abuse and neglect.” COO Stephanie Knowles echoed Koppelmeyer’s sentiment. “Barium Springs offers services for children in need that are very similar to Grandfather Home’s continuum of care,” she explained. “Barium’s business model dovetails nicely with what Grandfather Home has been building over the past century.” “I always tend to think about things from a biblical perspective,” Knowles added. “Ecclesiastes 4:9 says that team-

work allows for a greater return. Together, these two ministries will continue to change children’s lives across the state. A few verses later, King Solomon talks about how a cord of three strands isn’t easily broken. In our situation, one strand represents Grandfather Home, another strand represents Barium Springs, and the third strand represents God. As we move forward with this partnership, we understand that reflecting Christ’s love to children in need is at the heart of everything we do.” Koppelmeyer said that the idea of a merger reminded him of a powerful lesson he learned as a child. “Growing up in Wisconsin, I had a schoolmate who lived on a farm,” he remembered. “I used to love going to his house to see the horses. I remember watching one horse that could pull a wagon of hay weighing about 8,000 pounds. I would then watch my friend’s father switch the wagon to another horse, which could pull the same weight. He then hooked both horses to a larger wagon weighing about 24,000 pounds and together the horses could pull it. Individually, each horse could only pull about 8,000 pounds, but together they could pull three times as much as they could pull alone—together, they could do more work than the sum of their parts would seemingly allow. That’s the exact illustration that came to mind when we began talking about merging Grandfather Home and Barium Springs. Together, these two strong and storied ministries will make an unprecedented impact on children in need across North Carolina.” Grandfather Home and Barium Springs, two of the most steadfast workhorses of the state’s child welfare system, have yoked themselves together to pull children out of abuse and despair, and into a brighter tomorrow. Visit BariumSprings.org and GrandfatherHome.org for more information. Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


A New Home For Beech Mountain’s History Museum


hen the Beech Mountain Historical Society opened its museum to the public last July 16, some members probably held their breath. Would anybody come? Over the next 14 weeks some 600 visitors answered that question. That record exceeded most expectations and established the new museum as a significant addition to the resort community’s attractions for tourists and residents. When the museum closed for the season October 19 there was no longer any question as to whether it ought to reopen next season. The only question was where. The former Works of Wood building where the museum occupied donated space was sold at auction, which meant the Historical Society had to find a new home for its existing and future exhibits. As with so many good things that have happened on Beech Mountain over the past forty-plus years, the successful search for a new museum site involved Fred Pfohl of Fred’s General Mercantile. Fred’s once operated a toy shop in part of the adjacent building that also housed Jim Brooks’ Beechwood Realty office, but in recent years that space has been vacant except for storage. Even before the museum opened last year, the Historical Society considered the former toy shop an ideal location. Now the society has reached an agreement with Pfohl to rent the space and open the museum with an expanded exhibit there this spring. The museum’s first exhibit focused on the exciting and glamorous early days of the Beech Mountain resort developed by Carolina Caribbean Corporation in the 1960s. The society is hoping this year to add artifacts, photographs and documents from the families that lived, farmed and built a strong community on the mountain before the developers arrived. Among the visitors in the museum’s first season was Rachael Deal, who worked in marketing for Carolina Caribbean Corporation and, after the corporation’s bankruptcy, was secretary for the Property Owners Association that took over operation of the resort. Another was Jan Robbins Elder, whose father, Grover Robbins, was head of Carolina Caribbean Corporation and the primary visionary in the creation of the resort community. Other visitors included a couple who had honeymooned on Beech Mountain and skied there the first day the slopes opened, January 1, 1968. Elisha McGill, professor of anthropology at N.C. State University, came with nine N.C. State students to visit the museum and the Land of Oz. Another visitor was Jere Sonderman, whose late husband, artist Joe Sonderman, worked with Jack Pentes in designing the fabulous Land of Oz theme park that operated on the mountain through the 1970s and still draws thousands of visitors to the annual Oz weekend every fall. And there was Gil Adams, who skied on the mountain as a teenager when it first opened and has since become a veteran on the ski patrol. Clearly the museum was a treasured nostalgia trip for many visitors and an educational experience for those new to Beech Mountain who had never known how the resort came to be. But there is much more history of the mountain to be explored, and the Historical Society will continue to explore it at its new location this year.

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grandfather home for children

storytelling festival June 14 @ the Hayes Campus in Banner Elk FREE ADMISSION! Enjoy games and inflatables while you eat and hear stories from the Blue Ridge’s best storytellers including Rhodyjane Meadows, Glenn Bolick, Rick Ward and Orville Hicks. Orville Hicks

Can’t make it to the Storytelling Festival? Come to our other Centennial Events: Down Home Dinner July 26 at the Hayes Campus in Banner Elk FREE BBQ and live music! Come and help us seal Grandfather Home artifacts in our time capsule. www.grandfatherhome.org

24th Annual Children’s Golf Classic Sept. 29 & 30 at Grandfather Golf & Country Club Dinner & auction, followed by a day of golf at one of the High Country’s premier private courses.


Horn in the West Revolutionary War Outdoor Drama

Open Late June - Mid August | Nightly, Tuesday - Sunday Gates Open at 7:30 pm | Curtain Time 8:00 pm Dinner with Dan’l - Catered Buffet By Reservation

y Ridge Hickor Living History Museum

Thelma’s Things Art • Antiques • Home Decor • Fine Jewelry Exquisite (& sometimes Fun) Accessories 828-898-3808 • 2710 Tynecastle Hwy (Near the entrance to Sugar Mountain)

“ We’re looking forward to seeing you again!”

Open Saturday Mornings | May - October Nightly, Tuesday - Sunday | Late June - Mid August Boone Heritage Festival - Saturday, October 11

591 Horn in the West Drive Boone, NC (828) 264-2120 WWW.HORNINTHEWEST.COM | WWW.HICKORYRIDGEMUSEUM.COM

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


CD3037-BMT Country Club Ad-hr_Layout 1 3/28/12 12:29 PM Page 1

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74 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


“Walk The Walk” A Story of Triumph & Inspiration By Steve York

Chapter 1: Comforts Flashback for just a moment…and imagine you are an 18 year-old young man, just out of high school and living the American Dream in 1966. You come from a comfortable, southern middleclass country club culture in your hometown of Gastonia, North Carolina. Your family heritage includes a lineage of Presbyterian clergy dating back to the 1700’s. You consider Catholicism while in High School, but later develop a closer affinity to Episcopal traditions…especially after feeling the presence of God during communion at a local Episcopal church. At first, you resist the idea of going straight to college in favor of joining the military. After all, you’d spent a year in a military school and felt that a more disciplined way of life might better curb your free-spirited nature. Plus you have a long family military tradition dating back to the Civil War and running through your father’s World War II service under General Patton’s Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge. But the southeast Asia conflict is heating up and your father’s war experience left him concerned for your military fate. Despite your mom’s sympathies towards your wishes, your dad’s will prevails and you agree to give Wingate Junior College near Charlotte a try. A year later you join the Marines. The times were both turbulent and exciting. It was an era of revolutionary cultural and political change. It was an era of revolutionaries. Only three years after losing JFK to an assassin’s bullet, Lyndon Johnson was President and promoting a social agenda called “The Great Society.” His was an agenda of Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and the War on Poverty. But then there was that other war…the one in Vietnam. And that war would be Johnson’s undoing. Bonanza was the most watched TV show, “Beam Me Up Scotty” was the newest catch-phrase, and the 8-track tape player graced the dashboards of

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66’ Ford Mustangs. Mini-skirts were in. Baby-boomers were EVERYWHERE, mind-altering substances were EVERYWHERE, and screaming Top 40 disk jockeys RULED! The Beatles were still together and Billboard’s 1966 Top 100 included an atypical hit by Sgt. Barry Sandler called “The Ballad of The Green Beret.”

Chapter 2: Combat Now, with that cultural backdrop… flash forward. It’s March 28, 1968. You’re that same young man who cherished that same American Dream. But now you’re a corporal stationed at a valley resupply airbase near the DMZ at Khe Sanh in South Vietnam’s Quang Tri province just a few miles from the North Vietnamese border. The area is reminiscent of your own North Carolina highlands with hardwood trees, steams, and surrounded by high mountains; nothing like the stereotypical sweltering jungles of southern Vietnam. Your role is as rifleman and squad leader with the 1st Battalion 9th Marines; a seasoned team who’d just come through heavy combat in Dong Ha, Conthien, and Cam Lo Valley and surviving to fight another day. But this time your battalion is surrounded by 20,000 North Vietnamese Regulars (NVA). Their siege to unseat American and South Vietnamese forces has been relentless since January and you’ve been under ground, artillery, mortar, and rocket attacks day and night. Your job is to protect the base from being overrun by the NVA. Yet you have less than 5000 Marine, Army, and Air Force personnel to do the job. Not good odds under any combat scenario. But this isn’t just any battle. This is the illfated Tet Offensive. On that clear and bright March afternoon, you’re just back from a patrol and are talking with some new arrivals. Your company commander warns everyone to stay inside their bunkers due to the NVA’s habit of noontime rocket and ar-

tillery attacks. But it’s a nice day and you feel like lingering outside a little longer. Somebody suggests you distribute some pineapple juice around the area. So you fill your shirt with juice cans and head towards the Command post. FLASH…BAM! Suddenly a 122 mm enemy rocket streaks in, explodes, and slams you to the ground. You remember feeling like a football receiver who’s just crossed the goal line…only to be hit by a mysterious tackler out of nowhere. Because of your spiritual foundations you begin praying automatically, asking God to pull you through. You immediately sense a divine presence; that same comforting feeling you’d experienced two years earlier during Episcopal communion. But then you hear your commander yelling, “What are you doing? I told you not to get out of that bunker!” Your instinct is to jump up and get to some cover, but your body doesn’t cooperate. You feel soldiers holding you down as a corpsman tightens a tourniquet around your left thigh, pops you with a dose of morphine and puts a patch over your injured right eye. Rockets are still whistling overhead as fellow marines lay you out on a flatbed utility cart called a “mule” and rush you to the underground surgical hospital at Khe Sanh. Your name is James Houston Matthews—or simply, Houston; a smart, strong, good-looking 20 year-old kid from Gastonia. And in those few, brief moments, any semblance of your preVietnam American Dream has just been up-ended and your life forever transformed.

Chapter 3: Culture Shock Flash forward again. Houston Matthews has turned 21. During this next year at the Naval hospital in Philadelphia, he learned to deal with the harsh reality that he’s lost his left leg just above the knee and the vision in his right eye. He struggled with convalescence and physical rehab. He struggled with the primitive prosthesis provided to disabled vets 45 years ago. And he struggled with all the psychological, emotional, and spiritual questions that confront any wounded warrior. On top of that, he was about to face

all the negativity and judgment dumped on returning vets during a time of global protests against that unpopular war. Back then, you were considered either pro-war or anti-war. Back then, there was little consideration given to the emotional needs of wounded and traumatized soldiers. In fact, back then, there was no recognition of Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PSTD) at all. If all this sounds like the first half of the movie “Born on the Fourth of July” starring Tom Cruise, that’s because this story isn’t uncommon for many solders whose lives have been permanently altered by debilitating injuries. But unlike the Cruise character, Houston didn’t follow the path of war protestor and political activist. Not that he didn’t question the purpose of the Vietnam War and all its horrors; or any war for that matter. But this young man came to Vietnam steeped in a spiritual tradition and had long felt a tug in that direction. So maybe his answers would arise from within the fundamentals of his faith. “A lot of thoughts about my future were going through my head. I was only 21years old and had lost both a leg and an eye. Would a woman ever be attracted to me? Would I be able to get a job or finish college,” Houston recounted in the book Landing Zones by James R. Wilson. “I was badly depressed for a month after getting to Philadelphia. But a local Episcopal priest visited me once a week. With his help, I started to work through my feelings and gain the strength to overcome what had happened. It was like I was back in battle again. But I think I won this battle when the spiritual side of me allowed the emotional and physical sides to be healed. I believe all of us are three-dimensional beings: mind, body, and spirit. If one of those dimensions is not in union with the others, we are out of balance. The spiritual dimension unlocked the door that allowed me to accept my disability and overcome it. By the time I left the hospital, I was happy with myself.” Houston was discharged in January of 1969 and received the Purple Heart plus the prestigious Navy Unit and Presidential Unity Citations for his role in Khe Sanh. But his road back to normalcy wasn’t without its hurdles. He moved in with his family for six months to regain

his energy and adjust to his prosthesis. Increasingly surrounded by growing anti-war sentiments, he tried countering that clamor through speaking engagements to high school students and civic groups…all from “the hero comes home” perspective. But, after a year, he too began to feel that the war was futile and he could no longer support it.

