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Carolina Mountain Life

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The Bounties of Summer . . . . . . a wonderful read for 25 years!

Manufacturing European-inspired down comforters, pillows and featherbeds in the High Country.

Since 1983

Between Boone & Banner Elk 9452 NC Hwy. 105 S



© 2006-2022 DEWOOLFSON Down Int’l., Inc.

© 20120-2022 DEWOOLFSON Down Int’l., Inc.

Featuring Belle de Nuit by Yves Delorme and other fine bed and bath linens from France, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, and around the world.



Dianne Davant Moffitt, ASID Pamela McKay, ASID Priscilla Hyatt Councill,

Banner Elk, North Carolina 828.963.7500 Stuart, Florida 772.781.1400


Art Greene ON THE

Handmade arts and crafts from select regional and national artists

July 2-3 Aug. 6-7 • Sept. 3-4 Historic Banner Elk School



Caddyshack Café • Luna Thai • Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea Reid’s Café • Bella’s Italian • Fred and Larry’s Coffee China House • Subway • McDonald’s • Sugar Cream Ice Cream Shop


Resort Real Estate & Rentals • Vacasa Rentals • Sugar Mountain Lodging Highlands at Sugar • Sugar Ski & Country Club


Attractions: Sugar Mountain Public Golf • Sugar Mountain Public Tennis Sugar Mtn Resort Bike Park & Lift Rides • Sugar Creek Gem Mine Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster & Adventure Course • High Country Expeditions Shop: Provisions on Sugar • Abode Home • Erick’s Cheese & Wine Headquarters Bike + Outdoor • Ski Country Sports • The Marketplace at Curiosity Those Were the Days Antiques • ABC Store • Food Lion • Lowe’s Foods Discounted Name Brands • Blue Flowers CBD • Sugar Vapor Co. • Russell Cellular for Verizon Pamper: Battle Born Beauty • Root Down Hair Studio • Rachel’s Reflections Organic Hair Design • Hollywood Nails • Blossom Nails


June 8–Aug 31 Wednesdays: Grillin & Chillin Concerts July 4: Summit Crawl & Fireworks July 15–17 & August 12-14: Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival

Go to to plan your visit!

The Perfect Weather for a Great Adventure—Guaranteed!

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

Linville Caverns

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


Presale Reservations Begin Summer 2022

The Meadows is the culmination of all the things that make Blue Ridge Mountain Club something



to Le ar n Mo


extraordinary. Complete with its own village center full of four-season premier amenities and walkable lifestyle, The Meadows blends a vibrant sense of community with serene natural surroundings that brings it all home. Welcome to The Meadows at Blue Ridge Mountain Club.

Minutes from Blowing Rock & Boone • World-Class Amenities • 50+ Miles of UTV & Hiking Trails • Four-Season Community • Three Paths to Ownership

Schedule your Discovery Tour to begin a life well-lived. | | 828.352.8235



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

A MAGNIFICENT COURSE EVERYONE CAN ENJOY! OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. ” “Mountain golf at its finest - –David H. -

“Best in the mountains ” –Gary G.

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is The beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains the fitting backdrop to and but a unique and storied layout. Dramatic challenging still accessible to all players. Linville Land Harbor Golf Club is a true hidden gem that’s about to become your new favorite mountain golf course. 733-8325 ­ ­ (828) ­ ­

What’s Inside: 20........ Regional Happenings & Featured Events CML Staff

25........ Old Traditions and New Stars at The Games By Steve York

30........ Showing Appreciation By Karen Rieley

33........ An Appalachian Summer Festival By Keith Martin

41........ Artists in Residence are Back By CML Staff

45........ Where the Music Is By CML Staff

51........ 70 Years of Horn in the West By Keith Martin

82........ Rite of Passage

By Tamara S. Randolph

85........ Yonahlossee Racquet Club Turns 100 Special to CML

90........ Historic Whitehead Home By Carol Lowe Timblin

96........ Match Made in the Mountains By Elizabeth Baird Hardy

98........ Sugar Mountain Historian: Dedy Traver By Kim S. Davis

100...... An Appalachian Summer Endowments By Linda Coutant

103...... Time Is Relative By Estelle Brewer

104...... Containing the Good Life By Edwin Ansel

132...... Bound Together with Family Cookbooks By Gail Greco

summer! Cultural Calendar with Keith Martin...35 Book Nook with Tamara S. Randolph...54 Movie Review with Elizabeth Baird Hardy...55 Notes from Grandfather Mountain...60 Blue Ridge Explorers with Tamara S. Randolph...65 Birding with Curtis Smalling...69 Blue Ridge Parkway News...73 Trail Reports by CML Staff...75 Fishing with Andrew Corpening...77 Golf Guide with Tom McAuliffe...79 History on a Stick with Michael C. Hardy...93 Wisdom and Ways with Jim Casada...95 Local Tidbits...107 Community and Local Business News...110 Be Well with Samantha Steele...125 Local to Go...130 Recipes from the CML Kitchen with Meagan Goheen...140




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


n o s a e S l a v i t s e F It’s in Avery County, NC! Arts, crafts, food, entertainment and fun for the whole family!

Avery Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival July 15-17 & August 12-14 Sugar Mountain Resort Annua


rm o or W y ollll Wooo al Festiv 45


Village of Sugar Mountain, NC

45th Annual

Woolly Worm Festival October 15-16 Downtown Banner Elk, NC

October 15-16

Saturday 9am-5pm | Sunday 9am-4pm

Worm Races . Cash Prizes . Crafts . Food . Rides . Live Entertainment | 4501 Tynecastle Hwy, Unit 2 Banner Elk, NC | 828-898-5605

The Avery Chamber Congratulates CML Magazine on 25 Years!



Purchase your wearables, table linens, and home decor today to help support the children of Crossnore. | (828) 733-4660 100 DAR Drive | Crossnore, NC 28616

Carolina Mountain Life TM

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

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

PUBLISHER’S NOTE When I was a little girl, I loved to take my diary with the key in it and go outside and tuck myself under the lilac bush and write about my day. The aroma of the lilacs would set the mood for my writing—the good and the bad—just thoughts about what I noticed in the neighborhood, at school or what my brother was up to with his friends. I felt like a secret agent cataloging important matters. Of course, I never expected anyone to read my notes, so I was very honest with my thoughts and emotions. As I got older and continued journaling, I became very aware that my words may reach someone’s eyes and that I should be careful about choosing my words. When we started CML Magazine a quarter of a century ago, it was a mere idea over coffee and breakfast. The thought that my journaling would be able to expand to a larger readership thrilled me, but I was keenly aware of the burden it carried. I knew then that words mattered and could have an impact, so from the beginning I toiled over the words that landed on the page. Stories can leave an impression, define time, evoke heartfelt emotions, or bring a tear or smile to the surface. Words and images can create inspiration, alter a course, or strike a chord. Words pass from generation to generation from lessons learned over time. It has been our goal from the beginning of CML to take care with the words we present and how they are visually displayed. I am grateful for our entire CML team, the writers, photographers, and graphic artists, who take immense pride in their work and who together are committed to bringing each issue to fruition. We hope you are just one of many who enjoy the fruits of this team’s labor. My granddaughters are doing their own summer journaling this year and it has been fun to watch them—they seem to contemplate before they even write the words to their page, or draw their pictures. We hope you will enjoy this issue and come away with a fresh perspective, a new understanding and hopefully a nudge to go discover all that makes our area unique and special. We hope our words have made an impression and lead you to an even richer summer experience. As the Gershwins wrote in Porgy and Bess, “Summertime… and the living is easy.” Here’s to a memorable summer.



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

You (deserve to be) here

Summer thrills and relaxation await.


Get to Know Our Contributors: a

Jim Casad


th Baird

Everything a general store used to be ... and more! Camelbak • Sherpani • Columbia Merrell • Wolverine • Croakies Wigwam • Sorel • Teva Norpro • Kavu While at Freds ... Stop in and Visit

The Wildbird Supply Co. & Fred’s Backside Deli

Evergreen • Leanin’ Tree Two’s Company • Nature Planet Locally crafted houses & feeders and so much more! – Celebrating our 43rd Year! –

Visit us at Eastern America’s highest town


501 Beech Mountain Parkway Beech Mountain, NC


Ste ve Y o

rk Jim Casada Jim is a son of the North Carolina mountains who has been a full-time freelance writer for a quarter of a century. He is a regular contributor to regional and national magazines, has a newspaper column, and has published more than 5,000 articles in his career. He is the author or editor of dozens of books and his work has garnered upwards of 200 awards. For fuller details, visit his website at www. Andrew Corpening Andrew has been contributing to CML from the magazine’s very early days. He has written about skiing, real estate, and pet adoption, but is probably best known for his fly fishing stories. His fly fishing excursions have found him fishing in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Montana, and even Spain. He tries to make his regular columns helpful to both the beginner and novice fly fisher while keeping it interesting for experienced anglers. Elizabeth Baird Hardy Elizabeth comes from a long line of Appalachian storytellers. Writing for CML allows her to tell stories that celebrate our region and its people. An instructor of English and Humanities for Mayland Community College, she is the author of Milton, Spenser, and the Chronicles of Narnia, has contributed to several volumes on literature and popular culture, and often blogs at www.hogwartsprofessor. com. She can often be found with her family, digging in the dirt, walking in the woods, or volunteering as a historic interpreter, teaching about topics ranging from eighteenth-century medicine to WWII Victory Gardens. Steve York Steve is a Marketing & Communications consultant living just outside of Newland, NC. His background spans broadcasting, advertising, executive search, business development and creative prose, lyrics and story writing. He’s owned and operated a small ad agency, executive search firm, small print publication and business startup consulting service. His current focus is as an independent writer for print publications, corporate social and print media plus script development for video productions. For the past 15+ years, he’s welcomed the opportunity for greater community involvement as a contributing writer for CML. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


COME FOR THE DAY Opening in late June, the Glenn and Carol Arthur Planetarium is located just outside of Burnsville at the Mayland Earth to Sky Park. Experience the wonders of the night sky during daylight hours as you travel through the solar system or enjoy a live sky show and see skies from around the world. Additionally, other STEM education programs will be offered including journeys to the bottom of the ocean or through deserts. Additional information can be found at 66 Energy Exchange Dr. Burnsville, NC

STAY FOR THE NIGHT The Blue Ridge Boutique Hotel is a fifteen minute drive from the Mayland Earth to Sky Park and is the perfect location to stay after a night of stargazing. Hotel rooms, each named for an area destination, provide guests with a relaxing stay in a renovated 100-year old school house. Landscaping renovations are continuing through the summer to provide outdoor terraced seating to sit and enjoy the evening mountain air. For reservations and information visit 203 Pinebridge Ave. Spruce Pine, NC




CENTURY 21 Mountain Vistas


Locally owned and operated for over 35 years in the High Country Search for your new home here | 202 Southgate Dr. Suite 19 | Boone, NC | 828-264-9111 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 — 17 *each office is independently owned and operated


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635 Raven's Ridge Road



2709 Buckeye Road

5579 Eagle's Nest Trail


The High Country really does shine in the summer months. The warm weather makes for the perfect outdoor season of fun for the whole family. Whether you’re already a resident, looking for a new home or a visitor who has simply fallen in love with this beautiful part of the world, trust us to guide you through the entire process. We are the local experts with a worldwide reach. You can rely on us when it comes to buying or selling your High Country home!.

Contact us today to discuss finding your dream home in the High Country. Engel & Völkers Banner Elk 610 Banner Elk Highway . Banner Elk . NC 28604 . +1 828-898-3808 Learn more at

18 — Summer 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE ©2022 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage independently owned and operated. Engel & Völkers and its independent License Partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act.

loCk rocks by Loven Casting

Our rock-faced retaining wall system adds value and beauty to any landscaping or structural use. Choose the most convenient and versatile structural wall retaining system—one that can be installed quickly and trusted to last. We also customize LOCK ROCKS in various colors and sizes to meet the needs of any project. Because we manufacture our products locally in the high country, we keep your construction costs lower and offer personalized service.

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Call 828-733-0525 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 — 19

Photo by Lonnie Webster

Photo by Todd Bush

Summer is here and the High Country has come alive with outdoor activities, celebrations, and events that feature art, sports, music, history, food, and more! Throughout this Summer issue of CML you’ll discover that there’s SO much to do and see this season. Here are just some of the happenings and featured events to enjoy!

SYMPHONY BY THE LAKE Conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth



Arts & Crafts

Christmas in July – Share our mountain heritage at one of the best old-fashioned summer festivals in the South, drawing thousands to historic downtown West Jefferson in Ashe County each July. Christmas in July—held this year on July 1 and 2—is a free-admission event featuring the very best in traditional mountain music and handmade arts and crafts throughout the region. The festival also celebrates the farm-grown Christmas tree industry Ashe County is known for.

Avery Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival – Over at Sugar Mountain Resort, mingle with a diverse group of fine artists and master crafters during this popular annual festival being held on July 15-17 and August 12-14. The event is sponsored by the Avery County Chamber of Commerce, and festival hours are Friday, 1-5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Boone’s 150th Birthday Celebration – The year-long party continues as we honor Boone, NC, which incorporated in 1872. From art and history events to fireworks and concerts, the Town of Boone has put together a full year of fun and learning for the whole family. See our article, Town of Boone’s 150th Celebration Continues, for a comprehensive listing of summer events.

Independence Day Celebration – It’s hard to choose just one 4th of July celebration in the High Country! You’ll find parades, fireworks, kids’ activities, fun runs, food, beverages, live music and more at multiple spots, including downtown Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, downtown Boone, downtown Blowing Rock, Tweetsie Railroad, Newland, Crossnore, North Wilkesboro, and many other locales throughout our region. Festivities occur July 2, 3 and 4, depending on where you decide to celebrate. bannerelk. com,,, www.skisugar. com,,,, 45th Annual Woolly Worm Festival – Make plans now to attend this wildly popular annual event in downtown Banner Elk, NC. It’s the only festival where you can race caterpillars for cash prizes. Sounds unusual, but the festival is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Always the third weekend of October, this year’s event takes place October 15 and 16.


Art on the Greene – Head to downtown Banner Elk for the summertime Art on the Greene show, taking place July 2-3, August 6-7, and September 3-4. This fine art show features quality, hand-made arts and crafts from select regional and national artisans (this is a juried show), and takes place each year on the grounds of the Historic Banner Elk School in downtown Banner Elk. www.townofbannerelk. org/beshows

Art in the Park – Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park, now in its 60th year, offers open-air gallery experiences for art lovers, collectors, and craft enthusiasts. The six-show series, one presented each month from May through October, sets up downtown along Park Avenue. The remaining 2022 Art in the Park dates include July 16, August 13, September 10 and October 1. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. A Concert in the Park is paired with each show, presented each Sunday following Art in the Park. Art in the Park is a Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce event. Artists in Residence – Presented by The Blowing Rock Historical Society, this year’s Artists in Residence series runs through September 11. During the program the cottage becomes home to 25 artists representing a variety of outstanding, original two and threedimensional pieces. The series takes place Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with different artists each week. Ashe Arts Events – Over in Ashe County, the Ashe County Arts Council has developed a broad visual arts program this summer, including downtown West Jefferson Gallery Crawls on the second Friday of each month through October, and an artists’ Studio Tour on August 6-7. Check out for more information on their cultural arts programming, including concerts, the popular Fiddlers Convention, and more!

Photo courtesy of Mystery Hill

Photo by Mark Seelig

ART IN THE PARK Blowing Rock




HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL HAPPENINGS Lost Province – Create your own art this Summer! The Lost Province Center for Cultural Arts (LPCCA) offers a variety of courses— based on traditional Appalachian art—for all skill levels, including Ceramics, Fiber Arts, Printmaking, Wine Making and more. Come see the LPCCA campus at the historic Lansing School property for yourself this July at their Family Fun Day event, featuring a dunking booth, hot dogs, popcorn, corn hole, face painting, pie throwing, and more! Time and date TBD.


Symphony by the Lake – Symphony by the Lake returns to Chetola Resort for a centerpiece event of the summer on Friday, July 22. The theme, “Movie Soundtracks,” will be reflected in the musical selections as well as the décor of patron tents that line the lake. The much-loved Symphony of the Mountains, directed by Conductor Cornelia Laemmli Orth, will be featured once again this year. See our full music guide, “Where the Music Is,” on page 45, along with our Cultural Calendar, Appalachian Summer Festival, and Boone 150th features.


Banner House Museum – Enjoy guided tours of the 1870 Samuel Banner House, with period furnishings that set the stage to tell the story of the settlement and growth of Banner Elk. Guided Walking Tours lead visitors on an “insider’s” tour of Banner Elk. And check out the other 2022 offerings from the Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation, including a special Bus Tour, Pocket Sights Walking Tours, and virtual History Trunks. The Banner House Museum is located at 7990 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk, and is open from 11-3, Wed-Sat, June-Sept.

Nature and Natural Wonders

Wildlife at Parks – Come meet wildlife ambassadors from the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Lees-McRae College and learn about a variety of animals and their habitats. Free public presentations are held on Fridays and Saturdays at 1 p.m. at the Banner Elk Town Park Pavilion, and on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. at the Valle Crucis Park, through the last week in July. See the Stars and More! – The Earth to Sky Park is an environmental educational park for those interested in learning about the natural world we live in, from the earth to the sky. The Park is open to the public and there is 24-hour access to the parking area for stargazing. With the opening of The Glenn and Carol Arthur Planetarium this summer, the Earth to Sky Park is one of two International Dark Sky certified parks in the world operated by an educational institute that have both an observatory and a planetarium. planetarium/ Mystery Hill – One of North Carolina’s most unique attractions, Mystery Hill is a blend of indoor and outdoor activities located in Blowing Rock, NC. Explore the mysterious Natural Gravitational Anomaly. Have fun with weird science in their hands-on science attraction, the Hall of Mystery. Find treasure at Prospector Hill Gem Mining. Explore the Native American Artifacts Museum, home to the largest private collection of Native American artifacts in the world. And wade in the waters of the New River, which runs alongside Mystery Hill.

Outdoor Adventure and Sports

Goat Yoga – Avery Community Yoga and Apple Hill Farm have teamed up for another season of baby goat yoga! Join in this fun outdoor yoga class and connect yourself with a farm experience while surrounded by adorable baby goats. Apple Hill Farm is a family-owned working fiber farm with a mission to bring joy and moments of connection to our community. Avery Community Yoga, with a studio located at the Historic Banner Elk School, provides affordable yoga classes and special events that highlight creativity, health, and connection through yoga., continued... CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



Photo by Jack Rice @jackiericecakes



REGIONAL HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL H Wildcat Lake – Wildcat Lake, now owned and operated by LeesMcRae College, is open to the public this summer! This premier High Country attraction features a white sand beach with a swimming area, and two docks for fishing and wildlife observation. In addition, there are four rental shelters with grills, perfect for family gatherings or summer parties. Nearby are a volleyball court, playground sets, and public restrooms. Located on Hickory Nut Gap Road in Banner Elk, this 13-acre lake is an iconic summer experience for children and families! Sugar Mountain Adventures – Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (plus Monday July 4th and Labor Day Monday), from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., the Sugar Mountain bike park is open to bikers and hikers. Chairlift rides aboard the Summit Express shuttle bikers and footpassengers to the mountain’s peak and the Easy Street lift services a beginner-level gravity skills trail for bikers only. The Sugar Mountain Resort Summit Crawl on Monday, July 4, is a fun and competitive event (if you want it to be) via foot to Sugar Mountain’s 5,300’ peak by way of the Easy Street, Gunther’s Way, and Northridge slopes. The Crawl covers a distance of approximately 6,500 ft., or 1.2 miles. Sugar’s Gravity Mountain Bike Camp for tweens and teens ages 11-16 will be held July 15-17 and August 5-7. And a Ladies Gravity Mountain Bike Clinic will be held on July 23. Beech Mountain Adventures – Beech Mountain is truly an outdoor playground for kids ages 2 to 102, with a wealth of summer activities and adventures. Participate in guided hikes, street dances, and the popular Mile High Kite Festival on September 3-4. Try Mile High Yoga at 5506’ at Beech Mountain Resort, or hone your disc golfing skills on their chairlift-accessible Disc Golf Course, with a new and improved design for the 2022 summer season. Check out the 38th Annual Crafts on the Green on August 13, and book your tickets now for Autumn at Oz, held select weekends beginning in early September. Plan your activities to include the many live music concerts happening on Beech throughout the summer. Beechmtn. com,, Blue Ridge Brutal – The Blue Ridge Brutal Bike Ride is scheduled for August 20, so be sure to register soon for this popular ride. Because of construction on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the routes have


changed for this year—but with new routes come new views! All of the rides—50, 70 and 100 miles—have steep elevation gains and can be considered challenging to strenuous. However, you can mix the pain with the joy of riding through some of the most beautiful scenery in North Carolina. The Devil’s Stairs Motorcycle Loop – The Devil’s Stairs motorcycle ride is an 80-mile loop starting and ending in West Jefferson, NC, and is based on a local folk tale. The route weaves through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and features great pavement, technical curves, and gorgeous High Country scenery. In addition to much of Ashe County, the route will also take riders through Trade, Boone, and Todd. Sharp’s Falls Dam, Worth’s Chapel, the Trade Grist Mill, Appalachian State University, the former railroad boomtown of Todd, and scenic stretches alongside the ancient New River are just some of the highlights to be enjoyed on the way. devilstairs. com,


Summer Farmers’ Markets – Enjoy the Bounties of Summer! Our local open-air farmers’ markets are welcoming shoppers all season long. This convenient directory will help you find a market near you—enjoy the best of what our region has to offer! Please be sure to confirm dates/times with your markets of choice prior to scheduling a trip. Abingdon, VA Farmers Market Saturdays 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., April – October Tuesdays 3 – 6 p.m. April - September Corner of Remsburg Dr. and Cummings St. in downtown Abingdon Ashe County Farmers’ Market Saturdays 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., April 16 – October 29 108 Backstreet, West Jefferson, NC Lansing Farmers’ Market Fridays 1 - 5 p.m., through October 21 Lansing Creeper Trail Park, 114 S Big Horse Creek Rd, Lansing, NC Avery County Farmers’ Market Thursdays 4 - 6:30 p.m. Historic Banner Elk School Parking Lot, 185 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, NC

WILDCAT LAKE Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk



HAPPENINGS | REGIONAL HAPPENINGS Watauga County Farmers’ Market Saturdays April through Oct, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturdays November 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 591 Horn in the West Dr, Boone King Street Farmers’ Market Tuesdays 4 - 7 p.m., May - October 126 Poplar Grove Connector, Boone, NC Blowing Rock Farmers’ Market Thursdays 3 - 6 p.m., May 19 - September 29 132 Park Ave., Downtown Blowing Rock, NC Johnson County Farmers’ Market Saturdays May through October, 9 a.m. to Noon Ralph Stout Park in Mountain City Mountain City, TN Wilkes County Farmers’ Market Saturdays 7:30 a.m.-Noon, Tuesdays 3:30-5:30 p.m., April 23 - September Yadkin Valley Marketplace in downtown N. Wilkesboro Morganton Farmers’ Markets Saturdays 8 a.m.-Noon, May-October 300 Beach St., Morganton Wednesday Mini Market, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., May-October 111 North Green St. Morganton High Country Food Hub Order fresh, local foods online and pick them up at one of six convenient locations throughout Ashe, Avery, and Watauga Counties. And don’t forget to pick up your copy of their brand new cookbook!

Add to Your Summer Calendar

Some of the best resources for checking event listings, updates and changes are our local Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Development Associations. Be sure to visit these websites before planning your visit to take advantage of all that our region has to offer. Ashe County Chamber of Commerce: Avery Chamber of Commerce: Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce: Beech Mountain TDA: Boone Chamber of Commerce: Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce: Burnsville-Yancey Chamber of Commerce: Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce: Morganton Chamber of Commerce:

Photo by Todd Bush

Johnson County, TN, Chamber of Commerce:


Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce: Sugar Mountain TDA: Wilkes County Chamber of Commerce: CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



697 W. King Street Across from the post office Downtown Boone, NC 28607

Bart Vargas


J E W E L RY R E PA I R 828.264.6559 @villagejewelers

Contemporary art Six galleries



Free admission

Changing exhibitions



Be sure to visit The Rock TAKE YOUR VISIT TOBlowing THE NEXT LEVEL

“Enjoy the Legend”


The Rock Road,Rock Blowing NC 28645 828.295.7111 • Rock432 Road, Blowing NCRock, • 828.295.7111, N o r t h C a r o l i n a’s O l d e s t Tr a v e l A t t r a c t i o n , S i n c e 1 9 3 3


Old Traditions & New Stars

Highland Echoes


The Steel City Rovers

hen you say the name “Grandfather Mountain Highland Games” to any proud-to-be Scot or lover of Highland Games and Celtic festivals in general, there’s usually a brief pause, a reverent hush and a noticeable smile of acknowledgement that you’ve just uttered an almost sacred name that deserves a moment of silent honor. And that can even be true of the tens of thousands of people who travel from far and wide, over land and sea each year to our beloved and most honored Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans. (Please pause here for a moment of silent respect. Slainte!) Celebrating its 66th annual event July 7 through July 10, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) are the largest official gathering of Scottish Clans anywhere in the good old U.S. of A. The revered Torchlight ceremony, the legendary Calling of Clans, the pageantry of marching Pipe and Drum bands, the exquisite Scottish Dance competitions, the hard-core traditional athletic competitions, the track and field competitions, the Scottish Cultural Village, the array of Scottish Clan tents circling the MacRae Meadows track, all the Scottish craft and dress vendors and the many-colored, tartan-dressed attendees from around the world turn the magnificent setting of Grandfather Mountain into a four-day, sun-up to sun-up festival like no other… anywhere! And, although these games get older chronologically, they never get old. They only get better—and there’s always something new. New this year and a source of great excitement for the Games is the Highland

Will MacMorran

Echoes dance ensemble, featuring 19 of the world’s very best Highland dancers, five musicians, plus two alternate dancers putting on a spectacular full-length stage show July 7-10 at the Appalachian Theatre in downtown Boone (purchase tickets at This fast-becoming, world-famous troupe of dancers and accompanying Celtic musicians is produced by Jennifer Licko (GMHG’s very own volunteer webmaster), with dance direction by Sandra Gribbin. Music is composed by Highland Echoes, Inc., Executive Director Licko and Highland Echoes Music Director Patrick Mangan. Patrick, as it turns out, was also the Music Director and fiddle player for the Irish Riverdance show for over 12 years. And, in fact, the Highland Echoes show is being lauded by many as doing for Scottish culture what Riverdance did for Irish culture. This is a truly thrilling and inspirational stage show that tells the story, through music, dance and amazing choreography, of Scottish heritage, legend, mystery and promise all the way from the 1700s through today…and how this story is also deeply seeded in North Carolina’s culture. Highland Echoes is a (501) (c) (3) non-profit organization that not only puts on live stage performances, but also provides educational programs called Scotland In The Class. This unique outreach brings the full history of Scottish culture and tradition into elementary classrooms in Avery County, NC, and neighboring states up and down the eastern seaboard. And these Scotland In The Class programs are provided at no charge to schools or students. “We are really excited to bring the

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games By Steve York

Highland Echoes to our Games this year,” notes GMHG Board President, Steve Quillin. “Their stage show is incredible and inspiring. And the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games organization is also proud to provide financial support for their Scotland In The Class program. This is part of our long-standing organizational effort to support and donate significant funding for Scottish arts and culture in America. Along with giving academic scholarships to Avery County high school students, we also award scholarships to the local Scottish Highland Dance School as well as the American Academy of Piping and Drumming,” adds Quillin. Along with Highland Echoes, other “new” offerings include the musical lineup. Games’ Music Director and leader of the Piper Jones Band, EJ Jones, has helped to bring several new and/or newly returned performers to this year’s Games. Case in point: after several consecutive years as Celtic Rock headliners, longtime Games’ stars Seven Nations generously offered to step aside this year to make way for new musical performers, like The Steel City Rovers from Hamilton, Ontario. This dynamic and expressive group delivers a unique composite of traditional Celtic music and North American styles, including bluegrass, folk and roots. Also new is fiddler Sean Heely, plus balladeer Mike Ogletree, a Maggie Valley transplant originally from Scotland. Mike sings “Scots Wha Hae” for the Thursday night Torchlight ( July 7) and plays Friday in Grove One. Newly returned after several years is Clandestine, a group from Texas. This popular band—once featuring our own continued on next page...



EJ Jones—brings their hard-driving, toetapping blend of traditional and original Texas Celtic sound to the Games. Back for their second year is Jiggernaut, a popular rock/traditional band, also from Texas. Our friend, Will MacMorran, returns with his new band, Glen Echo, along with favorites like Wolf Loescher, Frances Cunningham, Ed Miller, Chambless and Muse, the Brothers McLeod, the Reel Sisters, Tune Shepherds, Strathspan, plus Hannah Seng and Maya de Vitry. “We are also growing our regional music lineup at Grandfather,” notes Music Director Jones. “We hire more local and regional-based musicians than any other Scottish festival and we are instrumental in putting acts on stage for the first time and growing them into nationally touring acts.” Between the Friday night Celtic Rock concert, the Saturday night Celtic Jam, daily Grove musicians, traditional pipe and drum performances, fiddle and harp competitions, Gaelic singing competitions, plus all the spontaneous music that rises-up from around nightly campfires… Celtic music, of all traditions and styles, is the continuous soundtrack of this annual celebration.

And many of those amazingly talented musicians may have been, at one time, students or instructors at the annual North American Academy of Piping and Drumming held at the nearby Valle Crucis Conference Center each summer. For five weeks leading into, during and following the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, pipers and drummers attending this legendary school are tutored by some of the most accomplished and renowned instructors anywhere in the world. The academy was the inspiration of, and founded by, the late John McFayden of Glasgow, Scotland, and Canadian-born Pipe Major Sandy Jones over 50 years ago in 1970. Jones is a much beloved and respected legend amongst pipers throughout the world of Scottish Highland Games and traditional Scottish music. As noteworthy author of Beginning the Bagpipe tutorial, Jones has spent years performing, conducting workshops and judging piping competitions throughout North America’s Highland Games. He was awarded the prestigious Balvenia Medal in 2017 at the Glenfiddich Solo Piping Championship in Blair Atholl, Scotland, and stays active with both the Grandfather

Mountain Games and the Charleston, SC, Scottish Games. Sandy Jones is currently Director and piping instructor at the Valle Crucis academy and heads up a “who’s who” of exceptional and accomplished piping and drumming instructors. There are several scholarships available for students wishing to learn from the best. And, if you happen to be cruising along the ever-winding stretch of Hwy 194 in picturesque Valle Crucis during Games’ week, you’re likely to see several pipers devotedly practicing their craft out on the grounds of the Valle Crucis Conference Center. It’s always an inspiring sight and an uplifting experience to pause and listen for a few moments to young and aspiring student musicians who one day may become major performing stars on stage at a future Grandfather Mountain Highland Games celebration. For more information on the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, visit The Highland Echoes are at, and Scotland In The Class is at To learn more about the programs and scholarships for students of the North American Academy of Piping and Drumming, visit


HIGHLAND GAMES & Gathering of the Scottish Clans

JULY 7 - 10, 2022 AT MACRAE MEADOWS, LINVILLE NC Come join the fun and excitement of the Games. There will be dance competition, athletic competition, piping and drumming, sheep herding, music in the Groves on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, concerts Friday and Saturday nights, Worship Service and Parade of Tartans on Sunday, and children’s activities each day.


