March 2021

Page 1

MARCH 2021


“If something doesn’t feel right, don’t try to rationalize it away, call 9-1-1. I first wrote oo my symptoms as indigestion, but when shortness of breath started, my husband took me to the Chest Pain Center in Johnston Health’s Emergency Department. They found elevated enzymes and transferred me to their Cardiac Cath Lab in Smithfield. They found a blocked artery and opened it with a stent saving me from a heart attack. I’m so glad I went when I did.” – Wendy Elston-Davis Clayton, NC

For more on Wendy’s experience with our Chest Pain Center and Cardiology Services, visit




06 09 Love Letters 10 14 17 19 20 22



Ratification of the N.C. Constitution


AdVenture Development Expands to New Corporate Office Space Johnston Community College offers professional cooking classes Clayton author to release new book

Johnston Health names Ambassador of the Month Bentonville releases 2021 plans

Middle school students receive scholarship

[PUBLISHER] column

Can I use ‘March Madness’ if the whole year has been mad? RANDY CAPPS

I’m a huge sports fan, as anyone who regularly opens this magazine knows, and I particularly enjoy the NCAA Tournament. I usually call that “March Madness,” as everyone does, but it seems out of place this year.


The pandemic made sure we didn’t have one of these last year, which I guess means Virginia is still the defending national champion. It seems like a lifetime ago when I sat in Colonial Life Arena in Columbia and watched Gardner-Webb and Virginia play in the first round back in 2019.


Volume 5, Number 4

A Shandy Communications, LLC publication

COVID-19 has bent time and space for me, with two years ago being so far away that I can hardly remember it. I sat with a buddy in a nearly full arena and watched hours and hours of basketball — and there wasn’t a mask in sight. So, barring a series of calamities, the tournament will return this year. As I write

Publisher Randy Capps

this, I’m not sure what it will look like. We know it will be contested entirely in Indianapolis with very few fans. I’m grateful for the distraction, but calling it madness seems like overkill. Oh, I’m going to watch it. I’m just not as excited as I’d normally be. It will be nice when we can get back to having words like madness apply only to sports and entertainment. I’ve had about as much of it in real life over the last year or so to last me a lifetime.

General Manager Shanna Capps

Creative Consultant Ethan Capps

Advertising Manager Irene Brooks

Office Managers Katie Crowder

Terri Atkinson

919-980-5522 • • • 1300 W. Market Street, Smithfield, N.C. 27577 • Johnston Now Magazine is a monthly publication of Shandy Communications, LLC for our Johnston County neighbors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent by the publisher. Advertisers take sole responsibility for the validity of their advertisement. ©2021 Johnston Now. All rights reserved.



Ratifying the Constitution in North Carolina BY BENJAMIN SANDERFORD

The atmosphere was tense in the meeting room at Hillsborough on July 21, 1788, as William Bridgers, Joseph Boon, William Farmer, John Bryan and Everet Pearce took their seats. They had arrived from Johnston County to meet with delegates from all over North Carolina to discuss the proposed ratification of a new constitution for the United States signed in Philadelphia the year before. The supporters of ratification, the Federalists, led by James Iredell, Sr., William R. Davie and Richard Caswell,

among others, argued that the Articles of Confederation, the original body of national law, were too weak. They claimed that the U.S. Constitution was needed for effective government. The representatives from Johnston County listened skeptically. They were inclined to agree with Willie Jones, Samuel Spencer, Timothy Bloodworth and other Anti-Federalists who voiced concern that a stronger government would threaten individual liberty. Despite this fundamental disagreement, the delegates came as colleagues, not enemies. The only sparring was verbal, not physical, as the two sides competed

to make their cases most convincing. As the convention drew to a close, it was clear there was an impasse. Therefore, on Aug. 4 the delegates voted 184 to 83 to delay the final decision on ratification. They also sent to other states proposed constitutional amendments explicitly guaranteeing individual rights. In the meantime, North Carolina would be outside the United States. As such, the state government sent Hugh Williamson as ambassador. Given that the Federalist Williamson had participated in the 1787 Constitutional



JONATHAN 919-413-3862

Emergency Service Available! Freedom plumbing service LLC


10% OFF

For All Military & Senior Citizens Up to $100 Discount on Service Work Only

Convention, it seems that North Carolina leaders wanted cordial relations with the U.S. government. He was certainly successful in his negotiations. North Carolina ships were allowed to enter U.S. ports free of charge in exchange for the state government handing over profits from tariff revenue to federal authorities. This and other arrangements would only last until North Carolinians had decided whether they wanted the Constitution or not. The debate continued, but the Anti-Federalist position gradually eroded.