Chapter 4: Calling Before long, a confluence of events ushered Houston towards his lifelong mission. First, his father died in a car accident. Second, he got married. Third— after four months—he got divorced. Although he’d planned to start college at UNC-Chapel Hill, he felt a need to live close to his recently widowed mother. So he enrolled at Belmont Abbey, a private Catholic and Benedictine Liberal Arts College and Monastery north of Gastonia, where he graduated with a Psychology degree in 1974. During this time Houston met and married Sharon Elizabeth Rose of Gastonia. “Shay” and Houston Matthews have been together ever since. They have 3 grown children, one grandchild and another on the way. Sharon’s career background is in education and she still works as Principal at Gardner Park School in Gastonia. “I can’t overemphasize how important Shay has been to my ministry and my life over the years.” Houston said. “I don’t know how I would have made it without her loving support.” All through his Belmont Abbey days, Houston had been thinking seriously about the ministry. And after talks with church officials, he entered the Episcopal Church’s General Theological Seminary in New York City where he would earn his Masters of Divinity in 1977. He became an ordained Deacon that same year and an ordained Priest in 1978. Like most clergy, Houston moved from church to church. Over the next 30 years he answered his calling, first as Assistant Priest at the Church of the Ascension in Lafayette, Louisiana before moving to Opelousas, Louisiana to serve as Priest at the Church of the Epiphany. All Saints Church in West Columbia, South Carolina became his next post before moving back home as Priest of Gastonia’s All Saints Church where

Houston Matthews

Continuing on next page... Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


and General Store WALK THE WALK—continuing from previous page he would retire in 2005. Since retiring, however, he’s continued to preach, teach, or serve as called upon by the Diocese of Western North Carolina and other Diocese, including Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, where he’s served as guest clergy. His home Parish is St. Mark’s in Gastonia and his mountain home Parish is Holy Cross Episcopal in Valle Crucis. Houston and Shay are well-known to folks around Banner Elk as residents of the historic Van Cannon home which is now part of The Farm, a gated community on Dobbins road. The Matthew’s added more rooms to the original structure and included a rustic chapel in the back. The chapel displays a variety of religious icons from both Eastern and Western Christian traditions. Though simple with a few modest pews and a basic alter, it is uniquely charming and tastefully adorned with beautiful art and a display of Russian artifacts symbolic of the life of Christ.

Given all of the inspiring triumphs

work in Gaston County, the prized Belmont Abbey Alumni Award, and the Paul Harris Fellowship Award from his local Rotary Club. When asked, “where do you go from here,” he was quick to reply. “I’ve been giving that a lot of thought,” he began. “I’d like to finish my book, work more with Afghan and Iraq Vets and other outreach programs. My main ministry is to bring people to the Light of Christ. To do that, I have to try living every day in the image of God and express that Light. I can’t just talk the talk…I have to walk the walk.” And that sentiment could not be more poignant. Even after having lost a leg, an eye, and facing-down lymphoma, Houston’s life and ministry continues to reflect an unwavering commitment to walking that walk by helping others to do the same. Looking forward, he prays that this next chapter in his life may carry a powerful message to an even larger world wherever there’s the need for hope and inspiration.

ts f i G

One of Houston’s favorite scriptures is from Acts 2, verses 44 and 45. “And all who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.” This lesson in charity and compassion has formed the heart of Houston’s ministry. Having grown up in an affluent setting, he had witnessed the sharp distinctions between the “haves and have-nots.” Later, Vietnam brought him face-to-face with the brutal realities that crossed all socio-economic and racial lines. “Vietnam leveled the playing field for me,” Houston said. “You see, there are no cultural differences on the battlefield. It’s about your mission, survival, and looking out for your buddies.” Like every soldier, life, death, and suffering were never abstract concepts for Houston. They were minute-by-minute experiences. And one of those experiences landed right on top of him one March afternoon in 1968. Throughout his ministry and retirement, he’s focused on those less fortunate; whether wounded and PTSD veterans, the homeless of Gaston Country, or other community causes. He even

78 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

BAYOU A New Orleans style Restaurant & Bar

Chapter 6: What’s Next?

his belt, it’s no surprise that Housr under e e ton has garnered some well-deserved acs B m e e colades. He received the Martin Luther t I l King Unity Award for his race relations Wain


Chapter 5: Charity

started writing a book about his life and his ministry. “Vietnam gave me a deeper empathy for those with physical handicaps and emotional traumas,” he reasoned. “It taught me to value the spiritual over the material, to develop a sense of ALL, that we are our brother’s keepers and to hold on to faith during life’s ups and downs.” Ironically, Houston’s own faith would be tested again. “A year following retirement, I learned I had lymphoma and began cancer treatment; all probably as a result of exposure to high amounts of ‘agent orange’ in Vietnam. It’s in remission now,” he said, “but that episode inspired an even deeper level of inner spiritual strengthening.”

For a more detailed account of Houston’s experiences leading up to and through Vietnam, read Landing Zones by James R. Wilson (pages 101-109) published by Duke University Press 1990.

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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Fishing Season, Finally


ven though most High Country trout streams can be legally fished yearround, this past winter kept even the most diehard fishers off the water. Multiple days with below zero temperatures and snowfalls of over 12 inches made fishing difficult if not impossible. Now that spring has arrived everyone can again enjoy getting out on his or her favorite waters. That is the good news. Now the bad news. It seems that the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has dropped the entire upper section of Delayed Harvest (single hook, artificial lure only, catch-and-release from October to June) on the Watauga River from the system. Too much of this section had become posted by the landowners so, with access denied, the NCWRC will no longer stock this area with trout. There is a little silver lining however. NCWRC has proposed adding approximately one mile of the Watauga River to the Delayed Harvest program. This area is much farther downstream where the Watauga flows under Hwy. 321 in western Watauga County. Currently this appears to be still on track so hopefully nothing will derail it. The area needs more streams designated Mountain Trout Water to address the issue of the number of people now fishing. More and more avid trout fishers make the High Country a destination for fishing. When you add in the people on vacation who, even though they do not fish regularly, want to fish while on holiday the rivers and streams become quite crowded. This is particularly true on rivers with easy access. The easy answer to this problem would be for the NCWRC to add more designated streams but this is more difficult than it seems. As mentioned, when landowners put up No Trespassing signs the NCWRC will not stock the streams.

80 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

w/ Andrew Corpening Even though the NCWRC is trying to work with property owners to allow fishing it is a slow process. The NCWRC, with recent budget cuts, has limited resources to pursue this objective. People who fish can, however, help this process along or at least slow the loss of designated streams. Some of the things that can be done by people who fish is to talk to landowners about allowing fishing. The NCWRC has a program where property owners can post their land for everything but fishing. If a landowner is interested in this program they can contact the NCWRC about obtaining special signs to post on their land. The biggest thing that people can do to slow the loss of fishing access is to simply be considerate. Don’t block roads or driveways. Respect privacy; don’t walk through some one’s yard to get to the river. Obviously littering is a no-no but go a step further and carry out the litter already there. These things may seem like no-brainers but some landowners have come home to find people having a picnic in their yard. If the above seems like a minor doomsday scenario for fishing it is not. Only a small number of the High Country’s streams are designated trout waters. This does not mean the other streams don’t hold trout. In fact nearly all of the area rivers where the waters are cold enough have trout. Sure there might not be as many as the streams that are stocked but they still hold wild trout. Another plus to fishing these un-designated waters is fewer people fish them so they are less crowded. If you doubt that these streams hold trout there is the example of the fly-fisher who caught an 18-inch brown trout behind the Burger King in Boone. The locals know this and regularly catch large trout from streams you can step across. If you are new to the area or just visiting on vacation it is important to know

that there are multiple designations for the area trout waters. Some streams allow the use of bait, on some you can only use single hook artificial lures, and some are fly-fishing only. Then there are the streams that are catch-and-release only. If you violate the rules for a particular river and get caught it will be a costly mistake. If you need clarification of the designations stop by a local fishing shop, go to the ncwildlife.org website, or pick up the NCWRC’s Regulations Digest. Even though it seems obvious to people who fish regularly, you do need a fishing license. These can be purchased at numerous locations in the High Country. You can find out who sells licenses by going to ncwildlife.org. Keep in mind that if you have a regular North Carolina fishing license you will also need the trout permit to fish for trout. This extra cost helps finance the stocking program. If you are visiting from another state the good news is that the cost for an out of state license in North Carolina is very reasonable compared to some of our neighboring states. Now that you know the rules and have a fishing license please do not get greedy and keep the limit just because you can. With so many people fishing if everyone kept their limit there would be far fewer trout to catch. Fly-fishers basically started the concept of catch-andrelease but bass fishers now embrace it also. The late Lee Wulff started it by saying that a good fish is too valuable to catch just once. If you want a trout dinner and you are fishing where you can keep them, keep only what you need that night. Trout don’t freeze well and will never be as good the next day. Remember that your license is not a license to keep all the fish you catch. With the ice off the streams and the weather nice there is no better way to enjoy a beautiful spring day in the High Country than by going fishing. So obey the rules, practice catch-and-release, and go wet a line. See you on the stream.


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For some, cleaning their catch is fun, and you may do so, or we will clean them for you. We can filet or clean your trout whole, then double bag and ice down your catch.


Hwy. 105, 10 Miles South of Boone

(across from entrance to Seven Devils)


Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


A Dream Come True By Mary Ray


he story begins, “Once upon a time there was a young girl growing up in Mexico who learned to sew. She would watch the women in her family create things from cloth and she learned to love the cloth and the process that shaped it into other things. But she didn’t know then that the cloth and the skill would shape her future. Time went by and the girl became a young woman who left Mexico to join her sister in a new land. A place called Banner Elk, North Carolina. . . .” The story continues and we meet Pilar Harding, the woman who came to Banner Elk 23 years ago. She had completed high school in Mexico, but she couldn’t speak English. She got a job in Newland making Christmas wreaths, but she wanted more so she enrolled in Mayland Community College to learn the language and earn her G.E.D. Over the years, realizing the importance of education, she took more classes at Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton and eventually graduated from Appalachian State University in 2009 with a degree in interior design. She took another big step and studied to become a U.S. citizen, and took her oath four years ago. Formal education was always important to Pilar, but it didn’t teach her all that she wanted to know. And she had to work, of course, and the story was just beginning.

82 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

Remember the beginning of the story, when Pilar was first taught to sew and love fabric? This early nugget of learning never left her. It kept nudging her. “God gave me this talent,” she said. “I try to push it away, but it keeps coming back.” Before attending Appalachian State, she got a job in a drapery workroom in Sugar Grove. It wasn’t just a job for this quiet young woman, however. It was another opportunity to watch and learn while she worked. It was here that Pilar met four women—Lena, Betty, Helen, and Sharon—who took her under their wings and taught her the skills of professional drapery making. They mentored her and encouraged her, and they were a lot of fun to work with. Later on she had the chance to work with a designer in Morganton, Josie McCoy, who did commercial projects for nursing homes. Many of the patients in these homes suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and Pilar began to learn about the human side of interior design. She was struck by how the patients reacted to their interior surroundings and how fabric and furnishings affected their lives. These hands-on experiences solidified what she had pretty much known all along. That what she really wanted to do with her life was work with fabric and turn it into something beautiful. In 2002, while she was employed full time at the Lowes home improvement store in Boone, she started working from her home creating draperies and other window treatments for her own clients. She made a commitment and invested in equipment— industrial sewing machines—and she was on her way. On her way, but not there yet. She still had that dream of having her own business in its own space. Although she was building a clientele, she was still working at home in Valle Crucis; convenient for her, but not always for her clients. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a larger space where she could work and expand her business, have a showroom with some retail space, plus an office area, a place to consult with clients, a place where she could interact with other people instead of working alone all day, a place where she could learn more about the business side of running a business? `The story continues and we meet Pilar today. Once again she has come to Banner Elk, her dream is coming true,

and thanks to the Avery County Professional and Retail Incubator Development Enterprise (AC PRIDE), she has found her space in a corner of the old Banner Elk School. AC Pride has provided the space, but their objective in working with entrepreneurs goes beyond that. They offer professional guidance, training, and marketing to help businesses build and grow. Pilar is a proud tenant and her corner unit is a shining star. When you walk in you know an interior designer works there. It’s open and bright because of the large existing windows. She has transformed it into an efficient, welcoming, cheerful place where ideas are hatched, plans are made, and work happens. It’s a studio/workroom/retail space all rolled into one. The windows are adorned with drapery samples. Stacks of fabric sample books from companies like Ralph Lauren, Kravet, Stout, and Greenhouse Fabrics confirm her good taste. There are shelves of beautiful pillows looking for homes. And a gorgeous table, made by Pilar’s husband, Mark. “He is my best friend,” she said, “and so supportive of what I do. He’s the reason I’ve continued my career and followed my dream.” A dream realized, but there was no magic wand. Our heroine has come a long way because she worked hard, studied hard, practiced patience, took advantage of opportunities, paid attention to her mentors, teachers, and supporters, and had some luck along the way. Pilar glows in her new space. It’s obvious she loves her work and that she loves working with and satisfying her clients. Her goal is to make them happy. “At the end of the day, when I see my work, it’s so fulfilling. I’ve turned my hobby into a career.” Pilar Harding’s company is called Bailey. She’s located in downtown Banner Elk in the old Banner Elk School, now known as AC PRIDE. She specializes in draperies and other window treatments and their installation. She offers free consultations and estimates. Her hours are weekdays from 10am–6pm. Phone: 828-719-0455. For more information about AC PRIDE, the business incubator program in Avery County, contact Bret Gardella, director, at 828-737-5150, or visit their website, www.averycountync.gov/departments/ economic_development/


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

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Wild Bird & Gift Store

The Largest Selection of Bird Items in the High Country, “but not JUST a Bird Store” Eclectic Gifts – Home Décor – Yard Art “When you need a gift, think of WingN’It first!” Garden Flags, Candles, Whirligigs, Linens …and EVERYTHING BIRD!!” Open Mon-Sat 10-6, Sun 11-5

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Newland (Begins June 2) NEW TIME: Monday 4pm-6pm NEW LOCATION: County Extension Office, 805 Cranberry Street


84 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

Check us out on

Nodding Onion

What’s New for Spring? Plants! By Bob Oelberg


eady for spring? Your local nurseries are. Every year, close-to-home purveyors of plants for High Country gardens roll out varieties that are new for their nursery, and quite often new to the area. 2014 is no exception. Here’s a sample of some of the new plants that you can expect to find on your next nursery visit. Mustard Seed Market owners Danielle and Robb Stewart are offering more than a dozen new perennials, shrubs and ornamental trees. ‘Tuff Stuff ’ Mountain Hydrangea is compact, only two to three feet tall, mounding in habit, and valued for its ability to bloom repeatedly (pink to violet) throughout the summer. Another compact introduction is the ‘Mini Snowflake’ Mock Orange. While most Mock Orange varieties grow ten feet to twelve feet or taller, this one is a perfect fit where dependable late spring blooms are desired for a compact (only three feet) space.

