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High Country Magazine

May 2012

May 2012

High Country Magazine




To better serve our growing customer base, Appalachian Energy has moved to our new location at 2228 Old Hwy 421 South in the Rutherwood Community. Please visit our new location and see our expansive showroom, pay your bill, or just stop by to say hello! As Always, Thank you for choosing to do business with our Family owned & NC based company!


828.262.3637 2228 OLD HWY. 421 S. • BOONE, NC 28607


Fred’s General

Mercantile Co.

s of business 33 year

Beech Mountain

If we don’t have it ... You don’t need it

NEW SUMMER CLOTHING NOW HERE New Columbia clothes and summer shoes from Teva, Merrell, and Columbia.

Grocery • Deli • Clothing Hardware • Gifts Books • Maps Wildbird Supplies Hiking Supplies • Footwear 828-387-4838

Open from 7:30 am to 10pm every day 501 Beech Mountain Parkway • Beech Mountain, NC 2

High Country Magazine

May 2012

John Cooper -Founder/Co-Owner Mast General Stores -Piedmont Federal Savings Bank Board of Directors

Mast General Store 1883 / Piedmont Federal 1903

Keeping traditions alive for over 100 years.

When my wife Faye and I moved to Watauga County and bought the Mast General Store in 1980, we inherited a legacy already nearly a century old. Our mission, then and now, has been to serve the needs of the local community – its residents as well as its visitors.

When we were ready to apply for a mortgage, we went to Piedmont Federal because of its reputation for superior customer service. They exceeded our expectations, and some of the same non-commissioned loan officers who helped us then are still with Piedmont Federal today. Piedmont Federal and Mast General Pie Store share the same values of offering quality products and treating customers right. And, since its founding in 1903, Piedmont Federal has never sold a mortgage to another bank, instead keeping its customers’ money close to home. Traditions like these may sound Traditio old-fashioned, but they’re why Mast General Store is thriving – and Piedmont Federal is one of the nation’s most financially sound banks.*

*Piedmont Federal has received a 5-Star rating from Bauer Financial.

Straightforward, commonsense banking. MEMBER FDIC

©2012 Piedmont Federal Savings Bank | 1399 Blowing Rock Road | 828-264-5244 May 2012 H i g|h Country Magazine


26 C O N T E N T S

16 Appalachian Stewards for 15 Years

This summer, Appalachian Voices celebrates its 15th anniversary. What once began as a local environmental newspaper, Appalachian Voices has transformed into a regional organization empowering communities to fight the annihilation of the Appalachian landscape.

26 New Animal Safe Haven

The brand new Avery County Adoption and Humane Education Center is a fully climate controlled, durable, eco-friendly facility that functions as one part home and one part animal hospital. Unlike the dog pounds and animal shelters of the past, the new facility will provide a full continuum of care and help abandoned or abused animals find their perfect new homes.

36 Beauty and Brains

Rumors of “clichéd hairdressers” are dispelled and information about what it takes to be a cosmetology school graduate are highlighted in this profile of the Wilkes Community College Ashe Campus School of Cosmetic Arts, where beauty and brains intersect.

16 36


46 Same Press, New Platform:

Have you have wondered where the High Country Press disappeared to? Well, we’re still here, though you won’t find us on newsstands. In the past couple months, the great newspaper you’ve come to love transformed into a webpaper. Check us out in cyberspace at!

50 Basketball Legend in Banner Elk

Hugh Durham is the first and only NCAA Division I basketball coach to lead two different universities, Florida State and Georgia, to their first ever Final Four. The legendary coach now calls Banner Elk home in the spring, summer and fall months. His life and career are highlighted in this extensive profile.

on the cover: Tommy White Tommy White provided us with our cover shot of a scene from Valle


Crucis, near the Mast Store. Tommy specializes in fine art portraiture. His portfolio includes weddings, families, children, babies, seniors, architecture and custom commercial design. Local landscapes are available upon request and are custom framed for your home or office. Visit his website at www.


High Country Magazine

May 2012


The first High Country Press newspaper was published on May 5, 2005, and the first issue of High Country Magazine went to press in fall 2005. In March of 2012 the newspaper made the transformation to an online newspaper at our new website: Our new “webpaper” is still packed with information that we present and package in easy-to-read formats with visually appealing layouts. The magazine represents our shared love of our history, our landscape and our people. It celebrates our pioneers, our lifestyles, our differences and the remarkable advantages we enjoy living in the mountains. Our guiding principles are twofold: quality journalism makes a difference and customer care at every level is of the greatest importance. Our offices are located in downtown Boone, and our doors are always open to welcome visitors.

 


We are now offering subscriptions to High Country Magazine. A one-year subscription for seven issues costs $40, and we will mail issues to subscribers as soon as they arrive at our offices from the printer. To subscribe, call our offices at 828-264-2262.


Back issues of our magazines are available from our office for $5 per issue. Some issues are already sold out and are no longer available.


© 2012 Schlossberg

Photography and page reprints are available for purchase. For sizing, prices and usage terms, please call our office. Some photos may not be available and some restrictions may apply.


Obtain information about advertising in our publications from our sales representatives by calling 828-264-2262 or emailing us at

® Contact us at:

High Country Press/Magazine P.O. Box 152 130 North Depot Street Boone, NC 28607 828-264-2262

natural. comfortable. home. Hwy. 105 between Boone & Banner Elk

800.833.3696 www.dewoolfson May 2012

High Country Magazine



A Publication Of High Country Press Publications Editor & Publisher Ken Ketchie Graphic Artists Tim Salt Debbie Carter Associate Editor Angela Rosebrough

Ken Ketchie

Loving the World Wide Web…


XTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It! Well, well - do I have some news for you. Here’s the scoop on the big changes for High Country Press. We are still publishing our newspaper; it’s just that now we do it completely online. That’s right – no more printed newspaper for the High Country Press. We took the big leap this winter and fired up our new website on February 29th, which is why you haven’t seen our newspaper on the newsstands since the first of the year. So how did this happen? It’s kind of one of those fork in the road stories. I went from hating the Internet to loving it in about four days right after the first of the year. The Internet has always been a pain in the neck for the newspaper business. More and more, the Internet has just become a better way to deliver the news. But for us in the small town community news business, the Internet has also been a challenging place to make money. Also at the same time, it has become increasingly difficult to make money from a community newspaper – especially during the Great Recession. Coming back from the holidays, I just felt like it was a time for a change. Something happened during Christmas break that you could say was one of those eye-opening experiences. While home for Christmas, I saw both my Mom and Dad – who are in their 80’s – sitting intently, staring into their laptops, surfing the web, and looking very comfortable with the Internet as their news source. I started thinking, maybe the time has come . . . if you can’t beat ‘em - join ‘em. And that’s what I did. I found someone to build us a new website, hired a young man right out of college, and began working on transforming the High Country Press into a new Internet webpaper. And I gotta say … I’m lovin’ it. It’s been a little like starting all over again. The Internet has all kind of possibilities and being a fairly old fellow myself, some of it scares the hell out of me. But as a news guy what’s fascinating about the Internet has been the realization that I have almost unlimited space to publish stories and information – and better still – the ability to publish that news and information as it happens. So we hope you will still continue follow us on this journey that has taken your newspaper onto the World Wide Web. We still hope to be the community news source that many of you told us you missed while we were gone. And what about the magazine you’re reading now? Thank goodness people still love reading and holding their magazines. This format is still working. As print newspaper readership declines, magazine readership continues to increase. You just can’t beat cuddling up with your favorite magazine 6

High Country Magazine

May 2012

Advertising Sales Ken Ketchie Contributing Writers Jesse Wood Paul Choate Tim Gardner Celeste von Mangan Catherine Morton Contributing Photograhers Frederica Georgia Tommy White Finance Manager Amanda Giles High Country Magazine is produced by the staff and contributors of High Country Press Publications, which serves Watauga and Avery counties of North Carolina HIGH COUNTRY MAGAZINE P.O. Box 152, Boone, NC 28607 828-264-2262 Follow our magazine online where each issue is presented in a flip-through format. Check it out at: Reproduction or use in whole or part of the contents of this magazine without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Issues are FREE throughout the High Country. © 2012 by High Country Press. All Rights Reserved.


P H A R M A C E U T I C A L D R U G TA K E - B A C K P R O J E C T

Saturday, May 19, 2012 Help us keep pharmaceutical and control-substance drugs off the streets and out of the rivers! No questions will be asked, and any prescription and over-the-counter medications and medical supplies can be turned in anonymously.

For more information, call 704-277-6055 or visit This event is part of the Watauga County Hazardous Waste Collection day

10:00a.m.–2:00p.m. at the following locations....

WATAUGA COUNTY ➮ Food Lion, Boone (Blowing Rock Rd) ➮ Food Lion, Deep Gap (Hwy. 421) ➮ Food Lion, Blowing Rock ➮ Foscoe Fire Department ➮ Beaverdam Fire Dept.

Sponsored by the Watauga County Sheriff's Department in May conjunction with: 2012 Hig h Country


~ Appalachian State University ~ Appalachian Voices ~ Town of Boone ~ Boone Drug ~ Boone Police ~ Town of Blowing Rock ~ Blowing Rock Police ~


Calendarof Events Calendar # 1

MAY 2012

Art in the Park, American Legion grounds, Blowing Rock, 828-295-7851

Hickory Ridge Living History Museum, Horn in the

Beech Mountain 31 Year Anniversary, Buckeye


West, Boone, 828-264-2120

Recreation Center, Beech Mountain, 828-387-3003 13

Hiking and biking trails open, Sugar Mountain Resort,


Turchin Spring Workshop, photo journals, Turchin Center, ASU, 828-262-3017

Turchin Spring Workshop, photo journals, Turchin


Blowing Rock Swings Concert, Meadowbrook Inn,

Hospitality House Fashion Show, Courtyard Marriott,


Blowing Rock Farmers Market opens, Wallingford Street, Blowing Rock, 877-750-4636

First Friday Art Craw, downtown Boone


Concerts on the Green: Soul Benefactor, Best Cellar,

Blowing Rock, 828-295-4300

Hall, ASU, 828-262-3020



Blowing Rock, 828-295-4301

Center, ASU, 828-262-3017


Boone, 828-264-1237

New River Marathon, Riverside Restaurant, Todd, 336877-8888

Concerts on the Green: The Harris Brothers, Best Cellar, Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466

Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466

19 24

Pet Loss Support Group, Watauga Humane Society, Boone, 828-268-1247


A Cool 5, 5k relay, Grandfather Mountain, 828-387-3003


SoCon Softball Tournament, Sywassink/Lloyd Family

Concerts on the Green: The Harris Brothers, Best Cellar,

Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466 26-27 30

Valle Crusis Farmers Market Opens, Mast General Store, Valley Crusis, 828-963-6512

Center, ASU, 828-262-3017

Motown in the Mountains Fundraiser, Meadowbrook Inn, Blowing Rock, 828-295-4300

JUNE 2012

Concerts on the Green: ramajohns, Best Cellar, Blowing


Rock, 828-295-3466


Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466

Concerts on the Lawn Series, Jones House, Boone, 828-

Sunset Stroll, Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, 828-295-



Inside Exhibitions, Turchin Center, ASU, 828-262-3017 High Country Magazine

May 2012

First Friday Art Crawl, downtown Boone Concerts on the Green: The Harris Brothers, Best Cellar,

Naturalist Weekend, Grandfather Mountain, 828-7332013


Turchin Spring Workshop, photo journals, Turchin Center, ASU, 828-262-3017

Turchin Spring Workshop, photo journals, Turchin


4th Annual Herb Festival, Old Banner Elk Elementary School, 828-773-1906

Stadium, ASU, 828-262-2079 9

Cork & Canvas, Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, 828-295-9099

West, Boone, 828-355-4918


31st Annual 4-H New River Canoe Race, Zaloo’s Canoes,


Watauga County Farmers Market opens, Horn in the


Blowing Rock Jazz Society Concert, Meadowbrook Inn,

“Elijah” by the Appalachian Chorale, Rosen Concert



Boone Bike Rally, High Country Fairgrounds, Boone, 828-733-8060



Naturalist Weekend The Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Weekend is a fascinating collection of programs and guided walks offered to help guests discover more about the diversity of life at Grandfather Mountain. The event begins at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11, with an “Owl Prowl” guided hike through the park. Saturday and Sunday are filled with several programs and guided walks. All Naturalist Weekend events are included in the price of admission. Those who attend on Friday and Saturday will receive a Sunday discount if they present their admission receipts.

May 11 to May 13

Art in the Park Created in 1962 by a handful of area artists and craftspeople to showcase local talent, Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park now features 100 juried artisans selling handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber works, glass, photography, paintings and more. The first show of 2012 takes place Saturday, May 12, and the show takes place once every month through October. The free event occurs at the American Legion Hall grounds in downtown Blowing Rock.



The Summer Cut

4th Annual Banner Elk Herb Festival The Banner Elk Herb festival returns for the fourth year and promises to be the best one yet. The amount and the variety of herbs this year will be greater than in any previous years. The festival will be held at the old Banner Elk Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. In addition to herbs, there will be local food, arts and crafts, carnival games and live music.

May 26 to May 27




High Country Magazine


JUNE 2012...continued Nature Photography Weekend, Grandfather Mountain,




Thomas the Tank Engine at Tweetsie, Blowing Rock, 800-526-5740

Shriner’s Parade, Main Street, Blowing Rock, 877-750-




The Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble, Grandfather

A Cool 5, May 8-9

Mountain, 828-733-2013

Concerts on the Green: Soul Benefactor, Best Cellar,


Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466

Concerts on the Lawn Series, Jones House, Boone, 828-


Black and Blue Double Century Bike Relay, Riverside


Restaurant, Todd, 336-877-8888

Blowing Rock Jazz Society Concert, Meadowbrook Inn,


Blowing Rock, 828-295-4300

Birthday Party for All the Animals, Grandfather

Naturalist Weekend, May 11-13

Mountain, 828-733-2013

Concerts on the Green: The Harris Brothers, Best Cellar,


Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466

Concerts on the Lawn Series, Jones House, Boone, 828-


Art in the Park, American Legion grounds, Blowing Rock, 828-295-7851


Wordkeepers featuring musicians Henry Doss and Scot Pope, Ashe County Arts Council, West Jefferson, 336846-2787

Blowing Rock Jazz Society Concert, May 13 & June 10

Arts and Crafts Fair, Beech Mountain, 828-387-3003 Community Yard Sale, Beech Mountain, 828-387-9283 Community Bon Fire, Buckeye Recreation Center fire pit, Beech Mountain, 828-387-3003

21 22

Concerts on the Lawn Series, Jones House, Boone, 828-




Roan Mountain Rhododendron Festival, Roan


Rock, 800-526-5740

Moon Over the Brewery, Ensemble Stage, Blowing



Pops Ferguson Concert, Memorial Park, Blowing Rock,

Concerts on the Green: The Harris Brothers, Best Cellar,

Concerts on the Lawn Series - 20th Season Celebration,

Jones House, Boone, 828-262-4576

Art History Made Easy & Wine Tasting, Buckeye Recreation Center, Beech Mountain, 828-387-3003 High Country Magazine

Returning Artists at Edgewood, Edgewood Cottage,

Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466

828-295-7851 20

Dora the Explorer and Diego at Tweetsie, Blowing

Blowing Rock, 828-295-3021

Rock, 828-414-1844



Avery County Farmers Market opens, between CVS and the Department of Social Services building, Newland, 828-789-9246 Mountain State Park, Tenn.

