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Nulook Steppaz A.G. Cox Middle School Mary Forlines Love A Sea Turtle



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Winterville Magazine 2019

Contents THE COVER


Main & Mill

Adventures on a dish



A look back in the classroom


Woman offers helping hand


Sisterhood of dance


LAST molds youth





Main & Mill Oyster Bar & Tavern, established in March 2019, offers customers a variety of menu items, including its Carolina pork chop, shrimp & grits and pork belly and Brussels.



Winterville VOLUME 16 - 2019

WINTERVILLE© is published annually by The Standard newspaper. Contents are the property of this newspaper and the Town of Winterville and may not be reproduced without consent of the publisher. To advertise in this publication, contact The Standard at 252-747-3883.



One of Main & Mill’s fan-favorites is the Carolina bone-in porkchop, which is served with Brussels sprouts and mashed sweet potato. Main & Mill also offers a fully stocked bar.

Main & Mill Oyster Bar & Tavern is breathing new life into a building that once housed Wimpie’s, a staple destination seafood restaurant in Winterville. Mill & Main is quickly becoming a destination itself. Main & Mill opened its doors March 1, 2019. David Munoz and his wife, Kelly, own it. Munoz is the former owner of the Crossbones Tavern in downtown Greenville. He became tired of the downtown Greenville scene and desired to open a more upscale restaurant. When he discovered Wimpie’s was for sale, Munoz jumped at the opportunity to open a restaurant in his backyard. “I live in Winterville. The building came up for sale. In the restaurant game, not many people own their building. So to own your building, it’s kind of a


Winterville Magazine 2019

You’re going to get a great meal, you’re also going to enjoy the atmosphere. You’re going to enjoy the people that work here. - David Munoz

is made in house. It’s a scratch-made kitchen. We use fresh microgreens locally from Greenville. We order our catfish from Carolina Classic in Ayden. We have a very talented chef. He’s been cooking for over 20 years. I wouldn’t have (opened Main & Mill) if he hadn’t come,” Munoz said. One of the restaurant’s best sellers is the Carolina pork chop. The bone-in sweet tea brine chop atop mashed sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions and a bourbon barbecue glaze has been a fan favorite since the restaurant opened its doors. The restaurant also has its own take on a southern classic — shrimp and grits. Jumbo shrimp are tossed in a low country-style gravy and combined with smoked bacon and vegetables, served over Parmesan stone-ground special deal. It just made sense. It’s a lot easier when you own the building you work in,” Munoz said.

grits. “I’ve been told it’s the best shrimp and grits they’ve ever had. The gravy is

David Munoz, the owner of Main & Mill, holds a plate of pork belly and Brussels, which is a favorite appetizer offered at the restaurant.

complete the dish. Another classic offered by Main & Mill is its clam chowder, which is a creamy New England style with chunks of clams and potatoes. In September 2019, Main and Mill expanded their menu and began

really good,” Munoz said.

While the restaurant continues to

Main & Mill offers customers a

serving Sunday brunch from 11 a.m.

offer oysters, oysters are not Mill &

selection of tantalizing appetizers,

to 4 p.m. Brunch features ribeye

Main’s mainstay.

including its “belly and brussels.”

and eggs, shrimp and grits, smoked salmon crostone and more.

Instead, the restaurant offers a

Crispy pork belly pieces are tossed

varied menu with mainstays found in

with roasted brussels sprouts and

each selection of food.


The smoked salmon crostone


consists of toasted sourdough bread,

“It’s a nice mix of seafood, steaks,

balsamic glaze is drizzled over the

smoked salmon, slivered onions,

pork chop dishes and pasta. Everything

pork belly and brussels sprouts to

cucumbers, tomatoes and dill cream

Winterville Magazine 2019





was the ceiling and floors and we

downtown Winterville. This is

did some work to them,” Munoz

something we have kind of been


dreaming on for a while. I think,




from this, a lot of other businesses

when they enter the restaurant,

are going to build off this. This


is going to be another piece of






process. This is a huge piece of the puzzle for the revitalization

fully stocked bar.

of downtown. We’re really happy

The bar features a varied

they came to downtown,” said

selection of red and white wine

Winterville’s economic developer

One of the house specialties is the “Main Old-Fashioned,” a drink consisting of Woodford Reserve whiskey, Angostura orange and aromatic bitters, garnished with a cherry and twist of orange. Munoz hopes that Main & Mill leaves a lasting impression on its customers and they return time after time. “I hope they get a great meal, get to know us a little better, enjoy themselves, become regulars and

cereal bowl, while the breakfast


shot consists of Fireball cinnamon

Customers can also enjoy a





with an item from the restaurant’s

the flavor of the food served.

cheese. It is served with a side


where customers can easily relax

and spirits that easily accentuates

The Hess family (L-R) father, Jim, son, Justin, mother, Denise and daughter, Ashley are frequent visitors of Main & Mill. They enjoy the food, service and atmosphere at the restaurant in their hometown, Winterville.


come back frequently,” Munoz said. Returning to Main & Mill has never been an issue for the Hess family of Winterville, who continues to return to the restaurant for its “oysters,

slice of the restaurant’s quiche

followed by a glass of orange juice

atmosphere and great service,”

of the day, or they can select the

with a piece of bacon behind it.

said Jim Hess.