If you associate the onset of spring with flowering dogwoods, the Venus Dogwood will leave no doubt in your mind that spring has sprung. Its eightinch blooms are uncharacteristically large. Broader than it is tall, it’s the right tree for a small space, topping out at just eighteen feet. Another native cultivar offered this year by Mustard Seed is the Cutleaf Smooth Sumac. Usually thought of as a plant for larger landscapes, the serrated leaves of this compact variety provide up-close interest as well. And if ‘cut leaf ’ makes you think of Japanese Maple, come check out Obon Sarasa and Tobiosho. New perennials offered at Mustard Seed include ‘Spring Gold’ Bleeding Heart. ‘Gold’ refers to the foliage color, so it’s there for the duration of the season. The red blooms, characteristic of Bleeding Hearts, make a striking contrast against the gold-green backdrop. The Umbrella Plant looks like its name suggests, with large leaves reminiscent of fig leaves. This is a compact shrub, however. It’s one of Robb and Danielle’s favorite plants, and they’re growing it from scratch right here in the Carolina Mountains. Sonya Garland at Hawk Mountain Garden Center is also introducing some perennials she wants you to know about. The Big Sky selections of their native Coneflower fill out the color spectrum in the yellow-red range. Look to them to brighten up your borders. A good complement for the Big Sky series is the Petite Delight Beebalms that Sonya is now offering, with their lavender pink flowers, also in late summer. Both are great plants for your sunny border. Another sun-loving plant to consider, and with an extended bloom period, is ‘Twisterbell’ Campanula. ‘Twister’ refers to the way the unique blue and white bi-color flowers spiral up the stem. For the shady corner in your garden, consider ‘Look at Me’ Astilbes, or ‘Midnight Rose’ Coral Bells. They’re both new at Hawk Mountain Garden Center, and are both valued for their foliage as much as the blooms. Great foliage is the reason for being for many shade garden plants. Have you ever thought about going native with your garden? You need to know about Gardens of the Blue Ridge (GBR). This time-honored lo-

cal nursery—well over a hundred years in business—also has some new plants to offer. Of course, as natives, they have been around forever, but they’re new to the extensive GBR plant list. If you’ve always liked Goldenrods for the way they look but have avoided them for the way they spread, then you need to know that there’s a class of native goldenrods that are quite well behaved. Sweet Goldenrod, Solidago odora, is one of them. You can depend on it to brighten up your autumn border without taking over. Another plant that has a bad rap in the garden for its expansionist tendencies is mint. Mint can be a four letter word to gardeners familiar with it, but native mints are better behaved in High Country gardens than their European cousins. A good mint to know is Mountain Mint, aka Pycnanthemum muticum. Mountain Mint contains a natural mosquito repellant and deer stay away from them as well. Another deer resistant plant, but one that’s attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies, is the Nodding Onion. Its purple pink flowers would look great side by side with another purple pink native that GBR is adding: the Prairie Phlox or Phlox pillosa. The broad flat petals are natural landing pads for butterflies, and like many other phlox, it’s great for a ground cover. Speaking of ground covers, consider adding Canada Anemone. It’s a good choice for a mass ground cover over a large area, sun or shade. In that regard, it’s an attractive choice where you need erosion control. So if you’re looking for something new this spring, consider visiting a local Carolina mountain nursery and check out what’s new growing in their beds and on their racks. Bob Oelberg works from Boone to practice landscape architecture throughout the Northern Carolina Mountains.

Mountain Mint Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


The Bard and His Birds w/ Curtis Smalling


House Sparrow

any events are occurring this month to celebrate the 450th birthday of William Shakespeare, but one of the most unique has to be the Bard’s Birds. Held as a kick-off to an annual birding festival, the event takes place at the Daniel Boone Gardens and Horn in the West in Boone on Saturday April 26. At first glance it may seem an odd coupling of theater and ornithology—the study of birds—but a quick look at history shows us how the two are linked. Shakespeare used birds in his plays and poetry as imagery to quickly get his messages across, either to denote an emotion (talking about the trembling bird and its fear) or to relate to a character trait (fierce like a falcon). No less than fifty species are specifically mentioned in his writing, many repeatedly. Blackbirds, eagles, falcons, finches, peacocks, pelicans, and swans all make appearances in his literary works. In a particularly timely ode to spring and beauty he writes in the play, Cymbeline: Hark! Hark! The lark at heaven’s gate sings, And Phoebus ‘gius arise, His steeds to water at those springs On chaliced flowers that lies: And winking Mary-buds begin To ope their golden eyes: With everything that pretty is, My lady sweet, arise: Arise, arise!

86 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

European Starling in breeding plumage

That is all well and good, but many, many poets, playwrights, and novelists have used bird imagery to great effect. What makes the Bard special? Why does he have such a strong presence in American ornithology? The answer is found in the late nineteenth century in New York City. During the early 1850s, a movement had started in France to purposefully introduce “beneficial” species from around the globe into the local landscape. Plants, animals, fish, insects, and many birds were moved around the globe in the attempt to get them established elsewhere, usually with a hint of nostalgia for home, or the perceived benefits of the species. The American Acclimatization Society was formed in 1871 in New York, and its head, Eugene Schieffelin, was an ardent admirer of Shakespeare. He hatched a plan to introduce the birds of Shakespeare’s plays and poetry into the United States. Successful introductions of House Sparrows and Rock Doves (the ubiquitous city pigeon) had already occurred and so he was inspired to try pheasants, chaffinches, and numerous other birds. These birds were normally released in Central Park and efforts were often made to encourage their survival by putting up nest boxes, putting out food, and so forth. Most of these releases failed over time with one notable exception, the European Starling. The Starling was released into Central Park twice in 1890

and 1891. Each time, 100 birds were released. The first successful nest was reportedly in the eaves of the American Museum of Natural History in Central Park a year later. From those lowly 200 birds we now have an estimated 200 million Starlings on the continent! The Starling has become the poster child for why it is a bad idea to introduce exotic species into new areas. Starlings compete for nest cavities and also have been implicated in everything from crop damage to aircraft safety concerns, to human health effects from their massive winter roosts. On the positive side, they are one of the few birds that consume Japanese Beetle larvae in yards and fields, fitting since the Japanese Beetle is also an invasive exotic species. So the next time you see the Starling singing his heart out, remember his beginnings and his connection to the Bard and his birds! Join us for the Boone Birding Festival at the Daniel Boone Native Gardens on Saturday April 26th from 8am to 1pm. Bird walks, vendors, native plants, activities for kids, and live birds including a Starling(!) for you to get to know better. For more information visit our Facebook page for the Boone Birding Festival.

Photo by Alan Walker, Clifton VA

Company’s Coming: Hummingbirds Return to the High Country By Jane Richardson


ne of the truest harbingers of spring is on its way! In late March and early April, the High Country looks forward to the arrival of the first hummingbirds of the season. The ancient ritual of their migration brings with it the promise of warmer days, and connects us yet again to the inexorable rhythm of nature. Ever since these mountains were young, hummingbirds have been given religious and spiritual significance in many cultures of the west. They are woven into the legends of the Hopi and Zuni Indians, which tell of the tiny creatures convincing the gods to bring rain to the earth. The Mayans believed them to be the sun in disguise, courting a beautiful woman who is the moon. Other Native American cultures regarded hummingbirds as symbols of peace, love and happiness and always as a sign of good luck. Hummingbirds are frequently found on totems and burial artifacts because they were considered to be symbols of hope and resurrection. There are more than 330 recognized species of hummingbird, all in the Western Hemisphere, and more are being discovered in tropical areas of the world. Seventeen species are found in the United States. Ten species have been documented in North Carolina during the non-breeding season. But the ruby-

throated variety (Archilochus colubris) is eastern North America’s only breeding hummer and the one we’ll most likely find at our feeders. The migration of the ruby-throated hummingbird is nothing short of miraculous. Weighing only about three to four grams on average (approximately the weight of a penny), these birds fly to us nonstop across the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of some 550 miles. When the birds arrive here from Mexico and Central or South America they are hungry, and their exceptionally keen eyesight will soon spot your feeder. The males are the first to appear, ready to stake out their territory in anticipation of the females who will soon follow. The younger, more immature birds stay behind a while longer to gain strength and body mass before undertaking the strenuous flight. The birds’ diet consists of insects and flower nectar, both of which may be in short supply here in late March, so put out your hummingbird feeder anytime the daytime temperature is above 27 degrees F and it will not freeze. On colder nights, take the feeder inside since hummers do not feed at night. The sugar water mixture in your feeders should be four parts water to one part granulated white sugar. Any higher ratio of sugar can cause excessive thirst in these tiny birds. The use of brown, turbinado or “raw” sugars is not recommended be-

cause of their iron content, which can be harmful to the hummingbird. It is not necessary to put red food coloring in the water, and you should avoid feeders with yellow parts because insects are attracted to that color. Hang your feeder below an open container filled with water if ants are a problem, or look for feeders that already have an ant “moat.” You should change the food at least every three to five days, and thoroughly clean your feeders at least weekly with hot water and a brush—no soap or detergent is necessary. Place your feeders out of sight of each other so that the territory of each male can be more easily defended. As soon as the arriving birds have found food and regained the energy expended during their long flight, spring mating begins. The male ruby-throated hummingbird conducts an elaborate courting display of aerial derring-do to woo the female in his territory, first swooping and diving around her and then performing a series of rapid and precise horizontal arcs, truly a sight to behold. These birds do not pair after mating; the female chooses the nest site and builds her nest in about a week to ten days. The nest is constructed of lichen, dandelion and cattail down and is held together by spider silk, which enables the structure to flex and expand as needed. The nest will generally be situated well above the ground and is only about one to two inches high and one and a half inches wide, making it virtually impossible to discover. Two eggs are usually produced which hatch in approximately fourteen days. The baby birds will leave the nest in about three weeks at which time they will have grown larger than the mother bird, thanks to her selfless and constant care and feeding. Contrary to popular belief, you can leave your feeders up as late in the season as you want. Hummingbird migration occurs because of hormonal changes triggered in part by day length, and the birds will migrate when the time is right regardless of the food supply or climate conditions. Occasionally you may see a bird at your feeder in winter, but this is most likely another species passing through on its way to warmer climes; the last of the ruby-throats usually leave North Carolina by mid-October. Continuing on next page... Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


HUMMERS—continuing from previous page

4 Local Students Say “Bee Aware” Four High Country middle school students want us to know that honey bees are dying at an alarming rate and that it’s not bad news just for the bees, but for everyone. In spreading the word they also hope to win a couple of national competitions that offer cash prizes. The Bee Aware Science Team—sixthgraders Claudia and Nathan Button from Boone, seventh-grader Maria Melissaris from Mountain City, and eighth-grader Kate Fitzpatrick from Banner Elk—already has won at the state level in the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, and is competing for the national award of $10,000 scholarships for each team member. The team’s project—identifying a problem, writing a research paper, creating a visual presentation, all aimed at finding and promoting solutions—is also in contention for the Christopher Columbus Science Award. The four students are currently home schooled but became friends last year while attending Grace Academy in Boone. Kate was part of a science team last year that won a trip to Disney World and $2,000 individual cash prizes. She recruited Claudia, Nathan and Maria to form the Bee Aware team. Jenny Fitzpatrick, Kate’s mother, agreed to be their coach. Watching the documentary film “More Than Honey” at the Watauga Public Library, they learned that the world’s bee population has been dying off by the millions in recent years due in part to modern agribusiness practices and the use of certain chemicals on lawns and gardens.

88 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

The documentary, written and directed by Swiss filmmaker Markus Imhoof, asserts that if bees disappeared from the earth, the human race would be wiped out in four years. Obviously, as Jenny Fitzpatrick says, that’s “not just a concern for our community but is a world-wide problem. Researchers at Penn State University have recently measured pesticide residue in pollen that bees carry home as food for the hive. Every batch they tested contained at least six different kinds of pesticides.” “Since about 100 crop species provide 90 percent of our food, and 71 percent of those crops are bee-pollinated,” she says, “we cannot afford to lose the bees.” She says the team has already taken that message to more than 800 students in five area schools and to several community groups. The team has also designed a “Save the Honey Bee” specialty license plate. If the state legislature approves this spring, the plates will be available to North Carolina motorists. Here’s sample of the Bee Aware Science Team’s suggestions for bee-friendly lawns and gardens. DON’T use insecticides, herbicides and weed killers that are known to kill beneficial insects such as bees and are highly toxic to humans and pets. DO use beneficial insects to control pests; fertilize with compost or organic fertilizers; use boiling water to kill weeds, and leave native plants to flower.