Concerts on the Green: The Klee & Mike Show, Best Cellar, Blowing Rock, 828-295-3466

Banner House Museum Opening Day, Banner Elk, 828-


Canoe and Kayak Expedition, Buckeye Lake, Beech

Mountain, 828-387-3003

May 2012


Watauga Humane Society Rummage Sale, National Guard Armory, Boone, 828-264-9116



Boone Bike Rally The roar of engines and sounds of classic rock ‘n’ roll bands will fill the air for the Boone Bike Rally at the High Country Fairgrounds beginning Friday, June 1. There will be bike games featuring a $500 first prize and live music from Bad Company former lead singer Brian Howe, the DB Bryant Band, Dice, the Night Eagle Band, Problem Child and Strange Ways. Tickets cost $15 for Friday’s festivities and $25 for Saturday’s events. A weekend pass for both days is available for $30 and camping is available.

June 1 to June 2

Thomas the Tank at Tweetsie Thomas the Tank Engine returns to the High Country at Tweetsie Railroad, beginning on June 1 and running for 10 straight days. Children and adults alike can experience what it’s like to be aboard a real-life 15-ton replica of the classic storybook engine. The train ride on Thomas will depart every 30 minutes, rain or shine. Tickets are $35 for adults and $22 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free.

June 1 to June 10

“Moon Over the Brewery” Beginning Saturday, June 16, at 7:30 p.m., the Blowing Rock Ensemble Stage will kick off their 2012 Main Stage summer season with “Moon Over the Brewery” at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium. The witty comedy by Bruce Graham features Olivia Waters of Valle Crucis playing Amanda, a 13-yearold girl with an imaginary adult friend who has, for years, used her 160 I.Q. to quickly run off any and all of her single-mother’s perspective suitors. That is until she meets her match in an unlikely character, Warren the Mailman. The dialogue will keep you laughing and the ending of the show is described as “one of the great ‘aaahhhhhh’ moments in theatre.”

June 16 to June 25

May 2012

High Country Magazine




Insider tips, fascinating facts, conversation starters and fun stuff to do

Farmers’ Markets T

he Watauga County Farmers’ Market will again be operating in the Horn in the West parking lot. This come after months of speculation about if the market would have to relocate. Last year, the Wednesday market, which opens in June, operated out of the Kmart parking lot in Boone and this was not a popular location according to many High Country residents. The Wednesday market will operate again this summer, but the times and location of the event are still being reviewed. According to Tori Cox, the new market manager, as many as 75 vendors are expected to set up on opening day. The farmers’ market will open on May 5 and will be open every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Other High Country farmers’ markets are also starting their 2012 seasons and there are plenty of places to choose from.

• Blowing Rock Farmers’ Market: Opening May 17. Located on Wallingford Street in downtown Blowing Rock, the market will be open from 4 to 6 p.m. every Thursday. • Valle Crucis Farmers’ Market: Opening May 30. Located at the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, the market will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday. • Banner Elk Farmers’ Market: Opened April 19. Located on Tate Lawn at Lees-McRae College, the market will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. every Thursday. • Avery County Farmers’ Market: Opening

Trout Fishing W

ith the arrival of spring comes the arrival of fishing season in the High Country. Trout fishing is a great recreational sport that attracts hundreds of anglers to the High Country. In order to hit the waters you will need the proper gear, a fishing license and knowledge of what the regulatory fishing signs you will come across mean. The waters are broken up into four major categories. • Catch and Release: These regulations are year round. No trout may be harvested or possessed. Only artificial fly lures having one single hook may be used. • Hatchery Supported: These regulations apply for most of the year, with the exception of the month of March until the first Saturday in April. These are the least restrictive regulations. There are no bait restrictions or fish size limit restrictions, but there is a seven harvested fish per day limit.

Local Outfitters Foscoe Fishing Company and Outfitters 8857 Highway 105 South, Boone (828) 963-6556 12

• Wild: These regulations are year round. You may only harvest four fish per day and those fish must be at least seven inches long. Only single-hook artificial lures may be used. • Delayed Harvest: Between October 1 and the first Saturday in June, trout can be caught but must be immediately released. You may only use single-hook artificial lures. After the first Saturday in June, Hatchery Supported regulations apply. There are many different licenses available to fish in North Carolina. These can be purchased at several local bait and tackle shops and also at Walmart.

Appalachian Angler 174 Old Shull’s Mill Rd., Boone (828) 963-5050 Rivergirl Fishing Co. 4041 Railroad Grade Rd., Todd (336) 877-3099

High Country Magazine

May 2012 Grandfather Trout Farm 10767 Highway 105 South, Banner Elk (828) 963-5098 Elk Creek Outfitters

June 16. Located between CVS and the Department of Social Services building in Newland, the market will be open from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday. • Ashe County Farmers’ Market: Opened April 14. Located on Backstreet in downtown West Jefferson, the market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday. Farmers’ markets are a High Country tradition and a great way to shop local while finding quality products at reasonable prices.

By Paul T. Choate For residents: • 10-day basic license: $5 • 1-year basic license: $15 • Lifetime inland fishing license: $250 For non-residents: • 10-day basic license: $10 • 1-year basic license: $30 • Lifetime Sportsman hunting/inland fishing (ages 1-11): $350 • Lifetime Sportsman hunting/inland fishing (ages 12 and up): $1,000 If you choose not to buy a license, you can still fish at the Grandfather Trout Farm in Banner Elk, where no license is required. Fish cleaning is also available at the trout farm and trout cost $5.95 per pound at live weight. Whether it is for sport or for supper, fishing for trout is an activity that everyone can enjoy. Fishing is also an inexpensive hobby, and with the Wildlife Commission in Watauga County releasing more than 30,000 trout each year it is easy to get your big catch.

1560 Highway 105, Boone (828) 264-6497 Watauga River Anglers 5712 Highway 105 South, Vilas (828) 963-5463

By Paul T. Choate Trophy Water Guide Service 130 Morningside Dr., Boone (828) 386-1040 Village Hardware 312 Green St., Blowing Rock (828) 295-9023

$ 39.95


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Half Price On Our House Bottled Wines Every Tuesday!



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Sun, Tue - Thurs: 11:30 am - 9:00 pm • Fri - Sat: 11:30 am - 9:30 pm 970 Rivers Street • 828-264-7772 • w w w. c a f e p o r t o fi n o . n e t

Follow us on May 2012

High Country Magazine




Boone Independent Restaurants S

ure, big chain fast food places are quick and easy – and they seem to be everywhere.

community served by each member establishment; improve quality, service and

But Boone is home to several great unique res-

social responsibility of each member res-

taurants and many have joined together in a

taurant; and ensure the longevity of our

new organization called Boone Independent

member establishments.”


Since the organizations’ inception

The organization was started by Casa Rus-

by two longtime local favorites, the or-

tica and Pepper’s Restaurant. These two well-

ganization has now grown to include

known restaurants have been in the High Coun-

22 area establishments. While in the

try for decades.

area, try to avoid the drive-thru win-

The mission statement of Boone Indepen-

dow and visit some unique, indepen-

dent Restaurants reads, “Our Mission is to unite

dent local restaurants for a true taste

the independent restaurants in and around

of the High Country.

Boone, N.C. to preserve the individuality of the Member establishments of Boone Independent Restaurants are: • Bandana’s Bar B Que & Grille • Boone Bagelry • Casa Rustica • Char Modern American Restaurant

By Paul T. Choate

• Come Back Shack • Dan’l Boone Inn • Eat Crow • Foggy Rock • The Gamekeeper • Joe’s Italian Kitchen • Joy Bistro

• Makoto’s Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar • Simplicity at the Mast Farm Inn • Mountain Bagels • Pepper’s Restaurant • Sunrise Grill • The Best Cellar

• The Peddler Steakhouse • The Red Onion • The TApp Room • The Town Tavern • Vidalia

Fresh Air, Free Tunes This Summer O ne of the great things about the High

the rest of the concerts happen from 5:00

Country during the summer time is the

to 6:00 p.m. For more info, click to www.

free outdoor concerts; “Fresh Air, Free Tunes” is or call 828-264-1789.

what we call them. No matter what part of the

June 1 Meade Richter, Swing Gui-

High Country you happen to be at this summer,

tars and Major Sevens

free tunes in the fresh air abound. Multiple se-

June 8 Wayne Henderson and

ries of concerts will take place in Blowing Rock,

Elkville String Band

Banner Elk, Boone and Valle Crucis from late May to the end of September. Bring some cash for a snack or donation, and don’t forget a blanket or a chair to enjoy the show.

June 15 Doc Watson celebration with June 22 New River Boys and Roan Mountain Hilltoppers June 29 20th Season Celebration with Becca Eggers-Gryder, Amantha Mill

Concerts on the Lawn at the Jones House

and Diane Hackworth July 6 Cowboy poet Keith Ward, Worthless

The Jones House Community Center in down-

Son-In-Laws and Possum Jenkins

town Boone celebrates its 20th season of Concerts

July 13 Bag piper Fox Kinsman and Forget-

on the Lawn this summer. The concerts are free,

Me-Nots and Todd Wright and Friends

though a donation box exists. New for this year is the extra concert (in italics) on the first Friday of the month in conjunction with Art Crawl. The extra concert takes place from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m., while 14

High Country Magazine

May 2012

Jones House

Kruger Brothers and Charles Welch

July 20 Melissa Reaves and The Lazybirds July 27 Bluegrass showcase with Surefire and The Dollar Brothers and Carolina Crossing August 3 Old-time showcase with Steve Kruger, Crooked Road Ramblers and The

Sheets Family Band August 10 TBD (likely Songwriters and Storytellers Night) August 17 Boone Mennonite Brethren Choir and Soul Benefactor August 24 Buck Haggard Band and Strictly Clean & Decent August 31 Dashboard Hula Boys and Kilby, Welch & Stone September 7 TBD (likely Watauga Youth showcase) September 14 Rhonda Gouge and King Bees Duo September 21 TBD



Music in the Valle at Valle Crucis Community Park Music in the Valle is celebrating its 10th annual season this summer at the Valle Crucis Community Park, which is a nonprofit. Admission is free, though a $5 donation is recommended. All the concerts take place at 7:00 p.m. Also, a 10th anniversary kickoff celebration and fundraiser takes place on May 19. For more information about the celebration and the rest of the concert series, click to or call Caroline Gandy at 828-963-9239. May 25 Ital Seeds June 1 Brother Gravity June 8 The Mountain Laurels June 15 Sound Traveler June 22 The Major Sevens June 29 The Worthless Son in Laws July 6 Creekside Grass July 13 The Wild Rumpus July 20 Kent Doobrow & Midnight Sun

Banner Elk’s Summer Concerts in the Park

July 27 High Standards

(Pop, Rock and Dance)

August 3 Dashboard Hula Boys

August 2 Mountain Soul

August 10 The Neighbors

(Bluegrass-Inspired Americana)

August 17 8 Miles Apart

August 9 Wolf Creek (Bluegrass,

August 24 Folk and Dagger

Classic Country, Blues and Rock)

August 31 Zephyr Lightning Bolts

August 16 Dallas Reese (Pop, Rock and Country)

Banner Elk Chamber Presents Summer Concerts in the Park

The Best Cellar’s Concerts on the Green

Bayou Smokehouse’s Concerts in the Courtyard Located on Main Street in Banner Elk, the Bayou Smokehouse hosts Concerts in the Courtyard on Wednesday evenings. Food is available. Concerts are free and start at 6:00 p.m. May 9 The Get Downs May 16 Whip Daddys May 23 The Get Downs May 30 Whip Daddys

Presented by the Banner Elk Chamber of

Located on Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock,

June 6 The Get Downs

Commerce, the Summer Concerts in the Park

The Best Cellar hosts the Concerts on the Green

June 13 Whip Daddys

series takes place every Thursday from June 21

in its big yard at the Inn at Ragged Gardens on

June 20 The Get Downs

to August 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Tate-Evans Park.

Friday nights. All shows our free and begin at

June 27 Whip Daddys

Food vendors will be on site, or bring your own

5:30 p.m. Food is available. For more info, call

July 4 The Get Downs

picnic. Raffle tickets are sold. For more info,

The Best Cellar at 828-295-9703 or click to www.