Sugar Mountain Resort 2022 Summer Schedule

Bike Park and Scenic Chairlift Rides Friday’s through Sunday’s May 27 through October 16 Open Memorial Day and Labor Day Monday


Summit Crawl Fireworks on Top of Sugar Mountain July 4 Tween & Teen Gravity Mountain Bike Camp July 15-17 and August 5-7 Avery County Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival July 15-17 and August 12-14

June 26–July 3

Ladies Gravity Mountain Bike Clinic July 23 Go Nuts North Carolina Regional Downhill Championship Series August 20-21

July 21–27 Hayes Auditorium, Broyhill Theatre Banner Elk, NC

Oktoberfest October 8-9

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Symphony of the Mountains July 4

Mirror of Mathis July 11

Folk Legacy Trio July 18

Timeless Broadway with Daniel Narducci July 25

Jukebox Saturday Night August 1

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Grandfather Mountain Entrance Gate Photo by Hugh Morton

Half Moon Overlook Photo by Todd Bush

Showing Our Appreciation W

ithout the support of local businesses, many of which have been with us from the very beginning, CML would not be celebrating 25 years as an “absolutely priceless” publication. In our Spring issue, we featured three longtime supporters of CML, including Mast General Store, Fred’s Mercantile, and Stonewalls Restaurant. The three CML-supporting businesses we recognize in our Summer issue also have deep roots in the High Country. Their influence extends beyond, but certainly benefits, tourism to improve the quality of life that has drawn people to the mountains since the earliest settlers, the Cherokee, came to the area. Grandfather Mountain continues to educate and engage people in the High Country’s natural heritage, inspired by the early explorers who visited the mountain and those who made it popular as a tourist destination by the early 1900s. The original Cherokee name for the mountain was “Tanawha,” meaning “a fabulous hawk or eagle.” It was named “Grandfather” by pioneers who recognized the face of an old man in one of the cliffs, which is best seen from the community of Foscoe, seven miles north of Linville and 10 miles south of Boone on NC 105. Early explorers visited Grandfather Mountain, like French botanist Andre Michaux in 1794, Harvard botanist Asa Gray in 1841 and John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, in 1898. Tourism at Grandfather Mountain began as a horseback trail that wound its way up the slope of Grandfather to an overlook known today as Cliffside. In the early 1900s, the trail was widened to a one-lane road for cars and a wooden platform was constructed at the overlook.


In 1952, Hugh Morton became the sole owner of Grandfather Mountain. He immediately widened the road to two lanes and built the Mile High Swinging Bridge. The Animal Habitats officially started in 1973 after Mildred the bear decided to make Grandfather Mountain her home. In 2008, the Morton family announced a plan to sell the undeveloped backcountry of Grandfather to the state of North Carolina for a state park. In 2009, the Morton family transferred ownership of the nature park to the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit that today continues to make the property accessible to the public, devoting all resources to preservation, conservation, education and recreation. “For some who come to the mountain we provide a place to breathe fresh air and lose some stress for a day; for others we are the location of an inspiring field trip, the place to hear a well-known conservationist during our Grandfather Presents events, a place for kids to learn how they can protect the environment in their backyard or a place to see and learn about a cougar for the very first time,” said Landis Taylor, assistant vice president of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. The opening of the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery—part of an all-new Conservation Campus—in early summer 2022 nearly doubles the size of the park’s former Nature Museum, with 10,000 square feet of education space, including state-of-theart museum exhibits, three classrooms, an ADA-accessible auditorium, enhanced food service facilities to allow for catering and serving educational groups, and expanded capacity for hosting conferences and community events.

By Karen Rieley Outside the center, guests will be able to enjoy an amphitheater with terraced seating and a pavilion, as well as a new botanical garden. “We very much appreciate the spotlight that Carolina Mountain Life has given Grandfather Mountain to reach the local community and those who are passing through our area. The editorial staff has always been so collaborative and enthusiastic about the mountain. It’s made working with them for so long a no-brainer and a partnership we genuinely enjoy,” Taylor said. Sugar Mountain Nursery has built on the region’s agricultural focus from the time early settlers farmed the land to include landscaping and Christmas trees, in addition to more than 100 varieties of plants. Molly and Wayne Holden grew their small, family-owned business in 1976 from the ground up with a passion for plants and a love of farming in the community in which they were born and raised. Three daughters and their husbands have all been part of the business, and the family tradition continues on with several of their eight grandchildren also working in the business. Their five great-grandchildren show promise of a fourth generation to continue the tradition. “My family owned three acres in Newland with a garden and livestock,” Wayne Holden said. “When I was eight, I began working on my uncle’s farm. My teen years were spent in Hickory working with my uncle, who was a custom farmer. I also worked with my father as a plant collector for the nursery trade. My mother was a master gardener and had a one-acre garden every year.” “As a child of the fourth generation in Avery County, we always had a family garden,” said Molly. “My grandparents, Myrtle

Sorrento’s Italian Bistro Wayne and Molly Holden of Sugar Mountain Nursery

and Arl Greene from Linville, NC, reared nine children, so of course farmed to keep the children fed. Arl Greene also was the superintendent of the Linville Golf Course for 50 years. Several of his sons and grandsons were involved in the construction and maintenance of other North Carolina golf courses. “My other grandparents, Ira and Mollie Hartley, also from Linville, were selfsustained by farming,” Molly continued. “We are still working with family, children and grandchildren to improve our nursery, landscape and Christmas industry and to provide the best service to our customers.” Ira Hartley also worked in logging and shrubbery, and his partners and he collected native rhododendron and mountain laurel from the area to sell up the east coast. Molly’s father, John Greene, her uncle, Julian Greene and partner Fred Taylor also sold native plants. After Molly and Wayne married, they built a greenhouse in Hickory, where Wayne was studying landscape horticulture at what was then called Catawba Valley Technical Institute, and planted five acres with nursery stock. They sold the farm and moved back to the mountains after five years to start Sugar Mountain Nursery & Landscape in 1976. They’ve been at the Newland offices since 1981. The business began with landscaping for private homes, large apartment complexes and malls, as well as other small- and largescale public facilities up and down the east coast. The nursery currently produces more than 100 varieties of plants ranging from shade trees to native shrubs. Large Christmas trees are a specialty, and the nursery provides trees and lighting for NFL teams, cities and private resort communities all over the United States.

“Babette and the CML staff have for 25 years been a friend and an advocate for the Avery County people, me included,” Molly said. “She is one of the most hardworking women of my acquaintance, and, believe me, I know quite a few.” Nearly 40 years ago, Angelo Accetturo’s father, Antony Accetturo, moved from Florida to open Sorrento’s Italian Bistro with his cousin, Dominic Duluca, in downtown Banner Elk. They brought their own special flavor to “dining out” in Banner Elk with recipes that go back more than 100 years to Sicily. Their cooking style is influenced by the Southern region of Italy near the ocean that includes many seafood dishes and the Northern region of Italy where the French influence prevails with lots of butters and creams—the best of all of Italy. “Our family food tradition began three generations ago with my grandfather, who came to America from Italy,” Accetturo shared. “He was a butcher and Italian soldier who came to America after World War II for a better life and to start a family.” Angelo’s father learned about Banner Elk from friends who vacationed in the area every summer. Angelo and his wife, Angela, and his sisters, Gerri and Maria, moved to Banner Elk in the ‘90s to join the family business. Angelo has evolved the family’s food offerings into an eclectic group of restaurants and entertainment venues, all part of “The Village of Banner Elk,” with the help of his niece, Nicole Palazzo, as the head culinary chef of Village Hospitality Group, and his nephew, Anthony Palazzo, as head chef of Sorrento’s. While continuing the family recipes, Sorrento’s has added their own new, exciting dishes that are featured as

nightly specials, such as Rigatoni Bolognese, Chicken Parmigiana and Eggplant Rollitini, in addition to a wide array of appetizers, creative salads, pizza, pasta, veal, chicken, seafood, and eggplant and an impressive list of wines, specialty cocktails and bottled beer. In midsummer Sorrento’s plans to open Tikki Taco, a bar serving tacos and drinks, adjacent to Sorrento’s. And Chef ’s Table at Sorrento’s continues to be a favorite for lovers of “farm-to-table” cuisine. They’ve recently opened a new restaurant, Prime 21 Steakhouse, a private membership steakhouse also part of The Village of Banner Elk. The restaurant promises only the best ingredients for its menu along with specially created cocktails and a carefully curated wine list—“a luxurious, private dining experience in Western North Carolina’s High Country.” Prime 21 offers three club membership categories: Diamond, Platinum and Gold, with joining and annual fees appropriate for each level. As one of CML’s 25-year advertisers, Sorrento’s values its partnership with the magazine. “I first met Babette [Carolina Mountain Life publisher] when I was 19 years old and she was in the restaurant business. She was one of the first people my wife and I met in town,” said Accetturo. “I’ve watched her grow into a great media business. We’ve always had a lot of confidence in her journalism skills.”

To these three successful businesses (and many others) who have been so supportive of CML through the years, we say “thank you.” Together, we continue to celebrate the best of life in these mountains we call “home.” . CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



July 1- 30, 2022 SCHAEFER POPULAR SERIES Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives July 3 esperanza spalding in Concert July 9 • Renée Elise Goldsberry July 16 Postmodern Jukebox: The Grand Reopening Tour July 23 Boz Scaggs: Out of the Blues Tour 2022 July 27 CLASSICAL MUSIC Maeve Gilchrist featuring Aizuri Quartet & Kyle Sanna: The Harpweaver July 5 Eastern Festival Orchestra, featuring guest artist Santiago Rodriguez, piano July 10 Hayes School of Music Faculty Chamber Players July 12 • Imani Winds July 19 Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists July 24 Rolston String Quartet July 26 DANCE MOMIX: Alice July 30 THEATRE Broadway’s Next Hit Musical July 7 FILM Weicholz Global Film Series July 8, 13, 20 & 28 VISUAL ARTS Summer Exhibition Celebration July 1 36th Annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk July 9 Lunch & Learn Series July 7, 14, 21 & 28 FOR A COMPLETE FESTIVAL SCHEDULE AND TO PURCHASE TICKETS, VISIT BOONE, NC • 828.262.4046

ASHE COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL downtown west jefferson

gallery crawls 2nd Fridays • June - October

Fridays in the park Free Concerts at Ashe Park! June 17 • The Wildmans August 19 • Tray Wellington

Ashe County

Bluegrass & Old Time

Fiddlers Convention

July 22 - 23 • Ashe Park • Friday Night Concert • Individual and Band Competitions • Jamming • Workshops

Studio Tour

August 6 -7 • See where artists work!

Concerts at ashe civic center & Ashe Arts Center






Tony Award-Winner Renée Elise Goldsberry One of Many Highlights By Keith Martin Renée Elise Goldsberry / Photo by Robert Cummerow


t may be hard to pick just one sparkling jewel from the glittering cultural crown that is the 2022 edition of AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL (AASF), especially with a slate of twentyfour events taking place during their 38th season, but it would be a fun debate as to which gem you think shines the brightest. Very strong ticket sales have already indicated that Boz Scaggs and his “Out of the Blues Tour” on July 27 is the early favorite of many audience members, with the celebrated artist marking his first return to the AASF since 2013. Others are looking forward to the July 3 concert by Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, an outdoor event on State Farm Road at The Greenway that will include food trucks, beverage tents, and vendor booths plus, in collaboration with the Town of Boone, family activities earlier in the afternoon leading up to the concert and post-show fireworks. The July 23 return of Postmodern Jukebox is a date circled on many calendars with their time-twisting musical collective known for putting “pop music in a time machine,” making the ‘20s roar again with The Grand Reopening Tour performing some of modern music’s biggest hits

in the classic styles of bygone eras. Dance enthusiasts will welcome MOMIX: Alice in Wonderland on July 30 with their internationally acclaimed dancer-illusionists conjuring up the magical world of the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts in this stunning reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s novel. Or maybe Broadway’s Next Hit Musical on July 7 in the intimate Valborg Theatre is a wise choice. A cross between Whose Line Is It Anyway? and the Tony Awards, the show is different every night. “It’s all improvised and it’s all funny… the only unscripted theatrical awards show.” Perhaps a screening on the Weicholz Global Film Series will strike your fancy, or one of the many chamber and classical music concerts sprinkled generously throughout the month. Presentations on the always-informative “Lunch and Learn” Series each Thursday in July are always well-attended, as are the young and emerging artists showcased during the Rosen-Schaffel Competition on July 24, or the unique Rosen Sculpture Walk on July 9, marking its 36th year at AASF. If given the chance, most folks would simply choose “all of the above,” and why not? No matter your taste in cultural pro-

gramming, AASF has programmed something for everyone, and tickets may be purchased online at, in person at the Schaefer Center box office, or via phone by calling 828-262-4046. But for this writer, an acknowledged musical theatre geek, one extraordinary talent sticks out on the schedule: Renée Elise Goldsberry, who will grace the Schaefer Center stage on July 16. For those of you unfamiliar with this multi-hyphenate actress and singer who has delivered awardwinning performances both on Broadway and the screen, here is some background information from her official bio. Renée Elise Goldsberry is perhaps best known for her role as Angelica Schuyler in the musical phenomenon Hamilton, which received rave reviews across the board and has become a cultural touchstone for the ages. Renée’s performance earned her a Tony Award, Grammy Award, Drama Desk Award, and Lucille Lortel Award. In July 2021, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for the Disney+ film adaptation. Renée currently stars on Tina Fey’s new series for Peacock, Girls5eva, which is currently in production for season Two. Up

enjoy! Continued on next page



Renée Elise Goldsberry / Photo by Bertuzzi Photography

next, she will be seen in Billy Porter’s What If, which recently wrapped production. Other highlights from her film and television career include co-starring in A24’s critical darling Waves, opposite Sterling K. Brown; the Netflix series Altered Carbon; lending her voice to bring characters to life on the Netflix animated series Fast & Furious Spy Racers and Centaurworld; Documentary Now’s cult favorite “Original Cast Album: Co-Op;” The Good Wife; The House with a Clock in its Walls; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; The Get Down; and her creation of the beloved character Evangeline Williamson on ABC’s One Life to Live, for which she received two Daytime Emmy nominations and two NAACP Image Award nominations. On stage, Renée’s appearances include her Outer Critics Circle Awardnominated performance opposite Frances McDormand in the play Good People, and the original Broadway version of The Color Purple. She made her Broadway debut as Nala in The Lion King, and her performance as Mimi in Broadway’s closing cast of RENT was immortalized in film. OffBroadway, Renée’s performance as Sylvia in the Public Theater’s production of Two Gentlemen of Verona for their Shakespeare in the Park series garnered her across the board rave reviews. CML first got the chance to interview Renée (no disrespect intended; she insisted that we call her by her first name) on June 12, 2016, just minutes after she won her Tony Award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical.” The Broadway League set up the media room—I’m not kidding—at the Meyerson Jewish Community Center next to the Beacon Theatre in NYC, because the expansive Radio City Music Hall was unavailable.


“Hamilton has been one once-in-a-lifetime moment after another,” Renée said in her acceptance speech, while graciously acknowledging the entire company. “When one of us wins, we all win,” she said, not knowing at the time that hers was but one of eleven awards the show would receive during that evening’s historical sweep from a record 16 nominations, during an event which will be forever known as the “Hamiltonys.” In a follow-up interview this week, almost eight years after she began work on a project originally titled “The Hamilton Mixtape” in late 2014, and six years after winning the award, Renée reflected on the entire Hamilton juggernaut. “Oh, my God… has it really been that long? I’m so grateful to have been a part of the original family, and consider myself to be an ambassador for the show. It means a lot to so many people, especially kids.” The July 2020 release of the live film recording of the stage version on Hamilton on Disney+ had particular resonance for Renée with regard to her own two children, a 13 year-old son (“…who’s now taller than I am!”) and nine year-old daughter who recently played her mother’s role at her elementary school and whose performance is a viral hit on Instagram. “I’m so grateful that they get to experience what ‘mom’ did back then when they were far too young to remember or appreciate.” She noted that Angelica Schuyler was a, “tremendously influential figure in history as advisor and confidant to many of our founding fathers.” When asked what AASF audiences will see when she appears in Boone, Renée revealed plans to perform numbers from her personal Broadway history, from her debut in The Lion King to RENT to The Color Purple, and, of course, Hamilton. She

will also pay tribute to the legends, such as Sarah Vaughn and Aretha Franklin, in an homage to their artistry. “Before you sing your own songs” Renée said, “you must first uplift and celebrate the remarkable women who paved the way.” She said “my band” has never sounded better since they resumed performing together for the first time since 2020. “We’re still catching up, growing closer, and getting better with each show.” Renée promises a night of powerful music, a few audience sing-alongs, and perhaps one or two of her original songs. “Sometimes they will just start playing the intro to a new song we’ve recorded but have yet to perform in public, and all I can do is just smile and jump right in.” Renée will arrive in the High Country sporting, “a new haircut and a new attitude,” which she shows off online via social media. “It was an outside change to lift my spirit,” she said of her new ‘do, “It makes me more daring, and matches my excitement for the music we’ll be sharing. “I’m most excited about telling my own story. My whole career is thanks to the brilliant storytellers” with whom she has had the privilege of working, and listening to, her entire life. Renée said she is trying to take more risks and tell more stories while, “weaving in some personal anecdotes. The band says the best part of our show is my patter, and I want the audience to leave with the feeling that we’ve spent some real, quality time together.” A Schaefer Popular Series event, Renée Elise Goldsberry will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Appalachian State University. Additional information and tickets are available at

Landmark Anniversaries Highlight Performing Arts Schedule Hundreds of Hot Performances to Enjoy on Cool Summer Nights By Keith Martin

ATHC / Sierra Hull

visual arts programming. The highlights are included on the previous pages, including CML’s exclusive interview with Tony Awardwinning singer, dancer, and actress Renée Elise Goldsberry; a complete schedule and ticket information may be found online at The APPALACHIAN THEATRE OF THE HIGH COUNTRY (ATHC) is following up the successful launch of their Saturday Morning Family Film Series with an impressive roster of beloved cinema classics; the public is invited to 10 a.m. screenings of Dumbo on July 16, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on July 30, Mary Poppins on August 6, Lady and the Tramp on August 13, and Heidi on August 27. The most remarkable aspect of this series is that admission is free of charge thanks to the generous sponsorship of Allen Wealth Management. Note that attendees under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and each film is followed by a tour of the historic 1938 venue.

Theatre continues on September 29 with bluegrass singer-songwriter, mandolinist, and guitarist Sierra Hull. Her stellar career started with a Grand Ole Opry debut at age 10, Carnegie Hall at 12, and her debut album, “Secrets,” at age 13. She played the Kennedy Center at 16 and the next year became the first bluegrass musician to receive a Presidential Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music. As a 20-year-old, Hull played at the White House. For more info on all of the above events, go to Over in West Jefferson at the intimate Ashe Civic Center, the ASHE COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL has programmed several events worthy of consideration. Edinburgh native Ed Miller, “one of the finest singers to come out of the Scottish Folksong Revival,” takes the stage on July 6 with a repertoire that covers the whole spectrum of Scottish folk music, from old ballads and songs of Robert Burns to more recent songs. On July 9, western NC songwriter Clint Roberts combines the acoustic roots of Americana and folk music with the boldness of roots rock in his debut album, “Rose Songs,” hailed as “a powerful and personal project [that] introduces Roberts as one of the genre’s most promising new artists.” The annual Ashe County Bluegrass and Old Time Fiddlers Convention returns to Ashe County Park in Jefferson from July 22 – 23 “to honor the music of the mountains and the musicians who make it.” Back at the Ashe Civic

t heatre! AN APPALACHIAN SUMMER FESTIVAL (AASF) has by far the most diverse arts programming you’ll find in this neck of the woods, and their 38th season is no exception. In addition to their theatre and dance performances, AASF produces a film series, chamber and classical music concerts, and exceptional

As part of the Doc Watson Day Celebration, 2020 Grammy Award-winner Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper perform on August 19. Vince Gill described Cleveland as follows: “Michael plays fearless, and it’s intoxicating to play with him because he makes you play fearless. He takes no prisoners but he plays with restraint and a soul. He plays without abandon. It’s wicked to see how much music he pulls out of a bow. He’s untouchable.” The Mast Store Americana Music Series on the Doc Watson Stage of the Appalachian





Just as we finished commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Appalachian Young People’s Theatre (AYPT) in April, plans were underway for landmark celebrations at two other cherished High Country institutions: the 65th season of Tweetsie Railroad, North Carolina’s first theme park, and the 70th summer of Horn in The West, the longest running Revolutionary War outdoor drama in the country. Those three institutions alone represent a combined 185-year tradition of excellence in the arts and entertainment industry, and are a source of pride for local residents and the thousands of visitors who enjoy their productions each season. While Tweetsie and Horn are featured elsewhere in this issue, they are far from the only options on our cultural calendar, with literally hundreds of hot performances to enjoy on these cool summer nights. Here are our picks from events that have been announced from now through mid-September, listed alphabetically by producing company. PLEASE NOTE that all of the performances, dates, and times are subject to change; readers are strongly encouraged to check individual websites and/ or the theatre box offices for the most current information. See you at the theatre!


Lees-McRae Summer Theatre

Center, Bill and the Belles perform on August 13. The band began as a project to explore the sounds between rural and urban music, between vaudeville and down home roots, but they’ve arrived somewhere wholly their own. They revel in the in-between: deeply engaged with the string band tradition and eager to stretch those influences to contemporary settings. For tickets and information, visit www. BARTER THEATRE, “The State Theatre of Virginia,” continues their outstanding repertory programming (a rare treat in our region) with seven unique productions on two different stages in Abingdon, VA. From now to August 20, Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan MacMillan and Jonny Donahoe asks the following questions: Could you name a hundred things that make life wonderful? A thousand? How about a million? When he was seven, a boy started a list of things to live for in an attempt to save his mother. As he grows up, the list takes on a life of its own as this play shines a hilarious and compassionate light on dark corners of the human condition. 9 to 5, the Dolly Parton musical for which she wrote both music and lyrics, with a book by Patricia Resnick, has performances through August 21, where you’ll hear co-workers Violet, Judy and Doralee sing “what a way to make a living!” Always a Bridesmaid, the latest play by the prolific comedy trio of Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jane Wooten, continues through August 20, with the air guitar competition in Airness, by Chelsea Marcantel, taking center stage through that same date. In addition, Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express opens September 3, followed by a hilarious game of


Lees-McRae Summer Theatre

one-upmanship in an assisted living facility in the new play, Ripcord, by David LindsayAbaire, beginning September 16, and, finally, a 1905 heavyweight championship fight set in the segregated world of boxing in The Royale by Marco Ramirez, beginning September 29. For more information, visit Barter’s website at Speaking of anniversaries, BEANSTALK COMMUNITY THEATRE invites audiences to “let their freak flags fly” as they celebrate their 10th season by making their highlyanticipated Appalachian Theatre debut from July 21 through 23 with Shrek: The Musical. With music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, and a legion of ogre-loving fans, this musical is based on the widely-popular 2001 DreamWorks Animation film. For more info, visit www.BeanStalkNC. com, and for tickets go to The BENTON HALL COMMUNITY ARTS CENTER in North Wilkesboro is home to the dynamic Wilkes Playmakers, an avocational theatre that is the pride of its community. Dates for The Laramie Project have been changed, with performances on their Black Box Series now scheduled for June 24 through July 3. Written by Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project, this docudrama follows the 1998 Matthew Shepard hate crime wherein a 21 year-old student at the University of Wyoming was kidnapped, severely beaten, and left tied to a fence in the middle of the prairie outside Laramie. It is a breathtaking collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink and the heights of compassion of which we are capable.

The next offering on the Playmakers’ Black Box series runs from August 19 through 28. David Auburn’s brilliant Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Proof is about a daughter who has inherited her late father’s mathematical brilliance, but is haunted by the fear that she might also share his debilitating mental illness. The play is a passionate, intelligent story about fathers and daughters, the nature of genius, and the power of love. Ticket information for both productions is available at www. Their number is 336838-PLAY (7529). A well-deserved bravo to ENSEMBLE STAGE who is proudly trumpeting a premiere season of two regional debuts—one international production (not yet performed outside its home country of origin), plus their first world premiere of a new work, one that has only had staged readings elsewhere. If you’re looking for fresh, original plays this summer, look no further than Banner Elk, NC. It all begins on June 24 with Erica Berman’s heartwarming comedy No Wake about a crotchety, old retiree on a mission to save the loons of Lake Winnipesaukee and a brash teenager with whom he eventually forms an intergenerational bond. Playwright Adam Seidel’s “serio-comic suspense thriller” Catch The Butcher received the coveted “Critic’s Pick” designation from the New York Times in 2015, and takes the stage here in the High Country on July 15. The plot involves a kidnapped woman rendered unconscious who awakens to see a man wearing an industrial apron with a cabinet full of chemicals and surgical instruments behind him. From there, the plot thickens. Baby on Board by Canadian actor and playwright Claude Montminy is described as “a playful

Barter Theatre

native Clarinda Ross. Mutz-Mag, directed by Julie Richardson, is a fantastical children’s story whose roots reach all the way back to Scotland. Based on the Appalachian folktale as told by Clarinda’s mother, noted storyteller Charlotte Ross, and Dr. Cratis Williams, MutzMag is a funny tale of a plucky girl who uses her smarts and her trusty Case Knife® to keep one step ahead of a Witch, a Giant, and her ne’er-do-well step-sisters. This kind and smart youngster makes her own happy ending with nary a prince in sight. Performances are at 11 a.m. on the stage in the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre on July 16, 23, 30 and August 6. Tickets are available at the door on the day of each show. Information available at or 828-264-2120.

PARKWAY PLAYHOUSE in Burnsville continues their summer season with The Savannah Sipping Society by the aforementioned Jones, Hope, and Wooten trio, about four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, drawn together by fate and an impromptu happy hour; performances run from July 2 – 16. Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood follows from July 30 – August 13 with all the immortal characters like Little John, Friar Tuck, and Maid Marian, all telling the enduring story about a hero of the people who takes on the ruthless powers that be. In the Middle of Nowhere by Brent Murphy tells the story of a retired art professor in the mountains of western North Carolina and the relationship she forms with a young man recently released from prison. The show runs from August 27 through September 10 with info available at


comedy” wherein a regular guy named David can only think about becoming a father, much to the chagrin of his career-minded girlfriend, Christine, who is not ready to be a mother. Performances begin August 12. The highlight of the season is the drama Zaglada by Richard Vetere, whose best known work is the Sony Picture Classics film “The Third Miracle” produced by Frances Ford Coppola and starring Ed Harris. Opening on September 9, the story of Zaglada involves a journalist who goes to interview an aged man for her book on World War II, only to have him fire a gun at her. His prompt arrest draws the attention of a Homeland Security agent who discovers he is wanted for international war crimes. But is he who they think he is, and did he commit the crimes of which he is accused? The play is said to examine how far we’ll go to protect the ones we love. Furry Tails With a Twist is this season’s offering on Ensemble Stage’s Saturday Kids Theatre series with remaining 11 a.m. performances on July 9 and 30. Playwright Jennifer Hickok DeFratis has filled her family-friendly work with charm and energetic humor wherein two bumbling actors try to present a few of the world’s most beloved fairy tales. Unfortunately, their script becomes seriously scrambled and they perform “Goldisocks and the Three Wolves,” “The Three Billy Trolls Gruff,” and “The Three Little Bears.” It takes the help of the entire audience to set the stories straight. For ticket information about all five shows, visit or call 828414-1844.

ATHC / Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper

t heatre!

And while we’re talking about theatre for youth programming, the company of HORN IN THE WEST will also be performing the world premiere of an original play by Boone

LEES-McRAE SUMMER THEATRE is producing two musicals this season on their picturesque campus in Banner Elk. The Drowsy Chaperone is a five-time Tony Award-winning “perfect Broadway musical” (according to the New York Times). It is set in the roaring 1920s and features music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Don McKellar, with a clever book by Bob Martin and Greg Morrison. Performances run from June 26 through July 3. Matilda, The Musical is based on Roald Dahl’s classic tale about a bright young girl who decides to right the wrongs in her world through wit and cleverness. With music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and book by Dennis Kelly, the show is directed by Dr. Janet Barton Speer, whose name alone will increase ticket sales, dozens of adorable school children notwithstanding. Performances run July 21 through 27. For tickets or information, visit or call 828-898-8709.



Diamond Lil




Tweetsie Railroad Still Chugging Along at 65 Years of Age A vast majority of the general public appreciates Tweetsie Railroad from their memorable visits with family and friends. Known primarily as a Wild West adventure park with amusement rides and a petting zoo, Tweetsie features stunning three-mile long train rides aboard a historic, coal-fired, narrow gauge steam locomotive. However, on the occasion of their 65th anniversary season—they opened on July 4, 1957—we thought it might be fun to take a look behind the scenes from an entertainment perspective. Tweetsie is a major employer of professional stage talent with a long season and an expansive performance schedule. To confirm these facts and gather some additional fun facts, CML reached out to the current Entertainment Director, John Setzer, who provided the following insights: CML: Congrats on your anniversary season. We’re curious about how many entertainment staff you employ and the length of their contracts? Setzer: Our season at Tweetsie is about nine months long. When we are hiring entertainment staff we have three options available: some people are able to work the entire length of the season, some can only work during the summer months when they are not in school, and some performers are hired for the last half of the season and work with us during the fall to fill in any gaps left by those who have left to go back to school. We have one stage show for our Tweetsie Christmas event with a cast of six performers from existing entertainment employees. [During the summer] we hire about 32 performers with a broad spectrum of talents and skills… actor combatants, dancers, equestrians, and magicians. Our technical


crew members consist of five to six people with skills from costuming, stage management, lighting design, and sound design. During Ghost Train we hire an additional 20 to 30 “scare actors” for a total of about 70 performers. CML: How many stage shows and what type of entertainment do you provide for your guests? Setzer: We have four main shows that run all season long. Our Wild West Train Ride is full of action and adventure and comedy. Diamond Lil’s Can-Can Revue features Diamond Lil and her can-can gems in a 20-minute dance [revue] that ends with the world famous Tweetsie Can-Can. Our Magic Show is a one-man show with parlor tricks and sleight of hand routines. Hopper and Porter’s Musical Celebration is for our younger audience members and includes our mascot characters Hopper, Porter and their friend Jenny; it features singing, dancing, and audience participation. During the summer months we have the Tweetsie Cloggers keeping our Appalachian regional dance traditions alive. CML: What is the draw of Tweetsie for your entertainment team? Setzer: Tweetsie is often the first job for several of our performers. We hire a mix of local talent as well as actors from national auditions. But the main core of our performers often come from local schools, such as Appalachian State University and Lees-McRae College. Some of our performers move to the area and stay even after their job here is over. I myself went to Lees-McRae, began my career here as a cowboy in 2004 and have worked

here ever since. I became a full-time staff member in 2019 and Entertainment Director in 2020. Tweetsie is a special place for performers because it allows you the opportunity to interact with the guests. Many theme parks allow you the opportunity to see the shows and have a very brief interaction with the performers, but nothing that is special or specific—it’s a very generic meet-and-greet that is designed to accommodate a large number of guests in a short amount of time. Here at Tweetsie guests can interact with performers, to see them in between shows and multiple times in a season. I have often said that this job is 60/40, or 60 percent interaction with guests and 40 percent performance on stage. It’s this format that allows us to be able to get to know our guests and have interactions that are not brief and hurried. It allows them to make memories that are unique and draw them back year after year to see their favorite performers. CML: With all that solid training and experience, where are your alumni now? Setzer: We have many former employees who have gone on to do a variety of different jobs in the entertainment industry. Some are working for major theme parks and dinner theatres across the country, others are involved in the television and film industry, and have gone on to direct and produce shows here locally, as well as in New York and other places. The 2022 season runs from April 9 to October 30 with varying dates and schedules; for more information, visit or call 800-526-5740.