The creation of the Bill of Rights on Sept. 25, 1789, by the 1st U.S. Congress directly countered claims that the Constitution would not adequately safeguard an individual’s freedom of expression and right to fair judicial treatment. The bill, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, was not yet ratified, but there was little doubt it would be. Almost as important was the election back in November 1788 of George Washington as president. The former commander-in-chief of the Continental Army was overwhelmingly popular in North Carolina and elsewhere. His presence reassured many skeptics. Finally, there was the practical matter that nearly every other state had ratified the Constitution, including Virginia and South Carolina. An independent North Carolina would inevitably become isolated, a dangerous situation should the British Empire return. Thus, when the time came to elect delegates for the second ratification convention, most voters chose Federalists

to represent them. Of the AntiFederalist Johnstonians who attended the Hillsborough Convention, only Bridgers was sent to Fayetteville in November 1789. He was joined by Hardy Bryan, William Hackney, Matthias Handy and Samuel Smith Jr., whose relatives had founded Smithfield. The outcome of the Fayetteville Convention was never in doubt. In fact, Jones, the Anti-Federalist figurehead, refused to attend. Only three Johnston County delegates were present to witness the Federalist victory. Hackney had asked to be excused, and Bridgers was also absent. Curiously, he had not been present during the final vote at Hillsborough either. Nevertheless, Smith, Handy and Hardy Bryan all voted with the Federalists 194 to 77 on Nov. 21 to join the United States of America. The fate of Johnston County and all of North Carolina was now bound to the constitutional experiment. Benjamin Sanderford, a resident of Clayton, studied social science at UNC Greensboro. He can be reached at

[ MARCH 2021 ] | 7

Real Country Variety and More Music


Young love blooms into even more


unter, We met each other when I was only 12 years old in church, and even though you were 16, I could not help but notice you. We started dating two weeks before I turned 18, and the logic that fueled all of my decisions was tossed by the wayside. We married one month after I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from Campbell University. You have been by my side through two graduations, starting my career, the birth of our beautiful daughter — who is this perfect cocktail of us — and now building my dream career in Clayton. I have watched you grow into a man that I am even more than proud of — as you are a local hero as a Garner firefighter. Your patience is unmatched. Thank you for loving every version I have morphed into throughout the years as we have grown up together. Love always, Your wife

An ode to a Clayton neighborhood


ear Neighbors, Growing up, I lived in a neighborhood surrounded by people who kept an eye out for me, my younger brother and the other kids who lived nearby. We climbed their trees, played in their yards and jumped their fences. Our parents knew we were safe when we were there. That sense of community is what I have always wanted for my children. 2020 may have been a rough year in many ways, but when I think about it, I think of the friendship and love that has grown on our little block (Virginia Street) this year. We have supported one another through COVID job issues, new kids, new pets and now new health challenges. You are the people I wanted for my boys to grow up around. I know as they continue to grow, they are surrounded by people who will continue to keep an eye out for them, correct them, encourage them and love them. So, in this month of love, know that our family loves each of you and what you bring to our little corner of the world. Thank you for being you and for loving our brand of crazy! Meghann T

[ MARCH 2021 ] | 9

AdVenture Development Expands to New Corporate Office Space in Downtown Selma Submitted BY ADVENTURE DEVELOPMENT

SELMA — AdVenture Development, LLC, has moved its corporate offices to the Vick Building at 101 South Raiford St., Suite 200, making it a tenant in the historic 1916 building where Vicks VapoRub was invented. Extensive renovations were necessary to bring back the once grand commercial building. Hauch Design PLLC of Raleigh was the architect, and Lee Design Building LLC of Princeton served as general contractor on this project. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the revitalization of downtown Selma,” Adventure Development


President Kevin Dougherty said. “In the future, we look forward to introducing our new space to the entire community.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the stylish two-story, polychrome, eclectic brick commercial building with a mix of masonry decorated elements

is crowned by an overhanging hip roof supported by paired, carved brackets anchored on masonry corbels. The prominent building addresses both S. Raiford and E. Anderson streets and showcases a six-arch loggia that wraps around the principal corner and shelters the main entrance.

AdVenture Development will occupy the entire second floor (3,000 square feet) featuring multiple private offices and a large, co-working space. The Vick Building also includes 1,500 square feet of restaurant space adjacent to 1,500 square feet for office or other use at ground level. Both ground level spaces are currently available for lease. Prospective tenants who complement existing businesses and serve local customers should contact Dougherty for additional details about the spaces available for lease. For more information about AdVenture Development, call the office at 919-965-5661 or visit

Making a move? Our mortgage lending experts are ready when you are. Speak with us today at 800-914-8224 or visit to get started.