July 11 Whip Daddys

call 828-898-8395 or click to www.bannerelk- June 21 ToneBlazers (Americana, Bluegrass and Country) June 28 Billy Scott and the Party Prophets (Soul, Rhythm and Blues, Beach and Retro) July 5 Buck Haggard (Classic Country) July 12 Dashboard Blue (R&B, Rock and Timeless Dance Grooves) July 19 Jeff Luckadoo & Southern Wave (Country) July 26 Mad Dog Johnson with Don Vallarta

May 4 The Harris Brothers May 11 ramajohns May 18 Soul Benefactor May 24 The Harris Brothers June 1 The Harris Brothers June 8 Soul Benefactor June 15 The Harris Brothers June 22 The Klee and Mike Show June 29 The Harris Brothers Check Website for performances for

July 18 The Get Downs July 25 Whip Daddys August 1 The Get Downs August 8 Whip Daddys August 15 The Get Downs August 22 Whip Daddys August 29 The Get Downs September 5 Whip Daddys September 12 The Get Downs September 19 Whip Daddys September 26 The Get Downs

By Jesse Wood

July and August May 2012

High Country Magazine


Stewards of Appalachia

Appalachian Voices: From the Coal Fields to Capitol Hill

By Jesse Wood 16

High Country Magazine

May 2012

Photo by William Britten

“It’s not the staff of Appalachian Voices that makes the real difference; it’s the people — the volunteers all across the country that take ownership, who think it’s terrible what is happening in the coal regions of Appalachia and want to do something about it.” – Matt Wasson, Director of Programs at Appalachian Voices Appalachian Voices’ 2011 Staff | Photo courtesy of Appalachian Voices


his summer, Appalachian Voices celebrates its 15th anniversary, and since its inception in the High Country more than a decade ago, the organization has grown from a local publication staffed with a handful of volunteers into a regional organization that, among other things, has made mountaintop removal coal mining a national issue. Appalachian Voices spawned from the Southern Appalachian Highland Eco-region Task Force of the Sierra Club, which started the environmental newspaper, The Appalachian Voice. In 1998 — after one year together — the task force split into separate independent organizations with Appalachian Voices taking over the newspaper. Compared to the days when just a few volunteers were in downtown Boone, the nonprofit organization now staffs nearly two dozen and operates offices in Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. — while its main office still resides in the High Country. “I really didn’t [imagine that Appalachian Voices would grow into what it is today],” said Harvard Ayers, the original chair for Appalachian Voices and founding committee member. “I just knew

we could do good work.” Today, Appalachian Voices has active campaigns in multiple states; is a member of The Alliance for Appalachia and Wise Energy for Virginia; and works with numerous other environmental organizations across the region. “It’s striking at just how much we are able to accomplish,” said Matt Wasson, director of programs for Appalachian Voices and a staff member for more than 10 years. When asked what spurred Appalachian Voices’ growth, Wasson spoke of two “defining moments” – the launching of and the first annual Week in Washington. Both the website, where more than 103,000 people have pledged to help end mountaintop removal, and the week-long gathering on Capitol Hill, where people from all over the country lobby their legislators to end mountaintop removal, are dedicated to stopping the destructive mining process. Fighting An ‘Egregious’ Way to Mine Coal While mountaintop removal has remained a core issue addressed by Appalachian Voices for years, Wasson said the organMay 2012

High Country Magazine


An aerial shot of a mountaintop removal site near Rawl, West Virginia

Highlights of Appalachian Voice’s Work Through the Years 1998: Began community organizing

Flight courtesy of SouthWings; Photo by Kent Kessinger

work in southern West Virginia, which led to the spin-off of independent organization Coal River Mountain Watch.

2000-02: Brought together twelve groups from across North Carolina for a campaign that ultimately succeeded in passing the Clean Smokestacks Act, one of the strongest air pollution laws in the country at the time. 2003: Launched first Appalachian Treasures Tour, marking the beginning of our national campaign to end mountaintop removal.

2004: Helped form Christians for the Mountains, a non-denominational religious campaign founded on the idea of caring for creation

2006: Joined with 12 other organizations to form The Alliance for Appalachia; held the inaugural citizen End Mountaintop Removal Week in Washington and congressional briefing on mountaintop removal; and launched

ization focuses 50 percent of its time and resources on other — mostly coal-related — issues, such as groundwater pollution that occurs from coal ash ponds at coalfired power plants and mercury pollution from those same plants. Willa Mays, executive director of Appalachian Voices, noted that all organizations must decide where to apply their resources to make the most impact, and currently, this group’s focus is coal because, as she said, “We see coal as the most devastating threat to our region.” (Though the High Country is a part of Appalachia, we are fortunate that coal doesn’t exist underneath our feet. If it did, our way of life would be much differ-

ent and the High Country likely wouldn’t be a tourist destination and a Mecca for outdoor recreation. The majority of mining occurs in Eastern Kentucky, West Virginia and Southwest Virginia. “By sheer luck, we don’t have coal here,” said Jamie Goodman, communications coordinator for Appalachian Voices and editor of The Appalachian Voice.) Since mountaintop removal is, as Harvard Ayers said, such an “egregious” process, it warrants excess attention and awareness. More than 1.2 million acres of previously forested land has been destroyed; more than 2,000 miles of streams have been buried and polluted; and more

A mountaintop removal site in Wise County, Virginia that looks like a moonscape. Photo by Matt Wasson


High Country Magazine

May 2012

in as much as we’re taking citizens from coal bearing regions to D.C. and talking to representatives. It’s about citizens’ voices.” Though Appalachian Voices has offices in four locales, it does not have offices in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, states where coal companies mine with reckless abandon. It does, though, partner with grassroots organizations that operate in those states like Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Coal River Mountain Watch, and the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition. Those three groups are among the 13 organizations in The Alliance for Appalachia, a regional partnership that aims to end mountaintop removal, put a halt to destructive coal technologies and create a sustainable and just Appalachia. Along with amplifying citizens’ voices, the organization also empowers local groups to fight their own battles instead of dictating what battles to be fought and meddling with local affairs. “It’s always a struggle in organizing to navigate insider/outsider dynamics, but Appalachian Voices has a history of working with impacted communities and knows how to navigate all of those dynamics with respect,” Katey Lauer, coordinator for the Alliance, said. She added that Appalachian Voices works by engaging established leaders in organized communities on the federal level. All of which are why Appalachian Voices doesn’t consider itself as an outsider group interfering with local issues. “We are not trying to organize in the communities in Central Appalachia; we are working with people who are [already] organized in their communities, [and we help them] take their fight to

A 2009 rally in Raleigh to protest Duke Energy’s Cliffside Power Plant’s use of mountaintop removal coal. Photo courtesy of

than 500 mountains have been leveled because of mountaintop removal coal mining, a radical form of surface mining. The devastating process can involve decapitating more than 500 feet of a summit to retrieve buried seams of coal with millions of pounds of explosives. Mining waste is then dumped into valleys, burying many miles of streams. Then after a mine is exhausted, the nearby communities must live with polluted water and the threats of flooding for many, many generations. When mountaintop removal occurs, not only is the land ravaged but whole communities deteriorate because of a trickledown effect that pollutes the area, ruins the overall quality of life and takes down the local economy. “It virtually makes it impossible for any other industry to want to come to town,” said Goodman. Studies have shown that areas with high mining also have high poverty and/or high unemployment rates. According to Gallup’s 2010 Well-Being Index of 435 congressional districts, residents of the two districts where most mountaintop removal coal mining occurs — (WV-03) and (KY-05) — ranked last in physical and emotional well-being. Amplifying Voices – From the Holler to D.C. A main role of the Boone-based nonprofit is to amplify the voices of those affected, so politicians on the local, state and federal levels hear what impacted constituents have to say about these destructive practices happening in their communities. Appalachian Voices also focuses on state and federal legislation; currently its primary focus in that regard is the passage of the Clean Water Protection Act in the House and the Appalachia Restoration Act in the Senate, both of which would sharply reduce surface mining. Asked if the nonprofit is a lobbying group, Goodman said, “We are not lobbying

Matt Wasson, program director at Appalachian Voices, speaks before the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh. | Photo courtesy of Appalachian Voices May 2012

High Country Magazine


Washington, D.C., and across the country,” Wasson said. “We are really trying to amplify their voices rather than necessarily speak for them.”


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Protecting the Air and Water The ending of mountaintop removal is an ongoing struggle, but it isn’t the only battle being waged. Among the several other campaigns that Appalachian Voices is currently undertaking is Appalachian

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Water Watch, a program that Lauer singled out when asked about exciting ongoing and/or upcoming projects. “One of the things we are really looking forward to is the beginning of regional citizens’ watermonitoring effort,” Lauer said. “I think as that project takes hold, [Appalachian Voices is] going to be one of the organizations that helps many local groups bring together local data, trends and efforts ... I think some of these resources [now] available [because of Appalachian Water Watch will] help us create some clearing-

The Stewart family (above) poses for the advocacy of clean water during the ongoing Red, White and Water campaign. Wise County residents deliver a “Mile-Long Petition” to a Richmond-based utility to oppose new coal-fired power plant. | Photos courtesy of Appalachian Voices


Your Neighbors in Business A large part of a community’s news is what’s happening at local businesses. We hope to keep people informed and help them shop local.

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High Country Magazine

house information that will be invaluable to national and local strategies.” The citizen water-monitoring program grew from an investigation of water violations by coal companies in Kentucky. There, Appalachian Voices and other environmental groups found coal companies falsifying reports in order to appease the Clean Water Act. The initial investigation unveiled 24,000 violations — with the potential of over $800 million in fines — by the two largest mountaintop removal companies in Kentucky that went unnoticed by state regulators. To date, Appalachian Water Watch has identified over 40,000 Clean Water Act violations and has trained and equipped dozens of citizen volunteers in Kentucky and Virginia to protect their own water by monitoring their local streams and aquifers. Red, White & Water, another Appalachian Voices campaign, aims to enforce the Clean Water Act, which was enacted with bipartisan support several decades ago after the Cuyahoga River in Ohio caught on fire 13 separate times in a 100-year period from unregulated waste dumping. Yet, decades after the flaming river, water quality is declining because regulations are either being repealed or ignored. Red, White and Water has partnered with groups in North Carolina to

May 2012

start the N.C. Can’t Wait For Clean Water initiative to educated citizens about coal ash pollution and put pressure on government officials to regulate the state’s 14 coal ash ponds, which are owned by Duke and Progress Energies. These toxic coal ash ponds leak arsenic, boron, selenium and thallium into our groundwater. A third effort to curb the degradation of our land, air and water is the Wise Energy for Virginia Coalition, a collaboration between Appalachian Voices and four other environmental organizations that began when a new coal-fired power plant was planned for Wise County in Virginia in 2007. Although the plant was eventually approved, public pressure from the grassroots coalition, which amassed 42,000 supporters, led to dramatic reductions in permitted pollutant limits from the power plant. Along with creating energy efficient legislation and promoting the use of renewable energy, the coalition is currently fighting a battle in Surry County, Va. Old Dominion Electric Cooperative has proposed building a $6-billion power plant, the largest coalfired power plant in the state. The plant is upwind to nearly 2 million citizens and is 30 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, one of the world’s most biologically diverse estuaries. If built, the power plant would have major health implications for those citizens who are downwind citizens and the surrounding ecosystems. ‘A Big Shot in the Arm for Our Work’ That’s how Wasson described what President Obama’s election did for Appalachian Voices and environmental organizations across Appalachia and beyond. During the former President Bush’s eight-year tenure, the energy industry acted has if the environment was a piñata full of goodies, i.e. coal and oil.

With Dick Cheney, who was the former CEO of Halliburton, one of the largest energy companies in the world, acting as vice president during the Bush Administration, more than 300 environmental laws were repealed or diminished, weakening the protection of our air, water, public lands and wildlife, according to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Crimes Against Nature. One such legislative rollback was a change in the decades-old Clean Water Act, which provided a loophole allowing coal companies to dump mining waste into our waterways. That loophole led to moun-

A reporter speaks to Ed Wiley, who marched 40 days from Charleston, West Virginia to Washington, D.C., to oppose a mountaintop removal site next to Marsh Folk Elementary School, where his grandchildren were attending. | Photo by Matt Wasson

May 2012

High Country Magazine


2007: Established an office in Wash-

Executive Director Willa Mays

ington, D.C., and helped found the Wise Energy for Virginia Coalition. Also launched the “Appalachian Mountaintop Removal” layer in Google Earth and the online tool “My Connection” tool, covered in the Wall Street Journal exclusive report.

and Amanda Starbuck during the March on Blair Mountain. The red handkerchiefs are in reference to the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain between miners and coal executives. Miners wore them around

2008: Launched our “Obama’s First 100 Days” campaign and generated tens of thousands of letters to Obama’s transition team asking that he make stopping mountaintop removal a top priority. Helped to launch an energy efficiency campaign in Virginia and campaigned with Wise Energy for Virginia partners to achieve dramatic reductions in permitted emissions for a proposed coal plant in Wise County.

2009: Worked with Senators Lamar Alexander and Ben Cardin to introduce the Appalachia Restoration Act in the U.S. Senate and held the firstever Senate hearings on mountaintop removal coal mining; launched a campaign with the Wise Energy for Virginia Coalition to oppose the largest proposed coal-fired power plant in Virginia; and launched the Appalachian Water Watch program in Kentucky to train Appalachian citizens how to test and monitor water quality in streams adjacent to mountaintop removal mines. 2010: Documented more than 30,000 Clean Water Act violations from two coal companies in the state of Kentucky, finding evidence that both companies had fabricated water quality results and initiated legal actions against the companies that have led to unprecedented fines. Gained 173 co-sponsors for the Clean Water Protection Act in the House and 12 cosponsors in the Senate by the end of the 111th Congress.

their necks to distinguish themselves in the fight. Also, it is where the term “redneck” originated. | Photo courtesy of Appalachian Voices

taintop removal flourishing while polluting more than 2,000 miles of streams. Though the vast majority of the loopholes and repeals are still in place under President Obama, who is on much friendlier terms with environmental groups, it was the belief in Obama’s slogans of “change,” “hope,” and “progress” that altered the bleak perception of the environment’s future. “We live and die on people empowerment, on people believing they can make a difference. There is never really a lack of bad things happening, and the important thing for us is convincing people they have a power to do something about it,” Wasson said. “That was really difficult during the last administration. Over the last few years, people have, I guess, had a little more belief, [a little more] hope that they can change, that things can change for the better, and that has been a big shot in the arm for our work.”

Envisioning When the ‘Earth is Safe’ Appalachian Voices’ official vision statement is: “We envision a day when the integrity of the land, air and water of central and southern Appalachia is protected for future generations, and the region is upheld as a national model of a vibrant, just and sustainable economy.” In short, Mays said the organization doesn’t allow special and very narrow interests to negatively impact what she considers the legacy of Appalachia – the mountains, streams and biodiversity. “[That] is not something that should be allowed to be destroyed,” Mays said. Some – as pessimistic as it sounds – don’t ever envision that day, when one doesn’t need to worry about basic rights such as clean air and water, when another doesn’t have to worry about the plunder of the earth. One of those people is Lenny Kohm, campaign director for App Voices,

2011: Reached 100,000 people who have taken action on mountaintop removal in response to our grassroots organizing. Expanded Appalachian Water Watch to Virginia. Launched the Red, White and Water campaign to educate the public about negative health effects of coal-fired power plants in the Southeast. Executive Director Willa Mays speaks at EPA public hearing on coal ash in Charlotte, N.C. EPA panel is in the background, | Photo by Jamie Goodman 22

High Country Magazine

May 2012

the air and keeping the water clean is just an ongoing battle. I’m sure we will be working on those things in different forms, and I know we will continue to be very vigilant.”