Stephen Penn at the restaurant’s ribbon cutting. Munoz is happy to be a part of the revitalization process. “It feels good. We offer a great restaurant. It feels nice to be one of the first places for the revitalization of downtown,” he said. “Winterville has a nice smalltown feel, but it’s right here close to Greenville.” Munoz is happy with the success the business has already obtained and hopes to continue building the business. “(The success) feels good. The clientele is different than my downtown spot with the students. It feels like vindication — we know what we’re doing. I want to build the business and be here for the long haul,” he said. “You’re going to get a great meal,

eggs benedict, which consists of

Customers can also choose

Hess, his wife, Denise and

two poached eggs and grilled ham

between “Mimosa on Main,” the

their children, Ashley and Justin,

you’re also going to enjoy the

on an English muffin smothered

house mimosa, or from one of

have frequented the restaurant

atmosphere. You’re going to enjoy

in Hollandaise sauce. It is served

the many domestic, import or

numerous times since it opened

the people that work here.”


craft selections.

its doors.



fries. The brunch menu also offers

Along with the menu, the aesthetics




special brunch drinks, including

transformed with Munoz only

the cinnamon toast crunch shot

keeping the original ceilings and

and the breakfast shot.


Main & Mill Oyster Bar &

“It’s a different vibe than other

Tavern, 204 W Main Street, is

places around here. We love it,”

open from 4-10 p.m. daily, except

Ashley said.

Sundays when the restaurant is

Since opening, Main & Mill has quickly become a staple for the

open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for brunch.

The cinnamon toast crunch

“We did a lot of work to

Winterville community and has

To make a reservation or for

shot is an adult twist on a kids’

the building to give it a great

helped to serve as a part of the

more information, call 252-227-

favorite cereal and was designed

atmosphere. We redid the whole

downtown revitalization process.

4399 or visit mainandmilltavern.

to taste like the bottom of the

restaurant. The only thing we kept

“This is a game-changer for


com online.

Winterville Magazine 2019

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Winterville Magazine 2019


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Winterville Magazine 2019

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Winterville Magazine 2019


A.G. Cox Middle School More than a century of educating children STORY A.G. Cox Middle School sits in the center of Winterville within easy walking distance of the town hall. It has more than 900 students in grades 6-8. It has football, basketball, volleyball and Battle of the Books teams and a myriad of clubs. A.G. Cox Middle School also has a more than a century long history of teaching children, but any discussion of A.G. Cox Middle School needs to start with its namesake, according to Winterville historian Jesse Riggs. “We can’t really talk about




the beginnings of the school without acknowledging (town founder) A.G. Cox,” Riggs said. “As Winterville was growing, there was an interest in doing something to improve the lives of the children who were starting to grow up here. There was a grade school here already, but the citizens aspired to something more for their kids. So A.G. and Dr. B.T. Cox were very instrumental to get the effort going to establish a high school here. That was at a time when there just weren’t high schools in every community.

There were very few in the state. … Youngsters who wanted to go on to college needed to get a high school education. Winterville High School was one of the only opportunities in the eastern part of the state. A.G. Cox was one of the citizens driving the effort to get the school established. He was a very strong supporter of the school.” A.G. and B.T., no relation, worked with the Eastern Baptist Association to establish a boarding high school in Winterville. Winterville High School opened in 1900 with an administration and classroom building, a girls’ dorm, and two boys’ dorms. The girls’ dorm sat on the corner of Church and Blount streets and housed the dining hall. Students came from all over eastern North Carolina. There were also students from Virginia and at least one from Florida, according to Riggs’ research. “One of the things I’ve been doing over the last couple of years is compiling a roster of all the youngsters I can find who attended the school. I really haven’t looked to examine the ratio of male students to female students. There’s a majority of female students, but I haven’t

looked at that ratio,” Riggs said. “Interestingly, not all of the persons who attended actually graduated. I’ve noticed, particularly with certain of the male students, sometimes, they went to Winterville but didn’t actually graduate. If they were going to be farming, they didn’t necessarily need to have a diploma. … There were also times, if it was the oldest male child, where if something happened to the breadwinner, they may have to drop out of school to support the rest of the family.” When it opened in 1900, Winterville High School had electric lights. “A.G. Cox Manufacturing had a dynamo that they used to provide electricity to people in the town,” Riggs said. “At that time, they didn’t have electrical meters, so you were charged by the number of light bulbs you had. People would unscrew the light bulbs and move them from room-toroom like a kerosene lantern.” In photographs of a “meeting room for the literary society” from 1910, two light fixtures can be seen. Only one has a bulb in it. When the teacher was at the piano, the light bulb was at that light fixture. When the teacher moved to the other end of the

Winterville Magazine 2019

The three-story building that was sold to the Pitt County Board of Education (left) and the 1935 building that serves as the 100-hall today.

room, the light bulb went there as well. The school had “very humble beginnings,” according to Riggs. By Sept. 10, 1902, it was important enough to rate a mention in the local newspaper, The Eastern Reflector. “On every train, the pupils are just coming in. The prospects for Winterville High School are indeed glowing. Everybody pull off hats and let’s holler,” reads a short article. It also lists “courses of instruction” in “literary,” music and art. Six teachers worked at the school under the direction of principal G.E. Lineberry. Board was $7 per month while tuition was listed as “reasonable.” While the articles have no bylines, Riggs believes the Winterville correspondent of the time was Lineberry, the principal at the high school. “Lineberry was the first principal. He was here for about 10 years and then was president of Chowan College for a couple of years,” Riggs said. “The majority of his career, he was actually the director of the school for the blind in Raleigh.” In May 1903, the Winterville correspondent wrote about the stock law being voted down,

Winterville Magazine 2019

something that directly affected Lineberry and Winterville High School. “Before the stock law passed, if you had livestock, you could let them roam around town. You weren’t required to fence them in,” Riggs said. “In fact, it was almost the opposite. If you didn’t want livestock in your yard, you had to fence your yard in.”