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Town of Boone’s 150th Celebration Continues By Mark Freed


022 has been a big year for the Town of Boone, which commemorates 150 years since the town’s official incorporation. The sesquicentennial celebration, dubbed the Boone 150, kicked off in January and has featured a number of community projects, events, and publications. The festivities kick into high gear as the summer weather allows for more outdoor gatherings. The Horn in the West launches its 70th season of the historic outdoor drama on July 1, with nightly performances on Tuesdays through Sundays through August 13. This thrilling outdoor drama has been entertaining High Country guests since 1952, and it is one of Boone’s number one attractions in the summer. The Town of Boone will be celebrating with a fun-filled Independence Day weekend, including family-friendly activities, concerts, fireworks, and a parade, with special Boone 150 additions. The weekend kicks off on Friday, July 1, with a special free performance from the Watauga Community Band at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center in downtown Boone, starting at 5:30 p.m. The concert is part of a weekly series, featuring live music on the Jones House porch each Friday. “It has become a tradition to feature the Watauga Community Band during our July 4th community celebration, so it made a natural fit to bring them for the first concert in July,” says concert organizer and Cultural Resources Coordinator, Brandon Holder. The Watauga Community Band formed in the mid-1980s and has been serving the community ever since. The holiday weekend continues on Sunday, July 3, with a community gathering, a special Appalachian Summer Festival concert, and the Town of Boone’s annual fireworks display. The community gathering takes place from 3-7 p.m. at Clawson-Burnley Park and the Greenway fields next to the Watauga County Rec-

reation Center. The gathering will feature inflatables for the kids from Jump! Boone, lawn games, food trucks, and other activities. Guests will then head to Appalachian State University’s State Farm parking lot for a special App Summer Festival concert with Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $25, and children 12-andunder are free. The Town of Boone’s annual fireworks display will follow the concert to top off the night. The Town of Boone’s annual July 4th parade steps off at 11a.m., traveling east down King Street and marching through the heart of downtown. The parade will feature a host of local organizations, businesses, and groups, and participants are encouraged to line the sidewalks of downtown Boone. There will be free cake—with Boone 150 decorations—and watermelon at the Jones House Cultural Center following the parade. Beginning at 1 p.m. there will be a gathering of Boone’s living mayors in the community room of the historic Appalachian Theatre. This gathering was intended to be the kick-off celebration for the Boone 150 in January, before winter weather caused a reschedule. The Daniel Boone Native Gardens will host its annual Fairy Day on Saturday, July 9, from noon until 4 p.m. This familyfriendly event features fairies, activities, music, and food. There is a $2 admission for adults, and kids are free. Everyone will enjoy the chance to have some fun and look at some of the historic native plants that thrive in the gardens. The Watauga County Public Library continues its Boone Reads Together program, a community reading project that features a series of books connected to Boone and Boone’s history. The yearlong series includes book discussions, author talks, and other special events, like historic walking tours. Dr. Cratis Williams’

book, Come to Boone, is featured in June and July, culminating with a discussion by the editors, Dr. Patricia Beaver, and David Williams, son of the author. Cratis Williams was a scholar and teacher at Appalachian State University, and his book features vivid descriptions of Boone in the 1940s. The talk will take place at the Watauga County Library community room on Saturday, July 9, starting at 10 a.m., and a short walk around town will follow. The next book featured in the series will be Junaluska: Oral histories of a Black Appalachian Community, featuring history, interviews, and stories from Boone’s historic black community. A talk will be given focused on this book with the editor and members of the Junaluska Heritage Association on September 10 at 10 a.m. at the Watauga Public Library. The Town of Boone will celebrate the annual Doc Watson Day on August 19, starting at 5 p.m. at the Jones House Cultural Center in downtown Boone. This annual concert commemorates the life and music of Watauga County native, Doc Watson, a legendary guitar player and folk musician. Doc Watson Day began in 2011, when the downtown bronze sculpture of Doc was revealed. The Town of Boone has celebrated Doc’s legacy each year since. This year’s concert will feature performances by local bluegrass band Surefire, regional old-time band Nobody’s Business, and guitar wizard and builder Wayne Henderson, who was at the Jones House in 2011 when the statue was unveiled. The evening will continue with a ticketed concert across the street at the Appalachian Theatre, featuring Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper. For more information about any of these events and others associated with the Boone 150 celebration, visit or call the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department at 828-268-6280. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


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Music is made in our area all year long by skilled and talented musicians. They’re picking and jamming on the stages, in the meadows and on front porches. Here are some of our favorite places…

Grillin’ and Chillin’

At Wineries and Vineyards

Where the MusicIs . . .

Linville Falls Winery – Located near Linville Falls and the spectacular Linville Gorge, the steepest gorge east of the Mississippi River, Linville Falls Winery hosts music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons beginning at 3 p.m. | 9557 Linville Falls Hwy (Hwy 221) Linville Falls, NC Blue Ridge Parkway Mile 317, 828-765-1400, Banner Elk Winery – The High Country’s original winery is just minutes from downtown Banner Elk and hosts music on Saturdays starting at noon, Sundays 1-5 p.m. and most Fridays 1-5 p.m. | 60 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC, 828-898-9090, Grandfather Vineyard and Winery – Music in the vineyard hosts a season full of live music on Wednesday through Saturday starting at 2 p.m. and Sunday afternoons starting at 1 p.m. Food truck available Friday through Sunday. | 225 Vineyard Lane, off N.C. 105 between Boone and Banner Elk, 828-963-2400, Watauga Lake Winery – Johnson County, Tennessee’s first winery will host musical lineups on Sundays starting at 2 p.m. | 6952 Big Dry Run Rd., Butler, TN, 423-768-0345 Villa Nove Vineyard – Nestled in the Appalachian High Country with vineyard-laced hills giving way to breathtaking 360-degree views. Enjoy live music Saturday 5-8 p.m. 1877 Dry Hill Rd, Butler, TN, 423-768-0345,

At Restaurants and Bars

Old Hampton Barbecue and The Tavern at the Old Hampton Store – Live outdoor music on select Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays at noon and 6 p.m. Go to Old Hampton Store Facebook page for the latest updates, additions, and changes. 77 Ruffin Street in Linville, 828-733-5213 Live Bands at Banner Elk Café – Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year, 6 -10 p.m. | 324 Shawneehaw Ave. S. Banner Elk, 828-8984040, Live Music at Lost Province Brewery – Every Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 7 p.m. | 130 N. Depot Street, Boone, 828-2653506, Chef’s Table – Live Wednesday night jazz with Shane Chalke at 7 p.m. Additional live music on Friday/Saturday nights starting at 6:30 p.m. 140 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, 828-898-5214,

Chef’s Table Jazz

Barra Sports Bar – Karaoke Friday nights starting at 9 p.m. | 140 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, 828-898-5214, Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria – Live music every Friday 5:30-8:45 p.m. | 402 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, 828-387-4000, Booneshine Brewing Company Summer in the Garden – Thursday evenings at Booneshine Brewing Company in East Boone from 6:30-9 p.m. through August. | 465 Industrial Park Drive, Boone, 828-278-8006, Highlanders Grill & Tavern – Check for dates and lineup on their Facebook page at 4527 Tynecastle Hwy., Banner Elk, 828-898-9613 Summer Music Series at the Table at Crestwood – Every Thursday night through August, 4-9 -p.m. at The Inn at Crestwood, Blowing Rock. Reservations advised. 3236 Shulls Mill Rd., Boone, 828-963-6646, Timberlake’s Restaurant – at the Chetola Resort features live music in the Pub, on the Patio or by the Bonfire, depending on weather and special events, Wednesday – Saturday 6-9 p.m. | 185 Chetola Lake Dr., Blowing Rock, 828-295-5505, Wheelies Refresher – Live music on select Saturdays from 6-9 p.m. and Sundays 12-3 p.m. | 8960 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, 828-4149990, or Casa Rustica – Live music on Thursday evenings with Todd Wright and Andy Page | 1348 Hwy. 150 South, Boone, 828-262-5128, Blind Elk Tap Room – Live music, food trucks, and trivia on various nights. Please check the calendar of events on their website. | 397 Shawneehaw Ave., Banner Elk, 828-898-2420,

At Inns and Resorts

5506’ Skybar at Beech Mountain Ski Resort – Take the ski lift to the top—the Skybar at the peak of the mountain offers live music on Saturdays from 2:30-5:30 p.m. | 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, 800-438-2093, Music on the Lawn at The Inn at Ragged Gardens – Friday evenings May through October, 5:30-8:30 p.m., weather permitting. Bring your Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


Banner Elk Concerts

own seating; outdoor bar and lawn menu available. Sorry, no coolers, pets, or outside food or beverages. | 203 Sunset Dr., Blowing Rock, 828-295-9703, Symphony by the Lake – One night only, Friday July 22. Dinner, fireworks, and the Symphony of the Mountains. Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock. $65 advance tickets only. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., music at 7:30 p.m. More info and tickets:, 828-295-7851 Grillin & Chillin Concert and Dinner Series at Sugar Mountain – Wednesdays, May through Labor Day, 5:30-9 p.m. on the Golf and Tennis Clubhouse Deck, hosted by CaddyShack Café, dinner available for $12-$14. | 1054 Sugar Mountain Dr., Banner Elk, 828-898-1025, Music on the Veranda at Green Park Inn – Sundays, 5-8 p.m. Bring your own chairs. | 9239 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, 828-414-9230, Beech Alpen Pavilion Summer Concerts – Sundays, 5 p.m., at Beech Alpen Inn, weather permitting, Memorial Day through Labor Day. | 700 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, 828-387-2252, High Country Jazz Society Concerts – Take place on the 2nd Sunday of the month from 5-7 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Inn. Please call for reservations one week prior to the concert. | 711 Main St., Blowing Rock, 828-264-6860, Summer Concert Series at the Beech Mountain Resort – July 16, The Head and the Heart with Illiterate Light; and August 13, Watchhouse with The Steeldrivers, 7-11 p.m. Tickets available online at | 1007 Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, 828-387-2011, The Pineola Live Music Weekends – Live music Friday and Saturday nights from 7-10 p.m. | 3085 Linville Falls Hwy., Pineola, 828-733-4979, Blind Elk Tap Room – Live music, food trucks, and trivia on various nights. Please check the calendar of events on their website. 397 Shawneehaw Ave., Banner Elk, 828-898-2420,

At Parks

Concerts in the Park, Banner Elk – Every Thursday, now through August 25, 6:30 p.m., Tate Evans Town Park next to Town Hall on Hwy 194. | 210 Park Ave., Banner Elk, 828-898-8395,


Concerts in the Park, Blowing Rock – Six Sundays May through October 3-5 p.m. following Art in The Park. | Memorial Park, 1036 Main Street, Blowing Rock, NC, 828-295-7851, Music in the Valle –Valle Crucis Community Park Fridays 6 p.m. May 27-September 2, bring your own chair or blanket. | 2892 Broadstone Rd., Banner Elk, 828-963-9239, Blowing Rock Town Concert Series – A variety of free music concerts at the gazebo in Broyhill Park, (rain location - The Blowing Rock American Legion Hall) on Monday nights, July 11-August 8 at 7 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket. | 173 Lakeside Dr., Blowing Rock, 828-295-5222, Friday in the Park Concert – Friday August 19 at Ashe County Park, 7-8:30 p.m. | Ashe Park Rd., Jefferson, 336-846-2787 Backstreet Park Summer Concerts – 5:30-7 p.m. on Fridays in July and August, downtown West Jefferson on the Backstreet. Bring your own seating. | 888-343-2743, Concerts in the Commons – The second Saturday of the month at 6 p.m., now through September at Carolina West Wireless Community Commons. | 102 West Main St., Wilkesboro, 336-838-3951, Todd Summer Concert Series – Free live concerts will be held outdoors at Cook Memorial Park in downtown Todd from 6-8 p.m., June through August 6. Bring a chair or blanket | 3977 Todd Railroad Grade Rd, Todd,

At Festivals

An Appalachian Summer Festival – Annual summer arts attraction from July 1-30. This month-long cultural event includes live music concerts in Boone, NC. For information and tickets: 800-841-2787, FloydFest’22 “Heartbeat” – July 27-31 in Floyd, VA. For complete information, Virginia Highlands Festival – July 22-July 31. Annual event includes live music concerts. | Abingdon, VA, Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion – September 9-11 in downtown Bristol, VA/TN | State Street. For tickets and more information: 423-573-1927,

Symphony by the Lake

Doc Watson Day – Celebrate the memory and influence of local legend and 7-time Grammy musician Doc Watson at the Jones House Cultural Center Friday August 19 at 5 p.m. (free event) and at The Appalachian Theater at 7:30 p.m. (ticketed event) | 604 West King St., Boone, 828-268-6280, and 559 West King St., Boone, 828-865-3000, The Coolest Corner Ashe Bash – with Scythian and Shane Hennessy is a free musical extravaganza held on the steps of the Ashe County Courthouse Friday, July 8, at 7 p.m. Food trucks will be on site. Bring a chair, but once the music starts, you may be dancing! This is a family friendly event. 150 Government Circle, Jefferson, 336-846-9550, The Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove – is held at the Historic Cove Creek School on July 16. The festival hosts local, regional, and nationally renowned musicians all on stage to honor Doc Watson, who got his start busking in Boone. Reserve your tickets today. | 207 Dale Adams Road, Sugar Grove, 828-297-2200, Ashe County Bluegrass & Old-Time Fiddlers Convention – is held at Ashe Park on July 22 – 23 The music is focused on honoring the Old Time and Bluegrass music of the mountains—and the musicians who make it. | 527 Ashe Park Road, Jefferson, 336-846-2787, Middle Fork Music Fest – Will benefit Casting Bread with performances from 4-10 p.m. on July 29, alongside the Middle Fork of the New River. The lineup includes artists from Watauga County, joined by national and international touring artists. Admission is free but bring a box of cereal to stock the Casting Bread Pantry. | 194 Aho Rd., Blowing Rock, 828-295-8333,

At Stores

Concerts in The Courtyard at Tanger Outlets/Blowing Rock – Enjoy live concerts on the July 4th Weekend, July 8-10, July 30, and September 9-11 at the Tanger Outlets Courtyard Stage. Times vary. Bring a lawn chair and your friends and family! All events are FREE. | 278 Shoppes on the Parkway Road, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, 828-2954444,

And Everywhere Else

FORUM at Lees-McRae College – Mondays, 5 and 7:30 p.m. through August 1 at Hayes Auditorium on the campus of Lees-McRae College. | 191 Main St., Banner Elk; information and tickets: 828-898-8748, lmc. edu/forum

Jones House Concerts

The Orchard at Altapass – Free live music in the outdoor pavilion from May through September on Saturday and Sunday, 3-4:30 p.m. | 1025 Orchard Rd., Spruce Pine, 828-765-9531, Concerts on the Deck – Bring a chair and your dancing shoes to the Yadkin Valley Marketplace the third Saturday of each month, now through October, starting at 6 p.m. | 842 CBD Loop, North Wilkesboro, 336-667-7129, Crossnore Jam – Free live jam sessions. Bring an instrument if you would like to join in! Town Meeting House on the first Friday of the month at 10:30 a.m. and every Tuesday at 1 p.m. | Crossnore Drive, Crossnore, 828-733-0360. Bluegrass Country Music Jam,-This is a community event at Historic Banner Elk School in the Book Exchange library on the 3rd Mondays of the month at 6 p.m. | 185 Azalea Way, Banner Elk, Summer Concerts at the Jones House – Concerts on the lawn of the Jones House in downtown Boone on Fridays at 5:30 p.m., June through August. | 604 West King St., Boone, 828-268-6280, Old-Time Acoustic Jams at the Jones House – Join local and visiting musicians every Thursday at 7 p.m. for an old-time jam. Bring an instrument and join in or just enjoy the music. | 604 West King St., Boone, 828-268-6280, LOVE SWVA Summer Concert Series – The concert series kicks off July 2 at 8 p.m. with a special Independence Day concert featuring a 40-piece orchestra held at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center’s onsite Amphitheater. For more information on additional concert dates and tickets please visit their website. | 1 Heartwood Circle, Abingdon, VA, 276-792-2400, Concerts in the Gardens – Presented by BRAHM and Mountain Home Music July 17, August 28 and September 18 starting at 4 p.m. These concerts will take place in the beautiful setting of the Daniel Boone Gardens in Boone. For tickets and information go to their website. 651 Horn in the West Dr., Boone, 828-295-9029, Red, White, and Bluegrass Jams – at the American Legion in Blowing Rock on the first and third Tuesday of the month from April to November. Come to listen or bring your instrument and join right in. | 333 Wallingford St, Blowing Rock, 828-295-5222, Before you head out, be sure to check with each venue or search online for any changes to dates, times, locations, and restrictions. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


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Horn in the West by the Numbers at 70 Years . . . and Counting!


his year marks the 70th season for Horn in the West, the outdoor drama produced by the Southern Appalachian Historical Association (SAHA) in the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre in Boone, NC. Opening this summer on July 1, the critically-acclaimed show brings to life the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and the heroic mountain settlers of this region in their struggle to preserve their freedom during the turbulent years before and during the war for independence. Carolina Mountain Life has reported frequently on this beloved cultural asset in previous editions, all of which are available online in the archives section of our website: (click on “Read Back Issues”). To mark their 70th anniversary season, we thought it might be fun and interesting to look at Horn in the West by the numbers. Here are just a few: 1 – the longest running Revolutionary War outdoor drama in the country. 3 – the third oldest outdoor drama in America (1952), trailing only The Lost Colony (1937) in Manteo, NC, and Unto These Hills (1950) in Cherokee, NC. 10 – the number of outdoor theatres that have been produced in North Carolina; in addition to the three listed above, there is First for Freedom in Halifax, From

House Raising Dance

This Day Forward in Valdese, Liberty Mountain (featured in our spring 2022 issue) in Kings Mountain, Montford Park Players in Asheville, Pathway to Freedom and The Sword of Peace, both in Snow Camp, and Tom Dooley: A Wilkes County Legend in Wilkesboro. 13 – the number of volleys fired in military salute from the show’s black powder rifles during the annual Fourth of July celebration at Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, one shot for each of the original colonies. During this ceremony, the Declaration of Independence is read aloud. 18 – the number of directors who have staged the drama since its inception. Ed Pilkington had the longest tenure at the helm, 21 years from 1971-91, while the current director, Shauna Godwin, is beginning her second season. Boone native Godwin got her first paid job as a dancer in the production before playing a leading role, becoming choreographer, and now director. 31 – the number of consecutive seasons (1953-83) that the late Charlie Elledge played Reverend Sims, one of eleven actors to play the role in 70 years; there also have been only eleven Daniel Boones. 38 – the number of performances scheduled during the current season, which

By Keith Martin

begin at 8 p.m. every day of the week, except Mondays, through August 13, 2022. 41 – the anniversary year of SAHA’s Hickory Ridge Living History Museum adjacent to the theatre, consisting of six historic cabin structures open to audience members, visitors, and school groups. 41 – the number of consecutive seasons (1956-96) during which the late Glenn Causey portrayed the role of Daniel Boone without missing a single performance. His iconic image is the basis for many depictions seen in the area today, including the painting displayed in the Daniel Boone exhibit at Grandfather Mountain. 43 – the number of outdoor dramas written by Horn in the West playwright Kermit Hunter, by far the most prolific contributor to the art form. Unto These Hills in Cherokee, NC, was his master’s thesis at UNC-Chapel Hill, where Hunter studied under Dr. Paul Greene, author of the very first outdoor drama, The Lost Colony. Infinitily Priceless – Kermit Hunter bequeathed ownership of the script for Horn in the West, the only play that was gifted to its producing organization after his death. According to Kermit’s widow, Honey, the rights were given because it was his favorite script and “SAHA was always good to him.” 120 – the running time of the show in minutes, including two acts and one intermission, although pre-show entertainment begins at 7:30 p.m., thirty minutes prior to curtain. Continued on next page



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HORN: continued from previous page 246 – the number of outdoor theatres in the United States, as listed on the website of the Institute of Outdoor Theatre, a service organization based in Greensboro at the Southeastern Theatre Conference. 431 – the number of known outdoor theatres in the world, including Shakespeare festivals, musical theatre, religious and historical plays and all other forms of outdoor productions, according to the Institute of Outdoor Theatre, 57 percent of which are located in the U.S. 1952 – the year that Horn in the West opened in the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre, an outdoor venue designed by John Lippard and four students from the N.C. State University School of Design; it was built in just three months on 35 acres of rugged Watauga County terrain. 1963 – the founding date of the Institute of Outdoor Drama in Chapel Hill, NC. It is dedicated “to the intrepid devotees of theatre who have gathered under the open sky for story, dance and song since the dawn of history.” It was later renamed Institute of Outdoor Theatre. 2,500 – the number of seats originally designed to accommodate patrons in the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre; the current seating capacity is approximately 1,000. 3,044 – the number of performances of the show given to audience members as of the start of the current 2022 season.

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4,510 – the approximate number of performers who have graced the stage of the Daniel Boone Amphitheatre, including Barry Corbin of television’s Northern Exposure, Broadway veteran and Tony Award-nominee David Furr, and William Hauptman, author of the critically-acclaimed musical Big River. 220,000 – the estimated number of gunshots fired by actors over the past 69 seasons. 1,550,000 – the total number of audience members who have seen Horn in the West… and counting! For additional information about Horn in the West or to buy tickets, call 828-264-2120 or visit their website at

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Book Nook Behind the Pages at McFarland


By Tamara S. Randolph

When searching for a book to read, we look at the genre, the author, and sometimes even the cover. But we generally don’t pay much attention to the publisher, the entity that often contracts for, edits, designs, typesets, manufactures, and markets the book. The publisher is the “Oz” behind the curtain that ensures there are always plenty of book titles for all kinds of readers to enjoy. In our Autumn 2021 issue, CML reviewed The Ashe County Frescoes of Benjamin F. Long IV, by Janet C. Pittard and David B. Chiswell, in our Book Nook column. We shared many details about the book’s main subject (Benjamin Long), the history of the artist’s work, and some of the people who made the book possible. What we didn’t include were details about the all-important publisher, who happens to be located right here in the High Country. McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, has been publishing books in Ashe County, NC, for more than 40 years. Located in Jefferson, McFarland is considered one of the leading independent publishers of academic and nonfiction books in the U.S., offering around 6,000 titles. Each year, McFarland publishes more than 350 new titles for a worldwide market and produces both print and e-book editions of most new books. While the publisher’s scholarly books for the library market find audiences around the globe, their regional works, like The Ashe County Frescoes, attract a slightly more local, yet exceedingly loyal following. “I think what set McFarland apart was that from the beginning, our staff has largely been from Ashe County and its neighbor counties,” says Karl-Heinz Roseman, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at McFarland. “McFarland would not have been a success without the people of Ashe. Our company leaders have deep roots in the area and are passionate about our community. So, our editors have sought out serious authors with research skills that are likewise passionate about our community.” We asked the McFarland team to share some of the publishing company’s latest regional titles that are “new on the bookshelf.” We also asked them to tell us a little about these books and what attracted McFarland to the titles and their authors.

Lost Cove, North Carolina: Portrait of a Vanished Appalachian Community, 1864–1957 Author: Christy A. Smith Located just seconds from the winding Tennessee border, the remote mountain settlement of Lost Cove, North Carolina, was once described as where the “moonshiner frolics unmolested.” “Christy A. Smith wrote the first comprehensive history of Lost Cove,” explains Roseman. “She left no research opportunity unturned, including newspapers, church records, deeds, new interviews, genealogy resources and oral histories. It is possible for hikers to catch a glimpse of Lost Cove today, but with Smith’s work, people can have an in-depth look at what life was like living in Lost Cove.” ( Junaluska: Oral Histories of a Black Appalachian Community Author: Susan Keefe Junaluska is one of the oldest African American communities in western North Carolina, and one of the few surviving today. According to Roseman, “After Emancipation, many former slaves in Watauga County became sharecroppers and were able to clear land in a segregated neighborhood overlooking the town of Boone. App State Professor Susan Keefe coordinated with Robert Hagler Jackson and the Junaluska Heritage Association. What really impressed McFarland was that this work was not only a history of a place, but how the authors provided a unique glimpse into the lives of African Americans in Appalachia. The Junaluska Community is an important institution of our area. Roberta Hagler Jackson is also an important institution!” ( Boone Before Boone: The Archaeological Record of Northwestern North Carolina Through 1769 Author: Thomas R. Whyte “Boone Before Boone is particularly timely with the Town of Boone celebrating its 150th anniversary,” says Roseman. “Author Tom Whyte really goes into the archeological record from before Daniel Boone’s arrival to the area. This is THE book for readers who have wondered about sites and artifacts found in Boone.” (

Other recent regional titles: The Ashe County Frescoes of Benjamin F. Long IV The Gems of Hiddenite, North Carolina: Mining History, Geology and Mineralogy



“We’re very interested in any book-length works on the High Country areas. . . And I’d say we’re near the acme for serious books on Appalachia, especially NW North Carolina.” ­—Founder and Editor-in-Chief Robert McFarland Franklin

The Big Picture Show:

Phone Home from the Earth to Sky Park for the Fortieth Anniversary of E.T. By Elizabeth Baird Hardy so many classic Spielberg films, theirs is a cluttered one, a home that looks like real people live there, and viewers who remember that era doubtless feel a twinge of nostalgia as they watch the film now. It is also a home with real feelings, as the characters laugh, cry, and yell in response to their confused emotions. The arrival of E.T., however, helps each of them grow. As older brother Michael explains to the predictably clueless government adults, “Elliot feels his feelings.” By helping the lost extra-terrestrial find his way home, the humans also become more human. That power, symbolized by E.T.’s glowing chest and finger, the power of the heart, the power to touch and connect to others, is the real magic behind this classic film, and it is the magic that allows the movie to be just as powerful now as it was in 1982. With the combination of a glorious John Williams soundtrack and brilliant Spielberg direction, E.T. still enchants on every level. Certainly, some elements of the movie do show their age, and those who saw it upon its release might be surprised now to see an extra scene or two, along with other edits, but it is still a wonderful film whose influence continues to be felt with the popularity of nostalgic homages like Stranger Things. Those who saw it the first time as children, clutching a bucket of popcorn in a crowded theater, should re-visit it now, as adults, and those who have never seen E.T. should add it to their list of things to do while on planet earth. For a unique big-screen opportunity to re-visit E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, experience it for the first time, or introduce it to the young earthlings, the Earth to Sky Park showing at 8:45 on July 9 offers the chance to experience our beautiful High Country outdoors and unparalleled views of our summer night sky. Admission to the films in the series is only $5 a carload, and popcorn is available. Enjoy this classic space film under the stars and come out for the other fun movies in the series this summer, including Hoot (August 13) and A Bug’s Life (September 10). Summer Movies in the Park is supported by Grand Sponsor Fund for Mitchell County and Supporting Sponsor Duke Energy/Piedmont Natural Gas. To find out more about this and other events at the Earth to Sky Park, visit CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



In 1982, a lost alien was taken in by a lonely boy with a packet of Reese’s Pieces, and the cinematic and cultural history of the planet Earth changed forever. This year, as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial celebrates its fortieth anniversary, Mayland Community College’s own Earth to Sky Park will be showing the Spielberg classic on July 9 as part of its popular Summer Movies in the Park series, so this is a wonderful time to consider the power of this film and to ponder how well it holds up four decades after its original release. When E.T. was first released, it dazzled with then-cutting-edge special effects, but its enormous success was only partly due to the movie magic that made a spaceship land in the forest and allowed bicycles to fly. The film was re-mastered in 2002, when it celebrated its first twenty years, with upgraded computer-generated imagery (CGI) touches on E.T. himself, but the original leading alien was already a remarkable accomplishment in film-making before those tweaks. From his expressive gestures to his charismatic expressions, E. T. remains a character who truly seems real, both to the cast and the audience. As viewers watch his distress at being abandoned, his curiosity of the human world, and his care for the children who protect him, the film’s real power becomes clear. This is a story that makes us care—about Elliot, about his broken family, and about the creature who changes their lives. Like any good Spielberg movie, E.T. is rife with narrative misdirection. The scary alien beings in the beginning of this film are actually humans, their cars, flashlights, and jangling keys far more sinister than the gentle alien spacecraft full of plants. Likewise, the film itself is something of a misdirection. On the surface, it is a fun adventure story, as we root for E.T. to make it back home, but beneath that surface, this is a story about relationships, and that is the quality that so beautifully stands the test of time. When we first meet the human family, newly-single mom Mary (Dee Wallace) and her children, it is clear they are each struggling. Abandoned by their father, Elliot, Michael, and Gertie are individually processing their changed lives, their home an alien planet in the absence of the family dynamic they once knew. Like the homes in

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Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources, including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.


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Peaks, Grandfather Mountain Courtesy Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

GFM Swinging Bridge / Grandfather Mounta Kids Program on Linville Peak Courtesy Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

New at Grandfather Mountain in 2022

The Wilson Center for Nature Discovery, Synchronous Firefly Events, Programs for Junior Naturalists and other New Reasons to Visit 2022 is an exciting year at Grandfather Mountain with the grand opening of the Wilson Center for Nature Discovery and a list of new programs and events. The Linville, NC, nature preserve, operated by the nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, is known for its Mile High Swinging Bridge, Animal Habitats, 360-degree views and immersive programming meant to inspire exploration and conservation of the natural world. This year is the perfect time for past visitors to experience something new and for first time guests to see what wonders await them at Grandfather Mountain. Here are ten new reasons to visit Grandfather Mountain in 2022 ( New in June—Wilson Center for Nature Discovery Opening early summer, the Wilson Center nearly doubles the size of the park’s current Nature Museum with 10,000 square feet of education space, including state-of-the-art museum exhibits, three classrooms, an ADA-accessible theater and expanded capacity for hosting conferences and community events. New exhibits include a 3-D interactive map of the mountain that showcases Grandfather’s ecology and history; flora and fauna walls; and other exhibits focusing on the mountain’s natural history, weather and geology. Outside the center, guests will enjoy new learning spaces, including an amphitheater with terraced seating and a pavilion, as well as a new botanical garden. wilson-center/ A Beary Warm Welcome for Fanny May Grandfather Mountain is welcoming a new member to its family of beloved animals in the Mildred the Bear Animal Habitats: Fanny May, a five-year-old black bear with a big personality. Fanny May arrived in the spring of 2021 after the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission approached the nonprofit nature preserve about a bear that needed


placement. Fanny has spent the last year getting acclimated to her new home and diet and showing a fun fascination for the toys and enrichments the habitat curators share with her. Fanny is slowly being introduced to guests and will be placed in the on-display habitats sporadically throughout the year. New for the Smallest Naturalists Grandfather’s revamped Junior Naturalist program kicks off this summer with an updated activity book that invites children to explore the mountain, new wooden collectible badges, and a seasonal e-newsletter for participants. Park Naturalists also offer an 11:30 a.m. Junior Naturalist activity (weekends in spring and fall and daily in the summer) geared toward five to ten-year-olds. “Random Acts of Science,” a new daily program starting this summer, is also great for kids and families, and focuses on native plants and animals; using weather instruments to record data; and investigating minerals, skulls or other organisms under a microscope. Grandfather Presents Speaker Series—Thursday Nights The 2022 Grandfather Presents speaker series consists of a dynamic lineup of educators, adventurers and advocates who make it their life’s mission to highlight the challenges, opportunities and good work happening around nature and conservation. Thursday events include light bites and drinks, the speaker presentation and a book signing opportunity. Bridge Club members have access to purchase two series pass offerings (one with VIP receptions) beginning May 1. https:// n July 14: Rick Ridgeway, Outdoor Adventurer and Advocate n August 4: Ginger Zee, ABC News Chief Meteorologist n September 29: Conor Knighton, CBS Sunday Morning Correspondent

...notes from the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

ain Stewardship Foundation

Kids Program, Antlers Courtesy Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Fanny May / Photo Courtesy Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

The nonprofit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit

Paint with a Bear This unique experience includes a guided visit behind-the-scenes to the bear habitat. Participants pick their color choices from a selection of non-toxic paint and then watch as one of Grandfather Mountain’s black bears create a work of art with its paws. The experience takes place on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30 a.m., May through October. This is sure to be a popular new experience so booking in advance is recommended. 70th Anniversary of the Bridge Whether it was the old wooden bridge or the current steel bridge, the thrill of crossing the Mile High Swinging Bridge has provided Grandfather Mountain guests with worried anticipation, exhilaration and endless memories for decades. September 2, 2022 marks 70 years of the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Activities and special presentations will occur throughout the day. Details coming soon! https://grandfather. com/visit/things-to-do/mile-high-swinging-bridge/

New Naturalist-led Programs + Campfire Stories Event With the opening of the Wilson Center, park naturalists and educators are adding to the schedule of daily programs included in park admission. In addition to “Random Acts of Science,” new for kids and families, “Ramble with a Naturalist” and “Naturalist Talk” are perfect for families and adults. “Ramble with a Naturalist” will be daily at 2 p.m. and includes a short stroll with a naturalist for seasonal topics such as wildflowers, weather, pollinators, butterflies, fall color and more. The “Naturalist Talk” program will be daily at 3 p.m. and focuses on topics like rare plant and animal species, conservation efforts on the mountain and the history of the area. Grandfather Mountain Campfire Stories is a new event that includes stories told around a campfire from interesting figures in the realms of science, conservation and environmental education, all while experiencing the wonders of Grandfather Mountain in the dark. The 2022 event takes place the evening of August 19, with presenter Gordon Warburton, a retired wildlife biologist and black bear project leader for the North Carolina Wildlife Commission. grandfather-mountain-campfire-stories/ Bridge Club New Benefits Grandfather Mountain’s revamped Bridge Club Annual Membership Program kicks off May 1 with unlimited free admission for one year, discounts at the mountain’s gift shops and restaurant, 10% discounts on experiences like Behind-the-Scenes Tours, 15% off select special event registration, exclusive access to purchase Grandfather Presents series passes, discounts to other attractions and more. Membership levels include Individual Adult ($80), Individual Child ($35) and Group (member +5) ($250).