With the passage of a bill in the House that eviscerates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to enforce the Clean Water Act; and with recent multiple presidential candidates calling for the dismantling of the EPA; and with a bill introduced into the Senate that would actually abolish the EPA entirely, environmental organizations like Appalachian Voices may be needed more than ever. If some of our elected officials have their way, Appalachian Voices and others like it will become our only eco-watchdogs, the only ones who are willing to stand up to the powers that be and amplify the voices of those that coal and other industries deem inconsequential.


who at the time of the interview for this article was out West advocating for the Clean Water Protection Act. Kohm is renowned in the environmental world and has worked exhaustively in Appalachia and Alaska. When asked about his vision for the future of conservation organizations like App Voices, Kohm’s response was longwinded, yet poignant: “I don’t imagine I would ever come to work one day, and a sign on the front of the office will say, ‘The earth is safe. We don’t need you anymore.’ I’ve always said…even if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (in the area we are concerned with) is finally designated as wilderness, and even if we stop mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia, the bad guys will try to figure out a way around that,” he said. “As long as coal and oil exist and we use it, folks will be after it. It’s hard to say what’s going to come up exactly, but keeping

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Objectives and Goals from Appalachian Voices 2012-15 Strategic Plan Eliminating Coal’s Externalities Coal Mining • The cessation of all disposal of mine waste in headwater streams through a combination of administrative, legislative, and legal channels • The phasing out of all large-scale strip mining in Central Appalachia • Federal or state enforcement actions taken against all water quality violations from coal mines in Central Appalachia

Coal Combustion • Enactment and state-by-state implementation of emissions standards for air and water pollutants from power plants that are strong enough to put all coal plants in the Southeast without modern pollution controls out of compliance with one or more standards

Coal Waste Disposal • The phasing out of the use of coal ash ponds for disposal of coal combustion waste • Cessation of the disposal of coal combustion waste in abandoned coal mines • A ban on the permitting of coal slurry impoundments and underground slurry injections for the disposal of coal processing waste

Preventing New Investments in Coal • The retirement, rather than retrofitting, of all coalfired power plants in the Southeast that were designed to consume Central Appalachian coal and are unable to comply with new or updated emissions standards • The successful blocking of all current and future proposals to construct new coal-fired power plants in the Southeast • The prevention of any major investments in upgrades to boilers and fuel-handling facilities that would allow plants designed to consume Central Appalachian coal to switch to western or Midwestern coal suppliers


High Country Magazine

May 2012

Shifting Investments to Energy Efficiency • Establishment and implementation of micro-loan programs or similar energy efficiency investment programs by the largest rural electric co-ops in Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee • Regulatory reform in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee to allow energy efficiency to compete on a level playing field with coal and conventional electricity generation

Goals and Four-Year Fundraising Needs • Reduce market distortions that favor coal by holding the industry accountable for its pollution with the: 1. Campaign to End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining; Appalachian Water Watch; and Red, White and Water – $3.5 million 2. Prevent new investments in coal-fired power plants that would lock us into decades of continued use – $1.7 million 3. Advance energy efficiency and clean alternatives to coal – $2 million The Clinch River Power Plant burns millions of pounds of surface mined Appalachian coal per year. | Photo by Kent Kessinger

Join us on Saturday, June 21 for Artists for Appalachia — a celebration of our 15th anniversary, our annual membership meeting and a special fundraising event. The venue for the evening will be the renowned Jefferson Theater in in Charlottesville, Va. Artists for Appalachia will include traditional mountain music, readings and revelry as we come together to celebrate our past and present work to protect the air, water, land and people of Appalachia and to raise funds to continue our work for years to come. Special guests will include Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Kathy Mattea, Michael Jonathan, Daniel Martin Moore, Clara Bingham and Bill Haney, producer and director of the award winning film “The Last Mountain,” and local Charlottesville folk band favorites, The Honey Dewdrops.

The event is free for current Appalachian Voices members. New and renewing members can join for as little as $35 and receive a ticket to the event and a membership. Reserved seating is available for an extra $15 donation, and VIP seating is available but limited and expected to go quickly — call our Charlottesville office at (434) 293-6373 for details. We look forward to seeing you in Charlottesville to kick off another 15 years of protecting the region we all love. Tickets to Artists for Appalachia are limited, so be sure to RSVP online or call our office today! Visit to reserve your seats and to become a member. Can’t attend but want to help our work? Visit today.

May 2012

High Country Magazine


Avery Humane Society's New By Catherine Morton President, Avery County Humane Society

Photography by Ken Ketchie and Catherine Morton


he new Avery County Adoption and Humane Education Center, is a bright, beautiful, roomy structure that more closely resembles a home than a commercial space. It is one part home and one part animal hospital - the kind of place that will help the animals to recover rapidly and find a forever family in record time. And, this April, thanks to the commitment and investment of those community members who dedicat-

Laurie Vierheller with Craig Epley


High Country Magazine

May 2012

Adoption & Education Center It feels as if we are bringing the animals home, to the kind of healing and supportive place they deserve. ed themselves to the cause of Avery Humane, the animals moved into the new shelter! Heartfelt thanks goes out to our donors, the Friends of Avery Humane, the Board of Directors, staff, David Patrick Moses, Architects, David E Looper and Co. and the many others who so carefully designed, planned and built this extraordinary facility. The new Adoption and Humane Education Cen-

Landis Wofford

May 2012

High Country Magazine


ter, is a fully climate controlled, durable, ecofriendly facility and, unlike the dog pounds and animal shelters of the past, provides a full continuum of care for an abandoned or abused animal. From the time of arrival the new center provides a strategically designed framework for evaluation, quarantine and treatment, healing and recovery, grooming, training, playing, socializing and, last but not least, matching the animals with that perfect individual or family that will love them for their individual traits and personalities and enjoy them for the rest of their lives. And, because a happy home requires more than just the right animal, Avery Humane will provide pet owners with education, training and support. Pet owners, just like new parents, are better animal caregivers with the right knowledge and skills, the right equipment and supplies and a support system. It is the goal of the education program to support adopters from the time the animal is adopted. In the new education and community room, Avery Humane will offer a basic “new puppy� class and a variety of adult dog training programs, beginning in May, as well as informal Saturday morning talks on important pet care topics. The staff will be available to answer pet care questions and wants to support adopting families however possible, especially on those trying days! Eco-friendly features include a solar roof that will allow solar energy to be collected and returned to the grid, providing Avery Humane with a credit on electric bills. There is also a rainwater catchment system. The rainwater from the roof and parking lot drain into a 3,000-gallon collection basin and is then pumped into a 23,000 gallon 28

High Country Magazine

May 2012

Staff member, Sabrina Ballard

The 21,000 square foot facility cost $3.6 million to build. David Patrick Moses, Architects, was responsible for researching and designing the shelter and David E. Looper and Co. did the construction of the facility. Laurie Vierheller May 2012

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holding siloat the rear of the building to be used to flush toilets and wash down dog kennels. Extra insulation will keep the facility cool in the summer and toasty in the winter, while minimizing energy use. Important medical features include HVAC systems that limit sharing of air between quarantine kennels and the rest of the facility, instant hot water heaters in each kennel, so that the kennels can be washed down with hot water, an exam room for examining and assessing new arrivals, and separate kennel areas for new arrivals, quarantined animals, and those that are healthy and ready for adoption. Separate dishwashing, laundry and grooming areas, provide volunteers with space to help the staff with important cleaning tasks. A new pet food pantry will be opening this summer, to help families in need, so that temporary hardships will not cause a family to lose their forever pet during times of financial need. And the new Pet Boutique will provide adopters with a

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The Water Tank In addition to a solar roof, the eco-friendly features of the Adoption and Education Center include a rainwater catchment system. A network of drainage pipes capture rainwater when it runs off the roof and parking areas, collecting the precipitation in a 3,000-gallon tank before pumping it to the 23,000-gallon storage “silo” behind the building. The “gray water” is used to flush toilets and wash out kennels while the trout spawning waters of White Oak Creek are protected from the dramatic change in temperature and pH that often accompanies rapid runoff.


High Country Magazine

May 2012

Make A Donation Members of the community are invited to make a contribution to the building fund by purchasing a paver and having it engraved with their own particular message. Pavers are still available for $50 and $100 for those who wish to show their support and help pay down the mortgage. Hundreds of area businesses and individuals have already shared their dollars and their sentiments, helping to make the facility a true testament to community.


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May 2012 High Country Magazine


ready supply of reasonably priced pet care essentials, as well as a few luxury items for the pampered pet. Avery Humane is counting on volunteers to keep the organization healthy and growing. There is a need for volunteers in many facets of animal care and general operations. Whether you like to hike or walk with dogs, socialize kittens, prepare treats, teach a class, groom a kitty, plan an event or raise funds, there is a place for you. Foster families will be needed to care for animals that are still too young or too sick to be adopted. And those with special skills like building or sewing, or fixing a computer, are needed too. Even 30 minutes a week of volunteering can make a difference. The staff of Avery Humane is necessarily small and lean and it will take many volunteers to fulfill the full potential of this incredible new facility. Volunteers can sign up in advance by visiting or may stop by the new shelter, beginning April 19, to sign up to volunteer. Volunteer orientations will be held on the second Saturday and fourth Monday of each month beginning May 12.

To share your ideas or make a donation, contact Laurie Vierheller or Charlene Calhoun at our new number, 828733-2333 or contact us at PO Box 1213, Newland, NC 28657 or by email at


Paws and Claws Resale Shop A small brick house located adjacent to the new shelter site in Newland is operated as the Paws & Claws Resale Shop. The shop accepts donations of new and lightly used items which are under appreciated in their original homes but are destined to become treasures in their new homes. Paws & Claws does for furniture, clothing, nick-knacks and household items what their adoption center does for the animals of Avery County!

The new shelter is located at 279 New Vale Road, up behind Ingles Grocery Store. Operating hours at the new shelter are Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sunday for adoption only from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. until further notice. The new, 21,000 sq. ft. facility features a bright and spacious lobby and pet boutique, 34 cat condos, 29 double dog runs, an education and community room and space for future development. 32

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May 2012

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May 2012

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Many Thanks! T

he new Avery Humane Adoption and Education Center would never have come into being without the hard work and commitment of a group of seasonal residents who banded together to form Avery Friends of the Shelter. Joann Becker, Marti Huizenga and Ann Thompson joined Rachel Deal in approaching the Avery County Commissioners to lease acreage from the county that would allow a shelter to be built in a location that would be easily accessible to all residents of the community. Once the lease was agreed upon, Mrs. Huizenga and Mrs. Thompson began recruiting dozens of others to help host parties and sponsor events, all with the greater purpose of raising over $2 million to build the new Adoption and Education Center. In addition to organizing the many fundraising events, The Friends made sure that the Humane Society would have a steady source of income when they opened the Paws & Claws Resale Store next door to the new shelter. Along with serving as the volunteer shopkeepers, The Friends keep the

The Blessing Almost 50 supporters, staff members and volunteers came out two weeks before the animals were moved into the new facility to participate in blessing the shelter. Blessings were said for the people who appropriated the land, those who drew up the building plans and those who labored to erect the structure. Prayers were said for the people who work and volunteer here and for the animals that find haven here. Finally thanks were given for the people whose generosity and sacrifice made it possible for the building to be constructed.


High Country Magazine

May 2012

shelves stocked with a great array of lightly-used clothing, furniture, art and household items. “The educational piece was key to the project from the start,” explained Rachel Deal. “A commitment to teach our children kindness for every living creature was one of the main things Marti needed to be able to promise to the people she was trying to get involved.” More than a dozen major gifts came in from area philanthropists that include Martha Guy, the Estates of Alfred Adams and Dorothy Blair, Raymond & Beverly Lutgert, Sandy & Thomas Rouse, Bill & Sue Dalton, Bill & Kathy Avery, the Park Foundation, the Dickson Foundation, Toby & Wayne Press, Wayne & Marti Huizenga, Doris & David Swor, Katherine and Jerome Peterson and Joann Becker. With four summers of gala events under their belt and another season at Paws & Claws resale store under way, The Friends of the Shelter are committed to adding to their fundraising successes until the debt is retired on Avery’s new Adoption Center. “After the mortgage is paid, The Friends will continue raising funds for operations,” added Mrs. Deal.


By Laurie Vierheller

Executive Director, Avery County Humane Society


his week, as I stood in front of the new Avery County Adoption and Humane Education Center, I looked at the substantial wood timbers framing the entry and thought about the first cats and dogs that will enter that bright and beautiful space in just a matter of days. The homey atmosphere of the new 21,000 sq. foot center belies its commercial underpinnings. It feels as if we are bringing the animals home, to the kind of healing and supportive place they deserve. I also felt humbled. This was not my journey. I was only a last minute participant in this extraordinary relay. The cobblestones leading to the new entryway are permanent reminders of the extraordinary individuals who brought Avery Humane into existence and those who kept Avery Humane in operation for the last 24 years. I thought about Sally Sutherland, Alice Sudderth, Bud Pyatte and all those who walked by their side or in their footsteps. I thought about their struggles with frozen plumbing on icy winter mornings and perseverance through sweltering July afternoons when the humidity was high and the breeze would not blow. I thought about outbreaks of contagious disease in the kennels and the heartbreak these men and women endured again and again, for animals that could not be saved. I thought about the shelter workers’ constant exposure to dirt and germs, parasites, cat scratches, dog bites and the ever-present and haunting face of abused and neglected animals. And, I thought about how, for each one of them, there were times when the weighty responsibility of trying to save them all, when there are just more animals than homes, brought them figuratively, if not literally, to their knees.

I thought about how something simple, like a kind word, the forgiveness of a friend, the smile of a stranger, or an extra dollar someone donated for dog food, was sometimes enough to give them the strength to get up and go again another day, even when they thought they could not go another step. I am glad they did not give up. And when I think how hard it must have been, I thank God for silly things like youthful enthusiasm and people who are just naĂŻve enough to think anything is possible and that tomorrow will always be a better day. But it is the future that draws us. We are counting on dedicated individuals, like yourself, just as Avery Humane has done for so many years, to keep us moving forward. You are the future. We need volunteers for all areas of animal care and customer assistance. We hope you will join us to hike or walk with dogs, socialize kittens, prepare treats, teach a class, groom a kitty, plan an event, man the reception desk, staff the pet boutique or raise some funds and more. And we need foster families to care for animals that are still too young or too sick to be adopted. The act of sharing your special talents, even 30 minutes a week, can make a difference. The staff of Avery Humane is necessarily small and lean. This is your Adoption and Education center. It was built for the animals and people of Avery County and it is the people who live, work, visit and play here who will make it great. Visit our website at or stop by to sign up to volunteer. To share your ideas with me or Charlene Calhoun, call us at our new number, 828-7332333 or contact us at PO Box 1213, Newland, NC 28657 or by email at


May 2012

High Country Magazine


Wilkes Community College Ashe Campus

School of Cosmetic Arts

Nine heads may be better than one, as Ciera Rash, Mr. Steven Boyd and Kari Johnson are prepared to find out, during a fun break at the Ashe Campus School of Cosmetic Arts.