Member FDIC. © 2021 United Community Bank |

[ MARCH 2021 ] | 11

#SmithfieldStrong Spotlight Win Big in 2021! Each Tuesday, make a purchase at a Downtown Smithfield business.

Post a picture of your purchase to Facebook or Instagram with #SmithfieldStrong.

Real Country Variety and More Music

At the end of each month, one lucky person will win $50 Downtown Dollars!

For more information and rules about this promotion, please visit

Treat Yourself to

Town Market


Cut Fresh Meats! Carry Groceries to Your Car! Are Locally Owned and Operated

Bring In This Coupon For

10% OFF Your Grocery Purchase

1700 US Hwy 70-A | Pine Level | 919-965-5271 For Weekly Specials, Visit Our Website —


champions goes virtual!

This may seem like an obstacle in our path, but we can still reach the finish line…together! Join us for a virtual 5K walk-run, 5K dog walk-run, and 10K race in support of our Heart Fund & Healthy Kids Fund.

April 10 - april 17, 2021

Run anywhere, at your own pace! For full virtual race details visit: [ MARCH 2021 ] | 13

learn your way around a



SMITHFIELD — Whether your cooking knowledge is limited to throwing frozen things in the microwave, or you make Christmas cookies that are the envy of your friends and neighbors, there’s always something new to learn in the kitchen. Robbie Carver, community programs coordinator and head of Johnston Community College’s Culinary Arts program, is here to help. “What we’re doing at JCC is a culinary class that’s called Career in a Year,” he said. “It’s a 21-week course (taught in English and Spanish) that breaks up between Culinary 1 and Culinary 2. The Culinary 1 also includes the ServSafe and Sanitation course.” Carver, a 1994 graduate of Wake Tech’s Culinary Arts program, spent more than 26 years cooking in restaurant and corporate settings. But his


Chef Robbie Carver works with a student in Johnston Community College's Culinary Arts program.

first day in the program was a bit of an eye opener for him. “I always wanted to cook because my aunt was a chef,” he said. “She was part Italian. She

was part Jewish. She lived in the Bronx, and she took me (in the kitchen.) But when I stepped into culinary school, I didn’t know what was going on. “My professor at Wake Tech, Richard Roberts, and my chef, Fredi Morf, always told me there’s two fields you should get in. Eating, because people have to eat, and the funeral business, because people are going to die. I chose the food business. I figured I could work with that a little bit better.” Apparently, his class offers a similar experience for first-day students.

“The restaurant equipment is totally different from what you have in the house,” he said. “I can tell a student, ‘Mary, go get me a braising pan.’ The first thing you’d need to know is what is a braising pan. So, we kind of go through that.” Like his professors pointed out, the culinary field is constantly in search of new recruits. “I’ve received a lot of phone calls, even before COVID but during COVID, too,” Carver said. “(People) are looking for help. Johnston County has grown tremendously. People are looking to get into restaurants and go out to eat on Friday and Saturday nights, but they don’t want to drive to Raleigh. What these restaurants and chefs are looking for here is people that are capable of jumping right in. People who know how

Photos courtesy of Johnston Comm

professional kitchen at

MUNITY COLLEGE to use a knife, know how to work in a small kitchen. And they’re having a little bit of problems trying to find those employees here in Johnston County.” The Culinary Arts program at JCC covers plenty of ground. Everything from how to be professional in a culinary field, how to use the right tools, different setup stations, different types of equipment, menu planning, food costs, beverage costs, inventory, profit and loss statements and much more. “I’ll give them a project sheet,” he said, “You’re going to feed 250 people. Here’s where you’re going to do it. You’ve got to figure out everything it costs. Gas, wear and tear on your vehicle, your hourly employees, what you’re going to pay them. (You need to know) how much you need, how much

munity College

equipment you need to buy, how you’re going to set it up? If you’ve got a kitchen on your food truck, how do you set that up?” There is a lot of material to absorb, but students seem to take to it quickly. “They come in, the first day, they wear the uniform,” he said. “They feel good about themselves. They think they know how to cook and they don’t sometimes. ... We had a lady who had run a restaurant in Clayton, a little mom and pop place. They unfortunately went out of business. She knew how to cook, but she didn’t know how to run the business. And when we started learning about that in class, she said, ‘Chef, I never knew about food cost. I just thought I could mark it up a dollar from what I paid for it, but I couldn’t make enough money.’” That student is now running a food truck, and with an eye on food costs, turning a profit. The program, which began in 2011, continues to evolve. The school recently purchased a new 125,000 BTU Napoleon grill with four stations that Carver hopes to use for some new courses. “In the future, we’re going to get the bricklaying class to build us a wood burning pizza oven,” he said. “Then, we’re going to use the grill and have a barbecue class.” The Culinary Arts program

at JCC is a chance to sharpen your skills for a career in a growing industry — and add to your vocabulary along the way. “If you’re looking to get into the field, but you’re not really sure, come to this class,” he said. “Take it. See if you can handle it. Then, you can take the next step and go to Johnson and Wales, or another community college and finish a degree program. ... You’re walking in with Servsafe (certification). You’re walking in with the uniform policy. You know about the techniques of

cooking, and when the chef says, ‘go get a braising pan,’ you come back with a braising pan.”