Grandfather Presents Speaker Series—Saturday Afternoons Grandfather Presents also includes presentations focused on conservation issues and initiatives on a local or regional scale. Saturday events, included in park admission, consist of the presentation and time to interact with the speaker. n July 30: Tracy Swartout, Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent | “Protecting the Parkway: The ‘Forever’ Business” n August 13: Charlie Brady, Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Conservancy | “Strategically Protecting Land to Ensure Access to Natural Places for Everyone” n September 17: Andy Hill, MountainTrue High Country Regional Director and Watauga Riverkeeper | “Watauga River Conservation: Emerging, Innovative Solutions”

Summer Notes... CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


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The Bear Facts: How Much Do You Know? By Tamara S. Randolph American Black Bear Cub-Photo by Tina Shaw-USFWS

1—The American black bear is a mediumsized bear native to North America. Of the three species of bear that live on our continent, it is the smallest and most widely distributed bear species. What is the scientific name of our local bear? a) Ursus americanus b) Ursus arctos c) Ursus maritimus 2—Full grown black bear males are generally larger than full grown females. Maybe you’ve heard it said, “That bear must have weighed 1,000 pounds!” What is the average weight of an adult male black bear? a) 100-200 pounds b) 400-500 pounds c) 800-1,000 pounds 3­—True or False? Black bears are not considered to be smart animals.

4—Bears are excellent athletes; they are great tree climbers, good swimmers and are speedy runners. How fast have they been “clocked” running? a) 15 mph b) 35 mph c) 55 mph 5—Reality or Myth? A black bear that is standing on its hind legs is about to charge. 6—In the case of a surprise close encounter with a bear, what should you do? a) Run b) Stand your ground c) Climb a tree d) Play dead 7­—If you see a mother bear and her cubs, you should: a) Try to approach them b) Chase them away c) Be calm and give mother and cubs plenty of room 8—If you see a bear cub that appears to be all alone, you should: a) Leave it as quickly as possible b) Feed it c) Try to rescue it 9—Dogs are involved in more than half of all reported incidents involving people and black bears. Nearly half of the dogs involved in these dog-bear encounters are injured or killed. What’s more, dog owners are also injured. The easiest way to avoid these dangerous incidents is to: a) Let your dog run free and “tree” the bear b) Leash up your dog c) Learn more about the behaviors of dogs and bears at

10—A bear’s weight fluctuates throughout the year. In spring, black bears tend to eat mostly plants. In summer, they feast on berries and insects, and in fall, they indulge on nuts and more berries. [They also eat carrion (dead animals), small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians throughout the year, depending on availability.] During the spring and summer months, 5,000 calories a day is the norm. In the fall months, as they prepare for denning season, a bear will consume approximately: a) 10,000 calories/day b) 15,000 calories/day c) 20,000 calories/day 11—True or False? N.C. black bears hibernate. 12—While denning, black bears can go as many as ____ days without eating, drinking, or eliminating waste. a) 30 b) 75 c) 100 Answers on page 84. Our local black bears can provide wonderful wildlife watching opportunities. The key is to keep yourself and your pets at a safe distance and to encourage bears to find their own healthy, natural foods. According to, the bears that hang around neighborhoods or businesses are symptoms of a larger problem. Their continued presence means that they are likely finding and eating unsecured garbage, birdseed from feeders, pet foods, or other non-natural, humanprovided foods. If you eliminate the humanprovided food sources, you can eliminate the problem and help keep people safe and bears wild. You can build up more “bear knowledge” at and CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



The High Country is bear country. Summer in the mountains means that our local bears are awake, alert and often interacting with humans in our shared habitat. You’ve likely read a lot about bears and their presence in our communities. But how much do you really know about these gentle giants? According to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, “… bears are viewed either as dangerous animals or cuddly pets. It is best to avoid these extreme views and instead show a healthy respect for this magnificent forest animal.” Knowing more about a wild animal and its behaviors can help us better appreciate the animal and co-exist with it. Take this quick quiz to test and expand your own knowledge of our local black bears. Then visit bearwise. org to learn more.

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Baby Birds Galore!! By Curtis Smalling

Red -winged Blackbird Canada Geese and goslings / Photo by Marilyn Grubb (National Audubon Society)

mouse (or bird in this case) has made for some interesting adaptations to protect those young. Many young birds that are hatched naked and blind leave their nest before they have fully developed flight feathers and thus spend the first couple of days hopping and fluttering to adjacent dense habitats to hide from predators while still being available to parents for feeding. This is a most vulnerable time, and when we often see young birds in our yards or on our decks seemingly abandoned. In almost all cases they are not abandoned but being fed and often led to better cover—now is not typically the time to scoop them up and bring them in the house or to a wildlife rehabilitation clinic. Instead, you can gently move an exposed chick to the nearest shrub or denser cover. Their vocalizations will usually alert the parents to their location for feeding, and despite the folklore, most parent songbirds do not smell a human scent on the young. Keeping your pets indoors during this period can help a lot during this time. As tracking technology has gotten better and smaller, we can finally get some real data on how young birds fare, move, and develop after leaving the nest. Affixing very small transmitters to young birds has allowed us to peek inside this mysterious time. We know that most young are coaxed and led by parents to dense cover away from their nesting site. For Golden-winged Warblers this can be up to 300 yards away over the course of about a week until the young are fully able to fly. Another interesting adaptation is the practice of brood splitting. For a typical nest that fledges about 5 or 6 birds, half will follow their mother and half their father. These two groups then come back together in about eight or nine days to reconnect and stay together for most of the rest of the summer; the fully flighted young are now able to move and return much faster and farther than during that first week. In fact, with Golden-winged Warblers, if the young survive the first week, they are just as likely as their parents to survive to begin migration in September.

Young Yellow Warbler Photo by Don Mullaney

We also see what amounts to nursery areas for young birds with really good cover supporting fledglings of several species and ages, often moving together—“safety in numbers,” especially when dense cover is limited. We see this with grassland birds impacted by haying operations as they move to fence rows and other areas of denser vegetation following mowing. This move, however, can make them more vulnerable to mammalian predators like foxes and coyotes, so the more cover that is left, the better. This “coming together” is very common and by early June we are already seeing large flocks of young fledglings, European Starlings for example, gathering on power lines and trees. We are also learning some interesting things about how young birds undertake their first migration, often after their parents have left for their wintering homes in Central and South America. The miniaturization of transmitter and data loggers is unlocking these mysterious periods for researchers and conservationists. In one example, young Osprey seem to go south and stay over land as much as possible, taking them down through Florida, across Cuba and Hispaniola, and then to South America. But if a young bird gets blown off course, it may repeat that altered course in subsequent years, even if that track is much farther than necessary. So, this summer as you see baby birds in the yard and garden, hear the begging screams of young Red-tailed Hawks in August as their parents wean them from support, or see large flocks of young starlings gathering together, remember that there is a whole summer of dangerous times for young birds. You can help by keeping your pets indoors or on a leash, moving young, exposed birds to the closest cover, and learning about this fascinating period of their lives. For more on how we are learning about birds’ full life cycles, visit migratory-bird-initiative. Curtis Smalling is a Boone resident and the Director of Conservation for Audubon North Carolina. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



Summer in the mountains. It is what we wait for all winter, and what folks from the lowlands can’t wait to come experience. Cool evenings, beautiful scenery, not too many bugs, and lots of great outdoor activities to experience with family and friends. It is also a time for gardens, yards, and nature’s bounty, and to start prepping for the coming changes in fall and winter. As a bird watcher, one of the things you notice this time of year is that there are a lot more birds around. Young birds have hatched (mostly in May and early June) and are leaving the safety of the nest and eventually the care and feeding provided by their parents. For a lot of our resident birds, like Dark-eyed Juncos and Song Sparrows, the work of raising another, and sometimes a third, brood of youngsters continues well into summer. For most others that migrate away, one nest is the norm. But if that first attempt fails due to weather or a predator eating the eggs or nestlings, mating pairs will often re-nest a second or third time before giving up for the year. Nests and eggs have fascinated folks for centuries, but what happens to the young after they leave the nest has been a persistent mystery through the years as the young birds hide, move, and become independent from their parents. We have all seen young birds sitting in the yard begging for a parent to come feed them outside the nest, and this a normal part of the process. In fact most young birds—known as fledglings after departing the nest—are cared for by their parents for at least as long as they were nestlings. This amounts to about two weeks for most songbirds but can be a few months for larger birds like hawks and owls as parents teach their young to hunt. This is a critical time in the life cycle of young birds, with predation often taking 80 percent in the first week they are out of the nest. And this seems to be true for everything from Wood Ducks to American Robins, to Golden-winged Warblers. There are a lot of other birds, mammals, and reptiles out there looking for food for themselves and their babies, as well, and the game of cat and

Photo by Don Mullaney

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Plenty to Celebrate on the Parkway By Rita Larkin

Energizing hikes, nights spent camping under the stars, picture-perfect picnics, and leisurely drives are in full swing on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There’s no doubt that the national park offers plenty of ways to embrace summer. Here are a few more reasons to celebrate the special place in your backyard.

ects that enhance the park. The latest opportunities to help the park are focused on providing richer experiences, supporting volunteer contributions, improving trails and overlooks, and more. Included on the 2022 list is a new ramp to provide greater accessibility to the Bass Lake Loop at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. For a list of current projects that need support, visit

Milepost Music


The Denim Ball

After a two-year hiatus, the annual Denim Ball is back! Guests clad in creative denim outfits will spend the evening celebrating the recent renovations at Flat Top Manor, during this fête hosted on the front lawn of the Cones’ former home. Expect great views, great food, and great fun. Details at

Project List

Each year, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation works closely with the National Park Service to select critical proj-

Flat Top Manor Rehabilitation

This spring, the Public Lands Alliance awarded the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and National Park Service the 2022 Public Lands Partner Award, for their joint project to rehabilitate the exterior of Flat Top Manor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. The award recognizes an exemplary partnership for a stunning achievement to protect and preserve public lands and enhance the experiences of their visitors and users. “The commitment of those who love the Cone estate was crucial in this effort to remake history,” said Jordan Calaway, the Foundation’s Chief Development Officer. “Donors truly stepped up to protect this treasured place listed on the National Register of Historic Places.”

The Bluffs Opening Day, 2022


The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and Blue Ridge Music Center are reviving free mountain music presentations at popular destinations along the Parkway. Milepost Music sessions are offered from 1 to 3 p.m., on rotating Sundays, through September. This series of intimate outdoor concerts will showcase local musicians playing traditional music at Humpback Rocks (third Sunday of the month), Peaks of Otter (first Sunday of the month), Roanoke Mountain Campground (third Sunday of the month), Mabry Mill (second Sunday of the month), and Doughton Park (fourth Sunday of the month). Learn more at

The Bluffs Restaurant

The National Scenic Byway Foundation awarded the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation the 2022 Visitor Experience Award for the rehabilitation and reopening of The Bluffs Restaurant at Doughton Park. A special thanks goes out to all the people who championed the return of this beloved dining establishment on the Parkway. The Bluffs is open for its second full season through November 15.

The Denim Ball










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late afternoon thunderstorms, a colony of honey bees “throws a swarm”; chestnuts in spiny cupules, expanding day by day; summertime, and Gaia smiles... From the upcoming book of poems, Jags and Ripples in the Cosmic Fabric, by Rocky Parriott of Ashe County, NC

“Over the course of the last two years, many people have looked for more ways to get active in the great outdoors. Thanks to an ever-growing network of recreational trails across the country, staying active is easier than ever.” (USA Today,

Left: Property recently purchased from the family of Artie Hollars—“Blue Ridge Conservancy is grateful for their help in conserving this exceptional tract of land.” Photo courtesy of BRC | Right: Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail, photo courtesy of Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau

Trail Reports: Summer 2022 In May, Blue Ridge Conservancy (BRC) purchased 33 acres of land just outside Boone, providing a critical link for the Middle Fork Greenway, which will connect Boone to Blowing Rock. The property features 2,000 feet of frontage along the Middle Fork New River and will be known as Boone Gorge Park. In addition to the public access and recreational opportunities provided by the property, protecting this portion of the river is important because it is located just upstream of Boone’s primary source of drinking water. The property was purchased from the family of Artie Hollars, and funding for the project came from the Watauga County Tourism Development Authority and the State Capital Infrastructure Fund. “The Boone Gorge Park acquisition is a major investment in public access and recreational opportunities in Watauga County,” says Charlie Brady, BRC Executive Director. “The purchase is another example of BRC’s commitment to protect land that can be enjoyed by everyone. We are extremely grateful for the support provided by Senator Deanna Ballard, Representative Ray Pickett, and the Watauga County TDA. Without their commitment this conservation success and many others in the region would not have happened.” Middle Fork Greenway Director Wendy Patoprsty is excited about what the purchase means for the continuation of the trail: “This is an essential link for the future connection of

the Middle Fork Greenway, and we are partnering with Appalachian State University to extend the trail onto their land. We are fundraising for the construction costs and working on design, engineering, and permitting, and expect to have the park completed in three to four years. Success hinges on permitting and fundraising: Businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate in the annual ‘Round Up For The Greenway’ fundraiser, held during the month of July.” The Middle Fork Greenway trail is a project of BRC, and will connect Boone to Blowing Rock along the Middle Fork New River. Several parks and trail sections are currently open. For details, visit: The Virginia Creeper Wins USA Today Readers’ Poll Award Earlier this year, USA Today readers voted for the top 10 Best Recreational Trails of 2022 and the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail was ranked third in the U.S. The popular Virginia Creeper trail extends for 34.3 miles through Virginia and North Carolina and follows the path of the historic steam engine that once wound into the Iron Mountains, a sub-range of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The rail-to-recreation trail is a favorite among hikers and bikers, traversing through two counties from Abingdon, Virginia, through Damascus, and ending just past Whitetop Station in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, at the Virginia-North Carolina border.

While the Virginia Creeper Trail (VCT) is best known as a biking trail, it is actually a multi-use trail with opportunities to bike, walk, run, fish, horseback ride, cross country ski and geocache. Along the way, trail users can observe and learn about the native fauna and flora and the fascinating historical and economic role the railroad played in southwest Virginia. According to the Virginia Creeper Trail Conservancy, “The diverse landscape, the elevation variability and multiple access points all combine to make for a design-your-own Creeper Trail adventure and a chance to individualize your experience according to your time constraints, what portions of the trail you’d like to see, or whether you’re riding with very young children or energetic teens.” Since its opening more than three decades ago, the Creeper Trail remains one of the country’s premier rail-trails, honored as the inductee into the 2014 Rails-to-Trails Conservancy’s Hall of Fame and a recipient of numerous local, regional and national accolades, including this latest award from USA Today’s “10 Best.” Download trail maps, and find bike shops, outfitters and shuttle operators in the area at The website provides users with original, unbiased and experiential travel coverage of top attractions, things to see and do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world.




Blue Ridge Conservancy Secures Crucial Property for Recreation and Access on the Middle Fork Greenway

By CML Staff



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FISHING By Andrew Corpening Fly Fishing Resource Guide:

Now that summer has arrived in the High Country, it means that our summer visitors have also arrived. Many of these visitors want to do a little fishing while here and most want to fish for trout, our cold-water species. The traditional way to fish for trout is by fly fishing, which, for the spin fishing flatlanders, can be a little intimidating. Fortunately the High Country is blessed with an abundance of fly fishing shops and guides. Most shops are full service shops offering everything from flies to complete outfits and guide services. The area also has a number of independent guides. One of the most important things you can get from a shop or guide is information. If you already fly fish you probably just need info on regional productive flies or where to get access to trout water. If you are just getting started in fly fishing or wanting to try it, a guided trip is the way to go. Most guides are good instructors and are glad to teach you. Even if you are an experienced fly fisher, a guide that works on the Tennessee tail waters with a boat can get you on those blue ribbon trout waters. If you are new to fly fishing, the first time you go into a fly fishing shop you may experience a little sticker shock. This is to be expected since even beginner outfits from good companies can seem high, but remember— you get what you pay for. You can definitely find cheaper rods at a big-box store but those rods are hard to cast and usually too heavy for enjoyable trout fishing. If you are not ready to purchase a quality beginner’s outfit, you should go on a guided trip. Nearly all guides, through a shop or independent, provide the equipment. Most guides will have everything from rods to waders and even lunch on full day trips. This way you can see if you like fly fishing before you invest in the equipment. The following list is intended to be a starting point and is not an endorsement for either shops or guides. Even though shops are easier to find since they are brick and mortar, most independent guides rely on word-ofmouth. Also remember that there are many aspects to a successful guided trip. Sometimes personalities just do not mesh. If that is the case, just try a different guide the next time.

Appalachian Fly Guides 828-446-5552 Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes

Mountain Bound Guides 828-963-5463 Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes

Boone Fly Shop 828-865-3474 Shop: Yes Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes

Nils Peterson 828-964-8581 Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes

Chetola Resort 800-243-8652 Shop: Yes Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes Other: Lodging Due South Outfitters 828-355-9109 Shop: Yes Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes Elk Creek Outfitters 828-264-6497 706-957-5864 Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes Foscoe Fishing Company 828-963-6556 Shop: Yes Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes Freestone River Anglers 828-278-9235 Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes

Riverstone Fly Fishing 828-719-1543 Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes River Girl Fishing 336-877-3099 Shop: Yes Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes Other: Rental Equipment Oliver “Ollie” Smith 828-773-7751 Guide Service: Yes Instruction: Yes Waypoint Outfitters 828-865-1100 Shop: Yes Guide Service: No Instruction: No Other: Rental Equipment Note: This list is not an endorsement, nor is it a complete list of guides in the High Country.




Fly Fishing Resources





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Sugar Mountain Golf Course

Pros on the Mountain:

The Best Job in Golf By Tom McAuliffe

reflected. “How many of us can be so fortunate—how many of us can say that?” Peter Rucker enters his fourth decade at Hound Ears. Forty-five years ago Rucker was an all-conference golfer at Appalachian State. As Rucker dropped anchor in the beautiful Watauga River Valley, his predecessor, Tom Adams, moved to the head position at the Boone Golf Club. It was a natural fit for Adams, who, along with brothers Sam and Austin, earned NAIA All-American honors for App State under legendary coach Francis Hoover. Today Tom’s son, Art Adams, provides a youthful boost to the family enterprise that is unsurpassed in longevity popularity. Hall of Famer Chip King left his legacy behind in Pinehurst fifteen years ago to direct golf operations at Grandfather Golf and Country Club. Mountain golf fans would call it a promotion and the stalwart King has never looked back to the Sandhills. At Linville Golf Club, where familial ascension was a constant for years, Bill Stines enters his second season, getting a job of a lifetime when longtime pro Tom Dale moved to the General Manager’s position. After a storied career that included a stint at Scioto in Ohio, Stines returns to the North Carolina mountains. It was a homecoming for the affable pro who learned the game at Springdale Resort in Cruso near Waynesville, where his

grandfather, Pug Allen, was the head professional. “I’ve always wanted to return to the mountains,” Stines said. “But whether it was Biltmore Forest Club or Blowing Rock, once you get a head job in western North Carolina you never want to leave it. The people here have made it that way, it’s just a special place. It’s a matter of timing.” The Beech Mountain Club will be without head pro John Carrin for the first time in over two decades. For young pro Loren White, late of Kingsmill in Williamsburg, VA, and Berkely Hall in Bluffton, and his wife Heather, a PGA pro in her own right, the timing was perfect. “It has been a dream of ours for several years to live and work in the mountains,” Beech Mountain’s new pro said. “I’ve found our members here are happy. It’s a short season and they want to get every moment out of the time they spend on Beech.” And being lovers of the outdoors and skiing in the off season, they may have found their forever home in eastern America’s highest town. For the golf club professionals of the High Country it appears to be a trend.

Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



Change is rare when it comes to head golf professionals in the High Country. Once ensconced in any of the spectacular golf operations here it’s hard to let go of the wheel. So when a head pro position opens in our neighborhood, the competition is fierce. That was the case two years ago when Andrew Glover was called to fill the shoes of Wayne Smith, who had held the office at Blowing Rock Country Club for 35 years. Three years ago David Burleson of Mountain Glen took over for Newland’s Sam Foster, who spent almost 50 years at the Avery County jewel. Grassy Creek Golf Club’s Bruce Leverette is looking to retirement in his 46th season at the popular public course in Mitchell County, particularly in light of new ownership. “When I started here the irrigation system was a fiftyfoot garden hose,” Leverette recalled, who, with Superintendent Howard McKeithan, leave a lasting legacy in Spruce Pine. At Linville Ridge, eastern America’s highest golf club at 4,800 ft. above sea level, Kurt Thompson enters his 17th year as golf director. “I’m so fortunate to be here,” he said. Thompson learned the game guided by the ‘larger than life’ John McNeely, who brought his young protégé to Grandfather and later to his Tom Fazio creation at Diamond Creek. “I’ve been in the golf business for 23 years and 22 of those have been in our mountains,” he

Loren White, first year golf director at the Beech Mountain Club, wife Heather, asst. pro at Grandfather, and PGM intern from Sam Houston State Perry Grant at home in the High Country


Sugar Mountain Golf Course

GOLF: Continued from previous page Public Courses Boone Golf Club—Boone, NC Tom Adams, PGA Architect Ellis Maples, Revision Rick Robbins ‘Must play’ Mountain Standard in 63rd season. A mountain classic by Ross protégé Ellis Maples. Opened 1959, the Boone Golf Club proved a primary driver to growth of summer tourism in the High Country. 828-264-8760 | Mountain Glen—Newland, NC David Burleson, Golf Director Architect George Cobb Burleson keeping things familiar in Newland following Sam Foster’s retirement. Play volume at historic highs at a layout you could play everyday and be glad of it. 828-733-5804 | Sugar Mountain Golf Club—Sugar Mountain, NC Tom Mc Auliffe, Golf Director | Architect Frank Duane Dynamite par 64. Everyman’s golf club in a land of giants. Shoot par here and chances are you can shoot par anywhere, but still a place for all skill levels. A little bit better every year and that says a lot. 828-898-6464 | Mt. Mitchell Golf Club—Burnsville, NC Jim Floyd, Golf Director | Architect Fred Hawtree Spectacular property just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 344 at Hwy. 80 to Burnsville. Group getaway lodging specialists. For the day or the week. Toe River trout fishing, food and beverage excellent. Since 1975. 828-675-5454 | Willow Valley—Boone, NC Architect Tom Jackson (nine holes) One of Jackson’s earlier creations, he’s now a member of the Carolinas Golf Hall-of-Fame. The Little Green Monster is an exceptional par three course. 828-963-6865


Mountain Aire Golf Club—West Jefferson, NC Architect/Committee, Revisions Dennis Lehmann Popular Ashe County stop, driving range, good course, good folks in the pro shop. Philip Shepherd carrying bright torch in Hagel family tradition enters his 11th season at the helm. 336-877-4716 |

Linville Land Harbor, Linville Michael Hayes, Operations manager | Architects Tom Jackson (A-9 Ernie Hayes) Long-time private enclave between Linville and Pineola opening to public play with stay and play offerings. Fabulous putting surfaces. 828-733-8325 |

Grassy Creek Golf Club—Spruce Pine, NC Bruce Leverette, PGA | Architect/Committee Visit the Mitchell County mainstay and find out what all the locals love about Grassy Creek. What golf is all about. Pro Bruce Leverette and Supt. Howard McKeithen over 45 years keeping golf real in Spruce Pine. 828-765-7436 |

Private Clubs / Members and Guests Only

Resort Clubs with Lodging Access to Golf Hound Ears Club—Blowing Rock, NC Peter Rucker, PGA, App State alum begins 40th year. Architect George Cobb | Revisions Tom Jackson Private club with golf available for guests lodging in Clubhouse accommodations and via Qualified Member Home Rentals. A very special and playable golf course. 828-963-4321 | Beech Mountain Club—Beech Mountain, NC Loren White, PGA | Architect Willard Byrd Eastern America’s Highest Town at 5,506’. Ridge Top layout with views of five states, including Kentucky when the Blue Moon is full. Pro John Carrin calls it a day after 22 memorable years. New pro Loren White calls the mountain home from storied Kingsmill Resort of Williamsburg, VA. Private access accompanied by member. Temporary membership transfer in qualified housing only. 828-387-4208 ext. 201 | Jefferson Landing Country Club & Resort— Jefferson, NC Dan Stepnicka, PGA Architect Larry Nelson/Dennis Lehmann Course access for members and on-site lodgers— great golf getaway for your group. Outside play welcome per space available. Call for tee times. Beautiful Ashe County classic. Clubhouse dining. 1-800-292-6274 |

Some clubs below may offer short-term rental membership privileges with club or member sponsorship. Grandfather Golf & Country Club—Linville, NC Chip King, PGA | Architect Ellis Maples | 828-898-7533 Blowing Rock Country Club—Blowing Rock, NC Andrew Glover, PGA rchitect Donald Ross, Seth Raynor Revisions Tom Jackson and more recently BRCC revisions by Ross specialist Kris Spence a big hit. 828-295-3171 Elk River Club—Banner Elk, NC Dave Ambrose, PGA Architect Jack Nicklaus/Bob Cupp 828-898-9773 Linville Ridge Club—Linville, NC Kurt Thompson, PGA Architect George Cobb | Revisions Bobby Weed “Eastern America’s Highest Golf Course” 828-898-5151 Diamond Creek—Banner Elk, NC Joe Humston, PGA | Architect Tom Fazio 828-898-1800 Linville Golf Club—Linville, NC Bill Stines, PGA | Architect Donald Ross Revisions Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Bobby Weed. Longtime public access to historic Eseeola Lodge and golf course suspended Covid seasons, now permanent. Club still hosting community fundraisers this spring. 828-733-4311 |


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

Actual Size: ~1”

Egg Mass (overwinter)

SLF photos by Lawrence Barringer, PDA

Spotted Lanternfly Life Stages Actual Size: ¼”

Early Nymph (April-June)

Actual Size: ½”

Actual Size: ~1”

Late Nymph (June-September)

Adult (July-December)

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

See It

Snap It

Report It

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



Great-granddaughter Amelia exits “The Subway,” 2020 Assortment of Grandchildren, 1995

Ted Randolph

Rite of Passage H

ow do family traditions begin? As kids, we are shaped by our parents’ ideals and we follow them where they lead us. We soak up their stories and beg them to share memories of their own childhood experiences. If we’re lucky, we glean insight into the origins of our prized customs and develop an appreciation for ancestors who played a role in shaping these customs. Once we grow up, we are called to carry on the traditions that were put into motion long before us and share them with newer generations. My own small family established some wonderful traditions, many of which involved the outdoors. When I met my husband, who came from a much larger, delightfully adventurous family, we bonded instantly. And early in our courtship, I got to experience what is one of the most enduring and awe-inspiring family traditions I have ever known. Up to the Attic During our first summer together, the summer of 2018, an assortment of my husband’s siblings, nieces and nephews gathered in the mountains for two weeks in July, as they had done so many times before. One sunny day, we loaded several cars with nearly 20 members of the Randolph


By Tamara S. Randolph

clan and headed through the entrance gate of the Grandfather Mountain nature park. We wended up the curvy road and rendezvoused at the main trailhead near the Mile High Swinging Bridge. From there, we set off on what would be my very first hike to the Attic Window, one of several destinations along the Grandfather Trail in Grandfather Mountain State Park. As we navigated the terrain and chatted with one another, family members shared stories about hiking this familiar trail in years’ past. I began to get to know my husband’s (then boyfriend’s) tightknit family. The conversations were enjoyable, and a pleasant distraction from the anxieties associated with my mild case of acrophobia. Roughly two-and-a-half miles round-trip, it’s not the distance that makes this trail a challenge. It’s the ruggedness and elevation gain—reaching the Attic Window is possible only with the help of primitive wooden ladders, cables affixed to steep and slippery rocks, and the natural handholds sculpted by weather and time. I was nervous that day. But I was also in awe. We were surrounded by a rare spruce-fir forest on a 300-million-year-old mountain. Having worked up a good sweat, we arrived at one of the wooden ladders at the base of McRae Peak for a short break. I

was told that my husband’s late father, Ted Randolph, had just a few years earlier—at the age of 91—hiked to the very spot we were standing. Knowing the challenges of the trail to this point, I was again in awe. Who was this superhero? “The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir When Ted Randolph was a child in the 1920s, he began exploring every nook and cranny of Grandfather Mountain, as well as the surrounding peaks. He free climbed and rappelled rock faces; he rode horses on the balds; and he broke countless footpaths through what was then wilderness. Being among the mountains was in his blood, thanks in part to his adventuresome grandparents who had come to the area in 1906. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Ted began bringing his wife and young children to the High Country and sharing his favorite places with them. As each of Ted and Jane Randolph’s five kids reached the age of 5 or 6, they were permitted, in fact encouraged, to join in the hiking adventures. Indeed, going “up to the Attic” was a rite of passage. They scaled the rocks, clambered up the ladders, and let their excitement build as they neared the peak. With their final des-

Begin Your Own Family Traditions Family Portrait, 2021

It’s never too soon or too late to gather your family together for outdoor adventure! And the High Country is the perfect place to do it. Check out the outfitters and adventure-based businesses below to gear up for your family hike, climb, river float, camping trip, bike ride or other awe-inspiring adventure. Original Mast Store 3565 Hwy 194 S, Sugar Grove, NC 828-963-6511 | Mast Store Annex 2918 Broadstone Rd, Banner Elk, NC 828-963-6511 |

Daught er Mary , 1964

Mast General Store 630 W King St, Boone, NC 828-262-0000 |

Jane and Ted Randolph, early ‘00s

tination close at hand, each child would be led off the trail into a secret passage—the “Window” that gives this section of the trail its name. Once inside the Window, a short slide down the “Window Sill” leads into the “Subway,” a long, dark, and narrow gap between a series of massive rocks that eventually drops hikers back on the trail. One last push up the path leads to the final prize of the day—lunch on the Attic Window peak, surrounded by mountain views that seem to go on forever. “Dah-Dah,” as Ted Randolph is known by three generations of his descendants, organized numerous hikes to the Attic Window every summer, rallying a dozen or more of his relatives and friends to join him. There on Grandfather Mountain, he displayed skill, fearlessness and a joie de vivre that rubbed off on everyone around him. He was responsible for forging a tradition that would stick, not just for his own family, but for the many families who took part in the Randolphs’ summer adventures on Grandfather. Inheriting the Earth Ted and Jane’s children grew up, married, became parents (and grandparents), and continued to pass along their mountain-loving genes. Summer family

gatherings always included the traditional group hike to the Attic Window, as well as other popular hikes: Carver’s Gap on Roan Mountain, Linville Gorge, and Hawksbill, to name a few. Through the years the family also enjoyed river tubing, rock climbing, mountain biking, waterfall jumping, and even running ‘The Bear’ together. Both nature and nurture led them to seek sport, adventure and endless enjoyment with one another. This summer, nearly 30 family members will travel from six different states and arrive here in the High Country. We’ll plan a meeting time, load our daypacks, form a convoy, drive through the entrance gate, round the Forrest Gump curve, and gather at the trailhead. We will take the customary family portrait in front of the Grandfather Trail sign. We’ll talk about Dah-Dah and how this tradition began. And for the first time, four excited six-year-old boys— four of Ted Randolph’s 12 great grandchildren—will set out on the trail to the Attic Window. With their family’s encouragement, they will scale the ladders, cling to the craggy rocks, reach the peak, and feel like superheroes. And they will look out at these magnificent mountains with awe, hope and infinite happiness.