Did you know? • Hummingbirds can see the color red up to ¾ of a mile away. • They eat up to 60% of their body weight in food every day. • Their average body temperature is 104 F, the highest of any bird. • Female hummers can live about 9 years, males about 5. • Hummingbirds go into a deep sleep (torpor) each night, conserving energy and allowing them to survive very cold and very hot nights. • Flight muscles make up one-third of a hummingbird’s body weight. • Due to its unique muscle and skeletal construction, the hummingbird can fly in any direction. Its wings are rigid from the shoulder to the tip, enabling each stroke of the wing, both downward and upward, to produce power. • Hummingbirds can reach speeds in excess of 30 mph in level flight, much faster in dives. You can attract hummingbirds to your yard by including these nectar-rich plants in your garden, all of which thrive in our area: coral honeysuckle, trumpet creeper, wild bergamot, cardinal flower, columbine, fire-pink, bee balm, cosmos and crossvine. Hummers will also enjoy the impatiens (jewelweed) in pots on your deck. All of these flowers are attractive to butterflies as well, adding another dimension of beauty to your yard. So put out your feeders and watch for the arrival of one of nature’s most spectacular miracles. And when you see the first hummingbird of the season, look closely: you may catch a glimpse of another wondrous beginning, a sign of life’s perpetual renewal, and the hope and joy of spring. “Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and celebration. Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.” ­—Papyrus

The Buzz About Bees By Julie Farthing

I don’t like to hear cut and dried sermons. No—when I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees. —Abraham Lincoln


he image President Lincoln conjures up in this quote is indeed powerful, full of fury and intent, but as far as the bee goes, Lincoln has given the bee an undeserved reputation. The fuzzy honeybees and bumblebees that you see feeding on clover in fields or flowers in a garden are really quite docile and only sting when swatted or—heaven forbid—stepped on by a bare foot. Their primary goal is to gather pollen, the powdery substance produced by flowering plants and trees. One of the purest and richest natural foods, it contains all the nutritional needs for the bee. It’s estimated that bees pollinate around a third of the food we eat. Fruit trees, including apples and pears, and soft fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and grapes, need bees to produce. Only female bees pollinate and only female bees can sting. While bumblebees can sting many times, the honeybee can only sting once, and will die shortly afterward as its digestive system depends on the barbed stinger that remains in the skin of its victim. If you’re lucky, your yard or garden is home to other non-social bees as well. Solitary bees comprise the majority of bees, and though just as important as pollinators, they are not always recognized for their hard work. Despite their name, some species do live in a type of social group, with bees building nests close to each other and giving the appearance of a sort of colony. Solitary bees nest in the ground. These include the mason bee, mining bee, sweat bee, and leaf cutter bee. They rarely, if ever, sting and are fabulous pol-

linators. In fact, one alfalfa leafcutter bee can do the job of twenty honeybees! So if you are in your garden and spot holes in the leaves of your plants, consider yourself fortunate! Now, back to President Lincoln’s bee analogy: The bees he was referring to were more likely paper wasps, hornets or yellow jackets (all members of the wasp family), with the latter being the largest cause of bee stings. Yellow jackets are carnivores, and as the season progresses and their population grows, their diet includes more sugars. These scavengers are the uninvited guests most likely to show up at your picnic, hovering around that chicken salad sandwich and sipping away at your soda can. Paper wasps and hornets are social wasps as well, but are not as inclined to scavenge. And although hornets and paper wasps are beneficial agriculturally as they thrive on insects, don’t go rounding them up to get rid of your grasshopper problem. In fact, if stung by a yellow jacket, paper wasp, or hornet, vacate the area in a hurry. The insect leaves behind a chemical that marks you as an intruder and the rest of the hive will hunt you down. While bumblebees and honeybees are similar in appearance, paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets have different characteristics and housing preferences. Paper wasps are smooth, with slender, narrow waists and are usually black or black and yellow. Their nests are made of paper-like material and are umbrella shaped. Paper wasps build nests under eaves and porches. Hornets are the most artistic with their nests. Actually quite beautiful, the hornet’s nest is large, shaped like a football and can be found hanging from sturdy tree branches. The

yellow jacket nest is found underground, which is another reason why more people are stung by this wasp. If you are aware of your surroundings and take precaution in the presence of these insects, you will most likely not get stung. However, if you are allergic to bee stings, leave a wide berth between yourself and any nest you spot. The best way to prevent being stung is to keep garbage covered, don’t wear heavy perfumes or oils, and try to refrain from swatting with your hands. And if you don’t want to find a surprise in your soda can, pour your drink in a glass container. Relief from a sting can be found as close as your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Toothpaste, teabags, Preparation H, the cut-side of an onion and a mixture of baking soda and water are all tried and true remedies to relieve pain and swelling. If you are stung on your hands, be sure to remove your rings before the swelling ensues. Now that warmer weather is finally here, let’s be aware that other creatures are just as happy as we are to frolic once more among the flowers and meadows. And even though some insects may rely on painful defensives, all are welcome and have a purpose in our small world. So I will replace Lincoln’s quote with a more genteel and apt message from the poet, Emily Dickinson: To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery. The revery alone will do, If bees are few.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


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Visually check and turn breakers back on starting with your water heater, kitchen appliances, etc. so that everything isn’t coming on at one time and overloading the main circuit.

Assuming you shut the water off the previous fall, turn your water on. Let the water run through the pipes for a few minutes; this is especially important if you poured antifreeze down the pipes as an added preventative measure.

Check for any pipe leakage to insure any necessary water pipe repair is prompt.

If it’s been several years, have a qualified HVAC contractor check your system(s). This will avoid unpleasant surprises on hot days.

Visually inspect accessible electrical wiring to ensure everything is in order; damaged wiring represents a fire hazard.

Clean any debris out of gutters and rainspouts.

Visually check your roof for possible damage. Check especially around the chimney. If anything is amiss, hire a roofing contractor to replace damaged and missing tiles, and perform any roof leak repair work necessary.

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What’s Old Is New Again: The Story of Wood By Steve York


o natural building material has more character than wood. Stone is comparable and certainly stacks-up in terms of rich texture, structural integrity, shaping flexibility and enduring value. And almost all manufactured materials do add their own style and character to a building’s appearance and appeal. But real wood is unique. It can be crafted, colored and formed to fit virtually any shape and function. It can be warm, cool, rugged, smooth, rich, bold, delicate, subtle, ornate, raw, stained, painted, lacquered, varnished, polished, distressed, recycled and…re-used. Almost like a fine wine, the older wood gets, the more character it can develop. Although it eventually wears out, if taken care of, it will last as long as most buildings will ever need it too…and certainly for several generations. Nowhere is this more evident or more intriguing than in the use of reclaimed vintage wood in new, remodeled or renovated construction. Aged wood from farm houses, barns, old textile mills, tobacco warehouses, factories, historical buildings, whiskey or wine barrels, floors, rafters and support beams are just some of the more common sources for reclaiming and re-using old wood. Architects, interior designers, builders, developers, millworkers, cabinetry shops and even landscapers enthusiastically welcome the opportunity of incorporating vintage wood into their projects. Even after many decades, wood still seems “alive”. It still breathes. It tells a story of its previous uses, settings and the lifestyles it embraced. And— like the rings on a tree—it gracefully marks its life’s journey on its own face as it ages. However, finding, extracting, and distributing quality aged wood for all of these specialized building applications typically requires wood reclamation specialists like a new company called Revient of Wilkesboro. Established in January, 2013, the company adopted the name, Revient, because it means, “to come back” or “to return”. And that per-

fectly fits the business model and mission of this enterprise. They locate and warehouse vintage woods from buildings in this region that were typically constructed between 1860 and 1960. In some cases they purchase existing inventories from outside sources. In other cases, they use their own contract crews to deconstruct and extract woods directly from old building sites. These woods are then sold to builders, developers and others who want to incorporate vintage timbers into their building projects. Along with their aesthetic and nostalgic appeal, Revient’s vintage woods also satisfy the latest “green” standards for recycled and reclaimed building products. Think about it. Not only do builders and their customers benefit from the LEED credits of using repurposed woods, the environment also benefits by saving a few more trees from being unnecessarily cut from our forests. And, because vintage woods are a rare commodity in limited supply, their market value is high. In fact, some of these

woods—like Wormy Chestnut—can no longer be harvested, and that makes their intrinsic worth even greater. So, when vintage woods go into a building, they add value three ways: more aesthetic value, more dollar value and more “green” value. Although a new operation, Revient already has customers as close as the Carolinas and as far away as New York, Michigan and southern California; with daily inquiries from locations as remote as Canada. And their company’s longterm goals include more far-reaching eco-friendly and sustainable living initiatives. Their location in the foothills of Wilkes County gives them easy access to a close radius of old mills, factories, farm buildings and vintage wood structures that mark a once-thriving furniture, textile and tobacco industrial era in North Carolina and surrounding regions. So they are literally sitting in the heart of vintage wood-lands. And, with every old timber they reclaim, a new story begins. Reclaimed wood earns LEED credits

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94 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

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. Spruce Up Your Home Your Way By Steve York


o matter how many years you’ve lived here, it’s still amazing how this season totally transforms mountain living and your mood. The whites, grays and drab browns of winter get washed over with a shower of new colors, smells and growing things. With all that come the birds, frogs, and the sounds of rebirth, that fill the air with new promise. It’s a perfect time to transform your home, too. It’s the kind of transformation that’s on the minds of a lot of folks this season. Fittingly, our local High Country builders, designers, materials suppliers, and landscapers are ready with ideas and the hands-on skills to get those big and little jobs done while the sun shines. OUTDOOR ENHANCEMENT: One of the first things people usually tackle is that list of yard projects. With our harsh winter and high winds, both clean-up and new plantings may top your list. So this is a good time to re-visit those shrubs, ornamental trees, flower beds, yard fixtures, and outdoor lighting. Whatever your budget, there are plenty of nurseries, home and garden centers, and landscapers to brighten your outdoor design scheme. And sometimes, opening up yards and views by topping

96— Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

or removing overgrowing trees can create beautiful property layouts and uncover inspiring vistas. This could also be the year to add that stone walkway, gazebo, water feature, accent lighting, patio fireplace, or stone fire pit. Light up pathways and driveways. Up-light trees, hide lighting within gardens, or add submersible lights into your pond. These additions not only boost landscape appeal, they add more fun to outdoor living. And, come to think of it, how about that deck extension or timber framed porch you’ve been promising yourself? You may even want to cover your patio or enclose it altogether to create a sun room. Speaking of exteriors, a new bark or board-and-batten siding upgrade could completely remake the look of your home and enhance curb appeal. If your exteriors feature paint and/or stain, a sander, a pressure washer, and some elbow grease may be the first steps toward putting a new face on the place. Roofing has also taken on a new role in showcasing a home. More than keeping the weather out, today’s roofing colors and materials accent home beauty more than ever. Then there’s your entryway. Front doors—or any heavily used “in & out” doorways—provide more than just basic

access to and fro. They make a powerful design statement. So a new solid wood front door, sliding glass, or a French door add character to your entries and throughways. INDOOR ENHANCEMENT: A favorite re-do often starts in the kitchen, bathroom, media room, or home office with all new cabinetry. Planned and designed properly, new cabinetry provides a whole new look for your favorite room. Kitchens are a great place to begin since so much of your family and social life revolves around the stove. So, along with the cabinetry, take a look at complimentary hardware, appliances and fixtures. After all, you don’t want a hodge-podge look…you want something that blends together in a seamless design theme that functions flawlessly. Family, media, social rooms, and home offices may need new bookshelves or credenza to hold and display books, photos, art, sculpture, heirlooms, computers, printers and—of course—your entertainment equipment. Walk-in closets can be re-built to show off and better organize clothing. You can either purchase the appropriate furnishings or even have them built right into your walls, corners or room dividers. That’s another place to add some accent or spot

lighting to draw attention to display items or actual furnishings. And with today’s new smart home technology, your lighting, energy and security systems can all be easily managed with a few simple program codes and scheduling. Got a great fireplace? Add a bold, chunky wood mantel. You can go allnatural and rustic, or smooth and polished. You can also consider stone, tile or marble mantels. And while we’re talking about those materials, your kitchen, bar and bathroom counter-tops can go from “okay” to “awesome” with a dramatic slab of stone or marble. There’s no end to design options when you go with decorator tile counters. Look at the walls. We often see them strictly as a backdrop for furnishings and other décor, or simply to divide one living area from another. But they can become fashion statements on their own with a fresh splash of bold or sharply contrasting colors. With that, those other items become framed even stronger. Look up. Your ceilings can go from a flat, uninteresting roof support to an attractive designer feature with something as basic as tongue-and-grove wood, maybe with some bold cross beams and even strategic recessed lighting. Look down. Flooring not only holds

everything up, it is another pallet onto which you can artfully decorate. New wood floors, oriental rugs, wall-to-wall carpeting, or decorator tiles can give a room its own unique personality while positioning and displaying interior furnishings. Look out. Designer window treatments, shutters, blinds, curtains and even window flower boxes lend grace to the home. Windows are the “eyes” of your living environment. They bring sunrises, sunsets, landscapes, rolling valleys and mountain-top views in, and add personal expression to your home’s architectural face. So give some creative thought to how you can enhance their look and function. And speaking of views, it’s surprising what a couple of skylights can reveal. They draw in the sun, moonlight and stars around the clock, and provide passive solar light and heating. Look within. Just a few new pieces of art, sculpture or some eclectic thingy you picked up at the flea market or antique store can liven up a room, nook, or shelf. Pop that thingy on a pedestal, stick it in the corner of a stair landing, add a small spot light and you’ve just created some 3-D art thingy. Don’t forget the smaller touches either. Little accents like a unique handrail, crown molding, base-

boards, wainscoting and interesting door trim can add more charm and elegance than you might think. And, of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t touch on a few practical fix-ups to go with all the spruce-ups. Since the past 12 months have been both very wet and very cold, a close look at possible wood-rot and old plumbing might be wise. Rotting and wet wood attracts carpenter ants and they can destroy critical wooden features before you even notice the damage. By the same token, old plumbing has a great way of bursting at the worse possible times; like overnight while you’re asleep or some day when you’re away. Best to get a pro in to double-check everything now, or risk coming home to a houseful of furniture floating around your new indoor pond. So, pull out your list, call the experts and get creative. It’s that time of year to Spruce Up your home and your life. Your way.