Where Beauty is Not only Skin Deep

Story by Celeste von Mangan

Photography by Frederica Georgia


e’ve all seen the clichéd hairdresser and beauty school graduate as depicted by mainstream media. Typically, a gum-smacking, vapid airhead with poufed-up hair and perfect brow arches. Since she couldn’t get through high school because of a severe deficiency in gray matter of the neural kind, she enrolled in the only program she could hope to complete--cosmetology school. And let’s not forget Frenchie form Grease who left high school to go to beauty school, only to wash out of that (who could forget Frankie Avalon as her guardian angel singing Beauty School Dropout?). Think either stereotype is true? Well, be prepared to take a swift course in Beauty School Truth 101 and learn what it really takes to graduate from cosmetology school.


High Country Magazine

May 2012

Cosmetology School--Where Beauty and Brains Intersect The poufed-up hair and perfect brow arch may be the only truisms of a beauty school enrollee for both females and males--but that is where the buck stops. At the Wilkes Community College Ashe Campus School of Cosmetic Arts, classes begin at 9:00 a.m. sharp. Packed into their school day are lectures and textbook study on a variety of subjects including the anatomy, physiology and science of the hair, skin, and nails. They learn about hair design and the history of hair and cosmetology. Students also take business courses that concentrate on starting a salon and learn about marketing and sales techniques in addition to focusing on such basics as how to dress for success. All of this coursework is tested through exams and quizzes, all of which are designed to help students

At the Ashe Campus, Cosmetology Program Offers New Beginnings for Some, Second Chances for Others and Much Needed Services to All

Student teacher Steven Boyd and seasoned pro-cosmetology educators Loretta Goodman center, flanked by Miriam Little offer a client consultation.

taught. She went to school in Wilkes at Carolina Beauty College. After finishing at Carolina she started teaching there while working in Winston before giving up the long commute and stayed in Wilkes. “I have ‘done hair’ for 23 years, so I’ve been at Teaching Students the Art and Science of Beauty The school operates a full service salon, and once students it a little while!” she says cheerily. Her experience ranges from complete 300 hours of training they move from the beginner’s owning her own beauty shop to working in a corporately owned section to the advanced department which is open to the public. establishment (Regis Salon) to a day spa and even part time in nursing homes. “I totally love While the beginners practice it and I love the students! I feel on mannequins and perhaps like I’ve been on a journey and each other, senior cosmetolAdvanced pupil Kari Johnson (and new this is where I was meant to ogy students receive their own graduate as of press time) applies the be. I couldn’t ask for a better station where they apply what color her client chose with the help of boss than Chris Robinson, he they’ve learned to patrons six the experts that would suit her particular is just the best. The thing I love days each week. Clients are best about Chris is he cares so walk-ins only, and tipping of hair-type. much more about the students students is encouraged as the and their education than about cost of the service goes solely making a profit.” to the school. Three experiNative of Watauga County, enced teachers oversee all the Tonya Greer Watson made work completed in the school the decision to attend beauty salon, as well as one teachschool in August of 2008. She ing student who has already attended Artistic Academy in graduated from the program. Wilkesboro and worked in a Miriam Little, Loretta Goodsalon there for six months as man, Tonya Watson and Steshe finished her instructor ven Boyd are the current staff training in 2010. She stayed of dedicated educators at the there for one year before startAshe Campus. ing at the Ashe Campus in AuLoretta Goodman atgust 2010. “I finally decided tended cosmetology school in what I wanted to be when I 1996 after retiring from a 34grew up! It took me 37 years, year career managing manufacturing companies in Georgia. After graduating she opened but I love it here. Everyone’s great. We have a great working a full-service salon, which she later sold before teaching at the environment. We respect one another, as student, as teacher. It’s Fayette Beauty Academy in Fayetteville, Georgia. A native to one of the best jobs I’ve ever had.” Steven Boyd also started out at Artistic Academy and transNorth Carolina she returned in 2002 and made a return to teaching in 2009. When asked about retirement she exclaimed, ferred to Ashe Campus when they opened. He graduated in Sep“I have no intention of retiring!” to which Miriam Little chimed tember of 2009 and immediately pursued his instructor’s license in from the background that “hairdressers never retire, they just at the encouragement of Miriam Little. He started teaching in June of 2011 and is working his way toward the required 800 curl-up and dye!” The Ashe Campus is the fifth school where Miriam Little has hours of teacher training so that he can sit for his State Boards prepare for the State Board Exam that each of them must pass to become a licensed cosmetologist.

May 2012

High Country Magazine


Kasity Cable, left practices her manicure skills on fellow student Marietta Combs. A therapeutic and relaxing hand massage constitutes a portion of the manicure service prior to the final touch, a lovely shade of polish.

to receive his teaching license. He plans to teach some continuing education courses after receiving his state license. ‘My Hairdresser is my Psychiatrist’ Certainly at this point the stereotype of the vapid gum-chomping airhead has been dispelled, but what of the one where beauticians turn into the town’s unofficial psychiatrist? That appears to be one label that is actually true and any article covering the semantics of hairdressing would be severely remiss for omitting this phenomena. “I discussed this with clients of mine who were psychiatrists,” said Miriam. “I’ve always said there is something about human touch that causes people to trust you. It’s like a high calling. It’s an honor that people would trust you with their lives, like a mother holding a baby. They sit in the chair and their mouths fly open. You learn to recognize lonely people and offer kindness and an ear for them; they either talk the most, or not at all.”

I totally love it! Love the students. I feel like I’ve been on a journey and this is where I was meant to be.

What to Expect as a Client, Student and Career Cosmetologist The beauty of attending beauty school--no pun intended--is that upon graduation, the sky is literally the limit. The opportunities to apply the skills learned in cosmetology school can be used in any number of careers, from television and movie set make-up artistry, to developing and marketing beauty prod38

High Country Magazine

May 2012

– Miriam Little, Cosmetology Coordinator

ucts, to working in, or owning, your own salon. One of the most famous beauticians showed the world where the cosmetology trail could lead as she pioneered the way with a plume of jet stream in the sky. Jacqueline Cochran grew up in poverty in the Florida Panhandle. At the age of ten, she left the cotton mills where she worked to apprentice in a live-in position at a beauty salon. By the early 1930s, Jackie had worked her way up to a position at the fashionable Antoine’s Beauty Salon in Saks Fifth Avenue New York, as well as in Miami, Florida. She then established her own cosmetics company, learned to fly at the

suggestion of her future husband, millionaire Floyd Odlum, and marketed her products and salon services by flying herself around the country. Recognized as the female Chuck Yeager, test pilot extraordinaire, Jackie was the first woman to break the sound barrier. She held more speed, altitude and distance records than any other pilot--female or male--in aviation history. Throughout her flying exploits, Jackie was always exquisitely turned-out: The blonde beauty with perfectly coiffed hair, porcelain skin, professionally made-up face and always perfectly polished nails. According to Cosmetology Coordinator Miriam Little, several things are particularly appealing about the school for people going on to a career in beauty. “We have top of the line products, for one thing,” she said. “It is well-stocked. One thing I also like is that it is very inexpensive to get a quality hairstyle, cut and nails. We have a lot of elderly people who have trouble trimming their toenails. For them, it is a lot less expensive here then going to a regular salon. And, we are probably one of the most inexpensive schools in the state. We have one student now who is from California where it costs $20,000 to go to cosmetology school - which is the typical cost for most states. Not only are we less expensive than surrounding schools we have a really flexible schedule.” Students at the Ashe Campus School of Cosmetic Arts can expect to pay around $1,000 total, for tuition, books and the required full beauty kit. Tuition is waived for high school students (both public and nonpublic), leaving the cost for just the kit and books, which is about $700. To make attending school even easier the school also has payment plans available. The curriculum requires students complete 1,500 total hours and that they put in twenty hours per week minimum, plus commit to two Saturdays per month. The weekday attendance is very flexible, as long as the student attends three classroom sessions of study and allows time to complete a weekly worksheet which is offered twice daily to allow for even more flexibility. Enrollment is offered in January and July and students of all ages can be found studying here. From an economic and career standpoint, entering the beauty industry is as wise a move now as it was 50 years ago. The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Sta-

tistics indicates that job growth for hairdressers and beauty industry professionals in general has been growing since at least 2008 and is expected to continue by as much as twenty percent through 2018. “Nowadays, everyone is looking for jobs,” remarked Miriam. “With this business, you can start your own or go in with somebody else. The beauty industry will always flourish; I never met a woman who said she wasn’t going to get her hair done this month!” Beauty School Graduates: Their Hopes, Dreams, Plans Post-School Maria and Monica Santos: Maria and Monica Santos are a mother/daughter duo taking the cosmetology course in tandem so they will graduate at the same time. And will they work together also? Maria emphatically stated: “Together! Monica is my only daughter--I have two sons, also.” Monica: “After I finish here, what I plan on doing is to open a salon in Sparta, with my mom, Maria.” Rebecca Cox: Rebecca has attended school May 2012

High Country Magazine



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Another very happy Client who will leave the school salon with a stylish new cut and color

full time; her husband was laid-off from his job shortly after she began school. He stays home to help care for the children-three boys--while she earns her beauty school stripes. “I am starting my own hair salon in Clifton named Southern Style that will hopefully open its doors in September of this year. I graduate in July and plan on going straight to the State Board; I already have my equipment and my salon will be located in the Old Clifton Grocery on Highway 88. A separate antique shop will share the building. I absolutely love

News and Information As it Happens 40

High Country Magazine

May 2012

it--I’m just excited to bring back a service to the community.” Kari Johnson: Kari will have graduated from the Wilkes Community College Ashe Campus School of Cosmetic Arts by the time this magazine article is published. As she asserted, “I have a family to support!” “I already have a full-time job waiting for me at Mark of Eden. I’m very blessed. I don’t have to hunt for jobs or go to interviews. I’m excited! I should be out in three weeks, at the end of March and I will sit for State Boards right away so all the schooling is fresh in my mind. I’m going to miss everyone here, but I’m ready to graduate.” Ann Bickford: Ann enrolled in the school after retiring from her job as a school bus driver, because of a medical condition. “My plans are I just want to finish--hopefully by May. This school and career is my second chance!”

Eve von Mangan: Eve enrolled in beauty school at age 16, and is enrolled in home school. Now 17, she is more than Mr. Boyd demonstrates how to perfect a hairstyle on halfway through her training. “I plan to work in a salon in one of the many mannequin heads that are indispensAshe County and specialize in able to the teaching program. alternative hairstyles.”

WCC Ashe Campus School of Cosmetic Arts Hair Care:

Salon Services and Prices

Hair Cut........................................................ $7.00 Beard or Bang Trim..................................$3.00 Shampoo/Cut/Style............................... $11.00 Cut/Style....................................................$10.00 Shampoo/Style......................................... $7.00 All Over Color..................................$30.00 /Up Highlights-Cap or Foil..................$35.00/Up Double Process.......................................$10.00 Starburst Foil....................................$20.00/Up Men’s Highlight on Top and Crown................................... $20.00 Color Correction.............................$35.00/Up Up-Do’s.............................................. $15.00/Up Shampoo/Braid............................... $10.00/Up Marcel or Press................................$20.00/Up Conditioned Perms or Body Waves..................................$30.00/Up Each additional permanent wave set use..... $5.00 Design Wraps (Spiral, Piggy Back).................... $10.00/Up Relaxers..............................................$30.00/Up Soft Curl for Ethnic Hair...............$35.00/Up

Wig Style..............................................$7.00/Up Deep Conditioning Treatment.... $8.00/Up Temporary Rins.........................................$2.00

Lash Tint......................................................$6.00 Brow Tint.....................................................$6.00

Nail Care:

Brow..............................................................$5.00 Chin...............................................................$5.00 Lip..................................................................$5.00 Underarm..................................................$10.00 Cheeks........................................................$10.00 Back............................................................ $30.00 Arms Half...................................................$15.00 Arms Full................................................... $20.00 Legs Half................................................... $20.00 Legs Full.....................................................$35.00 Chest.......................................................... $25.00 Bikini.......................................................... $20.00

Manicure....................................................$10.00 Pedicure..................................................... $17.00 Hot Oil........................................................$10.00 French Manicure.....................................$12.00 Polish Only..................................................$5.00

Skin Care: Facial, Including Hand, Arm, Foot and Leg Massage.................................................... $25.00 Make-Up Application...........................$10.00 Back Facial Includes Exfoliation and Massage.................... $20.00


Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Sunday and Major Holidays: Closed

Call 336.982.4247 (HAIR)

May 2012

High Country Magazine


Marietta Combs: Marietta commutes from Watauga County with Kasity. “I just want to work at any salon in Boone. I’d like to work at the Westglow Spa.” Diana Lopez: Diana attends Ashe County High School. “After I graduate from cosmetology, I plan on getting my own salon. Then after a couple of years, I plan on getting my own spa and nail place.” Miah Zimmerman: Miah is already working at a salon in Boone. “I am currently employed at Haircut 101 in Boone, so I plan on becoming a stylist there once I graduate cosmetology school. It is a great environment to continue learning skills and John Mena, the owner, always provides opportunities for continuing

Ciera Rash: Ciera also attended home school high school at the time of enrollment in the cosmetology program. She plans to do “magical things such as maybe do [cosmetology] part time and be a criminal profiler on the other side.” Kasity Cable: Kasity commutes from Boone to attend the school. “I hope to have my own salon and be able to work for myself and maybe do some nails plus waxing. I’ll probably be in Boone.”

Heather Moxley applies a healing mask for advanced student Ann Bickford.


High Country Magazine

May 2012

Mr. Mang Gets A Makeover - From His Granddaughter, Eve

1) Mr. Charles Mang arrived at the school salon for a haircut and an appreciable beard trim. One of the most congenial aspects of the school’s regime is that the students can invite their family members to partake of the services, often at a discount if coupons are used.

2) Shampooing

the hair starts the process ... granddaughter Eve von Mangan begins the metamorphosis at her grandfather’s request.

3) With the aid of a small

towel, excess water is absorbed and a little comic relief provided for Eve as well!

4) Now for the

consult with Miss Goodman as to the correct cut.

5) … and the metamorphosis truly begins.

6) Students are tutored to pay attention to small details while cutting hair, so eyebrows get the royal treatment too...


Now it is time to

trim and shape the winter beard!



trimming so the client is in charge of how much growth is removed...

9) Mr. Mang wanted quite a 10) Voila! Metamorphosis

bit of length taken off.

complete and three generations--Father/Daughter/Granddaughter have profited from the quality care provided by the students at the Wilkes Community College School of Cosmetic Arts (included in the trio, this author, who had her hair restored to its natural color after it turned gray following her husband’s death last year).