Footsloggers • 921 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 828-295-4453 • 139 Depot St, Boone, NC 828-355-9984 • 08 A S Jefferson Ave, West Jefferson, NC 336-846-5888 Ski Country Sports 3149 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk, NC 828-898-9786 | Alpine Ski Center 3150 Tynecastle Hwy, Banner Elk, NC 828-898-9701 | Adventure Damascus—Sundog Outfitters 331 Douglas Dr., Damascus, VA 888-595-2453 | Sugar Mountain Resort 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Banner Elk, NC 828-898-4521 | Fred’s General Mercantile 501 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain, NC 828-387-4838 | Foscoe Fishing 8857 NC-105, Boone, NC 828-963-6556 | Hawksnest Zipline 2058 Skyland Dr, Seven Devils, NC 828-963-6561 | Sunset Tees & Hattery 1117 Main St, Blowing Rock, NC 828-295-9326 Pack Rats 150 Linville St, Newland, NC 828-733-3600 | CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


Blue Ridge Explorer: Quiz Answers from page 65 1-a) Ursus americanus, or the American Black Bear, actually comes in many different shades, including black, brown and white. Ursus arctos is the scientific name for Brown Bears (grizzlies), and Ursus maritimus is the scientific name for Polar Bears. 2-b) 400-500 lbs. The largest known black bear in NC (Craven County) weighed 880 pounds; however, most adult male black bears weigh substantially less than that. Adult females weigh 100-300 pounds on average. 3—False. According to some scientists, the black bear is one of the most intelligent non-human animals in North America, with a simple concept level compared to that of a 3-year-old human. Black bears have a long memory and uncanny ability to navigate. They can use tools such as sticks and branches to scratch, and will pick up and throw objects such as rocks. 4-b) 35 mph 5—Myth. A standing bear is most likely trying to see, smell or hear better than it can when it is on all fours. 6-b) Always stand your ground. Because black bears are excellent tree climbers (far better than you) and fast runners (far faster

than you), you NEVER want to climb a tree or run to escape a bear encounter. It is important to note that most black bears will retreat before you even know they’re there. However, in the extremely rare case of a charging black bear, stand large, throw rocks and sticks, and fight back. NEVER play dead. Keep standing your ground until the black bear leaves, and then calmly walk away. (Note: different rules may apply to grizzly bears.) 7-c) It’s very rare for a mother bear to aggressively protect her cubs. However, your best action is to be calm and give her plenty of room, even if it means you have to change your planned hike or other activity. Never keep approaching her, even if the cubs are safely in a tree. 8-a) Leave bear cubs as quickly as possible. It is very likely that mother bear is nearby, and the longer you stay, the longer she’ll be away from her cubs. IF you believe the cub is truly orphaned, do not touch it. Instead, snap a quick photo, note the location and immediately leave the area. Contact the NC Wildlife Resources Commission at 866-318-2401 for further guidance. 9-b) and c) ALWAYS leash your dog in forested habitats and areas where you know bears may be present AND visit to understand why bears feel so threatened

by dogs. Letting your dog run free is always dangerous to your dog and is a serious stressor for all kinds of wildlife. Plus, statistics show that people who try to rescue a dog from a bear encounter are often seriously injured themselves. To better understand why bears and dogs don’t get along, visit and go to “Bear Safety Tips.” 10-c) Bears’ appetites ramp up dramatically in the fall because they need to put on a thick layer of fat to survive through the winter. Acorns and nuts become an important part of their diet. This annual binge is called hyperphagia. 11—True and false. Some bears may be active throughout the winter denning season, especially in warmer parts of our state. Others go into a deep sleep. Similar to other hibernators, the black bear’s heart rate, breathing rate and metabolic rate slow down while it’s “denning.” However, some scientists say that our black bears are not true hibernators because a bear’s body temperature is reduced by only 10 to 15 degrees. Plus, unlike other hibernators, a bear can wake up quite quickly from a winter nap. 12-c) Amazingly, bears can “chill out” during denning season for more than 100 days without eating, drinking, urinating, or defecating!

Celebrating our 100th Anniversary! 1922-2022 | 828.963.1800


A Titan of Tennis in the High Country Turns 100 View from the upper courts


he Yonahlossee Racquet Club (YRC), located between Boone and Blowing Rock, is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. “We’re proud of our long history and still thrilled about being part of the community and looking forward to our next 100 years,” said YRC General Manager Ripley Amell. “There are but a few places that exude such a sense of calmness and beauty, wrapped up in the friendly competition found while playing tennis, other than the Yonahlossee Racquet Club, perched at over 4,000 feet.” YRC owes its beginning to a girls’ riding summer camp that originated in 1922, says Amell, a native Canadian. Yonahlossee Camp and its 750 acres were purchased by a developer who wanted to build a destination resort that included an indoor pool, indoor tennis court and outdoor clay courts. The developer later sold the racquet club to a group of Yonahlossee residents, incorporating it as the Yonahlossee Racquet Club. These pioneering resident/ players became the builders of additional outdoor clay courts and the first members of the Yonahlossee Racquet Club. Since 1987 YRC has been administered by members, who were instrumental in its growth and financed its improvements. The club initially had four outdoor clay courts. The years following were periods of growth in tennis—leagues and tournaments began mushrooming around the High Country,

resulting in greater demand for court time. To meet the need, the club built two more courts, all six having a surface material called Har-Tru. In addition to the courts, a new and much-needed lounge was added to the clubhouse in 2018. Eventually, volunteer members could not be expected to administer the Club’s operations, and with membership growing, it became necessary to hire staff. Amell, who joined the staff three years ago, has worked in the tennis resort/club industry in Canada and the US for more than 34 years and has been cultivating a renewed focus on a new member experience while respecting the rich history of YRC. Today, the YRC has more than 175 members, including families with three generations represented. “The club promotes a lot of easy friendships through what we do,” said Amell. “Not many clubs in the United States can say they’re celebrating 100 years—it’s a hidden gem.” Famous players have visited the club, notably Stan Smith. And the club has had the privilege of hosting prestigious USTA Adult Championship tournaments in the past and is now the home of the Tournament Players Academy (TPA), which moved its operations up from Tampa, FL. YRC/TPA now works with top junior tennis players in the High Country who are preparing for a college tennis career. YRC is a not-for-profit organization. It

is a members’ directed club governed by a Board of Directors drawn from its membership. Besides governance, members perform valuable services, such as helping staff with social events, spring and fall cleanups and assisting in any club undertakings. Non-members are welcome to enroll in lessons, programs, and kids’ summer camps. However, only members and their guests have exclusive use of the courts. Members also benefit from a variety of social and competitive events. “This 100-year milestone is a considerable achievement and speaks volumes of those who have served it through good and bad times,” says Amell. “Its history is rich and colorful and a great testament to the will of people within Yonahlossee, as well as community members, to create and keep alive the spirit of YRC.” YRC is currently open to new members, with the following options: • Resident Memberships: members who own property within one of three subdivisions at Yonahlossee • Community Memberships: members who reside outside of Yonahlossee • Social Memberships: members who reside in Yonahlossee who do not play tennis but would like to take advantage of YRC’s social events, pool and fitness center For more information, email and visit CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


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Tennis players trash 300 million tennis balls annually.


Recycleballs is a non-profit initiative driven by tennis players with a mission to recycle and reuse all tennis balls. Have some balls to toss out? Individuals or organizations with 100 tennis balls or more can immediately ship those balls, and Recycleballs will repurpose them for you. Tennis facility? You can sponsor recycling options at your courts and also take part in the Recycleballs’ QUICKSHIP program. Play your favorite sport this season while also considering the future of our planet. When Earth wins, everyone wins.

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Home to the Largest Emerald Found in North America Alexander County Visitor's Center 1914's House Museum Art Gallery • Antique Toy & Dolls Artist Gift Shop • Gem Display



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Now Available for Booking at CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


The Historic James Wilburn Whitehead Home By Carol Lowe Timblin


ames Wilburn Whitehead could sit on the front porch of his home just outside Banner’s Elk (known today as the town of Banner Elk) and look out over the hundreds of acres that he owned. From the time he built his home in 1885 until he died in 1924, he had the pleasure of living and working on the large farm with his wife, Jennie, and their children. When he died at the age of 73, James was considered one of the richest men in the area. James experienced significant changes and losses in his early years. Born in 1851 in Elk Mills, TN, he was the oldest of five children born to Daniel Whitehead and Lurany Holtsclaw Dugger. Daniel had come to the marriage with one child from a previous marriage, and Lurany Holtsclaw, the widow of Able Dugger, had four children. When James lost his mother at the age of six, his father soon remarried. At the age of 13 he was indentured to a family traveling by wagon train to Illinois. When he returned to Tennessee at age 20, he learned that his father had died and his stepmother had remarried. In 1872, he showed up in Banner’s Elk with a gun, two hogs, and a dog in tow. By the time James was 30, he had obtained a land grant for 600 acres on Buckeye Creek on Beech Mountain and three years later purchased an additional 480 acres on Big Bottoms of Elk that had


belonged to Delilah Baird, who was linked to his Holtzclaw kin. In addition to having a family connection to the land in Elk River Valley, James greatly admired George W. Dugger, his half-brother, and wanted to live near him. George and his family had moved to the area in 1856 and had laid claim to large tracts through land grants; Dugger also forged iron at the Cranberry Mines, owned by his father and uncle for several years. Elk River Valley proved to be the ideal place for James to build his fortune. He trapped minks and muskrats in Elk River and hunted weasels, possums, raccoons, wolves, and bears in the deep forests. He raised cattle and sheep and let his hogs run wild on Beech Mountain. He grew oats, barley, buckwheat, cabbage, and potatoes on the farm and tapped the maple trees for syrup, sugar, and candy. In the early 1900s he leased large tracts of timber to the big lumber companies operating in the area. In 1891-1892, a turnpike road, connecting Valle Crucis to Elk Park, was built. Known to be frugal with his money, James once invested in a Valle Crucis bank, which went bankrupt. He never trusted banks after that and stashed his money in canning jars that he hid in the hog lot on the farm. He hired Alfred Bedum Baird, the son of Delilah Baird and John Holtsclaw, to help with the work and even

built a cabin for that family. According to a memorial written by a neighbor, “James was considered a shrewd businessman and always dressed in a suit…..His word was his bond….he was never known to owe any man a cent by note or otherwise.” James married Martha Jane “Jennie” Hayes of Watauga County in 1885. They had five children. Addie J., the oldest, died at the age of three. Sally Louise, Thomas J., George Washington, and Mattie Virginia grew up and pursued their own interests. James succumbed to cancer in 1924, and Jennie died in 1956. Their son, George, and his wife, Mabel, continued to live on the farm, raising livestock and crops. In 1964, they sold their home and most of the land around it to the developer of Elk River Club. The sale took its toll on George. He died in 1972, as the last of his cabbage patches were bulldozed to make room for an airport. Mabel passed away in 1993 at the age of 95. Both are buried in the family cemetery below the Old Turnpike Road along with other family members. Alfred Baird, who lived on the land from the time of his birth in 1826 until his death in 1880, also rests in the cemetery, which contains 19 graves. Elk River Club leased the farmhouse to various individuals before selling it for $5,000 in 1975 to Dennis Lehmann, a land planner for Carolina Caribbean

The Whitehead Family Left to right: George, James, Virginia, wife Jennie, Thomas and Sally

Corporation. By that time, various tenants had almost destroyed the Whitehead house, leaving it with no plumbing, no electricity, and no heat, and much of the roof and wood rotten. After 20 years of owning and extensively renovating the home, Lehmann decided to sell the historic property and posted a hand-lettered “4-SALE” sign out front. That’s when Cheryl Richardson came barreling down the road and slammed on her brakes to get a better view of the place. “When I saw the old farmhouse, I said, ‘This is it!’ My husband Edwin and I painted all the rooms and continued to work on the house for the next 26 years,” she recalls. “We furnished it with 19th-century East Coast antiques that we had stored over the years. During the time we lived here, I worked on getting the Old Turnpike Road declared a North Carolina Scenic Byway, which was granted in 2018. It is one of the few, if not the only, original 19th-century turnpikes in the state.” In 2020, the Richardsons sold the farmhouse, including all the furnishings, to Dennis Lehmann’s son and daughterin-law, Paul and Fabiana Lehmann, with the understanding they would preserve the historical integrity of the house and make necessary improvements. Since then, Paul, an experienced custom home builder, and Fabiana have worked continuously

to update the home and ensure that it is structurally sound. Initially, that involved jacking up the house, removing stacked rock piers, adding new floor framing and insulation, and replacing some of the old 12-inch hand-hewn oak beams. One of them has been repurposed as a mantle over the fireplace in the dining room. They used small shovels to move the dirt out from underneath the house and replaced the sagging dining room floor from above. The house has been rewired and replumbed, and heating and air conditioning installed. New paint and wallpaper have given it a fresh, clean look. They also added a new master bath and kitchen, plus a new roof, sidewalks, steps, handrails, and wood ceilings. They replumbed the original spring box, buried utilities, and added driveway curbing and landscaping. Soon they will build a replica of the old barn that was demolished. “I have many memories of growing up in the house in the ‘70s and ‘80s,” says Paul. “I remember waiting for the school bus down by the buckeye tree in the winter, squirrel hunting in the woods, getting caught riding my motorcycle at age 14 with no license or helmet, and riding hogs and ponies down by the barn. “I always wanted to own the house,” he continues. “Now that my wife and I have completed the restoration, the house is

finally comfortable, warm, and cozy yearround. It is such a unique, beautiful, historic home—it would be selfish to keep it all to ourselves. We want to share it with select families who want to make memories and who will appreciate its history and charm.” Visitors who stay at the historic home may gather eggs and feed the goats and the horse in the barnyard. They can share stories around the fire pit, placed next to the corn and potato garden. And they can sit on the big front porch and take in the beauty of Elk River Valley and the surrounding mountains, just as James Wilburn Whitehead and his family did in their lifetimes. The Whitehead home is now available for short-term rentals through Vacation Rentals By Owner, VRBO, Thanks to Carolyn Davis for sharing the Whitehead family photo.

Paul and Fabiana Lehmann CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



Greater Banner Elk Heritage Foundation

7990 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk 11-3 Wed-Sat | June-Sept

2022 Offerings Museum Tours

Guided tours of the 1870 Samuel Banner House. Period furnishings set the stage to tell the story of the settlement and growth of Banner Elk. $5 per adult.

Guided Walking Tours

Meet us at the Banner House at noon and our docents will lead you on a tour of our lovely town and maybe even tell you a few extra secrets! $10 per person.

Bus Tour

Visit the community of Plumtree on Sunday, August 28. A beautiful area you may not know has distinct ties to Banner Elk and an important history of its own. $35 per person. Limited seating. Pre-paid reservations strongly suggested.

Be immersed in the american revolution! don’t miss the incredible stage show guaranteed to entertain the entire family. This summer in Kings Mountain, NC Guaranteed Gemstones in Every Bucket

Year-round Virtual Offerings Historic Downtown Banner Elk Cellphone App Walking Tours

Download the free Pocket Sights app and let your phone lead you on a walking tour any time! Available through Apple and Google Play stores. Tips on our website.

History Trunks Online

Downloadable pdf activity lesson plans feature fun activities to connect kids with history.

Indoor Mining! 92 — Summer 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE


History on a Stick:

The Yellow Mountain Road Or, it might have been better described as the Old Catawba Path to Virginia. In the 1770s, once settlers passed through McKinney or Gillespie Gap, they made their way to the Lower Old Fields of Toe area, often called the Bright Settlement. Samuel Bright came in the mid-1770s from Salisbury. It was technically illegal, as the Proclamation of 1763 prevented settlers beyond the crest of the Blue Ridge. Bright built a series of cabins and set about improving the Yellow Mountain Road. The section from the Bright Settlement into present-day Tennessee was often referred to as Bright’s Trace. Bright built a second group of shelters, probably no more than lean-tos, at the confluence of the North Toe River and Road Creek. This area was called Upper Old Fields of the Toe. From here, the path turned up Roaring Creek (sometimes called Roan Creek in the 1700s). Five miles later, Bright’s Trace passed through Yellow Mountain Gap. Where were the hardy pioneers bound? The new settlements on the Watauga and Nolichucky Rivers. This section of the old Yellow Mountain road saw heavy use for over a century. Mi-

litia companies from the Watauga and Nolichucky settlements used the route to reinforce Patriot forces at Charleston in June 1776, Fort Anderson and Musgrove’s Mill in 1780, and Guilford Court House and Augusta, Georgia, in 1781. In 1776, Native Americans used the route during the Cherokee War of 1776, attacking settlements east of the crest of the Blue Ridge. The Overmountain Men used the route in September 1780, off to fight at the battle of King’s Mountain and change the course of the American Revolution. Almost a century later, Federal raiders from Tennessee used the route to cross into the area, on their way to capture Camp Vance near Morganton. Parts of the old Yellow Mountain are still visible today, often hiding in the woods. Other parts lie under US19E. The route still crosses into Tennessee via a footpath. The North Carolina Highway Historical Marker at the intersection of Roaring Creek and US19E was erected in 1938 and is one of the oldest markers in the state.




While it may seem odd to twenty-first century travelers who come from Charlotte or Winston-Salem for a day trip, getting across the Blue Ridge was a constant challenge for travelers throughout most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. There were few access points along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Deep Gap, Cook’s Gap, Sampson Gap, Aho Gap, and Watauga Gap (Blowing Rock), all provided access to the Watauga River Valley. However, the way was steep, much steeper than most wanted to undertake with their wagons. Grandfather Mountain was a huge natural barrier. The next major opening is Ivey Gap, near Pineola in Avery County. Most early settlers chose to go to Morganton, and then up the Yellow Mountain Road, through McKinney Gap and/or Gillespie Gap and into the North Toe River Valley. The Yellow Mountain Road was not a new route. There are numerous old Native American roads spread out over North Carolina. A 1928 map from the Bureau of American Ethnology referred to this route as the “Old Cherokee Path to Virginia.” The path was probably older than the Cherokee.

By Michael C. Hardy

The Grandfather Home campus is now part of Lees McRae College.

But, we are still helping High Country

children and families through foster care and other local community-based services.

Grandfather home museum

is closed temporarily while the college renovates several buildings. We hope to reopen the museum next year. If you have any questions about Grandfather Home history, don’t hesitate to call during this time of transition.


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“Stop and smell the roses.”

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Mountain Wisdom and Ways:

Wisdom from Old-time Sayings By Jim Casada Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress

Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



variant, perhaps more memorable not only because of the circumstances but the rhythm, to the shorter and more common “Do it right or not at all.” Then there are the various pearls of wisdom linked to the all too human tendency to procrastinate—“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today”; a delightful play on homonyms, “Weight (wait) is what broke the wagon down”; and “Delay is the thief of time.” Getting to the task at hand in prompt fashion—“There’s nothing to it but to do it” —certainly stood well in the forefront of the mindset of hard-working folks, and there’s something mirthfully appealing about the suggestion that “The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” Although we are talking about the perspectives of mountain folks, there’s more than a moderate degree of universality to “getting on with the job” whatever it might be. George Masa, the famed area photographer of Japanese origins whose efforts figured prominently in the creation of the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, actually brought a workmanlike attitude to hiking and lugging his equipment to remote and rugged settings. In his broken but decidedly to the point English, he once told some young companions on an outing who seemed more interested in chatting and frequent rest stops than getting up the next ridge or to the top of the mountain: “Off your seats and on your feets,” then added for good measure, “More walk, less talk.” Masa was in effect bringing a workmanlike attitude to what most would have considered play, and even the most strident of sayings and the most


among early settlers and where Christian goodness was often directly linked to hard, honest labor, that’s pretty much predictable. From boyhood onward, verbal guides to behavior and life were peppered off my hide, and occasionally even penetrated my thick skull, like hard rain drops from a sudden summer storm. In keeping with what academics often describe as the “Protestant ethic,” there were daily reminders linked to chores, the primacy of earning one’s keep, frugality, and the like. Common among them were “Begun is half done” and a related couplet, “Once it’s done, it will seem like fun.” Then there were offerings such as “The first is the worst and the rest is a simple test”; “Idle hands are the tools of the devil”; “If it’s worth doing it’s worth doing well”; “Make do with what you’ve got”; Waste not, want not”; and more. My favorite of all in this line of thinking, perhaps because of a combination of rhyme and utilization solely of two-letter words is: “If it is to be, it is up to me.” One dictum I recall with particular angst came from my father after my decidedly indifferent first year’s academic performance in college: “When a job is once begun, never leave it until it’s done; Be it great or be it small, do it well or not at all.” In truth, I well indeed had excelled in that freshman year. Unfortunately, my stellar performances lay in extracurricular activities such as dating, endless rounds of golf on the course the college owned, and all sorts of innocuous undergraduate high jinks. At least I had sufficient contact with reality to recognize Daddy would be singularly uninterested in achievements in such arenas. I kept my pie hole firmly shut other than to mutter the occasional “Yes sir.” His structure was a


This year celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of Carolina Mountain Life, and for this columnist that landmark immediately brings to mind an oft-quoted bit of wisdom from historians: “You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” This magazine, like the High Country way of life it proudly covers, has traveled an interesting path over the course of a quarter of a century, one rightly deserving of celebrating and chronicling. In connection with that celebratory look back, it seems appropriate to delve into the kind of folk wisdom and approach to life characteristic of the region through sharing some of the traditional sayings folks have long used to offer what is, in essence, the philosophy underlying a way of life. The origins of such aphorisms vary widely, but as is true with far more of our daily speech and common expressions than most of us realize, there are a few common sources. Among them are the Bible, William Shakespeare, Ben Franklin (mainly in the guise of “Poor Richard” in Poor Richard’s Almanac, the publication that gave him his first step towards lasting fame), and Mark Twain. Add to that rather short list the native wit and pronounced inclination to produce easily remembered tidbits commonplace to countless hillbilly poets, and you have a pretty solid grasp of these sayings. Of course we seldom pause to ponder how they began; we just accumulate and utter these morsels of common sense as guides to life. At the heart of much that is of greatest significance in this accumulation of wisdom created through the generations are little snippets, often rhythmic in nature, that capture the virtues of staunch devotion to work. In a region where Scots-Irish were predominant

WISDOM: Continued from previous page severe of taskmasters (or at least those with any practical sense) recognized the occasional need for relaxation. In that regard, probably everyone who reads these works will be familiar with the likes of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” “Stop and smell the roses,” or “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.” And of course the Biblical directive that one day out of seven be devoted to rest has long been a cornerstone of religion in the High Country no matter what one’s faith or denomination. For my part, I particularly enjoyed my paternal grandfather’s thoughts on recreational activity as a needed counterpoise to work. Demanding manual work was a consistent hallmark of his 80-plus years, but he leavened labor with a great love for simple pleasures such as hunting and fishing, telling of tales while seated in his rocking chair throne, whittling on some child’s toy, or the quiet satisfaction of seeing a blade of his perfectly sharpened Case knife slice away a perfect curl of wood. He also had a real knack for turning arduous effort into an adventure—spotting the first stinging packsaddle in a field of corn, watching a cricket seem almost paralyzed while sitting atop a hoe’s blade—or even giving a bit of energy to a hated task such as cleaning droppings out of the chicken house by talking about a fine, ice-cold slice of watermelon lying ahead as a reward. One incentivized maxim I recall from him was “Catfish, catfish give my worm a jerk, but before we catch catfish we need to do some work.” That basic reality, the need to do some work and do it promptly and well, has long resided at the heart of the traditional High Country outlook on life. Old-timers would argue, with considerable merit, that “things ain’t what they once were.” Some might reckon that change to constitute progress. Maybe—and maybe not. But assuredly those of us with roots running deep in the mountain soil didn’t get where we are through lack of effort, or as I often hear it described, being “trifling,” “purt nigh useless,” or “flat-out sorry.” We know where we are going because we have been, over generations, traveling a hard-rock road where work was a cardinal rule of life. Jim Casada’s latest book, a companion volume to his multi-award winning A Smoky Mountain Boyhood, is Fishing for Chickens: A Smokies Food Memoir. To order copies of either volume visit his website, www.


A Match Made in the Mountains:

Lees-McRae College Acquires Children’s Hope Alliance Property By Elizabeth Baird Hardy


t the beginning of the twentieth century, a passionate Presbyterian minister saw needs in Banner Elk, and he sought to meet those needs with opportunities and resources for local children. One of the lasting achievements of Reverend Edgar Tufts began as a school in his home in 1900. Eventually, both a girls’ boarding school and boys’ school developed, and then merged, evolving into what is today Lees-McRae College. In 1914, Tufts also established the Grandfather Home for Children, an orphanage to care for children without families, providing them with a safe home as well as an education and skills on a working farm. Over time, the Grandfather Home evolved as well, providing care for neglected and abused children and eventually merging with the Presbyterian Children’s Home of Barium Springs to become the Children’s Hope Alliance (CHA). Now, an agreement between two historic organizations transfers the Children’s Hope Alliance property to Lees-McRae College, uniting two of Reverend Tuft’s greatest legacies and securing future opportunities for both. On March 23, 2022, the move was announced at a surprise convocation at LeesMcRae, but the dreams and plans that led to the property purchase have been in the works for years. Dr. Lee King, president of Lees-McRae, describes a “light” dialogue that had been taking place for over three years, as the college was planning to renovate two of its historic dorms, exploring the possibility of leasing space from the CHA for student housing while

the Tennessee and Virginia residence halls were offline. With the pandemic and the new CHA care model that serves children in their own homes, rather than in a residential facility, the beautiful Grandfather Home site presented an ideal opportunity. When inquiries were made about whether it might actually be possible for the college to purchase the entire property, the conversation “quickly picked up steam. Everyone was eager,” President King states, expressing his appreciation for the wonderful leadership shown by CHA President and Chief Executive Officer Celeste Dominguez and her board, “fantastic partners” in the process of crafting an opportunity that serves both the college and the CHA. “I can’t overemphasize the great partnership with CHA,” Dr. King says. “The college is well served, and the purchase allows the CHA to use those resources to serve many more children and families in crisis.” The acquisition of the property, much of it adjacent to Lees-McRae’s campus, presents tremendous new opportunities for Lees-McRae students. The beautiful campus, which holds the distinction of having the highest elevation of any college campus east of the Mississippi River, is already well-known for its unique mountain environment and focus, expressed in its motto: “In the Mountains. Of the Mountains. For the Mountains.” With distinctive academic programs like Wildlife Rehabilitation, Wilderness Medicine and Rescue, and Outdoor Recreation Management, LeesMcRae already offers its students educational prospects closely tied to the area. Now, with the addition of the CHA

Statue of Edgar Tufts

property, nearly five hundred acres will be added to the college’s grounds, including buildings, forested land, and Wildcat Lake. While the historic buildings will retain their distinct appearances, the property is already undergoing technology upgrades and other renovations to be ready to accommodate students this fall. In just a few months, “The South Campus” will provide opportunities for 137 students to enjoy learning communities that bring together groups of 12 to 24 based on shared majors, interests, or activities like athletics. In addition, these students will benefit from on-site dining and recreation facilities. Blaine Hansen, Lees-McRae Vice President for Planning and Community Relations, stresses that these “living-learning communities are leaning into who we are as an institution... doubling down on who we are.” All Lees-McRae students will gain from the added property, with access to recreational sites like rock outcroppings for the climbing team, extended hiking trails, and Wildcat Lake. Experiential learning opportunities will also abound. Dr. King stresses there will be a positive impact “across many different spectrums….The additional space will make a significant impact on academic programs,” while benefitting every area from residence life to recreation. President King is excited about the physical property that will give the college space it needs for centuries to come, but he is also delighted that Lees-McRae’s “conservation and stewardship mindset” will protect the irreplaceable asset of this

historic property while “reuniting the land resources Edgar Tufts put together, honoring his legacy and commitment to the community.” The community of Banner Elk and beyond will truly benefit from this new development. Dr. King immediately began receiving “heartwarming messages from the community” upon news of the property transfer. Resources like the popular Wildcat Lake beach and pavilions will continue to be open to the public under the college’s stewardship so that community members can enjoy this beloved swimming spot just as they have for generations. New community experiences, like a planned concert series and other events using the outside stage, are being developed since the property will be easily accessible to visitors, while traditional events will continue. The popular community-wide Easter sunrise service will continue, drawing worshippers to “Resurrection Hill” from various area congregations. In addition, Lees-McRae is committed to protecting the shared legacy of both the college and the children’s home. Dr. King notes that the stewardship obligation that comes with this property is one the college takes seriously and has taken on freely, as Lees-McRae can protect the property and honor its history as no other entity could. The college is committed to maintain a museum presence, to preserve the historic structure of the buildings, and to honor donors. Of course, this major acquisition and the necessary renovations represent a serious investment that could not be un-

dertaken without much-appreciated and continued partnerships and philanthropic support. Blaine Hansen observes that one staff member has noted that gifts to LeesMcRae now serve both the college and the Children’s Hope Alliance; the revenue from the sale will allow the CHA to vastly extend its services to meet the needs of many more children where they are, while the property and its resources will benefit students, staff, and the community far into the future. The college’s Legacy Campaign allows donors to help reunite Reverend Tufts’s legacy while laying the groundwork for a new legacy. There will be numerous opportunities for the community to support and learn more about the exciting developments at the site. For the first time in three years, the college will be hosting its popular community picnic later this year, and multiple events are being scheduled to help spread the word about changes, improvements, and opportunities. Reverend Edgar Tufts left this earth in 1923, so, in many ways, it’s only fitting that now, almost a hundred years later, two of his visions are merging. He might not have been able to imagine the twenty-first century, but he always sought to give back to the mountains and their people. Now some of that mountain land will continue to serve generations to come, honoring the legacy of the past while inviting the promise of the future. To learn more about Lees-McRae College, on-going developments, and upcoming events, go to To learn more about Children’s Hope Alliance, go to CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


Dedy Traver:

Promoting a Bright Future for the Village of Sugar Mountain by Remembering the Past By Kim S. Davis

Sugar Buggy, March 1975


n historian is defined as an expert in or student of history, especially of a particular time or region. The Village of Sugar Mountain is fortunate to have Dedy Traver, a passionate resident dedicated to preserving the history of Sugar Mountain, to ensure the area remains a special place for all visitors throughout all seasons. Not only is she the unofficial historian for the Village of Sugar Mountain, she is a community volunteer and an appreciative advocate for her High Country home. Dedy and her family began coming to Sugar Mountain shortly after its inception in 1969. The family stayed in the summer lodge and enjoyed the many amenities. Her father, Al Traver, relocated from New England to Charlotte in the early sixties, and being an avid skier, he saw so much potential that he and her mother moved to the High Country and became full time residents working in real estate and helping manage some of the properties. An enthusiastic photographer, her father took countless photographs of the wildflowers of Sugar Mountain as well as the beginning development of the Sugar Mountain Resort. A great many of his photographic slides depict the construction of the slopes, the building of the lodge and golf course, and other interesting historical details such as the use of horses to pull out the logs because they were more


efficient in the rugged terrain than tractors. From its inception, through a bankruptcy, and during the earlier years as an incorporated village, Dedy’s father documented the progression with thousands of slides. Dedy was living in Atlanta and was coming up to ski on weekends with the Atlanta Ski Club when she realized she needed to get out of the city and to this beautiful mountain community permanently. So she followed in her parents footsteps and moved to Sugar Mountain in the early seventies. She worked for several companies over the years, all involved with the Sugar Mountain community in some way, and her love of the natural beauty and variety of activities continued to expand. Dedy came to be the keeper of Sugar Mountain’s history by default because of her access to her father’s vast photographic slide collection, and she has thoroughly embraced the role of historian. After her father passed away in the late 1980s, she inherited his slide presentations and took the initiative to organize them and include narratives for each collection. The Village Hall often refers callers who are looking for historic photos or details to Dedy, and she takes her presentations “on the road” to community organizations. Traver has presented for the Sugar Mountain Community Association to introduce its newer members to the story of

Sugar Mountain. She has also presented at the Banner Elk Book Exchange during their summer programs, and has shared her presentation on the development of the golf course with the golfing community. Additionally, many of her photographs were included in the Sugar Mountain Resort 50th Anniversary Documentary video (viewable on YouTube), put together by Kim Jochl, Vice President of Sugar Mountain Resort and another extraordinary woman and voice for the bounties of Sugar Mountain. When asked about some of the most interesting historical events in Sugar Mountain’s history, Dedy recounts some of the famous and spectacular guests who have helped promote the resort over the years. She shared how Norwegian Olympic Gold Medalist Stein Eriksen, who is often attributed with bringing the love of skiing to the American public, visited the newly formed southern ski area. Other Olympians followed, including charismatic Jean-Claude Killy, who arrived with show-business promoter Jack Lester in a black limousine flying the French and Swiss Flags to promote the value of ski lessons for new southern skiers. American Alpine Olympian Spider Sabich also visited the resort to promote the NASTAR recreational ski racing program. Those historical visits by well-known Olympians

Dedy Traver

Jean Claude Killy (right), January 1973

have continued with Diann Roffe, Krista Schmidinger, Paul Wylie, Marco Sullivan, Andrew Weibrecht, Sugar Mountain’s own Kim Jochl, and others. As the southern poet, Robert Penn Warren, once said, “History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future.” As Dedy explains, one of the most valuable lessons in the halfcentury history of Sugar Mountain Resort emerged following the bankruptcy. The village at that time was not incorporated and portions were sold to different developers with different visions; there were no county regulations to assist with maintaining the mountain village flavor envisioned for Sugar Mountain. So after one developer went well beyond the natural alpine concept, Dedy’s father, Al Traver, met with community leaders to work on establishing a ridge law to protect the natural environment of North Carolina’s mountain ridges, including Sugar Mountain. Eventually, the Village of Sugar Mountain became incorporated as homeowners realized the need to assess town taxes, take care of roads and infrastructure and maintain the integrity of the mountain. Since electing their first mayor in1986 through today, the Village of Sugar Mountain

has evolved while maintaining its family mountain village charm. As Dedy passionately attests, “Sugar Mountain is a great place to take time to be out in nature and enjoy what we have. With the pandemic renewing interest in walking and being in the great outdoors, people should take time to smell the roses (or Fraser Firs). Sugar Mountain began as a place for families to gather together and this is still a great place for that. There are activities for every resident and visitor. Village employees grew up here and it is their home.” And Dedy knows not only what makes a great community, but about the hard work and dedication of those who came before in order to make Sugar Mountain so purely sweet.