fencing to keep the animals out.” Winterville High School had more grades than what is currently considered a high school. A student could conceivably spend their entire career at one school. “This was grades one through 11. Until 1946 in North Carolina, high schools went through grade 11. You see a lot of children (in photos of the school) because

“That’s one of the things I love about history. You have to solve these mysteries, even though you might never know what really happened.” - JESSE RIGGS, WINTERVILLE HISTORIAN

Stock fences are visible in several pictures of the high school, most obviously in some photos of the girls’ dormitory from 1910. “You can quite clearly see the wire stock fence,” Riggs said. “It was not uncommon to have livestock in people’s gardens or on their porches if they didn’t have

they had first grade at the boarding school,” Riggs said. “I have a family friend. My father graduated in 1945. This lady would have been in the class of 1946, and that was the year they added another year. I asked her how did that work out. She said, ‘In 1945, we were juniors. In 1946, there wasn’t a graduating class.

We were junior-seniors. Then the next year, when we were in the 12th grade, we were seniors.’” The main administration and classroom building was one of the first buildings built. It housed offices, classrooms and the library. It was also where most of the clubs met, including several literary societies, a YWCA and a YMCA. “In August 1916, it was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, which was a major blow to the school, but they continued to operate,” Riggs said. “They moved classes to other buildings and to some of the churches here in town. The community really rallied to help the school.” Meanwhile, the decision to rebuild the administration building into a new grand structure took place. “A lot of the money came from local donations,” Riggs said. “The Roanoke Baptist Association partnered with Winterville High School to help rebuild it.” The architect was from Greensboro and provided several drawings of what he wanted the building to look like. The first drawings were very elaborate, but the decision was made to use a less ornate version of a three-


story building, which became the Winterville High School most people are familiar with. “I love the fretwork in the older pictures (of the original admin building). You can relatively date the pictures based on that fretwork,” Riggs said. “In the older pictures, everything is in place, but in the newer ones, you can see where pieces have been broken off, either by weather or by students.” The new administration building would not have any fretwork and would be made of less flammable materials. Pictures from 1918 show the building under construction, but Riggs is not sure when it was completed. “There is some discrepancy of dates about that building. The date normally given is 1921, but that’s when the Pitt County school board took possession of it for a public school,” he said. “I don’t know if the building was mostly complete in 1921. It may have been mostly completed by 1919. We don’t know.” 1919 is when disaster struck again. This time, Winterville High School could not survive. “The building housed, not only the girls,


but the dining hall as well. In Nov. 1919, the girls’ dormitory burnt down as a result of a stove overheating,” Riggs said. “That was the end of the boarding school. … The administration building was not complete. The girls’ dormitory was a major building. Financially, they just could not recover from that loss. Losing the facilities of that building really kept them from being able to operate.” The boarding school only produced two yearbooks: one for 1916-17 and one for 191718. As a result, a lot of context for photographs and other primary documents are lost. “This photo of the 1917-18 basketball team is really the only documented evidence we have that shows when the administration building was under construction,” Riggs said. “That’s one of the things I love about history. You have to solve these mysteries, even though you might never know what really happened.” Despite the boarding school closing, the town of Winterville did not remain without a high school for long. “When the boarding school closed, there

was certainly a lot of debate about what to do,” Riggs said. “At this time, Pitt County Schools was around and developing public schools. They were more interested in developing high schools. It was a different place in time.” At the time, one school board managed schools in the city of Greenville and a different board handled the rest of the county. Cox served on this board. “(A.G.) also eventually became a member of the Pitt County school board. His interest in promoting education went beyond just Winterville. He was still one of the principals and was on the board for the boarding school. They wanted to make sure that the property continued to be used for education, and that it would be a quality education.” Once Cox was convinced Pitt County Schools would provide the type of education Winterville’s residents wanted, the board of trustees sold the school. The public Winterville High School opened in 1921 for students in grades 1-11. “When (the new administration) building was completed and when it was first used, we

The 1918 basketball team (top, left) are seen behind the new administration building as it is being built. The private school’s baseball, football and women’s tennis teams are probably from the 1916-18 era.

Winterville Magazine 2019

were now in the public school era,” Riggs said. “This was the original Winterville High School building. … The present cafeteria is right in front of where the three-story building was.” The administration building, which stood vacant, was given to the Pitt County Board of Education for use as a public school for white students in Winterville. The school that became W.H. Robinson Elementary was used for African American students. When Winterville High School opened as a public school, the new administration was the only building. Every student from first to eleventh grades had classes in the same building. Eventually, more buildings were added on and some old buildings were repurposed. “After this was no longer a boarding school and was a public school, (one of the boys’ dorms) was referred to as the teacherage,” Riggs said. “There were apartments by that time that the teachers could live in, and the principal often lived in this building as well.” In the early 1930s, a new wing was built. The oldest building that remains on A.G. Cox

Winterville Magazine 2019

Middle School’s campus, the 100 Hall was then known as the high school building and housed grades 9-12. The three-story building was called the elementary building. “Eventually, other buildings were built on campus, and I don’t know a whole lot about that progression. … The boys’ dorm closest to the administration building disappears off the historical record. It’s conceivable it could have been converted to classrooms, but we just don’t know,” Riggs said. “The threestory building had 13 classrooms, so in the beginning, you could conceivably have one room for each grade.” The building currently known as Pitt County Schools’ operations center was built on Cox’s campus at some point during the 1920s. In the 1930s, it served as a school bus garage. Riggs has photos showing deliveries of new school buses lined up in front of the elementary building. Even then, the buses picked up and dropped off on Church Street. “In the 1960s, they built yet another wing, which included the current gymnasium. The wing that’s attached to that, we called it the

junior high building,” Riggs said. “Winterville High School ceased to be in January 1971. Part of the desegregation and consolidation plan built four high schools. Students from Winterville High School went to D.H. Conley.” A.G. Cox Grammar School opened to students in grades 4-6. Students in grades K-3 went to W.H. Robinson Elementary School. Riggs does not know when the fourth and fifth grades moved to Robinson. In 1974, the old three-story building was torn down, but pieces of it were saved. “The keystone (on the high school building) was engraved. It was given by the class of 1918 and had the class motto on it. This keystone is embedded in the wall outside the cafeteria building at A.G. Cox Middle,” Riggs said. “So they preserved not only the keystone, but there was also a cornerstone. You have to look into the trophy case on an interior hall, but those are elements of that building they saved.”