May 2012

High Country Magazine


Miss Little teaches a lesson with Mr. Boyd in the cozy school classroom. education classes. I also have one year left of school before I finish my psychology undergrad degree. So I plan on finishing that at Appalachian State University while working at Haircut 101 and eventually going on to grad school for marriage and family therapy.”





Elizabeth Priest: “When I graduate from cosmetology school I plan on starting out in a commission pay salon to build up clientele and then eventually branching out into my own full service day spa.” Darci Sieffert: “I plan on moving to Florida and opening my own mid-priced full service

Monica Santos, foreground, practices on her mannequin as her mother Maria Santos, mirrored in background, works on a client. The mother/daughter


877/ 962-1986 LOCAL : 828/ 263-8711 MOBILE : 828/ 773-9491 EMAIL : TOLL FREE :


High Country Magazine

May 2012

team serve as the unofficial poster students who would heartily endorse parentchild enrollment in the cosmetology program.

salon and also have a clay studio in the back of my salon where I could offer ceramic services to my clients.” Molly Hart: “After graduation, I plan to move to California to pursue my dreams of becoming a cosmetologist. I have high hopes of being a runway hair and makeup stylist.” Heather Moxley: Heather can legitimately be called, a lineage cosmetologist. “I already have a job and I will own that business one day. It is my great aunt’s beauty shop.” Miriam added: “This school’s only the beginning... ”


School of Cosmetic Arts

Enrollment Information

• This is a continuing Ed Program • After course completion graduates will test at NC State Board of Cosmetic Arts • Hours open for students: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Maximum 40 hours per week, eight hours per day Two Saturdays per month required for 12 hour per month total • School Uniform: Black scrub pants, white scrub shirt, black coat or vest from Sallys, coat approximately $20.00 (no aprons permitted). Solid black shoes or socks • Kit and books approximately $700 and can be financed at Ashe Campus • Tuition: $175.00 plus $1.25 insurance for a total of $176.25 per semester • Students attending high school have tuition waived To find out more about the program call Miriam Little at 336.982.4247 (HAIR) or email her at The school is located at 626 Ashe Central School Road, Jefferson, NC 28640. In the Ashe Family Central Building.

Tonya Watson makes some time to trim the hair of student Diana Lopez.


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May 2012

High Country Magazine


An Adventure in Cyberspace

High Country Press Moves to the World Wide Web at


he last hard-copy edition of the High Country Press was on Thursday, December 22, unbeknownst to both the newspaper staff and publisher Ken Ketchie at the time. Each winter, the staff takes a two-week vacation for the holidays. The staff was expecting a short break, but not the three-month hiatus that eventually occurred. While Ketchie was spending time with his parents over the winter holidays, he noticed something that would forever change the scope of the High Country Press. Both his parents, Barbara and Homer, who are in their ‘80s and obviously didn’t grow up with computers, were staring into their laptops reading the news! Ketchie recounted the story, “Certainly, they’ve had computers in the house for 10 years, you know the big PC, and them dabbling with the internet and emailing, but then, going home for Christmas, and seeing them intently staring into their laptops and surfing the web like they’ve used it all their life got me thinking, ‘The time had come to transform the newspaper.’”

Before the website went live, Managing Editor Paul T. Choate (left) and Publisher Ken Ketchie were huddled inside the offices of the High Country Press throughout the winter discussing the Big Changes that were to take place soon enough. Here you have a recent ASU graduate with a vast knowledge of computers and the internet, and a veteran publisher revamping his publication in the digital age. In 1978, Ketchie founded The Mountain Times, a free weekly. (He sold the publication in 2002.) Back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, free weeklies were disrupting the monopoly that the traditional pay-to-read newspapers had within the industry, much like online publishing is doing today. Photo by Bob Caldwell

A Leap of Faith on Leap Day As Ketchie pondered the renaissance of the popular High Country Press brand, he was lucky to have someone show up, a recent graduate of ASU, who was just schooled with the knowledge of the inner workings of cyberspace. That young man

turned out to be Paul T. Choate, a journalism major born and bred just down the road in Sparta. Choate studied web design and HTML – exactly what Ketchie needed to take his leap of faith (which also hap-

pened to be on Leap Day, February 29) into the digital world. One of Choate’s professors at ASU was Lynette Holman, who specializes in communications with a multi-media twist. She began seeing a 46

High Country Magazine

May 2012

Same Great Things You Expect from High Country Press, Just Different Platform is designed by Big Boom Design, an Asheville-based web-design and internet-consulting firm. The owner, Boomer Sassman, is an ASU graduate responsible for many of the websites based in the High Country. Sassman says of the website, “I would say to build a website of the magnitude like you guys have, it opens the door for a very dynamic and fluid website browsing experience. By having this type of site, it allows the user to really take ownership of the navigation.” Big Boom Design is still at work developing the site. shift in the newspaper world going digital at about the turn of the millennium when she worked for The Virginian-Pilot. Now she teaches students who are eager to be cub reporters in the digital age. “This is an exciting time to be in journalism, [but] you have to be flexible,” Holman said. “[The newspaper industry] is constantly changing.”

Newspapers – A Dying Breed Of course, everybody loves to read a hard-copy, but as Bob Dylan sung many years ago, “The Times They Are a Changing.” In the past 20 years, newspaper circulation has steadily declined, aggravated by the emergence of the internet and other mediums competing for readers’ attention. According to a study released early this year by LinkedIn and the Council of Economic Advisors, newspapers were the fasted-shrinking U.S. Industry from 2007 to 2011. But guess what industry is the fastest growing? Online publishing. (Though it’s not a newspaper, the current state of Encyclopedia Britannica, for instance, shows the plight of the traditional publishing industry; after 200 years of publishing, it finally succumbed to the

Ken Ketchie stands with his computer a few days before the February 29th launch of, showing off the look of the new website. Photo by Bob Caldwell

pressures of the digital age, releasing a statement in March declaring that the encyclopedia has solely gone digital.) The concept for the is the same as it was for High Country Press; we are still purveyors of information – just without the ink and paper. A while back Newsweek ran an essay series entitled “The Decade of Destruction.” The author, Daniel Lyons wrote that newspapers were blind to the rise of the web, blind to the biggest change that would affect its industry. “They thought their business was about putting ink onto paper and then physically distributing those stacks of paper with fleets of trucks and delivery people. Papers were slow to move to the Web. For a while they just sort of shuffled around, hoping it would go away,” Lyons wrote. “Watching newspapers go out of business because of the Internet is like watching dairies going out of business because customers started wanting their milk in paper cartons instead of glass bottles.”

A Harmony of Pixels For the, we no longer put ink onto paper each Thursday. Now,

we are a harmony of pixels everyday. will still be the community news source that readers expect and have grown to love. But now, we aren’t limited by space or the time constraints of a weekly newspaper. We will still cover the breaking news, elections, education, government, the nightlife scene and other upcoming events, such as festivals, nonprofit happenings and public forums. We’ve also added to our coverage weekly crime reports and obituaries, a sports page and more. has unlimited space for Letters to the Editor and information and photos from all of the local art galleries, businesses and organizations. We offer a plethora of videos, photo galleries and other digital tools that were impossible in print. “It’s about presentation and trying to keep that feel of a community newspaper,” Ketchie said. “It’s still community centered; but it’s just on a different platform now.” No longer will news and events be old by the time you flip through the pages of a newspaper. When our weekly-edition High Country Press became available on Thursdays, some of our coverage was already old news. Now because our webpaMay 2012

High Country Magazine


per updates constantly, coverage is at your fingertips immediately – as it happens. Other publishers we compete with that sell newspapers are stuck in a catch-22. Why pick up or buy a newspaper when all that information is already available online? High Country Press/ has and always will be free.

it should be noted that ad revenue from mobile devices only represented about one percent of digital advertising revenue for newspapers. One newspaper executive who took the survey was quoted on the Talking New Media blog as saying: “I’ve got a 19-year-old and a 14-year old at home … and nine out of 10 things they are doing [are] on their phone.” In another study by the Pew Research Center, ad revenue from newspapers fell nearly 50

Online Growing Hand Over Fist

So far the response from readers has been great. Avid readers expressed regret that the High Country Press would no longer be on newsstands throughout the High Country, though they understood that this is the wave of the future. Olga Esterson, co-owner of Café Portofino, said she thought our transition was a smart move. “I haven’t picked up a newspaper in two or three years,” she said, adding that she finds out about local news and events solely through her smart phone or laptop computer. Access to digital news isn’t a new concept, but it is from mobile devices such as smart phones like the iPhone, which are more computer than actual cell phone. The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found that ad revenue from mobile devices is growing exponentially. For the most recent quarter in 2011, ad revenue grew 900 percent from the same quarter in 2010, though

percent from 2003 to 2010, while during that same time revenue from online newspapers – though a significantly smaller piece of the overall ad-revenue pie – grew by 150 percent.

Friends and Neighbors in Business That’s always been a challenge for any publication, whether it’s online or in print – to find advertisers to support the venture and make it happen. In the newspaper world, readers, advertisers and the publication are the holy trinity. All three are irreplaceable. As purveyors of the information that you – the reader – deem important, will become successful as local businesses support the medium; readers support the

local businesses; and does what it knows best – provide the most up-to-date coverage of news and events in the High Country. So we invite you to scroll down the page and check out all of what the webpaper has to offer, but we also encourage you to click on the ads on the right side of the screen, and check out what our innovating local entrepreneurs – our friends and neighbors in business – are doing. Each ad, which is cheap – at only $15 – is custom designed by our skilled graphic artists to catch the eye and pique the interest of the reader. At HCPress. com, no longer will advertisers wonder if the readers are looking at the ads because the reader has to make a concerted effort to drag the mouse atop the ad and click. Our ads can feature video, pictures, custom-made graphics, and highlighted text – whatever one asks for. The online platform is tremendously versatile compared to print. For instance, for the 2012 MerleFest we custom designed a countdownticker ad leading up to the festival. As each day passed, our ticker counted down the days, minutes, seconds and even milliseconds until the event finally began. is Poised to Pop So far, our venture onto the World Wide Web has been – well, an adventure.

High Country Magazine and Visitor Guide To Continue in Their Printed Format


lthough we’re taking our newspaper online, we will continue to publish our magazine and visitor guide the old fashion way – on paper. “Magazines are just a different experience than newspapers,” says Ken Ketchie. “The pleasure of spending time flipping through a high gloss magazine with its in depth stories, features and photos is still something you can’t experience online.” Our next magazines will be published in June, July and August for the summer season - and then in October and December.


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Great Visitor Guides

Our Visitor Guide has been a real hit with advertisers and visitors alike. Its compact size, full color presentation and to the point information has been helping thousands of visitors find their way around the High Country and leading them to local businesses interested in their business. Our summer guide will be out at the end of May.


Story Archives

All our stories are posted as they become available in chronological order. Once these stories reach the bottom of the page and go off our main page they are sorted to these archives. Here you will find headings for News - Sports - Arts - Nightlife, etc. where like topic stories are filed. The archives take you to what you want to know fast and easy.



As news happens and press releases are made available, they’ll be posted here on our website. We will also have a constantly live updating calendar of events. WHAT ARE PEOPLE READING ABOUT?

Most Read Stories

This is where you’ll find out what everyone else is reading. The most read stories during the last 24 hours will rotate to the top here. This way you stay on top of the news with just a quick look everyday!


Our advertising messages help pay for the website. This is where you’ll find out what’s happening at local businesses. Please remember to try to shop local first!

Press Releases

Keep in touch and up to date with our local non-profits and organizations through their press releases. We receive hundreds of press releases and annoucements and we’ll be posting them on our website and in a file for each organization.



Every day, the website changes, whether it’s breaking news or it is just the staff tweaking the site to make it more convenient, functional and aesthetically pleasing. We have a list as long as our arm of little things to tweak, but each day that lists slowly but surely shrinks. By the time this magazine rests in your hands, our website will likely look totally different than it did last month. As each day passes, more readers visit our website, and they keep coming back. Each day has more readers than the previous day; each week has more readers than the previous week; and each month has more readers than the previous month. And when we make it to our second anniversary (knock on wood), we can guarantee that each year will have been better than the last. We, at the, are psyched. Nothing pleases us more than striving to be the highest quality and only news source worth reading around, and nothing pleases us more than you spending your valuable time to check out the Big Changes at the High Country Press. See you on the Web! May 2012

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Hugh observes his Georgia Bulldogs while kneeled in his familiar pose. 50

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Story by Tim Gardner

Sports hero’s legacy lives…

The High Country’s Hugh Durham College Basketball’s Miracle Worker Emeritus


ugh Durham devoted a majority of his life to motivating young people to work feverishly to realize their dreams and reach their maximum potential in sports, in the classroom, but more importantly, in life. Best known as a major college basketball coaching legend, Hugh achieved success of significant proportions, becoming one of the winningest coaches in college basketball history. The part-time Avery County resident coached generations of young men while winning 634 games in 37 years as head coach at Florida State University, the University of Georgia and Jacksonville University. And few have ever maintained as a great anaffection and downright passion for the game. “I enjoyed coaching so much, it didn’t seem like work,” Hugh declared. “I coached 45 years as an assistant or head coach. That was probably long enough. But basketball is awesome. It means so much to people who actually live for it. College basketball has helped change so many young men’s lives for the better. And most importantly, it’s got countless ones good educations and college degrees to help them go out and master a craft and make a good living. I absolutely love the game and the many wonderfulattributes it fosters.”

The man

This spry and classy fellow of 74 years possesses a Christian attitude and

Ever the encourager, Hugh coaching up one of Georgia’s teams.

casual approach to life. Also known for his quick wit, Hugh replied when asked if one of his Georgia teams needed more shooters: “I got shooters, I need makers.” And like his coaching, life-changing messages can be found in the general way he conducts himself. He’s who and what he is-- nothing more; nothing less. He’s respectful of others and their opinions, but will tell you exactly what he thinks and believes in a hurry. And Hugh welcomes every opportunity to make new acquaintances and he especially enjoys visiting with basketball enthusiasts.