Tennis Bubble Photo courtesy of Bob Webb

Pool in the 1970s



Major Donors Shape the Future of An Appalachian Summer Festival Their gifts help build a $5 million endowment to ensure the festival enriches the lives of future generations.

the art of giving By Linda Coutant


or 38 years, An Appalachian Summer Festival has brought world-class arts programming to the High Country—music, theatre, dance, film and the visual arts, all at affordable ticket prices. A program of Appalachian State University, the festival and its future received significant backing through two recent gifts from individuals who fell in love with the region and its people decades ago: a $1 million matching gift from Neil and Nancy Schaffel in 2019 to encourage others to give and a $500,000 multi-year pledge from Chris Petti in 2020. The Schaffel and Petti gifts will become part of a $5 million endowment to keep An Appalachian Summer Festival entertaining and educating audiences in perpetuity. The university’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programming announced in May the endowment goal may be reached this summer. “These donors are creating transformational change for the festival,” said Denise Ringler, director of arts engagement and cultural resources at App State. The endowment helps ensure “a bright financial future for the festival for decades to come,” she said. “Endowment funds are game-changers for arts programs such as An Appalachian Summer Festival. Income from ticket sales covers only about 43 percent of the festival’s needed revenue each year, and private support must make up the difference. Endowment income serves as a ‘safety net’ by providing a reliable and predictable source of income to support festival operations if a future economic downturn were to make it difficult for our annual donors to sustain their contributions,” Ringler said. Here’s a look at these benefactors and their reasons for giving so generously:


Nancy and Neil Schaffel The Schaffels’ engagement with the High Country began in 1972 when Nancy’s parents, Arnold and Muriel Rosen, were among many south Florida residents who bought vacation homes in Beech Mountain and other local developments. Long involved with the arts scene in Miami, the Rosens were among the original founders of the An Appalachian Summer Festival in 1984. Family members spent lots of time here over the years. Nancy and Neil later inherited the Rosens’ summer home and recently made the High Country their full-time residence after retiring from jobs in Florida (as bookkeeper and real estate lawyer, respectively) and living for a short time in Texas. The Schaffels have continued the family legacy of supporting the arts in the High Country—“the place we call home,” they said. As part of An Appalachian Summer Festival, they created the Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists and the Rosen-Schaffel Endowment for Classical Music. They also have funded music scholarships through App State’s Hayes School of Music. “I was raised with the arts, that was the culture of our home. My parents were involved in the opera, the ballet and the theatre. They instilled in me the value of the arts, and I have always felt the arts add so much to a person’s well-being and their thinking,” Nancy Schaffel said. “It has felt like a family effort,” Neil Schaffel said of their continued giving. “The Rosens made the first endowment commitment in the 1980s and we saw them as an example.” The idea for a matching gift for an endowment benefitting An Appalachian Summer Festival came from the successful matching gift program used by WDAV public radio station in Davidson, he added. “We thought, why not use this endowment as a way to get other people involved in the festival, too? “I think An Appalachian Summer Festival is the best example of a public-private enterprise that I have ever witnessed,” he said. “My in-laws wanted to bring classical music to the High Country at a price people could afford… and the university, from chancellor to chancellor, has stayed true to the festival’s mission” of artistic excellence, innovative programming, the commissioning of new works and support of young American artists, and educational opportunities. Ticket prices are typically 30-40 percent lower than prices in other cities, and the festival gives school coupons and discounts for children’s tickets. “There are many people who have never seen a live performance before, and the festival gives them an opportunity at a price families can afford,” Nancy Schaffel said. “When you give, you get back so much more,” she continued. “It’s so enjoyable to see people benefit from what we’re able to do—I see the pleasure people have in seeing a performance, I see students benefit through scholarships, and I see people go to concerts they otherwise might not get to see.”

Nancy Schaffel, right, and Neil Schaffel in Rosen Concert Hall on Appalachian State University’s campus. Their recent matching gift supports an endowment for An Appalachian Summer Festival. Photo by Marie Freeman

Chris Petti Chris Petti came to the High Country in the late 1970s with her husband, orthopedic surgeon Alfonso Petti, as a getaway from the Florida heat, first as summer renters and later as homeowners. They enjoyed many active years here together—opening Louisiana Purchase restaurant and an art gallery in Banner Elk—before he passed away in 2019. They discovered a true and lasting fondness for the area, she said, and when Chris was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, she chose to pursue her treatment at Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone. She became a full-time North Carolina resident in 2021. “This is my home, even though I’ve lived my whole life in Florida,” said Petti, who worked as a nurse and nurse practitioner and later became a watercolor artist. During her cancer treatment, “it was so peaceful and helpful” to be in the mountains, which she describes as magical. “This is the community where I was healed. I’m trying to give back in good ways,” she said. The arts, Petti said, are the beauty of life. All the years she’s been in the High Country, she has sought out theater, music and other cultural events, so buying season tickets for An Appalachian Summer Festival seemed natural. Over time, she said, she kept increasing her giving, including making contributions in memory of her husband. After hearing about the Schaffels’ $1 million matching gift, she pledged $500,000 in October 2020, she said, to help keep the quality of An Appalachian Summer Festival programming “at its current level or even higher” in the years to come and to maintain the low-cost ticket prices the festival is known for. “The arts should be available for everyone,” Petti said. “You need to keep the arts at a decent price point so everyone can afford it, especially the students. I’m thrilled to help [An Appalachian Summer Festival] with what they need.” Petti recalls having known Nancy Schaffel’s parents, Arnold and Muriel Rosen, who were among An Appalachian Summer Festival’s founders, during her early years in the High Country. “I used to be in a book club with Muriel,” she said. “The Schaffels are following in the Rosens’ footsteps beautifully,” she continued. “If the Schaffels hadn’t stepped forward with their matching gift, I don’t know that I would have stepped up. I hope others will step up and follow, too, in any amount,” she said. Petti plans to attend most Appalachian Summer Festival events this season. For those she has to miss, she said she will give away her ticket to someone who can go. “I want anyone who has the opportunity to go to a performance,” she said. “You don’t know what you’ll like until you go and try it.”

Chris Petti, left, with her husband Dr. Alfonso Petti, who died in 2019. Her recent gift supports an endowment for An Appalachian Summer Festival. File photo

About An Appalachian Summer Festival Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. Attracting an audience of 28,000 to the High Country each year, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society in recent years. For tickets and festival details, visit www. or call the box office at 828-262-4046.



Looking Back F

lipping through back issues of CML is like time traveling for me. The first printed 48-pager was born over a cup of coffee and a simple idea. The evolution to 148 pages on matte finish and perfect binding feels akin to my own life changes: some gradual, some drastic, yet all leading towards a goal. I hope that CML will continue to be a go-to for folks to learn about this area but also to discover the intricacies of what makes it magical—the people, places, and events. Through the years, we have showcased some very compelling subjects and interesting folks. In our first edition, we featured Dennis Garman, who was one of the most badly burned Vietnam veterans to have survived, and yet he became a golf pro at Beech Moun-


tain Club for years. We had a small hot air balloon business prior to starting the magazine and flew over Valle Crucis for a story in our first issue. We have gone deep with peoples’ hearts and souls and have flown high above the High Country to capture the tales that are everlasting. I love when we receive letters and emails from folks telling us that they read us cover to cover and how much they were inspired by certain features, or that they learned something new, or tried out one of our recipes. Long-standing themes that run in almost every summer edition include fly-fishing, celebrating An Appalachian Summer Festival, health and outdoor adventures, recipes, and profiles on folks and places that have made an impact in this area.

The cover images have changed through the years to reflect not only the season, but the times. Our cover was ready to go to press right after 9/11 and we pulled it and had Matney firefighters pose in front of the flag as a tribute to all first responders for their selfless duty. We have mixed our covers over the years, from scenic landscapes, local art, to folks posing and illustrating a lifestyle. Many of the models were family members—they didn’t charge a fee! We hope you get a feel for the bounties of summer with this cover shot. Let us hear from you… and share your copy with a friend or tuck it away for reference—we print plenty!

Time is Relative By Estelle Brewer


ot to corrupt Einstein’s theory of relativity, but time is certainly relative (no, not just when measuring it with your relatives!). And it doesn’t creep at “its petty pace from day to day” as the Bard indicated. Nope! Time can fly or it can creep. Depending on your perspective, your activity, or perhaps even your age. Ask a child his age and you will most likely get the answer, “I’m six and a half!” We Boomers certainly don’t say, “I’m 70 and a half!” Time is flying for us. A friend of mine recently stated this concept succinctly. She said, “I have breakfast on Monday morning and by lunchtime it is Tuesday. At dinnertime it is already Friday!” We try to hold on to those moments in time that we realize are precious: a grandchild’s birthday, lunch with old friends, or holiday gatherings. Those events seem to pass all too quickly. On the other hand, some of our activities eat up our precious time. Waiting at the doctor’s office steals too much time away from our retirement life. (Others who are gainfully employed may want to sit there all afternoon since they are released from work for a doctor’s appointment.) We don’t have time for slow grocery lines, road work, or long-winded preachers.

Twenty-five years can be a long time or a very short time. I think 25 years of CML is something to celebrate; but hanging on to my 25 year-old sweater…not so much! I just can’t grasp the concept that I have clothes older than the college students I teach. I think that sweater still looks great and is not out of style. It’s what you might call “classic.” Truthfully, I am probably considered a “classic” model myself. I have had some repair work done so I do not have all my original equipment. I am the proud owner of two new hips, two new knees, and two surgically-enhanced wrists. Thankfully time doesn’t rob Boomers anymore of our independence or mobility. Time is certainly our friend when we consider all the medical advances of the past 25 years. But it comes down to your perspective. For example, my neighbor was washing dishes at her kitchen sink absent-mindedly thinking of the day’s events when she noticed a man in her backyard. That sight brought her out of her daydream and she thought to herself, “Who is that old man walking across my yard?” After her mind cleared, she realized that the man was her husband with his yard hat on. She didn’t see the effects of time passing because in her mind he is still the man she married

forty years ago. More to the point is the woman who complained that the drivers’ license bureau made a mistake on her driver’s license. She maintained that she was blonde but the examiner wrote “white hair” on her card! Her perspective was not the same as everyone else’s. Remember Y2K? Wasn’t that just a few years ago? (Almost 25 years ago now!) But look how far we’ve come since all the dire predictions of Y2K. I remember learning to do email and feeling so tech savvy. And now when I need help getting my program on television, I just call my kindergarten grandson for some help. Yesterday I misplaced my phone and was frantically looking for it when my brilliant grandchild took my wrist and spoke into my watch. Magic! My phone began pinging and was easily located. Now toddlers learn to walk towards a computer! 25 years! A long time or a quick interlude? Either way, this Boomer plans to keep looking ahead to 25 more years of good mountain living with CML. Happy Birthday, CML!



Containing the Good Life By Edwin Ansel


ou love the High Country. You get a spring in your step just thinking about it. Weekends, holidays, you’re together. Your friends are talking. They say, “You love it so much, but you’re just messing around. When are you going to commit?” That’s right. When are you going to build? You’ll know. And when that day comes, make it special. Make it sublime. And in your quest for the sublime, have a look at what people are doing with shipping containers. Seriously, get online and search for “shipping container homes” and prepare to be wowed. See? They’re joined, stacked, staggered, buried in the ground, hoisted up in the air, filled with water. Arrayed around a courtyard. Topped with solar panels, a deck, and even grass? The outside can be clad, painted, or left as-is. The creativity that has been unleashed… not for nothing has building with containers been called “adult Lego.” Let’s take a look. First off, there are some good, non-sublime reasons to consider building with containers. They have qualities that make them attractive for use in the High Country. A container is designed to be supported at the corners, and this support may be supplied by a low concrete pier or a slender steel pole, to give only two examples. Thus, the entire foundation for a container is four small supports. In other words, a container is adaptable to a steep or otherwise difficult piece of land, and you don’t have to excavate a hillside or build some outlandish foundation, as you would for an ordinary house. The container itself is a big steel box. Rain, snow, ice, hail—not a problem. Termites, squirrels, dry rot—not a problem. Containers are made to withstand storms at sea. They can take it here, too. The timing is good for containers. There are builders in our area who have designed


and built hundreds of container homes already. Building codes have been adopted for container homes, making them more acceptable to building inspectors. They’re more and more common, making them more acceptable to neighbors, too. They’re also timely. Containers are often built-out in a factory setting, under roof. The container is then trucked to the site where it is placed on the four-point foundation by a crane, an operation that may take only a few hours. That is, you won’t have days or weeks lost to winter cold or summer storms. And the price is right. Once you’ve acquired the container, for just a few thousand dollars, you’ve got the full enclosure. The money you’ve saved on the structure can be invested in a luxurious interior. As noted above, the site-prep for a container can be as simple as setting up four sturdy posts, saving tens of thousands here as well. Knowing this, maybe invest more in having a top-notch architect. And you can start small and plan for an easy and efficient expansion of your house by adding more containers, a much simpler option than adding on to a conventional, stickbuilt home. But is it a nice place to be, the inside of a big steel box? Stay in a container home and find out. There are hundreds available as vacation rentals at destinations around the world. And that includes Old Fort, NC. “We wanted something different, and when we saw this home, we knew it was just right,” says Lauren. Her container home in Old Fort is a second home, and is available for rent through Airbnb (Lauren is a “superhost,” by the way). “It’s different, and fun, the kids love it.” Two things you’ll notice right away. The home sports a mural of brightly colored fish, and it looks like there’s grass on the roof? It’s a “green roof,” and in addition to being a conversation-starter, it’s good technology. “Even

when the house is in constant use, with us and guests, the power bill is still less than a hundred dollars.” Lauren’s home was designed and built by architect William H. Triplett, and it was featured in the Asheville Home Builders Association Parade of Homes where it won awards for craftsmanship and innovation. “Accept that containers have certain benefits and certain limitations, and let those things guide your design,” offers Triplett. If you do, one reward will be tremendous savings. And this is where innovation comes from, when the designer’s creativity rubs up against limitations. Containers are narrow, but this home provides a fine example of how joining two containers side-by-side creates a comfortably wide lounge. Cutting the walls to add doors and windows adds expense and, if you cut too much, may require adding reinforcements. For the Old Fort house, Triplett used special containers that are open at both ends, and installed glass doors in all the openings. The result is a bright, airy home even though it has no added windows. A quick check with Airbnb shows that there are a dozen or more container homes for rent nearby, large and small, in Todd, Marion, Woodfin, Marshall, Bryson City, Otto, Asheville and beyond. But let’s get back to first principles. The High Country is sublime, and so why not make your house equal to its surroundings? Designing with containers is unconventional, and allows you to achieve unconventional, wonderful results. My online search for wonderfully unique designs led me to an extraordinary place in Ladonia, Texas. Containers standing on end create a tower, with a crow’s nest on top, well above the trees. Climb the spiral stair and you’re up in that good air, flying with the birds, looking out to a sunset that is hidden from the poor groundlings, feeling, perhaps, sublime. Edwin Ansel is a truck driver, as well as a writer and Art Director for Kudzu Press, an independent publisher of popular fiction and literature here in the High Country. Find Kudzu Press on Instagram and at

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Banner Elk Voted Best “Quirky Small Town”

New at BRAHM

North Carolina Well Represented at Tony Awards

For the tenth year in a row, CML covered the Tony Awards live and in person. NC native, WCU grad, and 2022 Oscar-winner Ariana DeBose (pictured above) hosted the 75th annual celebration and was the star of the evening, setting the stage in her opening monologue for numerous tributes to the understudies, standbys and swings who kept Broadway upand-running this season as the industry emerged from the pandemic. Raleigh’s Jaquel Spivey was Tony-nominated for his leading role in “A Strange Loop,” which won the coveted Best Musical award. The multi-talented Jared Grimes from High Point performed a show-stopping tap routine in the revival of “Funny Girl,” earning his first Tony nomination. North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem was well represented with three of their graduates receiving four nods: Camille A. Brown was nominated in two different categories for her work on “for colored girls…” and five-time nominee Mary-Louise Parker (who won the 2020 Best Actress award) for “How I Learned to Drive.” Costume designer Paul Tazewell, (a previous Tony winner for “Hamilton”) earned another nomination for his designs on “MJ: The Musical.” In addition, Raleigh-native William Ivey Long’s gorgeous costume creations for “Diana: The Musical” scored his 18th Tony nomination. Bravo to all. –contributed by Keith Martin

The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum, a.k.a. BRAHM, recently appointed James Pearson to be the next Executive Director replacing Lee Carol Giduz, who will be retiring in late July. Sandy Huff, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Search Committee stated, “James brings over 10 years of experience leading museums, presenting exhibitions and building collections. He has just the right balance of art, education and leadership experience to move the Museum forward in its next chapter.” Now’s a great time to support BRAHM— plan now to attend their Annual Gala on Friday, August 5, taking place this year at Appalachian State University’s beautiful Grand View Ballroom. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, live music, dancing, and of course a Fund-a-Need auction to strengthen BRAHM’s impactful exhibitions and educational programs. The registration deadline is Wednesday, July 27. Visit offerings/gala for more information. Also check out BRAHM’s summer exhibitions, kids programming and more! https://

Congratulations Appalachian State Graduates!

Nearly 4,000 students attained Appalachian State University degrees last spring. At six ceremonies held over two days, the university conferred degrees to 3,946 graduates, including 3,296 undergraduate and 650 graduate students. “As graduates of App State, you will be uniquely positioned to adapt, lead and serve in a world that has been fundamentally changed,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said in her address to the graduates.

Banner Elk was recently named one of “15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022” by Smithsonian Magazine. According to the magazine, “Celebrating America’s small towns has become one of Smithsonian magazine’s favorite traditions: an opportunity to get lost in the slower pace of walkable streets, minor league baseball games and waters brimming with wildlife.” Banner Elk was cited as best “Quirky Small Town (pop. 1,049).”

Other nearby attractions were also recognized in the article, including Grandfather Mountain and the new Wilson Center for Nature Discovery at Grandfather; Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain Resorts; Beech Mountain Brewing; Grandfather Vineyard & Winery and Banner Elk Winery; Artisanal and Stonewalls restaurants; Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster; Apple Hill Farm; and Banner Elk’s signature event, the 45th Annual Woolly Worm Festival, being held this year on October 15-16. Read more at

A Fresh Face for Avery County High School

After a long construction phase, the Avery County High School (ACHS) Renovation Project was completed in May, and students who return this fall will get to settle into the new wing—without the presence of construction crews! Continued...



Continued from previous page... The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new building at ACHS was held in early May. Days later, the Avery County Board of Commissioners received the Avery County Board of Education Friends of Education Award, which recognizes those in the county who make significant contributions to the Avery County School System. The commissioners were recognized for their unwavering support of Avery County Schools through generous funding of projects such as the ACHS addition and remodeling, the school system’s 1:1 technology initiative, and replacement of the ACHS stadium turf.

Barn Quilt Classes at Apple Hill Farm

North Carolina artist Ken McNeil will return to Apple Hill Farm on July 23 for another day of Barn Quilt Painting Classes. Using his custom barn quilt designs, participants get to paint a 24 x 24-inch board that is primed and taped with one of four designs: a sunflower, a single or double cardinal or a flag. The cost of the class and all materials is $125. Weather permitting the class will meet in an outdoor classroom in the apple orchard surrounded by alpacas. For more information go to www.applehillfarmnc. com/events. Class times are 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. or 3 - 5:30 p.m.

What’s New at Williams YMCA of Avery County

The Williams YMCA of Avery County joined the Healthy Opportunities Pilot program in March 2022, becoming part of a network of local nonprofits who are participating in the pilot to create healthier communities across western North Carolina. The Healthy Opportunities Pilot is the nation’s first comprehensive program to test evidence-based, non-medical interventions, which are designed to improve the health of Medicaid beneficiaries while reducing costs. These interventions include healthy meals and nutrition classes, transportation to grocery stores or job interviews, mold remediation and housing safety inspections, parenting curriculum and home visiting services, and linkages to legal support. To learn more about the program, visit or call 828-737-5500 to speak with the YMCA’s Community Outreach Director and determine your next steps. “We can’t wait to help you improve your health!”

Visit this Summer’s Featured Artists at Mica Mica, a Cooperative Gallery of Fine Art and Contemporary Craft, showcases the work of its members and invited guests. During the summer of 2022, five artists will be highlighted at the gallery, located in Bakersville, NC, between Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, in close proximity to Penland School of Craft.

Get to Know Oasis

OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information and Shelter) is a private, 501(c)3 non-profit organization serving survivors of domestic and sexual assault in Watauga, Avery and surrounding counties. OASIS has a philosophy of empowerment, which means they believe every survivor is able to make the best decisions for themselves if given the support and resource referrals.


Oasis never tells anyone what they should do. Instead, they help brainstorm ideas and look together at possibilities. They work closely with other agencies and can help survivors identify the different avenues of support available to them. You can offer support through donations, volunteering, and attending fundraising events. You can also spread the word to anyone you may know who might need help [24-hour crisis lines: 828-262-5035 (Watauga County), 828-504-0911 (Avery County)]. For general information, call 828-264-1532, or visit OASISHighCountry/ and

Featured in June are Lisa Joerling (Full Frog, pictured above) and Jean McLaughlin (Generations of Irises and Lilacs, pictured above). Joerling’s playful ceramic animals always bring a smile to the gallery’s visitors. Jean McLaughlin will be showing monotypes and woodcuts. Sondra Dorn and Teresa Pietsch will take Mica’s spotlight in July. Dorn is a mixed media artist whose paintings are reminiscent of abstract landscapes.

Teresa Pietsch finds imagery and inspiration by walking her dogs in the quiet of the woods. In August, the focus will shift to potter Gay Smith who will be showing candle holders, menorahs, candelabra, containers to hold candles, and lamps. “Anything to do with light,” Smith reports. Learn more at

Learn more about enrolling for the 2022-23 school year at home/preschool/. Holston Center continues to operate their signature summer camp programs for children and youth, with a day camp program for children 1st through 8th grade and traditional overnight camp experiences for children 2nd through 12th grade. For more information, contact Holston Center at or 844-465-7866.

Feeding Avery Families New Operation Center

Camping with Kids this Summer?

Get ready for adventure in the great outdoors! There’s so much to see and do when you’re out camping or hiking— even in your own backyard. Encourage kids to explore the world around them and learn important wilderness skills with this activity book, “Camping Activity Book for Kids,” by Amelia Mayer. It’s full of projects and ideas to spark a love of nature and help kids have tons of fun outdoors. You’ll also want to check out the “Camping with Kids Cookbook,” full of fun and easy recipes for the whole family!

Holston Camp Offers New Opportunities

Preparing for their 67th year of summer camp programs, Holston Center is honoring their legacy while also embracing new opportunities. Leading the way is Holston Center’s new Executive Director Dave Cohn, who brings 29 years of camp and conference center experience to the High Country. A new program available to our community in 2022 is the Holston Camp Preschool, which is a fully licensed preschool program that blends the sound fundamentals of early childhood education with outdoor, hands-on experiences. The preschool will operate Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. for children ages 3-5.

Feeding Avery Families (FAF) is a nonprofit Christian organization in Avery County, NC, dedicated to eliminating hunger. The organization currently rents two spaces for their Distribution Center and Storage Annex. Coming soon, a new building will double the current food distribution area and allow the return to client choice, in which clients pick out their own food in a “grocery store” setting, guided by a volunteer. This format reduces waste and creates personal relationships that allow FAF to identify and help with other client needs.

The new building will also allow for additional storage space; an additional cooler to store more fresh local produce, plus an additional freezer for more frozen meat; a new Community Health Initiative; a demonstration kitchen to provide healthy cooking classes and tastings for both adults and children; a classroom for teaching by a nutrition professor and student interns from Appalachian State University; a covered drive-thru for unloading donations, and a loading dock to receive larger shipments from MANNA FoodBank; and much more. Follow their progress and learn more about this valuable organization at

Locally Grown and Owned: All Seasons Landscape Supply & Garden Center All Seasons is the High Country’s newest landscape supply and garden center. They carry a wide variety of plant material from container grown plants to large specimen ball and burlap trees. “If plant material is not what you are looking for then we have a large variety of mulches, compost, top soil, decorative gravel and creek stone. Pick up onsite or we can deliver to you.”

A New Neighborhood at Blue Ridge Mountain Club

Blue Ridge Mountain Club (BRMC) introduces its newest neighborhood offering, The Meadows. With fields of green cloaked in wildflowers and sweeping views of the mountains, The Meadows is where beauty takes center stage, away from the hustle and bustle. Neighborhood residents will enjoy numerous amenities, including a courtyard for year-round outdoor living; a spacious pool; a dedicated restaurant and bar; a multipurpose court for pickleball, tennis and basketball, with an indoor track; and an arcade for all ages. BRMC is all about enhancing lifestyle and creating new opportunities to own a home in the High Country. Phase 1 Homes at The Meadows are now available for presale.

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Community & Local Business News

Children’s Council Celebrates 45 Years This year, the Children’s Council of Watauga County is celebrating 45 years of serving children and families. The most recent annual report shows that the agency served over 2,700 individuals last year through their programs and services. The mission of the organization is to build a strong foundation for children’s learning and development by strengthening families, the early childhood system, and the community. “We are proud of our history of serving Watauga County children and we are celebrating all year,” says Tara Stollenmaier, Fundraising and Outreach Director. The agency has rolled out a number of events and opportunities for community members to enjoy and support including: A series of Supper Club events hosted by donors, board and staff members, and friends to share information about the organization. The 45th Anniversary Celebration Event on Saturday, August 27, at Appalachian Ski Mountain. Guests will enjoy complimentary beer and wine, delicious food, fun and games for adults, including chair lift rides to the top, and opportunities to hear from families served by the agency. For information about reservations, visit www., or social media (Facebook and Instagram) sites. A Celebration Raffle sponsored by Magic Bound Travel, and Brad and Maggie Farrington, which will offer a limited number of raffle tickets for exciting trips and cash prizes. Tickets go on sale at the Anniversary Celebration event in August and a live drawing will be held on November 2, 2022 to announce the winners. The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce After Hours on September 8 at The Cardinal. The Children’s Council provides programs and services that benefit children, and their families, during their first years of life, through age twelve, with particular focus in early childhood. “These events will provide important unrestricted support for the organization,” says Elisha Childers, Executive Director of the Children’s Council. “This type of support is critical for the health of any nonprofit organization allowing us to use funds where they are most needed to support the services we offer and to support the families we serve.” To learn more about these summer events, or about the Children’s Council, please visit or contact Tara Stollenmaier by email at: You can also visit their facility at 225 Birch Street, Suite 3, Boone NC, 28607 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


“Best Musical” Raises Funds for the Banner Elk Firehouse The first annual Banner Elk Firehouse Fundraiser will feature a very entertaining musical, Always Nina: A Tennessee Story and Songbook. The show will be performed in the sanctuary of the historic Banner Elk Presbyterian Church on Thursday, August 25 at 7 p.m., August 26 at 2 p.m. and August 27 at 2 p.m. While this one-woman show has been performed in several states, this will be the North Carolina premiere. In 2018, the Connecticut Critic’s Circle named it “Best Musical of 2018” for the state. Always Nina features Nina Allbert telling and singing stories from her childhood through adulthood in middle Tennessee. Hear tales about bikers, beauty queens, teenage moms, evangelists, country people and millionaires, as well as her own family. Nina is an authentic Southern storyteller, acclaimed actress and powerhouse singer. Her band joins in for nine original songs with a mix of pop, country, blues and jazz. Music and lyrics are by Joan Burr. Joan will travel from Connecticut to Banner Elk to serve as pianist and music director. Admission to the shows is free. Members of the church are underwriting all costs of the show, so 100% of donations collected will go directly to the Banner Elk Volunteer Fire Department. Volunteer firefighters will pass the boot during intermission at each performance. The goal is to raise $5,000 for new rescue equipment and supplies used to save injured people and animals. According to Banner Elk Fire Chief Tyler Burr, “We will be upgrading our mountain search and rescue equipment due to the significant increase in outdoor activity in our area. We will also be upgrading our patient management equipment, such as carriers to move large or disabled patients out of their home. This equipment will also drastically improve patient extraction time for the technical car accidents involving vehicles off the mountain side.” “Our volunteer firemen are an indispensable part of our community,” says Nina. “We wanted to thank these heroes for their dedication, time and service to our community. What would we do without them? We feel it is important to give them the tools they need to do their job and do it well. What could be more important than saving lives in our beautiful town!” Banner Elk Presbyterian Church is located at 420 College Drive SW, Banner Elk. For more info, go to http://www.bannerelkpresbyterian. org/firehouse. Photo: Fire Chief Tyler Burr (left) and Firefighter Tony Terenzio with Nina Allbert.