you r way Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Wildlife Wranglers: Featuring Sisters Whitni Freeman & Staci Silver By Koren Huskins


ike most sisters, Whitni Freeman and Staci Silver grew up sharing toys, clothes, and other interests, but it was their mutual love of animals that led them to a career working with wildlife. After they completed degrees in Wildlife Biology from Lees McRae College, the sisters joined Wildlife Wranglers, a business that removes, cleans up, repairs, and controls wildlife or other animals that have become unwelcome guests. Dubbed as “critter getters,” Staci and Whitni work in a tough job where they physically catch or trap animals such as bats, squirrels, snakes, raccoons, skunks, and many others. They also do what it takes to fix the damage the animals cause, which often includes climbing on roofs, cleaning out attics, patching holes, and so forth. “The girls know the animals and care for them, and they also don’t mind climbing on roofs and doing repair work either. They are able to come in and help educate clients about the animals and have quickly learned how to capture them and fix the issues they cause,” says Gerald Arthur, the owner of Wildlife Wranglers. In a job where no day is the same, the sisters most enjoy identifying and having the opportunity to interact with animals. As wildlife advocates, they teach people about their importance in nature. Staci explains, “Bats, for example, are beneficial to have around your home.

100 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

They eat thousands of insects that may otherwise create a mosquito problem.” Whitni adds, “Squirrels cause a lot of damage, but they’re important to distribute nuts or be a food source for other animals. Everything works together, and that’s why it’s important to not just kill wildlife, but to first consult with an animal expert.” Often their clients exclaim, “I wouldn’t touch that thing,” or “I tried to get rid of it myself.” Staci and Whitni encourage people not to be afraid or feel threatened because the animals are almost always more scared of humans than the other way around. But they caution that it is not a good idea to approach wildlife as they can be dangerous when cornered, and in some cases might carry toxic diseases. “Sure, there is danger when dealing with wildlife, like when we have to deal with a venomous snake, but honestly we’re more at risk of falling off of a roof versus being bitten. Animals are predictable; if you know their behaviors, then you know how to catch them,” says Staci. Whitni adds, “I remember the first day we dealt with a hive of bees. Even though I was excited to get to work with them and had a bee suit on, the closer I got to the hive, the more nervous I felt because the swarm was so loud, and it kept getting louder and louder. I just had to remember to stay calm and keep going.” Throughout their time with Wildlife Wranglers, the girls have collected a mul-

titude of interesting tips and tales. They agree that the most difficult animal to deal with is a skunk because no one wants to get sprayed. Their challenge is to try and capture a skunk without being seen, or make sure the skunk is unable to lift its tail--either way prevents the skunk from spraying. Whatever the weather, when the call comes in, the girls go to work. A particularly memorable day involved the capture and removal of a family of beavers. One beaver weighed a whopping 48 pounds, and they had to carry him out in 17 degree weather with a wind chill that added to their discomfort. At the opposite extreme, they have worn full-body protective suits to remove bats from an attic during the heat of summer. One of their most exciting jobs was when they removed a bat colony from a barn and discovered a Rafinesque’s Big Eared Bat, which is an endangered species in this area. “We were preparing to release the bats into a different area when we identified one as a Rafinesque’s. This was a rare find; it was especially interesting to discover it with a colony of small browns, which are the common bat species here,” says Whitni. When asked which animal causes the most damage, their answer is squirrels. This past winter, they got a call from a couple that had arrived for their ski vacation to find a rude surprise. Their home

Tips to keep animals from becoming unwelcome guests:

Southern Flying Squirrel

had been trashed. Squirrels had come in through a dryer vent and not only left a huge mess but ate the leftover Christmas chocolates and nuts too. Gerald says, “Squirrels can chew through almost anything: screens, metal, or even wires, which can cause fires. We did a job once where it was a beautiful new home, but holes had been left, and squirrels got in. The homeowners had to completely re-do all of the insulation.” Squirrels may be cute, but that’s easy to forget that when they destroy a home or business. An important part of the Wildlife Wranglers job is to diffuse the situation. Most people assume the Wranglers exterminate the animals, but in many cases, they are protected by state and federal laws. The team uses a variety of humane procedures to remove and relocate animals. They are well versed in the laws protecting wildlife and go the extra mile to ensure an animal’s well-being. For example, they are required to check traps every 24 hours by law, but they try to check them every 12 hours. Their traps have a supply of water and food, as well as polyfill insulation to keep the animals warm. The team also works closely with local animal control and the health department to ensure the best outcome for everyone. The Wranglers say that people are frequently unable to correctly identify animals. They’ve encountered tourists who had never heard of flying squirrels

(which are actually very common in the area), a husband who assumed a raccoon was in the garage when it was an opossum (found sleeping in a laundry basket), and homeowners who thought they had bats when it was really squirrels (bats are more common in summer, while squirrels nest in fall and winter months). “We can usually tell what type of animal it is within the first five minutes of investigating. Animals are predictable by their behavior, and by the clues they leave behind. It’s easy for people to mistake them because they don’t work with the animals like we do,” comments Gerald. Wranglers Whitni and Staci agree, “Flying squirrels are tiny, they come in to get warm during the fall and winter, while snakes are either interested in staying warm or cool because they have to constantly regulate their body temperature or they’re looking for food, such as mice.” It’s easy to see the Wildlife Wranglers’ enthusiasm for animals. Talking with them is an interesting crash course on local wildlife biology. Their knowledge of an animal’s habits and behaviors is vast, and they are happy to serve as mediators—advocating for animals, while also ensuring a home or business is protected from harm. The Wildlife Wranglers are licensed wildlife removal experts serving the NC High Country and eastern Tennessee. For more information, call (828) 467-9808 or email arthurswildlifewranglers@gmail.com.

Clean up any clutter inside or outside of your home. Boards stacked outside may seem harmless, but they attract snakes, and placing tomatoes in windows can entice animals such as squirrels to venture inside —Make sure you have good screens, all vents going outside shut completely, and crawl spaces are properly sealed —Check for any holes or cracks inside and out—animals can get through even the tiniest space —Make sure pet food is properly stored, and if you have pet doors, make sure they are functioning properly —Make sure trash cans stored outside are properly closed —Don’t keep doors or windows without screens open in warm weather —Check over a contractor’s work to ensure everything is properly sealed —Check homes, businesses, or other dwellings with every season change or at least three times a year.

P.O. Box 69, Plumtree, NC 28664 arthurswildlifewranglers@gmail.com

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Banner Elk Realty Moves to New Location Changes have been few for Banner Elk Realty since John Davis first hung his realtor’s license in the space next to the Louisiana Purchase back in 1980. But this spring Davis has moved from his familiar location to nearby Silver Springs Drive just off Hwy. 194—in the business complex at Morningstar Moving and Storage, just a quarter-mile before the entrance to the Elk River Club. Nothing is changing in the way Davis has conducted business as the oldest, full-time real estate firm in Banner Elk. A 1972 graduate of Wake Forest, Davis came to the High Country pursuing a Masters Degree from Appalachian State in 1975. While in school he mowed greens at Seven Devils when Boone’s Jack Pepper ran the restaurant at the Seven Devils Inn. Later he managed ski rentals when Fred Pfohl was director of ski operations at Beech Mountain. He owned and operated the Elk Horn Outfitters shop in Banner Elk, selling tents, hiking boots and mountaineering gear and apparel. But real estate would prove his career avocation. Over the years he has served on many boards, including being a part of the band of citizens who jumped behind Jim Morton’s inaugural Woolly Worm Festival. He served on the board of Avery County’s Tourism Development Authority, and served on Banner Elk’s first TDA board of directors. He was a board member on the county’s Habitat for Humanity, was a town councilman, and was on the board of directors of the High Country Board of Realtors, and a board member of the Avery-Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce. All the while, Davis built a reputation of reliability and honesty in the local real estate industry. “In the 34 years I’ve worked with hundreds of people looking to buy and sell real estate in the High Country,” Davis said. “That involvement, I’d like to think, has helped me better understand the local real estate market, and what was right for my clients.” Davis attributes his longevity in a market known for its ups and downs to one simple, but critical business tenet. “We have always kept our clients best interest at the forefront, whether they’re buying or selling property,” Davis said. “That fiduciary responsibility has been the cornerstone of my agency since the day we opened.” Visit www.BannerElkRealty.com — or call John direct at 828260-1550.


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102 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

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Your Rights and Benefits With A Reverse Mortgage


t’s become one of the most talked about financial strategies for home-owning senior citizens. The reverse mortgage eliminates mortgage payments and pays the homeowner instead. Many older adults find themselves “house rich” but “cash poor.” The reverse mortgage lets a borrower tap into the equity in their home. Other types of loans allow this too, like home equity loans or equity-based lines of credit. But converting equity into cash along these lines establishes another monthly repayment schedule. And to get them in the first place requires the borrower to qualify along income lines, existing debt and asset value. Oftentimes, senior folks on fixed incomes have trouble meeting conventional criteria. Yadkin Bank’s Vicki Pope, a specialist in the Reverse Mortgage, calls it a viable strategy for many homeowners, who are better protected today by both state and federal regulations. Consumers are required to take counseling by an approved third party counselor prior to making application for the Reverse Mortgage. The counseling agency is approved by HUD to perform counseling and to advise consumers of their options, not just the reverse mortgage, but other products as well. Consumers are protected by the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program (HECM) that insures no matter what happens in the economy, how much money you receive, or how long you live in your home, you will never be required to make a mortgage payment. And no matter what happens to your lender or your home’s value, you will retain access to your money. Still, the reverse mortgage is not for everybody. There’s a misconception that once in a reverse mortgage, the borrower will no longer own the home. That is not the case. Some of the most frequently asked questions are about home ownership. Does the bank own the property? Can their children inherit the property? If a spouse or partner passes away, can the surviving partner remain in the home? Fact is, the lender does not take title to the home, but the property does serve as collateral for the monies the borrower accesses against







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the equity in the property. The amount of money the borrower can access is based on the appraised value of the home, the age of the youngest borrower, and the amount of any existing lien currently owed on the property at the time of closing. It’s not for every homeowner, but it’s a viable strategy for many. That’s what makes the Reverse Mortgage attractive to many over the age of 62, the minimum age allowed by law. There is no credit score requirement and no ‘debt-to-asset’ restriction. The subject property, as long as it is the primary residence, is the asset collateral. It is most viable when the value of the house significantly exceeds the amount of money still owed on the property. Once approved, the homeowner makes no monthly payment; however the home must be the primary residence and the homeowner is required to maintain the home and keep property taxes and homeowner’s insurance current. It’s essentially an advance on the liquidated value of the house, and for many seniors on fixed incomes, it is a valid way to pay bills, medical expenses, back taxes, and ideally, to enjoy their golden years more fully. The unpaid principal balance accrues interest at the Note rate each month until the reverse mortgage is repaid. Once the borrower sells the property, dies or no longer resides in the home for 12 months, the loan becomes due and payable. Repayment to the lender is typically made when the house is sold. But should your heirs decide to keep the home after you’ve gone, they can step in and satisfy the debt balance of the reverse mortgage and retain ownership. If you’re 62 years of age or older, and considering a reverse mortgage, Pope urges consumers to first make sure your representative is a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA). The laws are in place for your protection. To learn more, contact Vicki Pope at vicki.pope@ yadkinmortgage.com

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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Tax Planning Opportunities? Katherine S. Newton, CFP®, ChFC

“Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one’s taxes.” —Judge Learned Hand, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934)


ven though you have already filed your 2013 tax return, and especially if you owed more taxes than you were expecting, you may want to make sure that, for 2014 and onward, your “taxes shall be as low as possible.” As you meet with your CPA, either in the spring as you prepare to file your taxes, or in the fall when you do year-end tax planning, here are questions you may want to ask: 1. How will a major life event affect my taxes? Any marriages, separations, divorces, death, or births can impact taxes and filing status. Especially in the case of a death in the family, handling an inheritance can be particularly rife with problems—or opportunities—for managing the tax situation. 2. What will my tax bracket be for this year, and can you help me estimate my income? Recent changes in the tax law may be only one of several reasons why your tax bracket can change. Added to the list might be changes in salary, bonuses, dividends and interest income, charitable contributions, and deductions and credits that may or may not apply to you. Being able to accurately project one’s tax bracket presents an opportunity for managing gains and losses and retirement plan contributions, to name just two examples of responses you might make. 3. Do I have any remaining tax loss carry-forwards for this year? It’s possible that you offset higher-than-expected investment income in 2013 with loss carry-forwards and may have depleted them. 4. Should I consider a Roth IRA conversion? Especially in a year when your income may be lower than normal, it is possible your CPA will recommend that you convert existing traditional IRAs and take into income enough so that your current bracket is “filled up.” 5. Should I change my retirement plan contributions? Even though contribution limits for most types of retirement plans haven’t changed, some of the phase-out limits for making contributions have. Check with your CPA about how this might affect you specifically.