Hugh and his wife of 53 years, the former Malinda Dixon of Jacksonville, FL, make Banner Elk their home during the spring, summer and fall months while returning to their other home in Jacksonville for the winter season. Hugh and Malinda are involved in various civic activities in the North Carolina High Country. Hugh’s hobbies include playing golf, reading, walking and working out in fitness centers with Malinda almost daily. The latter includes at the Williams YMCA in Linville. He’s also a championship racquetball player on national levels. And of all players Hugh coached, Malinda is his favorite. Besides his major college varsity coaching, he even coached Malinda and the sorority team she played on to the school championship when she was a Florida State student. Hugh and Malinda have three children-- David, Doug and Jim. David earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his law degree from UGA. He is married to the former Amy Pressly and they have four children: Julia, Douglas, Teresa and Nicholas. Julia is a sophomore at UGA and a former member of its basketball “Hoops Girls.” They make their home May 2012

High Country Magazine


”Hugh Durham can take his players and beats yours or take yours and beat his.” -Jerry Tarkanian, Former Head Coach, UNLV, Fresno State University and Long Beach State University

(left) Hugh as a Florida State player in the late 1950’s. (Right) Hugh was captain of the Florida State Seminoles his senior season (1958-59).

in Atlanta, GA. Doug was named as a National Assistant Basketball Coach of The Year while coaching for his father at Jacksonville. They also coached against each other as head coaches during the 1994-95 season. Hugh’s Georgia Bulldogs beat Doug’s Georgia Southern University Eagles, 87-57. Doug also is retired from coaching and lives in Panama City, FL where he owns a gym and fitness center. Jim earned his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and like his oldest brother, received his law degree from Georgia. He is married to the former Leslie Wallin. They have two children-- Cameron and Hugh-- and make their home in Savannah, GA. While coaching, Hugh and Malinda have lived in some of Earth’s most picturesque places--Tallahassee and Jacksonville, FL, Athens, GA, and unquestionably, the North Carolina Mountains. 52

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“Malinda and I have enjoyed living each place, but we absolutely love living in Banner Elk and the gorgeous North Carolina High Country as much as any of them,” he said. “Our children and grandchildren love it here, too, and come up here to be with us as often as possible. The residents here have treated my family and me wonderfully. We hold Banner Elk, Avery County and the North Carolina High Country people in general in the most prominent part of our hearts. They’re salt of the Earth in our estimation.” Certainly, Hugh Durham has experienced serendipity in his own life, as it’s been exciting, adventurous, even daring, but always fulfilling. And he’s regarded by those who know him best as one who never let fame go to his head. Perhaps that’s the greatest testament that could be given him.

Coaching milestones and philosophies

Hugh’s career is highlighted by consistency and punctuated with a penchant for building programs to national prominence. His stubborn attitude about not losing helped Hugh earn a reputation as a miracle worker of zenith proportions in the college basketball world. Truly, if ever a coach put a program in any sport on the map, Hugh did so with University of Georgia Basketball. Hugh is the only coach in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) major college history who is the all-time winningest at three different universities. His career spanned six decades (as a head coach and assistant). Hugh also is the only coach ever to lead two different schools to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four for the first

The Hugh Durham Family (L-R) Front RowLeslie, Hugh, Teresa and Douglas; Second RowMalinda with Tavvy (family dog), Coach Hugh, and Julia; Third Row-Amy, Nicholas, Gypsy (family dog) and Sandy (family dog); and Fourth Row-Doug, Cameron, David and Jim.

and only time in each school’s history (Florida State, 1972 and Georgia, 1983). He made the most significant impact of anyone, in more ways, and over a longer period of time, on the UGA Basketball program. And no other coach in Georgia’s history has come close to duplicating Hugh’s coaching achievements there. Additionally, he is the first coach to ever win 200 games at two universities and take both to the Final Four. When he retired from coaching in 2005, Hugh was the eighth winningest active coach in NCAA Division One. Of then-active coaches, only Texas Tech’s Bobby Knight, Oklahoma State’s Eddie Sutton, Temple’s John Cheney, Arizona’s Lute Olson, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Connecticut’s Jim Calhoun and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim had more wins.


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High Country Magazine


(left) A pensive Hugh observes a Georgia game while kneeling in front of his players and staff. (right) Hugh directs his Georgia Bulldogs from the sidelines during their epic 82-77 upset of the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 1983 NCAA Eastern Regionals Championship tilt.

Also, Hugh ranked second among then active coaches in number of seasons coached. And he coached in 1,062 games, the then-third highest number of games for a head coach in NCAA Division One history. Additionally, he ranked as the 25th winningest coach ever on the major college level. Hugh was known for getting the most from his available talent and beyond what that talent level indicated could be achieved. And there is no better way to judge good coaching. He instituted a blue-collar approach to coaching that centered on his signature, rugged manto-man defense. “I think if you talk to other coaches and you ask them about Hugh Durham, they’ll talk first about his defense. That’s pretty much his stamp,” said Doug Durham, who followed in his father’s footsteps, serving as interim head coach at Georgia Southern and later as an assistant to Hugh at Georgia as well as at Jacksonville. “It all is contingent on ball pressure. Put pressure on the ball or you don’t play. He just would not let fatigue or mental weakness or lack of mental toughness get in the way of the defensive team concept.” Hugh said his offensive philosophy also can be described in one word—the same one as his defensive philosophy— pressure. He explained: “Just as we wanted our defense to put pressure on 54

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our opponent’s offense, we wanted our offense to put pressure on our opponent’s defense by our players knowing when and when not to shoot, when to run our fast break, when to slow the ball down and other technical aspects of those sorts. Once you put pressure on your opposition, you take it off yourself. Our goal was to keep pressure on the opposition throughout the game.” Hugh added what was, perhaps, his most intangible reward of coaching: “It was extra special and meaningful for me- when my players of lesser talent, but who had tremendous grit, determination and heart, got more out of their abilities than their talent indicated they should and made significant contributions to our teams. That really did my heart good.”

Prep and College Playing Career

A native of the small hamlet of Lyndon, KY (near Louisville), Hugh was born to the union of Samuel Durham and Mary Sparrow Durham on October 26, 1937. Hugh has a brother, two halfsisters and a half-brother. He was a highly recruited four-sport star (basketball, football, baseball and track) at Eastern High School there. He earned fourteen varsity sports letters, while playing on

championship teams. He was an allstate quarterback in football, all-region in basketball and all-area in various track events. He signed a football scholarship to play for the then-powerful University of Kentucky Wildcats, but later reversed his decision and chose to play college basketball and accepted a scholarship from Florida State University. Hugh remains one of the top players in FSU history as a guard for head coach Bud Kennedy. And more than fifty years after his FSU playing career ended, Hugh’s name remains prominent in the school’s record book. His career average of 18.9 points per game is still the ninth best in school history. His 21.9 points per game in 1958-59 remains the school’s seventh best single season average. On January 19, 1957 Hugh scored 43 points against Stetson University to break the school scoring record for a single game, still the second-best mark in Seminoles history. Hugh scored 1,381 points during his three-year varsity career. In 1959, he graduated from Florida State with a B.A. in business administration. He also earned an M.B.A. from Florida State in 1961.

Coaching CareerFlorida State University

Hugh became an assistant coach to

(Left-to-Right) Hugh and his Georgia seniors Derrick Floyd, Lamar Heard and Terry Fair with the 1983 Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship trophy.

Kennedy soon after receiving his undergraduate degree, serving as such for seven seasons. Only a few months before the 1966-67 season, Kennedy died following a brief battle with cancer and Hugh was elevated to FSU’s head coach at age 29. He was one of the youngest head coaches ever in NCAA Basketball. As an FSU assistant coach, Hugh had recruited Lenny Hall, a standout player at St. Petersburg, Florida Junior College. He and Kennedy signed Hall-- the first African-American athlete in FSU history and one of the first to play basketball at a Deep South university. But Hugh was the subject of intense criticism after he had become Hall’s head coach. Hugh and his family remember receiving threatening phone calls, his children being spat on at school and Seminoles fans canceling their season tickets. “The ACC and SEC schools were then not recruiting black players, but Florida State was an independent school and would recruit minority athletes,” Hugh recalled. “That gave us a huge advantage as we had the opportunity to recruit more players than those schools. I never considered the color of a person’s skin. I looked at character, playing ability and most importantly, his ability to perform well in the academic classroom.” In only his second season, Hugh led the Seminoles to their first NCAA Tournament, receiving an at-large bid as an Independent at a time when only 25 teams were invited to play in the tournament. Center Dave Cowens was a sophomore

and the catalyst of the 1968 FSU team. He highlighted Hugh’s first recruiting class at Florida State in 1966. After a prolific career at FSU, Cowens was drafted by the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Boston Celtics and played on two NBA

championship teams. In 1972, Durham led Florida State to its greatest basketball season ever. The team finished 27-6 and earned another at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, shocking the college basketball world by

“Hugh Durham was not only one of the best coaches in the country during his career, but one of the all-time coaching greats in college basketball. If he had been coaching at a traditional power like Duke or North Carolina, he’d probably have won several national championships considering the superior talent such schools have year-after-year combined with Hugh’s astute coaching.” -Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Former Head Coach, University of Maryland, Davidson College and Georgia State University-

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High Country Magazine


(left) Wearing his famous Bulldog logo tie, Hugh analyzes one of his Georgia team’s play during his early years coaching the Bulldogs as a couple of his players look on from the team’s bench. (right) Hugh instructs Dominique Wilkins during a Georgia Bulldogs game.

advancing to the championship game. Hugh’s talented, defensive-oriented, but underrated squad was led by forwards Ron King, Rowland Garrett and Ron Harris, center-forward Reggie Royals, center Lawrence McCray and point guards Otto Petty and Greg Samuel. In the Mideast Region Semifinals, the Seminoles defeated Big Ten Champion, Minnesota, 70-56, and then routed Southeastern Conference champion Kentucky 73-54 in the region finals. The latter game was Adolph Rupp’s last at Kentucky. FSU upset heavily favored North Carolina, 79-75, in the national semi-finals. The Tar Heels were led by future NBA stars Bob McAdoo and Bobby Jones, and were Atlantic Coast Conference Champions. Then in the NCAA Championship game, FSU lost to UCLA, 81-76. The Bruins were led by future NBA stars Bill Walton and Henry Bibby. It was UCLA’s closest championship game during its remarkable stretch of 10 NCAA titles under Coach John Wooden. Hugh is the only coach in history to face Rupp, Smith and Wooden in three suc56

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cessive games. Those coaching giants combined to win 16 national championships. “We were 2-1 against them in those particular games and came very close to beating all three,” Hugh stated in wry humor. Then after a loud chuckle, he added: “That’s not too shabby, is it?” FSU was not a member of a conference for the first ten seasons Hugh was its head coach. In 1976-77, Florida State joined the Metro Conference and only a season later, Hugh led the Seminoles to the league crown and earned their third NCAA Tournament bid under his direction, falling to eventual National Champion Kentucky, 85-76, in the Mid-East Regionals. Hugh’s other top FSU players included guards Ed “Skip” Young and Jeff Hogan. Hugh still has the most wins of any FSU coach. He compiled a 230-95 record in his twelve seasons as Seminoles chieftain.


Hugh took over Georgia’s program in 1978 and faced a major reconstruc-

tion job. Before he became the Bulldogs head coach, Georgia had never been to either the NIT (National Invitation Tournaments) or NCAA Tournaments, had never won a Southeastern Conference (SEC) regular season or tournament championship and had losing records in 23 of the previous 27 seasons. But he immediately embarked on a remarkable transformation project with “Durham’s Dunkyard Dawgs” that produced the most prolific era of Georgia basketball. During his seventeen years as UGA’s head coach Hugh led the Bulldogs to five NCAA Tournaments, seven NIT, an NCAA Final Four, one NIT Final Four, their only SEC Regular Season championship and their first league tournament title. Hugh literally coached his first UGA team by himself during games as he sent his three assistants on the road recruiting. The assistants were only on the UGA bench for a total of ten games between them of the 28 the Bulldogs played. But the recruiting paid ultimate dividends as UGA landed the nation’s top recruiting class that would propel it

Coach Hugh Durham (right) and Dominique Wilkins pose during a ceremony at the Georgia Club in Athens, GA honoring Wilkins for his 2006 Naismith College Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement. The framed pictorial highlights “The Human Highlight Film’s” college and professional playing career.

to quick success and set a foundation for future glory. Hugh’s UGA star players included guards Vern Fleming, Willie Anderson, Gerald Crosby, Donald Hartry, Shandon Anderson (Willie’s younger brother) and Litterial Green, centers Cedric Henderson and Terry Fair and forward James

Banks, Horace McMillen, Joe Ward, Carlos Strong, Alex Kessler and the greatest player in school history, Dominique Wilkins. Dubbed “The Human Highlight Film” for his acrobatic athletic ability and highlight reel dunks, the Washington, NC native, Wilkins, played three seasons for the Bulldogs and was

SEC Player of The Year for the 1980-81 season. He went on to be one of the eight leading scorers in NBA history while playing for several teams, primarily the Atlanta Hawks. He is currently a vice president and part owner of the Hawks. Wilkins was the centerpiece of Hugh’s first recruiting class at Georgia. Ironically, it was another long-time North Carolina High Country resident, Roger Banks, who signed Wilkins for Georgia. Banks, a Burnsville, NC native and a former head coach at Newland and Avery County High Schools, was a charter member of Hugh’s UGA coaching staff and his Recruiting Director. “I was fortunate to hire Roger,” Hugh said. “He was the best recruiter

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High Country Magazine


This picture defies logic as Hugh Durham’s star Georgia player and The Top Dog of Dunk, Dominique Wilkins, shows why many knowledgeable analysts consider him basketball’s all-time best dunker with this monster, reverse jam.

in college basketball and I’d maintain the best there’s ever been. He signed three MacDonald’s High School AllAmericans for Georgia in Wilkins, Fleming and Banks. He also signed other great players such as Charles Barkley and Chuck Person for Auburn, Tico Brown and Sammy Drummer at Georgia Tech and John Drew at Gardner-Webb when he coached at those schools. Fleming, Barkley, Person and Drew had productive NBA careers, as of course, Wilkins did. What volumes that speaks for Coach Banks. “Additionally, Roger was an excellent on-the-floor coach. In a Sports Illustrated article, Barkley gave Coach Banks credit for teaching him the proper way to rebound. Roger compiled an outstanding career as a high school head coach, which included a third-place state championship tournament finish and coaching eventual N.C. State University and NBA standout Tommy Burleson.” Hugh’s success and the upgrading of Georgia’s program eliminated the view around the SEC that only traditional basketball power Kentucky could succeed in a football league. Under his watch, Georgia was regularly in the upper division of the SEC and fighting for NCAA Tournament appearances. In his early years at UGA,

“Hugh Durham is one of the major influences in my life. Without his guidance, I don’t know if I would have developed into the type of player I became as a collegian, and later as a professional. Coach Durham is a great motivator. He’s also the most charismatic, innovative and best coach I’ve ever been associated with. He treated me more like a son than a player, and I will never forget that.” -Dominique Wilkins, Player for Hugh Durham at the University of Georgia and NBA Hall of Famer with the Atlanta Hawks


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“Hugh Durham is an amazing story in college basketball. He is a first-class coach-- a good tactician and recruiter as well as a super program builder. He coaches defense as it should be coached and is an excellent teacher of man-to-man principles. But he also is a good offensive coach who got tremendous effort from his players. Hugh is to be congratulated for the quality job he did in each of his coaching assignments.” -Bobby Knight, Former Head Basketball Coach, Texas Tech University, Indiana University and U.S. Military Academy-West Point (Army) and College Basketball Television Analyst-

Hugh even gave money out of his men’s basketball budget to Lady Bulldogs head basketball coach Andy Landers to use for general needs and to help him get his women’s program further established. And Hugh helped revolutionize SEC Basketball. When he became the Bulldogs head coach, scoring averages in

league games had been in the upper 80’s to low 90’s. But with Hugh and several of the other conference coaches strongly emphasizing defense—particularly manto-man—those scoring averages soon dropped to the upper 50’s to low 60’s. In 1982-83, Hugh led the Bulldogs to their greatest season ever. They fin-

ished 24-10 with five losses by a total of 16 points. They won the SEC Tournament championship and earned their first NCAA Tournament berth. UGA then stunned the college basketball world with an improbable and unforgettable run by winning the Eastern Regionals to reach the Final Four. Geor-

The University of Georgia Bulldogs played in the school’s first NCAA Final Four in 1983 in Albuquerque, NM after winning the Eastern Regionals. Pictured on the airport’s tarmac there are: (Left-to-Right) Sitting/Kneeling: Efron Jackson, Live Mascot UGA IV, Gerald Crosby and Monroe Jones (waving with left hand); First Row, Standing : Derrick Floyd, Head Coach Hugh Durham, Glenn Ross, Vern Fleming and Donald Hartry; Next Row, Standing: Horace McMillan, Richard Corhen, Terry Fair, Lamar Heard and James Banks; and Very Back: Troy Hitchcock. May 2012

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Coach Hugh Durham (center) with his two most famous players and NBA Hall of Famers--Dave Cowens (left) and Dominique Wilkins (right).


