Carolina Mountain Life - Spring 2022

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Carolina Mountain Life

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The Miracle of Spring . . . and All Its Delights! . . . a wonderful read for 25 years!

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Sugar Mountain Golf Club

18-hole public golf course with an immaculate putting surface that maximizes every vista. | 828-898-6464

Sugar Mountain Tennis Club

Meticulous public tennis courts of fast-dry, Har-tru clay. Men’s, women’s, and mixed friendlys. | 828-898-6746

Caddyshack Café

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4 Go to to plan your visit!

The Perfect Weather for a Great Adventure—Guaranteed!

Inside A Mountain Constant 52O year-round • Guided tours • Explore our Gift Shop Visit our website for hours and recommended safety precautions

Linville Caverns

19929 US 221 North, Marion, NC 28752 Between Linville & Marion, just 4 Miles South of the Blue Ridge Parkway 800-419-0540


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Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. This information shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required. © 2022 Blowing Rock Resort Venture, LLC.

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What’s Inside: 20....... Regional Happenings | CML Staff 27....... Town of Boone Celebrates 150 | By Mark Freed 30....... Thanks for 25 Years | By Julie Farthing 39....... Mountain Warriors of the Revolution | By Robert Inman 43....... The Rhynes’ Lasting Legacy | By Cynthia Holley 45....... A Sense of Style | By Trimella Chaney 47....... Boonerang Music & Art Festival | By Mark Freed 49....... A Farewell to Singing on the Mountain | By Tom McAuliffe 50....... The Hills are Alive with Music | By CML Staff 53....... Artist Profile: Kué King | By LouAnn Morehouse 59....... Color Them Gorgeous | By Nan K. Chase 71....... Golf Guide | By Tom McAuliffe 75....... Behind Bars, On the Rails and In the Square | By Elizabeth Baird Hardy 79....... In the Jailhouse Now | By Michael Hardy 87....... Rock Garden Memorial | By Steve York 91....... Jesse Smith—The Way He Sees It | By Julie Farthing 109..... ARHS Heart & Vascular Center | By Kim S. Davis 113..... You Goat, Girl! | By Gail Greco


Our Cover Photo by our Design Director, Deborah Mayhall Bradshaw, captures one of the High Country’s early spring wildflowers­— Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), a member of the poppy family, native to eastern North America.

Cultural Calendar with Keith Martin…32 Blue Ridge Parkway News…51 Book Nook with Edwin Ansel…54 Movie Review with Elizabeth Baird Hardy…55 Notes from Grandfather Mountain…56 Blue Ridge Explorers with Tamara S. Randolph…61 Birding with Curtis Smalling…63 Trail Reports by CML Staff…64 Fishing with Andrew Corpening…65 Resource Circle with Tamara S. Randolph…68 History on a Stick with Michael C. Hardy…73 Wisdom and Ways with Jim Casada…85 Community and Local Business News…96 Local Tidbits…102 An Ounce of Prevention with Mike Teague…107 Be Well with Samantha Steele…111 Restaurant Guide…116 Recipes from the CML Kitchen with Meagan Goheen…119 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —




BOONE • 139 S. Depot St, Boone, NC • 828.355.9984 BLOWING ROCK • 921 Main St., Blowing Rock, NC • 828.295.4453 WEST JEFFERSON • 08 A South Jefferson Ave., West Jefferson, NC 28694 • 336.846.5888


n o s a e S l a v i t s e F It’s in Avery County, NC!

Arts, crafts, food, entertainment and fun for the whole family!

1st Annual Avery County Summer Fest June 11-12 NC Cooperative Extension Center of Avery County Home of the Avery County Fair 661 Vale Road, Newland, NC

Summer Fest June 11-12, 2022

Avery Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival July 15-17 & August 12-14 Sugar Mountain Resort Village of Sugar Mountain, NC

And Save the Date for the 45th Annual Woolly Worm Festival! October 15-16, 2022 Downtown Banner Elk, NC (3rd Weekend in October)

The Avery Chamber Congratulates CML Magazine on 25 Years! | 4501 Tynecastle Hwy, Unit 2 Banner Elk, NC | 828-898-5605



Purchase fine coffee, specialty drinks, breakfast, lunch, and dessert today to help support the children of Crossnore. | (828) 733-2247 8 Fountain Circle | Crossnore, NC 28616

Carolina Mountain Life TM

A publication of Carolina Mountain Life, Inc. ©2022 by Carolina Mountain Life Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher. Babette McAuliffe, Publisher & Editor in Chief Deborah Mayhall-Bradshaw, Design Director Kathy Griewisch, Account Manager Meagan Goheen, Marketing Manager Tamara S. Randolph, Editor Keith Martin, Cultural Arts Editor Contributors: Edwin Ansel, Jim Casada, Andrew Corpening Trimella Chaney, Nan Chase, Kim S. Davis Julie Farthing, Nina Fischesser, Brennan Ford Morgan Ford, Mark Freed, Gail Greco Elizabeth Baird Hardy, Michael C. Hardy, Cynthia Holley Robert Inman, Rita Larkin, Tom McAuliffe LouAnn Morehouse, Rocky Parriott, Curtis Smalling Landis Taylor, Samantha Steele, Mike Teague Doug Winbon, and Steve York.

Share us with a friend! CML is published 4 times a year and is available by subscription for $35.00 a year (continental US) Send check or money order to: Carolina Mountain Life, PO Box 976, Linville, NC 28646 828-737-0771

PUBLISHER’S NOTE This issue, the first of our four celebratory editions, is dedicated to our advertisers. In 1997, while sitting at a kitchen table discussing the creation of a new lifestyle magazine, we decided it needed to be offered for free. To that end, we sought out local businesses who shared this vision and invited them to collaborate with us by advertising their services and goods. To this day, many of these same devoted supporters who had faith in us then continue to reserve their space in CML. They have come to rely on us to help them spread the word about their local businesses. I am forever grateful to all of them, and you will see on page 30 a tribute to three of many businesses who have been with us for a quarter of a century. We will continue to celebrate other long-standing advertisers throughout this silver anniversary year. Looking back, I am most grateful for the relationships I have developed, not only with our advertisers, but with the hundreds of folks we have interviewed and showcased. These past few years I have learned more about tenacity and perseverance by observing the myriad of entrepreneurs in this area who have not only survived but thrived. Business owners who have shown true grit through tough times. Our philosophy from the very beginning was to pack the magazine with compelling stories about the people, places, and events that make this area truly magical. We have folks tell us over and over again that they read us from cover to cover and keep each issue close at hand for ease of reference. We love to hear from our readers, so please drop me a line at cmlbabette@ and let me know about what you discovered by picking up one of the 25,000 copies we print each quarter of CML. Here’s to a happy and healthy Spring!



D IS C OV E R E XC E LL E N C E ELEVATED. Nothing compares to the majestic Jack Nicklaus golf course, private airport, fly fishing, equestrian center, tennis and social events. But what makes Elk River truly special is the camaraderie the members enjoy with each other every day. Call 828.898.9773 | Visit | Located in Banner Elk, N.C. As a 501(c)(7) private, member-owned club, Elk River Club membership is limited and by invitation only.

Beech Bloomin’ Craft Festival - April 30th In Cold Mud Run - May 7th

Beech is happening


CML ‘behind the curtain’ . . . DEBORAH MAYHALL-BRADSHAW Design Director Deborah has been designing CML since 2007. She is our ‘puzzle queen’ fitting stories, images, and advertising into what becomes—page by page—Carolina Mountain Life Magazine. She has been a designer here in the High Country for 40 years, and along the way has disappeared into artistic bursts of painting, and creating coffee table books for artists (including The Private Diary of Noyes Capehart; The Art of Lillian Athey Turchin—An Abundance of Joy; Wayne Trapp—The Journey of a Sculptor; and Emily and Me—Poems by Emily Dickinson with Faces by Ellen Bienhorn.) She lives with her husband Tom in the lyrical log home he handcrafted from trees felled on their property, along with two dogs and one cat. She has also spent the past nineteen years walking through their slice of forest in search of grapevine tendrils which she is compiling into a collection of forest ‘poems’. MEAGAN GOHEEN Marketing Manager Meagan officially joined the family business in 2020, although CML has been part of her life since its 1997 inception at the age of seven. She watched her parents transform their passion for the community into a published reality, tagging along for interviews, photoshoots, and recipe curating while observing how they captured the heart and soul of the High Country. Ranging from interviews with Lance Armstrong on Beech Mountain at the Tour Du Pont bicycle race, to intimate story-time listenings with Ray Hicks in Valle Crucis. Meagan’s position evolved as she learned the ways of the trade, applying her App State degree to the critical areas of graphic design, photography, sales, customer relations, and account management. Some readers may know Meagan from her previous position as manager of The Peddler Steakhouse. Her current community involvement includes serving on the Boards of the Avery Chamber of Commerce and the Woolly Worm Festival, among other civic activities. Meagan and her husband have two young daughters, who are now tagging along in their honored family legacy.

KATHY GRIEWISCH Account Manager Kathy started working with CML in autumn 2014. She manages a variety of tasks, which include advertising accounts, bookkeeping, writing the occasional column, social media posts, and email blasts. Kathy enjoys sharing her love of the region in the pages of CML so its readers will know the many activities they can do, and where to shop, dine, and stay. “I love to see how the magazine comes full circle to its finished product and then hear a reader’s feedback on a great shop, restaurant, place they stayed or story they read.” Kathy loves to get outdoors; you will often see her running the streets or trails or hiking up a mountain. In addition to working at CML Kathy works part-time at her church as a bookkeeper. She lives with her husband Carl in Banner Elk. Together they have two children, their daughter Kate and husband Mike, and granddaughter Grace, and son Kyle. KEITH MARTIN Cultural Arts Editor Keith began his career in publications at the age of 10 as paperboy for his hometown Hickory Daily Record, and later became founding editor of his high school’s underground newspaper, “The Gripes of Wrath.” With over 400+ stage productions to his credit, Keith’s five decades in the not-for-profit sector include producing, artistic direction, choreography, and management in professional theatre, dance, opera, symphony, film and television, for which he received a 2010 Emmy® Award. The current board chair of the historic Appalachian Theatre in Boone, Keith served on the faculty at Davidson College prior to becoming Distinguished Professor of Theatre at Appalachian State University. Most recently, he was named the 2021 recipient of the N.C. Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. Keith hasn’t missed a Broadway production since 2005, and shares the protagonist’s philosophy from Voltaire’s Candide, his favorite musical: “Everything happens for the best in this best of all possible worlds!”

TAMARA RANDOLPH Editor Tamara has been with CML since 2017, when the magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary. In addition to her editing and writing tasks, Tamara maintains the CML website and contributes her graphic design skills to our digital and print content. As a N.C.-Certified Environmental Educator and certified Blue Ridge Naturalist, Tamara especially enjoys sharing her interests in nature and resourcefulness with readers through her two columns, Blue Ridge Explorers and Resource Circle. “We have one of the most biodiverse regions in the world; I love providing beneficial information on ecological connections and how we can be good stewards of our surroundings.” In addition to working for CML, Tamara teaches parttime at App State, runs a graphic design business, is a member artist at BE Artists Gallery in Banner Elk, and leads a monthly science-based program, “Adventures in Nature,” for children at the Banner Elk Book Exchange. She lives with her husband, James, in Linville, NC. Deborah has gone ‘shy’ on us.









JUNE 25, 2022

Glenn & Carol Arthur Planetarium Located at the Mayland Earth to Sky Park in Burnsville, NC, the Glenn and Carol Arthur Planetarium contains 60 seats and a state-of-the-art projection system. Visitors can enjoy a tour of night skies from around the world, laser light shows, or other STEM education shows.

For tickets & more information, visit


66 Energy Exchange Dr. Burnsville, NC 28714



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CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE 18 — Spring 2022 Cannot be combined with any other offers. Minimum purchase of 4 windows required. Call for details. Offer expires June 30, 2022.

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Avery Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival

Grillin’ and Chillin’, Sugar Mountain

Land of Oz, Beech Mountain

REGIONAL HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL H Avery County Heritage Festival | Newland, NC Head to the Newland town square and mingle with craftspeople, genealogists, authors, performers, and many others celebrating the history and heritage of the area. The Heritage Festival takes place Saturday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to the public. Entertainment includes a full lineup of musicians and cloggers. Read our article “Avery History Behind Bars, on the Rails, and in the Square in 2022” in this issue of CML. http://www.averymuseum. com/avery_county_heritage_fest.htm Beech’s Bloomin’ Craft Festival | Beech Mountain, NC Head up to Beech Mountain for the second annual outdoor Beech’s Bloomin’ Craft Festival on Saturday, April 30, 12 to 5 p.m. Shop from a diverse group of local boutiques, artisans, makers and more. This is a perfect opportunity to support locally owned entrepreneurs and small businesses. The family-friendly event takes place outdoors at the Fred & Margie Pfohl Buckeye Recreation Center*. For more information, call 828-387-3003. *In the case of inclement weather, the festival will be held indoors. Beech Mountain’s Family Fun Month | Beech Mountain, NC On Beech, the town officially kicks off summer on June 1, with their annual Family Fun Month festivities. Bounce houses, live music, outdoor movies, kids’ programs, and Land of Oz tours are just a few of the various activities designed for families to enjoy an unforgettable visit to Beech Mountain. summer/ Art on the Greene | Banner Elk, NC This fine art show is one in a series of four shows taking place this year on the grounds of the Historic Banner Elk School in downtown Banner Elk. Art on the Greene highlights works from


local and regional artists representing a variety of media, such as ceramics, glass, metal, wood, watercolor, acrylics and oil. The first Art on the Greene event takes place Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 and May 29, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Additional shows will be held Fourth of July weekend, the first weekend in August, and Labor Day weekend. Avery County Summer Festival | Newland, NC A new festival is in town! Don’t miss the first annual Avery County Summer Fest, sponsored by the Avery Chamber of Commerce, on June 11 and 12 at the NC Cooperative Extension Center of Avery County (home of the Avery County Fair). At the festival, you can shop for wares of all types, from a variety of vendors, and take home a piece of Avery County! The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. And save the date for the Avery County Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival, July 15-17 and August 12-14, at Sugar Mountain Resort. These juried festivals will feature an eclectic gathering of unique hand-crafted wares from select artists and crafters. Sugar Mountain Grillin’ & Chillin’ Summer Concert Series Sugar Mountain, NC Join the fun on Wednesday evenings at this popular summertime event, located at Sugar Mountain’s Golf and Tennis Club House Deck. Admission is free, with food and beverages available for sale. A special dinner buffet is offered by the Caddyshack Cafe from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Live music runs 6-9 p.m. Enjoy food, drinks and tunes on the big deck overlooking the golf course and panoramic mountain views. And wear your dancing shoes! Spring bands include: The Lucky Strikes (5/30), Classic Highway (6/8), Jessi & The River Cats (6/15), Tanya & The Roadrunnerz (6/22), and Smokin Joe Randolph (6/29).

Blowing Rock Art in the Park

Downtown Boone

Spring has taken hold and the CML region is abuzz with activity! Following is just a sampling of some of the exciting events in store this season for residents and visitors Artists in Residence, Blowing Rock

Christmas in July West Jefferson

to our region.

HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL HAPPENINGS Boone Celebrates its 150th | Boone, NC Boone 150, the Town of Boone’s Sesquicentennial celebration, continues throughout 2022. Boone was officially incorporated on January 23, 1872. That makes for 150 years of history, community, and stories that need to be celebrated and shared—and there will be a lot of opportunities for everyone to get involved this spring. Boone 150 events and offerings include concerts and performances, art and history exhibits, guided walking tours, parades and festivals, special publications, commemorative keepsakes, and more! Read our article “Town of Boone Celebrates 150 Years” in this issue of CML. Artists in Residence at Edgewood Returns | Blowing Rock, NC Take a three-minute walk south of Blowing Rock’s Memorial Park and you’ll discover a unique cultural corner where art and history meet. Here you’ll find the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM) and its well-known neighbor, Edgewood Cottage, the circa 1890 home and studio of renowned American artist Elliott Daingerfield. Elliott Daingerfield (1859-1932) became one of Blowing Rock’s most notable summer residents. He painted images of the local landscape and instructed the “painting ladies” who came to Blowing Rock to study with him. Daingerfield’s legacy of encouraging artists in the High Country lives on in the Artists in Residence Program at Edgewood Cottage. Presented by The Blowing Rock Historical Society, this year’s Artists in Residence series runs from Memorial Day weekend (May 28) through September 11. During the program the cottage becomes home to 25 artists representing a variety of outstanding, original two and three-dimensional pieces. Art lovers of all interests and budgets are welcomed to these free open studio events to meet the artists, see them create new

art and purchase their works. The Cottage is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with different artists each week. Art in the Park | Blowing Rock, NC Enjoy arts and crafts from award-winning and acclaimed artisans at these juried shows, curated to present a wide variety of mediums. Find gifts and works for personal collections, functional beauties like furniture and cutlery, and wearable art like handcrafted jewelry and textiles. Artists’ tents line Park Avenue right in downtown Blowing Rock so attendees can enjoy proximity to other shopping, as well as dining options and local parks. Saturday dates include May 21, June 11, July 16, August 13, September 10, and October 1, with hours of 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. rain or shine. Make a weekend of it, and stay for the outdoor Concert in the Park that follows each Art in the Park on Sundays! artinthepark/

Christmas in July | West Jefferson, NC Because of its cool mountain climate, friendly people, charming towns, and lovely scenery, Ashe County is known as “The Coolest Corner” of North Carolina—it’s also considered NC’s “Christmas tree capital.” So what better way to celebrate “cool” in the warmer months than with Christmas in July! Plan now to attend this early summer annual event that takes place in downtown West Jefferson. Christmas in July celebrates mountain heritage with food, arts and crafts, live music and more—this family friendly festival kicks off on Friday, July 1 at 4 p.m. and continues through July 2. https:// continued... CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


Liberty!, Elizabethton, TN

Glenn and Carol Arthur Planetarium Burnsville, NC

REGIONAL HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL H Liberty! Returns | Elizabethton, TN The Official Outdoor Drama of the State of Tennessee—Liberty!—begins its 43rd season on June 3, 2022, at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, TN. This outdoor drama is presented by a cast of local performers against the backdrop of Fort Watauga. Liberty! portrays the significant history of Sycamore Shoals during the late 18th century. Performances continue every weekend in June (June 3 - 4, June 10 - 11, June 16 - 18, and June 23 - 25) in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater. Each show begins nightly at 8 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and concessions opening at 7 p.m. Pre-performance activities begin at 7:45 p.m. Throughout 2022, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will celebrate the birth of American democracy through programs commemorating the 250th anniversary of the formation of the Watauga Association in 1772. This was the first majority-rule system of American democratic government that formed when settlers elected five of their number to “govern and direct for the common good of all the people”—four years prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776! https://tnstateparks. com/parks/sycamore-shoals | 423-543-5808


Mayland Earth to Sky Park | Burnsville, NC The Mayland Earth to Sky Park is an environmental educational park for those interested in learning about the natural world we live in, from the earth to the sky. The Park is home to The Bare Dark Sky Observatory, the Glenn and Carol Arthur Planetarium (opening late June), outdoor classrooms, aqua- and hydroponics labs, a visitors’ center, a picnic shelter, walking trails, beautiful gardens, and more. Spring is a great time for stargazing at the Observatory! Depending on the exact time of year and the moon phase, visitors will be able to view the moon, planets, and stars through the Observatory’s 34-inch diameter mirror on their custom-built Newtonian telescope, as well as a smaller 14-inch mirror Meade planetary telescope. Seasonal events include Community Nights, MoonLit Adventure nights and more. https://

Saturdays in Sparta | Sparta, NC Alleghany is ramping up the arts scene this Spring! The Alleghany Arts Council has come up with an exciting lineup for their 2022 Saturdays in SpARTa events. From May through December, Saturdays in Sparta are rich with music (free & ticketed events), art, and creativity. Beginning Saturday, May 28, enjoy Saturdays in the Park monthly concerts, held outdoors in beautiful Crouse Park, just a block off Main Street. And the Beat Goes On monthly Singer/Songwriter workshops and concerts feature a variety of musical styles and entertainment, beginning with Chad Elliott on Saturday, May 7, 2022, and J. Jeffrey Messerole on Saturday, June 11, 2022. On the first Saturday of each month beginning in June, enjoy Music on Main concerts featuring popular regional bands. And don’t miss the Backwoods Beat Festival of Music & Art, a juried art show taking place June 24 - 25.

Merlefest, Wilkesboro, NC

HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL HAPPENINGS Merlefest Returns | Wilkesboro, NC MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, serves as an annual homecoming for musicians and music fans. Held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC, MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and oldtime music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. This year’s event will take place April 28 - May 1. The event is the primary fundraiser for the Wilkes Community College Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

North Carolina Butterfly Festival | Hudson, NC Following a two-year hiatus, thousands of folks will be fluttering to Hudson on the first Saturday of May for Caldwell County’s oldest festival. Enjoy the many craft vendors and artists’ performances at the 2022 NC Butterfly Festival on May 7, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. To kick off this year’s festival weekend, a “Cruise In” for automobile enthusiasts will be held in downtown Hudson on Friday, May 6, from 5 - 8 p.m. Families will enjoy a parade of antique and classic cars, music, and dancing during this car show and street dance event. Visit or for more information. And save the date for the return of the annual NC Blackberry Festival in Lenoir, to be held July 15-16. https://

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA), in partnership with the National Park Service, is the regional steward of living Appalachian traditions in North Carolina, with a mission to “honor our elders and invite new generations to explore music, craft, foodways, the outdoors, and the native wisdom that all have their home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.” This spring, take some time to explore for yourself the many cultural gems in western NC. Start the planning process by going to to get familiar with the region. Check out the site’s easy-to-use interactive tools and filters to create the perfect getaway for your visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains. You’re sure to find all the information you need to inspire and entertain the whole family, whether it’s enjoying local music, original art or the natural beauty of the area. --Many other events will take place here in the High Country throughout the season. Some of the best resources for event listings and schedule changes are our local Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Development Associations. Visit for direct links to our local Chambers.

“Have fun and take home some terrific memories!” CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


REGIONAL HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL The Highland Games Return to Grandfather Mountain The sounds of bagpipes and the colors of Scottish tartans return to MacRae Meadows for the annual gathering and games! Plan now to enjoy four days of festivities at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) in Linville, NC. Event organizers declare, “Ceud mile failte to you and your family as you join us in celebrating the history of our Scottish ancestry and cheer as you watch the clans compete on MacRae Meadows.” Don’t miss this chance to partake in the tradition and camaraderie that are woven into this festive event. Following are just some of the highlights to look forward to at this year’s Games—and new events will be introduced! Be sure to check out for event times and locations. Thursday, July 7 n Children’s field games and clinics n MacRae Meadows open n Picnic on the grounds n Scottish entertainment with traditional Celtic music, plus sheep herding with border collies on the field (throughout the weekend) n The Bear – Assault on Grandfather featuring a five-mile foot race climbing 1,568 feet in elevation from Linville to the summit of Grandfather Mountain n Opening Torchlight Ceremony announcing each participating Clan’s arrival to the Games; Piping & Drumming performance; The Bear Awards Friday, July 8 n MacRae Meadows opens, with preliminary athletic competition, sheep herding, and music/dancing exhibitions; Celtic Groves will be open and other activities will highlight the day n Opening Ceremony n Children’s athletic competitions; cultural activities n Celtic Rock Concert at MacRae Meadows n Scottish Country Dance Gala

Saturday, July 9 n Grandfather Mountain Marathon from Boone to MacRae Meadows field track n Amateur heavy athletic qualifying begins, competition begins for Highland Dancing Atlantic International Championship, piping, drumming, harp playing, Scottish athletic events, track & field events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish fiddling, Scottish harp, Celtic Groves entertainment, cultural activities n Opening Ceremony n Saturday Night Celtic Jam Concert at MacRae Meadows Sunday, July 10 n Scottish Heavy Athletic Demonstration and Clinic, Highland Dancing competition n Worship Service and Kirkin ‘O’ the Tartans/Worship Service Platform n Parade of Tartans, Guests of Honor & Distinguished Guests are introduced as all members of the sponsoring clans are invited to march in the parade n Highland Dance Championship Competition, Scottish athletic events, sheep herding, kilted miles, children’s events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish fiddles and harps, piping competitions, Clan Tugs-of-War, Celtic Grove entertainment, history and cultural activities n Closing Ceremonies For tickets, detailed schedules, maps, and information on lodging, parking and shuttle busses, visit the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games website at And . . . be sure to pick up the summer issue of CML for additional highlights and up-to-date listings on the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

April is Scottish Heritage Month

Stephen Quillin, President, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games


History + Highballs is a bi-monthly virtual program that the North Carolina Museum of History created in 2020 in an effort to bring history to life wherever you may be. The program features themes on historic architecture, foodways, culture, and artisan crafts while exploring the state from the mountains to the sea. Every April, Scottish Heritage Month is celebrated nationally. North Carolina has one of the highest percentages of Scottish descent in the country, so each April, the museum hosts a program that recognizes the many important influences that heritage has had on our state’s culture. This year, Grandfather Mountain Highland Games president, Stephen Quillin, shares the history of the Games and how they evolved into what they are today, the history of Scottish clans gathering in NC, and the wide reach the Games have through philanthropic and community involvement. All virtual programs are free and registration is available on the museum’s website at Previously recorded presentations are also available on the website,


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Boone in the early 1900s Photo courtesy of Watauga County Public Library,

Town of Boone Celebrates 150 Years By Mark Freed


n January 23, 2022, the Town of Boone turned 150 years old, and the year-long Boone 150 celebration was officially under way. Boone’s Mayor, Tim Futrelle, officially recognized 2022 as Boone’s sesquicentennial celebration noting, “Over the past 150 years and beyond, Boone citizens and visitors have created an Appalachian community where people love to live, work, and visit.” The celebration, officially dubbed “Boone 150” started with an exhibition at the Jones House Cultural Center in downtown Boone put together by Dr. Andrea Burns and her graduate students at Appalachian State University. The exhibit, “Becoming Boone,” is on display in the upstairs galleries of the Jones House this spring, while the primary downstairs gallery features an exhibit by Digital Watauga focused on “Workers of Boone.” Both exhibits are special Boone 150 collections and help tell the story of Boone and its citizens. The Watauga Public Library will be presenting a year-long Boone Reads Together program, highlighting a series of books focused on Boone. The series includes Dr. Tom Whyte’s Boone Before Boone, which discusses human activity in the area in the thousands of years before the town’s incorporation. Other titles include Dr. Eric Plagg’s Remembering Boone, Cratis Williams’ I Come to Boone, Junaluska: Oral Histories of a Black Appalachian Community, Dr. Jim Hamilton’s novel The Last Entry, and Joe Miller’s children’s book, One Night. At the culmination of each community read, the library will present an in-person presentation with the authors. For those looking for more active ways to learn about Boone’s history, the Town of

Photo by Jordan Nelson, Nelson Aerial Productions |

Boone’s Cultural Resources Department will be featuring guided historic downtown Boone walking tours during the First Friday events from spring through fall. During the evening of the first Friday each month, downtown Boone comes alive with new art exhibition openings, music on the streets, and other activities. Those who stop by the Jones House can pick up a copy of a self-guided historic walking tour or sign up to take a tour led by one of Boone’s historians. Later in the spring, the Boone 150 celebration gears up for performances and more outdoor activities. The second week of June will feature the inaugural High Country Jazzfest, with performances in Blowing Rock and Boone, including at the historic downtown Boone Appalachian Theatre. Then, on the second weekend in Boone, the first Boonerang Music & Arts Festival will take over downtown Boone. Finally, on the last weekend in Boone, the Blue Ridge Community Theater presents “Happy Birthday Boone,” a new production that will include music, spoken word, and performance in a celebration of Boone. The Boone 150 celebration will be in full stride for the Independence Day weekend festivities. The weekend kicks off at the Jones House, with a Friday evening performance by the Boone Community Band. On Sunday, July 3, the Town of Boone will host a community gathering and celebration at Clawson-Burnley Park in the afternoon, followed by a concert at the State Farm lot presented by Appalachian State University’s Arts and Cultural Programs. The Town of Boone’s annual fireworks will conclude the concert. The Town will present its annual July 4th Parade, starting at 11 a.m. on July 4, which will include a special

nod to the historic High Country Wagon Train. Later in the summer, as the Southern Appalachian Historical Association concludes their 70th anniversary season of Horn in the West, they will collaborate with the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources department to present a sacred music celebratory concert at the Daniel Boone Park amphitheater. This special concert will highlight a host of High Country sacred music styles, from shape note singing, to family gospel quartets, to bluegrass gospel, and full choir performances. The event will take place on August 20, the day after the annual Doc Watson Day concert at the Jones House. Other events planned for the year include a Daniel Boone Summit to talk about the Town’s namesake and both the known and imagined history of Daniel Boone in the area. Several historical markers and recognitions are in store for 2022, in collaboration with Boone’s Historical Preservation Commission and the Watauga County Historical Society. Construction of Downtown Boone Post Office

For more information on the Boone 150 celebration, including how to get involved, and how to submit an event to be a part of the celebration, please visit www. or contact the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources department at 828-268-6280. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


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It’s Time to Say Thanks By Julie Farthing

Stonewalls, Fred’s Mercantile, and Mast General Store advertisements in the very first issue of CML, spring/summer 1997.


or 25 years, CML has appeared on magazine stands in and around the small towns of western North Carolina. The longevity of CML would not be possible without the support of local businesses, several of which have been with us from the very beginning. Now it is time to give accolades to the folks who help keep CML “absolutely priceless.” One of those businesses is The Original Mast General Store, which opened in 1883 in the rural community of Valle Crucis, and was known to offer everything from cradles to caskets. Formerly the Taylor and Mast Store, the name was changed in 1913 to the Mast General Store when Mast became sole owner. In 1973, the store was added to the National Register of Historic Places where it is noted as one of the best remaining examples of an old country general store. The Mast family sold the store shortly afterwards, but the new owners closed its doors in the winter of 1977. After hearing the store was for sale, John and Faye Cooper purchased the historic building and worked with long-time vendors to add items to the store’s inventory that would be important to the community and would have been found on the store’s shelves in the past. The store reopened on June 6, 1980. With an eye toward historic preservation and a knack for commerce, the Mast General Store once again became the center of the Valle Crucis community, offering, in addition to provisions, a Post Office and a good place to grab a five-cent cup of coffee.