Most of these photos are undated, but the presence of the original administration building (top, right) indicates they were from before 1916.


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Winterville Magazine 2019

Winterville Magazine 2019


Mary Forlines

Always extending a helping hand


By Donna Marie Williams

or Winterville resident Mary Forlines, her 93 years of life has been more than she “could have ever dreamed.” Born Aug. 8, 1926, Forlines is one of Winterville’s oldest residents. She has lived in Winterville for 88 years. Her parents, Allen and Dora Willoughby Forbes, moved her and her adopted brother, Zebbie to Winterville during The Great Depression. “I was born in Pitt County … near Greenville Boulevard. It was way in the country then, not even close to Greenville. The reason we came to Winterville, to begin with, was my dad was a farmer. He grew up on a farm. That was all that he knew. “He had a fourth-grade education, and so did my mom. He had a heat stroke. Once you have a real heat stroke, you can no longer handle the hot weather. He had to do something besides farming because he couldn’t do it anymore. They basically hitched up the wagon and came to Winterville and rented a small house. I think we moved here in ’32,” Forlines said. “He started just asking around if anybody would let them help him do something in the house, on the farm or in the yard to just buy food for us. He started doing some repair work like carpentry work to help

soMetiMes i the only thing




even at this point in tiMe

i did the best i could with what i had leFt. i’M is

still aMazed at soMe oF the things dreaMed i’d do. 18



Mary Forlines holds a photo of her late husband, Emmis “Pannie” Forlines. The stuffed animals on her couch are from children and friends of hers.

people repair barns and stuff and found out he liked it. That was something he could do to make some money. “Nobody had any money. He could do something and help somebody for an hour or two, and they would give him a quarter. A quarter doesn’t sound like much, and you can’t do much with it now, but back then, you could buy a piece of cheese and a loaf of bread. That way he was able to take care of us. Like everybody else, it was tough for everybody. He became a carpenter and liked it. He liked working with wood.” Forlines attended Winterville High School. She graduated in 1943 and recently celebrated her 76th high school reunion. “We only had 28 graduates, and we still have eight living. I think that’s pretty remarkable with 70-something odd years,” Forlines said. After she graduated from high school, Forlines worked at a department store in downtown Winterville. It was during this time she met her husband, Emmis “Pannie” Forlines. “I met this friend (Corinia Forlines Keel) who lives next door to me now. We were best friends. We still are. She introduced me to a cousin of hers when we were 20. I got married, and I stayed married for 70 years, eight months and eight days before my husband passed away,” Forlines said. The couple married on June 13, 1946. Pannie died Feb. 23, 2017.

“When people would ask my husband what the secret for a long and happy marriage was, he would say ‘a lot of compromises,’” Forlines said. “Marriage to me is something that is alive. You have to care for it all the time. You can’t take it for granted. You have to care for it and take care of it. We were very close.” Forlines was a homemaker. “I had always loved to sew. My mom had taught me to sew when I was a little girl. I was so little I had to stand up to sew because I couldn’t see what I was doing if I sat down. Once I started sewing, I guess you can say I became a seamstress. I started sewing for other people,” Forlines said. In 1966, she decided to expand her career. “I went to Pitt Community College and applied for a secretary job. They were looking for a receptionist. As I was talking to the man who was in charge of this, he asked me, ‘Why don’t you apply to teach sewing?’” Though Forlines had a love for sewing, she felt the job was out of her grasp since she only had a high school education and no formal training. “I don’t have any training, except what I learned on my own. I have no college. I learned everything I know on my own. I’m self-taught,” Forlines said. The man was persistent and informed Forlines the school was working to establish a

Winterville Magazine 2019

sewing program. Forlines decided to fill out an application for both the secretary position and the sewing instructor position. “When I came home, I told my husband about it and said, ‘I won’t get it. I have no education beyond high school.’ Three or four weeks later, they called me back out there and said they were getting the sewing machines. They were starting the sewing program and wanted me to start. I just couldn’t believe it. Pitt Community College gave me an opportunity. I still have a hard time believing it. I was the first sewing instructor at Pitt Community College starting in 1966. I was really surprised. That was a great opportunity for me. I thoroughly enjoyed that,” Forlines said. Forlines’ first day as a sewing instructor is one that she will never forget. “We were hoping we would have 25 to 30 students. I was so pumped up. People kept coming and coming. Seventy-six people showed up in that room. It scared me to death. I went down the hall to see the supervisor and said, ‘I don’t know what to do. I have 76 people,’” Forlines said. Forlines supervisor asked the students what type of sewing classes they were interested in. “They started saying beginners and advanced. We left there that night with four organized classes. I still get goosebumps thinking about standing there with 76 people and not knowing what to do. It blows my mind. I had a wonderful career out there. I worked with some of the best people in the world,” Forlines said. Forlines taught sewing at Pitt Community College until she retired in 1989. “I had worked mostly at night for 23 years, and (Pannie) worked during the day time. We had places we wanted to go and people we wanted to see and we hadn’t had time to do any of that. So we decided OK, we are going to retire at the same time. He retired at 4:30 in the afternoon, and I retired at 9:30 that night — May 30, 1989,” Forlines said. Retirement was full of travel for the Forlines. “We enjoyed traveling. We did quite a bit of it and went to a lot of places. We loved to travel in the country too. My favorite place that

