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Absolutely Priceless! Summer 2012

Carolina Mountain Life

read us online at

The Heart & Soul of the High Country

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

“...a wonderful read for 15 years!”

Estab. 2001

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


“Somewhere Between Nowhere and Everywhere�


The Farm at Banner Elk Mark Lehmann/Broker 828-898-4416

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Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —

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4 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

© 2012 DeWoolfson Down Int’l., Inc. Photo courtesy Yves Delorme. Cote A Cote


Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


“Our terrace mountain vineyard and winery nestled at the base of Grandfather Mountain is the first producing winery in Watauga County, NC. Warm breezes during the day and cool crisp nights help develop the flavors and balance of our wines. We think you’ll find our wines unique. Enjoy and share with friends.” —Steve Tatum, owner Hours: Wednesday-Saturday 12-6, Sunday 1-5 828-963-2400 • 9 miles south of Boone • 3 miles north of NC184 & 105 intersection • 225 Vineyard Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604

6 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

W e ’ r e

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Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


8 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

The Heart & Soul of the High Country


By Judah Goheen

By Randy Johnson

By Michael C. Hardy

14 20 27


The Linville Caverns

A County Fair By Steve York

Close Encounters of the Bear Kind

By Jerry Shinn

A Room with an Appalachian View


Looking for Tweetsie

A Taste of OurBy Todd Mountain Life Bush, whose images 50 Awaits You .have . . Come Sit aworldwide, Spell, been published providing; lifestyle, architectural and 56 Relaxscenic & Enjoy. photography of the Carolina mountain region for individuals, homes and businesses of any size. 828-898-8088.

Outdoors Everywhere

38 Cover Photo

Doc Watson­—The Passing of a Legend

62 “...a wonderful read for 15 years!” 70

By Val Maiewskij-Hay By Michael C. Hardy

Valle Crucis Conference Center By Jane Richardson

All Things New…Hebron Colony at 65 Years

By Elizabeth Baird Hardy

Summertime Art

By Caitlin Morehouse

The Story behind the Mast Stores

By Steve York


The Pulse of HC Real Estate


Western Youth Network


Healing Waters


Dead Man Breathing—Triumph Over Tragedy


Locks of Love

By Steve York

By Dede Walton By Beth Tally


By Beth Tally

By Brandon York

104 Laughs, Thrills and Elvis at Ensemble Stage

By Michael J. Solender

Calendar Cooking w/Adele Forbes Finance w/ Katherine Newton Fishing w/ Andrew Corpening Health w/Koren Huskins Legal Beagle Random Thoughts w/Jean Gellin Wine w/ Ren Manning


read us online at

Carolina mountain Life What’s Inside . . . CmL Absolutely Priceless! Summer 2012

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


WHAT IS YOUR CLEAN WATER WORTH? The Clean Water Act is America's commitment to protecting the health of our waterways. However, if industrial coal polluters have their way, over 40 years of progress in making our waterways safe for swimming, drinking, and fishing could go down the drain.


These PeoPle are ostInk. uTsTanding It doesn’t in Their Field

VisiTors’ inFormaTion Channel 7:00am - 11:00am the Visitors’ 9:00 Pm - 1:00 am

daily and

Information Channel (Trained Professionals in a Closed Field)

for more information call 828.387.2102

VIC22outstanding_July08.indd 1

7/17/08 4:15:43 PM

Hwy. 105 in Linville at the foot of Grandfather Mtn. / 828-733-3726

• Personal Injury • Wills & Trusts • Divorce & Family Law • Support Payments • Adoptions • Real Estate Closings & Contracts

• Insurance Claims • General Civil Litigation • Custody & Visitation • Separation Agreements • Debt Collection • Estate Planning

• Social Security Disability • Elder Law • Construction Law • Workers’ Compensation • Foreclosures • Land Condemnation

Jeffrey J. Walker Tamara C. DiVenere Anné C. Wright

783 West King Street, Boone, NC 28607 / / 828-268-9640 / Email:

10 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Publisher’s Note


ith every summer come sights, smells, sounds and tastes to savor. The perennials pop, the sun lingers, and folks return in droves to do the same thing—listen to the symphony, hear the stirring wail of the bag-pipes, witness amazing theatre, and attend world-class events with an Appalachian Summer Fest—and the list goes on. Locally owned restaurants are thriving, the corn and tomatoes are fresh and the grill is hot. Best of all, the mountains offer cool summer breezes that just say, “I’m glad to be here.” Choosing a cover photo for this vital season is always a challenge. This cover image is particularly poignant for me as it features my daughter Meagan and her soon to be husband, Judah Goheen. It seems like yesterday when Meagan and her now bridesmaids appeared on the cover in their High Country Avalanche

soccer uniforms while middle school students at Valle Crucis. And on another cover, she and her twin brother Morgan were pictured sailing on Watauga Lake. Her older brother Brennan cast for trout on the Watauga River for another cover shot. Time has marched on and I believe that we have come full circle with our 15th Summer Edition of Carolina Mountain Life Magazine. When summer comes around each year, I reflect back on hours of playtime with my children in the woods, on the lake, or simply creating another wild arts and crafts project. This cover photo reminds me of those times together and lessons learned that will hopefully be passed down the line to their children. I hope too, they will recognize their home is a unique and special place to raise a family. We have been blessed to be part of this mountain community. The lessons we’ve learned together will always guide us. I know that I will

always remember the fun we have had volunteering together for iconic traditions such as the Grandfather Mountain Marathon, the Blowing Rock Symphony, and for countless church and youth group activities. Our lives have been shaped by these interactions—our commitment to the community in which we live. So many of the local businesses in the High Country started with a dream, a drawing on a napkin. The new Hugh Chapman Center at the Williams YMCA of Avery recently opened and once again the message was clear. Dream something big that helps others and makes a difference and watch how that faithful move can come to fruition. The businesses within these pages reflect the character of this area - provide quality and they will come back. This issue of CML is a tribute to that spirit. In these pages you will find “community” and the call to “touch a life, to give back, and to take care of your own.” There are many caring people and countless organizations in the High Country that need volunteers, support, and a helping hand. Let this issue be your guide for ways you can get involved. Roll us up and take us with you as you plan your summer activities and dining experiences. Reflecting back on all my years living here, I now know why I stayed after graduating from ASU. It’s great to be in the mountains.

Mountain Life Carolina

The Heart & Soul of the High Country

A publication of Carolina Mountain Life, Inc. Publisher & Editor, Babette McAuliffe CML is published 5 times a year / 828-737-0771 Entire contents Copyright 2010 by Carolina Mountain Life.

Share us with a friend! Available by subscription for $20.00 a year (five issues, continental US) Send check or money order to: Carolina Mountain Life, PO Box 976, Linville, NC 28646

Contributors: Deborah Mayhall-Bradshaw, Dianna Conway, Andrew Corpening, Julie Farthing, Adele Forbes, Meagan Ford, Morgan Ford, Brennan Ford, Jean Gellin, Judah Goheen, Elizabeth Baird Hardy, Michael C. Hardy, Koren Huskins, Randy Johnson, schuyler kaufman, Alex Kohler, Val Maiewskij-Hay, Ren Manning,Tom McAuliffe, Cinthia Milner, Caitlin Morehouse, Katherine S. Newton, Michelle Pope, Renee Reed, Jane Richardson, Jerry Shinn, Curtis Smalling, Michael J. Solender, Caroline Stahlschmidt, Beth Tally, Gina Bria, Dede Walton, Patti Wheeler, Brandon York & Steve York Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Come Listen St. John’s Summer 2012 Schedule Sunday, July 1: Appalachian Celtic Consort ... from West Virginia will play traditional Irish and Scottish music with a “hint of Appalachia”. They may also play old-time tunes and original compositions as well. Their array of instruments include concertina, hammered dulcimer, guitar, penny whistle, bagpipes, flute, bohdran, and mandolin.

Summer Concerts at St. Johns By Dede Walton


nce again St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, the historic, summer mission church of Church of the Holy Cross Episcopal parish in Valle Crucis, welcomes you to enjoy their summer concerts. The church was established in 1862 in Valle Crucis by Brother William West Skiles, Episcopal deacon and member of the monastic community founded in Valle Crucis. There’s no heating system nor organ nor piano, but the church’s wooden walls provide marvelous acoustics for music which might include hammered dulcimer, flute, fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, bass, keyboard, brass, or voice. The concerts begin at 5:00 and are followed by covered dish picnics on the grounds to which all are invited. The concert cost is $10 per person, and all children 12 and under are welcome at no charge. There is no charge for the covered dish picnic. In addition to these Sunday evening concerts and picnics, St. John’s has Sunday services from Memorial Day through Labor Day at 9:00 AM. The acoustics of this historic building are remarkable, and each Sunday different gifted local musicians and singers provide music for the services. Some of the musicians scheduled to play at services this summer include Todd Wright, Joe Shannon, and Robin Byerly. Occasionally, additional services, including weddings, are offered.  Members of Holy Cross parish who enjoy the change-of-pace of a less formal worship experience attend services during the summer. Everyone is invited and welcomed to worship at St. John’s and to attend the Summer Concert Series.

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Sunday, August 5: The Sheets Family Band ... from Bethel community of Watauga Co. celebrate old-time string band music with great, close harmony singing. Deborah Jean and Randy have sung at several of the Sunday morning services at St. John’s, and they have also performed at a number of music festivals and on the radio. Their daughter Kelly has now joined them as lead singer and violinist. Sunday, September 2: The Trinity Cathedral Choir ...from Columbia, SC has a repertoire of some 400 sacred works. They recently returned from their Italian tour which included singing a High Mass at the Vatican. They have performed as principal choir at many English Cathedrals as well as American Cathedral in Paris, Washington National Cathedral and St. Thomas Church, New York.


ften, people are influenced by the world. It is rare, however, when people influence the world. Those who do are sometimes referred to as legends or heroes, especially when their influence is virtuous or admirable. Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson, perhaps one of the most influential American performers of the twentieth century, could certainly be considered a modern day legend. His unique guitar picking and steadfast voice revealed a genuine connection to music that magnetizes listeners and humbles even the most musically inclined. His music resonated from a true and witty personality that has inspired millions. Winning eight Grammy awards and receiving the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton in 1997, the blind musician has earned a place among history’s best artists. On May 29th 2012, Doc Watson passed away at the age of 89. Prior to Doc’s prominent influence, the guitar was mostly used as a backup instrument to support other lead instruments such as the fiddle. Using a flat pick (as opposed to a thumb pick or finger picking), Doc learned how to play the guitar in a way that mimicked the fast-paced melody of traditional lead instruments. This innovative technique is largely responsible for elevating the guitar to lead instrument status. Thus, Doc’s contribution to music is both legendary and revolutionary. As a lifetime resident of Deep Gap, the musical legend was a High Country native who stayed true to his roots. From an early age, Doc was immersed in the music of Appalachia. His father, General Watson, played old-time banjo songs at home and led the Mount Paran Baptist Church choir where Doc recalls some of his earliest memories. Mother Annie Watson would sing folk songs and hymns throughout the day and sing the nine children to sleep at night. Just as his mother and father preserved the culture and identity of Appalachia with their singing at home and church, Doc kept the distinctive sounds of Appalachia alive through the next generation with his virtuoso-like guitar playing and unmistakable voice. Blinded at the age of 1 from a serious eye infection, Doc learned how to use

his ears in a special way from the beginning. When he received a harmonica in his Christmas stocking at the age of five, it didn’t take long to realize that he had a special gift. Seeing the love and ability that Doc had for playing music, his father built him a fretless banjo with a head made out of a ground hog hide. However, the ground hog hide produced a poor tone. When his grandmother’s sixteen year old cat died, Doc’s father remade the head out of the cat’s hide. As Doc recalls in a 1979 interview with Frets magazine, “That made one of the best banjo heads you ever seen and it stayed on that thing, I guess, as long as I picked it”. Soon after, General bought Doc his first Stella guitar for $12 when he was 12 years old. Doc got his nickname a few years later (when he was 18) as he was playing for a radio station out of a furniture store in Lenior. When the broadcaster told him that “Arthel” was too cumbersome of a name for the radio, a girl from the audience yelled out, “Call him Doc!” and the name stuck. While he began his musical career at early age, Doc didn’t reach national stardom until his thirties when folklorist Ralph Rinzler traveled to Deep Gap in 1960 to record Doc’s friend and neighbor, Clearance “Tom” Ashley. Playing with Ashley for the recording sessions, Doc’s impressive guitar skills took Rinzler by surprise. After hearing the blind musician, Rinzler encouraged and helped Doc to take his music career to the next level. Doc was astonished that city slickers up North were going crazy over the old-time tunes of Appalachia in what would become known as the 1960’s folk revival. During the early years of his professional career, Doc recorded and toured the world with his son Eddy Merle Watson until tragedy struck in 1985 when a tractor accident took Merle’s life. As a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College, the annual music celebration MerleFest began honoring the life and music of Merle in 1988. Attracting crowds of over 79,000 people, MerleFest has become one of the largest music festivals in the United States. While “the godfather of all flatpickers” has moved on, his legacy remains very much alive. Celebrations such as MerleFest and MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove

A True American Legend: Doc Watson By Judah Goheen

carry on the “traditional plus” music style that Doc has inspired so many to admire. Seated on a street corner bench in downtown Boone, a bronze statue of Doc can be found portraying the musician playing his guitar on the same street corners where he would play for tips in his youth. At Doc’s request when asked for permission to erect the monument, an inscription beside the sculpture reads: “Just One of the People.”

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Outdoors Everywhere—Just Take a Look Photos and Story By Randy Johnson


saw an advertisement in a shop window in downtown Boone that nicely sums up the High Country’s outdoor ethos. It said something like, “Now is when a lot of people start getting outside again. We never went back inside.” That’s the High Country for you. With four solid seasons of specific and general outdoor activities—residents and visitors are “spoilt for choice” as the Brits would say. But, there’s way more to it than just saying, “I can ride my bike here...” If you want to get heat stroke you can ride in the flattest, hottest, buggiest places all across the Piedmont and coast from Virginia to Key West. Up here, a lot of people live and vacation in the High Country because the temps are generally a lot cooler in summer than at lower elevations. How many “hot” High Country days devolve into delicious breezy evenings for golf, tennis, a hike, or bike ride? Most, if not all, especially if you focus on the coolest times of day or hit the higher locations. For instance, pursue any of the above activities up on Beech Mountain—and you might need a sweater.

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Climate plays a big role. So does the lay of the land. “Our area” of northwestern North Carolina runs from northern Ashe County on the Virginia line to just south of Mount Mitchell. Basically, we’re talking about Eastern America’s highest mountains (up to almost 7,000 feet!). The South’s best ski resorts are here for a reason. It’s colder and snowier in the winter this high up. Which means it’s cooler in the summer. And the flowers and trees associated with that climate create some of the East’s most vibrant blooms and brilliant autumn color. Those peaks also help create their own weather, bringing clouds and showers that cool us off when they’re baking below the mountain. The High Country’s highest peaks are a temperate rainforest. That means that spring is a great time to find our streams swollen with rushing water—perfect for canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. In fact, this spring and early summer have seen very consistent rainfall. Factor in summer rains, and right now is likely among the best summertime opportunities in recent years to hop in a whitewater raft, run the rapids, and enjoy that gourmet lunch in a spectacular setting.

That goes for canoeing and kayaking too—especially if you want to go camping while you paddle. Do you realize that the New River is one of the country’s few rivers that is both a National Wild and Scenic River and a National Heritage River? There are a half dozen campgrounds along the river, including three at New River State Park, where you can pull off and set up a tent on a trip that can easily last four days. That’s a pretty special option. Don’t forget tubing, a truly low-tech, accessible, idyllic summer experience that is perfectly at home here on the High Country’s amazing summer streams. I almost forgot the mountains themselves. Do enough winding around these roads and you’ll get it—the diversity of mountain settings, vistas, and summits is truly befitting what the High Country can rightly call itself—one of the East’s top mountain resort areas. And the most visited unit of the national park system, the Blue Ridge Parkway, wanders right through it (and right by the Linville Gorge Wilderness, an astounding spot). Speaking of the Gorge, one of the area’s best rock climbing destinations, keep in mind you don’t have to be spider

man (or woman) to love rock climbing. The easiest side of the sport is bouldering, or clinging to rocks not far above the ground with a pad below. Then there are the area’s manufactured climbing towers. Area outfitters offer “all of the above” options. Or just climb into the car—easy auto touring is a must, on the Parkway and a wealth of back roads. So is hiking. It’s easy to watch all that great flowing water leap off cliffs! The High Country has amazing waterfalls and people love them, especially when the viewpoint is a short easy walk. Or stroll around a lake, at Julian Price or Moses Cone Parks. (There’s also Banner Elk’s Wildcat Lake, a best-kept-secret—for sunning, swimming, fishing and boating—that should not be a secret!) For an easy view, you can drive up Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, and Mount Jefferson, the latter a state natural area. Don’t miss these peak “through-the-windshield” experiences. Both Grandfather and Mount Mitchell now boast handicapped access to their best viewpoints. You can also get active and take a hike while you’re there. The trails that cross the crest of Grandfather

Mountain State Park may be the most spectacular and rugged in the South. The easiest walks can be one of the Parkway’s “leg-stretcher trails.” Or take a stroll or bike ride on the Boone Greenway. The area has new Track Trails, easy, educational nature trails for families, at New River State Park and Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. One of the High Country’s best views is found at the top of Elk Knob State Park’s new summit trail. Bring your bike. The sudden explosion of the Boone Area Cyclists organization from “new” to more than 200 members shows why this area is legendary for cyclists (Lance Armstrong had his “rebirth” here). The new Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park in Boone just earned the High Country Velo Magazine’s accolade as one of the country’s “ultimate ride hotspots.” Beech Mountain has great new biking trails and tours, and Sugar Mountain has chairlift rides that whisk you and your bike to summit cruising options. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Luckily, there’s a great source of information for everything mentioned above, and much more—www.ExploreBooneArea. com. The Watauga County Tourism De-

velopment Authority, the agency responsible for Boone’s new bike park, has also created “EBA” has the richest, deepest, most specific guide-oriented content of all the area’s travel Web sites. Give it a visit. The site has great outdoor information, such as detailed trail guides and an “Ultimate Guide to the Parkway.” But it also features cutting edge travel experiences. The site created the first Boone Area Wine Trail and offers a step-by-step tour. There’s even a High Country spa guide, various back-road tours, a history tour of the area, and a long weekend vacation planner itinerary for families. There’s no reason not to make the most of the High Country, whether you’re here for good, or just a few weeks. It’s summer—be sure to take advantage of it.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 — 15

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Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —



The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation has lowered the cost of the ‘Keeper for a Day’ Program this year to $150 for guests and $120 for season-pass holders, and is beginning to offer a 3-hour option in addition to the full, 6-hour option. The full day option includes admission to the park, a t-shirt, lunch with the animal caretakers and six hours of experiencing the daily chores of the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats staff: feeding, cleaning and caring for the five species of animals that call the habitats home. The new half-day option, which costs $75 ($60 for season pass holders), includes admission to the park, a t-shirt and three hours of hands-on animal care. “We hope to give people a better appreciation for our habitat staff and the wonderful animals that they care for,” said Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation President Penn Dameron. Participants must be at least 12-years-old; capable of walking up and down steep, rough terrain; wear closed-toe hiking or work boots and be willing to sign a waiver of liability. The Keeper for A Day Program is available on certain Tuesdays, April-October. The 3-hour and 6-hour options begin at 8am. Reservations for the program must be made at least 24 hours in advance. A full schedule of dates can be found on For more info or to reserve your spot, call the Grandfather Mountain Animal Habitats at 828-733-8715.


Behind the Scenes habitat tours give the public an opportunity to see where the animals sleep, learn what it takes to care for the animals year-round, observe a training session and learn why the animals call Grandfather Mountain home. The Mountain’s knowledgeable habitat staff gladly answers questions as they guide participants on their tour. “We are very excited to introduce Behind the Scenes participants to the animals we love and give them an up-close viewing opportunity and better understanding of the day-to-day life of the animals,” said Habitat Manager Christie Tipton. Tour takes approximately one hour and 30 minutes. Tours occur Saturdays at 10:30am and 1pm and Sundays at 1pm. During holiday weekends, the tours will be offered Fridays at 1pm and Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at 10:30am and 1pm. There is no age limit but small children must be carried if they are not capable of walking on their own. The use of strollers is prohibited during the tour. Participants must be able to walk up and down steep terrain, wear closed toe hiking or work boots, dress in layers and be willing to sign a waiver of liability. Behind the Scenes tours are $30 per person and $25 for annual pass holders. Admission to the park is separate. To make a Behind the Scenes reservation before your trip, please call 828-733-8715. Any remaining tour spots can be purchased on the day of at the Nature Museum Gift Shop.

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This summer at Grandfather Mountain brings a brand new event, offering participants unique and new opportunities on the Mountain. The First Annual Grandfather Mountain Campout July 27-29, is an all-weekend event hosted by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. During this campout, guests can spend up to three days and two nights camping in MacRae Meadows between organized events all over the Mountain. Grandfather’s education and interpretive staff will be present in the camp area to assist novice campers, answer questions and even offer campfire treats and activities. The campsite will be safe, cater to all levels of camping experience and welcomes families, couples, and solo adventurers throughout this weekend of wonder. These opportunities are included in the price of registration: “Night Adventures,” “The Wonders of Bees” children’s program, a climate and weather program, a tree and shrub walk and an orienteering workshop. Also included is “A Bug’s World” children’s program, a clouds and weather program, a butterfly program, “Nature Near the Swinging Bridge” and several campfire and evening gatherings. There are also additional, more in-depth activities like “Grandfather’s Attic Hike” and Behind the Scenes habitat tours, available at an additional charge. Participants also get the bonus of extended hours on Grandfather, with access to the park’s overlooks, Woods Walk picnic area and walking trail and the Mile High Swinging Bridge in the morning starting 30 minutes prior to sunrise and in the evening from closing to 30 minutes after sunset, allowing for incredible and rare scenic photo opportunities. Registration is available on Registration forms must be printed and mailed in. Those who wish to resister for a guided hike and/or a Behind the Scenes Tour must be sure their registration is received by July 25. Registration for the Campout must be received by July 27. Campsites are $30 per night for participants or $25 per night for annual pass holders. Admission to the park is not included in the campsite fee. Those who attend multiple days of the campout should keep their admission receipt to receive discount admission into the park the following days of the event. For registration questions call 828-733-4326. The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park sustainably in the public interest, provide an exceptional experience for guests, and inspire them to be good stewards of the earth’s resources. For more information, visit or call 800-468-7325.

Wildcat Lake: A Jewel of the Mountains


ide along the Blue Ridge Parkway and you’ll find waterways like Price Lake and Goshen Creek that will take your breath away. But in Banner Elk, just above the athletic fields of Lees-McRae College along Hickory Nut Gap Road, sets a treasure forever preserved in the public domain. Wildcat Lake is a 13-acre playground for swimming, boating, and fishing that was formed from mountain streams after a dam was constructed in 1933. The dam was rebuilt, a project completed in 2009, and funded by the Edgar Tufts Memorial Association. ETMA is a non-profit organization that once was the driving force behind Cannon Hospital, Lees-McRae and Grandfather Home for Children. Today it provides funding for lifeguards, playground equipment, sandy beach, and picnic grounds that host more than 20,000 visitors each year. Open to the public and free of charge, Wildcat Lake and Tufts Park remains, in perpetuity, “A Jewel of the Mountains.”

Eight experienced lifeguards have taken up the gauntlet of sun and sand at Banner Elk’s Wildcat Lake. Back row, from left:  Liamm Lafone and Coston Padgett, both Avery County High School, Dustin Clarke, Gardner Webb University, and Noah Turbyfill, ETSU.  Front row, from left: Brianna Strange, NC State, Savannah Perry, ETSU, and Kelsie Clarke, Avery County High School.  Not pictured is Chelsea Watson.  The lake opened May 26 with full-day lifeguard coverage and swimming, boating, picnicking, fishing and several playground areas. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Buried Treasure: History Abounds in Linville Caverns By Michael C. Hardy


n 1959, Spencer and Arlene Wooten, of Memphis, Tennessee, along with their three children, traveled to the North Carolina mountains to take in the local sights. Their trip was reported in numerous newspapers across the nation, from Georgia to California and Oregon. One of the many local places the Wootens visited was Linville Caverns, in McDowell County, just a short drop down from Linville Falls along southbound Hwy. 221. The Caverns were described as “a grottoed spider web of onyx and sparkling crystal, where trout live far beneath the ground...” Another chronicler, writing over 110 years earlier, penned a letter from North Cove in McDowell County in June 1848 to the Daily National Intelligencer. Painting this picture of a recent visit to Linville Caverns, he described the cave as having “a great variety of chambers, which vary in height from six to twenty feet; its walls are chiefly composed of a porous limestone, through which the water is continually dripping, and along the entire length flows a cold and clear stream... This cave is indeed a curious affair, though the trouble and fatigue attending a thorough exploration far outweigh the satisfaction which it affords.” Linville Caverns has been known by many names through the centuries. A few include Humpback Cave, Catawba

20 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Cave, Gilkey Caverns, and The Cave beneath Sunnalee, the latter made popular by the famed author Shepherd Monroe Dugger. The Cherokee and their ancestors undoubtedly explored the caverns and the surrounding areas. There is even a rumor that the Overmountain Men visited the cave, either on their way to fight at King’s Mountain, or more likely, on their return from the historic Patriot victory. Many other stories of visitors abound. Prior to the Civil War, slaves supposedly met in the caverns and sang spirituals. During the war, the caverns sheltered deserters, men who came home without permission from the army. As the local legend goes, there was a cobbler in the caverns who repaired shoes in exchange for food during the war years. In the early years, as the site was developed for the tourism trade, it was not necessarily the geological features that were the main selling points. The Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Ohio, reported on March 13, 1938, that the caverns, “a Civil War hide-out in the rugged Linville Gorge,” would be opening later that spring. Others came to explore the caverns. Some were youngsters, like future North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Heriot Clarkson, who visited the caverns in 1879, writing , “the rocks hung down in the cave exactly like icicles and the light shining on them made them perfectly

beautiful.” In the 1880s , geologist William Earl Hidden visited Linville Caverns. He was working for Thomas Edison and looking for platinum, needed to manufacture Edison’s incandescent bulbs. Hidden found no platinum, and Edison soon moved on to carbon in his bulbs, but not before Hidden and two fellow travelers left their names and the date of their visit, July 21, 1884, emblazoned toward the rear of the caverns. Shepherd Monroe Dugger visited the caverns and wrote about them in 1932 in his War Trails of the Blue Ridge. “Here a large limestone spring (rare in our mountains) burst out below the highway and half a mile below it, a cave which is destined to be developed for entertainment, extends into the subterranean marble under Sunalee mountain” Dugger wrote. Dugger had christened the overarching Humpback Mountain, “Sunalee”: “for as the waves lash upon a lee-shore, so does the yellow glow of the rising sun floss the mountains.” In addition to the pleasures of the caves, there have been some near disasters over the decades. Two local young men were lost in the caverns for two days when their only source of light gave out. Natural disasters have also taken their toll. The flood of August 1940 was probably the worst. According to an earlier historian, the “bridge was washed away,

the parking lot was unrecognizable, the power plant was knocked out, and tons of mud and rock filled the Caverns.” The popular Linville Caverns attraction had been open not quite a year. Dugger’s belief that the caverns would “be developed for entertainment” was not long in coming true. In 1937, a corporation was formed with Wade H. Phillips, president. Silt and mud deposits blocking the passages were loaded onto a cart and hauled outside. Passageways were widened so that visitors could walk through the caverns. Lights were also added. Opening day was set for July 1, 1939 at the “Frozen Niagara.” Before long, Linville Caverns was averaging 1,000 visitors a week. Of course, the flood of August 1940, followed by the restrictions brought on by rationing during World War II, slowed attendance. Following the war years, attendance picked up again. Today, attendance runs around 120,000 people a year. In August 1941, Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Collins, along with their daughter, took over the day-today operations at Linville Caverns. Their granddaughter, Sarah Davis, still oversees the popular attraction. She has worked there since 1967. “You’ ve come to the mountains to see the beauty,” says Davis, “now come inside the mountains to see even more.” Linville Caverns is the only place in North Carolina where visitors can go inside and see the mountains from a totally new perspective. “You can get a new appreciation,” Davis concludes. Linville Caverns is one of the most unusual destinations in North Carolina. A visitor can tread in the footsteps of Revolutionary Patriots, Civil War deserters, geologists, and almost countless other visitors who come each year to visit. It is also a fantastic place to bring the kids, though parents should hang onto children’s hands: the total darkness experienced when guides turn out the lights is really, really, dark. The Caverns are open daily March through November, and on the weekends December through February. More information can be found by calling 800-419-0540 or visiting the Caverns website,

Blood Sweat & Gears 2012 On Saturday, June 23rd, cyclists from all over the USA celebrated the 14th annual Blood Sweat and Gears (BSG). This extremely popular ride offers two demanding routes which showcase mountain communities of Watauga, Ashe, and Johnson County. Highlights of the 100 mile route include a 21 mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a strenuous climb over the 4,500 foot gap at Snake Mountain and a 10 mile “flat” on old US 421. Created to benefit the American Red Cross Disaster Services in Watauga and Avery Counties, last year’s ride contributed $70,000. The 2012 proceeds will continue to benefit the Jeremy Dale Fisher Fund and The Russell Fund, established by the Watauga County Chapter of the American Red Cross which provides assistance to local families that are displaced by fire, flood or similar disasters. BSG offers two routes for cyclists. The challenging and demanding 100 mile loop ride begins and ends at Valle Crucis Elementary School, approximately 5 miles south of Boone. The route roughly circles Boone through the outskirts of Watauga County. The terrain is constantly changing with hills of all lengths and curves too numerous to count. The cumulative climbing elevation is 13,000+ feet, with the climb up to the gap at Snake Mountain reaching an 18-20% grade near the top. A 50 mile ride is available for those who prefer the sanity of a challenging but shorter route. Both are fully supported with aide stations and SAG support. This year the ride sold out in six hours with the start time for sign-up starting at 12:01am. The riders agree with Lance Armstrong who said “It’s a great area for riding, very hilly, but I’d say it’s the best area for training in the whole of the United States.” –Lance Armstrong on Boone, NC Cycle Sport (June 1998). Riders return for this ride repeatedly because they overwhelmingly appreciate the year of planning and organization and seeing the same friendly faces of the volunteers each year. Last year Appalachian State University performed an economic survey of the impact of 2011 BSG. ASU estimated a $1,000,000 impact to the High Country the weekend of the ride. Their survey did not include the riders who visited the High Country prior to the ride to train. If you are interested in volunteering, visit

Soaring With the Hawks: Hawksnest Ziplines Recognized for having the largest Snow Tubing Park on the East Coast, Hawksnest Ziplines also boasts one of the longest Zipline Tours anywhere. They offer 19 ziplines including four that are industry rated as super or mega zips which are over 1500 feet long. There are four miles of zipline cable at heights of over 200 feet off the ground and speeds that ramp up to 50 mph. As one of the areas pioneers of ziplining, their courses run over trees, through trees and over lakes and creeks. “Zippers” enjoy panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from every angle on almost every ride as well as sights of wild turkeys, deer, groundhogs, and other wildlife. Enthusiasts from age five and up take part in the thrill and exhilaration of soaring along ridges and through treetop canopies as they take in the awesome vistas of scenic pastoral valleys and rolling distant mountain ranges. Beginners can take advantage of expert staffers to teach them the basics and assure a safe and fun experience. Weather permitting, the ziplines run daily. Families, tour groups, and single riders are easily accommodated, but reservations are required. After the zipping session, Hawksnest offers a large observation deck off their mountaintop lodge to relax and enjoy the setting and get ready for the next mountain adventure. Ziplines have become a special outdoor recreational activity for High Country locals, visitors and summer residents. Joining snow skiing, tubing, water sports, hiking, caving, golf, horseback riding, and more, zipping along mountain ridgelines adds a new dimension to the many attractions offered in our Blue Ridge setting. With dramatic elevations and views plus the chance to race down a line as free as a soaring hawk, the zipline experience is a totally unique rush that people of all ages enjoy. Hawksnest is located just off of Highway 105 South between Boone and Banner Elk high atop the Seven Devils community. Local lodging, dining, and other attraction information is available on the Hawksnest website or through their offices. More information is available at or by calling 828-822-4295. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —







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22 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

A colorful life is waiting for your family at Linville Land Harbor. Visit us: We’re on US221, three miles south of NC105/US221 intersection in Linville. Visitors warmly welcomed.

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Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Brushy Mountain Motorsports We’re Expanding in Every Area of Our Business To Better Serve The High Country We are Northwestern North Carolina’s Largest Dealer And Committed to all your Motorcycle, ATV, RTV, and Trailer needs. Warranty Work, Major Engine, Suspension and Minor Service Requirements. We’ll help you with hard to find parts. And call on us for Tires, Batteries, and all your Riding Gear from Helmets to Boots. Our Parts and Service Departments are EXPANDING to Deliver the Support you deserve.