Today as you traverse the historic store’s creaking floorboards, you’ll find country gourmet foods, cast iron cookware, speckleware, old-fashioned toys, footwear for all “walks” of life, hardware, candles, clothing, and so much more. Sheri Moretz, who has worked at Mast General Store for 28 years, holds the title of “storyteller.” She says that countless numbers of people, from “the farmer to the famous,” have strolled through the stores that now total 11 in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. “The newest Mast General Store in Roanoke, Virginia, opened in June 2020 and is located in the old Thurman and Boone furniture store,” says Moretz. She credits Marketing Director Jeff Meadows for finding the perfect location for each store. She calls him the “store whisperer.” “He listens to a building and sees the beauty behind the dust and debris,” says Moretz of Meadows. “The overall goal of the organization is finding the magic in each individual store and community. Sometimes you lose sight of that if you grow too fast; that’s why it’s important to understand the connection between each store and the community it serves.” John and Faye Cooper have given the reins of “minding the store” to their daughter, Lisa Cooper, who is now the president of the growing family of stores. John and Faye are continuing to serve their local community as volunteers and leaders in organizations such as An Appalachian Summer Festival, Boone Area Chamber of Commerce, Boone Sunrise Rotary, Western Youth Network, The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge, and Hospitality House, and in

the recent revitalization of the Appalachian Theater of the High Country. Another CML-supporting business is Stonewalls Restaurant in Banner Elk. Stonewalls has been a downtown destination for premier steaks since 1985. Avery County native Scott Garland and his business partner, Tim Heschke, have been owners since 2016 and have been making improvements to the interior and exterior, including the new covered patio for dining al fresco and the gas fire pit for those cool mountain evenings. Although Garland and Heschke have updated the menu, the restaurant’s steak selection, along with its legendary salad bar, have stayed true to the classic Stonewalls menu. “I actually came to Stonewalls for my senior prom in 1986,” Garland recalls with a laugh. As a local, Garland knows the importance of supporting the High Country; thus, the restaurant utilizes ingredients from local farmers’ markets whenever possible and most of the items on the menu are made in-house. “Tim makes everything in-house for desserts,’’ says Garland. The key lime pie, red velvet cheesecake and cobbler are just a few of the favorites. Stonewalls also takes sustainability very seriously. “We are the first ones in the area to bring in keg wines, where it comes in kegs like beer. It’s more environmentally friendly… you save on bottling, plus kegs save on storage and the wine is the way it’s supposed to be at every pour.” Stonewalls currently has four wines on tap. “[Kegged wine] is never exposed to oxygen so you get it as the winemaker intended,” adds Garland.

I asked Garland to “fess up” to a favorite menu selection. “Probably the pork chop right now; it’s a Duroc style pork chop, bone-in, one to one-and-a-half inches thick, and served with grilled pear and blue cheese butter on top. We are also known for our salad bar and our prime rib, but the pork dish is one of my favorites— that, along with the wild mushroom pasta complemented with a mushroom sage olive oil with cream and black truffle sea salt.” The owners’ newest endeavors include the “What the Cluck?!” food truck that specializes in Nashville style chicken and hand-crafted southern sides, and “The Barn and Cabins at Cornerstone,” a popular event venue. Garland and Heschke also give back to the local community. “We are a big supporter of the Culinary Program at Avery High School,” says Garland. “I was the first student to go through that program, and the first graduate of Avery to go to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. When you get to a certain age, there is a time to pay it forward with what was done for you.” Also paying it forward is Fred’s Mercantile, perched at 5,506 feet in elevation and a landmark on beautiful Beech Mountain, which straddles both Avery and Watauga counties. “We have been in business 43 years,” says Fred Pfohl, who, along with his late wife, Marjorie “Margie” Pfohl, saw the need to have affordable food and household goods available to the “community in the clouds.” “The original idea behind the store was to have what people coming to Beech Mountain would need when they visited. It is amazing that through the years we

have learned how to bounce from season to season and compensate from fast times to slow times.” The pandemic brought new challenges to the popular store, which is many miles from a traditional supermarket. Pfohl admits, “It has been challenging.” He says that the availability of certain items is limited, which makes it “difficult now for a little store. . . we always wanted to have what people needed.” But, he adds, “Business is better than ever and that has to do with the number of people coming in our direction. We take care of everybody that comes to the door with a smile on our face.” Inside the old-timey building, warm wood walls and flooring are adorned with just about anything anyone would want or need for a weekend trip to the High Country, or for locals who live down the road. The main floor consists of a grocery store that carries fresh local meats, fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, jams and jellies, craft beer and wines. There is a hardware section, and a clothing section that can outfit the entire family for a weekend vacation. A ski and snowboard rental area is popular in the winter months; and the Wild Bird Supply—a complete shop devoted to folks interested in feeding, housing and learning about wild birds—is always bustling, especially during the spring and summer months. If all that shopping has worked up an appetite, then hop over to the Backside Deli for breakfast or lunch, served every day. The Pfohls not only provided a place where the community could find everything they would need on top of Beech Mountain, they also became the

heart of the community in their efforts to make Beech Mountain the best place to live and visit. Fred was the first elected and longtime mayor. He also implemented the town’s beautification and numerous park projects. He is a founding member of the volunteer fire department, a founding member and past president of the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member and past president of High Country Host. Margie was a part of virtually every community event, such as the July 4th Pig Roast, Arbor Day, street dances, kite festivals, and Sunday concerts, just to name a few. Because of their many efforts, in 2019 Fred and Marjorie Pfohl were awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Since 1963, North Carolina’s governors have reserved this highest honor for persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments. (The Pfohls are in good company—in 2017, John and Faye Cooper of Mast General Store were also awarded The Order.) In 2020, Beech Mountain’s Buckeye Recreation Center changed its name to the Fred and Marjorie Pfohl Buckeye Recreation Center to honor Fred and the memory of his late wife. So, hats off to these wonderful businesses (and many others) who have been so supportive of our “absolutely priceless” publication. Together, we continue to celebrate mountain life and the people who live and visit here. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


I Draw Slow / Appalachian Theatre 9 to 5 / Barter Theatre

A Season of Renewal, Hope, & Rejuvenation in the Arts C U LT U R A L C A L E N D A R

By Keith Martin “June is bustin’ out all over!” This popular lyric and song from the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! provide an appropriate description for the upcoming spring and summer seasons throughout the High Country and beyond. Plays, musicals, concerts, and dance offerings are literally “bustin’ out” all over theatre stages near and far as our beloved performing arts organizations return to a level of production not seen in over two very long years. Welcome back! Here are several of the events and that have been announced from now through late-June, listed alphabetically by producing company, with many more to be announced shortly. PLEASE NOTE that all of the performances, dates, and times are subject to change; readers are strongly encouraged to check individual websites and/or the theatre box offices for the most current information. See you at the theatre! Over in Sparta, NC, the ALLEGHANY COMMUNITY THEATRE is producing the comedy Bathroom Humor by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore with performances on June 17 and 18 at the Muddy Creek Café and Music Hall, right there on Main Street in Sparta. Seeing what craziness happens in the bathroom makes one wonder what the heck is going on at the party! The authors have ingeniously contrived this play so that we feel that, if we had gone to this party, we, too, might have spent most of our time hiding out in the bathroom. For tickets /info, go to The APPALACHIAN THEATRE OF THE HIGH COUNTRY (ATHC) is presenting I Draw Slow in concert on Friday, June 3. This Dublin-based group from Ireland coaxes the past into the present with


original songs that draw from the best of Irish storytelling and American folk music with close-harmony vocals and intriguing instrumentation. They established themselves as festival standouts, appearing at MerleFest, Pickathon, Wintergrass, RockyGrass, and Grey Fox, and they appeared on many radio shows, including the syndicated “Mountain Stage.” From June 9 through 12, the inaugural High Country Jazz Festival brings to fruition the decade-long dream of local musician Todd Wright: a collaborative project to host exceptional and engaging jazz experiences that will attract regional audiences. The festival will raise funds to support the arts and education programs of the Appalachian Theatre, App State Jazz Studies Program, and Boone Sunrise Rotary, programs that sustain and enrich our High Country home. Anchor events will take place in the Appalachian Theatre and under the tent at the Chetola Resort and include a host of affiliated jazz experiences featuring outdoor concerts, late night jams, jazz lunches and a film produced by community partners in Boone and Blowing Rock. For more info, and additional events soon to be announced, go to The ASHE COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL has a half-dozen events coming up on the stage of their intimate Ashe Civic Center, including the following: the Songwriters in Concert 2022 on April 9, featuring the Ola Belle Reed Songwriting Retreat Instructors: Pierce Freelon, Alice Gerrard, Zoe and Cloyd, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer; the Ed Perzel Chamber Music Series on April 24, featuring the Charlotte Players performing works by Dvořák and Puccini; fiery roots-rock singer/songwriter Scott Miller, a recent inductee to the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame, on April 28; the Katie Deal

Trio in Wildflowers: The Women of Country Music on May 7; Chamber Music for All on May 15, a concert featuring violinist Calin Ovidiu Lupanu, violinist Monica Boboc, and cellist Marlene Ballena; and on June 4, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Brien, performing in concert with vocalist/ mandolin player Jan Fabricius. For tickets and information, visit www. In Abingdon, Virginia, the venerable BARTER THEATRE has the most ambitious slate of productions in our region, beginning with a world premiere musical, Kentucky Spring, by playwright-inresidence Catherine Bush with music and lyrics by Dax Dupuy. A story of love, longing, and second chances set in beautiful Appalachia, the protagonist, Becky, has worked all her life to get out of the mountains. Then her grandmother Maud decides to sell the family farm, forcing Becky to confront who she is and who she wants to be. This musical fable flashes between the past and the present, revealing “what might have been” and “what still might be.” Performances run from April 23 through May 22. Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan MacMillan and Jonny Donahoe runs from May 20 through August 20 and asks the following questions: Could you name a hundred things that make life wonderful? A thousand? How about a million? When he was seven, a boy started a list of things to live for in an attempt to save his mother. As he grows up, the list takes on a life of its own. From “Ice Cream” (#1 on the list) to “Staying up all night talking” (#9,999), the play shines a hilarious and compassionate light on dark corners of the human condition. That show is followed by 9 to 5, the Dolly Parton musical for which she wrote

Etta May / CoMMA Can-Can Dancers / Tweetsie Blue Ridge Community Theatre

Kentucky Spring / Barter Theatre

The BENTON HALL COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER in North Wilkesboro is home to the dynamic Wilkes Playmakers, an avocational theatre that is the pride of its community. Their next production is The Secret Garden, a musical based on the 1911 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett with script and lyrics by Marsha Norman, and music by Lucy Simon. The story is set in the early years of the 20th century. Mary Lennox, a young English girl born and raised in the British Raj, is orphaned by a cholera outbreak when she is ten years old. She is sent away from India to Yorkshire, England, to live in the manor of a brooding uncle she has never met. There, her personality blossoms among the other residents of the manor and the moor as they bring new life to a long-neglected garden. The shows run May 13 – 15 and 20 – 22. The Laramie Project will be performed on their Black Box Series from June 3 – 5 and 10 – 12. Written by Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project, this docudrama follows the 1998 Matthew Shepard hate crime wherein a 21 year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside

Laramie. It is a breathtaking collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable. Ticket information for both productions is available at The phone number is 336-838-PLAY (7529). In conjunction with BOONE 150, Celebrating Boone’s Sesquicentennial, the BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY THEATRE is producing an original work written and directed by local legend Trimella Chaney and performed by local actors. Titled Happy Birthday Boone: An Entertaining Tribute to Our Hometown, performances are scheduled for June 24 and 25 at the Appalachian Theatre. For more info www. and for tickets, go to The CITY OF MORGANTON MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM (CoMMA) will soon be announcing their 2022-23 season, but have one fun event remaining this spring. On April 30, Etta May and the Southern Friend Chicks – Cage Free Comedy Tour takes the stage to perform her unique brand of clean-comedy, as seen on Oprah, Showtime, Comic Strip Live, MTV, and as a guest commentator on “CBS Sunday Morning.” Winner of the prestigious American Comedy Awards “Comic of the Year,” Etta May headlines the successful all-female, blue-collar comedy tour, “with better hair and a bigger attitude!” Additional information and tickets are available at or at 800-939-SHOW (7469).

theatre in Yancey County is producing Working: A Musical, based on Studs Terkel’s best-selling book of interviews with American workers. The show paints a vivid portrait of the workers that the world so often takes for granted: the schoolteacher, the phone operator, the waitress, the millworker, the mason, and the housewife, just to name a few. Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, the score includes songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers, Susan Birkenhead, and NC legend James Taylor. Performances run June 4 through 18 with ticket information available at Celebrating its 65th season, TWEETSIE RAILROAD is North Carolina’s first theme park, opening on the Fourth of July in 1957. Known primarily as a Wild West adventure park with amusement rides and a petting zoo, Tweetsie features stunning three-mile long train rides aboard a historic, coal-fired, narrow gauge steam locomotive. From a performing arts perspective, Tweetsie is a major employer of professional talent and produces 21 performances of a half-dozen live entertainment and stage shows each day. A sampling of offerings includes the Can-Can Dancers, Country Clogging Jamboree, Hopper and Porter’s Musical Celebration, The Magic Show and the ever-popular Sunset Show. Just as the cowboys ride off into the sunset at the end of the movie, Tweetsie’s entertainers mosey into the Palace for one last show at the end of the day, featuring performers from every show at Tweetsie Railroad together on one stage. The 2022 season runs from April 9 to October 30 with varying dates and schedules; for more information, visit or call 800-526-5740.


both music and lyrics, with a book by Patricia Resnick. From June 3 through August 21, you’ll hear co-workers Violet, Judy and Doralee sing “What a way to make a living!” At first they think they have nothing in common, but when the Boss makes life unbearable, these three ladies join forces to live out their wildest fantasy—and change the world. For more information, and to take a virtual tour of the historic “State Theatre of Virginia,” visit Barter’s website at

! e r t a e h t ! e r t heat There is a special place in my heart for PARKWAY PLAYHOUSE in Burnsville, NC, where I spent an entire season in my formative years performing summer stock productions alongside the likes of Dixie Carter and Donald May. The quaint



Renee Elise Goldsberry Appalachian Summer Festival

© 2010

“Summertime… and the Livin’ is Easy”


A Sneak Preview of Hot Performances So many of our seasonal residents arrive in the High Country in the late spring and early summer, often after the events we profile in our cultural calendar have already taken place. In addition, many of our readers like to plan far in advance so that they can get the best seats the minute they go on sale, and before they sell out… and believe me, they will. To that end, here is a “sneak preview” of coming attractions that we will feature in greater detail is our summer issue, along with websites to which you may turn for additional information. Be sure to tell them that CML sent you, and enjoy! AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL (AASF) has by far the most programmatically diverse line-up you’ll find in this neck of the woods, and while their 38th season won’t be announced until late April, here is a just sampling of the dozens of events you will see on their stages, and doesn’t include their film series, chamber and classical music concerts, or their visual arts programming. Note that tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 2 either online at www., in person at their box office, or via phone by calling 828-262-4046. The AASF Popular Series will feature Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives at 7:30 p.m. on July 3 at State Farm Road at The Greenway. This outdoor concert will include food trucks, beverage tents, and vendor booths, plus, in collaboration with


the Town of Boone, family activities earlier in the afternoon leading up to the concert and post-show fireworks. On July 16, Tony Award-winning singer, dancer, and actress Renée Elise Goldsberry, star of Hamilton the musical and movie (in the role of Angelica Schyler), will grace the Schaeffer Center stage. She is also well known for her Broadway appearances in The Color Purple, The Lion King, and RENT, in addition to her multiple Emmy-winning performances on the soap opera One Life to Live. Renée currently appears on Tina Fey’s Peacock network hit musical comedy, Girls5eva. Curtain is at 8 p.m. Postmodern Jukebox returns to AASF at 8 p.m. on July 23 with their time-twisting musical collective known for putting “pop music in a time machine”; they’re set to make the ‘20s roar again with The Grand Reopening Tour, making its way across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Europe, Australia and New Zealand, performing some of modern music’s biggest hits in the classic styles of bygone eras. They are followed at 8 p.m. on July 27 by Boz Scaggs: Out of the Blues Tour 2022, appropriately titled from his new album, since the blues is what first sparked his five-decade musical career, including the albums Silk Degrees, Down Two the Left, Middle Man, But Beautiful, Speak Low, Memphis and A Fool to Care, among others.

For dance enthusiasts there is MOMIX: Alice in Wonderland at 7 p.m. on July 30 with their internationally acclaimed dancer-illusionists as they conjure the magical world of the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts in this stunning reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s novel. Broadway's Next Hit Musical will perform at 8 p.m. on July 7. A cross between Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the Tony Awards, the show is different every night and, “it’s all improvised and it’s all funny… the only unscripted theatrical awards show.” BARTER THEATRE continues their repertory programming with five unique summer productions on two different stages in Abingdon, VA. Always a Bridesmaid by the prolific comedy trio of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jane Wooton opens June 17, with the air guitar competition in Airness by Chelsea Marcantel taking center stage on June 30. In addition, Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express opens September 3, followed by a hilarious game of one-upmanship in an assisted living facility in the new play Ripcord by David Lindsay-Abaire, beginning September 16 and, finally, a 1905 heavyweight championship fight set in the segregated world of boxing in The Royale, by Marco Ramirez, beginning September 29. Info at

Marty and The Band Appalachian Summer Festival

Shrek the Musical / Beanstalk

By Keith Martin

LEES-McRAE SUMMER THEATRE is producing two musicals this season on their picturesque campus in Banner Elk. The Drowsy Chaperone is a five-time Tony Award winning “perfect Broadway musical” (according to the New York Times). It is set in the roaring 1920s and features music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Don McKellar with a clever book by Bob Martin and Greg Morrison. Performances run from June 26 through July 3. Matilda, The Musical is based on Roald Dahl’s award-winning book about a bright young girl who decides to right the wrongs in her world through wit and cleverness. With music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and book by Dennis Kelly, the show is directed by Dr. Janet Barton Speer, whose name alone will increase ticket sales, dozens of adorable school children

notwithstanding. Performances run July 21 through 27. For tickets or information, visit info at or 828-8988709. PARKWAY PLAYHOUSE in Burnsville continues their summer season with The Savannah Sipping Society by the aforementioned Jones, Hope, and Wooten trio about four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines drawn together by fate and an impromptu happy hour; performances run from July 2 – 16. Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood follows from July 30 – August 13 with all the immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, all telling the enduring story about a hero of the people who takes on the ruthless powers that be. In the Middle of Nowhere by Brent Murphy tells the story of a retired art professor in the mountains of western North Carolina and the relationship she forms with a young man recently been released from prison. The show runs from August 27 through September 10 with info available at www.parkwayplayhouse. com. HORN IN THE WEST, the nation’s third oldest outdoor drama, is celebrating their 70th Anniversary season in 2022. This Revolutionary War drama brings to life the

famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and the hardy mountain settlers of this region in their struggle to preserve their freedom during the turbulent years before and during the war for independence. Their parent organization, the Southern Appalachian Historical Association (SAHA) will celebrate throughout the season with special performances, displays, and exhibits at the nearby Hickory Ridge History Museum. Info at 828264-2120 or at Performances run July 1 through August 13 in Boone, NC.

t heatre!




BEANSTALK COMMUNITY THEATRE cordially invites audiences to “let their freak flags fly” as they celebrate their 10th Anniversary and make their highly-anticipated Appalachian Theatre debut from July 21 through 23 with Shrek: The Musical. With music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, and a legion of ogre-loving fans, this musical is based on the widely-popular 2001 DreamWorks Animation film. For more info, visit www. and for tickets, go to

Delfeayo Marsalis, New York Voices, & Stephen Gordon to Headline Inaugural High Country Jazz Festival By Keith Martin

Delfeayo Marsalis


ur cultural calendar in this issue (see page 32) teases the inaugural High Country Jazz Festival but, as we were going to print, the headliners were announced for this precedentsetting partnership between the Appalachian Theatre, Boone Sunrise Rotary and the Jazz Studies Program at Appalachian State University. With nearly a dozen free and ticketed events

at ten different locations in Boone and Blowing Rock, the festival runs from June 8 through 12, 2022. Headliner performances by Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, and the New York Voices take place in the newly-renovated App Theatre with the Stephen Gordon Trio performing outdoors under a tent at the Chetola Resort. Additional festival affiliated events will be hosted by the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, Casa Rustica, High Country Jazz Society, Lost Province, Ransom Pub, and the Town of Boone. The events include outdoor concerts, late night jams, jazz lunches, and a popular jazz-themed film. Todd Wright, known throughout the area as “the Ambassador for Jazz in western North Carolina,” said that, “We have the perfect place here in the High Country, a perfect time of year with perfect weather, and a perfect anchor venue in the Appalachian Theatre. The community excitement and participation is exhilarating.” For links to purchase seats for the ticketed events, and a complete performance schedule for the entire festival, please visit


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John D. Davis, III Owner/Broker

Let us put a Spring in your step!


828.898.9756 (o) • 828.260.1550 (c) PO Box 336, 161 Silver Springs Dr. Banner Elk NC 28604


Be immersed in the american revolution! don’t miss the incredible stage show guaranteed to entertain the entire family. This summer in Kings Mountain, NC CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —



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* Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate All offerrights valid for qualifyingAll purchases made March 12 – June from participating in the Rebate willowners. be issued16CSMAGNAC1 in the form of a Virtual Reward Card and emailed within 6 weeks ©2020 Hunter Douglas. reserved. trademarks used herein are20,the2022 property of Hunterdealers Douglas or U.S. theironly. respective of rebate claim approval. Subject to applicable law, a $3.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 12 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. See complete terms distributed with Virtual Reward Card. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. ©2022 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners.

The Cottage Consignment Warehouse (828) 264-1395

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Mountain Warriors of the Revolution By Robert Inman


f you could name one region of America that—more than any other—decided the fate of the American Revolution, you might well pick the Carolina mountains. The hardy pioneers who tamed and settled this area fought and won a crucial battle on October 7, 1780, that turned the tide of the Revolution and led directly to the British surrender at Yorktown a year later. The story of these pioneer Patriots is told in dramatic fashion in the stage play “Liberty Mountain,” on tap for its seventh season this summer in Kings Mountain, NC, after a two-year hiatus because of coronavirus concerns. The Battle of Kings Mountain was fought near the border between the two Carolinas, and it was the Patriot militia force from both states that defeated a larger Loyalist regiment. In 1780, the Revolution had dragged on for five wearying years, and was at a stalemate. There had been wins and losses on both sides in the New England colonies—Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Lexington, Concord, Trenton, Monmouth. But victory eluded the combatants. The British held New York, but little else. George Washington’s Continentals were unable to force a decisive battle.

America’s southern colonies had mostly escaped the worst ravages of the war. Carolinians had been occupied by conflict with Indian tribes, but otherwise were mostly peaceful and increasingly prosperous. The British, desperate to bring an end to the struggle, devised a new strategy: invade South Carolina, capture Charleston, and drive north. Once South Carolina was subdued, continue into North Carolina, then to Virginia. Trap George Washington’s army between the British forces moving north and those coming out of New York in a decisive battle that would end the revolution. It almost worked, and would have except for Kings Mountain. “Liberty Mountain” is told in the lives of the frontier families who settled the Carolinas in the early days of American history. They were predominantly ScotsIrish Presbyterians, immigrants from Northern Ireland who came with a chip on their shoulders, victims of hardship and poverty they blamed on British landowners. Thousands moved to America, many of them to the Carolinas, in hopes of building new lives, raising families, and worshiping as they pleased.

Many held strong allegiances to King and Crown, many supported the drive for an independent America. But most were content to just be left alone. It was not to be. By May, 1780, it appeared the British southern strategy was working. Charleston had fallen and three thousand Continental troops had surrendered. Another huge defeat followed at Camden, SC, and by now, there was no such thing as a Continental Army in the south. The British commander, Lord Cornwallis, reported to London that South Carolina was firmly in his hands, that Patriot resistance was crushed, that Loyalists were flocking to the King’s cause. By October, it had all turned to dust. British brutality and arrogance made Cornwallis and his allies their own worst enemies. Loyalist bands, little more than outlaws, murdered Patriots and looted and burned their homes and farms. A British legion massacred Patriot militiamen trying to surrender after a battle in the Waxhaws region of North Carolina. Rather than being crushed and subdued, the Backcountry Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


Entertaining Music Series

2022 Season Hayes Auditorium, Broyhill Theatre All performances begin at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

LIBERTY MOUNTAIN: continued from previous page regions of both Carolinas were enraged and up in arms, staging successful guerilla raids and defeating British and Loyalist units in a series of pitched battles. British Major Patrick Ferguson, on orders from Cornwallis, recruited and trained a force of Loyalist militia in upstate South Carolina, then marched them north. Cornwallis captured Charlotte, and prepared to move further north with Ferguson in control of his left flank. Ferguson perceived his main threat to be from the area known as the Overmountain Territory, across the Appalachians in what is present-day western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee—a land settled by fierce and fiercely-independent frontier families, veteran Indian fighters. Ferguson sent them a message: lay down your arms and swear allegiance to the King, or I will cross the mountains, hang your leaders, and lay waste to your homes. It was Ferguson’s fatal mistake. A thousand of the frontiersmen quickly organized and set out on a grueling journey across the mountains in search of Ferguson. They were joined by militia units from both Carolinas, and on that day in October, they found Ferguson and his force camped atop Kings Mountain, a low ridge along the border of the two Carolinas. Achieving complete surprise, they surrounded the mountain and attacked uphill, fighting Indian-style, using rocks and trees for cover. Within an hour, it was over. Ferguson was dead and his entire force destroyed—hundreds killed and wounded, the rest taken captive. The Patriots lost 28 men, with 58 wounded. “Liberty Mountain” tells the story through the lives of the men, women and children who lived through these harrowing times. A cast of more than thirty portray characters on both sides of the conflict and explore their tragedies and triumphs. It includes fastpaced combat scenes and dramatic sight and sound in an immersive theatre experience that appeals to audiences of all ages. “Liberty Mountain” will present seventeen performances on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 24 through July 17, with a special performance on Monday, July 4. Tickets—including group discounts—are available through the Liberty Mountain website, or by calling the Kings Mountain Little Theatre at 704-730-9408.

40 — Spring 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Jenene Caramielo June 13

Sherma Andrews June 20


June 27

Symphony of the Mountains July 4

Mirror of Mathis July 11

Folk Legacy Trio July 18

Timeless Broadway with Daniel Narducci July 25

Jukebox Saturday Night August 1

For season ticket information, call 828.898.8748 or email Post Office Box 649 | Banner Elk, NC 28604





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Appalachian Theatre Successfully tops $10M Capital Campaign Goal:

Boone Landmark Turns Its Focus to Stabilization and Sustainability T

hey said it couldn’t be done. Not in this market. Not at this point in time. Perhaps never. Previous efforts that proved unsuccessful were mentioned at every turn. The project was too ambitious, too large, too optimistic. Even a highly-respected consultant hired to assess the feasibility of a capital campaign reported that, at most, the fundraising potential to renovate and restore the historic 1938 landmark in Boone to its former luster was only three to perhaps five million dollars. Undeterred, the many dedicated volunteers at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) proceeded with daring to fulfill their dream. Recently, it was announced that their decade long capital campaign had reached its ten million dollar goal. The welcome news was shared at the February 2022 meeting of the board of trustees, with accelerated pre-payment of multi-year pledges and generous new gifts cited as primary reasons why the goal was attained. While a few pledge commitments are still outstanding, and several capital needs still exist to be met, the re-


cord amount of campaign contributions received in the last fiscal quarter of the calendar year, including a major anonymous gift, put the fundraising effort over the top. To hit this benchmark during a worldwide pandemic is, quite simply, remarkable. It demonstrates the extraordinary generosity of High Country residents and visitors who value the performing arts, as illustrated through the meticulous restoration and complete renovation of this venerable historic theatre. John Cooper, founding board chair and head of the capital campaign for over a decade, said that both trustees and the general public should take pride in the fact that the project has been completed and all related costs paid in full. “We promised our stakeholders that our construction bridge loan would be collateralized only with cash in hand, signed pledges, corporate gifts, foundation grants, and reliable, renewable contributions from known sources, both public and private. We are very proud to have fulfilled that promise.” Whitney Jones, President of the Winston-Salem based fundraising counsel firm

By Keith Martin

that bears his name, put this milestone in perspective. “Reaching and surpassing the $10M goal for the Appalachian Theatre is a remarkable achievement in so many ways! The amount raised is a multiple of what seemed possible at the outset. It is one of the largest private sector campaigns ever in the region. The campaign was unique in the way it included so many individuals and community groups in the planning stage.” When pressed further for comment, Jones responded, “It was equally unique in the persistence of the leadership to keep moving forward as building costs rose and as the pandemic set in. It is certainly the most memorable campaign we have been involved in among the many we have managed over four decades. Much credit is due to John Cooper who is the best campaign leader and finest person one could ever hope to have as a community leader.” Civic and business leaders across the High Country were equally effusive in their praise. continued on page 44

Rhynes in Florida

Richard pinning Joan for FORUM president

Joan’s 12 x 12-foot mural of 11,000 pieces

A Fond Farewell from FORUM:

The Rhynes Leave a Lasting Legacy I

f you attended a FORUM at LeesMcRae College performance in the past decade you likely were welcomed by Richard Rhyne singing “Welcome to FORUM!” from the stage at Hayes Theater. It is a heartfelt greeting, as Richard and wife Joan share a passion for the arts and have supported FORUM for 15 years. The Rhynes have been instrumental in establishing and expanding FORUM’s series of successful summer musical performances. After attending their first performance in 2007, they were recruited to join the FORUM Selection Committee and have participated in the recruitment and choosing of performers ever since. Each year the FORUM Selection Committee works with talent agents from around the globe and considers over 50 candidates. The selection committee watches dozens of videos and then narrows the contenders to 16 recommended acts. The FORUM Board of Directors selects the final eight programs with a goal of offering a balance of musical genres, including vocalists, dancers, and instrumentalists. A symphony performance is always the top draw, followed by Oldies and Broadway Hits. In addition to spending time selecting acts for the eight summer performances, Richard served as FORUM President from 2012-2018. During his second term as President, Richard led the way for the establishment of “Centurions,” who pay

$450 each for reserved seating and parking. He also started the “Restaurant Discount Program,” which is a “win-win” for the local restaurants as well as FORUM ticketholders. The FORUM Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from LeesMcRae College and 30 volunteers from throughout the High Country. In addition to maintaining reserves to cover yearly entertainment costs, funding is available to purchase items for Lees-McRae College. Donations have included a Baldwin Grand Piano, upgraded theater chairs, new projectors, a sound system, and lighting for Hayes Auditorium. FORUM has also contributed to the rebuilding of dressing rooms and bathrooms for the entertainers and a new air conditioner for the college dining hall. Joan served as president from 20182021 and had the challenge of restructuring all programming due to the COVID pandemic in 2020. This included cancelling performances, refunding deposits, and creating a venue to ensure the safety of the patrons and performers. Thanks to the support of Lees-McRae College President Lee King, and Joan’s leadership, FORUM had a successful season in 2021. FORUM board members worked tirelessly to ensure guests and entertainers followed all COVID protocols, which included moving to two performances to allow for social distancing and enforcing mask mandates.