Winterville Magazine 2019

we traveled was the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. I like the mountains. I like the elevations and the colors and the streams. It’s peaceful and restful, and my husband liked it too,” Forlines said. The Forlines also loved to go on cruises and became “Cruise Rats.” “I used to watch ‘Love Boat’ on T.V. There were those gorgeous cruise ships. I used to sit here and think those things really aren’t that pretty. I would sit here and think I would really like to see the inside of a cruise ship. We had some friends, don’t ask me why, but they decided to make a gift to us of a cruise. We went on our first cruise, and I learned that cruise ships are beautiful. Then we became cruise rats,” Forlines said. Of the cruises they attended, their trips to Bermuda remain Forlines’ favorite. It was also during retirement that the Forlines began expanding their volunteer efforts and joined the Winterville Historical and Arts Society. Forlines now serves on the board and has been a member since 1990. “Both of us loved history. We liked to go to historical places like working farms where they used wagons and mules and did farm work like they did in the 1800s. History was something we really liked,” Forlines said. She was a member of the society when the Winterville Depot was moved from the Pitt County Fairgrounds to its current location at 217 Worthington St., Winterville. “When they had to move (the depot) from there, they gave it back to us and said we could have it. We didn’t have anywhere to put it. We thought we were going to lose it. I wanted to see the depot brought back to Winterville. That was one of my dreams,” Forlines said. “Mary Virginia Langston, who used to live here, gave us two acres: One acre to put the depot on and the other for Langston Park, and we were

(Top) Mary Forlines stands in front of one of the many quilts she has created for the Winterville Historical and Arts Society. (Center) Mary Forlines and his husband, Emmis “Pannie” celebrated more than 70 years of marriage . (Bottom) Mary Forlines in 1944. At age 18, she could have never dreamed her life would be what it is today, a blessing.


able to move the depot back to Winterville and restore it to its original glory. That’s one of the Mary Forlines and her husband, Emmis “Pannie” became Cruise Rats after they retired in 1989. Forlines joined the Winterville Historical and Arts Society things I’m really proud upon retirement and has enjoyed assisting the society and hosting events at the Winterville Museum. of.” She was also glad to Forlines has taught Sunday School and be present during the dedication of the depot. been involved in many youth activities at the “I had a lot of sicknesses and had been in church. the hospital a lot. I was able to be there. Abbott “When we were young, we worked with the Hunsucker, he’s on the board of directors, too, youth group in the church. We had some youth we stood out there for the dedication. He put at one point that wanted to meet but didn’t my walker out there somewhere and held have a youth sponsor. At our church, the youth me so we could stand up. It was in June. My couldn’t meet without a sponsor,” Forlines said. goodness, it was hot. I was so glad to be a part She and her husband decided to become of that. That was one of my times I was really the sponsor for the youth. proud,” she said. “The kids took care of the program. We Along with the depot restoration, Forlines made sure we were there. The people across also credits the construction of her home as the street had a station wagon. We would put one of her proudest life moments. the seats down and put as many children in “My husband and I physically built this there as we could get. We would go to Camp house ourselves. We had somebody do the Caroline, Goldsboro or Raleigh to a meeting.” plumbing, electrical and brickwork. That was The couple also made a point to visit with one of his proudest things. He had dementia, the church’s elderly population. and when people would ask him what he was “We used to enjoy it. It’s a good thing we proud of, he would say ‘I had been married — at liked the old people we used to visit. We kept that time it was 69 years — and my wife and in contact with them, visited them and made I built this house.’ I guess he must have been sure they were okay. We enjoyed doing that,” more proud of those two things in his life more she said. than any other thing,” Forlines said, adding Throughout her life, Forlines has watched as Pannie knew about construction work. Winterville has changed and adapted. “Apparently, he knew something about “I love this little town. It’s been good to me. building houses. I knew nothing. I was a ‘go for’. I’ve been here when we got running water, Go here, go there, hand me some nails.’ It’s still when we got the streets paved — just so many standing. We moved here in 1955.” changes. The rapid growth of Winterville has Forlines is also a quilt maker. She has also been the most surprising thing to me. It’s just created five quilts for the Winterville Historical growing so fast, I can’t keep up with how fast it and Arts Society to be raffled off. is growing,” Forlines said. “The first quilt that I made, I entered into an She wishes for Winterville to maintain its international quilt show. I came in fourth place. charm in the future. I didn’t win the show. That totally shocked “I think I would wish Winterville would me. It’s just been so many things totally retain its small-town feel, friendly, welcoming, unexpected,” Forlines said. family-friendly, and I would probably say quiet She is also an elder emeritus at Winterville because I love quiet,” Forlines said. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where Forlines is thankful for the friendships she she has been attending for 76 years. has formed throughout her life and for the “I just felt this was the right place for me, children she has acquired through time. “We never were fortunate enough to and I have been there ever since,” Forlines said.