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


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Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Zipline, Wine, & Dine

Premier Pharmacy: A New Tradition

Ziplines have been around for a long time but have become increasingly popular over the past five years here in the High Country. Part of their growing appeal is that each has its own unique setting and set of challenges with new features being added all the time. One of the newest venues is Sky Valley Zip Tours which recently opened near Boone Mall at Camp Sky Ranch. The Camp was originally opened in the 1940’s by Jack B. Sharp and ran for 60 years as a summer camp for physically and developmentally disabled children and adults. It sits on140 acres between Boone and Blowing Rock three miles up Winklers Creek Rd. Currently it’s operated as an events venue by Jack’s grandson, Jack Jr. and his wife Lori. But the Sharps were seeking a way to raise additional funds to restore the camp to its original glory. So, after a meeting with Jim Wall, CEO of Challenge Design Innovations, they agreed on a Canopy Zipline Course design. Cleve Young, owner of the Vance Toe River Lodge, and Jim Wall had previously worked together to open Plumtree Canopy Tours in 2008. It offers 11 ziplines, four sky bridges, and—according to Our State Magazine—“the best lunch in Avery County”. With that experience and the support of Young, Sky Valley Zip Tours was born. Today, the new course offers nine lines with well over a mile of cable plus the introduction of two Sky Jumps. These features allow participants to jump from a platform where an auto-belay device slowly lowers them to the ground. The new Cliff Jump is 35ft high, while their Tree Jump is 55ft high. In addition to the Sky Jumps, the two longest valley lines span 1300 feet and take guests 300ft off the ground with amazing views at speed of about 35 miles per hour. Included in the adventure is a suspension bridge that treks by a breathtaking waterfall just before the final zip run that leads to the Tree Jump. To round out the experience, customers can enjoy a delicious lunch at The Gamekeeper restaurant for only $10. Sky Valley and Plumtree Ziplines are unique because they not only offer true “canopy tours” that journey through tree tops…but they also top off the thrill with a great meal. Footnote: Vance Toe River Lodge announces its new “Blind Squirrel Brewery”, Avery County’s first micro-brewery; a perfect addition to their Elk Mountain Winery. They’ve also added a second disc golf course to join their Elk Mountain Disc Golf Course opened in 2004.  A disc golf tournament is scheduled the first weekend in August with an opportunity to win $10,000.  

Newland and the High Country region have a new choice for their prescription medicines and drug store needs. Premier Pharmacy is open for business and welcomes you. Located at 107 Estatoa Avenue in Newland, it is a full prescription service pharmacy and drug store, proudly locally owned and operated by Edward Dean and Rick Trivette. With an old fashioned feel, tin ceiling, and wooden floors, customers will find a table with checkers by the front door and old fashioned candies by the counter. Premier Pharmacy brings customer service back to the individual customer. Specializing in personalized service, each customer may speak with the pharmacist to discuss any concerns in a timely manner. Pharmacist Trivette has a doctorate degree in pharmacology and is passionate about delivering one-on-one quality health care to his customers. Customers will find a friendly atmosphere with relaxed and speedy service at often-times lower cost than larger stores. Trivette said, “Our effort is to meet our customer’s needs by adjusting our inventory as needed. We offer all-natural and homeopathic remedies, aromatherapy and essential oils as well as the traditional items found at the drug store.” Customers can find J.R. Watkin’s and Yager’s liniments and salves, Nature’s Bounty supplements, Red Oil, Octagon Soap, as well as other items sometimes difficult to locate. Every effort is made to offer products made in the USA. Greeting cards by Leanin’Tree can be found as well as the traditional items such as school supplies, first aid, and off-the-shelf medicines found at any drug store. Burt’s Bees and Boiron products are also available. Local handcrafted soaps and lotions are available from Natural Luxuries. The pharmacy takes all prescription plans. Dean and Trivette will be happy to assist you in transferring your prescriptions to Premier Pharmacy. Stop by to check out this new business and say hello. They are open Monday through Friday, 8:30-6:30, Saturday, 9:00-4:00 and closed on Sunday.

“There’s A New Place In Town!”

Edward Dean, Owner / Rick Trivette, Owner/Pharmacist 107 Estatoa Ave. Newland / 828-733-0061

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Casa Rustica Golf Tourney Returns to Red Tail The 6th Annual Casa Rustica Charity Golf Tournament returns to the popular Red Tail Golf Club in Mountain City, Tennessee in August. All proceeds will go to the High Country Caregiver Foundation. Activities begin Wednesday night August 22nd at 6pm when dinner is served by the popular Boone restaurant at ASU Football Stadium on the fifth floor Club Level. A raffle follows the dinner and spouses of contestants are encouraged to join in. Cost to enter is $125 per player in the four-man team scramble that features a morning shotgun start on Thursday, August 23rd at 8:30 a.m. A second shot gun start is scheduled for that afternoon at 1:30 to accommodate the large field that annually returns to this event. Lunch is served to both morning and afternoon starters from noon until 1 p.m. The tournament is known for the great food and great prizes to go with helping a great cause here in the High Country. Hole sponsorships are still available and like the entry fee, is tax deductible. To learn more about Casa Rustica’s golf tournament contact Rick Pedroni at 828-406-7085 or the pro shop at Red Tail Golf Club at 423-727-7931. You can follow the scoring live at

Come To The Fair!


efore there was Disneyland, Seaworld, Six Flags or any number of other giant theme parks…there were county fairs. Fairs of all kinds have been the custom in virtually every culture since recorded history. The contemporary and colorful renaissance fairs, such at the one held near Charlotte every Fall, date back to Medieval Europe. Biblical accounts of week-long festivals speak of nomadic tribes who roamed across the ancient Mideast following the seasons and their herds to fresh grasslands and waterholes. Even pre-historic cave drawings depict celebratory gatherings that resemble today’s county fairs. Other similar traditions that date back to antiquity include traveling minstrel shows and circuses. Often called gypsies or vagabonds, groups of troubadours, magicians and tricksters eventually pulled together to create what became the traveling carnival. Their wagons-loaded down with a strange assortment of performers, products and prestidigitation--roamed from town to town across rural countrysides to the delight and, sometimes, displeasure of locals. At the same time, small circuses would follow similar routes showcasing exotic animals, animal acts, jugglers, trapeze artists and the customary side shows. Eventually, as rural America grew and became more centralized, communities figured they could combine the best of all these traditions into a single event; the annual county fair. Today, there are thousands

By Steve York

of county fairs across the country and at least 41 in North Carolina. There are several things that all fairs seem to have in common. But, the most iconic theme is Agriculture. Historically held at the end of Summer and early Fall, most community fairs evolved as a celebration of harvest time. After a long and back-breaking planting and growing season, family farmers would gather together after storing or selling their crops and celebrate the season with their neighbors. Folks would prepare their favorite dishes made from their own vegetables, fruits or fattened livestock. Those who had musical talents would sing and play while others danced. Contests and games were created to transform their hard work into fun. From the largest pumpkin to the largest pig to actual pig wrestling--from the tastiest pie to pie eating contests—from horseshoe toss to horseback races…neighbors competed to see who had the biggest, the best, the fastest, or the strangest. To this day, not much has changed about the spirit of county agricultural fairs. The merging of community events and exhibits with professional midway rides and carnival-type shows has become the core model of most fairs… including our own Avery County Fair. The High Country is fortunate to still host an authentic agricultural fair at the fairgrounds in Newland. Following in the true heritage of agri-fairs, Newland has been home to the country fair since

October 1993 without a miss. Even two back-to-back September hurricanes over the years didn’t deter the county’s commitment to put on their show. Fair coordinator, Jerry Moody, notes that the Avery fair has always been about showing off the horticultural and agricultural heritage of the county. “Our mission is to provide a family-oriented mountain fair known for friendliness and preservation of the true heritage that has long been a part of the High Country,” Moody said. The fair uses a combination of local vendors and some who travel with the midway show. Some of their more popular local events include a petting zoo, an exhibition of locally grown produce, and special educational school days. “We try to add something new each year to attract more and more people,” Moody added. “This year we’re planning a lawn mower race and pig wrestling. We also hope to have logging and cutting contests as well. The event is a joint effort between the community and the Avery County Cooperative Extension. Our fair board is made up by a bunch of great, crazy volunteers. They, along with the Cooperative Extension office, make the fair a success.” September 4th through 8th mark this year’s event and fair officials expect another great turnout. Aside from providing a lot of family fun and spotlighting local agri-commerce, the annual fair also Continued on next page Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


FAIR: Continued from previous page

Summer Fun with the High Country Women’s Fund “Life is a journey, not a destination,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson. For some, the journey is filled with love, fun and adventure; for others, it is filled with sadness, worry and pain. The High Country Women’s Fund (HCWF) helps women having that second kind of life journey, and the organization has chosen “Sharing the Journey” as the theme for this year’s round of fundraisers, which include the Power of the Purse Luncheon, POP Rocks, and Croquet for a Cause. Power of the Purse Luncheon Janice Holly Booth keynotes this years POP Luncheon on Friday, July 13th at 11:30 at the Blowing Rock Country Club. Bestselling author of Only Pack What You Can Carry: My Path to Inner Strength, Confidence, and True Self-Knowledge, Booth’s presentation will explore the essentials for finding the path to the life you truly want to live: solitude, introspection, courage, and commitment. No stranger to solitude and courage, Booth’s life experience includes a three-day solo exploration of Utah’s slot canyons. “The best thing that ever happened to me, aside from dark chocolate, was I had to take that trip alone,” she said. Booth has been “addicted” to solo travel ever since. At the heart of her presentational stories is a call to face fear, embrace ambiguity, and experience the transformative power of both.

means new people and new dollars that come into Avery County and Newland. The exact economic impact isn’t certain, but records show that the fair attracts over 5000 people on average. These are people who spend time in our area, shop in our stores and dine in area restaurants—as well as in neighboring communities. And now, with the re-opening of the Shady Lawn motel and restaurant, there are even more reasons for fair goers to linger longer in and around Newland. For a true taste of Americana, there’s nothing like a county fair…and the Avery County fair has it all.

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The Pop Rocks Concert The second event in this fundraising weekend is a Melissa Reaves-delivered, rhythm and blues concert and brunch at Crestwood Resort and Spa on Sunday, July 15, starting at 1. Reaves will perform with her band, The Willys. Originally from North Carolina, Reaves has toured extensively and maintains a strong base of local fans, who miss her when she’s gone and come out strong when she performs locally. “It’s hard to sit still when that powerful voice and amazing guitar playing come together,” says one fan. “We’re extremely fortunate to have been able to engage both of these strong and accomplished women for this year’s Power of the Purse weekend,” said Rebecca Moore, executive assistant for the High Country Women’s Fund. “We especially want to encourage women to bring their spouses and partners to POP Rocks and let the music move them. There will be room to dance!” Croquet for a Cause Fundraiser fun continues as HCWF carries its theme to the beautiful croquet court at Linville Resort on Sunday, August 12. Based on last year’s experience, expect the atmosphere to be relaxed, the locale spectacular, and the Southern supper afterwards--prepared by Eseeola’s culinary team--to be fantastic. Registration begins at 1 pm followed by an afternoon of “golf croquet,” instruction, and complimentary refreshments. Golf croquet is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn, variation of the game. No experience is necessary; coaches are on-hand to help those new to the game. The High Country Women’s Fund is an initiative of the High Country United Way. For more information about events, tickets, registration forms, and HCWF, contact Rebecca Moore at 828.264.4007,, or visit our website at

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

Linville Fal


Linville Falls Golf Club Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —



1 Call For All

There’s an easier way to fly when coming or going to the High Country. Wait until you discover the ease and convenience of Tri-Cities Regional Airport (TRI), with nonstop service to major hubs and connections to hundreds of domestic and international destinations. Easily accessible to Western North Carolina, this world-class airport offers fast and easy check-in, a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere, long and short term parking located conveniently right at the terminal, and, best of all, easy access to and from the High Country. From Western North Carolina, TRI is located 71 miles (1.25 hr.) from Banner Elk, 86 miles (1.5 hr.) from Boone, 60 miles (1.25 hr.) from Newland, and 55 miles (1 hr.) from Elk Park. Take Hwy 321 to 19 E toward Elizabethton. Follow 19 E to 11 E. Turn right on 11 E. Take exit that says Bluff City/Blountville to Hwy 394. At end of exit ramp, turn left onto 394. Drive approximately 7 miles. Turn left onto Interstate 81 (southbound). Proceed to exit 63, which is Airport Parkway. Turn left on Airport Parkway. Follow signs to Airport (approx. 3 miles). Tri-Cities Regional Airport offers non-stop service to four hubs. With one connection you can get most anywhere in the United States and many destinations abroad.  Allegiant Airlines offers non-stop low fares to Orlando, Tampa Bay and Clearwater-St. Petersburg. Delta Connection has non-stop daily service to Atlanta. And US Airways Express has non-stop daily service to Charlotte. In operation since 1937, Tri-Cities Regional Airport will celebrate its 75th anniversary in November of this year. Please check out our interactive website for more information regarding reservations and real time flight tracker of arrivals and departures. Be sure to check the website to find out about last minute fare sales and special airline promotions.  You can call them at (423) 325-6000, or log onto

They call the company 1 Call for a reason. Employing a dynamic business model to succeed in a slumping building industry, 1 Call For All offers customers a single source for virtually any trade or specialty. Their mission statement is simple. “If you have problems - we have solutions.” Longtime High Country homebuilder McKiever Hunter has assembled a diverse team of contractors and tradesman to tackle virtually any residential or business construction project. Collectively, McKiever and his coalition of professionals possess decades of experience, and includes specialists in every category of home construction, remodeling, and repair. Located in Boone at 1055 Blowing Rock Road, Hunter’s 1 Call For All promises to take the guess work out of any construction project and complete it in a timely and cost-effective manner. Visit their showroom for an estimate and strategy to address your construction needs. While you’re there, ask about Nano Tech Custom Polymer Resin overlays for garage, basement, and sidewalks. Learn more at their website at www.1calltoday. com/ or call them at 828-964-7012. All trades and contractors are North Carolina licensed and insured. All work is guaranteed.

“Carolina Mountain Life is Celebrating its 15th Year!

Thanks Readers! Thanks Sponsors!”

High School Scholars Leap Upward Bound While university education was once a luxury reserved for the elite, it is now an aspiration that most Americans can attain. This modern reality is largely due to our government’s strong commitment to promoting education through the public school system, state universities, and various funding activities that aid and encourage America’s youth to earn college degrees. This huge national investment in education is historically and economically unprecedented. One notable example of a federally funded program here in the North Carolina High Country that is changing educational dreams into realities is Upward Bound. Funded by the Department of Education and housed at Appalachian State University, the academic support program serves high school students in Avery, Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes, Burke, and Alleghany counties who meet federal income guidelines, or will be first-generation col-

30 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

lege students. By engaging with students through a variety of academic programming, Upward Bound provides its scholars with unique learning experiences and support for enrolling in college. Working directly with high school and ASU faculty, the program takes a project-based learning approach in its strategy to increase student potential. A project-based learning model incorporates hands-on experience and alternative teaching methods that are often limited by traditional classroom settings. Thus, instructors are able to provide knowledge and skills in new ways that go beyond textbooks and chalkboards. In addition to receiving valuable academic enrichment, Upward Bound’s scholars benefit from academic support such as tutoring services by ASU college students, course advising for college preparation, college campus visits, and scholarship application assistance. While working towards the goal of

graduating their scholars from college, Upward Bound weaves social and personal development into the heart of its mission. Students have opportunities to participate in various outdoor activities such as camping, kayaking, and backpacking trips, all of which are free of charge to scholars. Perhaps the most exciting time for Upward Bound participants is the annual six-week summer program facilitated at ASU. During this time, students get a taste of college life by living on campus, going to classes, and participating in cultural activities and academic enrichment programs. The summer program also has a community service component with events such as working in community gardens, preparing and serving food at the Hospitality House, and helping out at the Senior Center in Sugar Grove. Visit or call 828-262-8016 to find out more about the program.

Visit our sister Restaurant ! Bullwinkles @ 606 Beech Mtn. Pkwy. OPEN NIGHTLY - 828-387-2354

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Bears! Close Encounters of the Bear Kind By Jerry Shinn


n the familiar children’s story, a little girl named Goldilocks gets into trouble by making herself comfortable in the home of the three bears. In the High Country these days, the roles are being reversed. Our neighbor down the hill had just moved in for summer in the mountains when she looked out the window and saw three bears in her driveway. Our neighbor across the street, on Beech Mountain for the weekend, was walking his dog down the gravel road by his house when he saw a mama bear and three cubs. He wisely turned the dog around and headed home. Neighbors up the hill recently had several bears on their deck. We’ve had two bear sightings in the last couple of years. One night we heard something at the door, which is at the top of an outdoor stairway. I walked over and pulled an opening in the blinds and came eye to eye with a bear. She turned and rumbled down the stairs. I opened the door and looked out and saw a couple of cubs in the driveway. More recently, late one afternoon, my wife was in the kitchen and called me to come and look: There was a very large bear in the middle of the street, standing tall on his hind legs and looking around as if he were lost. When a car came down the hill, the bear dropped to all fours and dashed across the driveway and down the hill into the woods. More serious are the garbage cans overturned and the contents, except for what the bear eats, scattered across the yard. And then there was the bear that broke into the home of a woman who had been feeding him. Brian Teaster, who sells firearms, ammunition and other hunting gear at the Personal Touch store in Linville, has hunted bears, but not recently, and has observed them for many years, sometimes up close, on his Avery County farmland and neighboring properties. He tells of a bear that tore the back door off a Lexus SUV to get at the garbage that had been left inside. And he can use that scary story and others to make a point: When people have unwanted meetings with bears, or find evidence that bears have been visiting, it’s usually the people’s fault.

32 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

When the late Hugh Morton began developing Grandfather Mountain as a tourist attraction, one of his most successful moves was finding a native black bear, christening her Mildred, and making her the star of his natural habitat wildlife viewing area. Mildred has since passed on to bear heaven (as if there could be anything closer to bear heaven than Grandfather Mountain), but bears—mamas, papas and cubs—climbing on the rocks and begging for peanuts, which visitors are no longer allowed to feed them, remain a major attraction at Grandfather. They are important symbols of the High Country. A black bear in its natural habitat— or in your back yard—is no longer as rare a sight as it was when Hugh Morton introduced Mildred to the world. A few decades ago bears were almost extinct in North Carolina. The state has worked successfully to restore the bear population and maintain it at a healthy level, regulating hunting and protecting habitat. In 1971 there were about 4,000 bears inhabiting some 2.5 million acres in North Carolina. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission estimates there are now 11,000 bears in the state on 10 million acres. Conservationists consider that increase in bear population and habitat one of the Wildlife Resources Commission’s great achievements. People who’ve had unwanted encounters with bears might disagree. But, like Goldilocks, we moved into the black bears’ home when we built our towns and suburbs and resorts. They are indigenous and most of us are not. This land is their land. If we choose to inhabit it, we must co-inhabit it, which means we must coexist with bears. There are pretty clear principles and rules about how to do that. Most important, perhaps, is to avoid feeding bears, either intentionally and directly or unintentionally, through carelessness. If you want bears to leave you, your family and your property alone, don’t encourage them to eat the food humans eat, and don’t advertise where they can find it, and don’t leave it where they can get to it. “Once they find out they can get an easy meal, they’re going to come back, and

keep coming back,” says Brian Teaster. That means you shouldn’t put out edible garbage except in a heavily protected garbage can container. (And good luck with that. One neighbor secured his garbage cans with a stout wooden box with a padlocked lid and the next morning found it in pieces in the middle of the street.) Teaster says even bird feeders can be a problem. Even if they’re located where a bear can’t get at them easily, the seeds that spill onto the ground or on a deck or patio will attract bears. “We blame them for stuff that’s a result of our laziness,” he says. Instances of bears breaking into cars or homes are rare. But if someone has been deliberately feeding bears human food from the kitchen, because she thinks the cubs are cute or worries that the bears are starving, that’s pretty much an invitation to the bears to break in to get more. To coexist peacefully with bears, it also helps to know something about their habits, hungers and personalities. Here are some things we know about them. Anyone who has seen what a fullgrown bear—up to 600 pounds in the mountain region—can do to a heavily armored garbage can or a car door can attest that they are strong. Teaster also emphasizes that they are fast—they can outrun you and even your dog—and smart. But, he says, they are also shy and rarely aggressive except in the case of a mother who believes her cubs are threatened. They have no taste for flesh of any kind. They do not want to encounter you any more than you want to encounter them. If a bear hears you coming, in most cases he will run away before you see him. So don’t surprise them. If you’re out for a walk or a hike, don’t be stealthy. Make plenty of noise. Wear some “bear bells” or carry a little whistle you can blow every now and then. If despite all of the above you find yourself face-to-face with a bear, stay that way. If you do the most natural thing, which would be to turn and run, you could trigger the bear’s natural instinct to chase. Teaster suggests that you maintain eye contact while backing away and standing tall to make yourself seem larger. Try to

get something between you and the bear. At some point you’ll feel safe enough to walk away, or the bear will turn and leave the scene. If you feel the bear is about to attack, there’s a spray available at hunting gear suppliers that in most cases will turn the bear away. But don’t be too quick on the trigger. The best outcome is for everyone to peacefully go his or her own way. There are several notions about black bears that, despite popular opinion, are wrong. One is that employees of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Council will trap and relocate bears that are bothering you. In most cases they won’t, because that would simply move the problem into someone else’s neighborhood, not solve it. Another is that bears are nocturnal. It’s true that they’re more likely to raid your garbage at night, but many bear sightings now occur in daylight. And while it’s also true that bears once hibernated, or at least dozed, in winter, their seasonal naps are becoming shorter and much less deep. Bears hibernated as a way to stay alive when the weather was too cold for them to find food. As winters have become warmer, bears hibernate for ever shorter periods, or not at all. There is little hibernation time for bears now on the coastal plain. In the mountains, hibernation is now brief. That means you can encounter a bear any time of year, and bears can come after your garbage in winter. Although some of us might associate bears with the mountains, there are more of them in the coastal plain in our state than in the mountain region, and they are larger than mountain bears. In the eastern part of the state there is more agriculture to provide natural food, so bear grow larger there, up to 800 pounds compared to mountain bears, which rarely weigh more than 600 pounds. We know that bear cubs climb trees, just as children love to climb on playground equipment. But what about grown-up bears? When they grow to over 450 pounds, says Brain Teaster, they have difficulty climbing. Which is why, if you camping overnight, your food will usually be out of a bear’s reach, and less likely to attract one, if you wrap it well and hang it from a high tree limb.

Photo courtesy of Grandfather Mountain

Many Have “Cilled a Bar” Visitors to Grandfather Mountain’s Nature Museum have seen a replica of the tree trunk (some say it was a Beech) found somewhere in the Southern Appalachians (some say it was in Washington County, Tennessee) on which someone (some say it was Daniel Boone) carved “D. Boon Cilled a Bar….” There are considerable doubts among historians about whether the famous frontiersman was actually responsible for that inscription, or the one or more similar ones that have turned up. Even though Boone had little formal education, he was probably a better speller than the person who carved that message, and he probably knew how to spell his own name. What is not in doubt, however, is that Daniel Boone did kill a bar­—oops, bear. In fact, he killed hundreds of them, beginning as a teenager in the Yadkin Valley in North Carolina in the 1750s and continuing in the North Carolina and Tennessee mountains and on into Kentucky. While Boone is surely the most legendary bear hunter to have lived for a time in North Carolina, there have been many, many others, some legendary in their own right. Bear hunting is part of the High Country’s exciting and colorful past, and continues into the present, but on different terms. Many years ago mountain people killed bears for their skins and meat, both valued as commercial products for sale and as warmth and nourishment to take home. Bear meat has been described as “sweet,” and many preferred it to venison, which was also plentiful but often tough and stringy. Late fall and winter were the seasons for bear hunting, because in warm weather the meat would spoil before it could be cured or properly stored. Today, legal bearhunting seasons reflect that tradition, even in the age of refrigeration. Hunters in Boone’s time and later were so successful that bears almost became extinct in North Carolina and other parts of the nation. It took state regulation of hunting, and management of habitat, to restore the bear population. Today’s bear hunters hunt for sport, not to provide necessary warmth and food; but bear skins and bear meat are still prized. The hunt usually involves dogs, 10 or so, with one acting as the “striker” to sniff out the bear and the others to chase and surround. According to Robert Morgan’s fine biography, Boone, young Daniel was said to have killed 91 bears in a single winter along what is now called Bear Creek in the Yadkin Valley. Hunters are no longer allowed to be so prolific. State regulations limit each hunter to one “tag,” or kill, per season. But even with such restrictions, there is still a substantial bear harvest in the state. Last year hunters in North Carolina killed 2,363 bears, most in the coastal plain and 662 in the mountain region. If bear-hunting doesn’t run in your family but you decide to try it, you should get expert advice. Bears generally aren’t aggressive and will rely more on speed and intelligence than on counterattack to avoid getting shot. But they are big and strong and quick, so they’re potentially dangerous. And so is anyone who starts firing away with a high-powered rifle and doesn’t really know what he’s doing. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


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High Country Festival Of The Book Brings A Celebration Of Stories, Authors & Writers

A New Event In The High Country’s Chain Of Summertime Festivals


he click of the keyboard echoes through the library and shelves of books go untouched. Although that seems like an exaggeration, there is a change sweeping the nation and it is driving the opposite direction of printed books. Across the country, both small towns and large are stepping up and taking a stand for literacy and literature, bringing light back to the world of stories and printed words. From New Jersey to Winston-Salem, nonprofit library organizations are forming “Festivals of the Book” to celebrate and promote books, reading, literacy and literary culture. The Friends of the Watauga County Public Library in Boone have decided to join the ranks of book festivals with their own High Country Festival of the Book to be held in Blowing Rock August 3 and 4. Starting a new book festival in a small town is quite an undertaking and certainly comes with its challenges, but the High Country serves as a perfect backdrop for a weekend celebration of authors and books. We recently had the chance to sit down with Suzanne Thompson, the Chair for the High Country Festival of the Book, and ask her a few questions about the upcoming festival. Carolina Mountain Life: What inspired you to launch the festival in the first place? Suzanne Thompson: Well, I coordinate the annual Friends of the Library book sale at the mall and last year we had a couple of local writers join us to sign their books. While it was great to have them there, it was not really the right venue. People come to the used book sale to stock up on books for a dollar and 50 cents. It is not really a “literary event.”

36 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

by Renee Reed It is a great fundraiser and you can sure find some marvelous books, but it got me thinking that there is certainly no better place to have a book festival than our own Watauga County. CML: How do you think the High Country’s inaugural book festival will stand up against other popular festivals? Thompson: I think every book festival has its own personality. Just being here in the High Country makes us unique. This is our first festival so we have tried not to be too ambitious, but there will be something for everyone. Our ultimate goal is for this to become an annual event everyone can look forward to. CML: Trying to plan all this in such a small town must come with its struggles. Has it been difficult to get this festival off the ground? Thompson: Actually, I think being a small town is to our benefit. Since this is our first book festival, we are making it up as we go along. Sometimes, we have to hold ourselves in check because we have so many creative people on the HCFB Board. It is also a new concept to potential local sponsors and that has been a bit of a hurdle. Our most generous donors have actually been individuals who are personally excited about the event. CML: Can you tell us a little about the High Country’s first book festival? Thompson: The High Country Festival of the Book will be held in beautiful Blowing Rock at the Meadowbrook Hotel. The festival begins Friday, August 3 with two ticketed events. First, a Civil War Symposium from 9:00 to 4:00 that will bring in five authors, from the historian at Appomattox Courthouse to bestselling author Rod Gragg, who has won the Douglas Southall Freeman Award. The second event is a writer’s workshop

from 1:30 to 3:00 with author Wade Rouse on memoir writing. Then Saturday, August 4, the Festival is open free to the public from 9:00 to 4:00. That includes the hotel’s ballroom, which will be filled with publishers like University of North Carolina Press, McFarland Publishing, Ingalls Publishing and others all selling books. There will be two local antiquarian book dealers, Row by Row and C. Clayton Thompson Bookseller, and numerous individual authors with books on a wide range of topics. There are six author panels and some authors will be reading from their books. We are excited to have authors like Andy Wood from the North Carolina Audubon Society, poet Bob Watts, Julia Taylor Ebel, Sheri Castle and Randell Jones who has written about Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett. We have also invited some children’s authors and the Youth Services Department at the library will have a craft tent set up on the patio of the hotel so that kids can make their own books to take home. CML: I know there is one special ticketed event that you have worked especially hard to coordinate. Can you tell me a little about it? Thompson: Of course! The Movable Author Feast is going to be a lot of fun. There will be an empty chair at each table. The authors will move from table to table between courses so that they can speak one-to-one with all of the guests. This is our main fundraising event. We are relying on the generosity of our sponsors for this festival, but the goal is to raise money to provide funding for library activities that are not covered by local and state funding. The Movable Author Feast tickets are $100 apiece and it will be a truly

unique experience to hob-knob with best-selling authors and have books inscribed. And we are going to do a lot of other fun things like raffle book baskets and have prizes. CML: Is there any specific event you are personally looking forward to? Thompson: I think that when it comes down to it, I am most excited about the people involved. We have partnered with the Watauga County Arts Council for a piece of art that will be used as this year’s poster. Volunteers, sponsors, the Meadowbrook Inn, the library staff, the authors and everyone I talk with about the Festival…the excitement that other people have is infectious! CML: For most of these book festivals, the goal is to spread a love of literature throughout the community. How do you hope to do this in the High Country? Thompson: Oh, I think that we certainly have readers “up here.” The success of the mall book sale is evidence that we have many book lovers. Our hope is that this is not seen as a scholarly affair, but more a celebration of stories and reading. For more information and additional ticketing prices, please visit the High Country Festival of the Book website, High Country Festival of the Book and Friends of the Watauga County Public Library: A wholly volunteer organization, the Friends promote the Watauga County Public Library and its goals. They aim to enhance the quality of the Library by providing resources not covered by state and local funding. This Festival of the Book is the largest event they have planned and they aim to celebrate a love of literature in the High Country.

The Shoppe of Morganton has moved to Hickory’s Welcome Home Furniture

July 28 Inagural High Country Pet Fest

Come visit the Shoppe, newly relocated from Morganton to Hickory. We specialize in Shabby Chic, Primitive, distressed vintage furniture, antiques, decorative pieces, lighting, art and pictures, gifts including jewelry and so much more! With items changing daily your sure to find that “special something”. Owners, Monica and Dianna, opened the Shoppe in Morganton almost 2 years ago. As the demand for their furniture and accessories increased, the need for more space increased also. Coming up with innovative designs also required a better working space then Monica’s dinning room! When an opportunity arose through Dawn at “Welcome Home Furniture and Home Décor Consignment” the girls worked together and made the move. WHFC and Shoppe 256 compliment each other with over 6000 square feet of showroom spread over 4 floors. Dawn takes in higher end gently used furniture and accents and we mesh them with our creations for a wonderful eclectic fusion. Our inventory stays full and we have something for everyone to beautify your home at an affordable cost! With a simple chair, piece of art, a beautiful lamp or rug, or purchase a whole room from a sofa right down to the pillows! Our goal is to re-purpose as much as we can and the other aspect that proves to be positive for all is the consignment industry. More and more people are looking to sell what they no longer need because of a move, or simply to purchase different items to re-decorate for that NEW look. We also do custom work on pieces that you have or purchase in our store. So stop by at 256 Union Square in Hickory, and find your re-fab-ulous pieces to add to your home today! We recently opened The Artists Loft on the 3rd floor, featuring many local artists. The Farmer’s Market is adjacent to The Shoppe Wednesday 103pm and Saturday 8-1pm. Hours are Tuesday-Friday 11-6pm and Saturday 10-5pm. Contact us at 828-3226003 or visit and Like us on Facebook!