The Lovill House Inn: Going Green on King Just beyond the busy sidewalks of King Street in downtown Boone, a historic bed and breakfast offers a quiet respite after a day filled with sightseeing in the High Country. The Lovill House Inn, built by Captain E.F. Lovill in 1875 and home to the Lovill Family for 100 years, has hosted travelers as a bed and breakfast for over two decades. Tucked behind a towering hedgerow, the inn is an oasis of luxury with its five appointed bedrooms, including the historic Bristol Room, which was where the original state charter for what is now Appalachian State University was typed by William Lovill, under the direction of his father, Capt. E.F Lovill, and the Dougherty brothers. The Inn was recently purchased in 2021 by the Olsen family, owners of the Montgomery Sheep Farm, a unique 200-acre property in Biscoe, North Carolina. The Biscoe property is home to over 500 head of sheep, horses, and other animals, and all facilities on the farm are powered by a state-of-the-art microgrid featuring solar panels and Tesla energy storage. The Olsens have brought this eco-conscience concept to the Lovill House Inn and have gone to great lengths to become the first sustainable luxury bed and breakfast in the area, having installed off-the-grid technology such as Tesla Powerwalls, solar panels, and a micro-hydro generator. The Inn has also reduced plastics by offering glass water bottles in each room and refillable shampoo and conditioner dispensers. Less than a year after opening, the inn was awarded the Building Performance and Energy Efficient Project of the Year by the NC Sustainable Energy Association. The award is given to businesses that have demonstrated professional excellence, high ethical standards and have made lasting positive impacts on North Carolina’s clean energy economy. The inn’s property spans eleven acres, which includes the 110-year-old Lovill barn, outdoor pergola, flower, herb and reflection gardens, and even its own waterfall. The expansive covered porch that wraps around the inn is home to several rocking chairs—perfect for enjoying the cool mountain breezes of summer. For more information of the Lovill House Inn, go to their website or call 828-270-0831. ­ —Contributed by Julie Farthing

Creating Amazing Smiles The tagline for OP Smiles Orthodontics is “creating amazing smiles in more ways than one”—and that’s precisely what their team does with confidence. It’s the mission of Drs. Mayhew, Scheffler, Whiteley, and their team to provide stunning smiles while offering the most advanced and caring orthodontics experience. With their innovative treatment at locations in both Boone and North Wilkesboro, OP Smiles makes sure their patients’ battle against “crooked teeth” is as pleasant and efficient as possible. The practice offers the advantage of board-certified doctors who provide experienced hands and minds to come up with a careful and thoughtful custom treatment plan. OP Smiles’ cutting-edge care includes 3D x-rays and digital scanners that capture the teeth in multiple dimensions. This technology not only makes OP Smiles Orthodontics an “impressionless” practice, but it allows the patients to see their improved smile before treatment even begins. Treatment plans are digitally customized to the patient’s specific facial characteristics and smile. Spark aligners or Damon braces, chosen by the patient, are used to execute the smile transformation. For those who want treatment to progress as quickly as possible, the practice offers AcceleDent, a soft-pulse medical device that gently accelerates the movement of teeth. The device reduces the orthodontic process, sometimes finishing treatment in almost half the time. This practice is rooted in the community they serve. Not only does OP Smiles offer annual smile scholarships to patients seeking care, but they also partner with local schools, organizations, and nonprofits to donate over $50,000 annually. OP Smiles also offers reward cards in which patients collect points for things such as good oral hygiene and community service, and then pick a gift card from a variety of choices as they accrue points. “Whether our patients are having a good day or a bad day,” Dr. Nicole Scheffler says, “we want our patients leaving our office smiling as we create the smile of their dreams.” Learn more about OP Smiles Orthodontics, and Dr. Michael Mayhew, DDS, MS, PA, Dr. Nicole Scheffler, DDS, MS, PA, and Dr. Adam Whiteley, DMD, MS, at, or call 828-276-8299.



Stone Cavern: New Faces in Familiar Places

A Very Visual Summer

Since 2005, Stone Cavern has been serving High Country residents, businesses, interior designers, builders and remodelers with exceptional tile and stone products for both new construction and room makeovers. And, as of October of last year, new owner Chad Livingston and son Jaydon have been building upon that legacy from the same location at 9872 Hwy 105 South, Banner Elk. Chad was already well-known here as a first-rate tile installer for over 28 years. And, like-father-like-son, Jaydon has also gained a reputation for his tile work. Together, they are the new faces in the right places at the right time. Why? With limited real estate inventories and new construction hustling to keep up with overwhelming demand, “remodeling” has become the new go-to method for creating fresh, new living and work environments. New kitchens and bathrooms can be beautifully transformed with the installation of the clean, upscale look of new tile and stone countertops, splashboards, floors, shower surrounds, bath spas, sink counters and walls. Stone Cavern brings its seasoned expertise in design, installation, product knowledge and product selection to your remodeling or new construction needs with a variety of tile options, including ceramic, porcelain, marble, granite, glass, travertine and more. From their Hwy 105 showroom, they can introduce you to their full array of products along with a vast selection of installation materials. And…even before you visit their showroom, you can go online at and use their exclusive “Visualizer” computer-aided design tool to show you a virtual replication of how your project would look using products like Walker Zanger, Emser Tile and MSI. It’s a convenient and efficient way to see your new look come to life. On top of that, Stone Cavern is an authorized Schluter dealer featuring their innovative systems for both stone and tile. The Livingstons are constantly receiving new samples to keep up with the latest trends and are proud to work with the best custom home builders and interior designers in the High Country. Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are encouraged for design services. And, if you’re a contractor, ask about their installer discounts. 828963-8453, —Contributed by Steve York

An Appalachian Summer Festival is perhaps more well known for the live performances that take place on the stages of the Schaefer Center, Valborg Theater and Rosen Music Hall. But those who migrate across campus towards King Street and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts will find a host of visual arts opportunities as vivid as the bright geometric mural painted on the grand staircase that leads to the front entrance of the center. The festival kicks off with an evening Summer Exhibition Celebration that features art in the six galleries of the Turchin Center and is an opportunity for arts lovers to surround themselves with stunning artwork and meet accomplished artists exhibiting in the galleries. Bart Vargas’ sculpture and paintings built from salvaged materials are featured in his exhibition, Multitudes, in the Hodges Gallery, and are compelling in his use of materials, form, pattern and color. Vargas will lead a gallery tour during the event. Nicole Pietrantoni’s exhibition, Folded and Gathered, consists of vibrant printed accordion books on Japanese papers that expand to create large scale installations. Much of her work is informed by her time in beautiful but ecologically fragile landscapes. The works of 37 art department faculty are being featured in the Faculty Biennial at the Turchin Center and at the Smith Gallery (in the Schaefer Center lobby) and provide an opportunity to engage with the ideas and practices being explored by the talented multidisciplinary visual arts educators at App State. One of Boone’s most well-loved artists, Lowell Hayes, will share his artistic response to the war in Ukraine. The exhibition, Ukraine: A Response to the Madness, is being showcased as part of the Boone 150 celebration. A highlight of every summer is the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk with the competition’s juror, Elizabeth Brim, who will host an educational tour of the ten selected sculptures installed on campus. The tour concludes with an awards presentation and luncheon. On Thursdays at noon in July, the popular Lunch & Learn series will be held in the lecture hall. These interactive and informative lectures offer a behind-the-scenes view of the festivals’ offerings in the visual arts and film. All the summer visual arts events are free. For detailed information visit or —Contributed by Lynn Rees-Jones


Community & Local “ all Business a bout News it ”

Introducing “ITM” at Mountain Community Bank Mountain Community Bank, a division of Bank of Tennessee, now offers extended Teller hours to customers with DRIVE THRU plus. In 2017, Bank of Tennessee converted a few of their ATM lanes to DRIVE THRU plus lanes, which feature an Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) to gauge interest and customer feedback. After rave reviews, they began a three-year process of replacing traditional ATMs with ITMs at all Bank of Tennessee, Carter County Bank, and Mountain Community Bank locations. The ITMs look like ATMs; however, the major difference is that customers can have a real-time, face-to-face conversation with a bank employee using two-way video after touching the ITM screen. This allows customers to complete most of their banking transactions with a live person, the same as if they went inside the bank or used a traditional drive-thru. “We are excited to offer ITM technology because it allows us to provide personal service to our customers Monday through Saturday from 7a.m. to 7p.m,” said Christy Arnold, Senior Retail Operations Manager for Bank of Tennessee and its divisions. Customers can make deposits, withdrawals, transfers, and loan payments, and cash checks, report lost or stolen debit cards, etc. For security purposes, all transactions are recorded, and customers are asked to scan in personal identification to authorize the transaction. According to Arnold, the bank has received many positive stories where the extended hours of DRIVE THRU plus helped their customers. One customer reported that she was able to do her banking after the bank closed so she could watch the end of her son’s little league game. Another story that came to the bank was about a man who lost his debit card and was able to report it to a DRIVE THRU plus teller who canceled the debit card and ordered a new one for the customer. Extended hours also allow business owners 72 hours a week to do most of their banking with a teller when most banks offer less than 50 hours.

Say Hello to Wup D. Doo! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know all too well that the prices for everything have gone up. Just in time for the summer tourism season, give a warm welcome to “Wup D. Doo’s Spectacular, Super Duper, High Country Coupon Book.” The first of its kind in the High Country, this coupon book is made specifically for the visitors in our area who are looking to save money on eating, shopping and playing in Banner Elk and surrounding areas. Wup D. Doo is the brainchild of Banner Elk resident Luke Barrow. He knows a thing or two about tourism. His parents, Greg and April Barrow, started Edge of the World Outfitters in downtown Banner Elk in 1981. Edge of the World is the top white-water rafting company in the area, and is now run by his brother Jake Barrow and family. Luke recently returned to Banner Elk with his wife Devon and two daughters after living in Oregon. Before that they owned and operated Edge of the World Costa Rica, where they had an eco-lodge in the jungle overlooking the beautiful Costa Rica coast and catered to tourists from around the globe. Wup D. Doo’s Coupon Book is a collection of fantastic deals, designed to help families get more out of their vacation dollars. The playful, colorful book features discounts from locally owned businesses in Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Newland, Crossnore, Foscoe and Blowing Rock. Tourists will find great deals for rafting, UTV tours, golf, fishing, local eateries, specialty shops and more. The $25 book can pay for itself with just one deal and has a total coupon value of over $600. Visitors can purchase the book at various local retailers, including the Avery County Chamber of Commerce visitor’s center in Tynecastle, The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce, Edge of the World in Banner Elk, and Fred’s General Mercantile on Beech Mountain. Luke Barrow’s hope is that visiting families this summer will be yelling “Wup D. Doo!”



Community & Local Business News “

all a bout it ”

The Liars Table The Liars Table is a new destination in Elk Park, NC, offering homemade artisan breads, coffee, organic homegrown fresh produce, and locally farm-raised meats. This is the brain-child of Kaci and Amos Nidiffer, who for years have operated Trosly Farm in Elk Park. Their location is right on 19-E, a short drive from Banner Elk, in what was once an iconic greasy spoon. The restaurant was home to the “Liars Table,” an open table where anyone could pull up a chair, order a cup of coffee and be sure to hear some tall tales. Kaci and Amos hope to continue in this light-hearted tradition and spirit of this tight knit community with their handmade products that are always best when shared around your own table. You’ll find fresh eggs, dairy, organic grains and flours, beans, jams and cake mixes. They also offer prepared foods ready to take home, and for dessert, they make scrumptious handmade chocolates. Looking for a great gift to go? Shop for fair trade organic coffee for the coffee lover, books, and locally made gifts to include soaps, candles and jewelry. You can also reserve a spot for one of their farm-to-table supper club dinners or a cooking class. Wanting to host an event? They offer bookings for private events at Liars Table, Evergreen Barn or in your home. Liars Table is open Thursday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 8060 N US Hwy 19E Elk Park, NC, 28622, 828-742-1605,

Blowing Rock’s premier shopping destination at the south end of Main Street


The ultimate in ladies shoes, apparel and accessories. Featuring Tory Burch, Sam Edelman, Johnny Was, P448, Hammitt, Lilla P, Philippe Model, Vilagallo, Vintage Chanel and Louis Vuitton, and Mignonne Gavigan.


Fine clothing and sportswear for gentlemen.


Outfitter boutique featuring local Blowing Rock and High Country merchandise, signs, home décor, Aftco outer wear, gifts and accessories.


Free-standing Buck Stoves and fireplaces, Bob Timberlake outdoor furniture, Amish-made foods, arts and crafts and home accessories.



Our 30th Year!

The area’s largest selection of children’s, family and adult puzzles, games, novelties and toys for children of all ages. A grandparents paradise and a parent’s go-to for rewards and bribery!

Plus... Seasonal Pavilions, May - October 1179 Main Street, Blowing Rock 828-265-7065


Treasure Hunting at Village Thrift of Blowing Rock Have you discovered Village Thrift in Blowing Rock? If not, you might want to pay them a visit. At this unique shop, you’ll find an ever-changing display of treasures at great prices and, at the same time, help fund student scholarships. Village Thrift is run by Blowing Rock Women’s Club, a non-profit group of about 60 volunteers who really enjoy what they do. Started in 1978, this group of women sold t-shirts, held rummage sales, and have now expanded to a shop with all proceeds going into their scholarship fund. This spring they awarded $75,000 to 12 young people. You can follow their Facebook page (Blowing Rock Women’s Club) to see photos of their merchandise. Located at 8332 Valley Blvd next to Woodlands Barbeque, Village Thrift is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. You’ll be greeted by friendly volunteers who will help you find something useful, unique or just plain fun. Merchandise includes home décor, kitchen items, linens, jewelry, women’s clothing, holiday items, pet supplies, books, wall art, candles and so much more. Their ‘regular’ shoppers are waiting in line each Wednesday to see what’s new for the week. When you’re in the area, stop by to see what treasures await you. Also, please think of Village Thrift when you have items (in the categories above) to donate—shoppers and donors are key to helping the organization fulfill their mission. Donations can be dropped off during regular business hours and on Monday mornings.

Elevated Metals By Steve York

Elevated Metals of Banner Elk officially opened its doors November 1 of last year and has already begun to exhibit a highly visible presence “around town.” In fact, if you’re driving into Banner Elk, you’ll see some striking examples of the copper-fabricated artistry created by this very new enterprise. The Banner Elk Café and Tavern signage and chimney crown are the creative works of Zack Hayes and his team at Elevated Metals. And their metal artistry isn’t limited to exterior applications. It’s also being crafted for interior design projects. To quote Hayes, “My business is a metal fabrication operation that works with all kinds of premium metals, like copper, zinc, brass and stainless. Along with signage, chimney crowns and other outdoor projects, we build countertops, bathtubs, sinks and vent hoods for cooking ranges. We also build beautiful interiors for home accenting with metals and art. We like to use an old-world style of fabrication and an old-world patina process.” At present, Elevated Metals includes Zack plus three fulltime employees, all of whom are either old friends or the children of old friends. And, because his team are all familiar with one another, their metal crafting operation runs as smooth as a NASCAR pit crew. Speaking of NASCAR…who’d have guessed that the inspiration for Elevated Metals may be rooted in fast cars and hot tracks? “My inspiration for working with metal comes from a long time ago growing up around a bunch of old men who built race cars,” Hayes notes. “My family’s background is in NASCAR racing. They devoted around 30 to 40 years to the racing world, and I spent around 20 years working in NASCAR, including stints with Richard Childress, Ford, Jack Roush, Richard Petty—plus my own two Daytona 500 NASCAR wins. On top of that, I come from a research and development design background with specialization in aerodynamics and structural integrity…particularly in the race car community,” he adds. It is exactly that background which helps explain the root connection between NASCAR, Hayes and his unique skill at crafting metals for both fashion and function. As a new business with a well-honed fabrication process at his fingertips, Hayes knows that the sky is the limit when it comes to what his Elevated Metals company can do. But, that said, he isn’t envisioning some type of mass-production scale of operation. “Ours is a very customdesigned, single-customer-oriented business. I only want to build small, beautiful, really nice custom projects that improve the quality of someone’s home or business. Our growth plans include getting really involved in the community on the design front and becoming a cornerstone for copper fabrication in the Southeast.” You can get a look at the range of metal design work Hayes and his team do on their website’s Home and Gallery pages at As Hayes likes to emphasize, Elevated Metals’ mission is to deliver the best possible craftsmanship and customer service…to deliver beautiful products that last…and products that help bring our customers’ ideas to life. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


610 Banner Elk Highway Banner Elk, NC 28604


(828) 737-2700

“ all a bout it ”

Jim Ward

The Party Barn Opens in Banner Elk: A Legacy of Red Marbles and Charity “God has given us two hands—one to receive with, the other to give with.” –Billy Graham When you first open the High Country Charitable Foundation’s website, one of the first things you see overlapping the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain background is this quote from the late and world-famous evangelist, Bill Graham. That quote—and a story of red marbles—capture the genuine spirit of giving that drives the aforementioned charitable foundation created by Jim Ward of Engel & Völkers Real Estate of Banner Elk. And that spirit—as much as anything—captures the motivation behind Ward’s latest charitable venture…The Party Barn. More on that and those red marbles later… There seem to be three basic qualities that inspire people to give: empathy, compassion and an inner motivation for charity. These are some of the best qualities of the human spirit. Some people are taught these qualities by their family or community. Some people learn them by personally experiencing what it’s like to be in dire need. And some people seem to be born with them. In the case of Jim Ward, it seems he was certainly born with them. Jim has been a developer for over 45 years in both Maryland and Florida and first took up summer residence in Banner Elk about 12 years ago. When asked what seminal experience motivated him to form the HCCF he replied, “I can’t say there was any one moment or experience that

inspired me to start a foundation to help support Avery County’s charitable organizations and causes. The need to help, to provide some way to help those with serious challenges and special needs in Avery County just seemed obvious. When I get my mind set on something I start trying to find out how to make it work. Plus, I really enjoy being able to help people up here.” And with that, Jim—who is also a strong animal lover—decided to form the HCCF some eight years ago to help provide grant monies for worthy Avery County charitable organizations and animal causes throughout the county. “I have been very fortunate in life and in business and I have a wonderful family. But there are many here in Avery who have not been so fortunate, who are doing their best with what they have. Yet, no matter their best efforts, their means fall far short of their needs. So, I wanted to do something to give back,” Ward noted. As Ward will emphasize, there are plenty of good people of means who would like to help. But they don’t always know the best way to channel their support—how to spread their support effectively and feel confident that their donations are actually going directly to where it’s needed most. “So, with HCCF, they know exactly where their money is going and can see it working for the community,” added Ward. That’s the basic motivation behind the High Country Charitable Foundation: to

By Steve York

create a legitimate, low-overhead organization that could efficiently and equitably provide grants to the most worthwhile charitable organizations in Avery County. And, as of last year, Ward’s foundation awarded grants to 27 different charities throughout Avery. That’s 27 bona fide 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organizations serving the many ongoing needs for the people and animals of just this one county. The need for this largely rural county can seem staggering. And Ward’s HCCF mission was created to meaningfully help address that need (see the Grants page on the HCCF website To boost this effort, HCCF began holding its annual Dinner Dance Fundraiser events each summer at Elk River Club. Along with that, Ward started inviting friends over for dinner at his Banner Elk home twice a week to create a warm, social setting for promoting the HCCF’s cause while enjoying good food and good friends. But, as inviting as his home setting may be, it could only accommodate about 10 people. And that just wasn’t a large enough venue to reach an optimum number of potential donors. So, Jim decided to “step it up a notch!” Thus…The Party Barn. Adjacent to the Engel & Völkers and HCCF offices at 610 Banner Elk Hwy (Hwy 194) and directly across from Elk River Club, Ward’s brand-new Party Barn is…well…just perfect. And it just opened the first week of June. The term “rustic elegance” never had a better reference point than this very impressive facility. Continued on next page CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


Community & Local Business News Lots of tall, wide glass windows by the outside entrances give you a broad view to the warm and authentically rustic architectural design inside. Vintage reclaimed barn wood is everywhere throughout the interior and reaching up to the pinnacle of its cathedral ceiling and exposed balcony floor. Edison-style lighting is hung by long, black chains suspended from real barn doors over two long wooden dining tables. One of these tables, the Chef’s Table, seats 10. The other, the Chairman’s Table, seats 14. Outside patio dining tables can accommodate 20 to 30 people. And another glass enclosed patio room seats 20. A formidable hexagon-shaped fireplace graces the main floor with magnificent grandeur as its giant black, funnel-shaped chimney— which raises and lowers above the firepit—towers overhead. This signature fixture compliments, without overshadowing, the entire interior design. There’s an exposed rustic-themed bar tucked to one side on the main floor, a large kitchen hidden away behind that wall and an exclusive wine room visible from every angle and secured behind glass windows and wooden doors displaying a wall of wine racks featuring 300 of the High Country’s best wines. Upstairs there’s that large open balcony suitable for dining, live music and “partying.” In fact, the whole place was created to “party for charity.” All of this goes to make up the graciously warm and exquisitely cozy venue where charitable hearts can come together to celebrate great food and great friends for great charities. Long-time friend and favorite Ward family chef Will Hughes is Executive Chef, accompanied by assistant chef and part-time musician Brady Reeves, both of whom are supported by a full wait and server staff. And, to make dining plans a little easier, Will has his menus posted on the Party Barn’s website. So…how do you get to enjoy everything the Party Barn has to offer? Start with a charitable heart, encourage several of your equally charitable family and friends to join you, go online to www.610partybarn. com, make your reservations and get ready for a wonderful experience of celebrating great dining, great friends in a great atmosphere for great charities. The Party Barn can be reserved Thursday through Monday evenings now through October 17. One reservation option grants exclusive use of the Wine Room for private dining of up to eight people and provides access to their own personal wine locker to store several of their favorite wines. Pricing and reservation information for the Chef’s Table, the Chairman’s Table, the Wine Room, private parties and corporate group gatherings are available on the website, or by calling Stephanie Grasso or Zachary Platek at 828-737-2700. Oh yeah…almost forgot about the Red Marbles story. More than anything else, it truly expresses the sentiment of HCCF’s spirit of giving, and provides a little peek into the spirit of Jim Ward, his family and the whole HCCF team. It’s a bit long for this article. But you can—and you really should—read the Red Marbles story under the Who We Are/A Story about Making a Difference link on www.highcountryfoundation. org.

The wonderful thing about authentic photographs is they render words unnecessary. A Good Old Fashioned Toy Store for Children and Grown-Ups! Over 10,000 Different Items for Fun, Learning & Play. 600 Different Styles of Family and Adult Games & Puzzles - the Largest Selection in the Mountains. Don’t forget we are famous for our outrageous cards & beverage napkins, plus our beautiful paper goods.

Cute-tique! Celebrating our 30th year in Blowng Rock!

SouthMarke, 1179 Main Street Blowing Rock, NC 828.295.4438 (Across from Town Tavern)


“ all a bout it ” Get to Know High Country Caregivers

High Country Caregivers (HCC) is a local non-profit organization that supports families in which grandparents are raising grandchildren, largely because of the methamphetamine and opioid epidemic. Founded in 2006, HCC helps grandparents and other relatives, including great- grandparents, aunts or uncles, who have stepped in to raise young family members in Yancey, Mitchell, Avery, Watauga, Wilkes and Ashe Counties. “We create a continuum of support to help grandparents put their grandchildren on a positive trajectory,” says Executive Director Jacob Willis. Donna Miller is a grandmother of four ages 8 to 19. She wasn’t able to just be the grandma who baked cookies and took them to the park for play-time—she became their mother and full-time caregiver since they were infants. They call her “mom.” This is a classic story that happens when adult children make choices that leave the grandparents in the position of becoming parents again. Miller speaks candidly about her situation and how High Country Caregivers has given her not only financial support through the years, “but emotional support and encouragement that I am not alone.” She has been empowered by their help and the children have learned through meetings that they, too, are not alone in this journey. Miller says, “This crosses all economic and social tiers—this epidemic of drugs, abuse and simple neglect is a worldwide crisis.” For the local assistance she receives from High Country Caregivers, she says she is forever grateful and hopes others will reach out when in need or give to the cause.

When someone first contacts High Country Caregivers, a site visit is scheduled so that HCC staff can meet the grandparents in their element and hear their stories. “From that moment on, if they are in trouble or need help in any way, they have someone to call,” says Director of Community Relations, Pana Columbus. Some examples of recent calls HCC has received include a grandmother whose car ran out of gas, a teen who was afraid to visit with her father, and a grandmother who needed someone to help her grandchild with her homework. HCC picked up gas for the grandmother, accompanied the youth to visit her father, and found a weekly volunteer to help the child with her homework. “We find it’s much better if families have someone to call before a challenge becomes a crisis,” adds Columbus. High Country Caregivers also helps grandparents forge relationships with different agencies and resources that address the systemic challenges they are facing. HCC calls this process kinship navigation. When a grandmother kept missing her grandson’s doctors’ appointments because she didn’t have a car, HCC connected her to the Mitchell Transportation Authority to pick them up from their home and take them to his appointments in Asheville. When a grandfather’s water pump stopped working, HCC connected him to WAMY Community Action and their home repair program. Many times when parents disappear, grandparents need legal assistance to get custody of the youth, to be able to enroll them in school or take them to the doctor. HCC refers them to local attorneys and pays for their services.

Some of the most important relationships HCC families create are with other families in the same situation. “Our monthly support groups, called RAP meetings (Relatives as Parents), is the heart of our program,” says Willis. “Not only do these meetings keep us connected to our families, but they also help them create authentic relationships with each other.” A monthly RAP meeting is held in each of the six counties they serve. Meals and childcare are provided. Something HCC has learned while getting to know grandparents and their grandchildren, is that grandparents know many traditional skills. HCC has also learned how much their grandchildren want to learn those skills. So this June, HCC is launching a seven-month Fine Arts Business Incubator in which HCC grandparents will teach workshops in sewing, pottery, knitting, and baking to HCC youth. This weekly program will culminate in a fashion show and crafts fair in December, in which youth will be able to sell what they made. Says Columbus, “Because HCC sees relationships as the key to resilience, there are an infinite number of ways people can get involved to help HCC families. Whatever your passion or interest, you can use your gifts to create experiences that help transform the lives of families in the High Country. We hope you’ll contact us soon and become part of the family.” To make a donation, or to talk to someone about how you can get involved, call 828832-6366 or email



“ all a bout it ”

More than a customer

Receiving electric service from Blue Ridge Energy makes you much more than a customer. You’re a member of an electric cooperative formed by local people to serve the local community.

As a member, you elect the board of directors and receive capital credits — money back based on your cooperative’s financial health. Blue Ridge Energy partners with area leaders to help create new jobs, support education and nurture local youth as leaders of tomorrow. Blue Ridge also offers you innovative services and renewable energy options. Learn more at

C.S. Smith Management C.S. Smith Management is a comprehensive property management team that prides itself on providing the highest level of personal and professional service in the High Country. They specialize in customized maintenance and care of non-rental properties for absentee homeowners, including regular property walkthroughs, housekeeping, repairs, vendor oversight and renovation/ project management. “Our reputation is built on a steadfast commitment to our clients and their homes, prioritizing detail-oriented care, communication, and service with a personal touch.” The team knows that your vacation home is meant to be a place of refuge and restoration. It should be a tranquil escape from the demands of everyday life, and you should be excited about returning home to the mountains knowing that every detail is taken care of. C.S. Smith Management ensures that every personal request has been attended to so you can simply relax and immerse yourself in your serene environment. “We want to help you create cherished experiences in your home by developing a relationship, growing with you and anticipating your needs. Let us handle the demanding parts of home ownership so that you can spend your time sharing special moments with family and friends. The High Country is unique, we want our clients to feel the same way.”

The Famous Tomato Basil Pie of the High Country Find us: Maw’s Produce - Foscoe Abode Home - Banner Elk

Your Source for Fresh Handcrafted Food To Go!


In North Carolina 225,493 children live with a relative due to the opioid crisis. 177,662 of them live with their elderly grandparents. High Country Caregivers is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing respite and resources for kinship caregivers and relatives caring for loved ones with life-limiting illness and debility. Since 2006 HCC has taken the lead role in the High Country for coordinating and advocating for the development of a comprehensive community-based service to meet the needs of our region’s caregivers.

High Country

Caregivers Families Change Tomorrows

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Two easy-access offices located in Boone & North Wilkesboro, NC

Military Surplus Knives • Tools Camping & Sporting Goods J E R KY • S E A S O N I N G S • H OT S AU C E S

Open Daily in Historic Valle Crucis & Tanger Outlets, Blowing Rock 828-260-6221 |


“Your Military & Outdoor Store”

Collectibles & More

150 Linville St., Newland NC 28657 828-733-3600

Voted Best of the Best in Avery County 2021

Weekly Classes | Kids Camps Goat Yoga| Meditations Private Lessons | Retreats Fundraisers |Paddle-board Yoga

828.414.1011| Historic Banner Elk School room 11|

Stop by for great allergy remedies!

with Care compassion Inpatient & Outpatient Rehab • Long-Term Care

Accepting new admissions

185 Norwood Hollow Rd. Banner Elk, NC 28604

107 Estatoa Ave. Newland / 828-733-0061



Heart & Vascular Center of Watauga Medical Center

With two locations to serve you better,

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System

Inside Watauga Medical Center 336 Deerfield Road Boone, NC 28607

continues to raise the bar for heart and

vascular care in the High Country. If you are at risk for heart disease or

heart failure or are experiencing

minor symptoms, schedule a consultation today.

ARHS Heart & Vascular Center - Ashe

Inside Ashe Memorial Hospital 200 Hospital Avenue, Segraves Hall 1 Jefferson, NC 28640




20 rooms, including Standard Queen, Standard King, Deluxe Queens, King Suites and an Apartment Suite. Each room has a mini fridge, microwave and coffee maker, plus free wifi and cable TV. King Suites have kitchenettes and the Apartment Suit has a full kitchen. (828) 742-1763 | Newland, NC |

Apple Hill Farm Store

Sugar Mountain Golf Club

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

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


Specializing in: Cleaning for Air Bnbs, private residence and Real Estate

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

Property Management |Co-Hosting Event party prep and cleaning Personal Assistant |Home Organizing |Pet Care Services Offering rides to and from Watauga Lake (starting in May)

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A Store from Days Gone By... Caddyshack Café

Delicious food on the outdoor deck with mountain views. Grillin’ & Chillin’ Wednesday Summer Concerts | 828-898-1025

4 Go to to plan your visit!



828-733-2107 Downtown Elk Park, NC Mowers, Tillers, Mulch & Garden Supplies

Furniture, Bedding, and Much More!