By Cynthia Holley

The contributions of the Rhynes to the community extend beyond FORUM. Joan and Richard became members of Banner Elk Presbyterian Church when they began spending summers in the mountains 29 years ago. Richard sang in the men’s choir for 15 years and both were active in Sunday School and other church functions. Joan was a member of the Boone Rotary for several years. Richard is a Trustee for Lees-McRae College and sits on the Executive board. He served on the Beech Mountain Club (BMC) Board for four years and he and Joan have served on various BMC committees. They were involved with tennis, skiing, golf, and bridge programs. Joan helped to form the BMC Tennis Association and served on its Board. Joan has displayed her art in galleries across the country and she offered art lessons for several years in Beech Mountain. She created a beautiful twelve-foot by twelve-foot mosaic mural comprised of 11,000 pieces for the tennis facility in 2005. She invited club members to place a piece of tile on the pattern she designed and over 100 people participated. The project began on June 5 of that year and was completed on Labor Day, truly a “labor of love.” Joan began performing at a young age and studied tap, ballet and ballroom dancing. She performed in numerous plays and continued on page 44



RHYNES: continued from previous page musicals over the years and was a dancer with USO and in the movie “The Great Gatsby” starring Robert Redford. Joan also choreographed, directed and performed in numerous military shows around the globe. Richard grew up on a farm in NC where he plowed fields and drove the school bus for his High School class of 12 students. He was a University of North Carolina cheerleader and sang in the UNC Glee Club, including in their special performance for Queen Elizabeth. The Rhynes met at UNC, married, and travelled the world. Following graduation, Richard joined the Air Force, completed pilot training and was assigned to fly F102s in Germany. During his career as an air force pilot, Richard had 55 parachute jumps and flew F4s in 130 combat missions during the Vietnam War. He attended the Naval War College, worked at the Pentagon and negotiated the Camp David Accord in Israel. As a former Commander of Air Force Units who spent retirement years in the NC mountains, Richard easily became a community leader who “gave back” to the High Country. In recent years, Joan has experienced some eye health issues. For this reason, the couple made the decision to live full time in Tampa, FL; they have sold the beloved home they built on Beech Mountain 29 years ago and leave behind a beautiful legacy. Married for 61 years, Richard and Joan Rhyne continue to work as a team, supporting the arts and their Florida community. Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader! Joan and Richard have attended over 100 FORUM performances and have contributed in countless ways to enhance music and art in our region. As Joan and Richard hang up their “High Country hats,” we sing these words from an Abba song… “Thank you for the music.” Forum at Lees-McRae will celebrate its 46th year this summer. Information on FORUM 2022 summer performances at Hayes Theater and ticket sales are available at, or by contacting Elizabeth Roberts, FORUM Coordinator, at or 828-898-8748.

APPALACHIAN THEATRE: continued from page 42 “This is a model partnership, one about which First Horizon Bank is honored to have played a supporting role,” said Market President Jason Triplett, whose financial institution provided the backing to help the theatre meet its construction obligations, in addition to the bank’s own generous contributions to the campaign. “It doesn’t surprise me that they have paid off the bridge loan years ahead of schedule, given the quality of leadership, the passion of their dedicated volunteers, and a strong commitment from almost every sector of our vibrant community. Bravo!” However, ATHC board treasurer Brady Combs tempered the news with a reminder that the theatre has experienced operating losses during the three years since its reopening in October 2019, primarily due to the ongoing pandemic. “We look forward to ensuring the organization’s continued fiscal responsibility and financial health, which will be accomplished through stabilization plans we didn’t dream could be shouldered for many years.” Executive Director Laura Kratt echoed Combs, and added that the theatre was hit hard by the extended pandemic-related closure, occurring just five months after the much-anticipated reopening. This fact, combined with severe winter weather, caused the postponement or cancellation of several scheduled events. “We’re still here!” said Kratt. “Together, we rebuilt and reopened this landmark theatre. Now that the capital campaign is completed, the real work begins: to make this historic venue sustainable from an operational standpoint.” Trustees applauded the accomplishment, which aligns perfectly with the mission of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, “to revitalize and sustain this historic community touchstone as a quality home for diverse artists and audiences with a special focus on programs that celebrate our distinctive Appalachian heritage and enhance our capacity to serve as an economic catalyst for Boone and the High Country.” Once a gorgeous 999-seat Art Deco movie house, the building closed in 2007 and sat empty and gutted for years. On October 14, 2019, the Appalachian Theatre reopened its doors after a $10 million renovation that brought the distinctive Art Deco details back to this historic theatre and created a new 629-seat, state-of-theart, acoustically pristine venue for live concerts, films, plays, and dance performances. The historic Appalachian Theatre has entertained regional audiences in the heart of downtown Boone, North Carolina, since 1938. For more information about the theatre, or to join their eblast list, get tickets, or purchase memberships, please visit the ATHC website at


A Sense of Style By Trimella Chaney


an you imagine climbing into a NYC taxi carrying $2 million dollars’ worth of jewelry from Harry Winston with no guard to accompany you? That is one of the unforgettable anxiety-producing moments Zoë Hennessey, professional stylist and former Watauga County resident, shared with me in a recent interview. Ms. Hennessey currently resides in Los Angeles and freely admits that she much prefers the sunshine and laid back California lifestyle to her past ten years of living and working in New York City. Ms. Hennessey attended Parson’s School of Design upon her graduation from Watauga High School. Studying in New York, she said, was a shock to her coming from Boone. She eventually found a better fit at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) but returned to New York to work after graduating from SCAD. As she began to assist with magazine and television advertising, she learned that styling was a “real” job she enjoyed. The competition was fierce and Hennessey worked assisting different stylists in all fields. Hennessey credits her mentor, Gemina Aboitiz, and her work with the national campaign for L’Oréal for giving her the boost she needed to launch her successful career as a professional stylist. An equally important event in New York was her work on the television show, TRANSFORM ME, with Laverne Cox. It was during this assignment that she met a talented and handsome director of photography who is now her husband! A Labor of Love “Long days of shopping and transporting clothes is a physically challenging job,”

Zoe Hennessey

admits Ms. Hennessey. “You may have two days to prepare for a shoot so you are shopping from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is no steady paycheck and you may be on the set for a 12-hour day,” she acknowledges. “It’s a fun job!” she laughs. Unable to get the image of her as the lovely, tenacious singing and dancing Rosie from the Watauga High School production of BYE BYE BIRDIE out of my memory, I had to inquire if she had any theatre experiences to share for this article. “Not a lot,” she says. “Mostly some oncamera work for Microsoft and T-Mobile.” She did take a class in improvisation while in Los Angeles; serendipitously, a former Watauga High School Playmaker, David Harris, was her instructor. I vividly recall an assignment Zoë had in her Drama III class on costuming. She was to design and build the Queen of Hearts costume for our children’s production of ALICE IN WONDERLAND that year. Her artistic product was amazing for a high school student. Not only did she ace her assignment, she agreed to help some other struggling classmates with their assignments. That was the only time that a local business in Boone called to see if they could rent the costumes from our show for Halloween that year! Her talent and creativity were readily apparent at that early stage of her life. When asked to share some of the challenges of being a celebrity stylist, she offered some details of her work that most people would never realize. “When you dress people, you HAVE to see them naked.” One particular hard-to-forget memory was when she worked with an actor who was in a full latex body suit for hours

of filming. “The sweat had nowhere to go! We were dealing with pools of sweat!” Other than her practical fear of tripping over lighting instruments on a set, her scariest moment was when she assisted on a Jessica Simpson shoot and she dropped a $500,000 ring. “That was so scary!” Thankfully, she said, the ring was found in time. Boone Revisited This talented woman who creates outfits, styles celebrities, edits closets, and helps clients find a style that is beautiful and comfortable for them still enjoys returning to Boone, NC, to see family. When asked what she misses about living here, she quickly responded, “The quiet, the trees. It feels clean.” One day she wants to return and plans to enjoy painting and gardening. For now, Ms. Hennessey finds creative balance in her work. She enjoys personal styling because it can change a life and cause a person to gain confidence. Her commercial work is both a creative and professional challenge. At some point in the future this gifted artist would like to create her own brand. So it is entirely possible that you will be defining your own style by purchasing and wearing a piece of clothing designed by Zoë Hennessey. Ms. Trimella Chaney is a veteran theatre arts teacher and founder of the Theatre Arts Department at Watauga High School. She currently teaches at Appalachian State University in the Department of Theatre and Dance, and is a local community theatre director.








Downtown West Jefferson, NC • 336.846.3827


June 26–July 3

July 21–27 Nathan Favors

Hayes Auditorium, Broyhill Theatre Banner Elk, NC

828.898.8709 |




mic ag a lle ryn c mon-sat 1 0-5 and sun 1 2-5


Inaugural Boonerang Music & Arts Festival Comes to Boone By Mark Freed


ave you ever Booneranged? Those who have spent time in Boone, left, only to return, can claim Boonerang status. This endearing term has been used in the High Country for decades. When an App State graduate returns to Boone later in life for her profession, she has Booneranged. When regular High Country visitors return each summer, they are Booneranging. Few who have spent time in Boone can resist the urge to Boonerang, and late spring in the High Country can be the best time of the year. With the Boonerang theme and returning to the Carolina mountains in mind, the Town of Boone and Watauga County Arts Council present the inaugural Boonerang Music & Arts Festival on June 18, 2022, in downtown Boone. The event will include a number of bands with Boone roots and connections, vendor booths full of artists from the High Country, locally-made food and beverages, and a host of activities for people of all ages. Music will be a primary focal point for the festival, and Boonerang will feature three primary stages for the acts, including a street stage on Depot Street, a stage at the Jones House Cultural Center, and performances at the historic Appalachian Theatre on King Street. Acts feature a wide array of styles including progressive bluegrass stalwarts Acoustic Syndicate, hard-driving pickers Town Mountain, rock-n-roll queen Melissa Reaves, sterling singer-songwriter Alexa Rose, Appalachian reggae band Chalwa, expert pickers Songs from the Road Band, banjo-led Tray Wellington Band, blues rockers The King Bees,

rhythm and blues with Soul Benefactor, spirited gospel with the Junaluska Gospel Choir, and Boone’s indie rockers Naked Gods. A kick-off concert will take place at the Jones House on Friday night featuring Urban Soil Duo, WiseApple, and Lazybirds. “Some of the members in these bands grew up in Boone, like Zach Smith of Town Mountain,” says the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Coordinator, Brandon Holder. “Others spent formative years in Boone as young musicians, and a bunch of the bands have members who went to school at App State.” Several of the bands are Boone-based, and WiseApple is making a special reunion appearance for the festival kick-off party on Friday. In addition to the musical acts, the festival will feature a handmade arts market, sponsored by the Watauga County Arts Council. The market will feature local and regional artists, including a special kidsfocused marketplace. Kids and families will also want to check out the lawn of the Watauga Public Library, where a Kids Zone will feature inflatables from Jump Boone, fun with Twist the Balloon Guy, face painting, and lawn games. Many of the downtown Boone brickand-mortar businesses will be offering specials and bringing goodies and specials out onto the streets. The Rock Dimensions climbing wall in the Footsloggers courtyard will be active and will include some special juggling demonstrations. The Town of Boone’s sustainability efforts will be on display at the free car-charging stations behind Melanie’s Food Fantasy.

While the festival is in its first year of operation, the event planning group brings a lot of experience to the table and a number of local organizations and agencies. “We have had the good fortune of working with some of the Floydfest organizers,” Holder says. “And for anyone who has been to that festival, you know it is a topnotch event.” The main festival will operate from noon until 8 p.m., but there will be lots more fun for those seeking nightlife. Most of the local bars and restaurants will feature specials and live music, and there will be an official Boonerang silent disco for those ready for more dancing. Parking will be available around the festival, on Queen Street and on Appalachian State University’s campus. Depot Street will be closed from Rivers St. to King St., including the intersection at Howard Street. The Jones House Cultural Center will host a stage and food truck court in the back parking lot. Some nightlife will require modest cover charges, but all of the daytime concerts and official Boonerang events are free for all. The inaugural Boonerang Music & Arts Festival is presented by the Town of Boone and Watauga County Arts Council, with support from Explore Boone, the Downtown Boone Development Association, the Watauga County Economic Development Commission, and Double Wood Farm. For more information on the festival, please visit www. or call 828-268-6280. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —

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Singing on the Mountain Bids Farewell to Grandfather Mountain By Tom McAuliffe

It began in 1924 when Linville’s Joseph Larkin Hartley, Sr., first called the faithful to MacRae Meadows on the fourth Sunday of June. Gospel music, prayer, and fellowship marked Singing on the Mountain on the revered grounds of Grandfather. On Sunday, June 26, 2022, the ‘altar call’ to the rocky crags of the iconic mountain mark the end of the annual tradition after 96 years. Speaking on behalf of the event’s directors, Kenny Hartley, grandson of the founding father of Singing on the Mountain, announced what he called a difficult decision. “This final event will be a simple celebration of Grandaddy and his legacy.” The following account first appeared in Carolina Mountain Life Magazine in the spring of 2018, a year after the death of Reverend Billy Graham, whose 1962 appearance on the mountain epitomized the event’s impact on the High Country. Billy Graham passed away in February 2017 at the age of 99. Singing on the Mountain will end its earthly run after 96 years. The final altar call begins at 10 a.m. on June 26 at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain.

Singing on the Mountain…”Nearer, My God, to Thee” It was an old-time revival and picnic—a tent meeting held beneath a Blue Ridge Sky. Author Heidi Coryell Williams described the event as a place ‘where spirit-led people from North Carolina and well beyond have come to be ‘Nearer, My God, to Thee’—with plenty of sweet tea.” Legend recalls when Little Betty Johnson of the Johnson Family Singers led the crowd in a stirring sing-along that could be heard over a mile away on Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge. “What a glorious place to praise the Lord,” Grand Ole Opry legend and frequent pilgrim Roy Acuff would say. “It is like being lifted right up there with your prayers.” By the 1950s, crowds in excess of 25,000 were common for the one-day gospel singing on Grandfather. Storied performers joined Acuff in the likes of Johnny Cash and June and Maybelle Carter, Arthur Smith and the Crackerjacks, and Oral Roberts; even Bob Hope spoke to the multitudes gathered on Grandfather Mountain. But perhaps it was in 1962 at the 38th Edition of Singing on the Mountain that the event took its rightful place in mountain lore. That year the Reverend Billy Graham struck a mighty chord in the faithful who made their annual pilgrimage to Singing on the Mountain. A crowd estimated between one and two hundred thousand packed all roads leading to Grandfather to hear the world’s most charismatic and powerful Christian evangelist. Ominous thunder heads formed over the mountain that morning as folks in their Sunday best clamored over the meadow and filled the rocky grottos, roads and pathways to witness Rev. Graham. No one there will forget how the clouds parted as Rev. Graham stepped up to the microphone and the sun shone brightly, a truth recorded in 90-year-old Joe Lee Hartley’s diary. Rev. Graham spoke: “Many people here today have hungry hearts, you have problems that need solving and you have sins that need forgiving. You have burdens that need lifting. You have a need in your life and you’ve come up on the side of this great and historic mountain hoping that somehow today you might find help in your life and find the beginning of a new life. Well, I tell you that before you leave Grandfather Mountain this day your life can be changed. You can be a new person and start a new dimension of living in an entirely new direction.” It was one of the largest mass of people ever assembled to hear the evangelist speak. “This must be among one of the largest crowds ever to gather in Western North Carolina,” he intoned. “People are in the bushes, in the trees, in the shadows of campfires in what must be the most picturesque setting I’ve ever seen. Is there a more beautiful spot in all the world than Western North Carolina?” So large was the crowd, Rev. Graham acknowledged early that a traditional ‘altar call’ would be impossible given the mass of humanity assembled that day. Instead, he called for a show of hands from those accepting their Savior that day. Rev. Graham invoked the words of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to punctuate his stirring mountaintop sermon. “Mountains are great Apostles of nature, whose sermons are avalanches and whose voice is one crying in the wilderness.” CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —



The Hills Are Alive with Music JONES HOUSE



Regional Events and Venues that Feature Live Music: Saloon Studios Live, Blowing Rock Concerts in the Park, Banner Elk Concerts at Tate Evans Park, Merle Fest, Back Street Park Concert Series, Music in the Valle at Valle Crucis Park, Coolest Corner Ashe Bash in Jefferson, NC, Orchard at Altapass,


In addition to the live music opportunities mentioned throughout this issue of CML, you can enjoy countless performances at venues all over the CML region. Here, we provide a list of websites that you can explore to help you plan your next music-filled outing this spring. Enjoy!

Sugar Mountain Summer Concerts/Grillin’ and Chillin’,

Event Calendars to Consult:

Jones House Cultural and Community Center in Boone,

High Country Host

Music on the Lawn at The Inn at Ragged Garden, Banner Elk Winery, Beech Mountain, Live Music at 5506’, Beech Mountain Resort 2022 Summer Concert Series, Good regional event calendar covering Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Blowing Rock, Boone, Sparta, Sugar Mountain, West Jefferson, and Wilkesboro.

Blue Ridge Music Trails

Lost Province Brewery in Boone, Good calendar for music events across western North Carolina, with a focus on Americana styles like bluegrass, old-time, blues, and more.

Watauga Lake Winery, Johnson County, TN,

Explore Boone

Grandfather Vineyard, Linville Falls Winery,

Woodlands Barbeque, Chef’s Table, Stonewalls Restaurant, Banner Elk Café, Lodge and Tavern,

music! Bayou Smokehouse, Crossnore Jam, Crossnore Drive, Crossnore 828-733-0360 Green Park Inn,

Highlanders Grill, Pedalin’ Pig BBQ,

Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria,

Beech Alpen Restaurant Concerts, Casa Rustica,

Tanger Outlets,

50 — Spring 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Brings you the most updated list of entertainment and events, from area festivals to workshops to sporting events and nightlife. Check their calendar for all the things to do in Boone and surrounding areas during winter, spring, summer, and fall.

Chambers of Commerce:

Ashe, Avery, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Boone, Wilkes, and Morganton Visit for direct links to our local Chambers of Commerce and their event calendars. For more information on live music in our region, check out Regional Happenings and Tidbits in this issue of CML, and sign up for our e-newsletters at


Blue Ridge Parkway News A Summer of Outdoor Shows at the Blue Ridge Music Center By Rita Larkin

Summer Concert Series Schedule & Profiles • May 28: Tuba Skinny • June 4: Symphony Unbound with Dori Freeman accompanied by Winston-Salem Symphony String Quintet • June 18: Kruger Brothers accompanied by Kontras Quartet • June 25: Zoe & Cloyd + The Burnett Sisters Band with Colin Ray • July 2: Old Time Dance Party with Five Mile Mountain Road + Earl White Stringband • July 9: Mike Mitchell Band + None of the Above • July 16: Bill and the Belles + ShadowGrass • July 23: Rissi Palmer + Joe Troop & Friends • July 30: Amanda Cook Band + Unspoken Tradition • August 6: An Evening with the Steep Canyon Rangers • August 20: The Slocan Ramblers + Nobody's Business • August 27: The Steel Wheels + Chatham County Line • September 3: Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway + Wayne Henderson & Herb Key Admission gates open at 5:45 p.m. Ticket prices range from $20 to $40. Tickets, season passes (full, half, and Pick 3), and memberships can be purchased at








Music lovers are invited to come enjoy old-time, bluegrass, country, blues, and more performed by a stellar lineup of artists during the Blue Ridge Music Center’s summer concert series starting in May. The National Park Service venue is celebrating 20 years of concerts at its outdoor amphitheater at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, Va. The performances start at 7 p.m., Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. This year’s performers include North Carolina-based acts such as the Steep Canyon Rangers, Kruger Brothers (accompanied by Kontras Quartet), and Chatham County Line, and Virginia-based acts The Steel Wheels, Dori Freeman (accompanied by a WinstonSalem Symphony String Quintet), and Bill and the Belles. The roster is strong on bluegrass and old-time music, featuring traditional acts as well as artists who perform in a more contemporary vein. Representing the music of the Blue Ridge Mountains are Unspoken Tradition, Five Mile Mountain Road, Nobody’s Business, None of the Above, The Mike Mitchell Band, Zoe & Cloyd, and ShadowGrass. The shows also feature performers who represent diversity and inclusion in the American roots music community, including Rissi Palmer (Color Me Country Radio), Joe Troop & Friends, Earl White Stringband, and several female-fronted bands such as Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, The Amanda Cook Band, The Burnett Sisters Band, and Dori Freeman. Be sure to arrive early to explore the Roots of American Music Museum, gift shop, and two on-site hiking trails, the 1.35-mile High Meadow Trail and 2.24-mile Fisher Peak Loop Trail. The High Meadow Trail offers Kids in Parks activities for the youngest explorers in your group.

EAT, DRINK, BE SOCIAL... Lunch • Dinner • Full Bar Tues-Sat, 11am-9pm METAL ART IN BLOWING ROCK



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Home of the Virginia Creeper Trail and the Barter Theatre, Abingdon, VA offers outdoor recreation, arts and culture, history, and an exclusive culinary experience. Stroll down Main Street, browse our unique shops, and visit local artisans right in their studios. Named USA Today 10Best Small Town Food Scene 2019 and 2020. Explore the charm and make memories that will last a lifetime. | 800.435.3440


128 Pecan Street Abingdon, Virginia (276)698-3159

Artist Profile:

Kué King

By LouAnn Morehouse with photos by author


he threads of a life weave a story for each of us. Sometimes it’s easy to discern the pattern, but more often the design is difficult to see from up close. It requires a sharp eye, a visual sense so acute that it takes precedence over everything else. An artist’s eye. Kué King was just a kid when he figured out what he wanted to be. The youngest of six children, Kué (pronounced coo ay) was only six years old when he and his family emigrated from their native Philippines to the States. It was a jarring experience. Kué calls it “a jilting transition.” As a toddler, his first words were Tagalog, the mellifluous blending of Spanish and Indigenous Philippine that is the predominant language of the islands. Suddenly a citizen of Jacksonville, Florida, the young boy was immersed in a new culture as well as a new language. Perhaps his youth gave Kué an edge. Adapting to this new environment opened up Kué’s awareness of his desire to express himself. He knew he “thought differently” from his brothers and sisters, and was “resolved to find a means of expression that was true to his vision.” Art, he quickly learned, was “a universal means of communicating,” a language that everyone understood. When Kué was twelve, he bought a single lens reflex camera and learned how to develop his own film. He says, “Photography teaches you how to look at things in a different way. It changed my eye.” And it decided his course in life as an artist.

As it happened, Kué’s new hometown had an excellent public school for the arts. This timely exposure to the marvelous range and depth of the school’s applied, practical, and fine arts programs offered many options for someone as focused as Kué. By age thirteen, he had presented his first collection. Ultimately, Kué dedicated his talents to metal weaving, which he describes as “a beautiful medium that is underrepresented in fine galleries and museums.” As the young artist enhanced his skills, he found his most satisfying materials to be stranded metals of bronze, brass, or stainless steel. True to his artistic calling, Kué has been a seeker of influence and expertise from other artists. He calls himself “very fortunate” to have had mentors who guided and encouraged his efforts. He’s had a peripatetic life, working and learning in Hawaii, San Francisco, Ecuador and elsewhere. In San Francisco, he says he “became a professional.” There, he studied with Adriana Hoyos and saw Ruth Asawa’s acclaimed wire sculptures, and felt “validated” by his own efforts as a wiresmith. A series of friendly encounters with designers while in South America led Kué to start showing his collection of wire sculpture at fine art festivals. It proved to be key to expanding appreciation of his work. The skill he has for meeting people translated into patrons who love his art. Even in a medium such as wire, Kué’s sculpture has an organic shape. He says that Nature’s woven forms have always

been a source of inspiration, and views his extensive traveling as “seeking out new environments.” Kué makes tree sculptures of intricately twisted wire that evoke ancient Bonsai. His wall pieces take on the calming, centering aspect of arching branches or of twisted roots. Like nature, but these pieces gleam from the fine wire that has been meticulously woven and shaped by hand. Kué and his longtime art consultant, partner, and “the guy who drives the truck,” Corbett Griffith, have enjoyed meeting people and selling at arts festivals, such as Coconut Grove in Miami, and Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park, for more than a decade now. He’s exhibited at Art Basel in Switzerland and is represented in London at Plateaux Gallery. The fine arts festival circuit has changed in recent years, and Kué has found a different rhythm for his art career. There is still traveling to exhibit at favorite festivals several times a year, but now Kué and Corbett have a home base. Just down Highway 321 from Blowing Rock is Kué King’s latest stopping place, a house he calls “The Right House” for its mid-mod proportions (a la Frank Lloyd Wright) and because it is the “right” spot for this artist to come to roost. It’s a long, low brick house snugged into a north-facing slope, with a view through trees of the lowering mountains and the kind of steady light an artist prefers. Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —



Book Nook CML writer and ‘Book Nook’ reviewer Edwin Ansel atop the old Linville Falls jail In the spring installment of Book Nook, we review a recently published book by local historian, storyteller and writer Tense Banks. With the book as your guide, you’ll enjoy exploring one of our area’s lesser known treasures, the village of Linville Falls. This small community is a short distance from the famous waterfall, Linville Falls, located in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. The Story of Linville Falls: A Village, a People, a Wilderness | Tense Franklin Banks, Author —Reviewed by Edwin Ansel Ever jammed your hand into the pocket of an old rain coat and come out with a twenty? That’ll make your whole day. Likewise, crack open The Story of Linville Falls, by Tense Franklin Banks, and have a little joy. You can start with the table of contents, showing twenty-four chapters with descriptive headings. What looks good? Stories about hunting? Famous floods? How the Gorge became a park for all of us to enjoy? Pick your favorite topic and dive right in. The stories are illustrated with hundreds of photographs, maps, and documents. Something will catch your eye. Or just open to any page and start reading. Let’s give it a try. Page 179. Here’s Lily Strickland, a musician and composer; she published almost 400 compositions, including Blue Ridge Idylls, a suite for piano inspired by people and places she loved in these mountains. Be nice to hear some of that, wouldn’t it? A quick YouTube search and you’ll find that people are still recording her music, and especially these “Idylls.” Suddenly, you’re transported. Let’s try again. Page 244. Whoa. Linville Falls had a tavern back in the day, “Rich and Rat’s.” There was a dance hall. Pool tables. Gambling. Linville Falls was Sin City? Things did get out of hand. The Legislature passed a “Private Law” to empower a Justice of the Peace to keep order. The first Justice was Rom Franklin, who built a jail in his backyard. It’s still there, and let me witness: if ever you woke up in that dungeon on the morning after the night before you’d think twice, at least, before touching another drop of that pop-skull liquor. Being the kind of book you can pick up and have fun with right away, The Story of Linville Falls is a perfect rainy day reader. It has also this virtue: As a richly detailed labor of love, this book can give you an idea of what it’s like to be a native. When you’re born and raised in a place, and your parents were too, and their parents before them, every building, every bend in the road, even special trees, have meaning. When you’re from a place, as you move through it you’re also moving through your own story. And when you take in a personal history like this, the author’s story becomes part or your story, too. Once you’ve spent some time with Lily, and “Rat” Carswell, Linville Falls has meaning. It won’t be anymore just a place where you turn left to get to the Gorge. You’re part of it, and it is part of you. Available at select local venues, including the Avery County Historical Museum, and Banks Creek Barn in Linville Falls; also available online at Spring 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE 54——Spring 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE 54

KUE KING: continued from previous page The artist at work in his studio/living room wraps his fingers with masking tape for protection against the cut metal edges. In front of him lay long, pliable strands in colors of silver and gold, and hung throughout the tall ceilinged room are softly reflective, large and small wire weavings. It takes about five days to make a abstract wire sculpture, created out of Kué’s vision and his deep regard for the natural world. Kué King has made himself quite at home in Western North Carolina. After years of traveling to share his art form, he’s tucking in a bit, taking time to get to know this new favorite corner of the world. He wants to meet collectors that he can invite down to the house. It’s a special pleasure to work one on one with clients and fine-tune the selection and placement of his work. For now, there are the trees and hills, the goodness of having a home base, and the art. Always, the art. To contact the artist for studio visits or a price list: 305-414-3355,

The Big Picture Show

Short Life of Trouble: The Legend of G.B. Grayson ­— A Short Film Big on History and Music By Elizabeth Baird Hardy

most evocative elements of the film is the inclusion of Scott Ballard as G.B. Grayson, quietly walking along roadsides, at historic sites, and even past the real Grayson’s grave. Those sequences, shot around our beautiful mountains, incorporate haunting images of the fiddler walking down winding roads bordered by the glorious wildflowers of late summer and early fall, while the sounds of his music are interspersed with the songs of insects on the last few warm days of the year. Like Grayson, they continue to sing up until the ends of their brief lives. Unsurprisingly, Short Life of Trouble has already been accepted to ten film festivals, including the prestigious Oxford Film Festival, and more accolades will likely be forthcoming. Funded through the generosity of donors, as well as through the Tennessee Arts Commission, the Arts Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation, The Johnson County Center for the Arts, Germain Media, and Appalachian Memory Keepers, this important and beautiful documentary is both an entertaining film and a valuable contribution to Appalachian and music history. The film is a must-see both for those who already know of this pivotal player in music history, as well as those who have never heard his name. To learn more about Short Life of Trouble: The Legend of G.B. Grayson, including dates and venues for screenings, check out the website, and follow Short Life of Trouble on Facebook.