have children. We wanted children, but it just didn’t happen for us, but we helped raise a lot of children. I say I have more children than anybody. My friend Jane Power tells me, ‘For somebody who never had kids, I have more kids than anybody,’” Forlines said. “I have the greatest friends ever. If I didn’t, I couldn’t stay here by myself. I can manage here, and I call on people to take me to the doctor. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have a lot of good friends. I have the best friends ever — the very best.” Forlines is also grateful for the outcome of her life, even though she never dreamed it would turn out this way. “Sometimes I think the only thing I know even at this point in time is I did the best I could with what I had left. I’m still amazed at some of the things I never dreamed I’d do. I never expected to teach in a community college; I never expected to help get the depot home. Getting published in a national magazine, that was beyond a dream come true because I never dreamed it. There have been so many things that happened to me that I never even thought about. It was not something I dreamed of. I just never thought about it. When I was young, I loved to sew and I thought if I could go to college — not that I would have ever been able to — I thought that I would like to design little girls’ clothes. I’m not disappointed because so many things have happened that I hadn’t even thought about,” Forlines said. Forlines credits her acts of service through volunteering as a reason for her long life. “I think we didn’t take care of ourselves as well as we should have. Pannie lived to be 93. I’m 93 now. We were both people persons. We both loved people. We loved volunteering, and I think that’s what good for what ails you. I really do. I even do as much of that as I can now, and that’s not very much,” she said.

Winterville Magazine 2019

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Winterville Magazine 2019

Winterville Museum & Winterville Depot owned and operated by the Winterville Historical & Arts Society, Inc.

The Winterville Historical and Arts Society, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the recognition of the common heritage which all citizens of our community share. We actively encourage participation in the creative and performing arts by our local citizens. The organization operates on annual memberships and holds quarterly meetings which feature special programs of historical or cultural arts interest. The Winterville Museum is located in the historic Cox-Ange House at 2543 Church Street. The Museum is open from 3-5 pm on the second Sunday of each month as well as by appointment for private tours. The Winterville Depot, located at 217 Worthington Street in Langston Park, is a newly renovated facility available for rent. Let us provide you with a unique venue perfect for your next meeting, birthday party, shower, or family reunion! Contact us for rental information.




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Winterville Magazine 2019


k o lo

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by A


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As iste rhy rho thm od & d in an ce


Winterville Magazine 2019


ancing not only gives the

It was the birth of the Nulook Steppaz.

women of Nulook Steppaz

Leggette and her husband own Nulook

an outlet to exercise, but it

Bounce-N-Party in Winterville, so the dance

is also a great stress reliever,

team’s name was fitting.

therapy session and friendship builder.

this gave me more sisters than I ever thought I would have. It’s a sisterhood.” The youngest Nulook Steppaz are 10-yearolds, Naziyah Forbes and Mykirreya Hunter.

At each session, attendees start with a

Peggy Bizzell, Sharon Alexander and Sandra

Shelia Leggette of Winterville reached out

circle of prayer. Then they dance to previously

Bond are the “mothers” of the group at the

to dance instructor Kim Ward in 2017. Leggette

learned routines to “get the heart rate up,”

young age of 63.

wanted to learn a dance for an upcoming

Ward said. At the end of the class, Ward begins

Christmas party. She and five of her girlfriends

teaching a new dance.

learned the routine and had a blast. A few months passed and Leggette’s friend asked if they could learn more line dances, so in April 2018, Leggette reached back out to Ward to see if she was available to teach weekly line dancing classes. “I have been teaching line dancing since 2012. I love to dance, and I love to teach. It is very rewarding,” Ward said. Ward donates her time, free of charge, to the women.

“I love this group. I started to come to exercise and focus on my health, but this is more

“Dancing helps with stress. When you

than just exercise,” Bizzell said. “It is refreshing

dance, nothing else is going on — we leave

to be among such a nice group of people who

everything on the outside,” Ward said.

show genuine love for one another.”

We can’t wait to get here each week. I have one sister, but this gave me more sisters than I ever thought I would have. It’s a sisterhood. - SHELIA LEGGETTE

“Shelia asked me how much I would charge. I asked her if she was charging those who come

Leggette added, “Many of the women here

to the class, and when she told me no, I knew

need a high in their life, and dancing helps

I wouldn’t charge a fee either … I do this for

to release everyday stresses of life. I love it.

“Mondays and Thursdays are my nights.

community. I get my blessings other ways,”

Coming together to exercise, I didn’t know how

My husband already knows those nights are

Ward said. “I have gained friendships and a

broken I was and how much I needed this.”

claimed,” Bizzell said.

sisterhood. Many of us didn’t know each other before this — we have church. We pray. We eat. We dance.”





confidence level.

She was thrilled when Nulook Steppaz added another weekly class.

Bizzell has lost 15 pounds since joining Nulook Steppaz.

“I’ve always liked dancing, but I couldn’t

“I’m hitting my exercise goals and burning

The weekly classes started with 13 attendees.

always dance. I’ve learned moves. I was so shy,

energy doing something I love, plus I’m giving

Now approximately 50 women and one

dancing in the back, but I’ve gotten the courage

back to my community. We have participated

to move to the front row,” she said.

at cancer walks and domestic abuse events.

guy come to the classes, which are now held twice a week.





attorneys, real estate agents, businessowners, grandmothers, wives, sisters and daughters. “We can’t wait to get here each week,” Leggette said. “I have one sister, but

We are engaged. It makes you feel good,” she said with a smile. The lone man in the group is Lachaucey Worsley. Worsley loves to dance and wanted to

Nulook Steppaz is an outlet for the "mothers" of the dance team (L-R) Peggy Bizzell, Sharon Alexander and Sandra Bond. Ten-yearolds Mykirreya Hunter (left) and Naziyah Forbes are the youngest Nulook Steppaz, and Lachaucey Worsley is the only man in the group. He comes weekly to dance with his wife, Jamilla.