Erika Siegel, owner of My Best Friend’s Barkery, a Banner Elk shop specializing in healthy food products for pets, is the driving force behind the First Annual High Country Pet Fest scheduled for July 28. The groundbreaking pet exposition opens 10 a.m. on the grounds of the Old Historic Banner Elk Elementary School. Along with The Avery County Humane Society, vendors, pet rescue groups, pet related guest speakers, face painting, and the Purina Incredible Dog team to entertain you, a Dog Show begins at 12:30 p.m. The contest will offer several categories including smallest to largest and a Pet/ Owner Look—Alike competition. Registration for the show is open now, and if you pre-register by July 18th you will receive one free raffle ticket for a chance to win one of the many great pet related prizes to be given away. Pet owners can still register for the Dog Show on the day of the Pet Fest beginning at 12 Noon. The entry fee is $10.00 for the first event and $1.00 for every additional event. Sponsorship packages are still available starting at $100. A portion of all monies raised will go to support the Avery County Humane Society. With an array of activities to keep all ages and all species entertained, this is one event you don’t want to miss. Join in and make history as we make this event an annual occurrence to better celebrate our pets in the years to come. And while you’re at Pet Fest, look for Pies for Pets exhibit featuring apple, blueberry, and peach pies on sale while they last for $25. These pies are lovingly fresh baked by the High Country’s finest restaurants with 100% of all proceeds from Pies for Pets going to the Avery County Humane Society. These pies will go fast so order now to reserve yours. Special thanks to sponsors Darfor Pet Foods and the Pet Place of Boone. For rules, applications, and more information, call My Best Friends Barkery at 898-5625 and more about how you can be a part of the High Country’s inaugural Pet Fest.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


The W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection:

A Room With An Appalachian View: By Val Maiewskij-Hay


verything Appalachian from prehistory to contemporary times, from rare first editions to hand scribbled notes, from commercially produced audio-visual material to audio and video field recordings can be found in the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Located on the fourth floor of Belk Library and Information Commons, it is one of Appalachian State University’s Special Collections. As the world’s premier Appalachian collection it draws scholars, writers, and genealogists from around the world and students and faculty at ASU depend on it. Sometimes a passerby wanders into the Collection, becomes enthralled and stays for hours. And it has one of the best views in Boone. The Collection actively acquires Appalachian library materials and has received donations from politicians, scholars, deejays, local people, businesses, and churches in the area. If it is Appalachian, the Collection wants it. Dr. Fred J. Hay, Anne Belk Distinguished Professor and Librarian of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, observed “our mission is to collect everything pertaining to the region in all formats, all age levels, and degrees of sophistication. Everything Appalachian is very important to us and we want it.” Systematic acquisition of Appalachian materials began in the1950s. Cratis Williams, known as the father of Appalachian Studies, was writing his dissertation, The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction, while teaching Eng-

38 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

lish at ASU. He needed material on Appalachia and so W.L. Eury, the University Librarian, and acquisitions librarian Zeb Shook, ordered new and used books and magazines for him which became the foundation of the Collection. Beginning in 1968 with about 2,000 books in two rooms of the original Belk Library, it now has over 44,000 books, 200 current magazine subscriptions and many ceased ones, over 1,500 videos and dvds, and about 10,000 commercial sound recordings as well as extensive unpublished material--manuscripts and notes, ledgers and records, diaries, journals, and field recordings. Initially the Appalachian Collection also collected material objects such as looms, banjos, and quilts, but in 1989 the Appalachian Cultural Museum was formed and became the depository for these objects. Unfortunately due to economic circumstances the Appalachian Cultural Museum, closed since 2005, was officially disbanded in 2011. The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, however, continues to expand. Dr. Pat Beaver, Director of the Center for Appalachian Studies called it “…the best collection of its kind in the world and we are very lucky to have it. It is a wonderful resource, offering students the opportunity to use archival materials and giving professors the necessary tools for teaching and research. I have used the Collection extensively in my teaching and research.” Dr. Hay added that “the quality and importance of Appalachian Studies at ASU was recognized by the National

Endowment for the Humanities when they granted us a $1.3 million Challenge Grant to support endowments for the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, the Center for Appalachian Studies, and the Appalachian Cultural Museum.” The materials in the Collection are accessible to the public through the online catalog. The cataloged materials are located in the open stacks area and in the closed collection which holds rare, valuable, delicate books, and manuscript collections. The closed collection material can only be viewed in the D.D. Dougherty Reading Room which is open from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday when the University is in session. The open stacks have books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs which can be checked out by anyone with a community borrower card available at the library’s main circulation desk on the first floor. There is also a viewing and listening room for using audio-visual materials in-house and for those items which do not circulate. Also in the open stacks, but not circulating, are reference materials, maps, microfilm of newspapers, census records, and much more. The clippings files are a unique resource. Starting with newspaper accounts of the flood of 1940, the files were expanded to include hundreds of topics--ranging from important town events, agriculture, Christmas trees, weather, tourism, skiing and other recreational activities--from about fifty regional newspapers. Popular with students, writers, and scholars these files are heavily used. Ann Whisnant, in writing

The Rhinehart Rare Books and Special Collections Room at Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons will be open to the public on June 13, 20 and 27 from 1-4 pm. The room, located on the library’s fourth floor, contains an outstanding collection of rare books on British history along with a unique collection of Victorian page turners. Dr. Marjon Ames, who has worked with the collection as a Rhinehart Postdoctoral Fellow, will be on hand to show visitors some of the more interesting books in the room. The special collection was donated by Bill and Maureen Rhinehart of Melville, N.Y. A native North Carolinian, Bill earned two degrees at Appalachian and was a long-time school principal. For more information: 828-262-7974.

the award-winning Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History, used the files extensively. The ‘tune index,’ is a song title index which lists all the commercially-recorded songs that the Collection has available. It includes many songs with numerous recorded versions and is another heavily used resource, especially loved by local musicians. Local genealogists and others from as far away as Michigan and Australia find valuable resources in the Collection. Among the many things the Collection includes are family histories (both published and unpublished), oral histories, maps, including the Stout insurance maps which show cemetery locations, the Speculation Land Company records dating from 1700 to 1900 for Polk, Rutherford, Henderson and Buncombe counties, and the William Allan Papers, a study conducted in the 1940s and 1950s as part of the eugenics movement, containing extensive genealogies, medical records (the latter only available to family members), and obituaries of people in Watauga County. The Appalachian Collection also contains county records and newspapers on microfilm and a few Revolutionary and Civil War records and troop roosters. Dean Williams, Cratis D. Williams Reading Room Supervisor, said “sometimes genealogists find surprising, and even disturbing, information about their ancestors. I always tell them ‘you can’t pick your ancestors’.” A number of individuals’ personal papers are in the Appalachian Collection such as those of Cratis Williams--his

books, journals, manuscripts, field notes, and recordings--and the Helen Lewis Papers which include videos of her field research, manuscripts and notes. Other scholars papers include those of historians Henry Shapiro and John Alexander Williams, film scholar Jerry Wayne Williamson, and political scientist John Gaventa among others. Among its many manuscript collections are the papers of U.S Senator James Broyhill of Lenoir. Nationally prominent musicians Scotty and Lulu Belle Wiseman’s sheet music collection and the Abrams and Greer folksong texts and recordings are held by the Collection. Other important holdings include an extensive collection of shaped note hymnals, Cherokee materials including many government documents, and the Appalachian Rails and Railways Collection. The Appalachian Collection recently acquired the papers of Romulus Linney, a literary figure whose family has deep roots in Boone and who wrote a novel about life in Valle Crucis entitled Heathen Valley, and other books and plays about the region. He is the father of actress Laura Linney. Because his papers are so extensive it will take about a year to process. The Collection also recently obtained the papers of Ralph Fickel, a renowned rock climber who died in an ice climbing accident. His papers include books, magazines, as well as handwritten notes and maps of the areas he climbed. Fickel’s papers are currently being processed. Another recent addition is the Jack Jeffers amazing photo collection. Many well-known writers have used

the unique resources of the collection. Best selling author Sharyn McCrumb did extensive research while working on The Ballad of Frankie Silver. Martin Crawford, a British American Studies professor who wrote the award-winning book on the Civil War in Ashe County, Ashe County’s Civil War: Community and Society in the Appalachian South, came from England to use the Collection. Noah Adams, NPR contributor, also worked in the Collection when he was writing Far Appalachia: Following the New River North. According to Dr. Mary Reichel, Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor and University Librarian, “I am proud that Appalachian State has the premier Appalachian Collection. During Romulus Linney’s last visit to Boone in the fall of 2011 he explored the Appalachian Collection and found many books he had used when he was a student of Cratis Williams His visit highlighted the timeless nature of the Collection which will continue to serve students and community members for generations to come. I love going into the beautiful Cratis D. Williams Reading Room where we have hung four traditional pattern quilts from local quilters. Please come visit us so we can introduce you to the wonders of this Collection.” The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection is open MondayThursday: 8 am to 10 pm, Friday: 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday: 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday: 1 pm to 10 pm. Learn more at

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


MORE that you READ, the more THINGS you will KNOW. The MORE you LEARN, the more PLACES you’ll GO!” “The

–Dr. Seuss

Let Black Bear Books help you find all the places you can go!

Black Bear Books and Yarn is now located in the Boone Mall! 828-264-4636

Cool Off This Summer Enjoying A Tasty Treat From Miracle Grounds Coffee Café & Creamery A Working Vocational Classroom FEATURING delicious specialty coffee drinks, homemade goodies & sandwiches, milkshakes, ice-cream, access to wireless internet service and the opportunity to purchase coffee by the pound.


...And discover mountain treasures on campus while visiting Crossnore Weavers: A Working Museum, Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery, Blair Fraley Sales Store and the fresco Suffer the Little Children, 2006, by Benjamin F. Long, IV, located in the E.H. Sloop Chapel.

The Re-Telling of the Birth of Our Nation ­— Live at the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre —

June 15 - August 11, 2011 / Tues - Sun / Curtain Time 8pm Regular Adult $18 / Regular Child $9 Discount show tickets available Reserve tickets online at or call 828-264-2120

40 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

The Crossnore School 100 DAR Drive, Crossnore NC 28616 / 828.733-4305



ayland Community College serves as the educational gateway for students in Mitchell, Avery, and Yancey Counties, but the opportunities provided by Mayland go beyond conventional educational goals. With a campus in each county, Mayland offers a wide variety of continuing education courses for learners at all education levels who want to learn a new skill, explore an area of curiosity, or even develop their creative sides. Taught by authors, artists, craftspeople, and enthusiastic experts, these classes can transform an ordinary summer into a life-changing metamorphosis. Many of the continuing education courses allow students to develop valuable skills such as learning Spanish or CPR. Such topics can be useful both for those who want to make themselves better employees or for those who are enjoying retirement or a summer off and want to enrich their own personal growth and knowledge. Those who wish to learn computer basics or better utilize tools such as Photoshop, the iPad, or Social Media will find plenty of offerings for their interests and needs. These courses are ideal for those who want to make better uses of new technology. For learners intrigued by older skills, Mayland offers classes in vegetable and fruit gardening, chicken keeping, bread baking and fence building, taught by veteran homesteaders who will help participants master useful and enjoyable skills for better living and a “greener” home. Those who want to visit green spots beyond their property lines will find fun and knowledge on hiking experiences such as “Hiking Avery County,” “Waterfall Mania,” or “Appalachian Summer, Tree ID.” Personal enrichment can also be found in courses that teach exercise and meditation techniques, food choices and home remedies, and fun and healthy skills like clogging and aerobic dancing. Mayland’s continuing education courses also provide one-on-one instruction in a variety of arts, from glassblowing to jewelry-making, woodcrafts to welding, and from painting to pottery. Textile arts invite participants to learn knitting or needlefelting while paper arts offer opportunities for marbling or creating unique notecards and stationery. Our region is rich in songs, stories and history, and Mayland courses can help both natives and newcomers tap into this heritage: the Old Time String Band class will teach anyone to play a traditional stringed instrument, while classes in Appalachian Culture, Avery County History, and the Toe River Valley’s Role in the American Civil War offer insights into the past. Community members who want to craft, preserve, and perform family, cultural, or personal stories can participate in two-day classes at either the Yancey or Avery Campus. Those who favor the written word can explore the work of popular authors in a series of programs on the literary artistry in The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Chronicles of Narnia. Writers hoping to get their own work onto shelves of bookstores and libraries should look no further than the “So you Want to Get Published?” class. A very special publishing opportunity at Mayland may also attract the interest of authors and artists who would like to share their work with the world. Earlier this year, Mayland launched its new creative arts journal, Gateways, featuring the work of bestselling authors, award-winning photographers, and never-before-published amateurs. The first issue, with a theme of history, enchanted readers with poems, stories, essays, and photographs connecting to the past. The next issue, which will take submissions from June 30 until October 31, will feature a theme of education. Clearly, the wonderful selection of Continuing Education courses offered at Mayland demonstrates that education is not just about diagramming sentences and finding the value of x. Education can make us more human, more in touch with our hopes and potential as we create, grow, and develop.

More Than the Three Rs:

Light the Spark of Learning and Creativity with Mayland Community College this Summer By Elizabeth Baird Hardy

For more information on any of Mayland’s course offerings this summer, visit, where the continuing education link provides answers to most questions, or call (828)766-1207 or 1-800-4MAYLAND for Spruce Pine/ Mitchell campus courses, (828) 733-5883 for the Avery Campus in Newland, or (828) 682-7315 for the Yancey Campus in Burnsville. To learn more about Gateways, including complete submission guidelines, email gateways@mayland. edu. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


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Call 828.898.5136 to schedule a tour.

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Downtown Morganton

Shop 5&2 Wig Haircare and Accessories: 828-437-2412 Baby Ware: 828-433-9745 Benjamin’s & Libba’s: 828-437-7272 Bloom Again Consignment: 828-439-9020 Burke Bedding and Furniture: 828-437-0271 Burke Arts Council: 828-433-7282 Crescent Flower Inc: 828-437-5124 Diamond T Jewelers: 828-438-1001 Diva Strandz Hair & Wig Boutique: 828-437-3285 Downtown Floral and Event Design: 828-433-8118 Fashions: 828-433-4916 Fashion Addiction: 828-443-7089 Freeman’s Salvage: 828-437-3850 Garden Gate: 828-437-8181 Gregory Jewelers: 828-437-4074 Habitat ReStore: 828-437-7844 High Country Leather: 828-433-8875 Kalā Gallery: 828-437-1806

For more information visit or contact Downtown Morganton 112B W. Union St, Morganton NC 28655 828-438-5252

• • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

Kathryn’s Framing: 828-433-7506 Kimbrell’s Furniture Company: 828-437-1668 Mad Paperback Used Books: 828-438-9111 Main St Jams Music: 828-433-0745 Manazhe Fashions: 828-413-6822 Marquee Cinemas: 828-437-8084 MESH Gallery: 828-437-1957 More Lace: 828-437-3770 Morganton Feed and Seed: 828-433-6783 Morganton Sewing Center: 828-439-8050 Nature’s Bounty: 828-433-7325 Patterns: 828-437-2400 Patterson’s Amish Furniture: 828-475-0038 Randy’s Custom Golf Clubs: 828-433-6464 Rincon Hispano: 828-433-5477 Smokefoot Trade & Loan: 828-438-9397 The Music Center: 828-437-7443 Victory Piano: 828-201-5646

Dine •

109-A Kaffé: 828-437-4995 Catawba Valley Brewing Co.: 828-430-6883 Churchill’s: 828-433-9909 Dessert First: 828-437-5744 Geppeto’s Pizza: 828-430-7300 Gondola of Morganton: 828-475-0166 Grind Cafe: 828-430-4343 Jake’s Hamburgers: 828-438-6936

Kin2Kin: 828-433-8883

• King Street Cafe: 828-475-6188 • Limbertwig Cafe: 828-438-4634 • Murray’s of Morganton: 828-433-5833 • Pat’s Snack Bar: 828-437-5744 • Root & Vine: 828-433-1540 • The Sub Club: 828-433-5412 • Yianni’s Family Restaurant: 828-430-8700 Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


“Horn in the West,” the nation’s longest-running Revolutionary War outdoor drama, is celebrating its 61st consecutive season. The night-time outdoor drama tells the rich story of Daniel Boone and fellow pioneers in their efforts to settle the backcountry during the Revolutionary War era. Boone, along with the reform-minded Regulators, takes the audience on a journey filled with song, dance, romance, conflict, and twists that will have viewers on the edge of their seats. The drama makes the history of this era come alive with the story of the interaction between the settlers and the Cherokee Nation as depicted through the characters of Nancy Ward and Chief Attakulakula. You will also experience the story of Dr. Geoffrey Stuart, a prominent British physician in search of a cure for the devastating disease, smallpox. You will realize his internal conflict over remaining a British Loyalist versus helping his new mountain friends and saving his son. Guests may also enjoy an all-you-can-eat “Dinner with Dan’l” catered on the grounds by Dan’l Boone Inn before the show from 6:30-7:30pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. This home-cooked dinner, served on site in the dining shelter, includes fried chicken, country ham, green beans, mashed potatoes, stewed apples, homemade biscuits, strawberry shortcake for dessert, and a choice between iced tea and water. Additionally, on the grounds you will find Hickory Ridge Living History Museum offering a glimpse into Appalachian life during the 1700s. Walk through the historic log cabins and interact with local people dressed as early mountain settlers as they perform their daily routines of hearthside cooking, weaving, blacksmithing, and other typical tasks. “Horn in the West” runs Tuesday through Sunday. Shows start at 8pm, and run June 15th through August 11th. Visit or call 828-264-2120 to purchase tickets.

Nails by Belkis Appointments Preferred Walk-ins Welcome –New Nail Tech: Marilyn Authenreith– Across from Avery Hardware Newland NC / 828-737-0701

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M-F 9-5, Sat 10-2 4205 Mitchell Avenue, Linville NC Ph: 828-733-7170 e:mail

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Farm-To-Table Dining Blue Ridge Bistro in Banner Elk How lucky we are! Now, one can get “farmto-table” meals at Blue Ridge Bistro located at 142 E. Main St. in Banner Elk five days out of seven. Owner Michele Theriault offers a new American cuisine with something to please everyone. Advertised as a “Southern-style mountain bistro”, everything on the menu is made from scratch. All organic products and produce are purchased from local suppliers whenever possible. “If I eat this way, if I feed my kids this way, why would I do anything differently for my customers?” asks Theriault. This philosophy pervades Banner Elk’s newest restaurant/coffee shop/wine bar. This family owned and operated business has a mission which is to support green, organic, local farmers and businesses, to serve the most nutritious, creative and delicious dishes possible, and to follow business practices which rely on integrity and sustainability. They are also very serious about recycling and doing their part for our environment. Even the companies with whom they do business are sustainable and biodynamic. With Farm-To-Table dining, the menu changes daily with seasonal offerings. Many items on the menu are vegetarian and gluten free. Menu offerings range from Southern classics, like chicken and dumplings and sweet potato pie, to exotic options, such as tempura shrimp with orange marmalade and portobello mushroom fries. The veggie burgers are made from their own recipe and served with hand-cut sweet potato fries. Of course, the shrimp and grits are made with Carolina shrimp. The menu has something for everyone. The burgers and hot dogs are organic. Even the craft beer and wine are from biodynamic suppliers. And they make their own popcorn balls and donuts which are not to be missed. Culinary school trained and extremely talented Mike Thorpe worked at The Best Cellar, Hound Ears Country Club and, most recently, at Linville Ridge Country Club before becoming the chef at Blue Ridge Bistro. The bistro is a cash-only business which keeps meal prices lower, circulates more money in the local economy and allows for higher employee pay. Once the business is established, Theriault is also interested in supporting local causes. “We’ll be able to give more money to the community because we don’t have the credit card overhead,” she said. Open Thurs through Mon, 11am-9pm.

Summer Author Series at ASU The last three writers in this year’s Summer Author Series sponsored by the University Library at Appalachian offer an interesting variety of subject matter and writing styles. Acclaimed Southern novelist Clyde Edgerton will present this year’s Belk Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, July 12. His program, “Reading, Stories, and Music” is at 3:30pm in the Calloway Peak Room in Plemmons Student Union. Edgerton has charmed his devoted readers with such books as Walking Across Egypt, Raney and Lunch at the Piccadilly. His talk will be followed by a book signing/reception. Two authors complete the series: Georgann Eubanks speaks on August 2, and Mark de Castrique on August 16. Eubanks wrote Literary Trails of the North Carolina Mountains and Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, and de Castrique is the author of the popular Buryin’ Barry and Sam Blackburn series of mysteries set in Asheville. Both of these programs will be held in Room 421 of Belk Library and Information Commons at 3:30pm and include book signings and refreshments. All of the events are free, and parking will be available in the College Street deck beside the library. For more information call Lynn Patterson at 828-262-2087.

Jordan’s Cleaners: Serving you In two great locations Jordan’s Cleaners, owned by Kathy McGuire Horney, is open and ready to take care of your dry cleaning and laundry needs. Located in Newland next to Mountain Jewelers, this new business offers starch for shirts, pants and jeans, military crease for uniforms, and cleaning and preservation for wedding dresses as well as boxed storage for family heirlooms such as quilts and antique clothing. This conveniently located business is a drop-off and pick-up store for dry cleaning and laundry. The primary business is located in Morganton at 203 College St. Jordan’s Cleaners will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 5:00, and Saturdays from 9:00 to 1:00. They welcome your visit and hope you will check out their competitive pricing and monthly specials.

Wolf Creek to Sobleski & Co. Shell, Bruce, and Brandon Sobleski, owners of Wolf Creek in Foscoe, are making a name change to reflect the evolution occurring within the store to more closely represent who they are. The store, always known as the place to go for mountain decor and rustic home furnishings, still offers the rustic mountain look so popular in the High Country. However, clients are also requesting a more individualized approach to furnishing their mountain homes. The Sobleskis specialize in listening to their clients and helping them achieve their home décor dreams, even if it means having a piece custom built or upholstered. They realize what people want and how they like to be treated. They listen to their customers as they assist them in making their virtual dream rooms become a reality. And along the way everyone discovers they have new friends in Foscoe. Insisting on top-notch quality, they strive to offer products made in the USA while still keeping cost reasonable and supporting local and family-owned industries. There are products made of reclaimed wood, metals, and authentic tobacco barn wood, unique furnishings and accent pieces, and organic mattresses with the latest technology (come feel the difference that latest technology makes!). When you visit the store, you will find eclectic gifts, handmade lighting, and original artwork. There really is something for anyone. And the family’s sense of humor is on display as you go from room to room. This is a store to enjoy as you browse for those furnishings, artwork, lighting, and mattresses that make your home your own. They are open 7 days a week year round and look forward to your visit. / 828.963.6800

Banner Elk United Methodist Church Located on Lees-McRae Campus in Banner Elk, Banner Elk United Methodist Church is proud to announce the addition of the Loop System to their sanctuary for hearing impaired parishioners and guests. This “induction loop” system is wired into the sanctuary so that sound is magnetically transmitted into hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoils (T-coils). In most places, hard of hearing people hear the broadcast sound, but only after it has traveled some distance from a loudspeaker, reverberated off walls, and gotten mixed with other room noise. Induction loop systems take sound straight from the source and delivers it right into the listener’s ears. It’s as if one’s head was located in the microphone, or inches from a television’s loudspeaker--without extraneous noise, or blurring of the sound with distance from the sound source. Senior Pastor Dan Brubaker said “We have had excellent feedback from one gentleman about the clarity and ease he experienced in the church.” The system is available in many locations in Europe, and is also available at Barter Theater in Abingdon, VA. Sunday services at Banner Elk United Methodist begin at 9:40 and 11:00, with Sunday school for children and adults meeting at 10:00. Please call the church office for more information at 828.898.9729.

Jordan’s Cleaners Dry Cleaners & Laundry

Wedding Dress & Heirloom Storage • Military Creases • Starch Pants & Shirts 215 Pineola Street, Newland NC • 828-733-0944 Open 9-5 Mon-Fri, 9-1 Sat Also in Morganton at 203 College Street Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


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46 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Mayview Rod and Gun Club Preserving a Time Honored Tradition By Judah Goheen


here are countless ways to enjoy outdoor life in the Carolina mountains. The rich biodiversity of plant and animal life, awe-inspiring scenery, and invigorating climate make the Blue Ridge Mountains a special place when answering the call of the wild. In particular, hunting and fishing have a long history of attracting people to the region. Established in the early 1900’s, the historic Mayview Gun Club in Blowing Rock was the first to connect people to the joy of fishing and hunting in the High Country. The prestigious club hosted sportsmen from all over the country. Even wild west legend Annie Oakley traveled to Blowing Rock to entertain patrons with her world-renowned shooting exhibition. The pioneering club’s legacy lives on today as the Mayview Rod and Gun Club. A world-class fishing and hunting destination, members have successfully preserved the essence and heritage of the original club. While the original club

hosted its guest in the Mayview Manor, a grand 138 room hotel in Blowing Rock that was memorable for its “pre-blight” chestnut tree bark exterior, the Mayview Rod and Gun Club now hosts its members at the equally historic Green Park Inn as its clubhouse headquarters. At the Green Park, members enjoy club events where their fresh-caught game is prepared by the Inn’s own celebrated chef, James Welch. The founder of Mayview Rod and Gun Club, Mark Scruggs, assures that the club offers a diverse range of opportunities for members to enjoy. The club’s DragginFly fishing guide service takes members on excursions to many carefully scouted stretches of river, including one privately leased section of river that is regularly stocked and reserved exclusively for the club. In addition, members have the option to do their fishing by raft on a float trip. Gun sports still trigger excitement with a wide range of opportunities in the shooting sports. The club’s Covey Hol-

lar Hunting Preserve spans 250 acres of rolling hills worthy of a post card. A guide service takes hunters on wing shooting expeditions to shoot a variety of game that include pheasants, chuckers, and quail. For non-game gun sport, members can shoot sporting clays while still enjoying the scenery of the hunting preserve. While bird hunting season lasts from October 1st until March 31st, sporting clays can be shot year round. Appealing to all skill levels of sportsmen and sportswomen, Mayview Rod and Gun Club is intent on the preservation of a legacy that is centuries old. The club’s focus on outdoor adventures includes providing skilled, friendly guides, stocked fisheries, and game preserves. Expertise in the joyful pursuit of fish and game is the foundation of the Mayview Rod and Gun Club which club members believe helps to set them apart. To learn more about the club’s programs and current planning of annual destination expeditions for fishing and hunting around the world, visit www. or call 828-773-2255. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


“Catching the Train”

Looking For The Historic Tweetsie RR By Michael C. Hardy


t seems every local family has a story related to the train known as Tweetsie. Some family members worked for the railroad, while others rode the rails to attend Appalachian State Teacher’s College in Boone, or to shop or work in Johnston City. For many decades in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the railroad from east Tennessee was the only major transportation artery into the High Country of Avery and Watauga Counties. Roads to the east, into the foothills of North Carolina, were primitive and made for hard traveling. The arrival of the railroad brought opportunities for farmers to transport their products to markets. At the same time, store-manufactured items were shipped via the train, while passenger service opened the doors for interstate travel. A person could board the train in Boone or Elk Park and go any place in the United States serviced by the railroad. Although it served many purposes, the primary purpose of the line was to transport iron ore out of the mines at Cranberry, along with timber from the various mills that sprang up. The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC) was chartered by the Tennessee legislature in 1866. Emerging from Elizabethton, the line was narrow gauge, with the rails just three feet apart, instead of the standard gauge distance of four feet, eight and a half inches. The smaller engines were able to better traverse the mountainous terrain along the Doe River Gorge and the slopes of Grandfather Mountain. By mid-June 1882, the line had reached Elk Park, and by the end of the month, it extended to Cranberry. The purpose of the line was to take the iron ore extracted from the mines at Cranberry to Tennessee where it could be refined.

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All across the Appalachians at this time companies were either outright purchasing large tracts of land or buying the timber rights for the land. The Camp brothers from Chicago, purchased a large chunk of land in the Pineola area and approached the owners of the Cranberry mines and the ET&WNC to seek permission to build a new line from Cranberry to Pineola, where their mill was located. This original venture failed before any track was laid for the Linville River Rail Road, and the operation was purchased by William Ritter in June 1897 who re-chartered the line as the Linville River Railway (LRR). Once the tracks reached Pineola, spurs branched out in every direction: through Crossnore and down the Linville River to Linville Falls; to Newland; down along Wilson’s Creek; and, even toward Sugar Mountain. In 1913, Ritter finished harvesting the area timber to which he had rights, and he moved his operation to Caldwell County. The LRR was placed up for sale, and the Cranberry Iron and Coal Company, which owned the ET&WNC, purchased the local railway. Work began in 1915 on a branch line out of Montezuma to Linville Gap (present-day Invershiel). Like other branch lines, this was a temporary track, and once the timber was removed, these tracks were taken up. In 1915, William Whiting purchased a sizable piece of land in the Shull’s Mill area of Watauga

County. Whiting went to the owners of the LRR and asked that the line be extended to the saw mill at Shull’s Mill. The line arrived in late 1916, and the wholesale cutting of Watauga County forest land began in earnest. Residents in Boone soon began to pressure the company to extend the lines to their town, and service to Boone officially began on January 1, 1919. Most of the trains were mixed freight, hauling passengers and boxcars, or lumber. In August 1940, a hurricane stalled over the area, dumping large amounts of rain. Tracks were washed out, and bridges were destroyed. The owners of the LRR, which had been losing money for years, applied for the right to abandon the line. While local people fought the abandonment, the Interstate Commerce Committee agreed on March 22, 1941. The remaining tracks were removed and the last boxcars were shipped out on the backs of trucks. The LRR soon became nothing but a memory. The ET&WNC continued to run to Cranberry until 1950, when it, too, was abandoned. Even though the ET&WNC and LRR (commonly referred to as “Tweetsie” because of the shrill sound of the whistle) has been gone for sixty years, there are those who remember the train from their childhood. But there are remnants of Tweetsie that linger on outside the recollections of our older citizens.


There are tangible pieces of the past all around us. Near Elizabethton, Tennessee, the Doe River Gorge Ministries operates occasional excursions on twoand-a-half miles of track on the original grade. A little closer to the North Carolina line, a ride down the Railroad Grade road near the Northeast Correctional Center allows visitors to pass through some original cuts made for the railroad and to drive over an original (late 1880s) bridge designed for the train. In Avery County, US 19-E from the state line to Cranberry passes on much of the original route. From Cranberry the line moved through Minneapolis, before turning east and moving through Vale and into Newland. Near the Vale community, an old concrete bridge emplacement can still be found along the road. From Newland, the line passed through Montezuma, with one branch going to Pineola, and another to Linville. The old Linville Depot, the last remaining depot in Avery and Watauga Counties, was recently given to the Avery County Historical Society and Museum. It was moved to Newland, behind the Muse-

um, and is currently being restored. The museum contains many items connected with the two railroads. From Linville, the line continued on through Linville Gap, Foscoe, Shull’s Mill, and into Boone. For much of this route, the line ran along presentday Hwy. 105. Once in Boone, the line swung over by the present-day location of the mall before heading back west along River Street. Probably the greatest visual reminder to the once-great steam locomotive engines that ran through Avery and Watauga Counties can be found at the Tweetsie Railroad Theme Park between Boone and Blowing Rock. The highlight of any visit is a ride on a train, perhaps pulled by Engine Number 12, one of the original steam-fired locomotives that ran between Elizabethton and Boone between 1919 and 1940. While ET&WNC and LRR have not run as actual railroads for half a century, those who know where to look can still find remnants of the train, and perhaps they will even hear that shrill whistle that gave rise to the name “Tweetsie.”

Facing Page: Elk Park with the ET&WNC coming through town. (Avery County Historical Society) This Page: Top Left: At times, logging crews lived in specially fitted-out box cars at lumber camps. This photograph was supposedly taken on Beech Mountain. (Avery County Historical Society) Lower Left: The Depot in Linville, on the right, now sits behind the old jail in Newland (Avery County Historical Society) Right: The Cranberry Mine produced iron ore for many decades. (Caldwell Historical Museum) Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Valle Crucis Conference Center By Jane Richardson


estled in the rolling hills off NC Highway 194, the Valle Crucis Conference Center shares its view of the valley with the Holy Cross Episcopal Church. The property’s rich history began in 1842, when The Right Reverend Levi Ives, Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of North Carolina, came to what is now Valle Crucis after hearing reports of its beauty and the character of its people. Later that year, he sent the Reverend Henry Prout there, bringing the Episcopal Church’s ministry to the High Country. Over the next two years, Bishop Ives purchased more land and added buildings to the property, which he named Valle Crucis—Vale of the Cross—because the three area streams intersect in the form of a St. Andrews cross. In those days, long before the state created its Department of Education, churches took the responsibility of establishing schools in their local communities. Bishop Ives soon opened a day/ boarding school to serve the area, using ministerial students as instructors. In this setting, those young men could learn

50 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

first-hand about the unique requirements of working in such a rural environment. A chapel was built in the basement of one building and services were held for the general public. In 1852, the Bishop resigned and the school was disbanded. In 1895 another bishop, The Right Reverent Joseph Cheshire, was sent to revive the church’s work. He built a separate chapel and a dormitory with classrooms attached. The latter stands today as the Mission House. In 1902 the Episcopal Diocese bought approximately 500 acres of land and developed a working farm, including 100 acres of apple trees, a wagon factory, a dairy and a sawmill on the site. In those days, Banner Elk was a shipping point for the area’s apple crop, and the property could produce 20,000 bushels of apples in a good year. Crab Orchard Creek provided the water for a hydroelectric power system, which served not only the church property but other places in the community as well. Photographs from that era show a large, brightly lit cross on the roof of one building, constructed to celebrate the installation of electricity. The stone church standing now as the Church of the Holy Cross, fondly known as “the church that helps people,” was built in 1925. Over the next half-century, the property was used for various purposes, including a school for girls. Ida O’Keeffe, Georgia’s sister, taught art there. The school also served as the social center of the community, hosting dances, plays and other events for the public. In 1943, mainly due to the advent of World War II and the resulting lack of personnel, the girls’ school was closed. In the 1960s the property was converted to the Episcopal Church Conference Center and used for retreats, conferences and other religious gatherings. Today, visitors to the Valle Crucis Conference Center will find a sprawling complex of eight buildings, including a dining hall, inn, bunkhouse and apple barn in addition to the Mission House

and three residence halls. The deep peace and seclusion of the setting invite reflection and introspection, making it the perfect choice for retreats and other meditative gatherings. The Inn is the largest building, standing today just as it was built, with the obvious additions of electrical wiring and plumbing. The oversized woodburning fireplace in the gathering room is a popular spot during cold weather, and the stones on its generous hearth are worn smooth as glass from generations of sitters. The original maple floors creak reassuringly, and the rows of windows provide plenty of natural light and ventilation. The absence of television sets, telephones and radios in the rooms is in keeping with the residence building’s character and the Center’s ambience. “We are rustic and we plan to stay that way,” says Tom Eshelman, Executive Director of the Center. Most of the buildings offer broad front porches, perfect for the rocking chairs that invite guests to come sit a while and enjoy the views. In the former school buildings, the blackboards still hang on the walls. The bunk house is just that, a dormitory containing not rooms but rows of bunks. The apple barn­—actually the former dairy barn and the first to have a concrete floor —is a large open space perfect for a “foot-stompin’ square dance.” Eshelman has carefully preserved the character of the property as well as photographs and other historical data. He has also obtained conservation easements to ensure that this property will never be commercially developed, which almost happened at one point in its history. All of the buildings are now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Center has two labyrinths, one indoor and painted on canvas and the other outdoors, carefully mowed into the hayfield. Labyrinths, used by most religions since the twelfth century as a meditative tool, are circuitous paths symbolizing one’s walk with God. Not to

be confused with a maze, these labyrinth patterns gradually lead to a center, representing a pilgrimage to a holy site. These unique designs make the walk a slightly different experience every time. There are hiking trails leading to waterfalls, streams and the old apple orchard. These trails are open to the public all year long and provide an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of the area. The Center operates year-round, renting buildings to groups such as church retreats, youth camps, and artists’ workshops. The Center conducts its own programs on subjects of general interest during the spring and fall, ranging from one-day seminars to weeklong events that include food and lodging. But lest you think this place is always quiet and sleepy, imagine what the valley sounds like when the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming comes to town! Each year for the past 33 years, this school has held its five one-week training seminars for bagpipes and drummers at the Center. Students from all over the country come to eat, sleep and breathe the ‘pipes. Says the Academy’s co-founder Sandy Jones: “I have come to the conclusion that the main reason the valley is so enriched with beauty is because of the people who live and work there. Each year, when students return and stand on the porch of the Inn, many remark ‘this must be what heaven is like!’” The Center works closely with Appalachian State University, in partnership with Maverick Farms and Lively Up Farms, to train and indoctrinate wouldbe farmers, providing the land needed to grow food crops. North Carolina State University also worked with the Center on the restoration of wetland areas. Since 1842, the Valle Crucis Conference Center has invested in the community by offering recreation, employment and spiritual opportunities. For example, the Valley Country Fair, held each year in the hayfield as a joint endeavor with the Holy Cross Church, raises as much

as $70,000 in just one day and all of the proceeds are given to local causes. Tom Eshelman feels that the Mast General Store may be the heart of Valle Crucis, but the Conference Center will always be its soul. You can keep in touch with the Center on Facebook at and check out the Center’s programs at Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Lindsey D. Lacey Dennis Murphy Kim Hyatt Charles Durant

Mary Jones Emily Farthing Kit Christopher

Office 828-898-9282 / Fax 828-898-9283 P.O Box 2048, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Let Us Help You Find Your Dream Home In The Mountains


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52 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

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Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Tour of Homes


Art in the Park Celebrates Golden Anniversary

or fifty years Art in the Park Saturdays have showcased Blowing Rock’s summer and fall charm, hospitality, and creative soul. Visitors staying for the traditional downtown Saturday event and strolling Main Street will find other area attractions, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Moses Cone Manor, Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, Tweetsie Railroad, and Mystery Hill. Meanwhile, shops and galleries on and around Main Street offer shoppers more choices and local restaurants are varied and abundant. On Friday evenings before Art in the Park Saturdays, businesses on Sunset Drive (off Main Street) host Sunset Strolls from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. and the Inn at Ragged Gardens hosts Music on the Lawn. The wildly popular festival was created in 1962 by a handful of area artists and craftspeople to showcase local talent. Today, Art in the Park attracts 90 artisans at each show, where some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more. Art in the Park’s high standards and professional jury at-

tract thousands of visitors from all over the Southeast each month. Prices for objects, from a handmade postcard to a large piece of furniture, range from $5 to $5000. To celebrate this milestone, the local chamber of commerce and the Tourism Development Authority have planned special summer events for visitors coming to Blowing Rock. Travelers should make plans now when staying at any of Blowing Rock’s varied and unique accommodations. B&Bs, cabins, cottages, chalets, apartments, hotels/motels, inns and resorts can be found on line at Art in the Park is conducted by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Upcoming festival dates are July 14, August 11, September 8 and October 6. Events will be held on the top level of the American Legion parking facility on Wallingford Street. Free shuttles are available from the Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway and the Food Lion grocery on Highway 321.