How Eating Broad and Local will Optimize Your Good Health By Samantha Steele

Here are some tips for increasing the diversity of your gut microbiome in order to optimize your health: Eat Seasonally. By this I am suggesting that you choose from what is naturally available each season. You may have a garden each year, planting items for a spring, summer and fall crop, or you might hit the Farmers’ Markets or your local Health Food market for a wide selection of fresh produce, meat and dairy products to choose from. Eat locally. Budget friendly, local foods are more affordable. Out of season foods cost more due to transit costs. Local, organic or “naturally grown” foods typically avoid the use of pesticides, herbicides, and genetic modification—. At your local markets, you will find your freshest and most natural (not force-ripened) produce, which is always best! Seasonal and local foods are more nutritious

partly because they are given the appropriate time to mature and ripen, and are grown with the natural stimulants for growth and maximum nutrition. Plus, they may have better texture and flavor. Eat experimentally. Try your hand at growing new crops each year, or if you choose to purchase rather than grow, expand your horizons by selecting produce, meats, fish and poultry that you haven’t tried before. Explore options in the fermented drink and condiments category and mix it up each week. Challenge yourself and your household to consider these foods, as, even in small amounts, the diversity of the microbiome will be impacted. You can even cross over to the wild side and try foraging for seasonal weeds and berries—just be sure to use a reliable source for proper identification! I hope you are encouraged to consider ways to mix up both your palate and your plate for the sake of your gut, home to the countless bacteria and other beneficial microorganisms that directly impact your health and immune system. This endeavor will not only benefit your long term health, but also support local farmers and small businesses that already know the value of fresh, healthy foods. Eating a broad and wide selection while choosing to shop locally is a simple and easy way to pursue better health at a time when we need it the most. References:




In 2018, the scientific community saw the first major results of a very large, crowdsourced science experiment, called “The American Gut Project,” which effectively mapped, sequenced, and studied the 100 trillion cells that make up the microbial community in and on our bodies. Some of the most profound results showed the following:

n The more different plant types a person eats, the higher the microbial diversity of the gut. Persons who ate 30 or more different plant types a week had microbiomes that were more diverse than those of people who ate only 10 plant types or less per week. n The administration of antibiotics and the consumption of animals and produce that have been exposed to antibiotics, herbicides, and insecticides lowered the microbial diversity of the gut, as expected. n The microbial diversity of the U.S. population was lower than anywhere else in the world. One assumption is that Americans overuse antibiotics, and may underappreciate old world methods of harvesting, preparing and storing foods, especially local foods. So, now you might understand why it’s so important to protect the integrity and expand the diversity of your microbiome!


Did you know that eating from a wide range of natural foods builds a broad and diverse internal gut microbiome? Seems like an obvious correlation, right? Maybe not! So why is the diversity of our gut microbiome important? I am here to convince you that the greater the variety of microbes in your digestive tract, the healthier you will be. Read on. Each and every day, more and more studies are supporting the intimate link between what we consume and how it affects our microbiome and in turn our overall well-being. The gut microbiome is a mini-ecosystem that is home to the trillions, yes, TRILLIONS, of microorganisms that populate our digestive tract. The good news is that our microbiome, and consequently our overall health, can be improved by being a “good host”— nurturing our relationship with our microbiome through our diet and lifestyle choices. Over 2,000 years ago, Hippocrates, the Greek physician who is widely referred to as the Father of Modern Medicine, said, “All disease begins in the gut.” He was a pretty smart guy. Our microbiota control so much when it comes to our health—from digestion, to metabolism, to absorption and assimilation, and even to the manufacturing of some vitamins, essential amino acids and bioactive molecules that support our metabolic and immune health, brain function, hormones, skin health and even mood!

...where everyday is a

Farmer’s Market!

Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm on Park Avenue

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

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

We are also a Satellite Food Hub Distribution point!

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

owned & operated by


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

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

The best beer is an open beer.

Fresh Produce, Raw Honey, Jams and jellies, and much more.

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK May-November 3979 Mitchell Ave, Linville NC



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

And Now

“Pedalin’ Pig at Woodlands”

828.414.9990 8960 Valley Boulevard

Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock 28605












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

The Village of Banner elk in the heart of Downtown Banner Elk, NC


140 Azalea Circle, Banner Elk, NC

Bar | Arcade ts or Sp rra Ba | ble Ta ’s ef Ch | tro Bis o’s nt Sorre The Village of Banner Elk has something for everyone’s tastes—traditional Italian, gourmet fine dining, and international cuisine. And don’t miss our famous Sunday Brunch at Sorrento’s Bistro! We have indoor and outdoor entertainment, stocked bars, a wine room, a cigar lounge, exclusive NFL and college sports viewing, private dining, art galleries, karaoke, a family-friendly arcade and Banner Elk’s best billiards! Call 828.898.5214 for reservations.

Special Events & Catering: Corporate Events, Weddings, VIP Dining Parties LIFE 120 — Summer 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN Call 828.898.5214 | Email


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


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


Local To-Go: Summer Beverage Guide n Grandfather Vineyard 828.963.2400 225 Vineyard Lane Banner Elk, NC 28604

n Erick’s Cheese and Wine 828.898.9424 4004 NC-105 #10 Sugar Mountain, NC 28604

n Banner Elk Winery 828.898.9090 60 Deer Run Banner Elk, NC 28604

Enjoy great locally produced wine, music, and atmosphere at Grandfather Vineyard—and don’t forget to take a bottle or case to go so you can enjoy it anywhere.

Erick’s carries wines from major regions, along with selections from North Carolina vineyards. Stop in for one of their wine tastings on Wednesdays from 3-5 p.m.

At Banner Elk Winery, their High Country Rosé is a dry, French style rosé perfect for the summertime.



T I M E S !

n Watauga Lake Winery 423.768.0345 6952 Big Dry Run Rd. Butler, TN 37640

n Peabody’s Wine and Beer 828.264.9476 1104 NC-105 Boone, NC 28607

n Bayou General Store 828.898.8953 130 East Main St. Village Shops Banner Elk, NC 28604

Watauga Lake Winery Red wine combined with blood orange, blackberry, and peach creates a refreshing and complex Spanish cocktail. Enjoy it at the winery or on a summertime picnic.

Peabody’s is a full-service wine and beer specialty shop. Selections of both beer and wine are produced locally and from around the world. Peabody’s is a comfortable place to shop, sample, and drink.

Bayou General Store is located in the heart of Banner Elk, attached to the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill. They have merchandise to suit everyone’s needs. Their wine selection is great, and they have the best selection of local and NC brews you’ll find.


Try these local favorites at our many wineries and breweries—then take some home for your next party or picnic!

n Fred’s General Mercantile 828.387.4838 501 Beech Mountain Pkwy. Beech Mountain, NC 28604

n Beech Mountain Brewing 828.387.2011 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy. Beech Mountain, NC 28604

n Blowing Rock Brewing Co. 828.414.9600 152 Sunset Dr. Blowing Rock, NC 28605

Fred’s sits high atop Beech Mountain at an elevation of 5,049 feet. They offer a wide variety of merchandise including local wine and beer. Their motto is, “If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.”

Beech Mountain Brewing is nestled in the village of Beech Mountain Resort, offering, skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, mountain biking and disc golf. Enjoy the atmosphere any time of year. Relax with a brew after a long day of biking or hiking, or take a growler to go.

Blowing Rock Brewing Company produces craft quality artisanal ales and lagers for distribution throughout North Carolina. They are 100% brewed in North Carolina.

n Booneshine Brewing Company 828.278.8006 465 Industrial Park Dr. Boone, NC 28607

n Linville Falls Winery 828.765.1400 9557 Linville Falls Hwy. Newland, NC 28657

n Lost Province Brewing Co. 828.265.3506 130 N Depot St. Boone, NC 28607

Booneshine Brewing Company is passionate about brewing high quality craft beer and equally focused on what makes the Boone area shine. Enjoy their full service tasting room/restaurant, beer garden or take it home.

Experience this award-winning Appalachian High Country wine from Linville Falls Winery in their Tuscan-style tasting room, or outside in the fresh mountain air. Pack this local delight to go.

Lost Province Brewing Co. is a destination restaurant and microbrewery located in historic downtown Boone, NC. Always out exploring? Take KMG and Orange Sunshine to a waterfall.



Mary Daly makes ravioli with her grandmother’s rolling pin

Grandma’s Biscuits

Bound Together

Home on the Heels of the Family Recipe By Gail Greco, with photos by Tom Bagley

Dorothy had to swivel and smack her ruby reds three times to get back to Kansas. Phew, that takes too long! We in the High Country get home much faster and we’re not dreaming! “I just open a drawer and I’m home again.” Family recipes pop up everywhere in retired guidance counselor Debbie Kirkley’s “happily cluttered” kitchen in Boone. Cheryl Angel of Avery County travels back home to eastern North Carolina on a cucumber pickle. “Mom’s pickles, perfectly crisp, bathed in sweet vinegary syrup,” she describes. But, Mom’s pickles ran out recently so Angel found herself trying to replicate them. “I can’t compete with hers, but everyone says my version is delicious, the next best thing!” Jo Sorrell is back in China Grove, NC, from Boone—in the blink of an eye she’s spotting a torn scrap of flour-sack with her grandmother’s handwritten recipe on the back. And, the Dorothy I know personally, my sister by that name, doesn’t wear red shoes, but zips home on a flying carpet, a.k.a. a sheet pan from grandma that bakes better cookies, she finds, due to the pan’s high-quality surface. Once a year, gathered around the kitchen in Boone, a rolling pin, a recipe, and ravioli take the Daly family of Boone back home to their roots in Emilia Romagna, Italy. Grandma Adele Foli, born in 1888, came to the states bringing with her family recipes, including a ravioli of spinach, meat, and cheese that she taught her granddaughter


Mary Daly to make when she was a child. On ravioli-making day today, Daly hands over to her kids, in an almost symbolic gesture, the very rolling pin and pasta wheel she and her grandmother used. “Making her recipe with her tools is a way for me to honor my Nonna,” she muses, “and for my children to understand their heritage and pass it on to the next generation.” Local restaurants are often inspired by family recipes. Casa Rustica has served the Pedronis’ dishes from Italy since Peter Pedroni opened the restaurant in Boone 41 years ago! Son Ricky’s in charge now, his grandmother Pina’s mushroom cream sauce and his father’s Bolognese, both still menu faves. Food from the past grows its own family tree—pure, simple, soulful that no shoeclicking or e-buttons deliver. The yearning to preserve home with food memories is universal, as Olga Koutseridi, 34, of Austin is doing. Remembering endearing childhood summers in today’s war-torn Mariupol, Ukraine, the educator at University of Texas is collecting recipes to save her heritage. Where there is no home now, she is reportedly finding another way for family and friends to be there. Y’all Come Get It, Now Taylor Campbell, Manager of the High Country Food Hub, a branch of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA), cooks Mom’s beef stew to get home. The recipe is in BRWIA’s just-printed Our Blue Ridge

Kitchens cookbook, edited by Carolina Norman. One of the book’s 50 recipes is a double-cheese bread from App State Assistant Professor Renata Carneiro from her family home in Brazil. Retired educator Tom Shessler of Zionville, NC, submitted an aunt’s meal-in-a-soup. “When you share a recipe, you carry people with you and never eat alone,” he observes. Saturdays in her Boone country kitchen, Dana Holden bakes grandma’s biscuits from memory. “Out of the oven they’re puffy-fresh, but not if I reheat them; the taste and texture of home is not there, so I never reheat,” she declares. Having tasted them, I doubt there are any left to reheat, anyway! Tsk, tsk, on me. My family recipes are still in a folder. Sheet Pan Crumb Cake (neither my sister nor I can duplicate the over-sized plump crumbs Gram was proud of ) are waiting for my editorial attention. “It’s time to do this for you, now,” neighbor Dawn Sullivan scolded, after I helped produce her family cookbook last fall (see page 137), something her six children had been requesting for years. Well, at least I should do what Pegge Laine of Boone does, putting family recipes into a brochure for a niece getting married; mine is marrying later this summer—there’s time! Lee Rankin, cookbook author and owner of Apple Hill Farm in Banner Elk, is glad we’re paying attention to family recipes again. “There was a time we weren’t, which is why I’m asked to fill in the blanks for people in

Vintage Family Recipes

Bonita Gragg’s Blackberry Pie

tears unable to recreate a recipe they remember, but don’t have, because they didn’t write it down.” Rankin’s 22 year-old son, an avid cook, is wiser, recording as he creates his own recipes, too. Our very own CML publisher, Babette McAuliffe, objectively asks me, “Might this cookbook be worthy of your article?” She hands me a loose-leaf binder from friend and noted personal chef Adele Forbes of Linville who just passed in May. Inside are 76 cherished recipes in Forbes’ cursive hand on decorative paper protected in plastic. Within the pages of In Mama Joe’s Shadow: Cooking with Adele’s Best Recipes, I found the heels-together moment I needed to show how recipes can be beautifully organized in something as simple as a three-ring binder. So, I say to my publisher, “This book brilliantly exhibits how family cookbooks resound with relative emotion. It’s more than deserving of note. It’s rhapsodic!” Food magazines report that home-cooking will continue its post-pandemic surge and Carolina Country, mailed monthly to Blue Ridge Energy customers since 1946, agrees. The magazine had to add space to cover food. “It’s our most popular section,” notes Editor Scott Gates. “In From Your Kitchen, readers around the state submit their recipes, and so we all get to share in the joy of these dishes.” Watauga County Library assistant and poet Bonita K. Gragg shows how a blackberry pie expresses that kind of ‘sharing the joy’ in this poem she wrote special to CML:

Grandma’s Blackberry Pie Oh the days of summers gone by when I was a child at grandma’s house, I remember her walk and her smile but, most of all I remember her pies. I would pick for hours on those hot summer days, get stung by bees, and bit by chiggers, just for the taste of the berry’s sweet center. Stain on my face and a full pail in my hand, back to the house I ran with a grin. Wash and clean and sweeten to taste. Your lattice of dough goes on top. Now pop in the oven and watch until it’s golden brown. It should rise and make a small crown. Time for supper, the smells are free. Ice cream or not, get ready for a treat. Now get your coffee, get ready to smile, and show your beautiful blue teeth!

Editor Carolina Norman

As with all family recipes, a pie becomes something more when it evokes home and you must write about it. Dorothy didn’t eat a slice of pie, but who knows what she had in that iconic picnic basket she toted all around Oz. After all, she did get home just as fast as we in the long run, by repeating, “There’s no place like home.” Forbes’ quote in her cookbook ties the ‘why’ of it altogether. “Gramma said when you come on something good, first thing to do is share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out where no telling it will go!”

Dana Holden CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


at Villa Nove Vineyards


at Watauga Lake Winery

Congratulations on 25 years to a wonderful magazine, from your friends at Watauga Lake Winery


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Cooking Up the Family Recipe:

The Write Way I always hear “I should do a cookbook, but …”


ecipe writing is scientific to be instructive, artistic to be inviting and approachable. Your voice and preparation make a recipe one-of-a-kind, and fun and easy to write with these basic tips. Title: Make it mouthwatering. Stuffed Salted Caramel French Toast instead of French Toast. Being brief can work if it says it all: Pancake Sunday. Catchy too, i.e. Party Magnet instead of Cheesy Crab Ball.

Intros Are a Must: A recipe without one is a pretzel without salt. Add cooking nuances. Inspirational quotes are cool, too—like this one from Cookin’ Up A Storm: The Life and Recipes of Annie Johnson by Apple Hill Farm’s Lee Rankin: “You got to believe in somethin’ for it to help you.” Add a backstory, as in this trout recipe from Deep Run Roots cookbook by Vivian Howard, Eastern NC restaurateur and PBS-TV host of A Chef ’s Life, describing her coming to our High Country. “Family vacations as a kid looked like this: Howards wake up at three in the morning; get in the yellow station to the mountains, eat breakfast at the Dan’l Boone Inn, go to Tweetsie Railroad, stop at roadside stand to buy apples... Today Chef and the Farmer [her restaurant] serves...trout from those mountains...with apples... together in this recipe because I associate them with that place.”

By Gail Greco, with photos by Meagan Goheen

Ingredients: List them in order of use and avoid abbreviations. Numbering steps can be helpful. Preparation: Don’t assume anything. Go through the cooking motions as you write. You won’t miss anything then. Servings: Never state “Serves 4-6”; you don’t know that. Proper: “Servings: 4-6.” State quantities in “Yield” or “Makes.” Doneness: Important to state the look and feel that says it’s ready. Format: As owner of Precision Printing and Signs in Boone for nearly four decades, PJ Ollis helps put local cookbooks together. You turn in your collection to him digitally and it’s printed, bound, “and affordable,” Ollis adds. The shop produces 50 different cookbooks annually, including the hot-off-thepress Our Blue Ridge Kitchens (available at the High Country Food Hub in Boone). Ollis wishes there were more of these though. “Cookbooks are not where we make our money, but they bring people together for the common good with family recipes, and community organizations sell their books, collecting the funds that improve people’s lives. Makes me feel good.”

butter is in. Crisco and margarine are out. Lard is back. Butter is king. Fries lose their extreme fat to air-frying! Salt swaps out for spice blends. Suggest substitutes but keep the charm. Macaroni is pasta, except for Macaroni-and-Cheese since Pasta-andCheese will never conjure up that meltingly scrumptious dish. Macaroni, or these days Mac, says it best! Old recipes are legendary for lacking specifics: Enough to cram into a jar … A wink of red vinegar. “Don’t be dissuaded. Common sense and your taste-memory are a guide,” notes Rankin. “I would measure out Annie’s pinch or spoonful, to get it right for the cookbook, and find later they were exact measurements anyway.” Well, so, a pinch is technically 1/16 of a teaspoon and a dash 1/8. Grandma always had it right, didn’t she? Gail Greco has written and produced many cookbooks. She was the executive producer and host of the award-winning PBS-TV series, Country Inn Cooking.

Fixer-Uppers Culinary traditions contrast modern methods and cooking tools, so heirloom recipes do need to strike a balance. Coconut CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —


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

Fat French Toast

Served with Bananarama Sauce (from Dawn’s Early Light: Wise and Wickedly Fun Family Recipes Sunrise to Sunset, By Dawn L. Sullivan) Servings 8


8 eggs 3 cups milk 1 tsp vanilla extract ¼ cup sugar ½ tsp kosher salt 10 Slices (3/4 inch) French bread (baguette style) 2 TBSP butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. • Beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla. • Beat in the sugar and salt until smooth. In a shallow bowl, soak the bread in the egg mixture for 5 minutes. • Melt half the butter on a griddle pan. • Place half the bread onto the pan and brown on each side. • Transfer to a sheet pan. • Repeat with remaining bread. • Place pan in the oven for 15 minutes or until bread is puffy. • Serve with Bananarama Sauce. BANANARAMA SAUCE Yield: 1 ½ cups


• Weddings • Special Events • Corporate Retreats • Family Reunions 135 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604 828.260.1790 136

— Summer 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE BannerElkWVSep/Oct2012.indd 1

¾ cup maple syrup ½ cup brown sugar 2 TBSP butter 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained ½ tsp kosher salt 2 small bananas, peeled and diced ¼ tsp cinnamon Directions: Place all ingredients into a medium nonstick saucepan over medium heat and when it starts to bubble, turn off the heat; let it cool a bit and serve.

8/14/12 10:56 AM


awn awn wrote wrote this this book book as as aa legacy legacy to to her her kids; kids; to to do do what what old old family family recipes recipes do do best best –– evoke evoke memories; memories; revive revive comforting comforting feelings feelings of of going going home home again. again. You You know, know, the the recipes recipes you you wished wished you you had had written written down. down. Well, Well, fret fret no no more, more, they they may may be be right right here, here, shining shining under under Dawn’s Dawn’s Early Early Light! Light! Dawn’s Dawn’s food food isis flavored flavored with with love. love.Preparations Preparations are are down-home down-home classic; classic;rich, rich, creative; creative;easy easy to to make make and and fun fun to to eat. eat.For For years, years, we we crafted, crafted, shopped, shopped, raised raised our our children, children, and and cooked cooked together together with with me me as as her her sous sous chef. chef.Her Her cooking cooking isis grounded grounded in in knowledge knowledge and and competence, competence, bringing bringing fresh fresh new new joy joy and and passion passion to to any any family family kitchen. kitchen. ~~ Mindy MindyMsawel Msawel LLI ICCKKI INN’’ FFLLAAM MEESS BBRRI ISSKKEETT


The The Grazy Grazy Susan Susan isis aa revolving revolving food food platter platter of of little little bites bites (Page (Page 69) 69) you you graze, graze, going going back back and and forth forth for for more more until until it’s it’s all all gone gone –– but but what’s what’s left left isis still still aa favorite favorite CarolinaMountain MountainLife Lifemagazine, magazine, featuring featuring Dawn Dawn work work of of art. art.”” ~~ Carolina Sullivan’s Sullivan’s Crazy Crazy for for Grazin’ Grazin’food food boards boards

Dawn’s Early Light

Dawn L. Sullivan

There There isis nothing nothing more more precious precious –– and and loving loving –– than than cooking cooking for for your your family. family.Dawn’s Dawn’s recipes recipes are are imbued imbued with with that that love. love.II can’t can’t wait wait to to try try Nana’s Nana’s Disappearing Disappearing Plum Plum Tart Tart and, and, although although I’m I’m not not much much of of aa breakfast breakfast eater, eater, Fat Fat French FrenchToast Toast isis simply simply irresistible. irresistible.The The food food in in this this book book isis real. real.ItIt isis genuine, genuine, nourishing nourishing our our soul soul as as well well GiulianoHazan, Hazan,internationally internationallycelebrated celebrated as as our our body. body. ~~ Giuliano cookbook cookbook author author& &culinary culinaryinstructor instructor

Dawn’s Early Light

The Powerful Nature of Home Cooking

Wise & Wickedly Fun Family Recipes Sunrise to Sunset Dawn L. Sullivan


“ F o o d h e i g h t e n s e m o t i o n s a s w e p e e l b a c k t h e y e a r s .” - G a i l G r e c o

CML’s Kitchen Reviews…

Dawn’s Early Light: Wise and Wickedly Fun Family Recipes from Sunrise to Sunset By Meagan Goheen Cooking has always been my favorite way to show love to those around me, especially my family. For me it is also a form of therapy. When you step into your kitchen, peruse your ingredients, and fall into your flow, stresses of the day can slip away. Then, when you gather around the table with family and friends and enjoy a meal it brings fellowship and companionship. With most of my cooking I don’t follow a recipe, but instead lean on intuition. For years, I rarely stopped to write down my recipes or take measurements. Having the opportunity to manage the recipe section for Carolina Mountain Life Magazine has forced me to write down measurements and to be more intentional with preserving my family’s favorites. I do collect and love reading cookbooks. Each time you open a cookbook you are stepping into another’s kitchen, with different flavor combinations, photos and back stories of family favorite recipes that excite and inspire me to get back into the kitchen. Dawn Sullivan does just that with her beautiful cookbook.

Sullivan has a deep culinary knowledge and experience from working in prestigious hotel restaurants and in New York’s famous Tavern on the Green. This experience, combined with her degree in Exercise Physiology and the lessons of health and nutrition that her studies encompassed, gave her the skills to take on her biggest challenge: to cook for her six children and their varying tastes. Food not only nourishes our bodies, but it nourishes our souls; familiar flavors have the power to bring you comfort and joy. Her recipes are well loved, simple, easy to follow and are accompanied with her wisdom and helpful tips. You can sense a mother’s heart and love behind each of her recipes. Sullivan wanted to preserve these family favorite recipes for years to come for her children, family, and friends, and for them to be able to recreate and reference. Together with her neighbor and close friend, Gail Greco, the book’s producer and editor, and Tom Bagley, Gail’s husband and the book’s photographer, and many others who supported the project,

Sullivan and team have created a beautiful keepsake filled with so much goodness. Stories of Nana’s Disappearing Plum Tart remind you why it is so important to preserve and share recipes through generations. “Delicious food memories will always hang with you. But how many times have you been frustrated, wishing you had written down so-and-so’s recipe? Thankfully for all of us, a caring Mom has, leaving all of us her legacy. And certainly, her kids won’t have to scratch their heads to figure out, say, how the Choked Chicken was cooked; they can look it up (page 90) and cook it with confidence and good taste!” —Gail Greco (Cookbook Producer and Editor) To learn more about preserving and sharing your family’s recipes see our article, “Bound Together,” by Gail Greco, on page 132. You can pick up your copy of Dawn’s Early Light at Neaco on Main Street in Downtown Blowing Rock.



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

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



From CML’s Kitchen By Meagan Goheen


CAPRESE PASTA SALAD WITH PROSCIUTTO INGREDIENTS 16 oz penne pasta (or pasta of choice) 2 pints of grape tomatoes (halved) 16 oz pearl mozzarella balls ½ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil ¾ cup white balsamic vinegar 4 garlic cloves (finely minced) ½ tsp crushed red pepper 1 tsp kosher salt 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper 4 oz prosciutto thinly sliced Balsamic glaze DIRECTIONS Cook pasta according to instructions, drain and set aside to cool. Mix olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine cooled pasta, halved tomatoes, mozzarella, prosciutto, basil, and dressing; toss well. Serve with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

made wit h love! Perfect made ahead for your next cookout or potluck!


PAN-SEARED CHICKEN WITH TOMATILLO SALSA with Summer Vegetable Medley & Golden Raisin Rice DIRECTIONS


Make the rice: Combine the rice, ½ tsp salt and 1 ½ cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Add 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar and golden raisins.

4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (divided) 1 cup long grain rice 8 oz tomatillos (diced) 4 ears of corn (husked with corn kernels cut off) 4 green onions thinly sliced (white bottoms and green tops separated) 5 sweet peppers (halved with seeds removed and sliced) 2 zucchinis (medium, diced) ½ tsp crushed red pepper 1/3 cup golden raisins 4 TBSP rice vinegar 1 ½ TBSP sugar Salt and Pepper

Make the tomatillo salsa: While rice is cooking, in a medium bowl combine the tomatillos, sugar and 2 TBSP rice wine vinegar. Drizzle with 1 TBSP of olive oil, ½ tsp of salt ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper to taste. Set aside to marinate. Cook the chicken: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season generously with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 TBSP of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add chicken and cook 6-8 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board. Cook the vegetable medley: Add 1 TBSP of olive oil to the same pan at medium-high heat and add zucchini, sweet peppers, corn, and the white bottoms of green onion to the same pan. Season with crushed red pepper, 1 tsp of salt and ½ tsp of fresh cracked pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes until softened. Serve rice, vegetables and chicken together topped with tomatillo salsa, garnish with tops of green onions, and enjoy! CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2022 —



Servings 4


BLACKBERRY PEACH CRISP INGREDIENTS Filling: 4 cups blackberries 7-8 peaches halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch wedges 1 tsp lemon zest 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice ¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup granulated sugar Topping: 1 cup old fashioned oats ¾ cup all-purpose flour ¾ cup brown sugar ½ tsp kosher salt ½ tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp cardamom 1/8 tsp nutmeg 1 stick of butter (cold, diced) DIRECTIONS Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, gently toss the peaches and blackberries with the sugar, lemon zest and juice. Transfer to a 10-12 inch cast iron pan.

made wit h love! In a medium bowl, toss the oats with the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Using your fingertips, mix in the cold butter until the topping is crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit. Bake for 1 hour, let the crisp cool for 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


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

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161 Howard Street, Boone 828-386-1201 |

Celebrating 27 Years!

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

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


Avery County’s Dining


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

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114............100 West Union 72..............Abingdon Visitor Center 50..............Abode Home 74..............Adventure Damascus 68..............Advocates for the Care of Animals 64..............All Seasons Landscaping 86..............Amorem 57..............Amy Brown CPA 32..............An Appalachian Summer Festival 67..............Appalachian Apothekary 106............Appalachian Blind and Closet 123............Appalachian Regional Healthcare System 71..............Appalachian State University 124............Apple Hill Farm 123............ARHS Heart & Vascular Center--Ashe 41..............Artists in Residence 32..............Ashe Arts Council 53..............Ashe County Chamber of Commerce 86..............Ashe Memorial Hospital 105............Avery Animal Hospital 57,11.........Avery Chamber of Commerce 123............Avery Community Yoga 105............Avery Heating & Air Conditioning 66..............Banner Elk Book Exchange 138............Banner Elk Café, Lodge, & Tavern 70..............Banner Elk Heating & Air 87..............Banner Elk Realty 4................Banner Elk TDA 136............Banner Elk Winery 92..............Banner House Museum 128............Barra Sports Bar 63..............Bayou Smokehouse & Grill 44..............BE Artists Gallery 138............BE Natural Market 66..............Beech Mountain Club 14..............Beech Mtn TDA 66..............Best Western Mountain Lodge 129............Bistro Roca 48..............BJ’s Resort Wear 126............Blind Elk Tap Room 63..............Blowing Rock Brewing 126............Blowing Rock Farmers Market 50..............Blue Ridge Brutal 120............Blue Ridge Energy 7................Blue Ridge Mountain Club 52..............Blue Ridge Propane 42..............Blue Ridge Realty & Investments 120............Boone Appetit 63..............Boone Bigfoots 124............Brinkley Hardware 39..............Carlton Gallery 138............Carolina BBQ 134............Casa Rustica Restaurant 17..............Century 21 Mountain Vistas

128............Chef’s Table 94..............Children’s Hope Alliance 64..............Classic Stone Works 143............COBO Sushi Bistro 40..............Compu-Doc 145............Cornerstone Cabins 57..............Creative Interiors by Darlene Parker 12..............Crossnore School for Children 105............C.S. Smith Management 134............Custom Floor Coating 114,118.....Cute-tique 2................Dewoolfson 3................Dianne Davant Interiors 139............Distinctive Cabinetry of the HC 28..............Doe Ridge Pottery 48..............Elevated Metals 14..............Elk River Club 57..............Encore Travel 18..............Engel & Völkers 126............English Farmstead Cheese 40..............Ensemble Stage 129............Erick’s Cheese & Wine 32..............Explore Boone TDA 138............FARM Cafe 40..............Florence Thomas Art School 10..............Footsloggers 94..............Fortner Insurance 28..............FORUM at Lees-McRae 76..............Foscoe Fishing 15..............Fred’s General Mercantile 127............Gamekeeper 129............Gideon Ridge Inn 94..............Glen Davis Electric 94..............Grandfather Home Museum 147............Grandfather Mountain 26..............Grandfather Mountain .................Highland Games 39..............Grandfather Vineyard 53..............Green Park Inn 53..............Gregory Alan’s 28..............Hardin Jewelry 50..............Hawksnest Zipline 123............Heart & Vascular Center of Watauga Medical Center 68..............Hemlock Inn 78..............Hickory Tree Consignment 87..............Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center 122............High Country Animal Clinic 121............High Country Caregivers 70..............High Mountain Expeditions 57..............Highlanders Grill & Tavern 68..............Hunter’s Tree Service 74..............Incredible Toy Co

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t hank you! 146 — Summer 2022 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

Get outside. Get

Folks come to Grandfather Mountain for all sorts of reasons — from a family getaway to the thrill of the Mile High Swinging Bridge. But after a day on the mountain, and some hands-on time in the new Wilson Center For Nature Discovery, everyone leaves inspired.

g r a n d fa t h e r. co m NEW

Wilson Center for Nature Discovery



Wonders Never Cease