Our region is legendary for its music, from Doc Watson, whose statue graces King Steet in Boone, to music festivals and venues that host a wide array of talented singers and musicians. Many of those musicians owe a great deal to the legacy of a man whose name is unfamiliar to most of the general population, G.B. Grayson. Now, a new documentary from a local filmmaker is helping to bring to light the life of this remarkably influential musician, a life that has been as important as it was short. Short Life of Trouble: The Legend of G.B. Grayson is a project of Appalachian Memory Keepers, a Jefferson, North Carolina, nonprofit devoted to preserving and sharing the rich and unique culture and heritage of Appalachia. The film chronicles the life and impact of G.B. Grayson, who, in the late 1920s, first recorded some of the most important standards in Appalachian music, including “Handsome Molly,” “Short Life of Trouble,” and “’Banks of the Ohio.” “Tom Dooley,” one of the best known of his repertoire, includes a reference to Grayson’s own uncle apprehending the doomed Tom Dula, who was hanged in 1868 for the murder of Laura Foster. The song became a huge hit for the Kingston Trio and helped kick off the folk music revolution of the 1960s, decades after G.B. Grayson’s death. Artists as diverse as Mick Jagger and Ralph Stanley have performed and recorded the songs of G.B. Grayson, songs that continue to be played all over the world by professionals, street buskers, and students. In Short Life of Trouble, Director E. Kelley St. Germain beautifully weaves together the scattered threads of Grayson’s brief life. He uses interviews with musicians, historians, and family members to bring together the elements of Grayson’s bittersweet story, a riveting tale that echoes the tragic ballads Grayson recorded. As author Josh Beckworth notes in the film, there is much mystery surrounding the life of Grayson, from the source of his near-blindness to his musical training. It is not even clear how much of his life was lived in Western North Carolina, and how much in Eastern Tennessee, but there is no doubt of the power his music continues to hold, far beyond our region. Entertainers like Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show and John McCutcheon explain the influence of Grayson’s work on themselves and other musicians, while educators like Stephen Long and Bill Ward trace the importance of Grayson’s legacy, springing from the seminal 1925 Mountain City Fiddlers Convention that took place two years before the better-known Bristol sessions that are often seen as the origin of country music recording. Descendants share family stories and anecdotes, and, throughout the entire film, the poignant music of Grayson’s catalog of songs wends its way through his story: from his own recordings to performances of past and present artists. The documentary is a feast for the eyes as well as for the ears, featuring photographs, archival footage, and stunning arial footage that showcases St. Germain’s expert drone work. One of the



Grandfather Mountain’s Wilson Center for Nature Discovery Opening Early Summer architecture with some new flairs and modern takes on the original design, and it’s going to feel and look like it belongs on Grandfather Mountain, which was very much the intent.” Designers, architects and landscapers went to great lengths to ensure the facility wouldn’t be visible from any other vantage points and that the view-shed would be preserved. “And we’ve tried to make it as energy-efficient and sustainable as possible,” Pope added. The new facility also means Grandfather Mountain will be able to enhance its mile-high slate of programing opportunities for audiences and guests of all ages.

2022 Spring/Summer Events With 2022 well underway, Grandfather Mountain’s calendar of events is in peak condition, including all-new mile-highlights and some perennial favorites.

Spring notes

Grandfather Mountain is widely known for its lofty heights, offering guests a breathtaking vantage point to the natural world. But with the forthcoming opening of the park’s brand new Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, guests’ experience on the mountain will soar above and beyond the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Under construction since fall 2019, the Wilson Center—part of an all new Conservation Campus—will nearly double the size of the park’s current Nature Museum with 10,000 square feet of education space, including state-of-the-art museum exhibits, three classrooms, restoration of the ADA-accessible auditorium, enhanced food service facilities to allow for catering and serving educational groups, and expanded capacity for hosting conferences, seminars, receptions and community events. Outside the center, guests will enjoy new outdoor learning spaces, including an amphitheater with terraced seating and a pavilion, as well as a new botanical garden. The Wilson Center is designed to weave fun with education, offering experiential learning opportunities for guests young and old. New exhibits include a 3-D interactive map of the mountain, showcasing Grandfather’s ecological and geological history like never before; flora and fauna walls, which shine a spotlight on the mountain’s unique biodiversity; a weather and climate section designed to dynamically explain the science behind Grandfather’s extreme weather; and much more. “It’s been a long time in the making,” said Jesse Pope, president and executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the Linville, N.C., nature park. “To see this come to fruition is a dream come true for me, and it’s something that will be a wonderful enhancement to a visit to Grandfather Mountain. “The original design for this building was about bringing the natural world inside,” Pope said, “and allowing the learning and education that happens inside that space to symbolically spill out into the world. From the outside, it’s an extension of the historic


Grandfather Presents, the park’s popular speaker series, is returning with one of the most robust lineups in Grandfather Mountain history. Meanwhile, Grandfather will highlight one of its smallest inhabitants, which has already spurred big interest— Synchronous Fireflies. Photinus carolinus is the only species of firefly in North America whose individuals can synchronize their lighting display, meaning they can flash in unison, and its existence on Grandfather Mountain was just recently discovered in 2019. Dates and additional details for Grandfather Presents and synchronous firefly events are forthcoming and will be announced soon on The park’s current spring and early summer lineup is as follows, and most events are included with admission (unless otherwise noted): The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble May 28-June 4, 2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., and June 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • From May 28 through June 4, daily, short, guided strolls will highlight Grandfather Mountain’s rhododendron species and blooms. The weeklong rambles culminate on June 5, during which the park will host a special speaker and activities throughout the day. Animal Birthday Party Wednesday, June 8, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. • Grandfather Mountain celebrates the birthdays of its resident animals with games, contests, crafts and surprises. The mountain’s habitat staff will prepare a fun-filled afternoon for guests, as well as programs to celebrate the park’s furry and feathered inhabitants.

...notes from the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call 800-468-7325, or visit to plan a trip.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 7-10 • Blaring bagpipes, Scottish athletics, Highland melodies, Celtic cuisine, crafts aplenty and a spectacular highland setting make this colorful celebration of Scottish culture one of the most highly acclaimed games in the country. Additional cost. For more information, visit Grandfather by Night July 15, 22 & 29 from 8-10 p.m., Aug. 5, 12 & 19 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. • Explore Grandfather Mountain after hours with your own personal guides. You’ll discover some of the park’s nighttime wonders, while stopping at its most significant sites. Watch a stunning Grandfather sunset, and experience the mountain as never before! Additional cost.

Grandfather Mountain offers a striking backdrop for the vibrant hues of rhododendron blooms. From May 28 through June 5, guests can enjoy easy, guided strolls through the mountain’s most colorful and scenic spots. Photo by Skip Sickler

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And More • Grandfather Mountain will add more events to its lineup throughout the year, including Adult Field Courses and daily programs. To learn more, visit

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Nature Photography Weekend June 10-12 • Grandfather Mountain’s annual Nature Photography Weekend returns, with presentations from top nature photographers, hands-on breakout sessions, a friendly contest and the rare opportunity to photograph the mountain’s spectacular scenery and native animals before and after regular business hours. Online registration begins April 4 at

On Jun birthd e 8, Grandfa ays of ther a day f all its furry Mountain w ill ce u and ll o specia l treat f games, con feathered re lebrate the s, such sident tests, craft s wit as b the bla ear-friendly s, surprises h a b ck bea rs. Pho irthday cak nd e for to by J udi Sa wyer




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Color Them Gorgeous:

Spring Wildflowers Are Busting Out All Over By Nan K. Chase with photos by Tamara Randolph Bling! Rhymes with spring.


othing, but nothing, makes the heart sing—the senses take wing—like the annual display of native Appalachian wildflowers that blankets mountaintops, coves, and creek sides. They make winter worth enduring. From pure white through a myriad of pastel shades to showy yellow, orange, and red, the spring wildflowers have many special characteristics. Their intricate shapes, their special abilities to attract pollinators, and their dependence on specific growing conditions, whether those are swampy, rocky, or deep in the forest. Perhaps the most magical aspect of spring wildflowers is their fleeting nature. Now you see them, now they’re gone. For that reason many of our beloved wildflowers are called spring “ephemerals” for the way they bloom, or at least take shape, in the weeks when temperatures and hours of daily sunshine are rising but before the green forest canopy fully leafs out. This period lasts roughly from late March to early June, and various factors may come into play, mostly having to do with elevation. Here’s some science: spring ephemerals need sunlight to produce stems, leaves, and flowers. In the woods, that sunlight only penetrates to ground level before the tree canopy overhead unfurls and produces dense shade. Also, the ephemerals take advantage of groundwater left from the winter before it starts flowing up, up, up to the treetops. According to some botanists, even the presence of woodland ants in early spring helps disperse the tiny seeds in rich leaf litter. There are exceptions to every rule. One example is the ramp, a garlic relative that puts forth its leaves and edible bulblets quite early…then disappears. The flower comes out later in the year on a single stalk. So what are these springtime marvels? Last year I made a list of the wildflowers I spied on my walks through the woods in the second week of May alone, prime time.

These were mere jottings, without Latin names or other botanical nomenclature, and they include some of the flowering trees that I also consider wildflowers. Bluets, fire pink, May apple, roundlobed liverwort, heal-all, miterwort, wild strawberry, wood vetch, violets galore, mountain silverbell, large-flowered bellwort, speckled wood lily (or Clintonia), dwarf crested iris, spring beauty, great chickweed. There’s more, much more, around this time of year: wild columbine growing on cliffs, Jack-in-the-pulpit with its hooded flower spike, the dangling paired flowers of Solomon’s-seal, jaunty Dutchman’s breeches, low-growing Canada wild ginger, Fraser magnolia and tulip poplar with their creamy blossom high overhead, and lots and lots of trilliums, an easily recognizable species. Don’t forget that the classic High Country flowering shrub—the rhododendron—blooms near the end of the spring season and into early summer. Relatives include mountain laurel, sometimes called kalmia or even “ivy” locally, and wild azaleas count as wildflowers too. Their range is surprising: flame azaleas can tolerate hot direct sunlight, while rhododendrons require the shade of the forest. Kalmia inhabits zones in between, also offering one of the most complex blooms of all. Following are some tools to take with you on a wildflower adventure. A pocketsize wildflower guidebook is a big help; Wildflowers of the Smokies (by Peter White) is easy to carry. And there are various cellphone apps that can analyze a snapshot and identify the species. A pocket magnifying glass is a wonderful aid in studying the complexities of the springtime blooms. And above all, of course, bring a sense of wonder. Nan K. Chase looks for spring wildflowers along the New River Trail State Park, near her home in Southwest Virginia.

Where to See Wildflowers Remember: NEVER pick wildflowers from public lands! Blue Ridge Parkway, 469 miles of wildflower glory in Virginia and North Carolina. No admission fee. See website for wildflower blooming calendar and highlights. Daniel Boone Native Gardens, 651 Horn in the West Drive, Boone, NC. Website: Guided tours available, or just wander. Admission $2 ages 16 and up. Open daily May-October. Elk Knob State Park, 5564 Meat Camp Road, Todd, NC. A treasure chest of rare wildflowers in a pristine setting, including massed flame azaleas. Website: ncparks. gov/elk-knob-state-park for current information on guided hikes. No admission for entrance, camping charges apply. Grandfather Mountain (Swinging Bridge & Nature Preserve). “The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble” guided hikes take place May 28-June 5 this year, see Advance admission and tour tickets must be purchased online; $9$22 plus add-ons. Hampton, Tennessee, area. Sometimes overlooked, this quiet region offers waterfalls along with wildflowers. For details of readily accessible areas, and trail maps, see website

Images: Left to right: Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) Flame azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) “Wake-robin” or “Red” trillium (Trillium erectum) “Great,”“Star” or “Giant” chickweed (Stellaria pubera) Fraser magnolia (Magnolia fraseri)



Bring a Book, Take a Book

at the Historic Banner Elk School We offer books to swap, magazines, WiFi, puzzles, book discussion groups, music jams, and children’s programs throughout the year. Stop by and see us this season!

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Blue Ridge Explorers:

Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana)

HWA on a hemlock branch; white “puff balls” at the base of the needle are evidence of an infestation

Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

Hemlock Heroes By Tamara S. Randolph

Left: Adult Laricobius nigrinus or “Lari” beetle on a hemlock, photo by Bryan Mudder, US Forest Service one of the first scientists to study the Lari beetle, its relationship to western hemlocks (native to the Pacific coast and northern Rocky Mountains) and the implications for our N.C. hemlocks. He noted that like our eastern hemlocks, western hemlocks had HWA present; however, they also had the presence of native HWA predators, including Laricobius nigrinus. The predator beetles helped to keep the adelgid populations in check, and therefore the western hemlocks remained healthy. Our eastern hemlocks did not have an HWA predator. In 2003, he and his research team (in collaboration with other participants) began to release the first of thousands of adult Lari beetles that would be released over time across multiple study sites in Watauga and Avery counties. The results of his multi-year research showed that Laricobius is able to establish and increase here in NC, prerequisites to a successful biological control of HWA. Equipped with years of Dr. McBug’s data, the Watauga County Cooperative Extension set out in 2021 to survey Watauga County and determine the current abundance of L. nigrinus within the county. If Lari was found to have a strong presence in HWA-afflicted trees, then land owners in our area might have a practical bio-control option in addition to, or in lieu of, the chemical control. To everyone’s delight, the survey revealed that L. nigrinus could be a more effective biological control method than previously thought. Blake Williams of the Ashe County Cooperative Extension, with help from Dr. Jim Hamilton of the Watauga County Cooperative Extension, authored a recent article detailing the results of the survey. “The bottom line is that L. nigrinus is prolific across the county, which is great news for landowners concerned about their hemlocks.” Read the full report at https://ashe.ces.ncsu. edu/2022/02/laricobius_survey/. Beyond the High Country, work is ongoing to establish biological controls of HWA throughout western NC. North Carolina’s

Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI), a program sponsored by the NC Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services and the USDA Forest Service Forest Health Protection program, has brought numerous partners together over many years to tackle the HWA crisis. They, too, are optimistic about Laricobius as a long-term, broad spectrum biological control. “It is clear that the beetles can travel large distances to find new HWA-infested trees to use as a food source, and they can even be expected to be found in our cities and towns, away from more dense forest ecosystems.” Healing Your Own Hemlocks As the beetles further establish in our region and more data are gathered, the positive impacts on the health of our hemlocks will become clearer. For landowners, the main takeaway is that you now have several options for treating and managing your own hemlocks, including a seemingly effective bio-control. But you’ll want to act before it’s too late; once a hemlock loses a certain percentage of needles, restoring it to health may be impossible. Contact our local NC Cooperative Extension agents or your NC Forest Service District Ranger for guidance. Land owners can also participate in monitoring programs, attend workshops, and volunteer through the Hemlock Restoration Initiative. You, too, can be a hemlock hero.

NC Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center: 336-846-5850, NC Cooperative Extension, Avery County Center: 828-733-8270, NC Cooperative Extension, Watauga County Center: 828-264-3061, NC Forest Service: 828-766-8043, Hemlock Restoration Initiative: NC Forest service, managing_your_forest/hemlock.htm CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —



Meet Lari—a beneficial beetle with a mission. Lari, formally known as Laricobius nigrinus, is barely bigger than a sesame seed. Yet this petite beetle has a big appetite for one of our most notorious invasive pests, the hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae), a.k.a. “HWA.” This is good news for our hemlock trees. Most people in our region have heard about the plight of the eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadensis). These long-lived, towering evergreens native to the east coast of the U.S. are ecologically important to our forests. They not only provide canopy habitat for birds and other species, they provide critical shade to species that reside in our cool streams and on the forest floor. But since the introduction in the 1950s of the non-native woolly adelgid to our east coast forests, countless millions of these majestic “redwoods of the east,” along with their smaller relative, the Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana), have been killed or sickened. Vast tracts of gray hemlock snags bear witness to the magnitude of the destruction. Progress through Chemical Control In the early 2000s, scientists began to have some success at battling HWA and helping our imperiled hemlocks. The initial method of combating the pest is still in use today; however, this solution can be both challenging and expensive. Treating hemlocks via chemical control requires identifying individual trees or stands of trees to be treated, then applying a carefully measured dose of high-priced chemicals—as one can imagine, a lot of time and human-power is also required. Because of the extent of HWA infestation and the rate of hemlock loss, scientists knew, even 20 years ago, that the HWA problem needed something beyond costly chemical control—that’s where six-legged Lari stepped in. Bio-Control, Beetle Style Dr. Richard C. McDonald, a local entomologist with the moniker “Dr. McBug,” was

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Nesting Season Is Upon Us!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – photo by Don Mullaney | Like the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the gnatcatcher builds a nest of lichen and spider web.

By Curtis Smalling Ruby-throated Hummingbird Photo by Konstantine Mamalis (Audubon Digital Archive)

American Goldfinch nest Photo by Curtis Smalling

Just as we look forward to spring, our birds are in a frenzy right now at the peak of nesting season. The bird nest is an iconic image for most of us, hearkening thoughts of warmth, safety, and home. So let’s take a deeper look at nests for birds, the functions they serve, and some of the interesting adaptations birds have developed to make nests match their needs and environments. For most of us in the High Country the nests we see the most are those open cup structures often set in vegetation and built of pieces of twig, grass, or other plant material. But those nests are only one version of a wide range of nests that different species deploy. The kind of nest a bird builds is usually very specific to the species, with little variation in materials used or how and where it is placed. For us this often makes it possible to tell what bird species built the nest; making note of the facets of nests can help us identify the bird using a particular nest, even if we discover it after nesting season when the birds are long gone. Nests fulfill a number of functions for birds, including keeping eggs and young warm (or cool depending on the species), providing a container for the eggs and sometimes chicks, concealing the nest from predators, recruiting mates, and even discouraging pests. Nest design can range from simple scrapes in the sand (or no nest at all for some species) to elaborate woven baskets, cavities dug into trees or the ground, mudsculpted pots and gourds, or tiny cups of

lichen and spiderweb. Even our familiar nests can consist of fine material on the inside of stiffer material, sticks on a platter of leaves, or a myriad of combinations, all providing clues as to their maker. Often these various forms follow the ecological function needed by the species. As an example, many shorebirds and water birds, like Royal and Least terns, scrape the sand into small depressions to house their one or two eggs. In these hot sandy environments, keeping the eggs warm is not as important as having a lot of neighbors close by to aid with predation risks. And since their young are born precocial (like chicken chicks—able to run around right after hatcahing and with downy feathers to stay warm) parents don’t need them to stay put in a basket while they develop. For cavity nesters, our woodpeckers and a few other species are primary excavators, meaning they make a cavity in a tree to nest in. If the nest is for a woodpecker, there is often no nest material other than a few wood chips. For secondary cavity nesters, or those who can’t or don’t excavate new holes but use existing holes made by others, traditional nesting material is often added to line the cavities they are using. Good examples from this group of birds include Eastern Bluebirds, Tufted Titmice, and House Wrens. A wide variety of families of birds that as a whole don’t use cavities often have a single species adapted to using cavities including nest boxes: for example, the Prothonotary Warbler, American Kestrel, Great-crested Flycatcher, Wood Duck,

Downy Woodpecker Photo by Don Mullaney Woodpeckers excavate most of the new nest cavities available for other species to eventually use.

and our beloved bluebird (the only cavity nesting thrush species). A specialized group of cavity nesters nest in the ground, usually along rivers and cliffs that provide access to spots for burrows. Belted Kingfishers, Northern Roughwinged Swallows, Bank Swallows and others around the globe nest in the ground. Still other birds take that ground in the form of mud and build elaborate structures— from mud-walled traditional nests created by American Robins or Barn Swallows, to pot-shaped nests stuck under bridges and rock cliffs (Cliff Swallows). As stated previously, “traditional” nests may employ many materials, from the loose sticks of Mourning Doves, to the intricate weavings of the sock-like nest of Baltimore Orioles, to nests using found materials like plastic, cigarette butts, and tissue for species such as Blue-headed Vireo, House Sparrows and European Starlings. I would be remiss if I did not also add the caveat that possessing or removing nests is illegal under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so resist the urge to bring an old nest indoors for decoration. That does not mean we cannot enjoy finding a nest and observing how a bird weaves—with only beak and feet—an amazing structure that not only looks good, but provides warmth and safety and a home for the eggs and young. Curtis Smalling is a Boone resident and the Director of Conservation for Audubon North Carolina. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


Trail Reports: Spring 2022 By CML Staff


Paddy Mountain serves as the backdrop for downtown West Jefferson, and is now permanently protected from development. Photo by Ben Lucas

BRC’s Eric Heigl, Diana Travis, and MaryAnn Mueller stand in the field that will soon be an area to access the Watauga River Paddle Trail. Photo by Leila Jackson

Ashe County Land Conservation Victories Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) continues to protect land on Three Top Mountain in Ashe County with the recent purchase of 90 acres. This property, plus an additional nearly 450 acres already owned by BRC, will eventually be added to the Three Top Mountain Game Land, which currently covers 3,100 acres in Ashe County. The remote property is entirely forested, with elevation ranging from 3,320 feet to 4,280 feet. A mature Carolina hemlock forest is located on the eastern ridge of the property and a headwater stream originates onto the property, which eventually flows into the North Fork New River. The adjacent tracts are also forested, tying into BRC’s mission of protecting ecology and habitat, and protecting and creating recreational opportunities. “Forests support biodiversity, help stabilize the climate, and provide recreational opportunities for the community,” says Eric Hiegl, BRC’s Director of Land Protection and Stewardship. “We’re excited to eventually add this acreage to the Three Top Mountain Game Land.” Funding for the Three Top Mountain acquisition was provided by the generosity of Fred and Alice Stanback. In another win for land preservation advocates in Ashe County, BRC acquired 152 acres on Paddy Mountain. Seven years in the making, the purchase will protect the viewshed of West Jefferson from development in perpetuity. “The acquisition of Paddy Mountain is a monumental land conservation success made possible because of the broad coalition of support from local government, businesses and concerned citizens,” says BRC Executive Director Charlie Brady. “It is inspiring to see a community rise up to conserve such an important and iconic local natural resource.” The acquired tract adjoins 445 acres of protected land managed by the NC Plant Conservation Program. Future plans for the land include hiking trails and a potential trailhead for the Northern Peaks Trail. Both the Three Top Mountain and Paddy Mountain properties are part of the amphibolite mountain group, a mountain chain containing a calcium-rich rock rare in the southern Blue Ridge. Located in Ashe and Watauga counties, the Amphibolites also include Howards Knob, Elk Knob, Snake Mountain, Phoenix Mountain, and Mount Jefferson. These Three Top Mountain and Paddy Mountain land purchases bring the total amount of land conserved by BRC in Ashe County to 7,400 acres. Continued on page 66


Scenes from the newly acquired tract on Three Top Mountain. Photos courtesy of Blue Ridge Conservancy

Flies 101 By Andrew Corpening

Sub-surface Flies The first stage of life for aquatic insects is underwater, or sub-surface. During this stage the insects are called nymphs, and nymph flies are meant to be fished underwater. Nymph flies are very productive since 90 percent of the trout’s diet is underwater. Some popular nymph patterns used in the southern Appalachians are Copper Johns, Tellicos, Pheasant Tails, and Hares Ears. With the exception of the Copper John, these flies have been around for years. One new addition to these flies is the bead head. This is a brass bead tied in at the eye of the hook that adds some flash, and the additional weight helps get the fly down to where the trout is holding. The Copper John was originally tied with the bead. It also has copper wire wound on the body of the fly so it sinks really well. Remember that the key to successfully fishing nymphs is to get the fly down to where the trout are holding. Another type of sub-surface fly is the wet fly. Wet flies were very popular many years ago but fell out of favor with the ad-

vent of the nymph. Some patterns of wet flies are making a comeback and they will catch fish. Surface Flies When it is time for these underwater insects to hatch and mate they come to the surface where they split open and a winged insect emerges. Trout take advantage of the insects while they are on the surface waiting for their wings to dry. Even if an insect does escape the surface and mates, it becomes vulnerable again when it comes back to lay its eggs in the water. A dry fly is used on the water surface to imitate these stages of the insect’s life. There are basically two types of dry flies: the up-right wing and the tent-wing. The up-right wing patterns are used to imitate Mayflies and some types of Stoneflies. The tent-wing type imitates Caddisflies. Some productive patterns of the up-right type are Adams, Light Cahills, Sulphurs, and Blue Wing Olives. The most common pattern of Caddis is the Elk Hair Caddis. Virtually all Elk Hair Caddis are tied the same with the only variation being color. The dry fly floats on the surface due to special feathers called a hackle. The feathers have stiff quills that actually sit on the water, making them look like a real insect landing on the water. And there is nothing like seeing a trout come up and take the fly. In fact, some fly-fishers will only use dry flies even though they would catch more fish using nymphs. One variation of the dry fly is the parachute pattern. These flies are designed to sit low in the surface film of the water to imitate the nymph getting ready to hatch. One very productive parachute pattern for area streams and rivers is the Parachute Adams. Parachutes are a good choice when the trout are feeding on the surface but no insects are apparent on the water or in the air. Streamer Flies As the trout grows, it still eats insects but it also starts feeding on other fish. The bigger the trout gets the more food it needs, so it looks for a bigger bite. To imitate minnows and, in some waters, leeches,

a streamer fly is used. The streamer is simply a bait fish imitation. Some patterns are Zonkers and Clousers, with the Wooly Bugger being by far the most popular. One big difference in the way streamers are fished is the addition of movement. With nymphs and dry flies, a natural drift is usually desired. Any unnatural movement will alert the trout to the fact that it is not a real insect. One exception to this is with nymphs. Even though the nymph is fished drifting along the bottom, don’t get impatient and pick up the line too fast. As the current pulls the line and nymph downstream the nymph will rise toward the surface. To the trout this looks like a nymph going to the surface to hatch. Many times this is when a trout will eat it. As mentioned, another exception to the natural drift is with streamers where a darting action is desired. This makes the streamer look like an injured baitfish and the trout will take advantage. Streamers are particularly good for catching larger trout. Terrestrial Flies The final type of fly is terrestrials. These imitate land-based insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, ants and beetles. When these insects are abundant during the summer and early fall, trout eat them like candy. Terrestrials are most productive when fished close to the bank under overhanging brush where the real insects are most likely to fall into the water. Terrestrial flies can be fished either on the surface or underwater. One great thing about terrestrial flies is that presentation is not that important. When fishing dry flies it is important that the fly-fisher casts them so that they land on the water very delicately like the real insect. With terrestrials, the fly-fisher can just “plop” them on the water. Remember that these insects are on the water by accident; they just fell in. In fact, the “plop” can sometimes attract a trout that has been feeding regularly on these insects. All types of flies are worth a try, so get out there and experiment this spring.




If you are an experienced fly-fisher, this column won’t be very helpful to you. However, if you are new to fly-fishing, hopefully this will help demystify the most important element: the flies. When people think about fly-fishing, what usually comes to mind is the rhythmic cast with the line seeming to float magically in the air. This is because in fly-fishing the lure, or fly, has very little weight but the line does have weight. In fly-fishing you are casting the line not the lure. The line puts the fly where you want it and the fly is what catches the trout. Avid fly-fishers will argue that there are many more types of flies than will be discussed here, but this article will concentrate on flies used in many local rivers and streams: sub-surface, surface, streamers, and terrestrials. To better understand these flies, it is important to understand a trout’s diet. Most of a trout’s diet consists of aquatic insects. For this reason most flies for trout are designed to imitate these aquatic insects at various stages of their lives.