The 54th annual Tour of Homes in Blowing Rock, sponsored by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish will be held on July 27 from 9am-3pm, beginning at the church at Main and Chestnut Streets. Featured this year are the homes of Tony and Debbie di Santi, Dr. Cynthia Payne, Anne Smart, Susie Greene, and Richard and Carrie Malloy. Transportation is provided, with the last car leaving at 3pm; the houses are open until 5pm. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce on Park Avenue in downtown Blowing Rock, at St. Mary’s prior to the tour, and at the church on tour day. All proceeds go to support community projects and organizations such as Hospitality House, Hospice, Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue, and the Blowing Rock Library. “The congregation at St. Mary’s is proud of the community support generated by this project for over half a century,” said Bo Henderson, chair of this year’s tour. “It has become a major event in our region, and we are excited about this year’s collection of lovely homes, all of which have unique design features that everyone will enjoy.” Susie Greene and Will Merrill are serving as co-chairs of the tour. Other activities offered at the church the day of the tour include box lunches served by the choir; a silent auction; a bazaar featuring St. Mary’s cookbooks, aprons, baked goods and note cards; and Timeless Treasures which will feature original art and other special items. Parking will be available in the deck at Wallingford Street and Laurel Lane, next to the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, and restrooms are located along the tour route. The annual Patron’s Party, which traditionally precedes the tour, will be held July 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 at Golden Hill, the home of tour chair Bo Henderson and Ed Springs in Blowing Rock. The event is black tie optional and food will be provided by the Gideon Ridge Inn and the Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock. Tickets are $150 per person and are available at the church or by mail, with enclosed check made out to St. Mary of the Hills – Patron’s Party, at P.O. Box 1882, Blowing Rock, NC 28605. Katy Thompson and Patsy Turner are co-chairing the event. All proceeds will go to fund community outreach programs.

Art &

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For more information on Art in the Park and other events and activities around Blowing Rock, visit or call 877-295-4636.


n 1987, the first “Symphony by the Lake” was held at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. After years of great music in a family atmosphere, this special summer event is celebrating its 25th anniversary Friday, July 27 with a concert by the Symphony of the Mountains from Kingsport, Tennessee. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with music by the Harris Brothers of Lenoir at 6:00 p.m. Tethered hot air balloon rides will be offered until just before the concert begins at 7:30 p.m., and special anniversary fireworks will conclude the evening’s activities. There are various ways concert goers can enjoy dinner. They may bring their own food and drinks to eat on the lawn or form a group and decorate a tent. (There is a waiting list for tents.) Or they may partake of a special Chetola buffet and can also purchase picnic food. A prix fixe menu in the restaurant or the patio can be reserved by calling Chetola. This event has been named one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, says Billie Rogers of the Blowing Rock Chamber

of Commerce, sponsor of the concert. “This is known as the pinnacle event in Blowing Rock in the summer, and we were honored to be chosen,” Rogers said. “Since this is the silver anniversary, we are encouraging people to use silver in their tent decorations.” A highlight of the concert will be when Jim Williams makes his conducting debut by directing a musical piece. Williams purchased the privilege of conducting the orchestra at the Chamber’s Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival in the spring. The concert will also include works by Strauss, Tchaikovsky and John Williams, along with selections from Les Miserables and a little bit of beach music to promote a Chamber event to be held September 14 at the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, featuring the Chairmen of the Board and the Embers. More information will be announced at a later date.

Symphony Concert at Chetola

Music! By Patty Wheeler

Tickets for the evening at Chetola are $30 for adults and $12 for children under 12. They may be obtained at the Blowing Rock Chamber by calling 828-295-7851 or going by the headquarters at 132 Park Avenue in Blowing Rock.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Hebron Colony Celebrates 65 Years Of Changing Lives & Restoring Hearts

“All Things New” By Elizabeth Baird Hardy


n 1947, Hebron Colony began its mission to bring spiritual and physical restoration to men struggling with chemical dependancy . In the sixty-five years since its opening, thousands of men have experienced transformation through the work of the ministry, nestled into the mountains of Watauga County near the Shull’s Mill Community. Along with its sister ministry of Grace Home for women, located in Santee, South Carolina, Hebron welcomes those who seek to rid themselves of addiction and to find true freedom in Christ According to Executive Director Don Holder, who has been with the ministry since 2000, “not only are the people changed, but their entire families are changed,” when individuals enter the free ten-week residential program of spiritual growth and personal reflection. Potential students must request admittance for themselves. Though judges or attorneys may recommend Hebron, no

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one is court-ordered to the ministry, which is not funded by any government agency. Over the course of their stay, the students engage in personal and corporate Bible study, worship, and reflection. In addition to twice- daily chapel services and individual time for study, students are engaged in site support occupations, including maintaining the beautiful 78acre campus and working in the thriving three-acre garden which helps feed the residents and provides produce for sale as well. Each week, several individuals graduate from the program, and new students are welcomed, for a regular maximum occupancy of thirty-four men. While some individuals apply to continue for up to three additional four-week stays, most of the students, who have come from Canada and nearly every state in America, leave the program to become ambassadors for Hebron as they are connected with family and churches in their own communities. Each Memorial Day and Labor Day, graduates gather at Hebron to reunite and celebrate the transformations they have experienced. An “amazing” number of students stay in touch with the staff at Hebron to continue sharing their journeys of restoration. Holder states, “We have seen miracles after miracles in reconciliation,” when Hebron graduates return to their homes to begin the work of restoring relationships damaged by drug and alcohol abuse. “Drug abuse in our society is not recreational; it is absolutely devastating. It leaves shrapnel everywhere,” says Holder, whose own life over the past thirty-three years is evidence of the freedom from addiction that is to be found through faith in Christ. Students come to Hebron suffering from the effects of addiction to both illegal and prescription drugs, including methadone. Rather than taking a disease-based stance on addiction, the Hebron view is that “addiction is a moral, spiritual need.” From the statistical reports taken from the exit materials submitted by graduates, it is clear that Hebron meets the needs of students searching for a real and transformative faith. Since 2000, 733 students have made first-time professions of faith, while over 1100 have re-committed their lives to Christ. Hebron is not associated with any particular

denomination or church, and welcomes partnerships with all churches that are Bible-centered and mission-minded. Since Hebron does not charge any of its students for its services, this valuable ministry relies heavily on support from church mission budgets and individuals. Revenue for the program is also generated by the popular thrift store, which is currently located in two buildings on Highway 105 in Boone. This summer the store will be re-locating to a spacious new facility in the Boone Heights Shopping Center, where clothing and other household items will be available. Community members can help support the miracles at Hebron by donating items to the thrift store. Large items, such as furniture, can be picked up by the thrift store truck, and other items can be dropped off onsite. Any donation can be of use: “’We’ve sold almost everything and anything,” Holder laughs. Shoppers seeking bargains can also support the ministry and find wonderful, inexpensive treasures at the new site. Although the prices are always low at the thrift store, sales amounted to nearly $250,000 last year. Much of that revenue is required to run the store, but it is certainly an important part of providing the necessary support for the program, which costs approximately $3,900.00 per student. Hebron again hopes to generate substantial support for the ministry with its fifth annual Golf Tournament on August 4 at the Boone Golf Club. The event will kick off with a continental breakfast at 7 am and a shotgun start at 8. The tournament includes a number of celebrity participants. Retired NFL superstar Karl Noonan recruits celebrity athletes, including other well-known NFL players, to join in the fun. Community members, churches, and businesses are encouraged to sponsor holes in the tournament for a donation of $300. Prize donations are always needed for the tournament, and corporate sponsors are welcomed as well. Foursomes may enter the tournament for $500, which includes lunch. A contact person for each team is asked to register his or her foursome in advance. Though churches provide the financial backbone for Hebron, Holder stresses that prayer is a crucial way churches can support the ministry, and although the students most certainly need prayer, it is encouraging to the staff “just know-

ing the churches are praying for what we are doing here.” The staff, whose duties can be daunting, appreciate prayer support, as they seek the “wisdom of the Lord, His vision...[trusting] that God would open the eyes of students to see the kingdom way to live.” The students at Hebron also benefit from opportunities to share and fellowship with local churches and are delighted to be invited to services, concerts, and other events where they can spend time with others and share their stories of on-going restoration. “We consider ourselves an extension of the church,” Holder states, and students “love fellowship time with churches.” Community members are invited to come to Hebron in person to see what is happening at this beautiful, peaceful place where the staff is “committed to teaching and living and loving as Christ would have us do.” Every Saturday evening at 7, the public is invited to the inspirational and challenging graduation service at Hebron, and Sunday morning 10 am worship services are open to the community. Those who visit Hebron often find themselves as changed as the students who come here for healing. Holder reports that numerous successful ministries have been crafted on the Hebron model, and that committees and representatives of other programs often come to “watch what God does” and to be inspired by Hebron to provide similar opportunities for other students across the country. Primarily through word of mouth and the testimonies of graduates, Hebron draws interest from participants who often must wait eight to fourteen weeks for an opening to enter the program. After sixty-five years, there is still no doubt that this beautiful mountain retreat is still a place that embodies the ministry’s guiding Scripture verse, II Corinthians 5:17: “ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” To find out more about Hebron, including needs for donations and volunteers, visit the ministry’s website at http:// ; to reserve a spot for a team in the golf tournament, or to sponsor a hole or make another donation, call Executive Director Don Holder at 828.963.4842 or 828.964.3902.

Toni Carlton’s “Whispers of a Lifetime” Carlton Gallery Commemorates 30th Anniversary Local Artist and Boone native, Toni Carlton, started her long and industrious career in the arts with an adamant mindset to turn traditional hand-made crafts into a fine art form. She was taught weaving at a young age by her grandmother and grew up with the sound of a loom projecting rhythms like a song bringing prayers of peace. Peace and Blessings have continued as a theme in all of Carlton’s art. After earning degrees in Industrial Arts concentrating in woodworking, crafts and architectural drafting, and Art Marketing with a business minor at Appalachian State University, she began weaving three dimensional abstract wall hangings, tapestries and large sculptural basketry. Over the course of thirty years, a small weaving studio which transitioned into a fine art gallery, Carlton Gallery, will commemorate its 30th Anniversary on Saturday, July 7, 2 - 5pm. Along the way, the art of Toni Carlton has also taken many different twists and turns. Much of her current art work incorporates images from her personal life experiences--a love of dance, written messages, calligraphy and photographic images from her travels. Carlton was deeply moved on a recent trip to India by the rhythms of the lifestyle of the people, their daily experiences in the temples and by the Ganges River, along with the beautiful colors of their fabrics with each thread woven as a prayer. Her contemporary mixed media collages reflect her interest in different cultures, expressing movement and spiritual connotations. She likes to do a series of work in one media until the messages or subject matter feels complete before moving on to another series. In addition, Carlton is sometimes inspired to paint in oils on canvas with her favorite subject matter being horses. Toni Carlton’s most recent paintings—mixed media collages incorporate weavings from her fiber background and her Appalachian heritage. She recently returned to the loom to weave patterns to be incorporated in mixed media collages for her “Whispers of a Lifetime” featured exhibition on June 23 through July 22. “It has been almost 20 years since I have used weaving as an art form so to actually weave each thread as a prayer knowing it will become an integral part of a larger mixed media painting on canvas is coming full circle to connect me to my heritage,” she explained. “I want my art to connect people—to show we are all one people. My hope is that my original creations open their hearts and touch their souls to inspire and lift their spirits. I will continue making art that is healing and helpful to develop an understanding of our interconnectedness”. Carlton Gallery and Toni’s studio is located at 10360 Hwy 105 South in the Grandfather Mountain community with hours 10am - 5pm, Tuesday through Saturday and 11am - 5pm on Sunday. For information on artists, exhibitions and workshops, call 828/963-4288 or Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


The Place Where Creativity Thrives

M H M is a non - profit organi z ation celebrating appalachian culture through music

You’ve seen the place as you’ve traveled scenic highway 194 between Banner Elk and Valle Crucis. You know, the old stone store with the paintings and “Sally Nooney Gallery” sign out front, next to the building with the big American flag painted on it. It’s place where the rocking chairs, benches, and flowers invite you to stop and sit for awhile. These are the shops and studios of Frank Nooney, master woodworker and antique restorer, and Sally Nooney, creative artist. This is the place where creativity spills over with original and unique art, custom made furniture, and antique restoration. Inside, the gallery feels like home. Displayed there are Sally’s paintings ranging from fine art to the whimsical creation­—small hand painted items, hand wrapped jewelry, and new to the exhibit, there is art glass. After a lengthy deliberation, Sally finally got her dreamed-of kiln and is creating works of art by fusing and slumping glass. Scenes, people, and animals are emerging in vases, bowls, plaques, wind chimes, window hangings, jewelry, and yes, some are painted before firing. You’ll also find stained glass windows, old and new. Frank Nooney’s knowledge of antiques and how things are made, along with his love for all things old, has prompted them to add antiques and curiosities back into the mix by opening the “bays” between the gallery and restoration studio. And while much has changed at Sally Nooney’s Gallery, the passion for creativity is brighter than ever on the road to Valle Crucis. Sally Nooney Gallery, Frank Nooney Restoration, Antiques at the Gallery “The Bays” Hwy 194 S, midway between Banner Elk and Valle Crucis (828) 963-7347.

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Old Time Banjo, Fiddle, & Mandolin: Joe Newberry, Mike Compton 8:00, Saturday, June 23, Blowing Rock School Auditorium Gentle Rings, Dulcimer Strings: Ken Kolodner 8:00, Saturday, June 30, Blowing Rock School Auditorium Bluegrass & Brass: MHM Bluegrass Boys, King Street Brass 7:30, Wednesday, July 4, Blowing Rock School Auditorium Celtic Fiddle & Dance: The April Verch Band 8:00, Sunday, July 8, Blowing Rock School Auditorium Ballads and Bluegrass: Strictly Clean & Decent, The Sheets Family ... 3:30, Sunday, July 22, Grace Lutheran Church, downtown Boone Bluegrass, The Early Years, Vol. II: Dave Haney and Company 8:00, Saturday, August 4, Meadowbrook Inn, downtown Blowing Rock Celtic Winds: Al Petteway & Amy White 8:00, Saturday, August 11, Blowing Rock School Auditorium The Colors of Country: David Johnson & Dixie Dawn 8:00, Saturday, August 18, Blowing Rock School Auditorium A Labor Day Celebration: MHM Bluegrass Boys, Mark & Julee Weems 8:00, Sunday, September 2, Rosen Concert Hall, ASU

Tickets sold at: Mast Stores, Fred’s Mercantile, Kudzu Music Pandora’s Mailbox, and The Dulcimer Shop / 828-964-3392

Synthesizing Form And Function By Jerry Shinn


o the artist, form is what matters. For an engineer or builder, it’s more about function. High Country craftspeople, at their best, synthesize form and function. Except for purely decorative creations, the standards are utilitarian as well as aesthetic. The result is art you can use – for eating and drinking, displaying fruits or flowers, storing jewelry and mementos, opening cans, climbing stairs or rocky trails, hanging coats and hats, securing bicycles, and perhaps other uses not yet imagined. The tools and media range from a razor-sharp knife carving the intricacies of bird feathers into a slab of wood to redhot metal being hammered on an anvil. The latter brings us to Blue Mountain Metalworks in Banner Elk, where Dirk Brown, an international award-winning craftsman, and others under his supervision merge form and function in one-ofa-kind creations for homes, businesses and institutions. Brown traces his interest in the functional shaping of metal to a boyhood love

of bicycles. He rode a bicycle to deliver newspapers and enjoyed hanging out at the local bike shop in his home town of Oxford, Ohio. Several family moves later, his parents settled in Asheville, and Brown enrolled at Appalachian State University. While working toward a degree in Art, Marketing and Production, he had a class under Sherry Edwards and noticed that she had some metalworking material stored under a table. He asked her to bring it out, and that began his handson education as a blacksmith and metalwork designer. He graduated in 1993 and took a job at Charleston Forge in Boone, working in wrought iron furniture design and production. In 2001, Ed Powell at Powell’s of Banner Elk hired Brown and recognized him as someone who might take over the business when he retired. That’s what happened five years later. Brown bought the company in 2006 and incorporated it as Blue Mountain Metalworks. Blue Mountain works with homeowners, architects, builders and interior designers to create custom metal fabri-

cations for a variety of uses, including gates, interior and exterior railings, fireplace screens, coat racks and furniture. One unusual creation was a residential interior bridge leading to a meditation loft. The company won a competitive grant to create ornamental fencing at the historic Jones House Community Center in downtown Boone. The result is an outstanding example of the synthesis of form and function: It is a piece of public art designed to protect the roots of the maple trees on the Jones House lawn. Among the more interesting ornamental works at the Blue Mountain studio are a golfing frog and an arc of bicycle frames sweeping across a wall. The company’s designs also grace many of the area’s resort and country club facilities. You can learn more about Blue Mountain Metalworks and see photographs of many of its designs at, and you’re welcome to visit the studio at 567 Main Street East in Banner Elk or call 828-898-8582. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Gabriel Ofiesh Trunk Show July 26 - 29

828.898.4653 920 Shawneehaw Ave, Hwy 184 Banner Elk NC

Fine Art • Fine Crafts Custom Metalworks In Traditional & Contemporary Styles Ornamental Metal Railings, Gates, Fire Screens, Unique Furniture & Fixtures

567 Main Street East in Banner Elk • 828-898-8582

60 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Sally Nooney



Celebrating 26 years in the High Country

Quilt The

SHOP inc.

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

Boone’s #1 Quilting Resource Fabric • Books • Patterns • Notions • Classes Tues-Fri 10am-5:30pm, Sat 10am-4:30pm 199 New Market Center on Hwy 421 near Toyota of Boone 828.263.8691 create a family heirloom

Shulls Mill Church

1590 Shulls Mill Rd. 28607 828-963-1181 Open Weekends and M-Th by Appt. or Chance

Bryan Keith Smith, Grand Scape Series / Gregory Smith, A Land without Bees June 28 - July 28 / Opening reception Friday June 29th 4-6pm Friday July 20th Anniversary Art Bash 4-6pm featuring Norma Murphy LOREN DIBENEDETTO Exploring Realism / MARTIN & GECI, Artful Union August 2 - August 25 / Opening Reception Saturday August 4th 4-6pm AVERY COUNTY PAINT OUT Saturday August 18 / Plein Air Painting Reception 4-6pm Monday August 20th Anniversary Art Bash 4-6pm 20TH SEASON ANNIVERSARY COLLECTING WITH THE ART CELLAR EXHIBITION August 29 - September 29 Celebration Reception Friday August 31st 4-6pm

828-898-5175 / Mon - Sat 10-5 / 920 Shawneehaw Ave (Hwy 184), Banner Elk Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Summertime Art: Reflections on What’s New By Caitlin Morehouse


ur mountains are distinguished for many reasons. Among them is the reputation for producing the works of skilled arts and crafts people. Visitors to the High Country often come looking for creative treasures. Setting forth on that purpose can be daunting; in and amongst these hills, where do we find the unique, the fresh, the new creations brought forth by artists? This article takes a closer look at how our artistic landscape has recently changed. As summer weather brings fresh blossoms on the wildflower, it truly becomes the exalted season of beauty. Now more than ever, the High Country is in bloom with new art. Certainly of note is the addition of a new art museum, the first of its kind in the area. The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum [BRAHM] opened its’ doors less than a year ago, on October 1st, 2011. The Museum’s mission is to pro-

62 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

mote the visual arts, history and heritage of the mountains. To that end, they present exhibits of both art and historical significance, at times combining them. BRAHM does not sell the artwork it displays, but rather holds exhibitions that are historically and culturally significant to Appalachia. For that reason alone, it is in a class by itself. The museum’s accommodating, gracious facility and its emphasis on educational exhibits mean that it will play an important role in the landscape of High Country art. Around and slightly down the mountain (or is it up?), Foscoe is drawing more attention. Carlton Gallery, celebrating its Pearl Anniversary this year, now has company: Maggie Black Pottery and Moonstar Gallery. Both are located in the Shops at Mill Ridge on Highway 105. Maggie Black Pottery is a showplace mostly for the work of Maggie Black herself, while Moonstar Gallery features artwork from a diverse variety of local artists. Also growing is the area becoming known as the Linville Arts District. Anchored, artistically, by 87 Ruffin Street Gallery, there are now several more reasons to visit. Two Trees Pottery (formerly of Bakersville) has taken root, and painter Jessie Schmitt paints in oils from one of the most unique tiny dwellings in the area. The Avery Arts Council continues its mission of exhibiting local artists at its Avery Gallery, many of whom are with them for the first time this summer. And Linville even has its

very own flamework glass artist’s studio and shop: Beth Myers Glass. Just a short trip away (if you’re going that way), Morganton is heating up with art this summer. The town vaunts two new galleries, Mesh and Kala. Mesh features local and regional accomplished artists throughout the year, in their effort to put Morganton on an artistic level equal to that of galleries in large cities. Kala is a contemporary craft gallery that relocated to Morganton one year ago, after two years in Lenoir. Terry Brown co-owns Kala with his wife Fransien. He says their focus is on “….handmade in America, with as many North Carolina artists as possible. We wanted to create a place where you could buy something nice, hand-crafted, and affordable.” Their intentions are certainly not lost on visitors. And visitors will be even more attracted to Morganton this June, as both galleries (along with the Burke County Arts Council) present a collaborative exposition: the WNC Studio Glass Exhibition. This show celebrates the 50th anniversary of studio glass in America, and will feature fourteen studio glass artists, along with special guest glass artists John Littleton who is the son of the ‘grandfather of studio glass’ Harvey Littleton. Evidently, artists have been reflecting on glass throughout the High Country. From her studio on Highway 194 South, artist Sally Nooney has made a dramatic shift in her medium: from painting on

canvases to fusing glass. The change came about naturally: after taking a glass fusing class at ASU, it became crystal clear to Sally that she could “make scenes with glass”. After that realization, and the purchase of a glass kiln last February, the creative juices could freely flow. Sally claims that using two mediums actually gives her different ideas, and she frequently creates companion pieces in canvas and glass. Guests to her studio will find both varieties of work on view. The Art Cellar in Banner Elk is now in its twentieth year of operation. They bring new artwork from existing artists, completely new artists, and exemplary new glass art to the High Country this summer. The works of Tommie Rush now on view will inspire visitors curious about glass. While Tommie is a new edition, her husband and renowned glass artist Richard Jolley has been enjoyed in the gallery before. He, too, is showing new work at the Art Cellar; and this season is made all the more exciting by the inclusion of his works on paper for the first time. See if you can find correlation between the artistic expressions in his two mediums. Another of their featured artist is shattering the mold: Carl Peverall. Mr. Peverall advanced from an early start as a potter, to a career as a pastelist, and is now working in stone sculptures. Currently two of his creations are on view in the Art Cellar’s garden, as part of the gallery’s return to exhibiting outdoor sculpture. Add to this impressive lineup

the new works of Ronan Kyle Peterson and the new addition of potter Whitney Brown, and it is a collection worthy of their platinum anniversary. In celebration, The Art Cellar will be hosting casual parties on the 20th of each month this summer, as a time for friends and patrons to celebrate and reflect on their two decades in business. Through the trees to Valle Crucis, Alta Vista’s inspiration is where it’s found. Their season will be renewed by a group show about forests in August. Tonya Bottomley, a painter from West Jefferson who reinvented her painting style several years ago, will be a featured artist in the show. For inspiration, Tonya says, “I spent time in the forest, which I’ve always loved to do. Time alone, being introspective, in tune with natural surroundings.” To compliment the paintings, Alta Vista will concurrently feature works by

their new wood turner, Mike Flanigan. And to continue their mission of adding one new artist per year, the “contemporary impressionist” Amos Westmoreland’s work has been added to the gallery. This summer, it will be made clear to all who visit in search of art, that the High Country is home to a diversity of inspiring new creations. Caitlin Morehouse is a local artist and writer. Her maternal grandfather’s family has lived and farmed in Avery County since the 1840’s. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Come Visit Us At Our New Location! Grandfather Center, 3990 Hwy 105 South Banner Elk, North Carolina 28604


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The Consignment Cottage Warehouse

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Toni Carlton “Whispers of Life’s Journey” June 23 – July 22 Opening Reception: Saturday, June 23, 2-5pm “We Celebrate Art” 30th Anniversary July 7 – September 15 Reception: July 7, 3-6pm egi antonaccio “Realism of Light & Abstractions – Landscapes” July 28 – August 19 Opening Reception: Saturday, July 28, 2-5pm

w w w . k a l a g a l l e r y. c o m Kalā Gallery, Inc. 100 W. Union Street Morganton, NC 28655 828.437.1806

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

Andrew Braitman “Color Your Life with Art” August 25 – September 16 Opening Reception : Saturday, August 25, 2-5

CarltonGallery Celebrating 30 Years!

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


The Village Of

Blowing Rock Where Blowing Rock began and the Legend continues...

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Introducing Timberlake’s Restaurant, a collaboration between

American Realist Artist, Bob Timberlake and Award-Winning Chef, Michael Barbato Breakfast Daily: 7:30 – 10:00 am Dinner Nightly: 4:30 – 9:30 pm 828-295-5505 66 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Gideon Gideon Ridge Ridge Inn Inn Dining & andCocktails Cocktails al al fresco fresco Dining 828-295-3644 828-295-3644

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Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Wildflowers Since 1892 Celebrating 120 years in business, we are a family-owned nursery nurturing and preserving the Wildflowers and Native Plants of the Appalachian Mountains. We grow more than 200 varieties of Native Wildflowers, Ferns, Orchids, Shrubs, and Seed Mixes and ship them across the United States. You can visit us in person as we are conveniently located on Hwy 181 just two miles south of Pineola, NC and only ¾ of a mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway on Pittmans Gap Road. You can explore all we have to offer in pictures and detailed information when you click on Won’t you join us as we celebrate 120 years of the native wonder of the mountains.

Gardens of The Blue Ridge 9056 Pittmans Gap Road Newland, North Carolina 28657 e-mail: contact@gardensoftheblueridge 828-733-2417 / Fax 828-733-8894 Open Monday-Friday 9 to 5 and also open Saturdays in April, May, & June 10 til 2.

68 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

elevated vacations A place where magnificient accommodations, countless amenities, impeccable service and exquisite views raise your expectations to a higher level of vacation lodging. • Cozy secluded cottages, spacious Inn rooms and elegant homes are both rustic and splendid. • Fine dining available on-site at the Gamekeeper Restaurant.

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Nightly contests: arm wrestling, corn hole, husband hollarin, and much more. Gates open: Tuesday - Friday at 5:00pm, Saturday 11:00am Ride bracelets $16.00 (Unlimited rides)

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Branding A Company Culture

The Story Behind The Mast Stores By Steve York


ho hasn’t heard of The Mast General Store? Well…maybe some “lowlanders” or anyone who hasn’t spent more than a day visiting the High Country. But most locals, summer residents and visitors have come to know the Mast family of stores as iconic retail landmarks here in the High Country. With three locations in Watauga County and six others in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, the Mast brand has spread widely yet carefully over the past 33 years. That’s when the Coopers, John and Faye, first bought the Original Mast Store. It was 1979. They kept the Mast name and officially re-opened under their management in June of 1980. As Sheri Moretz, Mast Community Relations Manager chronicled, the roots of this enterprise date back to the early 1880’s when Henry Taylor, one of

70 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

the main founders of Valle Crucis, built the original store. W.W. Mast eventually bought out Taylor between 1897 and 1913 and it stayed in his family until the early 1970s when it sold to an Appalachian State University professor and a partner in Atlanta. It was during this period that the Original Mast Store was named to the National Register of Historical Places. However, in November 1977 the store closed and remained so until the Coopers came to its rescue and reopened the “store that had everything” in the summer of 1980. The Mast Annex—which is actually the first store you find when coming into Valle Crucis from HWY 105—had originally been a competing store. In their first expansion effort, the Coopers had rented out some space in that facility to offer more products and then, later, ended up buying the entire building and calling it their Annex. Next came

the Boone store on King Street which opened in 1988. Some 400 employees later, Mast has spread to nine locations with their latest opening in Columbia, SC in May 2011. That’s a quick historical snapshot of the Mast brand expansion. If you’ve never visited the Valle Crucis Mast stores, you’re in for a real treat. You’ll step back in time to an authentic early American general mercantile with everything from rows of open candy barrels to hardware, mountain crafts, collectibles, clothing, footwear, camping and hiking gear, jars of honey, jellies, preserves, ice cream, beverages, toys, personal care products, pots, pans, remedies and…well really everything that you’d have found in your typical country store back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. All together the stores feature about 84,000 items and their busy website offers about 3,000. The Mast shopping experience is also authentic and multi-faceted. And it really is an experience. The phenomenon of the Mast story is that it has truly become a destination; a place people come to do more than just shop. As general manager Mary Wood noted, “Folks also come to socialize, pick up their mail, catch up on local gossip, grab something to eat, relax on the porch, look out over the countryside and…enjoy live music.” In both the Original Mast Store and the Annex, live bluegrass and mountain folk music is often heard on the weekends. Tammy Ward organizes bands at the original store and Peggy Beghtol books those at the Annex. “We focus mostly on local bands that have a strong following with our customers,” said Tammy. “They perform Friday, Saturday, and Sunday June through July and then only Saturday and Sunday the rest of the time. Customers gather round, clap and even dance along with the music. We even have a couple from Oklahoma who schedule their yearly High Country visit based on when Naomi and the Home Folks are performing,” she added. The Annex usually has one main performer on their agenda, Bob Sullivan. Better known as “the singing pilot,” Bob comes up from Charlotte where he’s a fulltime pilot for US Airlines. But at the Annex, you’d never know he was anything but a mountain music man.

He has long hair—which he has to tuck under his pilot’s hat when flying--wears a weathered cowboy hat and jeans and belts out ballads in a mellow Waylon Jennings style. Periodically, Bob brings his daughter, Angela O’Sullivan along. She has an incredible voice and vocal range with a styling mix reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLaughlin, and Shania Twain. “Bob and Angela are great with our customers. They welcome shoppers, promote our staff members for the day, remind people about our ice cream and always keep everyone entertained,” notes Peggy Beghtol. Music is so important to the Mast culture that, when their own Tracy Thompson suggested a summer Friday night community music event 10 years ago, the company gave their full support. Today the gatherings feature multiple performers, attract about 300 people and give the community a true taste of mountain music heritage. Even Henri Deschamps of the Mast Farm Inn has been attracting renowned bluegrass bands to the Valle Crucis community. But the link between music and Mast wouldn’t be complete without shining a spotlight on Doc Watson. The beloved musician, seven-time Grammy Award winner and Deep Gap native who recently passed away, made his mark on the Mast music scene. In fact, few images could seem more natural and authentic of High Country heritage than that of Doc Watson playing and singing in the historic setting of the Mast General Store. They were a perfect fit. Heritage, old-time mercantile, music, and more; that’s the Mast experience. But the story behind the story of its success and expansion is equally compelling and quite unique in the retail and business world. It’s the story of a company culture that’s been nurtured from the first days of the Cooper experiment. Both John and Fay Cooper had come from the corporate world and had done quite well. But, as they put it, “we didn’t like how we were treated or how the other employees were treated. We weren’t appreciated as people with our own lives, families, and hopes for the future. We were just employees within companies that had no sense of how employee spirit could directly affect company productivity and success.”