104 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

6. Am I subject to the Medicare Surtax of 3.8% (as part of the Affordable Care Act) on net investment income? Even though you may not “feel” wealthy, with two persons in a household working, it may be possible you fall into the over $250,000 income category for purposes of this surtax. Your CPA may have strategies for minimizing this tax. 7. What strategies might I use to reduce my taxes going forward? As with the ACA (Affordable Care Act), recent tax law changes have significantly changed the tax landscape for many people. So ask your CPA what strategies might be available to help reduce your taxes in this and future years. 8. Should I change my withholding for this tax year? Most CPAs and financial advisors would agree that it is better to evenly match withholding with tax liability. Do you really want the Treasury department to have money that is rightfully yours, which you could be investing or using to pay down debt? 9. What could my financial advisor be doing to help me in my tax situation? In most cases, your financial advisor will already have a relationship with your tax advisor. But it is always good for the three parties, the client, the CPA, and the CFP®, to be on the same page regarding your tax situation and any planning opportunities that might exist. Planning and looking toward your personal tax horizon may mean a smaller check which you need to write to the IRS and Department of Revenue… and more money in your pocket. The views are those of Katherine Newton and should not be considered as investment advice or to predict future performance. For complete details, consult with your tax advisor or attorney. Please consider the investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing.

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Katherine S. Newton, CFP®, ChFC Waite Financial 428 4th Ave, NW  Hickory, NC 28601 8 2 8 . 3 2 2 .9 5 9 5  866.716.8663 (fax) katherine@ waitefinancial.com  www.waitefinancial.com Registered Representative of and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks, member FINRA/SIPC. Waite Financial and Cetera Advisor Networks are unaffiliated.

Member FDIC NMLS# 522448

701 Green Valley Road, Suite 101 Greensboro, NC 27408

If you’re 62 or older, a reverse mortgage may be right for you! Borrowers must be 62 Years of Age or Older Primary Residence No Minimum Credit Score No Debt-to-Income Ratio No Monthly Principal and Interest Payment

Borrower is still responsible for paying annual taxes and hazard insurance premiums.

Can be used to Purchase a Home Proceeds available as a Lump Sum, Line of Credit or Monthly Draw

Vicki Pope NMLS# 794849 Reverse Mortgage Specialist o: 336-398-5248 | f: 336-554-7448 | 800-853-1055 vicki.pope@YadkinMortgage.com Subject to underwriting approval. Application required; not all applicants will be approved. Full documentation & property insurances required. Loan secured by a lien against your property. Fees and charges apply and may vary by product and state. Terms, conditions & restrictions apply. EQUAL HOUSING LENDER. MEMBER FDIC.

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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


The Forum Story: Great Entertainment for All, Young and Old

2014 Programs

Forum performances take place at Hayes Auditorium – 7pm Membership in the LMC Forum series required for admission. Teresa Walters—Pianist June 23, 2014 Michael Walters—Mr. Broadway June 30, 2014 The Western Piedmont Symphony July 7, 2014

FORUM was organized in 1979 by a small group of summer residents to bring a stimulating series of cultural programs for the people in the High Country. Affiliated with Lees-McRae College, FORUM has grown tremendously over the years and is now ready to embark on its thirty-fifth year of entertainment. The key to FORUM’s success is the dedicated involvement and cooperation between seasonal and local residents and the support given by Lees-McRae College. Their Board of Directors is made up of representatives from each of these groups. From the Board of Directors, a committee is formed to review over 100 programs recommended by agents throughout the United States. The committee selects 16 diverse programs to present to the Board of Directors and in turn, eight programs are chosen for the following summer, balancing the entertainment between vocalists, a symphony, big band groups, pianists, dance, and other exciting performances. Expenses are underwritten by individuals who become a FORUM “Patron.” With a donation to Lees-McRae College for FORUM of only $125.00, an individual will receive a Season Ticket which is good for all eight summer programs. Just think, this is an affordable night out with family, friends and neighbors. This year,performances will be held on Monday evenings at 7pm in the Broyhill Theater of Hayes Auditorium on the Lees-McRae Campus. The 2014 Season will commence on June 23rd. For further information you may go to the websites of LeesMcRae College, Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce, or Avery County Chamber of Commerce. You may also contact Sandy Ramsey at ramsey@lmc.edu or call 828-898-8748.

David Burnham & Kristi Holden—Musical Duo July 14, 2014 Brian Gurl And The Fabulous Five The “Killer Bs”—Music of the 60s July 21, 2014

Gabriel Ofiesh Magnet Bracelets

Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass July 28, 2014 Ben Gulley—Tenor, Classical to Pop August 4, 2014 The Marlins—Vocal Quartet August 11, 2014 Become a Forum patron for a donation of $125 per person and enjoy a season of quality performance. For more information, call 828-898-8748

www.go.lmc.edu/forum 106 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

10-5 Monday-Saturday 920 Shawneehaw Ave, Hwy 184, Banner Elk NC hardinjewelry@gmail.com 828.898.4653

GABRIEL OFIESH Trunk Show: July 24, 25, 26 & 27

CCC&TI: Celebrating 50 Years Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute (CCC&TI) is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2014, with several events throughout the year, including a luncheon for employees and retirees, a special community event at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center and a birthday bash for students. The establishment of CCC&T was tentatively approved by the State Board of Education in January 1964. Caldwell County voters approved a $600,000 bond issue on March 28, 1964, for land and construction costs. Final approval by the State Board of Education followed on April 2, and the school’s first president, Dr. H. Edwin Beam, began work in November of that year.  Over the years, the college has experienced tremendous growth in all areas, and in 1973 it expanded services into Watauga County at various locations. The North Carolina General Assembly designated $100,000 in 1988 to establish a permanent Watauga campus for CCC&TI in Boone. The Watauga Board of County Commissioners purchased 39 acres for the campus on the 105/421 bypass. Watauga facilities expansion over the years, have included the completion of a 14,000-square-foot Occupational Training Center five years ago and most recently the construction of a new facility to house Continuing Education programs, which, for the first time, consolidates all of the college’s offerings in Watauga County to one location. Today, in Caldwell County and in Watauga, the college offers hundreds of curriculum and continuing education programs, adult high school, GED, career training, professional development and personal enrichment courses, designed to meet the changing needs of the communities it serves.  “I hope that our commemoration of this very special anniversary will serve as a reminder to the community, our employees, alumni, students, and future students that education is a powerful tool. Those who harness its power can make a positive difference for themselves, their families and their communities. After 50 years of providing educational opportunities, I believe that the difference we have made in the lives of those we have served and in this community is worth celebrating,” said CCC&TI President Dr. Ken Boham.  

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Avery Heating And Air: Same Name, New Ownership, Expanded Services A longtime member of the Avery business community has become a part of a wellestablished 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. It’s a great fit: Logan’s Scott Boyles and Avery’s Finley Cornette share the same high standards and dedication to the community that have made their respective companies succeed. Boyles says he is glad to be a part of “two family businesses merging into one,” and has kept the Avery Heating and Air brand name because “it is part of the community.” He’s looking forward to Cornette’s active involvement in the business as it moves into this new phase. Boyles brings to the operation a team of service providers who are North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certified professionals, with expertise in all areas of heating and cooling including energy assessments as well as solar and geo-thermal applications. As he explains, “Heating, cooling and hot water comprise sixty percent of the cost of your utilities,” so the Avery team handles duct cleaning and other indoor air quality solutions and products to help you get the most out of your energy dollars. Boyles is also retooling the service infrastructure, with paperless invoicing and GPS tracking of service trucks. Techs are on call 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, year round. The familiar Avery Heating and Air service vehicles are sporting new colors and can be spotted everywhere in the High Country. From Burnsville to Boone, Little Switzerland to Cranberry, and all the places in between, they’ve got it covered. And they also service Johnson City, Erwin, Hampton, Roan Mountain, and Tiger Valley, Tennessee. Logan brings expanded services and industry certifications to Avery Heating and Air’s established place in the community—it’s a win-win for the customer. Just call 828733-5842 or go to www.averyheating.com or www.loganhvac.com.

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“Centrally located • Easy to reach from anywhere in the High Country” In the stone house Highway 105 Foscoe 828-963-2470 Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Rhody Jane Teaches Mountain Music And Heritage By Jerry Shinn


f the students at Banner Elk Elementary School didn’t learn anything else that day, they learned a song. It was the old mountain foot stomper that goes, “Bile that cabbage down… Turn them hoe cakes round and round… Onliest song that I can sing is ‘Bile that cabbage down….’” That surely isn’t the “onliest” song Rhody Jane Meadows can sing—or play on her large and fascinating collection of mostly primitive, mostly homemade instruments. She’s an accomplished storyteller, musician, singer, teacher, and member of a traditional mountain-music band. But it’s the song she was using to entertain, educate and engage kids in the musical and other cultural traditions of this once isolated mountain region where they live. Rhody Jane was there because Elizabeth Baird Hardy’s story about her in the spring 2013 issue of Carolina Mountain Life caught the attention of the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation (GBEHF), which operates the Banner House Museum. A member of the GBEHF board thought that sponsoring visits by Rhody Jane to the Avery County middle and elementary schools would be an appropriate project for the foundation’s Children’s Outreach Committee. Rhody Jane sometimes volunteers to perform

108 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

for worthy causes, but the foundation was able to secure a private grant to sponsor her in the two middle and five elementary schools in the Avery County system, and perhaps others in the area. That day last November was typical. Rhody Jane had set up shop in art teacher Stephanie Jones’ classroom in Banner Elk Elementary’s spacious and sparkling new building. From the opening bell until dismissal, all the school’s 150-plus students, from the pre-kindergarten class through the fifth graders, had come through, 15-20 or so at a time, to sit in a semi-circle and enjoy a high-energy, audience participation musical lesson about their mountain heritage. The younger students got a 15-minute session. Older ones got 35 minutes. They sang “Bile that cabbage down” to the accompaniment of various instruments, including a washboard, a banjar (a sort of banjo with a groundhog skin attached as a drum), and a miniature guitar that Rhody Jane said she had purchased for $8 at a yard sale. There was also a singlestring bass fiddle made from a pole, and a “gut bucket,” which was what a washtub was called during hog-killing time. That one was played by a guest artist, Stephanie Jones’ father, John Wilson. The students learned about the origins of the instruments and how they

were created from the everyday materials, tools and utensils of country life, by mountain people who used them to entertain themselves and their families and friends in the days before television or even radio. “Mountain people are resourceful,” said Rhody Jane. “They have a wash tub and think, ‘What else can I do with that?’” Some of the students were invited to play an instrument under Rhody Jane’s direction. All of them played spoons and were taught to use feet and hands and even knees as rhythm instruments as they sang, one more time, “Bile that cabbage down….” with all the gusto of their long-ago ancestors. Banner Elk Elementary was one of five schools Rhody Jane visited last fall. The GBEHF hopes to send her to the other Avery County schools during the next school year. Meanwhile, Rhody Jane is scheduled to perform at the Grandfather Home Storytelling Festival on June 14, and at the GBEHF Heritage Day on July 19. School administrators or teachers in the High Country interested in having A Day with Rhody Jane Meadows at their schools should contact Rebecca Bolick, GBEHF Children’s Outreach Chairman. Her email is bannerelkbolicks@gmail.com.

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Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Making its debut in 1995 as the Blue Ridge Country Club, our Lee Trevino inspired layout has earned the praise of locals and visitors alike as a championship test in the mountain valley of the North Fork of the Catawba River. Just minutes south of the village for which it has been re-christened, the Linville Falls Golf Club is open for daily fee play. You’ll find a hearty welcome here, affordable rates, and an unforgettable mountain golfing experience. Open year-round sporting Bermuda grass fairways and bent grass greens, the Linville Falls Golf Club is conveniently located on Hwy. 221, just twenty minutes south of Linville. Call 828-756-4653(Golf) for tee times.