TRAILS: Continued from page 64

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This map overlay shows the approximate 8.5 acre tract that will become a public river access, the 4th along the Watauga River Paddle Trail. The Watauga provides recreational opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, tubing, whitewater rafting, and fishing. Graphic by Leila Jackson Land Donation Adds Watauga River Access in Watauga County Thanks to a generous donation of land, the Blue Ridge Conservancy will soon open 8.5 acres of river access along the Watauga River in Valle Crucis, NC. MaryAnn Mueller and Diana Travis gifted 6 acres, and the Tennessee Valley Authority and Watauga Tourism Development Association funded the purchase of the other 2.5 acres. This land, located just past the NC 194 bridge, will have a public parking area and create easier access to the Watauga River Paddle Trail. “We love having wilderness near home and are excited to purchase some of that wilderness and protect it forever,” says donor Diana Travis. MaryAnn Mueller agrees, adding: “Driving by this river up on the road you don’t appreciate how beautiful it is, but now people will be able to have access and enjoy it in a variety of ways.” “BRC continues its commitment of increasing public access to our natural resources,’’ states Eric Hiegl, BRC Director of Land Protection & Stewardship. “The Watauga River Paddle Trail is an excellent example of strategic land conservation creating public places in the region.”


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The Truth about Recycling RESOURCE CIRCLE

By Tamara S. Randolph

You enjoy a can of soup for a quick meal. You’re left with a full belly, and perhaps a dilemma. What should you do with the can? The easy solution, of course, is to throw it in the trash, but you know there’s an alternative—to recycle it. You also know recycling requires more time, extra effort. And the rules of recycling can be confusing: Do I have to rinse the can? Do I have to remove the label? If I put the can into the recycling bin, will it actually be recycled, or will it just end up in the landfill anyway? Let’s get down to the truth. True or False? Landfills are all we really need to manage our solid waste. The answer is “false.” Landfills are indeed an important component of managing municipal solid waste (MSW)—everyday items that are discarded after use. Currently, at least half the MSW we generate in the US is landfilled, according to a 2020 report by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The common belief is that when a community’s landfill site “fills up,” it can simply start a new one somewhere. But land for these mega-sites is getting harder and harder to come by without encroaching on people’s private property or being located too far from the communities a landfill must serve. Plus, modern landfills require sophisticated containment measures to prevent toxins from leaching into our water supply (a big problem in many areas of the world). Because we live on a planet with a finite amount of space and limited natural resources, we must look beyond landfills for solutions. True or False? Recycling is the best solution to the waste problem. The short answer is “false.” That’s because reducing our consumption of resources and reusing materials are actually


the two BEST solutions. However, recycling is certainly one key solution for managing the waste we’ve already generated. Today approximately 45 percent of MSW that is landfilled could be recycled. So recycling most certainly can help free up valuable space in our landfills. We also know that recycling can save energy, create markets for new products, and generate real jobs. Plus, giving new life to a defunct object—that empty soup can—undeniably makes our precious natural resources go further. True or False? Every community recycles the same materials. This is “false.” While recycling technology has vastly improved, and the demand for recycled materials is growing in general, not all communities choose to offer the same recycling services or accept the same materials. This is where confusion sets in, and where knowledge must become part of the solution. The NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) is the regulatory body responsible for monitoring the solid waste management practices and programs, including recycling, for all NC municipalities and counties. Each year, the NCDEQ reports county-by-county efforts. If you are not sure what your local government is doing with regards to MSW management, these reports are a great place to start, and are available at (click on “Waste Management” under Divisions). Once you’ve determined who manages recycling at your local level, you can contact the agency directly to better understand the services and options available to you. If you have concerns about the local practices at certain facilities, you can contact the NCDEQ Solid Waste Division directly and share those concerns.

While facilities and curb-side recycling services may differ in what they accept, you can be fairly certain that you’ll find at least one location near you that recycles the following “Familiar Five”: 1. Plastic Bottles, jugs and tubs: plastic bottles and jugs that contain drinks, condiments, shampoo, detergent, and other non-hazardous liquids are recyclable. Food tubs that contain butter, dips, sour cream, etc., are recyclable. Rinse well, and place the cap or lid back on the container before recycling. You do NOT need to remove labels. Please note: While you may see a recycling symbol on plastic “clamshell” food containers and plastic “to-go” cups, these items are NOT recyclable at this time, at most facilities. A general rule of thumb is “To-Go” containers are a “No-Go” for recycling. 2. Metal cans: any cans that are made of steel or aluminum and hold food or beverages are recyclable. Be sure to clean cans and lids well, then place the lid in the can and crush it lightly to contain the lid. You do NOT need to remove labels. Aluminum foil and aluminum trays, a.k.a. “to-go tins” are NOT recyclable in most areas. 3. Mixed paper: newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes/paperboard, paper towel rolls, paperback books (that can’t be donated), office paper, and direct mail and envelopes can all be recycled. You do NOT need to remove staples, tape, or the window film from junk mail envelopes, but DO remove paper clips if you can. Do NOT put finely shredded paper in the bin—it can jam equipment. Paper towels and tissues are NOT recyclable. 4. Cardboard: corrugated cardboard boxes and pizza box lids (without grease) Continued on page 70

Nests & Nestlings

By Nina Fischesser, Director, May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Lees-McRae College

In March and early April we hear the ‘come hither’ sounds of the many songbirds returning and calling to potential mates. Then come the eggs in the nests and parent birds dedicating their time to incubating the eggs until they hatch. Almost all of our backyard birds when hatched are naked with eyes closed, so they need to be kept warm by the parent bird until they begin growing their feathers. At the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (MWRC) of Lees-McRae College, we receive many baby birds, from tiny hatchlings to fully feathered juvenile fledglings. The reasons people bring them to us are endless. Re-nesting, if possible, is always best. But it’s not always achievable if the nest is too high to reach or if the parents are no longer able to care for their young. Outdoor cats are probably the biggest reason for baby birds being admitted to the wildlife center, and we’ll get to that later. Mending Wounds, Warming Bodies When baby songbirds begin their time at MWRC they are weighed, given a full examination, and treated for injuries. After cleaning wounds and other initial care, we then decide on a treatment plan for each individual patient. The biggest challenge for featherless nestlings is thermoregulation. Unless the finder is aware of what needs to be done to keep young birds warm (body temperature), they often come to us cold. They must be warmed before hydrating or beginning the examination. As hatchlings, if something happens to the parent bird, they can only keep themselves warm for a little while. If nestlings are partially feathered, meaning that the feathers are not fully developed, or still in quills, they too may be challenged to stay warm. If fully feathered and still in the nest, they can usually keep themselves warm. Robins (pictured) might stay in the nest until it’s so crowded they appear uncomfortable before finally ‘fledging’ or coming out of the nest on their own.




Owl Nestlings & Branchers Raptors are hatched with plenty of down feathers to keep themselves warm while the parent birds are out hunting prey animals for food. Pictured are a few owl patients that were admitted to May Wildlife, including a Barn Owl, an Eastern Screech Owl, and a Great Horned Owl. Before these young owl nestlings actually fly, they come out of the nest and hang out on the branches of the tree. These are called ‘branchers’ until they are fully feathered.


A Word About Cats A three-year study estimated that 1.3-4 billion birds in the U.S. are killed by cats each year (Loss et al. 2013, Nature Communications). Nestlings and fledglings are most vulnerable because they are helpless to escape from outdoor cats. Because a normally occurring bacterium in cats’ saliva, Pasteurella, is deadly to small animals and can kill birds in just a few days, any bird attacked by a cat must be treated with antibiotics when admitted to May. Please keep cats indoors, especially during the songbird nesting months (April – September). What to Do When You Find Injured or Orphaned Wildlife • Call the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (828) 898-2568 to see if the animal really needs help and to safely capture if necessary. • If you are far away from the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center we can help connect you to a licensed rehabilitator closer to you. • Never try to rehabilitate or raiseinjured animals yourself. All species of animals have different needs, so let the professionals care for these animals. • Put the animal in a cardboard box with a soft towel on the bottom, and keep in a warm quiet place while arranging transport to a wildlife rehabilitator. • Remember that these are not paying customers. While we do not charge for our services, we do depend on financial help from the communities around us. To donate online please go to:




RECYCLE: Continued from page 68 are recyclable. Flatten all boxes before adding them to the bin. You do not need to remove tape, stickers or staples. 5. Glass Bottles & Jars: Most counties/ municipalities in NC will accept glass bottles and jars in all colors, shapes and sizes. However, the markets for recycled glass do fluctuate, so some curb-side services and recycling facilities may not always accept glass. Do not place glass dishware/baking ware, drink glasses, mirrors, jar lids, bottle caps, or wine bottle corks in the glass recycling bin. True or False? If I’m not sure if something is recyclable, I should go ahead and put it in the recycling bin. This is “false.” The mantra to remember here is, “If in doubt, throw it out.” Many of us who want to do the right thing are guilty of “wish-cycling,” or hoping something is recyclable and therefore putting it in the bin. By knowing what your municipality accepts, you’ll save the system time, money and maintenance by recycling only what is

accepted. Get to know your local recycling program and encourage them to use as a resource. An Important Note about Plastic Bags: NEVER put a plastic bag of any kind into a recycling bin. Plastic bags are the number one problem at recycling facilities because they can get caught in the sorting equipment and shut down the system. Clean plastic bags ARE recyclable, but you must take them to a retail store drop-off location. Many grocery stores and “big box” stores in our region accept plastic bags for recycling, including Lowe’s Foods, Food Lion, Ingles, Harris Teeter and Wal-Mart. Find local dropoff locations at True or False? I have a say in how my area’s solid waste is managed. True! As you seek knowledge on the subject, you’ll quickly learn how the system works and how you can participate. You’ll also learn about other materials that are recyclable, such as electronics, batteries, lightbulbs, mattresses and clothing. Find out all you can about reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting in your community; then share what you learn with others. Finally, voice your opinions and concerns to your local government agencies.

Helpful Resources: Avery County: 828-737-5420 Watauga County: 828-264-5305 recycling.aspx. Wilkes County: 336-696-3867 Burke County: 828-764-9066, 828-764-9064, Ashe County: 336.846.3721 environmental-services. North Carolina: Virginia: solid-waste Tennessee: sw-solid-waste.html (great for kids!)

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Boone Golf Club—Boone, NC Tom Adams, PGA Architect Ellis Maples, Revision Rick Robbins ‘Must play’ Mountain Standard in 63rd season. A mountain classic by Ross protégé Ellis Maples. Opened 1959, the Boone Golf Club proved a primary driver to growth of summer tourism in the High Country. 828-264-8760 | Mountain Glen—Newland, NC David Burleson, Golf Director Architect George Cobb Burleson keeping things familiar in Newland following Sam Foster’s retirement. Play volume at historic highs at a layout you could play everyday and be glad of it. 828-733-5804 | The Boone Golf Club has towered over mountain public golf since its opening in 1959. Kyle Grove Photography

Golf in the High Country: New Normal or Old Normal? By Tom McAuliffe As America enters the third summer season of Covid, there’s no doubt that the High Country recreational landscape has changed, in some ways for the better, and others not so much. According to Rusty Harder of the Carolinas Golf Association, more golfers than ever are posting scores for their handicap service and entering CGA official events. “With more people working from home, as the pandemic evolved, people gravitated to golf and the outdoors,” Harder noted. “Newcomers and players who had left the game found the golf course a safe and comfortable place to be.” As a result, rounds played reached historic highs. To Philip Shephard of MountainAire Golf Club in West Jefferson, the impact was palpable. “Initially everybody was taken aback, but after a little time, after cart dividers and sanitation stations, business really took off,” he said. “Our weather last season was excellent and gave us a long term effect to our business model, and we’re almost back to normal.” That is if you call record numbers of golfers normal. MountainAire opened for the new season March 2, and after sixteen days, posted over 1,000 rounds played. A telling number for that time of the mountain season. A similar sentiment prevails at Mountain Glen in Newland. “We’re not going to mask people and people are going to ride together,” head pro Dave Burleson said, adding, “We got more sanitizing stations as a result of required protocols, and we’re going to keep them. The pandemic has changed the world, but it’s time to get back to normal. And if you want to put a mask on, that’s okay too.” As the Covid virus pervaded our universe, many private clubs closed access to nonmembers as a defensive measure. In one local case, the move became permanent. Linville Resorts, Inc., owner of the Linville Golf Club, has closed its iconic Eseeola Lodge to the public. Once the sole public portal to the first tee on the Donald Ross mountain masterpiece, reservations at Eseeola and tee times at the Linville Golf Club will now be member-sponsored only.

Sugar Mountain Golf Club—Sugar Mountain, NC Tom McAuliffe, Golf Director | Architect Frank Duane Dynamite par 64. Everyman’s golf club in a land of giants. Shoot par here and chances are you can shoot par anywhere, but still a place for all skill levels. A little bit better every year and that says a lot. 828-898-6464 | Mt. Mitchell Golf Club—Burnsville, NC Jim Floyd, Golf Director | Architect Fred Hawtree Spectacular property just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 344 at Hwy. 80 to Burnsville. Group getaway lodging specialists. For the day or the week. Toe River trout fishing, food and beverage excellent. Since 1975. 828-675-5454 | Willow Valley—Boone, NC Architect Tom Jackson (nine holes) One of Jackson’s earlier creations, he’s now a member of the Carolinas Golf Hall-of-Fame. The Little Green Monster is an exceptional par three course. 828-963-6865 Mountain Aire Golf Club—West Jefferson, NC Architect/Committee, Revisions Dennis Lehmann Popular Ashe County stop, driving range, good course, good folks in the pro shop. Philip Shepherd carrying bright torch in Hagel family tradition enters his 11th season at the helm. 336-877-4716 | Grassy Creek Golf Club—Spruce Pine, NC Bruce Leverette, PGA | Architect/Committee Visit the Mitchell County mainstay and find out what all the locals love about Grassy Creek. What golf is all about. Pro Bruce Leaverette and Supt. Howard McKeithen over 45 years keeping golf real in Spruce Pine. 828-765-7436 Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —



Public Courses


GOLF: Continued from previous page

Resort Clubs with Lodging Access to Golf

Private Clubs / Members and Guests Only

Hound Ears Club—Blowing Rock, NC Peter Rucker, PGA, App State alum begins 40th year.Architect George Cobb Revisions Tom Jackson Private club with golf available for guests lodging in Clubhouse accommodations and via Qualified Member Home Rentals. A very special and playable golf course. 828-963-4321 |

Grandfather Golf & Country Club—Linville, NC Chip King, PGA | Architect Ellis Maples | 828-898-7533

Beech Mountain Club—Beech Mountain, NC Loren White, PGA | Architect Willard Byrd Eastern America’s Highest Town at 5,506’. Ridge Top layout with views of five states, including Kentucky when the Blue Moon is full. Pro John Carrin calls it a day after 22 memorable years. New pro Loren White calls the mountain home from storied Kingsmill Resort of Williamsburg, VA. Private access accompanied by member. Temporary membership transfer in qualified housing only. 828-387-4208 ext. 201 | Jefferson Landing Country Club & Resort—Jefferson, NC Dan Stepnicka, PGA | Architect Larry Nelson/Dennis Lehmann Course access for members and on-site lodgers—great golf getaway for your group. Outside play welcome per space available. Call for tee times. Beautiful Ashe County classic. Clubhouse dining. 1-800-292-6274 | Linville Land Harbor, Linville Michael Hayes, Operations manager | Architects Tom Jackson (A-9 Ernie Hayes) Long-time private enclave between Linville and Pineola opening to public play with stay and play offerings. Fabulous putting surfaces. 828-733-8325 |

Some clubs below may offer short-term rental membership privileges with club or member sponsorship.

Blowing Rock Country Club—Blowing Rock, NC Andrew Glover, PGA | Architect Donald Ross, Seth Raynor Revisions Tom Jackson and more recently BRCC revisions by Ross specialist Kris Spence a big hit. | 828-295-3171 Elk River Club—Banner Elk, NC Dave Ambrose, PGA | Architect Jack Nicklaus/Bob Cupp | 828-898-9773 Linville Ridge Club—Linville, NC Kurt Thompson, PGA | Architect George Cobb | Revisions Bobby Weed “Eastern America’s Highest Golf Course” | 828-898-5151 Diamond Creek—Banner Elk, NC Joe Humston, PGA | Architect Tom Fazio 828-898-1800 Linville Golf Club—Linville, NC Bill Stines, PGA | Architect Donald Ross Revisions Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Bobby Weed. Longtime public access to historic Eseeola Lodge and golf course suspended Covid seasons, now permanent. Club still hosting community fundraisers this spring. 828-733-4311 |



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Train (engine and two cars) with Appalachian State University's first Administration Building and mountains in background. The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad line ran near present location of Rivers Street. Courtesy of Watauga County Public Library and

History on a Stick Right: In this image, railroad tracks end abruptly where a landslide caused by flooding from the August 1940 flood has taken out part of the tracks. Tamped down vegetation around the tracks suggests water flowed over this section of the rail line as well | Paul Weston, “Railroad Tracks Destroyed by Landslide, August 1940,” Digital Watauga, accessed March 12, 2022,

The1940 Flood and the Railroad While the LRR was primarily built to haul out lumber cut from the surrounding forests, farmers were quick to jump at the opportunity, shipping out Irish potatoes and cabbage. Passenger service also arrived. A person could get on a train in Boone and go anyplace served by passenger service in the United States. However, operating a narrow-gauge railroad through the mountain terrain was always hazardous. The smallest freshet could wash out any section of the track. And, then, there were the two major floods that struck the mountains prior to 1950. One flood came in July 1916. After six straight days of rain, the weather station in Banner Elk reported over seventeen inches of rain. “To undertake to describe the destruction wrought in Watauga,” reported the Democrat, “by the terrific wind and rain storm on Friday and Saturday last would be futile, indeed... But from all quarters heard come tidings of fearful devastation: crops destroyed, buildings washed away, fine orchards absolutely demolished.” The washed-out rail lines were rebuilt. Yet when the flood of 1940 hit, the situation was different. The Cranberry mines had closed in 1929, a casualty of the Great Depression. Most of the timber had already been cut. Buses now made regular trips carrying passengers. Added to this, the parent company of the railroad had created a trucking line. With the storm, a

hurricane that came ashore near Beaufort, South Carolina, stalled over the mountains in August, bringing torrents of rain. Creeks and rivers overflowed, and mud slides occurred in many locations. Over 30 homes were destroyed, hydroelectric plants were damaged or washed away, roads washed out, and at least sixteen people were killed. Much of the railroad between Foscoe and Shull’s Mill was washed away. Because the railroad was not generating much income, the parent company chose to apply to the Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to abandon the LRR. A hearing was held in Johnson City, with many prominent local men, such as B.B. Dougherty, William R. Lovill, James H. Council, Albert Watson, Clyde Greene, Robert W. Wall, and Gordon Hackett, State Highway Commissioner, arguing stringently for the line to be rebuilt. Despite all of the earnest pleading, the ICC agreed with the directors of the railroad, and the line between Cranberry and Boone was abandoned. Rails and rolling stock were loaded up on ET&WNC semi-trucks and hauled off the mountain. The Town of Boone Historic Preservation Commission erected a marker commemorating the 1940 Flood at Jimmy Smith Park in Boone in August 2018.




“The only way to get to Boone was to be born there,” was the sentiment of many prior to the arrival of the Linville River Railway in 1918. Boone, like most of western North Carolina, was isolated from the rest of the world, at least in terms of trade. The idea of a railroad, from the 1850s onward, was a topic of frequent conversation. There were public meetings, funds promised, and surveying. But in the end, the closest the railroad ever got was in the Todd community in 1915. In the last half of the nineteenth century, railroads were seen as a way for a community to prosper. A railroad opened lines of communication with the outside world. Locally produced products had a way to market, and just about anything could be ordered and shipped to the closest depot (even houses from Sears and Roebuck came in on the rails). The railroad that eventually reached Boone, the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC), began in Elizabethton, Tennessee, and ended at the Cranberry iron mines. The Linville River Railway (LRR) began in Cranberry and ended at the lumber yard in Pineola. In 1913, the parent company of the ET&WNC acquired the LRR, and lines were laid to the lumber yard in Shull’s Mill. When local Boone residents heard of the line coming to Shull’s Mill, they began lobbying to have it extended into Boone.

By Michael C. Hardy

Poetry Let’s walk in the park: enjoying companionship and exercise, listening to children’s laughter, and ebullient birdsong; watching robins strutting and zooming, and butterflies flitting and fluttering, and ruby-throated hummingbirds hovering and humming, and nectar and pollen gathering honey bees; the dancing queens of the natural world. The vibrant sounds and exuberant sights of walking in the park...

—Rocky Parriott, Ashe County, NC


Avery History Behind Bars, on the Rails, and in the Square in 2022 By Elizabeth Baird Hardy

Right two photos courtesy of Photo by Michael Hardy


very County may be the youngest county in North Carolina, but it has a lively history. The Avery County Museum and the Historical Association are both thriving and looking forward to helping Avery County residents and visitors learn more about the past with a variety of opportunities to experience history. The Avery County Museum is housed in the former Avery County Jail, next to the county courthouse, in Newland. Originally, the jail housed both prisoners and the jailer and his family. The jailer’s wife often prepared the meals for those who were incarcerated on the building’s second floor. In 1976, as part of America’s nationwide bicentennial celebration, the closed jail was re-born as the county museum. Over the past decades, the museum has continued to grow and change, adding and updating exhibits and resources as it helps preserve the past of a new county with an old story to tell. In 2007, the museum added a very special building to the complex, the 1917 Linville Depot of the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad, fondly known as Tweetsie. The depot had been used as a residence and fishing cabin for many years before being relocated to the museum grounds and returned to its early twentieth-century glory as the generally recognized “nicest depot” on the line. In 2014 the depot was joined by Caboose 505, which was transported to the site and has now been completely and lovingly restored. Both the depot and the caboose are once again open for visitors, after being closed for pandemic protocols, so it is easy to step back in time to the days when the railroad was an integral part of transportation, life, and culture in our region. Visitors can learn about the county’s railroad history, as well as a multitude of other historical topics as they explore the

caboose and depot, along with the many exhibits in the museum, which are expanded and rotated often so that guests who have visited before will always find something new. This summer, according to board member Tense Banks, who has been serving with the museum for over 25 years, the refurbished music room will be offering new interactive multimedia experiences. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts and materials connected to local celebrities LuluBelle and Scotty Wiseman, who were popular radio and film performers. The room’s new features will allow visitors to enjoy and understand these various media. Aneda Johnson, chair of the Avery County Historical Society, notes that the new and improved music room will celebrate the variety of music that is woven into the county’s history, including the music of worship. In addition, there will be exhibits on the county’s current musical voices, including Jason Burleson, who has played with the popular bluegrass band Blue Highway for nearly three decades, and the award-winning Darrin and Brooke Aldridge, who have just released their ninth album. Outstanding local music will also be at the center of the popular Avery County Heritage Festival, which will fill the town square with craftspeople, exhibitors, genealogists, authors, performers, and others celebrating and demonstrating a wide variety of historical topics. The Heritage Festival, which will be held June 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., is free to the public and will include plenty of entertainment, such as a full lineup of musicians and cloggers, along with the popular family history tables, vendors, and demonstrators. Tense Banks notes that this year’s festival will have even more genealogist tables so that visitors can trace their families from the area. The museum’s growing genealogy

library is also an excellent resource for those who want to learn more about their family history. Everyone is invited to this vibrant and beloved event, and there is still time to participate or volunteer. Aneda Johnson, whose family has been in the area since the 1800s, has a love for history and stresses that, “it’s so important to know your roots,” while recognizing that understanding the past is an on-going quest. “I am still learning,” she says, stressing that there is always something more to learn. One of the most important ways that anyone can learn more about Avery County’s history is by visiting the museum. In addition to the exhibits, visitors can discover resources in the bookstore and genealogy library. As Tense Banks observes, it is vitally important to learn about history: “In order to know who are, we have to know where we came from,” to know what the people of the past “sacrificed to make us who we are.” Those who want to learn more about Avery County’s past, while helping others learn, are encouraged to join the Museum’s Board or to volunteer at the museum. Especially with both buildings open and the growing genealogy library, volunteers are a valuable resource who keep the Avery County Museum open to public. The Avery County Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the winter months, the museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Since the museum is staffed by volunteers, it is often a good idea to call first. To keep up with events at the museum, check out the Avery County Genealogical Society Facebook page, call the museum at 828733-7111 or visit Averycountymuseum. org. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


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t was said that Tom Dula was an uncommonly good fiddle player. Perhaps a visitor passing by the jail in Wilkesboro in July 1866 heard Dula playing some mournful dirge as he waited his fate. The Old Wilkes Jail was built in 1859 and survived the Civil War. It had four rooms, along with living quarters for the jailer and his family. It is where Tom Dula was taken after being captured near Trade, Tennessee. Dula was wanted for the murder of Laura Foster, a local Wilkes County girl who was missing. Ann Melton, another one of Dula’s girlfriends, was also arrested in the matter once the body was discovered. Dula’s trial was later moved to Statesville. His attorney, former governor Zebulon Baird Vance, believed Dula would get a fair trial outside the mountains. Fair or not, Dula was found guilty, twice, and was hanged in Statesville on May 1, 1868. Local legend has it that Dula rode in

a wagon to the gallows, sitting atop his coffin and playing a fiddle tune that we all recognize as “Hang Down your Head, Tom Dooley.” Most of the inmates in the Old Wilkes Jail were local bootleggers and horse thieves rather than inspirations for popular folk songs. However, there was one other person of note to pass through the cells in Wilkesboro. Otto Wood was called a “Depression-era desperado.” He was born in Wilkes County in 1894, and as a young boy, stole a bicycle. Wood was caught and locked up in the Wilkes County jail. The court found him guilty, and he was sentenced to serve on the chain gang but he was sent home because of his age. Wood lived a life of crime, and was incarcerated in jails not only in North Carolina, but in Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia as well. He is credited with breaking out of jail ten times throughout his criminal career, including four times from the

By Michael Hardy state prison. He was killed after his last jailbreak in a shootout with police in Salisbury on December 31, 1930. The old Wilkes County Jail continued to hold prisoners until 1915, when a new facility was opened. Today, the jail is considered one of the best preserved examples of nineteenth-century penal architecture in North Carolina. The restored building is now a part of the Wilkes Heritage Museum Complex. When Stoneman’s raiders came through Boone in March 1865, they went to the Watauga County Jail, sprung all of the prisoners, and set the building on fire. Another jail was built following the war, but in the 1880s, it was decided that a new facility was needed. A plan was adopted, and construction on the brick building began in July 1889. By December, the new Watauga County Jail was open. The cells were brought by wagon from Lenoir, and the furniture Continued on next page



JAILHOUSES: Continued from previous page from T. J. Coffey and Brother in Boone. Polly Greer was paid for making quilts for the beds. A few months later, a tenfoot high stockade was erected around the perimeter of the jail. Just two years later, it looked like a full-scale battle was to be fought around the Watauga County Jail. O. J. Potter was locked up in Boone, charged with the death of Sylvanus Church. A group of “outlaws” from Kentucky and Tennessee made their way into Pottertown, bent on freeing Potter from his confinement. Word arrived in Boone, and according to the Watauga Democrat, “a heavily armed guard was summoned by the sheriff, and stationed at the jail, with orders to hold the prisoner even if it resulted in the sacrifice of many lives.” After a local detective was shot near Pottertown, and the home of Henry Main “riddled with bullets,” the sheriff took a number of deputies to Pottertown and the band fled. In 1927, the Watauga County Jail on Water Street was closed, and the inmates were moved to a new facility. The old jail survives, and currently houses the

Southern bistro-style restaurant Proper. Avery County was created in 1911, the last and one-hundredth county formed in North Carolina. Prior to the county’s establishment, there were a couple of calabooses, local holding cells in Linville Falls and Montezuma. These were used to hold wrongdoers until the sheriff could arrive. There was also some type of jail in Elk Park as well. A new county needs a new jail, and work began on that building and the adjoining courthouse in 1912. The new Avery County Jail opened in 1913. Not only were there cells upstairs for men and downstairs for women, but living quarters as well. For many years, local sheriffs were elected for two-year terms. They could move into the jail, or appoint one of their deputies to move in and become the jailer. When the man moved in, he moved his entire family in as well. Deputy Will Banner became jailer in 1913, under Sheriff John Henry Von Cannon. Banner brought along his wife, Lucy, and their children: Otis, Sarah, Gertrude, Pearl, Bruce, Bob, and Carrie.

There would be other families to call the building home while it served as a jail. Marion Church was jailer in the early 1920s when his daughter, Hallie Church Ellis, arrived to have her fifth child. In the 1930s, Jailer Roby Shoemaker’s foster daughter, Nell Slay, married Johnny McKee at the jail. The wedding was officiated by Reverend Gentry from Elk Park. Lynn Hughes’s father was a jailer in the 1940s, and he recalled that as a kid, he sat in front of the cells and played cards with the prisoners. In 1970, the Avery County Jail was closed. A new one was soon constructed behind the courthouse. In 1976, the jail reopened its doors as the Avery County Historical Museum. Not only is the 1913 jail on the site, but also a late 1700s smokehouse, the Linville Depot, and the ET&WNC Caboose 505. Today, all three counties have modern jail facilities. By visiting the museums in Wilkes and Avery, people can learn about penal institutions of the past and dig a little more deeply into an area rich in its history.