“When Faye and I bought the Original Mast Store, we didn’t exactly have a business role model in mind,” John admitted. “All we knew is that we didn’t want to operate our company like the ones we’d left. We decided to take the opposite approach to management and put our employees first; to give them every opportunity to succeed and enjoy their work.” That enjoyment philosophy became paramount with the Coopers management style. In fact, Faye had once worked with someone who believed that when you go to work every day you should be going to do something you truly enjoy. Together, John and Faye fashioned their work culture to exemplify that guiding principle. “Our mission was to grow the business by helping our employees to balance and fulfill their own work and personal lives,” John explained. “We decided to put our family of employees ahead of company profits and the bottom line. We figured that, if we treated our employees well, they would be inspired to do their best and, in turn, treat their customers well. From there on, everything has sorta grown organically.” “In the beginning, we wanted the Original Mast Store to reflect its unique part of this area’s heritage. So all of our energy went into restoring its historical look and feel; a feeling of stepping back in time. Based on that experience, we’ve carried that theme into all of our other stores,” he added. “Each new store is unique. We have an excellent store merchandiser, Jeff Meadows, the director of design and development, who sets out to reflect the authenticity of a store’s architectural history. And each store is planned to fit into the culture and personality of its own community. It’s not a cookie-cutter approach…it’s all about becoming a vital part of each new community. We get deeply involved with local heritage, local events, local customs and local causes.” Management/employee work style in the Mast culture seems to be more of a cooperative team approach rather than a strictly top-down style. Although there are departmental heads and individual accountability, everyone is encouraged to contribute ideas and rise within the organization. Employee work schedules can even be adjusted to accommodate

personal and family life demands. More importantly, everyone is allowed to gravitate towards what they do best and enjoy most. That combination has apparently fostered a much more harmonious environment and a more productive outcome for both employees and the company’s bottom line. Webmaster, J.D. Dooley, has been with the company for 13 years. “Despite that, I still feel like the new guy,” said Dooley. “There are people who’ve been here much longer and they still love coming to work. Since the company is an ESOP (employee-owned), we have become vested for the long term like a big family,” Dooley added. For Original Mast Store manager, Mary Wood, that family feeling inspires a warm and tangible rapport between staff and customers that carries over into her day-to-day job. “It’s as much fun for me to work here as it is for our customers to shop here,” she said. Community involvement is eagerly embraced and fostered in the Mast culture where employees are always encouraged to give back and are even reimbursed for their time off to participate. In fact, it seems to be the outward expression of their inner family spirit. For example, Mast General Store President, Fred Martin, has taken on the role of President for the Valle Crucis Community Park as well as becoming a board member of the Columbia, SC City Center Partnership. By the same token, Mary Wood heads up their United Way program and has seen the company’s role grow to the largest corporate donor in this area. And, of course, John and Faye Cooper have always been known for their devotion to countless High Country causes that benefit a broad spectrum of cultural, economic, tourism, and social needs. Nine locations and 33 years of steady growth ain’t a bad record for a “mom & pop” business. Although its roots date back to Henry Taylor 130 years ago, the expansion of this enterprise since the Coopers landed is a modern day phenomena. Mast General Stores have become iconic shopping destinations in three states and they’re constantly being Continued on page 73

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Summer Times at Bear Creek Cool Mountain Breezes Elevations from 3700 to 4000-feet East Access Friendly Neighbors 2 Miles to Hospital and state-of-the-art YMCA Minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and amazing hiking trails Great Dining experiences at the Eseeola Lodge, minutes away to several other nearby restaurants Close Enough to everything without feeling crowded Homesites: $65,000 to $175,000 Townhomes: $375,000 to $569,000 Mountain Cottages: $599,000 to $699,000 Custom Homes: $575,000 to $1,2 Million Bear Creek at Linville/Realtors Hwy 221, 2 miles south of Linville 828-733-5567

72 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life


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Mast Store: Continued from page 71 wooed by new cities to open up another store. But that’s not the whole story. The Cooper’s daughter and corporate Vice President, Lisa Martin, launched the Rivercross Market in August 2010 just down from the original store. Separate from the Mast model, it features 100 percent USA and local mountain made products. Shoppers will find a wide variety of framed art, local pottery, jewelry, crafts, gifts, yard art, candles, wood carvings, soaps, stained glass, greeting cards and more; all presented in a mix of gallery and retail displays. Lisa especially wanted to offer local artists and craftspeople a unique place to showcase their creations in a setting that already enjoys high traffic from locals and tourists. “We try to be very pricesensitive with items tagged from as little as $2 up to $100—plus a few pieces of art selling for as much as $300,” Lisa explained. “We felt Rivercross Market would allow us to offer a range of products that wouldn’t normally fit within our traditional Mast store product mix yet would add another dimension of shopping for people visiting Valle Crucis. As a company, we have always been opportunity-driven. So, when the chance came up to buy the store next door, we decided to create something unique but complementary and focus totally on American and mountain made products.” Will Rivercross Market eventually spread to other locations? There are no immediate plans. But, as Lisa and history would suggest, the Mast/Cooper life force seems to thrive where opportunity and corporate creativity cross streams. To say that you could spend the better part of your day at one or more of the Mast locations isn’t an overstatement. Lots of folks find themselves absorbed by the Mast experience and don’t want to leave. Between the rustic atmosphere— the wall-to-wall products—the warm and enthusiastic staff—the live music— and the rich sense of history that Mast stores offer…why would you want to leave? Except maybe…to come back again.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Linville River Realty & Rentals Serving ALL of your Real Estate Needs

Patricia L. Combs

Owner/Broker/Realtor Office 828-733-9272

Cell 828-387-0744 331 Ruffin Street, Linville, NC 28646 MLS/REALTOR

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We are fully insured and provide certificates of insurance.

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

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

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Alpine Painting Company

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• Professional interior and exterior application • Pressure washing available • Clean and courteous service

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“Your local connection in Banner Elk, NC”

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natural. comfortable. home.

• Residential & Commerical Condos Available • High Vaulted Ceilings • Fireplaces • Open Floor Plans • Walking Distance to ASU Campus & Downtown Boone • Garage Parking • Balcony/Deck/Patios • Granite Countertops / Follow us on Twitter For more info contact Shaw Kuester: 704.996.9996 mobile / Located at 178 Hwy 105 Ext, Boone NC 28607

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


How Are We Doing in 2012?

High Country Housing Update by Steve York


penthouse in Manhattan recently sold for $92 million. In the same week, a Florida celebrity home sold for almost $40 million. Meanwhile, an expansive ranch estate in Colorado sold for well over $120 million. Ironically, those exorbitant single-home prices are what it can cost to fully develop an entire upscale, gated community of several hundred people like those here in the High Country. Closer to home, reports are that Charlotte area housing sales are up 14% and prices are up 4%. The Raleigh/Durham/Cary and Research Triangle markets have been rated between number two and five nationally in population and housing growth, real estate sales strength and recession proof status. The Greensboro/Winston-Salem Triad area is lagging somewhat behind these other two markets but is also seeing positive housing market trends. Why is all this important to the High Country? Because, the ultra wealth usually own several homes and the Blue Ridge Mountains have always been a destination for many of them. By the same token, those three top North Carolina metro areas are known as “feeder markets” for tourist, vacationers and…second or retirement home buyers. If these markets begin to recover, we should be seeing some improvement here as well. A couple years ago, CML took the pulse of area housing and found that despite the 2008 crash, most communities and building trades were holding their own and a few were even growing—albeit more slowly. Those who had weathered the storm took time to revisit their business models and adapt to new market realities. They found that, although the buyer pool had contracted, there was a continuing demand for the prized “mountain getaway.” Today, developers, building trades, and realtors feel they’ve found their footing again and are prepared to meet the new buyer demand head-on. Everyone has become a lot smarter. Developers who don’t have comprehensive internal

76 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

management for all their amenities and homeowner commitments are turning to firms like Kuester Companies, located in Boone and six other offices in North and South Carolina. These firms take some of the property management burden off developer’s shoulders while maintaining quality property owner services; allowing developers to focus on what they do best…develop. When appropriate, support services can run as deep and broad as leasing, sales, tenant and landlord advisory, corporate and business consulting, commercial and residential development, property management, market research plus even debt and equity capital placement. On the other hand, many established communities have matured to complete self-sufficiency. They’ve been able to maintain a high level of homeowner services while continuing to grow and sell. Rick Foster of Avery County’s Elk River Golf and Country Club noted that their community’s success has come from having a clear vision and exceptional visionaries like Spencer Robins and his team. As one of the more seasoned private gated residential golf communities in this area, they helped set the standard for a wide range of amenities and services. From horse stables and riding trails to their own small craft airport, they’ve historically anticipated what their market would demand and supplied it. But even Elk River has felt the slowdown and management has taken measures to adjust. “Everyone has had to tighten their belts a little lately,” said Foster. “But we made the conscious decision not to sacrifice the quality of our club services or the standard of maintenance for our community and golf course. We didn’t want to lower expectations for either current or prospective homeowners. And in 2011, we began to see the market turn a positive corner…and it seems to be heading in the right direction.” “Buyers today are definitely more value-driven. Yet during the second half of 2011 we saw a strong flurry of activity and even the building of an amazing $4.5 Million home. That’s an impressive

indicator even during the best of times,” said Foster, who noted that Elk River will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this coming September 17th. Just down Highway 194 is one of the newer communities, The Headwaters. General Manager, Terry Crocket, has a strong hotel industry background and sees the role of good community management much the same as the hospitality industry. “A community like Headwaters is similar to a giant resort--with the same caliber of customers who want the same quality of service. But…our customers don’t check out. They want lots of amenities, comforts, great service, security and they want a community that is established, financially solid, growing and self-sufficient,” said Crocket. Terry noted that people are still buying, but not at pre-slump levels. To adapt, Headwaters cut back on their operations budget and instead focused on strengthening amenities and services. For example, they’ve added a Dog Park, a new fish pond and more roads. As for current trends, because developers and builders have lowered profit margins, buyers are paying less for land and construction costs without sacrificing size. On the other end of Avery County between Linville and Pineola is the Bear Creek community. Opened in 2003, it sits on 145 acres with nearly 40 acres designated as a wildlife habitat preserve. Surprisingly, the property rises from 3650 feet to over 4000 feet in elevation. But you’d never know it due to the gradual inclines. From the life-size bronze bear at the entrance, all the way through the community, native animals are the iconic symbol of Bear Creek. With street names like Fox Den, Cougar Run and Fawn Trail, the focus on nature seems to fulfill a certain buyer demand. Developers, David and Doris Swor, have managed to weather the downturn surprisingly well. The main reason may be a combination of competitive price points, a variety of housing options, the natural setting, great views and a lot of social interaction. “This is not just a development, it is a neighborhood where

people get together as friends and we love it here,” noted homeowners, Bill and Kathy Avery. Another resident, Sherry Brinster of the community’s Sole Sisters hiking group, put it this way, “It doesn’t matter what a person’s wealth is, there are no cliques at Bear Creek.” So it would seem for an important segment of the buying market, the feeling of being part of a close-knit community with little attention to status can be a real motivation for driving sales. In Watauga County, there’s a boutique community called Jackson Ridge just off the Blue Ridge Parkway between Boone, Blowing Rock, and the Foscoe area. This private, gated development features only 19 exclusive 2.5 acre lots—three of which are already sold—with great views of Grandfather Mountain and immediate access to Julian Price Park. It offers professional POA management, underground utilities, existing wells, and all lots perk. Architectural designs call for mountain style, timber frame and log homes utilizing only natural materials. Keith Wilkins of Performance Land Partners says competitive pricing and location are what his customers are looking for. “Our target is the young professional family and business owners who want all the beauty and charm of a mountain getaway but at a great value. Our homesites are at wholesale prices averaging in the low to mid $100,000 range. That’s a lot more property for the investment. At the rate of current sales, we expect all of our homesites to be sold by the end of the year,” Wilkins said. On the edge of Watauga, the Blue Ridge Mountain Club is continuing its re-branding and revitalization. Chris England, General Sales Manager, notes that BRMC has creatively re-fashioned its business model to meet a vital market niche. As a result, it’s seeing encouraging sales. “We’ve sold 8 out of 10 of our Watson Gap Cottages in the last 18 months and based on this we intend to launch our second phase soon,” England said. “These cottages represent an extraordinary value for our target market. They’re affordable, spacious, efficient timber

frame homes with high end features.” “Our emerging buyer is looking for value, stability, and a sense of community. They want something new with modern features—but authentic and mountainrustic. The sweet spot for us has been three to four bedrooms and a 2,5003,500 square foot design. So we’re offering new homes at a price buyers can’t find anywhere else. Plus we’ve cut POA dues while adding a major pavilion and park, extensive hiking and ATV trails, plus multiple amenities and planned community events. As a result of all this, we’ve had eight new custom home starts in the past 12 months,” England concluded. But what about the view from the other related trades? Dave Parks of Distinctive Cabinetry and Design in Foscoe works with both homeowners and builders in the planning and build-out of kitchens, bathrooms and social rooms. Since the housing slow-down, they’ve experienced an increase in remodeling and renovation projects. “Although we’re still seeing a demand for larger homes, many of the established gated communities have homes that were built decades ago and need repair or renovation. Since kitchens are often the heart of a home, that’s one of the first places people start when renovating an older home. Fortunately we can really help the homeowner and builder achieve a design that meets their wishes and their budget,” Parks said. No examination of today’s High Country housing health could be complete without taking the pulse of local realtors and mortgage brokers. Emily Bish of The Sterling Company notes that, although housing prices have dropped since 2008, they seem to have stabilized. “The average home sales price has been in the low $300,000 range,” Emily observed. “We’ve had more sales in the first part of this year than this time last year— and are beginning to see more activity in the higher price ranges. And that’s not just on foreclosures. The realtor community as a whole is optimistic about the 2012 sales season,” Bish noted.

Dave Nolan of Barrons Mortgage Goup, Ltd. in Banner Elk is also noting positive signs. “I see a slow variable recovery with people striking harder bargains for both primary homes and vacation homes. Since the loan approval process is much tougher these days, buyers are a lot more demanding during negotiations. But the good news is that interest rates are as low as I’ve ever seen them and buyers are getting great deals—sometimes as much as 35 cents on the dollar—especially on foreclosures. The other good news is that these buyers are mostly end-users, not flippers. That means that these homes will be maintained, upgraded, and begin to increase in value. Plus Barrons has 41 solid years in the High Country, so we know the market, the mortgage options, what buyers want and how to help them get it,” Nolan said. The High Country is, and always will be, a highly desirable destination location. Even in a slow economy, people still dream of having a family mountain getaway where they can enjoy the amazing beauty, unique outdoor recreation, and uplifting inspiration that come with a splendid Carolina mountain life. With the right product, pricing and plan, our local housing industry should continue to fulfill those dreams. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


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A Force For The Power Of Truth, Beauty, And Goodness In Our 21st Century Community By Dede Walton


few years ago, William was not only failing school but was such a bully that he was not even allowed inside the school building before or after school hours. He was considered out of control, dangerous, and at risk of dropping out of school.   As a last resort, William was referred to Western Youth Network (WYN). His first few weeks there were not easy either.   He bullied other students and tested the authority of the staff.   He was resistant, angry, and volatile.   But after receiving a mentor and spending months with WYN staff and programs, William began to relax and live up to his potential.  His grades improved.  His attitude changed.  Instead of bullying other kids, William began to mentor them.  He visited staff on days off from school, eventually becoming an honorary WYN staff member himself.   William’s experience is typical of so many kids WYN sees.  These kids are in search of who they are; in search of whom they will become. Some find their way to WYN via parents and teachers, and others are referred by the court system, mental health professionals, the Department of Social Service, and other service agencies that see a need for WYN’s services. The difference WYN makes is in the way kids view themselves. WYN believes in them--sees them for who they can be.  WYN challenges kids to discover what is possible.  But the benefits of WYN are not just anecdotal.  In Watauga County, taxpayers pay $124/day to send a youth to a local detention facility.  WYN’s cost to provide a mentor is $2.75/day, and the cost of After School is $5.00 a day, which supports staff, food, site fees, transportation and tutoring.  This cost is absorbed by WYN which has historically been grant funded.   Despite greatly diminished grant funding over the last few years, the services offered to the community by WYN have increased five-fold. But today WYN finds itself in the midst of a challenging

80 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

time—their services have never seen more demand and their funding keeps decreasing each year. “Our present challenge is huge,” WYN Executive Director Jennifer Grubb said.  “In addition to our on-going programming and staff expenses, we have the challenge of a mortgage and upkeep of an aging building, with the most pressing need being a new roof that will cost over $20,000.   Because we provide transportation to students who would otherwise be unable to participate, we need additional vans, funds for maintenance, insurance, and gasoline.” Despite the challenge of losing 50% of their grant funding in the past three years, Grubb said that it is critical to maintain and grow the program.  Through prevention and intervention programs, WYN provides young people with the tools they need to reach their potential.  Their three-pronged approach to outreach has been an effective catalyst for change in lives of many local at-risk youth.  First, WYN’s mentoring program bolsters self esteem by providing young clients with a consistent, caring adult to offer friendship and guidance.  Secondly, their After School program keeps kids who might otherwise be unsupervised engaged, nurtured, and challenged.  And WYN’s Prevention Program helps youth learn how to resist risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse. Originally called Watauga Youth Network, the program began as a mentoring initiative for court-involved youth and now it serves the needs of over 700 youth aged 6 to 17 in five counties. “WYN is a relationship-focused resource for youth and families,” Grubb explained. “Many lives have been influenced because a volunteer dared to reach out and mentor; because a staff person asked a group of kids to assess their values; because a tutor helped a student with their homework.  By listening to kids, by accepting and challenging them, WYN helps young people realize their potential, and then reach it.” “The critical element for positive

change with any child is a mentor,” said Angela McMann, Mentoring Program Supervisor. There is no charge to participate and anyone can make a referral. “At its most basic level, mentoring works because it lets a young person know that they have someone who cares about them,” McMann explained. Youth are matched with a mentor who serves as a positive role model, and most importantly, a friend. Mentors must be at least 18 years old, attend training, and then agree to spend two hours each week for at least one year with their mentee.   “We meet kids where they are and introduce them to good role models.  We give kids a safe place to be and to grow,” she said.  McMann said that parents cannot be overlooked when it comes to breaking the cycle of poverty.  That’s why another WYN program, in collaboration with the Children’s Council and Teen Parenting group, educates and empowers young parents.  The goals of Pregnant and Parenting Teen Mentoring include prevention of a second pregnancy and helping the mothers stay in school. The mentoring experience is powerful for both sides. Graduating from high school this spring was a young man who was matched with a mentor through WYN’s mentoring program. At that time of the match the mentor was a freshman at ASU, the mentee a child in middle school. The two have stayed in touch even though the match ended officially years ago. The mentor drove up to Boone from his home in Atlanta after all these years to watch his mentee graduate and brought his wife with him. Currently, there are 68 volunteer mentor matches, and last year mentors spent a total of 3,525 hours with their mentees.  The needs are great for additional mentors as there are 27 girls, two of whom are pregnant, and 40 boys who are waiting for mentors.  While WYN’s mentoring program is custom fit for at-risk children, their Prevention Program specializes in community collaboration and education and targets all students of middle and high

schools with informative and proven programs. Angela Hagaman, Director of Prevention Services says that she constantly works to give stakeholders a realistic view of the community and the challenges of today that face local youth on a regular basis: challenges like tobacco, alcohol and drug use, gangrelated activity, and bullying. “We work to focus on the values and choices that help foster healthy individuals, schools, and communities,” Hagaman said. “We are committed to empower students to make safe choices and to reduce the rate of substance abuse and the related consequences.” Hagaman said that the program uses researched-based, best practice prevention curricula like Project Venture, Media Ready, Prime for Life, and Love and Logic to make that happen.  WYN’s Prevention Program is supported by the local school system, the court system, and law enforcement agencies.  The Watauga County Court system now uses WYN’s 16 hour Prime for Life risk reduction program as a dispositional option for youth and adults who have a substance related misdemeanor or an underage drinking citation.  Previously, these charges typically resulted only in court costs or community service.  Now, education about the risks of substance use and abuse are an option in the court process.  In addition to strategic prevention programs, local WYN kids benefit from

a positive environment and supportive role models on a daily basis through the After School Program. After school services are provided at two sites and involve 70 middle school youth. Last year, fifty tutors, many from Appalachian State University, spent 483 hours helping students at After School.   Students benefit from structured homework time, free tutors, and supervised fun.  According to WYN Programs Director Stephen Fowler, the After School program is making a dramatic difference in the lives middle school youth.  “One 6th grade youth who was failing in school came to WYN with a background of family troubles and challenges,” Fowler explained. “After spending three years at WYN, this child graduated from 8th grade with straight A’s, several of which were from honors classes.  I drove him home from After School for three years and listened as he shared his ideas and goals.  He went from having no goals, to being a construction worker, to attending college and working toward a degree.” WYN’s Summer Program involved 45 students last summer.  WYN has a waiting list of 10 for this summer and has had to close enrollment.  The cost is $60 per week, and is offered on a sliding scale based on income, with many participants receiving a full scholarship—a cost that is absorbed by WYN.  They would love to be able to meet the demand and are working toward that goal for next year.

Woven throughout WYN’s prevention, after school, summer and mentoring program is the outdoor adventurebased component called Project Venture. This program has been tested and found statistically effective in reducing risky behaviors.  2011 adventures included biking the Virginia  Creeper Trail, tackling the climbing tower, kayaking, hiking, caving, fishing, building bird feeders, and school clean ups.  In a world of so many changes, the work of the Western Youth Network is universal in its constructive benefit. But Grubb is concerned about dwindling grant funds, and how services are becoming more and more difficult to deliver.  “We need funding to ensure that our staff can work the amount of hours needed to do their work with the youth and families,” she said. “We serve every day.  We need help. We are all aware of the efforts to support our local economy by ‘Shopping Locally.’ We’d like to ask our community to consider Giving Locally.” If you’re interested in making a difference and getting involved or supporting The Western Youth Network efforts you are encouraged to visit the website at or stop by for a visit. Or write to: WYN , 155 WYN Way, Boone, NC 28607 828-264-5175

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Mountain Dog and Friends . . .

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82 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

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Fly Fishing for Fun, Therapy and Recovery

Healing Waters By Beth Tally


arl Freeman has known the joys of fly-fishing for many years. Now, with the help of his friend Terry Troy, he is sharing that joy with disabled veterans from as far away as Camp Lejeune. Both men served their country and understand the many sacrifices veterans make. So, in partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project and Project Healing Waters Fly-Fishing, Freeman and Troy donate their time and resources to provide a memorable and restorative experience for participating veterans. The Veterans Administration has approved fly-fishing as a therapeutic recreational activity for veterans with warrelated disabilities, and in 2005 Walter Reed Hospital formally organized Project Healing Waters Fly-Fishing (PHWFF). There are currently one hundred active programs in 38 states where anglers offer fly-fishing excursions to disabled veterans. Much of the focus is on the physical therapeutic benefits including improved fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, balance, range of motion, and concentration. But participation in PHWFF can also enhance self-confidence and address the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, such as sleep disturbance, irritability, anxiety, or substance abuse.

84 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Freeman, owner of Mountains to Coast Fly-Fishing Guide Service, coordinates every detail of the experience. He shares his expertise in the fundamentals of the sport from casting and hooking, to netting and releasing. Troy offers the free use of trout-rich waters at The Refuge, his rustic sportsman’s sanctuary located on Boone Fork Creek just above Shull’s Mill Church. For any fly-fisherman, the setting at The Refuge is idyllic. A main house and guest cottage perch above Boone Fork, nestled in the lush environs of a natural backyard rife with wild turkey, deer, and the occasional bear. The steady rhythmic gurgle of the creek saturates the air and seeps into the senses, quietly releasing stress. Below, a fountain aerates a natural pool to keep it cool for the stock of huge rainbow, brown, brook, and golden trout. The fish amble lazily under the water’s surface belying the fact that they are forever on alert for some morsel of food. It is the antithesis of a battlefront where chaos and upheaval can scar the human psyche for years. “There’s no doubt in my mind that what we do here is helpful to our Vets on many levels,” Freeman reflects. “I’ve seen people come with expressions of gloom on their faces and leave with smiles. I remember a conversation I had with a Vet in a stream where he told me that until he found Healing Waters, he stayed drunk for 20 years. He felt that the program had brought him out of his shell.” Troy, a retired anesthesiologist who served in the Navy, agrees that fly-fishing is a tool for healing, especially with bal-

listic head injuries which are some of the toughest to diagnose and treat. “I do believe that the hand/eye coordination and concentration required while fly-fishing help to rebuild cognitive skills lost in a head injury,” he concludes. “And the focus certainly takes a person’s mind off of other problems.” In fact, the first group of Vets to visit The Refuge came at the behest of one of the leading head-trauma surgeons at Duke University who is an avid flyfisherman himself and thoroughly convinced the therapeutic benefits of the Healing Waters project are real. Both men attribute much of the program’s success to the camaraderie and the social advantages it offers. The act of fishing together presents the opportunity to both laugh at errant casts and marvel at a large fish caught. There is a bond created with relationships formed by the simple act of sharing. “I got a call back from one of the guys here last,” Freeman recollects. “He said they had thought of a nickname for me…..Trout Whisperer. How about that? That’s priceless.” And for the veterans, it can be surmised that what they gained through the experience with Freeman and Troy is just that… priceless. For further information: or Veterans may also go to or to find programs available in their area.)

Fishing Regulations By Andrew Corpening


ith the summer tourism season well under way, the High Country is experiencing its usual influx of visitors. And with so many rivers and lakes to explore, a lot of people want to do a little fishing while they’re here in the mountains. If you’re among this number, there a few things you need to know. Mountain trout waters are of a delicate nature so there are some special considerations as to how the rivers and lakes are managed. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has special laws and regulations concerning how you fish and whether you can keep the trout. These laws can sometimes be confusing. The first thing you need to know is that you need a fishing license. This may seem obvious, but unlike fishing in the piedmont or coastal plain of North Carolina, you also need a special trout permit. For NC residents the cost of a basic fishing license is $15, but to fish for trout you also need a $10 trout permit, or stamp. If you come to the mountains several times a year to fish, you can save some money by purchasing a comprehensive fishing license for $20. This license includes the trout permit so you have saved $5. If you already have a sportsman’s license, which includes fishing and hunting, or a lifetime fishing or sportsman’s license, the trout permit is also included. For non-residents visiting the High Country it is a little more confusing. The NCWRC offers both annual and shortterm licenses for visitors from out of state. The annual license costs $40 and the 10-day license is $20. One thing that is not explained to many non-residents purchasing the 10-day license is that $10 of the license is the trout permit, which is good for a year. So if you think there is a possibility that you will get back to the mountains within a year, don’t throw the license away after the 10 days are over. If you do get back to fish within a year, you

would only have to pay $10 for another short-term fishing license. Anyone age 16 years old or older needs a fishing license. Licenses may be purchased online at, by phone at 1-888-2HUNTFISH (1888-248-6834), or any license agent. The law puts the burden on the fisherman to know what he needs so study the web site or quiz the license agent to make sure you get the right license. The High Country has two major types of rivers when it comes to trout fishing. The first is Public Mountain Trout Waters. These streams are regulated to insure good trout fishing throughout the year. To find a complete list of the Public Mountain Trout Waters refer to the North Carolina Regulations Digest published by the NCWRC. The other type is Undesignated Waters. These rivers may contain trout but you do not have to have a trout permit to fish. The most common type of designated trout water is Hatchery Supported. These streams are stocked regularly by the NCWRC to offer good trout fishing and are marked by green-and-white diamond shaped signs. On Hatchery Supported waters you can use any type of bait and keep seven fish with no size limit. However, these rivers have a closed season from the end of February to the first Saturday in April. Undesignated waters have the same regulations as Hatchery Supported ones but have no closed season. The one difference is that if you catch a trout on an undesignated river during the closed season on Hatchery Supported, you must release the fish. The next type of trout water is Wild Trout Waters. These are high quality streams and rivers that are self-sustaining through natural reproduction. They are marked by blue-and-gold diamond shaped signs. You can only use single hook, artificial lures on Wild Trout Waters. The limit is four trout with a minimum size of seven inches. These regulations also apply to any undesignated water on Blue Ridge Parkway land. The High Country also has a few Catch-and-Release/Single Hook Artificial Lures Only waters. These are marked by purple-and-gold diamond shaped signs and have the same regulations as Wild Trout waters except you can not keep any trout.

Another category is Catch-and-Release/Artificial Flies Only. These streams are marked by red-and-gold diamond shaped signs. The rules are the same as above but you can only use flies. The final type of Public Trout Water found in this area is Delayed-Harvest Trout Water. Marked with black-andwhite diamond shaped signs, DelayedHarvest rules change depending on the time of year. From October 1 to the first Saturday in June these rivers are catchand-release/single hook artificial lures only. From the first Saturday in June to October 1 they fall under HatcherySupported regulations, no bait or lure restrictions and you can keep seven fish with no size limit. There is no closed season on Delayed-Harvest Waters. When Delayed-Harvest waters change to Hatchery Supported rules on June 1, no one can fish that is 16 or older until 12 noon. The kids get the first chance to keep fish. There are a couple other categories of Designated Public Mountain Trout Water but there are none of these in this area. For a list of Designated Public Mountain Trout Water and all of the rules and regulations, consult the North Carolina Regulations Digest. These can be picked up when you purchase your license. The information is also available on the NCWRC web site at www. And remember that Game Wardens have the most authority of any law enforcement officer in North Carolina. So if you get caught accidentally fishing illegally it is to your benefit to cooperate and take your medicine. NCWRC officers have the power to increase your fine if they want to. Author Andrew Corpening is a longtime fly fisherman in mountain waters and works in the industry with Foscoe Fishing Company and Outfitters on Hwy. 105 between Boone and Banner Elk.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


New Civil War Trail Marker in Watauga County Anyone watching or reading the news is probably aware that an important event in the United States is currently being commemorated. One-hundred-fifty years ago, the Civil War was being fought between North and South. All types of events are occurring on an almost daily schedule to remember the dreadful years in which 700,000 men perished. On Saturday, April 21, High Country residents gathered at the old Cove Creek School to dedicate a North Carolina Civil War trail marker. This program began in Virginia and Maryland over a decade ago, marking Civil War sites with special interpretive markers. These markers contain information, photographs, and often maps of key locations. The Cove Creek marker discusses the home guard camp known as Camp Mast. Established in 1863, the home guard was responsible for protecting local citizens from Tories from east Tennessee, while also rounding up deserters and conscript evaders and deserters hiding out in the mountains. The camp existed until February 1865, when it was captured by local Unionists and burned. The marker in Cove Creek joins more than a thousand other markers in Tennessee, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Funding was provided by the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority. There are three markers in Avery County, one in Wilkes County, and two in Caldwell County.

Grandfather Trout Farm OPEN YEAR-ROUND


You may bring your own or use our equipment. All bait and tackle are furnished at no charge. We will supply you with a bucket, towel, net and the gear for all your fishing needs. Don't worry if you’ve never fished before, we'll be happy to help you get started.


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


Hwy. 105, 10 Miles South of Boone

(across from entrance to Seven Devils)

86 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life


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246 Wilson Drive, Boone: (828) 262-5198 1586 Hwy. 421 S, Boone: (828) 266-9697 16 High Country Sq., Banner Elk: (828) 898-8384 1301 Millers Gap Hwy., Newland: (828) 733-5882 88 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

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urrently, consumers across America are still reeling from the recent global recession. Despite the economic downturn, the housing market is beginning to stabilize, and people are returning to North Carolina’s high country to look for their dream home. Buying or selling a home can often lead people down a difficult and emotional path, even after the transaction is complete. Fortunately, there are steps that can decrease many of the common stresses of buying or selling a home. For buyers, amazing deals can arise quickly, and juggling family, inspections, appraisals, and home showings can be a challenge. Luckily, there is a simple checklist buyers can use to help eliminate some of the difficulty involved in buying a home. First, it is important to read, understand and complete the purchase agreement and any addendums with your realtor and attorney. Then you should review their purchase agreement with your lender to be sure the dates are practical for inspections, appraisals, and other events associated with the sale. In addition, it is important to determine what type of deed you will need and how you wish to take title, for example: tenants by the entirety, tenants in common, joint tenants with rights of survivorship.

It is also important to obtain the seller’s completed residential property disclosure and lead based paint disclosure form (if applicable). Finally, contact a homeowner’s insurance carrier to obtain a quote for coverage and a binder for coverage to be paid at closing, if necessary. Unfortunately, sellers have experienced extremely challenging conditions in the housing market over the past few years. While some have been forced to sell because of necessity, others have had to put their life on hold because lenders require higher down payments and better credit scores. However, now that the housing market is on the rebound, sellers have a similar checklist they can follow to eliminate some of the common hassles involved in selling a home. First, you should read, understand and evaluate the purchase agreement and any addendum presented by the buyer, including contingencies such as financing, inspections, etc., and how they impact the transaction. Next, you should locate the title insurance policy issued to you when you purchased your property. Your policy may allow a discount to your buyer. Also, you should locate details of current mortgages to be paid off at closing including dates, original amount, and account numbers. You will likely need to sign a seller payoff authorization form in order for a law firm to obtain statements indicating a certified payoff to be used on the settlement statement for closing. If applicable, you should also complete the seller’s residential property disclosure and lead based paint disclosure forms. Finally, you should contact a law firm to prepare the required documents for sale of your property. These could include a General Warranty Deed, Legal Description, IRS Form 1099, Lien Affidavit and Bill of Sale for personal property.