[ MARCH 2021 ] | 15

Hospice doesn’t mean giving up hope. 919.877.9959


Clayton author to release new book



It’s hard to find much good to say about the recent pandemic. But, despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, it has forced us to use more creativity. For Clayton author Jean Richardson Watson, it inspired her latest work, “The Eliminator VS COVID-19,” set to be released on March 5. “The Eliminator VS COVID-19” is a coloring book with tips on keeping you and your family safe as possible from the virus. It features illustrations to encourage kids and adults to practice good habits by keeping their surroundings clean and virus free. The illustrations will enable children and adults to follow and apply various guidelines in the book to their daily life, and enjoy coloring activities while bringing the images to life. “As with any virus, if we take the appropriate measures and follow health officials’ guidelines, we can defeat this pandemic,” Watson said. “I created the two main characters in this book as superheroes. COVID-19 is the bad guy who doesn’t mind spreading germs and viruses. He will do whatever it takes to apply his cluster of illnesses. The other character is The Eliminator. She will save the world by combating COVID-19 and the devastation he leaves.” Watson is a native of Clayton and the 21st child born to the late Eddie Robert Richardson and Fannie Forte Richardson. She is married with two children and one grandson. Watson has been writing since her high school days at Clayton and Smithfield-Selma high schools, and some of her first efforts were love poems to her future husband, Winston. “Like anything you do in life, the more you do it, the better you get at it,” she said in a November 2018 interview. “I’m not Maya (Angelou) or anybody like that, and I don’t claim to be. But it is a skill. God gave it to me, so I’m using it to inspire.” She has also written “Poetry from the Heart,” “Poetic Expressions,” “Onyx the Butterfly,” “A Thief in the Night,” “Inspirational Quotes” for Life” and “My Name is Special.” [ MARCH 2021 ] | 17


Spiritual Care department secretary named Ambassador of the Month Submitted BY JOHNSTON HEALTH

SMITHFIELD — Johnston Health has recognized Elsie McClain, secretary for the spiritual care department, as Ambassador of the Month. During a recent presentation, CEO Tom Williams said she is always willing to assist, whether it’s covering for a coworker, helping a volunteer or working with a patient. “She greets every task with a smile and positive attitude,” he said. Among other things, McClain notarizes living wills and health care powers of attorney that families and patients may need

CEO Tom Williams congratulates Elsie McClain on being named Johnston Health Ambassador of the Month. At left is April Culver, vice president of marketing/communications and strategy, and at right is Greg McClain, director of spiritual care and volunteer services.

while in the hospital. She also schedules the on-call chaplain volunteers, who fill in for the clinical chaplains at nights and

on weekends and holidays. “I like the variety of tasks and interacting with people,” she said. Prior to joining Johnston

Health in 2004, McClain retired with AT&T after working for 31 years. She started out as an operator and then moved to the business office and then to the engineering division. McClain grew up in Pine Level. She now lives in Selma and has a grown daughter and two grandchildren. Through the ambassador program, Johnston Health recognizes employees who go above and beyond the call of duty. They deliver quality care, foster teamwork and offer excellent service. In addition to a designated month-long parking space, McClain will receive eight hours of paid time off.

[ MARCH 2021 ] | 19

Bentonville Battlefield releases planned 2021 events Submitted BY JOHNSTON COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU

FOUR OAKS — Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site has announced its 2021 events. Details as they are known at this time are available below for each event. Before traveling to the site, please check for updates on the Bentonville Battlefield website or call 910-594-0789 to confirm event dates, times and details. March 20: 156th Digital Anniversary In 2020 the site had to cancel its large-scale reenactment event for the