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Have you seen the invasive spotted lanternfly? Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive planthopper native to China that was first detected in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. SLF feeds on over 70+ plant species including fruit, ornamental and woody trees with tree-of-heaven as its preferred host. This pest is a threat to multi-billion dollar industries including grapes and hops and even tourism. Considered a homeowner nuisance, SLF can cause large amounts of sooty mold to grow on people’s homes as well as attract stinging insects due to their production of honeydew. Spotted lanternfly is a hitchhiker and can easily be moved long distances through human assisted movement.

Actual Size: ~1”

Egg Mass (overwinter)

SLF photos by Lawrence Barringer, PDA

Spotted Lanternfly Life Stages Actual Size: ¼”

Early Nymph (April-June)

Actual Size: ½”

Actual Size: ~1”

Late Nymph (June-September)

Adult (July-December)

Spotted lanternfly has not yet been found alive in North Carolina but we need you to be on the lookout.

See It

Snap It

Report It

If you think you have seen Spotted Lanternfly please contact the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services at:  1-800-206-9333 Please visit for more information Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture



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Wisdom and Ways

Weather Folklore of a Mountain Springtime Article and Photography by Jim Casada

tainly the migrant birds that provided the name invariably arrived about the time dogwoods were in full flower. Grandpa, however, would have none of that, insisting that there were two distinct cold snaps. Whatever the case, there’s no arguing that pretty predictably, year after year, there will be some chilly weather, often accompanied by a light frost (and sometimes a heavy one), when dogwood blooms are at their peak. Blackberry Winter is the most frequently mentioned of the three springtime periods of cold as well as being the latest. Often it seems as if winter has one final fling, a last chilly hurrah bidding adieu before the full magic of May spreads its warm, soothing blanket atop the High Country and blackberries reach the stage where their blooms begin to show white and bedeck the countryside in brightness. I know that Grandpa always felt comfortable in setting out tomatoes and other plants susceptible to frost once blackberries had bloomed in association with two or three days of cold. “I’ve known it to frost once or twice in my life after Blackberry Winter,” he would say, “but a body can feel pretty comfortable with tender stuff once it has come and gone.” There’s even an old song with the words “Go away, go away Blackberry Winter” in the chorus. It will take someone with a better memory or more musical knowledge than yours truly to pin it down, but I know that the song dates back at least to the 1950s. Of course I always thought the line should have been “Blow away, blow away Blackberry Winter,” because invariably that final chilly snap of spring seems to be associated with a cold front accompanied by strong winds. Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —



it does in our fast-paced, technologically driven world. Folks lived in close harmony with the land and depended on it for their existence. Accordingly, the ability to read signs, recognize weather patterns, and move in rhythm with the good earth was vital to their existence. All of the descriptions of winter aforementioned actually refer to spells of cold after the time of greening up was already well under way. They came with recognized regularity year after year, and you could almost count on there being a day or two in early spring when you awakened to a frost so heavy you could have tracked a rabbit in it. That would be followed, within a few hours, by sunshine revealing “scorched” foliage on newly sprung growth in garden and field. Farm folks often called it a “setback.” Sometimes the affected plants would survive, but when the frost and cold were particularly severe an apple crop might be lost for the season or row crops might require replanting. According to my Grandpa Joe, who had a real knack for predicting the weather by reading signs, observing cloud patterns, and watching the behavior of animals, Catbird Winter was associated with the first springtime appearance of the fussy, interesting, and highly vocal grey bird whose call sounds like the mewing of a cat, hence its name. After migrating to the Deep South or beyond for the winter, catbirds return to the mountains for the mating season in April. Whenever Grandpa sighted the first one he would comment: “Look for a cold spell in the next week or so, because now that the catbirds are back we are in for a little spell of Catbird Winter.” In truth, Catbird Winter always seemed to me to coincide quite closely, if not precisely, with Dogwood Winter. Cer-


pring comes to the North Carolina High Country in bits and pieces, starts and spurts, stumbling and stuttering along as it tries to find the right rhythm. A spell of balmy days with afternoon temperatures rising into the 70s is suddenly replaced by weather reminiscent of the depths of winter. Worrisome frost threatening blooming fruit trees is a distinct possibility and late snows aren’t out of the question. As was so often the case, that sweet swan of Avon, William Shakespeare, got it just as right for the High Country as for the sceptered isles of Britain when he wrote of “the uncertain glory of an April day.” The frost-free date, even at lower elevations, doesn’t come until month’s end and there’s always the possibility of a killing frost any time in April and, especially at higher elevations, right on into the early portion of May. Old timers in the mountains, living in close harmony with the good earth and in no way dependent on any prognosticators other than themselves, readily recognized the vagaries of spring weather. Indeed, they often had quaint, highly descriptive terms connected with these vicissitudes. The ones with which I am most familiar and have heard most often throughout my life all harkened back to winter—Catbird Winter, Dogwood Winter, and Blackberry Winter. That was likely because the hard times of winter were still all too clearly in mind and each cold snap revived such thoughts in powerful fashion. These terms, and indeed almost everything we associate with the folklore of spring, derive from the first-rate observational skills of those who went before us. Our forebears lived dramatically different lifestyles from those of us today, and weather figured far more prominently in yesteryear’s life in the High Country than



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There are other colloquial terms for periods of unseasonable cold in the spring, including Locust Winter and Redbud Winter. All seem peculiar to the South and particularly to the Appalachians, but other sections of the country have delightful descriptions as well. Perhaps my favorite, one I’ve heard several times over the years while turkey hunting in Missouri or Iowa, is “Long Handles Winter.” That’s a term folks there use to suggest that once that cold spell has passed, it is time to put the trusty old union suit away until it is once more needed in late fall. Like so many other aspects of traditional mountain culture, these special aspects of spring seem increasingly to belong to a world we have lost. As we become more urbanized, depend on television meteorologists rather than personal observations for our weather predictions, and do far less gardening and farming, our sense of connection with the earth’s seasonal rhythms lessens. To me, that’s sad, and maybe why Grandpa Joe, who never drove a car and who viewed any and all things modern with skepticism, was often given to comments such as “I don’t hold much with this here progress folks are always talking about.” -Jim Casada is a full-time freelance writer with almost two dozen original books to his credit along with contributions to many more. To learn more about his work, his forthcoming books, or to receive his free monthly e-newsletter, visit his website,

RHYTHMIC TIDBITS OF WEATHER WISDOM FOR SPRING *Clouds on the hills that rise toward the sky, signal a day when it will be dry. But clouds lowering around the mountain’s top, mean rain soon begins to drop. *March snow is as good as manure. *When March has April weather, April will have March weather. *When April features a constant chill, come October the barn we’ll fill. *A moist April means a clear June.


Bill and Dalia searching for the perfect river rocks

Pedro Munoz

Dalia, Bill and Gisela

The Rock Garden Memorial…

An Enduring Legacy of Stones G

eologists say the stones that line the riverbeds here in our northwestern North Carolina mountains may date back to between 300 million and 1.8 billion years ago. That’s when our great Appalachian range was formed during the massive tectonic plate collisions of the Americas with Europe, Africa and Asia. Over many millennia, mountain peaks were whittled down by the elements with many stones eventually coming to rest in the waters which snake throughout our mountain valleys. And that’s where this story begins. Or, should we say, that’s where several stories converge—in the riverbeds surrounding Banner Elk, NC. For it was here that the family of local sign maker Bill Dicks, the family of Pedro and Gisela Munoz, and the inspiration of their young daughter, Dalia, began a shared destiny to create an enduring legacy of stones. Bill Dicks has been a commercial sign carver for the past 50 years. His sign shop—aptly named The Sign Shop—is located at the base of Beech Mountain in Banner Elk. After Bill and his wife, Donna, were married in 1967, they moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Bill had graduated from Florida Southern College three years before. After moving back to North Carolina and graduating from App State with a Master’s Degree in Industrial Arts in 1972, Bill found himself being called on to make small signs for local businesses, a calling that would tie his destiny to that same legacy of stones.

Bill and Donna had two kids, Jennifer in 1972, and Dave in 1976. Dave grew up on our surrounding ski slopes and planned to become a professional ski instructor in Colorado. But, during his senior year in high school, he came home one day and announced—to his parents’ surprise—that he’d decided to join the Army’s 82nd Airborne. “I want to jump out of planes,” he proclaimed, a decision that would lead his destiny to converge with that of one Pedro Munoz. SFC (Sgt. First Class) Pedro A. Munoz had been a member of 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group for seventeen years when he first met Dave at Fort Bragg, NC. Dave, who had taken up skydiving with his dad during his senior year in high school, had joined the Army just after graduation. By the end of his second year at Ft. Bragg, Dave was selected for the Army’s elite parachute team, The Golden Knights. A year later, Pedro, already in his early 40s, joined The Golden Knights, making him the oldest member on the team. Despite their age difference, Dave and Pedro quickly became close friends. And their friendship naturally led to the further linking of shared destinies between their two families. “Donna and I got to know Pedro and his family at the air shows we attended,” recalled Bill. “On one occasion in 1999, Pedro, his wife, Gisela, and Dalia, came up from Fort Bragg and spent a weekend with us at our home in the mountains. During that visit I showed Dalia how to sandblast a sign.”

By Steve York

Two years later Pedro was back up in the mountains, hiking the Appalachian Trail with a fellow Golden Knight friend. That was September 13, 2001. And that’s when Pedro first learned of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. That evening, by their campfire light, Pedro stood up and sang the National Anthem. He then said, “We’re going to war.” It was on that fateful day that Pedro decided to leave the parachute team and return to his Special Forces Unit. That decision placed Pedro in Shindand, Afghanistan, on January 2, 2005, and it was on that day that SFC Pedro A. Munoz became the Battalion’s first Afghanistan combat casualty of 2005 and their first combat casualty since Vietnam. Pedro’s daughter, Dalia, was only sixteen at the time. The following year, Bill got a call from Dalia, who by then was a senior in high school. “She asked me if it would be possible to sandblast her father’s name on a rock,” recalled Bill. “I told her it was, and I would be glad to do it for her. But what she really wanted was for me to teach her how to sandblast so she could do it herself. She then told me about the five other 1st Battalion soldiers who had been killed in Afghanistan in 2005. She said she also wanted to sandblast a rock for each one of them and then place all six rocks in a memorial garden that she was going to build at the Battalion Headquarters.” Over the next few months, Dalia and mother Gisela made several four-hour Continued on next page



LEGACY OF STONES: Continued from previous page


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drives from Fayetteville to Banner Elk so that Dalia could learn how to sandblast. When she was ready, Dalia and Bill waded through Banner Elk’s nearby riverbeds and carefully selected six rocks for the project. After completing the job, however, she discovered a problem. “Her eyes filled with tears,” said Bill. “She turned to me, pointed at the rocks and said, ‘Bill, look, they’re not right.’” On three of the rocks, the names were in the customary ALL CAPS. But on the other three the names were in upper and lower case letters. Bill tried to console Dalia saying they looked fine, and he didn’t think anyone would care. “I care! They have to be right!” Dalia insisted. Early the next morning, Bill and Dalia were back wading in those riverbeds selecting three new rocks. By that evening, all the names were in capital letters and all six memorial stones were on their way back to The Battalion at Fort Bragg, where, with the help of some of her Battalion friends, Dalia created the beautiful memorial rock garden she had first envisioned. Two years later a major with 1st Battalion called The Sign Shop and said, “Bill, we need another rock.” Over the next two weeks he ordered two more rocks. And by the time 1st Battalion had departed Afghanistan in 2008, there were seventeen memorial rocks laid together. Later, four more rocks were added honoring the four 1st Battalion soldiers killed in Viet Nam. In 2011, 7th Group was moved from Ft. Bragg to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida and the Rock Garden Memorial was carefully moved along with it. Since then, five more rocks have been added, totaling 26. Two years ago, Bill Dicks memorialized this story in a video he created with videographer Jordan Nelson of Hickory. It was presented and donated by Bill to the Battalion on May 28, 2021, at their annual Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony held at Elgin Air Force Base. The video has since become a popular view across the internet and on social media (https://vimeo. com/532068201/ad60bec368). As Bill notes, the Rock Garden Memorial only exists because of the inspiration of 17-year-old Dalia Munoz, her dedication to her father’s memory and her desire to honor those other fallen soldiers of 1st Battalion. The Rock Garden Memorial is the only one of its kind in the US Army and is greatly appreciated by active soldiers, vets and Gold Star families. It has become an enduring legacy of shared destinies, family friendships and a memorial made of riverbed stones as old and enduring as our North American Appalachian range. Post Script: Dave Dicks eventually went on to become a FedEx pilot. On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, where Pedro had grown up, Dave was greeted by a member of the ground crew upon landing. At the time, everyone was still Covid-masked. Dave looked into the eyes of the ground crewman. “It was like looking into Pedro’s eyes.” There stood Pedro’s younger brother, Carlos, who Dave had met seventeen years earlier almost to the day at Pedro’s memorial service. They reconnected, reminisced, and Dave posted a video of their reunion on social media, which ended up receiving over 300,000 views in just four days. Carlos’ family and other relatives in Puerto Rico had no knowledge of the Rock Garden Memorial and took great comfort in knowing Pedro has not been forgotten.

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... one of many animals in our community who have suffered abandonment, abuse and neglect, yet could not speak out for themselves. If you live in Avery County* and want to support efforts to rescue and care for animals in need, make your voice heard. When our voices are heard, so are the animals’.

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The Way He Sees It:

Jesse Smith Is Living His Best Life By Julie Farthing


esse Smith, who lives in the quaint town of Crossnore, has roots that run deep. His great aunt and uncle, Drs. Henry and Mary Martin Sloop, were instrumental in bringing healthcare to the isolated mountain community. Mary Martin Sloop, also seeing education as a top priority, founded Crossnore School. Jesse’s father, Dr. E. H. Smith, dedicated his life to healthcare in Crossnore for over 54 years. Jesse, himself, has served the Crossnore community in various capacities; he’s a current town council member and former mayor. Jesse is passionate about music and astronomy. He takes part in the Bear Race at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, leads a weekly community jam session, and enjoys kayaking on Lake Norman. While all this sounds like many other outdoor enthusiasts and musical aficionados, Jesse Smith has an eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and is legally blind. “Interesting story about how I found out I had RP,” says Jesse. “I was working at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and this radio ad came on with Telly Savalas talking about this eye disease with tunnel vision and night blindness, and how it can cause total blindness. I heard that ad and I thought, that sounds familiar. I was having the same symptoms. So, I went to the National Eye Institute and was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa. My eye doctor said I had a 50/50 chance I would go blind. And I thought, ‘Now I can plan my life.’” By the age of 27, Jesse was totally blind. But the story doesn’t end there. The story was just beginning. Jesse didn’t quit enjoying all the things he loved before he lost his sight, instead he discovered new adventures. Music has been front and center in Jesse’s life since he was a young boy. “I have always sung. I learned how to sing in church and ‘pop’ tunes on the radio. When I was a senior at Davidson College, I went to hear a band called ‘Pure Prairie League.’ I was on the second row, and right then I

promised myself I would learn to play the guitar.” Blindness has only strengthened Jesse’s love of music. Every Tuesday at 1 p.m., you will find him at the Crossnore Jam at the Meeting House located in the center of town. He also leads jam sessions the first Friday of each month from 10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m. “You can come to listen, or play. We have a blast all year round!” says Jesse. “I have been really fortunate to hang out with people that encourage me to be positive. My jam buddies are an inspiration to me.” When he’s not playing music, Jesse is recording it. His recent project involves studio recording software on his Mac computer, which uses a screen reader. “It’s a recording studio in a backpack so you can carry it around and do multitrack recording anywhere,” explains Jessie. While working with computers and instruments is not new to the visually impaired, there is a formidable feat that even sighted persons strive to accomplish, and that is The Bear Race, a challenging 5-mile race up to the top of Grandfather Mountain during the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Jesse, with the help of his son, Nathan, has done just that. During the race, Nathan is his sighted guide. “I have a white cane that we collapse halfway,” says Jessie. “Nathan holds one side of the cane with his left hand and I hold the other side with my right, and we run side by side. Somehow we navigate through 800 people up to the top of Grandfather Mountain!” Another summer adventure takes place at Camp Dogwood, a destination for the visually impaired and blind, located on Lake Norman in Catawba County, NC. The camp is owned and operated by the NC Lions Inc. “It is an amazing camp,” says Jesse. “I try stuff out there before I try things in the real world. I learn about mobility and using a cane, about exploring.” His explorations included learning to kayak on the lake. “They have kayaks, and of course I’m totally blind, so I can’t tell

which way I’m going and I can stray really fast,” Jesse says of his new water sport. “The counselor had a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. By listening to the speaker, I could paddle around the other kayakers and knew which direction I was going.” Here at home, Jesse attends a blind support group called New Horizons that meets in Spruce Pine each month. “I like the philosophy of getting together and sharing how a blind person uses different techniques to be better adaptive and live a normal life,” says Jesse of the group that recently took a day trip to Altapass Orchard. “That was a super trip! There was also a beehive there and a worker was explaining what was going on in the hive. I put my hand beside the hive and I could feel the tiny vibrations of the bees!” For Jesse, opportunities to explore seem boundless. He loves to be among the stars and meets with a group who shares his passion. “I know it sounds weird, but as a blind guy, I’m really into astronomy. We have even had blind stargazing,” says Jesse. “A sighted gentleman, Bob Hampton, attends and describes things amazingly. Blind stargazing is magical.” Of course, Jesse’s main happiness comes from spending time with his wife and family. “You ask yourself every now and again ‘what do you want out of life?’ I feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to do what I do and have what I have.” CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


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Carolina Mountain Life “CML is more than just a printed magazine, it is the publisher, advertisers, story writers, and photographers who come together to share the heart and soul of the High Country with readers. Congratulations CML for 25 years of determination and impact, bringing together and sharing the best of this magical place we call home. Thank you for embodying and magnifying the heart and soul of our beloved High Country. “

A Look Back­ over 25 Years

—Lee Rankin Apple Hill Farm


• We’ve come a long way in 25 years! From typesetting to photography to layout to printing, publishing a magazine in 1997 was much different than today. But the places and people of our region—the main elements of a good story—are timeless. Here we share some of our favorite covers from past issues, including our inaugural issue published in spring of 1997. • We hope you enjoy this issue! To read back issues of CML, visit




“ all a bout it ” Community & Local Business News Bluebird Pediatric Denistry Bluebird Pediatric Dentistry opened its doors in West Jefferson and Boone in 2021. Dr. Martha Hardaway and Dr. Parisa Tashakkori are excited to be serving the children of the High Country. Dr. Hardaway has been practicing pediatric dentistry for nearly 20 years, the majority of which were in Boone, NC. She loves serving this community and decided to open her own practice with a compassionate team that provides high-quality dental care to kids of all ages. Dr. Parisa is a Boone local who after working in general dentistry for several years decided to specialize in pediatrics and return home. She is thrilled to be back in her hometown and working alongside Dr. Hardaway. Bluebird Pediatric Dentistry offers many services to help children grow and maintain beautiful smiles. Their services range from preventative treatments such as cleanings and nutritional counseling to white fillings and laser treatments. Dr. Hardaway and Dr. Parisa practice state-ofthe-art evidence-based dentistry and combine that with children’s specific needs to develop a conservative and modern plan for families. Bluebird strives to help little ones get the care they need with a gentle touch to prevent creating a fear that can carry over into adulthood. The Bluebird team offers several means of treatment and techniques to best treat the needs of each child, including those with special needs. At Bluebird, their mission is to make a positive difference in lives of children by providing nurturing, high-quality dental care that is personalized to exceed each individual`s needs and expectations in an environment that is welcoming and fun. Whatever your family’s dental needs, visit Bluebird Pediatric Dentistry for the kind of quality, convenient care that means healthy teeth, beautiful smiles, and happy families! 336649-4001,


Appalachian Blind & Closet Relocates & Grows Appalachian Blind and Closet Co. of Boone has just enjoyed another impressive growth surge with their relocation to a new showroom and sales office in Foscoe, located at 8599 Hwy 105. Company owner since 1993, Greg Seiz, notes that this move takes them from 1,800 square feet to 5,000 square feet and offers expansive space to show off more products and design options. This growth has also resulted in the company being able to expand their employee base from seven to twenty-five. Along with a new location comes new senior management, a change Seiz embraces very enthusiastically. The new COO and VP for Appalachian Blind and Closet is Greg’s son, Austin. After the past few years of becoming deeply immersed in the entire operation, Austin is more than ready to take charge. And Greg will still be available as needed in a consulting and employee training role. Appalachian Blind and Closet provides shutters, blinds, shades, motorized and automated window coverings, closet storage systems and awnings. And they’re especially proud of being a Hunter Douglas Gallery Dealer, offering the full line of Hunter Douglas products and services. Greg Seiz has grown the business steadily to cover an ever-widening marketplace. With warehouse and shipping in Newland, the company serves both consumer and trade customers within an approximate 100-mile radius, including much of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Seiz credits this success to a dynamic company culture, which combines dedicated employees with a commitment to first-rate customer service and exceptional product offerings. Another factor in this success story is the company’s corporate role in meaningful community service. Appalachian Blind and Closet is a primary supporter for the non-profit organizations of Western Youth Network and the Musicians Mission of Mercy. And it is an active member of all four local Chambers of Commerce. In each case, the company devotes serious energy to both organizational initiatives and fund-raising events. Beyond those local civic and non-profit organizational involvements, they will be dedicating a portion of the property beside their building for a new eco-friendly community garden based on Restoration Farming and Soil Replenishing. This visionary project gets underway this summer (for more information on the project, email The company’s product gallery website is –contributed by Steve York

Appalachian Apothekary & Tea Room

Children’s Hope Alliance Sells Grandfather Home Property to Lees-McRae College

Welcome to Appalachian Apothekary & Tea Room! No, that isn’t a misspelling. The “k” is deliberate. Appalachian Apothekary & Tea Room—located at 10543, Hwy 105 South, Suite 2 in Foscoe—is far more than what you might expect. It’s a truly unique, refreshing & uplifting experience. And it’s the most recent inspiration of App State grad and 31-year High Country resident and entrepreneur, Anne Bolyea. If her name is familiar, that may be because she had been a professional ski patroller at Hound Ears, Hawksnest and Sugar Mountain for 18 years, had owned the Cheerwine Professional Cycling Team with teammates in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and once owned/operated the Apps Grill, which was attached to the old Carmike Theater on King Street in Boone. More recently she was searching for a new venture that could fulfill her combined penchant towards holistic lifestyle modalities, her interest in healing and spiritually inspired products, and her love of authentic traditional British teas and tea-drinking customs. And the ideal business model for all that? The Appalachian Apothekary & Tea Room. The Apothekary offers revitalizing tinctures, soaps, candles, wax melts, dried flowers, plus “healing” crystals, minerals and stones from around the world. Akin to this theme are inspirational materials and books covering a rich collection of spiritual knowledge and practices from many cultures, religions and philosophies. And, soon to come will be a dedicated room for informational talks and instruction by experts in these metaphysical and spiritually-oriented traditions. Anne’s tearoom is a truly unique part of the “experience” for shop visitors. It provides seven tables and a couch for guest seating that can be reserved during set hours for special events and parties. As she puts it, “Ours is a traditional Britishtype tearoom service with a spoonful of southern flair. We offer 45 flavors of tea imported from France along with clotted cream, scones, English biscuits, hot cross buns, Battenberg cakes, Divinity confections, sweet breads from Wolferman’s Bakery plus cookies and macarons baked and delivered from Savannah. It’s a total taste-sensory experience.” There’s much more. But you need to visit to get the full experience. Hours, products and services are online at www. and on Facebook. –contributed by Steve York

Children’s Hope Alliance (CHA) and Lees-McRae College recently announced the sale of the Grandfather Home for Children property in Banner Elk to the educational institution. This transaction enables both organizations to grow and serve additional constituents. Proceeds of the land sale will allow CHA, a nonprofit serving at-risk children and families in the High Country and across North Carolina, to serve ten times as many children in the High Country—from 125 to 1,125 children annually by 2030. Across the state, CHA’s goal is to serve as many as 20,000 children and families in need of support each year, compared to the 2,000 children served today. “Today’s announcement extends what has been a long and positive relationship between Children’s Hope Alliance and LeesMcRae College,” explained Celeste Dominguez, CHA President and CEO. “As a trusted community partner in Banner Elk from our earliest days, we are confident Lees-McRae will continue to put this treasured land to its best use, while allowing CHA to enhance our mission, grow our services more quickly and expand our reach more broadly. Lees-McRae College, a private institution with more than 50 academic programs, provides an innovative experiential education to students at its main campus and online. The purchase of the Grandfather Home facilities, as well as 475 acres of land adjacent to its existing campus, will provide much of the space and resources needed for the college to achieve its goal of having 1,000 students in residence within the next decade. This addition to the campus of Lees-McRae will also be vital in implementing the priorities outlined in the 2030 strategic plan. “The responsibility to safeguard this property is not one we take lightly,” said Lees-McRae President Lee King. “While the ownership of the land is changing, it will continue to be used for its original purpose—education of and service to our community. Our motto, ‘In, Of, and For the Mountains’ will continue to guide us as we plan for new programs and opportunities that best serve our growing student body.” For more information, visit and



“ all a bout it ”

Banks Creek Barn Store Renewal by Andersen Replacement Windows and Doors Visits The Mountains You may have seen Renewal by Andersen recently as they held dinner events, met with local businesses and restauranteurs, and visited with homeowners. Their goal? To increase awareness of their custom windows and doors. Innovation has been a hallmark of Andersen Corporation since its founding in 1903. Andersen implemented “mass production” techniques in 1904 and produced the first completely assembled window unit in 1926. Their guiding principle has always been to “make a product that is different and better.” Today, Renewal by Andersen (a division of Andersen Corporation) continues this tradition of innovation offering durable, beautiful, custom crafted and professionally installed replacement windows and patio doors. Renewal by Anderson offers a great way to lower your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Their windows can cut your energy bill up to 35 percent, and their SmartSunTM glass blocks 95 percent of UV rays that can fade hardwood floors and damage photographs, artwork, upholstered furniture and rugs. Each window is crafted in the U.S.A. from an exclusive Fibrex® material that won’t crack, pit, peel, rot, corrode, or warp. Fibrex® is a revolutionary composite that combines the strength and stability of wood with the low-maintenance features of vinyl; it is two times as strong as vinyl, and you’ll never have to paint your windows again. Renewal by Andersen’s customers not only receive a topquality product and Signature Service, they get the “Nation’s Best Warranty Coverage” as well: 20 years coverage on glass and Fibrex® material; 10 years coverage on hardware; and two years coverage on installation (so a homeowner can live with their windows and doors through all four seasons—twice). In addition, their warranty is fully transferable to the next owner of the home. If you’ve been feeling a draft or looking at foggy, rotting windows and doors, call Renewal by Andersen for a free inhome consultation. 828-579-3795


Looking for a new family-fun mountain adventure? Well, here’s one to add to your favorites…Banks Creek Barn Store. If you’re headed south on Hwy 221 to the Linville Falls community and you reach the Hwy 183 intersection, you’ll find yourself in front of Famous Louise’s Rock House Restaurant on the right. Now continue carefully through a couple sharp curves for another .10 miles and you’ll suddenly see a big sign on your right, in the middle of a curve, that says Banks Creek Barn Store. Turn there at the sign. This is a true family-fun destination created and managed by Aaron Banks and a whole bunch of the Banks family. The rustic barn store sits right beside rushing creek waters with a long foot bridge that connects to five trout ponds and hiking trails. You’ll find some of the best trout fishing anywhere, right there smack dab in the middle of 100 acres of near pristine mountain splendor. And a good 3,000 “CableMonster” trout (Rainbow) await your line in those ponds. Inside the store you’ll find high-end gifts and collectibles, antique wood art, Linville Falls apparel, coffee, ice cream, snow cones, popcorn, pottery, custom one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry by TK Burke, canvas prints of beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain scenic photography by Thomas Mabry, and more. Among new collectibles this spring are Banks Creek signature glasses for enjoying your choice of wines or beers available from their instore tap room. And these glasses really come in handy for relaxing on the store’s decks, beneath covered creekbank seating, or “sipping and fishing” while sitting comfortably pond-side. The trout-specialty fly and spin tackle section of the store has everything you’ll need to assure you go home with a catch more than worthy of a formidable fish tale. And, if you need a few refresher tips on snagging those trout, Aaron Banks teaches the lost art of fly tying, and Cam Austin can school you with expert casting lessons. Cam is also on tap for personal guide trips along scenic hiking trails and by breathtaking waterfalls. So, while you’re taking in the other major Linville Falls area attractions, set aside time for your Banks Creek Barn Store adventure. You may find yourself fishing, hiking, relaxing, sipping and lingering there all day. They’re open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. until dark, April through November. Details at and on Facebook. – Contributed by Steve York

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1710 Linville Falls Hwy Newland, NC 28646 Meetings by appointment. Please call 828.737.0040

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“I have read each and every issue of Carolina Mountain Life for the last 25 years and look forward with great anticipation to reading the upcoming anniversary issue. Keep up the good work, Babette! When guests from out of state visit my home, I make sure we have some recent copies of Carolina Mountain Life on the coffee table. I plan to secure several copies of the anniversary issue because my guests often ask if they can take the magazine home with them. If someone does not know about the excitement, cultural and recreational offerings in the North Carolina High Country, I always tell them to find a copy of Carolina Mountain Life.” —Jim Swinkola

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Three NC Locations to Serve You: Linville • Winston-Salem • Lake Norman/Mooresville / 1600 Linville Falls Hwy, Linville, NC 28646 100 — Spring 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

Nothing could be finer… than Outlander in Carolina. By Steve York


nd nothing could be more fitting than a large and growing Outlander-themed membership organization founded and based right here in North Carolina, the setting for much of Diana Gabaldon’s epic Outlander novels and the wildly popular Starz TV series. For the few unfamiliar with Outlander, it traces the fictional, time-leaping love story of Jamie and Claire Fraser of the Scottish Highlands as they—and thousands of Highlanders—fled tyrannical British oppression and migrated to North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the late 18th century. Based upon Jamie and Claire’s passionate yet often perilous adventures, Outlander North Carolina and its signature events—A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming in October, the new Springtime at Fraser’s Ridge in May, and NC Sassenach Tours during the summer—are the creations of one Beth Pittman of Ashe County and her equally passionate “clan” of partners, co-workers and volunteers. Both the May and October events are held in view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Leatherwood Mountain Resort in historic Ferguson, North Carolina. Each provides a rich interactive experience of 18th-century Scottish and North Carolina culture and history, with music, dancing, workshops, historical reenactments, living history demonstrations, food, drink, celebration and special Outlander TV series celebrity guest ap-

pearances. For example: last October featured Lotte Verbeek, the beguiling and bewitched Geillis Duncan from the STARZ series. Next October’s event will host Graham McTavish, who plays Dougal MacKenzie. And everyone in attendance comes dressed in full 18thcentury Scottish attire. Overwhelming demand from fans of previous October events prompted Pittman’s close friend, Carolyn Baker, to create her Springtime at Fraser’s Ridge event, which debuts May 19-21. Distinctive from October’s agenda, May’s celebration takes you back in time to experience more Scottish history and culture, including Gaelic music, Scottish dance and cuisine. Appearing as a special celebrity guest is none other than Outlander TV star Duncan Lacroix, who portrays Murtagh, Jamie Fraser’s loyal godfather. Lacroix is a native of London who has been living in Ireland for the past 14 years. He spent ten of those years in Galway City in western Ireland, and the last four in Dublin. Besides his starring role in Outlander, his film credits include Outlaw Kings, Vikings, and the bold, dramatic HBO series, Game of Thrones. Entertainment highlights for May also include Jennifer Licko and Highland Echoes, featuring four Highland dancers and a full band of award-winning musicians who dramatize the story of the Scottish people and all their legends,

mystery and history from their 18th-century immigration to present day. Also back by popular demand, following their appearance at last October’s event, is KIR, Kirk McLeod’s worldrenowned Seven Nations Trio with their electrifying Celtic rock and fusion music. KIR will be back at Pittman’s 2022 event October 20-22 for a command performance. The Outlander-inspired summer NC Sassenach Tours—co-partnered by both Pittman and Baker—are history-focused weekend expeditions to landmarks, wineries, breweries and restaurants relevant to the North Carolina locations and experiences Jamie and Claire Fraser would have shared in the 18th century. Outlander NC and its offspring events are as hot at their namesake novels and TV series, with thousands of members and social media followers, and attract eventgoers from as far away as Canada, California, Puerto Rico and even Scotland. Attendance at each Leatherwood Mountain Resort event is limited to 200 people. NC Sassenach Tours cap off at 25. So, it’s always smart to get on their lists early. All information for events and tours are available at, www. and www., as well as via their Facebook and Instagram pages.