Generally, lenders require title insurance, but it is a good idea for a buyer to obtain title insurance even if it is optional. Title insurance protects against hidden risks not revealed by a search of the public records. Common examples include: forgery or fraud, missed taxes, undisclosed or missing heirs, incorrect legal description, conveyance by a minor, incorrect indexing at the courthouse, mental incompetence of grantors, and/or missed easements. Title insurance may address your lender’s concerns because it can provide reimbursement for losses incurred for the problems mentioned above. Since real estate transactions vary in complexity, it is recommended that buyers and sellers seek assistance from a reputable law firm, to assist in your real estate transactions. They can help you understand your purchase agreement and can prepare any documents required. They can help avoid common delays, help you understand closing terms and make the process of buying or selling a home as stress free and easy as possible. Walker & DiVenere is a civil law firm located in Boone, North Carolina. The firm concentrates its practice in real estate, wills and trusts, family law, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and general civil litigation. Disclaimer: The information contained in this article or accessed on the publisher’s web site is intended to provide information of general interest to the public, and is not intended to offer legal advice about specific situations or problems and is not a source of advertising, solicitation or legal advice. The author does not intend to create an attorney-client relationship by offering this information, and anyone’s review of this content shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship. You should contact a lawyer if you have a legal matter requiring attention. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


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90 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Good Communication The Car Conversation after the Meeting By Katherine S. Newton, CFP®


’ve oftentimes wondered what my clients, especially the new or prospective ones, have to say to each other in the car after they leave my office. There’s no way to know for sure, but I imagine the conversation might go something like this: “We just gave her (or are considering giving her) our life savings. I got a pretty good feeling that she knows what she’s doing. But did we cover all the bases? Do we know… “...what exactly is it that she will do for us?” Your financial advisor should tell you exactly what her services are and what you will get after you become a client. For example, if she does a financial plan, what kinds of information should you expect to see? What questions will it answer for you? Will she summarize it, and if so, how? Will she implement the plan, and if so, what needs to happen for that to occur? And as she manages your money, how will the results be reported, and how will she put that information in context so that it makes sense to you and to your circumstances? “…how she will charge us?” Does she strictly charge fees, and if so, for what services? How much and when will you pay those fees? If she earns commissions, will I know when and how that occurs? Is everything transparent so that you understand what you’re paying, or will it be a “smoke and mirrors” situation which may make it difficult to know what it’s really costing you? “…what her background, designations, licenses, and registrations are?”

A designation such as Certified Financial Planner™ requires extensive study and holds the designee to a higher professional and ethical standard. Also, certain qualifications have to be met regularly to maintain the designation. In addition to knowing if she is a CFP®, do you know if she is an investment advisor representative versus a broker? It makes a difference whether she is in a position to be advising you on your personal financial matters or whether she is simply positioned to sell a product. New regulations now draw a distinct difference between the two. “…whether we are comfortable with her values?” What kinds of activities does she participate in outside her profession? How is she involved in the community, and what does that say about her level of commitment? How does she spend her time when not actively engaged in her profession? How if at all does she display balance in her life? “…who her other clients are, and whether we are a good fit for her practice?” Did a friend refer you, or did she offer to put you in touch with other clients so that you could ask lots of questions about their experiences with her? Do those other clients have something in common with you and your situation? “…how she does her job, and how we will know that she’s on track with managing our finances, and what exactly is supposed to happen next?”

A good advisor will tell you exactly what your next contact with her will be. She should have systems in place so that future activity and contact won’t be haphazard or happenstance or only as a result of your contacting her. Initially some type of communication should confirm your new relationship. You should know what to expect, too, regarding other correspondence you will receive. You should know just what information she needs from you to do a financial plan (she will do a financial plan before she does anything else, correct?), and when you are set to meet next. You should know how often you will hear from her, and in what manner, whether through an in-person meeting, phone call, or email. The “Car Conversation” can be one of the keys to a successful financial future. Make sure you are covering all the bases and considering all the angles before engaging in one of the most important relationships in your life. Katherine Newton, a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry and Certified Financial Planner™, helps clients nationwide enrich their retirements by creating reliable streams of income, freeing them to do what’s most important in their lives. You can reach Katherine at her company Waite Financial in Hickory at 828.322.9595 or by email at katherine@waitefinancial. com. Her registered branch address is P.O. Box 1177, 428 4th Ave., NW, Hickory, NC 28603, 28601. Securities and Investment Advisory Services are offered through Financial Network Investment Corporation, Member SIPC and FINRA.Financial Network and Waite Financial are unaffiliated.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


“Dead Man Breathing”

A Tale of Triumph Over Tragedy By Beth Tally


here are moments in all of our lives which shape us. Some are subtle, bumping us slightly one way or the other to move us along. Some moments provoke thought and deliberation. And some strike like lightning, without warning and beyond our control. These are the moments that challenge the character, creating a fork in the road of the human spirit – one leading to hope, the other to despair. Sometimes, only a knotted thread of faith illuminates the path we take. Dead Man Breathing is the story of such an unforeseeable, life changing moment. The firsthand account is a harrowing documentary of one couple’s journey through a valley of darkness and their compelling search for the light of day. Together, they discover who they are, or just maybe, who they were all along. Jack and A’leta McDaniel came from disparate backgrounds. Raised in a loving family with deep religious ties, A’leta grew from a solid foundation to graduate from high school and pursue further education as a medical assistant. Jack’s

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formative years were polar opposite. His mother and father divorced when he was five, catapulting him into a pinball life bouncing from one place to the other where he endured the tumultuous relationships of his mother and the scorn of his father’s new wife. Jack rebelled at school, daring his teachers to fail him if he could pass their tests even if he never came to class. He didn’t lack for intelligence, or work ethic. But, when he wasn’t on a job, he spent his time playing pool, smoking, and drinking heavily. It was a predictable, wayward path for someone with his history. They met the day before Valentines when A’Leta was fifteen. Jack had worked his way up to the head of the produce department at a grocery store. She wandered in looking for some flowers for her boyfriend. Jack inquired what she thought her boyfriend might be getting her. “Probably nothing,” she replied. Jack vowed to send her some very special flowers to be delivered to her high school. They laughed at the prospect and A’leta left. Jack forgot about the conversation until the next day when he found his truck filled with balloons. A’leta came around the corner and exclaimed “You never sent me anything!” From that time on, they were inseparable. Jack picked her up from school every day and soon assimilated into her world of friends. Even though Jack continued to party, A’leta became a stabilizing influence. She helped Jack set up his small apartment and managed his bills. She and her parents gave him the sense of family he never had. Over time, Jack realized the importance of the church in A’leta’s life and understood that, in order to be a full partner with her, he would need to accept Christianity. Two years after she filled his truck with balloons, he proposed and they married in a surprise ceremony at a church picnic. They mirrored the life of a typical young married couple living in a tiny apartment trying to make ends meet. Their resources equaled their responsibilities. They were carefree, happy, and in love. On July 29, 1999, A’leta gave birth to a daughter, Jacquelyn Carney. “Carney,” as she would be called, was born without the natural lubricant in her lungs which required a prolonged stay in the ICU at the hospital. The doctors told A’leta that once

they brought Carney home, she would have to stay with the baby fulltime to breastfeed. Otherwise, the doctors were concerned Carney may not thrive. This meant A’leta could not work. At the time, Jack was employed by the city water department. He didn’t make much money. Without additional income from A’leta, he needed to find more substantial employment. Jack talked with the father of a friend about the possibility of working on an oil rig. Within weeks, Jack was hired. He served his notice to the water department, packed his bags and headed for Louisiana to begin a new career. It was a decision that would forever alter the lives of Jack, A’leta and Carney. Six years later in Nagodoces, Texas, Jack was working on Rig 226. He was harnessed to a seventeen-foot platform some 90 feet above ground on a land oil rig. It was March 3, 2006. An explosion below sent flames surging over 350 feet, engulfing Jack as they billowed skyward. His clothes melted in an instant. As his skin peeled away, his bodily fluids oozed and chunks of muscle flew. His lungs seared with each breath. The flames scorched 95% of his body. He prayed to die right then. Miraculously, God didn’t take Jack that day. Dead Man Breathing chronicles the unspeakable pilgrimage of the McDaniel family from absolute anguish to a new life built upon affirmation and faith. Now living in the North Carolina High Country, the McDaniels spoke with CML Magazine about their hard fought triumph over despair in the wake of Jack’s faith-testing accident. “Dead Man Breathing is a very honest and graphic account of everything that happened to you. Why did you want to share this story?” Jack: “First of all, I don’t see myself as an inspiration and this story isn’t supposed to make me out as such. There is no scientific or medical reason for me to be here. But, I am and I know that there is something else out there. Christ gives us a way to have an unnatural response to a reality situation.” “I also want people to stop…instead of hurry up, kiss your husband and go to work – enjoy it, savor it. When your wife holds her hand out as you go by – stop, touch it. And, if you get injured – it’s not

the big things you can no longer do that are important, it’s the little things that you can.” A’leta: “For me, we wrote this book to say that when you go through trauma, no matter what form it takes, you have a choice. Are you going to lie down and let the trauma control you or are you going to use it for good? Even now, we wake up everyday and have to make the conscious decision to choose the latter. There’s more to life than what you look like, how much money you have or what your talents are. It’s what you do with your circumstances that matters.” Jack, you went through unthinkable physical and psychological pain. What was the hardest part for you? “The hardest part physically had to be the bandage changes. Every day, three nurses would come into the room. Two of them would peel away the fluid-soaked dressings from my body and wrap new ones around me. The third nurse’s job was to talk softly into my ear to somehow distract me from my focus on the pain. When they would work on what was left of my fingers, it was agonizing. I begged them to stop. I dreaded the sun coming up because I knew it would just happen all over again. Every night, my prayer was the same…please just let me die.” “Now, that I’m away from that initial pain, the hardest thing physically is having no feeling in my skin. When I touch something, I can’t feel it. When I’m touched, I can’t feel it. I would give anything to be able to feel my wife’s kiss on my lips or her soft skin. You don’t realize how much we live through our senses until we lose them.” “Psychologically, the hardest thing was seeing the fear and pain in the eyes of A’leta and Carney. I used to be their rock, the provider, and now look at me.” Jack, how many surgeries have you had? Are you through? “I’ve had over 100 surgeries and over 80 pints of blood. And, no, I’m not through and probably never will be. Everything now deals with the scarring over my body. They do what’s called a “Z” procedure where the doctor literally cuts “z” pattern in my skin and grafts new skin into the “z.” This allows new skin to form on both sides of the cut and grow together in the middle.”

“The whole purpose is to make my skin more flexible. I have no elasticity in my skin. It feels like leather in most places. When it tightens, it’s very painful. This is something I’ll deal with for the rest of my life.” A’leta, several times in the book you commented to the doctors “but, you don’t know my Jack.” Tell us about your Jack, both before and after the accident. “Before the accident, Jack did everything. If something needed to be fixed, he fixed it. If I had a problem, he solved it. Carney and I relied totally on him. He was strong, worked hard and never gave up. We always joked that he should go on “Survivor,” although he’d get voted off because he would be such a threat to the other contestants.” “When the accident happened, every one of the doctors told me there was no way Jack would survive. But I knew who he was. I knew who was wrapped up in all of those bandages, swollen beyond recognition. And, I know him now. He will never give up.” Throughout the ordeal, did either one of you think to blame God for what had happened?

Jack: “You see, I knew the rigging business and knew what had happened, so I knew who was responsible. I didn’t blame God, just questioned…questioned mainly what I’m supposed to do, what I’m supposed to make of myself.” A’leta: “I will admit that we weren’t as close to Christ as we should have been when this happened. But, my family had experienced many crises. My father actually was a burn victim, not as bad as Jack, but from the waist up. He was diagnosed with Lupus and also had a stroke. I was fortunate to have very strong female role models in my life. My grandmother, mother and two older sisters…whenever there was a crisis, they went to their knees and prayed and turned the situation over to God. So, I followed their example. We may not know what’s going to happen, but God will give us the strength.” In a world where so much of what we think of others has to do with their physical appearance, what advice would you give to encourage people to see others for who they are, not what they look like? Jack: “It was a real struggle to gain the courage to just walk into a restaurant Continued on page 95

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


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Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

Home Sleep Tests by Koren Huskins


ew to the High Country, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is now offering a home sleep test to diagnose patients with sleep apnea—in particular obstructive sleep apnea—which is the most common treated sleep disorder. A home sleep test is an easy and costeffective solution to diagnose the various types of sleep apnea, and its greatest benefit is allowing patients to take it in the comfort of their own bed. “All of us here at the sleep center are pleased to now be able to provide a home sleep test to patients,” said Shelly Church, RPSGT of Watauga Medical Center. “This test is very convenient for them, and it’s great to have this option available in the High Country.” As natural as food or air, there is so much linked to sleeping well—from pinpointing certain health problems to preventing others—the right amount of sleep is crucial to our physical and mental well being. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re at risk of not performing at your best mentally or physically. Sleep apnea is a common problem among adults and children. If a doctor suspects any type of apnea, they may refer you to be tested at the sleep center. Prior to the availability of a home sleep test, an overnight sleep test conducted in the sleep lab was the only option. Now, qualifying patients have a choice to complete this test at home, or within the sleep labs at Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial Hospital. There are pros and cons of both choices and

patients are advised to discuss their options with their doctor, as well as their insurance provider. A home sleep test is a portable device patients pick up and use in the comfort of their own home. A patient will attach tiny electrodes to their body, as well as sensors located on their chest, finger, and under the nose (on the upper lip or breathing area). The home sleep test measures oxygen levels, heart rate, snore levels, and respiratory movements. This device will stay connected to a patient throughout the night, and they will return it to the sleep center the next day. A trained professional within the sleep center can immediately tell if the test was successfully or unsuccessfully taken. In the event that the home sleep test was unsuccessful, such as an electrode accidentally pops out of place during the night, a patient will have to be re-tested or come into the sleep lab for an overnight sleep test. The overnight test monitors all of the above mentioned vital signs, as well as brain waves, sleep time, and leg movements. The overnight sleep test also enables a highly skilled clinician to monitor a patient’s sleep patterns throughout the night. Watauga Medical Center and Cannon Memorial are both equipped with rooms set up like a hotel and include adjustable full size mattresses, leather recliners, and a TV – all for the added comfort of patients. The sleep center staff includes a strong team of highly skilled doctors (neurologists), a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), and registered polysomnographers (RPSGT).

About Sleep Apnea If you suspect that you may suffer from sleep apnea, consult your doctor. They can do a simple sleep apnea risk assessment and physical exam. Typical sufferers of sleep apnea are relatively healthy individuals with their main health problems being related to lack of sleep and/ or daytime sleepiness – other symptoms include: • Loud snoring • Pauses in breathing and then gasping for air • Excessive daytime sleepiness (such as falling asleep at work, driving, or social situations) • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat • Trouble concentrating or problems with memory • Irritability, anxiety, or depression • Morning headaches • Difficulty staying asleep at night Sleep apnea can be treated by using a device (called a CPAP) that blows air through your nose or mouth and splints the airway open. Other treatment options may include lifestyle changes, medication, oral appliances, or surgery. Church concludes, “I care about all of my patients and the best part of my job is being able to see them leave the sleep center healthier with their quality of life restored.” For more information about a home or overnight sleep test, visit or call (828) 266-1179. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —



he way we perceive ourselves is a delicate thing. Outwardly, our appearance represents a mixture of bodily elements, some of which are fixed, and others we can freely change. Hair is without question, the most mutable physical attribute we possess. Short or long, straight or curly, it frames our faces, and we are free to style it at will. What happens though, when something comes along and takes that from us unexpectedly? Every year, thousands upon thousands of men, women, and children are faced with the diagnosis of cancer. The battle for survival and triumph over this disease often hinges upon an exhausting and physically devastating series of medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. Among the many side-effects, hair loss is one of the most prolific and visible signs that someone is undergoing that treatment. The person going through the process often faces a significant shock as their appearance radically changes. When fighting a disease that claims so many, the sheer force of will and determination to overcome plays a pivotal role in many patients’ path to recovery. And when such a personal and overt part of their appearance, such as their hair, is gone, it can undermine one’s sense of self worth. There are other conditions, such as Alopecia, which can strike at any age causing permanent hair loss. Wigs have always been an option for those facing this difficult situation, but the synthetic materials from which they’re typically made can cause irritation, and simply do not look, or feel real. Over the past few years, some distinguished charitable organizations have come about with the goal to create pros-

96 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

The Cut That Heals By Brandon York thetic hair pieces that look, feel, and indeed are as natural as the hair that has been lost. Perhaps the best known group undertaking the cause is named “Locks of Love.” Founded in 1997 to aid children facing long-term hair loss, Locks of Love has become a household name, and encouraged the formation of similar organizations dedicated to the same cause. “Pantene Beautiful Lengths,” was founded in 2006 and provides natural hair wigs to women facing hair loss in their battle with cancer. Along with these two, Wigs For Kids, founded in 2003, is – as the names suggests – aimed at providing hair pieces for children. Though each of these companies cater to different groups, they all depend on the same resource to create their wigs—human hair donors. And fortunately, an unselfish public has responded to this need with an outpouring of generous donations. Every year, several thousand bundles of pony-tails are cut and mailed to these organizations who in turn weave them into natural wigs. Many of us have friends and family who’ve been afflicted by disease. As a teenager, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and I watched as the chemotherapy took affect, killing the cancer, but also ultimately leaving her bald through the duration of her treatment. And for a time she used a wig until, after completing the chemo, her own hair began to return. She has overcome cancer 5 times in her life, and is perhaps the strongest person I know. And that is why, two years ago, I pledged the easiest thing a person could pledge – simply not to cut my hair. This past September, once

my mane had reached thirteen inches, I visited my friend and local stylist, Lorie Bush, and watched as she patiently tied my hair tied off into several small ponytails, and then snipped away until almost all of it was gone. I placed the locks in a large ziplock bag, as per the charity’s instructions, typed a brief letter, and sent the care package on its way. As many of us look for ways to give back, to reach out, to contribute something to those less fortunate, making a donation to Locks of Love, Pantene Beautiful Lengths, or Wigs for Kids is an excellent choice. The exact requirements for donation vary slightly from one organization to the next, and all three stress the importance of reading through the guidelines before potential donors make the cut. Generally, hair must be between eight to twelve inches minimum length when cut (depending on which charity one is donating to), and should be in its natural state – not dreadlocked, color treated, or otherwise chemically altered. Beyond these basic criteria, however, there is little else to consider. It is effortless, costs almost nothing, and yet will have a positive effect on someone’s life. And if you hair isn’t long enough yet, now is the perfect time to make a pledge to let it grow. It’s a simple gesture, but its impact can be tremendous. More information can be found on the following websites:,, and For other ways to donate, visit the American Cancer Society at, or the National Alopecia Areata Foundation at

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Brushy Mountain Motorsports The natural beauty and terrain of the High Country has attracted motorsport enthusiasts for decades. When the Blue Ridge Parkway began making its way through the hills in the 1930’s, the just-born car culture brought an influx of people to ride, camp, and play in the area. Today, the High Country represents a Mecca for motorized recreation. Seeing the need for a comprehensive motorsport center, High Country resident Greg Taylor opened Brushy Mountain Motorsports back in 1999 to meet the demand for motorsports in the area. As the largest dealer in the High Country, Brushy Mountain Motorsports offers the largest inventory of recreational vehicles, riding gear, accessories (for work or play), and parts. Fully committed to its customers, the shop’s parts and service department thrives on providing unmatched support and offers a wide range of additional services which include scheduled maintenance plans, 100% refundable and extended warranties, 24 hour roadside assistance, and insurance programs. By carrying only the most trusted brands in the industry including Yamaha, Kawasaki, Honda, Bennche, and Triton, Brushy Mountain Motorsports settles for nothing but the best when it comes to motorsport craftsmanship and quality. Visit the shop in Wilkesboro at 4641 US Hwy 421 North for all of your motorcycle, RTV, ATV, personal watercraft, and trailer needs. You can also view their current (new and pre-owned) inventory at or call them at 336-9733325.

Triumph: Continued from page 91 where there are lots of people. There’s that look people have of intrigue or curiosity. They can’t hide it. Sometimes, I’ll just walk up to them and tell them what happened. It’s okay to ask. I’d much rather somebody ask me what happened than give me that look.” “But, the most important thing is, once people engage with me, get to know me, my scars disappear. We all have scars, some more visible than others. If we take the time to know one another, they just go away.” A’leta: “I would just say that God created all of us in His image. But, that’s not just physical. It’s a person’s soul and essence. People tend to make their judgments on physical appearance, but believe me, after going through something like this, your perspective changes. You truly learn what’s important and what’s not.” Why did you decide to move to the High Country? Jack: “Well, I don’t have any sweat glands anymore, so the doctors told me I needed to get out of the hot, humid climate of Mississippi and into a cooler environment. One of the places suggested was the mountains of western North Carolina. I had a stepsister in Kingsport, Tennessee, and she researched the area for us and we ultimately settled here in Banner Elk.” “There really was a much more important reason, though. To get away from the place where all of this happened and start building a new life for ourselves. I needed to be in a place where nobody knows me, where nobody cares what happened to me, where they see me for who I am now.” “I am focused on being a husband to my wife and a father to my daughter. We are going to have a life, not based upon giving care to me, but on doing the things that families do.” A’leta: “Yes, this was much more of an emotionally therapeutic move than anything physical. Even for Carney. When we got here, she weighed 60 pounds. She spent the first six months playing in our barn, climbing everywhere, recapturing that child’s world that she totally lost in Mississippi. We love it here.” You can learn more about Jack and A’leta, and pre-order a copy of Dead Man Breathing, on their website Jack will be speaking and book signing @ Bethel Baptist Church, their home church, on July 8 @ 10:00. McDaniel will also be book signing at Music In The Park, Valle Crucis @ 6:30. Go to for more details.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


The Beauty and Dangers of Elk River Falls By Michelle Pope


t was warm and beautiful on a late August day in 2011 when Jamie Solomon and her friends decided to hike to Elk River Falls. With the sun shining and her future bright, it certainly wasn’t the type of day the 19-year-old Appalachian State University student expected to mark the beginning of a nightmare. A longtime athlete, Jamie planned to play rugby and tennis at ASU, and was rushing for a sorority. The second semester freshman from Florida was a member of the running and hiking clubs, so when her friends invited her to hike to Elk River Falls with them, she readily accepted. One of her fellow hikers was a boy she had been hanging out with a lot and was growing close to. The rest of the crew included her friend’s roommate, the roommate’s lifeguard friend, and another girl, all of whom grew up together. Elk River Falls is a popular destina-

98 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

tion for locals and tourists alike. Nestled just outside of Elk Park, the beautiful falls are only a short walk from the parking lot. The drop is about 45 to 50 feet from the top to the plunge pool, which is large and attracts many swimmers. A long, mostly flat rock stretches across the river below, creating a perfect place for lounging in the sun. But hidden in the waterfall’s beauty is a pool of danger. Larry Cuthbertson with Linville-Central Rescue Squad has worked in rescue for nearly 35 years and said he has responded to so many calls at the falls, he has lost count of the injuries, but somewhere between 12 and 15 of them have turned out to be fatalities. The Avery County dispatch office has records of 18 injuries and 2 deaths in the last 10 years alone. “What makes it dangerous is the water level changes so much and there are rocks just below the water,” Larry said. “Every time it floods, the whole structure changes, so where you can jump one week, you might not can jump the next week.” When Jamie and her friends arrived at the falls on Aug. 27, it was teeming with sun seekers. They watched several people jumping and doing back flips from the top of the falls until Jamie’s curiosity could not be contained. “I was

just like, ‘guys, are you thinking what I’m thinking? We have to jump,’” she said. “I wanted to jump but I told myself I wouldn’t jump. I would just watch.” But after one of her friends jumped, Jamie wanted to impress her friend and decided to do it. “I was shaking like crazy, I was so scared. I kept asking how far I had to jump,” she said. “I hadn’t done the research. I didn’t know how dangerous it was going to be.” Jamie gave her jewelry to a man at the top of the falls to hold while she jumped, but then had a gut feeling that she shouldn’t, and she was about to walk away. “But everyone kept screaming, ‘Go, go! Come on!’ About 10 or 15 minutes went by and I was about to walk away, but I turned around, closed my eyes and jumped,” she said. Suspended in the air, Jamie knew she didn’t jump far enough. She hit a rock above the water at the base of the falls with her heels and remembers flipping from the rock into the water on her back. She said she felt weird and remembers thinking she was going to die. She immediately knew something was wrong because she could not feel some parts of her body. She started choking and going underwater, all the while thinking that she needed to act tough, but she couldn’t

stay afloat on her own. Some bystanders swam out to her and brought her to the edge of the water, where her lifeguard friend questioned her on what she could move, and warned people to leave her in the water to prevent further damage. “He could tell I wasn’t paralyzed. He kept yelling at people not to move me,” Jamie said. “People wanted to take me out of the water. They kept saying, ‘she’s so cold.’ There were a ton of people around me, asking me the same questions over and over. It was just overwhelming.” Jamie was airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center, where she found out she had four compressional fractures in her spine and two bulging discs. She was on bed rest for two weeks, and then tried returning to ASU. “I had to wear a big back brace forever,” Jamie said. “I wanted to pretend like nothing was wrong, so I went out all the time. It was hard for me to go from being so active to staying in bed doing nothing.” Eventually, the daily pain forced Jamie to put her education on hold and she moved back to Florida, where her family could help her manage living with her injury. Larry Cuthbertson said LinvilleCentral responds to one to three rescue calls a season at Elk River Falls, and had as many as five one year. “We’ve done everything from getting them off the side of the rock cliff to getting fatalities out of the water because they’ve drowned,” Larry said. After Linville-Central had three rescue calls in a row at the falls, divers did a graph of the bottom of the plunge pool. They discovered that the water varied from 3 feet deep in some areas to more than 100 feet in others. Beneath the surface is a jumble of debris ranging from tree roots and large boulders to junk cars. Larry said there are also undercurrents flowing beneath the rock that make swimming in the water at the base of the falls dangerous. There is one sign at the trailhead to the falls warning hikers to avoid wading or jumping from the top of the falls, but nothing on the rocks above the drop. Jamie said she overlooked the sign in the parking lot and would love to see more clear warnings posted around the dangerous areas. “I am committed to making a difference, because I was one of the few who was lucky and survived,” she said.

CML We apologize for our OOPS!

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor, Sharp-eyed Readers! The U.S. Forest Service has the following suggestions when visiting these beautiful falls: • Know the potential hazards of waterfalls, which include slick and slippery surfaces. • Stay back from the edge. People have been injured, sometimes fatally, trying to get a closer look. • Avoid slippery rocks. • Wear stable shoes. Watch your footing. • Don’t jump off of waterfalls or dive in waterfall pools because of unseen objects such as logs and boulders. • Stay out of restricted areas.

Today, Jamie is 20 years old, still with her family in Florida, still needing medication for pain and not ready to return to school. She is determined to prevent others from making the same mistake she did. “I’m one of the most adventurous people ever and I love doing all this thrill-seeking stuff. I was so excited to jump off that day, but I would never in the world do it now because it was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.” By being aware of the danger and acting accordingly, people can enjoy the beauty of Elk River Falls without risking injury or worse. That’s what Jamie would encourage you to do.

In last month’s issue, part of the article “Nine Reasons to Get Fired Up About The Hunger Games” was deleted due to a glitch somewhere between set-up and publication, leaving readers hanging about the last three reasons Suzanne Collins’s epic dystopia should be of interest to folks in our region. While we could try to say that it was an intentional publicity stunt, we would rather just let you know that you can read the entire, un-mangled story in our online version, and via our Carolina Mountain Life facebook page. Perhaps, like Herman Melville’s epic Moby-Dick, which was panned by puzzled reviewers when it initially appeared without its epilogue (in which the survival of Ishmael, the story’s narrator, is explained), the article will have a more successful life in the future. In any case, we have been encouraged by the many responses from our eager and careful readers. Your adversaries in the arena wouldn’t have a chance! (our website) docs/carolinamountainlife_springsummer2012 (the actual home of all our online versions) (our facebook page) Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


100 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Hydrating with Mountain Waters


f you feel energized when you find yourself in the mountains, there is a good explanation. Many cultures and traditions associate mountains, mountain waters, and mountain air with healing powers. Healthful hydration requires not only water, but nature’s secret energy source--minerals. The best mineral-rich water is found where water sources and mountains converge. As springs burble up from deep underground, as rain and snow release and run down the mountains sides, they collect the vast mineral deposits released into rivers, lakes, and the air. The results can be seen in the lushness of the plant and tree life and felt in the soft moisture in the air. And I am sure you have felt energized on vacation by the experience of water around you. Oceans can also provide this energizing effect, for the same mineral-rich reasons. However, high salt content can lower mineral conductivity, so mountain water hydrates the most profoundly. When minerals and water come packaged together in nature, we benefit from the best kind of hydration a physical body can experience. Minerals in water can be understood as the positive battery charge, and water as the medium for conducting electricity. High mineral water runs the electrical system of our bodies, our energy

By Gina Bria system most closely associated with our bloodstream where electrical conductivity is highest. Hydration also profoundly affects our neural network or nervous system, especially the brain. One of my favorite stories about hydration has me in a plane. Seated next to me happened to be a prominent neurosurgeon. “So, doc, what’s the most important thing I can do for my brain?” “Well, we now suspect that incidents of mini-dehydration accumulate over time to create cognitive decline,” he said. “The best advice I can give you is to be often looking at the bottom of a glass.” So drink those spring waters. Caroline Stahlschmidt of Elevated Well Being, and who is a contributing force in bringing the Boone Healing Arts Center to life (target date, coming soon) loves to get spring water by the side of the road. “As a cyclist,” says Caroline, “one of my favorite spots to stop and get water is at the top of Shull’s Mill Road. There is a mountain spring where you can top off your water bottle and be refreshed.” Springs are indeed a generous source of water, they seem almost infinite. We would love it if readers would like to share their knowledge of other area springs. Local knowledge can be so easily lost. Email us at livingcarolina@ (please put “Spring water source” in the subject line!). But drinking isn’t the only way to hydrate yourself.

Surprisingly, this high mineral content can be absorbed right through the pores of our skin, so activities traditionally associated with mountain pleasures, such as bathing, swimming, or canoeing are literally healing. There are also specialized receptors in our lungs, so sports where we breathe deeply of this humid mineral rich air, as in hiking, biking or golfing, turn out to be effective aides to hydration. Gina Bria is an anthropologist, author and hydration expert, currently working on The Hydration Project to provide adequate hydration for elders in care facilities. Contact her at or 212 662 6278 for information about how you can help.

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Acupuncture • Acupressure Aromatherapy • Massage Therapy Qigong • Reiki • Classes

Aromatherapy Store Natural Remedies Products for People & Pets

Ashi Therapy Ashi Aromatics Inc

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

Holistic Healing Center 828.898.5555 • Banner Elk

2043 Tynecastle Hwy. Banner Elk, NC 828-898-8343

39.95 60 Minute Massage

facials ~ waxing ~ body treatments

49.95 60 Minute Facial

New Clients Only

Gift Cards Available


246-D Wilson Drive - Boone, NC

102 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Online or at The Spa Monthly Memberships & Seasonal Plans Available

Racquets & Strings

The Village of Sugar Mountain Golf & Tennis Shop

Check out our Clearance Section “There’s always a deal!”


Also check us out at the Shop at Yonahlossee Racquet Club

Tom’s Custom Golf

Home to Titleist & Footjoy

... at Sugar Mountain Golf Club 828.898.6464, or just order by calling Tom McAuliffe at 828.737.6807

2012 RedTail Mountain Rates Monday – Thursday $45 Friday – Sunday $50 Monday – Ladies Day $38 Tuesday – Senior Day $38 Wednesday – Men’s Day $38 Twilight 7 days a week – $38 after 2pm Mon–Fri & Sun – $38 w/ College ID (one day in advance) 10 Round Pass – 7 Days a Week $350 Plan your next group event in our newly remodeled clubhouse.

Call for details and tee times (423) 727-7931 Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Summer Season Heats Up At Ensemble Stage By Michael J. Solender


ary Smith reflected for a moment on my question before responding. I read where he characterized Blowing Rock’s Ensemble Stage as a “theater for the community as opposed to a community theater,” and wanted him to elaborate. “We are a professional theater,” said Smith, Ensemble Stage’s artistic director and one the troupe’s cofounders. “This means we engage equity contracts for our performers unlike most community theaters, but my comments mean much more than that. We are very actively involved in our community, participating in town clean up days, Art in the Park, and coaching acts for Shooting Stars locally. It is very important for us to not be isolated from the community we serve; we are very appreciative of our audience and the community and want them to know it.” Smith noted that Ensemble Stage has been involved in a number of community fundraising events and indicated that he calculated the company donated more than 132 hours of their time to local schools in support of various theater programs. “It is all part of being involved in a community that truly supports the theater,” said Smith. “While equity contracts up the ante of the type of talent we are able to get, the High Country is rich with resources. Both Appalachian State University and Lees-McRae College have exceptional theater programs and offer a variety of talented performers to choose from. In 16 productions over the past two and a half years, I’ve only gone out of state for casting in two roles.” Smith is riding a wave of critical and audience success as the company heads into its third season. Operating out of the 230 seat Blowing Rock Elementary School Auditorium, Smith and company take great pride in actively partnering with the school’s Parent Teacher Organization and school administrators. As artistic director, Smith takes an unusual approach to programming his seasons using table reads during the fall and winter months as a way to both engage patrons and potential performers and evaluate material for the upcoming season. “I probably get somewhere around 50 or 60 plays to read over the fall and winter months,” said Smith. “The entire community is welcome to come, we do the readings at no charge and anyone who wants to can read. It is a great way for me to hear the material and to gauge how it might go over in production.” Three pieces that made the cut in last winter’s reading round to this summer’s season are previewed here. These shows follow June’s family oriented production of Moon Over the Brewery. Here is a look at what is in store:

104 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

The Complete History of America (Abridged) By Adam Long, Reed Martin, and Austin Tichenor July 7 – July 15 Billed as 12,000 years of history in 6000 seconds, this sometimes bawdy and raucous production whizzes by at lightning speed and pokes fun at the founding fathers, what came before them, the New Deal, Washington, Watergate and the New World Order. Smith noted that this was the only table read he could recall where the readers literally had to stop and catch their breath, they were laughing so loud and long. Directed by Smith, this play features Mark Allen Woodard as part of the ensemble cast. A versatile actor and director, Woodard “has the whole package,” said Smith and rounds out this very physical, Vaudevillian show in a way that will leave the audience sated, yet wishing for more. Remember, it’s not the length of your history that matters; it’s what you’ve done with it that counts. Featuring adult language, themes, and humor, it’s probably best to leave the little ones at home.