Winterville Magazine 2019


participate with his wife, Jamilla. “I like to dance and it is a good workout, plus I can spend time with my wife and meet new friends,” he said.

barely make it through an entire song before having to sit down to take a break. “Now I have energy, every song. The energy of them gets

Jamilla added, “My husband

me through, and Kim is so

wanted to do it. We both love

encouraging. These ladies are a

dancing. It is a stress relief and

blessing,” she said.

great sisterhood. We look forward to Mondays and Thursdays.” For



Cyncre Neal learned about Nulook Steppaz through a social


Steppaz gives her a break from reality.

media post. “I love to dance, so I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity,”

“My husband needs a heart

she said. “Dancing is relaxing to

transplant, and I’m my father’s

me, and this is a great atmosphere



to be in. These women would go

dancing, I have found a release

to the end of the world for you,

from the pressure of life. I come

and they know I’d do the same for

not to think. It’s good therapy,”



Dixon said. “I have found amazing

Nulook Steppaz have made

people. These women have lifted

a name for themselves in Pitt

me up. They are so caring, loving

County, too. They are regulars

and concerned.”

in town parades and at festivals,

Laura Daniels added, “We lean




and depend on one another. This


is an awesome group. I wouldn’t

Winterville Christmas parade.

trade it for anything in the world.”







Nulook Steppaz has helped

Night Out events for nurses

Daniels fight diabetes and manage

at Vidant, where they taught


them different line dances. They





have also performed for church

energetic and my self-esteem up.


They help me stay positive,” she

events, award ceremonies and at


East Carolina University’s Dancing

Nulook Steppaz pulled Juanita



She is a one-year breast cancer

its second year anniversary May


2, 2020 at the Greenville Town friend,



Jones, recruited me here. I was




depressed and needed to get

from 6-8 p.m. Mondays and

active. These ladies took me in as

Thursday at the Nulook Business

part of their family,” Wiggins said.

Center, 406 SW Greenville Blvd.,

“Dancing brought me over the

Greenville. Thursday classes are

hump — medically, physically and

geared toward beginners. All are

mentally. I never thought dance

welcome. For more information,

would make such a difference.”

call Leggette at 252-321-5665

When Wiggins first started coming to Nulook, she could



with the Stars event. Nulook Steppaz will celebrate


We lean and depend on one another. This is an awesome group. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.


Wiggins from a deep depression.


The Nulook Steppaz mothers lead a line dance with founder, Shelia Leggette (right).

or like “Nulook Steppaz” on Facebook.

Shelia Leggette (left) founded Nulook Steppaz to give women an outlet to reduce stress and build friendships. The weekly classes would not be possible without dance instructor, Kim Ward.

Winterville Magazine 2019

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Love A Sea Turtle

helps youth come into their own


Story by Amber Revels-Stocks

n 2005, a group of third graders from Chicod Elementary School went on a field trip to the sea turtle hospital in Topsail Island. What started with eight-yearolds visiting turtles turned into an outreach program that affects youth all across eastern North Carolina. “Casey came home that day and said, ‘I want to help the sea turtles last,’” said Kay Sokolovic of Love A Sea Turtle. “That ‘last’ became ‘love a sea turtle.’ That was the beginning. “She started asking what could she do. At that age, you can’t touch sea turtles, so Casey reckoned she could help with fundraisers. So she started by baking and selling turtle shaped sugar cookies.” The proceeds of the sugar cookies went to the sea turtle hospital, but Casey did not stop there. In 2009, she began working with Joe Van Gogh Coffee in Hillsborough. The coffee is organic, and each bag purchased results in 50 cents being given to the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Surf City. Casey served locally as the executive director of Love A Sea Turtle or LAST until she went to N.C. State University. She served


remotely as director until she graduated, but while she was in college, the direction of the program stayed in Pitt County with local youth, according to Dan Sokolovic. “She’s still on the board, which votes on what we do, so she has an input, but since she’s in Texas, her mom and I have been tasked with overseeing the program,” Dan said. “The board acts as guides to the youth. The youth tell the board what they want to do, and the board decides if it fits with our mission.” The mission of LAST is to protect and preserve sea turtles. But it has also grown to promoting marine conservation and youth leadership while helping at-risk and underserved youth become involved in ecology and conservation. LAST has a scuba club and promotes community biking and recycling. It also has two community gardens and an orchard. All proceeds are donated to local food pantries. “People will ask us, ‘What does that have to do with sea turtles?’” Dan said. “I tell them, ‘Nothing, and yet everything.’ It’s about a young person who has said, ‘This is my passion,’ and helping them do it. We’ve become a platform for youth.”

Within Pitt County, LAST is probably best known for its summer programs. “Casey decided she wanted to get more involved with getting kids outdoors and in nature,” Kay said. “She wanted them to experience things she got to do like kayaking and biking and later scuba diving. “We just completed our ninth year of summer camp programs. We’ve served 7,500 underserved youth over the years, and our youth leaders run the program.” The summer camp started with Casey and four volunteers and has grown to more than 25 youth counselors, according to Dan. “They come out and run the camps,” he said. “We have several stations the campers go through. We take them trail bike riding. We do a nutritional scavenger hunt. We partner with Food Master, which is an international program that teaches math and science through the lens of food. We have a water science program, using the water lab we built at River Park North (in Greenville).” Youth volunteers from LAST are responsible for guiding the campers through their stations. Counselors are paired with

Winterville Magazine 2019

Winterville Magazine 2019

“Writing and speaking are the biggest deficit when (students) go in to interview, whether it be for a job or a scholarship. … When they go for something like the Morehead scholarship (a full-ride to U.N.C.), everybody is on a sports team and has a 4.0 and a banging SAT score. Our students can talk about what they’ve created and how they’ve spearheaded initiatives.”