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Also check us out at the Shop at Yonahlossee Racquet Club 110 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

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Wining Through Italy, Part ll By Ren Manning


hen last spotted, our group was weaving out of the tasting room at Altesino in Montalcino, having enjoyed the best of the best that this region has to offer in the way of fermented and aged juice from the Sangiovese grosso grape. Nothing like good Brunello at 10 o’clock in the morning! Our next wine stop was at Badia a Coltibuono, one of my favorite Chianti Classico producers, which has been managed with entirely organic methods since 2000. The centerpiece of the winery is an abbey that dates back to 1051, secluded at the top of a wooded hill (seemed like a mountain halfway up) at an elevation of 2,000 feet accessible by a narrow, twisting road. It now also serves as a luxurious bed & breakfast and cooking school. Winemaking has been carried on here for the better part of a thousand years by Vallombrosian monks, whose heritage is prominently noted and displayed but whose bones in the crypt have now given way to a barrel cellar. Rather than having a central tasting room, we sampled the various wines that were staged throughout as we toured. We finished our tour in the lovely formal gardens with lemon, lime, olive, kumquat, magnolia and pear trees, herbs and a million species of flowers and vegetables for the kitchen. Then, it was around to the side to an arbor-covered patio with a 50mile view where an elegant lunch was served. One thing for certain—this is how a winery visit is done. Oh, the wines! Chianti Classico of 90% Sangiovese, aged in large casks, expressing the sweetest bright cherry and spicy fruit, exceeded only by

Cheryl Keller. All three photos are of a Winery in the Piedmont region of Italy. Photo by Cheryl Keller

the Riserva that showed more intensity and earthiness, and the “super-Tuscan” 100% Sangiovese small French barriqueaged wine called “Sangioveto di Toscana,” redolent of raspberries and cinnamon. After a quick stop at Falesco, the innovative Umbrian producer of the popular and tasty value wines bottled under the Vitiano label, we headed to Rome, where we said good-bye to eight of our group who flew home to North Carolina while the rest of us caught the Italian high-speed (186 mph) train to Milan on a ride so smooth that nary a ripple appeared on the surface of our drinks. From Milan, we headed to my favorite Italian wine town, Barolo. Italian wine-loving visitors who seek out only the bucolic Tuscan countryside miss the incredibly picturesque hillside vineyards of Piemonte that stretch over the landscape between Alba and Asti. Specifically, there are no more beautiful places on earth under vines than these regions, with rolling hillsides covered with Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto vineyards. Look around and you’ll see in every direction quaint hill towns with an old castle or church on top: Barolo, Barbaresco, Nieve, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba, La Morra, Monforte d’Alba, just to name a few of the communes whose mere mention evokes spine-tingling reflections of locations named on the labels of bottles of some of the greatest wines in the world. Our first winery visit was at Vietti in Castiglione Falletto, which welcomed us on a red carpet and generously poured their full range of wines for us to sample. While known primarily for its captivating Barolo wines, Vietti makes a refresh-

ing white Roero Arneis with floral intensity and supporting nuances of almond. Also in its portfolio are richly textured and penetrating Barberas and Dolcettos, the former with low tannins and elevated sour cherry notes, the latter with more tannin grip and lower acidity and driven by red raspberry and dark cherry bouquets and flavors. Unlike many producers that relegate plantings of these vines to sub-optimal sites to save the best terroir for the prized Nebbiolo, Vietti devotes premium sites also for its Barbera and Dolcetto plantings, and it shows! Vietti’s entry-level Nebbiolo is the Perbacco cuvée, a blend of wines made from the Nebbiolo grape from various classified “cru” vineyards and vinified in the same manner as Barolo but bottled and sold a little earlier than mandated for DOCG (i.e., highest certified status) Barolo. Selling at about one-half of its lowest priced Barolo, the Perbacco delivers Barolo-quality pleasure at an everyday price. Next was the Castiglione Falletto Barolo, showing more depth and intensity with floral and licorice aspects on the nose, rich flavors with incredible balance of its various elements and a long finish. Finally, they poured their most precious and ethereal Barolo “Lazzarito” cuvée from their Serralunga vineyards, shockingly generous, as this wine retails for well over $100. This wine was clearly the star, showing a complex floral bouquet, minerality, tons of fruit and a silky tannic fist in a velvet glove with refreshing acidity. For “dessert,” they poured the refreshing, effervescent and sweet Moscato d’Asti.


Continued on next page

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


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.

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


www.BannerElkWinery.com 112 — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

BannerElkWVSep/Oct2012.indd 1

WINE—from previous page Next, and finally, we visited the winery of Marchese di Gresy, recognized for producing some of the greatest wines in the Barbaresco zone. We enjoyed tastings of Sauvignon (blanc), Chardonnay, Barbera and Dolcetto before we started in on the Nebbiolos bottled as DOCG Barbaresco, from the best cru vineyards and made in the required style with the requisite aging regimen. First up was the 2009, then 2008, Barbaresco from its prized Martinenga vineyard, flashing cedary and rose bouquets with overtones of violets. Some Nebbiolo grapes used in this region by other producers are of a clone that produces a deeply colored wine, but Marchese di Gresy is a traditionalist that uses the original Nebbiolo clone that produces a lighter-colored wine. Despite this paler robe, its intensity on the palate takes a second seat to no other Barbaresco. Next poured were the 2008, then 2007, then 2005 top Gaiun vineyard wines, each with varying but impeccable elegance, comlexity and intensity with hints of flowers, anise and lavender on the nose, rich and profound flavors and silky tannins. Visiting wineries in Italy is different than in the U.S., as drop-in tastings are almost impossible. If you will be traveling to Italy and wish to visit a winery, its website will often provide a link to a reservations request page, or you can request your favorite wine shop to arrange a visit through the importer. That will not only increase your chances of getting your desired reservation but being treated like a VIP. But don’t look for this concierge service at the grocery store or your favorite convenience market where some people buy their wine!

8/14/12 10:56 AM

WINE TASTING SATURDAYS, 1-5pm Visit our tasting room Wine by the glass Visit our Craft Beer Cave

E “One of the High Country’s largest selections of awardwinning, imported and domestic cheese, incredible chocolates, fine specialty foods,and the wines... aah, the wines!”

ERICKS CHEESE & WINE Grandfather Center Junction NC 184 & NC 105 Next to ABC Store Banner Elk NC 28604 828.898.9424 erickscheeseandwine.com


“A great place for private parties, rehearsal dinners and intimate fireside dining in a rustic cabin setting – since 1981.” Open 5pm, 7 Nights a week Book online reservations at casarustica1981.com


1348 Hwy 105, Boone NC 28607

Tasting Room Tours Retail Sales Weekly Events

Available cans! in cans! soon in Available soon www.flattopbrewing.com www.flattopbrewing.com info@flattopbrewing.com info@flattopbrewing.com Interested in carrying our beer in your establishment? Please email us to set up a personal tour of our facility!

567 567 E.E. Main Main St. St. Banner Banner Elk, Elk, NC NC 28604 28604

Casual Mountain Dining

Real Food For Real People

www.greenparkinn.com | 828.414.9230 9239 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock 28605 Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


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Downtown Newland across from McDonald’s 10:30-9 Mon-Sat

Live Music Friday & Saturday Nights!

11-4 Sun

828-737-0700 carolinabbqnewland.com

We Cater! Mention this ad and get 10% OFF your order!

“Best BBQ in the mountains!”

The Best Place for FOOD, FUN & FRIENDS

Inspire Your Tastebuds Painted Salad

In the Heart of Banner Elk The Banner Elk Cafe 828-898-4040

• 4 Patios for

parties of all


& The Lodge Pizzeria and Espresso Bar 828-898-3444 • • • • •

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


2 Flat Screens & Live Entertainment Open 7 Am Everyday Serving Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Live Music Summer Saturdays 6-10pm Offering Steaks, Burgers, Pizza, Seafood And More... • Check out our new Summer Entrée Menu! Visit www.bannerelkcafe.com for entertainment schedule and full menu

Casual Din in For The W g hole Fam ily


Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Full Service Grill • Daily Lunch Specials Professional 9-foot Tables • CD Jukebox • 3 Widescreen TV’s Groups & Parties Welcome Proprietors Chris & Sandra Aldridge 9021 Hwy 105 South, Boone, NC 28607 Located in Foscoe between Boone & Banner Elk 828-963-6260 www.family-billiards.com

www.AlpenRestaurant.com Open Nightly @ 5 / Live Music Sunday nights starting Memorial Day weekend Visit our sister Restaurant ! Bullwinkles: 606 Beech Mtn. Pkwy. 828-387-2354

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CO BO sushi bistro and bar

539 King St, Boone NC • 828-264-1375 • www.Macados.net

The High Country ’s Premier Steak & Seafood House

Tuesday-Saturday: 5-Close Starting May 12 Open on Monday 161 Howard Street, Boone 828-386-1201 www.cobosushi.com

Blind Squirrel Brewery “We’re nuts about beer”

SIN C E 1 9 8 5

Hwy 184, Downtown Banner Elk Serving Daily from 5pm 828-898-5550


Join us on Thursday-Sunday from May-October to enjoy a wide variety of food, beverages, and fun. Located in the historic village of Plumtree along the North Toe River, we are centrally located to countless activities within the high country! We are directly affiliated with the Toe River Lodge, enabling us to offer a full service restaurant as well as provide an events venue with numerous in house catering options. Learn more by visiting us online!

828-765-9696 | www.blindsquirrelbrewery.com | www.toeriverlodge.com Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


detox happens. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep for trust rest and repair to occur. You’ll get the most restful sleep if you hit the sack earlier. You might not want to hear this but being in bed by 10pm is ideal for most of us. When your bedtime creeps later towards midnight, you are more likely to have trouble falling asleep or wake up more throughout the night. Make sleep a priority and your body and mind will thank you.

Spring Detox: 6 Tips to Help You Leap Into Spring By Carolyn Stahlschmidt


t’s natural and healthy to hibernate in the winter. It’s a time to turn inward, slow down, and eat more grounding foods. As the calendar flips from winter to spring though, your body is ready to move from hibernation into a more active state. The days are longer, it’s warm outside, and locally grown food is starting to arrive. It’s time to celebrate, but don’t just blindly stumble into spring. Treat the transition between the seasons with care. Nourish your body and mind during this time to ease into more active days and keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed Spring is a time when your body is naturally detoxing. You can aid the detox process with some simple food and lifestyle choices. These are beautiful anytime of the year but especially during spring. 1. Eat More Greens Locally grown greens start to appear in April and May. Take the cue from Mother Nature and add more greens into your daily meals. The hearty greens like kale and collards are some of the first to arrive. Start by bringing in cooked greens since this will be gentler on your digestive tract. As the more delicate greens like spinach and lettuce start to arrive, begin to incorporate more raw greens. Fresh herbs, especially cilantro and parsley, are also excellent for helping your liver with the detox process. Add fresh chopped herbs to any dish or put a handful in a smoothie or blended soup.

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2. Add Lemon to Your Water Most people know that drinking plenty of water is a key to good health. One reason is it helps flush toxins out so it’s key to help your body detox. You can give your water a detox boost by adding freshly squeezed lemon juice or a lemon wedge. Lemon helps alkalize your body and helps increase your stomach acid, which improves your digestion. The lemon zest or rind in particular is a detox superhero. Add fresh lemon zest to dressings, sauces, and smoothies for extra detox power. 3. Skin Brushing Did you know your skin is one of your major detox organs? This is sometimes evident when rashes, acne and other skin irritations appear. Those are often signs that a food or toxin is irritating you and your body is literally trying to push it out through your skin. Try a simple self-care technique called skin brushing to keep your skin healthy and aid the detox process. Use a body brush, loofah mitt, or a rough washcloth and dry brush your skin before you shower. Start with your legs and work your way up. It should feel good, not painful. Be extra gentle around your more sensitive parts! 4. Make Sleep A Priority It’s no secret that sleep is important. It’s when your body and mind get refreshed and it’s when most of our daily

5. Gentle Yoga with Twists Yoga is a great way to help detox your body and mind. Twists in particular are perfect for detox because they compress and release your digestive organs including your stomach, intestines, and liver. This helps remove toxins and brings fresh energy to your organs. Twists also help with elimination, which is key to detoxing. You don’t have to do a full yoga practice, just start with a simple twist either seated or reclining. A few twists a day with make a difference for your body and mind. 6. Take an Epsom Salt Bath Epsom salts are rich in magnesium which is a key mineral that many of us are deficient in because we don’t get enough in our food. Having proper magnesium levels helps relieve anxiety, reduce insomnia, and aids in elimination. It’s also excellent for helping to remove toxins from your body. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is relaxing and great for sore muscles. Epsom salts also help remove chlorine from your skin so you if swim in a chlorinated pool, this is a great addition to your bath routine. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil like lavender or eucalyptus to make it even more soothing. As spring arrives, try to incorporate one or all of these tips into your daily routine. Creating new habits can be challenging so start by picking one thing from the list and doing it for five to seven days. If you like it and see changes, it will be easy to keep it as part or your daily or weekly routine. Caroline Stahlschmidt is a health coach with a focus in functional nutrition. She is passionate about helping active woman achieve optimal health. She helps clients get to the root of their health issues with powerful nutrition and stress management. She offers private and group health coaching at the Boone Healing Arts

Spring Detox

RECIPES Creamy Orange Kale & Cabbage Salad

Kale and cabbage are cancer-fighting superheroes. They are also energizing and cleansing. Salads made with heartier greens keep in the fridge for a few days so make a big batch and enjoy it as a side dish or snack all week. Serves: 4 -6 as a side dish Ingredients: 1 buch of kale (any kind) 1 cup shredded red cabbage 1 TBSP lemon juice 1 cup shredded carrots Dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice 2 TBSP chickpea or white miso 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp pure maple syrup, raw honey or coconut nectar 1 TBSP green onions, chopped 1/4 tsp dijon mustard 1/8 tsp sea salt Directions: For the dressing, place all of the ingredients in a blender (a Nutribullet or MagicBullet works great for this). Blend until smooth and creamy. To make the salad, rinse and de-stem the kale. Cut it into thin shreds (as thin as you can get). Mix the shredded kale and cabbage large bowl. Pour the lemon juice over the salad and massage the greens until they start to wilt. Stir in the carrots and add the dressing to the salad and give it a good stir to get the greens coated. Serve right away or let sit for an hour. This salad holds up beautifully so make a double batch!