Fit to Kill By Victor L. Cahn July 28 – August 5 Fit to Kill playwright Victor Cahn is professor of English at Skidmore College in New York. The Shakespearean scholar knows his way around a dramatic thriller as he counts Dramatic Literature and History of Drama amongst the courses he teaches. “Thrillers pose a special challenge for the playwright,” said Cahn who I spoke with recently. “Unlike a comedy where the audience is prepared to laugh or a tragedy where they know they will be faced with a sad situation, in a thriller they are

asked to intellectually go toe to toe with the playwright. They are challenged to try and figure things out and match wits with the author whose job it is to both entertain and fool them.” Fit to Kill is filled with twists and surprises according to Cahn that keep audiences guessing right until the very end. Featuring an intriguing triangle of relationships between a chess master husband, his wealthy wife and an reporter with an ambiguous agenda, the plot is all right in front of the audience and is offered fairly by Cahn as he challenges them to expect the unexpected and be intrigued by the three-way dynamic which is as old as Adam, Eve, and the snake. Directed by Mark Allen Woodard, the show features Robyne Parrish, the extremely accomplished stage and screen actress in the role of Janice, the wife in the triangle.

e d r tou

very the Greater A


All the King’s Women By Luigi Jannuzzi August 25th through September 3rd

Want to go? Ensemble Stage: Blowing Rock School Auditorium 160 Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 / Phone: 828.414.1844 Online Box Office, Performance Dates/Times: Michael J. Solender is a Charlotte, NC based freelance writer. Reach him at

to Valle Crucis


Your Guide to Fine Art in the High Country!

up Sh ull s Mi ll Rd .


9 13

8 7

to Ten n.

6 to Ba nn er Elk

18 4

14 to Beech Mtn.

4 5 3

2 1


True to their name, Ensemble Stage features a collection of tiny bagatelles for High Country theater lovers this summer. Be sure to enjoy their offerings.



The Tour De Art is a unique opportunity to experience fine art works and master crafts while interacting with the most talented artists of our region

1. Crossnore Gallery 2. Linville River Pottery 3. 8 7 R uf tree 87 Ruf ufffin S Stree treett Galler Galleryy 4. Avery Arts Council

5. Jesse Schmitt Studio 6. Carlton Gallery Linvi lle 7. ar tpur artpur tpurvv ey or 8. Maggie Black Pottery Pineo la 9. Kevin Beck Studio 10. Kincheloe Studio Cross nore 11. Alta Vista Gallery 12. Rivercross Market 13. Sally Nooney Gallery Linvi ll F a l l s e 14. Rage! Gallery 221

No less than 17 women whose life Elvis Presley touched in one way or another make up this wildly imaginative, yet based in fact, production. Featuring a series of monologues and short scenes chronicling various Elvis encounters that made lifelong impressions, All the King’s Women is one hunka’ burning love. “Women see Elvis in a much different light than men do,” says Luigi Jannuzzi, the show’s playwright. “This is always one of the major topics of discussion after the play. That he remains such an iconic symbol still today is a tribute to the fact that for so many he was a hero, a great actor, great singer and performer and more than that, he truly was a nice guy.” According to Jannuzzi, this production features new material not seen before. “I wrote a new monologue set at a performance Elvis did at Notre Dame when I was a student there,” said Jannuzzi, who advised audiences to look for between scene surprises that feature period radio interludes and other references to the King’s golden era. “This will be an audience favorite without a doubt,” said Smith who is set to direct. “This is not about the tragic Elvis or about women who had affairs with Elvis but rather shares some insight into just the normal good guy that he was.” Jannuzzi concurred noting many of the special things Elvis did in his lifetime. “Elvis donated the money to complete the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, he bought the former yacht of F.D.R. and gave it to Danny Thomas for underprivileged children at Saint Jude’s Hospital,” said Jannuzzi. “People will learn a great deal they didn’t know about this very gracious man.”


every 4th Saturd June - N ay

websit e: www .t our -de-ar t.w ebsite: www.t .tour our-de-ar -de-art.w Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Stage Stand-Out Comes Home to Lees-McRae Summer Theater By Jane Richardson


ost of us consider starring on stage just a bucket list item, but Kim Krege Florio always knew she would shoot for the stars. Her parents, Roy and Marion Krege, have made their home in Banner Elk for 44 years. As a little girl growing up in Banner Elk, she often went around town with her father, Roy Krege, an entertainer of sorts in his own right and best known locally as “Mr. Woolly Worm.” Kim inherited a measure of Roy’s gift of gab and never-meet-astranger philosophy. She soon discovered her passion and talent for dance, starting out in a local dance studio and later, like all the Krege siblings, attending Banner Elk Elementary, Avery High School and Lees McRae College where she majored in Theatre Arts Education and Communications. After college, Kim took off on a colorful variety of performing tours, going wherever the opportunities were: a traveling company out of South Carolina up and down the east coast, dinner theatres in Indiana, and summer stock in Seaside Beach, all with different shows and venues. But it wasn’t all stardust and curtain calls. One memorable gig was a dinner theatre in Florida where Kim waited tables between acts. She would perform her scenes and then race back to the tables to take orders and refill drinks during intermission! Kim also performed as a singer and dancer at Busch Gardens, Florida and later spent two years working on a cruise ship with its performing company, a job she especially loved. Kim says her acting persona has changed over time, as a result of life experiences and generally coming of age. She has learned better how to develop a role and make it work for her. Kim first played Cassie in A Chorus Line at LMC when she was 18 and again many years later. “Cassie was definitely not the same

106 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

character at 40 that she was at 18,” Kim says.” Through rejections, periods of not working, self-study and much personal introspection, Kim gained a deeper understanding of her craft. “You embody a character by ‘being’ that person and learning their mannerisms and traits,” she explained. “The script lends you toward certain actions and the director’s vision outlines the parts. But you have to let go, and go back to that long-ago childhood self that hasn’t yet learned reservations. And you must realize that some roles are better for you than others. It’s okay to stretch but you have to know your limits. And you have to sell yourself to the audience in every performance.” Now, Kim can get work without auditioning and is often called to be on stage. “I feel like a star!” she said. Kim is particularly excited to have the opportunity this summer to work once again with Dr. Janet Barton Speer, artistic director for Lees McRae’s summer theatre and Kim’s long-time mentor and role model. During her career, Kim has tried to emulate Dr. Speer’s teaching and performing methods and considers her the model of professionalism. “It’s always a pleasure to be directed by an individual who lets the characters bloom, while still staying true to the author’s design,” Kim said. Kim now teaches drama, theatre and dance at Countryside High School in Clearwater, Florida, producing the school’s musicals and other “revue” type shows. Recently she directed, choreographed and designed the sets for Return To The Forbidden Planet, a production her students chose to perform in a scholas-

tic competition. Of the 44 participating schools, her class was one of seven selected for merit. At some point in the future, Kim would like to start her own children’s theatre. She credits a lot of her success to her small town upbringing. “This good solid foundation doesn’t shake easily and it prepares you for the world through your interaction with the community and the church,” she said. “I’d like to be able to share that with children in other areas.” The Lees McRae Summer Theatre opens the 2012 season on June 27 with Seussical, the Musical, a Broadway blend of Seuss’s books and characters, at the newly renovated Hayes Auditorium on the LMC campus. The next show, the classic English comedy See How They Run, opens July 13 and will feature Kim as Penelope, a former actress turned wife of the local vicar. This will be an especially poignant experience for Kim since the stage manager (second in command to the director) for this production will be Jarrett Koski, a 2012 LMC graduate at LMC and former student. The third show will be Harold Price’s version of the 1927 Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein iconic musical Show Boat, which will wrap up the LMC summer season August 1 through 5. The box office at Lees McRae opens on June 14, but online ticket sales opened May 1st at the website at lmc. edu/summer theatre/. For Kim Krege Florio it promises to be a triumphant return to the stage, and the home of her youth. This Lees-McRae Summer Theater season promises to be a memorable one so don’t delay. Visit on line or call 828-898-5241 to learn more.


HWY 105 • FOSCOE, NC • (828) 963-7246


The Greater Avery Tour de Art Celebrates It’s 4th Year!

How can you resist the allure of the mountains? The beautiful scenery all year round, the wonderful smell of wild flowers, fresh cut hay, blue spruce pines, apples and berries, fall leaves and nuts, all of these things make us wish we could capture some of it and take it with us wherever we go. You can take a part of this wonderful area with you through the diversity of creations of the area’s finest artists and craftsmen. Treat yourself by taking a leisurely drive along the wandering trail of The Avery County Tour de Art. This year’s 14 members will fill you with inspiration and delight by the variety of beautiful works ranging from pottery, art glass, jewelry, sculpture, and paintings in all media. They invite you into their studios and galleries on the fourth Saturday of each month from 10am to 5pm as you travel along the scenic byways through Valle Crucis, Matney, Banner Elk, Shulls Mill, Foscoe, Linville, Crossnore, and Pineola. This is the day you can meet the artists, see them demonstrate their art processes, and be among the first to see new works. Plan to spend the day, pick up a map at any location, look for the yellow signs, stop to become inspired, and enjoy light refreshments. Avery County Tour de Art is celebrating its fourth successful year !

Art is long. Life is Short Compu-Doc Computer Repair Networking Software Windows / Linux

New Art Has Arrived For The Season

Phyllis Reed / Acrylic

Sat, Sept 15 • Valle Crucis NC •

Alex Kohler 828.260.3306

828.963.6600 • 112 Clubhouse Dr., Suite 3, Foscoe NC Life is short • Live Artfully

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


“What’s So Great About Newland?” Art, Antiques, Historical Museum Shops, Restaurants, Lodging Camping, Riverwalk Park, Summer Concert Series & County Fair Golf, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Cycling Grandfather Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls & Caverns Homes, Land, Private Communities The Heart of Avery County Just Minutes From Everything! Come See For Yourself. Spend a Day--Stay a Lifetime

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

Live Music on Saturday Nights!

11-4 Sun

828-737-0700 We Cater!

“Best BBQ in the mountains!”

Newly Renovated & Open Once Again! 330 Cranberry St. Newland, NC • 828-733-9006

108 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Furniture • Appliances Small Household Items • Books Clothing & Accessories 1/2 Off on clothing every Saturday! Donations welcomed. Pick up available for furniture and appliances Thank you for your continued support

828-262-5029 877 West King Street, Boone NC Open Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm Sponsored by Resort Area Ministries

Just about everything you need for your cherished pets • Home-Baked Treats made from wholesome, natural ingredients • Special Occasion Cakes & Party Supplies • High Quality Dog & Cat Food • Raw & Freeze Dried Raw Diets • Natural Supplements • Healthy Treats

1st annual high country

Pet Fest! Sat. July 28, 10am-6pm

• Interactive Toys for Dogs & Cats

On the lawn of the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School

• Beds & Bath Supplies


• Largest Selection E E T of Apparel and BOUTIQU Collegiate Apparel, Leashes & Collars in the High Country • Yappy Hour July 10th, 6-8pm

828.898.5625 176 Shawneehaw Ave. Downtown Banner Elk across from the old Banner Elk Elementary School

Businesses & Artists educating pet owners on the care of their pets Purina Incredible Dog Team! Three agility shows throughout the day Win great prizes! Dog show: Categories include smallest, largest, ear-ristible, best tail wagger Top Prize: Year’s supply of Darford Dog Food For info on being a vendor, or attending, call 828-898-5625

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Cotton Ketchie’s photography in Celebration of the Viaduct’s 25th Anniversary

21st Annual

On the lawn of the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School

July 20, 21 & 22

Friday 4-8, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4

August 18 & 19

Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4

This is one art festival you won’t want to miss. 85 artisans presenting their handcrafted Fine Art and Masterfully Crafted mediums for those with discriminating taste, and art for the whimsical in all of us! Free Family Event — Food & Music Sponsored by The Avery County Chamber of Commerce 828-898-5605

110 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

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

Appalachian State University

The following listings are sponsored by ASU, for more information visit

An Appalachian Summer Festival

An Appalachian Summer Festival announces its 28th season schedule, which includes a dynamic array of artists and educators presenting music, dance, theatre, visual arts, film, and educational lectures, seminars and workshops for children and adults. For a complete schedule, tickets or information, call 800-841-ARTS (2787), 828-262-4046 or visit June 30: An Evening with Bill Cosby July 1: Rosen-Schaffel Young Artist Competition July 2, 10, 16 & 23: An Appalachian Rendezvous with French Cinema Film Series July 5, 12 & 26: Broyhill Chamber Ensemble July 6: Summer Exhibition Celebration July 7: Outdoor Fireworks Concert: Credence Clearwater Revisited with guest Lee Brice July 13: Carolina Ballet July 14: Solas July 15: Eastern Festival Orchestra with pianist Alexander Toradze July 20: Linda Eder: Songbirds-A Tribute to the Ladies July 21: The Travelin’ McCourys with Sierra Hull and Highway 111 July 25: Chicago and the Doobie Brothers July 28: 26th Annual Rosen Sculpture Walk

Hayes School of Music

For Hayes School of Music 2012 summer performance calendar: 828-262-3020 or July 8: Faculty Showcase, Rosen Concert Hall Thru July 21: Cannon Music Camp, 828-262-4091

Turchin Center for Visual Arts

(TCVA) supports regionally significant exhibition, education and collection programs. Through its programs and partnerships, the center supports the university’s role as a key regional educational and cultural resource, and offers a dynamic space where participants experience and incorporate the power and excitement of the visual arts into their lives. For more information, please call 828262-3017 or visit July 6: Summer Exhibition Celebration, 7-9pm July 7: “Inside Exhibitions” What is this stuff in the Mayer Gallery? 2pm July 14:”Inside Exhibitions” At the Seams: Catherine Altice, 2pm July 14: TCVA Family Day, 11-2pm July 21: “Inside Exhibitions” The Artists of the NC Arts Council Fellowship Exhibiton, 2pm July 28: 26th Rosen Sculpture Walk July 30: “Inside Exhibitions” 21 Sztuka: The International Poland Exhibition, 2pm

Mountainhome Music

A non-profit organization founded by Joe Shannon, Mountainhome Music began in 1994 with the purpose of celebrating Appalachian culture through music. For more info, ticket purchases, locations and directions to venues, please call 828-964-3392 or visit June 30: Gentle rings, Dulcimer Strings: Ken Kolodner, BRSA, 8 pm July 4: Bluegrass & Brass: MHM Bluegrass Boys, King Street Brass, BRSA, 7:30pm July 8: Celtic Fiddle & Dance: The April Verch Band, BRSA, 8 pm July 22: Ballads & Bluegrass: Strictly Clean & Decent, The Sheets Family & Others, Grace Lutheran Church in downtown Boone, 3:30 pm Aug 4: Bluegrass, The Early Years, Vol. II: Dave Haney & Co., Meadowbrook Inn, 8 pm Aug 11:Celtic Winds: Al Petteway & Amy White, BRSA, 8 pm Aug 18: The Colors of Country: David Johnson & Dixie Dawn, BRSA, 8 pm Sept 2: A Labor Day Celebration: MHM Bluegrass Boys, Mark & Julee Weems, Rosen Concert Hall at ASU, 8pm

Watauga County Arts Council

Founded in 1981 with a mission to sponsor and encourage the cultural arts in Watauga County, with an emphasis on arts in education and the traditional art. The oncerts are held at the Jones House Community Center in downtown Boone, home of the offices and galleries of the Watauga County Arts Council. For more info, please call 828-264-1789 or visit June 29, July 6,13,20,22,27, Aug 3,10,17,24, 31, and Sept 7,14,21: Concerts on the Jones House Lawn, Boone 5pm

Watauga County Farmers Market

Fresh vegetables, fruits, canned goods, flowers, plants, handmade furniture, fresh milk, cheese and good conversation can be found at the Farmers’ Market at the Horn in the West Grounds. The market is open on Saturdays through October and on Wednesdays thru Sept. 8am until noon.

Boone Mall

Shop locally! Visit or 828-264-7286.

Horn in the West

Call 828-264-2120 or visit Daniel Boone Native Gardens & Hickory Ridge Homestead 828-264-6390 Hickory Ridge: Open most Saturdays through October 27th and through Aug 11, Tuesday through Sunday, 5:30 -7:30pm Thru Aug 11: 60th Consecutive Season of Horn in the West The Re-telling of the Birth of our Nation-Live at the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre, 8pm July 4,7: Effigy of King George, 6:30pm July, 7, 14, 21, 28 & Aug 4:Powderhorn Production’s Children Theatre: Alice in Wonderland, 10:30am Main Horn in the West Stage Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —



For more information call 828-268-6200 or visit or July 2, 9,16,23,30,Aug 6,13,20: Music Together Class at The Harper School, 828-754-2297 July 4: Town of Boone’s Fourth of July Parade, 11am Downtown Boone, 828-264-4532 July 4: Town of Boone’s Fireworks, 7-10pm Clawson/Burnley Park July 6, Aug 3, Sept 7: Downtown Boone Art Crawl, 5pm 828-262-4532 Thru July 26:Watauga County Library Summer Reading Programs, 828-264-8784 Aug 11: 8th Annual Watauga Lake Triathlon, 8am Aug 24-26: Railroad Earth’s Music on the Mountaintop, Grandfather Mountain Campground, Aug 31- Sept 1: Boone Bike Rally, High Country Fairgrounds High Country Hospice Camp Sunshine, a free grief camp for children 5-12 held July 25-27 from 9-4pm at the New Watauga High School, 828-265-3926

Parkway Crafts Center

The Southern Highland Craft Guild is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1930 to bring together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the benefit of shared resources, education, marketing and conservation. For more information call 828-295-7938 or visit July 19-22, October 18-21: Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, 10am U.S. Cellular Center

Blowing Rock

The historic village of Blowing Rock will provide ample cultural opportunities. For more information please call 828-295-7851 or visit, Thru Aug: Music at the Martin House-Sunday’s from 2-4pm, Downtown Blowing Rock, 828-295-6128 Thru Oct: Music on the Lawn-Friday’s 5:30-8pm, Inn at Ragged Gardens,, 828-295-9703 Thru October 18: Blowing Rock Farmers Market-Thursday’s from 4-6pm, American Legion June 29-July 1: Blowing Rock 4th of July Festival 2012, 828-295-5222 June 30: Blowing Rock’s 4th of July Festival & Parade, 9am-9:30pm Downtown 828-295-5222 July 1: Park Dance, 2-9pm Memorial Park July 4: Fireworks at Tweetsie Railroad, 9-10pm July 5-10, 12-17, 19-24, 26-31, Aug 2-7, 9-14, 16-21: Artists in Residence, 10-6pm Edgewood Cottage, 877-750-4636 July 7-15: The Complete History of America..(Abridged), 7:30pm Blowing Rock School 828-414-1844 July 7, 16: Cool Summer Nights at Tweetsie Railroad,

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July 8,Aug 12,Sept 9: Blowing Rock Jazz Society Concert,7pm Meadowbrook Inn July 9, 23, Aug 6, 20: Monday Night Concert Series, 7pm Broyhill Park July 12: BRAHM Cork & Canvas, Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, 828-295-9099 July 13: Power of the Purse Luncheon, 11:30am Blowing Rock Country Club, High Country Womens Fund July 13-15: Bob the Builder at Tweetsie Railroad, Shows 11am, 1pm & 3pm July 13, Aug 10, Sept 7: Sunset Stroll, 5:30-8pm Sunset Drive 828-295-6991 July 14, Aug 11, Sept 8: Art in the Park,10-5pm American Legion Grounds, 828-295-7851 July 17, Aug 14, Sept 11, October 2: Concerts in the Park, 4-5:30pm Memorial Park July 21-29: K-9’s in Flight Frisbee Dogs at Tweetsie Railroad, 11am,1pm & 3pm July 22: “Farm to Table” Cooking Class, Chetola Resort 828-295-5533 July 24-29, July 31- Aug 5: Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show 828-295-2700 July 27: The Symphony by the Lake, 7-9pm Chetola Lake 828-295-7851 July 27: 54th Annual St. Mary of the Hill Tour of Homes, 9-5pm 828-295-7323 St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Parish July 28: “Murder at the Double D Ranch”, Tweetsie Railroad 800-526-5740 July 28- Aug 5: Fit to Kill, 7:30pm Blowing Rock School Auditorium, July 28, Aug 25: Mountains to Sea Trail-“Big Day” Volunteer Opportunity Aug 3: 35th Annual Blowing Rock Hospital Benefit & Luncheon, 11-2pm Blowing Rock Country Club Aug 3-5: BRAHM Art & Antiques Weekend Event, 10-4pm 828-295-9099 Aug 4: High Country Festival of the Book, Meadowbrook Inn 828-264-8784 Aug 4-5: 2012 High Country Farm Tour, 2-6pm Aug 12-17: “Groovy Nights” Variety Show, Blowing Rock Country Club 828-295-9347 Aug 18-19: Rider’s in the Sky at Tweetsie Railroad, Noon & 3pm Aug 25- Sept 3: Ensemble Stage: All the King’s Women, 828-414-1844 Blowing Rock School Auditorium Sept 8-9: Railroad Heritage Weekend, 9am-6pm 800-526-5740

Hayes Performing Arts Center

The Arts Center benefits residents and visitors by providing a permanent home for a multitude of arts groups and a facility in which to host live theatre, dance groups, a variety of musical performances, visual arts displays, classic films, children’s theatre workshops, and other performing arts, as well as community events and meetings. With the combined theatrical shows produced by the Stage Company and the touring shows presented by the Hayes Center, the venue is now a year-round center housing all arts disciplines.

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

The Hayes Performing Arts Center is located at 152 Jamie Fort Road (off Hwy 321) in Blowing Rock. For more information please call 828-295-9627 or visit

Sept 1-30: Autumn Light 4th Saturdays thru November: Greater Avery Tour de Art, 828-733-0054

Avery County

Banner House Museum

For more information call 800-972-2183/ 828-898-5605 or visit them at July 6, 13, 20, 27, Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Newland Riverwalk Concert Series, 6-9pm Riverwalk Band Shell 828-260-3205, July 15: Pop Rocks, 1pm at Crestwood, High Country Women’s Fund 828-264-4007 Aug 12: Croquet, 1pm in Linville, High Country Women’s Fund 828-264-4007 Sept 4-8: Avery County A & H Fair, Heritage Park in Newland 828-387-6870 Thru Summer: Live Music every Weekend, Old Hampton Store Thru Sept 15: Avery County Farmer’s Market, Saturdays 9am-12pm, Newland Elementary School Parking Lot

Grandfather Mountain 2012 800-468-7325 or visit

Thru Aug: Naturalist Weekends 828-733-4326 July 12-15: 57th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, July 12: The Bear: Assault of Grandfather July 14: Grandfather Mountain Marathon July 27-29: Grandfather Campout July 28-29: “Grandfather’s Attic” Hike Aug 18-19: Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic Aug 25-26: “Nature on the Edge” Hike Sept 8: Kidfest

Orchard at Altapass

The Historic Orchard at Altapass is a 104-year-old apple orchard turned Appalachian Cultural Center celebrating the people, music, art and natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. The Orchard sits right on the Parkway providing some of the most amazing scenery. Visit or call 828-765-9531.

Avery County Arts Council

A non-profit organization working to enrich the people of Avery County through meaningful arts and cultural experiences. For more than 30 years, the council has helped to support school arts programs and served as a resource for artists and the community. 828-898-4292 or visit July 4-Aug 1: Islands to Highlands July 9-13: Kid’s Pottery Classes Aug 2-31: Musings on Duality Aug 18: 4th Annual Banner Elk Paint Out, 10am-3pm co-sponsored with The Art Cellar

Experience 19th century history in the home of Samuel Henry Banner. or call 828-898-3634. July 11, 18, 25: Elk Camp for Children Ages 6-10, 2-4pm

Beech Mountain

For more information visit,, or call 828-387-9283. June 30: 48th Annual Roasting of the Hog & Fireworks Celebration, 6pm Beech Mtn Resort 800-468-5506 July 4: Buckeye’s Independence Day Picnic, 12-2pm July 20-22: 2nd Annual Brews N’ Views Beer Festival, 828-387-9283 Beech Mtn Resort July 20-22: USAC Gravity Nationals, Beech Mtn Resort Aug 4: Big Truck Day, 10am-12pm, Town Kite Field Aug 4: Annual Crafts on the Green, Fred’s General Mercantile 828-387-4838 Aug 9-11: Gnarnia Music Festival, Beech Mtn Resort 828-387-2011 Sept 1-2: 10th Annual Mile High Kite Festival, Beech Mtn Kite Field Sept 1: BJ’s 6th Annual Dog Show, 9am-12pm, Beech Mtn Bark Park Oct 6-7: Autumn at Oz Party, 10am at Old Land of Oz Theme Park

Fred’s General Mercantile

On Beech Mtn. 828-387-4838 or visit July 8, 15, 22, 29 & Aug 5: Sunday Summer Concerts, 6:30pm

Lees McRae College

Located in downtown Banner Elk. Visit or call 828-898-8721. June 27- July 1: Suessical, a musical, 828-898-8709 July 3, 10, 17, 24, 29, 31 & Aug 7: Forum- Hayes Auditorium July 13-14, 18-20: See How They Run, 828-898-8709 Aug 1-5: Showboat, 828-898-8709

Banner Elk

For more info call 828-898-8395 or visit July 2 – 4: Independence Weekend in the Mountains, 10-5pm Banner Elk Elementary School July 4: Wildcat Lake’s 4th of July Celebration, 10am-2pm July 4: Banner Elk’s 4th of July Parade, 11am start at the Lee’s McRae College Library July 4: Great Duck Race, 12:30pm in the Banner Elk Park July 5, 12, 19, 26, Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Banner Elk Chamber’s Summer Concerts in the Park, 6:30 pm Tate Evan’s Park Highway 194 Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


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

July 6, Aug 3, 31: Banner Elk Winery’s Farm to Table Dinner, 828-260-1790 July 20-22, Aug 20 –22: 21st Annual Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival, Old Banner Elk School July 20, Aug 6: Wildcat Lake Cross Swim, 6-8pm July 20, Aug 17: Banner Elk Winery Friday Movie Night under the Stars, 828-898-9090 July 28: Banner Elk’s High Country Pet Fest, 10-6pm Historic Banner Elk School Aug 11: 7th Annual High Country Caregivers Foundation Benefit Auction, 5:30pm Best Western Banner Elk 828-260-4645 October 20-21: 35th Annual Woolly Worm Festival, Historic Banner Elk School Thru Aug: Banner Elk Café Music on the Patio Saturday’s 6-10pm Thru Sept 20: Avery County Farmer’s Market, Thursdays 5-7pm, Tate Lawn@Lees McRae College Thru Sept 26: Concerts in the Courtyard hosted by Bayou Smokehouse every Wednesday at 6pm, Shoppes at the Village on Main Street 828-898-8952

Mayland Community College

828-765-7351 or visit July 16: 14th Annual Toe River Storytelling Festival, 10-5pm Riverside Park in Spruce Pine, 828-765-3008

The Crossnore School

828-733-4305/ 800-557-4305 or

July 3: Todd Wright Ensemble Aug 7: The Whitetop Mountain Band Sept 4: The Cathedral Choir from Trinity Cathedral in Columbia, SC

Apple Hill Farm

Open thru October 14 with Saturday tours at 2pm (reservations suggested). Located off 194 between Valle Crucis and Banner Elk, the farm offers a walking tour and stops at 3 different animal barns to meet alpacas, llamas, horses, donkeys, goats and chickens. The store offers a variety of items made from alpaca yarn, fresh produce and eggs, plants, gifts and local craft items. For more infor call 828.963.1662 or visit Sept 28-29: National Alpaca Farm Day, 10-4pm

Mast General Store

When you visit the “store that has everything”, you might also stumble on some good ole country music being played around the potbelly stove. For more info and details of other store locations, please call 828-963-6511 or visit

Cove Creek

Cove Creek Preservation and Development, Inc. is dedicated to serving the Cove Creek Community through preservation and restoration. Visit July 14-15: 15th Annual Music Fest ‘n Sugar Grove

July 19-21: Miracle on the Mountain Outdoor Drama July 21: The Crossnore School Alumni Homecoming Aug 6: 15th Annual Taste with a Twist, Grandfather Golf & Country Club Sept 4: Fashion Show & Luncheon, Beech Mountain Country Club Sept 8: “Run, Walk, Crawl for Hope” 1K Fun Run & 5K Run, Crossnore School Oct 3: Crossnore Ladies Golf Invitational, Blowing Rock Country Club

Wilkes Heritage Museum

Valle Crucis

828-898-4521 or visit

July 6, 13, 20, 27, Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31: Music in the Valle, 7pm or 828-963-6511 July 28-29: Arts & Craft Award Show Weekend, 10-5pm Valle Crucis School 828-898-8395 Thru Aug 29: Valle Crucis Farmer’s Market, Wednesdays 2-6pm, Original Mast Store Sept 1: Annual Valle Crucis Park Auction, Valle Crucis Elementary School Sept 15: 3rd Annual Run for the Red, Valle Crucis School, Oct 20: Valle Country Fair, 9-4pm Valle Crucis Conference Center Grounds 828-963-4609

Music at St. John’s

The 7th annual summer concert series at St. John’s in Valle Crucis features presentations by nationally and regionally acclaimed performers. The performances begin at 5pm on the first Sunday of each month. For more information call 828.963.4609.

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336-667-3171 or visit July 21, Aug 18, Sept 15: Candle Light Ghost Tours, Old Wilkes Jail, 336-667-3171

Sugar Mountain

July 4-Sept 3: Summer Lift Rides every weekend, 10-5:30pm Aug 4: SugarBrew, Noon-6pm,, 800-SUGAR-MT October 13-14: 22nd Annual Oktoberfest, 10-5pm

Other Happenings July 1-4: Red, White & Bluegrass Festival, Catawba Meadows Park in Morganton, July 4: Liberty Parade in Todd, 336-877-5016, July 7: Christmas in July, 9am-8pm, West Jefferson 336-846-9196 July 7, 21, Aug 4: Todd Summer Music Series, 6pm, Cook Memorial Park July 19, Aug 10-11, 23: Penland School of Crafts Annual Benefit Auction, 828-765-2359 Aug 3-4: 56th Annual Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair, 828-682-7413 Burnsville Town Square,

Fred’s General


Everything store Everythingaa general general store usedtoto be be ......and more! used and more Ahnu • Sherpani • Columbia Woolrich • Columbia Merrell • Carhartt Merrell • Carhartt •• HiTec HiTec Wigwam • SweeTea Wigwam Sherpani Teva • Life •IsTeva Good Crocs • Life Is Good While at Freds ... StopAt in and Visit While Fred’s .. Stop in and visit Co. The Wildbird Supply


The Wildbird Supply Company & Fred’s Backside Deli & Fred’s Backside Deli 31th Anniversary Crafts on the Green & 27th Anniversary Summer Sunday Crafts on the Concerts Green Call for dates, or pm Aug. 2 • 9 am-4

check our website! Summer Sunday Concerts - 6:30 pm –July Celebrating 13, 20, our 27 •33nd AugYear! 3,10 –

Visit us at Eastern America’s highest town

(828) 387-4838 501 Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mountain, NC

Honey, Books, Magazines, Souvenirs, Friendly Service, Toys, Patio Dining, Hardware

, and Much More

Plumbing Supplies, Shoes, Shirts, Sweaters, Gifts, Lunch, Breakfast, Beer, Wine,

Tools, Bird Feeders, Sweets,

Dine Locally at Boone Independent Restaurants Boone Independent Restaurants (BIR) is a non-profit organization founded by Rick Pedroni and John Pepper in late 2011. With the goal of uniting the local independent restaurant community in order to strengthen their position in the market place and to assist the public in realizing the benefits of dining locally, BIR has been well received with 21 member restaurants. Casa Rustica owner Pedroni said “Our High Country restaurant community is stonger because of this unifying organization. We are pooling our resources to help with marketing costs, and we help each other help and support each other in many different ways.” BIR, modeled after successful organizations in Asheville and Hendersonville, is hosting a Small Plate Crawl in conjunction with Boone’s Beer Fest. Small plates will be offered from $4.00-$8.00 for several days following Labor Day weekend so that customers can visit a number of restaurants and sample items at a very reasonable price. This past year they also worked with “Celebrity Serve” to raise money for local charity. This year all tips from wait staff and 1025% of all bills went to Watauga Rescue Squad. BIR has seen a lot of recent growth due to an increase in membership and sponsorship as well as increased member involvement. ASU student Andrew Veal joined the organization as an intern in February and has assisted with various projects, including a Local Dining Guide which will soon be distributed widely to assist everyone in enjoying the local flavor of the High Country with dining choices which might otherwise be missed. For more information: Thanks to the support of the local community BIR is on track to continue to expand and increase the success of the local restaurants.   