The mission of LAST is to protect and preserve sea turtles. But it has also grown to promoting marine conservation and youth leadership while helping atrisk and underserved youth become involved in ecology and conservation.

groups of up to five kids and spend the day with them. “This year, we also brought some of the campers to Aquaventure, here in Winterville,” Kay said. “They did swim lessons, utilized the wellness campus for nutrition and tried snorkeling. If they were old hands, they may have gotten to try scuba diving.” LAST’s scuba club meets at the Rum Runner Dive Shop at Aquaventure instead of having a club at every middle and high school in the county. The program focused on youth leadership and prides itself on having representatives at every public and private high school in the greater Pitt County area, according to Dan. Most of these students attend South Central and D.H. Conley high schools and Hope and A.G. Cox middle schools. “We don’t advertise, and we don’t recruit,” Dan said. “Our growth happens organically. People talk to each other, and that’s how youth start coming to our meetings.” LAST also has members who have come up through the program and now attend local colleges. “We work with them on creating a good, clean resume as well as on their public speaking,” Dan said. “Last year, we did an advanced speech and communication class at ECU, where the students learned how to do one-minute, two-minute and three-minute pitches and how to present a campaign or project together.

As a result, Dan and Kay have seen a lot of LAST’s members go on to the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics, as well as win multiple national scholarships. Several students have also won full-ride scholarships to the college of their choice. “I hate the phrase, ‘We’ve won it all,’ but we truly have,” Dan said. “Every program we do trains them to speak to others and present

what they’re passionate about.” Every LAST program is student-driven. The board of directors gives advice to help guide students and helps them apply for grants, but at the end of the day, the youth is responsible for whether a campaign succeeds or fails. LAST students participate in several state and national campaigns, including Plastic Free NC. They also have some projects with a more local focus. The town of Winterville participates in Paint the Drain. “Emma Dao is in charge of Paint the Drain,” Dan said. “It’s a program that existed in Pitt County, actually in downtown Greenville. The program had become defunct, and no one had participated in it for a while. Emma’s brother, when he was in 10th grade, identified that program as something he wanted to get back up and running. When he graduated as both a Coke scholar and a Park Scholar (a fullride to N.C. State), Emma said she wanted to take that program over and make it her own.” Dao and her volunteers place permanent stickers on drains that lead to the local waterways. These stickers warn people that anything poured down the drain could eventually contaminate the ocean. Common contaminates include paint, household cleaners and yard debris. “Emma realized the logo that they were painting (on the drains) faded quickly and felt stickers would last longer,” Dan said. “She got a grant to do that and to utilize Winterville as a test market to prove that. She got 200 stickers


… They will be there for 10 or more years. She’s testing the durability in Winterville, and she hopes the municipality will say, ‘This is great. Let’s expand it and do more.’” The stickers read, “Don’t pollute. Flows to the river.” Dao hopes to expand to Kinston, Greenville and other larger cities next. Dao’s group is now painting large pickle barrels to serve as rain barrels for people who are interested in having them in their yards. “They help with storm water retention,” Dan said. “That water won’t flow into a storm drain. It also repurposes the water. … She’s working for different ways and different avenues to bring awareness to the project.” LAST supports Dao by sponsoring the program, so she can get grants and by using its volunteer network to connect her to interested parties. “We drive her and get her there, but then Emma does all the work,” Dan said. “She’s really quite capable. She’s making great strides.” Plastic Free NC is a statewide initiative, but David Yoon and Jae Yoon are spearheading the local effort. “Jae is focusing more on getting rid of plastic bags, but David is trying to tie everyone together and spearhead an overarching initiative,” Dan said. “They’ve talked to politicians. They’ve done films. If you got to the Love A Sea Turtle YouTube


channel, they have a video called ‘The Green Team.’ “They go out and try to publicize organizations that are dong things that are positive for the environment. We all know Sam’s, ALDI, Publix, Lidl don’t use plastic bags. They don’t advertise it, but they don’t use them either.” Kay added, “The goal is to raise awareness, so people will think about what they’re doing and just change their way of doing things. When you go to one of those places, you know you’re not going to get a bag. Why can’t you do the same when you go to another grocery story? Just bring your boxes or your reusable bags. “That’s their campaign. They’re not demanding change. They’re just trying to bring awareness to the idea.” When Jae went before the Greenville City Council three years ago, he was the only person talking about the program, according to Dan. Now, the Plastic Free NC team has several volunteers and social media campaigns. Recently, a candidate for that council spoke about Jae and his plastic bag initiative. Local restaurants that are participating in the #SkipTheStraw movement receive stickers from David. Rather than outright banning plastic straws, these restaurants instead do not automatically hand out straws. Patrons have to request them. “Straws are a little thing, but they add up. It’s just a starting point, just a gateway to bigger things,” Dan said. “If we can get you to reduce your plastic straw consumption, then we can get you to reduce your plastic bottle consumption. Then we can reduce your plastic bag use. Then we can wean America off single use plastics.” Around a dozen restaurants in Pitt County, mostly in Greenville and Winterville, have the Plastic Free NC stickers. David and other volunteers are willing to go to any restaurant or municipality to speak about the initiative. For more information about Love a Sea Turtle or to invite youth to come talk about one of the organization’s programs, visit online or like them on Facebook at “Love A Sea Turtle.” Follow them on Twitter @HelpThemLast.

Winterville Magazine 2019

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Winterville Magazine 2019

Of the HGTV Show “Home Town”

Winterville Magazine 2019


Profile for APG-ENC

Winterville North Carolina 2019  

Winterville North Carolina 2019