“Plants range from ephemeral wildflowers to native shrubs such as rhododendrons and azaleas,” according to staff. “When we’re all itching to get outside in the garden, this is a great way to kick off the spring gardening season.” https://

member artists will be featured throughout the year in monthly spotlights. For more information call 828-688-6422 or visit Follow the gallery on Facebook at Mica Gallery NC or on Instagram at micagallerync.

Watauga Women in Leadership

The mission of Watauga Women in Leadership (WWIL) is to empower High Country women in business and leadership in all stages of their careers. The organization presents events that support women through networking and educational speakers.

Earth Day is April 22

On the first Earth Day in 1970, more than 20 million people in the US commemorated our planet at inaugural Earth Day events. Earth Day became a widespread movement to respect and protect the environment and is now more celebrated than ever. NC State Parks celebrate Earth Day every year with a variety of special events and programs for the whole family! Check with your local State Parks at Want to do one simple act to help earth? Help put an end to the problem of plastic bag pollution. Take your clean, dry plastic bags to one of many retail locations with plastic bag recycling programs (most grocery stores in our area have bins right out front). Better yet, make a goal to use fewer plastic bags—bring your reusable bags with you on your next shopping excursion.

Erin Brockovich to Speak at Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge Power of the Purse Luncheon

Coffee Connections are short morning programs that allow participants to network and share educational experiences. Come sip on some coffee and connect at the June 15 Coffee Connections event. Facebook: wataugawomeninleadership

The Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge is excited to have renowned Consumer Advocate and Environmental Activist Erin Brockovich as their guest speaker for this year’s annual Power of the Purse luncheon. Brockovich is proof that one person can make a difference, and she believes that everyone in their own way can do the same. The 2022 Power of the Purse luncheon will be held Wednesday, June 29, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Appalachian State University Holmes Convocation Center. Tickets are $125 per person and go on sale May 11. For more information on the luncheon and the Patron’s Party on Tuesday evening visit,

Nathan Favors

Mica Open for the Season

Daniel Boone Native Gardens Plant Sale

The Daniel Boone Native Gardens kick off the 2022 season with two Plant Sales from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 21 and June 18. A variety of native plants will be available from local vendors. continued...


Mica, a Cooperative Gallery of Fine Art and Contemporary Craft, is open for the 2022 season! As an artist cooperative, Mica displays the work of its members and invited guest artists. The gallery is located in Bakersville, NC, a charming town between Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, in close proximity to Penland School of Craft. Two artists are new to the gallery this year, Nathan Favors and Jean McLaughlin. Returning

Take a New Friend on a Spring Walk

As the warmer weather arrives, consider adding a furry companion to your walking routine! We are fortunate to have several animal shelters in our area that do an amazing job caring for animals in need and placing those animals in forever homes!

6) protect our planet from plastic; and 7) watch birds, share what you see. Visit for more details on how you can go about executing these 7 actions. You can also learn how you can get more involved in local bird advocacy at

This spring, visit a Humane Society in Watauga, Avery, or Ashe County and find a special pet to keep you company! Or, search online for your new best friend at, or (Note: Ashe County houses feline friends only.)

Enjoy an Outing on Wildcat Lake

Cool off with a splash, catch a big one, or enjoy a simple picnic lakeside! Wildcat Lake is a premier attraction of the High Country, with swimming, boating and fishing available to High Country residents and visitors. Located on Hickory Nut Gap Road in Banner Elk, this 13-acre lake is an iconic summer experience for children and families. This year, Wildcat Lake reopens to the community under new management. Visit or the Wildcat Lake Facebook page for more information.

Valle Crucis Community Park Welcomes New Executive Director

The Valle Crucis Community Park, located near the Original Mast Store Annex in Valle Crucis, NC, is excited about its 2022 spring and summer seasons! The park recently welcomed new Executive Director Gardner Hoover (pictured above). Gardner said that he was most attracted to the Executive Director role at Valle Crucis Park because of its importance to the community. He noted that the pandemic was also an eye-opener and made him appreciate more than ever the importance of having a place like the Park. “This is a beautiful and safe place for people and families to spend time outdoors. As a father of a three-year-old son, my family time and father/son time at the Park has been exceptional.” Visit the park this season, and be sure not to miss the Music in the Valle concerts beginning in early summer.

The Town of Boone recently received the “SolSmart Gold” designation from the national SolSmart program ( for making it faster, easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to go solar. “The Town of Boone continues to lead the way and serve as an example of how local government can partner with citizens to explore new and exciting ways to prepare for our future. . . and help Boone take one step further along the path of sustainability,” said John A. Ward III, Town Manager. As of February 2022, all Town of Boone municipal electricity is generated using 100% renewable energy sources; this is possible with the partnership between the Town’s two energy providers, Appalachian State’s New River Light and Power (NRLP) and Blue Ridge Energy (BRE).

Newest Exhibit at BRAHM

Coolest Corner Ashe Bash

A FREE musical extravaganza and community celebration will be held on the steps of the Ashe County Courthouse (150 Government Circle, Jefferson, NC) on July 8 at 7 p.m. Enjoy family-friendly entertainment and fun for all ages! This year’s event features Scythian and Shane Hennessy. Food trucks will be on site (no alcohol or pets, please). Guests are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs to enjoy the show. For more information, visit

Town of Boone Earns “Gold”

Folks at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum are hard at work installing the newest exhibit, Imminent Perils: To Wonder at Trifles in the Paintings of John Beerman. According to exhibit details, “John Beerman’s paintings are uncommonly contemporary in their glimpses of natural

Seven Simple Actions to Help Birds

In 2019, scientists documented North America’s staggering loss of nearly 3 billion breeding birds since 1970. Helping birds can be as simple as making changes to everyday habits. Here’s a quick list of 7 Simple Actions you can take to help birds (courtesy of The Cornell Lab of Ornithology): 1) Make windows safer, day and night; 2) keep cats indoors; 3) reduce lawn and plant natives; 4) avoid pesticides; 5) drink coffee that’s good for birds;

and built environments...This exhibition gathers together new works alongside earlier paintings to trace Beerman’s approach to the landscape.” The exhibit will run through July 31 in Rankin West Gallery. Admission to the museum is always free! Tidbits continued on next page...



Get Hitched on the Slopes

Bicyclists: Save the Date!

The popular Blue Ridge Brutal Bike Ride is scheduled for August 20, 2022, and registration is open now. Ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina. Information can be found at and on the event’s Facebook page.

Ski Slopes Making Upgrades

As Beech Mountain Resort leaves the winter season behind, a summer of game-changing upgrades ensues, including terrain redesign, new chairlifts, and increased snowmaking capacity. Beech Mountain Resort is committed to improving the overall guest experience through continued on-mountain enhancements. The resort will share additional improvements throughout the summer months. Visit https://www. for details. Over at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort, many snow sport enthusiasts’ favorite slope, Oma’s Meadow, will get a new high-speed, detachable, four-passenger chairlift this summer. The new 2,225’ long, Doppelmayr quad chairlift will carry 2,400 passengers per hour from the lift’s base elevation of 4,451’ to its summit elevation of 4,915’. For additional information visit

If marriage is in the air, Appalachian Ski Mtn. can provide a unique and scenic location, as well as professional staff to help you plan everything you imagine for your High Country wedding. The wedding team offers complimentary services, such as assistance in locating florists, bakers, musicians, rental equipment, and more. Appalachian Ski Mtn. also offers chairlift service for wedding ceremonies, as well as convenient on-site mountainside lodging.

Tour the Historic Banner Elk School

Tools for Visitors to the High Country

Visiting Avery County this season? Stop by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce and pick up your copy of the new 2022 Avery Business and Visitors’ Guide. And while you’re in downtown Banner Elk, be sure to visit the Banner Elk Chamber and pick up their new map of the downtown area’s dining, shops, galleries and more!,

The historic 1939 stone building in downtown Banner Elk is humming with activity this season. The old school is home to the Town’s Cultural Arts Center and one of the many stops on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails ( blue-ridge-craft-trails/). Shop for local arts and crafts at BE Artists Gallery, enjoy live theatre performances at the Ensemble Stage Theater, “bring a book, take a book” at the Banner Elk Book Exchange, hone your favorite pose at the Avery Community Yoga studio, and pick up an extra copy of CML at the CML Magazine “headquarters.” And don’t miss the Art on the Greene Master Craft Events taking place on the front lawn of the Historic Banner Elk School on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 and May 29, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. artonthegreene.

Boone Chamber Relocates

Heading to Boone? The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is now temporarily located at the Peak Insurance Group office at 149 Jefferson Road in Boone. Details about their new permanent home will soon be posted at

Call Blowing Rock Home?

Make sure you get all the latest communications from the Town of Blowing Rock. If you are not yet following the Town of Blowing Rock on Facebook, hop online and like their page! Timely updates on road work, programming, and Town facilities are posted there frequently. continued...


The Town’s e-newsletter is also a great way to stay informed. It is sent bi-weekly on Friday afternoons. Sign up for the e-newsletter by emailing with “newsletter” in the subject line.

Preventing Cybercrime

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Cybercrime, and how you can protect yourself against it. One step you can take is to protect your “login credentials” while on the Internet. Be sure to go to login pages directly, not through a link in an email or a pop-up. Before entering personal information, ensure you are on a secure site by looking for a lock icon at the beginning of the web address. Adapted from a presentation by Retired FBI Special Agent Jeff Lanza;

Wednesdays Starting June 8 Plus Memorial Day and Labor Day

2022 BAND LINE-UP May 30 The Lucky Strikes

July 6 The Rockabillys

June 8 Classic Highway

July 13 Shelby Rae Moore Band

June 15 Jessi & The River Cats

July 20 The Night Move Band

June 22 Tanya & The Roadrunnerz

July 27 The Collective

June 29 Smokin Joe Randolph

August 3 Smokin Joe Randolph

August 10 Cat5 Band (Shades of Shag at Sugar) August 17 Soul Benefactor August 24 The Collective August 31 The Rockabillys Sept 5 Tanya & The Roadrunnerz

5:30 – 9 PM

Free Admission | Weekly Food Specials Sugar Mountain Golf Club Deck | 1054 Sugar Mountain Drive Band schedule subject to change. Go to CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 — 105 or call 828-898-1025 for the latest info.

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Join other members who are helping hold down power costs through Beat The Peak. Volunteers receive alerts before peak power use times. They then take steps to delay or reduce use during peak times. Together, we can keep rates as low as possible!

It’s easy! Step 1: Sign up for peak alerts at, on our mobile app, or text “BTP” to 70216. Step 2: Take action to reduce electricity use during peak periods. This can be as simple as turning off a light or delaying laundry chores.


It’s time to learn like a kid! By Mike Teague I have been blessed to have a career in the fire service that has lasted over 38 years. Man, how time does fly! There are many things that I have truly enjoyed about my career and some that are difficult to handle at best. The joys that often come to mind are the education programs and the station tours with the kids. For years my colleagues and I have been given the opportunity to see the intrigue, excitement and amazement in the eyes of children as we are presenting fire and life safety education material to them. Luckily, during my years at Boone Fire Department and going back to my time in Avery County, I have worked for agencies that support education efforts related to fire and injury prevention. These efforts are confirmed by proud parents who will often stop me on the street or in a local business. Parents tell me about how their child came home from one of our fire and life safety programs with their “homework” and got the entire family involved in what they had learned earlier in the day. Because of these positive encounters I began to wonder, what are the adults doing? Unfortunately, we continue to have adult individuals injured or killed in fires. While we may have made an impact on a child in school, was that information retained? Was it passed on to an adult? Did the parent listen to the child or dismiss the information? I believe it’s time that adults revisit many of the points we make during fire prevention programs with the children. It is time for all of us to stop thinking about home fires as something that happens to someone else. The truth is, around 25 percent of the population will experience a home fire in their lifetime. Let’s turn back the clock and return to the basics of fire prevention in the home. Smoke Alarms Please take the time to insure that you have at least one working smoke alarm on each level. For best coverage, have a working smoke alarm inside each bedroom and

in the hallway outside the bedrooms. The vast majority of people who die in home fires die from smoke inhalation. Working smoke alarms in the home will greatly improve your chances of survival. We tell the kids during our programs that “Tuesday is test day, test your smoke alarms on Tuesday.” Make sure to let everyone in the home know before you test the smoke alarm. The test will only take a few seconds and will let everyone hear what the alarm sounds like. Home Escape Plans Once you have working smoke detectors, what do you do when the alarm goes off in the middle of the night? It is important to have a detailed home escape plan with multiple escape routes and a meeting place outside of the home. If you encounter smoke during your escape, what are you going to do? First, turn around and use your second exit path if you can. If you must get through smoke to get out, get low. The practice phrase we use with the children is “Get low and go!” You must get down low where the good air is and crawl out fast. Your escape plan needs to be discussed with everyone in the home. Here is the kicker…your escape plan also needs to be practiced so that it becomes second nature during a real emergency. Notification You have made it outside to safety, now what are you going to do? It’s time to dial 911 and report your fire. This must be done once you are outside and safe! Use your cell phone or head to a neighbor’s house to call. What are you going to say? It is vital that you know your address. With the wide use of cell phones, landlines aren’t used much anymore. The 911 center will have your cell phone number but not your address. You will need to remain calm, tell the 911 communicator what your emergency is, where the emergency is, what your name is. You will need to stay on the line with the 911 communicator while they ask you more questions to ensure you get the right help

that you need. All of this sounds easy, but can be very difficult during an emotional emergency. Remain Safe “Get out and stay out” is the phrase we use with the kids. Get out of the house as fast as you can and then stay out of the house. Don’t go back into the house for anything or anyone! It is important to remain outside and give directions to firefighters as to where your loved ones’ bedrooms are located. All too often we hear about the person who made it out alive, only to return into the burning home to get something forgotten. Then this person is overcome by the smoke and never makes it out again. Once out, stay out! Stop, Drop, and Roll Yes this safety tip still exists and is more useful than ever! The natural tendency for humans is to run if their clothes are on fire. This is the worst thing that you can do. The movement only fans the flames and increases the burn. You must STOP (don’t run), then DROP (yes, get on the ground) and then ROLL (roll around on the ground quickly). These steps will help to extinguish the flames. Hint: it may still hurt and burn, but it will be much worse if you get back up and run. As with other protective measures, practice your stop, drop and roll. Hopefully, you have picked up several important lifesaving techniques. If you practice each of the skills, it will be easier to remember during the emergency—and you can skip the gym for the day! If you have questions about these tips or any other fire safety issues, you can email me at Even better yet, come by the fire station and I might let you sit in one of the trucks! Mike Teague has 38 years of local fire service experience and is currently the Assistant Fire Chief of the Boone Fire Department. Feel to reach out to him at mike. or by phone at (828) 2686180 with questions or topic requests. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


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At the Y,neighbors from all backgrounds and walks of life can discover common ground and broaden their perspectives.



Appalachian Regional Healthcare Heart and Vascular Center By Kim S. Davis

Often linked to our strongest sentiments, the fist-sized heart muscle pumps blood to all parts of the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients. You might not realize how truly valuable it is to have high quality heart and vascular care close to home unless you or a loved one has experienced issues with the heart. But if you have, then you understand the need to rapidly deal with this life-giving organ that Greek philosophers first granted a dominant role in core emotions such as love, fear, anger, rage and pain. When you hear that you have an issue with the heart, all of these feelings may come into play, and easy access to high quality cardiology care becomes more important. That is why Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) prioritized the growth and expansion of their Heart and Vascular program. Their recently expanded Heart and Vascular Center, prominently located in the front of the Watauga Medical Center (WMC), is committed to providing expedited diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular disease right here in the High Country. The ARHS Heart and Vascular Center has several highly regarded board certified specialists providing comprehensive care, while continually recruiting top cardiologists to expand choices for patients. Additionally, there are dedicated professionals available around the clock in their 24-hour catheterization lab. When dealing with heart issues, time is of the essence and having such exceptional state-of-the-art services close to home is vital for improving the quality of life for area residents and visitors. By synthesizing outpatient heart care and diagnostic services in the same location, ARHS offers a collaborative approach that is unique to the region. Instead of having to travel off the mountain to larger cities with mega-centers and multiple providers, patients can stay close to home and receive more personalized care with first-rate doctors and staff. As Caleb Ahrns, Practice Manager for the Heart and Vascular Center states, “Here patients receive the best of both worlds, excellent service

and a personal touch. Our providers know who their patients are and what transpired when they last saw them, and they develop relationships that are a critical component of staying healthy. All of our providers and staff are focused and dedicated because they value the community.” Because of the proximity to a patient’s home, Heart and Vascular Center professionals are also able to offer support to families, because heart illness impacts all who care about the patient. One of the exceptional services provided at the Watauga Medical Center Heart and Vascular Center is the 24/7 cardiovascular lab. With an interventional cardiologist available around the clock, patients do not have to travel far for a heart emergency. Additionally, the lab has received recognition for its rapid door-to-balloon time response. Door-to-balloon time is a national metric for treatment of heart attacks. It considers the time between when a patient arrives in the emergency room until the time the balloon is inflated within the blocked coronary artery. The national recommended doorto-balloon time is ninety minutes and the WMC cardiovascular lab has an accelerated sixty-minute time. In addition to general cardiology services, such as consultations, diagnostics, echocardiograms (EKGs), exercise stress testing, nuclear stress testing, coronary pressure wire, and heart failure services, the Heart and Vascular Center at Watauga Medical Center provides interventional cardiology and device management. There are multiple device rooms where, to-date, 2,300 patients have been seen to check and monitor their cutting-edge pacemakers; ARHS is one of only a few providers in North Carolina able to offer this newest technology. ARHS also implants and supports Afib monitors, defibrillators, and heart monitors, as well as coronary stents and coronary angioplasty. After receiving a device, patients go home nearby, with continuous monitoring and a plan of care. The number of patients seen recently shows that even with COVID fears, High Country residents understand that you

should not delay when taking care of your heart. And ARHS is extremely dedicated to the safety of its patients. They utilize all of the CDC precautions and employ leading edge PPE (personal protective equipment). Furthermore, the Heart and Vascular Center is located separately from other areas of the hospital. Even with all of the ARHS Heart and Vascular Program growth, further expansion is on the horizon. This summer, the footprint will extend into Ashe County, with the ARHS Heart and Vascular Center-Ashe opening, meaning more efficient and convenient access to top quality heart care in neighboring counties. Throughout all of the growth and expansion at ARHS, patients can be assured that their care is the main focus of the award-winning healthcare system. Receiving the Gold Seal of Approval and advanced certification for Chest Pain by the Joint Commission, along with a 5-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, a 5-star rating for Treatment of Heart Attack, and a 5-star rating for the Treatment of Heart Failure, the local health care team is highly capable of meeting patient needs. Furthermore, their equipment is top notch, indicated by the Echocardiogram Labs being certified by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission in Echocardiography for Cardiac Imaging Excellence. Additionally, Watauga Medical Center earned the 2020 Coronary Intervention Excellence Award from Healthgrades and was ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation. While the heart emoji may only be a metaphor for love, it helps express that often indescribable and undefinable emotion. So if you care about those you love, the best thing you can do is take care of yourself and your heart health. And with first-class heart and vascular care located right here in the High Country, you can safely and efficiently deal with any heart issue that arises without having to leave your mountain community.



Family Owned & Operated “Simply Great Food” Salads • Pasta • Hot Sandwiches Italian Pizza • Calzones • Desserts All ABC Permits – Carry out available – Intersection of Hwys 221 & 181 2855 Linville Falls Highway Pineola, NC 28662 (828) 733-1401

SUSHI BISTRO AND BAR Monday-Saturday Dine-In: 4pm - 10pm | TOGO: 4pm - 8pm 161 Howard Street, Boone 828-386-1201 |

Celebrating 27 Years!


D r o p i n t o W h e el ie s t o e nj o y fu n, f o o d a n d c o m mu ni t y w it h a ma z in g v ie ws !

828.414.9990 8960 Valley Boulevard Blowing Rock 28605


Be Well

Awaken to a New, Fresher You! By Samantha Steele

Detoxing can be tricky because if you jump in too quickly, you may have an adverse response to toxins that are released by bacteria and fungus when they are disrupted by dietary or lifestyle habit shifts. This is called a Herxheimer, or “Herx,” reaction and is basically a sign that your body is circulating toxins a little too quickly, which can prevent your body from eliminating them effectively. These toxins get released into the gut and bloodstream and may trigger side effects, such as loose stools or constipation; flu-like symptoms; brain fog; skin breakouts or rashes; anxiety or depression; and fatigue. You might have noticed that if you detox too quickly, you can end up even worse off than when you started! With this in mind, here are a few very simple ways to start a gentle detox. Drink at least 8 ounces of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. This will jumpstart your body’s natural ability to flush out toxins generated overnight. Maintain an intake of at least half your body weight in ounces of filtered or spring water daily. Avoid bottled water varieties that may contain traces of Bisphenol A (BPA), an industrial chemical that can compromise your eliminatory organs. Finally, try fasting from coffee and switch to herbal teas. Incorporate wild foods into your diet. A great place to start is with wild foods such as bittercress, chickweed and dandelion. Add dandelion greens to your salad, smoothies, and blended dips. Dandelion root makes a wonderful tea when brewed fresh, and when roasted, it serves as an excellent substitute for coffee. Chickweed and bittercress can be added directly to your salads or blended into hummus for a bright and healthy snack or condiment. Dandelions (and sometimes chickweed and bittercress) can be purchased at farmers’ markets and your local health food store. Of course, you might prefer to step outside and forage for your own wild foods. Make sure you harvest from areas that are free of insecticides and herbicides. Start a bedtime bath routine with Epson salts (2 tbsp.), aluminum-free baking soda (2 tbsp.), Organic Apple Cider vinegar (2 tbsp.), and lavender essential oil (10 drops). This is a wonderful way to wrap up your day and prepare for a restful night’s sleep. Set aside your electronics and focus on your deep breathing as you soak your cares away. The magnesium in the Epsom salts soothe your nervous system as well as sore muscles. Sweat it out! Infrared saunas can be a great addition to a detox program. Be sure to hydrate before and after spending time in a sauna. As previously noted, it’s important to maintain an adequate intake of water daily. Increase your intake and variety of fresh, local, organic vegetables. Be diligent and select a wide assortment each week. Diversity is the key to a healthy microbiome. Prioritize sleep. Sleep shuts off non-essential physical functions so the body can redirect its energy resources toward processing, healing, restoring, and detoxifying.

Kick start the day -10 ounces of warm to hot, not boiling, water -One half of an organic lemon Squeeze the lemon juice into the water and drink each morning on an empty stomach. Fresh green juice blend -The juice of one organic lemon or lime -One half of an organic cucumber -One half of an organic granny smith apple -A handful of parsley or cilantro -A handful of mixed organic greens -Enough water to blend, with a few cubes of ice to keep chilled In your Vitamix or heavy duty blender, blend all ingredients and drink as a meal replacement or along with a meal daily. You may make ahead and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Liver cleanser -One small organic carrot -3 Tablespoons fresh minced ginger -3 to 5 fresh dandelion leaves -One small organic lemon, whole -Enough water to blend, with a few cubes of ice to keep chilled In your Vitamix or heavy duty blender, blend all ingredients and drink as a meal replacement or along with a meal daily. You may make ahead and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Check out CML’s list of local farmers’ markets to find the best “detoxifying” produce near you! Samantha Steele is a nutritionist, food scientist and herbalist who loves spending time outside foraging for wild foods while appreciating the abundance of God’s creation. Contact her at The views are those of the author and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your personal physician or healthcare professional before making changes to any treatments, regimens or diets. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —



The Right Way to Detox

Detox Recipes


Springtime is the perfect time to “wake” your body up to a new season with a deep cleaning. This starts with some new and freshened-up habits, including more movement (like daily walks), an increase in your water intake, and an improved diet, all to detoxify from the long winter. Some of the signs that you may need a detoxification (detox) regimen are: irregular bowels, lack of energy, poor concentration, weight gain, liver inflammation, sleep disturbances, and mood swings. Do you have more than one of these symptoms?

Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm on Park Avenue

25 Years – 25 Things to Do with Goat’s Milk Cheese CML contributor Gail Greco, who authored our article on Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy (You Goat, Girl!), crafted this special list to honor CML’s 25th Anniversary. Enjoy experimenting with these tasty ideas and be sure to try out her delicious recipes for “Fig Goat Cheese Pizza” and “Pasta with Goat Cheese Sauce and Mushrooms.” The list of possibilities is endless because soft goat’s milk cheese is so versatile. Here are some ideas to inspire: n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n n

n n

Substitute goat cheese for cream cheese, often a healthier alternative. Enrich a chicken chili with a plain or flavored cheese. Use it as the base for almost any cream sauce. Enrich tomato soup by melting in the Dairy’s garlic chive flavor. Make it a part of a stuffed mushrooms recipe. Scramble it in with eggs. Tuck one of the sweeter flavors into pitted dates. Spread goat cheese with honey for meltingly rich grilled cheese sandwiches. Add as a salad topping. Freeze the Heritage soft cheese and when ready to cook, drop large crumbles or thin rounds into hot oil; drain; add to a fresh salad. The tang of goat cheese is a good substitute in recipes calling for white wine or a splash of vinegar. Spread as the base for flatbread or pizza topped with fresh sliced heirloom tomatoes. Use it to stuff into a rolled flank steak or a beef tenderloin. Stir a sweeter flavor goat cheese into warm oatmeal. Schmear cheese on French bread crusts and add caramelized onions for a bruschetta. Give your guac a new twist by creaming it with plain goat cheese. Improve mac-and cheese by melting in Heritage’s jalapeno pimento. Mix Heritage’s garlic chive into a hot baked potato. Knead goat cheese flavor of choice into biscuit or scone dough. Whisk and flavor cheese into a whippy dip. Up the taste of cottage cheese with a Heritage savory cheese. Dollop any savory Heritage flavor over steamed veggies. Do none of the above and just spread goat cheese on a fave cracker. Make Stuffed French Toast – Slit a pocket horizontally across 1-inch thick crusty Italian or French bread slices. Spread pocket with Heritage blueberry maple, fig pr serves, orange cranberry walnut, or plain goat cheese with choice of preserves. To be more decedent, shave some of Heritage goat fudge into the pocket. Submerge the filled breads into an egg-milk batter, coating well; brown both sides in a nonstick skillet over medium heat; serve with maple syrup. Make Fig Goat Cheese Pizza. (See recipe on page 120) Make Pasta with Goat Cheese Sauce and Mushrooms. (See recipe on page 121)


The Blowing Rock Farmers Market will begin Thursday, May 26th and run through September 29th.