Bandana’s Barbecue Boone Bagelry Casa Rustica Italian American Char Modern American Restaurant Crippen’s Dan’l Boone Inn Foggy Rock The Gamekeeper Joe’s Italian Kitchen Joy Bistro Makoto’s The Mast Farm Inn Mountain Bagels Pepper’s Restaurant Sunrise Grill The Best Cellar The Peddler The Red Onion Cafe The Tapp Room Town Tavern Vidalia Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —



erhaps summer’s number one go-to everyday white wine is Pinot Grigio. It’s easy on the palate and the pocketbook and is grabbed over and over again as an antidote to the drumbeat of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Its name rolls off the tongue and conjures up an almost exotic Italian-ness that brings an element of class to the most mundane picnic or al fresco dining. Unfortunately, its wide success and appreciation hides a little known reality: the best Pinot Grigios can take a rightful place among the world’s best white wines. From its home base in Burgundy, Pinot Noir has spread worldwide as one of the world’s most noble and expensive wines. The grape’s penchant for genetic mutation has produced numerous clonal variations that offer many oenological themes on the basic Pinot Noir wine, but these vinous metamorphoses have also brought us Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris as it is known in Alsace and Oregon). Underappreciated by many wine sophisticates and almost always known for its simplistic, inexpensive offerings, this is a grape to be explored at its highest levels by all serious wine lovers. At its most pedestrian levels, Italy’s most well-known and most-glugged wine is a symphony of simplicity – bland, mass market-produced, easy-going, uncomplicated and often bubble gumfruity flavors and light acidity, and, best of all, cheap. There are a ton of Grigios out there under $10. At their best, most are inoffensive. It may surprise many of you, but there are more expensive PGs out there, some in the $30-40 range, and there is a world of difference worth exploring for lovers of exciting wines. But, first, you need to dismiss the stereotype of Pinot Grigio as cheap and simple—it can be a really fine white wine, priced accordingly. These wines are the exceptions to the rule, are produced in tiny quantities and are well worth seeking out. At its best, quality-minded producers fashion fabulous, memorable wines from rocky, low-yielding vineyards on cool climate steeply-terrassed hillsides high up in the Alpine foothills. These wines from organic vineyards, hand-picked and carefully selected, are medium bodied succulent, mouth-watering elixirs with

Wine Grigio Pinot’s Popular But Least Glorified Relative By Ren Manning

116 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

riveting minerality and acidity and complex fragrances of honeysuckle, golden delicious apples and pears. This white wine variety does not have a light green skin, but a rosy grey color— hence the name “grey” Pinot. For centuries, this transplant from Burgundy was made in a “ramato” style—a light copper color from having the pressed juice briefly steep with the skins. In 1961, the world’s most famous Pinot Grigio producer, Santa Margherita, breathed life into Pinot Grigio wine by applying traditional white wine vinification techniques and separating the juice from the skins immediately after pressing to produce an almost limpid wine. And that simple act launched this wine on one of the most popular trajectories ever into wine consumerism. While a few producers are once again fashioning this wine in the old ramato style, this is unlikely to be anything other than the quirky exception to appeal to the ultimate wine geeks. While outstanding versions are produced in the northeastern regions of Friuli and Alto Adige (e.g., Felluga, San Michele Appiano), perhaps the most singular, precise and pristine expression of the grape hails from the shadows of Mont Blanc near the French/Italian border. Look for wines by Lo Triolet in the Valle d’Aosta, where wines nuanced with pear, strawberry, herbs and honey will convince white wine lovers that these are the best Pinot Grigios made by any estate in Italy, indeed the world, and well worth the lofty prices they command. While Italy is the best known home for this grape variety, it does not have a monopoly on Pinot Grigio production. In France’s Alsace region, outstanding Pinot Gris is produced, especially from grand cru-classified vineyards. These wines are ripe, rich and opulent with floral expressions that leap from the glass. Closer to home, Oregon is the U.S. leader in quality Pinot Gris production. The style is rich, creamy and ripe with often medium bodied textures and bouquets of white flowers, peaches and almonds. Its style usually falls between the minerally light Italian and the more voluptuous Alsacian. Grab your AMEX card—and happy hunting!

The High Country’s two wineries offer award-winning wines that will please your senses, and events that are sure to please

High Country Wineries in Full Bloom By Julie Farthing


ummer is in full swing, and so are two High Country’s Wineries that have become a destination for wine enthusiast with tastings, tours, and

events. Banner Elk Winery, a budding producer of award-winning wines in Avery County, is further enhancing its appeal with a feature a movie night in July and August. Bring a picnic and blanket and enjoy the movie under the stars. Wines by the glass or bottle, soft drinks, and water will be offered a la carte. The show starts when the sun sinks. Come a bit early to grab a good place on the lawn. Local farmer and chef, Travis Sparks, returns to Banner Elk Winery July and August for the popular “Farm to Table” Dinners. Travis whips up decadent fourcourse meals giving patrons the opportunity to savor local fare paired with wines from mountain vineyards. The Banner Elk Winery offers sensa-

tional lodging as well. Expand your stay by booking a suite at the beautiful Blueberry Villa to enjoy a room with a view. The surrounding vineyards, enchanted barn, and barrel room are also the perfect spot for weddings, receptions and parties. Sundays offer a special opportunity where you can enjoy live music on the patio from 2 to 5 p.m. while sipping award winning wines in the beautiful tasting room. In Watauga County, Grandfather Mountain Vineyard and Winery is carrying on a family tradition of talented entrepreneurship. Sally and Steve Tatum, owners of Tatum Galleries for over three decades, expanded their business from furniture makers to a promising vineyard and winemaking. Their son Dylan is a graduate of Surry County’s Viticulture program, the epicenter of the Tar Heel State’s winemaking industry, is the chief winemaker. His daughter Jesse helps in

the vineyard and tasting room. Just barely into its second year, Grandfather Mountain Vineyard and Winery has already won numerous awards at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. The Tatum’s have brought new varietals to the High Country ensuring a different tasting experience at each of the wineries. The rushing waters of the Watauga River along with the incredible view of Grandfather Mountain make Grandfather Vineyard and Winery a perfect spot for intimate weddings, parties, and corporate events. Here you can enjoy a bottle of a new special reserve Chardonnay in the warm and friendly tasting room, or take a stroll to better savor the beautiful vistas.

Wine For hours, event information, and directions, visit the websites:

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —



The 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant & Winery


Valle Crucis

Come See What Everyone is Talking About! Enjoy your Meal on our Spacious Front Porch, Or Streamside on the Back Deck . . .

Open Daily! Hours & Menus at

Farm to Table! Visit Our Organic Garden! Across from the Original Mast General Store, Valle Crucis 828-963-6301

The High Country ’s Premier Steak & Seafood House

SIN C E 1 9 8 5

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

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Visit our tasting room Wine by the glass

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

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


“From our farms to your table”

See for yourself why we are much more than just a restaurant...

828-765-9696 / 4716 S. US Hwy 19E, Plumtree NC

Banner Elk Winery & Villa

Summer Events

Join Us At The Vineyard Tastings & Tours

Noon - 6 pm All Year (closed Mondays) • Fridays til 8 pm June - August

Movie Nights Under the Stars June 15 • July 20 • August 17

Bring a blanket and a picnic. Wines by the glass and bottle, soft drinks, and water available à la carte. Movie starts at dusk. Tickets $10/person

Farm To Table Dining July 6 • August 3 • August 31

Guest chef Travis Sparks prepares four course delights created with locally produced ingredients with wines paired for each course. Tickets $75/person

Sunday Live Music at the Winery 2 - 5 pm Every Sunday June through September 2

The Villa, Our Luxury B&B

Eight suites available year round. Concierge services. Spa. Adventures. Event tickets and Villa reservations: or (828) 260-1790

Award Winning Wines • Weddings • Special Events • Corporate Retreats 60 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604

(828) 260-1790 Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —

BEW1PgCarMntnLfSummer12.indd 1


6/4/12 4:48 PM

Where Blowin g Rock began and t he Legend con t inues...

Green Park Inn Classic Surroundings – Modern Amenities

Laurel Room Restaurant & Divide Tavern Award winning Chef James Welch Visit our website for Live Music Events

828.414.9230 Historic Hotels of America national trust for historic preservation®

Listed On the National Historic Register

A Perfect Evening Join us on Thursdays for our lively seafood buffet, or another evening for one of Chef Maisonhaute’s savory offerings such as Boeuf Bourguignon or Grilled Mountain Rainbow Trout. Call for reservations.

The Eseeola Lodge at Linville Golf Club

175 LinviLLe Avenue LinviLLe, north CAroLinA 28646 www.eseeoLA.Com

120 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

• 1-800-742-6717




Mixed Grill of Braised Rabbit and Roasted Antelope Black Angus Steaks. Fresh Mountain Trout. Roasted Duckling. Pasta. Pan Roasted Scallops. “Vault Bar” Whenever Pub Food Will Do. Sensational Food—Sensational People Good Times.



General Store



Ragged Garden’s Maple Lodge

The Inn at Ragged Gardens

Eleven Rooms and Suites. Cozy two bedroom cottage. Quaint & Historic building. Short walk to Main Street. Tel. 828.414.9254

Twelve Rooms and Suites. Intimate & traditional. Featuring The Best Cellar Restaurant Tel. 828.295.9703

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Come See Why Folks Drive 50 Miles Just For Our Pizza!


Inspire Your Tastebuds Painted Salad




2953 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk Across from Sugar Mountain next to Health Connection Est. 1999 and We’re still here! Welcome back season customers!!

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


Open Wednesday-Monday (Closed Tuesday) Lunch: 11:00am-3:00pm • Dinner: 4:30pm-9:00pm 4235 NC Hwy 105 S, Banner Elk NC 28604


122 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Classic Southern & New American Favorites Made From Scratch Using Local & Organic Ingredients

“A Real, Small Farm” Farm Store open Saturdays 12pm-5pm Fresh Artisan Breads, Handmade Chocolates, & Farm Raised Meats

Serving Lunch, Dinner Beer & Wine, Coffee & Sweets 11am-9pm, Thurs-Mon Quality Casual Dining for the Whole Family Featuring Local Farmers & Artists

EATERY & GALLERY Coffee Bar 11am to 9pm Lunch – 11am to 4:30pm Dinner – 4:30 to 9pm Sunday Brunch 11am to 4:30pm

Schedule a cooking class or private “farm to fork” dinner! Check our website for events

95 Peter Harding Lane Elk Park, NC 28622 828.733.4938

142 Main St E, Banner Elk • 828-898-3325

FREE WI-FI • TO-GO • Like us on facebook

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


artisan foods at The Mast Farm Inn

Organic Farm-to-Table Fine Dining

Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays Seatings at 6, 7 & 8pm in The Historic Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, North Carolina Different Gourmet Meal Each Night 4 Courses, Set Price $37.50 Resv. Suggested: 828-963-5857

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


The Vegan Way By Beth Tally

VegBoone Promotes Viable Path to Healthy Living

124 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

“Well, what DO you eat then,” is a standard question for any vegan.


he answer is the vegan consumes anything without animal products­—which include meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or honey. Limiting? Hardly, according to Larry and Jeanne Kaiser, founders of VegBoone, an organization of some 150 strong that promotes veganism, educates the community of its benefits, while encouraging its members to sustain this life choice. The Kaisers converted to veganism 22 years ago after hearing John Robbins, co-founder of Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors of all things, speak about his book, Diet for a New America. Upon moving to Boone from Michigan, the Kaisers were eager to connect with others who enjoy the same approach to food. Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal product. Within that definition, there are various categories. Dietary vegans eliminate them from their diet only. Ethical vegans reject the use of animal products for any purpose feeling that animals should never be used for commodities. Environmental vegans believe the use of animal products is environmentally damaging and unsustainable. According to dietitians in both the U.S. and Canada, a well-planned vegan diet is appropriate for all ages including children. Like any other food regimen, however, it must be well-planned to guard against vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A well-planned vegan diet can offer protection against many degenerative conditions, including heart disease. Eliminating animal product from the diet may seem extreme, but the culinary options abound with pastas, grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and soy substitutes such as Tofu. Because of suitable alternatives for butter and mayonnaise, many standard family recipes are handily adapted. The use of spices opens up a broad array of tastes.

The Kaisers started VegBoone in 2011 as a local resource and social networking group for the High Country’s vegan, vegetarians, and veg-curious. In less than a year, VegBoone has attracted a wide variety of members of all ages and commitment. Eleven-year-old Spencer Ball is perhaps the youngest and has been vegan all of his life. “I don’t like to hurt animals,” he confesses. And, what does he take to Hardin Park School for lunch? “A peanut butter and jelly bagel, fruit and granola,” Spencer said. “My classmates are always trying to get my fruit.” Like the Kaisers, some couples adhere strictly to their veganism. Others find a compromise. Goldie Nabatoff follows the principles closely. She even avoids foods that contain Gluten. For her, one of the main benefits is weight control. “I can eat all I want and not gain weight,” she says. “That’s a real plus.” Her husband, Bob, however, admits to a little less stringent routine. “I’m 70% vegan, but that next 30%....I just can’t quite go there.” One of the most popular activities for members is the pot luck dinner held from time to time. Everyone brings a dish or two along with recipes to share. The food table at a vegan pot luck rivals the spread at any high country family reunion. It takes several plates to sample all of the breads, appetizers, salads, main dishes, and desserts. Larry and Jeanne Kaiser hope that anyone interested in learning more will check out the VegBoone website. “Our events are posted on the website,” Jeanne explains. “We’d love to have folks come to one of our pot luck dinners, taste for themselves the fabulous food we enjoy, and learn why veganism is such a viable alternative.” To learn more visit the VegBoone website at

F.A.R.M Café Feed All Regardless of Means By Julie Farthing


other Teresa once said if you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. Rene Boughman is doing more than that at the new F.A.R.M. Café, an anachronym for “Feed all Regardless of Means,” a downtown Boone eatery where profits take a backseat to caring for the people. “It’s going well,” Boughman says modestly of the café’s first weeks since opening its doors in April. F.A.R.M. Café was just a flickering dream a few years ago when Boughman read an article about a restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah called “One World Everybody Eats.” Through the restaurant, creator Denise Cerreta tackled hunger in her city by allowing patrons to pay what they could afford. Boughman, who thought the idea both crazy and wonderful, shared this concept with fellow church members at High Country United Church of Christ, with a goal of creating a similar restaurant here in the mountains of North Carolina, where one in four people are unsure of where their next meal is coming from. The spark soon caught fire when area chefs, businesses, and community members created a team to bring Boughman’s idea to fruition. The biggest obstacle—location—was solved when the Boone Drug King Street fountain closed its doors after 90 years of serving local diners. As one door closed another one opened. A diverse group of volunteers from church members to civic activists helped to transform the café to include handicapped access to the restrooms and even an art wall to celebrate local artists. In keeping with the history of the former fountain, the original booths remain, along with the train that circles the wall about the café. The central location on King Street offers easy access for everyone and is a regular stop on the Appalcart bus route.

The core mission of the F.A.R.M. Café is to provide high quality, delicious meals, where everybody eats regardless of their ability to pay. The café allows patrons to pay a suggested donation according to portion sizes, or volunteer an hour in exchange for a meal. In fact, the restaurant operates almost entirely on volunteers. No one is too old or too young to help. Each meal is prepared from scratch daily, and made from the freshest ingredients available. Area farmers donate produce to ensure that the meal is not only yummy, but healthy, too. There is no set menu. The day’s specials spring from a selection of entrees, soups, salads, and desserts, served with coffee or tea. Boughman oversees each meal herself, putting not only her heart into the plight of feeding the hungry, but her culinary skills gained after 25 years in the kitchen. Denise Cerreta from One World Everybody Eats, the inspiration behind Boughman’s benevolent enterprise, was in Boone during the initial meet and greet with local downtown businesses. “F.A.R.M. Café is now one of 26 paywhat-you-can community restaurants around the country,” Cerrata explained, “and more are coming.” The grand opening was June 23rd when music was provided by Tom Whyte and The Usual Suspects band along with the Horn in the West singers. It was a celebration of good food and good intentions. “We have stories that touch our hearts about people who’ve given their time, their money, and their spirit to make this place successful,” a grateful Boughman said. “We’ve been moved by the people who’ve just stuck their heads in the door and said things like, ‘Here’s twenty dollars, feed somebody.’  The volunteers are amazing, dedicated, and hardworking.  As a long time restaurant veteran I can always find things to complain about,

but honestly, all I can say right now is how very, very thankful I am to be in this place, in this community, and on this journey with all of you who support F.A.R.M. Café.” Boughman’s selfless contributions have not been lost on the community. She has already been recognized for her dedication when the café received a Grassroots Organizer Award from Justice and Witness Ministries, a ministry of the United Church of Christ. The award recognizes “justice giants ...who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in justice work in their churches and communities,” explained Rev. Linda Jaramillo, executive director of Justice and Witness Ministries. “At F.A.R.M. Café, there is room at the table of bounty for all who enter,” echoed Pastor Shelly Wilson from the High Country United Church of Christ in Boone. Rene Boughman has ignited the spark of hope and with it a burning movement of humanity in the North Carolina High Country. To offer your time or talents, or to just enjoy a good meal, visit F.A.R.M. Café, located inside Boone Drug Downtown, 617 W. King Street. The restaurant is open Mon-Sat from 11am-2pm. Call 828-386-1000 to find out how you can help. Volunteer information, wish lists, and daily menus are found on the website at

Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Green with Envy By Caroline Stahlschmidt


eople often ask me: “What is the best food I can eat for better health?” My answer is always the same. “Eat more leafy greens,” I’ll tell anyone who asks. “If you’re looking for one simple change in your diet, this is it.” The world of healthy eating can be confusing and what is heralded as healthy one day might be condemned as deadly the next. But eating more greens is one health tip that always holds true. Leafy greens of all kinds will make a big impact on your health. Here in the High Country, we are fortunate to have a climate where leafy greens thrive. Stock up on inexpensive, locally grown leafy greens at the Farmer’s Market. I recommend organically produced greens from farmers like Holly Whitesides of Against the Grain Farm or Matt Cooper at Lively Up Farms. Here are three great reasons to make leafy greens a staple in your diet.

1. Greens are packed with important vitamins and minerals that help your body function in tip top shape. This includes calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and Vitamins A, C, E, and K. Forget the cheap multivitamin. Eat your greens instead and get vitamins and minerals in nature’s perfect package. 2. Ever wonder why greens are the color green? It’s the chlorophyll. Why should you care? Because chlorophyll cleans impurities from your blood and reverses damage to your cells that occurs from radiation. Chlorophyll also boosts red blood cell production and increases the amount of oxygen your cells can carry. All of that equals a stronger and more energized body. 3. Let’s hear it for fiber! You need a good dose of fiber every day to keep things regular (yes, you know what I mean) and to clean toxins from your body. Greens are a fantastic source of insoluble fiber, which is like a big broom for the inside of your body. Sweep out the waste and toxins and you are on your way to a healthier body. Now that you know greens are great for your body, help you fight disease, and boost energy, let’s talk about getting more greens into your daily diet. Here

are my top three tips to get your green on and love your body in the process. GET SAUCY--If you are new to kale, collards, or other greens, try chopping them thinly and lightly steaming or water sautéing the greens until just tender. Add chopped garlic, onion, or ginger if you like. Top them off with different sauces and dressings like a garlic dressing or curry sauce. GET SOUPER--Finely chop up greens like spinach, kale, collards, or cabbage and stir them into soup. You can do this with just about every soup. Make it a standard practice that you add greens to all of your soups, even pre-made soup. GET SNEAKY--If have you picky eaters in your house, you can get sneaky with your greens. Disguise them and your picky eater will be none the wiser except for the burst of energy they will get from all those greens. A smoothie is a great way to disguise greens. Sneak some spinach, romaine lettuce, or kale into a vibrant smoothie and it will be your little secret. Make it a goal to get a variety of greens in at least two, or better yet, three meals each day and you are on your way to better health.

Caroline Stahlschmidt is a Certified Health Coach. She helps clients meet their health goals through private and group health coaching at Boone Healing Arts Center, leads cooking classes, and teaches yoga at Neighborhood Yoga. Learn more at or email Caroline at

126 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

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Summer Tuesday Movie Series • 7pm • Chapman Center — Admission just $1 for 12 and up! —


Celebrating Our 15th Year!

(And thanking each and every one of our readers and advertisers!) Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —



AGAVE MARGARITA 1/2 cup white tequila such as Patron or Blanco 1/4 cup agave syrup 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice kosher salt lime slices Place tequila, agave syrup and lime juice in a cocktail shaker over crushed ice and then shake it up baby! Pour into two lime and salt rimmed margarita glasses. Garnish with lime slices to serve. Serves 2

AGAVE MARGARITAS GRILLED HALIBUT with LEMON CAPER SAUCE GRILLED CORN SALAD with LIME-N-HONEY DRESSING ROCK SALT BAKED POTATOES SPICY CHEESE LOAF GUILT-FREE STRAWBERRY PIE Summertime has come once again to our beautiful North Carolina mountains, and with it comes my favorite form of cooking - outdoor grilling. Carolina blue sky, wholesome food, and good friends are all you need to make it a day to remember. As soon as your guests begin to arrive, greet them with a refreshing margarita, upbeat music playing in the background, and the good times will surely roll over the occasion.

128 — Summer 2012 Carolina Mountain Life

GRILLED HALIBUT with LEMON CAPER SAUCE 1 lb. fresh or frozen halibut fillets~1/2inch thick fresh squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup capers 1/4 cup melted butter sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Place halibut fillets over a medium hot grill. Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side until done. Heat the lemon juice, capers and butter in a small pan until butter is melted. Season fillets with the salt and pepper, pour the sauce over fillets to serve.

ROCK SALT BAKED POTATOES Brush melted butter (not margarine) all over washed baking potatoes. Place on a baking sheet and dust with ground rock salt with salt facing up. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until nicely done. Serve with your favorite toppings - cheese, sour cream, bacon, green onions, etc.

GRILLED CORN SALAD with LIME-N-HONEY DRESSING 2 ears fresh sweet corn 1 pint grape tomatoes (yellow ones if you can find them) 1 ripe avocado, peeled and cut in chunks 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro Remove about three layers of the husks from the corn, leaving a thin layer of husks on the corn. Grill, turning as each side begins to turn brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for a little while, then remove the husks. When cool, cut the corn off the cob, being sure to scrape the ‘milk’ from the cob as well. Add the tomatoes, avocado and cilantro, stir the mixture gently so as not to mash the avocado. Add the HONEY LIME DRESSING: 3 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, juice of 1 lime, 1 clove minced garlic, sea salt, freshly ground pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow flavors to mingle and marry. You’ll be glad you did.

SPICY CHEESE LOAF 2 1/3 cups bread flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon butter 2 teaspoons dry mustard 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 cup warm (not hot) water 2 teaspoons dry yeast Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturers directions. (I always put my wet ingredients in first and then the flour and the remaining ingredients.)

Three Stories About Surprises GUILT-FREE STRAWBERRY PIE 1 small package sugar-free Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding 2 cups water 1 small package sugar-free Strawberry Jell-O 4 cups sliced strawberries Fat-Free Cool Whip In saucepan, stir together pudding mix and water, heat to boil. Remove from heat and immediately add the Jell-O. Stir until dissolved, set pan aside and allow to come to room temperature. Place sliced strawberries in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate. Pour cooled mixture over the strawberries. Refrigerate until well chilled. Top with Fat-Free Cool Whip to serve. Serves 8

“Grilling means good times, good friends, and hopefully, great food.” ~Bobby Flay

By Jean Gellin

The First Story When the pie truck hit a bump in the road, the back doors of the truck flew open and trays of apple, peach, blueberry, rhubarb,and raspberry pies yielded to the force of gravity and down they went. It’s one of the great memories of my childhood. It certainly is the most unique. There were pies everywhere and many were still intact. This was during The Great Depression so people came running. They knew the pie company would have to dispose of the pies and rather than watch them being swept up, they looked for their favorite flavor. I was about eight years old and I saw it all happen as I was walking to school. It’s not hard to imagine the horror the driver of the truck must have felt when he saw the pies, lying like a gigantic fan of many colors, on the road. Nor is it difficult to imagine the delight of the families who had pie for dessert that night. The Second Story Years ago, when my children were young, I fell in love with a house. I saw a small advertisement in the newspaper about a house on the other side of town and when I went to see it, I could hardly believe my eyes. It was on a very large corner lot and was set far back from the road where towering pine trees marked the end of the front lawn and apple trees and a quince tree marked the entrance to the long driveway. The group of trees was followed by a long line of large lilacs, gloriously overgrown, which shielded the house from the quiet side street. When I got out of the car, it was like stepping into a storybook. The house was fifty years old and had a front porch which ran the entire width of the house and had white pillars, wide stone steps and a brick floor. It reminded me of Tara, in “Gone with the Wind”. A walnut tree shaded the back porch which overlooked the remains of a formal garden, where there was a fish pond, pampas grass and stately phlox in lavender and white. Near the side door was a cherry tree which had been grafted, so in the spring, half of it had white blossoms and the other half had pink. There were three great bedrooms, a large fieldstone fireplace, china cabinets with beautifully etched glass doors and in the kitchen, a small spiral staircase wound its way up to the second floor. The opulent lilacs would provide a wonderful place for my daughter to play, “House” and my son would have a wonderful time climbing the big trees. It was a magical place, and he let us rent it for $125.00 a month. I felt like Alice. I had found Wonderland. Story Number Three As I was going through my mother’s things after her death, I found a piece of black silk, about twenty-four inches square, on which a dragon was richly embroidered with gold thread. I took it to a textile conservator who said it was a fragment from a Chinese ceremonial robe. I also learned the dragon motif symbolised the emperor. Permission from the emperor was required in order for any member of the court to wear a robe decorated with a dragon. My father, who collected many interesting things, was in Amoy, China with the navy’s Great White Fleet in1909 when China was still ruled by the last emperor. The conservator framed the dragon which found a home in my home. When my father bought the fragment of embroidered black silk, he bought a piece of history. And he never knew what a great gift it was for his daughter who found it. We all receive surprises at one time or another­—some even make good stories. Jean Gellin is a wordsmith who lives on the edge of a glacial canyon in northern Ohio. Carolina Mountain Life Summer 2012 —


Our Sponsors: 90.......... 1 Call for All Home Enhancement 60.......... 87 Ruffin Street 118........ 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant & Winery 31.......... Alpen Restaurant & Bar 74.......... Alpine Painting 60.......... Alta Vista 3............ Amy Brown, CPA 35.......... Andrews & Andrews Insurance 83.......... Appalachian Angler 110........ Appalachian Summer Festival 10.......... Appalachian Voices 94.......... AppUrgent Care 61.......... Art Cellar 107........ Art Purveyors 34.......... Artful Gourmet 102........ ASHI Therapy 5............ A to Z Auto Detailing 79.......... Aurora Designs 5............ Avery County Chamber of Commerce 69.......... Avery County Fair 42.......... Avery County Farmer’s Market 5............ BB&T 82.......... Banner Elk Cafe 64.......... Banner Elk Consignment Cottage 15.......... Banner Elk TDA 119........ Banner Elk Winery & Villa 110........ Banner House Museum 42.......... Barron’s Mortgage Group 121........ Bayou Smokehouse & Grill 72.......... Bear Creek at Linville 53.......... Beech Mountain Club 16.......... Beech Mountain Resort 100........ Bella’s Italian Restaurant 35.......... Benjamin/Libba’s 52.......... Best Western/Evergreen’s Restaurant 53.......... Bistro Roca Restaurant 58.......... BJ’s Resortwear 40.......... Black Bear Books & Yarn 97.......... Blackberry Creek Mattress 67.......... Blowing Rock Farmer’s Market 66 & 67. Blowing Rock Pages 60.......... Blue Mountain Metalworks 123........ Blue Ridge Bistro 83.......... Blue Ridge Propane 25.......... Boone Bike 115........ Boone Independent Restaurants 65.......... Boone Mall 79&100.Boone Paint 75.......... Boone Point 110........ BRAHM 24.......... Brushy Mountain Motorsports 122........ Canyons Restaurant 94.......... Cardiology Center @ ARHS 65.......... Carlton Gallery 108........ Carolina BBQ 53.......... Casa Maya Restaurant 87.......... Casa Rustica Restaurant

66.......... Chetola 73.......... Chick-fil-A 127........ Chimney Wizard 100........ China House Restaurant 75.......... Classic Stone 107........ Compu-Doc 34.......... Consignment Unlimited 40.......... Crossnore School 78.......... Dereka’s Sugar Mtn. Accomodations 4 & 74... Dewoolfson 8............ Distinctive Cabinetry & Design 65.......... Doe Ridge Pottery 122........ Eat Crow 29.......... Elk River Club 102........ Ennis Dentistry 67.......... Ensemble Stage 118........ Erick’s Cheese & Wine 120........ Eseeola Lodge 52.......... Evergreens Restaurant 110........ Fine Art & Master Craft Festival 5 & 73... Flora Ottimer 100........ Food Lion 16 & 67. Footsloggers 78.......... Fortner Insurance 86.......... Foscoe Fishing Co. & Outfitters 100........ Foxy Tanning Salon 100........ Fred and Larry’s Coffee 115........ Fred’s General Mercantile 122........ Frontier BBQ 66.......... Gamekeeper Restaurant 68.......... Gardens of the Blue Ridge 65.......... Gideon Ridge Inn 3............ Grandfather Mountain 86.......... Grandfather Trout Farm 6............ Grandfather Vineyard & Winery 66,120... Green Park Inn 127........ Greenway Carpet Care 83.......... Gregory Alan’s Gifts 60.......... Hardin Fine Jewelry 34.......... Harding Landscaping 25.......... Hawksnest Zipline IBC........ Headwaters 94.......... Health Connection 102........ Heavenly Touch Massage 88.......... Hidden Valley Antiques 109........ High Country Animal Clinic 127........ High Country Communication 14.......... High Mountain Expeditions 100........ Hollywood Nails 40.......... Horn in the West 74.......... Hunters Tree Service 79.......... Hyatt in the High Country 127........ Inn at Elk River 52.......... Italian Restaurant 121........ Jackalope’s View Restaurant 46.......... Jackson Ridge

42.......... Jake’s at the Rock 45.......... Jordan’s Cleaners 46,83..... JW Tweeds 65.......... Kala Gallery 61.......... Kevin Beck Studio 75.......... Kuester Company 25.......... Leatherwood Mountain 110........ Lee’s McRae Theatre 42.......... Life Care Center 23.......... Linville Caverns 29.......... Linville Falls Golf 23.......... Linville Land Harbor 74.......... Linville River Realty 73.......... Logs America 31.......... Lucky Lily 123........ Macados Restaurant 29.......... Magic Cycles 65.......... Maggie Black Studio 78.......... Martin Real Estate 123........ Mast Farm Inn/Simplicity OBC....... Mast General Store 22.......... Mayview Rod & Gun Club 40.......... Miracle Grounds Coffee & Cafe 43.......... Morganton Downtown Shop & Dine 107........ Moonstar Gallery 82.......... Mountain Dog & Friends 58.......... Mountain Home Music 108........ Mountain Jewelers 29.......... Mountain Paradise Waterpark 88.......... Mountain Retreats Realty 79.......... Mountain Tile 103........ Mountain Top Golf Cars 53.......... Mountaineer Garden Center 10.......... Mountaineer Landscaping 100........ Mr. E’s Video & Entertainment 68.......... Mustard Seed Market 109........ My Best Friend’s Barkery 44.......... Nails by Belkis 42.......... Nationwide Insurance 88.......... Natural Healing Day Spa 108........ Newland Business Association 5 & 52... Nick’s Restaurant & Pub 5............ Northern Parker 87.......... Old Hampton Store 102........ Organic Hair Design 122........ Painted Fish Cafe 35.......... Paris Chateau 44.......... Personal Touch 109........ Pet Fest 22.......... Plumtree Zipline 52.......... Preferred Mountain Realty 26.......... Premier Pharmacy 61.......... Quilt Shop 103........ Racquets & Strings 121........ Ragged Gardens Maple Lodge 108........ Ram’s Rack Thrift Shop 103........ Red Tail Mountain

78.......... Resort Real Estate & Rentals 5............ Rite Aid 58 . ....... Rivercross Market 25.......... River & Earth Adventures 107........ Run for the Red 5............ Rustic Rooster 61.......... Sally Nooney Artists Studio Gallery 82.......... Savory Thymes 122........ Scott’s Pizza Place 46.......... Sears of Boone 25.......... Seven Devils TDA 108........ Shady Lawn Lodge 5............ Shooz & Shiraz 100........ Shops at Sugar Mountain 16.......... Sky Valley Zip Tours 122........ Sorrento’s Bistro 64.......... Special Additions Gifts & Home Décor 90.......... Sterling Company 123........ Stick Boy Bread 118........ Stonewall’s 100........ Subway 24.......... Sugar Mountain Golf & Tennis 109........ Sugar Ski & Country Club 6............ Tatum Galleries 121........ The Best Cellar Restaurant 67.......... The Blowing Rock 64.......... The Consignment Cottage Warehouse 5............ The Dande Lion IFC......... The Farm 121........ The Inn at Ragged Gardens 87.......... The Refuge 34.......... The Shoppe 100........ The Washing Well 35.......... Thelma’s Things 66.......... Timberlakes Restaurant at Chetola 31.......... Todd Bush Photography 105........ Tour-de-Art 118........ Toe River Lodge 103........ Tom’s Custom Golf 90.......... Tri-Cities Airport 88.......... Tricia Wilson Law Firm 123........ Trosly Farm 5............ Tynecastle Shoppes 88.......... Verizon Wireless Center 10.......... Visitor Information Channel 22.......... Wahoo’s 90.......... Waite Financial 10.......... Walker & DiVenere Attorneys 34.......... Welcome Home Furniture Consignment 34.......... WingN’it 7............ Wolf Creek Traders 66.......... Woodland’s BBQ 109........ Woolly Worm 69.......... Yonahlossee Resort 127........ YMCA of Avery County

thank you! The End (‘til the next issue)— Summer2012 Carolina Mountain Life

Carolina Mountain Life Magazine: Summer 2012  

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

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