Health Connection “Banner Elk’s Complete Health Food Store” Safe, Effective Diet Products Vitamins • Supplements • Groceries Homeopathics • Whole Food Supplements Body Care • Organic Pet Food • Books Unique Gift Items Mon-Fri: 10-6, Sat: 10-5 At the Sugarfoot Shoppes, across from Sugar Mtn 828-898-8482 • www.healthconnectionbannerelknc.com

Top Ten Finalist For The Best Dish in North Carolina Award Presented by The State of North Carolina 2010, 2011

Lemon Blueberry Smoothie

The lemon zest and cilantro are both great foods to help your liver with its detox duties. A microplane grater is the best way to remove the lemon rind but the back of a spoon will also work. Serves: 1 good portion for breakfast or 2 for a snack Ingredients: 1/2 banana, fresh or frozen 1 small zucchini or 1/2 of a large zucchini, chopped 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1 to 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk or coconut water 1/4 to ½ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, optional 1 big handful of spinach Juice and zest (rind) of 1 lemon 1 TBSP almond butter 1 TBSP ground flax seed ½ tsp vanilla extract Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. It’s best for your digestion to drink your smoothie at room temperature so use fresh fruit or blend it a little longer to bring it up to room temperature. The smoothie is best enjoyed fresh but it will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


artisan foods at The Mast Farm Inn

Organic Farm-to-Table Fine Dining ...in The Historic Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, North Carolina Resv. Suggested: 828-963-5857 stay@mastfarm.net www.mastfarminn.com

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


FROM CML’s KITCHEN w/ Brennan Ford

Fish Tacos with Mango Pico de Gallo and Sriracha Sour Cream Mango Pico de Gallo 1 tablespoon coconut oil or peanut oil 1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped 1/2 cup bourbon 1 cup diced yellow onion 2 jalapenos diced 1 tablespoon minced garlic 3 1/2 cups diced fresh tomato 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro Fried Fish 2 cups coconut oil or peanut oil 6 lbs tilapia fillets 3 cups all purpose flour 1 1/4 cup cornstarch salt and pepper 1- 24 oz beer (I prefer a Mexican brand) 1 1/2 cups of ice Corn tortillas Sriacha Sour Cream Sauce 1 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons Sriracha or other hot chili sauce Make the Pico de Gallo: In a medium skillet heated with one tablespoon coconut oil, add the mango to the pan. When the mango starts to stick to the pan, add bourbon and simmer until alcohol is cooked out. In a bowl place onion, garlic, jalapenos, tomato, lime juice, the cooked mango (and as much of the mango juice you can ring out of the uncooked portion) and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Make the fried fish and warm the tortillas: In a large saucepan start heating the coconut oil to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine flour, corn starch, beer, ice, salt and pepper. Cut your fish into 3’’ by 1” pieces and drop them into your beer flour mix. Drop coated fish into heated oil, cook until slightly golden on the outside of the fish, about 2 minutes. Remove fish from oil and salt immediately. When most of the fish has been fried, warm your tortillas and cover until you serve. Make the Sriracha Sour Cream Sauce: In a small bowl combine the sour cream and sriracha. Build your tacos! I start with fish first in your warm tortilla, and your mango pico de gallo and top with sriracha sour cream. Enjoy!

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RANDOM THOUGHTS Ricotta Bruschetta Fresh ricotta 6 1/2 cups whole milk 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1 tablespoon salt 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice 2 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar Tomato salad 2 cups diced fresh tomato 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup chopped fresh basil 1/2 cup diced onion 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Salt & Pepper to taste Bread 1 loaf french bread 3 tablespoons minced garlic olive oil to drizzle Make the ricotta cheese: In a large pot, combine milk, cream and salt; bring to a light boil. Add lemon and vinegar; stir for 2 minutes and strain through cheese cloth. Make the tomato salad: In a mixing bowl combine tomato, onion, basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Salt & Pepper to taste. Let this rest in the refrigerator for an hour. Prepare the bread: Slice bread in 1/2 inch thick slices and spread the tops with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake bread on sheet pan at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes. Assemble the bruschetta: Spread fresh ricotta on the slices and top with tomato salad. Plate and drizzle balsamic vinegar on top.

Four Stories About Spring By Jean Gellin The First Story I heard it several weeks ago as the first light of dawn streaked across the sky. It was the creek down in the canyon, unlocked from its prison of ice. I could hear it as it hurried on its way to the river. The canyon is a beautiful place, heavily wooded and at its bottom, when winter quietly melts away, the creek runs over rocks and stones but lets nothing impede its journey. There are many ways to announce great events. Sometimes bells ring and trumpets sound but here, the fast moving creek, glinting in the sunlight, announces the arrival of spring, so there is no need for bells or trumpets. The Second Story During The Great Depression, when my friend Alice and I were children, we knew it was spring when wild strawberries appeared, ready to be consumed on the spot. I have a vivid memory of sitting on a large rock, alongside Alice, as we popped the berries into our mouths with gay abandon. We were about ten years old. We were in a small field near Alice’s father’s barn, where wildflowers ran rampant and among them, were lots of rosey little wild strawberries, just waiting to be picked. Looking back on it, it was a magical day. The Third Story In May, when I was a child, many families were busy setting up picnic tables for their celebration of Decoration Day. It’s now called “Memorial Day” but it was “Decoration Day” then because most people who lost someone during the first world war, decorated the graves with flowers and small flags and then went to the great parade downtown in the nearby city. The Decoration Day Parade was always a great event, well into spring and not far from summer. Bands played, veteran soldiers and sailors marched and the flags blew in the wind, like the sails on great ships. It was a day of sorrow, tempered by the joy of family picnics, like the one Alice’s family would have, on their side lawn, near the field of wildflowers and strawberries. The Fourth Story My father had the ability to produce luxuriant growth from just about anything he planted. He began gardening after he retired from the navy. One of our neighbors, Mrs. Wilson, who was known for her spectacular prize-winning irises, invited him to join the garden club, of which she was president. My father had a good sense of humor. He thanked her for her kind offer but said he didn’t have the right kind of hat. That was in the days when women wore flowery hats to meetings and garden clubs were mostly female. He told us Mrs. Wilson laughed and said she understood but assured him he would be welcome, even without the hat. It became a family story, passed around the dining room table whenever the subject of gardens came up. Addendum The writer, Ernest Hemingway, once described himself as being “knee deep in spring” and now, so are we. Spring, with its gifts of flowers, silver raindrops and golden sunlight, could well be a testament to the continuation of renewal as the great Wheel of Seasons moves on.

Jean Gellin is wordsmith who livesand writes on the edge of a glacial canyon in northeastern Ohio.

Carolina Mountain Life Spring 2014 —


Our Sponsors: 46.............128 Pecan Restaurant 47.............Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau 116...........Alpen Restaurant & Bar 5...............Amy Brown, CPA 34.............Andrews & Andrews Insurance 81.............Appalachian Angler 56.............Appalachian Regional Health Care 54.............Appel 64.............App Summer Festival 8...............Appalachian Voices 83.............ASHI Therapy 72.............Avery County Chamber of Commerce 84.............Avery County Farmer’s Market 61.............Avery County Transportation 91.............Avery Heating & Air 5...............BB&T 90.............Bailey Drapery & Design 115...........Banner Elk Cafe 109...........Banner Elk Consignment Cottage 75.............Banner Elk Realty 24.............Banner Elk TDA 112...........Banner Elk Winery & Villa 78.............Bayou Smokehouse & Grill 50.............Bear Real Estate 74.............Beech Mountain Club 114...........Bella’s Italian Restaurant 55.............Bistro Roca Restaurant 30.............BJ’s Resort Wear 90.............Blalock Electric 117...........Blind Squirrel Brewery 38.............Blowing Rock Farmer’s Market 38 & 39....Blowing Rock Pages 38.............Blowing Rock Restaurant Week 99.............Blue Mountain Metalworks 91.............Blue Ridge Electric 25.............Blue Ridge Mountain Club 90.............Blue Ridge Propane 83............. Bob Oelberg Landscaping 31.............Boone Mall 114...........Boone Paint 31.............BRAHM 50.............Brinkley Hardware 11.............Burke County Wine Tour 31.............Caldwell Community College 79.............Canyons Restaurant 64.............Carlton Gallery 115...........Carolina Barbeque 92.............Carolina Window Fashions 113...........Casa Rustica 11.............Catawba Valley Wine Trail 113...........Chestnut Grille 54.............Chick-fil-A 114...........China House 94.............Classic Stone

117...........COBO’s Sushi 102...........Compu-Doc 103...........Creative Printing 46.............Crossnore School for Children 109...........David Ford Studios 10.............Dewoolfson 6...............Distinctive Cabinetry of the High country 79.............Dunn’s Deli 58.............Ennis Dentistry 72.............Ensemble Stage 113...........Erick’s Cheese & Wine 17.............Eseeola Lodge 116...........Family Billiards 109...........Fine Art & Master Craft Festival 116...........Country Retreat Family Billiards 113...........Flat Top Brewery 4...............Flora Ottimer 34.............Food Lion 39, 47.......Footsloggers 91.............Fortner Insurance 81.............Foscoe Fishing Co. & Outfitters 114...........Fred and Larry’s Coffee 30.............Fred’s General Mercantile 94.............Fuller & Fuller General Contracting & Design 83.............Gardens of the Blue Ridge 39.............Gideon Ridge Inn 73.............Grandfather Home for Children 3...............Grandfather Mountain 17.............Grandfather Mountain Highland Games 81.............Grandfather Trout Farm 4...............Grandfather Vineyard & Winery 38............. Green Park Inn 28.............Gregory Alan’s Gifts 38.............Handtiques 28.............Hamilton Williams Gallery & Studio 106...........Hardin Jewelry 83.............Hawk Mountain Nursery 36.............Hawksnest Zipline IBC...........Headwaters 119...........Health Connection 47.............Heartwood 115...........High Country Animal Clinic 90.............High Country Home Builders Assoc. 114...........Hollywood Nails 73.............Horn in the West & Hickory Ridge 83.............Hunter’s Tree Service 75.............Inn at Elk River 116...........Italian Restaurant

29.............Joara Pottery Festival 27 . ..........Joara Pottery Foundation 115...........Leatherwood Mountain 32.............Lees McRae College 31.............Lees McRae Summer Theatre 106...........Lees McRae Forum 60.............Life Care Center of Banner Elk 28.............Linville Caverns 110...........Linville Falls Golf Club 55.............Linville Falls Winery 16.............Linville Land Harbor 79.............Lucky Lily 117...........Macado’s Restaurant 119...........Mast Farm Inn/Simplicity OBC..........Mast General Store 33.............Mayland Community College 31.............Modern Antiquity 40.............Morningstar Storage 107...........Mountain Dog & Friends 30.............Mountain Jewelers 50............. Mountain Retreats 84.............Mountaineer Landscaping 54.............Mountain Retreats Realty 95.............Mountain Tile 114...........Mr. E’s Video & Entertainment 84.............Mustard Seed Market 61.............My Best Friend’s Barkery 102...........Nails by Belkis 110...........Nationwide Insurance 99.............New River Building Supply 5 & 116....Nick’s Restaurant & Pub 5...............Northern Parker 54.............Organic Hair Design 61.............Pack Rats 115...........Painted Fish Cafe 36.............Peak Real Estate 79.............Perry House B & B 102...........Premier Pharmacy 105...........Professional Handyman Services 110...........Racquets & Strings 58.............Ram’s Rack Thrift Shop 74.............Red Tail Mountain 24.............Resort Real Estate & Rentals 93.............Revient Woods 5...............Rite Aid 52.............Robert Oelberg Landscape Architecture 55.............Roots 5...............Rustic Rooster 109...........Sally Nooney Artists Studio Gallery

114...........Scorchers 36.............Seven Devils TDA 50.............Sheer Bliss 4...............Shooz & Shiraz 5...............Shoppes of Tynecastle 39.............Six Pence Pubs 99.............Skyline/ SkyBest Internet 55.............Stick Boy Bread 98.............Stone Cavern Tile & Stone Showroom 117...........Stonewall’s Restaurant 114...........Subway 75.............Sugar Mountain Golf & Tennis 102...........Sugar Ski & Country Club 79.............Sunset Tees 72.............Taste of Avery 56.............Tate Clinic - ARHS 4...............Tatum Gallery 39.............The Blowing Rock 46 ������������The Consignment Cottage Warehouse 5...............The Dande Lion IFC............The Farm 75.............The Rock 114...........The Shops at Sugar Mountain Village 73.............Thelma’s Things 117...........Toe River Lodge 110...........Tom’s Custom Golf 61.............TriSeasons Medical Care 105...........Tricia Wilson Law Firm 4...............Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill 40.............Verizon 8...............Visitor Information Channel 105...........Vonco Custom Homes 104...........Waite Financial 8...............Walker DiVenere Wright Attorneys at Law 114...........Washing Well 74.............Wedding Resource Center 101...........Wildlife Wranglers 84.............Wingn’it Bird Center & Much More 38.............Woodland’s BBQ 105...........Yadkin Bank - Reverse Mortgage 63.............YMCA of Avery County

thank you! The End — Spring 2014 Carolina Mountain Life

Profile for Carolina Mountain Life, Inc

Carolina Mountain Life Spring2014  

Regional magazine highlighting the heart and soul of North Carolina's High Country

Carolina Mountain Life Spring2014  

Regional magazine highlighting the heart and soul of North Carolina's High Country