The FM is open from 3-6pm on Park Avenue in front of the Chamber. We typically have fresh flowers, goat cheese, local meat, bread and more!

We are also a Satellite Food Hub Distribution point!

...where everyday is a

Farmer’s Market!

fresh produce locally baked goods moravian pies • quiches boiled peanuts • pickles Fresh Seafood • Local Meat Jams • honey • cheese & crackers artisan crafts & unique gifts Open Daily 10am-6pm Yummy Weekly Specials 828.963.8254 Hwy 105 South, Foscoe NC

owned & operated by


Wholesale Supplier of Fine Produce Est. 1993 • Boone NC 828.963.7254

You Goat, Girl!

Springtime... and a local cheese is alive with the sound of music and poetry. By Gail Greco, with Photos by Tom Bagley

Carol with kids


nce upon a time, folks balked at eating goat cheese. Too “goaty, barnyardy.” Today though, goat’s milk cheese tells a different story. Five a.m. and Carol Coulter leaps out of bed as frolicsome as a goat in a shaggy meadow. She sloughs sleepy eyes. Makes coffee. Pulls on her mud-runners and clops to the barn at her and husband Lon’s Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy in Ashe County, NC. And a Goat Morning to You, Too! Heirloom jonquils are blooming, but no time to pinch a bud. Carol is distracted by other rites of spring. The muffled hooves of Alpine and Saanen goats shuffle anxiously behind the barn doors, sensing their own cuppa grain, and wanting to hear what’s on Carol’s mind, maybe the food regionalization course she teaches at App State. After all, it might affect them too! The goats are baaing passionately. “Beckoning me,” Carol smiles, “to have a chat. Happily, I’m forced to pause every morning, steady my breath.” Goat yoga? “Sort of,” muses Carol. “They’re good listeners, centering my day,” and no doubt egging her on, “ You goat, girl!” Poet Carl Sandburg, observing his wife’s herd at their

Chatting in the barn

Flat Rock, NC, property (a National Park Service historical home and goat ranch) described it this way: Try Being a Goat. Put on a face of calm contemplation. Look people in the eye as though unaware they gaze at you. Read their innermost hidden secrets. Then turn away toward other horizons chewing your cud. But, given spring’s surprises, Carol’s not sure the goats will even notice her, let alone look her in the eye today! We Kid You Not Alas, they do rally ‘round, licking her ears, poking pockets, nudging her phone. Carol shortens the hugs though, spotting Nugget off alone. Sure enough, the nanny (mature female goat) has delivered. “Two kids? Whoa, a third? Triplets!” Carol wicks the visibly shivering kids (goat lingo for babies) of icy birth-liquid and bundles them under her jacket. Up at the house, Lon strokes his beard—a goatee, of course—contemplating the cheese kitchen where enzymes and probiotics are turning the season’s first milk into their signature soft spreadable

cheeses needed to fill orders from around town. Suddenly, he spots Carol walking determinedly, three tiny faces peering out unawares. Not a good sign; the kids are “hypothermic.” Lon turns, stoking the wood stove. He readies a cushy bed on loan from Ginger, the dairy’s spunky Jack Russell. The terrier, not much bigger than the seven-pound triplets, is miffed by the attention to the newbies. But sensing the trauma, she paces fervently alongside Lon as Carol races off to the milking parlor for nanny’s colostrum. This immune-fighting birth milk is lifesaving to the kids and later, in a thinner form, is nutritional for humans—high in calcium, vitamins, and minerals and low in lactose, foiling allergies and digestive diseases. Heritage is a 17-acre sustainable micro-dairy with only a few milking helpers to keep costs low and quality high. Some 22 goats are milked twice daily, March through September, producing 3,600 gallons of milk and 4,000 pounds of cheese ... not what the couple expected to be doing, buying the old produce farm in Crumpler 13 years ago. Their first chore proved a harbinger—a billy and two nannies were Continued on next page



Lon with Goat Cheese Pizza

Chowing Down

GOATS...continued from previous page brought in just to munch away overgrown brush. But, the frisky mammals were seduced by something else, and so the unsuspecting Coulters, already grandparents of four, now had more kids to, well, goat about, while overflowing with milk, and a new career. In Goats We Trust Goats have been beneficial for eons. So West Jefferson goat aficionado Keith Tindall tsks at false impressions. “Eat anything not nailed down? No, that’s an undeserved myth that unfortunately turned people from goat cheese when it was first available. Goats forage only nutritional options and just explore other things, satisfying their curiosity not their belly,” he laughs. Having worked on a 300-goat farm in Texas, Keith pontificates, “We never produced cheese as delicious and ‘alive’ as Heritage cheese.” He cites Lon’s cossetting production methods, “his grip on the earth and homesteading skills (hence Homestead in the name) affecting the cheese positively.” So, a cheese whisperer? “Yes,” insists Pat Meyer of Reeve’s Theater & Cafe, “and, then Carol is a goat singer-er.” Chef of the restored art deco livemusic eatery in the Elkin foothills, she is convinced that Carol’s singing to the goats is the dairy’s secret ingredient. In between sound checks and bands tuning up in the theater, melodies from blues to bluegrass float through Pat’s kitchen, twisting into her beer pretzels and crimping into potato crusts for her farm-to-table so-called “social fare.” “Song is in the cheese, too,” she quips. And she’s adamant, “It’s the best goat cheese I’ve ever had.”


Shoppers sample Heritage cheese at Watauga Farmers’ Market with flavors like roasted pepper/basil pesto, ginger mango, orange cranberry walnut, jalapeno pimento, and seasonal ones like a blueberry maple cheese made with fresh-tapped spring syrup from nearby Waterfall Farm. Adding flavors has made converts of the cheese, also sold at the Food Hub and Be Natural Market in Boone. Over Yonder Chef/Owner Andy Long remembers when goat cheese dishes were not as popular at the Valle Crucis restaurant. But as small-batch goat dairies (NC has many, and the state is headquarters to the American Goat Dairy Association in Spindale) began handcrafting the cheese, consumers were hooked by the healthy low-fat content and unique umami essence. “Any heavy, gamey taste,” Lon informs, “is usually from stale milk; improper sanitizing; ultra-pasteurization that depletes nutrients; and animal feed of low-quality.” Chef Andy adds, “Commercial cheeses are also dry and chalky. Heritage is creamy with a bright mouthfeel.” Booneshine and The Cardinal in Boone tuck it into burgers. Wineries—Grandfather in Foscoe, and Raffaldini and Golden Road Vineyards in Yadkin Valley—host it on charcuterie boards. Heritage serves food, too—wood-fired pizzas—for educational agritourism. A brick oven, built by Lon, crisps a smoky crust using a moist high-heat dough from Lost Province in Boone, which in turn sources Heritage cheese for its own rustic pizza.

Don’t Be An Old-Goat, Have a Cookie! Heritage also makes other products: Semi-hard cheese; Feta, Ricotta Salata and new this month, Camembert and truffle cheese; a knockout caramel sauce of goat milk concentrate that Hatchet Coffee mixes into nitro-brews; and a creamy fudge tucked between peanutty discs of flax and pumpkin seed for what might be the first-ever fudge sandwich cookie from a goat, forcing goat-cheese skeptics to do a three-sixty! Goats’ milk provides many edible and skin-care products these days, but they’re also important worker-bees, weed-whacking invasive kudzu and other plants here and out West, and helping prevent more potential devastating brush fires by moistening soil through fertilization. https:// wildfires-goats-prevention.html Occasionally, Carol and Lon deliver a breached birth themselves since a traveling vet, a la James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small, is six hours away. “We’re always amazed. Five minutes after birth, they stand up wobbly; tiny but strong-willed, they take on the world. That inspires us,” say the Coulters. Such fortitude obviously makes its way into their special cheese, too, something we in the High Country can eat fresh anytime these days and live happily ever after!

Spring Farmers’ Markets Spring has sprung, and our local open-air farmers’ markets are welcoming shoppers! Find a Market in your neck of the woods and enjoy the best of what our region has to offer. Please be sure to confirm dates/times with your markets of choice prior to scheduling a trip. Abingdon, VA Farmers Market Saturdays 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., April – October Tuesdays 3 – 6 p.m. April - September Corner of Remsburg Dr. and Cummings St. in downtown Abingdon Ashe County Farmers’ Market Saturdays 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. April 16 – October 29 108 Backstreet, West Jefferson, NC Avery County Farmers’ Market Thursdays 4 - 6:30 p.m. Historic Banner Elk School Parking Lot 185 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, NC

Watauga County Farmers’ Market Saturdays April thru Oct, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturdays November 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 591 Horn in the West Dr, Boone King Street Farmers’ Market Tuesdays 4 - 7 p.m. May - October 126 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC Blowing Rock Farmers’ Market Thursdays 3 - 6 p.m. May 19 - September 29 132 Park Ave., Downtown Blowing Rock, NC

Morganton Farmers’ Markets Saturdays 8 a.m.-Noon May-October 300 Beach St., Morganton Wednesday Mini Market, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. May-October 111 North Green St. Morganton High Country Food Hub Order fresh, local foods online and pick them up at one of six locations throughout Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties.

Johnson County Farmers’ Market Saturdays May thru October, 9 a.m. to Noon Ralph Stout Park in Mountain City, TN Wilkes County Farmers’ Market Saturdays 7:30 a.m.-Noon, Tuesdays 3:30-5:30 p.m. April 23 - September Yadkin Valley Marketplace in N. Wilkesboro

Spices - Seasonings - Teas - Infused Salts and Sugars - Gourmet Gifts

U LT I M AT E KITCHEN DESIGN We Make Beautiful Kitchens Affordable! 828-260-2592

The Spice and Tea Exchange Downtown Blowing Rock 828-372-7070

Downtown West Jefferson 336-846-8327 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —




Holy Smokes BBQ

3363 Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mountain, NC 28604 828.387.4200 Holysmokesnc/ “Offering delicious BBQ comfort food right here on beautiful Beech Mountain! We offer 7 different BBQ sauces made inhouse. Give it a sweet ending and try our house-made fudge.”

Lost Province Brewing Company

130 N Depot Street Boone, NC 28607 828.265.3506 “We serve authentic and innovative craft beer and savory wood fired fare.”


Blowing Rock Ale House

Casa Rustica

“Artfully crafted, locally sourced, seasonal pub cuisine paired with our beers brewed on-site.”

“Casa Rustica fuses old-world Italian cuisine with the fresh flavors of the High Country.”

152 Sunset Drive Blowing Rock, NC 28605 828.414.9600

1348 NC-105 Boone, NC 28607 828.262.5128

L “ et food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Banner Elk Café, The Lodge and The Tavern 324 Shawneehaw Ave S Hwy 184 Banner Elk, NC 28604 828.898.4040, 828.898.3444

“The place to BE in downtown Banner Elk. Serving pizza, pastas, salads, breakfast, coffee, fresh baked goods and more. Practically everything you need in one location.”


Gamekeeper Restaurant 3005 Shulls Mill Rd Boone, NC 28607 828.963.7400

“The Gamekeeper features a selection of perfectly prepared game, fish and vegetarian selections using humanely farm-raised meats, and locally grown organic produce.”

Fine food, friendly service, great atmosphere—you’ll find it all at our High Country restaurants this spring! Here, we feature a selection of popular dining establishments and showcase some of our favorite chefs’ specialties.

Wheelie’s Refresher

Sorrento’s Italian Bistro

Jack’s 128 Pecan

“Wheelie’s Refresher is perched on the edge of the Globe in the town of Blowing Rock. These incredible views provide a special ambiance for our fantastic burgers and sandwiches, fresh salads and sweet treats.”

“This upscale eclectic gourmet Italian Bistro, is a combination of visual and culinary celebration.”

“Local, quirky, fun little restaurant with simple good food and friendly professional service. Serving lunch and dinner, and carries a full bar.”

8960 Valley Boulevard Blowing Rock, NC 28605 828.414.9990

140 Azalea Cir SE Banner Elk, NC 28604 828.898.5214

128 Pecan St SE Abingdon, VA 24210 276.698.3159

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” —J.R.R. Tolkien


Highlander’s Grill & Tavern • 828.898.9613 4527 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk, NC 28604

Elk River Depot • 828.742.1980 6460 Banner Elk Hwy, Elk Park, NC 28622 Bella’s Italian Restaurant • 828.898.9022 3585 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Bodega’s Kitchen and Wine Bar • 828.898.7773 488 Main St W, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Stick Boy Kitchen • 828.265.4141 211 Boone Heights Drive, Boone, NC 28607 The Chef’s Table • 828.898.1940 140 Azalea Cir SE, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Fred’s Backside Deli • 828.387.4838 501 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC 28604

Woodlands Barbeque • 828.295.3651 8304 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 The Chestnut Grille at The Green Park Inn • 828.414.9230 9239 Valley Blvd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 The Italian Restaurant • 828.733.1401 2855 Linville Falls Hwy, Pineola, NC 28662 Reid’s Cafe & Catering • 828.898.9200 4004 NC-105 Suite #8, Sugar Mountain, NC 28604 Gideon Ridge • 828.295.3644 202 Gideon Ridge Rd, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 Bistro Roca • 828.295.4008 143 Wonderland Trail, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 Bayou Smokehouse & Grill Restaurant • 828.898.8952 130 Main Street East, Village Shops, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Stonewalls • 828.898.5550 344 Shawneehaw Ave S, Banner Elk, NC 28604

Pedalin’ Pig 4235 Hwy 105 S Banner Elk 28604 • 828.898.7500 2968-A Hwy 105 Boone NC 28607 • 828.355.9559 Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria • 828.387.4209 402 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC 28604 The Best Cellar • 828.295.3466 203 Sunset Drive , Blowing Rock, NC 28605 Carolina BBQ • 828.737.0700 500 Pineola Street, Newland, NC 28657 F.A.R.M. Café • 828.386.1000 617 W King Street, Boone, NC 28607 Painted Fish Cafe • 828.898.6800 2941 Tynecastle Highway, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Cobo Sushi Bistro and Bar • 828.386.1201 161 W Howard Street, Boone, NC 28607



Delicious Goat Cheese, Fudge and Caramel made on our Farm! Find us at: • Watauga Farmers Market • High Country Food Hub • Be Natural • Grandfather Winery

Let Us Shop For You!urbside Website C day Pickup Mon to Sunday

Contact: • Carol Coulter • • 828-773-8319.

“Just Be” Your LOCAL source for Organic & Fresh Foods, Bulk, Produce, Supplements and so much more!

Mon.-Sat. 9-7:30, and Sun. 12-6 273 Boone Heights Drive, Boone, NC 28607 Across from the Wellness Center 828-262-5592 •

Gather for a Good Time!

The Banner Elk Cafe and The Lodge Espresso Bar & Eatery Are Under One Roof!

"Inspiring your tastebuds for 10 years."

Located in the Heart of Banner Elk

Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Daily Drink & Food Specials Expansive Menu Indoor & Outdoor Dining Large Bar with Comfortable Seating ...and a Warm Fireplace! Trivia | Karaoke | Live Music


Schedule & Specials: Facebook, Instagram and at

Inspire Your Tastebuds

MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS NOW! Call for updated hours, specials and take out.

2941 Tynecastle Highway • Banner Elk (across from the entrance to Sugar Moutain)

828.898.6800 • Painted Salad



By Meagan Goheen with guest, Gail Greco


From CML’s Kitchen

made wit h love! Meagan’s Rainbow Trout with Lemon Shallot Sauce Yield: 4 Servings

INGREDIENTS: 4 Rainbow trout fillets* 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 tsp salt (to taste) ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper (to taste)

Lemon Shallot Sauce: ½ cup dry white wine 1/3 cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons) ¼ cup minced shallot (1 medium) 3 tablespoons heavy cream 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of choice (Thyme, basil, tarragon, parsley) 1 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS: 1. Season the top of fish fillets with salt and pepper 2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add fish fillets skin side up; cook for 3-5 minutes. 3. Flip the fillets over, skin side down. Cook for another 2-4 minutes until cooked through. 4. Meanwhile, to a small sauce pan add white wine, lemon juice, and shallot and cook over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, until only 2 tablespoons of liquid remain. Add the cream and salt to combine. Remove from heat, add the diced butter and swirl the pan until the butter is incorporated. Stir in fresh herbs. 5.) Serve with simply blanched asparagus and our roasted potato and radish salad. *Notes: Go fishing for Rainbow Trout at Banks Creek Barn—you catch and they clean it for you! See our Community and Local Business News section for more information on Banks Creek Barn. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


Meagan’s Roasted Potato & Radish Salad Yield: 8 Servings

INGREDIENTS: 1 pound baby potatoes, halved 1 pound radishes, halved 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra virgin ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp fresh pepper, cracked ¼ cup dill, chopped 2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped ¼ cup spring onions, finely chopped Vinaigrette: ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp fresh pepper, cracked ¼ cup dill, chopped 2 tablespoons tarragon, chopped ¼ cup spring onions, finely chopped DIRECTIONS: 1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. 2. In a large bowl toss potatoes and radishes in olive oil, salt and pepper. 3. To a sheet pan add potatoes and radishes. Roast for 15 minutes, toss and roast for another 10-15 minutes until potatoes are golden brown. 4. Meanwhile, mix together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside. 5. Once the potatoes and radishes come out of the oven, transfer to a bowl and toss with vinaigrette, dill, tarragon and spring onions. Served warm or chilled.

Gail’s Fig Goat Cheese Pizza


Make your own crust from fresh pizza dough such as from Stick Boy Bread Company in Boone. The bakery also has pre-made pizza crusts that work well for this recipe. The fig goat cheese is made with fig preserves for a touch of sweet. INGREDIENTS: 1 medium thin pizza crust, lightly cooked Olive oil for brushing 3 ounces Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy fig cheese spread, plus more for topping 4 pieces prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces ½ cup roasted peppers (substitute with fresh tomato slices) 6-8 fresh figs sliced or substitute with chopped dried figs Spring onions, chopped for garnish


DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400º. Brush crust on both sides with olive oil and place onto a wire rack in a shallow baking pan. Spread the goat cheese on the top side to within one-half-inch of the edge. Scatter the prosciutto and roasted peppers over top. Place the figs around evenly and sprinkle lightly with dollops of the goat cheese. Garnish with green onions and bake 12 to 14 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.


Gail’s Pasta with Goat Cheese Sauce and Mushrooms DIRECTIONS: Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions; set aside, reserving pasta water. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and cook onions translucent, just a few minutes; add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Stir in the goat cheese letting it melt and then add to it some of the reserved pasta water to thin the cheese and make a creamy sauce, thick enough to coat a spoon. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in the cooked pasta, adding more water if desired. Fold in the cooked mushrooms. Sprinkle with the grated lemon and Italian cheese. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.


Goat cheese is an easy substitute for cream in many recipes and makes it easier to work with than the more sensitive liquid cream. Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy has different cheese flavors you can use instead of the plain goat cheese, such as the lemon goat cheese or the basil pesto. We used portobello mushrooms for this recipe but any mushroom seasoned and sautéed in butter or oil will do.

e wit h love! INGREDIENTS: 1 pound farfalle pasta ¼ to ½ cup reserved salted pasta water 1½ tablespoons olive oil 2 cloves chopped garlic 1 shallot, finely chopped 6 ounces plain goat cheese 2 cups mushrooms of choice, chopped and sautéed Salt and pepper to taste Grated peel of 1 lemon ¼ cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, finely grated Italian parsley, chopped for garnish



Avery County’s Dining


The High Country’s Premier Steak & Seafood Restaurant • • • • • •

Dinner nightly from 5pm Offering both indoor and outdoor dining Live music Friday & Saturday nights Private room available Locally owned and operated “Avery County Chamber Business of the Year”


344 Shawneehaw Ave. South, Banner Elk


The High Country’s Best Choice for Event Catering • • • • •

Creativity, passion and culinary excellence Parties of all sizes In-home catering Fully insured and licensed Largest mobile kitchen in the High Country


344 Shawneehaw Ave. South, Banner Elk



Event Venue


The High Country’s Best Vacation Rentals • • • • •

One main lodge and three cabins with mountain views 1-4 bedrooms available Event barn, outdoor pavilion, open field, meandering streams, and ponds all onsite Located in the heart of Sugar and Beech Mountains, with proximity to all High Country attractions Pet-friendly


64 Cornerstone Cir, Banner Elk

The High Country’s Best Space for Gatherings • • • • • • •

Vacations, weddings, family reunions, church events, and business retreats Newly built barn with 1,700 sq. ft., and 18-ft. high ceilings Barn equipped with a complete catering kitchen Climate controlled barn 1,750 sq. ft. outdoor pavilion with fire pit Lodge and cabin rentals Fields, streams, and ponds


64 Cornerstone Cir, Banner Elk

BA Y O U µ

Bayou Smokehouse & Grill Restaurant

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, engagements, elopements, rehearsal dinners, or special’s the perfect place to relax, re-inspire, and rejuvenate – both inside and out.

The Heart of Texas The Soul of Louisiana in the

High Country

of North Carolina

General Store Downtown Banner Elk (828) 898-TxLa (8952)


• Weddings • Special Events • Corporate Retreats • Family Reunions 135 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604 828.260.1790

BannerElkWVSep/Oct2012.indd 1

8/14/12 10:56 AM

Come spend the day!

Amy Brown, CPA Certified Public Accountant 828.898.7607 Avery County Chamber of Commerce 828.898.5605 / Creative Interiors by Darlene Parker 828.898.9636 Encore Travel 828.719.6955 Highlanders Grill & Tavern Open 7 Days a Week 828.898.9613 Peak Real Estate 828.898.1880 Salon Suites at Tynecastle • SALON M 828.260.3791 Shooz & Shiraz A Shoe & Wine Salon at The Dande Lion Sky Mountain Nail Bar 828.783.9393 The Dande Lion Ladies Apparel, Shoes, & Accessories 866.222.2050 and 828.898.3566 Truist Financial 828-292-9219 / Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill 828.898.4949 Walgreens Pharmacy 828.898.8971


For Leasing Information Please Call 828.898.6246

SHOPPING • DINING • BUSINESS • At the Corner of Hwy 105 & 184 Tynecastle Hwy. • Banner Elk

The Region’s Largest & Finest Selection of

WINE & BEER Since 1978

See the beauty. Taste the tradition. Feel at home. SUNSET DRIVE • BLOWING ROCK (One Block Off Main Street) Restaurant: 828-295-3466 Serving Dinner 1104 Hwy 105 • Boone, NC 828-264-9476

Inn: 828-295-9703 Music on the Lawn Fridays May–October

We specialize in extraordinary kitchens! For extraordinary people you.

elegant living...


Beside Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea, Grandfather Center, Tynecastle

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



Gideon Ridge Inn 10 wonderfully comfortable bedrooms with evening turndown service Serving Dinner Tuesday - Saturday from 5:30pm - 8pm Reservations Required Dining & Cocktails Alfresco and the view... 202 Gideon Ridge Road, Blowing Rock, NC, 28605 / 828-295-3644


Lunch: 11 AM to 3 PM. | Dinner: 5 PM to 10 PM. Sunday Brunch: 11 AM to 3 PM. 143 Wonderland Trail, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 / 828-295-4008 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


Our 6th generation family farm makes farm- fresh cheese on site from our own happy dairy cows. Our farm store also offers other local goods! 828-756-8166 Fri-Sat, 10am-6pm, year-round 19456 US 221 North (.5 miles south of Linville Caverns) Marion, NC 28752


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

And Now

“Pedalin’ Pig at Woodlands” Blowing Rock











AAA FOUR DIAMOND RATING SINCE 2007 3 0 0 5 S H U L L S M I L L R O A D B E T W E E N B O O N E & B L O W I N G R O C K | (8 2 8) 9 6 3 -74 0 0 | R E S E R VAT I O N S R E Q U I R E D CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Spring 2022 —


OUR SPONSORS: 52..........Abingdon Visitor Center 76..........Abode Home 60..........Adventure Damascus 90..........Advocates for the Care of Animals 84..........Amorem 125........Amy Brown CPA 37..........An Appalachian Summer Festival 108........App Gastro 108........Appalachian Regional .............Healthcare System 38..........Appalachian Blind and Closet 67..........Appalachian Apothekary 99..........Apple Hill Farm 37..........Ashe Co Chamber of Commerce 84..........Ashe Memorial Hospital 82..........Avery Animal Hospital 11..........Avery Chamber of Commerce 92..........Avery Community Yoga 100........Avery Heating & Air 93..........Banks Creek Barn 60..........Banner Elk Book Exchange 118........Banner Elk Café, Lodge and Tavern 76..........Banner Elk Heating .............& Air Conditioning 37..........Banner Elk Realty 4............Banner Elk TDA 124........Banner Elk Winery 77..........Barra Sports Bar 124........Bayou Smokehouse & Grill 46..........BE Artists Gallery 118........BE Natural Market 78..........Beech Mountain Club 14..........Beech Mountain TDA 127........Bistro Roca 58..........BJ’s Resort 66..........Blowing Rock Brewing 112........Blowing Rock Farmers Market 84..........Blue Bird Pediatric Dentistry 76..........Blue Ridge Brutal 106........Blue Ridge Energy 7............Blue Ridge Mountain Club 89..........Blue Ridge Propane 92..........Brinkley’s Hardware 41..........Carlton Gallery 100........Carolina BBQ 128........Casa Rustica Restaurant

110........Italian Restaurant 17..........Century 21 Mountain Vistas 84..........Skyline/Skybest 52..........Jack’s 128 Pecan 77..........Chef’s Table 77..........Sorrento’s 41..........Jerky Outpost 99..........Classic Stone 26..........Stick Boy 48..........Jones House 110........COBO’s 122........Stonewalls Catering 52..........Kue King 100........Compu-Doc 122........Stonewalls Restaurant 90..........L & N Performance 123........Cornerstone Cabins 86..........Sugar Cream Ice Cream 125........Creative Interiors by Darlene Parker 48..........Leatherwood 81..........Sugar Creek Gem Mining 46..........Lees McRae Summer Theater 12..........Crossnore School for Children 5............Sugar Mountain Golf and Tennis 74..........Liberty! TN Outdoor Drama 82..........C.S. Smith Management 105........Sugar Mountain Grillin’ & Chillin’ 37..........Liberty Mountain Kings Mountain 72..........Sugar Mountain Nursery 2............Dewoolfson 108........Life Care of Banner Elk 3............Dianne Davant Interiors 60..........Sundog Outfitter 86..........Life Store Insurance 126........Distinctive Cabinetry 89..........Sunset Tees .............of the High Country 6............Linville Caverns 108........Tate Clinic 28..........Doe Ridge Pottery 6............Linville Falls Winery 82..........Tatum Gallery 58..........Elevated Metals 8............Linville Land Harbor 123........The Barn at Cornerstone 14..........Elk River Club 100........Lopez Hospitality 29..........The Bee & The Boxwood 125........Encore Travel 28..........Lost Province Brewing Co. 126........The Best Cellar 25..........Engel & Volkers 19..........Loven Castings 60..........The Blowing Rock 128........English Farmstead Cheese 88..........Lucky Lily 62..........The Cabin Store 127........Erick’s Cheese & Wine OBC.......Mast General Store 62..........The Cabin Store Outdoor 36..........Explore Boone TDA 112........Maw’s Produce 38..........The Consignment Cottage 66..........Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria .............Warehouse 16..........Mayland Community College 129........F.A.R.M. Cafe 125........The Dande Lion 46..........Mica Gallery 110........Fire Rock Station 126........The Inn at Ragged Garden 48..........Mountain Jewelers 46..........Florence Thomas Art School 115........The Spice and Tea Exchange 78..........Mountain Warriors UTV Tours 10..........Footsloggers 5............The Village of Sugar Mountain 28..........Mustard Seed Home 89..........Fortner Insurance 72..........Tom’s Custom Golf 78..........My Best Friend’s Barkery 40..........Forum at Lees-McRae College 125........Truist Financial 88..........Mystery Hill 92..........Fraser’s Ridge 83..........NC Department of Agriculture 26..........Turchin Center 81..........Fred’s General Mercantile 58..........Twisted Twig 106........OP Smiles 129........Gamekeeper Restaurant 115........Ultimate Kitchen Design 86..........Pack Rats 127........Gideon Ridge Inn 125........Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill 118........Painted Fish Cafe 99..........Glen Davis Electric 26..........Village Jewelers 126........Peabody’s Wine & Beer 131........Grandfather Mountain 125........Walgreens Pharmacy 99..........Peak Real Estate 67..........Grandfather Mountain 128........Watauga Lake Winery 129........Pedalin’ Pig BBQ .............Highland Games 108........Watauga Surgical Group 88..........Premier Pharmacy 41..........Grandfather Vineyard 89..........Wealth Enhancement Group 78..........Ram’s Rack 28..........Gregory Alan’s 81..........West Jefferson Christmas in July 118........Reid’s Cafe & Catering 28..........Hardin Jewelry 110........Wheelies Refresher 18..........Renewal by Anderson 70..........Hemlock Inn 92..........White Wolf Lodge 88..........Riverside Canoe 118........Heritage Homestead 129........Woodlands BBQ 58..........Root Down 80..........Hickory Tree Consignment 108........YMCA of Avery County 48..........Sally Nooney 74..........High Mountain Expeditions 125........Salon Suites at Tynecastle 125........Highlander’s Grill 5............See Sugar 92..........Holy Smokes BBQ 26..........Shoppes at Farmers Hardware 70..........Hunter Tree Service 125........Shoppes at Tynecastle 78..........Incredible Toy Co 125........Sky Mountain Nail Bar

t hank you! 130 — Spring 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE



Human. Nature.

Seems like we’re all drawn to nature. And whether it’s childlike wonder or an adult sense of discovery, you’ll find it here, in abundance. B o o k t o d a y a t g ra n d f a t h e r. c o m


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