155th anniversary of the battle due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions. As restrictions remain at this time, the Bentonville staff and the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources are working to offer a digital anniversary experience. In addition to the digital event, small group tours are being given of the battlefield in the month leading up to the battle anniversary. These guided tours are organized and hosted by Wade Sokolosky for $25 per person for one tour and $40 for both tours, with a 12-person limit on each tour. Both morning and afternoon tours (with varying content)

are offered March 4-6 and March 18. All-day tours will be offered on March 19. Tours are conducted in accordance with state COVID protocols and must be booked and paid in advance. To learn more information and reserve your spot, contact Sokolosky at 252646-5553 or sokolosky1@aol. com. May 15: Bentonville in Bloom, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore the natural side of Bentonville during the spring program; learn about the plants and wildlife that call eastern North Carolina home. Aug. 21: Heavy Thunder, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come hear the roar of cannon fire. Learn how cannons were loaded and fired during the Civil War. Reenactors will be on site portraying the 19th Indiana Battery. Cannon demonstrations and historical discussions will occur throughout the day. Food trucks will be on site. Bring family and friends to learn about Pvt. Peter Anderson, a 17-year-old Medal of Honor recipient. Sept. 18: Life on Campaign, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Reenactors will be on hand representing the men of the 40th N.C. Regiment. Firing demonstrations and discussions will occur throughout the day. Food trucks will be on site. Bring


family and friends to learn about uniforms, drill, soldiers' equipment and the brutal realities of war. Oct. 23: Echoes of Battle, 6-10 p.m., $20 admission Nightfall, March 19, 1865, the first day of fighting is over. A "Union stretcher bearer described the night," All over the woods could be seen officers and men with pine torches in their hands seeking after some fallen comrade or friend to take him to a hospital if alive and bury him if dead...” For the first time ever, experience a nighttime wagon ride and a candlelit walk through the woods of Bentonville. Guided walking tours will take visitors through vignettes showing the aftermath of battle. Tickets are $20 and will be available for purchase in early October. (Warning: This program will simulate combat trauma and may not be suitable for young audiences.) Nov. 6: Fall Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., $5 per Vehicle Bring the family and celebrate fall at Bentonville Battlefield. Planned activities include wagon rides, old timey kids’ games, music, antique tractors, historic demonstrations and more. Bring a blanket or chair and listen to live music. Food and beer trucks will be on site. Dec. 4: Civil War Christmas, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come celebrate a Civil

Photo Courtesy of Johnston County Visitors Bureau

War Christmas during this holiday event. Visitors can enjoy cookies and cider by the fire, period music or stroll through the soldiers' camp. Kids of all ages are welcome to help make period decorations for the kitchen and Christmas tree.

Dec. 4: In Heavenly Peace, 5-8 p.m., $5 admission This holiday season, you are invited to tour the home of John and Amy Harper as it may have appeared after the conclusion of the Civil War. For the first time ever, experience the Harper House as a family residence, not

as a Civil War field hospital. Come enjoy the beauty of a 19th century Christmas aglow with candlelight. Also enjoy period refreshments in the kitchen and sing carols by a warm campfire. Tickets are limited; do not miss your chance to experience Christmas by candlelight at Bentonville Battlefield.

Real Country Variety and More Music

[ MARCH 2021 ] | 21

Two JCPS middle school students receive $20K scholarship Submitted BY JOHNSTON COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Johnston County Public Schools middle school students Ximena Castaneda Aguilar and Valery Davis Mendoza are two of the several promising North Carolina seventh graders who were named as recipients of the Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship recently. Each Bell Scholar is eligible to receive up to $20,000, as long as they meet annual renewal criteria. Starting in seventh grade, eligible students will receive $2,000 per year, through four years of college. The funds are contributed to an account in the NC 529 Plan, with the student named as the beneficiary. Every fall, middle school teachers, counselors and college access groups from across the state are invited to nominate students whose names will be randomly selected for the scholarship.

Aguilar, a student at Swift Creek Middle, is the daughter of Albaro Castaneda Guzman and Irma Aguilar Martinez. Her teachers say she is a hard working Aguilar student who continues to excel even during this period of virtual learning. She self advocates and knows when to seek assistance from her teachers. She is also willing to assist others. She is known for having a warm personality and getting along well with her peers. Her teachers say that her strong work ethic and positive attitude makes her the ideal candidate for such a distinguished award. Mendoza, a student at Smithfield Middle, is the daughter of Eliezer Tinoco

Davis and Maira Mendoza Mejia. She is a second-year Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) student. The AVID Mendoza program is a college access program that supports students who would be first-generation college students. The AVID program works with students to assist them in meeting their goals throughout middle and high school. “Valery is dedicated to setting and achieving rigorous goals for herself in all she endeavors to do, and we are extremely pleased she was selected for this scholarship,” said Sarah Anderson, Smithfield Middle AVID coordinator.

Happy Easter From the Town of Four Oaks


Like us on facebook 22 | [ JOHNSTON NOW ]

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.