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Hugh directs one of his Florida State teams from the bench.

gia became one of the few teams since the NCAA Tournament began in 1939 to reach the Final Four in its first ever tournament appearance. As with his 1972 FSU team, Hugh’s squad was given little chance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldog starters were Fleming, Fair, Banks, Crosby and Lamar Heard with Hartry, McMillen, Richard Corhen and Derrick Floyd coming off the bench. Georgia was a Number 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament and played fifthseeded Virginia Commonwealth in the first round in Greensboro, N.C. The Bulldogs pulled out a 56-54 win. From there it was on to the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY to play in the regional

semifinals against St. Johns, the East’s top seed. Georgia had four players score in double figures, including 27 points from Fair, who also grabbed nine rebounds. After trailing 29-27 at halftime, the Bulldogs pulled ahead in the second half and prevailed 70-67, earning a match-up with defending national champion North Carolina. Before a crowd of almost 23,000, Georgia played a North Carolina team that, like St. Johns, had been atop the national polls during the season. Coach Dean Smith’s Tar Heels featured National Player of The Year Michael Jordan, along with his fellow-All-Americans Sam Perkins and Brad Daugherty. Perkins had even inexplicably commented that he

did not know which conference Georgia played in. But the Bulldogs got 20 points from Banks (7-of-10 FG’s; 6-of-6 FT’s), who was named the East Regional Most Valuable Player, and 17 each from Fleming and unsung hero Crosby en route to a stunning 82-77 upset. In detail, Hugh told how his Bulldogs prevailed: “North Carolina had a great deal of height inside, led by Perkins and Daugherty, and while outside shooting had not necessarily been a team strength for us that season, we shot very well from the perimeter in that game. That forced the Tar Heels out of their zone defense to play us man-to-man, which got their tall players away from the basket. So it took them away from their May 2012

High Country Magazine


“Hugh Durham is a heck of a coach. He stood the test of time in major college basketball coaching. He’s been successful everywhere he coached. He did a fantastic job at Florida State and later built Georgia’s program from a lowtier to one consistently among the nation’s best. Then he turned Jacksonville into a very competitive program. Those are major feats.” -Dick Vitale, ESPN and ABC TV college basketball analyst and former University of Detroit and Detroit Pistons Head Coach

strength and allowed us to apply and often keep the offensive pressure on their defense. Entering the game, I believed Crosby would play as prominent a role as any of our players if we won. And he definitely outplayed North Carolina’s point guard, Jimmy Braddock. “Although we lacked height, we had exceptional team quickness and some players with good leaping ability. And we exploited both to help us get the ball inside for some high-percentage shots. We also out-rebounded the Tar Heels (37-32), which was crucial for us to do to have a good chance to win. We built a double-digit lead that we kept for much of the second half. A huge majority of the crowd was pulling for us and our consistent good play kept that crowd ‘into’ the game very loudly. We also made several free throws down the stretch and held off their late rally.” To provide further proof how monumental Georgia’s win over North Carolina was, consider that the Bulldogs had lost Wilkins, who had entered the NBA draft the previous season and that they had no starter taller than 6-foot7 competing against a team with much more over-all talent and tradition. But Georgia repeatedly beat North Carolina up-and-down the floor. The Tar Heels’ largest advantage was only two points and Georgia did not allow them to take the lead the entire second half. Fair missed almost all the second half after picking up his fourth foul less than two minutes into the half and had to sit on the bench. But instead of allowing North Carolina to take command, the Bulldogs increased their frontcourt assault while continuing to scorch the nets from the floor, making 32-of-57 shots (56 percent) for the game. The Bulldogs then lost in the national semifinals to eventual champion North Carolina State, 67-60. 62

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In 1984-85, the Bulldogs returned to the NCAA Tournament finishing the campaign with a 22-9 record. Hugh’s Bulldogs also beat eventual National Champion Villanova, 7865, during the regular season. That is thought to be UGA’s only win ever over a National Championship team. In yet another milestone for Hugh, Georgia defeated Kentucky in Lexington, KY, 79-77, that season. It was the first win for Georgia at Kentucky since 1923. Hugh’s 1986-87 team, nicknamed “The Miracle Workers” for exceeding pre-season expectations, reached the NCAA Tournament. In 1989-90, Hugh led Georgia to the school’s first ever SEC regular season Championship and another trip to the NCAA Tournament. Georgia outlasted LSU and its future NBA standout center Shaquille O’Neal on the road, 86-85, to clinch the SEC title. In 1994-95, Hugh finished his career at Georgia by directing the Bulldogs to their 12th post-season tournament appearance (NIT). He remains Georgia’s leader in all-time coaching wins. His record with the Bulldogs is 298-216.

Jacksonville University

In 1997 Durham came out of retirement at age 60 to try and help rebuild the struggling program at Jacksonville University, a private school in Jacksonville, FL, with an enrollment of less than 3,500 students. In 1970, the Dolphins, led by Artis Gilmore, reached the NCAA Championship game before losing to UCLA. Jacksonville went to five NCAA Tournaments between 1970 and 1986, before falling to an also-ran. But once again Hugh performed his magic, engineering a remarkable turnaround. The Dolphins quickly went from the doormat of the Atlantic Sun Conference to one of

May 2012

the league’s top programs. What Hugh accomplished at Jacksonville is as impressive in its own ways as what he did as FSU’s and Georgia’s head coach considering the Dolphins’ old facilities, often overmatched talent and small fan base. Over his last five seasons, Jacksonville won 78 games; averaged 10 conference wins a season, and held opponents to an average of only 69.5 points per game. In that span, Jacksonville was 4919 on its home court. He directed the Dolphins to consecutive 18-win seasons his last two years there-- the program’s most victories in consecutive seasons since the mid-1980s. The top players Hugh coached at Jacksonville included forwards Calvin Warner, Ali Kaba, Haminn Quaintance and guards Travis Robinson and Kevin Sheppard. In 2000, Durham was named Jacksonville’s athletics director in addition to his coaching duties, serving in the dual roles through 2004. His most significant accomplishment as athletics director was vastly improving the school’s over-all athletics finances. He compiled a still-Jacksonville best 106 NCAA victories. Hugh retired from coaching in 2005.

Other Accolade and Legacies

Hall of Fame induction is generally considered the pinnacle achievement for longtime contributions in a particular field. Hugh has the unique distinction of being enshrined in four—and soon to be five—Sports Halls of Fame: Florida State University (1990), Kentucky High School (1994), State of Florida (1999), State of Georgia (2009) and State of Kentucky (2012). Hugh was also selected as Coach of

The Year in the SEC four times and in the Metro Conference once. He was also named Sports Illustrated’s “National Coach of The HalfSeason” midway through the 1987-88 season for coaching Georgia to success at that juncture way beyond what was predicted in the pre-season. The Bulldogs eventually won 20 games and reached the second round of the NIT that season. Hugh is one of only 12 NCAA Division I coaches to take two different teams to the NCAA Final Four. When Hugh retired, he was one of only eight major college coaches to win at least 200 games at two schools and one of only seven to win at least 100 games at three schools. Hugh’s career totals also included eight NCAA tournament appearances, two NCAA Final Fours, seven NIT bids, one NIT Final Four, two SEC championships and one Metro Conference Championship. His teams recorded eight 20-plus win seasons. Hugh coached nine All-Americans, four Academic All-Americans, four firstround NBA draft picks and a pair of U.S. Olympians (Vern Fleming and Willie Anderson). Fifteen of his former players went on to play in the NBA and he had 31 players selected in the NBA draft. Two of his former players – Cowens (Florida State) and Wilkins (Georgia) – were inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. In recognition of his achievements building successful programs, named its annual award for the top coach of a Mid-Major school the “Hugh Durham Coach of the Year” award. And in 1999, to honor Hugh’s contributions to Florida State University Basketball as a player and head coach,

the school renamed its award given annually to its top player the “Hugh Durham Most Valuable Player” award. Hugh also received the Naismith Outstanding Contribution to College Basketball Award from the Atlanta TipOff Club in 2003. Additionally, Hugh helped produce a long list of coaches, and several of his former players and assistants became head coaches, most notably on college, professional and semi-pro levels. Besides Doug Durham, these include: Murray Arnold (UT-Chattanooga, Western Kentucky, Stetson and Birmingham Southern); Tevester Anderson (Murray State and Jacksonville State); Mark Slonaker (Mercer); Eddie Biedenbach (UNC-Asheville); Don Beasley (Northwestern State); Charlton Young (Georgia Southern); Morris McHone (San Antonio Spurs, US National Team and Sioux Falls, NDNBA Developmental League and Continental Basketball Association); and Nate “Tiny” Archibald (Fayetteville, NC-NBA Developmental League and Connecticut-US Basketball League).

Accomplishments provide pride

Hugh has given loyal, sincere and conscientious service to his chosen profession. Because of his coaching success, he was often considered as a candidate for various other jobs, including notably two of basketball’s most prestigious posts--- the NBA’s Boston Celtics and the University of Kentucky. Hugh rejected an offer to be the Celtics head coach to remain in college coaching and he was a one-time finalist for Kentucky’s head coaching position. He also was offered two other NBA jobs-- head coach

“Hugh is a loving and caring man with a big heart. He is so genuine and compassionate. He’s a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and an equally good basketball coach. And that’s saying a lot.” -Malinda Durham, Wife of Hugh Durham

of the Philadelphia 76ers and as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, but he declined both overtures. Hugh remains a student of the game of basketball and he has been involved in it in various capacities during his retirement, including working as an instructor at the annual Tommy Burleson Basketball Camp in Newland. While downplaying his contributions, nevertheless, Hugh is honored to receive recognition for his coaching achievements. He commented: “I never made a field goal, a free throw or a steal as a coach; although I got a few technical fouls for arguing with officials (he laughed). I haven’t done anything but be fortunate enough to be in the right places at the right times with the right group of players and have an opportunity to coach them. The rewards of coaching are great; the sacrifices are plentiful. The success I had was primarily because I had good players, assistant coaches and support staffs as well as the ultimate in love and support from my wife, children and grandchildren. My family is a team just like all the teams are at each school I’ve coached. None of what success I’ve enjoyed could have happened without my family. “Everyone makes mistakes, but I believe I’ve done things the right way in my coaching career and in my life, and I’m very proud of that.”


-Tim Gardner is a freelance journalist who makes his home in the North Carolina High Country of Avery County and is a friend of Coach Durham and his family. Tim’s articles have appeared in national, regional, local and specialty publications, including Singing News, the printed voice of Southern Gospel Music, formerly based in Boone. Tim also is a long-time enthusiast of the University of Georgia Bulldogs, and he has covered their exploits for newspapers, magazines and online web sites. ----------------------------------*Photographs for this article provided by Coach Hugh and Malinda Durham; Sports Communications Offices at Florida State University, the University of Georgia and Jacksonville University; Wingate Downs, Athens, GA; and Tim Gardner, Ingalls, NC. May 2012

High Country Magazine


Parting Shot...


The F inal Issue

n December 22, 2011, the High Country Press published its last weekly-edition newspaper and has since moved onto the World Wide Web at When this photo was shot, a breeze blew by the Doc Watson statue on King Street and – in symbolic fashion – curled the top-right corner of our last edition. The High Country Press is turning the page, turning over a new leaf. For years, a digital storm has been-a-brewing over the newspaper industry. The Internet has revolutionized nearly everything, and in turn, also the way people receive their news –whether it’s local, national or global. No longer do people need to walk to the newsstand and place their hard-earned money into the coin slot to find out what happened last week, three days ago or yesterday. Now people – while still lying in bed before that cup of coffee – can open their laptops or pull out their smart phones to find out what happened five minutes ago. Stuck in a traffic jam or a boring meeting? Check out the online 64

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May 2012

version of High Country Press to see what’s developing in the High Country. At the constantly updating HCPress. com, the latest news and events are at your fingertips whenever it’s convenient for you. Our motto is “news as it happens.” Why wait for the printed version when you can have it NOW? The newsprint days were good to us, and we’ll miss the printed version - flipping through the pages and getting a little ink on our hands. But we’re sure our closets will stay full with hundreds of past issues from the last six years. They’re always fun to retrieve and see what was happening in the High Country back then. But time marches on. And who knows, maybe not too long from now the only place to find a printed newspaper will be in closets, attics and museums. For us, it’s a bittersweet farewell to the dying breed of ink on newsprint and a big hello to the harmony of pixels in the 21st Century.


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Read about News as it Happens. Why wait for the Printed Version when you can know NOW. High Country Press at your Fingertips. Welcome to the 21st Century! May 2012

High Country Magazine


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